Whenever I hear or read "Bunga" anywhere, I can't help but think of Italian politician/AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi's infamous "Bunga Bunga" parties. No need to even click on the link below, just read the end part.
I am puzzled by your luke warm review. I have never had a meal there that was anything less than excellent. Despite being an avid carnivore , the black bean burger is one the best things that I have ever eaten.
Why would anyone even suggest that a vegetarian option would "benefit" from steak or chicken? That defeats the whole purpose. I would probably agree, taste-wise, with that suggestion, but I'm not a vegetarian and so I don't order vegetarian options. That's also why I'd make a crap food critic.
I get the cranberry chicken salad every time I go, because it's the best. Yeah, maybe sometimes chicken falls off the bread, but since when is "there's too much delicious filling in my sandwich!" a complaint anyone makes?
I have to respectfully disagree with Mr Leach on this one. The cookies are not what I go for - the sandwiches are sublime! I've literally never had one I did not find absolutely delicious, and I tell people that Orange Glory is my favorite (non-alcoholic) lunch in the City. The lamb burger, when available, is knock-your-socks-off tasty, and even the veggie offerings satisfy this omnivore's cravings. I've never bothered with a soup there, so cannot comment on that. I generally agree with Mr Leach's tasting reviews, so he is no doubt right that it's bland. I do eat my OG sandwich with a knife and fork, since, as mentioned, the generous portioned fillings otherwise escape the bread. Other vehicles for the flavors may be a good idea, actually. In terms of the staff, I've found them friendly and approachable - no eye rolls even when I procrastinate about what to choose. Go try it for yourself, it's great!
One needs to appreciate the 60's kind of "Alice's Reasturant" approach a la "soup Natsi" of this tiny jewel on East Avenue. And yes getting decent flavor into lentle soup is a challenge. It sure is not in the lentle s themselves. Several suggestions for this... As I tried making at home last week. 1) if you want flavor you must add more spice and salt than you might think 2) 2 onces of whiskey or if you preferr red Vermont goes a long way to improving bland lentle s 3) for spice there is the Mediterranean direction which Aladon's uses so well cumin and anise seed or I think true red have rain papricka works wonders and does not add unnesessary heat. Lentle s are not intended to taste like me I an so avoid the cayenne stick with other flavors. Peace
I appreciate Orange Glory's non-traditional menu offerings (as reasonably-priced downtown lunch options are mainly limited to pizza, tacos, subs, felafel, or Chinese). However, I was quite turned off by their practice of microwaving their burgers at the short-lived Times Square Building location... not sure if this same practice goes on at East Avenue, but if so, there has GOT to be a better way! As far as I can tell, OG lives up to expectations of providing fresh, quality, well-made food... just please, spare me the nuke cycle.
Haven't been to Harry G's yet, but I will offer an opinion or two on what Mr. Leach wrote. The real delis I've enjoyed on Long Island bring a bowl with both sour and half sour pickles and with sour pickled tomatoes and a bowl of cole slaw to the table before bringing water. A Kosher deli cannot, by definition, mix meat and cheese so it is misguided to refer to their proprietors as wrongheaded. IMHO excellent pastrami and corned beef should not be adulterated by cheese or by making them into reubens or their variations. The flavor of the meat is masked rather than enhanced. Nothing against reubens, I just like to savor the deep flavor of the meat. That said, I am looking forward to trying Harry G's pastrami on rye and thank Mr. Leach and City for telling me about the deli.
comment on Gus's pickles. The former manager opened The Pickle Guys just down the street from the original location with many of the former employees and a second store in Brooklyn(Delish) I agree about the NYC comment buy the way. A real NYC deli does not just give hand out pickles on the table. Missing from this 'NYC Deli' are a Tongue sandwich, Kishka, and Knishe. This is not to take anything away from Harry G's. It is a great place to eat, just not a NYC Deli great place to eat.
It is not "provincial" to write in a ROC-centric manner for a ROC media outlet. However, it is the height of provincialism to believe that your city/region has the best of something, or in the typical NYer's case, everything. I cringe every time I hear "real NYC deli" or "real NYC pizza" as if it is borne of a formula that is utterly irreplicable elsewhere. Okay, back to my garbage plate and Cream Ale...
I have often read your restaurants reviews, always finding something amusing about the fact that food writing exists in Rochester. Practically an oxymoron. As pedestrian as the City paper, or the art scene of Rochester.
The review of Harry G's was amusing as usual. It is nothing even remotely close to a deli in NYC. I suspect you've never been to Sarges. What does Harry G's offer that resembles anything at Katzs? The best part of your review, "real delis down in NYC only serve half-sours rather than the fully done garlic dills they hand out at Harry G's." I have to wonder if you've ever eaten at a real NYC deli. Have you ever heard of Gus's Pickles (sadly gone) or ever had a real pickle (which I think you're trying to say is a Kosher dill)? I realize that factchecking at City probably does not exist. But plenty of room for provincial attitudes.
Sorry, no pickle at that all-supreme public market even comes close.
I think you and City should stick to covering red hots and 2 Vines.
I'm not normally a French Dip fan. My mother used to eat them all the time and for whatever reason, I never cared for them. That is, until I ate Harry G's excellent representation. It blew me away.
The caption underneath the beer tap pic mentions ""Brats & Tots" sandwich (left photo)", except there is no left photo.
(unless its just not loading on my browser for some reason)
Yea this is a press release not a review.
Things can get quite messy at your table. Don't wear your best clothes.
Let me start by saying I have great respect for the reviews by James Leach (so much better than the reviews by the D and C) and I want La Casa to succeed. That said, I feel that the praise heaped on La Casa by Mr. Leach could create unrealistic expectations for the dining public who would then be disappointed after visiting La Casa. Again, I had a good meal when I went a couple Saturdays ago. I’m looking forward to going back. But it was hardly a flawless experience. I blame myself mostly for my food choices and there is always a learning curve when dining out at a new to you establishment. Our service was inconsistent and nonexistent at times, mostly I believe, from the staff being tied up making guacamole tableside. Which is great. But it does hinder the wait staff from giving attention to all their tables. I misunderstood that the appetizer specials of the night were 4 mini tacos as one appetizer and the Chili Rellano was another. Turns out the Chili Rellano was an entrée. So, between the two of us they tried to serve us 3 side plates of beans, rice and salad. We were already taking over the table next to us for all our food. So we sent one back. And all of our entrees were served to us while we hadn’t finished our nachos. I’m not complaining. It’s a learning curve with a new restaurant. You need to learn how to order, what to expect. The tacos were great. By the time I got around to eating my Chili Relleno it was cold and inedible. Even hot I don’t think it would have been very good. The batter had an off taste and I don’t think had been cooked in hot enough oil. So, would I go back? In a heartbeat. I live within walking distance and look forward to many summer nights on the back deck. But was it the heaven described by Mr. Leach. Not for us that night. But except for the Chili Renello, the food was very good and the service was friendly and informative but not always as attentive as it could be.
So Nielsen says, ""I probably could keep Chester Cab Pizza going for a while more. But when I see the mandates that businesses will be required to comply with by 2014, I figure those would be the mandates that would break the camel's back. So why wait, my work is done. Why delay the inevitable?"
But now his manager has decided to buy the business. So one has to ask, does Ivanov figure he can do a better job running the place, or was Nielsen merely bloviating and the business climate (the one he operates Sticky Lips under) isn't as bad as he contends? And the mimicing of George Eastman's famous quote, "My work is done, why wait" seems a bit tacky.
Thanks for the updates on the Chester Cab situation, folks. We have reached out to Nielsen for clarification and will post it as soon as we hear back. In the meantime, here is the full text of the press release that he sent out to the media last week. I don't think there's any question that, based on this release, he was sending the message at that time that the restaurant was closing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Chester Cab Pizza Will Be Closing Its Doors
Rochester, New York - March 7, 2013
It is with a heavy heart that owner and founder of Park Avenue's Chester Cab
Pizza is slinging his last pizza. The store, located at
707 Park Ave, had just surpassed its 30th year in business.
After living in Chicago, Nielsen introduced stuffed pizza baked into a pan
to Rochester in 1982. Also, he was the first in the area to put spinach,
broccoli, and tofu atop a pizza. And most recently, Nielsen came up with a
2.5 gram fat per slice, which tastes great.
Nielsen states that even though sales have been steady, "...it is the rising
expenses that took us to the point of unprofitability. In past years, I have
noticed that our margins were going down but decided to keep the business
afloat for better days to come."
It's not big news like a Kodak or Xerox closing, but Nielsen has prided
himself in keeping the store open seven days a week, only closing two days
out of the year. Also, he is proud that his pizza shops have created over
2000 stepping stone jobs and put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into
our government -- tax dollars which go on to provide jobs for our county,
state and country. Chester Cab Pizza is just a cog in the capitalism wheel
that purchases its product from a wholesaler, who buys from the
manufacturer, who buys from the farmer. That is free enterprise at its
best, and that is what keeps Americans working.
Nielsen was just a 21-year-old ambitious kid with a young family to feed
when he opened the doors to The Pizza Station opposite Seabreeze Park on
Culver Road. The early years it was just a day to day battle to make a
small living. "It was the start of what I call my Harvard business and life
education. I used to make pizzas and had work weeks of 80-100 hours.
Between my wife and I, we pulled in a profit at times of $400 per week. If
you combined our hours, I think it worked out to about $3.33 per hour. We
had no safety nets. I figured I was turning a profit, I believed in the
stuffed pizza, and that if I could make the best pizza in Rochester,
everything else would fall in place." Nielsen says in the past 30 years, he
has seen numerous pizzerias open and close, and he feels very blessed to
have made it this long.
During the mid 1970s, 80s, and 90s, Park Ave was a magical place. Real
estate agents were busy and every city neighborhood wanted to be the next
Park Ave. "I love Park Ave, especially during spring and early summer, when
the college kids come home and the street comes alive.
People come from all over to get a taste of it."
Looking back, Nielsen has a few regrets. "The City of Rochester generally
has been fair to my business. I have been on Park Ave under the
administrations of four different mayors. Many times, local merchants have
addressed the issue of lack of parking, especially during peak season.
Nothing has really changed, which may indicate that parking ticket revenue
is too great for the city to give up."
"I probably could keep Chester Cab Pizza going for a while more. But when I
see the mandates that businesses will be required to comply with by 2014, I
figure those would be the mandates that would break the camel's back. So
why wait, my work is done. Why delay the inevitable?"
"There's a perfect storm brewing, involving a number of factors.
There are higher fuel and food costs (due to mid-west droughts and corn
ethanol mandates), higher labor and health care requirements, and a hostile
New York State business environment. With high unemployment and U.S. Labor
salaries being stagnant, I did not feel we could push the prices to the
customer any higher."
"It just seems to be the right time to shut it down and say good-bye to my
customers and employees and thank them."
Chester Cab Pizza will be closing in the upcoming month.
I will second that. Chester Cab is simply changing owners.
Chester Cab isn't closing. Please see this post about how Howie Nielsen did the new owner (a former manager) a real disservice in not being upfront about what was actually happening to the business: http://dragonflyeye.net/blog/2013/03/08/ch…
Char's new look is wonderful and their menu is short but great. The food? Can't tell you. The service took so long we had to leave to get to the theater (which we told them about up front) before our entrees came. Manager unapologetic, and we got charged for everything that made it to the table. For the prices they charge, you deserve service along with the food.
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