The You-Pick-Two at Sergio’s Cuban Kitchen & Bar

I had heard of Sergio’s* for a while, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried it for the first time.  I’m not generally a huge fan of Cuban — there are other Latin America cuisines I prefer, as you can probably tell if you’ve been keeping up with my blog — but I would definitely go back.  Aside from the modern interior ambiance — I was pretty impressed, if only I had taken a picture of it — the menu was fairly extensive!

100415_sergios_soupAt Sergio’s, I ordered a you-pick-two of sorts, and chose a yuca-like soup (topped with cheese) to start, followed by what the restaurant claimed to be the #1 Cuban sandwich in South Florida.

The soup was a bit on the bland side, which I was clearly forewarned about by my waitress, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.  Each spoonful was just the right degree of warm and creamy when it made its way into my mouth!  Overall, I’d rate the soup okay, maybe even fine.

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The Unexciting Split Pea Soup at Capriccio

Remember Capriccio*?  Well they actually serve more than just paninis and salads… they also serve soups!

As you can see, I ordered a bowl of soup.  Split pea soup, that is.  There wasn’t anything extraordinary about it.  It was really just average.  Okay, I guess.  It even had an average price tag of $5.


FYI, the restaurant serves complimentary bread too — it’s located by the complimentary water — which went well with my soup, though there was nothing extraordinary about the bread either.  But who could say no to free?!

Anyhoo, since I wasn’t super impressed this time, I might just stick to their paninis the next time I go.  I’ve had some pretty good luck with those…

9551 NW 41st St
Doral, FL 33178

Spicy Korean Ramen at Bistro BulGoGi

Nooooodle time!  Korean-style Ramen noodles, that is!  And if you couldn’t already tell by my excitement… I looove noodles!

Bistro BulGoGi* located in the Miami suburb of Doral is a gourmet Korean restaurant that opened in Doral just a year ago.  Their delicious menu offers all the traditional Korean dishes, like bibimbap.  Since I hadn’t had ramen in a while, that’s what I decided to order.  Their Beef Broth Ramen includes spicy Korean ramen, which includes (as you see below) some veggies.  Overall, I’d rate this bowl a fine on my scale.  Flavorful, but really nothing terribly exciting.  And I kinda wished it came with some more veggies, particularly to balance out the spicyness.  (I like spicy, but don’t have a super high tolerance for it apparently.)


Oh, and also diners get to sample some house sides, pictured below.  Mostly small portions of salty and pickled vegetables, like kimchi (at the far right).  The kimchi was kind of spicy for my taste, but after I finished the ramen, I dunked the veggies in the broth to wash off some of the spicyness.  That made them much more tolerable!  I liked the presentation, so would probably rate this somewhere between okay and fine.


I think I’d go back again to try something new.  The atmosphere of the restaurant seemed spacious and modern.  Also seemingly unrushed during the lunch hour, which is an added bonus.

1450 NW 87th Ave #108
Miami, FL 33172

Sharkey’s in Santa Clarita

Hi friends!  Work travels brought me out to the West Coast again, this time more southern than Seattle, so what else is a foodie to do than… partake in more culinary adventures?!  Okay, quiz time.  Can you guess what this is?


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Miami Spice: Market at EDITION

In different cities during different times of the year, restaurants feature special prix fixe menus at a discount.  Chicago has Restaurant Week — actually more like two weeks — around February.  New Orleans‘ Restaurant Week lasts about a week in September.  And Miami has Miami Spice, two months devoted to discounted good eats during the summer months of August and September.

080815_market_menuJust yesterday, I experienced my first ever Miami Spice — about time, since I’ve lived in the area for so long — at Market* at EDITION, a swanky Marriott hotel with a backdoor entrance to the gorgeous Miami Beach!  I was there for lunch, courtesy of a team offsite for work.  The inside of the restaurant reminded me of a European-style food bazaar — even though the menu was more American — with its hanging meats, seafood bar, and clean-cut white furnishings.


My $23 prix fixe lunch lineup included:

  • Crunchy Calamari, with citrus-chili dip
  • Florida Grouper Sandwich, with chipotle mayo
  • Salted Caramel Sundae, with candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce

My thoughts?

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New Orleans Day Three: Lunch at The Rum House Followed by Another Two-Part Dinner

Hello there, and thanks for continuing to read my blog!  This’ll be my last post in the three-day New Orleans series of fun and interesting eats, so hopefully you enjoy it as much as I culinarily — is that a word? — enjoyed exploring this vibrant city.

After dining in the more touristy parts of town the first and second days of our NOLA trip, my friend and I decided to head to the Garden District for more quiet, subdued atmosphere and cuisine on the third day.  Our plan was to start the morning off by hoping on a streetcar — the St. Charles one to be exact — to the neighborhood and wandering around, exploring the beautiful architecture and gardens until we got hungry, at which time we would grab a bite to eat at whatever nearby establishment suited our fancy.  With plenty of food options in NOLA, we were okay with playing it by ear — even though food is very serious business!

For lunch, we ended up stopping at The Rum House*, which is right on Magazine Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the Garden District.  It took us a couple tries before we found a menu on Magazine Street that we were diggin’, but the eats here were worth the wait, and they even serve water in mason jars with neon-colored straws!


This Caribbean-inspired taqueria serves up a variety of food, from salads to sandwiches to tacos (of course!) and more.  And that’s not even considering the starters, which include various salsas and dips, or the meat entrees!  Wanting to try as much variety as we could, but also wanting to be somewhat healthy, my friend and I decided to split a Rum House salad and also a Mr. Biggs Plate Combo — that’s four tacos, one side, and a beef patty.  Sacrifice with the salad, splurge on the tacos.

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New Orleans Day Two, Part Two: Dinner at the Creole Tomato Festival, Second Dinner at Harrah’s Acme Oyster House

Continuing on with our day two food adventures…

We were lucky enough to be in town during the city’s 29th Annual Creole Tomato Festival, so thought we’d check it out one night for dinner since it was near where we were staying anyway.  The Festival took over space at the French Market*, a flea market of sorts selling anything from small local trinkets to authentic Southern comfort food.  We were most excited to go to try some Creole tomatoes, which, FYI, are generally defined as tomatoes grown in Louisiana soil.

While roaming the Market, looking for an option for dinner, the Nawlins Cafe & Spice Emporium stand caught our eye with its insert-Southern-delicacy-here Creole Tomatoes.  (They also have shelves upon shelves of spices and sauces!)  We couldn’t resist trying it out, that is, the Alligator-Stuffed Creole Tomato!  And with a hefty price tag of $12 per, we were ready to be dazzled by a wondrous explosion of flavors in our mouth…


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New Orleans Day Two, Part One: Lunch on the Carnival Dream Cruise Ship

After sleeping in on day two of my Southern adventure, the morning began with a one mile stroll from the hotel to the Port of New Orleans, where the Carnival Dream was docked alongside the Mississippi River.  That’s right, time for lunchin’ onboard another Carnival cruise ship!

On today’s menu: Indian, Pizza, and also… dessert!  Only select ships within the Carnival fleet offer an Indian station on Lido (i.e. buffet area), and since it’s one of my favorite lunch spots, I was super glad that I was onboard one that did.  Once onboard, I made a beeline for the Indian station, which surprisingly is a relatively empty one (likely because it’s tucked away toward the back of the deck), and started piling on the butter chicken, corn, rice, and naan.


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New Orleans Day One: Beignets for Breakfast and Deanie’s for Dinner

One of New Orleans’ traditional must-try desserts is the beignet (pronounced ben-yā with a long “a”), a delicious deep-fried dough pastry.  Picture a rectangular doughnut with no hole.  Except… somewhat heavier in consistency than your average doughnut.  That’s a beignet!  It actually kind of reminds me of a croissant doughnut, but a slightly heavier version of it…

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to indulge while I was in town, and where better than grab some at Cafe du Monde*, a historic coffee shop in the French Quarter?!  The shop’s been around since 1862, and must be super popular since it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

IMG_5076Cafe du Monde really only serves beignets and various types of coffee — I had the frozen cafe au lait, which was also delicious! — but they do ’em right.  And they pile on the powder on the beignets!  (Wait, that’s an understatement.  But really… you could even add more sugar if you wanted to.)  Look at all that sugary goodness!  I’d rate these bad boys, as well as the coffee as good, btw.

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First Meal of My NOLA Adventure, Not Quite Wowed By the WOW Cafe

All right everyone, I finally have a moment to breathe.  And more importantly, to blog!

I know y’all — See what I did there?  If not, see #2. — have been anxiously awaiting to hear about my gastronomic adventures in the The Big Easy, otherwise known as Nawlins, otherwise known as NOLA, otherwise known as (yep, you guessed it) New Orleans!  Well, over the next few posts, I’ll be reliving my culinary journey through this cultural and historic city, through the lens of good ole Southern food.

A good friend of mine from Chicago and I both flew into the city Friday evening.  We decided to drop off our stuff at the hotel and grab a quick dinner before retiring early in preparation for a full day’s worth of exploring the next day.  After our pit stop, we asked the hotel staff if they had any recommendations for dinner.  Sure enough, they pointed us a few blocks north, in the direction of Iberville Street and Bienville Street, where there were lots of seafood restaurants.

With mouths watering and day (night?) dreams of soft-shelled crab, we headed that way, but soon encountered lines upon lines of people waiting (outside the restaurants even!) to be seated.  We were bold enough to ask one of the establishments how long the wait would be, and upon hearing 1.5 hours, we turned right around and headed back downtown to the main thoroughfare where our hotel was located to see what other options we had.  We walked up and down the street a couple times, and even tried peeking around side streets, but nothing really caught our eye.  It soon looked like it was going to start pouring, so we decided that we’d stop at the next restaurant we found even remotely appealing.

That restaurant was WOW Cafe, American Grill & Wingery.  Their menu isn’t extensive, but it featured a couple po’ boys and a couple meat plates, which was authentic enough for us at the time.  After all, it was getting late and stormy, and we were running out of options and getting very hungry.

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