There are girls. There are goats. Then, there is The Girl and the Goat. It isn’t just some restaurant, but is a restaurant that still requires booking two months in advance even though it’s been around for the better part of a decade. Of course, it also happens to be in Chicago, which has a lot of people who like food. It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder and Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard, won Top Chef, went to the University of Michigan and honed her skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Some time in the ’90s it became cool (kewl?) to replace the letter “S” with the letter “Z.” Finz in Salem, Massachusetts arrived at the tail end (get it?!) of that decade, so they still get a pass. And while the ambiance could not be further from the divey lunch that day, the them was the same – seafood.
Some people really like lobster rolls. I don’t get it. What’s the fun of chowing down on cold, slimy lobster loaded up with mayo? But then there’s lobster grilled cheese. See, that’s the good stuff, doing everything right with the lobsters. So, upon arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, we made our way to a divey spot called Longboards that allegedly knew what to do with lobster.
Americanized spins on Asian food scares me. There. I said it. Maybe it makes me seem like a spoiled brat, but I need the real authentic stuff. So, with much trepidation I made my way to Ling & Louie’s in Scottsdale. But, what makes Ling & Louie’s different is that they own up to the fact that they know they are not authentic and fully embrace making food that is more of a fun spin on Asian-inspired than any real attempt of authenticity.
There was a weird time in history when revolving restaurants became popular. Only one of these, at least as far as I understand, also was a Playboy Club back in the day, and that was the Compass Arizona Grill on top of the Hyatt in Downtown Phoenix. Today, it serves as kind of a throwback steakhouse, there to remind you how cool rotating restaurants once were, while trying to adapt to the modern palette.
There are a few things I like to take pride in when it comes to food. The first is that it’s hard to pressure me to order something once I’ve set my mind on something else. Call it stubborn, but it’s gotten me this far. The other is that I basically avoid fish at all costs. Yet, in two sittings I managed to break both of those rules at The Villager Pub in Charlevoix, Michigan.
As you may have already realized based on a lot of the Street Food Spotlights I’ve been posting about, the Shilin Night Market in Taipei is one of the coolest places in the world to eat food. And yet, like some sort of off-balance iceberg, there’s a little more to share below the surface. There, you can find tanks of seafood and additional food options, plus get out of the heat for a little while. Down there is a place called Zhong Cheng Hao, which is all about the seafood.
Sometimes life gives you a difficult decision. And sometimes there is no “right” choice. Case in point: On what felt like basically the hottest day ever in Hue, Vietnam, we were given the choice of eating in a somewhat touristy restaurant with air conditioning or an “off the beaten path” restaurant without. We chose the former and found ourselves at Y Thao Garden Restaurant. And of course, within minutes of setting food, having not eaten a bite, we all felt like we had made the right decision.
Oysters are weirdly popular in Taipei. Or so I think. All I know is that in two nights there I ate more oysters than I ever intended to in my whole life. One of those was in the form of some oyster noodle soup (also known as oyster vermicelli) at the Shilin Night Market, which happens every night and presumably the soup is always there being served by the same lady out of a cart as well.
A short time ago, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern opened up a location in Santa Monica. On it’s own, this can be seen as a good thing, but an even better thing is that I was invited out to check the place out and give it a review. I happily accepted and set off for the place where the land meets the sea (well almost, Jimmy’s is a few blocks inland).