Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Kebab in Rosyln Heights, NY

Chicken Kebab is a Turkish restaurant in Rosyln Heights on Long Island. On a recent visit to New York, I found the restaurant by accident and decided to give them a try.
The meal started with the House Cold Platter. This consisted of four stuffed grape leaves served with feta, olives, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes over an eggplant dip. The grape leaves had a nice minty flavor, the cheese was salty, and the baba ganoush was very tasty.
For my main course, I had the Chicken Gyro which was both massive and delicious! It was actually one of the most overstuffed gyros I've ever seen.  When it was served, the gyro almost looked like a salad. Hidden below all of the greens, there was an abundance of thinly sliced chicken. When I managed to pick up this overflowing gyro and take a bite, I had nothing bad to say. The chicken was tender and had great flavor. The greens gave a nice crunch, and when I added some tahini, this became one of the best gyros in my recent food memory!

Chicken Kebab on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lings Buffet in Lakeland, FL

Lings Buffet
I ate dinner at Lings Buffet in Lakeland. Lings is a good sized Chinese buffet and was very busy, which is good since that means there's a good turnover on the food.
Ling's Buffet
I started with a plate of the typical Chinese buffet food to test the waters. Lo mein, a couple of variations on chicken, beans, etc...
Chinese Buffet Standards...
Lings actually had a really nice selection of sushi for a buffet, and there were actually lots of people eating it. I had various rolls, edamame, and a nice radish salad.
Ling's Sushi
I had to try their hibachi too. I had them stir-fry noodles, shrimp, egg, and various vegetables in a ginger sauce. Pretty good...
Hibachi from Lings
Finally, I ended my meal with the fun foods that scare people. The tofu wasn't all that great at Lings, but I personally prefer a firmer tofu. The salt & pepper frog leg that I picked off the buffet table was actually my first time ever eating frog. It was good and actually tasted like fried chicken. The amphibious black veins running through the meat were a little strange, but I got over them quickly. I'd get frog again! For my dessert, I had a sesame ball filled with red bean paste...
Chinese Buffet Food that Scares Americans...
Overall, Lings was a pretty good Chinese buffet. It was a little on the expensive side at $13.95, but they had a nice selection of food. How many other buffets out there have frog legs?

Ling's Buffet on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spice Mill Restaurant in Orlando, FL

During a visit to Sea World in Orlando, I had lunch at the Spice Mill Restaurant in the Waterfront section of the park.
I had the Spice Mill Club. This sandwich consisted of ham, turkey, salami, monterey jack cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a multi-grain bread. Potato salad was served on the side.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal. The sandwich was good, especially since Sea World's food can sometimes be hit or miss (especially in the past- they have improved their food in the past few years). It was a good sized sandwich compared to the small hamburgers and chicken sandwiches that Spice Mill also sold. I don't visit Sea World often, but I'd gladly eat at the Spice Mill again on my next trip to the park!

Spice Mill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bento Cafe Sushi & Roll in Woodbridge, VA

During a recent bit of traveling, I stopped for dinner in Woodbridge, VA and ate at a fast food Japanese restaurant called Bento Cafe Sushi & Roll.
Bento Cafe Sushi & Roll
I had their California Roll Combo which came with miso soup, fried dumplings, and the California roll.
Miso Soup
Bento Cafe Sushi & Roll Dumplings
The California Roll was filled with krab, cucumber, and avocado.  After being sliced into eighteen pieces, it was topped with masago.  All of my food was very tasty, although it was somewhat expensive for fast food sushi served on paper plates...
California Rolls
Another sushi roll combo was also ordered...
While the food was good, there was also a not-so-good aspect to the restaurant. The restaurant's owner seemed to be caught up in a multi-level marketing scheme and was desperately trying to sell an alkaline water machine to her customers. In fact, the sales pitch started as soon as we walked in the door with the mention that they make their own water. Somehow I didn't think they were bonding hydrogen and oxygen in the back of a fast food restaurant. Apparently the wonderful tap water produced in the United States is evil, but if you run the tap water through a machine that claims to ionize the water to make it more basic, it turns into a cure-all.

Later in the meal, the owner visited the table and gave a lovely demonstration on the proper way to mix wasabi into their home-brewed soy sauce, then went back into trying to sell her alkaline water. To add onto the scary sales pitch, potentially dangerous psuedoscientific health claims about the magic healing powers of the water were made. We were in the restaurant to eat Japanese food, not be sold psudoscientific snake oil! I wouldn't return, and I'm assuming I'm probably not the only customer that has been scared away... 

Google alkaline water and you can find plenty of good websites debunking the claims mixed into the sites promoting the woo.  Here's a good one:

Bento Cafe Sushi & Roll on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rotelli in Deerfield Beach, FL

Rotelli is a small Italian restaurant chain with locations mostly in South Florida. I've visited a few of their locations in the past, and the food has been hit or miss. I recently ate at their store in Deerfield Beach and it was a good experience!.
Rotelli in Deerfield Beach
The meal started with some Garlic Knots.
Garlic Knots
Pizza was the main course. As far as chain pizza goes, this spinach pie was pretty good. The crust was nice and crispy. There was plenty of spinach on top of the right amount of cheese. The sauce was too sweet for my liking, but otherwise the pizza was tasty!
Spinach Slice
Although there are better pies out there in South Florida, Rotelli isn't a bad choice. I'd take a Rotelli pizza over the big three pizza chains anytime...

Rotelli on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 17, 2010

JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach, FL

JB's Fish Camp
JB's Fish Camp is a restaurant located on the Intercoastal Waterway, right on the border of Canaveral National Seashore. Given JB's location, their outdoor patio has a great view...
JB's View
I ordered the Jumbo Soft Shell Crab Sandwich. Deep fried in a Cajun flavored batter, this soft shell crab was served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. A pickle and really tasty fries came on the side. I'm always slightly uncomfortable with that initial bite of a soft shell crab. Eating an entire crab is very different than just eating it's meat. Once I get past that first bite though, I'm good. This crab had great flavor, crispy on the outside, but nice and juicy on the inside!
Soft Shell Crab Sandwich
One warning though, beware of the mosquitoes if you're eating outside at dusk!

JB's Fish Camp & Seafood on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mini Thai Cafe in NY

In Manhattan's East Village, there is a restaurant called Mini Thai Cafe. It had been a really long time since the last time I had Thai food, plus they had some good dinner specials that brought me into the restaurant.
Mini Thai Cafe
The meal started with a Spring Roll appetizer.  These were typical spring rolls, but the presentation was nice, served in a big glass on a bed of vegetables with duck sauce on the side.
Spring Rolls
I had the Vegetable and Tofu Thai Noodle Soup for my main course.  The big bowl of soup was filled with tofu, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and lots of noodles. The soup was good on it's own, but it got even better with the addition of some of the chili paste that was brought to the table!
Thai Noodle Soup
My bowl of soup was under $10, so I can't complain. It was plenty to eat and was very tasty.

Mini Thai Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 13, 2010

Athenian Garden in Lake Mary, FL

Athenian Garden is a new Greek restaurant in Heathrow. Positive things were being said about the restaurant on other food blogs, so I gave them a try.

The meal started with some rolls and an olive tapenade. Soon, our order was taken and I choose the Chicken Souvlaki Pita. The pita was filled with chicken, lettuce, tomato, onions, and tzatziki. The tzatziki was actually my favorite part of the sandwich. It had a great dill flavor that really stood out. Unfortunately, the chicken was kind of tough and also had a pretty strong charred taste, almost on the border of tasting burnt. Overall, it was an average sandwich, but really nothing worth rushing back to get again. For $8, the sandwich was also a bit expensive to not come with any sides. When ordering, I was asked if I wanted fries to go with the pita. I was informed that I could get a side if I upgrade to a dinner for $12. An extra $4 for some fries is a bit too much to be asking in my opinion...
athenian garden
While writing this, I found out Athenian Garden is connected to Cypriana in Casselberry. It's funny since I like Cypriana but really wasn't too impressed with Athenian Garden. The menu here seemed smaller with higher prices. I think next time I'm looking for Greek food in Lake Mary, I'll head to Greek Village instead...

Athenian Garden Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 10, 2010

White Castle in West Hempstead, NY

White Castle is a fast food chain in the northeast United States seems to be really popular. Over and over, I have heard how great White Castle's food is. Apparently Krystal, the southern equivalent of White Castle, can't compare according to some of the White Castle aficionados that I know. I had never eaten at a White Castle, so I couldn't really comment on their food. That changed on my last visit to Long Island when I tried the White Castle in West Hempstead...
White Castle in West Hempstead
I had a coupon for some free burgers, so I gave them a try. Burgers are perhaps one of my least favorite types of sandwiches, so I may not be a good authority on if this was any good or not. Regardless, here's what I thought: I wasn't impressed. The thin meat patty had the consistency of cardboard with no flavor. The only thing that really had a distinct flavor on this burger was the ketchup and the pickle. I really don't get what the big deal is with White Castle burgers.
White Castle Burger
White Castle Burger Interior...
I also tried White Castle's Pulled Pork Sandwich. The sandwich had pork drenched in barbeque sauce on a hamburger bun. While not the best pulled pork sandwich out there, it was actually pretty tasty being that it is from a fast food chain. I thought it was way better than the White Castle burger...
White Castle Pulled Pork
White Castle Fries...
My overall opinion of White Castle was that it didn't live up to the hype. Taking it for what it was, White Castle was pretty cheap and I would be willing to get another pulled pork sandwich. With the abundance of nearby restaurants though, I wouldn't be any huge rush to return. I find very few fast food chains are worth rushing back to...

White Castle on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Orlando Magical Dining Month

September is Orlando Magical Dining Month! Over 60 restaurants all over Orlando are offering three course meals for $30. You have until September 30 to get a great deal at some of Orlando's best restaurants. Hurry!

For more information, visit

Monday, September 6, 2010

NYC Icy in New York

Late one night in Manhattan's East Village, I stopped for some Italian ice at a small shop called NYC Icy. Some of the flavors on the menu were really interesting.
I ended up getting lemon and mango basil. The ices had a different consistency compared to other places. They were almost gooey. I'm not sure how exactly this was done, but I liked it. The lemon was good and tart, as it should be.
The mango basil ice was hidden beneath the lemon. Mango basil isn't a dessert combination that I would normally think of, but this was really good.
If you Google NYC Icy, a picture comes up of their purple carrot ice. This sounds interesting, but unfortunately, it wasn't on the menu on the night I visited...

NYC Icy on Urbanspoon


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