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Al Abonado

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  1. My girlfriend and I went to APC a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to post my own impressions. First of all, ouch to my wallet. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Canada that our dollar is worth less and to adjust their prices accordingly We started off the meal with the bison tongue with tarragon. I mostly did this to get my girlfriend to eat tongue, since I had been raving lately about how under-appreciated tongue is. It took her a bit to get over the fact that it looks like a tongue. Every bite was tender and flavorful. I decided to try the oft-discussed Duck In a Can. I wish I had taken pictures, if only to capture the moment that can is opened up and poured out. What a delightful mess. In some ways, it reminded me of Rochester's own culinary contribution, "The Garbage Plate", not in flavor of course, but as an example of pure excess. To be honest, the duck itself was my least favorite part of the meal. It was too tough and rare for my liking. Everything else on my plate was rich and loaded with flavor. I'm pretty sure my heart stopped several times during the meal. My girlfriend had the Porkchop, but I can't say how it tasted. I was too busy digging into my own plate. We ended the meal with something simple, the molten chocolate cake. A pleasant way to end the meal. If I wasn't so close to the people beside me, I might have unbuttoned my pants for room, but I never had the chance. The services was excellent. Food came out timely and the waiter was gracious and helpful. I think we were the only English speaking couple in the room at the time. On a side note, there was a large group sitting besides us, and watched the waiter open up the can and pour it out. They said a few words to me about the process. They said something else to us when the cake came out too. Unfortunately, those words were French, and I don't speak a lick of it. I just smiled dumbly at them as I ate. If I ever go up again, learning French will need to be on my agenda.
  2. Ditto on the declining quality of Dinosaur. They've been hit or miss for me. Personally, I prefer Sticky Lips, which has been more consistent, imo. One worth checking out is Bad to the Bone out in Williamson. It's a bit of a drive, but my experience was pretty good. Their sides are pretty solid, which is a big thing to me since sides are often ignored. I've heard some good things about Unkl Moe's BBQ, but my personal experience wasn't favorable.
  3. Just a brief update. It appears that Philly Express is no more. I stopped by the Goodwill in the Jefferson Plaza, when I noticed the For Lease sign in the window . I was really looking forward to trying their cheesesteak. Also, has anyone been to Olga's Restaurant. I saw some positive feedback on rocwiki, but was wondering if anyone has had any other experience with them.
  4. Well I'm enjoying the show. I do agree that I'd like to get a better idea of what the chefs are cooking, but at least I don't have to endure a hour padded with reality show drama. Of course, that same drama might make the show more palatable for some, and I dont think it's because people crave scandal. I think the typical reality show format actually gives us characters that we can either root for or against, an incentive to follow the narrative to the end. In my opinion, these shows aren't so much about cooking as they are about establishing celebrities.
  5. Picked up La Terrible by Unibroue the other day. What a fantastic beer.
  6. I can understand the need for the Apprentice-like finale. After last season's debacle with Ilan, I bet the producers decided a live finale will prevent any leaks about the results. I was sad to see Casey collapse the way she did. Dale surprised me, and I got nervous that he would sneak in the win. That said, I'm happy Hung won, especially since he was my pick from the start. I never quite got the Hung hate all over the interwebz or all this jibber jabber about his lack of soul. Making that sort of judgement is hard to do without tasting his food. I also never understood comments about Hung's ability to run a kitchen. Both Sara and Rocco appeared to have no problem working with Hung. Rocco was even very complimentary towards Hung in Part 1 of his blog on the finale. All in all, I enjoyed the finale. I'm happy with the result, and am now hungrier just thinking about it.
  7. While not Cuban, supposedly La Lechonera, a Puerto Rican eatery on North Clinton, roasts whole pigs. So you may find that delicious crispy pig skin there. The rest of the menu actually sounds tasty, at least what was provided by Karen Miltner from the DnC: Unfortunately, I can't vouch for the quality. Maybe this weekend if I have a chance.
  8. I figured I would necro this thread. I'm most likely heading down to Keuka Lake for my birthday in a couple of weeks, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for dining. I've considered Esperanza Mansion in Penn Yann and Village Tavern in Hammondsport, but the reviews I've found online have been spotty. Anybody have any experience with either of these places, or have any other suggestions to eat around Keuka?
  9. Speaking of seafood, are there any good seafood places around Rochester you'd recommend? I think the only place I've ever had seafood here was at the Pittsford Seafood Market, which was a couple years ago. Something about us being far from the ocean makes me nervous about ordering seafood here.
  10. Hey Gordon, Of the high end restaurants, I've only had the opportunity to try Max's Chophouse, which was a while ago. I dont even remember what cut of meat I had, only that it was one of the best steaks I've had. The cramped space can be a little TOO intimate when there is a large crowd present, which may bother some. I was too involved in my steak to notice or care. I've been meaning to try Max of Eastman, and I'm very interested in the newly opened Lento, which was reviewed upthread. So many places, so little money
  11. Thanks for the welcome phil! Anyway, I wanted to add another one, since I didnt see it mentioned here: Cappuccino Italiano Cafe, an Italian restaurant on Park Ave. right across from Bacco's. I've been here a number of times and the meals, both lunch and dinner, have been pretty damn solid. Tonight I went with my girlfriend and ordered the Chicken Artichoke while she had the sacchettini that came in a vodka sauce. The meal starts off with a lovely little salad in a balsamic vinaigrette. The chicken artichoke is a very rich dish. The chicken itself was perfectly cooked, tender and moist. On the side was a serving of pasta with a marinara, which neither added much nor took away from the meal. I was pretty indifferent to the pasta. Overall, the dish was a success. My girlfriend's sacchettini was wonderful. What I had was so delicate and the vodka sauce in which it was served was so flavorful. We ended the meal with a slice of cheesecake and a coffee. I have to talk about the coffee first. This has to be some of the best coffee in the area hands down. None of the bitter aftertaste people often associate with coffee from Starbucks or a diner, the kind that might be loaded with cream and sugar to hide that taste. There is a sure hand making the coffee here. The cheesecake, while not my favorite dessert here, was still a satisfying end to the meal. The dessert I would have to recommend would be the Tiramisu. The owner has mentioned in the past that they import many of their desserts from Italy. The lunch menu offers a number of panini sandwiches which deserve their own mention. I've had lunch a couple of times here and the sandwiches were equally as delicious, if not more so. The service was attentive and the owner is a common sight at the restaurant, often serving the customers herself. The price is moderate to slightly expensive. Expect 15-20 dollars per meal for dinner, about half that for lunch. I can't sing the praises of this place enough. The quality has been consistent on every visit.
  12. It's posts like this that make me wish Bravo would put the complete rules of each challenge on the web site so I had a better understanding of what was really happening. ← I do believe they mentioned somewhere( or read on one of the many Top Chef blogs) that the sauce was provided for them, because there was no way they could complete the dish in the time constraints if they had to create the sauce themselves.
  13. Hey everyone, I'm new to the board, and a Rochester local. I figured I'd resurrect this thread, and recommend a few places I didnt see get mentioned. La Manne Haitian: This is a recently opened Haitian restaurant located on Monroe Ave, right next to Mark's Pizzeria. I spotted a mention of this place in the City Newspaper and decided to check it out. I ordered the goat and rice, accra, and a slice of pineapple cake. I started with the accra, which is a nicely fried appetizer made from the malanga root. If you do a quick google, you might see that malanga is essentially yucca/cassava root. The accra were tasty, if on the tad greasy side. I ate them with a spicy cabbage slaw, and the combination was a nice way to start off the meal. Next, came the goat and beef. I think the last time I had goat, it was in a vindaloo, and that was a long time ago. This time around, I could actually taste what the goat is all about. This slightly gamier meat was tender and served with a nice portion of rice and red beans. Lastly, came the upside down pineapple cake, which I found to be moist and fluffy, a nice way to end the meal. I recommend giving them a shot. I found the service to be extraordinarily helpful, especially since this was my first experience with Haitian cuisine. Next time I want to try out their Oxtail and rice. Bad to the Bone BBQ: This place is a little outside of Rochester, about 30 minutes in the town of Williamson. My girlfriend and I were on our way to go apple picking, but decided to find a spot to eat first. After driving for a bit, we came across this pretty isolated looking BBQ place on Rt.104. To be honest, its nothing much to look at from the outside, but I am never one to turn down an opportunity to eat BBQ, so we stepped inside. First thing that hit us was that wonderful wonderful smell of BBQ. I ordered a half slab of ribs, with fried okra and mashed potatoes for sides. You have no idea how happy it makes me to see ribs that just fall off the bone, and these succulent ribs slid off the bone like a prom dress. The sauce leaned towards the vinegary side, which I enjoyed, but some may prefer their sauce a little sour and a little thicker. However, I'm glad that the ribs were not soaked in sauce, so I could enjoy the smoky flavor of the meat itself. This is not to say these ribs had been cooked without the sauce, as evidence of the sauce caramelized on the ribs could be seen. The bits fried okra were crisp and tasty, and the mashed potatoes must be mashed on the premises, because I had a couple of lumps in mine. I'm not complaining, since I still found it satisfying, especially served with what I believe was a turkey gravy. I'll take a couple of lumps over instant anyday. All in all, this was a nice surprise, and, since its apple-picking time, anyone heading out to Lagoner farms (or in that general direction) should head up the road and give this place a look if for no other reason than to see a pretty good Rochester-area BBQ outside of Dinosaur BBQ or Sticky Lips.
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