paoconnell's Profile

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Where Does Trader Joe's Food Come From?

Whosyerkitty: unless you're allergic to pinon nuts, go to Trader Joe's and buy "New Mexico Pinon Coffee," which most TJ's carry, and a coffee grinder if you don't have one.
NM Pinon Coffee is much better beans than the TJ's coffee.
Unfortunately, Seattle's Best and Caribou aren't available everywhere, like the Southwest.
Yes, Whole Foods is evil and grossly overpriced.

Nov 12, 2010
paoconnell in Features

SUPER BOWL...What's on your menu

For Southwestern residents at least, Anaheim chiles are pretty mild, barely warmer than bell peppers. In season (summer/early fall) try roasted green Big Jim chiles for milder, green Sandia chiles for hot stuff.

Feb 07, 2010
paoconnell in Home Cooking

Best Ice Cream Brand

"I'll second that emotion" on Ben and Jerry's, especially Cherry Garcia. There are other brands that stand out, like many Blue Bunny flavors.

Oct 04, 2009
paoconnell in General Topics

ABQ - Good New Mexico grub near I-25 & Jefferson St. NE?

Monroe's, on Osuna east of San Mateo. Warning: Osuna turns into San Mateo just east of I-25, then goes east again about 4 blocks south on San Mateo. There's a Giant gas station at the right intersection. Drive east about 3 blocks and look for the Monroe's sign on the left. Green chile is good there.

Sep 13, 2009
paoconnell in Southwest

Best deli and pastrami in Vegas

Used to be Stage Deli at Caesar's Forum, but I heard they lost their lease. Sad--they had good matzo ball soup and cheesecake too. Someone tell me there's a decent replacement.

Sep 13, 2009
paoconnell in Las Vegas

Albuquerque - thoughts on party places?

Personally, I like Olympia Cafe better than Mykonos. My wife's recently departed Greek aunt made home style Greek food, and Olympia Cafe's food tastes like her aunt's. Fresh pita bread with the meal, too. However, the Oly isn't set up for banquets for 30 people.

If you're considering New Mexican food, I'd ask Sadie's whether they do banquets.

Sep 13, 2009
paoconnell in Southwest

Route 54: Moriarty, Carrizozo, Tularosa, Alamogordo?

There are good green chile cheeseburgers at the Outpost Bar in Carrizozo.

The Eagle Ranch pistachio farm is well worth visiting.

Sep 13, 2009
paoconnell in Southwest

Padma & Carls Jr.

First, Padma is definitely a good looking woman. That she happens to be a serious chef is just icing on the cake so to speak. In the commercial, it looked like she really enjoyed the burger too.

Second, We ate at a Carl's Junior today. Very good hamburger, especially with green chile since we live in Albuquerque.

Aug 30, 2009
paoconnell in Food Media & News

Vegas - looking for delis and 24-hour-style cafes

I have heard that the Stage Deli is no longer in Caesar's Forum. I haven't been to LV in about 3 years, and this is second hand information, so take that for what it's worth.

Jan 19, 2009
paoconnell in Southwest

[MSP] Mill City Farmers Market

I've only been to Global Midtown Market once, but that was pretty interesting. It was a Saturday, and there was a band playing Peruvian or Ecuadoran style music. Nearby was a Mexican food stand that sold quesadillas among other things. I'm from New Mexico, so I ordered one. The owner's Mamacita made the corn tortilla by hand, and the resulting quesadilla was a delicious meal.

Indianapolis Eats

I'm an Indy native, but rarely visit the town any more, just to visit relatives that are conservative in their food tastes and go for quantity instead of quality.
That said, of the above I go to Shapiro's, either on the south side or the north side. Try the pastrami or corned beef sandwiches with whatever sides or desserts you want. It's all good based on my last trip there two years ago.

Vegas to Hoover Dam to South Rim?

Add Lilo's to the list of good places to eat in Seligman, especially breakfast. Portions are more than ample, and quality is very good. The owner is German, and cooks German meals in the evening. Never been there that time of day, but I suspect the German food would be good too.

Mar 30, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest

One week in New Mexico and looking for out of the way places to eat.

While I'm in Minneapolis right now, I lived in Albuquerque for 20 years, and there are a lot of good restaurants there.

Take a look at Gils Thrilling Web Site; he's checked out a lot of them personally.

http://www.nmgastronome.com/

I think that Gil Garduno and his buds have been to every decent restaurant in New Mexico (and some thaat weren't so good), and has reports on his website. Other Chowhounds and Roadfood.com use him as a reference for NM food.

Personal opinion: I'm not fond of Cervantes, but I do recommend a small family owned Korean restaurant called Fu Yuang at Candelaria and Eubank, in Scottsdale village behind the McDonalds. Be aware that the spicy dishes they serve have the heat of home cooked Korean food. It's gooood!

Mar 30, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest

Culver's [Split from Midwest Board]

I like the Culver's at Bass Lake Ave near I-494. That said...

Inn-N-Out is a very popular place for burgers in Las Vegas. They just sell burgers, fresh cut french fries (if you go through the driveup, you can watch the guy julienne the potatoes), soft drinks (one size), and shakes (from a mix). The burgers and fries are the best things they have. You can have one or more thin burgers on a bun, with various toppings and optional cheese. I used to get two double burgers with lettuce, mustard, tomato and pickle, fries, and a Coke.

Second place is Fatburger. Quarter pound cheeseburgers with one or more burgers on a bun.

And then there are the casino coffee shops, which are open 24 hours. Most of them also have very good burgers. The Strip coffee shops are much more expensive than ones Downtown or at locals casinos.

Mar 28, 2008
paoconnell in Chains

Best Mexican Restaurants

I've seen lamb (and for that matter mutton) cooked in New Mexico and Texas, sometimes in stew (tasty), sometimes roasted. These were always Hispanic or Indian food in NM, I know less about Texas, except that friends of mine used to have a goat roast at their annual campout.

Sheep and goats are raised in Mexico for wool and hair, and I'm sure nothing goes to waste there. I see no reason why these meats wouldn't also be cooked in Mexico.

Mar 26, 2008
paoconnell in Chicago Area

MSP - Top 10

I actually found a salsa at Target(!) called Desert Pepper Salsa DIablo. It's made in EL Paso from New Mexico red and green chiles (probably grown in nearby Hatch or Las Cruces NM), along with jalapenos. It's spicy, but not fiery.
Posole is found in Mexico as well as Texas, and is easier to find in Mexican restaurants, so I'm hopeful.

Places we go to despite the food (MSP)

Mostly I agree with MSPD.
I actually like Culver's burgers and Caribou coffee.
Perkins is a stopgap breakfast joint close to where I live, until I find somewhere close to home that has good breakfasts.
McDuck's is emergency food, suitable only to fill my gut. White Castle is better, but is miles from where I live.
DQ is OK for their soft serve only, but I haven't seen one since I moved here.

Most Controversial food opinion MPLS/St. Paul Edition

Just a general comment: most restaurant food I've had in this area has been bland. I grew up in Indianapolis, another city with bland food. In the 60s and 70s it was mostly steakhouses, fried chicken restaurants, and chains. Shapiro's Deli was the exception.

I moved to and lived in the Southwest (NM and NV) for a long time, and while I don't demand that my food be fire breathing hot, restaurants might try putting garlic, onion and appropriate herbs and spices in their food, plus a bit of heat. Try something different, folks! Put Tabasco or Sriracha bottled hot sauces on the tables where they're suited to the food.

Nominate: Best Pizza in Minneapolis-StPaul (if you say Dominos, you are banned from chowhound 4 good)

I miss Gino's East specifically, but there are lots of good pizza places in Chicago.

It's awful when the best pizza anyone can think of where I work is Papa Murphy's Take N Bake (not bad if you follow the instructions, but there has to be better out there).

Harbor Country MI eats

Glad to see it's still possible to satisfy a Redamak's Attack. I used to live in Michigan City IN. and went to Redamak's regularly with the lady that's been my wife since 1982. Very good juicy burgers. She says the secret is high fat ground beef and real Velveeta cheese on the burger. Yes it's a heart attack on a plate but it's goood!

Best Mexican Restaurants

Just so you know, posole in NM may be made with red chile (the most common variety in Texas and Mexico) or with green chile (not so common).

In NM at least, carne adovada is almost always made with pork and with red chile. I'll remember the local names...

Very little cumin is used in New Mexico food, except for chile con carne ('cause that's the Texas style, and that also means no beans either).

I've been able to find really good flour tortillas (La Banderita) in the Minneapolis area. I'm sure they're available in Chicago also, as the factory is near there. The problem with Minneapolis Mexican restaurants is that they're pretty bland compared to real NewMex and TexMex, so I'm looking for something better in the Chicago area. I don't really like Santa Fe style food, so Mundial (discussed below) wouldn't get it.

Mar 16, 2008
paoconnell in Chicago Area

Best Mexican Restaurants

You got my attention, abf005. I live in Minneapolis right now, but lived in Albuquerque NM for a long time. I make trips to Chicago now and then, especially since my daughter's going to stay with me this summer, and her college boyfriend works in Chicago for the summer.
I'm looking for a New Mexican restaurant that offers the simple but tasty stuff I got in Abq. as well as Santa Fe. Carne adovada, New Mexco style posole, stacked enchiladas, and burritos with red or green chile. Maybe even green chile burgers. Talk to me....

Mar 10, 2008
paoconnell in Chicago Area

Vegas for two: Chow for the middle class

The brewpub at the Mote Carlo was no longer a brewpub (that is, no brewery on site) by Fall of 2005. However, the MSS 777 Brewpub is still in business, and the Blackchip Porter was still wonderful as of summer of last year. Hint: if you're gambling at MSS you can have comped glasses of their microbrews to stave off thirst while you try to hit a Blackjack or a Royal. Just tip the nice lady a dollar when she brings your drink.

Mar 08, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest

MSP - Uncooked Flour Tortillas - Where?

Define uncooked.

I lived in New Mexico for a long time, and flour tortillas before they're cooked are just dough. You can take any cooked flour tortilla, throw it on a hot skillet or griddle for a few seconds, and it will puff up just like you want, and get a little crispy. Zapping them in a microwave for a few seconds also makes them warm and fluffier, but the skillet trick is better. I found good flour tortillas (La Banderita) at a Supervalu at Louisiana and Cedar Lake in St. Louis Park. I don't like Mission tortillas.

Incidentally, Costco sells cooked flour tortillas in the Southwest.

Vegas for two: Chow for the middle class

I lived in Las Vegas for four years. Don't turn your nose up at some of the bargain meals still left in Las Vegas. some of them are well worth trying.

Our favorite buffet is the one at Planet Hollywood (formerly known as Aladdin). Everything but the Mexican station is very good. Go there for lunch or dinner (dinner is more expensive but there's more choices, such as crab legs). Leave room for the elegant desserts.

I've tried the Bellagio buffet, and the food was too rich for my taste, but many people love it.

Best place to hang out and watch the tourists (and maybe the Bellagio's fountain) is the patio at Mon Ami Gabi (Paris casino). We ordered very good wine and a half dozen appetizers, and tipped our excellent waiter heavily. They supposedly have very good steaks, but the appetizers were enough for us.

If you're not from a city that has good Kosher style delis, try the Stage Deli at Caesar's Forum Shops. The delis with the same name in other casinos are not as good as this one.

Everybody here loves Lotus of Siam, but my wife doesn't like Thai, so I didn't get to visit that place.

Consider making a trip to Downtown, which is considered a low roller's place, for good reason: the odds on slots, video poker and table games are better than on the Strip.

Well, we were low rollers, but we really liked the food at Main Street Station--good buffet, 777 Brewpub (excellent beers brewed on site), and the Pullman Grille (upscale steakhouse and seafood). At the Golden Gate casino at Main and Fremont, try the Bay City Diner for a sit down meal (yes it's a coffee shop, but a very good one), or the San Francisco Shrimp Bar & Deli for amazingly good 99 cent and $3 shrimp cocktails, and deli sandwiches. Binion's downstairs coffee shop has had good food as well, though the place has recently changed hands and we haven't tried it in a long time.
The Fremont Casino has the elegant Second Street Grill; get reservations.
Golden Nugget has several nice restaurants, and a very good coffee shop with a broad menu. we often ate at the coffee shop there.

Mar 08, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest

Philly Cheesesteak in Minnesota

I've been to the Plymouth location twice. Once for Italian beef, (tasty, but I've had better in Chicago), and once for a Chicago style hot dog with the fluorescent green relish and sport peppers. It's close to where I work and live, so I'll be back, and will try the cheesesteak sometime.

MSP- best burger ? (not jucy lucy)

Roger on Culver's--they're very good.

However, sometimes there's nothing like several sliders with cheese at White Castle, with surprisingly good fries at the one on Lake east of Lyndale. Burp. Yes, I grew up with White Castles in Indiana, and actually missed them when I lived in New Mexico. Now I miss green chile cheeseburgers.

Impress me Indy!*~

Not arguing with anyone else here, but my favorite place to eat in Indy is Shapiro's Deli. There's one at South Meridian and McCarty (which is the one I always go to), and another in the Carmel area. The food is Kosher style, not necessarily full blown Kosher if that matters to anyone reading. Great pastrami sandwiches, but there lots of other stuff worth eating there too.

I'm new. (Living in Albuquerque)

I agree about the general state of Chinese food in Abq.
A suggestion: go to a small Korean restaurant called Fu Yuang. It's in a mall called Scottsdale Village on the northwest corner of Candelaria and Eubank, behind the McD's there. They have very good and spicy Korean food, but also cook pretty good Chinese food for those that are unfamiliar with Korean. On Korean foood: try bulgogi and spicy pork (spiced with a red chile sauce and garlic among other things), but there are other good dishes served there. I have heard Ming's Dynasty is good, but haven't been there yet.

Feb 24, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest

Albuquerque Lunch?

Typically carne adovada is served with tortillas on the side, to wipe up the red chile. Some places will serve sides of browned potatoes (papas) or maybe shredded lettuce and tomato. Mary and Tito's is better than Perea's, if for no other reason than they make their red chile by hand (not from chile powder).

Feb 24, 2008
paoconnell in Southwest