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Zion National Park - any suggestions?

Just wanted to weigh in - we were in Zion in May 2009 and ate at Parallel 88 one night. I thought it was very good - close to being great - but all the dishes seemed to miss the mark just a tad. It has a lot of potential and is worth visiting. The restaurant space and design is more unique for Zion. It was probably one of the better meals on our trip, but also the most expensive. They do have a great wine list, and the appetizers were better than the entrees. I would probably skip dessert.

We also ate at Bit and Spur. It gets very mixed reviews on the board here, but we were decently pleased. No watery guacamole. The margaritas were terrible, but they have a good beer selection. We ordered fish tacos that were decent. It was definitely better than Taco Bell. It's not Mexican, although it's a little closer to TexMex.

Finally, we had a filling breakfast at Oscar's - best value of our trip. Humongous portions.

I can highly recommend the Desert Pearl Inn - the rooms were fabulous and the location is perfect.

For Bryce - the Bryce Canyon Lodge was the best national park lodge dining experience we had on the trip. The servers are really pushy though - always trying to increase your bill with all kinds of add ons. Also, the dining experience at national park lodges can vary from year-to-year depending on the staff and which concessionaire is running it.

Again, just level set your expectations when you travel to these places. The experience and natural beauty definitely outweighs some of the mediocre food.

Jan 13, 2010
thbunny in Mountain States

Hampton/Newport News, VA Recommendation

Sorry that Al Fresco was disappointing - I haven't been there since that post in 2006.

The problem with recommending a restaurant in Port Warwick (William Styron Square) is that there is a lot of turnover. I just looked and all of those restaurants are completely different than a year or two ago. But, it is generally a good place to grab a drink and scope out food choices.

Dec 23, 2008
thbunny in General South Archive

Ethnic places to eat in Charlotte, NC

Indian - definitely Copper if you want to spend more money... for vegetarian I'd recommend Udipi in the University area.

I second jlwnc on Cuisine Malaya. Some of the dishes are a miss, but the Malaysian dishes and surpisingly the sushi are excellent.

I've heard Dim Sum on Central is the best Chinese in Charlotte, but I have yet to go. China Bistro 88 on 4th is the best I've had in town, but I agree with others that Charlotte is lacking outstanding Chinese.

Has anyone been to Meskerem for Ethiopian? I used to live in DC and there were scores of great Ethiopian restaurants. I think Meskerem is Charlotte's only one... but I'm very curious to try.

For Italian - there is a great gelato place in Huntersville in Birkdale Village - Cafe Mia. I don't get up that way very often, but my Italian teacher recommended it - and wow - that was delicious gelato. Also had a good panini there. Molto buono!

Nov 09, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Best Bakery Selections in Asheville?

can't wait to try the recommendations... thanks!

Nov 02, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Best Bakery Selections in Asheville?

oh, I do love the Chocolate Fetish... great suggestion... yum...

Nov 02, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Best Bakery Selections in Asheville?

I'm planning an event where I need dessert for about 75 people, and my idea is to get a selection of cakes, pies, brownies, etc. from various bakeries across Asheville. Basically I'm looking for the best place to go for each dessert... even if it means driving around. I'd prefer to stay in Asheville and not the surrounding areas. I appreciate your advice!

What are your recommendations for best...
brownies
cookies - oatmeal, chocolate chip, and peanut butter
carrot cake
strawberry cream or strawberry cake
red velvet cake (I know, it's a guilty pleasure)
pound cake
cheesecake
anything else that you love and would recommend!

thanks!

Oct 30, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Newport News, Williamsburg, Jamestowne?

I am from that area, and get back 6-8 times a year, and have posted a few times about Hampton/NN:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/353345
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399544

Otherwise - Fat Canary in Williamsburg has a lot of fans on this board. It has a great reputation in the area, but it skews more expensive.

And if you love BBQ, do check out Pierce's Pit BBQ in Williamsburg.

Here is another thread about Williamsburg:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/395769

enjoy your trip!

Jun 15, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Charleston - rec for casual dinner near the Market

I would not recommend Sticky Fingers at all...
This thread had some great suggestions for more casual dining in Charleston:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/390826

Is Meritage really any good? I've had drinks there, and it had more of a bar/pick-up scene vibe. And even for drinks - I had a bad experience across the board. My red wine was served very warm. Plus, the whole place had a terrible bleach smell. And the palmetto bugs (ie flying roaches) were out in full effect in the outdoor seating area - I don't think they kept it very clean (note: you need more than bleach!) so it was attracting a lot of bugs. I know they are common, but I've never seen them that bad anywhere else in Chas.

Maybe if they closed for a while they are hopefully under new management?

Jestine's is a decent choice if you can get in without waiting. I'm not sure it lives up to all the hype though.

Jun 15, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

My Charlotte Recommendations

I was at Cantina 1511 a few weeks ago and the guacamole was sub-standard at best. I like Cantina 1511 but it seems to be very hit or miss.

Jun 10, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Your best recipes for muffins, quickbreads, or other brunch treats?

I love this banana walnut chocolate chip bread. I usually make it as muffins instead of as a loaf. Also, I follow others' suggestions and cut down the amount of sugar and chocolate chips. I also use half wheat flour. They are divine!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

I also have a great recipe for blueberry muffins from America's Test Kitchen if you are interested.

If you're looking for something "more healthy" - these muffins are perfect. This came from the Washington Post:

Oat Bran Muffin With Walnuts and Blueberries
12 servings
Wrap the finished muffins individually in plastic and seal them in a freezer bag.
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons applesauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten, or 1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnut pieces
1/4 cup rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray oil. (If using paper liners, insert them in the tin and spray lightly with nonstick spray oil.) Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the oat bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the applesauce, eggs, orange juice, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend well. Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin. Sprinkle rolled oats over the tops of the muffins. Bake about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Jun 10, 2007
thbunny in Home Cooking

Falafel made with chickpea flour?

Thanks for all of the suggestions! Will definitely use the whole beans for falafel.

Any other ideas on what to do with chickpea flour? Bought a bag by Bob's Red Mill. On the package there was a recipe for hummus, which we made. The taste was great but the consistency was off.

Jun 10, 2007
thbunny in Home Cooking

Falafel made with chickpea flour?

Does anyone have a recipe for falafel that is made with chickpea flour? I would love any links or recipes - as well as any advice. Thanks!

Jun 09, 2007
thbunny in Home Cooking

San Antonio - Tex Mex, local ingredients, and guidance needed from the Hounds

I’m visiting San Antonio for the first time for work in a week, and would love some help! I’m staying at the Radisson Hill Country, which I know is a ways from the heart of the city, but I’ll have a rental car, so I’m open to travel, but would also like to know if there is anything out my way.

I’ve perused some older threads and found a few recommendations. Are these good choices so far?
Las Canarias
La Margarita
Mi Terra

I’m guessing these would satisfy my Tex-Mex cravings, but what else do the ‘hounds recommend if I’m looking for something different one night?

I’d also love to find a restaurant that focuses on local ingredients.

Thanks! I’ll report back!!

Jun 09, 2007
thbunny in Texas

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

II love Ratcliffe on the Green - definitely one of my top 5 picks in Charlotte. But I was disappointed to see that they had Atlantic salmon on the lunch menu. That is neither local nor sustainable. Why use farm-raised Atlantic salmon, when NC has so many great trouts and other options? I'm sure most of it is due to consumer demand, the low price of salmon, and the fact that it's an easy fish to cook for lunch, but I was saddened to see them put it on the lunch menu. However, I would still highly recommend Ratcliffe on the Green.

Jun 09, 2007
thbunny in Central South

Pewter Rose (Charlotte) for Brunch

I do think it's hard to find a good brunch! We tried Patou on East Blvd. for brunch and hard a terrible meal. We had a fruit crepe and an omelet - both lackluster.

May 23, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Charlotte- Customshop or Carpe Diem

Yeah, Tom Sietsema - the food critic for the Washington Post (who I revered when I lived up in DC) - always said he waited a few months after a new restaurant was open before going to review it...

I can vouch for Carpe Diem - had a great meal there a few months ago! I've only been once, so I'm not sure if it's consistent, but our meal was excellent, and the pace was very relaxed, and the service professional.

May 23, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Charlotte - Best Food Neighborhood for Visit

Southpark is great if she wants to be near shopping, but the food options in that area are a far cry from what you could find in the neighborhoods others have mentioned. Southpark's food choices are fairly limited if you want to really get a taste of the local food scene here. Although I do recommend Nolen Kitchen on Selywn (kind of near Southpark) if you end up in that area.

May 23, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Asheville, NC - Restaurants that host private parties/events?

how was the food at Crest Mountain?

May 23, 2007
thbunny in Southeast

Asheville, NC - Restaurants that host private parties/events?

Another venue similar to Windows on the Park is On Broadway, which is part of Celine & Co. Catering. We are also considering a rehearsal dinner there. It's right downtown...

May 23, 2007
thbunny in Southeast

My Charlotte Recommendations

me too! I haven't been there in 2 months or so. I know they've gotten even more popular so myabe they are slipping. I hope not! We'll have to go again soon for some research ;)

May 11, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

B-more Chow visiting Hampton- suggestions?

I am with you - I grew up in Hampton also, and get back there a few times a year. Unfortunately things have not changed *that* much in Hampton since you've been. Still way too many terrible chains, and more and more keep coming - like that Eat at Joe's. Why?

The last time I was there in early April a friend and I went to Six - a new tapas place in Pheobus (I'd say the area is a good 5-10 years behind food trends). A few dishes were good, but it was so inconsistent. Instead of focusing on a few types of cuisine that they do well, they try to please too many different kinds of palates, so the menu is sprawling and the kitchen clearly can't keep up. If you go, try the specials - those were the best. It's definitely one of the more adventurous places in the area, and I do have to applaud their efforts. Don’t get me wrong – it was good, but not great – and a welcome change for that area. One of the huge pluses is that their beer selection is terrific, with some unexpected beers on tap.

In downtown Hampton there is an excellent place for lunch – La Bodgea Hampton. I love their sandwiches – the Langley and the Navigator specifically. They also have a wine shop with a comprehensive wine selection for the area.

There are a few more options in the area, but Norfolk is still your best bet. If you want to stay in Hampton/Newport News - I posted this a while back about some other places to check out:

There is a great Indian restaurant on Jefferson called Nawab – near the intersection of J. Clyde Morris. I didn't have the highest expectations but the food was outstanding. The food definitely leans toward more traditional Indian, but above your average Indian restaurant. The chicken in our tikka masala was a tad on the dry side, but the sauce was great. We also had the Palak Paneer - divine! We were there for dinner but I want to go back for the lunch buffet. Even my non-adventurous mother liked it. Service was a little slow. The second time there we had the Vegetable Korma and the Chana Masala – I would recommend both.

In the Oyster Point area you can also try Sushi Yama for sushi. I've eaten lunch there a few times - they have an awesome lunch special. Quality sushi. Nothing cutting edge - but a solid choice.

For seafood - Surf Rider in Hampton is a decent choice. Simple seafood dishes - and a lot of bang for your buck. The portions are quite oversized. My enthusiasm for this place wanes a little more each time I’m there. But if you want a good crab cake sandwich you can’t go wrong.

I'm still searching for a breakfast spot to recommend... no luck yet!

Good luck and report back if you find anything spectacular!

May 09, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

My Charlotte Recommendations

I'm not sure if you meant this for the Charlotte post, but I used to live in DC. Have you tried the wings at Hard Times? I always used to ask for them grilled... nice and smoky.

In Charlotte I love the wings at Mac's!

May 09, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

My Charlotte Recommendations

No, I have not tried McIntosh. We had a $25 gift certificate but it expired before we made it there.

Should we check it out?

May 09, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Cake in Charleston, SC?

I wanted to report back about Rococo. Overall, it was a great experience. I didn't have a specific cake type in mind, so the woman suggested their signature cake - the strawberry cream cake. It was a big hit with adults and kids at the birthday. I personally thought the ratio of cake to whipped cream was a little too skewed to the whipped cream, but it tasted fresh and looked pretty.

I didn't sample any of their other baked goods but I have heard the tomato pie is to die for!

May 09, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Cake in Charleston, SC?

Thanks for the recommendations and advice! I just ordered one from Rococo German Bakery. Can't wait to try it! I'll report back.

May 03, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Ingredient shopping in North and South Carolina

If you make it out to Asheville, be sure to check out the tailgate markets:
http://www.asapconnections.org/specia...

I can also heartily recommend the regional Charlotte farmer's market that others have mentioned. Be sure to check it out on a Saturday!

Carrboro (near Chapel Hill) has an excellent co-op market with especially fantastic breads and baked goods: http://www.weaverstreetmarket.com/

In Charleston, visit the Marion Square Farmer's Market. It's not much of a grower's market, but look for the food vendors - especially the crepes, pizza, and boiled peanuts! I know you were looking more for ingredients, but I wouldn't miss these vendors. The pizza and crepe makers cook on site. http://www.ci.charleston.sc.us/dept/c...

In Philly I also loved the Reading Market Terminal - all of those great Amish cheeses and breads. I do wish we had something like that here in the South!

May 03, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Cake in Charleston, SC?

Thanks! For $2.75 per cupcake I would definitely expect divine!

May 03, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Anything new in Charlotte?

I wrote a detailed post about Lulu after a few visits there, in case you want to read more:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345125

I can't wait to try customshop.

We will have to try Creation again. I was not impressed the first time we were there, but it comes highly recommended...

May 02, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Can't decide in Asheville!

We went to Limones as non-native Asheville residents, and it was fantastic. Our service was great too, and we were there on an extremely busy Saturday night. Loved the ceviche! Definitely give it another try.

May 02, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive

Cake in Charleston, SC?

I'm looking for a bakery for a birthday cake this weekend in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, or West Ashley. Any recommendations on where I can get a delicious cake that is made fresh? Has anyone been to Cupcake on King street? Thanks so much!

May 02, 2007
thbunny in General South Archive