Bad Chain Restaurants IX – Taco Hell; Hellacious Tacos

A few weeks ago, Otis M. of the food blog Burnt My Fingers, wrote a Yelp review of a tiny Mexican restaurant in South Glens Falls, Taqueria GDL. And when I say tiny, I’m not exaggerating. The building is about the size of a two stall garage, with around 5 or 6 tables within. It sits on the southbound side of Route 9, in an area that’s sort of ‘urban barren’, to coin a phrase.

Otis loved the tacos, claiming they’re Magical…”. He tried three varieties and raved “…each was the best of its kind I have ever tasted.”

The best he’d ever tasted? Heady claims indeed.

Coming from just anyone I’d write it off as irrational exuberance or inexperience, but Otis knows his stuff, and he has credibility with me. Plus, the photos he posted backed up his claim. Those tacos looked legit. Despite it being a 50 minute drive up the Northway from my home in Albany, I had to check them out for myself.

Before I get to Taqueria GDL; I had so much fun writing the piece comparing the lobster roll at Troy Kitchen to McDonald’s, I wanted to do a similar comparison with tacos. So I also stopped into La Mexicana Grocery in Schenectady, and my local Taco Bell, eating a sampling of tacos at each.

The crazy things I do for this blog.

Continue reading “Bad Chain Restaurants IX – Taco Hell; Hellacious Tacos”

Trader Joe’s Bacon Jerky

I was leafing through the pile of junk mail we get everyday, and in that mess was the March edition of the Fearless Flyer. Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer is their monthly mailing in which they highlight new and not so new items for sale at the stores. It’s written in a quaint, campy, conversational tone and is fun to look through.

One of the things that makes TJ’s special, are it’s excellent house brand processed foods. Everyone has their favorites. Currently, some of mine are the mac-n-cheese bites (these are worthy of their own post), the mini mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, and I’m also a fan of their Indian inspired frozen entrées, among others. They are constantly introducing new, interesting items, so the flyer is worth a look. You can pick it up at the store or sign up for it on their website.

Continue reading “Trader Joe’s Bacon Jerky”

The Ghost Chili Hot Sauce at Mokomandy

About once a year I travel to the Washington DC area for work. When I travel, it’s always difficult to find good restaurants—sorry, let me rephrase that—it’s difficult to find special restaurants. I’m talking about places that are unique, and have dishes that are memorable. The kind of dishes you don’t forget about the next day. Dishes you dream about long after you’ve eaten them.

Thanks to a question I asked on one of the message boards on yelp, I found such a place. Mokomandy.

Mokomandy is very much like a gastropub. Gastropubs take typical bar food and kick it up a notch. They turn dishes you’ve had a thousand times, and transform them into something special by using higher quality ingredients, and preparing them in unique and interesting ways.

Mokomandy is a mashup of Korean, Cajun and American food. Korean and Cajun? Now that’s special. They also have an excellent beer selection, and a creative cocktail menu. The food is primarily Korean and Cajun comfort dishes. I enjoyed everything I had there but one thing stood out as extra special. The house made ghost chili hot sauce.

Ghost Chilis or Bhut Jolokia, as they are also known are the hottest chili peppers in the world. Chili peppers are rated on what’s called the Scoville scale, which measures a chili’s heat. For comparison, jalapeños are rated at between 3 and 8 thousand Scoville units. Ghost Peppers are rated at over 1 MILLION. That’s about 200 times hotter than a jalapeño! Yikes.

Continue reading “The Ghost Chili Hot Sauce at Mokomandy”