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Croatia/Serbia/Bosnia/Montenegro/Slovenia thoughts?

I see a couple recent comments on these countries including Emile's report of July, but not a ton of newer posts. I'm looking to do this loop in Oct. We'll have a rental and the plan is a couple nites each in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and Zagreb plus a few single nites scattered in Mont, the coast and Ljubljana. Any suggestions for good food? One fancy meal probably in DUB, I've seen some good places mentioned. Probably Restaurant 360, Gusta Me or Proto (thoughts?). Otherwise just looking for good local food, casual with a couple other fancier places. Good dive bars and fancy bars are always on the agenda as are any good rock music places. Oh and if you have hints for best routes to drive since we won't be able to read most signs, that would be good. Thanks for your help.

Aug 28, 2015
Joanie in Europe

Portland (and some Portsmouth) weekend report

I just went to Central Prov for my first time in July and we loved it. Sat at the counter and watched the action, had a great server, front of house was awesome, nothing to complain about. Trying to think if I had another bad chef experience but not in Maine where things have been pretty good across the board on various trips.

Aug 28, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Bruges Trip: Must-Visit Food Stops

I'm surprised no one's answered. Here's my report from last year. Our nice dinner was at Gruthushof and we really liked it.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/994595

Aug 28, 2015
Joanie in Europe

portland / south: oddball seafood + newer portland places?

How much longer are you in town? You should bop into Central Prov and at least try a dish. They're pretty interesting. I was going to repeat my Fisherman's Grill rec but if it's as hot there as in Boston, you want to find whatever the best place on the water is. I'm not sure what that would be tho.

Aug 19, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I don't understand the pilots at all either. When they filmed them, I was assuming it was just a general test run to see how they'd handle it, not that that was really gonna be their shows. This whole time Jay's talking about Cajun stuff and they've got him as the fried food guy. And Eddie had his tasty healthy thing and now he's bbq man. Dom was the only one that made sense from the original point of view (that they foist upon these guys). I think Eddie's the right choice in any case.

And no one's mentioned Giada's low cut dress. Somehow I didn't notice it any other time this season but the dress Sun. was very low then when they did the flashbacks (which I mostly skipped over), it was boob city 3 out of 4 times.

Aug 18, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Vacation Dining in Camden, ME and surrounding coast

Happy hour at 40 Paper.

Aug 13, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine - Overrated?

That's what I thought too. I like both the butter and mayo style rolls, but don't want to add them in myself cuz you can't really do it properly. And yes, a little seasoning is usually a good thing. I went once, no need to return.

Aug 12, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

portland / south: oddball seafood + newer portland places?

It doesn't serve exotic fish but Fishermen's Grill on Forest Ave. is an excellent no frills fish joint. fishermensgrill.com. and it's nice to get out of the usual touristy area.

I think around 2:30 is a good time for Eventide. Central Provisions is excellent.

Here's my happy hour list but I seldom get there in time. I have enjoyed the one at Zapoteca. Check on Hunt & Alpine, I'd seen that they had a late nite HH but when we went, they weren't offering it. J's Oysters may have one too.

Blue Spoon: 89 Congress St., bluespoonme.com/, small $14-26, til 9:30 Fr/Sar, drinks, Sun. brunch til 2; HH 4-6 wine and small bites special
Boone's Fish House: 86 Commercial St., boonesfishhouse.com; $12-32 HH 4-6, 10-midnite
Bramhall Hall: 769 Congress St., pub and beers, HH 4-6;

MJ's Wine Bar: One City Center, onecitywines.com, HH M-F 4-6, 3 and 6 oz pours w/ cheese plates
North Point: 35 Silver St., northpointportland.com, HH 4-6 M-F, $5 wine $6 cocktails flatbread
Norm's Lounge: 606 Congress St., downtownloungeportland.com/; Norm cell 207-749-2232, HH 5-7;
North Point: 35 Silver St., northpointportland.com; HH 4-6 M-F $4-6, cheaper sibling of Timber
Three Dollar Dewey's: 341 Commercial St., beers, HH 4-8, threedollardeweys.com/
Timber: 106 Exchange St., timberportland.com/; HH 4-6 M-F, $5 apps/wine $6 drinks, steakhouse
Zapoteca: 505 Fore St, zapotecarestaurant.com/, fancy Mexican, tequilas, HH M-F 4-6, 10-close

Aug 11, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

This was at Galyn's I assume from the photo? I don't think you said in your report. We had a great appetizer and nice drinks there a couple years ago, too bad your stew wasn't up to snuff.

Aug 10, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Well what many predicted has happened. Dom is the comeback kid and will be in the finals next week with Eddie and Jay. They of course had past contestants to pick for their sous chefs when Dom made the odd choice of #Matthew who seemed like he'd undermine him but ended up working out. Eddie def had one of his worst days but there was no denying he'd be in the finals unless he completely melted down. Jay had it all together. Dom stumbled but he has miraculously become fine with the camera. Arnold went from talking a mile a minute to standing there saying nothing. Do you think they tell them in advance this is how it plays out? Whatever, we'll see how it ends next week.

Aug 10, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Food Netword Star (Salvation)

That's what I think. How would Dom all of a sudden get his shit together on air after just dealing with straight cooking behind the scenes/off camerra? Jay's good but something about him seems a little fake to me. But I guess that's inherent in these things.

Aug 07, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Dinner Pitstop Heading to NYC from Portland ME

Lots of great restaurants in Providence if you take 95 the whole way. Gracie's, Cav, Julian's, Red Fez. Many more all within 5-10 min of 95.

Aug 07, 2015
Joanie in Southern New England

lunch worth stopping for on the way to Camden?

Had good fried shrimp and lobster rolls at Day's in Yarmouth just a short drive up from Portland. A nice back yard w/ picnic benches to eat at (report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974998). Also had a nice lunch at the Fisherman's Dock in York. It's right on Rt 1, has much more comfortable seating if that matters. Had a tasty clam/scallop plate. Have had good luck at another spot on that route but can't think of the name.

I've also eaten at Fat Boy in Brunswick and the other drive-in, whose name I think just changed. That's a fun throwback. The little diner in Brunswick gets good reviews. And someone recently mentioned Libby's for lobster rolls in Brunswick but I haven't gone, and I don't think you can really sit there. Plus it's a hunk of a drive more than York and Yarmouth.

Aug 05, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Yelp is in a 'death spiral'

Haha, good one.

Aug 03, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Food and Soccer in Portland?

I had a great meal at Picolo in Dec. and would def. recommend if you want to try something different, in a more intimate setting than Street (which I think is fine). Was def. worth the wait with a nice cocktail across the street (at Glass Bar) to eat at Central Provisions last month. I like going to Grace because it's so pretty but have only had an appetizer there.

Aug 03, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Maine trip report

I've had Libby's on my list for a while. Brunswick has more places than you'd imagine, I still need to hit that diner some time. And revisit one of the drive-ins that changed hands I think.

Aug 03, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Well, the result we expected happened last nite with Alex getting the boot. He just couldn't find the fit between talking about his food and giving some extra info. And while he associates ramen with his one family reunion, it doesn't bring "summertime" to anyone's mind. Eddie killed it, Jay not as much. Unless something goes wrong for those two, Arnold is next to go.

Aug 03, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Maine trip report

I really was contemplating a crabmeat roll at some point on my BBH/Portland trip but didn't do it. Oh well, next time. Also had Shanon's on my list but only so many places a gal can squeeze in. Gotta hit Boathouse Bistro next time too.

Jul 31, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

GF Portland trip report

I know I'll probably feel silly once I see the answer, but what is GF? Oh just came to me, gluten free.

And I do a lot of research for Portland dining but the marshmallow cart hasn't popped up before this report. Not that I'm a huge fan but it just sounds so unique.

Jul 31, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Brattleboro, VT

I noticed Duo when I was there last weekend (report on the board) and it looked interesting. My friends like their brunch, not sure they've gone much otherwise. For Liptauer, these friends like the Gleanery in Putney. And I'm also intrigued by Blue Moose Bistro on Main St. (in Bratt) which I can't vouch for but it gets good marks and the menu looks pretty interesting at a good price. Like $16 for a duck dish, etc. http://www.bluemoosebistro.com/dinner...

Brattleboro overflows w/ places a lot more than many towns in VT.

Jul 29, 2015
Joanie in Northern New England

Southern VT report

Writing up a few places I hit on a 3 day trip to Brattleboro and Weston. Started with a small refreshing beer at Whetstone on the river in Bratt. That deck is an awesome place to relax with something cold. Have eaten lunch there once and thought it was quite decent. This time no food since dinner would be at Peter Havens. My friends know everyone in town but that couldn't get us seated at the bar and I didn't realize that the deck menu was completely different than the inside, including having only a limited number of cocktails. That was kind of a drag but it was a nice night so we ate the more casual food outside. A couple decent fried chicken sandwiches and a lamb kebab on a salad with grapefruit magaritas and a French 75. Prices are about $9-15 on the deck. We did sneak in at the bar after and they have really interesting cocktails (and food), so had a mini Italian something (can't remember the name) but you can put your trust in the bartender to make a proper drink.

Had a hard time finding breakfast until I got to the Putney Diner right on Rt. 5. Very quiet for prime bkfst time on a Sat. I really enjoyed the home fries that came with the egg & cheese sandwich, $3.95. Good iced coffee at the general store and my friends like The Gleanery for dinner but maybe next visit. After continuing thru Bellows Falls and Springfield (my home town, sad how few places you can go there these days), I got to Weston. We ended up having dinner at a fairly new place in Ludlow, Homestyle Hostel Bar & Restaurant. The lights were too bright but other than that, it was a cute place with an interesting menu. 3 adults and 2 kids split apps of mussels, pork meatballs, polenta w/ mushrooms in sherry and a goat cheese dip of sorts. Esp. liked the polenta. We then split the 1/2 order of chicken ($30) w/ potato and greens. Really nicely done chicken, moist. No one was really hungry but we got a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The only option at $12 was a little pricey and not the least bit summery but it was very good. They have interesting cocktails and very good service, a really pleasant place.

On Sun. we got lunch at the long standing Pot Belly Pub. I was bummed that there wasn't one egg option on Sun. at brunch time but the roast turkey (real turkey) w/ bacon and cheese sandwich was great as were the reubens, salad, onion soup and chicken wings. Lunch for 5 with lemonades and sodas was about $74. Later we met some relatives on Lake Bomoseen and dinner at the Lake House later on. The view really is spectacular there. Food and drinks were fine, we all went pretty casual with mostly sandwiches in the $9-12 range.

Last stop in VT was breakfast at the Country Girl diner where I had a blueberry pancake bigger than your head for $4.99. I asked them to make sure it was browned enough and it was perfect, served w/ real maple syrup. Good stuff.

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.

Jul 28, 2015
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.

Jul 28, 2015
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.

Jul 28, 2015
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).

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