Landry’s Seafood proves to be tourist trap [2 out of 5 stars]

The fish had absolutely no taste and the noodles weren't very good either.

The fish had absolutely no taste and the noodles weren’t very good either.

Traveling and exploring new places can be a lot of fun. It can also be somewhat of a gamble. As a tourist you aren’t from the place and you don’t have as much knowledge as naturally all the locals would. Some restaurants look busy and even their reviews online can be decent, but that doesn’t mean their food is going to be any good.

I’ve experienced this with Landry’s Seafood in Branson, MO when we were visiting there last week. My aunt and I did our research and the reviews pegged the place to have good seafood. We knew it would be on the fancier side, but we all wanted to treat ourselves.

Truth be told, the food was overpriced and under seasoned. I ordered the special thinking it would be cheaper, but as it turns out ended up being double the price of all the other entrees. I got the salmon paired with angel hair pasta and two Parmesan crusted jumbo shrimp. When my food was placed in front of me it looked delicious. However, looks are often times deceiving because once I took a bite I realized that the fish was dry and had absolutely no flavor to it. The angel hair pasta tasted like old plastic. The only salvageable thing on my plate was the shrimp.

After being disappointed with my entree, I thought that maybe the dessert might cheer me up. We got a crepe filled with ice cream and a bananas foster glaze. It was decent, but nothing special. Certainly not enough to make me forget about my utterly tasteless fish.

All in all, it’s a challenge to really find a delicious seafood place in a touristy area. There are many tourist traps and Landry’s Seafood is definitely one of them.
Landry's Seafood on Urbanspoon

Subs & Such create revolutionary sandwich [5 out of 5 stars]

It looks like a simple sandwich, but the flavors were out of this world.

It looks like a simple sandwich, but the flavors were out of this world.

I was hanging around my hometown in Maryville now that the semester over with and I heard my brother boasting about this sub shop in Maryville that I absolutely had to go to. Here I was thinking I’ve had a sub a million times before and I’m in no hurry to eat one in a small town like Maryville. Especially since my mom’s excellent cookery was free.

After a bit more convincing I was running errands and thought I’d give the place a try. It’s a small shop in a practically deserted strip mall. However, the place was extremely busy. After looking over the menu I found out that their popular menu item is their steamed sandwiches. I’ve never had a steamed sub before and I guess I figured crisp toasted subs were the way to go. But I’m an adventurer at heart so; I ordered a roast beef and Swiss sub on French bread. I did get it steamed which was probably the best decision I made.

Steaming a sandwich brings out all the flavors in the meat, melts the cheese, and somehow makes the bread even fluffier. It was truly a pleasant surprise. The ingredients were fresh and simple, but the steaming process was revolutionary in the sandwich world. Paired with a raspberry tea it was truly a memorable meal. I’m interested to try other sandwich combinations. The possibilities there are endless.

The shop has a great laid back casual feel perfect for a simple lunch or dinner with friends or family after a trip to the grocery store. As long as I live in Maryville I’ll be returning to this place along with the other Maryville locals.
Subs & Such on Urbanspoon

Old Chicago’s pizza delivers new flavors [4.5 out of 5 stars]

Vampires stay away from this delightful garlic lover's pizza pie.

Vampires stay away from this delightful garlic lover’s pizza pie.

Summer vacation and traveling with family can bring about some amazing surprises when it comes to cuisine. Especially when you don’t know the area. Every decision is important and restaurant reviews play a role in deciding where one should eat at.

We stumbled upon Old Chicago’s pizza when exploring Branson Landing on a rainy day. Anytime I go into a random pizza joint I go into it with the same expectations. I expect to get a decent pizza, but at Old Chicago I got a delicious pizza that I can honestly say is in the top five best pizzas I’ve ever had in my life.

Old Chicago has great options for lunch, a lot of which are under $10 which is great for tourists who are burning their dollars on other tourist attractions. I got the personal pan pizza and salad lunch special. With that you have a plethora of pizzas to choose from. Immediately the garlic lover’s pizza caught my eye. It had roasted garlic, pepperoni, spicy garlic sausage, roasted salami, and tons of mozzarella cheese. You also have the option of getting thick or thin crust. With it being an Old Chicago restaurant surely I had to choose the deep dish pizza.

As soon as the pizza got in front of me, the aroma of roasted garlic made its way to my nose. They say you taste your food by smelling it first and I believe there is a lot of truth to that. After taking one bite of the pizza I realized it was among the superiors. The crust was crisp and fluffy piled high with sweet tomato sauce and salty pepperoni. Absolutely delicious would be one way of describing it. The pizza makers at Old Chicago have the key to a decadent pizza. Crisp crust, sweet sauce, and savory toppings always make for the perfect pizza.

All in all, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into when traveling. Every restaurant is a gamble, but it’s all a part of the adventure.
Old Chicago on Urbanspoon

The Plaid Apron makes traditional southern cuisine with twist [4/5 stars]

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Being a student in Knoxville has been such an amazing experience. I’ve gotten to eat at some of the most amazing places with not only great food, but great memories made there. I’m always on the lookout for places to eat with friends. That’s why when a friend posted about how great The Plaid Apron was I knew that I had to try it for myself.

The cafe is fairly small with a rustic laid-back kind of feel. The paintings on the walls were of farm scenes and even had some cow portraits that made me giggle. The service is self serve or at least it was at lunch. You go to the counter and order your food then, have a seat. So far the cafe met my basic expectations. But when I tried the food I found that their food was better than the average cafe.

I ordered the Southern Chicken Club, which even sounds ordinary, however it was anything but that. Seared chicken thigh with Benton’s Bacon, braised local collard greens, and garlic aioli on toasted ciabatta bread it was like the world’s most southern sandwich. The collard greens gave the sandwich a nice bitterness while the aioli complimented all the ingredients very nicely. The chicken was seasoned to perfection and was so tender. While my sandwich was out of this world I was extremely disappointed in my side which was supposed to be roasted red potatoes, but turned out to be raw tasteless hard potatoes. I was sad that the meal had a drawback that could’ve easily been prevented.

Overall, my sandwich was amazing and the potato ordeal wasn’t enough to make me never want to come back. The Plaid Apron has peculiar hours and only serve dinner at the end of the week. Their dinner menu is completely different so, I’m definitely planning on giving it a try one day.
The Plaid Apron on Urbanspoon

Summer is here!

Summer is here and I can finally catch up on all the amazing places I’ve gotten to eat now, that school is out.

I have about 5 places that I want to blog about so, be on the look out for those in the next couple of days.

Recently, I’ve started blogging for the school newspaper so, that’s taken up most of my free time.

However, the big news is that I’m going to Italy in July and I can’t wait to blog about the most amazing Italian food :)

Thank you for reading and for all the love and support. You guys are the best foodies around.

Depalma’s creates divine authentic Italian in Tuscaloosa (4.5/5 stars)

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I absolutely love when I find a hidden gem (delicious restaurant) in the most unexpected places. Recently, for spring break my roommate and I stopped in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on our way to Louisiana. I checked out the small hotel guide for restaurants and we were both feeling Italian. We were so close to just walking to the Pizza Hut next door and thank God we didn’t. Depalma’s was worth the drive and the annoying parking.

The restaurant has a classy feel entangled with vintage decor. There are signed wine bottles displayed around the tables. The menu was moderately priced and contained lots of options.

To start we got the breadsticks with meatball, onion, and cheese. They were braided with the filling inside. Generally I’m not an onion person, but these breadsticks were exquisite. The cheese and meat along with fresh dough married perfectly together when dipped in their homemade tomato sauce. For my entree I got the mushroom ravioli. The filling was tasty and the cheeses were tangy with the musky flavor that the mushrooms bring. However, I disliked the amount of oil that the ravioli came soaked in. It wasn’t really a sauce and it made them seem greasy. The real star of the menu were their homemade meatballs. I only ordered them because the people at the table next to me got them and they looked amazing. As a proclaimed carnivore I had to experience them for myself. They were honestly the most amazing meatballs I’ve ever eaten. Moist and tender with perfect flavors. The tomato sauce really amplified the meatballs. (Insert ball joke here) now that I’m done talking about meatballs…..

Overall, Depalma’s was a hidden Tuscaloosa gem that I happened to stumble upon. The Italian food was one of the best I’ve ever had and it makes me even more excited for my trip to Italy in July! :)

DePalma's Italian Cafe on Urbanspoon}