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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Der Essen Platz ... A Taste of Bavaria in Central Missouri


Der Essen Platz ... A Taste of Bavaria in Central Missouri



If visiting the Lake of the Ozarks, as far as restaurants are concerned, I highly recommend a trip back to Camdenton and Der Essen Platz (German for “the Eating Place”) for some excellent and affordable German fare.

They have a small, but affordable wine and beer list, and the food is excellent. I started with the Weihenstephaner Korbinian Dopple Bock ($6.50 - .5 litre), a dark, rich, robust beer with hints of chocolate and coffee, it was excellent. 

The soups are very good and homemade. I tried the German tomato soup which was better than most tomato soups, but nothing I would order again. The schnitzel dishes are amazing.  I had the schnitzel cordon bleu (pork cordon bleu – two breaded cutlets with ham and cheese in the middle, then baked and covered with a cream mushroom sauce) and my wife had the Jaegerschnitzel (pork cutlet served with Hunter’s Sauce, a savory brown gravy made with Jaegermeister and mushrooms).  

Dinners are accompanied by soup or salad, warm homemade bread, and vegetables, potatoes, or spaetzel (a German potato dish similar to gnocchi only smaller). The Bavarian wheat loaf is homemade and delicious, so do not be too shy to ask for another! I also tried the German potato pancakes with hunter sauce (normally they come with applesauce, but I prefer the savory pancake with gravy).  

Unfortunately, we were so full by the time dinner was over, we did not have time for dessert, but I am sure they are amazing as well.  Owners Noelle (the chef) and Daniel (front of house) are warm, friendly, and helpful, so do not be afraid to ask questions.  And do n ot forget the view over one branch of the expansive Lake of the Ozarks, a romantic setting for a special occasion or a weekend dinner … Guten Appetit!



CombatCritic Gives Der Essen Platz 9 Out of 10 Bombs ... BOMBS ARE GOOD!








Der Essen Platz on Urbanspoon

Title: Der Essen Platz ... A Taste of Bavaria in Central Missouri

Key Words: Lake of the Ozarks Camdenton Der Essen Platz German Weihenstephaner Korbinian Dopple Bock schnitzel pork cordon bleu cutlet Jaegermeister spaetzel Bavarian wheat loaf German potato pancakes hunter

A Taste of India in the Northland of Kansas City

Saffron Authentic Indian Cuisine

8140 NW Prairie View Road
Kansas City, MO 64152

Phone: 816.505.5576

Fax: 816.505.5586


Saffron is a new, excellent Indian restaurant with a family atmosphere in the Northland just south of Zona Rosa.

Lamb Vindaloo
In a strip mall off I-29 near Barry Road, it does not look like much from the outside. Looks can be surprising because the interior is clean and tastefuly, although sparsely, decorated.
The staff welcomes you warmly and quickly, providing a menu that is almost overwhelming. There are far too many options to choose from, but based on our experience, you will not be disappointed no matter the choice. Vegetarian, chicken, and lamb options dominate the menu. You will not find beef here because India is a predominantly Hindu nation and cows are sacred...SO YOU CANNOT EAT THEM!



The dishes are well prepared and presented, offering reasonable quantities at less than reasonable prices. Not extremely overpriced, the restaurant was empty at 8PM in a Friday night, so shaving a few dollars of the completely ala carte menu would probably draw more customers.

Sag Paneer
Our hostess and server was delightful, dressed in traditional Indian fashion and an accent to match.  She quickly took our order, asking if we had any questions.  Having lived in England for three years while in the military, I became quite familiar with Indian cuisine, so we did not need the help.  She brought the traditional papadum (crispy spiced lentil wafers) accompanied by two relishes, one green and one red.  I ordered the lamb vindaloo combination plate ($18.99 – lamb rogan josh, a classic curry, and pasanda, served in a mild walnut cream sauce, were other options), including a generous copper bowl of lamb vindaloo (lamb and potato in a spicy sauce) accompanied by dal (a lentil stew), raita (a creamy sauce similar to Greek Tzatziki used to temper the spiciness if desired), and nan (traditional handmade, baked flatbread).  My wife, preferring vegetarian dishes and not a fan of lamb in particular, had the sag paneer ($11.99), a copper tureen of creamed spinach baked with chunks of white farmers cheese inside.

Classic Nan Bread
My combination plate was delicious and a fair value for the amount and quality of the food. It could have been priced a dollar or two less if they hope to generate more business, but I was not disappointed.  The vindaloo was delicious although the chunks of lamb were not abundant, the dal was a little dry, but delicious, the raita was creamy and a nice compliment to the spicy vindaloo, and the nan bread scrumptious.  The sag paneer was also delicious and plentiful, but at $11.99 ala carte, quite a bit overpriced for some creamed spinach, a few chunks of cheese, and spices.  We ordered the kabuli bread ($3.99) for my wife, a leavened bread stuffed with nuts, cherries, raisins, and coconut, which was tasty, but a little to sweet for a main course accompaniment.  There are 13 bread choices, so I think we will pick a more savory option next time if ordering ala carte.

In all, the meal was delightful even if they have not received their liquor license yet, beer and vindaloo were born for each other, but staff says they should have it "any day".

CombatCritic gives Saffron a fair 5 out of 10 BOMBS ... more bombs are good ... leaving room for improvement in the decor, pricing, and liquor options.








HOURS

Lunch Buffet 7 Days a Week
Mon- Fri 11.00 to 2.30
Sat- Sun 11.30 TO 3.00
Dinner
Mon - Sat 5.00 to 10.00
Sun 5.00 to 9.00

CombatCritic's Favorite Recipes: Tantalizing Tahini and Hummus


Tahini

Tahini can be prepared homemade or purchased at a Middle Eastern grocer in a can. It is called tahini or tahina, depending on the region.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
·         5 cups sesame seeds
·         1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.


Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Yield: 4 cups

Storing Tahini

Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.

Hummus













Ingredients - Recipe makes 5 Cups/40 Servings


2 Cloves Garlic
2 (19 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper and cumin to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

1.     In a blender, chop the garlic. Pour garbanzo beans into blender, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish. Put lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic, and salt in blender. Add salt gradually as the blending occurs. Blend until creamy and well mixed.

2.      To adjust the texture between creamy and more solid, vary the amount of liquid you drain from the can. The more liquid the creamier. 

3.     Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl and store the rest in your freezer. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with a few garbanzo beans.



Serve with baked pita chips or fresh vegetables...ENJOY!

Title:  Middle-Eastern Staples ... Tahini and Hummus

Key Words: Middle Eastern appetizer tahini tahina dip pita sesame seeds food processor Hummus lemon cloves garlic cumin garbanzo beans garnish lemon juice garlic blend salt pepper olive oil, 




     

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

REVIEW: IOGEAR High Capacity Portable Battery (GMP6600P)


If you love to travel like I do and hate it when your smartphone dies in the middle of the day, the IOGEAR High Capacity Portable Battery (GMP6600P) is a excellent choice for the price! For $40.00, it charges smartphones, tablets, and notebooks on the go and has incredible capacity. 


I can recharge my smartphone 4-5 times off one charge! I have not tried to power or charge my notebook computer yet, so I cannot tell you how that works, but for smartphones it is well worth the price. 



I have an app for my phone called GolfLogix that gives me GPS data for golf, including ball position, distance to pin, etc. for whatever course I am playing. Before I bought the IOGEAR battery, my battery would die after less than 9 holes and that was using power sparingly. Now i can play a whole round with JUICE to spare...I can even make phone calls on the way home or make a reservation for dinner on Open Table!



Great little battery PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH! 



CombatCritic gives the ASIN:B005IY8AZ0 IOGEAR GearPower High Capacity Portable Battery for Smartphones/Tablets/Mobile Devices GMP6600P (Gray) 9 BOMBS OUT OF 10 (BOMBS ARE GOOD!)








Read more travel, restaurant, hotel, destination reviews ... AND MORE ... on my blog: 






and on CombatCritic TV:





CombatCritic...OUT!

Title:  REVIEW: IOGEAR High Capacity Portable Battery (GMP6600P)

Key Words: battery, capacity, charge, charger, computer, device, high, Iogear, juice, mobile, netbook, notebook, portable, rechargeable, smartphone, tablet, travel, 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Denali National Park, Alaska - At the End of the Road...Beaver Pond Tour

Beaver Pond is near Kantishna, at the end of the 90+ mile long road in Denali National Park. Find out where the secret trail is and see the beautiful sights along the way.



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Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Phishing Scam Using US Airways

Let all your friends know that there is a phishing scam using US Airways name. According to the airline, if you receive an email from US Airways, your name and/or confirmation number WILL BE IN THE SUBJECT LINE. If not, it's a scam.

You can always hover the cursor over the link to see the actual destination address. If it's NOT US Airways.com, or other safe site, delete the email. And never, ever open an email, attachment, or link from ANYBODY you do not know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CombatCritic's Favorite Recipes: Secret Orecchiette with Broccoli and Bacon Sauce ... SHHHHHH!


1lb Bacon
1 Medium Yellow Onion
2 Cups Chicken Broth
24 Ounces Broccoli Florets - No Stems
2 Clove Fresh Garlic
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
6-8 Fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon Oregano (dry is ok)
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 lbs (1 Kilo) Orecchiette Pasta (may substitute pasta)



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