Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

Eating Fish in the Desert of at least on San Antonio’s Riverwalk

November 23, 2009

I went to San Antonio, Texas for the weekend and went out for Friday night dinner with a group. Anytime you get to go to dinner the big question is where do you go?  I figured since we are in Texas, we would go for some authentic Tex-Mex but the group felt more in a Seafood mood so we good a strong recommendation from the hotel conceriege and went to Pesca on the Riverwalk. Even getting there was fun as we made the taxi driver stop at the Alamo for a quick photo so I can prove I was in San Antonio if need be. LOL

I am a big fan of getting the Signature Cocktail at the restaurants I visit so when the waiter described the house special Margarita here at Pesca, I went for it and it was great. This one was made with Añejo Tequila, Grand Marnier and Lime Juice. The Anejo tequila made the drink a little smokey and a little smoother than white or silver tequila that were in most of the margaritas I have had up north in PA. The Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice provided a tartness and freshness that went along with the sweetness and orange flavours of the Grand Marnier. The top shelf ingredients required that the drink was served on the rocks with a small squeeze of lemon.  Despite the cool wet temperatures that night (did I say Texas and desert later) the drink went down well. I show restrain and managed to keep to just one.

We decided to share the Shells, Tails and Claws Shellfish Plateau as a group Appetizer. The impressive display of Clams, Oysters, Shrimp and Lump Crab Meat was a great start to a great meal.  Along with the fresh seafood items came three sauces for guests to doctor (sorry couldn’t resist since we were at a medical convention) their seafood choice. The Clams were served freshly shucked and raw. I found them Sweet and Very Meaty. Their size was impressive two-three times bigger than steamers from back home. The Oysters were also fresh and large but not as big as the clams. The Oysters were both Sweet and Briney at the same time making them a study in contrast. The Jumbo Shrimp was large in size and dense to the feel but were disappointing with a lack of flavour.  They were fresh but left a great deal of flavour somewhere else. The highlight of the Plateau was the Jumbo Lump Crab – Dense, Tender and Sweet.  There was no need to add sauce as the crab could stand on its own. This was a great sign for me as I had ordered the Crab Cakes for my main.

The Concierge at our hotel also suggest that if we go to Pesca make sure we try the Sea Scallops. Sure enough another good recommendation as we all got to try one scallop.  Served with Arugula, Lotus Root, Ginger-Sweet Chili in a Coconut Broth, the perfectly cooked scallops were excellent. Slightly carmelized on the outside, sweet and light on the inside. The Crispy Arugula and Dense Lotus Root were good contrasts to the light density of the scallops.  the Ginger and Chili went well with the sweetness of density. This was the Signature Dish of the restaurant and worth getting if you visit.

We also got to share the Heirloom Tomato Salad.  The giant pieces of tomato were seasoned simply with Salt and Pepper with some Olive Oil.  The simple presentation highlighted the flavours of the heirloom tomatoes that taste so different than the bright red tomatoes I usually buy at Giant Foods. This is the way tomatoes should taste.  Thanks Paige.

For my main course, I ordered the Crab Cakes with Dynamite Sauce. The same dense, sweet and tender jumbo pieces of crab meat in the appetizer was mixed with some bread crumbs and carefully pan-fried.  The Dynamite Sauce remains a bit of a mystery but my best guess was that it was a Remoulade Sauce with some Chipotle Chilis added for some heat.  The heat was good match for the sweetness of the crab meat. The crust from the pan frying contrasted to the tender crab meat inside the cakes. Excellent crab cakes that would give Maryland a run for their money.

For sides, we ordered family style and got (against my initial instincts) Quinoa supposedly the healthiest grain available on the earth and Deep Fried Sweet Potatoes. Both were well-cooked and great matches for the different fish dishes the group ordered.

The large portions of appetizers, heirloom tomatoes and entrees made dessert in the desert impossible for the group. We manage to barely complete the mains before calling it a night.  But before we left Restaurant Manager Michael McClellan stopped by to ensure we had a great meal and to invite us to Pesca’s sister restaurant Las Canarias next time we are in San Antonio. Las Canarias looked great and a target for next time.

Thanks to gang for making the evening great. We all shared a great meal and working for a great company.  The conversation was as a good as the food and that was really good.  I look forward to eating with them again.  Make sure you get to the Riverwalk if you go to San Antonio and if you are looking for seafood try Pesca.

Read other reviews here, here and here.

Pesca on the River – 212 W Crockett St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2520          (210) 396-5817

Matt’s Not Fatt Anymore

August 16, 2009

Matt’s Not Fatt anymore but his Margaritas are.  Donna and I were in Doylestown the other day near the Starbucks when I saw a big banner sign indicating that “This is the Home of the Famous Fatt Matt’s Margaritas”. So camera in hand we went into The Other Side bar to see if we have addition to the Best of Bucks Co – Top 5 Margaritas list.

Come to find out, The Other Side is the bar for Chambers 19, one of Doylestown’s bistros, and one of the owners is the for-mentioned Fatt Matt. Matt has lost weight and is no longer fat but still goes by that nickname.The Other Side Margarita

I went for the Classic Margarita.  They used Sauza Silver Tequila, Fresh Lime juice and Triple Sec to make it. We went for them on-the-rocks vs. frozen to avoid the brain freeze.  The resulting concoction was slightly tart, a mild tequila flavour and very refreshing.

Stawberry Margarita at The Other SideDonna went for the Strawberry Margarita. Courtney, our bartender, told us that it’s their most popular margarita. She also shared that she thought that Los Sarapes serves the best margaritas in Bucks County. I couldn’t agree more as I had them in the number one spot already on the blog’s Best of Bucks Co – Margarita Top 5list.  Donna’s margarita was very tasty with the strawberry flavour coming from freshly pureed Whole Strawberries. Donna’s drink was significantly sweeter than mine but not too sweet. I liked the Little strawberry seeds in the drink giving it some texture but reassuring that the flavouring is from real strawberries. It was a very refreshing drink and worthy of the trip to Doylestown.

Read other review about The Other Side and Chambers 19 here, here and here.

The Other Side– 19 North Main Street, Doylestown , PA 18901                 215- 348-1940

Summertime Drinks at the Yardley Inn

August 15, 2009

Yardley Inn signIt was a beautiful day here in Bucks County. Any day without rain is now considered beautiful, LOL, but it really was nice so we went for a drive along the Delaware River to Lower Bucks. The road along the river stops conveniently right beside The Yardley Inn so we decide to have a beverage in their very comfortable bar.

We were both still stuffed from our lunchtime visit to Basically Burgers (excellent burgers BTW) in Doylestown so we stuck to just drinks even though the Inn has a great bar menu. We have tried in the menu in the past and recommend you try the Tiers of Taste if you go. It’s three levels of great appetizers and you get to chose 3 items from mini crab cakes, hot wings, spring rolls, different dips, calamari, meatballs, deviled eggs or roasted peppers.Summertime Drinks at The Yardley Inn

Donna went for a lightly woody Chardonnay and I went for the summer drink special. At first Eric, our waiter, didn’t know what it was as it changes so often. Today it was a Watermelon Mojito.  To make this mojito, they started yesterday by infusing some Barcardi Rum with watermelon to the point the rum turned watermelon pink. Today the bartender, lightly muddled some Mint, squeezed in a Lime slice, two Cherries, the Infused Rum, Ice Cubes and then topped it off with Cube Soda. The Orange slice garnish adds to the colour of the drink. It was very refreshing and had slightly different tastes as I worked (LOL) my way down the drink.  At the top it was very much a watermelon taste, sweet but clean with a slight rum taste.  As I got to the middle, the cherries took over the taste lead, but not too strong. At the bottom, the mint took the lead but again not too strong. I know if I stirred this more the flavours most likely would have mixed together better but I enjoyed the three flavours kinda like an Adult Three-Flavour Popsicle. It was an enjoyable cocktail and worth the trip to Yardley to enjoy it.  Go quick before it starts raining again. LOL

Read other review about the Yardley Inn here, here and here.

The Yardley Inn, 82 E Afton Ave, Yardley, PA 19067       215-493-3800

Cocktails and Apps in New Hope

July 25, 2009

Co-worker, Neighbour and Facebook friend Tricia and I hit downtown New Hope Friday evening for Happy Hour Cocktails and Appetizers. Tricia was celebrating her big success at a social media conference in NYC and I was celebrating Happy Hour. LOL.

Rose Wine at Marsha Brown We planned to meet at the bar at Marsha Brown to have cocktail and appetizers there.  I have found the bar to be more relaxing than the more formal dinning room upstairs in the refurbished church.  As I arrived Tricia had already picked out a nice Rose wine.  I forget how good roses can be especially in the summer.  I eventually got a glass to go with my appetizer and found the Rose to be very refreshing and matching the saltiness of the seafood nicely.

Morgan's French ManhattanI like to try the different signature cocktails at restaurants.  Marsha Brown offers 6 signature cocktails and I went for the Morgan French Manhattan.  Served ice cold, the cocktail was a classic Manhattan, (rye whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and a maraschino cherry) with the addition of some Grand Marnier. Come to find out Morgan was our bartender and he had created this cocktail.  I liked it, as I do like Manhattans but this one had a strong orange note from Grand Marnier. The sweetness of the orange match well with strength of the Rye Whiskey.  A very good cocktail.  Thanks Morgan.

Mussels at Marsha BrownTricia went for the Basin Street Mussels as her appetizer. The menu describes them as being “Prince Edward Island Mussels simmered in a Creole barbeque sauce“. When they arrived there was a great smokey aroma that drifted down the bar. It was a great BBQ smell that reminded us of grilled Andouille Sausage. Tricia shared a few mussels with me and they were sweet and the BBQ sauce gave them a little heat and a smokey flavour that matched well and completed the dish.

Fresh Bread and Red Bean Hummus at Marsha Brown

Marsha Brown serves customers Bread, Butter and Red Bean Hummus. Boy, did the bread come in handy as the mussel were eaten and the BBQ sauce and mussel broth. The sweetness and smokiness of the BBQ sauce and salty sweetness of the mussels being mopped up by the crusty bread was very nice.  Thanks for sharing Tricia. 
 
 
Five kinds of Oysters at Marsha Brown
For my appetizer, I went for a combo plate of two of Five Different types of Oysters. It was an impressive plate with pairs of oysters, home-made seafood sauce, lemons, crackers and Louisiana Hot Sauce. Our barman Morgan shared with us that the Creole folks prefer Louisiana Hot Sauce and the Cajun folks preferring the Tabasco Hot Sauce.  I found the Louisiana sauce did go well with oysters. As for the varieties of oysters they are starting at one o’clock and going clockwise are Emerald, St. Simon, Kumomoto, Winanno and Charleston. I liked the little Kumomoto oysters the best as they were slightly salty on the outside with a sweet flesh when you bite into them. The Emerald oysters were my least favourite as they were large but kinda bland but the other three were good. I love the idea that I get to customize each oyster with some combination of lemon juice, hot sauce, seafood sauce or just au natural. By mixing the combination it seemed like I had way more than five different oysters. I hope you try the oysters and let me know what you think in the comment section.
Margaritas at the Login Inn
After slurping the oysters and mopping up the mussel BBQ sauce we went for a short walk around New Hope and ended up at the Login Inn for a Margarita.  The hot evening was great for people watching off the patio bar deck at the Login. Even better was the ice cold margarita with the smokey Tequila, sour lime juice, sweet Triple Sec and Salt rim. A wonderful mixture of flavours and sensations.
Thanks Tricia for a great Happy Hour of Cocktails and Apps.  Let’s do it again soon.
 
These were great appetizers but let us know what your Favourite Appetizer Type is at the Blog Food Survey. Take the poll here.
 
Read other reviews about Marsha Brown’s here, here and here.

Marsha Brown's on Urbanspoon

Marsha Brown Creole Kitchen and Lounge – 15 South Main Street – New Hope, PA 18938

Marsha Brown's on Urbanspoon

BLT Prime Time

June 28, 2009

Ryan and I spent most of Friday being tourists in New York City visiting the Howard Stern studio, wandering around Times Square, visiting the Hard Rock Cafe, going to a comedy club and having dinner at BLT Prime, one of the best steakhouses in the city.

We were met by Facebook friend Steve and his boss Erin who work a major digital agency.  They have recently re-branding their agency and wanted to share with me what the changes could mean for my company. Over a great dinner we talked about social media and how that was changing the way we communicate with our customers. I also found out that Steve and Erin are both into the food scene and participate on several blogs of their own. Erin also blogs about the wine she drinks and that has made her learn a great deal about which wines to drink.  Good for us LOL. So interesting people, in an interesting place all set to have a great meal so let me tell you about what we drank and ate.

The Last Ride at BLT Prime

I like to try the signature cocktail at the restaurants I eat in just to change things up from the usual glass of wine or standard cocktail. At BLT Prime, they have a few signature cocktails that would match most people’s taste. I went for The Last Ride since the ingredients sounded like the drink would be an upscale Manhattan, and since I was in Manhattan, why not? LOL.  The barmaid created my cocktail by muddling a half dozen cherries and then combining them in a shaker with some Makers Mark Bourbon, Cointreau, Carpano Antica (an upscale sweet vermouth) and some Ice. After some vigorous shaking, she poured out the wonderful libation in the photo.  not overtaking the drink as many house Manhattan tend to do. The Last Ride brought notes of orange and cherry but not making the drink overly sweet and sappy but well balanced with the Bourbon.  A very nice cocktail and highly recommended by me.

 Popovers at BLT Prime

Every order at BLT Prime gets their signature Popover as their take on an amuse-bouche. In most restaurants that serve amuse-bouche, it a bite size appetizer that gets you started for meal. Here, they give you a six-inch Yorkshire Pudding-looking piece of bread. Erin had been here a few times before so she knew that the best way to attack this was tearing off a piece, dabbing on some BLT Butter and then shaking on some of the Sea Salt. I was expecting a bland Yorkshire Pudding without-the-gravy-taste but it actually tasted like butter popcorn. The top of the popover was covered in melted Gruyere cheese, giving that section of the popover a cheesy popcorn flavour. That was a bit of a surprise for me but quite nice and enjoyable while we waited for the appetizers.

 Tuna Tartare at BLT PrimeWe all decided to share the different appetizers so we could all get a taste of them and then compare.  I had the Tuna Tartare.  The generous portion of tuna was served over avocado and lime soy sauce with potato crisps.  I liked this dish.  The sweet tuna and avocado matched well with the salty line-soy sauce.  The creamy tuna and avocado contrasted nicely with potato crisps giving each portion a nice mouth feel. A tasty and filling appetizer.

 Crab Cakes at BLT Prime

Steve ordered the Crab Cake. It came with Meyer Lemon sauce and a tiny Radish Salad.  The small bite I had was pleasant with the lemon contrasting nicely with the sweet crab meat and the radish salad offering some nice crunch to the chunks of crab meat. It was a good crab cake with some interesting textures you don’t usually see.

Cesear Salad at BLT PrimeRyan went for the classic Caesar Salad.  BLT Prime serves a generous portion with two large croutons. For some reason the prepared the salad by placing the dressing in the middle of the salad leaving the top leaves of lettuce undressed. After mixing the salad and getting all the greens dressed it turned into a very good Caesar Salad but Ryan was kind enough to say it wasn’t as good as mine.  LOL He’s a smart kid. The small portion I tried was nice.  Crisp lettuce, creamy dressing, nice level of garlic (I like more) and great cheese. Very acceptable.

Grilled Bacon at BLT PrimeErin called it the most “Bad Ass” appetizer ever, Grilled Double Cut Bacon. The dish came with four slices of double thick, slightly smoked grilled bacon. The great grill marks, sauteed garlic and parsley bites and bacon aroma made this appetizer a new classic for me. We each tried a slice and it was the best bacon I have ever had. Meaty, sweet, slightly smokey and a nice char from the grill. Definitely Bad Ass. Try it.

 NY Strip steak at BLT PrimeRyan went for the NY Strip steak. Sixteen ounces of 28 day aged meaty delight. Perfectly cooked to a medium rare and accompanied by a selection of sauces; Bearnaise, Peppercorn, Red Wine and Horseradish.  Ryan was loving this steak.

BLT Cut at BLT PrimeErin and I decide to split the BLT Cut, Bone in Double Cut Sirloin. Again 28 days of dry ageing and cooked to perfection medium rare.  At 32 ounces it was perfect to share giving us a reasonable amount of meat each.  The staff carved the steak before presenting it to us making it easy to select portions from the serving dish to enjoy on our plates. The first bite was amazing, tender, a lite char on the outside and earthy sweet meat on the inside. Meat perfection in a bite.  I tried the meat with the different sauces and each one brought a different note to each bite but even on it’s own the steak was perfect.

Italian Steak at BLT Prime

Steve ordered the Steak Special of the day, steak imported from Italy. I didn’t write down the name and now can’t find it on the Internet. I did manage to get a bite from Steve and it was very interesting. The first taste sensation was dry, not dry in a bad way but rather a concentration of meaty flavours. This steak seem to take to the dry aging more than the steak from the US. I had never tasted anything like that.  It was quite good and different from any other steak I have ever tasted.

We tried several sides and shared them; Gnocchi Pomadoro, Creamy Spinach, Grilled Asparagus, Stuffed Mushroom Caps and Hen of the Woods Mushrooms. Most were average at best with mushroom caps standing out. The gnocchi had too cheese and didn’t match weell with steaks. The creamy spinach was too runny for me but still flavourful. The asparagus was well grilled but needed some sauce to make it truly tasty. The Hen of the Woods muchroom arrived as surprise in place of the Blue Cheese Tater Tots we actually ordered.  The Hen of the Woods mushrooms were ok but the mushroom caps were much better.

Carrot Cake with Ginger Ice Cream

For dessert, I chose the Carrot Cake with Ginger Ice Cream. The classic dessert was well excuted with a great carrot flavour coming out of the cake and ginger coming out of the ice cream. It was a perfect size for one person and I managed to keep most of it for myself LOL but Steve did try it and commented strong ginger and carrot flavours.  Very nice.

Blueberry Crumble Dessert Special at BLT Prime

Erin went for the daily dessert special the Blueberry Cobbler.  The large portion came with Vanila Ice Cream. The biscuits covering the blueberry sauce were light and sweet and they made a nice contrast in texture with the blueberry sauce and ice cream.  The Blueberry sauce was warm making the cold ice cream melt into a delicious sauce soaked up by the biscuits. A classic dessert well executed in a very generous portion. Make sure you try it if it’s on the menu that night.

It was a great meal and I got to enjoy it with Steve and Erin, two leaders in the digital/social media space and of course my son.  BTW BTL Prime offers a $60 Prix Fixe menu, where you get to order of the specials menu, one app, one main, one side and one dessert. I am sure our meal was more expensive than that but if you want to try BLT Prime, the Prix Fixe maybe a more affordable way. 

Tell us your favourite cut of steak at the poll here and recommend the Best of Bucks Co-Steaks here.

Read other review on BLT Prime here, here and here.

BLT Prime on Urbanspoon

BLT Prime, 111 E 22ND St, New York, NY 10010-5400              (212) 995-8500

Fish Egg Brunch

June 22, 2009

Donna and I went to brunch this morning at the Logan Inn in New Hope.  The Logan Inn used to have brunch buffet but with the ownership change they have switched to a Brunch Menu. The menu offers half a dozen egg choices, a couple of fish choices and three sweet choices.  Donna went for the Eggs Benedict and I went for the Smoked Salmon and Trout dish making this a Fish-Egg Brunch LOL.

 Mimosa at the Logan Inn in New Hope PASince it was brunch, we had to have  brunch beverages.  Donna went for the Classic Mimosa and I went for the Classic Bloody Mary.  The Korbel Brut sparkling wine matched well with the sweetness of the orange juice. I thought the bottle presentation was a  nice way to be able to adjust the drink as the meal continued.

Bloody Mary at Logan Inn in New Hope, PAMy Bloody Mary looked like a mini salad bar. Three olives, lemon slice, lime slice and big stalk of celery decorated the spice infused Vodka and Tomato Juice beverage.  I asked for light spice and they hit it right on for me. A very flavourful tomato juice. Some places want to impress you with the vodka but this one was well balanced putting the vodka in the background to blend in with the juice and spices. Very drinkable and great match to my savory fish dish.

Smoked Salmon and Smoked Trout at the Logan InnMy fish dish is a take on the classic bagel and lox. The Smoked Salmon and Smoked Trout comes with two large pieces of Smoked Salmon covering a freshly Toasted Bagel that has been coated in Cream Cheese.  The salmon is sprinkled with briny Capers.  The Smoked Trout is straight up in bite size pieces.  A slice of Jersey fresh Tomato, Red Onion and crisp Lettuce accompany the smoke fish.  The lightly smoked trout enhanced the delicate nature of the fish and brought back memories of when I use to catch little 6 inch brook trout in the streams around my home in rural Canada. My Mom loved trout and she would always pan-fry them as soon as I go them home.  The smoked salmon was darn good. The over-sized pieces of salmon almost melted in my mouth a bit on the overhand off the bagel. The slightly smoky taste matched well with sweetness of the cream cheese and tomato. The briny capers and tangy onions also contrasted nicely with the bagel sandwich I created. Eggs Benedict at the Logan Inn, New Hope, PA

Donna’s Eggs Benedict were well presented with some Fruit and Home Fries on the side. The lightly poached eggs were covered in fresh creamy Hollandaise Sauce and placed on a freshly toasted English Muffin and  Ham.  Hold it ham? The menu says Canadian Bacon, but it was not Canadian Bacon, we’re Canadian and that was NOT Canadian Bacon. LOL. Most likely it was the Logan Inn’s Twice Smoked Virginia Pit Ham that is offered as a side on the menu. It was actually nice, very tender, moist and slightly smokey but it wasn’t Canadian bacon. LOL. We did miss the salty taste you get from Canadian bacon but it was an interesting change. The Fruit was fresh and sweet and a good match to the savory eggs and home fries.  The Home Fries were lightly fried giving them a good potato taste and a good mouth feel.  They were delicious when you dipped them into the egg yoke and Hollandaise sauce.  All in all a very good dish and worth the trip to New Hope. BTW if you like Hollandaise Sauce, we are planning a Throwdown with Hollandaise Sauce with some local Bucks County Chefs.  Read more about at this post and let me know if you are interested attending the live Throwdown.

Bread Pudding with Baily's Irish Cream SauceIF YOU ARE MY DOCTOR, STOP READING NOW AND FOLLOW THESE LINKS TO WHERE I ATE SALAD HERE, HERE & HERE.  If you insist on reading on, please note that I had only one bite and shared this will all 16 people that were in the dinning room with us.  LOL.

The Logan Inn makes several home-made desserts that are worthy of consideration but I chose the Bread Pudding with Baily’s Irish Cream Sauce.  The 6 inch diameter bread pudding was nice and light with a light bit of caramelizing on the top. The pudding comes with three sauces, a strawberry coulis, a heavy caramel sauce and the Irish Cream sauce. Each of the bring different notes of sweetness to the party and a nice contract in texture to the bread pudding. The dollop of cold whipped cream contrasted to the warm bread pudding and added another sweetness. I am pretty sure this should be illegal for people with diabetes but the waiter, Andrew, said they have a special permit so I let them off. And since I was sharing this with everyone (wink-wink nod-nod) I was good and didn’t want anyone to get into trouble. LOL. A great dessert but bring friends to share it with.

Donna and I enjoyed our brunch and recommend you try it to.  If you need someone to help with dessert, let me know.

Read other reviews of the Logan Inn here, here and here.

Logan Inn on Urbanspoon

Logan Inn,10 West Ferry Steet, New Hope PA 215-862-2300

High Noon at Poco’s

June 13, 2009

Facebook friend and co-worker Deb recommended Poco’s in Doylestown as a great place to have a Margarita here in Bucks County.  Today Donna and I decided to try it out. 

“It’s a little early isn’t it?” Donna said as we pulled in at noon but I figured it would be quiet at the bar and we could ask questions and take photos without bothering too many people.  Poco’s offers frozen and on-the- rocks version of 10 Different Margaritas. Flavours range from the traditional lime to strawberry to mango to watermelon. The traditional margarita comes in three versions; House, Golden and Preferred.  All three come with Jose Guerrero tequila but vary the orange-flavored liqueur. The House comes with Triple Sec, the Golden comes with Gran Torres and the Preferred comes with Cointreau. They also offer all their margaritas in pitchers if you have a group going out.

Watermelon Margarita at Poco'sDonna went for the Watermelon Margarita and I went for the Classic Preferred Margarita.  Donna thought here drink was pretty and it had a very definite watermelon aroma as it arrived. The margarita was tart, had a slight watermelon taste and was very refreshing.  When I tasted it I got the slightly tart watermelon tastes that Donna had but I also got what I would describe as a “perfumey” aftertaste.  Not bad, just a little different. Don’t think I could drink too many of them.  Kevin, our waiter, told us the watermelon flavour comes from Watermelon Pucker liqueur and that the staff at Poco’s makes their own margarita mix everyday. Their mix is for sale for take-out.

Preferred Margarita at Poco's

 I went for the Preferred Margarita with the Jose Guerrero tequila and Cointreau on-the-rocks with salt. I usually avoid the salt because my doctor reads  this LOL, but I thought the salt would look good in the picture. Sure enough the salt does stand out in the photo and the first taste actually had a salty taste, not too much, just enough to know you were having a margarita.  The tartness and citrus flavours came thru in the second taste. The drink was refreshing and made me wish for a warm summer day instead of this rain that is overstaying it’s welcome.  Net-net a very good margarita.

The custom margarita mix, the various flavours, the choice of frozen or on-the-rocks and three levels of add-on liqueurs have earned Poco’s a spot on the Best of Bucks Co – Margarita Top 5 list.  

 I am sure there other places in Bucks County to have a really good margarita, use the reply box or comment link line to let us know where you go for a great margarita. 

 Read other reviews about Poco’s here, here and here.

Poco’s  – 625 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901       215-348-3424

Last Meal – Sort of

June 12, 2009

The guys over at Endless Simmer are holding a contest on the classic chef’s game of what would your last meal be? You can win Top Chef prizes for entering.  So I entered their contest with the following 100 words.  Take a look and enter your last meal description.

Start with a classic cocktail – Manhattan with Crown Royal Rye, sweet Vermouth and a maraschino cherry. For the appetizer course – a Seafood Combo -Shrimp Cocktail, Smoked Salmon and Bacon-wrapped Scallops paired with chilled Sauvignon Blanc. For the salad, the classic Caesar paired with a buttery Chardonnay. The main course has to be a Peter Lugar Porterhouse with Twice-Baked Potato and Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce paired with cool Cabernet Sauvignon. For the cheese course I would go with an aged Stilton Cheese with grapes, almonds and crackers paired with an aged Port. To finish, a light Lemon soufflé & Brut Champaign.

Ethiopian After Party

June 11, 2009

Last night at our cross-company Marketing Awards, Facebook friend, neighbour and co-worker Tricia was a Finalist in the Social Media marketing category for ADHD Moms. Despite a very compelling business case, the Facebook page didn’t win, so Heidi, Kara and I decided to take Tricia out for a drink. We were joined by Caroline and Meredith from T’s agency. One of our favourite restaurants,  Makeda was just down the street from the award ceremony venue.  Their Website says “Makeda is New Jersey’s first and only Ethiopian restaurant offering exceptional cuisine in elegant surroundings.” We just like it cause it’s has good food and a great atmosphere.

Makeda AppetizersWe ordered drinks and some appetizers. So what Ethiopian appetizers do you order?  Our waitress, Xavier, was very accommodating with us by helping us order some great dishes. 

On the tray above we have Zaalouk, Kefta and D’jaj Bi Zitiune. The marinated chicken and olive dish is the D’jaj Bi Zitiune. The salt of the olives was a nice match to the sweetness of the chicken.  It still unusual for me to have heated olives but it was good dish.  The Kefta are Moroccan meatballs and with the injera bread made a nice meaty bite. Not too spicy just a smoky meaty taste. The Zaalouk is diced sauteed eggplant with garlic and spices. I am not a big fan of eggplant and we ordered it for my vegan co-worker Kara but it wasn’t bad.  Not as good as the Italian eggplant I had at the Memorial Day Picnic but it was good.

Makeda Appetizer II

The second tray of appetizers contained Loubia, Shrimp Alecha and Basid. Loubia is a vegan dish of green beans with garlic, ginger, parsley and cumin. I love green beans to start so with the addition of the spice mix these were delicious. The Shrimp Alecha was  sauteed with some green peppers, rosemary and spices. Very good but the shrimp disappeared quickly.  The Busia (spelling?) was sauteed carrots with some garlic and spices. Again another veggie dish that was great.  Together with the  injera bread and the six dishes we made a meal out of the appetizers. It was fun to eat with our fingers and the injera bread, some of us, who will remain nameless, used forks. LOL.

Honey Wine At Makeda

So what do you drink with such a feast?  So I asked Xavier, what to drink and she suggested the tej. This wine is made from 100% honey and flavoured with powdered leaves and twigs.  As you can see it has almost a bright yellow colour and it was very sweet taste that reminded me of mead. Tricia liked it but it was too sweet for me to eat food with. So I needed to change to some red wine. Xavier was having fun with us taking photos, getting the descriptions of the food for the blog and us generally being loud that when I asked for the red wine the bar sent over a sample for me to try. I have been drinking Pinot Noir lately but this was  a shiraz.  Since they recommended it I went for it. Instead of filling my glass, Xavier brought the bottle over for me to see.

Old Geezer WineSo it was Ol’ Geezer wine. LOL it was very funny. The staff was having some fun with me but the wine wasn’t actually that bad so we all laughed and continued with our after party.  I was a lot of fun, God knows what we would have done if Tricia actually had won.  Maybe next year.

We enjoyed our evening of Ethiopian food and hope you try some soon.  In the meantime, let us all know you favourite type of food is at food poll.

 

Makeda  338 George St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901          732-545-5115

Cactus Grill

June 9, 2009

Margarita at Cactus GrillFacebook friend and co-worker Deb suggested that we try Cactus Grill in Pipersville as part of our Memorial Day  Best of Bucks Co Burger Search.  We didn’t make it that weekend but we made it today.

It was a beautiful sunny day for a change so we opted to sit outside on Cactus Grill’s deck over looking pastoral Bucks County.  With an name like Cactus Grill we figured the Margaritas would be good so we ordered one.  They did have mango margaritas on the specials board but we didn’t see that until after we ordered drinks.  I liked the presentation of the margarita; a special cocktail glass, ice-cold lime green liquid, white foam head and a lime garnish. The first taste was the classic tart-sweet mix of a margarita bar mix with a Mild Tequila flavour coming thru.  I was hoping for fresh fruit juices but the bar mix was actually Refreshing on the warm afternoon. BBQ Chicken at Cactus Grill So net-net not a bad drink.

Donna went for the BBQ Chicken Special and I went for the Cactus Angus Burger as Deb suggested.  Donna’s special came with baked beans, corn-on-the-cob and potato salad.  The rustic presentation of BBQ dish was a little too rustic for me but it was ok. The Baked Beans were a little mushy in texture but the bean flavour along with a smokey bacon taste came thru in the dish.  The Potato Salad had nice chunks of red potatoes and crisp celery in a vinaigrette dressing.  Donna and I are both fans of mayo-based potato salad. The Corn actually photographed better than it was.  In reality it was slightly dried out and not fresh.  A couple of bites confirmed the less than fresh status.  The highlight of Donna’s dish was the BBQ Sauce on the chicken. It had a nice smokey sweet taste with a thick consistency.  The sauce made the slightly dry BBQ Chicken pieces enjoyable.  The generous portion of chicken made the meal a good value.

Cactus Angus Burger

The Cactus Angus Burger comes with American cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and bacon.  The Burger was good with the 8 oz patty of ground Angus Beefgiving the burger a good meaty burger taste.  The first bite came thru with a smokey-bacon cheese flavour.  Despite only two pieces of bacon, bacon flavour seemed to be in every bite.  The American Cheese actually tasted more like provolone and was a good addition to the burger.  The Caramelized Onions were  cut into serious sized chunks that were sweet with a little bit of char.  The Mushrooms were heated thru but unfortunately placed on top of the bacon and onions allowing them to escape with each bite.  Put them under the cheese people it will reduce the “drop-age”.  Other than that it was a good burger and worthy of an Honourable Mention on our Best of Bucks Co – Burger list.  The fries are also worthy of note. The unique shaped fries were crispy on the outside with a creamy potato filling inside. They were also well seasoned with some garlic salt and pepper. Very nice.

Half Rack of Ribs at Cactus Grill

Outside on the patio, we were sitting beside a sign bragging on their “Best BBQ Ribs” so we had to try that too.  Since the burger and chicken were so filling we got them to go knowing that ribs in our home refrigerator have a “life expectancy” of 3-4 hours at best once Ryan or Robbie know the ribs are there. The to-go ordered featured the same half-moon seasoned fries and a Half-a-Rack of Ribs for $8.99. Good value for the order but most importantly the ribs were very good.  They used the same BBQ Sauce from the BBQ chicken and it really worked with ribs too.  The ribs were meaty and had a dense texture to the flesh.  Many people like the a fall-off-the-bone texture but I prefer a cooked rib that holds to the bone, tender to the bite and covered in thick BBQ Sauce.  Cactus Grill’s rib gave us that.  The flesh was moist with a sweet taste that matched well with the tang of the BBQ sauce.  These are excellent ribs and worth the trip to North Bucks.  In fact the ribs are so good, I have placed them in the Best of Bucks Co – Ribs Top 5  list here on the blog.

Read other reviews of Cactus Grill here, here and here.

Cactus Grill, 7200 Easton Rd, Pipersville, PA, 18947        215-766-9840