Faux Cubano Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I call it a Faux Chick-fil-A, it is the same sandwich except with slices of bread instead of a bun, ham instead of a breaded pressure-cooked chicken breast, the addition of Swiss cheese, and the addition of mustard.

But it still has the pickle.

We Try Mama Walker's Breakfast-Inspired Booze

Looks like they run around $13 a bottle. Kind of pricey, there are plenty of 80 proof flavored vodkas out there.

Tipping: My latest conundrum

For fast/casual places I base tipping on whether someone is going to bus my table. If someone is going to be bussing my table then I leave the greater of 10% or $1. If I am bussing my own table (i.e. taking my tray to the trash can) then nobody is getting anything. Bringing me my order is not in and of itself tip worthy if I have to clean up my own table.

"kid" food??

@ Yo Landa:

"the children were asked to help themselves first"

Exactly, they were ASKED to help themselves, they didn't just start scarfing up the food.

Personally nothing a kid does offends me, I don't really have anything to do with kids, except to yell at them when they are on my lawn.

"kid" food??

When I was a kid, children did not help themselves to ANYTHING unless an adult told us it was okay to do so. No way any of us would have helped ourselves to shrimp in a bowl. Or to a plate full of hamburgers and hotdogs, you waited to be told it was okay to start eating them or you asked "Can I please have a hotdog?"

Might have taken a few M&Ms if there was a bowl full of those, but we would have thought we got away with something. We wouldn't decimate the bowl because then the adults would know for sure that we had been helping ourselves.

Kids these days ... get off of my lawn.

Dear Oreo, What In The What Are You Thinking?

I'm a wild man, trouble is my middle name, I'll eat any type of Oreo they can come up with.

Video: Zagat's Battle of the Red Bull Cocktails

Rock Star has a variety of flavors available including Sour.

Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

Some people still think the U.S. doesn't make a decent beer so they will order something like a St. Pauli Girl over the local craft brew, lol.

Taste Test: Ready-To-Cook Meals From Blue Apron

It is an interesting niche, for people who would like to cook a meal at home but for one reason or another find it difficult to purchase the ingredients.

Speaking for me personally I value my time at $11,000 per hour, that is my going rate, so if I want to cook a meal at home to me this is a valuable service. I do not want to be mobbed by fans picking up some vegetables at the local grocery store, so yes, I would be a happy customer of this product.

Chain Reaction: Little Caesar's Deep!Deep! Dish Pizza

The mushrooms look depressed.

Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

Grey Goose and vodka
Dirty Crown Royal Martini

Make you want to punch someone ...

Pet Peeves When Dining Out

Only thing that has bothered me lately is I got served sashimi on a mountain of ice, kind of like this

Except my ice mountain was a couple of feet tall. If the menu had mentioned the ice mountain I probably wouldn't have ordered it, I prefer to have it on a plate or a tray.

Steakcraft: Steaks at Delmonico's, America's Oldest Fine Dining Restaurant

@ryu: Book refers to book of business, it varies from business to business, but when buying a business you can count on a certain % of past customers returning, depending on the nature of the business.

If the book shows customers who dine in the restaurant 8x per year and spend an average of $159, then that list of customers is in and of itself of value, because the purchaser can put some kind of floor on what the revenue will be during the change of ownership, without it the new owner is operating in the dark. The purchaser of the restaurant is assuming a guaranteed minimum gross revenue for the place.

Steakcraft: Steaks at Delmonico's, America's Oldest Fine Dining Restaurant

My beef is that the chef is wearing a jacket with two rows of buttons, I prefer that the chef wear a jacket with only one row of buttons.

Tipping & Bad Service: What's Your Policy?

I don't talk to anyone, ever. I will not talk to the server, I will not talk to the manager. You get a good meal to my table fine, if you don't I won't be back.

Not my job to give management advice to anyone. I am bone-tired, I opted to eat a meal at your restaurant, it didn't work out, here's a nice tip and I am out of there. Most times the meal works out, once in a while it doesn't.

Engaging either the server or the manager in conversation? That is called WORK, which is the opposite of what I am there to do. Not my job to consider their management practices and render judgment.

Don't care if they want constructive criticism or not, it is not my job to provide constructive anything, if they want something constructive they should hire a restaurant management consultant.

My job begins and ends with paying the bill and tipping the waitperson.

Tipping & Bad Service: What's Your Policy?

I might go as low as 15% but usually my approach is to tip normally and never eat there again.

In other occupations people get paid even when they are having an off day, should be the same deal with servers.

growing veggies without a garden

Once when I had a rather cushy job with the government, and an office with immense windows and sun exposure, I actually tried to grow veggies in my office. I got two huge containers and planted a tomato plant and a green pepper plant. The two plants grew to be eight feet tall. I used multiple plastic stakes wired together to keep them in line. They grew little flowers but never a single fruit, I think maybe it was a pollination problem. Eventually they grew to the point where people could smell the plants from outside my office, they probably thought I was growing weed, and I had to cut them down which was quite a chore.

I definitely over-fertilized, I figured "If a little is good, a lot must be better."

Brooklyn: Peter Luger's Lunchtime Burger is a Study in Simplicity

So is anybody going to argue that the burger is burnt to a crisp?

Open Thread: Where Do You Take Tourists in NYC?

Guy Fieri's place

The Joy and Economics of Cooking Pizza At Home

Okay I'm not even going to mention frozen pizza but the fact is it doesn't require special equipment and it is easily cooked at home.

Ask a Bartender: What's Your Guilty Pleasure Drink?

White Russians make me feel guilty only because they are a great way to pack on a ton of weight.

Back when I used to drink them all the time I got huge.

Behind the Scenes at Letherbee Distillers in Chicago

Back then you could judge the quality of a stereo by the number of knobs. The more knobs, the more you had to pay for the stereo. You could combine a high-knob stereo with a graphic equalizer so that you had not only knobs to fiddle with but also levers to slide up and down until the sound was absolutely perfect.

Now I use an MP3 player that just has an on/off button.

Reality Check: Pepperoni and Bacon Pizzaburger from Boston Pizza

For a Hot Pocket it looks really good.

Cured Meats Rule at Cask and Larder in Winter Park, Florida

They have a great menu but as for the cured meats I can't get past the "globs of fat."

Maybe it is a food phobia but when I see a glob of fat on a piece of meat I think "Couldn't they have trimmed that off?" Other people see the glob of fat and figure it's the best part of the deal.

I see the glob of fat and think "I'm being served lard."

Bad Food Anger

I just write it off as a loss and don't return. Getting angry just ruins your evening. If you want to get even with the restaurant set fire to the drapes and leave with a smile on your face.

redfish hasn't written a post yet.

Lunch in the Loop: Courtway Restaurant

Courtway Restaurant is a few blocks north of the Chicago Board of Trade and a few blocks south of City Hall, so you'd think that its location in the midst of all the busy-bee stuff downtown would make it easy to find. But after about seven years of working in the Loop, I had no idea this place even existed. More

From The Mailbag: Thanks Miss Ellie, Love Hambone

We opened up the Serious Eats Mailbag this monday to find a package addressed to Official Serious Eats Mascot and Chief Financial Officer Hambone (a.k.a. Jamón). Inside the box was the most darling pizza-shaped dog toy, complete with squeaker in the crust. The toy came to us from long time Slic'er dhorst's dog Miss Ellie, whose friend Tammy Johnson seems to be a master at creating cute things out of cloth over at Fessenden Hill Creations. More

Video: How to Kill and Eat an Iguana

Over the course of thirty years, the Island of Boca Grande in Florida went from having zero iguanas to over 10,000. This invasive species was making it impossible for native plants and animals to survive. The island finally decided to do something about it; they called George Cera. We went on trip around the island with this hired gun... and of course, we ate some iguana. More

Dinner Tonight: Daniel Boulud's Braised Basque Chicken with Tomatoes and Paprika

The occasional problem with braised chicken dishes is that now matter how flavorful and dynamic the ingredients you start with are, over the cooking process they can end up muted and tame. That is definitely not the case with this Daniel Boulud recipe in Chef, Interrupted. Boulud, of course, knows a few things about braising, and here he pairs the chicken with a handful of ingredients that seem to only get more intense over time, making for a dish that is spicy and acidic—two things I love. More

From Behind the Bar: On Running Two Bars

Just under a year in, I was opening up one afternoon and a friend walked in with someone else in tow. The man was introduced as the owner of a hotel in Times Square which had an old bar on the first floor. After telling me in no uncertain terms how negatively he regarded his hotel's bar, he mentioned that its current owner would be losing his lease after more than forty years, and would we consider stopping by to check out the space? More

From Behind the Bar: What is a Bartender's Job?

There has been an interesting comment that that keeps popping up in the threads of these columns. It goes something like this: "I'm sick of the trend where bartenders think that they are god's gift to humanity. Your job is to make drinks, not to educate, babysit, or judge people. So do us all a favor; stow the attitude, and do your job." More

A Sandwich a Day: Lobster Roll at Portland Lobster Company in Portland, Maine

Even if you're a mayo person, I'll ask you to reconsider the next time lobster is involved. Butter is one of the world's great flavor-foods, whereas commercial mayo's charms, such as they are, are largely textural. Binders and slickeners have their place, but that place is not on something as proud as lobster, which tastes so good on its own—or with butter—that it doesn't need to get by on a texturality. More

(Haunted) Beer History: The Rise & Fall of the Lemp Dynasty

Today's beer history installment is something of a micro-level view of my previous column on German-American brewers—but this one has a Halloween twist. The story of the rise and fall of the Lemps, once one of America's most powerful brewing families, reads like something out of gothic fiction; and, as would be entirely appropriate for that genre, some say that they've never left. More

Beer History: German-American Brewers Before Prohibition

While ostensibly German-style lagers dominate the bulk of the American beer landscape now, German brewers were a relatively late addition to the scene, arriving in large numbers only in the mid-19th century. But the successes of this often tight-knit community bred resentment and xenophobia from those whose forebears had arrived in the US in earlier waves of immigration—and that ill will helped to bring about Prohibition. But before we rush straight to 1920, a brief review is in order. More

Around the Caffeinated World: Latin America

The mental picture we have of Juan Valdez both raises and answers some interesting questions about coffee in the southwestern hemisphere. We know how coffee first made its way there (initially thanks to the Dutch, French, and English), but what happened once it arrived? More

Serious Beer: Black IPA

The novelty of black IPAs to the beer scene is highlighted by a total lack of agreement about what to call them—you may see them described as Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales, and the American Brewer's Association pithily calls them, American-Style India Black Ales. (ASIBAs? Yeah, that'll stick...) Personally, I hope that Black IPAs are here to stay. We tasted a dozen of them, all solid beers, and very diverse. We've divided them up into two categories—heavier and intense, or lighter and more quaffable. More

The Pizza Lab: Sausages And the Science of Salt

Any serious discussion about the state of pizza in the United States must eventually lead to sausage. In large swaths of America, a pizzeria is judged not just by the quality of its crust, but by the quality of its preferably-homemade-but-definitely-at-least-custom-blended-by-a-master sweet Italian fennel sausage. What's that? Never made sausage before, you say? Don't worry. By the end of the day, you'll be a pro. More