Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Andy’s Burgers, Shakes and Fries is a neat chain of restaurants in the North Carolina area featuring a retro look, and a retro menu. Step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time to the fifties. There’s lots of chrome and Formica, and plenty of pictures of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. The menu is simple, burgers, fries, shakes, hot dogs, cheese steak sandwiches, and chicken.
The prices are good too. I had the cheeseburger, fries and a shake for $6.99 and added two Chubby Checker hot dogs, with chili and some sweet onions, for $1.59 each. All was good, and very filling. You can even add things, like peanut butter cups, to the shake at no extra charge.
They have an interesting challenge there called the Big A. It’s a six patty (50 ounces of meat) cheeseburger, large fries, and a large soda. If you eat it in a half-hour, it’s free. If you don’t finish, it’s $21.95. I wasn’t quite up to the challenge this time, but I’ll definitely try it some time and post the video here.
My daughter said that I needed to add that the bathrooms were very clean, and that's a huge point for people, especially those with children.
Stop in for a blast from the past. Check out the website for more information.
When I find a restaurant I like, I go back often. In my travels I’ve come across a few that I’d like to visit more often, but I can’t. Such is the case with Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, NC. We paid our second visit there the other day and all I can say is that I’m even more impressed. The food was excellent, the service great, and the atmosphere fun.
You see, Front Street Brewery is one of those places that just isn’t pretentious, and if you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that I hate pretentious. I like simple food for regular people, and that’s what Front Street is all about. They aren’t trying to impress you with anything but the food and the beer, and even that’s understated.
We had a party of eleven, eight adults and three children. Five of us got there first and sat at the bar for a beer while waiting for the rest of our party. I met a nice man named Sam eating at the bar and we struck up a conversation, turns out he works there and we were discussing beer and Philadelphia where he was from. I also had a nice conversation with Maddie (I think that’s her name) the bartender. The people who work there are nice, friendly, and interesting.
When we were seated, Christy took care of us, after the first server left (I hope we didn’t scare him off) and she quickly corrected a mistake in the order. Food was great! Please note the picture above of my delightful Black and Blue Burger. I ordered it with sweet potato fries and that was the error that Christy corrected for me; I even got to keep the regular fries when she brought the sweet potato fries, probably the best I’ve had by the way.
We had a few appetizers; the fried green tomatoes, Buffalo Blue Sticks, and Buttermilk Breaded Onions, all half-price between four and six by the way.
I had a few beers. The Scottish Ale was delicious. The Vanilla Porter, the special that day, was interesting with a nice taste. I liked the California Common as well. It has a nice taste that starts off like a wheat beer and finished like an IPA, with a slight fruit flavor. They were out of my favorite, the Port City IPA.
Definitely stop by Front Street Brewery if you’re in Wilmington and tell them I sent you. Check out their website too.
A neat place in downtown Wilmington is Cape Fear Wines and Beer, at 139 Front Street. They claim to have over 300 beers available, and looking at the coolers, I’d say that’s about right. The selection can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s well worth the strain on the eyes. They also have a few beers on tap, and I chose the Old Speckled Hen. My daughter and her boyfriend got the 1825 Porter, an English brew patterned after a beer found on a shipwreck. Good beer.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
August 2009- Cook Out is a small restaurant chain that started in 1989 in Greensboro North Carolina and grew to over sixty locations. They recently opened one in Wilmington, right next door to UNC and it looked interesting, so we decided to give it a try.
The place is drive up and walk up only, but if you want to walk up to the window you’d better have walked there because there’s no place to park more then three cars, and if you do park you’ll never get the car out of the parking lot since there is at least a ten car line for the drive through at all times. The drive through is fast though, and they have one line on each side of the restaurant so you’ll be at the order menu before you know it, and that’s where the problem hits. The menu is small, in funky fonts of different colors, and there are a lot of cars behind you. If you don’t know what you want ahead of time, you’ll feel like you’re caught in the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld.
We ordered three burgers, three cheeseburgers, and three fries. We got three cheeseburgers and three fries. The burgers we got were good; they seemed to be fresh meat. The fries were good too. We weren’t charged for the three burgers we didn’t get, but we could have used them. Also, with cars pushing you along, there’s no way to check what you got without feeling like you’re holding everyone up, I'd recommend going online and getting your order ready ahead of time, but I don't think the company has a website of it's own. At least I couldn't find one anyway. There is, however, a very useful independent web site, which posts the menu and even has a picture of the menu board I was talking about.
What I recommend that Cook Out do is to place a larger menu someplace else so that you can read it while waiting in line. They may have a ton of regulars, especially from the college, but new customers need to know what they have.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We found Napoli’s a few years ago when we were headed to one of our kid’s track meets down at West Point. From the outside it looked like a nice place to get a sub sandwich. We decided to eat in and the sandwiches were great. A few weeks later, we went back for dinner and we were hooked. Napoli’s has been a favorite ever since.
Napoli’s is a family run restaurant and they now have three locations. The one in New Windsor, one in Washingtonville, and Gloria’s Griddle in New Windsor. Enter and you’ll be greeted with a welcome, and an invitation to sit wherever you want.
About the food. The menu is extensive, and fairly reasonable, my favorites being the veal offerings. Remember that line in The Godfather? “Try the veal, it’s the best in the city.” Well, in my opinion Napoli’s has the best veal in the area. My favorite is the Veal Sorrentino, pictured above. It’s veal, eggplant, cheese, and a delicious sauce made with white wine. Another is Veal Saltimbocca, which is similar, but includes spinach. All dishes come with salad, bread, and a choice of pasta.
My wife’s favorite is the Penne Puttanesca, a spicy dish with black olives, capers, and anchovies. Puttanesca literally means prostitute style, presumably because it’s spicy, but my neighbor gives a different explanation. He claims that it was a dish that was easy and quick to make when the ‘working girls’ came home to feed the family. I like that explanation.
Pay a visit when you’re in the area and I’m sure Napoli’s will be one of you favorite places too. Check out their website for more information.