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Iowaboy3's Profile

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Hotter in N.C.?

I recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm a long-time chilihead I ate locally grown habaneros & even ghost peppers pretty regularly with a pretty good tolerence. I'm finding here in North Carolina that the chillies are quite a bit hotter than I'm used to. Does that make any sense? I'm wondering if the longer growing season and the hotter, more humid climate might contribute the the increased heat index. Anybody have any thoughts?

Sep 04, 2014
Iowaboy3 in Southeast

BYOB in Charlotte?

I'm going to be moving to Charlotte from Des Moines, Iowa where we have quite a few restaurants where you can bring your own wine or beer. Some, but not all charge a minimal corkage fee. Are there restaurants like this around Charlotte? Fill me in Charlotte foodies.

Jun 14, 2014
Iowaboy3 in Southeast

Best Whole-Hog Bar-b-que in the Triangle

Visiting the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area this week and looking for the best whole-hog que in the area. Any thoughts?

Apr 26, 2014
Iowaboy3 in Southeast

Looking for Disneyworld Suggestions

Heading to Disneyworld for the first time next week. Will have a 5 year old with us but I'll also have some time to myself at Epcot or wherever I choose to go. Looking for updated food recs. Appreciate any input. Thanks

Mar 18, 2014
Iowaboy3 in Florida

Southern Indian Food

Going to be in Detroit for a few days coming up(Nov. 3-6). Staying in Livonia. Where's the best place for southern Indian food on Orchard Lake Rd. or there about?

Oct 31, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

Lobster, live and kicking... $3.99lb, Market Basket, Woburn.

You folks are killing me. $3.99 lb. for fresh lobster? I'm flying out tomorrow.

Aug 03, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Greater Boston Area

Fine Dining in Des Moines

Wound up trying Table 128 for dinner. I had the Kale Caesar Salad & Chicken, Sausage & Kale soup while my wife had the "Stuffed Blue" burger stuffed w/blue cheese & caramelized onion + the house fries. Everything was tasty but it took a while for the kitchen to get the food out. The atmosphere is urban modern & they have a nice little wine list. Well worth a visit.

http://table128bistro.com/

Jul 15, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Plains

Best "Eating" street in Chicago?

Just got back from Chicago. I'm just throwing this one out there; What is the best "eating" street in Chicago? Long or short, winding or straight. Name changes(?) or not. Which road in Chicago has the best restaurants? Michigan Ave? Randolph? I'm throwing Clark St. out there. All kinds of restaurants, bars, wine bars diners, dives & carry-outs. Does any road eat as well as Clark?

Jul 12, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

Fine Dining in Des Moines

Worldrunner: The restaurants I've listed are ones we've visited already. Looking for new recs to try. Thanks

Jul 12, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Plains

Fine Dining in Des Moines

I don't see anything recent on Des Moines. My wife and I are looking for a new fine dining experience in Des Moines this coming Monday (7/15) for our anniversary. Some of our faves are Alba, Lucca, Baru 66, Bistro Montage & Cafe di Scala. We tried Hoq back in March and that was good. Where to try next?

Jul 11, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Plains

First time in Chicago

Just wanted to give a follow-up report on our trip. We had a great time. Got into Chi. around 9pm Saturday evening and got checked into our hotel (Inn at Lincoln Park). We decided to try Hema's Kitchen which was only about 5 blocks from the hotel. Very good Indian food. We tried the Veg. Samosa & the Kheema(lamb) Samosa for appetizers and they were tasty but our entree's, my wife's Chicken Tikka Masala and my Shrimp Vindaloo had a complexity of taste that we don't find it the Indian restaurants around Des Moines. Their naan was very good too. I'd recommend Hema's highly.

Sunday morning we got up and walked up Broadway to Hearty Boys near W. Grace St.. We got there around 10am and the crowd started rolling in around 10:30. I had a Bacon Mary while my wife had orange juice that she highly recommended. The applewood/maple bacon in the Bloody Mary was good but like everything we tasted at HB the flavors were subtle. I had the Morning Shepard's Pie and my wife had the basic two eggs (scrambled and she loved them) with a side of said bacon. I also ordered a side of the locally made Big Fork Bacon Sausage. Everything was tasty but as I mentioned the flavors were delicate. Herbs & spices came through clearly. I just am of the bigger and bolder school I guess.

After eating we wandered by Wrigley Field and over to Ashland & Belmont for the Taste of Lakeview fest. About all we can say is ehhh??? We expected loud & crowded and even a bit exciting. EHHH??? One and a half blocks of crafts, uniform looking food stalls & loud band playing to empty streets. Now we were there wandering and checking out shops in addition to the fest for about two hours but it was dead. RIP Skip it or change it up Lakeview. EVERY food stand with uniform black & yellow signage and no personality what soever. Fix it or kill it.

We took our time wandering down Lincoln and back over do Diversey checking out things and generally had a nice afternoon.

Dinner Sunday was at Anteprima. First, is Clark St. the best "eating" road in Chicago? Let the debate begin. Anteprima is wonderful. A neighborhood joint (albeit Andersonville) with big, open windows to the street, families enjoying super hand-made food, a great eclectic wine list and super service. I wish this place was in my neighborhood. I'd be there a few times a month. The menu is extensive and changing regularly. Too many fun things to taste. We started with some house-cured olives and the much recommended grilled octopus. We also ordered the grilled Tropea onions w/Gorgonzola & balsamic vinegar. To go with the appetizers we ordered quartino's (250ml) of a Sardinian white & and Abruzzo rose. We liked the quartino size for experimenting with the fun wine list.

The octopus was a texture like no other octopus I've ever tasted anywhere in the world. It didn't "pop". It was firm but soft and absorbed the flavors of the lemon, oil, chillies(mild), parsley & red onion it was tossed with. The crisp potato did the same and the texture played off the octopus wonderfully. This dish is a must-taste staple on the menu. The onions grilled with the blue cheese & the balsamic came together superbly also.

For entrees my wife & I both had lamb. She had chops over polenta & greens. I had it as house made sausage spiced and tossed with their orecchietti(ears), bitter greens & chillies(mild). I brought a red from my cellar to go with my birthday dinner. No offense Anteprima. The 1997 Tignanello is in it's prime and drank wonderfully with both entrees. If anyone else has any in their collections drink it now and over the next 3-5 years. It's time.

We decided to hold off on dessert until we walked off dinner a bit so we just hung out and lingered over our wine. The crowd included a number of families with kids, other couples and groups of twenty-somethings. Everyone was having a good ole' time, food & wine were flowing and the atmosphere was joyous. We'd recommend this place highly. On a final note; our server was great giving us space to look and take or time, there to answer questions or get us something, always within ear-shot. Thanks to him for making this meal as enjoyable as it was.

Finding our legs still worked after this feast, we wandered up and down Clark a ways before settling in at the distinctly eclectic(and Andersonville thing?) Kopi (A Travellers Cafe) for coffee and dessert. Their coffee and coconut macaroons were the perfect end to a wonderful evening.

Monday morning(I know this is getting long) my wife had business so I was on my own. Two doors down from the hotel was Chowhound recommended 2 Sparrows. Thanks Chowhounds, this place is fantastic. It's also just for breakfast & lunch. A fun, diverse menu offers many tempting treats. I tried the Corned Beef Hash (I'm on a hash mission to find the worlds best). This one rates highly. All chopped & mashed in a bubbling skillet, the grilled leeks & radicchio put this one over the top. The single poached egg on top wasn't enough so I had to order a second to meld all the flavors together. Soooo Goood. They make a mean cup o' Joe also. Go with the Schweik's Blend.

After breakfast I had a couple of hours to kill so I wandered Broadway & Clark some more. Had a latte at Intelligentsia coffee which was very good as would be expected.

My wife finished up her business at noon and we made plans to try Lou Malanatti's deep-dish pizza before getting on the road back to Iowa. Oops! Not open for lunch on Monday seems to be the modus operandi and not only Lou's but many Chicago restaurants. Lou's opens at 5 pm. Should we have known? Should we have checked? I hadn't even thought about it. So we're in front of LM and wondering what to do. (and NOT eating deep-dish after everything else I had all weekend was not the worst thing to happen to me) We start looking on our phones and we find Maza. Albeit closed on Monday. Finally we found a place called La Cuchara that had kind of a nouvo Mexicano vibe. We both had buritto's that were rich and filling but kind of heavy. They had pretty good flavor though.

That's the scoop. Thanks for all the recs and help Chicago Hounder's. You've got an amazing city and the food's pretty good also.

See ya' again soon,

Iowaboy3

Jul 11, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

First time in Chicago

Probably will skip Hot Doug's but I'll keep an eye open for Peasantry. Thanks.

Jul 06, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

Restaurants in River North

I was a bit let down by Shaw's. I was expecting better. If I went back I'd sit on the oyster bar side and eat oysters and drink beer. Looked like a lot of folks were having fun & even at 11 pm on a Friday evening it was hopping.

Jul 04, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

First time in Chicago

I think we're going to stay within walking distance (a couple of miles) but we're going to walk to Taste of Lakeside Sunday afternoon to hang out. we may have to try and get over to Hot Dougs also since I just saw it on "Food Paradise" and Independence Day weekend is kind of a hot dog weekend. Thanks again all.

Jul 04, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

First time in Chicago

Just made a Sunday evening reservation at Anteprima. Looking forward to it much. Thanks

Jul 02, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

First time in Chicago

Thanks to you both for all the input. Thanks to nsxtasy for the links also. I think we're just going to see what we see when we get out on the street Saturday evening. It looks like we'll do well no matter what direction we turn. Looking forward to eating Chicago. I'll follow up with or selections next week. Thanks again Chowhounds.

Jul 01, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

First time in Chicago

Hi folks: Going to be visiting Chicago for the first time over 4th of July weekend and looking for good eats. Nice places, casual places and someplace for Sunday brunch. Any kind of food. We're staying at the Inn at Lincoln Park near the corner of Clark & Broadway. Would like to go places we can walk to easily or take public transport easily. Where do Chowhound foodies recommend?

Jun 30, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

Cleveland dim sum and sushi

I should have checked back with this sooner. Wound up at Bo Loong Sunday afternoon. The following was part of another Cleveland post.

Went to Bo Loong for dim sum Sunday afternoon. The food was better than average with superb radish cakes. Staff & service was horrible though. Rude, unhelpful and actually anxious for us to leave so they could finish setting up for some large private Mother's Day gathering they were having. We were more of an annoyance than a client they might like to revisit their establishment. Not sure if I'd go there again or not.

May 18, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

Weekend in Cleveland

Just spent a few days in Cleveland. Had one meal at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse. It was fair. I've had better meat at other Brazilian Steakhouses. Better quality cuts and seasoning. Meat service left something to be desired. Only a couple of servers asked about choice of wellness. The salad bar was pretty good with a nice selection of veggies, olives and peppers. Sides were average with some good polenta cakes when they brought out fresh, hot ones. I drank guarana soda so didn't have any wine but the list looked kind of generic. Overall service was adequate. I'd give Brasa maybe a 5 1/2 out of 10 rating.
Went to Bo Loong for dim sum Sunday afternoon. The food was better than average with superb radish cakes. Staff & service was horrible though. Rude, unhelpful and actually anxious for us to leave so they could finish setting up for some large private Mother's Day gathering they were having. We were more of an annoyance than a client they might like to revisit their establishment. Not sure if I'd go there again or not.
Melt Bar & Grill (on Cedar) was great. The Diablo burger I had was tasty. Need some habanero's on that thing though. The beer selection was superb. Watching the Red Wings win only made the experience better. Go Wings! Melt is a fun place to hang out with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Don't miss it.
Lastly, visited the Westside Market on a Monday morning. It's early in the season so the selection of produce was a bit limited but the things I saw looked good. A 2nd bldg. houses meats, seafood, baked goods & foodstuffs. Also some prepared food stands for immediate eating. The variety of smoked meats & cheeses were wonderful. This market is worth a visit, especially as the summer heats up.

May 16, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

What do Chowhounds do for a living (besides eat of course)? [old]

I'm in the retail wine business and have been for 20 years. I make an average income. If I'm going to eat I want to eat good food. You don't need a pile of money to eat well. You just have to have no fear of cooking and be willing to be creative. And I DO like my gadgets also.

Apr 27, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Not About Food

Unofficial Chowhounder survey: Who are you?

AGE
Vintage 1961, a great year for Bordeaux.

MONTHS/YEARS ON THIS BOARD
A couple of years.

CURRENT CITY
Des Moines (don't ask why)

PROFESSION/FIELD OF WORK
Retail Wine Guy. I've been at it for 20 years. I've also bartended & done imported beer distribution. I've lived and worked in 9 different countries including Israel, France, Australia, Thailand & Honduras.

CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Born in Detroit. Mom was an average cook but fed us varied, well rounded meals including salad most every day. Dad could put a turkey in the oven and forget to turn it on.

CHOWHOUNDER SPECIALTY
Good ribs, good hummus, salsa's & hot sauces.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU
I picked the 1991 grape harvest in the Barossa Valley in South Australia.

Apr 27, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Site Talk

Cleveland dim sum and sushi

Thanks for the recommendations.

Apr 20, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

Cleveland dim sum and sushi

Going to be in Cleveland May 10-15. Looking for an update on the dim sum scene around town. Sunday morning or other. Also any other can't miss places I should try on my first visit to Cleveland.

Apr 18, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

Driving from Michigan to Moline Quad Cities IL via I-94 and I-80

Looking for an update: Searching for a good place to eat dinner off of I-94 between Benton Harbor and Jackson, MI. Driving Thursday 4/4.

Apr 02, 2013
Iowaboy3 in Great Lakes

Cooking Squash

Another squash/pumpkin cooking question; can you cook/roast/bake the seeds & membrane and is it edible?

Oct 31, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Home Cooking

Schaumburg recs?

Can anyone freshen this up? We'll be in Schaumberg for 48 hrs. beginning Saturday evening (10/20). We like all kinds of food. Any new recommendations for someone who's never been there?

Oct 14, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Chicago Area

Upscale Burger in Des Moines? (or anywhere)

Have you tried Django yet?

http://www.djangodesmoines.com/

Sep 15, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Great Plains

Costco and Wine

People: Every dollar spent with Costco is a dollar not spent with your local retailer. If you want to maintain variety (FYI, Costco does not. Wine is an LCD commodity to be sold like TV's & washers) in your area support an independent who is seeking out wines that are not stacked at places like Costco and has an interest in you and wants to introduce you to something new and different. Don't put your wine dollars into their pockets. There are 3000 different grape varieties out there. Why limit yourself to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling & White Zinfandel?

Aug 16, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Wine

Brand new to cooking.

FYI: if you have little ones and want to get them involved in the kitchen keeping around a small shaker filled with dried parsley and letting them sprinkle it on and into things is a great way to start.

Jul 10, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Home Cooking

Des Moines Recommendations?

I second Steak DeBurgo at Sam & Gabes. Make a reservation if you can though. Always good, always busy.

May 18, 2012
Iowaboy3 in Great Plains