NJ Dining: Taqueria Autentica

August 1, 2012

On a recent, lazy, hazy summer day, the Lil’ Kettles had a hankering for tacos. But the Lil’ Kettles didn’t want the tacos Mommy makes. They wanted tacos “like the ones we had in Mexico, Mommy!”

Just about one year ago, Michael Natiello opened Taqueria Autentica, the brick and mortar version of the very popular food truck by the same name. Hot From The Kettle was at Taqueria Authentica for their Grand Opening and Elizabeth Palmer raved about it!

So, the Kettle’s made the journey out of Montclair, and over to 1035 Broad St., Bloomfield for authentic tacos.  Read more on Hot From The Kettle.

Columbia SC Dining: Blue Cactus Cafe

October 11, 2008

Blue Cactus Cafe
2002 Greene St #H, Columbia SC 29205

Web Site: http://www.bluecactuscafe.com/

When I inquired about other good Asian restaurants in the Columbia area, the folks over at Baan Sawan suggested that I check out the Blue Cactus, another Five Points restaurant for lunch.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Its kind of a funky combination of Mexican and Korean” said Sam.

“You mean like Kimchi burritos and stuff? Like what David Chang makes in New York at Momofuku Ssam Bar?

“Yeah, sorta, but they’ve been there for like 14 years, at least as long as we have been around.”

Given how much I trust Sam’s judgement on good food, particularly Asian cuisine, I had to go check this place out.

As it turns out, an American guy who was familiar with Tex-Mex cooking married a Korean lady, and they opened Blue Cactus in 1994. The menu is an eclectic mix of Korean and Cuban/Mexican/Tex Mex cuisine. I didn’t try much of their Latino/Mexican stuff, but what I will say is their Korean is very good, given what they have to work with in Columbia and not having a lot of access to Asian markets.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Mexican…. Korean! Which one is it? Does it matter if it tastes good? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Cleveland Indians Chili

October 11, 2007

Click Here for Hi-Res Slide Show!

Last week, I went on a business trip to Cleveland, and be it as it may, I spent all of my time in the Independence, Ohio suburbs wailing away on a computer keyboard or on long conference calls, stuck inside an office park, in crappy cold, overcast and rainy weather. My meals consisted of multiple group outings to Zoup! and Aladdin’s at the nearby strip mall, and a one-off visit to Famous Gyro George. I did not get a chance to take advantage of some of the great local ethnic cuisine, and for this I feel ashamed (note: If you somehow end up in Cleveland, I urge you to read Laura Taxel’s book Cleveland Ethnic Eats). And as a punishment for not taking advantage of the city’s great food, the Cleveland Indians utterly destroyed the New York Yankees in the MLB playoffs, the baseball team that my family has put on an altar of worship for multiple generations.

To lift the curse, I must repent. I must offer to the Indian spirits of Cleveland and the great state of Ohio a grand offering so that the Yankees may again return with a Pennant and World Series victory next year.

One of the places I did manage to visit in Cleveland was Skyline Chili. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept but never actually visited a Skyline location until recently. The idea of a layered, heavy cinnamon laced chili over spaghetti with modular condiments did sound appealing.

Eat a Chili worthy of a true Cleveland Indians fan. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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