Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunray Chinese Restaurant in Oviedo, FL

I ate dinner at Sunray Chinese Restaurant in Oviedo. Mu Shu Chicken was ordered and was quickly served. The large portion had lots of chicken, cabbage, carrots, onions, and other vegetables along with a plate of pancakes to essentially make what could be described as a Chinese version of a taco.
The food was good, but some of the norms in a sit-down Chinese restaurant never happened at Sunray. There were no fried noodles brought to the table as an appetizer. No fortune cookies were served after the meal. It's no big deal, but when this stuff is expected and doesn't happen, it's sort of disappointing...

Sunray Chinese on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 25, 2011

Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill in Atlanta, GA

On my last evening in Atlanta before heading home, a collective decision was made that we should find some Georgia style barbecue for dinner. The problem was, nobody we asked could recommend anywhere that served smoked meat besides Shane's Rib Shack. A chain would defeat the purpose of having barbecue in Atlanta, so somewhere along the line we started looking for alternatives for dinner and came across Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill on Ponce De Leon Avenue.
The daily special at Papi's caught my eye. It came with a choice of steak, chicken, or fish with black beans, rice, plantains, salad, and bread. I ordered the fish which turned out to be tilapia. The fish was lightly fried and had great flavor. Beans & rice were tasty and the plantains were good as well. For $7 and change, this was a really good value for the amount of food that was included. I guess you don't need to be near Miami to find good Cuban food...
While the food was good, I should mention the horrible service at Papi's. The two specials at our table came out about ten minutes before the remaining sandwiches. No silverware was brought until after the sandwiches were served, so my food was getting cold by the time I could actually eat it. The drinks didn't come out until all the food was on the table which was kind of backwards.
Overall, Papi's had good food but bad service. Oh well...

Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Java Jive in Atlanta, GA

I was looking for breakfast in Atlanta and saw the banner hanging on a restaurant called Java Jive about their award winning biscuits. That was enough for me to make my decision to eat there and I pulled into the parking lot. The huge mural on the side of the building bragged about their Award winning breakfast since 1994. With potentially good biscuits and award winning breakfasts, Java Jive seemed promising...
The inside of Java Jive had a very retro look, although the retro here was very different than the retro at the Majestic Diner.
I ordered the Gingerbread Waffle with Lemon Curd. The waffle had a great gingerbread taste. When smothered in the lemon curd and maple syrup, the results were nothing less than an awesome flavor combination. The waffle was much thinner than I was expecting, but I'd get this again regardless!
My waffle didn't come with a biscuit, but I did try a piece of one. I'm no expert on biscuits, so I can't be sure if it was worthy of an award. As far as my waffle goes though, it seemed like award winning material to me...

Java Jive on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Taco Bell in Atlanta, GA

Let's go to Taco Bell in Atlanta! Who wants to see more food from Taco Bell? Apparently lots of people since a post about a Taco Bell Mexican Pizza somehow became the most viewed page on this blog. So why not, here's another Taco Bell post to placate all the people googling Mexican Pizzas...
This particular Taco Bell was located on Ponce De Leon Avenue in Atlanta. It was one of the old school Taco Bells that hasn't been redone to share a building with Pizza Hut or KFC. Lunch here was made a bit more interesting with the dining room being randomly filled with jugglers and people with unicycles...
I had a Mexican Pizza to please the masses along with a soft taco. The Mexican pizza was better than the last one I tried, although the meat filling did spur a conversation on how much beef is actually in Taco Bell's beef thanks to the recent lawsuits...

Taco Bell on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 18, 2011

Majestic Diner in Atlanta, GA

I had breakfast one morning at the Majestic Diner in Atlanta. The neon signs of this classic diner, open since 1929, caught my attention as I was driving by the night before and I decided it would be a good place to get breakfast. Apparently they serve Food that pleases and also Food to take home, so I figured it must be good...
Inside, the Majestic had the typical classic diner look. They had an open kitchen lined with a counter with stools. There was lots of chrome and nice fonts on their signs...
I had the Spinach Feta Omelet, served with grits and rye toast. At $8.25, this definitely wasn't the cheapest diner omelet I've had, but I've seen pricier omelets too...
I was very happy with my omelet. The eggs were cooked to perfection. There was lots of salty feta. The freshly cooked spinach was also plentiful, and it all had great flavor. The grits needed some salt, but that was easily remedied.
When in Atlanta on a more recent trip, I tried their Gyro Omelet with grits and toast. Served with a large bowl of tzatziki and filled with lamb, I didn't enjoy this omelet as much as my first spinach and feta omelet, but it was still alright.
I've been to the Majestic twice now on visits to Atlanta and have enjoyed both meals. I don't think some of my dining companions were as happy with their lunch sandwiches on these visits, so perhaps breakfast is the way to go at this diner. Really though, why can't a good 24-hour diner like this survive in Orlando? For the most part, all we have back home is IHOP and Dennys for food at 3am...

Majestic Diner on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Atlanta, GA

I made a wrong turn somewhere in Downtown Atlanta and got myself lost. As I was trying to get back on the right track, I spotted a famous food vehicle and had to stop.
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was randomly parked in the back entrance of one of the downtown buildings. Nobody was around so I took the opportunity to take lots of pictures. How often do you get up close to a giant hot dog on wheels?
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
This is one of the reasons that I don't use a GPS. If I was following a GPS, it would have gotten me directly to where I was going and I would have missed the detour through this part of Downtown. It seems like I always find the coolest stuff on my unplanned detours...
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fellini's Pizza in Atlanta, GA

On a recent weekend in Atlanta, I had a late night dinner at Fellini's Pizza on Ponce De Leon Avenue. Fellini's is a local Atlanta chain and this particular location looked like it was inside of some sort of repurposed auto-repair place. We ordered at the counter and after much negotiation, it was decided that we would share a large Ham & Pineapple Pizza. Hawaiian pizzas are a funny thing. Pineapple and ham on pizza seems like a horrible combination, that is until you taste a slice of Hawaiian. Most people seem to have a strong opinion towards Hawaiians, but I was recently converted into a fan of pineapple on pizza, so I had no objections.
The pie wasn't bad, but also wasn't something I'd go out of my way to return for. It tasted okay, but the crust was doughy and seemed undercooked. There was also far too much cheese for the pie in my opinion. I never understood the reasoning when pizzerias double the amount of cheese on a pie when toppings are ordered. Why can't places like this give the standard amount of cheese with the toppings on top? Excess cheese shouldn't pool off the slice under it's own weight just because of some small pieces of fruit and meat...
Overall, I found the pizza to be very mediocre. But then again, Atlanta isn't a city famous for pizza so I suppose I can't expect too much. Fellini's Sicilian pies did look interesting though. They didn't have the typical look of a standard Sicilian, so perhaps I'll branch out and give one a try if I ever find myself in a Fellini's again...

Fellini's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 11, 2011

Boston Bakery in Orlando, FL

It took me a while to figure out Boston Bakery served Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches rather than New England style baked goods. I had driven past countless times with minimal interest in stopping, but that changed when I realized Boston Bakery was something totally different than expected. My curiosity about trying Boston Bakery was further peaked when they scored the highest in the Orlando Weekly's rundown of the city's best banh mi.
I finally stopped into Boston Bakery at the start of a recent road trip. I've found that banh mi are very conducive to eating on the go, so it seemed as good of a time as any to try Boston Bakery. Inside, Boston Bakery was very toasty with no apparent working air conditioning, but I wasn't there for the atmosphere. I was there for the #1 Combination.
The sandwich was filled with steamed pork, head cheese, liver pate, carrots, daikon, jalapeno, and cilantro, all on a French baguette. While the sandwich was good, I also found it to be very dry. The banh mi could have definitely used some sauce to moisten everything up. This was my first experience with head cheese and although it's not the nicest looking sandwich meat, it actually wasn't bad. Just don't make the mistake of reading the Wikipedia page of potential head cheese ingredients as you eat the sandwich. As for the liver, I'll take it or leave it...
Overall, Boston Bakery's #1 Combination was good. The banh mi was nicely stuffed with a whole lot of meat and vegetables. It was a nice introduction to a new mystery meat and although the sandwich was very dry, it was still great deal for $3.

Boston Bakery & Café on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LuLu's Oceanside Grill in Ormond Beach, FL

 On a cold evening in Ormond Beach, I found myself eating an Ahi Tuna Wrap at a restaurant called LuLu's Oceanside Grill. The wrap was stuffed with the ahi tuna, wakame seaweed, cabbage, and teriyaki sauce. I was surprised to see the wakame in there, but it's all good. I love a good seaweed salad. This was the first time I've had it in a wrap though. Black beans and rice accompanied the wrap as a side.
I have nothing bad to say about my meal at LuLu's. Everything I tasted was good and the wrap utilized some unique ingredients. While I found much of LuLu's menu to be on the high side, I would still gladly return again to give them another try...

Lulu's Oceanside Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 7, 2011

Panera Bread in Boca Raton, FL

Panera in Boca Raton

On my last visit to Boca Raton, I had lunch at Panera Bread. I had the You Pick Two with a cup of Black Bean Soup and half of a Sierra Turkey Sandwich. Soup was good, but the sandwich was a bit skimpy on the other toppings besides turkey (especially if you do an image search for the sandwich and compare). Panera is essentially a fast food restaurant though, so my expectations of the food looking good weren't great to begin with!

Panera Bread on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City, FL

While spending a recent afternoon in Ybor City, I had dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse. The huge restaurant was located in an old cigar rolling factory, but sadly we were one of the few occupied tables in the place.
The meal started out with a few loaves of bread.
A side salad with oil & vinegar came next.
I had the Seafood Mediterraneo for my main course. This consisted of spaghetti topped with shrimp and clams in a spicy cream sauce. The spaghetti tasted good but wasn't quite what I was expecting. I pictured clams still in their shells and larger shrimp when I read the menu description. Instead, the clams were more part of the sauce and the shrimp were so tiny that I had to hunt around in order to find one.
My dining companions shared the Ultimate Italian Feast for Two. This huge plate had a massive amount of food on it, including spaghetti, Italian sausage, meatballs, chicken parmesan, ravioli, lasagna, and garlic bread. It was too much for two people to finish, so I got to sample the leftovers. The sausage was very plain tasting, the ravioli was average, and the lasagna was pretty tasty.
The majority of the food at the Spaghetti Warehouse was good, although nothing stood out as being exceptional. It all seemed to be basic Italian food that wouldn't scare anyone. Just about any other Italian restaurant would be able to make similar meals that are just as good as well. The food at Spaghetti Warehouse easily fits in with the other Italian chains, namely Olive Garden and Buca de Beppo...

Spaghetti Warehouse on Urbanspoon


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