Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Craftsteak Steakhouse - Las Vegas

After a few nights of crushing Johnny Walker on the rocks and losing his paycheck on the penny slots in Vegas, BG worked up an appetite.  He wanted more than the $4.99 buffet on the strip and bar peanuts, so he extended his credit line and bellied up at the Craftsteak Steakhouse for one final meal before he would get his hand smashed with a hammer after he was caught using trick dice in a parking lot craps game. 
Here is BG's story, pics of his crushed hand are not included....

“I was recently in Las Vegas staying at the MGM Grand, and while my diet consisted mainly of Jack & Cokes, 25 cent wings from Hooters served from midnight to 6 am, and bacon egg & cheese sandwiches from the sports book deli, we did have one fine dining experience. I went with 4 college friends of mine on this trip and we all agreed this was one of the top 3 steaks any of us had ever eaten.
We decided to stop by Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and what a treat it was. This is not an inexpensive steakhouse, be warned, but it is damn worth it. We all opted for cocktails (I went with a Manhattan) and then the rolls were brought out. I didn’t snap any pics, but they were small, about the size of a golf ball but were warm, buttery and the kicker was a small amount of sea salt on the top to offset the butter. I think the 5 of us had over 40 of them total. From there we all ordered our steaks and sides. I went with a classic dry aged T-Bone, the other guys had filets, a skirt steak, and a NY Strip. We also got the asparagus and 2 orders of the whipped mashed potatoes.
The steak was by far the best steak I’ve ever had. I’ve ate at Morton’s, Capital Grille, Bennett’s Steakhouse in Stamford, Texas de Brazil, and Smith & Wolensky in the city, but this steak was better than any I’ve ever had. It was lightly seared to give it a slight crisp on the edges and the meat was falling off the T-Bone. The meat was succulent, the perfect blend of juices, tender meat, and fat. The seasonings on the steak were subtle, but strong enough to say ‘Hey, I’m here’ but not strong enough to really change the flavor of the steak. The asparagus was perfectly baked with olive oil and some seasonings on them. The mashed potatoes were truly amazing. I’ve had great mashed potatoes, but these were almost the consistency of a milkshake, you could have drank them with a straw.
This is one of the top 3 meals I’ve ever had in my life, and that sentiment was shared by the 4 guys I was with. From the beginning with the rolls, to our sides of potatoes and asparagus, to the heavenly steak, it was a complete meal. Everyone’s steak was perfectly cooked and prepared with care. We also did not feel stuffed when we left, but had full bellies to go out and hit the town, which we did real hard. I know there are so many steakhouses in Vegas, and every casino is going to boast that theirs is the best, but trust me when I say this was the best steak I’ve ever had.

BG out”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lou Malnati's - Chicago, IL

Spent this past weekend in Chicago, and like all tourists, I had to go get some deep dish pizza.  Based on the recomendation of our host for the weekend, we went to Lou Malnati's, or as Sarah says "Eluminati's".  Some say they prefer Lou's over the more popular Gino's East which has been featured on number of tv shows, but I still prefer the New York style of pizza.

We ordered a half sausage and half cheese deep dish pizza.  It was good.  Lots of sausage, chunky sauce, just the right amount of cheese and a crisp buttery crust that held it all together.  A knife was not needed, I used the edge of the fork technique.  This was definitely the best deep dish pizza that I have had, even though I have only had it twice.  My first deep dish experience was at a Pizzeria Uno in Harriman, NY.  After eating two slices I felt like a had a lead ball in my stomach and was pretty much set for the day.

- Lunch Pail

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CBH Benedict - Bull's Head Diner - Stamford, CT

When I went to the Bulls Head Diner a few weeks ago for breakfast I was not exptecting to get this.  Corn Beef Hash on top of a toasted English Muffin with 2 Poached Eggs, and some tator tots.  Not those soggy tots that you get from the oven, but delicious deep fried crispy tots.  Yes, this tasted as good as it looks. 

The menu listed this as Corned Beef Hash Benedict, but I opted for no Hollandaise.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Best Chinese Food in Stamford: Panda Garden

Chicken and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce combination plate and a Won-Ton Soup from Panda Garden, home of The Best Chinese Food in Stamford, CT.  I would consider working there on Thursday nights just to be able to eat some of the off menu meals I see the staff eat for dinner. 

Must be 37 Won-Tons in there.

Chicken and Broccoli w/ Garlic Sauce Combo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Say Italian Omelet, Some say Frittata

Here is a breakfast that Peter Cerone recently made. I have always referred to them as Frittatas, but some may know them as Italian Omelets. No matter what you call it, they are still delicious.
"This probably wouldn’t fit into “Breakfast Sandwich Week” but here are some images of a breakfast “frittata” we made this weekend. I did cut it up and put it on a toasted English muffin.
Straight out of Wiki: A frittata is a type of Italian omelet, either simple or enriched with additional ingredients, such as meats, cheeses, vegetables and even pasta. It may be compared to a crust-less quiche or, in America, "scrambled eggs." A frittata is prepared in a frying pan like a traditional French omelet. However, whereas an omelet is cooked on a stove top and served folded, a frittata is not folded and is typically finished in an oven or under a broiler.

We decided to do half crumbled bacon/cheddar, half broccoli/cheddar/swiss. We also topped it with a light bread-crumb coating to give it a nice crisp crust on top. Enjoy!"

- Pete

Nice Fluff

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pat's Hubba Hubba - Port Chester, NY

Joe Keary recently took a trip to the famous Hubba's in the heart of Port Chester, NY (Pocho).  This place is an icon and I am suprised it has yet to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  The menu is on paper plate tacked to the wall above the griddle, the wallpaper is made up of dollar bills that are not censored, and you have to option to cover anything with chili and cheese.  They even have their own drink called Hubba Water.  It is a cup of ice water with a splach of Hawaiin Punch.  Suprisingly, it is really good.  I have not been to this place in a while, but the chili cheese curley fries are unreal and the burgers are thin and greasy and cooked on a flat top.  I also added to chili and cheese to that.

Keary and his minions seemed to have covered the basics on their most recent trip.  For some strange reason, he felt the need to order the fried clams with chili cheese fries.  Weird.

Clockwise starting in the top left corner: Chili Cheese Fries, Chili Cheese Dog Wedge, Hubba Water, Fried Clams w/ Chili Cheese Fries.

Hubba's Wallpaper

Friday, March 12, 2010

Colonel K’s Pasty Shop, Menominee, MI

When I hear the word pasty I immediately think of this exact phone conversation that I had with a bartender at a gentlemen's club while on spring break during college:
GC Bartender: "Kitty's Caberet" (I forget the actual name)
Me: "Hello, I was wondering if you guys have a buffet?"
GC Bartender: "No we don't, but we have two vending machines"
Me: "Great thanks.  Also, do the girls wear pasties?"
GC Bartender: "No sir they do not, they are completely top less"

Little did I know, Pasty has a double meaning in Michigan's upper penninsula as told by BG below...

“Been in the Upper Peninsula, MI (UP) for the past two weeks for work and finally got to try a Pasty on my last night here. There isn’t much food wise that can say it’s originally from the UP except for Pastys. I guess they were originally eaten by miners who would bring them into the mines because they are totally self contained lunches, kind of a large hot pocket. I went with a beef Pasty and my co-worker went with a beef & rutabaga Pasty.
The beef pasty was pretty good, a nice soft crust with a filing of small chunks of potatoes and beef with some salt and pepper seasoning inside. It was pretty moist, I’m sure they cook the filling after it has all been rolled up which keeps all the juices and flavors in. Everything held together nicely and nothing spilled out of it the way a calzone or a taco/wrap might. I can understand why miners would eat something like this, while it was pretty small looking, it filled you up and was a hearty meal. A little ketchup or hot sauce would definitely make this taste better. There were other types of Pasty’s you could get with chicken, pork, vegetables, broccoli & cheese, etc… but I figured I had to go with the most traditional. While a pasty is not something really exciting, they are proud of them up here in the UP and if you ever make your way up here make sure you try one.”
- Bad Gorilla

Colonel K's
Bad Gorilla Feasting

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Serious Meat's WebSite of the Month

No explanation needed:

Do not worry, there is no nudity or sexual acts with food on this site.  It is just a daily picture of something delicious, such as this:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jersey BBQ Pit and Grill - Newark, NJ

When I think of Jersey I think of hot dogs, taylor ham, diners, left turns and gas station attendants.  The last think to come to mind is BBQ, especially when we are talking about Newark, NJ.

After a long night of high fives, chest bumps, moon landings, and awkward conversations at a 15 yr. High School Reunion, Snee found himself at a BBQ place that his friend had recently opened up in Newark, NJ.  Those of you who maybe skeptical about Snee having a biased opinion about this place since he use to hang out in a tree house and read nudie mags with the owner in their pre-pubescent days, don't be.  I have known him for quite a while now and know first hand he has no problem stating his opinion. 

"In continuing my tour of New Jersey, I stopped at a newly opened BBQ joint in the lovely resort town of Newark. An old friend of mine just opened up his own restaurant right on McCarter Highway, just a 3-Iron away from where the Nets now call their home. It's called the Jersey BBQ Pit and Grill,, and you can honestly smell it from the Parkway...but that's a good thing.

I stopped there the afternoon after my high school had a 15 year reunion, so I was starving due to the fact that 1.) I hadn't eaten all day, and 2.) I "rented" everything I ate the night before. So after chatting with the owner and catching up, I ordered a BBQ pork wrap and a combo with chicken, ribs, and pork tenderloin which comes with fries and yellow rice. I have to say, without being biased because I've known the guy since I was 12, the food was pretty damned good. The BBQ chicken basically melts in your mouth, the ribs come easily off the bone and there's plenty of meat, and they have the BBQ sauce on the side, which I think is a plus, that way you don't look like you just got shot in the face after each bite. Also, the yellow rice was awesome, (he's Spanish...that didn't surprise me), and the fries were typical fries you'd eat at a backyard BBQ. Eveything in that dish melded really well together.

The pork wrap caught me off guard...there was so much going on in it that I really have no idea what I ate, but it was friggin delicious. I honestly could have eaten 3 more of them, but I had to lay down and take nap.
I really have no idea where to get good BBQ, which is why I probably haven't had it in a while, but this stuff  is real deal. If you're ever in the area, I would suggest stopping in."

- Snee
BBQ Combo and Pork Wrap

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nonna's Pizza - Stamford, CT

Unlike most pizza places in the Stamford area, Nonna's serves pizza by the slice.  For months I drove past this place looking at the 'Coming Soon" sign eagerly anticipating the grand opening.  When it first opened I went in for a slice to go and was satisfied enough that it earned a return trip where I could sit and enjoy it right from the oven, rather than after a 5 minute drive.  This place reminded me of the pizza places I was familiar with growing up in NY.  A long counter with a glass case show casing the wide variety of slices (both sicilian and NY style), calzones, strombolis,  a few tables in the front to eat a slice at, and a restaurant style setting in the back. 

A couple of months back Keary and I went for a couple of slices.  After looking over the various pies, I decided on a slice of Chicken Scarpariello, and a Chicken Parm slice, Keary went with the Marsala, and a BBQ Chicken slice.  The slices are big, the crust is thin and the quantity of toppings is un real.  Each slices was loaded with pieces of chicken as seen below.  Over all the pizza was good.  The chicken had good flavor, and there was plenty of it, good amount a cheese, and the right amount of sauce.  My only complaint was the crust.  I like a crisp crust with a chewy inside.  The crust of Nonna's pie was kind of flat, too crispy, without alot of chew.  I will not let this deter me from going back as the pizza itself was good and the selection of slices was amazing. 

If you are ever in the area and want some pizza without having to sit through the wait of ordering a whole pie, stop by Nonna's for a quick slice. 

- Lunch Pail

Couple aerial shots and one of the underbelly.  From left to right: Chicken Scarp slice, Chicken Parm slice, Chicken Marsala slice, and a BBQ Chicken slice.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mass Confusion - Pacific Beach Shore Club - Whales Vagina, CA

Here is the second installment of Peter's Whales Vagina, CA Tour.  If you do not get the Whales Vagina reference go watch Anchorman.   Peter went to San Diego in November of 2009, I guess he is taking his time with sending me his posts.  He didn't even provide a story with this one and just sent the pictures.  Oh well, I guess I will have to make due.

After constructing an Eiffel Tower the night before, Peter needed to refuel with a hearty meal.  Below is a breakfast called Mass Confusion from the Pacific Beach Shore Club.  For $8.50, this plate of chaos included 3 biscuits, 2 scrambled eggs, gravy, 3 cheese, bacon and sausage.  For an additional $2, Peter upgraded this Heart Attack on a plate with tater tots.  Rather than rehydrating with water, Peter chased this down with a Bloody Mary.

He has come along way since his Spinach and Feta Omelette days.

Mass Confusion

Monday, March 1, 2010

Trinity Steak Boxty - Tigin Irish Pub, Stamford, CT

It is hard for a guy like Keary (aka: Harry in the Blind or H.I.T.B), a big teddy bear with feelings, to get back into it the swing of things after reaching the top, just to have it all come crashing down.  He heard the critics chirping about how he lost his touch and how he will never be the same.  How great performers never make it back to the top and perform at the level of greatness they once had.  He had heard enough.  After spending the past few months on the sidelines, Sire Keary got back in the box took a few swings to see if he still had it.  He worked up a light sweat, but didn't over do it.  He just wanted to find his rythm and build his confidence back up to make sure he can go back to his old ways of punishment.

To celebrate how far he has come he decided to enjoy a nice lunch at Tigin with his buddy (Peter).  Tigin has great food, and although I have always been curious, I never ordered a boxty.  I usually go  with a burger or the fish n' chips.  With the way Sire Keary decribes it below he seems to be a fan of the boxty and will back for it again.

"So I went with my buddy and co-worker (Peter) to lunch today to celebrate my conquest from last night. I figured who better to have my first meal than one of the distant relatives of men like Alexander the Great who conquered the ancient world. We chose on Tigin Irish Pub in Stamford. They've recently introduced a new menu of which I've already tried a few of the items. Today was different. I started off with a Stella and Peter went with the Hoegaarden (orange). We both put our heads down and when we talked it through, the consensus was the Trinity Steak Boxty. This magical concoction features grilled steak, sautéed mushrooms and onions, wrapped in a potato boxty(crepe), topped with a whiskey-mushroom sauce. Typing this description is making me ready to go back for another one. It comes out, and we tackle it head on. Peter and I barely talked through the meal. They cooked off just enough of the whiskey in the whiskey-mushroom sauce for the taste to come through and not be overpowered by the mushrooms/gravy. All in all, this is my favorite meal at Tigin and I will definitely get it again."

- H.I.T.B

Trinity Steak Boxty