Favorite, the more obscure the better, places to eat, history a plus.

OK, I started writing in another post the detailed specs I’ve created on making the perfect hot dog and the notion struck me that not a lot of people have had an Upstate NY mini-chili-dog. There is really only one place to get it, Gus’s. (see below) and there are so many things that I miss from NY (like good cheesecake) and the small, obscure restaurants, mostly started by immigrant families that have very unique food-stuff.

What are your best picks? Any in Seattle I should check out?

Anyway, my list: Albany Area

Or, if you are ever near the Watervliet, NY, go to Gus’s Hotdogs;
212 25th St.; Watervliet, NY 12189-1937. This is the scariest place to get a hot dog. But you get the traditional upstate NY chili dog. It is a mini-dog on a mini bun with mustard and chili, onion and shredded cheddar may cost you an extra dime. They also have sliders (mini-burgers). Don’t go inside. Do not use the bathroom. The “restaurant” is basically a converted bay window or a 2 story apartment house on a residential street. I love it. It smacks of my ancestors.

In a pinch, http://hotdogcharlies.com/ has some good sauce as well. I urge you to check it out. They’ve been around since 1922. If you see an older person there, ask them if they’ve ever been served “off the arm”. They Greek guys that started the place used to line them up on their “Hairy Arms” and serve them. They come in a tray now…

Spiak’s Italian Restaurant has the best damned fried cauliflower on the planet. Served with Maries Blue Cheese. Awesome pizza and shrimp cocktails. Converted 1920’s house with apartment the Spiak’s lived in upstairs.
2 Archibald St.
Watervliet, NY

If any of you have an inkling to visit the lovely Albany area, get yourself a fish fry. Go to Bob n’ Rons. 1007 Central Ave., Albany

Have you ever had a “real” fish fry? Freshly cut filet of monk fish served in a hot dog bun? The ends come out just enough that if you ask for another roll, you’ve got two full sandwiches? Heaven, I tell you. I couldn’t wait for Lent so we could go every friday. We passed in every time I went to the orthodontist in High School and no matter how many rubber bands they put on me or cranked my teeth, I’d still manage to eat one on the way home.

There is also a nifty ice cream stand, open only in the summer Kurvers Kreme, I think! Best damn milkshakes. 1349 Central Ave., Albany

Italian Bakery: Bella Napoli, 672 New Loudon Road, Latham

Oh, man. I used to work at Taco Bell next store and would saunter over and get a freshly toasted onion roll with Philly cream cheese. To die for. Real Italian breads and cookies.

Okay, I’m starving now.

What are yours?

In Leesburg, VA the best damn BBQ in the world is from a little place (and I do mean little), the Mighty Midget, on Harrison St. It was cut (yes, cut) from an airplane fuselage. It is across from Market Square. You have to eat outside. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they have ribs, the best ribs you can imagine. They make their own sauce, and the Moppin’ and Sloppin’ is good stuff.

Go there. It is worth the trip.


Lambert’s Restaurant in Sikeston, MO throws their rolls at you.

Lambert’s is a chain, with two locations that I know of…Sikeston, MO, and Foley, Alabama. Go figger.

This quite simply can not be true, because I know for a fact that the best ribs anywhere can be found at Dreamland. :wink: It’s funny, though, that the web page looks like more money was sunk into it than has ever been put into the building of the original location. Tarpaper shack in the worst part of town, with a pack of feral dogs waiting outside for the chewed-over bones from the restaurant to be tossed to them. Fantastic place.

One of my favorite obscure places is in Arlington, Virginia, right across the street from the Ballston metro station. How can it be obscure, you say? Well, it had no frontage (at the time…I don’t know about now) onto the road, and it could only be reached by walking down an alley, past the dumpsters, or by going around the other side, to the very back of the building. It was called the Food Factory, and they served the best damn tandoori lamb and yogurt mint sauce ever. I could have eaten there three times a day. It was next door to a halal butcher shop, and it had the Distinguishing Characteristic of all good Middle-Eastern restaurants: 75% of its clientele were non-English speaking Pakistani, Afghan, and Indian immigrants/students/etc.

Mmm, Seattle restaurants…

Are you gonna visit, or do you live near there?

Most of my favorites are now gone, but I think there are a few great ones left.

The Mediterranean Kitchen is fantastic, but do not go without your SO, because you WILL have nearly-lethal garlic breath afterwards. Their appetizers are the food of the gods, in particular the fried cauliflower with tahini sauce and their lentil soup. Their chicken kabobs come to me in dreams.

Seattle is riddled with excellent Thai restaurants… Siam on Broadway is the best extant one I can recall, though there’s a place I think called Thai Kitchen or Thai Restaurant right on the western border of Seattle Center grounds, a few blocks away from the Seattle Rep, that has this one unbelieveable dish… it’s called a salad but it’s hot, with chicken and green beans and toasted chewy-crunchy garlic slices on top.

If they’re making it these days, Dilletante Chocolates has the best stew-style borscht I’ve ever had. Mr emilyforce and I got the recipe once during a period when they weren’t actually making it. They also have the world’s greatest milkshakes, made using their trademark chocolate sauce and either port or peppermint schnapps. If you go there be sure to get some of the chocolate sauce, the original formula in the purple-and-gold bottle. They claim the recipe was developed by the last chocolatier to the Russian tzars, a relative of their founder.

I can’t remember the name, but down in Pioneer Square there used to be an Ethiopian place… lousy interior decorating, but the best Ethiopian I’ve ever had. Their back door opened onto the actual cobblestone Square itself. They had this cold salad made with lettuce and lentils and bits of injera and some kind of spicy sauce… and all their standard dishes, the injera, the lentils, the lamb stew… dang, I’m drooling all over myself here. I hope they’re still there.

My favorite sushi restaurant in Seattle was Kamon. They’ve left their original place on the east shore of Lake Union, but rumor has it they’ve reopened in nearby Kirkland. If so, their gyozas set the world standard for me, and all their sushi is topnotch.

If they’re gone, a close second would be Hana Sushi on Broadway.

Thirteen Coins, a fancy-schmancy place open 24 hours, is a city institution (it even appeared in a Greg Bear futuristic novel, Slant IIRC) – the food isn’t necessarily the best available for the price, but it’s worth it for the atmosphere. My favorite trip there was in full elaborate Halloween costume with a couple of friends; we’d ditched a lame Pioneer Square loft party at midnight. One friend was dressed as Mata Hari, one as the original Eve (though she left her boa constrictor in his terrarium in the car) and I was in a very authentic Marie Antoinette-style stage costume… we fit right it. If you go, get the escargot.

For Indian food, there used to be a place on the Ave (University Avenue) just south of 50th with the best south Indian food you could get – called something with an N, like “Neelam’s” or something similar. If it’s still there, get a dosa, and know that “spicy” really is.

Best Places Seattle (used to be Seattle Best Places; go figger) can be relied on for spot-on restaurant reviews, and they keep current. When I was growing up, we took a family trip to Seattle probably twice or three times a year, and my gourmet parents never went to a restaurant that they didn’t read about in that book first. We were rarely disappointed.

In Reno, Nevada: Paisan’s on Longley Lane makes the best sandwiches you can imagine.

In Hama, Syria there is the quintessential shawarma stand… Diagonally across the street, behind the Noria hotel from the river.

In the dim, dark past (the 1950s) there was Spudnut, a type of donut made with — what else? — potato flour. It was an early franchise deal, and at one point had many, many outlets, even in my small Oregon hometown (then population about 3,000).

But unlike other early food franchises (Dairy Queen, KFC, MacDonald’s), this one eventually faded.

The last survivor is located at 228 Williams Boulevard in Richland, WA. Ms. Hometownboy and I are planning a trip soon. On our first attempt, last fall, we were delayed, stopping at wineries long enough so that when we got there, there were (aargh!) out of Spudnuts and just about to close. We will do better next time. Yum!

The Spudnut Shop

emilyforce got it. The Thirteen Coins is a great place. The French Onion soup is wonderful.

I remember the Thai restaurant by the Seattle Center. It was great. Located in an old house. Their Larb Guy was great. I can’t remember the name either. I thought it was on the north side though (unless I’m thinking of a different one)

In the same Seattle Center area is a pizza place called Vince’s Italian Restaurant (I found the address and tele number of 1123 Post Ave, Seattle, WA, 98101, (206) 382-8475).

They have a pizza called the Four Seas which I used to live on. The resturant used to be this funky dive at the bottom of the “Counterbalance”. There’s your history. :slight_smile:

Also, a good hill to work off said pizza.

For fun, you can visit the lounge at Ivars Salmon House and drink drinks under the shadow of a whale penis -or three. Ok, I forget how many whale penis are in the lounge. I know at least two of them. One on each end of the bar.

Oh yeah, didn’t the Smith Tower used to have a restaurant called The China Room or something like that? I can’t remember if it was a full restaurant or just a bar.

From what I remember the furniture and things in it were a gift from the Emperor of China. But don’t quote me on that one.

The “Smith” in Smith Tower is the same Smith as in Smith Corona typewriters. The tower also prides itself on still having elevator operators.

It’s worth a look to see if the China Room is still there.

Best machaca, guacamole, enchiladas rancheras, …: El Tepeyac, 812 N. Evergreen Ave., in East Los Angeles, CA.


Hole in the wall, but wonderful food! :cool: :cool:

Opps,. The Chinese Room is just a rental hall,. no food unless you bring it in.


There is a pub in Nottingham (UK) called “Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem” which has that name since the first crusade. This happebened in 1190 which makes it by far the oldest pub in the world. They claim to have been serving continuously for over 800 years.

I very much doubt you could get more history in a place to eat than that :slight_smile:

I once had lunch in the great hall at Christs Church College, Oxford. This is supposed to be the dining hall used in the Harry Potter films.

Carl’s Frozen Custard, located on Princess Anne Street, in Fredericksburg, VA. Open March through October. Get the giant, hot fudge, maple nut sundae. Heaven will pale by comparison.

William Street Recreation Center, located on William Street, in Fredericksburg, VA. AKA The Pool Room. Chili dogs and cold beer. Don’t let the rough atmosphere fool you. The customers won’t bite, but they may beat you with a pool cue.

Oops third crusade …

I love trying hole-in-the-wall BBQ places. While driving aimlessly through rural Georgia a few years ago we were searching for a place to eat. In the middle of nowhere we saw “Joe’s BBQ, Antique Shop and Towing Service”. The wife was not exactly pleased when I pulled in, but the kids are always up for an adventure. The BBQ was the best I’d had in years. $6.00 bought about 1/2 pound of meat (cooked in the sauce!), fries, Brunswick Stew, white loaf bread and awesome sweet tea. My dessert was a $1.00 bag of fresh fried pork rinds. Yum. The antique shop was small and overpriced but allowed time for lunch to digest before hitting the road again. Didn’t get a chance to try out the towing service, but I’m sure it is more than adequate.

Yours Truly - the original restaurant on Chagrin Blvd. in Beachwood, Ohio. Awesome homemade chicken soup, cottage fries, and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream. Tiny little quaint place. I miss it.


Oak Park, IL – Peterson’s on Chicago Ave has the BEST ice cream! They make it from fresh ingredients right in the store.

If your ever in Villa Park, IL at lunch time stop in the Park Boulevard Tap (known locally as Stulgin’s) and whatever the special is. GET IT!

Standard Tandoori, Caversham Road, Reading, UK

The Dalai Lama’s been there you know.

Galanthus, wasn’t The Royal Standard of England in Bucks mentioned in the Domesday Book? That’s a fair bit older.