Monday, October 29, 2012

The Lost & Found Saloon Restaurant - Midtown/Wynwood Miami, FL

The Lost & Found Saloon truly has something for everyone. Not only is the restaurant vegan and vegetarian friendly, but also suitable for meat lovers too. Anything you ever hoped a saloon to be, this place is. The staff is very friendly, the atmosphere is very laid back, they have horses everywhere and they even have western movies playing on the TVs. If you ever wanted to meet a real life cowboy or cowgirl, you may find them here having a drink at the bar. The food is fresh, they're open late, they deliver and it’s fun. What more could you ask for?

On my recent visit, I stopped by with my friend to fuel up before a night of drinking. We started off the meal with the Crab Stuffed Endives, made of fresh Belgian endives stuffed with lump crab meat, corn, cilantro, and chipotle aioli. I don't like cocktail shrimp and I drink my water room temperature which basically means I don't really like cold food, but despite that, I actually liked this. Instead of just saturating the crab with mayonnaise like so many do, they did it right and along with the corn and the chipotle it created a nice tasting dish. It was surprisingly spicier than I was expecting it to be, but that’s a good thing.

For my entree, I decided to get the Half-rack of Barbecue Baby Back Pork Rib Treat. They also have a dinner portion that comes with rice or spinach as a low carb substitute but I wanted to make sure I had room for dessert so I got the app instead. The ribs came with coleslaw which was very good. I tend to not be a fan of coleslaw since most people douse the cabbage in mayo and sugar but this was not like that and tasted very fresh. My complaint is that the portion size is so small. The ribs were less than stellar. They were cooked well and tender but the flavor left something to be desire. I was expecting more than that and have had way better so I wouldn’t choose to order that again.

The friend that came with me had the Posse Club Burrito. If you ever wanted to know about good burritos, this one right here fits that description! The burrito was filled with steak, bacon, avocado, shredded manchego, cheddar, and Monterrey Jack cheese blend, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle aioli. If you were going to choose any one dish here, it would have to be the burrito; it's really that amazing!


I am so glad that I did not skip out on dessert. The Chocolate Chip Jumbo Cookie a la Mode is by far one of the best I have ever had! I know I said the burrito would the one dish to eat but if you were willing to forego food and just eat a dessert instead, this is the only thing you will ever have to eat here to keep coming back. I am drooling thinking about it now! I don't know how to describe it other than its soft, chewy, chocolaty and so mouthwatering good that you forget about life eating it. I felt like I was competing with my friend to see who can eat the most, the fastest.

As Benjamin Franklin put it, "lost time is never found again", so don't waste your time searching for someplace to eat, find yourself at the The Lost & Found Saloon.

The Lost & Found Saloon Restaurant
185 Northwest 36th Street Miami, FL 33127
(305) 576-1008

The Lost & Found Saloon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cooking Up Dreams with Gourmet Tastings by Miami's Top Chefs

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Destination Grand Lux Cafe: Asian Short Rib Tacos & Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan
A Chicken Breast Coated with Parmesan Bread Crumbs and Covered with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. Served with Spaghetti.

The use of Parmesan bread crumbs gives a nice rich flavor that the average chicken parm misses. The coat is very light so the chicken doesn't taste too heavy or weighed down by the crust. The cheese is cheesy, the sauce not too sweet or heavy, and the pasta al dente. Add a little bit more cheese and some crushed pepper and you have a well rounded dish. The dinner portion is so large that it can serve 2.

Asian Short Rib Tacos
Three Corn Tortillas Filled with Grilled, Marinated Kogi-Style Short Rib, House-Made Korean Kim Chi and Spicy Chili Aioli.

The beef isn't the the best quality and was a bit on the fattier side, but the combination of flavors from the marinade and the aioli create a nice taste in your mouth. This dish is one of their bites/tapas so the tacos are small but depending on your hunger level, can be enough to fill you up at a low price.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Signature Room & Lounge at the 95th & 96th - Chicago, IL

Both located inside the John Hancock building, the Signature Room is located on the 95th floor and features contemporary American cuisine from snacks to sweets and specialty entrees while the Signature Lounge on the 96th offers a fine selection of quality wines and an extensive list of premium cocktails. Eating and drinking aside, both offer spectacular views of the city and Lake Michigan!!!

The John Hancock building does have an observatory which allows a 360° view of the city, up to four states, and Chicago's only open-air SkyWalk with paid admission. I felt my money was best suited to just head to the Signature Lounge on the 96th and spend it on drinks, getting tipsy while still enjoying the spectacular views. I opted for the Chicago Martini which was very delicious but a little too sweet for my taste. My boyfriend who came with me got the "Chicago’s Best” Sidecar Martini which he seemed to enjoy and a Great Lakes Porter. The drinks are a bit pricey but they are well made and strong so it's definitely worth the price.

It may very well be a great experience to head to the observatory, but you are definitely in for a good time and amazing experience visiting the lounge instead!

Signature Room & Lounge at the 95th & 96th
875 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-9596

Signature Room at the 95th on Urbanspoon

Domino's Pizza: Free Slices of Handmade Pan Pizza

Monday, October 22, 2012

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza - Chicago, IL

I have a problem; I am obsessed with deep dish pizza! So, every time I am in Chicago, I make my way to Giordano's Pizza, my only choice for Chicago style deep dish pizza. To this day I still remember eating my first slice; cheesy with buttery crusty goodness. Giordano’s was the first place I have even been to and the only place I continue to go to. I know that they are other very popular places and I swear to you, I intend to try a different place every time I drop in to Chicago, but I always chicken out, out of fear that another place won’t stack up and I will be disappointed. Maybe one day, I will finally try a different place out but for now; Giordano’s will always be my favorite!

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza
56 E Superior St (between Rush St & Wabash Ave) Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 951-0747
43 locations in Illinois and Florida

Giordano's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Portillo's Hot Dogs - Chicago, Illinois

I'll admit it; I am not a really big hot dog fan. I eat it, but I definitely don't crave it or seek it out. However, one of the staples of coming to Chicago is getting a dog and the most famous place of all to do it is Portillo's! So, as soon as my plane landed, I headed to Portillo's to eat lunch. I was a little confused by the setup at first, but then realized it wasn't just Portillo's but that there were other food options to choose from (it’s like a food court). The restaurant is self service. You place the order, get your ticket, pick up your food and seat yourself. Apparently Portillo's is known for their exceptional service, but frankly no one was too friendly or seemed too thrilled to be there. The minimal interaction I did have was fine, but really it didn't matter anyways since I was here for the food.

Like I said, I am not hot dog’s biggest fan and on top of that, I don't like pickles, so instead of going with the traditional Chicago style hot dog, I decided to get the Char-Grilled Maxwell Street Style Polish. I actually like sausage dogs so this choice suited me much better. They claim that it is grilled in the traditional way it was done on Maxwell Street but since I have no idea where Maxwell Street is, am not Polish and have never been to Poland, it does not mean much to me, but it sure tasted pretty delicious. I am also not a fan of mustard but on this dog it was not overpowering and I am always down for some grilled onions.

My boyfriend stayed away from the dogs and ended up with the equally famous Italian Beef. It was very good. I obviously have to compare it to a Philly Cheesesteak and frankly, although it was good, the Philly wins, in my opinion, but definitely fresh ingredients and good flavors.

With all the hype surrounded by this place, I would assume the fries would be good too. I ordered a Large Cheese Fries and was expecting a good amount of fries loaded with cheese, not something I would describe as a small with cheese on the side. I should have skipped that and gotten the Chocolate Cake everyone raves about.

Yeah it's a chain, yeah there are better tasting dogs in the city, but for a first taste of the Chicago-style, there is no place else to consider.

Portillo's Hot Dogs
100 W Ontario, Chicago IL 60654
Locations in Illinois, Indiana & California

Portillo's Hot Dogs (Chicago) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Corner Bakery Cafe: Free Bacon Tomato Mac & Three Cheese

Do you live near a Corner Bakery Cafe? Register to get a FREE cafe-sized Bacon Tomato Mac & Three Cheese.
Just reserve a time and location here. But do it quickly, because they’re only giving away a limited number.

Cibo Wine Bar Celebrates One-Year Anniversary


Cibo Wine Bar in Coral Gables is celebrating their one-year anniversary party on October 25 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Join in the fun with wine, cheese, and more. To  RSVP call 305-442-4925 or email
I am a fan of the eatery! You can check out my review here.
Cibo Wine Bar
45 Miracle Mile Miami, FL 33134
(305) 442-4925

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

Prep Time: 10 mins 
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 18 mins
Serves: 2-3 people
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Red food coloring to color
    Cream Cheese Glaze
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. Add in egg, buttermilk, butter, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  3. Stir gently until combined (do not stir until it is completely smooth).
  4. Let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Preheat griddle or pan greased with butter.
  6. When hot, add 1/4 cup of pancake batter to the griddle/pan.
  7. Flip with the first few bubbles start to break on the surface of the pancake.
  8. When the other side is soft and pillowy to the touch, it’s done.
  1. In a medium size bowl, add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract; blend until smooth and silky.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saint Tropez Bistro: French Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL

First impressions are everything and St. Tropez Bistro definitely needs to work on that. The place was pretty packed when we arrived, but there were still a few tables available. Initially, we are told there are no seats available. We ask about an open table we see in the back but we are told that we cannot sit there. He walks back outside and points to a tiny table in the corner and proceeds to tell us we can sit there although it may be cramped. We asked to sit at the table right in front of us and finally he agrees to that. We are seated, given menus and are poured some water.

We quickly go over the menu and decide what we would like to eat. Now, don’t get me wrong, the restaurant was busy and as far as I can tell, only two people were serving, but no one was ever apologetic for it and the gentleman who was serving us and appeared to be the owner or manager was outright rude at times. Well, we waited about 15 minutes before he finally came over to take our order. We placed our order and shortly thereafter, we were given a baguette of French bread to eat. The bread appeared to be fresh and it tasted good, so I was beginning to forget all that happened before that.

We gobbled up the bread and waited a little bit before our appetizer came out. Instead of being brought the Escargots I ordered, we were brought a salad instead. We told him the mistake and shortly thereafter he brought us the correct appetizer. Not a good mistake to make, but we ignored it anyways. The Escargots were amazing. The flavor was out of the world good and it was so tender that it melted in my mouth. I loved it. We were also brought more of the delicious bread which I appreciated.

Of course, after finishing our appetizer, there was another wait before we were finally brought our entrees. I am all about going for the full French dining experience so I got the Mussels. They came with French fries that we freshly fried and tasted simply divine. The mussel itself were also really good. They came in a nicely flavored broth and there was a large amount that I filled up pretty quickly.

My friend got the flanked steak. It was perfectly cooked, a really good cut and the sauce was good too. He said that it was in the top steaks he's ever had. I tasted it too and although I am not a huge fan of steaks, I have tasted a lot and I have to agree, it was good. At that point in time, we both agreed the food was really good and we would come back but then dessert happened.

We waited and waited and waited until finally the table was cleared and we were asked again what we wanted for desert although we had already placed our order at the beginning. I told him again we wanted the macaroons and he repeated it back to confirm. Again we waited an uncomfortable amount of time before we were brought crème brulee. We politely tell him again that we had said macaroons and instead of apologizing and bringing the correct order instead, he proceeds to tell us that we should just eat this. We tell him no and that we had wanted the macaroons. He takes away the crème brulee and minutes later if not less, he brings us three small macaroons on a plate. Considering he brings us the macaroons that quickly as they were already prepared and sitting in the refrigerator to be served, I could not understand what the problem was. They were good, my favorite being the green, although besides the chocolate, I couldn’t tell u what flavors they were. Despite the fact that I enjoyed them, I already had a bad taste left in my mouth.

After desert, I couldn’t wait to get out of there, but instead of making a quick exit, we had to spend more time waiting again. We wait for 15 minutes before we had to ask someone else to bring the bill. They quickly do, we pay and hightail it out of there.
The food was good and I would love to come back because I enjoyed it so much but having the worst service and dining experience I have ever had in my life I am not sure I could ever subject myself to that again.

Saint Tropez Bistro
1010 East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 767-1073

Saint Tropez Bistro on Urbanspoon