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 shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DURGIN PARK








BOSTON

#11 ON BEST PLACES TO CHOWDOWN

340 Faneuil Hall Market Place, Boston, MA 02109


LOBSTER LOBSTER LOBSTER.....

ALL I NEED TO SAY IS $14 FOR 2 LOBSTERS....THATS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT

PAPA CRISTOS






LOS ANGELES

FROM MEAT AND POTATOES


2771 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90006-3913
THIS PLACE IS JUST A CLASSIC, DELICIOUS, AMAZING, GREEK DELI AND RESTAURANT.....

IT'S OWNED BY AN SHORT MAN WHO LOOKS LIKE THE LORAX WHO IS NAMED PAPA CRISTOS

JUST AMAZING...ANOTHER ONE OF TODD'S FAVORITE LUNCH PLACES!

ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAYS THIS PLACE HAS AN ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET WITH DANCING AND MUSIC!

A-FRAME








LOS ANGELES

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


12565 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90066

THIS PLACE IS UNIQUE AND DELICIOUS.  THE GUY WHO INVENTED KOGI BEEF...THE FIRST FOOD TRUCK IN AMERICA...THE GUY WHO OPENED CHEGO..THE BEST KOREAN BOWL RESTAURANT IN AMERICA...OPENED A-FRAME AS HIS AMERICAN RESTAURANT CONCEPT.  IT IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY AMERICAN FARE.  AMERICAN FOOD (BURGERS, CHICKEN) RE-IMAGINED THROUGH THE EYES OF A CULINARY MASTERMIND TO REPRESENT A COLLISION OF CULTURES AND CULINARY BACKGROUNDS.

CRAFT BEERS, UNIQUE SAUCES, AND BEER CAN CHICKEN....A CHICKEN STOOD UPRIGHT WITH A FULL BEER PUT INSIDE PUT ON THE GRILL...THE RESULT....INCREDIBLY COOKED CHICKEN WITH A MINDBLOWING SKIN.....


Galatoires








NEW ORLEANS

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


209 Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA 70130-2298

http://www.galatoires.com/home


WHERE DO I BEGIN WITH GALATOIRES.....THIS PLACE IS SPECIAL...IT IS CLASSIC SOUTHERN....IT IS CLASSIC NEW ORLEANS...IT IS CLASSIC

THIS PLACE IS WHERE THE RICH AND PRESTIGIOUS PEOPLE, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, POLITICIANS OF NEW ORLEANS COME FOR FRIDAY LUNCH IN THEIR SUN DRESSES AND SEARSUCKER SUITS...AND THEN GO HOME AFTER BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO FULL OF DECADENCE AND INCREDIBLENESS TO POSSIBLY GO BACK TO WORK

THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU HAVE THE SAME WAITER EVERY TIME YOU DINE THERE...AND THEY REMEMBER YOUR NAME AND ORDER REGARDLESS HOW LONG IT'S BEEN SINCE YOU HAVE DINED

THIS PLACE HAS A STRICT STRICT STRICT DRESS CODE..JACKETS FOR THE MEN

THIS PLACE AMONG THE INCREDIBLE FOOD ALWAYS HAS, LIKE ANY RESPECTABLE NEW ORLEANS RESTAURANT, HAS TABASCO ON THE TABLE.

THIS PLACE IS REMARKABLE...INCREDIBLE...AND SPECIAL....ESPECIALLY THE GODCHAUX SALAD

WHEN MOST PEOPLE TURN 21, THEY GO OUT DRINKING AS IF ITS THEIR FIRST TIME, AND WAKE UP THE NEXT MORNING 21 AND ONE DAY, AND SWEAR OFF DRINKING FOREVER.  MY FAMILY DECIDED TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY...MY PARENTS TALK OF NEW ORLEANS AS IF IT IS HEAVEN...AS IF IT IS THE GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH...AND I WANTED TO GO...I WANTED TO EAT, DRINK, AND TAKE IN ALL THAT NEW ORLEANS HAD TO OFFER...BUT MY PARENS SAID...NOT UNTIL YOU AND YOUR BROTHER (WHO IS 3 YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME) TURN 21....WHEN YOU BOTH TURN 21....WE WILL GO AS A FAMILY.....AND GO WE DID....AND THE FIRST PLACE WE ALWAYS GO IN NEW ORLEANS...GALATORIES....WHAT A WAY TO START OFF MY NEW ORLEANS EXPERIENCE....

Monday, December 10, 2012

LA SCALA




BEVERLY HILLS

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


434 N CANON DR. BEVERLY HILLS, CA, 90210
IN LA THERE ARE MANY COMPETITIONS...BEST BURGER...BEST CAR...BEST HOUSE..BEST ZIP CODE..BEST PICTURE..BEST CUPCAKE...BEST BRUNCH...BEST BREAST IMPLANTS

AMONG THESE COMPETITIONS IS ONE HELD BETWEEN "HISTORIC" (I USE HISTORIC BECAUSE NOTHING ABOUT THIS CITY IS HISTORIC...ITS ONLY LIKE 80 YEARS OLD...NOBODY IS FROM HERE...EVERYONE JUST MOVED HERE....YOU HAVE 200 YEAR OLD PLACES IN BOSTON AND NYC, AND PLACES IN LA CLAIMING TO BE HISTORIC ARE ONLY 30 YEARS OLD) ITALIAN RESTAURANTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY....THE BEST CHOPPED SALAD..EVERYONE IN LA LOVES THE ITALIAN CHOPPED SALAD, AND MANY CLAIM TO HAVE THE BEST...BUT LA SCALA WAS THE FIRST AND THE BEST...

THE WAFFLE





LOS ANGELES

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


6255 West Sunset Blvd # 105 Los Angeles, CA 90028-7401

THIS PLACE IS GREAT....WAFFLES FOR BREAKFAST....WAFFLES FOR DESSERT...WAFFLES FOR DRUNK FOOD...

AND THE WAFFLES ARE PERFECT...THE RED VELVET OR CHOCOLATE CHIP BEING MY FAVORITE....

THIS PLACE ALSO HAS THE DOUBLE WIDES...WHICH ARE DOUBLE DECKER SANDWICHES.....BETWEEN TWO PERFECTLY COOKED WAFFLES...GROSS...

IN TERMS OF DESSERT: NOT AS GOOD AS BABETTE IN JERUSALEM...IN TERMS OF DRUNK FOOD AND BREAKFAST: NOWHERE CLOSE TO BEING AS MINDBLOWING AS WAFFLE HOUSE..BUT GREAT!!


ROSCOE'S HOUSE OF CHICKEN AND WAFFLES





LOS ANGELES

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE, FRIED CHICKEN PARADISE, AMERICA'S BEST SOUL FOOD, AND #2 ON BEST PLACES TO CHOWDOWN

5006 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles


http://www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com/

"Chicken & Waffles" – (4 pieces of secret seasoned fried chicken fried in a cast iron skillet 2 secret recipe waffles served with butter and maple syrup), "The Herb Special" (fried chicken smothered in gravy and 2 waffles)"

"What you're getting: House Combo #21 (mac & cheese, greens, cornbread, and two thighs) Look, Roscoe's is rightfully credited with bringing its namesake Harlem staple (chicken & waffles and Roscoe himself, who's a hell of a dude) out West, but the Belgians and birds are only half the fun. The deservedly famous place also cooks up one of LA's best baked mac & cheeses, plus incredible grits, and a brunch that includes a killer liver omelet. Hell, even Snoop loves Roscoe's, and that dude doesn't just put his name on anything."

LIKE THE WIENER CIRCLE IN CHICAGO , THERE IS NO OTHER RESTAURANT IN LA MORE ICONIC WITH SUCH ICONIC FOOD THAN ROSCOE'S AND PINK'S.

PINK'S IS HOT DOGS....AND WHILE THEY DO IT WELL..IT'S NOT INVENTIVE...

BUT ROSCOE'S....CHICKEN AND WAFFLES...THAT'S SOMETHING NEW...AND IT'S BECOMING A HOT TREND!!

THIS PLACE IS THE FIRST, AND APPARENTLY THE BEST AND I CAN SAY THAT OTHER THAN THE CHICKEN AND WAFFLE APPETIZER AT HANNAH AND ANDREW'S WEDDING, THIS PLACE IS THE BEST I HAVE EVERY HAD!

TIP: THE FRUIT DRINKS ARE MINDBLOWING!

HOG HEAVEN





NASHVILLE

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


115 27th Avenue North Nashville, TN 37203-1410

I LOVE BBQ!  I LOVE BBQ JOINTS!  I LOVE BRISKET! I LOVE RIBS! I LOVE BRUNSWICK STEW! I LOVE THE SIDESI  I LOVE THE DESSERTS! I LOVE THE SWEET TEA! LOVE IT ALL! IN THE SOUTH BBQ MEANS PORK AND BEEF LEFT IN A SMOKER...IN THE REST OF THE WORLD BBQ MEAN GRILLING OUT BURGERS AND HOT DOGS...THATS A COOK OUT....BBQ IS BBQ...GRILLING IS A COOKOUT...THERE AINT NO BURGERS AND HOT DOGS AT NEELY'S...TRUE BBQ IS PORK SHOULDER, CHOPPED SANDWICH, OKRA....LEFT TO MARINATE OVER HOURS OR DAYS....

BUT MOST OF ALL I LOVE A PULLED PORK SANDWICH DRENCHED IN SAUCE COVERED IN COLE SLAW..THE TENNESSEE BOY IN ME...MEMPHIS STYLE..AND I LOVE IT FROM HOG HEAVEN!

Yang Chow




Los Angeles


From Best Thing I Ever

819 North Broadway Los Angeles

This place is your typical delicious Americanized chinese restaurant in Chinatown....you know....lo mein, sesame chicken, moo shu....delicious...

But this place has a special dish that bring the crowds back for more, and is Reggie Bush's favorite restaurant in LA.  

The slippery shrimp.  I don't know how they make it or what is in it...but it is a citrusy spicy hot mess of amazingness!!!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

SMITH AND WOLLENSKY






NEW YORK CITY

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE AND STEAK PARADISE

201 E 49th St New York, NY 10017

http://www.smithandwollensky.com/

"Established in 1977, known for their "Steaks & Chops". Most popular: fillet mignon and porter house. Best kept secret: 30-ounce sizzling Colorado rib eye (dry-aged for three weeks thick cut rubbed with Cajun seasoning (oregano, thyme, basil, white and black pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic, cumin and salt) and marinates it in olive oil and chopped onions for 48 hours and broiled."



SMITH AND WOLLENSKY HAS LOCATIONS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY...AND ITS IS FEATURED IN AIRLINE MAGAZINES, SO IT HAS TO BE LEGIT...BUT THE ORIGINAL IS ALWAYS THE BEST!

THIS PLACE IS JUST A DELICIOUS, CLASSIC STEAKHOUSE.  SERVERS WEAR TUXEDOS.  STEAK IS PERFECT! SIDES ARE A LA CARTE AND DELICIOUS...AND THEY HAVE THE MOST DELICIOUS SALAD....THE WOLLENSKY SALAD....SALAD WITH A WARM DRESSING!

SHAPIRO'S



INDIANAPOLIS

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


808 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225

http://www.shapiros.com/

AMAZING DELI!

THIS IS THE BEST DELI IN THE MIDWEST...BUT I AM BIASED.....

I HAVE BEEN COMING TO SHAPIRO'S SINCE I WAS 6.  WHENEVER WE MADE A TRIP TO OR THROUGH INDIANAPOLIS FROM NASHVILLE OR LOUISVILLE (WHERE I LIVED FOR 8 YEARS), WE STOPPED AT SHAPIRO'S.  WHEN I WENT TO INDIANA UNIVERSITY, WE WOULD ALWAYS BRING SHAPIRO'S BACK FROM INDY! WHEN I LIVED IN CINCINNATI, I WOULD MEET MY INDY FRIENDS AT SHAPIRO'S!

IT IS TIME TO REVEAL MY BASIS OF A BAD, GOOD, GREAT, AND INCREDIBLE DELI....THE AMAZINGNESS OF A DELI IS BASED ON THE THICKNESS OF THEIR RYE BREAD.  IF YOUR RYE BREAD IS PUNY AND THIN, IT CANNOT HOLD ON THE "GARGANTUAN AMOUNTS OF MEAT" YOU PUT ON THE SANDWICH...ITS THE BREAD FALLS APART AS YOU EAT THE SANDWICH...THAT'S NOT GOOD...YOUR RYE BREAD SHOULD FALL VICTIM TO EATING...NOT TO THE VOLUME OR DENSITY OF WHAT IT'S HOLDING

THE GREAT DELI'S....KATZ, LANGERS, AND SHAPIRO'S HAVE THICK RYE BREAD THAT HOLDS UP FROM START TO FINISH OF THE CORNED BEEF OR PASTRAMI....THE THICKER THE RYE BREAD...THE MORE I LOVE THE DELI.....

THIS PLACE IS AMAZING!!

THE WIENER CIRCLE








CHICAGO

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


2622 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60614
I WOULD ARGUE THAT THERE IS NO RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD MORE BELOVED BY A CITY THAN WIENER CIRCLE IS BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO.  THIS PLACE IS A MUST...BUT ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE HAD A FEW TOO MANY TO DRINK...AND AFTER MIDNIGHT....

THIS PLACE IS A MUST GO!! IT IS A RIGHT OF PASSAGE ON A PERSON'S 21ST BIRTHDAY OR ON A PERSON'S FIRST TRIP TO CHICAGO!

THE STORY GOES...A COUPLE JEWISH GUYS DECIDED TO OPEN A GREASY FOOD PLACE IN CHICAGO THAT IS OPEN UNTIL 4 AM SERVING INCREDIBLE CHICAGO DOGS, CHARBROILED BURGERS, AND CHEESE FRIES WITH REAL CHEDDAR CHEESE DEVOURING THE FRIES...AND IT HAD TO BE LOCATED IN THE BAR AREA OF CHICAGO WHERE YOUNG 20 AND 30 YEAR OLDS WOULD LEAVE THE BARS HAMMERED WITH A HOOK-UP THEY WILL REGRET IN THE MORNING ON THEIR ARM CRAVING SOMETHING THAT OFFSETS THEIR PILATES AND ORGANIC DINNER...AND THE WIERNER CIRCLE WAS BORN

AND THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS...BUT THAT'S NOT ALL....

THESE GUYS DIDN'T WANT TO WORK THEIR STAND AT 4AM EVERY SATURDAY....SO THEY DID WHAT MIGHT GO DOWN AS THE GREATEST BUSINESS MOVE IN HISTORY...

THEY HIRED THE ANGRIEST WORKERS FROM THE SOUTH SIDE WHO HAVE VERY SHORT TEMPERS FOR DRUNKEN COLLEGE KIDS...YOU WILL HEAR MORE F-BOMBS AND INSULTS THAN ONE CAN POSSIBLE IMAGINE....LIKE I SAID...SHORT TEMPERS....

THIS PLACE RE-ITERATES MY FIRM BELIEF....DO NOT INSULT OR MESS WITH THE PERSON ABOUT TO SERVE YOU FOOD

THIS PLACE IS AMAZING...FOR THE FOOD AND FOR THE SHOW (SHOW SO GOOD..THIS PLACE HAS A REALITY SHOW).....BOTH ENJOYED EVEN MORE IF YOU HAVE HAD SOMETHING OR A LITTLE MORE THAN SOMETHING TO DRINK...

TWO FINAL TIPS:
REMEMBER TO TIP....THEY WON'T LET YOU FORGET

GET A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE...



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

BOBBY'S BURGER PALACE





MOHEGAN SUN CASINO AND RESORT
UNCASVILLE, CT

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE!


1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard Uncasville, CT 6382

I LOVE BOBBY FLAY! I CREATED THE LIST AND THIS THIS BLOG BECAUSE OF HIS SHOW "THROWDOWN"

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO DROP A COUPLE HUNDRED AT ONE OF HIS UBER EXCLUSIVE, UBER TOUGH TO GET INTO RESTAURANTS...THEN THERE IS ALWAYS BOBBY'S BURGER PALACE TO FILL YOUR NEED OF BOBBY FLAY!

THIS IS HIS BURGER PLACE...AND AS THE FOOD NETWORK KING OF THE GRILL...THIS PLACE IS KING! THE BURGER IS AMAZING! THE SIDES ARE AMAZING! ITS AMAZING!

THE REASON I GOT TO GO WAS BECAUSE I WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME! I WAS IN CONNECTICUT....NEW LONDON TO BE PRECISE FOR MY BROTHER'S COLLEGE GRADUATION....FOR HIS OFFICIAL GRADUATION DINNER WE DROVE TO PROVIDENCE FOR IL FORNA...ALSO ON THE LIST AND THIS BLOG....BUT WE AS A FAMILY WERE PERPLEXED ABOUT WHAT TO DO FOR DINNER THE SECOND NIGHT WE WERE IN TOWN!  WITH MY GRANDMOTHER IN TOW, WE DECIDED TO CHECK OUT THE BILLION DOLLAR MOHEGAN SUN INDIAN CASINO...WHERE I WAS POLITELY ASKED TO LEAVE THE BLACKJACK TABLE BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING AND WAS STEALING THE GOOD CARDS!  ANYWAYS...LONG STORY SHORT...WE ARE A BURGER FAMILY...BOBBY'S BURGER PALACE WAS OUR DESTINATION...AND I AM SO GLAD THAT IT WAS!!!

THERE ARE TONS OF LOCATIONS IN THE EAST COAST...AND IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY!


Beano's Cabin





Beaver Creek, CO

From Best Thing I Ever Ate

http://www.beanoscabinbeavercreek.com/beanos/index.aspx

I am the anti-foodie foodie...I dont like fancy...I dont like tiny...I dont care for the words organic, foam, or farm raised/grass fed..I like big, greasy, delicious food.  I would pick burger joint over amuse bouche any night.  I want casual dining with delicious food that leaves me full!

But let me be clear, I have been to my fair share of fancy restaurants....Le Cirque in NYC, Tony's in St. Louis, Commanders Palace (we will get to this one later) in NOLA.....and Beano's.

Beano's Cabin is a five star, James Beard award winning, Michelin five diamond, six months in advance reservation type of restaurant with a unique twist.

Its high in the Beaver Creek mountains.  Nestled amoung the double black diamond runs of the famous ski resort! This five star, five diamond restaurant....is only accessible by ski, walk, or horse drawn sleigh.....you can't drive there.

This place is Colorado fine dining at its finest.  Exotic wild game like venison, bison, and elk.  Delicious! And the view...my g-d the view!  If you can get in, ski on down or sleigh on up to this ski resort paradise!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jitlada Thai



                                  



Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate and Hot and Spicy Paradise


5233 1/2 W Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90027

""Kua Kling Phat Tha Lung" (Shredded beef Thai curry)"

https://jitladala.wordpress.com/


I love thai food!  I love spicy food!  But thai can take spicy to a new stratosphere....and then there is Jitlada Thai.

Jitlada Thai is the spiciest and best Thai restaurant in LA.....no questions asked...no argument needed.....

Best thai I have ever had...hands down!!!!

The first time I went to Jitlada, I went with Hannah and Andrew.  Andrew and I decided we were brave enough to try the spicy.  First we got the crying tiger pork, the dish that put this place on the list..amazing...sweet and spicy...AMAZING...best asian dish I have ever had!

The second dish was called jungle curry...it was the second spiciest thing on the menu.  Here is what I will say...after ingesting it both Andrew and I (at the recommendation of the server) each got $18 beer and a $12 thai milkshake to try and cool us down....and it didnt help...if the server has said we had to order a lobster I would have done it.

Let me just say this..and I am a bullshitter but this is the 100% trutch.....the jungle curry was SO spicy it shut down my immune system and I got the flu...at the table....I GOT THE FRACKING FLU FROM EATING THIS THING...IN A 10 MINUTE PERIOD.....FINE AT 1:10PM.....FULL BLOWN FLU AT 1:20PM!!!

Now....I said the jungle curry is the 2nd spiciest thing on the menu..the spiciest thing on the menu is called dynamite curry and is the food challenge at this place...the dynamite challenge.  My dear friend Jeremy has tried it twice...and it is BRUTAL....to watch someone else do it. Jeremy actually finished it the first time, but the chef came out and claimed that Jeremy had not completed the challenge because there was not enough dynamite sauce.  I went with him the second time to watch him claim his glory for a second time. I was brought to tears and almost vomitted....from being NEAR the dish....I cannot imagine what Jeremy went through....and I think I got the flu again from just being within 100 feet of the dynamite curry.

But let me reiterate...BEST THAI FOOD I HAVE EVER HAD...HANDS DOWN...BAR NONE..NO QUESTIONS ASKED! BEST SPICY AND NOT SPICY!

Pete and Sam's




Memphis

From Best Thing I Ever Ate


3886 Park Avenue Memphis, TN 38111
Let me be very clear....I love food...and like most restaurants....I love many restaurants....but there is one restaurant that is, like most people from Memphis, most near and dear to my heart: Pete and Sam's.

I have been going to Pete and Sam's since I was born. My mother has been going to Pete and Sam's since she was born.  My grandmother went there, and still goes there every Monday, for the past 30 years.  My parents went there on their first date!  Like Saved by the Bell has the Max, 90210 has the Peach Pit, Friends has Central Perk, Memphis has Pete and Sam's.  You can't go there without recognizing 32 people.  My grandparents both lived in Memphis for most of my life, and every visit was not complete without a visit to Pete and Sam's.  It is rundown, gross looking, and I would never want it to change.  When Sam was shot during a robbery, I cried...and he was 866.

This place is your NYC no windows Italian steakhouse, but down South.  The menu is unchanged. The food is simple and delicious.  Instead of bread, they bring baskets of wrapped crackers.  The salad is lettuce and a peppercini pepper with oil and vinegar. The pizza is THIN and cracker like! The steaks are thick!

It is simple, it is plain...it is perfect.

However, the most emabbarrising part of it is that the food item that got my beloved Pete and Sam's on this list I have never tried..and I am ashamed to say I haven't.  The BBQ chicken pizza....WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T I TRY BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA AT MY FAVORITE ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN MEMPHIS!!! THIS THOUGHT HAUNTS ME...I try not to think about it......


Carney's





Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate


8351 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90069

http://www.carneytrain.com/

In a city obsessed with looks and health, Carney's is a fat boys escape!

Like Pink's Hot Dogs, this place is greasy food mecca in a city of organic, gluten free, soy, botox.  Burgers and hot dogs covered in chili and cheese!  Greasy fries. All inside of a converted train car.  This place is great!!


Arc Light Cinemas





Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate

6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

Most unique place on the list.  Arc Light Cinemas is a movie theater company in Los Angeles know not only for being the theater with the giant dome in the Entourage credits and for charging over $15 a person for a ticket, they also have the best theater food in town..specifically the carmel corn.  I love raisinets, nachos, etc, but when a theater has carmel corn, thats something special.  It's the best carmel corn outside of Chicago I have ever had, and a perfect movie snack.

Akasha




Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate


9543 Culver Boulevard Culver City, CA 90232

http://www.akasharestaurant.com/

This place is your typical over priced, hipster restaurant...gourmet burgers, braised meats, organic everything...and it would be non descript and non important.....

EXCEPT FOR THE ONION RINGS......

Just ranked the #1 onion rings in America.  

Let me preface this upcoming statement by saying I am crazy and delusional: I have had better, BUT I only say that because I believe a onion ring or french fry cannot stand alone in my mind as being incredible.  It's a side dish, which can be incredible, but they have to accompany something incredible like an amazing burger or hot dog or BBQ.   Best onion ring I have ever had: massive onion rings at Midtown BBQ in Memphis that go with the mindblowing pulled pork sandwich or the massive onion rings that accompany the massively amazing burgers at Farmer Boys in LA...pure heaven.  

With that ridiculous rant our of the way, the onion rings at Akasha are INCREDIBLE are definitely worth the trip to this place. They are lightly battered with a rice batter (hipster heaven for some, hell for me), light in taste, and so delicate and delicious with some great homemade sauces!

Loteria Grill


(fancy Mexican tapas....kill me please)

Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate


4228 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
This place is fancy Mexcian food.....that serves smalls plates tapas style....pure unadulterated hell for me

I have already explained my hatred of tapas and sharing food.....but fancy Mexican....no thank you

When I go for Mexican...I don't want fancy...I don't want veal burritos or oxtail quesidilla..I don't want authentic...I don't want mole sauce with grilled pablano chiles smuggled over the border in the owner's grandmothers underboob...I want American-ized Mexican..I want all you can eat salsa and chips, guacamole, and the most americanized mexican dish....the crepe of Americanized Mexican...THE SIZZLING delicious FAJITA...when you say Mexican...it' Fajita time all the way!  I am still in search for the best fajita in America....when Bobby Flay did a fajita throwdown on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, which is featured on my list, it was versus some catholic priest in San Diego who only cooks it once a year for like Lint or Easter....

The best fajita I have ever had was at Chili's...so like I said...my hunt for the best RESTAURANT fajita is on...

This place is fancy...need to order 4 (MINI) gourmet tacos full of braised meats with organic veggies and sauces that were made with the tears of orphan gypsies.....

It not mind blowing...it's not even incredible...its good...

Tip: If you order tacos, get them wrapped in lettuce rather than a tortilla...as it is healthier....but more delicious than the tortillas they have...which are made with flour saved from the Mayans and Aztecs...or so they claim...

Monday, December 3, 2012

PIETRO'S









NEW YORK CITY

FROM BEST THING I EVER ATE


232 East 43rd Street New York, NY 10017-4713

http://www.pietrosnyc.com/


SOME CITIES ARE FAMOUS FOR A TYPE OF FOOD...NEW YORK HAS PIZZA, PHILLY HAS CHEESESTEAKS, MEMPHIS/KC/ST.LOUIS HAVE BBQ, CHICAGO HAS HOT DOGS, PIZZA, ITALIAN BEEF, AND POPCORN, MAINE HAS LOBSTER (NOT A CITY), NEW ORLEANS FOR TREFE....

BUT SOME CITIES ARE FAMOUS FOR A TYPE OF RESTAURANT..EAST COAST HAS THE DINER....SOUTH HAS WAFFLE HOUSE...WEST COAST HAS IN-N-OUT...AND NYC HAS THE NO WINDOWS, DARK, MOB RUN ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE RESTUARANT...AND PIETRO'S IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THIS...

PIETRO'S WAS MY GRANDFATHER'S FAVORITE RESTAURANT.  THE PORTIONS ARE HUGE AND INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! THE MAITRE DE HAS BEEN THERE SINCE 1930 AND KNOWS EVERYONE BY NAME!!

LIKE I SAID THIS IS A ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE, SO YOU GET A GIGANTIC STEAK WITH A SIDE OF PASTA!

I MAY BE ON THE "BANNED LIST" AT PIETROS....ONCE WHEN DINING THERE, THE SERVER, AN 80 YEAR OLD NAMED PHILIPE WHO HAS WORKED AT PIETROS, BROUGHT ME MY STEAK AND PASTA...AND I YELLED "HOLY SHIT THIS IS GOOD".....APPARANTLY NOT APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR FOR PIETRO'S