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Showing posts from September, 2019

Lincoln NE: Engine House Cafe

Havelock is a small town that has become part of Lincoln but still retains its charm. Engine House Cafe is in the old firehouse; mementos honor the first responders who protected the community for decades from this base. The service was friendly and coffee was plentiful. My omelet was tender and rich, filled with nice vegetables. I wish the hash browns had been a little browner but they were very satisfying. The biscuit was big, tender, and flaky. Breakfast is great and the atmosphere makes it a great place for a morning meeting.

Omaha: 11Worth Cafe

11Worth Cafe is located on Leavenworth Street---one of the better puns I've heard lately. They seem to be one of the lights of this older neighborhood. The place was busy with people starting their day and ladies dishing up breakfast and coffee. Everything about my breakfast was superb. The eggs were delicate and soft. The gravy was smooth and rich with both milk and sausage; the biscuits underneath were large and flaky. The coffee was plentiful. I intend to be back to energize myself for another day.

YYC: Spolumbo's

I had to leave early for my flight and didn't have a chance for breakfast. When I arrived at Calgary Airport and made it through security, I looked around for an easy breakfast spot. Spolumbo's was in the food court and Italian food sounded pretty tasty. A meatball sub and coffee---I couldn't have asked for a better breakfast. The meatballs were tender and full of beefy/porky flavor. The sauce was that perfect balance of tangy and sweet. And the bread was excellent.

Canmore, Alberta: The Grande

Our group enjoyed two dinners at The Grande in Canmore. We used a buffet line due to the size of our group but the restaurant has a large and comfy-looking dining room. The service was impeccable; the chef came out several times to check on us and to be sure we tried his favorite dishes.

Lincoln NE: Mary Ellen's

Nebraska is full of meat but much of it comes in the form of steak and burgers. So I particularly appreciate Mary Ellen's efforts to stop in front of my building once or twice a week and provide some outstanding Q. Pitmaster John showed me his operation. This large smoker billows out smoke that really brings out the customers. My first meal was pork that I consumed too quickly to photograph. The pork was sweet, porky, and nicely moist. The beans had a great pickly tang that adds a very nice touch. My most recent meal was this rib plate. The ribs were very meaty and perfectly cooked---I tugged the meat gently off the bone. Keep the Q coming!

Banff, Alberta: Magpie & Stump

A morning drive led me to Banff just inside the park boundary. I took a pleasant walk around town and took the opportunity to find a good place for lunch. Magpie & Stump is, I believe, the first Mexican restaurant in Banff. The atmosphere was lively and the service very friendly. My taco plate was very satisfying: a good mix of flavors with a hearty, savory core.

A Visit to Tim Hortons

What visit to Canada would be complete without a visit to Tim Hortons. Tim sings the siren song of fried dough in every corner of this great country; who can resist? I made my visit in Canmore on the way into Banff National Park. My coffee and donut were, as always, satisfying and tasty. My sugar high perfectly complemented my Rocky Mountain high.

Dining at Chateau Lake Louise

The Atlanta etc. YouTube channel shows here a video on breakfast and dinner at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

Eggplant Parmesan Phase 2: No Crust

My last post was on eggplant parmesan with a bread crumb crust. This version uses flour but no bread crumbs; I believe that flour-only is the more traditional method as compared to the Americanized bread crumb style. I dipped the sliced eggplant first in egg + milk, then in flour---not flour first, then egg + milk as in the bread crumb method. I fried the slices. I assembled the casserole: eggplant, sauce, cheese. Here is the result. I barely noticed the lack of the crunchy texture of the breadcrumbs. The result was much less oily, full of flavor, and with a comforting texture. I think this how I will make eggplant parm in the future.

Eggplant Parmesan Phase 1: With Crust

I don't often post related items but I think that this comparison of two ways to make eggplant parmesan is interesting. This method uses a bread crumb coating, which I applied using the traditional three steps: flour, then egg + milk, then seasoned bread crumbs. I fried the eggplant slices then arranged them in a casserole with tomato sauce and cheese. Here is the result. The eggplant slices absorbed a fair amount of olive oil during the frying process. The result was a heavy dish. The next post will show a version with a flour-only dredge.

Salinas CA: Patria

An evening drive back to San Jose took me through the heart of Steinbeck country. Dinner in Salinas, Steinbeck's home, was a perfect way to cap off the experience. Patria is elegant and welcoming with tall ceilings and superb service. The menu features an interesting combination of Italian and German selections. My meal started with soft, pillowy bread. My squash soup was superb, creamy with a touch of heat. My veal was creamy and hearty. The potatoes added a touch of carmelized goodness. The baby carrots were superb, as one would expect from this rich farm country. My apple strudel was outstanding, flaky and with great fruit taste.

San Luis Obispo CA: Apple Farm Restaurant

The Apple Farm is a traditional hotel/motel from San Luis Obispo's days as a highway stop. The breakfast room is large and open, the staff is friendly, and the coffee is plentiful. This biscuit was my opening round for dessert. It was pretty darn big and nicely fluffy with plenty of flavor. My country style omelet was packed with veggies. The potatoes perhaps could have used a little more browning but were tasty and hearty. This breakfast did its job and kept me going.

San Luis Obispo CA: Louisa's Place

My quick lunch at Louisa's Place turned out to be a taste treat. This is a classic diner with a counter and stools plus tables. My chili was excellent. It was mostly meat with a few beans. The broth was rich with peppers and other spices, full of flavor. The bread, covered with tomato spread, was real treat. I saw breakfast on the menu. On my next trip I will need to stop by for what I'm sure will be an excellent start of the day.

San Luis Obispo CA: Giuseppe's Cucina Rustica

After a day of work I was interested in a relaxing atmosphere for dinner. Giuseppe's, located in a historic building near the river, fit the bill. The food was great and service was very gracious. They offer a wide range of provisions beyond their table menu. The meal started off with bread that featured a nice soft crumb. My spinach was cooked just the right amount to retain flavor while giving a digestible texture. My lasagne was full of flavor. The pasta gave that nice little tug. The tomato sauce gave a garden fresh taste.

San Luis Obispo CA: Mama Ganache Chocolate

My choco-radar identified Mama Ganache on the way to my hotel. My colleagues confirmed that it was indeed the real deal. The store makes and stocks everything a chocolate lover could want: truffles and dipped chocolates, bars, and large bars for home use. The bars included several different varietals. I walked away happy with a box of chocolates and three delicious bars. The different varieties of my bars were distinct and very enjoyable.

San Luis Obispo CA: Mo's Smokehouse BBQ

Our meeting adjourned for an excellent lunch at Mo's, located in downtown San Luis Obispo. The place was hopping and service excellent to keep things moving. My ribs were outstanding. The meat needed just that little tug to come off the bone. The chicken and pork were both moist and flavorful. The sauce was fairly sweet but with a nice bit of spice. The beans were excellent, sweet cole slaw excellent. The cornmeal muffin was outstanding.

Omaha: Ragazzi's

An errand trip to Ragazzi's provided an opportunity for discussion and a need for lunch. Although Ragazzi's offers a lunch buffet, Justin and I decided to order our own pizza. Oh yes, and some garlic knots. Square cut, nice toppings, satisfying.

Lincoln NE: Spezia

I wanted a relaxing dinner and my thoughts went to Italian. Spezia gave me a very enjoyable meal and very welcoming service. I started with bread, of course, and a beautiful caprese salad. My eggplant parmesan gave me all the tastes I was looking for: hearty eggplant, sweet and tart tomato sauce, tangy cheese, and that beautiful crust.

Lincoln NE: Sips n' Subs

Witty introduced me to an excellent breakfast at Sips n' Subs. The storefront is easy to miss, which is exactly what I did on an earlier attempt to visit. Inside, the room is bright and the service is friendly. My gravy was superb, silky smooth and flavorful, served atop a tender beaten biscuit. The eggs were soft and cooked without a touch of brown. Coffee was plentiful from the coffee urn. And a customer welcomed me to Lincoln. How much better can you get?