Tag Archives: French Fries

Restaurant Review: Smoke’s Poutinerie

I was pretty adamant that while in Toronto, we had to try poutine (a French Canadian dish consisting of fries, smothered in gravy and cheese curds).  So after our lunch of delicious ramen, we wandered around Toronto a bit.  I got a bubble tea (yay!) which was really delicious actually, perfect blend of jasmine and black tea, perfect amount of sugar, and bubbles of course!

I was also in search of a place where we could get poutine.  My feet hurt so much from walking around that we made our way back to our hotel eventually and lo and behold! Smoke’s Poutinerie is literally across the street from our hotel.  Sometimes, it seems that fate just wants me to eat good food.  Of course we went straight in and ordered a traditional poutine.  They had at least a dozen different types of poutine: Mexican, hamburger poutine, an Oktoberfest poutine, etc..  I also got this soda pop that looked like real soda.  We got our order and dug in.  It was good, the fries were nice and crispy for like two seconds before getting soggy with gravy, the gravy was very flavorful and rich, and the cheese curds were curdy.  We both agreed that while the poutine was good, that we preferred our fries naked.  I also would like the cheese to be melty versus curdy.  But at least we got to try it.

The soda also was very good.  It was black cherry flavor and when I looked at the list of ingredients, there were only five or six ingredients and I could pronouce all of them. I also thought the bottle itself looked old school and charming.  All in all, a nice meal at Smoke’s.

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Peter Luger Steakhouse, the biggest disappointment of my year

My little brother turned 21 on Saturday (yay!) and as a birthday present, our family took him out to Peter Luger’s for a steak (which has been a family tradition for a while now).

The evening didn’t start off too well.  We all ordered drinks at the bar, my brother was excited he was able to legally drink in front of other adults.  I ordered a dirty martini, and I kid you not, it tasted like I was drinking vodka with a cup of salt in it.  It was undrinkable. Now I’m no dirty martini expert but I’ve had one or twenty in my past and none of them were even close to as salty as this drink was.  I was being a weenie and didn’t feel like saying anything, so I made my mom do it.  She asked the bartender very, very nicely if he could make me another drink as the martini was way too salty.  Well, that just set him off. He started to literally have an adult tantrum in front of us, slamming glasses, throwing the drink out, exclaiming very loudly that he’s “made thousands of these with no complaints ever” and “it’s made with olive juice, didn’t we know that? That’s what makes it dirty” and apparently undrinkably salty.” My mom, bless her heart, was being so nice about it, while I literally wanted to take his big, ugly face and knock him down, but I kept all my seething inside.  He then says that we ordered it wrong, and that we should should have said to make it only a little dirty. So he finally he sets down his drink in front of me and I take a sip, still very salty but at least I could suck that stupid $12 drink down.

We finally sat down and the waiter was very nice. We ordered a steak for four, which was very pricey at $173 plus a $30 steak for one. We also ordered an appetizer of huge beefsteak tomatoes and french fries and creamed spinach for sides.

The tomatoes came out. They were predictably huge, but completely tasteless.  They looked like they were genetically modified and grown in a hothouse. You’re supposed to spoon the famous Peter Luger Steakhouse on it, which we did, which was okay tasting but still. It was $10 for some slices of bleh tomato.

The steak came out a little while later. It was huge and delicious looking.  Peter Luger is famous for its dry aged steak which is supposed to make it very tender. However, all six of us who ate that steak unaminously agreed that the steak didn’t taste like it had been dry aged for even an hour, and there was absolutely nothing special about it to warrant that huge price tag.  We probably could have had the same steak at Outback for a fraction of the price.  It was seriously disappointing.  As I said, it’s been a family tradition to go out to Peter Luger’s for a usually melt in your mouth tender steak.  We grew up going there. But this steak was nothing to write home about, instead it almost made me angry because the taste just did not match what we thought we were paying for.

The creamed spinach and french fries were the highlights of the evening.  The spinach was very flavorful with a strong spinach flavor and no overpowering creaminess to it.  The french fries were big, crispy, and hot.  But still, those are items you can get anywhere.  We also got crappy, not crispy onion rings.  Just another disappointing thing to add to the list.

It makes me sad to write this post because I really used to love Peter Luger’s and would rave about it to anyone who would listen.  Now I will do the opposite and say that it does not live up to its hype.  All we got was an overpriced meal and rude service.  Needless to say, we will never go there again.

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Luso, my favorite Long Island restaurant

On Saturday, my family and I made our second trip in two weeks to Luso in Smithtown on Long Island. Side note, we decided to make our car our permanent residence.  It’s pretty cozy in there with the three of us and all of our luggage. We have food, a portable dvd player, music, and the company of each other, what more could we ask for?

So Luso is a Portuguese chartcuterie.   They bbq meat over wood briquettes and their signature dish is the bbq chicken.  This is the only reason to go to the restaurant.  Seriously, it’s cha-bang – out of of this world!  I’ve been there three times now, and have ventured to other areas on the menu and have been underwhelmed (my friend got fish and didn’t like how much butter they used, the sangria is overly sweet, and the kale/sausage soup is okay but J’s is better).  Whenever we go, we order the chicken for two for $18.95.  Sounds a little steep huh? But it’s really like the deal of the century, since along with that delicious grilled chicken, you also get as much salad as you want and tons of side dishes.  The salad is very good and very simple, just a mix of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and white onions dressed with oil and vinegar.  It’s very European and with a little salt and pepper, it’s kind of addictive.

My sister literally ordered four plates of that salad; she was going a little nuts for the salad.  Then the chicken came out. They use a special marinade when grilling the chicken and the meat has so much flavor.  The skin is so crispy and good. It’s probably one of the best grilled chickens I have ever had (besides the grilled chicken we had out in Portugal).

The real kicker is when you put (or pour like J does) the Portuguese hot sauce, Piri-Piri sauce, on the chicken. We discovered the amazing Piri Piri sauce on a trip to Portugal a few years ago and have never forgotten it.  We even tried to recreate it but to no avail. The Portuguese use a special hot pepper that we couldn’t locate here.  Anyway, it gives a nick kick to the chicken and we literally clean the restaurant out of their Piri Piri whenever we eat there.

When you order the chicken, you also get a few very generously portioned sides:  rice, steamed vegetables, french fries, and home made potato chips. I mean, it’s a food fest all for less than $10 per person, AMAZING!

We all devoured the chicken and the rest of the food and let satiated and happy.  Service is efficient and the restaurant itself has a great outdoor back patio with huge outside heat lamps, and the inside is simple and cozy.  There’s always a ton of Portuguese people there which to me is a great sign.  If you’re ever on Long Island, check out Luso and get the chicken.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Hitting the Trifecta at the Track

Burgers, fries, and a damn good milkshake.  That’s my kind of Trifecta.

We finally made it up to the Shake Shack at the Track this weekend.  We had been meaning to try the Shake Shack in NYC and were so excited to have one practically at our front door!

The moment we entered into the track, we made a beeline to the Shake Shack.  It stood out like a beacon of deliciousness, it was definitely calling my name.  J and I both got a single burger, an order of fries, and one strawberry milkshake.  The place was busy!  Poor Blue Smoke (the restaurant next door, it was definitely looking ignored).  They cook everything to order so we salivated off to the side.

Once our order was called, we found a nice little spot on the grass where Future Foodie could sit comfortably. She’s not a huge fan of burgers yet (just wait!) so she happily indulged in the strawberry milkshake.  Which was so perfectly good – nice and creamy and a real strawberry flavor.

The cheeseburgers were juicy and tender, with fresh tomato slices and crisp lettuce on it.  The burgers come with the Shack sauce (a mayo/ketchupy type of sauce).  It was gone way too fast.  I almost ordered another one but I maintained some self-control.  The fries were good, hot and crispy but nothing fantastic.  They were crinkle cut which are my favorite kind of fries.  The Shake Shack burger is along the lines of a Five Guys burger but without the grease.  J and I both agree that the Shake Shack burger is in our top 5 burgers ever.  Yeah, that good.

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Hey from Sacramento!

I’m out here in lovely Sacramento for work and wanted nothing else but to blog about food.

I had a pretty good meal tonight at Lucca.  But before I digress into my meal, I have to discuss the wonderful day of travel I had thanks to the crappy weather in Chicago.

My day started out well enough, I spotted an actress from my favorite new television show – Parenthood on the security line at Albany Airport. Her name is Sarah Ramos. Anyway that was kind of nice.

But then the delays started and continued.  We started 30 minutes late out of Albany due to bad weather in Chicago.  We landed in Chicago and my flight was initially delayed for 20 minutes.  Then it was 30, 40, and eventually 1 hour delayed.  Then at the last minute, we had to switch terminals.  Insanity and a plane full of cramped, unhappy people.

My food intake until I had dinner tonight at 7 PM:  1 bag of pretzel and cheese combos, 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 1 banana, and 1 apple.  Man, I was hungry and a little sad that I had ingested 95% of the fat and calories for the day with that one freaking bag of combos.

So I rushed, rushed to my hotel/conference and FINALLY ended up at dinner with some nice girls from Boston I met at the incredibly awful “happy hour” held for the conference attendees.

Back to Lucca.

Very good Sangria, not too sweet.  Delicious perfectly cooked piping hot (just the way I like them) Parmesan french fries accompanied by a truffle mayo.  The fries lit by candlelight as seen here:

A BLT salad that had bacon, egg, and avocado with a Dijon vinaigrette.  The salad was good, nothing great, not enough avocado but nicely chopped.  I would go back there. Especially since I had a couple of delicious bites of spaghetti and meatballs that one of the Boston girls had ordered.  The meatballs were nice and spicy.  The dish was so good, my friend finished the entire dish, which was testament to how good it was.

The restaurant itself had a nice open atmosphere, with high ceilings with exposed wooden beams.  There were pretty pendant lights located around the restaurant and they had a great enclosed patio area that made us regret not eating outside.  All of the employees were really nice and helpful.

All in all, a long day which ended enjoyably….

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What did you do with the steak fries???

So I went to the Gingerman last week in Albany.  That is probably in our top ten favorite restaurants in the area.  I love the ambiance, the casual but delicious food, the great wine list.   I can just wax on and on about the place.  It’s also like a hidden gem buried deep inside the student ghetto on Western Ave.

I went with a good friend of mine and was raving about how delicious the steak fries are (side note: I am a french fry connoisseur.  I have even been to the place where french fries were born, Belgium.  I take my fries seriously.).  We order, she gets a panko encrusted chicken sandwich with brie and raspberry on foccacia.  I got their warm turkey sandwich with cranberry, dressing, and overall deliciousness.

I was really excited about the fries.

But then…the food comes, and WHAT? there are lame Sysco fries on my plate.  They’re not even cooked all that well, and are completely bland.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  At least, both sandwiches were extremely delicious and consumed probably a little too quickly (at least mine was).

I asked the really friendly hostess, what happened to the awesome steak fries?  She said she didn’t know but would let the kitchen know that I missed them.  Bless her heart.

I will continue to go back and hold out hope that the kitchen will make the right choice and bring back those amazing steak fries.

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