Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse

If there was ever just one restaurant that I would just say, "OMG" and drop the mic, Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse would be the one. From the moment you sit down you are not served you are catered to by the whole staff and no one passes the buck by saying, "Just a moment let me get your server." They cater as a team. My glass never got empty and neither did my plate.

This by far is not just another buffet, oooh no my friends this is a carnivores dream come true. With all of the meats seasoned to perfection.  I swear if I see or hear anyone ask for some steak sauce I will request to have them removed from the premises.

                                        Grilled Salmon

Leg of Lamb

Now also let me tell you that Rioz has a full spread with so many different salads, cheeses, sushi, shrimp, rice, black beans, mashed potatoes and the list goes on. Ooooh and the Abacazi aka grilled pineapple with cinnamon is out of this world.

                          Abacaxi aka Grilled Pineapple

A bartender pushes a cart around and makes cocktails right at your table at the same time you see the the dessert cart going around with cheesecake, creme brulee cakes and other treats. Whether you will be in Myrtle Beach or Columbia S.C. do yourself a big favor and treat yourself to Rioz Brazilian Restaurant.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

                                                          Mexican Shrimp Cocktail


1 pound medium shrimp, raw or cooked
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 jalapeno, minced
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped OR 1 1/2 cups of freshly chopped tomatoes with their juices
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of a lime, about 2 Tbsp
Hot sauce (like Crystal or Tabasco) to taste (about 1 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of Crystal)
1 avocado, cut into chunks


1. If you have pre-cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp you can skip to the next step. If you are working with raw shrimp, peel and devein them. If you have a little extra time and want your shrimp to be extra good, put the shells in 1 1/2 quarts of cool salted water, bring to a boil, then strain the shell stock into a separate pot and cook the shrimp in that liquid. If you want to skip that step, just bring a medium pot salted water to a boil (a tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water), add the shrimp, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through. Reserve a cup of the cooking water and chill it.

2. Cut half of the shrimp into large chunks, leaving the other half whole (for a more attractive presentation). Put the chopped shrimp in a bowl with the chopped onions, cucumber, celery, jalapeno, tomatoes, ketchup, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce. Gently stir to combine, and chill. Once the cooking water has cooled at least to room temperature, add a little at a time to the shrimp cocktail, until the shrimp cocktail is the consistency you want (we like ours a little on the soupy side).

3. To serve, add salt and more hot sauce to taste and gently mix in the chopped avocados. Dip the whole shrimp in the cocktail and arrange them on top. Serve in parfait glasses or in small bowls with tortilla chips on the side.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tiffany's Bakery & Eatery

Tiffany's Bakery & Eatery in Columbia, South Carolina has been the latest business hit with a random drive by blogging. First of all I should bow my head in shame for spending $20 bucks in items for just me and not even offer so much as a crumb to my coworkers,  but I'm not ashamed.

Chocolate Ganache

This morning I had chocolate ganache, red velvet cookies,  chocolate chewies, cream cheese brownies and to make peace with conscious a ham & cheese croissant for breakfast and it was a good day. I have never had chocolate ganache before and it made my taste buds upset that they have never had this before! Rich chocolate mouse with a little bit of cake and the cream cheese brownie so moist and rich.

You have got to stop in Tiffany's if you are in Columbia S.C.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Melrose Diner - Philadelphia Pa.

As my birthday approaches I start to crave for the one and only Butter Cream Cake from this legendary Diner in South Philly. I have had quite a few cakes in my day but none like this.

It starts from the cake and I can't get to technical about because I don't know if the use pound cake or sheet cake! My guess is a butter pound cake that send down from angels while harps play and as the clouds open on the way down it iced with decadent heavenly Butter Cream as you hear a chorus of hallelujahs.

The diner has been serving since around 1935 and being in the heart of South Philly (looks left...looks right and whispers) might have served a member of the mob back in the day but who knows and who ever did know can't be found!  Besides the cake Melrose Diner is a place that you can still get a home cooked meal with a home style portion of comfort food. Make sure that you save room for.......

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

8 oz. Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
2 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion
6 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms
2 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Garlic – Minced
Salt and Pepper – to taste

Preheat oven to 400*

Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.Slice onions and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, minced garlic and a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized. About 25-30 minutes.

Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture. Allow to cook 5-10 minutesLine the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Serve and Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tsunami Restaurant - Columbia, South Carolina

                                                               Tsunami Restaurant

Tsunami restaurant at the Harbison location in Columbia, South Carolina is a relaxing place to dine or have some sushi and hot sake. Restaurant on one side and bar on the other side to watch the game on a couple tv's with access to appetizers or full menu.

My son and I like to sit at the sushi bar to see how everything is made and often sushi chefs will make something special for us because we are so engaged in the process. Tsunami is for well experienced sushi lovers or first timers with cooked items in case you are not used to traditional sushi. When you go save room for dessert.....they have fried ice cream that is so yummy and is a shareable portion.

                                                                   Fried Ice Cream

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles

Let me tell you I had to stand in line in the rain to get in here! "Me" standing in the rain in Atlanta, Georgia is crazy I almost had to tell them to never mind I had a flashback for a moment. Nice decor although I am upset that my photo is not on the wall with other celebrities but Gladys and Rons menu is creative and gives you something new to try like collard green spring rolls with a thai sauce for dipping and a decadent mac & cheese. The portions are a nice size and you must try the tea/lemonade. Enjoy the customer service was also excellent.

A Chocolate Covered Onion?

                                                           Chocolate Covered Onion

                           And if you think you breathe and live by chocolate check these out.

Chocolates by Mueller -

I have walked past Chocolates by Mueller many times while in The Reading Terminal in Philadelphia Pa. This time while walking to Little Thai for lunch something in the display case caught my eye..... "Chocolate Covered Onion" that stopped me in my tracks. I had to inquire about it as i waited and took a look at chocolate covered strawberries, marshmallows, potato chips and all types of other connfectionery items in awe realizing that this is not just a place that sells chocolate. As I sampled a few items I came to the conclusion that I don't ever want a package candy bar again. Chocolates by Mueller is an experience of how chocolate should be. The chocolate is rich and smooth with an essence that makes you crave more.

If you need (because chocolate is definitely a need) chocolate for your kids, significant other or things made for a special occasion, Muellers is where you need to go. Click back again soon for the video of me eating one of the chocolate covered onions.... I wonder if it will make me tear up because of the onion?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pat's King of Steaks vs Geno's Steaks - Philadelphia Cheesesteak Rivalry

                                                             Pat's King of Steaks

                                                                 Geno's Steaks

This is an Epic Battle between 2 historic landmarks in Philadelphia, Pa. that are directly across the street from each other on E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philly. With that in mind I had to add the Rocky Theme song. (If you can't play the music right now just hum it while you read this) And in one corner you have Pat's King of  Steaks weighing in at approx 12 ozs with onions and cheeze whiz....... and in the other corner weighing in at approx 12 ozs. Geno's Steaks with onions and cheese whiz. In this bout Mustard and Ketchup is required.

                             Okay Cheesesteaks let's have a nice clean fight uhhh bite.

Pat's comes out swinging with chopped succulent ribeye while Geno's retaliates with tender slices of ribeye. Oh my it looks like they are on a roll now and it looks like its about to go down possibly with large coke. Geno's is tender but and juicy but not chopped up like this legendary sandwich classic that Pat's has and sticks to the original foundation of the classic. Now this a no gloves battle that goes the distance but I give this one to Pat's King of Steaks as the Passyunk Ave Champion.

Now neither of these places is the Cities best. But that would be more like a Battle Royal MMA type of battle to Find the Cities best between Chickie & Pete's, Jim's Steaks, Larry's Steak, Tony Luke's and Ishkabibble's. The key thing here is to enjoy this classic local sandwich wrapped in paper that the juice soaks through that no matter how hard it has been tried cannot be copied all over the world.

Shout out to Interstate Steak & Hoagie in Irmo/Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kiki's Chicken and Waffles

I heard a lot of people talking about Kiki's Chicken and Waffles via social media threads and decided to see what the hype is about. I have been to Gladys & Ron Winans spot in Atlanta before and thought that Kiki's was just going to a spot to get a bite to eat. To my surprise the chicken was seasoned perfect to accompany waffles with great texture and flavor that i actually favor over Gladys & Ron's. Sorry but i heard it through the grape vine on that midnight train to Kiki's Chicken & Waffles.

You have got to try the Red Velvet Waffle w/icecream!!! Phew it's almost like eating your favorite fair food. Shrimp & grits is awesome and they have a diverse menu and some times live music or poetry.


Don't forget to add them on facebook.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Primanti Bros - Pittsburgh Pa

Simply a great idea that took off. Forget the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.....when I am in the Pittsburgh area I must stop a Primanti Bros original restaurant in the strip district on 18th street. I happen to be with family since my cousin was getting married and managed to talk my siblings into going here for lunch. Primanti Bros. Is known for there sandwiches that have french fries and coleslaw on sliced Italian bread.

 It's a meal on a sandwich with your choice of meats from Philadelphia cheese steak, pastrami, turkey, knock wurst, genoa salami just to name a few. I was twice out of three days in town. There are several locations and even 3 in Florida. Check them out.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Little Thai Restaurant in the Reading Terminal - Philadelphia

I have heard about this place quite a bit. But if you have ever been to the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia Pa. that has over 50 different places to eat in this multi-cultural historical building in center city that you can be distracted quickly. which you will find out on another blog. But Little Thai is now a first stop for me any time i am in Philly. I caught with my cousin that took me there and she ordered the salmon & shrimp entree for us with both of the sauces that they have to top it. As we found a seat 3 people had already asked me where did i get that and what is it?
Oh my goodness what I have been missing for so long. Very reasonable and nice portions with that heavy being full feeling that usually makes you sleepy(the "itis")! You must check out Little Thai when you are in Philadelphia.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What'll ya have.....What'll ya have?

This is by far the largest hot dog joint in U.S.A. It covers a city block in the heart Atlanta, Georgia.

The Varsity is reasonable and the hotdogs are so awesome. Fresh onion rings that are crispy and well seasoned I mean everything is good. If you don't have time to park and go inside to eat you can pull in the drive in order section and they will have you out of there in a couple minutes.

2Fat2Fly Stuffed Chicken Wings - food truck

If you ever see this food truck in Columbia, South Carolina. Follow it until it stops to get set up. I should just end the blog just like that! They are either violating the chicken wings or doing them a big favor you be the judge. This is just pure genius to stuff wings with mac and cheese,  jambalaya, cheese&bacon&jalepeno. Pancakes and sausage and the list goes on and on because these guys have no limits. 

The sides are awesome also fried okra or potatoes. And if you just want some fried wings they have several different flavors of them also.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Abuelo's - The Flavor of Mexico" in Hampton Va.

Buenos dias por favor Abuelo's es muy bien amigos. I knew this place was good because I could smell it a block away after I left Ethereal Cupcakes the scent of roasted chilies was in the air. Luckily my son and sister brought this place to my attention and that was destination.  Unlike many mexican restaurants Abuelo's has authentic mexican cuisine that is so fresh that the guacamole still thought is was an avocado!  Nice atmosphere the servers are awesome. Located in the Peninsula Town Center that has some nice shoppes. You can't go wrong with what ever you choose on the menu from the moment you sit down they serve the best chips 3 different salsas.

corned beef brisket by yours truly

Listen if you are the type that needs to use Pam cooking spray to boil some water even you can do this one. All that you have to do is purchased a two pound corn beef brisket or whatever size that you need get yourself a good dry rub there so many on the spice
aisle at Walmart just get one of them. Get home and preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Then take it out of the packagingand rub it with a dry rub all over the top and bottom sides all around evenly. Put it in a baking pan and shove that thang right in the oven for 8 hours. That's it don't cover it, don't keep opening the oven door up to look at it ,don't poke it ,don't put any holes in it....nothing else put it in the oven leave it the heck alone for 8 hours. After that take it out and let it cool for 10 minutes. And you'll be able to slice it with a butter knife or maybe a spork! Enjoy