m

micapu's Profile

Title Last Reply

what's good in Kannapolis & Concord, NC?

I'm holding out hope for a surprise ;) The last comments I saw on this board were from February of this year, and a few months can change a lot in a local food scene for better or worse.

When we lived in West Charlotte, everyone said that side of town was a culinary dead zone, yet we were pleasantly surprised by Pinky's Westside Grill (great food, great service, and affordable). So I'm hoping there's at least some neighborhood place that's worth eating at here, even if it's just great pancakes, or burgers, or whathaveyou. We can trek to Charlotte for fine dining or more exotic fare if need be (not something that comes up a lot) but we like to stay close to home for a casual meal or the occasional takeout. For example, how's the Havana Carolina Café? I could go for a good Cuban sandwich, it's been a while.

-----
Havana Carolina Cafe
8 Cabarrus Ave W, Concord, NC 28025

Sep 04, 2011
micapu in Southeast

what's good in Kannapolis & Concord, NC?

nothing much has been said recently on this board about eating in these towns, so I'm hoping to encourage the topic. My family just moved out near the Research Campus in Kannapolis. What are the go-to places for breakfast/lunch around here, any good old school diners or mom & pop-type places? How about pizza, burgers and/or tacos? Fine dining, family-style/casual dining, or bakeries... what should we try and what should we avoid? We try to avoid chains and focus on locally-owned eateries/small businesses. TIA!

Sep 02, 2011
micapu in Southeast

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

thank you all, we'll add Savor Cafe & LaWan's to the list. We're just a couple of miles N from the airport, so we're definitely in West Charlotte but I figured I'd ask about SW as well, since maybe the demographics in Steele Creek might've driven a few places to open up nearby. We really do cook almost all of the time, have a tight budget & a young, picky child. We hate chain restaurants and would just like to know of a few places we can pop into/get takeout from on the rare days we're too tired to cook or we're out shopping in the Costco area. Places where we don't have to dress up, fight crowds, or drive across town to get a good meal ;)

Feb 03, 2011
micapu in Southeast

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

any specific reccs for Mac's? Having read on here how the locals find Charlotte 'cue to be lacking, I wouldn't mind knowing what the best or can't miss options are. Thanks!

Feb 03, 2011
micapu in Southeast

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

the only friends we've made in town so far rave about Saigon Palace! Thank you for the recc, we'll have to check it out.

Is the West/SW side really such a food desert here in Charlotte? I'd hoped there were a few good hole-in-the-wall mom & pop East Asian places to patronize near our home...

-----
Saigon Palace
5215 South Blvd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28217

Jan 28, 2011
micapu in Southeast

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

edited my OP. Thanks for the recc on Saffron, I'd seen it on another post on the board and it's already on the list :)

Jan 23, 2011
micapu in Southeast

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

My family moved to the West Charlotte side of town (from AZ) six months ago. We cook at home almost always but would like to start sampling nearby non-chain eateries. Other than Pinky's, where can we go for good but casual dining? Especially interested in really good East Asian food. (Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean... I have a weakness/fondness for noodle dishes especially)

Thanks!

Jan 23, 2011
micapu in Southeast

Mofongo in Charlotte?

mofongo is PuertoRican, not Dominican. However, many people from the DR have taken up residence in PR and cooked in our fondas (diners) and restaurants, so they know how to make it the right way. ;-) Since I'm PRican, I felt obligated to point out that mofongo is *not* a Dominican dish. They do have a dish in DR made out of mashed plantain that is delicious, but the plantain is boiled instead of fried, and it's called mangu.

I'll be adding Punta Cana to my list of restaurants I have to check in CLT.

Jul 13, 2010
micapu in Southeast

dog-friendly in Charlotte, NC

a-hahahaha... no. Of all the delicacies my Korean roommate in college introduced me to, *dog* was not one of them. I would love to find a great Korean place in CLT tho.

Seriously folks, no other foodies in town are ever caught out & about with their dogs at chow-time?

Jul 01, 2010
micapu in Southeast

dog-friendly in Charlotte, NC

Hi everyone! My family has recently relocated to Charlotte and we love doing stuff outdoors with our dog. We've visited many cities where outdoor dining was possible with one's 4-legged BFF, so we're hoping to find a few options in our new city. Bonus points if the food is really good, and even better if the place is close to one of the dog parks :-)

Help? TIA!!!

Jun 30, 2010
micapu in Southeast

family & dog-friendly in Sedona?

I apologize for failing to update this sooner, hopefully it'll help someone else traveling with their dog. We ate dinner at the Hideaway Restaurant both nights -- their Dieter's Downfall pizza and their lasagna being the best things we ordered. They have a dog-friendly balcony that can be accessed from the parking lot.

The other place where we ate twice was the Wildflower Bakery. Someone in another thread on Sedona ha recommended their lemon ricotta pancakes and these did not disappoint. I was too busy enjoying my pancakes to notice what other people ordered but it was so good we had to go back for lunch after hiking around. And for lunch everything was also delicious! We ordered a soup in a breadbowl for my oldest son (who was fighting something that later turned out to be mono!) which he devoured, a spicy meatball sandwich for my husband which was apparently spicy enough, a roast beef sandwich for me, and my best friend had an incredible salad. So, even though this place is a chain, the fact that it's located in a "shopping center" that is family AND dog friendly, and on top of that their food is really good, made this a place we'll return to next time we go to Sedona. For what it's worth, we tried a couple of their cakes and they were not what I'd consider "TEH AWESOME".

Jun 07, 2009
micapu in Southwest

Cafe Elote in Sedona, AZ

that elote appetizer sounds delicious! I read that they have seating outside, is it in a rear garden or is it an area where I'd be allowed to have my dog with me?

Apr 23, 2009
micapu in Southwest

family & dog-friendly in Sedona?

Hello fellow Chowhounds! We're heading to Sedona on Friday, not sure yet where we'll be staying. It'll be three adults, a teenager who eats like a maniac, and a 5 year old who can be very picky. And of course, The Dog -- a 65lb Coonhound. We'll need places to eat Friday night thru Sunday morning.

Help please?

Apr 22, 2009
micapu in Southwest

Ensenada Baja Mexico "Gastronomic Adventures 2009"

Wanted to let you know that we visited two of the restaurants mentioned in this thread, and were very pleased: Oaxaca at Viento, and Muelle Tres. The latter was the unanimous favorite and we think the best value as well.

At Oaxaca, we tried the pollo con mole negro, chuleta estofada, a quesadilla-type dish with Tasajo (I was battling a migraine so names are fuzzy), and a fish-stuffed chile dish that I also can't remember the name of, so basically all but one of the entrees on the menu that day. All the food was definitely good, but I didn't feel it was the most outstanding example of Mexican/Oaxacan food I've ever had. We'll probably stop in again next time we're in the area, since they didn't have the tamales de mole or the chilaquiles (which look excellent), so I hope maybe next time the food will really blow our socks off. Being able to look at the ocean while eating our meal was definitely a plus, and theirs was the best bathroom I visited in Mexico all weekend! ;-)

At Muelle Tres, we ordered the Mejillones al vapor 6 chiles and two of the Menu de Degustacion (tasting menu). I feel strongly that anyone going to Muelle Tres for the first time should order the tasting menu because we got to try almost everything on the menu, it was all delicious, and next time I go I'll have a clear idea of what my favorites are. The Pescadilla and the Clam Ceviche are high on my list, and I'll probably order the Croquetas de Atun because I didn't get to try them this time (husband's not a huge fan of shellfish, so I let him have all the croquettes while I was stuffing myself with the bivalves) and my husband and son waxed poetic for hours after about how great they were. I had two small complaints: one was that the Mejillones broth cried out for a nice crusty bread to sop it up, and the other is that there were two dishes that we tasted (including the day's special, Tiradita de Jurel) which were prepared with soy sauce and ginger and the flavors were perfectly balanced, but then my son decided he wasn't full yet and ordered the Ceviche de Pescado and the flavor of the soy sauce used in that was overwhelming. We're definitely planning to return to Muelle Tres.

Feb 21, 2009
micapu in Mexico

Valle de Guadalupe Ensenada Questions

well, I'm sad to report that we only drove through the Valle and didn't actually stop because we decided to come home a day early (I was struggling with a migraine all weekend, so wine was definitely a no-no for me). We did spot almost all of the places mentioned above, and we may head down there again for my birthday next month. Sylvestre's is only open during the Summer?

We also noticed there's a L.A. Cetto winery & tasting room set up along Hwy 1 south of Ensenada, around Ejido Santo Tomas. Since we are also planning to make the trip back to San Quintin to visit our friends, we were wondering if you guys have any feedback/stopped there and if we should try it, or just stick to the VdG.

Feb 21, 2009
micapu in Mexico

Valle de Guadalupe Ensenada Questions

Ringo Gato, thank you so much for your feedback, I'll be sure to post back after we return from our trip.

Spanish is my first language, so that won't be an issue. We'll actually be returning from a wedding in San Quintin when we pass thru the Valle de Guadalupe, so we'll have less than 24 hours in the area, which is why your reccs will be so helpful. I fully intend on making trips to this area on a regular basis, and bringing family & friends along. But first, I have to get my husband as excited about the area as I am ;-)

Feb 10, 2009
micapu in Mexico

Valle de Guadalupe Ensenada Questions

oh, this is awesome! We'll be driving through there next weekend and I was hoping we could plan an overnight stay somewhere in that area and eat some good food, taste some good wine. Can you recommend a good place to eat & sleep in that area? (somewhere along Hwy 3, preferably still in wine country)

Feb 03, 2009
micapu in Mexico

home-smoking a fresh ham: what're the secrets?

ooops, that should've read "25-30mins per pound"... sorry, I was a bit distracted when I was posting. It was a 20lb leg, so we were smoking/cooking it most of the day.

So, I guess I need to find a dry cure recipe somewhere, and in the meantime make do with a "city ham". Darnit!

Jan 03, 2009
micapu in Home Cooking

Why am I skimming foam on black-eyed peas?

*please take this with a grain of salt since I'm not a pro, and feel free to cross-reference with some serious technique cookbooks*

the foam is supposed to add bitter flavor & unpleasant appearance to your broths and/or stews. Ideally, you shouldn't be boiling your peas/meats/whatever at a high temp, they should be set at a temperature that is barely above a simmer which will eliminate the foam and therefore the need for skimming.

I'm sure there's some cool scientific explanation that involves high heat vs. protein but hopefully a more science-minded chef will post it. I *can* tell you that I make soup all the time and stew dried beans and once I relearned to do so at a lower temp there has been no skimming necessary. I'd say the flavor has improved as well but that could just be psychosomatic ;-)

Jan 03, 2009
micapu in Home Cooking

home-smoking a fresh ham: what're the secrets?

Husband and I have been experimenting with smoking different foods in our Weber kettle grill... so far, we've had great success with turkey, chicken, beef ribs. We've also used apple, hickory and mesquite woods and loved the results.

We wanted to make a home-smoked ham for New Year's and I found what seemed like a good recipe on another forum (one specific to BBQ & smoking enthusiasts). While the end result was certainly tasty, it looked/tasted nothing like smoked HAM, it tasted like smoked PORK and was pale in color instead of a nice reddish-pink meat. The recipe I followed didn't call for brining the meat, the fresh ham was supposed to be scored and sit in smoke for 25-30mins in a low&slow 225-250º heat. The glaze was then supposed to be put on it for the last hour of cooking.

Has anyone here smoked a fresh ham at home successfully? (as in the end result tastes & looks like HAM) Any ideas where we went wrong? I want to try it again soon, since I'm still jonesing for the traditional "leftover-ham soup" I always make... With the leftover smoked pork I decided to make an Americanized version of PuertoRican Sancocho.

Jan 03, 2009
micapu in Home Cooking

Pet Friendly Restaurant Patios-Phoenix Area

thanks for this, we'd driven up from Yuma with our doggie and little boy and wanted a good place to eat where everyone could stretch out and have a good time. My little boy loved running around with the other kids at Joe's Farm Grill, and our dog was able to meet a few of her kind before we finished our meal and headed over to Cosmo Park to wear them both out before the long drive home.

I love threads like this, they make my life so much easier!!!

By the way,our son polished off the grilled Peanut Butter & Banana sandwich, hubby had the BBQ chicken pizza, I had the Chicken salad sandwich, and we shared sweet potato fries and onion rings. Everything was very good, tho I was surprised at how small my sandwich was. The sweet potato fries were the highlight of the meal for me, as well as the relaxed ambiance & outdoor seating.

Nov 09, 2008
micapu in Phoenix

[PHX] weekend eating near Civic Plaza / Wesley Bolin?

LOL, I'm so sorry... I've been so busy I hadn't come back to the board since the trip! And now tomorrow we'll be going back to PHX for the day, go figure.

On the way from Yuma to PHX, we stopped in Gila Bend and got some breakfast burritos from Sofia's; that was lunch. We thought to pick up cinnamon rolls at Ikea for Sunday morning, so we could eat in the hotel room at whatever point anyone was hungry. Dinner on Saturday night was at Sabor Cubano, which was a huge hit with everyone and I've really wanted to come back and review thoroughly... (I'm not sure how to do the cool linkies, so I'd love it if someone else could do it for this place) Finally, we had planned to have lunch at the Greek Festival, and it took us forever to find it since we're not locals. But once we got there we realized that, while the food smelled incredible, the cost of feeding our family of four would've probably left us without gas money to get back home, so we stopped at Pizza a Metro and ordered a footlong pizza.

I have to say that after reading the thread on here about Pizza a Metro, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was super pleasantly surprised at the freshness of the sauce and the ingredients, and how the crust was light yet "crusty" all at once.

And Sabor Cubano wasn't perfect, we had the buffet (plus a few extras) and there were some definite misses for me, but I grew up eating homestyle Cuban food on a regular basis and I'd say they definitely had more hits than misses. We're planning on having dinner again there tomorrow, and it was my husband who said it first. :-)

Nov 07, 2008
micapu in Phoenix

[PHX] weekend eating near Civic Plaza / Wesley Bolin?

excellent! Yes, we'll have a car, so that makes things easier. I was just hoping to not have to drive too far for good eats.

Sabor Cubano sounds promising since I've been craving a Cuban sandwich for a while now and one can never eat enough maduros (at least as far as I'm concerned). I'll report back when we get back home where & what we ate. Thank you all for your suggestions, after looking around on the board, I've also added the Greek Festival to our list of things to do either tonight or tomorrow after scouring the board.

Oct 11, 2008
micapu in Phoenix

[PHX] weekend eating near Civic Plaza / Wesley Bolin?

We'll be visiting downtown PHX this weekend with our buffet-loving 17 year old -- always hungry -- and our picky 4 year old -- also always hungry. Any family & budget-friendly places to eat that aren't Mexican? (we have lots of great Mexican in Yuma) We're doing the Komen Walk on Sunday, so a nice brunch place nearby would be great!

Oct 11, 2008
micapu in Phoenix

best chocolate birthday cake in the Yuma, AZ area?

Ok, I thought we'd get a Tres Leches cake for my little guy's birthday but he's pretty insistent on it being a chocolate cake... I'll hold off and get the Tres Leches for MY birthday, I guess.

I need a yummy, gooey cake that serves at least 20 people (but leftovers are most certainly welcome & encouraged) ;-) I'd make it myself but I'll be busy all week with my MIL visiting and the last thing I want to do is bake in the middle of Summer anyway.

Suggestions? Places to avoid? TIA!

Jun 28, 2008
micapu in Southwest

Pizza a Metro (PHX)

thanks to this thread I sent hubby there last Friday since he'd be in PHX for lunch and had asked me to check on here for where he should go, LOL. He loved it!

Jun 17, 2008
micapu in Phoenix

moving to Yuma... where to eat?

well, hubby tried to get us some Tacos Durango grub for lunch today but it was closed when he got there. So no luck on that front, though he did come home with some fish 'n chips from Kodiak Seafood. !!!

The Alaskan Cod was battered and fried to perfection: the fish was tender and moist, the batter crunchy but melt-in-your mouth and not greasy, doughy or too thick. The fries were standard pre-frozen stuff but fried to perfection as well, and with enough salt, pepper and malt vinegar I wasn't complaining. The tartar sauce was unremarkable and mostly mayonaisse-ish, but I dressed my HUNKS of fish with the big wedges of lemon they'd provided, so who cares? Next time I'll get the sweet potato fries (yum!!!) and one of their grilled fish selections. Overall, I'm impressed since the last time I had battered fish this good was on the Oregon Coast.

Kodiak Seafood Company
Mon - Fri 12pm to 7pm / Saturday 12pm - 6pm
Foothill Fry's Shopping Center - 11274 S Fortuna Rd. Suite C-1
928-345-0433
(this info off the menu hubby brought home, I figure if people keep going there the place will stay open, and I'm selfish like that... this place is just a couple of miles from our house!!!)

And we saw that Mariscos Mar Azul review on mmm-yoso, Ed. Hubby says he's seen the place packed every time he's been in the area, so I look forward to trying it. Tho I'm not a fan of seafood that's cooked prior to being made into seviche, call me old-fashioned. ;-)

I can't wait to try that

Jun 05, 2008
micapu in Southwest

Great Salvadoran Pupuseria in Yuma!

I am SO there the week we hit town!!! I've been salivating over every post you've written about this place...

May 19, 2008
micapu in Southwest

moving to Yuma... where to eat?

ok, I can sign up for that... return the favor for all the great places you've sampled & recommended ;-)

May 19, 2008
micapu in Southwest

moving to Yuma... where to eat?

I just thought of something else I need to find: the best chicken/turkey mole... OMGosh, I made myself so hungry today explaining to MIL what it is, how it's made and how delicious it is! I *must* take her somewhere that makes it so good you want to lick the plate and then yourself after you eat it... is there such a mole to be found in Yuma?

May 15, 2008
micapu in Southwest