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March 30, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers


I love fried jalapeno poppers. And I guess that is what I am discovering about myself. I wasn't a fan of the raw jalapeno pepper used in this recipe. I would much rather it be fried in a batter. I know, that sounds so unhealthy and fatty, right? I enjoy the crunch from the fried batter. I did, however, LOVE the filling mixture. I could eat that in heaping spoonfuls and that would be enough. But I think I would love to find a recipe for deep fried jalapeno poppers with this similar filling, or come up with one on my own! I'm not very good at that though... coming up with recipes on my own. I like to modify recipes, but I usually need some kind of base recipe. Maybe that's because I haven't been cooking long enough. I'm not sure, but I am sure that one day I'll be comfortable enough to know what ingredients are necessary to make certain dishes. I'm getting better already, just not where I want and hope to be eventually!

Moving on from the self-empowerment.... and on to these poppers.

First, you wanna slice open each jalapeno popper lengthwise, and take out as many seeds as you would like. The more you leave in, the more heat. I took out most of my seeds, because I was a wuss.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, lime juice, corn, bacon, and cayenne pepper. Like I said, I could (and did) eat this mixture on its own.

Then you wanna fill those peppers up with that delightful filling. Go on, fill up those lil jalapeno pepper boats, dividing the mixture evenly amongst them all. Then sprinkle some panko bread crumbs on top. For some crispiness.

Bake (or grill) until peppers are tender. Look at the crunchy, browned panko coating!

Jalapeno Poppers
adapted from Better Than Burgers
  • 10 whole fresh jalapenos
  • 4 oz. chive and onion cream cheese (half of an 8 oz. pkg)
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Panko bread crumbs, for topping
Cut the peppers lengthwise making a boat, taking out as many seeds as you like (with gloves). In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, lime juice, corn, bacon and cayenne pepper together, stirring well. Fill the peppers with the mixture, then sprinkle panko bread crumbs on top. Bake at 450 degrees (or grill them) until peppers are tender, about 5 minutes at first and then checking them every few minutes after that.

Printable Recipe


I wish I enjoyed the jalapeno peppers more, but I sure did love that filling. It's nice to discover things about myself along my cooking journey. I guess I won't be making any stuffed pepper recipes, or non-fried jalapeno recipes anymore. It does feel good to know what I like. Hey, it's me. Everyone is different. If you are a fan of non-fried jalapenos or peppers, you may love this recipe! That's the magic of food... there's always something for everyone. An opinion is only one's own, so the best way to know for sure if you like something is to try it out for yourself. So go ahead and try these. Hey, if you don't like the jalapenos at least you get to eat the tasty corn and bacon mixture like me!

Linking to:
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green

Peace, and bacon grease!

March 29, 2011

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce

Cassie, you've done it again. Your food never ceases to amaze me. These enchiladas were no exception.

I've never been real big on Mexican food, but enchiladas are one Mexican food that I love! I love the versatility of enchiladas, and I was intrigued by these because of the green chili sauce. I'm a sucker for sauce. I'll make just about anything that has a sauce recipe that sounds appealing. And pretty much all sauces do. Well, maybe not this maple and mustard sauce I once had. But you get the point. I love sauce!

These enchiladas did live up to my expectations!  I love the crunchiness of the tortillas once baked! I could maybe even add more green chiles for more heat! We have only made them once, and I am wondering why?!? We will surely be making these again, and I hope to have them show up on an upcoming menu plan or two soon. Try them! You won't be sorry. You will only be sorry that you hadn't made them sooner!

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce
  • 8 soft taco flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (7-oz) can diced green chiles
  • Cilantro, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 1 cup of the cheese and the chicken. Place an equal amount of the mixture into each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down into a 9x13 inch pan. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in sour cream and green chiles. Pour over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Printable Recipe

As I stated earlier, I would possibly add more diced green chiles to give it more heat. Or maybe some jalapenos inside the tortilla. I'm sure there are some other goodies that would work great inside the tortilla also.

We served these enchiladas with some parmesan roasted asparagus. It was mmm to the good!

I can't wait to make this again! Even a picky eater like me who doesn't do much Mexican food can make some Americanized Mexican food at home ;)  You can too!

*It was bothering me why my enchiladas didn't look so "white".... and we made them again this weekend and I figured out why! The first time we made it, we obviously didn't use white Monterey Jack cheese. I think we used a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack, so that's why the cheese looks all yellow in my picture. So we noticed that the second time around, and also that it actually didn't have as much flavor as we had thought... and was missing something. PJ mentioned serving it with salsa or something. It was just missing that extra somethin to make it really special. Funny how we had different reactions between the first and second time trying it. Just wanted to give you guys that update, in case you were thinking I was crazy and wondering where the "white" came in.

Peace, and bacon grease!

March 28, 2011

Restaurant Review : Amerasia in Covington

Larry, if you're reading, this one's for you  : )

I'm a lover of good Chinese food. But let's face it, in the Cincinnati area it is often hard to come across quality Chinese food. Well, luckily I have found quality in Amerasia. Located on Madison Avenue in Covington, it is super close to my work and within walking distance. Major plus! They can be a tad slow at times. In the past, we have called in pick up orders that have taken at least a half hour. We have also dined inside and had to take a lengthy lunch break because we were in there for about an hour and a half or so. So don't go in expecting a quick lunch. You may get lucky, but just a heads up that you may have to wait a bit! (I did read some reviews that they have quick service.... I guess it just depends. But usually when I have gone it hasn't been quick!

They have lunch specials for about $5.50. I usually order their Sesame Chicken. It isn't spicy at all, more sweet. It came with some broccoli, and I ordered fried rice with it. For the lunch special, you can get a drink or egg roll, and either fried or white rice. I am not a big fan of their pork egg rolls, so I usually get a drink, and fried rice with my meal. I believe their veggie egg rolls cost an additional dollar or so, but there have been some times when they haven't had the pork roll so the veggie roll wasn't extra. This particular time I did order the pork egg roll, seen in the picture below.

Sesame Chicken, fried rice, and an egg roll - lunch special!

I've also had their crab rangoons. These were seriously the best I have ever had! I've only ordered them once from here, so I'm not sure if it was just that one time or if they are always that amazing. Sometimes places have a tiny dab of a strange crab concoction on the inside. Not these!  I always want to order them but know I won't eat all of them, they come in  a batch of six for $4.00! Next time I should order some and share with my coworkers!

I have also tried their General's Chicken. It was similar to the sesame chicken but without sesame seeds of course, and a bit spicier. I ordered it at whatever spice level it usually comes with, but it wasn't too hot for me. I maybe could have even up-ed the spice level a tad. I'm fearless I tell ya.

I can't wait to try their chicken fried rice as a dish. Larry enjoyed his, and made me wanna try that next time! Another coworker, Chris, loves their Kung Pow Chicken & Peanuts. I am not big on Asian dishes with peanuts in them though, so I would likely not try this. But others have raved about it. I've only ever been for lunch, so I am not too familiar with their dinner entrees.

You can request many of their dishes at whatever spice level you want. A coworker of mine has ordered the 911, which is at a spiciness level of 10 or 11 (I forget exactly, but basically their hottest level!). Pretty much out of this world hot! But he did it! I tend to stick to the standard spice level that the dish comes with usually. I'm really a wuss. 

The atmosphere is pretty laid back, and the service is always great! Everyone is very sweet and make you feel right at home. Several of my coworkers go there religiously, so they are known as regulars and treated as such, recognized and greeted as if long lost friends. A friendly, cozy environment where they remember and cherish their customers! I could do without some of their wall art though. And it is a pretty small dining area, with a few booths, a bar area, and a large table for big parties. And I could do without the little fishy inside the fish bowl underneath the glass table we eat at. Poor guy looks so lonely in there. With hardly any water, and no fishy friends! Oh, and I always notice the dirty door when I enter. I just wish they would clean that dang door!

Oh, and they serve beer now! The waitress made sure she told us! Too bad we can't drink on the job  :(

We were all craving Amerasia the other day, but when we walked there we saw that they were closed. And a week or so before that, we heard a coworker saying that it was closed when they went too. I hope they aren't closing! I can't wait to get back over there for some crab rangoons and chicken fried rice! This is one of my favorite Chinese spots right now! Go there and it will be one of yours too  : )

Peace, and bacon grease!

AmerAsia on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review : City Barbeque in Western Hills area

Isn't barbeque great? Something about the smell of it cooking, the taste of it of course, AND the feel of it. Barbequeing feels good. Grilling out feels good. Having barbeque cookouts is a fun time. Just the thought of barbeque is bringing a smile to my face. *City Barbeque does that too.

I was excited when this bbq joint came to the westside of Cincy not too long ago. This was my first time there (just went back tonight, actually). It is just a bit pricey. The first time I went, I ordered it to go. Next time we dined in to ensure that the food was as fresh and hot as possible.

This is the view from the parking lot and a close-up from Glenway Avenue. 

This is where all those huge bbq smoke machines are. (Is that what they are called?)

All Smoke No Mirrors.
This is where you enter.... WARNING: You will eat lots of delicious, Southern bbq food. Not good for the thighs but great for the tummy!

On to the food....
PJ ordered a smoked chicken breast sandwich. He is a chicken breast kinda guy. Any restaurant he goes to... if they have a grilled chicken sandwich on the menu, he is set! This chicken breast is smoked, not grilled though.

What did I have? Well, I ordered the pulled chicken with white bbq sauce which unfortunately and surprisingly didn't taste like anything... not any sauce like I was expecting, no flavor, no heat. I wanted to like it though. The sound of white bbq sauce intrigued me. I just wish the chicken was drenched in the white bbq sauce. It just tasted plain. (Eww... blurry picture alert!)

We also got some sides - do you guys know what hushpuppies are? If not, well I'll tell you... as long as you promise to keep it on the hush. Pun thoroughly intended. Man, I'm knockin em outta the park today! Yeah, there wasn't a point to that, I just wanted to make a joke about hushpuppies! I'm cheesy, I know.

Cornbread was not hot at all, so not very good. I'm sure it could be so much better. Hushpuppies taste like hushpuppies, no surprise there. Just fried cornmeal batter. I do love them though... that fried crunchy goodness! 

PJ liked his sides. Baked beans with bits of brisket in it, which we both thought were scrumptious. PJ liked his macaroni and cheese but I didn't, it wasn't as cheesy as I like my mac n cheese!

A view of all of our sides.... so much food!

We tried all of the sauces: the original, sweet, and brushfire. I liked them all. I did like the heat from the brushfire sauce. PJ likes the sweet kind alot. I wouldn't say these were the best bbq sauces I have ever tasted, but very good. I saw bottles of their bbq sauces lined along the sides, you can buy them for $3.99 a bottle. I was tempted.

This place is pretty amazing. The first time, the male cashier was overly attentive and polite. Almost to the point of uncomfortableness or awkwardness. But still, a great effort. Better than the extreme alternative.

Fast forward to Friday night... we actually ate here the other night for dinner on a Friday night at about 9 PM. We dined in this time, since I knew that last time my food wasn't as hot as I wanted. No pics, but I just wanted to share our experience with you since it literally just happened a bit ago and I had drafted a post about this restaurant, so I figured I might as well share an updated, more recent experience. I ordered the Texas smoked sausage on Texas Toast since they were out of hoagy buns, with 2 sides for an additional $2.99. I tried to order cornbread, but they were all out.  So I ordered hush puppies instead, and baked beans with brisket. My sausage was good... I don't really think I needed Texas Toast, but it was still nice to have and had nice grill marks on it. It came with some vinegar slaw which I could have done without. It didn't add much to the sausage sandwich. My baked beans with brisket were good, and PJ enjoyed them too. I do like the bits of brisket in the baked beans. It adds a nice touch. He said he would go back to ordering those again next time. My hushpuppies were also good, like always. 4 fried hushpuppies, more than enough for me! I obviously couldn't finish all of my food! I had wanted to try the banana pudding, but we were so full. I had some leftovers to take home! PJ ordered the smoked chicken breast sandwich, like last time. He liked it better this time. It was a very plump piece of chicken breast. His sides were the cheese and bacon fries. He joked and said "this is real quality cheese", which obviously he was being sarcastic. But I still liked the cheese, even knowing it was a fake kinda cheese. Like a cheese wiz but not really. I don't know how to describe it. But I would order them next time as my side! He also ordered the macaroni and cheese, which he liked but I wasn't too impressed by. Both got our usual Dr. Peppers. It was an overall good date, with plenty of food for about $20! I had 3 hushpuppies, most of my sausage, and some baked beans left :) I did end up eating most of PJ's fries so that's why I had so much of my own food left over! "It's my birthday weekend, so I can steal food from my fiancee if I want to"... you know that song, right? "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" REMIX!

Fast forward to the very next day.... yes, we went back the very next day on Saturday for lunch. We wanted to save a bit on money, since the night before we had dropped about $25 for the dine in experience. This time the bill came to about $17 since we did take out, and didn't order drinks, and only ordered one side each. I tried the pulled pork, which was delicious! It was so tender. Not dried out like I expected. And not served in sauce like I expected, like at Montgomery Inn like I'm used to, but it didn't even need the sauce because it was so good. But we did get a cup of each sauce. The cashier also gave us a cup of some brown sauce... I still am not sure exactly what it was... maybe hot sauce? Maybe a different kind of bbq sauce that I didn't know about. But it was pretty good. I don't like to ask the cashier for the cups of sauce though, because the sauce in those cups are cold. I like to pour my own sauce from the hot sauce chafers they have out. PJ got his usual smoked chicken breast again. I saw a sign that their chicken breasts are Amish... which I like to buy when I am at Kroger so that makes me feel good about the quality of their products. He loves those baked beans so he got those again, and I got my hush puppies. He also tried the banana pudding which he said was just ok.... (I didn't, I don't know why I didn't get a bite!!).

So I didn't have a great experience with my meal that first day, but my second (and third) experiences made up for it. PJ said he wants to come back here all of the time, to try so many different things. And I agree.... they have so many side item options! And I have now tried the pulled chicken, pulled pork, and the Texas smoked sausage. I like the idea of a bbq place with pulled chicken and pork sandwiches, and good ole Southern bbq side items. I really want to go back and try the pulled chicken sandwich again, with white sauce, as well as their ribs. And their different sides... right now they are offering a smokehouse chili, and smashed potatoes that I was so tempted to try but I can only order so much, ya know! I can't wait to try that banana pudding, since I didn't get to, as well as their peach cobbler. Talk about Southern comfort food!

*I don't really know the true technical spelling. Their website says both City Barbeque, and City BBQ.

P.S.  Is it bad that I went there on Sunday by myself for lunch, too? I get stuck in my ways sometimes! Hey, if it aint broke don't fix it!

Hmmm... wonder what we will have for dinner tonight? lol.

Peace, and bacon grease!

City Barbeque on Urbanspoon

March 21, 2011

Restaurant Review : Chick-fil-A in Western Hills area

I kinda look at Chick-fil-A as more than a fast food restaurant. On another level, I should say. Not fine dining, but definitely better than your standard Burger King, McDonalds, Arbys etc. Their food is much better. Their service is excellent. Never have I driven up to a window and not been greeted with a smiling face, sweet responses like "My Pleasure", and a genuine kindness in their voice that lets me know I'm not inconveniencing them in any way. You know how many fast food employees sound like they hate their job, and hate that I want to order food. You've certainly seen those people, right? I definitely have. Well Chick-fil-A employees are not like that. I don't think I have ever met an unpleasant drive-thru worker. And it is greatly appreciated by me and my fiancee. We always talk about how great our experiences are there.

Besides the service, I am always pleased with their chicken nuggets. I love the crisp coating on them. The chicken itself is usually juicy, rarely overcooked. So much better than any other nuggets at any other fast food joint. You can get either the 8 piece or 12 piece. 8 is plenty enough for me. And of course you need some dipping sauces. I like mixing the ranch and buffalo sauce. I also like the honey mustard. But my newfound fave is the honey bbq. I could probably just dip my fingers in that sauce and eat it that way too.

I also enjoy their waffle fries. I ask for them well done, because sometimes they can be a bit on the soggy side sometimes. When cooked right, they are some of the best 'fast food' fries out there. Love me some waffle fries!

I used to work in Tri County mall, so I tried to get me a chicken biscuit for breakfast whenever I worked before 10:30AM. That juicy chicken, buttery biscuit, with some honey on top..... oh my word! It's been so long since I've had a chicken biscuit from there. I do miss them.

I've also tried their cookies and cream milkshake. AMAZING! They have huge chunks of oreos in them. I like their milkshakes more than UDF's! Sometimes, when I am deciding what to eat for dinner, Chick-fil-A wins solely because of their milkshakes! For a limited time, they are also offering a banana pudding milkshake. It is also divine, with chunks similar to that of vanilla wafers. So good!

So besides breakfast, nuggets, and chicken sandwiches, they do also offer salads. They do it all, I'm tellin ya!

Peace, and bacon grease!

Chick-fil-A on Urbanspoon

WWDB? Sweeties Jumbo Chocolates

Located off US Highway 250 E in Ashland, Ohio... on your way to the Cleveland or Akron area... you will find Grandpa's Cheesebarn. Guess what they sell there! Stop and get you some fancy cheese, then stop on in their other neighboring store, Sweeties Jumbo Chocolates. I had heard so many great stories about the Cheesebarn at work. And once, a coworker brought back some delicious chocolate treats from this amazing place. And thus begun my love affair with sea salt covered caramels....

Once I tried those sea salt covered caramels, I instantly went to their website to see about ordering online, since I knew I wouldn't hardly ever be in the Cleveland area. What do you know, they do sell their chocolates online! Woot Woot! So I purchased some Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels with Sea Salt, and some Milk Chocolate Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. I later found that you can order the sea salt caramels in a milk chocolate, rather than dark chocolate. They are jumbo, and pricey. But well worth it in my humble opinion. But you can be the judge of that. My sea salt caramels came in a package with two jumbo sized dark chocolate-covered caramels, for a little more than $5 a package. I wasn't too fond of the chocolate covered kettle chips, but I think that was just a personal preference because I don't really like kettle chips. I would like them more if they were more like chocolate-covered Ruffles, or Grippos, or Mike-sells. But that's just me. So one time I ordered them online...

The next time I actually had the pleasure of going there!

We were on our way to Akron for my niece's Super Sweet 16 birthday. Yeah, we do it big lol. Like the rich bratty girls on MTV, except.... NOT!  I had completely forgotten about Grandpa's Cheesebarn being on the way to Cleveland, until I saw sign after sign telling me that it was off the next exit or so. I begged for us to stop! They were totally cool with that. Nothin like a little sight seeing, going off the beaten path to find touristy treasures! We stopped in and bought some fudge, chocolate-covered fritos, and some milk chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt. I don't even like fritos, and these were amazing! The blend of sweet and salty is spot on! I kind of went crazy in there. Oh, and we did see some Amish people working outside : )

So if you are going towards or live in or near the Cleveland area, go to Grandpa's Cheesebarn and Sweeties Jumbo Chocolates. If you are from the area, it is probably no stranger to you. In fact, it is probably legend... wait for it.... ary around them parts (anyone watch How I Met Your Mother?). If I lived up there, I would probably make a stop there once or twice a week! If you are traveling in that area, make it a point to stop by and enjoy this specialty shop. And if you don't live nearby and will never be in that area, then thank the almighty internet for making that not even matter! They'll ship it right to ya!

Don't have internet? That's cool, call them at 1-800-745-7091 to order. Without internet, I don't really know how you are reading this... but still. Just coverin my bases. 

And well, if you have no phone, no internet, and no plans to travel to Ashland, then you are s.o.l. and I feel bad for you!

Peace, and bacon grease!

Menu Planning - Week of 3/21/11

Mondays come so fast, it seems. Here I am to give you my menu plan for the week. I've come to realize that these aren't really menu plans for me, but more of menu ideas for me. I don't think there has been an entire week where I made everything that I was supposed to from my meal plan. I usually only make like 2 or 3 of the meals. It is more of a layout of what could be eaten, so long as there aren't any late work nights for PJ, random lazy nights, or other reasons to make us not cook.

So here is this week's menu plan ideas. Which I'm sure will be rotated into next week's plan!

Monday 3/21/11:  Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza in my cast iron skillet, with our own toppings!!

Tuesday 3/22/11:  Stove-Top Chicken Fajitas

Wednesday 3/23/11:  Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Thursday 3/24/11:  My 26th birthday! PJ is taking me out to Eddie Merlots... Love that place!

Friday 3/25/11:  Baked Cod with Parmesan Sauce

Linky time! Come join the fun at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

What's cookin this week, peeps?!?!

Peace, and bacon grease!

WWDB? Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

I'm super excited that my bestie is slowly but surely turning into a foodie! She used to never understand my love of cooking and food blogging and finding recipes. Now she has, thanks to Weight Watchers. She is trying to cook at home more and is really getting into it! So now I get to overload her with food blog recommendations and recipes to try and other miscellaneous foodie knowledge. I'm so excited... I've converted an anti-foodie!

And another foodie announcement.... I am now a red wine groupie. I used to hate it. Hate it. The warm temperature didn't appeal to me. If I was ever to drink a wine, it would be a white wine because it is chilled. But I wasn't too fond of white wine either. But Marcey and I were eating at Jag's for restaurant week, and were thinking about ordering cocktails, but felt like we needed to be fancier. Then we got into this long talk about how we both dislike wine, especially red wine, but wished we liked it because it is good for you and, besides, it looks classy and cool to sip from a wine glass and hold it ever so gently like a rich sophisticated lady. So she asked the waitress if we could try a couple samples of wine, and she let us try the House wine, which she later told us was Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. I loved the taste, and I loved the way it made me feel. Not like overly drunk, or the kind of tipsy you feel from beer. But just more of a relaxed tipsy that made me feel good. Oddly enough she loved it too! I left Jag's and immediately stopped at Kroger on my way home to see if they had a bottle. Marcey went her separate way and stopped at a Target looking for it. Neither store had it... BOOOOOOO!!!! I was on a mission to find it. I was just going to google it when I got home... good ole google solves all problems. Don't know an answer, just google it. It has become a regular saying in my house... "Just Google it." Anyways, by the time I got home she was texting me saying that she had called Jungle Jims and they carried it. Too bad it was late, and I had just left that area, and was nowhere near JJ. So I looked on the Party Source website, which is in Newport near my work. What do you know... they had it : ) So I stopped there the other day on my lunch break and bought me a bottle of that Cab.

It didn't make me feel too good to see it sold for a mere $6.99 for a huge bottle, and I spent $6.50 on a single glass at Jag's. Oh well. It was worth it to find the perfect wine for me.

So here's to another edition of WWDB? I would and did buy a bottle. Go buy some of this Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, if you like red wine. Definitely available at Jungle Jims, and Party Source.

I'm officially a wine-o.

Peace, and bacon grease!

Restaurant Review : Jag's Steak and Seafood in West Chester

Jag's has quickly become one of our favorite fine-dining establishments. PJ and I have been there twice now, and I just went there this past Saturday with a girlfriend for Restaurant Week. So here's a review of Jag's in three parts:

Part One - The first time PJ and I went, we went for Restaurant Week back in the fall. It is a great way to try different menu items at high-end restaurants for a more reasonable price, offering 3 courses for each diner. I like to go to at least one restaurant each time Cincinnati is having its Restaurant Week. The past two Restaurant Weeks, I have gone to Jag's. I guess I like it.

But anyways, we each ordered the 3-course deal for $26.10 a person. My first course was the Caramelized Diver Scallop. It was only one huge scallop, but it was oh so amazing... cooked perfectly, atop some creamy polenta and red pepper coulis and olive oil. My blurry photo doesn't do it justice (it was very dim in the restaurant!). I wish there was more than one... I would definitely order the entree version of that!

PJ's first course was the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (he lovessssss jumbo shrimp cocktail) - 2 jumbo tiger shrimp served with cocktail sauce (duh!). These shrimp were definitely jumbo! A definite plus.
For my second course, I ordered the Julius Caesar salad which is romaine, shaved parmesan reggiano, caesar dressing, and a huge hard crusty piece of fried cheese. I love fried cheese and this was a bit too hard! The salad wasn't anything special. Not very memorable.

PJ's second course was the Apple Smoked Bacon Potato Soup. I love me some potato soup. This was good. And bacon makes all things better. You know this  : ) No pic though. It was too horrible to even attempt to make better!

His third course was the filet mignon, topped with onion straws and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I usually always order filet mignon, because I love steak. And filet is the best steak. But since I knew I needed to venture out more, I went against my better judgment and didn't order the filet! Their steaks tend to have a crispy, charred crust. PJ doesn't always like that, but I do. He did let me try a bite or two, of course. Sharing is caring, after all.

I ordered the Pork Chops Au Poivre, which were also tasty, but they got nothin on my usual filet : ) Sorry, pork just will never be as good as filet. But it was a thick, tasty pork chop... don't get me wrong! And the sauce was good. I just was wishing I had ordered what PJ had... the filet and the potato soup. That's what I get for trying something new, huh!?! It was served with some asparagus and mashed potatoes. They like to put a little fake flower in their mashed potatoes. I guess they think it looks pretty. I think it looks kinda cheap. Oh well. But still tasted good.

I also ordered an apple martini.

My drink of choice for awhile there. Along with mango mai tai... sex on the beach... pina colada... rum runner... you get the gist : )

Our first time there was on a Saturday night, and Restaurant Week, so it was very crowded and loud because of the band playing. But I did like hearing the music in the background. So this particular time, the place was boomin'! Full of life and music and dancing! The next time we went... not so much....


Part Two - The second time Peej and I went was for Sweetest Day 2010. Would you believe that it wasn't very crowded? I think it had something to do with the 56 Deal... which offers discounted rates for 3-course meals between 5 PM and 6 PM. So it was probably a little too early for most people to eat. We arrived and were seated at a secluded booth with beautiful roses in the center of the table. They sure know how to set the atmosphere. Got us some pink lemonade. Look at our pretty girly table. All that red and pink. Don't mind the blurry pics. The lighting was super dim and therefore the pictures didn't turn out so great. 


My first course was the Spinach & Artichoke Dip, served in a cute martini glass with chips and toasts for dipping. I thought the presentation was adorable. It went great with the Sweetest Day feel. Not the best spinach artichoke dip I've ever had, but definitely not bad.

PJ's first course was the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail again (big surprise!) and I thoroughly enjoyed them! Again, served in a martini glass all fancy-style. It came with three dipping sauces: the usual spicy cocktail sauce, a wasabi-ginger aioli, and an apricot habanero glaze. I was a fan of all the sauces, particularly the wasabi and the apricot. Just a little somethin different than the normal cocktail sauce that comes with shrimp cocktail. Another hit! 

My second course was the Jaguar Salad... again, nothing special. I haven't been too impressed with their salads, to be honest. I'm not posting the picture because it was super blurry, plus it just looks like a typical salad with tomatoes, shredded cheese, etc.

PJ enjoyed the Mushroom Bisque for his second course, a much better choice. It was topped with cheese and black pepper. Yummy in my tummy!

And lastly, we both had the Filet Oscar. I love me some filet topped with crab, bearnaise, and asparagus. Delicious as always. Served with some peppers, and mashed potatoes and the infamous purple flower.

Look at us. All in love. So in love that I gave him a kiss on the cheek! (or maybe Picnik did?). His abundance of love makes up for his lack of smiling in pictures. So I let it slide  : )

He's my sweetest.


Part Three - I talked my bestie, Marcey, into doing Restaurant Week with me a couple of Saturdays ago. We usually meet up every other weekend (pay day!) and go shopping and have lunch or dinner. But we tend to stick to the usual chain restaurants. Nothing fancy. I wanted to do Restaurant Week, AND we had never been to an upscale restaurant together, so I told her to check out the website to see if anything interested her. She hadn't been to Jag's in awhile, and loved it. So I found myself back at Jag's for the third time, for a third 3-course deal. Which was totally fine by me. She didn't order from the 3-course menu. She is a picky one, that Marcey! But it's cute and funny. She just ordered grilled chicken and a baked potato.

I, however, did go with the 3-course meal for $26.11! My first course was the Lump Crab Cake, served with a garlic aioli, and a red pepper aioli. It was so good. Jumbo and flavorful. I did like the two aiolis as well. I just wish I had more of it! Oh, and there's that flower again! Let's see how many times we see it lol : ) 

My second course was the Creamy Chicken & Wild Mushroom Bisque, which was chicken stock with wild mushroom and rich cream, topped with chive oil. It seemed like it could have been good, except it wasn't very hot. It was less than lukewarm, and I also didn't taste much chicken. I definitely tasted the mushroom flavor, which seemed like it could have been good if hot. But I was expecting more of a chicken flavor as well. I would like to try this again at a different time to see how it was supposed to taste.

My last course was the Filet Mignon with Braised Short Ribs. I was tempted to try that Caramelized Diver Scallop entree course, but I was drawn to the filet meal because I love filet AND I love short ribs. It was a good decision. There was only a very small portion of short ribs atop the filet, served with bearnaise, asparagus, and mashed potatoes.  All of my meals seem to have asparagus and mashed potatoes lol! No picture, it just was too blurry. But it looked like filet, with a tiny bit of short rib on top. With asparagus and mashed potatoes and that danged purple flower.

Of course this is the place that I found my beloved red wine, Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. I originally ordered this because it was the house wine and only $6.50 a glass (cheap me lol!) in comparison to $9 or $10 a glass. Plus I liked it when we sampled it. Marcey ordered a glass of the white wine which our waitress recommended, Mohua Sauvignon Blanc. The waitress said it had a grapefruit flavor, so that's why I didn't order it. But we didn't get to sample that kind. So Marcey just went ahead and ordered that, hoping she would like it. Plus I told her if she didn't like it that I would drink it. Cuz I know how she rolls : ) So she preferred the red wine, and I drank the white wine. But she only drank a bit of her glass, so I finished hers off. Is that not classy? Oh well, I liked it! And I didn't wanna let it go to waste, especially since that was the wine I had originally wanted. Both wines were good though. I did enjoy the Mohua, for a white wine, but I was surprised at how much I liked the Cabernet.

Our waitress was very sweet and patient. Great service. We had reservations for 6:15 PM and arrived there a half hour early, and they still seated us right away. It was great. We were seated in the back area. We walked past the bar area which was livelier due to the band music. In the back, where we were, it was very quiet and not many people at all. I was surprised, for a Saturday evening AND for Restaurant Week. Later that evening though, it did start to get packed. But by that time we were full and feelin too good to even care : )


So there you have it! 3 different experiences... all pretty good food. All at reasonable prices since I went for restaurant weeks and the 56 deal. All great service. Can you tell that I like the place. Hope to go back soon!

Peace, and bacon grease!

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