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Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:58 AM


Green Vegetarian Restaurant is not merely vegetarian. It also is kosher, meaning closed Friday night and Saturday; several items on the menu are strictly vegan; some are gluten-free.

The sun was blazing when we stopped in, so it seemed only right to start with an icy smoothie that blended pineapple, mango, papaya and banana in a mix known as "tropical cooler." Refreshing? More than a bath in ice water.

The menu offers many options, including breakfast/slash/brunches that include sweet potato pancakes, huevos rancheros, migas and vegan tacos. Of course there are salads: Greek, raw beet, raw vegetables with raw pecan hummus and a taco salad that includes soy chili. Side dishes are listed on the menu "from healthiest to happiest" – kale salad to French fries and onion rings.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Filberts (aka hazelnuts) are a true-Oregon crop. 99% of all the ones grown in the United States fall from trees in a patch of the Valley west of the Cascades and north of Eugene. The word "filbert" comes either from St. Philibert, whose nameday is August 22, when the English nut crop is ready to harvest, or possibly from the fact that the husk around an on-the-tree filbert's shell resembles a full beard, words that somehow morphed into filbert.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9:09 AM

Well situated for an impatient appetite arriving at the Buffalo Airport, Charlie the Butcher’s is an essential stop for anyone who wants to sample the Nickel City’s unique sandwich, “beef on weck.” Slow-roasted beef, tender and pink, is sliced thin and piled on a hard roll that is crusted with pretzel salt and kummel (caraway seeds). The top half of the roll gets dipped briefly in beef juice. The sandwich is served with only a pickle spear as garnish, although many customers slather it with eye-opening horseradish from the Broadway Market (where Charlie Roesch’s grandfather started this beef dynasty in 1914).

It’s a no-frills restaurant. Place your order at the front window with its fabulous view of the carving block, then pay and find a seat at the low-low counter or a table topped with oilcloth. All seats provide a nice view of the kitchen, where you’ll see Charlie himself, with a large staff of accomplished helpmates, slicing cabbage, tending soups, and cutting beef to order. Sandwiches are served in cardboard boats; and it’s customary to bus your own table.

By the way, Charlie’s menu extends beyond beef on weck; and everything else we’ve sampled is first rate: Buffalo-made hot dogs and sausages grilled over coals, chicken spiedie (a boneless breast that is marinated and grilled), and such daily-special sandwiches as meat loaf (Tuesday), and double-smoked ham (Monday). The beverage list includes the local favorite, Loganberry, as well as Charlie’s personal favorite, Birch Beer.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Huckleberry Carrot Cake

If you order one thing - make sure it is this unique dessert.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, April 7, 2014 4:46 AM

Classic Chicago Hot Dog

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Glen Stepanovic, who wrote imploring us to visit Gene & Jude's. Somehow, this estimable hot dog stand just a few minutes the OTHER side of O'Hare had eluded our radar. It is hugely popular – Glen said it's the largest purveyor of Vienna hot dogs on earth – but it is a relatively small and extremely modest place. There are no tables or chairs at all; as is Chicago custom, the eatery offers a chest-high counter to which you may bring your meal, unwrap it, and eat standing up. When you're finished, use the wax paper in which the food was served to gather up any scraps and heave them in one of the large garbage cans provided in the corners of the room. We find this arrangement comfortable and eminently practical for eating extremely messy food; however, many customers choose to dine in their cars in the parking lot.

You get a hot dog or a double dog. The natural-casing, all-beef Vienna brand tube steaks are slim and snappy; they are inserted into soft buns and dressed with mustard, onions, piccalilli, or sport peppers as you request. Glen told us that some hot dog historians consider this the "original" Chicago style dog, before the more baroque garnishes of pickle spear, tomato slice, and celery salt.

A fine, fine hot dog … but wait, there's more! Whatever toppings are included, each dog gets heaped with a large fistful of French fries … some of the best French fries in Chicago. Fresh? Forget about it! As you wait for your hot dog to be prepared, you can watch the counter folks peel and cut whole potatoes, then fry them, drain them, and pile them onto waiting dogs. They spend a good long time in the bubbling oil, emerging a dark, dark brown with some pieces crunchy through-and-through, others thick and potato-creamy inside.

It's a great, true-Chicago meal.
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Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014

Joe's "Dreyfus Store" Restaurant

The strange name of this restaurant goes back to the 19th century, when a building on this spot was a dry goods store run by Theodore Dreyfus. When Joe and Diane Major made it into a restaurant in 1989, they kept the name as an homage to the old store.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, April 6, 2014 5:20 AM

This week's Stern story at The Daily Beast is about New Orleans' nearly-forgotten breakfast treat, cala cakes, and a funky little French Quarter cafe called The Old Coffee Pot that serves them topped with powdered sugar and accompanied by creamy grits.

Source: Cala Cake Story
Roadfood of the Day: Café Lola - Lafayette, LA
Posted on Sunday, April 6, 2014


A doppio, described on the Cafe Lola menu as "the concentrated 'essence' of coffee pressure brewed." It is stout, rich, and creamy topped.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, April 5, 2014 6:18 AM

If you are a layer cake lover, we suggest a trip to Orlando, where the variety and quality are superb. Clockwise from upper left: chocolate frosted white cake at P&D Soul Kitchen, Key lime cake also at P&D Soul Kitchen, strawberry-white cake at Nikki's Place, and red velvet cake from Gordon's Be Back Fish House.

Roadfood of the Day: The Pie - Port Jefferson, NY
Posted on Saturday, April 5, 2014

Closest Thing to New Haven

To those Long Islanders who can't make the journey to New Haven, CT - I suggest eating at "The Pie" to get a piece of it.
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