BBD’s is Rock N’ Roll

I read about it and I heard about it, so I needed to try it. BBD’s (Beers, Burgers and Desserts) was everything I saw on Facebook, their website and read in Newsday. From the outside, BBD’s is very unassuming, but as soon as you walk through the door, you notice that this place is all about beer, food and rock n’ roll. All of the servers are tatted up and the decor is very industrial, but active and inviting, and everyone is super nice.

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BBD’s Bar

In 2010, my husband and I traveled to Downtown Scottsdale and were impressed by the character of each of their individual bars, so when we see restaurants or bars that stand out on their own, we get really excited. BBD’s is unique and the soundtrack is all ACDC and Linkin Park.

First, we had to start with beverages, of course, so I got a Birch Beer and TK got a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale with cinnamon sugar coating the rim. My Birch Beer was so crisp that it was almost effervescent. TK chose the Pumpkin Ale from the beer menu that served as a geography textbook of beer with pages of pages of craft beers from all over the world.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

For appetizers, we got the Boneless Buffalo Drumsticks and the Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings. The Drumsticks were more like buffalo chicken cutlets that we were able to split between the four of us. Each cutlet had the smokiness and sweetness of a buffalo wing, but without making you do all the work it requires to eat wings. We just needed a fork and a knife, but we could’ve used our hands, if we really wanted to forget our table manners. The Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings were full of crunch with added saltiness from the bacon. It came with Creme Fraiche (I guess to be fancy) and Maple Sugar and Apple Tamarind Brown Butter Dip. Creme Fraiche doesn’t taste too much like anything, but the Brown Butter Dip was pretty tasty.

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Boneless Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

For my dinner, I got the Chicken & Waffle Burger. The chicken was a fried patty and had great flavor. The waffles were less crispy and more soft and sweet. The burger was topped with Pear Slaw, Maple Malt Mayo and Honey Butter. The burger was good, but I would have liked some savory toppings instead of sweet on top of sweet. The Crinkly Fries were a great addition.

Chicken & Waffle Burger

Chicken & Waffle Burger

TK ordered a burger from the customization menu. He added Hickory Smoked Bacon, American Cheese and Whiskey BBQ Sauce. The bacon was very smokey and the Whiskey BBQ was served on the side for dipping or slathering. He really enjoyed the combination he chose, and I am sure he will decide to try other options whenever we decide to visit again.

Steakhouse Burger

Steakhouse Burger

We were all full, so we didn’t get dessert to complete the acronym, but there is a full menu of sweet treats to end your meal, like Mini French Toast Apple Pie or Liquid Brownie Cake or even a XXX Shine Salted Caramel Whiskey Milkshake, if you are feeling spunky.

If you are in the mood for a good burger and something a little different, try BBD’s, and try to stay for dessert.

BBD’s, 49 Route 25A, Rocky Point, NY, 631-849-1620

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BBD’s Brand

Made it a Point to Try Five Points

After a few years of passing it on Main Street in Sayville, we finally decided to give Five Points Cafe a try. We heard it was good, but never had the chance to stop in. The restaurant is small, but it is intimate and clean. The service was fantastic and our drinks were never even able to reach empty before the waitress would bring another. There was an acoustic guitarist next to us that my mom as afraid would be loud, but he definitely wasn’t and he added to the atmosphere. At one point,  he even performed “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Frozen and he did a pretty good job.

To start our meal, we ordered Guacamole and Chips. The Guac was creamy and the chips were fresh and crunchy. We didn’t end up finishing it because my son’s Macaroni & Cheese came and he needed to eat. He enjoyed his meal too!

Guacamole and Chips

Guacamole and Chips

TK and I both ordered the same thing, the Downtown Burger. It came with three different cheeses, bacon, a pile of onion straws and zesty Five Star Sauce. The burger was juicy and messy, just how I like it. It had plenty of crunch with the onion straws. I added ketchup to the burger because I wanted it even messier than it already was, and I had plenty of napkins because our waitress was on the ball.

Downtown Burger

Downtown Burger

My mom ordered the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Sandwich and she really liked it. She liked it so much that she finished it and that rarely happens. The sandwich included a panko-breaded chicken breast, roasted red peppers and pesto mayonnaise.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Sandwich

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Sandwich

We noticed the dessert menu on the table while we were eating and made sure to save some room. We all decided to share the Deep Fried S’mores. They were rich and soft, but the marshmallow wasn’t as stretchy and melted as I thought it would be. I guess I just like stringy s’mores. It was still a good dessert because, DUH, there was chocolate and whipped cream.

Deep Fried S'mores

Deep Fried S’mores

When we were finished and full, we all decided that we would definitely come back because we all enjoyed our meals, even our toddler.

Five Points Cafe, One Main Street, Sayville, NY, 631-567-5655

Much More Than Cows at Maureen’s Kitchen

My husband and I were actually awake during breakfast, so we decided to celebrate the end of a crappy week with a meal at Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown, New York. Maureen’s doesn’t have a website or a Facebook page, but they really don’t need it because the place is always packed. Good luck getting in there on a weekend. Oh, and make sure you bring cash because they are kind of old school and don’t take credit cards. When you pull up, you’ll see a large cow out front. You may have a hard time finding a parking spot, but there is an overflow lot across the street, adjacent to CVS, for your convenience.

Maureens Sign

Maureen’s Kitchen Street Sign

If you are lucky enough to get a seat without a wait, like we were because it was a Friday, make sure you check out the specials board. Your waiter or waitress might even take it off of the wall and bring it right over to your table. They want to make sure you see it because there are at least five very interesting specials available every day, like an array of omelets or Cannoli-Stuffed French Toast. And, there are cows everywhere (hence the title of this post)! You will feel like you should take a look around for Maureen and say, “Good morning” because you actually feel like you are sitting in her kitchen.

Maureens

Maureen’s Kitchen

Fortunately, they serve juice in pint glasses, not wimpy little juice glasses, so there was no reason for me to order a refill during my entire meal. TK got the #2 Breakfast which came with two perfect sunny-side-up eggs, two fluffy pancakes, two pieces of salty bacon and one well-done sausage, and he got a hearty dish of home fries on the side. He enjoyed all of it, but forgot to order toast. Oops. I tasted the home fries and they were a little smokey. I wasn’t a fan of that, but TK liked them just fine.

Breakfast #2

Breakfast #2

Home Fries

Home Fries

My meal was a special. I got the Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas. They came out piping hot and soft. The pancakes tasted like cinnamon with the extra crunch of the walnuts and sweetness of the bananas. I could only eat half because there were three stacked up and they were rather large. It was a very warm, comforting meal and sometimes you just need to be spoiled in the morning. A few years ago, I visited Maureen’s with my aunt and had the Apple Cinnamon Pancakes. I remember that they were also delicious.

Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas

Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas

Many have tried Maureen’s Kitchen and everyone I’ve spoken to has enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve heard anything bad about the food ever, but some people don’t like the crowd or the wait. It is so worth it, though, so be patient. Note: there aren’t any waffles on the menu, so you may want to head over to another breakfast spot if that’s what you are looking for.

Maureen’s Kitchen, 108 Terry Road, Smithtown, NY, 631-360-9227

Begin with chocolate and end with chocolate at the Hershey Grill

Connected to the Hershey Lodge is a high-quality, casual restaurant called the Hershey Grill. On a Sunday with many restaurants closed in the area, I thought that we would have to wait for a table, but we were seated right away. Fortunately, we were able to sit outside and fit our stroller with us at the table. The interior of the restaurant is a little fancier than the outside, but both areas are still casual and offer a children’s menu.

We started our meal with exceptional beverages. I had the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini and TK had Brewery at Hershey Chocolate Stout. He loved his beer because he loves stouts, but I didn’t dig it. However, I loved my martini. It was dusted with chocolate and peanut butter crumbs, and it was creamy and sweet. You could definitely taste the chocolate and the peanut butter. At the end of the drink, there was a melted Hershey Kiss in the glass, and you bet your bottom that I ate it! I thought the drink might be better as a dessert, but it was great with my meal.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini

Before our appetizer came out, we received a bread basket. The pleasant surprise was that one of the butter tabs was actually chocolate butter. I could taste a little sweetness in the butter and a hint of chocolate, but it was enjoyable.

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Butter, Butter and Chocolate Butter

Then, our appetizer came and it was the Flash Fried Calamari. The calamari was crunchy and flavorful, but when I bit down on one of the other fried objects, I was surprised when I tasted the sourness of a lemon. It was a very interesting additive to the dish that I had never tried or seen before. The other fried option in the dish were the banana peppers, and I love those. Banana peppers are always tangy and delicious, but now I know what they taste like fried and they are still tangy, and tasty. The calamari also came with a Zesty Gazpacho Vinaigrette, and it was OK, but I didn’t care too much for it because I like marinara with calamari.

Flash Fried Calamari

Flash Fried Calamari

When our meals came, Jackson had Macaroni and Cheese, TK had the Texas Meatloaf and I had the Grilled Olive Brined Bone-In Pork Chop. TK doesn’t usually order meatloaf anywhere, so when I told him that people love it, he decided to give it a try and he was pleased. The pork chop that I ate was the best pork chop I had ever eaten. It was very juicy and seasoned perfectly. I loved it and I never order pork in a restaurant for fear that it will arrive very dry, as many do. The side dishes for the pork chop included a Fontina Macaroni and Cheese Cake and a Crispy Pancetta, Green Olive, Baby Arugula and Piquillo Pepper Salad. The salad was very crisp and fresh with a pungent bite from the arugula. The macaroni and cheese cake was amazing, so of course, I had to share a bite of it with TK so he could share in the culinary delight that was on my plate. Instead of the breadcrumb topping that you might be used to, there was a crunchy crust on the cake, and then the inside was warm and soft like the mac and cheese you know and love. I would take it as a side dish for every meal, if I could.

Even though we didn’t really have room, we were in the land of chocolate, so we had to order dessert. I had the Cookie Sundae and TK had the Peanut Butter Cup. I tried them both and enjoyed them both, but I couldn’t get too deep into them because I was full. The Peanut Butter Cup was better than the Cookie Sundae, but they both had their fair share of chocolate. If I could fix two things with the Cookie Sundae, I would swap out the chocolate sauce for hot fudge and serve the chocolate chip cookie warm instead of cold.

We were so pleased that we were able to eat at the Hershey Grill and hope to return to try their other seasonal menus at different points of the year. Oh, and eat more chocolate.

Hershey Grill, 325 University Drive, Hershey, PA, 717-534-8601

An Italian Feast at Via Napoli

Like I said in my last post, my family is in Walt Disney World enjoying meals at a few places on-site. The decided to try Via Napoli and said it was delicious. Via Napoli is in Italy in the World Showcase at Epcot. I’ve never eaten there, so of course, I am now jealous. Just look at these photos and tell me that you aren’t jealous too …

Via Napoli, 1510 Avenue of the Stars, Orlando, FL, 407-939-3463

Top Restaurant at the Top of the Contemporary: California Grill

We travel to Walt Disney World every other year and love it every time. This year, I wasn’t able to go (since I went in November 2013), but some of my family did and they had an enjoyable meal at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort.

The California Grill is one of the best places to get sushi in Walt Disney World and it is a great place to watch the Wishes fireworks show, other than Main Street in Magic Kingdom, of course. The restaurant pipes the music from Wishes through every night so that you can watch and listen to the show from your table. They also have an extensive wine and cocktail list.

So, without further ado, here’s some food from the California Grill …

Now, my family will know that I am not fibbing when I tell them that the California Grill is delicious. They know for themselves, and so should you.

California Grill, 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-939-3463

The food was smokin’ at Smoked Bar and Grill

While in Hershey, we wanted to eat at a restaurant that was not a franchise and served unique menu items. We found it at Smoked Bar and Grill in Hummelstown, Penn. The restaurant is just about a year old and so is its website, which attracted me to it in the first place.

When we first walked in, it was late afternoon, so the restaurant wasn’t empty, but there was no wait. The hostess led us to a corner table so we could keep our son in his stroller while he napped, and we were very grateful. We ordered our beverages first and I got a lemonade and TK got an iced tea. He was annoyed that he didn’t order a root beer and I was annoyed that I didn’t order a limeade. We didn’t know that there would be more options than the norm, but there were. We even saw a chalkboard with all of the craft beers on tap and several of them were beers that we had never heard of. For beer snobs like us, that is the sign of a good beer menu.

We started with wings; six Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Wings and six Orange Siracha Wings. The wings were huge with lots of meat and covered in sauce, just the way I like them. The Orange Siracha Wings were tasty and the spice was delightfully subtle. The BBQ Wings were sweet and zesty. We didn’t leave one wing uneaten.

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BBQ Wings

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Orange Siracha Wings

For our entrees, I ordered a Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries and TK ordered a Patty Melt Burger with Dirty© Mesquite BBQ Chips­. My Pulled Pork Sandwich came with cole slaw on it and I added one of the BBQ sauces from the six that were already on the table. I chose the Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce because it is my favorite. The sandwich bountiful and was a nice combination of cold and hot, tangy and sweet, and crunchy and soft.

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Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

TK loved his Patty Melt Burger. I took a bite of it and it was juicy, and the Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce added a delicious flavor to the burger. The mustard really came through.

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Patty Melt Burger and Chips

When we finished our delicious meal, we ordered Macaroni and Cheese for our sleeping child and got the check. After appetizers, sandwiches and a few beverages, the total was $38.79 before tip. This was the smallest bill we’ve seen in a long time and we were pleasantly surprised. Angela, our waitress, told us that everyone who visits enjoys their meal and she does not get many complaints. We totally believe her, so we thanked her and told her how much we loved the place, and we swore we would be back in the next year or so. And, I still need to try that limeade.

 

Smoked Bar and Grill, 1201 West Chocolate Avenue (Route 422), Hummelstown, PA, 717-298-7900