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Jeff Osterman
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue / Muma Basketball Center
Tampa, FL 33620
813-974-4479
Osterman@usf.edu
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Restaurant Reviews & Tips
 
To go along with the love of cooking a good meal I have also mastered the art of eating one! Periodically I will review a recent meal, that I have enjoyed. Please pass along any of your favorites.
 

 

McGuire's Irish Pub
600 East Gregory Street
Pensacola, FL 32501
850/ 433-6789
www.mcguiresirishpub.com


This is a must stop if you are anywhere near downtown Pensacola - it is an Irish pub - that will make you feel like a million bucks! The main reason for that you will be walking among $1, 000,000 in all single dollar bills. The tradition of tacking dollar bills for good luck started when they opened the doors in 1973, & don't think of trying to take some - people have been arrested for it. This is a multi-room establishment that has a wonderful drinking bar and multiple rooms filled with televisions. Make you sure you call ahead, to find out about live music.

Your first tough decision will be what starter to choose?

Irish Bleu Chip - homemade potato chips with blue cheese dressing and fresh crumbles - WOW

Nathan McGuire's Supreme Nachos - are overflowing and over the top - you will be stuffed.

Irish Boxtys - the only way to explain is mashed potatoes meet a deep fryer

Senate Bean Soup - the same recipe that was served in the US Senate and they have kept the price the same - .18, as it was when the doors opened in 1977. YES only .18

For the main course you can go in many directions:

Traditional Irish Food - corned beef & cabbage, fish & chips, Shepard’s pie

Irish Lamb Stew - it tastes like it was made in  a little kit hen in County Kerry ... It is loaded with lamb, potatoes & vegetables.

Steaks - they have many but the best by far is the 16oz NY Strip - grilled to perfection, and comes with a potato, soup or salad.

Burgers - this is a wonderful place to stop turning the pages in the menu. They are all 3/4 lbs. and McGuire's has some wonderful creations, such as Reuben Burger, Pizza Burger, Hot Fudge Burger, Nacho Steak Burger, Wasabi Burger, Guacamole & Monterey Jack Burger & the classic Skippy Peanut Butter Burger.

Sandwiches - all the usual fare with the classics like corned beef, pastrami, po' boys & cheese steak.

Dessert - you won't have room, but try the brownie a la mode.

Make sure you remember to get a root beer - it is homemade.

 

The Loveless Cafe

 

8400 Highway 100, Nashville, TN

615/ 646-9700

7 days a week from 7am - 9pm

www.hamsandjams.com

 

 

 

This landmark is a must stop if you are in the Nashville area, you feel like you are back in the 50's.  This local favorite takes a simple approach to preparing you meal ... "pride"; everything is made fresh daily from scratch with locally grown products. You can order from the all-day breakfast menu, smokehouse favorites, or the killer fried chicken.  Whatever you go with - you will not be disappointed ... Because they all come with ...

 

BISCUITS & preserves - they come warm to your table, with a nice selection of preserves - my favorite is the strawberry.  They are like no other biscuit that you have ever had - I promise you that.

 

They are known for their country ham, so go with the full order, and then get eggs anyway you like, then a must would be their the grits ...It is quite simple - some  people know how to make grits and some don't ...The Loveless Cafe gets an "A+"

 

Red-eye Gravy - make sure you get a side for you ham - it had very nice flavor.

 

Steak Biscuits - you will get 3 stuffed with grilled beef tenderloin, that will be falling onto the plate

 

Fried Chicken - was so hot and fresh that made it unresistable. The flavor of the chicken did not stop when you took your first bite of the crust, but went through to the very last bite. There is no such thing as a dry chicken breast at the Loveless Cafe.

 

Southern Sampler - this is perfect if you struggle with decisions. It is loaded with Fried Chicken, Catfish, Ham, & meatloaf or pork.

 

There are many great side dishes, like macaroni & cheese, fried okra, homemade creamed corn and of course the grits ... But the other standout was the caramel sweet potatoes.

 

When you are done with your meal, take a stroll around the Cafe and look at the photos of all the famous people who have stopped by and had their fill. Then was across the parking lot to Ham & Jams Country Market for any of your favorite merchandise, food and apparel to take or ship home

 

 

The Tractor Shed

 

140 White Street, Hendersonville, NC 28739

828/ 693-4009

www.thetractorshed.com

 

If you are near the Ashville/Hendersonville area of North Carolina and are craving some authentic Bar-B-Q ... have I got the place for you - The Tractor Shed. 

 

The place is tucked off the main road, but you can't miss the big tractor that sits right out front ... and it still works. From the second you open the door, the overall southern hospitality starts, - the people are truly glad that you have stopped in.

 

As soon as you are seated - don't think twice ... order the sweet tea - it will make lips smack with pleasure.

 

As for starters, the list has all the usual suspects, but I would go with the Smoked Chicken Wings (they are slowly smoke with great flavor and then quickly deep fried), or the Carolina Crab Cakes (a family secret recipe). If you want to "taste NC" then order the small sampler platter that will include: deviled eggs, pickled okra & pimento cheese.

 

They have a nice selection of salads ... BUT don't you dare!

 

The selection of sandwiches (or as they say Sam-it-ches) is top notch: highlighted by a creation that was heaven sent - Pulled Pork and Mac & Cheese.  This combination is stacked high of a fresh roll and the taste is amazing.  They also have such classics as Pulled Pork, Fried Bologna, Grilled Pimento or Beef Brisket. You can also order a burger, but if you are in a Bar-B-Q joint ...why?

 

You will get a choice of sides, but the front runners would be the root beer baked beans, corn pudding or the homemade potato salad.

 

The Tractor Shed has wonderful list of entrees, but a few standouts would be The Farmers Platter (pulled pork, beef brisket, 3 bone slab of ribs, plus 2 sides), Shrimp & Grits (really a wonderful homemade taste), Chicken Fried Steak ( so rich & so much - it was falling off the plate)

 

For those with a sweet tooth - you will be taken care of!!! The signature dessert would be there Banana Pudding, but you couldn't go wrong with the Moon Pies, Pecan Pie or the Peach Cobbler.

 

If you are there on a Friday or Saturday - you will be treated to some live Bluegrass music.

 
 

Pat's Hubba Hubba -  Port Chester, NY   

 
 
 
  
 
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