Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tapa That!

Hey Lovelies!

 I attended a dinner earlier this week with my foodie friends at the quirkiest little spot in 5-points called Tapa That!
The restaurant is very cozy and has the cutest original pieces of artwork ordaining the entire space.  
Check out these adorable Homemade High Heel cards!!! 
 I mean how cute is that?!!?!
A few months back I attended a Bacon themed dinner at Tapa That and was blown away by how delicious the food was so when my friend Nate decided to host this delectable, 6-course  "Nom Nom Dinner" event that incorporated Bacon and Smoke, I knew I was going to be there, no questions asked!  Needless to say, the food was amazing!
Here's what we had:
Course #1:  Bacon Mushroom Bisque with Bacon Crostini & Panchetta Creme Fresh
This was a perfect starter!  It's been a little chilly in Jacksonville lately and this warm, savory bisque with bits of bacon and mushroom throughout, was so delicious and comforting.  It kinda adds meaning to "Comfort Food"! 
Course # 2:  Bacon Salad Bowl
Let me just say that I'm glad I live no where near this place because I would get myself in trouble with this salad.  Even though it's loaded with bacon, I could see myself trying to justify eating it every day because after all it is a "salad"!  The bowl itself is bacon and the salad consists of baby spinach, dried cranberries, goat cheese crumbles, and a bacon-shallot vinaigrette!  YUM!
Course # 3:  Smoked Sausage and Apple Bruschetta
Again, I'm glad this was bite sized!  It was the perfect bite with tons of flavor.  French bread with brie, smoked sausage, raspberry-jalepeno glazed apples, and a drizzle of balsamic sounds like perfection to me!

Course #4: Smoked Chicken Breast Kale and Strawberry Salad 
This dish was freggin' amazing! The kale had avacado oil and spinkles of quinoa which added nice texture to the salad, the dressing was a citrus-garlic had me at garlic, and the chicken was very moist and seasoned to perfection.  However, the star of this dish was the strawberry!!!  These had to be the sweetest strawberries I have ever eaten and after speaking to Nate afterwards, I learned that the chef put Agave Nectar on them.  I will be trying this at home!!!

Course #5:  Asian Braised Short Ribs with Cabbage and Red Pepper Slaw
It's so funny that once this dish came out, the room was silently for about 60 seconds while everyone inhaled it!  It was soooo GOOD!!!  The short ribs were so tender and the glaze on them was sweet and went perfect with the coconut rice and slaw!  Delicious!
Course #6: Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie is probably my favorite kind of pie so I was looking forward to this dish the most!  It certainly didn't disappoint.  The best part was that you could really taste every aspect of this pie from the smoky pecans to the maple bourbon!
We had an awesome time as always, eating and being silly!  It's always good times when food is involved!
Tapa That on Urbanspoon 
I recently saw the Tapa That made the list for Jacksonville's Top 50 Restaurants and I completely agree!  I haven't had a thing from there I didn't like.  The next time I go will be for bottomless mimosas during their brunch!  As always thanks so much for stopping by!  

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Uncle Maddios Pizza Joint

Hey Dolls,

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to dine with fellow foodies at a new fast, casual restaurant in town called Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint located in Deerwood Village off of Southside Blvd. and Baymeadows. 

 Not only does Uncle Maddio's offer premium ingredients and healthful options like whole wheat crust, gluten-free crust, and hormone free chicken, you can customize your pizza  like you would a sub at Subway or burrito at Chipotle's!
 You can go with a Signature Pizza or put ingredients together yourself.
 They offer gourmet salads and toasted paninis as well.
 Not to mention everything is "Made With Love"!
I'm not sure if it's the norm, but everyone who worked there was SUPER SUPER friendly!
Here is what we all had to eat:
Greek Side Salad:  Made with fresh and crispy mixed greens, red onions, black olives, banana peppers, roma tomatoes, feta cheese and a delicious, homemade greek dressing. 
BBQ Chicken Pizza:  This was my pizza!  It was made with zesty bbq & tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella and cheddar, grilled chicken, bacon, red onions, corn and cilantro.  Pretty good.  Not too sweet but a nice mix of savory and sweet.
Greek Pizza:  Made with tomato-basil sauce, organic baby spinach mozzarella and feta cheese with red onions, black olives, and artichoke hearts tossed in greek dressing.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza:  Made with spicy buffalo and tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella, grilled chicken, blue cheese crumbles, celery and homemade ranch.
Steak & Blue:  This came highly recommended from the owner, Kevin Gartner.  It is made with olive oil, mozzarella, blue cheese crumbles, deliciously tender grilled angus steak, roma tomatoes, garlic, spinach, fresh basil and balsamic glaze!  This was my favorite!
Last but not least, we got to sample all of the desserts that Uncle Maddio's has to offer!  Coca Cola Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, M&M Cookies, Brownies, Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bar, and Yummy Mini-Cannolis!  I had to loosen up my belt before indulging!  
Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint on Urbanspoon
The pizzas were pretty good and I really like the fast-casual style of Uncle Maddios!  I will be going back for more and you should too between now and Saturday because you can get one of your own personal pizzas FOR FREE!!!

As always, thank you for stopping by!
I'll be back soon!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Look

Hey Dolls,

I pray everyone had a beautiful Christmas with the ones you love!  This time of year came around so quickly!  I feel like 2014 was almost a blur but I am ready to jump into the New Year!  It's always exciting to discover the joys and blessings a new year has in store for you.  Here is a look at what I wore for Christmas!
I fell in love the moment I saw these shoes a few months ago and I have been saving them up to wear for Christmas! 
Blouse:  H&M
Necklace:  Charming Charlie
Skirt:  Express
Heels:  JustFab
I love this little guy!  He's Smokey, my brother's miniature schnauzer.  He's so sweet and he always poses for the camera!
If I don't post again before the New Year, have a safe  New Year's Eve and a blessed New Year!  
As always thank you for stopping by!  I am truly thankful for all of you who take the time to read my blog!
Take care!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cabana Grill

Hey Dolls,

I was recently invited to a private lunch at a new restaurant in Mandarin called Cabana Grill!  Before attending, I read up on the history of the restaurant and found a few pleasant surprises which had me very excited about lunch!  For starters, Cabana Grill was created by the San Antonio based restaurant, Taco Cabana!  As some of you already know, I'm from San Antonio and Taco Cabana was the number one spot to go to after high school football games!  Oh the memories!  I also learned that Cabana Grill is under the restaurant group that also operates and franchises Pollo Tropical!  I love me some Pollo Tropical!!!  With those two facts in mind, I knew lunch was going to be delicious!
Cabana Grill has fast-casual dining.  You can enjoy your meal indoors, out on the patio, take it to go, and even drive-thru!  Something I really love is when you can see your meal prepared.  All of their ingredients are prepared fresh daily, including the amazing tortillas that are made to order.  Quick story...when I was in high school my friends thought I was "weird" because I would order 3 plain tortillas in the drive-thru at Taco Cabana. LOL!  
They are good enough to eat alone!
The Salsa Bar features three signature salsas that are handmade with fresh ingredients, daily. They are the Chipotle Lime, Salsa Crema, and Avacado Cilantro.  All three salsas complement any dish you may order!
Another feature I enjoyed about Cabana Grill was the artwork!  I found out that all of the decor came from Mexico, including this cool picture below which was taken by a photographer sent down to Mexico to capture its essence just for Cabana Grill.  
Makes for great ambiance!!!
Ok, so the food was just as amazing as I imagined it would be. Here's what we had... 
This taco plate came with a steak and chicken taco, Mexican rice, and refried beans.
Steak Fajita Bowl served in a hard tortilla with delicious grilled steak!
My favorites were the chicken fajitas and street tacos!  The flavors are really amazing!  You really get that grilled taste and you can truly taste the freshness of the veggies!  They also serve authentic beverages including Mexican Fanta and Mexican Coke with real cane sugar, margaritas made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, and a selection of cold domestic and Mexican beers. 

Last  but not least is my all time favorite Mexican dessert, sopapillas!!!  The first time I had a sopapilla was when I took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico when I was 18.  I've been a fan ever since.  These things can cause detriment to your waistline, if you're not careful! They little fried pastries, similar to doughnuts, that you dip in either honey or dulce de leche!  AMAZEBALLS!
Cabana Grill on Urbanspoon
I'm definitely a fan of Cabana Grill!  The food was fresh and delicious and everyone that worked there were friendly and knowledgeable!  I'm particularly excited because I feel like I'm getting a little taste of home!  If you're looking for somewhere quick to dine and are in the Mandarin area, hit up Cabana Grill!  You won't be disappointed.  
As always, thanks for stopping by!  
Be back soon!

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas!

Hi Dolls,

When I first laid my eyes on this sweater I immediately fell in love!  I'm not sure if it was the sparkles, the fact that it has a huge gold heart on it, or maybe even both, but I know I just had to have it! (Confessions of a shopaholic)
 I paired it with a bleached denim shirt and some jeans for a Christmas luncheon I attended earlier this week. 
We went to Biscottis located in the awesome, historical Five Points district in Jacksonville.  
The area was decorated so nicely for the holidays so after lunch one of my friends and I decided to take a stroll around the area to snap a few pictures!  Take a look!

Don't ya just love poinsettias!
 I thought this bike was adorable!
This local toy store really put me in the mood for some Christmas shopping! The entire area really.  There are so many unique boutiques where I could find some one of a kind gifts for my loved ones!
I'm sure this area is really beautiful at night when the lights are on!  I may need to make a trip just to see the lights!
Jeans and Blouse:  Ross
Sweater:  H&M
Heels:   Marc Fischer
  It was an absolutely gorgeous winter-like day in Jax Florida!  Not too hot and of course, not too cold!  Just the right amount of chill for me to wear my new favorite sweater.
As always, thank you for stopping by!  
Have a wonderful weekend!
I'll be back soon!