25 November 2010

Where I ate in the USA: Snapshot Summary (11 Oct - 2 Nov 2010)

Super sizing in the USA

Thanks to all those readers who provided me excellent suggestions on where to try and eat in the USA. With the limited time I had it ended up being quite a challenge to get to all of them but I've discovered many places that I'd love to return to one day and try. The day I left I weighed myself in at 78.5 kg. Arriving back I weighed in at 79.5 kg, so it seems I only gained about 1 kg — thankfully the super sizing was counteracted by all the sightseeing I guess.

Some of my trip highlights were riding and holding onto a cable car in San Francisco even though it's so touristy — I chose the one that went past the top of Lombard Street. Watching the sea lions at Pier 39, checking out Alcatraz and visiting Yosemite to see up close how amazingly big the sequoia trees really are. Discovering Hog Island Oysters stand at the delicious weekend Ferry Building Farmers Market and checking out the brilliant view from the Top of the Mark and deciding which martini cocktail to choose from the 100 listed. In Las Vegas it was being overwhelmed with how bloody big these hotels and casinos were and having the chance to check out the Grand Canyon via helicopter to appreciate its beauty and vastness. The Cirque du Soleil Zumanity show was really good as well. In New York it was checking out the view from the Top of the Rock — go for the sunset view— and having one of the most delicious Pastrami on Rye sandwiches from Katz's Delicatessen that one could possibly ever find in the world. Relaxing in Hawaii was pretty good but even better was experiencing the craziness of Halloween night in Waikiki which was awesome — I've never seen so many amazing costumes in all my life in one place. Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay was also a treat seeing lots of fish up close. The Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village was lots of fun watching the Polynesian dance performances and where I miraculously won a conch shell blowing competition out of three contestants.

I hope to provide more comprehensive reviews on some of the places I've visited, if not all of them, in future blog posts but for now here's a summary list of all the places I visited including sightseeing and also a list of places I sadly missed out on but wanted to try — perhaps you'll get a chance to visit.


Boudin - Clam chowder in sourdough bowl
160 Jefferson Street, San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. - Prawns made famous by Forrest Gump
Pier 39, San Francisco

Colibri - Mexican bistro
438 Geary Street, San Francisco

Lori's Diner - 24 hours
336 Mason Street, San Francisco
Sears Fine Foods
439 Powell Street, San Francisco

The Stinking Rose - Everything has garlic
325 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
Domaine - Chandon
1 California Drive, Yountville, Napa Valley

420 First Street East, Sonoma

Tadich Grill - Seafood
240 California Street, San Francisco

Top of the Mark - 100 Martinis menu, great view
InterContinental - Mark Hopkins, 1 Nob Hill, San Francisco

Pinecrest Diner - 24 hours
401 Geary Street, San Francisco

The Slanted Door - Asian Fusion
One Ferry Building, San Francisco

Bisou - French
2367 Market Street, San Francisco

House of Nanking - Chinese / They deep fry their potstickers - FAIL!
919 Kearny Street, San Francisco

Lefty O'Douls - Drinks and pub food
333 Geary Street, San Francisco

Fish and Chips - Basic fried food
817 Bridgeway, Sausalito

Hamburger - Freshly cooked to order
737 Bridgeway, Sausalito

Ghiradelli Chocolate
Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco

Hog Island Oyster Co. - Freshly shucked oysters
Ferry Building Marketplace, San Francisco

The Spinnaker - Nice view
100 Spinnaker Drive, Sausalito

In-N-Out Burger
333 Jefferson Street, San Francisco

Swan Oyster Depot - Seafood
1517 Polk Street, San Francisco

Le Colonial - Vietnamese
20 Cosmo Place, San Francisco

Gary Danko
800 North Point Street, San Francisco

• Sea lions at Pier 39
• Ferry to Sausalito
• Yosemite with Extranomical Tours
• Chinatown
• Castro - Night clubs

Hotel Monaco
501 Geary Street, San Francisco

View San Francisco Food Wishlist in a larger map


Tropical Breeze Cafe
Flamingo, Las Vegas

Village Seafood Buffet
Rio, Las Vegas

Fatburger - 24 hours
3763 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas

Cafe Bellagio
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas

Buffet - lots of variety including Alaskan King Crab
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas

• Fremont Street Experience
• The Eiffel Tower Experience, Paris
• Shark Reef, Mandalay Bay
• Show in the Sky, Rio
• The Mirage Volcano, The Mirage

• Cirque du Soleil 'Zumanity'
• Cirque du Soleil 'O'
X Burlesque, Flamingo
Crazy Horse Paris, MGM Grand
• Visiting all the casinos
• M&M World (Free)
• Lion Habitat, MGM Grand (Free)
• Wildlife Habitat, Flamingo (Free)
• Fall of Atlantis Fountain, Caesars Palace (Free)
• Fountains, Bellagio (Free)
• Sirens of TI, Treasure Island (Free)
• Discounts at Tix 4 Tonight
• Hoover Dam, Helicopter Ride, Boat Ride, South Rim of Grand Canyon with Sweetours
Las Vegas Premium Outlets - 875 S Grand Central Parkway
The Bank - Nightclub, Bellagio

3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas

View Las Vegas Food Wishlist in a larger map


Moonstruck on Second - 24 hour diner
88 2nd Avenue, New York

Mud Truck - Decent coffee
Astor Place, 4th Ave & 8th Street, New York

Five Guys - Burgers and Fries
36 W 48th Street, New York

Forum - Bar
127 Fourth Ave (12th and 13th), New York

McDonalds - Side of grand piano
160 Broadway, New York

Two Boots To Go West - Gourmet pizza slices
201 West 11th Street, New York

Magnolia Bakery - Cupcakes
401 Bleecker Street, New York

Onieal's - Bar (SATC cosmopolitan stop)
174 Grand Street, New York

Fig & Olive - Nice food and decor
808 Lexington Avenue, New York

Stōgo - Gourmet Organic Dairy-Free Ice Cream
159 2nd Avenue, New York

Russ & Daughters - Bagels
179 East Houston Street, New York

Katz's Delicatessen - Best Pastrami on Rye
205 East Houston Street, New York

Inexpensive Delicacies Company - Cheap Fried Dumplings, 4 for only $1
99 Allen Street, New York

Joe's Shanghai Restaurant - Dumplings
9 Pell Street, New York

Gray's Papaya - $1.50 Hot dog
402 Sixth Ave, New York

Two Boots To Go West - Gourmet pizza slices
201 West 11th Street, New York

taim - Freshly cooked falafel
222 Waverly Place, New York

winebar - Nice place for a drink and cheese platter
65 Second Ave, New York

Mayahuel - Hidden sexy bar with tequila cocktails and mexican tapas
304 East 6th Street, New York

New York's Farmers Market
Union Square - Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat

Shake Shack - Burger, Fries, Shakes
Madison Square Park, New York

Empanada Mama - Empanadas and sangria
763 9th Avenue, New York

momofuku ssam bar
207 2nd Avenue, New York

Pommes Frites - Belgian fries and sauces
123 2nd Avenue, New York

Eataly Gelato
200 5th Avenue, New York

Buddakan - Modern Asian, Great decor
75 9th Avenue, New York

John's Pizzeria of Bleecker Street
278 Bleecker Street, New York

Pearl Oyster Bar - Lobster roll
18 Cornelia Street, New York

2nd Ave Deli - Kosher Restaurant
162 East 33rd Street, New York

Rosa Mexicano - Guacamole
9 East 18th Street, New York

Stand4 - Toasted marshmallow milkshake
24 E 12th Street, New York

Mary's Fish Camp - Lobster roll
64 Charles Street, New York

Veniero's - Pastries and cakes
342 East 11th Street, New York

Rickshaw Dumpling Bar - Dumplings
61 West 23rd Street, New York

Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Coffee
20 West 29th Street, New York

Murray's Bagels
500 Avenue of the Americas, New York

Billy's Bakery - Cupcakes
75 Franklin Street, New York

Lombardi's Pizza - Pizza
32 Spring Street, New York

this little piggy had roast beef - Roast beef
149 1st Avenue, New York

Crif Dogs - Hot dogs
113 Saint Marks Place, New York

Mama's Food Shop
200 East 3rd Street

Dumpling Man - Dumplings
100 Saint Marks Place, New York

• Flatiron building
Museum of Sex - Interesting gift shop — not for the shy
• Times Square – Spot the Naked Cowboy(s)
Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Centre
• Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
Charging Bull, Wall Street
Staten Island Ferry - Free ferry to take photo of Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - 'Suggested' admission price is $20 but you can say you want to donate $1 and they'll let you in
Ricky's NYC - One stop fancy dress shop

321 East 6th Street, BELL #3, New York (between First and Second Ave)

View NYC Food Wishlist in a larger map


Yard House - World's largest selection of draft beer
Waikiki Beach Walk, Waikiki

Duke's Restaurant
2335 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu

Hula Grill
2335 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu

Roy's Waikiki Beach
226 Lewers Street, Honolulu

Ocean House
Ocean Front, Outrigger Reef Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu

Kani Ka Pila Grille - Nightly free music
Courtyard, Outrigger Reef Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu

Shorebird - $3.50 Mai Tai specials
Beach Front, Outrigger Reef Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu

Leonard's Bakery - Freshly made Portuguese donuts
933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu

The Cheesecake Factory
2301 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu

Rainbow Drive-In - Cheap local hawaiian food
3308 Kanaina Avenue, Honolulu

Waiola Shave Ice
3113 Mokihana Street, Honolulu

Mac 24/7 - Pancakes
2500 Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu

Haili's Hawaiian Foods
760 Palani Avenue, Honolulu

Ono Hawaiian Foods
726 Kapahula Avenue, Honolulu

• Hanauma Bay Snorkelling
• Aloha Tower Marketplace
• International Market Place
Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village
• Swimming in Waikiki Beach
• King's Village Shopping Center
Fusion - Female-impersonator shows
• Halloween night - Lots of great costumes

Outrigger Reef on the Beach

View Hawaii Food Wishlist in a larger map


BGDino said...

I looove clam chowder from Boudin's, I think I could have eaten it every day I was in SF (I think I almost did!). And how cute were the sea lions? I reckon they like hanging out by the pier cos maybe lots of the restaurants there have spare fish :P

Looks like you had a good time!

thang @ noodlies said...

wow, what a great comprehensive list!

Rebecca @InsideCuisine.com said...

WOWZA that is such a comprehensive list - just the thing - can't wait to get over there and try some of your suggestions ... THX Becca

OohLookBel said...

Talk about attention to detail, and you ate at many places. Well done for the very modest weight gain. And I noticed that McDonalds Broadway is not a 'Simon Favourite', lol?!?

Gastronomy Gal said...

Oh my gosh- you are at a LOT of places!!! Sounds like a cool trip and I'm impressed with the 1kg weight gain. That's nothing!!

Seafood Naples said...

We recommend a gratuity of 15-20% and we don't think it's accurate to estimate a waiter's average hourly wage based on how much time a waiter appears to spend during one particular meal. Even if a waiter spends only 15 minutes on a particular patron during dinner time, that may be the busiest time of the entire week, and the waiter may be counting on those tips to compensate for slower periods. Also, tips are sometimes shared among other employees, such as the kitchen and bus staff.

Simon Leong said...

hi bgdino, i loved the sea lions. they were so funny.

hi thang, hope to post some of the reviews before the end of the year. so many so little time :-)

hi rebecca, be sure to focus on the SIMON FAVOURITES if you want to narrow down the list :-)

hi bel, i wanted to eat at so many more but my stomach couldn't keep up with me. hehe about macca at broadway although it's worth checking it out for the piano playing.

hi gastronomy gal, and that was just scraping the surface of what's on offer. yeah i'm pretty happy with only 1 kg weight gain although it feels like more at times.

hi seafood naples, it certainly seemed like the minimum tip expected was 15%. very foreign to most aussies i think.

Lisa G said...

Simon - Thanks for your NYC insights, I'm going in Feb and will definitely use your favourites as part of my planning guide. The pommes frites are calling...
and it would be a bloody miracle if I only gained 1kg on a trip like that...
Loving your writing!

Simon Leong said...

hi lisa, i hope you enjoy NYC as much as i did but just make sure you find time to research beforehand where you want to go as once you arrive it's so overwhelming with all the choices. :-)

Belinda said...

Glad that my suggestion of clam chowder was one of your favourites! :)

Simon Leong said...

hi belinda, thanks heaps :-)

Anonymous said...

This post is great. My friends and I are trawling through the NY section. We are going for holidays there in a month. I've already started marking the GF places.

Any tips for a quick stop in LA. We have 8hrs there, so not too sure where we should head for food that is close enough to the airport, but still not too far from good food.

Simon Leong said...

hi Lil Miss Stack It, glad it's been helpful. I haven't been to LA so not sure what to recommend but if i was going i'd start by checking out http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/5/Los-Angeles-restaurants.html :-)

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