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Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

French Toast Special

A breakfast special of raisin French toast couldn't have been any better.
Rate this place Reviews (1) Learn more about Food at Fishers Station...
Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, June 22, 2015 5:12 AM

Given the name of the place and its motto, "Trailer Park to Table," it isn't hard to figure out that Biscuit Bitch cultivates attitude. "It's your choice, bitch!" the menu challenges in regards to a selection of gravies that include country sausage, vegetarian, and gluten-free shiitake mushroom.

Vividly peppery and crowded with crumbled sausage, country sausage gravy is hardly trailer park cuisine. It is a poised kitchen masterpiece, perhaps best savored in the Straight-Up Bitch, which is simply a gravy-topped split biscuit. Fancier presentations include a Hot Mess Bitch, which includes eggs, garlic grits, cheese, a hot link, and jalapeno peppers; a Smokin' Hot Seattle Bitch, for which the biscuit is topped with a hot link, cream cheese, and grilled onion; and a Cheesy Pork N' Bitch featuring bacon and melted cheddar cheese.

Gravy frowners can order a Bitchwitch, which is the kitchen's gloss on a breakfast sandwich: egg, cheese, a choice of sausage, Spam or bacon, plus a measure of house made Bitchy Sauce. The sauce, a sort of tomato-pink aioli with eye-opening kick, is a great complement for biscuits that are dense and dry enough to demand some kind of lubricant – if not gravy, then Bitchy Sauce.

The menu at Biscuit Bitch is strictly breakfast (it closes mid-afternoon). Those in need of something sweet can order a Nutty Bitch made with Nutella, banana, and whipped cream, a Buttered Up Bitch (butter and jam or maple peanut butter) or, on occasion, a classic strawberry shortcake biscuit with whipped cream. Coffee is known as Bitch Blend, roasted by Seattle's 7 Roasters, and it is kick-ass good.

Notes: A limited number of gluten-free biscuits are available each day. The Bitch is closed Monday. A second Biscuit Bitch is located at 1909 1st Ave. It is closed Tuesday. Biscuit Bitch has late-night hours on weekends.
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Roadfood of the Day: 'wichcraft - New York, NY
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2015

My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich

The perfect combination. Everything on this sandwich makes sense.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, June 21, 2015 4:52 AM

Tat's serves what it calls "East Coast steaks & subs." Cheese steaks head the list: thinly-sliced beef piled into an Italian roll topped with your choice of provolone, Swiss, cheddar, American, pepper jack, mozzarella or, of course, Cheez Whiz. Options include onions, mushrooms, and peppers. The grilled beef is velvet-soft and admirably unctuous and the fresh rolls have oomph, even if they do lack the yeasty flavor of the very best bakery rolls that star back in Delaware Valley cheese steak country.

Hot subs are awesome, especially the one known as Tat'strami. That's pastrami with melted Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Russian dressing – in other words, a Rachel on a roll. What makes it sing is the pastrami itself: spicy, tender, juicy, radiant with smoke flavor. A more familiar Reuben, which is a similar configuration but with corned beef instead of pastrami, also is available – on rye bread. And there are subs of sausage, fried chicken or chicken parm, eggplant parmesan, meatballs, and hot roast beef.

Tat's makes the traditional distinction between subs (which are hot) and hoagies (which are cool and customarily dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and mayo or oil). Among the latter are a classic Italian, made of capicola, salami, provolone, and coteghino bologna, and hot and sweet peppers. All sub-roll sandwiches, hot and cold, are available in 8-inch or 12-inch sizes. They are generously apportioned, so the smaller version ought to satisfy all but the most Homeric appetite.

A noisy, high-spirited Pioneer Square eatery with a crowd of tables inside and a few on the sidewalk, Tat's doesn't fit the rule of Roadfood that says a restaurant should deliver flavor unique to its location. It is, after all, a taste of the Northeast in the Northwest. But if you crave a hefty sub, hoagie, or cheese steak in Seattle, it is a place you'll be glad to visit.
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Posted on Sunday, June 21, 2015

French Toast Trio

The French Toast Trio (blueberry, blackberry, and regular) is a morning treat.
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery & Cafe...
Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, June 20, 2015 5:26 AM

Back in the late 19th century, Gordonsville, Virginia, was known as the Chicken Leg Center of the Universe. After the Civil War, the town's "chicken ladies," gained national renown for standing on the train platform and offering trays full of fried chicken and biscuits to travelers, who could reach out the window of a stopped train, grab what they wanted, and pay. When I visited Gordonsville, I hoped to find modern-day renditions of the legendary fried chicken. Although the town does host a yearly Fried Chicken Festival in May, I discovered no great fried chicken restaurants there. However, the nearby city of Charlottesville proved to be a 21st century fried chicken bonanza.

I had dreamy chicken and waffles at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue (reviewed here), and superb drumsticks and thighs at Wayside Takeout & Catering (also reviewed here), and I ate countless excellent pieces of fried chicken at the most unlikely eateries in and around the city. By unlikely, I mean that these places appear to be standard-issue service stations or convenience stores with a basic mini-mart inventory of beef jerky, beer, cigarettes, sundries, and lottery tickets. But somewhere to the side or at the back is a place where great fried chicken is cooked and served.

Brown's is one of the best. Until 2011, it was known as Stoney's Grocery, but it is now helmed by Mike Brown, who became known to local chicken devotees for the superior quality of what he served at his mini-mart in Esmont, south of Charlottesville. From the outside, you'd never know it's worth a stop, except as a bargain – a sign in the window advertises 10 pieces of chicken for $10.99. But once you walk in the door, a first drawn breath will sound the good-eats alert, for the air is redolent of good cooking – not just fried chicken, but also collard greens, spuds, and fruit cobblers to accompany it. Yes, this nondescript place serves four-star bird: drippy and juicy, fine and fatty, tingling with pepper and a shot of some subtle, sneaky spice that veritably glows on your tongue, commanding you to want more and more. At first crunch through the luscious crust, it seems merely well-salted, but as you devour it, intriguing spices keep rolling across your tongue, making this an endlessly intriguing eating experience.

There is no place to eat at Brown's. All business is take-out.
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Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2015

Guacomole and Chips

Creamy guacomole that also has texture and just a hint of heat.
Rate this place Reviews (1) Learn more about Tesuque Village Market...
Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, June 19, 2015 5:19 AM

When Paseo abruptly closed back in November, 2014, Seattle sandwich lovers sobbed. This brash little eatery (actually two eateries, in Ballard and Fremont) had developed a huge reputation – a nationwide reputation – for great Cuban-style sandwiches since it opened in the early 1990s. Owner Lorenzo Lorenzo, taken down by a labor dispute, went bankrupt. The next month, the restaurant's name and assets were bought in auction; and buyer Ryan Santwire reopened in January, promising the same menu, many of the same staff, and the same outstanding bread from Macrina Bakery. In fact, he pledged that he wouldn't run out of bread mid-lunch as was common in Paseo's early days.

So what is all the fuss about? It is about marinated roast pork cooked until butter tender and piled in great large chunks into the capacious maw of toasted-crisp baguettes; it is about thick leaves of onion that are sautéed low and slow so they soften and turn caramel sweet, becoming ribbons of succulence so compelling that one popular meatless sandwich on the menu is, quite simply, a heap of onions, greens, peppers, and spice. Paseo's appeal also is about smoke-cured ham, meaty Tiger prawns, grilled-and-roasted skin-on chicken thighs, and great slatherings of garlicky aioli. Our Seattle friend Kelly even clued us in to the delights of the kitchen's tofu sandwich in which garlic tapenade elevates soy protein to a state of meat-like deliciousness.

While superb sandwiches are the main reason people love Paseo, passion for it also arises from a rollicking, rough-and-tumble ambiance. It is truly a shack with such limited seating that most customers eat outside on the sidewalk, in their cars, or somewhere else they can get comfortable with food that is tremendously, unavoidably messy and drippy. Place your order at the counter and pay (the new ownership now takes credit cards!), then wait for your number to be yelled at full volume above the inevitable din of the little dining area, at which point it is your job to fetch the freshly-made and ready-wrapped food. Cramped quarters intensify not only the noise, but the smell from the kitchen, which is just behind the order counter, sending seductive aromas of roasting pork and cooking onions out to coil among customers. The smell of Paseo is a perfume that permeates clothing for hours after the meal.
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Posted on Friday, June 19, 2015

Steamed Shrimp

Shrimp steamed in Old Bay seasoning and served piping hot with melted butter or cocktail sauce .
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Hudson's On The Docks...
Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, June 18, 2015 12:06 AM

It is a known fact that South Carolina cooks are masters of fried seafood; Bush’s is evidence that the talent is not just a coastal trait. At the western side of the state, practically in Georgia, a humble fish & chips shack called Bush’s flies the frying beacon high. Here you can savor firm, sweet shrimp (jumbos or Calabash minis), creamy slabs of flounder, lasciviously large oysters, tender scallops, soulful catfish, and a wide variety of other flatfish such as whiting, croaker, mullet, and bream, all encased in a thin, crisp, vividly seasoned coat.

If you are allergic to fried food, there is an all-you-can-eat crab legs deal in the $20 range – about twice the price of most meals. And if you are a fish frowner, try the pork chops. They are boneless and they are haloed by that fine, fragile crust that gives the seafood its flavor glow. People who visit in a more adventurous mood can opt for such non-mainstream menu items as catfish stew or chitlins (by the pint). The menu even offers Buffalo wings and a half-pound hamburger described as “incredible”; but I can’t imagine coming here and not getting fried seafood.

Whatever is at the center of the plate, side dishes are essential. These range from uniquely South Carolinian hash and rice to all-American mac ‘n’ cheese. I am enamored of the collard greens, which have all the tonic punch one expects, but with a completely unexpected sweetness that makes them into a whole other kind of very happy vegetable.

Dining is in a single, fairly small room where tables are set up in rows reminiscent of a commissary. This makes for an agreeably sociable tone; and while I am a stranger in these parts, the staff and other customers soon had me feeling like a regular. I can’t wait to return.
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