Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Caffe Martier, Delray Beach Fl

Monday, February 24th, 2014
cafe2

caffe martier

Atlantic ave in Delray Beach is full of restaurants with outdoor seating so choosing one without a recommendation is a hit and miss proposition. They all have a good view to people watch and I would assume they have a wide range of price difference depending on what you are looking for.

After arriving at our hotel we set out for a bite for lunch and decided to sit outdoors at the first place that looked inviting. Being it was late in the afternoon we were just looking for a light lunch and with this Caffe’s menu, it seemed to be the right place.

The menu is inviting with a good amount of choices in salads, sandwiches and such. They also boast a breakfast menu and a good sampling of desserts to choose from. I decided to try the Turkey and Hummus sandwich. Fresh turkey with hummus, baby spinach and tomatoes, with a side of greens and chick pea kim-chee salad.  Served on a French baguette it gave an added crispy, chewy touch to the sandwich. The greens needed a bit more dressing for my taste and the chickpeas were spicy and fresh tasting. My wife ordered the Summer salad made with strawberries, grilled chicken, oranges, goat cheese and almonds which she seemed to enjoy. All in all the lunch was tasty and quite good, and the added outdoor seating makes it a nice place on a sunny day. At $10.25 and $12.95, the menu itself is a little pricey for the size of the portions served, but not not a surprise for the surrounding area. I might add that the fresh squeezed lemonade was very good.

After walking off our dinner, we returned later that evening with friends for dessert.  The coffee served is very good as were the cheesecake and lava cake, but the chocolate honey cake was very dry and disappointing because it looked good in the pastry case. Again its not a place for inexpensive dessert as it cost more than $40 with tip for three desserts and four cups.

As a side note our server whose name I believe is Jade, was exceptional and we never had to look for her when she was needed because she made it a point to check ALL her tables each time she resurfaced from the kitchen. Pleasant surprise!!!

The Regular Guy rating   * * *

 

Lone Star BBQ and Merchantile, Santee South Carolina

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
lone star

Lone Star BBQ and Merchantile

Well this one got me! There are three restaurants in Santee South Carolina and I already ate at one of them on my last trip so that left me with a choice from two. I went online to read reviews of both places in hopes that I could make my choice a little easier.

This place got good reviews on about 90% of the posts I found and even today, four day later I can’t fathom why.  A lady from New Jersey, my home and a great place to find BBQ,  even loved it. And what about that Tomato Pie did she really like. That’s not even in the same food group as the Tomato Pies from Jersey. I don’t know what that was. It looked like baked custard with a slice of tomato on top. Really???

Sorry, I digress. After driving some 11 hours, I had a hankering for some southern BBQ and was really looking forward to comfort food but what I found was a buffet of southern mush.

Really, everything except the fried chicken was soft including the green beans. They were so overcooked and unrecognizable I had to ask what they were. The rest of the buffet included BBQ pork hash( pureed pork and potatoes in sauce) and shredded BBQ pork (without the BBQ and so so very dry) as entree’s and I believe there were black eyed peas, baked mac and cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, hush puppies, rice, and a few unrecognizable items( see tomato pie above). There were some desserts which were also unrecognizable other than seeing something with peaches and something drowned in cool whip. There wasn’t an item I would try. Lone Star also states on their website that they serve salad bar items, which other than some cut tomatoes and cucumbers swimming in a liquid, I didn’t see anything that resembled salad bar items.

I ate three pieces of fried chicken, ( of which I could only locate two breasts) two hush puppies and I have to say some very tasty sweet potatoes. Oh and I did try the cole slaw which was pretty good too. The mac and cheese could have been better if it was creamier although I liked the crispy edges so I was okay with the sampling.  When I asked if there were more breasts of chicken the server said she didn’t see any in the kitchen. Really??

The atmosphere is pretty cool and a throw back to the 60’s- 70’s. The tables and clothes reminded me of my grandmothers kitchen table from back then. The decor is all over the place from toys, tin signs, candy, and old cigar store Indian and other food stuff for purchase. It’s like the storefront in the Cracker Barrel food chain on crack.

It was very disappointing to say the least because the reviews spoke the opposite and the atmosphere was pretty cool, but I have experienced better BBQ in New Jersey than here, where it should be better hands down. How can you have dry pulled pork and then worse no BBQ sauces at the very least, to drown it in on your plate. It just looked so unappetizing  just sitting in a pan on the buffet. To be honest there were two sauces on the buffet. Both were ice cold and tasted like mayonnaise based dressings. I just didn’t get it.

The chef boasts of his background in Culinary and that he attended Hyde Parks Culinary Institute but I would never have known and actually was shocked at how terrible the food was. Being a graduate myself of a Culinary school and having worked in the field for over 40 years, I would have thought at least the presentation would have been outstanding.

Regular Guy rating

* *  (for the atmosphere and fried chicken)

The George Inn, Vernon NJ

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Finding a place to eat in and around this part of New Jersey is not an easy thing to do. Surprisingly though, what the George Inn lacks in atmospheric dining experience, it made up for with tonight’s special dish.

Two things stand out to me about dining here. One was the decor/feeling of the dining room and the other was the menu choices.

The atmosphere leaves much to be desired albeit clean and well maintained, it seemed vast and cafeteria like. A large open dining area with very bright lighting, adds to the noise level while dining. Customers in brighter places tend to speak louder than those in intimate low lit rooms. The wood work and decorative Tiffany lamps would have provided more charm had there not been the additional overhead fluorescent lights. The well lit room also put on display, the sloppiness of the wait staff. Although our waitress was dressed and presented well, her co workers left much to be desired. Combinations of untucked shirts, large hoop earrings and chewing gum gave an unprofessional and mismanaged appearance. It seems to me that with some attention to details, (ie; remove the paper “diner” style place mats, neater staff etc..) this dining room, would be very warm and inviting.

The menu was both confusing and and yet very predictable. What I mean by this is that the style of dishes were all over the place and yet nothing that we wouldn’t expect to find in most diners. For example, you could order Mexican dishes, Nacho platter or Fajitas or your basic Parmigiana ( Chicken or Veal). At first glance and before looking at the menu, you would expect seafood and steaks to be the backbone of menu entree’s. Perhaps they are trying to cater to all different customers likes due to the lack of diversified restaurants in the area. The funny thing is that we ordered a special that was Grilled Pork chop with a Mushroom Risotto in a Demi Glaze with medley of vegetables, which was exactly the type of dish that I expected to see throughout the menu. And by the way, the dish was delicious and the Pork Chop was prepared perfectly. If not for that dish, I would not have been able to choose an item for dinner. Too many restaurants have “diner” menus where they try to be everything but their dishes tend to be just ordinary. Very rarely do you find a place that serves so many different styles of food that is exceptionally prepared and different. Have we not seen enough of Chicken Parmigiana, Buffalo wings and Potato skins?

Back to the Pork Chop dinner: The chop was grilled perfectly and the Risotto was creamy, cheesy and fantastic. The portion size was more than adequate and I left satisfied and full. After eating this, I couldn’t help wonder why they choose not to explore this style of cooking though out the menu. Do away with the ordinary and make a statement with dishes such as this. Perhaps because I was expecting more of a steak house menu was I disappointed. Maybe the Chef at the George Inn knows more about his clientele than I and thus the wide variety of normal everyday items. I will say this. If everything is prepared like my Pork Chop dinner, than they might be on to something.

Next time your skiing at Mountain Creek, be sure to dine at the George Inn and leave a comment on my site. I would be very interested in your opinion.

The Regular Guy rating  * * *

The George Inn

84 STATE RT94

SOUTH VERNON, NJ 0746

973-827-5758

www.georgeinn1872.com/index.html

It sucks! Now go away

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Does every waiter have to ask how everything is less than five minutes after they serve you? Do they not eat out themselves? Can they at least watch you to see if your mouth is full BEFORE they ask you?

Look, all you need to do is walk by me once in awhile and if I need something, or “the food sucks”, I will get your attention. Is the food so bad in these places that waitresses have to ask you how everything is? Shouldn’t it just be fine? After all, it is what we expect when we eat out. I don’t go out thinking “hit or miss, I hope this food’s good”. And one more thing. Tell me your name. That’s not reserved for costly restaurants. That way when you disappear, I can ask the next waiter to find you, just in case “it sucks”.

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy

Time stands still..

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Being a kid, I always looked forward to snow days off from school. When my friends and I heard that snow was coming we couldn’t help but plan whose house we would wind up at to build a fort and have a war with neighboring kids.

There is something really wonderful about being snowbound in your home as an adult. Time stands still.

When everyone in town is snowbound, nobody gets the edge on anyone because we are all in the same boat. There are no worries about lost business to another company or making an interview for a job. There is no getting the kids ready for school while you text on your Blackberry to a client. Time stands still.

You sleep in and when you awake you hurry to the window to see just how much snow your going to have to shovel to get that car out of the driveway. Your not worried so you go back to bed and catch up on sleep you wouldn’t normally get. If your real lucky, your laying next to someone who is feeling a little frisky. Hell you have all day. Time stands still.

You finally get your butt out of bed and you eat a really big breakfast because your going to need those calories for all that shoveling. You dress like its 20 below outside and your armed with shovels, salt and ice scrappers. All this doesn’t seem so bad because you have all day and nowhere to be, just like everyone else.Time stands still.

As you shovel that snow you begin to remember when you were younger and your dad made you go outside to clear a path so he could go to the store for the milk and bread he forgot to get in preparation of the great storm. As he slides and stumbles to his car, you can hear him mumble under his breathe how your mom is a pain in the ass and won’t stoop reminding him how she “told him so”, about the milk and bread!  As the cold air brings you back to reality, you look around and marvel at how breathtaking the snow and ice on the trees look. What a great day to be alive and you remember that you have all day to enjoy it.

Yes, when a snowstorm hits your town, its truly a magical moment. It brings you back to a simpler time in life when you had nothing but time..no worries, no responsibilities, no cares in the world, just time. Time that was so endless because you never knew just how fast it would pass in your lifetime. For me, being snowbound stops time just long enough for me to remember what it was like, when I had nothing but time, to enjoy my life.

Mustache Bill’s Diner, Barnegat Light NJ

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

After dropping my card and promising on my last visit to post my review, I have finally found the time to do so.

After some 20 years of eating at Bill’s diner, I guess its about time I posted why I have been such a fan of his place for so long.

How about a list. Yes, just like David Letterman’s top ten list.

10. Location. At the north tip of Long Beach Island and tucked away from everyone except the local faithfuls and summer tourists.

9. The smell of the salt air and nearby bay make it pleasurable even when waiting during the summer months for a table.

8. The tables in the back room are the coolest. Its like eating in your grandma’s back porch when everyone else has to eat at the kitchen table.

7. The menus on the wall and in your hand offer too many choices that make it too damn hard to decide what to order.

6. The waitresses are the best, the friendliest and the prettiest on the island and the serve up the food faster than you can finish your first cup of coffee.

5. The coffee cup is ALWAYS full.

4. Everything tastes like it was just made, which is exactly how it should be.

3. The kitchen staff has worked together for many, many years and they always serve the food the same way, everyday, which is the hardest thing to accomplish in the restaurant business. CONSISTANCY!!!!

2. The diner is a landmark ( or should be) and no one else on LBI received a visit from Guy Fieri, of my favorite food show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Hats off to you Bill!!

and the number one reason…

1. Mustache Bill’s omelets and pancakes are quite simply the BEST on LBI and the surrounding area. I have my own omelet which should have a name by now since Vinny and I perfected its makeup some three or four years ago…We start with the Potato Skin omelet which has potatoes, scallions, bacon and cheddar cheese and then we ask for HOT peppers to be added. Dress it up with salsa, sour cream and a short stack of ‘cakes and the next meal you can expect to want is dinner. Bill has perfected the omelet and no where will you find one that is fluffier and filled better.

You can expect only the best when you visit Mustache Bill’s so get up early, put the top down and head over to LBI and enjoy the best breakfast this area has to offer.

The Regular Guy rating * * * *

Mustache Bill’s Diner

W 8th St and Broadway
Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Horizon Diner, Manahawkin NJ

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Having breakfast out on Sunday mornings is always one of my favorite things to do, and this Sunday was no exception.

The Horizon Diner is one of the oldest businesses in town. Some years back, the diner was renovated by a previous owner and is now more up to date than its original self. Although the previous owner did most of the updates, credit must be given to the new owner for the upgraded food and service.

Today’s visit offered both good food and some exceptional service. It has always been one of my pet peeves that most restaurants won’t accommodate a request for something special.  Diners however, are usually very capable and willing to prepare a dish not on its menu pages.

I like omelets with a lot going on inside, so I asked for one with cheddar and bacon with sauteed scallions and jalapenos, not too brown ( well done is a no no ) and sides of salsa and sour cream. Our waitress was a real pleasure too as she didn’t flinch when I preceded to rap off everything I wanted. She actually played along very well with the kidding we gave her during the placement of our orders.

All in all the food was done just right and we all had a good time, which is the way it should be when going out to eat.

The Regular Guy rating  * * *

The Horizon Diner

Bay Ave Manahawkin NJ 08050

(609) 597-4771

Meils Restaurant, Stockton NJ

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Quaint little towns always seem to have at least one restaurant that clearly stands out. Meils is one example of just such an establishment.

I have dined at Meils at least four times that I can remember and perhaps at least one more time that I can’t recall, but each time did not disappoint. Although small and crampy, the atmosphere is mom and pop, old style homemade dining. And the food….is exactly that.  Big portions of very tasty and some clever, combinations. My favorite over the years has always been the meatloaf. I make it a point to eat at Meils every time I visit the New Hope/ Lambertville/ Stockton area.

This time I made it there for breakfast, a first. Three friends and I set out from Manahawkin NJ on a very frigid Sunday morning on motorcycle, for a long awaited first spring ride. With the cold breeze threatening to make our trip shorter than we would like, we persevered until finally an hour and a half later we arrived.

First order is to drink as much hot coffee as possible to warm our frozen extremities. Our waitress promptly delivered the goods along with menus. At first glance something changed from what I remembered about Meils…their prices. I have to say that I was very shocked at the prices for the breakfast items. My last recollection of Meils was fantastic food at very, very reasonable prices. It has been some five years since my last trip to Meils so I thought that the popularity of the place created a sale and the new owner changed the menu. As I found out later, the same owners are still there after some 18 years, so that wasn’t why the prices were so much higher than I remembered. For example..Ham and eggs, with two sides $11.00.  Omelets ranged from $14-$18. I stopped short of reading the whole menu because no matter how good the breakfast might be, I can’t see spending this much money on eggs. That being said, the ham and eggs were delicious. I opted for the home fries and a Cinnamon Butterscotch scone as my two sides, with a side of salsa for my eggs. The salsa, which I love to eat with eggs, was fresh with the much needed addition of Cilantro. Anyone who eats salsa knows that fresh Cilantro really sets it off and separates the good salsa from the just so so salsa. I am a baker/chef by trade and I have to say that the scone was as good as any I have made in my own shop. Served up warm and flaky with a side of jam, it definitely made the meal better than if I had it with toast. The breakfast took quite some time to serve (about 25 minutes) and the place wasn’t jamming so we couldn’t understand why it took so long, but once we started eating , we soon forgot the wait time. By the way, all the dishes were garnished attractively and overfilled the plates. Also the bacon is the best any of us ever had, and describing it just wouldn’t cover how good it was.  If you love bacon, you have to order up some on your visit.

So what does it cost for great food, great service ( the coffee kept flowing with out asking) and great atmosphere. Well for us, including tip, $80.00. I told you it was pricey. Although the food is excellent, I don’t know how they justify Manhattan Hotel prices. If I were to say how much it should have cost us, it would be more in line with $60-$65 including tip. So, a bit costly but at least you are getting a meal that leaves you full and satisfied. Nothing worse than overpriced bad food, so it makes it a little easier to accept the bill.

Regular guy rating * * * 1/2 ( only because of high priced menu)

Meils Restaurant and Bakery

Bridge & Main
Stockton, NJ 08559
(609) 397-8033