Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chicago Uno, Wappingers Falls, NY

I need to add a place to my list of restaurants that know how to properly cook a burger,  Chicago Uno on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls. 

Above and below please note the 'Bring Home the Bacon' burger with hot pepper cheese and bacon on a challah roll. What you can't see is the center of the burger which was a dark pink. That's right, a perfectly cooked medium burger. Teresa had the Firecracker Chicken sandwich which she said was okay. 
  
Unos started in Chicago on East Ohio Street about sixty-five years ago serving deep dish pizza. They have grown to over 160 locations, some of them franchised and if you like deep dish pizza, and you're not in Chicago, Unos is the place to get it. The one in Wappingers is franchised by Banta Restaurants and sits on the old Steak and Stein location. They try to buy locally as much as they can.

Unos a nice place to get a bite to eat and they have a respectable beer selection as well. They even have their own Uno Amber, which has a nice clean taste. Happy hour specials include some cheap appetizers too. The inside has a nice warm look to it  and is decorated with pictures of Chicago, memorabilia, and TVs in the bar area. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Have I ever mentioned how much I like Five Guys?


I think that Five Guys is quite probably the best fast food burger, period. There are a few who say that In and Out is the best, but I haven't been there yet. I also think that Five Guys is one of the best burgers out there. Now I'm not going to compare them to a half-pound of premium meat cooked to order at someplace like the Raccoon Saloon or the Beacon Falls Cafe, but compared to most places it is equal or better.


There is something amazing about the simplicity of the whole operation. Burgers, fries, dogs and grilled cheese with dozens of toppings available to allow for hundreds of potential creations. My favorite is the little cheeseburger with pickles, ketchup and mustard, and occasionally jalapeños. I get two of them and we share a small order of Cajun fries. I also like the fact that they have malt vinegar for the fries. 





Friday, December 23, 2011

Hacienda, Goshen, NY

We've been here a few times before and liked it. One of those times was on May5th for Teresa's birthday, also Cinqo de Mayo which is the Mexican equivalent of Saint Patrick's Day. That would be the day to stay away as they are extremely crowded, unless you want to wait. Today at four in the afternoon wasn't a problem since even though the parking lot had quite a few cars, they weren't that crowded inside. I think there were a few people in a room upstairs for a private party.

Outside it looks like a large house that has been converted to a restaurant. Inside the decorations are bright and colorful with designs on the chairs. We were seated and given water and nachos with salsa, a salsa that started out medium and the more you eat the hotter it becomes. We looked over the menu and I ordered the Camarones diablo. Teresa got the enchiladas suizo. While we waited for our food the waiter brought us each a small quesadilla which was quite nice. 


My shrimp tasted fresh and the sauce was slightly spicy with some sautéed onions in it. The re-fried beans were okay and the rice not bad (I don't usually eat rice so it must have been okay for me to have finished half of it).

Overall, the service is good, prices average to a bit high, and the food is fairly good. As we ate we decided that we liked Cafe Maya in Fishkill better. I know that some people will disagree with that, but that's our opinion.


Hacienda Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Molly Darcy's, Danbury, CT.

We had to go to Trader Joe's today so we did a few stops in Danbury and the next thing we knew it was time for lunch. I'd spotted Molly Darcy's once or twice in the past and made a note to stop sometime. Today was that sometime and the question is, should you stop?

It was relatively empty for a Saturday afternoon and we were asked where we wanted to sit. We took a table in the main dining area and the waitress gave us menus and went for water. I looked around and it's a typical Irish bar/restaurant with plenty of wood on the floors and tables and pictures on the walls of Irish things. 

After looking through the menu we decided on bacon cheeseburgers. I ordered mine medium with rashers (Irish bacon that is somewhat like Canadian bacon, but crisper) in place of the standard bacon and Teresa ordered hers with regular American bacon, cooked medium-well. We both opted for cheddar cheese. I was thinking about fish and chips or the traditional Irish breakfast, but the blood pudding with the breakfast isn't my favorite so I passed.

We waited for quite some time to get the burgers and we were wondering if they ground their own beef and were chasing the cow around the back yard. Our waitress did bring us more water while we waited. When the burgers came I could see why they took so long. My medium was a well-done and Teresa's was an extremely well-done. They were hot, but they were over done and lacking in flavor. The fries were not bad. Maybe I should have gone with that breakfast.

Overall experience? Not impressed. So back to that earlier question, maybe you shouldn't stop. There are many better places to go nearby, like Rosy Tomorrows.


Molly Darcy's Irish Pub & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Over 30,000 people have read this blog, you should too.

Wow, I've had over thirty-thousand pages views since I've been tracking this blog. That doesn't mean thirty-thousand people, like the title says, but rather how many pages have been viewed over the last two years. Still, that's pretty cool. There are some people who have come back often. I have a few people who use this blog to decide where to eat.


The demographics of the blog is over 60% female readership between the ages of 18 and 60 (these figures come from the Facebook page). Most of the views are specific to a particular restaurant search and Google is the main source, followed by Facebook and Port City Foodies.


Readers have come from 74 countries and 49 states over the last year. I need someone from Montana or Wyoming to hit the blog. The UK and Canada provide some fans too.

States with the most visits?

  1. New York
  2. North Carolina
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. New Jersey
Most popular posts? 
  1. Nu-Cavu
  2. Blue Martini, Middletown
  3. Burger Boyz
  4. Eveready Diner, Brewster
  5. Alexis Diner, Newburgh
  6. Cookout, Wilmington
I have posted 227 times (this one included) and over two hundred of those posts are a review of some sort. It's been fun eating out and writing about our experiences. There is a sense of adventure trying out a new restaurant to see what it is like. 

So you should read this blog and maybe you should advertise here. I'm looking for advertisers who target my demographics. I am selective though so e-mail me. If you don't want to advertise then maybe you should click on some of my books and buy a few to help keep this site going. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Burger Boyz Revisited


I went here a while back and said that it was good, but nothing special. Since then one of my regular readers suggested a few times that I stop and try them again. Noting that the earlier review is one of my most read posts, I decided to do it.

They have moved to a new location on Route 17K and share a building with Planet Wings, an establishment that makes, you guessed it, chicken wings. When I looked at the menu it seemed they have pared it down a bit and that may be a good thing as they were trying to do too much before. The new menu reminded me of Five Guys, as did the boxes of potatoes piled near the windows.

I decided to go simple and ordered the cheeseburger with tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard. I ordered fries and there was a choice between curly fries and fresh cut fries. I opted for the fresh cut version. It was $8.49 for the burger and fries, tax included. I think the prices went up since I was last there.

The burger was good. It was juicy, but not greasy and tasted fresh. I could tell it was grilled and they pressed it down on the grill to get a nice char on the meat. The roll was soft and fresh. The fries were good also, but they could have been crisper. They were a bit soggy. There were plenty of them and two people could share an order with no problem.

As I was taking the pictures the guy behind the counter was staring at me, but he didn't say anything. Nobody ever does. Oh, and inside I saw who voted them one of the best burgers in the Hudson Valley. It was Hudson Valley Magazine. Mystery solved.

Bottom line? Good burger, okay fries. Stop in if you're nearby.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scotch Eggs recipe


I saw this on the Food Channel, I think it was Chopped, and thought it was interesting. Hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried. What can be wrong with that?

It is real simple to make too. Just hard-boil four eggs, let them chill and peel them. Coat with flour and wrap them with breakfast sausage. Next you flour again, dip in egg and bread crumbs. Fry at 350 for about ten minutes, until golden brown. Eat them hot, warm or cold. A little spicy mustard is all you need.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Beacon Falls Cafe, a perfect burger.

I have been ranting quite a bit lately about ordering a burger cooked medium and getting it closer to well-done so I thought it would be appropriate to praise a restaurant that gets it right  consistently, especially  since there are so darn few that do. 

This magnificant picture is of the burger special I got today at one of my favorite places, The Beacon Falls Cafe. This beauty is a half-pound of top quality Angus beef with a mountain of blue cheese, several strips of bacon, tons of roasted hot peppers, red onion, lettuce and tomato on a fresh bun. The list of ingredients is a mouthful and the burger itself was a handful. No, make that two hands full. When the waitress dropped it off I was wondering how in the Dickens I was going to pick it up, but I managed.

Now here's the best part. When I bit into it, the outside had a nice crust while the inside of the burger had a sweet pink cast to it. That pink extended throughout the interior of the entire burger. It was cooked to a perfect medium. Teresa ordered her burger cooked medium-well and the color was perfect too with a slight pinkish cast. Both were juicy and full of flavor.

In my burger the blue cheese slightly mellowed the heat of the hot peppers, but I did break into a sweat from the heat. The flavors of the ingredients all worked in concert to make this one of the best burgers I've ever had. I went through two napkins wiping the delicious juices from my face. The fries were delightful, crisp and hot, with a hint of seasoning on them. Unfortunately, I left quite a few behind on the plate since that massive burger filled me up.

Beacon Falls Cafe is a favorite of mine, I've reviewed them before. Go over and see them, tell Bob I sent you. Whatever you order, it will be good, but I strongly recommend a burger. They also have a good beer selection and I had a Red Wagon IPA from Fire Island Beer Company that was hoppy, yet smooth. If you go during Happy Hour (3 to 6) there are a few $3.00 pints.