Thursday, August 27, 2009

I-I-I-Ikea! Yeah - you can eat there too!

My baby sister is heading into her senior year of college and moved into an apartment this year. So what does that mean? I trip to Ikea of course!

After shopping - we got hungry and I'd always wanted to try the restaurant. Plus I had three girls to feed - might as well try and get a bargain for their dinner.

I was planning on eating again later - so I went to the kids menu. From the 99 cent menu, I chose macaroni & cheese and the swedish meatballs (their specialty). I forgot to take the pic - so my m&c was about half gone... They were both tasty. I'd like to try the meatballs with the pasta. The mac & cheese was very cheesy but as is often the case - the noodles were a little mushy.

My sister got the chicken caesar salad - it was pre-made. She was pretty happy with it. I honestly have no idea what the soup was or how it tasted so I can't weigh in on that.

Now I must address the chocolate overload cake - this is $2.99 of heaven. Look at that cake - click on the link and look at it. Looks heavy doesn't it? It's not! It's light and delicious. This was seriously the best piece of chocolate cake I have had in a long long time. So if you're at Ikea - get this cake! It does have mousse...that's why it's light. Highlight of the night for sure.

One of the girls got chicken & pasta alfredo, mac & cheese and a salad. She's a pasta fan - can you tell? She was pleased with all of her choices.

The salad bar is pretty decent too - there are quite a few vegetables - I was pleasantly surprised!

(Sorry that the pictures are vertical - it's uploading funky.)

Lastly - another chicken caesar salad and some sort of chocolate dessert. I have no recollection of what it was - but it was damn good!

All in all the total for the four of us was $31. I think that's a good deal for four people - well 3.5 since I only got a little bit.

If you're at Ikea and you're hungry - stop upstairs for some munchies. There's quite a bit of variety and something for anyone. It's definitely not the school cafeteria!

There's also a bistro on your way out - and let me tell you - they have a tray of 6 Cinnamon Rolls for $4. Don't leave the store without grabbing a tray! When you're in the checkout - send someone over to grab a tray. They are the best!

Happy Shopping!

Ikea on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Italian Chain Land - here I come!

My sister returned from a year in Germany and to celebrate we had to go out to one of her favorite places - Maggiano's Little Italy. I know - how can the Food Hussy's sister love a chain? Well she's what I like to call a "Chickenatarian" - only "meat" she'll eat is chicken and she loves Italian food.
They start us out with a nice crusty bread and olive oil. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside and best of all - warm! The oil and cheese were also nice.

Edith got the caesar salad and was pleased as always. Looking at the photo - seems like a lot of croutons.

Creamy Chicken Potato Soup
Fresh Herbs & Vegetables with Roasted Chicken

This was okay - underseasoned a bit - I remember adding quite a bit of salt. The soup was creamy though and had lots of vegetables. I was pleased!

Fettuccine Alfredo, Broccoli
Traditional fettuccine noodles tossed with broccoli and garlic in a creamy alfredo sauce.

While she is a "Chickenatarian" - the broccoli alfredo is her favorite dish - so I knew this would be my sister's order. She ate about half and had the rest for leftovers!

This reminds me - I think they have some special going on that you go in and order a pasta dish and you can get one "to go" for a discounted price. Sorry that I don't remember the specifics - but it's meant for you to have leftovers for the next day. Nice idea in this economy.

Mushroom Ravioli al Forno
Ravioli stuffed with mushrooms, onions, marsala wine, parmesan cheese and baked with alfredo sauce until golden brown.

This is my standard order - mushroom ravioli - oye so good and then drench it in the most amazing alfredo sauce - oh yeah - then bake it with more cheese. Seriously? My BF (the personal trainer) has to be freaking out over the fat in this dish - but man - once a year it's worth it!

Maggiano's does not list any nutritional information. I've had this discussion with them via email and they've said that each chef makes their own dishes so they can't tell us. I think that's bunk since corporate determines the recipes - but what can you do?

The dish is really great - I absolutely love it.

Chicken Francese
Chicken lightly battered with a Parmesan Crust in a buttery lemon-wine sauce served with crispy red potatoes, fresh arugula and tomatoes.

The BF is allergic to eggs - so we had to ask the chef about this - they do typically use eggs in this dish for battering the chicken but withheld it for us. The server was very helpful and the chef was kind enough to come out and chat with us before BF ordered. We were very pleased with this.

This dish was delicious. I have a hard time getting anything other than the ravioli at Maggiano's but this was really great. The chicken was juicy and the lemon-wine sauce was so fresh! The sides were equally great and my BF doesn't like vegetables but he cleaned his plate!

If you're not a pasta person - try this dish!!!

Overall - yes - it's a chain - but I like it. Every once in a while - it's a place I like - plus my sister got to choose and it was her choice.

Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Week! Sept 14-20

Make your reservations now! Restaurant Week is coming up 9/14-20! $26.09 for a 3 course meal.

More menus will be popping up in the next week or so - but check it out!

If you're not familiar - many cities do this to promote dining at locally owned restaurants and Cincinnati has joined in. They offer a multi-course meal at a reduced rate. You choose from a specific menu and sometimes portion size might be a little smaller.

It's always a great time and a great deal!

I've got my reservation in for the Iron Horse in Glendale!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fine Family Dining? Sure...why not?!

My friend Lou and I are always in search of new places in Northern Kentucky for dinner. One day we literally stumbled across the Log Cabin Inn. It's a big old Log Cabin...yeah...really!

I told ya!

Your entrees start with a salad - served on cold metal plates with good old iceberg lettuce and some good thick honey mustard! (I think that's what it is - might have been Thousand Island) It's not a fancy salad but it's not a fancy place.

Lou got a steak with a side of pinto beans. She was very pleased - she likes her steak dead and burned! I can't fathom eating it - but she liked it. She wasn't a fan of the pinto beans - I tried them - there was a bit of an after taste.

I got a NY strip with onion rings. The steak was medium rare and cooked perfectly. The onion rings were pretty good - a couple weren't done all the way but for the most part - very good. The roll is served cold and pretty bland. Also - the steak was $11.99 - what a deal!

The BF came along too - he got his "usual" for restaurants these days - a steak hoagie. He liked it just fine. I tasted - I'm not sure what exactly kind of "steak" is on a steak hoagie. This isn't just at Log Cabin Inn but in general - what is it? It's more like an oblong shaped burger. Anybody know? Can you tell me?

Well anyway - he liked it.

Overall - the Log Cabin Inn isn't amazing but it's good solid food. They have specials, they have good steak and it's a very casual place. The interior is pretty dark and I think it's the kind of place that has regulars. And by regulars, I mean the same old people go at 430 every Tuesday afer bingo.

But I love it - it's one of my favorite places to go - and I really have no idea why!

And just for my all my anonymous readers - and you know who you are - I only had 3 exclamation points in this review. Until now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just saw Kathy Griffin Friday night - and she's inspired me to tell those folks - SUCK IT!

Hahaha - that's seriously only for the exclamation point police that read my blog. The rest of you - you rock!

Log Cabin Inn on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Am I blue?

Couple weeks ago after a rousing game of kickball - me and the BF went to a friends house for some 'za! It was my first experience with Lucy Blue's in Mt. Lookout. I'd had Ramundo's a few times and honestly wasn't a big fan - I didn't like the red pepper flakes... So how would this go?

First - love the box - it's so colorful! Nice to see a place actually take some time with the box art!

Scott got red pepper and mushroom - I loved it! The sauce, the cheese, the toppings - really great! It was greasy and flimsy but I liked it a lot!!!!

We got a couple pieces of pepperoni as well for the plain old meat-eating BF - it was good too!

This is a short and concise review - but I'd say - if you're in MTL and want some pizza - choose Lucy Blue's!

Lucy Blue Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Need a sandwich and a big ass cookie?

I work downtown and there are so many different sandwich shops - I really need to get out and try more of them.

A couple weeks ago my friend Ron told me to try Fred & Gari's because they have the best cookies on the planet as well as great sandwiches.

So the cookie bug was in my ear and I had to get it!
But before the cookie - I had to have a sandwich!

It's a very unassuming spot you've probably walked by a million times and didn't even realize it. The menu is very small and the whole thing is fairly informal. I decided just to ask what the favorite sandwich was and one of the guys (maybe Fred or Gari) recommended the turkey club.

I got that and then 2 sides... I chose marinated vegetables and greek pasta salad.

The sandwich was good - nothing special really - good sized - wish I had more mayo or something saucy.

The sides were good - they were both cold. I gobbled down the greek pasta salad - it was really tasty.

But more importantly - THE COOKIES!

Let me just say - these cookies are insane...they are gi-freakin-gantic! Some are just like 6 inches across and others are about 4 inches high. It's just nutso!

Don't believe me?

Yeah - that's a freakin cookie.

I got this chocolate oatmeal "cookie". Someone said it looked like a cow patty - um - not exactly the visual they were probably hoping for - but it was a damn tasty cow patty!

It wasn't the most amazing cookie ever - but it was pretty darned good. It was moist and flavorful - I definitely want to go back and try some more of them.


Fred & Gari's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me - Happy Birthday to Me!

This year for my birthday I decided to have a great big birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants - RuThais!

My great friend Marla got me a big ol' ice cream cake - and it's PINK! It was delicious!

Here's the group of us - too many great friends to name but it was so much fun having everyone together.

Scott had got the RuThai special - which means - RuThai or Tim make whatever they want! It's always amazing! This was a "surf & turf" and Scott really enjoyed it. Don't be afraid to ask for it - they're welcome to be creative and make something special for you!

Quite a few of us got sushi - I'm a huge fan of their sushi!

I can never decide between the spicy fried fish and the sushi - for my birthday I chose the sushi...The UK roll (lower roll) is always my favorite!

Karen got rolls too - yum yum!

The BF was new to Thai and got a chicken with peanut sauce. It was kinda dry - I tried to order for him - but he was a bit wary of what to get. See - even I can not love something from my favorite restaurant.

Someone else (can't remember who) got the Chicken Satay.

Seafood & veggies on rice - very good as usual.

It's almost more of a pictorial than a review. I already know I love RuThais - I mean duh - I picked it for my birthday!

The spicy fried fish is my favorite...and their side salad. They have the best ever peanut salad dressing!

Ruthai's Thai Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guess who's back - back again? It's me at the Indian Buffet!

Sorry for the hiatus - I went on vacation to The Pink House on the British Virgin Island's Jost Van Dyke.

As you can see, I had a pretty good time.

I will be having a pictorial and review of the island food in the days to come...but for now...it's back to the 'Nati.

Before vacation we went to Akash India for a coworkers birthday - Akash is in the same Indian restaurant family as Baba and Ambar.

They have a lunch buffet with the ever delightful rice and a wide variety of meat entrees. They usually have a lamb, chicken and a beef as well as some saag dish.

They also have the vegetable pakora (battered & fried vegetables), onion rings, mango pudding, rice pudding and salad stuff.

Here's a close up of the mango pudding. Supposed to be pretty sweet...I haven't tried it yet.

We had a few first-timers so we tried to get a wide array of dishes so they could try everything. The dishes are fairly bland so it was pretty easy for them to try them. The guys were a little scared of spicy.

I on the other hand have learned that my favorite dish is Mushroom Mater so rather than get the buffet with stuff I don't like - I just get that! It is my favorite - it's got a great tomato cream sauce and lots of mushrooms and peas! MMM MMM GOOD!

So how authentic is Akash? Hell if I know...but for a buffet - it's ok. Unfortunately they don't often have the mushroom dish on the buffet so it's not my favorite. The naan and the vegetable pakora are great though.

Akash India on Urbanspoon