Friday, November 30, 2012

Carvel Ice Cream - North Miami Beach, FL (Nationwide Locations)

These days, so many ice cream shops and frozen yogurt chains are popping up all over the place, but nothing can compare to Carvel Ice Cream. No matter how many new places come about they will always remain my number one. Maybe its not as healthy as frozen yogurt and as low fat, but who cares it tastes way better and I love it! I can't go wrong with my vanilla soft serve with colored sprinkles.

In South Florida, the locations are pretty spread out but my favorite location has to be the one in North Miami Beach! It is by far one of the cleanest, most well kept locations! But no matter what location you go to, unlike the chains that charge you by the ounce, at Carvel, they have flat rate prices where they give you whole lot at a great price. 

In addition to their famous soft serve and regular ice cream flavors, they have the original ice cream cake (which you can also find in most grocery stores), sundaes, shakes, take home treats like ice cream sandwiches and of course, lots and lots of toppings!

Check out their website below to find the location nearest you!

Carvel Ice Cream
725 Northeast 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162
(305) 651-9193

Carvel Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sushi House - Aventura/North Miami Beach, FL

The thing I like most about Sushi House is the ambiance. The restaurant is located in a strip mall and although they have outdoor seating, which may be nice on a cool night, there isn't much of a view besides cars. The beauty of the restaurant is inside. Some may come in and just see white, but for me I enter into a realm of sleek, sexy and mellow. The blue lighting, crystal chandeliers, and drapes of sheer fabric set the mood. In addition to the several tables throughout the restaurant, there are also plush booths that offer a bit of privacy which makes this a great place to have an intimate dinner. The vibe is also reflected in the service. Everyone remains professional but exude chic and sophistication.

The sushi here isn't extra-ordinary, but is still very good. The Cubbie Comfort Roll is a good option, made of spicy tuna, soft shell crab, cilantro, and jalapeƱo pepper topped with shrimp & eel tempura, spicy mayonnaise, teriyaki and sweet wasabi sauce. It is good but the Pink Dragon comprised of shrimp tempura topped with a mixture of baked kani kama, masago, scallions and finished with a spicy sweet sauce is even better. There are also other good sushi options on the menu.

On my last visit, I decide to try the Crispy Honey Shrimp. I didn't like it. I enjoyed the tropical fruit chutney, but the sauce was way too sweet and the shrimp batter was more crunch than crisp.

The Pad Thai which I added Chicken to was pretty average but was by no means bad. I asked for it to be really spicy and they completed my request so I was happy for that.

I am usually all about the food so that is usually the main reason for me loving a particular restaurant, but the vibe here is so me that even though the food does not equal five stars, I just love it anyways!

Sushi House
15911 Biscayne Boulevard  Aventura, FL 33160 
(305) 947-6002

Sushi House - Asian Fusion on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wings & More Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Truthfully, Wings and More isn't located in the best of areas, the decor is a bit overwhelming and the staff is a little bit out there although very friendly but if you want wings, good wings at a great price, definitely consider Wings and More. The food overall is pretty good and with a few TVs, makes it a nice spot to eat and watch a game.

The Mozzarella Sticks are pretty basic but are definitely fresh and hot from the oven.

The Hot Wings are not super hot but have a bit of heat to them and of course they come with celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing.

The Spicy Fries I ordered actually looked like curly fries so I am not sure if my order was wrong but the weren't in any sense spicy. I didn't care though, they were very fresh and extremely delicious.

Good food is all I ask for!

Wings & More Restaurant
2525 Davie Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
(954) 792-1630

Wings & More on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 26, 2012

Travel to the The DRB - Democratic Republic Of Beer in Downtown Miami, FL

Have you ever been to the tiny nation located on the outskirt of Downtown Miami called The Democratic Republic Of Beer? Well, I have and I am here to tell you, it's worth the trip. Once I set foot in The DRB I travelled from Vietnam to Kenya to Australia all in one day, and I didn't even have to use my passport. So, if you are a booze hound or would love the ability to choose from an obscene amount of beers (500 from over 60 nations to be exact), you definitely need to hit up The DRB. And if you start to get a little too tipsy and need some food to balance all the alcohol, their food menu is just as good, featuring an array of dishes representing some of the same nations.

Kenya/Tusker Lager (4.2%)
Philippines/San Miguel Lager (5%)
Australia/Cooper's Stout (6.3%)
India/Kingfisher Lager (4.8%)
Sri Lanka/Lion Stout (8%)
Vietnam/33 Export (4.8%)

It may be a small bar with limited seating, but that is made up for by the friendly staff, beer options and the happy feeling you get from drinking too many!

The DRB - Democratic Republic Of Beer
255 NE 14th St MiamiFL 33132

501 NE 1st Ave Miami, FL 33132

Democratic Republic of Beer on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outback Steakhouse - Davie, FL (Locations Nationwide)

Whenever I go to a restaurant and look at the menu I am not automatically drawn to the steak. My taste for steak has been a recent revelation and I only like it in moderation or masked in dishes like tacos. So, with all that said, I have never been to Outback Steakhouse.

Being my first experience, I was surprised to learn that they have just recently started opening for lunch on the weekends, which I thought was weird for a chain restaurant. So since I went for lunch and this is a new offering, it wasn't very packed. Our server was pretty standard, but he did his best to be tentative. The manager came out to greet us, so I appreciate the fact that they were trying to provide quality service. The decor didn't reflect that though, the restaurant had more of a diner feel.

They start you off with wheat bread. It's pretty similar to the one served at Cheesecake Factory. Although it was pretty good, Cheesecake Factory is a lot better to me. But I liked that it was served on a board better than the typical bread basket.

As I said, I'm not into steaks so I went with the Bacon Cheese Burger. I didn't like it. It was overcooked and the bun was a little dry. The bacon was nice and crispy; I could eat that alone all day. The fries were alright.

My boyfriend got the Outback Special (6 oz) Steak with a loaded baked potato. He liked his food especially for the price and thought the steak was really good.

It was overall a pretty good first experience but since I'm not a steak person, without someone else wanting to go, I probably won't, but I'm assuming if want pretty good steak at a great price, this is a good place to come.

Outback Steakhouse
14830 Griffin Road Davie, FL 33331
(954) 430-2223

Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Serves: Two 9-inch pizza pies

For the Dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 envelope or packet of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the Toppings:
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • (optional toppings)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Make the Dough: Activate the yeast by mixing it into the warm water. Wait for it to begin foaming (about five minutes) and then add in the melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar. Add the yeast mixture and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. You can also do this by hand.
2. Coat a large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Using greased spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat the dough in oil; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
3. Make the Sauce: While dough rises, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
4. Laminate the Dough: Turn the dough out onto dry work surface and roll into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Using a spatula, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten the cylinder into an 18x4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half, fold into thirds like a business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Bake the Pizzas: Coat two 9-inch round pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch circle. Transfer dough to the pan by rolling the dough loosely around a rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
6. For each pizza, add 1/2 pound of the mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. If you're using any meat or veggie toppings, add them now, on top of the cheese. Spread 1¼ cups tomato sauce over the cheese (or toppings) and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, for about 25 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Pinche Taqueria - Wilton Manors, FL

As a spawn of the New York restaurant chain, a location in the Wilton Manors neighborhood and it being a Mexican joint, I was expecting good food and fun times. However, that was not the case. When we arrived, the place was relatively empty (it was a Wednesday at 6pm) and by the end of the meal, no one else had arrived. Who cares right? I usually don't, but the service had to go and suck too. I swear the waiter never smiled and not only did he seem to not like his job, he seemed depressed about it. Also, when a customer is asking a question about menu selections, it probably isn’t a good idea to just look at them like they are crazy or speaking another language. I can usually overlook bad service because I am all about the food, but the food didn't fare well either. At least we were given free chips and salsa, because what we actually paid for wasn't that great.

As an appetizer, we ordered the Shrimp Quesadillas. We had actually wanted something else, but were told it wasn't ready yet so that is why we ended up with the Shrimp Quesadilla. It sure looked like a quesadilla but tasted like a huge disappointment. I have had better quesadillas at Taco Bell than these. Hated it!!!

My friend ordered the Steak Burrito as her entree. Even from just looking at it, it didn't look that great. It didn't taste much better.

My order, the Arrachera Steak was the savior of the day. The meat was tender and had good flavor. It was really, really good and surprisingly so since everything else we ate was subpar. Based on the name, I thought it was going to be just steak but it was more like a fajita meal. The steak was great however, I didn't really like the refried beans (they were bland) and the rice was overcooked and crunchy. Some people intentionally make rice like that and love but I don't and I am not sure how intentional it was.

You can’t go Mexican without having some drinks, so in addition to our food, we ordered a Margarita and a Long Island. The drinks were decent, not great but definitely not bad. Good for the price point.

I actually liked the decor and feel of the place. It had the typical cantina feel but the design was a bit more subtle. I really liked the open air design and bar feel but bad service and mediocre food just aren’t made up for by a cool looking restaurant.

Pinche Taqueria
2045 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors, FL 33305
(954) 990-6282

Pinche Taqueria on Urbanspoon