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visit to Barcelona - reasonably priced

We had dinner at Cafe de l'Accademia last night and had a horrible experience. We called from a nearby bar and made sure they could take us around 10:30. Beautiful restaurant and outdoor seating area. I think they were slammed. The counter top bar inside was full of dirty glasses and plates everywhere. They were rude right from the start. They wanted to sit us inside but it was too hot and requested a table outside. That seemed to upset them. When I requested a glass of wine while we waited, I was ignored. When we sat down the waiter was not very friendly. They were out of the first couple dishes we ordered. They weren't apologetic about it. They seemed to think we should have known they had run out of it. We ordered a bottle of wine, 3 entrees and one appetiser to share. They brought out the 1 appetiser and 2 of the entrees together. The appetiser was terrible. Smoke eel on toast points was flavorless and looked like it was assembled by a grade schooler.
My girl had a pasta with 5 little prawns that tasted chalk like. My friend had a steak which he said was just ok. I never did recieve my entree. After they finished their food, and mine still hadn't arrived I canceled the order. I had really lost my appetite by then anyway. I had to go into the restaurant to pay because the waiter had stopped coming by the table. Back inside the restaurant, the pile of dirty dishes had grown even more. It was massive. One might think this is a communications issue but my girl speaks fluent Spanish (mine is a little rougher) and we've been to Spain a couple times before - most recently last Sept. - with nary an issue like this.

Jul 06, 2012
roofus in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian - Question about tasting menus at Akelarre, Arzak, Mugaritz, Martin Berasategui, etc...

Hi Houston, we'll be in SS early July. Are you willing to share your pintxos list? Thx in advacne

May 09, 2012
roofus in Spain/Portugal

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Whew! Back from a great whirlwind visit to Boston. Thanks Boston chow hounds for all your help making this a great trip. Appreciate your kindness. I really like Boston and Bostonians. Very nice and friendly. Got in very late Thursday night - actually early Friday morning I suppose. My Bethie Girl had to work from the hotel room on Friday so I started looking for Chacarero to bring back for lunch. A local saw me peering at my phone and map trying to get oriented and offered help. Didn't expect that in Boston. Happened once in Dublin too but that's another story. Don't forget that kind girl who found my son's iPhone in a taxi and returned it to him at the Yard House.

The line at Chacarero was out the door and down the sidewalk so I called and ordered one large beef chacarero and the sweet potato baked fries to go. Saved a ton of time. The chacarero was delicious. Fresh bread, tender steak, slight spicy avocado spread with green beans. Should have passed on the fries. Soggy under the heat lamp.

My son walked down from Allston and was hungry and wanted to try a chacarero. By this time, it's 2:30 ish there was no line whatsoever. He ate it there loved it as well. We walked over to Bell in Hand for a pop. Kind of cool just to sit in such an old bar. It's certainly worth a pop. It's right next to the Union Oyster House
so we grabbed a seat at the old front bar as was recommended and ordered six oysters. The guy shucked them right in front of us. Real touristy but I liked it. The old worn wooden bar slants towards you so your food and drinks are in peril. We wandered around Faneuil Hall area until MBG was ready.

I've been dealing with a health issue so the walking wore me out a bit. We cabbed it to the Prudential building - Top of the Hub. Turns our my son's roommate is a waiter there. We ran into another friend of his there. Drank at the bar for a while. MBG ordered a wonderful lobster soup with coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and little hunks of lobster. She loved it. My son's roommate sent out an appetizer tray (large, white, 4 sectioned plater) with 3 Risotto balls in a tomato, green oil sauce, Tempura shrimp with black beans and pineapple, croque madam - Gruyère cheese, black forest ham, fried egg, and finally what looked like deep fried mac and cheese with a guacamole salsa. They said it wasn't on the menu. It was sweet of him to comp us the food. It was good but not great. Real nice people though and of course, great views.

Liked Russell House Tavern. It was packed at 9:30. Jumpin. 80s music blaring. Noisy room. We shared bone marrow and toast points. Not much food there but real tasty. Pig three ways - confit, loin, can't remember 3rd way... looked beautiful though. Pile of arugula and mashed potatoes on the bottom. Wonderful pizza - carmelized brussel sprouts, pancetta and marscapone. I think it was the best pizza of the trip - certainly better than what we had the next day at Regina in the north end. I make a lot of pizza's at home. Tried a version of this when we got home. Came out great. Blended the marscapone with a little cream to make it
more spreadable. Carmelized the brussel sprouts in bacon fat. Oh yea, baby, that's what I'm talking about.

Another waiter friend of my son showed up and took us to his bar - Grendal's Den.Wanted to try the periodista at Chez Henri but was pulled along in their wake. Standing room only. More cocktails. Then, another friend of my son called and so we met them in Allston at White Horse Tavern. They were sweet enough to put the Giants on the big screen - go Orange and Black! We had a crew now and they started ordering shots of something called a Scooby Snack - midori and something - not sure what the hell they were. Not to my taste, too damn sweet, but they went down in one large gulp. This place was full of kids. I can't believe how many friends my son has made so quickly. Goes to show you how friendly Bostonians are and how incestous the restaurant biz is.

Neptune Oyster was our first meal the next day. They told us it was an hour to an hour and a half wait and they would call us so we wandered over to Mike's Pastry. I was under strict orders from Momma to go there and get a Rum Babba. Truth be told I've never had a Rum Babba but gotta make Momma happy.
I got one and MBG got an Italian Wedding Cookie. I didn't like the Babba. It was soaking wet and didn't taste that flavorful. MBG didn't like her cookie either.
She prefers the Mexican Wedding Balls in SF. (sure enough, Mom calls later to wish me happy birthday and the first thing she ask is did I get a Rum Babba at Mike's. Of course Momma. Was it the best thing you ever ate? Of course Momma, It was delicious. You know people come from all around the world just to go to Mike's. I know Mamma). Neptune called after 45 minutes to say that they had 3 spots at the bar. My son met us there and we had the best meal of the trip. Selection of oysters, shrimp cocktail (I guess they fly them in from Indonesia - I don't care; they were huge and good) and lobster rolls. Heaven help me! That lobster roll was perfection! Best single dish of the trip. Fries sucked. Limp. Couple/ three glasses of white and we be rollin again. Went to the Irish bar on the corner, sat in the sun, they were playing cool acoustic music - reminded me of acoustic sunrise on kfog in sf. Bloody Mary.

Since I couldn't walk much, we decided to jump one of those site seeing trolleys. I usually avoid those things like the plague but I enjoyed it. Good to get a sense for the city without moving my fat ass. Got off at the Green Monster. Cool little bar gave us a view of the ballpark. Don't remember the name. Showed us Yard House and met a ton of people my son works with. Of course we had to eat. Shared tower of onion rings with dipping sauces. Burger with caramelized onions, pepper crushed Gorgonzola, mushrooms and maple bacon sauce. Ahi seared with peanut vinaigrette. And an IPA. Simple good food.

Dinner at Prezza was really good. Apps of duck confit with egg, arcini lobster balls, tuna tartare with fried oysters. Veal T-bone was good. Initially I thought it was tough but the other side of the bone was as tender as the night. Served with lobster risotto and broccoli rabe. MBG had scallops which were tasty. One of the boys had swordfish which I thought was delicious. They surprised me with a hunk of white chocolate bread pudding and home made vanilla bean ice cream with a caramel sauce on the bottom. Oh Yea! It was orgasmic! Happy Birthday to me!

We stumbled over to Stanza dei sigari and the boys treated me to a cigar and cognacs. It was a great time.

First meal the next day was at Regina Pizza.Line out the door but it moved fast. I was disappointed in the pizza. Ordered their normal pizza but with salami and pepperoni. Seemed greasy and a bit soggy. I realize the meat could make the pizza greasy but I've had a gazzillion pizzas with tons of different toppings and
they weren't drippin wet like this one. Good flavor but it didn't remind me of pizza in Italy at all, although I've had some strange pizzas in Italy. Been there 5 times. Gotta to back. Not this year though. Spain in July.

Modern Pastry had a line out the door. Met some nice locals waiting - Bostonians are really friendly. They drove in from the burbs to get dessert for their best friend. Sweet. This place is really inefficient but I thought it was good. They fill the cannolis to order. Delicious. Tried something called a Torrone - loved the peanut one.

Couldn't find any place with the Giants on. so we ent to Champions a the Mariott to watch end of the game. Over to the Hawthorne for some great drinks. They make everything from scratch in there. Real craft cocktails. Had the Hemingway Daquiri and then the normal to taste test. Preferred the normal daiquiri. Place smelled of cleaning fluids walking in but it dissipated and we enjoyed hanging there for a couple pops.

Coppa for dinner. Residential area. Small restaurant. Neighborhood feel. Tiny kitchen. Love small Italian plates to share. Burrata was just ok. Didn't seem as creamy as it should have been. Pigs tail was great. Crispy and flavorful. Shaved asparagus, fava bean, radish and pecorina cheese salad (I made this dish when we got home too - came out great). Squid ink lobster fava bean, olive pasta was great. Probably the 2nd best dish of the trip. It had a smoky, spicy flavor with black garlic, chili flakes and shallots. Flank steak with ciopolini was really good. Tender and flavorful. Pizza with ramps, garlic and one fried egg was pretty good. Not as good as the brussel sprout pizza at Russell House Tavern. Tried some different Italian red wines.

We then stumbled a half block down the street to The Franklin. It's suppose to be a real good restaurant/ bar. Small neighborhood place. Dark and attractive. Tiny kitchen. Seemed like a small club. Had the final final of the trip.

Overall, we had a great time. Seemed like we barely scratched the surface. I'm usually a prodigious walker and Boston is suppose to be a great walking town. Didn't walk the freedom trail. Didn't hear any live music. A bunch of stuff was missed but we really enjoyed what we did. Gotta come back and stay longer. Thanks again Bosto Chow Hounds!

May 07, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Cool. Thx

Apr 21, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Great, now at the very least I can tell my son where to go to get good cheap food. Seems like he has a lot good options close to him. Thanks!

Apr 18, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

My older sister was born in Boston. I very well could have been conceived in Boston. Does that count? Thanks for the Periodista recommendation in particular. I had never heard of a periodista though I like dark rum and Hemingway. Tales of the Periodista By devhahn is a good, quick read.

Apr 18, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

What? A dude can't like snackipoos :) Thanks for the rec. I'll have to check it out.

Apr 18, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

I like the sound of 'best eating stretch.' So, which restaurant is your fav? Thanks

Apr 17, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Who you calling an out of town female? :) Love a good dive bar.

Apr 17, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Just tried to call my son to confirm he was able to get off work at least for my B-Day din din.... a girl answered and said, "oh yea, ah... some guy left his phone here...been trying to reach him on facebook for a couple days now..." Is it happy hour yet?

Thanks for additional input. Think we'll pass on the trip down memory lane in Dorchester and stumble around Cambridge - Central Sq, Inman Sq, Harvard Sq.

Thanks again

Apr 16, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Thanks much. Great info. We'll have to do Cambridge one day/night. My mom grew up in - Letterfine Terrace - which is no longer there but the apartment she rented when she married my dad is still there - 14 Wayland St. You can see it clearly on Goggle maps. Gotta love those satelite photos. My Mom said it's been refurbished beautifully. They paid $30 per month rent back in 1953. Not sure if it's worth a trip out there to see or not. We only have 3 days and nights. Tough choices. Thanks again

Apr 16, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Thanks for the info. My Mom went back about 10 years ago. Her best friend still lives there. Not renting a car so that seems like quite a trek,(does the T go that far?) although it would be fun to look up her old house. The Beehive looks cool and close. "Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade' will be playing on my B-Day. That looks like fun. My son is not much help when it comes to dining anyway. The boy doesn't have two quarters to rub together. I think he mostly eats at the restaurant or fast food. He doesn't even know his schedule yet. He's suppose to get off for the Sat night but who knows with these kids? Gotta stay flexible.

It does seem like my laundry list contains too much touristy stuff. I would like more local flavor. What restaurants should we chose for the other two dinners? Is Yankee fare a good choice? Marliave? What restaurant/s is unique to Boston?

Thanks again.

Apr 14, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

SF Hound Arriving 4/27 - Would appreciate advice

Coming to town 4/27 for 3 nights to visit my son who moved there a few months ago (he lives in Allston and works at the Yard House by Fenway) and to celebrate my birthday. Staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Love all kinds of food particularly Italian (I'm half Italian - the bottom half :),
Live in north beach in SF. I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater although I don't think I will pull the trigger on the pig's head at Craigie on Main even though it would be a unique experience. Absolutely love food but like it more straight forward - not into foam, molecular gastronomy or 2 oz of protein for $60.

I';ve read a bunch of posts and would appreciate feedback/ advice.

Only reservation so far is Prezza in the north end for my B-Day din din.Not sure what other dinners should book. Considering Marliave. 10 BOSWORTH STREET and Yankee Fare at Durgin Park.Would appreciate recommendations. Open to anything.

List for Lunch/ Snackipoos - Oysters on half shell, Neptune Oyster, North End, Boston - best place for lobster roll?
Pizzeria Regina - love pizza!
(Mike's pastry - My Mom is from Dorechester. Moved to bay area 57 years ago but says I have to go here. I realize many CHs don't like this place. Café Sport, and Modern Pastry recommended).
Chacarero at Chacarero 101 Arch St. - Chilean sandwiches - fresh bread, meats. cheap
Union Oyster House - 41 union - Mom also says I have to go here since it's the oldest restaurant in the US
Sam Legrassa 44 province street 617-357-6861 sanwiches - pastrami, meat loaf
Chez Henri Cubano Harvad Square

I'm also really into live music/ bars. Both my son and I play.
Near him in Allston is live music at Harper's Farm, Wonder Bar has jazz, O'briens has live music.
Sunset Grill and Tap are just a bar, Deep Ellum - gastropub

McGann's Pub - 197 Portland - live music - near hotel
Bell in Hand - Oldest bar in america is near hotel
In case of emergency - Closest bar to hotel that I think I would like is JJ Foley's Bar and Grill
Craft drinks at high end restaurants:
Eastern Standard 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
Clio - 370 Commwealth Ave -
Deuxave - 371 commonwealth Ave
Friend recommended Top of the Hub Prudential building 800 Boylston for view and live jazz
Russell House Tavern14 JFK Street, Cambridge,
Drink - 348 Congress St. This is close to hotel. Right across bridge south.
Paradise Rock Club - live music - 967 Commonwealth Avenue,

Thanks in advance,

Apr 13, 2012
roofus in Greater Boston Area

Pork Chop in a Pomegranate Sauce! Anyone have the recipe? - [moved from San Francisco Bay Area board]

Just ate at The House for the first time. I live in the neighborhood and many friends have recommended it but there's always a line out the door. OMG! It was excellent. Everybody says you have to have the seabass with the garlic noodles and it was divine but I loved the Pork Chop in the Pomegranate sauce with the bell pepper coulie. I asked for the receipe (I'd love to make it at home) and they told me it's a secret (don't you hate that? Why not share the love???).

Anyone know how to make it? Thanks in advance,

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The House
1230 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

May 11, 2010
roofus in Home Cooking

Great site! Was very helpful for our recent trip! Thanks

Just got back yesterday from 4 nights in NOLA. This was my 4th trip to this fantastic city. This site has been very helpful to me
for some time (I'm more a lurker than posted) so Wanted to try to give back a bit by posting
my experience. On prior trips, I enjoyed more 'fine dining' but this trip was with the boys in the band and their wives and they
prefer more casual/ inexpensive restaurants.

Felix's - Acme Oyster House, my normal first stop after grabbing a Hurricane of course, was closed due some private event for
professional golfers. I failed to convince them that I hand with JD at Hooters so we strolled across the street.
I really wanted a bucket of mudbugs but they weren't holding so I had crawfish cake and a cool salad that were good.
The raw oysters tasted as good as I remember them (I believe all the restaurants get their oysters from the same source?)
but the band wives preferred the fried oysters, fried shrimp and boiled oysters. The Etoufee was delicious.

Cafe du Monde - beignets and coffee come close to a hang-over cure...

Mr. Bs was a revelation. The BBQ Shrimp is too die for. The band wives had a little problem with the heads being on but I think
that's the way they should be served. I think that's the single best thing I tasted. Oh, and all that butter...Can't beat the $1.50 bloody
marys. They use beef broth in them. Bizarre! Other guitar player got the trio of soups which was excellent including the turtle soup.
My bass player ordered pasta and meatballs which I found kind of strange but he loved it.

The Joint - I convinced everyone to go to this BBQ place. I love this kind of thing. I thought it was great but they were out of
brisket and I got the last servicing of chicken. It reminded me of Stubbs in Austin. The chicken, ribs and pork were great .
After dinner my bass player looked into the kitchen from the window on the street declared if he had done so before the meal
he wouldn't have eaten there. He said it looked like a disaster.

Mae's Scotch House was my first meal of the day on Saturday. My GF was hurting. We had visited Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop,
the revolving bar in the hotel (can't remember the name now), and tried The Absinthe House (cause Absinthe makes the heart
grow fonder). The GF said they made the best Hurricane in the quarter. I think we tried about a dozen different place.
I enjoyed absinthe made the traditional wave, it's quite a show, and after I finished it I was seeing traces and might of had a flash back.
At any rate we missed breakfast and made it Mae's by noon. The chicken was phenomenal. Very light crust. Very moist interior.
It was fun to see chicken on every table. The butter beans were great as was the cornbread. I'd love to get the recipe
for that chicken but they swore it's a secret. I'm gonna have to do some research...
Also, the Pimms Cup a the Napoleon House was excellent. The band eat lunch there and loved it but I don't remember what they ordered.

The Praline Connect was good not great. I liked the vibe of the place. As soon as we sat down the band wives started ordering
appetizers, and then everyone ordered entrees. I knew there would be way too much food so I didn't order anything. Sure enough,
we probably left 20-35% of the food uneaten. The bass players wife loved the fried livers, fried okra and fried shrimp (do you see
a pattern here?). I thought the ribs were inferior to The Joints, and the fried chicken couldn't touch Mae's. The gumbo was good.
The price was quite reasonable.

I convinced the band to go to Commander's Place as our 1 splurge meal. In exchange I agreed to do the garden district tour
again. CP was good but not as good as I remember it. I usually love going there - The trolley ride, the live music and
the incredible food. Maybe because we didn't eat until 1:30. We ate a little from the free breakfast at the hotel to hold us over
but I was starving and the service was soooo slow. We had a beautiful table in the garden room but the pacing was ridiculous.
It took forever to get our drinks and each course. When we ordered bloody mary's they brought us a glass filled 3/4s and then
come later with cold vodka to fill it up. Well, they forgot to bring the vodka... This turned out to be a 2 1/4 hour brunch.
I had the gumbo, spicy shrimp, and the bread budding souffle. The filet was better I think as was the strawberry shortcake.

I really wanted into Acme Oyster House that night but the line was quite long so we went to go get drinks and came back an hour
and a half later and the line was even longer so we went around the corner to the Red Fish Grill. My GF and I split the RedFish
special with mudbug tails on them and a salad with shrimp in a remoulade sauce (reminded me a bit of thousand island dressing
which I like). I liked our food and thought this was a pretty good reasonably priced restaurant. My bass player ordered the Tuna.
He liked it. I thought it sucked. It was cold and kind of stringy. The table next to us sent their tuna back because it was cold.
The waiter told them it was seared so it was suppose to be cold. Yeah right... The drink service was horrible but the food wasn't.
Bass player's wife order the boiled shrimp on the same remoulade sauce and she hated it.

I guess that's it. I wanted to eat more... but everything there is so rich and filling and we drank so damn much!

Thanks again


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Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Acme Oyster House
1202 N Highway 190, Covington, LA 70433

Apr 27, 2010
roofus in New Orleans

Eating out in Rome

Thanks Sid. This is quite helpful.

Nov 03, 2006
roofus in Italy

Eating out in Rome

Great post Sid. Lots of places for me to check out. Will be in Rome this winter. I would appreciate a recommendation for New Years Eve dinner - it's a Sunday night this year - for a family style restaurant. Nothing too fancy. Mid- price range. Thanks in advance.

Oct 26, 2006
roofus in Italy

sunday dining in rome

New Years Eve this years falls on a Sunday. I have to beleive that restaurants will stay open for that. (I have going out for New Years in San Fransico - I find the food and the service suffer). Does anyone have any recommendation? We are a family of 5 - kids 19,18 and 14. Thanks in advance.

Oct 20, 2006
roofus in Italy

Restuarant recs for Rome around New Years

Heading to Rome for a week this winter. Looking for restuarnt recs.
Beent here 3 times over many years and don't remember where we ate.
Kind of just wandered around looking... had a great time and great meals but want to be better prepared this time. Thanks in advance

Oct 18, 2006
roofus in Italy

Good restaurant near USF

Great info. Thanks mucho

Aug 19, 2006
roofus in San Francisco Bay Area

Good restaurant near USF

Howdie Chow Hounds, last minute request...moving our daughter into USF dorm this afternoon. Would appreciate a rec for a restuarant nearby. We like everything. Thanks

Aug 19, 2006
roofus in San Francisco Bay Area