Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Alice's on Baywiew

This location has gone through several changes in recent years.  Originally Pappy's restaurant it is located on Bayview at the St. Andrews Marina.  The recent renovation transformed this space into a great neighborhood restaurant.  Believe me I want this place to succeed, but my last visit was very disappointing.

Our first visit was early in the life of this restaurant.  They hadn't received their liquor license and was BYOB.  The waitress even offered to run to the Mr. Mart or Grocery Outlet if we wanted something.  Our waitress Terry was very attentive balancing the act of taking care of your needs and not hovering over the table.  Please let me eat.  Don't ask if I need more water, if it is half full, or half empty just fill it don't speak.  We ordered the BBQ shrimp and the She Crab soup for starters.  I should know better than order a New Orleans traditional dish like BBQ shrimp having had the original several times at Pascal's Manale.  The Alice's version had no flavor.  Really lacked salt. There is a trend here.  If I learned anything about cooking in New Orleans it is to season in stages as you build the dish.  The She Crab soup was not much better.  Gloppy in texture, lacking in crab flavor and crabmeat. I long for the bisque from the old Gulf Club restaurant.  Lets face it She Crab soup is so named because the original bisque had crab roe (eggs) in it.  It is illegal to harvest female crabs in Florida, therefore the She Crab soup is simply a crab bisque.  I always judge a seafood restaurant by the fried seafood.  It is not easy to do and do well.  I want crunchy, not overly breaded seafood.  Let the seafood flavor come through.  I ordered the seafood platter and my wife ordered the grill fish which was snapper.  The seafood was fried well and the Snapper was grilled perfectly.  Again there was a lack of salt, which was not present on the table, and overall flavor.  The two sides are cheese grits and cilantro slaw.  Both lacked flavor.  Cheese grits didn't taste cheesy at all.  I knew the restaurant hadn't been open very long so I'm willing to give it another chance.  Our waitress Terry made up for it in her excellent service.  

Unfortunately our second visit was a disaster.

Our second visit came after our band practice was cancelled and we had just left getting my new glasses.  I looked forward to trying some new items  The menu is very limited.  Why is a Burger your first item?  That seemed odd to me.  This time we sat near the door and greeted several friend as they came and went.  Really has a neighborhood feel.  The bar was open and had several patrons sitting and enjoying the night.  Atmosphere was a little loud but not so you couldn't carry on a conversation.  Our waitress approached the table and gave us our menus.  When she returned we ordered drinks and appetizers.  I took at least fifteen minutes to get our drinks.  Way too long.  Our appetizers, crab claws and deviled eggs arrived via someone else not our waitress.  Again nothing notable about either one.  Simple saute of crab claws in house sauce lacked salt.  The deviled eggs with yellow mustard and sweet relish, had no sign of either ingredient.  Again the lack of salt.  The deviled egg order is three.  Really for a table of two.  We both ordered the fried shrimp entree again it came with cheese grits and cilantro slaw.  Again they arrived at the table via someone who was not our waitress.   The grits again were flavorless and this time runny, falling through the fork as I attempted to eat.   The slaw again lacked salt.  The breading fell of the shrimp as we tried to eat them, particularly as we tried to apply tater sauce, which was one of the best we've had recently.  I ordered wine with dinner.  I could not find my waitress for a second glass and had to get the hostess to get it for me.  

I really want this place to succeed.  It has all the potential to be a locals place, a neighborhood place, where friends meet for dinner, but you have to fix these egregious faults.  I asked to speak with Alice Masker and when she arrive I spoke to her about my issues.  She really didn't seem to be interested in what I said.  By the way it took 30 minutes for me to get the bill.

No stars for Alice's on Bayview.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Bevi is located at 4701 Airline Drive in Metairie, Louisiana.

I'm in New Orleans for Fathers Day and to celebrate my youngest sons 30th. birthday.  Truth be known the real reason to go to The Crescent City was to see my grand daughters and to eat some awesome food. New Orleans is famous for the small neighborhood restaurants that carry on the tradition of local Creole and Cajun inspired dishes like red beans and rice and Po-Boys.  

My wife loves boiled crabs.  I think it would be her death row meal because it is a slow process extracting the sweet and spice spicy meat.  I had gotten some very expensive prices for the boiled crustaceans and had resolved myself that I would not be able to provide my wife with her beloved meal.  Saturday rolled around and the weather was rainy so we looked for a place close to our location for lunch.  My son's girlfriend suggested Bevi a restaurant close to our location that serves traditional Po Boys and boiled shrimp, crawfish, and CRABS.  

When we walked in door the aroma hits your nose and screamed boiled and fried seafood. One of the things I miss most about New Orleans is fresh soft shelled crab and the special was a soft shelled crab Po Boy, yum. I ordered the soft shell Po Boy and a bowl of Gumbo. When in New Orleans always eat the Gumbo.  My wife ordered the boiled crabs with sausage and garlic, did I tell you next to the crabs the boiled garlic is her favorite.  Andrew ordered the gumbo and a sandwich called the Cure.  

The gumbo was made with a coffee colored roux which added a richness to the chicken, sausage, shrimp, and okra, ingredients.  This was a good bowl of Gumbo.  The soft shelled crab Po Boy really hit a spot that had been empty for some time.  The crab was fried perfectly and came dressed with mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickle on a seeded french bread. The Cure is hot sausage Po Boy with cheese, a fried egg, and dressed with pepper jelly mayonnaise.  This would definitely cure anything.

There is another Po Boy on the menu named the Peacemaker.  It is a fried shrimp Po Boy with roast beef debris a New Orleans s and Swiss cheese.  This one is on my list for next trip to New Orleans.

Bevi was the perfect stop on this trip.  I'll be back.

Bevi gets 4 stars.  

Bevi Seafood Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dobb's BBQ

Dobb's is located on Hwy. 231 in Dothan Alabama.

If you have read my blog you know I recently went to Atlanta to say goodbye to very dear friend.  Unfortunately I had to say goodbye to another childhood acquaintance Dobb's BBQ. 

After my father died my mother and I moved in with my Grandmother.  Gran gran was from a very large family and had 10 brothers and sisters. Her sister, my Aunt Grace, lived in Dothan and I remember we would drive there so my grandmother could visit her.  One of the highlights, was on the way home, we would stop at Dobb's BBQ and pick up some pulled pork and BBQ sauce to eat sandwiches for dinner that night.  I remember the smoked pork smell filling the car and making the anticipation greater for the sandwiches to follow.  We left for Atlanta at 3:00 in the afternoon.  Having made this trip several times I knew our options for dinner were either Dothan or Eufaula.  Since it had been a while since eating at Dobb's and having a hankering for BBQ we pulled in. 

 I ordered the combination plate of chopped beef, chopped pork, and ribs.  The wife ordered the chopped pork.  As one of my sides I ordered the camp stew what I call Brunswick stew.  When my plate arrived it was drowning in BBQ sauce and I could not distinguish the chopped pork from the chopped beef.  The ribs were recognizable barley.  As anyone knows BBQ is presently riding a tidal wave of popularity due to the Food Network, and people like Myron Mixon and Steven Raichland who have exposed the nation to wonderful variety of great BBQ.  BBQ beef should be brisket and nothing else period.  It should be served sliced or slightly chopped if served as a sandwich.  Pork is pork shoulder or butts and should be served pulled, long strings of moist, tender, smokey pork. Ribs are either baby backs or St. Louis style spare ribs.  Now, my preference for ribs is to have a slight tug with my teeth to remove the meat from the bone.  If you want fall off the bone ribs order the pulled pork not ribs.  
The meal was a disaster.  The taste of the BBQ sauce hid any flavor the meat may have had. Maybe that was a God send.  I could not find any flavor difference from the three meats on the plate.  The camp stew had the consistency of canned dog food and had no recognizable ingredients in it. 

To top off this disappointing meal when I went to the cashier to pay he was taking to go order and I had to wait several minutes.  While I waited a roach fell from the ceiling and landed right on the counter next to the man taking the to go order.  With out flinching he killed the roach with the order pad, and swept it off the counter and continued to take the order.  

They advertise they are the oldest restaurant in Dothan.  It is time to euthanize Dobb's BBQ, put them down, put them out of our misery.  

No stars for Dobb's.  Goodbye old friend.

Dobbs Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Eclipes Di Luna

Eclipse Di Luna is located at 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Georgia 

I went to Atlanta to say goodbye to a friend I've know since elementary school.  After the funeral I wanted to go somewhere to help lighten up the day and spend some time with my wife.  I searched Zomato to see what was close and found Eclipse Di Luna a Tapas restaurant and bar.  The restaurant is located in a shopping center and has a covered area outside so we requested seats there.  The staff was energetic, attentive, and welcoming, which helped to ease the day's pain and heart break.

We started with the Hummus with Naan and crudites and Quesos Espanoles, an assortment of Spanish cheeses which included a sheep's milk, cows milk, and a goats milk, cheeses, of various textures, accompanied with grapes, dates, and crackers.  Next we tried the Pan Catalan which is Ciabatta bread topped with a puree of tomato, garlic, and Thyme.  We added the Manchego cheese, Serrano Ham, and the Spanish Chorizo.  I have always been a fan of Cheviche and the menu presented a good choice.  The fresh gulf fish was marinated in an orange and Habenaro sauce with cilantro and avocado.  This was clean, fresh, and flavorful and we had just begun.

Next came the Esparragos a la Parrilla, grilled asparagus with a garlic Aioli and shaved Manchego cheese.  Great combination of flavors.  I wasn't leaving a Spanish restaurant with out a Paella.  We ordered the Paella del Dia a traditional Paella with mussells, chicken, shrimp, Chorizo, and peas, in a Saffron Calasparra rice.  While waiting for the Paella something on the menu caught my eye.  The Brocheta de Choriza Y Datiles, dates and Chorizo on a skewer, wrapped in bacon and grilled, topped with Valdeon blue cheese.  This I will try at home on my Weber.  We ended the meal with coffee, Flan, and Tres Leche cake.

What started out as a sad day turned into a meal to remember.  Thanks Eclipes De Luna

Five stars from me here.

Eclipse di Luna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Chef's is located at 553 E. 6th. St Panama , Florida.  

For those of us who are natives, this is the old Jimmy's Drive Inn.  Once a bastion of burgers, fried chicken, and french fries is now the home of the most innovative chef in Bay County.  
Lindsey Nordness has turned a casual lunch into a taste bud adventure.  Her Lemon, Chicken, & Orzo soup is a bowl of love.  It is warm, lemony, rich, and  satisfying.  It recently hit the spot on a rainy afternoon.  The Thai Coconut Curry soup is equally interesting.  Thai chili oil and coconut milk come together for a spicy (not hot) explosion of flavor.  A single thin sliced mushroom floats on top.  The menu has recently changed to herald in spring and summer which is a novel idea for the Panama City food scene.  The new roasted beet salad combines mixed greens, roasted red and yellow beets, dressed with a honey balsamic dressing.  The sweet candied pecans contrast the tart dressing, genius.  No longer on the menu the meatball sandwich was made with chicken meatballs and painted with pesto, served on a warm hoagie bun.  The O.G. burger hearkens back to to the drive in roots of Jimmy's.  One of the top burgers in town.  

Two items on the dinner menu are a must try.  The beer braised short ribs over creamy grits and Lindsey's interpretation of Chicken and Waffles.  The short ribs are braised in Oyster City Brewing "Hooter Brown Tupelo Honey Ale".  This rich, beefy, and unctuous, mixture is served over stone ground grits.  People it don't get any better than this.  The chicken and waffles uses pulled chicken, a sweet potato waffle, served on wilted collard greens, and dressed with Alabama White BBQ sauce.  Hot damn ya'll, yo grandma never cooked like this.

If you haven't tried Chef's, please do.  You will not be disappointed.  If you have please continue to support this restaurant with your patronage.  Bay County deserves this place and this Chef.  http://www.chefsinpanamacity.com/

Chef's gets 5 stars.
Chef's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good job Mellow Mushroom

As they say "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", so is true in the restaurant business.  If you get bad service or are treated badly, you love to tell everyone.  I want to report a good experience I recently had.

Saturday night I didnt feel like cooking so we went to Mellow Mushroom for pizza.  We have been there several times and know what we want.  My wife and I ordered draught beer and the server said they were having trouble with the tap because they had recently changed the CO2 tank and the line had not been bleed.  I watched as the bar teander tried several times to pull the draught on several beers. We waited for about 15 minutes before the beer was delivered to the table.  The server was very attentive but our salad was taking a loog time.  Finally the salad and pizza arrived at the same time.  Don't you hate when that happens?  We had not been given cutlery so we sat there staring at our food unable to eat.  I spoke to the server and finally recieved the implements.

Sensing my frustration the server sent the manager over and we were told we would recieve the local's discount of 10%, the military discount (I'm not military) of 25%, and the salad was taken from the bill.

Thanks Mellow Mushroom for taking a bad situation and making it good.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Andy's Flour Power Cafe & Bakery

Friday I had breakfast at Andy's Flour Power Cafe & Bakery (http://andysflourpower.com/).  It's hard to describe this place in one word.  It's fresh, quirky, delicious, colorful, comfortable, and artistic.  The first thing that hits you  when you walk in is the smell of bread, biscuits, and pastries baking.  If the smells don't get you, your eyes are treated to the colorful, quirky interior.  But let's talk food.  It is a cafe after all.

Andy's is open for breakfast and lunch with a great menu of items to choose from.  They also have a display case with the fresh baked Danishes, muffins, turnovers, and such if you want to grab and go.  I bought muffins to the ladies in the office and they were met with smiles and moans of approval.  The weekday menu (http://andysflourpower.com/menu/weekday-menu/) and the weekend menu (http://andysflourpower.com/menu/weekend-menu/) includes traditional and nontraditional items.  Included is a breakfast skillet full of potatoes, ham, onions, peppers, eggs, and cheese.  Come hungry for this one.  For the vegetarian there is a vegetable frittata with it is a baked omelet, with squash, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, and cheese.  You can also add spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onions.  The croissant breakfast sandwich is made on a fresh baked roll that is flaky and light.  You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this great egg bake.  Traditional French toast, biscuits and gravy, omelets, Belgian waffles, eggs, bacon, and ham, round out the menu.  There is something for everyone for breakfast at Andy's Flour Power.

This morning my southern boy flared up and I had the biscuits and sausage gravy with two scrambled eggs.  The coffee was hot and comforting, the biscuits, as good as, Grand Ma's, the gravy was creamy and full of sausage.  The eggs were fluffy and perfectly cooked.

Also remember to check out the specials board.  They do wonderful Eggs Benedict too.

The lunch menu offers fresh salads, and sandwiches with a good array of sides.  I have tried the Reuben and the Cuban, both stands up to the traditional expectation of these sandwiches.

What stands out to me about Andy's Flour Power is the service. I watch owner John Certo greet people like they were family.  A gentleman who visits  once a year from Italy was recognized and escorted to a table.  The wait staff is attentive, quick to serve, and friendly.  Know that this place can get crazy busy at the drop of a hat, but don't let that stop you from visiting this gem.  If you haven't been to Andy's Four Power, I suggest you make a trip to Thomas Drive and enjoy the experience.

Andy's get 4 stars.

Andy's Flour Power Bakery on Urbanspoon