Monday, January 27, 2014

Haggis Burger

It happens every year. You hold a great Burns Day dinner and the next day you realize you have a wee bit of haggis left over. Here's a creative way to incorporate haggis with some ground beef and Americanize the wee beastie. 

I took equal parts of haggis and 80/20 ground beef and mixed them (make sure the haggis is room temperature or it will lump up too much). I formed patties, added a dash of salt and pepper, and threw them on the grill. I poured a drop of Lophraig Single Malt, it has a very intense smoky flavor, to one side and when I flipped I repeated with the whisky on the other. Be careful not to add too much as it will catch fire.

I originally wanted to use a Stilton cheese, but since the Lopraig and the haggis have rich flavors I was afraid that me be overkill so I used Swiss cheese. Some deli mustard and a few strips of bacon complete the burger.

The verdict? Amazing. Try it sometime.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Haggis from The Scottish Gourmet

When I went to Scotland a few years back I never got the change to try haggis. We were only there for one night and there wasn't the opportunity. This became a regret and thankfully regrets can often be corrected. 

With Burns Day approaching I searched the internet and came across The Scottish Gourmet in New Jersey and saw that they carry a one-pound haggis sausage and can ship overnight. I bit the bullet and ordered one the Tuesday before. It arrived on Thursday still frozen.

The haggis took 45 minutes to reheat, it is pre-cooked, and in that time I cooked the tatties (potatoes) and keeps (turnips). Unfortunatley I used a white turnip and it came out a but watery, but still good. That is a whisky sauce on it made with Lophraig single malt, the same whisky as seen in the glass. Oh, and that is my Black Stewart kilt in the photo.

Haggis, if you have never tried it, is quite tasty with a hearty and slightly spicy taste. Think Scottish soul food. I would have it again and I would definitely use Scottish Gourmet again.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Pour House- Exton, PA

There are two Pour House locations. One is in Jersey and the new one is in Exton, Pa at the former Cheeseburger in Paradise location. That's the one we went to at about five o'clock on a Saturday evening with four adults and two children. It wasn't crowded when we got there, but there was a large group of people waiting for tables when we left.

I ordered the 'Second Coming Burger' at fifteen bucks. It came just a shade overcooked from the medium I'd ordered, but after one bite that was irelevant. That burger was one of the best I've ever had. It was Pat Lafrieda 100% dry aged sirloin beef with gruyere cheese, tomatoes and an amazing garlic aioli on a fresh brioche bun. There were also some nice shoestring fries and a pickle.

Teresa had a salad with asparagus and she said it was very good, and loaded with asparagus. My daughter had a black bean burger, which she liked, the kids shared a huge portion of chicken fingers from the kids menu and my son-in-law had the pour hose deluxe burger which he said was great.

The service was excellent and the beer selection extensive. Atmosphere nice and not too loud when we were there. Well, there was one table singing in harmony like a barbershop quartet, but I don't think that's a regular fixture. 

I would recommend you pay them a visit and try that burger. It may ruin you for others. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Shake Shack- Paramus, NJ

Shack Burger

Shake Shack is an iconic burger place that started in New York City in 2000. Since then they have expanded to several locations, many at sports venues, and are famous for people queuing up to eat. My first experience with them was at the Greenwich Food and Wine Festival last fall where I ate an amazing sample from the Greenwich location. Friends have been to their locations in the city, and in stadiums and raved to me about it. 

Well, with all of the hype I was ready to try the new Paramus location for what I expected to be an epiphany. We stopped by on a warm and rainy Saturday in January with high hopes.

When we entered there was a serpentine line which moved along rather quickly. I don't think we waited more than fifteen minutes to order our two Shack Burgers, an order of fries, and a chocolate shake which came to just under nineteen bucks. They gave us one of those vibrating things with the flashing lights and we found a table.

That wait for the food wasn't bad either and our device let us know that our food was ready so I went to the counter to get it. It looked good. On tasting I was what you might call underwhelmed. 

The fries looked nice, but they were greasy, limp and close to room temperature. The burgers were warm, not hot, and rather flavorless. The shake, the easiest thing to make as it is nothing more than good ice cream, milk and syrup, was actually quite good. It was, however, a bit small for five bucks. 

Perhaps it was a case of over expectations, but I was truly disappointed. Overall I would say that the Smashburger just up the road is much better. Jake's Wayback is better as well and neither one has a line. I would stop by again to try them, but not in a hurry.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cafe Mio- Revisited

Cafe Mio in Gardiner has been open a few years now and we've there a few times. Each visit has been an excellent dining experience. The food is good, fresh tasting and reasonable. We stopped by today and I had an amazing burger with blue potato fries. 

Sushi at Yobo

If I remember correctly, the first sushi I ever ate was at Yobo about twenty years ago. I tried them again after having been to many other places and found Yobo to be every bit as good as I remember. Plus, I wanted to post and share this picture.