More food: H. Harper Station, The Optimist,and Holeman & Finch Public House

We are planning a holiday vacation to a beach far far away …well not that far away but sitting at my desk… it seems sooo far away.  I have been eating so much that you would not think that in a few short weeks I will be wearing a two piece.  Well any way, there are a few good places that I have recently tried with my dining club the Dining Divas that I can’t keep to myself.

In September ,we ventured to Holeman & Finch Public House http://www.holeman-finch.com/.  The place known for the amazing burgers didn’t disappoint!  Check out their website to get the details on securing a late evening burger.  The food is served tapas style so we ordered several things and shared.  The catfish and grits are amazing, the caramel and bacon popcorn had me licking the bowl, and the shrimp roll was also a big hit.  We loved everything that we ordered.  Now… let me talk about the burger: it was one of the best I have every had.  The patties melt in your mouth and the buttered toasted bun and cheese are the perfect complement.  Although they only make 24 burgers on weeknights, they are served during brunch on Sundays as well.  H & F is one of my new faves.  Seating is limited mostly community style, reservations are not allowed, not a great place for kids ( Brooklyn stayed home), parking is valet  and last, the place is located in the Amore Building next door to Imperial Fez, really easy to miss if you don’t know where to look.

In October we made or way over to H. Harper Station http://hharperstation.com/.  I had always wondered about this place from a historical perspective.  For many years the former train depot sat vacant nestled between old factory lofts and contemporary condos in the Grant Park community.  The menu offers one of everything: fish, pork, chicken, beef.  The mussels come slathered in a curry cream sauce that is awesome.  Dinner was good.  I had the BBQ Carolina Catfish with grits.  It was tasty.  My companions enjoyed their meals as well.  The drink menu is as creative as it is extensive.  Parking is valet only, I took my eight month old daughter and it was ok, well-behaved kids are fine.  The bar is nice and seems like a good place for a date or group outing.  The ambiance is cozy and the place retained much of the historic charm. I would go again.

The Optimist (www.theoptimistrestaurant.com) recently named one of the country’s best by Esquire magazine lives up to all of the hype.  The Dining Divas attempted to obtain reservations a few weeks ago but were unsuccessful.  Three of us gathered for lunch on Veteran’s Day to see what all the fuss is about.  Loved it !!!! The lobster roll  with shoestring fries is the best I have ever had.