Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can there be good service in Centerville ???

IGGY's in Centerville, UT

OK now, in my last food critique (The Counter), I mentioned two simple but important aspects to make for a great eating out food experience:

1) Good Food
2) Good Service

(By the way, I need to pause here and mention that The Counter has a great waiter in Tim).

Now, back to Iggy's ...

We found good food, but we found EXCEPTIONAL service in a waiter .. Slava. He comes from the Czech Republic and is here studying (currently getting his MBA).

He was attentive in every way possible. He offered suggestions, he brought out condiment suggestions to try with our food. He was intuitive enough to know what we needed. He even gave us Lemonade (no charge) to take home with us.

But even beyond this, he was absolutely polite, well spoken and a wonderful example of what food service ought to be !!!

On our way out, we spoke with the Manager. He asked how we liked our experience, and we of course gave our THUMBS UP !! He told us that Slava has received "rave" reviews and also "definitely has ESP". We fully concur.

Now, my wife had a wonderful Chicken Sausilito which was in a wonderful Carbonara sauce. It was accompanied by rice and vegetables. I had their meatloaf, which was wonderfully flavored with a combination of ground beef, ground Italian sausage and ground chicken. All this with an appetizer, dessert and drinks for a good value price !!

SO .. try it out. And if you're lucky (and privileged) enough , you too can enjoy the wonderful service of Slava.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

Something that I've enjoyed making for a Sunday dinner is Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. This is something that's simple, and everyone will enjoy !!

3 to 4 Pound Beef Roast (Chuck, Bottom Round, or the cut of beef you want)
Beef Stock
Chicken Stock

Remove the roast from the refrigerator. Let it sit out so that the meat relaxes at room temperature.

In the meantime, I use a cast iron enamel pan/pot that I can cook both on the stove and in the oven. You can get these rather inexpensive at Target or Kohls (by the way .. they're great to have).

Salt and Pepper both sides of the roast. Lightly massage the salt and pepper into the roast. Let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Take the cast iron enamel pan and place on the stove and heat at Medium High Heat. Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the pan and let the oil heat up until it slightly starts to smoke. Add the roast to the pan and sear on each side about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Once the roast has seared, remove the roast from the pan and add a little beef broth and scrape up the roast bits from the bottom of the pan (there's lots of flavor with those beef bits).

In the meanwhile, turn on your oven to 325 Degrees.

Put back the roast into the pan and add more beef broth and some chicken broth until it almost covers the roast. Put on the lid of the pan and transfer to the oven. This is called braising, which is a wonderful technique to cook meat.

Take this pan and put into the oven and let cook approximately 2-1/2 hours. LOW and SLOW is the key. If you cook meat LOW and SLOW, the fibrous tissues within the meat will come apart and you will have delicious and tender meat.

After 2-1/2 hours, open the lid to check the meat. Make sure that it's tender. If it still tastes a little chewy, put back into the oven. Drop the temperature to 290 Degrees and cook for another 30 minutes. Again .. LOW and SLOW. You want the fibrous tissues to disappear and you want tender meat. LOW and SLOW.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the roast from the pan and let it sit out for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. You want the meat to rest so that all the juices infuse back into the entire roast. If you were to cut into the meat immediately after removing from the pan, all the juices are at the edge of the meat and the center will be dry.

In the meantime, you can take your juices that are still in the pan and that becomes your Au Jus if you want to dip your sandwiches.

Cut the meat into thin slices. Serve on good buns with cheese and condiments of your choice !!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Counter

Enter into the SLC restaurant scene a welcome, refreshing restaurant at the south end of Gateway. This is not just your normal, everday burgers. Here you can create and customize your creations every step of the way.

Choose your meat (Beef, Chicken, Turkey or Veggie)
Choose your size
Choose how you want it (On a bun or in a bowl on top of iceberg or baby greens)

Choose your toppings, condiments, your sauce (there's also a sauce of the month), type of cheese and bun (if you're doing the traditional burger) and you're on your way.

We've been here many times and are impressed by the TWO things which are the basics to any good (or GREAT) restaurant:

1. Good Food, and
2. Good Service

This place has both. We've tried many variations and have liked them all.

So, check it out. Below is the web link to check them out ...

The Gateway, 188 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City - (801) 297-1000