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Timmy O's Frozen Custard Carousel Concession Forest Park?

I just discovered Timmy O's and really love the shop and the custard. I also wrote a review about it on my blog during my search for the best ice cream in NY. Check it out:

Timmy O's
49-07 104th St, Queens, NY 11368

Nov 02, 2010
Sweeney856 in Outer Boroughs

Seafood Bachelor Party

Hm. I must have missed the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Board. Thanks for the advice.

Jul 20, 2010
Sweeney856 in Florida

Seafood Bachelor Party

Hi. I'm a NY hounder who is originally from South Florida and is heading back in August for my brother's wedding.

I need some help planning his bachelor party dinner. It would be on a Saturday night somewhere in the Fort Lauderdale area. I know he loves seafood and some restaurants mentioned were Blue Moon Fish Company and Catfish Dewey's. Does anybody have any thoughts on these or other recommendations?

I want something nice - we won't get too rowdy - with great food. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Catfish Deweys
4003 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Seafood Bachelor Party

Hi. I'm a NY hounder who is originally from South Florida and is heading back in August for my brother's wedding.

I need some help planning his bachelor party dinner. It would be on a Saturday night somewhere in the Fort Lauderdale area. I know he loves seafood and some restaurants mentioned were Blue Moon Fish Company and Catfish Dewey's. Does anybody have any thoughts on these or other recommendations?

I want something nice - we won't get too rowdy - with great food. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Moon Fish
7525 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

Jul 19, 2010
Sweeney856 in Florida

Louisville to St. Louis Adventures

Yes. Evansville. I stand corrected. Thank you.

Jun 01, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

Louisville to St. Louis Adventures

I know neither Louisville nor St. Louis technically belong on this board, but I am driving from one city to the next, which takes me through parts of Indiana and Illinois.

I'm looking for any must stop places to try authentic and unique local food. It looks like Evanston might be a natural stopping point. Any suggestions? Or anything else along the way? I eat everything so am open to whatever. I might even consider driving a little further out of the way if there's something I shouldn't miss. Thanks in advance.

May 25, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

St. Louis Adventures

Hi everybody! I'm a NYC hounder and food blogger who will be taking a big road trip in a few weeks. Part of my journey takes me from Louisville, Kentucky to St. Louis, Missouri. I'll be spending two days in St. Louis so am looking for suggestions for authentic and unique food adventures in the area. I'm only in town for two days but plan to fill those days with sightseeing, St. Louis culture, and lots of local food. I eat everything so am open to all suggestions.

I'm also looking for suggestions on that drive between Louisville and St. Louis. I'll be posting on the Great Lakes Board too. But any help is greatly appreciated.

And then after St. Louis, I'm driving south to Memphis. So any thoughts on that route is helpful too. Thanks in advance.

May 25, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Plains

Kentucky/Tennessee Adventures

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I should also mention I may be staying in Lexington for a night and after Louisville will be driving to St. Louis. Possibly stopping through Owensboro to try some burgoo. Thoughts?

Ohio Adventures

I've bee to Jungle Jim's and will absolutely return. It's the Disney World of grocery stores! I may have to also try that taqueria. Thanks for the suggestions!

Jungle Jim's Cafe
1923 N Peoria Rd, Springfield, IL 62702

May 19, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

Ohio Adventures

I've been to Schmidt's once before and i enjoyed it quite a bit, although i missed the buffet. I might have to return. Thanks!

May 19, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

Ohio Adventures

Thanks Diane. That's the location I've been to before and my plan is to return there. I didn't explore much more of the market last time. I just may have to put some time aside to walk around. Thanks!

May 19, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

Ohio Adventures

Hello all. I'm a NY hounder and food blogger who will be driving from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati and then down into Kentucky.

I'm looking for any unusual and authentic food adventures for my journey. I've spent some time in both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and will probably hit the usual spots (Skyline, Primanti, etc.). I know I will be going to Jeni's in Columbus for some amazing ice cream.

I'm looking for any other recommendations for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I am open to all food. Thankfully, no allergies.

Thanks in advance. Looking forward to the trip.

May 16, 2010
Sweeney856 in Great Lakes

Pennsylvania Adventures

Hi. I'm a NY hounder and food blogger about to head on a 2 week road trip. We'll be driving from New York eventually to Memphis for a wedding.

But we'll be taking two days to make our way through Pennsylvania stopping for a night in Pittsburgh. I went to school in Pittsburgh about 10 years ago so am more or less familiar with the usual spots in that city. But I'm looking for any authentic and interesting food adventures between Philly and Pittsburgh.

We'll be stopping at Troegs Brewery in Harrisburg for a tour. But otherwise, our lunch options are pretty open. Anybody have any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

May 16, 2010
Sweeney856 in Pennsylvania

Kentucky/Tennessee Adventures

Hello everyone! I'm a NY hounder and food blogger who will be traveling through Kentucky and Tennessee in a few weeks.

I'm ultimately driving to Memphis for a friend's wedding, but will be taking my time. We're doing a good exploration of Kentucky and will be heading through the bourbon travel from Lexington to Louisville. One night in Louisville, which is a city I love. I ate at Proof on Main a few years ago and had a great time.

Then from Memphis, we'll be driving across the state to Nashville and then to Asheville, North Carolina.

I eat everything and am looking for some great food adventures while I'm down south. Anything that is a must-taste and specifically anything that is truly unique to that part of the country. I'm sure I'll be having lots of BBQ. What else do you guys recommend? Looking for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Thanks in advance for all your help and I promise I will post a detailed report of my trip upon my return.

Proof on Main
702 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202

British Columbia Adventures

So I'm back from an amazing journey through British Columbia. I had an incredible time - met some wonderful people, ate some great food, and enjoyed breathtaking scenery. I spent the night in Penticton rather than driving to Grand Forks. Thanks to all who gave suggestions along the way. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to everybody's recommendations, but that just means I have an excuse to make another trip out west.

And now, as promised, here is my report on all my food adventures. There aren't a lot of entries on chowhound west of Vancouver, so hopefully this will help a bit:

GO FISH in Vancouver was pretty crowded even at an off time for lunch. I'm guessing because it had a nice view from the harbor. But we eventually found two counter seats. We ordered the halibut and chips and also the salmon tacone. The employees were hipster types who seemed disinterested in just about everything except the radio. But somehow, they delivered some of the best food I had on my entire trip. The fish and chips were the best I ever had!!! The halibut was incredibly fresh and meaty and the batter was delicious and perfectly fried. The fries were also incredible - they had an almost creamy flavor. The tacone was also very good with a nice slightly spicy Asian slaw. This was a really great place and they know how to cook their fish. I was very impressed.

TOJO'S was our choice for an expensive sushi meal in Vancouver. It was between here and Octopus' Garden. We chose Tojo's because it seems to have the most longevity. We were seated promptly and decided on the $110 omakase. There were a few cheaper options, but we figured we'd only be here once, so may as well try as much food as possible. I was excited when we told the waiter that we were open to eating anything. I was hoping for some interesting and unique dishes. We ordered a smooth, creamy bottle of sake and then the food started coming. Everything was fresh and tasted good, but nothing blew my mind. And everything sort of consisted of the same fish - scallops, salmon, tuna, etc. The stand-out was the smoked sablefish wrapped in paper. The finale was sushi and maki rolls, but they were all variations on the same flavors. I will say all the sushi was fresh, but the omakase experience was not worth the money. I would have rather just ordered some sashimi and been done with it (and saved a lot of money). The worst part of the entire experience was the service. Our server seemed very friendly and charming at first, but that was almost the last we saw of him. The food came out and was never explained. We had no idea what we were eating until we asked. I like not knowing what I'm getting, but once it's in front of me, I want to know what it is. Our water never once got refilled without me begging. And then as the night went on, the server rushed us. He stood next to my friend, waiting for her to finish her food. I was shocked and horrified that we felt rushed - especially at these prices. I was very excited about shelling out the dough for a great omakase experience, but this was not worth it by any means. I'm kicking myself we didn't go to Octopus' Garden.

SALTY'S BEACH HOUSE in Penticton was very kitschy and sort of reminded me of a tiki bar on the beach. It's on the main drag of a very touristy area along the lake. This is the kind of cheesy place where I often worry about the food. It was packed with families and couples drinking drinks with umbrellas. I wasn't too hungry so I ate light - ordering the greek salad and the oyster appetizer. The greek salad was a bit boring. I was surprised that it had no greens at all but consisted of only cucumbers, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. No grape leaves or olives. The vegetables were all fresh, but the salad was lacking. The oyster beach house appetizer was quite good. The oysters were slightly sauteed so that they were almost still raw, but they were doused with a red sauce that had a tropical and Asian flavor. It was slightly sweet and gingery and very delicious. I was disappointed there were only four oysters so I asked for some bread to sop up the delicious sauce (the bread cost $1.50!!!) The food seemed to have promise here and I almost wish I was hungrier so I'd have tried more.

TINHORN CREEK was the first winery I stopped at in Oliver. I was so impressed by their hospitality and kindness. I was warmly greeted as soon as I entered the building, poured a glass of Pinot Grigio, and told about the self-guided tour. It was a beautiful vineyard. The wines weren't bad and they were reasonably priced. I was really hoping to try their ice wine, but they were sold out.

INISKILLIN was just a few meters down the street in Oliver. They offered four free samples (including their featured wine) and for $5 you could try two of their ice wines. That was a bit steep, but I loved their ice wines and was eager to taste the new tempranillo ice wine. It was deliciously sweet and had a lot of strawberry notes. And the Dark Horse Reisling ice wine was awesome - very complex.

PASSA TEMPO in Osoyoos in the Spirit Ridge resort is inside the lobby, next to the Nk'mip Cellars building. I sat on the terrace overlooking the pool and the mountains. It was beautiful! I just got a small lunch. The tapas portion of the maple smoked salmon wasn't too small. It was a nice balance between sweet and smoky. And the local greens salad featured some really fresh produce and a nice apple cider vinaigrette. The server was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. This is a great place and their dinner menu looked fantastic.

BLACK SALT CAFE in Crawford Bay on the Kootenay Lake was a nice surprise. This is in the middle of a resort town off of Highway 3A. The cafe is cute with a mismatched decor that surprisingly comes across as hip, relaxed, and charming. There's a patio which looked nice, but was sort of overrun with wasps, so we decided to sit inside below strange artwork. We shared a crab salad sandwich and a smoked salmon wrap. Both were fresh and tasty but nothing out of this world. The carrot ginger soup was flavorful, but not too complex and could have been hotter. The desserts were the best part - a lemon curd white chocolate cake and a key lime tart - both were perfectly balanced with tart and sweetness. Our waiter was definitely laid back and it translated to our service. But the experience was fun and the food interesting enough in such a remote area of BC. Their tapas and dinner menus sounded quite good, as well.

A BREAK IN TIME in Creston is a small coffee shop that serves good fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere. The chicken guacamole sandwich had nice textures and flavors and really hit the spot. We got our food to go, so I can't speak too much for the service or the ambiance.

FISHER PEAK LOUNGE at St. Eugene's Resort in Cranbrook is more for guests of the resort, but you could come in for a bite if you so desired. It seemed more like a lounge for drinks, but they featured a full menu with lots of Aboriginal dishes. I ordered the Lobster and Dungeness Crab Salad which was quite delicious. It had big pieces of crab meat and was tossed with a vinaigrette rather than mayo, which was a nice change. It was paired with fresh tomatoes, onions, and grapefruit. The waitress (who wasn't terribly pleasant) suggested an order of garlic toast to go with the salad and she was right, it worked well together.

PURCELL GRILL, also in St. Eugene's, seems a little less fancy - although it was really tough to get a vibe from all the different restaurants within St. Eugene's. They all had similar ambiance and almost identical menus. This was the restaurant that served breakfast, so I can only speak for that experience. I skipped the buffet since it was winding down by the time I got out of bed. Instead, I ordered an egg white omlette, which was pretty disappointing. The cheese sort of over-took the egg and it looked like a mess. An even bigger problem was that all the jams on the table were dried out and it was really difficult for the waitress to find a fresh packet. The potatoes were fortunately cooked well.

BOOSTER JUICE seems to be Canada's version of Jamba juice. The smoothies were good, but I don't recommend the sandwiches there. I was in a bind between this place and Tim Horton's and I chose what seemed the better option. The sweet pepper and steak wrap had a decent garlicky mayo flavor, but the steak was leathery and not terribly fresh. I didn't finish it.

i know it seems like I ended on a negative note, but I had an amazing time in British Columbia and am upset I wasn't able to try more unique food (e.g., the Russian food in Grand Forks, izakayas in Vancouver, Chinese food in Richmond) and explore Vancouver a bit more- my time was limited. I'll just have to find an excuse to come back soon.

Washington Adventures

I have returned from my trip across the Pacific Northwest and the first word that comes to mind is "Wow!" Everything was so beautiful and everybody was so genuinely nice and helpful.

And now as promised here is my update on all the food adventures I found in Washington state. Thanks to everybody who gave advice and I'm sorry I couldn't make it to all the places you suggested, but I will be back...

ELLIOTT'S OYSTER BAR was our first meal in Seattle. We made it shortly after 3:30 for the oyster happy hour. The place was pretty crowded, but we beat the wait by snagging two seats at the bar. Aside from the view of Elliott Bay, these are the best seats in the house. It's very exciting to watch the shucker shuck each oyster to order. It felt like we were inside the kitchen and got to view all the drama. So it turns out that at 3pm, the oysters are 50 cents and then they go up 25 cents every half hour. I was pre-warned about that, but I was a bit disappointed to learn that they only offer one kind of oyster for the happy hour special. The day we were there was Dabob Creek so we ordered a half dozen of them. They were incredibly plump and creamy. We also ordered a variety of other Washington state oysters, which were all so amazing. I loved the iced mignonette sauce that it was served with. It was almost like a granita and really allowed the flavors of the oysters to stand out. We also became chatty with the oyster shucker who let us try an extra oyster since he thought they were exceptionally good this season. I also ordered some other of the happy hour specials - the salmon chowder (a bit too creamy and rich, but flavorful) and the rockfish taco (quite delicious, but slightly small). But no doubt the star of the show here are the fantastic oysters. Probably the best I ever had. They were all so fresh and varied. We really wanted to come back the next day, but had more things to see and eat.

SHIRO'S was really just a quick stop for us. We were on our way to dinner, but I had to try geoduck while in Seattle and it sounded like this would have been as good a place as any. It was pretty crowded, but somehow they found us a quiet table when we promised to be quick. The waiter seemed really enthusiastic about the menu. On his recommendation, we ordered the citrus marinated smelt, which was a few small lightly fried pieces. It reminded me of tempura. It was very flavorful, but extremely small for the price we paid. I think it might have been just one small smelt cut into pieces. We also ordered the butter yaki geoduck. This was absolutely incredible. It was my first foray into geoduck territory, but it won't be the last if I can help it. It was cooked with the perfect amount of butter and it just melted in my mouth. Parts of it were slightly chewy but it had such a rich, full flavor that it didn't matter. It reminded me of perfectly cooked scallops. It came with mushrooms and asparagus that was a perfect compliment. I'm betting the sushi at Shiro's is just as good as the appetizers and I wish we were able to stay and find out.

STEELHEAD DINER was our one big dinner in Seattle. It had a very hip, but relaxed vibe and did seem like the fanciest, freshest diner I've ever been to. There were so many great options on the menu and we ordered quite a bit. We started with their famous caviar pie, which was just that - it had five different types of caviar on top of a cream cheese pie. It was served with toast, capers, tomatoes, and onions. It was a great unique starter. I wish we had a few more people to help us out because it was quite filling and it was hard to stop eating it. We got two other appetizers - the Dungeness Crab Cake and the Mussels in Purgatory. The crab cake was awesome - it had lots of huge meaty crab pieces and just enough breading to keep it together. The mussels weren't as great for me. The meat was plump, but the broth and the chorizo didn't work so well with the mussels. We finished with a half portion (and it was big enough!) of the king salmon with grilled peaches and almond butter. The salmon was cooked perfectly and had lots of flavor, but the dish as a whole was way too buttery. It was drowning and I could feel my arteries clogging as I ate. But overall, we liked Steelhead. Great service, interesting food with fresh ingredients, and a warm decor.

ZEITGEIST COFFEE was our coffee stop since we can really get Starbucks everywhere. I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I figured I should try some local java. This was a very cute little spot and the coffee was delicious. I ordered an iced soy cappucino (but was corrected by the barista since iced cappucinos don't exist in "the real world"), so got an iced soy latte. The coffee was strong and flavorful, but not bitter at all. I think I would convert to a coffee drinker if I lived here.

THE CRUMPET SHOP is a small European type cafe above Pike Place. The sweet crumpets looked and smelled great, but I needed breakfast so I opted for a more savory option. I was a little put off to see they cooked the eggs in a microwave, but the smoked salmon, cream cheese, and egg worked well on the buttered crumpet and it satisfied a quick cheap breakfast snack.

PIKE PLACE MARKET is a foodie's dream come true. I feel a little overwhelmed in Farmer's Markets so I didn't know where to begin here. The best part, of course, were all the free samples. I had some of the best peaches of my life. We tasted great jams, olive oils, tea, pretzels, really interesting pasta, and smoked salmon. I could definitely live here. And from the homeless population, it seems like some people do.

PIKE PLACE CHOWDER is down in Post Alley and offers a sampler, which comes with four of their chowders. This is perfect for somebody as indecisive as myself. The portions were surprisingly generous and we didn't finish them between the two of us (we were saving room for lunch). The seared scallop chowder was my favorite. I'm a big fan of dill and there was plenty of it. The smoked salmon bisque was great (better than Elliott's), their classic clam chowder was well-done, and the seafood bisque featured some fresh, interesting flavors (basil, calamari, tomatoes).

LOCKSPOT CAFE is right next to the Ballard Locks, so we got to walk around there a bit and watch the salmon attempt to swim upstream. It was an interesting location for what felt like a dive bar. The take-out window was closed since it was late in the day, but we ordered from the bar. We got the fried cod and chips. The fish was fresh and the batter was well-seasoned, but nothing special. And the fries were undercooked and pretty soggy. Not sure this was worth the calories.

MOLLY MOON'S ICE CREAM in Wallingford seemed like a real gem. I enjoyed their location and most of their ice creams. I really loved their honey lavender, but felt like their salted caramel was overwhelmingly salty and needed more sweetness to balance out the sodium. For a more detailed account, visit my ice cream blog: www.heavenicecream,

BOUNDARY BAY BREWERY seemed like the better of the two local breweries. It was certainly crowded for a Tuesday night. I ordered the beer sampler which was pretty great. The stand-out was their scotch ale. It had a deep malty flavor that hinted a bit at a scotch whiskey. If we hadn't closed the place down, I would have bought a bottle to go. The food was standard pub fare. I had the manila clam steamers which were in a rich, creamy broth. And I tried some smoked salmon and goat cheese pizza. They were both tasty but a little too rich for my tastes.

SAMISH BAY CHEESE COMPANY in Bow was a great little find. You could miss it if you're not looking for it. It's on a farm and doesn't really have a store, more like a room where a lady is wrapping the cheese. Four of us squeezed in really tight and admired the room that held all the cheeses. They offered us some tastes of their delicious varieties - loved the gouda and extra sharp white cheddar! We bought more cheese than we could eat, but felt it was well worth it.

SLOUGH FODS in Edison had a great selection of food and drink stuffs. The main reason we were there was to try Armadino Batali's salumis. We ate it along with the Samish Bay Cheese at a picnic at Deception Pass. We had two kinds of salumi - agrumi (orange and coriander) and mole (chocolate, cinnamon, ancho, and chipotle). They were both absolutely, melt-in-your-mouth amazing. The flavors were so intense. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

TAYLOR'S SHELLFISH FARM off the Chuckanut Drive (which was so beautiful - thank you everyone!) was our stop for dinner. We bought some kumamoto and totten virginica oysters for grilling later that night - both were great although I'm not sure kumamotos should be grilled. They're so small that seems to be a waste not to eat them raw. The pre-cooked Dungeness crabs were also awesome. The workers weren't terribly friendly here, but there was so much to look at in the small shop and I wanted to buy a little of everything. Thankfully, my friend and relatives kept me under control.

MALLARD ICE CREAM is the kind of ice cream shop I hope to own one day. The flavor options were a nice combination between interesting/creative and traditional. And the vibe of the place (I was surprised at how big it was) was warm and comfortable. And it seems like the business is well-mixed between college kids and local families. I did a lot of tasting and had some amazing ice cream flavors before deciding on espresso coriander. I'm a sucker for coffee ice cream and this was great. And the texture was perfect. I have much more to say about Mallard so if you're interested, visit my blog at www.heavenicecream,

I was so impressed by the wide variety of options and the fresh ingredients in Washington. It made me want to live on a farm (or at least close to one). There was so much more I wanted to see and taste in the Seattle/Bellingham area, so I will have to return soon.

Sep 03, 2009
Sweeney856 in Pacific Northwest

Portland Adventures

I have returned from my trip across the Pacific Northwest and the first word that comes to mind is "Wow!" Everything was so beautiful and everybody was so genuinely nice and helpful. I fell in love with that part of the world and more specifically, with Portland.

And now as promised here is my update on all the food adventures I found in and around Portland. Thanks to everybody who gave advice and I'm sorry I couldn't make it to all the places you suggested, but I will be back...

DESCHUTES BREWERY was our first meal in Portland. I don't want to focus on the beer too much, but it was really really good. I got the sampler which is usually good for me because I'm indecisive and want to try everything, but their list was huge and I could only pick six. My favorites were the LaFleur (which was a special brew and very floral and gingery) and a black IPA which was so strange and delicious - all the flavors of IPA with a dark color. As for food, we ordered the Elk Burger which sounded intriguing, but was slightly dry, and the Black Butte chicken salad which was disappointingly mild and didn't exhibit any beer flavor. The highlight (besides the beer) was the grilled pear and goat cheese pizza which was bursting with flavors. The service and atmosphere was also very good so although the food wasn't the greatest, the beer makes it worth it!

BIJOU CAFE was our brunch choice on Saturday and it was a bit crowded. I'm used to NY crowds so was pleased that the wait wasn't much longer than 20 minutes or so. This was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. The oyster hash was definitely a gutbomb but those oysters were perfectly cooked and meaty and the potatoes were perfectly seasoned and crisp. The omlette special with local corn, spinach, tomatoes, and white cheddar was incredibly fluffy and fresh. Included with the omlette was a blackberry muffin that seriously was the best muffin I've ever had. Words can't begin to describe it.

COOL MOON ICE CREAM was pretty good. The texture was nice and creamy and the flavors were interesting enough. The coffee wasn't as strong flavor-wise as I had hoped, but the kulfi was unique and pretty good. For a more detailed account, check out my ice cream blog at:

CLEAR CREEK DISTILLERY didn't have any food (except some crackers to soak up all the alcohol) but we had a great experience. We felt bad about arriving 30 minutes before closing, but the staff didn't seem to mind and even gave us a spontaneous personal mini-tour of the distillery itself. We tried most of their products and although I don't go crazy for brandy and grappa, there was some great stuff here - namely a unique single malt whiskey (as good as any made in Scotland) and the Douglas Fir Eau de Vie. This was a great place to visit and sample some unique liquors.

SAHAGUN CHOCOLATES was getting ready to close temporary for vacation, but I'm glad we made it. Again, the owner was incredibly friendly and sincere (what is it with you nice Portlanders?) This is a very small little shop that almost feels like a tiny chocolate factory. We ordered the iced chocolate which was nice and refreshing and I was pleased to see that it didn't spoil my appetite for dinner. It almost wasn't even that sweet. I would have been disappointed if I was looking for a dessert drink. We also had some sort of chocolate bark with popcorn and spices. It was different and tasty, but slightly overpriced for what it was. I wish we were able to taste some of the interesting truffles, but we came late in the day and most had been sold out.

POK POK was one of the two "must-try's" on my list. We had to wait about 45 minutes, but were finally brought to a table inside. This definitely seemed like a place the foodies go to in Portland. For some reason, we were drawn to all the meat dishes and in retrospect. I think we ordered wrong. We didn't get any noodles or soup dishes but stuck with lots of protein. We had to try the famous chicken wings, which may have been built up a bit much. They were slightly sweet and sticky with tender delicious meat. They were really good, but not overwhelmingly so. The grilled prawns were a little disappointed. They were big and well-cooked, but a bit bland. The spicy dipping sauce helped a bit. The small baby back ribs sounded so good on the menu, but not much of the promised flavor emerged on the plate. But the flank steak salad was my favorite - the meat was so tender and the flavors were spicy and tangy and just delicious. I would definitely come back to try some of the other more unusual dishes.

PAPA HAYDN's posed the most difficult decision: what dessert to order? It was just my luck that they had sold out of the dessert sampler. It was late and we had a full day of eating so we decided to share one dessert and finally picked the boccone dolce for it's uniqueness. It was a huge dessert with lots of meringues covered with whipped cream, chocolate drizzles, and fresh berries. It was a beautiful presentation and the first few bites were incredibly delicious. I just wish there had been a few more substantial textures. There is only so much meringue I can eat in one sitting.

TORO BRAVO was the finale in another long day of eating, but I am so glad we made it to my other "must-try" spot. The vibe was very hip and it was crowded even on a Sunday night. It reminded me of many spots in NYC. The complimentary fried chickpeas were the perfect starting point. We ordered lite, but all our choices were just about spot on. The bacon wrapped dates were good, but I was hoping for something a little smokier and slightly larger. They were almost too small to get the full effect. The tomato rubbed garlic bread was unique and delicious. The vegetable tortilla came with two flavorful sauces. The salted cod fritters were just spectacular. The only disappointment was the parsley and manchego sausage. I didn't get any of the promised flavors and it was sort of small and plain. if I was hungrier, I would have definitely kept ordering. And I was amazed at how cheap the bill came out to be!

STUMPTOWN COFFEE had quite a line in the middle of the day. I'm not a huge coffee drinker but figured I'd try an iced soy latte. It was very good. It was not too sweet or milky and the coffee flavors really came out.

VOODOO DOUGHNUTS was our final stop in Portland and it sucked us in. We had to get on the road, but ended up waiting in line for close to 45 minutes. Who needs doughnuts at noon on a Monday? I was amazed at how chill the hipster type guy running the show was. I realized there was only one cashier and that's why this line took as long as it did. I don't know if it was truly worth it but it was an experience if nothing else. The bacon maple bar was pretty incredible and although it sounds slightly strange and maybe even gross, it was the best of the ones we tried. The flavors were matched perfectly. The grape ape was definitely a novelty with grape flavored powder. It reminded me of a jolly rancher and I kept eating it just because I was fascinated to try that flavor in a doughnut. And the Portland Creme was basically a Boston Creme and the dough and cream were both very well made and tasty.

FULL SAIL BREWERY was surprisingly crowded at 4pm. But we didn't wait too long for a bar table. The Asian chicken skewers were juicy but flavorless. The Crater Lake burger however was quite good. Loaded with sauteed onions, local blue cheese, and spicy mayo, it turned out to be pretty good pub food. The beer was adequate but pretty standard. Their award-winning Amber Ale was quite tasty.

APPLE VALLEY COUNTRY STORE were mopping up as we came in for the final milkshake of the day. I got the huckleberry shake which was good, but the berries seemed rather small and possibly dried. I figure this time of year, they should be making it with fresh hubkleberries. My friend ordered the peach shake, which didn't seem to have too strong of a peach flavor. I wanted full fruit flavor in my shakes! But the store was cute and their jams looked quite good.

ST. HONORE BOULANGERIE is a fancy but casual brasserie type place that offers a beautiful selection of pastries and breakfast foods. I'm not sure what their dinner options are, but we got two huge and perfectly prepared French breakfast dishes - quiche lorraine and a croissant fritatta with chicken sausage and goat cheese. Both were incredibly rich and big, but as good as any French pastries I've had. There were a lot of families running around and it is in a ritzy outdoor shopping mall area.

OTTO'S SAUSAGE KITCHEN is a very quaint and cute meat, cheese, and wine shop. I wish I lived in town so I could stock up on groceries here. Outside, an employee was grilling up three different types of weiners. We ordered one chicken sausage and a smoked pork sausage. I didn't think either were that great, but they were good. They had an amazing snap - almost a little too intense as mine squirted all over the place. The pork sausage was underseasoned and only tasted of pork. The chicken sausage was a bit more complex, but still nothing spectacular.

I was very impressed with all the food options and quality in Portland. There is so much I missed (including the food trucks which were pretty much all closed on the weekend) and can't wait to return.

Aug 28, 2009
Sweeney856 in Metro Portland

British Columbia Adventures

So instead of stopping in Grand Forks, I'm now thinking of spending the night in Princeton and then getting an early start, do some sightseeing in Oliver and Osoyoos and then doing the rest of the drive out to Boswell on the Kootenay Lake. I feel like that might give me the most time to see as much as possible without rushing. What are everybody's thoughts on that?

British Columbia Adventures

Thanks so much for all these recommendations. This is most helpful. And let me know if you need any Manhattan help.

British Columbia Adventures

I'm a NY hounder who will be making my first trip to British Columbia in a few weeks. I'm driving up from Seattle and spending one day and night in Vancouver then eventually driving to Cranbrook for a wedding. I know this is quite a long drive so I'm splitting it up a bit. I'm staying somewhere near Osoyoos (probably in Grand Forks since it seems cheaper than Osoyoos.) I'm also staying a few days at a friend's lake house in an area called Boswell on the Kootenay Lake. Then finally I will be driving down to Spokane to fly back to NY. Whew!

But the point is I am looking for lots of recommendations as to where to eat along the way. I definitely want to try anything that is unique or authentic for British Columbia.

I've done some research on Vancouver restaurants and am thinking of doing an omakase dinner on my one splurge night. Do you think this is a better option than one of the fancy seafood restaurants and the izkayas? I was looking at Tojo's, (seems like it has had mixed reviews of late), Octopus Garden (seems to be the overwhelming favorite), or Ajisai (but it doesn't seem to be the place for omakase). Also, maybe Cafe Medina for breakfast and Go Fish for lunch? Other suggestions? I'm also a big ice cream connoisseur, so am always looking for great places.

Also, please help with places along the way for my drive from Vancouver to Cranbrook. I think I may stop in Osoyoos for some wine and sightseeing unless you recommend somewhere else.

Thanks so much in advance. And I promise a full report upon my return.

Washington Adventures

Thanks for the correction, PAO. I'm not sure why I was calling it Pike's Peak Market. Clearly "I'm not from around here." But I'm glad you set me straight before I embarrass myself anymore. Thanks for the recs.

Jul 26, 2009
Sweeney856 in Pacific Northwest

Washington Adventures

I'm about to embark on a road trip of the NW. I'm heading from Portland to Seattle and ultimately up to Vancouver and then further east into Canada. This is my first trip to that part of the country and am very excited!

I'll be spending a day and a half in Seattle and then two nights with my uncle in Bellingham. We may take another trip back to Seattle for the day. I eat everything, but am very interested in food that screams Washington. I really want to try geoduck, lots of oysters, all types of salmon, clams, fresh fruit, Dungeness crab, breweries, good coffee, and anything else that I'm missing. I am also a big ice cream connoisseur.

I'm also looking for recommendations between Seattle and Bellingham and between Bellingham and Vancouver, as we will have to make some sort of food stop between the two cities. We always have to stop for food.

This is what I have come up with so far: happy hour at Elliott's Oyster Bar (is this 50 cent deal too good to be true?), Beecher's Cheese, Salumi, The Crumpet Shop, Matt's in the Market or Steelhead, Lunchbox Laboratory, Shiro's, Lowell's, Mallard Ice Cream (in Bellingham). We are all for doing a small little bite here and there to try as much as possible with maybe one full meal at dinner.

We of course will spending some time at Pike's Peak Market. We may also visit the EMP and hope to drive out to Mt. Rainier as well. We're very ambitious!

All help is greatly appreciated. And I promise a full report upon my return. Thanks in advance.

Jul 24, 2009
Sweeney856 in Pacific Northwest

Portland Adventures

I'm a NYC hounder and am excited about my big road trip through the Pacific Northwest in August. I'm staying with a friend in Lake Oswego for a weekend before heading up to Seattle and then on to Vancouver and further east in Canada.

I'm looking for great food adventures in Portland I eat absolutely everything and am excited to try anything that is unique to Portland. I definitely want suggestions for food carts, breakfasts, seafood, Asian/ethnic foods, and I'm a huge ice cream connosieur.

I think we're going to try to do Mt. Hood/Columbia Gorge one day and I definitely want to check out some breweries and vineyards. Ideas? Also, we may take the long route on the way to Seattle to drive through Astoria and see the coast. Any suggestions on the way up there would be most appreciated too. And I promise I will give a detailed report upon my return.

These are my thoughts so far: Toro Bravo, Bijou Cafe, Pok Pok, Otto's Sausages, Sahagun, Cool Moon Ice Cream, and Voodoo Donuts.

Oh, I also see the Bite of Oregon will be happening. This seems like it has the potential to be a waste of time and money. Is it worth it?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Jul 24, 2009
Sweeney856 in Metro Portland

Austin food adventures

Thanks to all who replied with suggestions. My trip to Austin was a success. I wish I had more time to sample more of the restaurants around town, so I'll have to make a return soon. And as usual, here is my critical report on my food adventures in and around Austin.

FABI + ROSI is a new European kitchen. It's in a cute little house on a residential block and I was pleasantly surprised by the upscale dining and affordable prices. The place was casual (as I gather most places in Austin are). The food was consistent throughout - except for the mediocre desserts. And we even got an amuse bouche, which was a nice surprise. The food was fresh and inventive. The chilled watercress soup was intensely flavored. My smoked salmon appetizer was very light and had a nice range of flavors. The schnitzel, duck confit, and trout were all perfectly cooked and delicious. The desserts were nothing special although I was excited about the idea of grilled peaches with black pepper ice cream. But the ice cream was a little too subtle and the peaches weren't quite as sweet as I had hoped. But overall, this is a charming little place with decent service and phenomenal food.

JUAN IN A MILLION is where I had my first breakfast taco. I had a smile on my face the entire breakfast, partly because of the owner Juan, who is so eager to welcome everybody to his restaurant. The Don Juan taco was a gutbomb and was very filling, even without the extra tortillas. The place was crowded (even on a Thursday!) and it just felt like a fun place to go for good food.

RUBY'S BBQ was on the UT campus and I was told to go here instead of Rudy's. It definitely had a hip, laid-back Texas college feel. Their meat was deliciously smoky with a nice pink ring around the ribs. The brisket was moist. I wasn't crazy about their sausage, but it had a nice pop. The sides were a bit of a disappointment, but I did like the mustard potato salad. But it seemed like a good representation of Texas BBQ. Although the portion sizes were a bit lacking.

TRUDY'S is also on the UT campus and has even more of a college feel than Ruby's. We went at an off-time and it was still pretty hopping. I can only imagine what it is like late at night or when school is in session. It had a very laid-back vibe and our server was very personable. The salsa was nice and spicy and the queso was delish. I ordered the famous Fried Avocado stuffed with chicken and cheese. I took his recommendation on sauces and it had a nice balance of spiciness and creaminess. It was great, although I had to save room for dinner. The famous Mexican Martini was a bit of a let-down when I realized it was basically just a straight-up margarita with olives. i was hoping for something a bit more inventive. But the drink was huge - served in a strainer that never seemed to end!

LAS PALOMAS is outside of the downtown area on Bee Cave in a shopping center. It's a little bit of a hideaway. It reminded me of a typical suburban Mexican restaurant. The margaritas were not nearly as good as Trudy's. They were a bit flat. And the salsa was passable. This place is known for their moles and it was well worth it. It was smoky and slightly sweet and spicy. Really good. The shrimp dishes I tried were also pretty good. But the sopapillas were off the hook for dessert.

LOUIE'S 106 is downtown right on Sixth Street and Congress. We had a private room downstairs, but the restaurant looked exciting and lively. And it smelled good. The wine list was rather impressive. The appetizers were decent - I enjoyed the saganaki and the soft shell crab, but the tuna tartare was a bit fishy and uninventive. I didn't get an entree of my own, but the ones I tasted were all decent enough. Nothing special here and over-priced.

LOCKHART TRINITY was something I had to do. I wish I could have made it out to City Market in Luling but I only had limited time and my Lockhart trip was sort of rushed as is. But I did manage to sample all three big guys in Lockhart.

BLACK'S was my first stop and I only ordered the brisket, which I heard was the highlight. I wanted to start slow. I asked for the black and fatty pieces and it was pretty spectacular. The meat was so tender and flavorful. It was nicely seasoned and it just melted in your mouth. If this wasn't the best, I don't know how it could get any better. I could have gone back for seconds but had to press on.

SMITTY'S was next and was the most intimidating of the bunch. I was confused at first as to where to enter, but finally figured it out and loved the fact that you walked into the smoker to order your food. It was hot and that line didn't move too quickly. I ordered some ribs, brisket, and sausage. The brisket wasn't as good as Black's. I was surprised. The ribs were delicious and the sausage had a nice spicy snap.

KREUZ'S MEAT MARKET was the one I was most hesitant about since it seems to have gotten negative reviews as of late. And at this point, I was pretty full. Similar atmosphere to Smitty's but much bigger. I have to admit, I think their brisket might have been my favorite. The ribs were a bit too peppery for me. And I didn't really get to the sausage. But the highlight was definitely the brisket - melts in your mouth. And I think it's worth a stop.

I went to both Amy's Ice Cream and Casey's New Orleans Snow Balls. But visit my blog for a full in-depth report on those:

Jul 02, 2009
Sweeney856 in Austin

Austin food adventures

I'm a NYC hounder who will be making my first trip out to Austin next week for a family gathering. We are staying at Barton Creek and I know a few dinners are already planned. But I am eager to try anything unique and authentic to Austin. I will have most of my lunches free and I would like to spend the first night downtown hearing some indie rock music and exploring.

I have already considered driving to Lockhart one day to taste test the three BBQ places - Smitty's, Black's, and Kreuz. I am also looking for a taco truck, the best ice cream in town (I'm a big ice cream connoisseur), and anything else that I must not miss. I do only have three days and have family obligations, but I will be sure to use my free time wisely.

Also, I'm picking my parents up at the airport on Thursday and am looking for a fun, inexpensive place for dinner. I was thinking of Shady Grove?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Jun 20, 2009
Sweeney856 in Austin

Driving from LA to San Diego

I'm visiting California from New York and will be driving from LA to San Diego for a friend's wedding. Looking for any interesting and delicious places along the way and in the San Diego area. The wedding is at the Grand Del Mar.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sep 30, 2008
Sweeney856 in San Diego

New York hounder visiting West Coast

I'll be visiting Los Angeles and San Diego for a week for a friend's wedding. I'll be staying near the Hollywood, Silver Lake area in LA, but have access to a car. I've been to LA a few times (and always manage to end up at The Griddle), but am always looking to try some new, interesting and unique chow places. I eat just about everything, so where are the must go places? I might get one semi-expensive night out ($20-25 entrees), but mainly looking for some casual places with great food and fun ambience.

I am also driving down to San Diego for the weekend and am eager to find some place to stop on the way down and back up. The wedding is at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego, so any suggestions in that area is also helpful. Thanks in advance

Sep 29, 2008
Sweeney856 in Los Angeles Area

Hudson Valley Adventures

Thanks to everybody that replied with suggestions. My time in Ellenville was really great and we had some amazing adventures in the Hudson Valley that I want to share with everybody here. There are so many places we couldn't get to that I hope to on a future trip (mainly more places in Saugerties/Woodstock; Warwick Valley; and Peekamoose), but here are the ones we did:

Ellenville really does seem to have a love of pizza. Downtown is littered with pizza places. I was advised against a few of them, but we did get to:

DOMINICK'S on Center Street had the best pizza in town. The crust is crunchy and thin. The pizza had a lot of flavor and bite without being too greasy.

ARIANNA'S RESTAURANT AND PIZZERIA on Canal Street has mediocre pizza. It's pretty greasy and their service is incredibly apathetic. They have a casual eatery attached to the pizza parlor, but I have not eaten anything there but the pizza. They do seem to be the only fast food type option open after 10pm.

EASTERN WORLD MARKET on Center Street is a cute little Korean deli that sells all sorts of Asian groceries and products. That part I like, but the food they prepare is not so great. Their packaged sushi is even disappointing - the rice was hard and the crab meat no so fresh. The sesame noodles, dumplings, and chicken teriyaki were all terribly bland and we had to add a lot of soy sauce to give it any flavor. I came back for snacks and drinks, but wouldn't get their food again.

AROMA THYME on Canal Street is where we ate the most meals. It was next to the theater and we congregated there after most performances. The food is pretty good - healthy, natural options. They are very vegan friendly, but do serve meat and seafood as well. Their pizzas and salads are all fresh and pretty decent for the price. I really loved their tuna appetizer and calamari special. The prices are pretty steep when you look at the entree side of the menu. But they have a great beer and liquor list and the place has a great vibe - especially on Thursdays and Saturdays when there is live jazz. The service tends to be inconsistent and there were a few times we waited 10 minutes before we were even greeted.

MAGGI'S COUNTRY STORE AND CAFE on Canal Street is a little bodega with surprisingly great Latin American food. There's not really any place to sit (maybe one table, if that) and Maggi changes her menu daily. The price can't be beat and you get so much food that you'll no doubt have two meals out of it. I had her roast pork with rice and beans. The pork was incredibly flavorful and moist. It reminded me of places deep in Queens or good family meals I've had at restaurants that I've work at. Maggi is really sweet and seems to love to cook this food. I recommend stopping in for some food, if you have some place to eat it or work in the neighborhood.

COHEN'S BAKERY on Center Street is a good old fashioned Jewish bakery. They're known for their famous raisin pumpernickel bread which is always moist and flavorful. But I preferred their rugalah (get one off each - raspberry, apricot, and chocolate) and their other pastries. A great little snack destination. And they come out for the Farmer's Market on Sundays (even though it is literally across the street)

D'LITES on Main Street (201) is a little ice cream stand that actually brought back memories from my childhood. We had a chain of D'Lites and I used to get the ice cream with chocolate shell and chocolate cookie crunchies. I was excited to get the same here. The ice cream itself was good, but with those toppings and my childhood memories, it was amazing!

WILSON'S MARKET further down on Canal Street serves Boar's head sandwiches. Nothing special, but the cold cuts are fresh and the rolls are good. But their dill pickles are awesome and gigantic. A typical NY bodega/deli.

LIGHTHOUSE DELI on Canal Street also serves Boar's Head sandwiches, but they're slightly smaller than Wilson's. But these come with potato chips.

EUROPEAN DELI on Main Street (201) is a little deli that sells lots of interesting Polish and eastern European products. They have about three tables and make traditional Polish food. Their pierogies and potato pancakes are both very good and if I had more time, I would have definitely tried their Polish platter with blintzes and kielbasa. I was also amazed, but pleased that they seem to be pretty crowded even at off hours.

RICHARD'S RESTAURANT on Nevele Road is located on a golf course. It's a friendly, neighborly atmosphere with standard, adequate bar food. They have cheap big beers and outside seating which features a beautiful view of the Shawangunk Mountains.

KOSHER DELI on Canal Street is a place I never tried myself but I did have a bite of my friend's corned beef sandwich on my final day in town and was surprised at how tender it was. If I had been in town longer, I would have tried a sandwich for myself. I was warned to stay away from their matzoh ball soup and knishes. So I never made it in to the place at all.

WHITE WOLF in Napanoch had a big banquet hall feel to it. The food here is pretty good, but it could use some re-thinking. The mushroom ravioli tasted great (nice and woodsy), but the presentation was atrocious - very brown and messy and looked unappetizing. The chicken ceasar was good. And the scallop brie special was ambitious with lots of different interesting sauces, but it didn't quite come together. There is definite potential here. I think I'd like to sit in the bar area next time, since it seemed a bit more casual and less stuffy. We also had our opening night party here and the catered food was quite good.

DANNY'S VILLAGE INN in Wurtsboro is about 12 miles outside of Ellenville. It's a noisy bar and grill type place and serves huge Italian dishes. Nobody left hungry and we all had leftovers. They had great cheesy garlic bread and are known for their huge steaks and seafood platters. I had the fra diavola over linguini, which was a bit too spicy that I almost couldn't taste anything else, but the shrimp were meaty and the portions were beyond generous.

CUSTER'S LAST STAND in Wurtsboro is a stand next to Danny's, which surprisingly serves soft ice cream and not custard as I had thought. The ice cream was creamy, but strangely grainy. And the flavors only slightly resembled what they were supposed to. Not my favorite.

OSCAR in Kerhonkson is a quaint country restaurant which features a great half priced special between 4 and 5pm. The bread basket changes all the time, but is always freshly baked and features a nice variety. The beet salad was light and fresh and the spicy crab cake was pretty good, but could have used more crab flavor. The service was pretty slow and relaxed, but I got a good vibe from the place on both visits and would definitely recommend it.

MOUNTAIN BRAUHAUS in Gardiner is another great restaurant near Minnewaska. This is a very cute German place with lots of influences from other cuisines. The stand-out was definitely their incredible sauerbrauten. They also had great pretzel bread, pickled herring, and sausages. The German beers were all great. The chef seems to offer the typical (and very well done) German staples, but branches out with some creative and ambitious specials. I really wanted to try the unusual sounding watermelon pudding, but my group chose the strawberry fool instead which was fantastic.

Since this was the closest town with a hip vibe and good restaurants, we spent quite a few of our nights off here.

GILDED OTTER BREWERY is a big, fun beer house. Their house brews were really good - I especially like the seasonal blueberry lager with two blueberry garnishes - it was light and flavorful without being too sweet. The red lager was slightly sweeter but had a delicious malt flavor. We also had their fried cheese curds which were good considering we were nowhere near Wisconsin. The sauces they served with the curds were strange and actual took away from the fried goodness.

BESO, which has gotten rave reviews on this site, was a bit of a disappointment. To be fair, we only ordered appetizers and desserts, but nothing impressed me. The service and decor was very professional, but the food was lacking. The tuna tartare was mealy and felt more like a steak tartare with its heaviness. The quail salad was alright - the quail was well-cooked but the dressing tasted vaguely of soap. And the strawberry shortcake tasted good but was not moist enough. If we had more time, I would have given the restaurant a second chance because I feel like we may have ordered the wrong things or picked an off night.

BACCHUS seems to be one of the many hangouts for the local college kids. If I went to school here, I'm sure I'd end up at Bacchus at least once a week. The beer list is extensive and reasonably priced. The food is adequate Mexican pub food with some quality flavors and a decent salad bar.

THE LOCUST TREE was weird. From the outside, it seemed like it would be a quaint little farm type restaurant. But it was a lot less rustic and much more barebones than I expected. I was amazed at how exposed the bus station was and the music was strangely eclectic. The service was genuine, but spotty and they seemed so busy even though there were maybe three tables in the room we sat in. It seemed as though there was a private party outside. The food made up for it all though. It was all very fresh and inventive - I especially liked the venison sausage special with grilled endive and a parsnip puree with black currant jus. Lots of good flavors.

THE VILLAGE TEA ROOM is great. Very hip and relaxed vibe, so don't expect much more than friendly service. The menu is a bit difficult to decipher since they offer so many different options (brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, tapas). We shared a bunch of small things and everything was great - the salad platter, the gravlax, the cheese potato tart, and a dingle pie. Everything was fresh and very tasty. And the desserts were even better - the cream puff might have been the best I ever had. This might have been my favorite restaurant in New Paltz.

We only had limited days free and not many nights, so most of our excursions involved lunch and a hike. And a number of the places we tried to go to were only open for dinner.

MISS LUCY'S KITCHEN in Saugerties is a very homey, casual place that was hopping on the Saturday we showed up for lunch. We sampled some of the sandwiches and everything was very good. The bluefish was moist and came with an interesting pineapple sauce. Everything was good - especially their french fries. I wish we were able to come back for dinner because their menu looked very creative and if it was anything like the lunch, it would have been delicious.

ICE BAR in Woodstock is a gelato stand that banks on the crowds from the Flea Market. Now I am an ice cream snob, but I found their gelato inedible. It tasted heavily flavored and chalky. It seemed processed and didn't seem to have any natural flavors, which struck me as odd for being in Woodstock.

FAT LADY CAFE in Kauneonga Lake is near Bethel (where you should check out the really great Woodstock Museum). We sat outside on the lake and it was a cute place with adequate food. The hanger steak sandwich was a bit tough, but the rosemary chicken sandwich was good. The mac and cheese was good. It seems like this would be a fun place for dinner, especially when they have live music on the weekends.

HICKORY BBQ SMOKEHOUSE in Kingston was a bit disappointing. I guess why would I expect good BBQ in upstate NY? My ribs were flavorless and tough. The BBQ pork sandwich fared better and the mac and cheese was really good. The service was apathetic and they got our order completely wrong. They did fix it for us, but that was a bit of a put-off. Maybe this is decent BBQ for the area, but I'd rather hold off until my next trip down south.

CHOCOLATE CHEERS in Kingston is down the street from Hickory BBQ has delicious ice cream and gelato. They also have a fine selection of chocolates (even free samples) and if I wasn't so full from the ribs I would have indulged a bit more.

COSIMO'S in Middletown is a chain of casual brick oven pizza joints. Their grilled chicken pizza with olives and artichokes was good but slightly salty. On my second visit, their margarita pizza was a bit soggy and nothing special. The chicken salad was also adequate but reminded me of a TGI Friday's type of restaurant. Just a step up from fast food.

Hudson Valley Adventures

I may get more response under this title....

I am in Ellenville for the next few weeks doing a play at the Shadowland Theater. We have already exhausted all of Ellenville and am now looking for some day trip food adventures (we want to combine it with sightseeing and hiking). We have been to New Paltz a few times already and am also eager to get out to Woodstock, Saugerties, Kingston, and any other local areas that are of interest. We are willing to drive an hour or so.

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated and I promise a full report at the end of the trip. Thanks.

Hudson Valley Adventures