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Eaten, Barely Blogged: Out-of-Towners

Radegast Hall: The first in a series of weekend dining of the large and loud variety. Because I’m easily set off, I get aggravated whenever I see (and I feel like I see them a lot) where to take the parents to eat round-ups that suggest places like ABC Kitchen, Joseph Leonard or The Modern because…no, just no. No mixology, tasting menus, vegetable-focused menus or general hipness. My mom and her husband, a.k.a. The Stepdude are visiting from Oregon and after violent windstorms, an intensely fruity passionfruit doughnut at Dough and two candy bars from Liddabit (for later, which my mom declared “not sweet like regular candy bars,” which I took not to be a compliment and gave me insight into my preference for sickeningly sweet desserts and diabetic-ness) at the Brooklyn Flea, I became acquainted with Indian Larry, a Williamsburg motorcycle shop that I had no idea existed because I’m totally ignorant of NYC biker culture (or of any geography). My mom had eggs benedict while the rest of us ate burgers, sausages, sauerkraut and fries. It is odd that brunch is table service while bar food is ordered and picked up from a window. Also, we were the only people over 30 in the entire shoulder-to-shoulder communal seating room.

Pio Pio: My first visit to the newish, sprawling, strangely modern location that sprouted up across the street from the original. There is no going wrong with the Matador Combo (avocado and tomato salad, tostones, roast chicken, salchipapas, rice and beans) and really it’s more sensible for four instead of split between two, as is more typical. I prefer sharing the pitcher of sangria between only two glasses, however. There was nicely spiced, not overly acidic corvina ceviche to start, though not everyone loves raw seafood (or un-battered-and-fried seafood, for that matter) so a chicken tamal was also required and enjoyed.

Dinosaur BBQ: Yes, also big, also booming. I couldn’t even get a reservation for four later than 3:30 on a Sunday, which left some time to kill before the 8pm Yankees game (my first, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit) where I ended up wet and frozen—supposedly, lightening even struck the stadium. Luckily, I had been fortified by a brisket and pork ribs combo with baked beans and a beet, greens and goat cheese side, the vegetable of the day that certainly bested the steamed cauliflower and broccoli at Texas Roadhouse. That the ribs–an optimal ratio of fat to smoky meat–were like a hundred times better, nearly goes without saying. And well, technically Dinosaur is a chain, so there.

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  1. tom #

    My father recently visited, and you basically described what I had to go through: “No mixology, tasting menus, vegetable-focused menus or general hipness.”

    I did find a winner taking him to Caracas (no wait in Williamsburg), and it was different yet approachable enough to kinda blow his mind.

    We also visited Radegast (with him i need to keep pale fizzy yellow beer coming to keep conversation from getting too serious).

    Did you order the burger yourself? I did after reading this:

    I have to say for the money I would have much rather got a burger from Five Leaves or Diner. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think it warranted the $13 price tag.

    My friend Bill recommended your blog, and I love reading it. It makes me want to start writing about food again. Thank you and keep it up!

    April 19, 2011

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