Tag Archives: Fusion

Bonefish Grill

18 Jul

 Rating: 1 Clusterfuck

I had been wanting to try this place when I was given a gift card to it. Sweet, I thought, I love seafood and I think that’s what this place does. Awesome. I found out online that they have some sort of happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday where select appetizers and cocktails are $5-6 and thought, hey even better! Oh what happy, innocent times those were.

The first thing I hated about this place was the weird vinyl tablecloths topped with brown butcher paper. I mean I get it if you’re a legit seafood place that throws boiled crabs on the table, or if you’re an upscale place doing it ironically. But from where I was sitting (in this shitty place) their menu is a schizo mix of asian and seafood dishes. But not fusion. Just like the owners are a bi-racial couple that spent months pissing each other off and destroying their marriage only to say fuck it and just jam all their shitty ideas onto one menu. On top of this weird butcher paper there was a flickering fake candle (why bother?) and two retail salt and pepper grinders. Save whatever money you’re spending on the fucking butcher paper and just buy some decorative grinders. Or at least something without the brand name on it.

My first impression based on just the table had me annoyed, but then the waitress showed up….. in a fucking chef’s coat. You read that correctly. I would give up booze for like 5 whole hours just to watch what Gordon Ramsay would have to say about that. I mean what know-nothing fuck thinks it’s a great or even passable idea to give a jacket denoting a life dedicated to the culinary arts and a certain position in the kitchen to the fucking dish jockeys?! It’s insulting. I know they aren’t chefs and if I were a chef I would be pissed to see that trivialized. What’s the point? I went from confusion, to disbelief, to annoyed all in the span of 10 minutes. But I was there to eat and review so for your sake (that’s right, fuckin’ you) I continued with this charade of a restaurant.

Bang bang Shrimp I ordered the Bang Bang Shrimp, ceviche, and their blackberry twist cocktail to start with. Everything arrived and long story short, was genuinely mediocre. The bang bang shrimp ($8.9) were okay, but missing some of the flavors which I associate with this dish. There was no sweetness from the mayo, or acidity from a vinegar, it was just kinda, sorta spicy and the breading was soggy from the sauce instead of crunchy and amazing. They would normally charge $9 for this one-note joke of an app. I was barely okay with it being $5, especially when Okami has a vastly superior version right down the road for $7.50.

CevicheThe ceviche ($7.9) was just kinda limey, one note, and in no way special, interesting or worth anywhere near that they charge. For insanely cheaper (under $4) and more delicious ceviche try Taqueria la Tapatia, also down the road. Even the seafood didn’t really pop but just blended into the sad background of lime juice. And look at those sad 7 chips they gave us. The avocado was good, but seeing as the chef or waiters or whoever fucking cooks the food didn’t grow them that’s through no fault of their own.

The drink ($5). Oh the fucking drink. It was advertised as rum, coconut water, blackberries, sage, and lemon. That’s like 12 of my favorite things all in a row! No way to screw that up. Sounds like a crisp and refreshing cocktail with a hint of herbaceousness and a tart blackberry twist! Wrooooooong. Try an overly sweet sangria rip off. The best part about the drink were the 3 blackberries they threw in as a garnish. Do you know how hard it is for me to actively dislike a drink? I’ll give you a hint… they put fucking booze in them. Why not just write “Shitty Sangria Ripoff” on the menu? Then I won’t order it and be pissed off that it is not delicious. I even like sangria for christ sake. But if I order a steak don’t send me a fried banana.

Blackberry Twist

To round the whole thing off and finish off the gift card to assure no chance of a repeat lapse in judgement, I ordered their Thai Coconut Shrimp ($8.9). It was promised on the menu to be some sort of asiany coconut shrimp which I was ok with. When it came out I was shocked to discover it was actually a decent starter. Six jumbo shrimp breaded in coconut served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce and a hint of ginger. Between the chili sauce and the coconut breading the dish was very sweet, enough for me to joke that it was kind of our meal’s dessert. Honestly, I think this would be a really cute cheeky idea for a dessert menu. It was good if only for the fact that it had more that one thing happening. And the actual dish it was served on, which I believe I’ve lusted over at Target before.

Thai Coconut Shrimp

Bonefish Grill completely disappointed with 2 out 3 dishes; 3 our of 4 items. The food lacked any dimension and was shockingly mediocre for the prices they charge. I don’t want to write this off as “another chain restaurant” because most chains, while suffering from a watering down of their menu, have at least a couple stand out items that are sure to please. In fact, there are a few chains I visit a couple times per year for those kinds of guilty pleasures (Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana and breadsticks with peach bellini tea I’m looking at you). This went beyond just being boring chain food – it was insulting.

I went with a gift card on a day when the starters were on special and thought I overpaid. These appetizers would normally be $8-$9 and that is unacceptable for something so uninteresting especially taking into account that the two most disappointing have much cheaper and far superior alternatives less than 10 minutes down the road. The restaurant hovers in a weird place between asian and american that is less fusion and more chaos. The servers in chef coats only add to that perception. This place is an overpriced trap selling asian dishes to people who don’t like asian food… or maybe any food. Take my advice, and try Taqueria la Tapatia for ceviche, Okami Japanese Steakhouse for “Bang Bang Shrimp” (aka Hot Shrimp), or Indochine for coconut shrimp/any thai dish. Friends don’t let friends eat at Bonefish Grill.

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon

Asian Fusion Noodle House

26 Feb

Rating: 1 Beer Special

I went to this place for the two main reasons I’m guessing a lot of people do, they are open on Mondays unlike Indochine and I had a coupon. I’ve stated before I know nothing about Thai food, and I am in no way able to say how authentic it is, only how much I liked it and how I rank it compared to other Thai places. To be honest, until I go to Thailand (on my todo list) does it really matter if someone else tells me it’s authentic? I mean Flaming Amy’s is my favorite place in town and it’s the least authentic place imaginable. Unless you’re from Rockabilly City, Hipsterland. So don’t listen to me, just read my shit and take it into consideration.

insidefrusionNow I could already tell upon walking in this place that is isn’t Indochine. It has a very simple in decor, with a couple of over-sized fake plants and some Asian-esque wall hangings. And what is that weird bar with no liquor? Why even bother having a bar if not to display the gloriously high-proof booze you have available for consumption?! Overall it’s not super offensive though, so myself and the roommate take a seat at a booth, ordered some Asian beers (3.95 for Asian beers,  $2.95 for domestic), and started pouring over the menu. It seems like a pretty standard menu, and after some debate he ordered the Spicy Basil Leaves stir fry while I opted for the Pad Woon Sen. Both spicy please. There was some brief confusion after I asked for a spicy dish and was then directed to the regular menu and told to order one of those two dishes. They appeared to be the same, save for one having vermicelli which was my original preference in noodle. Both myself and the roommate chose tofu as our meat because well made tofu is the fucking bees knees.

Coconut Soup FusionAfter a very brief wait this delicious cup of heaven was brought to our table. Coconut soup came with both meals and though the bowl was small we both agreed that we could have easily ate one or two more cups of it. The slight sweetness of the coconut with the acidity of the lime was a great starting point to the meal. It was enough to not fill us up, but set my stomach to hunger mode for sure. Apparently you can order it with shrimp which would have probably blown my mind.

Fusion Pot StickersI was starving by the time our pot stickers came out. I stupidly asked for them steamed after looking at the menu (“steamed/fried”) and the waitress graciously explained they were pan fried since the texture of the dough doesn’t take to steaming. I would assume that would be how pot stickers are cooked but my idiotic brain thought those were options, not the explanation of how they were cooked. The filling I found slightly bland, and the cooked parts of the stickers slightly burnt, but the curry sauce they were served with made them worthwhile. I only wish the sauce were slightly thicker so as to coat the pot stickers a little more generously. Both myself and the roommate ended up using the accompanying spoon to sneak a few more mouthfuls of the sauce after the ‘stickers were gone.

Pad Thai Fusion

When the entrees were brought out, my roommate pointed out that they gave me Pad Thai, not Pad Woon Sen. Whether I ended up ordering wrong in the earlier confusion, or they mixed up the dish, either way it was pretty good. The heat was a slow building heat but good. The egg was a little more done than I would normally like but the “burnt” parts of it added to the flavor so what do I know? My tofu was slightly bland but a quick dip in my roommate’ s hot chili sauce made all the difference. The spring roll was spot on perfect and made the lunch special feel bigger. We actually ended up getting an order of the spring rolls to go to meet the minimum requirements for our coupon.

All in all this place is worth going to. I cleaned my plate of everything they gave me and given a larger stomach I could’ve eaten more. There were a few minor misses that could be chalked up to my preferences or my lack of knowledge regarding Thai food. Overall everything seemed to be a decent deal and the service was quick and attentive. Will this replace Indochine as the go-to romantic date night or birthday dinner? Not anytime soon. Indochine’s one of a kind property and decor exceeds almost everything else in Wilmington. But if you’re looking for a Thai fix for lunch on a Monday I would recommend Asian Fusion Noodle Houses. If they ever decide to throw out some beer specials, this could even become a monthly eat spot for myself and probably a lot of other people my age. Hence my rating of 1 Beer Special; rating=wish, right?

Asian Fusion Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Firebelly

9 Feb

Rating: 9001: A Gut Odyssey

Man, everyone calls this place Firebellies and it really grinds my gear. Now that I have that out of the way, I’m writing this guest review because the real schmuck is in the parking lot sucking dicks or something. I mean how tough is it to write a review every now and then? It’s not very tough, trust me! I just drank 3 PBR and I’m writing a fucking review right now, so I should know.

I hate downtown Wilmington. Okay, maybe you love it, fine, fuck you. Oh there’s like art and music and shit and its pretty and stuff. Blah blah blah, fuck all that noise. As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing about downtown is getting shitlorded and pissing in public.

Recently I had some excess books I wanted to get rid of, so I forced myself to go to that land of abject loathing: downtown. I was gonna try to swap a couple boxes of old books at Old Books on Front Street for some store credit or a quick bathroom blow-jay. No-go on either count: the woman hiding underneath a pile of dusty books told me she had 3,000 books sitting around waiting to be sorted. Half of them were atop her very person at the time, or so it seemed.

I was thinking about going to Subway afterwards, but Firebelly blocked my way and the booze-vortex sucked me in. Thursday’s $2 PBR pint and $5 quesadilla specials were too much – I could not avoid this wonderful fate. Also I used to go to Firebelly constantly so there was the chance of a hookup on what already promised to be a cheap yet boozy lunch.

I don’t know why I got the beef version of this otherwise-excellent quesadilla. I don’t like Firebelly’s beef. It’s dry and it tastes stupid and it’s just kind of fucky all around. Their chicken’s often fucky too, and it costs extra. The steak is usually okay but it also costs extra. I really should’ve went with the veggie quesadilla, which itself is a bit shammy since it’s just sauteed onions and green peppers.

Even with the shoddy beef this quesadilla was pretty good. Everything else in it was good and the price is pretty compelling (on Thursdays). The PBR was your standard 16oz ‘pounder’ can – though I think sometimes it’s a 16oz draft. A fine deal at two bucks, so I had three. The mass of pseudo-Tex-Mexican barfood plus three pints was too much for my insides. Soon after returning to work I rapelorded the bathroom, in a glorious symphony of flatulence and shitulence. There was a line of people waiting outside the bathroom waiting to give me high fives. Or at least that’s what I assumed as I slapped them with my unwashed armfeet, or whatever they’re called.

This was not my favorite Firebelly lunch of all time, but it was still excellent in its own Firebelly sort of way. I love this place and always will. It’s tough to hate the bar where Steve Buscemi and Vince Vaughn got into a fight which resulted in Buscemi getting his neck fucking stabbed. That way outshines all the Kenny Powers scenes shot at Sh’boom Sh’booms, big time.
Firebelly Lounge on Urbanspoon

YoSake

27 Jan

Rating: 1 Unicorn

I’ve been wanting to try Yosake for quite some time. I’ve heard a lot of good things and I’m a huge fan of sushi. A friend surprised me with a gift certificate so away we went to the land of downtown.

My first impression after walking up the steps was that this place was weird. It had the vibe of an upscale restaurant and a crappy anime convention all in one. Just what I’ve always wanted. Since it had gingers on the wall I decided it was kinda cool and went about looking over the drinks menu. After all, that is the foundation of any good meal worth not remembering. I cruised through and saw something called the Sake-tini. Ok not exactly called that but their website isn’t entirely up to date so close enough. It lured me in with promises of ginger and cucumber; two of my favorite flavors. For $9 I figured it was probably a ripoff, but worst case it still contained booze. My fellow diner ordered PBR, because he was born with a higher IQ than I was.

The drink was around the size I expected, but I forgot it was sake based. I kind of hate sake. It’s wine, but it’s treated as liquor. It’s a goddamn novelty jip-off. The drink had a decent cuke flavor, but without the sweet burn of the hard stuff. Whatever, I chugged it and ordered the first course of Firecrotch Shrimp. Note: I decided to order item by item to get the largest and freshest sampling of their foodstuffs. Probably a dick move as far as servers are concerned, but I also took that into account with wait times. After a short wait this pile of shrimp arrived at the table.

My first thought was that this looked delicious. Then I took a bite. It was amazing. I was slightly let down by the heat since they were advertised as spicy, but the more I ate the more the heat built which is something I appreciate in dishes. I’m fairly certain the “Shanghai Sauce” consisted largely of sriracha and mayonnaise but who can find fault with that? No one except Hitler and Nickelback, that’s who. I’ve heard people rave about this appetizer and in this case the praise is justly placed. I wanted to ask for a spoon to scrap the bowl clean, but opted not to; occassionally I do try to act semi-civilized in public places. After getting halfway through shrimp heaven, I decided to order the Spicy crab dip.

I’m a fan of crab dips when they are decent. This was beyond decent. Even past good. I would say it wanders into awesome territory. The waitress came to check on us and I ordered a PBR for myself. The crab dip came with pita triangles and scallions on top. Scallions make everything better. The crab dip was your basic delicious version plus the added ginger and chili according to the menu. I’m going to take a flying leap of faith and assume that “chili” was once again sriracha. Surprisingly the pita ran out before the dip. About halfway through scromming the hell out of the dip the waitress brought over my PBR and I realized that I had completely forgotten I had ordered one. This may honestly be the first time a food was so good I forgot about the hooch. I ordered some more pita bread for the dip and a couple of sushi rolls to munch on while deciding upon dessert.

I ordered the Spicy Tuna and Shrimp Tempura rolls. We’ve all had good sushi, this was decent to good sushi, and well worth it, being on the specials menu. Next.

 After the sushi fest I asked for and received a dessert menu. I was torn between a Chocolate Menage A Trois and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Wontons with Coconut Ice Cream. Since I was reviewing, I went down the road less traveled. That was paved with ice cream. And this definitely did not disappoint in the entertainment department.

The peanut butter wontons were exactly that with chocolate chips stuffed in as well. The ice cream was probably my favorite part, to be fair. I offered my dining companion a wonton partly out of kindness, mostly out of fullness. They bit into it and discovered that one of our wontons was in fact shrimp and pork filled. While I appreciate a flavor forward dessert as much as the next faux foodie, I politely divulged this assumed mixup to our waitress. Both she and the presumed manager/owner apologized and took it off the bill. No biggie, a free sample of the shrork (shrimp pork) wontons and a good story to tell.

proof

All in all they should call this place “sriracha” since that’s were most of the dish’s charm seemed to be derived from. Everything I had was flavorful and worth the price, though that may be debatable if you take into account the loss of free downtown parking in a lot of areas recently. The service was friendly if a little hands-off, which may have been due to my ordering technique that night. I don’t mind hands-off waitressing. As long as my drink is full I don’t need to see you every five minutes. The orders all came out with a little bit more of a wait than expected, but the food was delicious and well worth it. Also, the place did seem to be fairly full especially for a Tuesday night. I would definitely go back and recommend this place to others as good food with an asian lean. I will probably dream of this place tonight. If only for the firecracker shrimp and crab dip which it’s worth noting are on a half-price specials list from 5pm-7pm. I mean this food was so good it made me forget I had ordered booze! And that kind of outrageous amnesia lives in Mythical Land with unicorns, hence this joint’s rating of one unicorn.
Yosake Downtown Sushi Lounge on Urbanspoon