Showing posts from April, 2011

Reality Bites: National Chain: Denny's: Baconalia

Much like I had to try KFC's silly Double Down, as a matter of course I have been compelled to take one for the team by way of venturing out to a Denny's to see just what the reality behind the Baconalia ad campaign really is.

Since I live in Boston, this proved to be difficult, as all the major cities in the northeast seem to keep Denny's out of their metropolitan areas.  Thus, I realized I'd have to stuff it into my trip through Texas.
After two plans to go to Denny's with friends after nights of heavy drinking as well as another couple of plans to just finally get it over with with a couple different friends, I finally convinced the most unlikely-to-ever-go-to-a-place-like-Denny's-ever-again friend I have (Cortney) to stop there with me as we headed out one morning on our way from Dallas to Pflugerville.
I called ahead to place my order: *ring, ring* "Thanks for calling Denny's.  Is this to go?" "Sure is!" "What'll ya have?" &qu…

Flamer's in the Prudential

Burger Rating: 3/10
Fry Rating: 5/10

Having accidentally gotten drunk the previous night at an artsy, filmy crowd party, I got to the point in my day when I just had to get a burger and fries. Since I also needed to pic up an iPhone protector case before leaving for my 2 week trip, I decided to accomplish both of these goals at the mall near work, The Prudential Center. I didn't realize that. this being the Saturday before the big marathon, the mall would be packed, but that was just the way the cookies were dealt.

My foodie brain hesitated to get food from Flamer's as their menu is pretty standard boringness, but I actually met some pleasant surprises therein.

They had a sauce they were calling "Lumberjack Sauce" for their "Lumberjack Burger," and while I didn't need bacon on my burger that day, I was happy to be able to get the sauce and sub in some pepper jack for American.

Now, the burger itself wasn't that good*, but the bun was a big, soft on …

Madiba: NYC: Brooklyn: Fort Greene

Sadly, the restaurant scene from Cobble Hill west through Fort Greene and then Clinton Hill is composed mostly of Yuppieville Restaurants (i.e. overpriced, mostly un-innovative menus, lots of mimosa-y brunches), so there's not a lot of my type of foodie stomping ground*.

But when my mom came to town for a few days last summer and I planned three days of mostly eating and walk all around Brooklyn and Manhattan, I slotted Madiba as an intermission to our walk between Bed Stuy and our walk across the Brooklyn bridge since neither of us had really ever had South African food like this before.  Also, I had a $25 off $35 coupon for which I paid $2 from (you should always wait until they're 80-90% off to buy them, which happens probably once every week or so anyway).

The menu says that this Bunny Chow business is, "From the traditional Xhosa staple diet; Mandela’s favorite!"  I of course had to try whatever Umngqhushu StambySamp was, and while its taste is ver…


When Andrew and I went to Eataly, we bought some morels.  They're $60 per pound, so by some, I mean we each bought one mushroom, which were almost a dollar each. Inexplicably, I decided not to look up common preparation techniques, opting instead to just cut it open and sautée it in a little olive oil and sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on top.  It definitely tasted different than any other mushroom I've ever had.  Woody, yup.

Next time I'll spring for 2 or 3 and prepare them more normally.

Sweet Revenge: NYC: West Village

I have a strange relationship with Sweet Revenge (a cupcake bakery/bar).  Before I moved to NYC much less ever gone there, I was poking around on Google Maps at the neighborhood of the apartment I'd found on Craigslist.  One of the things that convinced me that it would be a good place to live was the presence of Sweet Revenge.  I looked at their website and found fun menus of sweet andsavory baked goods and drinks, though the latter less interesting to me and more expensive than I care for.

Fortunately therewereorwould be other nearby places in my neighborhood that are awesome because it turned out that that Sweet Revenge was in the West Village.  I never ended up visiting the Sweet Revenge in Bed Stuy, though I've heard it's actually a pretty cool bar that does one of those $5 backyard BBQ thingson Sundays in the summer.

I did, however, visit the Sweet Revenge in the West Village. At one point in my NYC time I joined the NYC parks and recreation for 6 months, which only co…

Trailer Park Lounge: NYC: Chelsea

Early on in my days in NYC, a girl once wanted to go to the Trailer Park Lounge for a date.  The decor is trashy, as promised.  The food menu is boring, and prices range from reasonable (burgers are $9) to over-priced (sweet potato fries or tater tots are $6.95).

Alcohol prices are silly.  PBRs are $4.75, Miller and Bud $6.  Or you can order one of these expensive cocktails:

Margarita Pitcher rocks, frozen (for six) $42.00
Frozen Strawberry Or Mango (for six) $45.00
Paradise Hawaiian Style mucho 3 kinds of rum, pineapple brandy & passion fruit juices, served in a real pineapple (for two)$32.00

Birch Coffee: NYC: Flatiron District

After arriving on the Megabus to NYC and getting my No. 7 Sub, I needed more coffee as I'd only had just enough to make it to the bus at 9 A.M. that morning. I'd planned on trying Stumptown's americano on my americano tour, but Jenn, who met me there, said that we should go to Birch Coffee, where we could sit down. The Ace Hotel lounge was pretty full, so I went along with it.

I'd just try their americano.

They have a tidy little menu that's somewhat interesting, but we already had our sandwiches, so we just ordered coffee and headed up the "The Library," a nice little section upstairs with chairs, tables and couches, a water stand with cups and a restroom.

The coffee was good, but unfortunately we were told they didn't allow outside food eaten there.  I think this is a bad business decision as it makes the customers feel a little embarrassed and awkward.  It doesn't make me want to buy food there, it just makes me feel less inclined to ever patro…

Jamaica Plain's Yuppie Grocer: City Feeds

Having recently moved to JP, people have given me their opinions about the various places to shop. So by the time I wandered in to City Feeds, I'd heard a number of times that this was the way-overpriced Yuppiefest store of the neighborhood. How exciting!

Fooling myself into thinking I was going to make healthy choices that day, I went with the $8 soup and 1/2 sandwich combo:

 Okay, but not all that flavorful.  My sister's is better.

Tasty, but the hoisin sauce pretty much drowns the other flavors.

To drink with my meal:

Delicious maple syrupy soda. What could go wrong? Well except that at one point I accidentally knocked it over and spilled some of my precious mapley goodness on the floor :[  I want to try all their sodas.

They have a full coffee bar situation.

My americano was decent but a little bitter and burnt. 7/10

They have all kinds of awesome looking shit from the Little Lad dude, and I bought the most reasonable priced option, this bag of Mud Crackers for $4. They…

Maya: NYC: UES

OpenTable (an online reservation company for higher end restaurants that got into the online coupon game a few months ago) offered a $50 for $25 deal to Maya, and I couldn't resist it.  I'd been drooling over Richard Sandoval's menus since Thrillist exposed me to them more than a year ago, so I figured I wouldn't regret this purchase.

I knew that I'd be spending more than $50 though, which is one of the conditions that makes it worth it for companies to go the Groupon route, and so I didn't get around to this until my last week or so of living in NYC.

It was a cold day, and they took out coats from us.  Then I realized that I had left my coupon and my Lactaid in my pocket, so I had to ask for it to be brought back to me.  I tried rooting around in one pocket after another to find these things but wasn't having any luck, and so I eventually just started taking every item out one at a time, Mary Poppins style: gloves, keys, wallet, phone, pack of gum, matches…