Great Steak "Down Undah" in Royal Palm Beach

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

What a great "sammie" I had for lunch on Wednesday of last week.  Thinly sliced Ribeye steak on a Ciabatta roll with just a little “schmear” of mayo; if I had been thinking, I would have taken home some of the insanely tasty dipping sauce they serve with the "Bloomin’ Onions" at Outback Steakhouses.  I was fortunate to enjoy such a lunch due to the story and review below.

I got together with a sizable group of friends on Tuesday at the Outback Steakhouse in Royal Palm Beach.  Normally this group of guys meets at my church; however we decided to do something a little different.

Anyway, we made arrangements to meet at the Outback and they had a big chunk of the restaurant ready for us.

I haven’t been to an Outback Restaurant in a long time, and with few exceptions I’m not usually one for chain restaurants to start with; however I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.  We had a special abbreviated menu from which to choose; either a Porterhouse or a bone-in Ribeye.  At the urging of one of the guys at my table, I opted for the Ribeye and I must say it was a great cut of beef; seasoned perfectly with just the right amount of marbling which made for a very juicy and tasty steak.  I gotta tell ya, I have probably had better steaks, but as I’m sitting here writing this, I really can’t remember when.  And of course it was huge and there was more than enough left over for the sandwich I described above.

I also had the house salad with the house dressing; crisp, fresh, and delish.  The side of real mashed potatoes was equally good.  Make no mistake, I’ve looked up the recipe for the dipping sauce as well, because that stuff would pair with just about anything worthy of dipping, be it fried or not.

As far as the service was concerned, both Cassandra and Chelsea were over the top; and one could tell that this was the normal level of service they provide, which is probably why the house assigned them to us.  Simply put, they know their stuff and were great.  Every one of us was pleased, our glasses were always kept filled, and no request for extra anything went unanswered.  To be honest, both of these young ladies would do very well at any high end restaurant if they ever choose to up their game.

I don’t know about the rest of their locations; however I would definitely recommend this one for a nice casual dinner with family and friends or even for that quick local business meeting.

For over-all good food and service, and comfortable atmosphere, the Outback Steakhouse earned all five of The Patriots Press stars.

You will find them at 11101 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach, FL.  They are open Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm and until 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.  You can call ahead for seating or takeout at (561) 795-6663. 

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Texas Roadhouse

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

I haven’t had a steak outside the house in a while, and I owed a friend dinner in payment of a favor; and so, since I’d been wanting to try the relatively new “Texas Roadhouse” on Southern Blvd., that is where we dined.

The first thing that hit me upon entering was the peanut shells all over the floor.  I haven’t seen that since a place from up north called “The Ground Round;” it got my OCD going in overdrive then, and it did again tonight.  I just don’t get that.

Putting that aside, the staff were all more than pleasant and helpful, and my stated wait time of 15-20 minutes was less than five minutes, which was a surprise given how busy they were.  

It didn’t take long for us to decide what to have, and our server Tom was on his game.  Assured that the Prime Rib was medium to rare, (which is how I like it) we both ordered that.  For side dishes, I ordered the Caesar Salad and Mashed Potatoes.  The salad was crisp and cool, however the dressing was flavorless and I can only refer to it as “white stuff.”  The spuds were acceptable.

Anyway, on to the “meat” of the story.  When my PR arrived, it was way too well done for my taste and as much as I hate to, I had to send it back.  Naturally, Tom apologized profusely, and a manager stopped by to fix the situation.  Since all of the PR was cooked this way, I was offered a comped Rib Eye which I accepted.  The RE was seasoned well and cooked to my liking, and my friend liked his PR.  I might add, the rolls are very tasty.

Would I return…?  Maybe.  Would I bring a date there…?  Not a chance. 

Overall, while this is certainly not a fine dining establishment; with the combination of relatively low prices and the occasional random “floor show” of servers breaking into a restaurant wide line dance, I understand why this place is popular with families, and I give them 3.5 of my five stars.

You will find them at 8865 Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL 33411.  To call ahead for seating, the number is (561) 651-0400, and you can visit their website by clicking here.

 

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Dreadful at Damon's...

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

I decided to take a run up to the Tea Party Convention in SC and found myself once again in Myrtle Beach.  I remembered when I was here early last spring that the options for food were few due to the off season.   

Apparently, it is just as bad in January.  

Let me explain.  When here the last time, several friends of mine and I visited Damon’s Grille which is within walking distance if it isn’t too cold; we didn’t walk but we could have.  Anyway, during that trip, the service left a lot to be desired, mostly due to the kitchen, and we almost left.  The manager, who was very cool, apologized profusely and before we even asked, cut us a 50% discount.  When the food finally arrived, it wasn’t bad.  So, no harm, no foul.

Fast forward to last evening.  Many of the same group with a whole lot more added decided to give it another try.  In total, there were about 100 of us gathered to hear a great speaker and watch a clip of a movie that is in the beginning stages of being produced.

The house did not have nearly enough staff for the gathering, so none of us blamed them.  However, the manager made an early decision not to stagger the orders, but instead to do them all at once.  Big mistake!  Outrageously long wait and almost everyone was getting rightfully irritated given we all wanted to get back to the convention center.

We were able to get a manager, (not the same guy from last year) to our table.  Just a very rude guy who shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes with an attitude that suggested it was too bad if we didn’t like it.

In the end, everyone at my table, including me, had waited well over an hour to get their food.  Except for me, (more on mine in a second) I don’t think any of them got what they ordered.  Fries were cold, there was cheese where there shouldn’t have been, etc.  I took one look at my order, a photo of which is at the top left, and tried one small piece; that was enough of that mess.  

What was supposed to basically be their answer to a “bloomin’ onion” closely resembled a brick made out of onion strips.  I was literally able to pick this monstrosity up in one piece.  In a word, it was NASTY! And don’t even get me started that they brought the wrong dipping sauce.

I asked my server, Krista, for my check and while she hadn’t had time to remove the brick, I mean the onion from it; she did not make me pay.

As we were leaving, there was some sort of massive leak pouring into the foyer from the bar area under the electric fireplace and the staff was in a real tizzy trying to douse that ‘fire.’

Suffice it to say, if I return for next year’s convention, and I likely will; I will opt for cold cuts or something microwavable from the nearby Piggly Wiggly, and I recommend others do the same. Whatever I decide, it won’t be Damon’s again.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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"Melt" Yummy in Boynton Beach...

Written by The Patriots Press on . Posted in Dining Out

Hungry?  Craving outrageously yummy?!  

I have to say, I had the lunch of lunches today in Boynton Beach, FL. 

Now mind you, this place will never be on the prescription pad of your Cardiologist…cause mountains of yummy melted cheese, savory barbequed pulled pork, and Cole Slaw, all grilled up between two thick slices of buttered bread and called a 'grilled cheese’ is not going to please a dietician.  But for real, who cares what some health nut quack has to say?  I’ve tried healthy eating…didn’t make my taste buds dance.

Howevuh...I love me some good old fashioned yummy food, and I found it today.  Oh yes I did!  

All one has to do is take a drive to the intersection of Gateway Blvd. and Congress Ave. in Boynton Beach, Fl. and you will find a little place on the SE side called 'Melt.’  By the way, if you don’t live in So. Florida, no problema.  All you need to do is buy a plane ticket to Palm Beach International Airport, rent a car or take a cab, and find this place.  IMHO, it is worth the plane fare just to have lunch.  Really…I think prisoners on death row will start requesting last meals from this place before long.  

I’m even going to suggest that "The Donald” should probably stop by some weekend while his plane is being prepped up the street at PBI.

Okay, enough fluff, (I don’t get free meals for doing this)….but I think by now you get that I liked this place a lot.  I had the "pulled pork” sandwich off the regular menu, my friends had the BCT, (a bacon and cheese something or other that didn’t stand a chance with either Hamida, Neil, or Carmine) and we all shared the "Disco Fries.”  I really have no idea why they don’t just call them "insanely yummy, get your own/these are my gravy and cheese soaked fries,” but whatevuh.  Anyway, don’t leave without having them.

My friends, there are a whole lot of dining choices at that intersection and in that area of Boynton Beach.  But I’m here to say that while 'Melt’ just recently opened and this is the only location for right now, they need to start opening locations all over the place.  This first spot is going to have lines out the door every day once people try it even once.

I give them all five of my Stars for qualify, price, and service.  Don’t even think of eating lunch elsewhere in Boynton Beach.

You’ll find them at 1880 N. Congress Ave. in Boynton Beach.  Their phone is 561-806-6635, and you can visit their website here.  

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Yarumba...Miami for Delicious

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

During the past several weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time down in Miami Lakes, and as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to check out some of the local eateries in the area.  Generally, if you stay away from the fast food chains and visit the places with all the trucks parked nearby, you’re probably going to be in for a treat because of the heavy Cuban and Hispanic influence in the area, and they really know what to do with food.  I’m happy to report that I found such a place.  Two actually, but just one that I’ll describe today.

Yarumba!  It sounds like a hot, steamy, Hispanic Salsa Dance; and I’m here to say, the food is as satisfying as such a dance might be.  Located about a third of a mile west of El Dorado Furniture on the south side of SR826, (aka NW 167th St. and Palmetto Blvd.) Yarumba is a great place to eat before or after you visit my friend Gustavo Perez at El Dorado Furniture to find something new to add to your Casa.

The first time I visited Yarumba, I opted for the Sancocho Dominicano, (Dominican Soup).  When it arrived and I saw the size of the bowl, I started wondering how many others might be joining me because you could almost swim in it.  Glad I didn’t though, because this soup was just amazing with chunks of Yucca, delectable Beef, (I swear it was Oxtail) and several other veggies swimming in a broth that, while it wasn’t what I’d call spicy, it politely woke up my taste buds.  The accompanying dish of white rice added nicely to an already smooth body and texture of the broth.  

Several of us decided to visit again the other day, and they just out did themselves.  While I considered another round of the 'Sancocho,’ I remembered that the Sopa de Pollo, (Chicken Soup) had also looked inviting, so that is where I went on this visit.  I’ve had Chicken Soup before, good Chicken Soup I might add; however this has to be some of the best Chicken Soup in Miami.  Delicious, loaded with veggies and a ton of chicken, and the ever present side of rice was mui bueno.  One of my associates also ordered the 'Mofongo’ with beef dish, which among other things had plantains in the mix.  At his urging, I sampled it; now I don’t really speak Spanish, but “Mofongo” must translate to delicious, because this was 'to die for’ yummy.  The only 'problem’ with it was that I wanted a whole lot more of it, pero; no ai tiempo.  Next time I’m in the area, you can bet where I’ll be having lunch or maybe dinner.

And no discussion of this establishment would be complete without mentioning the staff.  All of them excellent; however our server Lupe, was a sweet and attentive as she is drop dead gorgeous.  

The combination of generous sized servings, delicious food, and terrific staff earns Yarumba all 5 of The Patriots Press Stars.

They are located at 4740 NW 167th Street in Miami, FL 33014 and their phone number is 305 622 9700.

 

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