Eat This in Montréal

Eat This, Montreal

If you’re a first time visitor, make sure to check out Eat This: An Introduction.

When my friends and I decided to visit Montréal, we expected to see gorgeous old cobblestone streets and hear Canadian French being spoken. What we didn’t expect was how absolutely incredible the Montréal food scene would be. It’s a good thing we walked a lot that trip, because we seriously stuffed our faces with the diverse and delicious food in the beautiful city. I can’t wait to go back!

1. Schwartz’s (Smoked Meat Sandwiches; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: You honestly don’t need this, but here is the menu.
  • Reservations: No – and be prepared to wait in line for at least a half hour.
  • Try: Smoked meat sandwich.
  • Tips: In addition to the smoked meat sandwich, the Montreal version of cherry coke was a favorite at our table. Also, just obey the servers – ours basically just ordered four smoked meat sandwiches for us and we’re so glad we just listened to him. The born-and-bred New Yorker in our group admitted that Schwartz’s was better than Katz’s in Lower East Side, so make sure you get out here.
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Smoked meat sandwich | Schwartz’s | Montreal, CA

2.  Mâche! (Comfort Food; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Mâche! Menu
  • Reservations: No.
  • Try: The pulled pork poutine (à l’Effiloché de porc) and the spicy paté chinois (le “Spicy”).
  • Tips: Come with a friend, or a big group if possible – the food is delicious, but pretty heavy so best if shared. Also, take some time to explore Rue St-Denis when you’re finished eating!
  • Read my Yelp review here.

3. Jean-Talon Market (Market; Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Dessert)

  • Menu: Check out its Yelp page to see all the food here!
  • Reservations: Nope – there are some seating areas both inside and around the market, but it gets crowded!
  • Try:  The tacos near the seating area are amazing, as are the gigantic empanadas. If you love oysters, the crew at La Boîte Aux Huîtres is incredibly kind and knowledgeable.
  • Tips: Pace yourself as you eat your way through. Try fresh gooseberries from the fruit sellers if you’ve never had them. Stroll around to check out all the colorful vegetables, and keep your ears out for the occasional street musicians!

4. Pho Tay Ho (Vietnamese; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Pho Tay Ho Menu
  • Reservations: No.
  • Try: The raw beef salad (bo tai chanh), the pho, any of the gigantic rice vermicelli platters.
  • Tips: Expect a line here. The food is absolutely delicious and portions are HUGE, so come hungry. Seriously the best Vietnamese I’ve had outside of Vietnam.
  • Read my Yelp review here.
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Rice Vermicelli Platter | Pho Tay Ho | Montreal, CA

5. La Panthère Verte (Vegan; Lunch/Dinner/Dessert)

  • Menu: La Panthère Verte Menu
  • Reservations: No.
  • Try: Traditional falafel sandwich.
  • Tips: I’m one of those people who swears by meat and needs it for almost every single meal. La Panthère Verte – The Green Panther in English – is one of those places that make it possible for me to enjoy a meatless meal. The food is also local, and the restaurants (multiple locations) are designed to be sustainable, so check out your surroundings!

 

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Eat This in Philadelphia

Eat This, Philadelphia

If you’re a first time visitor, make sure to check out Eat This: An Introduction.

I spent my college years in Philadelphia, and while I didn’t get out of my college bubble as often as I should have, I do have my favorite food spots in the city. In fact, Philly is one of my favorite food cities in America: it boasts awesome flavors for reasonable prices, unlike some of its other neighbors on the East Coast. I miss Philly and its food dearly. As always, feel free to comment if you have any questions!

1. Primo Hoagies (Hoagies aka Sandwiches; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Primo Hoagies Menu
  • Reservations: No – and some locations don’t even have seating, so you might need to plan for takeout.
  • Try: Any of The Diablos, especially the AuDiablo.
  • Tips: Sandwiches are a pretty hefty portion, so consider getting the smaller size if you’re not a huge eater! Napkins come in handy, since taking those big bites can get messy.

2.  Noord (Northern European; Brunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Noord Menu
  • Reservations: Yes.
  • Try: The mustard soup for an appetizer, and the rabbit confit for an entree. Also, if they have it, the incredible chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
  • Tips: The bread with warm butter and roasted garlic is so delicious. Try not to fill up on that alone, though, because the rest of the food here is great. Fun spot for a date night!
  • Read my Yelp review here.
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Chocolate Bread Pudding | Noord | Philadelphia, PA

3. Philly Flavors (Ice Cream/Italian Ice; Snacks/Dessert)

  • Menu: Philly Flavors Menu
  • Reservations: Nope, grab and go!
  • Try: The Slammers, which is a blend of ice cream AND Italian ice (my personal favorite is the honeydew).
  • Tips: Philly Flavors is a must during the summer. They have so many different flavors of ice cream and Italian ice – don’t be afraid to ask for a sample!

4. Pietro’s (Italian; Brunch/Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Pietro’s Dinner Menu (For other menus, click here).
  • Reservations: Yes – although I’d say you only need them during super busy times like weekend dinners. Otherwise, the space is pretty big!
  • Try: Rigatoni alla Vodka (lunch/dinner); either of the brunch pizzas.
  • Tips: Pietro’s allows for you to order pasta in individual and family sizes, so this is a fun place to come with a big group for birthdays or special occasions!
  • Read my Yelp review here.

5. Reading Terminal Market (Market; Lunch/Dinner/Dessert)

  • Menu: List of Merchants (There are so many places in the market to choose from…)
  • Reservations: No – walk around and follow the smells while keeping an eye out for any seats that open up.
  • Try: The incredibly fluffy pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place (their apple dumpling is also to die for). I’ve tasted a fraction of what the entire market has to offer, though, so really…just follow your nose.
  • Tips: As you can probably tell, this is a huge market with tons of food options inside (sorry it’s kind of cheating to list this as a “restaurant). Reading Terminal is almost always crowded, but especially so on the weekends, so be ready to stand in long lines and to fight for your seats!

Eat This in New York City (Manhattan)

Eat This, New York

If you’re a first time visitor, make sure to check out Eat This: An Introduction.

I spent my first two years of post-college life in the Big Apple, and recently went back for a quick visit. Aside from wandering my lovely old neighborhood of Long Island City and enjoying the Cats on Broadway, we wanted to make sure to eat some of the great food Manhattan has to offer – but it was so hard to choose. There’s pretty much no way to keep the list to five here, but I have to. As always, feel free to comment if you have any questions!

1. The Halal Guys (Food Truck/Mediterranean; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: The Halal Guys Menu
  • Reservations: Nah – this place started out as a food truck!
  • Try: The Chicken and Gyro combo platter.
  • Tips: That red hot sauce is seriously no joke. I say this as someone who freaking loves spicy food – go easy on it, because it could easily ruin the rest of your meal if you go overboard.

2. The Meatball Shop (Meatballs/Italian/American; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: The Meatball Shop Menu
  • Reservations: Nope – be prepared to wait at prime times!
  • Try: The Kitchen Sink. And make sure to leave room for a giant ice cream sandwich at the end!
  • Tips: See above re: amazing ice cream sandwiches. There are so many different ways you can have your meatballs – just mark what you want on the dry-erase laminated menus on the table.
  • Read my Yelp review here.

3. Artichoke Pizza (Pizza; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Artichoke Pizza Menu
  • Reservations: Nah. Grab your slice, eat and go!
  • Try: The Artichoke Pizza, obviously.
  • Tips: Slices are huge, so if you’re not a big eater you may be better off sharing!
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Artichoke Pizza | Artichoke Pizza | New York, NY

4. BCD Tofu House (Korean; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: BCD Tofu House Menu
  • Reservations: No. Oh New York. Yes, there are lines.
  • Try: Soon Tofu, Pajeon, any of the meats
  • Tips: The banchan (side dishes) are free refill aside from the fried fish, so eat away! Be sure to crack in the raw egg while the soup is still bubbling hot.

5. Two Little Red Hens (Bakery; Breakfast/Coffee/Dessert)

  • Menu: Two Little Red Hens Menu
  • Reservations: Nah – just a cute little bakery, with a couple tables for coffee-goers.
  • Try: Coffee Cake, Key Lime Pie Cupcake, Cheesecake.
  • Tips: Lines form here at all times of day and the best bakery items can run out, so try to go on the earlier side if you can!

Eat This in Boulder

Boulder, Eat This

If you’re a first time visitor, make sure to check out Eat This: An Introduction.

My mom and I visited Boulder on a four-day trip, so my experience in the city is really limited. That being said, we loved all that Boulder had to offer – from the gorgeous scenery to the kind residents, the city gave us such a positive vibe with awesome food to boot. As always, feel free to comment if you have any questions!

1. The Mediterranean Restaurant (Tapas, Mediterranean; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: The Med Menu (This is the tapas menu – click around for lunch/dinner!)
  • Reservations: Yes.
  • Try: The tapas, especially the tuna tartare, smoked trout, and bacon-wrapped dates.
  • Tips: This restaurant is affectionately called The Med. Tapas are only available during happy hour from 3-6:30PM, so try and visit in that time frame!
  • Read my Yelp review here.

2.  Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (American; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Mountain Sun Pub Menu
  • Reservations: No.
  • Try: The Date Night Burger. Fries. Also, nachos – toppings in between every layer, unlike some places where only the top chips get the love.
  • Tips: The servers are awesome and great about giving you beers to sample if you’re not sure which one to order! It does get a bit crowded, so try to avoid peak hours.
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The Date Night Burger | Mountain Sun Pub | Boulder, CO

3. The Buff (New American; Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch)

  • Menu: The Buff Menu
  • Reservations: No. Let’s be real, brunch places never take reservations.
  • Try: The Olé Skillet.
  • Tips: A lot of their menu items come with either queso or pork green chili. No need to choose – just get both! Portions are pretty big here.

4. Snooze (New American; Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch)

  • Menu: Snooze (Colorado) Menu
  • Reservations: No. Ditto The Buff above this.
  • Try: Chili Verde Benny, Benny Duo
  • Tips: Snooze has great options for people who just want to try everything: the Benny Duo lets you pick two different types of eggs benedict from their menu, while the Pancake Flight allows you to choose any three pancakes! Be warned that the Pancake Flight is on the sweeter side and isn’t huge – for a big, savory eater like me, it wasn’t enough by itself!

5. Boulder Baked (Sweets/Bakeries; Lunch/Dinner/Dessert)

  • Menu: Boulder Baked Menu (This is the partial dessert menu – click around for others!)
  • Reservations: No.
  • Try: The wonderfully warm cookies – there are so many to choose from. Also loved the lemon cupcake and the strawberry shortcake cupcake.
  • Tips: The cookies are baked on the spot, so be prepared to wait 10-15 minutes!

 

Eat This in Tampa

Eat This, Tampa

If you’re a first time visitor, make sure to check out Eat This: An Introduction.

My boyfriend hails from Tampa, so we’re often back in his hometown to visit family and to enjoy the warm weather. While Tampa is known for beaches, strip clubs, and cigars, it also has a ton of great food to offer. As always, feel free to comment if you have any questions!

1. Bern’s Steakhouse (Steakhouses; Dinner)

  • Menu: Bern’s Menu
  • Reservations: Yes, this is a must for Bern’s.
  • Try: The steak, of course, but the Red Snapper a la Plancha is also excellent. For sides, don’t skip the Okinawa sweet potato.
  • Tips: Don’t skip the dessert room!
  • Read my Yelp review here.

2. Wright’s Gourmet (Sandwiches; Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Wright’s Menu
  • Reservations: Nah, this place is casual!
  • Try: The Monte Cristo sandwich, Turkey & Pecan Salad Plate, Alpine Cake
  • Tips: The sandwiches are amazing, but so are the salads and the cakes. Order take-out. Avoid lunch hour at all costs.

3. Datz  (New American; Brunch/Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Datz Menu
  • Reservations: No can do – prepare to wait in line during busy times like lunch and brunch.
  • Try: Barry C’s Stuffed Meatloaf, Sriracha Patty Melt
  • Tips: Parking’s kind of a pain, but you can find some more if you go down the street right next to Datz.
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Jalapeno Mac ‘N’ Cheese | Datz | Tampa, FL

4. Oystercatchers  (American/Seafood; Brunch/Lunch/Dinner)

  • Menu: Oystercatchers Menu
  • Reservations: Yes.
  • Try: Oyster (obviously!), Ale Battered Fish & Chips
  • Tips: Great view of the bay, so ask to be seated by the windows. The smoky seasoning they provide with the butter and bread is awesome.

5. Rooster and the Till (New American; Dinner)

  • Menu: Rooster and the Till Menu
  • Reservations: Yes.
  • Try: Cheese and Charcuterie; BBQ Pork Neck with Scallops; Gnocchi with Short Ribs and Smoke Ricotta
  • Tips: Ambiance is on the darker side and great for dates.
  • Read my Yelp review here.

Eat This: An Introduction

Eat This

Welcome! Eat This is a section of my website I’ve created with a personal list of restaurant and food recommendations (hover over the “Food” tab on the main menu to find this page).

I will be the first to say that I do not have a refined taste. I love food – no, I love many foods. And I’m one of those people who thinks everything tastes good, who can’t tell the difference between two different types of chili, who thinks anything tastes better with truffle – like I said, I do not have a refined taste.

That being said, I do of course still judge the restaurants I go to. And I have menu items that I like more than others – for example, I absolutely love meat and need it with most of my meals. As someone who’s been lucky enough to have eaten in a variety of cities, I’m excited to share my own favorite places to eat.

You’ll notice that Eat This is organized by city. I’ve tried to keep my recommendations at 5 places per city, because I’ve often noticed for myself that I’m overwhelmed when I have too many choices. Yes, I have eaten at 100% of the places that I recommend – and more. I will occasionally update the pages if I try a new restaurant that edges out an existing one.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like any additional recommendations, and enjoy eating!

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Shrimp and Grits | Edgehill Cafe | Nashville, TN

 

P.S. Generally speaking, I value the following when I judge a restaurant, so keep this in mind as you consider my recommendations:

  • Interesting ingredients. Given that I don’t have refined taste, I’m not one who can appreciate that so-and-so makes the best fried chicken around – because all fried chickens will taste similar to me. However, if said fried chicken is served with cool ingredients that I’ve never really gotten to taste before, then we’re talking.
  • Value Proposition. One of the topics I blog about is saving money, so you can bet that I will be judging my dining experience on whether it’s really worth the money. Going to a restaurant and overpaying for a boring, simple meal is one of the worst experiences I could have. I also tend to shy away from ordering carbs (i.e. fried rice, noodles) because I know in my head how ridiculous the markup is for something that’s mostly made of such a cheap staple.

Conversely, here are things I don’t really think about in my dining experience:

  • Drinks. I’m not a huge alcohol drinker and will not pretend to know anything about beer, wine, or anything alcoholic.
  • Cleanliness. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. If the food’s good, I don’t really care if it’s in a gross little alley. Food poisoning? Shrugged off in 24 hours. Remember that Per Se in New York once got a C rating – but who cares? The restaurant is probably still amazing.