Friday, November 6, 2009

Four Rivers Smokehouse - DT

Four Rivers Smokehouse
2103 W. Fairbanks Ave.
407.474.8377

John Rivers has blessed our community for the past five years catering fund raisers for various charities. Now his Texas smoked family recipe has developed into a full time concept located on the corner of Fairbanks and Formosa just one block east of I-4. I watched for weeks as the small brake shop was transformed and it soon became clear we were in for some new barbecue. Just walking into The Four Rivers Smokehouse is a treat. The smell alone was enough to get me hooked. I had the misfortune of walking in a few days before they officially opened and was kindly turned away. But I made up for it by going back three times this week. In a word, WOW!

I actually heard other patrons say it as they tried the signature slow smoked brisket, Texas sausage or the generous pile of pulled pork. I found that Mr. Rivers (not to be confused with long time Orlando entrepreneur Chef Johnny Rivers) cares about the details and if you’ve read my reviews before you’d know that I find big joy in small things. Like the side dishes. You don’t just get corn, you get roasted corn. Another side is called cornbread salad, but they forget to mention the bacon pieces and tangy red bell pepper. The mac and cheese, well it’s just mac and cheese but it’s really good mac and cheese. And the baked beans are everything I imagined baked beans should be. Meaty and sweet with a hearty spice, this is how baked beans should taste.
I just couldn’t pass on anything to make room for desert but the carrot cake and banana pudding are calling my name. I look forward to my next opportunity to try the smoked chicken salad, cheese grits, bacon wrapped cheesy jalapenos or St. Louis style ribs. I would like the line (there is always a line) to go a little faster however, you can always call it in ahead of time or you could just take in the smokehouse aroma while you wait. I really enjoy the outside seating during the fall. I may be getting it to go when the summer heat returns. Now that I’m a regular, I would dare say that thanks to John and his family recipes, I would not be surprised if Winter Park becomes “known” for its barbecue.

Stackers – Sandwich and two sides less than $10
Staff – Genuine and kind.
Seating – Outside with some of Winter Park’s finest.
Smell – Consider it an appetizer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Romano's Macaroni Grill

Romano's Macaroni Grill
884 W State Road 436
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
(407) 682-2577
7/18/2009

Had an OK meal today. Mared by bad service. There were a group of 7 of us. We had the pull the tables together our selves. We also had to get our silverware from an empty table nearby. Our meals did not come out together. Some as much as 5 minutes late. They even brought another dish out that they thought we had ordered after everyone was almost finished. Someone said oh I guess that is my bow-tie pasta.

Our waiter just disappeared for long stretches of time. The restaurant was not busy. We arrived at 1:20 PM. Several dishes were dropped in he kitchen maybe that's why our service was so slow. Someone had pizza it was disgusting the dough was not done and it had too much sauce.

I have said this to myself before but this time I mean it I will not be returning!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A sad day at Paco's



It was a somber meal at Paco’s today. The notice on the door read the Marj had lost her battle with cancer on 4/11/2009. I have many fond memories of Marj and Paco’s. In fact, I choose to go to Paco’s today to celebrate my 20 years at Florida Hospital. I thought that I should go some place for lunch that held many memories for Florida Hospital and the many friends that I’ve gone to lunch with over the years.

I can remember the lunches with Fred G my first director at Florida Hospital. Then there were the meals with Dave R and Bill Z where we argued the merits or doing something this way or that way. There have been periods where I have not gone to Paco’s as often as I’d like, mainly because of the parking here at the hospital. But I always return for the friendly atmosphere and good food. At Paco’s you are always made to feel at home.

I can remember one meal I had at Paco’s where my order had been somehow misplaced Marj came over and said “I’m so sorry but we can’t find your order” I gladly gave it to to her. While I was eating my meal Marj came back over and told me this was on the house, “you can just leave when you are finished”.

While I was just a customer Marj made me feel at home, on most days she came over and said hi and chatted for awhile. She will truly be missed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Taco Maker - dj

The Taco Maker
2212 Aloma Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32792
"Finally Here Fresh Made Food!!!"
www.tacomaker.com


A friend suggested that we go to Taco Time on Aloma Ave, in the old KFC building.



It was a Taco Bell wantabe that has not quite made it yet. I had the Special number 1 - two tacos beef or chicken, soft drink, and of all things fries. I substituted chips and salsa. The menu item number 1 was about $5.00.

I had the chicken tacos they weren't bad, but nothing special. Another person in our party did not want their second beef taco so I had it. It tasted more like a taco but still was not special.



We were for some reason expecting a more authentic Mexican meal.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

La Luna

La Luna
151 Center Lane
Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
(406) 995-3280

La Luna's Moto "Experience Gourmet World Cuisine in a casual & Relaxing Enviroment" is a fitting one. The menu choices range from Mexican to Thai to Japanese to Italian.



I choose the "Enchiladas filled with shredded chicken topped with jack cheese and baked to a bubbly perfection." This came with a side of beans and rice.


The meal started with Eric the owener/chief coming out and taking our order. At the door were photo books he had made of the surrounding area. Including photos of the fish he has caught and released. Some several times as proven by the photos.

Chips and homemade salsa were provided while we waited for our dishes. The salsa was nice.


Our dishes arrived shortly. They were presented nicely. The beans were cooked just right as was the rice. The three enchiladas looked wonderful. I had chosen the mole sauce. Which was a deep brown with a nutty taste. Very good.



I have visited La Luna several times over the last 7 years while visiting Big Sky it is always the culinary highlight of any visit

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill
105 W Main St
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-6000



I had the pecan encrusted trout, with onion rings and cole slaw. The trout was a large portion but was very greasy I thought, while the onion rings were fried perfectly not a drop of greasy. The cole slaw was passable.

For our appetizer we had the tomato soup. It was excellent!


The setting was very nice it was in the tallest building in town. The old Baxter Hotel sign on the roof had been painted out. The restaurant was on the ground floor and very attractive. The lobby of the old hotel was grand indeed.



While I did not like my fish I enjoyed the service and the setting. Next time I'm in town I try the cedar plank cooked salmon