Anniversary Dinner at Cuba Libre in Philadelphia

It’s been two months since I met a very special guy. He’s a kind of private person so I wont go into any great details. Suffice to say, it’s blossoming into a wonderful and very promising relationship.

We met on Friday, May 13 at a prearranged “date” arranged our mutual friend, Toni Thompson. Yes, we met on a Friday the 13th and yes, it all started with Toni. Anyway, I earned a $50 dinner check from opentable and thought what better way to use it then going out for dinner to celebrate our two month anniversary. And what better place to celebrate then the always amazing Cuba Libre. So let’s take a look at what we ate: Continue reading

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Chick-fil-A Serves Up Free Chicken to Good Cows

It's Preston-Cow with his FREE Chicken Combo Meal. Chick-fil-A Rocks!

It's Preston-Cow with his FREE Chicken Combo Meal. Chick-fil-A Rocks!

That’s right. Today only (7/9/10) Chick-fil-A is giving out free combo meals to all customers who come in dressed as cows from head-t0-toe.  Even those who don’t come in completely dressed as a cow can get a free gift just by wearing a cow hat or cow sign.  And Chick-fil-A really owes it to those cows.  According to their website, the “Eat More Chicken” campaign using cows started as a single billboard way back in 1985.  Today, the cows are everywhere from billboards to radio to TV.  Chick-fil-A owes these award-winning cows big time and they sure paid them back today.

I work in marketing and I love great marketing campaigns and clever advertisements.  No one can deny that after 25 years and still going strong, the “Eat More Chicken” cow campaign is a true American classic.  Of course, it helps to have a great food product backing up this great ad campaign.  And Chick-fil-A delivers there as well.  If you remember my Top 5 Best and Worst Chicken Sandwiches, you would know that the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich came in at #2 on my Best List. (And only because it had more sodium than the #1 pick. It’s actually #1 with me in taste.) Continue reading

Chicago Dining: Ben Pao’s and Kinzie Chophouse

Trendy, Upscale, & Urban, Chicago Style…

Hello from Chicago. I am in the windy city on business. I know I’ve said before that I would not mix business with my blog, but as long as I don’t say where I work and why I’m here, then I’m safe.  Since Chicago has so many wonderful restaurants, how could I not resist blogging about some of them?

Image stolen from http://www.anthroblogs.org

Before I start, I’d like to say a few words about Chicago. Chicago is the perpetual construction city. It’s always under construction somewhere in Chicago. The winters are so long and brutal here that the city spends most of its time digging and plowing its way out of the snow or repairing all the damage caused by all the digging and plowing.  Even with all the construction, it’s an amazing city.

As I was walking home from dinner, it started to rain. Not a heavy rain, a slow droplet type of rain that seemed to want to take its time. Just like Chicagoians. Never stressed; never rushed; never overdone. As I walked, I passed by many eateries and cocktail bars. Chicagoians (Chicagoites? Who knows?) love cocktail bars. These slightly trendy, somewhat expensive, and comfortably urban water holes were filled with slightly trendy, somewhat wealthy, and oh-so-comfortably urban people sipping pomegranate melon martinis and home-made limoncello.

Ah I love Chicago. Continue reading

Jose Garces’ Whiskey Village – One BIG Disappointment

In An Itty-Bitty Space

I had promised Linda that I would take her to Village Whiskey to have a foie gras burger for her birthday, which was during Easter weekend. Unfortunately, Linda had her pseudo-heart attack which actually turned out to be a combo stress/panic attack coupled with extreme fibermyalgia pain. The hospital stay, however, lasted the whole weekend. This spoiled her plans of lunch with her children and me, dinner at Village Whiskey with me, and then a lobster Easter dinner down in Cape May with her son. So when we were in Philly last week for the Rittenhouse festival and we were only a couple of blocks from the Village Whiskey, I decided it was time for Linda’s birthday foie gras burger.

Before I go any further, I want you all to know that I’ve been to Garces’ other restaurants, Amada, Tinto, Chifa, Distrito, and Mercat a la Planxa (Chicago), and have had nothing but rave reviews. I also have never eaten foie gras nor had I ever planned to eat it. To me, foie gras falls into the mistreated animal category (like veal), so I just went without it. Plus, it’s really easy to go without something that is super expensive. Give up caviar? No problem. Stop eating American Cheese? I fall apart. Continue reading

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