Eating out, Food, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, King of Prussia, PA

We started with the Craft-Your-Own Guacamole for $20. Yes this is a bit pricey but it is freshly made and a nice starter for a group. It starts with the traditional guac and you add your own mixins such as crispy capers or roasted red peppers. Their are multiple mixin options available but we chose to have one traditional, one with pickled jalepenos and the last with candied pumpkin seeds. They are served with fried plaintain, tortilla and malanga chips. It is very good and its not just your old typical guac and chips so give it a try!

Guac sampler
Side of chips for the quac

Since we had all of the delicious guac to eat and that’s not good for leftovers, I decided to get an appetizer as my main dish. I ordered the Paladar Empanadas stuffed with portabella mushrooms. I wasn’t too impressed with this at all. It was a bit overdone and too greasy. The filling and toppings were just okay. I will probably won’t ever order this again.

Empanadas

The Hubs ordered a traditional Latin dish, the Feijoada Stew which is made with pork, chorizo sausage, black beans, sofrito vegetables, kale, sofrito rice and grilled Cuban bread for $19. Oddly I’m not a huge fan of Latin food but my husband is. He really enjoyed this dish. My only observation (I took a pic so you can see) is that the chef clearly burned the bread and covered it with a second sadly prepared piece of bread. That’s lame. If you know you ruined something fix it before it goes out to the guest. Don’t try to hide it like your customers are stupid and won’t notice! It’s insulting. I mean this is a nice restaurant, not a cheap place.

Stew served with both burnt and underdone bread

Paladar offers a nice cocktail menu including different styles of margaritas and mojitos. Its main feature is the extensive rum list. They even offer rum flights ranging in price from $9 to $25. If rum was my thing I’d totally try this but its not so I didn’t!!

Paladar is located in the King of Prussia’s happening Town Center. There is a lot of action all around especially this beautiful fall time of year. Like most of the restaurants throughout the Town Center, they get busy so make a reservation. In case you haven’t guessed, this is not the place to bring young children.

The main dining area and indoor bar have have nicely decorated interiors and is very spacious so tables aren’t on top of each other. Outside seating is also offered. We sat outside with no regrets. Our server was busy but attentive so no complaints there. You know I just realized that my heart isn’t really into this review and I’m not sure if its because I’m not a Latin food lover or I just didn’t have a really great meal. Either way I’m still going to share this brief review for you. I give Paladar 3 out of 5 forks. Thanks for reading folks and eat out more often!

Restaurant

NEW ‘QUICKIE Series” – Plaza Azteca, Plymouth Meeting!

When I have a nice (or not so nice) experience at a restaurant that I have already reviewed, I’m gonna post a quickie for you! Yea this is my first one 😁.

We went for a spur of the moment celebration and everything was awesome as usual! Just take a look and the festive and colorful drinks and dishes below.

Gorgeous jumbo margaritas and salsa and chips
Burrito El Pastor with black beans and rice
Enchiladas Rencheras with refried beans and rice
Cute Halloween table decor

We sat in the bar area (seat yourself) and it was bumping! The server and bartender were great. The food…well it was delicious! It’s always a great place for a fast, fun and yummy bite!

Check out my full Plaza Azteca review posted August 11, 2019. Thanks for reading folks and eat out more often!

Eating out, Food, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews, scallops, steak

White Dog Cafe, Haverford, PA

There were four of us that met out for dinner at White Dog Cafe in Haverford. We started with Sandy Ridge Farm Deviled Eggs for $11 which included a half dozen, cage-free eggs with an assortment of seasonal fillings. Ours included caviar and chives, a crispy potato crumble and a blue cheese and bacon topping. These were fantastic and unlike any deviled eggs we had ever had. They were so creamy and the toppings were unique and complimentary.

Deviled Eggs

We also shared Parmesan Fries with truffle oil, grana, and chives for $8. They were cooked just right and were served with care. However, they could have used a bit more truffle oil. You could barely taste or smell the truffle oil but they were still tasty.

Truffle Fries

The Hubs ordered the Butcher’s Cut which was a filet mignon. It was served with locally sourced, shallot butter, house made steak sauce, truffle fries and arugula salad. The plate looked nice but the filet was overcooked. He ordered medium but there was no pink inside. The Hubs isn’t a complainer but I could tell he was a bit disappointed.

Filet

I had the Locust Point Farm Chicken served with goat cheese whipped potatoes, baby spinach and mushroom marsala for $27. Now this chicken could not have been cooked more perfectly! It was so tender and juicy and the skin was so crispy. The potatoes were a little runny but I think that’s because the chicken on top was so juicy. The flavors were divine. I would order this again.

Chicken

Our friends ordered Yellowfin Tuna Tartare served with avocado salsa, sesame soy emulsion and true leaf micro cilantro for $16 (no photo taken). They also ordered the special appetizer for the evening. It was a Tempura Battered Cauliflower all sauced up.

The special appetizer that evening

For their entrees they ordered the Cape May Scallops served with sweet corn ragout, basil charred tomato romesco sauce and almond crumble for $35 and the fish special which was swordfish with various accompaniments. They enjoyed their entrees although they (and we) struggled to finish them as we had so many apps and a few cocktails. We were even all so full and content that we skipped dessert!

Scallop meal and sword fish meal

The decor was very warm and comforting. There are a few rooms available for dining. We were seated in The Living Room. It was super crowded so make sure you make a reservation. There are adorable pictures of dogs a dog related art throughout the restaurant and I loved it. I even enjoyed my trip to the ladies room because I got to enjoy more of the dog related decor.

The bar is small and it was crowded. The bartender and the servers were personable, attentive and knowledgeable. It’s a great date place and a nice place for friends to gather. I do not think it’s a good place for small children so best to get a sitter. I give White Dog Cafe in Haverford 4.5 out of 5 forks. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it. Thanks for reading folks and eat out more often!

Restaurant

BRUNCH Series!! Zakes Cafe, Fort Washington, PA

Zakes Cafe is a cute little place hidden away in Fort Washington. The restaurant does not take reservations although I wish it did because after 9 AM it gets crowded. Why do you ask? Ummmm because they have the most lovely and unique menu around! You are not just getting bacon and eggs my friends (although you can), you are getting Homemade Granola with Fruit and Yogurt, Indian Spiced Poached Eggs with lentils and cilantro and yogurt. You are getting Vegan Vegetable Burrito with lentils, caramelized onions, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes and you are getting the most delectable pancakes and/or french toast with their homemade caramel sauce. Additional options at BRUNCH include but are not limited to a Grilled Duck Salad, Lemongrass Salmon with asparagus and Roasted Turkey and Brie served on French Bread for a more lunchy craving. Note they only offer BRUNCH on Sunday but they do have a breakfast menu Monday through Saturday. Go to their website zakescafe.com and check it out for yourself.

We like to start with coffee and who doesn’t right? Well if you don’t they offer a variety of tea as well as fresh-squeezed orange juice. If you are celebrating, bring a bottle of champagne and they will provide the fresh juice for some mimosas. This is a great idea for a date and/or get together with friends.

Morning Joe

Below is one of the most delicious offerings on their menu. I highly recommend this for breakfast or brunch. They are famous for it at least they are with us. It is Thick Sliced Coconut French Toast with French or Honey Whole Wheat Bread served with Fresh Blackberries & Strawberries and their Home Made Caramelized Mango Sauce on the side. Dan ordered this (as he has many times as well as me). It is so unique and wonderful…simply a masterpiece.

Coconut French Toast

I didn’t have a huge appetite so I ordered a single pancake for $4.00. You can get the stack for $9. I ordered the Butter Pecan pancake with caramelized bananas on the side. They have a variety of flavors such as traditional Blueberry and not so traditional Honey and Lemon (yummy). I also ordered a side of the chicken apple sausage shown below. I always get it because its so good. It’s enough to split with someone too if you aren’t looking to get too stuffed.

Zakes Cafe is usually crowded. Reservations are not taken so be prepared to wait on busy days. I recommend trying them out for breakfast or BRUNCH. The items on the menu you won’t find at other establishments. Prices are comparable and the food is worth the money. The staff work together as a team so you always get the attention you require.

I give Zakes Cake 4.25 out of 5 forks for BRUNCH so I say give Zakes Cafe a try! We have always had a pleasant experience without complaints. Note they also have a little to-go bakery on premises so you can take some of their tasty sweet treats home. Thanks for reading folks and try to eat out more often!

Eating out, Food, Mexican, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

El Limone, Ambler, PA

El Limone is one of our favorite spots to go for quick, inexpensive and delicious Mexican food. It’s authentic and we always leave with big smiles and full tummies.

El Limone is a BYO. We often see people sharing a bottle of wine or drinking a couple of beers. If you forget your alcohol fear not my friends as they offer FREE margaritas. I understand they are supposed to offer a max of 2 margaritas per entree but I have seen them pour more. The margaritas are sometimes a bit watered down on occasion but who’s complaining if they are free right!?

Complimentary margarita

I almost always order the same thing…the loaded nachos with carnitas for $9.95. They are mouthwatering. I literally crave them at times. The pork is shredded with big chunks of meat found throughout the plate (see blown up pic below in pic collage). The nachos are smothered in refried beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. The chips are house made and served crunchy and warm. I love adding their house made hot sauces. They offer a tomatillo and a chipoltle option. I love both and I use both. Use the chipoltle cautiously though…it’s hot both at the time you eat it and the next day (if you get my drift). It’s true folks. I gotta let you know but I also have to let you know that, to me, its worth it.

The most perfect nachos you’ll ever have

Below is a pick of Dan’s sopes. He ordered a chorizo and an al pastor. Sopes are a thick corn tortilla (fried masa) covered in Mexican goodness. Note El Limone’s sopes are often greasy (as well as the chorizo) but still so good. Sopes are covered in lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese at $2.50 each. You just can’t beat it.

Sopes

My Mom got a shrimp quesadilla for $8.00. It was cooked perfect and the shrimp were big. She was happy…I was happy.

Shrimp quesadilla

Dan and I love the Tres Leches cake at El Limone. It’s only $5.95 and it was big enough for the 3 of us to share. It was wet with milky sweetness and satisfied our dessert desire. Yum. Get it!

Tres Leches

The restaurant is located in the middle of a strip of stores in Ambler. It’s a bit run down and lacks everything fancy. The tables are set close together and there are a few placed outside on the sidewalk. The chefs are not in a closed kitchen so you can see them cooking in the very small space. TV’s are anchored in the corners of the small room often showing sporting events.

This place is loved by many so it’s usually crowded. Expect to wait on busy “out-to-eat” nights like Friday and Saturday evenings. Its always a full house with a full (and cramped) waiting area and a line often out the door but they have a quick turnaround so the wait has never been extreme. They are also very popular with the take-out so you will see door-dash folks coming and going.

It’s a great place for friends to gather, families with small children to get together and honestly, even a fun date night with maybe a show to follow down the street at Ambler Theater. One last note, in addition to it’s Ambler location, there are locations in Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, Norristown, Malvern, Paoli, Royersford, and West Chester. I have only been to Ambler and Norristown. Ambler is my fave of the two.

I give El Limone in Ambler 4.75 stars out of 5 forks. For the money you can’t get a better meal. Skip the fast food restaurants and head on over to El Limone. Thanks for reading and eat out more often folks!

Eating out, Food, Italian, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge, Phoenixville, PA

I had heard from two different people that this was the new place to be so I wanted to try it. We went on Sunday of Labor Day weekend with out neighbors and friends. They actually recommended it too as they heard it was good.

The decor was beautiful. It had a very fitting Mediterranean Tuscan decor. There was a lovely inside dining area with a beautiful and large bar as well as an outdoor patio. We sat outside since the weather was lovely. Note if you decide to eat outside, the patio is directly across the street from the newly renovated Valley Veterinary Hospital so be ready to hear some howling and barking dogs intermittently during your meal. It only happened a couple times so it wasn’t too distracting.

They have a very interesting cocktail list with drinks at an average cost of about $13. Below you will see two Manhattans, one gin and vodka martini with blue cheese olives, and a pomegranate martini. We all were very happy with our drinks. The waitress did have some difficulty serving them but that’s because they were filled to the brim which is fine by me!

Coctails

We shared a seafood stuffed egg roll appetizer. It was crispy and delicious. It was served with a sweet and tangy Asian style dipping sauce which complimented it nicely. It was a generous portion and perfectly prepared. Yummm I would order again.

Appetizer

Each of our meals started with either a house salad or a cesaer salad. I had the cesear and it was just okay. The dressing was a bit to vinegary for me. It needed more parm cheese I think and lose the tomatoes. I don’t think tomatoes should be in a cesaer. Other than that, the ingredients were crisp and fresh.

My cesaer

All tables are treated to complimentary garlic knots. They looked a lot better than they tasted. The knots were a bit chewy. It almost reminded me of the texture a roll gets after its been microwaved. I hope they don’t microwave their knots before serving. That would be so bad. I believe the sauce was their pizza sauce. It was sweet…just okay. I will pass on them next time. They are not worth the carbs or calories.

Complimentary garlic knots

I had linguini with mussels and clams in white sauce. The pasta, sauce and clams were devine. After a few bites the mussels became questionable. Some were nice but others were mushy. Also there was one mussel that was not cleaned properly (see the bottom left mussel in my picture). It had the hard hairs still attached to it. Please if you can’t remove them, toss it and don’t put it on the plate. It grossed me out. I don’t know that I would order mussels here again based on this experience. I want to know that each mussel I put in my mouth is going to be good, not take a gamble.

Mussels, clams and linguini with white sauce

So not to bore you too much I decided to put a collage together of the dishes my husband and neighbors enjoyed. No one complained and all said their food tasted good. Dan had the lobster ravioli (looks a little too saucy to me), my neighbors had the spaghetti with seafood and a chicken dish with a side of pasta. I try not to be too annoying to eat with so I didn’t ask too many questions so pics is all your gonna get regarding their dishes.

Everyone else’s food

Would I go back again? I don’t know. Probably I would but I won’t go out of my way for sure. If someone invites us I’d go. Hopefully the experience would be a bit better. I’ll surely avoid the mussels though.

As a side note I’ve decided to increase my forks to 5. It’s too difficult with only 4 so for this place, I give it 3.5 out of 5 forks.

Thanks for reading and be sure to eat out more often folks.

Bloody Mary, BRUNCH, Eating out, Food, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

BRUNCH SERIES! Stone Rose, Conshohocken, PA

It’s a Bloody Mary lovers dream I tell ya. I mean look at this Bloody sampler! I have never heard of such a thing and I’m not sure why. What an awesome idea. It included three different 5 oz glasses…their classic Rose Mary, the Spicy Verde and the Bloody Maria for only $11. The Bloody Maria was made with tequila and surprisingly it was really good. My fave was the classic and Dan’s fave was the Spicy Verde. It was also served with an extra glass with bacon and lemon and limes which is nice but like I always say, chuck a chunk of cheese in there or maybe a pickle and some celery too! Me likey the options. That’s one of the best parts…all of the fixins!

The sampler

We started by sharing the Chef’s Daily Flatbread for $14. It was buffalo chicken and it was quite good. The crust was thin and crispy. It wasn’t soggy or overcooked. It was done just right. The chicken was tender, the scallions and arugula were fresh and the sauce was amazing. We confirmed the sauce was made in-house. It wasn’t very “buffaloey” though. It was spicy and somewhat sweet. It wasn’t what we expected…it was better.

Buffalo chicken flatbread

I had the crab and avocado salad for $15. It included crab meat, avocado, mixed greens, a roasted pepper and crispy potato strips. It was very light and fresh. Note though that if I didn’t have some of the flatbread, I don’t know that I would have been satisfied. Now I do have a few comments both good and bad. Let’s start with the good first. The citrus vinaigrette was amazing. Aannnndddd that’s pretty much it for the good. Now the bad. The mixed greens were a little lackluster. Literally it was just a pile of greens…boring. It was saved by the delicious vinaigrette. The roasted pepper was a bit much. It was a whole pepper barely roasted. It needed to be roasted longer. The avocado and crab were fine although I didn’t have one piece of “lump” in my serving and the menu indicated it was lump. It was just a bunch of shredded crab meat. The crispy potatoes added nothing flavor wise and it’s texture over the crab/avocado stack just didn’t make sense to me. This dish was just boring and lacked finesse.

My salad

The hubs ordered the frittata which is the chef’s daily creation served with arugula salad and fresh fruit for $11. This frittata was made with red pepper, cheddar cheese and spinach. Personally, I’m not a frittata fan in general. It’s something that I would never order. Dan said it was good. He really enjoyed it. If you look at the picture, it looked a little brown on the bottom to me but again, the hubs didn’t complain one bit. He enjoyed the arugula on top and the fresh fruit consisted of a few slices of ripe cantaloupe.

Fritatta

On the day we went we were lucky enough to have great weather so we sat outside at one of the few tables they offer. We made a reservation but I don’t think you need it for brunch as it was not busy. I believe the evening is when reservations are needed. The servers were fabulous. They worked as a team and were very attentive. Our table was a bit wobbly and our server grabbed a wedge to put under the leg and quickly steadied it up for us. The food came out as ordered and in a perfectly timed manner. The stars of this meal were the surely the Bloody Mary sampler and the flatbread. It was a good experience but not a slam dunk. In conclusion, I give Stone Rose brunch 3.25 out of 4 forks. Thanks for reading folks and be sure to make an effort to eat out more often!