Wednesday, September 26, 2018

4R Cantina Food Truck at Disney Springs

4R Cantina Food Truck recently opened at Disney Springs. Similar to the other 4 Rivers locations, smoked meats were served here but with a Mexican twist. They had standard items including tacos, quesadillas, and nachos, but the one item everyone was talking about was the taco cone.
I had the Brisket Barbacoa Taco Cone. The cone was made from a deep fried tortilla spiraled into a cone shape. This was filled with shredded brisket, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, queso, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime. It was all very tasty and the cone shape made it mobile with the food truck's lack of seating. My complaint about the whole thing was the shape of cone and getting to the bottom. There was plenty of good stuff like guacamole and sour cream at the top, but it was hard to mix up those ingredients to the bottom since the cone got narrower and narrower. Regardless, I very much enjoyed my taco cone!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Food (350 First, Blue Strawberry Coffee Company, White Star Ale House, Need Pizza, Grin n Goose, La Cantina, Newbo City Market, Parlor City Pub, and Great American Popcorn Company)

Last summer I visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a week. I wrote a blog post on my food travels there, but for some reason never published it. Better late then never. Here is my thoughts on Cedar Rapids food from Summer of 2017...

350 First:

This was located on the top floor of the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids where I was staying. After flying in, I had dinner here. The restaurant had lovely views of the city. There was city skyline in one direction and a massive Quaker Oats factory in the other. I ordered the Pastrami Ruben. The sandwich was good as far as ruben sandwiches go. It was pretty standard and was served with fries and a pickle. The almost three hour process that I took to have this sandwich wasn't nearly as good as the sandwich. The kitchen was hopelessly backed up. The servers were flustered. Managers were placing the blame for the restaurants issues back onto the customers. Don't eat here at dinner time if there's a convention going on in the hotel...

Blue Strawberry Coffee Company:

Visited this coffee shop a couple times for food because it was quick and convenient to where I was staying. One visit was for breakfast and one for lunch.
I had the Big Boss Burrito on my first visit here. The burrito was filled with bacon, egg, cheese, potatoes, green peppers, and onions. The whole thing was pressed on a grill. Sour cream and salsa were served as sides. I liked it!
I had the Grilled Asparagus Sandwich on my second visit to the Blue Strawberry. This was basically a grilled cheese with mozzarella and provolone. Grilled asparagus, roasted red peppers, and basil were grilled into the sandwich. It was okay, but sounded better on the menu's description that it actually was. Asparagus was too round and separated the bread too much to work on a grilled cheese.

White Star Ale House:

This was a restaurant recommended by the front desk at my hotel. Overall, it ended up being an okay restaurant, but was very forgettable. The menu was generic and while the food was good enough, it was nothing that made me want to go rushing back.
I had the Roasted BBQ Pork Shanks with Baked Cheesy Potatoes as my side. The barbecue sauce was spicier than expected, but good. The pork was nice and tender and came off the bone easily. Cheesy potatoes were sort of bland.

Need Pizza:

There were two restaurants serving pizzas in downtown Cedar Rapids. Need Pizza seemed to be doing much more business than their counterpart, so the assumption was that they were that better restaurant.
I shared a pizza topped with pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, kalamata olives, and mushrooms. The pizza was okay. Not the worst pizza ever, but not something I'll be craving any time soon. There was a bit of a cheese overload on the pie, which I do not enjoy. I guess Iowa isn't really known for their pizza...

Grin n Goose:

Grin n Goose was one of those restaurants where my initial reaction was to wonder if they were focusing more on food or alcohol here. Luckily they did food well.
I had the Turkey Club. The sandwich consisted of an Asiago bun filled with sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, bacon, swiss, and American cheese. I had French Onion soup as my side. The sandwich was as expected, while the soup was better than expected. Sometimes French Onion soup is basically bread with a little onions and liquid poured over it. Thankfully in this case, there was much more of the soup than the bread submerged in it. Plenty of gooey cheese topped the bowl...

La Cantina:

I had Mexican food at a restaurant called La Cantina. I ordered the Enchiladas de Mole. The chicken enchiladas were topped with a mole sauce alongside refried beans, rice, and sliced onions. It wasn't my favorite mole sauce ever, somewhat lacking in the chocolate flavor found elsewhere, but it was still pretty tasty. It was also a good value for the price.

Newbo City Market/Roaster's Coffeehouse:

This was Cedar Rapid's big food hall. I tried some Beer & Cheese soup from a booth called Roaster's Coffeehouse.

Parlor City Pub & Eatery:

Brisket Sandwich with onion rings. This is not something I'd reccomend. Meat was chewy. The roll was stale, and the rings were soggy.
Grant Wood is from Iowa. American Gothic was standing near the restrooms in here.

Great American Popcorn Company:

Ice Cream from a popcorn store!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

NY Food (Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, Veselka, Totto Ramen, Sunnyside Pizza, Halal Truck, Shiro, and Dave's Bagels)

Continuing from my recent trip which took me around New England, New York was the next stop on the journey:

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery (Manhattan):

This place has been on my radar for a while. They specialize in Knishes and have been around since 1910!
I had a Spinach Knish. Spinach was mixed into the potato in the knish. I very much enjoy knishes, and this was no exception!

Veselka (Manhattan):

I went here almost immediately after visiting Yonah Schimmel's. Pierogi are hard to resist and Veselka is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. Their Sunday Brunch was happening and I tried the bacon, egg, & cheese pierogi. The waiter told me I wanted them fried. I should have gotten them boiled. The amount of crispiness from being deep fried made them seem like empanadas more than pierogi. Filling wise, bacon egg and cheese in a pierogi was really good!

Totto Ramen (Manhattan):

Google listed this as a highly rated ramen shop in the city. They specialized in a type of broth which I had never had called Paitan. This is apparently a chicken based broth.
I had the Miso Paitan Ramen. It was noodles in chicken paitan broth, topped with miso, egg, scallions, bean sprouds, onions, and pork. Delicious!

Sunnyside Pizza (Queens):

This is a pizzeria in Queens that has good New York style pizza, available by the slice.
I had a slice of cheese and an eggplant/ricotta slice. I do enjoy that they put sesame seeds on the crust.

Halal Truck (Queens):

I had a Lamb/Chicken combo from a random Halal food truck in Sunnyside. They made the standard NY Halal cart fare a little more interesting by adding bell peppers and onions in with the meat. Served over rice and lettuce, topped with white and hot sauce.

Shiro (Grand Central):

I had an Eel Avocado Roll from a fast food sushi restaurant in Grand Central from Shiro.

Dave's Bagels and Grill (Queens):

I had an everything bagel with lox cream cheese.


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