Restaurants

Britt’s Pub & Eatery: good bet to quaff and dine

Britt’s Pub & Eatery: good bet to quaff and dine

We sometimes do a presentation that we call “How to Get a Good Meal Anywhere in the World.” We like to think that we've learned a few things over the years that can help guide folks to good food at a fair price. But we ignored some of our own advice one evening in Saint John, New Brunswick. We selected a restaurant more for its location in a popular, touristy area than we did for the menu. We did have a lovely time sitting by the harbor at sunset and enjoyed the local Idol-like talent contest taking place on an outdoor stage. But the food was disappointing. And we'd missed an opportunity to see what a better kitchen might turn out. Fortunately we were able...Read More
Auspicious beginnings at East Coast Bistro

Auspicious beginnings at East Coast Bistro

A New Brunswick friend had given us a list of her favorite restaurants in Saint John, but her list was longer than our projected stay. So when places began to open for dinner, we walked around and poked our heads inside. We know better than to judge a place on looks, but we were smitten with the design of East Coast Bistro (60 Prince William St., Saint John; 506-696-EAST, eastcoastbistro.com). Clearly, so were a lot of folks who posted online impressions about the clean lines, brick walls, and fine photography. But the menu was what won us over. It wasn't especially long or unusual, but it was clearly built around local products and made nice use of Maritime provinces seafood. We were hooked. Chef-owners Tim...Read More
LEON folks bring quick ease to satisfying baking

LEON folks bring quick ease to satisfying baking

We can't imagine how we missed out on the LEON phenomenon for all these years. The company launched its first restaurant in 2004 with a mission to give fish-and-chips-eating Londoners a taste of healthy fast food. We certainly have a penchant for fast food--and we don't mind if it's also good for us. We guess Londoners feel the same way. They certainly embraced LEON's Mediterranean Diet-inspired menu. Only a year after opening, the Observer Food Monthly named LEON the “Best New Restaurant in the UK.” More restaurants followed in London, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Oslo, and most recently in Washington, DC. (1724 L St. NW; (202) 813-3867; leon.com) Along with the restaurants, LEON has created a cottage industry of cookbooks. The latest, LEON Happy Baking (by Claire...Read More
Relaxed luxury: lobster hash at Crazy Beans in Greenport

Relaxed luxury: lobster hash at Crazy Beans in Greenport

Unless we're having wine, one of us (David) could eat breakfast for every meal of the day. That penchant led to a fortuitous discovery. We based our sojourn to Long Island's North Shore at the Greenporter Hotel (326 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-0066; greenporterhotel.com), which is a well-maintained motel within walking distance of everything in the village. Years back, we would have eaten breakfast down the street at the Coronet Luncheonette on the corner of Front and Main streets, a village institution since 1949. In 2016, the place became Crazy Beans (2 Front St., Greenport; 631-333-2436, crazybeansrestaurant.com). It's run by Tim and Callie Brennan Martino, who have two other such breakfast-lunch spots in Miller Place and Stony Brook. The Martinos knew a good thing when they...Read More
Summer on a roll at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery

Summer on a roll at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery

Today is the first day of astronomical summer, but one of our favorite roadside eateries has been rushing the season for weeks. Bob's Clam Hut (315 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine; 207-439-4233, www.bobsclamhut.com) is known, of course, for fried clams. Or, more specifically, for fried clams two ways. “Bob's traditional” fried clams are dredged in flour. “Lillian's clams,” an homage to long-time employee Lillian Mangos, are dipped in an egg wash before they're dredged in flour. The second method imparts a slightly tangy, almost sourdough flavor to the breading. The price is the same, but you have to specify which you want when you order. Bob's is much, much more than clams, of course. The fried local haddock is always a treat, and this year...Read More
Stylish La Diosa Cellars blends wine, tapas, and music

Stylish La Diosa Cellars blends wine, tapas, and music

The marvelously outlandish Frida Kahlo homage décor might tip you off that Sylvia McPherson was an interior designer before she opened her bistro La Diosa Cellars (901 17th St., Lubbock; 806-744-3600, www.ladiosacellars.com) in 2004. La Diosa is a family affair. Sylvia's father hailed from Spain, and her food menu features many classic Spanish tapas. Her husband, Kim McPherson, makes her four house wines (including a sangría) at his winery across the street (see previous post), and their daughter, an Advanced Sommelier, chooses the other wines on the list. (Four of Dad's also make the grade.) It's one of the few places in Lubbock where I found a broad selection of Texas High Plains wine to enjoy with good food. There's live music at La Diosa...Read More
El Hidalguense brings real pit barbecue to Mexico City

El Hidalguense brings real pit barbecue to Mexico City

On Sundays in Mexico City, it seems as if all roads lead to Chapultepec Park. We like nothing better than joining local families for a stroll through this green oasis in the middle of the city. Many of the city's best museums are also located in the park and as a bonus, most are free on Sunday. On our recent visit, we spent the morning tracing Mexico's history through the murals at Chapultepec Castle and then marveling at the work by some of the country's greatest artists in a special exhibition at the Modern Art Museum. Alas, it was too cool to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic in the park. Instead, we indulged in another local tradition—a late lunch of barbacoa at...Read More
Tacos al pastor lead to more exotic discoveries

Tacos al pastor lead to more exotic discoveries

We're fascinated by the origin stories of street food. The tale behind the ubiquitous tacos al pastor (ubiquitous in Mexico City anyway) sounds suspiciously like a lot of best guesses. But it's logical to think that a popular food grilled on a rotating vertical spit just might have something to do with Lebanese immigrants to Mexico in the early 20th century. Even though it's pork, meat cooked “al pastor” certainly looks like lamb shawarma from the Near East. Mexico City's taco shops are having a moment—inventing new combos and flashier ways to serve them. But among old-fashioned taquerías, tacos al pastor still reign supreme. The rotating spit—usually placed out front or in a window—lures hungry diners with aromas of roasting pork, pineapple, and onion. Pile...Read More
Chiles en nogada: the taste of independence

Chiles en nogada: the taste of independence

Hurrah for the red, white, and green! Despite several changes in form of government over the years, the colors of the Mexican flag have stood since Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1821. One of the most elaborate of Mexican dishes seems to date from the same year. Tradition says that the nuns of Puebla's Santa Monica convent created chiles en nogada to honor General Agustín de Iturbide when he visited the city after by signing the Treaty of Córdoba on August 28. (Puebla celebrates the Festival of Chile en Nogada on that day every year.) The dish echoes the colors of the flag in the green poblano chiles stuffed with picadillo, the white of the walnut cream sauce that enrobes it, and the...Read More
Abiquiu Inn serves tasty dishes (and serene casitas)

Abiquiu Inn serves tasty dishes (and serene casitas)

There aren't a whole lot of reasons to visit Abiquiu, New Mexico, 56 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Most of us come for Georgia O'Keeffe, who lived in this high-country village from 1949 until shortly before her death in 1986. O'Keeffe fans stream here to see her home and studio, visit her isolated studio at Ghost Ranch, and drink in the luminous, surreal landscapes. If they come to do all three, they likely stay overnight at the Abiquiu Inn (21120 U.S. 84, Abiquiu, N.M.; 505-685-4378; abiquiuinn.com). We did—and we were delighted. The rooms are essentially casitas. Several casitas back up on a shared courtyard, but we almost always had it to ourselves—unless you count the hummingbirds sipping nectar from the trumpet vine blossoms or having...Read More