Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Carrabba's - North Charleston, SC

Post movie meal - saw Skyfall.  Good action movie, but they don't feel like the classic Bond flicks.
Our waitress, Missy, was very friendly and had lots of energy.  Very enthusistic about the food and working her a** off.

M had the Penne Franco, with mushrooms, chicken, roasted tomatoes, prosciutto and olive oil with garlic.  Good flavors.  Give it a 3.5.

Kari had the Sirloin Marsala with Chicken Brian Ravioli.  The cut of meat had a lot of gristle, but the waitress had the chef cook another one after cutting it to a gristle free state.  It was perfectly cooked and flavorful.  Second piece was better but not perfect.  They didn't charge us for this meal.  Give it a 3.75.

I had Pizza with sausage, pepperoni and olives.  The crusts here are excellent and the toppings generous and good.  I'll give it a 4.00.

Must say again how good the service was and how eager to make sure everything was made right.  As I have said before, nothing is perfect every time, it's how you fix it that matters.  We'll be back again.

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Food Truck Rodeo - Charleston, SC

Sixteen food trucks, live music, beret, wine, no cover charge - what's not to love.  You could tell who was good by the line length.  Rotisserie Rolls, Bahn-Mi, Diggity Donuts were some of the longest.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Roma Tomatoes - Summerville, SC

Kari and I, exhausted after a three hour voting ordeal, decided to treat ourselves to a nice lunch.  This place used to be Tomatoes, and they started out good, but deteriorated after a while.  Maybe they'll be better now.

The lunch menu is short, but has decent variety of Italian and other types of dishes.  We shall see...
They started us with a nice sourdough bread, warm, served with an olive and herb infused olive oil.  Our waiter was friendly and accommodating, replacing fries with a salad at no extra charge.  The salad dressing was the house vinaigrette which was excellent.

I went with the Chicken and Sweet Sausage over Penne.  It had capers, spinach and mozzarella in a pink sauce.  It was really nice.  The sauce had awesome flavor and the sausage had tons of flavor!  Give it a 4.50

Kari had the Grilled Salmon BLT with goat cheese.  The bacon with the capers went quite well with the goat cheese and well cooked salmon.  This gets a 4.00.

Looks like new management is working out.  We'll have to come back!

Roma Tomatoes on Urbanspoon

Cracker Barrel - North Charleston, SC

Post oil change pre voting breakfast.  Let the lines die down before the lunch rush at the precinct.

Kari's having the Blueberry Pancakes and I'm having the Bacon, Fried Apples and Hashbrown Casserole combination.

I've always loved the casserole.  Onions, Potatoes and Cheese, yum.  Bad day is when they run out when I come in for a late breakfast.  Today the casserole was not quite hot enough, but the bacon was perfect.  Huge thick slices that were the perfect balance between crispy and chewy.   Bacon saves the score: 3.75

Kari always gets the pancakes and they give her one maple and one blueberry syrup.  She also gets a side of bacon.  Give hers a 4.50

Friday, November 2, 2012

Charleston Bakery and Deli - Summerville, SC

Almond Danish was LOADED with goodies!  Easily a 4.75!  Coffee is also excellent.

Kari had the Lox and Bagel latter with all the usual accoutrements.  The lox was very good and the portions were enormous!  The only unusual thing is that the bagel was preloaded with the salmon and cream cheese, so we had to remove some of the cream cheese to suit our tastes.  Used to seeing it on the side.  Not a big deal, we'll just know to ask for it on the side next time.  Oh, and the bagels were perfect.  4.25.

I had the Two Egg Breakfast with Grits and Bagel.  The eggs were properly over medium, grits good, and, as mentioned before the bagel was delicious.  I'll give it a 4.00.

This is definitely our go to breakfast place in Summerville!

Charleston Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mustard Seed - Summerville, SC

This is our favorite restaurant in Summerville.  We almost always order off the special board - usually the salmon.  They cook it perfectly!  Today the salmon was blackened, which is not my preferred way, so I ordered the Gnocchi special.

The Gnocchi was served with a creamy tomato sauce and fresh mushrooms.  I have to say that, while the gnocchi was perfect, the sauce was a little bland.  Not bad, it just didn't shine.  I'll give it a 3.25.

Kari had the Butternut Squash Ravioli, a favorite of hers.  It was awesome again.  It's fun watching Kari agonize between ordering the ravioli or a special.  We'll give it a 4.5.

You can't always hit everything perfect, and these guys have a ton of earned credit with us.  They are still our favorite Summerville restaurant.

Mustard Seed (Summerville) on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fleet Landing - Charleston, SC

Stopped in for lunch on a Monday.  Plenty of seating, but it took a while for us to get served.  Not too long, but I still hate that awkward few minutes while servers walk by you to go to other tables.  It's worse when you're wicked hungry.

The wedge salad had an excellent blue cheese dressing.  I'm a big fan of wedge salads since most garden salads are not cut small enough so you end up smushing giant lettuce leaves into your mouth and getting dressing on your cheeks.  With a wedge, you cut just what you want.  You might say why don't you cut your regular salads, to which I would respond shut up.  Score the salad a 4.25.

Took a long time to get our food.  Whenever this happens I tell myself to start timing the service on future visits, but I never remember to.  Got an apology for it taking too long.

Kari had the Blackened Wreck Fish with Red Rice and Broccoli and Cheese.  The fish was okay, a little boring.  The sides also decent but not awesome.  3.0

I had the Turkey Sandwich which had a great cranberry and walnut sauce.  The sandwich was beautifully toasted.  The Pasta Salad was dry and bland.  4.0 for the sandwich, 2.5 for the salad.

Fleet Landing on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Richard's - North Charleston, SC

This is a cute little coffee and breakfast place in old North Charleston.  The coffee was excellent and the food quite good.

Kari and I loved the homemade blueberry waffle, scoring it a 4.25, while the sandwich was good, but not exceptional, with plenty of bacon and scoring a 3.25. 

Kari and I both agree that this would be a good place for a nice, casual breakfast.

Richard's Coffee and More on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Charleston Bakery and Delicatessan - Summerville, SC

These guys moved here from West Ashley.  They had a good reputation and, judging by the crowd, it carried over here.  This even though road construction makes it a bit interesting to get into the parking lot.

They have a very extensive menu of breakfast and lunch foods, as well as a coming soon section that promises things like cheese blintzes, latkes and dutch babies!

I had the Havana Cubano: Slow roasted pork shoulder, orange mojo, jalapenos and more.  I had a great one of these in Key West, so the challenge is on!  Let's call it a tie.  The meals were completely different but both excellent.  The shoulder here was sliced thinly and super tender.  The bread was homemade and very flavorful.  The flavors melded well and were perfectly balanced.  Score it a 4.5

Kari got the Reuben #2 (of 5): This version had corned beef, pastrami, kraut, swiss and russian dressing.  What a great combination of flavors on a great bread.  Tons of meat!  Give it a 4.5 as well.

She also got Matzo Ball Soup: Kari really enjoyed that it was flavorful without being too salty.  The chunks of onions melded well with the matzo ball.  4.75.

The service was friendly, though a little bit harried and the coffee was excellent.

Only two minor suggestions: Have menus staged somewhere other than the counter.  I watched a bunch of people in line wondering where the menus were.  The other would be to put the sides in a bowl on the plate.  My Tomato, Cucumber, Feta salad was awesome, but it did leak into my sandwich and make the bread soggy.

Wouldn't let either of those issues stop you from coming here.  The food and atmosphere is top notch.  We will be back regularly!

Charleston Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Husk Bar - Charleston, SC

We stopped in at our favorite bar for a few drinks and to see the worlds greatest mixologist - Weaver.  As usual, there were some great new drinks on the menu like (descriptions from the menu):

Master and Margarita - scoring a 4.25
The tippling choice of Woland and Behemoth. Red chili vodka, Chinese five spice bitters, ginger beer, red chili. 

Rosco Pisco Punch - scoring a 4.5
A Refreshing way to wipe out your “Hazzard”ous day. Pisco, brandy, green tea, fire roasted orange, raw sugar.

We also got a hint of a few that were coming, let's just say we're excited as hell!

 The Ham on a Plate was from Surrey, VA and quite good as usual - 4.5.  Chef Brock popped in to try it and a taste of Bourbon, I can only assume he approved.

We had The Soy Chicken Wings and The Catfish and Onion Chips as well.  The onion chips were like little mini onion rings, the fish delightful and crispy, and the homemade tartar sauce out of this world - 4.25.  The Wings were tender and juicy, with just enough spiciness - 3.75.

We saw them unlooading an enormous pumpkin in front of the restaurant.  We can only wonder what the mad genius chef has in mind for it.  Or maybe Weaver has a cocktail idea...

Husk on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Armsby Abbey, Worcester, MA

We were drawn here by an ad in Worcester Living that we picked up at the train station.  The ad said that Beer Advocate rated the Armsby Abbey the "#5 Best place in the world to have a pint".  Hmmm, well we had to check that out!

After a short walk from the train station we found the PACKED Armsby.  We crowded into a table and, lucky for us, we got a table to ourselves.  Because of limited space the Armsby will have guests share tables when necessary (that will change by December with a new remodel)--but that would have been OK, reminded me of Paris and being packed into tables with natives in small restaurants.

It was delicious!  The soup was phenomenal.  The heirloom tomato salad fresh and yummy (yes, Kirk, yummy), and I know tomatoes and all the fixin's aren't cheap, but the $12 salad would not have come close to filling me up on its own (my only complaint).  Paul had the Belgian Waffle (it was brunch time) and oh so good.

Yup.  This was good.  Paul made sure to have a pint and though we can't agree that it's the top five place in the WORLD to have a pint (or even the top ten), it was a surprisingly good time and we'll be back.  And we recommend it to anyone else in the area.

Oh, and Kirk, you'll be going there next summer!!!

Armsby Abbey on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coast Brewing - North Charleston, SC

Took us a long time to finally come in for a tour even though we've been here for a number of great events.  Coast is one of the best local breweries and their tastings and growler fills are a great way to get their awesome beers.

We had a great conversation about the upcoming Brewvival and the beer's that they plan on brewing in the future.

Make it a point to visit them on a Thursday or Saturday between 4 and 7 pm.  (But not this Saturday since they will be watching the Gamecocks vs. Georgia game.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Granny and Pappy's - Ladson, SC

This is the latest restaurant to occupy the cursed end unit of a local strip mall.  There have been at least five restaurants our cafes in this spot on the last five years and every one has disappears within a few months of opening.  They tended to be family affairs that clearly lacked professional management.  My first impression is that this place may be in the same boat.

Some of the prior restaurants had good food, but they couldn't overcome amateur mistakes.  A few things I've noted so far: too many tables too close together, unprofessional menus made out of page protector sheets, slow moving service, tape covered bathroom signs, a half empty soda cooler and the same basic decor from the last couple restaurants (at least the last one I went to.)
We'll about the food:

I had the Bacon Cheeseburger.  It was good, though the bun was a little burnt.  I'd give it a 3.00

The fried chicken, well, if your a local, saying I can't be sure if it's better than Jestine's tells you everything.  It was perfectly cooked and juicy with a thick, crispy and delicious crust.  4.50

I hope the chicken is enough to overcome the location - I know we'll be back for it!
Granny and Pappy's Country Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tequila Ranch - Hollywood, FL

Okay, so we came here to gamble, and food was an afterthought, but,  since the gambling's not so great, we decided to have some Mexican food.

Kari got the sampler, and I got the Tacos with fried pork.  The sampler came with a chile relleno, cheese quesadilla, chicken empenada, steak tostada and four sauces.  They didn't tell her what sauce was which, but they were pretty good.  3.75 on the sampler.  The relleno itself would have been a 4.00.  The tacos were okay, give them a 3.50
It's amazing that a casino packed with gamblers has empty restaurants in its shopping area.  Weird.

Tequila Ranch (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) on Urbanspoon

Schnebly Redlands Winery - Redlands, FL

Wine tasting, beer tasting, beautiful atmosphere.  Their wines are fruit based and many are quite good.  Many of the beers incorporate fruit, but in a subtle way.  The Big Rod has hints of coconut and is awesome.
They have food on weekend nights.  I would definetely be there if we weren't on our way home.
Two growlers and several bottles will be going home with us.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery on Urbanspoon

Mrs. Macs - Key Largo, FL

This restaurant was highly rated by Fodors and Tripadvisor.  They weren't open on our first pass through so we were thrilled to stop in on our way out of the Keys.  That's a lot of hype to live up to so let's hope they can do it.

The decor is over the top nautical - in a good way.  Tons of shells, sea glass, buoys and more.

Big Pet Peeve violation!  In a large uncrowded restaurant we were sat next to a couple with a loud child who mercifully left quickly.  Then, minutes later, in a near empty restaurant, they sit a party of 8 with SIX children all under the age of eight RIGHT NEXT TO US.  This is RIDICULOUS!!!

The Hogfish Sandwich was pretty good, kind of an upscale Filet 'o Fish: 3.5

The Sweet Po Fries were better: 3.5

The Greek Salad: 3.5

Can't write more, must escape children.

Mrs. Mac's Kitchen on Urbanspoon