Tira.D.Toss Take Two!

Remember when I last blogged about the Peruvian-Japanese Tira.D.Toss?  Well I recently went back a second time, and sadly, don’t think I’d go back for a third.

I gotta say, the food there rates at least a fine in my book (pretty good!), so it’s very unfortunate that I wouldn’t return.  But the service is just… so… slow… !  I went with four others this last time, for a total of five, and our meal lasted just as long as the first.  That is, nearly two hours!

Now, before I banish Tira.D.Toss in my book forever, let me at least share what I ordered this past visit.  I present to you… the Black Dragon, described as “shrimp tempura, cucumber roll with Japanese snapper topped with avocado & eel sauce.”  At least that’s what I attempted to order.  Sounds delicious, right?  I was especially looking forward to the Japanese snapper!  Sounds exotic.

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Well, when the order came out…

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New Segafredo Coffee Shop in Town!

I don’t go out for coffee much, but when I do… #gobigorgohome

042715_segafredo_coffeeA new Segafredo* coffee shop (and restaurant/lounge) recently popped up in the Pines, and it’s a pretty snazzy hangout, if I might say so myself.  This coffee shop and restaurant has a pretty extensive menu, as well as plenty of (sectioned) seating areas, so it’s probably worth visiting more than once!  With a legacy that’s 30 years old, I’m sure Segafredo’s got their recipes down right!

I ordered some coffee there earlier this April, but they were still working out all the kinks in the cash registers, so long story short… I got some free (and delicious) coffee!  Iced latte on the left, warm cappuccino on the right.

What’s your favorite local coffee shop?

*Location:
The Shops At Pembroke Gardens
527 SW 145th Terrace
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027

Pho, Bun, and Banh Xeo at Top Pan

Did the title of this post look like a completely alien language to you?  Don’t worry, because by the end of this post, you’ll know what every one of those things are!  Hint: they’re all edible!

First off, Top Pan* is an Asian restaurant in South Florida.  It’s pretty new, so my family and I decided to check it out two weekends ago.  (By the way, you might not find it online if you’re searching for “Top Pan,” since it recently changed it’s name to “Brandon.”  Why?  No idea!)  Anyhoo, we ordered some Vietnamese, like we had at Little Saigon in Orlando just over a week ago.  Guess you could say we were on a Vietnamese kick.

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We ordered the traditional Pho Dac Biet, which translates to the Pho Special with a miscellaneous combination of beef parts, like tripe, tendon, brisket, flank, and meatballs.  In this bowl in particular, plenty (read: too much) of onion was added for flavor.  Overall, pretty standard fare.  Nothing stood out for me, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I’d rate it a good-fine.

We also ordered the Bun Dac Biet, with spring roll.

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Dim Sum is Fun!

Last year, I blogged about China Pavilion*, a Chinese restaurant in Pembroke Pines.  At the time, I ate there for dinner and feasted on family-style plates of Pork and Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, Peking pork chops, and Lamb Stew Casserole.  After the restaurant relocated from the corner of Pines Boulevard and Flamingo Road to the corner of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue, I’ve visited several more times, two of which have been during this current month!  I sure love me some dim sum.  #dimsumyumyum

On a related note, when I last blogged about Pine Court Chinese Bistro, another Chinese restaurant in south Florida, I mentioned a couple of my favorite small plates, but didn’t show any pictures, so I’ll make it up for it in this post by sharing some of those goodies — and more!  Here they are, in no particular order, and with no ratings this time…

Hargow shrimp dumpling.  One of the most classic dim sum dishes.  According to Wikipedia, the wrapper should have at least seven pleats and the amount of shrimp should be generous but not so much that it can’t be eaten in one bite.  Who knew?!

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Latin-Influenced Small Plates at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

Hello friends — and apologies that it’s taken so long to share this next post!  This one hails from the heart of Miami, the Wynwood Design District, to be specific.  This up-and-coming warehouse area of Miami is known for its eclectic artwork in the form of graffiti-ized murals, and definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area and have half a day or so to spare.

A couple of my friends were in town recently and we checked out Wynwood Kitchen & Bar*, a small-plate tapas restaurant whose menu is influenced by a variety of Latin cuisines.  The restaurant itself has ample seating, including an outdoor patio covered area.  As the name indicates, yes, there is also a bar!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I love tasting any and all different types of food, so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity for tapas!  The more I get to sample, the better!  Our table ended up ordering four plates to share, so without further ado, here’s our feast…

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A Big Bowl of Bun (Vietnamese Rice Noodles)

Before returning home from vacationing in Disney, we decided to stop for Vietnamese in Orlando, at the Little Saigon* restaurant on Colonial Drive.  Vietnamese in Orlando is supposedly better than it is in South Florida, so we thought the extra 20 mile (round-trip) commute would be worth it.

At Vietnamese restaurants, I really only order one of two things… Pho (rice noodles in broth) or Bun (rice noodle “salad” that you add fish sauce to for flavoring).  At Little Saigon, I ordered the Bun with grilled pork and spring rolls.  I called it a noodle “salad” because as you can see, it comes with a bunch of lettuce, cucumbers, and bean spouts (and occasionally, other veggies and herbs as well)!

The sauce comes on the side, and you essentially add as much as you want to the bowl before thoroughly stirring up the ingredients.  On a related note, those who I’ve talked to about fish sauce either love it or hate it.  Me, I love it — at least when used sparingly.  If you’ve tried it, what do you think?

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Only 200 Miles to (Chefs de) France!

Dear Readers, today, I am writing to you from France’s neighboring country of Belgium, land of delectably delectable chocolates!  I’ll be here for the next two weeks, on vacation, and blogging to you about my food adventures abroad — can’t wait to sample and share!

Gotcha!  Juuust kidding… I know it’s not April Fool’s, but I was just in the spirit.  I’m not really in Belgium.  In fact, I’m not even in Europe or anywhere near France at all!  Were you fooled, maybe just for a second?  I mean, after all the posts about the delicious food I’ve published so far, why wouldn’t I be traveling around Europe, trying the finest that the continent has to offer?!  Well, for now I will say that I have actually been to Paris, France before, but today’s post will be about something a bit closer to home.  So close it’s even in the same state.

I’m talking about the France pavilion in Disney’s very own Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, FYI) Center theme park near Orlando, Florida!  Last week, I vacationed with my family in Disney and lunched at the Chefs de France* French bistro located within the park.  We ordered a crepe and a three-course meal to split among three people.

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Bolivar in South Beach

For a native Floridian, I (sadly) can’t say I’ve been to South Beach much, so I recently decided to head out there for lunch with a couple friends.

040115_bolivar_restaurantBolivar* was the lunch spot.  A little restaurant covering various LatAm (that’s Latin American, FYI) cuisines including Colombian, Venezuelan, and Peruvian, among others.  The ambiance inside was pretty festive and fun… off to a good start so far!

I really like Colombian food, so I ordered the Bandeja Paisa, which is a traditional Colombian platter of char-grilled steak, crispy pork belly, caramelized plantains, red beans, fried egg, rice, and grilled corn cake.  Sounds delicious, right?  I was hooked by “platter,” and was totally looking forward to a mountain of food.  Well, here it is…

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