cajun

24 Grille & Astoria Pastry Shop

Today on the Bite Tonight: My birthday continues @ 24 Grille & Astoria Pastry Shop

Amanda treated me to a birthday dinner @ 24 Grille and since I’ve never been there, I was excited to try them out. Located at the Westin Book Cadillac Downtown Detroit is 24 Grille. 24 Grille offers what I like to call an upscale everyday menu, happy hour specials, Sunday brunch, and a champagne bar. With everything from burgers to sea bass and pork tacos and a Maurice salad, 24 Grille has a taste for every pallet. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Risotto Croquettes: Parmesan risotto, flash fried, beurre blanc (French for “white butter”). The outside resembled a tater tot and was delicious and the inside consisted of lightly seasoned rice. Just OK, nothing special.

parmesan risotto. flash fried. burre blanc.
parmesan risotto. flash fried. burre blanc.

risotto app

Truffle Mac & Cheese: The overpowering truffle flavor was absent, which I was happy about. Cheesy, lightly browned, and comforting.

mac and cheese 24 grille

Cajun Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken: Half roasted chicken with a spicy seasoned skin, served with potato puree and honey glazed carrots. The Cajun seasoned skin was crispy, spicy, and delicious. I was a little disappointed because we were one of a few tables in the restaurant and our orders took a long time. Then when the entree finally came out, most of the chicken was dry. The carrots were sweet and I couldn’t get enough of the potato puree.

cajun chicken

If you’re looking for a nicer atmosphere with a broad menu, 24 Grille is a good spot. However, I don’t think it’s worth the price. The food was decent, but I’ve had better for less. Service was really good aside from our meals taking well over 25 minutes. And the worst part was that I cleaned my plate and left not fully satisfied.

Here’s my sweet, Zoe. Now everyone can see why she’s called “the Monster.” I will give her brownie points for behaving at dinner. 🙂

zoe mac and cheese

After dinner, we took the people mover to Astoria Pastry Shop in Greektown for dessert. I love Astoria because they have everything!

Zoe went with a White Chocolate Covered Pretzel with Sprinkles.

white chocolate pretzel

I went with a rich, decadent, Chocolate Brownie.

chocolate brownie

It was great to spend the time with Amanda and Zoe. Thanks for dinner, dessert, and the amazing birthday card!

24 Grille on Urbanspoon

Astoria Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon

Vito's Pizzeria

Today on the Bite Tonight: Vito’s Pizzeria.

My friend Amanda and I decided to grab lunch and we agreed to check out Vito’s. Located on Fort St in Lincoln Park, Vito’s has been a neighborhood “go to” for years. With new owners (new, but still in the same family) Vito’s is still cooking up yummy pies with that same “sweet sauce” they’re known for. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 2 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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White Pizza: Feta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses with a garlic sauce. We added ham, onions and cajun crust. Delicious! Out of all the pizza I’ve had, this one ranked top 5. The pizza was cooked perfectly, had a good balance of sauce and toppings, and the cajun crust was slightly sweet and spicy. It was a little pricey since we added toppings and it was a specialty pizza, but it was worth it.

white pizza

Vito’s is a good local hang out with pretty decent specials on food and drinks. Service was good, but we were the only table at 1 pm on a Sunday. Unfortunately our medium white pizza ended up costing almost $17 with tax because Vito’s nickel and dimed us, even charging $1 for two sides of ranch (our server even suggested them, but failed to mention the up charge). The pizza was pretty tasty though so I will be back for more.

Thanks for the lunch date, Mandy! It was fun.

Vito's Pizzeria & Pub on Urbanspoon

Happy 4th of July!

Today on the Bite Tonight: Grilling without the Barbeque

Ma has a pretty badass BBQ pit that we use for most of our grilling, but it can be a pain. It also seems silly to fire it up for just a few hot dogs. So today we grilled hotdogs and hamburgers on our stove top grill pan. I made some yummy sides to go with.

On the menu:

Corn on the cob with homemade garlic cajun butter

Cucumber salad (with Greek yogurt)

Broccoli crunch salad (courtesy of Meijer deli)

Grilled onions

4th of july plate

BBQ burger with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce on an onion roll

4th of july burger

Garlic Cajun Butter: It was delicious on the corn!

cajun garlic butter

Spice up butter by adding your favorite seasonings:

I added a couple dashes of cajun and garlic seasoning to 1/2 stick butter.

Wrap in plastic forming into a log and stick in the fridge until ready to use.

Tip: Add lemon zest or berries to butter and add to pancakes or french toast.

I hope everyone had/is having a great holiday!

 

Happy Birthday Josh

This past week was my significant other’s birthday so we celebrated on the weekend. I made his favorite meal and even took him out for dessert after. Read more to see how it turned out.

Today on the Bite Tonight: Cajun Chicken Pasta

This recipe is a favorite of mine and I swear every time I make it, it gets better.

Cajun Alfredo Sauce

1. Start out by making a roux for the base of the Alfredo sauce (melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter and whisk in 1/4 cup four). Add salt and pepper to taste and cook on low for about 5 minutes.

2. Slowly add 1/2 cup of milk at a time and whisk occasionally until thick  (Adding a total of about 2 cups of milk).

Tip: You can use heavy cream, but I use milk because it’s less fattening and I always have it on hand.

3. Simmer on low to medium heat, whisking in 3 cloves of minced garlic.

4. Once desired thickness is met, add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Sprinkle cajun & ground red pepper seasoning for a little kick.

Chicken

1. Season 2-3 chicken breasts with blackening seasoning, cajun, and a little ground red pepper.

2. Sear chicken until browned then lower heat and cook until juices run clear.

3. Allow to rest before slicing

cajunchicken

4. Toss Alfredo sauce with pasta, chicken, and enjoy!

chickenalfredocajun

The chicken was moist, juicy, and perfectly seasoned. There was a mouth watering balance between spicy and savory. The Alfredo sauce had a nice dash of heat to it, but was cool enough to compliment the chicken breast.

Now for dessert, we needed something sweet so we headed to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Allen Park.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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We started with truffles.

Pictured on top starting from left to right:

Ancho Chile: The Ancho Chili was sweet, had  a nice amount of heat, but wasn’t overpowering. Josh didn’t like it and thought it was to spicy.

Raspberry: This was our favorite! Really intense raspberry flavor melted with rich chocolate.

Pictured on bottom:

Rum: Nice, subtle rum flavor blended with creamy chocolate. I was afraid this would be too strong, but it wasn’t.

Mint: Mint and chocolate has always been a favorite of mine. This tasted exactly like a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie, delicious! Josh liked this one, also.

truffles

 

It wouldn’t be Josh’s birthday without a giant butterfly stamped peanut butter cup! I let the birthday boy have this one all to himself.

The chocolate covered cherries were OK, but I expected them to be more like the liquid filled kind.

chochcherries

 

Happy Birthday, Boo. Love you!

 

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on Urbanspoon