Monday, January 14, 2013

The Disturbing and Depressing Colouring Book

Slow's BBQ - Detroit, MI

Review to come...

Lafayette Coney Island - Detroit, MI

American Coney Island - Detroit, MI

Review to follow

Melt Bar & Grilled - Cleveland Heights, OH

Before I even ordered, I knew this was one of those places where my meal would go unfinished.  The monstrosity of the surrounding sandwiches could not go un-noticed.  I perused the ample beer selection and ordered my fist pint, Flower Power on tap - not too shabby.

The seemingly endless selection of grilled cheese variations stumped me for a while, but I decided to stay true to one of my favorite movies and ordered 'The Dude Abides' - a sandwich tribute to The Big Lebowski. A meatball and mozzarella cheese stick concoction complete with additional provolone and marinara sauce, (the whole thing) dusted in Romano cheese.  Of course, it showed up piled high with French fries... I think I may have eaten one just to try them.

The sandwich was fantastic as was the beer, a very good selection of US micro-brews (about 10 taps and plenty of bottles). I could only finish half of this monster sandwich, but was it ever good.  I would definitely return and recommend it to anyone in the Cleveland area. 

Deluca's Restaurant - Pittsburgh, PA

Nestled in the market district of Pittsburgh, Deluca's was a busy little spot on a Friday morning!  Always a good sign.

Now, when I look at the menu in a diner, my eyes always seem to gravitate towards the corned beef hash; this time was no different.  I find that the hash is a pretty good benchmark in judging a diner.  Deluca's effort was strong, not the best corned beef hash I've ever had, by far, but it was certainly passable. It did it's job, soaking up the leftover booze from the night before and leaving a notable grease stain on my fork.

Portions, huge. Coffee, fresh. Staff, polite and prompt.  If you're looking for a greasy spoon in the Steel City, by all means check out Deluca's, a true hard-working-man's, American diner.

Jamaica Way Kitchen - Nashville, TN

The Musket - Toronto, ON

Review to follow

The Famous Haugen's - Port Perry, ON

Review to follow

Reggie's Hot Grill - Peterborough, ON

Review to follow...

The Landmark Cafe - Victoria, PE

Review to Follow

The Broken Record - San Francisco, CA

Review to follow...

Crazy Burger - Naraganset, RI

Review to follow...

Charlie's Diner - Spencer, MA

Brandy's - Flagstaff, AZ

Review to follow...

Lake Effect Diner - Buffalo, NY

Review to follow

The Tomahawk - Vancouver, BC

Review to follow...

The Red Wagon - Vancouver, BC

We made the most out of a pre-cruise layover in Vancouver, knocking The Red Wagon and The Tomahawk off of the Triple D to-do list. Our plane touched down around 9:00am and by 11:00am we had made it to our hotel and onward to The Red Wagon. Not exactly on the sunny side of the street, but well worth the cab ride through the Hastings district - I do not advise walking to this location.

How was it, you ask?  Five words: Jack Daniels Pulled Pork Pancakes... need I say more. I do not classify myself as a pancake-type-of-guy, but these blew me away.  Light and fluffy, porky goodness with maple and a hint of booze... the perfect balance. The coffe was fresh and plentiful, and you could tell there were a lot of regulars in the joint - on a Thursday!  Be sure to visit if you're in town.

Cabo Fish Taco - Charlotte, NC

Cabo Fish Taco is about a 15 minute cab ride from downtown Charlotte, tucked away in a little artsy district called "NoDa".  There was a pleasent atmoshphere and some decent beers on tap - good start.  Tortillas and homemade salsa were delivered, the salsa was great and the tortillas were very fresh.  For my lunch, I ordered the BBQ Mahi Tacos, as featured by Mr. Fieri and they did not disappoint.  All in all, I would return in a heartbeat.

Smoque BBQ - Chicago, IL

Not exactly in the heart of the city (about 30 mins away from the downtown core by car), Smoque is worth the drive!  Classic BBQ and killer sides; it was, hands down, some of the best  food of its kind since I visited Matrin's BBQ in Tennessee.  I had the brisket and the pulled pork, with their signature baked beans, slaw and their mac and cheese.  I strapped on the feedbag and went to it, bloody fantastic!  It was a Thursday night and the place was packed, the line moves quickly though and the helpful staff will help you find a seat to devour your cow and/or pig.

The one downside, they are not licensed to sell liquor.  Not a huge deal, but a beer would have been nice with this meal.  That being said, you can BYOB, which I did not know ahead of time.  In summary, grab a few cold ones and head on down to Smoque, you will not be disappointed.