The Restaurant Thread

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by sphinxvc, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    I just typed up a bunch of random recommendations for my sister's friend who's visiting NYC for the first time, so I thought why let it go to waste, might as well share here with you guys. Post your restaurant recommendations, experiences and shit here.

    NYC recommendations:

    "In no particular order, here goes: forget everything you thought you knew about Chinese food, don’t miss Land of Plenty – it’s focused on cuisine from the southwestern Sichuan province of China. This place is so good I will send you a list of things to order at the end of this. Next, Pipalli, north Indian food that won’t disappoint. Or try Kokum, which is right around the corner. It’s focused on South Indian cuisine and does it well, a rare thing. For Mediterranean/Turkish, Barbounia is super elegant and loud. It’s a ‘happening’ place and has great food to boot. Taverna Kyclades is authentic Greek, very good food. For Thai, try Land, superb food and don’t forget to ask for their tray of condiments, it’s good fun experimenting. Zabb Elee has unusual Thai you haven’t had before, crab fried rice here is unusually good. Japanese, Totto Ramen has a perennial line, chicken based broth unlike most ramen places, they are famous for it. I’m still exploring the sushi in NY, so no recommendations on that. Brazilian – Emporio Brasil, but what I truly recommend is Favela Grill, bit of a trek but had one of my best meals of 2015 there. If you’re into beer, try The Gingerman. Now for off-the-beaten path recommendations, the ‘chicken and rice’ food scene in New York is strong, and the guys at 53rd and 6th are most famous for it. You’ll see long lines, but they also have a ‘restaurant’ for street food at 14th and 1st or 2nd. There are better places to get ‘chicken and rice’ but they are so deep in Queens I’m not sure you’d want to make the trek. If you want to get a sense of what it’s about this place will do. For NY style pizza, Joe’s pizza in Manhattan will do, they make a mean slice, but the best place is Sac’s in Astoria (sorry, everyone else online who doesn't know this is wrong). If you don’t know what xiao long bao is about, head to Shanghai Café Deluxe. And now the only place on this list I haven’t been to: Brodo. A place where the chef has decided to sell one thing and one thing only: broth. It’s cold here so stop by, I’ve heard great things, and need to go myself.

    At Land of Plenty, order the pork wontons in spicy peppercorn sauce, and crystal shrimp dumplings and whatever else to start. For the main course, do the braised fish filets with silky tofu (forget everything you thought you knew about fish and tofu), and also do smoked wok tossed chicken with chili, chili, chili, have that stuff with your basic beef fried rice (also slightly different here than most Chinese places) and you’ll be super happy."
     
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  2. EraserXIV

    EraserXIV Friend

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    Grew up right outside of NYC, still have tons of very close friends and family in the city too, but I've never tried any of these places (except Chicken and Rice of course). As a self-proclaimed foodie, I will definitely check these out, thanks!

    I also came up with a list of places when some family was visiting from the South, I'll try to see if I can dig it up (it may be a little outdated).

    I recycled the list for a friend of mine who was visiting from the West Coast. They liked the places, but she was too ashamed to tell me they ended up eating at TGI Fridays in Time's Square for dinner one day. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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  3. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    DIN TAI FUNG IS OPEN IN SAN JOSE YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARDS.
     
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  4. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    I'm reviving this thread with some of my favorites.

    Northern California

    House of Nanking
    in San Francisco. Take a jacket, the waiting line is the sidewalk. Also cash; no plastic. There's typically a line from half hour after opening to closing time. Seriously, take a jacket. Even in July. This is San Francisco. We drove up from San Jose in shorts and t-shirts, only to shiver on the sidewalk while waiting. After dinner, and about the time you reach Redwood City it starts getting warm/hot again.

    We used to like to go to La Fondue in Saratoga. You'll spend an hour or more typically.

    Absolutely love Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach Landing, just north of Half Moon Bay, and west of Highway 1. Proposed to my wife here.

    I used to eat a few times a week at Willow Street Pizza in Willow Glen. Their Pizza Benedict for brunch was awesome.

    When I worked for Southwest Airlines here in Dallas, I told my wife on a Friday night that I want breakfast at First Awakenings in Pacific Grove (across the street from Monterey Bay Aquarium). So we flew out for a weekend trip the next morning, and had breakfast, and spent the day walking around.


    North Dallas Area

    Jeng Chi in Richardson is very tasty. I've heard that some people consider it the best Chinese dumplings in the U.S., and that people fly in for them. But I don't have enough experience in that area to voice an opinion.

    Bavarian Grill in Plano. Lots of beers, authentic food, and chicken dancing Friday & Saturday nights.

    Chuy's Tex-Mex in Dallas or Plano (Austin too).


    Albuquerque

    Mary & Tito's Cafe is owned by the parents-in-law of a favorite ex-restaurant owner (Ron's Camino Real), and where most of those recipes came from. Many great lunches there.

    We used to go to Sadie's when it was in the bowling alley on north 4th Street. Now they've got their own place next door. They also make my favorite nationally-available green chile (salsa, if you will).

    2 places I must always, always stop: on arrival, and near the airport on 4th [email protected] Chavez is Barela's Coffee House for breakfast/brunch. Dinner's good too, but I usually arrive in the morning.

    Before departure, and about 2 blocks south on 2nd Street down by the rail yard, pick up a dozen stuffed sopaipillas, no lettuce, to go back with you from El Modelo. These freeze well, and taste awesome, and one sopa will fill you up quick. They have other things, but this is my favorite. El Modelo is take-out only.
     
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  5. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    let’s get both
    Tia B’s Waffleria and Crackin Crab on the official Awesome in Albuquerque list too!
     
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  6. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    I'm not sure they serve Posole though.
     
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  7. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    2BA5EF63-CF92-4221-8D47-3F8BE0185BA3.jpeg Nice little place next to San Francisco Bay. Just down from where the Giants play and the Warriors will play next season. The Ramp.
     
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  8. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Threads like this make me resent Iowa. Where chain restaurants and buffets prevail and indie places fail because the locals like their grub cheap and piled high.

    In case anyone gets lost and ends up in Cedar Rapids, IA, Need Pizza is legit. It’s a local take on New Haven style and the only pizza I can’t make at home for a lack of a wood fired oven. They have a lot of good brews available too.

    Needcr.com

    Even though this belongs in the beer thread, Toppling Goliath makes some great beers that’s probably not available much outside of Iowa because it’s all live and refrigerated. They’re heavy on IPAs, but it’s good stuff. Based in Decorah, IA.
     
  9. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    A personal check-list I swear by after years of running around and getting things done in hospitality:
    1. Toilets clean and/or acceptably clean (you know busy hours), a yes. --> Cleanliness indicates clean food!
    2. Attentive and friendly host(ess) and wait-staff, a yes. --> If you do not feel welcome, get out!
    3. Clean tables (or clean enough, you know busy hours) and chair/couches, a yes. --> Clean table indicates care!
    Less than two times yes I do not even consider entering the place ever again.

    Mind point 2, sometimes a host(ess) or waiter/waitress looks grumpy but that happens. Sometimes you need to focus, watch your tables and monitor walk-ins, walk-outs and transactions. Hospitality is not easy, when you become good at it you make it look easy.

    A personal thing I did not mention but I value a lot: greetings. It takes about 1 to 2 seconds of your life to greet someone and say "Hello fellow human being, feel welcome to enter and enjoy our food and drinks" or in short "Welcome!" If that is too much, 50/50 I nope out of there. Not joking.
     
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