Shaka Dogs – Palm Bay Florida

 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Skulls

Date: 3/30/17

 

Lunchtime

 

We’ve both eaten here individually before but this was our first time eating here together.  They had a burger and fries on special which looked good to Rufo so we ended up there.  I ordered something similar to what I had last time.  I ended up with the chicken nachos and of course he had the burger.

The nachos are not your typical plate of nachos.  1. There are no tortilla chips.  2.  There is no cheese.  What they use are homemade potato chips.  On top of those chips is delicious chicken topped with teriyaki sauce and spicy mayo remoulade.  This is an amazing twist on your typical nacho and it’s a great twist!

Rufo had a hearty burger with french fries.  He had the burger done medium well.  I snuck a taste of his burger and his fries.  Both were amazing and cooked to perfection.

 

They also do amazing shaved ice!  The prices are reasonable.  The atmosphere is relaxing and the food is as close to Hawaii as you can get in Florida. lol

 

El Sombrero Mexican Cuisine

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 Skulls

 

Date: 3/5/17

Time: Early afternoon

Overall appearance:  The restaurant was clean and well decorated.  They did not seem busy and appeared to have several tables open.  There were already 2 couples waiting to be seated.  We walked up to the hostess station to give her our name since we were not greeted.  She looked flustered.  She didn’t greet us but instead shrugged us off.  One couple was seated and after waiting a few more minutes decided to sit down in the chairs up front.  Once the second couple was seated we stood up as we knew we were next.  We were disappointed that there were so many open seats and it took them so long to seat us.   We were also not offered a booth and instead seated at a table.

Once we were seated at our table the experience started to improve.  We were quickly asked for our drink orders and some good suggestions were made.  Rufo ordered a Heineken and I ordered a Frozen Mango Margarita.  My drink was delicious but the outside of the glass was a little sloppy with sugar.   We were also given water with lemon without prompting.

I ordered 2 chicken enchiladas and one pork tamale.  Rufo ordered 2 Chimichangas.  The food came out very hot and looked very authentic.  Both dishes came with refried bean, cheese, and rice.   I was able to finish one enchilada and part of the tamale.  I did eat a good bit of the rice and beans as well and opted to take the rest home.  Rufo finished part of one Chimichanga and a small bit of the rice and beans.   Both dishes were delicious.

We also ordered a fried ice cream for dessert.  Vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and honey and crunchy corn flakes in a crispy crunchy bowl and smothered with whip cream and chocolate sauce and a cherry on top.  We managed to finish the ice cream but left the bowl.  It was delicious and despite the wait we would like to go back there again and try more of their dishes.

 

 

Philly’s Finest – Restaurant Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Skulls

Date: 2/26/17

Time: Lunch

Who: Me, Rufo, and Sister.

 

 

 

 

These potatoes are amazing.  Tator tots covered in bacon, cheese, and ranch. I’m sure if you eat too much and they may live up to their name.  They taste amazing and everyone enjoyed them.  I ended up taking a small portion home and was good after I re-heated it in the microwave.

 

 

 

 

This is my favorite sandwich from Philly’s Finest.  It’s a chicken steak, with onions, and peppers, prosciutto, some sort of cheese, and it’s all soaked in a balsamic reduction.

I can’t even bring myself to try anything else.  I could only finish half and took the other half home.  It was amazing!  I ended up eating the other half early this morning after teaching my 2:30 am class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rufo ordered the large Philly Cheese-steak with Sharp American, Banana Peppers, and Mushrooms.  Large is the same length as the small but it’s loaded with meat.  Can you see the other untouched half a sandwich on this plate?  I don’t even know how he kept the meat on the bread.  He was able to finish half of the sandwich and part of the Cardiac fries and his Beck’s.

 

 

 

 

 

Sister had some awesome hot wings and a Beck’s and shared some of the Cardiac tots.  She finished her Beck’s and about half of the wings and took the rest home.  They were never to be heard of again.

 

The service at Philly’s Finest is AMAZING!  The guys behind the counter were super friendly and patient.  It didn’t take too long to get our order and to hear my name be called.  The Cardiac Tots came out last but they were worth the wait.

Once we were all stuffed I went up to the counter to ask for a box and he asked for me to bring him our plates and they would package it up for us.

It was just an awesome experience from start to finish.  Any blemish in the restaurant pails in comparison when it comes to their awesome customer service and super food.

How to Find a Place to Eat

Finding a good place to eat may sound like an easy task.  You’re hungry, you have a craving, and you want food….but where?  How do you decide what to eat?  Is it you by yourself or do you have others eating with you?

There are actually many factors that go into deciding where to eat.  If I am by myself the decision may be easier or it may not.  I won’t lie, I hate deciding where to eat.  Sometimes having someone else to help you make the decision makes it easier and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’d like to share with you what we do when we decide we are going to eat somewhere we never have before.  Like everyone we have a few usual places we order from (usually chain restaurants) merely for convenience.  Every  now and then we get bored of eating the same things.

First we decide what we want to eat.  We have so many choices: Italian, Indian, Asian (Chinese, Japanese), American, Greek, and seafood.  The fact that we have so many choices can be daunting in itself.  After you’ve decided what type of cuisine to eat then you have to decide from where.

The next thing we do is do a search on Google, Yelp, or Yellow Pages.  We want to find a pace that has the cuisine we want to eat and one that has good ratings.  Sometimes we will try totally new places that don’t have any reviews so we can make the decision for ourselves.  Sometimes trying a place without any ratings can be a good thing or it can be a disaster.

We tried a local Thai place once on a whim.  The restaurant looked nice and clean and the food was actually good.  However the entire restaurant smelled like sewage.  Thankfully we didn’t get sick.

When trying to decide we will look at the ratings and the menu.  Tonight we tried a local pizza and pasta place (review later).  We looked for what we wanted and a place that had it and I noticed they had good ratings on Yellow Pages.

Then we place our order or we are off on an adventure to go eat at the place.

It’s good to have favorite places to eat but it’s also great to try new ones.  Also, trying new places helps to stimulate the economy.  We love trying local places to support our local business owners.

 

Soupa Saiyan Restaurant – Orlando, Florida

 

 

Date: 12/29/2016

Time: During Lunch

Rating: 5 out of 5 Skulls!!!

 

Outside:

Soupa Saiyan is located in a small plaza at 5689 Vineland Road with a few other restaurants and small businesses.  The parking was decent but we were not able to park directly in front of the restaurant. We parked in front of the Grill restaurant. It was clean outside and I loved the sign for Soupa Saiyan.

 

 

Inside:  There was so much to look at that it took us a minute to get to the front and order.  The decor was pretty basic but awesome.  Most DBZ fans would love the decor and honestly initially I’m sure that’s what most people come for.  We were no different.  We went in understanding the food theme but really we went to seethe DBZ stuff and totally geek out.

The restaurant is small.  It seems like a tiny hole-in-the-wall type restaurant.  Often these types of restaurants are the best.  As I look around the room I can see tons of Pop DBZ figurines, models,and action figures behind the glass partition around the kitchen.  Above nearly each table is a flying Nimbus that changes colors.  The walls are a hue of orange and the walls feature DBZ posters.

 

I also took time to visit the bathroom.  I will honestly say I was disappointed with the lack of DBZ memorabilia in the bathroom.  There was one single picture.  However, to my relief the bathroom still looked amazing, well kept, and very sanitary.  The bathroom honestly looks like you’ve stepped into another world because it is so different than the rest of the restaurant.

 

Menu:  The menu is simple and is mostly a mix and match ramen restaurant.  First you choose your broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable).  Then you pick your noodles (rice, egg/ramen, or Udon).  The day we were there they were out of the egg/ramen noodles.  After you pick your noodles you choose 2 items from the next section (veggies, chicken, shrimp, rare steak, fish balls, squid,and more).  You can add extras like a fried egg or lobster tail.  You can also choose from one of their custom soups like the Fire noddles.

Rufo, his sister, and myself all ordered different soups.  My soup consisted of Chicken Broth,Udon Noodles, Veggies, a fried egg, and Shrimp.  Rufo’s was rice noodles, vegetable broth, fish balls, and veggies. His sister’s dish consisted of beef broth, Udon noodles, rare beef, and veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

We sat down at a larger table near the glass partition while we waited for our soup.  On our table you could find napkins, spoons, chopsticks, and condiments like: Siracha, Soy Sauce, and Hot and Mild Chilies.  They called Rufo’s name and we were served 3 huge bowls of soup.

Price: $9.50 for each soup and an extra $2 for my fried egg.

 

Taste:

Kiva’s: I initially tasted the soup prior to adding seasoning so I could enjoy the base flavor.  The broth tasted like chicken and was sweet from the carrots.  The vegetables were perfectly cooked and were still crispy.  The shrimp was perfect and not over-cooked.  The noodles were chewy and perfect.  I sliced open the fried egg spilling the yolk into the soup.  I stirred the soup to incorporate the flavors.  The best addition to the soup was the cilantro.  After doing my initial assessment of the flavor I chose to add soy sauce and Siracha. The addition of these 2 flavors made the soup amazing.

Rufo’s: I also tasted his soup which consisted of vegetable broth, rice noodles, veggies and fish balls.  The initial flavor was sweeter than I expected. The noodles were light, the broth was well seasoned, and the veggies were cooked very well. The fish balls were small and cut in half.  They were breaded and fried balls of white fish that remained remarkably intact in the soup.

 

 

Sister’s:  Siracha and chili paste had been added prior to my opportunity to taste her soup.  Her soup consisted of beef broth, udon noodles, beef strips, and veggies.  The Siracha and chili paste were excellent additions.  They left the soup well seasoned with a bit of a bite to it.

 

 

 

Overall: Initially we went for the decor but we fell in love with the soup.  I fell in love with it so much that for my NYE/Birthday Party I choose to do an Asian Hot Pot.

I created a soup with chicken, beef,  chicken and seafood stock, garlic, scallions, cilantro, seasoned nori sheets, firm tofu,udon noodles, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini.  Everyone loved the soup and enjoyed hearty portions.  The leftovers were even better the next day.

 

Umami Restaurant – Melbourne, Florida

Rating: 5 out of 5 Skulls

Date/Time: 12/26/16 ~Around 4pm

Outside:  Older plaza, neat and tidy front.  Difficult to see if they are really open as they have very dark tinting on their front windows.  Once inside I realized why.

 

Inside:  When we arrived we were the only patrons in the restaurant at.  It’s a very small restaurant that seats about 25-50 patrons.  They have the lights dimmed low and hip popular music (many modern instrumental pieces of music) playing at just the right level.  The tables are lined with white tablecloths with your bowl for soy sauce, disposable chopsticks, and a silky black napkin folded origami style in what I believe may have been a swan or a crane.  The hostess walks us to our seat near the back which is very close to the sushi bar.  She lit a candle on our table which seemed a bit corny but it added to the ambiance of the restaurant.

We sat down and begin to look over the menu to decide what delicious dishes we will order.  The waitress comes back to obtain our drink order.  Rufo ordered an Orion beer that is from Okinawa.  He tells me this is hard to find.  It comes in a very tall amber bottle and a glass.  I couldn’t decide so she brought me a water until I had made my decision.

When we go out we typically order dishes to share.  We asked the waitress which dishes were best for sharing and she showed me the appropriate section of the menu.  We decided on a dish that included a few types of nigiri and sashimi.  The platter comes with soup our salad.  We chose the salad to share. We also ordered a seafood hot pot.  Finally I ordered a Lychee Sake (cold).

Rufo describes the Orion beer has a very light scent comprised of honey and wheat.  He says the  taste is that of a lighter dinner beer with a hint of honey.

The Lychee Sake was light, floral rice wine.  It smelled wonderfully of Lychee berries and made an excellent pairing with the nigiri and sashimi.

The salad was comprised of iceberg lettuce, carrots sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a delicious ginger dressing.  They give you a normal size serving which we split between us.  It was fresh and tasty even though it was very simple.  Despite the normal size it was perfect for us to split.  Rufo keeps telling me he had some sort of lettuce referred to as “mouse ears” in his salad.  I think that sounds a bit scary and I assure you there was no meat of any kind in the salad.

Our second course was a seafood miso hot pot soup.  The waitress brought us this amazing soup in a cast iron pot with a wooden lid and it sat on a wooden base.  She placed two soup bowls on the table with 2 spoons and a large wooden ladle for serving  The soup was comprised of  chunks of fish, shrimp, squid, calamari, muscles, tofu, tiny mushrooms, and the typical greens and broth found in miso soup.  She served us even proportions down to the detail of making sure we each had shrimp in our bowls.   The smell of the soup was heavenly.  As she lifted the lid from the pot my mouth began to water.  She served me first.  In my bowl I could identify a muscle, shrimp, chunks of eel, whitefish, calamari, tofu, and greens.  There were thin slices that may have been scallops but I’m not sure.  It was delicious and that was more important.

We had a bit of a wait after we finished our soup and when we received our plate of sushi.  So be advised if you order a large plate of sushi it may take a while as it is all made to order.

Our sushi platter was comprised of 6 pieces of nigiri (sashimi on top of rice), 8 slices of sashimi, one small plain tuna roll (6 pieces), as well as pickled ginger, and wasabi.  It’s the Chef’s pick as to what he plates for your sashimi and nigiri.  I’m not 100% sure what we received.  I can tell you what I can identify.

I could of course identify the small plain tuna rolls.  We ate those first and they were delicious.  They were perfectly rolled, the rice was wonderfully seasoned and the tuna had a delicate texture that seemed to melt in your mouth.

The nigiri appeared to be tuna, salmon, white fish, white fish, shrimp, and another type of light colored fish.  The unidentified fish was light in color and tasted similar to white fish.  All of the nigiri was very tasty.  I’m not a big fan of shrimp nigiri as it tends to dry out fast.  This was a little dry but still very favorable.  The delicately sliced pieces of sashimi on top of the perfectly seasoned sushi rice had amazing flavor and was like heaven in my mouth.

I hate to be repetitive but the slices of sashimi was also very delicate, fresh, and perfectly soft.  We could really taste all of the flavors of the fresh fish.  The pieces of sashimi mirrored what we received in the nigiri with the exception of the shrimp.

The staff was attentive to our table as well as the large party and the single take-out orders that came in while we were there.  Even with a table of 8 adjacent from us the ambiance of the restaurant was still relaxing and cozy.

While we were there a take-out patron sat at the bar waiting while he watched the Sushi Chef prepare his meal.  He began to ask the chef questions about his knives and skills.  The chef was happy to explain to him what the different knives were for.  It was nice to hear the staff engage with patrons in this manner.

I would definitely return.  I would order the seafood hot pot again but I’d love to try some of their other dishes.  Perhaps next time we can try different dishes to expand our experience.

umami menu

 

Happy Holidays!

 

We hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  I know we are!

We would love to hear about some of the things you may have received or things you gave to others.

If you have any products you would like  us to review please send us a message.

Here are some upcoming reviews you will see in the next month:

  • Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from “5 and Below.”
  • Umami Restaurant in Melbourne, Florida
  • Plus-size Dresses purchased on Amazon
  • Soupa Saiyan Restaurant in Orlando, Florida
  • and more!