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Bensonhurst: Bath and 18th Ave's eats?

Heading out to San Finbar Church today and wondering about recommendations for the area. Prefer cheap/ethnic but will consider others. Thanks.

Feb 15, 2009
rsugden in Outer Boroughs

Best Old School Bar with Best Burger in Manh

This is for a friend's birthday on 11/18. I'm not interested in burger joints but old time bars with warm ambiance with great burgers. My favorite old school bars were McHales and Subway (is that the name? A venerable bar near Penn Station), both of which are gone. Others I like are Ear Inn and White Horse. Places I know about are Old Town Bar and Pete's Tavern. So, you get the idea of the bar feel I am looking for.

Places I am currently considering for the gathering Walker's Tavern and PJ Clarkes. Burger places that might do (though they may not have the old school bar feel so much) are DuMont Burger, Bonnie’s Grill, Rare Bar & Grill, Molly's Pub.

So, what have I left out? And what would be your rankings? (Remember, old school bars with great burgers, not the best burger joints in the city.) Thanks.

Nov 16, 2008
rsugden in Manhattan

Emeril or Galatoir or Brigsten or .....

Yes, I didn't put August on my list, only out of running out of time. Turns out we have to leave earlier than I thought, so we only have D&J's tonight and leaving tomorrow.

Would you recommend Longbranch for brunch tomorrow? If so, what are its specialities? If not, what might we hit in NO before we leave midday?

PS-Thanks for all the help you have provided me. It has greatly improved my visit here.

Aug 12, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Emeril or Galatoir or Brigsten or .....

Okay, I am going to ask for a rec that will probably get the "it depends on what you want," or a "c'mon, dude."

As you guys know I have picking your brains about places in NO and I am here for only a few days and though I am going to eat as much as I can in non-upper-tier restaurants, I do want to go to 2 upper tier, one is Alberta on Friday and the other....?

So, I know they are different but how would rate the food experience, irrespective of it's classic or noveau or whatever? What if someone wanted a food experience in NO that is similar to/better than top tier in NYC, where I live, and had only one NO restaurant to choose?

Aug 11, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Best dishes @ Alberta, BonTon, Felix's, Drago's, Domilise's, Central Grocery, Liuzza's, D&J's, Hymel's, Middendorf's?

The food and atmosphere was very nice at Liuzza's. We had oyster PB, gumbo, and Abita. Tonight we finally did make it to LBTT but they stopped serving at 5pm. Instead, some friend's took us to Parasol and we had the roast beef PB, and I hate to admit it, the cheese fries with gravy. I loved it, but then I am from white trash stock. The roast beef was moist, flavorful and garlicy.

Also went to Central Grocery for lunch and was blown away. My girfriend, who's an Italian from Brooklyn said it tasted like what you could get in Sheep's Head Bay 30 years ago.

As to the raw oysters in Aug, I can't decide about the risk. Maybe just once?

Aug 11, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

MS Greenwood, Lusco's (gossip) & Indianola's Crown Restaurant

Littleman, if you are referring to my gossip about Lusco's, it was just that, gossip from people who live there. Maybe you can confirm some of it. Of course, remember that they will give you the offical line about the curtains.

Aug 11, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Ou est les desserts?

Ok, since you guys are so helpful and willing, where should I go for my enormous sweet tooth?

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Best dishes @ Alberta, BonTon, Felix's, Drago's, Domilise's, Central Grocery, Liuzza's, D&J's, Hymel's, Middendorf's?

Thanks, guys.

Celeste, I just came from eating there and whoever answered the phone said it was the only one, on Bienville. Maybe the girl who answered didn't know and it's only been re-opened for 5 weeks. But I now see that BTT is somewhere else. Ok, another excuse for another PB!

Also, if you would nix Felix's, where would you recommend for raw seafood, beer, etc.?

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

MS Greenwood, Lusco's (gossip) & Indianola's Crown Restaurant

One of the faults of making a hell-break-run to NO is that I forgot a lot of things, though I think they are online.

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

MS Greenwood, Lusco's (gossip) & Indianola's Crown Restaurant

Greenwood MS

Bridgewater Inn Bed & Breakfast owner, Lucy Cooper, makes hot tamales with rice paper because it is easier to keep the water out while cooking.

Lusco's: Excellent pampano with very tangy vinegar sauce; nice spinach souffle; great broiled shrimp with Lusco sauce (Worcestershire).

Gossip: The curtained off tables as a hold over from prohibition days seemed fishy. They opened in 1933. How much of a reputation could they get in the last few years before it was repealed to justify keeping the curtains around for 70 more years?

Answer: The curtains were used to hide the cotton bosses' rendevouses with their mistresses (and maybe still be so even to this day). The boss would enter through the front door while the mistress would be shuttled in through the back door.

The buzzers on the inside of the rooms were not only to call the waiters but also as a signal that it was "safe" to enter through the curtains, as you didn't know what would be going on in there, a local said. The owners will deny this but locals know it as true.

More gossip: "Don’t flip the butter" signs were put on the tables about 5 years ago after the Health Dept came and said the owners had to stop diners from using their knife to flip butter patties onto the tin ceiling, where it would stay until it melted, falling on the next diner. (The hilt of the knife would be held by one hand on gthe edge of the table and the blade was used to catapult the butter to the cieling.) Lusco had to repaint the cieling but the only thing that would paint over all the grease was swimming pool paint. No signs on the tables as of today.

And wierdness: The over-the-top luxury of the Alluvian Hotel & corporate headquaters of Viking stoves give the town a split personality. That area is like Disneyland, with picture perfect stores and White people for a four-block radius. Ten blocks over, where Lusco's is, is the same Black poverty since the depression.

In the Alluvian Hotel is Giardina's, in Greenwood since 1936. It has gone very upscale but something looked odd: the tables are in curtained off booths exactly like Lusco's. A copycat? No, apparently Lusco's was slated to open there and had the place designed that way, only to back out afterwards for unclear reasons, leaving the interior as is.

Indianola MS

Maybe this is a known quanity to Hounds, but the Crown Restaurant in Indianola is amazing. They serve catfish every-which-a-way and each delicious. The Alison was my favorite. And the owner was so darlin', she had us take a piece of all the pies and other desserts from the desert table, including Chess, Plantation, Coconut, & Mississippi Mud pies just because we were out-of-towners. Lovely place, precious owner (who was also waiting tables) and worth a detour for food and atmosphere (a full cadres of "ladies" were having their luncheon. I haven't seen that much teased hair and hair spray since the 60's).

Also outside Indianola, in Anguilla, there is a BP gas station at US 61 & US 14 (N32 58.406 W90 49.456) with catfish, chicken, and ribs that were pretty good.

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Natchez update

I gleaned a lot from these boards here and tried a few things and am here to report. [Though I didn't eat there (based on poor Hound reviews), Fat Mama's Tamales is open (there had been a question about that)].

Cock of the Walk: Quite good; catfish was fresh, moist; hushpuppies were moist with just enough frying grease to make them tasty; fried oysters, plump, fresh, with light breading. Pot o' greens were passable. I have been suprized to not find greens on many of the menus in MS.

The Sandbar in Vidalia: Disaster. Catfish, dry & tasted like the bottom feeder it is; oysters dried up and over cooked. The Vidalia onion blossom was wild surprise. I was expecting something on the order of fried squash blossoms but instead got the largest onion I've seen, splayed open (i.e., the blossom) and deep fried. Though it was tasty, it was easily enough for 4 or more.

Pig Out Inn BBQ: Fairly good, no sauce, smokey, with tender pieces. Not the best I've had but satisfying.

Didn't eat at the high end places (The Castle, Carriage, Monmouth, etc.) as I was in the mood for local food and am on my ways to NO. However, all the reports were that they are quite good, esp. for MS.

As an aside, the Under The Hill bar was great place for beers while looking at the Mississippi and looking at beautiful/ghastly decrepitude (both of the bar and the habitues (i.e., drunks, including the tipsy owner). Nice to see a funky joint in the midst of this historic (& quite nice) city.

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Hot Tamale Trail mini-report; Natchez find?

Was planning on hitting as many tamale joints as I good on my trip in MS, but the demands of a driving schedule eviserated it. However, I did try two and I think I discovered a new one, the best I've had.

Crystal's Grill in Greenwood: tasty with cumin, very moist, with a light tomato/olive oil/steam water sauce.

Solly's in Vicksburg: More solid than Crystal's and with a mild, smoky flavor and a bit of tang. A little bland considering it has won a Hot Tamale award in 2003. Nice place though.

However, the best of the lot has been in Natchez at a Donut & Tamale drive-in at the corner of Homochitto & Junkin Blvd. Moist, strong cumin & spicy. I don't think they are on the Tamale Trail website but I may be mistaken.

Sadly, that is all I have been able to sample. I also tried to go to The Bourbon Mall only to find it closed/out of business. And a long detour for that, too.

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Best dishes @ Alberta, BonTon, Felix's, Drago's, Domilise's, Central Grocery, Liuzza's, D&J's, Hymel's, Middendorf's?

I have culled all you guys' ideas for places for my upcoming visit and have narrowed down the list to the following. What would you recommend at each? (I think I have eaten at Brigsten's years ago. How long has it been around? Is it in a converted house on the end of a trolley line? & am I remiss to not return? Even though I have limited time and a desire for more down home food?)

Alberta
Bon Ton
Felix's
Drago's
Domilise's
Central Grocery
Liuzza's
Dick & Jenny's
Hymel's
Middendorf's

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Liuzza's "By The Track" please clarify.

I have read a number of recs for Liuzza's "By The Track". Is that on Bienville St? Or is it something completely different?

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Serious hound, in NO 4-days conference, with car & willing to drive!

Thanks y'all for the suggestions. I will report back on the ones I get to.

Aug 09, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Slough Daddy’s in Natchez?

I'm in Natchez for a few days and have come across Slough Daddy’s River Grill and am wondering if it is any good. I am already slated to go to The Sandbar, so how does it compare?

Aug 07, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Mexico Beach & Panama City FL recs?

You've convinced me. I am from FL and would be disappointed with mediocre sea food, so I will definitely make the trek and report back. Did you know that the Southern Food Alliance has a project on that area? http://www.southernfoodways.com/oral_...

Aug 04, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Mexico Beach & Panama City FL recs?

Thanks for the opinion. What would you say is the best in the area for local food? (and I am willing to travel.)

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Mexico Beach & Panama City FL recs?

I will be staying one night in Mexico Beach and am looking for the best I can find in the area. So far I've come up with 2: Capt. Andersons in Panama City Beach and Toucan's in Mexico Beach. Which would you go to? Is there some where else? Thanks.

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

County Cookin' in MS Delta, off the Tamale Trail

I will be meandering down MS via Natchez Trace & the Tamale Trail in the Delta, staying in Greenwood (via Tupelo), Port Gibson & Natchez. I am wondering about any country or soul food places along the way for a boy originally from the South but lives in NYC.

Thanks.

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

MS Natchez & Port Gibson & LA Natchitoches recommendations

I will be driving down to New Orleans via the Natchez Trace and will be stopping in LA Natchitoches and MS Natchez & Port Gibson. I am a serious hound for home cooking, esp. African American/"Soul" food and am willing to drive. Food is really the only important things, not setting, service, etc.

So what about those places with collards to die for, pork chops to kill for, and pecan pie to live for?

Thanks.

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

"Real Creole" (i.e. from Central LA)?

As a couple of people have pointed out, that regional Creole food is not in NO, but in central area of LA. What are the places that come to mind?

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Serious hound, in NO 4-days conference, with car & willing to drive!

I will be in NO in about a week and have heard all the usual places mentioned (& eaten at few on a past visit). So, a more specific request from you guys:

1) Places you'd take Jim Leff to (i.e., simple place/exquisite food)

2) Places worth travelling to (both up&down scale with emphasis on home cooking)

Thanks in advance.

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in New Orleans

Nashville: Monell's, Prince's, Stan's, Wilma Kaye's. Who's the best?

Thanks for all the great input. I am now in Nashville and have just come back from Sweatt's, surely one of the best meals I have ever had in a restaurant. Exactly what I was looking for.

As I only have one more night, I will try Prince's, if they are open and will report back.

I decided against Wilma Kayes as I am headed down to New Orleans in a few days.

Again, thanks for the advice.

Aug 03, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Asheville: The Ritz Restaurant?

Has anyone eaten at the The Ritz Restaurant in Asheville? It was provided as a Southern/Soul food place. What would you say?

Jul 10, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Nashville: Monell's, Prince's, Stan's, Wilma Kaye's. Who's the best?

I have just two nights in Nashville in August and I don't want fine dining nor BBQ nor "fun" places. I live in NYC and can get my fill of those. What I don't get is food like my relatives make (all my family's from the South).

So, I trolled and come up with the following. How would you rate them? Any additions?

*Monell's Dining
*Swett's Restaurant
*Stan's (Country Kitchen?just south of Nashville off I-65)
*Prince's Hot Chicken Shack
*Wilma Kaye's

Jul 10, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive

Anderson, SC to Asheville <> REAL Southern food?

I have been scouring the boards for Southern food options in this area and all I see is BBQ (which I love but that ain't all there is in the South) and some decent "foreign" food in Asheville that I am sure is not better than I can get in NYC.

So, what about Southern/Soul food dining? Now, I know, since my family is orginally from the South, that the best food is usually had at someone's house, but there has got to be something decent for this area, no? I wonder if these boards aren't a little too "white" and that African-American food doesn't make it here, though Chowhound is obviously the best bet for good food no matter what/where/who.

Can I get a witness?

Jul 10, 2006
rsugden in General South Archive