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.