b Happy Sumo Food Journal

Friday, September 30, 2011

Los Ojos - Jemez Springs, NM

On the same trip to NM (see below), I tried another recommendation in Jemez Springs.  There's not much to JS, I think there were maybe only two or three places to eat in the entire town.
After perusing the menu, I settled on the green chile and cheese tamales.  I first had these at El Cholo in Los Angeles.  At El Cholo, many years ago, they were fantastic.  These, on the other hand, were mediocre.  They were pretty much tasteless, as were the beans, and the rice was hard.  And the sliced from a can olives...please.  This meal was worse than the Mexican restaurant in Biloxi, and that's pretty bad.
My eating companions didn't fare much better.  Sheryl ordered chicken nachos, which came sans chicken, and melted cheese-like sauce, much like the kind you get out of the dispenser at 7-11.  Inconceivable!  And unforgivable.
All in all, a disappointing culinary trip to NM. 

Overall rating - 1.5 sumos.

Sugar's - Embudo, New Mexico

Wow, I can't believe it's been over 2.5 years since I last posted.  Well, now it's time to get going again, although I'm afraid it's not going to be in chronological order.  Anyhow, giddyup!

Sugar's came to my attention through www.roadfood.com.  I was on my way to NM so decided to give it a try.  It's a completely out of the way place, on Highway 68 between Taos and Espanola.
One of their signature dishes is the brisket burrito.  Brisket, green chile and cheese.  For those of you unfamiliar with "New Mexico style" cuisine, most everything revolves around NM grown and roasted green chile.
So how was it, you ask?  Disappointing...compared to my gold standard, the green chile burrito at J&S in Montebello, CA, this wasn't even in the ballpark, not even the same sport.  Honestly I really wanted to like this place, but the food just didn't measure up.

Overall rating - 2 sumos.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This French restuarant was recommended by a London based coworker. It offers only a three-course fixe prix dinner. They have a list of apps, entrees and dessert and you can pick and choose what you want.

I had the soup of the day - onion soup, entree of the day - halibut and sorbet for dessert. The soup was very good, lots of cheese and not too salty which seems to be the norm whenever I've had onion soup.

The entree was good, halibut with potatoes and fresh vegetables. But I could not get over how much butter was used in the dish. It was so rich. I thought I was back in Mississippi, except that this food was prepared infinitely better!

After all that rich food, the sorbet was a welcome finish. The cost? 31.50 pounds, about $62 dollars. Cost aside, the food was very good. However, considering cost, it was just good. Then again, given the "normal" prices I saw for meals in London, this was not expensive at all.

Overall rating - 3 sumos


I only order room service when it's on the company's dime. I stayed at this hotel during the "work" portion of my trip. For a starter I had the greeen salad with walnuts and blue cheese dressing. It was super rich and very tasty.

My entree was steak frites with garlic butter. Mmm, butter.

And....I had an extra order of frites. They must have been fried in tallow 'cause they were gooood! The Europeans certainly know how to make tasty frites.

Overall rating - 3.5 sumos

JELLIED EELS - Harrod's Department Store

I first heard of this on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods show on the Travel Channel. So of course I had to see for myself.
Yes, they looked exactly like you imagined. Chopped up bits of eel suspended in clear gelatin. I actually read that historically eels were quite abundant in the Thames and were a common food source.

Where these particular eels hailed from I have no idea. Did I try them? Um, no I did not. If they had lime flavored jellied eels on the other hand...

FOX INN - Broadwell, Glouchestershire - UK

I found this restaurant in Rick Steve's guidebook. I was staying nearby in another village called Stow-on-the-Wold. This was a picture perfect area in the Cotswolds.

There are walking paths throughout the area and the restaurant was about a 1 mile walk past small farms and cottages. It was summertime and still light out around 8 when I stopped for dinner. After my not so good luck with fish and chips in the UK I tried the daily special - Roast beef.

It was 7.95 pounds. In 2007 the exchange rate was around 2 pounds to the dollar, so this cost me about 16 USD. Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and the ubiquitous peas. Looks great, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, the beef was way overdone for my taste. I don't know if it was a British custom or not, but my experience with British food was underwhelming. I did have some good meals on my visit, but at French and Italian restaurants.

Overall rating - 2 sumos

Saturday, December 20, 2008

THE GEORGE INN - Lacock, Wiltshire - UK

Yes, it's been over a year since the last post. Was waiting for my fellow contributors....so anyways let's start with my trip to the UK. Just south of Bath, the unfortunately named village of Lacock.

I stopped here for lunch on my way to see Stonehenge. Now Stonehenge has its own amazingly interesting history. Being a big fan of Spinal Tap just adds extra flavor to seeing it! But back to the food. This being my first trip to the UK I just had to try the fish and chips. Well let me tell you...it's better in the States. I tried it three times in three different restaurants. This was the last time. It was the best of the three.

After that I stopped wasting my meals and tried other dishes....to mixed success. What you see below was the typical fish and chips and accompanying peas. I've never seen quite a pea-happy food culture as the Brits. To each his own I suppose.

Overall rating - 2 sumos

Sunday, October 21, 2007


You can't miss this place. It's on the east side of Highway 61 just south of Natchez. They have daily specials, along with sandwiches and salads. But the main draw is their homemade desserts.

I went with the daily special, which on Fridays is chicken pot pie, with a 'layered salad' and cornbread. I have never come across a layered salad before. Apparently it's a regional dish, consisting of iceberg lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, peas, bacon, and cheddar cheese in a mayonnaise-based dressing.
The chicken pot pie was good. You can tell they used plenty of butter in the crust. Along with the well dressed salad I probably got six months worth of my daily recommended saturated fat intake in one meal!
But I couldn't stop there...may as well go whole hog. I got a slice of the lemon icebox pie. Again, you'll never complain about portion sizes here. The slice was big enough for two. I ended up taking half to go to eat later. It was very good, rich and lemony.

Overall rating - 3 sumos

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LAEL'S - Vicksburg, MS

Finally, finally, the southern cooking I've been searching for the entire three months that I was in Mississippi! Lael's is a takeout only, meat and sides lunch and dinner place located in a shopping center just southwest of I-20 and Halls Ferry Rd.

If you're familiar with the takeout style bento places in Hawaii, then you'll see the similarities at Lael's. The menu is on the wall, step up to the steam table and pick out what you want.

I had a hard time picking between the fried chicken and the ribs. I could have gotten a combo, but I was on a diet :-) !

The owner was a wonderful woman who did all of the cooking from scratch. There was no place like this in Biloxi, and believe me, I tried my damnedest to find one.

I ended up getting the ribs, with rice, mixed greens (turnip, mustard and collard), potato salad and cornbread. I think the entire meal was $6.99. These ribs were so good - meaty, moist, perfectly cooked. They put The Shed to shame.

Since there were no tables to sit down at, I drove a short distance to a park overlooking the Mississippi River and enjoyed my feast. This was the single best meal I ate the entire time I was here. Please patronize this restaurant if you ever happen to be in the area.
M-Sat 1100-800. Sun 1100-500. 601 629-4335

Overall rating - 3.5 sumos