Reviews

cantina keto tacos Tacos Two Ways 

Cantina offers lettuce wraps as option for all tacos.

By Jan Walsh 

Trying the Keto diet for the new year? Cantina Tortilla Grill is here to help. 




The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. So, to accommodate your dietary needs, Cantina has now added lettuce wraps as a new option for all of their tacos, in addition to the soft flour tortillas or corn tortillas. 


cantina chicken soft tacos cantina guava margarita Today I tried the keto chicken taco, Taco de Pollo, with lettuce rather than a tortilla. Kev, however, would not give up his beloved soft tortilla. So, we had tacos two ways. My basket is lined with romaine leaves but with the same ingredients as the tortilla taco: tender and tasty tequila marinated, grilled chicken breasts, with cilantro mayo, grilled green onion, and bright and flavorful salsa verde and pico de gallo. The fresh lettuce adds color, and an extra layer of crunch—think taco salad without the tortilla bowl. 

And tomorrow is National Margarita Day. So, we celebrate it early with two luscious margaritas: Peach ‘Rita and Guava Rita. 


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abhi chicken curry Bangkok bowl Cider, Coconut, and Curry

Discovering new dishes at Abhi Eatery and Bar 

By Jan Walsh

Sometimes I get into culinary ruts. I find delicious dishes at a restaurant, and on the next visit, I stick with the tried and true. But today I am not going to order my “go to” favorites at Abhi—well, maybe just the momos. Otherwise I am discovering new options. 



abhi hot bourbon cider
We warm up with Hot Bourbon Cider. Never had cider like this… Woodford Reserve, Laird’s Applejack, and Abhi’s house-made cider makes a deeply flavored, hard cider and (by far) the best we have ever tasted. 


And we pair our meal of Chicken Sizzler, and brand new to the menu Coconut Curry Soup and Bangkok Penang with a beer tasting of all the beers on tap. 




abhi beer on tap

abhi coconut curry soupThe first taste of the coconut curry soup wows us. Today is its second day on the menu, but it is already the best coconut curry soup in town. 

The chicken arrives sizzling and remains hot to the last bite. I order a side of Abhi’s jasmine rice to sprinkle among the tender, spicy chicken, onions, and peppers. Foodies who like it hot, such as myself, will love this dish. 

The Bangkok Penang is a generous curry bowl with a salad to the side of a bed of rice, topped with red peppers and strips of chicken. If color were a flavor, this dish would be golden with crimson highlights. Deep layers of distant lands speak to the palate, in a savory synthesis, with no foreign interpreter needed. Highly recommended! 

abhi chicken sizzler jasmine rice

I will be back for more of this deliciousness… sense a new culinary rut coming! 

View Abhi Eatery and Bar Profile 












bottega spaghetti lobster
Valentine’s Dinner 

Valentine’s 2019 at Bottega Restaurant is a memorable meal.

By Jan Walsh 

Kev and I go to a different restaurant each year for Valentine’s Day. And tonight, we choose Bottega Restaurant’s special three course Valentine menu. 

 

Bottega cafe souffle We start with a French wine we recently enjoyed at Bottega Café —Crémant de Saumur Grenelle Brut Rosé—while nibbling on their divine bread and visiting with Frank Stitt. He catches us up on his spring planting plans for Paradise Farm, adding a touch of spring fever to the night. 

For first course, Kev enjoys their classic, creamy Parmesan soufflé, with mushrooms and prosciutto. And I start with a scrumptious salad of winter lettuces with beautiful blood oranges, black olives, red onion, and pecorino.

  

 

 

bottega strawberry tartWe both agree on the Spaghetti with lobster as our entrees… Oh, my! Generous bites of pink, succulent lobster, enveloped in ribbons of spaghetti in a creamy pink sauce, is topped with parsley and chili. Lobster, pasta, and a touch of heat—what is not to love?

And for dessert we both order the strawberry tart. And to our surprise it is paired with glasses of Vino Spumante Scarpetta Brut Rosé MV Friuli, on the house. The wines strawberry color and notes marry well with the light and luscious tart, making a sweet ending to our Valentine’s Day. 

 


bottega italian sparkling wine View Bottega Restaurant Profile 












Bottega cafe tile fish Daily Catch

Bottega Cafe's pesce del giorno is ever changing, and always fresh.

By Jan Walsh 

Saturday lunch at Bottega Café makes the week go away. Kev and I try to be the first ones at the door, before 11:00 a.m., to get our favorite table. Today the hostess opens to door, saying, “Don’t stand out there. Come on in. You’re family.” And we take our seats as the bread is taken hot from the oven—another benefit of being early. Today both Frank and Pardis Stitt  stop by tables greeting guests, making them feel like family too.  

We ask for the “big” wine list. And we order a lovely French wine from the Loire Valley, Crémant de Saumur Grenelle Brut Rosé. The peach colored wine arrives well chilled and is poured in fine Champagne stems by Stölzle Lausitz… Stemware matters. I always notice. The crémant’s fine effervescence and strawberry notes get lunch off to a happy start. 

bottega cafe rose wineKev is back for the pork chop that he had on last visit. I, as always, want to hear what the pesce del giorno (fish of the day) is before ordering. Today it is tile fish with roasted vegetables and olive salad. Enough said. If you are not familiar with tile fish, it is a colorful fish also known as “clown of the sea.” My generous filet looks like grouper—white and milky on the inside. But it has a sweeter flavor, more like lobster. Each tender bite melts in the mouth. The fish is further enhanced by the texture and earthiness of the array of roasted root veggies. And the divine olive salad is a mix of Castelvetrano, Liguria, and black olives, which balances the plate adding a nice astringency to the fish. 
 


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Taziki's chicken kebobs kabobsScrumptious Skewers

Tasty beef and chicken kebobs are new to Taziki’s menu. 

By Jan Walsh 

My family loves kebobs. When the boys were still living at home, we grilled them often… still have a scar from a piece of wooden skewer that was stuck in my hand for months. So just like that, I was done with kebobs.

But now my neighborhood Taziki’s Mediterranean Café has my back. They just rolled out steak and chicken kebobs to all locations. "We've had requests for kebobs over the years and adding it to our current offerings will continue reinforcing our Mediterranean core values," says, Keith Richards, Founder of Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. “Now Taziki’s customers can enjoy a few of their favorite protein choices in a new way.” Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe is famous for serving fresh ingredients and hand-cut meats daily. And their made-from-scratch food without the use of fryers, freezers, or microwaves.

taziki's beef kebobs kabobsThe kebobs can be ordered as a feast, inside a gyro, or over a salad. We order the kebobs to go on the first day available. Kev orders beef kebobs with a side salad and roasted potatoes. And I order chicken kebobs with a side salad and Basmati rice. Opening the bag and boxes at home, it is apparent that the kebobs traveled well—arrived hot. Two tender beef skewers are cooked medium, and pair well with the roasted new potatoes, with ruby red skins. The potatoes are golden and flavorful. Two chicken kebobs marry well with the rice, and both are cooked to perfection. But don’t let the term “side salad” deceive. The salad portion is generous and filled with layers of textures and tastes. This mix of lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, red onions, feta, pepperoncini, and kalamata olives, has a side of Taziki’s Original Greek Dressing, which adds acidity and moistness. The plates also boast servings of Taziki’s Dip, which is a lovely dill-based dip, creamy cucumber dip—perfect for dipping the kebobs or baked pita chips. 

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