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Sweet Willie

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  1. do a search using key words like big island, kona etc and there are much more than just Merriman's.
  2. THE most unforgivable acts of a bartender are to: #1. Not to (as soon as they can) acknowledge a new customer. #2. Not pay attention to if my drink is low and needs refilling (my largest peeve) #3. If guests join me, the bartender should welcome them and ask for their drink order. I can forgive not knowing how to make a drink, improper drink making as one has to start somewhere. Of course this tolerance goes down the higher $ I'm paying for the drink.
  3. beats me!!! But when entertaining it is one of the most often requested type of restaurant. I think because it is "safe" choice, most will find something that they will eat.
  4. Sweet Willie

    Duck Confit

    Had this dish at Tallgrass in Lockport, IL: Crispy Capon Confit: House Whole Wheat Noodles, Peanuts, Haricot Vert, Scallions, Mixed Greens, Tahini Dressing. As soon as I saw this dish, I wanted it for my main course. The earthy goodness of the noodles, greens, dressing, mixed w/the richness crunch of the capon confit, peanuts, was heaven, just incredible. Full Tallgrass review: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...14&hl=tallgrass I really like the idea of the chicken confit in chicken-duck fat mentioned above!
  5. Sweet Willie

    Perfect rice

    We have one of the cheapo rice cookers. It has performed admirably but is lacking in preparing some different kinds of rice. There are more expensive models that compensate for the differences in the types of rice. We will soon purchase one. I like to "set it and forget it"
  6. Seryna - located on the 52nd floor of the grey,angular Shinjuku Sumitomo Building (2-6-1 Nishi-Shinjuku)just across the street from the Hilton Tokyo-Shinjuku. Has great city views (mt. fuji in winter). Restaurant is divided into two areas, one for teppenyaki and one for sukiyaki, shabu-shabu. We ate the Sukiyaki made with Kobe beef. A table side attendent prepares the meal for you. Wonderful!!!! Mouth Watering. Bill came to $120 US for two w/a couple drinks.
  7. I found most restaurants do not have English menus, but many have displays of the food they serve in the window. Just go into the restaurant, come back out w/your waiter and point to what you want. While helpful to us, I found all the displays kind of ironic when Japanese patrons would look at them and comment. To clarify, I as most people in the U.S., have a very good picture in my head of what a hamburger, roast chicken, spaghetti, or any other typical meal will look like. Yet the Japanese would point and comment on the dishes displayed, even though every display at every restaurant looks like the same person put it together. If you're Japanese do you really need to see what a soba noodle dish looks like?!?!?! I personally found it funny. An article in Saveur magazine (April/May 2003) answered my question as to why many Japanese restaurants have food model displays. quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Replica food was cooked up at least 80 years ago by Japanese restaurants hoping to introduce locals to an influx of dishes, from places like China and the US, that arrived on their shores when Japan relaxed its isolationist stance. Today more than 80% or restaurants in Japan display faux food….” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 80% seems slightly high to me, but it sure made ordering easy.
  8. Okonomiyaki is like a thick pancake and inbetween is stuffed whatever you request, like shrimp, pork, bacon, shredded cabbage and vegetables. It is topped w/a Hoisin like sauce and sometimes mayo. Most Okonomiyaki restaurants also serve Yakisoba which is fried chinese noodles and cabbage (as well as anything you want such as fish, shrimp, pork). In the building adjacent to the Osaka Hilton called the Hilton Plaza, is an okonomiyaki restaurant on the basement second level (B2) called Okonomiyaki Madonna, open from 11am to 9:30pm. They had an English menu which is not common in Japan. We started out w/one order of Yakisoba w/shrimp as an appetizer. VERY GOOD!!!! I then had the Okonomiyaki w/ bacon and pork while my wife had the Hiroshima Okonomiyaki w/ shrimp and mushroom. Hiroshima Okonomiyaki seemed to have a different and heavier tasting sauce on top of it. Both however were VERY VERY tasty and really hit the spot w/some cold Asahi Beer. Our bill was $26 USD. My wife and I agreed that the bacon and shrimp were the tastiest and the regular Okonomiyaki was better than the Hiroshima version. so the next day for Lunch before we left on our flight we had a shrimp/bacon okonomiyaki which was great
  9. For a more upscale/expensive dinner on Maui, we dined at The Waterfront which is in/on Maalaea Harbor. Strange set-up, it's in an condo building overlooking the harbor. My pop who used to buy/sell fish claimed it was the best fish he had while in all of HI, Mom was equally impressed. My crab cake appetizer was outstanding, while my main course was good. Wife's lamb was very tasty.
  10. Went twice to A Pacific Cafe. In our opinion, the appitizers were weak but the main courses were EXCELLENT. Appitizers ordered: Deep fried curry oysters w/marscapone and scallion sauce. The scallion sauce was great, marscapone was not needed and the oysters were overcooked. Ahi and Hamachi Sashimi w/maui onion dressing. This was good and refreshing Steamed baby lobster shu mai (dumplings) w/tangerine vinaigrette and jicama melon relish. We were drooling at the sounds of this one, but was very blah. Foie gras spring roll w/scallop. Was good,but not as good as it sounded. Entrees: The "original" wok charred mahi mahi. Mahi Mahi had a garlic sesame crust and was served w/a lime ginger beurre blanc, also Asian stir fried veggies. GREAT, intense lime flavor. I liked it alot. "Imu Style" Slow Braised Duck with Caramel Lilikoi sauce and purple Okinawan Sweet Potato. My wife liked this dish so much she had it both nights. Duck was incredible as well as the bright purple sweet potato. YUM. "Mongolian" Style Rack of Lamb w/Chinese Black Bean Maui Onion Cabernet Sauce. served w/a potato gallete and baby bok choy. WOW, one of the best dishes I've had in years. Reservations are recommended after 7pm, we were there at 5:30pm and 6pm w/out reservations but it filled up fast.
  11. Oodles of Noodles surpasses its hokey name, very much so. After we arrived at KOA (Kona Airport) about 3pm we were starved. Headed to the town of Kailua-Kona which is 10-15 minutes south of KOA. Dined at Oodles of Noodles. We split an appetizer of the Hana Style Smoked Pork Spring Rolls w/sweet chili dipping sauce, quite tasty. $8 Wife had shrimp Pad Thai and it was quite good. $12 I had a house specialty, the Kona Style Tuna Noodle Casserole w/wok seared ahi tuna, a shiitake cream sauce, button like pasta and some crisp onions placed on top. GREAT DISH. $16 Directions/location/hours at: http://oodleskona.com/
  12. guess I need to ask, we really enjoy L&L. We ate multiple meals at various L&L Drive Inns. L&L is a Hawaiian chain that specializes in plate lunches. One of my favorites is the mixed BBQ plate: thin piece of grilled teriyaki steak, small portion of grilled BBQ (teri/shoyu) ribs, and two grilled teriyaki chicken thighs served on two scoops of white rice with a scoop of very good macaroni salad alongside, all for 5 bucks!! My wife would usually have one of the various fresh grilled plate lunches such as MahiMahi for about $6 or the various saimin (noodle) dishes. There are over 50 locations around the islands. See: http://www.lldriveinn.com/
  13. do not miss getting malasadas from Leonard's Bakery, 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu (close to Waikiki) phone: 808.737.5591 Open at 6am every morning. Malasadas are a Portuguese donut w/o the hole, think warm and yummy. Leonard's serves 5 kinds: Original, Cinnamon, Custard filled (my fave), Chocolate filled, and Coconut Cream filled (my 2nd fave). You will not see them in the bakery cases, you must ask for them. The malasadas are in the back, where I assume they are being kept warm. I ordered 15 for under $12 including tax. WELL WORTH IT.
  14. Agreed. A must for fine dining enthusiasts while in Honolulu is Alan Wong's Restaurant. Located at 1857 S. King Street, 3rd floor (take elevator, valet parking $3), Honolulu, HI. Location is west of McCully/King. Phone: 808.949.2526 reservations a must. If reservations are full, you might try to ask for the small (4) person seating at a bar that overlooks the kitchen, did not notice this seating option until we were leaving the restaurant. Chef Wong is a MASTER at using local Hawaiian food with Asian/French touches. See a sampling of one of his dinner menus: http://www.alanwongs.com/kingstreet/ksdinner.html Everything was perfect except where noted. For appetizers our family had: "Hot" California Rolls, Da Bag, Duck Nacho Main Courses were: Ginger Crusted Onaga (mainstay on menu, terrific), Mac/Coconut crusted Lamb, Steamed Bowl of Shell fish(the weak dish on the menu), Seared Yellowfin Ahi Waitstaff was attentive w/o being intrusive.
  15. I think PR is the most under appreciated island in the Caribbean. Also if anyone is going to PR, make sure to get out of San Juan. I love San Juan, but you'll miss out on a special different side to PR if all you see is San Juan.
  16. anyone made a chili w/cubes of pork?
  17. Do a search for Milwaukee, you would find reviews/suggestions for Speed Queen, Kopp's which I suggest. Out of curiousity seeing as you are going back to MKE, what places do you remember?
  18. Fine, the 22nd then, no problema
  19. Chef Jackie Shen has taken over the reigns at Red Light restaurant. I had dined twice before Shen took over, loved it. Have not been back, but friends that have said outstanding. I know that is where I'm going to use my cert.
  20. I know there are many trips/events in October w/eG'ers but perhaps we plan an outing in early November before the holiday crush starts? I suggest Sat, November 8th.
  21. I think you mean Foodlife. Foodlife 835 N Michigan Ave (Water Tower Place) Chicago, IL 60611-2203 Phone: (312) 335-3663 Hours Sun-Thu 7:30am-8pm Fri-Sat 7:30am-9pm Foodlife is a food court on the mezzanie level of Water Tower Place, where you take a card, sample one or more of 13 food stations and pay on your way out. Just some of the station serve a Mexican, Italian, Fresh fruit/salad, BBQ offerings. Foodlife is a good choice for groups or if you are not sure what you want, as there are many choices. The food is not very authentic ethnic. Last time I was there I purchased a grilled marinated vegetable panini with a fresh squeezed watermelon/lemonade drink. Both very tasty Seating can be busy at peak times, but I've found it moves. I would not go out of my way for Foodlife, but if you are tired of the shopping on Michigan Ave or find yourself at Water Tower Place, Foodlife will please.
  22. Aren't there other Harold's? Some like White Fence Farm in Lemont, see: http://www.whitefencefarm.com/chicago/ There is also a chicken shack in Evanston on Ridge, just north of Emerson, just east of the RR tracks, near the NU campus. I think this used to be a Harold’s chicken shack.
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