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Killington, VT restaurants

Spent the long weekend of the 4th in the area and, after reading through all the posts after-the-fact, some feedback:

Blanche and Bill's (Rt 4, between 100 and 100A in Bridgewater Corners) has really good pancakes - thick, fluffy, with a bit of cornmeal, and not at all sweet.(though they dump a ton of blueberry preserves on them, if you ask for blueberry pancakes.) The servers are pleasant and attentive but the kitchen is really slow - this was at 10 a.m. on a Saturday with the tables about 3/4 full. Still, it's the kind of homey place we like, even though the locals-to-tourists ratio seemed pretty low.

Long Trail Brewing Co. (Route 4, closer to 100A) is by far the BEST deal in the area if you're not looking for fancy or late night. They serve food till 6:00 and noshing out on the back deck with a pitcher is, on a summer afternoon, simply bliss. The brewery is on a beautiful clear creek, and each day we were there, we saw little kids pitching stones while their parents sat on the deck. (The bar will also give you plastic cups if you want to imbibe down by the creek.) The food, for pub food, is perfect, and cheap too. The beer-batter haddock fry was solid on the outside and moist on the inside. The cheddar ale chowder tasted like someone actually wanted it to taste good. We saw some massive juicy burgers on other tables too. If just coming to drink, you can help yourself to free fresh popcorn too. And there's a door up the stairs from where you can check out the brewery workings, and read informative signs from the catwalk. The vibe is very laid-back but efficient, and I applaud the brew folks for their super-eco ethos.

A bit further off to the south in Chester, on Rt. 11, MacLaominn's Scottish Pub serves haggis with neeps and tatties! (WTH?) Neeps are mashed turnips, tatties are mashed potatoes, and haggis is a tasty mash of cracked grains and animal innards - think black pudding or some such - which, once upon a time, used to be cooked stuffed into a sheep's stomach. They have both Scottish brews and local stuff on tap. It's a small place with not many tables (they do have an outdoor deck too) and the waitresses were a bit distracted, but it's full of locals and while we sat at the bar, the owner was on his perch off to the side, nodding to all coming and going. And if you're going to present your national dish with super-fresh tasting neeps and tatties, hey, thumbs up from me.

Back Behind Saloon: We ended up here because Long Trail was already closed and we were too tired to go over to Rutland (and Woodstock and Queechee are the sort of tourist traps that give us the dry heaves). Back Behind is on the scenic intersection of Rt 4 and Rt 100 and there's a big outdoor seating area. Complaints: The RI chowder does have big fresh clams, but way too salty. The ribs and pulled pork might have been barely palatable if not drowned in ketchup goop. (Having had all sorts of amazing low-rent roadside BBQ all over the deep south, the dissatisfaction with Back Behind is not simply due to a preference for rub vs. sauce.) The kitchen and the service didn't seem to have their heart in it, though the place supposedly has been around for decades, which is too bad, but I guess the location keeps the customers coming in.

And finally, not a chow source but a real find for beer hounds, is Brewfest Beverage Co., 199 Main Street, Ludlow, just south of the 103/100 split. It carries an amazing assortment of obscure local brews, as well as brewing supplies and taps to refill the growler special of the day. Here's the website: http://www.brewfestbeverage.com/

Jul 07, 2011
tartlette in Northern New England

Head to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.. where to eat

Yes to Bull's Head in Lititz. We found it after driving around the county for hours in the snow, finding everything else closed for the winter. We hoped for Sutter's Inn (next door) but found it also closed mid-afternoon between the lunch and dinner slots. Bull's Head can get hectic with no waitstaff but we rode it out seated at the bar and were rewarded with several truly good draft beers and a late lunch of scotch eggs and steak pie. Not exactly the PA Dutch we were looking for but satisfying just the same.

Jan 23, 2011
tartlette in Pennsylvania

Chow-worthy in Titusville?

If you don't need fancy and you can bypass the crowds at Dixie's, in Titusville there's the Irish Pub on Harrison off Route 1 (around the corner from JC Penny). Doesn't look like much but it's cozy and full of friendly locals. It's a dive, dark and a little icky at first glance. However they probably are the only place around that has a draft beer assortment beyond the usual suspects: there's Harp, Guinness, and even a cider on tap. As for food, the Grouper Reuben is sublime - hot and crispy with a thick meaty center, just the right balance of kraut for a fish sandwich. And excellent fried pickles. And the expected Irish main dishes: shepherd's pie, etc. Waitress was very competent and the food was quick. What more could you want after a long day at the Space Center?

Also, another find was Cracker Jack's on Rt 402, on the pier just west of the Max Brewer bridge. On a weeknight their kitchen was closed by dark, though the menu looked good for munchies. They do have a late-running tiki bar, populated by an after-fishing crowd and also some construction guys working on the bridge job. Good music, good drinks, nice view of the sunset.

Jan 04, 2011
tartlette in Florida

Around Okeechobee: LaBelle, Clewiston, Immokalee, Belle Glade, Lake Placid

The place on the north side of the lake is Lightsey's. Stopped there today while wandering across the middle of the state. Service was pleasant and prompt. Food is REALLY good and the prices are reasonable.- they had an open buffet in the afternoon for $20. Oysters are big and tasty (a little sandy, but so what) and need nothing on them raw. Fried green tomatoes are coated in cornmeal and very yummy. Best of all is the grilled gator tenderloin - not the dry chewy fried tail bits you get everywhere else - it has a flavor and texture like very tender, juicy, lean pork. (They also have a small seafood counter, so we got a 5-lb. frozen bag of gator to go, farm-raised from down the road.) And their key lime pie at $2.50 a slice is a perfect finish. The place is at the entrance to a campground/RV park. It's a bit off the beaten path, but time it on a Saturday or Sunday to see the massive Okeechobee Flea Market in the morning, and it would be a great little road trip.

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Lightsey Fish Co & Seafood Restaurant
10430 W Highway 78, Okeechobee, FL 34972

Jan 02, 2011
tartlette in Florida

Scandinavian restaurant in NYC?

I'm not getting the positive reviews here for Smorgas Chef. We were in the neighborhood the other night and decided to try it because my husband is Norwegian. It seems there are only two reasons to dine here - you eat out a lot and don't mind overspending for underwhelming bistro food, or you are distracted by the charming decor and the two-pages-long specialty drinks menu, all fruity and syrupy and cleverly-named. The food is passable but is essentially the same generic fare one finds everywhere in the West Village, made distinct only through the addition of ingredients one could find on the shelf (lingonberry jam) or in the freezer case (Swedish meatballs) of any Ikea. Yes, the herring sampler was good, but I've gotten as good out of a jar. Yes, the pan-seared diver scallops were good, but there were too few of them hidden among a pile of potatoes and plain ho-hum white mushrooms. (Potatoes, too much, are in almost every dish.) Yes, the servers were pleasant, but it took ten minutes just to get menus. Yes, they had a fine and refreshing brand of Swedish vodka, but there was little else of interest among the beers and wines available. Was it worth the 3-digit bill? No. Would we go there again? No.

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Smorgas Chef
283 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

Oct 23, 2010
tartlette in Manhattan

noteworthy places to stop at on road trip upstate?

OK, it's over two years late but I so enjoyed these two places that I just had to share. FIRST: Truly excellent and authentic German food at Pumpernickel's, on Route 9N in Bolton Landing, about 8 miles north of Lake George. They have very tasty, very fresh food at reasonable prices - even the salad bar was a notch above. We had the Mayor's Platter which is an assortment of several of their meat dishes, accompanied by homemade spaetzle, creamy sauerkraut and not-too-sweet rottkohl, supposedly for two, but enough for more, or for wrapping up for late night munchies. This place is definitely for carnivores. They do have a few vegetarian options, but they are also famous for the largest cuckoo clock in the US - embellished old-style with a dead pheasant, dead rabbit, and crossed rifles. SECOND: Oscar's Smokehouse, a retail store in Warrensburg, a few miles northwest of Lake George on Route 9. Beyond the usual assortment of fresh meats, cheeses, and pork items, they carry some intriguing sausages made of rabbit, venison, and elk. The elk sausage also contained pears and wine and were mighty good once we got them home and broiled them up. (They also do online orders at http://www.oscarssmokedmeats.com/ and sell gift cards as well.

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Oscar's Smokehouse
22 Raymond Ln, Warrensburg, NY

Pumpernickel's Restaurant
4571 Lake Shore Dr, Bolton Landing, NY 12814

Oct 19, 2010
tartlette in New York State (exc. NYC)

Brickwall (Asbury Park)

Brickwall? An underwhelming annoying ripoff. The draft specials were advertised as pints and then the bartender informed us kindly that we'd only get glasses that looked to be no more than 10 ounces..... for $8.50!?!?!? But I wanted a real serving of Victory Golden Monkey! The decor looked like it came out of a bar-in-a-box kit - lots of facetious little signs that could only be found amusing in a college town. Please. Don't bother with this place. Go to Bond Street Bar around the corner - real bargains on quite good microbrews and tasty bar food, serious music, a classically recreated decor, a no-nonsense set of regulars hanging out, and a shuffleboard table too.

Sep 08, 2010
tartlette in New Jersey

Bond Street Bar - Asbury Park

Grimey? The place just opened and it's all "new," that is, they salvaged old materials to make the bar feel as though it had always been there. We stopped in the last Sunday in August after a frustrating experience at Brickwall, around the corner on Cookman. Bond Street Bar is definitely the spot. Cold, cheap, tasty microbrew, no B.S. on the drinks menu, good smart ur-classic tunes playing, and perfect bar food. They had a $5 garlic provolone burger that was, together with their fried pickles side, honestly, the best meal of the weekend.

Sep 08, 2010
tartlette in New Jersey

Mexican in Seattle

I stand corrected. My previous rave post is about a place that is indeed included here, though not as "El Estacion." (Should know better than to mess up the spelling, native Spanish speaker that I am.)

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Taqueria La Estacion
14820 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien, WA 98166

Aug 21, 2010
tartlette in Greater Seattle

Mexican in Seattle

OK, this reply is a few years late but I can't believe no one on this site has mentioned the place yet. You want to go to El Estacion in Burien: 148-20 Ambaum Blvd SW. Can't miss it - it's brightly painted and they have parking. Their LAMB BIRRIA is mighty tasty, as are their other offerings, and their flan is good and dense, and they have beer too. It's a small spot and gets crowded on weekends. You order at the counter and someone brings it to your table soon enough. The tortilla chips and tomatillo dip are fresh and the place is very clean. Also, it's certainly a good sign when the place is full of Mexican families.

Aug 21, 2010
tartlette in Greater Seattle

Good BBQ in Seattle?

Another vote for Pig Iron! We got an assortment to go and were mighty happy when we got it home (as was mom-in-law, whose tastes are not as adventuresome as we kids). The counter chick was way cool, and even gave us extra sauce samplings, all labeled as to flavor. PS - don't miss Slim's Last Chance next door for a great sampling of local brews and some of the best obscure tequila -- the take-out BBQ from Pig Iron will be fine in the car while you get one @ Slim's "for the road."

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Pig Iron Bar-B-Q
5602 1st Ave, Seattle, WA

Aug 21, 2010
tartlette in Greater Seattle

City Island

Went there on a whim on Saturday based on posts here and a mention in a recent NY Magazine list of recommended summer outdoor spots. The steamers ($11/DZ) were perfect and the lobster tails ($23) looked good too. A straightforward deal: go to either the fry counter or steam counter, choose your chow, wait till cooked to order; then go to booze counter and get beer, mai tais or daiquiris. The upside: no attitude at all and the counter staff are real troopers. Caveats: It's jutting out into Long Island Sound so the weather will be more extreme than on the mainland, especially if eating outside. If you love a low-budget hoi polloi scene and mid-century concrete+blue tile design, this is your place. A quote from my dining companion: “IF ONE HAS A TASTE FOR THE CHAOTIC, FRENETIC, CONFUSING, AND ALBEIT DIRTY EXISTENCE OF LIFE; HERE IS THE PLACE TO BE. FOOD IS ADEQUATE AS WELL AS THE DRINKS. WIND SWEPT PAPER PLATES, NAPKINS AND COCKTAIL SAUCE ALL ADD TO THE FUN. SEAGULL PROTECTION IS OFFERED BY MEANS OF TAUT STEEL WIRES POSITIONED FROM EAST TO WEST. ON OUR LAST REVIEW WE NOTED HOW MUCH MORE FUN THIS WOULD BE IF THESE WIRES WERE ELECTRIFIED. FUN PARKING LOT. FUN CROWD.” Let's just say we're looking forward to another try in the off-season.

Jul 14, 2009
tartlette in Outer Boroughs

Wine bars in Bed-stuy or Bushwick?

Had dinner there on Sunday 7/12 and was very pleased with the service, the setting and the food. The owners are a local couple and are very pleasant. The entrees are simple, classic and satisfying, as is the wine list. They also have a jazz brunch on weekends. The only downside we could see originated from outside - they have huge windows which make for a lovely experience on a balmy summer evening, but for the blaring car stereos and the loudspeakers from the storefront church diagonally across the avenue. All in all, though, it's a definite recommendation to support these newcomers!

Jul 13, 2009
tartlette in Outer Boroughs

Ferroquina Bisleri?

Thanks much, I'll try it.

Sep 13, 2008
tartlette in General Tristate Archive

Ferroquina Bisleri?

My old dad's got a yen for this and I'd like to find some for his upcoming birthday. Has anyone seen Ferroquina Bisleri in a bar, restaurant, or liquor store anywhere near New York City? It's an Argentine aperitif that's supposed to have miraculous tonic properties, with a taste similar to Fernet Branca. Thanks!

Sep 13, 2008
tartlette in Spirits

Ferroquina Bisleri?

My old dad's got a yen for this and I'd like to find some for his upcoming birthday. Has anyone seen Ferroquina Bisleri in a bar, restaurant, or liquor store anywhere near New York City? It's an Argentine aperitif that's supposed to have miraculous tonic properties, with a taste similar to Fernet Branca. Thanks!

Aug 31, 2008
tartlette in General Tristate Archive