Tag - food reviews

Jason’s Deli Catering For Entertaining

This is a sponsored post with Jason’s Deli, all opinions are my own.

 

 

I love holiday entertaining, the sound of people laughing and getting together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company really warms my heart.

What I don’t love as much is figuring out the food aspect of hosting parties. I never know what to make or how much food I’ll need. To be honest, it stresses me out a little just thinking about it. This time of year it’s so much nicer when get togethers are stress and hassle-free. Don’t you agree??

I’ve teamed up with one of our family favorites, Jason’s Deli on their “Catering for Entertaining” Campaign to share with you how easy it is to host special events and treat your guests.

We love Jason’s Deli’s and their healthy food philosophy and now they’ve turned decades of hospitality, catering and delivery into a new service – Catering for Entertaining. Jason’s Deli brings wholesome, affordable foods directly to your party, so you have one less thing on your to-do list. Their goal is to be your catering service for holidays, retirement parties, birthday parties or any upcoming social events you may have.

 

Placing your order simple. Order with ease on their mobile app, online or call a location near you. When you order on the mobile app or online you have 24/7 access to your account, can create new orders or edit recent orders. You also earn Deli Dollar rewards! Another great option is pick up or delivery, I prefer delivery when I’m hosting so it’s one less thing for me to worry about.

Set up is a breeze, use Jason’s Deli downloadable table tent cards to tell your guests what goodies they will be enjoying and keep food in the catering containers or easily transfer Jason’s Deli to your own serving dishes for a little extra Christmas pizzazz.

My favorite part, besides knowing that we are eating yummy food without all the junk {dyes, artificial trans fats and flavors, processed MSG, and high-fructose corn syrup} is that the clean-up is almost non-existent, leaving me with plenty of time and energy to enjoy my company.

At a recent get-together with friends we were able to enjoy several great catering options.

The Kids Party Pack where children can grab fruit, veggies, and a healthy sandwich {super simple and a crowd-pleaser} for a well-balanced party lunch.

I highly recommend the Italian Pasta Salad was fresh, delicious and brought color to our meals. Plus I feel like this is a dish that everyone will love.

The Modern Meat and Cheese Package is one of my favorite offerings because it’s even better than an antipasto platter, my favorites are the olives, roasted red peppers and the basil pesto aioli is a huge hit with the masses. The crunchy garlic toasties and flatbread complete this platter. It also comes with an amazing Brownie Duo that includes fudge-walnut and peanut butter brownies.

I personally can’t have a gathering without a Fresh Fruit Tray and Fresh Veggie Tray and Jason’s Deli offers an amazing selection for each. These, in my opinion, are fresher and more plentiful with a wider selection of fruits and vegetables than a store-bought version. The trays were overflowing with plump strawberries and the ranch dressing was delicious over crunchy veggies including the zucchini.

Treat your guests with delicious Jason’s Deli’s Cake Bites. Our guests loved the display of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet treats. You could also easily package these up and give them as party favors or deliver a whole tray to your favorite teacher or neighbor.

These are only a few of the many packages that Jason’s Deli has on their Catering For Entertaining menu. If you’re hosting a get together, I strongly encourage you to check out the many different packages and offerings they have. Not only will it save you the stress of figuring out the food details, but it will free you up to enjoy special occasions and gatherings.

Head to jasonsdeli.com/entertaining for more details.Check out their Facebook Page Facebook.com/JasonsDeli for current specials and updates.

 

Check out this Special Introductory Offer {while it lasts}:

Free delivery on weekdays 4-6pm and all day on weekends with your package order*. Please use this online code at checkout: FDSC 

For a Jason’s Deli location near you: Pineville, Woodlawn/Park Rd, Uptown at EpiCentre, University Area, Huntersville/Birkdale and Concord Mills or head to Jason’s Deli’s website HERE

And since it’s the holidays I’m giving you a chance to win a $25 Jason’s Deli Gift Card, feel free to treat yourself or spread the holiday cheer!!

Here’s how to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy

For those of you who don’t know I have a shellfish allergy. I didn’t know I was allergic until I had a pretty severe reaction after eating shrimp at a hibachi grill {twice}. I say twice because the first time we thought it was the oil the grill used, but later found out that the culprit was indeed shellfish.

To be fair, I probably should have known this a little sooner, I have only eaten shrimp in my life once before (when I was in high school) but every time I would peel shrimp to cook for my husband my hands would itch and turn a little red.

For a while I was very cautious of dining out, especially when it came to seafood restaurants, because, well hellloooo. I know sometimes when I ask for my dish a little different at restaurants I’ve had to send them back and eating shellfish contaminated food isn’t something I’ve been willing to risk.

Luckily, Bonefish Grill takes shellfish and other allergies VERY seriously. **Please be sure to tell your waiter if you have allergies before you order.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy MommyB

 

Your table is “flagged” to ensure that your dishes are safe for you to eat. The staff was very respectful of my allergy and helpful to suggest dishes. Our waiter, who was amazingly friendly, also told us that the pesto dipping oil for the table bread is made from pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts due to the increase in diners with tree nut allergies. In my opinion, that is very thoughtful of a restaurant to make that concession.

Not only was our wait staff excellent regarding my allergies and recommendations, but the food during this visit was delicious.

If I can give you some recommendations:

Start with the Fresh Watermelon Martini because it’s light and sweet and a great drink that won’t make you feel full.

Next, if you’re in the sharing mood, the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Potstickers are delicious. The sauce and crispy onions help finish off a yummy bite. Kristen from The Playful Mom and I may or may not have devoured these.

For my entree I ordered the NEW 13 oz Rib Eye steak, I HIGHLY suggest the white truffle butter. This steak melted in my mouth, it was cooked to perfection and the truffle butter completed the savory flavor. My sides were equally amazing as I could barely put my fork down for the mushroom ravioli.

Of course we had to try out the desserts, I opted for the creme brulee and Kristin tried the NEW S’mores Flatbread which is all the rage. I actually wish I had swiped some from her when she wasn’t looking. Though in all honest the creme brulee was very creamy and the fresh berries topped this dish off nicely.

I did not have any issues with allergic reactions, our food was outstanding, service was polite and prompt, and my dinner date was pretty fun too.

Bonefish Grill Review MommyB
Even though I can’t eat shellfish, I encourage you to check out some of the great NEW Bonefish Grill menu items as well as their standard favorites: bonefishgrill.com/menu

 

Do you have any food allergies??

Have you been to a Bonefish Grill? Tried any NEW menu items? What are your favorite dishes?

 

 

I received a complimentary meal in order to give you opinions about my experience. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own honest thoughts as usual. Your opinions and experiences may vary.

Gluten Free – Cosmos Creations Snacks {Guest Review}

One of the things I’ve learned as a mom of a toddler is to always carry a snack with you wherever you go. I try to look for portable snacks for my daughter that are also healthy too, so I was excited to test out these “premium puffed corn” snacks made by Cosmo Creations. I tested out 3 flavors: Sea Salt & Butter, Aged Cheddar & Cracked Pepper, and Coconut Crunch

Cosmos Creation Snacks MommyB

The Good

[checklist]

  • Non-GMO Corn– Genetically modified foods has become a huge health peril in today’s society, so its refreshing to see a product with non-GMO ingredients
  • Gluten Free– I have several friends with gluten intolerance, so being madewithout gluten allows more people to consume the product.
  • Less than 100 calories– You’ve all seen those 100 calorie snack packs on the shelf. These even have less calories than that, ranging from 60-90 calories per package.
  • Flavor– The flavors of the Sea Salt & Butter, as well as the Coconut Crunch were very pleasant. The texture of the Butter flavor reminded me of a light rice cake, whereas the coconut crunch was like a hybrid between crunchy cereal and a macaroon. Both were quite addicting and my daughter enjoyed the snack as much as I did!
  • Availability– According to the company website (cosmoscreations.com),  they are currently sold in Sam’s Clubs around the US and other retailers and expanding. You can do a search on their website for the closest retailer to you.
  • Portability– The individual serving size bags are perfect to throw in a purse orlunch box!

[/checklist]

The Bad

[badlist]

  • Salt– The Aged Cheddar & Black Pepper flavor has 160mg of sodium, and honestly all I could taste was the salt. As a person who likes cheddar popcorn products, I was disappointed with how the salt overwhelmed the flavor.
  • No Artificial Ingredients?– The label promotes “no artificial ingredients”, but the Aged Cheddar flavor has over 20 ingredients and includes things like “cheese powders” and disodium phosphate. By definition, no artificial ingredients means nothing was synthetically processed, but I’ve learned that this doesn’t make it automatically healthy or natural.
  • Sugar– While the coconut crunch tasted great, it was very sweet. As a mom, I like to watch how much sugar I give my child, and 2 out of the first 4 ingredients in the coconut crunch flavor is sugary substances- cane sugar and corn syrup.

[/badlist]

Overall

Generally speaking, I liked this product. While it raises some red flags if we are nit-picking ingredients and nutrition labels, they are doing a lot of things right to make this a solid product. It is a really good option for kids as an alternative to chips or even beloved fish crackers. Its equally a good, low calorie snack option for adults, one that tastes good and is actually quite addicting.

What are your favorite gluten free snacks?

I received review samples in order to provide you with my honest opinion on the products and fully test them out. All opinions written in this post are my own, honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary. 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

La Tagliatella Restaurant – Charlotte Food Review {Giveaway}

It isn’t often that we visit the Epicenter in Charlotte, NC as a family even though we only live about 15 minutes away. I’ll admit sometimes I’m intimidated by parking or the thought of huge crowds, but as we ventured out on Sunday evening to visit La Tagliatella Charlotte, my fears were quickly whisked away. We found paid parking pretty quickly and realized there weren’t masses of people at the Epicenter. (We also chose a little earlier dinner in case it did get busier later.)

The last time I had been at the Epicenter was for the review screening of Oz, and it was neat to see so many new restaurants in the area including La Tagliatella.

La Tagliatella is a restaurant that specializes in….you guessed it, Italian cuisine. They have 6 locations in the US and over 100 restaurants globally. My family and I had the opportunity to visit their new Charlotte location for this review. Here are our thoughts:

The decor was outstanding. If you’re looking for an authentic-looking Italian restaurant La Tagliatella is that. Here are a few pictures I took of the map of Italy, the open kitchen, and restaurant:

La Tagliatella Charlotte Decor MommyB

We had the awesome opportunity to try a sampling of the menu which for us included:

La Tagliatella Review by MommyB

Appetizers

Focaccia bread This dish was layered to resemble the Italian flag, green olives, white onions, and red sun-dried tomatoes. This appetizer was crispy, but not dry. I don’t know if I’d normally order it off of the menu, but would love this included in the table service, maybe even one of each cut into smaller bites for guests to try out while they wait.

Carpaccio Pepe Nero – Beef tenderloin seasoned with black pepper, finished with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The carpaccio was fresh and nicely seasoned. DaddyB had another first since his sushi experience when he tried this dish and he enjoyed it. I loved the dish, it melted in my mouth, and I would totally order this with friends next time I visit.

Entrees

Napoletano Brochette – Skewered pork tenderloin, solé di Puglia tomatoes, balsamic onions layered with fresh whole leaf basil and served with a special Tagliatella sauce and fried gnocchi.

This dish is a favorite on the La Tagliatella menu and we completely agree.

I am not a huge fan of pork but DaddyB loves it and we both found this dish to be impressive the way it was displayed but more importantly the pork tenderloin was beyond flavorful and so tender. Well done and we both agreed we loved the pork. The pork is skewered with tomatoes, onions, and basil, I personally would have prefered mushrooms and smaller onions that were easier to eat, but again the pork was outstanding. Dining tip: We let this dish sit a little while we ate our other dishes and wished we would have eaten it as soon as it came out so it was a little warmer.

We had never tried gnocchi, but it reminded me of a mini breadstick. I don’t think any of us loved the gnocchi, but it wasn’t bad either.

Tagliatella Pizza – Tomato, mozzarella, fried eggplant, Parmigiano-Reggiano drizzled with honey and aceto balsamico.

I’m not going to lie, when this first came to our table I was a little nervous about trying it. I did notice and love how thin the crust was on this pizza and do enjoy balsamic, and much to my surprise, (really) this pizza was DELICIOUS. Even DaddyB tried and liked it. The flavors of the honey, Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggplant and balsamic really play off each other and combined taste amazing. I would definitely get this as my first choice for pizza when we go again. Definitely one to try on the menu if you visit.

Kids Food

The kids menu offers a good selection of kid-sized portions and child-friendly foods like pasta and pizza among other dishes.

Our girls are very different when it comes to food preferences, Miss A (6.5 years old) prefers plain foods (ie no sauce, mild flavor), and Lil’ C, (4 years old) couldn’t be more different, she prefers bold flavors and likes more vegetarian based foods.

We ordered the kids pasta and cheese pizza for our kiddos and both of them respectively loved their food. Even DaddyB enjoyed some of Lil’ C’s pasta and really enjoyed the pasta sauce. If your child does not like mild spice make sure you mention that to your server when they take your order.

Dessert

Of course every meal needs to end with dessert. Funny story – when we were done with our meal our server, Sergio {who was beyond friendly}, asked if we needed anything else, and our outgoing Lil’ C promptly, but with manners, said, “Yes please, can we have dessert.”

I know most parents of kids that aren’t shy have experienced this moment when all they can do is laugh nervously. Of course La Tagliatella was more than happy to accommodate her sweet tooth and of course I wouldn’t turn down a delicious dessert, especially seeing they had my favorite, Tiramisu on their menu.

The girls enjoyed Mascarpone Ice Cream with Cioccolato and DaddyB and I shared the Tiramisú Mousse. Dining Tip: If you order the Tiramisú Mousse, make sure you scoop to the bottom of your dish. The first 10 bites of my dish were “okay” because I didn’t realize I wasn’t experiencing the full dish with espresso and lady fingers, but once I realized that this dessert was right on par to enhance my love for this italian dessert favorite.

Favorite Dishes at La Tagliatella

Overall our visit was great and while we found some dishes we didn’t love, we liked everything we ate and did find some dishes that we absolutely loved. We noticed the restaurant seemed a little slow, but the entire area seemed a little quiet in general. My husband called it “sleepy Charlotte”. But next time you avoid the Epicenter because you think it will be masses of people and you’ll have to wait hours to get a table, think again, unless of course it’s Queen’s Feast or another big event.

I would recommend La Tagliatella for families wanting to dine out, sit down, enjoy a meal and an experience. Portions are large enough to share, and depending on what you order pricing can range but in my opinion well worth the price and similar to our typical dining out bill.

Check out La Tagliatella online: www.latagliatella.us and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaTagliatellaEpicentre

La Tagliatella Charlotte wants you to try out their food and is offering 2 lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com readers a chance to win a free pizza from their restaurant (I suggest the Tagliatella pizza). Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We received a complimentary meal in order to review this restaurant. This is not a paid post and all thoughts expressed in this post are our honest opinions, yours may vary.

 

Tips for Trying Sushi for the First Time and Experiencing New Things at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte

DaddyB and I were invited to check out The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC last weekend. Yes, you heard right, we had a date night. Though in the past there have been years between our dates out of the house now that we have an amazing babysitter and the girls are older we really enjoy a great night out.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Restaurant Review MommyB

This was a very interesting visit for us as DaddyB has never tried sushi, ever, and I am allergic to shellfish so have to be selective about what I can and cannot eat. We were excited for the challenge and fully embraced it and had confidence that a restaurant loved by so many in the area would not disappoint.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte Review MommyB

When we first walked into The Cowfish we noticed the fun atmosphere immediately as familiar music from our young adulthood played, and conversation filled the room. Once we were sat at our table we were able to soak in the eclectic hints of decor in the room. I personally loved the giant sized bento box:

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Be forewarned, the menu at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is HUGE, both literally and in content of menu items. If you’re someone who takes a long time to order you may want to check out their menu ahead of time online. Our waiter Brandon however, really knew the menu and was able to tell us quickly about items and was amazing at answering all of our many questions about ingredient dishes, and his recommendations.

We shared delicious truffle fries {a must order}, but when it came to our entrees we decided to try a little bit of both worlds that The Cowfish offers. As I mentioned DaddyB has never tried sushi at all so he got the famous Fusion Specialty Bento Box that includes sushi, a mini burger, and awesome sides including my favorite thai cucumbers. I decided to go with a diner favorite The Deliverance Roll – Southern Style Bar-B-Q-shi, which included delicious bbq pulled pork, a really cool potato wrap and was topped with bacon coleslaw.

The Cowfish Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

If you’ve never eaten sushi, here are a few tips for trying sushi for the first time:

1. Start with a “beginner roll”. Consider starting with a roll that doesn’t include raw fish like the California Roll {Daddy B started his meal with an intermediate roll and liked it, but wasn’t ready for the texture.}

2. Choose a roll that offers a tempura {light batter} or a flavorful drizzle to enhance the flavor of the roll.

3. Consider a fusion restaurant like The Cowfish, that offers familiar ingredients alongside new ingredients. This will give more confidence in experiencing new foods.

Speaking of experiencing new foods, this truly was our night for doing just that! Not only did DaddyB try sushi for the first time, but we were also able to sample some of the unique ingredients that The Cowfish has to offer. Check this out, we had flavor infused Masago {fish eggs}, with wasabi, citrus, soy, and sriracha. {My favorite was the citrus flavor.} We also got a “sneak peek” at the newest wasabi-infused micro greens. I must say this was one of the coolest things I’ve eaten in a while. They taste like micro greens at first but then as you chew a burst of the wasabi flavor comes out. I’d love to see this paired with a dish.

New Foods at The Cowfish Charlotte MommyB

Our experience at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar was filled with fun, new experiences, unique and tasty food. If I had to change anything about our night out I would have loved my food to be a little hotter {I like my food on the warmer side of the spectrum (ask DaddyB, he thinks I’m funny)}. Other than that, seriously the ambiance, outstanding service, and price of our date night were just as sweet as our yummy fortune cookie-crusted dessert.

Thanks The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Have you ever had fusion sushi before??? What are your favorite sushi dishes?

This is not a compensated post, we received a complimentary meal in order to give our honest thoughts on the restaurant, services, and food offerings. These are our opinions based on the above experience, however your experiences may vary.

New Coffee Brewing Technology – Remington iCoffee Review

I don’t know whether you’re a tea drinker or a coffee drinker, or neither, but I’m definitely a coffee drinker. It wasn’t until December of 2012 that I really would consider myself a full-fledged “coffee drinker”.

Typically I brew my cups of joe with a single-cup coffee maker and choose exotic flavors since I like my coffee sweet. I love both big name coffee retailers Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, but being from the North I miss Tim Horton’s and would die for the day that Tim Horton’s and Wegmans moved to North Carolina… {just in case anyone is listening}.

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out iCoffee, a coffee maker that uses “SteamBrew™ technology to create “impossibly smooth” tasting coffee”. Please keep in mind I am a “coffee drinker”, but not a, “coffee connoisseur”.

Remington iCoffee Review by MommyBKnowsBest

Things I like about iCoffee:

[crosslist]

  • Little to no assembly. I took the packaging off the product, added the filter to the coffee carafe, and plugged in. {After that you can set the clock, and brew or schedule a future pot of coffee.}
  • Technologically cool product. My girls loved the sounds of the brewing system and the fact that you could see the ground coffee brewing inside the machine.
  • Optional filter to remove any fine coffee grounds. You don’t have to buy filters for the iCoffee so that’s a little less waste than the single-cup coffee makers and traditional coffee makers as well.

[/crosslist]

Things I didn’t like about iCoffee:

[badlist]

  • Harder to brew a single cup of coffee. Just like a traditional coffee brewer, yes you can brew just one cup of coffee, but it’s not as convenient as making a whole pot, especially with the filter system.
  • Clean-up is a pain. I’m grateful for the reduced waste that iCoffee offers, but at the same time clean-up is definitely more work with the iCoffee filter system.

[/badlist]

Overall thoughts:

  • We try not to have too many large appliances on our countertops, but I must say that the iCoffee is about the same size as my single-cup coffee maker although it seems larger because of the shape of the brewer.
  • The iCoffee is said to brew the coffee in a unique way using SteamBrew™ technology to extract a smooth coffee taste and remove the bitter, acidic flavor, honestly I brewed a few cups, because I couldn’t figure out the water to coffee ratio (suggestions from the company would have come in handy), and didn’t notice a substantial difference in traditionally or single-cup machine brewed coffees. {Again with my single-cup I opt for flavored coffees and did not use a flavored coffee for this review.}
  • Price point for iCoffee is similar or a little less than some single-cup brewers on the market, and if you’re looking for something different iCoffee definitely is that.

 

I would say unless you are a coffee connoisseur or are gifting this to someone who is, it may not be worth the money to purchase the iCoffee since you may not notice the difference or taste the crema smoothness that iCoffee is said to deliver.

Have you ever tried a steam brew type coffee brewer? Do you think you would like the iCoffee?

I received an iCoffee to review for the purposes of this blog post. All opinions expressed in this review are my own, honest thoughts on the product. Your opinions may vary.

Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes & More Charlotte

Living in Charlotte, I have many opportunities to work with amazing people. I fully enjoy working with those who use their talents and businesses for good and Ines Aranguren at Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes & More is one of those amazing people.

Ines is a very talented baker and artist. Usually you find a cake that will taste great, but look okay or taske okay and look great. This is not the case with Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes and More. I have had the pleasure of working with Ines on a local event, tasted her delicious treats at birthday parties, and most recently was able to share one of her fun creations with my daughter’s class.

This beautiful Christmas/Happy Birthday Jesus cake, complete with fluffy snow frosting, colorful Christmas trees and of course by request, baby Jesus in a manger was made specifically for Miss A’s class party by Ines from Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes and More.

 SkystheLimitChristmasCakeCollageMommyB

Not only was everyone impressed with how amazing this cake looked but parents and students alike were digging in for a piece {or two!} and everyone wanted Sky’s the Limits’ information. I of course was happy to recommend because I believe in great businesses, doing good things for others, and that are more than professional in their field of work and Ines and her husband are just that.

Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes and More is known for their gorgeously decorated wedding cakes, and have been nominated for several awards including the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Awards for 2014, and theknot.com’s 2013 Best of Weddings. While she rocks at wedding cakes, Ines excels at anything she does and does not limit her skills to any one dessert type. If you check out her Facebook page you can see beautiful fruit tarts, delectable pies, and scrumptious cookies.

The creations that Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes & More design are above and beyond what you could imagine. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Ines’ realistic looking flowers and intricate designs will blow you away.

Be sure to head to her website for more examples of her work, cake and frosting flavors and prepare to be amazed! skysthelimitcake.com

 

 

Miss A’s class received this cool cake from Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes and More and while I am not obligated to write a blog post for them {at their request}, I can’t help but share with you about brands and businesses my family {and many others} truly enjoy.

MVP Raw Bar & Grill Review

I am a member of the Restaurant.com Review Crew.

 

I’m so blessed to be able to spend time with Lil’ C before she starts pre-K next Fall {isn’t that crazy?!?!} Lucky for me she won’t be in for 5 days, but it will still be an adjustment not having either of my girls at home a few mornings. But for now I’ve got her mostly to myself, especially during the week and we’re soaking up the fun.

Today we had a lunch date at MVP Raw Bar & Grill and while it appeared that this space is more bar than restaurant, I was surprised by the quality and variety of foods they serve. Not only was the food fresh {my tomatoes were ruby red and the pickles were crisp}, but it was a great value too.

Lil’ C’s kids meal was $4.99 for a kids pizza, drink, fruit, and ice cream, and my food {pimento burger, with a side of mac-n-cheese} was a great price and big portions, not to mention with their rewards program each time you check-in {by scanning your card}, you receive a discount and/or points on your card.

Service was decent, our waitress was very sweet, especially with Lil’ C, but I did have to get up to ask her to take our order and also had to request items that came with C’s meal a couple of times, however when I asked her she took care of things promptly. Our first appetizer came out about 13 minutes after ordering which wasn’t bad, and our food came out about 8 minutes after that, so I’d say it was pretty quick, {although there was only 1 table seated when we first got there}.

Doesn’t the food look yummy?!? {and how adorable is my lunch date?!?!}

MVP Raw Bar & Grill Review

Here are a few things I loved about MVP Raw Bar & Grill:

[checklist]

  • Friendly service – both the server and one of the owners were very helpful with questions about the menu
  • Accommodating menu (any menu item is available upon request)
  • Several house-made food items including fried pickles, salad dressings, cole slaw, collard greens & more
  • Rewards program (mentioned above)

[/checklist]

A few things I think could be improved:

[badlist]

  • Volume of music and musical content during dining hours
  • Nicer menus – not a huge deal but Lil’ C had a used kids menu and mine was ripped
  • TV programming selection – I noticed one of the televisions was showing a program that wasn’t really appropriate for Lil’ C, again more a bar than a grill, but for a more family-friendly atmosphere they may want to take that into consideration.

[/badlist]

If you’re looking for your typical kid-friendly restaurant this may not be your first choice, however the staff assured me that families are often seen playing cornhole {see the Southern dictionary for definition of “cornhole”), watching football games on Sundays, and playing Bingo on Tuesday nights.

Overall we had a good experience, I’m excited that I found MVP Raw Bar & Grill on Restaurant.com because of it’s location I may not have found it, and I love that I can share it with you too. If you are local, be sure to try it out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a night out.

Lil’ C and I are ready to go back and try some more of their house-made food, maybe even breakfast too and bring Miss A and DaddyB with us, I already have my restaurant.com certificate printed out and ready for easy use and savings!!!

Want to read other opinions about MVP Raw Bar & Grill??? To see what other people are saying about this restaurant, visit Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide.  The company offers savings at thousands of restaurants nationwide with more than 50,000 gift certificate options.  Restaurant.com brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and -served meals at affordable prices.  To date, Restaurant.com customers have saved more than $1 billion through the gift certificate program. Restaurant.com has operated since 1999 and is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.”

Give Restaurant.com a try on your own and see if you find an amazing restaurant that you’ve never tried before?? I’m giving one lucky reader a chance to win a $50 Restaurant.com gift card, enter here and good luck!!!

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Review-Crew-logoThis is a sponsored post in conjunction with Restaurant.com. The opinions above are my own honest thoughts and words. Your opinions of this restaurant may vary.

Lou Malnati’s Taste of Chicago Pizza {Guest Review}

I received a sample of Lou Malnati’s Taste of Chicago Pizza for this review.

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to experience the taste of the local cuisine. Each great city in the US has food that they are known for. New York has its bagels, Kansas City has its barbecue, and Wisconsin is famous for cheese. If you grew up in one of these locations, your connection to the local food is something that stays with you throughout your life and you go out of your way to find an authentic example in your new locale.

For lovers of Chicago fare, Lou Malnati’s might just be the solution for you. Lou Malnati’s Tastes of Chicago is a nationwide delivery of all of your favorite foods famous in the Chicago region. In their catalog you can order burgers, polish sausage, Chicago-styled hot dog, corned beef, pastrami, specialty popcorn, cheesecake and other amazing looking desserts. The food is perfect for parties, for gifts (they offer several tasty gift packages) or for that meal to remind you of home.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on two styles of Lou Malnati’s deep dish Chicago pizza, a traditional pepperoni and a crust-less, gluten free sausage pizza. The pizzas were delivered frozen to my doorstep in an insulated Styrofoam cooler and were ready to pop into the freezer to be eaten later, refrigerated or cooked immediately. Being a pizza lover, I was so excited to try them that I had to cook them immediately.

Lou Malnati's Taste of Chicago Pizza MommyB

The pizzas come with easy-to-follow instructions and they came out perfect! It was so easy. All you have to do it open the plastic, take the pizza out of the tin that it comes with, grease the tin, put it back and pop it in the oven. The best part is there nothing to clean up afterward; simply throw the package away.

The pepperoni pizza was loaded with several layers of quality, spicy pepperoni. The sauce was chunky, fresh and delicious and the crust was flakey and buttery. My entire family loved the pizza. My 5 year old, who never eats pizza crust, ate her entire piece and raved about the crust, while my mom, who has eaten deep dish Chicago pizza in Chicago, said it was very authentic and delicious and my husband loved it as well and the only complaint was that it was all gone.

The crust-less, gluten free pizza was a great way of experiencing deep dish pizza without all the carbs. It came with a pork sausage base, layers of mozzarella and chunky tomato sauce. It is a perfect treat for low carb diets or someone who is gluten intolerant. Again, the instructions were simple and it turned out amazing. The sausage patty like base was seasoned very well and was not overpowering. It still tasted like you were eating pizza and it hit the spot for me. It was great to be able to eat a slice knowing that I could stick with my gluten free diet. I think I speak for many gluten-free people when I say I have missed pizza the most. This is a perfect solution to fill that craving!

Overall, I highly recommend Lou Malnati’s Chicago deep dish pizzas. The experience and convenience were exceptional and I look forward to trying many of the other items in the catalog. You can check out their catalog for yourself here: www.tastesofchicago.com

What food product Lou Malnati’s Taste of Chicago makes your mouth water?

Lisa is a Florida Native who currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. B.C. {Before Children} Lisa was an R.N. Currently Lisa has a love for hairdressing, finding fun play spots around North Carolina and giving great parenting advice.

Atlantic City Food – From the Boardwalk to the Casinos

This post is a product of my #jerseylove trip to Atlantic City. I would not have been able to write this post without the great hospitality of Caesar’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, James’ Candy, and Steel Pier Atlantic City.

While the awesome bloggers from Social Media Moms and New Jersey Digital Moms were enjoying the #jerseylove social media for good trip, we were also able to partake in some of the yummier things that Atlantic City has to offer.

If you’re looking to start off your day with a little brunch, might I suggest a delicious hand-made crepe? The crepe station and omelet stations at Caesar’s Brunch at Nero’s were pretty popular. They also offered a wide variety of seafood, breakfast foods, desserts, pretty much a “you name it, we have it” brunch buffet. Everything I ate was delicious and fresh.

Caesars Brunch at Neros Crepe MommyB

While we were in town we got a, “Taste of AC” at the beautiful Harrah’s Resort and were able to try out some delicious dishes, view some amazing chocolate sculptures, and even try out some new drinks, like this “woo-hoo”:

Woo Hoo Taste of AC Drink MommyBKnowsBest

Here are some photos from our #jerseylove sneak peek, Taste of AC:

Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival Taste of AC Collage

If you like food and are interested in meeting the chefs behind the food, including renowned culinary experts and TV personalities like Rocco DiSpirito, The Neelys, and Robert Irvine. The 2013 Food and Wine Festival will be held July 25th through July 28th and tickets are being sold right now. Head over to www.caesars.com/acfoodandwine for more details and to purchase your tickets.

Let’s get a breath of fresh air and explore the boardwalk. When you step out onto those wooden planks a variety of food smells are wafting in the air. From the standard soft pretzels, funnel cake, ice cream, big-as-your-head pizza, cotton candy, french fries, cheesesteaks, and even the extreme new tastes and flavors like fried {insert name of anything you can deep fry here}, red velvet funnel cake, to anything your heart desires, the boardwalk in Atlantic City has it all.

A few of my samplings include a soft pretzel, but I honestly have no clue where it came from other than some lovely #jerseylove girls sharing it with me, and Steel Pier AC also treated us, literally to some of their sweet treats. I strongly encourage that you at least try one bit of these not-so-diet-friendly must-have boardwalk treats, all in moderation right?!?

Atlantic City Boardwalk Treats MommyB

And of course some delicious Fralingers Salt Water Taffy from James’ Candy shop.

Fralingers Salt Water Taffy Atlantic City MommyB

Let’s face it, after eating yummy, but food that’s not a full meal, you probably want to dig into a great meal right?? Atlantic City has that too. On our trip we were able to dine at some amazing restaurants.

As soon as you walk into Caesar’s Atlantic City you spot Mia restaurant. Not only is it the most visible in the hotel, but it is beautifully decorated, {I swear the white columns lead straight up to heaven}. The food was also very delicious, I loved the antipasto platter, and had to sit on my hands to stop myself from spoiling the rest of my dinner. I also found the creme brûlée to be THE best I have ever eaten, no joke, and it’s not even my favorite dessert, but was truly divine.

Mia Restaurant Atlantic City Collage MommyB

Another delectable fine dining restaurant we were able to visit was the Atlantic Grill, also located right inside Caesar’s Atlantic City resort. Only go to this restaurant if you want to taste some of the best food you’ll ever eat in your life, also note you pay for what you get, meaning, yes this restaurant is a little on the pricier side of things, but if you’re going to have one extravagant meal while you are in Atlantic City, or if you win in the casinos, definitely head here.

I was lucky enough to dine with Megan from Sweet Sadie Marie and Sherry from SuperExhausted. Each of us had “the best ever” of at least one of our dishes of food that we were served at Atlantic Grill. I had a “double yum moment” when I chose my burrata mozzarella that came with grilled garlic ciabatta, roasted tomatoes, aged balsamic, basil. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary mozzarella, it’s deliciously creamy on the inside because it’s made with not one, but two kinds of mozzarella. I truly could have eaten this just as my meal, but am glad I didn’t stop there. I also had the best filet mignon I have ever eaten, and I have been blessed to have been able to dine in a few other amazing high-end steak houses in the country, but this was the absolute best.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for dessert, but with the amazing appetizers and entrees we were able to partake of, it really didn’t matter. One last note, Atlantic Grill was probably the least likely place I would have eaten, being that it is primarily known for it’s seafood selections and I have a shellfish allergy and don’t really like seafood in general, but I am glad that we ended up there.

Speaking of my allergy, Atlantic Grill was extremely caring and very cautious when it came to my allergy even being that they were a seafood restaurant. The maitre d’ expressly said that they take allergies very seriously and when I noticed the “Allergy” sticker on my plates I felt valued and appreciative that they took the extra care to make sure I could dine with them.

Here are some pictures of my delicious meal from Atlantic Grill, please do not lick your computer screen, I repeat, do not lick your computer screen.

Atlantic Grill Restaurant Caesars Atlantic City Collage MommyB

If you’re not up to socializing or want to enjoy a great meal in your room, the room service at Caesars Atlantic City is not only delicious and convenient, but their staff members are delightful as well. {And yes I did have another steak, guess I was low on iron this trip}.

Caesars Atlantic City Room Service Collage MommyB

Desserts go last right??

If you stay at Caesars resort in Atlantic City, {which I HIGHLY recommend that you do, but that’s another post}, you will pass by Caffe Tazza, which is located right next door to Mia restaurant. My mouth was watering each time I passed by the glistening display cases. Unfortunately, I was too busy to order one of their delicious-looking pastries, and I only got a sample of one of their fresh made gelato flavors, but next time I visit, this is on my list. Wouldn’t it be on yours too??

Caffe Tazza Caesars Atlantic City Collage MommyB

All-in-all my taste buds were very happy with my trip to Atlantic City. If you need any recommendations feel free to leave a comment here and I’d love to tell you more in-depth about the delicious foods I was able to try out on my #jerseylove trip.

Thanks again to Caesar’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort, Steel Pier AC, and James’ Candy for providing these meals. My opinions of the services and food in this post are my own, honest opinions. I am not being compensated for my thoughts, and what you are reading is straight from me, 100%. If you enjoy my reviews I encourage you to share this post, follow me using the social follow bar in my right side bar, and tell your friends about MommyBKnowsBest.com