McCormick and Schmick’s Revisited

One of my first posts in 2015 was about McCormick and Schmick’s in Troy. I wasn’t too enamored with the place, and for the price did not feel like I had a worthy experience. You can read the previous review HERE. I recently have been going to McCormick and Schmick’s for a recurring business development group meeting. Although I am abstaining from eating during the meetings, the food ordered by others looked really good and the happy hour prices can’t be beat. The great appeal is that the happy hour menu is available all week – even on the weekends from 4-6:30. Saturday night we found ourselves looking for somewhere different to go, so we headed up to M&S. The happy hour menu is available anywhere in the bar area, and it is first come first serve. There are high top tables, low table or cozy booths for your dining pleasure. Happy hour is pretty busy. On a Saturday at like 5 p.m., the place was already jumping. We were lucky to grab a couple seats at the bar.

There were two bartenders that night, Ariana and Andrew. Although both took good care of us, Ariana had the better personality of the two. Andrew was a bit stoic for a bartender, and too serious for my taste. A very “get down to business” sort of guy. Now the happy hour menu is not super extensive as most happy hour menus are, but they had a large offering of drinks, which is unusual for happy hour.

I started the evening (and ended it too) with my new favorite drink. Tito’s and soda, with a splash of cranberry and a slice of lime. Omar stuck with his traditional Tanqueray martini, up, with three anchovy stuffed (gag) olives.

The food ranges from $3 snacks, like hummus or bruschetta, to $9 “bites” like shrimp cocktail. They have weekly specials like Tuesday’s Titos and Tacos (yumm!) Wednesday has $1 shrimp & suck with $1 oysters and shrimp and Thursday’s boast Oyster Rockefeller day just $2.50 each.

I think the best deals on the menu are the $5 fish tacos, or the $5 burger and fries. We ordered what seemed like a gluttonous amount of food. I ordered shrimp cocktail with the fish tacos, grilled, not fried. The “jumbo” shrimp cocktail was far from jumbo, more like “average” shrimp cocktail, but shrimp was fresh, and cocktail sauce full of horseradishy goodness. The fish tacos however, were spectacular. Fresh grilled fish (of unknown origin, most likely a whitefish or flounder) with a spicy jicama slaw, roasted corn salsa and a cilantro ranch sauce. The combination of flavors just explodes in your mouth.

Omar ordered the Spice Seared Ahi Tuna and a plate full of oysters. I am not a fan of raw, or even slightly seared fish, nor am I a fan of oysters. The Ahi Tuna had great flavors, with picked lip stick peppers adorning the plate and a yuzu aioli. (Yuzu is a Korean type of citrus fruit) but I simply just can’t get over the texture. Omar said the oysters were amazing. So much so, he ordered extra oysters and more Tuna! What began as a cheap happy hour jaunt turned into quite an expensive date, with the multiple drinks and food.

We did not order the burger and fries but sure wanted to. The burger was massive, looked juicy and the fries looked like my perfect fry. Not batter fried, skin on, and cooked perfectly. You can even order with drizzled truffle oil and Parmesan. I know the burgers looked good because everyone around us ordered one.

Long story short. the bar is a totally different atmosphere than the main restaurant. Relaxed, laid back, great prices, great food. Throw in some fun bartenders like our buddy Colin who is now at Eddie Vs and you have the makings of a perfect hangout. I know I suggested in 2015 that you stay away from this place, but I have changed my mind – just sit in the bar from 4:00-6:30!

St. Thomas day 6 – Ladies Day Out

Thursday we ladies wanted to visit St. John.  The boys however, wanted to stay at Magen’s Bay.  We had heard that the beach at Trunk Bay was one of the most beautiful, most photographed beaches in the world, and had an underwater self-guided snorkel trail. We decided to split up for the day and we ladies headed for the ferry in Red Hook.

The ferry is easy to find and easy to navigate.  We expected some trouble getting to St. John but were pleasantly surprised when things went so smoothly.  After a short ferry ride, we debarked in St. John, and immediately found a cab driver ready to take us to Trunk Bay.  There are all sorts of horror stories about cabbies taking you off the beaten path and demanding large amounts of money to bring you back, but truth was, there were many reputable cab companies ready to take passengers for a pre-determined amount of money.

We gathered our cooler, and beach bags and headed for Trunk Bay.  The ranger gave us all the “talk” about not bringing in glass (a $500 fine PER container).

The beach did not disappoint. The sand was like walking on warm brown sugar.  With towering coconut trees, and plenty of sea grape trees for shade, we quickly rented some chairs and set up our camp for the day.

The water and beach were beyond beautiful.  Warm water, crystal clear, soft sandy bottom, beautiful views of the mountainous St. John.  The day was WINDY though and I mean windy.  Seems small wind tunnels came through periodically, taking chairs, hats, and umbrella with it.  The sand was constantly whipping up which gave the feeling of being sandblasted.  The water remained remarkably calm though, in spite of the wind.

We started out drinking some adult beverages. The food/drink shack had frozen drinks, mango, strawberry, peach, passion fruit, all mixed with rum.  However, don’t ask to mix two flavors!! It simply can’t be done! (Even though she just dumped mixers in).

We ordered lunch, after securing a second mortgage on our houses, LOL, and ordered the standard pedestrian fare of burgers, chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches.  After yet another $100 lunch bill, we were informed to cover ourselves because the sea gulls would attack, and did they ever! The man leaving the snack stand looked like Tippy Henren running from the attacking flock.  Since the birds were distracted by him, we managed to make it back to our blanket.  I was eating my mediocre burger when a seagull flew up and tried to grab it right out of my hand! Scared the begeebies out of me!

Parents were protecting small children from the birds hungry wrath. People screaming, lunch was chaos!

After a long day of sunny and swimming, we grabbed a cab, a nice open cabbed vehicle that literally puts benches in the back of a truck bed.  There was a nice netting though that kept us safe!! Haha.  WE wanted to explore St. JOhn, but as we were loaded down with coolers and beach bags we opted to just take the ferry back to St. Thomas which went without a hitch, grabbed our car and headed back to the villa.

The boys had an amazing time as boys do at Magens Bay, drinking, flirting, throwing a ball around, flexing their muscles, whatever boys do when their better halves are not there.  We heard (over and over) how nice a day they had sans bickering ladies.  We had a nice testosterone free day as well!!

The rest of the evening we just hung at the villa, swapping stories of the day, about all the lovely ladies drooling over our sexy men, and they amazing ability to beat them all off with a stick.  Hahaha

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Riding on the Metro Bar

Omar and I, after what was an extremely painful “talent” show (I won’t say where, out of respect, but it was brutal) needed a beer and fast. We were also hungry as it was now about 9 p.m. and we haven’t eaten. We stopped in on a whim to the Metro Bar and Grill on Ryan and 12 Mile Road. We have drove by a lot, and reviews were pretty good so we popped in.

Beer selection was very limited. I ordered a fat tire on draft, which turns out was a mistake.  The beer was warm, and tasted like the lines were dirty (ugg).  Omar’s beer was fine, or so he said.

The burgers are really hyped here.  Reviews say they are really good so of course, Omar ordered a burger and fries.  I saw a “slim Jim” on the menu and the waitress assured me it was really good, so I ordered. Why not? Decided to get a little crazy.

Omar’s burger was good and cooked well. The fries crisp and very hot. It came with “Metro Mayo” which may have not been anything more than mayo with reconstituted dried onions, and some seasoning, but man, it was good!  Even dipping the fries into it.

My slim Jim was really good. Very similar to Big Boys. Funny, I said to Omar “this is good like Big Boys, but just doesn’t have that seeded bun” when I realized the bun was indeed seeded, just for what ever reason, turned inside out before the sandwich was “pressed”.  I don’t remember Slim Jim’s of the past being squashed like a squirrel on a busy highway, but they sure are now. And this sandwich sure mimicked that.

We were wrapping up our meal when the waitress said, “don’t leave yet, we are just starting Karaoke, are you brave enough to sing?” Haha she doesn’t know me very well does she?? Well I GUESS I could be persuaded!  Omar, who is now one of the biggest Karaoke junkies I know was up for  the challenge as well.  I ordered another beer, a pedestrian Labatts, in a bottle this time though, and it was cold and refreshing!

After I rocked Jolene and My Baby Loves Me Just The Way That I Am (dedicated to my honey of course) and Omar rocked out Whipping Post and Love Without End, Amen we decided to pack it in for the night. It was a work night after all.

We will go back for sure.  Close to home, good food and karaoke every night!! What else could you ask for?

Bastone Brewery – a Beer Tour

You may remember my previous Bastone Brewery Post (read here). We went for lunch during work, so I was unable to sample or review the beer.  I finally was able to drag Omar to Royal Oak.  Begrudgingly, he agreed to go to the “biggest pain in the butt city to park”.  As I now work in Royal Oak, I showed him a world of convenient, albeit paid, parking, easy walks and interesting establishments.  Dare I say he didn’t complain and said he would even return? (Which we did, see my next post!)

We were excited to find out they do indeed brew on-site, and offered a flight of (really large sample) beers for a mere $8! You can’t even order a single glass of craft beer for that in most places.  WE had so much beer we almost (almost) couldn’t finish it!

I will touch upon our food, but as I already reviewed the food here, I want to focus on the brews.

The flight contained 7 different beers ranging from blonde to a seasonal ale.

First glass, Monumental Blonde:  A simple american-style lighter beer. Low abv, 4.5%. This beer is nothing fancy.  A simple beer, akin to labatts, Bad Ass, or other lighter beers. Low bittterness, and very light. Maybe wouldn’t appeal to craft beer enthusiasts due to its ubiquitous flavor.

Main Street Pilsner: A bit hoppier and more malty (is that a word) than the blonde. A wee bit stronger (5.5% abv). Had an interesting aroma of yeasts, corn and malts. Probably one of my favorite on the flight, as the hoppiness was low and flavor profile was unique.

Witface: A Belgian-style white beer, flavored with orange, lemon and coriander. Now I am not a fan or fruited or spiced beers.  If you like these types of beers, blue moon for example, you probably would like this beer.  One of my least favorite samples. This beer had a moderate abv with 5.5%.

Royal IPA: This pale ale, with an abv of 6.75%. Pretty much your standard IPA. Hoppy and bitter.  IPA’s if you have read my previous blogs not really my thing.  All you hop heads out there, this is probably not hoppy enough for you, but alas too hoppy for me.

Dubbel Vision: This Belgian-style amber ale, has a abv of 7.5%. Brewed with candi-sugar and dark fruits. This beer is not a stand out against other Dubbel type beers.  If you are a Dubbel lover, this beer is for you.

Nectar des Dieux Triple: A Belgian style strong golden ale with light fruity notes and a hint of sweetness 9% ABV. This beer was pretty drinkable. Strong candied flavors and a tart bite.

Imperial Cherry Stout: As I said, I am not a fruited beer lover and was kind of dreading this one. It however surprising good! Not the glass of caramelized cough syrup I was expecting.  I apologize, but as a seasonal beer, I failed to get the abv.  My guess is somewhere in the 6-7% range.  This beer was full of deep roasted malt flavors, smooth with just a hint of cherry that added a deeper component to the beer.  Tasty, and to my delight, one of my favorites on the flight.

For the food portion of our evening, I ordered the filet mignonettes.  Beef tenderloin tips, ordered sans mushrooms, with roma tomatoes and a Dubbel Vision demi-glace, and substituted crushed redskin potatoes for the yummy pomme frittes and veggies.  The steak tips were just ok.  The meal kind of reminded me of stew meat, although a bit more tender, with a dark, almost balsamic and tomato tasting sauce. Good, not great.

Omar ordered his classic burger.  It is rare that Omar doesn’t try a burger in these types of places.  He ordered the pork belly burger, grilled and topped with braised pork belly, herbed goat cheese and a red onion marmalade. A side of their delicious pomme frittes accompanied his meal, with both artichoke, garlic and the mammoet (see previous post for description). Omar said the burger was good, but wasn’t bursting with the pork belly flavor he was hoping for.

Overall would we go again? Sure.  Especially just for the beer.  The value and amount you got on the beer flight was well worth the trip.  We recommend.  Especially for those wanting to try out new beer offerings.

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Ye Old Detroit Burger Bar

Last Friday, Omar and I snuck out for a quick dinner, with a craving for a good burger and a new destination in mind, The Old Detroit Burger Bar, which took over the old Mr. B’s on Rochester Road in Troy. The website touts itself as “the best burger in town”. With a claim like that, we had to try it.
The walls of this restaurant are decorated with old pictures of iconic Detroit landmarks which tell a story of Detroit’s history along with widescreen TV’s and subtle lighting.
The menu incorporates many Michigan based companies, Vodka distilled from Ferndale, Beer from Kalamazoo and Birmingham, Faygo, Towne Club, wines from Traverse City, Better Made potato chips, Dearborn Brand and Wigley’s Meats.
The burgers come in baskets, branded with the company logo, juicy and delicious with a side of fries, waffle fries, onion rings or tater tots.
It was Wigley’s corned beef that first grabbed Omar’s attention. Omar ordered the “Ambassador” Burger. 1/2 lb perfectly cooked beef topped with Wigley’s corned beef, swiss cheese and Thousand Island Dressing. The burger was juicy, although Omar said could use a bit more seasoning.
I stuck with the standard Old Detroit Classic, a 1/2 lb Angus burger to which I added bacon and cheddar cheese. My burger was amaze-balls. Juicy, flavorful and huge!! I could only manage to eat half of the monster!!
Both Omar and I agreed that the sides were good, not great. I ordered the tater tots, because, really when do I ever eat tots? I expected them for some reason to be extraordinary. They were just tater tots. Nothing more, nothing less. Omar’s waffle fries were the same. Just your run of the mill waffle fries.
They had a decent selection of Michigan Beers. I ordered my usual Vanilla Java Porter. Cold and frosty as usual.
If you are feeling adventurous, try the I-75 burger. A 2 lb $25 burger topped with grilled onions and jalapenos. Finish the burger and you get your picture taken and placed on the “wall of fame”. As Omar and I didn’t want our picture to appear in the news with caption “gluttonous couple eats themselves to death” we did not order it.
We were sat quickly, our waitress was attentive and our beer and food came out very quick. Overall, a great experience and we will go back!! Forks up to this one!!

B Spot, if You B Feeling Like it

Friday I went to B Spot burgers in Royal Oak for lunch.  B Spot is Michael Symon’s (of Food Network Fame) burger joint.  Being Michael Symon’s restaurant, I expected an exceptional experience.  The restaurant touts that is has been voted best burgers in America in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.  As this is 2015, I guess it is no longer the best?

The restaurant markets itself as the “B” Spot with burgers, bourbons and brats.  They also have other “B” offerings like Bologna, “Big” Salads and “Bad Ass” Shakes.

I am afraid I have to admit now, that I must be a food snob of epic proportions.  The group I was with were raving about their burgers.  I however, just found mine to be OK.  I ordered a basic cheeseburger, topped with lettuce, tomato and onion.  I also ordered Russian dressing on the side.  The burger was served with an “artisan” type bun, which I found a bit dry, and the burger was a tad too small for the bun.  When eating the best burger in America, I shouldn’t EVER take a bun only bite.  Just sayin, Michael Symon. The Russian dressing was a nice addition to the burger, and I am glad I ordered it.  They also have a variety of other “sauces” on the table, ranging from homemade B Spot Ketchup (sweet and a bit spicy), A Coffee BBQ sauce, Stadium Mustard and a ShaSha sauce that was interesting & tasty. Made with hot banana peppers, garlic, mustard, vinegar and sugar for sweetness, it was a perfect combination of sweet and spicy.  You can find the recipe here if interested….

The french fries were just as I like.  Thin, crispy, with a hint of rosemary, called Lola fries. (Not sure who Lola is, but he also has a restaurant named Lola. Maybe he just really likes the name??)  They came in a small metal cup, and were very tasty.  Dip them in the ShaSha sauce and you have a winner!

They also have a pickle bar – who doesn’t love pickles?  Has a serve yourself area of pickled jalapenos, banana peppers, garlic dill pickles, sweet pickles and even pickled green tomato and kimchi (fermented Korean (typically) cabbage).

The Bad Ass Shakes looked very interesting.  I did not order, as I had to work all afternoon and did not need to go into a food coma.  They have interesting flavors, such as chocolate banana marshmallow, vanilla bean apple pie and bacon, and their seasonal pumpkin pie, made with a real piece of blended pumpkin pie.

Speaking of seasonal – one diner we were with ordered the November special burger – Turkey burger with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy.  She said it was delicious!  Those who did order turkey burgers, whether dressed up as thanksgiving dinner or not, did say they were moist and flavorful.

I must say though, we had a party of maybe 15 people.  The service was exceptional, orders taken correctly, food brought out promptly, bills brought quickly and accurately, and we were well looked after.  For that reason alone, I would go back to the restaurant. For the food, well the food may not draw me back, but the atmosphere and service definitely would.

 

Fat Head and Fat Belly

Cleveland: Dinner Saturday

After our day cruise, we opted to take a side trip to another brewery right outside the city.  We headed to Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, about a 20 minute drive from the hotel.

Oh man, we hit the jackpot for beer selection.  They had probably over 20 different kinds of micro brewed beers ranging from Hoppy IPAs to Seasonal Spiced Ales.  All beers available as a 4 oz. sample ranging from 1.50-2.50 per selection so that is what we opted for.  Omar and I, having similar beer tastes, ordered the same samples.

Which were:

The Battle Ax Baltic Porter: Smooth and Rich, with chocolate overtones and a a complexity of flavors including dark dried fruits, licorice and molasses.  8.6 abv.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch: This was surprisingly subtle, with a hint of sweetness, vanilla and cinnamon. They call it their breakfast in a glass. Sweet malt and bready flavor. 7.8% abv.

Chocolate Vanilla Porter: 6% abv, had chocolate, coffee, caramel and roasted flavors. Madagascar Vanilla beans and Belgian Dark Chocolate give this brew its elegant flavor.

Black Knight Schwarzbier: A dark black lager with dark roasted flavors. 5.5% abv.

The food was really good. HUGE and I mean huge portions. I highly suggest splitting something.  Omar ordered the “Thick Rick” burger.  Two, yes 2, 8 oz. patties, american cheese, bacon, lettuce, mayo and tomato with a big slice of onion.  Came with fresh cut fries o’plenty.

I ordered the Smoked prime rib dip sandwich with prime rib sliced thin, and grilled with onions, topped with provolone cheese & horseradish sauce. Au Jus on the side. It was served on a tasty sub bun, but way to large for me to even attempt to eat.  A handful of homemade potato chips accompanied the sandwich, which were cooked very well.

Overall, a fabulous experience.  We even commented that was it us, just choosing the most stellar restaurants to eat in, or did Cleveland just have a much better food selection than Detroit? So far, we have made FABULOUS choices! More to follow…

What’s the Buzz About Mr. B’s?

The ladies at work took me out for my birthday lunch to Mr. B’s in Royal Oak. Now I have been to Mr. B’s as most of you have but I have not been in a while. As it was my birthday and I am whooping it up in preparation of a serious diet and exercise program (following my upcoming mini vacation) I ordered the slop burger and fries. The menu at Mr. B’s has recently changed, offering new selections such as hummus, calamari, a variety of gourmet salads, and new entrees like puff pastry pot pies and pork chops. They still have their classic slop burger, which is a classic burger with your choice of cheese along with mustard, ketchup, mayo, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomato, all on a classic sesame bun.

This burger is aptly named slop burger as it oozes deliciousness, all over your chin, plate, shirt… The menu also advertised hand cut fries. I don’t think I need to remind you of my previous “frirade”. These fries were indeed hand cut, but needed to be cooked a little longer, as they were just a bit on the underdone side.

Other ladies ordered the Royal Oak Salad, which they all said was good. A couple ladies were working to stick to a diet, and Mr. B’s accommodate their requests.

Mr. B’s although was pretty empty when we were there, seemed a good place to hang, with pool tables, dart boards and even a ping pong table. I am not sure if I will seek this restaurant out on a regular basis, but I certainly would not turn down another invitation!

Vinsetta Garage – You should “auto”matically go!

Went to a business lunch at Vinsetta Garage the other day. Vinsetta Garage on Woodward in Berkley is owned by the same husband and wife duo that own Clarkston Woodshop, which I love.   I was looking forward to checking out this new place and seeing what the similarities were, if any.

Their menu is vastly different than the Woodshop, with a menu weighing heavy with burgers and sandwiches, but also featuring wood fired pizza and pastas.  There is a few main entrees on  the menu, but for a $42 Waygu Strip Steak, I will stick with the burgers.

I ordered the “Vinsetta Burger” which is basically two 4 oz. Vinsetta blend patties cooked through, stacked with two slices of American cheese, L.T.O. (lettuce, tomato, onion), sliced McClure’s pickles, Woodshop MI maple bacon and Vinsetta Burger Sauce (which was kind of like a ketchup-y thousand island). The flavors were great, with the charbroiled flavor of the burger itself, and the smoky salty-ness of the bacon. This was probably by far, one of the sloppiest burgers I have ever eaten.  Thank goodness the napkins (which are so cleverly auto shop towels) were in large supply. This not a meal I would want to eat on a first date.  Not ladylike at all!!

I opted against the fries (I know you are all thinking I must be crazy since they CLEARLY were the hand cut, skin on fries that I love) but I had to compare the famous mac and cheese to the Woodshop location. The mac and cheese was cheesy, creamy and had a baked crispy buttery panko crust. I found it slightly different than the Woodshop, but delicious nonetheless.

Some of the other offerings looked amazing, with bacon wrapped, deep fried hot dogs, mac & cheese burgers,  handcrafted and open fired pizzas and a variety of pastas. They even have tuna casserole!!

I wanted so bad to try the Faygo Rock ‘n Roll flavored nitrogen churned ice cream.  Handmade, sounded amazing, with pop rocks on top!! But alas, was too full to even read the words ice and cream LOL.

The large garage doors open the restaurant up for a open-air feel, and they do have a patio if you can manage to grab a spot.

Ugh, I was so full you had to roll me back to work for a very long, over stuffed afternoon worth of work.

For you car lovers, interesting decor and history in this place. I would recommend Vinsetta Garage to both car lovers and food lovers!!

 

 

Bastone Brewery – ooh la la – don’t mind if I do-ery

Today for lunch, the owner of my work took us all to lunch to celebrate one of the ladies 10 year anniversary.  After trying to find a restaurant that would accommodate like 20 or so of us at the prime lunch time hour, we settled on Bastone Brewery.

Now Bastone touts itself as a Belgian brewery with Belgian inspired food.  The first thing that caught my eye, of course (if you remember my fryraid), was they had pomme frittes on the menu, could they be the thin, salty, fries I was hoping for?

As soon as we started looking over the menu, baskets of warm bread were brought to the table with a chive infused butter.  The bread was really good. Imagine a good French bread and a sourdough bread had a baby.  That’s what this bread was.  Crispy on the outside, warm, chewy and thick on the inside.  Melt some chive infused butter on it – oh baby – there goes my diet!!

Before we could settle on a selection, the owner ordered appetizers of spinach artichoke dip and pomme frittes for all. The spinach artichoke dip was unlike any I had ever had. It was baked with what they advertise as four cheeses. The overall look and taste was that it had a cheddar cheese base, rather than a white cheese base.  It was served with warm seasoned crostini. It was delicious. The pomme frittes, not quite as I imagined, stick thin and fried just til crispy, these were thin(ner) and twice fried, giving them the deep brown look and flavor of a hand cut fry.  They were served salty in a paper cone, and came with a variety of mayonnaise dipping sauces (or Aioli’s). All just as tasty as the next.  Garlic, horseradish, red pepper, artichoke, tarragon, basil and mammoet – which is one of the three new culinary words I learned today.  In Belgium, fries are often served as a main dish, and always have some kind of mayonnaise.  Mammoet is a tomato based mayo with garlic. soy sauce, onion and a sweetener.

Here is an interesting website on the history of the french fry, and appropriate preparation and toppings. Just in case you were interested.

http://www.webfoodculture.com/side/fries-and-george-crum/

For lunch, not that I even needed anything else, I ordered a burger.  Now they have a burger served with braised beef cheeks and gouda, but I opted for the face free burger.  I asked for thousand island for my burger, and was told they have no thousand island, no ranch.  Those topping are simply too pedestrian for this place.  I was given both artichoke mayo and mammoet.  I also ordered pomme frittes. Don’t judge, I didn’t want to make a hog of myself with the ones for appetizers.  The burger was cooked well, and seasoned properly. It had that slight charred flavor from a flame grilled burger. The bun was odd, but good. It was almost crispy on the outside, and really light on the inside.

Now others ordered, and here are my other two new culinary words I learned today, grilled Onglet with stoemp. Onglet, basically french for Hanger Steak, and stoemp, which is a mashed potato with carrots and spinach.  I think they were good, but of course, can’t really speak for them. Just mentioned because of my two new words I learned.

The service was spot on, and they treated us really well for such a large party.  Unlike other restaurants that say “Oh, we can’t accommodate a big party you have to leave!!” And you know who you are (**cough cough Parrot Cove**).

Omar has an aversion to Royal Oak, mostly due to the parking. As I work in Royal Oak now, I am getting to see the rich diversity and culinary adventures that Royal Oak has to offer and I am going to start dragging him there whether he likes it or not! Bastone is one I will drag him too. And that time I will be able to sample the Belgian beers and report back to you!!