Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Husk - Charleston, SC - Lunch Visit

We have a friend in town so we've been showing him some of our favorite places.  We decided on Husk for Lunch because we knew they would have the Cheeseburger (many other things on the menu change every day) and he loves cheeseburgers.

I want to start with ripping on a review of Husk I saw earlier that tore them up.  The poster clearly was pissed because the manager said his 6 year old would be okay and it obviously was not.  (Not that management said anything, it's obvious.)  Of course management will say it's okay - their not so stupid as to open the can of worms of refusing service to children!  But it's not okay!  It's not about the restaurants policy.  It's about common courtesy to the other patrons who want to enjoy their meal and not listen to your child scream, bang their silverware, run around and whatever else 6 year olds do when bored.  (Can you guess that there were kids during our meal.)  I can be reasonable about kids at lunch - but the poster who slammed the restaurant came for dinner - at a peak dining hour.  If you would bring your 6 year old to dinner at Husk - your opinion is not valid because you are dumb!

Sorry for the rant - that post has been bugging me for weeks.  As usual, our meal was excellent.  

 I started with the Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps - these were perfect!  Crispy, porky pig's ears with a delicious sauce wrapped in lettuce with home made pickled beets (I think.)  4.75

 The Husk Cheeseburger (with Bacon in the patty) was great as usual.  Our friend loved it and rated it a best burger - 4.5
Kari had the Wagyu Sirloin with a side of Cheese Grits.  The beef was beautiful - see the picture?  Quite delicious and the grits were awesome - even our grit hating friend loved them.  Beef 4.0, Grits 4.5
 I got Lamb Barbecue in a Sandwich with house made Slaw.  The Lamb was tender, juicy and had a perfect amount of smoky BBQ flavor that still let the lamb come through - 4.25

Husk on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Waffle House - North Charleston, SC

Scattered, Smothered and Covered - that's the way Hootie and the Blowfish liked em.  I used to prefer scattered and covered.  I would get a triple so the hash browns had more crispy bits - I would eat them and leave the insides behind.  Then I heard the lady yell, "Well Scattered!"  So I asked what that meant.  She said that meant spread more on the grill, so you get more crispy bits.  Hallelujah!  That's my new style.

I don't know how they get the orders right here.  We ordered every possible combination amongst the three of us, and she just yelled a bunch of incomprehensible crap at the cook, who put little bits of food on a bunch of plates, then, very few minutes later, we got everything we ordered.  Wicked hot, fresh and delicious.

Our order was so complicated that I'm not even going to try to remember what dish combinations we got.  I'm just going to list the individual foods and give them a score, then put in some pictures and call it good.  The food was awesome, service excellent.  This place is the best place to go for a simple, cheap, fast, great breakfast.  Even the tomatoes were super fresh.  My buddy who is compulsive about ice cold milk was ecstatic when the server got it perfect!

Here we go...

Omelet with Cheese: 4.5
Scattered and Covered Hash Browns: 4.5
Scattered with Cheese, Onions and Pappers: 4.0
Scattered with Country Gravy: 4.0
Eggs Over Medium: 3.25
Bacon: 3.5
Waffle: 4.0
Grits: 3.75

Waffle House on Urbanspoon


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tomatoes - Summerville, SC

We hadn't eaten here in a while, so we thought we'd see if they were as good as we remembered.  Turns out, not so much.  A lot of things have changed, many not for the better.  There were a lot of little issues, and the food did not impress.  Our waitress was quiet and soft spoken, and didn't have a good handle on the menu.  I asked what beers they had, and the only decent one was Sam Adams, so I ordered it.  She came back and told me they didn't have it, so I ordered wine.  Thank goodness the wine was good, or I would have been really pissed off to see them bring a Sam Adams to a person at a table near us.  I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that he ordered the last one before I did - but it's still no excuse for a crappy beer menu.

The menu changed a bit.  The Pesto dish Kari liked was gone.  The salads also changed a bit - we remember larger and better vegetable variety.

The biggest issue I think was how stingy the dishes were with meat.  Five overcooked shrimp in the Scampi, and very few pieces of sausage or chicken in the Sausage dish.  At least mine had a flavorful sauce.  I had the Mark's Favorite with the Sherry Sauce.  The Sausage was good, as well as the sauce, but there wasn't enough meat.  The chicken was a little overcooked.  I gave it a 3.25.

Kari had the Shrimp Scampi.  Bland, almost tasteless, with overcooked shrimp, probably frozen shrimp.  Very disappointing.  2.25

The staff was milling about, very low energy and uninterested.  There's something going on here that isn't good.  Probably will not be back.


Tomatoes Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lumber Yard, Amherst, MA

WE started our meal with a bottle of Claude Branger Muscadet, a lovely white wine from France.

PAUL ordered the House Salad, which he said was proportionally awesome. He really liked it and we gave it a ****1/2

I had the sweet potato hummus. Who can resist an upscale twist on a bean dip? This was delicious. It had a jicama salad which was wonderful served atop the hummus. ****

FOR dinner, Paul had the Strip Steak Special with blue cheese and oysters. It was so tender and so perfect! This was the highlight of the meal. I even braved an oyster which was spiced to perfection. *****

I ordered the Pan Seared Salmon which was cooked to a melt in the mouth awesomeness! But it was served over a cold beet salad and we decided we don't like a cold/hot dinner combination...especially in the winter. ***1/2

OOPS...I took a bite before I remembered to take pictures.

FOR dessert we had the Chocolate Porter Cake which should have had homemade Bailey's Ice Cream, but the ice cream wasn't ready so we had it with vanilla ice cream. So sad; I was so looking forward to the Bailey's Ice Cream. But it was really good all the same and still managed ****

ALL in all, this was a great experience. It was a nice change to get out of town and have a nice meal. I was reminded how much I sometimes don't miss waiting tables...some people can be really obnoxiously self important. And actually, I realize, people are so concerned about looking meek that they overcompensate by being mean. Anyway, that was an aside.

OH, and the bathrooms were perfect.

Lumber Yard on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Griffon - Charleston, SC

So, what are a food bloggers responsibilities?  Is it my job to try new things so I can expand on the knowledge of a place?  Or is it my job to try the dishes a place is known for, to confirm they still exceed expectations?  Are the wife and I obligated to try different things, for variety and detail?  Or is it okay that we went to The Griffon for Fish and Chips, both ordered Fish and Chips, and both loved (as we knew we would) the Fish and Chips?

Who gives a crap.  I love my readers, but I love Griffon's Fish and Chips more, and there was no way I was going to let Kari trick me into getting something else by her insistence on getting the aforementioned Fish and Chips.

If you've read this blog, you know that The Griffon is my go-to place for Fish and Chips.  Evidence HERE.

Today they did not disappoint.  Despite a crowded Thursday night dining crowd, they provided quick service and hot, delicious, crispy Fish and Chips.  Kari and I have been to England twice, and these are still the best.  The fish is hot and tender and the crust is thick and crispy, without a hint of sogginess.  The portion is generous and the fries piping hot.  The only complaint would be a little too much salt on the fries - but I still loved them.  We give the dish a 4.5 (the fish itself is a 5.0)

They also have great atmosphere, great beer selection, and an awesome location to fit in with a night downtown.


Griffon on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Perfectly Franks - Summerville, SC

Oftentimes you find a place that puts a lot of effort into being original, but fails to put the requisite effort into doing things well. Perfectly Franks is NOT one of those places. From the moment we saw their pimento cheese and pulled pork on our meals, I knew they put real work into making certain that their ingredients lived up to their imagination.

The staff was universally friendly, hard-working and helpful. The place was clean and nicely decorated, with tons of space and an engaging, if almost overwhelming, menu.

The Monday special was two hot dogs and a drink, so, of course I went for it.  I got the Franklin Roosevelt, with mustard, onions and relish - my idea of the perfect hot dog, and the Aretha Franklin, pulled pork, slaw and crispy onions.  The base dogs were excellent, and the toppings were generous and well prepared.  The Aretha was almost too much to eat, but the pulled pork had tons of bark and a great flavor all its own.  I gave the Roosevelt a 3.75 and the Aretha a 4.25.

Kari had the Frank's Double Chzburger, with pimento cheese, fried onions and BACON jam.  The pimento cheese was top-notch and the two burger patties were perfectly cooked and drippingly delicious.  4.25

Overall our meal was messy but awesome.  The classic drinks were a perfect complement.  We will definitely be back to try the rest of the menu.


Perfectly Franks on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mustard Seed - Summerville, SC

If you expect a perfect restaurant visit every time, you're bound to be disappointed. Even the best restaurants will make mistakes from time to time. It's how they respond to mistakes that separates the great ones from the good ones.

The Mustard Seed is one of our "go-to" restaurants. They rarely disappoint, and when they do, they fix things. You can always count on their salmon special to be perfect, and tonight was no exception.

Things started funny with smoke filling up the kitchen as a cook apparently forgot something under high heat. The staff took it in stride and had fun with it, good-naturedly ripping on the cook in a way that entertained the guests who saw the smoke.

When they delivered a salad that clearly could have used more lettuce rinsing, the server and the manager apologized sincerely and offered to fix it. When we said it was okay, they made certain it was not on the bill, but didn't make a big deal of taking it off - it just happened. That's how you fix things. Then you deliver spectacular main courses - and all is good.

The Sweet Potato Ravioli is one of Kari's favorites, and, even though I'm not a sweet potato fan, the balsamic dressing blows me away. The big chunks of gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and perfectly wilted spinach make this a spectacular dish. This is always a 5.0.

I had the Salmon Special - Rosemay Panko Crusted with a Sweet Pea Risotto and Raspberry Drizzle. The salmon was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. Anyone who loves salmon knows that sometimes it just isn't executed right. That's never the case at Mustard Seed. This dish was a 4.75 (only because I've had slightly better salmon - at Mustard Seed, so they beat themselves.)

Any of the Mustard Seed's will deliver a great meal.  Make it a point to visit one and make sure to give the specials a good hard look.  They really take their food seriously here.

Mustard Seed (Summerville) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kickin' Chicken - Summerville, SC

Just a quick post about our spur of the moment trip to our favorite wing place.  Had great service, great wings and a full belly.  No pictures, since we didn't plan the trip.

Kari had the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich which came with extremely fresh bread, a good, non-overpowering amount of sauce, and plenty of cheese.  Kari gave it a 3.75.

I had a variety of wings, Lemon Pepper (4.5), Honey Mustard (4), Jerk (3.5), Ginger Glazed (4) and Polynesian (3.5).  To be honest, I've been jonesing for their Lemon Pepper ever since the Grindz debacle.  Now I am happy and satisfied...

Kickin' Chicken on Urbanspoon