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!

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

Texas Roadhouse, Royersford, PA

Talk about bang-for-your-buck! If you are in the mood for a decent steak you must try this place. It’s a chain and they are all over so you should be able to find one within a reasonable distance.

Our server was pleasant and attentive despite how busy she was. The restaurant employs servers, bus people, runners, and frankly enough people that they seem to have their stuff together. No long waits and all of our courses came out in a timely fashion and just as we had ordered with no screw ups. Know that lines are to be expected on a busy family out-to-eat-night so be sure to call ahead since they offer it!

The meal started with warm, shiny, soft rolls with a creamy, cinnamon butter. All you can eat on these little suckers but my 46 year old bod said stop at just one.

As if the cinnamon rolls weren’t enough, they have all you can eat peanuts sitting on each table. I restrained myself from these as I knew I had a plethora of food to come. But I suspect these are good to entertain the littles….or maybe get them in trouble?

The entrees (specifically steaks since that’s what we got) include two sides. They have many sides to choose from. One interesting side offered is a cup of chili. I thought that was different anyway. Also, they offer a house salad or a caesar salad as a side and I love that!

I got the caesar and Dan got the house. The caesar was great with the perfect amount of cheese, dressing and crunchy, fresh croutons….nothing like a stale crouton to ruin a caesar. Dan’s salad was a meal in itself. It included your usual lettuce, tomato and croutons but also included chopped up hard-boiled egg and lots of shredded cheddar. Yum.

Salads

If you sign up on their website you get coupons and deal notifications. Also near your birthday you get a free appetizer (or dessert I think) so Dan and I ordered the Cactus Blossom. It’s normally $6.99 but free for us since I had my birthday coupon. The Cactus Blossom is a large onion, golden-fried and served with a cajun horseradish sauce for dipping. According to the Texas Roadhouse nutritional guide, the onion with 3 oz. of dipping sauce totals 1,970 calories. WHHHAAAATTTT! It’s quite the treat but note this is a sharing appetizer people. Do not attempt it by yourself!

Cactus Blossom

Dan ordered the 8 oz. Dallas Filet with a loaded baked potato for $20.99. It was cooked perfect and tasted good. BTW the “loaded” part is butter, sour cream, bacon bits and shredded cheddar. (I’m salivating as I type). Also the potatoes are baked with little bits of sea salt on the outside which really brings out the flavor of the baked potato. The steak was cooked just right and everything came out hot and juicy.

Dan’s Filet

I ordered the smaller option of their New York Strip. It was a 8 oz. thick cut New York Strip smothered in sauteed mushrooms and a loaded baked potato. It was $14.99 for my meal plus an extra $1.99 for mushrooms. Isn’t that nuts! What a deal. The mushrooms were so flavorful and they added so much to the dish but you do have to be a mushroom lover because when they say smother, they mean smother. Note you can also get your steak smothered with sauteed onions, jack cheese or brown gravy….any combination of the 4 toppings that is for a measly $1.99. You couldn’t even see my steak they gave me so many mushrooms but believe me, it was there and it was cooked just as I requested.

Thick cut New York strip

Just a quick observation. I’m not quite sure why they call it “thick”. It wasn’t very thick to me but for $14.99, I’m not complaining.

They even have their own steak sauce!

An important feature here That I must mention is that you can actually go to their meat display counter and choose the steak you want them to cook for you! Fun for the whole family lol.

So in conclusion, the food was plentiful and satisfying. The restaurant was busy and loud but that’s okay so long as it’s not a romantic evening out. I say its a good place when you are craving a steak, don’t want to lose and arm-and-a-leg and don’t mind the busy atmosphere with lots of children buzzing around. I’m mean sure if you go to a fancy steakhouse and pay $50 for your steak and $10 for your side, the quality of the cut of meat is better and it might be a bit more tender, etc. (or at least it better be) but really this place was perfectly fine in satisfying our carnivorous craving. Well gitty up partners! I give Texas Road house a 3.25. Thanks for reading and eat out more often folks!