Monday, July 14, 2014

FGAtFT: Zombie Dogs

I finally got to eat a Zombie Dog. A lot of them, to be precise. I couldn't decide on one and was feeling less gluttonous than usual, so my family of 2.5 got three dogs and split them. From front to back, you're looking at Blood Graffiti, Juan of the Dead and Dead Dixie. 

It's hard to give an incredibly descriptive review of franks, but they were all kick ass.  I thought I would like Dead Dixie the best, but I actually liked it the least. It was good, but not nearly as stand-out as Juan. Blood graffiti was basically a pizza dog, something someone should have thought of a long time ago. Can't wait to catch them close to home or work again, hopefully without a painfully long line!  And thanks to my friend Jason Laveck to giving me the heads on their location frequently. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finally getting around to food trucks: Harvest

People are always so surprised that up until a couple of months ago, I had never really tried any of the local food trucks. I tried to go to one of the food truck rallies downtown, but I made the mistake of going to the first one that was held and it was a hot mess. My job has me in a different city every day, and when I check the food truck schedule-no food trucks are in that city on that day. 

However, I live close to Eudora Brewing and have a friend that alerts me anytime Zombie Dogs is close to my office or home. Eudora's parking lot has started hosting several different food trucks on the weekends, as has my friends' workplace - Community Tissue on Research. 

I popped into CTS to have lunch with my friends and try Harvest. The menu that day didn't really blow my mind, but I decided to go with the local wrap. After seeing my pal's fries, I immediately regretted my decision to go with Sun chips. The wrap, I thought, would be so amazing I wouldn't care. 

The wrap looks really good on paper(or dry erase board), but lost a little something in execution. The photo above shows a beautiful cross-section, which is how it was displayed in the box that it was neatly packed up in. Only the first bite of either side looked and tasted like that cross-section.  
Let me preface this by saying that I know chicken is expensive. The wrap was mostly greens, a little sauce, some asparagus, a sliced strawberry and maybe a teaspoon of goat cheese. Very little chicken to speak of. It pains me to say this, but it was bland. What I'm really looking for here is for someone to tell me that it was an off day, or that I simply ordered the wrong thing. While I don't mind paying $10 for lunch to support a local business, it had better taste like a $10 lunch. You dig? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

FvF on the Road: Las Vegas

Let's be serious: I drank a lot more than I ate in Las Vegas. This is comical in and of itself, considering drinks run about $11-20 a piece. But hey, when in rome - get loaded on expensive craft cocktails, right?

Rx Boiler Room - Mandalay Bay

Food portions are on the smaller side, but the citrus braised veal cheeks were excellent. If you're my co-worker, they may throw a hot plate of pastrami sliders at you and then only offer to replace that spilled plate for free after ruining your shirt.
The basic rundown is this: all of the servers are outfitted in steampunk regalia. If you don't know what that means, imagine if Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bauhaus had a kid, and it got picked on at school all the time (why wouldn't it?). More importantly, the female servers and hostesses are wearing little more than a corset and some tulle. Which is great when they're pouring you one of these right out of the skull-shaped, smoke filled bottle:
Doesn't look like much, but check out this video for the full experience (and no, that lightweight is NOT me). It really was tremendous. It smelled like someone was boiling maple syrup over a campfire, and the blend of cola syrup was just right. I enjoyed the hell out of this. Service here was meh. They made a big misstep in how they attempted to correct the food spillage on my work buddy. 3.5/5

Carmine's - Shoppes at Caesar's Palace
I'll admit, this photo of Chicken Saltimbocca looks gnarly, but it was delicious. I can't find this dish on a menu in Dayton to save my life. Even more amazing, but not pictured, was the veal. Holy hell, it was out of this world. For those unfamiliar, Carmine's is a family style Italian joint with its original location in NYC. This is their Las Vegas second coming, which I hear happens a lot there. By family style (now it's your turn to get your minds out of the gutter), the dishes serve about 3-4 people a piece, so don't be alarmed at the $30+ per entree pricing. Service was outstanding, mostly because our server really knew the menu and wine list.

I had another great cocktail somewhere at the Mirage, but all I can remember is bourbon, peaches, mint and ginger. It was delicious. I obviously liked them enough to order a subsequent one, and forget where I was or what it was called.

Non-food-related notes - the pools and conference facilities at Mandalay Bay were fantastic. Rooms were fine. Not particularly earth-shattering, but the bathrooms were really nice. Views are a little limited because MB is on the ass-end of the strip. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FvF on the Road: Toledo Eats

It thrills me that even when I'm not updating, over 100 people a day still come check out FvF.  However, it also makes me feel like a dick for neglecting it - considering I used to top 500 readers a day.

So, dear eaters, I give you a brief food tour of Toledo. Between my work travels and a real vacation, I've had a lot of outstanding food lately (and some I could have lived without) - so it doesn't seem fair to withhold all of these perfectly good recommendations...should you ever find yourself in the city by the lake. In chronological order:

Biaggi's - Levis Commons
Reminded me a LOT of Brio or Bravo.

The major difference was the combination of letters after the B. It was good, but I wouldn't say remarkable. I also didn't order a remarkable dish because it was lunchtime and I'm not an animal. I got some kind of panini that claimed to have gouda, which I couldn't taste - but the tomato bisque was nice. Would I choose Piada over it about any day? Probably.  4/5

Byblos - Holland
Hooooooooooooly falafel, Batman. This salad should be served at all times, at any and all loosely Mediterranean joints. Also, best pickles of my life. Ever. I wanted to fill my purse with them and fill my hotel mini-fridge with them, as to enjoy them my entire stay. If you've never been to Toledo (I can't say I recommend it for a lengthy stay), probably 50% of the eateries put fresh, warm pita bread on the table where you'd normally find a boring loaf of bread. This is another thing most restaurants should start adopting. Right away. Anyhow, the salad was comprised of some kick-ass falafel, fresh cukes, tomatoes and radishes - and as you can see, covered in parsley. It was so good, I didn't even miss the meat. They also have a few Turkish/Greek wines on their list that I may have enjoyed one or a handful of.      6/5

Empire Restaurant - Oregon
Just don't eat here. Really. Just don't. You're welcome.

Tony Packo's - Original Location
A Toledo institution (of the food variety, not mental).

 It was explained very basically to me, and delivered on what was promised - coneys with a split sausage instead of a hot dog. The side of paprikash I got left a lot to be desired, but the dog and sauce were great.     3.5/5

Poco Piatti
Super legit tapas. Meat lollies!!!

The great sangria, beer selection and chorizo tacos didn't hurt, either. Nifty little place, with nifty little plates.
And again, with the fresh pita on the table. 4.5/5

Friday, April 18, 2014

Free fries at Penn Station - ANY day!

Most sandwich lovers know that every Sunday in April denotes FREE fresh cut fries with the purchase of any sub. Wouldn't it be nice to get free fries on a Tuesday in June, though?

You lucky dogs, I can make that happen for you!

I have three free fry passes, good until 2015 - any ol' day of the week. The first person to send me three new fans, or the first three people to send me a new fan on the Facey Pages, are winning these suckers.  Make sure your friends that "like" FvF on Facebook shoot me a message to let me know who sent them.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We you missed us, we're baaaaaaaack!

Stay tuned for the first giveaway in over a year, eaters.  We missed you, too!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Smoked Sausage Tortellini Soup

I really need to post this before I forget the recipe myself.  I'm a big fan of getting an idea for something and running with it, as well as making a soup out of whatever is in the fridge and pantry. In light of that, I give you this incredibly easy and inexpensive weeknight soup that tastes slow-cooked, but isn't. Sorry, guys - I'll take a photo next time!

Smoked Sausage Tortellini Soup

2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 link turkey smoked sausage (fully cooked), cut in rounds, then in half again
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 can great northern beans (or cannellini beans, if you prefer)
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pkg cheese-filled tortellini*

* I used the fresher, refrigerated variety-  like Buitoni. If you don't care for this, can't find it or already have the dried stuff, just par-boil if beforehand. 

Heat a little olive oil in a stock pot and start sauteing your onions, carrots and garlic, then toss in your chopped sausage to brown up a bit, then your tomatoes and beans and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add all of the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add your chopped spinach and let it wilt for about 2-3 minutes, then add your tortellini and let it cook for about 5-10 more - but make sure the pasta doesn't cook so long that it explodes or gets mushy.  Slow and low!  Toss a little shredded Parmesan on the finished product, and serve with some crusty bread and a salad.  You're welcome.