Where were you when you ate the greatest meal of your life? Until I went to Liverpool House in Montreal I wasn’t quite sure. You see, Liverpool House is the sister restaurant to Joe Beef, which is often considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Yet, after paying a visit to Liverpool House I can’t imagine how Joe Beef could be any better.
When I go out to eat in the Detroit area, it is rarely to try something new, but to eat something old that I knew and loved growing up there. But when it came time to celebrate my step-dad’s 70th birthday, something a little more special was in order. Namely, Iridescence at the top of the Motor City Casino in Detroit. The place features some of the most innovative food in the area and some of the highest prices to go along with it. Some might call it molecular gastronomy, but I just call it fancy-pants.
After a summer spent in beautiful Western New York, it eventually came time to return to Pittsburgh to finish out my MBA. Per usual, the first thing I wanted was meat, and lots of it. Without Korean BBQ or Fogo de Chao (that I know of), I turned to Texas de Brazil for my all-you-can-meat fix. Having never been to one of these, I expected much the same as any churrascaria. What I found was, well, yeah…that.
Downtown Pittsburgh might have some shiny new restaurants, there are still some spots that remind me of my native Detroit. One of these is Mike & Tony’s Gyros, a Greek place that has American favorites like burgers as well. As we stumbled our way to a Pirates game, this seemed like the best place to stop and grab some much-needed food. We were met by a griddle, spools of meat and smiling faces that told us of an $8 special including a gyro (painfully pronounced like gyroscope), fries and a drink.
Like a sidekick to Legume in Oakland, Butterjoint hangs out next to the former restaurant serving up cocktails and a menu only available to those in the area while still serving the full Legume menu. Come to think of it, if it weren’t for the relatively small size of Butterjoint it would be the Batman to Legume’s Robin. Nonetheless, size or not, I was here for one thing: a burger.
Point Breeze basically has two restaurants. One is Point Brugge, which was eloquently reviewed recently on this site, and the other is Pino’s, a classy Italian joint basically across the street. In truth, I knew nothing about Pino’s before walking in, but by the time I left I was looking forward to more. You see, when it comes to pasta, I kind of have a thing where I feel like a jar of Classico and some dry pasta is just as good as many restaurants. Pino’s, however, was not one of these restaurants.
A long, long time ago, some friend of mine told me of Cole’s (click this link only if you want to see how awesomely bad my writing was in 2008). At the time, they were having a 100th anniversary/reopening party and dishing out French Dips for 100 cents. They also claimed to be the “originator of the French Dip,” which is no small claim. Shortly after, however, I learned that this claim might not be true. As is often the case with something wildly successful, more than one entity claims to be first (ever see The Social Network?). It seemed that Philippe the Original felt they were the…achem…original and I was inclined to decide for myself.
Sometimes you travel somewhere and despite every fiber of your being, you realize you simply have to be a tourist. And I don’t mean going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was built, and people came. No, I’m talking about places that exist for the sole purpose of attracting tourists. In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, one of these places is the Boma.
Africa kind of has a stigma attached to it regarding the people, the food and the culture. The stigma is a bit ridiculous considering it’s a whole damn continent, but it is what it is. One restaurant in Cape Town’s Waterfront blows the food stigma to smithereens. It’s called Sevruga, and it not only fancy-pants, but also tasty.
Near Century City there is a building that only houses restaurants with five letter names that have two of the same letters in a row. It is there that my friends and I dined at Sotto, which finds itself below Picca. ‘Twas a night of the first ever Summer Restaurant Week by DineLA, but these plans had been made without Restaurant Week in mind, so that kind of just turned out to be a bonus…for some people, because I decided to stick to the real menu.