Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dogs on the Beach

So what does one think of when I say " Virginia Beach"? You might think of the sand, the sun, frolicking in the ocean and maybe even a cold drink or two.

However, when you visit the beach in January all thoughts of such fun disappears.

So instead, my fancy turned to, wait for it, FOOD! I arrived on a chilly Tuesday afternoon with an aching in my belly. It was getting late in the afternoon and with the anticipation of a good dinner (so I was told by David), I didn't want to go over board on lunch and ruin my appetite. So David suggested a light snack, "how about chili dogs" he asks? That's right up my alley, so off to Tony's we go. Walking into this place reminds me of the old time cafeterias that one used to see in department stores. A few tables scattered around and then of course the service counter where it seems that everyone sits. I sat down looked at the menu board only to see one item available, Hot Dogs!!! This is my place, one item and nothing to distract me. We both ordered two chili dogs loaded with onions and condiments. The buns they were served in were perfect and the dogs were cooked (unsure how) to perfection. I downed those two jewels in no time and if I am to be honest with myself, could have gone for a couple more. With my appetite in check it was off to work and wait for the clock to turn to dinner time.


Dinner time has come, and as promised, David is taking me to this Italian Bistro that he had visited many years ago. Couldn't quite remember the name or the location, but with me in tow, it didn't take long to find it. The goal of Mannino's owners is to give patrons great Italian food at reasonable price points with wine choices to match. This group works with great passion & attention to detail to try and ensure that their guest develop a sense of home and comfort while enjoying their dining experience. So if this indeed was their mission, in my eyes, they succeeded! I started with a glass of Melbec to get me in the mood and took my time to look at all my options. After asking the waiter to come back numerous times, I finally settles on one of the evening specials:

That my friends, is a rather large bowl of homemade fettuccine with roma tomato's, olives, mushrooms, those little round green things and four massive scallops in a light broth! So, you know how a dish can come out you look at it and say, I wonder if it's the real deal, well once taste of this masterpiece, I was convinced. The flavor exploded in my mouth and I was brought back to the North End in Boston where I have found some of the best Italian dishes anywhere. David was right, this place is a keeper and one everyone must experience.

Dog Days Afternoon

After having a couple other note worthy meals (Prime Rib dinner and an outrages breakfast that features scrapple) it was time to think about the last meal of the day before I head to the airport. After much discussion with David and the fact that breakfast was a filler, we decided, to end the week the way we started, chili dogs! David knew of this dinner that had some rather large portions (their motto is "if you finish we made a mistake"), so off we went to The Route 58 Delicatessen.

Here we found a multitude of tempting choices; Rubens, hot pastrami, burgers, you name it and in sizes that are fit for the more robust of appetites. As tempted as I was for some of the menus other choices, I stayed the course and went with the chili dogs (that's right, plural as in two dogs) with cheese.

Just take a look at those beauties! Notice how the dogs hang over the buns? Notice just the correct amount of cheese to onion ratio? All looks good, except something is missing, what is it? What could it be? Now I understand that this meal is not for the faint of hearts or for that matter, good for the heart, so I guess I needed something a bit healthier to go along with it:

You guessed it, gravy fries! Ouch, I'm in for it now! What a lunch! I can tell you that it stayed with me the rest of the afternoon and right on into the evening. In fact, after several of my flights were canceled (surprise, surprise), I finally got home around midnight and could still taste the dogs and fries! Now that is a meal to make me moan about!!!

What a trip!!! Next up is Birmingham, Alabama where I plan to take in some down home Bar-B-Q delights. Check back to see what meals in Birmingham had the stuff to Make Me Moan!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's get Ripped and Thai One on Ole Chap


HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! It's January and time to hit the road. First stop was a quick flight into Baltimore, MD followed by a short car ride into Bowie, MD. where I hooked up with customers Barb, Keith and Charlie for a nice dinner and get ready for the week we will spend together. Prior to the visit, I entrusted Charlie to come up with the perfect dinner spot, only trouble was, the choices in his mind were limited, and he thought he could pull a fast one by recommending a chain restaurant for us to go to. Luckily Barb acted swiftly and informed Charlie that chain restaurants don't work for Triple M and he best find an alternative. Barb, being Barb decided to take on the task herself and suggested to Charlie that we go to Rips Country Inn.

Rip's is known for their Family Restaurant, expansive Fine Wine and Spirit Shoppe, Delicatessen and Lodging. All located conveniently between Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis.The facility was fashioned after the horse country that once surrounded it. Bowie, in it's heyday, was home to the racetrack. Stepping inside the restaurant is like stepping back in time.

Not haven eaten much all day I was extremely hungry and couldn't wait to order. After looking over the menu, discussing all the options with Creig and David (also working with them this week) I settled on Chicken Chesapeake; which featured two sauteed chicken breast, topped with crab meat, imperial sauce and then baked golden brown. While waiting for the meal, we feasted on rolls and muffins, then a salad. Times a wasting, my hunger growing and that is when the main course came out. A funny thing happened as I took my first bite, according to Keith (bright eyes) who is now laughing out loud uncontrollably said my eyes rolled clear into my head as if I was in a trance or possessed! Imagine that, having that kind of reaction to food! Suffice to say, the meal didn't last that long as I wolfed down every last bit of it. Delish!!!!!


After a long day visiting stores and going from point A to B to C and so on, I was ready for lunch. In my mind, if I'm close to the Baltimore area, I'm taking a detour to head to Chaps Pit Beef

Chaps Pit Beef was established in 1987 . Chaps was a 12 X 15 shack with no electric, and or phone. They simply had beef, ham, and sausage served with joy and the hope of seeing delight, and enjoyment from the faces of their customers. In the beginning chaps struggled, but soon had electric, and a phone. Over the years chaps has grown, as well as their menu serving Hot Dogs, Mexican Ham, Fish platters, and much much more.

In this case, my detour took over an hour out of my way, but it was well worth it. This was my second trip to Chaps and on this occasion, I was ready for one of their subs. After contemplating exactly which sub to go with, I settled on Guy's Triple D. A beautiful full length roll stuffed with beef, corned beef and Italian sausage! Add to that, some horse radish sauce and a side of mac salad, heaven was awaiting for me. I chowed down in no time and was now starting to think (hold tight) I'm finished eating for the day!!! Who was I kidding????


With my belly full, I'm ready to hook up with Barb and Charlie at a store in Falls Church, VA (another hour plus trip)! We got to the store did our walking and talking and now it was 5:30 and time for dinner. Barb was in the mood for some spicy food and recommended we go Thai!!! Thai? the Moan Man doesn't do Thai. No, never, not going to happen! Unfortunately, for those of you that haven't met Barb, she usually gets what she wants and in this case it was no different! So off to Lemon Grass Restaurant. Being a virgin to the Thai cuisine, and hearing how it can be spicy at times, I figured I better go light. So I planned out my strategy to go with soup and some sort of seafood concoction. When I got to the restaurant, it appeared just like any oriental locale. I sat down opened my menu and looked for those items that would match my planned strategy. Success!!!, there it was Thai lemon grass soup (shrimp, chicken or seafood with hot & sour lime juice, mushrooms, lemon grass flavor) and the sauteed seafood combination (with spicy sauce, shrimp, scallop, squid and basil leaves). Can't go wrong there, or can I? I guess I missed the asterisks after each of my choices that designates that the selections are hot and spicy. The soup came out and I prepared myself for a nice light flavorful broth. I plunged right into it and took a big ole spoonful, it didn't take long for the spices to literally take my breath away from me. I sprang for my ice water and downed it in seconds flat! I'm was in trouble and not only did I know it, so did Barb, Charlie and Brad. The funny thing was, the soup was delicious and I couldn't stop myself from finishing every last drop of it.Yes, it paralyzed me, but such is life. Once the soup was gone they brought out the main dish. This too I found to be very tasty and very spicy. In fact, when I left the restaurant, I wasn't sure I would be able to taste anything for days. I must say however, as I sit here writing this article, the only thing I can think of is going to have some Thai food!!!

It's off to Virginia Beach, VA next week and already my mind is wondering what culinary delights are awaiting me. Visit back next week to see which foods and where made me moan.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Un Pezzo di Cielo Nel North End

By now you have probably heard this from me or if not me, my daughter (the self proclaimed food snob), growing up in an Italian family has its perks and its curses. The curses I am speaking of is trying to find a good Italian restaurant that would rival the taste one becomes accustomed to from their youth. Nothing could ever beat the soups, sauces or Italian dishes your Grandma, Mama or your multitude of Aunts could make. Unfortunately, as one grows up and moves out of the nest he must find a way to carry on the tradition of duplicating those wonderful specialties or pass them on to someone that can actually cook. I for one, am very fortunate to have a wife that picked up where Grandma, Mama and my Aunts left off and has kept me happy for over 27 years. That being said, what does the Moan Man do to find his pasta fix when he's on the road. Well, if I was in Boston all the time it would be easy. You see, one only needs to go to the North End to find a piece of heaven(title of the blog). So you may ask me, what did you find there Triple M?

Located in North Square, the oldest square in America, a quite retreat located steps from busy Hanover Street. With it's cobblestone streets and gas lampposts, North Square is one of the most romantic spots in the North End and Boston (would have been nice to be there with my wife).

The cuisine at Gennaro's is traditional Italian home cooking. So as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do. This was not my first rodeo at Gennaro's and I was primed all week for this. But let me digress here and tell you how I almost made the biggest goof up of the week. You see, I knew where I wanted to go, I just wasn't sure how to get there. So after Kevin finally found a ramp garage to park at ($28.00 for about 2 hours) we headed out on foot for Gennaro's. Once we got into the North End the going was easy, except the restaurants are so close to each other we walked into the wrong one! Luckily, I caught my mistake at the last moment and told the host to sit tight as I needed to make a quick call before being seated. Exit stage left, went around the corner, and there was Gennaro's. In we went and as we were being seated, I asked to be seated in the upstairs section.

Our waitress came over with the menu and that's when all the debating started. You see I had to choose from too many of my favorites. So I started asking myself, "MM if you can make this at home, why have it here"? Good question, but I wanted to have all of the following:

Anyone of these would have been good, I just thought I should go against the grain and get something I wouldn't necessarily make at home................

What I settled on was Sausage and Peppers Al Forno. A beautiful concoction of rigatoni pasta in a red sauce with, peppers, onions, topped with goat cheese and baked to a golden perfection. Mama Mia I was in heaven! I wish I could explain to you the taste of this dish, but anything I try to put in words would fall short. Lets just leave it at...Per cenare presso Gennaro è quella di essere trasportati in Italia!

Only one thing left to do once dinner was finished, off to Quincy Market for a home made cannoli and a cup of coffee.

A perfect ending to a perfect dinner! I'm speechless at this point and can only leave you with this tidbit. Next week, it's back to Boston!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beantown Bliss

Well here I sit in my hotel room after yet another day on the road. I have been waiting and waiting until the inspiration has hit me again to pick up where I left off in January. You see, I have been bombarded over the past 8 months from my faithful readers (and I guess there are more of them then I realized) as to when I will ever write again about my many moans caused by those special meals that get me going. Well, the time has FINALLY come!!! Before I start back, I must put in a plug for my lovely Sweet-pea who has followed in her fathers footsteps and started writing about her passion.....FOOD!!! Imagine that, another Lembo enchanted by food! Do yourself a favor and go to her blog and see what her and her roommates are up to in the culinary world. is where you can find it. I promise, what you read will bring you all back to what family and friends are all about. I love you Sweet-pea!!

So I landed in Boston Monday morning (8:00 AM) and I knew that I would be in an area that would offer up some great places to dine. The problem was, I was hungry right then and there so I figured why wait for lunch and directed Kevin to take me to Mike's City Diner for breakfast. I had read up on this place and was told that the corned-beef hash was the way to go. So not being the one to second guess anyone, CBH it was. Out it came with two beautiful poached eggs on top winking away at me. A side of home fries, whole wheat toast and it was let the party begin!! I guess I don't need to tell you what I experienced was nothing short of spectacular. After the first bite that familiar growl started working it's way up from my toes and by the time I realized what was guessed it, it was moansville all over again. Could it be that Triple M was back?

As I worked through the day with Kevin, much of the time was spent on the road traveling from one store to another. During that "down" time it gave us plenty of time to review what might be on the docket for dinner. Much discussion went into this and it was decided that a trip to Cambridge was in order. Why Cambridge you may ask? How about a visit to Harvard or something like that? Nah, for us, it was to visit Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers. A Harvard landmark since 1960 that dishes up 7 ounces of pure heaven in about 29 different ways .

Some of the choices we had to choose from ranged from

(rise to the occasion!) with blue cheese dressing, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and french fries.

(lying in wait) pizza burger with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, & french fries


Now it’s your fault) with Swiss cheese, grilled sauerkraut, Russian dressing, & french fries

(lady gag me) with provolone cheese, grilled peppers, and sweet potato fries

plus many more. I chose the Jersey Shore, which came with bacon, cheese, grilled mushrooms and onions. Add to that a side of onion rings and I was ready for the second round of moans to begin. You will all be happy to know, the moans came in waves. Poor Kevin, I'm not sure he was expecting the outcry that came from me! I am sure you know that in the tiny crowded joint, the moans quieted down the crowd as they looked around to see what sick animal got into the place. Yes a hamburger can be that good!!!

Well now Tuesday is upon us and its time to think of another location to wet the ole appetite. You see, all along I have planned to go to the north end for some down home cooked Italian food and I'm sure tonight is the night!! Except at the last minute, I call an audible (must be football season) and tell Kevin that we are heading to Chinatown. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? You got to be kidding me about this one. Go back into hibernation Triple M! Well hold on and take a look at these beauties that I ordered from the Peach Farm Restaurant and then tell me I was off my rocker;

What you are looking at is Won Ton soup and my main course, of 4 Gems in a Nest! The gems being, pork, scallops, shrimp and chicken. One taste of the soup and the 4 gems and I was talking (in this case, writing) Chinese!! 這頓飯讓我非常呻吟是如此。Simply translated... This meal made me moan so very much.


On to the North end for some Italian food tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Quest for Some Juicy Nookie

So I am out in St. Paul, MN conducting some warewash training to our brethren from Canada and thinking, I've got to get myself some juicy nookie while I'm here. Now, you may be asking yourself, "what is the Moan Man up to now?" "A little nookie when he is away from home, that can't be good"! In this case, I'm talking about a very special hamburger (Juicy Nookie) that one gets from the Nook Restaurant.
Now, since I will be with Bob and Robert for this evening of culinary excitement, I decide that perhaps we should go to the Nook's sister restaurant, the Shamrock Grill for a little extra elbow room. OK, so now you are probably asking yourself, "what is so special about the hamburger?" Well, first, they use the freshest meat to make their burgers and then, unlike most burgers that have cheese (cheeseburgers) these burgers are made with the cheese inside them. So in other words, they take a beef pattie, lay the cheese on top of it and then add another pattie on top of that and form it into one big burger. When this bad boy cooks up and is ready to be served, you got yourself a masterpiece with some very hot and liquefied cheese in the middle ready to flow out at first bite.
Looking for a change of pace that evening, I went with the peperjack cheese for my Nookie and wasn't disappointed. The burger was cooked to the exact temperature to allow it to be juicy and flavorful. With the burger, you get hand cut fries that they soak overnight in vinegar. Man, it doesn't get much better then that! One thing I should let you all know, is that with each Juicy Nookie comes a disclaimer stating that the cheese inside is very hot and caution should be taken when eating. Of course, I threw caution to the wind and dug right in. Just another mistake on my part! As warned, the cheese was extremely HOT and by GOD if I didn't scorch the inside of my mouth.
Now, since I was eating 3 meals a day during this trip, I was getting um, well, um, filled up and instead of trying the Nookie Supreme (bun, burger, bun, burger, bun) I opted for the single. Mistake number two! You see, when I finished my single, I still craved for more. What I should have done was follow the lead of Robert, well sort of. When we sat down and started to dwell on what to order, Robert saw that there was a challenge for those up to it. The challenge was simple, consume two Nookie Supreme's with all the fixins and fries and you win. Simple as that! Now I was struggling with just deciding on whether I wanted a single or supreme and Robert pipes up and says "I will take on the challenge." With our orders placed, we waited patiently for the food to come and the challenge to begin. It wasn't long before we saw what Robert had to consume to be on the wall of fame for winning.

And just so you get the full extent of the challenge, here is the back view of the two baskets that needed to be devoured:

As I said, I should have gone for the Supreme, but to eat two, well I don't think so! The challenge was on and Robert was confident that it was going to be a slam dunk! He started with optimism as would anyone taking on a challenge and tore into the first of his two Nookie Supremes.

Notice how small that Nookie looks in his oversized hands!! Robert was off and running and by the looks of it, his quest wasn't too far from being realized. After finishing off his first tray it was on to number two, and although there were times where he had to sit back and take a breather, in the end all that was left was, well simply put, NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The "big man" had climbed the mountain and conquered the Nookie Supreme Challenge! And to the victor comes his picture on the wall of fame where his place of immortality will stand forever! I am proud to say, I was there to witness this feat and could only wish I had it in me to be as courageous as Robert to have tempted fate and took on the challenge.

Long Live the King!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Yes, those were the famous words spoken back in the 1800’s to those that were in search of fame and fortune. For me, I heard the calling but it was under much different circumstances. You see, I went out west to find Meals that would Make me Moan! OK, to be honest, I went out there to work, but as long as I was out there it wouldn’t do any harm to do some moaning.

So I left bright and early Sunday morning and boarded a flight to Washington, DC. From there another flight to Phoenix, AZ and then one more flight for good measure to Seattle, Washington! After spending eleven hours in three different planes, you could imagine what my appetite was, as well as my demeanor. I needed food and it needed to be good enough to Make Me Moan. After meeting up with my partners in crime for the week (Bob and Brad), we settled on going to the Keg for some beef. You see, the gal at the front desk of our hotel said if this is the first time we have visited the Keg and we let them know, they would give us free shrimp cocktail for being newbies. With my mouth watering, we were promptly seated and waited patiently for our waitress to come take our order. After hearing the specials and ordering our drinks we asked for our free shrimp cocktail only to be disappointed by the fact that they discontinued offering that incentive, BUMMER!! Life goes on as they say, so I settled on some French Onion Soup (made with Spanish onions) and the prime rib with a side of mushrooms. The soup came out hot, loaded with plenty of onions and a golden brown layer of baked cheese on top. OOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEE that was good. When the prime rib came out our waitress warned us to be careful of the horseradish sauce as it was a specialty of the house and had a bite to it. Not one to back down to the heat of a HR sauce, I slathered it on my perfectly cooked prime rib and took a bite, then another and another until my taste buds said STOP you fool, you're going to burn us up if you don't. That’s when the heat hit me!! It was like a five alarm fire in my mouth! Water, lemonade, more water, more lemonade and then and only then was I ready to resume with the task at hand. You see, no matter how hot the HR sauce was, it was delectable and I just couldn't’t stop dunking my chunks of prime rib in it until everything on my plate was devoured. What a start to what I hope will be a week of many moans.

Monday and Tuesday morning brought us back to an old friend for breakfast.

That’s right, The Original Pancake House. Yup, Seattle had several of them in town and we (Bob and I) couldn't pass them up. Both mornings we feasted on eggs, pancakes, hash browns, toast, corned beef hash and of course, their famous thick cut bacon. Oh boy, two days of eating like that for breakfast and we needed to take a break. In fact after Monday’s chow down, we skipped lunch and only had a light meal for dinner.

Tuesday was a different story. Bob and I started at The Pancake House, skipped lunch and then went out for what I would hope was going to be a great Italian dinner. After doing some extensive research for a great place to dine, we settled on Grazie Resturante Italiano. One step into this quaint little cafe, and I was feel pretty good about my choice. After scouring the menu for what I was going to dine on, I decided to go off the norm and order a dish that contained a red sauce of sorts. Now, for those of you that did not grow up in an Italian household you wouldn’t understand the risk I was taking. You see, growing up with Italian grandparents, parents, aunts, uncle, etc., you become accustomed to eating homemade sauce on a weekly basis. When I say weekly of course, I don’t mean once a week, I mean several times a week and because of this, your taste buds become accustom to a certain quality of sauce. So you can now appreciate the position I put myself in. After much soul searching, I decided on Caesar salad and the Fettuccine Puttanesca.

The salad came out first, properly dressed with five anchovy fillets but was very light on the dressing. In fact, I must say, sans for the anchovies, the salad was not that memorable. I started sweating at this point as I was beginning to second guess my decision to come here. When the fettuccine arrived, I was overwhelmed by the wonderful aroma and overall appearance of the dish. I couldn't wait any longer, I picked up my fork, twirled some of that great looking fettuccine ladened with artichoke hearts, anchovies, tomatoes, calamata olives, mushrooms, capers and took my first mouthful. Mama Mia, I hit pay dirt!!! Not only did the moans start to come, I was overcome by memories from my youth. Memories of going to my grandparents and aunts house after Church to enjoy some home made pasta and sauce. Those are the memories that are deeply ingrained in my memory banks. The type of memories that take a special Italian dish to bring them to the forefront of my mind. Man, this was some magical pasta I was eating. I couldn't get enough. Even when I said I was done and couldn't eat any more, I found a way to finish every last noodle! So now that I properly finished off the main course, there was only one way to pay tribute to what I just had. Dessert!!! Now, my cousin Amy has been on the lookout for the perfect cheese cannoli and I wish I could say, I found it at Grazie's, but I can not. However, I can say I did find the perfect chocolate cannoli Just take a look at this beauty.

The shell was lite and crispy, with a filling that was flavorful, yet not too sweet. The whipped cream and chocolate sauce was just the right amount to compliment this delightful delicacy. All in all, a perfect meal and one that was totally worthy to be written up in the Meals That Make Me Moan Archives.

Wednesday is now upon us, and to tell you the truth, I need a break from eating!!! Well ,at least I need to change things around a bit. It was decided that there would be no breakfast and then a light lunch to ride us over until dinner time where we had planned to meet Shane and Kelly for what was promised to be a moan worthy dinner. With this in mind, breakfast was skipped and we opted for a light lunch of.........Hot Dogs! After spending some time searching for a hot dog spot, we ended up at Matt's Gourmet Hot Dogs. Now I won't spend much time on this but to say they had one of the best chili cheese dog and slaw dog I have ever eaten! Moan worthy indeed, but lets remember we are still talking about hot dogs.

Dinner time has arrived, Brad, Bob and I went off to the city to meet with Kelly and Shane at the 5 Spot restaurant. A lively little place that is known for American Regional Food. In fact, every 3 months they change their theme. This time around it was food and drink from St. Louis. I like to think that I am just as adventurous as the next person, but this restaurant is know for their honey stung fried chicken. So I guess you all know where I went with this.......................

That's a half of bird you are looking at which has been buttermilk dipped, deep fried and drizzled with Tupelo Honey. Served with some mashed potato's and carrots. This was no "KFC" I was dining at!. One bite into this moist bird and the flavors exploded in my mouth. There is no other way to describe this fine meal but to say the bird was moist, flavorful and plentiful. Everything that I look for in a meal to make me moan.

So that concludes the end of my Seattle trip. I must say, this trip ranks up there with my many experiences since I started writing this Blog. A few points I need to leave you with before my next writing:

1. That mysterious appetizer I so enjoyed at the Lucky Wishbone in Alaska was none other then deep fried chicken gizzards. Congratulations goes out to Kitty Hayes for guessing correctly on this!!

2. The fact that I have now been treated to such memorable meals as a pork chop sandwich and a pork tenderloin plate at Hog Wild, A Poblito at Rosalita's in Denver and honey stung fried chicken from the 5 Spot in Seattle has created a contest of sorts between Barb, Kelly and Shane as to which area, East or West can come up with the most memorable meal that will Make Me Moan. As Barb puts it, "I know how to play both sides and come out the winner". Clearly in this contest, the deck is stacked in my favor.

3. My next stop is in St. Paul, MN where I will be in search of some Juicy Nookie.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Happy New Year to all and with that said, it can only mean one thing.....many more Meals to Make Me Moan!!! Now, before we start out on the twenty-ten journey, let me bring you back to the end of 2009 where my journey ended......ALASKA. What a week of bone chilling cold that was. If it wasn't for some constant moaning, well, I just don't know if I would have made it! So, what do you think when I say Alaskan food? Salmon? Crab Legs? Halibut? How bout fried chicken?? Yup, I said fried chicken and not just any ole fried chicken, I'm talking about fried chicken from the legendary Lucky Wishbone Restaurant.

Serving Alaska for over 50 years ,this landmark aims to please with some of the best home style cooking that can be found. Well, with a claim like that, how could I refuse. So me and my team for the week set out to see what all the hub bub was about and as usual, we weren't disappointed. Well at least 3 of the 4 on the team weren't disappointed. You see, if an establishment is known for a certain kind of food, lets say fried chicken, you get the chicken, right? Well, my group for the week consisted of Bob, Ameer and Brad. For some reason, Brad decided to get the halibut. not a bad choice for Alaska, but not the right choice for the Lucky Wishbone. OK, so whats so special about the fried chicken you may ask. Simply put, they fly in their chickens from the lower forty-eight several times weekly. Which means fresh chickens that are never frozen. They have an established policy of only using the freshest and finest ingredients around. And that history of 50 years, well you judge for yourself.........
That's a five piece basket over fries and nestled up to a corn muffin. What a meal!!! The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. Once I started, I couldn't ,nor wouldn't stop until every piece was devoured. A great meal and a great start to my Alaskan adventure. But wait, I forgot to tell you about one of the best appetizers I have had in a long, long time.

This might have come out of "left field" for some, but for me and my friends it was right up our alley, as well as keeping with the theme of the dinner. Not sure what you are looking at? Well, you see the corn muffin? I know you can't see the pile of fries underneath the appetizer. But what exactly is the appetizer? You tell me. That's right, you want to know what these interesting looking nuggets are, you will need to send me your comments with your ideas. 'll let you know when you get it right.

OK, two things I want to say here...steak and a burger. Yeah, beef, well, sort of. The burger wasn't actually beef in the traditional way, it was Rudolph, I mean it was reindeer. A reindeer burger from Phyllis's Cafe and Salmon Bake.

The burger was cooked to a medium rare temperature and served with tomato and pickles. One bite into this lean, juicy burger and I was thinking that's why Mr. Claus has reindeer's. They're delectable!!
Now for my last part of this recap, I want to remind everyone on how much I detest eating at hotel restaurants. In fact, I will go out of my way not to do it. But alas, I must tell you all that I broke my golden rule in Alaska. As I was cow-towing with the front desk beauty one evening, she asked me if I was going to dine at their restaurant. Now I didn't have the heart to say no to her, but there was no way I was going to say yes. After some pleading on her part that I try it, I stated to her that I was meeting two of my Associates that evening and if she came up with some incentive for me, I would consider it. Well suffice to say, she made it worth my while......OK, I better clarify that. With $40.00 of restaurant credit in hand, off I went to the hotel restaurant. Once there, I took an inordinate amount of time to find a meal that would Make Me Moan (as if that could be possible from a hotel restaurant)! So after much discussion with Bob and Ameer, we all decided on something different. When the waiter came over to take our order, we engaged him in our pursuit of moans and he set us on the straight and narrow..........

That's a sixteen ounce rib-eye that was grilled with butter to a perfect medium rare temperature, with garlic mashed potato's and cauliflower au-gratin. Once we started to bite into our steaks, there was a cacophony of moans coming from the three of us. In fact at one point the moans got so loud that the table next to us asked the waiter what was going on at our table. I can only say that if this is the type of food that every hotel restaurants could produce there would be no reason for me to leave!!

So that's my recap of Alaska. Obviously, I had many more meals then just the chicken, steak and Reindeer. But as you all know, I will only write about the Meals That Make Me Moan.

Come back soon as I will recap my week in Seattle. You won't be disappointed as I came across some dishes that was moan worthy and I'm excited to write about them. Also, you will discover how one meal has started a battle of east and west.