Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - Memphis, TN

310 S Front St Memphis, TN 38103 (901) 527-4877


Special Event Review: Windy City RibFest

Chicago, IL

Upon our arrival to Chicago, IL we decided that our first stop would be a special festival called Windy City RibFest. It was in the heart of downtown and free to attend with a donation if you choose.

When we arrived we didn't really know what to expect, but we loved the smell of the BBQ that filled the air. The festival wasn't as big as I thought it would be either. They only had like 6 stands selling BBQ which you had to get with tickets. The choice was hard to make, but we decided upon two different places for our BBQ adventure. One was Chicago BBQ Company and the other was The Award Winning Barbecue Company.

Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ - Memphis, TN

150 Stateline Rd W Southaven, MS 38671 (662) 393-5699


Smokey's BBQ - Chicago, IL

5481 N Northwest Hwy (between Foster Ave & Parkside Ave)Chicago, IL 60630 (773) 763-2328


Mr Beef - Chicago, IL

666 N Orleans St (between Erie St & Huron St)Chicago, IL 60610 (312) 337-8500


Giordano's Pizzeria - Chicago, IL

56 E Superior St (between Rush St & Wabash Ave) Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 951-0747


Al's Italian Beef - Chicago, IL

1079 W Taylor St (between Aberdeen St & Carpenter St)Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 226-4017



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jamaican Vibes - Mobile, AL

3700 Government Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36693-4306 (251) 602-1973 ‎


Featured on Studio 10:

Special Review: Tessie Lee's Cafe - Mobile, AL

1110 Montlimar Place Ste 158 Mobile, AL 36602 ph: 251-343-3663, fax: 251-343-3663


Texas Roadhouse - Mobile, AL

6150 Airport Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36608 (251) 341-0168 ‎


Review Comments:
Ernest and I both love a great steak and for Father's Day I thought Texas Roadhouse would be a great place to take him.  Well, originally the choice was Longhorns. The parking lot, however, was so packed and seeing the multitude of people outside made us change our minds.

Texas Roadhouse was also crowded, but the good thing was that we didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated.  The atmosphere reminded me so much of restaurants back home in Denver. The wood floors, country music playing in the background, peanut shells everywhere. However, I must say that there butcher style display of raw steak near the entrance was a nice added bonus to the look. I can't say that it was the same when it came to the food though.

First throw off was our appetizer which were Fried Pickles. These are usually my favorites, but here they were absolutely not.  They were so thin that they were more like chips. And for a person that rarely uses salt they tasted like a spoonfull of just that. Sour salt. I couldn't eat more than 3 and Ernest could feel his blood pressure rising from them.

As far as our main dishes goes we both had their Texas Size Combos which in no was. Believe me when I say that most restaurants in Texas, at least in Dallas, had bigger steaks and ribs than what we were given and tasted much better. The food wasn't awful, just not something to brag about.  The steak had good flavor, but for a medium rare it was a tad too tough.

As far as staff, our waitress was good and very friendly. They spoke to us the moment we walked in and helpful to us being that it was our first time there.

In my opinion I wouldn't say not go here. The food is decent and its a great place when out comes to the atmosphere. Never hurts to give it a try.

Steak Filet - Prichard, AL

St. Stephens & I-65 Prichard, Alabama 36610


Review Comments:
This its a new place in the "hood" and I must be honest...they have great food. Well great wings that is. My was the first to try their food with one of their salads. There was no special occasion for my first try, but I am glad hubby tasked me into going.

It is rare that you will find me going to any of neighborhood restaurants. Something about them doesn't always sit well with me. Other than Rodger's BBQ and well named fast food places, I usually opt out of those choices. However, being that this place is new I decided to give it a try.

Everyone except my husband ordered wings. My sons had regular wings while I had their buffalo. First thing I was impressed with was the size of the wings. They were pretty big, so getting 5-6 wings wasn't bad at all. How ever they make their buffalo sauce was great. Just the right touch of heat and flavor.

This is no doubt a place I wouldn't mind eating at again. Let's just hope they stay around for awhile and don't slack on the quality of their food.

Panera Bread - Mobile, AL

3691 Airport Blvd # D, Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 342-5101 ‎


Review Comments:
Panera is one off my favorite deli type places to eat. My favorites is always the Greek Salad, Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, and the Cheddar & Broccoli Soup.  Hard for me to switch my tastes

Usually I do have a great experience here. The staff are usually very polite and my orders are usually done just as I ask. Normally, I like my Greek Salad with lots of olives and dressing. However, the last few times I have came here it was the staff, not the food, that has made my opinion not so favorable.

I totally understand that restaurants like to charge for extras and when I really have a taste for something I don't mind paying for it. That is the way I am about my salad. My norm is to ask for 6 orders of olives and 2-3 extra dressing. Well the last couple of times I have placed my order and have gotten my dressing and very little olives. When I have brought it to their attention I have to argue about the fact that $6 does not equal to what I have on my salad. And the managers don't assist at all or end up with their own attitudes.

Usually I would give a restaurant a lower rating just of the staff alone, but despite their cheapness and behavior I still love making my lunch and business trips here.

P.F. Changs China Bistro - Birmingham, AL

233 Summit Boulevard, Apple Store The Summit, Birmingham, AL 35243 (205) 967-0040,  (205) 967-3661


Review Comments:
While in Birmingham, AL with my family for a church event called 2011 Pentecost Explosion my husband and I decided to pay a visit to P.F. Chang's. We had actually planned it weeks before the event, but plans were changed at last minute.

The rest of our family had heard of it but have never been so we made it a big family outing. We tried to go the 2nd night in Birmingham, but while we waited the lights went out for several miles. So we made reservations the next evening after our church event with our entire family minus 2-3. It was actually a little difficult to reserve dining at last minute for a group of about 15, but we were nicely accommodated by a nice patio seating.

The day was so nice that being on the patio made it absolutely wonderful. It was also perfect for having 6 kids with us who were all under the age of 7. The wait staff was fantastic. We had to gentlemen who definitely earned to have great tips. One only handle the children and the other took care of the adults. Our waiters let us know what items were on the menu that could be harmful to someone with peanut or seafood allergies. This included my son and husband Ernest. And we were all amazed how well the other waiter was with our children.

Ernest and I once again took the Dinner for Two choice trying different entrees this time. He had the Orange Chicken and mine was the Ginger Chicken & Broccoli. Of course no meal is complete at P.F. Chang's without Lettuce Wraps as your appetizer. We added their Spare Ribs to our meal as well. They were so tender and good. The ribs were so good that they could put some BBQ restaurants to shame. There just wasn't enough of them.

Another P.F. Chang's gets a bravo from us. So far our plan is if there is a P.F. Chang's on our road trips then we will be there. Of course you will see our reviews at each and everyone.

Kens Hickory BBQ Pit - Birmingham, AL

4817 Pinson Valley Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35215-1657 (205) 853-6488 ‎


Review Comments:
I must admit that out of the restaurants we have been to it is rare to come across a place as down home as this one. We came to Ken's by chance while in Birmingham, AL for the AME 2011 Pentecost Explosion. As always in our family road trips we like to visit new places so when I looked up BBQ on my TripAdvisor app this was the first one mentioned with rave reviews.

Now from the outside this place doesn't look like much. Off the highway you would think it was a dive bar. We had our boys, nephew, and niece with us. Once we pulled up they were all like, "this place looks bad". However, the moment we walked in everyone changed their minds...including us. I had never met a group of people so hospitable. The atmosphere inside was not fancy, but you could tell they loved their college football. You mostly saw autographs from members of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Being a Tide fan I thought it was great.

Anyhow, the reviews I read on TripAdvisor was mostly spoke about how great their breakfast was. It was past breakfast so we didn't get to enjoy what others did. For the most part their ribs and chicken weren't bad at all. The downfall was the BBQ sauce and the cole slaw. It wasn't great or even something we could say was delicious. The BBQ sauce tasted to me like normal sauce from a can or jar and the cole slaw had just a bit too much sugar for my particular taste.

Basically, the atmosphere and friendliness is good reason for you to come here. The food isn't awful and your opinion might be different from mine so I would not count this place out. I recommend that you give it a try.

Chili's - Mobile, AL

790 Schillinger Rd South, Mobile, AL 36695 (251) 776-7006 ‎


Review Comments:
I wouldn't say Chili's is the best place I have ever eaten, but it still a good place to go. In fact, I have found it to be better than Applebee's and T.G.I. Friday's.

It was my nephews graduation day and her had chosen Chili's as the place he wanted the family to go for dinner. Having 12 adults and 5 children to handle isn't an easy task for wait staff, but ours was great. The waitress was very friendly and was great at taking everyone's orders. She didn't miss a single beat. Drinks were always filled and she was always around if we needed anything. I don't think anyone was displeased.

As far as the food goes...everything was brought to us hot and cooked as we expected. My husband and I had there Custom Combinations.  Believe me when I say that it was more than enough food for me. We even got the Southwestern Eggrolls as an appetizer. I highly  recommend them.

El Chicos Cafe - Mobile, AL

830 West Interstate 65 Service Road South, Mobile, AL 36608 (251) 344-0134 ‎


Review Comments:
Being that I am from the West I must say that in all my 13 years here in Mobile, AL I have never found a Mexican restaurant I absolutely love in Mobile. There are maybe 3 that I don't mind going to, but they don't wow me. This place is now my exception.

I placed a carryout order from here simply because I had a taste for Mexican and didn't feel like cooking. Thought that I would try some place new. I am so glad that I chose this place.

The staff were very nice from the moment I walked in the door. They answered every question that I asked being that it was my first time there and were helpful in my meal selections. I had their Mixed Grill Fajitas which included beef, chicken, and shrimp. Each piece was tender and perfectly seasoned. Hubby had the Chicken Fajita Salad and loved it. I also ordered their al la cart tamales and fell absolutely in love. I will admit that the color of the tamales wasn't what I expected. It had a slight orange color to out, but believe me when I say that it tastes great. It is even spicy which I also love.

I did go a second time for lunch and got the Top Shelf  Fajita which includes beef, chicken, shrimp, and baby back ribs. Again it was a wonderful and delicious meal.

This is one Mexican restaurant I recommend for you in Mobile, AL.

Chinatown Restaurant - Mobile, AL

5285 Highway 90, Mobile, AL 36619-4201 (251) 660-8168 ‎


Review Comments:
When it comes to worst chinese restaurants to eat at in Mobile, AL Chinatown it. Makes me a like sad that I am making my review as that. We use to eat here a lot for a couple of years. I always loved their Mongolian Grill. The chef, who ever it was, always made sure my noodles and vegetables were cooked just right. This time all I could do was leave highly disappointed.

We had taken our boys to see King Fu Panda 2 in 3D, so we thought it would be cool to keep a theme going. I wish we would have went to our favorite buffet instead.

The staff was our first turnoff. No one smiled and barely spoke to us. Throughout our meal we hardly saw our waitress which means no dishes were removed except once. Then we come to the food which was cold and overcooked. It didn't matter which selection you had. Anything with noodles was mushy. This includes the Mongolian Grill. My noodles were so overcooked that I couldn't taste the vegetables or meat. It was simply awful and we have vowed to not return.

If you want to have Chinese food in Mobile, AL this is not a place I recommend. There are plenty of great Chinese restaurants here with or without buffets.

Denny's - Mobile, AL

812 S. Beltline Highway, Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 344-8638 ‎


Review Comments:
Now I have never thought of Denny's as the best place to eat, but it was always great for breakfast at any time of the day. However, our last visit here was far from the best place to eat.

I think the decent part of our entire meal here was that we had a very nice waiter. The young man was polite and did his best to make sure we were satisfied with our meal. But it is very hard to make an awful meal taste good. I had ordered the T-bone steak and shrimp. I knew that the steak would be thin, but it had no flavor and the few shrimps I got were tough. My husband had to send his steak back because it was too cooked. We both like our steaks medium-rare. Vegetables were cold and had a slight taste of being freezer burnt.

Another thing that irritated both of us was that it seemed that they were out of everything we tried to get. My wanted a football sports cup. They didn't have that. They wanted orange juice. They didn't have that and the list continued.

It all just made me want to get up and leave my entire order there. Because our waiter wasn't at fault we made sure he received a decent tip, but upon walking out we decided that would not return.

Olive Garden - Mobile, AL

Festival Center, 3701 Airport Blvd, Mobile, AL 36608 (251) 343-0467,(251) 342-3158


Review Comments:
When it comes to Italian food, I love coming here. The atmosphere is always nice. Out of the few times that I have been here the staff has always been attentive and friendly.  Even when they are packed with people dining here, I have never waited to be seated longer than 20 minutes.

The last time we came was after spending Family Fun Day at my son's school and seeing Hoodwinked 2. We brought our boys here for the first time and they loved the food. Even my little picky eater who had macaroni & cheese. It was actually a great family moment like their commercials...LOL.

I had their Stuffed Mushrooms and tried the Seafood Brodetto for the first time. The Brodetto was absolutely delicious. So good that even though I was full I could have eatten more. It was the very first time I didn't go home with a to-go box.

If you haven't eaten at Olive Garden yet  I highly suggest that you do. I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed at all.

J. Rodgers BBQ - Saraland, AL

1444 Industrial Parkway, Saraland, AL 36571-3903 (251) 675-3282 ‎


Review Comments:

There are two spots in Mobile, AL that I have loved going to for down south BBQ. Rodgers and J. Rodgers. J. Rodgers has a buffet that we always have enjoyed. That is until now.

The last time we went here was the week after Mother's Day and let me say that I left extremely disappointed and still hungry.  Their buffet usually has the normal southern items of ribs, macaroni and cheese, greens, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, etc. This time was no different, except the food wasn't good and barely warm. None of it had any taste to me. The BBQ sauce on the ribs tasted as if they put a whole bottle of vinegar in it. The yams tasted sugarless and the mac & cheese was simply nasty to me.  The desserts tasted old and again....not much taste. Don't you think that Banana Pudding should taste like bananas and vanilla wafers?

My husband  and my 5year old had no problem with their meals, but my 3 year old and myself barely ate more than a couple of bites it was so awful. This is no doubt going on my "Do not return" list.

Romano's Macaroni Grill - Mobile, AL

3250 Airport Blvd # B6, Mobile, AL 36606-3847 (251) 450-4556 ‎


Review Comments:
My family and I have only been to Macaroni Grill about 4-5 times total. Except for this last visit we have always had exceptional service and tasted absolutely delicious good. This last visit had me leaving full, very disappointed.

With my oldest son moving to Kansas the following morning, we thought it would be a great idea to have a nice dinner out for his last evening in Mobile, AL. The food was still delicious and I am glad they didn't slack on that. However, it was a Friday night and a lot slower than I have ever seen them. With that in mind I became very frustrated with our waiter.

To start it off it took at least 10-15 minutes before we even knew who our waiter was. A waitress stopped by our table and spoke to my 3 year old who was obviously flirting with her, but she was in a different section of the restaurant. When he finally made it to our table I informed him that my husband was running a little late meeting us because of work. Most waiters would have asked about drinks while we waited or if we will still be ordering. He just introduced himself and provided us with our bread and olive oil. We didn't see him again for another 10- 15 minutes after my husband arrived and only then did he ask about drinks. The entire time he had an attitude as if we were taking up his precious time. He hardly came around during our meal to fill our drinks or to see if we were fine with our meal.

For such a slow evening I found it hard to understand why service was the same. We have usually been greeted with smiles and small talk. For a place to have such good food it makes no sense to have such bad service. I hope the next time we eat here that we get the service we have grown to love.

Sonny's Real Pit BBQ - Mobile, AL

770 Schillinger Road South, Mobile, AL 36695-8912 (251) 634-0999 ‎


Review Comments:
What we like about Sonny's is their All You Can Eat specials. Our last trip here was the Tuesday before Easter. We were out and about getting our 3 boys fitted for their Easter suits and decided to come here for their All You Can Eat Ribs night.

I will admit that Sonny's isn't the best BBQ spot in Mobile, but it is worth going. Their ribs are tender and I personally love their BBQ sauce. Especially their Sizzlin' Sweet and Smokin Bar-B-Q sauces. It's their sides that don't always appeal to me and the fact that they don't really allow substitutions unless you have an allergy. I usually end up paying extra for their salad bar which is always fresh.

When it comes to the staff they are usually very friendly and good at making sure you are taken care of. That alone in my opinion deserves a decent review.

Special Review: The Big Texan Steak Ranch - Amarillo, TX

7701 W Interstate 40, Amarillo, TX 79121 (800) 657-7177 ‎


Review Comments:
When it comes to steaks and cole slaw this place is #1 in our book. We found out about this place from watching Man vs Food and we were not disappointed at all. In fact, it was the restaurant that originally got us started into wanting to try new places when we travel. Made us begin to look forward to vacations a lot more.

We have been to the Big Texan about 3 times and have enjoyed this place every time we have came. This place has excellent food. The steaks are cooked perfectly. Always juicy and mouth watering tender. Absolute perfection!! I not one to always like cole slaw, but I can never resist the Big Texan's. Not too much salad dressing and the touch if pepper gives it a great taste. Let's just say that one day I will get a big order to bring back with me or order it online. It is just that good.

The biggest part of The Big Texan is watching their famous 72 oz. Steak Challenge. The challenge includes a 72 oz steak, baked potato, salad, dinner roll and shrimp cocktail. If you can eat all of this in one hour you get a T-shirt, a souvenir boot mug, a certificate, a photo added to the "Wall of Fame", and your money for the meal refunded. Only once have we seen a live challenge when we visit. Unfortunately the 3 guys there didn't win.

The boys love coming here to see the store, creepy photos on the walls by the bathroom, cool animal heads in the dining room, and get their free cowboy hats. The staff is always great with them and making our dining experience special.

Call it a tourist attraction or tourist trap if you want, but there is no way you should go to Amarillo, TX and not go here for a great meal with your family. Out of all the restaurants we have been to this #1 on our list.