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Vanessa86's Profile

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York, PA - casual dinner

I used to live in York, and it had some pretty decent eats. I cannot attest to the quality on all these independently-owned places now, but I sure frequented them back in the day!
* El Serrano is Mexican food with a Peruvian flair. The owner, Manuel, is from Peru and a super-nice guy. My colleagues and I used to get over there for lunch at least a couple of times a month. My personal favorite was the shredded beef taco, which bore little resemblance to anything at Taco Bell, thank goodness.
* Bel Paese has rustic Italian food. The owner when I lived there was an Italian immigrant named Sal, and the food was a very good example of its genre.
* First Wok on Leader Heights Road is a little south of town, but I never minded the drive. When I wrote an article about it, the kitchen was immaculate. A Yelp review references some unsanitary practices, but that is totally at odds with what I saw. If Kevin is still running the place, it should be fine.
* White Rose Bar and Grill is downtown. When I lived in York, the White Rose was an utter dive, but it changed ownership some years back and had a total makeover. I was there a couple of years ago, and the bistro-type food was quite tasty.
* For pizza and beer, try Vito's, which is south of downtown. It's a favorite of emergency workers, and they put out a competent pizza.

If you are in York on a Saturday, by all means go to Central Market, downtown on Market Street. It's been around for at least 100 years in its present form and is home to all kinds of food- and small-business vendors. Lots of Mennonite ladies, farmers and old-time Yorkers. It'll give you a good feel for the city. There used to be a chicken place inside that sold fried chicken livers that were insanely popular, as well as chicken and fries, but I haven't been in a couple of years, and do not know if it's still there. The market opens early and closes around 1 or 2, so go early.

Oct 24, 2013
Vanessa86 in Pennsylvania

[Iowa/Illinois] Mississippi River area

Thank you! We're going to try it next time we go. We wound up at Durty Gurt's, down the street from there. Its menu features salads, burgers, sandwiches and ice cream. I had the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries, which I enjoyed very much, while my husband had one of the burgers. We shared a Grasshopper milkshake -- absolutely divine, and the best part of the meal. Service was speedy and efficient. Our one big gripe was that nothing on the menu seemed suited to a smaller appetite. Burgers and sandwiches all seemed to feature half a pound of meat, and the salad offerings looked substantial as well. So, not the place to go for a light snack.

Jun 13, 2012
Vanessa86 in Great Plains

[Iowa/Illinois] Mississippi River area

Can you name any of those good eateries in Galena? I would love some advice before we head there for a day trip. Thanks!

Jun 07, 2012
Vanessa86 in Great Plains

Three days in Little Rock.......

Since we don't seem to have a Little Rock thread, I'm adding a couple of suggestions here, even though Noah came and went long ago! Fantastic China on R Street does a nice job with classic Chinese food. Nearby Boulevard Bakery has wonderful sweets and breads -- haven't eaten a meal there, so can't comment on their sandwiches. The Purple Cow, with two locations, features "adult milkshakes," i.e., a milkshake with a shot of booze. Their chocolate malts are excellent!
Finally, my husband did the hot sauce BBQ challenge at The Mean Pig, which was featured on Man Vs. Food. In four years of marriage, I have never seen him so sick! He said the "Shut Up Juice" wasn't spicy so much as it was caustic -- it hurt his throat. So consider yourselves warned!

Purple Cow Restaurants
8026 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72227

Aug 24, 2011
Vanessa86 in Central South

Triple Malt Chocolate Cake

I put in my notes that I would cut the butter down to two sticks, and *maybe* increase the sugar by half a cup, depending on how the decrease in butter affected the taste. Russell thought cutting it down to one stick would work, but I'm not sure you would have enough icing that way. So maybe a compromise of 1.5 sticks would work!

Honestly, tasting that icing was a little like eating sweetened whipped butter! Even to an avid butter lover like me - I won't touch margarine -- it was a bit much.

FWIW, this struck me as an excellent cake to make in the winter, because of its richness. Here in Texas, USA, in the triple digit heat we are so very blessed to have right now, what you really want at this time of the year is something lighter. Not that that stops me, most times! :)

OK, that's enough from Vanessa for now!

Aug 12, 2008
Vanessa86 in Recipes

Triple Malt Chocolate Cake

I made this last night with my cooking buddy Russell. We made the cake itself for a work function, so I haven't tried a full-on slice -- instead, he and I iced the top of the layer we sliced off to ensure an even, flat bottom layer, sprinked some crushed malted milk balls on it, and had at it! We enjoyed it, but didn't feel the rapture that some here have. And we both thought the icing had too much butter.
OTOH, cilla123's comment makes me wonder if this is one of those cakes that needs a little standing time before it hits its peak. Any thoughts?
BTW, this is my first post on chow. So glad to have found this site!

Aug 11, 2008
Vanessa86 in Recipes