Lazy Boy Saloon: Mc-Boy Burger

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We are back again to the Lazy Boy Saloon in White Plains, New York, this time to try a well known and established pub food, the burger, or what Lazy Boy has named the “Mc-Boy.”

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A burger with a good size attached to it, the Mc-Boy is very tender and juicy, almost to the point where it falls apart as you eat it. The American cheese is melted pretty well and the caramelized onions provide a nice sweet taste.

The bacon is prepared well, crunchy and plentiful, and the iceberg lettuce adds a different kind of moisture to the burger than its own juices; the sauce, is sweet and tangy, and really brings the whole thing together.

All in all, a very good burger from Lazy Boy Saloon, and one that I would definitely recommend.

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Bareburger: Wiki Wiki Burger

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It is very rare that I cover any kind of chain restaurant, even if they are a minor one, however, I will make an exception for Bareburger.

Bareburger has a wide variety of delicious sounding burgers, but on my first visit to the local burger joint, I decided to go with the delicious sounding Wiki Wiki Burger, which is made up of wild boar, Gouda, duck bacon, chickpea onions and grilled pineapple on a brioche bun.For my order however, I asked for no pineapple this time.

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This burger was absolutely delicious in every possible facet. While lacking in size, this burger seems bigger than it is due to the thickness of the meat inside.

Brioche bun was very soft, and was a nice rival texture to the thick, meaty wild boar; the duck bacon was thick as well, and very tasty. The chickpea onions were light and crispy, and the Gouda cheese, sweet and gooey.

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If you want a fantastic burger that goes in a different direction than the typical (albeit great) beef patty and pork bacon combination, the Wiki Wiki from Bareburger is a great option. As mentioned before, Bareburger is a chain, so if there happens to be one near you, you should definitely check it, and the Wiki Wiki out.

Chama Grill: Massachusetts

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Located in North Andover, Massachusetts, Chama Grill is a fantastic Brazilian restaurant with a great premise; you give us thirty dollars, and we will give you perfectly prepare all you can eat meat served on swords…oh, and there is all you can eat side dishes as well. You interested? You should be.

Meat One: Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon 

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Cooked to perfection, the filet itself is tender and juicy, and carries with it the sweetness that only properly seasoned steak can obtain; the bacon adds a texture change and saltiness to the dish. Cut into nice, small sizes, you could eat a crap ton of these.If this was the only dish they served, I would have been thrilled, but wait, there’s more!

Meat Two: Rib Eye

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Such a great piece of meat, this rib eye is rich, flavorful and very tender, as well as extremely easy to both cut and chew. I can only imagine what a full sized one would be like to eat.

Meat Three: Garlic Steak

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Easily in the top three meats of the night, this Garlic Steak was another masterful piece of culinary art. Sweet, tender and very juicy this steak has a very nice addition in the garlic flavor on it and is seasoned to perfection.

Meat Four: Lamb

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What I love so much about this Lamb was not only how well it was made, but by definition it provided a welcome flavor shock after eating the rest of the read meat. Thick and sweet, the lamb is juicy and stood unique to everything else because it comes from a different animal so it has different texture and natural flavor.

Meat Five: Pork Sausage 

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By far the smallest meat, it was by no means the least. Another welcome flavor change, the sausage is a very good dish, with a nice two-bite size portion; thick, with a nice crispy skin, flavorful meat and a nice salty exterior.

Final Meat: House Steak

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Admittedly my least favorite of the meats served, the House Steak was still quite good; tender and fatty, it is still enjoyable to eat, but pales when compared to some of the other steaks previously mentioned.

All in all this was a fantastic experience that i feel everyone should seek out. Believe me, you will not be sorry, and you will indeed eat more than thirty dollars worth of meat, making this an unbelievable deal.

Hudson Social: Cowboy Burger

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After having reviewed the Bruschetta Sampler, its time to see what Hudson Social’s burger menu has in store with the Cowboy Burger.

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Nestled in between a soft brioche and lathered in tangy BBQ sauce, this burger is quite delicious. The patty is very tender and juicy, the pepper-jack cheese carrying with it a slight heat, and the sauteed onions mixing well with the nice, crispy bacon.

Hudson Social definitely makes a really good burger, and I will gladly return for another in the future.

Restaurant Week: Birdsall House

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This second Hudson Valley Restaurant Week review is coming a little late because I’ve been sick all week, but I am on the mend and am happy to bring you a review of dinner at Birdsall House in Peekskill NY.

Appetizer: Charcuterie – Duck Prosciutto 

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Duck is a great tasting fowl, I have previously called it “the steak of birds”, but it never ceases to amaze me in its flavor. Prosciutto is a meat that is usually ham, so to have it in duck form is a sweet delight.

The meat was thick, and had a great salty sweet flavor combination; and as is seen in the above photo, carried with it a perfectly manicured fat content. I didn’t want to stop eating this, so much so that I just leaned back, closed my eyes, and kept chewing until I could no longer; its that good.

Entree: Fried Chicken

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This chicken was served with strips of ham over a bed of rice and greens; it was served piping hot and had a nice crunchy skin that seemed to have some type of corn element to it. The meat was tender and juicy, very easy to get down, and one piece even had a lemon glaze spread on it.

The pieces of ham were smoky and even a bit spicy, and the rice and greens were pretty decent, although truth be told I’m not a fan of either in general.

Dessert: Maple Bacon Ice Cream

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Ice cream that tastes like maple syrup and bacon while resting on a waffle? Sign me up! The ice cream was sweet and sat in a scrumptious maple syrup sauce, along with a slight bacon flavor and some nuts on the side. The waffle was soft and rather easy to cut; the mixture of all these flavors and textures in your mouth at once is a nice feeling.

I would recommend hitting up the Restaurant Week dinner at Birdsall House; all in all it makes for a nice meal, especially the appetizer, and its one that everyone should try at some point in their lives.

First Annual Pristine Awards

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Welcome to the First Annual Pristine Awards, where I pick the best “must eat” foods of the year based on what I have reviewed in 2015. The Categories this year are as follows:

Best Burger, Best Plain Pizza, Best Specialty Pizza, Best Sicilian Pizza, Best BBQ, Best Bird, Best Desert, Best Milk Shake, Best Mac and Cheese, Best Penne Alla Vodka, Best “Other” Pasta, Best Appetizer, Best Side Dish, Best Soup/Chowder, Best Hot Sandwich, Best Deli Sandwich and Best Philly Cheesesteak. 

Each category will be broken down into the top 3 choices, and the winner will be chosen from the finalists. Certain categories that only have one choice in them, such as Steak, Salad, Burrito, Smoothie, etc. will be forwarded to next year’s awards when they will (hopefully) have some competition. With that out of the way, on with the awards!

Best Burger: Pretzel Burger (WBC) vs. Bacon Cheeseburger (O’Malley’s) vs. Eastchester Burger (Piper’s Kilt.) 

Winner: The Pretzel Burger – Westchester Burger Co.

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While the other two choices were both amazingly delicious, the Pretzel Burger just had no downsides. With a perfect patty, delicious melted cheese, crispy maple bacon and a pretzel bun, one can’t go wrong with this choice. Besides, when a burger can make me actually enjoy an egg, that’s an extra bonus.

Best Plain Pizza: Plain Slice (Portofino’s) vs. Original Tomato Pie w/ Mozzarella (Frank Pepe)

Winner: Plain Slice – Portofino’s.

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Portofino’s combines a great flavor with an amazingly sized slice. New York makes some of the best pizza in the world, and this slice easily ranks up there with the best of them.

Best Specialty Pizza: Vodka Sauce Pizza (Luca Bella) vs. Big Mac Slice (Luca Bella) vs. White Pizza (Tarantella)

Winner: Vodka Sauce Pizza – Luca Bella 

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This slice beats out the other delicious specialties from Luca Bella and Tarantella, because the Vodka Sauce used on this slice is by far the best Vodka Sauce I’ve ever had. The idea to put this sauce on the pizza was inspired, and we are all better off for it.

Best Sicilian Pizza: Nicky’s vs. Sal’s vs. Portofino’s

Winner: Sal’s Sicilian Pizza.

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Nicky’s had thickness, Portofino’s had size, but Sal’s was perhaps the best Sicilian I’ve ever had, and certainly the best in Westchester. Light and airy, and yet somehow filling; with perfectly melted cheese and an amazing sauce, Sal’s Sicilian pizza earns the easy victory.

Best BBQ: Pulled Pork Sandwich (Jack’s *Ribfest NH*) vs. Trash Rib Teasers (Holy Smoke) vs. Ribs (Texas Smokehouse *Ribfest NH*)

Winner: The Trash Rib Teasers – Holy Smoke.

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Believe it or not, the rib teasers actually beat out a full rack and pulled pork, mainly due to how meaty and flavorful a rib Holy Smoke was able to concoct. The Texas ribs were great, but Holy Smoke gets the edge.

Best Bird: Duck Confit (Le Provencal) vs. Fried Chicken (Holy Smoke)

Winner: Duck Confit – Le Provencal.

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If I’m being honest, I don’t like eating birds that much; so many places just don’t do a good job preparing them. Holy Smoke and Le Provencal are two establishments who know what they are doing. I went with the Duck because it was simply one of the best birds I’ve ever had. In my review I described it as “the steak of birds” and in the end, that is what sealed the victory for the Duck Confit.

Best Desert: Cheesecake (WBC) vs. Black Salted Caramel Donut (Gypsy Donut)

Winner: Cheesecake – Westchester Burger Co.

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This was a harder decision than you might think; the black salted caramel is one of the most unique and delicious things I’ve ever tasted, but the Cheesecake won in part due to its light, and rich texture and flavor. The plating of the desert was also an added bonus but did not play into the decision.

Best Milkshake: Chocolate Milkshake (City Limits) vs Italian Nutella Milkshake (WBC)

Winner: Italian Nutella Milkshake – Westchester Burger Co.

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The specialty milkshake carries the day. I love chocolate milkshakes, but the Italian Nutella was just too good not to win. The flavor was unique, and  it was made so well. Both were great, but WBC’s was just better.

Best Mac and Cheese: Mac and Cheese (Piper’s Kilt) vs. Deluxe Cheeseburger Mac (Mr. Mac’s) vs. Philly Cheese Steak Mac (Mr. Mac’s).

Winner: Philly Cheese Steak Mac – Mr. Mac’s.

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Man, I wish this restaurant would come to New York! The Philly-Mac was simply one of the best things I’ve ever had. The Macaroni and Cheese portion was great, and made even better by an authentic taste of the Philly Cheesesteak.  Not only that, but it also has great re-heat value; and while I love the Mac at Piper’s Kilt, Mr. Mac’s specialty is their Mac and Cheese, and this is one of the best.

Best Penne Alla Vodka: Sal’s (White Plains) vs. Luca Bella

Winner: Penne Alla Vodka – Luca Bella

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Its the sauce. In the same way that Luca Bella won best specialty pizza with their Vodka Sauce slice, they win the Penne category with the sauce being where it was always meant to be, on pasta. It was a hard choice given that Sal’s sauce included a few extra and delicious elements, but in the end, Luca Bella’s sauce was just that much better.

Best “Other” Pasta: Spinach Ricotta Pillows (Grazie) vs. Linguine and Clams (Lago)

Winner: Spinach Ricotta Pillows – Grazie

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A country club take on spinach ravioli, these pillows were not only delicious, but presented in a wonderful manner. The spinach and ricotta meld beautifully and just made for a great pasta dish.

Best Appetizer: Speck (Lago) vs. Dueling Meatballs (Grazie) vs. Chicken Fried Steak Bites (Prohibition River)

Winner: Chicken Fried Steak Bites – Prohibition River.

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Possibly the toughest choice so far; on one hand you have a a wonderful Charcuterie dish, but you also have a fantastic meatball offering. But the Chicken Fried Steak Bites get the victory because it is one of the most delicious appetizers out there. Filet Mignon steak bites, with a deliciously crispy skin and a fantastic gravy? How could it not get the win?

Best Side Dish: Garlic Balls (PPT’s) vs. Beer Battered Onion Rings (O’Malley’s) 

Winner: Garlic Balls – PPT’s.

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The ultimate side to pizza, Garlic Balls from PPT’s are doughy, sweet, and full of Garlic. It is easily one of the most unique side dishes out there, and a must try for anyone who likes good food.

Best Soup/Chowder: New England Clam Chowder (O’Malley’s) vs. New England Clam Chowder (Townhouse)

Winner: New England Clam Chowder – O’Malley’s.

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Very easily the best New England Clam Chowder I’ve had, as it is the specialty of the Chef at O’Malley’s. It is thick, creamy, and has great clams. An easy dish to return to over and over, and I do almost every time I go to O’Malley’s.

Best Hot Sandwich: Phive All Day (Philly’s) vs. Aged Beef Top Round w/ French Onion (Melt)

Winner: Phive All Day – Philly’s: A Taste of Philadelphia.

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One of the most unique and succulent sandwiches out there, the Phive All Day wins based on its combination of traditional Philly Cheesesteak elements, but with the fantastic additions of bacon and home-made “McNabb Sauce.” (Note: This Sandwich will not be considered for the category of Philly Cheesesteak because it has too many unique elements).

Best Deli Sandwich: Sicilian Sandwich (Roosters) vs. The Godfather (Anthony’s) vs. American Combo (Anthony’s)

Winner: American Combo – Anthony’s Deli.

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Another tough choice, especially considering that the Godfather is Anthony’s signature sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, the Godfather is a fantastic Italian Sandwich (as is Rooster’s Sicilian), but the American Combo just has the “it factor” in terms of traditional deli sandwiches. The bread, as well as every meat used is fresh, and the size is fantastic. I’ve had all three of these sandwiches on multiple occasions, but the American Combo is the one that I go back to the most.

Best Philly Cheesesteak: Silver Lake Pizza vs. Royal Scarlet Deli

Winner: Philly Cheesesteak – Silver Lake Pizza.

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Easily my favorite Philly Cheesesteak, Silver Lake Pizza knows what they are doing in regards to this sandwich. The bread is crisp, the meat is thick and flavorful, the cheese is melted perfectly, and the peppers and onions are a nice addition to this juicy sandwich.

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That’s it for the First Annual Pristine Awards, thanks so much for reading and I hope to see you back in the New Year!

 

Roosters Market: Belly Buster

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The Belly Buster is the first sandwich I ever had at Roosters, and its the reason I have gone back multiple times; now it is time to introduce it to all of you.

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Utilizing a soft wedge to perfection, the Belly Buster is chock full of thick and tasty roast beef and turkey, and a semi sharp Swiss cheese to accompany them.

Thin red onion that is included adds a biting flavor, but is not overpowering, and the shredded lettuce is both wet and crunchy. As an added bonus, there is a good deal of extra crispy bacon that provides just the salt and extra crisp that this sandwich needs.

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Every bite of this sandwich gives you a delicious mouthful of meat, cheese, and tasty garnish. If you go to Roosters, the Belly Buster is a great choice to fill your belly.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

Anthony’s: Patty Melt

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One of America’s most popular foods is the burger, and one of its favorite comfort foods is the grilled cheese; and when put together, they become the Patty Melt, America’s ultimate comfort food.

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Now granted, there is nothing special about any of the ingredients in this patty melt, everything by itself is rather pedestrian. But somehow, when put together, Anthony’s patty melt is really tasty.

The white bread is grilled so that it is nice and crispy, while the inside is smothered in sweet, gooey, American Cheese. I chose the option to add crispy, salty bacon as my secondary meat to the tender, decently sized burger patty. Together, they form a wonderfully comforting combination of flavor and texture.

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If you are looking for a nice little comfort food to tide you over until the next meal, while providing great taste, Anthony’s patty melt is a great option. With this sandwich, Anthony’s took the plain and simple, and made it a must eat in Westchester County.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

Westchester Burger Co: The Hangover

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For my 25th birthday, my friends and I decided to revisit Westchester Burger Co. and see what else they had for us to try; the Hangover at Westchester Burger is very similar to the Pretzel Burger, which I reviewed here, albeit with some very important differences.

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Nestled in between two halves of a soft brioche bun, the beef patty was tender, juicy, and cooked to be perfectly rare. Topping said patty was some nice, melted Monterey Jack cheese, bacon that was not only crispy, but carried with it a fantastic salt/pork flavor, and a fried egg that was both messy and delicious.

Using the condiments at hand, I was also able to try bites of this burger with both chipotle remoulade, and chipotle ranch, both adding a unique and unbelievable change of pace and flavor to an already great burger.

After two trips to Westchester Burger Co., I believe without a shadow of a doubt that it is one of the best burger joints around, and I’m looking forward to more visits in the future.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

Prohibition River: Bacon Meatballs

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For the second time this year I get to cover a meatball unlike any I’ve ever had, although this one is located much closer to home in Nyack NY.

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These bacon meatballs are a staple appetizer at Prohibition River, and are very unique in texture and flavor. I have never had a meatball this tender. Whereas most meatballs provide some sort of resistance when cutting through them, my fork went through these like a knife in butter; but in this case, surprisingly, it worked.

The texture of the outside of the meatballs was nice, differing slightly from a normal rough, gravy covered ball; and there where small bits of bacon inside whose flavor spread throughout the meat. Another great flavor included is the slightly spicy tomato chutney, and the garnish of greens and Parmesan cheese slices were a nice touch.

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Prohibition River’s Bacon Meatballs are a wonderful appetizer, and a great way to start off your meal there. You can also do what I did and make your meal a pair of appetizers (Chicken Fried Steak Bites and Bacon Meatballs) and be satisfied in your choice; either way, you will always be a winner at Prohibition River.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com