I Found My Thrill, at Rochester Mills

First, let me share with you a little known secret. Sign up for the email birthday club and you will get a free entrée and pint glass on your birthday, and since there is nothing I like more on my birthday than free food and swag, we made sure to hit Rochester Mills Beer Company. They also, coincidentally, have one of our favorite beers on tap, Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout. This is a 5% abv beer, which has a rich, roasted flavor of chocolate, caramel and notes of coffee. It is smooth and not heavy for a stout, with a rich complexity of flavors and textures.

However, this evening, Omar opted to try the Paint Creek Porter, which he said was good, not great. With 5.6 abv (which by the way means alcohol by volume), this beer is robust with lots of chocolate malt. Very deep in color and very full bodied. In comparison, Omar says he prefers the Milkshake Stout.

For dinner, Omar opted for appetizers. We started splitting the brewers bread, which is pizza crust, covered in cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil, folded up and baked til melty and you dip in either pizza sauce or ranch. The red pepper flakes gives this bread a surprise kick, and is nice with the ranch dip.

Omar also opted for the wings. As he finds most “hot” sauces not hot enough for him, he ordered the “F’ing hot wings.” That’s literally what they are called. He asked the waitress if they were hot and she replied, “yes they are F’ing hot!” And they were. I asked Omar if they were hot and he replied while sweat poured down his face, and nose was running that indeed they WERE F’ing hot!! I asked what the allure was to eat something so hot that it made you cry and he went into some lengthy explanation about endorphins and pain and pleasure, frankly it did not look like fun to me!! I did not try them, as even medium wings are too hot for my gentle palate.

I ordered the buffalo mac and cheese. I honestly did not have a lot of high hopes for this meal, but as I got a free entrée I had to order something. I was so wrong. This mac and cheese was amazing! It was creamy, with a smooth, flavorful beer cheese, but intertwined with buffalo hot sauce and grilled chicken. The mac and cheese had just the right amount of heat, and really a symphony of flavors. It also was served with literally ½ a pizza crust with melted cheese. Waaay too much food to eat.

Our waitress was funny, and efficient and our evening was great. We will most definitely return to Rochester Mills and I won’t even wait until my birthday!!

Let me tell you what’s at steak.

I took my beautiful Jen out to Mortons steak house last night for her birthday.  We have been there several times before, usually for corporate parties and always enjoyed ourselves.  We were seated promptly and the server came over right away with bread and water.  Jen ordered a Mojito which she said was good but a little too sweet (kinda like me). I ordered something called the last word.  This was a concoction of three different alcohols, that was pink and served in a stemmed glass that little girls would use for a tea party with their stuffed animals. Had I known this no way would I have got this drink!

The loaf of bread served was hot and fresh and oniony, like a larger lighter Kaiser roll. Very tasty.  Jen and I both ordered off the summer special menu.  This allows for an entree, a salad, a side and a dessert.  Jen and I each ordered a house salad, a 6 oz. filet and Key Lime pie for dessert.  Our only differences, were in the potato dishes. Jen ordered sour cream mashed and I ordered Lyonnaisse potatoes. Jen ordered her steak mid rare and I ordered mine rare.  We also upgraded our steaks Oscar style (topped with asparagus, lump crab in a Bearnaise sauce).

The salads were large but rather un-inspired, just lettuce some crumbled egg with dressing. That’s it, no wow factor here.  The potatoes were just ok, nothing special.  Lyonnaise is just a fancy way of saying spuds sauteed with onions. The sour cream mash was better, but if your gonna charge people 13 dollars for potatoes when ordered a-la carte, they should be special.  These were not. Now for the steaks.

Both of our steaks were super tender, juicy and cooked perfectly, nothing but praise from both of us.  The Oscar topping was equally delicious, except for a tiny bit of cartilage in Jens, otherwise very good. Dessert is a mixed review, I really enjoyed it but Hot Jen felt that the crust on the pie was burned.  I did not. I thought it was good, although Bahama Breeze has a better key lime pie I enjoyed eating Jens’ dessert as well.

Look, I know places like these are expensive, and I don’t mind dropping serious coin on a super stellar meal, however this was only good, not great. I like Mortons and I will go back, but as of my most recent experience, Ruths Chris is a better steak house.  One more word, when ordering a cocktail, be careful, bartenders are trying to get to fancy and sometimes the drink doesn’t work.  That’s why my next drink was a Martini which Morton’s makes very well.

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Ruths Chris, a birthday wish

My beautiful Jen took me out last nite for a birthday dinner to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Now I have never been there but always heard good things about it.  Jen made reservations for 7:15.  We arrived at 7:05 and were promptly seated.  The server, came over quickly and took our drink order. Jen ordered a Mojito and I ordered a chilled Martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives.  When the drinks came they were exactly the way we liked them. My martini was strong yet smooth and the anchovy olives were chock full of salty goodness.  Now even though I do not like Mojitos, I tried Jens drink.  The mint was super fresh you could smell it from across the table, as if someone just picked it from a garden.

When it comes to ordering at an upscale steak house, one has to be careful because everything is usually a la carte. However, they had special three course dinner where you can order a starter, an entree, a side and dessert.  So we both ordered this. Jen and I both ordered Caesar salads to start with. Jen ordered a filet and mashed potatoes and I ordered a ribeye  with creamed spinach. The dessert that came with the meal was strawberry shortcake. But because it was my birthday, I would be allowed to upgrade my dessert free of charge.

The salad was quite large and very good indeed. The dressing was just a wee bit tangier than I like, but Jen thought it was perfect.  When the steaks came, the server, Christine said that the plates would be hot because the steaks are cooked at a temperature of 1800 degrees. 1800 degrees I said, that’s almost as hot as her as I pointed to Jen. The sides were plentiful enough to share. The potatoes were smooth and creamy with the right amount of garlic.  The creamed spinach was good but I felt could’ve used a little more salt. Jen disagreed with me, she thought they were perfect. The steaks were cooked exactly like we wanted with exceptional flavor and tenderness.

Surprisingly, Jen and I were both full and still had dessert coming. As I mentioned before, Jens meal came with strawberry shortcake but I upgraded mine to the chocolate duo.  This consisted of a chocolate lava cake and small side of chocolate mousse. As I confirmed my dessert order with Christine, I told her to make sure the chef makes my dessert as sweet as Jen.

My dessert was fabulous, so rich and decadent, just oozing chocolaty goodness.  And the presentation was equally whimsical,with happy birthday written on the plate with chocolate syrup.  To sum up, Ruth’s Chris may be pricey, as any fine dining establishment is but definitely well worth it.

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