Thursday, February 28, 2013

Top 10 Sushi Places in Nassau County

Now onto Sushi! Sushi places are a dime a dozen in Nassau County, but for some reason there seem to be a lot more "subpar" sushi places than good ones. However, if you're looking for great sushi in Nassau County, check out these places. You won't be disappointed.

10.  Himawari
Location: Long Beach
Overview: Himawari has more selections outside of sushi than the others on the list, but this place ranks as my favorite in Long Beach (where there are more than a fair share of sushi joints).
Try The: Krazy Angel Roll

9. Sushi Time 560
Location: Bethpage
Overview: Bethpage was lacking a really good sushi place and Sushi Time 560 came to the rescue. They offer a $20 all you can eat which is a great deal. The rolls are great, not the best, but more than adequate for an all you can eat place.
Try The: Godzilla Roll

8. Minado
Location: Carle Place
Overview: I love Minado. I probably go here more than a lot of other places on the list. The sushi is very good. Not as great as the others on the list, but still solid. The draw of this place is the "all you can eat" aspect. Not only is it all you can eat for their rolls, but they have a ton of different Japanese food. It's buffet style, but it's not "dirty" like you see with other buffets. Definitely give it a go if you have a big appetite.
Try The: Rock' N Roll Roll

7. Thai Show
Location: Massapequa Park & Levittown
Overview: The only place on the list that has two locations, score! If I had to pick the better location I'd go with Massapequa Park, but both are fantastic. Massapequa Park includes booths that are in line with traditional Japanese seating (where you go inside without shows). The sushi is always delicious and fresh, regardless of which location you choose.
Try The: Riverdance Roll

6. Tobiko
Location: Valley Stream
Overview:  A place not only known for it's excellent roles, but it's excellent services. Makes for an overall fantastic dining experience. However, if you decide to takeout, you won't be disappointed as the rolls rarely ever disappoint.
Try The: Spring Jamie Roll 

5. Matsuya
Location: Great Neck
Overview: Great Neck seems to be the sushi capital of Nassau County. It is impossible to walk a block without seeing a couple of sushi places. In my opinion, Matsuya reigns supreme in a saturated market. Always fresh and always delicious. The locals will agree that this place will easily rank in their top 3 sushi places in the area.
Try The: O.M.G. Roll

4. Sushi Ya
Location: Garden City
Overview: Garden City is a mecca of delicious restaurants, including my all time favorite Waterzooi. If you're in the area and sick of mussels, check out Sushi Ya. They do the basics well (i.e. spicy tuna, etc.), but their special rolls are one of the best I've had.
Try The: Rich & Robert Roll

3. Nisen
Location: Woodbury
Overview: Nisen is located in a shopping center of deliciousness with Laguna Grille and Butera's also located in the same place. Nisen trumps these two excellent places because of how innovative and delicious their sushi is.  While I love their sushi, go with some of their unique appetizers as well including the white tuna truffle and lobster taco.
Try The: Mama Buddha Roll

2. Sushi Ko
Location: Merrick
Overview: I discovered this place recently and am extremely glad I did. I've been searching for a great sushi place in Merrick for the last few months and finally found it in Sushi Ko. If you like Sushi Bar & Tea, which a lot of people seem to enjoy, this blows it out of the water. Not only are the rolls delicious, but they are extremely unique (even having a filet mignon one with Japanese bbq sauce). The staff is also super friendly.
Try The: New Orleans Roll

1. Kumo
Location: Plainview
Overview: Kumo is a little bit on the expensive side (which is the only drawback), but the sushi is phenomenal. It actually not only ranks as my favorite sushi place in Nassau County, but probably ever.  Their pizza sandwich is at another level in terms of deliciousness. Don't confuse this one with the location out in Suffolk (this is a million times better).
Try The: Pizza Sandwich

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top 10 Mexican Restaurants in Nassau County

As someone who likes to dine out fairly regularly (mostly in the Nassau County area), I'd thought it would be good to point out the top restaurants by cuisine, in my opinion. This post is focused on Mexican, but will be doing others revolving around Italian, Chinese, etc.

10. Three Amigos Mexican Grill
Location: Massapequa
Overview: What's good about this place is not only the food (which is excellent), but has something for non-Mexican lovers as well (i.e. salads, mozzarella sticks). Tacos are about the same price as Taco Bell's and much fresher (and better).
Favorite Dish: South West Burrito

9. Little Mexico
Location: Westbury
Overview: The name matches the size of the place. Very tiny, but place packs a lot of flavor. Definitely more of a takeout joint, but worth it if you're in the area. Also extremely inexpensive and has dishes you can't find elsewhere (i.e. beef tongue sopes and tortas)
Favorite Dish: Sopes De Lengua (beef tongue sopes)

8. Don Juan
 Location: Massapequa Park
Overview: One of the more well known places on the list, Don Juan provides consistently good Mexican food (and drinks) at fairly inexpensive prices. A lot of people will list this as their favorite (mostly due to them not trying others on the list). While I don't agree that it's the best, it certainly is worthy of top 10.
Favorite Dish: Don Juan's Especial

7. On the Border
Location: Hicksville
Overview: On the Border is not only a great place for Mexican food and drinks, but one of the better Mexican joints to go to for Cinco De Mayo. I'm not usually a fan of putting a big chain on a list (hence why no Chipotle), but On the Border is good enough to make the top 10.
Favorite Dish: La Bandera

6. Aztec Emperor
Location: Wantagh
Overview: I love how this place is fairly unknown compared to others on the list (means less of a wait for me :) ). This place has the best salsa I've ever had making the chips and salsa they serve worth the trip alone.
Favorite Dish: Mole Poblano 

5. Laguna Grille
Location: Woodbury
Overview: This place is always packed - and with good reason. Laguna Grille serves up above average Mexican food that's constantly great. They also not only give you salsa and chips before the meal, but plantain chips as well (a very nice touch). Laguna Grille is my pick for best steak fajitas on Long Island
Favorite Dish: Steak Fajitas

4. Cozymel's
Location: Westbury
Overview: Great place to visit during the summer as Cozymel's offers an outside patio. Regardless, if you enjoy Mexican food you'll enjoy the food at Cozymel's. The place also makes one of the best margharita's you can get on the island.
Favorite Dish: Homemade Tamales

3. Mangoes
Location: Bethpage
Overview: Casual, but still a good place to take a date to. Mangoes serves up great Mexican food at fairly decent prices.   A big plus about the place is the Mariachi band that plays on Fridays and Saturdays. Definitely something you don't want to miss. Even if you come here on another day, the food alone will make it worth the trip.
Favorite Dish: Lobster Quesedilla

2. Zim Zari
Location: Massapequa Park
Overview: Not a fancy place by any means. This place reminds you of an eatery you'd see right off of the beach - including the surfboard shaped menus. The place boasts one of the best meal deals on Long Island with "taco Tuesday" which are $2 prices for their signature tacos. There tacos are the reason to come here ranging   from their take on a surf and turf to tuna tacos and more. Taco lovers will not be disappointed.
Favorite Dish: Surf & Turf Tacos

1. Besito
Location: Roslyn
Overview: Besito is not only the best Mexican restaurant in Nassau County, but probably one of the best restaurants on Long Island (tied with Waterzooi as my favorite). It's upscale, not cheap whatsoever, but well worth the price. They have the best table side guacamole I've ever had and everything I've gotten there was beyond delicious. Plus, they have an amble amount of tequila and other alcohol. A+ all around.
Favorite Dish: Tie between the  Costillas Al Piquin (short ribs) and Budin De Mariscos (shrimp and crab pie)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 Great Bands Who Have Jumped the Shark

The term "jumping the shark" refers to a person, band, TV show, or anything that was once great, but has now surpassed that greatness with their new releases. There are many bands that made some outstanding albums, but are now releasing material that doesn't even come close to the greatness of their older work. We've identified some of these bands below.

1. Green Day
    Best Album: Dookie
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: 21st Century Breakdown
    Why? There really is nothing like old Green Day. Dookie, Insomnia, and Nimrod were all fantastic albums. Warning was more experimental for the band, but good and American Idiot was a solid rock opera. 21st Century Breakdown, however, felt like a B-sides compilation of American Idiot, which could be forgiven if it wasn't for the horrendous Uno, Dos, Tres albums that followed. Those felt like it came from a mediocre band trying to imitate Green Day. Gone are the glory days of Dookie

2. Smashing Pumpkins
    Best Album: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Machina: The Machine of Gods
    Why? Smashing Pumpkins were one of the 90's best rock outfits. After some lineup changes and Billy Corgan becoming more experimental, they really haven't been the same since Mellon Collie. Adore was different, not as good as Mellon Collie and Siamese Dream, but still a good album. Then Machina came out and it was very disappointing. They haven't put out a good release since then (although their most recent album, Oceania, is the best of the worst). 

3. Weezer
    Best Album: Weezer (Blue Album)
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Make Believe
    Why? I remember the days when entire Weezer albums were great. This was the case with the Blue Album and Pinkerton. Most of the Green Album and Maladroit were excellent as well. Then Make Believe came out and there was this wrong of mediocrity. 2-3 great songs followed by  mostly filler that has spanned their last four albums.
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Best Album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: By The Way
    Why? You should expect a band's sound to evolve and change 20+ years into a career, but the Chili Peppers changed for the worse. Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the best album they released and did their signature funk rock better than any other album. One Hot Minute wasn't a good album (with the exception of 2 or 3 songs), but they redeemed themselves with Californication. That album wasn't as good as Blood Sugar, but was still a great album loaded with some of their best songs. I was excited for By The Way after hearing the title track, but was extremely disappointed when I realized that was the only great song on the album. Their last two releases haven't been much better. Stadium Arcadium did have some good songs, but the double album concept didn't work for them.

5. 311
    Best Album: 311
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Evolver
    Why? A band with a sound like 311 can hardly be described as "boring", but since Evolver that has been the case. I loved Music through From Chaos (some might argue that they jumped the shark starting with From Chaos), but Evolver is a disappointing album bookend with two great tracks: "Creatures" and "Sometimes Jacks Rule the Realm". It's only gotten worse from Evolver making it very improbable that 311 will release anything on par with their self-titled album, Grassroots, or Soundsystem.

6. Oasis
    Best Album: (What's the Story) Morning Glory
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Be Here Now
    Why? Oasis is on most people's "bands that jumped the shark" list and with good reason. Very rarely have I seen a band go from legendary to bad as quickly as Oasis. Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory were two genre defining albums and one of the best of the 90's. Then all of a sudden Be Here Now came out and you're left wondering what happened to this band? Since then, all of their releases have been bad. It's actually good to see that Oasis is no more since I don't know if I can tolerate another bad Oasis release.

7. Led Zeppelin
    Best Album: Led Zeppelin IV
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Presence
    Why? Led Zeppelin still stands as one of the greatest bands of all time, but even they jumped the shark when it comes to album releases. I don't think any band in rock history has had a good of a six album run as Led Zeppelin did for Led Zeppelin through Physical Graffiti. Their two releases after, Presence and Coda, weren't that good (with the exception of a handful of songs). It makes you wish that the band stopped making music after Physical Graffiti and just toured with those 6 albums.

8. Jimmy Eat World
    Best Album: Clarity
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: Chase This Light
    Why? Jimmy Eat World doesn't fit the mold of the other bands here, but I'm including them because I really think Clarity is the best emo album ever made. Bleed American, their follow up, was an outstanding punk pop album. Futures, which followed after, was kind of a mix between Clarity and Bleed American's sounds. Not as good as those two, but still decent. Chase This Light and Invented (two albums after) are just middle of the road emo music. You might find a song or two that's good, but it doesn't even come close to the greatness of Clarity or Bleed American.

9. Guns 'N Roses
    Best Album: Appetite for Destruction
    Album Where they Jumped the Shark: The Spaghetti Incident
    Why? I almost didn't include them because The Spaghetti Incident was only one album and Chinese Democracy was a completely different lineup (minus Axl and Dizzy Reed and Dizzy didn't even show up until the Illusion albums). However, the Spaghetti Incident was so bad and Chinese Democracy was such a letdown that I'm including them on the list, especially when you consider how great their prior four albums were.

10. Live
      Best Album: Throwing Copper
      Album Where they Jumped the Shark: V
      Why? Live peaked too early with their sophomore album, Throwing Copper, which was an outstanding album that the band never came close to achieving again. Secret Samadhi and The Distance to Here weren't as good, but they were worthy follow ups. Since V, the band has been taken pride in mediocrity making it seem highly unlikely we'll ever hear an album like Throwing Copper again from the band. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 MLB Standings Predictions

 Baseball season is right around the corner! It's a little early, but we put together our rankings predictions for this year.

AL East:

1. Baltimore Orioles (97 - 65)
2. New York Yankees (90 - 72) (1st wildcard)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (86 - 76)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (84 - 78)
5. Boston Redsox (75 - 87)

AL Central:

1. Detroit Tigers (90 - 72)
2. Chicago Whitesox (82 - 80)
3. Kansas City Royals (81 - 81)
4. Cleveland Indians (79 - 83)
5. Minnesota Twins (67 - 95)

AL West:

1. Los Angeles Angels (95 - 67)
2. Texas Rangers (87 - 75) (2nd wildcard)
3. Oakland Athletics (79 - 83)
4. Seattle Mariners (73 - 89)
5. Houston Astros (68 - 94)

NL East:

1. Washington Nationals (98 - 64)
2. Atlanta Braves (88 - 74) (1st wildcard)
3. Philadelphia Phillies (83 - 79)
4. New York Mets (74 - 88)
5. Miami Marlins (69 - 93)

NL Central:

1. St. Louis Cardinals (87 - 75)
2. Cincinnati Reds (83 - 79)
3. Milwaukee Brewers (80 - 82)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (79 - 83)
5. Chicago Cubs (74 - 88)

NL West:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (93 - 69)
2. San Francisco Giants (84 - 78) (2nd wildcard)
3. Arizona Diamondbacks (82 - 80)
4. Colorado Rockies (78 - 84)
5. San Diego Padres (68 - 94)