Monday, March 28, 2011

Tallahassee: Brooklyn Pizza

Brooklyn Pizza is where Heather and I got dinner the first night that I was in town. It's down on Pensacola Street, and I can't speak much to the ambiance, as we got carry-out.We got calzones, which were pretty good. Maybe they were slightly pricey, but we each got two meals out of one, so maybe not. The flavor was good, and I'd get them again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

RedEye Coffee

While I was in Tallahassee, I checked out a few places that were new to me. The first was RedEye Coffee, which I stopped at on both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. It's on Thomasville, but I really suggest coming from Monroe, cutting over on Fifth, then turning right. The parking lot is a bit of a ways down, and it's pretty crowded. Just a head's up. The hot chocolate was pretty good, and so was the mocha frappe. The prices were pretty reasonable, and I tried both the indoor and outdoor tables.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crazy Buffet

We've passed Crazy Buffet many times, as it's on a major road that we take often. We've also talked about going multiple times, but it just hadn't happened. So, I was really in the mood for Chinese, and Jonathan was just hungry, so we set out to eat there on a Saturday night.

It's pretty poorly organized when you walk in... we thought we were in a line to put out name on the list. Five minutes later, we realized that wasn't the case. We probably only waited about 20 minutes total, but that's a long time for a buffet, LoL! The entire experience was mediocre, really.

The water was good, but refills consisted of a server taking away our cups and we didn't see them again for five minutes... with the salty nature of many Chinese dishes, this was a problem. There was fresh sushi and sashimi at one of the buffet lines, which looked great. The tuna and salmon were pretty good. The problem was that the plates were very hot, so by the time you were back to your seat, your raw fish was starting to get warm...not nearly as appetizing. Still, we each had a few pieces (plus whitefish, a spicy roll, and a few other non-descript items).

There was a heavy seafood emphasis, with crab legs, oysters, and clams all being out, plus salt-and-pepper shrimp, crawdads, and other crab items. The crawdads were okay, but I passed on the crab, clams, and oysters. There were frog legs, which I found to be decent (my first time having them, so I don't have any other background on them). The roasted duck was hit-or-miss: I had it on my first plate, and it was extraordinarily greasy; Jonathan tried it later and found it to be dry. The pork shu mai was pretty good, though the potstickers were kinda mushy. The spring rolls were average, the sweet-and-sour chicken was dry, and the vegetable-fried noodles were bland. Jonathan tried the prime rib, which he found to be okay. We both tried the pepper steak, which I found to be pretty good, but Jonathan found it to be mushy and fatty. The vegetables I had (celery, onion, peppers) were pretty good. As always, you can't completely remember each item you tried at a buffet, but I think that this is probably enough to note that it was an overall average place.

The Chinese donut was excellent (if I still had room, I would've had another), the soft-serve was fine (though they were often out of dishes), and the cantaloupe was fairly fresh. The jello, however, was very tough. Overall, the place was a little overpriced for us (though if you like all-you-can-eat crab legs, salt-and-pepper shrimp, and oysters, you probably would have found $14.99/person to be a steal). We probably made up for the cost by having the sushi, though. We also had a 10% off coupon that we found in a paper - I'd recommend doing that. Oh, and as a final note, you might want to avoid Saturdays simply because of the number of birthdays being celebrated - we heard the birthday song over the loudspeaker 4-5 times while we were there... and it's a very long version. Of course, maybe it was just a fluke on the night we went..

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gobi Mongolian BBQ

Gobi is pretty close to Jonathan's work, so he's been there multiple times. For the first time, I went with him and our friend, Andy, on a Friday for lunch. The line was out the door when we arrived, and I was pretty concerned. The guys acted like it was no big deal, and I realized pretty quickly that they were right.

From the entrance, you go straight into the line, and after you've received your food, you are given a table - and that part goes pretty smoothly. For $8, you can go through the line multiple times, and you pick exactly what you want. Chicken, pork, or beef is chosen first (or a combination if you prefer). Then veggies - tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, water chestnuts, pineapple, celery (which I thought was green pepper at first because of the way that it was sliced), etc. Then, you can add noodles if you want. Last, sauces... there were quite a few to pick from, and they're much more potent that the Mongolian place in downtown Mountain View. After your plate has been cooked, there are a lot of options as far as what you can top it off with - garlic powder, lemon pepper, cayenne seasoning, sesame seeds, etc. There are also spring rolls to munch on if you like.

Everything was really good, though the celery kinda dampened my first bowl a bit, since I was expecting peppers. Jonathan liked both of his bowls, too, but of course he was an expert at the combinations at this place. Andy liked his first bowl better than his second, but on his second he was going for a sweet sauce instead of spicy, and that's hard to do since they don't clean the hot stone between cooking meals and sometimes the liquids from another person's spill into yours (we actually think some of Jonathan's spiciness got into Andy's in this case, LoL). I'm not sure that I like it more than the one in Mountain View, but it was a nice change. It was also nice for me because I love stir-fry and don't get it all that often.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Red's Java House

We were helping a friend move up to San Francisco. After we got everything upstairs, he took us to eat at a burger place close to his new apartment.

Red's Java House isn't a coffeehouse, as one might guess. Instead, it's off Pier 30 and is kind of a hole-in-the-wall place, even though it is stand-alone. They were pretty quick, but I imagine that's because the menu is pretty simple. Jim, both of his new roommates, and I all had cheeseburgers. The patty was nothing special (similar to Burger King, really), but it was on a slab of sourdough bread, which was incredibly fresh and delicious. There was plenty of mustard, some onions and pickles, and nothing else. They actually pride themselves on the fact that they don't carry lettuce or tomatoes, which I thought was interesting. Jonathan went with the fish & chips. The battered outside was good, but left the inside a bit mushy. The portion was also HUGE, and Jonathan finished just half of the fish. The fries were thin, oily, and squishy... which is a no-go for me. Jim got the onion rings, which were heavy on the breading, but still pretty decent. It's a place that is frequented by his roommates, but I wasn't really taken with it. They have a daily special that varies from corned beef hash to tuna fish, but none of them really sounded fantastic to me. The sodas were also a bit overpriced, but I needed the sugar after moving so much stuff, LoL.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Even More Pho...

We wanted pho again, so we went to Pho Quyen, which Jonathan had been to before, but I never had. He said that the place was hit-or-miss, and that's kinda how I felt about it. As I've mentioned before, I get very upset when I ask for lime and I receive lemon. I understand that the translation on the other end is the same, but if I specify "green lime" (as I often do), I'd like to know up-front if that's not what you have... because I will order differently if I can't get lime with my pho. Well, it's kinda tacky to admit, but I've taken to bringing my own lime when we go for pho, in case they don't have it. And, that was the case this time. Lemon was served on the side, and I had pre-cut limes in a tupperware under the table, LoL. There were too many noodles in the bowl for my liking, which made the broth pretty starchy. Also, the chicken was less than ideal... many dark spots in the meat. They did, however, have some very good pork summer rolls. Jonathan also thought that there were too many noodles in the bowl this time, but he also said that he liked it, so it wasn't a total loss.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Pho...

We tried a place close to our house - the California Noodle House, which also seems to go by (or used to go by) Pho Xe Lua. The summer rolls were average, and the pho was served with lemon. Jonathan and I agreed that there was not nearly enough noodle in the bowl to balance out the broth and meat. I had a difficult time seasoning the broth, and gave lemon a try in my pho for the first time. It was pretty bad. But, at least now I know that it's not worth it, LoL. Jim got a different dish and thought it was okay, but when we go for Vietnamese, we generally want pho, so that won't really work for us.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We went out with some people from Jonathan's work to a Mexican place nearby.

Cabritos was pretty empty, even for a Monday. We were the only people in there when we arrived (around 7:30), and only two or three other tables ever arrived. Toward the end of the night, there was a sound-check of sorts, and the schedule showed that they have music there multiple times a week, so I guess it just must hvae been a particularly slow evening.

Half of the table got chimichangas, the other half got burritos, and I think there were 1 or 2 people who chose something different. The complimentary chips and salsa were decent - the chips were good, but the salsa was spicy and watery. We also all had a little of the restaurant's version of queso fundido, which is a melted cheese with sausage. It was good, and I think everyone would agree. The chimichanga was pretty good, and the guacamole was excellent. The issue I had was the price of the chimichanga for the portion... I was one of the first people finished with their meal, and I've met many a chimichanga that I couldn't dream of finishing. We would consider going back for the queso and for the guac, but I think we'd both try other items (we both went with the chimichangas).