Panini Pete’s – Destin 2016

I’ll make this short and sweet since I’m almost a year late. Oops. Have I mentioned that I’m all finished with Netflix so my blogging life should be a little more frequent?

We spend 2 full weeks at the beach (Destin!) every year.  I’m not a sun worshiper, by nature (I’m super pale…but I have healthy skin!) 😉 So, inevitably, I grab a teen (let me clarify…MY teens, not just a random one) and we go “off beach” a day. In  August 2016, Pokemon Go was sort of new, so we decided to sit by a Pokestop, drink some coffee and catch some Pokemon. Which led us to…Panini Pete’s. It was new last year but I loved that a cafe/coffee shop type place (other than Starbucks) was close to us, in Destin.

Since they were new, service was a bit slow and awkward. Not sure if they quite understood the full extent of what was going on yet. Hopefully, this year (2017), the pace picked up a bit. We grabbed a coffee (it was okay), caught some Pokemon and then the kids, of course, decided that they were hungry.

My daughter and I split the House Roasted Turkey Panini with Fries.


The panini was awesome – so much better than anything I’ve gotten at Panera. And, the fries? Out of this world, crazy good. Loved the garlic aioli that they gave us to dip into.

My son got the Big Cheese Burger (4 cheeses, people!)


He declared it the best burger he’s had in his life. And, the fries went flying off the plate and into his mouth.

You know, I’m not a huge fan of suggesting places that aren’t seafood related in Destin. But, if you’re looking for a lunch spot or just want to hang out in a coffee shop setting with a laptop or other humans, Panini Pete’s should be on your list.

Plus, they have insulated beach bags (for picnics) and do catering for your Destin condo. Doesn’t get better than that!

 Panini Pete's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mel’s Diner – Pigeon Forge, TN

I’m simple woman. I like simple food that’s just really tasty and unpretentious. I don’t need a bunch of ingredients that 1. I can’t pronounce or 2. I have no clue what they are.

Which is why Mel’s Diner is one of my favorite restaurants in Pigeon Forge. It’s diner food – things that we all know and love but done, awesomely perfect. The husband and I first discovered this delicious gem in 1999, when we got married. Yes, you can “aw” right there. 🙂

We take a short trip, post Christmas, to good ole’ Tennessee! Our first meal (lunch) was Mel’s Diner. Yah!

The decor is like an old school diner – oldies music, fun lights, booths. I love it. Plus, the service is always fantastic. And, it’s the south so you’ve got some “sweeties” and “God Bless ya’ll”s there too. I love the south.

What did we get?

The husband decided to veer away from a burger (crazy talk!!!) and got the Elvis Country Club. He talked a big game about getting a milk shake but couldn’t push the button.

MD club sand and fries

He loved it – let’s face it, the man doesn’t eat carbs so he was in heaven! Fries were coated = bonus.

My secret southern daughter got her go to…Chicken Pot Pie.

MD chicken pot pie

I don’t think I heard a peep out of her. Two words – puff pastry.

My son, who professed to not be hungry, “just” got a Jumbo Grilled Cheese

MD grilled cheese and fries

It was ALL gone – not a fry survived his non-hunger massacre.

And, let me just say here – you can take the girl out of the west side (actually, I still live here) but you can’t take the west side out of the girl. I got my usual – the Fried Bologna Sandwich. And, because calories don’t count on vacation, I added cheese and bacon to my fries. Don’t judge me.

MD Fried Bologna

So…stinkin’…good! The husband snagged quite a few bites. It’s so yum.

If you’re in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, go to Mel’s Diner – it’s delicious food, at a great price and you’ll leave with a nostalgic smile on your (full) face!

Mel's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Crave – Cincinnati

Yes, it’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. Work and the holidays tend to keep me super busy until the end of the year. (Like everyone else)

Crave happened a few months ago. There was a groupon for Crave and I hopped on it.

Made a reservation with another couple and boom! We were in on a Saturday night (that and we were seeing a movie – War Room – go see it!). Yes, the typical couples thing. 😉

The restaurant is beautiful inside – open and modern. Shiny (which I thoroughly enjoy). I’m not quite sure what my expectations were – I’m pretty leery of trendy restaurants by Great American Ball Park.

Since it’s been a while, I’m going to post some food pics and give my general thoughts after. I also forgot (or my camera ate it) to take a pic of MY food. Ugh. Amateur.

Pepperoni Flatbread


The husband and I split this – VERY good. I’m not, however, a huge fan of fresh basil. I plucked that right off. 🙂

Kobi Beef Tacos

short rib tacos

The husband was in love with these. So much, that he ordered another round!



We DO love our fries. And, these, were delicious!

Some sort of sushi (it’s been a long time, people!)


I took a piece of sushi – it was good. But, seriously, any time you give me something with wasabi on it, I’m going to love it.

I got the Steak Frites and my picture got lost in a black hole somewhere. I enjoyed my steak with Bearnaise and asparagus is always tasty.

The husband and I liked our food. It wasn’t the best meal of my life but I couldn’t pick it apart if I wanted to. However, it was mega money, even though we had a groupon. With so many other restaurants, with amazing food, I can’t see spending over $100 here again any time soon.

I liked it but don’t CRAVE it. 😉

Crave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato