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VStallworth's Profile

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Hong Kong House, Knoxville, closed; will become a 'crazy donkey'

This is very sad news indeed! My top priority on trips to Knoxville for last couple years has been eating at Hong Kong House........ Heard anything since you posted this on where the chef is now?

One Great Memphis BBQ Meal Needed

Make a quick trip into midtown and eat at Central BBQ! My fav. Followed by BBQ Shop, also in midtown. Enjoy!

looking for good Mex food in Scottsdale/Mayo area

Will be visiting family in the Mayo/N. Scottsdale area this weekend. Looking for easy, good food, esp. anything in the Tex/Mex, Mexican, Southwestern cuisine arena. Please send any recommendations.

Jun 16, 2010
VStallworth in Phoenix

10 day road trip: Chi, Mem, Oxford, NO, Savanna, Charleston, Atlanta, Chattanooga/Nashville, Louisville, Chi

With regard to Memphis, I concur with others that Itta Bena is not where you want to go for good food. Service is untrained, food isn't great. The atmosphere is excellent esp. if Susan Marshall is playing. Unfortunately that is not enough for us to spend money on food there. I would recommend: for BBQ, head to Central BBQ in midtown; great lunch at the Brushmark at the Brooks Museum in Overton Park, dinners downtown at Circa or Flight, dinner in midtown at Restaurant Iris (also check out a play at Playhouse on the Square just across the street - right now they are doing Santaland Diaries - a hoot!), or Bari in midtown which is also by the theatre. In Cooper Young area of midtown, check out Tsunami.

Suggestions for a first trip to Asheville

Perhaps our experience at The Admiral was not the norm. I took the advice of Chowhounds and made this our first food stop of the weekend. I am well attuned to slower service specific to certain areas (most places I have visited in the Caribbean come to mind), but found the experience at The Admiral frustrating. Server more focused on helping move tables out for the late night music/bar time than tending to our needs (not high maintenance, just basic). If the food had been superb, I would have been willing to overlook the service. That was not the case. I will say that the bartender was wonderful, attentive and with good suggestions. I just don't have this place on my return to list. On a more positive note, our experience at Limones tonight was excellent - from the service to the food, a place we will definitely return to in the future.

Nov 22, 2009
VStallworth in Southeast

Suggestions for a first trip to Asheville

Visiting Asheville this weekend and ate at The Admiral last night. Can't say I concur with your thought that it is the best restaurant in Asheville. Menu is very interesting, yes. We had good direction on wine choices and were pleased. However the service was lousy, inattentive and slow. There were some highlights to the food - esp. the risotto that came with the lamb and the sweet potato creme brulee for dessert, but the rest of it was just mediocre.

Nov 22, 2009
VStallworth in Southeast

Slider buns in Memphis or Huntsville?


Does anyone know where you can buy slider buns in Memphis or Huntsville?



Food Recs for near Renaissance Hotel, downtown

I am looking for some interesting food recs for dinner nearby (walking distance?) my hotel - 999 Ninth St., NW. I'll be taking my Board Chair to dinner 2 nights. Nothing super expensive, but good food - wide open to type of cuisine.

Also any ideas of a good place nearby for a solo Sunday brunch, maybe a place I could eat at the bar?



Hong Kong House in Knoxville

Found the great reviews & recommendations for Hong Kong House from Chowhounds. We were there last weekend for a Lady Vols game. And WOW - the food is truly excellent. Thanks for the lead. We ordered way more food than we could eat. We couldn't narrow it down any further and still are disappointed that we didn't get to try everything we wanted. Next time we need a group so we can order bunches.

We had the fish cilantro spring rolls, the scallion pancakes, the wonton in red oil, and the crispy shrimp - along with a couple Tsing Taos. I would order every one of these again. The wonton in red oil really stands out, also the crispy shrimp. We like some heat, but man, the crispy shrimp was really hot, held us back from eating more. Next time we will amend the heat level. You can order mild, medium or hot.

I am thinking this is our 2nd favorite ever Chinese restaurant. 1st choice is King Fung Garden in Boston. But then again, Hong Kong may edge out King Fung's.

Cakebread vs. Merryvale

We'll be in Napa this October. I am looking at the Cakebread sensory experience wine tasting and the Merryvale wine component tasting. Both are same cost, both sound pretty much the same in what they cover. They are basically held at the same time and we can only do one of them. Anyone have recommendations on which is better?

Thanks for any thoughts you can share!


Nashville/Memphis/Little Rock Help

Having recently eaten at Daily Grill in Memphis, I would not ditto the earlier recommendation for this restaurant. Nothing special and the service is lacking.

For lunch, check out the Brushmark at the Brooks Museum in midtown. Sit outside if it is a pretty day. We have not been displeased with any of our recent 5 or so lunches there. Decent wine list too.

Encore downtown is good. We like to get a great burger at the bar and a nice glass of red wine. Also check out Automatic Slims, right across from the Peabody, for lunch or dinner.

Tsunami in Cooper Young/midtown has lots of fish; seating inside and out.

Help with planning self catered St. Helena 40th birthday party


Around a dozen or so friends are joining me in the wine country for my 40th birthday later this year. We're staying in St. Helena. I am planning a casual, self-catered dinner party at my B & B for my birthday night. I could use some help with leads on several things:

1. Best place to order a cake? I am thinking about something like a carrot cake, red velvet cake or German chocolate cake.

2. Best place to buy the wine? I want to spend around $17-20 a bottle. I'll be buying red, white and sparkling. I want to buy CA wines. What wine stores are my best bets for good values?

3. Best places to purchase prepared foods? I am thinking about a medley of room temp/cold foods like couscous salad with grilled chicken, salmon, bean salad, etc. I've looked at Dean & Dulca, of course, and Oakville Grocery. Are there other places you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Mar 15, 2008
VStallworth in California

Our San Diego plan - would love your feedback & suggestions

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the great feedback & suggestions! I've made some revisions to the food plan based on some of your thoughts. Here's the gameplan:

Zanzibar (Sunday brunch)
The Cheese Shop
George's Ocean Terrace
Con Pane

Cafe Chloe
El Agave
Casa Guadalajara

When we get back home, I'll let you know what we thought/what we would do again and if there are any we would not do again!


Mar 15, 2008
VStallworth in California

Our San Diego plan - would love your feedback & suggestions

Thanks everyone! Great to have some confirmations, the heads up on OTMC and some new suggestions.

Feb 24, 2008
VStallworth in California

Our San Diego plan - would love your feedback & suggestions

Hi all,

We head to San Diego later next month for a conference. We'll have a couple of unstructured days when we first arrive. We are staying in the downtown area near the convention center & we will have a car. We like good food and wine, we're not really big fans of seafood, surely interested in some good Mexican, and don't want to spend a ton of money (though happy to do a couple higher end places that have a good return for the money!).

Would love to hear any feedback on our choices and any alternative suggestions.

The Cheese Shop - near our hotel downtown
South Beach Bar & Grille - the day we visit Cabrillo
Either Girard Gourmet or Piatti - the day we visit La Jolla and Torrey Pines
Terra - for Sunday brunch

Dinners (we are looking to stay near the downtown area for these):
Old Town Mexican Cafe
Rama - in the Gaslamp area
El Agave - Old Town
Dobson's - downtown

We were also looking at San Diego Wine & Culinary Center as a possibility. And considered Cafe Chloe and wonder if we are making mistake not including this one in our plans.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts & suggestions!


Feb 24, 2008
VStallworth in California

Memphis trip-need best homestyle/southern, bbq, fried chicken and a nicer restaurant

Sounds like a big weekend!!

Here are some thoughts:

For BBQ, our favorite is Central Barbeque. It's in midtown and on Central Ave. Excellent pulled pork sandwiches and ribs. They make their own BBQ potato chips which are good -- and I am not usually a fan of flavored chips. Fries are good too, as is the slaw though it usually needs salt. Pretty good beer selection.

For fried chicken, go to Gus's which is downtown near the South Main arts district area. The chicken is excellent, is spicy. All the sides are nothing to get excited about.

There are various plate lunch Southern style places and we don't like the ones we hear most people talk about (like the Cupboard in midtown). But do check out Little Tea Shop on Monroe downtown, this one is good. Also for Southern soul food, check out Alencia's on North Main in downtown Memphis. I'd go for Alencia's over Little Tea Shop.

More upscale....lots of options here.
Downtown you might check out Felicia Suzanne's - which has a southern element to the food, but upscale; she used to work with Emeril in NO. Portions are very large.
Also downtown we like Stella which is on Monroe at Main St.

In midtown you might look into Tsunami which is in the Cooper Young district; emphasis on seafood.

Jarret's is out east which could be good depending on where y'all are staying.

Just thought of where I really think you should go....... The Hunt Phelan. It's in a very old Southern mansion, in downtown Memphis. Food is excellent. The service is fine but spotty -- you expect a bit better but we do keep going back. Definitely a Southern and a bit of Creole influence. Beautfiul. Has a bar in the bar and a wonderful outdoor patio terrace which could be nice for a drink before dinner or after. It's a nice fit for such an important dinner.

What else are you planning for your weekend activities -- other than eating? Are you staying downtown? I am happy to help with other recommendations!

There is a Williams Sonoma outlet and a separate Pottery Barn outlet in east Memphis -- about 20 min. drive from downtown and definitely worth a stop!

Good luck.


Feedback on Dallas downtown/CC food plans?

RJs and Stephan Pyles both look great! I found the menus. I think we will surely get by Nieman Marcus too! I am esp. glad to know about the light rail. We get 90 min. breaks for lunch each day - so plenty of time to get out and enjoy some decent food. Thanks for the ideas!

Mar 12, 2007
VStallworth in Texas

Feedback on Dallas downtown/CC food plans?


We'll be in Dallas for a convention in a couple weeks, staying downtown at the Hyatt Regency. I've been researching and reading Chowhound posts, and here's my general gameplan. I'd like any feedback and any alternative suggestions!

Fuse - for weekday lunch and/or dinner

La Duni - for Sunday brunch

Lola - for Saturday night dinner

We'll also be at the women's BB regionals at Reunion Arena. Any decent eats there? I know here in Memphis we have some decent BBQ at such venues.

Finally, if you have any suggestions for lunch options near the Convention Center, that would be helpful -- esp. Tex Mex/Southwestern/Mexican food.



Mar 11, 2007
VStallworth in Texas