Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tony's Po-Boy Restaurant - SN

434 E Judge Perez Dr.
St Bernard Parish, La.

In the ghost town that is St Bernard Parish after hurricane Katrina there is at least one bright spot Tony's Po-Boy restaurant. The person that made this visit said the just looking at the pictures here makes his mouth water. The first photo is a Oyster Po-Boy that was very spicy and good. The second was a roast beef Po-Boy that was also excellent.

Rating: ***
Service ***

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tubby's Tank House - dj

115 E. River Street
Savannah, GA 31401

On our way back for Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving we passed through Savannah, so I thought no time like the present to try our luck with a downtown Savannah restaurant. So we exited I-95 and shot into Savannah. We came down MLK Blvd till we got to St. Julian Street it was a pedestrian street with lots of lights and restaurants. We walked down the street and nothing seemed quite right. Three blocks north was River Street so we went over there. It happened to be the Savannah Boat Parade which was very nice. We walked down River Street and checked out the available restaurants. Tubby’s seemed like a promising place.

We went up the stairs to be greeted by the hostess with a look of surprise when we ask for a table for 4. One was available right away so not sure what the face was about except that maybe she had to go and clean the table.

I had the Grouper Finger Dinner with Hush Puppies, baked potato and salad. The House Salad Dressing was a creamy cucumber; it was very good possible the best think I had here. The salads took a while to come out, especially since the waitress said “I’ll be right back with your salads”. Our meals came out not much later. My Grouper did not have much taste. It was not greasy, but it also was not hot and was soggy. The baked potato was slightly overcooked, a little gray inside. The Hush Puppies were very strange they were slightly sweet and were made of yeast dough instead of cornmeal. It was almost like they that made yeast rolls and deep fried them.

Of the 4 items we had only one in our party said that there dish was good. They had the Fresh Grouper Sandwich, which was blackened.

On my next trip to Savannah I’ll be sure and miss Tubby’s Tank House. For a place “famous for their Grouper Fingers and their signature seafood” I’d say they missed the mark.

Rating: *
Service: **
Price for 4 $60.00 with tip

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Sabor A Mexico - dj

891 S Orange Blossom Trail
Apopka, FL

Located in a strip mall near the corner of 441 and 436 in Apopka the Sabor A Mexico (Restaurant Mexicana) was not exactly a hopping place at 6PM on a Monday night. There were only three of the 30 tables occupied. One of these had 3 paying customers the other had three relatives of the managers and the third had the three children of the managers. There were three TV’s two were on but turned to different stations one to the typical Spanish station the other one in the back turned to Sponge Bob. It really didn’t matter because the sound emanating from the juke box drowned out both TV’s. Above the tiny bar the disco ball was spinning.

We were told we could sit anywhere. We decided to sit close to the front of the cavernous restaurant. Half of the dining room had the chairs turned upside down on the tables. I'm not sure if they ever have enough customers to fill the dining room.

The menu seemed quite large until it was pointed out to me that there was a column in English and a column in Spanish. The fare was what you would expect from a Mexican Restaurant. I choose the enchilada plate with 3 chicken enchiladas. There was a choice of 5 types of sauces; chili, cheese, ranchero, tomatillo, and I forgot the 5th one. I choose the tomatillo sauce.

The food seemed to take a long time to come especially considering the crowd in the dining room. The plates were very hot as you would expect with a dish cooked on the plate. The tomatillo sauce was a bit over powered by the amount on lime juice on the sauce, but it was still good. The chicken in the enchilada was shredded and in a chili sauce. The corn tortilla was very good possibly home made. The rice seemed a bit greasy. The beans were passable. The meal was OK but the experience of dining in this restaurant left much to be desired.

Rating: **
Service: **
Price: $7.00

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Amigos Restaurant & Cantina - dj

494 N Semoran Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792

I eat at the Altamonte Springs location on the first week Amigos was open in the Orlando area in 1988. The old Mr. Gatti’s Pizza on Westmonte Drive was the first location. That first week not much had changed except for the makeshift sign out front. It didn’t take long for the Texas license plates to start going up. Nell was there to greet you on every visit and make sure you felt at home. I still have her cook book from 1995 with illustrations by Jake Vest. The name was "If Ya Ain't a Little Fat, Ya Momma Didn't Love Ya!" it is a little corny but it has some good recipes. The competition was fierce for Mexican food on that corner in Altamonte Springs. There were 3 other big Mexican chain restaurants within a stones through (Casa Gallardo, El Torito, and Taco Bell) only Amigos is left.

Over the years my love for Amigos has come and gone. They expanded out to as many as seven restaurants I would guess. There are now 5 listed on their web site of which I think only 3 are currently open. Maybe this is a more manageable number as the food on this visit to the Winter Park outlet seemed to be better than on my last visit to the East Colonial store that is now closed. On that last visit to East Colonial the food was just bad. Today is was not bad.

I have fond memories of the Altamonte Springs store. This was the first restaurant my son went to when he was 2 weeks old. He is a senior in high school now. Where has all the time gone? Marisole “our waitress” use to treat us special when our little family came in. We always sat at the same table around the corner from the cash register. We finished our meal with Texas Pralines purchased at the cash register for a dollar (sadly no longer available). They can be ordered from www.lammes.com . I happen to have one at my desk back at work and this was the perfect finish to my meal.

Today I had the Texas Special from the lunch menu. It was an adequate serving not the giant plate they may have had in the past few years. It consisted of one cheese enchilada and one chicken taco, with rice and beans topped with a sprinkling of cheese. This was not a heavy lunch in fact it was just right. The food was very good today. I hope this signals a turnaround for Amigos. I will definitely give them another visit.

Rating: ***
Service: ***