Thursday, March 17, 2016

Aavatar Indian Cuisine Daytona Beach

Rogan Josh
A couple weeks back I had to drop my aunt off at the airport in Orlando, on my way back I decided to stay in Daytona Beach. Mostly because I hate driving even if its only 2 hours. lol I got there around 2 and decided to scoop out the food scene. I stopped at one spot for a Philly Cheese Steak and was not impressed in the least bit. After a quick nap and several drinks at the local bar scene, I had pizza at a local joint. Nothing special, so I figured I wouldn't have anything to write about. The next morning I went to the hotel's breakfast. No naming names but it was bad really bad. I had almost written off Daytona as just another St Augustine in terms of bland terrible food, when I found this little Indian restaurant call Aavatar.

Aavatar was next the the convenience store across from my hotel. I'm supposing I didn't notice it earlier do the dilapidated Strip clup on the other-side of the store. I went in around eleven. The guy at counter was friendly. He was an older Indian gentleman, we had a small chat about my mostly disappointing food expedition. We agreed that at least there were alot of beautiful women around. lol

It's always tough for me to order at Indian restaurants. I just want everything on the menu. So generally I prefer buffets. After staring at the menu I went with the Rogan Josh. It was something I recognized because my dad has made it several times. It seems that each chief puts their own spin on the dish because this was the reddest Rogan Josh I had ever seen. But it was really good and flavorful. I got the hot level of spice. It didn't seem that spicy to me but I may be immune. The naan bread was soft and tasty.

Rogan Josh is a type of lamb curry and is a signature dish of Kashmiri cuisine. The dish originates in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India, but its roots stretch all the way to Persia. It is know for its red color which comes the use of Kashmiri chillies, these peppers are very mild. Hindu and Muslim preparation differ with the Hindu version using yogurt.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Marianas Grinds

Marianas Grinds is a local restaurant that serves Hawaiian cuisine. It was formerly located at the flea market and recently relocated to the Winn Dixie plaza at St Johns and Beach. It's a nice little restaurant, they had some reggae music playing and had an overall island feel. I went during lunch on a week day and it was a little busy. They usually close at 2pm on weekdays and 8pm on Fri, Sat, and Sun.

Chamorro style Empanada, Lumpia, and Spam Masubi
Hawaiian food has evolved over the centuries with the influence of the different cultures that were brought or immigrated there. There are influences from everyone including the indigeneous polynesians, Koreans, Chineses, Japanese, Filipinos, Portuguese, Vietnamese and Puerto Ricans. For example the famous Hawaiian Rolls are actually based on the Portuguese sweet rolls. Marianas Grinds also features food from the Chamorro people of the Marianas Islands which includes Guam.

Ginisan Katne
I decided I wanted to try several things, for appetizers I ordered the Empanada Chamorro style which I believe features cream of rice as the main filling, the veggie Lumpia, and the Spam Masubi. Spam Masubi is the Hawaiian version of the Japanese Onigiri which is rice balls wrapped in seaweed. Only this has grilled spam on it. For my main dish I had the pork Ginisan Katne. This features stir-fried pork, bok choy, onions and eggplant in a very tasty sauce. It also came with macaroni salad and red rice. All the food was very tasty and I would highly recommend it. And you've got to try the Spam Masubi, it is actually really good.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ming's Bistro Orlando

Went on a road trip last week with the family to Orlando. We went to several places including a very good Singh's Roti Shop. I didn't like how those photo's came out so next time I go I'll take some more for another post.

Ming's is located in Orlando's Mills 50 District along Coloniel also known as "Little Vietnam". There are alot of Vietnamese businesses in the area, Ming's however is Chinese and serves Chinese classics and Hong Kong style Dim Sum. My mom says that they are Vietnamese Chinese, I haven't confirmed this myself. lol

On this trip we specifically went for their Dim Sum. Dim Sum is a Cantonese cuisine that involves serving many small dishes which is usually brought out precooked on carts for customers to select. Specific dishes can be ordered from a menu. While there are far too many dishes to name they tend to include things like pork buns, shrimp dumplings, taro root, stuffed eggplant and many more. It's especially good for a large group as you can order a bunch of dishes and share with everyone. I would recommend it for anyone who likes Chinese food but wants to try something new.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Publix Deli

So I ran out of body wash today........ok it was like three days ago but yeah I finally got around to taking a walk to the Publix grocery store near me. Publix originates in Florida with the first store being founded in Winter Haven. They have a lot of the typical items you would find at any store but what really sets them apart is their food. That and they've always got this really modern feel unlike lets say Winn Dixie, although I will say I've heard very good things about the new ones. Anyway Publix Deli is really good so I decided to pick up something for lunch.

I ended up choosing the Boar's Head Italian sub. You also have the choice of picking Publix brand instead. The Italian features three meats: Hot Cappy, Tavern Ham and Genoa Salami. The Hot Cappy is a type of Italian ham and I'm fairly certain it is a version of Cappicola, just going by the name of course lol.

For my bread I went with plain white. Wheat and Multigrain are also options.

Normally it comes with provolone, but I usually go with American Yellow or Asiago if I'm feeling fancy. It's a bit like subway where you can pick your ingredients. On this one I chose Spinach, Tomatoes, carrots, Kalamata olives (added those myself), onions, oregano, oil and vinegar. Also picked up Cheddar Broccoli soup which is one of my favorites.

Really tasty sub. I think Publix would be number 2 on my favorite sub places in Jacksonville. It probably would be higher or tied with my favorite with better bread and more ingredient choices.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Matt's Italian

Me and my cousin couldn't decide what to eat. So on a whim we decided on getting Italian Food. Matt's Italian was pretty close by so we decided to check it out. My cuz got the Submarine and got the Cannelloni with a Lobster Bisque. A Cannelloni is basically cylindrical pasta stuffed with lamb, beef and spinach. Topped with cheese and tomato sauce it really looks like a burrito. lol

Falafel &Gyro King

Just happened to be driving along Atlantic Blvd looking for something to eat. I Saw La Nopalera and decided and decided to stop even if it wasn't one of my favorite Mexican joints. As I pulled in I noticed a little strip mall behind the restaurant with a place called Falafel & Gyro King. I just had to check it out. I ordered the Meat Shwarma sandwich, the bread is called samoon and is eaten in Iraq. Also got some ground beef Samosas. I both were really good. There is also a middle eastern bakery/market next door. I'll have to check it out next time.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Sheik

Camel Rider (also known as the Desert Rider at other places) with fries and a Cherry Lime-Aid. a good ol' fashion Duval County classic from The Sheik. Some people prefer the Stack N Sack but that is never agreeable with my tummy.

Here is a great article if you want to learn more about the origins of the Camel Rider in Jacksonville and it's middle eastern origins. It's not a fancy foodie food but it is one of my local favorites and it really is a part of history. I think alot of times especially with how mismanaged the city has been for a very long time we aren't aware of some of the cool stuff around town and alot of the history.

Norman Reedus as Gambit instead of Channing Tatum?

I just thought of something......Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead should play Gambit from X-Men instead of Channing Tatum. I mean who looks more believable as a petty thief from the swamps of Louisiana? Don't get me wrong I like Mr. Tatum but he is just not believable as Gambit. For real just google Norman Reedus and Gambit and just be in awe. I would post pictures but I don't like to post pictures that I didn't take myself.

Thoughts on Deadpool

So I ended up seeing Deadpool. Twice actually. lol Great movie.Very Funny. Unlike Zoolander 2 which was terrible and hurt my soul.

I don't want to give anything away but Jacksonville was mentioned like 3 joking...for probably terrible reasons...but I still thought it was extremely awesome. Other than Jacksonville jokes the movie is hilarious, Ryan Reynolds stars in the title role of Deadpool and nails it. If you are unfamilar with the character, Deadpool he from Marvel comics, has a similar healing ability to the more well-known character from X-men: Wolverine. Except he's really funny and really violent. I mean Wolverine is violent but in a PG-13 sort of violence. Deadpool is more rated R with blood and stuff. And his brand of humor is pretty crude. However the movie never comes off as cynical or mean spirited. The guy is pretty much invincible and can do whatever he wants.

Very nice Russian big metal guy Colossus and goth teen Negasonic Teenage Witch, both from the X-Men tag along to help mister Deadpool save his girlfriend and try to get him to join the X-men. Both characters provide a nice Foil to the antics of Deadpool.

None feeling British badguy Ajax isn't a very memorable villian but he doesn't need to be. This really isn't about him.

Anywho, great movie. Go see it. I don't think I've laugh as much in a movie theater since Borat. It's just as raunchy and probably more you probably do not want to see it with your kids......and don't see Zoolander 2...not as bad as Anchorman 2....but bad. Deadpool.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ariana Kebab and Grill Jacksonville

Went to see Dead Pool and afterwards had some really great Afghan food at Ariana Kebab and Grill. This is the Qabili Palau with lamb and is considered the national dish of Afghanistan. It is amazing, the rice is amazingly seasoned, the carrots literally melt in your mouth. The raisins go surprisingly well and the tangy green sauce just tops it off. But speaking of Dead Pool I'll write my thoughts on it a little later. But yeah check it out.....the movie too :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lunch at Karam's Mediterranean Grill

Shwarma Meat Plate

View of our food
Street View

Had lunch with my cousin at Karam's Mediterranean Grill the other day. Good Stuff, I had the Shwarma Meat Plate with Falafel, Hummus and Pita. The Shwarma is very well seasoned and the hummus was well made. Also loved that it came with jalapenos and a red pepper. Definitely one of my top 5 places for middle eastern food in Jacksonville. I'll probably make a list later on. If you want to check it out the address is: 4241 University Blvd S, Jacksonville, FL 32216