Search
Advertisement
View my food journey on Zomato!
US Food Safety Recalls and Tips
Tabelog Reviewer burgerdogboy

Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Panera Breakfast Sandwich Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

20150817_090218Panera was founded in St. Louis, MO, where it operated (and still does in that area) at St. Louis Bread Company. The 1800 store chain is now owned by Au Bon Pain, which no longer operates Au Bon Pain (I liked those, for sure).

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a Panera before, thought I’ve had some of their sandwiches brought to me, and beyond the bread, they weren’t very impressive (not high quality ingredients or quantities of same).

Today I was looking for a new quick breakfast option, and did happen into Panera, where I ordered an Asiago Bacon Egg Cheese “pannini-ized” bagel sandwich, and a large coffee, which set me back the devilish amount of $6.66. No kidding.

The sandwich was prepared while I waited (except I don’t think the eggs were), it was hot, filling, and tasty.  Except for the cost, I might be a regular breakfast customer when I am out and about.

I found the store layout a mite confusing, there were four registers and two pick-up stations, I got sent from one to another, although there is no signage, some must be dedicated to one use or another;  they give you one of those vibrating hockey pucks to tell you when your order is ready.

Find one near you. Menu.

Panera Sandwich Review

 

 

Panera Sandwich Review

 

Panera Breakfast Sandwich Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Better Bakery Ham and Cheese Pretzel Melt

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Better Bakery Ham and Cheese PretzelNew from Better Bakery, the Southern California specialty bread and pretzel manufacturer, is the Ham and Cheese Pretzel Melt, deli sliced ham, cheese within an enclosed pretzel roll.  Oven or microwave prep is allowed, and I went with the former, 350 for 25 minutes, from a frozen solid state.  It’s good, fast, and cheap.  Salty pretzel roll, crispy exterior, and tasty fillings.  I got mine at Wal Mart, amidst the frozen sandwich section, generally next to the pizzas.  Highly recommended.

The USDA establishment number is M44128, which leads us to a Valencia, CA address. (pictured below).
Here is a little video the company had on YouTube.

Better Bakery Ham and Cheese Pretzel

Wrap in foil prior to oven

Better Bakery Ham and Cheese Pretzel

Out of the oven, crispy, melty

Better Bakery Ham and Cheese Pretzel

Valencia, CA HQ

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rigazzis Review – St. Louis

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Rigazzis Review St Louis

Exterior of restaurant – from their own website

I think I have only been to two “traditional Italian” restaurants in my life, where I either went “wow” or returned multiple times; one was in London, the other Hong Kong. I stopped in an Olive Garden thirty some years ago shortly after they started, haven’t been back. I imagine their food would be a lot like Rigazzi’s.

I shouldn’t have been surprised at my reaction to the restaurant, I lived in St. Louis for a year and have been back several times, and with the exception of one very memorable evening decades ago, I’ve never had a good time in St. Louis, no matter the reason for being there or the person I had in tow.  I also can’t think of a time I’ve enjoyed a meal in any city where the locals insisted a joint was a “don’t miss.”  A lot of time I believe those endorsements come from a reputation earned years ago, but get passed down due more to tradition, than anything else.  Whatever.

Rigazzi’s is the oldest restaurant (60 some years) on “the Hill,” which is the “Italian neighborhood” of St. Louis.

It was a Wednesday night, and we were seated promptly. I had perused the menu online, in advance, so I had an idea of what I wanted.   The problem wouldn’t be finding something I would enjoy, but narrowing down my choice, as the menu was long and seemingly held lots of promise.

When you’re seated, you’re presented with a half loaf of bread, a cracker basket, and butter packets.  Drink orders are taken and rather promptly filled. Service is friendly.

I started with the antipasto plate, described as “for two,” with a combination of Italian meats, vegetables, olives, some oddly misplaced triangle wedges of American cheese slices, and a dollop of blue cheese.  It was a lot of food, and a really great value for the price.  I’d go with it again, and be even more enthusiastic if they offered a choice of platters, like all meat, or just meat and cheese, and so on.

I knew I wanted my plate to be loaded with meat for the entree, so I ordered meat filled ravioli, in meat sauce, with a meatball, and  with a side of Italian sausage.

There is crumbled, unidentifiable meat in the sauce and the ravioli (pic below);  the pasta was cooked far past the point of oblivion (which seems to be a common complaint in many online reviews), meaning attempting to pick it up with a fork made the pasta pillows disintegrate; it’s a dish you end up scooping instead of stabbing.

The sauce was thick with not much unique flavor.  The meatball was in the “it’s OK” category, and the sausage was a finely ground, fairly unseasoned Italian –  I prefer mine “hot” as they are labeled from manufacturers, which doesn’t usually refer to a ‘heat from seasonings’ designation, but usually from a dose of fennel and Italian herbs.  I use a lot of fennel in my Italian dishes at home.

I didn’t get a pizza, which I had fully intended on trying.

Would I go again?  Doubtful, but I think the food and service are just right for the palates and temperaments  of most American diners.  It’d also be a good place for groups, as I imagine one could “under-order” (say, 2 entrees for every three people) and leave happy.

The restaurant’s prices are fairly modest.  They have that going for them.

On second thought, I might return for meals of bread, sauce, and sausage/meatballs, skipping the pasta.  I’d be OK with that.  But it wasn’t an experience like I had in London or Hong Kong!

Rigazzis Review St Louis

Meat ravioli, dissected

 

Rigazzis Review St Louis

Italian sausage

Rigazzi's on Urbanspoon
Rigazzis Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Superior Seafood Review – New Orleans

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Superior Seafood is on the St. Charles Streetcar line, a quick ride from the Quarter.  Superior’s  menu incorporates the best of local seafood,  po boys, plates, and fresh catch, with beef, chicken and pasta available for those who partake in those edibles.  It’s moderately priced ($10 – $25), is happy to toss you a loaf of Leidenheimer’s to start with, is open for lunch and dinner seven days, with brunch service Sunday mornings.

My companion is a local, as local as you can get, her family having arrived in 1750, and she had a hankering for a shrimp po-boy and said Superior was the one for her.  I ordered a half with fries, she ordered a whole one and said I’d regret my diminutive order. Which I did. She said she’d share, but she lied.

It’s one delicious sandwich, and they had outstanding coffee as well.

Classic cocktails run $8-$12, and they have a happy hour daily from 4:00 – 6:30, the highlight of which is 50 cent raw oysters, a bargain these days. Wine list is respectable and value-priced.

They do catering, including crawfish boils.

Superior Seafood Review New Orleans

Shrimp Po Boy

Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

 

Superior Seafood Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

Yeah, most people know dat in New Orleans, the dish “BBQ Shrimp” gots nothings to do with yer momma and dem’s  backyard grill.

At most establishments, it is a savory dish, huge whole (headless) shrimp in a bowl of butter/oil/herbs.   That’s the way you’ll find it at the New Orleans  restaurant that purportedly created the dish, Pascale’s Manale (previous review).

Some establishments insist on screwing conceptually with the recipe.  That Cajun wannabe, Emeril, serves a version that is sweet, not savory.  Not appealing.

Last trip revisiting my former home, I dined at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House (previous review),  and really liked their treatment of the dish.  A recipe card the restaurant gives out is shown below, and differences in their, and other recipes, may well be the addition of the beer and Cajun seasoning.  The difference between this recipe and the one I make at home is theirs specifies 1 C + 1 T butter. I use a pound with 1/4 C EVOO tossed in.

Serve the shrimp in bowls filled with the sauce, finish the shrimp, mop up the sauce with bread.

In any case, Bourbon House’s version is my new favorite.  It can be yours, as well, whenever you visit NOLA, or if you make it at home.  Get a nice crusty baguette to accompany the meal.  In New Orleans, most everybody gets theirs from Leidenheimer, and there isn’t another loaf in town that compares.

Make reservations for Bourbon House online, ahead of your arrival.

Bourbon House BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Bourbon House BBQ Shrimp Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Todays Temptations Bakery Review – Chicago

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Old C&NW Train Chicago

C&NW Train Station

There’s a fancy pants food mini mall at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago.  The OTC is where a lot of the commuter trains terminate and it used to be called the Chicago and Northwestern Terminal, and old timers still call it that.  The name was changed when the main building and facade was razed in the 80s to build a high rise office tower above it, designed by the man who changed Chicago’s skyline, architect Helmut Jahn.

In a city where everything stays the same but nothing does, the C&NW is no longer called that, the Sears Tower neither, and the market at OTC is called the “French Market” but bares no resemblance to the ‘real thing’ in New Orleans.

The market has a variety of food vendors, offering made to order sandwiches, hot plates, artisan goods and grocery items.  It’s the perfect place to grab something to take to the office, or on your reverse trip, something to eat for the train ride home, or for dinner that evening.

On a recent pass through, I wanted more than a sandwich, so I grabbed a pound of sliced corned beef from Bebe’s Kosher Deli (menu) at $25 a pound (!!!) and a loaf of Today’s Temptations Light German Rye from the food shop.  Today’s Temptations is a small Chicago baker that sells via a few local groceries, and apparently inspires a lot of enthusiasm from healthy bread advocates, as found here on the Chowhound discussion board.

It was $3.99 for the loaf, and if I had any knowledge of the brand, or healthy people’s enthusiasm for it, I would have passed.  An all natural recipe, with no added yeast (the label states), as well as no sugar and a low fat content (not stated) I just didn’t care for it.  If you’re an absolute bread lover, like me, and swoon when you take your first bite of a good bread, this isn’t for you.  It’s kind of dry, relatively flavorless for a rye, and doesn’t even toast well. (Sugar in bread recipes assists browning in toasting).

If you’re on a healthy regimen, you may well love this bread.  You’ll find zero information on the company’s website, so you’ll have to call to find the loaves near you.

As for the corned beef?  Aside from the outrageous price, I found nothing extraordinary about it.  The clerk said it was “Solomon’s” brand, which I also could find little about online (and Bebe’s did not respond to an email inquiry), other than some anecdotal blurbs about it being “Chicago’s best.” For my money (the only coin I care about), I much prefer local purveyor Vienna Beef’s product. Firmer muscle, considerably more flavor, and a lot less expensive.  The Solomon’s is one of those deli meats that has an “iridescent shine” to the slices, which is quite common in processed meats.  It is not a reflection of anything “wrong,” but simply the way light reflects on natural elements in processed meat that has been exposed to air.  But I don’t care for the appearance, even tho it has nothing to do with quality, taste, and so on.

If Vienna products are not in a store near you, you can order them online here, along with other Chicago foods.

Today's Temptation Bread Review

todays temptations bakery

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sunday Brunch Recipe

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Before Mrs Burgerdogboy passed, we lived in Portland, Oregon, for a number of years, which celebrates the complete and utter silliness of Sunday brunch on so many levels;  in short, you’ll wait in line a really long time to overpay for pretty normal fare.

The television show “Portlandia” did a pretty funny bit on it, which is closer to reality than satire, IMHO.

 

There were a few places I liked, but they most certainly weren’t on the brunch “a-list”; greasy spoons like the Tik Tok,  but mostly Sunday breakfast was an en suite deal for us, which was always enjoyable.

Mostly, I’d rather have people over for brunch and I’m always interested if someone has a new brunch recipe or approach beyond quiche or eggs benedict. One of my “off-beat” ones is a “reuben strata,” which is usually fairly popular.

Today I had some folks over, and one of them produced this baked egg concoction, which I really enjoyed.  It was simple and fast to prepare, and could be easily customized for each diner’s choice.

To wit:

Greased ramekins with chopped tomato, fresh spinach, cumin, black pepper, brie, sweated diced onion, crack an egg on top, bake for 15 minutes at 350.   Great taste, beautiful presentation. Add breakfast meats or bread on the side if desired. You might want to garnish with some greenery, too.

Burgerdogboy Recipe

 

Read more about what’s going on at the BurgerDogBoy condiment ranch.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fear/Loathing/Loving the Letter “T” / And Texas Toast

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

When I was living in China, it didn’t take long for me to figure out the Chinese have a deathly fear of the letter “T”.   I learned this watching their television news, every time Taiwan, Tibet, or Tiananmen would come on the news, the story would be bleeped out.  See what i mean?

Last week, I figured out that I LOVE foods with a “double T”.  This will greatly simplify my life going forward, as I can focus on eating the things I love,  Tater Tots, Tongue Tacos, Texas Toast, Tuna Tartare, Truffle Toast,  and there must be more.    Fast food chicken outfit Zaxby’s includes texas toast with every order, worth a stop on its own!

Cool.  No longer will Mrs. Burgerdogboy and I  have to order an entire side of a menu (and we have!) , we can just skip straight to the T’s!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Elgin, IL – Kendalls Kountry Kitchen Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Kendalls Country Kitchen

Google Maps Street View

Damn.  Old timey diner, affable chatty waitresses (including the owner),  great food, great value.  So unassuming from the outside (left) you’d be likely to pass by if you weren’t looking for it, or one of the locals that has made a daily habit of stopping in for the last couple decades.  I know I would if I lived around there.

Perused the menu, ordered the “Country Fried Steak” to which the response was “I’m sorry, we’re out, you should try the chicken fried chicken, it’s really good.”  But of course, I HEARD her say “chicken fried steak” cause that’s what I was thinking about, but was too confused at that point to ask “what’s the difference between Country Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Steak?”   If I would have asked, I would have understood at Kendalls, the latter is chicken.

Some think eating chicken with eggs is kind of weird.  Cycle of life kind of thing.  My neighbor down the street, Al, who raises chickens in his back yard, gets so many eggs he ends up feeding lots of them back to the chickens.  Ok, that is weird.  Cannibal chickens.

The ‘steak’ was ample,a nicely crisped crust, and a handsome piece of breast meat inside.  Big bonus, it’s served with sausage gravy, a smooth and creamy concoction with nice chunks of breakfast sausage.   Add a couple eggs, hashbrowns, and toast, and you’re gonna get outta there for less than seven bucks.

It’s a very long breakfast and lunch menu,and on a Saturday morning, there were empty tables.   If you’re tired of waiting for a table for an hour at some place on Randall Road on the weekend, head down to Elgin.  You’ll be happy and richer at the end of your meal.  CASH ONLY.  ATM in the bar across the  street.

 

Kendalls Country Kitchen

Two over easy with hash browns

 

Kendalls Country Kitchen

Chicken Fried Chicken

 

 

 

Kendalls Kountry Kitchen Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissants

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

http://www.raileurope.com/europe-travel-guide/france/paris/train-station/est-train-station.htmlI haven’t been in a Trader Joe’s for awhile.  Not sure why, wasn’t an intentional thing unless you count the frustration of parking at many of them.   No, just circumstance.   Kinda odd actually, since I think they have some of the best frozen pizzas (imported from Italy and France) available, and something I had forgotten about, their frozen chocolate croissants.

Croissants came to me fairly late in life, when I was partners with an American woman living in Europe.  We had a place in Leysin, Switzerland, and after a few globe trotting years relocated to Paris, just off the Rue Saint Denis, in the 10th.  We were just a down the street from Gare de L’est,  one of the city’s train stations, and handy for popping around the rest of Europe.  In both Leysin and Paris, pain au chocolates (not really a croissant) were a big part of our morning routine, walking down to the patisserie or bistro or tabac to have one along with an espresso or six.

Trader Joes does an outstanding job of replicating that experience, although you’d never expect that when opening the box and pouring out the four little rock hard nuggets of dough; you have to let them thaw and rise on the counter overnight, so they are not really an impulse item (well, they are to buy, just not to eat).

After you let them thaw, pop them into a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, the box cautions you that if they are “light brown” they aren’t done  – bake until they are a deep rich brown in color.   They are amazing.   They also have almond ones (which  I like) and ham and cheese (which surprisingly, I haven’t tried.  note to self).

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissant Review

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissant Review

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissant Review

Leysin, Switzerland

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissant Review

Our Paris Apartment

 

 

 

 

 

Trader Joes Chocolate Croissants

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Select a Topic
Restaurant Delivery!
The Food You Love, Delivered - Order Now!
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisment
Advertisement