Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

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Restaurant Review of Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

Hidden in a small home in Weber City, Virginia is an excellent, authentic German restaurant. Those are hard to come by in the mountain region where we live! We discovered it sort of by accident, and we are so glad we did!

The owners are husband and wife Edwin and Ingrid Carter, who met in Berlin during the Korean war. Edwin was a young American soldier from Virginia and Ingrid was a cute young German girl. They met, fell in love, and eventually moved back here to the states. You can read the full story here.

Later in life, the couple built an addition to their home in Weber City to make a restaurant. Seating is limited, so reservations are a good idea, and Gasthaus Edelweiss is only open Thursday through Saturday evenings. If you are interested in visiting, you can give them a call at 276-386-3724.

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

When we visited, they were already decorated for Christmas! First, we were served a hard, crusty bread preferred by the Germans with butter.

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

Herb ordered Wienerschnitzel with homefries.

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

I got Sauerbraten, which is tender marinated beef that was served with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

Both of us were extremely satisfied with the entire experience, from the ambiance, to the people, to the food. If you want delicious German food served in a friendly, home-like atmosphere, do yourself a favor and make a reservation!

Gasthaus Edelweiss in Weber City, Virginia

 

Chocolate and Coffee in Portland, Maine

 

This past winter, Herb and I had the chance to take a week long trip to Portland, Maine. Why Portland? Well, it was a little bit random for us as we live in Tennessee. But we both love the snow and skiing, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try snowmobiling, and it just seemed like a good place to go for all of those things, which it was!
And boy, did we get the snow! Portland had already had a few big snows before our trip, and the day before we arrived they got an additional 8 or so inches, so there was plenty of snow around for our enjoyment. We bundled up every day of our trip, which included one day of skiing at Sunday River Ski Resort, and one day of snowmobiling (one of my favorite parts of the trip!) about 2 hours west of Portland.
The other days were spent bundled up exploring the streets of Portland. All the cold and snow definitely made us want to curl u with a great cup of coffee! One day, we discovered an awesome little coffee shop – Mornings in Paris Old World Cafe. We each enjoyed warming up with a great cup of coffee, and we also split a delicious piece of crumb cake. It was wonderful!

Mornings in Paris Coffee in Portland, Maine

Mornings in Paris Coffee in Portland, Maine

 

Mornings in Paris Coffee in Portland, Maine

 

Another one of our favorite places was just outside of Portland in Scarborough, Maine – Len Libby Chocolates, which is the home of Lenny, the 1700 pound chocolate moose!!! Lenny was joined by some huge chocolate bears as well. Now if that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.

Len Libby Chocolates near Portland, Maine

Len Libby Chocolates near Portland, Maine

Len Libby Chocolates near Portland, Maine

Herb and I had to purchase some chocolate while there, of course. I got some truffles that were delicious, and Herb got this wonderful chocolate covered Twinkie. This was around the time last year that we thought Twinkies were going extinct, but in any case it was yummy. Len Libby is definitely worth a visit!

Len Libby Chocolates near Portland, Maine

 

We had a wonderful trip to Portland and would definitely like to return for a visit. I think we’d like to go in the summertime, because I imagine it’s very different when it isn’t 10 degrees outside!

So if you’re in Portland, now you know where to go to warm up with a nice cup of coffee or to enjoy some great chocolate.

Check out our other Portland posts:

Becky’s Diner

Portland Pie Company

King of the Roll Sushi

University Grill in Fort Myers, Florida

University Grill

 

What you see in this picture is the one solitary dish that keeps my family coming back for more at University Grill in Fort Myers, Florida.  It is the baked cod, and it is oh so delicious!  Succulent white cod baked in a Ritz cracker crust topped with creamy sauce that I am having a hard time describing for you because it’s the perfect blend of fresh (lemon, maybe?) and savory.

Topped with fresh herbs and served with garlic mashed potatoes.  This dish is so good, my parents and Mister Spice all ordered it on our second night eating here while on summer vacation:

University Grill

In fact, the ONLY reason I didn’t order it again was because they had a special Italian chef that night who was serving up chicken piccata, which sounded so good and was definitely worth it!  Plus, I got to have a bite or two of Mister Spice’s baked cod.

University Grill

University Grill isn’t located on or near the beach in Fort Myers, but business is steady.  The restaurant offers a sports bar but it’s primarily casual dining with a fine menu.  If you’re ever in Fort Myers, be sure to check it out and ask for the baked cod.  You won’t regret it!

University Grill University Grill

 

Blue Ridge Dining Room: Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina

Grove Park Inn

So Mrs. Herb has already posted a little bit about Nana’s 90th birthday celebrations, but I wanted to show you just how marvelous the Blue Ridge Dining Room is at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.  The Grove Park hosts more than one restaurant, but the Blue Ridge Dining Room has the most fantastic breakfast spread you can even dream of!  The restaurant boasts several large, open dining rooms with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains:

 

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

 

Grove Park Inn

 

And I guarantee you there isn’t ANYTHING you could wish for that the breakfast buffet doesn’t offer, from a wide selection of fresh fruit:

Grove Park Inn

(notice Mrs. Herb below perusing her options)

Grove Park Inn

to hot eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, blueberry french toast, the world’s best breakfast potatoes, and a lot more stuff that I couldn’t fit on my plate…

Grove Park Inn

A Bloody Mary bar…

Grove Park Inn

toast, granola, yogurt, jam, smoked salmon…

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

FRESH DONUTS!!!!!…

Grove Park Inn

And THE UNIVERSE’S BEST STICKY BUNS!!! No lie.  Cinnabon ain’t got nothin’ on these babies.

Grove Park Inn

And a juice bar! I love juice bars.

Grove Park Inn

As you can tell from the pictures below, our family skipped out on a lot of the healthier options like fruit and yogurt.  I figured, hey, I eat fruit and yogurt every stinkin’ day for breakfast, so let me have the GOOD stuff!

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

And I did go back for more sticky buns.  We had such a good time eating and enjoying the company of our wonderful Nana.  What a better excuse to splurge on such a fabulous meal!  Happy Birthday, Nana!

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

Cheeburger Cheeburger

Cheeburger

Some of you may remember the well-beloved Belushi SNL skit in which he played a pretty crazy chef at Cheeburger Cheeburger, where they served “Pepsi! Pepsi! No Coke!”  It didn’t take long for that fictitious restaurant to become a real one on Sanibel Island, Florida.  While Sanibel boasts the original, the restaurant became a nation-wide chain.  Mister Spice and I have even been to the one in Bluffton, South Carolina, where we saw this sign:

The Sanibel restaurant used to be a little, tiny place that was constantly packed with people, so the owners decided it was time to move into something a little roomier about 10 years ago.  You’ve got to get there around 5:00 pm if you want to beat the dinner crowd.  My family and I often go at least twice and sometimes three times while on vacation for the BEST burgers and milkshakes you will ever have!  The whole place has a 50’s diner atmosphere.

Cheeburger

Cheeburger Cheeburger Cheeburger

This is the counter where you can get a milkshake or malt (pretty much any flavor you can think of) and it’s also where they will make their infamous Cherry Pepsis.

Cheeburger

At the entrance of the restaurant you will find the wall of fame, a place where pictures of any customer who finishes the famous “Pounder” are posted.

Cheeburger

Humphrey Bogart and Betty Boop greet you at the restrooms.

Cheeburger

These burgers are perfect.  First of all, you can get almost any size, from 1/4 of a pound to a pound.  They have just the right amount of char to them, but what is so impressive is the toppings selection.  You want peanut butter on your burger?  You can have it!  What about teriyaki sauce and pineapple?  Sure thing!  There are like thousands of combinations!

Cheeburger

Cheeburger

And the milkshakes…oh my gosh.  I mean, I’ve had some good milkshakes, but I honestly don’t think any of them compare to Cheeburger’s.  I prefer the Oreo milkshake, but this go-round I tried a chocolate peanut butter Reece’s Pieces shake.  Heavenly!

Cheeburger Cheeburger

Cheeburger

For our second visit, Mister Spice decided to go for the pounder, pictured below on the left.  You can see how much bigger it is than my 1/3 pound burger.

Cheeburger

That’s a big burger!

Cheeburger

Once he finished, the waiters rang a bell, announced to the restaurant that Chris from Tennessee had finished the pounder, and took his picture with this stuffed burger.

Cheeburger Cheeburger

We LOVE this place, but I think what makes it so special is that it is the ORIGINAL restaurant.  However, that should’ve stop you from checking one out if you get a chance.  Mister Spice even asked me one time to name my top 3 favorite restaurants EVER, and this one is in my top 3.  THAT’S how good it is!!  Forget 5/5 herbs…this is 10/5 herbs!

Pagelli’s Italian Restaurant in Estero, Florida

Pagelli's

In Estero, Florida, there is a relatively new outdoor mall called Coconut Pointe. This place spans several acres and has dozens of restaurants and stores.  One such restaurant is an Italian restaurant called Pagelli’s, and it is Heavenly!  The only other Pagelli’s is located in Tampa. and the recipes are unique to this store.  My dad got the chicken marsala (pictured above).  Below, Mister Spice got the Cajun Pasta which featured blackened shrimp, sausage, veggies, garlic, and alfredo over fettucini noodles.

Pagelli's

My mom and I both got the spaghetti bolognese, and I’m telling you, it is the best!  The flavor cannot be beat, and as you can see, I completely cleaned my plate.

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

The restaurant has high ceilings and is very open and airy.  There is usually live music on the plaza outside, and there is patio seating that overlooks a large pond.

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

Pagelli's

This was where I chose to have my birthday dinner, and I chose wisely!  We always make it a point to go eat at Pagelli’s while on vacation in Fort Myers, and will continue to do so.  Pagelli’s easily earns 5/5 herbs!

Huey’s on the River in Savannah, Georgia

Huey's

This humble little restaurant is Huey’s on the River in Savannah, Georgia (photo credit given to flickr.com because I forgot to take my own picture from the outside!)  My family and I were hungry and looking for a good lunch spot on a hot day in June.  We’d had many recommendations for other places to eat in Savannah, but they were either out of our price range or the wait was too long.  This place was almost easy to miss as you pass by, but I happened to check out the menu taped to the door, and I was sold!  They have a wide selection of authentic cajun dishes, as well as a plethora of seafood entrees.

Huey's

Mister Spice opted for a fried oyster po-boy and sweet potato fries…the look of sheer happiness on his face made it obvious that it was a darn good choice!

Huey's

My dad ordered classic gumbo which had juicy pieces of chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, okra, and tomatoes in a dark roux over rice.  Dad absolutely raved about the sauce, and when he got full towards the end of the bowl, he ended up ditching the meat and sopping up the sauce with the bread.

Huey's

Mom ordered the daily special, which was blackened tilapia with red beans and rice.  She isn’t even a huge fan of fish, but this was so mild and flavorful she ate every bite!

Huey's

I got the fried catfish, and it was delightful!  I’m like my mom; fish isn’t really my thing.  It has to be a very mild white fish and super crispy, and this huge piece of fish was just that!

Huey's

I mean, look at that!  Flaky on the inside but crispy on the outside…it was better than any piece of fried chicken I’ve ever had!  I didn’t even touch the bread or the fries because I was stuffing my face with the fish!

Huey's

We ended the meal with a serving of warm beignets…words cannot even describe how sweet they were as they melted in our mouths!

Not only was the food so incredible, it was affordable!  Also, our service was great.  Huey’s gets a definite 5/5 herbs!

 

King of the Roll Sushi in Portland, Maine

King of the Roll Sushi, Portland, Maine

Pinit

Though we are by no means sushi experts, Herb and I are both HUGE sushi fans! Where we live, there aren’t that many great options for sushi, so we always jump at the opportunity to go to a sushi restaurant when we’re traveling.

When we were in Portland, Maine, we actually came upon quite a few sushi restaurants. We decided to try King of the Roll Sushi for lunch one day, and we’re glad we did!

Of course, to start us out they brought us some warm, yummy soup, which is just what we needed. We were already frozen to the bone!

We got an Alaska roll to split. Lee ordered a bento box with salmon teriyaki and a salmon roll. I ordered a bento box with salmon teriyaki and a tuna roll.

King of the Roll Sushi, Portland, Maine

 

Everything was delicious and definitely hit the spot for our cold, hungry selves! We would definitely recommend King of the Roll for some tasty and reasonably prices sushi or Japanese food in Portland, Maine!

Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

Athens Steak House was opened in Bristol in 1975 by the Eleas family, who moved to the U.S. from Greece. If you visit, the  co-founder and cutest little old Greek lady in the world, Betty Eleas, will likely be there to greet you and may even serve you on her little push cart.

It doesn’t appear that much has changed since it opened in 1975. Old pictures of the Parthenon cover the walls and the rest of the decor also appears to be from the 70’s. We found this charming and very fitting for a Greek restaurant. After all, Athens is one of the most ancient cities in the world! The menu sums up the atmosphere of the restaurant perfectly:

“We are a relaxed steak house – we serve our customers at a leisurely pace to let you enjoy your meal.”

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

I happen to like a slower pace when I’m eating dinner. I feel like too many restaurants are trying to get you fed and out the door before you’ve even had time to look at the menu! At Athens Steak House, we had a pleasant, no-rush dinner. This isn’t to say that the service was slow – far from it. I felt like the timing of all our courses was just right. Betty even took the time to have some conversation with us, which was delightful.

I ordered the 7 ounce filet, cooked ‘medium’, as I always choose. I noticed that on the menu under the steaks it says, “Excessive broiling reduces the flavor and tenderness. We’ll do it if you insist, but it breaks our hearts.” This made us laugh out loud! I’ve always loved my steaks medium (or medium-rare!) because that’s how my dad taught me to eat them. However, my grandfather and mom like their steaks well-done. My dad has been saying for years how this ruins the steak – reducing the flavor, juiciness, and tenderness!

After we ordered, we were first served a cup of soup and some sliced bread. Apparently everyone gets this, regardless of what you order. I’m not sure what the soup was called, but we asked what was in it. Betty told us it was a chicken broth base with rice, butter, eggs, and lemon. It was a good little appetizer.

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

Next were our salads, which were great. Herb got the Greek salad, with anchovies! We’d never had a straight-up anchovy before! His salad had feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and carrots. I ordered the Combination salad, which was lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

I got my filet and it was cooked perfectly. Every bite was delicious – it was one of the best filets I’ve ever eaten! It was served with a steaming hot baked potato. My filet with all the trimmings was only $17.95!

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

Herb got the Beef and Shrimp Kabobs with grilled veggies. The beef was excellent and tender and the shrimp was very good as well. The green beans (veggie of the day) were served with rice in a light sauce with rice that was also full of flavor. Herb’s entree was only $15.95.

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

For dessert, we both got the baklava with vanilla ice cream. I’ve had baklava before and have not been very impressed. This, however, was delicious! If you are unfamiliar with baklava, it is sort of like a piece of cake – more of a pastry, really, with nuts and honey. This baklava in particular had a spiciness to it, which went really well with the vanilla ice cream. We gobbled it all up!

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

The menu stated, “In Greece, the expression is Kalesas Orexis. In Bristol, we just say “Enjoy Your Dinner”. We very much enjoyed everything about Athen’s Steak House and will definitely be returning! We highly recommend Athens Steak House!

Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia

 

Bocci’s Italian Restaurant in Charleston, SC

Bocci's Italian Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

Isn’t my Valentine so handsome? Yes, I know we’re a couple of months past Valentine’s Day, but I realized that I never shared Charleston with you! Mr. Herb and I spent this past Valentine’s Day weekend (our first V-Day as a married couple!) in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sister Spice had purchased a Groupon for a 2-night stay on Isle of Palms, and some various circumstances kept them from going on the trip. Mr. Herb and I bought the Groupon from her and had a lovely weekend getaway!

Unfortunately, the weather was pretty chilly that weekend- one waitress told us that it was the coldest weekend they’d had all winter! But we tried to not let that get our spirits down. We had several delicious meals in Charleston, and today I want to share with you Bocci’s – a delicious Italian restaurant.

It was toward the end of our long, chilly Saturday in Charleston, and we were both extremely hungry! We had several places on our list of recommended restaurants from friends, and happened to drive by Bocci’s, which had been recommended by my friend Chelsea. Mr. Herb and I both agreed that Italian food sounded perfect (you know how we love Italian!)

Bocci’s started us off by serving us some delicious Italian bread with garlic butter. I had to force myself not to eat the whole basket of bread before our meal came! Mr. Herb ordered the Chicken Linguine, which was pan seared chicken, spinach, tomatoes and basil tossed with linguine in a delicious white wine lemon garlic sauce. He really liked the dish and appreciated the flavor and freshness of the ingredients.

Bocci's Italian Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

I ordered the Ravioli Arrabiatta, which was ravioli stuffed with cheese, spinach, and walnuts tossed with spinach and Italian sausage, and covered in a spicy marinara sauce. This dish was full of flavor and the spiciness was just right! Yum!

Bocci's Italian Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

We give Bocci’s 4.5 out of 5 herbs for great atmosphere and tasty Italian food! If you’re ever visiting Charleston, check it out!

 

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