Friday, October 31, 2008

Survivor week 9

Well all of our suggestions came in as did our official Jets pick. Favre made it close though.
Is anyone out there still alive? For this reading this for the first time, in a survivor pool, all you have to do is pick one winner without the point spread each week. Winners move on. However, you can only use the same team one time. Lose and you are done.

Onto week 8. Jacksonville will smoke Cincinnati but it is a division rival and on the road so I will look for a better play. Tampa Bay should win easily at KC but I really want to avoid taking a road team. Chicago over Detroit could be the play despite the division rivalry. Detroit is not good. Giants will beat Dallas this week but we already used them. Denver over Miami may be the best play but I'm going to with Chicago as the official pick
Have fun

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election/Recession wine tasting- Hollywood Vine

Come join us to celebrate or Sulk. We’ll have Election coverage as well as some excellent recession friendly wines.

This week we welcome Melissa Caraballo from Vin Di Vino Imports. Melissa is a local Hollywooder and will taste

us on wines from all over Italy and a wonderful white wine from Austria. The Prosecco is one of my favorites and all the wines are both friendly and affordable.


Tuesday November 4th

2008 6:00-9:00

No Charge for tastings


Rustico Prosecco

Veneto, Italy

The Nino Franco winery is located in Valdobbiadene, a zone in the upper reaches of the Veneto known for producing Italy's finest Prosecco. Third generation and current owner/winemaker Primo Franco is a consummate craftsman, and produces a line of Prosecco that is second to none.

"Rustico" opens with firm bubbles and crisp acidity. Light aromas of banana on the nose lead to fresh pear on the palate.

BTG $6.75 Retail $18.99


Gruner Vetliner


An almost clear light straw yellow in color. Yellow apple and pear fruit on the nose with faint nuances of lentils, asparagus, and tobacco. A straight-line Gruner with grapefruit and white pepper spice on a light-to-medium bodied frame with lively acidity.

BTG $5.75 Retail $14.99



Abruzzo, Italy

Ruby red with garnet reflections, intense and persistent fragrance, fruit (red fruit and prunes) with vanilla nuances. Medium-to-full bodied with a good balance and ready to drink.

BTG $4.75 Retail $11.99



Sicilia, Italy

This well-known international grape thrives in the Sicilian climate. The resulting wine is a concentrated warm red with soft red fruit,

extremely smooth tannin, and lingering herbal elements.

BTG $5.00 Retail $12.99



Campania, Italy

Ruby red in color with violet towards the rim. Shows aromas of red fruit and light vanilla. Full red fruit with hints leather and spice on the palate. Medium-bodied with good acidity,soft tannins and medium oak on the lingering finish.

BTG $6.50 Retail $17.99

Hollywood Vine

2035 Harrison Street

Hollywood, FL 33020


954-922-7660 fax

Friday, October 24, 2008

Johnny V opening casual spot on Las Olas

The Chowfather has been a big fan of chef Johnny V dating back to his days at The Astor on South Beach and Johnny V's Kitchen on Alton Rd. I really miss those sandwiches... I really hope the rib meat hoagie makes the menu..

"Chef Johnny Vinczencz of Johnny V Las Olas will add casual and less expensive to his repertoire next month when he opens Smith & Jones Bar and Grill at 1313 Las Olas Blvd., in the old Louie Louie spot.

“This is something that I’ve wanted to do for quite a while,” he says. “When the opportunity came to do something lie this on Las Olas, I jumped on it.”

Nothing on the menu will cost more than $20. The emphasis will be American comfort foods with a chef’s touch. Think house-made sous vide pastrami sandwiches ($10), Philly cheese steak sandwiches that start with shaved rib eye ($11) and nachos made with home-made BBQ chips ($8). "I've also got a great love of barbeque."

The 200-seater will fill the void left by the closing of O’Hara’s with live jazz and blues nightly. Long-time fans of Vinczencz might remember his Johnny V’s Kitchen on Alton Road in Miami Beach. It will serve as a model of sorts for the new place. “That only had 27 seats. It was busy, but we didn’t make a lot of money.”

Vinczencz, whose family name is Hungarian, is calling the new spot Smith & Jones because they are quintessential American names, much like the new menu and concept. He opens to open Nov. 12."

Source SunSentinel

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Survivor Week 8

Helloooo, is anyone left???? Our official pick, Houston, came in last week. Onto this week for those alive in their respective pools. The Chowfather expects Baltimore to win at home against the Raiders. We also expect the Jets to destroy the Chiefs, Houston to smoke the Bengals, Wash to crush Detroit and Carolina to beat Zona. All are solid plays but the CFather is going with the J-e-t-s Jets

Friday, October 17, 2008

Survivor week 7

Can someone please explain how Washington beats Dallas and Philly on the road and loses at home to the lowly rams? I guess that's the NFL for you. Nor sure if anyone out there is still alive, maybe you went with Minny or the Chargers. Regardless, I'll go ahead and post my best game for anyone who cares...

I expect Tenn to shut down KC and win easily but they are on the road so I would avoid unless you have no other home options.
Dallas at the Rams is another solid road option, if necessary. Monitor Romo's status, he may go after all.
The best option is the Giants as they return home after an ugly loss on Monday to face the 49ers. SF making the long trip with an early start. This should be an easy win. Go with them if you haven't used them yet.
I also really like TB at home against Seattle. Seattle has been awful when heading east.
Another strong home option is Houston yes Houston over Detroit.
Good luck

Sunday, October 12, 2008

El Tamarindo Coal Fired Pizza (Hallandale) The Sequel

As promised, The Chowfather went back to El Tamarindo. This time my intent was to try some of the Salvadoran offerings. I opted for the Churrasco which is a 12 oz. grilled steak topped with chimichuri sauce. The take out menu list it at $11 but I think it was $13, not positive though. Their entrees include two side orders. Options are rice, beans, side salad, tostones, sweet plantains or baby green vegetables. I opted for the rice and beans. Their beans are red unlike the black beans seen at Cuban restaurants. The rice and beans were great. Rice was cooked perfectly and appeared to have some small veggies in it. The red beans were flavored perfectly and really tasty. Wish I had some now. The churrasco was also great. Grilled perfectly and seasoned well.
If you are in the area, I would give this place a chance. It is a casual place, do takeout and deliver.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Burger Battle Miami/Broward

The Chowfather is a huge burger fan and always on the lookout for a GREAT burger. Unfortunately, not many qualify down here. I had a great one at Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay in Vegas recently but I'm here to discuss our options in Miami and Broward.
I recently tried Five Guys Burgers and was underwhelmed. It was okay and very good compared to fast food burgers but doesn't make my list.

1. Char-Hut- This is an outstanding burger. Fresh and you can watch them grill them while you wait. They have a few locations in Broward but I prefer the Davie and Pembroke location over the Sunrise one over on University. The buns are never fresh at the Sunrise location and the burgers are better at the other two.

2. Le Tub- On the water in Hollywood. Great spot to grab a beer and a huge tasty burger.
3. Kingdom- small open air sports bar over on Biscayne Blvd serving big juicy burgers.
4. Jack's Old Fashion Hamburgers- Located on Federal Highway in Ft. Lauderdale. On the small side but fresh.

Honorable mention: Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies. They key here is the bread. They bake their bread on site and it is great. Impossible to order the burger though because the cheesetake is a must do.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Survivor Week 6

Hope you were all on board with the Giants last week as they crushed Seattle at home. My secondary picks of Carolina and Dallas also prevailed.
On to week 6
I expect Minnesota to crush Detroit at home. Defense will shut them down. Oh and they have a stud RB that should run wild. Division rival though
so I have to take a pass.
Very tempted to take the Chargers at home against New England. Chargers return home and should bounce back against a NE team heading west back to back. That said, I;m not crazy enough to back Norv over Bill. Pass.
I also expect Washington to take care of business at home against the Rams. Rams have a new coach but that will not save them this week.
Washington is the official pick. Good luck

Monday, October 6, 2008

Alta Mar wine dinner

"Benefiting the bellies of foodies and oenophiles is AltaMar, whose owner, Claudio Giordano, is opening his restaurant on Monday nights for a five-course menu with wine pairings. The restaurant will be closed to the general public and open to only 30 lucky reservation holders and the only thing you need to bring besides an appetite and $50 per person (including unlimited wine pourings) is, according to Giordano, ''a driver.'' The private wino dinners kick off on Monday and continue weekly through Nov. 17. For reservations, call 305-532-3061."

source: Velvet Underground

Alta Mar is one of my favorite spots on the beach. They have great daily seafood specials and pastas. Truffle ravioli is a winner too.

This sounds like a GREAT deal

Saturday, October 4, 2008

El Tamarindo Coal Fired Pizza- Hallandale

El Tamarindo Coal Fired Pizza recently opened in Hallandale near the dog track. This is a weird combo, Salvadoran food and coal fired pizza. It should be noted that they are related to El Tamarindo on state road 84 in Ft. Lauderdale (never been there)

I've heard of pupusas but that is the extent of my familiarity with Salvadoran food. Regardless, it was the coal fired pizza that was calling my name. I went with their specialty pie which was broccoli rabe and sausage. I thought it was on the border of good to very good. Very similar to Anthony's but not burnt (which some may prefer). The broccoli rabe was very good and so was the sausage. The cheese, sauce and dough were also very good. My main gripe is that the pizza was overloaded with the toppings. I know that may be a positive to most people but I enjoy tasting the cheese and sauce and I felt that both were overpowered. That being said, it was still very enjoyable and I'm looking forward to going back and trying some other combinations.

They also serve coal fired chicken wings which were almost indentical to Anthony's. (topped with grilled onions) That is a good thing since they are a favorite of mine. Only difference is that the wings were much smaller. Tasted great though.

Of course, I had to try something Salvadoran and went with a corn tamale with cream (light and on side). This was great. Really wish I tried some other items but will be back. I did not see pupusas on the menu but they do serve baleadas, tamales, tacos, churrasco (looked great), fried whole sea bass and red snapper and other steak and seafood items. Prices appeared very reasonable.

This place appears to be a winner and I'm looking forward to heading back soon and trying some of the Salvadoran dishes.

El Tamarindo on Urbanspoon

Electoral College Update

Forget all those irrelevant National Polls they keep showing. Here is a
link to the updated Zogby electoral college poll map. Once again it will most likely come down to Florida, Ohio and Penn.

Zogby International

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Broward Spice aka Dine Out

Reminder that Dine Out starts today, Oct 1 in Broward. Similar deal to the popular Miami Spice
see link below for participating restaurants and menus
"Dine Out"

My recs based on quality of restaurant, posted menu and spice value are
China Grill
Grill 66 (never been but on my short list to try and menu looks good
)Hi Life Cafe
Lola's on Harrison
Cafe Maxx

*chef recently left sunfish grill so I am no longer recommending it*