Archive for category Mighty Rib Top 20
#5 Polynesia Cafe Kauai, HI
“Gourmet Food on a Paper Plate”…that’s Polynesia Cafe’s slogan. Went there twice on my trip to Hawaii a few years back. It’s definitely held a place in my heart. When you are in a spot as nice as Kauai, I’m sure it makes great food become memorable food. I’m told Polynesia serves breakfast and lunch. Not for me they don’t. Located in the northern tip of the island in a town called Hanalei, Polynesia is a walk-up, laid back restaurant that’s best visited an hour before sunset. Grab a pulled pork sandwich, an order of sesame chicken, and head about 10 minutes west to Kei’i Beach. Park yourself down with your meal and enjoy one of the world’s best sunsets. Ok, now back to the food. The Hawaiians have mastered the pig…this is quite evident when you take a bite of that pulled pork sandwich. Very tasty and it doesn’t hurt that Polynesia bakes their own wheat buns. The sesame chicken is the best I’ve ever had…and it looks fancy to boot. There’s just a lot going on in that extra sturdy paper plate. Polynesia, like everything else in Hawaii, is in no rush. Fast service is not one of their strong points. Expect a long line at Polynesia. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to catch that sunset.
#6 Chompie’s Phoenix, AZ
This is getting very tough. My final six restaurants are on a different level than the rest. Take nothing away from the others, but we are in serious territory with these last few. I stumbled upon Chompie’s a few years back on a Spring Training baseball trip with my brother. The baseball was great…Chompie’s was better. You may be in the desert, but when you walk through the doors of this deli, you are sent straight back to Queens, NY. It’s really hard to even know where to begin, so I’ll start with bagel chips. Their version of chips and salsa….the wise owners of Chompie’s feel no need wasting stale bagels. After a basket of those, I move on to the classic good matzo ball soup. A sandwich usually follows. Can’t go wrong with a mile-high pastrami or corned beef. Not into sandwiches? Don’t worry, at Chompie’s you could go an entire year and never order the same thing…I’ve never seen a bigger menu and I’ve never gotten something bad. I went there three times that first trip and twice when I went back two years later. Tried out the breakfast skillet on my second go round and was not disappointed. Did I mention the bakery? Leaving Chompie’s without a Black and White cookie is a sin. I’ve been to several NY-style delis through the years. None uphold that true New York feel like Chompie’s.
#7 Roberto’s Seafood and Steak Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Inching my way closer to the top of my restaurant mountain with Robert’s at #7. I know…Puerto Vallarta is technically not in the country. But it’s flooded with American tourists, and Roberto’s is so good, I just couldn’t leave it off my list. I discovered Roberto’s on my honeymoon while in the old town part of Puerto Vallarta. For many years, this place topped my charts based on the Lobster Rockefeller I consumed. Why? Oh, I don’t know…how does lobster sauteed in wine, with spinach, mushrooms and cheese sound? This dish is truly amazing. I can still picture it almost eight years later. I savored every bite, knowing full well I may never be back there again. I had soup that night as well. I remember is was great, but other than that, can’t offer many details. You can get any seafood under the sun at Roberto’s…scallops, red snapper, crab, shrimp…you name it. Roberto’s also offers standard Mexican food plates, hot and cold tapas, as well as choice steaks. They even have paella. Paella is never a bad thing. One day I will go back to PV. I will get the Lobster Rockefeller, and life will be good.
#8 Teotihuacan Mexican Restaurant Houston, TX
Say that three times. What Teo’s lacks in name choice, they make up for in food. Go to the Airline location and park yourself on the deck. Start out with a frozen margarita and a small order of the beef steak nachos. Teo’s take on the nacho offers a more personalized touch. You won’t find a mess of chips piled high with various fixings. Each chip is individually dressed with cheddar cheese, refried beans, and tender beef steak. Guac, sour cream and tomatoes are there for the dippin’. I’ve never had better nachos, and often times this is all I get. Everything from the tacos al carbon to enchiladas to fried avocados are fantastic. Teo’s represents the best all-around Mexican eating experience in Houston. Wake up early on Saturday morning and take the family for a dynamite breakfast. All the standards are there…migas, breakfast tacos, and a can’t miss huevos rancheros. There’s nothing better than mopping up the egg yolk with a fresh, homemade tortilla…or two…or three. Teo’s has gotten very popular over the last few years. Most people realize the food is a lot better than Spanish Flowers, the iconic restaurant located just a few blocks away. Finding a table could prove to be challenging on a Friday night. I’d get there by six or prepare to wait.