Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chinese Restaurant News

Effective January 1st the former owners of HoHo China Bistro will be assuming the ownership of Shun Lee Palace a long time favorite Chinese restaurant.

HoHo China Bistro of Dilworth has been closed for a while now due to its small size and a location that was a bit too hidden. They have moved to Cherry House Chine Bistro at Pecan Point shopping center. Most of the same wonderful HoHo dishes can be found here. This location is much easier to find, but from a business point of view still too small.

As of January 1st the owners of HoHo Cherry House China Bistro will become the new owners of Shun Lee Palace, a true Charlotte institution for 30 years. The menu has all of the old school dishes like Chow Mein, Pepper Steak and Moo Goo Gai Pan, also interesting dishes featuring Lamb, Duck and Seafood specialties. A full range of Mandarin, Szechuan, Hunan and Cantonese Cuisine are all represented.

The menu and the staff will remain unchanged. A good idea - when it’s not broken don’t fix it. Located at 4340 Colwick Road, across from the Cotswold Mall, one block from Randolph Road. Make it a New Year Godfather must munch.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Katz New York Deli - Best in town

Katz NY Deli
Shortly after arriving in Charlotte about six years ago I found what was then a new restaurant. A place where a New Jersey/New York transplant could get a fix of what for me is soul food. The place I speak of is Katz New York Deli. Located across from the arboretum shopping center in the arboretum office park behind Bank of America.

I have been to the best of them. Second Avenue Deli, Carnegie, Katz on Houston Street. They are the gold standard of deli and appetizing. Only one place in Charlotte can come close to reaching the quality and deli delightfulness I crave, that place is Katz New York. The owner Lee Katz was born and raised in New Jersey and is a veteran of several top deli’s - he gets it!

The corned beef and pastrami melts in your mouth, served nice and hot from the steam table. Don’t miss the chopped liver, flavorful and fantastic. The hot dogs are the best in Charlotte all beef with natural casings that give you that special snap when you take that first bite. Don’t miss the brisket or the tongue. Try the house made knishes. If you have room top it off with a slice of cheesecake imported from the Carnegie Deli or wash it down with an egg cream made with the genuine Fox’s-U-bet syrup.

The appetizing at Katz is in a class by itself as well. They have it all. Nova, Belly Lox (the salty stuff I love), baked salmon, whitefish, sturgeon, sable, herring, baked salmon salad and whitefish salad with no filler, just enough mayo to hold it together.
The latest addition to the line up at Katz - Now the rye bread shipped in from Pechters bakery of New Jersey. The breads are baked off in the store daily and the result is a first rate top notch Rye bread that has great flavor and actually has a crunchy crust. Hands down the best bread in town. If you’re guessing that I love this place – You are right

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Konnichiwa - An Ode to Ru San's

Buenas Tardes Konnichiwa welcome to Ru San
I am Pablo san
Two for Sushi Bar Welcome- Welcome
Make yourself feel home

Juan san on the fryer- tempura in a rush
Lopez making Maki over the din has fallen a hush

Hector busing tables, Juan is pouring tea
Jim and Anne at their table sipping Sake

A vision in a headband with an up side down Japanese smile. Fast hands and a swift knife he’s been at this a good while.

He can filet a delicate snapper
Before others can remove its wrapper.
He can create a sashimi tray
As if it were child’s play.

Starting as an apprentice in Osaka
He rose to Sushi Master
Destined to serve the star and the starlet

Some how his destiny has brought him here to Charlotte

Domo - Domo Arigato Thank You.
Thank You Very Much he bellows.

His mission more than anything is to ignite these
Not so Japanese fellows.

Mas wasabi dozo. Three orders to go.
Times for eel come out of broiler don’t forget brush on the sauce.
Si I got it covered. I wont fail you boss.

Three Queen City Roll, One Mayor Pat Maki, Two Redneck Hand Roll. One NASCAR Nigiri
For a swift second he wonders
Has he dishonored history?

For a moment he is shaken
Perhaps his ancestors he has forsaken

Rusan again feels pride he takes it all in stride

From boyhood he remembers
His great grandfather Hiro san
He thinks of now and then
And his eternal message

“Boy Go For The Yen”

Ru San's Sushi Buffet

Ru San's Sushi buffet served Monday thru Saturday is pretty hard to beat. All the sushi you can eat for under $10 is one hell of a deal. Some hot food is available as well. I like the fried chicken wings and the fried calamari. The real calling card is the sushi. Both maki (the rolls) and the nigiri (fish on top of a pad of rice) are available. They are very busy which makes me feel comfortable about freshness. Sadly for the most part they only use 3 types of fish. Salmon, Tuna and crab appear in an amazing variety of different sushi presentations. On rare occasions I have seen shrimp, white tuna, mackerel, snapper and even the occasional hand roll. I would like to see this variety in fish more often. I hope you don’t take me the wrong way this place rocks and when I leave I always feel like a trained seal that has just consumed twice his body weight in bait. The place has a very cool and yet madcap atmosphere. Not that it matters but, very little of the help is Japanese but hey godfather digs diversity.

A word from Heather

I don't get up to the Lake Norman area often but here is a recommendation from a friend. Stay tuned for my New York style Deli pick coming very soon!

I don't know if you get up to the Lake Norman area at all but I wanted
to share with you the name of one my favorite spots in hopes it may fill
the "deli void" you mentioned in your bio. We have a great little hoagie
shop called LaSpada's here in Cornelius, I guess it is more Philadelphia
than NYC but fabulous deli sandwiches nonetheless. My recommendations:
the Monster, fresh sliced ham, roast beef, turkey, lettuce, cheese, vin
& oil (I like mine w/ sweet peppers) on a hoagie roll - this sandwich is
HUGE & DELICIOUS! The Philly Cheese Steak (or Philly Chicken Steak) are
both great too! Throw in a black cherry soda and you have one of my
favorite Saturday afternoon lunches. The prices are excellent
especially considering the amount of food you get!

Thanks for sharing your blog, I look forward to reading future posts!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Something a bit different

Ever want something a bit different? Just in the mood for a change of pace?
That is the way I felt, so I recommended Big Ben. Two of my mates enjoyed the fish and chips while another tucked into the Bangers and Mash. A classic English dish that really sticks to your ribs. The dish is composed of two bangers, which are mild English sausages and mashed potato with light brown gravy. Jim barely said a word through most of the meal a sure sign it was excellent. Now I was in the mood for a change of pace remember? So I had the Hearty English Breakfast - 2 Eggs, a Banger, English Bacon, Baked Beans, Ben's Spuds, Grilled Tomato, Grilled Mushrooms and Toast. Now this was refreshingly different! And it was pretty good now it could have been very good if they knew how to make soft scrambled eggs. You would be surprised how few people know how to make scrambled eggs really well, oh well. Perhaps the best item on the plate was the grilled mushrooms-packed with flavor and touch of butter. When this mood strikes again I will give this dish another go.
Cheers – Godfather of Lunch

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A real loss

Austin’s Caribbean Cuisine on Kings Drive is the Godfathers favorite takeout Jamaican place. They make a curried goat that is fantastically delicious. I was there to day and found myself quite sad. First they were sold out on the curried goat and if that was not bad enough they told me that they had sold the place and when I come back they probably wont be there any more. The new place wont even have Jamaican food.
Ya mon I will miss them and mostly I will miss the goat mon. Try the goat mon get some curry in a hurry
before they are gone.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Place

I used to Love Dakota's at the Arboretum. They are the same people that own Cajun Yard Dog across the parking lot. Well they closed Dakota's retooled and just reopened. The new place is called New South Kitchen. They kept many of the best dishes like the shrimp and grits and crab cakes. They have added a category of small plates to the menu. Along with the full size dishes, one of which is organic salmon- the entire menu sounds wonderful. I look forward to checking this out!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

131 Main

131 Main has opened in the former Patou location at the corner of East Blvd and Scott Ave. The place looks great; they have done a great job on the renovation. Ceilings have been lowered and the place feels more cozy and intimate. The big issue to get past is parking but they do have free valet parking. I was really lucky and parked in the lot just a few feet away on East Blvd.
On my lunch visit I had the awesome roast beef sandwich and the god father must admit it was pretty darn awesome. It came with some pretty good shoestring fries a great au ju and the waiter offered some horseradish sauce that was a super addition. But I don’t think the god father will be having many lunches here. Add a tea, tax and tip and welcome to a $20 lunch. This is a bit rich for the GFL for a RB sandwich even a darn awesome one. Too many great lunch options under $10 available at many other places.
On my dinner visit Mrs. G-father had the Mahi-Mahi that was perfectly cooked and served with a wonderfully seasoned rice salad with an Indian flair. I had the crab cakes that are all lump crabmeat with just enough filler to hold them together. Served over a tasty mustard based sauce they were a delight. They come with fries but the waitress let me know I could exchange for a veggie so I had the asparagus. First served cold, that’s how they prepared them. When the waitress saw I was surprised she offered to have them steamed for me. On both visits the service was excellent in particular at dinner. Dinner was not cheap but it is what you should expect to pay for an excellent meal, prepared well and served professionally. I look forward to returning for dinner.