Posted tagged ‘meals’

Mr. B’s Pizza and Wings

February 10, 2012

Bowling Green is full of sports bars.  It seems that every time a new business opens up, it is either a mattress store, a sonic, or a sports bar.  Well, the latest sports bar is Mr. B’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I like it, I will probably eat there again, but it just doesn’t really have a distinguishing feature that makes it stand out.  When I think sports bar, I think of double dogs or Overtime.  They have large Tv’s and wings.  Not to mention a cool atmosphere and the gimmick of the dog bowls at double dogs, or Overtime’s enclosed porch for Corn-hole.  Mr. B’s does not have these things.  The food is solid but not spectacular.  The atmosphere is not unique, and for a sports BAR the alcohol selection is lacking.

Mr. B’s is not without it’s positives.  The pizza is good, reminiscent of a less greasy pizza hut.  The cheesy bread was the best I’ve ever had.  The wings however, leave much to be desired.  I think if I were to open a restaurant and call it “Bowling Green Big Mouth’s Pizza and WINGS”, I would go to the trouble of having wings worthy of naming my restaurant after.  The wings have good flavor, but they are tiny.  I was expecting more from a place named for wings.

Overall I would give Mr. B’s 3 out of 5 stars.  The food is solid, good to eat and I will probably go again.  There is just not that special something that makes me want to go there instead of one of the plethora of other sports bars in town.

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Mister B's Pizza & Wings on Urbanspoon

Anna’s Greek Restaurant

February 2, 2012

What I love about Anna’s is, it is thoroughly European.  The wait staff is small, the food is fresh and incredibly delicious.  On Urbanspoon I have read many reviews about how the service is slow.  I would like to clear that up, the service is not slow, rather the experience is slow.  This is not the type of restaurant where you walk in, sit down, order a rare steak and they bring it to you, immediately scarf it down and leave.  Meal times are meant to move slowly.  Bring friends and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, while the incredible food, which takes time, is cooked.

Anna, the chef, is a native of Greece where she was a chef. Lucky for Bowling Green she moved here and opened a restaurant.  She creates food that is very rich and creamy and the meats are cooked slowly for fall off the bone tenderness.  This is literally the kind of restaurant where you can go in and order anything off the menu and be impressed.  However, because it is so good expect to pay more than you would at most other restaurants I have reviewed on this blog, you get what you pay for.

The wait staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about the food, they are all part of the family and are natives of Greece.  They are very willing to answer any questions you might have about the food or Greece itself.  When you visit, don’t go,as you would to other restaurants looking for a quick meal.  If instead, you go looking for a dining experience that involves sinfully good food and a relaxing place to enjoy your meal and time with your friends and family, you will enjoy your experience at Anna’s.

Overall I give Anna’s 5 out of 5 stars.  This is the place I go for any and all special occasions.

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Anna's Greek Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Horseshoe Steak House

January 30, 2012


Friday night I had a hankering for steak.  It happens to the best of us right?  Actually, I’ve been wanting to visit the Horseshoe for some time.  I read about it in 101 Places to Eat in Kentucky and it sounded wonderful.  So this week I was able to talk a friend of mine into taking the hour drive to Hopkinsville to try it out.

We passed it twice as we drove down Fort Campbell Blvd.  Finally we had to swallow our manly pride and pull into a gas station to ask where it was.  The attendant looked at me like I was blind, as he pointed at it across the road.  When we walked in, the place was packed.  By packed I mean every inch was full.  Luckily there were two places open at the bar, which by the way is the best seat in the house.

We barely squeezed by a couple of waitresses and found our seats.  As soon as we sat down the waitress promptly got us our drinks, in Mason jars, positive number one.  We sat there while we watched the lady cook steaks on a grill 3 feet away from us, positive number two. After we ordered our steaks the lady doing the cooking pulled the steaks from the fridge and showed us the cuts and asked which one we preferred, positive number three.  Finally, after she cooked our steaks and we had taken our first bite she checked again to make sure they were cooked correctly by asking, “You need me to throw that back on the grill honey?”  That my friends, is four positive things in my book.

The restaurants that have the best food, in my opinion, are not the ones with thousands of things on the menu.  The restaurants with the best food are the ones that specialize in a certain way of cooking things and have around 10-15 menu items done in that style.  The Horseshoe is just such a place.  They have a grill behind the bar where everything is cooked.  Right next to the grill is a griddle where they fix the hash-browns, and the Texas toast to go with the meal.  On the other side is a deep frier for the appetizers.  The only thing to come out of the back are the baked potatoes and the Salads.  Everything else is cooked right in front of you.

Overall I would say my experience was extremely positive.  However, the place was incredibly small which I thought added charm.  As they say on Urban Spoon It is a smoking restaurant.  At the bar we saw ash trays, but I did not see or smell anyone smoking the night we were there.  My friend said he could detect a faint smell of smoke but I could not.

I give the Horseshoe Steakhouse 4 out of 5 stars.

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Horseshoe Steak House on Urbanspoon

Home Restaurant and Cafe

January 24, 2012


I have been wanting to try Home Restaurant and Cafe for several weeks.  Since I heard they do everything locally sourced and completely homemade I have been intrigued.

When I tried it this weekend with some friends, I was not disappointed.  The extra effort put into using local sources really paid off.  The first thing I noticed about my food was that it was just fresher tasting than any other restaurant in town.  Especially the bread, which is literally made from scratch only a few hours before you order it.  The Bulgogi Cheese Steak I ordered came on a french roll that was so soft I could swear it was made only minutes before.

The Bulgogi meat was also wonderfully fresh and delicious.  What is Bulgogi cheesesteak, you might ask.  Well it is a Korean way of preparing meat that involves marinating the meat for hours in a special sauce to improve flavor and tenderness.
My wife ordered the pasta salad, which she reports is the best she ever had.  She said, “unlike some places that overuse mayonaise, this one is just right.”  The pizza also looked very appetizing on home made crust.  For dessert I tried the homemade chocolate pudding which was incredibly rich.

The only problem is, it is small.  We took a group of six and took up most of the restaurant.  I hope that in the future, Home prospers enough in Bowling Green to move to a larger location.

Overall I give Home 4 out of 5 stars.  The food is excellent and as fresh as is possible.  However, I like to take groups to eat and I feel like my small group of six was a burden on the restaurant due to the small size.

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Home Cafe & Marketplace on Urbanspoon

Bombay Bistro

January 24, 2012

My experience with Indian food in the past has always been very negative.  The Indian cuisine in Bowling Green is very limited, there is only one restaurant.  In the past everything I ordered was insanely hot.  There was no flavor just intense heat.  So, with trepidation I agreed to eat at the Bombay Bistro with my wife’s coworker who is originally from India.  He told me that he wouldn’t even eat at the restaurant in Bowling green, but that I would enjoy this one because it was better than his own mother’s cooking.

Full disclosure, I am not an expert in Indian food, and I cannot even remember the names of half of the things I tried.  So, I do not know how authentic this restaurant is.  What I do know is, my restaurant guide on this excursion told me that it is the most authentic restaurant he’s found, and he willingly drives the hour and a half from Bowling Green, Ky to Franklin, Tn, just to eat at this restaurant.

I really enjoyed the buffet style of Bombay Bistro.  This setup works great for curious eaters like myself, and food freshness was not an issue due to consumption rate.  I went through the first time and tried a little bit of everything that they had to offer.  The Tandoori Chicken was my absolute favorite dish, the cooks here applied just the right amount of spice to give it a spicy flavor but not be entirely too hot.  Another favorite was the Masala Chicken, which was reminiscent of Chinese food.  I was told that it was actually an Indian adaptation of Chinese food, much like General Tso’s chicken is an American adaptation.

I don’t usually talk about drinks because for the most part it’s the same thing everywhere you go, carbonated beverages, water, tea, etc…  At the Bombay Bistro I ordered the Mango Lassi.  Which is almost like a mango flavored milk shake.  I know, when I say it like that it sounds kind of gross, but it was very creamy and rich and most of all it balanced the spices in the food very well. It is a very enjoyable drink that if you visit, you must have.

The atmosphere is very classy.  Most times when I think buffet, I think Shoney’s or a run of the mill greasy spoon restaurant.  However, the buffet was blended into the atmosphere very well, and the food was such that if the waitress had brought the food to me, I would not have known there was a buffet at all.

Overall I give Bombay Bistro a 4 of 5 stars.  The food was excellent, and I would definitely eat there again.   The only reason why I wouldn’t give it 5 of 5 is personal taste.  I wouldn’t eat there weekly.  However, the food is fresh and done exceptionally well.   I highly recommend Bombay Bistro if you are curious about or love Indian food.

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Bombay Bistro on Urbanspoon

Puckett’s Grocery and Cafe

January 18, 2012

Recently I have noticed that most of my favorite restaurants are not five star restaurants where you will get rich and succulent foods.  Rather, they are small, side of the road places that I can afford to eat at regularly and might make the same food that my grandmother would cook for me if I were there on a visit.  Something I like about this style of restaurant is, I don’t have to behave.  For those of you who know me I enjoy myself everywhere I go.  I enjoy kidding with waitresses and telling jokes and stories while I enjoy my food.  At nice restaurants I feel highly constrained.  I know I must be on my best behavior and mind my manners or else my mother might swoop in from out of nowhere to give me an old fashioned switching.  In most of my favorite restaurants I feel at ease and almost like I’m home.

At Puckett’s, the minute I walked through the front door, I felt as if I had visited this particular restaurant a million times.  I caught myself looking for my favorite booth over in the corner.  I was surprised to find this general store atmosphere so faithfully recreated in downtown Franklin Tennessee.  When I say recreated, I really mean faithfully copied from the original.  I did not know this when I found this restaurant but there are actually three Puckett’s in the Nashville area.  The one in Leiper’s fork has been a working grocery store since the 195os.   The other two are recreations of the original.

If all of this were not enough to make me feel at home,the menu did the trick.  As soon as I looked at the menu I knew I had chosen the right place to eat lunch.  Right there on the page was one of my favorite comfort foods of all time, smoked bologna.  The best part, you could customize it.  I got mine with fried egg, bacon and grilled onions.

My only complaint with most general store/restaurant combos is that the menu size is usually very limited.  At Puckett’s it is very clear that the restaurant is the focus of this general store.  The menu is large and anyone can find something to suit their needs including a sizable dessert menu.  As a matter of fact the Franklin location is almost exclusively a restaurant, with a few sundries around the store such as a few canned goods and glass bottle beverages that can still be purchased.  Meanwhile, it is my understanding that the Leiper’s Fork location is still an operating general store complete with a gas station out front.

Overall I give Puckett’s a 5 out of 5 and have added it to my list of all time favorite restaurants.  I will be returning for more great atmosphere and great food.

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Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Peach Cobbler and mistakes.

January 9, 2012

Sometimes in cooking, as in life, mistakes are made.  It doesn’t really matter how they happen.  What matters is, what are you going to do to fix them?

I was cooking this recipe with a few students.  I intentionally used a small recipe that would need to be doubled.  As a teacher, you should always teach more than one thing if possible, so I thought, “why not teach fractions while we are cooking?”   The idea was, we would double the recipe, then cook the recipe.  I did not take into account how confusing it would be for young minds to have two recipes laying around, mistake number one.   I also did not realize that my recipe used amounts not only in the ingredients section but in the directions section as well, mistake number two.

We got all of the fractions doubled and converted.  They were correct, I checked and double checked them, I’ve made that mistake before.  So we started cooking, the kids got confused and the next thing I know, 1/4 cup of cinnamon had been dumped into the recipe when there should only be 1/4 teaspoon, mistake number 3 and the most glaringly obvious of the day.  Remember how I said it’s not how they happen, but how you fix them that matters?  This is where that comes into play.

The student who made the mistake apologized profusely and admitted she wasn’t paying close enough attention.  I told her it was alright.   “Sometimes you learn more from the times you make mistakes than the times you get it right,” I explained, as we pondered what was next.  We could either give up, and scrap the recipe and all the work we had already done, or try to do something to save the recipe.

We decided to try to dig as much cinnamon as we could out.  Once again, just like life, sometimes once a thing is done it can not be undone.  There was way too much cinnamon in the recipe and no way to get around it except to bake it up and hope for the best.

When it came out of the oven, I nervously tried the first bite.  Much to my surprise it was delicious.  I had never had a peach cobbler with this much cinnamon.  It was enough to really make it’s presence known, more so than the original recipe, but not so much that it was over powering.  I guess the life lesson to take from this great cooking mistake, is that sometimes mistakes are made but it’s what you do to fix them.  This time, the end result turned out in a positive way.  However, we could have just as easily given up cooking for that day and not experienced this fortunate mistake.

Southern Peach Cobbler

Makes approximately 8 servings in a 9×12 casserole dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 can peaches drained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you are feeling adventurous.  I would guess there may have been as much as 2 tea spoons in the above story.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 tea spoon of corn starch
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter  chilled
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease a 9×12 casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl combine peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch stir together lightly.
  3. pour into 9×12 casserole dish.
  4. In another large bowl, combine flour white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Blend in butter using a pastry blender until it looks almost like biscuit meal.
  6. Stir in water until just combined.
  7.  pour contents onto peaches push down into bottom layer lightly with a wooden spoon.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.