after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Sbraga

LaBan gets The Fat Ham right!

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t says:  I had some pictures in my phone from a lunch that a and and I had at the Fat Ham, just waiting to be unleashed onto adsz.  But of course, I had been procrastinating … and procrastinating … and procrastinating … until now!  LaBan’s review just came out, reminding me of just how much we liked it!  No time like the present!  While we may not have had the emotional crisis that LaBan went through (he got absurdly bent out of shape over the sauce of the hot chicken), it was a damn good meal.  Check it out:

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ricotta cheese: this was crazy-good.  like Barbuzzo-good.  The creaminess and that little bit of oil was perfect.  It doesn’t have that drizzle of balsamic that makes Barbuzzo’s so ridiculous, but there was something in its simplicity that just kept me coming back for more.  I would have gladly licked the bowl if that was acceptable.

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these oyster po-boys were amazing.  how it is that the super-thin-and-crunchy crust stays on the oyster, which is not the least bit overcooked might be another wonder of the world.  I would have been satisfied with these for a main any day!

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the burger was a little underwhelming.  featuring wagyu beef, the waiter boasted that it was the best burger he had ever had.  and maybe that was true – if we could have tasted the burger!  you see, we were prepared for moo-moo succulence, but found the cow to be completely overtaken by pimento cheese in both texture and flavor!  sorry Sbraga – there’s just too much pimento!  it was almost like cheeze-whiz!

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pecan pie … out. of. control.  best i’ve ever had. period.  flavor, texture, everything.  kp needs to verify its superiority.

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and they have an exhaustive list of bourbons!  some of them downright pricey, but might be worth a stop if you have a hankering for some whisky.  Their sauv blanc that was on tap was not bad for $6!

While this is “only” a lunch, if it is any indication of what dinner may promise, then the Fat Ham has destination dining written all over it.  I say “destination dining” because let’s face it – who’s going to venture out to that weird little void between Penn and CC?  Certainly JG Domestic isn’t drawing any crowds, but maybe the Fat Ham will?  I hope so!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

21 March 2014 at 8:47pm

are you [cadenza] experienced?

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t says:  g and I went to “The Cadenza Experience” at Sbraga.  We liked it quite a bit (no surprise, given the last time we were there) – but more importantly, a and v got their own reservation to go (it was their first time at Sbraga), so this’ll be kind of a combined post …

a says:  With t’s guidance we got on the Cadenza waitlist, and then with v’s sweet-talk, we got a reservation for early Monday night (t says: I wonder what she said?).  Having seen g & t the night before (@ jamonera … the post is coming …), we knew we were in for a good meal. And sure enough, Sbraga delivered… for free!

t says: Roll the pictures!!

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a says: the drink service was topnotch for a free event, and included mixed drinks and four wine options.  We highly recommend the Broad Street and the lovely Italian red blend, with soft tannins that went well even with the salmon (menu below).  Our waitress was extremely professional, helpful, and knowledgeable – kudos!  t says: g and I enjoyed how when we were inside, there was no further mention of the car anywhere.  No server bothered us about it.  No more surveys were had.  There weren’t Kia commercials playing in the background.  I mean, aside from the cheesy light display and ice sculpture (for real – a Kia Ice sculpture), it was pretty much a free meal.  a says: By the way, the Cadenza is a perfectly capable car that looks and feels much better than any Kia in recent memory.  t says: For $35,900 base price, I’d hope it’d drive better than any other Kia … but dear Lord, that was one helluva snooze-mobile – it could have induced a cataplexy at any moment, it was such a boring/bland car … a says: smartass.

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t says: the offered items were straight from the real menu!  they weren’t just serving us dumbed-down dishes!

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t says:  this was the pork belly appetizer.  it was exactly the same as the last time we went and it was fabulous.  No point in discussing it more – I just liked putting up another picture because this one was prettier than the last one!

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a says: I went with the tomato melon soup (which is also what g had).  It was a nice riff on a typical gazpacho, which I’ve been eating a lot of lately.  This one isn’t as good as Ela’s but it’s up there – acidic yet sweet and very refreshing.  t says: When I tasted some of g’s, I was impressed with the smokey-spicy counterpoint that kept me coming back for more – and even the mild cashew’s flavors had a part to play! It really was a well-orchestrated soup!

roast pork

a says: I went for the roast pork which is the best “deconstructed” DiNic’s pork sandwich I’ve ever had.  They even remembered the long hots!  t brags: I told you so!  I had it again, too!  I just couldn’t help myself!

t says:  Other dishes that were ventured include g’s pasta dish, which was quite hearty and also delicious (but wasn’t so photogenic, so we left it out of the post) and v’s salmon … which we’re not sure what she thought about it because I kept forgetting to ask her before this post went live (the sneeze waits for no one …)

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a says:  We ended with the cherries jubilee which had an interesting peppery spiciness thanks to the szechuan ice cream.  And the pistachio bread pudding (above) we feel strayed too far to be called “Bread pudding” but was tasty nonetheless.  t says: I liked how it had that strawberry rhubarb topping – nice and zippy!  I mean, maybe it could have used a bit more chocolate, but that’s just because I’m a chocolate fiend.

t says:  We thank Kia for the free meal.  I think the event was nicely organized and would be happy to do it again.  More importantly, it’s a LOT of fun to say repeatedly say “The Cadenza Experience” in an emphatic manner – it’s going to be our running joke, for sure …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

12 August 2013 at 10:13pm

“there’s no such thing as a free lunch” … or is there?

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t says:  So … I got this email from opentable the other day … it happened to come on my phone the exact moment I was texting with a.

what the what?

what the what?

I thought it was a scam, but because were liked Sbraga so much the last time we went, I clicked as fast as my little fingers could click.  Lo and behold, g and I nailed a reservation for a “free meal”!

Now, I texted a immediately and by the time he logged in, everything was already booked up.  It went from all-slots-free (i.e. when I logged in) to nothing-available in 5 minutes!  Sorry a!  We’ll think of you!

In any case, I have no idea what’s going to go down when we show up.  I assume we’ll have to test drive some kind of car – but they better be careful:  the last time g test-drove a car was a Bimmer  in which she took a corner hard enough to make the wheels screech (that’s right, my chick bad).  I feel sorry for that Cadenza …

(P.S. no, we didn’t buy the BMW …)

g says:  I have absolutely no recollection of that ever happening. Perhaps it was a dream — of course, I kind of hope that I’m not a thug in t’s dreams… hmmmm…

Written by afterdinnersneeze

20 July 2013 at 6:06pm

Posted in Happenings

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sbraga: taste of the south

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t says:  What follows is a blow-by-blow account of a dinner kp had at Sbraga.  It is rare to hear kp gush about a restaurant like this.  So now that’s twice that Chef Sbraga proves that he can cook (for the first time, see here)…

kp says:

Duck Fat Biscuit with Bell Pepper Jam (no pictures): The biscuit looked nice and fluffy with multiple buttery layers. It was definitely nice and airy on the first bite with a nice subtle hit of duck fat. The bell pepper jam was delicately sweet with small amount of heat at the end; I wish though it had a been a little more heat like a jalapeño jam. For a Southerner this was a nice way to start off the meal.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño:  Now I was happy they were taking a Southern Staple and stuffing it into a jalapeño- something I have always wanted. So on first cut the cheese comes oozing out. It was warm and gooey with nice heat of paprika too. The outside crust was perfectly crunchy and not too heavy. It was served with some creme fraiche that was a great cooling element after the warm heat.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño: Now I was happy they were taking a Southern Staple and stuffing it into a jalapeño- something I have always wanted. So on first cut the cheese comes oozing out. It was warm and gooey with nice heat of paprika too. The outside crust was perfectly crunchy and not too heavy. It was served with some creme fraiche that was a great cooling element after the warm heat.

Collard Green Oysters Rockefeller: I love oysters and these crunchy delights were just amazing. They had this beautiful parmesean bacon crumble on top that was perfect to the salty ocean water flavor the oysters. The substitution of collards for typically spinach was money because that mild bitter taste was just perfect.

Collard Green Oysters Rockefeller: I love oysters and these crunchy delights were just amazing. They had this beautiful parmesean bacon crumble on top that was perfect to the salty ocean water flavor the oysters. The substitution of collards for typically spinach was money because that mild bitter taste was just perfect.

Eggs over Easy and Grits with Benton's Bacon Crumble: By far the standout of the meal was this grits dish. I am very particular about grits (t interjects: no seriously - taste kp's grits one day and you'll find out why) and these were perfectly cooked. They used broth from poached bacon to start the grits. They were perfectly creamy and seasoned to perfection. The eggs and bacon were a nice cut of salt into the  grits. The romano cheese and prosicutto on top were a nice cold contrast to the hot eggs and grits. You could tell a lot of love was put into this one.

Eggs over Easy and Grits with Benton’s Bacon Crumble: By far the standout of the meal was this grits dish. I am very particular about grits (t interjects: no seriously – taste kp’s grits one day and you’ll find out why) and these were perfectly cooked. They used broth from poached bacon to start the grits. They were perfectly creamy and seasoned to perfection. The eggs and bacon were a nice cut of salt into the grits. The romano cheese and prosicutto on top were a nice cold contrast to the hot eggs and grits. You could tell a lot of love was put into this one.

Crab fritter, pickled green tomatoes & hominy: I really liked the fact they switched up the classic fried hushpuppy into a crab fritter. I loved how they resisted frying the green tomato too. The crab fritter was nice and crispy on the outside and then interior was nice a soft. The tabasco mayonnaise as the dipping the sauce was a nice subtle heat with meal. The acid of the pickled tomato was nice cut into the heaviness from the fritters. I do wish though that fritters were a little more crunch and browned a little more for my tastes.

Crab Fritter, Pickled Green Tomatoes & Hominy: I really liked the fact they switched up the classic fried hushpuppy into a crab fritter. I loved how they resisted frying the green tomato too. The crab fritter was nice and crispy on the outside and then interior was nice a soft. The tabasco mayonnaise as the dipping the sauce was a nice subtle heat with meal. The acid of the pickled tomato was nice cut into the heaviness from the fritters. I do wish though that fritters were a little more crunch and browned a little more for my tastes.

Tennessee Hot Chicken, cole slaw, white bread, pickles:  WOW! So this a traditonal Nashville fried chicken dish. Typically fried chicken with paprika and cayenne in the flour and after being fried the whole thing is dowsed in hot sauce.  Now the most drastic thing about Sbraga’s version was NO sauce.  But I won’t harp on him for doing this because the crunchy batter was perfectly seasoned with the right heat and even a little bit of tang too. The first was a heavenly mix spicy crunch crust with juicy meat of the guinea hen. Each bite had great heat (I wanted more but I like spicy) that didn’t set your lips on fire.  Now the coleslaw and ranch dressing was a lot of cream to accompany the chicken and I think a little overpowering for the chicken. I wish they had put a little less ranch on the plate and made the coleslaw with just vinegar and no mayo. There take on white bread was amazing, a simple crustless small piece served with the pickle was nice and simple and a good contrast to the slaw and chicken.

Tennessee Hot Chicken, Cole Slaw, White Bread, Pickles: WOW! So this a traditonal Nashville fried chicken dish. Typically fried chicken with paprika and cayenne in the flour and after being fried the whole thing is dowsed in hot sauce. Now the most drastic thing about Sbraga’s version was NO sauce. But I won’t harp on him for doing this because the crunchy batter was perfectly seasoned with the right heat and even a little bit of tang too. The first was a heavenly mix spicy crunch crust with juicy meat of the guinea hen. Each bite had great heat (I wanted more but I like spicy) that didn’t set your lips on fire. Now the coleslaw and ranch dressing was a lot of cream to accompany the chicken and I think a little overpowering for the chicken. I wish they had put a little less ranch on the plate and made the coleslaw with just vinegar and no mayo. There take on white bread was amazing, a simple crustless small piece served with the pickle was nice and simple and a good contrast to the slaw and chicken.

Smothered pork chops, brussel sprouts:  So these were a delight, typical of Southern “smohterering’ which means onions, tomato gravy that a meat is baked in. There version was just beautiful the meat was perfectly cooked and the gravy was nice and fatty with sweet onion taste. The gravy had the right thickness and salt and just really brought out the mild pork flavor.

Smothered Pork Chops, Brussel Sprouts: So these were a delight, typical of Southern “smothering’ which means onions, tomato gravy that a meat is baked in. There version was just beautiful the meat was perfectly cooked and the gravy was nice and fatty with sweet onion taste. The gravy had the right thickness and salt and just really brought out the mild pork flavor.

Pecan Pie, bourbon ice cream:  Now I love pecan pie, probably my favorite dessert after red velvet cake. The portion size was perfect after such a large meal. The crust was nice buttery flakiness. The filling was just the right amount of sweet with the pecans. But the real star of the plate was the bourbon ice cream- just phenomenal- sweet caramel and honey with nice bold smokey bourbon flavor.

Pecan Pie, Bourbon Ice Cream: Now I love pecan pie, probably my favorite dessert after red velvet cake. The portion size was perfect after such a large meal. The crust was nice buttery flakiness. The filling was just the right amount of sweet with the pecans. But the real star of the plate was the bourbon ice cream- just phenomenal- sweet caramel and honey with nice bold smokey bourbon flavor.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

2 April 2013 at 7:33am