Tag Archive | review

FOODIE FRIDAY: Shorty’s Authentic Philly Steaks and Sandwiches @shortysnyc #phillysteak #NYCeats #hellskitchen

This Foodie Friday highlights Shorty’s Authentic Philly Steaks and Sandwiches, a restaurant in NYC Hell’s Kitchen (576 9th Avenue – 41st and 42nd).

Shorty’s claims to make “authentic philly steaks”. They say that the secret is in the type of bread that they use. That is why they ship their bread from Philly and bake it on site.

After walking around downtown, we worked up an appetite and hubs wanted a cheesesteak. Works for me. My friend suggested Shorty’s .

I asked, “Are they GOOD?”

She replied, “ That’s where I go.”

I trust her standards because she is a particular foodie like I am.

While he is a traditionalist, I am open to options. Thankfully, Shorty’s gave me a lot to choose from. There were 14 different types of philly steak sandwiches. All served wit’out fried onions unless you asked.

Hubby ordered Cheesesteak (steak, Whiz)
Hubs opinion: Cheesesteak was delicious. Quite possibly better than what he had from Philly. The meat was well seasoned with great meat to cheese ratio.

I ordered Nacho Steak (chicken, avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, tortilla crunch, pepperjack)
TOW opinion: This is my new favorite way to eat a cheesesteak. I was sold when I saw it had avocado on it. Always order sandwich with avocado! LOL The jalapenos and the pepperjack cheese were not overpoweringly spicy but provided just enough heat so it was not bland. The meat was not dry (a common issue with chicken cheesesteaks). This was a hearty, yummy sandwich. And the tortilla strips added a little crunch for a change in texture. I would definitely order this again.

TOW Final Word
Check out Shorty’s especially if you like cheesesteaks. You will not be disappointed. I know I am going back the next time I am in NYC!

Hours and Website
Sunday-Wednesday 11am-2am
Thursday-Saturday 11am-3am
http://www.shortysnyc.com (check website for delivery zone)

Foodie Friday: EVO Extra Virgin Oven restaurant and craft bakery- North Charleston #charlestonsc #foodie #pizza

Here’s what I consider a hidden gem in North Charleston. This is a place that the locals know and love but I’m not sure you will necessarily find this if you are not in the know.

If you go during lunch, you better get there early or be prepared to wait!

If you are short on time, call your order in and it will be ready for you to pick up as soon as you arrive.

Everything on the menu was top notch delicious!

1075 East Montague Ave. Park Circle, N Charleston

843-225-1810

Plus, there is a bakery in the back!

My love affair with Old Main Catering food

It seems that I have a foodie love affair with Old Main Catering. I have at least one blog post each year extolling the great food experiences. I have not had a mediocre experience yet. There is always different gourmet food being offered when OMC caters an event.

Over the summer, I attended several events that Old Main catered and I had to share pictures of my favorites from these events.

In the collage, here are the standouts.

Top left – Teriyaki wings. The flavor was tangy and a little sweet. These were probably the best teriyaki wings I have tasted. Most the time teriyaki can be too sweet and overly salty. With OMC, the balance of savory and sweet left my taste buds wanting more. It was messy to eat, but no one was complaining because it was so delicious.

Bottom left – Fruit water. I liked the presentation and the bright colors of the fruit. Who needs soda when you can have something that is so much more refreshing! Plus, I felt healthy drinking it.

Middle – Banana cream tarts. I have to dissect the dessert for you to fully understand how awesomely good this was. The pie shell was thick, buttery, sweet, flakey, and crumbled in your mouth. It was the perfect pie crust. The banana cream was thick, not too sweet, and had bits of banana in it. The whipped cream on top tasted like REAL whipped heavy cream with a hint of vanilla. And the caramel drizzle was super sweet but there was just enough to compliment all the other flavors without overpowering them. This is what dreams are made of. Sigh….

Top right – Smoked salmon tart. The same pie shell crust for this is as what was used in the banana cream tarts. In this instance, the sweetness of the crust seemed to be intensified in comparison to the savory smoked salmon quiche filling. I was not sure if I would like this because I never had smoked salmon in this way before. Although hesitant, I still tried it because I believe you cannot say you don’t like something if you have not tried it. In this case, I loved it! I ended my dinner by eating two of these tarts. The herbs and smoked salmon came together well.

Bottom right – Tiny apple pie. It was cute and delicious. Wonderful combination! I like bite size confections with hints of spice and fruit and flaky crust.

Bottom right – Key lime pie in chocolate shell. I have mentioned the key lime in chocolate shell before.

The chefs consistently produce creative bite-sized dishes that excite and delight my taste buds. At every event, I was sad that I could not eat more. I know that makes me sound like a little piggy, but OMC food is so good that it is worth a little gluttony.

Excuse me while I look for OMC’s next catered event…

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D

I do not really have a bucket list, per se. I have things that I have always wanted to do. And for me, I have always wanted to go to a Cirque du Soleil show. I have went to Vegas numerous times and each time I told myself, “This time, I am going”. But then I see how much the tickets cost and I chicken out. So when my friend told me about a 3D movie that was like a Cirque du Soleil performance, I jumped at the chance.

Movie : Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D
Date : Sunday, December 23, 2012
Time : 7:00pm

The premise of the story was a young girl goes to the circus. While watching an acrobatic performer, he falls after losing concentration because he was looking at her. Instead of hitting the ground he goes into another world. She jumps in after him (to save him ?). Once in the fantasy world, she tries to navigate and search for her acrobat. They seem to have had an attraction from the intense gaze the shared. So while she is looking for him, he is trying to figure out how to get back to the real world as well. There are characters for many of the Cirque du Soleil shows that highlight the fact that their surroundings are indeed fanciful and mystical. There is a lot of jumping around, amazing body contortions, but very, very little dialogue. I had to infer a lot considering the fact that no one was talking and much of the communication consisted of hand gestures. They were like very sprightly, nimble mimes.

Leaving the theater, I was confused. I did not feel that overwhelming sense of “Wow that was so awesome”. It was okay. It made me realize that I think that I hyped up Cirque du Soleil too much in my head. Paired with the fact that tickets to the show are usually very expensive, I thought it would be touch my soul in some way.

Yes, I am glad it was in 3D because the characters seemed to pop off of the screen as if I was in the front row. Yes, the dancing was great. But how many contorted humans into pretzels does it take for it to lose it appeal? For me, the answer is 6.

I was like, “Yea yea. I get it. All of you can touch your ears with your toes. Do something else now. I am no longer entertained.”

I thought the same thing for the multiple somersaults and cartwheels. They were performing the same dance moves with no dialogue. I don’t know what else I was expecting, but after 20 minutes, it dawned on me that there was close to an hour to go and I was not as enthralled with the show as I thought I would be.

Maybe I am too cynical. Maybe I spend too much time on the internet to appreciate the beauty of the dance. I am truly puzzled with myself. I should have been amazed with it all. I still think that Cirque du Soleil is something that people should experience at least once just to see it.

Am I buying the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away DVD when it comes out? No.

I am not so sure anymore that I will dream of going to a live Cirque du Soleil show. That being said, I will probably go if someone else wants to go and the tickets were reasonably priced.

Iberostar Rivera Maya, Mexico

Last October, the hubby and I went to all-inclusive Iberostar Hotels & Resorts (hotel Tucán) in Riviera Maya. We flew into Cancun and took a shuttle ride for about an 30-45minutes to get to the resort. I have been to resorts before in Cancun, but it was my first time at this location.

Accommodations & Staff
I like how the resort embraced the natural environment instead of totally clearing the land, cutting down the trees and displacing the native wildlife. The resort looks like is situated in a jungle, full of lush plants and exotic animals (including howler monkeys) scampering all over the place. There were also water areas with turtles, ducks, swans, and iguanas.

The resort rooms were very spacious and comfortable. The bed was firm, but fine for me because I don’t like my bed to be too soft. In the bathroom, there was a large bottle of water use when brushing our teeth. It is understandable that in Mexico, you do not drink the tap water. The mini bar in the room was fully stocked every day, just the way I like it. I did not have to ask for anything because it seemed that they provided it before I had a chance to realize I needed it.

All of the staff, from the front desk personnel to the bartenders and maids were very friendly. They were helpful as well. I loved their willing attitude to help make my stay pleasant.

Activities
I was going to make the best of my visit and do as many activities as I could. I took a tennis lesson, did archery, did air rifle shooting, went to the spa, played pool, danced at the techno club and danced to salsa music band. I had to chase down the tennis pro for the tennis lesson. When I got to the tennis courts per the time on the activities schedule, he was not there. But when he finally showed up 5 minutes later, I was almost about to leave. I participated in the archery and air rifle shooting tournaments. I did not win in either activity. My aim is so bad.

When I went to the spa, that was the most relaxing part of my trip. I lounged in the Jacuzzi, sat in the sauna, took and shower and then got a full body massage. I was feeling stress free. It was worth every penny (spa treatments were extra cost).

The onsite night life was okay. I was surprised that there were not more people out at night. Maybe people went to clubs in town, but I did not want to chance that. Being in a different country in a touristy location puts a target on you increasing your chances of being robbed by some nefarious individual. I rather remain in the comforts of the closed gates of the resort.

When I danced at the techno club, there were not that many people there. At times, it was just my friends and me on the dance floor. Considering we were the only ones dancing, you would think that the DJ would have played the music WE wanted to hear. At one point, we were locking in a battle of wills. We refused to dance until he played what we wanted. We won, of course. In contrast, the salsa music band played all the music we wanted and we graced the dance floor with our presence.

The only things that I wanted to do but did not get a chance: a non-motorized water activity and karaoke. I did not realize that non-motorized water activity counter closed at 3pm since their hours were not posted anywhere that I could tell. The last day, I got there 2:30 and they guy told me that I could kayak but I had to be back by 3 since was the time they closed. I told him never mind. I did not want to try to rush and do it just to be able to say that I did it. I missed karaoke also because I did not they were only to going to offer that activity one night a week. I think they should have offered it more than once a week.

Food & Beverages
All inclusive resort means all drinks are included all the time. Great for me! Yes, the margaritas, pina coladas, daiquiris, and tequila shots were free flowing. But bottle water was just as necessary. Before venturing out to shop, I made sure I had one or two bottles of water from the front desk to carry with me. That saved me from having to buy water while I was out. Plus it was so hot, we needed plenty of fluids. No one wants to go on vacation and pass out from dehydration.

The only minor complaint that I have was with the buffet food. Some of the buffet food was not the quality I would have expected. Yes, there was plenty of food at the buffets, but some looked stale, reheated, or old. I think the challenge for a buffet restaurant is that they have to have enough food to satisfy the guests and at the same time, only put out what will be eaten during that time period. Since the resort is catering to people from all over the world, they are also trying to put out food that is familiar to their guests. I think they should have stuck to just cooking Mexican food since that is what they know best. The best food I had from the buffet were the typical native dishes.

Eating at the different "fancy restaurants" required a reservation. That took some planning on our part since the reservation needed to be done early. We at a Caribbean themed restaurant, Japanese steakhouse, and American steakhouse. The food quality was better than having buffet food all the time. In that aspect, it was worth the effort to make the reservation. I think the best meal I had was the pork chops at the American steakhouse (top right picture). They were perfectly seasoned and cooked well so that they were not dry.

Overall, I had a good time at the resort. The accommodations were great. There were plenty of activities to keep me occupied. The food at times left something to be desired, but it was filling and I did not get sick off of any of it. So that is a plus. I would go to another Iberostar location and I would recommend Iberostar (this resort in particular) to others.