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Taste of Monroe

By Todd Salisbury
On February 11, 2019

Taste of Monroe

I'm just a guy that enjoys eating and spends alot of time out to eat at restuarants, diners, and cafes. Unfortunately, many small eateries have been crushed due to chain restaurants and fast food. While there is nothing wrong with people enjoying those places, I find that often times their quality is less than favorable compared to the local owned, mom and pop diners. In this blog, I am going to try the small diners and review my experience and the food. I am no Gordon Ramsay but, I do know good quality when I taste it.

 

McGeady’s Town Pub

Posted January 30, 2019

Sunday afternoon I hit up my friend Brett for food. We usually get food a few times a month to rant about various topics, but our focus, the food.

Brett told me he was dying for a good burger. I thought for a moment, listed places in my head. I replied a few minutes later telling him to meet at a called McGeady’s Town Pub.

McGeady’s Town Pub is a small hole in the wall downtown. If you blink, you’ll miss it. During the summer, McGeady’s store front has an outdoor fenced in eating area. The building has an Irish green sign, illuminated by three lights.

The interior is deep and narrow but has multiple floors. The first floor is groomed with a wood floor and light-brown brick walls. Various beer signs hung on them.

Brett and I walked into the sound of “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott blasting on the speakers which surprised us, seeing the way the pub is decorated. We sat at the bar on the first floor and were greeted instantly with menus.

The server had a smile and asked what we wanted to drink. Being cheap, we both decided to get waters. While she was away, we looked over the burger section.

From a standard hamburger too Cajun style, there is a long selection to choose.

Brett is a man of onion rings and three entries down, stands The Lombardi.

The Lombardi is topped with a 7oz ground beef patty with applewood smoked bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, and finally onion rings.

Brett’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

I went with the breakfast burger, topped with the same things minus the BBQ and rings. It makes up for it though with a thick fried egg. Both served with inhouse fries, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

We ordered as soon as she set the waters down.

Before we could even start ranting our burgers were out and we dug in.

The burgers were hot and juicy, with the freshest buns. I needed an extra napkin due to the egg breaking.

The chips were crisp and lightly seasoned, a good compliment to the burgers.

We ate the burgers in only a few minutes followed by most of the chips. The server asked how it was.

“It was great,” we replied.

 

Sal’s Place

Posted February 8, 2019

I live down the road from a newer restaurant called Sal’s Place.

The location was an old PNC Bank that sat empty for a few years, so when I saw it was being renovated and turned into a place to eat, I was excited.

Sal’s Place opened January 1, 2018 and is a coney island with a lakeside décor or light gray/blue walls and various nautical trinkets placed around the building.

I was heading home after classes and quickly realized I hadn’t eaten much. The problem was, I didn’t want fast food now did I want to sit down somewhere, I just wanted to be home.

As I was driving, my hunger grew, and I questioned what there would be to eat at home.

I ran through the options and decided id call and place a to-go order at Sal’s.

I wanted something easy to eat.

When I called the phone was quickly answered and I asked what specials they were doing. I mentioned my preference of something quick and easy to eat.

The waitress on the phone suggested I order their coney dog special. The special came with two beef coney dogs, an order of fries, and a cup of soup.

I usually don’t eat chili dogs, most places I hate them, but with me being in a rush and the stop light I was at turning green, I agreed to have the special. My request was no onion on the dogs.

I pulled up to Sal’s a few minutes later, I went inside to pay and grab my food. I arrived slightly early and stood by after paying but only a few seconds before I was being handed a bag of hot lunch.

When I got home, I went to my room and opened my goodie bag of food.

The coney dogs, no onion, were hot and loaded with chili. There was more chili than dog.

I opened the fry container to see hot steamy, golden crisp fries. They looked just like a commercial would.

The soup cup looked more like a bowl and was filled to the brim with vegetable beef.

I set the food out like a small buffet spread, turned on Hulu, and dug in.

When I was done, I leaned back content and thought to myself, what do I try next time.

 

Kiku Sushi

Posted February 13, 2019

Today I had started the process of obtaining a new job and during the signing of paperwork my stomach rumbled worse than a tree collapsing under ice.

I ignored it, business was to be done, but afterwards, the hunger was too much.

Sitting in my truck waiting for it to warm, I messaged my friend Michaela and asked her if she was free to grab lunch.

She agreed and soon I was picking her up, having her choose songs on Spotify, and deciding where to eat.

I had joked with her recently about trying sushi as she spent time fairly recently in Japan and mentioned missing the food.

I’ve never tried sushi before. I enjoy fish, having caught and ate many, but sushi just seemed so— foreign. I tried to have Kroger sushi once a few years back but after catching a whiff of it I quickly gave it away.

While driving around, internally I decided today was the day, why not, considering I would have eaten a tire with ketchup being so hungry.

I mentioned the idea to her and that I needed her expertise. I didn’t want to look too much like a fish out of water while trying to pronounce words like kamaboko and futomaki, asking the waitress 1001 questions.

We pulled into Kiku Sushi, an old remodeled Pizza Hut on Telegraph rd.

I’ve heard many good things about this place in the past but had never stopped in.

In all honesty I was excited to try something new and having Michaela there to help me only made it better.

Inside we were greeted and quickly sat down. I looked around at the beautiful oriental décor, the fresh sushi display up at the bar, as well as the bright clean fish tank full of colorful gold fish.

We were handed our menus and as soon as we ordered drinks, the bombardment of questions for Michaela began.

Thankfully she is patient and answered each one, going through virtually all items on the menu. We must have told the poor waitress to give us a minute, five or six times.

Finally I decided what to get, a salmon teriyaki bento box with a small order of hot sake, a Japanese rice wine.

Michaela ordered the Lion King roll.

The bento box came with a good size piece of salmon over onion and broccoli marinated in teriyaki, three small pieces of fried pork called shumai, one California roll, and a helping of white rice.

The Lion King roll was comprised of tempura shrimp, eel cream cheese inside and avocado outside, spiced with masago eel sauce.

A choice of miso soup or house salad topped with ginger dressing was also provided, we both chose salad.

The salad came out almost before I could even blink.

It was a small bowl of mixed greens, a grape tomato, and slice of cucumber. I usually get Italian dressing so the orange ginger dressing was a sight to get used to but it was sweet and started off the lunch nicely.

Michaela ripped open her chopstick packet while I sat there tilting them waiting for them to slide out, it wasn’t until I saw her pack ripped open that I realized I needed to rip them open.

She started eating with ease, I on the other hand couldn’t have looked more American, stabbing lettuce like some caveman yielding a spear.

She tried to assist me but I couldn’t grip it right, thankfully she jerry-rigged mine with a hair tie and the chopstick packet folded and placed to cause pressure point.

We sat for a short time having conversation over salad before the main food was served.

Michaela sat in eagerness waiting for me to give it a try. Naturally I went for what I knew, the broccoli under the salmon.

Breaking a piece off with my chopsticks, I tasted the familiar food and became more comfortable, easing to the salmon, another recognized food.

Teriyaki honestly is one of my favorite ways to season/marinate food.

Next I took a bite of the white rice to realign my flavors and then tried the shumai. It tasted like a fried dumpling and I quickly ate another, saving the third for later in the meal.

At this time Michaela ate some of her food and was waiting for me to try the California roll. The sight stirred a memory deep in my mind, the time I smelled sushi I bought from Kroger and gave away.

A nervous sweat went down my temple as I gulped, slowly reaching for the roll. I grabbed it with the chopsticks and ate the roll. The mushy consistency and variety of flavors filled my mouth.

I would love to say this was when I discovered some love for sushi but it wasn’t, I didn’t like it and gave the other two rolls to Michaela as we laughed.

Sushi just isn’t for me, she had me try the Lion King roll as well and the feeling was the same.

My avocado usually comes in the form of guacamole.

We quickly ate the rest of our meals and that’s when my sake came to the table.

I poured some of the hot liquid into a small porcelain shot glass and took a sip, very hot.

Letting it cool a bit, Michaela convinced me to hurry and drink it back. It tasted just like regular wine but with a bit stronger taste. The rest went down smoothly.

Sitting there waiting to pay and for some of the effect to wear off, I smiled and thanked Michaela for teaching me sushi 101.

Despite not liking the rolls, I enjoyed being there and thought, I need more teriyaki salmon sometime.

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