Restaurant Grub

Feb 11

Don’t forget Mom and Pop – Davie’s Subs

Why are we so fixated on going to chain restaurants? Is it because of the millions of dollars of marketing…?  Probably so.  Other than the marketing, the quality of food is just lackluster.  I’m talking about Subway here. For 5 dollars, you can get select* footlongs for 6 slimy pieces of meat. I have to put an asterisk by select because their new campaign Februany, allows you to get ANY footlong for 5. I haven’t been there to confirm if this is true or not, who knows what the little white writing  on the bottom of tv commericals says. Your main ingredient in your healthy so called sandwich is consisting of bread, topped with the extras.  Ok, let me clarify, I’m sure the sandwich is somewhat healthy, but what are we really paying for?  Isn’t a sandwich, a sandwich because of the meat? If  we want extra meat, that costs money. And the quality of meat is a joke.  Now, I didn’t want to spend this much time talking about Subway because that’s not why I’m writing this article. but before I move on to the main point, I wanted to talk about one last component that is missing in chains… customer service.  I believe this is where Subway and most chains fail on.  What happened to the warm greeting and a smile and knowing your name?

A quality sandwich and great customer service goes a long way with me.  In Davie, Fl, off of Davie Rd, there are not many places to go eat except for mainly chains, like McDonalds, Wendys, BurgerKing, this is due to the fact that there are many local colleges down the street. I don’t exactly remember my first time going to Davie’s sub, (it was only a few weeks ago), but I do remember how great the sandwich was and that I wanted to go back. From the outside, I probably would have never gone in there. My colleague said he really liked it there so I was willing to try it out.

Davie Sub

The outside of Davie’s Sub. I think its very busy looking but who I am to say anything to him. I would actually say something but I don’t want to be rude.

Bryan Davie Sub Owner

Meet Bryan, the owner of Davie’s Subs.  We sat outside as it was a nice warm day in sunny South Florida.  Once our food was ready, he came outside to bring it to us. Call that Service!

By the 2nd time, I went to Davie’s Subs, he remembered me from the first visit and wanted to know my name. The 3rd visit, I get a joyful greeting from Bryan plus he remembered my name. I was in shock, who remembers your name these days? At a sub place no less.

He does things a little backwards, he makes you pay after you eat.  He must have a lot of trust these days for people to not eat and run.  I guess that what happens when you become friendly with your customers. He does do the loyal customer thing as well, get 6 subs and get $3 offer.  He doesn’t do the get 1 free sub but hey I’ll take the $3 dollars offer.  Bryan doesn’t offer a card for you to get stamped, but he puts your name in his book, so that you don’t have to remember to bring your flimsy card that you would probably lose.  (side note: do you know how  many times I’ve tried filling out those cards to always end up losing them or never bringing them in with me).

He really tries to keep up with the marketing/promotions for a mom&pop shop.  I’m not quite sure if he can take all the credit in his marketing/promotions.  I’m pretty sure the time he offered free homemade soup for any boar’s head sub probably was his idea.  However, he does partner with Boar’s Head and he started to do a little SMS marketing (mobile marketing0.  You just provide your phone number and he’ll send a text with the sub of the week. If you buy a 6 inch sub that is the special of the week, you’ll get the other 6inch free.  I was impressed with this promotion as I am in online marketing.  I realize this was Boar’s Head marketing to help promote their brand but nonetheless I was impressed.

boars head turkey sub

My Boars Head turkey sub with mayo, lettuce, tomato, sweet peppers and salt and pepper.  Hold the cheese! (not the biggest fan of cheese) It’s a pretty simple sub that you can’t possible mess up but you would be surprised.  Too much mayo or too much salt or pepper could ruin it. Not in this case, this suited my taste buds perfectly.  I love sweet peppers and not ever place has that as add on to your sub.

shih tzu brady

My puppy Brady joined us for lunch.  I’m lucky that I can bring him to the office.  I feel bad leaving him at home by himself. Although having him with me so much, does not help his separation anxiety.

So lesson learned, don’t judge a book by its cover. It may not be the prettiest on the outside but the quality of food I thought far surpassed Subway.  Plus, with the customer service/ friendly greetings that he offers who wouldn’t want to come back.  It’s very hard to find a place that remembers you or even wants to!  Next time you’re thinking of getting a sub, skip Subway and find your local sub shop.  You’ll never look back!

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Feb 11

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Well technically I celebrated my birthday on February 11th but in the blog world I’m celebrating it late.  This year I went to lunch with my mom and sisters and my baby niece at Villagio in Mizner Park located in Boca Raton, FL.  This is my 2nd year celebrating my birthday here.  It’s a good central meeting point between where I live and my sisters live plus I love Italian food. Hey – I would love for them to drive all the way down to me but I have to take  into consideration that they both have kids.  We actually did not invite the other kiddies because well try having 3 additional kids under 5 running around while you’re trying to celebrate an occasion.  We actually did it two years ago for my sisters birthday at Villagio and it was the most unpleasant experience for everyone there, even the other patrons. So we learned our lesson the hard way and now we celebrate all of our birthdays with the just the ladies of the family.

The Food

After ordering your meals, the server will bring your pita bread with bruschetta dipping salsa. This is very yummy and if you can handle your garlic, dig in!

bruschetta with flat bread

My mom and sisters ordered on the boring yet healthy side.  I don’t blame them I love salad too but when it comes to your birthday lunch there’s no going healthy here, at least for me that is. :)

Greek Salad with Chicken - they forgot to put the chicken in so with a quick mention to the waiter, he realized the mistake and got a side of chicken to add to the salad.

greek salad with chicken

I believe this was some type of nicoise but probably called something fancier on the menu as I don’ recall it being called Nicoise Salad.

Nicoise Salad

Now, I saved the best for last. My meal.  I ordered stuffed ravioli with porcini mushrooms and chicken.  It was very delicious and I ate every last bite. I made my mom and sister a bit jealous so I did let them have a bite.

stuffed ravioli with porcini mushrooms and chicken

To a great end to a birthday meal is of course the dessert. Tartufo gelato

tartufo gelato

We attempted to get 3 generations of females in the family picture, but its hard to tell a 5  month old to pose especially when she’s hysterical crying and needs a nap. :)

family picture

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Jan 11

Restaurant Grub: Angelique Euro Cafe

I’ve been neglecting my blog… well neglecting cooking for a while.  But that doesn’t stop me from eating.  On Friday, I headed to Miracle Mile in Miami to meet up with my friend Josephra and a few of her other bridesmaids to pick out a bridesmaid dress.  Jo wanted to thank us for putting up with the torture of trying on dresses and take us to dinner. We actually first headed to Tarpon Bend but it was crowded for happy hour.  We then walked over to Angelique Euro Cafe which happens to be the restaurant where Jo plans to have her Bridal Shower.

The Food

Lobster Bisque Asparagus

Lobster Bisque with Asparagus topped with Crab Meat

I ordered this on the specials menu. I wasn’t very hungry as I had a late lunch. Full of flavor, quite delicious.  It was a little thin for a bisque but the flavor made up for it and  it was also lite on the crab meat.  With request I asked for more crab meat and they happily brought over additional crab meat.

Pasta con Fungi

Pasta con Fungi- Braised wild mushrooms, shallots with red wine demi-glace, roasted garlic & herb fused olio.

One girl shared this with another bridesmaid. I asked her what she thought. She said it reminded her of a dish she had at Carrabbas (or some other Italian chain) and it was better there. Ouch!

Gambas Angelique

Gambas Angelique – poached jumbo shrimp in a Worcestershire herb butter sauce and saffron Valencia rice

I wish I had this.  I didn’t get to  try but I love shrimp.

Truffle Potato Gnocchi

Truffle Potato Gnocchi -roasted garlic marscapone cream sauce finished with amaretti crumbs

I always save the best for last. Jo and her friend shared the gnocchi. I was able to get a bite of it and I wanted more. Some people would say truffle is an acquired taste but once you try this you’ll forever be a fan.

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Jan 11

New Year’s Eve Dinner – Stanton Social

I took so long to get back to writing that this is kind of old news already but this dinner is worth talking about.  I always find  New Year’s Eve overrated, still do, especially after last New Year’s Eve being an extreme disappointment. Let me back track to last year:

A bunch of my friends came in to Miami Beach to spends New Year’s Eve here.  We decided to have a nice dinner at Phillipe.  By nice dinner, I mean 200 bucks a pop. Sounds crazy right? Well that’s pretty standard for Miami and NYC on New Year’s Eve.  And for that money, you think you would be treated like royalty. (I like to think so).  We had the late seating so we can be there for when the ball dropped.  I honestly forget what the 200 dollars per person included, except that it was suppose to be a bottle of champagne for every 2 people.  They were so stingy and treated the champagne like it was on limited supply and did not let us keep the bottles at the table. It was a shared “resource” between all the patrons at the restaurant.  After begging for champagne, we also had to beg for food. We were not allowed to order, we had to take whatever they gave us whether we liked it or not.  It looked like they were giving us scraps from other people’s tables.  I’m not sure if other table’s experienced this or if because we were the last table to be seated. The whole experience was horrendous.

Now I wanted to share that story for you to understand why we were pleasantly surprised this year. I headed to New York City this year because any attempt of convincing my friend’s to come to Miami after last year’s fiasco would be pointless. We decided on spending New Year’s Eve at Stanton Social in the Lower East Side. Stanton Social on a normal evening is suppose to have amazing food.  The New Year’s Eve deal was unlimited food and Chandon for $125 per person. Sounds to good to be true.  It was legit.  Everything sounded so good on the menu that I let my friends do the picking. They serve family style. I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

amuse- bouche

This was an amuse-bouche. Fun fact-  according to wikipedia an amuse-bouche is not actually an appetizer or ordered by the patrons.  It is selected by the chef and served as an excitement of taste buds both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to cooking.

In the photo above- I had to yell at my friend for touching the food because I did not get my picture yet. As you can see with one of the pieces not aligned right. I wish I remembered what everything was. My favorite was the one in the 2nd row which had Foie Gras in it. Continue reading →

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Dec 10

Restaurant Grub: YardHouse

On a gorgeous day in Florida, pretty much most days except when its raining and 100 Degrees, you have to eat outside. beer It’s a must.

Right down the street from me, they opened up this huge shopping plaza, Villiage at Gulfstream Park, which has a race track, casino (thank you Indians), bars, restaurants, and stores. I actually spent every weekend here when I first moved into the area searching for the right kitchen table, it only took me 6 months later to find the chairs. I will have to upload a picture of my table and chairs at another time. It only cost me a fortune and I must show it to the world.

Anyways, getting back on track,   We headed to Yardhouse, if you love beer, this is the place for you. It has well over 100 beers on tap. Don’t fret if you don’t live in Hallandale, there are many locations across the US.

I particular wanted to go there since they allow dogs and have doggie bowls on site. My Shih Tzu Brady loves coming out with us, although he looks very confused in the picture.

The Food:

Classic Sliders – four mini burgers made from natural angus beef served with cheddar cheese, our house special sauce, fries and pickle


Turkey Burger – house made, roasted roma tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic aïoli, onion poppy seed bun

I saved the best for last, Chicken Tortilla -creamy white cheddar, roasted pasilla, tortilla strips, pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro.

This is made fresh to order and a must have while dining at the Yardhouse.

If not for the beer, come for the food!

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Nov 10

Food in Paris

My First Meal

This summer I went to Paris to visit my friend Holly in Paris. The first thing that I wanted to do was eat of course. Holly brought me to a local cafe/restaurant and I sadly don’t remember the name of it. However, I have to say it was probably the best meal I had while I was there.

It was eggplant with shells.

My BreakFast

My breakfast consisted of croissants with chocolate.  Make sure not to go to any bakery.  It has to have a sign that says “boulangerie.”  This means that they bake everything at the bakery fresh that day.  Of course, if you are in a rush while your travelling, its ok to make some exceptions as I had to do a few times while I was visiting.

I found this website with a list of the best breads in Paris.

Authentic Parisian Food

Holly wanted to bring me to Authentic Parisian Restaurant… and by that she means one where it does not draw in tourists and the menu has no English on it.

A blend of different cured meats.

Onto the 2nd part of the meal.  I believe this was a cocottes.  According the free dictionary, a cocottes is

1. (Cookery) a small fireproof dish in which individual portions of food are cooked and served

2.a prostitute or promiscuous woman

It was like a beef Bouillabaisse; the dish not the prostitute.  There were no prostitutes on the premises.

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