Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt - Aventura & Pinecrest, FL

Pinkberry is frozen yogurt that is so natural it actually tastes like yogurt. If you are looking for that sugary sweet artificial taste Pinkberry probably won't suit you, but if you are looking for, as they put it, fro-yo sweet and tangy with a refreshing taste so light it leaves you craving for more, then Pinkberry is the right place for you.

In addition to the original flavor they offer a rotation throughout the year of seasonal flavors like chocolate, coconut, peanut butter and mango. Now we all know that frozen yogurt has as much to do with the topping. At Pinkberry they have all the healthy fresh fruit and nut choices along with sweet savories like chocolate chips, fruity cheerios and granola. And, you can't forget to add honey, caramel or chocolate sauce to top it off. Still, if frozen yogurt isn't your thing, they also have smoothies and parfaits. It's also good to know that Pinkberry's frozen yogurts are certified kosher.

At their two Miami locations, the stores are well maintained and clean and the staff is accommodating and friendly which is a plus. The places may have limited seating, lack self service (I like making my own) and it is a bit too pricey, but it is still worth checking out to experience the distinct flavor of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt
21211 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 935-3503

8737 Southwest 136th Street Miami, FL 33176

(305) 969-0069

Pinkberry (Aventura) on Urbanspoon Pinkberry on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rodeo Restaurant & Martini Bar - Oakland Park/Wilton Manors, FL

Although Florida is in the far South, it lacks the sort of Southern hospitality that the South is known for. Yeah you can find some good Cuban food, Jamaican food and pretty much anything from a Caribbean island food, but it is often hard to find that real down home soul food. Well, by being introduced to Rodeo Restaurant & Martini Bar I think I have finally found that place. At Rodeo Restaurant & Martini Bar it is all about bringing thoughtful and ingenious Southern food to South Florida. They combine Southwestern, Tex-Mex, Barbecue, and Cajun/Creole cuisine to create some really amazing dishes.

The design of the restaurant is a take on the Southwestern style. Exposed stone walls and warm browns and black colored wood furniture decorate the place, while pentagrams and animals skulls hang from the walls. I almost wanted to run back home and get my cowboy boots and holster (if I actually owned any of those). The atmosphere was very chill and everyone seemed nice enough, but I didn't feel that genuine Southern Hospitality that I would expect at a place like this considering that is what their concept is based off. But, outside of looking at the service in the respect, everything was okay.

Their bar serves an array of cocktails, beers and wines. In addition to that they run different specials during the week such as Martini Wednesday when they have HALF OFF the martini menu! So naturally I had to stop by on a Wednesday and grab me a martini, a Lemon Drop Martini specifically. Very fresh, very refreshing, very delicious! I loved it, considering I am not a big fan of martini drinks.

The food here all sound so mouthwateringly good, from fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese, pulled pork, brisket, pecan chicken, shrimp & grits, and yes I could go on and on, but I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went for the Southern BLT. Now this right here is not your ordinary bacon, lettuce and tomato. Okay, so the lettuce is ordinary (not romaine ordinary) but the bacon is not ordinary it is peppered molasses bacon and the tomato isn't either, it is fried green tomatoes. Nuff said! The bacon was out of this world good! Now I really like this sandwich because in all honesty, I am still thinking about it now, I just wish that the remoulade sauce was a little less tangy; it overpowered the flavor of the sandwich. The bacon and tomatoes had their own really nice flavors that could have been brought out more if not for the sauce.

The sandwich came with a choice of curly fries or sweet potato tater tots. I am sweet potato person so I had to go with the tots. I haven’t had many taters tots in my day, so when I think of tater tots I flash back to elementary school lunch. Those were not so good so I was a little wary, but these were effing awesome. My boyfriend who hates sweet potato fries of any kind, spend more time eating my fries than he did his. So yes, they were that good.

My boyfriend is a simple man that likes simple things and so he opted for the Cowboy Burger. The burger consists of BBQ sauce, chili-dusted bacon, fried onions and cheddar. I personally, didn't taste it because I was too into my food and forget to try his. By the time I even remembered to think about he was already done, so take from that what you will. I know I don't eat food I don't like especially that fast. He did say he liked it though and would come back to this place again.

I probably want to try about 90% of their menu so it’s a given I will be back, but knowing that they have brunch on the weekends, I would love to come back and try one of their luscious French toast!

Rodeo Restaurant & Martini Bar
2033 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors, FL 33305
(954) 537-9544

Rodeo Restaurant & Martini Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday Dollar-Mania at 100 Montaditos

100 Montaditos, the chain imported from Spain, is slowing taking over South Florida with several locations in the area with many more to come. What makes 100 Montaditos so special are its 100 mini-sandwiches & Spanish beer offerings. But, in addition to that, the highlights of the week at 100 Montaditos is the Wednesday Dollar-Mania, where booze, montaditos and everything else on the menu except platters and salads are just a $1, and Thursdays where beers and sangria are $1.
For more info and to view the full menu, visit

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory - Fort Lauderdale, FL

I like discovering new places but one of the few chain restaurants I actually like going to is The Cheesecake Factory. If you think of chain restaurants a few probably pop up in your mind, but Cheesecake Factory is at the pinnacle in this genre of restaurants. Once you step inside The Cheesecake Factory, you almost forget that this is a chain. The feel of the restaurant is similar to that of a fine dining establish but is obviously at an affordable price. What I love most about The Cheesecake Factory is the staff. If you have even been and I am pretty sure you have, Cheesecake Factory has this huge book that they call a menu. No matter what location I have been to, I swear all the servers know the menu inside and out, and if you can study and remember their menu, you earn my respect. Everyone, from the hosts to the servers, is upbeat and friendly.

One of the perks of The Cheesecake Factory is the complimentary bread. You are usually given a sourdough loaf and a wheat loaf. I am not a fan of the sourdough and usually requested just wheat bread. The wheat bread is not what you would typical expect wheat bread to taste like. It is really good when it is fresh out of the oven.

My favorite dish at Cheesecake Factory is the Jambalaya Pasta. I'm a spicy addict, so I usually at lots of crushed red pepper to it but even without that, it is delicious. My other favorite is the Grilled Shrimp and Bacon Club. This sandwich is good as you know what, but it is also one of the more fattening things on their menu, so whenever I get it I usually only eat half and share, but trust me it is really really good. Another one of my staples is the Strawberry Lemonade. It is definitely good but can be a little too sweet at times. They also have really good cocktails here so while most people come for the cheesecake and the food, you really have to consider trying one of their cocktails.

I wanted to try something new and a little bit healthier, so I decided to get the Ahi Tartare. Although it was among the small plates, considering the large portions at Cheesecake Factory, I thought it would be bigger. It was pretty small but very good. The tuna and avocado were fresh and the Soy-Ginger Sesame Sauce was the perfect complement to the tartare. My only complaint was that I wish it came with more tortilla chips.

I was trying to be conservative with my calories this time, but I do recommend the Godiva Chocolate, Oreo Extreme and the Adams Peanut Butter Cup cheesecakes. I am a chocolate and sweets addictive so if you are not into that, these choices are definitely not for you.

I am pretty sure everyone has been to a Cheesecake Factory at some point in their life, so my only suggestion would be to experiment. Their menu is so extensive that you should try to taste something new every time.

The Cheesecake Factory
600 East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 463-1999
Find a Location Near You

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yuga Restaurant - Coral Gables, FL

Being a former University of Miami student, I was excited to spend the day in Coral Gables visiting the Kampong, Deering Estates, and The Shoppes at Sunset. Well, after a full day of hitting the streets hard, my boyfriend and I were starving and in need of a good dinner. I really wasn't in the mood for mall food and really wanted to have sushi and knew of Yuga Restaurant in the area so we headed there for dinner. On Saturday, the restaurant opens at 6pm and we knew when we were heading there that we would arrive right around the time they open so we thought we were going to be the first ones there, but once we pulled up to the front, we saw that there was already two tables with diners. In addition that that, we also arrived at the same time as another couple and half way through our meal, the restaurant was almost already packed, so you know this is a really popular spot.

It is a cute little restaurant. The decor is nothing too fancy but the size and earthy colors make it feel cozy. Despite its small size, the setup allows for couples to large groups to dine comfortably.

The service was a little lackluster. We were greeted and seated promptly, but it did take a little while to get service. A couple came in after us and was taken care of before we were so that annoyed me a little bit. Once we were finally acknowledged though everything was prompt and went smoothly. Our waiter just was not all that friendly but if we needed anything, he was helpful, though he did not explain the menu, but honestly, he was the only one assisting customers so I can kind of understood.

Now, the food though, it was off the chain! The Asian Nachos were so mouthwateringly good; so amazing. The chips were so light, the avocado was ripe and fresh, the pork was tender, and the sauce was so refreshing. It is just an all around beautiful dish so if you ever decide to go here, you have to get at least this.

My gage tester for sushi at every Asian/Japanese restaurant I go to is the Spicy Tuna Roll. At Yuga, their spicy Tuna Roll is prepared with fresh tuna (of course), scallion, and garlic-chile rolled in rice and sesame. We ended up getting three different roll and this was by far my favorite. The tuna was fresh, it had a nice spice to it and the flavors added from the garlic-chile gave it a really nice taste.

The next roll we got was the Rising Sun Roll which comprised of tuna, salmon, avocado, and spicy mayonnaise rolled in rice and masago. Again this was another delicious roll. No complaints here, the ingredients were fresh and it had a nice spice and flavor to it.

Finally, we had the Miami Heat Roll which is made up of conch fritter, cream cheese, mango, lettuce, cucumber, and spicy mayo rolled in rice and sesame and topped with mango sauce. It was good but I have come to the realization that when I eat sushi simple flavors are often better for me. It was good and I could eat it again; it just was not my favorite.

All in all the sushi was delectable. The right rice is what makes all the different. I like rice that isn't too sticky or dense but is light and fluffy and the sushi here definitely fit the bill.

Now you know I couldn’t leave without my dessert. For dessert we got the Thai Donuts which are served warm with 3 sauces: chocolate, strawberry, and condensed milk. They were so good. I appreciate that they were freshly fried and light (which they should be at all restaurants). I hate when they are dense and full of grease. The three sauce were good (condensed milk was my favorite) but I wonder how much sauce other people use since they give you like 1/2 cup of each and we barely put a dent in each. I just found that to be wasteful but really I shouldn't complaint because if I didn’t have enough sauce that would be a huge turnoff.

I don't know if I should say it and don't quote me on it, but I am going to list Yuga Restaurant in my top 5 Asian restaurants (at least in South Florida). I highly recommend it and besides not having the best service, the food is so good that I don't even care.

Yuga Restaurant
357 Alcazar Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 442-8600

Yuga on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall drinks are back at Starbucks!

With the first day of fall soon upon us, Starbucks has finally brought back their seasonal Fall menu. Which means Salty Carmel Mocha, Pumpkin Spiced Latte and Pumpkin Pastries. I of course die for the Pumpkin Spice Latte so if you don't know about it, now you know. Be sure to go and check it out soon if you have not already since the Fall menu only last for a limited amount of time!

Over the weekend, I went to a Starbucks in Coral Gable to get my first fix of my Starbucks favorite, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I usually get it hot, but it was just too damn hot outside to do that to myself. I have to say though, hot or cold it is delicious either way. I couldn't just be satisfied with a drink, I also had to get a slice of the Iced Lemon Pound Cake (very moist). My boyfriend was with me, but he only got a iced coffee and a Bacon and Gouda Artisan Sandwich. It was a small location with a lot of traffic so the table was dirty from the previous customers and there was limited seating so that was my only issue but the drink were up to Starbucks standards and the food was fresh.

Check for the Location Near You
475 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tijuana Flats - Tamarac, FL

At Tijuana Flats, it is all about serving up some good ol' Tex-Mex cuisine. A Florida original, they now have location all across the state and are steadily moving into other territory. Based upon the "fast casual" restaurant concept, you walking in, check out the menu, place your order and wait for them to bring out your food for you. Of course while you wait, you can check out the hot sauce bar and pick your choosings among many flavors from mild to super duper hot.

The Tamarac location is situated in a quiet shopping center with nothing more than a mattress store next door (there might be other store but I have failed to notice). The decor is very colorful and vibrant and follows the scheme of all the other Tijuana Flats locations. The ambiance is fun, so much so that you may feel the urge to throw back some tequila shots, but unfortunately, no liquor is served here. On the plus side though, they offer wine and beer and we all know that is the next best thing. Of course they have Sangria, Barefoot Wines, Modelo and Coronas. Another fun offer at Tijuana Flats are the Taco Tuesdaze ($4.99 for 2 tacos, chips & a drink) and Throwback Thursdaze ($5.99 for a burrito, chips & a drink).

Probably almost every time I go, I have to get the steak flautas. Although fried and fattening, you cannot deny fat tastes good and this dish right here, taste so good. Not only are their ingredients fresh, I also like the fact that even though they have a set menu, you do have the choice of flour or wheat tortillas and the option to add the all the fixings you like. The flautas come with a side of Queso, guacamole and sour cream but you can select your veggies and choose to add beans (black or refried) and rice. I being the glutton I am get it all, but bear in mind they have vegetarian options of everything and vegan options as well.

Another great menu item is the Bangin' Chicken Burrito. Imagine this, crispy chicken tossing in what they call a smack my ass sauce, loaded into a huge burrito of grilled onions and green peppers, tomato, cheese and ranch dressing. Need I say more. This was my first time trying it and it was really good so don't be afraid to try different menu items.

My experience has been consistently good so definitely check out Tijuana Flat. There are options for everyone and food that taste good and a good price.

Tijuana Flats
7942 W Commercial Blvd, Tamarac, FL 33319
(954) 749-3420

Tijuana Flats on Urbanspoon