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mizrachi's Profile

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Which Sunset Park Mexican grocery?

I'm unable to find the dried and canned chilies, unusual salsas, horchata, masa harina that I'm looking for at my local store. I'm thinking somewhere in Sunset Park but I'm willing to travel.

Feb 16, 2012
mizrachi in Outer Boroughs

Best pizza in Tallahassee

very interested in hearing about your wood fired oven. how are your pizzas? how hot have you gotten the oven? did you buy from forno bravo or another vendor? are you using caputo 00? i dream of neopolitan pizza and wood burning ovens...tell me more!

Mar 11, 2010
mizrachi in Florida

Las Brasas in Tallahassee

Indeed we are. Las Brasas is not the same as it was when they first opened. And I have yet to find a decent cuban restaurant in town. As far as ethnic food, I think the Vietnamese offerings at Far East might be our best bet. That, and perhaps the gyro at International House of Food.

Jul 06, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Also agree with your last paragraph. Throw in a Jewish Deli and we'd be all set.

Apr 02, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Peppers Mex - Tallahassee

Had an average meal there last night. Nothing terrible, just typical Tallahassee Mexican.

I think La Hacienda is better, if only by a bit.

Apr 01, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Incredibleskates:

You must be my exact opposite!

You've listed every restaurant in town that I'd say qualifies as supremely mediocre if not outright bad, avoidable, lazy cooking!

Samrat, Reang Thai, Po' Boys, and Cabo's are some of the better local places? Come again?

'You can't expect haute cuisine in a town like Tallahassee.' Huh?

You think the Catfish Pad is a better choice than Cypress? Whoa, Nelly.

Sounds like you're saying we should we all dumb-down our taste buds. But in my opinion, crappy, uneventful food does not actually define offbeat. It defines crappy and uneventful.

For offbeat, Las Brasas and Spring Creek Restaurant come to mind. La Lanterna or the International House of Food work well in this department. Even Utz's Oyster Bar qualifes.

As we've said, this town needs just a few more simple, decent options...without a blue cheese stuffing or an over-flavored heaping of sauce or, as seems de riguer in this region, frying everything in sight.

I'm talking about simple and fresh food, offbeat, yuppified, or otherwise.

Apr 01, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

As soon as Barney Greengrass and DiFara's opens a Tallahassee branch, this native New Yorker will be silenced finally. But at least now we're beginning to have options, some serviceable, some a bit more so. And for that I'm sure we're all thankful.

Mar 08, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

I can't wait to eat at Avenue Sea. Will let you all know after we've tried it. I hesitate to include it as a local restaurant as it's 150 miles there and back but, still, it's nice to know we've got Liam's, Cypress, and Avenue Sea all fairly nearby.

Now if only a decent French bistro would open up...

Feb 28, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

We went to Liam's for the first time last week and can say unequivocally that it is simply the best restaurant in the Tallahassee area. While Cypress is a very good place indeed, Liam's is a step above. Thanks to all the readers on this site that recommended it. We will be going back as often as possible.

Feb 23, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

From Bettonbabe's last post:

"We've followed Ashby Stiff's reviews for more than 20 years and found them to be consistently in agreement with our experiences."

'Nuff said.

Jan 22, 2008
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee vicinity: ISO one great meal - Cypress, Liam's, or elsewhere?

We're planning to start the new year off with a bang: trips to both Liam's and Avenue Sea. Any suggestions as to what to order at Avenue Sea?

Dec 25, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee vicinity: ISO one great meal - Cypress, Liam's, or elsewhere?

Urbane looks interesting and that pizza sounds terrific. Although their self-definition (refined, sophisticated, and gracious) is embarrassingly pretentious, we will try them out soon and report back.

Also, totally agree with you about Chez Pierre. Publix could supply a higher quality cheese plate. Speaking of cheese, the Melting Pot I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies.

As far as Mexican goes, you may wish to give La Hacienda II a try. Certainly better than most of the in-town options.

What about restaurants in Quincy? I've heard there may be a decent Mexican out that way.

Dec 23, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee....Sage, revisted

Will definitely pay Sage another visit. If I remember correctly, they do veggies well at Sage. However, I do recommend you revisit Mozaik. The new chef has improved things there and I wonder how you'd rate it against Sage, which seems to be consistently good to you.

Dec 23, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

I'd say Mozaik although Liam's has a European breakfast that looks interesting.

Dec 16, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

If you can withstand an interior about as self-consciously “funky” as a 1987 Lionel Ritchie video and, if after discovering not a single chocolate option for dessert - an almost unforgivable sin - you can keep yourself from flouncing past the clueless/beautiful hostess into the parking lot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at Mozaik’s reinvigorated menu and epicurean improvements. While not quite reaching the truly sublime, Mozaik’s new chef has – thankfully – given denizens of Tallahassee’s food scene new hope. After a slew of disappointments, Mozaik now appears firmly sited among the select few decent-to-good dining options in the region.

For starters, our party enjoyed the wild boar sausage appetizer (a smoky and appropriately rustic and original option), the bruschetta (an indulgently rich shared dish which was quickly devoured and re-ordered), and the deceptively understated scallops appetizer (which provided a briny sophistication rivaling the mussels at Cypress).

For the main course, I ordered the requisite pasta item (wide tagliatelle noodles that well suited the accompanying shrimp and pancetta), and while this dish was serviceable and fairly hard to screw up, I’d recommend the Sashima tuna entrée instead (a sushi-grade cut with well prepared Asian-inspired rice), or the lamb or chicken entrees enjoyed by some of the less adventurous members of our group.

And while I’d like to extol the virtues of Mozaik’s dessert course, I am sorry to report that these confections really suffered by comparison to our savory entrees. As previously mentioned, the only chocolate item on the menu was white chocolate, really an excessively sweet, anti-chocolate version of its classic cousin. And while in my opinion, that misstep alone is a deal-breaker, the dour apple crisp pushed me over edge, burdened as it was by a dense and overly doughy crust and flavorless interior. The other desserts ordered by our table came and went, without much fanfare or enthusiasm.

Still, Mozaik impressed me. Our options in Tallahassee are few and far between, and Mozaik has genuinely stepped it up a notch. As a backup to Liam’s or Avenue Sea or Cypress, this restaurant is worth considering.

Dec 12, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee vicinity: ISO one great meal - Cypress, Liam's, or elsewhere?

Beware: Clusters and Hops = 4 hour dining "experience." And if you aren't fond of truffle oil or tables that accommodate more than 4, you may need to find another venue.

Dec 06, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee vicinity: ISO one great meal - Cypress, Liam's, or elsewhere?

Mike,

Liam's and Avenue Sea are the only two restaurants on your list (or mine) that have consistently ranked above and beyond what Tallahassee restaurants seem able to offer.

Miz

Dec 06, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee

I second Las Brasas. Their calamari is great, the Lomo Saltado is wonderful, the specials are authentic and the chilled out staff have recommended dishes for me not found on the menu. Also, their prices can not be beat.

The Main Ingredient, on the other hand, seems to have trouble deciding exactly what kind of restaurant it wants to be -- a funky hippie spot with tons of ingredients and sauces, a more upscale venue with a full bar and elaborate specials and live music, or a cheapo college hang out serving glorified heroes and fries. I agree the feta wedge appetizer is tasty, but I always seem to end up spending more than I figured I would at a restaurant of that quality.

Sep 29, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Tallahassee

Completely agree

Sep 08, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

I've also heard that Avenue Sea is top notch. Will make it out there one of these days. So, as it stands, Liams and Avenue Sea seem to be Tallahassee's best restaurants - neither of which are actually located in Tallahassee.

As far as Ashby Stiff is concerened, I'm unsure how anyone can take him seriously, his name withstanding. Considering he reviews the Olive Garden, all bets are off with that guy.

Sep 08, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Affordable Tallahassee

Just ate at Tallahassee's only Peruvian restaurant, Las Brasas. While the decor is in need of direction, the food was tasty and affordable. Would recommend for lunch or a casual dinner. I ate their most popular dish, a kind of steak or chicken stir fry called lomo saltado, replete with fries in the dish itself and a side serving of rice. Their cilantro based dipping sauce that came with our order of empanadas elevated that dish as well.

Also, I recently enjoyed an unusually delicious and healthy vegan meal from the Black Hebrews operating out of the Soul Veg food cart in the Beta Bar parking lot. I was surprised at how good it really was. Certainly an original Tallahassee option, particularly considering our previously discussed BBQ issues.

Mizrachi

Jul 05, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

La Lanterna is great. If only it were a full restaurant instead of lunch time deli. Still, even their frozen items, like their lasagna, are high quality. And I love that it's a cozy mother/daughter operation. I once mentioned to the daughter that many of the Italian pork stores in New York carry a carbonated espresso drink called Manhattan Special and within a week she'd ordered a few cases without ever having tried one. Now this place I'd certainly call a gem.

The lack of very good, simple restaurants in this town may have less to do with talent or business skills and more with the apathy of the average diner. If folks here are lining up around the block to eat at Macaroni Grill then why even consider opening up a smaller, better place? Present company excluded, I just dont think the citizens of Tallahassee care enough.

Jun 20, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

I only mean to characterize Tallahassee's sub-standard restaurant scene as lackluster, not the city itself, or its inhabitants, or anything else unrelated to food. I was hoping for a certain quality level that simply does not exist here. Differences in opinion on this matter come down to a question of taste. Bella Bella is a servicable restaurant, a lazy sunday night pasta kind of place, but in no way could it ever be considered a gem, hidden or otherwise. As far as I'm concerned, Samrat gave up a long time ago and should be avoided at all costs. Even the newish Indian restaurant which replaced the previously wretched Curry and Wine is only just adequate. In my opinion, these places just represent the kind of culinary malaise I've found in this town: not reaching, worthwhile only for lunch or when just can't bear your own kitchen. I think that what Tallahasse lacks is simple, high quality restaurants -- not fancy/trendy, just straightforward and delicious food. For the record, Cicada Market is overpriced and of questionable freshness. However, I agree with you about La Lanterna, and that may be our best Italian restaurant.

Jun 19, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Then Liam's it will be. I think we'll try their dinner before their European breakfast, although that sounds lovely as well. We don't mind traveling. Where else would you recommend in the region?

Jun 18, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

I will definitely give Clusters and Hops another try. We've only been once and it was a bit claustrophobic. I remember the dishes were all very serious with loads of finishing sauces and aged balsamic reductions etc. Needless to say, I will give them another go and report back. Certainly their take away counter blows Cicada Market out of the water.

Jun 18, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Will try Sage again. I want to like the place. Perhaps it was an off night. Little pricey for an off night kind of place, but we'll give it another shot.

That said, it seems that Tallahassee doesn't know how to do "simple" food. Generally, the restaurants here do way too much, reaching without any real nuance or subtlety, just dump the flavor all over the damn dish and no one will be able to tell. It doesn't make sense to me. Where is the simple French bistro? Why are there no bakeries? Why are brunch places such a rarity? Even regionally inspired cuisine in this town is below average: the BBQ is nothing to write home about and the fish in a city located so close to the coast is way below average and almost always fried. Maybe enough people are satisfied with Beef O'Brady's, but frankly I expected more from the state capital. It's not that I am looking to be negative. But it just seems that Tallahassee restauranteurs and diners don't mind that it's like amateur hour here. Even the notion of a gourmet deli is backwards. Like the Cicada Market: overpriced and unremarkable, charging $36 for extra virgin olive oil that can be found in even overpriced NY stores for less than half that.

Jun 18, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Best Mexican in Tallahassee

Went to La Hacienda II last night. The food was the best Mexican I've had in this town.

Jun 18, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

I should give Sage another try. I did enjoy their exotic mushroom fricasee but wasn't crazy about their salad or desert. Will try the steak next visit. I did forget to mention Mozaik as an option. But what about Liam's? How does it rank?

Jun 16, 2007
mizrachi in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Had some decent meals in this town, but nothing transcendent.

Kool Beanz has gone downhill since Nick, the old chef, left for Miami.
Cypress remains consistent but pricey and without much variance.
Sage was underwhelming, although they tried.
Cluster and Hops was a bit too precious and over-prepared (finishing sauces, etc.).
Chez Pierre is a frat house fiasco.
Kitcho is above average but nothing special.

So far, out-of-the-way Spring Creek Restaurant remains my top choice...but how often must I eat fried fish?

Full disclosure: I'm a native New Yorker, so my bar is rather high.

That said ... is there any hidden gem I've missed? And, will Liam's make up for this lack of sophistication?

/Miz

Jun 16, 2007
mizrachi in Florida