Thomething Thai This Way Cometh

By Apple Cheeks May 18th, 2011

Thorry about that title. Oneth I start, it’s hard to stop.

We decided to head to a different restaurant when we realized the Hawaiian BBQ we were supposed to visit was a sports bar. One day we may sink to sports-bar levels, but for the moment we’ll try to avoid it.

Thai Thani is right next to my former favorite Sushi house. It exists on the strange corner of Central Florida Parkway and International drive, a convenient hop from Sea World. Despite its touristy location, Thai Thani doesn’t appear to be a franchise at first sight. You step into the front door and are immediately enveloped in Tai decor. Gold-leafed statues taller than you. Extravagant lamps dangling with trinkets and delicate glass sculptures. There’s an area to the right that seats people in the traditional way, on the floor using cushions and a very low table. Not sure my American-chair back could handle such an arrangement…especially in tight pants. Every inch of Thai Thani was lavished with Asian treasures.

We were greeted, eventually, by two young ladies who looked a bit flustured. They eventually ushered us off to our cozy booth in the far corner. There was pleasant candle light and yet more decor. Tantalizing odors drifted in from the near kitchen. Our booth was pleasant and comfortable. Our waiter hurried over with water and took our order with a big smile. He commented on Man Biscuit’s shirt and we chatted about video games and the new Nintendo 3ds for a few minutes. He’s a cool guy.

At my eager prodding, we both ordered the Thai Tea. If you’ve never had it before, order it. Thai tea is wonderfully sweet and thick. It’s like drinking a tea-filled coconut. Rich, red tea deeply herbacious and thickened with coconut milk, it’s the best thing to come out of Thailand since my favorite sandals. We sipped our tea with delight. It was as good as I’ve ever had–and I’ve had a few.

For appetizer, we ordered the Thai Thani Sampler. It was a little more than I wanted to spend at $10, but I thought it would give us a chance to explore more of the flavors in this place. The spring rolls were a delight – perfectly crunchy and filled with traditional flavors. Unfortunately they did not seem very “Thai”, it was as good as a good egg roll in any Chinese restuarant. Still, it was tasty, just not unusual. The chicken satay was chewy, as thinly sliced chicken tends to be, but the flavors were mildly earthy and meshed well with the sweet spicy satay sauce. The crab rangoon was oily, but not unpleasantly so. It crunched nicely, using the same exterior as the eggrolls. The inner rangoon pocket contained real crab and molten hot cream cheese. It was well done, but again seemed more Chinese than Thai.

Since we’d blown our whole wad on the appetizer and specialty drinks, we went fairly modest on the dinner menu. I asked (as is our new tradition) for his favorite thing on the menu, and our waiter replied with about 10 different dishes he thought were good. I settled for #10, the Curry Duck. He asked if I wanted it spicy, I heartily said yes.

The duck arrived. A creamy soup of curry swimming with thick fat chunks of duck and vegetables. I spotted a yellow corner and poked it with a chopstick. Pineapple. I snagged a bite with some duck, pineapple and a shoot of baby corn and shoveled it all into my mouth. It was surprisgly mild, and not in a good way. The pineapple was a delight, super sweet and tangy. The veggies were not over cooked and the duck was sheer fatty excellence. However, the sauce was a disappointment. I hope there was a mistake in the kitchen, and this wasn’t how they thought of the word “Spicy.” The meal was overall delicious, however, so I did not complain – though I missed the passionate electricity of deep curry heat. I may need to return some day for a curry redemption. The rice on the side was a nice base for the curry and there was plenty for leftovers.

We were stuffed, but gathered our courage and in the footsteps of true heroes, we ordered dessert. THe most interesting looking thing on the menu was called “Grandma’s Ice Cream.” A cocnut ice cream with peanuts on top and balls of sweet sticky rice. When it arrived, it exceeded expectations completely. The sticky rice was warm and sweet, complementing the coconut ice cream perfectly. I expected crushed peanuts but recieved halves – and while this was off-putting at first, their perfect soft crunchiness made an excellent topper to such a simple dessert. I’m drooling now as I write just thinking about the the little bits of chewy coconut.

To conclude this Thai repotoire, I suggest giving Thai Thani a try – just be wary of the possible lack of spice. Ask for it hot if you want it hot…just “spicy” will not cut it.

Your Thai-ness

By Man Biscuit May 17th, 2011

First impression of the place, its in a small strip mall. My impression upon entering the place was, “Did someone replace me with Thai royalty?” It turns out that hadn’t happened, as likely a situation as it may have been. Everything here is so fancy and decorated. Many statues, paintings and decorative vases.

Wooohooo! Another restaurant where they just bring you water. For some reason that makes me happy. To drink Applecheeks suggested I get Thai Tea. A beverage made from red tea topped with coconut milk. The idea is, the tea is quite strong, and you mix in the milk for both flavor and to calm down the tea flavor. Quite good in my opinion, subtly sweet with coconut whispering to you, reminding you that it’s there and tasty.

For an appetizer, we went with the thai thani sampler, which came with thai crab rangoon. (standard set up except it had real crab and a few thai spice accents) Chicken satay (skewered chicken) and egg rolls. All served with a side of sweet and sour sauce and satay sauce which had a yellow curry flavor. It was a nummy starter if you’re sharing with a date. They portion it out so there’s two of each item for each person. Woot!

Tiger Tear Beef- I ordered this bad boy assuming it was tiger meat. It turned out to be steak, that is fine too. It was cooked perfectly to a medium rare. Sliced on top of some steamed vegetables. Carrots that were cut into a sun rise, broccoli and white cabbage. Of course it had a side of steamed rice and a sauce that tasted of soy, vinegar, green onions and some other ingredients I couldn’t quite put my taste buds on. Over all, I wasn’t wow’d with this dish. the beef was tasty but when I think thai food, I think spicy and spice-full. This dish was comparatively bland. I wasn’t a fan of it beyond the tender steak.

Grandma’s Ice Cream- Consisted of coconut ice cream, sweet rice and peanuts. I know that this sounds fairly simple. It totally is… However! Whatever brand of ice cream they had was of amazing quality. The sticky rice added this sweet chew that was so beautiful when taken in with that smooth coconut ice cream. It was infused with the flavor of the ice cream. Add a salty crunch to the beginning of that and you have a really tasty dessert. Just large enough for two to split. Not enough to make your tutu split… yeah that was bad… maybe I’ll edit that out.

But probably not.

When I add up the totals: great atmosphere, service, drink and dessert. Then subtract the things I wasn’t impressed with: Tiger Tear Beef and Chicken Satay/sauce. It still comes out on top. If you’re in the mood for Thai and have 10-20 dollars per plate, go for it.

Oh! I almost forgot… You don’t have to wear a suit and… THAI!!!

Naan other like it.

By Apple Cheeks April 26th, 2011

It is not often that I am truly and thoroughly surprised. A lovely gift from my brother and sister-in-law landed us a $25 gift certificate for Passage to India. We toured the ravaged pre-apocalyptic road of Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (or 192, or Vine Street) seeking the restaurant. The sign was cleverly hidden behind the biggest gaudiest yellow truck I’ve ever layed eyes upon. It talked a big game about timeshare sales or some bull$#!t. It was hideous. As a former timeshare employee, this truck held a special place in my heart- the kind with jagged edges and tiny demons with spears poking it in the genitals for all eternety.

All cynicsm aside, the place was hard to find. We pulled into the small parking lot and walked into the front door. At the sound of the door a man, small of stature and soft spoken, emerged from around the corner. He gently guided us to a table with kind words of welcome. We were all smiles from the beginning. The walls were gaudy with classic peices of Indian art blended with posters and printed giclees. The whole menagerie somehow made the restaurant feel more at home–like the long-accumulated knick-knacks of your immigrant grandmother. The atmosphere was pleasant with wind instruments on the stereo.

We were happy to discover that our host was also our waiter. He brought us water the moment our rears hit the benches. Since we were rolling in the proverbial dough, we decided to order specialty drinks. Kel ordered something mango, and I ordered something else mango – a mango juice. The juice was more like a smoothie than a drink. It was thick and sweet, but not too sweet. I was glad to have the water on hand.

We have a new rule here at Feed The Freaks. If a water/server/member of waitstaff mentions or suggests something, at least one of us has to order it. I’m not talking about a glassy-eyed server rattling off the names of the restaurant “specials”, I mean an enthusiastic endorsement of a specific dish.
I was the lucky one this time. Our waiter described many things that we asked about on the menu – Indian food requires some explanation, and he was fully prepared for this. When I asked of his favorite dish, without hesitation, he suggested the Lamb Palak. I took the bait, and ordered it “Medium”, which to us Americans is supposed to be pretty spicy.

Before we decided on an entree, we already ordered an appetizer. We unfortunately did not consult our menu assistant, as we were less than impressed. The core flavors were very good, earthy although a little lacking in salt. The dipping sauces were delicious, which made up for the Paneer Pakora (fried cheese to you and I.) But the Paneer itself was not very hot, and the fried portions were less than crisp. I can imagine that they were fried earlier and served too late. But don’t lose heart yet…it gets better.
The Lamb arrived at my table, and I inhaled a spicy, rich aroma that made my brain tingle in all the right places. The rice was flecked with jasmine and so aromatic I could taste the air. I dipped some Palak (or, spinach) with thick chunks of juicy lamb into the rice bowl and took a huge mouthful, breathing in slowly as my whole head filled with earthly delights. It was hot, moist and slow cooked (as evident by the buttery texture.) My various gods- it was incredible.

Something needs to be spoken of the Naan we ordered along with our dinner. Naan, for the uninformed, is a crispy flat bread, often smothered in spices or sauces that compliments most Indian Cuisine. We ordered the garlic, at our waiter’s suggstion. Again, it was the right move. It was smothered in freshly crushed garlic that nearly knocked me off my feet. Some people cannot handle a lot of garlic–I am not one of these people. It paired well with the Palak.

We ate as much as we possibly could, and then were persuaded to order dessert. As I said, we were rich today – thanks to our gift certificate, and indugled. Since our waiter had not yet steered us into disaster, we once again took his word and ordered the Galoob Jamin. He warned us of the rich sweetness of this dessert, and we accepted the challenge.

Dessert arrived in a small bowl. Two small balls of dough, soaked in honey and rose water. The scent was warm and alluring. I cut into the ball with my spoon and it gave away easily, not unlike a matzo ball. The bite was complex. The flowery aroma, sweetened with honey had the power of baklava but the gentleness of crembrulee. It was simply delightful.

Thank you, Mr. Waiter -I apologize for not getting your name. I hope that you continue to provide such excellent service to all patrons, including freaks like us.

Like a moth to a bug-zapper.

By Man Biscuit April 26th, 2011

Upon arrival I was completely blinded by the building next door.


That’s more or less what the sign was telling us. It made me concerned that the restaurant would be as hokey and touristy as the building next door. Moments later I found that it was an unfair conclusion to draw. Entering the Passage to India (at the risk of sounding cliche) I felt as if the door I had entered was, The passage to India.

The aroma’s of mingled spices strikes you in the nose. Authentic music drifts lightly over the over your ears. The dim mood-setting lights play over the room. The room is set with many shelves set up over every booth against the walls and on every surface sits a piece Indian artwork. Small sculptures, most of which seemed to have some religious significance. Hanging from the walls were paintings hung in frames depicting various scenes.

Our host, who was also our server, poured our glasses of water. Which was a nice change of pace. He offered us several different options between soda’s and juices. When he said ‘Mango Lassi’ I immediately had to try it. Namely because I had no idea what it was. Come to find out it was a drink made with yogurt mixed with milk or water and spices. In my case mixed with mango! This drink was designed for eating spicy food. It was sweet, tangy and cooled the fires the upcoming meal had started. (totally worth the five bucks)

We started off with an appetizer, it was close, but we went with Paneer Pakora. Paneer refers to a home made cheese and pakora being the method it was prepared (breaded and fried.) It was served with a spicy mint sauce and a sweet Tamarind sauce. Over all I was underwhelmed. It felt like they had prepared it earlier and heated it briefly. The flavor of the cheese was too mild for my tastes. The sauces were both quite tasty.

For dinner I ordered Chicken Tandori. Tandori, being a reference for how the chicken was prepared (with the Tandoor oven which is super, super hot.) There were two choices with the chicken, I went with the one I felt was more authentic. Half a chicken serving both thigh and breast. The other option being chicken breast. My food was set on a place, chicken on top of onions and peppers all seasoned in a delightfully red color. Next to that was a bowl containing rice. It wasn’t until our food was brought to the table that I realized my mistake.

In my rush to be authentic, I neglected to think of the bones. While they add flavor and some would say moisture, to the chicken. They prevented me from tearing into dinner as fast as I wanted to. Having been thwarted by the bones I began the task of removing the tasty bits and adding to the rice. The taste was phenomenal. Under normal circumstances I dislike onions and bell peppers. However, when it comes with a meal that is traditional, I simply have to put that to the side and enjoy. Which is exactly what I did.

The server had warned us of the hot nature of Indian food. I have the feeling he automatically underestimates the American palate (With good reason, I’ve met literally hundreds of people who refuse to eat anything “spicy”). I had ordered the ‘medium heat’ but it was what i would consider to be just under medium. After a while the heat began to build and I was once again singing the praises of my mango lassi.

Having never been to an Indian restaurant there was some excitement when it came to ordering dessert. What did Indian people eat for dessert? We settled on splitting the Goolab Jamin.

Imagine doughnut holes made from milk powder and flour. It was served in a syrup of cardamom and rose water. It was very dense and sweet. I probably couldn’t eat more than one or two total. The flavor was totally unique to any pastry I’ve had.

All in all, the whole experience was great. Thanks in part to our very knowledgeable and friendly server.

As a post script, I would like to mention, as you leave they have a small bowl of fennel seeds, not Mukhwas but fennel seeds. I was instructed that it was to freshen your breath and it made me think . . .

Yo dog I heard you like spices so we give you spices as you leave so your breath doesn’t smell like spices while you chew on your spices.

100 Year Old Beans

By Apple Cheeks March 20th, 2011

We were driving in circles. Keller’s Bar-B-Q kept popping up on our GPS radar, but it seemed that it was hidden amongst road construction and storefronts. We were ready to give up and go to Chilis, which would have been useless for this blog, since everyone and their mother has been to Chilis. We parked at Chilis, and walked around to the other side to the entrance. Then, like Avalon rising from the mist, Kellers BBQ appeared before us. It was hiding at the end of a strip-mall. We abandoned our Chilis and trekked across the dirty parking lot toward our barbecued fate.

The front of the restaurant was a typical all-over window, with beer signs and specials listed in neon lights. We were seated quickly in a comfy table against the wall. The tablecloths were covered in adorably gaudy cow-print plastic tablecloths, giving the place a general “grandma’s been decoratin'” look.

It was pleasantly silly, with the smokehouse facade and the hand-painted cows. I ordered a bottle of Michelob Ultra for a whopping $1.50. I was surprised and pleased when the very friendly waitress brought me a chilled glass to go with my ice cold beer. It’s those small touches that make restaurants great.

We ordered the fried okra as an appetizer. The corn crust was crisp, and they were hot as green molten lava. It burned flavor into our taste buds. I spotted the fried catfish on the menu and signed off on it right away. There’s just something wonderful about fried catfish in a bbq restaurant. Especially when its done well, and they did it very well. The fish was both crisp and tender. The texas toast was classic and thick. The cole slaw was cold and crisp, although a little too sweet. The baked beans…let me tell you about these baked beans. They were amazing. The menu touted that their recipe was over a hundred years old. If that’s how long it takes to get a great bean recipe, it’s worth the wait. They were sweet, smoky, tender, rich with spices and the perfect thickness. I smeared some on toast and took a big bite- heaven!

We left with lots of leftovers in big styrofoam containers, big full bellies and a ton of satisfaction. Sorry Chilis, Kellers wins the restaurant war today.

Meat Sampler!

By Man Biscuit March 20th, 2011

Hello there,

I would start this blog off by telling you the tale of how we found Kellers, but Applecheeks already told ya. What’s that? You’re from America and you read left to right and top to bottom? Crap. Well it’s over there, check it out.

The outside of the place was reminiscent of a bar. Tinting on the windows, beer advertisements and whatnot. For a BBQ joint, I’m totally down with beer adverts. Likely means cheaper beer. We went there on a Saturday afternoon and there appeared to be only 3 people in the entire place. When I say entire place, It could only have had 50 seats. It didn’t feel small when you were sitting and walking around in there, but it totally was.

The lady who sat us was very friendly and sat us immediately. She told us of the specials and gave us time to look through and decide our drinks. Applecheeks went with a beer and I, (being in a BBQ joint) had an iced tea.

We decided to get some fried okra as an appetizer. I figured hey, how often do I eat okra, either by design or happenstance. It’s the kinda appetizer you could get anywhere but it was well put together served with a spicy ranch and with a generous amount of fried okra nuggets.

For the main event I got the three meat combo which contained, beef and pork and your choice of chicken or ribs. For sides I got the baked beans which boasted a 100 year old recipe. I was so impressed with the taste that I believe the boast. I went with sliced beef brisket, pulled pork and the ribs which were also pork. …  I am fond of pork.

The price was very reasonable for some good country cookin’. Considering how long it takes to cook some of those meats.

The pulled pork was everything I hoped for, with sweet BBQ sauce and a smokey flavor. The beef brisket wasn’t as up my alley but still quite good. The ribs were great and yes, I licked my fingers.

After food I walked around to observe the really interesting decor. What appeared to be colored political cartoons from the 1900’s were put in frames. There was a wall with iconic ‘kellers bbq’ on the wall, set out in a country scene. When you walk in, they have a log cabin facade in front of a window to the kitchen.

Over all I really enjoyed our trip to Kellers. Everyone was very nice including the cool chick who was cleaning up, she had tattoo’s and super cool hair! Anyway, if you’re in the area or don’t mind a bit of a trip for some good BBQ I’d definitely recommend this place.

Not to be confused with a fish’s bones.

By Man Biscuit March 12th, 2011

Fish Bones!

When you walk in you’re greeted with the surroundings of a ship. Between the fishing nets, poles, reels and bobbers, I feel like I could have caught us dinner.

You become a little disoriented when you don’t smell the ocean breeze but rather a deep smokey aroma. This is emanating from a huge grill, set directly in line of sight. It makes for a very theatrical entrance.

We were brought near the back to a sort of dining ‘hall’. It was filled with 2 tops and a few booths. Before, I get to the next sentence I feel I need to point something out.  I know, that the following is most likely not true. That being said, it felt very much like they were shuffling us to the back where we wouldn’t be seen.

It didn’t help my theory when we sat for a full 4 and a half minutes before being seen by any server. As it turns out the woman who came to give us our drinks was not to be our server. A few minutes later we were introduced to our pleasant and informative waiter. I don’t remember much about him for reasons you will soon understand.

I ordered the lamb with roasted red potatoes. The meat was seasoned to perfection. It was cooked to a lovely medium rare and was everything I hoped for in lamb chops. I don’t recall exactly but to drink I had some sort of flavored unsweetened iced tea.

Applecheeks ordered some sort of duck glazed in orange marmalade. The bit she fed me tasted quite nice. That’s when the fun started. Of course by fun, I mean loosing our server for at least a full 30 mins. THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES!!! You see, when our food was brought to us by our server he exclaimed that Applecheeks was in for – wait for it – a sticky situation! Ha! We weren’t sure where the bathrooms were but I had decided after about 10 minutes, that we were going to be strong. I figured the longer we had to wait; the more abashed the server would become when he realized his mistake.

Another five minutes passed and I noticed a few server ladies doing silverware and gossiping. Well, that’s not fair, They could have been talking shop for all I know. Anyway we sat for ten more minutes, the entire time I would turn back and look at them. Hoping that at some point their hospitality instinct would kick in and they would come over to help. No Dice.

They were continuing their talking and busy work for another ten minutes, sometimes looking at us sometimes not, Applecheeks, sitting there getting increasingly more sticky with cold marmalade. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and stalked over to them loudly proclaiming “Our server has apparently fallen ill and gone missing and NO ONE (using deep man voice and glaring at them both) has come by to assist us. My date has been covered in orange marmalade for the past half hour and we need some assistance.”  Doing a John Wayne impression, I moseyed back to the table.

A few moments later we were lavished upon with a wet hot towel. The object of desire we had been promised a half hour ago.

All in all, the food was delicious but, three out of four representatives of the restaurant were completely unacceptable.

I’m sure on a good night with better employee’s it would be a fine place. However with the price I’m not sure I’d take the risk again.

The Sticky Situation

By Apple Cheeks March 12th, 2011

As far as spontaneous restaurants go, Fish Bones was a pleasant surprise. We ventured up and down Sand Lake road (the bad part, not Restaurant Row.) Looking for a bite to eat, and stumbled across Fish Bones. The restaurant decision was originally made based on the idea that we thought it was the Bonefish Grill, which we had heard about from a friend, but our misfortune soon turned to delight.

The low-lit dining area was an awkward surprise. I’m beginning to despise garish, brightly lit rooms with all sorts of “crazy s**t on the walls”. While the wall decorations were still slightly gauche, the ill-lit quality of the walls fortold only tales of dim photos of poorly painted fish leaping from bodies of water. That with the addtion of actual fishing tackle pasted to the walls, the darkness seemed an attempt to hide some bad decorating decisions. All decorum aside, it was a nearly pleasant atmosphere with the colorful lamps.

So, we ordered our meals. Man-biscuit can tell you about his, but I’ve got stories about my own. I started with a house salad, which while looking a little ominous and monochromatic, turned out to be a pure delight. Fresh vegetables, sharp cheese and just the right amount of dressing.

Since we were in a fish restaurant, you would think we would order some fish, but this time around we were on a budget (as usual,) and ordered accordingly. I was surprised to find that the Florida Orange Duck (a half duck with florida orange marmalade,) was only around $12. I ordered that and awaited my delights.

The duck arrived in good time and I dug in. The duck was perfectly cooked, moist and delicious. The marmalade would have been overly sweet if not for the bit of zest in it, so it balanced well. The skin was crisp and flavorful and the salt of the meat played well with the sweet coating. I completely ignored the lifeless veggies that came with it. Well, not completely – I ate a piece and gave up. It was uninspiring. However, the duck was quite good.

Now comes the bad part. Marmalade = sticky.

When our server had brought the half-bird, I surveyed the plate and knew immediately of my sticky fate. So, I asked our mildly pleasant watier what I would do when I was all sticky. He replied smugly that he would return with hot wet towels to wipe away my gooey misery. That sounded wonderful, so I dug in, all hands on duck.

Some time later, when I had eaten my fill, I was quite sticky. My hands, fingers, elbows, forearms and many parts of my face had been treated with wandering marmalade. Now, I could have gotten up and made my way to the restroom, but unfortunately there was a fancy cloth napkin on my lap, and I would have liked to bring my purse. So, I sat there, hands splayed out, awaiting my hot, moist towel. 30 minutes later, I was still waiting. Our waiter had abandoned me to my sticky fate. Man-biscuit was parcehd, and his drink remained empty. I was trapped in marmalade hell.

The rest of the wait staff was miserable. Their backs sagged like they were hefting invisible boulders. They huddled in refugee groups, not quite under cover behind the server station, and eyed us as if waiting for the inevitable whistle or beckoning finger. When I did prop a questioning eyebrow in their directoin, they froze like deer in headlights. I added an “excuse me?” to the mix and they remained frozen.

Then, they scattered. Heading off in varying directions, I assumed they were off to find my moist hot towels. They never were seen nor heard from again. Finally, our waiter sped by the table, and I imagined sticking my tacky hand to his pant-leg. I wanted to so much that my fingers clenched to keep them from this act. Instead, man-biscuit rose from his seat to give them what-for. Finally, they shambled off to bring back our towels and check.

He returned in a few minutes with the promised towels, and I de-stickified myself. We left in a huff. This was a sticky situation. While the decorations, lighting, wati-staff and everything was decideldly unacceptable, the food was delicious. So, my suggestion is to ask for a take-out menu.

Holy massive menus, Batman!

By Apple Cheeks February 21st, 2011

I know that Toojays is a chain restaurant, but the unique menu and hype drove us to check it out. I was raised by a gaggle of big-haired Jewish women who have been cooking me things like matzo ball soup, beef brisket cooked for days until it’s tender and best of all- hummus.

Toojays of Dr. Phillips lives in the underbelly of restaurant row, right inide of Dr. Phillips Blvd. A complex that contains a night club, a cigar bar, a few more fancy restaurants and an Einstein’s Bagels also contains the Toojay’s Gourmet Deli.

As you walk in to the front door, the bakery and deli counter area is immediately to your left. Though the treats in the containers looked tempting, we walked to the host and asked to be seated. The staff is friendly and boisterious, with just the right touch of sass. I feel they wouldn’t hesitate to tell you off if give good enough reason. We were seated in a pleasant booth, overlooking the walkway and some foliage so we could people watch without giving the appearance of glaring at passersby, and visa versa.

The menu was vast. Hundreds of meals, sides, desserts, specials, plates for the dieters, dishes for the not-so-hungry, meals for the homesick and a sizeable beverage menu. After plunging into some heavy reading, Man-Biscuit and I decided sharing is caring, so we shared a Potato pancake and a Reuben.

The pancakes arrived early. I fully expected flat, expressionless pancakes, little more than flattened circles of hash browns. What we received, was a pile of bite-size potato pancakes, with bacon, onions, tomatoes, chedder cheese and sour cream gobbed on top. It was a wonderful treat to dig into this huge portion –plenty to share and enjoy. The potato pancake chunks were crisp on the outside and meshed well with the whole mess.

Sammich of DOOM

As if by magic, the moment we set down the forks from the potato pancakes, our Reuben arrived. It was classicly perfect. A big roll of gorgeous corned beef with just the right ratio of dressing and kraut. The fries were fat and mealy, (which is what we will become if we keep eating like this.) Even the coleslaw was crisp and not too sweet.

Altogether a great meal, the service was acceptable and the atmosphere like a typical diner. The size of the menu was a touch daunting, but it is kind of fun having so many choices.

We grabbed some black-and-white cookies on the way out. The perfect end to a close-to-perfect meal.

Deep Fried Latke’s

By Man Biscuit February 21st, 2011

I first heard of Toojays many years ago on a radio station. Since then it took me this long to actually go to the place. Sure, before the closest location was over an hour away, but now it’s quite close by comparison. The location Babs and I attended was kind of a pain to find parking. Once inside however you’re greeted with the sight of a New York bakery counter.

We were placed in a booth near a large window where we could view the beautiful day. The booths were fairly comfortable and the menu; extensive. With so many choices it was hard to narrow down. I wasn’t super duper hungry, (shocking, I know.) so I came up with the idea of sharing an appetizer and a lunch. It’s fun to see what restaurants have as specialty’s.

Dine here.

Toojays has the whole New York / Jewish kinda fare. So we decided on the ‘loaded latkes’ Which to the best of my knowledge are shredded and pan-fried taters which are deep fried to order, topped with bacon, cheddar, green onions and served with sour cream. Fan-Friggin-Tastic. If you are a fan of potato’s you’re gunna love this dish. The portion is very generous and the flavor is great.


This left juuuust enough room for AppleCheeks and I to polish off a classic Reuben Sammich. Served with fries and some tasty coleslaw. The slaw wasn’t special but stuck to the classic flavors. The combination of latke and sammich plus the fries was plenty filling for two. For a drink I went for the unsweetened ice tea, which if you’re a stickler about iced tea you wont be disappointed. Furthermore they had a ton of interesting cans of soda.

All in all I was thrilled with the whole experience.