Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DeanneEats Still!

DeanneEats is still consuming great food!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

3 - Paul (London)

 LAST VISIT: 12/16/2012

HOLY MOLY I LOVE BREAD IN EUROPE BATMAN!!!! Our first breakfast in London changed my life. There is something about the bread in Europe. We do it all wrong in the US. Our breads are dense and heavy. Theirs is light, fluffy and I can eat a whole baguette without getting sickeningly full. Additionally, the butter definitely has a dose of crack cocaine in it. It is pure and heavenly, full of intense flavor.

We of course also got a couple of pastries - au pain chocolat and beignet au nutella. WOW - so in love. Our first breakfast was a huge success!

3 - The Trafalgar (London)

LAST VISIT: 12/15/2011

My husband and I recently took a trip to London and Paris. I did my best to record all my eats while on the trip. I will blog about as many of those as possible.

My first meal in London was delish! The place was trendy and cute with brick walls and decorated with colorful, overstuffed chairs.

I ordered a pastry tart that was full of fig, goat cheese, pecans and roasted butternut squash, topped with crispy, salty kale. There was some sort of pink sauce that the tart was wading in - it was sweet, but not too sweet. The sauce finished the tart making it completely caloric and scrumptious!

We made a second visit to this restaurant on the last day of our trip. I ordered a chicken club (minus the bacon) with fries. I ate just about every bite. It was simple and spot on. Salty, tasty and perfect for a cold day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

1 - Take It Away (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 12/9/2011

I had to try Take It Away (TIA), the sandwich shop that everyone claims is one of the premier sandwich place in Charlottesville. Surprise, surprise, I was yet again disappointed by another Charlottesville restaurant. Here's why:

#1) I had never been to TIA so I was not sure how the ordering process worked. When I asked the kind lady, who was taking my order, what the deal was she hardly had any information to provide. None of the sandwiches come with anything other than the meat on them, you have to add toppings. They only offer five toppings: a choice of a few cheeses, watercress, cucumbers, roasted/marinated tomatoes and sprouts. HUH? They don't even have lettuce, regular tomatoes, pickle slices, onions, pepperchinis or anything else. Once I got over that, I had to choose my bread,

#2) I ordered sourdough bread, because it is generally my favorite. I asked if it could be toasted and I was informed they don't toast their sandwiches. Let me tell you, it is a good thing that they don't toast their bread because TIA poses a hard, stale, extremely crusty french rolls as their sourdough bread. Seriously, I couldn't eat most of the bread because I couldn't get it in my mouth and what I was able to bite off was too tough to chew.

Needless to say, the sandwich experience at TIA was beyond disappointing. It's not in the cards for me to eat there again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I can't stand a person with no self-confidence!

We all have bad days, but some people need to harness the bad. I am not here to be anyone's cheerleader. Ladies are especially to have a lack of self-confidence. Each person owns their own life. You are only going to get what you allow yourself to have. If you don't love yourself how can anyone love on you? Make a choice, don't exude your bad feelings on to others, have moments, don't let the moments add up to be you. Own what you've got - ROCK IT!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3 - Meatball Shop (NYC)

LAST VISIT: 11/23/2011

I must admit, I have never eaten anything at the Meatball Shop except for their ice cream sandwiches, but their food looks delish.

The ice cream sandwich is a homemade treat. The fresh ice cream is delightful and has that wonderful homemade flavor that you can't get from store-bought Bryer's ice cream. The only trick is that the cookies get a little hard from the cold ice cream, but they beyond tasty! ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

3 - Etta's (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 6/27/2011

The food was excellent at Etta's! I had a wedge that hit the spot - it was unique, not an actual stand-up triangle wedge, but half of a head of lettuce. For dinner I felt a little embarrassed to order the fish and chips, but the waitress insisted it was worth it and I would change my mind after eating the dish. Sure enough, the fish and chips were outstanding! My only small qualm with Etta's is its ambiance. The restaurant felt cramped and a tad outdated. But, if you have to sacrifice a little ambiance for food, it is worth it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

3 - Mingo (Beaverton, OR)

LAST VISIT: 6/22/2011

Mingo is my FAVORITE spot in the Portland area. A branch of of Portland's Downtown Cafe Mingo restaurant, Mingo is simple, delicious and a wonderful place. The food is always spot on and the waitstaff is dedicated to the restaurant's quality. I was first introduced to Mingo by my aunt when I was 18. My aunt has been going for years before that - this place knows how to stay in business and thrive.

Everyone who knows Mingo knows that the "Penne al Sugo di Carne" is their specialty (see pasta photo in this post). Everyone I have sent to Mingo raves about the food, especially the Sugo. You can go for happy hour and get a smaller portion (see photo) even.

This restaurant has it going on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2 - Umi Sake House (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 6/14/2011

I heart Umi, but it is a neighborhood regular, not because it is ultra phenomenal, but because it is solid and consistent.

Normally I don't care about happy hour at restaurants (because I don't drink), but Umi has a full list of discounted food. Their happy hour lasts from 4:00pm until 6:00pm anywhere inside the restaurant, and until 8:00pm in the bar or on the front porch. This excites me because that means a huge discount on sushi and I can order more food than I normally would - I am obsessed with food!

The atmosphere is cozy, dimly lit and clean. The staff is friendly and efficient. It is a great neighborhood pick.

Monday, June 13, 2011

3 - Local 360 (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 6/10/2011

Local 360 offers simple yet delicious food. From the grilled cheese, to the sherry salad, to the french dip, 360 has mastered the art of perfecting simple food. Everything I have tried is delicious. They don't put too many frills on their dishes, they let the local, fresh ingredients work for themselves. 90% of the ingredients are from local vendors - limes and coffee just don't grow well in Washington, thus the missing 10%. To top everything off, the atmosphere at 360 is fun and clean.

The space matches the food. Excellence. Period.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1 - Market Bagels (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 5/2011

Holy bad bagels Batman!!! Market has a 3.5 rating on Yelp and I have no idea why. No one in their right mind would like these bagels. First of all the bagels have NO flavor. I got the everything bagel, the one that is supposed to be most flavorful, it was bland. The cream cheese is clearly not quality cream cheese. They must cut it off a block because it was like biting through a thick cube of cheese - hard and not easy to go down. The taste experience was beyond disaapointing. Market clairms, "Authentic New York Style", if my bagel was an authentic New York style bagel then I must be crazy. I would never compare this place to any place in NYC.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3 - Tavolata (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 5/2011
Tavolata was a nice surprise in Belltown. My husband and I were craving a low-key, intimate, Italian meal, and Tavolata provided just that! I ordered the Pappardelle, with fava beans, peas, spring garlic and thyme cream. It was light, yet creamy and delicious. The portions for the price is spot on.

The restaurant's ambiance is great. The loft like space is open, yet inviting. The decor is modern and the kitchen is open so you can see the constant activity.

Tavolata is a neighborhood favorite for sure!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

3 - Top Pot (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 6/3/2011

Who doesn't love doughnuts? Especially when they are done right?!?! Top Pot knows what it is doing. They have all the regular flavor choices as well as some of their own creations. My first try was a maple glazed old fashioned - it melted in my mouth. It reminded me of buttery, syrupy pancakes...SO delicious! Since my first visit I have been back to Top Pot two other times. These savory morsels are addicting and I can't seem to get enough. I recommend that everyone go and try their favorite flavor!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

3 - Portage Bay Cafe (Seattle, WA)

LAST VISIT: 5/29/2011

This is quite possibly the BEST breakfast I have EVER had! Bananas Foster and Apple Cobbler French Toast are just two of the items available on the menu at Portage Bay. Those are not normal menu items for most restaurants. Portage Bay's creations surpass all breakfasts. Also, they have a toppings bar!!! Fresh whipped cream, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, nuts, brown sugar, syrup, etc. The toppings bar changes the whole concept of delicious breakfast - you can customize it to be exactly what you want it to be!

The prices are a tad on the higher side however, the delicious food, great service and flexibility makes up for that. During my first visit I mentioned to the waitress that I wanted to try a couple of the different french toast options. She said he would have the kitchen do a split of what I wanted! The next time I went back I was able to do that again - even though they were packed out for Sunday brunch!

Although their menu items are not fat or calorie free, you can be comforted to know that they use only the best organic ingredients from local, clean and sustainable farms and producers.

Beware - you have to wait for a while if you go after 10am on a Saturday or Sunday, but what great restaurant doesn't have a wait? Portage Bay Cafe is a must eat!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3 - El Puerto (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 3/25/2011

There is LEGIT Mexican food in Charlottesville! Who knew?!?! I had no idea El Puerto existed - it is tucked in a strip mall that is just off one of the main roads through town.

El Puerto is decorated as an average hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint with vibrant colors and chotchkies all about. The smell when I walked in was inviting and had me immediately curious about the food.

The chips and salsa were tasty...a thinner basic salsa. I ordered the steak fajita quesadilla lunch special which came with rice. I was also able to sample a friend's fajita chicken. All in, the food was delish and as a Californian who has been exposed to plenty of Mexican food, I finally got a good fix! I plan to visit El Puerto again soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 - Orzo (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 2/18/2011

Orzo is a Mediterranean-style restaurant located in a fun space on Main Street in Charlottesville, VA.

The ambiance of this restaurant is exactly what Charlottesville needs. I found it to be vibrant and energetic, yet soft and charming. The menu has many excellent options which were difficult to decide between. I opted for a salad to start followed by salmon - a dish I rarely order out because it can so easily be disappointing. Orzo's salmon was not a dissapointment and coincidentally it was served over a bed of orzo, which was delicious.  

This is a place I will gladly visit again!

2 - Bodo's Bagels (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 2/2011

As someone who lived in NYC and had fresh bagels frequently, it's not the best start for my rating of Bodo's Bagels, the establishment that claims to have NYC style bagels. I have to be honest, their bagels are decent. They taste pretty good and are a decent size however, they are no NYC bagel. Thus, not a number 3 rating for Bodo's. Below is a list of items that Mr. Bodo should take into consideration:

  1. Don't be cheap when it comes to cream cheese. If you claim to be a NYC style bagel establishment then you have to realize that a large amount of cream cheese is a requirement.
  2. Have the option to toast your bagels. Sometimes your bagels are still warm, which is a plus, but sometimes a toasted bagel really hits the spot.
  3. Improve your coffee - it sucks.
  4. Like with the cream cheese - you have to put more than one slice of turkey and a piece of lettuce on a turkey bagel sandwich. Don't be cheap!
  5. Finally, your smoked salmon appears to be a little suspect - this is something NYC bagel joints are experts need major improvement here.

If you want a bagel in Charlottesville, Bodo's will likely fill the craving, just don't expect it to be outstanding like a NYC bagel.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3 - Gott's Roadside (San Francisco, CA)

LAST VISIT: 2/25/2011

Can you say YUMMO?!?!?! Holy schmoly, Gott's is the place to go for American food in San Francisco! Check out the picture to the right. My mom and I ordered the works! Cheeseburger, Garlic Fries and Fish & Chips (which were sweet potato fries) - we just shared it all. I have to say that I have no guilt about any of the calories that I took in during that meal. It was 100% worth it. The burger was juicy and Mahi Mahi literally fell apart in my mouth. The garlic fries were not overly garlic and the sweet potato fries are coated with a seasoning that has a little kick. To top it all off, the dipping sauce they gave was this chive/ranch goodness that I wish I had on tap for all my meals!

Finally, the atmosphere that Gott's provides is awesome. The restaurant is a large space, but it's tight with all the patrons. The tall ceilings and large glass doors make it feel open and interactive. It is a great place to go with friends as the establishment breeds energy. There might be a line, but the wait is hardly noticeable. I would go over and over again...who doesn't love a great burger and fries??


2 - Taste of China (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 2/17/2011

I recently visited the local "hot spot" for Chinese food in Charlottesville. Co-workers have been raving about the place and took me to give it a try.

First impressions of the restaurant weren't high as it isa big open room with one coat of paint over sheetrock and poor decor. However, we were greeted nicely and led to our table immediately. We ordered and food followed quickly (the waitress(es) kept coming over wanting us to order ASAP). Egg drop soup to start and beef and broccoli, low mein, fried rice and an egg roll to follow. The food was good, and I was surprised how tender the beef was. Although I did like the food, this doesn't sit well as a 3 in my mind however, it is fighting to get there. It's the overall package I have to consider. The food is good, not perfect, the ambiance and pesky service is poor.

Taste of China - you are the closest to a 3 that I've ever considered for a 2-rated restaurant.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2 - Duner's (Charlottesville, VA)

LAST VISIT: 2/11/2011

Everyone's favorite restaurant in Charlottesville is not mine. It is a definite 2, not a 3.

I ordered flank steak and when it was delivered to the table it was luke warm, at best. Anyone who knows me knows I like my hot food HOT - who wants cold beef? The waitress took the plate away and ten minutes later served me a "new" dish, which consisted of the same meat, reheated. Not only was I disturbed by this, but the meat was now way overcooked. The flavor was decent, but the chewy factor ruined the dish for me.

What Duner's does do well is their homemade ranch dressing and brussel sprouts - I was impressed with those items. I had heard the bread was amazing, but, truth be told, it was a muted version of some type of Pillsbury dough.

We decided to order dessert - a brownie coffee-ice cream sandwich. I am not sure where they put the coffee flavoring, but where that was lacking there was a cup of chocolate syrup to try to make up for it - it was smothered.

All in I would give Duner's another chance, but my expectations would be much lower. It is likely one of Charlottesville's best restaurants, but I'm not sure that's saying much...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

3 - Mama's (San Francisco, CA)

LAST VISIT: 12/18/2010

Are you joking???? Mama's in San Francisco is RIDICULOUS! See photos - my husband and I couldn't resist ordering way more than two people should eat. We wanted to try everything. Eggs, homefries, habanero chicken sausage, sourdough baguette toast, silver dollar pancakes, and the french toast sampler with banana nut, pan dore and Swedish cinnamon breads.

You start your experience at Mama's by waiting in the line outside the restaurant. We got there at 9am, an hour after they opened, and waitied for 45 minutes. Little did we know that once you got inside you had to wait in another line. Mama's has a system unlike most restaurants, especially brunch spots. They have a line to their cash register, instead of straight to a table. Their style allows you to watch the cooking and view their "products" before you purchase. You then finally get to the cash register (10-15 minutes later) and order what you want. You are likely going to order more than you expected because looking into the kitchen is more than convincing! Then you fnally take a table and wait another 0-20 minutes for your food. Honestly, I know if sounds like a lot of waiting, but it is so worth it, and once you enter the inside of the restaurant, you don't realize that you're waiting again because you can see all the great food.

The food was amazing and delicious. Mama has thought of everything for her menu and she doesn't let her chefs slack. I am throughly impressed and overly satisfied. I would not miss an opportunity to visit Mama's again! When your in SF next get Mama to make your breakfast!