Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tommy Condon's- Charleston, SC

Fish and Chips

Tommy Condon's in Charleston, SC is what I'd call a southern Irish bar. It has traditional Irish fare, and some traditional Southern fare. Having gone through traditional Southern fare for a couple of days I decided to go with the fish and chips. As the Irish would say, it was a proper fish and chips, nothing amazing, nothing disappointing. The fish was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The chips were crispy and hot. It was even better than a few fish and chip meals I had in Ireland. Of course, I had to have a pint or two of Guinness to wash it down.


Guinness, as if I have to tell you that
Now here's where a restaurant shines or fails. Teresa got the Shrimp Po Boy and it was disappointing. The roll was stale and the remoulade mediocre. She pointed this out to our waiter and he comped her meal, even though she ate most of it. That was a nice touch.

I'd say to stop by and try them, and I'd recommend the fish and chips. Just don't go expecting a five-star meal. It's an Irish bar in a tourist town, so expect decent Irish pub food.

Magnolias- Charleston, SC

Seafood and Grits
Another place I put on the short list for the Charleston trip was Magnolias on East Bay Street. Magnolias is a bit pricey for dinner, but the lunch prices were reasonable. In retrospect, it was probably the best dining experience I had in Charleston.

I had the seafood and grits at $16.00. It consisted of grits, really good buttery tasting grits, some fresh tasting shrimp, a scallop and a small piece of lobster. The portion was just right for the middle of a hot summer day. My best seafood and grits so far.

Teresa had a vegetable wrap which she said was a bit bland for her taste, but not bad. She did comment that the collard greens she ordered as a side were amazing.

Wonderful ambiance and excellent service. Our server, Eric, did a great job. I will definitely go back again. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Poogan's Porch- Charleston, SC


When were planning to take a trip down to Charleston, I did some culinary research. I was looking mostly for Southern Style and Low Country food in a variety of price ranges and settings. One place that interested me was Poogan's Porch, and that was mainly because they offer an alligator salad as well as shrimp and grits. 


Alligator Salad
We were seated in the front dining room, it's an old house, and given menus. There was the alligator as an appetizer so I ordered it. Well, the alligator was delicious. It was fried to a golden crispness with a moist inside and served on a bed of salad greens with an amazing dressing. It was my first time eating alligator and if you haven't tried it, you should. The taste is difficult to describe, but the consistency is similar to chicken. Something that needs to be experienced to appreciate.

Scallops
Teresa ordered the scallops which were delightful. There were four large ones with a mound of greens and a risotto cake in a nice sauce. I tasted one, and some of the risotto, and I would have been quite happy with that as my meal. 

Shrimp and Grits
Instead, I had the shrimp and grits and I was quite happy with that. The shrimp tasted fresh and were cooked perfectly. There were three colors of peppers to give some color and sweetness, taso ham and a nice sauce covering perfectly cooked grits. 

Nice ambiance, reasonable prices and excellent service. A lovely dining experience.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Greeks Authentic Mediterranean Deli and Market- Wilmington, NC

Gyros

When we were downtown today we were walking on Princess and there were two places that I'd put it on my short list to try, Hell's Kitchen and The Greeks Deli. Wanting something different from a sandwich or burger, The Greeks won and we went in. 

The girl at the counter was very friendly and we both went for our standbys. I got the Gyro Platter and Teresa ordered the Spanikopita Platter. I got a beer (Hellas) and Teresa an iced tea. The whole thing came to twenty-one bucks. We took our drinks and headed out back for the patio and soon our food was brought out.

The gyro was really good, as good as, or better than the best I've had anywhere. The fries were hot, crispy and seasoned with fresh Greek herbs (oregano mostly). I tasted the Spanikopita and it was quite good as well and came with a small salad and pita bread.  


Spanikopita Platter

So overall, the people are friendly, the food is amazing and the prices are right. I'll be headed back soon. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Las Olas, Wlimington, NC


Las Olas Mexi-Q sits next to Boombalatti's Ice Cream in the space formerly occupied by Foster's. It is owned by the same folks as K38 Baja and a few other Mexican places, but the emphasis here is on bar-b-q with ribs, pulled pork and more. My main reason for going is that on Tuesday nights they have a fish taco special for $3 each and I have it on good word that they are good. There's two in the photo above and they were so good that I ordered another. I was full, but my son was once there and ordered, and ate, six of them.

Service was excellent, Hannah was friendly and helpful and at $3 each the prices were good. I looked over the menu and the rest of the prices looked okay, and there were some interesting selections. 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Epic Burger at Epic Foods in Wilmington, NC


Epic Foods in Wilmington is fast becoming a favorite and this burger is a good example of why. Caramelized onions, cheese and a nice chunk of meat on a healthy roll with chips and greens on the side.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shuckers Oyster Bar and Grill- Wilmington, NC

Oysters Rockefeller

We stopped by Shuckers on Market Street in Wilmington because I was in the mood for some oysters Rockefeller, and because my son-in-law and daughter had eaten there and they liked it. 

The oysters were quite well executed. Large, fresh tasting oysters from the Gulf were half-baked in a bed spinach, butter and cheese. Very good. Josh also brought some hush puppies that were excellent, and addicting. 




After discussing some options with Josh, our excellent waiter, we both ordered the Shucker Burger at $9.50. This burger comes with quality meat that they grind on the premises and add bacon, lettuce and tomato with an aioli sauce. It is topped off with a slice of fried gouda cheese and some onion straws. Teresa's burger was a perfect medium-well and mine a perfect medium, just as we ordered. These were good burgers.  

Shucker Burger
Overall, nice decor, good food at reasonable prices and excellent service. I'd go back.


Friday, July 19, 2013

China Moon, Guthriesville, PA

Shrimp Roll

I've had food from here twice. The first time was take-out and the second dine-in. Both times I had sushi and the food was good, not great, but good. I'd go back again, but I would recommend doing the take-out as the service inside is a bit slow. 

Phoenix Roll



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Margo's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor, Downingtown, PA




Margo's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is exactly what the name implies, an old fashioned ice cream parlor. We went there with the grandchildren to cool off and I decided on a childhood favorite, a root beer float for $3.95. IBC root beer and some great vanilla ice cream.   Brought back a flood of memories. 

The other cool part that brought back some memories is that they share a space with The Pinball Gallery. There are well over a dozen vintage pinball machines and over each one is a sign explaining who made it and some of the history of the machine. A few of them are for sale too. I played a few games, some of the older ones are only a quarter a game, and remembered I never really was any good at pinball. 

At any rate, stop by for some ice cream and pinball. But bring cash, because that's what they take. 



Monday, July 8, 2013

The Shannon Rose, Ramsey, NJ

Murder Burger
The Shannon Rose sounds like the name of either a beautiful Irish Lassie, or a rusty tramp steamer out of Belfast bound for some exotic port of call. In this case it is a rather nice Irish restaurant on route 17 in Ramsey, NJ, part of a small chain of three restaurants with the same name. Looking at it you realize that someone spent a whole lot of cash to build it and that money was well spent. It is large and well appointed with dark wood and glass etched with Irish expressions. 


Murder Burger on the menu

We looked over the menus and Teresa decided on the open faced Rueben with fries. The meat was lean and it had Irish cheese on it instead of the traditional Swiss cheese. She said it was quite good. I debated between three burgers. One was the Dublin with Irish rashers and cheddar, the second was the stuffed bacon and blue cheese burger. 

The winner was the Murder Burger, shown at top. This burger consisted of quality meat cooked exactly to the medium which I ordered. It sat in a brioche roll with American and pepper jack cheese, sautéed onion, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and thousand island dressing. They took the whole thing and battered it in a Harp beer batter, then deep fried it. 

Okay, this sounds like a heavy burger, but it had a nice light taste to it. The cheeses and the dressing gave a creamy taste with a slight crunch from the bun. The bun actually took on a donut taste. Overall, it was amazing and I would order another. The next time I'd ask for a few more jalapeños to kick it up a bit.




The food was very good, the ambiance nice and the prices reasonable. The two sandwiches set us back $25 with tax. We'll definitely stop by again. By the way, they have traditional Irish fare such as; shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, meatloaf and a traditional Irish breakfast with both black and white sausages. 



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Brasserie 292, encore.

Ambiance
Not long ago we went to the Brasserie 292 in Poughkeepsie and were quite pleased with it so I decided to pop in again today for lunch. I completely forgot that they don't have a lunch menu on the weekend, just a dinner menu. No matter, I wanted to try the Moules Frites anyway and Teresa decided on the Brasserie Burger, medium well with gruyere cheese.

The interior has a lovely ambiance with French music playing in the background and brass lamps along the walls. By the way, the word Brasserie means brewery, although they don't brew anything there. It has come to mean a casual dining place with a fixed menu and fixed hours, and usually white table cloths. This is opposed to a Bistro which is more casual, more sporadicly open and with an ever changing menu. Bistros were generally a small side business run from someone's home. 

The service was impeccable, as one should expect from a French restaurant, without being pretentious. The food was equally impecceble. Teresa was quite pleased with her burger and I found my mussels to be some of the best I've tasted, including my own. All of that said, this restaurant could become a personal favorite very easily. 
les frites

If you haven't been yet, you really need to pay them a visit.


les moules

Friday, July 5, 2013

Babba Louie's, Modena, NY




Babba Louie's on Rt 32 in Modena is an ice cream and food place with a walk-up window and a small dining room. I've driven past here a few times and I'd heard it was good, so we decided to pop in today when we needed a light bite to eat. I decided on the bacon, swiss and blue cheese burger at nine bucks (perhaps a bit high for the location). I ordered it medium and it was cooked to a perfect medium, it did need some seasoning though. The fries were plentiful and good, after I added a bit of salt. Teresa had a Sabrett's hot dog with chili and onions.

Good food and nice people.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Captain Jake's Riverhouse, Newburgh, NY

Oysters Rockefeller

My wife went to Captain Jake's on the waterfront in Newburgh the other day for a bachelorette party and when she got home she said, "I'd like to go there again sometime." Well, today was an overcast day in the middle of the week so we figured the waterfront wouldn't be crowded and it would be a good day to pop over.

I started with the oysters Rockefeller, shown above. They were okay, nothing phenomenal. They tasted, and looked, like it was more of a pesto sauce on them than a traditional Rockefeller presentation. In addition, the oysters were not placed in a sea salt bed or anything to keep them level so the oil spread all over the plate. The salad was undressed and needed some acid to help balance the buttery taste of the pesto. We did request some bread to sop up the oils and they were good, but I'd take a pass on this dish.

Fish and Chips

I decided on the fish and chips. I had the lunch portion which was quite large. The fish was excellent with a crispy batter outside and properly cooked cod on the inside. Moist and flakey. The fries were okay. Teresa had the shrimp and crab wrap shown below which was quite good. The grilled shrimp were large and there were plenty of them. 

Shrimp and carb wrap

So overall, a nice place to grab a bite on the waterfront with good food at reasonable prices.