Sunday, February 22, 2009

2/21/09-Cafe Ra, Wallingford, CT

After Tom got out of work, we went out to do errands and stopped here for a quick lunch. Really cute place with a nice comfortable feel. Tom has been here a bunch of times and got his usual--#16 Turkey Club Wrap…Turkey, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Mayo--he describes this wrap as being refreshing with crisp lettuce and bacon. I ordered #15 Philly Steak and Cheese with Lettuce, Tomato and Mayo--this came nice and warm with the cheese melted into the meat. Both came with good pickle spears and we also had chips.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2/20/09-T.G.I. Friday's, Hamden, CT

If you don't know, there is a coupon on TGI Friday's website for buy one entree, get one free--only good till March, so hurry! It is a good deal and the only reason we went here for dinner. Actually, an experience at Friday's a few years back is what got me on this path of trying non-chain restaurants and it was the best thing for me. Tom was one of the electricians on the job when Friday's was renovating and I couldn't believe it when he told me most of the food they serve is microwaved. Not long after, we were out to dinner for my sisters birthday and I had ordered a double-decker quesadilla but had asked that they go easy on the peppers--that's when the waitress told me that it came frozen and premade so they would be unable to do that--I was horrified. Has this what American has come down to? Frozen, prepared food? From then on, I decided that whenever possible, I was going to avoid the chain restaurants and give my hard-earned money to those who cook great meals using their ingenuity, skills, fresh ingredients, not already prepared dishes. This is not to say that I will never go to these places--on occasion I will go (and yes, the coupons do help) but there are so many other amazing places to try and different foods to experience.

I digress.

For our entrees, I was told that the ribs were not available because they had to cook (what?!) so I had the Jack Daniel's sirloin with a side of french fries--steak was glazed with the Jack sauce which is nice and tangy--no veggies on my plate though--seems as if the portions were scaled back a bit. Tom had the Bruchetta Chicken Pasta, which he enjoyed. For dessert, we ordered the Brownie Explosion, which was good, but not as good as i remember. The brownie was not warmed and there was a bit of a lack of presentation, but maybe I expect too much. In all, a good deal, but we wouldn't even had gone if it wasn't for the coupon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2/13/09-La Boca, Middletown, CT

Thankfully, with a little windfall and a coupon, we were able to head out to dinner after a long week. Fueling our love for Mexican food, we stopped off at La Boca and had a great time! Tom started with a Sam Adams and I had a margarita on the rocks with El Tesoro tequila--very good. Chips and salsa was brought to us and we'd say its one of the better salsas we've had--sweet in the beginning, a bit of heat at the end. For our entrees, Tom had the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo--shrimp sauteed with green onions, garlic, olive oil and mexican spices served over mexican rice--very tasty. I had the #1 La Boca Ultimate--beef chimichanga, cheese enchilada, potato empanada and a chicken tostada all served over mexican rice--definitely satisfied my cravings for mexican! We'll be back!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2/7/09-Vinny's Deli, Wallingford, CT

Tom and I stopped here for a quick lunch while doing errands today. They have approx. 50 sandwich creations and you can also make your own. They roast their own turkey and roast beef, both of which are very good. I had the #2 The Fonzi--Chicken breast topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard and Tom had the #12 Sophia Loren--Turkey with prosciutto, lettuce, tomato and mayo. The best part about this hometown deli is that everything they carry is Made in the USA--that's something to be proud of.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2/1/09-Neil's Donuts & Bakeshop, Wallingford, CT

We don't do this very often, but we gave into our sweet spot this morning--donuts from Neil's. This place is a little piece of heaven wrapped up in chocolate sprinkles. On any given day, he has about 30 different kinds, from old-fashioned cake donuts to cream and fruit filled (they actually make an incision and spread the filling inside) to my favorite--chocolate sprinkled. Now that I live near a place like this, I'll never get Dunkin Donuts again. They also have great breakfast sandwiches and bakery items (everything we've had is soooo good!).

No website--on Rt. 150 in the Yalesville section of Wallingford.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1/31/09-The Russell, Hartford, CT

Met here with a group of friends for my old roomate Lisette sisters birthday party. Our lovely hostess Lisette planned a menu for everyone to enjoy! We all started with The Russell salad--mixed baby greens, grilled pineapple, plum tomatoes, pink grapefruit and croutons tossed in a tropical fruit vinaigrette--the dressing was amazing! We then all dove into Coconut Shrimp served with an orange marmalade sauce and Jerk Chicken Wings served with a pineapple mango dip. For dessert, we were brough slices of chocolate cake and strawberry cheesecake. For drinks, I had the Caribbean Romance (jamaican rum, amaretto, pineapple/cranberry/orange juices) and I also had their Mango Mojito--both very good. What a wonderful party! Very cozy space with a dj spinning the best throwback R&B songs around. I would love to come back here another time! Thank you Lisette for a wonderful evening!