Friday, June 22, 2012

I can’t think of a better way to relive my childhood other than going to Hershey Park. The other day, that is exactly what I did.
My friends and I traveled to Hershey, P.A. to kick off the summer. On the way up, we stopped over in Lancaster. Little shops were lined up and down the streets, a good place for tourists to come and check out.
We noticed a place at the corner called the Tomato Pie Café. After mocking the name, we decided to give it a try. The café resembled a coffee shop and seemed welcoming to all. The man behind the counter greeted us, and told us to sit wherever we pleased.
After browsing the menu, I decided on ordering a chicken pesto Panini, and everybody else opted for the Turkey pesto.
Since the place was called the Tomato Pie Cafe, we felt we needed to experience the dish. When the waitress brought the pie out, we were surprised at what we saw. It was in the shape of a pie, dark red dollops of tomato filled the pie crust, which had a crunchy, consistency and was a faded yellow color. When we took a bite, bursts of hearty marinara filled our mouth, mixed with the creamy cheese flavor that was the crust. The flavor was unexpected, but delicious. We were excited with our order, and ready for our main course.
The Panini was served hot off the griddle. Chunks of white meat chicken were sandwiched between two thick slices of crunchy bread. The fresh and garlicky pesto, glued the sandwich together and paired nicely with the mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers. The sweetness from the peppers gave the sandwich an extra kick.
We did not regret our decision to stop off at the Tomato Pie Café. The food was delicious, affordable, and a new experience for all.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The other night a we got a group together to celebrate our friend’s birthday. We entered Kodiaks Restaurant and Bar of Farmingdale with a reservation on hand. At 7:30 on the dot, the hostess showed us to our table.
The waiter brought over the drink menu and we started to browse. Whenever I go out to dinner, I have a difficult time deciding which drink to order. The choices seem endless, and I start to feel overwhelmed.
Fruity cocktails are my drink of choice, and if they are being offered, I jump at the chance. After spotting a kiwi mojito on the menu, I didn’t need to look any further. Unfortunately, they didn‘t have kiwi on hand, so I settled for strawberry. There is something magical about the combination of fruit and mint. The refreshing mint leaves incorporated with the sweetness from the fruit complement each other, giving it that vibrant taste.
Their seafood options were limited, but once I saw they had salmon, my mind was set. The waiter mentioned it came with mash and smash (mashed potatoes and spinach). Instead, I opted for an unhealthier choice, creamed spinach. I saw onion straws were listed as one of the potato options. I instantly knew it wasn’t going to be a mashed potato kind of night.
After quickly receiving our food, I delved right in The crunchy bites of the garlic breadcrumb topping meshed well with the delicate salmon. It was a perfect match, and between the herbs and the garlic, the salmon steeped with flavor. The creamed spinach was served in a soup bowl, and ironically enough, it had a soupy consistency. Generally when I am eating creamed spinach, I enjoy a thicker texture.
I know they are not the classiest, but the onion straws hit the spot. They mirrored the shape of angel hair pasta, and could easily be picked up with a fork. Unfortunately, the strings were on the cold side, but the onions bursted with flavor.
After finishing my plate, I couldn‘t help myself, promptly ordering fried Oreos. I haven‘t had this delicious treat in years, and when they were set on the table, I was not disappointed.
Six fried Oreos were spread out on a plate, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and chocolate syrup drizzled on the bottom. I felt as if I was eating a freshly baked donut, with the Oreo as the filling.
I was pleased with the meal I received at Kodiaks. They did a great job presenting their food, and definitely won over my heart. I cannot wait to return, and see what else they have to offer.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The saying you haven’t experienced it all often applies. Friday night, was one of those times. After going out to dinner, I witnessed something new, strange, and a bit peculiar.

Chinese food is a staple in my house. We eat it almost every Sunday, finishing the leftovers throughout the course of the week. My friend goes to school upstate and the Chinese food up there just doesn‘t cut it for her. When she came down this past week, she told us that she was having Chinese for dinner at least once during her visit. When Friday rolled around, we found ourselves eating dinner at Hunan Cottage.

After we entered the restaurant, we were directed towards a table in the corner. The waiter brought over the menus, placed a bowl of crispy Chinese noodles on the table and walked away. After we placed our order, he looks down at my friend and says, “you must be very hungry.” My friend did order a good amount of food, but I didn’t see a reason for the remark.

He brought over my friends BBQ spareribs and she began to eat. Every time he came back, he would make comments, which we didn’t find humorous. Although he wasn’t harassing us, I don’t think it is polite to poke fun at your customers.

Anyway, onto the food. My friend handed over one of her spareribs to me and without hesitation, I took a bite. The tender ribs melted in my mouth, as I tried to savor the delicious flavor of the pork. I continued to eat the crispy noodles on the table, finishing off the first bowl and asking for a second. The waiter asked if I would like a third, after giving us the second bowl, but didn’t accept.

The noodles are basically chips; deep fried, crunchy, and oily all the way through, just as they should be. There was also a small bowl of cabbage on the table, which I guess is their version of coleslaw. The cabbage held a pickled flavor, as well as a sweetness to is. It went well with the acidity of the vegetable.

For my main course, I ordered chicken chow mein. I wasn’t exactly sure what that consisted of. I knew it had chicken (obviously) and some medley of vegetables. The meal also came with fried rice, and your choice of either an egg roll or soup. I decided on hot n sour soup, since I was told it was a popular choice.

The thick soup had a generous amount of flavor. Cooked vegetables we included in the soup, ranging from a few shredded carrots to mushrooms. It was slightly spicy, but leaned more towards the mild side.

I was excited to receive my main course, although surprised to see what the dish looked like. It resembled lobster sauce, but instead of shrimp, allotments of chicken were folded in. The sauce was a bit gelly, but it was a great pair with the vegetables.

The rice was also a better version of what my family usually eats when we take out from Golden China. The rice was a dark brown color, comprising of peas, egg, onion, and of course fatty pieces of pork. There was a great soy sauce flavor, not minding the saltiness. As somebody once told me, “there is nothing better than salt. I like salt on top of salt.”

As we ended our meal, the waiter handed us the check, which happened to read in Chinese. Unfortunately, the Chinese we learned back in elementary school didn’t carry us through paying the bill. We had to call a waitress over, and ask her which was what.

Now this is the part I found curious. After handing over the money, she proceeded to count it right in front of us. She was telling us we didn’t give enough tip, individually telling us how much we should give. I have never seen a waitress/waiter haggle for a tip. We weren’t too pleased with the service after some of the comments so we didn’t give as much money as we should. However, I didn’t find it right for the waitress to tell us how much more money we should take from our pocket, and put into his.

Monday, June 11, 2012

    There is nothing like spending the day in the city, especially when you don’t  have anything planned out. My mom and I ventured into the Big Apple yesterday and we were aimlessly walking around. When we noticed there was a street fair, we hopped off the bus and started walking. Vendors lined the streets, selling various items. Of course, I had my eye set on the food.
    I didn’t want to eat too much, since I was having dinner in a couple hours I did notice though they were selling falafel. When I mentioned to the lady I didn’t want too much to eat, she pointed to the kabobs. Now I have seen kabobs of course, but never falafel. I was excited to try them and she started stringing them on the skewer. It was like an art project. A falafel ball, peperoncini, another falafel ball, pickle, falafel ball, tomato, and for the grand finale, another falafel ball.
    When I took my first bite, there was an abundance of flavor. Although on the cold side, the falafel had a good amount of spices, with a crunchy exterior and an smooth inside. Dipping it in the creamy Tzatziki sauce was a plus. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a snack in the greatest city in the world. (well I think it is at least)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Since Jimmy Dean sausage was a no-go, I decided to fight my stubbornness and purchase a different kind of sausage. In reality, it all tastes the same.
    Tonight I started cooking up the sausage I bought, and after it was finished, I drained it and threw it in a bowl. Then I took a mixture of monterey jack, and cheddar and mixed it in with the meat. I took a half cup of ranch dressing and mixed all the ingredients together. After heating up wonton rappers for five minutes, I filled them with the mixture.
    It took around eight minutes, but it ended up being perfect. The mixture turned out to be creamy, cheesy, and delicious! And you can’t go wrong with sausage. It isn’t the healthiest of dishes, so I wouldn’t count on making them weekly. Although I may crave it, I will have to fight the urge and settle for something a little more healthy. Like, celery sticks.

Monday, June 4, 2012

    Okay okay, I’ll admit it. When it comes to food, I am a little spoiled. But hey, it could be worse.
    There is a saying, the world is your oyster. For me however, the supermarket is my world. Every time I walk in, it’s a new experience. I browse up and down through the aisles, and see what there is to buy.
    I always start off looking for the same thing, seltzer. That is my drink of choice, and I must say, some grocery stores are much more stocked than others. I was disappointed today when I walked into King Kullen. The seltzer aisle didn’t have much to offer. They had the basic cherry, lemon, lime, but that was pretty much the extent of it.
    Another issue I have been having, is its been difficult for me to find Jimmy Dean sausage. I looked in four grocery stores now, and I can’t seem to find it. I settled for another brand, which I can’t recall the name. I don’t know if it will do Jimmy Dean justice, but we shall see.
    The cart filled up pretty quickly tonight, but it was missing some. Doritos. Our kitchen has been lacking snacks, and I could go for a good munch. I picked up a bag of baked nacho Doritos, and called it a night.