Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dark and Stormy -vs- Sunny and Bright

Dark and Stormy, Bahama Breeze Island Grille
Did you know that today is World Meteorological Day? I didn't either until I got an invitation from Bahama Breeze to try their Dark and Stormy Cocktail. Seemed a little peculiar to pull up with my top down on a sunny and bright Sunday, to order something "dark" and "stormy." 

The cocktail is made with a spicy Gosling Black Seal Rum and some tangy Ginger Beer. It tastes surprisingly like whiskey when mixed together.  If you're looking for a good happy hour, Bahama Breeze is sure to please with $4 mojitos and $2 off wines among other drink specials. 

Happy Hour also includes half-price appetizers so you can get your coconut shrimp fix for a great price. Those specials are from 4-6 Monday through Friday. 

Enjoy the outdoor patio while the weather is still nice and breezy, no pun intended. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"B" Is For Burgers

The Tex-Mex Haystack Burger

I love the 'B' culture of values at the newest burger joint at Gulf Coast Town Center in Estero, FL. Employees and managers are guided by mantras like: 'B' in service, 'B' involved, 'B' knowledgeable, 'B' informed, among others.

That alone tells me I'm going to "B' in for something good. And the hand washing stand at the entrance makes me think 'B' cleanly is on the list somewhere too. Kids actually find it cool to wash up before dinner here.

There are 20 regular burgers on the menu, the 21st changes on the 21st of each month. Besides serving juicy certified Angus Beef, Burger 21 has veggie burgers, chicken burgers, and a fantastic Ahi Tuna burger with house made, pickled cucumbers and avocado. The sriracha aioli and caramel soy sauce are the perfect condiments. It's fantastic.

Ahi Tuna Burger

Be sure to get a mixed basket of fries and have fun at the sauce station; a bar with ten different dipping sauces like chipotle and thai chili, beside the typical ketchup and mustard. The big novelty here is the marshmallow and the apple cider sauces for the sweet potato fries. They have just enough sweet and tang to compliment the taters. 

One of the most impressive features of Burger 21 is the commitment to their gluten free customers. There is a Green Zone in the kitchen where specific utensils and areas are dedicated to food prep, to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination. There is a separate fryer for the gluten free fries and meals are delivered on a different tray from the rest of the table. GF bread products are not so easy to find in restaurants and lets be honest, rarely are they good. But the buns here pass the test; fluffy AND flavorful.

Banana's Foster and Keylime Shakes

Hand-spun shakes come from a proprietary blend of ice-cream and in almost a dozen flavors. They are well-worth the splurge. With seats around the shake bar, it's a popular spot to watch the action. The restaurant itself is open and retro in decor with no TV's inside, so you can actually have a conversation without distractions.

However, if you're dying to catch a game, the spacious outdoor patio has some mounted electronics. Burger 21 is community minded, holding 'Spirit Nights' for various charities and organizations, so you never know what kind of fun you may stumble in to.

Give Burger 21 a try, you'll be more than satisfied!

Burger 21 on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bangin' Brunch

I'm a big fan of brunch, especially on Sundays. It's not just about the food but the company, the day of relaxation, the whole package.

I'm a new fan of Slate's, on an obscure side street, just off the busy Cape Coral Parkway in Cape Coral, FL.

We showed up toward the end of the festivities which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because the crowd had subsided, a curse because in the meantime, they had consumed so much, that some of the dishes had run out.

After being seated we were told there was only one order of beignets left so we immediately scooped them up, before even looking at the rest of the menu.

Even though this is a New Orleans inspired restaurant, Beignets are a recent addition to the line-up. The delicate, powdery treats needed their very own fryer and it arrived, just in time for Fat Tuesday.

With our coffee (chicory) and sugar fix satisfied, we set our sites on things a little more substantial. I was salivating over the Champagne; Slate's signature Benedict served on a buttery croissant, topped with spinach, tomato, red onion, goat cheese and poached eggs. I just couldn't put my fork down, even though I was full. Bravo!

In addition, and to no one's surprise, I managed to put my fork in other dishes at the table. The cheese grits were rich, creamy and out of this world. The crawfish omelet had tons of flavor yet not too spicy and the pancakes were a fluffy delight. Add to that a great shrimp, Bloody Mary, live music and outstandng service. What a gem.

If you go, make a reservation as you may be turned away, especially for dinner. Don't get mad, the kitchen is small and the food is cooked to order. It doesn't come out all at once and in a big rush. They want you to savor and enjoy the food, wine and fun atmosphere here. A genuine dining experience.
Yep, that's the bathroom sink and we loved it too.

Slates on Urbanspoon