Grand Appetito, Little Italy NYC

The Feast of San Gennaro ends tomorrow. Don't fret though, Little Italy's plethora of gastronomical goodness will still be available. After navigating the crowds and assortment of vendors, I found a near perfect cheesesteak on the festival's route. 

Grand Appetito, an unassuming pizza joint on Grand Street, also sells sandwiches. I opted for onions and provolone only so I could truly compare the cheesesteak to its competition. Peering past the glass partition at the grill, I realized that a combination of cooking technique and quality beef would result in a product that rivaled any of sold at the smoky, crowded street booths.


In addition to an excellent entree, I received engaging service from Alex and his crew and a momentary escape from the rowdiness and blazing sun outside. 


McDonald's Coffee Giveaway

McDonald'sRonald McDonald, I don't eat your food but thanks for the free coffee. Valid during breakfast hours until Sept. 29th at participating locations. Small size only:



Slope's Barbeque, Atlanta

I needed to pig out. It was nearly 6:00 and I'd skipped lunch. My first choice, a pizza place had closed permanently. Seeing that sign on the door made my stomach grumble even more. Then, I remembered Slope's wasn't too far away plus I had a Scoutmob deal.

This joint is unassuming and welcoming. White and red checked plastic clothes drape each table. Autographed photos of celebrities cover paneling near the drink station, but the staff treats even everyday folks like stars.

Atlanta Barbeque

Hush puppies listed as a special piqued my curiosity because the establishment doesn't sell seafood. A girl at the counter, the owner's daughter I assume, answered my questions like a pro. I ordered an assortment of items: ribs, green lima beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and those hush puppies. The baked macaroni and cheese was unimpressive: short on cheese and less flavorful than what most home cooks could conjure up.

Luckily Slope's claim to fame lies in barbeque, which is what they do best. Slightly sweet sauce covered my ribs but, frankly, I think the abundance of sauce masked some of their inherent flavor. Clearly, talented cooks handle the smoker and the meat in it with care. The beans and puppies deserve honorable mentions, as does the coleslaw.

I heard the staff talking to other customers who entered as I ate. What impressed me as much as the bbq was the level of interaction and familiarity the staff had with patrons. I suspect that most customers return as much for the genuine customer service as for the food.