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Quatman Cafe – Norwood

Simplicity. I really, thoroughly enjoy simplicity. I don’t like when a restaurant has a BOOK as a menu. I hate it when the list of ingredients, in a dish, is a mile long and you can’t pronounce or identify half of them. I like things simple and delicious.

A couple of Fridays ago, the boy and I trekked to Norwood, to visit Quatman Cafe (and, after, went to see God’s Not Dead – awesome movie!). His uncle got him a gift certificate (they share a mutual love of all things cheeseburgers) for Christmas so it was nice having my boy pay for our meal. ;)

There weren’t hostesses. Or menus. Just small diner type tables and a menu board, behind the bar. My son ordered a drink and it came in can form.

Quatman's drink

Since we knew what we came for, we didn’t really need to “study” the 6 items on the menu (but, they did have some yummy sounding homemade soups!). We both ordered a cheeseburger and fries.

I’ve noticed some other bloggers saying that they needed to order 2 cheeseburgers? Um, these bad boys are 1/2 pound of burger – how big do you need it??!!

Quatman's cheeseburger

Mmm…look at that cheese melt. Perfect.

It was a damn good burger. No fillers – just some salt and pepper. Perfectly cooked, still juicy, even though it was a BIG old burger. Did I mention that our food came on a paper plate? No qualms here – like I said, if it’s simple and not broken, don’t fix it.

The fries were okay – keep in mind, I’m a finicky girl when it comes to the fries. There’s a salt conspiracy going on in the world and I can’t get behind the movement.

My boy took his burger down. I got about 5 bites in and took the rest home. (the husband polished it off, later)

I liked that the owner and servers were chatting with all the regulars. I liked that there was a homey feel to the place. I liked that it was a place that you could “hang out” for good, easy food. I highly recommend this joint to anyone looking for an awesome burger – at a great price! The two of us ate for $15!

It doesn’t have to be pretentious and trendy to be awesome. It just has to be done right. Quatman Cafe has succeeded.

Quatman Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Incline Public House

I think I’m the last westsider to eat at the Incline Public House - I told you all that I was a horrible westsider, didn’t I?

But, we, finally, got there, last Saturday.

I hear that the outside is hoppin’ during the warmer season (of course, Lord knows if we’ll EVER get to that weather, any time soon!). And, with this view, I can imagine that it’s quite the hot spot, to enjoy some craft beers, good food and lively conversation.

(Please imagine this picture with some sun, in it!)

PIH Scene

The menu is a lot of fun and I love that it’s simple and compact. (I told you that I get menu ADD when they’re like a novel)

I’m, also, a big fan of the jumbo water bottles – I’m a simple girl (and VERY easily amused)

PIH water

What to get? What to get?

I had a HARD time deciding – it was between about 5 things! Ugh – the pressure of being a foodie!

We all began with and shared a side of Fries (the boys are fry addicts – of course, they consider the crinkle fry, the master of all fries)

PIH Fries

They were good – nice and crispy…but they needed salt. Lots more salt. (and, maybe a fun dipping sauce?)

My husband got the Garbage Pizza

PIH Garbage Pizza

Yum. I “stole” a piece and it was, really, everything that a pizza should be. Loved the crumbled sausage and thin, crispy crust! The husband took all the delicious yolk, however. The hog.

My other friendly male diner got the W. 8th Street Pie

PIH Mike pizza

He dived in and it disappeared in a matter of minutes. Another fan!

My best friend got a couple of apps, for her meal – Fried Stuffed Olives

PIH Olives

We thought that they were awesome (it could be that we’re both salt addicts, though) However, $6 for 6 olives was a tad bit too much?

Creole Sliders

PIH Sliders

My friend polished them off. ;)

I got a couple of apps, as my meal, too – the Happy Amber Tempura Shrimp

PIH Shrimp

The shrimp were good – what you would expect from fried shrimp. The horseradish fig sauce = AWESOME. Of course, horseradish is one of those foods that makes my mouth water!

Andouille Corndogs

PIH Corndogs

These were the only disappointment, of the evening. I’m a sucker for some corndogs but…these were just huge hunks of sausage with a teeny bit of batter. I wasn’t impressed.

ALL of us really enjoyed our dinner – it was a laid back atmosphere, interesting choices and a good price point. We’ll be back. :)

Incline Public House on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Teak – Mt. Adams

I’ll fully admit it – I avoid Mt. Adams like the plague. The parking situation is horrendous and because I prefer to have the least annoying dining experiences as possible, I avoid it. Plus, I’m 38, married with 2 kid – I’m just a smidgen out of the bar scene. So, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been to Mt. Adams.

However, we were invited to go to Teak, a few Saturdays ago (it’s been like 10 years since I’ve been there!)…off to Mt. Adams us little westsiders went.

I was so worried about the parking but we got a prime spot – I guess the parking gods were smiling on us. ;)

Stopped at the bar, for a glass of wine – the bartender’s first night. She had no clue what beer they had nor had she ever heard of Riesling. BUT – she was pretty and blonde. (Being as I’m a blonde and fairly decent looking, don’t take this as being a hater). Such is life.

It was REALLY loud in Teak – like, echoing off the walls, loud. Had a lot to do with the party of 20 bachelorette girls, sitting behind us. They didn’t shut up, until food came and they were shoving it in their pieholes. Thank God for sushi.

My sushi take – I like sushi. I’m particular about the kind that I’ll eat. The issues I have are not with the taste but with texture. So, I’m not eating any chewy or rubbery raw fish/eel…just not going to happen. Salmon and tuna, I can do. Anything else, it better be tempura style.

Men and sushi – I don’t consider sushi to be a particularly manly food but…since my husband’s eating it, in this blog post, I better change my tune? My frustration really just stems from everyone jumping on the trendy train, whether they like sushi or are just pretending to like sushi (for the benefit of someone else).

Service was beyond slow (see Bachelorette Party) – took us about 2 hours to order, get our food and eat. Mostly to take our order and get our food. Painful.Very painful.

I’m so sorry for the horrible pictures – I thought I dropped my camera, into my purse, before we left. I didn’t – so, I was stuck with the terrible cell phone pics. It makes me sad, too.

Our friend’s appetizer – Sweet and Sour Popcorn Chicken

Teak Sweet Sour Chicken

 

Our Honey Bee Roll

Teak Sushi Ours

 

Loved it – but, it could be that I have a slight addiction (and so does the husband) to wasabi.

Friend’s lots of sushi (I wish I could remember some of them – I know that the Zombie Roll is in there, Who Dey roll, 2 other ones! The Who Dey roll was my favorite!)

Teak Sushi

 

Friend’s Pad Thai

Teak Pad Thai

 

Hubby’s Seafood Delight

Teak Mike's

 

(Psssttt – I liked his sauce better. Don’t tell him)

My Red Curry Shrimp

Teak Red Curry

 

Eh – mine’s better. Plus, the shrimp was tough.

I ordered a 7 and the husband ordered a 9…neither of our dishes were spicy.

We had a great time because our company was awesome. However, it was far from a good dining experience. The sushi was good but…there are a million other places, NOT in Mt. Adams, that I can get fantastic sushi. Not impressed.

Teak Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Palomino – Downtown

Since the husband and I have been together for more than a year (and we’re married), Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal. We exchange cards – and go to dinner. We TRIED to get into our fav, Nada, but with only a week’s notice, that wasn’t happening. We’re not very good planners, apparently.

He scoured some websites and found Palomino - I’m always up for something new so…made some reservations, with no issues.

Let me just say this…my husband and I are pretty intelligent people. (Or, I like to think so) However, we had a hell of a time finding this restaurant. Our GPS had it sitting in the middle of a parking lot. We were a couple of minutes late for our reservations but I really would have dared a hostess to say something to me. And, I’ll say it again – parking downtown is a bitch.

We were sat next to some numb-nuts – it’s like they’ve never been in a decent restaurant before. They grabbed a random (decorative!) bottle of wine, OPENED it and didn’t understand why the server took issue with that. It’s times like those that I wish I could shoot deadly lasers, from my eyes. But, thank God, they paid, shortly after we ordered, and a normal couple was sat next to us.

Because it was Valentine’s Day weekend, the menu looked a little different – there were no pizza options. :( Which makes me very sad.

I did get a yummy drink – a Blueberry Smash!

Palomino Blueberry Smash

 

It went down like Kool-Aid…which is why I only had one!

Every table got some bread…with a tomato relish of some sort with it?

Palomino Bread

 

The bread needed to be warm and I can’t say that I loved the tomato dip option. Seriously, instead of trying to be trendy, just give me some damn butter.

Good news! Lobster Bisque was the soup of the day!

Palomino Lobster Bisque

 

It had a fantastic flavor to it, but there were only 2 tiny pieces of lobster in it. Excuse me, will there be any LOBSTER in this lobster bisque?

BTW – our service was awesome (thought I’d put that in there before I forget!)

The husband and I have similar tastes so we, usually, order 2 things and just split those 2 things.

We got (special menu) grilled onion encrusted Tilapia – it came with Asparagus.

Palomino Tilapia

 

Absolutely delicious. Right down to the asparagus. The coating of the fish was amazing (and I’m totally stealing that idea), the fish was perfectly cooked, loved the sauce and the asparagus? Tasted like it was grilled on open flame. The husband and I agreed that this was the winner, out of the entrees!

Prime Rib with Parmesan Potatoes and Asparagus

Palomino Prime Rib

The husband liked the potatoes way more than I did. I thought that they were dry. The prime was really good – I know that prime rib is a fatty cut of meat but, just seemed (for the price anyway) to have a LOT of fat. See that big hunk, in the middle? It was good – but, I think the horseradish sauce really made it. (THAT’s what I was fighting the husband for – I just love horseradish)

I liked the atmosphere – I’d like to be sat closer to the window (overlooking Fountain Square) next time. And, from what I’ve seen, the wood fired pizzas look awesome. It wasn’t the best meal of my life (certain parts were VERY good) but I can see us coming back here again.

Palomino Euro Bistro on Urbanspoon

 

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Destin in December 2013

Life is good.

You know how you know when life is good? When you not only get to spend 2 weeks, in Destin, over the summer but you get to go back, for the bonus week, in December!

We got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a snowbird. But, we still got to eat like rock stars. ;)

I’ll start my winter Destin eating post with this – I was very UNDER whelmed, with the food, as a whole. There were some high points but…not as many. The service, everywhere we went, was awesome! I loved that servers had time to chat and weren’t crazy busy, like they are, over the summer.

Quick story – because we stopped somewhere in Nowhere, AL, to break up the trip, the only available restaurant, for dinner, was a Waffle House. Yes, I said it. A Waffle House. I think I’ve been to one, once. Maybe. My son, up until that night, had never experienced the Waffle House. We broke him in, with a waffle.

First time at waffle house

He liked his waffle. There. Now we never have to go back.

I could chit-chat about our trip. But, I won’t Let’s just get down to food!

Saturday – Fat Clemenza’s

We did eat at Fat Clemenza’s, 2 years ago, but it was for lunch. I was in love with their garlic knots and tomato soup. Going to dinner, was a different (better) experience. Loved the candle light, real italian feel. Love that it’s small and cozy. They have regulars that were chatting up with the owners. The husband and I both are in love with the place. Not to mention, one of the HIGH lights of the week, food-wise. (BTW – lighting still not great for food. Trust me though, it was awesome!)

Bread

Fat Clem bread and oil

Cheese Pizza

Fat Clem Cheese Pizza

Diavola Pizza

Fat Clem other pizza

Pasta Carbonara

Fat Clem pasta

All around, a fantastic meal!

Also, since we were just there for a week, we went out for lunch and dinner. Yeah, for me, to not having to cook!

Sunday – lunch – O’Quigley’s

Our goal here? To watch football – the Bengals versus the Ravens. We were overtaken a smidgen by Steelers fans (they’re like roaches…lol).

I might have started the football game off right – with a Blue Moon.

O'Quigley's beer

Cajun Shrimp

O'Quigley's shrimp

Cheeseburger (the boy’s)

O'Quigley's burger

Nachos (mine!)

O'Quigley's nachos

Sorry for the crap, pictures – these were with my cell phone! It won’t happen again. ;)

I had fun that day – O’Quigley’s is, definitely, a good place to watch sports and have “bar” food!

O'Quigley's on Urbanspoon

Sunday – dinner- McGuire’s

Yes! McGuire’s. Let me just say…it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or the dead of winter, McGuire’s is always (and I mean, always!) packed. With our teeny party of 3, however, we only had to wait 10 minutes.

Mc G's dollar

And, really, how can you not love a restaurant that Big Booty Judy approves of?

Every time I go to McGuire’s, I vow that I’m not going to eat a lot. My goal, for this trip, was to NOT eat a lot. I think I did a good job at keeping in line with my promise.

Instead of the gigantor nachos (which, truly, haven’t been as good these days, anyway), we got the Reuben Eggrolls

Mc G's rueben egg rolls

Loved them! Seriously, loved.

The husband got the Yellow Fin Tuna Steak

McG's tuna

My boy ate all the delicious bread...

McG's bread

…and got his normal NY Strip!

McG's steak better

Did I stay true to my word? Yep, I just got a baked potato!

McG's baked potato

With all the tasty condiments

McG's potato condiments

^^^And, see, Jeff Ruby – that’s how it’s done. ;)

I left McGuire’s content and not feeling like I was going to explode. Please remind me of this, over the summer. Also – it was amazing to walk around the gift shop and, actually, be able to look and not bump into 1000 people.

Monday – lunch – Shrimp Basket

I was trying to keep a balance, since we were going out, for both lunch and dinner, of restaurants and prices. I didn’t want to spend a ton, on lunches – keep that, in mind, for some of my odd choices.

Cheeseburger

Shrimp Basket Burger

 

Grilled Shrimp Platter

 

Shrimp Basket grilled shrimp

 

Boom Boom Shrimp (mine)

Shrimp Basket boom boom shrimp

 

Let’s just say, it was way too much money, for the quality of both, the inside of the restaurant AND the food, overall. We could have done without this meal.

Shrimp Basket on Urbanspoon

Monday – dinner – Stewby’s

 

Stewby’s is in FWB – and, it takes a few more minutes to get there. But, it is, hands down, one of my favorite “Destin” restaurants. It’s locally owned. Fresh caught. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Our total bill, was about $36! Yep, that’s it. And, a highlight of this trip. Probably my absolute favorite of this trip!

We shared a cup of gumbo

Stewby's gumbo

 

I’m not a fan of okra but, it didn’t even bother me, in this perfect gumbo. It had depth of flavor, tender shrimp and just enough veggies. Loved it. (the husband agreed)

The boy got chicken fingers

Stewby's fish tenders

 

And, since the husband and I got the same thing – I just took one picture! It was grilled Amberjack (I got fried onions and baked beans, as my sides)

Stewby's grilled amberjack

 

Loved every aspect. One of the things that I love about Stewby’s, is their sides. Most of the restaurants, just don’t pay attention to their sides and serve the same routine stuff, as everyone else. Stewby’s has unique, delicious sides and I love that they take the time and care, to follow through with the whole meal.

My one complaint (and, to be fair, I have this complaint about EVERY seafood restaurant, in the Destin area) is the tartar sauce. I might be spoiled since we have the perfect Frisch’s tartar sauce but…I haven’t met a tartar sauce, down here, that I like. I’d love to see someone branch out and do a jalapeno tartar sauce or a spicy remoulade or, maybe, even a lemon mustard sauce. Please, Destin, take my sauce suggestions to heart. I’m begging of you.

Stewby’s has my love – go visit them if you’re vacationing, in Destin or FWB, next summer! You’ll thank me.

Oh, I forgot! Destin has a new cupcake place called Small Cakes!

Small cakes

Small cakes case

Small cakes case close

 

They just opened and are doing very well – selling out, every day! I’m not sure if the cupcakes are made, from scratch, or not. (being as once they’re out, they’re out – no “hold on while they defrost”, I’m thinking that they are) They’re beautiful and have a great variety – pretty darn tasty, too!

Small cakes box

Small cakes cupcakes

 

I don’t really need to say anything. The picture says it all.

Cupcakes make everyone happy.

Tuesday – brunch – Another Broken Egg Cafe

You know, I really thought, given that we were in Destin, in the dead of winter, that we’d be able to get into The Donut Hole. Nope – busy as ever. I have, after 8 years of going to Destin, given up on The Donut Hole. All done. Not even going to try. It can kiss my ass. And, I might even flip it off now, when I pass it. So – our plan B, that day, was Another Broken Egg Cafe. Yes, I have my issues with them but I wanted another coffee cup, dammit.

Cinnamon Roll (Mikey’s – he’s, at least, cheap for me)

ABEC cinnamon roll

 

He tore into that bad boy.

Mike got the Lafitte’s Tortilla with pancakes

ABEC Burrito

 

ABEC pancakes

 

And, I got the Hey Lucy

ABEC Hey Lucy

 

This is my problem with Another Broken Egg Cafe – my meal was $11.49. It’s eggs, potatoes and an english muffin. You would think that they could put some actual FILLINGS in my filled omelette. As it was/is, I had to search for the chorizo and avocado. The husband and I agreed, that when we return, we’re splitting a meal.

Another Broken Egg Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday – dinner – Crab Island Cantina

 

Yes, this is where we were having New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s in Harbor Walk and we thought we’d chill (literally!) and watch fireworks. It was, definitely, different not having to fight for a parking spot. ;)

Chips and Salsa

Crab Island Cantina Chips and Salsa

 

I wasn’t a fan of the chips or salsa – I realize I’m hard to please.

Guacamole

Crab Island Cant Guac

 

It was okay

The boy got Grilled Steak Ranchera Style

Crab Island Cant Steak better

 

While it looks good, it had a lot of fat (yes, even for a ribeye). Mikey didn’t like it.

Mike got the Crab Legs

Crab Island Cant Mike's

 

Mike raved and loved it!

I got the Seafood Enchiladas

Crab Island Cant Mine

 

I wanted to like them. Mostly because our server was awesome and I wanted an excuse to come back. But, I really didn’t like them…at all. The sauce was wrong – the seafood was non-existent. Just very “blah”.

I never told Mike how much I didn’t like my meal at Crab Island Cantina – I didn’t want to hurt his feelings since he liked his so much.

Crab Island Cantina on Urbanspoon

And, to finish off my NYE, back at the condo (where I whooped up on the boys at Uno!)…

Champagne

 

Wednesday – lunch – Vinnie McGuire’s

 

The word must not be out yet. But, Vinnie McGuire’s has awesome pizza. We loved it last year but we learned a lesson – we only needed ONE.

Vinnie McG's pizza

 

We got cheese on half (Mikey) and pepperoni, italian sausage and mushrooms, on the other side. Pure pizza perfection. One of the high food points, of our trip.

Wednesday – dinner – Groovy Grouper Grill

 

This is a new restaurant, in Destin Commons – the menu looked a little interesting, so…off we went to give it a whirl.

They had some great happy hour/snow bird specials. From about 10 entrees, BOGO free. And, on their bar happy hour menu “$5″ apps!

For an appetizer, we got Fish Tacos

Groovy Grouper Fish Tacos

 

They were fine – not the best and not the worst. Very average.

Mikey got a cheeseburger

Groovy Grouper Burger

 

And, one pic, since Mike and I got the same thing! Fish’n’Chips!

Groovy Grouper Fish'n'chips

 

I did like the fries. Again, the fish was just average and the tartar sauce = horrible.

While the winter pricing was great, the food wasn’t.

Groovy Grouper Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday – lunch – Dewey Destin

 

One of my favs ;)

During the winter months, they close at 4, so we had to make it a lunch!

We started off with some Tuna Dip (the best we’ve had down there!)

DD Tuna Dip

 

Yum! Just as tasty as ever!

Now, this is my problem. We started talking, to a table next to us, and I forgot to take pics. Yes, I have a talking and multi-tasking issue.

Mikey got Chicken Tenders and Mike got a grilled Tuna Sandwich – there won’t be pictures but they both, thoroughly, enjoyed their meals.

I caught mine, after a couple of bites – the grilled Mahi sandwich

DD Sandwich Mahi

 

The fish was perfect! I love Dewey Destin (Crab Island side!) for their freshness and simplicity. You just can’t beat it. But, I wish that they’d work on their sides. And, tartar sauce. ;)

Thursday – dinner – Grin-go’s

 

Okay, I always joke with the boys, that I want them to do the Gringozilla contest – but, they never take me seriously and refuse to do it. Bunch of wimps. So, I had to settle for just a normal dinner experience.

It’s very tiny and in Baytowne Wharf. I’ve been obsessed with eating there, for about 3 years but, over the summer months, I’ve just been unwilling to give up a full-on dinner, to eat there. That’s what winter eating’s for.

They have a salsa bar – which looked like it had been attacked. By a bunch of wild salsa eating monkeys.

Grin Go's chips and salsa

 

The salsa was awful. It tasted like PASTA sauce, not salsa. I couldn’t even choke it down.

I got a side order of guacamole 

Grin Go's guac

 

Horrible and you can keep that sprinkle of chili powder/paprika (couldn’t figure out which one it was). That little, baby ramekin of guacamole was $5.49. I guess the one avocado, that it took to make it, was lined with gold? I didn’t finish it, that’s how terrible it was.

Mikey got a cheese (well, he ordered it with chicken but it didn’t come that way) quesadilla

Grin Go's quesadilla

 

He did enjoy the potatoes.

Mike got the Big Tex Combo

Grin Go's Mike's

 

Grin go's taco

 

Mike loved all of his, of course.

I got the Fish Tacos

Grin go's fish tacos

 

Hated them. Hated the beans. The wasabi ranch sauce was good. And, on top of it, they were $16.99! At what point, did that meal above, deserve to be $16.99??!!

I wanted to like Grin-Go’s. But, it’s in the “don’t do it” category, for me.Mike disagreed but…it’s my damn blog.

Grin Go's on Urbanspoon

Friday – lunch – Outback

Yes, an odd choice, for lunch, in Destin but we had a gift card. ;)

No one’s bread is as good as Outback’s honey wheat.

Outback bread

 

Mikey, of course, got steak – sirloin

Outback sirloin

 

Mike got Tilapia

Outback tilapia

 

And, I got Coconut Shrimp

Outback coconut shrimp

 

I worked at Outback for a long, long time. Coconut Shrimp is one of the things that I still, tremendously, enjoy.

Friday – dinner – Stinky’s Fish Camp

 

I’m a big fan of Stinky’s! Loved it, when we went, for the first time, over the summer, so we were really looking forward to returning. And, oddly enough, it was our last meal, of this trip, too!

Loved that we got right in and it wasn’t a clusterpluck!

Mikey got a Ribeye (it was a special)

Stinky's Mikey

 

He loved the mac’n’cheese – next time around, that’s all he’s getting. My boy is just not a fan of ribeyes. (has nothing to do with Stinky’s or any other restaurant – it’s just him)

Mike got the Stinky’s Stew

Stinky's Mike's

 

He LOVED it. He was, absolutely, obsessed with the po-boy panini to the left. He just couldn’t quit telling me how great it was!

I got the Smoked Braised Short Ribs

Stinky's short ribs

 

Loved the cheese grits. And, loved the sauce. I liked the short ribs, but, after a few bites, the smokey flavor started getting to me. It was just too much. I’m going to pull a Mikey and next time around, maybe get the shrimp and grits! Or the Crawfish Hot Tamales and a side of cheese grits.

That was our December Destin “food” trip, in a quick breakdown. I didn’t really find anything “new” to like. A little sad that I was so underwhelmed.

But, still looking forward to our 2 weeks in August! And, I’m hoping for some better culinary delights.

 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Jeff Ruby – Carlo & Johnny

Jeff Ruby – Carlo & Johnny

You all know that Eddie Merlot’s is my favorite. Even though I’ve been to the Jeff Ruby, downtown, Eddie Merlot’s still remains my one true steakhouse. Personally, I found the Jeff Ruby downtown to be a little “stuffy” – while the food was good, I didn’t like the ambiance/atmosphere. I LOVE fine dining. I feel very comfortable in fine dining situations. But, I don’t like the feel of old money and snobby people. And, those frackin’ after dinner jelly beans drive me up a wall!

I heard that Carlo & Johnny was different – a little trendier and upbeat. Since we were given a free dinner, as a Christmas gift, we were off and running to Carlo & Johnny. I was ready to be impressed.

One thing, immediately, that I have to give props, to Jeff Ruby about, is his choice in hiring people. He really understands that attractive hostesses, bartenders and servers, will bring in the money. When you pay uber money, for food, there needs to be certain standards. Service is one of them and, in that aspect, Jeff Ruby restaurants excel.

I do like the look and feel of Carlo & Johnny – kind of old school gangster. Lots of interesting statues and pictures. And, the lighting was perfect.

I started with a glass of wine…and we were given bread. I know some people LOVE the mushroom butter. I just don’t like it. The husband told me that I was nuts but I just can’t get into it. I did like it a LITTLE better with the rye bread, versus the white.

CJ Bread

Since we’re both seafood lovers, we knew that we had to get some sort of raw bar item going.

We chose the crab leg and 2 (yes, 2 – those suckers are $7 each!) shrimp.

CJ Raw Bar

Visually, beautiful! I loved the lemony mustard sauce – that was my favorite! The shrimp was very good. However – the crab was super icy still. While I want it cold, I don’t want to crunch into ice chunks. THAT, above, was $41. Yes, I said $41. Thank God it was a Christmas gift. ;)

I love soup and I figured that Jeff Ruby could do some soup well. I got a cup of Alaskan King Crab Chowder.

CJ Chowder

I AM picky, when it comes to soup. I thought the soup was all right. Very little crab. While the flavors were all good – they just didn’t blend well together. I thought it needed to be just a little thicker. The husband disagreed but what does he know?

The husband ordered the Cowboy Steak

CJ Cowboy Ribeye

And, a gigantor baked potato!

CJ Baked Potato

He LOVED his steak, of course! And, the potato was good (I might have stolen a few bites). I was a little perturbed that they brought this big dish of sour cream out and we get a tiny dollop and then he disappears with it. I gave him the stink eye.

I got the Anthony Munoz

CJ Anthony Munoz

It was delicious perfection. Mushrooms, shrimp and bearnaise. Plus, some bacon. And, a tender filet. It was melt in my mouth wonderful.

Oh, we might have gotten some dessert, to go.

Some sort of chocolate PB thing – the husband plated it on an attractive paper plate. ;)

CJ PB Dessert

I don’t need to tell you that it was good, right?

And, since he doesn’t like anything non-chocolate, I had to get my own dessert. Carrot Cake!

CJ Carrot Cake

It was damn good.

So, my final verdict about a different Jeff Ruby restaurant? Obviously, the food is awesome. And, he does just a really amazing job at small finishing touches. The signature on the wine glasses and the butter. The fact that the food always comes out beautiful (my steak fell and the food runner took it back so the kitchen could make it gorgeous again). The to-go bags are awesome (ALWAYS get something to go!). And, you’re treated very well. BUT – I still like Eddie Merlot’s better. There really is something to the ambiance that I just can’t push past with Jeff Ruby restaurants. The husband, actually, agrees with me, about this.

Jeff Ruby's Carlo & Johnny on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Smokey Bones

Smokey Bones is one of those restaurants, that I’ve passed a million times, and have just decided against it. Mostly, because I’m just really over the whole BBQ mania. And, I assumed that’s all they had. I’m not sure what got into me, but on a whim, we pulled in, one day, for lunch.

There’s a lot of “fun” signs hanging around – and the atmosphere seemed upbeat. Our server was great and on top of everything!

Food!

You know I have a weakness, for fried pickles (even though the nachos looked REALLY delicious)…

Smokey Bones Fried Pickles

They were very good – perfect breading and good seasoning. Wasn’t wild about the ranch, though.

After much back and forth – and more, back and forth. (The desserts looked awesome – I thought about ditching lunch all together and just order dessert as a meal!)

The husband decided on…

Smokey Bones Pick 2

I believe that was a Pick 2 Combo – pulled pork, turkey, baked beans and roasted corn. Apparently, he doesn’t feel the same way about BBQ that I do. He’s been to Smokey Bones before so…he already knew he liked it.

The only think I was envious of, of his, was his garlic bread.

I didn’t just want to get a salad and I was a little souped out – so, I decided on Chicken Fingers. Yes, I’m truly a 5 yr. old at heart.

SB Chicken Fingers Better

They were…fine. To be fair, I’m in love with Longhorn’s chicken fingers. NO ONE can compare to those little strips of perfection! And, I didn’t like the sauces – that stuff to the right…NOT honey mustard.

But, these bad boys were awesome! Loaded Cheese Fries

SB Cheese Fries

Yum. As much as I’m opposed to BBQ, I did like the taste of it, on these! The husband might have attacked them, too.

Regardless of my feelings about the chicken fingers, I really liked Smokey Bones and I’d love to go back. Those little donuts are so calling my name!

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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