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wrek92

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    Inland Empire, CA from Central Florida
  1. I remember going there in the mid-90s when things were going strong. We had breakfast there and I absolutely loved the basket of baked goodies they brought out. My scrambled eggs were so buttery and it was just a really memorable experience because I was in town from up the state in Tampa and there really isn't anything like the a Jewish deli experience like the Rascal House up that way to the best of my knowledge. Come think of it, I am not sure you can find a place like the Rascal house in Central or North Florida. Thanks for the news.
  2. Eric, I assume that you will have a car to use. For steaks, try DelFrisco's very pricey but good. Here is a link: http://www.delfriscosorlando.com/ For Vietnamese, try the Vi-Mi corridor which is basically a cluster of groceries and restaurants around Mills Ave and Colonial ( State Rd 50 ). I like Lac Viet Bistro which gets good raves from the local papers. It's clean and has a very nice decor, definitely a place you can take your wife or girlfriend to. Oh yeah, the food's good to Lac Viet Review in Orlando Sentinel Can't give any personal recs for sushi but someone on the other board (rhymes with pound) mentioned a sushi place in the lobby of the Hyatt Grand Cypress hotel. The original poster is a veteran of that board so I trust his judgment. If you are into the chain restos, Central FL is like the capital of the chains ie. Outback, Carraba's, Bonefish Grill, Red Lobster, Olive Garden etc. They are all over the place. It's no wonder since the headquarters of these chains are either in Orlando or Tampa. HTH and Happy Holidays, --Steve
  3. Definitely rotisserie. I have seen their employees loading up the impaled birds to go inside their ovens. I have to rank Boston Market as one of the tastiest rotisserie birds but they can get pricey compared to a supermarket deli. The local Sam's Club only charges $5 per bird but I don't care for the seasoning/marinade that they use. Publix here in Florida offers a rotisserie chicken that is marinated in Mojo Criollo which is a Carribean spanish marinade that features citrus juices and other seasonings such as garlic, black pepper, and I guess cumin. Man, I think I am going to have to go head out to Boston Market to get reacquainted with their chicken.
  4. Hey, The St. Pete times website just put out an article detailing all the different ethnic markets in the area. Click Here . It that doesn't work here is the URL http://www.tbt.com/entertainment/food/article27379.ece It's a pretty nice rundown. Bakeries, markets, etc. FWIW, count me in as a fan of Mazzaro's. I wish they kept longer hours. They close at 6pm on weekdays and 2:30pm on Saturdays. Saturdays are a nightmare with all the people that show up but that's when they have the BBQ grill out front of the market. Last time I was there I got to sample some grilled pork tenderloin. Yum!!! HTH, --Steve
  5. You are in luck. The North Tampa branch of Pho Quyen is less than 1 mile west of the MOSI where you are going to see the exhibit. The truth is, there are not that many Vietnamese restaurants in Tampa period. It's certainly not concentrated like the Colonial and Mills intersection in Orlando. However, I have found the food to be fresh and even my visiting brother from Toronto liked their Pho. You have to realize that there is a fairly sizable Vietnamese community in Toronto. Okay for directions from MOSI, Head west on Fowler Avenue. You are basically going to be driving along the southern border of the University of South Florida campus. After about 1/2 to 3/4 miles or so, you will see a larger intersection with a CVS on the left and a I think it's a Mobil station on the right. That road is Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Drive past that light and you will see a Chili's less than 100 feet from the intersection. Make a right at the light immediately after the Chili's. You will be turning into that shopping center and head towards the Kash n karry/Sweetbay at the back of the shopping center. Then you will make a left and you should see Pho Quyen. They are next to an Indian restaurant. I think you will find the exhibit fascinating. i have seen it myself and it's just plain neat. --Steve
  6. wrek92

    Tampa Bay Sushi

    Susan, You might want to try Toki Sushi in North Tampa. They are less than a mile away from Jasmine Thai on North Dale Mabry. They are on the east side of North Dale Mabry in the same shopping center as I believe a Houlihan's and Kobe Japanese steakhouse. They are a couple of doors down from a wine shop. Here is their website: Toki Sushi also there is a more comprehensive listing of sushi places from the Tampa Bay Sushi Society. I have no clue if the society is active or not but the website is still up. Tampa Bay Sushi Society I have always found Toki to be fresh. My litmus test for freshness is how fresh the soft shell crab is in a spider roll. Real scientific huh But, as you know, a lot of sushi places are owned/run by Chinese and Koreans. As best as I can tell, Toki is owned by Japanese people. Also, there was a conversation on the other board ( rhymes with chowpound ) that the sushi chef at TC Choy's in South Tampa was very good. TC Choy's is a Chinese restaurant which is in the South Howard/Hyde Park district so you could probably go for a nice walk afterwards. Hope that helps. --Steve
  7. Thanks for the heads up about Ming's Bistro. I will definitely have to stop by there before my stint in Orlando is up and i have to return 80 miles west to the other culinary wasteland, Tampa. If Scott Joseph in his Orlando Sentinel review thinks that most Chinese food in Central Florida is disappointing he ought to try the Chinese scene in West Central Florida. There are literally only like 3 restaurants that I know of in the greater Tampa Bay area that serve dim sum. Now consider that the greater Tampa Bay area is supposed to consist of like 6 counties and over 1 million people it's just sad. Anyhow, I supposedly hear good things about Lam's Garden on Colonial. My local colleague is Cantonese and that's where he and his family go to celebrate special occasions. Personally, I have been to Chan's on Colonial and while the food is genuine Cantonese I somehow find the food lacking. However, it still beats the options I have in Tampa. thanks again for the heads up on Ming's. --Steve
  8. I think you are talking about Channelside. There are a good number of restaurants and bars. It's on the east side of the St. Pete Times forum. Here is a link Channelside I ate at Grill 29 about a year ago. It's definitely a more upscale place but since this is Florida I have seen customers in shorts. The food was good but I certainly would not categorize it as spectacular. Hope that helps.
  9. Well, let's see... My Dad was born in Xiamen, in Fujian. My mom was born and grew up in Guangdong but my great grandfather was a magistrate in the Ching dynasty originally from Fujian who was assigned to Guangdong. So, I guess both my parents roots extend back to Fujian. But, since my Mom and Dad met in college in Hong Kong our family basically follows Cantonese culture if there is such a thing. Me? I was born in the Caribbean of all places. After my parents wed, my dad's company shipped him out to Trinidad and Tobago of all places . But the odd thing is, there are Chinese folk in the Carribean too. The majority of them are of Hakka extraction. I guess it really is true that the Chinese are the "Jews" of the East in terms of where we have ended up. I now live in Sunny West Central Florida in Tampa, home of the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Go Bolts!!!! I have called this area home since middle school except for a stint in Atlanta where I went to college and got my engineering degree. The weather is great but the food scene can be lacking at times. As far as genuine Cantonese/Chinese cuisine I can count on one hand the number of restaurants that offer the real deal. My parents are retired in Toronto now and I have a brother up there too so I whenever I am visiting I am getting my Cantonese food fix big time.
  10. Were they boiled first? ← Honestly, I am not sure if it was boiled or not. I do remember that they were hand rolled and I definitely remember the wood fired oven because the smell was incredible. There was also a line out the door waiting to purchase the bagels. I was like 12 years old at the time so I don't recall every single detail. However, I do recall trying to eat them the next day at breakfast and they were rock hard. I find it kind of neat that my first ever bagel was the "real" thing versus those hockey pucks in the frozen food section. Ugh. Someone else mentioned Bialys. I think I actually ate one of those when I had breakfast down in Miami Beach at Wolfie's Rascal House. Part of the breakfast tradition at Wolfie's was to bring out a basket full of baked goodies. I recall a flat onion roll. Eureka that has to be a Bialy. Now I have to go find a real bagel shop and see if they make Bialys.
  11. Mmmmm...Mustachio's Foccacia sandwiches My brother lives about a 10 minute walk from St. Lawrence. I actually had him smuggle about 5 Mustachio sandwiches on his flight down to Florida for me. This was pre-9/11 when there was no such thing as Homeland Security. Now I get my fix on my yearly trek to Toronto. That and my $1.50 CDN Banh Mi Vietnamese sub fix. The other thing that is practically impossible to find down here is the peameal bacon. As far as what it is, I think it's pickled loin of pork rolled in peameal. Kensington is pretty cool too if I am thinking of the right one. Is that the one over by Chinatown?
  12. Hmm..misguided uses for bagels. How about the bagel dog? Which is a full sized hot dog wrapped with bagel dough a la pig in a blanket. Einstein Brothers, a chain down here in Florida makes Bagel Sandwiches so I guess they should be charged with crimes against humanity by the Hague? Seriously, my first ever bagel was in Montreal. Talk about Old World tradition, my cousin took me to a bakery and everything was done by hand. To bake the bagels they laid a batch on a plank and slipped them into what looked like a wood burning oven. I might be committing heresy here but since I was in Montreal, I put what else on them? Pate' I understand that there is even a debate over whether NY style or Montreal style bagels are better. Would I be starting another war?
  13. Thank goodness Haw Flakes don't taste like Corn Flakes. For those of you who have not enjoyed Haw Flakes, they taste a little like those Fruit Rollups. I think Haw is actually short for Hawthorne Berry. Healthwise, it's supposed to help with lowering your blood pressure but I wonder how many of those things you have to eat in order to get a medicinal effect? So, I stopped by the Asian market today and bought some shrimp flavored crackers/cheetos-looking thingies and some Kasugai Grape Gummies. Gotta love the artificial flavor.
  14. Hey Smithy, I don't think you are too far off. As far as Turkish, "tavuk" is chicken. At least that's what I remember on my trip to Istanbul a few years ago. I distinctly remember that word because the lamb/beef kebabs I ordered at restaurants gave me heartburn. So, I usually ordered tavuk shish instead. I think tavuk shish is skewered/charbroiled chicken/skewered chicken. I could be wrong on that one. As far as motefa, I am stuck on that one too. HTH
  15. My fave is Cha Chiang Mein/JaJiangMyon. Problem is, I need to get off my duff and find a good recipe to make this myself. Where should I get the noodles? A Korean grocery or Chinese? I am guessing the noodles would be wheat based? Maybe I can substitue linguini? Thankfully there are both types of groceries in town. Boy, do I miss my college days in Atlanta when I could choose from at least 3 or 4 different Chinese restaurants that served Cha Chiang Mein.
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