Posts tagged ‘burgers’
No surprise that Forbes Cross and Michael Peterson* are a winning combination. If you mention their names in the same sentence, people assume that whatever they are working on will be successful.
So it is with their latest venture, Hickok’s Bar and Grill. It has taken over the space previously occupied by Dos Hombres in the River Market area. The interior reminded me of restaurants I have frequented in Portland, Maine, with high ceilings, brick walls and exposed pipes. It consists of several rooms, with an attractive bar in front. Though the menu is heavy with Southwestern dishes, diners will also find burgers, ribs, salads, hangar steak, meatloaf , fish and pork chops. And everything sounds appealing; it’s one of those places where it’s hard to decide what to order.
Each time I’ve been we’ve gravitated towards the Southwestern choices. The red chili chicken quesadilla was killer–a bit sweet, with pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, poblanos, and tons of flavor. The grilled shrimp tacos are another winner, served on fabulous corn tortillas, dripping with a red chili mayo. The nachos were substantial to say the least, and though I couldn’t resist plowing through the layers, they could have benefited from more “stuff” besides chicken and cheese. And then there’s the tuna. Tuna “takos”, tuna nachos on rice chips, and grilled tuna with cabbage and a red chili vinaigrette. The vinaigrette shows up often, but that’s a good thing, as it was when it graced the blackened salmon sandwich at Trezo Mare, one of the many restaurants that Peterson helped launch.
Happy Hour offers some great drink and food specials, with more than enough options to make a whole meal.
Word has it that Hickok’s has some awesome handcut French fries, so that’s a reason right there to go back, but there are two pages worth of other reasons.
* UPDATE: Michael Peterson has left Hickok’s and is planning to open his own restaurant. Hopefully, they have a chef in place who can continue what he started.
I’m certainly not the first to weigh in on the newest location of Blanc Burger and Bottles, but it’s still worth a mention. The Plaza venue is a big improvement over the original in Westport, which was way too small, and the Mission Farms location, which is way too loud. While this one may not be just right, it is arranged in such a way that some of the sound is buffered and, beyond that, it’s an attractive space with unique dividers and a room-long bar for eating and/or sipping beer.
The menu is basically the same, though there are a few additional items, including fried peppadew peppers, beer battered Shatto cheese curds, and a $100 short-rib stuffed burger with foie gras butter for a mere $15.
On our visit, we stuck to old favorites, all of which were every bit as good as what we had enjoyed previously at the other locations. The Bison burger was juicy, and I like the combination of pepperjack cheese and peppadew jam which tops it off. My other favorite is the Spiced Lentil burger, topped with spiced yogurt and cucumber salad. We shared truffle fries, which were a bit too oily for my taste, and the regular fries. I prefer Blanc’s sweet potato fries, but had no trouble polishing these off.
We didn’t have room for a milkshake, but one of these days I’m going to have to try one of the liquor based “grown-up” milkshakes. Beer drinkers have more than 100 to choose from, soda drinkers have some interesting options, and even the wine list is far from ordinary.
I suspect Blanc has a gold mine on its hands, situated as it is in the heart of the Plaza. It’s also refreshing that there’s another independent operator on the Plaza–for too long it has been overrun with chains. I hope this starts the reversal of that mentality, back to the way it used to be when the area was known for its unique specialty shops and restaurants.
Jerry’s Woodswether Cafe is a longstanding diner in the West Bottoms. If you don’t know where you are going, you could easily drive right by–look for a huge mural on the side of the building, the only identifying mark to direct you.
Breakfast runs the gamut from humongous pancakes and eggs any way, to biscuits with sausage gravy. Lunch is also light on the wallet, but not the waistline.
We tried the signature hot-pepper cheese burger with grilled onions on Texas toast, a Reuben, fries and onion rings. The burger barely fit in my son’s mouth and he enjoyed every bite. Though I have not eaten every Reuben in the city, this would definitely make my top 5 list. The onion rings were excellent–crisp, with as much onion as batter. And the fries had potential, but needed more time in the fryer.
Woodswether is the epitome of what a diner should be. Hearty, well-executed food. Competent, no-nonsense staff, and a no-frills setting.
It’s not open for dinner, or on Sundays, so keep that in mind before venturing out.
Can’t decide what to serve for your July 4th bash?
Why not follow the current fad and throw a new-fangled burger on the grill? Lamb, buffalo, chicken and tuna are more exciting and, for the most part, healthier than the all-beef variety. Moreover, these sandwiches will add a touch of fun and style to the usual burger, hot dog, potato salad and corn- on –the- cob dinner. Give some thought to the toppings as well. Spicy cheeses, caramelized onions and pestos are but a few of the possibilities. I love the idea of a sharp cheddar bison burger smothered with roasted green chiles, or a tuna burger topped with hoisin slaw. Smear the bun with wasabi aioli and you’ve got a dish bursting with flavor. (If you don’t want to go to the trouble of chopping tuna and adding ingredients to form a patty, subsititute a tuna steak for an equally tasty result.) Or what about a lamb burger with a tangy red pepper yogurt sauce? Wrap it in grilled naan and serve with extra sauce for dipping.
Match any of your concoctions with a light summer wine (don’t think of rose as a too-sweet white-Zinfandel- type: the newer vintages would be a perfect accompaniment) and save that six-pack of beer for the winter chili that you’ll be cooking in the blink of an eye.
All the major cooking magazines are featuring new twists and ingredients on this theme. Here are a few of my favorite websites to help you find just the right recipes to make your biggest get-together of the season a real hit.