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attention Lafayette, Indiana sushi fans

What's wrong with Escolar? I know a TON of Japanese places that sell it as "white tuna" (it's very different from albacore) and I've also had it sold as Walu and butterfish at seafood restaurants. I actually had a large 8oz portion once and had the referenced "health issues" but i'm not sure why it would be considered toxic or be banned... It doesn't seem any worse than that synthetic oil stuff (Olestra?) though I can understand the mis-labeling issue. Otherwise, I love the stuff!

Aug 21, 2009
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Looking for a good BYOB in NW Burbs

Hi All,

I'm looking for a good BYOB restaurants in the NW Burbs, near O'hare or Schaumburg for dinner with some friends.

I found L'Olivo on-line but I'm not sure we just want a pizza place (and I don't like their website, http://www.lolivo.net/).

Any suggestions?

May 02, 2009
filbertman in Chicago Area

Report on Mediteranean Cruise

Oh man, I'm so lazy... 3 months later and I'm still not done...

Istanbul 2
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-13/

Istanbul 3
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-14/index.php

London (Afternoon Tea and Gordon Ramsay
)http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_...

Feb 10, 2009
filbertman in Europe

2008 Update for Kingman, Az

We tried to find someplace to eat in Kingman based on recs from chowhound and were a bit disappointed. We couldn't seem to find anything and drove back and forth on route 66. The place looked pretty sad with most businesses closed and that turned out to be the case for the eateries as well.

Cheryl Ann's Bakery - Closed
City Cafe - Closed, to be replaced with a Walgreens
Hot Rod Cafe - Closed

Roadrunner Cafe looks like it's still open, but only does breakfast and lunch on weekdays and dinner on friday so it was closed today.

After driving back and forth a couple times trying to find something to eat, we settled on Silver Spoon, a Greek owned diner with both American and Greek food options.

Coffee was weak.
Beef noodle soup was tasty and homemade, but not that beefy.
Country Fried Steak was a bit greasy, but overall good.
Meatloaf was beefy and didn't have much filler like some places.
Mashed potatoes were roughly mashed and tad bit gummy, I only ate it the parts smothered in gravy.

So the food was just okay. But dessert was much better.

The Apple pie was excellent. It was tall, apparently thickened with corn starch, and tasted of fresh apples which still had a hint of crispness.
The Coconut Meringue was excellent. Also tall, the meringue was fluffy, browned on top and had the perfect hint of sweetness. The coconut filling was a perfectly sweet custard instead of the gelatinous blob of sugar that you find in mass produced meringue pies. My mom liked it so much that she ordered a second slice for herself.

They also serve baklava and the biggest cinnamon rolls I've ever seen but we didn't try those.

Silver Spoon Family Restaurant
2011 E Andy Devine Ave
Kingman, AZ 86401

Jan 03, 2009
filbertman in Southwest

STL: Monarch update?

I went to Monarch a few months ago. Here's my write-up along with pictures.

http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_...

Summary: I thought Monarch was very good, though not quite excellent. However, at the price it's most definitely worth it.

I also went to Niche last week... but I have so many pictures to go through from the holidays it may take a while for me to get to them.

Jan 02, 2009
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Road trip recs STL to OKC via I-44

Doh, since it's 1/1, lots of these places are closed. :(

Jan 01, 2009
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Report on Mediteranean Cruise

I went on a cruise with my family in October and thought I'd post up my blogs on the trip. I'm quite loquacious, so you can skip to the pictures if you want: I took over 1000 and still have two days of Istanbul and one day of London that I haven't processed yet.

I'd say that the first half of my trip was not so successful in finding local fare, but it gets better, culminating in my last vacation meal at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London on my way back home (I'm not counting the hideous AA pizza as a meal).

Hope you find it interesting...

London
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/09-28/index.php

In transit to Athens
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/09-29/index.php

Corinth/Athens
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/09-30/index.php#pics

More Athens
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-01/index.php#pics

Katakolon
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-02/index.php#pics

Corfu
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-03/index.php

An uneventful day at Sea
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-04/index.php

Cairo
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-05/index.php

Alexandria
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-06/index.php

At Sea
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-07/index.php

Iraklion, Crete
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-08/index.php

Santorini
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-09/index.php

Mykonos
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-10/index.php

Izmir
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-11/index.php

Istanbul 1
http://www.filtsai.com/pictures/2008_cruise/10-12/index.php

My Google Spreadsheet with itinerary and food/restaurant suggestions collected from Chow and other sources.
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pMqzhAZVvgpTKWVETV5H_aw&hl=en

Related thread on LTHForum
http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....

Dec 30, 2008
filbertman in Europe

Road Trip Recs on I-40?

Ooh... real CFS... I've only ever had cafeteria or frozen versions... will keep that at the top of our list as we make our decisions. Thanks! Meanwhile I'm trying to comb through the scads of other suggestions throughout the boards...

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in Southwest

Road trip recs STL to OKC via I-44

Thanks guys. I'm combing through the rest of the forums too for ideas... will let you know how things go.

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Road Trip Recs on I-40?

My family is doing a road trip from St. Louis to Orange County and wanted to get some ideas for quick tasty local fare that we can hit along the way. We're flexible if there are worthwhile stops along the way but here's our general plan.

FYI, I've got posts in the Midwest and Texas forums too for those regions.

1/1 (Holiday) St. Louis to Oklahoma City via I-44.
- Lunch near Springfield, MO
- Dinner near Tulsa or OKC

1/2 OKC to Flagstaff AZ via I-40 (long driving day so looking for quick places)
- Breakfast in OKC
- Lunch near Amarillo, TX
- Dinner near Albuquerque or Flagstaff
(Mary & Tito's Cafe in Albuquerque perhaps, or Turquoise Room in Winslow, AZ?)

1/3 to OC via I-40 and I-15
- Breakfast near Flagstaff
- Lunch near Mohave Valley or Eastern CA

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in Southwest

Road trip recs on I-40

My family is doing a road trip from St. Louis to Orange County and wanted to get some ideas for quick tasty local fare that we can hit along the way. We're flexible if there are worthwhile stops along the way but here's our general plan.

1/2 OKC to Flagstaff AZ via I-40 (long driving day so looking for quick places)
- Breakfast in OKC
- Lunch near Amarillo, TX
- Dinner near Albuquerque or Flagstoff
(Mary & Tito's Cafe perhaps, or Turquoise Room in Winslow, AZ?)

FYI, I've got posts in the Midwest and Southwest forums too for those regions.

1/1 (Holiday) St. Louis to Oklahoma City via I-44.
- Lunch near Springfield, MO
- Dinner near Tulsa or OKC

1/3 to OC via I-40 and I-15
- Breakfast near Flagstaff
- Lunch near Mohave Valley or Eastern CA

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in Texas

Road trip recs STL to OKC via I-44

I wasn't sure if I should create duplicate threads in the different forums, but I will. Thanks.

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Road trip recs STL to OKC via I-44

My family is doing a road trip from St. Louis to Orange County and wanted to get some ideas for quick tasty local fare that we can hit along the way. We're flexible if there are worthwhile stops along the way but here's our general plan.

1/1 (Holiday) St. Louis to Oklahoma City via I-44.
- Lunch near Springfield, MO
- Dinner near Tulsa or OKC

FYI, I've got posts in the Southwest and Texas forums too for those regions.

1/2 OKC to Flagstaff AZ via I-40 (long driving day so looking for quick places)
- Breakfast in OKC
- Lunch near Amarillo, TX
- Dinner near Albuquerque or Flagstoff
(Mary & Tito's Cafe perhaps, or Turquoise Room in Winslow, AZ?)

1/3 to OC via I-40 and I-15
- Breakfast near Flagstaff
- Lunch near Mohave Valley or Eastern CA

Dec 29, 2008
filbertman in General Midwest Archive

Ramen in Hartford CT

Ok, You're right that 6 trips to Japan doesn't mean all that much. I am actually Taiwanese and due to that have had some Japanese cultural influence (my parents having lived through Japanese imperialism and the handover to China) and was exposed to a wide variety of Japanese and Japanese influenced food since I was a young child. Heck, there are things I ate as a kid that I didn't even realize were Japanese until after college. I've been taken to a wide variety of "best" restaurants by locals in various cities including Tokushima/Shikoku, Hiroshima, Nagoyo, Yokohama, Kansai area and Tokyo and have done some personal exploring as well.

Obviously, this was my personal opinion and perhaps I am being a food snob, but I think his attitude put me off just as much. If someone else were to visit and provide an amazing and glowing review and a recommendation for an order, I would consider giving it another whirl. I am also considering checking out his other restaurant which has gotten good reviews.

I know that potato salad is quite common in Japan, I'm just not a fan of potato salad in general (Japanese or American). The waitress specifically asked me if I wanted potato salad and provided a description that did not include daikon, but I decided to try it. I was actually happy it ended up as a daikon salad.

Yes, perhaps comparing instant ramen to fresh is not fair, but that was my opinion. At that moment, and even now, a day later, I would have preferred a cup noodle regardless of the "low" or different status, but I also compared it to other ramens I've had. Of course, I cannot list every bowl of ramen that I've ever eaten. It was a shio broth, it included tofu, bean sprouts, green onions and lotus root. There was no surimi that I noticed (I love fish cakes) and there was no meat.

Yes there were other noodle choices that I considered. I had asked the waitress what their best dish was when I ordered and she suggested the Kim-chi ramen. Perhaps that was indeed their best dish... but while Korean food definitely has deep rooted connections, I opted for something more Japanese. Since I had basically ordered two entrees, that's why I chose the children's.

As for the katsudon, let me clarify one thing that I didn't say before. The katsudon TASTED fine. In fact, I would say it tasted pretty good and on par with my expectations. But it was indeed soggy, and perhaps the line cook made a mistake and doused it a bit too much. Yes, I know that brown rice isn't traditional, but I was trying to be (mildly) healthy. The onions were on the rice, the tonkatsu on top of the onions and a very large egg cooked on top. I too am curious as to how it ended up soggy, perhaps they poured a large amount of the sauce on top, but the rice was not swimming in the sauce, though there was enough to pool in the bottom of the bowl. The meat was floppy and had no bite. Perhaps it had been sitting around for a little while?

I can understand that perhaps the chef was a bit offended that I didn't like his food, but I think he gave me a little too much attitude. And the ramen and katsudon came out at the same time so I don't think they had a chance to do anything to my food. :)

Dec 09, 2008
filbertman in All New England Archive

Ramen in Hartford CT

Here's my review of Tanuki's.

I found Tanuki's Japanese Noodle Kitchen because of their cute raccoon mascot (tanuki is actually a Japanese raccoon dog, check wikipedia) on a flag outside their entrance. They had nice decor inside with nice granite tables and even the plastic models of food you see in restaurants in Japan. They looked promising based on their wide array of noodle dishes in traditional Japanese styles.

Wanting to try a couple things I ordered the katsudon and a children's ramen. The meal started with a "potato" salad even though it had no potato in it. Instead it had daikon radish and carrots in a ginger dressing which I think is much better and more appropriate. I'm just not sure why they called it potato; perhaps to make it sound more appetizing to those unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine.

Next came the katsudon which looked promising with the traditional onions and egg on top. Unfortunately, I found it too soggy: the katsu might as well have been boiled. I complained and the owner, a Japanese chef, came and informed me that I must be mistaken. Being from Japan he assured me that he was right and that the katsu is supposed to be soggy and all the restaurants I had tried in Japan were making it wrong (I've been to Japan 6 times). I can understand that the katsu wouldn't be crispy like with tonkatsu but my complaint was that it was too soggy after which he said it was probably my fault for ordering brown rice instead of white.

After that the owner told me that his other restaurant (Murasaki) had been rated the best in the country by Zagat and had a waiter fetch a letter from them. It turned out to be a letter saying that his other restaurant had been included in the "Best Japanese Restaurants of 2007" list which is quite different from being THE best Japanese restaurant in the country. He then said, "If all my customers were like you, then how did I get that award?" That bothered me but I remained pleasant.

After leaving me be, I had a chance to try the ramen. It was equally disappointing. The first thing I noticed was that it tasted like bean sprouts, which is ok, except that's all it tasted like. The broth was flavorless like it had been watered down. The "fresh" noodles were forgettable as well, they weren't al dente or toothsome in any way. They had no flavor or character of any sort: the perfect match for the broth, I guess. It all paled in comparison to all 6 of the bowls of ramen I had at the Yokohama Ramen museum last year, or even the ramen at Mitsuwa Marketplace food court in Chicago (which I consider mediocre). Honestly, I've had better INSTANT ramen and would take a Nissin Cup Noodle out of a vending machine any day.

They also failed to give me the dessert that is supposed to come with the childrens ramen and failed to ask me if I even wanted dessert before giving me the check. You may be thinking that the ramen was poor b/c it was for kids but it wouldn't make sense to have different broth and noodles for kids and even if they did, I wouldn't respect that decision either.

In summary, I will not be returning.

Dec 08, 2008
filbertman in All New England Archive

Have recs for everywhere but Katakolon and Ephesus

Hi guys, I've been lurking here for a while looking up stuff in Chicago (where I live) and Hartford (where I work), but currently I'm planning for a Mediterranean cruise in October starting in Athens, then visiting various islands, then Alexandria, then more islands then Istanbul (followed by a layover in London where I shall dine at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay).

I've scoured this forum and now have a list of over 100 restaurants to visit throughout my cruise (how I'm going to decide between them I have no idea).

However, I found very few recommendations for Katakolon and Ephesus so I wanted to ask if anyone has any suggestions for those areas.

Also, I've compiled a lot of info and my itinerary in a Google spreadsheet. If anyone is also going to the area next month and would like to see it, let me know. Otherwise once the cruise is done, I will cleanse the document and post it for everyone to use and provide my own pics and reviews as well.

Sep 16, 2008
filbertman in Europe

Reviews of Restaurants in Istanbul

Looks good to me! Istanbul will be my last few days of my trip so perhaps I'll try it... I have a layover in London and I could recover there if necessary... except that might spoil my dinner at Gordon Ramsay's...

Sep 15, 2008
filbertman in Europe