Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Southern Steak & Oyster

Get ready for a GREAT Meal and a lively bar/restaurant scene  

My first trip to The Southern by the recommendations of other bloggers.  Glad we made it since the experience was worth all the noise and the vibrant scene.  

The Southern provided complimentary valet parking but I am so glad we chose to arrive and depart by cab.   Traffic and parking can be overwhelming for people not familiar with the downtown Nashville scene.  Everything is under construction and major streets could be closed due to special events, etc.  Our cab driver was an expert getting around all the hubbub including detours through parking lots we would never have known about.  

We made our reservations with Opentable and I would highly recommend reservations ANY TIME of the day since they offer breakfast to and including dinner service.  We were immediately seated and our server, Finn approached our table.   Clever, entertaining and fully knowledgeable of every item then offered.    He offered suggestions including the full choice of fresh oysters.   We decided on the Fried Oyster Appetizer.  

The Fresh Oyster Menu

Fried Oyster Appetizer

With our Oyster Appetizer we enjoyed some great 
Southern Herb Biscuits...a don't miss feature

After a few cocktails and selecting our wine, we ordered our entrées which were the Braised Beef served on a bed of Cheddar Jalapeno Grits and Prime Sirloin Steak with French Fries.  Both were very flavorful but my fries were a little bit on the cool side.  Of course, this was my first time here and this might be exactly the way they serve them....I would have liked them a little warmer.  A nice aioli dipping sauce was included but I asked for a horseradish sauce.   They brought me a ramekin of horseradish and a ramekin of mayo so I could mix to my taste.  Finn was very accommodating

Braised Beef with Cheddar Jalapeno Grits

Prime Sirloin with Fries

The Southern Steak and Oyster is located directly across the street from the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall and we were heading to the hall for the George Benson Concert.   We didn't have time for dessert but I know we will be returning for some of their Bananas Foster Pudding Dessert next time!!  

The Southern Steak & Oyster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Little Bangkok--Farragut, TN

Little Bangkok....The BEST!

Ten years flies by so quickly....and Little Bangkok in Farragut is celebrating their 10TH Anniversary. We have been enjoying this restaurant since their inception.  The consistency of the food and service has never wavered....and that is what has contributed to their success.  Our servers have always been attentive and quick to help with the menu.   Last evening was no exception with Josh helping with our evening.  

Hot/Sour Soup
I can't begin to describe the wonderful flavor and texture
of this perfect soup.  It always is a pleaser with the crisp and fresh
fried wontons.   Moderately hot...with the sour  filling the background.
Orange Beef

My all time favorite entrée has to be the Orange Beef.   The beef strips are crispy and the sauce that add is out of this world great!   I  have ordered the Orange Chicken also but the Beef is my favorite for $11.99.     

Orange Chicken
Here are a few of past memorable meals that Little Bangkok serves including Rainbow Chicken and Green Curry with Chicken, 

Rainbow Chicken

Peanut Sauce with Beef and Tofu

Green Curry with Chicken

Spring Roll and Egg Roll with Dipping Sauce

Thanks again for ten wonderful years
Little Bangkok.  

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Friday, July 3, 2015

China King Buffet and Grill

China King Buffet and Grill

Very Good Buffet and Sushi Bar

Never have been a fan of the buffet concept of dining.   I really like to have my server handle everything and that keeps me from jumping up and down for every course.  That being said, I did have to try the China King Buffet in Lenoir City, TN today.   All you can eat....$7.25 per adult and don't forget to ask for your senior discount that they offer.   I didn't realize they offered it until after I had paid.  The gentleman behind me asked for his.   Quizzed the cashier and she told me I didn't look old enough...but I assured her that I was.   I will ask next time and there will be a next time soon.  

Off for my first trip....Hot/Sour Soup

Their version of Hot Sour left me disappointed.   The overall richness and flavor just was didn't have the full flavor that most have.  

The Salad Bar

Overall....the salad bar was very good...many fresh choices including Peel 'n Eat Shrimp and fresh oysters.   Being a non "R" month, I passed on the oysters.  
Loved the Crab Salad that was on the bar but the shrimp was too small to peel. 
They were just a mess and I gave up on trying...just too small to enjoy.  

The Main Course Choices.....

I know they are trying to appeal to all age groups including the kids.   Mac N Cheese and hot dogs were available...along with what they called Butter Potatoes.  Keep the kids happy after all.  

My first go 'round included the best Beef/Pepper Stir Fry I have had in a long time.  Enjoyed the fried rice, and the General Tso's Chicken.....really good.  Egg Roll...I would pass on.  
S/S Chicken was very good along with the Shrimp Cake.  

My second is an all you can eat Buffet!! included green beans, 
BBQ Skewer, very good, Black Pepper Chicken, out of this world good and 
the Coconut Chicken was even better.  

There were many other items on the buffet that I didn't try...but that doesn't mean I will not be back to give them a try also.   And I must add.....the Sushi and Hibachi Grill was also included in the buffet!

In addition to all that is offered, they featured a dessert bar and self serve ice cream, (you dip it yourself, not soft serve).   What a great deal and I can see why the place was packed!

Open Daily.....10:30AM until 11PM!

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cinco Amigos--Lenoir City

Our favorite cuisine appears to be Mexican/Spanish/Cuban in influence...and it was time to search out a new place to dine.   I have heard of Cinco de Mayo II for quite a while and decided this was the night to enjoy a new vista and a new menu.  

We drove to what we believed would be Cinco de Mayo II but found out the name was changed.   OK...what is going on??    We arrived at the restaurant and found a place to park.    In all actuality, this is the BACK of the restaurant and you need to enter the restaurant in the rear.   Kind of confusing..but we worked this little detail out. 

After getting our was soon to discover we needed to park in the back of this restaurant that is connected to a motel, clustered in with Days Inn, Holiday Inn Express and another breakfast diner operation.  All worked out well and we found the entrance. 

Upon entering, the comfortable lounge was in front of us. 

Immediately, we were greeted by a friendly staff of hostesses and servers who escorted us to a comfortable booth.  Tortilla chips and a great salsa was brought to our table.   Looked like a pitcher of Top Shelf Margaritas was in order.  Our server immediately returned with a great presentation and two salt rimmed glasses. 

While enjoying our drinks and was on to the menu.   My first search on any Mexican menu is Carnitas and friends wanted to try their Enchilada Suizas.   These are two entrees that can make or break a Mexican restaurant, in my opinion. 

Enchiladas Suizas


Our entrees were delivered very promptly with the mandatory "HOT PLATE " from the server.   I guess I would be surprised if they didn't say that!!  The Enchilada plate was mildly flavorful...could have used a bit more seasonings.  My Carnitas were  crispy on the edges and juicy throughout.   Average rice and good beans accompanied the platter w/ pico de gallo and salad.  All in all, I felt the dishes were a little on the tame side..almost like they intentionally "Americanized" the flavors.    Across the room mas cervezas were in route to the table.    Mucho grande!  

Uno Cerveza Grande...  Ole!

Our pitcher of Top Shelf was very good...a little on the pricey side..(about 2200 pesos)....22 bucks in US dollars, but they were good.   Our total bill was very reasonable and this will be a place we both can return to without reservations!! get to the meat of the confusion concerning  the name of this restaurant.  It has been Cinco de Mayo II for seven years.   Somehow, a Nashville restaurant with the same name decided that the Lenoir City location was infringing on their right of use of this name.   We asked the owner upon leaving what was going on.  He informed us that due to mutual agreement, this location would change their name to Cinco Amigos, which happened about two months ago.   Everything appears to remain the same....good food and a place to enjoy on your next visit in Lenoir City...Exit 81 right off I-75. 

June, 2015 Update....Loudon, TN location will be opening in a few months per Dora and her husband.    

New Menu Appetizer--Jalapenos Loco

Fajita Salad with Beef

Cinco de Mayo II on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

El Tepame---Busy Place in Clinton, TN!

Friends  called attention to El Tepame in Clinton some time ago and I did visit a few years back.   Enjoyed the food and had to return today for another busy lunch visit.   The place is so busy with the locals....and I enjoyed the food once again.

Started with the Chips and Salsa....very enjoyable and not too spicy hot.  

El Tepame has a great lunch menu very reasonably prices.   Of course, the
menu is not real inventive but offer all the dishes you would expect in any
Mexican Restaurant.   Almost what you would call a Mexican Diner!!

Beef and Cheese Burrito
Photo Courtesy

Huevos Ranchero

Enjoyed my second visit and will be returning when I am back in the area!

El Tepame is open every day 11AM to 10 PM and
Happy Hour is featured from 2PM to 8PM.  

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A1A Aleworks--St. Augustine, FL

Happy Hour!!

After touring The Ximenez-Fatio House, it was time for a little R&R at the A1A Aleworks.   Located next to the beach on A1A, it was a great spot to enjoy the view and the drinks.  We stopped in long after the lunch crowd but it was still hopping with fun customers.  

Our first decision was difficult since they have quite a few craft beers to choose from.   My bartender suggested the Abaddon Ale...good choice but I really am a "Bud" man.  

After a few...we wanted something to munch on...which was a nice Wedge Salad, very fresh and crisp.   Also, they feature their house made chips with Bleu Cheese and they were so good.  

A great choice and we need to stop in again and enjoy many more of their offerings.  
Cheers and Bon Apétit!

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Midtown Cafe--Nashville, TN


Lunch at Midtown Cafe was so good.   The interior color palette was soothing, modern and relaxing.  Opentable provided us with spot on reservations....and valet parking is mandatory since this is a very busy section of town and lots of construction going on.  As a matter of fact, the site next door provided a constant vibration throughout lunch.   Not much that Midway Cafe could do about it...but it was unnerving.     

We began with our server providing biscuits...which turned out to not be one of their fortés.  They were small and a little on the dry side.  But things improved dramatically as we proceeded.  

The first items to arrive at our table was their Lemon Artichoke and creamy in a creamy chicken stock. 

We also enjoyed the Spinach Salad and a house special of the day was a grilled chicken sandwich with ham and cheese on top with fries at $12.99.  

My server surprised me with their most popular dish served at Midtown Cafe.   Shrimp and Grits was spicy...very good and I would order the dish again.  

We were offered a extensive dessert menu but declined
since our lunch portions were very large.  Maybe next time.  

Make reservations since they fill up quickly!!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

J J Ruby's Fine Food & Spirits--Ithaca, MI

J J Ruby's was recommended by my family on our recent visit.  
What made it even better was my dear cousins picked up the tab!!  
Nothing tastes better than free food....and this place delivered.    

Our servers were prompt and attentive to our large party of 14.   While they didn't have a single table to accommodate us, we had a six top and an eight top.  Two servers handled our impromptu visit without a reservation.   It was four in the afternoon, so they were able to help...while dining later or on a weekend might have been a problem.  

My tablemates enjoyed their fried fish offerings.   My sister enjoyed her cheeseburger...since that seems to be her meal of choice.   My server surprised me with their prime rib topped with onions and mushrooms.  The prime rib was reheated on a grill and had a slight smoky grilled flavor that was not at all objectionable...but it was not freshly sliced.    My smallish baked potato was very good in addition to the cole slaw that was served.  

Great Cheeseburger with Fries

Prime Rib with Grilled Onions and Mushrooms

We couldn't leave the table without desserts!!   We all chose
the pecan pie and toasted coconut cream pie.  The pastry crusts
were exceptional....home made for sure.  

J J Ruby's opens at Six AM and closes at Nine PM.  

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