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I was recently invited to an “Tweet for Treats” event at the Dessert Lady Bakery. I had heard this place was really good and even saw a recent post from Foodbidden. Awwwwwwesome… The Dessert Lady used to be in downtown but ended up moving to the Dr. Phillips area. It’s in the shopping plaza, a few doors down from Pinkberry’s and Christini’s. Even before I entered the Dessert Lady, I knew it was going to be a great time. Cute exterior with the black and pink, it definitely stands out. Adorable display in the window full of cupcakes and cake slices, I felt a little “teehee” go off inside me. The set up was a long table with white linens with twitter cookies laid out. I felt like I just entered the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party but much more girly.
Cupcakes, cookies, and quiches, oh my! As I wandered around, I finally met the Dessert Lady herself, Ms. Patti Schmidt. Patti has such an effervescent personality! I talked with her a little bit about the move from downtown to the present location. She seemed very happy with the move. Being at her previous location , it took her away from the customers, she was always so busy. When you come to the bakery now, it will usually be Patti taking your order. You can tell she loves to mingle and interact with her customers.
I had a little tour of the bakery where all the magic happens! The pink is everywhere but it’s infectiously positive. (Even the restroom was pink.)
Down to business, how wonderfully wicked are the desserts here? Ohhh…. they are wicked indeed. I can’t recall when I had a meal solely made up of desserts. The blue and white cupcakes had cream cheese frosting. Not overwhelming sweet and very light. I personally am not a fan of buttercream so this frosting was great. To me, buttercream is too greasily sweet. So if you’re hanging out with me, I’m more than likely going to give you my frosting. The Carrot Cake was firm yet moist. As in, it was dense but not dry or oily. Patti says she loves all her desserts but the carrot cake is the best seller. I’ve had carrot cake many different ways but this is seriously good. I am really loving the cream cheese frosting because it’s so light and slightly tart. We also sampled of the ham quiches and spinach quiches. Both of which were very tasty.
The other food bloggers and I had the opportunity to sample her other desserts. The Coconut Brûlée Cheesecake was amazing. FYI, this is not a dense cheesecake. It is a bit lighter but definitely full of flavor. Macadamia nut crust? Yes, please! To make it even sweeter, there was a toasted coconut and caramel sauce on top.
The Key Lime Cake is soaked with a special rum glaze.
The Fudge Ripple Bread Pudding was another amazing dessert. Although it was a bit rich for me, it balanced out with a cup of black coffee.
The Bourbon Pecan Pie was also another amazing treat.
We even tried a cute chocolate cake filled with cannoli cream.
I had so much desserts at this point, I couldn’t fathom to take another bite. The Chocolate Zucutto looked great. Dessert overload, I really was stuffed. I noticed most of the frostings were light but very flavorful and none of the desserts were too rich. Presentation was great, the staff at the Dessert Lady was very friendly, there was not a bite I ate that I regretted.
Okay, so the exciting news! The Dessert Lady is joining the food truck scene! (But with a twist.) How awesome is that? It’s a great thing to hear and I know Patti is going to do so well! It’s not quite ready yet but definitely keep your eye out for it. Everything I tasted was absolutely wonderful. Here you have a woman with no culinary training, who has turned something she loved into something amazing.
It’s a bit hidden to find the Dessert Lady but it’ll be worth it.
Fat Boy’s has been around since 1982 and it’s easy to see why. Old fashioned BBQ the way it’s supposed to be. They even serve breakfast here, Southern style. I recently went to Fat Boy’s for dinner. It seemed just about everywhere I had wanted to eat was closed already and it was only 8 pm. Fat Boys was still open and plenty of people were eating here, especially for a weekday.
Old fashion food, old fashion interior. It’s not a negative comment, merely an observance. Country music playing, law enforcement officials around a table conversing. I felt like I took a step back from city life. A different change of pace and it brought my back to the days when I was living in the Florida panhandle. For some, they may feel that the interior is a bit drab but it merely added charm of this place.
Fat Boy’s has a salad bar, lots of sides, burgers, steak, BBQ and ribs. With so many options, I didn’t really know what to pick and ended up ordering the BBQ feast for 2 ($22.99). This consisted of St. Louis Style Ribs, Bar-B-Q Chicken, Sliced Pork, Beef, and Smoked Turkey. The sides were Bar-B-Q Beans, Cole Slaw, Corn-on-the-Cob, Garlic Bread. You also had the option to choose a baked potato or french fries. I opted for Mac-and-Cheese while my friend got a Baked Potato. This definitely was a feast!
The bbq sauces available were Original, Sweet, or Spicy. I made a mix between the Sweet and Spicy. My favorite meat of the whole platter was the sliced beef. It was pretty much like rare roast beef. The runner-up was the St. Louis style ribs. Nice and meaty, flavorful ribs. Put some of the sweet and spicy bbq sauce, it’s a winner. The other meats were good as well, such as the chicken. You could taste the smoked flavor in it. The sliced pork and sliced turkey were okay. The sliced turkey tasted like sliced deli meat.
The sides were really good. The cole slaw was very chopped and tasted like KFC cole slaw. The bean were very hearty and you could taste the meat in it. The corn-on-the-cob was alright. I liked the bbq feast in general just because I really got to sample a little bit of everything. There are some all-you-can-eat platters if you solely want to eat just one type of meat.
All this food is super filling but I had to save room for dessert. The Kentucky Pie ($3.95) looked interesting. I can’t say I’ve had a chocolate chip pie with pecans before. It was a bit rich for me but I liked the warm chocolate chip pieces. It was a piping hot pie! I rarely eat the whip cream on anything but I really enjoyed the whip cream on this pie. Overall, the pie was good but it would have been certainly better with ice cream on top.
Fat Boy’s is very family friendly and great for large groups. I had a good time at Fat Boy’s and left here a fat girl.
Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
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I absolutely love going to different restaurants and trying new food. Matilda’s on Park doesn’t disappoint! I hadn’t heard much about Matildas but recently a friend told me that they served Kangaroo burgers here. Oh really? Hmm….
Matilda’s on Park is located on Park Avenue across the street from Panera Bread. Outdoor and indoor seating is available. In the front of the restaurant, the doors were open so it was more like covered outdoor seating for me. Towards the back of the restaurant, there were more dining tables. Flat screen televisions throughout the front area and in the men’s restroom as well (from what I was told).
The menu had a nice selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, classic entrees, and gourmet mac and cheeses. One of the appetizers jumped out at me. The Jalapeno, Cream Cheese, Cheddar & Crab Bites ($11). When I selected it, my server’s eyes lit up. “They’re soooo good!” Brittany was so genuinely enthusiastic about it. I could only hope I’d feel the same way afterwards. The crab bites had a nice crunchy layer on the outside and lots of crab meat inside. Bits of jalapeno throughout, not overwhelming with the cream cheese flavor. It was very tasty although I wouldn’t have minded if it were spicier. The crab bites were served with a mango honey mustard although my friend and I agreed the mango flavor wasn’t that prevalent.
I just knew I had to get the kangaroo burger. Even for the sheer novelty of bragging rights. The Roo Burger is not 100% kangaroo meat due it’s leanness. There is some beef mixed into the kangaroo meat to form the burger patty. They no longer carried the pretzel buns but brioche, multigrain and croissants were still available. There was an option to make the burger “Aussie style” by adding a fried egg and beet but I really wanted to just try burger without the extra fixings.
The Roo Burger ($14) has onion straws and a cheese lager sauce on it. I made my fries the Crab fries with a cheese sauce. The old bay seasoning wasn’t overpowering and made the fries extra delicious! The cheese sauce was really good as well but the only problem when you have a cheese sauce like this, it tends to solidify quicker.
So the real question is, what did the kangaroo meat taste like? Absolutely amazingly delicious. It was beef like; however, it gave me a food flashback to summer of 1997. That’s when I had my first venison burger. It wasn’t too gamey but there definitely was a unique flavor here. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this burger. It was simple yet so tasty. The buttery flavor of the brioche bun, the crispness of the onion straws, the light saltiness from the cheese sauce. I really enjoyed it overall. Unfortunately, I was so stuffed from only half of the burger.
Considering the location of the restaurant, the quality of the food, and the portion size I don’t think the entrees are overpriced. Nice atmosphere, unique menu items, I’d definitely return here.
If the thought of eating a kangaroo burger isn’t appealing , I’m certain there is something here everyone.
Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
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I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not the biggest beer fan in the world. Terrible, I know. BUT I want to learn! Being such a food enthusiast, I do think it’s good to have some sort of understanding/appreciation for craft beers. Also, places that have craft beers tend to have ciders which I most definitely enjoy.
I recently went to the 20th Annual Florida International Beer Festival, on May 18. It was at the History Center in Downtown Orlando. An opportunity arose for this fantastic event when I won a free ticket. Let’s just say that I’m very attached to my phone and I’ve got quick fingers. Through the powers of Yelp I got a free ticket. Speaking of which, I love Yelp. If you want to get an idea of what’s going on in town, Yelp is a great resource.
So this was my first beer festival! I was actually super excited about it. So I got my beer cup and I started doing my rounds. It was even better that there was some food. One especially to make note of was Big Papa’s Sauces. The Sweet & Spicy Hot Sauce had such an amazing balance between the sweet and spiciness. The spicy really came out at the end. Wow! The other ones were pretty decent but the Sweet & Spicy Hot Sauce was definitely a winner.
As far as beers go, I definitely tried a lot. The Florida Avenue Blueberry was good, you could smell the beer but it wasn’t too sweet.
I liked Pilsen, nice and light.
Medalla Light, apparently this is the Puerto Rican piss beer but I didn’t think it was that bad.
I think the worst drink of the night for me was the Mango Mead. Too cough syrup-like and too sickeningly sweet. This is coming from a girl who likes her framboise and ciders.
My highlight of the festival would have to have been McKenzie’s Hard Cider Special Reserve. It’s Autumn in a bottle! I could definitely taste the cinnamon! Delicious! (Although having it cold was quite refreshing, I can see it being equally great served warm.)
For it being my first beer festival, I had an amazing time! If you haven’t been to a beer fest, you should definitely check it out. It was a fun time trying the different beers and I also saw an awesome t-shirt.
I used to think coffee was disgusting, honestly. How on Earth could someone drink that stuff? Over the years, I’ve even managed to drink straight black coffee. I just love going to coffee shops. Sit down, relax, and just hang out. I have compiled my top 3 favorite coffee shops in Norfolk, VA in no particular order.
I remember coming here back in high school. It’s been open since 2001 and it’s easy to see why it’s Norfolk oldest independent coffee shop. It’s located in Ghent, off of Colley Avenue. It’s got an awesome eclectic atmosphere. They also host events so it’s a great place to check out what’s going on in the local area. Nice selection of fair trade coffee, tea, and other tasty treats. Now, there’s no credit card minimums. Elliot’s Fair Grounds is also open later than some other places.
This awesome coffee shop has been opened for about 2 years now and I can’t believe I hadn’t been to it sooner. Another great spot in Ghent. The decor is a bit more feminine to me but still interesting. I love the fact they roast their own coffee beans here. Nice! Also, Café Stella’s coffee is legit here. I ordered a macchiato here and it’s a true macchiato. Espresso with a dollop of foam. Not the kind of macchiato you’d get elsewhere. *ahem* Café Stella have a food menu which I heard was absolutely delicious. A little bit more of a professional crowd I noticed here. Outdoor seating is available.
Cure is a cute little coffeehouse. I love the openness of this place. The vibe of this place is a “good different”, felt more hipster/younger to me. I ordered the Crème Brûlée Latte (vanilla and caramel) and my friend got the Crazelnut Latte (caramel and hazelnut). They have beer, wine, coffee, tea, sandwiches, sandwiches and other goodies. All in all it’s a nice little spot to just hang out.
It’s a quick little walk from the Freemason stop on the Tide. Awesome!
All three have their uniqueness and I encourage you to check them all out! It’s always time for coffee!
It’s always good to see my family in Virginia although it seems that whenever we go out to eat, it’s buffets. Well, this girl is tired of buffets and need of some good social interaction. One of my best food buddies mentioned some restaurants in Ghent. If you’re unfamiliar with Ghent, it’s an area in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s towards downtown but has a quaint atmosphere. Full of restaurants and boutiques, it’s definitely my kind of place.
So John takes me to a place called 80/20 Burger Bar. I sure do love me some burgers! Man, oh man. Well, 80/20 Burger has only been opened since the second week of December 2012. It’s relatively new but I see it making a mark here for awhile. All the beef is grass-fed from Virginia and the patties are 80/20 percent lean meat to fat ratio. Hence the name. Pretty simplistic but it gets the point across. For those not into beef, there are other options like appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.
80/20 Burger Bar has a nice draft beer selection as well as bottled beers. I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world but I’m learning to appreciate it. For the craft beer lovers, they’ll certain appreciate the selection here. I ended up ordering a Shiner Ruby Redbird beer. It’s a ginger/grapefruit beer with 4.2%ABV. It’s not as sweet as a cider but not a bad option for the ones who aren’t beer afficandos.
The inside of 80/20 Burger Bar is dark. Wooden seats everywhere, black ceiling tiles, nice use of lights. It was a relaxed vibe in here although in a way, it felt way too open for me. The interior look matched well for the Ghent area. The restaurant also has a bar with specials written above it.
There are 17 burgers on the menu and then you have your build-your-own-burger. I selected the alamo burger which consisted of crispy bacon, fried onion rings, and sharp cheddar, smothered in house made bbq sauce. For my side, I had the sweet potato and turnip au gratin. The alamo burger was very tasty. I had the burger prepared medium. At first glance, I wondered to myself, “how on Earth am I going to eat this?” Fear not, the Feisty Foodist always finds a way. The meat, it was flavorful beef not greasy at all. The bacon was absolutely delicious, seasoned well. I’m a saucy gal, so I definitely could have used more bbq sauce. It was a truly enjoyable burger although I wasn’t a big fan of the bun. It was too crumbly for me. The bun itself was tasty but it didn’t seem to hold up well with my burger. A nice pretzel bun would probably have held up better. The sweet potato and turnip au gratin was a nice change instead of french fries. It was slightly sweet but more savory side. Both John and I agreed it was tasty. The sweet potato isn’t overpowering and it achieves a nice tasty balance of flavors. There’s nothing I would have changed with this side dish.
John ordered the pancho villa with house fries. The pancho villa was topped with roasted corn and shallot salsa, black bean puree, roasted red peppers, and pepper jack cheese. It wasn’t a bad burger but not a favorite for me. Again the meat was perfectly cooked, very good indeed. The bun just didn’t seem to work well with the burger. Also, this burger could have benefited from being a tad spicier. Give a little “oomph”. By the end of eating the burgers, we gave up on the bread. The house french fries were seasoned with garlic, rosemary and Parmesan cheese. Very good. If garlic isn’t your thing, they have other seasonings as well.
All in all, a very good restaurant. The burgers starts off at $11. For some, that maybe too expensive but this is quality food here. If you enjoy grass-fed beef, local produce, unique side items, and local beers this is a great spot. Unfortunately, 80/20 Burger Bar isn’t open for lunch. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and friendly service and would recommend 80/20 Burger Bar.
Just look at that burger! Mmmm…
Ok, it seems like I’m on a buffet kick lately. I swear, it’s not me, it’s my family! Every time I visit them, we end up going to a buffet. Usually Chinese but occasionally we go to Golden Corral as well. It’s interesting how many Chinese buffets are in the Hampton Roads area as opposed to lets say, Orlando. Orlando is definitely much bigger but yet I can’t say there are any Chinese buffets that I think is good or worth taking my family to. At least at this point in time.
So, for Sunday dinner we ended up going to Uptown Buffet. It’s located on Military Highway near Military Circle Mall. It has been here for years. I would not say the food is consistent here but this time around, I was surprised at some of the dishes they had. Authentic Chinese dishes at a buffet?! What?! Hmm…
Well, needless to say, they have the sushi bar. You never can go wrong with some seaweed salad. I absolutely love that stuff. There’s also a hibachi grill, or rather a sign for it. The space is too small to prepare it in front of you, but give them your plate and they’ll make it in the back. There was so many other food items for me to eat, I skipped the hibachi. Usually, that’s one of the things I always get. You know you go to buffets a lot if you have a buffet routine. I usually start of salad/sushi, soup/hibachi, a minimum of two plates for meats/veggies, a dessert plate and ice cream. When my family and I eat, we eat! We don’t just stay around for 30 minutes.
The salad bar is good. They have alfalfa sprouts here that actually looked fresh. Some people may be a bit hesitant on eating food from a buffet but you really have to chose wisely. Or have an iron stomach. I’d like to think I have both. There’s nothing that I ate here where I would stop myself and say, “Does that look okay to eat?”
So of course, there’s the sushi, hibachi, the salad bar, American food (pizza, mac & cheese), the “Chinese” (General Tso’s Chicken) and the fried food. Some of the food that I kept coming back for more were the frog legs and the oysters. These frog legs were absolutely addictively delicious! Nice light batter, perfectly seasoned, not too greasy. This was sooo good. Buffet or not buffet, these frog legs were just great! I’ve had some mediocre frog legs in the past month but these, my goodness, I just kept getting more and more. The whole family agreed, the frog legs were a winner. If you hadn’t had frog legs before, it similar to a drumstick but leaner. Of course everyone says it tastes like chicken but I’d say just a leaner version.
The steamed oysters in a black bean sauce were fantastic. The oysters were soft, with a flavorful sauce. This is a legitimate Chinese dish and quite different, I might add. No harsh flavors, very delicate balance. More salty due to the black beans but absolutely delicious. I most definitely ate a bunch of these.
Next up, we’ve got sweet sticky rice. It looks like a eight treasure rice pudding but not as fancy. It’s got glutinous rice, red dates, lotus seeds with a simple syrup on top. This is definitely a Chinese dish. The rice will be sticky and slightly chewy. It’s a very warm and comforting.
Another surprising item they had was the White Fungus Papaya Dessert Soup. It’s a warm dessert soup with papayas, dates and white fungus. If you hadn’t had white fungus before, it’s got a slightly plasticky texture. You would find this in an Asian market, dried. It looks like a sponge and needs to be soaked long enough.
There were many items here that I enjoyed but these four were at the top of my list. Also, they had some delicious fresh papaya here. Usually buffets don’t really make a positive impression on me. Either it’s average or below average but at Uptown Buffet, I had a great experience all around. Even the server here was such a pleasant, sweet lady. Maria was on top of things and she had such a warm personality. My only criticism would be the labels. Some food items had no labels at all or others were mislabeled. Aside from that, everything else was great.
For the folks who want to stick to the regular food at a Chinese buffet, you won’t be disappointed here either. For a Sunday dinner of $11.59, it was well worth it.
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Hibachi King Buffet is located on East Little Creek Road near Shore Drive. Throughout the years, I’ve seen buffets come and go at this very location. I’m a fan of Hibachi King. Although this is an Americanized buffet, I always enjoy the food here. It’s very spacious inside, great for large groups. Inside you’ll see all the bright neon lights. Ooohhh…lights…
The sushi is pretty decent especially for buffet standards.
Even for the hibachi, there was plenty of options to choose from between the proteins and vegetables.
Hibachi King serves Pepsi products, beer, wine, and sake. And ladies, there’s even Moscato here. As long as you come in knowing that this is an Americanized Chinese buffet, you’ll enjoy the food here. This is a great spot for lunch and they always have discounts whether if it’s a mail flyer or Facebook. Friendly wait staff, great prices, plentiful selection, clean restaurant, and a large chocolate fountain. For a buffet, it’s a winner for me!
Monday-Saturday 11AM-3:30PM $6.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $2.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $4.99
Monday-Saturday 3:30PM-CLOSE $8.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $3.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $5.99
Sunday All Day Dinner $8.99
Take Out Food By the Pound
Dinner & Hibachi: $4.99
Seafood & Sushi $6.99
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I love me all sorts of snacks and treats. During a trip at an Oriental Market, I picked up some prawn crackers. It looks like french fries with a salty, shrimp flavor. Oishi Prawn Crackers are from the Phillipines.
If you get a large bag or don’t finish the current one, I suggest put a chip clip on it and refrigerate it. It loses its’ crispness fairly fast as compared to other snacks. Also, random note… it does have MSG. I ate these crackers two separate times and fell asleep. It was still good though. :p
Ynot Pizza & Italian Cuisine is a local restaurant chain in the Hampton Roads area. There are five locations, two of which are in Norfolk, VA. I went to the Ghent location on Colley Avenue. I remember when this used to be Szechuan in Ghent. You really can’t tell that it used to be a Chinese restaurant here.
I decided to come here because I wanted a good salad for an affordable price. Through the power of Internet search, I found a blog listing “Best Salads in Hampton Roads“. I saw Ynot at the top of the list, and figured I’d give it a go. My friends had told me the “it’s good” but that really doesn’t say much.
Parking can be a bit tight, there’s street parking available but I just parked behind the restaurant. The interior is spacious , outdoor seating is also available. I had Alex as my server, she was very nice and prompt. I had met up with my friends and we all ordered something different.
I came here with a plan, I hadn’t had a good salad in awhile and hoped Ynot would not disappoint. They have a “Custom Made Chop Salad” where you get the paper and make your selections. The salad starts off at $5.95 but with the addition of cheese, meats, other veggies, it’ll add up quickly. You pick your greens, toppings, meat/cheeses, dressing, and style of chop. I ordered the mesclun, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, and fat-free raspberry vinaigrette. There are definitely lot of options here so it’s a great place for a vegetarian. Yum! I am definitely a fan! Although the flatbread crisps on the side didn’t do much for me.
One of my friends ordered the Deluxe Pizza. It has pepperoni, black olives, green bell peppers, sausage and mushrooms. Her and I agreed the pizza wasn’t that good. The crust was terribly hard to chew through like ciabatta but even more dense. I just wasn’t feeling this pizza. I mean I’m not saying it’s terrible but it certainly wasn’t great. My friend typically likes to cut through her pizza with a fork. Don’t ask me why, but she does. And I just watched her struggle. And continue to struggle. One good note, this pizza isn’t super greasy.
My other friend ordered the lasagna which included a garden salad and Italian bread. Nothing too special about this. I do not recommend ordering this dish. Yes, it was a good portion size; however, it was bland. I’d give it points for giving a comfort food feeling but it would have definitely been better with more flavorful sauce.
Ynot offers different menu items aside from the pizza, salad and the main entrées such as subs, pasta and dessert. Oooh, desserts. They have a display cake of the baked goods and gelato. I ordered the wildberry gelato. MMMM… I liked the gelato here and there’s quite of bit of variety to choose from.
In general, Ynot is a good option with an extensive menu. I’d definitely come back for more salad and gelato.
Sun – Thurs: 11am – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – Midnight
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