The Shil-Shul Diaries
The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.
I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.
If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
THE KEY TO A GREAT BURGER FALLS IN THE "ALBERT MARKS PEFECT BURGER CHECKLIST"
A BURGER MUST HAVE 5 CRUCIAL, VITAL, IMPERATIVE CHECKPOINTS THAT MAKE IT TRULY GREAT, OUTSTANDING, EPIC, MINDBLOWING, AND PHENOMENAL.
1. THE MEAT: THE BURGER MUST BE PERFECTLY PREPPED, SEASONED, COOKED, AND SERVED HOT!
2. THE CHEESE: MUST BE MELTED, NOT THROWN ON TOP AT THE LAST MOMENT.
3. THE TOPPINGS: MUST COMPLIMENT AND ENHANCE THE BURGER EXPERIENCE, NOT OVERWHELM OR LEAVE ANYTHING TO BE DESIRED
4. THE SAUCES: MUST COMPLIMENT AND ENHANCE THE BURGER EXPERIENCE, NOT OVERWHELM OR LEAVE ANYTHING TO BE DESIRED
5. THE BUN: MUST SUPPORT, COMPLIMENT, AND ENHANCE THE BURGER EXPERIENCE. IT CANNOT FALL APART OR LOSE ITS INTEGRITY AND FOUNDATION BECAUSE OF THE CONTENTS IT HOLDS INSIDE.
From Food Wars
I love a food truck. I love the chase. I love the intrigue of will we make it or wont we. I love having to figure out the code of where they will be and when.
Baby's Badass Burgers was one food truck that has been at the top of my list with Kogi. It took me four years, but finally, I found the pretty pink truck on chilly May evening in Venice.
The wait was worth it.
I got the 'She's Smokin'. 1/2 lb burger, cheddar, BBQ sauce, fried onion. and bacon. The burger was delicious. Toppings were great. The sauce was outstanding. This was an outstanding burger and I was just sorry that it took me this much time to find, flirt, and court the BBB truck.
From Best Thing I Ever Ate
Any Grocery Store in America
This will be the most easily accessible item on this entire blog. They are in every and any grocery store in America. Check the deli department where they sell cheese and meat not vacuumed sealed in the display case. Did they sell out and go corporate. Yes. Does it make this outstanding product available to the public for a beefed up hipster price of $8.99 a jar. Yes. Is it worth every penny? Yes!
I love pickles. I love dill pickles! I love half sour, whole sour, no sour (cucumber). I love chips, spears, halves, and wholes! I love pickles, but my body and breath, no so much. My father and I share a distinguishable trait in that pickles stench are maginfied with our breath and musk. My wife can smell when I have eaten a pickle before she enters the room and will refuse to be in the same vicinity as me once I start talking. I love pickles, but love my wife and her company more, so I have reduced the number of pickles I eat to almost none.
Except for when she is out of town.
McClures pickles time.
These pickles are amazing. They are wonderful! They are delicious. They are exactly what you want in a pickle that you are gonna eat as a snack or with a meal. Each jar has whole sprigs of dill and whole cloves of garlic. The garlic is key to the McClures pickles. Its not all about the dill. They have many types. Garlic and dill. Spicy. Spicy Sweet. They got bloody mary mix. Relish.
Would I put this pickle on a cheeseburger? No. Does this pickle belong on every deli table across the country ready for you to be the first thing you bite into when you sit down for your matzah ball soup and corned beef on toasted rye with mustard, fat fries, and a giant soda. Yes!!
Do yourself a favor. Skip the Vlasic, Claussen, and whatever cheap generic Kroger brand you are going to buy at the store and live a little bit. Splurge for that jar of McClures pickles. You, your family, and your friends will thank you…until they smell your breath, or in my case until my wife walks in the front door.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
People ask me all the time about where they should go for food in Nashville, and my answer is always the same. Peg Leg Porker. The best ribs, best pulled pork, and EASILY best sauce. And BBQ Nachos. The ribs are dry rub, so not my normal go-to, but with sides of sauce to dip it, it's perfect. It's not a question, it's not a competition. This place is the best BBQ in the city and cannot be missed.