Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skyline Chili--Harrison, Ohio

I have heard about "Cincinnati Chili" for years.  As a matter of fact, I have a recipe that proclaims to be the real thing, but I have never made it.   Frankly, I questioned the ingredient list.   

While on our road trip through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and parts farther north, we stopped in Harrison, Ohio, west of Cincinnati.  We have driven this road many times, but I have never noticed the Skyline Chili restaurant chain.    Chains don't hold much charm for me.  One of our travel companions suggested that we stop for a quick and inexpensive lunch.   They suggested Skyline Chili.   

The restaurant was about the size of a large fast food outlet.   We were seated and I had to venture off the the restroom, which I found a little disheveled.  They could have spent a little more time creating a more pleasant visit.   

We ordered from a slightly stained menu....(I think there might be a cleanliness pattern emerging here) and food was quickly delivered to the booth.  

The first thing I noticed about the chili was some spice that didn't strike me as a regular chili spice.   After reviewing my recipe when arriving home, I believe what I was trying to identify was allspice!  Something I never suspected in chili.   I did enjoy my Skyline burrito and others enjoyed their five way and a chili dog.    Frankly, I find their offering would be a much better spaghetti sauce...guess what...they serve it with spaghetti if you would like it that way.   Also available, 3-way: spaghetti, sauce, finely grated Cheddar cheese, 4-way: spaghetti, sauce, cheese, onions, 5-way: spaghetti, sauce, cheese, onions, beans.

All in all, it was a filling five dollar lunch.   Would I stop again...maybe.  

Skyline Chili Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The New Holland Brewing Company--Holland, MI

What a beautiful city that Holland, MI offers.   While visiting my son, daughter and grandson, they suggested we have lunch at one of their favorite restaurants.   The city is very "walkable" and off we left for a great lunch.  

They suggested New Holland, a brew house and dining.   We arrived about 11:30AM and the place was moderately filled.    By the time we left the place was packed with business people, Hope College students and numerous tourists.   

Loved the causal dining space

Our hostess immediately seated us and our server promptly appeared to take our drink order.   She suggested their current brew but we selected water and iced tea.  She was very quick...but as the room filled for lunch, her presence became sparse.  We were not ignored, by any means, but it did take a couple of hands raised to get her attention.  

We ordered the Vegetarian Ciabatta,  The Brew House Salad and a small House salad with smoked Turkey added.  Our little one had the grilled cheese from the children's  menu.    Very fresh and quickly served!  

The Smoked Turkey

The Brew House Salad

The Vegetarian Ciabatta with Potato Salad

We didn't order desserts since our lunch portions were more than enough!  Maybe next time.  

New Holland Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

The Elbo Room--Saugatuck MI

The Elbo Room has BREAKFAST and they do it right.  From what I hear...the building has had a few incantations...but the current chef does it right.  The locals and  visiting summer residents concur it serves the best breakfast.  

We arrived about 8 AM and the place was moderately busy.  Regular hours are 8AM to 9PM.    The heavy rainstorm during the night and early morning kept some people home but we were determined to join the crowd. 

The restaurant has a very pretty interior....very old world in appearance.   The dining room we were seated displayed a beautiful mural working into the fireplace wall.  

We began with a dinner plate sized cinnamon roll.   This would serve four people minimum...and I would expect it to for $6.99.   We enjoyed the roll  while our coffee cups remained full to the top by our server.   

Unfortunately, with the heavy rain, the waterfront dining room was closed.  It is an open dining room and the rain took its toll.   But it still provided a beautiful view.  

Outdoor Dining by the Marina

On to the menu and we started with the Breakfast Light consisting of 2 eggs any style, 1 turkey link sausage, and fresh fruit with yogurt and granola, served in a pretty parfait glass.   Nice presentation with red strawberries, fresh Michigan blue berries and the luscious white yogurt.  My friends began with the Farmer's Omelet,  Florentine Benedict, the Classic Benedict and The Southern Benedict, house made sausage with poached eggs atop a freshly made biscuit halves and loaded with the homemade sausage gravy.  Wow...what a plate that was.   

The Farmer's Omelet

Oh...and I forgot about the wonderful rye toast!!   Out of this world and accompanied with the homemade Blueberry preserves.    This breakfast is worth the drive and the wait.   Highly recommend this restaurant...and maybe next time, we can go for the burgers and sandwiches that they also serve.   My curiosity was piqued with their Avocado Fries....fresh avocado dipped in a secret mix and pan fried and served with a bistro dipping sauce.   That sounds so good and I will order that next time we get to visit! 

Elbo Room on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Long's Drug Lunch Counter--Knoxville

Long's Fountain and Pharmacy
Here it is...the one and only!!   Long's Lunch Counter.    There isn't an empty seat in the house and it has been this was since 1956.   The only thing different is in 1956, they used real china and glassware.  Today...Styrofoam, disposable everything.  Oh still serves a great burger, fries and onion rings.     

Today....something different so I ordered the Salad Plate.   I was hoping to get the chicken salad...but not on Thursday.  I don't know why it is only available on Monday Wednesday and Friday.      My Salad Plate included their famous tuna, egg salad & cottage cheese w/ sliced peaches.   Fresh sliced tomatoes were also included for $4.85.   A great treat for the reasonable price. 

When you arrive, plan on waiting for a table...the place will be packed but the tables do turn quickly.  My wait was about five minutes but unfortunately, they don't have much standing room. 

There is nothing that brings back the memories of drug store lunch counters like Longs....and probably one of the few remaining lunch/fountain counters in this area! 

Long's Drug Store on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Don Gallo Mexican Grill--Knoxville

I have found it!!  
My NEW favorite Mexican restaurant in the Knoxville area!  

Don Gallo Mexican Grill has been open for two years now...but I was thinking Casa Don Gallo and this restaurant were the same....well, they  are similar but they are two separate operations.  

Miss M convinced me to try the  Hardin Valley location since she lives closer to this location than the Rocky Hill restaurant.    I was in the area she assured me I needed to try it.   Oh...I am glad that I did.  

We started off with the tortilla chips and red salsa.   Chips were warm and crisp but the highlight was the salsa.   Chunky, thick, well balanced seasonings with an overtone of sweetness.   The lime juice lingered in the background but the total taste was perfect for me!  

After enjoying the chips, we began the lunch menu search.   Miss M wanted to try the Carne Verde (beef with a tomatillo sauce)  and I had to have the Chimi con Carne.  

Carne Verde..nice mellow sauce

Chimi con Carne

The entrees were perfectly flavored, hot and delicious.   Frijoles and rice also were some of the best I have ever tasted.   Usually, the rice is something I find added to the plate like parsley and I don't eat it.   This rice was great to the last grain.  

Cocktails, beer and wine are now available.   Some of the Knox county liquor laws are antiquated at best, but they are coming around.    On a cooler day, their outdoor patio looks inviting..but today at 97F...we HAD to sit inside.    

Nice Patio

The Entrance off Hardin Valley Road at the Pellissippi Freeway

Don Gallo Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon