Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Gus's Fried Chicken

Since Patience got a head start on me by repeatedly going to Gus's for lunch, I finally got my chance last week. We were thinking that by going early on the weekend we'd have a good shot to get in quickly, but there were still a few people ahead of us.

Luckily, it wasn't out the door until much later, so on the weekends just be prepared to wait. There is also a patio so hopefully that will help to expand the number of tables once it warms up a bit.

I was really excited about this fried chicken since it is one of the "World Famous" chains, and I had yet to try "hot chicken". I was a little nervous, but they season it so it's got just a little bit of kick. My nose was definitely running though!

Also, this is probably the most inexpensive place out of all of them. It might be due to all the styrofoam and plasticware so they probably won't be getting any awards from the Green Dining Alliance. I am hoping this makes it fairly authentic to the one in Memphis?

Since Patience only wanted dark meat and I only wanted white meat, we decided to go our separate ways when ordering instead of getting half a chicken like at the last chicken place. The white meat was VERY juicy and had a thick, crunchy skin. Impressive.

Chicken Breast, Mac N Cheese, Slaw, Potato Salad
Chicken Thighs, Mac N Cheese, Greens
I went a little overboard on the side dishes because, like always, I wanted to try them ALL!

My baked beans didn't come out, but the Slaw and Potato Salad were very necessary to help cool me down after eating the hot chicken.

The fried okra and mac 'n' cheese were wonderful favorites as well.

Fried Okra
And due to having Patience with me, dessert was ordered as well. Chocolate Chess Pie for me and Pecan for her.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Pecan Pie a la mode
This leaves just one more new fried chicken place and hopefully I'll get around to Hodak's and Porter's at some point too.

Resources:

Gus's Fried Chicken = http://gusfriedchicken.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Retreat Gastropub

My foodie coworker kept asking me and asking me if I had been to Retreat yet, because it was that good. So I had an easy answer when it came time to pick out my birthday dinner with Beth.

Very close to the IKEA, I was impressed with the remodel of the building. I bet it makes for a nice "corner bar" for a lot of people with all the new lofts going up around there. The place is fairly small so it's good that we went on a weeknight early on to get a table. When we left a couple of hours later, the place was really hoppin'! And the bar was full the whole time...

Cocktails are where it's at here and since there were four of us, we managed to order all the house cocktails in two rounds. I highly recommend this strategy!

Cocktail Menu
The first round...

This one was mine... a Hemingway Lookalike.

Hemingway Lookalike
Patience ordered the Fort Collins.

Fort Collins
Beth's Canaan's Law...

Canaan's Law
And Matt's Oaxaca Flocka Flame, which is just fun to say, was bright orange and looked like it was on fire!

Oaxaca Flocka Flame
As with most places we go to these days, we get stuck in the land of "small plates". We must try them all and rarely make it to entrees.

I knew immediately that I wanted Poutine and Mac N Cheese, since those are my favorite foods hands down.

This is not your usual poutine... while they used fingerling potatoes, there were cubes of cheese that were tastier once they melted in with the mushroom gravy.

Poutine
The Mac N Cheese was probably the tops of the night with the three cheese blend.

Mac N Cheese
I was overruled with this order of Brussels Sprouts. (Who's birthday was it anyway? Sheesh.)

Brussels Sprouts
Oh... and we all started with Potato & Leek Soup, which really hit the spot on a frigid, winter night.

Potato & Leek Soup
Matt did venture over to the other side of the menu for a Flatbread pizza that was also easily shareable.

Flatbread Pizza
After all that food...it meant round two of cocktails! This is where things are a bit fuzzy to me...

I believe I ordered the Timber so we could finish off the list.

Timber
I think this is Beth's Bon Vivant...again, fun to say over and over.

Bon Vivant
This Agave Cooler looked really refreshing.

Agave Cooler
Which leaves the Dunmore Pineapple, bright and yellow, appearing very sweet.

Dunmore Pineapple
Done yet? Of course not! Gotta have birthday dessert! The birthday dessert is the bread pudding and we all shared it since everyone was so stuffed.

Bread pudding
Although Matt did manage to squeeze in a night cap...


I really hope we can go back and "eat and drink all of the things" as Patience would say. So much to choose from! Definitely study up before you go.

Resources:

Retreat Gastropub = http://www.retreatgastropub.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, February 22, 2016

Remy's Anniversary Dinner

Since we were staying close by, I thought we'd try out Remy's for dinner as it was within walking distance. I had only been there once before for a "wine dinner", and Patience had never been before. It's a good thing we headed out early because the place was booked solid. If you want to go on a Friday or Saturday night, be sure to make a reservation!!

We were lucky that there was some space at the bar for us, especially since the restaurant is somewhat small. Although, we do enjoy sitting at the bar to watch all the cocktail shaking and other excitement that goes on behind the bar.

While we waited on our meal, they started us off with olive pate with crostinis. I prefer to eat the stuff with a spoon directly, but we did act civilized and spread it on the toasted bread. I'm pretty sure I hogged most of it though.

Olive Pate with Crostinis
We never made it to the large plates on the menu because our favorites fell into the small plates category: scallops and mussels!

Pan Seared Scallops & Spinach with tomato balsamic vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese.

Scallops
Steamed PEI Mussels with fresh herbs, garlic, white wine, butter and broth served with a grilled baguette.

Mussels
By going with small plates, then meant there was room for a cheese plate! Camembert, Smoked Gouda, and Morbier!

Cheese Plate 
Here were the choices... it was hard to pick!

Cheese list
And of course Patience makes it hard to say no to dessert. We each got our own because I wanted the chocolate and she got her creme brulee.

Check THIS out... the tower of chocolatey goodness is Chocolate Napoleon! Cocoa phyllo crisps layered with chocolate mousse served with espresso creme anglaise. Below that is the Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee.

Chocolate Napoleon

Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee
For Clayton, this restaurant is reasonably priced and small enough to have plenty of romance and charm.

Resources:

Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar = http://www.remyskitchen.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PW Pizza Left Hand Beer Dinner

We kicked the year off right with PW Pizza's Left Hand Brewing Beer Dinner, and most people know them for their Milk Stout Nitro. The Nitro was part of the dessert course, well paired with a Chocolate Fudge Brownie!

Chocolate Fudge Brownie
The other highlight of this dinner is that we probably had one of THE BEST pizzas ever for the 3rd course: Roasted Poblano Prime Rib Pizza with Provolone Cheese, Caramelized Onions, and Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce.

We made a lot of noise about how it should be on the main menu, although I'm sure throwing prime rib on a menu would be pricey!

Roasted Poblano Prime Rib Pizza
This pizza was not spicy at all and it really tasted a lot like a Philly Cheesesteak on a pizza! This was paired with the Black Jack Porter, a big beer coming in at the highest ABV of the night at 6.8%.

Jumping back to the start of the night, we kicked off with a Kale & Bacon Salad paired with the Sawtooth Ale. Easy to drink! (And you know I picked off all the bacon.)

Kale & Bacon Salad
As per usual, the Introvert IPA was my least favorite beer, but the pizza paired with it was still delicious. The Chicken & Spinach Pizza was on (my favorite) Honey Wheat Crust with goat cheese, green apple, and spiced pecans with a balsamic glaze.

Chicken & Spinach Pizza
Menu
Now there won't be a February beer dinner due to the Centennial Beer Festival that Moulin Events hosts every year.

Tickets are still available at http://centennialbeerfestival.com/

Resources:

PW Pizza = http://pwpizza.com/

Left Hand Brewing = http://lefthandbrewing.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nami Ramen

Unfortunately, Patience was feeling under the weather and all she wanted to eat was soup. Luckily, Nami Ramen just opened up in Clayton, which is about five minutes away!

Downtown Clayton is nice and quiet in the evenings so it was easy to sneak in before the dinner rush. There are not too many tables, but there are quite a few seats along the windows and at the bar in addition to a couple of communal tables.

Communal Tables
Important note: When you walk in the doors, turn right! This is very important so that the first thing you'll see is the menu, whereas if you do what we did, you'll look around the dining room completely lost.

Menu board and cashier
While I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu at Robata (they have sushi AND ramen AND you have to pick the style and you don't know what is what), I found that the menu at Nami was a lot easier to read through.

There are a lot of pork options so that really helped to narrow down my choice even more.

We started off with some edamame...

Edamame
I chose the Seafood Ramen, which came with huge chunks of shrimp tempura. Each tray comes with a soup spoon and chopsticks.

Seafood Ramen
And Patience ordered the Show Me, Shoyu Ramen, which is ramen with pork shoulder.

Show Me, Shoyu Ramen
Check out the giant seaweed paper decorating the bowl! Once it melted a little bit, I stirred it into my soup. Of course we both took half our soup home because of the generous portions.

Not as cramped as Robata... I can't wait to try more Ramen!

Resources:

Nami Ramen = http://namiramen.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, February 1, 2016

Byrd & Barrel

Since my birthday fell on the holy day of football, Patience was sweet enough to run out to Byrd & Barrel to pick up my birthday dinner. We are slowly catching up to all the fried chicken places and I had heard that this one was "fast casual" so it worked out well between football and going to a movie.

I didn't know much about this place other than it had a drive-thru and "nugz" for the kids. Since we wanted to try as many things as possible, we ordered a bit too much, but we really didn't mind leftovers.

I knew I wanted to order half a bird so that Patience could have her thigh and I could have my leg and breast. (And I got the wing.)

Half Byrd
The Nugz are really where it's at...all the taste of fried chicken with less mess! Plus you can order them white or dark. We got one of each so we could both have our own favorites.

Nugz
And of course we got our favorite sides: mac and cheese and cornbread. We had to get our own mac and cheese since they were small portions, but the cornbread was the size of my head!

Mac & Cheese
Cornbread
 It all looked so pretty on my plate...don't worry... I didn't eat it all...OK...most of it!

Full plate!
If you want to see prettier pictures, check out Whiskey & Soba's blog about it!

Resources:

Byrd & Barrel = http://byrdandbarrel.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon