Foodie Friday #graze #snackfood


I debated doing Foodie Friday this month since I am already doing an April challenge that is consuming my free time. Check out my A to Z blog posts throughout the month. Anyways, as you can see, I decided I did not want to skip a month. I will make this short and sweet.

Foodie Friday is all about delish food and I have found this wonderful snack subscription service at My friend told me about it because she knows I am a foodie.

Graze provides wholesome, portion controlled sized snack options delivered to your each week. I admit the concept intrigued me. However, I was worried that I would get snacks that I did not like because you do not choose specifically which snacks are in your subscription box each week. I rated their snacks in one of four categories: never send, try, like, or love.

In the beginning, I had several snacks that I said that I would like to try.

Now many of those “will try” have been changed to love.

My absolute fave so far has been Chili & Lime Pistachios. I love pistachios and the added seasoning kicked up the snack to a whole different level. I wish they had included an additional packet of the seasoning so that I could just eat that. It was a little spicy, salty with a hint of lime sour.

Second fave is Caramel apples. And this snack was on 80 calories!!!! While I wish the apples had been crunchy, the caramel sauce was perfection. Knowing the snack was 80 calories meant that I could eat all my caramel sauce. I am very picky when it comes to caramel sauce because many times it is too sweet.

The other two snacks in the picture are Thai Sweet Chili bites and Cinnamon Fig roll.

These are gourmet snacks and the company is committed to making snack food healthy. The quality can be tasted in their products. I hope they keep making these for a very long time.

If you want to try for yourself, first box is free when you use my reward code AMARYL6XP

Or you can click here

And Graze management, if you are reading this, I am willing to be a food tester for future snack flavor combinations.

Foodie Friday: Go to Oregon for #Sushi

I am starting a new feature the first Friday of each month that I am calling “Foodie Friday” . While my blog reviews have mainly been about books, I am dedicating the first Friday of ever month to be about food, restaurants, and all things food related.



When I was in Bend, OR a few months ago, I asked the hotel front desk for suggestions for dinner. They said, “If you like sushi, then you will love 5 Fusion”. That sounded like my type of place.

Located in downtown Bend, I went during Happy Hour. The executive chef has received many accolades so I am anticipating excellence. Of course, the restaurant was packed. Since I was by myself, I decided to sit at the sushi bar and watch them work. While he looked different from his head shot in all the touristy magazines, the executive chef was there churning out roll after sushi roll. He was a machine. There was no time for chit chat with me because he was all business. That did not bother me because he was in his zone.

A waiter came to take my order. He was friendlier, asking all the small talk questions.

I ordered a variety because Happy Hour prices included $5 sushi rolls and appetizers. Yea that is no misprint.

  • Tempura – battered squash, shrimp, asparagus, and onion – BEST tempura I have ever tasted. I usually do not order tempura because when not done properly, (1) the crispy batter becomes soft too quickly from wet veggies, (2) the batter has no flavor, or (3) the batter does not allow for the soy sauce to coat without becoming soggy. I am very particular about my tempura. 5 Fusion has ruined me for all others. It was so good. Perfect. Since tempura’s main nemesis is moisture, I was impressed that the batter stayed so crispy.
  • Shrimp tempura roll – tempura shrimp (which we already established was delicious), avocado, cucumber
  • Spicy salmon roll – raw salmon sashimi, avocado, cucumber, sriracha chili sauce
  • Edamame – I can never get enough of lightly salted boiled soybeans.
  • Angry Mango cocktail – habanero infused vodka with mango puree – sweet and spicy and cold at the same time. Is cold heat even possible? Sounds like an oxymoron but it worked so well.

I ate all the sushi rolls, but took the tempura and edamame leftovers to snack on later. I know that sushi is filling at the time, but an hour later, I feel like I could eat again.

The Opinionated Woman’s verdict: Currently my favorite sushi place in the US. I recommend it if  you are anywhere near Bend OR.

2014 07 julio5

2014 07 julio5


Five Fusion and Sushi Bar

James Beard Foundation Semi-finalist- Best chef in the Northwest 2014

Executive Chef Joe Kim

821 NW Wall Street, Bend OR

Server: Keith


Page Okra Grill – Mt Pleasant SC

Page Okra Grill – Mount Pleasant, SC

We were looking for a good place to eat on a Saturday afternoon while we were in Charleston/Mt Pleasant area. Page’s Okra Grill was suggested since we wanted a local restaurant and not a chain.

Everything on the menu looked really good. Since I was hungry, I wanted one of everything.

The food choices were, in my opinion, best characterized as American and southern with a slight gourmet flair. After much deliberation, I decided to get a turkey burger. It was a huge, thick turkey patty topped with cheese. Since we were seated in front of the desert counter with all the cakes and pies taunting me, I ended up ordering the key lime pie as well.

Price wise, I think this was average. The plates were $8-10 range. As expected, they were really busy. Breakfast just ended about half an hour before we got there. The breakfast crowd was leaving and lunch patrons were arriving.

Our server Dorrie was so friendly and efficient. We got our food in no time. Our drink glasses were never empty. She checked on us periodically to make sure we did not need anything.

The whole restaurant experience was very enjoyable. I want to go back one day for breakfast.

Go Greek in Atlanta GA

I was talking to a foodie friend about places to go to eat in Atlanta and he asked me “Ever went to Nick’s?”

He said it was a takeout place that serves Greek food. He spoke highly of the place and said that a lot of ATL chefs will grab lunch.

I was intrigued.


When we got there, I realized why everyone just “grabs lunch to go”. The large cement building is mostly the kitchen. We walk in, there is little space to move around. We order our food and wait outside while our order is being prepared. Mainly because we needed to get out of the way of the other people who were standing in line behind us.

Sitting outside at one of the tables gives me an opportunity to look around. If this restaurant has not come highly recommended by someone who I respected their food opinion, I probably would never have stopped there. Broken signage and peeling paint do little to entice newcomers. I would call this place a dive restaurant rundown looking restaurant known by the locals for their good food and low prices.

As we all know, looks can be deceiving. I guess that the owners cannot be concerned with the outside because they are too busy throwing down in the kitchen bringing authentic Greek food to the South.

I ordered the lamb gyro with fries. The meat was tender and flavorful. I loved the house made tzatziki sauce. Up until the best gyro I eaten was from Bronx, NY. This rivaled that. Maybe one day I will get to Greece and have a gyro from its homeland. Until then, I will have to satisfy myself with Nick’s.

However, next time I go, I will forgo the fries because the gyro is enough.

Displaying 2014 07 julio2.jpg

Greek take-out sandwich restaurant

Nick’s Food to Go

240 Martin Luther King Jr Drive S.E

Atlanta, GA 30312

Miami Cuban food – Que rica!

We were in Miami and Nana wanted some good Cuban food and whole fried red snapper. Being from Belize, this is the closest thing she can get to the food that she grew up eating.
My aunts and cousins said the place to go was Laguna.

Laguna Seafood Restaurant ~~ 2800 NW 7th Ave ~~ Miami, FL 33127

This restaurant is not exactly in the good part of town. In fact, the area looks depressed. It is surrounded by abandoned buildings and empty lots. Even the building that the restaurant is in needs a new coat of paint. The parking lot behind the building is part gravel, part dirt, and part pot hole.

However, I did not come here to look at the aesthetics of the building. I came here to eat.

It was July 5th and the giant movie screen TV was playing a World Cup match. I remember the date because we were planning to go July 4thbut there was a question whether they were open. I said probably not, but my uncle said they should be open every day. When my cousin called, no one answered the phone. We were not sure if they were busy or closed for the holiday. We decided if all of us were going to make the trek from various parts of South Florida, we needed to be 100% sure they would be open. And yes they were closed on July 4th.

The small restaurant of about 10-15 tables was packed (probably because of the game). Because our group was so large, we ended up sitting at a table that was right in front of the TV. The TV was so big though, we did not block the screen. The servers were courteous but did not talk much at first. When I ordered in Spanish, they seemed to perk up and be a little friendlier. Since it was so busy, none of them were making any extended chit-chat. Everyone did stop to look at the TV when there was a particularly tense moment that would decide which team would advance to the next level.

Nana and I ordered the medium fried fish. It comes with steamed rice, ripe plantains, and black beans. This is a carb dieter’s nightmare. Thankfully, I am not counting carbs (although I probably should). I do not like beans, so I ate my rice plain. I am glad that I got the medium fish instead of large as I originally planned. As hungry as I thought I was, I would not have been able to eat it. I ate half my fish, all my plantains, and half my rice.

The flavor of the breading on the fish was amazingly delicious. The fish was fried to perfection. It was tender and flaky with a delicate crunchy skin. I have had fried fish in a lot of places, and this was one of the top. I do not eat the head (I guess I am too Americanized), but Nana raved about it.

Overall, the food was very good and I definitely recommend their Cuban food (fried fish in particular).