Way back when, this used to be a restaurant review blog. Over the course of three years, I've touched on a few topics - local dining, concert reviews, political observations and some religious bullshit. Well, in a special sonofsaf holiday tribute, I will harkin back to my earliest roots. People often approach me and say, "SAF, WHERE'S THE MEATLOAF? WE WANT IT NOW! SAF, THE MEATLOAF! FUCK!" Truth be told, I can't think of any place in Wheeling to order award-winning meatloaf. However, I thought to myself - Saf (that's actually how I silently refer to myself in my own head) - as I was saying, Saf, maybe you should make up a list of Wheeling culinary delights. That way, if someone wants to know where to get great cole slaw, I'll be able to acces the blog and say, "T.J's Sportsgarden is known for its famous cole slaw! It's deh-lish!" Yeah, like I would ever say anything so preposterous. Hell, I'm still encouraging people to puke in their popcorn machine. So anyway, without further adieu, here's the list...
I'll start with some of the more basics.
CHICKEN - I recently acquired salmonella poisoning, so I thought this would be the best place to start. The best chicken is easy to find. Go to Riesbeck's, the one in the Elm Grove Crossing Mall is good, but I imagine they're all the same. The one in St. C. is pretty nice. I'm not sure if anyone even goes to the one in deep Bridgeport. Riesbeck's has the best fried chicken in the area. Hands down. I don't know if it's because Grandma Riesbeck had a ghetto booty or what, but if ever asked to procure a bucket of fried chicken - it's off to Riesbeck's. Call ahead, asshole! They have superior grocery store brand chicken as well. Make sure you get Park Farms, not that Tyson nonsense and screw Roundy's brand or whatever they call themselves these days. As for frozen Banquet Fried TV Dinners - buy them if you're planning an extensive stay.... in an insane asylum. Disgusting.
STEAK - Where would I go get the best steak in the valley? Probably Outback, although Figaretti's serves up a great steak. Keep in mind, all these recommendations are based on a totality of factors, not just cost. If it was only about price, it's easy to just recommend the most expensive choice (this is actually a real mediculinary condition known as Lobsteritus; a tendency to order the most expensive item on the entire menu, generally the lobster). I try to take everything into consideration (atmosphere, service, cleanliness of the establishment, etc. blah).
SALAD - This one is way too easy. For a fantastic salad, there is only one option - The Metropolitan Grill. Sure, there's a potential for bizarre service and I once even saw some barefoot dumbshit in there, but all in all, you just can't get a better salad. All are freshly prepared and each deserves our praise and adulation. I've never ordered takeout but I'm imagine they've got it under control - a great way to avoid your typical shoeless West Virginia fuck.
PIZZA - It's borderline retarded to get into the never-ending "which Dicarlos is the best" debate for a few reasons. First, there pizza just really isn't that great. It's more of a novelty, kind of like Moondog Food. I grew up on the stuff and it's certainly edible but then again, so is a saltine slathered with tomato paste, sprinkled with mozz-a-mate. I'd probably say the best pizza is that Everything Pizza from DeFelice or the gourmet spinach pizza from Pizza Outlet/Vella's or whatever they call the place near the old GC Murphy building. You're probably thinking - didn't Defelice win the Best Pizza in the World competition a few years ago. Yep, they have the newspaper article on the wall. Not surprisingly, it from the Wheeling Intelligencer (an award winning publication in its own right). I'm still not sure if this Best Pizza in the Universe competition was properly sanctioned, but I have no proof otherwise. I would not go to Pizza Hut, but if you must, don't go to the one in Bridgeport. It's ALWAYS totally deserted. I was once exiting the Pizza Hut in Elm Grove and there was this older woman leaning against my Jeep Cherokee. She was eating some kind of fucking ham salad sandwich. There's maybe 4 cars in a 50 spot parking lot and she's eating her lunch on my car. Anyway, I looked at my buddy and said check this out. I hit the panic button and the horn starts blaring. She lurched forward and her sandwich went sailing. The horns on those Jeeps are LOUD. She looked at us and gave me the finger. I just calmly got in my car and drove off. And if you ever financially support Dominos Pizza in anyway whatsoever, thou shalt be gang raped by Al-Quada terrorists or at the very least, Taliban hardliners.
This is called getting back to the basics, or some might even say, takin' it to the streets. I'll be back soon with a rousing, invigorating discussion on some of the following: Ribs, fresh fruit (specifically fresh fucking pineapple), meatball subs, Chinese food and possibly salty snacks and/or chewing gum.