Salad

Royal Oak: Qdoba

20161125_123932

Taco Salad: Tequila lime chicken, corn salasa, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, black beans, cojita cheese, spicy queso, and sour cream. This is usually my go to because I can go crazy with all the toppings. Fresh, light, and delicious! Totally satisfying and I didn’t feel bad eating it because of all the veggies. The spicy queso packed the heat and I liked that could taste all the different peppers.

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Qdoba is one of the few chain/fast food spots that I enjoy. I really like that you can load up on a ton of veggies and customize your order. They are constantly offering new and exciting menu items and switching things up. Check it out!

Steak Quesadilla: Loaded with sauteed red onions, green peppers, cheese. The steak was tender and flavorful. Salty, spicy, but not overwhelming. Perfect ratio of cheese, veggies, and protein. The green peppers still had a bite to them, but were slightly sauteed. I hate when veggies have been cooked to death that they are so limp and lifeless.

20170225_104517-1

Knockout Tacos

Gladiator: Grilled steak, bacon, pico de gallo, lettuce, Mexican caesar dressing, cilantro and cotija cheese. The bacon was salty and paired well with the tender steak. I really liked the Mexican Caesar dressing. It was creamy, tangy, with a little kick.

Two timer: Pulled pork, salsa roja, shredded cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and cotija cheese in a crispy taco, wrapped in a flour tortilla spread with 3-cheese Queso. The queso acted as glue for the second tortilla. It had a “cheesy gordita crunch” vibe, but only better because it was queso! The pulled pork was juicy and the cojita cheese added a hint of salt. The veggies were fresh and balanced out the whole taco. The only thing I didn’t like was that halfway thru, the tortilla started to fall apart so I ended up fork and knifing it.

20170225_104803

My favorite thing about Qdoba is the selection of queso. At any given time, they offer around 3 different types of queso to choose from. The current promo is beer cheese queso and I can’t wait to try it! Each location offers different seasonal items, so be sure to check with your local Qdoba.

Shout out to Sonya at the Northville location. Thanks for the opportunity to try out so many delicious items!

Qdoba Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Noodles & Company

20160610_201748

We’re going to do things a little different this post. Last week I was invited to sample some of the new menu items at Noodles & Company with a handful of my favorite people. What’s on the menu, you say? Well, for starters, noodles, but they also offer salads, soups, sandwiches, shareables, and desserts. I love that Noodles & Company doesn’t use artificial colors, additives, sweeteners, or preservatives. They offer organic, cage-free, hormone and antibiotic free proteins and fresh produce. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites (clean and fresh dining room, menu posted for easy ordering)

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (totally customizable menu)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Korean BBQ Meatballs with Gochujang sauce: Flavorful meatballs tossed with a sweet and spicy Korean-style Gochujang (go-choo-jang) barbeque sauce. The Gochujang sauce was really delicious! The sweet and spicy sauce added a caramelized coating to the meatballs.

20160610_190628

Cheesy Garlic Bread: Parmesan and garlic butter melted over toasted petite baguette with Italian seasonings and marinara sauce. Chewy and soft on the inside, with a toasty crust. The bread was seasoned well with a nice blend of garlic and Parmesan. The marina was rich and chunky, very good!

20160610_190635_1465607763137

* New! Chicken Veracruz Salad: Mixed greens topped with Roma tomato, red onion, chili-lime chicken, crumbled naturally raised bacon, fresh-cut corn, tossed with Jalapeño Ranch dressing and crispy jalapeños, fresh California avocados and cilantro. My favorite! There are a lot of flavors going on without being overwhelming. Noodles & Company roasts their own corn on the cob and cuts it off just for this salad! Bad ass! This salad had a nice spicy crunch from the crispy jalapenos, but the cool Jalapeno Ranch dressing and avocado balanced out the heat. The acid from the chili-lime chicken went really well the salty bacon.

20160610_190641

*New! Napa Market Chicken Salad: Mixed greens layered with Gala apple slices, Roma tomato and red bell pepper topped with pulled grilled chicken, bleu cheese and naturally raised bacon crumbles, tossed with pomegranate vinaigrette. The crisp, sweet apple paired perfectly with the bleu cheese. I also appreciated that the bleu cheese wasn’t overpowering-sometimes it will steel the show, but in this case, it was a nice addition. The pomegranate vinaigrette added a light and sweet, yet vinegary touch.

20160610_190739.jpg

Penne Rosa: Spicy tomato cream sauce, penne pasta, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, wine and parmesan cheese topped with parmesan crusted chicken breast. Another favorite! This sauce is the perfect blend of tomato, cream, and spice. The parmesan adds a nice nutty layer that is perfect with the wine.

Tip: Add a touch of Sriracha for more heat (shout out to Jacki)!

20160610_191725

Alfredo MontAmore: Spaghetti noodles, four-cheese blend alfredo, mushrooms, tomato, spinach and parmesan chicken. Topped with MontAmore cheese, Italian parsley and cracked pepper . This was another top pick. I liked that the Alfredo sauce was light, it seemed appropriate with the delicate pasta. The fresh veggies were the perfect blend. Less is more and this dish is proof!

20160610_191746

Whole Grain Tuscan Fresca: Whole grain linguine with balsamic, olive oil, white wine and roasted garlic, red onion, tomato, spinach,  feta and Italian parsley with grilled chicken. The balsamic was a nice surprise and made perfect sense with the whole grain pasta. The feta added a nice saltiness that went well with the balsamic and white wine.

20160610_191705

Japanese Pan Noodles: Caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce, broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, black sesame seeds and cilantro. One of my personal favorites. I love the thick, chewy udon noodle. It is perfect to soak up the sweet soy. The shitake mushrooms had a nice meaty earthiness and the cilantro brightened up the dish.

20160610_193147

Pad Thai: This new recipe highlights a more traditional sauce and features green onions instead of carrots. – Rice noodle stir-fry with scrambled egg, napa and red cabbage, citrus, peanuts, Asian sprouts, green onions and cilantro with sautéed shrimp. Yum! I typically am not a fan of Pad Thai because of the sweet and spicy, Peanut sauce, but this was delicious! The sauce was lighter and didn’t smother the dish. I loved the combo of egg and fresh veggies. The shrimp was the best choice for this menu item.

20160610_193206

Pesto Cavatappi: Curly pasta, basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, parmesan and Italian parsley with naturally raised shredded pork. The pesto cream sauce was light, fresh, and paired nicely with the salty pork. I really like how the curly cavatappi pasta captured the pesto sauce with every bite.

20160610_191757_1465607762669

Wisconsin Mac and Cheese: A classic blend of cheddar and jack cheeses, cream and elbow macaroni with broccoli. Classic creamy and cheesy favorite. The broccoli was a nice addition and showcases how every dish can be customized and tweaked to your liking. Also, it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies for kids.

20160610_194743

Steak Strogonoff: Marinated steak, mushroom sherry cream sauce, fresh herbs, cracked pepper, sautéed mushrooms, wavy egg noodles, parmesan and Italian parsley. The steak was juicy,  tender, and paired nicely with the salty Parmesan. The sherry cream sauce was light and went well with the beefy steak, but it was missing that rich stroganoff flavor I am used to. I would described this dish as a modern stroganoff.

20160610_194808

Desserts!

Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chip Cookies and Rice Krispy Treat: Delicious! The rice krispies are made in house  daily and you can tell! They are soft, fresh, and takes your right back to when you used to help mom make these as a child. The cookies were also soft and delicious.

20160610_195944

 

Noodles & Company is the perfect spot no matter what you are in the mood for. One of my favorite features Noodles & Company’s customizable menu which makes it great no matter if you are gluten free, picky, or just simply trying to eat all natural, organic food.  You also have the option of getting some dishes as buff bowls (hold the noodles, more veggies). Noodles & Company is family friendly and even has options for the kiddos, too. They will happily cater your next event or get together. How awesome would it be if you could eat Pad Thai or Penne Rosa at your birthday party or a shower? Remember to sign up for the email club so you don’t miss out on specials, promotions, and coupons. Stop in and experience the new menu items and don’t forget your classic favorites!

Thanks to my mom, Nastassia, Inda, Lauren, and Jacki for joining me. It was so much fun, ladies!
Noodles & Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

The next stop in Dallas was to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Located on McKinney Ave in Uptown Dallas, Grimaldi’s is dishing out NY style pizza by way of the brick oven. The dining room expresses the family history with pictures covering the walls which I love. Using only the freshest ingredients and a secret recipe for their dough, it’s no wonder why Grimaldi’s has award winning pies. See how they ranked.

20160122_210012.jpg

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (dessert)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

20160122_203755

White Sangria: Light, refreshing, with a hint of sweet. The only think I didn’t like was that the fruit tasted more like it was fruit cocktail out of a can.

20160122_205128

Greek Salad: Crisp romaine, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese, with a light Greek dressing. The perfect compliment to any pizza.

20160122_205059.jpg

Margherita Pizza: Fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Sometimes, the simplest ingredients make the best pies. The fresh basil and warm tomatoes were so delicious! The thin crust was perfectly cooked with a slight crunch and chew.

20160122_210109.jpg

Pumpkin Cheesecake: What pumpkin cheesecake you know has a chocolate crust? It worked! The pumpkin was not overpowering and the toffee crunch crumble added a nice texture to the velvety cheesecake.

20160122_212308.jpg

Amaretto Almond Cheesecake: Oh my! The amaretto and toasted almond flavor combo of this cheesecake was delicious. The smooth, creamy texture melted in your mouth. This is a seasonal cheesecake and I only hope that it’s there on my next visit.

 

20160122_212256.jpg

I really like this spot. The food was good, service was good, and it was right in the heart of Uptown Dallas. Good news! You won’t need to travel all the way to the Big D to enjoy Grimaldi’s. One is opening in Southland Mall in Taylor, MI. You’re welcome!

Grimaldi's Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hapa Sushi

Today on the Bite Tonight: Hapa Sushi

Last, but not least, Hapa Sushi marks the end of our Colorado feast. Hapa comes from the Hawaiian term that describes a harmonious blend of Asian and American cultures. After an afternoon of shopping the 16th St Mall in Denver’s LoDo (Lower Downtown) during the Zombie Crawl which consisted of a bunch of people dressed up in blood and guts, we stopped in to recharge. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Edamame: Steamed soy beans lightly salted. You have to start off with edamame! It’s light, healthy, and a great source of protein.

Edamame at sushi CO

Fuji Apple Blue Salad: Sliced Fuji apples and field greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette topped with blue cheese and candied pecans. The crisp bite of the apple meshed well with the tangy and salty blue cheese and sweet and caramelized pecans. The light vinaigrette was the perfect dressing because it allowed the stars of the plate to stand out without taking away from the bold flavors. Delicious!

Apple blue cheese salad at sushi

Sushi (From left to right)

Caterpillar Roll: Broiled freshwater eel and cucumber wrapped in avocado topped with sweet soy. Love the sweetness of the eel and soy. The cucumber and avocado is the perfect duo to really balance your taste buds. If you haven’t tried an eel roll, get on it! It’s cooked so that might help convince you. Really tasty!

Hapa Roll (Spicy Tuna): Spicy Tuna and cucumber. I am not a fan of spicy tuna, but the girls said this roll was tasty. The crispy cucumber adds a crunch to the spicy and creamy tuna.

California Roll: Crab, avocado, and cucumber. One my my favorite go to’s because it’s pretty safe and tasty. A “beginner” roll, if you will. Creamy crab and avocado complimented the fresh and crispy cucumber perfectly.

Asparagus Roll: Light veggie roll. Sometimes this is needed to off set all the fish. Very fresh. I really like the vibrant color of the asparagus and the tender yet crunchy texture.

sushi CO

Service was OK (there were a couple times that my water needed refilling), but in the servers defense, I am very thirsty. I really liked that the menu broke down the sushi into different categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Vegetarian, and Hapa Original Rolls. I thought this was a very organized approach to sushi and if it was one of your first times eating sushi or even to this restaurant, it made your lunch decision that much easier. Hapa also offers lunch and dinner specials, online reservations and ordering, and gluten free options. If the savory isn’t enough to bring you in, Hapa is dishing up some delicious desserts like Mocha Ice Cream and Banana Tempura Split. Stop in and indulge!

Ladies, the trip was packed full of so much fun and excitement that it’s hard to believe we did it all in just three days. I can’t wait to do it again. Here’s to us and our travel pledge.

Meet me in Denver. ❤

Hapa Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vernon’s Gastropub

The next stop on the Bite Tonight’s Texas trip is to Vernon’s Gastropub.

Located in Dallas, TX, Vernon’s Gastropub first started in 1986 as a bar and grille. In 2013, they made the transformation to the city’s first gastropub offering craft beers, liquors, and scratch made food using only the highest quality ingredients. With live music, great food and drink specials, and flat screens to enjoy the big game, Vernon’s is the place to be. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chickels and Pips: Battered and fried pickle slices with crispy hand cut potato chips. I really liked the thin, crispy chips. The pickles were slightly salty and lightly battered. Great starter!

pickle chips

Martini Olives: Queen Ann olives wrapped in applewood bacon and deep fried crispy. Props for creativity. The combo of the saltiness from both the olive and bacon with the sweet and smokiness from the applewood bacon was good. This appetizer was just a little too salty for me.

bacon wrapped olives

ABC egg rolls: Avocado, bacon, chicken, tomato and Jack cheese fill these wraps. Creamy, cheesy, and crispy. Delicious twist on the classic egg roll. Served with a sweet chili sauce that was on point.

eggrolls

Sliders: Fried Chicken (Hand battered chicken strips and pickle), Zingers (Hand battered chicken strips tossed in original Buffalo sauce), Pulled Pork: Sweet and tender, Pot Roast, 50/50 (ground top sirloin and bacon). You could really taste the bacon and sirloin in this slider. It was a bite of heaven and full of flavor.

sliders

Fried Chicken: Simple, yet yummy. You get a taste of southern fried chicken with a nice sourness from the pickle slice.

Zinger: Nice crispy fried chicken coated in spicy buffalo sauce. Juicy chicken breast lightly breaded.

Pot Roast: The roast beef was super tender and delicious.

buffalo chicken sliders

Reuben Sandwich: Sliced corned beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese on grilled rye served with a cucumber and red onion salad. The corned beef was finished on the flat top grill which added a nice browned up crisp to it. The Sauerkraut had a nice sour and sweet balance to it that complimented the salty corned beef.

rueben sandwich

Traditional Cobb Salad: Fresh greens, assembled with grilled chicken breast, shaved turkey, boiled egg, sliced avocado, crispy bacon, purple onion rings, diced tomatoes, and Jack & Cheddar cheese. Served with a lime vinaigrette and cheese toast. This salad was huge! The chicken and turkey wasn’t that cold cut crap, but nicely shaved off real fresh breasts. Fresh ingredients and some real passion make this one of the best cobb salads I’ve ever had. It was so good that we hardly touched the dressing.

cobb salad

Service was great and we actually ended up here on Ladies night so our appetizers were half off and drinks were 25% off. We got there a little late, but we managed to catch a few songs of the band which was pretty decent. You could really taste the quality in the food which you don’t always get from a bar or pub. If you’re looking for a great place to drink and get amazing, made from scratch food, stop in to Vernon’s Gastropub.

Click to add a blog post for Vernon's Grill on Zomato

Lunchtime Global

Today on the Bite Tonight: Lunchtime Global.

Located in the First National Building, Downtown Detroit, on Woodward and Congress, lies my new favorite lunch spot. Now, I normally brown bag it (and by brown bag I mean bring in my delicious, somewhat healthy leftovers from the night before), but on occasion I will venture out in the Detroit lunch scene. It’s kind of hard not to with all the competitive restaurants and food trucks that post up. Since 2008, Lunchtime Global is family owned and serving up some of the finest creations using local ingredients. Lunchtime Global is perfect is you are keeping it light or if you want a home cooked meal without the grease. They have soup, salad, and sandwich combos, along with a full menu of daily specials, Asian, Italian, American cuisine, and a cold case with an array of pre-prepped deli sandwich favorites and snacks. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lunchtime Global has a semi-cafeteria style ordering system, but this does not take away from the quality of their food. it really just helps speed along the lunch rush.

I went with the soup and salad combo and I was impressed with all the food I got for under $8.

Thai Chicken Salad: Romaine and spring greens with basil, celery, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, roma tomatoes, grilled chicken with a Ginger Vinaigrette. So fresh, delicious, and satisfying! The Ginger Vinaigrette was creamy, yet acidic, and sweet from the ginger. Plus, they hook it up on the portion size!

thai chicken salad

Dill Pickle Soup: Tons of fresh carrots, potatoes, dill and huge hunks of dill pickles. Being a Polish girl, I had to try this soup. It wasn’t the cream based broth I was used to, but it was good nonetheless. A little salty, but when you load the soup with dill pickle, some of the salt will come through. I loved how much fresh dill was included.

dill pickle soup

My friend Danielle went with the same thing, only tried a different soup.

Asian “Unchicken” Noodle Soup: A rich, hearty, slightly spicy soup with fresh Asian veggies. The combo of heat and slightly sweet was so delicious that I didn’t even miss the chicken.

asian unchicken noodle

Lunchtime Global has good for you food at a great price. One of my favorite things is that Lunchtime Global makes fresh soups daily and has some pretty wild and creative options such as Cheesy Asparagus, Vegan Black Bean and Quinoa, and Chicken Pot Pie. The next time you are looking for lunch, skip the Jimmy or the John and stop in to Lunchtime Global. My only beef is that there are not open for dinner or on the weekends: Their hours are 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday-Friday.

Click to add a blog post for Lunchtime Global on Zomato

Olive Garden

Today on the Bite Tonight: Olive Garden’s unlimited soup & salad

My mother and I decided to have a nice mother/daughter day. After a long morning of shopping for fresh produce @ Block’s Farmer’s Market, we stopped in to Olive Garden for lunch. Located on Eureka Rd in Southgate, Olive Garden is a great Italian restaurant that never disappoints. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chicken & Gnocci: A creamy soup made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach. My favorite! Creamy broth, fresh ingredients, and perfectly seasoned.

chicken gnocci soup

Zuppa Toscana: Spicy sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth. Rustic, hearty, and delicious. I love the sausage paired with the kale.

sausage and potato soup

House Salad with house dressing. Love the pepperoncini’s!

OG salad

If you’re looking for a nice lunch, without all the calories of pasta, opt for soup and salad. Olive Garden offers up fresh ingredients, traditional classics, and delicious comfort food.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon