Photo from Joel's website
I have to thank Urbanspoon for this one. We were headed to the Lake Norman, North Carolina area to spend the night with friends before continuing on to St. Augustine for a New Year’s vacation. I checked the Urbanspoon app on my iPhone for Mooresville and Joel’s was the top rated restaurant. The phone makes it very easy to obtain directions from my current location so we had no trouble finding it, just a few minutes off Interstate 77.
Previously, we have enjoyed several delicious meals at nearby Thai Lanna but I was up for exploring this evening. There are a lot of eateries off the exits in the vacinity. We have also frequented Monterrey Mexican Restaurant on previous trips – a favorite for my kids. I could eat Asian food practically every day so when Joel’s popped up on my screen, I needn’t look any further. My mind was made up.
According to their menu, Joel was born and raised in the Lake Norman area. The restaurant has been locally owned and operated since 2001.
Posted in 4 Forks, Dinner, Review
Tagged Beer, curry, Dinner, Joel's Asian Grill and Sushi, Lake Norman NC, Mooresville NC, restaurant, Review, sushi
Truffled Macaroni & Cheese
J Paul’z is another installment in my vacation reviews from a recent trip south to Folly Beach and the Charleston, South Carolina area. (And save it, Stanton, we all know how you feel about out-of-town reviews…you insist on repeating yourself every time we post one.)
Located on James Island between those two cities, this restaurant was high on my list of places to try. In fact I wrote a note on the menu I printed from the internet and placed in my Vacation Folder which read: “I WANT TO GO HERE”. (If you only knew how geeky I was about planning and researching for trips…it drives Ron crazy.)
Posted in 1 Fork, 2 Forks, Dinner, Review
Tagged Charleston SC, Dinner, duck confit, Folly Beach SC, J Paul'z, James Island SC, restaurant, Review, sushi
The vacant Lonestar building in Barboursville beside the Cracker Barrel on Route 60 is vacant no more. All the peanut shells are gone and have been replaced with a shiny coat of polish over the hard wood floors. Other changes were made to the interior decor to turn a Texas steakhouse into the Japanese version. The restaurant is filled with hibachi grills surrounded by chairs in the main dining room and an adjacent room. The main dining room also boasts a small sushi bar and a larger drink bar. Tables are positioned around both bars. One of the tables near the sushi bar was our home base to experience Shogun on just their second evening of dinner service.
Ice Cream Balls
We chose Ichiban as the spot for a nice double date with our friends, Monica and Sterling (Monica posts a guest review below). Located on Capitol Street adjacent to Bar 101, the restaurant has ornate, high ceilings and a beautiful bar. The furnishings are nice but the tables are crowded very close to each other. I felt like I was dining with ten people instead of the three I intended to eat with. Even so, we didn’t have a problem hearing the conversation among us…maybe we are simply loud and we were infringing upon others’ dialogue. Oh well, worked for us.
An extensive list of a la carte, maki and sushi dinners were available from the two sushi chefs working behind the bar on the upper level. From that listing, I ordered the Jayden Maki – rolled sushi of tuna, cilantro, cucumber, spicy oil, smelt roe and chili pepper – 6 pieces for $10.50.
The sushi tasted good, however I did not get “spicy” from it. Either they forgot to include the spicy oil I was promised or their definition of spicy is a whole lot different from mine.
My favorite Chinese buffet, aptly named THE China Buffet, has now been reopened for one week. And I have eaten there twice. Phil said resistance was a futile concept so he braced himself, knowing that’s where I would want to go today.
We arrived a little later than usual, around 12:30. Boy was I hungry. We received prompt and friendly service, obtaining a table and placing drink orders. We eat here once a week on average and the staff always recognize us. That’s a nice feeling. Many times at Chinese and Mexican places there exists a language barrier when communicating with the staff so it’s usually best to avoid special orders. Daniel, momentarily allowing his obsession with his newfound beverage of choice to cloud his mind, orders a non-standard drink: half lemonade and half sweet tea, the formula for an Arnold Palmer. Our server smiled and nodded and we thought there is no way he is getting what he thinks he ordered.
Posted in 3 Forks, 4 Forks, 5 Forks, Lunch, Review
Tagged Add new tag, Apple Pie, buffet, Charleston WV, China Buffet, Chinese, Kanawha City, Kanawha Mall, Lunch, Review, Ron, sushi
Kaifu Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar – Downtown, Charleston, WV
There was a time when I think you could call sushi trendy, but when Charleston has two dedicated sushi bars, three restaurants that serve good sushi (Taste of Asia, Hibachi, Ichiban), several chinese buffets and Kroger offering sushi, I think it is safe to say that sushi is mainstream. What is not mainstream is the social network that we used to obtain our dining partners for our sushi lunch, Twitter. @oncee and @blairly, along with several others suggested that we hit Kaifu for sushi the first chance we got. So emails and Tweets where exchanged, and a date was set.
Three of the Five arrived at 12:30 to find a packed dining room. This place is small and is the definition of a “Hole in the Wall”. The very cozy dining room holds about 30 people. The sushi chef toils away in the back corner making little raw fish treasures. This place is quaint and it makes me think this is what a sushi bar in downtown Tokyo would look like. There are all kinds of people dining today from the $1000 suit lawyer to the 9 year old boy eating with his dad. This place feels almost hip.
Taste Of Asia ~ I hate to say it, but it is one of the better Asian restaraunts around these parts. The best, I don’t know, but I’m sure to some people it is. Their food is good… I could even say DAMN GOOD.
But I won’t.
Taste Of Asia to me, instead is a place to get great Asian food for the current exchange rate of the U$ Dollar.
When you’re as pessimistic as me, it’s easy to be negative. But when Main Kwong’s can give you the same amount of food for $4.85 – one has to wonder.
But Taste Of Asia does offer: Chinese – yummy, Sushi – awesome, and Thai – (insert expletive here)
(The link is for the South Charleston location but the menus are the same at the Teays Valley location.)
All On ONE menu. NOW they even have a Japanese Steakhouse in Teays Valley. Yes!!! You can pay to have someone throw food at you while you try to catch it in your mouth. Usually while surrounded by people you do not even know. Obviously doing stuff that you would not try at home, or if your kids tried it at home, you would beat the tar out of them. Don’t lie to yourself – when was the last time you congratulated them on throwing food?? Yet you will pay good money to have the Japanese chef throw a shrimp at you? Why Is That?? (note to self: future Fork You post – “Why do I pay to have this Asian guy throw food at me?” )
Posted in 3 Forks, Review
Tagged Appetizer, appetizers, Asian, Chinese, Egg Roll, eggroll, Japanese, Lunch, Review, Ron, Spicey Tuna Roll, sushi, Taste Of Asia, Teays Valley, Thai