Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sweet Cheeks: Too Damn Expensive

Sweet Cheeks annoys me because, as a Texan, I find their BBQ way too damn expensive and not good enough to justify it.

Searching for a good biscuit in New England is a sport for masochists and thus, a pastime of mine. Sweet Cheeks had put me out of my misery on this front.
These biscuits ($10 for 4) were so moist and addictive and perfect with the soft honey butter (spread it on, watch it melt, then bask in the heavenliness)... the first time I had them. I would've come just for these, the rest of the food being pretty iffy.

And I did come back for them, but they got bigger and less impressive. They're no longer perfectly moist but a little too fluffed out, overworked. Damnit. The honey butter is still good.


Left to right:
Bbq: good
Sweet and sour: a bit too sour
Ginger jalapeño: good

Fried Green Tomatoes ($7) - Fried Green Tomatoes: They come with a very dill-heavy jalapeno ranch that was pretty tasty, but the green tomatoes themselves were not ripe enough.

Fried okra ($7): I do so appreciate the long pieces.
Jalapeño ranch: They actually charge you $1.50 for ranch. It's good, but that's a bit steep for a side of ranch.

Heirloom Baked Beans: These are good, and they're well-stocked with meat.


My search for food fried chicken ($21) in New England continues. Skip it, it falls apart so that you can't get skin and meat in the same bite without a fork. I've had better from grocery stores.
Farm Salad: Arugula, something fennel, candied walnuts, Brussels sprouts, grapes, Parmesan and probably more. A great side salad.


1 Texas-sized Wing: Two wings came, so apparently even the number "one" is bigger in Texas. Good smoke flavor, a little chewy, really large... hormones?
The brisket sandwich ($12) was nice and moist. Just add a little salt.

Ribs half rack ($18): Tons of meat, and the flavor's fine, but they're not at all that fall apart kinda thing I'm looking for. Anyway maybe it'd be better if they'd just serve you a half again this size for $10 or something, so not every option here leaves you paying $30 for any kind of meal.


Sweet Cheeks Q on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cinquecento

They call themselves a Roman Trattoria. Roman, Italian, whatever, it's good stuff, with only a little South End pretension instead of the North End annoyances.

They have a great whiskey selection. Ask the bartender for a recommendation - he might just give you a few samples :]



Octopus: Truly good. Like in Mexico City except the accompaniments weren't quite as good.

Burrata: great, not amazing

Gnocchi Bolognese: awesome

Steak: good, not amazing
 I'm told that next time I should save room for a chocolate dessert to pair with their port.

Cinquecento on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Natsumi

Natsumi is a very nice but comfortable restaurant in Midtown West, in other words, a great find. With some of the best sushi I've ever had, it's an instant favorite.


Butterfly Green Tea Ravioli (with lobster, shiitake filling and lobster bisque -$12): More like a mildly creamy tomato bisque with truffle oil than a lobster bisque but good stuff all around.

Natsumi Nigiri (with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, seared tuna, seared salmon, seared yellowtail and a crunchy spicy tuna roll - $22.85): all the nigiri was excellent, truly.The tuna roll was good.

The Spicy Blue Crab Roll (with avocado, asparagus, pepperoncini(!), yuzu tobiko, and green tea powder - $15) was one of the best rolls of sushi I've ever had.

Doppio Toro Roll (with salmon toro, yellowtail toro, avocado, asparagus, pesto, tempura flakes and spicy mayo - $18): Good but the least good of the sushi as the middle stuff was too dry and crunchy

Obligatory tamago ($2) - good, moist, sweet but not too sweet! Up there with the best I've had so far.

Natsumi on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nomad

My sister and I needed somewhere good and interesting to eat near the Eastville Comedy Club, and we lucked out choosing Nomad, a North African restaurant with a fun menu, great good, delightful decor and feel, not too fancy, but nice. And it was easy to get a table for two at 8pm on a Thursday. 


Duck Pastilla a L'Orange: Oven-baked thin layers of filo pastry with walnuts and a side of fennel salad ($9): An amazing dish with so different and delicious flavors.

Lamb tagine: braised lamb with prunes, caramelized onions and almonds served with couscous ($21): so good

Merguez sandwich served on home made bread with chakchouka side of French fries and salad ($15): really good
Fries: good
Harissa aioli: good


Nomad on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 12, 2014

Schmackary's

This is one of the many kinds of things that makes New York City awesome, a dedicated cookie shop. Think about it. Where do you go in your city when you just need a great cookie? How about at 11pm? You can get these truly excellent cookies from 8am until midnight.

An americano and a Shnickerdoodle cookie. That's what I call breakfast. Just tell them to go easy on the water. Everyone always over waters americanos. The Shnickerdoodle: crispy outter ring, perfectly gooey center, excellent flavors, an amazing cookie.
Ristretto espresso and a chocolate croissant. It was good, made there and drizzled with honey, but not so good that you shouldn't just have a cookie (or perhaps one of their "sinful" cinnamon rolls) for breakfast.


Fluffer Nutter Nookie: yes.

Classic chocolate chip with sea salt: seriously one of the best cookies I've ever had. A rival to Canto 6's chocolate sea salt cookie.

The Monster: not as good as the others




Only issue? No restrooms, even for customers, which is always a little rough for a place that serves espresso.


Schmackary's on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 8, 2014

McKay's Public House - Bar Harbor, Maine

McKay's Public House is probably the best restaurant in Bar Harbor.

If you lived in Bar Harbor, you'd be friends with the owner. I've never met a nicer, more accommodating guy. He's clearly a great guy who's beloved by all. It's to the point where if he turned out to be a serial killer, you'd be like, "Ohhh, I was afraid he was too charming."

You'd want him to get away with it. He's just the right level of handsome for it, you know what I'm talking about?

He wanted to give us champagne because we'd just gotten married a couple of weeks ago, but we asked if we could have beer instead. 

Duck wonton: quite good


Fried green tomatoes with balsamic glaze and cilantro cream sauce: so good, perfectly cooked, good cream sauce 


Burger with caramelized onions, jalapeños, beer cheese: Perfectly cooked. Just add a little salt. Beer cheese and jalapeños was definitely the way to go.
Fries: thin but not too greasy
Sriracha aioli: very nice, good spicy level


Guinness and chocolate cheesecake: yup


Beer flights for $7.50!
Look at this awesome local beer list including a cask!


Outdoor garden patio with lights and heaters, and a half outside patio, and a beautiful inside. See their restroom signs on my World Toilet Signs blog.

McKays Public House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Xiao Bao Biscuit

Xiao Bao Biscuit  - An affordable, casual restaurant with a fun menu where everything is super delicious.


Okomomoyaki - a Japanese cabbage pancake: With fried egg (they were out of pork candy): Fuck. Charred flavor. Fuck, flavor oh oh oh.


Egg rolls with duck leg confit, fois gras mousse, cilantro, and fermented ginger sauce - Oh just the best egg roll I've ever had. Best foie gras use too. Fuck.



Banh He - Chive & coconut crepe, bean sprouts, herbs, nuoc cham dipping sauce: oh my god, flavors 



Beers from South Carolina (including a gose, which is the second time I've seen that style in a week, the first time being at a wonderful restaurant in Virginiaand it wouldn't be the last. Apparently that's trending. I finally had one and am not a fan.), from Laos, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and Colorado, Thailand, Idaho and California, plus Mexican coke, a coconut milk drink and a housemade Vietnamese lemonade 

Sit inside or out on this adorable patio. Either way, the whole place is super cute and fun and casual.
Xiao Bao Biscuit on Urbanspoon