Friday, March 23, 2012

The Deck Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL

While down in Fort Lauderdale for a weekend, I had breakfast in a restaurant called The Deck.It was connected to a hotel and had a very nice view of the ocean.
Walking in, we were greeted by this wooden pirate. The wooden pirate then proceeded to tell us a joke: Where does Captain Hook do all his shopping? At second hand shops! Who knew wooden pirates had a sense of humor...
Once seated, we had an almost unobstructed view of the ocean. It was very nice.
There were several breakfast combinations on the menu that consisted of eggs, potatoes, and meats. All of us ordered different combinations, and they were all served to the table looking exactly like this regardless of what they were supposed to consist of. I take it this means no matter which breakfast you order, you will get scrambled eggs, home fries, three strips of bacon, two sausages, and a side of bread. Nothing was too far away from what the combinations should have been and most of the plates had more meats than the meal should have came with, so nobody complained.
The Deck had a nice view of the ocean and decent breakfasts, but just don't expect to be served what you order...

Deck on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lexi Martini and Tapas in Melbourne, FL

Hidden away in a covered alleyway in Downtown Melbourne, I had dinner at Lexi Martini & Tapas one evening. I passed on the martinis, but did partake in the tapas. Apparently Lexi is connected to a nearby restaurant called Continental Flambe and they share a kitchen. The food was good here, so perhaps I'll eventually try Continental Flambe as well...
Since it was tapas, all of the portions were on the small side and everything was shared.  My pick for the dinner was the curry chicken crepe with rice. I was able to get a picture of this particular dish since I ordered it. Everything else I tasted was partially devoured before it came to me so I'll pass on posting half-eaten foods.
The curry chicken crepe was actually my least favorite dish of the night. I thought the chicken was kind of dry and bland without an actual strong curry flavor. My favorite was the prosciutto, fig, and stilton pizza. Can't go wrong with salty meat and cheese contrasting with the sweet fig flavor on a pizza. The brie stuffed crepe was good, sort of reminding me of a blintz. The lamb sausage was also very tasty, but was too small for the price. The lobster macaroni & cheese also was tasty, but I've never been a big fan of lobster mac & cheese for some reason.

Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Lexi. Tapas is always fun, and this was no exception...

Lexi Martini and Tapas on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food Quest in Downtown Disney

DisneyQuest is a virtual theme park in Downtown Disney. Back when they opened, Disney had big plans to expand this concept to cities all around the world. After one more failed attempt in Chicago, this is the one and only DisneyQuest.
The last time I was at DisneyQuest, they had a fast food version of the Cheesecake Factory that took up multiple counters, each serving a different foods. On this visit, the Cheesecake Factory was gone and was replaced with a Disney run snack bar. They only had one counter and the menu was pretty limited with stereotypical theme park food.
I wasn't feeling burgers or personal pizzas, so I went with the Chicken Caesar Wrap with fries. I've had similar wraps before elsewhere at Disney (Blizzard Beach). The wrap here was okay, but it definitely wasn't Epcot food. The chicken didn't have much flavor, but I suppose that's what the caesar dressing was for. Overall the food was pretty average. Disney can do better than the food served at Food Quest...
Some of the desserts, which I unfortunately didn't try, did look good though...
This doesn't have to do with the food, but I got a weird vibe from almost everyone working at DisneyQuest. Rather than the overly happy, stereotypical Disney Cast Member, most of the employees here were giving off the vibe that they hated their jobs. They seemed way more like Wal-Mart employees than Disney employees. Here's a food related example: It was taking a while to get the food. When ours was finally ready, there was someone else asking what happened to his order. The employee behind the counter looked at his receipt and responded with 'We must have lost your food.' He then walked away and went to take someone else's order instead of helping the complaining park guest. Very atypical of what I've seen at Disney in the past...

Food Quest on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Central Florida Fair 2012 in Orlando, FL

I returned to the Central Florida Fair this year for some carnival food. It is like getting food from Orlando's gourmet food trucks, only you actually need to worry about whether or not the food is actually up to health code! Seeing a carnie in a food stand with the ashes from the cigarette in his mouth falling onto a pizza is never a good thing. Needless to say, I avoided food from trucks like this...
The gyro stand looked good and I didn't get a vibe that I could potentially get sick from eating their food, so it was a winner!
The pita was filled with sliced lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, and tazitiki. Greek food from food stands in fairs is always good for some reason. I'd take this over fried oreos or fried pizza any day.
Besides the gyro, ribbon fries were shared. Three large potatoes were run through a drill-powered slicing machine resulting in very long strips of potato. They were then deep fried into a crunchy mass of fresh potato chips.
Some horribly overpriced grilled corn was also consumed. At $3 each, the corn was definitely not worth the money, but then again, it was tasty.
After the fair, the food all seemed to agree with me so I must have made wise food choices!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta, GA

Mellow Mushroom is a pizza chain that I always thought was local to the Central Florida area. I found out this wasn't the case while up in Atlanta after our first food choice didn't work out. From their website, it looks like Mellow Mushroom spans pretty much from coast to coast.
On this visit to Mellow Mushroom, I split the Gourmet White Pizza with someone. This pie was was topped with mozzarella, provolone, feta, sliced tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and onions. The pizza was alright, but I'm personally not a big fan of Mellow Mushroom pies in general. Just about every time I've tried their pizzas, it seems like they are overly doughy with the crust reaching way too far towards the center of the pie. On this particular pie, a couple of the slices were about half crust. I'm more about the stuff on a pizza rather than the bread that makes up a pizza, so I'm not exactly a big fan of this style pie.

Everyone seems to love this place though. I've never been to a Mellow Mushroom that wasn't busy, but there are definitely far better pies out there from independent places.

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Varsity in Atlanta, GA

I recently went on a weekend roadtrip up to Atlanta. When I put up a request on Twitter for restaurant recommendations in the city, the consensus seemed to be that I needed to try The Varsity.
The Varsity was opened in 1928 and is currently the world's largest drive-in restaurant. Instead of eating in our car, we went inside to get our Varsity food. Once inside of the huge restaurant, we made our way to the very long counter to place our orders. A constant chorus of "What'll ya have?" echoed over this part of the restaurant as the employees called for their next customer.
I saw posters advertising The Varsity's Orange Drink hanging on the wall as I entered the restaurant. I guess the posters worked since I ordered the orange drink. It tasted like orange soda without the carbonation.
I had one of the combos on the menu consisting of a grilled chicken sandwich and onion rings. The sandwich was actually a little surprising. It was pretty simple and tasted okay, with a piece of chicken with lettuce and tomato. What surprised me was the size. It was almost the size of a slider, similar in size to what White Castle or Krystal serves. For some reason I was expecting a larger sandwich.
The onion rings were definitely the star of the food I tried here. Each of the rings were huge with a really good batter around the onions. They were horribly greasy, but they also put the onion rings at most other restaurants to shame.
Now that I've been, I guess I can cross The Varsity off my list of the top places to eat in Atlanta. The food here was alright, but I think the retro atmosphere is the real reason to go to The Varsity. It is the world's largest drive-in after all. The view of downtown Atlanta is pretty nice too...

The Varsity on Urbanspoon


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