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Have I ever mentioned that I will travel for good food? RusTeak in Ocoee does not disappoint! I hadn’t heard of RusTeak before but I heard about the delicious burgers at Teak in MetroWest. Both restaurants have the same owners. RusTeak has been opened for 10 months. It’s a gastropub with New American cuisine. They strive to have produce come from 3 Boys Farm (an organic hydroponic farm) which is located in Ruskin, FL. This is great because you know it’s organic and the produce is coming in from a few hours away.
RusTeak has salads, sandwiches, pasta, entrees, signature cocktails, draft beer, bottled craft beer and of course, wine. The Signature Cocktails Menu had unique drinks but the Ice Wine Martini ($9) caught my eye. Vodka, St. Germain, fresh grapes, fresh lemon juice, and Malbec. Light, refreshing and very fresh tasting. (And might I add, strong…)
The menu has some gluten-free options which are indicated on the menu with a symbol. I had a house salad ($4) and tried all three of the dressings. The house salad consisted of a spring mix, peeled and seeded cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, carrots and croutons. It was typical a house salad.
The dressings are gluten free and are made in house. So, there’s the Cilantro Mango, Roasted Tomato & Red Wine Vinigrette, and the Citrus Honey. By itself, I wasn’t so fond of the cilantro mango but when accompanied with the salad, it tasted pretty good. Of the three dressings, I liked the Citrus Honey the most.
***The pictures of the next three entrees are actually half-portioned. The actual entree sizes of these dishes are very generous.***
The Crabby Steak ($24) is absolutely fantastic! Flat iron steak, jumbo lump blue crab meat, topped with hollandaise. Scalloped potatoes are underneath the proteins and grilled asparagus on the side. The hollandaise here is on point! Lemony-buttery taste, beautiful color. Needless to say, I devoured this dish.
The Fish Out Of Water ($23) is snapper, zucchini and squash, roasted beets, cherry tomatoes served on top of a farro and goat cheese salad. Truth be told, I had never had farro before. It’s a type of grain, slighty chewy. It looked like a miniature version of oat puffs. I wish the flavor of the buerre blanc sauce was more prevalent. Buerre blanc sauces in general are very light and delicate but since it’s supposed to be a Riesling buerre blanc, I would have imagined the flavor to be a little more robust. Overall, the dish was enjoyable and tasted very light.
The Crabby Steak is a great entree but the Fish “Candy” ($24) is favorite! The name is slightly off-putting but it is absolutely phenomenal. Miso glazed snapper, sea salt caramel fusilli pasta, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and shiitake mushrooms in a brown butter sauce. Brown butter is also known as buerre noisette, it’s essentially where you heat the butter until it browns. The brown butter has a nutty flavor. If you like Teriyaki sauce, you’ll love the dish. The sweetness of the fish, the savoriness of the pasta, the umami flavor from the shiitake mushrooms, it was great. The pasta had an ever so slight chewiness but I didn’t mind one bit. So much tastiness going on with one dish, I was blown away.
I am a happy camper! So many yummy items! Well, how about the desserts? At RusTeak, they have a daily trifle among their other desserts. The trifle is a mason jar full of deliciousness and it changes day to day. I had a Piña Colada Trifle. Pineapple jello made with club soda (so you get that extra bubbliness), layered with pound cake soaked in Malibu rum, coconut creme and topped with toasted coconut. And trust me, it’s as delicious as it sounds.
I enjoyed the food at RusTeak so much, that I returned before I finished my blog post. When I returned, Courtney (one the managers) remembered me. That was pretty cool. So, I decided to sit in the bar area this time. I had Mary as my server, she was great. My second visit gave me an opportunity to try more things that caught my eye previously.
Sweet Potato Tots ($4), where have you been all this time?! This is terribly addicting! I am warning you all! They are mini-sized tater tots that are amazing. The sweet potato in these tots aren’t too sweet, it’s very well balanced. It’s served with a side of ketchup. Just a little dab of ketchup or plain is great.
The Sprecher Hard Root Beer ($5) was nice and refreshing. It tastes like…root beer, who’d have thunk it?! If you love root beer, this is delicious. It goes down smooth and the flavor lingers on the back of your tongue. As far as the smell goes, I didn’t notice it as much. Unfortunately, it’s only 5% ABV. I bet this would be super duper awesome as a root beer float.
Between the house salad and the Caesar salad, the Caesar salad wins. The dressing is light and flavorful, and who can go wrong with Parmesan cheese? Yum, yum.
The NY Strip Steak ($24) is 10 ounces of NY Strip Steak, scallop potatoes, zucchini with a brandy glazed mushroom creamed sauce. The sauces here are great! My friend said he felt this dish was undervalued and would have easily paid $35 for entree. I wholeheartedly agreed.
I ordered the Pure Awesomeness ($18) with a name like that, I had to see for myself if it was indeed made of ‘pure awesomeness.’ Sweet potato gnocchi, mozzarella morney (I’m going to assume it’s supposed to be “mornay” – béchamel sauce with cheese), candied walnuts, cherry tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds and with skewers of shrimp. My verdict? It was definitely different, an interesting dish but I found it far too sweet for my liking. If you’re a fan of walnut shrimp, then this would be a good dish for you. The dish gets points from me for the originality.
The Shrimp Risotto ($18) came with blackened shrimp, risotto and sautéed broccolini. Well seasoned entree, simple but tasty. The first time I had broccolini, I thought to myself, “Man, this tastes like kai-lan!” Well, lo and behold, broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli). The Shrimp Risotto is a good and safe dish.
The Coconut Mango Mojito ($8) wasn’t too minty and it was a nice refreshing beverage.
Bacardi Rum Coconut, mango schnapps, fresh squeezed limes, muddled mint.
I really enjoy the food and atmosphere at RusTeak. The music here is mostly been alternative rock like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam. Outdoor seating is available. It’s casual environment with top notch dishes and great drinks. For the folks who like draft beers, they have a draft beer flight. I always leave here full and happy. I definitely plan on bringing more people back here!
***FYI:Monday Mayhem: 1/2 priced all bottles of wines all day ($50 and under)***
HOURS: Mon-Sat: 11:30am-11PM
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…