Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Rum Shack, Lake Worth, FL

This is our first submitted review, hope you enjoy.

I Had the opportunity to spend the evening with my parents and several of their friends at the Rum Shack on Lake Ave in Lake Worth . It was my parents 47Th anniversary. Although the Rum Shack is not a higher end place one would expect to go to for an Anniversary dinner, mom and Dad wanted a casual and relaxed place for the evening.

I really liked the decor and atmosphere. It was very casual and laid back and for a place with a bar and T.V.'s it wasn't too loud.

Our server was fairly attentive and checked on us 2-3 times to see if everything was alright. The food was great, but what she did not ask was if we needed refills. Although, when she asked if everything was ok, we should have used that opportunity to ask for more beverages.

My mom and I had the Black Angus NY strip with Scampi butter, they came with fresh steamed vegetables (broccoli) and your choice of side I took the sweet potato fries which were delish and mom took the baked sweet potato which she enjoyed. We both got our steaks medium and they were grilled to perfection and the garlic in the scampi butter really made the flavor pop. The steamed veggies were just that steamed with no seasoning. I finished my steak and potatoes Mom left about half her steak because she was full.

Dad and his friend ordered the fried coconut shrimp with potato wedges. He really enjoyed it and was not able to finish all of his dinner due to the generous portion size. His friend barely finished his dinner too. They both loved their dinners.

Moms friend ordered the salad with shrimp and she was full about half way through and she said the salad was very good and the shrimp were good size and cooked just right.

I would say that overall, the portion sizes and prices are reasonable. If we would have had ordered appetizers I never would have finished my dinner. There was no room for dessert! A nice bonus of being on Lake avenue is that it was a fairly cool evening and with benches and wide sidewalks it was a nice night for a stroll. Quite a few restaurants have sidewalk seating including the rum Shack and about half the shops were still open after 5pm, which led to a pleasant atmosphere.

Overall I would rate it B with service B and food A and prices B+

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coral Reef, Epcot, Orlando FL

Dinner Adventures is back from Disney! We had a lot of fun on our trip and got to see and do some pretty cool things. For one thing it was the first of four Star Wars Weekend held at Disney's Hollywood Studios, which is great for anyone who likes Star Wars or movies, and it's always nice to get away with family and friends. On our last day at the parks, we had the opportunity to review the Coral Reef restaurant at Epcot during lunch time. Their Lunch and Dinner menu's have a decent selection of "Surf and Turf" meal choices.

To start with, the ambiance is quite amazing, Almost the entire far wall of the restaurant is part of the huge 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium in The Seas with Nemo attraction. Throughout the meal, you could watch as Sea Turtles, Sharks, Rays and many different types of fish swim by the windows. The lighting is very subdued and with the view of the "seascape" it leads to a very relaxing atmosphere, although with the glass wall, it does seem to be a bit louder than you'd might expect. The ambiance was done quite well, as you might expect from Disney, and both my Wife and I enjoyed how relaxing they were able to make it.

We started our meal with the "Appetizer for Two" which came with 2 smaller sized crab cakes, that I thought had a little bit of kick to them, but were enjoyable. It also came with 4 pieces of fried shrimp, that quite frankly were average, there wasn't really anything special to them, but there wasn't anything wrong with the shrimp either. The last part of the appetizer was an amazing Creamy Lobster soup. I can't begin to describe how great the soup tasted, it was rich and creamy with just the right amount of lobster flavor and tarragon. The server was able to provide a recipe card for the soup that we could take home with us. One thing that I was unaware of before today is that Disney has many of their recipes available on a post card sized paper that they will give out upon request. For recipes that they don't have printed out they will give you a recipe request form, that you can either put down a mailing or email address and Disney will send you the recipe.

For the main course, my wife ordered the Grilled Mahi Mahi with the coconut-lime sauce and was able to switch out the Jasmine rice for some "smashed potatoes". I ordered the Seared Scottish Salmon on a Lemon and Pea Risotto with Bay Scallops. The Mahi Mahi was cooked perfectly, and the coconut-lime flavor went great with the potatoes. The wife was very satisfied with her meal. My meal didn't go quite as well as my wife's. The salmon was over seared on the bottom portion, almost to the point of being burnt, and a big portion of the Risotto tasted almost underdone. I was able to cut off the over cooked portion, and enjoy the rest of it. The risotto I wasn't able to finish, it had a great flavor and sauce and the scallops were cooked wonderfully, but the actually risotto part was just not that good. I pointed out these things to the server, and she made several offers to replace the salmon, or even get me a different entree which I declined to do, mostly because it had been a long day at the parks and we were ready to go back home. I should also add that her management also offered to comp us a dessert, but again we declined because of fatigue. However, that they had even made the offer went a very long way in our book. But in the future, if we chose to dine here again, I probably won't be ordering the salmon. I also can't recommend that anyone else order it either. The Mahi Mahi on the other hand, would definitely be on an "order again" list.

The last thing I want to talk about, is the service at the Coral Reef, overall I was impressed with the staff. We had our lunch reservations set for just after 2pm. We happened to show up a bit early, and they were able to seat us around 1:45, and we had a booth almost right next to the aquarium window. The service started out a bit slower. We felt we were waiting longer than necessary for our drinks and food orders. Despite the overall initial speed, our server was very friendly and made a great impression on us by offering to help "fix" our meal.

All in all, we were happy with our choice to eat at the Coral Reef, and we would defiantly go back, and we would recommend it to others. Just get something other than the Salmon.

Mine: C-

Wife's: A+

Overall: B+

Portion Size: A
Service: B+

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A quick announcement.

We are excited to announce that we will be traveling to Orlando, Florida over the weekend to go to some of the Disney theme parks. We plan to review the Coral Reef restaurant at the Epcot theme park and many of the other dinning options that are available. We will be staying on property at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort and will be going to Hollywood Studios for the Star Wars Weekends, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and as mentioned before Epcot.

We may not have complete Internet access while we are at that parks but we will try to do some mobile write ups. If not then we will definitely do the updates on Monday.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bonefish Grill, Wellington, Fl.

Tonight was a spur of the moment decision to go out to eat. We decided on Bonefish as the wife was in the mood for seafood, this turned out to be a great decision on our part. The restaurant wasn't very crowded when we got there, and we were able to be seated right away. Our waiter was quite good, he was able to balance the right combination of leaving us to enjoy the meal, but around enough to make sure our drinks were filled and get anything else we may have needed. This was probably some of the BEST service we have received when dining out in a long time. I really cannot praise him enough.

The food was also very good, from the appetizers to the main course everything was very tasty. We started off by getting the Maryland Crab Cakes and the Bacon Wrapped Atlantic Sea Scallops. The crab cakes have quite a bit of a kick to them, but it doesn't over power the taste of the crab and other ingredients. The Scallops are fairly large, and they're topped with a "chutney". I'm not sure what was in the chutney but whatever it was, it worked great with the taste and texture of the bacon and scallops. The only thing I can find to complain about is the portion size, with the crab cakes they only serve 2 cakes as the appetizer and with the scallops you only get 4+ the mango salsa salad.

Our main course consisted of my meal which was the Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Potatoes Au Gratin, and the wife's meal of the Sir Will's fish and chips. With the grilled fish you get a choice of 4 signature sauces that include a Mango Salsa, Chimichurri, Pan Asian and Lemon Butter. Our server recommended that I get the mango salsa or pan asian with the salmon. I chose the Mango salsa and it was excellent. The fish and chips came tempura-style and a tartar sauce made in house. Again the food was very, very good. We both would order these meals again with no hesitation.

The only complaint that we could really bring up would be on portion sizes in relation to the prices. However, despite being bit smaller than you might expect, the meal did end up being quite filling.

Food: A+
Portion Size: B-
Service A+

All in all, this was an outstanding "adventure" I encourage everyone to try this place out and experience it for yourself. I hope you will be as satisfied as we were.

As a side note, this restaurant also has quite a few Gluten free options on their menu for those who need it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Olive Garden Lake Worth, Fl

Last night we went to the Olive Garden, because when a pregnant wife craves something, you better deliver the goods. For being a Thursday night, the restaurant was not crowded at all, and we were seated right away. Service started out prompt, and in no time we had our drinks and had placed our orders. I should add that we had a fairly cranky two-year old in our party, and the servers handled it well.

The food was not bad, but I've noticed that the quality has been going down hill for a while. It used to feel like, when you went out to the Olive Garden, you were getting something special. Now it almost feels like "factory food", with no soul behind it. I ordered the Seafood Alfredo, portion size was good and taste was alright also. If you like Shrimp and Scallops in Alfredo sauce, then you just might like this dish. The wife ordered her standard Chicken Parmigiana, which she never finishes and always gets a to-go box. So for her portion size is wonderful, as she gets a meal and a lunch out of the deal.

One thing though that I had a MAJOR issue with, was when the server brought out a refill for my drink. He placed the drink on the table next to the empty glass. Took the straw out of it, and placed it in the new drink. This, as you can imagine, is NOT something that a waiter should EVER do. Yes, I know that all employees are supposed to wash their hands on a regular basis, especially after using the restrooms, but still you don't ever touch your customers food, or straws or utensils with your bare hands. That's just common hygienic consideration.

Over all the meal was quite good, but after the whole "straw incident" I'm not sure if we'll be back to this particular location. Or if we do go, we'll defiantly be requesting to NOT sit in this waiter's section.

Food: B
Portion Size: A
Service: D

I was really disappointed on this Adventure, the service really was quite good, but our waiter greatly upset as he had apparently never heard of germs before. I could understand 15 or 20 years ago doing that sort of thing, but nowadays... it's just not appropriate.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chili's in Orlando, Fl

Went to Orlando for a meeting, and went to Chili's for lunch with one of the Supervisors from work. This Chili's was located off of S Semoran Blvd. We got seated right away and the Waitress came out and took our drink orders. Very quickly I should add. Despite being about 1:30 in the afternoon, the restaurant was not very crowded.

When waitress came back, she had gotten the wrong drink order, which is not a big deal as mistakes can happen. She appolgized and brought the right drink out a few moments later. After she fixed the drink mistake, she then took our meal orders and our food came out fairly quickly. Both of our meals were served with no mistakes, which was a nice change from some of my previous experiances with other Chili's. Over all the service level was pretty average.

As for the food ratings, well it was ok. I probably won't order the Grilled Ham & Swiss sandwich again, or at least it would not be my first choice. For me, the sandwich either needed, more ham, or less bread, it just didn't seem to have equal parts. Although the taste was not bad at all it just wasn't something that I would eat on a regular basis.

All in all this "adventure" wasn't anything special, nothing really great, and nothing really terrible. Personally I find most of Chili's food to be ok, with no significant difference between different locations. At this kind of "chain" establishment it is the service that can make or break a meal, and this time they were able to make it work out all right.

Taste: B
Portion Size: B-
Service: B

Recommendations: I would go back to this location if I'm ever in the Orlando Airport area again.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Friendly's (Palm Springs,FL)

Another day, another adventure...

Sunday, we had Mother's Dinner out at Friendly's. The food was fairly reasonable in both taste and price. They have a pretty good Kids Meal deal where a little one can get a Drink, Main Course w/ side, and a Desert. Our little guy like the Mac & Cheese with Hot Dogs. The wife had the Honey BBQ Chicken Strips with rice and fries. I had the Sirloin Steak Tips, but I order it with out the mushrooms, peppers or onions, with mashed potatos that had a very flavorfull brown gravy and brocolli. Mom had the Chicken Bruschetta Mozzarella SuperMelt and said that it was quite good, but that the mozzearella could have been a bit more melted. Grandma got the Senior Grilled Chicken Deluxe Sandwich , and all senior meals come with a sundae for desert. Mom's hubby ordered the Delux Cheese BurgerMelt “Set-Up”. Everybody seemed fairly satisfied with their meals, I however, was disapointed with the small ammount of brocoli served on my plate. Usually they serve the side dishes in a small to medium size bowl filled to the top and this is how everyone else at our table was served except me. That being said the food was fair to good.

As for the service, I should really cut our servers a lot of slack. They had a big party to deal with, which included a cranky 2 year old. Having been a server before, I know how difficult it can be to deal with larger parties and or parties with kids, and while we were eating the meal the service was standard. It wasn't anything to write home about, although our waitress was very friendly, and their was nothing to really complain about either durring the main meal time.

That being said, when you're table appears to have finnished eating, and is sitting around talking, that is the time to come over and ask if you can get them anything else. Especially when 2 of your orders are supposed to get dessert, and you know that you haven't served them that part of the meal yet. What you don't want to do, is go and hide for 15-20 minutes. If you're due for a break, you need to make sure someone is covering your tables, that's just serving 101. We were waiting so long, one of our party had to ask one of the other servers if she could either take the dessert orders or if she could find "our" server so that she could take them. We did finnally finnish our meal and get our check, but I am not happy with the wait times involved. It just goes to show poor attention to your customers.

Food: B
Portion size: B+
Service: C-

It really wasn't bad, but it could have been great.

Recomendations: We would go back to this Friendlys, but if we get served like we did this time, we are likely to not return a third time.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


While I probably shouldn't write about this, I'm going to do it anyways. I want to talk about their Baconator® sandwich. Its greasy, loaded with fat and calories will probably send you to an early grave if you eat too many of them and I love it. It's got meat, bacon and cheese, this thing really is a "guys meal". That being said I know some of the ladies probably would enjoy it also. If you haven't tried it yet, and you like meat and bacon and cheese, you really should treat yourself to one. I do recommend not eating more than a couple a month though as anymore and you'll have nicely clogged arteries for sure.

Also, the wife had the BLT Cobb salad, she said it was quite tasty and would definitely get it again.

Can't really go wrong if you want a quick fast food meal by hitting up Wendy's. It is most assuredly not "fine dinning" but it'll do in a pinch.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mississippi Sweets BBQ (Wellington/Lake Worth)

I'll start out saying that hands down, the food was wonderful. I had the pulled pork platter with the home made applesauce and cornbread, The wifey had the pulled pork sandwich. The pork was very full of flavor and I found it had a great texture and tenderness. I preferred mine without the BBQ sauce. The wife liked hers better with the BBQ Sauce, and overall we were both extremely satisfied with both the flavor and portions sizes.

Despite how good the food is, I think this restaurant will turn into a "Take-out only" venue.  The service was sub par. We either had a waitress who was very new, or didn't care about service quality. The meal started out well, she came over, got our drink and appetizer orders and fairly promptly brought them out. The food was also served in fairly short order, this is where the issues began. Once we got our food, our waitress never checked on us again. She walked by several times, but not once did she even acknowledged our presence.

The manager was making his rounds and checking on his customers (like a good manager should do) and we ended up asking him if he could get us another drink (This would be a good time to add, they they don't do free re-fills at this establishment, at least for soda's) and a to-go box. He brought the drinks and box out very quickly. As we were finishing our meal, our server came back over to collect the plates and asked if we needed anything else. We said no, just the check. About 20 minutes later she finally returned with the bill and we were able to pay and leave.

All in all this was a very "meh" dinning experience that could have been a wonderful outing. It really is true that it no matter how tasty the food, if the customer is not happy with the service it really takes away from the whole meal.

This restaurant is located in the Publix shopping plaza at Lake Worth Rd and SR-7.

Taste: A+
Portion Size: A+
Service: D-

Recommendations: Take-out only.