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Monday, November 28, 2011

Binga's Stadium Smokehouse and Sportsbar- Portland, Maine

We went to Binga's Stadium on 77 Free Street in Portland Maine because we had been in town for a boxing event and at the event they told us to bring our ticket stub in for half price wings. So with money savings on our mind we went out to lunch the very next day. We got to Binga's right at opening and we were starving as we had skipped Breakfast. It is located directly across from the Civic Center so I imagine it must get busy after Hockey games. However, we went on Sunday morning and had the place to ourselves. From the outside Binga's looks like every other neighboor hood bar, but inside it is very clean and actually pretty swanky. There are TV's everywhere showing the games and even separate TVs for the individual seating booths. The bar has a huge assortment of beers on tap. Just as large as the beer assortment is the wing sauce assortment, 28 to be exact ranging from the traditional Buffalo to Peanut Butter and Jelly. You can have your wings three different ways. Smoked, Breaded or Boneless Tenders.  We decided to try the smoked with a Buffalo Bacon Nacho Sauce. 

The wings arrived hot and messy, The Bacon laced Cheesy Buffalo Sauce was perfect with the meaty smoked wings and drumsticks. They were moist and had a decent amount of meat on them. They were top notch and served with a side of Blanch, with is a combo of Ranch and Blue Cheese dressing.  If you're smart, take the left over dressing and put it to the side to dip your fries in later, you will not regret it.

After destroying the wings , it was time to tackle the entrees. Simone ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich with pickles. Personally, I find pickles repulsive however Simone really likes them and such enjoyed her sandwich. The pork was moist, tender and smokey with just a hint of sauce. The bun was very good, fresh and hearty from a local bakery and it sopped up the juices nicely. It came with a side of chips that we left for the next customer.

For my meal I went with the Kimwich. House made Smoked Pastrami is griddled  with melted Swiss and then topped with Red Cabbage slaw, house sauce and served on that great bakery fresh bun. This sandwich was awesome, The Pastrami with it juices and Swiss were grilled to a golden brown crisp together on the grill and combined for a delicious blend of salt and smoke. The slaw was not the creamy kind, but vinegar based and lent a perfect crunch to the sandwich.  I could eat ten of these if I didn't care about my arteries.

 I ordered fresh house made fries with my sandwich  and Simone and I spilt those. Although not as crispy as I like my fries to be, they were still very good especially when used to mop up the leftover wing sauce and dip.

Overall this was a get down and dirty sticky hands meal. It was pure goodness. This was a great authentic BBQ find in Portland and we will be back many more times. 5 stars for Binga's.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love Burgers- Palazzo Hotel and Casino ,Las Vegas

Who don't love burgers ? This was the question that I asked my wife as we passed by the sign while shopping at the Grand Canal Shops at The Palazzo in Las Vegas during our most recent vacation to sin city.
So it was we decided that for our next Culinary adventure we would sit down and gorge ourselves at I Love Burgers. The dining room is large with plenty of seating and lots of TVs to watch the games on. The menu is not overwhelming so you should not spend an hour trying to make a decision on what to eat (aka, that's you my dear wife). 

For our appetizer we went with Mac and Cheese Nuggets. Little gems of Mac and Cheese breaded, fried and topped with shredded Parmesan are served with a side of spicy cheese sauce, because what else would be served with cheese but more cheese ? We finished these off pretty quickly and easily.

We could talk about my wife Simone's choice for an entree but I'm going to be honest, I don't want to. It was basically Eggplant Parmesan in a hamburger bun. Yes it was good, but why you would order a vegetarian burger at a place the specializes in cooking MEAT Hamburgers is beyond me. So on to some real food.

 I love Bacon... oh yes... Bacon Bacon Bacon... The I love bacon burger is kinda insane and you probably should consult you doctor before partaking in it. It is half a pound of ground sirloin and ground bacon pattied together and grilled up into one delectable smoky juicy mouth full of a burger meal. On top of this god like burger is yet more crispy applewood bacon, smokey Gouda cheese, fried onion straws and of course bacon mayonnaise. Absurdly delicious and filling, this was a treat for the tummy.
Not that it was at all needed but we also ordered a not to be missed side of crispy thin cut Garlic Parmesan dusted french fries and managed to get most of those down also. As I was being rolled out on that stretcher by the paramedics, I couldn't help but smile about my I love Burger adventure. 4 Stars.