The 2007 Asador Vacation: Wrap Up

Continued from Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV

Hugh growth in foodie culture.

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Black pepper isn’t sold as black pepper anymore. It’s tellicherry pepper.

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Restaurants are swapping out salt shakers for mini grinders.

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Never vacation during Thanksgiving or part of the time is leftover hell.

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I miss Costco already.

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Medications to treat all kinds of problems are advertised everywhere. Have trouble opening the door? Ask your doctor for oxypentolinoyl.

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Don’t put our tab on the table when we haven’t even finished our meal. Don’t interrupt our conversation to ask if all is ok every 2 minutes.

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Houston’s grilled artichokes are the best damn artichokes I’ve had in my life. (Coming soon on the parrilla when in season)

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If you’ve never been to a Penzeys store before and have the chance, GO! Just be careful with how much money you bring. Very tempting to buy one of each and that would be mighty expensive. Or visit their online store. They have every spice or spice mixture known to mankind. Ok, not that many but 250 different types. No chimichurri though. Check out their gift boxes if you are stumped for this holiday season.

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The Strip District in Pittsburgh is a foodie paradise.

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Habanero cheddar at Sunseri’s. Strip District, Pittsburgh. Two cheeses from Argentina; Sardo and Reggianito.

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“I remember reading once about some place that serves sandwiches that fit into the ‘you haven’t experienced Pittsburgh unle’”

“Primanti Brothers”

I love when restaurants have some sort of claim to fame food that you just have to try no matter how fattening or heart destroying. Even better if that is pretty much all you can order.

Stepping through the doorway we saw that the place was packed.

Do they take names? How do we get a table? We’re seven, what are we going to do?

“Just find a table when one opens hon.”

“Oh yeah, look at that grill. This is one of those heart attack joints”

Three places opened at the counter and one table that seats four. I ended up at the counter. “Get the black angus”, I’m told by one in our party. I see the pastrami and it looks good. Corned beef orders are heard in the background. Before we’re asked our orders we see…

Customer: Pastrami

Cashier: Drink?

Customer: Coke

Cashier mumbles to cook: Pastrami

Cook slaps pastrami on greasy grill. Flips it a few seconds later and tops with cheese. Then the construction starts

Bread…meat & cheese…french fries…cole slaw…tomatoes…bread…done.

Literally a whole meal as a sandwich.

That process repeated about three more times before we’re asked for our order. In the meantime, my wife says to me, “I just want meat and cheese on my sandwich”. Um, I think you just order the type of meat you want or they’ll just kick your ass out the door for messing up the system.

A few minutes later the Dagwood-style creations landed in front of us on a sheet of wax paper–no plates or utensils. I bet this acts as a great preemptive strike against the evil hangover, I pondered. Trying to could keep my jaw from dislocating, I took my first bite. A clash of temperatures and flavors. The steaming hot meat battled the cold crunchy cole slaw. Sweet tomatoes, tangy cabbage, oily potatoes, savory meat, and melted cheese desperately clashed with each other. This is the long lost cousin of Rachel and Reuben The only complaint I had were the french fries. Maybe it was a bad day or that’s how they always are. They did nothing for me and were soon banished from my enormous sandwich kingdom.

I’ll have to have one of those again. [I learned later that they have two locations in Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe I passed them before, but not next time.]

Official Site
Better photos and reviews

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Ceviche House
78 S Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL

Name says it all but they serve some other Peruvian dishes. Ceviche de pulpo(octopus) was refreshing and out of this world. Some sort of tangy ginger sauce was served on the side. If anyone knows what that is, let me know

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Moquila
88 Plaza Real S, Boca Raton, FL

All kinds of tequila from mainstream to hard to find. Absolutely awesome guacamole made table-side, or at the bar if you sit there, in a molcajete.

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Island Dogs Bar
505 Front Street, Key West, Florida

Had a calm neighborhood bar feel to it. Located about a block off Duval. Seems the hootin’ ‘n hollerin’ Margaritaville-searching types missed this place. Spectacular interior design. Great bartenders. Live music.

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Blue Heaven
729 Thomas St. Key West, Florida

A bloody mary and one of their daily breakfast specials will get you back on your feet. Dine outdoors and watch the roosters.

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Why is it every time I take long flights, I eventually end up with some coughing sickness that takes two weeks to defeat and is contagious like ebola.

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