On The Road With Audiojack

At the end of summer the bosses of Gruuv Recordings left Europe on a tour around 6 major U.S. cities. The fellows better known as Audiojack documented their eating adventures throughout their two week extravaganza from coast to coast. Check below to see what they liked and what they didn’t, all restaurants are ranked ala Audiojack!

Los Angeles

Little Sister – LA, California

Little Sister

Cuisine: South East Asian

This was our first meal of the tour – a cosy little spot just around the corner from The Standard hotel where we were staying. Staff were friendly and knowledgeable. We shared starters and had a bowl of spicy noodle soup each which was brimming full of flavour and aroma. The quality of the food was excellent, authentic and portions were too big, (or maybe we ordered too much). This place set a high bar. 8.5/10

Industriel

Cuisine: New American (farm to table)

We didn’t book, but tables were available when we arrived for lunch. We ordered from a two-course lunch menu at $15 per head with salads to start, one spring greens in truffle dressing and kale with bacon, both excellent and superb value. We both had sandwiches, one Indian pork and egg and one chicken and rosemary which were both good but a bit big. The staff were friendly and we were well looked after. We received an incorrect order but it was quickly rectified without fuss. We both had coffee too and the bill was only $50 including tip. 7.5/10

Tatakami Sushi & Robata

Cuisine: Sushi

A large upmarket restaurant on the 22nd floor with great views of the city. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable, as is typical of restaurants in America. This was dinner with the promoters before the gig so around 8 people ate and we shared various things from the menu including rolls, sashimi and salads. The food was excellent and they also make an impressive Gin martini. The cost of the food seemed reasonable from the menu but we didn’t see the bill. 8/10

Colorado

House Rock Kitchen – Buena Vista, Colorado

Mad Greens (Denver)

Cuisine: Salad and Soup bar

A healthier fast food kinda place where most people seemed to get take away but as it was raining we ate in. We had a 2-course meal of a bowl of veggie soup and a tofu salad which was prepared in the subway production line fashion. Both were decent. The cost was between $10-15 per head. 6.5/10

House Rock (Buena Vista)

Cuisine: Burgers and Salads

This is an order at the counter place with seating and takeaway options. We arrived at happy hour where all draft beers were half price. They had a great selection of beers and we ordered six between three of us which came to $20 including tip. Amazing value! We ordered burgers and salads to eat, all were very good, so good that we got takeout for back to our camp in the mountains ahead of a day’s kayaking and ziplining the following day. The meals were around $15 each. 7/10

Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro (Denver)

Cuisine: Hong Kong / Chinese

Friendly staff, food was tasty but we were drunk so can’t be sure whether that played a part! Not quite as fresh and aromatic as it could have been. The rice beer was really interesting though. 6.5/10

Rustic Station (Bailey)

Cuisine: American diner

We stopped off here on the drive back to Colorado from the mountains. They had one portion of elk stew left so we shared that just to try it. Really nice. The staff were friendly enough and mirrored this rough and ready place well. Rich had fish ‘n chips which were good. Massive portions, decent beer, not too expensive. Our friend Dan got an obscene family sized portion of chocolate cake, which even he couldn’t finish. 6.5/10

Philadelphia

Cleavers – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Abyssinia

Cuisine: Ethiopian

Absolutely delicious food, very quirky place where you sit around and eat with your hands out of woven baskets as is the tradition in Ethiopia. The food was insanely cheap, the staff friendly and there was a secret watering hole in the wall bar upstairs to put the cherry on the cake with the most knowledgeable barman we’ve ever met. Three of us ate for $25, if we lived close we’d eat here every week. 8.5/10

Vietnamese cafe

After going to the laundrette for a mid-tour clothes wash we noticed this place tucked around the corner. Yes it’s actually a Vietnamese café called Vietnamese café. We all had noodle soups which were tasty and fresh. Good value for $12. 7/10

Cleavers

Cuisine: American fast food / Philly Cheesesteaks

The first time we came to Philly a few years ago we went to the famous cheesesteak place and it was one of the heaviest gut busting things we’ve ever eaten. We were told at that time that a teenage kid had the record for most cheesesteaks eaten back to back and that was 15 cheesesteaks. We couldn’t even manage a full one! Thankfully Cleavers was a different story, maybe the best cheesesteak we’ve had. fresher and less stodgy. Great selection of good beers at cheap prices. Top notch counter service joint. Staff were sound too. 7.5/10

New York

Ivan Ramen – NY, New York

Saigon Shack Vietnamese 

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Fast paced restaurant where you sit amongst other diners on benches. This is up there with the best Vietnamese we’ve eaten, and super cheap. Staff aren’t bothered about niceties and just want to get the job done, much like how it typically is in Asian at fast paced restaurants. No alcohol served but you’re too busy enjoying the food to care. No reservations so we had a pint across the road while we waited for our table. Outstanding. 9/10

By Chloe

Cuisine: American vegan

A few years ago we’d have said you were crazy if you told us we’d be eating at vegan restaurants and enjoying it, but these days a large part of our diet is free from animals. By Chloe is one of the best rated lunch spots in New York, it’s where the worlds of fast and healthy food meet. A counter service, fast paced café serving popular dishes without animal products. Everything we ate was amazing, and full of flavour. Inspiring. 9.5/10

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

Cuisine: Japanese

We were really excited to eat here, having watched founder Ivan Orkin on Chef’s Table. This is the market branch which has counter service, street food style. We had ramen and bahn mi and the food was very good. Maybe not quite as good as we hoped thanks to TV overhype, but would definitely eat here again. 8/10

The Butcher’s Daughter

Cuisine: American vegetarian

Cheekily they describe themselves as a vegetable slaughterhouse. We had brunch here and some drinks. The turmeric latte looked great but wasn’t the tastiest. We had sandwiches, a merguez sausage and a bahn mi which were decent but a bit dry. Staff were very nice. Reasonable pricey but comparable for NYC. 7/10

San Francisco

Honey Honey – SF, California

Rambler

Cuisine: American

We ended up going here exacerbated after trying to get into several well rated breakfast spots only to find an hour’s queue. San Francisco really loves breakfast! This is a nice little cafe in downtown. Jamie had an iced tea which wasn’t the best but ok. Then he had butter milk biscuits with eggs and potatoes which was ok but nothing to write home about and very big and a bit heavy. A pretty average price for an average meal in the city. 6.5/10

OSHA

Cuisine: Thai

We went here with the promoter who ordered a selection for us and the food was very good. We had a variety of typical Thai food and everything was fresh and tasty and very well presented too. The staff were super friendly and patient as we were a little loud and boisterous, as to be expected when dinner comes after the gig! It was quite expensive but well worth it for a treat and we weren’t paying so yay. 8/10

Honey Honey

Cuisine: Mexican American breakfast

A little Mexican spot, counter service, always with a queue. Jamie had eggs with potatoes and sausages and a house coffee and the breakfast was the best he ate all trip. Rich had crab benedict for the second time on this tour and was a little disappointed for a second time. Maybe it’s just a flawed dish that sounds better in theory?! The apple and sage sausages were amazing. All food was good value, and it was just about worth the wait. 7/10

Old Siam

Cuisine: Thai

This was our post gig booze soak up feast so to be honest we can’t remember it very vividly, just that it was in the centre near Market Street. We ordered a selection to share and while the presentation wasn’t cared for, the flavour of the food was spot on and good value as well. Would go back (I think?!). 8/10

Miami

The Tavern Inn – Miamia, Florida

Indomania

Cuisine: Indonesian

We landed in Miami just as a huge thunderstorm arrived. This was the closest restaurant to the hotel that wasn’t Nobu and we didn’t think the promoter would appreciate a 4-figure bill so we settled on Indomania. We tucked into a few nice cold Kirin’s as we waited for the promoter to arrive, then settled on vegetarian Nasi Rames, – a mezze type selection of various things. The food was well presented but was a bit stodgy, lacked freshness and wasn’t particularly aromatic. A bit disappointing really, probably wouldn’t go back. 5.5/10

The Tavern Inn

Cuisine: American

The huge thunderstorm continued the following day and this place was joined onto our hotel. With the pavements flooded a foot deep this was our only lunch option. Thankfully it was really good. The server was a little over keen and kept coming to check on us every 5 minutes but was sweet with it so wasn’t too much of an issue for us old grumpy Yorkshiremen. We had our best cappuccinos of the trip, chowder to start and fish tacos for main. The food was very good and the bill was low for the size and quality of the food. Would happily go back. 7.5/10

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