almostveggies's Recent Reviews

posted 
Rustic TableRustic Table
Southern / Bars / Breakfast & Brunch

 

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PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC Rustic Table used to be the Island Deli. This information is something everyone who grew up in Pawleys Island knows. It’s probably one of the only restaurants I didn’t work at in high school. I kept having to quit my job every July 4th because who wants to work on July 4th when you are a teenager living at the beach?

 

I went back to South Carolina last week for Marcy’s funeral. She fought cancer like a true champion. We were both fighting cancer at the same time and were actually cancer free around the same time as well. Sadly, hers returned and spread throughout her body.

 

I bet you could ask anyone if they remember Marcy’s glorious laugh, even those who hadn’t seen her since high school, and they would remember. Her laugh is just –> wow –> in the best way. It makes me laugh just thinking about Marcy’s laugh. She’s one of the best.

 

We all went into the church fellowship hall after the funeral. It was like having our own little class reunion. We decided right then and there that we were all going to have brunch at Rustic Table, on Sunday, to celebrate Marcy’s life and catch up after so many years. Most people had to cancel by the time brunch arrived, but the four of us didn’t need any help having fun catching up.

 

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onion rings

beer battered onion rings

 

fried oysters, black beans, pineapple salsa

fried oysters, black beans, pineapple salsa, cilantro-lime sour cream

 

deviled eggs

deviled eggs

 

oyster salad

cornmeal fried oyster salad.

 

Carrie's Burger = No Bun

Carrie’s Burger = No Bun

 

chicken

fried chicken with brown gravy, lima beans, rice

 

shrimp & grits

shrimp & iron skillet creamed corn grits, tomatoes parsley,
butter, white wine & lemon, minus sausage

 

Our server still managed to give us excellent service even though Rustic Table was slammed during brunch on Sunday. There’s no way anyone can look at these pictures and not get hungry. Please & thanks!

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posted 

 

Jasper's RichardsonFinding an area to feel excited about has been trying since buying a house in the burbs. Sure, the burbs have this and that, but come on. Since the new Cityline complex offers an above average glimmer of hope, Jasper’s jumped out as a no-brainer place with solid potential. After all, it is Jasper’s.

 

Jasper’s screams Tito’s is going to be anything but $7. After a full-blown investigation, the bartender revealed that Tito’s is none other than $11, which is not working out for anyone who knows Tito’s should never cost more than $7.

 

In the end of the very beginning of this happy hour visit, it made sense to go ahead and order Prosecco instead. For those of you feeling sad right now, take a break to quickly think about summer days of sunshine and rainbows.

 

It was really weird realizing the happy hour mahi taco at Jasper’s was a total flop. The only thing right was mahi being the chosen fish for the $8 tacos. Two tacos arrived looking fancy with a side of shine. Where was this shine coming from? It was different than the kind of taco that oozes all over your face, like at Fearing’s. This was not the same. No, just no.

 

Please take a moment to peruse decor pictures before we continue to talk about these tacos.

 

Jasper's Richardson

 

Jasper's Richardson

 

Jasper's Richardson

 

Jasper's Richardson

 

Jasper's Richardson

 

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After taking a closer look, the tacos were soaking wet with some kind of greasy-looking puddle of shame. My first thoughts were it had to be me. I was the one having a false feeling of taco sadness. It could not be Jasper’s kitchen because Jasper’s kitchen would never send anything out looking so shady.

 

I decided to see what would happen after asking for two new taco shells. Maybe it was a taco shell problem, which would be any easy fix. No one likes to send happy hour food back to the kitchen. It’s just not right.

 

The bartender said different taco shells were on the way, but then never brought them over. Now the tacos were not only sad, but they were cold and lonely as well. This is when I took a bite. It was a mix of hard, soft, and rubbery all over the place. The most unpleasant part of this bite was that it tasted like a mouthful of meat. Double wow.

 

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I wasn’t about to complain. No way. Instead, I asked where the mahi was cooked. Maybe the answer would provide clues that would solve the mystery of the mahi taco tasting like a steak. He said they cook the fish for tacos on the grill where meat is cooked. All other seafood is cooked where meat hasn’t been.

 

Huh? What is up with that? Can I get a purpose? Maybe people ordering fish want the fish to taste like meat? People who eat meat probably feel this is an annoying pretend-issue that isn’t a real issue at all. People who aren’t into meat feel differently.

 

One wouldn’t think this is a situation where there’s a need to ask if the fish is going to taste like meat. Throw an almost veggie person a bone. Maybe this wasn’t even the real answer. I waited tables and sometimes wasn’t sure how to answer a question completely, but went with a basic answer anyway since I was in the weeds.

 

extra side of onion ring, please

extra side of onion ring, please

 

wedge salad

chopped wedge salad
blue cheese, onion ring, minus nueske’s bacon

 

On the up and up, lunch at Jasper’s this week proved that Jasper’s is still the bomb after all. Who knew a wedge salad could skyrocket to the next level by adding an onion ring on top? After finally getting over how good of an idea this onion ring was, I decided to order an extra onion ring. Maybe this is old news in the world of salad toppings. Maybe this is one of the things that slipped by my entire life. I don’t think I can ever have a wedge salad again if it isn’t topped with a crispy onion ring. Thank you, Jasper’s.

 

shrimp & grits

shrimp & grits

 

The shrimp and grits can be served without being wrapped in prosciutto, so hey. It’s also always a plus when grits do not already have bacon included in the recipe. The shell tucked beneath wasn’t greasy in the least, let’s all raise the roof. In the end, we all must continue to love Jasper’s. It’s the right thing to do.

 

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posted 
    • 5.0

 

imagePax Americana is not messing around with anyone. What they do with cauliflower is insanity at its best. It’s like a mad scientist is in the kitchen acting scientifically mad about this particular cauliflower creation.

 

The bartender was way too calm when she suggested ordering the cauliflower appetizer. She should have panted with uncontrollable palate-pleasure, completely unable to breathe merely speaking words forming sentences that ultimately described this kind of cauliflower masterpiece.

 

The best way to express the greatness of this dish is to say I’d request  it as my last meal if I broke a massive law in Texas and was offered a last meal. Holy freaking moly, chef. What is up in your kitchen?

 

Even better, I sat at the bar beside none other than an Uchi employee. Uchi employees are cool without trying. They have extra chill here, chill there, simply chill perfection all over the place. You will never catch Uchi servers causing trouble on purpose. It simply doesn’t happen.

 

Roasted cauliflower, sweet pea hummus, pepper jelly, orange, candied hazelnut

Roasted cauliflower, sweet pea hummus, pepper jelly, orange, candied hazelnut

 

So, just when it seemed like a regular day, a guy bartender walked over and said, “Is your name Ashli and did a guy you dated a few years ago almost die, so you had to call 911 to save his life five minutes after finding out he cheated on you?”

 

This really happened. I knew I vented a bit here and there after my diabetic-cheater-ex-boyfriend-with-a-double-life almost died of some kind of blood sugar attack. Yes, I was going to give him the special shot and some chocolate, but decided he might die and called 911 instead.

 

This guy was the biggest cheater in the history of world-champion cheaters, minus the next cheater I dated before finally marrying a non-cheater four years ago. I snooped his phone because I had a feeling he was a no good dirty rotten scoundrel. He decided to have a diabetic attack at the very same time his double life was revealed. What are the odds?

 

So, the bartender and I have a lifelong bond  since he was there to listen to this sadly pitiful sob story years ago when this all took place. This bartender is a true listener. Raise the roof to bartenders who listen and even remember traumatic events shared by restaurant customers.

 

Rock Rock Shrimp, green goddess dressing, Brussels sprout, grilled sweet corn, blueberry

Rock Shrimp, green goddess dressing, Brussels sprout, grilled sweet corn, blueberry

 

After eating the cauliflower app, it seemed like asking for the check was the right thing to do. Leave while you’re ahead is what works out for everyone. The girl bartender decided to share her opinion of an entree.

 

I believed every word she said, which meant sticking around for a 100% total Rock shrimp win. The Houston food scene just keeps getting better. Pax Americana will leave you mesmerized by its existence. This place is a true Houston gem oozing perfection. Please & thanks!

 

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posted 
Fearing's RestaurantFearing's Restaurant
American (New) / American (Traditional) / Steak
    • 5.0

fearings

People who live life worrying about having crazy great food and service on each birthday need to go to Fearing’s. Service being out of control perfect is something that’s often hard to find. Who wants to worry about being turned & burned on their birthday? Fearing’s would love for you to stay as long as your brain tells you to. Every time we have ever been to Fearing’s, we’ve been blown away by the entire experience. Dean Fearing is to food like Sinatra is to New York City. He is the chef-bomb.

 

First-world-problems have the potential of exploding all over the place during dining on your birthday. What if the server in charge of your birthday happiness is hung-over? You might wait with an empty class of champagne for six minutes. What is up with that? Or maybe you are still eating an app when your entrée sadly arrives early. The potential horror is unbearable to even think about. Fearing’s would never allow these things to happen.

 

Crispy Halibut Tacos white corn tortillas, blue cheese, sriracha chili sauce, mango/pickled red onio

Crispy Halibut Tacos
white corn tortillas, blue cheese,
sriracha chili sauce, mango/pickled red onion salad

 

There’s a three-course brunch for around $50. This is pocket change when you compare the cost of brunch to dinner. I knew my entire order from start to finish before getting in the car on Sunday. The first and only starter needed was the fish taco. It didn’t feel deep-fried, which makes everyone happy. The fish was halibut, so there you go. If sauce isn’t oozing down your face, then you need to consider relaxing a bit. This taco is pure joy at the highest level. They have a shrimp taco I’ve had during lunch that is equally important to your taste buds.

 

shrimp grits

 

Shrimp & Brazos Valley White Cheddar Grits roasted garlic butter sauce, pico de gallo

Shrimp & Brazos Valley White Cheddar Grits
roasted garlic butter sauce, pico de gallo

 

Choirs of angels will rejoice in song when this dish is delivered. Of course the shrimp is wrapped in prosciutto. Shrimp & grits seem to have a destiny with pork products no matter what. The good news is being able to leave it off. If I wasn’t trying to be classy, I would have asked for an extra side of white cheddar grits. That’s the only thing that could have made the sun shine brighter—> more grits.

 

Look, no one needs to complain about the serving size of grits during brunch at Fearing’s. If you have this thought, please remember this restaurant is located inside the Ritz Carlton. Hoity-toity places usually have smaller portions, so accepting this as reality is the right thing to do. Be classy, Dallas.

 

fearings

 

Banana Pudding homemade vanilla wafers, toasted meringue, bananas foster sauce, warm beignets

Banana Pudding
homemade vanilla wafers, toasted meringue,
bananas foster sauce, warm beignets

 

Banana pudding with bananas foster sauce and beignets? Yes, please! This is something else I could order 1,000 times infinity. There’s no reason to take pictures of this dish again. If a dessert can win a James Beard Award, then the banana pudding with bananas foster sauce and beingets should already be a winner.

 

There’s never going to be anything wrong with Fearing’s. One misconception is that you have to be loaded to dine at Fearing’s. We’ve never been during dinner because the way the day feels inside the restaurant is something incredible enough. The very best table, ever, that reminds me of table 45 at Brennan’s in Houston, is the last table on the left when you walk inside. Do this. The three-course brunch menu with a few glasses of Prosecco is worth saying goodbye to $100.

 

Important News: This weekend I will be in none other than Atlantic City with my childhood BFF. Friday night we are having dinner at Bobby Flay Steak. Some people crack on Bobby Flay, but he is obviously doing something right because Bobby Flay. The menu has a boatload of lobster dishes, so things are definitely on the up and up. Stay tuned for Atlantic City food.

 

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posted 
    • 2.0

 

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Osteria PaneVino seemed like a done deal as soon as we walked inside. The kitchen is majorly open and dining rooms don’t get much easier on the eyes. We came in between lunch and dinner service, so this would explain why we were the only customers there. This experience proved the theory of eating-at-the-bar-equals-solid-service to be wrong. With so many other places to eat in Addison, no one can afford to drop the ball when the only people receiving scary service are the only two people in the restaurant. Why not close between services instead?

 

Osteria Panevino

 

Osteria Panevino

 

Osteria Panevino

 

The first bartender who waited on us left after letting us know the specials, delivering drinks, and dropping off an appetizer. Most of the time a person getting off work before customers have finished will transfer the check. If not, they can easily 1) ask customers to pay because he/she is off work or 2) let them know someone else is going to take care of them. It happens all the time. This only becomes a problem when the new bartender is nowhere to be found after the old one left without saying a word. Please, keep up with this painful story of complete sadness.

 

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It took less than a minute looking at the menu to know the next part of lunch would be lobster flatbread, then lobster ravioli as an entrée. We finally ordered the lobster flatbread when the second bartender came over to check on us. Since the menu described the flatbread as having Maine lobster, things got really weird when it arrived. Everything about it screamed imitation lobster on several levels.

 

The dry lobster with zero flavor was as sad as saying goodbye. Seafood, especially lobster, is a major part of my life.  Having never eaten lobster with this taste and texture is confusing. Knowing for sure what is up with the shady-tasting lobster is a bit of a mystery.

 

Osteria Panevino

 

Osteria Panevino

 

Osteria Panevino

 

 

Maine Lobster Flatbread artichoke, spinach, fontina

Maine Lobster Flatbread
artichoke, spinach, fontina + extra fontina

 

In an attempt to make it better, the only thing left to do was ask for—> extra cheese. This request was a desperate decision. If this was actually real lobster, then they’ve done something very wrong in the kitchen. Fact: It would be hard to make lobster taste this way on purpose.

 

Before we could ask for cheese, we had to find the bartender again. We finally found him stuffing his face in the corner. It was like being a bother. Sorry, we really didn’t mean to get in the way of your day. Holy cow. If you can’t wait on a total of two people, then considering a different career might be the bomb. All we wanted to do was save the flatbread. The idea of ordering lobster ravioli as an entrée was suddenly a part of the past.

 

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