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Salt_ofthe_Earth's Profile

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Artisanal, Hidden Gems, Hole in the wall Providence, RI

Hello All,
My wife and I are going to be in Providence for a long weekend and we're looking for some advice. The only thing I have ever eaten there is pizza at Al Forno. Loved it so much I was thinking of going back. But I want to branch out and taste what is on offer at other places:
I'm looking for Artisanal, homey, local, just all around good places. Also any good Vegetarian places? We're on a bit of a budget, so I don't want to break the bank,
Also looking for a great bakery/pastry shop. What's the best in town?
How would you rate: Pastiche, Broadway Bistro, Julians, Red Fez, 7 Stars, Liberty Elm?
What is a can't miss?
Thanks for all your help!

BYOB restaurants of New Mexico [ moved from Southwest board]

If the question is: "what have restaurant owners in New Mexico been thinking?"
I've got an idea...
Maybe " Hmmm, I can allow customers to bring in their own wine and only pay a $20 corkage fee, not tip the waitstaff, and I don't get to sell them wine I bought, to have available for my customers to purchase, at 300% markup???"
In most restarants I have worked in, the food on the menu either breaks even or even loses money! It's the wine and spirits, and their markup, that keeps most places afloat.
Why would restaurant owners volunteer to get hosed by customers, bringing their own booze, and not buying the highest margin products that are sold?

Cheese, Chocolate & Wine Stores in ABQ, SF & Taos?

Kakawa Chocolate House. Some of the best brownies I've ever had... Also great drinking chocolates.

Oct 22, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Good Huevos Rancheros in Santa Fe

FYI Level 2 is on the menu, it's under "sides".

Sep 09, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

"By the Way, I'm Vegan"

I work in an upscale place, and the one thing I hate the most is "allergies". It seems no one ever calls ahead and they expect the world, on a plate, in 10 minutes.
If you can't have garlic, guess what.. you're not going to have a potato or any sauce. Same if your a vegan. It's funny how much better potatoes taste with garlic and butter.
When most people have "allergies" they are not being truthful. They just don't want to have garlic or onions on their breath during the show after dinner.
Most of the meals I eat are veggie, vegan, or raw, so I get it. I just don't go into fine dining places unannounced, and demand a 4 star vegan dinner on the fly. I take the 7th day Adventist approach.. I'm vegetarian unless it would offend someone if I refused their hospitality. Plus I eat out at fancy places so rarely, mostly because I work in one, I feel I might be missing out on something really great if I just get a salad.
So here's one fine dining working, fair weather vegetarian, saying: If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Or maybe it should be get in the kitchen... your own.

Jul 30, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Features

Late night wine/coffee shop?

I like Dolce Vita in Hyde Park. Nice laid back vibe, and a real italian style coffe shop with gelato,and liquers, and a few sandwiches. Open late and nice warm and dim lighting.

Apr 15, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

what happened at El Farol in SF

Chef James Cambell Caruso struck out on his own a few years ago. He's opened La Boca on Marcy. It's really good, though the space itself can get crowded, and it's easy to run up a big tab quickly. He's also opened a Sandwich and coffee shop called Delicasa on St. Michaels (Near Smith's on Pacheco)
I've never eaten At El Farol, although I drank alot there. I've always thought it smelled funny in there, when people could smoke in there, it kind of covered up the weird odors, but now with the smoking ban I can't handle it, and I haven't been back in over a year.

Apr 15, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Take Out Carne Adovada and Tamales in Santa Fe or Albuquerque

Hey There,
In Santa Fe I would go to El Parasol on Cerrillos. They do catering so I'm sure they could pack some up for you. I'm not certain they have abovada, but it's worth a shot.
My favorite place in Santa Fe for tamales is Johnny's Cash Store. It's back in the neighborhood behind Canyon Road. They make them homemade and sell them in a little warmer on the counter. They only make a few dozen a day, and when they are out, that's it. If you call ahead a few days they may be able to make a few extra for you. Going to this place is like stepping back in time. I love going there.
Take care and have a good trip!

Apr 01, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

A Boston hound's NM trip rollup: Sadie's, Flying Star, Café Pasqual's, Taco Cabana

I totally agree about pasqual's. Everyone seems to gush about this place, but after visiting a few times, I just don't see it.
You always wait for a table, which is cramped and semi uncomfortable. For what you get, it is very overpriced. The straw that broke the camels back was when my girlfriend and I stopped in and got a three ounce scoop of "fresh organic" sorbet for 9 dollars. And it was like a brick of frozen pulp. I just felt totally ripped off and have never been back.
Still, it always pops up on these boards as a must eat, and people seem to like it.

I love Taco Cabana, great mexican style fast food. I grew up going to Cabana at all hours of the day and night. I always stop by when I'm in ALB.

Mar 31, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Best Chicken Fried Steak in Austin?

Here's another vote for Hoover's. Try the Pork Chop too. It almost makes me swear off the CFS. It.s that good.
Hyde park is good too,
I actually liked Hill's when I went last year. My girlfriend and I were pleasantly surprised by the "yellow" gravy. It's hard not to get a burger though.

Mar 26, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

Road trip- Austin to Houston (stop in Brenham?)

Hi There,
I've been on this trip a time or two,,, and I've never eaten lunch in Brenham. The only time I stopped there was for ice cream. Brenham is home to Blue Bell Ice Cream. Some of the greatest. Their motto is: The best ice cream in the country. It's kind of a pun, cause Brenham is definately country. Go to the ice cream shop. You'll find flavors that aren't so readily available in the groceries.
Where I usually stop if I'm on 290 is Southside market in Elgin, Home of the famous Elgin Sausage. It's pretty close to Austin, but if you want to eat lunch halfway, get some to go and stop at one of the roadside picnic areas.
If I'm on 71 I stop at Mikeska's in Columbus. This is a special place, a real slice of Texas. It's a large octagonal shaped building, with just about every sort of trophy mounted on the wall. My girlfriend says it's kind of eerie,like a temple to hunting and meat, but I don't mind. The Mikeska family is all over texas, smokin up great BBQ. On my way to Dallas I stop at the one in Temple. When ever you see their name, try it out.
Well I hope this helps, and have a great trip.

Mar 21, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

Rec's South Congress Area

Breakfast: Magnolia Cafe, Jo's Tex Mex : Guero's ; El Gallo Italian: Vespaio/Enotecca ; Homeslice Burgers: Hill's ; Fran's Comfort: The Pit BBQ; Hill's

Hope this helps

Mar 17, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

Texas Bar-BQ Joints Map Project

One of my favorites in Austin is House Park. This little place near downtown isn't much bigger than a minute. It's been open since the 40's and is only open for lunch. There are only 6 or 7 things on the menu, but it's great. The atmosphere is authentic BBQ shack. Their motto: Need no teef to eat my beef.

Mar 13, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Texas

Texas French Bread on 29'th and Rio Grande: a delicious dinner and serene experience

I grew up dunking Texas French Bread in my dad's soups, and going there after school for coffee. My favorite was their pimento cheese sandwich and a brownie for dessert. One of the best brownies ever.! I hope they are still doing well.
My friend's dad is an architect and he designed the building at 29th.
If I still lived in Austin, I would be stopping by daily to pick up a baguette.
Cheers to TFB

Mar 12, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

Fine Dining in Santa Fe, Grad Student Style

Hey Y'all,
This is a born and bred Austinite talking here. Bouldin Creek representin'. I've been in SF for about five years.
Sadly, for your price range, your not going to get a white tablecloth "fine dining" experience like you described.
But... I can give you a few recomendations.
For Italian I would go to Andiamo, it's a neighborhood bistro style place. They have apps and pizzas for under 10 bucks, however their entrees are 20+. The food is great though, My girlfriend and I have gotten out for around 70-90 for 3 courses plus drinks.
If you want New mexican I would go to La Choza. Sister restaurant to the Shed, it's great and has a parking lot. It's far from fine dining, but a good solid NM meal. There is no such thing as Tex Mex here, much to my chagrin.
For French, I like Clafoutis, great prices, kind of weird location, but only open for bfast and lunch. At least stop by for a croissant and coffee. Brush up on your french, have a bon jour and a merci at the ready.
There is a great Spanish place called La Boca. It tapas, so you can control your spending. The plates are small but the flavors are great.
I also like Shoko for sushi. Dont be afraid of being so far away from the sea, it's great. If you get a few rolls and some of their hot offerings, you can get out for under 60.
Something I like to do is eat at a low to mid range place and then go to an upscale place for dessert and coffee. I reccomend Coyote Cafe for this. Such a great place, the desserts are sublime. Or go to the Compound and have the liquid chocolate cake. If this is too much I would go to Zia diner and have their banana split. It's big enough to share and they make all the sauces and use artisinal ice cream. The savory food there is just ok, so focus on desserts, they have a lot of pies and soda fountain classics.
I hope this helps. If you really are craving the "finer" style I would take a trip to the pawnshop on the way out. In SF, your budget has to be over 100 for everything you described.
Well good luck and enjoy Santa Fe. Cheers!

Mar 12, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Best Restaurant Not in a Major Texas City - Texas

I've always enjoyed Underwood Cafeteria in Brownwood. They have a series of billboards lining the highway, (U.S. 84 I believe) Proclaiming hot biscuits, cobbler, chicken and steaks. They definately live up to their "Best Eatin' in Town" motto.
This is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. The biscuits are my favorite ever, (except for my grandad's).
My buddy used to drive 3 hours from Austin, just to eat there. I try to get over there at least once a year. Some of the best fried chicken I've ever had.

Mar 06, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Texas

Clovis, NM, restaurants

Clovis is an interesting town. I have driven through/stayed overnight many times driving back and forth from Santa Fe to Austin. It seems like its heyday had long past. Downtown looks like mainsteet USA from the fifties, but a lot of the buildings are abandoned, and kind of run down.
One time I ate at BBQ place on the north end of town. Pretty mediocre, It seemed like a chain place. For breakfast I went to a small mexican place called espriga del oro. It was pretty good, and also affordable. All of the construction workers were there also, fueling up before a day at the job site.
But my favorite place is a Hamburger/hot dog place called Twin Cronnies Drive Inn. It's nothing fancy, really a divey kind of drive up burger stand, but a good old fashioned type of road cuisine.
Of course you'll find your typical American Highway Chain type places too. All I did was look in the phone book and drive around for a little while. Definately not a culinary mecca, but it might be possible to find a few diamonds in the rough.
Good Luck and have fun. Salt

Jan 06, 2009
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Late night in Santa Fe?

I seem to remember Zia Diner being open later than most. Try Del Charro at Inn of the Governors, small bar menu but they usually serve till Midnight.
I think Hotel St. Francis also had a pub menu that serves late.
Atomic is a standby, but also try Burrito Spot, near St. Mike's and Cerrillos. Good Mexican food, they are usually open til 3 am. I used to stop by after last call.
Pranzo used toserve a limited late night menu, but I haven't been there in years, so not sure.
It's true that Santa Fe closes early, but there are a few places that are open late, you just have to look closely.
Hope this helps. NaCl

Dec 19, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Looking for Best Yeast Rolls

My favorite is Green Pastures. Their cotillion rolls have been a holiday staple for years. I think they sell them by the dozen. Be sure to get more than you need because people will "gobble" them up.
If you have family comming into town via US 84 have them stop at Underwoods Cafeteria in Brownwood. Their rolls are the best I've ever had. It's one of my favorite restaurants of all time.

Nov 22, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

Andiamo! Santa Fe restaurant

I really like this place. In a little bungalow across from the railyard, it's cozy and has a neighborhood feel. I love the bread and oil. Some of my favorites are the polenta appitizer, the charcuterie plate, also the pizzas are wonderful, thin and crisp with just the right ammount of toppings. Their Bolongese is one of the best I've had. Some times its a lasagne some times over pasta. I've also been inpressed with the mussels, a large bowl brimming with broth and aromatics.
And don't pass up dessert. The chocolate pot de creme is a delight, and they have a granita parfait: a fruit sorbet with vanilla gelato served in a wine glass, it's like a gourmet creamsicle.
The service is friendly and the wine list has a good number of bargains. The only thing bad I can say is the tables are fairly close together, so you may get to hear your neighbor's conversation or your chair may get bumped, but that's the only downside.
Definatly check this place out, you'll be glad you did.
P.S. I am not employed here or a friend, I just like it that much. Nacl

Nov 22, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Health food/vegetarian in Santa Fe

There are a few places that I reccomend:
-Annapurna: This is a completely vegetarian restaurant they have east indian "ayurvedic" cuisine as well as salads, vegan and gluten free baked goods. Even a veggie "Shepard Pie" When I go here I only get the muttar paneer, it's the best I have ever had.
-Body: This is a yoga studio and day spa with a cafe too. They have a wide variety of veggie option and even some raw dishes. Great place.
-Whole Foods: This is a grocery Store they have a great salad bar, but it is on the pricey side, they also have hot food bar and bakery
-The treehouse: This place is located in the middle of the Agua Fria nursery. It's a great escape. The food is all natural and organic. But I seem to remember them only having about 8 or 9 offerings. Call ahead because I think they aren't always open.
-Green palace teahouse: I haven't been here but a blurb in the paper says they have organic and veggie food, and comfortable cushions to sit on
Hope this helps, and have fun in Santa Fe!

Aug 04, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Santa Fe Margaritas made w/ FRESH lime juice

If you go to Coyote definitely try a margarita with the lime foam on top. So delicious!
Quinn is a great cocktailsmith if such a description even exists.
Another local favorite is Del Charro. It's near the Plaza and their bar menu is one of the best values in town. They are connected to Inn of the Governors.
La Casa Sena is another safe bet, with so many diffenent margs to choose from it's hard to go wrong.
Have Fun!

Aug 03, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

ABQ: Recs for a great STEAK?

I would recommend Rancher's Club. A nice environment, with typical steakhouse fare. They
burn different types of aromatic wood under their grill on different days, so consult their website and plan accordingly.
I think this is one of the few restaurants in NM that is recognized by DiRoNA.
Have Fun!

Aug 03, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

The "New" Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe

For years Santa Feans have made a sport of trashing the Coyote Cafe. I went the other night and was completely satisfied. Make sure you eat in the Cafe. The Cantina is a rooftop bar and grill with some casual new mexico favorites, but indoors is where Chef DiStefano really shines. Be sure and try one of the cocktails too.
I'm not sure what "hype" you have been hearing, but in my opinions Coyote lives up to it and then some. The space is beautiful, the food and drink sublime. Bring your wallet though, you won't be getting out cheap on this one.
Some have said that it is not up to par or not worth what you pay, but every time I have visited I have been more than happy.
Have fun in Santa Fe!

Jul 26, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Delicious Dives in Santa Fe?

I ate at Adelita's a few years ago, and it was good. I had menudo and enchiladas, delicious, but I haven't been back. Went to Los Potrillos last night and was good as always. I forgot to mention to get the flan, it's the best I have ever had. For some reason they put hershey's chocolate syrup and canned whipped cream on the plate, so if you are a purist like me ask them to just serve the flan by itself. Just perfect.

Jul 22, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Who's cooking at Geronimo?

It's all true. Eric DiStefano is at Coyote Cafe and Martin Rios is at Geronimo.
A few menu items at Geronimo remain. The Elk Tenderloin and Chile Prawns are still there, as well as the Romaine salad and the Tartare are pretty much unchanged. As for everything else, it's 100 percent Rios.
A recent article in Local Flavor has him saying that he is using influences of southwestern and asian flavors and molecular cuisine in the framework of his french techniques to create a "contemporary global" style.
I would say that overall things are great and Geronimo remains one of the top destination restaurants in Santa Fe.
I haven't tried Coyote Cafe yet, but the menu looks great so try them out too.

Jul 02, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Delicious Dives in Santa Fe?

Try Felipe's Tacos on Llano st just off of St; Michael's. It's cheap and they claim to use healthy ingredients and cooking techniques. I like their tortas and chicken tacos. They close at 4 pm I think so make this a lunch spot.
Also I recommend Los Potrillos on Cerrillos Rd. This is more Interior Mexican comfort food. They have a huge menu of mexican specialties, and it's fairly reasonable for dinner.
Guadalupe Cafe is a downtown located New Mexican eatery that serves locals and tourists alike. Here you will find all of the classic new mexican dishes.
El Parasol is a takeout place on Cerrillos, and I really like their salsa, but sometimes their tacos and tamales are a bit too greasy. If you can get past this and the fact that there is no dining room it's quite good, the prices are low and it's quick. I like to go here and then head to a park for a picnic. I haven't tried their sister restaurant El Paragua in Espanola, but I have heard good things.
Also Bumble bee's. They have a couple locations,but the one I go to is just off Guadalupe near Bert's This is a mexican style fast food place that is semi cheap, It's very brightly colored and bustling during the day. The food isn't spectacular, but it's really good when your in the mood. I like the Norte Burrito with lamb. But I think the best thing here is the salsa bar. Warmed chips and four or five fresh salsas to choose from, it's almost worth going just for the salsa.
I also would skip Tomasita's and Maria's. They do have devoted fans but I have always been lukewarm to these tourist oriented places. They are both nice atmospheres so you might want to go during happy hour for drinks and apps just to say that you tried them.
Hope this helps, have a good time in Santa Fe!

Jul 02, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Southwest

Austin Vodkas?

Haven't tried Savvy, I think DS is OK but in my mind Tito's reigns, but a good resource for great local cocktails is:
Check it out everyone!

Mar 25, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Spirits

Great brisket that ships

I haven't ordered from County Line, and Cooper's is one of my favorites, but...

When I was out of range of Texas Style BBQ, My girlfriend got the Salt Lick shipped to me for my birthday. I got a full brisket ( with all the fat on it) , a full rack of ribs, and 2 pounds of sausage. When it comes in the mail, it is still cold and has to be reheated to 160 or 170 degrees. It can also be frozen to save for later. They throw in a bottle of sauce too. I had Salt Lick BBQ for weeks, and all I had to supply was the bread, crackers, pickles, and onions. It was great. I think it only cost about 100 bucks, shipping included. Salt Lick's shipping service comes highly recommended by Salt of the Earth,

Mar 25, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin

I need a Sicilian pie

You might try Milto's on 29th and Lamar. I've always enjoyed the pizza and I think they do sicilian pies.

Mar 25, 2008
Salt_ofthe_Earth in Austin