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 9:37am on February 6th, 2014, THE LIST HAS 2,163 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 agmarks@gmail.com

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Watershed





#98 in 101 More Places to Chowdown

1820 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

A upscale, southern soul food restaurant in the heart of Atlanta owned and named for the primary owners, the Indigo Girls.  This place is great…not amazing, but great.  The catfish is great, the sides are wonderful, and the coca-cola cake is outstanding!  A little pricey, but a wonderful spin on one of my favorite food groups, southern soul!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

VARSITY













61 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

#39 on 101 MORE PLACES TO CHOWDOWN

WHAT'LL YA HAVE! WHAT'LL YA HAVE!

MANY REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY LAY CLAIM TO A SPECIFIC TYPE OF FAST FOOD BURGER! WEST COAST HAS IN-N-OUT! SOUTHWEST HAS WHATABURGER! NORTHEAST HAS WHITE CASTLE! SOUTHEAST HAS KRYSTAL AND WAFFLE HOUSE!

HOWEVER, ONE CITY HAS IT'S OWN CLAIM TO FAME WHEN IT COMES TO FAST FOOD BURGERS! ATLANTA'S VARSITY IS NOT ONLY THE WORLD'S LARGEST SINGLE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT, BUT IT WAS ALSO THE FIRST DRIVE-THRU IN AMERICA! THIS PLACE IS ALWAYS PACKED, FOR A REASON, LOCALS, TOURISTS, COLLEGE KIDS, THEY ALL MEET UP FOR VARSITY!  BURGERS, HOT DOGS, PULLED PORK, CHILLI FRIES, AND ONION RINGS! IT'S ALL GREASY AND IT'S ALL GOOD! DON'T LET THE CROWDS AND LINES DETER YOU! THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE AND THAT MEANS ITS GOOD! AND ITS AN EXPERIENCE WITH THE WAIT STAFF YELLING "WHAT'LL YA HAVE"!  THIS IS A MUST STOP IN ATLANTA! A INSTITUTION OF FAST FOOD WITH SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY AND CHARM!

CARNEGIE DELI









#8 ON 101 MORE PLACES TO CHOWDOWN


854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

SOME SAY QUANTITY OVER QUALITY! SOME SAY QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! CARNEGIE DELI SAYS 'WHY NOT BOTH'!

THIS AS NEW YORK CITY AS IT GETS LANDMARK IS THE REAL DEAL!  SANDWICHES THAT ARE TRULY TOWERS OF MEATS, BREADS, AND TOPPINGS!  SIDE DISHES SPILLING OVER!  DESSERTS THAT COULD FEED ENTIRE ARMIES! THIS PLACE IS A CLASSIC, A TOURIST TRAP, BUT A CLASSIC TOURIST TRAP THAT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED! JUST BE AWARE, THEY CHARGE TO SPLIT ITEMS, EVEN GIVING SOMEONE A BITE OF YOURS WILL COST YOU, AND YOU SIT AT LONG TABLES, SO BE READY TO MAKE FRIENDS!! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Best Steak I Have Ever Had



 


BOA Steakhouse
9200 Sunset Blvd #650, West Hollywood, CA 90069

I didn't give this place one thought.  I didn't give this place a fighting chance  I had seen it every night on TMZ.  I assumed it was a GREATLY overpriced, GREATLY overrarted steakhouse where it was better to be seen than to actually enjoy…like Maestros.  My wonderful sister, Mollie, came to town and we went on the TMZ Hollywood tour, and the guide declared "if you want to see a celebrity and wanna overpay for everything, this is the place to do it".  When she heard celebrity, she was on the phone getting a reservation…..


And it was the most incredible steakhouse experience of my life.  From the baklava appetizer, to oysters and shrimp cocktail, to the most amazing filet with a horseradish and BBQ dipping sauce, to the amazing sides and outstanding desserts.  The incredible cocktails to the immaculate service.  The perfect definition of what a steakhouse should be.  Perfection from start to finish!

*Also Usher, Tracy Morgan, and Marcellus Wiley were there.  When Mollie asked our server, Gio, what celebrities he had waited on, he sat down and politely said "why don't you ask me and I will tell you yes".

Best Brunch I Have Ever Had










200 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
RUBY SLIPPER CAFE


SIMPLY THE BEST! PULLED PORK EGGS BENEDICT! COOKIES AND CREAM PANCAKES WITH OREOS IN THE BATTER AND MELTED DOWN OREO FILLING AS THE FROSTING ON TOP!!

Commanders Palace









1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

There is no greater culinary experience in the world than dining at Sunday brunch at Commander''s Palace. Nothing comes close.  It is the most incredible dining experience I have ever had.  Coat and tie for the men, dresses for the ladies.  You arrive to a welcoming line of men and women in tuxedos, welcoming you by name.  You are escorted to one of many perfectly decorated rooms in an exquisite southern mansion.  We dined in the garden room, an all glass room overlooking their garden.  A small jazz trio went table to table taking requests.  Each dish of the twelve course meal was served to each person simultaneously.  The cocktails are perfectly made.  The dishes are outstanding, inventive, and a taste of culinary heaven.  Blue crab eggs benedict. Fried green tomatoes.  Bourbon French toast. Bread pudding soufflĂ©. The experience is one that every person who loves food should be able to enjoy.  Commanders Palace is a true culinary landmark of New Orleans and of America.

The Oinkster





From Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives


2005 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA 90041

Just a delicious, fun BBQ/Burger place that has a little of a gourmet spin, nothing too harmful to its casual, greasy roots!  Good food and good drinks!  Short and sweet and to the point!