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OliverB's Profile

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Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Thanks so much! L.C. Roti looks amazing. Added to the list! I love the Little Havana/South Beach institutions because of the atmosphere they exude. My favorite is actually Don Arturo's in Fort Lauderdale; both food and ambiance. I think I've got a pretty well rounded and updated list now. Is the restaurant at the Indian Creek Hotel (I forget the name) definitely worth trying and if so, is it difficult to book and how far in advance should I aim for reservations? Is it on the radar for most people? I', gonna try my best to make it to the weekend market in Homestead too. We're all set for April now - thanks again!!

about 23 hours ago
OliverB in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

One more quick question...

I just "discovered" Fruit & Spice Park in Homestead; is it worth exploring?

Thanks!

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

AG, thank you so much!!

27 Restaurant looks fantastic and I'm definitely adding it to our list... we might even do this on our last night instead of the other options. How far in advance should I make reservations if so; is it a popular/busy place?

How does Clive's compare to the other restaurants in Little Haiti like Rosie, Bebe, etc? Is it a strong contender with these other places? Enriqueta's looks and sounds great and I've added it to my notes. I'll give Edgar's a try as well.

They Keys are beautiful and it's been a good decade since I've driven down but we're gonna save that for the next trip. I'm familiar with most of the places that you've mentioned and they're all favorites of mine but I hadn't heard of Knauss Berry Farm before, so thanks for that! I'll have to update these PDFs this afternoon.

Thanks as well for letting me know about the SoBeach walking tours. I've been visiting the area for 30+ years and had no idea they were offered. That might be interesting couple with an afternoon at the Wolfsonian. I'm sure my wife would love that.

Cheers!
Oliver

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Also, how does Sazon compare with the places in Little Havana or the Cuban institutions in South Beach? What about places like Luis Galindo, which I love? We plan to eat a LOT of Cuban. Is this one enough of a standout that it's worth making time for over these other destinations or is it more of a good and convenient neighborhood place?

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Thanks so much for the great info and feedback!

I love the Vagabond. It's on our itinerary - taking the missus on a driving tour of the Biscayne MiMo district and swinging by for a cocktail; maybe a snack too now that I've got an endorsement about the food! Is Blue Collar in the Shalimar? Buenos Aires Bakery is already on the list but I'm looking into all the others now. Question: are the dogs at Las Perradas de Edgar high quality and handmade or is it just delicious because it's topped with mountains and mountains of crap? Same question regarding steaks and sandwiches at Chivitoteca; do they source quality meats and ingredients? I've done a bit of board research and Graziano's seems to be tops for parillas. Would you say it's comparable to Vacas Gordas? As you can see by the itinerary posted, we don't mind driving out of our way for experiences. I get the sense that Graz is more our speed in terms of atmosphere, size, etc. Sazon looks particularly great... perhaps we'll eat there on our last night.

Thanks again!

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Exactly what we plan on doing!

Any recommendations for the South American cuisines; Peruvian, Colombian, Argentinian? I prefer no frills family-run hole in the wall roadside type of places.

Thanks so much!!

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Thanks! I uploaded my PDFs above. I'm pretty familiar with all places but feel free to give feedback anyhow.

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Thanks everyone; scratching both off the list!

My wife is new to Miami. She visited for the first time ever with me 2 years ago and we had limited time. I'd like to show her the "old Miami Beach" of my childhood; what's left of vintage vanishing mid century Miami from the Jackie Gleason era. When travelling, we generally like to seek out what's left fading America before it's all gone.

See upload links below for my old South Florida lists and an itinerary for April:

http://www.docdroid.net/tcj5/old-miam...

http://www.docdroid.net/tcj4/miami-ap...

The last time we were down South together we were not yet married! We flew in for a long weekend and basically blew through the deco district, ate at Joe's, Tarks, Tub and Casa Tua which was more show than substance but we still had a great time. We also spent a day in the 'glades and made the mistake of eating at The Pit (old 'que roadstop along SW 8th) and I ended up feeding my ribs to a feral cat. Yuck!! We stocked up at Robert's Fruit Stand afterway. We had lunch at Versailles as well, which was terrible but I now know to stick to the café window. This trip we're eating Cuban and Latin, local seafood/shellfish, and Carribean almost exclusively.

Anyhow, you can ignore Tropical Chinese on the last night of the itin... I'm not sure about Shorty's. I haven't been back in well over a decade and I'm sure the Bar-B-Q is a loose interpretation at best, but it's a fun institution and I would like my wife to see it. It's not definite though!

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

One more on a similar note... Taqueria Moleria... worthwhile for someone from CA? If we wanted to grab a quick cheap dinner bite, is it in an okay area after dark? Worth driving to?

Gracias!

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

As the title suggests, would it be a wasted meal for a couple from San Francisco with access to some of the best Chinese and dim sum in the United States?

My family has an apartment in the Hallendale/Hollywood area and I've been spending winter holidays in florida for 30+ years so I'm very familiar with the restaurant scene, but I've never been to Tropical Chinese. I've heard great things. We would not be going for brunch/lunch however. Dinner only. I assume dim sum could still be ordered off the menu?

Is it recommended or should we stick to the stuff that's less accessible back home? I've already got an extensive dining itinerary for thsi trip; this is the only uncertainty.

If it's worth trying, please suggest some star menu selections.

Thanks!

3 nights in Big Sur

Thanks for the tip. We'll try to swing by right before 6pm to catch the sunset and enjoy cocktails on the deck during the twilight hour before dinner at around 7pm.

Feb 25, 2015
OliverB in California

3 nights in Big Sur

We're actually not leaving for a couple of months - just like to plan in advance! :) The downside is that sunset is around 6pm (we typically eat around 8pm) so I guess pre-dinner drinks and canapes are in order!

Feb 25, 2015
OliverB in California

3 nights in Big Sur

Thanks! We'll reserve for our last night (Sunday).

Feb 25, 2015
OliverB in California

3 nights in Big Sur

Thanks Melanie,

I had it on my radar but I've since read some really poor things about Roadhouse on TripAdvisor that have made me skeptical. The menu doesn't seem very interesting to me either. Could you please expand on the modernist decor? I'm really more into the rustic charm of Old Big Sur from the days of Miller and Kerouac than any of the modern soulless luxe resorts and spas with four-digit price tags like PRI. I take it Roadhouse falls closer to the latter in ambiance, minus the sweeping ocean vistas? I'd love to hear from someone who's ate there since the kitchen changed hands though.

Feb 25, 2015
OliverB in California

3 nights in Big Sur

It's been a couple of years since we've been down to Big Sur and I wonder if anything's changed much with regards to the food scene? We're spending 3 nights at Deetjen's and I'm consindering making reservations in their restaurant for all 3 nights of our trip. Apart from brunch at Big Sur Bakery and at least one lunch at Nepenthe strictly for the views, is there anything else worth noting? Should I bother with dinners at either Sierra Mar and/or Big Sur Roadhouse or skip both and stick to Deetjen's for maximum satisfaction both ambiance and food-wise?

Thanks for your input!

Feb 24, 2015
OliverB in California

Palm Spring restaurants

I loved Citron and went in with very low expectations based on feedback from Chowhound, which I initially suspected had more to do with price and value yet our lunch was actually quite reasonable for Palm Springs standards. The cocktails were inspired and outstanding. I think I ordered a sandwich which was elevated far above the normal standards. I would surely return for dinner.

On a similar note, the restaurant at The Parker Meridien is equally great (if not better!) and the setting is absolutely beautiful; similar to the "Old Palm Beach" atmosphere that you're looking for, I suppose. ie. ritzy and moneyed but gorgeous manicured lawns, tennis and polo courts, striped canopied bars, pool garden, etc. I could unequivocally say that I had the very best tuna melt I've ever tasted there. Everything looked great; fresh shellfish and salads, Mexican dishes, etc. I would return for lunch every time we're in town.

Places to avoid: Sherman's Deli. Terrible deli. Possibly the worst I've tried. Our waitress was honest enough to warn me off the matzoh brie, which she claimed the Mexican cooks don't know how to make. Apparently that's not all!

The food and cocktails at Melvyn's were awful as well, but I'd still recommend everyone visit for a taste of Old Palm Springs.

We also had burgers at Taylor's which were nothing special, excellent sandwiches and date shakes at Windmill Market in Desert Hot Springs. And I believe we matched the Guiness World Record for the quickest bar meal at Copley's, before speeding off to Xmas dinner at the in-laws in Orange! They were so wonderful and accommodating. The food (a delicious and beautifully plated white fish - I forget the details) was served fresh, impeccably prepared, and devoured within 20 minutes. It was an expensive yet wholly satisfying marathon!

Sadly our inbound flight was delayed 5 hours (thanks SFO!) and we missed our dinner at Lord Fletcher's, though I'd recommend it nonetheless. Visit while you can, these places don't last forever!

Feb 10, 2015
OliverB in California

Palm Spring restaurants

Purple Palm is a lovely setting if you're dining poolside in the evening but I found the food to be less than stellar. We dined there in late-December and neither my wife nor myself really enjoyed anything that was served. We still had a great time despite the disappointing meal. Le Vallauris on the other hand, was wonderful.

Feb 10, 2015
OliverB in California

Riverside - Mission Inn

Thank you both; duly noted and I'll let you know how the food at the hotel fares too!

Feb 10, 2015
OliverB in California

Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

One of the bartenders witnessed a guy getting pistol whipped in broad daylight just up the street only a couple of years ago.

When I first came to the city, before I became a resident, I rented a two-bedroom apartment on Stanyan just below Alamo Square for two weeks... back when it was still affordable to do so! We walked down to the Cove every night for a nightcap. We passed through the projects, which only extended about a block into our route. I never felt unsafe, but I was explicitly warned by the bartenders not to do this solo at night; especially stumbling out in a jacket and tie at 2am after three or four rum drinks. To reiterate, I never personally felt unsafe (though I did encounter a few dodgy characters during those hours) but I certainly wouldn't let my street smart wife walk that same route herself in the early hours of the morning, let alone twenty-one year old girls who aren't from the city.

Riverside - Mission Inn

I'm resurrecting this old thread because my wife and I will be staying at the Mission Inn for 2 nights in May. We're flying down from SF for her brother's college graduation in Mission Viejo which I realize is a good 45 mins away, but I've always wanted to check this place out and I figured the ocassion was a good excuse. Anyhow, I'm not sure what to do about food... should we avoid eating at the hotel or Riverside for that matter? The property boasts 4 or 5 different restaurants. The top end is a steakhouse which doesn't interest me in the least as the atmosphere seems bland and modern and doesn't reflect the historic charm of the Spanish mission. The Mission Inn Restaurant is the one that's situated in the old Spanish courtyard. They apparently host a famous Sunday champagne brunch. Could anyone comment on whether it's worth the cost? There's also a poolside trattoria and Mexican restaurant on site as well, I believe. We'll likely be spending a majority of our time with my in-laws in Orange County, but I'd love to get a bit more feedback on the food options at the Mission Inn itself, as well as the surrounding area. Thanks!

Feb 08, 2015
OliverB in California

Best Bar Steak in SF ?

They do - full menu too!

Best Bar Steak in SF ?

I love solo bar dining at Original Joes by the open kitchen. You can order a steak at Alfred's bar too. Same with HoPR; my wife and I sit at the bar without a res more often than the restaurant.

Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

I guess I was a weird 21 year old then because the last place I would've wanted to spend my 21st birthday would've been a Marina sports bar or dance club full of testosterone fueled frat losers in designer jeans and half buttoned dress shirts.

Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

TOTM does not attract an older crowd; it's a hotel bar mostly populated by tourists from my experience. I never go because a) live cruise ship style bar mitzvah music b) door charge c) expensive loud obnoxious party atmosphere d) view is the only selling point. Last time I poked my nose out of the elevator what I gathered was that it was more or less a Marina type out on the town crowd ritzing it up with a lot of tourists.

Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

Best advice to offer: don't stumble into an Uber drunk without knowing who the driver is. Be sure to check the name and ask the driver to ID himself before getting into any car. I've heard real stories in SF (one several months ago in the mission) where an acquaintance was taken advantage of by someone who was NOT employed by a taxi co. yet pretending to be in order to prey on single drunk females.

Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

How so? There are great bars in North Beach for those discerning; Comstock, Tosca, Vesuvio, 15 Romolo, etc.

As a Canadian who doesn't really get the whole 21 thing (I've been going to bars since I was 16 and don't see why it's such a big deal in the States - I'm a good decade past the legal age and still get carded regularly in SF!) I've never felt unsafe anywhere in the city. Some of the best bars are situated in the grimiest neighborhood, the Tenderloin, but unless you're looking for trouble (hookers, drugs) there's really little reason for concern. If I were a single woman out with girlfriends, I'd just make sure I had ample cab fare. Less out of fear of walking the streets at night and more for the sake of convenience and not having to deal with the homeless guys trying to talk you out of a buck to go score or the sight of some of the neighborhoods seedier characters. The streets are heavily patrolled and I've never vulnerable. The loin is about as rough as it gets (unless you venture out to areas where you really have no business going) so if that's not going to be a deterrent, then I see no reason to think twice about drinking elsewhere in this city, from the Mission to North Beach, etc. The only suggestion that I'd make us that if the girls chose to go to Smugglers Cove (which they should!) definitely take a cab because there are several projects in the immediate vicinity only blocks away and I've heard a couple of stories from Dane (bartender) that I won't repeat, but wouldn't want to stroll the neighborhood at night as single females. Otherwise it's a fun place and perfectly safe and accessible by car.

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

This is the best thing to happen to North Beach in years!
I've stopped in for takeout at least three times in the past two months end have tried nearly everything on the menu - all three types of ravioli (cheese, spinach, and meat stuffed), pappardelle, lasagna bolognese, spinach stuffed gnocchi rolls, meatballs, and most of their regular sauces - marinara, bolognese, rosee (bolognese & cream), pesto. Everything is absolutely delicious! I'm dying to go back for a cassone this week for lunch. This is my new number one favorite takeout spot in the city and one of the best values in North Beach!

San Francisco HELP

I find slanted door boring, park tavern is okay for brunch but nothing special, Tony's is overrated and I prefer their non pizza dishes - baonecci makes the best Neapolitan pie in north beach, if not the city. I don't consider f+w essential and wouldn't go out of my way as a tourist with limited time; there's better and more interesting pasta/Italian and their pizza is no good. I'm personally not a fan of bar tartine either but I seem to be in the minority so check it out and decide for yourself. Tacolicious, meh... I prefer to get my tacos from a cheap truck. Pizza orgasmico, why bother? That's a lot of pizza for less than a week in a city with far more interesting cuisines. No ethnic/Asian, etc?

throw-back saturday: old-style veal parmigiana

FOUND IT!

Val's in Daly City!!

I tend to stick to red meat but it's sure to be the read deal. Great dining room too.

throw-back saturday: old-style veal parmigiana

I had an unfortunate veal parmigiana at The Sausage Factory last night before movies at the Castro. My wife's ravioli was equally terrible. This thread came to mind when I saw it on the menu and I decided to give it a try. It's not often that old style red sauce is done THAT bad!