Saturday, June 27, 2009

Royal Oak, MI - Tapas! If you've never had tapas before, this is a great place to try it. These are tapas, Spanish appetizers, from Sangria. Most I really enjoyed and another I wouldn't get again...

This is the first dish we tried called, Manchego and Chorizo. Chorizo is a Spanish smoked sausage and gets it deep red color from dried smoked red peppers. It has a distinct smoky sausage flavor, but I was rather disappointed with this dish. The Chorizo really didn't have a lot of flavor as well as the manchego cheese. Manchego is a sheep milk cheese, usually aged for at least 3 months and also has its own distinct flavor. In my opinion, the sharper the better and this one wasn't aged enough. It had a very mild flavor and I think it should be much stronger to get the excellent flavor it offers. Both ingredients were very mild, making the dish very bland.

This by far was my favorite of the night. I could have ordered a whole plate of this and then ordered another. Another tapas called, Pincho de Solomillo or Tenderloin in Black Pepper Oil. The beef was medium-rare, extremely tender, and really melted in your mouth. The black pepper oil complimented it very very well, giving it a slight pepper heat if you will. This is the dish when you end up closing your eyes immediately after you put it into your mouth because it's so good! Definitely get this when you go there.

Lastly, we had Pulpo a la Vinagreta or Octopus and Potatoes in a Lemon Vinaigrette. This dish is served cold and also a very delicious tapas. The octopus is cooked nicely where it is not too tough and rubbery. The vinaigrette enhances the flavor of the octopus and compliments the potatoes very well. Also a dish I would get again. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trenton, MI - Did you know you could order a little dessert and breakfast at the same time at the TV Diner? This is a Creme Brulee Belgian Waffle. It is exactly as it sounds, Belgian waffle, then topped with creme brulee and slightly caramelized as creme brulee should be. Well, needless to say, you do not need any syrup for this dish, it's sweet enough. However, it's not overly powerful and really compliments the waffle quite well. If you're really hungry, I recommend ordering some protein with it, because it's all carbs, but it is quite delicious. I ate the whole thing and enjoyed every bite. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Southfield, MI - This was a new item to Sweet Lorraine's menu recently so I thought I would try it out. It is Spicy Southern BBQ Shrimp and Crispy Grits. Surprising enough, it was a very light dish, even with the grits. The shrimp were very good, but not the best I've ever had. The sauce isn't overpowering the shrimp flavor, which I thought was very good, it does compliment it well. The sauce is flavored with applewood smoked bacon, given it some extra flavor. However, I think the spicy part of it just wasn't there. The girts on the other hand, fantastic. I've never had fried grits this way and I would prefer to get it like this every time from now on. The grits are mixed with small amounts of chili spice and peppers to give it an extra kick. I was expecting the grits to be heavy, but they were surprisingly light and creamy. You taste the chili peppers right at the end of the bite. That little kick is very well placed and really give the grits a home run flavor. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Clawson, MI - Usually when you go to a restaurant, you take a look at the menu and decide what you want. I, on the other hand, look at the menu and ask the server if there are dishes they make that are not on the menu. In many times at different ethnic restaurants, the staff makes what is traditionally eaten and what's on the menu can be more "Americanized". Not always, but sometimes. So, I've gotten into the habit of asking places what else do they make that's not on the menu. This is a Vietnamese sandwich from Da Nang, often referred to as Bahn Mi, but they told me the official name of this sandwich is Mi O. It is almost like a Vietnamese Bahn dish, minus the noodles. It has all the other topics, lettuce, cilantro, marinated strips of pork, carrots, cucumber, and jalapenos. Many Bahn Mi sandwiches also have a spicy mayonnaise and pate, but they didn't have both so I settled for the fish sauce that comes with Bahn dishes. To get this sandwich, you have to specifically ask them for it because it's not on the menu. They told me they could make it, but they didn't have all the ingredients such as the mayonnaise and pate. Even without it, it was still very good and enjoyed every bite. I do think the sandwiches are much better with the two ingredients, but when you have no other options in town that offer it, well, it's the best in town! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Birmingham, MI - The local bakery called Bagel Factory, you can call in orders the night before for fresh muffins. After doing this many many times, the owner's now use to me coming in and thought he would treat me to a new item. This is Manna La Simma (probably spelled incorrectly, sorry). The owner had family just return from Iraq and he said that a very common snack is this. So he pulled some from his personal amount and sent me home with it. As you can see, they are clumps stored in flour, otherwise they dry out, with walnuts in the center. The texture is very chewy, similar to taffy. At first it's kind of dry because of the flour on the outside. The taffy part is a mixture of flour, sugar, and not sure what else. I generally do not like walnuts, however, I enjoyed it because it was very light and the flavor of the taffy-like part covered up the walnuts. It's not too sweet, but just has a slight sweet after flavor. I thought it was very good and would definitely have it again. Between the taffy and walnut texture, it has a very good balance. Enjoy!