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maf

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  1. My 11 year old is a very picky eater and she loved lunch at JG. I would have never seen that coming. She had the shrimp and the chicken confit. I took her for the experience, hoping she'd eat something, and she declered it the best meal she ever had.
  2. maf

    Local 11 Ten

    They are going European by closing for the month of August (at least Aug. 2-23). There are rumors around town that they will not reopen, but others who should know say it's not true- just a vacation. It's a good place, and I hope the latter is true.
  3. I'm not much of a poster, more a reader. I'm also not from New York, not particularly sophisticated, not articulate, and not particularly good-looking. I do, however, love to eat. I shared your cynicism, figs. All that aside, our Thursday night dinner at The Kitchen Counter last summer was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable meals I've had. As the Bare Naked Ladies said, I'm all about value, and this passed the value test.
  4. I think Pho Bac is inthe same shopping center as Quoc Huong, about two doors to the left. I've eaten there before and not only is it great food, it's cheap. Can't beat that. Maybe with some internet research I can figure out what's on the different sandwiches. Same for the pho- I'm not man enough to get the pho with tendon on purpose.
  5. Have since tried both Lee's and Quoc Huong. Both were good, but both had a mayo-ish sauce that I wasn't expecting. Lee's had several varities on the menu board, but I need to learn my sandwich names. The "special" had a strange meat that included some nasty, bony morsels, like a bad hotdog. The safer BBQ pork was good, but I would have liked this with a pate added (which is what I was looking for on the special). Quoc Huong had no menu, so I managed to get the pork one again (scared of the nasty meat this time). Everyone was eating pho and getting banh mi to go afterwards. The waitstaff were nice, but again I felt language barriers were keeping me from getting better food. I wish I has a friend who speaks the language. Thanks for the recs, really enjoyed the sandwiches.
  6. Made it there and found it fun but maybe a little overhyped. Went early, so no wait. Service was friendly and informal. Lamburger was tasty. I was wondering if the toppings would overpower the burger, but if anything they were unassertive. The burgers are mid-sized; bigger than a slider but not full-size, either. Butcher Cut, with onions and bleu, was a little more assertive. Both were well cooked and moist. Rutabagas were good with a sweet chili dipping sauce, but they were far more tempura than vegatable. Onion rings were also mostly batter. I like fried, salty batter, so this was OK. Fries may have been double fried like belgian frites, as thay were crisp on the outside, but the portion was small and filled with tiny, scrap-sized pieces. I founf the sweet potato tots too soft in texture, although I can see how a sweet potato lover would be pleased. Shakes were good, but Nutella one seemed more chocolate than Nutella (although I sometimes feel the same about Nutella). Krispy Kreme shake was a fun novelty, but like the real thing, the sweetness gets old in a hurry. The freezing with nitrogen thing seems gimmicky, although not objectionally so. I wondered how much of the $7 cost was attributed to the nitrogen. It was a fun meal, but not what I'd call inexpensive. I'm glad I went, but I won't feel compelled to return every time I pass through Atlanta. On the other hand, there are several other "burgers" that sound intriguing.
  7. Dave the Cook, I appreciate the effort you put into this list. I previously looked at Restaurant Eugene and JCT Kitchen and was excited about the Sunday specials. The former, however could not take a group our size. The latter was rejected by our group leader (maybe because it sounded too meat & 3, or maybe because it was too far to walk from the hotel). Your list has given me some places to try on future visits. Eventually, my wife reminded me that I take the whole food issue too seriously (I disagree, but not openly). Ray't it is, and I'm going to smile about it. In my free time, I'm going to sneak to Flip Burger Bar and Buford Highway for banh mi.
  8. Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, like most of the places I considered, it appears Repast is closed Sunday. I have to say the Sunday situation caught me by surprise, as I consider Atlanta the Big City, but I'm sure it's a rational business decision on the part of the owners. Still surprising, though.
  9. Bumping this up hoping for a current report. I'll be in town Sunday and will need a group (not necessarity private- just a big group) dinner place for about 20. Over my objection, our group is currently planning on Ray's in the City. I'm not particularly in charge, but I'll push for a move if improvement is fairly certain. On the other hand, I don't want to go through the eye rolls unless the upgrade is worthwhile. So, is this place pretty solid? It's open Sunday, which puts it ahead of most of the places I've been to up there (I thought I was solidly in the Bible Belt, but I was quite surprised at the number of Atlanta places closed Sunday). I looked at the menu on line- is it all small plates? How does the "bottomless wine glass" work? I have to admit, that sounds pretty appealing-can I bring my Big Gulp cup?
  10. I'm going with or without them. If they beat me back to the hotel, they can relax and digest their Big Macs.
  11. How long have the waits been? I'll be up there soon, but I'm traveling with some who think any wait longer than a drive through is a poor use of their valuable time.
  12. I'm sure someone who lives there can give more info, but I'd say South Carolina (at least eastern South Carolina) very much has its signature style, which is pork (usually pulled) with a bright yellow, somewhat sweet sauce I've not encountered elsewhere. It's also known for hash (tomato enhanced, pureed leftover pieces) over white rice. Both are quite good, especially when the pork is moist and the sauce not too cloying. I've had Melvin's & Bessinger's. Both are worth eating, and I can't recommend a better place in Charleston proper. I would, however, strongly urge a trip to Holly Hill, SC, for Sweatman's BBQ. My personal opinion (and such opinions are taken quite personally around here) is it's the best in South Carolina. Holly Hill is less than an hour drive from Charleston, but if you're driving in or out, it's relatively near the intersection of Interstates 95 and 26. It's on Hwy 453 between Holly Hill (small town) and Eutawville (smaller town). NOTE: it's open Friday and Saturday only. The buffet is a good deal, but unless policies have changed you only get one trip through the line, so pile it on like you mean it.
  13. SUMMARY Dad’s favorites: The Kitchen Counter at Beacon; Dosa Man Cart Mom’s favorites: Vanessa’s Dumpling House; Banh Mi So 1 D1’s favorites: Momofuku Noodle; Vanessa’s Dumpling House; Patsy”s; Papaya King D2’s favorites: Jean Georges (surprise pick); Il Laboratorio del Gelato CORRECTION D1 thinks she saw Jim from The Office at Momofuku Noodle, not Dwight (my mistake). This may explain its #1 status on her list. I have my doubts, but I don't want to be a hater. THINGS WE LEARNED Use egullet to decide where to eat and what to eat there. We didn’t do much “searching” on eG, just read the posts for a while and took notes on what sounded good. Have specific location information. Third Avenue between 52nd and 53rd is good. Third Avenue near 52nd not so much. Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing is close to anything else. Have a street map and a subway map if there is any chance of a change in travel routes or destinations. The subway map doesn’t show many streets, and the street map (at least mine) doesn’t show good subway information. Use menu pages.com to look at the menu in advance of arrival. This is particularly helpful when scouting for kid-friendly options so you’re ready for “there’s nothing here I like.” Use hopstop.com to plan a route between places. Bring cash. A surprising number of places don’t take plastic. Beware Monday. Many places are closed. Carts and stalls that don’t keep regular hours often close for the day when they run out of food. Have a backup. Bring a small compass (small enough so no one sees it). I know it’s geeky, but I often found I didn’t know where I would pop up from the train. I would know my destination was east of the station, but unless it was a time of day when the shadows helped, I could never remember which side of the office building the moss grows on.
  14. Tuesday This is the last day, so it‘s time to assess what remains. We’ve developed a routine for splitting up at the hotel breakfast, with different assignments such as omelets, drinks, fruit, or bacon/potatoes, getting us through the lines faster. We sneak in a little education at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, then catch a train to Brooklyn and Grimaldi’s (19 Old Fulton St between Front & Water). We arrived a couple minutes before the restaurant opened. We could tell they are accustomed to lines, both by the short, straight queue that was set up and by the large jug of ice water and cups on a table by the door. When we left, however, no one was having to wait in line, so maybe this isn’t as bad a situation as I read, or maybe it’s a dinner thing. Ordered just one pie, half cheese and half with sausage and roasted peppers. It was easily big enough to feed the four of us. Again, it’s about the crust up here, which had a little of the scorch marks with nice texture. There was nothing wrong with the toppings, but they didn’t really add anything to the overall experience. I’d skip them next time. I’d have to rate Grimaldi’s a little better than Patsy’s, but I think the deck was stacked because we had a fresh, whole pie at the former and only slices (which Grimaldi’s does not offer) at Patsy’s. Both were very good, and I now have a better frame of reference when a place opens at home claiming NY-style pizza. Quick stop at nearby Jacques Torres Chocolates (66 Water St.). Actually I returned a phone call while the girls went in here, but it received good reports, especially the cookies. Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped to negotiate the afternoon. D1 wanted to shop, D2 wanted to go back to the hotel. We split up, and I convinced D2 that another try at the Donut Plant (379 Grand) would be worthwhile, followed by gelato at Otto (I still wanted to try olive oil and Guinness gelato). I knew she was done, however, when she didn’t want a donut, so I picked up a blueberry, a lavender and some triple chocolate donut to take back to the hotel. They didn’t have the basil, coconut crème or raspberry varieties I had read about; in fact, the overall selection seemed small. Maybe it’s better in the morning. These were dense cake donuts, and I particularly enjoyed the herbal undertones of the lavender one. Abandoned the Otto plan after talking to D2, maybe next time. After regrouping, we headed for dinner at Sripaphai (64-13 39th Ave in Woodside, the numbering system there logically indicating the equivalent of 13 39th Ave between 64th and 65th), pretty much on the way to the Mets game. We had pork leg with mustard greens, soy sauce noodles and the watercress salad recommended by others on eG. In addition to the regular menu there is a book with pictures showing the dishes, and D1 ordered chicken with ginger because she likes ginger and the way it looked in the picture. The chicken dish was as attractive in person as it was in the photo. A mildly spiced breast was sliced and arranged with cold vegetables. It wasn’t anything unique, but it was enjoyable. The soy sauce noodles were wide, irregular strips, still chewy, with chicken and vegetables. They reminded us of southern dumplings (of chicken and dumpling fame), a Thai version of comfort food. The pork was a large, on bone serving with greens in a bowl, with rice on the side, the meat tender and tasty. Maybe we were already thinking of home, but with the pork and greens and the lack of any overwhelming Thai spicing this reminded me of southern food, as well. The hit of the meal, surprisingly, was the watercress salad. This is a great example of something I would not have thought to order had it not been recommended. Scallions, basil and mint leaves were lightly battered and deep fried, combined with similar unfried greens on a bed of lettuce with cold chicken, shrimp and squid, topped with a chili lime dressing. I kept looking for watercress and couldn’t find any, unless it had been battered beyond recognition. No matter, the crispness of the batter, tartness of the dressing and coolness of the meats and mint combined to make a great salad. The prices here were very reasonable, including the very short wine list. While the wine was served a little warm and the service seemed a little slow at times, this was a great bargain and memorable food.
  15. The original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa serves only ribs, white bread, potato chips and banana pudding. No sides. The Dreamland in Atlanta (I've been to the one on Alpharetta Hwy in Roswell, but I think there's another) is very different, with all kinds of additional items. I've always assumed it is a franchise.
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