Mac's Deli in Santa Rosa, CA

Mac’s Kosher Delicatessen and Restaurant
630 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

mac's deli

we stopped by for lunch at a place that seemed to be popular according to locals.the place was a mix between deli and diner.

decor

the reuben sandwich came out w a ton of corned beef. Almost too much to bite! The bread was crispy and the corned beef was chewy. the sandwich was alright and came as the most popular menu item.

reuben

there was a ton of curly fries and the waittress suggested I try them with ranch dressing.

curly fries

Joe had the half pastrami sandwich. pastrami is smoked after curing but corned beef isn’t. I didn’t really taste the difference.

pastrami

the half salad came out and it was a typical house salad with ranch dressing. at least the vegetables were fresh.

salad

Mac's Kosher Style Deli on Urbanspoon

Mulate’s in New Orleans

Mulate’s the Original Cajun restaurant
201 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA

I was ecstatic to find parking on Julia St in the CBD/French quarter area. Most of the customers here were out of towners here for some conference so I guess that’s why there wasn’t much competition for parking since they all just walked over from their hotels.

We started off with gumbo, this thin soup with a bitter file powder base was your usual gumbo. It came packed with bits and pieces of crawfish.

My brother had the fried shrimp po boy with french fries. I really liked the tangy sauce that came on the shrimp. These po boys were huge!

My dad had the fried tilapia sandwich because the waittress said that the tilapia looked really good this morning. It had a very strong fishy flavor.

My mom had the fried crawfish sandwich which had a bit too much of a seafood flavor for me.

I had the crabmeat au gratin because I was in the mood for something delicious and cheesy. Totally not worth the $25. It was generic shredded Kraft cheese and the little dish that it was cooked in was burnt and so my crabmeat had a burnt flavor. Ugh. The main thing I liked was the twice baked potato (covered in cheese) that came on the side.

My crabmeat also came with a tiny little dish of jambalaya that I wanted my parents to sample but it was quite flavorless.

Unfortunately, I think this place is your typical tourist trap.
Mulate's on Urbanspoon

MVBurger in New Orleans

MVBurger

Popout restaurant is a restaurant within a restaurant. MVBurger is open exclusively on Sundays at 5 PM until they run out of meat (which, according to rumor, has been as early as 6 PM). Right now, they are running operations out of Slim Goodies Diner on magazine st.  When I talked to the cashier, she said that this was a test-run for them and in 2011, they are planning on being open Thursday and Sunday nights to save up money to get their own restaurant space.

I had heard about the wait here, so I came in at 5 PM to order my food to go. I was really excited for this meal after hearing all the hype about everything made from scratch (from the buns to the ketchup and mayo).  My food took about 15 minutes but then the milkshake ended up taking much longer and the kitchen and shake stand don’t really talk with each other. I had the burger, fries and shake combo for $13. I had the cheeseburger (cheddar, gruyere, larkin suace, lettuce, and onion), thin fries and cookies n cream shake.

cheeseburger and fries

I saw reviews that burgers were coming out undercooked so I asked for medium-well. The meat patty is quite thick, so I was a little concerned about my meat being cooked properly and thoroughly.  After a few bites, my meat was bright red. Now, I know up-scale restaurants with their prime USDA meat are trustworthy enough to order medium-rare and not worry about looking for the nearest toilet, but this is a pop up restaurant and I wanted to be cautious.  Luckily, since i was home I was able to heat it up in the microwave (which made my bread soggy. sad). Besides that, my burger was pretty good, I especially liked the two different types of cheeses battling against the flavor of the meat. Maybe next time order well done. The fries weren’t particularly well done, very oily. My shake however, was DELICIOUS!

cookies n cream

NOTE: I must’ve hit a nerve of someone at MVBurger. This was their response to my blog entry: “We appreciate the feedback. For one, our meat is not the mass ground slop of other places. So we really don’t like serving it burnt. You wouldn’t go to a steakhouse and order steak well done (or hope not) and we feel the same way about our meat. Also, everyone has a different concept of what medium, or med well is.”

hmmm, but if i’m not the only one who commented on the undercooked meat……. haha, actually I took a picture of the red meat after my first few bites but I thought as a professional courtesy I wouldn’t post that pic. Oh well, I guess everyone’s not a fan of the Foodographer!

2nd NOTE: To show that I am an impartial reviewer and bear no ill will to MVBurger, i will say that they did send me an apology email today for their earlier comment. I wish MVBurger the best of luck in their future culinary endeavor.

MVB (Slim Goodies Diner) on Urbanspoon

Andover Deli and Pizzeria

Andover Deli and Pizzeria
22 Andover St.
Andover, MA

the best thing about this place is that even though it’s super busy, you can easily get your food in a number of ways. 1: you can call ahead and have it to go when you get there. or 2: you can call ahead and have it ready to sit down and eat when you arrive.  I was really surprised to see people walk in and have their food ready for them, and grab a booth and start eating. This family owned business is all about freshness which probably explains the business.

I love the steak subs (no philly cheesesteak); it is a much healthier version. I really like my cheesesteaks where the meat is chopped up, it’s easier to chew.

cheesesteak with mushroom and grilled onions

one of my favorite sandwiches of all times is the chicken salad sandwich on toasted bread with american cheese. in Boston, this seems to be the only place that can get my order as close as possible to my expectations.

toasted chicken salad sub w american cheese

places just don’t make delicious steak fries like this anymore. super crispy.

french fries

my brother insisted on grabbing some cookies before we left. fresh from the oven! the m&n cookie was DELICIOUS!

m & n cookie and chocolate chip cookie

Andover Deli on Urbanspoon

La Bayou restaurant in New Orleans

La Bayou
208 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA
www.labayourestaurant.com/

Wow, hours later, my stomach is still exacting its revenge on me for putting it through this ordeal. Note to self, never go to a restaurant where waiters pester you to order the Hurricane drink or fried alligator (he apologized to us, saying he has to ask us). Curse you, restaurant.com coupons!  I know they’re not all gonna be winners, but I thought the consolation of eating at a seafood joint in the Quarter meant at least fresh quality seafood. Not here! I knew this was a tourist trap from its prime location on Bourbon St., how I pity you, you poor unknowing souls. My friend and I ordered the seafood platter which should have had a combination of fried shrimp, catfish, softshell crab, crawfish, and
oysters with french fries and hush puppies. I don’t remember any softshell crab coming on our plate. The oysters were pretty gross.  The other pieces were decent. So when the platter came out, my friend and I were amazed with how big it was, little did we know that there was an entire huge loaf of french bread on the plate, covered with a thin layer of fries, and then all the fried seafood on top (clever).  The vieux carre shrimp pasta served over garlic butter pasta topped with tasso ham and creamy crawfish sauce served with garlic bread was decent, but a little on the bland side.  The space was otherwise large, and clean (better than some other restaurants I’ve been to), and service was pretty friendly except for when he kept bugging us to order alcohol.

Seafood Platter: A combination of fried shrimp, catfish, softshell crab, crawfish, and oysters. Served with French fries and hush puppies.

Gulf shrimp with tasso ham served over garlic butter pasta topped with creamy crawfish sauce. Served with garlic bread.

La Bayou Restuarant on Urbanspoon

Fiorella Cafe in New Orleans

Fiorella Cafe in New Orleans
1136 Decatur St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

When you walk by this place, you think dirty, grundgey restaurant, no thank you. Even when you peek inside, you’re still thinking no way, jose. After glancing at the bare menu, you’re probably thinking hmmmm where else could I have gone for better food in the Quarter. It’s not until the food comes out (after a painstakingly long time) that you begin to think maybe I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And its when you take a bite out of that first french fry when you think, its love at first taste. Haha. Or at least this was my thought progression when I came here. The fries definitely made this place worth it. This place is known for their roast beef po boys which looked delicious. Although the mayo was a little heavy for this artery-clogging sandwich, the sauce was amazing and blended well with the flavor of the meat. I ordered the fried chicken basket, which was definitely no where near “the best in new orleans” as this restaurant boasted.  I guess for the price, the quality is fair.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: warm blend of baked spinach and artichoke hearts w parmesan cheese served w toasted focaccia bread

southern fried chicken basket

Roast beef po boy w mushrooms and provolone cheese

lets get another look at that thing

the legen-wait-for-it-dary french fries

Fiorella's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Capdeville in New Orleans

Capdeville
520 Capdeville St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

http://www.capdevillenola.com/

This is a trendy restaurant that appeals mostly to the business clientele (probably because this is located in the business district of Nola). I noticed the other tables were filled with suits. Oh well, it didn’t stop me from venturing to this British-style-influenced restaurant. The ambiance was nice with its mostly black walls and furniture, which were lined with interesting artsy photographs that all shared the theme of a love for New Orleans. My fellow foodie ordered the Philly Cheese steak salad, while I had the Capdeville burger with parmesan truffle fries. That’s right, truffle oil on my french fries. It was DELICIOUS! The parmesan cheese balanced the truffle flavor perfectly and add in the crispy texture of the french fries and it was a culinary masterpiece. My burger was also to die for, the au poivre sauce was nicely blended in with the gruyere cheese and roasted garlic aioli. The salad’s dressing was sweet enough to mask the usual flavor of arugula, and the home-made croutons were a delight. The service here was very friendly and quick (I noticed it was all men……odd).

ambiance

Capdeville burger: Au Poivre Sauce, Crispy Onions, Bibb Lettuce, Gruyere Cheese, Roasted Garlic Aioli

Philly Cheese Steak Salad: With Griddled Hanger Steak, Shaved Red Onion, Pickled Peppers, Arugula & Focaccia Croutons

Parmesan Truffle Fries

my delicious burger

Capdeville on Urbanspoon

Luke restaurant in New Orleans

Luke restaurant
333 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130

http://www.lukeneworleans.com/

I love John Besh restaurants! Too bad my wallet doesn’t agree with me. Luke’s is on the more moderate priced range for John Besh restaurants in New Orleans. They also offer a fixed course supper for $23 which was quite a nice deal but because we went on a Sunday, the only option was veal which neither one of us eat.

We did start off our meal with 2 cups of soup, one was seafood gumbo and the other was corn and crab bisque. The gumbo exceeded my expectations because it didn’t have a strong bitter taste like a few other gumbos I’ve experienced, plus it was loaded with sausage. The corn and crab bisque fell below my expectations. I thought it would be creamier but instead it seemed to be heavily based on mushrooms which did not go well with the corn and crab (hardly any).

We also ordered the Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp en cocotte with grits, and entrecote grillee au frites with jumbo lump crabmeat (grilled steak in a butter sauce with french fries). The shrimp was delicious and the grits were amazing! (I think it was old bay seasoning).

The ribeye steak was great (ribeye usually isn’t my favorite because of all the fat trimmings) but this was one terrific with the butter sauce. The spoonful of jumbo lump crabmeat on top was definitely not worth the extra $10 though. And not sure why someone told me these are the best french fries in New Orleans (they reminded me of Wendys fries). But overall, this was an awesome meal.

Lüke on Urbanspoon

Bobby’s Burger Palace

Bobby’s Burger Palace
3925 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

http://www.bobbysburgerpalace.com/

Imagine how excited I was that Bobby Flay opened a restaurant on campus (of course it was after I had graduated).  The burgers were delicious, but the sweet potato fries were especially good.

Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon