Sunday, March 20, 2011
Ahh, I feels so nice to blog again. I know I have been MIA since December. This doesn't mean that I have had a lack of food I wanted to discuss. Life has just been very busy. As I'm sure it has for many of you :) On Saturday, 3-19-2011 I visited the New Orleans Cafe with my boyfriend. His father suggested we should go. We were looking for something different and outdoors because the weather was amazing. In we strolled. We sat down just before the live music began. One man entertained us with a mix from reggae to jazz/blues. It was perfect. Our view was overlooking the water and sailboats just off of the St. Johns river.
We ordered cold beers and a bloody mary. I usually must ask for mine to be made extra spicy, but here, everything has spice. It came rimmed in a cajun salt. Delicious. For appetizers we had the fried pickles and a dozen char-grilled oysters. The pickles tasted like they were made fresh and very good. I LOVE oysters, raw and steamed. Although, these were good, they had way too much cheese on them. The flavor of the cheese completely took away from the oysters. After discarding some of the cheese, the oysters were fabulous. I will order these again, with light cheese.
For lunch we both chose from the Pick-2 menu. It is the lunch special on the back. I had the crawfish etouffee with the fried oyster po-boy and both were great. My boyfriend have the jambalaya and a muffaletta and enjoyed both as well.
Overall, a great day. If visiting on the weekend I suggest arriving early. By the time we finished our first drink the entire patio was full.
The New Orleans Cafe is located at 12760 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32223-2661... Phone (904) 880-5155
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
As some of you may or may not know, I've tried to only eat seafood and not redmeat for over 5 years now. This means I eat a lot of shrimp, and have tons of shrimp recipes and ideas. I often make a cream tomato sauce from scratch that is a one of a kind flavor. This meal was a play on that. With the pasta, I used fresh pasta. This will make all the difference in the world! Next, I made a "red-sauce" base from a mix of pureed tomatoes, lots of basil, garlic, onions, evoo, mushrooms, and bell peppers, crushed cherry peppers, and red pepper flakes. I cooked this together and used my hand blender to "melt" the flavors into a thick sauce. Some can be left chunky. I then added ingredients I use to make a cream sauce; cream cheese, parm cheese, heavy cream, etc. These two sauces come together with an amazing flavor. After simmering for a few minutes I added 2 lbs of peeled, devained, jumbo shrimp. When the shrimp hit the sauce, turn off the heat. It is VERY easy to overcook shrimp. The heat from the sauce will cook them evenly with ease. Mix with pasta and serve with a big slice of bread for dipping!
-As an app, I made a simple caprese salad. Slices of fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil. I like to salt and pepper mine and drizzle with oil and vinegar, and occasionally add a few capers and onion slices.
-Enjoy, and please leave comments with any questions!
Friday, December 10, 2010
It's beginning to get cold here in North Florida. My collard greens are still growing like weeds, although my basil and pepper plants are starting to die. Be sure to pick all of your fruits and vegetables before they freeze. If you can't pick them, cover them. Please keep in mind that most plants die in the winter time from BURNING not freezing. This happens when you don't uncover them the next morning and the sun along with the cover causes them to become too hot. Here is a picture of lemons I picked this morning. Please send me any great lemon recipes you might have!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
On a recent trip to Tallahassee, Florida we were craving pizza. We were hoping to run into a local place and not have to grab something from a chain restaurant. We found Momo's Pizza. The inside has character and lots of different beers. We ordered a Medium pizza with banana peppers and mushrooms, a single slice of cheese, and a calzone. Everything was HUGE. The whole pizza taste the best, the single slice seemed to have too much sauce on it. The calzone also was EXTRA LARGE! The to-go boxes you might think are a joke when you walk in because they are so big, no joke! Not the best pizza in the world, but better than a chain joint. And you get a lot of pizza for your money. Great for a college town! If you check it out, let me know what you think!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Metro Diner is located on Hendricks Ave in Jacksonville, Florida. The name might ring a bell for those of you who watch The Food Network. Metro Diner was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with host Guy Fieri. If your lucky enough to be in driving range of this place, then why are you still reading? Go eat now! I am always skeptical of places that get a huge ovation, especially being on Food Network. It's like hearing a movie is fantastic and being let down. Metro Diner will not let you down. It usually has a line down the sidewalk, they have chairs out front. The inside isn't huge but they also seat tables outdoors. The weather is perfect this time of year to sit outdoors. The place looks like a mix between an old house and a diner. A great mix to give you a "comfortable Saturday morning breakfast feel" Inside on the blackboard are always daily specials. Try the flavored sweet tea! At our table we had an order of Eggs Benedict that came with hash-brows, a Crab-cakes Benedict that came with hash-browns, and a soup and sam combo of Tomato Basic Bisque and Chicken Salad. Everything was wonderful and lived up to every expectation. The Crab-cakes on my Benedict were amazing, and the hollandaise sauce was creamy. The hash-browns were actually amazing also! The Tomato Basil Bisque was extremely Basil-ish, which I love. The extra basil gives it the fresh flavor, and the cream makes it float over your tongue. Go give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think! I hope someone will try the CHICKEN AND WAFFLES and give me feedback. I can't wait to visit again.
3302 Hendricks Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32207-5302
Friday, September 24, 2010
Sun - Thurs 12am - 12pm
Fri & Sat 12pm - 1am
What we ordered:
Fresh home-made mozzarella with tomatoes & basil
-BRUSCHETTA CASA BELLA
Italian Toast with chopped tomato and basil
-CALAMARI DOLCI AMARO
Baby squid in sweet & sour sauce, balsamic vinegar, raisins & pignoli nuts
with Chicken -$18.50 with Shrimp -$21.50
-PAPARDELLE ALLA FUNGHETTI
Wide home-made noodles tossed with fillet of tomatoes & three wild mushrooms
- PIZZA MARGHERITA
Breakdown: AMAZING!! I wish I had more words in my vocabulary to describe our meal. The best, must order items of what we experienced were the LASAGNA & THE PAPARDELLE ALLA FUNGHETTI. Everything else was good, but these two were TO DIE FOR!!! Ah, my mouth waters just thinking about it. The pasta in both are fresh and melt in your mouth like butter. The red sauce at Casabella must be the specialty, you can taste the years this recipe has been passed from generation to generation. The atmosphere in Little Italy is always perfect, but my favorite is when it starts to get chilly. Most places have a fire place, cozy feel, amazing wine, and a great view to watch the snow fall. If you're in the area, don't forget to try to Sangria at Casabella, delish!!
In the world of pizza, Grimaldi’s is an institution. Grimaldi’s history of coal-fired brick oven pizza cooking can be traced to the first pizzeria in America back in 1905. Coal-fired brick oven cooking gives pizza a unique smokey flavor and a crisp crust that is just not possible with gas, convection, or wood ovens.We had a large cheese, half pepperoni, and it was gone in less than 4 minutes. Have you ever seen the show on Food Network called "Best Thing I ever Ate?" well this pizza joint was featured on it! You can't make reservations and everyone waits in line, even if you called ahead for a to go. The line wraps down the sidewalk and you are called inside by the nicest, upbeat, man in the place. You can walk to the back and watch the pizza being made. The cheese is fresh and stacked feet tall, all the ingredients are overflowing their bowls and look better than amazing. Next time you're in NYC, venture over to Brooklyn. It's a very safe part of town just over the bridge. You can order you pizza to go, sit on the river bank, and take in all the beauty of NYC.