For me, McDonalds. No, not the place with the clown, arches, and drive-through windows. This McDonalds was a steak house in Pearl River, NY (just over the border from northern NJ). The entire place was adorned with guns. Guns on the cieling, walls, everywhere. Great steaks, neighborhood-y kind of place. To differentiate between the fast food place, we called this place "McDonalds with the Guns".
Friendly's in Fayetteville, NY, back in the day before the chain became a whacky, bright-colored kiddy place. The New England clam chowder, crinkle-cut French fries, shaved ice in the soda, and the sundaes. My dad would order the Jim Dandy Sundae. Good stuff.
Any suggestions on a good place to get some really good Texas Chili? We used to go to Bar J TexMex Restaurant out on Gordon's Blvd towards Lake Ridge but since they've closed their doors we can't find anything that has really good Texas Chili? from Susie Phillips - firstname.lastname@example.org
Susie, thanks for the question. There is no easy answer here as good Texas Chili is hard to come by. Having never visited Bar J, we really don’t have a comparison answer for you other than to sacrifice really good with good plus variety. For that, I suggest any of the chain of Hard Times Cafes in Northern Virginia (www.hardtimes.com). I think anyone you ask will mention Ben’s Chili Bowl, but for my money (and palate) I say stay away. Ben’s is more novelty than substance. I mention variety because Hard Times serves its chili in not only four different varieties, but on and with a number of applications. I’ve tried all four and even though I think the Terlingua Red is best, they have the standard Texas as well as Cincinnati Chili (not too crazy about the Cincinnati since it is too over-the-top with cinnamon). They even serve a vegetarian chili. They apply their chili to spaghetti, tater tots, over corn bread, and my personal favorite over a healthy portion of Fritos Corn Chips. You can also just get a plain ol’ bowl of chili.There are many outlets, check out their website for exact locations. I do know of one in Woodbridge (close to Lake Ridge) but they’re all over the place. I even found one at National’s Stadium in DC during a game I attended last baseball season. Hope that helps, and thanks again for commenting on the Restaurant Blog.Bill & Elena