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Everything posted by FlaJoe

  1. Another mail order option, Jacob's (cajunsausage.com). Excellent Tasso, and also excellent andouille.
  2. Uglesich's is great!! The first time I was there (about 5 years ago), I told Tony it was my first time in. He told me to sit down and he will order a "few" things for me! God, I ate like I was going to the electric chair the next day. The best soft shell crab I ever had, fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, oysters, the whole works. Such nice people too. I love family owned places, and Uglesich's is a must stop for me on many annual trips to New Orleans. I usually HATE waiting in line for food. But, I make 2 exceptions: Uglesich's and Sally's Apizza in New Haven, CT.
  3. I found Jacob's in LaPlace, LA (cajunsausage.com) has excellent boudin. I always get my andouille and tasso from them, but I had their boudin a few times, and I thought it was very good.
  4. So glad you liked Upperline. I try to get to New Orleans at least 5 times a year on "business" (amazing that I find a way to meet clients in New Orleans, my favorite US food city! ). Upperline is a great place. JoAnn is a terrfic hostess and makes you feel like you are dining in your own home. the food is outstanding, as is the art. I have a few LaBorde pieces because I saw them at Upperline and went to his gallery on Royal St. to purchase his works. I love the Duck and the Creme Brulee is the best in the city, IMO. Also, did you get a chance to see the roses JoAnn has in the restaurant. Gorgeous! All in all, a great "local" restaurant experience. But, I suspect, more and more out of towners know about Upperline now, due to the buzz.
  5. I am a native of New Haven, although I live in Florida now. Sadly, Leon's has closed, but it was one terrific restaurant. The culinary scene in New Haven has really picked up over the past few years. Union League is always first rate, as are Roomba and Bentara. I was at Sally's and Pepe's this summer, and I have to say, Sally's still rules. Pepe's is still good, although not as great as it once was. Modern Pizza on State is also a place to try if one can't get into Sally's or Pepe's. Another Italian restaurant that is a must go, when in New Haven,is Consiglio's on Wooster St, between Sally's and Pepe's. Great food, solid service, and a real nice overall dining experience. They have been around forever, but have really expanded their culinary chops in recent years. I was there is July for the first time in many years, and it was a great meal. Made me miss Leon's a little less.
  6. Ellen, That's true. The guy basically worked at Sally's, then went to Chicago and opened Piece. I ate there last summer. It was good, though not as good as Wooster St. Pizza. But, it was more a hybrid of both Sally's and Pepe's, than a duplicate of one or the other. There is a place in Philadelphia that is as good as Wooster St. Its called Lombardi's, and they have a coal fired brick oven, and their pizza is terrific. The closest I have tasted to Wooster St.
  7. Toads is still around, but there wasn't anyone interesting to see when I was there. The prices at Cafe Allegre were not bad. Dinner for four, with a bottle of wine (appetizers, entrees, and two desserts) came to $135.00, plus tip. Fat Guy, my late mother used to pronounce the dish that way!! You are right, it is a great dish. A little tip on its preparation. Use Frisalle's, rather than stale bread or bread crumbs. It makes all the difference!
  8. Ellen, I, too, miss Leon's. Without question, it was always my favorite Italian restaurant. I used to tell people about the Broccoli Rabe and Sausage and the Pano Cotto, that we would start with, and go from there. Great Rigatoni Puttanesca, and I can still taste the Pork Chops and Peppers. Man, do I miss that place!! The owners now live in Boca, not far from me. Every so often I run into them and tell them we should open a Leon's down here. But, sadly, they are enjoying their retirement too much!! I know Claire's well. Have known the family for years, and, I, too, have heard it has gone down a lot, so I didn't stop in. I do remember spending many a lunch over soup and homemade bread there. Its too bad its gone downhill. Next to Stella's, a bakery in North Beach (SF), Lucibello's is the best. Still great after all these years. I didn't venture out to Savin Rock, but I am sorry to hear Jimmy's has declined. I spent many of my "juvenile delinquent" years on the Rock, alternating between Jimmy's, Phyllis', and Turks, for the hot dogs and fried clams. Three other places that were great in their heyday's: Captain Nicks in East Haven (a Jimmy's-like place), the Beachead in East Haven (great Shrimp Scampi and Captain's Platters), and Archie Moore's in New Haven (great wings and spinach bread). I know Nicks has been closed for yrs. I don't know if the Beachead and Archie Moore's are still good. A quick Archie Moore's story. One of my friends was going to med school in New Haven many years ago. I got him a job at Archie Moore's for one reason. To get me the wing sauce recipe. He did!! I use it all the time when I have people over to watch football games.
  9. Very true. The Bimontes married into the family and are running Pepe's and the Spot (next door to Pepe's). Its funny, they are all related but, rarely, if ever, speak. When Sal (Sally) was alive, he was the peacemaker of the group. But, since he died in 1989, everyone has kind of gone their own way.
  10. I just returned from New Haven and the CT shoreline. I was born in New Haven, and lived there for many years. But, this trip was the first I have made back to the area in five years. Some quick observations before I get into the food detail. One, downtown NH has cleaned up well. A lot of redevelopment, and a good number of new, and interesting restaurants. I never thought I would see my hometown have restaurants specializing in Ethiopian and Malaysian cuisines. Good to see. Two, portions are huge!! I don't know how some of these places control food costs, but, everywhere I ate, the portions were larger than anywhere I go in South Florida. Now, the food reviews. Landed in Hartford last Tuesday at 5pm. By the time I got my luggage and rental car, I didn't get on the road until 6. Just 42 minutes later, I was on line at Sally's. Now, I spent a lot of my teenage years at Sally's and Pepe's, so these two places were high on my list to check out. I waited about 90 minutes to get in, and once I did, it was like it was when I was a kid. Flo still doing her tickets at the small table, next to the cash register, no computer, no increase in size. I ordered my usual, large mozzerella. My theory on Sally's is this. The crust is so thin, you take away from the pizza by adding toppings to it. The pizza was great!! Exactly how I remembered. It was truly a pizza biblical experience!! Wednesday, I had lunch at Louis Lunch, near Yale. They are famous for their hamburgers. No cheese, on white bread, hand made, and cooked in small, cast iron, enclosed ovens. Still outstanding. Even ran into an old college professor. The guy was a helluva lot nicer to me than he was when I was in his class!! Maybe I would have done better with him if I took HIM to Louis' Lunch when I was in his class! Dinner was at Roomba, on Chapel St. Its Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Now, living in South Florida, Latin cuisine is high art, so I was interested to see if Roomba could compare. They did. I had Citrus Crusted Tuna with fufu (mashed plaintains), and a Chayote Slaw. It was outstanding. The tuna was cooked just right. For an appetizer, I had a Columbian Serviche. It was a combination of various seafoods. It was ok, but not as good as I get in South Florida. Dessert was Tres Leches, and it was very good. The service was nice, efficient, and not intrusive. The restaurant was attractive, but we dined on the patio, and it was very enjoyable. All in all, I would recommend Roomba to those who want to be a bit adventurous, or take a break from eating Italian for a night. Thursday, I had lunch at Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale in Madison. Its along US1, and its a place known for its Lobster Rolls, in the summer. The Lobster Roll was great. A lot of lobster, very little roll. Still served in a hot dog bun, and when you get the Platter (with fries and slaw), its a very reasonable $11.95 for lunch. Dinner was at the Stone House in Guliford. Its along the water, and has a nice ambiance. I had crab cakes with remoulade sauce as an appetizer. Lot of crab, very little filler. Very good. The remoulade was a little bland, but then again, I like spicier foods. The entree was grilled swordfish with Black Olive Couscous. Very good. The swordfish had to be an 8 oz. portion, and it was only $17.00. Again, I don't know how they do it. Dessert was a chocolate bread pudding. It was ok, not great. I would not recommend it. Friday, was the big day. All Wooster St. in New Haven. For those who don't know, Wooster St. is the Little Italy of New Haven. Sally's is at the beginning of the block. I was having lunch at Pepe's and dinner at Consiglio's. Pepe's, I ordered my usual, white clam pizza. Now, what I am about to type, hurts me. But, honestly, it was good, not great. I had heard from a few people that Pepe's lost a little off its fastball, but I had to eat it to believe it. If anything, the pizza was undercooked. It was good, certainly better than most places, but, IMO, not up to Pepe's usual standards. And, not nearly as good as Sally's was the other night. Undaunted, I pressed on. Had a snack at Lucibello's, an Italian bakery near Wooster St. They are famous for their wedding cakes and cannoli's. I had a couple of cannoli's and they were outstanding. Light as a cloud, but full of flavor. Dinner at Consigilo's was, hands down (next to Sally's) the best meal I had on the trip. Consiglio's holds some great memories for me. I learned how to play cards and shoot dice downstairs in the basement of the restaurant, when I was a kid. The menu has added more new Italian dishes, and even used Panko to crust their fried Asparagus. How is that for progress! I had a great dish. Penne with Peas, Proscuitto and onions. outstanding. The portion was huge. Another dish that looked great was the Italian Kitchen Pasta. That was Penne with meatballs (the size of tennis balls), onions, peppers and garlic. Outstanding. Dessert was a trio of sorbets, and were also very good. The service and the atmosphere was outstanding. If you have one day in NH, and want great Italian food, this is the place. Saturday, I went to Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium. Just standard ballpark fare, but, hey, its Old Timers Day, the high holy day for a Yankee fan like myself. It was a blast. Sunday, my final day in town, I began with "breakfast" at Lucibellos. More cannoli's. Lunch was a hot dog at Vincent's, small place in Branford. Split, cooked on the grill, outstanding. Dinner was at Cafe Allegre, an Italian Restaurant in downtown Madison. Its located in a bed and breakfast called the Inn at Lafayette. It was very good. Neat looking place, built in the 1800's, and completely restored, recently. I had Pano Cotto as an appetizer. Similar to the dish at the now-closed (and much lamented Leon's), its a dish consisting of white beans, pancetta, escarole, and bread crumbs, baked in the oven casserole-style. It was very good, though, not touching the quality it was at Leon's. Dinner was another swordfish dish, served Oreganota-style. Very good. Dessert was Tiramisu. Instead of using ladyfingers, it was made from sponge cake. It was good, not great. But, the lemon sorbet was fabulous. The next time I go there, that is what I would order for dessert. Well, that's the extent of the eating excursion. Now, its time to head to the gym.
  11. A cursory review of the Beard House's IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year, ending 3/31/00, shows no "red flags". Their administrative expenses are a little over 400,000 on total revenues of almost 4.1 million. That really falls into the norm for non-profits (10-12% of the gross). So, no one is getting rich working there. I assume their fixed assets of almost 1.2 million is the townhouse, a good investment. What is interesting is, judging by their figures, the chefs really get screwed (I could use a stronger word, but I am trying to be clean here!), when they do dinners at the House. There really is nothing set aside to compensate the chefs for their work. Also, with only a little over $100,000 in contributions, you can't even set up a workable budget for chefs with that little an amount. Now, a finer tooth comb obviously could dissect how they could distribute their money better, but, at first glance, there is nothing sinister here. I still submit, however, they could do more with the money than they are, when it comes to growing the industry. That, however, is a sign of mismanagement, not ill deeds. This seems to be the case, upon this cursory review of their finances.
  12. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in getting any info on the Beard House. Now, there could be two reasons for that. One, my considerable lack of computer skills (always a possibility), or, the Beard House could be under a different corporate name. Both the NY State Tax Board and the IRS do not have the James Beard House, or the James Beard Foundation is their databases. Any NY'ers here, with info on the Beard House, know if they under a different corporate name? Hell, I may have to make a donation, and ask see their finances before completing the transaction. Maybe that would work.
  13. I am a lawyer, although I am not practicing much right now. Most of my business is in the area of sports and entertainment consulting, but, I will try to find out as much as I can about their "Tax-Exempt" status. Two things that have always confounded me about the Beard House, was their "creative accounting", and the antipathy so many chefs feel for the place. How can you reconcile award "sponsors", with being a non-profit? Who, exactly, get the sponsorship revenue? Who gets the "freebies", the sponsors throw into the deal? Its been my professional experience that when you see this, a ton of people are cashing in. Those folks "cashing in", are never the truly needy, a la the United Way. The United Way is another non-profit, who for yrs. , had a CEO making $1 million per year, and having only about 15% of the revenues derived from their events, go to the needy. I have a feeling the Beard House may have a similar set up. As far as the chefs are concerned, I have a lot of chefs friends. Comes from being a part of a resturant family in New Haven, while growing up. Also, helped that my dad had pretty active cards and craps games, for his friends in the industry on Monday nights, when his place was closed. That said, chefs hate the place! More than one have told me the horror stories Tony, and others in this thread, describe. Its really a shame. In this era of food and wine, enlightenment in this country, somebody is making a ton of money off the sweat of folks who are not seeing near enough of it. If I was a hard working person in this industry, I'll be damned if I want to be paying for some blue bloods food excursions around the country. If the organization really wants to do the "right thing", how about providing health insurance options for restaurant workers, or trying to assist in finding solutions to many of the problems facing the industry today? That would be a start.
  14. Tony, I must say, next to the French Laundry episode, the show with the Aussie chefs in Melbourne was one of the best Cooks Tour's I have seen. Those guys were a trip! If you had half as much fun with them as it seemed, that must have been some experience. Hopefully, there will be more Cooks Tour's in production. Aside from Molto Mario, its the only watchable show on the Food Network, these days.
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