Muriels Jackson Square

Muriels Jackson Square
801 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

http://www.muriels.com/html/menus.html

They have a 2 course lunch special for $16.95 and a 3 course dinner special for $30 which are pretty good deals considering how expensive everything is on their menu. The location is great too for walking around Jackson Square.

I had the shrimp creole (Louisiana shrimp simmered in classic New Orleans creole sauce served with rice) and the house salad. The shrimp was cooked nicely but the sauce was a little too sweet for me. At first when I saw it, I thought it was a sweet and sour sauce from a Chinese restaurant (the taste was similar but not the same). I think I had built up in my mind a different dish and was sorely disappointed with what the waitress brought out.

Speaking of the waitress, she was a bit snooty and not very friendly.

My fellow foodie had the Blackened Mississippi Catfish which she said was cooked to a perfect flaky composition. Although the sauce was Crystal hot sauce I think the chef add sugar to it because both of us were surprised at how sweet the dish was. She also had the seafood gumbo which was ok, little lacking in andouille sausage.

I had such high hopes for this place. sigh.

bread with a hint of some spice in it

house salad with a very mild blue cheese

Shrimp Creole

seafood gumbo

Blackened catfish

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Sushi Brothers restaurant in New Orleans

Sushi Brothers
1612 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130

http://www.sushibrothers.net/

The sushi here is fresh and the rolls can be quite creative.It tastes really good, especially their “new” rolls. For the amount you pay, it comes out to about $1 to $1.25 per maki piece.  My favorite is the special brother roll with salmon tempura inside and fresh salmon on the outside.

The service here is very friendly (except when you’re in a rush to pick up a take-out order. It seems like the sushi chef is so busy that whenever I show up to my pick up my order, it’s still not ready. It’s not too bad of a wait though). The decor is nice and clean, it looks like a traditional Japanese restaurant (with the bamboo wooden tables).

sparkling sake

soft shell crab roll

Crunchy dynamite rock and Rock'n'roll

special brothers roll and Tulane special roll

special brothers roll

special brothers roll

ima iman eel roll

Sushi Brothers on Urbanspoon

Brio Tuscan Grille in Atlanta, GA

Brio Tuscan Grille
700 Ashwood Parkway
Dunwoody, GA 30338
http://www.brioitalian.com/index.html

So today, July 29th, is National Lasagna Day. With this in mind, we went to Brio Tuscan Grille where we got a large lasagna for half off ($8!)  We also went purposefully at around 8:30 so we could sit at the bar and enjoy half of a large lasagna, and then at 9 PM sharp start ordering Tuscan Tasters for $2.95 each at the bar. The lasagna was nice, I was expecting it to be ground beef but it was sausage which was a pleasant surprise. The ricotta cheese was ok but the mozzarella cheese melted on top was awesome. From the Tuscan Tasters menu which was 3 PM to 7 PM, and 9 PM to 10 PM, we ordered spicy shrimp and eggplant (pan seared shrimp with Romano crusted eggplant in a black pepper cream sauce). The sauce was a little extreme but the shrimp was cooked to perfection (not undercooked or overcooked). We also ordered the sliced steak bruschetta ( with gorgonzola dulce, arugula, fennel, charred tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano  on top of slices of steak and Tuscan Italian dressing.) The gorgonzola dulce had was surprisingly sweet but the fennel and charred tomato offered a perfect balance of bitterness. Out of the two taster dishes, the steak bruschetta was by far my favorite. And for taster portions, this dishes were huge!  The only bad thing was that the bar tender was tending to everyone sitting at the bar; service here sucked.

enjoying my rich White Oak Chardonnay at the bar

lasagna

shrimp and eggplant

steak bruschetta

YUMMY

Brio Tuscan Grille on Urbanspoon

Pewter Rose Bistro in Charlotte, NC

Pewter Rose Bistro
1820 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
http://www.pewterrose.com/Healthy_Vegetarian_Charlotte_NC.html

Pewter Rose Bistro is in the upstairs of the plaza, with plenty of parking space. While sitting inside, you are convinced that you are outisde because of the decorations and trees. It felt like I was eating in the French countryside with the yellow and green hues of the interior design. The food here was amazing and not that expensive! I think we spent about $30 total for everything (2 coffees + 2 entrees). I was amazed at how they got fluffy mashed potatoes inside an omelette. The italian sausage gave it a slightly spicy kick. My fellow foodie’s corn grits were so hearty and delicious! (you could taste the gritty composition of the corn meal). The poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on crabcakes was a very interesting take on this dish. In my personal opinion though, poached eggs with hollandaise sauce is too rich so I can usually only handle a bite at a time.  This place had won top 25 brunches in Zagat, so they started serving brunch on weekdays and extended the time from 10 AM to 2:30 PM.

Pewter Rose Bistro on Urbanspoon

Flying Saucer in Raleigh, NC

Flying Saucer
328 W. Morgan St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

http://www.beerknurd.com/

Since this place is known as the draught emporium, my friend and I thought that after sitting in a car for so long, we might as well treat ourselves to some local breweries. Ok, the first thing that I noticed when I walked in was how young everybody was. We had passed by a few other bars on our way to this one, and the other bars were more accomodating to older folks but this place was mostly college students or recent college grads. The walls are covered in dishes of people who have won various drinking challenges at this establishment (literally covered! and there’s different color dishes to signify how many times an individual has won those drinking games).
beer #1 was a a Raleigh, NC native = Lonerider shotgun betty (wheat beer). I liked it, it was light and refreshing.
beer #2 = Schneider Aventinus (doppleback). bit darker and more full-bodied, but there was a slight sweet kick at the end that I liked a lot.

This space was HUGE. there were a ton of tables and the bar was super long! I thought it was cool how all the taps were on the wall made of pennies. We orderd the chips and nacho dip (which was just your generic queso dip and tostitos chips).

the cool pennies wall

schneider aventinus

generic queso and tostitos chips

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Black Sheep in Richmond, VA

Black Sheep
901 W. Marshall St.
Richmond, VA

http://www.theblacksheeprva.com/

Really funny coincidence: as I was driving here, I found out that the chef of this place is from New Orleans and has a Nola spin to his cooking. How funny is that!

Decor was quaint and cute,kinda like a homey kitchen feel. Like eating at the kitchen table where food is prepared kind of a feel to it. Actually, when my friends and I got there at 6, there was no waiting, but I did notice that there were only maybe 11-12 tables in the entire restaurant. When we walked out, I noticed that there was a wait list (literally) on the door, and people were waiting outside to get in. The service was ok, I think they got busy at dinner time so I had asked our waitress for napkins and she never brought them around so at the end of our meal, we asked for napkins again and she brought out a free dessert for her “absent-mindedness” which was soooo nice and unexpected. So this place is known for their sandwiches, so of course we ordered sandwiches ( the vegetarian in the group ordered a salad). The salads were alright but I believe the true gems of the night were the Goat Cheese and Grape Galette, The Corn Pudding and the Peanut Butter Pie.

melon and arugula salad (an interesting blend of sweet and sour with the poppyseeds)

fire and ice salad

goat cheese and grape galette (that crust was amazing! reminded me of pie crusts)

USS Wyoming (like a bahn mi viet hoagie)

USS Brooklyn (jerk chicken with banana ketchup!)

corn pudding

after a bite of my jerk chicken sandwich

our free peanut butter pie was so light that even tho we were stuffed from dinner we just let this melt on our tongues

The Black Sheep on Urbanspoon

John’s Roast Pork- the beefiest cheesesteak in Philly

John’s Roast Pork
14 E Snyder Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148

http://www.johnsroastpork.com/

Wow, this place gets packed at meal times so plan accordingly (we are talking lines out the door and down the st.) So the nice thing about this place is that you can call ahead and place your order to be ready by the time you get there. Or you can try to come in about 30 minutes before meal times when the line is pretty short. Each sandwich here is made with loveeeeeeeee which is why they taste so good. The bread breaks apart easily (no tug of war with your teeth), and the meat quality is fantastic for the price you pay ($7? $8). I got the sharp provolone on my cheesesteak which complimented the jalapenos and grilled onions very well, but they also have the traditional whiz cheese as well. This sandwich was amazing and when you see the pictures you will see why it was voted in my book as the most meat you will get in a sandwich (no slabs of meat like at Pats or Genos).  There isn’t much space to sit at this joint, I counted 5 tables outside. The restaurant itself isn’t that large but its got regular clientele and rave reviews online so they need not worry about a shortage of customers.

John's Roast Pork on Urbanspoon


Maps for Diners, DriveIns and Dives, Man v. Food and more

Mudville Saloon 9 in NY, NY

Mudville Saloon 9
126 Chambers St.
New York, NY 10007

http://www.mudville9.com/

Wow, this place is crawling with suits coming out after work. It wasn’t even happy hour, but there was absolutely no standing room in this joint (altho there were some free tables). This place was noted to have hot wings, so a fellow foodie and I ordered the WOW wings and Super WOW wings (the two spiciest choices) and an order of chili fries with bacon. I think the wings had a lot of sauce, but were true to their word about the spiciness (which is why I liked to dunk my wings in blue cheese). The chili fries weren’t anything special, but they were a buffer for my tongue buds from the extra spicy sauces. The service here was terrible! I believe it was because they were so busy, the waitresses barely had time to notice us. We spent a very long time waiting on our food order. Selecting drinks wasn’t easy here because they listed their beers by breweries and since I’m not familiar with every brewery I had to ask my waitress what they had on tap that was similar to Blue Moon (however, it was so loud in here that I didn’t hear her answer so I told her the last one she mentioned sounded good even tho I had no idea what she had said),

Mudville 9 on Urbanspoon

Sweet Basil- the only Thai option in Andover

209 North Main Street
Andover, MA 01810-3100
(978) 470-8098

http://www.thaifooddirect.com/thaisweetbasil/

At Sweet Basil, the decor is plain and a bit older looking. The service is quick though which is nice. It’s a little awkward if you order something to-go because you have to walk the entire length of the restaurant to get to the cashier at the back of the restaurant. However, eating in can be quite pleasant (unless there is a large, loud group near you since this place is definitely big enough to accomodate larger groups). The prices here at lunch time are definitely worth it (and take it from someone who was at the table that ordered a mix of lunch portions and dinner portions, the portions looked about the same and the only difference was in the price tag).

the pad thai was delicious but I was disappointed that it didn’t come with fried egg, tofu or shrimp. It was actually a little on the sweet side (and since I have a major sweet tooth, than it was probably way too sweet for the average joe).

pad thai

 

spicy pad thai

nothing a little sriracha sauce couldn’t fix!

Thai Sweet Basil on Urbanspoon