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heineken joe's Profile

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Examine the bill carefully ( which I usually dont ! ). They charged me for a 90$ bottle of wine which we did not drink. No apologies - only stuff about how new they are etc etc.

Nov 25, 2011
heineken joe in Philadelphia


I went there 2 days after it opened. It was chaos ( as expected ) with waiters that had absolutely no idea what they were serving. The chef is Haitian and cooking "up-scale" Indian food while consulting an Indian master chef who appears to be resident in the UK. The overall result is mediocre indian "fusion" cooking. If you liked Bindi ( closed ) you probably will like this place. I will give it another try in another two months.

Sep 21, 2011
heineken joe in Philadelphia


Once again I am the odd man out but I hated the place ! I had 2 appetizers: the bone marrow and a salad with burrata cheese. For my main course I had the roast chicken, which is what I try in all new restaurants, as my stringent test of attention to detail. Bone marrow is served in very few restaurants in Philadelphia. Currently, I know that Adsum has it on the menu and it has been taken off at Distrito. The version served at Barbuzzo had been split in half ( to allow the lazy customers easy access I guess ) and was luke warm- like it had not been properly reheated ( microwave ? ). Furthermore the marrow had been coated in a nondescript green sauce. The simplicity of just the marrow fished out of a hot bone and spread on some toast is what I was looking for. Burratta is a great cheese with a short shelf life. A very nice aspect of the cheese is the different textures including the runny bits in the middle. The Barbuzzo version had some small slivers of the harder part of the cheese hidden under a huge pile of arugula, and other odds and ends, drenched in vast amounts of sharp vinaigrette. Again, no understanding of simplicity and the main ingredient. The chicken was so-so and a bit dry. As in the case of bindi these entrepreneurs have a total lack of respect for traditions and culture as the basis for cooking. No doubt it will be a great success in giving Americans what they expect and want from an "italian" restaurant.

Sep 08, 2010
heineken joe in Philadelphia


I was very dissapointed with Chifa. All the other Garces' restaurants are great. I went on the second night of operation and we shared about 8 dishes. One of them was the Lobster noodle dish which is described by others on the web as "ethereal". I thought it sucked ! It consisted of undercooked, overly thick, crude white noodles which had been tossed with some pancetta, peas, a few pieces of lobster and some cream. I don't know what is Peruvian Cantonese about it, and it was more disgusting than ethereal. The ceviches in Distrito and Tinto are excellent - the one I tried in Chifa was presented on a frozen ornate glass plate. The fish had not been marinated in citrus and was more like a bland sashimi. The roast chicken dish and the pork belly buns were OK ( not as good as Momofuku in NY ). I was dissapointed and am worried that Garces may have overextended himself. I will have to try this again to confirm my initial impressions.

Feb 23, 2009
heineken joe in Pennsylvania

Table 31

Yes..I went last night. Had an appetizer partially made from pigs trotters. It was shaped and rolled in mustard/ breadcrumbs and fried. Very tasty. The place is meant to be a steak house so I ordered the Dover sole which was filleted expertly at tableside and was also delicous. Vegetables have to be ordered separately -my choice was garlic mashed potatoes and a mixture of peas, morels and zucchini. My major complaint is that the food was not sufficiently hot. By the time the sole was placed on my plate it was only luke warm and this was also true for the pea/morel dish. They need to sort out their hot plates or something. A surpising thing about this place was the wines by the glass were a very reasonable $6-8. In terms of floor space this is the largest restaurant in Philadelphia. In terms of cuisine there are probably many better places to go.

May 29, 2008
heineken joe in Pennsylvania

Bindi in Philadelphia

I am also born in India but eat out regularly in Philadelphia and eleswhere in the US and abroad. I appreciate that there may be something called "Indian inspired cuisine". However, the inspiration is lacking at Bindi. A pork vindaloo consisted of a piece of tenderloin that had been roasted, sliced and placed on some kind of red spicy sauce. There was also some kind of pureed vegetable in the mix somewhere. All of this was served in a polished kadai. There was no rice to accompany this dish since ( silly me ) I assumed that curry comes with rice. My feeling is that taking cooking lessons from Julie Sahni is not good enough to start an Indian restaurant. Some time ago a question arose on this site of whether one should go to Lolita or Xochitl to sample Mexican food. One commentator proferred the opinion that authenticity should not be the guiding factor. I beg to disagree -- Xochitl every time.

Feb 03, 2008
heineken joe in Pennsylvania

Looking for restaurants ATLANTA

I will be visiting Atlanta from Philadelphia in the first week of May and am looking for 3 restaurants for dinner. I guess I am looking for 'fine dining" options but anything novel and cutting edge would be even better. I was thinking of going to the "Dining Room" but the chef who had originally come from Japan seems to have gone back to japan and the present chef does not seem as interesting. Is Seegers still any good? I will be staying in Buckhead but am willing to travel for good food ! Thanks.

JAMES How Was It?

I went to James about a week after it opened and when it did not have a liquor license. I had a gnocchi appetizer and the chicken and sat at the bar. The gnochhi took about 40min to appear and was nothing special. The chicken took equally long and also was nothing special. The owners/chef have pretensions at a higher level of N. Italian cuisine. I know Vetri and this is no Vetri.

Feb 04, 2007
heineken joe in Pennsylvania