Friday, June 15, 2007

Comment on Sheldon's review

I appreciated the Sheldon's review by "Nathaniel Glen", or whatever her real name is (she's a he, but that's ok - ed), as far as it went, but what was missing was recognition that Sheldon's isn't just a local restaurant, it's a local institution. Below is a brief review of Sheldon's that I wrote for the Gabby Gourmet Restaurant Guide several years ago. The Shermans, who own the restaurants, have broad and deep ties in the military, education and religious communities in The Springs going back decades, and the restaurants were and are very much a family enterprise. Also, from purely a dining perspective, the almost obsessive quality concern of Sheldon's owners and staff, was hinted at but, in my humble opinion, inadequately emphasized (unless one counts the french fry raves of the vegetarian who shouldn't have been there in the first place). Many people order their Thanksgiving turkeys from Sheldon's due to that high quality. And, speaking of turkey, tell "Nathaniel" to go back on a Friday for the open-faced turkey sandwich smothered in gravy. That will be her new standard.

Eat on!

Bob Rennick
Colorado Springs


Sheldon’s Luncheonette is the long-time reigning champ for down home breakfasts and lunches. The menu offers very good and large portions of eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, hot meat sandwiches, burgers and shakes, using the best ingredients. Their motto is “Only the Best”, and they go to great efforts for quality and freshness – mashed potatoes made from scratch, turkeys roasted on site, bone-in ham with the eggs, and so forth. The service is friendly to the point of familiarity, as you would expect. The regulars, which includes building tradespeople, techies, businesspeople, bikers, athletes and youth teams with their coaches – in other words, everyone in town – sit elbow-to-elbow like a big family, exchanging familiar banter with the owner, Ann Sherman, and the waitresses. A half Queen sandwich is filling, a full Queen is daunting, and the President is mind-boggling. Don’t let the regulars sucker you into ordering the full stack of pancakes – it’s a well-worn prank – even most Air Force Academy football recruits who get teased into it can’t finish. The specials are baked Virginia ham on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; loin of pork on Tuesday; and hot turkey sandwich, open or covered, on Thursday and Friday; roast beef and pastrami every day. Four years after a delivery here, a cross-country moving van driver encountered in Massachusetts only had one question – does Sheldons still have the turkey sandwich! And don’t forget the malts – since the demise of Brick Oven Beanery, Sheldons is a contender.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Indian to die for

Based on a Sunday dinner, the new restaurant at 1747 S. 8th St. (former home of Spring Buffet) may be the best Indian-Napalese restaurant in town.

The soups were better (and cheaper!) than the Soup Man, and the Tandori Chicken was so good, I was wondering why you'd ever have chicken any other way. Moist, spicy. Ummmmm.

The shrimp masala also was outrageously wonderful. The shrimp was perfectly cooked, but the sauce ... I wanted to drown in it.

The place was empty ... so let's get some people out there before we lose it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Eating the city

Did the Sunday on the Town yesterday and I'm still recovering.

This is a fund-raiser for the Philharmonic in which you pay one price to tour downtown sampling items at most of the restaurants.

The highlights: Listening to Judeth Shay Burns sing while sipping wine and noshing on a morsel of bacon-wrapped tenderloin at The Famous.

Also, the tortilla soup and the band at Nosh, the FAC Modern's new eats was spicy and good.

Other wonderful stops: Melting Pot, the Mediterranean Cafe, McKenzie's, Sonterra Grill, Jack Quinn, Old Chicago, Alice's.

I haven't yet heard about the total number of people, but the restaurant owners say they had way over 1,000 visitors. It was a bit overwhelming to most.

It has to be a success for the Philharmonic. And it's a great way to introduce people to downtown restaurants (particularly small, out of the way places like Alice's), but there's got to be a way that restaurants can do this without taking such a hit.

Maybe we cut down the number of hours? What do you think?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cubano magnifico

I lived in Tampa for 12 years on a steady diet of Cuban food, most of it from the streets of the nearby cigar town of Ybor City.
I was thrilled when a new Cuban place opened recently.
Cubanacan has all the great stuff I was missing: Cuban sandwiches, chicken in yellow rice, picadillo ...
Unfortunately, during our first visit, the waitress didn't tell us about the lunch specials for $6.99. The sandwiches are about $8 for lunch. They're huge, but still...
Entrees mostly run over $12, so I was suffering some pretty heavy sticker shock.
Even with the lunch specials, I think Cubanacan is too pricey, especially for its location at 208 N. Union Blvd. next to the Burger King.
Don't get me wrong. The food is good. We liked just about everything we tried, especially the chicken in yellow rice.
But I hate it when lunch for two costs more than $20.
Am I just a cheap SOB or what?