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Authentic Mexican Food

We are big fans of Tacos La Villa, a barely rennovated former Quizno's on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna just across from Best Buy. $1 tacos, a help yourself fixings bar, menudo on the weekends and futbol playing endlessly on the televisions. Everything is delicious, go now!

Jan 02, 2013
wongadon in Atlanta

"This is Atlanta"

Liz - we're originally from NYC and are relocating to Atlanta. On a recent trip I brought our family to the Colonnade for dinner (I had fried chicken, of course!) and we all loved it. We have eaten at many Michelin starred restaurants and such but enjoy honest and good food just as much. What Bob is saying really makes very little sense, it would be like a New Yorker not brining a visting friend to a place like Katz's or a Gray's Papaya for fear that it's not "good" enough. I could take you to dozens of places that are truly great in NYC that don't have a pedigree - Colonnade is a great recommendation.

Mar 29, 2012
wongadon in Atlanta

pink slime free in northernn new england

All hail J Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats! http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

Mar 22, 2012
wongadon in Northern New England

Best hole in the wall in Atlanta

Great thread - we're relocating to the Atlanta area and were on a scouting trip earlier this week. Fried chicken at the Collonade was a great meal, lunch at Matthew's Cafeteria was an experience. Thanks for the recs!

Mar 15, 2012
wongadon in Atlanta

soldier in need of help

I'd second the BVI for this occasion - I hope that you have a wonderful night and thanks for doing what you do.

Feb 19, 2012
wongadon in Northern New England

Essex, Stowe and Burlington

Just returning from a three day ski trip - we stayed at the Essex (http://www.vtculinaryresort.com) on a package deal which included a dinner at Amuse.

Amuse bouche was a quartet based on tomato: bruschetta, caprese, a foam, and a bloody mary shot. Bread course was a gougere. Wife had oysters two ways and a scallop en croute for her main. I had etoufee stuffed quail to start and the elk (which replaced the emu menu item that night). Dinner was OK. The amuse-bouche was a bit uninspired, the gougere was tasty (how can choux and cheese ever be bad!), the oysters were a miss with the preparations masking the oysters and the scallops en croute being uneventful. The quail was quite good but the etoufee part didn't really conjure up a New Orleans vibe. The elk was a bit over done and could just as well have been beef. We were thankful that the meal was included in the deal as menu prices were very high - footing the actual bill would have been a little hurtful for what the meal was.

We had two diners in the Tavern at the Essex - laziness after a day of skiing kept us in. First night we started with the calamari (which was more accurately listed as misto frito on the bill) that was fantastic - calamari, along with peppers and artichokes and a trio of sauces were a total hit. Wife had a chopped salad, not much to say there. I had the cassoulet which was made with house cured bacon and house made sausage and confit - very good and VERY rich, I could only manage to eat half unfortunately! Dinner two was at the bar, a veggie burger for the wife which was called "one of the best veggie burgers I've had in a long time!" and a Tavern burger for me which was called "pretty uneventful". We drank many Switchbacks.

Rode Stowe the first two days and had lunch at Piecasso (http://www.piecasso.com/) both days. We're recovering New Yorkers and admitted pizza snobs - this place is amazingly good. Lunch one we had The Luca (and more Switchback) and lunch two we had the "Two slices and a PBR for $6.50" deal, which may be the best ski town lunch deal ever. If you're ever in Stowe you must try it!

Smuggs on day three. Awesome breakfast at 158 Main (http://www.158main.com/) in Jeffresonville - really great vibe, total local feel, super tasty house baked breads and strong coffee. I don't know much about the place's story or chef but they seem to be doing great things there. The Valentines Day menu looked fantastic, especially for $75 a couple!

Lunch was at Tiny Thai (http://tinythairestaurant.net/) in Winooski based on some digging on CH. Oh wow. $7.95 lunch specials include a drink, a side salad, an app and a main. Perhaps some of the best Thai I've had in the states and a killer killer deal with our entire lunch bill ringing up to $17.33.

Dinner at Farmhouse (http://www.farmhousetg.com/lovesVT.html) - probably my favorite restaurant in Burlington. So many gorgeous beers and consistently great food. Started with the soft cheese plate and then spied another table getting some off the menu onion rings and had to have some. I heard that they're soon to be added to the regular menu - they're definitely up to snuff! Wife had the veggie burger (shock!) and I had the lamb burger special. So good. We love the drink, the food and the service.

Breakfast this morning at Magnolia, another of our faves. I finally had the Bo Knows breakfast to try the pancake. Holy decadent in a "this is good for me, sorta." kinda of way, though I could just eat the sourdough with butter all day long and be happy. Wife had the breakfast burrito but was disappointed because it wasn't huevos ranchero. I told her it was the same thing but all wrapped up which seemed to make it better. Remember to ask for the Vermont Pepper Works hot sauces!

Anyhow, we're really smitten with the Burlington area. Beautiful part of the state, so much good skiing, so much good food - thanks for having us!

Feb 10, 2012
wongadon in Northern New England

MCRIB

Here's a great article on The McRib as Arbitrage - a story much less sweet than the HFCS "sauce" these monstrosities are slathered in.

http://www.theawl.com/2011/11/a-consp...

"Fast food involves both hideously violent economies of scale and sad, sad end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of. What makes the McRib different from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald’s is huge to the point that it’s more useful to think of it as a company trading in commodities than it is to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely."

Nov 15, 2011
wongadon in Chains

Portland - Disappointed at Miyake, but Duckfat was Fabulous (LONG)

My brother and I had the 7 course Omakase with the pairing a month or two ago. Overall I felt the same as uwsister in that most of the courses were just OK, with a couple a couple winners interspersed. The paring wasn't worth it but it certainly did help to add up to a very pricy meal (something like $180 per person after dessert and tip). That being said, it is reasonable in cost when comparing it to omakase I've had in NYC.

I don't know if anyone else feels this way but for some reason I feel like it wasn't the most inventive experience... like the courses could have been printed on the menu.

After learning the things I liked and didn't like last time, I'd maybe do the 7 course again, but be more involved by doing the up-charge thing where you direct the meal - and skipping the pairing.

Oct 29, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Manchester, NH junket - HELP!

I second this - the goat and oxtail are also my favorites. The mini beef patties are good too - I wish they served them by the dozens alongside a cooler of beer!

Oct 29, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Manchester, NH junket - HELP!

Wow, thanks for posting this one, I hadn't heard of it before! Right up my alley - Certainly will be checking Lala's out in the very near future.

Oct 29, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Rochester & Concord, NH

Couldn't have said it better...

Oct 21, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Rochester & Concord, NH

Let us know if you find something because we're starving up here!

Oct 21, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Adventurous anniversary meal in Burlington, VT?

Not quirky but great food, great service and an EXCELLENT beer menu, try Farmhouse. http://farmhousetg.com/index.html

Aug 23, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Summer Freeze - Hidden Gem?

I was out cycling the other day and passed Summer Freeze on Fisherville Road in Concord NH... It looked like a run down old dairy bar but something caught my eye. The sign out front said something like "Wild Boar BLT with Heirloom Tomatoes" and "Conch Fritters". I knew right then that in order to replenish the calories I had so carelessly burned, the BLT was in my future.

Super good!!! I went back today after another bike ride for the housemade Krautwurst grinder, also super good!

Other interesting things on the menu are Sonoran Hot Dogs ($3), other game dogs, A Scottish Grinder made with haggis, and an Ahi sandwich. Homemade gelato as well, I had the avocado which was not bad.

Where did heck this place come from?!?! Go check it out, it's cheap eats and a delicious break from chicken fingers and moosetracks!

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Summer Freeze
74 Fisherville Rd, Concord, NH 03303

Aug 12, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Dinner recommendation for Saturday night in Concord, NH with a foodie 8 year old

I'd suggest Sunny's Table for something more "foodie" than the other options in Concord. Also, Old Europe on Main Street has some fantastic mezze, the dolmas (or whatever the Serbian equivalent name is - the chef/owner is (was?) from Yugoslavia) are very good. O's and Granite are nice but I wouldn't consider them anything that you couldn't easily find in Philly. Way less foodie, but maybe more New England, you could consider Makris for a seafood dinner!

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Main Street Cafe
888 Main St, Westbrook, ME 04092

Aug 12, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Breaking in our new induction range

Yup, 30" slide in and freestanding, they list at $3500 and $2900

Jun 08, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

Love this idea and more good advice - I'm a big nerd and have my infrared thermometer to check pan temp as I go along and things do happen fast!

Jun 08, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

Great link and good reminder on removing the cookware from the stove Paul - thanks...

Jun 08, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

Sous-vide is a good idea that I hadn't thought of... and an excuse to buy a vacuum sealer! :-P

Jun 07, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

Thanks for the great suggestion Niki! Exactly the kind of idea I was hoping for utilizing varied methods, I think I'll try it this weekend. Tonight I might do seared scallops with beurre blanc to play with high/low heat, and then something that requires melted chocolate for dessert - just because! :-)

Your Bluestar makes me jealous! We don't have the option for gas and decided to pull the trigger on the Electrolux when they had a mail in rebate - BUT we ended up finding a floor model locally for $1000, perfect condition...

Jun 07, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

I have experience in professional kitchens on commercial ranges. I understand what you are saying but, again, boiling water does not a supper make.

Let me rephrase the question -
"Can anyone recommend some recipes that showcase the benefits of induction, such as precision heat control or power output?"

Jun 07, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

I'm pretty swift. I think I can handle a bit more than boiling water and basic heat control.

Jun 06, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

Breaking in our new induction range

Our new Electrolux range is set to be delivered tomorrow and I'm looking for a challenging recipe to help break it in and explore the benefits of induction - thoughts?

Jun 06, 2011
wongadon in Home Cooking

German food in Hooksett NH--Bavaria Restaurant

You could have wiener-schnitzel in Hookset, NH for $26 or Lutter and Wegner in Berlin for € 16,50 ($24). Sorry, I just can't get my head around that one.

Apr 26, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Concord NH new restaurant "O"

We have been twice -the first time we had the sampler app, escargot and calamari. I split a cowboy steak with my brother, cheddar grits on the side. SO had the scallops.

Oysters were so so, the Kobe "Pops" were overcooked and dry. Escargot was umm... buttery and garlicky (I think escargot is just an excuse to drink butter... delicious delicious butter). Calamari was nicely cooked but the sauce was sticky/sweet and overpowering. I rarely, if ever, order steak in a restaurant but it was an OK cut and cooked properly. Grits were cheesy and good. The scallops were uneventful, not good not bad - the SO loved the corn pudding.

The second time I had the burger and fries, the SO had a half salad with calamari. The burger was fatty and runny but not juicy, the grind was kinda mealy and tasteless... I don't know how to explain it. The fries were pretty much the Ore-Ida variety. Not worth $15 - $2 more buys a stellar example of a high end burger from the Spotted Pig, NYC. SO's salad was a salad and the calamari was the same as the first time.

In terms of alcohol, the wines by the glass aren't very interesting but the bottle list has a couple of nice selections, cocktails are well made, a pretty pedestrian beer selection.

Overall, the food was generally passable but overpriced. Herein lies my issue with all steak places - you can go to the butcher and buy a beautiful steak, you can go to the wine shop and buy a gorgeous bottle of wine. You save money and you get to play with fire. Win/win!

We WILL go back, however, for the atmosphere - it's probably the only "grown up" bar in Concord. The bartenders are very friendly, the service is very good and the space is quite a bit classier than other options in the area. Just get rid of the big screen TV's!!!

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O Steaks & Seafood
62 Doris Ray Court, Laconia, NH 03247

Apr 19, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Cape Cod or Maine?

We LOVE the (Outer) Cape - but there's no comparison to Coastal Maine for a foodie! With very few exceptions, dining out on the Cape is disappointing.

Apr 18, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Sunshine Oriental Restaurant - Dim Sum in Concord NH

Totally - you also lose so much of the flavor! I love Singapore noodles too - they're not bad at SO.

My next meal there will be the squid with pickled mustard greens - I only knew how to say the name of the dish in Chinese and Tina had to show it to me on the menu in English. A funny role reversal! I also had to translate an order from French to Chinese for a customer once, pretty funny stuff - I really enjoy the interactions with the owners and their customers as much as the food. Tina does an amazing job of hosting in the limited space that they have. I'm glad that so many of you are having positive experiences there and hope that they'll get a chance to grow in the future.

Here's a crazy idea - we asked Tina about Chinese New Year and if they could do something special... she thought it was a funny question for some reason and didn't really say yes or no. Maybe some Concord area CHers would want to try to make something happen and reserve out some tables and see if they'll cook us a feast?

Jan 08, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Dexter oyster knives, and prices of oysters at fish stores...

Wellfleet prices are usually around $1 a pop in Wellfleet. I would argue that they are at least 3x more delicious than Gulf oysters and worth it however!

Jan 04, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Sunshine Oriental Restaurant - Dim Sum in Concord NH

I believe that the owner of North/South Garden is Tina's uncle - I would bet that the source for the dim sum is the same.

The specials that were on the white board were put at the bottom of the specialties section of the new printed menu.

Try the salt and pepper head on shrimp - be sure order some beers to go along with it! Yum!

Jan 04, 2011
wongadon in Northern New England

Portland Maine - for Xmas???

Check this link for a comprehensive write up of what's open...

http://www.pressherald.com/life/fooda...

Dec 22, 2010
wongadon in Northern New England