Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bill Grays

Many of you have suggested that we try kid-friendly mecca Bill Grays, and for once, we listened. For those of us who are 30+, you may recall that Bill Grays resides in the old Union Square nightclub building in what is now called Frontier Commons (as a side note, my sister-in-law used to be a shot-girl there, and she will never live it down!). It was the ultimate under/over meat-market. It’s fitting that you can just order your meat at a counter now. Speaking of meat, damn good burgers with this one. Really great mac salad too; maybe the best so far. The homefries were the pre-packed square ones. They were average. Came with a small, soft dinner roll which was kind-of weak. This one throws us for a curve ball though. The meat-sauce was…. unique. Let’s call it sweet heat. It was mixed 50/50 with hot & sweet pickle relish. Not sure how to feel about it. We all loved the heat. If you like pickles, this plate is going to be a 4.5 out of 5. If youdon’t, you are going to hate it more than your wife making you watch Project Runway.

This plate really works well for you breeders out there who have a bunch of little monsters you want to keep entertained. And that’s great, better to have them at Bill Grays than at the airport kicking my seat or getting in-between me and my luggage. You can scarf this one down and keep an eye on the little ones… and you will be satisfied. If you like pickles, you’ll be more than satisfied. Also, if you work in Henrietta, it’s worth a trip for lunch.

If you go there by yourself on a weekend, at noon, hung-over, looking weird, you’ll get some looks. Consider getting it to go. They give you an awesome full color box, perfectly-sized, to carry it in. It takes a lot to impress us… actually it doesn’t, and it was a cool box.


Salvatorrrreeessss!!! There’s an annoyance factor that precedes this plate. Like the Fucillo commercials or AC/DC’s decision to sell their new album exclusively through Wal-Mart. Well, we were slightly less annoyed by their take on the garbage plate. Here are the highlights: Good burgers in both size and taste, larger than normal onion chunks, and a huge, 6-inch sub role for their bread option – nice surprise. All good things in our opinion. The drawbacks? Lousy sauce. Totally bland. No homefries option, just steak fries. I’m not a fan of steak fries so this is a point deduction. Here’s where it gets tricky… the mac salad was made with honey mustard. If you like honey mustard, you’ll really like the mac salad. If you don’t like honey mustard, you will hate it more than a prostate exam. So after the scores are weighed, it ends up a 3 out of 5. Above average but it could go up or down depending on your preferences.

This plate works if Salvatore’s is convenient for you. With delivery to most locations, that’s a big plus. You also have the potential for a pizza/chicken wing/garbage plate hat trick – delivered to the front door of your parent’s house (or wherever you reside).

Gitsis & Mark's Texas Hots

Congratulations! You've had twins!

After chickening out on going to the Klassy Kat during lunch, we decided to make the Monroe Ave. run to Gitsis and Mark's Texas Hots. These two are by far the most popular plates with the Park Ave/Monroe Ave crowd. Expectations were high. Think LeBron James/Sydney Crosby hype.

I don't want to spend too much time on ambiance; Danny Sidedish made it in & out of each place in less than 30 seconds. Like some kind of cholesterol pit crew behind the counters. The lunch patrons in each establishment were hideously deformed and totally creeped Danny out. Each plate was chauffeured back to headquarters where we tore through them like a tornado through a trailer park. Here's the verdict: They were nearly identical and both kicked more ass than Clubber Lang in Rocky III.

Gitsis' plate came in standard styrofoam COMPLETELY WRAPPED IN PLASTIC WRAP TO AVOID LEAKAGE! Talk about going the extra mile. Hell yeah Gitsis! They also included a side of Red Hot and pickle chips. This one had all the makings of a great plate: Real diner style homefries (with paprika sprinkled on top!), good mac salad, a side of 4 dinner rolls, two solid cheeseburgers, and nice tasting sauce. They went a little light on the onion, and the pickle chips sucked (a spear would have been better) but lets not split hairs, this was a great plate. It's a 4 out of 5. *Before you start throwing stones at this review, we have intelligence that leads us to believe the Gitsis plate has recently undergone a makeover. So if it's been a few years since you've had one, you may think we are dumber than the people that did the latest Indiana Jones movie, but we are not. Mola-Ram bitches!*

Mark's Plate came in standard Styrofoam. Great burgers (but a little room for improvement), the best mac salad so far, diner-style homefries (again with paprika), and a side of Italian bread. The sauce was good but they went a little light on it. It's also a 4 out of 5. Also, Danny needed his inhaler after this one. Good sign! So for all of you loyal readers out there who won't shut the F up about Mark's, congratulations, you've been vindicated. They have a gold-metal plate.

So you probably want to know why these are 4's and not 5's. Simple, you have a reasonable chance of getting shot at either establishment. Also, the owner at Marks is an A-hole. To conclude: if Mark's is crowded, Gitsis offers an equally tasty alternative but always go to Mark's first.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

C&C Market; East River Rd.

How’s this for dedication. Your hero’s, the Plate Debate Team, was so astonished by the last trip to C&C’s that we felt it needed a return visit just to verify. If you remember, we expected this one to be the worst and it ended up exceeding expectations. Prior to having this plate, I wouldn’t have even bought a Coke in this place but looks can be deceiving. C&C’s is the Mid-major Cinderella team that somehow winds up in the final 4 (ala George Mason University in 2006). Nobody felt comfortable picking it in their bracket but just like GMU, it works as a team and the sum is greater than the parts. Speaking of those parts, there’s an extra one! That’s right people… 3 SIDES. This is like a garbage plate power play! We got homefries, mac salad and french fires. The two burgers on top were good, cooked well but not overdone. The homefries were the small, square kind that surely came frozen in a large bag. They were good though. The frieswere steak-cut and delicious, the mac salad was really good too. Drawbacks to this one? The meat sauce was very typical; nothing spectacular just your run-of-the-mill sauce. Also, they gave us about a tablespoon full of it so there wasn’t enough. The other drawback… no bread.

Overall, C&C’s delivers a good plate. The best part about it is its size. It’s freakin huge. It could feed Cecil and Prince Fielder for a day. But like so many Cinderella teams, it’s going to get trounced in the final four by a Kansas or UNC. In the mean time, enjoy this underdog of a plate and don’t be afraid to stop at C&C’s, it’s on East River Rd across from the RIT side entrance. Tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya. (Cost – $8.05)

JTB’s Pizza & Grill; Scotsville-Henrietta Rd.

I know what you are thinking. Where the hell is JTB’s? It’s the “house” restaurant for Riverton Golf Course in West Henrietta. Golf course restaurant? Blasphemy! These are normally reserved for drunken golf dorks who drive H3’s and ritually ruin your threesome outing by asking “hey, need a fourth?” at the 1st tee. You know the guy, he’s got $4000 set of new Calloway’s but bitches for 9-holes about how much his kid’s orthodontics cost. What an a-hole. Thankfully, there aren’t many people in there on a Thursday at noon besides retirees who woke up at 4am to “beat the rush” and a few hardcore alcoholics who live in a shack out back. I’ll tell you what else lives there…The Trasher! And thrash it did. The Thrasher is their version of the plate and it was as close to perfection as we’ve gotten so far. I’ll hit you with the drawbacks first since there is only one. It only came with one burger. That affects the score but in itsdefense, it was a large, perfectly cooked burger. Now for the purely good stuff; I can hardly contain my giddiness! HOLY SHIT THIS WAS GOOD! Hot sauce was a mix of classic meat sauce with chicken wing hot sauce. It went together like hookers and blow. The mac salad was almost filler free (carrots/celery), well cooked and well portioned. Homefries were the square kind that you could probably find in your grocers freezer but appeared to be cooked on the griddle for a little extra crispiness. They were delicious. To top it off, it came with a large piece of fresh bread that was buttered and garlic’d. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Several of us were speechless after this one. If you love plates, you will love JTB’s. So ditch your plans to go to that stupid wedding you wife is dragging you to next weekend, grab your clubs, a six-er of Genny, a good buddy, and go shoot 9 at Riverton. When you’re done, plow through a Thrasher and send“golf-guy” my regards ninja-style. How do you get there? Drive to heaven, it’ll be on the right. (Cost - $6.50)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Elmwood Inn; Mt. Hope

Elmwood Inn – Due to it’s proximity to U of R, I want you to think back to your college days for a moment. Imagine you are at a bar or house party (or if you went to Oswego, both). You are making good progress with a nice girl and you think you have a reasonable chance at glory. All of a sudden, her friends wisk her away and you are left with a half cup of Golden Anniversary and a sick feeling in your stomach because you just pretended to like Dave Matthews for the past 2 hours. Prospects are grim, so you head back to your dorm and decide to mack on the easy, slightly unattractive chick who lives on your floor and is a sure thing. In the morning, you are reasonably satisfied but you definitely won’t be calling your boys to brag. That sums up the Elmwood plate. For those of you who spent too much time in college playing uecker and NHL 94, this means it was average. First off, no homefries option. Ugghhh, how many times do we have to go over this. The mac salad was kind-of tacky and not cooked enough. The burgers were bad; they came out looking like overdone microwave sausage patties. To top it off, no bread. On the other hand, the fries were awesome. Perfectly crisp and fresh. The hot sauce was good too. Plate-a-saurus said it burned a little hole in his stomach. Danny Sidedish said it tingled in his mouth. We are betting that’s not the first think that’s tingled in his mouth! (Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking pop rocks here people). The wide-mouth ketchup bottle was a plus too. In the end however, this all amounts to a pretty average plate at a convenient location. Thank you Elmwood Inn for being the whore on our dorm floor that we settle for at 2 a.m.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jay's Diner; West Henrietta Rd.

You know when you walk into a place and just know the food will be good? That’s what happened at Jay’s dinner. It’s a 1950’s themed diner on W. Henrietta Rd. across from Rochester’s favorite auto break-in lot, Movies 10. It was packed with the Henrietta lunch crowd none of whom had a waist size less than 40 inches. Good sign. This one came to $9.75 just like Woody’s II but it came with a drink.

Back at headquarters, we unleashed the contents from their Styrofoam prison and we all saw the light. It was the same feeling you get when the semi-attractive, afternoon-shift girl at the Mirage finally lifts the hood for you: glee! Upon first glance one member of the panel uttered “I would have sex with that”. Overshare? You bet; but we were in for a treat.

What made this one a winner? The burgers were HUGE Rochester, HUGE! It came complete with breakfast style homefries and delicious mac salad. It also featured two slices of Italian bread and a pickle spear. The homefries were amazing. Perfectly cooked, perfectly textured… all around awesomeness. The mac salad had the perfect amount of mayo and not a lot of filler (celery/carrots). The onions were crisp and tasty too.

Here’s what kept the Jay’s plate from perfection: like crack cocaine, I just wanted more. The home fries were great but there weren’t enough of them. Admittedly, the hot sauce was on the average side but it was still good. One member (Dan) pointed out that the mac salad wasn’t that great, it just seemed good because of the Woody’s II debacle. He rated this one average and yet, at the end of the tasting, he said “anyone gonna finish this one?” and managed to jam the last 1,000 calories into his face in two sporkfuls.

So what keeps this one from being a 5-out-of-5? Mostly Dan. But there’s always room to improve and we recognize that fact so this one gets a 4. If you live in Brighton or Henrietta, you can’t go wrong with this place. And it’s open 24 hours. Thank you Jay’s Diner; you saved the day my friend.