Apr 14

Pig 'N Pancake in Cannon Beach, OR

For breakfast today, we decided to go to Pig 'N Pancake in Cannon Beach, OR.  The place is in downtown Cannon Beach so it wasn't hard to get to.  The place looked pretty nice from the outside as well.

The menu was pretty much what I expected of a place called "Pig 'N Pancake."  Mostly breakfast food with some lunch type things as well.  I went simple with pancakes, eggs, toast, and bacon.  The bacon was done the way I like it.  Cooked, but not too crunchy.  The rest was pretty standard breakfast food.  It wasn't the greatest food, but it wasn't bad either.  The prices were decent as well.

Overall, there isn't much to say about this place.  If you want a place that has a decent american breakfast, this will be a good place to go.  It isn't too pricy and the food is good.  I would eat there again, but I am not going to go out of my way to eat here either.


Apr 14

Ace Hotel breakfast in Portland, OR

This morning we went to breakfast at Ace Hotel.  I know that this one isn't exactly fair, since you can only get it if you are staying at the Ace Hotel, but I figured I would review it anyways since the food is made at the attached restaurant.

I will start by saying this is one of the best continental type breakfasts I have ever had at a hotel.  Their slogan is "Everything is made in Oregon, expect for the New York Times."  On a daily basis they have local breads, cheeses, dry-cured meats, and house made granola.  They also had homemade jam and local honey.  They also had the basics like bread, coffee, tea, and OJ.  I fell in love with the granola they were serving.  Adding a little dried fruit and honey made it so very good.  Everything there was fresh, flavorful, and good for you.

If you are ever staying at the Ace Hotel (which is nice, if a little pricy) I would recommend going to eat their breakfast.

Apr 14

Johnny's Harborside Restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA

On Saturday, we decided to go down to Johnny's Harborside in Santa Cruz.  It came recommended by locals, so we decided to give it a chance.  We went down for an early dinner.  The place wasn't too busy, but it had people.  It had a great location right on the harbor and the building itself was very nice and open, with fresh sea air blowing in.

For appetizers, we had Cornmeal Crusted Soft Shell Crab and the Chili Fried Calamari.  The Soft Shell Crab was delicious.  I had never had soft shell crab with cornmeal and I was very happy with their resulting dish.  The calamari had a little kick to it, but not so much that it was overpowering the food it self.  It was actually very subtle, but it really added to the dish.  When I go back, I will probably have both of these again.

I decided to have the fish and chips, since I was told that I couldn't go wrong with them.  And they were right.  It was Tempura Battered Alaskan Cod and I got the 3 piece meal. The pieces were very large and they were cooked to perfection.  It was some of the best battered fish I have every had. For the chips, I went with the half sweet potato/half rosemary fries.  I was not disappointed.  Both of the fry types were very good; the rosemary was a nice addition to the regular fries and the sweet potato fries were cooked well.

Overall, this is a great restaurant to go if you are in a seafood mood.  The meal I got was not expensive at all, but they had all the normal things you would expect at a seafood restaurant as well.  Some of it was pricier, but that is the nature of seafood.  I will be going back to this restaurant again and I recommend you do too.

Mar 14

The National Hotel Restaurant in Jamestown, CA

Today we stopped in historic Jamestown, CA.  This was one of the mining towns of the California Gold rush.  There wasn't a lot to chose from, but we found the National Hotel and the restaurant that is inside.  This hotel was build in 1859 during the gold rush and has been chugging along ever since.  We arrived just as they were opening for the evening.

The place itself is old, you can tell when you walk in.  However, it has the old feel charm, not the "I am falling apart" look to it.  We were seated and had wonderful wait staff.  We started with the baked brie and artichoke and prosciutto sauté to start with.  The bake brie was covered in phyllo dough and glazed with honey and almonds.  It was some of the best baked brie I have had.  It was absolutely delicious.  I would have been happy just eating that all night.   The artichoke was good, but only so.  I enjoyed eating it, but it was nothing special.

For my main course I had the Brandy Apple Pork, which according to the menu is "tender sauté with brandied apples, shallots, and a touch of spice."  It was fantastic.  It came with a side of mashed garlic potatoes and mixed vegetables.  I easily cleaned my plate.  The brandied apples were very well done, the pork was tender and flavorful, and the vegetables were done just right.  If you are looking for something a little sweet, but very flavorful, I recommend the Brandy Apple Pork.

The other meal at the table was filet mignon with mushrooms and gorgonzola.  They had an interesting take on the filet mignon, but the meal itself was fantastic as well.  Again, it came with vegetables and potato.  I highly recommend this meal as well.

Then, we had dessert.  We both ordered a flambé.  One was the apricot bon bon and the other was a combination of cherries jubilee and bananas foster.  They flambéd the desserts right at the table. It was neat to watch, but it was even better to eat them.  After dessert, I was definitely full, but it was worth every bite.

If you are ever in the Jamestown, CA area, I would highly recommend you go and visit the National Hotel and eat at their restaurant.  You may even want to spend the night there.  Who knows, maybe you will meet Flo, the hotel's own ghost.

Feb 14

The Counter

Tonight we went to The Counter.  This place is a customer, build your own burger joint.  It is a very modern  style restaurant.  The general menu is all about the burger and the things you would expect to go with a burger.  They had shakes (both adult and regular), beer, cocktails, and soft drinks.  This place is definitely geared towards 20 and 30-somethings.

I decide to get a shake, burger, and fries.  The shake I had was very good.  the favors were done right and it had a good consistency. Being as the burgers are made to order, you can get them exactly how you want.  They have a very wide range of everything, from buns to toppings, to different types of meat.  I was a little disappointed on how much and what they consider "premium" toppings.  I felt a lot of it was too expensive for what it was, but this is a trendy type place.  The burger itself was very well made.  The meat was juicy, the toppings seemed fresh, and it was a very good burger.  For a side, I ended up with sweet potato fries.  I was a little disappointed in them, since they seemed so generic.  I wouldn't be surprised if they were pre-packaged and shipped frozen, but they were still good.

Overall, this place was a good place to eat, but it is on the pricy side of things.  I don't think I will go back, solely because I think I paid too much for what I got, but the food itself was good and filling.

Feb 14

Gumba's Italian Restaurant

Today's lunch was Gumba's Italian Restaurant.  I was out and about and came across this little place.  It looked like it would be a good choice for a quick lunch.  When we got there, we knew it was a family friendly place.  They had the Cartoon Network playing on the TV that was on the wall.  We started with some drinks.  My soda was flat, but they brought out a can to replace it, so I don't hold that against them.  We also had a Mango Lassi.  It was okay, but a little on the thick side.  It did taste like mango.  Then we ordered food.

We attempted to order the calamari, but they were out of it.  We settled on the antipasto platter.  It was interesting.  The food all tasted like it came from the store.  The mushrooms were slightly wilted, the artichoke hearts definitely had the from a tin taste. They had pepperoni on the plate that seemed like it came out of a Hormel package. The rest wasn't much better.  All had a store bought taste.

For the main courses -  we went with the special, which was  a spinach ravioli in Alfredo sauce with vegetables, and the Stromboli.  Neither was all that good.  Again, everything had that cheap store bought taste to it.  The pasta was chewy, the sauce had the tinned artichokes and teeny slivers of what we think was zucchini, and was much too expensive for what we got.  The Stromboli was boring and they put too much mustard on it.  The meats all were store bought.  The entire meal was very disappointing.  I know I could have gone to the store, bought the ingredients, and made a better meal.

Overall, the service was slow, the food tasted of being reheated and store bought, and left a feeling of disappointment after you ate.  I will most likely not be going back to Gumba's.  Maybe they have better pizza and it might be good with a family of small children, but not for us.

Feb 14

Omee J Fusion Sushi Bar & Grill

Tonight we decided to treat ourselves to some sushi.  Omee J is where we went.  Let me tell you, this place is one of the best sushi places I have been to.  We started with Hamachi Tartar, which is yellowtail mixed with green and red onions, avocado, and orange tobiko with sweet potato chips.  It was delicious.  Then, we moved onto the rolls.  Tonight we had Lay's Crunch(crab meat and avocado inside and shrimp tempura, Lay's potato crunch and eel sauce outside), Sunroof (eel, crab meat, avocado inside and tuna, salmon, sliced lemons, and eel sauce outside), Tropicana (tuna, salmon and mango inside and tuna salmon, mango, avocado, mango sauce, snomono sauce, and macadamia nuts outside), and the Rosemary (shrimp tempura and avocado inside and tuna, scallop, green onion, and garlic-rosemary rub outside).  The Lay's Crunch is by far my favorite, but all 4 rolls we had were wonderful.  The prices here are a little high, but the rolls are generally 8 pieces and very full.  I would highly recommend this place if you are looking for some great sushi.

Tags: ,
Feb 14

Freeb!rds World Burrito

Today for lunch, I decided to go to a chain that I haven't been to in a while; partly because they recently opened a new place near me. Freebirds World Burrito is a general made to order burrito place.  They have other things like tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, nachos, salads, and other things.  For me, the only reason to go is for their burritos.  They have 4 different sizes, ranging from small (hybird) to extra large (super monster).  And when I say extra large, I mean it.  Once you pick your size, you pick one of 4 different tortilla shell.  I usually get either spinach or cayenne as my shell.  After that, you get your rice, then add your meat, and the rest of the fillings.  You can make it a meal and add chips and a drink.  They also have awesome queso that goes really well with the chips.   After they are done, you get it all neatly wrapped up the burrito in aluminum.  Part of the Freebirds theme is to encourage people to make mini sculptures with the foil.  They always have a bunch around the place.  They also pride themselves on being different and every time I have been there they have been very pleasant and upbeat.  Overall, I recommend Freebirds if you are looking for a good burrito at a reasonable price.

Aug 13

Gordon Ramsay BurGR, Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

On my final day here in Las Vegas, I decide that a good place to try on my way out was Gordon Ramsay's BurGR.  Right now in Vegas, Ramsay is the hot chef to have restaurants named after him.  I think there are at least 3 different restaurants named after him around Vegas.  It looked modern and I am always in the mood for a burger, so off I went.

The line to get in was not that bad, maybe 15 minute wait at 11:30am which is right after they opened.  They have a neat fire thingy outside of it, which was nice to watch while I waited.  I got my seat and was waited on.  The waiter was really awesome and friendly.  Gave me really good advice on the foods.  They specialize in burgers, shakes, and fries, so, I had one of each.  I decided on the Britannia burger which is cheddar and mango chutney, the butterscotch pudding and banana shake (yes, they really have pudding on top of a shake), and sweet potato fries.  The food was amazing.  The burger was done just right, the balance of the shake and pudding really went well together, and the fries were simply delicious.  There is nothing that I could complain about.

BurGR, while having the celebrity chef du jour name, really had excellent food.  I would highly recommend going there, and next time I am in Vegas, I will be going back.

Jul 13

Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

Tonight, I was wondering around Vegas wondering what I wanted to eat.  Nothing was really sounding good.  I wasn't looking for a buffet this time, but I ended up at the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood anyways.  Such is life sometimes.

I got there about 8:30 on a Wednesday evening, and there was a pretty good line.  Luckily the line moved fairly well.  It wasn't a bad price either, only $29.99 after my $1 discount for the player's card.  I would say that this is an average buffet with above average food.  They had the standard buffet things, salad, asian, italian, prime rib, etc.  The food it self was very good.  It all seemed very fresh and they were on top of bring out more food when something was running low.  After the meals I had been eating this week, dinner was something lighter for me.  I didn't try a lot of the meats and sides, but the prime rib was done very well.  I stuck with the fruits and salads mainly.  The fruit seemed pretty fresh.  The salad was crisp.  The had a little of everything, so anyone should be able to find something they like.  They even had some kabobs that looked really good, but I didn't try them.  The desserts were mainly a variety of cupcakes, some cheese cake, and a few puddings.  Of course they also had soft serve ice cream.  One thing that they did have that brought out the kid in me is cotton candy.  It was freshly made and tasted like fresh cotton candy.  Overall it was a good meal.

I would have to say yes to this going back here.  There was nothing extremely special about it, but it had a good section and good food with a not so bad for Vegas price tag.  If you like buffets, then I would recommend going to the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood.