Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bagel Talk Inc. in Elmont, NY

Bagel Talk Inc
One morning I got breakfast from Bagel Talk Inc. in Elmont, NY. This little store is located in the back corner of a shopping center, right next to an Italian restaurant. Both stores seemed so small and close together that at first I thought they might be connected. Turned out they weren't.
Bagel talk Inc. Egg Sandwich
I had an egg and cheese sandwich on a sesame bagel. I was initially considering getting a bagel and cream cheese, but then decided that since the temperature outside was just pushing 30°F, I'd go with something warm. The freshly scrambled eggs did the trick. No complaints here.

Bagel Talk Incorporated on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ah Law Kitchen in Elmont, NY

ah law kitchen 12-19-09 storefront
Just as the first snowflakes began to fall starting a big snowstorm, I picked up Chinese take out from Ah Law Kitchen in Elmont, NY. I was considering eating my food here, but their heater was broken. I was cold as I sat waiting for my food, watching the owner attempt to fix the heat, so I took the food back to a warmer location.
ah law kitchen
I started with a scallion pancake appetizer. I love these things...
Scallion Pancakes
I also had the shrimp with broccoli lunch special. It came with huge shrimp, plenty of broccoli, and carrots in a brown sauce. This came with a side of brown rice. The lunch was supposed to come with a wonton soup too, but they forgot to put it in the bag. By the time I noticed, I didn't feel like going back.
Shrimp w/Broccoli
I liked the food from Ah Law Kitchen, although I wasn't happy about not getting my soup!
Ah Law Kitchen Incorporated on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in New York

On the countless lists on the internet concerning the top Christmas destinations around the world, New York seems to always show up. Good thing, because a few days before Christmas, I ended up in New York City and did some Christmastime sightseeing. The adventure started out in Bryant Park with their giant Christmas tree...
Bryant Park Tree
It was cold. The fountain in the park was covered in icicles.
Bryant Park Fountain
They had a huge ice skating rink in the park. Being that I was in New York at Christmastime in below freezing temperatures, I decided I had to rent some skates just for the experience.
Ice Skates
Didn't plan on skating for long, but I ended up being on the ice for about two hours!
Bryant Park Skating
After skating, I wandered over to Rockefeller Center while looking for food.
Rockefeller Center Tree
Rockefeller Center had a bigger tree, but Bryant Park's ice rink was better!
Rockefeller Center Skating
I finally ended my night by buying a potato knish from a street vendor on the corner in front of Rockefeller Center. Earlier I went looking for the 53rd & 6th Halal Cart that I've read good things about, but they weren't there. So at midnight in the freezing weather, I decided to end my adventures with food for the night and settled on the knish to hold me over.
Rockefeller Center Lights & Food Carts
I've had much better knishes in the past, but I wasn't expecting too much from a street vendor. It was tasty enough. I should have bought some chestnuts too!
Rockefeller Center Knish
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Orlando, FL

I've read plenty of good reviews of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in the Whole Foods Shopping Center in Orlando's Sand Turkey District. Anthony's slogan is "Pizza Well Done." When the waitress came over, she gave us a speech that broke down to "We burn our pizza. Warning you now so you won't send it back when the crust is black." It seemed like a funny gimmick to me, to specialize in burnt pizza, but I gave it a try anyway.
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza
The cheese pie was served, and the crust was indeed black around the edges. I gave it a try, and it was a really tasty pizza. The crust was thin and didn't really have the burnt taste I was expecting, the coal oven actually gave it a really nice flavor. I did find it a bit strange having black hands from all of the charcoal after picking up the slice, but I guess that's part of the novelty of coal oven pizza. The cheese wasn't overloaded, the pie had a good amount of the salty mozzarella. The sauce was slightly spicy and really tasty. Anthony's makes little pools of their sauce rather than spreading it evenly around the whole pizza. I guess this makes the pizza look more gourmet, but I know a few people that have issues with pies like this. I personally don't mind the sauce puddles, as long as the sauce tastes good.

I was really quite surprised with the pizza. My hopes really weren't all that high, but it was really tasty. It wasn't necessary the best around, but it was still pretty good. I'd eat here again! Although there is one complaint I had. I know Anthony's is sandwiched between the tourist attractions and some of Orlando's most expensive restaurants, but that is no excuse not to give free refills on drinks. People expect free refills...

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tailgaters Smokehouse at UCF

I ate at Tailgaters Smokehouse in the shopping area surrounding the UCF Arena in Orlando. Tailgators is a sports bar, and the as my meal progressed, the restaurant fit perfectly into the stereotype of sports bars having bad food. But it wasn't just the food, service was bad here too.

I ordered a Chicken Cheesesteak sandwich, served with tater tots. After a very long wait with a very inattentive waitress, our food was finally served. The sandwich was a bit smaller than I was expecting and was very bland. Couldn't taste any seasoning whatsoever on the chicken and the bread reminded me a bit too much of a hot dog roll than what cheesesteaks are normally served on. I did like the tater tots though.
While the sandwich wasn't all that, definitely not worth the $12 it cost me total for the meal, it was edible and I finished the food. I really shouldn't have finished though because the food left some sort of coating on the inside of my mouth that I could not get rid off. It was a slimy feeling and tasted sort of bitter. Drinking water would not remove it. Eating something else didn't get rid of the coating, and brushing my teeth (multiple times) didn't help either. Whatever this was, it was very unpleasant and I can't say I've experienced a bad taste in my mouth that was so persistent elsewhere. Interestingly enough, I kept this to myself until a few hours later when a friend brought up the bad taste in her mouth from her grilled chicken sandwich...

Moral of the story: Avoid the chicken from Tailgaters.
Tailgaters Smokehouse & Spirits on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 18, 2009

Boba Tea from Bento Cafe in Orlando, FL

Mango Boba Tea
I had a Mango Boba Tea from Bento Cafe in The Plaza in Downtown Orlando. While I was pleased with the food here on a previous visit, their boba tea was a disappointment. It tasted like plain taro milk tea to me with no hint of mango. Lollicup still has the best boba tea in Orlando...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hamburger Mary's in Orlando, FL

Hamburger Mary's
I ate at the Hamburger Mary's on Church Street in Downtown Orlando. The restaurant is one of the few open businesses in the sad and mostly abandoned shell of the former tourist district known as Church Street Station. Besides from Amura, it seems most restaurants in this area of downtown don't last very long when they open (or reopen for a second time), so I wonder how long Hamburger Mary's is going to hold out.

The meal started with an order of Mary-Mac & Cheese Balls. Deep fried macaroni and cheese is just wrong in my opinion. To me, these should be relegated to the disgusting carny food at the fair. Pasta is definitely not meant to be breaded and deep fried.
Mary-Mac & Cheese Balls
I had a Bird of Paradise sandwich. It consisted of turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, cheese, and mayonnaise on wheat bread. I was initially surprised to see that the sandwich had actual roasted turkey rather than the normal sliced cold-cut deli turkey that restaurants normally serve on sandwiches. It was a very tasty sandwich, served with a side of fries.
Bird of Paradise
Somebody I ate here with who has pretty conservative world viewpoints was very disappointed that there were no shows going on at Hamburger Mary's on the night we went. Interesting...

Hamburger Mary's Orlando on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Clock Family Restaurant in Auburndale, FL

I've known of Clock Family Restaurants for years, but I had never eaten in one. One day while in Auburndale, FL, I finally got to try a Clock.

I had a turkey ruben sandwich which consisted of turkey, cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on bread. While the sandwich wasn't horrible, it wasn't exactly the best I've had. They were very stingy with the sandwich fillings, both with the turkey and sauerkraut. The onion rings that came as the side were really good though. Overall, nothing worth returning to...
Turkey Ruben & Onion Rings
Clock Restaurant Incorporated on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Taco Maker in Davenport, FL

The Taco Maker
I happened to be looking through a coupon book and found some coupons for a place called The Taco Maker. I had never heard of them, but I took the coupons just in case I ever came across The Taco Maker. Later that day, I was in Davenport, FL in the strip mall that sits on the former site of the Circus World and Boardwalk & Baseball amusement parks. As luck would have it, I spotted The Taco Maker hidden away at the end of the mall and decided to stop.

I got out my coupon for "Free Crustos," not having a clue to what Crustos were and entered the restaurant. It turned out that Crustos were fried tortillas covered with cinnamon and sugar. They seemed very similar to Taco Bell's Cinnamon Twists. They were okay for what they were, but Crustos were not a dessert I would purchase in the future if I didn't have a free coupon.
While I did not try anything else, I wasn't too impressed with what I saw as far as the rest of The Taco Maker's menu. Nothing on their menu really made me want to return. As far as the whole mall goes, I'd rather a circus themed amusement park still be there rather than some chain retail stores...

The Taco Maker on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kilwin's in Celebration, FL

Kilwin's Lemon Sorbet in Celebration
I ate a lemon sorbet waffle cone from the Kilwin's in Celebration, FL. I have no complaints. Simple ice cream like this is so much better than what you get from all the Cold Stones and Marble Slabs where you get a half melted mass of ice cream by the time they mix in your toppings.

Kilwin's on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Teriyaki in Longwood, FL

Happy Teriyaki
I had dinner at Happy Teriyaki in Longwood, FL. This place has been here for a really long time, as long as I have lived in the area. They never seem busy, but must be doing something right to still be around after all this time. Their menu is mostly Japanese/Sushi with some Chinese items mixed in.

I had a bowl of Udon Soup. This huge bowl of soup came filled with chicken, shrimp, fish cakes, a fried egg, assorted vegetables, and udon noodles, all in a clear broth. It was really tasty and was way too much food! The egg was a bit too runny for my liking, but otherwise I had no complaints!
Udon Soup

Happy Teriyaki on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 4, 2009

Celebration Town Tavern

Celebration Town Tavern Fish Sandwich
I was on the touristy section of 192 and decided to head to Celebration for dinner. On this visit to the planned, disnified community, I ate at the Celebration Town Tavern. They seemed to specialize in seafood, so I ordered the Blackened Pacific Mahi Sandwich. The fish had a nice spicy flavor to it, but I found it to be sort of boring for a sandwich. The sandwich needed something else going on, something more than the meat and bread. At the very least, the standard sandwich vegetables would have been nice. The sandwich came served with fries and baked beans. I liked the beans, but the fries were kind of soggy, as if they were sitting out for a bit too long. Overall, the food from Celebration Town Tavern was pretty average. Nothing horrible, but it's definitely not going to have me rushing back any time soon. A little on the expensive side too...
Celebration Town Tavern on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Qdoba at UCF

Pulled Pork Burrito
I had a pulled pork burrito from Qdoba in the UCF Student Union. I've had pork tacos before, but never a pork burrito, and never from a big chain. The burrito was stuffed with pulled pork, peppers, onions, black beans, rice, salsa, sour cream, and cheese. The pork did taste okay, but I don't think I would order it again. Too much meat in a restaurant where my favorite menu item is the vegetarian burrito. The lack of guacamole is what really killed the burrito for me, but it wasn't worth $1.50 in my opinion to have a little scoop of mashed avocado added.
Qdoba Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


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