Saturday, August 31, 2013

Home Town Diner- Breinigsville, PA

I like diners and when we travel we do try to hit new ones, but a diner can be a crap shoot. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Before we go further, Home Town Diner is a good one.

Our server, a lovely young lady whose name I think I remember as Jordan, was excellent with a very friendly attitude. Teresa decided on one of the specials, a chicken and cilantro on a ciabatta roll with fries which she said was quite good. I went with the rueben, shown above, and it was a good choice. Well executed with plenty of flavor.

As we ate I noticed that the hostess was sitting at the counter when she wasn't seating people and she was cleaning the menus with a disinfectant. Kudos to her and the diner for that as menus can be a nasty breading ground for germs and if they are that fastidious with menus, the rest of the place must be clean too (the bathrooms were clean).

Overall, nice clean atmosphere, excellent service, good food and good prices. I'd stop by again if we head that way.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Barnside- Conklin Catering Grill- Walden, NY

Basic Burger

The Barnside Restaurant, owned by the Conklin family (Eddie's Deli in Montgomery), sits next to The New York School of Music in Walden, a space previously occupied by a bagel shop and later the Quarter Note Cafe. The new owners have redecorated and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere. They also added a hood over the grill, something that was lacking by the previous incarnation, and the air was nice and clear. 

Currently they are only open for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday, but they will be expanding the hours, as well as the menu, after Labor Day.

I ordered a cheeseburger with bacon and blue cheese at six bucks. It was quite good and well seasoned. This restaurant has potential to become an excellent addition to Walden, and a nice place to eat. I'll be stopping by again and update the post. In the meantime, stop by and see for yourself.

Hobo Sandwich

Update- I've had food from there twice since I wrote this, once was takeout (the chicken caprese) and the other dine-in (the Hobo shown above). Both times were very good. It's nice that Walden has a good restaurant that isn't a bar, Chinese, or a pizza joint and they are now open on the weekends. This could easily become a favorite.

California Burger

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nikki's @ Racine- Wilmington, NC

Nikki's on Racine has half-priced sushi from four to six everyday. That was enough to get me to stop in, that and the fact that I'd heard it was good from some reliable sources. 

It's a cute place inside and we looked over the menus. They have sushi of course, and a whole lot more. Things like burgers, gyros, crab cakes, sandwiches and more. I was there for the sushi but they had a few appetizer specials so I started with the Calamari Tempura. Rachel had the Vegetable Gyoza and Mark the Seaweed Salad. 

The calamari was excellent, cooked perfectly with a delicate, but sufficient flavor.

I had (Counterclockwise from bottom) the Red Snapper, the Tuna, Salmon Avocado Roll and Spicy Scallop Sushi. All were good, but I think I'd pass on the scallops next time and get something else.

Teresa got the Kitchen special, fish tacos with tempura onion rings, and A.J. got the Gyro with the beer battered fries. Everyone said their meals were good.

Service was good, Whitney took good care of us. The prices really good, especially at half-price and for five people the bill came to $52.00. The food was quite good. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Terrazzo Trattoria, still the best Italian food in Wilmington

Pasta Alla Norma
I may have mentioned a time or two that Terrazzo Trattoria in Wilmington is one of my favorite Italian places anywhere, and the best in Wilmington, but it can't hurt to reiterate. Sometimes you just can't iterate something enough.

They are friendly, the service is great and the prices reasonable. They are accommodating as well and they can alter your dish with no problem to suit your tastes. Want less garlic? No problem. They also have the best pizza in town and even Pete at Wilmington Pizza, a tough pizza critic, agrees (caveat, he uses some adult language in his reviews).

Tortellini Carbonara
If you haven't been there yet, get there and see what I mean.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Islands Fresh Mex Grill- Wilmington, NC

Dollar tacos, got your attention? Well, it got mine when my daughter suggested we join her and her husband, and a few friends, at Islands for dinner. 

The deal is this. From five to nine, Monday to Friday, you can get tacos for a buck each. You do have to get a beverage with the order and you need one beverage per four tacos. There's also an up-charge for extra toppings and such so be careful. Teresa and I got eight tacos a soda and a Corona for thirteen bucks. 

Now the tacos aren't all that pretty. They lay down the shells and very quickly assemble them which means they miss the shell with some of the fixin's, but that's okay because you can use the chips that come with them to scoop up the stuff in the foil. They have a few salsas you can get at the salsa bar to add at no extra charge.

The tacos were good, quite good in fact. They also have burritos and enchiladas available, as well as a full bar. Check them out sometime.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

P.T.'s Olde Fashioned Grill- Wilmington, NC

P.T.'s Olde Fashioned Grill is a small chain, six locations in Wilmington and one coming up in Greensboro. As we were headed to a Wilmington Sharks game, the one we ate at was the one on 17th Street.

Everyone there was friendly, and helpful. They have a unique method of ordering. There's a pad on which you circle what you want, and the toppings and the counter processes the order. They bring the food to the table, along with the order sheet. This probably cuts down on mistakes on both ends.

I got the half-pounder at $8.39 with pepper jack, pickles, jalapeƱos, ketchup and mustard. I added bacon for another half a buck. The burger was very good with a nice char on the outside and some moistness inside.  What I liked was that they seasoned it with salt, pepper, lemon pepper and garlic as it cooked, giving the burger some flavor. One of the best burgers in Wilmington. Oh, and the fries were good too, nice and crispy with some seasoning on them. 

The rest of our party enjoyed their meals as well. My grandson had a black bean burger and he loved it. My wife got chicken strips and she liked them. Overall, good service, clean restaurant, very good food and reasonable prices. I'll be headed back.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chive Blossom- Pawleys Island, SC

She Crab Soup

The Chive Blossom Restaurant in Pawleys Island is where I had the absolute best Fried Green Tomato BLT ever. It's a small, cute place with a large crowd. 

We started with the She Crab Soup. This is a Southern delicacy and if you're not familiar with it it's a crab bisque with sherry in it and it is quite tasty. Definitely try it sometime if you have the opportunity. 


Teresa had the burger which came out cooked to her medium-well on a ciabatta roll with Fontina cheese, mushrooms, onions and fries for twelve bucks. Quite nice. My Mother and Step Father both had the chicken salad sandwich at eleven bucks which came with a small salad and they said it was good. 

Fried green tomato BLT

And that magnificent creation pictured above is the Fried Green Tomato BLT, one of the best things I've ever eaten and definitely the best fried green tomato BLT I've ever had. What made it so perfect the combinations of ingredients, each one done to perfection. 

The first thing was fresh multi-grain bread that was toasted on the grill using plenty of butter to get a nice golden brown crunch with a soft inside. Next up was avocado and lettuce with some fried green tomatoes on top. Add in some crisp bacon and the magic ingredient, house-made pimento cheese. This combination of ingredients covered the taste spectrum with sweet, sour, salty, crunchy and soft to create a heavenly, perhaps life-changing, experience for twelve bucks.

Ambiance is nice. Service is excellent, Cornella took very good care of us and accommodated my parents well. Prices, at lunch anyway, are reasonable. Food is amazing. Stop by and see what I mean.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hominy Grill- Charleston, SC

Fried Green Tomato BLT

Another restaurant on the short list for our Charleston trip was the Hominy Grill on Rutlege. One nice thing is that they have a small parking lot for customers. One rough thing is that they are popular, so be prepared to wait a few minutes if you arrive at peak times.

I had the Fried Green Tomato BLT, shown above. That dish on the side is tomato pudding and the best way to describe it is a fancied-up stewed tomato. It was quite good. The sandwich was also good, but the bread was a bit stale and dry which detracted a bit. Teresa ordered four different vegetable sides. I tasted the mac and cheese and it was amazing. We finished off with a slice of delightful pecan pie. 

Overall, a cute Southern restaurant with fair prices and good food. Our server was excellent. I'd pop in the next time we're in town.

A.W. Shucks- Charleston, SC

A.W Shucks is a large place on the corner of State Street and Market in Charleston and they've been around for a while. Inside it's well appointed giving a modern seafood ambiance. Outside, where we chose to eat, is comfortable and casual. Bear in mind this is a reasonably inexpensive seafood restaurant in a tourist city so it does get crowded and don't raise the expectations all that high.

That said, my food was quite good, and quite reasonable. I got the steamer pot, shown above, which consisted of crabs, clams, shrimp, mussels, oysters, corn, potatoes and sausage swimming in a broth with some Old Bay for $23.00. It was very good.

Teresa ordered the 'award winning' stuffed shrimp, but I don't know who gave it the award. I tasted it and it was pretty good.

So overall, nice ambiance, reasonable prices, good food and good service. I'd go again.