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Sweet Willie

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Everything posted by Sweet Willie

  1. I agree, kind of why I stated "The overall verdict, I would not go out of my way for Howard’s, but if you are near the airport or on Sepulveda, Howard’s will sure satisfy." Contrary to many posts on Chowhound, I thought the burger was for sure above par AND was not a gray tasteless patty. As soon as I saw her put the patty on the flatop, I told her as close to MR as she could get it.
  2. It is Saturday morning, 10am, I’ve got the top down on my rental convertible and am driving around trying to find a place to get some food to satisfy my hungover state. I don’t really get hungover but do suffer from what I call “fuzzy brain” or I’m just not Mr. Swift this morning due to many Guiness and Ciders the evening before. There are few food items better for a hangover than a greasy burger and fries. We never eat “American food” while on an international vacation, but I remember after a night of pitcher after pitcher of sangria in Madrid, my wife and I waking up to our systems CRAVING a greasy burger/fries. Thankfully the concierge in our hotel directed us to a spot nearby. I’ve got that same craving today. I’m at the intersection of Venice and Sepulveda debating if I should forgo the warming comforts of the sun on my face for soothing effects that the dark interior of my car would have on my eyes. I then spy Howard’s. The sign above the storefront proclaims "Howard's famous Bacon & Avocado Burgers" and “Famous” to boot?!!?, I’m there. Howard’s is a dive, probably has not changed much since 1971 when they opened. The same owners since ’71 are still there as well. I place my order off the menu board that has been updated simply by painting over old sections. One Bacon Avocado Burger and fries please. 5 minutes later I’m looking a wonderful looking burger, Big thick crisp bacon sliced poking out of some VERY VERY fresh produce and lots of avocado. It is a yummy burger for sure and I can feel the fuzzyness slowly slipping away. The overall verdict, I would not go out of my way for Howard’s, but if you are near the airport or on Sepulveda, Howard’s will sure satisfy. Howard’s Famous Bacon & Avocado Burgers 11127 Venice Blvd at Sepulveda West Los Angeles, CA 310.838.9111 Open 10am – 8pm Mon-Sat, closed Sunday
  3. I had just arrived into Phoenix at 3:45pm on a Saturday, a buddy called my cell, stated he was leaving Phoenix later that evening and asked if I would like to dine on the best pizza he has ever had. I did question him, the “best” pizza, in Phoenix or ever? “Ever” was his immediate response. OK, I’ll bite (no pun intended). We show up just after 4:30, there is a security guard that asks us if we are here for Pizzaria Bianco as we enter the small parking lot adjacent to the Pizzaria. This place opens at 5 and yet there is a security guard for the parking lot, must be a popular place. As we approach the front of the restaurant, there are some chairs already filled with patrons for this 24 seat (approx guess) restaurant. We spy a menu posted on the door and proceed to walk up to the door to read it. At that point all the others who were sitting, now get up and que up behind us. Jesus, 20 minutes before it opens and we started the “not before me” reflex. Promptly at 5 the door is opened and the whole line that had formed is seated in less than 5 minutes. So at 5:10pm, place is packed and they are informing those oh so tardy people that there is an hour wait at this point. We take a seat at the bar and order a local brew they have on tap. They have a seemingly very small but good wine selection as the group of men that sat next to us could not stop discussing. Onto the pizza. I order the Sonny Boy and buddy orders the Wiseguy. Sonny Boy consists of Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Salami, Calamatta Olives. Wiseguy consists of Wood Roasted Onions, House Smoked Mozzarella, Fennel Sausage. I believe we are the first to order and our individual 12” pizzas took 20 minutes. Picture a very thin, crispy, approaching saltine cracker bottom just a slight chew above it, with some of the most premier pizza ingrediants you have ever dined on. The pizzas were both incredible, easy to see why my buddy claimed that this place was his best ever pizza. I’m not willing to go that far, but they were easily in my top three, easily………..ok maybe even in my top two. Service is professional and quick. Do Not Miss Pizzaria Bianco!!! Due to the volume of pizzas they do, Pizzaria Bianco does not allow take out orders on Saturdays, but do during the weekdays. However this is the type of pizza that does not travel well at all, the quality will suffer if you try to transport it. Pizzaria Bianco Historic Heritage Square 623 East Adams Street (enter off of 7th) Phoenix, AZ 602.258.8300 edited to add: Chef Chris Bianco won the 2003 Southwest James Beard award.
  4. I'm not a Palm fan, FWIW. I'm under the belief that a Kansas City stip is a New York Stip with bone in. Both chowhound and eG have their pros/cons.
  5. Received this email from Red Light: Kacher Wine Dinner at Red Light Restaurant 820 W. Randolph St. 312 733 8880 Monday, March 15th, 2004 6:30 p.m. greeting, 7pm dinner $75 plus tax and gratuity "Robert Kacher is the hottest importer in the United States for the simple reason that he continues to beat his competition on the playing field-the vineyards and cellars of France. No one spends more time in winemaker’s caves arguing for lower yields or less fining and filtration. Kacher has put together a portfolio of producers in Burgundy and the Rhone Valley who will become, I predict, the superstars of the nineties. His name on a bottle of wine is as close to an endorsement of quality as one is likely to find in the complicated world of wine." Robert M. Parker, Jr. Please join us for a remarkable food and wine experience with America’s foremost wine importer. This night promises to be a rare dining opportunity as Chefs Paul Wildermuth and Jackie Shen create a beautiful tasting menu to be matched with Bobby’s wines. Bobby will be present to discuss the food and wine pairings as well as to address any other wine questions you may have. We will be working in conjunction with Sam’s Wine and Spirits to offer our guest special pricing on the wines being served that night. This dinner will sell out very quickly. Please call Red Light for your reservations today. Again, the phone number at Red Light is 312 733 8880.
  6. could not agree more. I'm hoping to achieve restraint as I think I'll live a few years longer if I do. As I stated above in a previous post, three times and wet aged is too much for me, never again.
  7. you can tell it is a northside joint, I was just about to head out to try it, but it is only open till 9pm
  8. OH, THAT Leon's. I too have fond memories of their rib tibs. My brother and I hated each other while in high school, but on those odd saturday nights where we both came home plastered at the same time, we would give the knowing nod, grab a few more beers and head to Leon's for some rib tips, then go to the lakeside to chow. It was a couple rare hours where we did not fight and all in the world was right. I don't think I've ever missed a place more after it closed than that northside takeout location.
  9. Going next week, thanks for the replies!
  10. as of a few month's ago, Leon's was still around. If you are referring to the quality, that is another issue. edited to add: A BIG PASS on Carson's, skip them!
  11. Went to NN, now called Smoke Country House awhile back, here is a review. I've wanted to try the Smoke Country House BBQ at 1465 W. Irving Park for a long time. This place used to be called the NN Smokehouse and I had always heard good things about it. I know this location had been closed for awhile, I'm guessing that there are new owners. Finally tried it this evening. Terrible, not bad, but terrible!!!! I had the Country Platter which is a sampler of the ribs, brisket, pork and turkey. First of all the whole plate was swimming in BBQ sauce, almost had to fish for the meats. Ribs were spareribs and were very tough. Brisket was sliced very thin and lacked any flavor. Turkey tasted like someone took a turkey roast, sliced it and threw it into the "bowl" of sauce on my plate. Pork was great texture, but that is the only thing good I can say about it. As stated, just terrible. Unfortunately for them, they do not know how to do BBQ. DO NOT GO!
  12. None of those places comes close to the smallest hole-in-the-wall in downtown New York for food quality or range of menu options, or to a place like Gaylord's in San Francisco for ambiance. It's not exactly as though the local Indian restaurants aren't trying... but maybe they figure the locals here won't know the difference. Don’t shoot the messenger, just attempting to point out some options that maybe you have not been to. With the proliferation of chains and everything vanilla restaurants, I believe that the average local anywhere won't know the difference.
  13. Phoenix times rates these as best of for Indian Food: Year 2003: Indian Delhi Palace 5104 East McDowell 602-244-8181 Year 2002: Maharaja Palace 5775 West Bell, Glendale 602-547-1000 Year 2001: Copper Kettle Salads, Balti and Tandoori Grill 1941 West Guadalupe, Mesa 480-456-4365 (and 1050 East Lemon, Tempe, 480-894-1276) Year 2000: Taste of India 1609 East Bell 602-788-3190
  14. WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR 1221 NW 21st Ave. (Overton St.) Portland (503) 248-9663 Terrific Pacific Northwest fare in a stylish dining room. Chef Cory Schriber won a James Beard award
  15. FWIW, Best BBQ in Portland according to Citysearch voters: 1 Campbell's Bar-B-Q 2 Clay's Smokehouse Grill 3 Buster's Texas-Style Barbecue 4 Cannon's Rib Express 5 Tony Roma's 6 Outback Steakhouse 7 Reo's Ribs 8 Doris' Cafe 9 TK's Smokehouse & BBQ Co. --CLOSED 10 Yam Yam's Southern Barbeque Editorial Winner Cannon's Rib Express Line up to take out smoky treats in the heart of Northeast. Editorial Nominees Clay's Smokehouse Grill Doris' Cafe Campbell's Bar-B-Q
  16. I must disagree Etta's came highly recommended to us, so of course we went. VERY mediocre! The chef seemed to be trying too hard to come up w/creative ideas that just did not work well. Our friends prompted us to go again with them on our way back through town. Which we did. Again VERY Mediocre, All agreed. Friends sadly stated that Etta's is on the way down in their opinion.
  17. Best of Phoenix 2003 (According to the Phoenix New Times) Best Authentic Arizona Restaurant: Kai 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Boulevard (in Wild Horse Pass Resort) 602-225-0100 “…James Beard Award-winning chef Janos Wilder. Wilder, already famous for his innovative French-Southwestern Janos restaurant in Tucson, has brought us fine dining drawn from our state's Native American heritage. How authentic is it? The chef works with Pima/Maricopa Indian farmers to harvest the finest of their 35,000 acres of land and aqua farms on their reservation surrounding Kai.” BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Pho Bang 1702 West Camelback 602-433-9440 “How cool is it to sit down at our own tabletop grill, and be presented with a large plate circled with whisper-thin slices of lightly oiled raw beef, whole shrimp, sliced onion, chopped scallion and peanuts? On the side is xalach dia, an array of sliced carrot, cucumber, pickled radish, whole scallion heads, mint, cilantro and lettuce, alongside plates of rice paper sheets and butter. In fact, everything at this cozy hole-in-the-wall is remarkable.” BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Persian Garden Café 1335 West Thomas 602-263-1915 “Chef Mahmmud Jaafari knows his Persian cuisine. He also knows his Mediterranean, Italian, American, Mexican, Cajun and vegetarian foods, and even a smattering of Oriental influences. The result is one of the most exciting restaurants in this town, with cooking that is defined most simply as Middle Eastern.” BEST SEAFOOD The Salt Cellar 550 North Hayden, Scottsdale 480-947-1963 “…folks have kept the Cellar pretty much as it was when it first opened in 1981. What they save in rent, they pass on to us in lower prices for exquisitely fresh seafood flown in daily from places like Hawaii, Chesapeake Bay, Alaska, Boston, British Columbia, Idaho and the Gulf of Mexico. The cellar keeps us coming back for its seasonal specialties, too, like turtle soup, and smoked blue marlin.” BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT Christopher's Fermier Brasserie 2584 East Camelback 602-522-2344 “So how lucky are we, because we can eat this fantastic French food every day, for lunch, dinner, and even late night (the place serves until midnight seven days a week). Christopher's has kept us thrilled since chef Christopher Gross first opened this comfortable, elegant bistro in 1998, and we swear, he just keeps getting better. Chalk it up to the simple grace of his Gallic classics, emphasizing artisan ingredients from local and regional farmers. Salmon is smoked in-house, most dishes are prepared in a wood-burning oven, and the traditional French touches are all there (fantastic wine list, an extensive cheese program).” BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT Tao Garden 2050 North Alma School, Chandler 480-857-4188 “We're always up for a dive into Tao's fresh fish tanks, stocked with live lobster, crab, tilapia, rock cod, flatfish, catfish, scallops and clams. The kitchen has ingenious ways of preparing its catch, and we're sure to ask about the daily specials (printed in Chinese but cheerfully translated by a friendly staff). At least one dining decision is simple -- for best Chinese food in the Valley, we choose Tao Garden.” BEST NEW AMERICAN CUISINE Cowboy Ciao 7133 East Stetson, Scottsdale 480-946-3111 “….at Cowboy Ciao, the surprise is always spectacular. Executive chef Bernie Kantak has come up with dishes like chile gratin (elk, beef loin, white beans, smoked Cheddar and Gouda); rare tuna with ground hops and chamomile over curried chow-chow and mango soy; or peppercorn ostrich tenderloin with blackberry compote and cocoa-nib mashed Yukon golds. You may think you know what you're in for with grilled duck breasts, but then Kantak sideswipes you with apple-chipotle marinade, ancho-pecan chutney and smoked Gouda grits.” All of the above and the rest of the listings are at: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/bestof/2003/ethnic/index.html
  18. no I haven't tried it, yet. I'm not a fan of Twin Anchors (see review: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...ndpost&p=377511 ) , good to hear that Smokin' Woody's did not boil their ribs. What time of day did you eat, some of the smoking places have been know to hurry up the ribs when busy so that you get a slab that was not smoked long. Chicago does ribs well, but Texas does ribs great. There is no comparing a TX rib to a Chicago rib in terms of smoke. Thanks for the heads up, we'll try it at somepoint for sure.
  19. bump..... Feedback on Roaring Fork, Cowboy Ciao, others?.......
  20. The buttermilk I don't think is considered a staple, but it is by far the best compared to any other cities I've had it in, so I always try to make it when there. The key to being so good, you actually taste the buttermilk and they are not overly sweet.
  21. an associate who's view I respect states Yats is quite good, http://www.yatscajuncreole.com I'm a deli guy and he recommended Shapiro's to me which I liked, did a review on eG, just do a search or http://www.shapiros.com/ other places he recommended: Just past the Shapiro's parking lot you will see a small blue building. That's the Greek Islands Restaurant. Good Greek food at reasonable prices and very friendly service. They only do dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. The best place in the city for a weekend (or weekday if you have time) breakfast is Cafe Patachou at 49th and Pennsylvania. Bosphorus, right across the street from Don Victor's, serves excellent Turkish food. St. Elmo on Illinois Street just south of Maryland is an original Indianapolis steak house. Great Wall -- Keystone and Hanna -- this hole in the wall Chinese place has the best Chinese food I've found in town Hollyhock-- Want a real Hoosier fried chicken dinner? Head to Hollyhock at 83rd and College Ave. on the north side. Family style eating. You will feel like you passed into a time tunnel back to the 50's. High quality. Mikado-- fresh/flown-in high quality sushi. On Georgia St. and Illinois. The best in town. Prices a bit steep, but worth it. Kabul-- Again, demonstrating Indy's increasing ethnic choices is this superb Afghani place. Been in business for 10+ years. Unbelievable soup called aush--a must have. The kabab murgh (cornish hen) is fantastic. Crisp unusually seasoned skin, moist on the inside. Location: 86th and Ditch (SE corner) in Greenbriar shopping center
  22. I'm not a Cincinnatian, but get there quite a bit. The Ridge Donut Shop serves a great buttermilk donut, yes the others are good as well. Ridge Donut Shop 3186 Woodford Rd Cincinnati, OH 45213-1620 (513) 631-4334 What are/is King cake and pazkis?
  23. wow, that is it. great job, my wife thanks you.
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