Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eddie's Steak Shed (Granger, IN)

12685 Adams Rd, Granger, IN 46530-9641, T: 574-277-1076

Normally, I don't include steakhouses in my pig out spots, but the way A. and I went to town at Eddie's Steak Shed in Granger, Indiana, deserves full inclusion. That said, Eddie's is a great steakhouse, not a grease hut, and can be enjoyed to pig out as well as to dine in atmosphere.

As soon as you enter Eddie's you see the meats, just like Argentinian restaurants in Europe. However, the menu features also various other dishes, such as chicken, fish, and seafood. We went for the Michiana's Original Sirloin For Two, a 32+ oz steak which comes with salad or soup and your choice of potato. We went for salads and fries. Moreover, we had it blackened (+$1.75). The end result was a meat bonanza! The salad was basic and fresh, the fries decent, but the steak was amazingly tender, juicy, and tasty. I would rate it among the best steak I had in the US (and I ate at places like Ruth Chris, Bones in Atlanta, and St Elmo's in Indy).

VERDICT: 94/100
Eddie Steak Shed is a little treasure in the middle of Michiana. The steak is fantastic and the prices are unbelievable. Our whole meal. which included two sodas, came to $37,41, including taxes! Go there!!!

CJ's Pub (South Bend, IN)

417 N Michigan St, South Bend, IN 46601, T: 574-233-5981

When I asked a colleague with local roots where you could get the best burgers in South Bend, he unhesitatingly answered: CJ's Pub. I went there about a month ago and was very happy, so I decided to return and bring a(nother) colleague (A.) and my camera. Both from outside and inside CJ's doesn't look like much, but the food fully compensates for it.

CJ's has a huge variety of 10 oz (!) burgers, but on top of that you can by and large make whatever combination you want. We ordered a "jumbo basket" of waffle fries ($4.75) while we pondered the endless combinations of burger we could make. In the end, I decided upon the Bubba: 10 oz burger, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and spicy BBQ sauce (at $7.50). Then I added jalapenos ($0.75) and Canadian bacon ($1.75). Incidentally, the picture is A.'s burger (I forgot the combination and name).

VERDICT: 93/100
Let's start with the waffle fries, which were perfectly fried and very crispy. You really have to be careful not to eat them all, as the burger deserves your full attention (and most of your stomach). The burger itself is very tasty and huge, while the bacon is crisp, the sauce tasty and spicy. Hands down the best burgers in South Bend, if not the whole of Michiana.

Coney Island (Detroit, MI)

Lafayette Coney Island, 118 W. Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226, T: 313-964-8198
American Coney Island, 114 W. Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226, T: 586-219-0995

One of the most famous pig out spot rivalries is between two hot dog places in Detroit, Michigan. I heard about it on my favorite pig out show, Man v Food, presented by Adam Richman. The American Coney Island was founded in 1929 by a Greek immigrant, while Lafayette Coney Island was founded a couple of years later by a relative. For decades the two shops have divided Detroit over who has the best coney island hot dog. Where Adam didn't dare to proclaim a winner, my friend A. and me are less diplomatic.

We first went to Lafayette, which was quite small and very crowded. The crowd was fairly mixed although predominantly white (and that in downtown Detroit!). Clearly Lafayette is a favorite pre-game stop for Red Wings fans, as there were many in the shop. The menu is very limited: hot dogs, fries, and only a couple of other things.

We went for a Coney Island ($2.35) each and shared a fries ($1.90). The fresh sausage came on a fresh steamed bun and with a very tasty chili, hot mustard, and fresh onions. As good as chili dogs come. The fries, on the other hand, were unremarkable.

We paid and went next door, to American Coney Island, which was much larger, but almost completely empty. Maybe as a consequence of that, the staff was much more relaxed. Unlike Lafayette, American has a much larger menu, including Greek specialties and donuts.

We went for exactly the same, but this time we were given two Coney Islands each (the prices per hot dog were exactly the same). The bun and sausage were less fresh and the chili had much less taste. On top of that, the mustard was almost tasteless. The fries, on the other hand, were crispier.

VERDICTS: 89/100 and 80/100
A. and I had no doubt on who served the better Coney Island: Lafayette! Everything about the hot dog was better and we both wish we would have had two there, instead of at American. That said, any real fast foodie would check it out for her/himself.