Category Archives: Drinks & Desserts

Philly Restaurant Week: Tequila’s

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Delicious homemade chips and I really enjoyed the charred jalapeños. Matt found them a bit too spicy, but I loved them

It seems as though I have been doing more reviewing of restaurants lately then cooking. I promise that’s only half true but I wanted to share our final restaurant week experience with you! I’ll be back in the kitchen sharing new recipes in no time. Restaurant week will be continuing until February 1st for lunch and dinner and I really encourage you, if you are in the Philly area, to check out what one of many restaurants has to offer! Seriously, it’s one of my favorite things the city participates in because you’re able to try a variety of places and not kill your budget.

Anyhow, as promised Matt and I checked out Tequila’s for lunch for restaurant week. We were able to pick from their restaurant week menu a choice of appetizer, lunch, and dessert all for 20 bucks. It was our first time dining in and I was super impressed with the wait staffs attentiveness. I think that it has a great opportunity to be a lovely place to dine, but unfortunately for lunch they only seat in the bar area and we were the unlucky ones that got seated right by the door. The very, very, very drafty door. I think this really took away from the experience for me. I’m not one that enjoys shivering during a meal. I would definitely give dinner a try and would love to sample a margarita the next time we drop in.

Chicken Taquitos

Chicken Taquitos

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

The Breakdown:

I ordered the chicken tortilla soup, the chicken enchiladas, and chocolate mousse cake. Matt ordered the chorizo omelet, chicken taquitos, and tres leche cake.

The Review:

Overall, we both enjoyed the authenticity of the dishes we ordered. I think that we have been spoiled with restaurants constantly offering innovative and creative food however. I found the food almost generic in a sense that I could have sampled similar tasting, authentic food at many of the restaurants in our old stopping ground of Indianapolis of all places. I wasn’t blown away by any means, but do think the food tasted good.

Appetizers:  I was quite disappointed in the chicken tortilla soup because it was mostly tortilla strips and nothing else. I literally had two pieces of small chicken in the some what oily broth. Matt however enjoyed the chicken taquitos, they were just okay to me. Perhaps I was too distracted by the cold to appreciate them?

Main Dishes: I ordered the chicken enchiladas and really enjoyed the corn tortillas. The food was severed very hot which I always appreciate. The red sauce was quite tasty and I enjoyed the queso fresco on the beans. Matt had the chorizo omelet which he said was quite good. I’m not a huge fan of omelets so I didn’t snag a bite, but he did say he’d order it again.

Dessert: This was by far the best part of the meal for us. I will be very, very disappointed if they don’t make all their desserts in house. We rarely, if ever order dessert, but since it was included in the price gave it a shot. Look how humongous this piece of cake is! It was so good in fact we ended up devouring the whole thing instead of bring it home as were our original intentions. The tres leche cake was equally as fantastic and has inspired me to start figuring out a recipe because I couldn’t get enough of it.

All in all it was a good experience. No new or innovative flavors that I’ve never tasted but solid authentic cuisine. I would love to check out their dinner menu and dining experience. We’d definitely go back because the food is tasty.

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The show stealer, Chocolate Mousse Cake

Philly Restaurant Week: Amada

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Restaurant week is a glorious time here in Philadelphia. It gives you an opportunity to sample the finest restaurants the city has to offer at a decent, prefixed price. Lunch starts at 20 dollars per person and dinner at 35 per person. Most include your choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It’s a fantastic way to spend a date night and it’s currently going on here in Philly until February 1st. If you live here or have the chance to visit in the next few days, I’d highly recommend dining at as many places as you can.

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Aged Manchego with Truffled Lavender Honey Cheese Board

We had the opportunity to dine at Amada on Friday night for the first time and it was amazing. Amada serves “authentic Spanish tapas based on the earthy Mediterranean flavors that have long been the passion and expertise of founder and executive chef, Jose Garces – but Chef Garces goes beyond tradition, interpreting centuries-old  tapas recipes.” That’s right, Iron Chef Garces. It was absolutely fantastic. I started off with a cocktail called the Matador that was made with ginger, Bourbon, and elderflower. It was probably one of my favorite cocktails I’ve had in the city.

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Shrimp, Chorizo, Garbanzo Bean Purée Flatbread

The Breakdown

  • For the prefixed menu you were able to select two appetizer sized tapas, a larger entree sized tapas, and a dessert. There were a total of four of us, so we each chose different things to maximize our sampling from the menu. It was a ton of food and we each left more than happy and full. The highlight of the meal for me was the Serrano Ham and Melon. The cantaloupe was perfectly candied and served with a micro green salad on top. It was the show stealer for me. We also enjoyed the Ham Croquettes and the Braised Beef Short ribs flatbread. I apologize that there are not more photos, but food was being served and dishes removed from our table at a rapid pace. For dessert we sampled the Arroz con Leche and the Crema Catalana (Spanish Custard, Pistachio, Pumpkin Semifreddo, and Cranberry).

The Review

  • I was very happy with this dining experience. We all left satiated and happy with our selections. The highlight of the meal, like I pointed out, was the Serrano ham and Cantaloupe as well as the cocktail. We also sampled the Tinto Sangria (Spiced red wine, orange, apple, and cinnamon) that was very delicious. The Arroz con Leche was the only thing that I wouldn’t order again. All of our other tastings were fantastic and I look forward to a return visit soon. 

You still have a few more days to get out and try restaurants! Be sure to take advantage of the great deals if you are in close proximity to the city. We are trying Tequila’s for lunch, I’ll be sure to update you on our dining experience. Enjoy!

Barbuzzo: Center City

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Barbuzzo: Center City

Barbuzzo may be one of my favorite places in the city to get dessert. Their Salted Caramel Budino is quite possibly one of the best desserts I have ever tasted…and it’s only 8 bucks. Fabulous. I will mention it’s accolades–it has won the Best Dessert of Philadelphia a few times and it is worth every single calorie. I would love to create a recipe to try and recreate this at home–but for the first time ever, I’m not even sure where to start. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness, creaminess, and saltiness. I guess I need to get in the kitchen ASAP and try and figure this out. I would love to have a recipe this delicious in my repertoire.

Anyhow, it’s the addition of the salt that really makes this dessert shine. It’s hard to describe just how great it is in its entirety and I’m not certain I can do it justice by just describing it. I think you all need to come to Philadelphia and try it yourself. I’m serious, if you find yourself here just for a day come order it to go—it comes in it’s own adorable mason jar.

The Breakdown:

  • Salted Caramel Budino (Italian word for pudding) with dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel, and sea salt

The Review:

If I haven’t gushed enough about how delicious this dessert is–I’ll say it one more time…it is fantastic. If you do find yourself in the Center City area definitely give it a try and let me know what you think!