You are a tourist, staying in a French Quarter hotel. You don’t have a car (or maybe you’d just like to stroll the Quarter and duck into a restaurant for dinner). You’re not in the mood to dress up. You don’t want to spend a lot of money. You are not asking for the ultimate examples of the local specialties, but neither are you a LAF rube (did we hear someone say the Court of Two Sisters?) You just want some good things to eat, in pleasant surroundings, with a bit of that French Quarter glow. Continue reading
A little-discussed feature of Indy cuisine is the frequency with which stew is encountered on local menus. This homely dish is found in taverns and sandwich shops often enough for one to assume the local folks have a particular fondness for the stuff. One great place to sample it is at John’s Famous Stew, in the working-class section of Indy west of the river. Continue reading
Let’s face it: Kevin’s Hamburger Heaven, with its grease-stained parking lot and semi-industrial neighborhood location, looks like a dump. But don’t be fooled: inside, Kevin’s is surprisingly spiffy. This supreme 24/7 grease joint has been open since 1988 and gives the appearance of a much older eatery. The waitresses are diner veterans: efficient, no-nonsense ladies who will take good care of you. There are a few tables, but the counter stools give the best view of the short-order action. Continue reading
If you haven’t spent much time in non-Disney Florida since the 1960s, you wouldn’t recognize it. Old, kitschy Florida has almost completely disappeared. Even now, the last vestiges are rapidly being replaced by the brand new. It’s no longer the state of glass bottom boats, the Weeki Wachee mermaids, and Jackie Gleason (although, except for Jackie Gleason, those still exist, if barely). For a sense of what’s been happening, see John Sayles’ film Sunshine State. Continue reading
First time at a diner is always chancy. There are different levels of diner in New Jersey. You have to peg your food order to the diner level. We’ve got a few near where we live that does well with dishes beyond the diner basics. With others, it’s best to stick to sandwiches, breakfast, onion rings, you know? We misread the Blue Swan; had it pegged a notch too high, so we’ll take some of the responsibility for the lackluster food. Credit where credit’s due: our waiter was terrific. Continue reading
Woodside Farm calls their ice cream “Farm Fresh,” and this is literally true. The ice cream they make and sell is produced from milk provided by the Jersey cows right here on their farm. This ice cream is extraordinarily thick and dense, with an almost chewy texture. It’s not too sweet, and as it warms up it softens rather than melts into a puddle. The milk from the small Jersey cows on this farm is especially rich in butterfat and protein, and the resulting ice cream, no matter which flavor you choose, tastes most of all of dairy richness. This is among the finest ice creams we’ve ever had the pleasure of spooning into, but its creamy intensity might be too overwhelming for daily consumption. Continue reading
School Street Bistro opened at the end of 2012 in the space formerly occupied by The Village Porch. School Street almost looks like just another house in Rochester, save for all the people dining on the extensive porch. Eugenie Smith, who used to manage The Porch, runs the front of the house while husband Brent is the chef. Together, they lease the restaurant from the owners of the former Village Porch. Continue reading
Connecticut is packed with LAF-worthy pizzerias. The bar has been set awfully high. Can it be possible that Harry’s Bishops Corner clears that bar? With room to spare, based on the Fra Diavolo pie we enjoyed.