Friday, May 28, 2010

Chipotle Mexican Grill--Miami

I am not much for "fast food", but we stopped at a fast food grill in Miami.   As I later find out, it is a chain of great quality.  It is a walk up counter to place your order.   I am not fond of plastic wear and paper plates, but the food quality and  reasonable prices soon made up for the inconvenience.  

The entire menu is printed behind the order counter.   You choose your style to begin....a burrito, fajita burrito, burrito bowl, tacos or salad.  We started with the burrito and then proceeded to the fillings of chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa or vegetarian.  All looked very good and then we add the toppings of salsas from mild to red chili hot.  Extras available are chips and guacamole, chips and salsa, or guacamole added.    I enjoyed the Salad bowl with carnitas, fresh tomato salsa and chips.   An adequate selection of specialty beers and domestics, bottled drinks and fountain sodas.   

Under 15 bucks got us a great quick good tasting Mexican lunch.   I would recommend it again and look forward to venturing further into their menu.  

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pecks Old Port Cove--Crystal River, FL

Old Florida is some of my fondest know, before Disney when streets and many roads were just dirt.   I recall Winter Park in the late '60's and I lived on a "dirt" street.   It was the way I remember Florida and wish that it still had that charm.  

But time and progress has advanced to paved roads and the road to Peck's Old Port Cove is exactly 9.3 miles from the "highway".   Actually, this hidden gem is quite a distance off the beaten path, but dining patrons have never forgot how good real seafood can taste.   Peck's delivers on that.  

We drove out last week and intentionally planned on dining after 8PM.   If you arrive at 5PM, might as well plan on waiting and waiting.  The restaurant will be packed for a reason...the FOOD IS OUTSTANDING.  

We started our feast with FishNet Onions....they are so good with a sharp horseradish dipping sauce.     Our server was quick to bring good iced tea and some great ice cold beer in pint canning have to remember this isn't Disney dining...this is major casual. 

Our next choice was the entree!   After pouring over the entire menu...I went back to the very item I had on my last visit....The Fried Shrimp Platter with Slaw, Fries and Hush puppies for $13.93.  My dining companion had the Combo platter with Shrimp, Scallops & Oysters with  Fries, Slaw and Hush puppies for $15.93.   All  the wonderful things on our plate were perfectly prepared, nothing over cooked!  Juicy, succulent seafood.  

Although I have not been here for lunch, Peck's features a wide variety of lunch specials including the Mate's Platter for $12.93, Golden Fried Chicken for $7.93 and Clam Fettuccine, Mussels Fettuccine, Clam Strips and Prime Rib.   Evenings also feature Prime Rib, New York Strip Steak, Rib-Eye Steak for $15.93.   A wide variety of sandwiches for a little less to eat feature Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, Oyster Burger, Hamburger Deluxe and Grilled Cheese and hot dogs for the younger diner!  Cocktails, Beer, Wine and draft are always available observing local beverage law.   

That brings me back to the mileage from the HWY 19 of 9.3 miles.   All menu items end in 93 cents.  A quirky little item but I just had to ask why all the menu items were priced this way.  

The Combo Platter

Golden Fried Shrimp Platter
After enjoying a great meal...we decided that dessert was not going to happen tonight but they did offer Ozella Lime Pie, Banana Split Pie, French Silk Pie and Cheesecake each for $4.93.   Maybe next time, I will save a little room to enjoy the Lime of my favorite Florida desserts.    All major credit cards accepted.

Peck's Old Port Cove on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Captain's Tavern--Miami

It is a step back in time....entering The Captain's Table in Miami.  Charming, quaint and always packed with patrons.   This restaurant has been a Miami staple forever and the food they deliver is the reason.   Nothing pretentious...superb food.   The restaurant is dark and cave like since they have no windows.   But the numerous large aquariums add to the ambiance.   We were seated next to one and it was very enjoyable watching the beautiful fish.  
We began with the usual cocktails and beverages.   Nothing different here but the same old, same old.  The first item on the menu that caught my eye was the Stuffed Mushrooms.   We ordered them and split the very hot skillet they arrived in.   That set the tone since they were WONDERFUL!  The flavor, seasoning, stuffing....all perfect. Our next selection was the house salad...nothing unusual...crisp iceberg and a tomato.    
After looking at the extensive menu...we both decided on the Admiral's Platter.  The platter included broiled and stuffed  half lobster, fish, stuffed shrimp, shrimp scampi, scallops, Oysters Rockefeller for $27.00,   The extensive menu was all inclusive for a seafood house. 
After enjoying the our entree, we just had to try the Banana Cream Pie at $6.00.   The banana flavor was rich and creamy.   It was a great wrap up for a great meal.   This is a place I would return to for further exploration of their menu.  

Beautiful Aquariums

Stuffed Mushrooms

Delicious Banana Cream Pie

A Nice Salad

Captain's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hacienda Degollado--Oak Ridge

Our last trip to Hacienda Degollado was a few months back at the end of February.    As I recall…the food was fresh and well prepared.   My usual choice at this restaurant is the  Carnitas plate….great roasted pork chunks, rice and frijoles.   Always good and I really enjoy that meal. 
Last evening it was time for something different.    We were seated and immediately served chips and salsa.   Good crisp tortilla chips and the salsa was mildly spicy.   I would enjoy it a little more spice but it could have been a little more robust.    A pitcher of top shelf margaritas immediately was brought to our table to enjoy.  Nice…and for the price, a very good deal. 
Tonight deserved some menu searching for a different dish.   We decided on Enchiladas Suizas con Carne and Enchiladas con Camarones.   We enjoyed our margaritas and chips while we waited for our meal.   My Camarones arrived quite promptly and we waited …..And waited….and waited for the Enchiladas Suizas.  They finally arrived but I have a real problem with a kitchen that can’t serve all meals at the same time.   There is no excuse for partial meals delivered to a table. 
Both of our plates were delicious….tender shrimp and very flavorful beef.  The Camarones had a nice touch with a very well seasoned papas inside the enchilada.    I personally will request the beef be “spiked” up a little with some chipotle powder.   It really was not hot enough for my liking. 
This is a restaurant with a very classy interior.  Unfortunately, the previous tenant didn’t spend or didn’t have an “eye” for a good looking interior. …but then again, most Mexican restaurants look a little shabby inside and out.   Hacienda Degollado has worked very hard to make the place look clean, attractive and enjoyable.   

Enchiladas Suizas con Carne
Enchiladas con Camerones

Hacienda Degollado on Urbanspoon

Nice Decor

Daily Specials!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taste of Thai--Knoxville

Taste of Thai is the #2 Restaurant in Knoxville.   I have not been a fan of Thai food until recently.  I guess your taste buds change over time and am finding  enjoyment in the Thai flavors.  I was so bland. The most exciting I ever had in the past was Sweet & Sour Chicken...and that was about it.   I didn't even realize that Oriental food could be hot...and today's lunch of Pud Cha with Pork was hot....delicious and made me sweat before we were finished eating.    

My friend, Marilyn, is a big curry lover.    She was my encouragement to try this restaurant.   I am venturing into the  curry flavor palette since it hasn't appealed to me yet.   She ordered the Green Curry with Chicken.    The Taste of Thai doesn't serve hot food until you request it.   They have a five star rating with one star the mildest and the five the chart.   Marilyn loves hot, hot, she ordered her dish at a five.    My charming waitress reminded me that my dish starts at 3 star and I urged her to keep my dish at that  star level.   The entire lunch experience was great & we plan on revisiting this restaurant soon.  
The Main Dining Room

Pud Cha Pork with Rice

Green Curry Chicken with Rice

Tasty Eggroll
Taste of Thai is located at 213 North Peters Road, Knoxville, TN   Phone for take out at 865-691-4442 


Taste of Thai on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Buffalo Mountain Grille--Oak Ridge

The Buffalo Mountain Grille has good food.  The Urbanspooners have voted 100% "LIKE" so they must be do something  right!   Their expansive menu was quite the read...but worthy of the time it took.   I found many items that will have to be enjoyed on the next visit.  

This is a very casual restaurant with specials on the chalkboard.  The sign at the entrance tells  you to take a menu and seat yourself.  I did...but it took five minutes or more  for a waitperson to notice they had customers.  

Today's choice was their Chef Salad since is was a warm day and nothing "hot" sounded good.    The menu stated sliced ham and sliced turkey, bacon, tomato etc, but I didn't really see any turkey on the plate.  BUT...there was more than enough of tasty ham, I didn't miss the turkey.   When my server was bringing my plate to the table.....I has shocked to see they had included a corn dog...that is exactly what I though it looked like.   They placed the place in front of me and I looked and had to ask about it.   Not a corn dog...but a wonderful mozzarella stuffed deep fried bread stick.   It was light and fluffy and the cheese was perfectly melted.  AND it was not at all greasy....actually very good.   My diet surely didn't need it..but I just had to eat it with the Chef Salad. 

All in all...

it was a good lunch.   

Not great but very good
with a small price of $7.29.  

Buffalo Mountain Grille on Urbanspoon

The Entrance is rather unpretentious...but that 
didn't detract from the food!