Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

It’s the real thing–NOT!   Leave a comment

mashed caulifower potatoes collage Collage

When I opened the freezer door at the Winn-Dixie at first I started laughing, then I looked at the price and gasped but, most of all, my mind went back to March 1967.

I’ve told the whole story and have referred to them many times but it was that month and that year that I joined Weight Watchers and I distinctly remember leaving with the program I was to follow and a couple of recipes to see me through the first week. I would use one of them for ten years. The other recipe, baking mushrooms until they were crunchy like peanuts just didn’t fool me!

The recipe I made a lot of came under the category of ‘free’ vegetables meaning you could eat as much as you wanted of them and I did! You take a head or a box of frozen or even two of either, or more, and boil them until they are soft enough to be mashed up. You then could add imitation butter flavoring, salt, pepper, dehydrated onion flakes (onion themselves were not ‘free’), garlic powder or any other variations with free items, spices, herbs and extracts or flavorings. You then put it in a baking pan and bake until the top is brown.

That my friend is Weight Watcher’s ‘mashed potatoes’ and here, 51 years later, Bird’s Eye is making ‘original mashed cauliflower’ but it cost a lot more than the dish I made two weeks ago. Yes, I still make some of the old WW recipes.

 WW cookbook

And I still have the original cookbook I bought in 1967!


Posted February 20, 2018 by greatmartin in FOOD, Uncategorized

Giardino Gourmet Salads –restaurant review   Leave a comment

Giardino Feb 8 2018 collage

I made 2 mistakes with the first walking in and after seeing it was a fast-casual restaurant I stayed. I much prefer a complete full-service restaurant but we were here so we stayed. The second mistake was staying after reading the menu. It is a very big menu with many choices plus even gets worse if you decide on the ‘My Way’ section, where there are 5 steps to making a salad, a wrap or a grain bowl.

Add to this you have to stand and read the board while people before and after you are doing the same thing.

I took the easy–the coward’s?–way out and turned towards the guy behind the counter and told him to make whatever he wanted for me that I liked everything and he couldn’t make a mistake. (By the way, I have done this in 5-star restaurants and have gotten some 5-star, not necessarily the most expensive, meals.)

I wound up getting the 6 sliders for $13 consisting of 2 seafood, 1 salmon, 1 creamed tuna and 2 chicken,  all made on a non-descript potato roll, as were the fillings, except for the greens added to them. Allen had the tuna wrap $7.75 which he enjoyed. We both had a can of diet coke $1.50 each.

The best part of the whole experience was Emile who seemed to really enjoy his job dealing with the public and, in many ways, going all out to make the customer happy.

From what I have seen those who ordered the salads seem to be the most satisfied and all the food looked fresh.

This Giardino Gourmet Salads restaurant seems to be the latest in the franchise and the place itself looks clean, bright and has that ‘new’ feeling.

I wish them luck but I do suggest you get familiar with their menu at before you go to eat there and, definitely, go on a day Emile is working before he, deservingly, gets a store of his own!

Posted February 12, 2018 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FOOD, Uncategorized

What do you know about Capsicum? And do you care?   Leave a comment

Roasted Capsicum and Cowboy Caviar

Or for that matter Cowboy Caviar??


“The large, mild form is called “red (bell) pepper”, “green (bell) pepper”, or just “bell pepper” (depending on color) in North America and the United Kingdom and typically “capsicum” in New Zealand,[8]AustraliaSingapore and India. The fruit is called peperoni or “paprika” in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicums).” (From Wikipedia.)


The ingredients in this jar are: reconstituted Tomato (43%), Onion (fresh & rehydrated), roasted Capsicum (13%) rehydrated red pepper, sugar, reconstituted lemon juice concentrate, rice bran oil, vinegar, citrus fibre, salt, ginger, spices, smoked paprika, locust bean gum (410) mineral salt.


(An aside: one should never read the ingredients in a jar of food!)


In any case, how do I know if I am eating American, Australian or New Zealand capsicums?


Then I went to   (  and that confused me even more. It says “Sorry no results have been found for ‘Coles Capsicum chutney'” 


So what am I eating? Who made it? Is it an Australian or New Zealand plot to rid the world of Americans?  Or just the opposite? Why aren’t red peppers just red peppers?


And then we have Cowboy Caviar but that’s another post!

And this is here for no reason at all!

Samson movie--coming soon


Posted February 8, 2018 by greatmartin in FOOD, Uncategorized

A few of my favorite things!   Leave a comment

Posted February 5, 2018 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

Moonlite Diner Fort Lauderdale restaurant review   Leave a comment


There are plenty of diners in Broward County including the Moonlite, Lesters, Peter Pan and Flashback. Put a blindfold on and be taken to either and you wouldn’t be able to tell which is which because most of the food is the same. and there is nothing wrong with that as they all serve good tasting food, good portions and are in the mid-price range.

Take off the blindfold and you see the difference. The Flashback Diner has small TVs with remotes on all tables, Lester’s has remodeled their original place with an additional dining room (outdoors) to the two inside while no way does Peter Pan resemble a diner. Of the 4 mentioned the Moonlite Diner has the look of diners all over the country though it may be a little bit shinier.

I had the turkey wrap ($9.89) and next time would probably just have a regular turkey sandwich. I ordered hash browns done on both sides and they came just as ordered. I had coffee ($2.59) which was good and a scoop of vanilla ice cream ($2.99) while Allen had the Rueban (($10.49) and a chocolate milkshake (($3.99).

With tax and tip the check came to $39.27 We left a little more than a 20% tip because  Christin, our server, was excellent at her job giving us all and not more than the attention we needed, subtly suggested add-ons to the check and being prompt with refills on the coffee.

Besides the food, at all 3 diners, I have found that, as a rule, they usually have the most efficient servers and Moonlite was no exception with Christin.Moonlight Diner Dec 8 2017 Collage

2 Fort Lauderdale Chinese restaurants reviews   Leave a comment

Henry's China House Dec 28 2017 collage

Henry’s China House

It is hard competing with memories but that is what happened when I walked into Henry’s, a restaurant I haven’t been into for over 25 years and that wasn’t at this location.

For many years they were located a couple of blocks south of State Road 84 on Federal Highway located near a roller skating ring and The Copa, a gay bar and nightclub.

Did the food taste any better then or was it as pedestrian as the food we had today? I had the shrimp with lobster sauce ($7.25) and a diet cola ($1.25) served with pork fried rice and 2 fried wings while Allen had the Sweet and Sour Shrimp with rice and an egg roll ($7.25) and diet cola ($1.25) and Anthony had the Egg Foo Young with rice and a Spring Roll with ice tea ($2) no ice. With tax and tip, the check came to $33.50.

The food tasted like the food I ate in the Bronx many years ago, no better, no worse and certainly no fresher!

(And I hope the kids waiting on us–and they were kids, young kids–were just off for the holidays!)

I wish it was as good as I remembered but even this small ‘new’ place has no resemblance to what it once was.

By the way, don’t bother going to their web page–prices are all wrong–at least for lunch.

Lotus Chinese Kitchen

Lotus Chinese Kitchen Jan 12 2018

There is nothing really to differentiate the Lotus from over the 1,000 (probably) Chinese restaurants I have eaten in my 82 years (well started eating out when I was about 4 so let’s say 78 years.)

The fish tank, the menu, the food, the pot of tea, the dish of cold fried noodles is all par for the course. I had the Moo Gai Pan ($13.95) which came with an egg roll, brown rice and tea was as bland and ‘manufactured’ tasting as ever. Okay, it is a standard dish on every Chinese restaurant menu but sometimes you just want some familiar dish.

I’ve heard that most of the food here is homemade but certainly didn’t taste like it.

There is nothing wrong with the food and service while the main dining room is elegant looking but there is nothing that sets the Lotus Chinese Kitchen apart from the many other Chinese restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area or, for that matter, in the Bronx!

After not having Chinese food for a couple of years and eating at Henry’s China House on 17th Street last week and this week at the Lotus I can go for another few years without the run of the mill Florida Chinese restaurants for a while and will stick to Nabu when I have a yen for Chinese food.

For the record, both Henry’s and Lotus have been around for decades so they must be doing something right.

Cheddar’s Restaurant–Fort Lauderdale area   Leave a comment

Cheddar's Cafe Sept. 2017

Cheddar’s is a reliable restaurant with consistently good food at reasonable prices. I’ve been eating there since they opened every time I go out to Tamarac where Allen lives.
Allen had the dinner portion of grilled salmon ($10.99) (we were there for lunch) with two sides of vegetables and a diet cola ($2.69) while I had the New Orleans Pasta (a creamy version of jambalaya) ($10.79) and coffee ($2.59)
For dessert we each had a scoop of ice cream  ($2.99 each) with the check coming to a total of $35.13 plus a 20% tip.
Our server Nick was good from beginning to end anticipating our needs and that sort of attitude prevails from the opening the front door for us when we arrived with a warm welcome until we left when again the door was opened for us and was given a sincere invitation to come back, which I definitely will the next time I am near Commercial and North University Drive.
Cheddar’s (the Scratch Kitchen seems to have been added recently!) is a dependable place to eat for lunch and dinner and a definite place to eat when out west.

PS Always a plus is that I didn’t see any television in the dining room

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