April, 2013

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King Cajun Crawfish

KingCajunCrawfish

KingCajunCrawfishExterior

KingCajunCrawfishMenu

King Cajun Crawfish is located on Mills Ave next to Banana’s Modern Diner.  Parking can be a bit tight but street parking is available.  It’s a bit tight as far as seating goes in here too.   The menu lists salad, wings, shellfish, po boys and assorted fried items.  Me?  I’m here for the crawfish!  It is called “King Cajun Crawfish” afterall.  If you select the crawfish or any other boiled shellfish, you pick your seasoning of choice: Lemon Pepper, Rajun Cajun, Garlic Butter, or Sha Bang.  I recommend the Sha Bang, it’s spicy garlicky goodness.  Well, I can’t just eat all crawfish (I could…. but I want to try some of the other food here) so I ordered the Jambalaya and the Oysters & Fish.

 

KingCajunCrawfishJambalaya

The Jambalaya here was sweeter to what I’m accustomed to.  I prefer my Jambalaya a bit spicier but it’s not  a bad dish at all.  (Not the most appetizing looking meal though.)  You got your sausage, rice, celery and what not  This is not a “must order” dish unless you just don’t want something fried in your belly.

 

KingCajunOyster&FishOysters and fish basket.  You got your fried oysters, fried fish and some hush puppies.  Simple enough.  The fish and fried oysters were fried perfectly.  The hush puppies looked burnt but the contents inside were pretty tasty.  Cole slaw was…mediocre.  Not another “must order” dish either but not a bad option either.

 

KingCajunCrawfishWell, the Jambalaya and the Oysters & fish is ok but how about the crawfish? YUM YUM!  I most certainly approve of the crawfish.  I even put my bib on.  It’s messy, it’s tasty, I’m definitely a fan.  There’s no right or wrong way of eating crawfish as long as you get the tail out.  As for me, I remove the head from the tail.  I then suck the head of the crawfish for that extra flavor.  Next, I remove the shell from the tail and then eat the tail.  And if you don’t want the crawfish head juice, I won’t judge you.  Well, maybe a little.  I kid,I kid.  Just give me your crawfish heads.

 

The staff here was very friendly, constantly checking on me although most of the time my mouth was full of food.  Wear the bib, grab the paper towels and have fun!

KingCajunCrawfishBib

http://kingcajuncrawfish.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kingcajuncrawfish

HOURS:
Mon – Sat:  11:30 am – 9:30 pm
Sun:  12:30 pm – 9:30 pm
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Bento Café Dr. Phillips

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BentoCafeInteriorBento Café is a Pan-Asian restaurant chain with five locations, two of which are in Orlando.  I recently went to the Sand Lake location  with a group of friends for a birthday celebration.  I hadn’t been here before because it didn’t strike out to me as a place that I “must try”.  Well, the birthday girl is raving about this place.  It was busy for a Friday night.  I liked the interior, the restaurant has a stylish modern look with red throughout.

BentoCafeFriedCheeseWontonsThe menu is easy to order from.  You pick your entrée, the options are “bento box”, “noodle bowl”, or “rice bowl”.  Then you select your protein and the style.  Easy enough and very customizable but so many choices.  Do I want to go more Chinese, Thai, or Japanese?  I just kept looking over the menu, up and down.  They also have a sushi menu that was priced reasonably.  I ordered the Fried Cheese Wontons and the Basil Chicken Noodle Bowl.  The Fried Cheese Wontons ($3.75) were really good.  Not too heavy tasting as far as the cream cheese goes, and the sauce on the side was tasty. I definitely didn’t share these.

BentoCafeBasilChickenNoodleNext, I had the Basil Chicken Noodle Bowl ($7.75).  It had chicken, noodles, basil, onions, carrots and a kung pao sauce.  I was craving some extra veggies, so I added broccoli.  If you order this, have them make it spicy.  You’ll thank me for this.  Great tasting flavor, fresh vegetables, it’s actually good.  The noodle bowl is a good portion size.  I tasted the Beef Bulgogi, it was decent too.  (Although for me it wasn’t as flavorful as I’ve had in Korean restaurants.)

Bento Café has boba (which is a flavored drink with tapioca pearls).  Lots of flavors to choose from.  They also serve beer/wine and have drink specials.  I had a bottle of Su Yuen Red Wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery.  It’s a Merlot/Syrah blend, so it was a sweet red wine but it went well with my meal.

Food-wise, I was surprised and enjoyed it.  Great flavors, good portions.  Service-wise, I do think they need some work.  The servers did not handle a large group well.  Some of people in the group showed up much much later and received their food before I did.  Luckily, I wasn’t terribly hungry or else I would’ve gone into She-Hulk mode.  One of my friends waited awhile for her seaweed salad.  Seriously?  It’s seaweed salad.  I’d come back but with a smaller party.

 

All in all, it’s in a great location, lots to choose from and you’ll leave here full.  If you’re just craving Asian food but can’t decide, Bento Café is a good go-to option.

 

http://www.bentocafesushi.com/

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Taverna Opa Orlando

TavernaOpaHummus

I love I-drive, it’s full of food, music and fun times.  Taverna Opa has all three.  Some of the locals may be dissuaded to coming here due to the fact it’s on I-drive but I embrace it.  How many places can you go on a weekday and feel like it’s the weekend?  One of the great things about living in Orlando is that, I have the ability to play “tourist” and then go back to my normal routine.  Taverna Opa gives me that experience and I’m certain for anyone else who goes, they’ll have a great time.

Taverna Opa is a Greek restaurant highlighting food and entertainment.  It’s located on the second floor of Pointe Orlando, next to B.B. Kings Restaurant.  Ample seating is available inside, it’s great for groups and celebrating any occasion.  I remember the last time I was here, I was celebrating my birthday.  And yes, I did get on top of the table.  It’s been awhile since I had been back but I’m glad I went again.

TavernaOpaInteriorUpon entering, there’s a massive tree in the middle with lights.  Full bar on the left, the kitchen is straight ahead.  It’s definitely spacious inside.  People are dancing, paper napkins are being thrown in the air, just fantastic atmosphere.  (For those wondering about the paper napkins being thrown, it’s been four times recycled.)  They even have a belly dancers here.  If all this entertainment isn’t your thing, there is outdoor seating too.

 

TavernaOpaHummusTavernaOpaTzatzikiAt Taverna Opa, they give you a wooden mortar and pestle where you mash your own hummus.  The hummus here is more of a typical flavor.  I prefer a heavier garlic flavor but it certainly was enjoyable with the warm pita bread.  If chickpeas isn’t your style, the Tzatziki appetizer is very good. It’s a cool strained cucumber-dill yogurt served with pita bread.

 

 

TavernaOpaRiceChickenLambChopSpanakopitaAh, spanakopita, a definite favorite of mines.  Classic spinach and feta pie in phyllo dough.  The combination of spinach and feta cheese can’t be beat.  I also ate some of  lamb chops.  Absolutely delicious!  It’s succulent, flavorful, cooked perfectly and not to mention it’s marinated for 36 hours.  I highly recommend getting the lamb chops.  The chicken kabobs is another good option.  It’s a tender chicken breast on stick with delicate subtle flavors.  Great for those who want to enjoy the natural flavor of chicken.  The chicken kabobs is served with the spinach rice.  I do feel the name “spinach rice” is a bit misleading because as I ate the rice, I wasn’t thinking “Boy, I really taste that spinach”.  Nonetheless, I thought the rice tasted great.  

BaklavaDuring my meal, I had the Eros Martini.  Very tasty, if I do say so myself.  It’s got Absolut raspberry vodka, cranberry juice, and a splash of lime.  The Pomegranate Martini had Pama liqueur, Absolut citron, a splash of cranberry juice and a splash of sour.  Not bad but the Eros Martini was definitely tastier.  There’s a full bar here with lots of drink choices whether it’s beer, wine, liquor, or specialty drinks.

Last but not least, I had some baklava.  I will admit, I’m not the biggest fan of baklava because often times, I find that it’s too sweet for me.  I really enjoyed the baklava here.  It was sweet but not to the point where I could only have a few bites.  The baklava had great balance between the spices and honey.  Yum!

As I enjoyed my meal, I had the opportunity to speak with Evan (one of the managers) and Vassilis Coumbaros (the general manager).  Evan took the time to talk to me about some the special events they have here.  Vassilis (aka Victor) came by and we chatted for a little bit.  Great guys and I just had an all-around great time here, between the food and the festivities.

Come for the lamb chops, you won’t be disappointed.  If you’re wanting to go somewhere with some good eats and fun times, this is the place!  OPA!

http://opaorlando.com/

HOURS:
Sun – Thurs 11:00am – 11:00pm
Fri – Sat 11:00am – 2:00am
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Venezia Pâtisserie and Café Kissimmee

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Venezia Pâtisserie and Café is located conveniently near the movie theater at the Loop.  Inside, you’ll feel like you’re in an Italian café but with a hispanic twist.  I’ve been here a few times and the staff here is always wonderful.  You’ll find some sweet treats but they also have savory items as well.

VeneziaCaféConLecheCornettoI shall always remember this place as my first encounter with a cachapa with ham and cheese.  Delish!  Be forewarned, they do not always have this available.  I got a café con leche (espresso and milk), cornetto (Italian croissant) with filled with ricotta and spinach.  I usually have my café con leche without any sugar added.  Mmmm, Lavazza coffee.  I got some of the garlic sauce to go with my cornetto, it was so good.  The flaky layers of the cornetto melted in my mouth.  The combination of the ricotta and spinach with the garlic sauce instantly put a smile on my face.  And of course, I enjoyed my little cookie with my coffee.

It’s a great place to take a break from shopping and chat with friends.  Enjoy!

HOURS:
Mon-Fri 9 am – 9 pm
Sat 9 am – 10 pm
Sun 9 am – 8 pm
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Mary Ann Bakery North Miami

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I was on my way to the beach in Miami and I drove past a small bakery.  Wait…. a bakery with Chinese characters?  U-TURN!!  Yep, I made a u-turn and headed towards it.  For some reason, I had a feeling it’d be authentic.  As I parked, I see an Asian family come out with a cake.  That’s a good sign.  Alright!  Time for another random foodventure.MaryAnnDisplay

It’s a small bakery.  Upon entering, I see the display in front of me.  To left, there are some canned beverages.  Nothing fancy in here, just simply pastries, buns, and cakes.  The single-serving items are generally priced around $ 1.25-1.50 each.  I ordered the dan tat (egg tart/egg custard tart) and a pineapple bun (polo bun).

MaryAnnDanTatAn egg tart looks like a tiny pie.  A typical Chinese egg tart will have a nice flaky crust (like a pie crust).  The dan tat was so good!  It tasted so fresh, with that homemade quality.  The egg custard filling seemed a bit lighter tasting to me, not overwhelmingly egg-flavored.  Nice beautiful golden color, tasty custard.  I usually don’t like to eat more than one egg tart, but I probably could have eaten a few more of these.  This one is a winner!

MaryAnnPineappleBunThe pineapple bun had a sugar topping on it.  It doesn’t actually have any pineapple in it but it is merely called that due to the topping on it being shaped like a pineapple.  Sometimes it may have a nice scored pattern, or some bakeries will have it just encrusted with no particular form.  The pineapple bun here is straight up traditional style.  The dough is sweet, no filling inside with a crunchy sweet topping.  I usually have some kind of filling inside but it’s nice to go the old-fashioned route here and there.  It was a good size and very nostalgic.

For two pastries, it costed me $2.25.  I was very surprised with the quality of the pastries and thought the price was very reasonable.  It’s a small little place filled with authentic Chinese baked goods.  Nice little spot to check out if you’re in the area.  It’s best to bring cash although Mary Ann Bakery does accept credit cards with a minimum purchase of $10.

HOURS:
Mon-Sun 8:30 am – 5 pm
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Squid Lips Sebastian

SquidLipsBaconWrappedScallops

SquidLipsSebastianExteriorSquid Lips.  I’ve heard the name before, who could forget a name like that?  As I was driving along in Sebastian, I happened to pass one.  After I went skydiving, I was a wee bit nauseated and needed some “nom noms”.  (A word to the wise, don’t go skydiving on an empty stomach.)  Now since that’s out of the way, my compadre “R” suggest Squid Lips.  She said one of her friends had worked at one and said it was good.  Sounds like a plan to me!

SquidLipsViewSquidLipsBloodMaryThe location of Squid Lips in Sebastian is on the water.  Definitely a great location, beautiful view.  There are lunch specials if you purchase a drink but mostly sandwiches/wraps though.  Nothing exciting.  My friend ordered a Bloody Mary.  I decided to sit out on this one.  Nausea + Alcohol = Probably not a good idea.  It looked great though, huge olives, shrimp on the side.

The menu features drinks, appetizers, seafood, and more.  The drinks were reasonably priced, cheaper than I had expected.  “R” was one of my classmates from culinary school and one of the main girls of our “chefettes” group.  So you know we definitely looked over the menu.  We settled on some coconut shrimp, bacon wrapped scallops and a dozen oysters.  Need some seafood to enjoy with this view!

SquidLipsOystersFirst the fresh dozen oysters are out.  On the menu they are listed as “market” price but it costed 15-16.  These fresh oysters are from Texas although the server didn’t know often they’re shipped in.  I’m sorry but if you list something as fresh and charge it as “market price,” you really ought to know more about it.  Not only did she not know, she didn’t even go check.  I could understand if it was fairly busy and not being able to find out, but it’s the fact she didn’t even ask.  Hey, I’m pretty serious when it comes to my food.  As far as the flavor of the oysters, it tasted good, so good that we ordered another dozen.  Might as well since we’re already here.  We decided to stop at a 2 dozen.  Oysters aren’t very filling.

SquidLipsCoconutShrimpNext up are the coconut shrimp.  Average coconut shrimp, fairly decent.  The sauce was less than desirable.  The island dipping sauce was very reminiscent of duck sauce.  Both “R” and I are not a fan of the sauce.  The coconut shrimp here is a little more sweet than typical since they use a coconut rum batter.

Last but not least, the Cajun bacon wrapped scallops. Yes, I said bacon and scallops.  YUM!  Four grilled bacon wrapped sea scallops so you know they’re a good size.  Served with a honey lime sauce.  The scallops were ALMOST on the verge of being overdone.  Perfect scallops should have a nice tenderness in the middle.  Flavorwise, it had a tiny hint of spiciness which I enjoyed.  The honey lime sauce?  Not so much.  Again, what is up with the sauces?  Squid Lips, you’re trying too hard.  The food was good but the sauces just aren’t working.  The honey lime sauce ended up toning the scallops down too much.  What’s the point of making them “cajun” if you’re going to put that honey lime sauce on it.  I’m not a fan of the sauces.SquidLipsBaconWrappedScallops

I’m still ready to eat and one of the desserts caught my eye.  Key Lime Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. Whoa, that was a mouthful.  First thing I thought when I saw the slice of cheesecake, whip cream much?  Also a rule of thumb when plating is to NOT  have the dinnerware as the same color of the food.  My cheesecake was blending into the plate.  White chocolate chips on the outside, raspberry swirls throughout, it looks good aside from the massive amount of whip cream.  Where’s the key lime flavor?  Key lime is very distinct and it really didn’t stand out in this cheesecake.  It tastes okay, not phenomenal.  Not worth $5.99.SquidLipsSebastianKeyLimeRaspberryWhiteChocolateCheesecake

Ok, so with one bloody mary, two dozen oysters, coconut shrimp appetizer, bacon wrapped scallops appetizer, and a slice of cheesecake came out to over $70.  Yeesh.  The server wasn’t very personable.  Food is overpriced but it’s a great place for relaxing the day away.  Definitely get the bacon wrapped scallops sans sauce.  I still had an enjoyable experience and if I’m back in the area, I’ll drop by for a drink or two.

 

http://www.squidlipsgrill.com/sebastian-squid-lips/

HOURS:
Sun -Thu  11 am – 9 pm
Fri – Sat    11 am – 10 pm

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Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar Dr. Phillips

RoccosTacosChorizoCochinitasMahi

RoccoTacosExteriorRocco’s Tacos.  What’s the big fuss about?  It’s one of the newer restaurants in the Dr. Phillips area, also known to others as Restaurant Row.  Rocco’s Tacos definitely has a great location with a beautiful view in the back.  I went in on a Sunday afternoon so it wasn’t that crowded.  The drink selection was a bit overwhelming with everything screaming “sweet drinks” at me.  If you are in the mood for a margarita, you are in luck.  I settled with a beer on tap, easy enough.

I really liked the decor in the restaurant.  Funky lights and a nice view, great for a Sunday afternoon.  The music was a bit random.  I consider it as hits of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today.  Definitely a wide range and not what I would have anticipated.  The service was alright.

RoccosTacosAvocadoStandRoccosTacosFreshGaucamoleThe guacamole is made at the tableside and I had mine extra spicy.  It was really good!  The individual who made my guacamole made it just right.  It was well balanced, fresh, spicy, flavorful, and I loved the cilantro in it.  Yum!  It’s cool that they serve the guacamole in a molcajete (mortar).  I suggest ordering the half-size portion for 2 people.  The tortilla chips were a bit thicker than I’m usually accustomed to.  These chips were seasoned with what tastes like a slightly sweet chili seasoning.  If you eat these plain, it’ll taste bland unless you get one of the ones that were heavily seasoned.  It was different but tasted a whole lot better with the guacamole.

RoccosTacosMahiCochinitasChorizoAs far as the menu goes, there’s tacos (obviously), quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, enchiladas,     specialties and some entrees served in a heated molcajete.  I’m always a fan of trying multiple things so I ordered three tacos, the cochinitas achiote (slow roasted pork), chorizo, and blackened mahi.  I tried some of the carne asada, and my first thought was “eh.”  My cochinitas achiote had a nice reddish color (as expected).  With my first bite I thought it tasted flavorful but after two to three bites later, it was just salty.  My friend agreed with me.  No salt on the chips and all on the cochinitas achiote.  The chorizo is not spicy at all.  I had to ask the server to make sure I got the right dish because it really just looked like ground beef.  I could only wonder what the carne molida (spicy ground beef would taste like).  Last but not least, I had the blackened mahi taco.  This was one pretty good.  Nice seasoning on the fish.  The cotija cheese didn’t really add much to my tacos.  I was left underwhelmed with the tacos (aside from the mahi).

All in all, good guacamole, great view, enjoyable atmosphere, mediocre tacos.  Sadly to say, Rocco’s Tacos wasn’t rocking for me.

 

http://www.roccostacos.com/
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Chef Eddie’s Restaurant

Chicken and Big Berry Mix Waffle (up close and personal)

Chicken and waffles, is it my latest obsession?  I don’t care much for the Lay’s Chicken and Waffles Chips but as far the real stuff goes, it’s pretty good.  Chef Eddie’s is supposedly THE place for chicken and waffles but being the feisty foodist that I am, I knew I had to go try some for myself.  Not only did people speak highly of Chef Eddie’s for the chicken and waffles but for soul food in general.  Well, that’s a tall order to beat!  Being raised in Virginia and living in the panhandle of Florida, I’ve had my fair share of soul food.

ChefEddiesExteriorChefEddieInterior1Chef Eddie’s is located off of John Young Parkway on Orange Center Boulevard.  This was my first foodventure here.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I entered into the restaurant.  A couch to the right, the kitchen area to the left.  The decor was a bit more, down to Earth I suppose? Not quite sure how to describe it.  “Homely” is perhaps the best word.

ChefEddiesShrimpGritsWell, I knew for certain I was going to get some chicken and waffles but the shrimp and grits caught my eye.  Yes, I’m a glutton and I ended up getting both.  Who can pass on shrimp and grits?!  The shrimp and grits here comes with a “gravy” and a piece of buttered toast on the side.  If you haven’t tried grits with biscuit gravy, you’d be surprised how good it tastes.  Well, this Shrimp and Grits ($6.99) has a very seafood flavored gravy and whole deveined shrimp.  It was on point!  The shrimp was perfectly cooked, very tender and full of flavor.  Needless to say, I took care of that dish.

 

ChefEddiesWafflesMenuI also have my chicken and waffles to take care of.  At Chef Eddies, not only can you get chicken and waffles but you pick the type of waffles.  The ten different choices are: Plain, Red Velvet, Apple Cinnamon, BIG Berry Mix (Fresh Strawberry, Blueberry &Raspberry), Banana Walnut, Chocolate Chip, Sweet Potato, Strawberry, Butter Pecan and Blueberry.  Wow, that’s a lot of different waffles.  You can get additional flavored waffles for an additional $1.50.  I started to imagine some colorful leaning tower of waffles.BigBerryMixWaffleChicken1

I ended up ordering the Chicken and Big Berry Waffle ($7.95) which came with 5 pieces of chicken drumettes and wingettes.  The waffle itself was pretty good, nice flavor although I’ve developed a preference to Belgian Waffles.  This is more traditional style so it’s not as thick.  The fried chicken didn’t have much batter and it was slightly reminiscent of the chicken one would get from a Chinese takeout.  The chicken was crispy, seasoned well and good overall especially with some hot sauce.  I can’t say that this is the BEST chicken and waffles I’ve ever had, but I can definitely say it’s the most unique.  You can definitely make it your own and if fried chicken isn’t your style, then they have fish, shrimp, or steak to accompany the waffles.

Definitely get the shrimp and grits here.  As far as chicken and waffles go, it’s something to try although I’m not sure if I’d order this every time I visit.  If you’re wanting a one of kind place for breakfast, come here.  I know I will and I intend on returning back to try some of the dinner entrées.

 

http://chefeddies.com/

Hours:

Mondays – Closed
Tuesdays – Sunday 8 am – 8:30 Pm
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Bahama Breeze I-Drive

Jumbo Lump Crab Stack

BahamaBreezeSignBahama Breeze Island Grille, part of the Darden family, has recently introduced five new rice bowls on their menu.  They also have half off appetizers from 10pm to close, Sunday through Thursday.  I can’t say I’m a big fan of chain restaurants but Bahama Breeze has really grown on me.  The tropical atmosphere, the large open space, the music, it’s a quick break away from things (despite being right on I-drive).

BahamaBreezeCrabStackThe great thing about this happy hour deal is that it is half off all the appetizers.  Not just some but all.  So, you have 16 options available.  The appetizers here are generously portioned so it’s definitely great for sharing.  I ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Stack and the Tostones with Chicken.  For the dieters out there, the Jumbo Lump Crab Stack is only 6 grams of fat and all full of flavor.  I loved the lump crab meat mixed in with the apple-mango salsa.  The different notes of sweetness from the mango and the crispness from the Granny Smith apple worked really well.  The chilled shrimp was a good addition too.  There was a little bit of avocado mixed in but not much.  Served with 2 flatbread crisps.

BahamaBreezeTostonesChickenThe Tostones with Chicken unfortunately wasn’t low fat.  A total of 63 grams of fat for the whole serving.  Twice fried plantains, chicken, cheese, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomato salsa.  Yeah, 63 grams is pretty plausible.  Nonetheless, it’s a good appetizer although you’ll want to make sure to disperse the toppings evenly.  Some bites were more cheesy versus others having all the peppers.  These were some large tostones!

As I had mentioned before, Bahama Breeze has five new rice bowls in addition to their West Indies Chicken Curry.  Shrimp Creole, Carnitas, Chipotle Beef, Vegetarian Asian Tofu, and Asian Chicken & Vegetable.  Sorry Bahama Breeze, I’m not going to go for the Asian inspired dishes.  After all, it is a ‘Caribbean and Latin’ place.  A friend I managed to drag along ordered the Carnitas Rice Bowl and I ordered the Chipotle Beef Bowl.  Each rice bowl had essentially the same components: rice, beans, proteins and some sort of sauce.  It sounded very heavy and turns out I was right.

BahamaBreezeCarnitasRiceBowlThe Carnitas Rice Bowl ($13.49) consisted of yellow rice, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), roasted pork, chorizo, sweet plantains, and corn topped with a cumin-citrus sauce.  Lots of nice flavors going on, especially the sweet plantains.  MMMM…  The slow roasted pork, the fresh corn, the chorizo. Yeah buddy…  The garbanzo beans didn’t really add much to it.  I mean, it was still good with it but if it was omitted, I wouldn’t have been upset.  The yellow rice was alright.  Not bad but it was on the verge of being overcooked.  To the point of where the rice grains are a mere few minutes away from being puffy.  Overall, a very tasty dish.

BahamaBreezeChipotleBeefRiceBowlThe Chipotle Beef Rice Bowl ($14.99) consisted of basmati rice, sautéed beef sirloin, black beans, corn, and cheese topped with a chipotle sauce, sour cream, salsa and avocado.  Boy, that was a mouthful.  Presentation-wise, it didn’t look so appetizing.  The components looked like it was haphazardly thrown in there.  Flavor-wise, it was ok.  The steak was good and tender, I enjoyed the fresh corn.  You could see the corn stuck together in both dishes.  The basmati rice was done properly here.  If you haven’t had basmati rice before, I’d describe it as a lighter, fluffy long grain rice.  The grains don’t stick to each other, it’s ‘loose’ in a way.  Needless to say, I was a bigger fan of the carnitas rice bowl.  Don’t get me wrong, this was still a decent dish but it’s more expensive and not as flavorful for me.  I really wouldn’t have minded some ancho chiles in this dish, give it a little push with the flavor.

I think if you took the toppings from the carnitas rice bowl and put it with the basmati rice, it’d be a winner.  Also, these rice bowls are huge!  I know you can’t really tell from the pictures but these rice bowls are very big.  If Bahama Breeze offered a Rice Bowl Pick 2 or 3, and have smaller portions, that’d be awesome.  So then you get to taste different dishes.  All in all, the rice bowls were good and super filling but not something I’d regularly order.

 

Fav entrées of the night:  The Jumpo Lump Crab Stack and the Carnitas Rice Bowl.

 

Some people may consider Bahama Breeze a bit pricier than they’d like to spend but come during the “Late Night Happy Hour”.  Half off all appetizers.  You really can’t beat that.

 

Random note: The Bahama Breeze website has recipes for some of the dishes on the menu (such as the mango-apple salsa).

 

http://www.bahamabreeze.com

Hours:

Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 A.M.
Friday – Saturday: 11:00 A.M. – 1:30 A.M.

Late Night Happy Hour
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 P.M. – Close
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Oblivion Taproom Revisited

Pork Lover's Pigout

OblivionExteriorI tell people about this place all the time yet I hadn’t been here in awhile.  It’s been more than half a year since wrote my first post about Oblivion.  After a thrilling game of bowling,  I had a hankering for some good drinks and good food.  Well, Oblivion doesn’t disappoint.  What I said the first time about Oblivion still stands true.  I had great service and the food was very good.

OliverBeanBlossomPeachCiderCider lovers, you will not be disappointed!  (And all the other beer folks too, of course.)  The cider list here is quite extensive.  I ordered the Oliver Beanblossom Hard Peach Cider. I’ve had a few different flavors before and they’re all very tasty.  You’d be surprised to find out that it’s 8% ABV.

OblivionPorkLoversPigout1Soooo hungry but I really had a hard time deciding what to get.  It all sounded tasty but the pork rinds keep jumping out at me.  Fine, I’m going for it, the Pork Lovers Pigout.  Pork rinds with jalapeño cheese sauce, jalapeños and pulled pork on top.  I was really digging the pork rinds, jalapeños and the cheese sauce.  Crispy, salty, spicy, yum!  The pulled pork?  Not so much.  I know it’s the Pork Lovers Pigout but it was too much pork for me.  Or rather, the pulled pork wasn’t doing much for me.  Perhaps if the meat was smoked or had a different type of sauce to accent it more?  I didn’t use much of the salsa but the cumin-lime sour cream was good.  This was pretty much a pork rind play on nachos.  Timing is the essence with this dish since the pork rinds started to get soggy from the cheese.  Some of the pork rinds were so large, I was so glad there was a napkin dispenser.  Messy might have been an understatement with me.  Overall, I’d order this again sans pulled pork.

 

OblivionYou'reMyBoyBleuBurgerI also ordered the “You’re My Boy Bleu” burger.  This burger was really good.  Not greasy, good portion and on a brioche bun.  Pretty minimalistic, just a seasoned beef patty with lettuce, tomato and smoked bleu cheese.  The tater tots were also super tasty.  When you order a sandwich/burger, you pick your side and then you pick your seasoning.  I selected the tater tots with the Hawaiian Raw Garlic seasoning.  I was curious what made it Hawaiian but apparently, it’s just raw garlic seasoning.  It just happens to be that Hawaiians like raw garlic a lot.  Well, that’s good to know because I thought the “Hawaiian” was going to indicate some sort of sweet flavoring.  I thought the tots were really good although I didn’t get that strong raw garlic flavor.  There was some cheese sauce left from my “Pork Lovers Pigout” which went fantastic with the tots.

As a random piece of info, Oblivion does have free wifi.  I ran a speed test (out of curiosity) and got a download speed of 6,377 kbps.  Nice!

 

All in all, this is a great spot for the beer lovers and the adventurous eaters.  Be forewarned, you’ll leave here a happy glutton.

http://www.obliviontaproom.com/index.html

Tuesday – Saturday 4pm-2am
Sunday 4pm-12am
Closed Monday
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