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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