Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jonathan's Birthday: The Capital Grille

As the finale of Jonathan's birthday celebrations, we had a nice dinner at The Capital Grille in Philadelphia. It came highly recommended by his uncle, Dennis.

We started out with soups, Jonathan having clam chowder while I chose lobster bisque. Definitely the largest pieces of lobster in any soup I've ever had. Very tasty. The chowder (New England) was also good, Jonathan mentioned that it had great flavor.

We had a very knowledgeable server, and she helped Jonathan choose a delicious wine to accompany his delmonico steak. The steak was dry-aged and had a twelve-year-old balsamic seasoning it. He really enjoyed it, and the bite I had was pretty good. I went in an entirely different direction, choosing the sesame seared tuna with gingered rice. It was sushi-grade, so I had it rare, of course. The three accompanying sauces (soy, wasabi, ginger) were fantastic complements, and it was delicious.

Sides are ordered and served family-style, and we chose the potatoes au gratin and the oven-roasted mushrooms. The potatoes were also suggested by Dennis, and they were delightful. I can't think of any potatoes I've ever had that were similar, and even Jonathan went back for more. We had a bit to take home, and they were good reheated as well. The mushrooms were an assortment of shiitake, oyster, portabella, and cremini... all very good. We both agreed that they could have used more garlic (they were flavored with garlic butter, thyme, and rosemary), but they were still very good.

All in all, aces in our books. We were stuffed, even after pacing ourselves through the nearly-two-hour meal. We'd recommend Roz, our server. She was friendly, warm, knowledgeable, and even gave us a coupon for a complimentary appetizer next time.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheeseburger in Paradise

We've been driving by it and talking about it since we first tried Cheeburger Cheeburger back in September. Well, the time came to try Cheeseburger in Paradise.

We were surprised when we walked in, as the restaurant had a uniquely roundish setup, and plenty of televisions (aka this is definitely a place we can watch the games! too bad football season is about over...). Rob joined us for lunch at the place, and we had very prompt service throughout the entire meal.

We ordered the fried pickles as an appetizer, and they were the best that I have had in a long time. The sauce is a sweet horseradish, but very fitting. I also tried their Disgruntled Elf Margarita, which was fantastic, especially for $6.75.

I went with the typical Bacon Cheddar burger, and Jonathan had the Bleu Cheese/Buffalo burger. I liked mine quite a bit, and Jonathan thought it was pretty good. Rob went with their mix 'n match, choosing the salad and the crab burgers. He said the crab was okay and the salad was pretty good. The fries were tasty, but beware they are the thin and scraggly kind.

Good place, I'd recommend. But, the real question is how does it compare to the nearby Cheeburger Cheeburger? Well, the onion rings at Chee beat out the fries here, but the pickles are a real contender. The shakes at Chee are wonderful, but there's cocktails here. Diner vs. sports atmosphere. The burgers I'm going to give to Chee, mostly since they're soooo customizable. I think it's gonna be a mood-dependent question. Feel like pickles or onion rings? burgers or burgers and other options (they have a cuban sandwich here that I'd love to try)?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Atlantic City: Burger

so with Atlantic City being just 90 minutes or so away, Jonathan decided he'd like to go there for his birthday. It was just the two of us, and we only went for a day/night. It was fun, but since it's totally not season (we were there the day before the big snowstorm began), there were a lot of closed things and we didn't get a chance to see a whole lot. We stayed at the Trump Taj Mahal. We went looking for dinner inside... and it took quite a while. There are four fine dining restaurants and six casual restaurants, then a few fast food places. Private parties had all of the fine dining places booked, and half of the casual places. One casual place wasn't open. That left us two choices (we didn't really want Sbarro pizza or Mrs. Field's cookies for his birthday dinner, LoL!)... one had an $11 grilled cheese sandwich (just to give you an idea of the crazy item pricing), and the other was a burger joint. We chose the latter, simply named "Burger." I had a bacon and cheddar, he had a mushroom and swiss. Both were quite good, actually. The fries were tasty as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Party at Moshulu

Lockheed had this year's holiday party down in Philadelphia, at Moshulu. That was really exciting for us, since we've driven by the place a ton of times, since you can see it from I-95.
The Moshulu is a restaurant inside a ship. But not just any ship, the only four-masted sailing ship still afloat. It launched in 1904 and had all sorts of great adventures hauling coal and copper and lumber and grain all around the world. In 1975 it opened as a restaurant here in Philadelphia. From 1989 to 1994 it lay dormant, because a fire destroyed quite a bit of the ship. The current owner and restaurateur has been in charge since 2003, and it has quite the list of accolades. (Fun fact: you can see the ship in 1976's Rocky.)
Anyway, parking was a bit of a pain, but after we found a lot that wasn't over-crowded we were good. We went in and the entryway was very crowded, as people were picking up their nametags, checking their coats, and dropping off canned goods for the charity collection. We did all that and then went exploring for a while. Multiple floors and sections made for a lot of different areas, all with something else going on. Asian appetizers were in one area, the main buffets in another, dancing with a live band somewhere else, another area for dessert and drinks in another place. It was neat overall, and the floors were slanted and definitely well-worn.

Rob and a few other people arrived, so I went to hold a table (open seating all over the place, so it was hard to find seats) and the guys went to bring back appetizers. The fried shrimp was average, the chicken satay was strange, the wok-fried veggies were boring, the stuffed peppers were good, the Korean beef was GREAT.

After sampling the different appetizers, I pioneered our table's trip to the buffet line. It was a long wait, and there weren't many choices (prime rib, carved turkey, salmon, orzo, roasted vegetables, sliced potatoes in a cream sauce, and ciabatta rolls). I tried everything but the prime rib (which the guys definitely had plenty of)... the salmon was very plain, the turkey was fatty, the rolls were fresh, and the potatoes were delicious.

Dessert was a chocolate fountain with a bunch of dippables (no pound cake or bananas tho) and some petit fours. The chocolate mousse was good, the white gingerbread was strange, and the tiramisu went heavy on the Kahlua. Otherwise, nothing notable in the petit four department.