Tag Archives: midtown

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

Okami Japanese Steakhouse

18 Jun

Rating: -1 PETA

Before it was Okami’s, this location was made into some weird barnyard breakfast place. They had painted cows creepily staring at you from every direction like some horror movie version of a Chik-fil-a. Before that it was Pier 20, a gloriously simple seafood palace made of grease and hushpuppies. I’ve heard reports that it was dirty, and I don’t really care. Probably contributed to my superior immune system. Point being, this weirdo location should be slammed with patrons since it’s directly on College Road. As you can see from the above photograph, slammed it is not.

I walked in and was a little worried that despite the lit sign that it might be closed. Guess not, since Pizza Pete and I were quickly seated at a table near the bar. We were given a bunch of menus and left to figure out what in the hell was going on. There was a dinner menu, drinks menu, food specials, and drink specials. Apparently there were half priced drinks AND sushi rolls which is quite an amazing deal. Half-price sushi may scare some, but not me. I eat sushi from grocery stores. I even eat sushi from muthafuckin buffets. I ain’t scared of no fish. We looked over the menus, and after attempting to order some shrimp dumpling thing they were out of, we settled on the pork dumplings. The Gyoza as Okami called them were delicious. They were grilled which gave a nice texture to the chewy dumpling and the “special soy sauce” was so good that it was drinkable. I also loved the presentation with the orchid.

Next up we ordered the agadashi tofu, which basically is a battered and fried slab of tofu presented with the “secret soy sauce”  and…. an orchid. I loved the tofu on first bite, but after finishing a whole one I can say it gets a little overwhelming. There’s just so much tofu and the batter is slightly bland after that first burst of OMGFRIEDGREASE dies down. The tofu was deliciously moist and really if the tofu pieces had been slightly smaller it would have seemed much less overwhelming. I would order it again, so don’t confuse my nitpicking with a burning hatred for the dish. I enjoyed the hell out of it. We finished it and decided to boldly start in on their sushi.

We ordered the sushi appetizer that consisted of 5 pieces of the chef’s choice. When it arrived 2 were shrimp, 1 was crabstick, and 2 were obviously some sort of fish. Shockingly absent was the stalker orchid. Pete proclaimed a love for crab stick, I like shrimp, and we halved the fish. I have to say, this may be the best sushi I’ve ever had. The texture was absolutely amazing. The fish just melted in my mouth and the delicate flavors of the fish were perfect. Even Pete, who claims to hate salmon, was shocked when the waitress told us the fish were whitefish and salmon. It was above and beyond any single piece of fish I have ever had before. Take THAT, Nikki’s.

Next up were some weird steak sticks. The dipping sauce was delicious, there was an orchid, and the meat was slightly tough. Overall it was ok, but I’m probably not likely to order it again. The meat just seemed to be missing something. Probably MSG. Or am I mixing my stereotypes?

For dessert I tried the fried ice cream. The batter on the dish soaked up the melting ice cream to create a spongy-cakey texture that was sugar heaven. It was a really great way to end a scrumptious meal. I was slightly shocked that between the two of us we finished the whole thing. It was really sweet, but if you don’t like sweet desserts then fuck you. Why would you eat a dessert anyways?

Everything about this place makes it worth coming back to. Top sushi, cheap beers, decent appetizers and a classy, cozy atmosphere. With the specials they have, this is worth becoming a weekly eat spot in my book. I mean is it even possible to get sick of sushi?! (Hint: FUCK NOPE) It makes me sad that everytime I drive by the Jap Barn there are fewer than 10 cars in the lot. Come on people, SAVE THE OKAMI. We should do away with PETA, and start Save The Okami, so I’m giving this place a rating of -1 PETA.

Okami Japanese Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Kickback Jacks

12 Mar

Rating: 1 Stone

Myself and Pete of ilmza hobo fame took a trip to try out the new eats at Kickback Jacks. I, for one, am a fan of Carolina Ale House for their food and affiliation with my favorite of all the sports, hockey. So I kinda wanted to hate the place.

this is not only allowed, but encouraged in hockey

We are seated next to a table with a child. Great. Luckily it was fairly early on a Sunday and neither of us were too bombed so we hoped her innocence would stay intact. After being seated, a round of ordering commenced and I opted for the $3 Bloody Mary (extra spicy please) and Pete got some Kickback Jack’s house beer. This gave us some time to look over the menu. I was underwhelmed by the whole thing, nothing seemed to jump out as me as unique or special. It was all your standard burgers, wings, appetizers, and such. Normally ordering is pretty easy but the lack of anything exciting or new bummed me out. I went with my personal standbys of soup (Baked Potato) and a burger. The burger ordered was a Tavern burger which is almost identical in ingredients to Carolina Ale House’s Pub burger. Ohhhhhh snap shit just got real son!

The Bloody Mary showed up with minimal wait. Or maybe I ordered a salad, who can remember with all the shit they packed into this drink. Limes, olives, and celery, oh my! For the record, you win my heart by giving me only celery, carrot, or shrimp with a Bloody Mary. All other garnishes can GTFO. The drink itself was thick but not overly so, with a hearty tomato flavor but seasoning enough to keep it from wandering into tomato soup territory. The yum on the rim is salt, pepper, and red pepper flake from what I could tell. A delicious way to start a meal; I’ve had much worse in the way of bloody marys, this was in the better half.

After the Bloody Mary came the soup. The waitress had informed me it came in a bowl, not a cup. At first I thought, “What the fuck do I care what it comes in,” until this huge bowl was brought out to me. My god, it was a monster. My first impression was that it was darker than any potato soup I’ve ever seen. The taste was absolutely amazing. There was more going on than just the normal cream and potato flavor. I would actually have been fine without the bacon and cheese on top; it was that good. Some of the best baked or loaded potato soup I’ve had. Ever. That bowl was huge and with the exception of the tastes I offered Pete, I ate the whole thing. Also well worth mentioning: it came with club crackers, not saltines. A huge bonus in my book. I’m almost glad I only got two packs because I very well could have gone through a box just dipping them into that glorious soup.

Next came the burger, and it was a whopper. I asked for the tavern sauce on the side just to get a better handle on the flavor and save the burger if I wasn’t a fan. The sauce was a lot different from Ale House’s sauce. This was much more horseradish IN YOUR FACE! Not as great for dipping fries in, but god it was delicious on that fucking burger. The burger itself was juicy and a perfect medium (as requested) with a moat of blood pooling in the plate before I had even taken the first bite. The fried onion strings were delicious as well. On the menu they make a huge deal of HANDCUTTING the fries. Unless that’s fucking Byron back there cutting them, I don’t care. Luckily, these were fucking awesome. They were crispy without being overdone, and perfectly seasoned. It is a testament to my soup and burger that any of them remained for Pete to scrom. Also worth noting: I finished that whole motherfucking burger too. Who needs their body to produce insulin? NOT ME!

medium

Kickback Jack’s is a “sports restaurant” and I can respect that. The food was all delicious and above what I was expecting in a sports joint. It had a nice atmosphere, tons of decent flat screens, and booze. The food was also reasonably priced, with my burger running $6.49 and the soup only $3.49. I recommend checking this place out.  Would I come here for a night of hardcore drinking? No. But would I come here to watch a game on a weeknight and grab some dinner in the process? Absolutely. And that is where its strength lies. It’s enough of a restaurant to take the kids to, but not so much  that a raised voice over a bad call would be out of line. With that in mind, it shall receive a rating of 1 stone. That’s approximately how much I gained today, in British. Side note: the waitresses wear super short shorts … if you’re into that.

KickBack Jack"s on Urbanspoon

McAlister’s Deli

7 Mar

Rating: 1 O’Douls Blackout

I live pretty close to McAlister’s Deli and haven’t ever had the urge to go. That’s why things like the Frank card are dangerous. They make you seek out new places in order to get your money’s worth. I figured that this place being packed a majority of the time was a good sign, and headed there for lunch. McAlister’s looks way bigger on the outside than any “deli” has a right to.

First off, fuck this place for calling itself a deli. As far as I’m concerned, delis are places that sell cold cuts and other products (including pasta salads and olives), mostly by weight. This chain store of subs and soups is not a deli. That didn’t bother me too much while I was there, but after the fact it annoyed the fuck out of me. I’ve always seen people walk into local delis and act shocked and offended there is no pizza or some other bizarro item. Does it say delicatessen AND pizzeria? I think a lot southerners don’t know what a deli is because of asshole places like this running around calling themselves  ‘deli.’ Oh, a coffee shop with bagels? DELI! Place with subs? DELI! Yes, most delis will serve you food items like subs, but that’s mainly because they already have all the ingredients. Point being, this place isn’t a fucking deli and delis don’t have to sell pizza, espresso, or whatever bullshit item you associate with your idea of Italian. The more you fucking know.

So you walk into this big building and order at the counter. Right on. I’m a fan of places that allow you to order, they bring you your food later on, and then your server disappears. I order the club, a tea, and the country potato soup. And a muthafuckin chocolate chip cookie because the best part of being an adult is ordering and eating diabetes-bombs whenever you want to. Sometimes I wave a handful of candy bars at kids in nearby lines at the grocery store. Haha, I work 40 hours a week and I can spend every last dime on candy and cookies! Enjoy your naptime and diapers, biiitch. I also make faces at kids behind their parents backs, but that’s beside the point. What was the point? I love cookies. My roommate ordered the reuben and potato salad. We took our number and sat outside. Outside seating is pretty cool too.

I tried the tea and to my surprise it wasn’t very sweet. But it wasn’t very strong, either. Kind of bland for tea. The chocolate cookie was chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside and full of chips. A little flat but worth the buck it cost. After a brief wait the food arrived. My club was basically two quarters of a normal club, which with the soup was  a decent deal at $6.49. The wheat bread was a little dry, the meat was ok but there was very little on the sandwich and it was too thickly sliced for my taste. The mayo was almost non-existent; I wish I had known to ask for extra. All in all it was a mediocre sandwich. The bacon was barely noticeable. The soup was basically a creamy potato soup with some bacon, cheese, and green onions on top. Nothing super, and once the toppings were gone (about 3 spoons in) it was just meh. Boring.

The roomie’s potato salad was tried first, and it was good. Your typical southern potato salad with relish. The reuben was good. Not like “WOW this is good!” but “They didn’t fuck up … it’s good.” His comment was that reubens aren’t tough to make, but a lot of places still fuck them up. So kudos to McAlister’s on on not fucking up.

My overall impression was one of mediocrity. My sandwich wasn’t bad, it was just dry and not that good. Granted, more mayo would have helped, but it wouldn’t have resolved the larger issue. It needed more turkey and ham (thinly sliced) and more bacon, at least. The soup was ok, but nothing I would crave again. Not even the tea was really good or bad.

Simply put, at the end of the day, I would probably never come back here. Not because it was bad, but because it just wasn’t really good. If I’m looking for cheap I’ve got Cook-Out right across the street, and PT’s close by. If I’m looking for subs I have A Taste of Italy, Long Island Eatery and Harris Teeter‘s deli, all less than half a mile away. And if I want to go a bit further, I have Jimmy Johns, Jersey Mikes, and others. Some of which are a better quality, and all of which are better overall. I just can’t understand the draw of this place. It even commits the mortal sin of not serving booze. It basically gave me soap opera-grade amnesia, in which I will have no side-effects other than trying desperately to forget the fuck out of eating here. It’s like a blackout without the drinking. Hence the rating of one O’Douls Blackout.
McAlister's Deli on Urbanspoon

Bdobo Mongolian Grill

27 Feb

Rating: 1 Enlargement Ray

I am a fan of buffets. I am indecisive at best, and any restaurant that affords the luxury of having a bit of everything is one I’m apt to like. I’m sure I’ve been to Bdobo before, but it must have been a long time ago because I have only vague memories of possible liking it. I decided to give it another shot since I’ve recently been on an asian kick. The basic premise for those unaware is  to toss all foods in a bowl, top with whatever sauce(s) you prefer, then let the guy grill it.

Shit’s good. I know to be a decent review I have to be all blah blah blah the atmosphere and blah blah blah the service. But it’s a fucking buffet. You give them your drink order, get some soup, and proceed with the scromming. They have a variety of noodles, meats, veggies and sauces to mix up and create your splendiferous plate with. My first time up I threw more noodles than I should have.

Pro tip: focus more on the meat and veggies than the noodles.

I got some veggies and some shrimp, and I loaded up on the chili oil and Mongolian sauce. Amazing. I googled how to make the chili oil the second I got home. I had no problems with any of the ingredients and liked that they had a “Bdobo for Dummies” type of sign posted in case of emergency idiots.

They also gave us this weird “bread.” It tasted like Regina sesame cookies, but I guess once you start tossing sesame seeds on anything starchy it’s bound to be similar. I liked it. There was a classy gent to my north who hassled the waiter repeatedly for more of “that there bread,” so I’m assuming they give you whatever amount with the meal. And I thought Olive Garden had that shit cornered. Who knew?

In conclusion, shit tastes good. Don’t see how anyone could have a complaint with a place that is exactly what Bdobo is. If something doesn’t taste good, chances are you messed up. Pass go, collect $200, and try again. It’s always a treat to find a cheap, healthy place to eat that is also fun and allows you to experiment with your tastes. I give Bdobo 1 Enlargement Ray, because using that on their shrimp is the only wish I have. Also, here’s the Sweet and Sour soup they gave me. It was weird.


Bdobo Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon