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Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Salumi

Platter of assorted salumi: as is typical in Tuscany, the meats are fattier than we'd find in the US. Not in the photo, we were served slices of the most exquisite melon we've ever tasted. Sweet, complex, and juicy and firm-textured.
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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 4:51 AM

If you plan to spend time in Newport, Oregon, you plan to eat seafood. Local Ocean Seafoods is the best seafood restaurant in Newport. Ergo...

Your first challenge will be to secure yourself and your dining companions a table. This is not a large restaurant, word is out, and they take no reservations. Our first visit, on a Saturday evening, would have required a one hour and twenty minute wait. We passed on the opportunity and returned during the week, when waiting times were much more reasonable. So plan your approach: dine early or during the week, if you can. If not, you can pass the time strolling along the waterfront, inspecting the fishing boats berthed for the evening.

The menu is divided between small plates, sandwiches, and big plates, and this is one restaurant where you would do just as well to order a series of dishes that catch your interest, until you are satisfied, rather than follow the traditional appetizer/entree approach. Yaquina Bay is across the street. Let that be a clue: order some meltingly tender pan-fried oysters, either a small or large order. These are not the crunch-crusted deep-fried oysters you'll encounter in a New Orleans po' boy, but they are just as delicious in their own way.

If you like smoked fish, get the smoked salmon salad, which is a mammoth green salad so well-laced with chunks of the hot-smoked fish that every bite seems infused with smoky savor. As if that's not enough, the salad is topped with toasted local hazelnuts. Excellent fish tacos made with local rockfish can serve as a starter or an entire meal. Steamed local clams will keep you happily occupied for a while, even when the clams are gone, as you dip the accompanying garlic bread in the garlicky clam broth.

As you enter the restaurant you'll pass by the raw fish case (Local Ocean is also a fresh seafood shop). Notice how each sparkling-fresh layout is fronted by a card that not only tells you where the fish was caught, but how it was caught (hook & line, longline, etc.), and even the name of the fishing vessel from which this particular batch was procured. You can enjoy some of that provender on big plates that feature seared king salmon, grilled halibut, a whole Dungeness crab, or anything else that was hauled from the sea the day you arrived. Whatever you order, if you are a fan of thin and wispy onion rings, you must place an order for Frizzled Onions.

Our only quibble with Local Ocean is this: they would do better to exercise a little more restraint in the conception of the dishes. Sometimes, they do so much, garnishing the plate to a fare-thee-well, that the luxuriously fresh seafood can get lost in the amalgam. With seafood this gorgeous, less is more.

Dessert? There's only one, and it's a good one: a shortbread parfait featuring crumbled cookies and local berries.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gelati

A cup of some of the finest gelati in Italy.
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Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
Item Results
Mustard 581
Chili 99
Onions 79
Ketchup 74
Relish 51
Sauerkraut 44
No condiment at all! 35
Comments (1)
Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015

Mmmmmm

Here is my wonderful sundae; with real whipped cream and nuts if you'd like!
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Roadfood of the Day: Julio's - Clarksburg, WV
Posted on Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pasta e Fagiole

We've listed this classic pasta and bean dish as an entree, but if you're packing plenty of appetite, or are willing to share with another diner, it's also a great appetizer. This is the version in broth with fennel. It's also available with cream sauce, with marinara, and with potatoes and kale.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, January 31, 2015 4:51 AM

Ready to Eat

I am a waffle whore. Nevermind my anti-Belgian prejudice, there are few waffles that don't attract me and no restaurant with waffle in its name that I don't automatically like, from Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles to Waffle House. So when I was told about The Waffle in Los Angeles, I was on my way.

Apparently, it is a happening place later in the day, when it serves cocktails to a cool crowd. The squareness of its waffle menu has garnered a retro-chic admiration society. But I arrived at the wrong time to see any such stylin'. On Saturday morning at 7:45, 15 minutes after opening, I was the one and only customer; by the time I left at 8:30, four others had come in: a couple and a weekend daddy with his daughter. It could have been an ordinary diner anywhere. Fittingly, coffee is presented with a stirrer already in the mug; and it gets topped off with hash-house regularity.

The Waffle's waffles are big Belgian rectangles, but light and crisp rather than doughy; and they have the eggy flavor that morning meals want. Each comes with a couple of little butter tubs, and although the butter is soft, there is no way easily to spread it on a tile with treads so big. Some holes get more, others less or none. Each trough holds massive amounts of syrup. All sorts of waffles are available, including ones with pecans or bacon baked in, multi-grains, gluten-frees, and even a red velvet waffle. You get two to an order, I tried the sticky bun variation, a plain waffle topped with the sort of goo that adorns Cinnabons: unjustifiable by any meaningful culinary or nutrition standards, but hard not to eat.

There are plenty of non-waffle breakfasts as well as a full menu of sandwiches, soups, and milk shakes, as well as several vegetarian and vegan offerings.
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Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2015

The fried chicken is heavily battered with ultra-brittle skin, while the inside meat is wonderfully moist and juicy.
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Posted by Bill Homan on Friday, January 30, 2015 1:23 PM

A little over six years ago, I wrote a review for Eddie's that was a bit of a mixed bag. I loved some dishes while others just didn't work for me. I am happy to report that I have been back numerous times since then, by myself and with family, and I have loved it more and more with each visit.

The Giant Beef BBQ sandwich has nothing to do with BBQ pits, smoked meat or sauce. As is the case with many "BBQ" sandwiches across Central NY, the focus is on slow roasted meat that is then simmered in its own juices. Just a great sandwich with a LOT of flavor and the scratch-made mashed potatoes & gravy on the side were no slouch.

While I have grown to love their classic Hot Ham on a Toasted Bun, the sleeper hit for me is their Grilled Hot Ham sandwich. Capicola ham piled high on buttered and toasted Italian bread and paired with gooey melted provolone cheese proved to be an unbeatable combination for me.

I finally had a chance to try Eddie's Italian Greens, their version of the classic Central NY appetizer/side dish. Greens are sautéed escarole greens with onions, garlic, hot peppers, romano cheese and in this case, a healthy dose of chopped hot ham. Earthy, rich and with a bit of crunch they do justice to this dish.

My only regret with the Fifi's Special is that I had waited so long to try it, Fifi is the nickname of Florence Stewart, who along with Eddie Stewart, was the co-founder of Eddie's back in 1934. The sauce for this dish includes incredibly tender pieces of pork and beef that are part of Eddie's over 80-year old sauce recipe. Combine that with some hot & sweet peppers and rigatoni and you've got a huge, hearty bowl that is pure comfort and can probably make one or two more meals!

Eddie's has a new, fresh looking neon sign out front, complete with their phone number, website and a very jovial pig on it, sporting a chef's hat and apron. Despite the 21st century upgrade, the always wonderful pies have remained the same as when I first came here in the late 1970s. On recent visits I've had many, many slices of their chocolate cream pie, which is my standby, their peanut butter pie (with a comically large crown of whipped cream topping) and on my most recent visit, I sampled a couple of bites from my brother-in-law's slice of Fresh Strawberry Pie, which they only make on Fridays when strawberries are in season. Just a hint of crust and the most minimal of fillings were holding these juicy, ripe strawberries in place. While asking about which pie slices to order our waitress told us that they are all still made by Helen, an 86-year old woman who has been making the pies for decades. She recently took on an apprentice to help with the fillings but she still comes in every day as she truly loves her work and it can be tasted in every bite.

I'm so glad Eddie's has carried on for over 80 years and is still thriving. They are only open seasonally from mid-April until mid-October, depending on the weather. Should you find yourself in CNY, make a point of checking out the Sylvan Beach area in the summer when the town is really hopping and stop at Eddie's for some terrific homemade food, still made by the Stewart family.
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Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015

A Handsome Pair

A pair of Michigans served the traditional way, with sauce and onions on top. It is possible to ask for your onions 'buried,' meaning underneath the wiener, thus alleviating the problem of the onions tumbling off the top when you hoist the Michigan from its cardboard boat.
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