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jucy lucy

I spend a lot of time in MSP and the Juicy Lucy (sic) is a staple of many an argument. The Nook is in my top 3 and they have a few choices for the interior cheeses. Take a look at the middle of this page. They are all tried and true at one of the best Juicy Lucy places.


Where to Eat Near the University of Chicago

Rewind the clock to the late 70's when I was a student at UofC and the ladies at Ribs 'n Bibs were like my adopted parents. They took care of me at least 2x per week with the leftovers at the end of the night and good talks about the beauty of BBQ. And when I went to say goodbye to them after my two years they handed me two big jugs of BBQ sauce to take back to NJ. It may not be the best BBQ in the world but they were the greatest people in the world.

Video: Slider Perfection at White Manna in Hackensack, NJ

'Twas on my Bucket List until last year. I made a major detour to have a 4-pack. I was incredibly lucky when I arrived to grab a seat at the counter and watch in awe as the cooker threw those little balls of heaven on the grill...then the onions...then the technique. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, me watching her cook, or her watching me smile. Then the pure delight of some great burgers that were definitely worth the detour.

Glad I ticked the box on White Manna, but many more places to try.

Minneapolis: Surprise Winner in the Battle of Juicy Lucys Between 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar

I worked my way through most of Minneapolis' hamburger haunts last year for the Great Burger Hunt. Matt's was my favorite Lucy and came in 2nd by a hair to Buster's in the overall category. The trick to Matt's great fried onions was their addition of some of the grease from the french frier as they grilled on the flat-top. I also thought Travail and Victory 44 were excellent choices. I did not like 5-8 at all, could not understand all the hype.

Daily Slice: Sausage Heaven at Zuppardi's, West Haven, Connecticut

Oustanding. My only issue is how to sneak out of the office to drive up and try this mouth watering pie.

Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza, a Time Machine in Elizabeth, New Jersey

OMG how great are the memories. I used to go here after baseball practice at Williams Field in the early 70's. It was a turning point in my pizza education. Thanks for the memories for the article and thanks for the great pizza Mr. S.

Pasta with Eggplant, Portobella, and Tomatoes


Really like the eggplant idea with the MV and paper towels. Question on why you added the lemon juice though. Was it to brighten the dish or for more acid? Just made my eyebrow rise a little.


The Food Lab: A Better Way to Caramelize Onions (Plus, French Onion Dip!)


Thank you so much for the quick response. I was busy sucking down some tacos at a great new beach-decored taco bar overlooking a fresh 5" of snow. How cool is that?

I am glad that you mentioned it is faster and that was the goal. And I am also glad that people, like you, who attack making things better also take the time toappreciate the pleasures of watching nature's bounty turn to gold slowly.

The Food Lab: A Better Way to Caramelize Onions (Plus, French Onion Dip!)

As much as I love new techniques and learning the chemistry of food interactions, I struggle with the conclusion "A Better Way." Why is this "Better?" Is there more flavor? Is there better texture? Or is this just less time consuming?

After tons of onions caramelized for burgers and soups I have settled on dedicating 3 hours on a lazy weekend day to caramelizing 8 pounds of onions and then freezing them in individual portions. The only 2 ingredients are a little oil and the onions. Takes an hour to sweat them and two hours to soften and brown.

Now here is where my "better" comes in doing it this way. Grill a burger and it takes less time for one of my "onion rounds" to defrost from the freeezer than cooking the burger.

How great is it to have beautiful caramelized onions at your fingertips for a grilled burger in 5 minutes?

'Food By State' Map Names Connecticut the Hamburger State

CT justifiably deserves the nod for having some of the best hamburgers in America. And Outback, 5G and TR do not even come into play when speaking of burgers. In Fairfield county alone there are XX great burgers. Nap & Co. has elevated the super-premium burger to new heights with it's Wagyu burger. Don't knock it til you have tried it. Then we have the best regular burger in Burgers Shakes and Fries in Greenwich and Darien. Add to that the likes of the Black Goose, LeFarm, Farmer's Table, Brendan's (now closed) and others just in Fairfield County and you can understand the naming.

Star Tavern: A Shining Example of the Bar Pie in Orange, New Jersey

Star Tavern Pizza is but a memory at this point living in CT but it still ranks as one of the great pizzas I have ever eaten. It is almost as cult-like as Colony in Stamford.

Coalhouse Pizza: Coal-Fired in Stamford, Connecticut

I reviewed this on Chowhound over a year ago:


I made a slight detour on the way home from LGA last night and miraculously found himself sitting at the bar at Coalhouse with a Boylen's root beer in front of him. What luck.

Then I remembered he called on the drive (hands-free peeps) and ordered a small pie, half pepperoni and half sausage and peppers and was glad. As I watched the pie makers I saw a few things. One they were still in the learning process, second, there were some little arguments going on (one guy was so frustrated he threw his towel on a pie and stormed out the back) and three the pies were coming out of the oven at a frantic pace. All was very entertaining.

But the reason I was there was for the pie. It was brought and I noticed the char on the bottom was present. So far so good. The cutting of the pie needs work as it was impossible to find the cuts from the top and when I did, the pie was cut into four slices. This made very large slices and I found it created a very difficult pick up scenanio (they should conside a six-slice small pie). I pulled off a piece of crust to taste. OMG, this was unbelievably great crust. A slight sweetness and nice chew, almost perfect. I then noticed the toppings. Light on the sauce, light on the cheese and plenty of meat, nice. I also noticed that his half and half was actually all suasage and pepper and 3/4 pepperoni. Shucks, I would just have to eat more meat.

I tried to pick up a slice and it was way too soft for this. The dough was charred but still very pliable. Thankfully years of folding slices came into play, so a fold and go is the only way to pick up a slice. As I looked around, I understood why so many were using knives and forks. The first bite was great. The pepperoni ware crispy from the over-hot ovens, the sausage was very good but not great, I like more fennel, the peppers were crispy, the cheese was not too heavy, a little more would have been preferred and the a sauce had just the right amount of tang and did not overpower the rest of the pie. Other than the surprise on the pliability, this pie immediately vaulted to second best in Stamford behind Colony.

After I finished I was walking out the front door, when the owner approached me. He asked about my thoughts (I was the only single there on a friday night). I told him it was very nice but the dough was over the top great flavor. He mentioned that the dough-man comes from Red Hook and has a long standing dough recipe. When I asked him about the crispy versus pliable, he mentioned that the ovens needed to season before that would happen and it could take a year. But the owner was a super nice guy, and you could feel his passion for his product.

So I am glad there is another addition to the pizza scene in Stamford and gives Coalhouse a big thumb's up after only a few weeks. Nice job.

Glad you made it to our little section of the world.

Stamford, Connecticut: Tappo Restaurant, a Naples-Style Newcomer

great review and photos Amy. Can't wait to try it.

And to Ratbuddy. I apologize if the third person was difficult to read, try writing it. :-) and i'm writing in 1st person these day as I was taught in NJ as a little guy eating pizza for $0.20 a slice. Ciao

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