Tag Archives: restaurants

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

The famous Stratford Swans on the Avon River. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
The famous Stratford Swans on the Avon River

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare, swans, shopping, and spectacular eats – where are you? You’re in Stratford, Ontario!

This small town is one of the most vibrant arts and food towns I’ve ever visited – and like many who visit, I long to move there. Stratford is known for being a theatre town – it’s the home of the Stratford Festival, one of the best theatre festivals in the world (which runs from April through October each year). There are Shakespearean Gardens to meander through; make time to see the swans along the Avon River – the 24 swans are well-cared for and have an annual parade each spring! Be sure to tour the Costume Warehouse and see the tens of thousands of costumes used in the productions, and stop and shop at Bradshaw’s, a fantastic kitchen store.

Stratford Costume Warehouse. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Stratford Costume Warehouse

This town is a foodie town. There’s the Stratford Chef School and a plethora of extraordinary restaurants. The prevailing theme is locally grown/sourced, organic, fresh foods – you can see this when you talk with chefs, or shop the weekly farmer’s market. It’s amazing, and progressive, and just lovely.

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
A variety of sizes for your fresh eggs at the Stratford Farmer’s Market

 

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Freshly baked bread at the Stratford Farmer’s Market

Explore the Savour Stratford food trails – Bacon and Ale, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Maple, and other seasonal trails that offer food and food items at stores all throughout town. Purchase trail passes at the Visit Stratford office downtown – it’s a great way to explore local food – and local stores.

I was completely surprised by the quantity of excellent food and great restaurants here – you will be, too. For a small town, Stratford just explodes with art, theatre, museums, and fine dining. The choices overflow – it was hard for me to narrow this down!

Please note all prices are in Canadian dollars.

Breakfast: The Bruce

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Buttermilk & caramelized apple pancakes with bacon, courtesy of The Bruce

My suggestion: We ate breakfast at our B&B, so I asked my foodie friend Cathy Rehberg, of Visit Stratford, for a suggestion. She made me hungry! Here’s what she recommended: “Chef Arron Carley, who will be featured on Food Network TV’s Chopped Canada, describes the vision for his new menus: “Looking into our past and understanding our roots as well as looking forward into the undiscovered wilderness of our nation we will forge New
Canadian Cuisine.” Now he is offering the Bruce-alicious menu which offers excellent value. Take a look at the fall and winter breakfast menu. Everything I have had there has been so good! And, it comes with a lovely view of the gardens just south of Upper Queen’s Park and a 5 minute walk to the Festival Theatre.”

Price: Bruce Breakfast Sandwich: Perth pork sausage, Avonlea cheddar, duck egg, tomato, awesome sauce, flaxseed bun, crispy spuds – $15
Hours: Restaurant: Thursday-Saturday plus Sunday Brunch; Lounge open every day.
Address: 89 Parkview Drive
Phone Number: 855-708-7100
Website: www.thebruce.ca

 

Second Breakfast: Rheo Thompson Candies

Rheo Thompson Chocolates. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

I have a soft spot in my heart for Rheo Thompson – not only for their extraordinary chocolates, but for the fact that we both came into this world in 1969. I adore this chocolate shop – and so does everyone who’s been to Stratford. It’s a must-visit. If you go on Savour Stratford’s Chocolate Trail, Rheo Thompson is one of the options.

Rheo Thompson Chocolates. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioMy suggestion: While all of the chocolates I have ever gotten from Rheo Thompson have been delicious, try to snag some Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows. They are homemade marshmallow pillows, square, drenched in a thin coating of luscious dark chocolate. Yes, they deserve all of those adjectives.

Price: inexpensive
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm, closed Sunday
Address: 55 Albert Street
Phone Number: 519-271-6910
Website: https://www.rheothompson.com/

 

Lunch: Mercer Hall

Welcome to Mercer Hall. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioI absolutely LOVE this restaurant. Chef Ryan O’Donnell is the epitome of a chef that cares about locally grown, sustainable food sources, while being a great mentor and boss, AND bringing his creativity to the table.

Mercer Hall also serves hot tea from Canada’s first tea sommelier, Karen Hartwick (visit her shop, Tea Leaves, while you are in town), so be sure to order a pot.

My suggestion: House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus – I can’t resist a great sandwich. This one was incredible.

lunch at Mercer Hall. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus

 

Price: lunch mains $12-$17
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturda, 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
Address: 104 Ontario St
Phone Number: (888) 816-4011
Website: http://www.mercerhall.ca/

 

Coffeeshop: Revel Caffe

Revel Caffe. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioBecause there are many great coffeeshops in town, it’s hard to recommend just one. But I’ll try. Revel’s tagline notes: “independent coffee for a revolution home of direct trade coffee, delicious pastries & revelers” – indeed, this is the case. We walked into a bustling cafe – the sounds of the crowd were so happy and joyful – like old friends meeting up. Revel offers delicious baked goods and a variety of coffees and teas.

My suggestion: We went for lattes and a chocolate croissant. Heaven.

Revel Caffe. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

Price: large latte – $4.70
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8am-6pm, Sunday 9am-5pm
Address: 37 Market Place
Phone Number: 519-305-1600
Website: http://www.revelcaffe.com/

 

Happy Hour: Revival House

A restaurant and bar in an old church? It works! You walk in to thisThe bar at Revival House. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario gorgeous space, and immediately want to sit down and cozy in. There is sometimes a band at the front of the hall! Revival House uses fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in their menus. While we were there, we saw large families, couples, mother-daughter teams (us!), and more… This is a fun, upscale place that is hopping.

My suggestion: I don’t drink, so take your pick from their extensive drinks menu. What I will suggest is the charcuterie board ($27, to share) to tide you over until dinner.

Crudite platter at Revival House. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Just look at that!

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-1am. Closed Monday and Tuesday
Address: 70 Brunswick Street
Phone Number: 519-273-3424
Website: www.revival.house

Dinner: Pazzo

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioLocated on the main corner of Stratford’s downtown, this is the perfect place to stop in for dinner. BE SURE to make reservations if it is theatre season. If you’re not going to see a play that evening, make it after 7:30pm, so the theatre rush is done and you can relax in the large, comfy dining room. Chef Yva Santini, in her 9th year at Paazzo, received the Ontario Hostelry Institutes Top 30 under 30 award in 2014. She’s creative, friendly, and a genius in the kitchen. I love how she comes out into the dining room herself, to deliver the mains and chat with customers.

My suggestion: I could eat just off the appetizer menu, honestly. My favorite is the Burrata with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto, $13. But there is much to recommend on the mains menu, including the unlimited hand made pasta special – enjoy as much of Chef Yva’s daily pasta as you like, $20, or try the Taverna fondue (!!!).

Burrata at Pazzo. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Burrata at Pazzo

Price: $$
Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-12am, closed Monday
Address: 70 Ontario St
Phone: 519-273-6666
Website: www.pazzo.ca

Pazzo Taverna Dinner from One O Six Media on Vimeo.

 

Pin for later:

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

 

 

– The End. Go Eat. –

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jessie Voigts, except where noted

i8tonite with Hope, BC’s 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Chef Hiro Takeda. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Chef Hiro Takeda

Inspired by his father, who was a chef before he became an ice carver, Hiro Takeda began his career at Newlands Golf and Country Club, completing his three year apprenticeship before the age of 20. Working at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Diva at the Met gave him valuable experience in Vancouver, and a job at Squeah Camp and Retreat Centre brought him out to Hope.

at noma. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
noma

Opening 293 Wallace Street Restaurant in May of 2013, Hiro has since completed a 3 month internship at restaurant noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Using local suppliers and foraged ingredients, Hiro focuses on providing his guests with a mixture of comfort food as well as creative tasting menus, while sharing his philosophy and providing mentorship to his young team.

at noma. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
at noma

I first met Hiro a few years ago, through a mutual friend, the Maplemusketeer. I will tell you that anyone that is a friend of Jordan’s is a friend of mine – and so here we are today, years later, chatting about food and sharing a delicious, easy recipe.  I’m impressed with Hiro’s work with local foraging and ingredient sourcing, as well as his creativity and sense of humor. I think you will be, too.

You can find him online at:

www.293wallace.com
Instagram: chefhirotakeda
Facebook: 293 Wallace Street Restaurant
Twitter: 293wallace

Cheese crackers at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Cheese crackers at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking?

About 12 years

What is your favorite food to cook?

I have a soft spot for seafood, fish, but have lately been enjoying cooking with foraged greens.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?

Sriracha, Japanese mayo

What do you cook at home?

Instant noodles…mi goreng is the bomb

butternut squash panna at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
butternut squash panna at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?

Someone who just gets it, understands the work that goes into the food, is willing to get out of their comfort zone to try things they’ve never tried before.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?

Those who are rude to our staff. We don’t tolerate that.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?

Tupperware

Beer, wine, or cocktail?

All of the above. Gin and Grapefruit is king right now.

Your favorite cookbook author?

creme brulee at 293 Wallace, Vancouver. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
creme brulee at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

Too many to count! Off the top of my head, Rene Redzepi or Ferran Adria.

Your favorite kitchen tool?

Chopsticks or utility knife

Your favorite ingredient?

Scallops, or pine mushrooms

Your least favorite ingredient?

Chicken breast

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?

Repeat what I’ve already said.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?

Indian, and, well, anything that requires foraging and using wild foods.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?

Beef

Valentine's dessert by Chef Hiro Takeda. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Valentine’s dessert by Chef Hiro Takeda

Favorite vegetable?

Sunchokes

Chef you most admire?

Lars Williams, head of Research and Development at noma.

Food you like the most to eat?

Ramen or Japadogs

Food you dislike the most?

Uninspired food…or roasted/baked potatoes

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?

i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
A glimpse of one of Chef Hiro Takeda’s tattoos…

Seven, and just one…a little chef on my hand…. Well and I have koi on my leg…I guess that counts, if you cook it.

Recipe: Cacio e pepe with a couple extras

i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is a really simple recipe, with black pepper and pecorino. Pasta is easy for home cooking, filling and easy to pair with other things.

Take pasta, whatever shape you like, and cook in boiling water with olive oil and salt until al dente.

At the same time, in a fry pan, start with a touch of canola oil and add minced onions and garlic. Sweat until onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine, add lots of freshly cracked black pepper. When pasta is done, toss into the fry pan, along with a touch of pasta water. Grate pecorino into pasta; add some whole butter, chopped chives, and a touch of lemon juice to finish. Season with kosher salt. Put it into a bowl, then grate pecorino on top.

 

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee

The largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is perhaps best known for beer and a great Midwestern immigrant tradition (think delicious Polish and German food!). Today, you can celebrate those cultures with food, events (Irish Fest and German Fest, an 11 day music festival, the largest Bastille Day celebration in the US – it’s a city of festivals), and entire neighborhoods that represent immigrant communities (hello, South Side!). All of this – plus an extremely beautiful location, right along Lake Michigan, mean that this is a place that is serious about food, culture, and enjoying the best of life with friends and family.

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee

There’s so much to do, from visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Discovery World science center to shopping the Milwaukee Public Market to sports galore. But let’s be honest – we’re all about the food and beverages here.

Did you know that Milwaukee has historically been famous for beer? Yes, that strong German tradition carried over across the pond, and Milwaukee was the #1 beer producing city in the US for many years, with local breweries Schlitz, Pabst, Miller, and Blatz being the largest in the nation. The only large brewery still in town is Miller (you can see their impact all over town, notably with Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team). But in keeping with that brewing culture and tradition, as well as a diverse population and close proximity to Chicago, there is SO MUCH to eat, drink, and explore here. It’s not just about the beer any more.

What surprises visitors most is the quality and diversity of great eats here. You can find global meals, innovative American cuisine, a fantastic public market, and traditional Friday Fish Fries.

What are you waiting for?

Breakfast: Blue’s Egg

A perfect way to start the day is a meal at Blue’s Egg, a brunch spot serving traditional items as well favorites with a modern twist, with an emphasis on from-scratch cooking and locally sourced ingredients. If you’re looking for something more traditional, choose a dish from the “basics” section of the menu: a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes; thick French toast with sausage or thick-cut cherry wood bacon; or two eggs any style with choice of meat, slices of toast with butter or jam, and fresh-cut hash browns (with just the right amount of crisp).

Florentine Benedict: poached eggs, fresh spinach, beefsteak tomatoes, house-made English muffin, and hollandaise. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Florentine Benedict: poached eggs, fresh spinach, beefsteak tomatoes, house-made English muffin, and hollandaise. Photo: Blue’s Egg

In addition to the classic eggs benedict, Blue’s Egg offers the Dubliner (corned beef, leeks, rye toast, paprika aioli) and the Florentine (fresh spinach, beef-steak tomatoes, English muffin, hollandaise sauce). Menu standouts include the hoppel poppel (scrambled eggs, cream, sausage, bacon, caramelized onions, shredded potatoes, spinach, toast, hollandaise sauce); the blue crab cake (mixed greens, poached eggs, pickled peppers, challah toast, remoulade sauce); and corned beef hash made in-house (the best ever). A lunch menu is available Monday to Friday in addition to the brunch items and offers burgers and sandwiches with hand-cut fries, soups, and salads, but once you see the overflowing plates of eggs, bacon, and toast being delivered to other tables, you will want to stick with the brunch menu. Blue’s Egg also serves creative cocktails, wine, local beers, fresh squeezed juices, and coffee and café drinks to enjoy with your meal.

Look at those hash browns! at Blue's Egg. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Look at those hash browns! at Blue’s Egg

My suggestion: The restaurant is spacious but fills up quickly on weekends, so arrive early or consider having a seat at the counter. Take home some monkey bread, coffee cake, or cookies from the front case (if there is anything left).

Price $6-13
Hours every day 7am-2pm
Address 317 N 76th St, Milwaukee, WI 53213
Phone (414) 299-3180
Website http://bluesegg.com/

Second Breakfast: Clock Shadow Creamery

Wisconsin is home to cheese – so of COURSE I’d suggest you stock up on some cheese snacks over at Clock Shadow Creamery. This is an urban cheese factory that uses local milk (some of their cows are at the ZOO!) and creates fantastic cheeses. I won’t be lying when I say that when I walked into their clean, bright storefront, I felt like a mouse in Switzerland. I just wanted to EAT ALL THE CHEESE. But there’s a back story – with local founders, an extremely green and clean building, and a strong environmental and community commitment.

Fresh quark and cheese at Clock Shadow Creamery. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Fresh quark and cheese at Clock Shadow Creamery

Yelp Haiku by Rachel F
Urban cheese-making/
Flavored cheddars everywhere/
Lemme at that quark!

Fresh cheese curds at Clock Shadow Creamery. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Fresh cheese curds at Clock Shadow Creamery

My suggestion: While there are tons of cheeses, made by Clock Shadow and others, I’d get a tub of fresh quark to slather on crackers or bread, and a bag (or five) of fresh cheese curds to snack on all day. If you are in Milwaukee in winter and won’t be long, you won’t need a cooler (we just use our cars as freezers). In the summer, bring a small cooler so you can enjoy your chilled cheese curds all day long. Squeak squeak!

Price inexpensive. A bag of cheese curds is under $7
Hours Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays
Address 138 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone (414) 273-9711
Website http://www.clockshadowcreamery.com/

Lunch: Vanguard

Finding great sausages in Milwaukee is easy. However, Vanguard

Sausages, poutine, fries, cheese curds from Vanguard. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Sausages, poutine, fries, cheese curds from Vanguard.

takes it a step further – these are, hands down, some of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. The flavors are both traditional (brats, dogs, cheddarwursts, super fun toppings) and creative – look at the KHING KHAN (Lamb, Pork, Galangal, Chilis & Lemongrass Sausage, topped with Red Curry, Carrots, Cilantro, and Jalapeños)! Whether you go hot or mild, traditional or creative, you’re bound to be happy. They also serve local and global beer, spirits, and have delicious sides (fries, a variety of poutines, baked potato balls, corn, deviled eggs if you get there before they run out). Be prepared to spend a bit of time talking while you wait – the chefs take their time grilling and assembling the sausages with love.

Thai Breaker – pork sausage, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, topped with peanut sauce, carrot, lettuce, and some fun crunchy bits. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Thai Breaker – pork sausage, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, topped with peanut sauce, carrot, lettuce, and some fun crunchy bits at Vanguard

My suggestion: I absolutely loved the Thai Breaker – pork sausage, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, topped with peanut sauce, carrot, lettuce, and some fun crunchy bits. Get a side of cheese curds, no matter what else you order.

Price $5-9
Hours every day 11am-2am
Address 2659 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone (414) 539-3593
Website http://www.vanguardbar.com/

Coffee: Anodyne

If you’ve followed my instagram, you know I can’t get enough good coffee. And frankly, Anodyne is the best. Let’s start with the Walker’s Point location (one of three) – an historic industrial building, turned warm and inviting inside with enormous round mirrors over the coffee bar, a stage, and plenty of honey-colored wood. Splashes of red for accents highlight the red A in the labels and Anodyne logo.

Anodyne - the menu at the Walker's Point location, and coffee roastery in back. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Anodyne – the menu at the Walker’s Point location, and coffee roastery in back.

This place? It freshly roasts their coffee in the back – you can view the roasters from the counter, and if you don’t see the kind you want to purchase in bags, they’ll head back to see if there is some freshly roasted and not bagged up yet.

The friendly baristas, relaxed environment, and delicious coffee

Sumatran pour over at Anodyne Coffee. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Sumatran pour over at Anodyne Coffee

make this my favorite in town. The menu features brewed to go, lattes and cappuccinos, a honey bee (honey latte with milk), a my buddy (almond and vanilla cappuccino), mochas (including additions of frosty and turtle – mint and caramel, respectively), espresso, Americano, red eyes, and seasonal apple cider.

My suggestion: A pour over. I love Ethiopian, but the Sumatran was also excellent. Get a slice of layer cake from the Cake Lady to accompany your delicious brew.

Price 12 oz pour over $2.75, 20 oz mocha $4
Hours Monday-Friday, 6:30am-9pm; Saturday 7am-9pm; Sunday 7:30am-9pm
Address 224 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone (414) 763-1143
Website https://anodynecoffee.com/

Happy hour: Lakefront Brewery

Come for the microbrews and riverfront seating, stay for the polka. Yes, this true Milwaukee brewery features a polka band on Friday nights for the fish fry. With a rich family history in beer, Lakefront started in 1987, and has won over 200 awards over the years. You can take an informative, hilarious tour ($9-10) of the Brewery with samples (!)– check the website for details.

Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall - from i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall. Photo: Lakefront Brewery

My suggestion: try the beer flights to ascertain which you love best.

Price pint $5, flight $8
Hours Monday-Thursday, 11am-8pm; Friday 11am-9pm; Saturday 9am-9pm; Sunday 10am-5pm
Address 1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone (414) 372-8800
Website http://www.lakefrontbrewery.com/

Dinner: Fortune Chinese Restaurant

At Fortune, you’ll have the option to peruse two different menus.

Salt and Pepper Squid at Fortune. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Salt and Pepper Squid at Fortune.

Get the red menu – it offers more authentic dishes. Try to go with as many people as you can round up, so you can order more dishes (they are served family style). You’ll see large families sitting around large, circular tables. This is to take advantage of the lazy susan in the middle of the table, to scoot the food around so everyone can reach it. The food is delivered as it is made, so it’s hot and fresh. Milwaukee’s Chinese community likes to get together there for family gatherings and special events.

Plenty of delicious food at Fortune Chinese Restaurant. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Plenty of delicious food at Fortune Chinese Restaurant

My recommendation: dumplings, of course – with a thick wrapping and flavorful meat, they are scrumptious. The crabmeat rangoons are hot, crispy, and delicious. My favorite entrée is the Salt Chicken – crispy, salty skin, tender, juicy inside. Love at first bite. We also get the salt and pepper squid (served with jalapenos) and the fried pork intestines (a dish my husband loves) and the tender, gently sautéed pea shoot leaves with garlic.

Price $11-30
Hours Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am-10:30pm
Address 2945 S 108th St, Milwaukee, WI 53227
Phone (414) 328-9890
Website http://www.fortunerestaurant.net/

Late night dessert: Kopp’s Custard

A visit to Milwaukee is not complete without indulging in frozen

Peach melba custard at Kopp's. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Milwaukee
Peach melba and butter pecan custard at Kopp’s.

custard, and Kopp’s Frozen Custard serves some of the best. A Milwaukee institution since 1950, Kopp’s scoops up vanilla and chocolate custard daily, but the real standouts are the specialty flavors. Each month, Kopp’s posts a Flavor Forecast so customers will know when to stop in for their favorite custard (there are two specialty flavors each day). The flavors are irresistible and include tiramisu (espresso flavored custard with fudge swirl and pieces of ladyfinger cake), peach melba (chunks of peaches and raspberry swirl), macadamia nut (loaded with whole nuts), Sprecher root beer float (highlighting soda from a local brewery), and cherry amaretto cheesecake (cherries and chunks of New York cheesecake). Specialty sundaes, floats, malts, and shakes are also available.

Haven’t tried frozen custard yet? It’s rich, smooth, and has a creamy texture – I like it more than ice cream! Kopp’s doesn’t freeze their custard, so it’s not hard packed when served, like ice cream – it’s served up straight out of the frozen custard machine. If you’re looking for lunch or dinner or a heartier late night snack, Kopp’s serves delicious burgers and chicken, fish, and grilled cheese sandwiches – just remember, there’s always room for dessert.

My suggestion: Try the flavor of the day!

Price 2 scoop cone/dish: $3.45 (they price it up to 6 scoops!!!)
Hours every day 10:30am-11pm
Address 7631 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI 53220 (two other locations in the metro area – check the website for addresses and phone numbers)
Phone (414) 282-4312
Website https://www.kopps.com/

 

We couldn’t narrow it down. Here are 12 more of our favorites!

The End. Go Eat.

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jessie Voigts, except where noted

 

Photos

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo

You may have heard of Kalamazoo from one of the many popular songs about the city – from Glenn Miller to Ben Folds Five to my favorite, Walt Kelly’s Deck Us All with Boston Charlie – or poems, including one by Carl Sandberg. Kalamazoo has many nicknames, including Windmill City, Celery City, Mall City, and Paper City; it is the home of the Kalamazoo Promise, which offers college tuition to Kalamazoo Public School students. It is a city of entrepreneurship and hard work, including Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, The Peppermint King, Checker Cabs, Gibson Guitars (this is a very musical city), paper mills, and medical innovations, like those of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stryker, who invented the cast-cutting saw and a turning bed frame.

History of Kalamazoo at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
History of Kalamazoo at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum

The name Kalamazoo is a Potawatomi Indian expression, meaning boils like a pot (one look at the surface of the Kalamazoo River and you will nod your head in agreement). This is a vibrant small town with more diversity than you’d expect, thanks to the large corporations in town, as well as Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College. That means good food! There’s a fantastic farmer’s market, and plenty of great food trucks (both at the farmer’s market, and downtown at Bronson Park during lunch and events).

Kalamazoo Public Library. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Inside the Kalamazoo Public Library

Speaking of Bronson Park, so much surrounds this public space – my favorite library, the Institute of Arts, the Civic Theatre – and it was the center of a deadly tornado, in 1980. Town founder Titus Bronson slept here in 1831, on his first night before settling in and founding the town; President Lincoln spoke here, as did Stephen A. Douglas, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, and both John and Robert Kennedy. Today, you’ll hear bands in the bandshell and see kids splashing in the fountains in summer, and in winter, you can walk among the holiday lights.

Be alert when driving around town – you might catch a glimpse of the famous Banana Car! Kalamazoo is about 140 miles from Detroit and Chicago, and less than 35 miles from South Haven, if you’d like to see Lake Michigan on Michigan’s Sunset Coast.

It was extremely difficult to narrow these categories down. Kalamazoo is a food town, I’m lucky to say. I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll hear this from me.

Breakfast at Nina's cafe. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Breakfast at Nina’s cafe.

Breakfast: Nina’s Café
Since 1998, locals have been flocking to Nina’s café for their excellent, home-cooked breakfasts and friendly atmosphere. You’ll find people of all kinds here, but there’s one thing they have in common: they love a good breakfast. It’s a small diner-type restaurant, with under a dozen tables and some stools at the counter. Most of the bread is homemade, so ask when you order. They also serve lunch, but I’ve never tried that – WHO CAN RESIST a breakfast menu?

My Suggestion: Anything with hash browns. They are crispy, crunchy, and oh, so delicious. Eggs of any form are delicious, and be sure to try the biscuits and sausage gravy if you love them (ahem, me). Or the corned beef hash (ahem, me). And the homemade toast? Yes…

Price $5- $10
Hours 6:30am- 2:30pm every day except Sunday, 8am-2:30pm
Address 1710 W Main St
Phone (269) 373-6462
Website http://www.ninas-cafe.com/

Second Breakfast (Bakery)
There’s only one place to send you, and I hope that you’ve worked off breakfast, because Sarkozy’s Bakery is extraordinary. I’ve eaten their oatmeal bread my entire life, and their pastries are the epitome of deliciousness. On weekends, you’ll find live music from local musicians, and definitely pop in during Art Hop. If you’re coming to the area, sign up for Judy Sarkozy’s email list – it’s not only interesting, and a behind-the-scenes look at running a bakery, but you’ll also learn about local ingredients and and special offerings (paw paws this fall, paczkis for Fat Tuesday). You can get meals, too – quiche, soups, etc. – but save room for lunch!

Sarkozy Bakery's apple pies. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Sarkozy Bakery’s apple pies

My Suggestion:  I can’t decide. So I will give you several. The Chocolate Croissant is luscious. The Almond pastry – divine. The Cookies. The Apple pies, crisp flaky, with a tender Michigan apple filling with just the right amount of cinnamon and crunchy turbinado sugar. Hold on, I’ll be right back…

Price pastries are $2-4.
Hours Monday-Friday7:30am –5pm, Saturday7:30am–4pm, Sunday 8am–2 pm
Address 350 E Michigan Ave
Phone (269) 342-1952
Website under construction, try http://www.yelp.com/biz/sarkozy-bakery-kalamazoo-2

Lunch: Saffron
Let’s just pause a minute for the joy that is freshly baked naan. Now, pause another minute for this gorgeous salad with pomegranates. Do you want to eat anything else? The answer, at Saffron, is a resounding yes.

Composed salad at Saffron's lunch buffet. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Composed salad at Saffron’s lunch buffet – look at those pomegranates!

My Suggestion: When you walk into Saffron and view the wonder that is the lunch buffet, you know you won’t need a menu. EVERYTHING on the buffet is delicious. Highlights for me are the composed salad that we definitely need a recipe for, tandoori chicken, chicken curry, and many other delicious dishes, but best of all, finishing up with a creamy rice pudding studded with my favorite spice, cardamom.

Price buffet $11, entrees around $15 at lunch
Hours M-Th, 11:30am-2pm, 5-9:15pm; F 11:30am-2pm, 5-10pm; Sat 12-2:30pm, 5-10pm. Closed Sundays
Address 1710 W Main St (yes, just a few doors down from Nina’s)
Phone (269) 381-9898
Website http://saffronkzoo.com/

Coffeeshop: Something’s Brewing
There are several contenders for this spot (Black Owl,  my favorite coffee in town, but closes at 3pm ; Water Street, crowded at times but open late; Chocolatea, but far down in Portage). The one that rose to the top like foam atop steamed milk is Something’s Brewing. Located just across the street from the main library, this is a small coffeeshop with a big heart. Kalamazoo’s original coffeeshop (opening in 1994), the shop has new owners in the last few years, and they know how to bake. I tell EVERY SINGLE PERSON about their homemade cinnamon pop-tarts. They have luscious chai latte ice cream smoothies in summer (!), and delicious drinks year round. The barista is so friendly that you feel welcome every time. Plus, she can turn a great espresso.

Something's Brewing, Kalamazoo. Fromi8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Something’s Brewing menu board. I know, so hard to choose…

My Suggestion: Frankly? Anything on the menu; I especially love the mochas. Our daughter gets the peanut butter peppermint mocha and swoons. I like their atmosphere (it’s small!) and the comfy chairs at the back, or the outside seating in the summer. If you like iced coffee, they use coffee ice cubes – a genius trick for not watered down iced coffee. Check their facebook page (their only web presence) for the baked goodies of the day. If you see the cinnamon pop-tarts, RUN. They sell out fast.

Price under $5
Hours M-F, 6am-5pm, Saturday 8am-1pm, closed Sundays
Address 120 W South St
Phone (269) 349-1295
Website https://www.facebook.com/SBCoffeeKzoo/

Happy Hour
Kalamazoo is the center of Michigan’s craft brewing scene, so if you love beer, you can’t go wrong in this town, annually named as a top beer town in the US (here’s a beer map to all 14 breweries). Perhaps the most recognized craft brewery is Bell’s (try their Oberon Ale, in the summer). But with a slew of breweries, where to go?

Arcadia Ales. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Arcadia Ales

My Suggestion: Head to Arcadia Ales. Located a few blocks east of downtown, and on the Kalamazoo River, Arcadia Ales offers more than a few beers. I took a Yelp Elite tour of the brewery, and came away amazed. Started in 1996, Arcadia Brewing offers year-round, seasonal, specialty, and draft only beers. Here’s the thing that will make you happy (besides the outdoor patio) – the smokehouse. HOLY SMOKES, this is good stuff (ha! see what I did there?). While I love the brisket the most, I also enjoy the house made sausage, dry-rubbed spare ribs, and mac and cheese. All meat is locally-sourced. The smokehouse offerings make the beer even easier to drink – it’s a complete package. Try a flight of beers if you can’t decide!

Price Beer flights $10-15
Hours Tues-Saturday, 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-9pm, Closed Mondays.
Address 701 E Michigan Ave
Phone (269) 276-0458
Website http://arcadiaales.com/

Dinner: Food Dance
I recommend Food Dance for more than their delicious food. They embody a farm to table ethos that goes a bit further: “We support artisans who practice craft food processes that have been around for generations—growing, raising, preserving, curing, aging, pickling, butchering and more.” Not only can you get that at the restaurant, but also at the small shop outside of the restaurant, where you can purchase artisanal meat/bread/etc. The restaurant annually wins awards, and it’s easy to see why – elegant atmosphere, attentive waitstaff, and extraordinary food.

My Suggestion: While the entirety of the menu is delicious (or so my

Ultimate Mac & Cheese, Food Dance. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Ultimate Mac & Cheese, Food Dance. Photo: MLive

family says), I would drive 24 hours straight to get their ultimate macaroni and cheese. This, too, wins awards for best Macaroni and Cheese in Michigan – take a look at the ingredients: rustichella d’abruzzo rigatoni, grafton aged cheddar, cream, caramelized onions, house made bacon, fresh spinach, toasted bread crumbs, field greens salad. You’ll thank me. I get it EVERY SINGLE TIME. Note: try the ginger mint lemonade – it’s scrumptious.

Price Ultimate Mac & Cheese, $19. Entrees range from $20-30
Hours Monday-Thursday 7am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 7am-11pm, Sunday 8am-3pm
Address 401 E Michigan Ave #100
Phone (269) 382-1888
Website http://fooddance.net/

Pin for later:

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Kalamazoo
Downtown, in Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park

 

 

 

 

The End. Go Eat.

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jessie Voigts, except where noted.

i8tonite: with Chef Jamie Lynch, Charleston’s 5Church & Broiled Oysters with Polenta and Quail Egg

Chef Jamie Lynch, 5Church Charleston
Chef Jamie Lynch

Jamie Lynch is a New York native and graduated from New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont. He has worked at New York Time’s 4 star Le Cirque 2000 Restaurant in The Palace Hotel, Aureole under Charlie Palmer and Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud, and Touquevillle Restaurant in Union Square. Reflecting on his years cooking in NYC, Jamie notes, “At that time we had an all or nothing approach to cooking, we ate, drank and slept food. It was ether the very best we could do or it was garbage.” Chef Jamie has anchored some of Charlotte’s most notable restaurants such as Blue with Chef Gene Briggs and Barrington’s as Bruce Moffet’s Chef De Cuisine, and garnered many accolades such as being Voted BEST CHEF in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Charlotte Magazine’s BOB (Best of the Best) Awards.

Chef Jamie recently moved to Charleston in 2015 to serve as 5Church Restaurant, CharlestonExecutive Chef of 5Church Charleston. 5Church Charleston is a new restaurant in a historic old church (Church of the Redeemer and Harriott Pinckney House) in downtown’s bustling Market Street district. The restaurant’s elaborate, modern décor features awe-inspiring stained glass windows, a white concrete bar, black leather banquettes, eye-catching chandeliers, large-scale pop-art, and hand-painted written verbiage of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” on the church ceiling. The restaurant’s award-winning food, top-rate service and nationally-acclaimed design will mimic its sister property in Charlotte, N.C., which opened in 2012. Be sure to visit for the Sunday Brunch – swoon!

Crispy Szechuan Pork Belly, 5Church, Charleston
Crispy Szechuan Pork Belly

 

Chef Questionnaire from Chef Jamie Lynch:

How long have you been cooking?
I started cooking at the age of 16 at a small bar and grill. I have been at this for 24 years.

What is your favorite food to cook?
I really enjoy cooking fresh pasta. Pasta when cooked perfectly is the perfect vehicle to deliver a wide range of flavors to the palate in a most satisfying way!

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Hot Sauce… all makes and models. It is my favorite condiment by far!

What do you cook at home?
Frozen pizza, if anything at all. I do all of my cooking at the restaurants and there is rarely time for a proper meal at home.

S'mores Trifle - 5Church Restaurant, Charleston
S’mores Trifle

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
It’s a toss-up between open mindfulness and patience. The open minded guest can appreciate the fun and interesting things we do with food while the patient guest will understand to cook at an excellent level takes time.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
Rude or unpleasant. I do not like guests that are rude to their servers or bartenders. Dining out is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
Rubbermaid

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Wine and beer usually – I’m a purist when it comes to booze, so I like my liquor to taste like liquor.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Andrew Carmellini. He taught me everything I know over the years, so I’m biased.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
A heavy, deep welled spoon that holds about an ounce is the most versatile tool.

Your favorite ingredient?
I am very fond of Ramps!

Your least favorite ingredient?
Salmon

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Leave! I find myself lingering around well after my “shift,” either talking with my staff about food or restaurant experiences they have. Those are the interactions that inspire what I do!

Crab Cakes Poached Eggs, 5Church, Charleston
Crab Cakes Poached Eggs

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
My own style of cooking is rooted in traditional French and Italian technique, but “New -American” is the label that best suites my cuisine.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Pork

5Church Lamb Burger, Charleston
5Church Lamb Burger

Favorite vegetable?
I was the Entrmettier at Le cirque 2000 and Cafe Boulud, I have a deep affection for fresh vegetables. I couldn’t pick one.

Chef you most admire?
Andrew Carmellini

Food you like the most to eat?
Anything traditionally ethnic. In Charlotte, N.C. we have really good Vietnamese, and one particularly good Korean joint.

Food you dislike the most?
Salmon Roe. It is the seed of salmon, which i can’t stand, so the egg has to be worse.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
Too many to count. They have sort of melded into one giant one. None of them are of food items specifically but more tell the story of my life in kitchens through imagery.
Broiled Oysters with Polenta and Quail Egg

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
6 oysters, shucked on the half shell
1 cup cooked creamy polenta, preferably Anson Mills
6 quail eggs
6 dashes black truffle oil
1 small black truffle
Bull’s Bay Red Mash Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Preheat broiler in oven.
2. Cut aluminum foil into 8-inch pieces, and twist ends to create rope. Form into circle-shaped holder to hold the oysters in place, and put into oven-proof dish. Set oysters in dish.
3. Spoon ½ -ounce of polenta onto lip of each oyster to create a little dam, then crack quail egg on other half of oyster to completely cover.
4. Place oysters under broiler with 6-8 inches of clearance from heat. Bake until quail eggs are just set, approximately 4 minutes or until the quail eggs.
5. Remove oysters from oven and put a drop of truffle oil. Shave truffles with microplane, and place shavings on each oyster. Sprinkle with Red Mash Salt and serve.

 

The End. Go Eat.

 

 

 

From Ohio To Newfoundland: My Best Eats, 2015 Edition

What a year this has been! It started last December, when I was one of the top travel bloggers in the world to visit the White House for a special summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship. There was plenty of great food in DC (food trucks!  and on the way, Cleveland’s Westside Market!) – a fantastic prelude to this year.

2015 heralded many trips, including a trip to Turkey in May, with Turkish Airlines, weekends at our cottage in northern Michigan (with grilled meats and fresh tomatoes), an epic Canadian road trip – driving from Kalamazoo, Michigan all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland!, forays into Ohio and over to Stratford, Ontario, and circling back to a cozy Thanksgiving with family that live close by. Here are the highlights. I think you’ll notice that the underlying theme is friends and family – because who else do we want to share meals with?

that popcorn mango creme brulee... one of my favorite meals this year, in Istanbul
that popcorn mango creme brulee…

Whilst in Turkey, I had many memorable meals (because, after all, Turkey is known for its delicious cuisine!). From the huge, dripping

Honeycomb at breakfast in Istanbul - one of my favorite meals this year
Honeycomb at breakfast in Istanbul

honeycomb on our breakfast buffet to freshly baked simits slathered with nutella to roasted chestnuts and corn on the cob to Turkish tea and coffee and freshly squeezed strawberry juice, we did not go hungry. I loved the meals of fresh fish, yogurts, and grilled meats, but the highlight for me was at 360 Istanbul, a rooftop restaurant that served traditional Turkish cuisine with modern twists. I had the kebabs, and a gorgeous salad, but the highlight was the dessert – a creme brulee with mango sauce, salted caramel popcorn, and a nutty caramel ice cream. It was a melange of every taste you can imagine – sweet, salty, umami, smooth, crunchy, syrupy, icy, warm. The view was pure Istanbul, wide-ranging and gorgeous; the company was delightful.

the view from the terrace at 360 Istanbul - site of one of my favorite meals this year
the view from the terrace at 360 Istanbul

 

Toronto hit my 2015 best food list because of our lunch at America Restaurant, by Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, located on the 31st floor of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. Our daughter enjoyed a cauliflower macaroni and cheese that she said was the best she’d ever had; Ed had a delicious Wellington beef burger with brisket, slaw, and artisanal bun. I had the speckled trout tartine – this genius dish consisted of grilled piece of house made sourdough bread, with French remoulade sauce, daisy capers and elderberries and leafy greens, finished with pieces of sous vide smoked speckled trout, served rare. This dish? It is one of the best things I have ever eaten – the crunch of the bread combined with the creaminess of the trout and remoulade, and the fresh and pickled accoutrements – it was perfect. We enjoyed a great view, lovely art, and excellent company, including a new friend that felt like family.

Smoked trout tartine at America Restaurant, Toronto - one of my favorite meals this year
Smoked trout tartine at America Restaurant, Toronto

 

Newfoundland
St. John’s gets a three-fer for the nod for favorites, with a plus. The plus is an event we went to on our very first night on the Rock – Food Day Canada. There were chefs from Newfoundland, as well as from all over Canada, each showcasing the best of their restaurants and regions. I can’t even begin to say how great the food here was, but I will say that I have built a healthy respect for the chefs, farmers, and producers that work within the island and the weather to create such imaginative, delicious food. (Interviews to come!) Also, please note that while I have many favorite restaurants in St. John’s, I’ve focused on fine dining for this 2015 roundup.

Tavola
Tavola, a small Mediterranean bistro, is located downtown. What the unassuming facade hides is a treasure within. The food, mostly small plates, is a mix of Mediterranean and local. Take, for instance, a dish I’d sampled at Food Day Canada and was delighted to find on the menu: BBQ Smoked pork shoulder with Newfoundland Molasses Baked Beans, a roll of crispy chicarron, and a swoosh of arugula puree.

BBQ Smoked pork shoulder with Newfoundland Molasses Baked Beans, a roll of crispy chicarron, and a swoosh of arugula puree. at Tavola, St. John's, Newfoundland - one of my top meals in 2015
BBQ Smoked pork shoulder with Newfoundland Molasses Baked Beans, a roll of crispy chicarron, and a swoosh of arugula puree.

Now, let me tell you why this is so amazing. First, the Rock is known for its baked beans. And, as a midwesterner, I can attest to the nourishing properties of baked beans, especially in the cold winters, but also for fun in the summer. These baked beans? The absolute best I’ve ever eaten. A humble dish, elevated to the stars. Now, I must mention (because my brother is a firefighter, and you know how they love food and work hard on bbq dishes) the bbq smoked pork shoulder. There were crispy bits. The kind you long for, covet when someone else is pulling the pork, snitch when you’re pulling the pork, guard with a fork when there are poachers about. LOTS of crispy bits. Any restaurant that serves this? Immediately in my favorites list. Tavola on that list? CHECK.
The second reason why I love Tavola? It’s owned by Great Big Sea musician Bob Hallett. I was lucky enough to dine with him that day, and hear stories of growing up in Newfoundland, fish, halibut (did you know they are enormous?), community, and bringing the meals he loved while touring home. It isn’t often you dine with a famous musician – even less so, I’d imagine, one that is so down to earth, friendly, and welcoming.

Fresh oysters at Adelaide Oyster House, St. John's, Newfoundland - one of my favorite meals this year!
Fresh oysters at Adelaide Oyster House, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Adelaide Oyster House
While this happening restaurant is somewhat loud and a bit hip for this mama, I have to say that not only was the service incredible, but the food was extraordinary. Adelaide Oyster House has won many awards – and in one visit, you can see why. I had the kale salad (don’t hate – it was sooooo good!); we also ordered oysters (of course), fancy cocktails, fish tacos, charcuterie with olives, and a birthday cake/dessert plate that needed to be tripled. By the end of the evening, we’d danced in our seats (and out of them) to the fantastically curated dance music, made new friends with our servers and chefs, and cemented friendships over food – the best way, isn’t it?

Kobe beef lettuce wrap with pickled vegetables, wild rice puffs, and special sauce at Adelaide Oyster House, St John's, Newfoundland - location of one of my favorite meals this year!
Kobe beef lettuce wrap with pickled vegetables, wild rice puffs, and special sauce at Adelaide Oyster House, St John’s, Newfoundland

 

Mallard Cottage
Chef Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage has not only restored an historic cottage in Quidi

Myself with Mallard Cottage chef Todd Perrin - site of one of my favorite meals this year! St. John's, Newfoundland
Myself with Mallard Cottage chef Todd Perrin

Vidi Village, but has brought back traditional Newfoundland cuisine – with a twist. There’s an herb garden outside, and across the alley, another garden. The fish is freshly caught, and on Sunday brunch, there’s a $10 CAKE TABLE.

Chilled lobster bisque at Mallard Cottage, St. John's, Newfoundland - one of my favorite meals this year
Chilled lobster bisque at Mallard Cottage, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Now that alone should do it for you, but let me tempt you with other things we ordered at our table, including a fresh Caesar salad with cured pork cheek and piled high with thinly grated parmesan, a fresh scallop ceviche, a chilled lobster bisque that was the best soup I’ve EVER EATEN, fresh halibut, cod, fresh Newfoundland scallops, and a dessert assortment that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

 

Mallard Cottage, St. John's, Newfoundland - one of my favorite places to eat this year!
Mallard Cottage Menu

 

New Brunswick
New Brunswick, Canada, was a complete surprise. I had no idea of the fresh seafood along the Acadian coast, the locally sourced food, the creative cuisine, the beauty of the landscapes, and the rich cultural heritage. My best meal here was in Miramichi, at 1809 Restaurant, along the Miramichi River. Yes, I loved it so much that I interviewed Chef Jesse MacDonald for i8tonite.

Divine stuffed haddock at Rodd 1809 in Miramichi, New Brunswick - one of the best meals I ate this year
My stuffed haddock – divine!

The seafood chowder was the best I’ve ever had – even with daily seafood chowder eating in Ireland – and my stuffed haddock
filet was divine. We dined out on the deck at sunset, enjoying the ambience, company, and delicious food. Our time in Miramichi was too short, but filled with great meals, excellent company, interesting conversations about place and food, and a warmth that the Rodd Miramichi so beautifully filled in our travels.

Montreal
Montreal gets two best food nominations – and I know that if we were there longer, it would have been many more. Another reason to go back…

Oh! Dumplings
Let me tell you how much we love dumplings. Wait, it can’t fit into this very small paragraph. Let’s just say top 3 foods our family loves. So when we were in Montreal, a visit to Chinatown was a must. We’d had great dumplings in Toronto, but not SUPER GREAT dumplings. Canada needed to step up to the plate and bat some excellent dumplings our way.

Dumplings and one of many scallion pancakes we ordered at Oh! Dumplings in Montreal - one of the best meals I ate this year
Dumplings and one of many scallion pancakes we ordered at Oh! Dumplings in Montreal

Meandering through Montreal’s Chinatown almost seemed sacrilegious – why weren’t we getting Montreal smoked meat? The lure of the dumpling, I answer. We found Oh! Dumplings, right next to a square where a hundred people or so were dancing. It was a sign. We ordered some of the 12 types of dumplings here, and then the scallion pancake, because the table next to us kept ordering more of them. Well, it’s a good thing the dumpling ladies were fast at making the fresh, juicy dumplings. Everyone left happy, including we three. Canada’s dumpling reputation was restored.

Making dumplings at Oh! Dumplings, in Montreal - one of my favorite meals this year
Making dumplings at Oh! Dumplings, in Montreal

 

Breakfast at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
Often, hotel breakfasts are meh. Cold cereal, hard apples, gross coffee. The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth changed all that with their luxurious breakfast buffet. Now, the thing that enticed me most

Bread station at the Breakfast Buffet at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal - one of my favorite meals this year.
Bread station at the Breakfast Buffet at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal

was the bread station. LOOK AT THESE GEMS! But if you didn’t want to carb out, there were several kinds of yogurt, an array of cut fruit (11 bowls!), pitchers upon pitchers of fresh squeezed juices of all kinds, and the spacious hot bar. Here, you could get a made to order omelette – or 3 other kinds of eggs, several kinds of sausages, plenty of bacon, french toast, crepes with a brown sugar glaze, several kinds of breakfast potatoes, and, my favorite, a European-style array of many sliced meats and even more gourmet cheeses. The coffee was delicious, the environment was beautiful and elegant, and the service, well, these waiters know their stuff – and are funny, to boot. We fueled up here and were satisfied until dinner. It was the perfect start to every day in Montreal.

Guild House
Closer to home (in Columbus, Ohio), we enjoyed an incredible meal at Guild House. One of the Cameron Mitchell Group restaurants, this new restaurant is worth visiting. We loved it so much that we interviewed Chef Patrick Hofer for the Chef’s Questionnaire here at i8tonite.

the toast with burrata, avocado, pickled red onion, and salsa verde at Guild House, Columbus, Ohio - part of one of my favorite meals this year!
Toast with burrata, avocado, pickled red onion, and salsa verde at Guild House, Columbus, Ohio

The restaurant is beautiful, has outstanding talent in the kitchen, and sources locally and organically when possible. As the Guild House notes on the menu, “There’s a lot of love on every plate.” We had extraordinary appetizers (be sure to get the cheese plate with house made crackers and local sourdough toast), entrees (Lillie said that lasagna was a masterpiece, and the best lasagna she’d ever had – and she’s a lasagna connoisseur), non-alcoholic shrub beverages (swoon), and desserts. My favorite was the toast with burrata, avocado, pickled red onion, and salsa verde.

Prime rib cap, sweet onion relish, Pointe Reyes blue cheese, mustard vinaigrette at Guild House, Columbus, Ohio - one of my favorite meals this year
Prime rib cap, sweet onion relish, Pointe Reyes blue cheese, mustard vinaigrette at Guild House, Columbus, Ohio

OR the Prime rib cap, sweet onion relish, Pointe Reyes blue cheese, mustard vinaigrette. Let’s be honest – you can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. It also features in my mind as a top pick because it was here that our teen daughter announced that she was a gourmet cuisine aficionado. Now, while I’ve known this for years, it was this restaurant that sharpened her instincts for dissecting a menu, picking out the bits that attract you, and chatting with the waiters and chef to learn more.

 

Closer than Newfoundland, a visit to Stratford, Canada taught me a great deal about this well known theatre town. There is so much going on here with the food scene that I can’t wait to go back and eat. Every meal was a treat, and much of it is locally sourced. One of my favorite meals was our lunch at Mercer Hall Inn.

House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus at Mercer Hall Inn, Stratford, Canada - one of my favorite meals this year
House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus at Mercer Hall Inn, Stratford, Canada

The meal was outstanding – truly, some of the most clean and fresh tasting food I’ve had in a long time. We went back into the kitchen with Chef Ryan O’Donnell – and saw some of the ingredients he was working with, including freshly baked bread, wild rice crackers, and gorgeous, colorful vegetables straight from local growers. He’s an artist, with a full palette of organic, local food to create with – and an instructor at the Stratford Chef School. Mercer Hall also features tea from Tea Leaves – home of Canada’s first Tea Sommelier, Karen Hartwick – a genius at delicious, enriching teas.

 
Thanksgiving was special. I loved it for the family, for cooking

Thanksgiving Dinner - one of my best meals of 2015
Our Thanksgiving Dinner – delicious, familiar, and full of love

together with my mom and aunt and daughter, for the tablecloth and dishes and place cards we use every year, for the decorations that are familiar and the dishes that we tweak a bit each year (or not). It’s the perfect combination of tradition and deliciousness, and is always a highlight of my year.

 

 

 

 

And the coffee:
We moved to Kalamazoo this spring, although I’ve lived here before and grew up a half hour away. I am so happy that there are many great coffeeshops in town, including Black Owl (purveyors of Kalamazoo Coffee, roasted out back), and Something’s Brewing, home of delicious coffee and homemade cinnamon pop tarts. Yep.

Delicious coffee (and tea) at Black Owl Cafe, Kalamazoo, Michigan - one of my favorite places to eat this year!
Delicious coffee (and tea) at Black Owl Cafe, Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

When you think back to your favorite meals, what made them so great? For me, it’s a combination of company and delicious food. Luckily, I have had plenty of both this year.

 

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas

Courtesy of Marc Cooper. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas
Courtesy of Marc Cooper

On my fourth or fifth visit to Las Vegas, I wanted something different. I’ve danced at nightclubs, eaten the fancy meals with celebrity chefs, played slots and viewed the shows. On different occasions, I saw Bette Midler and Cher on both of their final farewell concerts before they came back with “I’m still here” tours. There are the repetitive Cirque de Soliel extravaganzas which are fun the first time around but by the third show, it’s schtick.

This time, I wanted food indicative of living in Las Vegas: What do the locals eat and where? I wanted to go beyond the Wynns and Arias, the Stratospheres and the MGMs. Nick and I were in agreement, walking through another smoke-filled casino to locate decent food should not be trying to get through a gauntlet.

Courtesy of Mob Museum. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas
Courtesy of Mob Museum.

Luckily, great food exists in Sin City – without the gambling — but it is in downtown Las Vegas. The rents are still cheap in the historic area. Restauranteurs have always been mavericks when it comes to selecting destinations for their outposts – fringe and marginal are words that come to mind. Moreover, downtown Las Vegas is no exception to that theory. Bright with a billion lights. Rowdy but there’s an honesty as the drunkards had all the intentions of getting drunk.  No pretending it was post-theater. It is Las Vegas for the hipster set. Ignore – if possible – the Fremont Experience, which isn’t as fascinating as it sounds and Robert Urich has sadly long left the area. If you must, go ahead and at least do a one-time plunge down the Slotzilla Zipline. Once you’ve had the familiarity and said, “Okay, now I’ve done that”, head to the thought-provoking spaces such as Container Park, the Mob Museum and Emergency Arts building where artists, writers and other creative denizens showcase their wares.

Downtown Las Vegas Eats: 

Eat! i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas
Courtesy of eat.

Breakfast:  eat. Designed by Chef Natalie Young as a showcase for her creative breakfasts and lunch dishes in the Las Vegas’ downtown dining scene, eat features American comfort classics prepared with the chef’s culinary-trained twist, using the freshest and locally-sourced, organic ingredients.

  • My suggestion:  Shrimp and Grits with Two Poached Eggs, Pico de Gallo. It’s Vegas. Have shrimp for breakfast and Chef Natalie’s cooking will make you see the night-time twinkling stars.
  • Price: $14.00
  • Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8 am – 3 pm. Weekends, 8 am – 2 pm.
  • Address:  707 Carson Street (at 7th), LV, NV, 89101
  • Phone Number: (702) 534 – 1515
  • Website: www.eatdtlv.com

Lunch:  Carson Kitchen. The late celebrity chef Kerry Simon’s Deviled Eggs with Pancetta and Caviar. Carson Kitchen. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegasrestaurant is an anomaly in the pantheon of Las Vegas eating establishments. First, it’s splendid and should be considered one of the city’s finest places to eat except the drinks don’t come in tumblers, there isn’t a slot machine, and I don’t remember seeing anyone smoking inside. It’s pure American comfort food with twists. Bacon Jam with Brie? Yep. Deviled Eggs with Pancetta and Caviar? Yep. Sophistication meets trailer-trash. Thank god they pulled the underwear from the clotheslines.…although, at Carson Kitchen, I probably would envision La Perla flapping in the desert wind.

  • My suggestion: Crispy Fried Chicken Skins with Smoked Honey. This is revelatory. I will come back for this time and time again in Las Vegas. Who knew it was just the skin you needed to eat and not the chicken?
  • Price: $6.00
  • Hours: Sunday – Wednesday, 11:30 am – 10 pm, Thursday – Saturday, 11:30 am – 11 pm
  • Address:  124 South Sixth Street, Suite 100, LV, NV, 89101
  • Phone Number:  (702) 473 – 9523
  • Website: http://carsonkitchen.com/
Chillspot. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas
Courtesy of Chillspot.

Snack Time:  ChillSpot by SassaPops. Located in Container Park. The owner and creator of Zappos.com did something brilliant for the community and families of Las Vegas. He created an outdoor shopping mall and play area with interesting food – from high-end eating to handmade sweets. The park and mall are built entirely of shipping containers, and it includes a playground, a stage for music, and a screen for outdoor movies, plus food, glorious food. Chillspot’s conception is an outlet for the brother and sister team of SassaPops.  Essentially, Sassapops or SassaSnow are freshly-made frozen desserts – ice cream, snowcones – without the use of additives. They make scrumptious chocolate brownies and cookies as well.

  • My suggestion: International Snow. Asian iced treats such as Filipino Halo-Halo or Korean Patbingsu. Sweet, fun, and culinary.
  • Price: $7
  • Hours:  Monday – Thursday, 11 am – 9 pm; Friday – Saturday, 11 am – 10 pm, Sunday, 10 am – 8 pm.
  • Address:  707 Fremont Street, LV, NV 89101
  • Phone Number: (702) 900 – 7873 (PURE)
  • Website: www.chillspotlv.com
Andiamo’s Italian Steakhouse in the D Hotel. From i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Dining in Downtown Las Vegas
Courtesy of D Hotel

Dinner: Andiamo’s Italian Steakhouse in the D Hotel. Reminiscent of an old-school Las Vegas, when the Italian mobsters ran the town. The leather banquettes, smoky mirrors, and brick might have something to do with it, but the place is fairly new. I expected to see The Rat Pack – led by Frank Sinatra – walking through the joint with a martini in one hand, a showgirl in the other and a cigarette dangling from Dean Martin’s lips. Thankfully, guns are outlawed but singing is not.

  • My suggestion: The enormous Andiamo Grande Meatball. Meat. Tomato sauce. Ricotta cheese. The size of a basketball.
  • Price: $11
  • Hours:  5 pm – 11 pm, nightly.
  • Address:  301 Fremont Street, LV, NV     89101
  • Phone: (702) 388 – 2220
  • Website: http://www.thed.com/dining/andiamo-steakhouse/

 

Pin for later:

 i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet for Dining in Downtown Las Vegas

The End. Go Eat. –

 

 

 

 

 

 

i8tonite: New England’s Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Executive Chef Greg Jordan

Approximately 45 minutes outside of Boston in an area called the South Shore, a 200-year-old historical gray stone building has been re-established as The Quarry.  Its façade holds superlative dining owned and operated by Executive Chef Greg Jordan and his partners Julie and Ron LeDuc.  The destination restaurant was lovingly created in mid-2014 for the townspeople of Hingham, Massachusetts.

Housemade Sausage with Grain Mustard. i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Housemade Sausage with Grain Mustard

Jordan cheffed at some Boston’s fine dining arenas such as Adrian’s, The Butcher Shop, and Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley Bistro. He was gaining gastronomic accolades at Boston’s famed North Shore seafood hall, Mare Oyster Bar, as the Executive Chef when this break to own his place came upon him. Ideally, he always wanted to settle back to Boston’s South Shore from where he hailed and like any chef, craft his food.  And, so he is. Currently, The Quarry’s kitchen is serving New England fare consisting of locally raised meats and fresh, sustainable seafood caught in Massachusetts.  A specialty of the house and Chef Jordan’s are housemade sausages and cured meats like the prosciutto, soppressata, and mortadella.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso BuccoToday, Jordan’s skilled culinary craftsmanship comes through in his dishes that let New England’s ingredients and character shine. He observes that guests in both city and suburb want the same thing– quality. The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts alumnus says, “The Quarry’s wooded location is both a natural and inspiring setting for my ‘rustic meets refined’ cooking. We focus on the quality of natural flavors.”

An interesting aspect to The Quarry – named after a nearby quarry pond — is Beverage Director David Danforth’s forthcoming Master Cicerone certification. Much like a Master Sommelier is an expert in  i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Buccowine, a Master Cicerone will be an expert in beers. Once Danforth completes the training, he will be only one of 10 people in North America that has this distinction. His expertise will create unique and unusual pairings with Chef Jordan’s food featuring internationally handpicked and cellared ales. It will turn a small colonial fishing town into an epicurean destination.

Chef’s Questionnaire with Greg Jordan: 

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso BuccoHow long have you been cooking? Nine years.

What is your favorite food to cook? Fish.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? I have butter, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and cheese.

What do you cook at home? Mostly eggs, unless I have guests.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? I appreciate customers who have a sense of adventure and have a willingness to try something new.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Seared Sea Scallops

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? I take allergies very seriously. I don’t like when customers misrepresent their allergies. For example, I am happy to accommodate someone who has a gluten allergy with an entrée change, but then do not order a donut for dessert.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? I prefer Pyrex.

Beer, wine or cocktail? A beer.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

Your favorite cookbook author? Mario Batali.

Your favorite kitchen tool? A left-handed fish spatula.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

Your favorite ingredient? Aria Olive Oil.

Your least favorite ingredient? Cilantro.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Sugar work.  It is too sticky for me.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? I enjoy Italian.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Beef

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Brussel Sprouts.

Favorite vegetable? Brussels sprouts.

Chef you most admire? Chef Michael P. Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA. He has accomplished a lot in the last five years and its exciting and inspiring.

Food you like the most to eat? A good soul satisfying dish of pasta: fresh, cooked in salted water and not oversauced. Sauce is a condiment.

Food you dislike the most? I do not like raw tomatoes in a sandwich.  I cannot explain it, but I just do not like them added in.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? None, just scars.

 

Recipe: Cider Braised Pork Osso Buco with Sweet Potatoes

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

You will need:

  • 2 Pork Shanks,
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, cubed.
  • Ginger, Bay Leaves
  • Apple Cider and chicken stock.

Salt and pepper two pork shanks, and dust in flour, and brown in a Dutch oven.  Remove from the pot and set aside. Sauté a diced onion and 2 cubed sweet potatoes for a minute.  Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger and 2 bay leaves, return the pork to the pot, and cover the shanks 1/2 way up in equal parts apple cider and chicken stock.  Braise on the stove or in the oven till fork tender, about 1.5 hours.  Reduce the braising liquid and add some butter to make a rich flavorful sauce.

The End. Go Eat. 

 

Dining Out: Pastrami, LA Style

Image result for fork knife

It’s been awhile. So much for creating a fan base for this blog. So, let’s look at this as an exercise in writing…for enjoyment’s sake. I need to generate the blog without any expectation, on my part, because clearly I can’t even keep to my own desired timetable.

February was a very busy month with new clients, tastes and dining out opportunities. Admittedly, for a long time, going out wasn’t my favorite thing. Noisy. Congested. Expensive. Hipster women hitting the back of my head with their over-sized purses as I sit in a crowded bar is not my idea of fun. This last month, however, I did experience several great Los Angeles meals which I feel compelled to discuss beyond my circle of cohorts. It’s because of these personal experiences, I’m feeling more optimistic about dining out and spending my hard-earned cash.

I’m not a reviewer. I’m a publicist. Granted a publicist who eats a lot and has traveled a fair amount. My resume is long in the luxury category especially for being a gay person of color who’s eaten at many Michelin-starred restaurants and placed my head on many five-starred hotel pillows. I do have a certain experience level.

One of my food clients is Carvery Kitchen, based in Santa Monica. It’s this exceptional deli, with homespun Russian/ Uzbekistan recipes such as brisket and pastrami, “roasted and toasted” by Chef Roman Shishalovsky. It’s from this delicious vantage point that I decided to embark on a taste test of LA’s best pastrami sandwiches as decided upon by dining reviewers and Yelpers. (The latter being a term that embodies a controversial, over-generalized set of the eating out public.) It would be a taste excursion between Carvery Kitchen (the newcomer); Langer’s, the historic, award-winning stalwart of LA’s Jewish delis and Wexler’s Deli, chef-driven (Micah Wexler) and loved by most restaurant critics. Each one was different but two were stand-outs.

Image result for Langers Pastrami

 Langer’s is a James Beard award-winner, the culinary world’s Oscar equivalent, and is considered to be a destination eating experience; one of the “must-dos” in a city that most culinary aficionados’ write off as not having great dining. Essentially, Angelenos don’t do carbs but we will if it’s written in history books.

Image result for Langers French Dip Pastrami

 It was a packed dining room when Nick and I went to eat. We were told that the wait would be 20 minutes for a table so we opted for a pair of empty counter seats. It felt more like an East Coast deli than sitting at a booth. We ordered up the French Dip with au jus at $15.55.  Once it came, on the diner’s oval plate, we needed to wait for the au jus. The meat was blubbery and tepid with shards of fat dangling over the bun’s edge. The dipping sauce was salty and seemed to come from a jar. It was black, too dark for it to come from a roasting pan. Not my favorite but I’m glad I went. I will never criticize people who need to eat there as it’s a place of dining history.

After sharing half of the Langer’s sandwich, we went to Wexler’s Deli at Grand Central Market. Wexler’s is that new kid, not too far from Langer’s, just a short LA drive. It’s located in another palace of eating history, LA’s Grand Central Market, recently crowned by Bon Appetit as a Top Ten “restaurant,” which it isn’t. It’s a compilation of food stalls, once occupied by a variety of vendors, mostly Latino, selling fruits, vegetables, tacos, burritos and menudo. Now, it’s becoming a food mecca with upmarket experiences such as organic butchers, noted chefs and cheese-mongers serving up designer treats to lessees of downtown LA lofts.

Wexlers

Wexler’s is counter only unless you grab one of the community tables situated “anywhere” in the market. Subway tiles and ‘50s wooden stools surround the small crescent shape “deli”…it’s actually more of a kiosk.  The idea behind Wexler’s is to recreate that famed experience of the Jewish American deli. Unfortunately, you can’t unless you do a little bit of revisionist history which is what Micah Wexler has gloriously accomplished at his tiny eatery. His cold pastrami, which is the only thing we had, was hand-sliced and lavishly swollen between two pieces of rye bread with coleslaw . It was better than I think history has envisioned. Fresh and smoked, with that little bit of peppery textured bite. Housemade pickles with that beautiful crispness and snap.  Definitely worth the effort of parking and eating. (I will admit I’ve always been a fan of Grand Central Market before the re-gentrification. I loved the Latin families bringing their kids and watching them pick out vegetables and fruit together. You don’t see that anymore.just Caucasian college-aged kids not appreciating what used to be there… only what is.)

134

Lastly, there is the Santa Monica Carvery Kitchen which opened last year and is the savory, roasted and toasted brainchild of Chef Roman Shishalovsky. His pastrami which is roasted for 24 hours is simply divine. A succulent, masterful meat-lovers dream, saturated in richness but without the oily blubber. One bite and the hand-carved meat starts to dissolve on the tongue. The bread, made off-site just like Wexler’s, is a family recipe like the pastrami. Born in Eastern Europe and a transplant to Southern California, Shishalovsky uses his own family’s Russian/ Uzbekistan techniques in making his meat which is served as a salad, a plate or a sandwich in your choice of a wrap, Panini or as a “French dip” freshly made off the just roasted meat. It’s worth the trip to eat. Carvery Kitchen is one of those low-key, dining experiences that once it’s had, you will start to crave it.

Image result for Carvery Kitchen

As much as I Iove old-school experiences, sometimes it’s great to move on. Nothing can change history. It’s set in stone but others can become as much a part of it, and even recreate it such as Wexler’s and Carvery Kitchen. Funny, though, how pastrami, so much a part of New York’s Lower Eastside has now become of the greatest ways to make brisket and can rival even Texas BBQ. That’s America.