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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Favorite Recipes: CombatCritic's World Famous Stuffed Artichokes Napolitana

This is my Grandma Sorrentino's stuffed artichoke recipe. My mom and Aunt Mary used to make these for me on special occasions because they were my favorite dish.

Recipe:

2 Large Artichokes

4 Cups Bread Crumbs
4 Extra Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley
1/2 Cup Diced Italian Salami
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (parmesan will also work)

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, salami, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and Parmigiano Reggiano in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Add the eggs (dont forget to crack them first) and 1/2 cup of the EVO, then stir until the entire mixture is moist (add extra egg, EVO or a little water if necessary).
Cut off the sharp tips of artichoke leaves and wash the artichokes. Stuff every leaf, filling the center (heart) as well.
Place a vegetable steamer in a large pot with just enough water so that it's just above the steamer bottom, bringing the water to a boil. Place the stuffed artichokes in the pot, drizzle with EVO, cover and steam for an hour and a half or until you can pull the leaves out easily.
Place the artichoke in a large dish (one each) and serve. Pull the leaves off with the stuffing attached, hold the leaf, place in your mouth and pull with teeth closed so that the stuffing and artichoke stay in your mouth, leaving only the outer part of the leaf. Toss the spent leaves in a large bowl.

Mangia e stati zitto ... Shut up and eat!

CombatCritic

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Title: Favorite Recipes: CombatCritic's World Famous Stuffed Artichokes Napolitana

Key Words: CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, recipe, recipes, favorite, world, famous, artichoke, Napolitana, stuffed, artichokes, salami, breadcrumbs, salame, menu, Yelp, Zomato


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Portland, OR: Second verse NOT same as the first ... I'm NOT Henry the 8th I am NOT.

Mama Mia Trattoria
439 SW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Downtown Portland
Phone number (503) 295-6464
Website: mamamiatrattoria.com
Prices: $$$$

Second visit, not same as the first and I was not nearly as impressed as when I took my youngest son to Mama Mia (see review dated 7/18/2017). Here are the reasons why:

1. When I heard our server was "Kelly", I was quite pleased because of the wonderful service "blonde" Kelly gave us. This Kelly had dark hair and was not nearly as friendly or customer oriented ...
   a. I asked if it was still Happy Hour when she first arrived at our table (5:45PM on Tuesday), but was told that we had to move to the bar five feet away and sit on uncomfortable stools if we wanted to order from the Happy Hour menu. I told her "no thanks". Absurd.
   b. As a member of their VIP Club, we were entitled to "free garlic bread". This Kelly brought one small loaf (between three of us), then told us we would only be getting "regular" bread from that point on (beside the complimentary calamari, Kelly #1 kept bringing garlic bread throughout the meal).
2. The water is still room temperature.
3. They still do not validate parking, so you have to pay outrageous downtown Portland parking rates if you want to dine there.
4. They raised their prices by $2 a pop on the veal dishes - $25.95 for an ala carte dish is pushing it, but $27.95 (the new prices) is NOT a good value.
5. My wife ordered the Penne with Pancetta and Mushrooms ($18 - no soup or salad) and, being Italian born, was not at all impressed. The pasta was obviously not made in-house, was lukewarm, and they had added red bell peppers. She is allergic to tomatoes and does not like anything that resembles tomato in her food. The dish was bland, she did not like it.
6. My son (my oldest this time) ordered the Fettucine Alfredo ($18.95 - no soup or salad), but by the time he added a little (very little) crumbled sausage ($4) and a house salad ($7), the total was close to $30. He liked the flavor, but was not impressed by the serving size for the price.
7. The side of pasta I got with my Veal Marsala was tiny. The veal was flavorful, but, like the pasta, not very hot and not a very good value at $28 ($26 was pushing it).
Bread (no garlic)
Even though Barry, the owner, sent me a very nice note after my first review, he obviously did not take my comments and suggestions to heart because nothing had changed except the prices and the service, both a disappointment.
Fettucine Alfredo with Sausage ($22.95)

Penne Pancetta and Mushrooms ($18)
I found a place in Beaverton (Aloha actually) where the Veal Parmigiana is as good, if not better, than Mama Mia (it is actually spelled "Mamma" Mia by the way Barry) and for $1 less than Mama Mia's old prices ($24.95) you get antipasto, soup AND salad, generous portions of veal and pasta, and spumoni ... now that is a great value!
Veal Scaloppine alla Marsala - $27.95
I do not think we will be going through the hassle of navigating downtown traffic and parking to eat here again any time soon. If they make some changes (Happy Hour is Happy Hour, wherever you sit, lower prices and/or include soup/salad, put ice in the water or at least cool it before serving, etc.), I may consider going back, but I seriously doubt they will. In the interim, we will be driving 37 miles (past Vancouver and Portland) to Aloha to get a decent Italian meal. 

For such a great food town, Portland (and surrounds) is sadly lacking a decent selection of homestyle Italian restaurants, something I hope changes very soon because if someone can figure this out, they will be extremely successful.

CombatCritic Downgrades Mam(m)a Mia To 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube
Mama Mia Trattoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Read Chris S.'s review of Mama Mia Trattoria on Yelp

Title:  Portland, OR: Second verse NOT same as the first ... I'm NOT Henry the 8th I am NOT

Key Words: Mama Mia Trattoria, mama mia, mama, mia, trattoria, Portland, downtown, Italian, veal, Italy, Oregon, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = "Continue Mission"


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Washougal, WA: Trick Or Treat? High Prices, Low Quality, And Weak Drinks Were Not A Treat

Los Dos Compadres
701 E Street
Washougal, WA 98671
Phone number: (360) 335-1706
Website: None?
Prices: $$$$

Looks like most either love or hate this place, but I am in the middle, slightly skewed toward the low end. Too many people hand out 5-Stars like they are candy on Halloween, skewing averages and tricking serious foodies into eating at places we normally would not bother with. Trick or Treat? We felt tricked after our first and possibly last experience at Los Dos Compadres.

No prices on the alcoholic drink menu, a pet peeve (publish the damn prices for cryin' out loud!), but I ordered a margarita anyway. My bad because it was weak and turned out to be almost $9 ... ay caramba! Speaking of overpriced, $5 for a small guacamole a la carte and it was mostly onions and tomatoes? Not good. The full size guacamole appetizer is, like the margarita, nearly $9 ... holy sombrero Batman!
My Carne Asada y Mas ($15.95) was the same price as the "regular" carne asada dinner (and advertised as identical), but comes with an enchilada, chili relleno, or chimichanga. The cheese and onion enchilada I got was decent, middle of the road, and the steak tasty, but miniscule, maybe four to five ounces at most. The rice and beans were bland, nearly tasteless.
Now for the fun part. My wife, who hates Mexican food BTW, ordered the Three Taco dinner ($9.95), also coming with rice and beans. She had one shredded beef and two ground beef tacos, but when she attempted to eat them, all three fell apart before she could shove them in her pie hole. Taco salad anyone? The server graciously went to get three "fresh" tacos when we explained our dilemma, but these were dripping grease, already soggy, and falling apart nearly as fast as the first batch.

Watch this video for the full effect:



I am bummed. We just moved into our new house less than ten minutes away and my hopes were high based on previous reviews, but they were quickly dashed ... mierda!

CombatCritic Gives Los Dos Compadres 3 Bombs Out Of 10 With Deductions For ... High Prices, Poor Quality and Quality Control, Weak Margaritas, No Website - Really, No Website? ... More Bombs Are Better!


Three Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Read Chris S.'s review of Los Dos Compadres Cantina on Yelp


Title: Washougal, WA: Trick Or Treat? High Prices, Low Quality, And Weak Drinks Were Not A Treat

Key Words: Los Dos Compadres, los, dos, compadres, compadre, Washougal, Washington, Portland, Oregon, tacos, taco, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: SNAFU = "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up"

Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzogovina: Beautiful Town Home To A Miracle - Must See, Must Visit - This Video Has Proof!!

My YouTube video on the Miracle at Medjugorje does not have over 868,000 views for nothing ...


Human spirituality is unique in the world of animals. We went to Medjugorje and experienced a Miracle. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes, touched it with my own hands. Now you can see it up close with your own eyes in this short video which clearly shows the miracle happening!

Medjugorje is a Catholic pilgrimage site in Bosnia-Herzegovina, not far from the war-torn city of Mostar. If you go, stay in the beautiful and historic city of Mostar, a 30-minute drive from Medjugorje. The ancient bridge in Mostar was rebuilt after it was blown-up during the Bosnian War, but remains a beautiful and iconic symbol of a city rich in tradition.

Contact CombatCritic at http://www.CombatCritic.com if you need information on traveling to Medjugorje or Mostar. 

You can also watch video tours and reviews on the CombatCritic YouTube channel or follow me on Twitter @CombatCritic http://www.twitter.com/combatcritic

StayPresent; BeResilient; StayTheCourse ... CombatCritic ... OUT!

Title: Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzogovina: WOW ... You Have to See This to Believe It ... INCREDIBLE!

Key Words: Human, spirituality, Medjugorje, miracle, Catholic, pilgrimage, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar, Bosnian, War, CombatCritic, Bosnia, Jesus, Christ, God, travel, val

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