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Restaurant Talk (1 Viewer)

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member

The General

Footballguy
Favorite restaurant for a Reuben? Must have elements? 
Oh man. It's a pretty simple sandwich so I find it's consistently pretty decent and a safe bet to order. Corned beef / Pastrami and Swiss are hard to mess up to me especially if you are at a sandwich place so I think the key is the sauerkraut and not going crazy on the dressing so the bread doesn't get super saturated all the way through. Need a touch of crisp on the bread as well.

This place is walking distance to my house and makes a mean one: 74th Street Ale House

Recently was in downtown LA for work (awesome area for food and drink BTW, really underrated ) The Grand Central Market has a place that made a good one in one of the stalls. 

As I write this had an awesome one in the hotel bar at The Depot in Minneapolis recently that was worth mentioning. 

I'm hungry.

 

matuski

Footballguy
I've eaten at places all over with all the accolades, rankings, and wait lists.

At this point in my life I'll take friends, a nice view/outdoor space, and good enough food over any of them.

Westward in Seattle, Flying V Tucson, Gristmill in Gruene TX, etc... decent food and drinks that become memorable with the right people.

 

The General

Footballguy
I've eaten at places all over with all the accolades, rankings, and wait lists.

At this point in my life I'll take friends, a nice view/outdoor space, and good enough food over any of them.

Westward in Seattle, Flying V Tucson, Gristmill in Gruene TX, etc... decent food and drinks that become memorable with the right people.
Agreed 100%. I love that my phone has access to all this info but honestly I just look at the vibe of the place in the pictures and pretty much ignore everything else. People get crazy on those reviews.

Westward in Seattle is a great find. Oysters in an adirondack looking over the water is a pretty great afternoon.

 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Dining here tonight.   If you scroll down and see the pic of the interior of the restaurant, that's it.  14 seats total, all bar seats.  All meals are omakase style.  Opened 4 months ago and it's our 2nd visit.  STOKED! 

 

That one guy

Footballguy
He’s an acquaintance of the office, so slight bias, but guy named Johnny Rivers started 4Rivers Smokehouse in the Orlando area and it is bomb bbq (sliced brisket and baked cheese grits please!).  His group eventually opened a breakfast/lunch joint of southern cuisine called The Coop, and it's as top notch as their bbq.  

I still miss Johnson’s Diner.  It was a staple of downtown Orlando, cranking out amazing soul food.  Smothered chops, mashed taters, collards, green beans, and corn bread, so good!

 

nirad3

Footballguy
I still dream about the chipotle ranch wing sauce at Wings n' More in Austin.  Worked there for about 18 months at the tail end of our stay in Austin.  I'm not a ranch fan at all and am not sure why they even call it that.  But it's awesome.  I used to dip everything in it.  Burgers, fries, you name it.

Kind of a Chili's-sized joint where you can get great burgers, wings, ribs, salads, etc.  Kind of place you'd think is a dime a dozen but really a diamond in the rough if you ask me.

 

psychobillies

Footballguy
Agreed 100%. I love that my phone has access to all this info but honestly I just look at the vibe of the place in the pictures and pretty much ignore everything else. People get crazy on those reviews.

Westward in Seattle is a great find. Oysters in an adirondack looking over the water is a pretty great afternoon.
I don't think I've ever had a bad time in a place that had an oyster bar.

 

shadrap

Footballguy
Oh man. It's a pretty simple sandwich so I find it's consistently pretty decent and a safe bet to order. Corned beef / Pastrami and Swiss are hard to mess up to me especially if you are at a sandwich place so I think the key is the sauerkraut and not going crazy on the dressing so the bread doesn't get super saturated all the way through. Need a touch of crisp on the bread as well.

This place is walking distance to my house and makes a mean one: 74th Street Ale House

Recently was in downtown LA for work (awesome area for food and drink BTW, really underrated ) The Grand Central Market has a place that made a good one in one of the stalls. 

As I write this had an awesome one in the hotel bar at The Depot in Minneapolis recently that was worth mentioning. 

I'm hungry.
I agree big time on the dressing thing or too much sauces that overpower the sandwich or saturates  the bread.  uggggg.    Agree with the slight toasting or crispness of the bread.

 

RC94

Footballguy
If you want recommendations for NYC restaurants, go to the NYC thread.  I have posted a ton of different restaurant recommendations, as have others.  There should be links in the OP to my restaurant posts.

 

Beef Ravioli

Footballguy
He’s an acquaintance of the office, so slight bias, but guy named Johnny Rivers started 4Rivers Smokehouse in the Orlando area and it is bomb bbq (sliced brisket and baked cheese grits please!).  His group eventually opened a breakfast/lunch joint of southern cuisine called The Coop, and it's as top notch as their bbq.  

I still miss Johnson’s Diner.  It was a staple of downtown Orlando, cranking out amazing soul food.  Smothered chops, mashed taters, collards, green beans, and corn bread, so good!
Headed to O next week. We may check them out. Johnson’s Diner sounds amazing! Any other place around O that might be close to that? 

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Why?  I find nothing very special about it at all.  But others get all giddy over it.
I was in my mid-20s when I moved to Akron, so I didn't grow up with it.  Fell in love immediately when I had it.  I'm not a fan of thick burger patties - these aren't skinny, but they aren't thick either.  I would travel for these burgers.  Aren't you in Columbus?  I think they just got one there ...or are building one.  

 

Galileo

Footballguy
I was in my mid-20s when I moved to Akron, so I didn't grow up with it.  Fell in love immediately when I had it.  I'm not a fan of thick burger patties - these aren't skinny, but they aren't thick either.  I would travel for these burgers.  Aren't you in Columbus?  I think they just got one there ...or are building one.  
No.  I'm in Northeast Ohio.  Been around Swenson's for years.  

 

Beef Ravioli

Footballguy
When on a road trip with the wife, we always try to find a “local place”. 

We found this cool little place when passing through Birmingham. Small little place but GREAT food. https://www.sawsbbq.com/

Fort Wayne, IN. We had lunch once, good food and cool vibe - The Gas House http://www.donhalls.com/

Grew up going here when visiting family in Arkansas. Awesome bbq! It’s nostalgic for me as my dad who is 85 remembers eating there as a boy. http://www.mcclards.com/

Great big burgers at this joint here in Cbus! Get there before they open or you are waiting for a while. https://thethurmancafe.com/

Back when I lived up in NH, simple place but fresh seafood! http://brownslobsterpound.com/mobile/

Wife and i are getting ready to start a bit of an extended road trip in a few weeks. I will be checking back here for some great options!

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
No.  I'm in Northeast Ohio.  Been around Swenson's for years.  
gotcha.  

Well, the other main place I think of (outside of fancy restaurants) is Marion's Pizza ...that I have drooled about here in many threads, on many occasions.  It's a Dayton, OH tradition that is a midwest kind of tavern style (thin crust, but instead of crackery ...it's crisp, chewy) ...and square-cut, with a special ground sausage.  

If you want to talk #### about it, I will drive up to that ####### iceberg, we call Cleveland and fight you.  

 
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Galileo

Footballguy
gotcha.  

Well, the other main place I think of (outside of fancy restaurants) is Marion's Pizza ...that I have drooled about here in many threads, on many occasions.  It's a Dayton, OH tradition that is a midwest kind of tavern style (thin crust, but instead of crackery ...it's crisp, chewy) ...and square-cut, with a special ground sausage.  

If you want to talk #### about it, I will drive up to that ####### iceberg, we call Cleveland and fight you.  
No need for a fight...lol.  I have never had Marion's Pizza, but I do remember it being brought up in other threads.  I won't fight about Swenson's either.  I am not saying it is bad, but to me it's nothing I'd go out of my way for.  To each his own.  Enjoy!

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Yeah, I looked it up. What would you recommend we try on our first trip? 
most people go for the galley boy - double cheeseburger with "special sauce", I just go for the double cheeseburger.

Onion rings are good - and a chocolate malt.  

(note:  I used to always get it to go and make sure I had a large bag of Golden Flake sweet-hot bbq chips. )

When I weighed a little more ...I would get 2 doubles and a single cheeseburger, onion rings and a chocolate malt to go (and eat a large bag of sweet-hot chips).  

 

That one guy

Footballguy
Headed to O next week. We may check them out. Johnson’s Diner sounds amazing! Any other place around O that might be close to that? 
Johnson’s is closed, unfortunately.  Chef Eddie’s has taken over, but it’s just not the same to me.

Depends on where here in town you are, there’s the attractions side of things and then the actual city.  In general, love me some Gringos Locos or Tijuana Flats for Mexican.  Beefy King is right outside downtown, great for a roast beef sammich and some tots.  Yellow Dog Eats is worth the adventure for a sammich as well; they’re in Windermere on the western side of city.  Little Saigon is downtown, great Vietnamese.  In fact, that whole area is called The Mills/50 district, lots of great restaurants.  Downtown Winter Park is a great place to walk around with tons of good food options 

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Johnson’s is closed, unfortunately.  Chef Eddie’s has taken over, but it’s just not the same to me.

Depends on where here in town you are, there’s the attractions side of things and then the actual city.  In general, love me some Gringos Locos or Tijuana Flats for Mexican.  Beefy King is right outside downtown, great for a roast beef sammich and some tots.  Yellow Dog Eats is worth the adventure for a sammich as well; they’re in Windermere on the western side of city.  Little Saigon is downtown, great Vietnamese.  In fact, that whole area is called The Mills/50 district, lots of great restaurants.  Downtown Winter Park is a great place to walk around with tons of good food options 
Good call. They also have another location in New Smyrna Beach that is very good. 

 

SoBeDad

Footballguy
Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach has excellent food, including their famous stone crabs, creamed spinach and key lime pie. It's pricey, especially, the crabs, but they still offer half a fried chicken for $6.95 and hamburger for $14.95. This year,  ala carte stone crabs are $45 to $100 depending on the size. No reservations, so be prepared to wait or drink at the bar. They must be  doing something right, as Joe's was the #2 grossing restaurant in the USA in 2015 and had an average bill of $65 per person. Waiters are in tuxedos. I've only been there once - I'm cheap and crabs aren't my thing. 

It has a long history - for a young city like Miami. It was founded in 1913 by Joe Weiss and is still in the same family, which is remarkable. The location - south of 5th street - is no accident, as Jews weren't allowed to buy land north of 5th street at that time. Discrimination against Jews in Miami Beach. 40 years later, there were a dozen Yiddish radio stations in Miami during the winter season and Mount Sinai Medical Center was built on 43rd street.

The signature stone crabs were considered inedible until 1921 when a Harvard ichthyologist suggested that Joe cook some as Biscayne Bay was full of them. They hit the jackpot and the rest is history. BTW, only one  claw is legally harvested from stone  crabs, which makes  them a somewhat sustainable sea-food. To protect the industry, there are quotas on traps and there is a season from October to May, which is when the restaurant is open in full each year.

 
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Ron Swanson

Footballguy
SoBeDad said:
Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach has excellent food, including their famous stone crabs, creamed spinach and key lime pie. It's pricey, especially, the crabs, but they still offer half a fried chicken for $6.95 and hamburger for $14.95. This year,  ala carte stone crabs are $45 to $100 depending on the size. No reservations, so be prepared to wait or drink at the bar. They must be  doing something right, as Joe's was the #2 grossing restaurant in the USA in 2015 and had an average bill of $65 per person. Waiters are in tuxedos. I've only been there once - I'm cheap and crabs aren't my thing. 

It has a long history - for a young city like Miami. It was founded in 1913 by Joe Weiss and is still in the same family, which is remarkable. The location - south of 5th street - is no accident, as Jews weren't allowed to buy land north of 5th street at that time. Discrimination against Jews in Miami Beach. 40 years later, there were a dozen Yiddish radio stations in Miami during the winter season and Mount Sinai Medical Center was built on 43rd street.

The signature stone crabs were considered inedible until 1921 when a Harvard ichthyologist suggested that Joe cook some as Biscayne Bay was full of them. They hit the jackpot and the rest is history. BTW, only one  claw is legally harvested from stone  crabs, which makes  them a somewhat sustainable sea-food. To protect the industry, there are quotas on traps and there is a season from October to May, which is when the restaurant is open in full each year.
Nice summary. Joe's is legendary, as are the Stone Crab Claws.   They are common all over FL during the season, but be careful of stores/restaurants selling "Jonah Crabs". They look just like Stone Crab claws but are a little lighter in color and the tip isn't as black.  And they have no flavor. If they cost less than 30-40 a pound they are probably Jonah's. I'm not much of a crab guy either, but I will eat my weight in Stone Crab claws.

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
Beef Ravioli said:
When on a road trip with the wife, we always try to find a “local place”. 

We found this cool little place when passing through Birmingham. Small little place but GREAT food. https://www.sawsbbq.com/

Fort Wayne, IN. We had lunch once, good food and cool vibe - The Gas House http://www.donhalls.com/

Grew up going here when visiting family in Arkansas. Awesome bbq! It’s nostalgic for me as my dad who is 85 remembers eating there as a boy. http://www.mcclards.com/

Great big burgers at this joint here in Cbus! Get there before they open or you are waiting for a while. https://thethurmancafe.com/

Back when I lived up in NH, simple place but fresh seafood! http://brownslobsterpound.com/mobile/

Wife and i are getting ready to start a bit of an extended road trip in a few weeks. I will be checking back here for some great options!
Saws is a big deal. Huge following among BBQ people. It's legit. 

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
SoBeDad said:
Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach has excellent food, including their famous stone crabs, creamed spinach and key lime pie. It's pricey, especially, the crabs, but they still offer half a fried chicken for $6.95 and hamburger for $14.95. This year,  ala carte stone crabs are $45 to $100 depending on the size. No reservations, so be prepared to wait or drink at the bar. They must be  doing something right, as Joe's was the #2 grossing restaurant in the USA in 2015 and had an average bill of $65 per person. Waiters are in tuxedos. I've only been there once - I'm cheap and crabs aren't my thing. 

It has a long history - for a young city like Miami. It was founded in 1913 by Joe Weiss and is still in the same family, which is remarkable. The location - south of 5th street - is no accident, as Jews weren't allowed to buy land north of 5th street at that time. Discrimination against Jews in Miami Beach. 40 years later, there were a dozen Yiddish radio stations in Miami during the winter season and Mount Sinai Medical Center was built on 43rd street.

The signature stone crabs were considered inedible until 1921 when a Harvard ichthyologist suggested that Joe cook some as Biscayne Bay was full of them. They hit the jackpot and the rest is history. BTW, only one  claw is legally harvested from stone  crabs, which makes  them a somewhat sustainable sea-food. To protect the industry, there are quotas on traps and there is a season from October to May, which is when the restaurant is open in full each year.
Big fan of Joe's. It's a different vibe but the Las Vegas location is excellent. Mostly in my experience because of the servers. High end seafood / steak houses all have great food. They'd better at those prices. Almost every time at Joe's in Las Vegas I've had a great server that added a lot. From guiding through the menu (my friend ordered something once and the guy didn't hesitate saying, "You don't want that. Get this", to just generally adding to the experience. 

 
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timschochet

Footballguy
I’m going to Rome with my family this summer; never been and very excited. I would like to make reservations in advance for a “classic” but expensive fine dining experience. Anyone know anything about this? 

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I’m going to Rome with my family this summer; never been and very excited. I would like to make reservations in advance for a “classic” but expensive fine dining experience. Anyone know anything about this? 
I don't have a restaurant to specifically recommend, but I would post in Mad Cow's Italy thread.  There are regulars who visit Italy frequently that post in there.  They have a lot of good tips.

 

MAC_32

Footballguy
Phil's Fish Market

BFE somewhere between Santa Cruz and Monterrey off the PCH.  Wife and I were trying to make it to Monterrey to dine, but stopped traffic led to hanger so we veered for a little bite and a drink to bring us back down out of the red.  We ended up spending about 3 unplanned hours there then just vino'd in Monterrey later that night.

 

TobiasFunke

Footballguy
Ilov80s said:
Sounds good, you just need to find the right guy 
Here to defend Guy Fieri, who can be grating and treated staff poorly early in his career but is now a great guy who does a ton of charity work and whose most famous show is basically a marketing effort to boost small businesses.

Anyway, back on topic: if you find yourself in Washington DC any time soon, I humbly recommend leaving the tourist/business areas downtown for an evening and checking out my neck of the woods, Petworth. It's a diverse mostly residential area free of the suits, socialites, twenty-something resume padders and other things that sometimes give my hometown a bad name.  We have a number of great smaller restaurants, including a pizza place and a Japanese restaurant that have gotten national acclaim.

Great thread idea/direction, btw.  Can be a great resource for traveling FBGs looking for a recommendation.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Here to defend Guy Fieri, who can be grating and treated staff poorly early in his career but is now a great guy who does a ton of charity work and whose most famous show is basically a marketing effort to boost small businesses.

Anyway, back on topic: if you find yourself in Washington DC any time soon, I humbly recommend leaving the tourist/business areas downtown for an evening and checking out my neck of the woods, Petworth. It's a diverse mostly residential area free of the suits, socialites, twenty-something resume padders and other things that sometimes give my hometown a bad name.  We have a number of great smaller restaurants, including a pizza place and a Japanese restaurant that have gotten national acclaim.

Great thread idea/direction, btw.  Can be a great resource for traveling FBGs looking for a recommendation.
He sounds like just the guy for the job

 

SWC

Bromigo
if i had a food show it would be called burgers and brohans and i would travel the world in a souped up dodge charger with brandy blasting all the time in fact that would be the theme song and i would meet strange people running strange restaurants in strange places and we would eat burgers and learn a little bit about food but a lot about ourselves and basically everyone would be cool as hell and wed end up leaving with the papershakers while the food nerds sat around criticking the aroma of a bun or something ridiculous and it would freeze frame as we peeled out of the lot fade to black and back to brandy and that would be pretty fricken sweet take that to the bank brochachos 

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
Cave City, Kentucky.

We drove through here on our way to Florida for spring break a couple of years ago with the kids. We stopped and did a Mammoth Cave tour and some hiking in the the park, so we were looking for some food. Asked the gal at the front desk of the hotel for a local recommendation. She pointed us to:

Watermill Restaurant. You'll have to google it as there is no website that I could find. Anyway, they had an all-you-can-eat fried catfish dinner buffet. It was outstanding. And by outstanding, I mean in a southern food/hospitality sort of way. This isn't gourmet food. But if you like fried catfish, mashed potatoes, green beans, and all the other buffet type fixin's this is the place for you.

And for 5 of us our bill was something silly like $40. I had to do a double-take with the waitress to make sure. I think I tipped her $20 because it just didn't seem fair our bill was only $40.

 
The mention of pastrami in the OP made me think of restaurants that are no longer.

While the food was overpriced and they were mostly tourist traps, I will never know why the Stage and Carnegie Deli went out of business -- their pastrami sandwiches were simply legendary.

At least Katz's and Ben's are still going strong. I hope.

Schwartz's Deli in Montreal is a great institution and rivals any of the above for smoked meat.

 

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