Petit Poulet

52 W 33rd St. New York, NY 10001 • (212) 244-0440 petitpouletny.com

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The pickens are pretty slim when it comes to lunch in Herald Square. In fact, in Manhattan it’s kinda become the land that restaurateurs forgot, which puts ole Ferocious smack dab between a rock and hard to find a friggin’ place to eat place. And that’s not for a lack of trying.

My most recent attempt being this bistro-hopeful that seemed to start off on all the right feet with its classic décor, good service, reasonable rose and tres yummy charcuterie board complete with Roquefort, Camembert, cornichon, soppressata, mustard, jam, olives, grapes, fresh baguette, etc…

The other starter, the hummus and pita, was less obvious for bistro fare and wouldn’t have been my choice to order, but Morocco is a stone’s throw, so I let it slide. It’s just okay though, as to be expected. What wasn’t to be expected from my little chicken that could, was the palliard salad being as dry as Morocco. Far inferior to that of The Palm or The Standard Grill.

For dessert, the chicken choked, serving up a bizarre attempt at profiteroles that were more like ginormous balls of vanilla ice cream with teeny-weeny beanie caps of pastry on top and bottom. Flavor-wise they were still good, but as you can imagine, horribly off balance and tasting more like just a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Whereas the tart tatin was much more contained in size, but didn’t quite get there in flavor or texture, because the crust got very sogged down by the sugary innards of the tart and the choice of granny smith apples didn’t quite manifest in the contrast I think they were hoping for. And as a result, I actually found myself preferring the dysfunctional, obese profiteroles.

So for now I’m going with two knives, because the misses out-weighed the hits, but if I were grading on a curve based on the options in the area, I’d say it’s probably more like a three.

2 teeth

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The Hollywood Brown Derby

Disney’s Hollywood Studios • Walt Disney World Resort • Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 • (407) 939-2267 • disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/hollywood-brown-derby

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Ever since I used to work at Disney’s MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and yes, that sentence just came out of my mouth, I have always wanted to eat here. Widely considered to be the best restaurant in all of the theme parks combine (not including hotels).

Well, some 25 years later, and no longer a turtle, I finally made it to lunch here, and I’m happy to report that it was worth the wait. Well, at least the food is, the service quite annoyingly slow. But after waiting 25 years, what’s another hour, right?

In terms of décor, while fake to the bone like all things Disney, it still passes as MUCH nicer than any other restaurant in all of Disney, hotels included this time, with the only exception being Victoria and Albert. Set to make you feel like you are back in the 50’s, eating at some Hollywood movie star favorite, the Derby delivers an experience that truly rivals The Palm. Granted I don’t love The Palm, so perhaps that isn’t saying much.

Now on to the grub! Which is more surprising than learning that Mickey Mouse is more often than not played by a girl. For example, their waygu beef burger holds its own amongst many of the so-called best burgers in the country. Topped with gruyere, pastrami, Cognac mustard and a fried egg this crazy-ass messy burger will take you right to the threshold of embarrassment as you will meld with this bun-filled beacon of beef like you were soul mates. Also, it comes paired with a beer called La Fin du Monde, which I also highly recommend for the melding process. It’s a French Canadian tripel, which means it’s a very strong ale… which means 9% alcohol… which is nearly twice that of a regular beer… which means you’ll need a nap later.

And equally impressive, but vastly different was the andouille crusted chicken sandwich with smoked bacon, white cheddar and veggie slaw all sitting on an onion Kaiser roll.

Now I’m not about to run back to Disney again anytime soon, but if I do, this will be higher on my list than that 3-D Buzz Lightyear shooting game, which really is quite fun, I have to admit.

4 teeth

 

Matsuhisa

129 N La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211 • (310) 659-9639 nobumatsuhisa.com

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The food is really quite something here, but that’s to be expected. I mean Nobu isn’t an icon of Japanese cuisine because he doesn’t know his ass from albacore. What isn’t to be expected however, is how horribly cheesy the décor is, covered in hand-painted murals that look like something out of the halls in an elementary school. And on top of that, there are trophies and mementos everywhere as well, like Andre Agassi’s tennis racket, and not done in a tasteful or even kitschy artful way either. Nor even campy like The Palm. More done like a twenty-something guy’s first apartment with no sense of how to make an environment appealing. As a result, it is SO distracting that it brings the entire experience down.

But if you must, there is little I’d say to dissuade you when it comes to the menu. Everything is tops.  But the one dish you would be criminally negligent not to order is the black miso cod. Nobody does it better, which is in large part due to the fact that he invented the dish.

3 teeth

 

Old Homestead

56 9th Ave. New York, NY 10011(212) 242-9040 theoldhomesteadsteakhouse.com

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This old school NY Steakhouse is so old, you’ll to feel like you hit a wormhole when you entered through the door. Suddenly it’s as though you’re back in the 1800’s from the decor, to the staff to portion control. And once you see the size of those portions, it’s kinda hard to focus on anything else- or perhaps see around your food to look at anything else. Yes, it’s THAT big. Guess no one told them gluttony is a sin.

I had a NY Strip that was about the size of my forearm, no exaggeration. A baked potato that was about the size of a newborn baby, slight exaggeration. But thing is, it wasn’t half bad. To be honest I found the food to be much better than Smith and Wollensky’s and The Palm, but that’s not saying much. And while Homestead isn’t what I would call “great,” portions withstanding, it’s definitely worth a visit for novelty sake. After all, it’s not often that a steakhouse serves portions only slightly smaller than the animal from whence they came. Almost reminds me of the Steakhouse version of an old NYC favorite of mine from long ago, the Royal Canadian Pancake House (RIP)- also insanely massive portions – pancakes the size of manhole covers, no exaggeration- but I digress.

3 teeth