Thursday, July 25, 2013
You're in a another part of a larger city you do not frequent and you notice a couple of local places that you have no idea if they are good or not. But you take a leap of faith and give one of them a go and Whamo! it turns out to be an excellent meal!
This happened to me last week when I was getting my wife's laptop serviced as a computer store we had a coupon for. It was a twenty minute drive further south from where I work to Sandy, UT which I rarely visited. There was this little breakfast/lunch place called Britton's that caught my eye. Without even asking the employees of the computer store if it was good or not I decided what the heck. I was out there at lunch time craving a burger and I wasn't in the mood for McDonald's or Wendy's so I went in.
It reminded me of Mel's Diner from the TV show Alice. It looked like it had been there since the 50's anyways. The waitresses were really nice and the menu included a lot of your diner type staples. The garlic burger built the way you want caught my eye. Ever since I tried The Cotton Bottom garlic burger I'm always on the lookout for a good one.
This one didn't dissapoint as evidenced by this picture.
So why not walk on the wild side this week and leap into a place you have not heard about or read a review about and see what happens. It's at least a 50/50 chance you will be impressed!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
When we asked our kids where they would like to go for our family vacation this year and they all said Hawaii I was as excited as a kid myself. Not that I mind Disneyland or Disney world and all of the surrounding theme parks but 5 or 6 days walking around in the heat and crowds is not a vacation to me now that I'm in my 40's. Some beach time chilling in the surf and doing a little snorkeling is more my speed now.
I have been to Oahu a few times before and this island has a very diverse eating scene. We were staying at a condo on Waikiki so I was excited to attack this area and some of its popular restaurants. Below is my list of favorite places we attacked:
Lulu's Waikiki: http://www.luluswaikiki.com/
When I saw the Magnum P.I. burger on the menu I knew this had to be my families first stop. The prices weren't too bad for Waikiki and I have brain washed my boys with my Magnum P.I. DVDs (I need to admit I wanted to be Magnum growing up). This awesome burger is huge and has bacon and guacamole on it so how can you go wrong. As you can see by my son Keaton's reaction we enjoyed our visit to Lulu's immensely. Plus it is right across from the beach...Awesome!
Cholo's Homestyle Mexican (Haleiwa): http://www.cholos.mx/
Located on the North Shore we were really happy with this recommendation from a few locals we talked to. I was worried about finding good Mexican on a tropical island especially so far from Honolulu but it was fantastic. The chips and salsa were excellent and after 3 baskets and our mouth humming from the right amount of heat in the salsa we still enjoyed our meal. I had the Mahi fish tacos and they had 4 big chunks of well seasoned mahi per taco. Can't beat fresh fish!
Matsamoto shave ice: http://www.matsumotoshaveice.com/
While your on the North Shore and if the line is not too long go get a giant shaved ice with ice cream at Matsamoto's. We lucked out one day we were up there and the line was fairly short. You cannot underestimate how good these are. They are not your normal snow cone. The ice is a lot lighter and holds the myriad of flavors so well. If the line is too long there are a couple of other shaved ice places right by Matsamoto's like Aoki's. Smiles all around!!!
Rainbow Drive-In: http://rainbowdrivein.com/
For those that have been living on Oahu for at least 50 years they will tell you about the original Honolulu drive-in. Personally I was happy to feed my family for under $50 so close to Waikiki. The Rainbow Royal burger was fantastic and I really wanted to try some of their specialty plates as well so that will be on my to-do list on my next visit.
Tiki's Grill & Bar: http://tikisgrill.com/
Another place on Waikiki beach that I wanted to try was Tiki's. It's very close to Lulu's but has a very different menu. We decided to eat our last meal on the island here and I'm glad we did. I went with the Macadamia nut crusted Mahi over orzo pasta in a mushroom cream sauce. The sweet rolls were excellent as well.
I also recommend the Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center as you have to experience one of these Hawaiian traditions while your there. The salted pulled pork from the Kalua pig is always a can't miss. Also head up to Leonard's Bakery in Honolulu just off Waikiki and get some Malasada's (Portuguese Donuts). Get the cinnamon and sugar or chocolate filled ones. YUM!
So for those of you that sent me some recommendations before we left...Mahalo! Which is Hawaiian for you ROCK!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
A Foodie is someone that can passionately talk about awesome restaurants they have visited, tremendous meals they have had and be able to recall them from years past and explain them in a way that can make you almost taste what they are talking about.
So this entry will be a few recommendations from some fellow Foodies that I've come to know that love the experience of a good meal as much as I do.
Cecily Bloxham - Salt Lake City
Blue Plate Diner: http://theblueplatediner.com/
She recommends the Banana Nut Pancakes, Corned Beef Hash and Smoked Salmon Club. Even all at once that sounds like a sweet meal. Can't go wrong with a place that serves awesome breakfasts all day!
She also recommends:
Thai Siam: http://thaisiam.net/
The Philadelphian Sandwich Shop: http://www.allmenus.com/ut/salt-lake-city/37368-the-philadelphian/menu/
Doug Sanderson - Rosenberg, TX.
Bob's Taco Station: http://www.bobstacos.com/
I've know Doug for years and he lives by the same credo as me that you should not eat at chains you have access to at home when on the road. He raved about the Tamales at Bob's Taco Station on a recent business trip and said the salsa was good enough to drink.
Bill Witt - Dallas, TX.
Kenny's Wood Fired Grill: http://kennyswoodfiredgrill.com/
Bill is another person that I can talk food with for hours. He is someone that travels a lot for his job so I trust his judgement. At Kenny's Wood Fired Grill he recommends The Wedge which has Tenderloin and Bacon...did I say it had Bacon...the recommendation had me at Bacon. I will definitely check this place out on my next visit to see my Cowboys play at Jerry's Palace.
So there you have it!
You see I'm not alone and I'm always open for more recommendations from fellow Foodies. There is no initiation or hazing involved just let me know what place or meal your passionate about and I'll help get the word out!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
This town holds one of my most bizarre memories. I experienced my first earthquake tremor while attending a business training here. There we were getting some good instruction when the chandeliers started swaying and the ground felt like someone was flipping a rug under my feet. It only lasted for about 10 seconds but the low rumble was crazy. So why not mention some of my favorite places to eat in this fault line city (don't quote me on that, I have no researched fault lines in the area).
I was really impressed with the city and the array of ethnic food choices downtown. Although we were staying aways outside of the downtown area at the Dolce Hayes Hotel (which is an awesome place to stay by the way) we would make our trip into town each night.
One of my favorite spots downtown is:
Don Pedro's Restaurant - http://www.yelp.com/biz/don-pedros-restaurant-san-jose
There was nothing visually aesthetic with this place but the food was great and it was within walking distance of a few areas of interest. The chips and salsa were really good with free refills, which is becoming more rare in metro cities these days. I had the their chile verde with their excellent homemade tortillas. Then I would dip them in the beans. It was so good we went back twice.
It was recommended while we were there to take a quick drive out to Santa Cruz boardwalk and eat at one of the places on the water. We ended up at a great place right on the wharf called Gilda's.
It doesn't matter where you are at in the California inland you must make a trip to any of the coastal towns and have seafood. It is just better when it is caught that day and served fresh. Go with the Fisherman's Catch in a Basket and the sample basket. I really cannot recall all of the seafood in my basket but I know there were clams. I know, not much to go on, but well worth the price as all of it was really good. Its easy to share so you can try something else. Like the Pacific Red Snapper. Great mild flavor for those that have an aversion to strong flavored fish. Their french bread is warm and fresh which is also a must at these places.
I also recommend the Dolce Hayes for its food, service and possible ghost sitings. We stayed in the newer convention wing but my associates that stayed in the old house rooms said they had that sixth sense feeling.
I've got to go back and give it a go!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Once in awhile I will get an e-mail about food that blows my mind. This was one of them. With the Super Bowl right around the corner why not try this sandwich of all sanwhiches if you dare!
Here you go:
The Absolute Ultimate 'Man Sandwich '
...top off with more Swiss wrap in butcher paper add more weight
Shove two of the steaks in the bread
...and wait ...and wait
Is this an awesome idea or what! I will let you know as soon as I try it but if anyone out there has actually done this please let me know how it turned out.
...top off with more Swiss
wrap in butcher paper
add more weight
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
One of my favorite places to visit on the road was Trader Joe's: http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp
It took me years of groveling but Utah has finally got one for themselves in Salt Lake. I have had the chance to visit their newest local a few times and as crazy as the crowds have been it is only a matter of time until they branch out along the Wasatch front.
If you haven't been to a Trader Joe's it is cross between Whole Foods and Paradise. Eighty percent of their products are unique to them as they have their own lable. They have great deli items, sauces, nuts, chips, crackers as well as a great floral section. It truly is a one stop shop for me.
A couple of my favorite items include their General Tso Stir Fry Sauce, whole roasted cashews, Basmati rice and stir fry veggies. All you need is a wok and some chicken, shrimp or strips of beef. Fry it up in a wok. Add the cashews and sauce and poor it over the rice and veggies. Truly emotional.
So please visit the location in Salt Lake and give yourself plenty of time to wander up and down the isles so you can see the variety of products. Let me know what you like so I can try some new ones as well.
You'll have my groveling to thank!
Friday, December 7, 2012
Like most people you will be invited to multiple family functions and friend parties. You will also be asked to bring your favorite appetizer as part of these invitations. I'm about to give you a recipe to my favorite appetizer that I use for most of these gatherings.
A little history first.
While on a business trip to Las Vegas years ago we were eating at an Italian restaurant in the Forum shops at Caesars Palace and instead of serving their bread with the usual butter or oil/vinegar mixture they served it with olive tapenade.
At first I looked at it and to be quite honest with you I was taken back by its appearance. It sort of looked like some kind of concoction you see on a Food Network challenge show. I like olives but I didn't love olives. So I put a little bit on and took a big bite of bread in case it was awful I would be left with a good bread to tapenade ratio. To my surprise it was FANTASTIC!
Needless to say after another 4 plates of bread I finally got the courage to ask our server what was in it. I was expecting her not to know or share because it was their own special recipe but to my surprise she gladly shared it with us. It was like writing down directions to a hidden treasure.
So now you can be the hit at your next gathering.
1 can black olives
1 cup green olives with pimento
10-15 pitted kalamata olives
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
dash of red pepper flakes
Combine all of the ingredient in blender and serve fresh or chill. I usually serve it with baguette bread cut in small pieces like the picture provided. You could even spread a little olive oil on the bread and toast in the oven for a little bit. Gourmet crackers are also excellent with this.
Let me know if you enjoy it and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!!!