Monday, September 27, 2010

Olympic Taverna

It happened to work out so that Jonathan and I could have dinner with my brother and his girlfriend in Jensen Beach. Stacie had told us about a fabulous Greek place, and we were looking forward to trying it. It's called Olympic Taverna, and it's on US1 south of Port St. Lucie Blvd, in front of BJ's Warehouse. It has taken over an old Wendy's.

Between the four of us we chose two appetizers: the saganaki and the hummus. Both were good. The hummus was served with warm pita pieces (tho we needed twice as much as was given). It was very garlicky, but delicious. My brother had apparently never had hummus before, and he liked it. The saganaki was average, but it always is exciting to watch them light the kasseri cheese on fire in front of you. Again, we could have used more pitas, but we made it work (fried cheese is good by itself, LoL).

Everyone but me had a Greek salad to start. Lots of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, and a homemade creamy (pink) dressing. Overall, it was well-liked, but nothing terribly unique. The same sauce came with my sandwich (the Taverna Special), and I'm glad I got it on the side, as I didn't like it. It was a crunchy tilapia sandwich, with swiss and romaine. It should have been on grilled rye, but I asked for grilled wheat, which was good. It was served with some pretty plain fries, but no real complaints. Jonathan and Stacie ordered gyros, while Jon ordered the gyro platter with lemon potatoes. Everybody devoured the food, and almost all of us needed to-go boxes. Jon's potatoes were good... if I needed to choose a side, I'd get those. I might even try to sub them instead of fries, too. I'd choose something else next time, but primarily because I had a tough time choosing, not because the tilapia was anything short of delicious.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Genghis Grill

Jonathan and I were in Tallahassee for the BYU football game (which we won! yay!), and had dinner with Heather afterward. She suggested a newer place (it's been in Tallahassee for about six months) called Genghis Grill. We didn't really know much about the place, but it turned out to be very interesting!

It's a Mongolian Grill, which we've been to a few times in the past (notably in Mountain View). Only this one is GIANT. We were seated and ordered drinks, and the next thing you know we were given little silver bowls and told to follow our server. She led us to a buffet line of sorts, and explained the process. First, you go through and put your "proteins" in your bowl. Then, the spices. Then, the vegetables. Finally, the sauces. After that, you take your overflowing bowl to the grill where you tell them what starch you want, and they give you a number. You go sit down, put your number in the holder, and wait for someone to bring out your (now red and angled) bowl of cooked food.

But the complication increases. There were probably 10 or 12 proteins, including marinated fish, scallops, krab, shrimp, beef, sliced beef, chicken, turkey, pepperoni, sausage, and ham. There was also probably a tofu option, but I didn't notice it. There were 8 or 10 spices (very random selection, some with strange names and no descriptions). I remember lemon pepper, crushes red pepper, cajun, dragon, and ginger. Next, the humongous selection of veggies. There was a peppers-and-onions mix, baby corn, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, cilantro, green beans, bean sprouts, green onions, pico de gallo, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, and another 10 or so. This is also where you found raw eggs (in the shell). The ten or so sauces were even more varied than the spices: 3G, dragon, island teriyaki, chili garlic, garlic water, honey soy, mongo bbq, and tomato sauce are the ones I remember. At least they offered little tasting spoons so you could try to figure out what you want (there's no spiciness scale or anything). There were five or six starch options, including white or fried rice, spiral pasta, and udon noodles.

Now, there are two identical lines to help speed the process. But since we had no idea what was further down the line when we began, it was difficult to make decisions. Heather and I handled this by going through the proteins, spices, and veggies... then going back to get more protein before getting the sauces and starch. Jonathan went the more logical route: he looked through the "idea cards" and picked out one he liked. Then all he had to do was go through the line and put in the stuff from the card. He went with a jambalya-type bowl, but got fried rice instead of white. Heather and I kinda just took what looked good... so for me this meant a combination of turkey, chicken, shrimp, and scallops... cilantro, peppers, onions, tomatoes, green onions, and probably some other things I can't remember. I went with the udon noodles.

Overall, the bowls turned out okay. Nobody was in love, but nobody disliked what they got. I seemed to get more noodles than Jonathan or Heather got rice, but it's hard to judge. Jonathan went with the 3G and the dragon sauces, and that turned out to be a pretty good combination. I went with the island teriyaki and the chili garlic, but the taste came through only slightly in the end. I finished my bowl, but both Jonathan and Heather had enough to take home. I'd say it's worth trying if you're already in Tallahassee. It's down on Appalachee Parkway, where Bennigan's used to be (if you're old enough to remember that, hehe). Dinner is $10 (or $14 if you want unlimited trips to the grill).

Also, apparently Genghis Grill is a chain. But they weren't in the NE, they're not in California, and the only other one in Florida is in Gainesville. So I'm not sure that you'll come across one, LoL.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Many of the non-chain restaurants in Fort Pierce that I genuinely liked are no longer there. Some left after the 2004 hurricanes destroyed them. Others closed down at some point due to the economy. There are still some around (like the Tiki), but for the most part, the selection isn't wonderful. However, the other night we struck gold.

Lorenzo's is in downtown Fort Pierce and is an Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Jonathan's parents had been there before and had mentioned that their sauce is a little different and that the portions are huge. The menu includes pizza, hero sandwiches, and a wide variety of pasta dishes (including a large veal section). We all ordered pastas. Each comes with two garlic rolls, so they brought out a basket of eight, all covered in bits of freshly roasted garlic and a layer of parmesan cheese. They were quite hot, but the first one I had was wonderful. Clearly homemade, the taste was just delicious. The second one, however, wasn't as great. Because it was underneath the top layer of rolls, it was oilier and there was less cheese. I actually had to keep my napkin under my chin as the oil poured out when I took a bite. (This is easily remedied tho - take care not to have more than 2 or 3 people at the table order the pasta, so the rolls aren't stacked. or, ask for separate baskets maybe.)

I ordered the chicken parmigiana, which was hand-breaded and baked. I received two large (there may have even been a third - I didn't separate them as I dug in) slabs of chicken, with a fantastic sauce and fresh cheese over top. My pasta was served on the side, which was different because I am accustomed to having it served underneath the chicken. The small bowl of linguine with sauce and cheese was good, too. I easily brought more than half of the dish home, and I almost couldn't wait to reheat it and have more!
Everybody else enjoyed their dishes as well - the spaghetti and meatballs (great meatballs), the peppers & onions pasta (in a brownish sauce, very good), and the baked penne (the perfect amount of cheese). I couldn't stop talking about how much I enjoyed the food there! It is a little pricey for Italian in that area (entrees started at $10 as opposed to $7 or $8 at other places), and there's a credit card minimum of $8 (good to remember if you just want to stop by for a slice of pizza), but still an excellent choice.
the penne (you can see part of my side of pasta in the lower left corner as well)

the spaghetti & meatballs

Friday, September 10, 2010

Joe's Crab Shack

As we've been nearing the end of our time in Pennsylvania, we've been trying to get together with a lot of friends "one last time." To see Kasey & Michele (who we last saw in March when we had Mexican in Lambertville), we met up at Joe's Crab Shack, which is out near Princeton.

We started with the calamari, which had its good and bad points. The tentacles were a little stringy, but the breading was excellent. Overall it had good flavor, but the dipping sauce was nothing to brag about. I had the Pasta-laya, which was TONS of shrimp, some sausage, peppers, and onions on penne. The penne was a tad undercooked, and the sauce was really greasy, but the flavor was wonderful and I thought that the accompanying bread was good. Kasey, not being a big seafood person, went with a burger and fries, which he finished before anyone else was even half-way, so I guess it was delicious, LoL.

Michele and Jonathan both ordered the exact same thing: Big Daddy Feast: pick your flavor and get a bucket full of stuff flavored with it. It had Dungeness crab, king crab, snow crab, an ear of corn, a couple of red potatoes, and it came with a cup of liquid butter. They also had a side of Old Bay brought out, since that was the flavor that they had both chosen and felt it could have used a little more. They both thought it was good. Personally, the amount of time and effort involved would drive me crazy, but since crab is one food I don't care for, I may be biased, LoL.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


We were spending our final weekend in Pennsylvania in Gettysburg. Saturday was the first Seminole football game of the season, so it was important that we had lunch someplace that was showing the game. I called a couple of places, and got turned down (the game was being carried on ESPNU, which is not a standard channel). We went to TGIFriday's and, while they were glad to try to accommodate, they eventually realized that they didn't carry the channel. At the waitress's suggestion, I phoned The Pike, who acknowledged that not only did they have the channel, but it the game was already being shown on it.

We hopped back in the car and dashed across town to find the restaurant/lounge rather busy for noon on a Saturday. The lounge had the game on, which meant there was a bit of smoke in the air. But, it worked. We had a great view of the television, and watched until almost the end of the third quarter, when we needed to be on our way to see the sights. I had the chicken quesadillas. They were a bit plain, and the guacamole isn't worth the extra 50 cents (I inquired and was even told it was fresh), but I ate a little more than 3/4 while we sat there. Jonathan went with chicken fingers and cheese fries - an excellent choice. It came with honey mustard and barbecue, both of which were scrumptious. He also asked for ranch. The smokers also left after a while, so the experience improved as a whole.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shore Diner

We had gone to setup our campsite and relax a bit, and we planned to eat on our way back to Atlantic City. We found the Shore Diner and the place was packed! Luckily we got seats at the bar, otherwise we would have had quite the wait.

I ordered a turkey BLT wrap with mashed potatoes while Jonathan went with a steak. The steak came with a cup of chicken orzo soup, two rolls (one airy and one with brown sugar), a baked potato, and mixed vegetables. Needless to say, he had a ton of food. The size of my wrap was also enormous - I took home half in a to-go box! The wrap was real turkey and thick cheese, but the honey mustard dressing was a bit thin. The mashed potatoes were pretty average. Jonathan found his soup and the rolls average, but really liked the potato. The steak was a little undercooked (more medium-rare than medium), but he said he liked it. He only had a few bites of the vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), but with everything else in front of him, that was probably a good call.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Atlantic City: Lo Presti's

If you've been a reader for a while, you may remember that Jonathan and I spent a night in Atlantic City back in December. We kinda wanted to get back there and see some of the non-casino sites... mainly the Boardwalk. After scoping out several lunch places we ended up eating at LoPresti's. I got the fried shrimp and fries while Jonathan got the sausage-peppers-onions. Everything was a bit overpriced, but the food was good. I could have used tartar sauce instead of cocktail sauce, but no biggie. The most important part was that we snagged a table! LoL.