Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ammos Greek Restaurant at Virginia Beach

Daryl and I were visiting Virginia Beach for a week. Prior to going, I found some certificates on Ammos was one of the certificates that I got. Daryl and I went on Monday night for dinner.

The restaurant is at 14th and Atlantic right on the beach, so the view during dinner was gorgeous! We walked down the boardwalk to Ammos from 9th and Atlantic. Ammos is right near the pier.

The menu is pretty extensive for a Greek Restaurant. We started with a appetizer of grape leaves ($7.95). I love grape leaves! These were right up there with the yummiest I've had!

I decided to get the Greek Combo ($20.95) which came with a small serving each of spanikopita, pastitsio, and moussaka. The spanikopita was very dry and not the type I'm used to. (Katherine, I still need your kick ass spanikopita recipe!) The pastitsio was really good! The moussaka had great flavor and a lot of meat. I thought that the price was a bit much for what you get.

Daryl had the full portion of pastitsio ($16.95) which came with two sides. He picked the roasted potatoes and rice. (He likes carbs.) He said that both the potatoes and rice were very good!

I got a potion of my dinner to go. The waitress took my plate to box it up, but I discovered later that she actually did not box all of the items I had left. There was not pastitsio and only a small portion of the moussaka that I had left on my plate.

We never received our check detailing the amount due and service was a bit slow. We paid with the certificate and then they brought us back a slip to sign with our credit card. After our $25.00 off certificate, the price was still $37. I'm pretty sure they overcharged us on the tip and for each of the menu items.

The food was great, but based upon the slow service, to-go box, and the pricing, we would probably not return.

Pacifica of Virginia Beach

Daryl and I were visiting Virginia Beach for a week. Prior to going, I found some certificates on Pacifica was one of the certificates that I got. We went on a Thursday night for dinner. This is a tapas restaurant, so you have various small plates and get to try a variety of things. The menu is available here:

The restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's very cute and cozy inside. They also have an extensive drink menu and a number of daily specials!

Daryl and I started out with a cold plate, Farro salad with sweet potatoes, craisins, and curry sauce. It was really tasty, especially if you like curry! ($6.00)

I also tried the Braised Pork with kimchi, udon noodles in a pho soup broth. There is a decent amount of pork; however, it was very salty. I'm normally a fan of pho and it was good, but salty. ($8.00)

I tried the mac n cheese du jour, which was steak and onion. OMG! This was by far my favorite! Their mac n cheese is very rich and had great flavor! ($8.00)

Daryl tried one of the specials, Scallops with kimchi and seasame seeds. The scallops were large and perfectly cooked! The kimchi has great flavor and some spice to it. ($11.00)

He also got the smoked shrimp and grits. He felt that the shrimp was overcooked, but the flavor of both the shrimp and the grits were really good. ($10.00)

The price is about average for a tapas restaurant, but the food is above average. We'll definitely visit Pacifica again if we are in the VA Beach area!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cobalt Grille in Virginia Beach

Daryl and I are vacationing in Virginia Beach. Prior to vacationing, I signed up for Hampton Roads Groupons and Living Social Deals. Cobalt Grille offered a groupon, so I snatched it up. We checked into our hotel on Saturday around 5, got settled in, and decided to eat out. Cobalt Grille was pretty hopping, especially since it was a Saturday night. They were able to squeeze us in, but I would recommend making reservations if you ever decide to go. The very front of the restaurant outside has outside seating and a fire ring that you can sit around. Very cozy! When you walk in, there is a bar with an acoustic singer/guitarist. Then you move to the dining room. The dining room is crowded and loud, but it's also cozy and nicely decorated. It feels very trendy. The service was quick and friendly. The menu has a lot of variety and is perfect for a foodie! Daryl ordered the Shrimp and Scallops over pasta for $23.95. There was a lot of shrimp and scallops. They were perfectly cooked and had great flavor! I almost ordered the duck, but instead, I ordered one of the nightly specials they had which was an 8 oz Filet Mignon with lump crab meat and Bearnaise sauce for $29.95. The Filet also came with white truffle mac n cheese and broccoli. I subbed out the broccoli for asparagus. Everything was cooked to perfection! Cobalt Grille notes at the bottom of their menu that they serve natural, organic, and locally grown food whenever possible. That's a big positive for us! We left dinner very fat and happy. I would 120% recommend this restaurant to anyone!

Shuckers Grill and Oyster Bar

Daryl and I joined a great couple at Shuckers in Wake Forest for a celebratory dinner a couple of weeks ago. Yay for new jobs! We ordered the calamari and sea chowder to start. The calamari was fried, very crispy and quite tasty. I ordered the grilled salmon with broccoli and red skin potatoes. The salmon was perfectly grilled and delicious! The broccoli was freshly steamed and the red skin potatoes were boiled just the right amount. Shuckers had shrimp and grits on the menu, but the sun and moon must not have been aligned correctly because Daryl bypassed the shrimp and grits for the Fish and Chips. He was happy with the big portion of beer battered cod with a side of fries and a cheese grit cake. The service was great! We did not sit outside; however, they do have tables outside with live music. It's a great atmosphere! I look forward to going back again!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Orchid Japanese Restaurant - Please do not close!!

It seems that every time we find an awesome sushi restaurant, they close in the wake of a bad economy, not enough advertising, and a slow start with clientel.   Orchid, if you are reading this, PLEASE do not close!  We think you are fabulous!

Orchid is an "all you can eat" sushi restaurant on Creedmoor at Stonehenge.  As far as "all you can eat" restaurants go, this one rocks! It's not really a "buffet;" however, it is all you can eat. You order off of a menu and the rolls are made to order. You can stop at just a few rolls, have some sashimi, salad, tempura calamari, and then order some specialty rolls, or you can tell them to "keep 'em coming!" The sushi was very fresh with the exception of the spicy tuna roll. I'm always sketchy about spicy tuna rolls. It seems like they use the tuna from the day before, mush it all up, add some spicy sauce, and then stick it in a roll. It didn't taste as fresh as the sashimi. The sashimi on the other hand was SUPER fresh! In addition to sushi, the "all you can eat" also includes teriyaki, tempura, several appetizers, soup, salad, and ice cream.  I recommend the Sweet Potato roll.  I think that one is my favorite!  They also have a larger roll with mango sauce on it.  Great combination with the fresh sushi! 

So, sushi and "all you can eat."   That must mean expensive!   Actually, no.  Orchid is $13.95 for lunch and $23.95 for dinner.  If you order two of the bigger rolls, you've already met your price quota. Any lower and I'd be sketchy of the quality. Any higher and it would scare people away.

Daryl and I have become regulars and would recommend it to anyone! 

Thoroughbreds at Myrtle Beach

Thoroughbreds is considered a five star restaurant at Myrtle Beach.  This is definitely for the well employed or for special occasions!  Daryl and I had a pre-Valentine's Day dinner while visiting the beach in February. We were seated in a gorgeous room right in front of a fireplace. It was quiet and romantic (until the loud couple arrived). We both ordered appetizers. Shrimp and Grits and the Pecan Encrusted Duck. I thought the duck was a little overcooked, but still had great flavor! Daryl dogged down the shrimp and grits, so it must've been good!  We both ordered the 6 oz filet mignon, which came with mashed potatoes and a house salad. I recommend trying their house dressing, which is a poppy honey mustard. It was delicious! The filet mignon was perfectly cooked! We finished off the evening with cheesecake and the Kentucky derby pie. The cheesecake was really rich and I think it needed a bit more sugar. The Kentucky derby pie was like a chocolate chess pie. It was very good! The service was excellent! In the middle of our dinner, another party was seated next to us and they were quite loud, otherwise, I would've said that it's very romantic and cozy.  We were stuffed to the gills when we left.  :)

Nacho Hippo at Myrtle Beach

Daryl and I were visiting Myrtle Beach back in February and decided to check out Nacho Hippo at the Market Commons in South Myrtle. Wonderful choice! The prices are excellent! We sat at the bar and watched the Carolina Hurricanes game. The food is delicious! I had a Lobster Taco and the Thai One On taco. The Lobster Taco tasted like a Tempura Lobster roll with a sweet cream sauce. It was so good! I told Daryl that we needed to come back and I'd order 5 and put some in my pocket to eat later. :)  Daryl had the Carolina BBQ tacos which had slaw and sauteed plantains. He is a southern boy and had no idea what a plantain was, so he took them off thinking they were yellow peppers. I snagged one and have to say that it's an odd combination, but a good one! We made our tacos a combo meal, so it came with salad and yellow rice. With two dinners and an appetizer, our check was only $26. The service was wonderful and the food came out quickly. I will definitely visit this restaurant again....and again...and again!

The bar was expansive, so would be good for beers afterwork with friends or on the weekends. There are plenty of TVs, so if you are a sports fan, you won't be disappointed. Great location and delicious food!

Chakras Indian Cuisine at Brier Creek

I purchased a Living Social Voucher for Chakras, though, I was thinking of Zayaka when I purchased it.  Zayaka is near Earth Fare on Brier Creek Parkway.  Chakras is near Walmart on the other side of 70 on Brier Creek Parkway.  Oops!  Daryl and I decided to try Chakras one evening after work. Daryl ordered the Korma with Shrimp ($11.95). I ordered the Afghani Lamb Chops ($14.95). The Korma was delicious and had a great blend of spices and flavors, but not worth the $11.95 for your 5 pieces of shrimp and some basmati rice and sauce.  We also ordered naan (thin pita like bread, also overpriced), but it had so much ghee (Indian for butter) that it just wasn't very good.  The lamb chops were a HUGE rip off! $14.95 for 4 bites of lamb and a fork full of rice (no, really, that was it)! I ended up having to eat again once we got home because my $15 "dinner" was barely an appetizer.  The cilantro sauce that went alongside the lamb chops had great flavor; however, I cannot not recommend this restaurant, especially to a dollar friendly consumer!  Next time, we'll go to Zayaka.

Hole in the Wall and Delicious! Solomon's Mediterranean Restaurant on Capital Blvd

I've been to the Solomon's at Six Forks, so I thought this would be about the same.  The location (Mini City Plaza off of Capital) is kind of sketchy.  The, reconverted Pizza Hut from long ago.  The food...OUTSTANDING!  The prices at this Solomon's are lower than the one at Six Forks.  The food is 10 times better!  It's the best hole in the wall on Capital!   Daryl and I had the grape leaves ($3.95 - the price is $4.29 at Six Forks) and Hummus ($3.95 - can only order the chicken and hummus for $7.99 at the Six Forks location) to start.  Both were delicious!  Daryl had the shrimp scampi ($11.99 - the price is $15.99 at the Solomon's at Six Forks), which he thought was a little watered down, probably because the chef pulled the noodles right out of a hot pot of water and straight into the bowl, but the flavor was still really good!  There was fresh shrimp all throughout the dish.  I ordered the spinach salad ($5.99 - the price is $6.99 at Six Forks) with the hot bacon dressing and added grilled Salmon ($3.99).  The salmon was grilled perfectly and cooked to perfection with the perfect amount of seasoning!  The salad was loaded with fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, fresh red onion, and fresh sliced tomato along with delicious pita croutons and house made hot bacon dressing.  The meal was outstanding!  It was much more than I expected when we first showed up.  I would go back again and again!