Monday, August 25, 2008

Return to the Chop Shop

Chop Shop Restaurant
I had eaten at the Chop Shop Restaurant in Deltona, FL once before just after they opened. The restaurant was up to par last time with decent service and good food. Tonight I returned to the Chop Shop to eat dinner for a second time and it seems the restaurant has developed some problems.

It initially took a while for the drinks to be brought to the table, and then took an even longer time for the waitress to come back to take our food order. I ordered their Jambalaya. Another person dining with me ordered something called the Seafood Trio, which included shrimp, scallops, and mahi-mahi. Someone else at the table ordered a mahi-mahi dinner. The waitress was asked if some substitutions could be made in the meal involving the side dishes. These involved replacing a baked potato for French fries and changing the vegetable side from zucchini to broccoli, both of which were on the menu as sides. The answer was a firm no. According to the waitress, the owners made it very clear that there are absolutely no substitutions on their new menu.

After an insane amount of time, the food finally came. Someone at the table noted the time after we had already waited a while. It took our food an hour to come from that point.

I had no complaints with my Jambalaya. It was actually really good coming from a restaurant that didn't specialize in Cajun food. There were nice big shrimp and a generous amount of sliced andouille sausage. It wasn't so spicy where it would leave you wanting a drink, but it wasn't bland either. There was a nice heaping portion on the plate, almost too much to eat.

My Jambalaya may have been good, but there was another issue at the table. Remember the Seafood Trio that was ordered and the whole no substitutions thing? It turned out that the Chop Shop was all out of scallops, so they substituted the scallops with a few extra shrimp. Instead of doing the right thing by telling the customer that the restaurant was out of a major component of the meal, they made this substitution without asking. It seems a bit hypocritical to me that customers don't have the right to ask for a substitution on a side item, but the restaurant can substitute a major component of the main dish without asking first. The person that ordered this Seafood Trio, which was actually an unannounced Seafood Duo for the night complained about this stating that scallops were the highlight of the meal, and the waitress was vaguely apologetic. She agreed that what happened was wrong, but she passed the blame on to the kitchen and said something should have been done about the situation. The manager/owner of the restaurant was requested, and the waitress announced that she was the manager. She did not offer to do anything about the situation...

I don't think I'll return to the Chop Shop anytime soon. My food may have been good, but the service was pretty bad...

Chop Shop on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pizza from Dallis in Lake Mary, FL

I once again ate food from Dalli's in Lake Mary, FL. Today I had pizza.
Dallis Cheese Pizza
I took the cheese pizza home and opened up a can of anchovies and put them on the pizza. I really don't know why people are so opposed to these salty little fish. I think the majority of people have never actually tried anchovy topped pizza and are just going along with some strange American cultural opposition to anchovies. If people would actually taste the fish, I think they would have many more fans...
Dallis Cheese Pizza with Anchovies...
The pizza itself was okay. I found the crust to be way too thick and chewy in spots, but otherwise the pizza tasted decent. When I went to pick up the pizza, it seemed like the restaurant may have new owners, based on a completely new group of employees that I have never seen in there before. The pizza seemed pretty consistent with what it has been in the past, regardless of the new people cooking the food.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lunch @ Orlando's Texas de Brazil

I ate lunch at Texas de Brazil on International Drive in Orlando, FL. Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian Churrascaria where waiters come around and slice various meats off of swords onto your plate.

I started at the salad bar. Besides from the normal salad, they had lots of good stuff like various cheeses, olives, crab cakes, meats, tabouli, and soups. They also had some really interesting stuff that I had never seen before such as caper berries (left side of the plate between the pasta and chorizo). Capers are one of my favorite salty foods, so I really liked these. Apparently normal capers sold in supermarkets are immature when they are pickled. If they continue to grow, they become caper berries, which were served here. It was a good salad bar, although it seemed like they had room to serve twice as many items with the amount of space between each dish. Maybe that's for dinner (not that I'm complaining).
Texas de Brazil Salad
I finished my salad and returned to my table to get served meat on swords. My favorite choices were the chicken wrapped in bacon, the sausages, pork ribs, and sliced pork. I'm not a big fan of beef, and when it's not well done, I get grossed out by the blood dripping out of what I am about to eat. It seemed like the majority of the steak and beef served wasn't cooked to my liking, and I only got one piece that was close to being cooked throughly. I have tried a Portuguese Churrascaria in the past, and it seemed all of the meat was automatically cooked to well done, including the steak. I wish they at least came around with some skewers of cooked steak here to give you a choice on how well the meat was cooked. With the exception of the steak being served dripping in blood, I liked everything else. I'd go again...
Texas de Brazil Meats

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hibachi Express in Casselberry, FL

Hibachi Express
I noticed a new restaurant had opened on 17-92 in Casselberry, FL and decided to give it a try. It is a fast-food Japanese Restaurant called Hibachi Express. The restaurant's setup was similar to most take-out Chinese Restaurants. In Hibachi Express, half of the counter was taken up by a sushi bar...
Hibachi Express Sushi Bar
They had a nice selection of sushi, but it didn't seem like the turnover was large enough to be taking chances by eating raw fish. It wasn't exactly Fuji Sushi where the place was bustling for the sushi. I was actually the only one eating in Hibachi Express at the time.

Instead of the sushi, I went with the restaurant's namesake and ate Hibachi Chicken. The chicken was served over rice, broccoli, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms. I felt the chicken could have used a little more sauce, but otherwise the meal was pretty good, especially since it was from a fast food restaurant...
Chicken Hibachi

Qdoba Vegetarian Burrito

Had a coupon for buy a burrito, get one free from Qdoba. I used it at the Sanford, FL location and ate a vegetarian burrito.
Qdoba Vegetarian Burrito
Why no meat? Because the vegetarian burrito is the only one they have where guacamole is included rather than an additional $1.35 on top of the price of the burrito.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fazoli's Fettuccine Alfredo

Fazoli's Fettuccine Alfredo
Fazoli's raised their prices. I ate at the restaurant in Oviedo, FL, across from the Oviedo Marketplace Mall. I had Fettuccine Alfredo. For a few dollars more than what this cost, I could have eaten at a non-fast food Italian restaurant...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olive Garden's Grilled Garlic Shrimp...

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
I returned to the Olive Garden in Altamonte Springs, FL thanks to a $10 gift card that had to be spent. In the past, I'm not normally too impressed with what Olive Garden serves, but today was slightly better. I had the featured item, the Grilled Garlic Shrimp. There were several nice sized shrimp over angel hair pasta with peppers & onions all in a garlic sauce. It was good, but the dish was so simple, I don't think it was worth the $15 for something I could have easily cooked at home...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cheese Pie from Carmela's in Longwood, FL

Carmela's Cheese Pie
I ate a cheese pizza for lunch today from Carmela's in Longwood, FL. Last time I ate here, I tried a Grandma Pizza, but today I went with a normal, plain cheese pizza. The pizza was pretty good, although the cheese seemed a be spread a bit unevenly. It seemed like there was too much in a few spots, while other spots with the massive bubbles were lacking. It was better than other previous times that I have eaten pizza here where the pizza was really bad, but it wasn't as good as the Broadway Pizza that I had a few days ago...
Carmela's Cheese Pie

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Broadway Pizza

Broadway Pizza
I ate dinner at Broadway Pizza in Altamonte Springs, Florida today. Everyone ordered an extra-large pizza with half cheese and half meatball. I ate the cheese slices. It was a nicely made pizza with just the right proportions of cheese and sauce. The crust wasn't crispy enough in the center of the pizza though, and it was a bit too droopy when a slice was picked up. Otherwise it was a good pizza...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Imperial Dynasty Spider Roll

I ate a Spider Roll from Imperial Dynasty in Longwood, FL. It was good, although I felt the cream cheese didn't really go with the other contents of the roll...
Spider Roll

Smoked Turkey from Butler Seafood House

Butler Seafood House
I ate at the Butler Seafood House in Lake Butler, FL. It would seem from the name that the restaurant would specialize in seafood, but their seafood selection really didn't impress me. It was mostly deep-fried and the pictures that were on the menu really didn't look to appetizing. It seemed instead that the Butler Seafood House seems better at serving barbecue that seafood. It seemed like that was what everyone was eating there, and the outside of the restaurant had the smell of smoked food.

Because of this, I ordered the Smoked Turkey dinner special. It consisted of smoked turkey, potato salad, collard greens, baked beans, garlic bread, and hush puppies. Thanks to a mix up in the kitchen, I also received a second bowl of collard greens and French fries. It was pretty good...
Butler Seafood House BBQ

Pulled Pork From Skyland Resort

I ate lunch at the Skyland Resort Restaurant in Shenandoah National Park along Skyline Drive in Virginia. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, served with cole slaw and French fries. The sandwich was good, and the restaurant had a wonderful view. The only thing that wasn't good was the flies that kept on buzzing all over the restaurant...
Skyland Pulled Pork Sandwich

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mystery Meat from the Country Club Diner

After leaving Hersheypark, I ate dinner at the Country Club Diner in Carlisle, PA. On the menu, there was both normal lamb gyros as well as turkey gyros. I ordered the turkey gyro. When the meal was served, the meat was a dark, lamb-like color. I questioned the meat, and the response was that it was a mix of turkey and lamb in the meat. That meant that whatever I ordered, I would most likely get the same meat. Not good. Nobody likes mystery meat...
Country Club Diner Gyro

Country Club Diner on Urbanspoon

Not Eating Chocolate in Hershey, PA

Cocoa Diner
On my second day in Hershey, PA, I ate breakfast in a restaurant called the Cocoa Diner (or Cocoa Grill depending on the sign). I had an egg & cheese croissant served with hashed browns. There was hardly any cheese in the sandwich so it tasted kind of bland. The hashed browns were good though...
Egg & Cheese Croissant
Cocoa Grill on Urbanspoon

After breakfast, I went to Hersheypark...

After riding roller coasters all morning, I ate lunch at the Tudor Grill...

Tudor Grill

I ate a sandwich called a Rachel with turkey and sourkraut on it.
Rachel Sandwich
Tudor Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 1, 2008

Spinach Pie from the Capitol Diner

Capitol Diner
After spending an afternoon in Hershey, PA, I ate dinner at the Capitol Diner in Harrisburg, PA. I ordered one of their specials, which was the Spinach Pie. I ordered the Chicken Orzo as the included soup...
Capitol Diner Chicken Orzo Soup
The spinach pie was good. It was served with a side Greek Salad, which lacked stuffed grape leaves and anchovies. I wish it had them like on a full sized Greek Salad...
Capitol Diner Spinach Pie
Aside from the food, this old Cadillac was parked in front of the diner as I was going in. I took a picture...
Old Car
Capitol Diner on Urbanspoon

Hershey, PA

The Chocolate Avenue Grill
I ate lunch in Hershey, PA. I ate at a restaurant called the Chocolate Avenue Grill, across the street from the chocolate factory. I had something called a Noah Sandwich, which consisted of turkey, cheese, avocado, and bacon. I could have done without the bacon, but it was otherwise a good sandwich.
Chocolate Ave Grill Noah Sandwich
After lunch, I went to Hershey's Chocolate World and rode their Chocolate Factory Dark Ride, complete with singing cows and lots of fake chocolate. After it was over, they gave out these free samples...
Herseys Chocolate World Free Chocolate Bliss
In the gift shop after the ride, they did have all sorts of Halloween flavored Kisses that sounded good that I had never heard of like Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, and Candy Corn...
Caramel Apple Kisses
Candy Corn Kisses
Pumpkin Spice Kisses
The Chocolate Avenue Gril on Urbanspoon


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