Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tavola Rossa is Terrific!

My office has their Christmas party at Tavola Rossa ( every year. We usually have random appetizers and an open bar. The food is always unique and delicious! This past Christmas, we had duck confit and tuna tartar in what looks like a little ice cream cone. The prosciutto wrapped shrimp ($11 appetizer...JUMBO shrimp) is also a big hit! The chocolate martinis are done very well!

Daryl and I decided to eat dinner here after going the mall tonight. I had a $25 off coupon, so I figured what the heck! Daryl had the shrimp and grits (of course) - $15. He said it was good and he liked the big pieces of andouille sausage. I ordered the Grilled Veggie Plate with Fresh Fish (Grouper) - $23. The grilled veggies were awesome! It was an entire plate filled with eggplant, zucchini, squash, red, green, and yellow peppers, red onion, and tomato with balsamic drizzled on it and chunks of goat cheese. The Grouper was placed on top. The fish could use a little sprucing up with some sort of seasoning. Or maybe I should've gotten it with the salmon, but the vegetables were really good!

Their complimentary bread is like a thinly sliced toast and served with hummus. My favorite!

We decided to share a dessert...the Chocolate Bomb ($7). It was a round dessert with an Oreo Crust Bottom, a layer of chocolate mousse, a layer of peanut butter mousse, and chocolate ganache on the outside. It was the bomb diggity!! It was like a really large peanut butter cup with oreos smashed into the bottom. I would go back again and again just for their signature dessert!

The wait staff was excellent! The owner even came over to check on us to see how we were doing. It was a good dinner!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hot Point Cafe at Lassiter Mill/North Hills

I was doing a little bit of research on places that serve breakfast on Sunday mornings. Hot Point Cafe was one of them. ( Before planning a breakfast for approximately 15 people, I decided that we'd check it out first. Their menu online had a large variety of foods...from Thai to Mexican to Italian.

Hot Point is a small cafe with more seating outside than inside. I'm hoping the weather is nice the day that we go for Breakfast so that we can sit outside.

Hot Point is tucked away behind all of the hoopla at North Hills. It's across the street from the main "mall" and if you act like you are driving behind Bonefish and the Harris Teeter, it's hidden in the corner back there diagonal from the overpriced nail salon, Lee Nails.

Obviously we couldn't try the breakfast at 7pm, so we settled for dinner. Daryl had their special of the day, Shrimp and Grits ($9.95). Big surprise there. That's all he ever orders. It had lots of bacon in it, so it was a big pleaser!

I ordered the Thai Curry Chicken Salad ($9.95). It was a pretty large salad. There were grill veggies (Zucchini, peppers, carrots), roasted red peppers, peanuts, and curry-coconut chicken skewers served with a home-made sesame ginger dressing. DELICIOUS! The salad is also served with two very large pieces of bread that were like big honkin' homemade croutons. I was even nice enough to share with Mr. Daryl. :)

I watched the very pleasant servers bring out other dishes from the kitchen. They all looked excellent! I think next time we go for dinner, I will try one of their calzones or maybe a garlic shrimp burrito.

We'll definitely be going for breakfast the morning after our wedding!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Zydeco near Moore Square Park in downtown Raleigh

I've heard great things about Zydeco. When I found a coupon on for Zydeco, I figured we'd definitely have to give it a whirl! Since it was a Monday and I had no interest in cooking, I decided that Daryl could buy me dinner. But, I had a $25 off coupon, so he was getting off easy. :)

First, let me start with saying that this is a smoke-free restaurant and has a great atmosphere! If you go to their website, you'll hear R&B music welcoming you to Zydeco. I'm not a big fan of R&B, but I really like that they wrote a song all about their restaurant. Zydeco is owned by Patriots defensive back, Antwan Harris who is a Raleigh native.

We ordered the Bourbon Street Shrimp to start off the meal. It was basically four large pieces of shrimp wrapped in bacon and fried. You know what they say, everything is better with bacon. :) Actually, it tasted like friend shrimp and bacon. The only thing special about this appetizer, was how "special" I felt after paying $11 for four pieces of shrimp.

On to the dinners....Daryl ordered the Shrimp and Grits ($16). Daryl orders Shrimp and Grits at almost every restaurant we go to because he's always looking for the perfect taste and portion. I believe he found it at Zydeco! The Shrimp and Grits portion is really large as far as Shrimp and Grits go. The tasso ham gravy is spread all around the cheddar grits. There are probably 8-10 pieces of shrimp throughout the dish. Daryl used a spoon to scrape the bowl when he was finished, so I'm thinking he liked it. :)

I ordered the Zydeco Ribs Half Rack ($14) with grandma's famous sauce. The meal came with two sides, so I got the the mac and cheese and the lynonaise potatoes. Grandma's famous sauce was nothing to write home about, but the ribs were very meaty and delicious. The mac and cheese was perfect! I wasn't a fan of the lynonaise potatoes; however, I'm not a big potato eater.

The service was excellent and the atmosphere was very nice. I especially like the skylights in the restaurant where the light poured down over the bar and the larger table in the back of the restaurant.

I'd definitely go back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inchin's Bamboo Garden...Morrisville, NC

Daryl and I went out to dinner with Stacey and Wes with our Entertainment Book. Wes had a hankering for some Pad Thai, but after looking through the Entertainment Book, he settled on Bamboo Garden in Morrisville. The description said "Asian Fusion," and after eating there, I can see where they are coming from.

Daryl and I shared the lettuce wraps. Delicious! Not quite as good as PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps; however, Bamboo Garden's seemed to have fresher ingredients. Our waiter was annoying. Wes asked him what he thought of certain dishes and the little Indian boy kept going on and on about how he likes Pizza and Hamburgers and nothing on the menu is good except plain dry white meat chicken. I think the owner needs to rethink his hiring methods. Requirement: Must love Asian Fusion and inspire customers, not make them wish they went to Georgina's Pizzeria just next door.

Stacey ordered The Mongolian Chicken, I think. It was similar to sweet and sour chicken. Wes ordered Chicken Manchurian, which was basically chicken cut into small pieces in a whitish gravy with smally chopped vegetables. Wes had to add some spice to it. It was a very "regular" Chinese type of dish that you could get at almost any Chinese Restaurant. Our bland waiter warned him of that beforehand. I guess he was right about something.

Daryl ordered the Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Sauce. It was quite good! Very garlicky and very shrimpy! The portions are pretty good sized as well. Lastly, I had the Cilantro Fish. Tilapia had been breaded and then coated with a sweet sauce. The dish came with vegetables chopped into large pieces (peppers, onions, etc). The dish was then covered in coursely chopped cilantro. The cilantro was a really interesting flavor for an Asian dish. It was unexpected and really good!

The dishes are served with a community bowl of white rice. I think it was Jasmine rice.

We were the only non-Indian patrons at Bamboo Garden the entire time we were there. Apparently it's a big favorite and it is right next to the Indian Grocery Store. Morrisville has a very large Indian population since it's very close to IBM, Cisco, and RTP.

So if you have an Entertainment Book with your buy one get one free coupon for Bamboo Garden, definitely give it a shot! I recommend the Cilantro Fish.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Erin's Kitchen....Daryl's version of cornbread

So I bought this Marie Calendar (sp?) cornbread mix a while ago at BJ's. Cornbread goes great with chili! I just so happened to make chili on Tuesday night and put several containers in the fridge for Daryl to eat all week for lunch if he so desires and for dinner one night. That night was tonight!

So Daryl decided to "help out" and make cornbread. Daryl's version of help and my version of help are very different. I told Daryl to read the directions carefully. All 4 steps. I know, there are a lot! I walked into the kitchen about 3 minutes later to see Daryl randomly dumping cornbread mix into a huge bowl filled with about 6 cups of water.

I asked Daryl what he was doing. He said "Making cornbread!" with a 5 year old's grin. I asked him how many cups of mix he had already measured. He said that he wasn't measuring, he was just kind of pouring it in. I asked how much he needed to pour in and he looked at me with a puzzled look like I had asked a middle school drop out how a magnesium strip reacts when put into hydrochloric acid. The poor kid.

I then had him dump the mixture into the trash.

I had to teach Daryl what measuring cups are and how they are used. So now he understood steps 1 and 2. Determine how much you want to make, measure the water and measure the cornbread. Step 3 is a doozy! Step 3 tells you that you have to gently mix the cornbread mix and water to remove any lumps, but only to do about 20 strokes and not to over stir. As I was pre-heating the oven (another step forgotten) and preparing the chili for us, Daryl kept vigorously stirring the cornbread mixture. Again, step 3 was....stir, about 20 strokes, do not over stir. Daryl kept wanting to add stuff to the mixture. Cheese, honey, milk, etc. I explained to him that baking was a science and that we could add things once it was done, but that he really should just leave it alone for now.

Then, I don't know if he expected to put the mixing bowl in the half-way heated oven, or what he was planning on doing, but I had to remind him to get the 8X8 casserole dish and lube it up for the cornbread mixture. The mixture slid right out, smooth and silky, just as it shouldn't have been.

I asked Daryl how long it had to bake. He said he didn't know and set the oven timer for an hour. An hour? Really? Step 4 - find out how long you have to bake it. I readjusted the time for 32 minutes.

I then whipped up some honey butter and 32 minutes later, we enjoyed some very compacted and cakey cornbread with honey butter and a hot bowl of chili. Perfect food for a 93 degree day, right?

Get out your wallet; it's sushi time! Waraji!

January 28, 2008

I LOVE sushi! Can't get enough of it! Waraji is my favorite of all of the sushi restaurants on Raleigh. We always try to get there as soon as they open at 5:30 during the week. That's the only way you can avoid the crowd, unless you've made reservations. There are many rolls and varieties of sushi to choose from. Some of the rolls are just MASSIVE! You may think $11 is a lot for a sushi roll, but when it comes out, you are like...Wow! I ordered too much! We've always had a pleasant experience at Waraji and continue to go back for special occasions or special treats to ourselves. It's a bit on the pricey side, so we do try to only go on special occasions. I'd definitely recommend going! The fish is extremely fresh!

If you go for lunch, sit at the sushi bar. You'll get your sushi quicker and the sushi chefs are pretty cool. You'll also get to see the fish right in front of you and see how fresh it is. Definitely good quality of fish! Try it! You'll like it!

  • Pros: Great sushi! Very fresh!
  • Cons: Pricey

One of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh...Winston's Grille

March 04, 2008

Be prepared....this place is relatively expensive....but don't let that scare you away. They have the best tuna steak and tuna steak salad around! The calamari was excellent. Their steaks are juicy and prepared perfectly! The garlic mashed potatoes...exquisite! You are better off making reservations just in case. It gets very crowded. I've had top quality food every time I've gone. Service is off and on depending on how busy it is, but the food is great!

  • Pros: Tuna Steaks, food in general, great food!
  • Cons: Pricey

One more French review....Bloomsbury Bistro in Raleigh

November 06, 2006

My friends and I do an "Ethnic Dinner Night" once a month. This month's theme was French. Though Bloomsbury Bistro isn't entirely "french" it is French inspired cuisine. It is a bit pricy, but the food was delicious! You can savor the flavors. I had the Normandy Chicken with bacon and apples along with the blue cheese gnocci. Wowzer! Who knew bacon and apples together could be so good!

Pros: Food, YUM!

Cons: Somewhat slow service, over priced, $10 wine corking fee

  • Pros: Food YUM, appetizers, good for groups
  • Cons: price, somewhat slow service, $10 wine corking fee

Vin Rouge in Durham...Awesome for Sunday Brunch!

January 28, 2008

Upon the recommendation of friends, four of us ventured to Vin Rouge this past Sunday for brunch. I've never judged a restaurant by location or decor, since usually the best food comes out of the most interesting establishments and grand and gorgeous establishments are needed in order to serve overly expensive bland food (An in Cary for example). Anyway, Vin Rouge has such a pricey dinner menu that we decided upon brunch. I got the ham and gruyere omelette that came with pommes frites (I guess if it's french food, you don't call them french fries), and a small green salad. The dressing on the salad was excellent! The fries were the best of the best as far as fries go. I'm not usually a big fan of fries, but those were yummy. The gruyere was excellently melted throughout my omelette! Daryl got the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and capers and loved it. Joel and Amber both got the Eggs Benedict and said it was great! I would definitely go back. The service was average, but the bread was exceptional!

  • Pros: Great brunch menu and prices! Great pommes frites!
  • Cons: Cramped quarters for dining

Rue Cler in Durham....I expected more

October 31, 2007

My friends and I do an "ethnic dinner night" once a month and try a different restaurant in the triangle area. One of my friends knew the owner, we had reservations, and we still had to wait 45 minutes to get a table. Blah! It's extremely noisy in there with the super high ceilings, so conversation among 10 people was extremely difficult!

The food was ok. For $25 for a dinner, I guess I just expected more...both in portion (yeh, I know it's French sized portions), and in quality. I just wasn't impressed. I thought more seasoning or sauces would've been used. The food was a little on the bland side.

As far as French food goes, I think Bloomsbury Bistro is better than Rue Cler.

  • Pros: Great interior, flavored sodas, dessert!
  • Cons: price, quality of food, noise level, long wait

Taverna Nikos in Durham

November 06, 2006

My friends and I do an "Ethnic Dinner Night" once a month. For Greek night, we picked Taverna Nikos based upon Citysearch's rating. Brightleaf Square is gorgeous, so the atmosphere and location were great! We even headed out for coffee and dessert at Amelia's afterwards.

Taverna's food was great! I had the lamb, which was very tender, juicy, and delicious! Dinners are a little pricy, but not bad.

  • Pros: Authentic, Great location, FOOD! Good for groups!
  • Cons: Food prep seemed to take longer than usual

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Simple Decor, Fabulous Food! Shaba Shabu on Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh

November 04, 2007

I've been to Shaba Shabu many times and have always been impressed with the sushi. I've yet to have the thai food, so I can't comment on that. The service has been good and bad, but for the most part good. Last night, we went there for girl's night out. We had a party of 14. Our waiter was awesome! He did our checks by name so that if we wanted to get up and move around from seat to seat we could without him having any issues with the checks. He memorized my name and my drink order, so I was pretty happy about that! The sushi was only slightly above average last night. I remember having better there, but the service certainly made up for it! The chocolate martini's were superb as usual! I would definitely recommend checking out this place. It may be in a strip mall, but the interior is gorgeous!

  • Pros: Wait staff, sushi, drinks
  • Cons: dark bathroom, somewhat pricey
6/11/09 They've recently updated the exterior of the strip mall and it's actually really cool looking! I continue to go to Shaba Shabu and keep going back. The food is really good!

Saffron Indian Cuisine in Morrisville

August 13, 2007

My friends and I get together for "ethnic dinner night" once a month. We choose a different ethnic restaurant every month and a rather larger group (17 last night) go and get to try new foods.

I ordered the Rajasthani Solay appetizer, which was basically lamb on a stick. The portion was really small for the price, but the taste was really good. I then ordered the Malai Chicken Tikka. I actually thought it was rather bland without a lot of flavor. LUCKILY, since we had such a large group, I got to try bits and pieces of other foods as well.

I tried the Saffron Chicken...the sauce was spicy and very good. I love the yogurt sauce that comes with the flour crisps when you are first seated. It reminded me Greek Zatiki cucumber yogurt dip. Good stuff! We liked the garlic nan. There was a dish with cashews and onion sauce....very good! I thought the food was a little overpriced for what you got though.

The service definitely could've been better. I realize we had a group of 17, but the waiter was very short and rude with us. He still did well with getting our orders correct and explained some of the dishes to us. He still seemed annoyed by us and very impatient.

I'd go back. I'd like to try some more dishes!

  • Pros: Good food, yummy yogurt dip, loved the flour crisps
  • Cons: Server wasn't very friendly, pricey

Strip Mall Location; Strip Mall Flavor....Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant

November 06, 2006

My friends and I do an "Ethnic Dinner Night" once a month. For Indian night, we picked Taj Mahal based upon Citysearch's rating. It's in Mini-City off of Capital and Calvary. The location is kinda crappy because it's in a strip mall. We've found other great places in strip malls, so it wasn't a big deal. They also have a buffet, which I recommend if you've never tried Indian food and would like a little bit of everything to try the flavors and find out what you like. It wasn't the greatest Indian food ever. It was actually kind of bland. For the strip mall location, it seemed to have strip mall flavor.

  • Pros: Buffet allows you to sample different things, great service, friendly staff/hosts
  • Cons: Average food, kinda pricy for what you get, strip mall location

J. Betski's....Raleigh....More like German Fusion than German

October 31, 2007

My friends and I pick a new ethnic restaurant ever month and give it a try. We ended up at J. Betski's for some yummy German food! My family is German and I've had true German food. I have to say the schnitzel was right in line with what I remember grandma cookin'. I had a sampling of the other dishes as well and it was more like German fusion (a little bit of German mixed with French) than true German. The menu isn't as extensive as I would've liked. The prices are extremely high! The beer selection is great! The desserts were great! DO NOT bring your children! One of my friend's brought her 6 year old son. They do not have a kid's menu, so she just ordered him a chicken breast with some potatoes. A $15 chicken breast with potatoes and no surprise toy included. Yikes! The waiter would not separate our check. The restaurant was very crowded and noisy. With reservations, we waited about an extra 20 minutes for our very cramped table for 7. I think I'd go back with a party of 2 to try it once more, but it's not good at all for group dining.

  • Pros: Great schnitzel! Yummy desserts. Extensive beer selection.
  • Cons: PRICE! German fusion instead of true German, noisy, crowded, not kid friendly, not group friendly

An in Cary

July 27, 2007

I convinced my boss to take me to An for lunch. I wanted to try it, but with such expensive entrees, my fiance and I tend to shy away from trying something too pricey with mixed reviews.

I wasn't impressed. The sushi ok. Not much variety. And VERY expensive. The rolls (for lunch) were $14 and $16 for the two we got. They were very small and very unimpressive. I've had better at the dollar sushi place down the hill from my office.

I got the peanut chicken noodle dish. I debated for the first 5 minutes if it should've been a cold noodle dish or if it was supposed to be hot and it somehow turned into luke warm/cold. I then had to ask the waitress for some sort of spicy sauce to add a little kick to how bland it was.

The two others I went with got the Box Lunch which is this dish that comes with 6 small boxes of food (different special every day I believe). One was a Vietnamese spring roll. One liked it. The other hated it. Then there was a piece of mahi mahi with a spicy shrimp sauce. They both said it was ok. Then a salad and a thing with steamed veggies and something else too. Neither of them cared for the vegetable chowder soup. They both said it tasted "interesting."

The boss man said he'd definitely get something else if he went again. The boss lady agreed that it was overpriced and she expected much more both in presentation and in flavor.

The boss man paid almost $100 for our three-person lunch. (We didn't even order drinks, though a martini during lunch would've been GREAT for a Friday afternoon!) I feel like I just saved my fiance a bunch of money! (And he didn't even have to switch to Geico. Hehe!)

  • Pros: Gorgeous interior, great presentation, classy restaurant, great staff!
  • Cons: Price for the quality. I wasn't impressed by the food or the prices.

Georgina's Pizzeria...Morrisville

March 17, 2008

If you like bread and garlic, or better yet, a combination of them, then definitely try the garlic knots! This place has the best garlic knots on the face of the earth! The service was so-so, the rest of the food was pretty tasty. I'd go back!

  • Pros:Great garlic knots! Good food!!
  • Cons:Service was so-so.

Not Food...Gastonia Hotel Review

March 28, 2008

I had to go to the armpit of Charlotte for the TAM Users Group meeting. Ick!

At first look, the Holiday Inn Express looks pretty good with the granite counters and awesome flooring! When I called a month prior to my stay, I asked if it was one of the new Holiday Inn Expresses. The front-desk person told me it was. It wasn't as nice as the others I have been to, but it was a decent price and near where I needed to be for my work meeting the next day. It was not new though. I think it was an older hotel that was remodeled.

I got there around 9 pm and left at 7:45 am the next morning. I got an orange soda out of the machine on the 4th floor. It was warm. Yuck! There were left over hairs (from various parts of the body, ewww) on the bathroom floor still. There was a pink ring around the tub where the tub met the "granite" surround. Obviously, if someone is cleaning regularly and correctly, there would never be time for that pink mildew stuff to grow. The lightswitch in the bathroom was filthy! The continental breakfast in the morning looked day-old and the staff just didn't impress me. The woman who checked me out couldn't even speak clearly. I asked her for a duplicate invoice to take for my expense report for work and she looked at me and said "Whatchu mean?" I then had to explain what duplicate meant to her. I just wasn't impressed with my Gastonia Holiday Inn Express experience. I will stay somewhere else next time. (And I did.)

  • Pros:Price, convenience to my meeting
  • Cons:Dirty, uneducated employees, warm soda

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Twisted Fork in Raleigh

After going to the early voting facility at Triangle Town Center, we decided to grab some dinner at Twisted Fork. It was the first time for both of us. We started with sharing the Jambalaya Soup. It was really tasty with the perfect amount of spice. Their home-made rosemary bread is extremely moist, flavorful, and delicious! I had the Wood Fired Filet Mignon with garlic mashed and asparagus. Daryl had the prosciutto wrapped salmon with "fried" spinach and garlic mashed. The spinach was really interesting. Apparently they fry it. It becomes kind of papery and flakes off in your mouth. It was a little salty but really a new and fresh idea. While I was hoping for a bigger cut of a filet mignon, it ended up being the right size portion by the time we finished our meal. Our waitor was super nice, explained the menu, told us about their weekly specials (Wednesday: couples night...$39.99 for a bottle of wine, entree a piece, shared dessert), and was extremely attentive despite a party of 20 sitting in the same section. I'd definitely go back. It looks like there's many more things to try on the menu!

  • Pros:Wait staff, menu selection, ambience, food, drink menu
  • Cons:price, I guess
We go to Twisted Fork regularly. In fact, we like Rocky Top Hospitality so much, they are doing the catering for our wedding.

Not Food....Chimney Service....Chiminey Kricket

October 24, 2008

We had a squirrel die in our chimney right before the 4th of July. (Trust me, it was TERRIBLE and foul smelling!) No one was opened over the holiday weekend, but we left a message for Chiminey Kricket and they called us back first thing Tuesday morning when they opened. Someone was out the next day to remove the squirrel carcus and clean out the chimney. A couple months later, when another squirrel family starting building a new nest, we called Chiminey Kricket again to have them come put a cap on the chimney. They did a great job and were very reasonably priced! No more dead squirrels in our chimney!

  • Pros:Dependable, affordable, very easy to deal with

La Rancherita Mexican Restaurant at Crabtree Valley

November 7, 2008

For our monthly Girl's Night Out with work, we went to La Rancherita. Their fresh salsa rocks! Very fresh ingredients, loaded with flavor, and great use of cilantro! Yum! The service was really good with our group of 6 for din din. We sat upstairs, so it was a little more private than being down on the main floor in a big open area. I ordered the Tiras de Pollo, which was smoked chicken with a creamy sauce, some rice, and refried beans. That was also EXTREMELY tasty! I would go back again...and again...and again...and again. :)

  • Pros:SALSA! Great fresh salsa! Very fresh ingredients and very tasty.
  • Cons:Parking's tucked away behind the Barnes & Noble plaza near Crabtree Valley Mall.

Bass Lake Draft House in Holly Springs

Daryl and I went to Bass Lake Draft House last Thursday when we were both off of work and hanging out. Just like all of the other draft houses in the Raleigh area, the food was excellent and our drink selection was great! Our waiter was so darned funny! I wish they had wait staff like that everywhere! Most importantly, Bass Lake had my favorite Woodchuck Pear Cider!

  • Pros:Service, wait staff, food, drink selection, lots of big TV's.
I am a big fan of all of the Draft Houses in the Raleigh area: Sawmill Tap Room, Falls Village, Village Draft House, MacGregor Village, etc. Definitely go!

Lucky 32 in Cary

January 14, 2009

What happened??

Lucky 32 used to be an excellent place to go to eat! The food was always amazing, the presentation was great, and the service rocked! Daryl and I decided to go there for dinner last night and try some items from their Private Parties menu so that we could decide if we wanted to have our wedding reception there. First we had the Artichoke Dip as an appetizer. YUM! It's delicious! Then we had the sweet potato hushpuppies appetizer. They came out SUPER hot...too hot to eat actually, so we couldn't eat those for about 10 minutes. Then we waited....and waited....and waited....and waited for our entrees. I think 40 minutes later they finally arrived and had we not had our techno gadgets with us, we would've been bored and probably just asked for a check. Daryl got the Blue Cheese Sirloin. It was charred so badly on the outside that it was very tough and not tasty. I had the Russian River Chicken. It was cold. The goat cheese was not melted on top like I had anticipated and the fried spinach was SUPER salty! The sides of mashed potatoes and green beans were cold and uninspiring. For $20 per entree, it was definitely not worth it. The service was good. I think our waitress felt bad that our food took so long, but we never got an explanation as to why. I hope they turn things around. They used to be delicious! In conclusion, we will NOT be having our wedding reception there. Winston's would be a far better choice.

  • Pros: Artichoke Dip, fresh breads, presentation
  • Cons: Poor quality for the price, food was either too hot or too cold. Food took FOREVER!

Atrium Garden Cafe

January 29, 2009

This is a hidden gem! Atrium Garden Cafe is tucked in behind an office building off of Lake Boone and Blue Ridge. It's actually in the basement of the 2501 Blue Ridge Rd office building catty-corner from Rex Hospital. I usually pack my lunch, but if I happened to forget it, I usually run over to Atrium Garden Cafe. Their specials of the day are always delicious, the sandwiches and salads are very fresh, and you can always grab a piece of fresh fruit or a delicious "home made" brownie. For the freshness and taste, you'd think it would be more expensive. I would definitely recommend this lunch spot!

  • Pros: Fresh, tasty, daily special, fresh fruit, great brownies, love the broccoli salad, price!
  • Cons: Hidden from view...but that might be good so that it's never super crowded. :)
The only misnomer is "atrium" and "garden." Cafe is correct. It's in the basement of an office building, but it's still quite yummy. :)

Pizza Hut's Lasagna

I know...I consider myself a foodie and I'm commenting on Pizza Hut's lasagna? Yeh, it was a moment of weakness.

January 29, 2009

You see the commercials, you receive the ads in the newspaper, but that is SO not accurate! You are expecting this deep dish wonderful lasagna and you are salivating thinking about getting it deliver to your door in 45 minutes when it would take you two hours to prepare it yourself at home and bake it....oh, and no mess afterwards. Then the delivery man comes to your door, you fork out $18.00 plus tip, and take the tiny box from his hand. You then go into the kitchen and open the box, only to find some lasagna noodles folded over one another with a smidgeon of sauce and some cheese on top. What??? $18 for that!? Seriously, it's SO not worth it and it's not at all tasty. The breadsticks were the only redeeming quality. If you think you want lasagna, PASS!!! Go to Olive Garden instead.

  • Pros: Delivery is quick
  • Cons: The lasagna is DISGUSTING and OVERPRICED!

Nofo at the Pig -- Raleigh

March 19, 2008

A coworker and I went to Nofo for lunch today. She had been there before and said the food was delicious, as did another friend of mine. I decided I was in a greasy kind of mood and ordered the 1/2 lb burger with harvarti with a side of cheddar mac. The burger was delicious! Juicy and yummy! The perfect burger for the perfect burger kind of day! When I ordered the cheddar mac, I assumed it would've been mac n cheese. I was so looking forward to mac n cheese! Nope, turns out it's a macaroni pasta salad with olives, cheddar, and some peppers cut up. It actually wasn't bad, but not what I was expecting, so don't get the cheddar mac if you want mac n cheese! :) Our waitress was a little flighty and had no personality, but was attentive and polite. The decor is very bright and fun and open. I'd definitely recommend visiting the gift shop upstairs. They have some really cool stuff and some really delicious looking desserts! I'd definitely go back, but try something a little more risque next time.

  • Pros: Great burger! Really great menu! Cute decor!
  • Cons: Waitstaff bored me, parking is a pain in the tuckus!

I've gone back several times since my first visit. I love their salad with grilled chicken and goat cheese. Good stuff! Also, the tuna steak on salad is delicious! Definitely go!