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Showing posts from October, 2019

Lincoln NE: Canopy Street Market

A booth on campus introduced me to Canopy Street Market so I decided to pay a visit. The market is located in the Haymarket along the canopy that once protected train passengers. I found a small but complete market with some of everything that one needs for daily life. The market's selection included both depth and breadth without the exhausting aisles that characterize modern mega-markets. They have a good selection of deli meats and cheeses. I left with dried bananas and sliced almonds to use with my breakfast cereal.

Columbia MD: Uncle Julio's

Shuvra and I needed a late lunch after our meeting. Since I was on my way to the airport, we stopped at Columbia for lunch at Uncle Julio's. My chicken fajitas were hearty and satisfying. Service was efficient and effective just as you want for lunch in a limited time window. This meal got the job done and was greatly appreciated.

Catonville MD: Pho Saigon

Shuvra introduced me to an excellent pho house, Pho Saigon. We didn't try the Man vs. Pho challenge but we had a great meal. We started with some excellent summer rolls, very refreshing. We ordered a range of dishes. My main dish was beef pho: excellent, flavorful broth; very fresh table salad; tasty and plentiful noodles.

DEN: Mesa Verde

I checked in and traveled to my concourse for my morning flight, in the mood for breakfast. Mesa Verde is tucked away in the upper level of Terminal A, a nice quiet spot. Given my success streak with huevos rancheros, I decided to order it once again. A few minutes later and I was greeted with a satisfying breakfast. My plate delivered what I asked: protein, heartiness, crunch + softness.

Denver: Beast + Bottle

I believe that I've avisited Beast + Bottle before but it seems not to have made it to my blog. In any case, my meal was a great experience: impeccable service, outstanding food, great ambiance. The meal started with this amuse bouche . At my server's suggestion I ordered the lamb sausage. He definitely steered me on the right course. The sausage gave a nice lamb flavor without being overpowering; hints of garlic and spices helped to balance things out.

Westminster CO: Jim's Burger Haven

I drove right past Jim's Burger Haven so how could I not stop? (I did pass by a well-known Korean BBQ spot; just another excuse to come back.) Jim's has been around for years and still offers a classic burger experience. Nothing fancy, just satisfying. And pretty darn big, too. Their burger is huge and comes with a good assortment of adornments. I ordered the special that came with excellent fries and included that delicious chocolate shake. Everything was very reasonably priced. The food was great, the service and atmosphere were very friendly. It's easy to see why they have been here so long.

Boulder CO: Leaf

A break in our meeting gave me the chance to try Leaf in Boulder, part of a group of very interesting restaurants. The atmosphere was elegant. My risotto was excellent and quite different from the typical presentation. The asparagus gave the entire dish a distinct vegetal taste that nicely complemented the cheese. The meal was hearty and satisfying.

Westminster CO: Early Bird Restaurant

A meeting in Colorado gave the chance to enjoy a great breakfast at Early Bird. The place was bustling and the crowd very hip. Service was both very gracious and efficient. I decided to order huevos rancheros, something that I don't often have the chance to order. Everything about it was great: crunchy tortillas, soft eggs, hearty beans, great cheese. My breakfast was both tasty and rib-sticking. Well worth the visit.

Lincoln NE: Destination Coffee

Destinations is very near the university campus and football stadium but on the other side of the railroad tracks. It takes advantage of this relatively peaceful location to provide a more quiet experience. The space is large and filled with light. The coffee was excellent. The staff was very welcoming.

Breakfast at Barbeque Kitchen

Barbeque Kitchen in College Park is 61 years old. The city has grown up around the restaurant, which has itself grown, but it still retains its feel and its approach to food. Breakfast is an important part of Southern cuisine. An early flight gave me the chance to enjoy their breakfast. I went for the special breakfast with two small pieces of fried chicken. They were great, the eggs were great, the grits were creamy and tasty. The biscuits were excellent; I took one with me for later. The coffee was good and plentiful. And everything was amazingly cheap. Great taste, hearty food, good value is a pretty good definition of Southern breakfast.

Lincoln NE: Phat Jack's BBQ

Witty introduced me to Phat Jack's in the railroad district of town. The proprietors have won quite a few BBQ competitions and established a bustling place. The large room was very busy; things moved quickly. My two meat plate was excellent. The brisket was excellent and tender. My favorite was the turkey, moist and with just the right amount of tug. The restaurant also features an impressive collection of BBQ equipment for sale.

Lincoln NE: Big Red

I decided to try a different part of town for lunch and visited Big Red, located at the edge of the railyards. It was clearly a big sports bar. What I didn't expect was the keno hall. Keno, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is the gambling activity for those who consider slot machines to be too intellectually and physically taxing. It even makes bingo look complicated. Keno is huge in Nevada but this is the first time I have seen it elsewhere. Keno is closely associated with food---you eat while you wait for the next keno drawing and you send in keno cards while you eat. My fish was very good---fresh out of the fryer, crisp but not oily, with nice flaky fish. My lunch was very enjoyable even without filling out a keno card...

Quasi-Gingerbread Pancakes

I decided to vary my breakfast routine with a different pancake recipe. I stard with thur Flour cookbook but made a few changes largely due to the state of my pantry. The recipe uses a combination of all-purpose flour and cornmeal. It uses fairly standard gingerbread spices including cinnamon and allspice. I didn't have any molasses so I substituted brown sugar. The recipe didn't call for buttermilk but I used up the last of my carton. The result was very pleasant. The pancakes gave a nice bite but were not overwhelming. I think that a strong ginerbread cookie the size of a pancake would be a very strong breakfast, not to say a stack of ultra-strong pancakes. I enjoyed it enough that I made it again the next morning.

Charlotte: The Waterman Fish Bar

Cathy and I enjoyed great food and fun atmosphere at The Waterman. The restaurant is located in a renovated former industrial neighborhood. We sat inside but the rooftop outside seating looked to be fun. We started with these great fries drizzled with crayfish gravy. The effect reminded me of poutine but with a much more flavorful gravy. My seafood boil was both delicious and huge. I only increased the size by adding on some oysters. The seasoning gave just the right amount of bite to the seafood. This bowl kept me busy for quite some time.

Charlotte: King's Kitchen

Cathy and I enjoyed a superb dinner at King's Kitchen in downtown Charlotte. The food is outstanding, the service impeccable, and the profits support the homeless. I started with a hearty and flavorful beet salad. My potroast was the meaty treat that I envisioned and more. The green beans and collard greens were both perfectly cooked and elegantly flavored. The peas gave an excellent texture contrast to the greens and were also extremely flavorful. The cornbread was moist and tasty. Cathy ordered the fried chicken which she reported to be similarly excellent. We split vanilla ice cream and vanilla pudding for dessert. The ice cream was excellent but the vanilla pudding was eye-popping: creamy, eggy, vanilla-y, with meringue on top and vanilla wafers buried in the bottom as a treat. I would drive an hour just to have this pudding once again.

Charlotte: Ballantyne Hotel

I had the chance to eat several times at the Ballantyne Hotel. Meals started with an assortment of breads. My first lunch centered around this lamb burger which I ordered bunless. The meat gave a nice lamb flavor, definitely distinct from beef. Another lunch saw this tasty flat bread... ...fries... and some excellent shrimp and grits. The grits are from Anson Mills, the well-known Southern heritage grain provider. Their grits are a big step above the standard fare and truly delicious.

MSP: A Quick Bite

I had a few minutes at Minneapolis to sit down and eat. I didn't want a large meal but I did want something in my stomach. This French onion soup fit the bill. The bread is an add-on and well worth the investment. The built-in iPad gave me problems when I tried to order but my server was very helpful.

Lincoln NE: Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon, located in the Haymarket district in Lincoln, is very well hidden. Luckily, Dan introduced me to their great coffee and delicious food. Despite the hideaway location, they have been in business for a decade and I saw a steady stream of people flow through for their morning caffeine. I ordered this banana and Nutella crepe for my side of the breakfast meeting. It was delicious and huge. The crepe was soft and tender. It was stuffed with bananas and drizzled with Nutella. It tasted great and kept me going for quite some time.

The Mill at Nebraska Innovation Campus

The Nebraska Innovation Campus is on the old state fairgrounds. (Don't worry, the fair moved to Grand Island.) The Mill, the local coffeehouse chain, has opened an impressively large facility to recharge the caffeine and carbohydrates of campus knowledge workers. Coffee and laptop sums up the experience.

Lincoln NE: Le Quartier

Witty introduced me to Le Quartier which he considers the best morning bakery in town. Their selection of pastries is impressive as is the size of these beauties. My quiche satisfied my need for protein; it was fluffy and nourishing. I also nibbled on an almond croissant which was beautifully baked off and very flaky.