Joanie's Profile

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Why Yelp Sucks!

Like I said, it was just given to me. Then every year they ask if you want to remain an elite and why you should so I give a one line answer to the effect that I write reasonable, honest reviews and I've been one for a few years now. But not sure what made them choose me in the first place.

about 2 hours ago
Joanie in Food Media & News

Quick Newport trip report

Oddly just made a plan to go there tomorrow nite. It may even be too hot to sit outside and I doubt a pie will sound so good, we'll see how it goes.

about 2 hours ago
Joanie in Southern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I didn't see the show but saw the result when I went to the FN site (to hopefully watch the ep online) so just read that. Obviously not surprising Dom got booted, altho it sounds like there were some twists. I agree that Eddie seems to be getting the push and it makes sense. Jay is kind of lovable but he has this shouty way of presenting that annoys me. Not sure Eddie was in anyone's fantasy league but I'm sure they think just saying ex-NFL will bring in a few previously on the fence fans.

about 2 hours ago
Joanie in Food Media & News

Quick Newport trip report

Glad to point out a spot to a local haha. Makes me want to visit KO Pies for an Australian fix in Boston.

Jul 22, 2015
Joanie in Southern New England

Why Yelp Sucks!

I happen to be a Yelp elite cuz it was bestowed on me one year and I just said I'll do it again when they asked. I've never gone to a function but I don't think that would change anything. I think I write fair, informative reviews so am surprised to see someone say he skips all Elite reviews. I don't even notice personal information usually unless the post is really over the top in some way (as in Zephyr8 below who I saw has never posted on CH before).

Jul 21, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I was thinking about the lines at the food trucks as I was standing at one and wondered what kept people from going to theirs. Tacos are usually really popular. Sometimes I think it's all fabricated.

Jul 21, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Haha, yeah the dancing was terrible. And I sure didn't understand how Bobby and Giada were cracking up so much with the slapping schtick. At least Dom didn't freeze up in front of the camera.

Jul 21, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

So even tho Alex never really does that well in either cooking or presenting, I'm glad he's still around since Michelle decided to quit to go back to that family she keeps talking about. Actually it seemed like it wasn't a surprise to Giada and getting interrupted as she was about to tell Alex to go seemed planned. Plus Michelle's words at the end that she still really wants this or something like that rang a little hollow. Can't believe they're down to 5, all guys which I don't remember seeing ever.

Jul 20, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Finally got to Central Provisions

Sorry, forgot which day was which on that long weekend. This was Mon. we stopped by that Italialn place. Sun. was dinner at CP, Mon. donuts and pizza.

Jul 17, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Finally got to Central Provisions

Stopped in Portland for a night after a couple in BBH. Took advantage of the nice day and sat outside at DiMillo's for my first time (usually visiting in the winter). The atmosphere was pleasant but the overall experience wasn't great. We just had a drink and split their mussels in a wine/mustard sauce which sounded interesting. But the sauce was just okay, the mussels were scrawny as anything and there was no grilled bread or rolls like you usually get with mussels. Plus the waiter kind of disappeared. Maybe we chose wrong.

That evening we gave our name at CP and one guy told us 30 min and one gal said 75. We went across the street to Glass Bar in the new hotel and had excellent service and drinks along with an app of dumplings. At about the 45 min mark we got the text and were seated at the bar watching the cooks. Split three items: asparagus cheese tarte, burrata crostini w/ grilled spring onions and a small pork belly. All were excellent, all about $14. The server and others working the host stand were great. Dessert was a nice rhubarb tart. With a beer, a wine, tax and tip it was about $88. Very happy to finally try this place.

Sun. we stopped at Tony's for blueberry and glazed molasses donuts then iced coffees then a Sicilian slice for A. at that newish Italian store next to Two Fat Cats bakery then off to York for lunch at the Fisherman's Dock in York for a tasty clam/scallop plate.

One question, what happened to my Dogfish Cafe on Congress St.? When we were there a couple years ago they were asking for names for when they revamped. Sorry to see it papered over.

Jul 17, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England
1

Quick Newport trip report

They probably would have refilled the cone but I didn't really need it in the first place, so savored those last bits of gelato and the cone itself. Not sure what town you're in but a few places I'll have to check out when I go back to Newport (in the Bellevue Ave area) are Jo's American Bistro, Meg's Aussie Milk Bar and townie bar Cappy's (from 1938!). And for those that can go early in the week, lots of cheap dinners for 2 or free bottles of wine.

Jul 14, 2015
Joanie in Southern New England

Quick Newport trip report

Decided to take a day in Newport since the boss was away. Started at Allie's in N. Kingstown as I always do when I head that way. Best donuts in the world and just caught the last of my fave - maple frosted old fashioned. So good. Went to Wickford for the art fair then over to Newport where I eventually got lunch at the outside bar of Salt Water (connected to the Newport Harbor Hotel, I think that's the name). Good fried oyster BLT but served on gigantic Texas toast so I took away half the bread and made one big half of a sandwich. Comes with homemade chips that were decent ($16). Service was okay once they saw me sitting behind the taps. Talked to nice folks who reminded me of my parents, pleasant spot.

That nite sat at the bar of Malt which I still remember fondly as Tucker's. Had a nice rosemary infused vodka strawberry martini and an order of fish tacos, two large tacos with nicely fried fish for $8. Tried some gelato at the place on Thames but it fell right off the cone after 4 bites so that was sad. Walked to the beach on Mon. then a good iced coffee from Empire on Bellevue (saw a few cute places around there that I'd never heard of) and lunch at The Spot. Their sandwiches sounded great but the crabcake sliders were just okay ($8.99 w/ a bag of chips). They needed a better sear and were on the mushy side with not a lot of crab flavor. But nice guys working there and maybe other stuff is better. Butterscotch cookie from that place on the wharf was fine.

Jul 14, 2015
Joanie in Southern New England
2

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Wow no one's watching this huh? I just caught up with the last two episodes and have to comment that I don't understand how Dom keeps hanging on each week. The South African gal had the personality you need even if she didn't quite convey her heritage enough, or whatever their problem with her was. Dom can't do anything but cook and even then, he had overdone risotto. Looks like Eddie or Jay right now.

Jul 14, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Boothbay Harbor in June (and Rt. 1 in between)

Okay, there have to be a few people who need BBH info besides me so I'm writing up a kind of long report. Started Fri. morning with a great donut from Ziggy's in Salem MA then drove to Yarmouth ME for lunch. Decided Day's was the place to try since they're trying to sell the business and it's been around so long. Lobster roll w/ chips was $14.95 I think A. said this was his fave of the trip but he got the better half for sure. The deal was the daily special of fried shrimp roll, cole slaw and small drink for $8.49. Nicely fried Maine shrimp, good roll, good slaw, some atmosphere in the back. We then split another lobster roll at Trevitt Country Store in BB for $15.25 but this was oddly devoid of flavor and had too much shredded stuff in it. No need for lettuce either but points for friendliness and setting by the draw bridge. Met some friends at the Thistle Inn for happy hour after seeing Westie's photos of beautiful cocktails. Half priced from 5 to 6 I think and some interesting choices. Poor bartender/waitress was slammed since there was a line waiting for 5PM but we had fun. That evening we got a recommendation for Rocktide from an open studio artist and it seemed as good as anywhere. VERY quiet on a Fri. of 4th of July weekend, got in there just before the 9PM cut off time for food (damn that's early). It was surprisingly good tho, they gave us each one of their famous popovers and that always makes things better. Then we split two apps, one was a fried seafood sampler for $12 and the other were two small but tasty crabcakes for $14. There was only one scallop but the shrimp were great again and the clams were fine although slightly chewy.

Sat. we went to Baker's where I was excited for more great donuts but even tho they had the look, they felt like they came out of a Hostess package. The apple fritter on the other hand fared better (and is bigger than your head) and everyone hanging at the place was really nice. After walking around and hitting the craft fair on the Common, we were 2nd in line at Bet's for a 1/2 order of fish n chips for $9. The 1/2 fish sandwich is the deal cuz there are about 4 pieces of fish on that but certainly the 1/2 order was good for us. The part fries, part fresh chips were good too although a couple were grease bombs. Fish was done so well, good tartar sauce, nice guy working there (who we later made friends with at Pier 1 in town). Felt like I had to get an ice cream at the famous Downeast Ice Cream Factory, French maple was a flavor I'd never heard of. Decent, good prices. Then after more walking (at least 17 miles this weekend I calculated) we split a dog at Duntons for $2.40. Wish I was hungrier cuz those footlongs looked great with more char than ours had but it was indeed a tasty hot dog. Did some mini golf at Dolphin then hit Karen's for a lobster roll (w/ chips for $13). This was the one updated rec I got on the board and it was a pretty good one. Tasty roll, almost seemed like some crab was mixed in which I have no problem with (should have gotten a proper crab roll at some point), nice folks. It looks more mayonnaisy than it tasted. Stopped in quickly at Pier 1 for their happy hour ($2-3 drafts, $4 well drinks) then to a friend's later to watch fireworks. They offered strawberry shortcake so we ended up later just getting a crappy slice from the joint next to Pier 1.

Breakfast at Mama D's came recommended but wasn't great. The place is overrun with kitsch, service was ok, but the Mama D egg sandwich was just all right, no big deal. We didn't see home fries on the menu at all although some did go by. Also had a cranberry muffin on the grill, it was fine but should have saved my appetite for more seafood. We decided to stop in Bath last minute where they had a car show and carnival going on. Good iced coffee from friendly people at Café Crème then Ye Olde Fish n Chips at the fair had a lobster toll and fries for $10. The fries needed another minute in the fryolator cuz they were a bit soggy but could have been great. The roll was very good, esp when you consider the amount we spent. Grabbed a donut from Frosty's in Freeport which I threw most of away. Then onto Portland where I will have a review up.

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

This is slightly amusing from this site Vulture that talks about TV shows. This is in the category of 11 underrated shows to catch up on.

Food Network Star, Sundays, 9 p.m., Food Network
Welcome to season 11 of this grotesquely fascinating reality contest show. Why doesn't anyone on this show practice at home before coming on? There have been 11 seasons! The judging criteria hasn't changed at all! Learn to do the stir-and-speak, you fools.
How many episodes have aired so far? 4
Do I need to start at the beginning? Of course not, though a true monster troll was kicked off in episode two, and he was interesting in that can't-look-away sense for a hot second.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/07/tv-sho...

Guy's Trip to Portland Maine

Hey just saw you asked basically the same question in Sept. Did you not take that trip and if you did, where did you go?

Jun 30, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Guy's Trip to Portland Maine

No one has mentioned Fore St. which may not be the draw it once was but it's definitely got "a little going on" and can be great. Awesome mussels there. I like Zapoteca on the other end of Fore St., good happy hour. Grace off of Congress is a beautiful former church that makes a nice stop. Two bars that are pretty fun.

You have to go to cool slightly divey Downtown Lounge on Congress St. If Norm the owner is working, ask him to tell you stories of his crazy days in Boston bands. You can do some good tastings at Bunker Brewing, Alligash and Rising Tide a 20 or min walk from the main drag. There's also Maine Craft Distillers closeby for whiskey. Food trucks often set up outside these places. Cool cocktails at Hunt & Alpine and your hotel has a lounge with nice views.

If you go out Forest St. a bit you can get good beer at Great Lost Bear and across the street is the awesome Fishermen's Grill for cheap great seafood. And a fun place to play pool or ping pong next door called Ernie's Ping Pong & Pool appropriately.

Good donuts at Holy Donut and Tony's. Go old school at the Miss Portland Diner for breakfast.

Jun 30, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Where to eat in Portsmouth, NH?

Do you mean Friendly Toast?
There are tons of comments on Portsmouth on the board. My favorites are Black Trumpet for a special meal in a very old building and Moxy for drinks and tapas. Cava is good for tapas too. Grab a hot dog at Gilley’s at some point. Another option for breakfast is the Roundabout Diner. The Harbor Cruise is nice on a sunny day.

Jun 30, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Guess I'll make a couple comments on the latest episode even tho no one seems too thrilled with this program. There were three groups of 3 preparing a 4th of July for random people who not only listened to the spiel to decide which team's food to eat but had that meter marking how they felt about the presentation as it went along. The woman who used to be so stiff did really well, the long haired guy bored everyone again and took up Eddie's time, Arnold did well presenting but had undercooked/underseasoned shrimp. The team with Dom, the South African gal and the formerly boring woman (sorry for spacing on names) got the fewest chips, Eddie/Arnold/long hair got the most and the bottom 3 were Dom, the Italian gal and the blonde. Italian went home since she doesn't really seem to be able to cook all that well in general. Right choice.

Jun 29, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Recent Harraseeket Lunch experiences?

Thanks for mentioning Karen's Hideaway, that somehow escaped my list even tho they get 5 stars on Trip Adv and Yelp. We'll do our best to make a good dent in all these places. Also really want to try Trevett Country Store.

Actually do you have a thought for a quick stop maybe just outside of Portland as we get on Rt. 1? My plan is to take 95/295 until we go thru Portland then Rt. 1 the rest of the way. We may want a small bite before we get to Yarmouth. And you know I'll report back even if I'm the only one who reads it haha.

Recent Harraseeket Lunch experiences?

Was thinking that would be a good lunch stop on the way to BBH but see some way less than stellar reviews on Yelp. Any thoughts as to quality and value? Or what about Day's in Yarmouth? Just saw that this place existed and might be okay (altho the pictures of their lobster rolls look a little overly mayonaissey). Thanks.

Jun 22, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Glad to see Mama Sita/Cita go, I found her super annoying and she didn't seem to ever cook or present all that well. Sometimes it bugs me when BBQ guy talks to the camera (about the other contestants), like he's yelling all the time. Did anyone notice Alex (I think that's his name) touch his hair while cooking? Kind of surprised at Eddie's really bad day but I guess it was to be expected when everyone was saying he was the king at the start of the show.

Jun 22, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Boothbay Harbor in June (and Rt. 1 in between)

So last year's trip didn't happen and assuming no other screw ups, should be two nites in BBH on July 3-4 and Sun. 7/5 in Portland. I added some places to the list above and found a couple happy hours. Any updates for BBH or suggestions for the ride between Portland and BB where we'll take Rt. 1? Looking for typical summer dining: seafood, dogs, burgers and bbq along with ice cream and donuts/bakeries. Thanks.

Andrew's Harborside: 12 Bridge St, andrewsharborside.com; HH M-Sat 3-6
Brown's Wharf Inn & Rest: 121 Atlantic Ave, brownswharfinn.com/; $20-28, good beers
Chowder House: 22 Granary Way, chowderhouseinc.com; fair, outdoor seating
Cod's Head Fish House & BBQ: 63 Atlantic Ave, bbhrg.mineoyster.net/#; til 9, view, casual, HH 4-6
Damariscotta Grill: 155 Main St, Damariscotta, damariscottarivergrill.com/; $21-28, HH Tu-Sun 3-6PM upstairs
Dunton's Doghouse: 66 Townsend Ave, dogs, burgers, lobster rolls, fried food
McSeagull's: 11 Wharf St. @Pier 1, mcseagullsonline.com/enter/; music, view, HH 4-6
Pinkham's Seafood: 788 Wiscasset Rd, pinkhamsseafood.com, 9-6
Robinson's Wharf: 20 Hendricks Hill Rd, robinsons-wharf.com/; double lobster, view
Rocktide Inn & Restaurant: 35 Atlantic Ave, HH 4-6, $25-33 w/ popovers
Shannon's Unshelled: 11 Granary Way, shannonsunshelled.biz; lobster rollsand drinks only, 11-7
Whales Tale: 125 Atlantic Ave. carouselmarina.com/whalestalerestaurant/, views/sunset
The World is Mine Oyster: 16 Wharf St Pier 1, mineoyster.net; music, HH 4-6;

Jun 16, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England
1

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I agree that her changing the vote seemed a little too preconceived. Would have liked to have seen # a little longer. Mama Cita was annoying as all get out. The bbq guy got weird, was he really repeating those things 3 times or was that some FN magic? Eddie the football guy is cool. Nice to see the Staten Island dude loosen up.

I had a Top Chef flashback when they all got into their cars with obvious advertising moments.

I think Mama or the stiff woman will be next.

Jun 16, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I too foolishly turned it on and was slightly entertained. Liked the big grilling guy and a couple others. Surprised they sent the long haired gal home and that the super stiff woman didn't even get in the bottom three. Yes # is horrible, they had to have told him to be like that no?

Jun 09, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Bar Harbor - happy hour

Had a good time at Galyn’s happy hour, esp. an app of lobster biscuits served with newburg sauce. Also had a good grapefruit martini at Route 66 on Cottage St. but can't remember if they did a happy hour deal.

Jun 03, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Short Tannersville report

Didn't see too much discussion on the area but since I went to a wedding at Hunter Mountain last Sat., I got a taste of a few places in the cute little town. First stop was Twin Peaks Donuts which I had on my list. Fresh donuts made to order? I'm in. Various flavors of icing go on top an old fashioned donut (cider donut maybe?) so I went with my fave maple on Fri. which was very good as was my friend's regular glazed. Pleasant spot and pleasant people. I tried a key lime one on Sat. which was also good but they got overwhelmed quickly when 9 of us walked in. Dinner on Fri. was at the Last Chance Cafe which was pretty quiet at 8PM. We split a cheese plate which came w/ two cheeses, some pepperoni, apple and crackers for $12.95. Cheese was a little cold and hard. Also tried the knish-wich stuffed with pastrami, cheese and cole slaw. It was decent but pretty messy, a boring pasta salad was served with it. Service was mediocre.

Went back there on Sat. tho for a giant choc chip cookie that was tasty and served for a pre wedding snack as well as a return to Boston snack. Friend got a bagel sandwich at the Bagel Cafe in the little plaza at the bottom of the hill. Not sure if the folks at the Kaatskill Mountain Club did the food at the wedding but the hors d'oeuvres and main meal were a notch above usual wedding fare. Breakfast on the way out of town was at Selena and Nick's Diner which wasn't so busy on a Sun. morning until we left at 11. Very good ham & cheese omelette, good home fries (kind of a griddled mashed potato style) and a short stack of pancakes for good prices.

Danbury thoughts

Quick report of our time to and from Danbury, someone may need this for future ref (esp. if hot dogs are a major focus). Started with Frankie's on Watertown Ave. in Waterbury and split the footlong (all food mentioned was split). The dog could have used more time on the grill but overall was quite good with a well done bun. Next stop was Denmo's Snack & Dairy Bar in Southbury where we got a footlong and a small order of clams plus split a coffee milk shake. The shake was the best item and the dog was okay. The clams were pretty sad, a clumped overdone mess. Plus the gals working the window were really abrupt, not worth the detour off 84. We checked into the Crown Plaza where I got a good Priceline deal and drove to the Tarrywile Mansion and Park for a little walk then into Bethel where we grabbed drinks at Molten Java and checked out Disc & Dat Records. When we got to Sycamore Drive In, the carhop had started so we checked out the cool old cars then ate another hot dog. This was a regular sized dog that didn't have much snap but the people working were nice and the guy running the music and trivia at the show was a hoot. I felt bad about driving by JK's Original but we went higher end for the night time dining.

Started at Market Place Kitchen on Mill Plain Rd. and had really excellent food and drink. Decent pear martini and the pork belly appetizer was some of the best I've ever had, and substantial. Too bad the risotto was on the gummy side but it was a tasty plate and the side of crispy Brussels sprouts was excellent too (about $14 and $7). Service was fine but make sure to look at the specials menu before ordering drinks since several cocktails and beers were on that in addition to food. We then walked to the bar of Mezon and had excellent/fun service from Christian who tried to equal the Pisco sour I had in Peru but came up just a little short. A. was excited about a Brazilian beer they had and we continued eating even tho there was no need. The cauliflower was nice but a little dry as was the carnitas tostones. In fact, I think they forgot half the advertised items on the menu so both items were drier than you would have expected. I figured I'd stuff a piece of tres leches cake and that was very good, so we ended on a high note. Plus the folks working there and those seated at the bar were nice, so it was a good overall experience. We skipped the cover charge at Molly Darcy's and got a drink at the bar of Max 40 while watching basketball and hockey

Sun. we went to the flea market in New Milford where A. got a baker's dozen of mini donuts at Dave's Homemade donuts and those were worth the fairly long wait. Only bought one piece of glass then we headed back to Boston with a stop at Shady Glen in Manchester. One more hot dog of the small variety, it was fine. We also got a cheeseburger plate ($10), man that's a tiny overdone burger. I kept saying some restaurant should throw a bunch of cheese on *real* burgers and improve on the Shady Glen idea. Fries are okay, excellent cole slaw and I was happy to see grapenut ice cream on the menu so ended with a cone. One last stop in Pomfret at the Vanilla Bean Café for cold drinks and our Connecticut eating was complete.

Long London wrap up

Hey Beetlebug, I see you went to the fish place too. Were you staying in that area? If so, hit that Hammersmith outdoor food mkt. Such a fun city. And my friend *still* hasn't put her house on the market. Oh well, it was good to get out of Boston during that hellish winter. Have fun. I'm on a hot dog tour of CT tomorrow, haha.

May 22, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Danbury thoughts

Thanks for the info. I hit Dottie's on the way to Poughkeepsie last year, it was fine. I think we're going to revisit Shady Glen on the way back to Boston so probably will skip BBQ on Sun. but will add it to the list. Also just found out about JK's "Texas Hot Weiners" in Danbury. Between them, Frankie's, Denmo's, Sycamore Drive In and Saints, we've got a lot to choose from.

May 21, 2015
Joanie in Southern New England