Mother’s Day Brunch at Tortilla Press Cantina

Newly Reopened Cantina Dishes Up a Tasty Brunch

I was lucky enough to go to the Tortilla Press Cantina, Collingswood’s Tortilla Press’s sister restaurant in Pennsauken, a few times before it had shut down.  Extended construction on the roads around the cantina made it near impossible to get to the restaurant and a decision was made to close its doors.  Well the construction is over and the roads are clear, so they recently decided to reopen the doors and give it another shot.

My nephew Michael and his girlfriend, Laura

I’ve always loved the ala cart brunch over at the Tortilla Press in Collingswood so when I go the email blast about the Mother’s Day buffet brunch at both locations, I knew it would be a hit with my mom.  I’ve been dying to get to the cantina since it reopened. My daughter and her fiancée have been going there for karaoke and having a really good time. So I made reservations for the Mother’s Day buffet brunch at the cantina for me, my mom, my sister, my nephew and his girlfriend. Continue reading


Casona In Collingswood: The Third Time’s a Charm

Casona Serves Up Cuban Fair and Nouveau Latin Cuisine

Linda and I have eaten at Casona in Collingswood several times, and I’ve blogged about our experiences there. We’ve had mixed experiences with both the food and the service, especially the service, and I rated Casona as a hit or miss restaurant.  Well that did not sit very well with owner, Mark Infantado.  Mark told us that he put his heart and soul into the restaurant. He was displeased and concerned over our less than stellar experiences at his establishment. To his credit, he didn’t rant and rave about what I wrote, he took action to correct the problems.  He replaced his front of the house manager with a new, experienced manager who was going to retrain his staff to provide a higher level of service. And to put his money where his mouth is, he offered us 50% off our meal if we came in and gave it another shot.

Casona's atmosphere is warm and inviting.

Well who am I to give up such a generous offer? But before we get started, regardless of whether I got a discount or not, my review would be based strictly upon our dining experience. Besides, we generally liked the food at Casona and were certainly willing to give the retrained staff another try.  We gave them a few months to work out the kinks and showed up this past Sunday hungry for great food and great service. Fortunately, Casona delivered on all levels this time… Continue reading

Top 5 Best and Worst Chicken Sandwiches – Is Fast Food Really Fat Food?

The New KFC Double Down Takes on Chicken Sandwiches And Leaves the Bun at Home

I was listening to a radio station this morning on the way to work and the d- jays were talking about the new KFC Double Down bun-less chicken sandwich.  They had gone to their local KFC to try the sandwich and had recorded their reactions.  For those of you who haven’t heard about this new gastronomical delight, it’s 2 boneless white meat chicken filets (grilled or original recipe), 2 pieces of bacon, 2 slices of Monterey jack and pepper cheese, and the Colonel’s sauce, whatever the hell that is.  But NO BUN!

There were two guys and one gal doing the test taste. The two guys are you typical man-guys who think everything tastes better when you fry it and add bacon and cheese. The gal, on the other hand, is into fresh, organic foods and shops at Whole Foods.  But she had agreed (or rather was coerced) to at least take a bite of the sandwich.

The guys dug right in, grunting and groaning.  They were enjoying every bite and basically described it as amazingly delicious and surprisingly not greasy.  The gal relented and took her bite.  Her honest response was that all she could taste was salt. She did not want another bite however, you could hear the two guys eagerly woofing down the remaining bits of their bun-free sandwiches.

As a person on a low sodium diet, I could certainly relate to the gal.  Since I no longer use salt when I cook or on my plate, my awareness to salt has increased immensely.  Foods I once thought weren’t salty, suddenly are now very salty. I wondered if I would feel the same about the Double Down.  I also wondered how much sodium was in this semi-sandwich, so I did a bit of checking on it… Continue reading

Thai Basil in Collingswood Delivers All Around

Thai Basil Serves Up A Bounty of Flavors and Textures at Prices That Please

I’ve been a fan of Thai food ever since I ate at a Thai restaurant in Chicago on a business trip many moons ago.  Prior to that, I was always afraid of Thai food because I hated curry ever since I accidentally ate curried goat at one of those Philly Fun Day Festivals that the city used to hold in the late 80s. Blah.  But a co-worker set me straight about curry. There’s more than one curry and each has its of unique flavor.  There’s red, green, yellow, Panang, Massaman, & Khing. My favorite is the green curry.

Linda has had moderate experience with Thai and has always wanted to broaden her horizons.  I’ve been eying up Thai Basil in Collingswood for some time now so when Linda didn’t want to cook dinner tonight, I decided we should give it a whirl. And we sure were glad we did.

Two women dine while take-out waits to be “taken out”

Collingswood has become THE place for foodies and hungry diners alike and Thai Basil is a perfect addition. The decor is warm and inviting, filled with earth tones and dark wood. Tables line one side of the restaurant with unique booths that alternate between square and round on the right. A large mirror helps to make the restaurant seem larger than it is… Continue reading

Having Dinner at Supper in Philadelphia

Dining at Supper During Philadelphia Restaurant Week

Philadelphia Restaurant week is over but Linda and I got a chance to dine out during this event last week.  I’ve been busy with my show, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It closed this weekend so I didn’t get the opportunity to post about our Supper experience until now.

Linda and I love to take advantage of Restaurant Week.  It’s a great opportunity to try someplace you haven’t eaten before at a reduced price. We’ve been to Amada, Chifa, and Tinto (to name a few) during previous restaurant weeks.  This time I suggested we try Supper and since Supper appeared in Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Philadelphia Restaurants list, Linda decided it was a good idea. And boy, was I glad we went.

Supper is located right above 9th and South Street.  There’s really not much around that area, as most of the activity on South Street happens between 2nd and 7th.  Besides, South Street is nothing like it used to be and, in my opinion, has gone down hill substantially. The outside of Supper is quite unassuming but the inside is full of warm earth colors and bustling activity.

As we walked in we were warmly greeted by the hostess. Even though we were 20 minutes early, she said she would be able to seat us in just a minute.  As she checked our table, the bartender smiled at us and asked us if this was our first time at Supper.  We told him it was and he smiled again, telling us we were in for a treat. The hostess returned and lead us upstairs to our table.  OK. So I never finished this post. Sue me. Some day I’ll dig up the pictures and finish this thing…or not. 😦

Dining at Casona in Collingswood

Where Moderately Good Food Meets Less-than Moderately Good Service

Linda and I decided to head on over to Casona tonight to try out the dinner menu.  If you have read my blog before, perhaps you may recall my review of Casona’s brunch.  The folks at Casona were so happy with my review of their brunch, they sent Linda and me a gift certificate to come by and try dinner.  Now I want to get something clear, when I blog about a restaurant, I give my honest review of the whole experience. If it’s good, I say so. If it isn’t, I say that as well. I don’t write a review to get a free meal but I am not a rich man so when a free meal comes my way, I gladly except it. However, when it comes to my review, I base it on my experience not on who paid the tab. Enough said.

Christmastime in Collingswood

Collingswood is such a wonderful town and when it’s all decked out for Christmas, it’s even more special.  The trees that line Haddon Avenue are trimmed in swirls of white lights and big, beautiful glowing “Season’s Greetings” signs span the street.   Even though it was extremely cold tonight, the streets were full of shoppers, strolling in and out of the various shops and restaurants.  Even Santa was out, waving and greeting passersby.  Collingswood represents hometown Christmas at its best.  It’s worth the visit regardless of where you’re going.

Casona is no exception when it comes to decorations.  Dressed in the same white lights as the rest of the town, Casona fits right into the season.  Warm and inviting, the decorations spill into the restaurant without overwhelming.  The lighter touch still captured the Christmas spirit without making me feel like I was dining in Santa’s village… Continue reading

Phenomenal Brunch at Casona in Collingswood

Upscale Dining at Its Best!

Casona 001

If you’ve read my blog,  you know that I love to brunch in Collingswood.  Collingswood (and the surrounding area) has become the place to dine out in South Jersey. Many of these wonderful restaurants offer brunch specials and I’ve blogged about some of them.  When Linda suggested we try Casona, the Cuban restaurant in Collingswood, I was very excited to go somewhere new. I’ve read mixed reviews about Casona but it sure is hard to argue with being voted Best Sunday Brunch in 2006 and Best Cuban Sandwich in 2009 by South Jersey magazine’s reader’s poll.

The couple at the table had just gotten up and I should have waited for the table to clear before I took this picture.

The view from our seat. The couple at the table had just gotten up. I should have waited until the table was cleared to take this picture.

Casona is actually an old Victorian house that was once a local doctor’s office.  Beautifully rehabbed, the owner’s have kept the original charm of the house while maintaining a comfortably elegant dining experience.  The expansive original, wrap-around porch offers year-round dining with the addition of heaters and a canvas wall.  To us, the real appeal of the porch is the ability to dine outside while still being inside, and since the canvas walls are now up, we chose to dine in the more luxurious inside dining areas… Continue reading