December 31, 2010

New Year's Chili

Talk about simple yet delicious. I decided to make a giant (6 qt) crock pot of chili with the slate of football games on today and it being New Years. Sure it is 70 degrees outside, but that still wouldn't stop me from making this today.

First of all, if you don't own a Vidalia Onion Chopper I suggest you go buy one today. This thing is a must have tool in the kitchen for dicing fruits and vegetables. Not to mention you can take out a little aggression slamming the lid down as you dice everything up.

Start off by dicing 2 green peppers and 2 sweet onions and set aside. Next you need to brown off your meat in some olive oil and add garlic & pepper to taste. I like a lot of garlic, so a lot of garlic it is. Drain and set aside. Then it is time to get the spices together. This is a mix of ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, oregano, ground coriander, allspice, paprika, and ground chili peppers.

Now it is onto the crock pot. I add in 2 cans of light kidney beans and 2 cans of dark kidney beans. Add everything from 3 cans and drain one of the cans. Next add n the ground beef that you set aside. I then add in the 2 large cans of tomatoes and the small can on tomatoes with green chilies. Now it is time for the onions, green peppers, and a bottle of beer. Stir everything together and then add your spice mixture to taste. Stir until everything is well distributed, set the crock pot to low for 10 hours, cover and walk away. Come back and stir every now and then.

Through the cooking process you will know if you need to add tomato paste or not to help thicken it up. I ended up using about 2/3 of the can with this batch.

The buffet of add-ons for all to enjoy include, cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese, hot sauce, jalapenos, onions, saltines, tortilla chips, scallions, and sour cream.

December 30, 2010

BBQ Pork Sandwich at Dillards BBQ in Suwanee

Another late lunch. My wife and I went to Dillards BBQ for a quick 2:30pm meal before meeting someone in Suwanee. I had a BBQ sandwich and mac and cheese on the side. It was good, but I know the main complaint from a lot of people would be that bbq sauce is already mixed in with the pulled pork. Luckily the sauce at dillards isn't a sweet sauce, otherwise it would suck, but I like the sauce and added more anyway, so it wasn't a big deal to me. 

Fun fact: I put some of the sauce on my mac and cheese toward the end of the meal just for fun and it was pleasantly surprising. 

Dillard's Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Havana South Cuban Tastiness - Croquetta Preparada

Had lunch with my wife at Havana South Cuban in Buford on Monday. Well, I say lunch, but it was more like 3:30 dinner lunch happy hour. The cool thing about a lunch that late is all the sandwiches at Havana South are $5 between 3-5pm so I got a $9 sandwich for $6.75 after adding a side of black beans.

Havana South Cuban Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

This is the croquetta preparada. It's ham, swiss cheese, croquetta, and mustard on cuban bread. I had no idea what a croquette was before I ate this. I learned that a cuban croquette is meat and flour rolled in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. So it's like a deep fried sandwich inside of a sandwich. Win inside of win.

First time with this sandwich and it's on par with the other dishes I've had there. Top notch so far.

Cuban Panini from Spanky's in Savannah

Spanky's Pizza Galley & Saloon is a great local restaurant to get your grub on. They are probably most famous for their Chicken Fingers and have a pretty tasty lineup of pizzas and burgers. They have several locations in Savannah, Pooler, and on Tybee Island. On this visit I decided to break from the normal fare and went with the Cuban Panini.

I am not sure what I expected but what I got was a very good sandwich that I would be hard pressed to call a Cuban. This sandwich while having some of the components of a Cuban, really isn't a Cuban. Don't get me wrong...I really enjoyed this sandwich and it was very good, just not what I expected. This sandwich had marinated pork tenderloin that was sliced thin and layered on the fresh Ciabatta bread. In addition there were pickles, swiss cheese, and a sweet mustard aioli that was served on the side. When you think of a Cuban or a Panini you think of a pressed sandwich, which this wasn't. Also with a Cuban you also have ham on the sandwich along with yellow mustard. These are just minor details, but if you are going to call the sandwich a Cuban Panini, make it a Cuban Panini.

The onion rings at Spanky's are some of the best around and always have to be ordered with whatever sandwich or burger you are eating.

Spanky's Pizza Galley & Saloon on Urbanspoon

New Chinese Takeout Place: China Taste

I don't think I have eaten as much Asian food as I have over the past few weeks. China Taste opened last week next to Food Lion on Skidaway here in Savannah. This place is churning out fresh Chinese food quickly and for the most part it was pretty good. The kitchen is wide open and you can see everything being cooked to order right in front of your own eyes.

As usual I got the Kung Pao Chicken (my Chinese comfort zone). The menu at China Taste is packed with options, including about 30 quick lunch options. The lunch items are served with either chicken or pork fried rice and a drink for around $6. The Kung Pao Chicken was very good (filled with fresh vegetables, water chestnuts, peanuts, heat, and chicken), but the rice was way over done. It was over cooked to the point that it was almost mush. I can look past that though since the dish itself was good and the bad rice was probably the exception and not the norm.

Don't worry if you see a long line when you get there as things move pretty quickly. They could probably benefit from one more person working on the front end helping to hand out orders while the other person is taking them & ringing up the sales. Just a minor detail, but it would help with the traffic flow as they are packing customers in right off the bat.

China Taste on Urbanspoon

December 29, 2010

Christmas foods

Here are some of the eats I had on Christmas Eve. Mostly sandwich stuff, finger foods, meatballs and some Auburn chocolates. My wife also made these little delicious coconut cupcakes from scrach. Amazing little cupcakes.

Quoc Huong Banh Mi Fast Food

 I've had Bahn Mi before, but I was left feeling underwhelmed considering my expectations. I decided to give it another shot after reading the Atlanta Bahn Mi guide on Chow Down Atlanta and seeing that the place I went didn't make the cut at all.

I met a buddy of mine this past week at at a Bahn Mi joint, 'Quoc Huong Bahn Mi Fast Food'. It's on Buford Hwy in Doraville just inside 285. Quoc Huong is considered the top bahn mi spot in Atlanta. Based on my comparison, I'd say it's definitely at the top of my list. The Banh Mi in general fascinates me. Baguette, basil, jalapenos...wild mix.

Here are the cool things about Quoc Huong:

  •  First off, the bahn mi was amazing. BBQ Pork = great. 
  • The new Karate Kid was on a TV in the background 
  • The name. I can't even pronounce it. 
  • There was a dude with a zombie-like complexion outside the place selling seafood.

Quoc Huong on Urbanspoon

 This is the BBQ Pork Bahn Mi. The pork had a fantastic flavor, the vegetables weren't overwhelming and the jalapenos added some zang to it. I don't know what the sauce is they put on these, it looks like hollandaise or something, but it is awesome also.

 I took an extra one home for my wife, but she didn't want it so I ate it for dinner that night also. Good stuff.
Combination Bahn Mi. This had some pate, pork and some other stuff I can't remember in it. It was goood, but BBQ pork was definitely better. Could have used a line of sri racha down the middle. I ate it in the car, otherwise I would have added some. 

December 25, 2010

Christmas Lunch at Wang's II

On Christmas Day your options for lunch or dinner are limited when you are Jewish. They are even more limited if you don't have someones home to go to or your kitchen is being remodeled (as both were the case for us this year). The traditional Jewish Christmas is Chinese food and a movie. Both were achieved today!

Wang's II (not sure if there was a Wang's I, but there isn't one anywhere here) is some of the best Chinese food in Savannah. The second you sit down at the table you are treated to Chinese chips and salsa. This is the fried won ton noodles, duck sauce, and Chinese mustard. While these noodles are generally used in the soup, we love to dip them in the duck sauce and mustard and enjoy before the meal comes out. These things are highly addictive and there is no way to just go through one bowl. You will easily polish off two bowls, if not three.

We ordered two dishes today. The first one was my dish which was Kung Pao Chicken. They offer this two ways, one is the American version and the other is the Schezuan style. I ordered it the American way (which has mushrooms, bell peppers, and water chestnuts in it) but they screwed up and gave me the Schezuan version. The only thing similar between the two versions is the chicken, how spicy it is, and the peanuts. The Schezuan version is heavy in ginger and I am not a huge fan of that. This was still good, but I would have been much happier with the other version. I also got the Won Ton Soup with my dish.

My wife got the Mongolian Chicken along with the egg roll. Both of these were very good. She had some of mine, I had some of hers.

Later in the afternoon we did make it to the movies and saw Little Fockers. The movie was much better than the 2nd in this series and was pretty funny. As always I throughly enjoyed my popcorn at the movies.

I also put in some pics of the indoor Koi pond that greets you as you walk in the door. The fish love coming out of the water to say hi.

Wangs II Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

December 24, 2010

Greek Burger from Crystal Beer Parlor in Savannah

Yes another tasty burger and quite unlike any burger I have ever had. Crystal Beer Parlor is one of our favorite places to go for a good, yet quick, bite to eat in downtown Savannah. They have a wide range of burgers and today I decided to jump out on a limb with the Greek Lamb Burger.

The burger is ground lamb that is then grilled to perfection. It is then topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, Tzatziki Sauce, and I added on feta cheese for the extra dollar. It was like having a Gyro as a burger, but only better. As always I got the onion rings as my side. It is a must that you always get the onion rings when eating at Crystal Beer Parlor.

Crystal Beer Parlor on Urbanspoon

December 22, 2010

Farm Burger In Decatur

My awesome department did some volunteer work a little south of Decatur last Wednesday. Since we're usually confined to the Duluth area, I was jazzed at the prospect of going somewhere different. My vote was for Farmburger and everyone else went along with it. I've heard a lot about Farmburger and love the concept (grass fed beef, local products, sustainability), but just haven't gone yet. Most recently, Farmburger came up a few times in off-blog discussions of my trip to Flip Burger, so FB was fresh on my mind.

The inside of the restaurant has a no-frills feel to it. Long picnic style tables are surrounded by tall barstools and high top tables. (I ended up sitting with a stranger on one side of me. It turned out just fine.) They had a special, but since it was my first time, everything looked special. My first choice was a No.1 - the Farmburger, but with bone marrow added. I've mentioned it before - I can't resist ordering weird stuff. There was rain on that part of my parade though...bone marrow was SOLD OUT. I was temporarily stumped, but my boss and the cashier started talking about the No.6. house cured bacon, sunny side up egg, pepperjack cheese and salsa verde. Both my boss and I were convinced - No.6 it was. We also had a fries and onion rings basket. Pics and deeper descriptions below.

Farm Burger on Urbanspoon

These fries were cut from amazing and deep fried in delicious. The dipping sauce was paprika mayonnaise. I'm not sure what was in it, but I'm going to have my wife attempt a recreation. I suppose she'll start with paprika and mayo. (apologies for the blurry pic. I was hungry)
Here's the mess of burger. Yum yum fun. This did not have the house 'FB' sauce, so that was a bit of a bummer, but the burger was very tender and the bun was good enough for me to mention it. I normally wouldn't mention a bun unless it sucked but this bun we good enough, so I mentioned it. Twice now, actually.

This was funny. Not true, but funny.

December 21, 2010

Costanzo's Jersey Style Pizza

Some of the best pizza in Savannah has gotten better. Costanzo's Pizza is now under new ownership and while many things haven't changed, the quality of the pizza has changed. The ingredients are the same, but the quality control is now in place and it is producing a much better pizza than before. Tonight we went with a large (18") mushroom pizza, with 1 slice of it cheese for our son. This thing was so good, I felt like I could eat about 3 of them.

Costanzo's is Jersey Style pizza and they also offer pizza by the slice. They have a great Monday - Friday lunch special of 2 slices & drink for $5.00. One of the best deals in town for one of the best pizza's in town.

This pizza came from the original Waters Ave location across from Memorial Hospital, but they also have another location further down Waters at Eisenhower. They offer dine in, take out, and delivery services.

Costanzo's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Goose Feathers Cafe in Downtown Savannah

Looks like we have found a new spot for a lazy Sunday breakfast in Savannah! Goose Feathers (@GooseFeathersCf) is an express bakery and cafe right in the heart of downtown at Ellis Square. This area has been renovated over the past couple of years and this restaurant is perfectly located right on the square across from Jazz'd Tapas Bar.

Goose Feathers has all your quick breakfast favorites, hot and cold, as well as fresh baked goods and quiches. They also have a line of signature sandwiches, soups, and salads that are available for lunch service. I went with the Quiche Loraine and an Everything Bagel with Lox, Cream Cheese, and Tomato. Both were very good and the quiche was heated up to perfection.

The staff was very friendly and service was quick. We look forward to going back, trying different things, and having one of their signature "Whoopie Pies".

Goose Feathers an Express Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon