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, February 11, 2014
Buffalo Joe's...#3 on Best Wings in America
812 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60201
BEST BUFFALO WINGS IN AMERICA! HANDS DOWN, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!
Chicago is a city rich and immersed in history from the water tower to Mrs. O'Leary, the Cubs/Sox/Bears/Bulls, the Daly's. This city is also known as the city of broad shoulders which I directly attribute to the fact that it is freezing, so you gotta eat a lot and that's why Chicago is a city so rich and immersed in incredible food….deep dish pizza, hot dogs, italian beef, popcorn, and so on. But my favorite place in all of Chicago is a hole in the wall buffalo wing place where spicy perfection lies. It's the one place I MUST go whenever I am in town, no ifs, ands or buts. It's called Buffalo Joes, or to the locals Buff Joe's. I first heard about this place in high school during a summer BBYO jewish teen leadership camp from Steph Howard and Jori Elisco. The way they said Buff (bahff) Joe's…I knew it was somewhere special. It has become sort of a ritual for me to go with my brother in law with a double brother (we are brother in laws and fraternity brothers) lunch. It is cash only. It is run by employees just as angry as the Wiener Circle a few miles south. I argue the employees of Wiener Circle work during the day at Buff Joe's and the night at the Circle of Wiener. This place has burgers, hot dogs, italian beef, but you come for the wings, the celery and the ranch. I am pretty sure that this place has been open 40+ years and my father in law was the first to order a burger. The wings are giant and so meaty. The wings are cooked perfectly. The sauce is buttery and perfect. Get the suicide…its just their normal hot wings with jalapenos. Get the cheese fries! Get a large RC! PERFECTION!Wings, cheese fries, and RC with extra ranch and celery from Buff Joe's is on my short list for finals meals if I was on death row.
SPRINT, DO NOT RUN, DO NOT WALK!!!!
Monday, February 10, 2014
|730 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611|
From 101 Best Places to Chowdown…#91 and Pizza Paradise
If you want the best deep dish Chicago style pizza (loaf of bread slathered in butter with cheese and canned stewed tomatoes on top, JUST GO TO LOU MALANATI'S!!!
THE GATROINTESTINAL JOURNEY OF FORTITUDE C.E.O/COMMISIONER/DICTATOR/FOUNDER
Friday, February 7, 2014
1325 East Emanuel Cleaver Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64110
Featured on Food Wars and Best Thing I Ever Ate, BBQ Paradise, and #37 on More Places to Chowdown
"Sweet & sticky hickory-smoked pork ribs smothered with thick & tangy barbecue sauce."
1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127
Featured on Food Wars, BBQ Paradise, and 101 Best Places to Chowdown (#15)
"12-hour hickory & oak slow-smoked beef brisket, pork ribs with signature vinegar-based BBQ sauce."
"What you're getting: Pork ribs, original sauce
The legendary KC joint has spawned a mini-empire, but you want the Brooklyn original (as in Brooklyn St, not NY or Decker), where you'll tear into a slab of still-amazing ribs that has sated great Americans from Harry Truman to the one and only Bryant Gumbel."
One word...one syllable...MEH.....
Both of these places are meh. They are mediocre...at best. Their meat is overdone. I had the KC specialty at both, burnt ends. Their sauce is more terrible canned tomato sauce than BBQ sauce. It's like overdone meat drenched in spaghetti O's sauce. They don't compare to Oklahoma Joe's when it comes to BBQ in KC. They don't even deserve a argument with Oklahoma Joe's.
However, Bryants and Gates are landmarks in KC and it is blasphemy to speak ill about either. These places are institutions in KC and you will get slapped if you bad mouth them (I have had this happen with my friend Bess who told me I didn't know BBQ or food if I don't like Gates or Bryants). My mom is from Memphis and she said while people knew of Elvis being a womanizing, drug addicted, alcoholic, nobody from Memphis could bad mouth him because he did so much for the city. Gates and Bryants have done so much for KC that you can't speak ill of them. People say respect your elders. I respect these places for their history, I don't like their food!
When you go to KC, skip these two and just wait in the three hour line at Oklahoma Joe's.