Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seven years of blogging and counting . . . and making some adjustments.

I just looked and realized that I have been doing this blog for close to seven years now. That is quite a bit of dining out which resulted in over 450 posts. It also resulted in some serious excess weight, well I did eat a bit too much at home too. As a result I have been watching what I eat and have dropped close to thirty pounds so far, with a goal of another thirty. I'll soon have to update my profile picture.

Over the years my focus has been primarily on reviewing restaurants. I started with burger places, and have added other types of food with the emphasis on places regular people go. Some posts are more picture oriented and others more wordy. 

In the future I intend to continue doing restaurant reviews, but I will be doing more articles and announcements as well. 

Beer-I have been neglecting this part of the blog, so expect more reviews of beers and breweries. If you are a brewer and want to get the word out, let me know and I may pass it on for you.

Events and festivals-My favorite is the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival in the fall. If you are planning an event or festival, and would like some press coverage, send me your info and I will pass it on if it is in my regular areas. Want better coverage? Give me two press passes (my wife travels with me) and I will attend if I am in the area. You'll get some nice pictures and a writeup.

Restaurant news-If something exciting is going on in your restaurant, or you are opening a new one in my areas, let me know and I might just announce it for you.

Food trends-I will be looking at trends in the industry and reporting on them.

My areas of travel are the Hudson Valley of New York, Fairfield County, Ct., Northern New Jersey, The Philadelphia region, and Wilmington, NC. To get in touch with me drop me an email at or tweet me @ecforman

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kiernan's Pub & Tavern- Pine Bush, NY

Kiernan's Pub and Tavern in Pine Bush is owned by the same people who have Kiernan Farm, a grass fed beef business in the area. I've had their beef in other restaurants and when I heard they'd taken over the old Ajay's in Pine Bush, an interesting place in its day, I was excited and wanted to get there. 

We went on a snowy Saturday after the roads were cleared and while the bar was packed with men who'd just finished a marathon session of snow plowing, we were the only diners. The inside is rustic, all wood, with sporting and outdoors themed pictures on the walls. The bartender was also waiting tables, but in spite of covering such a large area, she gave us excellent service.

I knew what I wanted before we even left the house. Having been watching what we eat for the past two months (27 pounds lighter at this writing) I wanted a big juicy burger. We both ordered the half-pound burger medium with a salad to replace the fries (have to cut some of the calories). Mine was thirteen bucks as I added Swiss cheese and Teresa's burger was twelve bucks. 

The meat they use is grass fed and 90% lean and that can be dangerous to cook properly as it can dry out easily. This was not the case here even though my medium was closer to medium-well. It was a good burger, not awe-inspiring or life-changing as I had hoped, but a good burger none-the-less. What was lacking was any seasoning that I could detect. Simple salt and pepper would have brought out the flavor of that delightful meat.

Would I go back? Yes, I will. Oh, and they don't take credit cards, just cash and personal checks. They do have an ATM.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Smashburger- Paramus, NJ

Smashburger is definitely my favorite chain now, even though we've only been to one location. Today we popped into the other one on rt. 17, the one in Paramus. The service was polite and friendly and the food excellent. I got the New Jersey burger and it was magnificent. With it I ordered a side salad at three bucks and it was a nice salad. Yes, I do love their fries, but I am losing some weight (25 pounds so far) and fries are off limits for a few months. Teresa got the black bean burger with a side salad as well and she liked it. 

If you have not yet been to a Smashburger, do so and soon. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hanna's Middle Eastern Restaurant- Danbury, Ct

Beef Gyro Platter
 We stopped by Hanna's a few weeks ago and found out that they close from 2:30 to 5:00 between the lunch and dinner services. Bummer, as I was in the mood for some good Middle Eastern food.  Danbury has a rather large Middle Eastern population and Hanna has a good reputation so I wanted to try them. This time we arrived at noon and it was certainly worth the return trip. 

The restaurant is small, seating forty tops, and well appointed. When we were there four other tables were occupied and something smelled good. We looked over the menus and I decided on the gyro platter at eleven bucks. It was quite good and even came with a small house salad with a nice tangy dressing. The gyro meat is not made in house, but it was of good quality and they cooked it just right. The taziki sauce was just right as well, creamy with just the right amount of garlic. 

Teresa went with the special of the day, a chicken and Lebanese couscous stew at eleven bucks. I tasted it and it was good, and very hearty. She was pleased and next time she wants the moussaka. It came with a salad as well. They also gave us a basket of really nice, thin pita bread. 

Overall, good food at reasonable prices with excellent service, well worth the return trip. They even have a market next door where you can buy Middle Eastern foods. We'll be going back again. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nikki's Fresh Gourmet- Wilmington, NC

Nikki's has a few locations in the Wilmington area and we went to the one on Racine last year, and we liked it. Being downtown on a chilly afternoon, and hungry, we decided to try the one on Front Street. It turned out to be a good decision. 

I ordered the special rolls at fifteen bucks, my daughter got the salmon bento box, my grandson got the black bean burger, and one granddaughter got the tempura, another the quesadilla. Two wraps finished out the order. I mention all of the orders to give you an idea of the range of selections available. Also, everything was quite good.

Overall, nice place with good food and good service. We'll go back again.