Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

New foods in October!   Leave a comment

New foods 1 Oct 2019
I like trying new food items and each month I do just that! I haven’t had snails in years and usually it was in a French restaurant where the best part was dipping the bread into the garlic and butter sauce but I made these in a fresh homemade Marinara sauce using fresh garlic. The sauce was delicious but the snails added nothing to the taste.
 
I tried the Torani sugar/calorie free caramel sauce in coffee a few times but I’ll stick to Sweet ‘n Low or vanilla extract.
 
The cotton candy was a fun treat but one I wouldn’t have again while the Tostones was a sharp sort of potato chip.
 
I gave the Kumquats to a neighbor because though I like sweet foods being a pre-diabetic these are too sweet–well, nothing can be too sweet but they can be too high in sugar!
 
You taste any new foods?
Advertisements

Posted October 17, 2019 by greatmartin in FOOD

Cafe Vico Twice and “Les Miserables”   Leave a comment

Cafe Vico Oct 8 and 10 2019

Though all weeks are good some good weeks are better than others and last week was just that! Before seeing “Les Miserables” we had dinner at Cafe Vico, needless to say one of my favorite restaurants! We had a groupon for $40 worth of food, with Rion having Portobello Mushrooms and Peppers ($16.95) and a glass of Miller LIte ($6) while I had Shrimp Scampi ($29.95) and we both had a dish of ice cream ($4.95 each) The check came to $24.39 plus tip. I must admit I had some sticker shock at the new prices but at least I had that groupon!
 
Another sticker shock was when we got to the parking garage. Allen and I usually valet park and we have gotten use to the $25 charge plus tip but the last time we parked at the garage it was $6 and now it was $15—but at least no tip involved!
 
On Thursday, having another groupon, this one for $50, Allen and I went to Cafe Vico for lunch and the prices were a little more reasonable. For an appetizer we shared an order of 4 meatballs in a very tasty sauce ($10.95). Allen had a ‘special’ flounder dish done in a light sauce ($14.95) while I had the Veal Francese on linguini ($14.95) and, yes, 2 dishes of vanilla ice cream ($9.90) a diet cola and a cup of coffee bringing our check to $3.95 plus tip!
 
In pictures 5 and 7 you can see the working owner Marco.
 
I can only wish you a week of seeing a good musical and eating out—twice–at your favorite restaurant!
 
 
 

Posted October 16, 2019 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, MUSICAL THEATRE

No movie?? Okay, then Cabo Blanco & Dairy Queen!!   1 comment

Cabo Blanco and Diary Queen Oct 11 2019
“Gemimi”–no thank you! “Lucy In The Sky”–I am not a fan of Natalie Portman and word of mouth hasn’t been too good. “The Addams Family”? PUHLEEZE! “Jexi”? Sounds like a TV rom/com, maybe Tuesday. Okay, I have found out that if I don’t go to a movie on Friday the world doesn’t come to an end. Allen wasn’t in any particular mood to see a movie so I suggested–sometimes I am brilliant!–that we go have lunch at Cabo Blanco for which I had a groupon for and we hadn’t been there in awhile.
 
 Cabo Blanco is one of my favorite restaurants and the best of the dozen or so Peruvian restaurants that have opened in the past decade. When we first went I tried all 29 lunch specials they had (no, not at one time!!) and there wasn’t a bad one in the group but there was definitely a standout dish: Camarones Saltados, about 12 sauteed shrimp with onions and tomatoes on a pasta in a dark sauce, which I think is soy based but not sure. I do know it is delicious and the price, $11.99, ridiculously low for such a meticulous made dish plus they serve a freshly made chicken soup and a side of various sauces. They use to serve bread with the latter which they no longer do so I don’t know what the sauces are for because the shrimp sauce is great as is! I have had this dish about 20 times and LOVE it!
 
Afterwards I was moaning that they don’t have plain vanilla ice cream which is something I like to have after a slightly spicy meal and Allen came up with a brilliant idea of going to Dairy Queen in Wilton Manors for dessert! He had a chocolate and I had a vanilla Blizzard! Now that’s what friends are for!
 
Trust me, the lunch and dessert was better than any movie I could have seen!

Eating out!   Leave a comment

Eating out Sept 2019 Part 1

It is no secret that I love to eat out but, unfortunately, my budget constantly says “NO!” I sort of have it under control in keeping it to Thursdays and Fridays while during ‘theatre season’ Tuesday is added to the list.
 
On Thursdays, after shopping at the $ Tree and before going to Winn-Dixie, plus the Tuesday nights when we go the theatre in Broward, we sort of eat at a ‘better’ restaurant such as the Outback, Big Louie’s and La Bonne Crepe, while theatre nights it is either the Quarterdeck or Cafe Vico.
 
Fridays, after the movies, and Tuesdays when we go to the theatre in Miami it is Denny’s at the latter and Subways or Arby’s after the former.
 
From a dessert crepe made of strawberries, bananas, vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup to a turkey foot-long on herb-garlic cheese and adding cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions plus mustard, plus a pizza at Big Louie’s to steak and all the shrimp you can eat at Outback and a Rueban at  Arby’s I do have a varied menu of meals.
 
Oh, yes, I gave up carbonated sodas about 7 months ago so now I have lemonade at fast food places and late dinners while real coffee at lunch meals at full service restaurants.
 
The other 4-5 days I am a pretty good boy when I eat at home–well, most times!! I do make my dinners in advance on Saturdays with a basic fish or chicken dish with 2 veggies, a salad, 2 cups of yogurt and an apple. (No, we won’t talk about the carrots cakes, etc.)

Posted September 26, 2019 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FOOD, RESTAURANTS

Trying new foods and that second steak!   1 comment

new food and second steak September 2019 2

 Two weeks ago I wrote about discovering Rancher’s Home steaks and how great the one I had was. At less than $5 a pound it was a great deal in more than just taste! I had grilled it in my George Foreman grill and it melted in my mouth, s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o good. I knew I would have to try it again.
 
Last week I bought one home and tried the ultimate taste–putting it in the microwave oven. I have a ‘grilling pan’ to use in the microwave and decided to make the steak that way. I chopped up some garlic and put it on both sides of the steak, put it into the microwave, cooked it 2 minutes on each side and when it was finished it didn’t look like a grilled steak but I wasn’t expecting it to. I will say it tasted even better than the first one. I knew this was going to be my once a week treat.
 
I couldn’t wait to get one this week and when I went to the beef section in Winn-Dixie I got my rude awakening! The previous two weeks the steak had been on sale and now they were $9+ a pound!! Oh well, maybe 1 every 2 months!!
 
By the way the ‘side dish’ on the plate by the steak is a mixture of red beans, rice and spices, a basic Jambalaya staple.
 
Every month I try new items that I get at the Pantry and as tempted as I was to spread some of the duck rillettes but it is definitely a no-no on my do not eat list. They also have 2-3 new marinades every month and though I am very limited on using marinades I always sneak a tablespoon or two into the crock pot when I am cooking chicken. Using one tablespoon of YO MAMA Honey Balsamic marinade over 8 chicken breasts really doesn’t go very far regarding taste but every now and then I will get a bite with a ‘bang’ that makes the other plain bites edible!
 
In all the years of tasting new foods the only one I can remember saying that I would never have again was oyster plant–and I haven’t!

Posted September 23, 2019 by greatmartin in FOOD, HOME

Life can be great–with food!   1 comment

Inline image
One stop we make every Thursday when Allen takes me on my errands is Winn-Dixie, usually after lunch (and I still buy too much! There goes that theory!) I very seldom eat steak at home as I know restaurants get the best cuts but passing the meat section I saw they had steaks on sale and I said–to myself–“Self go for it, ” so Self did. It didn’t have the Winn-Dixie name which is rare as their slogan is “The Beef People”. 
 
1) The steak’s label said Rancher’s Home bone in Ribeye Steak. Bar none it is the best steak I have ever had, just melting in my mouth with each bite. Though I am known as a fast eater I never had a steak last as long and to top it off that bone was delicious! No I didn’t eat it but there wasn’t a drop of meat left on it.
 
2) I am beginning to worry about Jacque–some of you met her at my birthday dinner in 2016. First of all she gave me a ‘snacking size’ of M&Ms–the whole bag!! Heck, I wouldn’t even share them let alone give them away!
 
3) The Ionian Princess is the new boat docked here–HUGE!
 
4) One of the many reasons I love living here are the things I see outside my window such as this home which looks like it belongs in Monte Carlo and then there is 5) The Point which is a never ending sight of beauty!
 
6) And then there is Lenny the lizard who keeps the flies, among other bugs, away from yours truly.
 
Mmmm–I hope Winn-Dixie has more of Rancher’s Home steaks!

Posted September 11, 2019 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, Uncategorized

A question asked–my answer   Leave a comment


Someone asked me a question about my restaurant reviews and this is what I answered–hopefully it will help and not add to the inquirer’s confusion.

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale in Broward County where there are over 2,000 restaurants and it is too hard to keep a record of how many open and close within ONE year.

I have/had been in the restaurant business 38 years, all positions, now retired and the biggest problem I have found is that too many restaurants open before they are ready to open and/or don’t have enough money to see them through a year.

With all that said I am pretty easy with restaurants as I really don’t expect much except a clean place, good food—doesn’t have to be great!–good servers–not necessarily super stars but at least show that they have been trained well. With prices as high as they are today, with a choice of 4 types of restaurants starting with full service, followed by buffets, then the new fast casual and finally fast food, a restaurant really don’t get a second chance Added to that is the fact there are too many choices of each types of food. In 1970 we had 2 Mexican restaurants now I can count 23. Italian restaurants? There are 9 within 2 miles from where I live. Just recently, within 1 mile we have 3 Cuban restaurants and Peruvian restaurants are growing faster than I can count.

I eat out twice a week, one usually fast casual or lower priced full service and another a new one. I have 5-6 favorite restaurants that I try to get to 2-3 times a year at least. Add to that I am a Leap Year baby which means I have (and only celebrate) a birthday every 4 years with a dinner party at a restaurant, usually a new one, that I have tried in the intervening years and comes Saturday, February 29, 2020 I will be celebrating my turning 21 at the Nabu restaurant if #1 They are still open and #2 I haven’t come across a newer, better one. My last birthday was in 2016 and I held a dinner for 22 people at Cafe Vico and I couldn’t have asked for better food, service, atmosphere or evening.

I usually will try to speak to a manager if I find something wrong–some listen, some don’t. I see over 100 movies a year in theatres–maybe, if I am lucky, I will see 5 or 6 that I would want to see again. Why do I bring this up? Too many people today don’t have the money to go to movies anymore and certainly not to eat out. I don’t like to see any business close or employees lose employment but I know I read reviews for restaurants, movies, plays, etc., so I won’t waste my time and money.

I soon learn who to trust when when reading their reviews and who not to. For instance there is a critic in South Florida that I know if they dislike some place chances are I will love it!

Didn’t mean to go on so long–I appreciate your note and just wanted to explain a little–which turned into a lot!–of where my head is at regarding my posting reviews! I reviewed 2 restaurants recently–VALE FOOD CO and CAO Bakery & Cafe–each had something good but I won’t be returning to either because there were too many negative things that should have been taken care of before they opened if not after customers brought it to their attention. Hope you find some great places to eat!

Martin

%d bloggers like this: