Friday, April 30, 2010
CHARLIE VERGOS - RENDEZVOUS
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A visit to Memphis would not be complete without trying the ribs at Charlie Vergos Renezvous. Started in 1948 when Charlie discovered a coal chute in his basement, the place is now a bbq legend and destination restaurant. Located down an alley in downtown Memphis in a part of town that you may not want to walk alone at night, but very friendly when you get in the door. I was amazed when I hit the front door and walked down the stairs to the hostess. The place is huge with cubby holes full of tables going in all directions. There is also a long bar down the middle of the space with plenty of seats to drink and eat. The bartenders are friendly and fast. The pitchers of beer flow like water here. I tried the half rack and brisket combo. This is a huge portion that I could not even finish half. This plate will serve 2-3 people in my mind. The price was about $17. The ribs and brisket are served with warm rolls, cole slaw and baked beans. The ribs are slow cooked and covered quite liberally with a dry rub. The rub has a distinctive flavor and has some heat. I found the ribs to be a little dry. I added the hot bbq sauce and "wow" and big bold hit of flavor and heat to wake up the senses. I loved the hot bbq sauce. The brisket was moist and served over a large piece of bread. You can really taste the smoke bbq flavor in the brisket. Add the hot sauce and boom. Great taste. The cole slaw is tangy and a little too vinegary. I liked the baked beans. The staff at Rendezvous was great from the front desk to bartender and waiters. The place is electric with hungry patrons diving into ribs and cold beer.
Labels: BABY BACK RIBS charlie vergos rendezvous BBQ memphis, charlie vergos rendezvous, rendezvous video
Monday, April 26, 2010
KELI'S 9TH BIRTHDAY DINNER
APRIL 26, 2010
The greatest day of my life was April 26, 2001. My best friend and daughter Keli came into this world and changed my life forever. 9 fast years later we enjoyed a weekend birthday celebration that included a Friday night sleepover with Keli's friends and then a day at California Pizza Kitchen, the Ice Palace and Menchies frozen yogurt. The girls ice skated for hours and then enjoyed frozen yogurt with all the toppings. After the weekend for girls, we enjoyed Keli's actual birthday at home on Monday night. Keli selected the menu of fresh greens with bell pepper and parmesian cheese, rack of lamb, soy beans and left over birthday cake from the weekend. What a great dinner with the best gift in the world. Keli actually cooked the rack of lamb and served the family plus did the prayer. We are so blessed to have our little monkey. She is a gift from God.
IMAGES ALONG THE COAST
Just a few shots of the beautiful scenery along the drive from Hilo to Kona.
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Daniel Thiebaut in Waimea on the Big Island is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. As soon as you enter the large restaurant you are taken back in time to a plantation style home set amidst the backdrop of Hawaii's Paniolo (Cowboys) and cattle country. Waimea is absolutely beautiful with its green pastures, rolling meadows and country charm. We stopped in Daniel Thiebaut's because it consistently gets rave reviews on the Big Island. I have wanted to go here for years and now had the chance as we were driving from Hilo to Kona. We hit the place during Administrative Professionals Week (Secretary's Day in English). There was a Prix Fixe Menu in addition to the standard menu. The Prix Fixe was $14.95 and included your choice of Asian Chicken Papaya - Hilo Papaya filled with Curried Chicken Salad, Grass Fed Beef Sliders with Lilikoi BBQ Sauce and sauted jojos, Kekela Farm Baby Romaine Salad with your choice of Grilled Herb Chicken or Fresh Catch of the Day and a Fresh Catch Provencale with garlic, olive, fennel and tomato served with Jasmine rice. Each entree came with Waimea Strawberry Millefeuille which is light puff pastry layered with strawberries, whipped creme and vanilla sauce. The meal even came with coffee or ice tea. I enjoyed the fresh catch which was Ono served on a Caesar Salad. The fish was fresh and delicious. The salad was large with a nice dressing. My friend enjoyed a burger that looked and tasted great. The Fish Provencale was beautiful and again was a big hit. Our fourth guest enjoyed soup and the fresh catch sandwich.
All good and filling. I really like this restaurant and would recommend it to anyone traveling through the beautiful town of Waimea on the Big Island.
WHATS SHAKIN SMOOTHIES
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When you drive out of Hilo heading towards Kona there is a Scenic Route that winds along the ocean for about 4 miles. This detour is worth the extra time. We found beautiful coastlines, waterfalls and a great place for a Smoothie or lunch in the middle of nowhere. Whats Shakin Smoothies is about at the end of the route as you head back to the main highway. The place has been in business of 17 years and serves great sandwiches and fresh fruit smoothies. The owner is nice and takes time to talk about the business and other things about Hilo. This is a little out of the way gem that takes you back in time. While we only tried the smoothies, the owner said that they enjoy a great lunch crowd because their sandwiches are fresh and delicious.
Monday, April 5, 2010
RESTAURANT SAIGON VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT
I love the Vietnamese soup called Pho. We eat it sometimes weekly and have tried dozens of different restaurants who serve this local favorite. About a year ago, I concluded that Restaurant Saigon has the best Pho in Honolulu. My friends agree and so we visit the place all the time. I do not even have to order when I enter this restaurant. The owner knows exactly what I want and how to serve it. After we sit down, in a matter of minutes an order of Spring Rolls comes to the table. Served with crisp Lettuce, picked vegetables, cucumber and noodles. You put everything inside the lettuce pour on some hot sauce and eat them like a burrito. Pure pleasure. The soup is all about the broth. Every broth is different. I like this place because the broth has flavor. I order the rare steak and brisket. The meat is cooked in the broth and covered with noodles, bean sprouts, basil and onions. The owner knows that I do not like a lot of noodles so she places just enough in my bowl every time. This is great service. Pho is served with condiments and various hot sauces to really kick up the taste. The price? I really have not looked at them in ages. Probably around $8 for a huge bowl of Pho and $7 for the Spring Rolls. This is a great lunch downtown Honolulu in Chinatown. Taste of Hawaii Favorite.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Enjoyed a great dinner at home after a very relaxing Easter Sunday. We cooked up a 8.5 lb bone in Prime Rib. The rib was stuffed with garlic cloves and crusted in herbs and seasoning. Had a nice spinach salad with roasted beets, egg, bacon, red onion, cheese and a red wine vinegar dressing. The potatoes were cooked with roasted garlic, butter, bacon and even some hard boiled eggs. Fresh asparagus served grilled with lemon juice. I was stuffed after just looking at my plate. The food was great but I realize how blessed I am to have my two girls. I am so lucky and thankful for them.
SAM SNEADS TAVERN
Located at the Navy/Marine golf course just minutes from the Honolulu airport is a little hidden gem call Sam Snead's Tavern.
I have been there a few times for lunch. During my recent visit the place was packed to capacity at lunch and we still had great service and a great fast meal. The dining room was filled with a large party so the host suggested we eat at the bar area. No problem, we got a nice booth and were greeted quickly by the waitress. The Menu at Sam Snead's includes burgers, meat loaf, salads, onion soup, chili, ribs, chicken, great sandwiches and more. Prices range from around $5 to $10 for a meal. I ordered the Patty Melt. A huge burger on rye bread with sauteed onions and american cheese. Served with fries for $9.75. The sandwich was delicious. I could only knock out half of it. You will be amazed at the amount of golf memorabilia inside the restaurant. Photos, clubs and autographed golf balls tell the story of Sam Snead's life and golf accomplishments. It is really neat stuff. Sam Snead's is open to the public but the golf course is not.