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EATING IN MEXICO CITY..my tentative list, plus request for barbacoa

On behalf of the OP, let me ask the question I wish that I had focused more on during my last visit: "I absolutely commit to eating my main meal everyday between 2-4, so on what foods, and where--from a chowhound perspective--shall I focus my evening cena, or light supper activities, and at what time of the evening?"

Aug 18, 2014
Steve Drucker in Mexico

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Not much in the wiki world about Mr. John's Steakhouse, but to echo the words of Garson Kanin as voiced by Spencer Tracy 'what there is of her is cherce'.

On my recent business trip I chanced there alone for a weekday supper. On a Wednesday night it was jumping. The waiter said that Friday lunch is reservation only, as are weekend evenings. Think of it as Galatoire's for locals, especially if you can reserve a table in the main floor to ceiling windowed dining room. The soft shell crab amondine mid-June special was perfectly prepared, and the 'Gulf Fish' turned out to be a hefty piece of fresh grouper crowned with fresh crabmeat that easily trumped that of Galatoire's just the day before. Take a look at the current chef's bio, then the reasons for this begin to come clear http://www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com/abou.... This is a hands-on chef with real chops. The care shows up in everything on the plate.

Yes, they serve prime aged beef and do it well. But it's the Creole-Italian end of the menu, the dearth of tourists, stellar service and close by location that will draw me back next trip this fall.

IMHO its a run don't walk.

PS--the St. Charles street car stops right in front. Or, it's a seven buck cab fare back downtown.

Aug 07, 2014
Steve Drucker in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

When you leave Mandina's Angelo Brocato is a 3 minute walk...You could get ice cream one visit, and cookies, cake and pastry the other.

Jul 31, 2014
Steve Drucker in New Orleans

Masterpiece in Duluth--Chef driven Sichuan

Twice in the past week I've eaten at a small new restaurant out in Duluth--Masterpiece 3940 Buford Highway (corner of North Berkley Lake) next to the Quick Trip.

It's chef and owner is Mr. Liu, a master chef and former culinary professor. He works alone in the kitchen with his wife to run out the dishes to the 36 seat dining room. His high school son is teaching himself how to wait tables while on summer break.

Mr. Liu arrived in Atlanta from Harbin at Tasty China, then quickly moved on to run the Korean community acclaimed Szechuan menu at Fung Mie on Pleasant Hill Road and Schackleford across from Golden House.

He cooks with the skill and precision one would expect from someone of his training. Hence my two visits. It's practically unheard of to get every single dish cooked by a master chef at a such a low price point. Which IMHO makes this a run, run, run and don't walk.

Must reorder dishes have included Twice Cooked Pork from the regular menu--a shimmering melange of sliced pork belly sauteed with red oil; from the Special Menu Fish Filets with Chiles, Twice Cooked Tea Smoked Duck (the menu has a typo--it says 'Pork' but its duck), Spicy Ribs, Fish with Preserved Vegetable Soup, Dry Fried Eggplant, Pork with Celery and Hot Pepper.

It's a big menu, I've only tried about 8 things. Of those, Dan Dan noodles were a bit overwhelmed due to the use of packaged noodles rather than fresh.

Their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Master...

Masterpiece
3940 Buford Highway
Duluth GA
Closed Tuesday
BYOB ok
Visa/MC I think.

Jul 26, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Old Southern Food

May 13, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Old Southern Food

Uh oh--dim sum anecdote opens up dimensions of time, space and chow.

On your day of arrival, you could leave the Triangle early and totally fore go road food--which is meh for the whole drive, and get off I-85 at Pleasant Hill Rd and lunch at TJ House (see recent thread here, and also at I285foodiesDOTcom); or hit Gu's Bistro for Sichuan whose eponymous chef prepares food that is arguably far superior to that of Tasty China. Then rest up to prepare for cocktails, supper and cocktails.

Since our first visit, the Asian community has swamped TJ House (TJHouseGADOTcom), but otherwise its still undiscovered by the wiki world. If you go, get the smoked duck, three Cup Chicken,Hong Kong Fried Rice Noodle (spicy)--these three are musts, Ma Po Tofu, Fish with Fried Bean Curd Sauce, Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic. Clean, incredible carefully prepared food that impresses with both flavor and subtlety. TJ House would be my suggestion.

May 13, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Old Southern Food

PS. Pie. Key lime at the Colonnade. Even if you go somewhere else stop by for a piece to go.

May 13, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Old Southern Food

A great query.

Hopefully this might help your plan:
--Supper at the Colonnade. Cocktail first, the Colonnade pours a two fisted drink at prices (cash only!) to warm your heart. Then fried chicken (half) and another entree. The center of the plate varies from surprisingly great to lunchroom gray. We've had consistent success over time with: fried chicken livers, prime rib, grilled trout, greens, fried okra, blue cheese dressed (iceberg) wedge salad (not the tossed salad). Not so much with anything with brown or cream gravies like turkey, smothered this or that. There are daily specials on the blackboard by the door, generally also very good. Get a few extra vegetables--any that sound good. Ask for extra cornbread and yeast rolls. If you do it right you will have leftover fried chicken, rolls and cornbread to snack on for your Saturday drive.
--Hit a craft cocktail type bar. There are many--and as many opinions about which are best, depending on what's close to your hotel.
--Breakfast. Biscuits, muffins, grits etc if you must, again many choices depending on what's near to your hotel.
--Rather, focus instead on lunch. Pull off the road a few minutes out of downtown in Marietta and go to Tasty China for nationally best in class Sichuan food. Many threads on what to order.

The Denver Highlands area has as many locavore fine choices as all of Atlanta (and eastern slope sourced better produce IMHO), but the above two are places the likes of which can't be found in Denver. So is the General Muir.

Hope this helps. Please report back.

May 13, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

TJ House Duluth

When I got a note late last week from the same gentleman that nine years ago casually mentioned that there was an award winning chef cooking Sichuan food somewhere up near the Big Chicken in Marietta at Tasty China, it didn’t take long for four of us to zip over to the Pleasant Hill/Steve Reynolds area to check out TJ House and their Taiwan and Japanese menu.

The chef is Mr. Chang, just arrived from Los Angeles, who is joined by his very sweet and pregnant wife in running things in a just right sized newly decorated modern room. No sooner had we sat down than a familiar face popped up by the table—Trannh, who we’ve known from Bo Bo Garden and Golden House during the Danny Ting era.

‘You will like this’ said Trannh. ‘More healthful. Less oil. Less salt’. Would that I could speak an Asian language as well as Trannh speaks English.

In fact the food that we were served was startlingly delicate, precisely flavored and cooked as if a classically trained Japanese chef well schooled in modern cuisine had taken on the Taiwanese/Sichuan oeuvre. And not salt blasted so that jeans and rings protest for the following three days. Yet ma la and hot and numbing wherever appropriate.

In two visits in the space of four days, dinner and then lunch, we’ve only tried a small portion of the menu from the Taiwan side. Four cold dishes: Taiwan Beef Roll, Taiwan Duck (tea smoked), Taiwan Chicken Roll and Beef and Bally (aka Husband and Wife). From the mains we’ve tried Taiwan Squid (hot pot), Basil Chicken (aka 3 cup Chicken), Ma Po Tofu, Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic, Cod with Fried Bean Curd Sauce and Halibut Collar. There are some pictures on the web site and facebook that help.

The problem is, of all these dishes, I want to re-order every one except maybe the Halibut Collar which was flavorful but understandably difficult to eat unless you pick it up and slurp the bones. If you prefer lobster rolls to a whole lobster the Halibut Collar is not for you. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the rest of the menu, especially the Japanese grill side.

Sigh. I’m not as young as I once was.

It's BYOB for now.

TJ House
(Kroger shopping center corner of Steve Reynolds and Old Norcross Road)
3780 Old Norcross Rd. Suite 113 Duluth, GA 30096
http://www.tjhousega.com/

Apr 25, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta
1

Do not miss at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market?

BHFM prepared food is like supermarket prepared food the world over: strong on variety and light on quality. Not bad, not great. Just, well, ok. Not sure if it's suitcase ready either.

An alternative suggestion: Assuming you are arriving by bus, get off 1/2 mile south at the strip center in which Chicago Supermarket is located. Their prepared food ranges from good to excellent. Walk on the right side directly to the back and get terrific tacos on tortillas made from real, fresh masa on Fri/Sat/Sun--chorizo, al pastor, lengua, carnitas, asada etc. Take home as many excellent tamales oaxaca as you can pack. Turn right out of Chicago over to Chef Liu and get several Leek Pies to go--they will travel well. Hope your suitcase has an ice pack!

Feb 19, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Game changer jerk chicken in Scottsdale

Caribbean Chicken & Fish
3358 E Ponce De Leon Ave Scottdale, GA 30079
(678) 705-3452

Jan 28, 2014
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Game changer jerk chicken in Scottsdale

The jerk sauce is amazing.

recent 411: the name of the place is 'Caribbean Chicken and Fish'.

Two weeks ago when I was in the owner asked me to 'make some noise out there'. So here I am.

The pigeon peas and rice and the cabbage are both vg. They come with the 7.99 half chicken lunch special. For the rice you can get chicken curry gravy or (deep colored) chicken stew gravy. I've tried the curry and it was vg. I'm looking forward to trying the chicken stew gravy.

Nov 08, 2013
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Game changer jerk chicken in Scottsdale

One store in from the corner of East Ponce De Leon and Decatur Ave in a Scottsdale hole in the wall a group of Jamaicans are wood grilling jerk chicken that's a game changer.

The subtle but insistent heat of the jerk sauce is still with me, 24 hours later.

Many sides are offered, none of which I tried. But the patty, filled with curried potatoes and peas, didn't call me back.

Not since long departed Sylvia's Pastry's Mole Poblano in Norcross more than a decade ago and Peter Chang's early efforts at Tasty China have I tasted anything in Atlanta near so thrilling as this chicken.

It's not only worth a stop on the way to nearby Dekalb Market, but well worth a drive from anywhere in the metro area.

Parking is typically in-town difficult. You can park next to the place in the adjacent gas station so long as you park up near E. Ponce de Leon. Or you can park on the side street, Decatur Ave. Just don't park in the dedicated barber shop parking--things could get ugly.

Cash only, I believe.

Oct 31, 2013
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder, Asheville

Thanks! City Market is the one. We are never without our cooler in the trunk.

Oct 28, 2013
Steve Drucker in Southeast

Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder, Asheville

For an upcoming weekend, we had been on the same path that you were. What you experienced, however, I think of as 'phoning it in'--what talented restauranteurs often do in the face of brand centric or transient clientele. And who can blame them--running a restaurant of the kind esteemed here, whether a shack or a gastronomy temple--is an obsession, an eighty per week mission.

So the new Friday night plan is now Bull and Beggar for happy hour raw bar, then all-in at Rhubarb. With these two in mind, I might just self-cater a picnic lunch rather than pig out at Curate.

And the next day, beginning at the Asheville WNC Farmer's Market and returning through Clayton, we're jonesing for the Saturday Carnitas at La Jerezana (where we will hoist a taco for Cheesemonger).

A thousand thanks for the timely report.

Oct 27, 2013
Steve Drucker in Southeast
1

Restaurant equipment house in Morelia or Mexico City

here you go:
http://davidlida.com/?p=1264

"This monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi, by a sculptor named Brooke Wright, was unveiled on April 10th, 1864, on Avenida Chapultepec...The statue is a block from Avenida Cuauhtémoc, next to a down-market shopping center, in an area where stores sell gargantuan refrigerators and other restaurant equipment"

Finding the right 3 gallon stainless steel bowl should be a snap. Send pictures!

Sep 09, 2013
Steve Drucker in Mexico

Brief report

That was exceedingly inappropriate if not downright unprofessional. A mention to the maitre d' would have been in order. Just the facts--sans any attitude, plaints or threats. With a smile and good humor is best. Likely as not your drink would have been comped.

In any event, nice to hear your voice again Andy!

Aug 30, 2013
Steve Drucker in New Orleans

ISO life-changing food in Atlanta. BBQ & chicken & umami especially.

re Local Three. Your view of the Emperor's New Clothes matches our own.

re Gu's. At the outset, the Chef owner cooked everything. With more business, he enlisted his wife to help out. She's very sweet, but It's not the same.

Thanks for a great write up. You might just be forcing us to try One Eared Stag.

Leff's Arepa Lady is one the of the seminal and still great works of internet food porn.

Aug 25, 2013
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

ISO life-changing food in Atlanta. BBQ & chicken & umami especially.

Aug 14, 2013
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

ISO life-changing food in Atlanta. BBQ & chicken & umami especially.

1) Our experiences at Fox's agree. Sorry, I can't recommend anywhere.

2) Stroud's in KC was scarcely 2 on a scale of 5, although the yeast rolls and string beans were fine and those I brought back home with me. Nothing here has been better.

3) Can't help.

If your expectations are adjusted from 'life changing' to damn good, however, Atlanta has some good choices. Try Sushi House Hayakawa--a small place with an artisanal chef whose hand with fresh fish is only exceeded by the quality of his appetizers. Open til 3 AM on Fri/Sat, 10:30 Wed, Thu. A CH type place for sure, quality and care is on the plate and is reflected in the bill which will be high but an extraordinary value. Ask after the specials for sure, don't be afraid of Omakase. A quiet Atlanta gem.

Nothing Chinese can match Flushing, for that matter neither Chinatown nor even midtown east and south. Busy Bee is food dished up from a steam table from another time and place.

Things to know about cutting edge Atlanta dining: Beware of places which serve stuff in jars, or whose chef has been on TV or that mouths farm to table but whose menu is weighted down with ingredients rich in frequent flyer miles.

Sushi House Hayakawa
5979 Buford Hwy NE A10, Atlanta, GA 30340
Phone:(770) 986-0010
Reservations accepted.

Aug 13, 2013
Steve Drucker in Atlanta

Mexico City. 9.5 days not Nine And A Half Weeks?

Sigh. That Diana was good was solely of the moment. A few months prior to our visit a new, hot, very professional chef had been brought in to revamp the restaurant. The hotel did lots of PR. Luckily, his influence still dominated during our visit. By this time now, lacking any recent reports to the contrary, he's probably moved on--as your visit confirms.

Do try and go to El Hidalquense, and the Tolucca stand. Both are run by true artisans who take pride in their entire operation. You might want to bring a stash of extra napkins when you stop by Tolucca.

Jul 29, 2013
Steve Drucker in Mexico

Oaxaca, Oaxaca Recs

Here's a link from fall 2012 that might prove helpful:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/868060

Jul 26, 2013
Steve Drucker in Mexico

Good eats near Westin Grand Central Hotel

Sarges Deli 37th & 3rd. Exc pastrami and full deli menu. Pretty much a do not miss for your location at 42nd and 3rd.

Hunan Manor. 39th and Lex. Widely reviewed here at CH.

Daniel's Bagels 37th and 3rd. Takeout only. Classic dense NYC bagels (not puffy and large).

Eggstravaganza truck NE corner 51st and Park. Widely rated best breakfast truck in area. Call ahead, get the chorizo and egg torta. Good coffee too. With what you save you can go to Esca.

River Park. Vg food especially fish, not too pricey, nice views of the East river.

Esca. Expensive. Superb fish and seafood.

Lexington Ave train downtown gets you to Canal St in 14 minutes. Chinatown, Katz's, Russ Daughters etc. Uptown local gets you to Pastrami Queen 77th and Lex in 9 minutes. Get the pastrami. Leave all else behind. Either proceed west to museums or walk east to Andre's Hungarian Bakery and get the rugaluch. Walk back to the hotel down 3rd ave and work up an appetite.

Jul 20, 2013
Steve Drucker in Manhattan

DHABA--Curry Hill Indian--plea for recommendations..

Bob--Is the menu at lunch too, and do you know if the lunch menu quality matches that of dinner? I dearly love Tulsi, but it can be pricey indeed.

Jul 10, 2013
Steve Drucker in Manhattan

Café Hong Kong – The South China Garden Guys Are Back!! (And Yes They Are The Best Restaurant In Chinatown)

Count on it.

Jul 10, 2013
Steve Drucker in Manhattan

Café Hong Kong – The South China Garden Guys Are Back!! (And Yes They Are The Best Restaurant In Chinatown)

Thank you Messiers Lau and Cuce for the timely update. This coming Mon I'm here for work then taking a crew out. Here. We can't wait. Hope they still have the seafood stuffed long hot peppers!

Jul 10, 2013
Steve Drucker in Manhattan

Auburn/Lewiston Linoleum to Axminister Finely Woven on the floor?

Great 411. Looking forward to both Hodgeman's and Dairy Joy. Thanks.

Auburn/Lewiston Linoleum to Axminister Finely Woven on the floor?

Chow 411 on the Auburn Lewiston area is thin. Were any updates to Fuel or other Auburn/Lewiston places (linoleum on the floor to axminister finely woven are all fine) become available it would be most appreciated.

Special interests are: ice cream, dinner, lunch packed to travel and early Sunday breakfast.

Preliminary research has presented: Fuel, Italian Bakery Products, The Bread Shack. Fishbone is probably not our speed. Fuel for it's sous vide gives us pause although it's at the top of the list. On the fence about Naral's, Niky's Greek?

Thanks in advance.

Fuel: Lewiston ME

Chow 411 on the Auburn Lewiston area is thin. Were any updates to Fuel or other places (linoleum on the floor to axminister woven are all fine) become available it would be most appreciated.

Special interests are: ice cream, dinner, lunch packed to travel and early Sunday breakfast.

Places to Eat near WTC Mexico City?

All of Roma Norte and Condesa are less than a ten minute taxi away--tops ten bucks? Here's a report from several months ago.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/867658

If you need a reasonable, reliable and bi-lingual GPS equipped radio taxi in the form of a brand new Chevy, I can highly recommend Arturo 554-980-1915 or 554-852-7884. Say hello and tell him I sent you.

Apr 05, 2013
Steve Drucker in Mexico