Lorraine’s – Provincetown, MA

oI have been a big fan of Lorraine’s for more years than I can remember. It has always been my go-to spot while staying in Provincetown, sometimes dinner every night of my stay. Yes, it was that good. And yes, my little doggy paws used the past tense.

As usual for any trip to Provincetown, I went there for dinner on my first night. It’s always been a tradition of mine. I feel starting out on the right dining paw so to speak sets the tone for the rest of the trip. I should have known something was wrong when I saw that they had moved to a new location. Don’t get me wrong the new space is okay, it’s just not Lorraine’s. It’s very small. They lost at least 50% of their table space, and the décor has been updated, meaning sort of trendy and sleek. Again, nothing like the old Lorraine’s with that warm, cozy, I’m back in Provincetown feeling.

The service was as always, warm and friendly. Lorraine herself even welcomed us back. But there was something missing that night – the old recipes – or at least the old chef. I don’t know what the problem was, but the food was plain bad. The chile relleno was so spicy hot you could barely eat it, and the green sauce (I’m assuming tomatillo) was flavorless and watery. The salsa was also not as I remembered it, lacking any flavor resembling Mexican food. The tostada was not a tostada but a salad that had crumbled tortilla chips on it.

I was, to say the least, heartbroken at how far the food had fallen. I only wish when they had moved, they had remembered to grab the recipe book. It’s not the old Lorraine’s, and it’s certainly not a Lorraine’s I’ll go back to.

Online at: No Website
Reservations Accepted: Yes via (508)-487-6074

Food Rating: 1 Paw
Service Rating 3 Paws

Overall Rating: 2 Paws


With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy eating.


Pop + Dutch – Provincetown

Unknown-2It’s been a few years since I’ve been taken to Provincetown, and I was quite excited when I heard about going back for Spookybear. There is really nothing quite like Provincetown during Halloween, and yes I packed my Halloween cape for the occasion.

Saturday afternoon I was getting rather hungry and decided to stop in at Pop + Dutch at 147 Commercial Street. I knew I had chosen wisely when I saw their slogan, “Sandwiches, Salads, and Lube.” Seriously it could only happen in Provincetown. The deli and general store literally has a little bit of everything, from suntan lotions, to waffle bats, to specialty grocery item, and yes lube. They also have a great selection of made-to-order deli sandwiches.

I ordered the Danny DeVito, which included shaved mushroom, zucchini ribbons, marinated artichoke hearts, provolone, hoagie relish, arugula, red onion, drizzled with oil and vinegar on Iggy’s ciabatta roll. I normally don’t get too excited over a deli sandwich, but this thing was out of this world. I mean fireworks good. My paws were tapping a happy tune the entire time I was eating it. Yes, it’s that freakin’ amazing.

Next time you’re in Provincetown, get yourself Pop + Dutch and get one of their sandwiches. It will probably be the best food you’ll find in Provincetown. More on that note in a later post.

Online at: Pop + Dutch

Food Rating: 5 Paws
Service Rating: 5 Paws

Overall Rating: 5 Paws

Rating 5 Paw

With love from my dog bowl to yours….Happy eating.


McCabe’s – Cambridge, Ma

lsI’ve walked by McCabe’s on Massachusetts Avenue more times than I care to count, and every time I do I think, “I should try that place.” So when friends of mine suggested we go there for dinner I was like, “Finally!” And final it will be.

Upon first entering, it seems like a quaint, albeit very busy neighborhood joint. We were greeting with warm smiles and immediately taken to our reserved table for eight. From there on, the evening went down hill.

The waitress, stood at one end of the long table, making it difficult for any of us at the other end to hear what she was saying, she seemed put-off when others asked her to repeat herself. I will preface this next comment to say, that this gathering of friends was sort of a reunion so there was lots of catching up, so we didn’t get around to ordering our dinner for about an hour. When we did, however, the waitress informed us of several of the menu items were either out, or running low. Really? Couldn’t you have told us sooner?

I can understand perhaps running out of a nightly special, but running out of your regular menu items is something only done by amateurs or poor budgeting and planning. So the dish I wanted was no longer available.

My hamburger, was dry, tasteless, and came with only 3 pieces of wilted lettuce. No tomato, no onion, no mustard, or ketchup. I choked down half of the sandwich and gave up. One of my friends didn’t get the food she ordered, but gave up waiting and ate what they mistakenly brought her. The gnocchi was overpowered by the truffles, to the point of not being able to taste the squash or brussels sprouts. The mushroom pizza was so heavy with garlic and grease it was inedible and remained untouched, except for a couple of bites.

And if all this isn’t enough to turn you away, we ordered a slice of cheesecake for dessert. It was deep-fried! Hello, there! Nowhere on the menu did it mention this. The breading used made it takes like we were biting into Southern friend chicken, not something sweet for dessert. It like many of the menu items was half-eaten.

There are a few redeeming features I should mention out of fairness. They have amazing French fries. They were crispy on the outside (skin-on) and soft and tender on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. The other two highlights of the evening were the cheese plate and house-pickled vegetable platter.

My advice to you, go for the drinks, and a couple of appetizers anything, which doesn’t require much in the way of kitchen labor. If you want to try their regular menu go early if you won’t want the kitchen to run out of food.

Online at: http://www.mccabesonmass.com/
Reservations Accepted: Yes via Opentable

Food: 2 Paws
Service 2 Paws

Overall Rating 2.0 paws


With love from my dog bowl to yours…happy eating

Bill’s – Soho, London

IMG_1759Our last day in London started out on the early side, and one thing I’ve learned about London, is that coffee shops and breakfast places are not open for us early risers. Most places don’t open till 9:00 a.m. or later! Luckily, we found out about Bill’s the night before. This place is a gem among the Soho restaurant scene.

Breakfast at Bill’s goes anywhere from a basket of toast and pastries with butter and three different jams, to pancakes with strawberries and bananas, to full English plates and various egg dishes, and there are plenty of options for vegetarians.

The place is funky and fabulous on the inside with a décor, which must be seen and experienced to be IMG_1760appreciated. The music went from Reggie, to Memphis Blues, to Jazz without blinking an eye. The servers were friendly, funny, and at times entertaining as the got down to the funky music. There is no London pretension here, only great food, and great service.

If you’re an early morning person and are up for some fantastic food, get down to Bill’s. One word of warning, they get busy and stay busy, so make a reservation.

Online at: https://bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/london-soho/
Reservations Accepted: Yes via https://bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/london-soho/

Food: 5 Paws
Service 5 Paws

Overall Rating: 5 Paws

With love from my dog bowl to yours…happy eating!


Dozo Japanese Restaurant – Soho, London

UnknownOne of the reason I enjoy Japanese restaurants, besides the food, is their casual, quiet, and relaxing atmosphere. The hotel concierge recommended Dozo to us. The food at Dozo was outstanding, but the atmosphere left a lot to be desired.

Now to be fair we arrived at Dozo without a reservation, though to be honest there was no mention of reservations needed on their website. We arrived at 6:15 p.m. (they supposedly opened at 6:00 p.m.) and the place was packed (a good sign) but the noise and chaos of the restaurant overpowered the entire restaurant. The maître d was quite flirtatious with us, so he “found us a table” or rather squeezed us into the end of a row of tables, requiring us to sit on the floor with our legs dangling into a black hole in the floor, no I am not joking. We were packed elbow to elbow and shoulder to shoulder, and foot to foot with the crowds. It was not a pleasant dining experience.

The food however, made up for the cramped quarters. The vegetable gyoza were perfectly prepared with a flavorful and tangy dipping sauce. The Kaiso salad, a mix of seaweeds, was utterly flat and flavorless and sat in a pool of water. Their sesame dressing, served on the side, was more of a thick peanut butter than a sauce. It was the disappointment of the meal.

The sushi, consisting of a tempura asparagus roll, a rainbow roll, and a tuna roll were fresh and delicious. There are some basic vegetarian rolls on the menu, but other than five types of rolls and a couple of salads, there is nothing on the menu that doesn’t consist of some form of meat, fish, or seafood.

If you’re looking for a Japanese restaurant in Soho, this is an option but just beware that it will be noisy, and crowded. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, go elsewhere.

Online at: http://www.dozosushi.co.uk/
Reservations Accepted: Yes via telephone 020 7434 3219

Food: 4 paws
Service: 3 Paws

Overall Rating: 3.5 Paws


With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy eating!


The Diner – Soho, London

IMG_1719Sometimes when you’re traveling you need a little taste of home, something to keep you grounded while traveling, a comfort in the memory of good food. That is where I found myself during my second day in London, and the reason why I chose to go to The Diner.

I checked out the menu online, and it looked authentic, you know truly American. There were numerous versions of hamburgers and hot dogs, basket combo’s of fried proteins with French fries and coleslaw. They even had blue-plate specials. Now come on who doesn’t remember those from their childhood. Plus, they had a decent selection of vegetarian dishes. I was sold.

Oh, how foolish I was to think I could get real American diner food here in London. The menu may have been authentic, but the food was in the words of many Londoners, rubbish. It was as if they photocopied an American diner menu, but hadn’t a clue as to how to prepare any of the food.

The tomato soup (usually one of my favorites) was loaded with garlic and onions. Blindfolded I would not have known there were tomatoes in the soup. It was watered down, thin, and other than the onion and garlic flavorless.

The grilled cheese sandwich was far worse. It was wrapped in paper (as is usually served here in London with fish and chips), it only helped in holding in the grease of the cheese. The sandwich was thick, heavy, and literally falling apart from the grease. I have no idea what sort of cheese they used, as there wasn’t any cheese flavor, just bread and grease.

I suppose here in London, no one is going to know what true American diner food is like, but let me tell you something, nothing about the place remotely resembles it, except for the menu.

Online at: http://goodlifediner.com/
Reservations Accepted: Unsure

Food: 1 Paw
Service: 3 Paws

Overall Rating: 2 Paws


With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy eating

Mother Mash – Soho, London

1433321470319I’ve had bangers and mash in the states, and always wondered how much they actually resemble the real deal in London, well I found out. Of course both the British and American versions have mashed potatoes, sausages and gravy, but that’s were the similarities end. The flavor of true bangers and mash can’t be had in the State at least not that I have found. Mother Mash is my new home away from home.

Picture it. Eight different types of mash, from horseradish, cheesy mustard and of course the classic with milk and butter. Then there are nine different types of bangers you can select from. (Yes this is build your own) from Cumberland sausages, Lincolnshire to lamb and mint, and yes for you vegetarians out there they have a vegetable and herb banger! And it doesn’t stop there. Once you select your mash and bangers then you get to choose your gravy, from traditional to veggie and everywhere in between.

I selected the horseradish mash with Cumberland sausages and tradition gravy. IMG_1754(Pictured) From the first bite until the very last I was in doggy heaven. Word cannot describe the flavors and textures of this dish. The potatoes are whipped to a fluffy consistency mixed with a fresh horseradish sauce and bits of the horseradish root. The sausages are mild, and tangy and blend perfectly with the traditional gravy. If it hadn’t been for a full house, I literally would have licked my plate clean, that’s how insanely good this dish was.

I don’t know how other restaurants prepare their bangers and mash, but at Mother Mash’s that all they do, and they have perfected the art, and yes I now know that true bangers and mash is an art form.

Online at: http://www.mothermash.co.uk/
Reservations Accepted: No

Food: 5 Paws
Service 5 Paws

Overall Rating: 5 Paws

Rating 5 Paw

With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy eating!


Princi – Soho, London

IMG_1696My first morning in London, found me a bit jet lagged and surprisingly hungry. I noticed next to my little doggy bed a breakfast menu for the hotel, which stated that their breakfast came from Princi Bakery in Soho. Instead of having breakfast in bed, I decided to get myself cleaned up and go to their restaurant. And here is where the review gets tricky.

The restaurant is beautifully designed open and inviting. The center of the room holds the wood-fire grill for what is supposed to be their famous pizza’s from Milan. Yes, this is a Milanese restaurant. A not so friendly waiter who seemed to be having a bad morning greeted us. After dropping off the menu, he quickly left. We waited, and waited a bit more before he returned to take our order. Once again we waited, and waited, and waited some more. The waiter had simply vanished he was nowhere to be seen. Finally a woman came to our table (after a good 20 minutes) to ask if we were okay, we explained what had happened, she apologized and immediately corrected the situation. Our juice, cappuccinos, and pastries were brought to our table.

The pastries were out of the world. Coming from the United States where you’re never sure what you’ll get when a croissant is ordered, this was truly amazing. Now I know what true French pastries are like. During our meal, we had three other employees of the restaurant checking in with us, including the manager (I believe) and it wasn’t until the plates were cleared that our mysterious waiter with the attitude showed up. And once again after passing by our table a half-dozen times I literally had to stop him and ask for our bill.

After talking to friends about this experience, I’m told that it’s not uncommon to have such dramas unfold at some of the finest Milan restaurants, so if this is true than this place is spot on for bringing the essence of Milan to Soho.

If you don’t mind a bit of drama and emotional meltdown from your wait staff, then this place is worth the trip.

Online at: http://www.princi.com
Reservations Accepted: No

Food: 5 Paws
Service: 2 Paws

Overall Rating: 3.5 Paws

ShatasSignature_3.5With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy eating!

Shiro Restaurant and Sushi Bar – Novi, Mi.

IMG_1653Several times a year I find myself in the Detroit Metro area visiting family and friends, and while a lot has changed over the years in this city, one thing remains constant and it’s the one place I insist on eating while in Detroit – Shiro Restaurant and Sushi Bar.

Shiro in Japanese means Castle or White and it’s a fitting name for the historic Rogers Mansion that now houses this restaurant. The service here is always top notch, the waiters and waitresses never miss a beat, even during their peak dining periods.

The food is without question some of the finest Japanese food that I have come across in the Detroit Metro area. It would take much too long to describe in detail everything I’ve had on the menu over the years, so here are a few of my favorites.

The wasabi shumai are one of those rare delicacies. In all of dining experiences nothing has ever come close to these soft, perfect cooked, spicy wasabi wrappers (they will clear your nasal passages) filled with minced pork and vegetables. Served alongside a smear of wasabi mayonnaise and an onion and pepper relish, these are worth the trip alone.

The have a wonderful range of unique and flavorful vegetarian sushi including their AACC Roll (avocado, asparagus, cucumber topped and a crunchy spiced batter.) One of my favorite rolls is their Fresh Fashion Roll (roasted red pepper, pickled cucumber, pickled ginger and shredded radish all wrapped up with a cucumber.

Their Hibachi grills are only served at lunch, which is a shame as they are truly one of the best parts of their vast Japanese menu.

One word of warning, they get very busy, so do yourself a favor and call for a reservation, even if it’s just for two people. You don’t want to miss your chance at getting in. It’s simply that good.
Online at: http://www.shiro-restaurant.com/
Accepts Reservations: Yes via telephone 248-348-1212

Food: 5.0 Paws
Service: 5.0 Paws

Overall Rating… 5.0 Paws

Rating 5 Paw

With love from my dog bowl to yours….Happy eating.


Takara Sushi – Castro, San Francisco

lsI’m very particular about my sushi, and when I’m in San Francisco my go-to place is Kiji on Guerrero Street. However, this time I decided to make a reservation at Takara in the Castro neighborhood. I had heard great things about it, and while I am always skeptical about restaurants in the Castro I threw caution to the wind. Well the wind blew it back in my face.

I decided to go all vegetarian, and luckily Takara has a very nice selection of vegetarian options. The Cucumber Sonomono was the first disappointment. The vinegar tasted as if it has been diluted with water, most of the cucumbers had not even been dipped in the vinegar let alone soaked in it. I actually had to pour soy sauce over it, to be able to eat it. The vegetable gyoza was the next item up, and they were perfectly prepared, golden and crisp on one side and the vegetables inside bursting with flavor. For my rolls I ordered the oshinko maki, and the vegetable dragon roll.

The oshinko was crisp and perfectly pickled, unfortunately the nori that it was wrapped in was stale and tough. The dragon roll was probably the highlight of the night. Well prepared, the nori was fresh, and the avocado and eggplant prepared with perfection.

Now comes the worst experience in my restaurant life. The wait staff appeared to be on speed. I have never in my life felt so rush at a restaurant. No sooner did I place the last piece of food in my mouth, they were there snatching away the empty plate. I was in and out of the restaurant in 30 minutes. I left stressed and completely unnerved by the overly hyper staff.

It was the first and last time at Takara Sushi. Take a lesson from your four-legged world traveler. Don’t go here. There are so many better places in the city to get really fine sushi and to do so in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Keep walking my friends, keep walking.

Online at: http://takarasushi.net
Reservations Accepted: Yes via 415-626-7864

Food: 2 Paws
Service: 1 Paws

Overall Score 1.5 Paws

1.5 Paw ReviewWith love from my dog bowl to yours….Happy eating.



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