Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

bensop's Profile

Title Last Reply

St. Louis first timer- Recs Please

I am heading to St. Louis for the first time in May with my wife and 18 month old daughter. What are the St. Louis institutions that can't be missed? Maybe something I won't be able to get here in Utah. Where do the local foodies eat? I am interested in lunches and dinners. One day we will be going to a Cardinals day game. We will be staying with relatives in the city so transportation won't be a problem. We love all types of food of all types of prices, but with the baby we would like to trend towards affordable kid friendly places (preferably with great beer and mixed drinks). Although, for the right place we might be able to get a babysitter and go somewhere better suited for adults.

Thanks in advance.

Mar 17, 2011
bensop in Great Plains

First time in Vancouver

Thanks for the reply. We are from Salt Lake City and we will be staying in Downtown Vancouver. We will definitely be checking out the Granville Public Market and the Aquarium, and I really like your idea about an Asian mall.

Here are some of the restaurants we are looking at so far.
Guu garlic
Twisted Fork Bistro
Possibly Kirin for Chinese

Are these restaurants going to please us? Any other Recs?

838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

Twisted Fork
1147 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z1M1, CA

Oct 18, 2010
bensop in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

First time in Vancouver

My wife and I are going to be visiting Vancouver with our one year old daughter for the first time next week. Neither of us know anything about Vancouver, but we both really love to eat and will eat anything. I would really appreciate and recommendations for the categories below. One thing though, everything needs to be baby friendly. Thanks in advance.

1. Is there one restaurant that you cannot miss when in Vancouver?

2. Any recs for restaurants that would be kid friendly with awesome food, preferable inexpensive?

3. Are there any food markets we need to see? I heard of somewhere called the Richmond Night Market that sounds great. I love asian Markets, or just anywhere that has massive amounts of food to try.

4. Where is the best restaurant for Oysters?

5. Are there any areas of Vancouver we shouldn't miss? China Town?Parks?

6. Are there any activities/day-trips that we need to do with the baby?

Oct 17, 2010
bensop in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

My Top 10 Restaurants of 2009- Denver

rlm's post a couple days ago got me to thinking about what my favorite spots around Denver are. This is not my top 10 new restaurants, rather just my favorites of the year.

1. New Saigon- Is there anything thats not great at New Saigon? I love their soups, egg rolls and clams, but most of all I love the 10c (I don't even know the real name). The service sucks at best, and the space is not much better, but damn the food is so good!

2. Osteria Marco- All of Frank Bonnano's restaurants are great, but there is something I love about Osteria. If I could only eat one more thing before I die, it would quite possible be the cured meats and cheese board, All the meats and cheeses especially the burrata is exceptionally good as is everything else on the menu. Best of all, the place is pretty darn affordable.

3. Sushi Sasa- In my opinion Sushi Sasa is the undisputed King when it comes to sushi in Denver ( I do like Sushi Den as well). Again, everything at Sasa is great. I especially like the new style sashimi. It is quite spendy, but for sushi I guess I kind of want to pay the price for the freshest, best products available.

4. Shazz- Here is one place that is almost too pricey for what it is, but I can't deny the fact that every time I go there I leave very happy. The Braised Oxtail and cheesy grits appetizer might be my favorite app in denver. All of the pastas are great... you know what, its all very good. This restaurant wins my Hidden Gem award.

5. Stuebens- I just have to put this here be cause it's my "when all else fails" restaurant. Its not too pricey, the food is always solid and it's open late.

6. Rioja- This restaurant would make my list any year. Great food, great service and great atmosphere. My favorite is the tuna tartar/sashimi app, but I also agree with rlm that the Pork Belly app is superior.

7. Park Burger- This is one of Frank Bonnano's su chef's new burger joint. The sweet potato fries are very good, the fries are very good, but he Croque Monsieur burger rocks.

8. Masterpiece deli- My favorite sandwich shop in Denver. The white truffle egg salad is really good. I also really like the italian and the ham and cheese w/ thyme.

9. Jonesy's eat bar- The first couple time I went I was not blown away. However I live close by so I kept going for the beer. Now I really like it a lot. The goat cheese and balsamic reduction fries are my favorite in Denver. Last time I had some pulled pork sliders w/ blue cheese that ruled

10. Walnut Room- This is a quiet little bar on 31st and Walnut with a bar menu. But the pizza and salads are great. The reason I put this on my list is because it is so affordable. On Tuesday nights you get to flip for your food at happy hour. Meaning you order, the waitress flip a copin and if you are right all you have to do is tip. Plus all draft beers are half price between 5-7. Last time I went our whole table won the flip so our total bill was something like $20 for 4 of us.

Top 2 biggest disappointments
1. Root Down- There is something about this place that feels so pretentious. The space might be the best in Denver, but the food and service stinks. Ok it doesn't stink, but I cant say I have ever had a good meal there. And I have been a few times.

2. Olivea- see my reply in rlm's post- Denver Restaurants: A Few Ideas/Opinions

Feel free to list your favorites of 09.

Dec 30, 2009
bensop in Mountain States

Denver Restaurants: A Few Ideas/Opinions

I went to Olivea a few months after it opened, I want to say Sept. As I recall we shared a few apps, a charcuterie board, a flat bread, and a squid salad and something else. For a main course I had Steak or Pork chop ( it was that unmemorable) and the wife had sea bass (I think). We skipped dessert because we were full. Its not like anything was bad, although the flat bread was borderline. I just felt as though my meal should have been half the price (kind of like Aix made me feel at times). It had nothing to do with prices, size of portions or service. I just know that I could have gotten a better meal at so many other places for the money I dropped on Olivea.

With all of that being said, I would go back, but not for a full meal. I would do cocktails and small plates there in the future.

Dec 30, 2009
bensop in Mountain States

Denver Restaurants: A Few Ideas/Opinions

I have to respectfully disagree about Olivea, at least the food aspect anyways. I agree that the space is utilized much better than Aix was, and I hear great things about Jasmine's desserts. However, I left that place feeling like I spent way too much money on a mediocre Dinner (and I only spent around $120 for two). Nothing I ate was memorable, and believe me when I say I am the type that likes to sample everything. I too eat around quite a bit, and I completely agree with your other recs, especially Osteria Marco, Rioja and Bones. Olivea on the other hand is not a restaurant I am rushing to get back to anytime soon.

Dec 29, 2009
bensop in Mountain States

Proposal Location, Salt Lake City, New Years

I would not recommend the Grand America for dinner. I have eaten there a few times and have been extremely disappointed every time, plus it is extremely boring. If you are looking for great food with classy yet hip environment that is downtown, I would recommend the Metropolitan, Martine, Takashi (sushi), Bambara or even Em's (although Em's isn't technically downtown). Each of these places have great food, is located downtown, and you will have a fantastic time.

Dec 21, 2009
bensop in Mountain States

San Diego recs.

Thanks for the replies so far. I think we will try and rent a car for a day or two just so that we can save ourselves some hassle. Also, thanks for the info on Chino's, I thought hat was a restaurant. We love sushi and drink spots, but the wife is preggers with our first so we will have to try those recs next time. We are both food lovers though, so any other recs from street tacos to fine dining is always appreciated.

Jul 13, 2009
bensop in San Diego

San Diego recs.

My wife and I will be in San Diego or the first time in August in celebration of her graduating law school and the bar exam. I think we will be staying at the W and will not have a car. Will we be stuck downtown? How hard will it be for us to get to La Jolla/ Point Loma/ Coronado/Mission Beach for day trips? Any advice would be appreciated.

Also please reccommend any restaurants that should not be missed in any price range.

restaurants that interest me so far are:

Cafe Chloe (lunch or dinner)
Bahia Don Bravo (lunch if we can get to La Jolla)
George's Ocean Terrace (dinner if we can get to La jolla)
Point Loma Seafood (lunch)
Old Town somewhere (dinner)


Jul 12, 2009
bensop in San Diego

Littleton Colorado

Just started a new job in littleton. It is on Wadsworth just off of highway 285, 5700 S. Or around there. I was wondering if there are any good restaurants around me. I like everything so all restaurants would be appreciated. Thank You.

Feb 04, 2008
bensop in Southwest

French 250 in Denver

After reading the menu of French 250 online I cant stop thinking about eating there. I made reservations for Valentines day with my wife even though I have heard almost nothing abouth the place. Can anyone tell me how it is and what the best items on the menu are. Thanks

Jan 16, 2008
bensop in Southwest

SLC dinner advice

I am headed to Salt Lake next week and was wondering if anyone has any info on a restaurant called Teppanyaki. I believe it is located somewhere near 1700 S. and 300 W. If anyone knows the restaurant please let me know what is good there. How does it compare to benihanas, what to order etc. Thank you in advance.

Dec 16, 2007
bensop in Southwest

Top 10 new tastes after one year in Denver

Here are my ten favorite new tastes of my first year in Denver. I am interested in learning others favorite tastes around denver for next year's research.

1. Tuna tartar/sashimi AND braised pork belly- Rioja

2. Burger- Smashburger and Cherry Cricket

3. Philly cheese steak- Bourbon Grill (on Colfax)

4. Sushi- Sushi Sasa/ Sushi Den

5. Ethiopian- "Ethiopian Restaurant" (on Colfax)

6. Brunch/Omlette- Devils Food

7. Lunch- Parisi

8. Pizza- Protos/ Benny blancos

9. Greek/Mediterranean- My big fat Greek restaurant/Domascus

10. Take-Out- Thai Basil

11. Stiff drinks- Don's mixed drinks

Dec 13, 2007
bensop in Southwest