Friday, September 28, 2012

Peanuts, Steak, Lobster...

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had our 2nd anniversary! Since it was on a week night and we had plans to go out of town that weekend - we decided to just grab dinner someplace close to home that night. 

We chose Logan's Roadhouse because Larry had wanted to go for quite a while. It's a typical steakhouse but we hadn't been before...

Logan's is sort of a combination of all the other steakhouses - like Lonestar they have buckets of peanuts on all the tables and you can sweep the remnants on the floor.

Like Texas Roadhouse - they have the delicious rolls with the cinnamon butter. These were delicious but I let Larry devour most of them!

Hubby - as usual - was hungry and wanted cheese sticks...they were fine but not surprisingly nothing special. The marinara was sweet and light - I liked that.

I was really trying to make better choices...so first I went for grilled salmon with a mushroom skewer. The salmon was okay - a little too peppery for me and a bit overcooked. The grilled mushrooms were tasty.

I also decided to get a side tail of rock lobster which also came with a bit of rice. The lobster was good - but I realize the texture is a bit like shrimp - and after trying Larry's add-on selection - I think I like his better.

Larry went for steak, baked sweet potato and broccoli. His steak was just the small sirloin but was more like a filet and was so delicious! (I snuck a bite.)

For his add-on, it was snow crab legs! These weren't near as good as the King Crab from the week before - but they were just as good as Mitchell's and it was a huge portion.

Why Should You Go? It's a chain...it's a steakhouse...it has peanuts...it's not bad. Did it amaze me and astound me? Well no - but we liked the food and the quality was better than some other local steak places we've been to - so we'd go back.


Logan's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frozen Lunch Review: Lightlife Meat Free Perfecto Penne Primavera

I've been in a bit of a rut when it comes to my lunches lately - hitting it hard on the Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli - but it's pretty good! But there were good coupons in the paper this past weekend for new items - so I decided to try a couple.

Lightlife is one of the companies that makes the vegetarian/vegan items - ala Morningstar and Quorn. They have new frozen entrees that are $3.49 (Meijer) and I had a $1 coupon - so it was worth a shot.

There are 4 varieties but I think Meijer only carried two of them - I'm not real big on fake chicken - so I went for the one with the meatless crumbles - Perfecto Penne Primavera. Look at all those mushrooms!

Well this is what it looks like after the microwave and a good stir...before the stir was not so appetizing. I have to say - there was cheese in this one - probably fake cheese - but cheese nonetheless. You know what there wasn't? Big slices of mushrooms!



Here are my notes:
  • Flavor - While the lack of advertised mushrooms was a disappointment, the meal overall wasn't too bad. I did add a bit of salt but there were a lot of veggies and ample sauce. 
  • Meat - the meatless crumbles tasted like ground beef to me
  • Cooking - fine...it was one of those cook, stir, cook - I just cooked for 4 min - came out fine.  
  • Cost - $3.49 minus $1 coupon = $2.49
  • Nutrition - 240 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 630 mg sodium and 15 GRAMS OF WHOLE GRAINS!
  • Allergens - soy, milk, egg and wheat - pretty much everything
  • Fullness Factor - it was fine - I brought carrots/celery to go with it and was fine for the afternoon
I'm not sure I would purchase again without a coupon - but with a coupon - I definitely would.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Iowa Breakfast Showdown: Oscars vs Riverview

Recently I headed home (Iowa) and had my favorite meal - twice! Breakfast! 

In Cedar Rapids, we headed first to Oscar's. It was a regular dining spot back in the day and my friends hadn't been in a while - so we stopped by. 

I was so OFF the healthy eating this breakfast - but I RARELY eat breakfast out - so I decided to splurge. Let me say - these guys had it going on! Hashbrowns with cheese, perfect over-easy eggs and awesome sausage. Sometimes sausage is dry - this was really juicy and delicious. It's rare to find good sausage - I was in heaven!

Since it was an option - I also went for one blueberry pancake and oh my was it good! Delicious fresh plump blueberries in a light and fluffy pancake with warm syrup. MMM MMM Good! 

Why Should You Go? It's a damn good breakfast - they also have a big tenderloin. The place is always busy with lots of regulars. I will say though - Larry got the biscuits and gravy - not so good - it wasn't white gravy - it was more brown and not very good. So avoid that one...

Oscar's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Then on our way back to new home (Ohio) we stopped to have breakfast with my mom. There's a cute little diner on the river in Muscatine that her boss recommended.

I tried to be a teenie bit healthier - if that's possible - and got eggs, ham and potatoes (minus the cheese). This was equally as good. The ham was very juicy and the potatoes were more like home fries.

I also had my favorite - SYRUP on my fried potatoes. My mom always did this when I was a kid - so having breakfast with her - I had to have some syrup on them for old time sake.

Larry got the biscuits and gravy - much better! These were the better white gravy and were really good. Almost as good as Bluebird here in Cinci!

Why Should You Go? It doesn't have the best rating but for breakfast - it was a great spot!

Riverview Restaurant LLC on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's a Crab Showdown!

I am a big fan of seafood and am always looking for someplace new to eat - so when the folks at Mitchell's Fish Marketit contacted me about trying some of their new menu items - I was all for it! 

I did head to the Newport location because I was given their manager's info. We got there pretty early on a Friday after work so it wasn't busy at all. The decor is "fishy" and lots of warm woods - it's very "fancy Red Lobster" as Larry put it.

I got a House salad (Carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dates, pine nuts, poppy seed vinaigrette) with my meal. The vinaigrette was really good - not too tangy and a bit sweet - I really liked it (I don't usually like them). I thought the dates were gross though - not a fan!

We also had fresh bread and it was great - very warm and crispy! The butter was hard (booo!)

This was the tater & asparagus that came with our meals - they were fine. The asparagus was a little underdone but the potato was great - I love the salt they rub on the outside. It was a perfect baked potato!

They also have a 3 course prix fixe special going on for fall - with 3 choices of meals starting at $19.99. The key is STARTING - so it's not really prix fixe - since each one is different - but oh well - it's still a good deal. Because of that - I went for the Snow Crab ($29.99) with salad, entree and dessert. 

The Snow Crab was good - but it was hard to get out and not really sweet. They did have decent utensils to help out.

When I ordered this one - we asked the difference between the Snow and King - the server said the King was bigger and much sweeter. With that Larry decided to get the King so we could compare.

The server was dead on - the King was MUCH sweeter and easier to get the crab out. We both preferred the King to the Snow...

Why Should You Go? Mitchell's was a nice dining experience and is a step above Red Lobster. While that might be a joke to some - it's really true. There's a little more space, it's a little pricier and the experience is a little more special all around. Is it heads and tails above? No...just a bit nicer all around. It was nice to try the two styles of crab bite-to-bite. I would definitely say it's a good option and probably one of my favorite at Newport on the Levee because it's one of the only non-burger places! 

Thanks to Mitchell's for the gift card - that new prix fixe menu is a nice all-around meal option!  


Mitchell's Fish Market on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 14, 2012

Skyline Peel & Win Game - You Can Win $20!


Now every time you go to Skyline in September get a Peel & Win card and you might win free coneys! And who doesn't love free Skyline????

And just to make sure you guys get out to Skyline I'm giving away a $20 gift card! Enter below - I'll draw the winner Tuesday!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A&A - Apples & Awesome? No...

While my sister was home, we decided to try another new diner. That kid loves a greasy spoon!

Here she is in her Batman t-shirt that caused many a comic-book-loving boy to flirt with her...we were really just trying to grab a shot of the decor without seeming too obvious. It's old school.

They did bring us a pitcher of soda...ah I miss soda (giving it up for 2 weeks - oye!). We found out this initial named diner is up for sale! It's been here for 50+ years (I think) and is named after the owners.

Larry got a salad - it was a pretty good looking salad (for a diner) and the Italian dressing was tasty!

I got coleslaw - didn't love it - it was fine - not real creamy and not real vinegary - sort of an in-between.

Larry & sis each got a burger and they were big! Edith was feeling more adventurous and got hers with a fried egg (not on the menu) and they happily obliged. Lots of veggies on the burger and a big ol' pile o' fries!

I went for grilled ham & cheese with fried potatoes and cheese. (Ah how I ate before the great diet of '12.) This was pretty good - the potatoes were sort of all over the place - portions crispy and other portions under done - but the portion size was huge - I definitely couldn't finish all of it.

Why Should You Go? Well the ambiance is nill and we were the only customers when we stopped in - so I'm not sure how popular it is. The food was fine - nothing we were running back for - but the service was good and the staff was very friendly. She chatted with us about the owners and tried to get us to buy the place! It is sort of my dream to own something like this someday. haha If you're in the area - it's worth a stop. We prefer P&S on Springdale...but this was a good alternative.

A & A on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 7, 2012

Potluck Coming Up? Boom! Done!

Potlucks are a fun thing and I just don't get to participate in them near as much as I'd like. I remember in high school there was a potluck every other week! Now - it's only around holiday time... and I have one dish that is tried and true - as well as quick and cheap! 

Six Cup Salad!!!

It's so easy - 1 cup of each ingredient: maraschino cherries (cut up), pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, mini-marshmallows, coconut and sour cream. Yes sour cream.

Once you mix it all together - the sour cream gets infused with the fruit juices and is so sweet and delish! The best part of this is if you don't like one thing - just eliminate it and use something else!

It's also really fun and colorful - and it has a double bonus - first is it usually gets completely eaten so you don't come home with leftovers, second bonus - you can hope people don't finish it so you CAN have leftovers cuz it's so awesome!!!

Six Cup Salad

1 cup maraschino cherries (cut up in half with scissors), drained
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1 cup coconut
1 cup lite sour cream

* Mix all the fruit
* Add in the mallows & coconut
* Stir in the sour cream

Boom! Refrigerate for a couple hours and you're golden!

Do you have any quick potluck go-tos?




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Off to Grad School...

Last month we took my sister onto the next step of her life - GRAD SCHOOL! Along the way we tried some good food and saw some things we've never ever seen before! 


What's this? We're at a gas station and they sell wine - in plastic "glasses" with "lids" on top. WTF?

Copa! It's classy stuff! 

This was the wonderland known as Sheetz...they have food too. You order on a screen and then they give it to you. It's actually pretty cool - we kept saying we were wondering if you'd get the "sh*ts at sheetz".

After getting the kid settled in, we checked out the downtown area and came across the Water Street Tavern. How can you resist an odd black raccoon-like animal? Water Street is the "bar" portion...

Cajun Daves is the restaurant portion - but it's all together. You order at the counter and then they call you up when it's ready. It's rustic and the menu has a decent size menu.

Larry got a huge burger of some kind ($7.50) and it was enormous and sloppy and delicious! He ordered fries but we barely touched them because the regular food was so good and so filling!

Sis got the Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese with Smoked Sausage ($8). I tried it and again - really yummy! The sausage definitely had a kick to it as well and the mac & cheese was nice and creamy. The plates are all disposable though - just an fyi - it's not fancy.

I got the Muffeletta ($8.50) - it was loaded with meat, cheese and goodness. This thing was so full and...

DELICIOUS! I didn't even bother with fries - I knew I was barely going to finish this...salami, mortadella, ham, provolone and olive salad. This is a damn good sammich!

Why Should You Go? Well - Kent might be a hike to drive - but hey - if you do - check it out. You won't be disappointed at the taste or the portions! Good stuff!!!

Water Street Tavern on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Salads @ Noodles & Company

The generous folks at Noodles & Company sent me out a little gift pack of goodies that included free summer salads! I decided to treat my office to lunch - so we headed out in a couple cars to Hyde Park for free salads! 

No - this is not a salad. They added some new sides - this was cheesy garlic bread with marinara ($3.95). These were really good - the bread was crispy but soft and the marinara had a nice flavor. I was a bit surprised at how good it was! 

I tried the Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad - it was tossed with a coleslaw type of dressing. We tasted the dressing on it's own and nobody else thought it tasted like coleslaw but I could tell. The corn was fresh off the cob and tasty! I have to say - the best part was the chicken! I've never been much of a fan of the chicken at Noodles but this was shredded, moist and delicious! I was a bit surprised there wasn't bbq sauce with it - but the salad was good on it's own.

A couple folks chose the Spinach & Fresh Fruit Salad...they all liked this as well and the biggest praises from this came for the croutons! These girls RAVED about croutons?!

Lastly was the Chili-Lime & Ginger Salad with Seared Chicken. Lauren is the only brave soul for this one but she liked it. She was happy with the salad and said - for a salad - it was good.

The only thing that most everybody said was that - while these salads were good - they weren't very big for an $8+ salad. They look big but the bowls are very shallow - so they are more or less plates.

I also just went and looked at the nutritional information and am a bit surprised that my choice of the Backyard salad had the least fat and calories - kinda surprised there. If you get dressings on the side - you can control that part a lot more.

Thanks to the folks at Noodles & Company for allowing my work to try these salads!