Benihana

Continuing my birthday celebration, Josh and I had dinner at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse Tuesday. If you’re not familiar, Benihana is a hibachi restaurant where guests are seated at a table with a screaming hot grill in the middle. You’ll watch the chef cook your meal while telling jokes and doing tricks.

Special Roll: Crab, jalapeno, cilantro, and cream cheese topped with tempura shrimp dipped in a spicy chili sauce. Our server talked us into this roll and even though I’m not a fan of cream cheese and seafood, it was pretty tasty. Sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time, pulling my taste buds into different directions. A+ for presentation as well.

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“Onion Volcano”

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Food!: All dinner’s normally come with your choice of steak, chicken, or seafood, rice, veggies, shrimp appetizer, soup and salad. Our table had a good mix of everything. Image

Spicy Chicken: Chicken breast grilled to perfection topped with a spicy chili teriyaki sauce. The sauce reminds me of a mix of sriracha and teriyaki: sweet, but you feel the heat from the chili paste. The chicken fried rice is so moist and delicious. It’s probably due to the 1/2 cup of garlic butter the chef throws on the grill, but it’s worth it. I love it so much that I actually stole the recipe and have made homemade fried rice many times.

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Benihana Steakhouse is a good way to play with your food, without getting your hands all sticky and risking grill burns. It’s fun, delectable, and entertaining. Although I do like to have a nice quiet dinner with the one I love, it’s interesting to be seated with complete strangers who share your love of hibachi grilled food. If you would prefer a more intimate setting, they do have a dining room and a sushi bar.

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Campus Martius for Lunch!

One thing I love about working in the heart of Downtown Detroit is being so close to Campus Martius Park. Check them out for live music, the Beach Bar & Grille, sunbathing in the sand, and great food. Janet and I decided to try out some of the “food shack’s” posted up and serving up awesome lunch deals 10 am to 2 pm.

Margherita pizza from Rollin’ Stone Wood Fired Pizza (These guys are literally rolling a pizza over an oven and making some mean pies).

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It only took about 5 min and this cheesy, ooey, gooey, yet crispy crusted masterpiece was handed to me. You can really taste the freshness. Good job guys!

I tried to snag a close up…disregard the dude sitting in front of the food truck where the pizza oven is located.

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People’s Pierogi Collective

Served with a kielbasa link and a scoop of sour kraut (pucker up!) for only $6

Potato & Cheese: Classic and fulfilling

Cheese: Traditional and satisfying

Spinach: Cheesy, rich filling.

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Being the Polish girl that I am, of course I had to check em out. Peoples Pierogi’s are dishing out really delicious, authentic favorites.

I was sad to see that the food shacks were taken down to prepare for the Jazz Festival this Labor Day weekend.  You can still catch the food trucks during lunchtime so you can experience them for yourself.  There’s also tons of food choices for the Jazz Festival so take a trip and check em out. Support Food Trucks!

Orchid Thai

My brother Jason loves Thai, so he’s been bugging me to try out Orchid Thai on Monroe St. in Downtown Detroit. Orchid Thai is jamming for lunch, but we stopped in for dinner.

Tom Yung Gai: Minced chicken, mushroom, tomato, and green onion, in a savory hot and sour broth. Not too bad, but I’m not a huge lover of hot and sour soup. Nice chili taste, but not overwhelming.

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Yam Neau: Sliced BBQ Beef, cucumber, green onion, minced white onion, celery, and lettuce mixed in a house lime dressing. Jason’s favorite! Crisp, crunchy, and refreshing. The dressing is spicy yet sour from the house vinaigrette. Perfect if you’re looking for a hearty meal, while trying to keep that girlish figure!

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Drunken Noodles (Chicken): Large rice noodles stir fried with egg, onions, bean sprout, bell pepper, and basil. Be careful with the spice when eating Thai food. The noodles were rich and delicious, but very spicy (I ordered “Medium”). The noodles were light, yet chewy and full of flavor.

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Fry rice curry: Egg fried rice with carrot, peas, onions, pineapple, tomato, and cashew. I added Chicken. Jason recommended this dish even though I told him I don’t care for curry. The rice was moist and flavorful, and the sweetness from the pineapple paired well with the saltiness from the cashew. I could’ve done without the curry, but when eaten with the Spicy Chicken it was a tasty side dish.

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Spicy Chicken Breast: Breaded chicken breast stir fried with onions in a sweet and sour sauce. My favorite! Rich, sweet, and thick sauce covered crispy, moist chicken. This dish reminded me of the Thai version of General Tso Chicken and it was perfectly cooked!

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If you love Thai food and want to try a good authentic Thai place, stop in and visit Orchid Thai. They don’t have a website, but they don’t need one. Everyone raves about this restaurant and I see why: Mouth watering food (and eye watering depending on the spice), generous portions, and great service. Next time you’re in the area, see what all the buzz is about and experience flavor for yourself.

Orchid Thai on Urbanspoon

Texas de Brazil

For my birthday I received a “Buy one get one free” dinner @ the Brazilian steakhouse, so Josh and I decided to check it out.

Tip: Signing up for restaurant and company e-mail clubs usually promises good benefits.

First, you have your choice of a very, unique salad bar including a plethora of different artisan cheeses and meats, pickled garden mix, and herb olives. Not to mention your greens, and cold salads. I was a little disappointed because there wasn’t your typical toppings like egg, peas, or craisins. I do give props for not having the same old boring salad items that you can get anywhere, but there are some favorites I would’ve kept. However, they did have sushi: California rolls!

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Once we were done with our salads, our server brought over fresh plates and we flipped over our “tokens” to green. (Green means: Go meat)! The endless offerings of red meat were a little overwhelming, but still an awesome experience. My favorite was the filet Mignon, which was tender, juicy, and full of flavor. And it melted in my mouth like butter. (Pictured: Filet Mignon is that juicy, pinkish, little nugget in the middle).

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The unlimited meats were served with sides of garlic mashed potatoes, cheese rolls (a little doughy in the middle), candied bananas (bananas topped with brown sugar and caramelized til golden), and white rice, black beans, or soup (available at the salad bar). The bananas were really good, but just a little too sweet to eat too much.

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Parmesan Chicken and Flank Steak: The chicken we didn’t care for too much, but the flank steak was thin and moist.

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Parmesan Pork and Bacon wrapped filet Mignon. The Pork was juicy, but tasted like a pork chop (I’m not a big fan). The bacon wrapped steak was amazing and everything you hope for!Image

To be honest, I expected more out of Texas de Brazil. The restaurant was gorgeous and the service was good. I’m just not a huge red meat eater and I found all the steak to be very salty. I also thought the salad bar would have more options because the web site stated there were 50-60 items (didn’t seem like).

For the price, I would not return. Josh and I actually left feeling a little hungry, but there’s only so much steak our bodies can take. Besides, I also can’t eat that much at one time. Personally, I’m a girl that likes balance.  If you’re a carnivore and want to indulge in a never ending buffet of delicious meat, then Texas de Brazil is the place for you! There is something empowering about flipping over a single “token” and being served endless meat right at your table.

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Pickle Flavored Doritos

On my recent trip to Windsor for my birthday weekend I stumbled across this treasure at a local Food Basic. Canada, I apologize. Here’s another thing you are good for besides Tim Horton’s and Hockey. If they have Pickle Doritos here in the states I’ve never seen them. It’s as if two of my favorite things ran across the border and got married! I thought the pickle flavor would be weird on a corn chip, but it wasn’t at all. Simply wonderful!

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(Don’t pay any attention to the crinkled bag, someone got excited when they opened it. Hey, I never said I was a photographer!)

Has anyone else come across this brilliant creation?

Toasty Grilled Cheese and Salad Bar

Walking the streets of downtown Windsor, Josh and I came across Toasty. You guessed it: Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Super unique for the area, Toasty has choices ranging from the Sweet & Salty (mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, maple syrup, served between two waffles) to the Pilgrim (turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, croutons, cheddar, and mozzarella).

Josh and I were feeling classic:

The Italian Club: Salami, Capicola, mozzarella, provolone, red pepper, and Italian dressing on multi grain bread. I couldn’t pass up an Italian! The red pepper was a nice touch, but the Italian dressing was absent.

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Bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, served on Texas toast: Cheesy, salty, goodness, on thick, buttery, toast. Diced bacon really makes all the difference. When you take a bite, the whole strip of bacon doesn’t slide out. It ruins your day when you get slapped in the face with a piece of pork.

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With over 20 sandwich choices, this place is serving up serious twists. Toasty Grilled Cheese and Salad Bar is a great lunch spot. The inside of the shop has a very modern, clean design that “melts” together dining and fast food service. Check out Toasty’s if you’re looking for an fancy meal at an affordable price.

Marley’s (Wisconsin Dells)

If you’re looking for dinner and a dance floor, check out Marley’s in the Wisconsin Dells. With a cool, Caribbean feel, Marley’s has food, drinks, dancing, and even will shuttle your butt back to your hotel when you’re done.

Gator Bites: In my opinion, alligator tastes like chicken, with a little chew. A little greasy, but the crunch of the breading balances it out. Very delicious. Served with a creole, spicy dipping sauce to add just a touch of heat.  Image

Calypso Cuban: Ham and Roasted Pork, melted Swiss cheese, topped with pickles, lettuce, and tomato: The pork had a good flavor, but the juice made the bread soggy. Bummer. Image

Jerk Chicken: Marinated chicken breast seasoned with spicy, Caribbean jerk spices. Very tasty, without being too hot.

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BBQ Jerk Pork: Marinated pork with jerk spices topped with BBQ sauce: The pork had a good flavor, but there wasn’t much meat. Not a very good bang for your buck, but it tasted better than the wet burrito (By wet burrito I mean Cuban). Image

Marley’s is a good place to go for the atmosphere. The food is decent, but the whole Caribbean feel comes from the Reggae music. There’s a huge outside patio that doubles as a club equipped with a bar whipping out drinks as early as 11 am. If you really feel like dancing, head inside and enjoy Marley’s Club.

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Just Baked

For my pre-birthday celebration, I decided to head to Foran’s Grand Trunk (Detroit) for some drinks. Nastassia surprised me with cupcakes from Just Baked:

Chubby Hubby (pictured on left): Moist yellow cake stuffed with fudge icing, topped with peanut butter buttercream then rolled in chocolate covered pretzels. Oh my! The peanut butter buttercream is rich and delicious and the chocolate covered pretzels almost have a toffee like texture and taste. Awesome!

Neopolitan (Pictured on right): Moist devil’s food cake stuffed with strawberry buttercream then topped with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry buttercream, dusted with Hershey chocolate shavings then finished with a Hershey’s chocolate candy bar. Simple, yet satisfying. The buttercream trifecta is the perfect compliment to the deeply chocolatey devil’s food cake. Perfect for those who have a hard time making up their minds!

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Appetizer’s go great with locally brewed beers:

Edamame Potstickers @ Foran’s Grand Trunk: Crispy potsticker shells wrapped around edamame (Soy Bean). Served with a sweet Asian dipping sauce. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knowing Grand Trunk I should’ve expected nothing, but the best. Seriously delicious. Hundreds of edamame pop in your mouth as soon as you bite into the golden fried shell. (OK, a litter exaggerated, but it’s packed full of flavor). The Asian sauce is a thick and sweet pool of heaven that sets this appetizer over the edge. Try em!

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Thanks to everyone that came out 🙂

Thanks Nastassia for the talks and treats ❤

Just Baked on Urbanspoon

Moosejaw Pizza and Dells Brewing Company (Wisconsin Dells)

Moosejaw is a huge family restaurant located in the Wisconsin Dells. The Dells only  micro brewery comes equipped with pool tables, an arcade, and 3 floors of seating. Moosejaw has that cabin feel and has a little bit of something for everyone.

Beer Cheese Soup: A thick & tasty cheese soup with red & green peppers, onions, potatoes & bratwurst, made with our Rustic Red Amber Ale! (Available in 6 packs) Hands down, the best beer cheese soup I’ve ever had (When in Rome, right?) The flavor of the soup itself was delicious without the bitter beer taste. The chunky veggies made it hearty and made it more of a chowder than a soup. The bratwurst was awesome! After one bite, my mouth lit up with confusion trying to comprehend the spicy from the bratwurst and the richness from the beer and cheese.

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Onions, bacon, and Canadian bacon (Ham) Pizza: You pick the size of pie you want and add whatever toppings you choose. So this pizza was recommended to us as being sooo good. I thought it was just OK. (Hey, it’s MY blog, right?) The toppings were fresh, cheesy, and generous, but the pizza could’ve been cooked for a couple of minutes longer  (slightly dough-y in the middle). The only thing we were missing:  flavored crust! Even a little brush of garlic butter around the edges would’ve been nice. We were told by our friends that none of the pizza in Wisconsin has buttered or flavored crust. Bummer!  Just another reason why the Mitten is better 😉

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Micro-brews:

I went with the Blonde Bock: It is a deep golden, medium-bodied lager which gets its color, body & sweet malt character from imported Vienna malt.  (ABV 7.1%). This lager came with a little bite, but for 7 % ABV it was worth it.

Josh got the Honey Ale: Brewed with pure Wisconsin honey; this bright golden ale is both thirst quenching & easy on the taste buds. (ABV 4%). Very light beer with a hint of honey. Available in 6 packs @ Moosejaw.

Raspberry Creme Ale: Real raspberries are added to create a mild-bodied aromatic brew with a hint of sweet berry flavor. (ABV 4%). You could definitely taste the raspberry creme, but it was a little too sweet for me. After one beer I would feel too full to drink more than that.

Apricot Ale: This medium-bodied ale is deep golden with hues of orange.  After fermentation, 300 pounds of apricots were added to give this tangy apricot beer great flavor & aroma. (ABV 4.5 % ). Slight Apricot flavor, without being too sweet. Yummy!

If you like that brewery feel, then Moosejaw is a good place to check out if you’re ever in the Dells. With true Wisconsin roots, Moosejaw Pizza and Dells Brewing Company has entertainment, beer, and food. It’s the perfect playground for the child or adult in your. What more could you want when dining out?

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