Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of April 26th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Café Sharaku

For writers, there are times when, no matter how clear an idea seems in your head, you just can't commit it to paper. Everything comes out as unidentifiable gibberish. It's daunting, especially after having invested hours of time and energy into a piece. But the best thing to do in such a case -- and the hardest -- is to just stop, delete the entire mess, and start over. More >>

John Linn
Café Sharaku's soufflé.


Screen Door

Before you take the first bite of Screen Door's tasso ham soup, pause a moment to listen. This soup talks to you. It's a lady with a sweet Southern accent, speaking softly and gently into your ear. She says, "Come on, hon, eat up while it's good 'n' hot, 'cause there's plenty more out cheah for all y'all." More >>


Africanna Cafe

The Spice Market of Addis Ababa is almost a city of its own -- a serpentine stable where merchants hawk the raw materials that combine deliciously in Ethiopia's distinctive cuisine. In the spring, when the sun finally comes out after two rainy months and bakes the muddy streets into damp clay, the women of Addis Ababa emerge from their family compounds, ready to cook. Inevitably, they head to the market to buy a season's worth of grains and chiles, lentils and greens, garlic bulbs and ginger roots. More >>


Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

The salted pork spareribs at Shanghai Chinese Restaurant (9116 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-988-7288) are fried in a wok with garlic and red chiles and served simply, on a platter with steamed rice on the side. The first bite reminds my dining companion of fried chicken, but "better." She is right -- the outside of the pork rib is crispy, and the inside is juicy. The little bubbles of pork fat crunch and burst when you bite into them, making you want to suck the pork bone when all the meat is gone. More >>

Kansas City

Webster House Restaurant

In 2002, when philanthropist Shirley Bush Helzberg opened an antique shop, carriage-trade accessories store, restaurant and special-event space in a 125-year-old brick school building in the Crossroads, the second-floor restaurant was called Webster's. Most afternoons, it served luncheon to well-coifed women who could do a bit of antiquing before or after their meals. More >>

Jaimie Warren
"The Webster House is now for manly eaters, too."

Los Angeles

Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron

Let no man interpret my regard for pambazos as anything but reverence; my fondness for tortas ahogadas as anything but sincere. I even like doughy Mexican-style tortas cubanas, even -- especially -- when the provenance of the ham and cheese is base enough to make Michael Pollan weep salty, salty tears. But the king of Mexican sandwiches is the beefy construction known as the cemita poblana, a brawny, layered thing of ripe avocados and marinated onions and tofu-textured panela cheese, a couple of chipotle peppers to add some smoky heat and a few wisps of fried beef or chicken to give the sandwich some heft, all crowbarred into a cemitas bun: a hard-crusted roll glazed with a sweetish egg wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds, the kind of roll that could take the teeth out of your mouth as easily as an embittered NHL enforcer with a grudge. More >>


Picnic Miami

The notion that the three biggest determinants of restaurant success are location, location, location is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Take the intersection of Bay Road and 20th Street in Miami Beach. Sea Rock, a music-themed seafood restaurant, crashed there in no time at all. More >>