Month: June 2011

North Park Lounge – June 27,2011

North Park Lounge on Urbanspoon

It was such a nice day out on Monday at work we decided to eat somewhere outside, so we went to North Park Lounge who have a nice patio area. Its years since I have been to North Park Lounge so it was a nice change from the regular lunch spots. We all ordered salads for lunch and I went with the Manderin Chicken Salad which is mixed salad greens, chicken, manderin oranges, tomatoes, Feta Cheese, chow mein noodles and topped with Sesame Poppy Seed Dressing. The atmosphere was perfect because you can sit outside covered and still enjoy the weather. The salad was nice, I probably won’t eat at North Park Lounge a lot for lunch but I am definately going to add it to the list for pick up.

Giovanni’s Pizza & Pasta – June 22, 2011

Giovanni's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon

My Aunt listens to KDKA all the time at work and Giovanni’s is talked about damn near everyday so today we thought we would take the trip into town to pick up a pizza. First I have to say the pizza was a little pricey, I ordered a medium and it cost $19 and some change. The dough was ok, nothing special, wasn’t soggy which I was grateful for. The cheese was scarse I thought and could’ve had more coverage. The sauce was sweet which I didn’t mind for something different but wouldn’t want a sweet sauce every time I eat a pizza. We had pepperoni, sausage and mushroom on it and the spiciness from the sausage mixed well with the sweet sauce. Overall I would give the pizza a C+, wasn’t awful but didn’t “WOW” me enough to make the trip into downtown the next time I want a pizza. The Giovanni’s menu is pretty stacked, so if you have been and think I should try something outside of the pizza please leave a comment and let me know.

Myrtle Beach Vacation

2 weeks ago I was able to take a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, and its been a few years since I was able to travel to Myrtle Beach so I was looking forward to the foodie finds!

The first place recommended by a friend of mine was the Giant Crab:
Giant Crab on Urbanspoon
The Giant Crab is buffet style and has a huge assortment! The favorite of the night was the crab legs (which of course is all you can eat because its a buffet) and that alone is worth the $25 price tag of the buffet. GC has a nice selection of raw and cooked fish on the buffet, so there really is something for everyone. My family and I didn’t try 2 areas that sounded good which was a hibachi and also a pasta bar. With both of those add on’s I think any member of your family will like the Giant Crab.

The next night out we went to a very unique restaurant called “DICKS”
Dick's Last Resort on Urbanspoon
Dicks Last Resort is a great place to laugh and grab a beer to have a great time with friends. It is not so much a family place unless you are comfortable with your family being there, my grandmother and aunt did not enjoy it (they are not so much fun with that style of humor). I enjoyed the theme of the place where the server can basically talk to you any way they choose. Its cool to have someone not give a damn about what they say to you especially if you piss them off. The hats are the trademark of dicks(I will post my picture with my hat “I beat anorexia” but I won’t post my families pics cause I know they won’t appreciate that. If you are a friend of mine on fb you will see the pics on there).

Onto the real reason we are here, the food. As you can see on my pic the menu is behind me and it is limited. The thing that stood out when the server was explaining the menu was the country fried chicken and said it had a jalapeno country gravy. I was sold just on that. He also recommended the aligator bites and crab balls as an appetizer. I noticed the aligator bites and was intrigued. The meat to me had a texture of steak and was good, I would like to travel to florida where I hear aligator nuggets are awesome! The crab balls were eh, they weren’t fresh crab and lacked flavor. I also ordered a crab cake and was disapointed when it was basically the same thing as the crab ball. I didn’t understand though how our server could recommend the crab balls but when I ordered the crab cake on the side he didn’t care for the crab cake. I understand now why he didn’t care for the crab cake, I just don’t get why he recommends one over the other when its the same thing. Well when the rest of the food came out I was disapointed in my meal because it tasted no different than any other country fried steak I have ever had and I tasted no hint of jalapeno at all. The rest of my family (those of them that got food since they forgot my grandmothers meal) didn’t enjoy the food at all. So if you want to grab a beer at dicks thats fine and enjoy your time, I just don’t recommend the food.

Umberto's At Barefoot Landing on Urbanspoon
Our night at Umberto’s was for my Aunt and Uncle’s anniversary and was there pick of the night since they had visited Umberto’s before. Umberto’s is an Italian restaurant and the majority of the meal is served family style. You get to the table and receive your 3 family style portions of pasta fagioli, tomato & cucumber salad and then angel hair pasta with marinara sauce. After those 3 portions you receive your individual meal that you ordered. I got the eggplant and veal parmigian. The veal was very good but I didn’t enjoy the eggplant because it was way too thin, the breading was thicker than the piece of eggplant. All in all the meal was nice, and was a different change from what we had eaten the past few nights.

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon
Bonefish Grill was my favorite place while in Myrtle Beach, my grandmother wanted to go here just because she wanted grouper. We started with a recommendation from the server of the “BANG BANG SHRIMP” that are smaller shrimp breaded and fried then mixed with a signature spicy sauce. My grandmother and aunt who do not eat shrimp enjoyed this along with the coconut shrimp. I don’t like coconut and loved this dish! My main course was a chilean sea bass with a lump crab and roasted tomato sauce which was A-MAH-ZING! The sides were zucchini and green beans and were cooked perfectly as well. I can say that if I return to Myrtle Beach next summer or in the future Bonefish Grill will be at the top of my list!

Carolina Roadhouse on Urbanspoon
My dad visits Myrtle Beach a few times a year and his favorite place is Carolina Roadhouse. 2 things he made sure to tell me to try were the croissants and hot bacon honey mustard dressing. By ordering a salad I was able to get both! The croissants have a honey glaze to them and are hot and fresh when brought to the table. The dressing for the salad was just as good and when brought out are mixed seperately. I ordered the fried seafood platter and was delicious! The one thing I was worried about the plate was the fried oysters and I think when I tried them they stole the show for the night. Other items on the plate were shrimp, blue crab claw, flounder and hush puppies with fries. I would rank Carolina Roadhouse #2 on my list of places to go back to see in Myrtle Beach

Golden Griddle Pancake House on Urbanspoon
The morning the majority of my family was leaving we went out for Breakfast to the Golden Griddle. The whole week we had breakfast at our condo so it was a nice change of pace. I had the Georgia Pecan Pancakes with a side of corned beef hash. The pancakes were great, very light and full of pecans. The corned beef hash was awful. If you have ever had canned hash before thats what this was, I am tired of going to breakfast spots and them using canned hash. This is my plea to breakfast places, if you won’t use fresh hash, take it off the menu!

Oscar's Food & Spirits on Urbanspoon
The final trip was to Oscars which happens to be a PITTSBURGH BAR! The outside is black and gold and the inside is like any typical dive bar. A lot of Pittsburgh stuff throughout the place and tons of tv’s. The menu was huge and in my opinion had way too much to choose from, but if you can’t find something on this menu I don’t know where you will. They tried to push the “pittsburgh style” sandwiches but I opted for something I have never seen before and that was a “pastreuben” which was a pastrami reuben. After all the food I ate in Myrtle Beach I had enough by the time I went to Oscar’s and could barely finish half the meal. I am not sure if I liked the pastreuben more than a regular reuben but I was glad to try it, I just wish I could’ve actually enjoyed it.

The thing I have to give Myrtle Beach is the service, we didn’t have one bad server the whole trip. I hope this trip blog helps you out if you ever find yourself in Myrtle Beach. Let me know what you think of any of these places if you ever make it.

Philly Travel

Hershel's East Side Deli on Urbanspoon

Hershel’s East Side Deli
Chinatown
Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone – 215-922-6220

Above you will see a picture from Hershel’s East Side Deli in Philly at the Reading Terminal Market, I was on a business trip to Philly a few weeks back and it was my first time there so I was looking forward to what I would find. I was at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and directly across the street is the Reading Terminal Market, I have heard great things about this place and was really looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. For lunch the first day we found ourselves at Hershel’s and we heard the reuben’s and brisket sandwiches were the best. I was about to order the brisket when I saw the reuben and it looked A-MAH-ZING! As you can see on the pick, the top of the sandwich had a nice crisp toast from a sandwich press, but the bottom which is not pictured was simply awful. It was burnt and soggy (I still can’t wrap my head around how that happened) and made the sandwich lack certain flavors. The bread that was toasty was great, the corned beef was mostly delicious but the bottom of the sandwich ruined the whole experience for me. I don’t know if this is normal for their sandwiches but its a definite turn off.

Famous 4th Street Cookie Company on Urbanspoon

After eating at Hershel’s I needed something to help my taste buds regain their strength and thats when I found the “Famous 4th Street Cookie Company” and the area smelled like diabetes HEAVEN! Every once in a while I order a black and white cookie at starbucks and as you know if you go to starbucks their pastry area SUCKS! But the black and white cookie is usually decent and soft so its better than dry and hard as a rock as their other products. Well I saw 4th Street had black & white cookies, so I figured they have to be a step up here. THIS COOKIE WAS THE BEST COOKIE I HAVE EVER HAD! I could actually taste every bit of flavor (especially the butter) inside it. My sister had to go to Philly that following weekend and I asked her to pick me up one for home thats how good I thought they were. So a quick recap, if you are in Philly skip Hershel’s and go straight to Famous 4th Street Cookie Company!

Jim's Steaks on Urbanspoon

Jim’s Steaks
Queen Village/South Street
400 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone – 215-928-1911
Web – http://www.jimssteaks.com

Now of course this wouldn’t be a proper Philly blog if I didn’t talk about Cheese Steakes! The whole trip and for months I have thought about the Pat vs. Geno’s challenge and I was ready for it, but leading up to my trip my friend Mike told me I had to try Jim’s while I was in Philly. So I added Jim’s to the list if there was time. When I got to Philly and started talking to alot more of the locals, they all advised me that if I wanted to go to Pat’s and Geno’s places they are fine, but that locals eat at Jim’s. Well you don’t have to tell me again, I’m going to Jim’s! In Pittsburgh it is rare to see us use cheez whiz on steaks, so while in Philly I knew I was going to go for it. I got a cheese steak wit whiz and onion and even added some mushrooms on that bad boy! I also found out that if you want lettuce and tomato on your cheese steak that is called a cheese steak hoagie, learn something new every day. I will say that it is a mighty tasty sandwich at Jim’s and was very happy to enjoy a cheese steak while in Philly. Will I crave a cheese steak from there so much that I want to drive 6 hours just to get one? OH HELL NO! I have plenty of options by my house that I think are just as good and some may be even better! My FAVORITE place to get a cheese steak hoagie is right in Swissvale just a few blocks from my house, RUDY’S! They just can’t be beat, if you aren’t at the Rudy’s in Swissvale you don’t have the right one! I have tried some of the others and they just can’t even compare!

Quaker Steak & Lube

 Quaker Steak & Lube on Urbanspoon

A few years back (before yinzhungry.com was created) I wrote off Quaker Steak & Lube from existence to me especially after I found much better wing hang outs (my favorite will always be Wings Suds & Spuds in Moon until proven otherwise). Last night some friends wanted to get together at Quaker Steak by Century III Mall and I thought what the hell, good friends = good times, right? Let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised on my return visit in years to find the quality was far better than I could remember. The sauces were there that I remember, along with new ones, but the quality and texture of the wings (especially those that were fried a little harder I appreciate more). Going into the night I was thinking about possibly trying their boneless wings so I wouldn’t be disappointed, but when I heard it was all you can eat wing night I knew I couldn’t stray away from the pack. I tried a few wing flavors – Arizona Ranch, Dusted Chipotle BBQ, Honey Mustard & Thaisian. My friends who visit Quaker Steak more than I do said that this location beat Robinson on quality and most importantly the amount of sauce on the wings was better. Maybe next time I won’t be so quick to judge a place after not visiting them in a while, I may not make Quaker Steak my #1 wing destination, but they have at least made it back on the list.

Location
511 Clairton Blvd.
Pleasant Hills, PA 15236
Phone – 412-532-0048
Web- http://www.bestwingsusa.com/Pleasant_Hills_PA/index.cfm