Monday, October 31, 2016

Don Ishiyaki & Ramen Restaurant Review - Greensboro, NC

423 Tate Street
Greensboro, NC  27403
(336) 370-9677


Interior View


Hot Stone Bibimbap - $9.95


Chicken Katsu Don - $9.45


Dessert - Free Ice Cream


This is a review of a restaurant called Don Japanese Asian Restaurant located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We visited a couple months ago on a Saturday around 4:30 pm. They are open from 11 am to 10:30 pm Monday through Saturday and they are closed on Sundays. Their sanitation grade was 92.5 when we visited. It's difficult to find a parking place. I imagine most of their customers are university students, so they just walk there. We found a parking space behind the building and entered from the rear. There weren't any other customers when we arrived. We were immediately greeted by an Asian man dressed as a cowboy and we were seated at a table with blue lights. Notice my photos have a cast of blue light on them. We found the chairs uncomfortable. There aren't many tables since the restaurant is quite small.

Hubby ordered the Bibimbap for $9.95 and I ordered the Chicken Katsu for $9.45. Our food arrived in six minutes which was shockingly fast. The Bibimbap is described as "beef, bean spouts, kimchi, chives, shiitake mushrooms and egg over rice". While Hubby thought it was delicious, it was a tiny serving of meat with lots of rice. It was a snack sized portion of meat. Sure you could fill up on rice, but who does that for a Saturday night dinner! I now notice on the menu it says you can pay for additional meat. I have no idea how much more meat you would get, but perhaps that explains the tiny portion. I would highly recommend you go ahead and pay $3.50 for the additional meat. My Chicken Katsu had the smallest portion of chicken I have ever been served in a restaurant. I was shocked! It's described as "chicken cutlet, egg and onions simmered in dashi sauce served over rice". It was also delicious, but again it was mostly rice. We were so disappointed and we felt ripped off. $9.95 is a lot of money for a dish of mostly rice. Thirteen minutes after our entrees arrived we received a plastic cup with one scoop of ice cream with chocolate chips on top. I didn't care for it, so I only had one bite of it. Needless to say we shall not be returning. We will be staying away from restaurants located on Tate Street since this is the second one we have tried that had great reviews yet was in our eyes not worth trying. I guess university students aren't as picky.

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin'Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Please share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Don Ishiyaki & Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Plated 18th Delivery Review


Beef Moussaka Stuffed Delicata Squash with Greek Yogurt Sauce


Ingredients


Almond Butter Brownies with Coconut


Ingredients


Cauliflower Carbonara with Bacon & Spinach


Ingredients


Fall Cobb Salad with Apples, Pecans & Crispy Mushrooms


Ingredients


This is a review of our 18th shipment from a food subscription box called Plated. We gave three recipes three out of five stars and one recipe one star. Preparation time ranged from to twenty to fifty-five minutes and calories ranged from 520 to 800. This was another week of disappointing recipes and ingredient issues when we are use to no ingredients issues and four and five star recipes. They gave us a credit for a free box after complaining about the last two boxes' issues which is generous, but I'm still nervous about ordering again especially since it's one of the most expensive.

Beef Moussaka Stuffed Delicata Squash with Greek Yogurt Sauce

I was really excited about this recipe, but it was a big disappointment. First the spinach was bad so much so that it stunk. The squash was too small for proper stuffing unlike the competition, Sun Basket, that sent us the same type of squash in a much larger size proper for stuffing. We gave it two out of five stars because neither of ate much of it. It immediately gave me stomach discomfort, so I stopped eating it. I made the mistake of thinking the picture showed cheese on top when in fact it was yogurt which we found unappetizing. I have issue with the fact that Plated is the only one that doesn't show the recipe instructions until after you order it. Seeing these instructions would have caused me not to order it and chose something more to our liking. This recipe has 590 calories and it took forty-four minutes to prepare. 

Almond Butter Brownies with Coconut

While I'm all for healthier treats, this one wasn't worth the calories even with healthy ingredients. Sometimes you need to go all out and just enjoy naughty treats instead of trying to make healthy substitutions especially when it comes to brownies. Hubby was really disappointed especially since I haven't made brownies in years. Now I owe him a real batch of brownies soon. It was such a tease and I agreed with him it just wasn't anywhere near as tasty as sugary brownies. The almond butter took forever to mix with the other ingredients and they don't provide the egg when the competition does. These tiny brownies had 520 calories each! They took me an hour to prepare and the recipe indicated only thirty minutes. We gave them three out of five stars.

Cauliflower Carbonara with Bacon & Spinach

We would have given this recipe four stars, if it had some Italian spices added to it, so we gave it three stars instead. Some of the spinach and chives had to be thrown out and we had to provide the egg. I also think it would have tasted better with the use of cream instead of milk and fresh spaghetti instead of dry. This recipe took me over an hour to prepare and it had 800 calories which seems like a lot considering it's flavor. It was enough for two dinner portions and one lunch.

Fall Cobb Salad with Apples, Pecans & Crispy Mushrooms

We received half the romaine lettuce we needed for this recipe, so that was a really bad start. I wished I had noticed that prior to making it because I would have purchased the rest. This was a really small salad as a result. Being a vegetarian recipe not having enough lettuce is just ridiculous. I hesitate ordering vegetarian meals because they aren't as good of a value. Other services offer a discount when ordering vegetarian which makes me more likely to order from them yet Plated keeps tempting me since their vegetarian recipes look so tasty. The avocado wasn't ripe so while I waited for it to ripen the mushroom went bad and the lettuce wasn't in great shape. The photo of the ingredients above was taken two days prior to preparing it. I toasted the pecans till they were burnt, so that was my fault. I found some almonds in our pantry and used them instead. The dressing was scrumptious. It's made with mayo, buttermilk, yogurt, chives, salt and pepper. I added the spice mix that was meant for the mushrooms since they went bad. It's made of dark brown sugar, sea salt and smoked paprika. The dressing was the best part of the meal. While the salad was tasty it was just not enough food for two people. This recipe has 580 calories and it takes about thirty to forty minutes to prepare.

I'm debating on whether or not to order from them the week of Thanksgiving since the recipes look so tasty, but with the recent shipments being disappointing I'm really not sure. Have you ordered from them lately? How were your ingredients and recipe results? If you haven't ordered from Plated, be sure to enter my Giveaway.

Check out my Plated Pinterest Board to see what recipes we have made so far. Click on the photos to read more about the recipes that interest you. Before you go, be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlatedSun Basket and Terra's KitchenDo you subscribe to any meal delivery services? If so, which one is your favorite?

Bargain Alert: 

Green Chef - 66% off, click here
Home Chef - 51% off, click here.
Sun Basket - 50% off, click here.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Home Chef 44th Delivery & $30 Coupon


Mojito Pork Chops with Citrus Salad


Ingredients


Tex Mex Turkey Taco Salad with Corn, Avocado, Onion & Sour Cream


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Rosemary Cider Chicken with Roasted Apples & Butternut Squash


Ingredients


This is a review of our 44th delivery from a food subscription service called Home Chef. This week I ordered two recipes we have had before and one new one. We gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe three stars. The calories ranged from only 408 to 620 and preparation time was thirty-five minutes for all three recipes. The recipe cards indicated preparation time from twenty-five to forty minutes.

Mojito Pork Chops with Citrus Salad

We both gave this recipe five out of five stars. The salad dressing made of honey, mint, mandarin orange juice, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper was so scrumptious. It was also used on the pork chop with a bit more mint. The mojito seasoning on the pork chop was so very tasty! We would have liked more salad, but it was a healthy and filling portion. It had only 408 calories which is really shocking since it had so much flavor. It took Hubby thirty-five minutes to prepare.

Tex Mex Turkey Taco Salad with Corn, Avocado, Onion & Sour Cream

We have ordered this recipe three times, that's how good it is! In this case three times was not a charm. They gave us frozen corn instead of fresh and the cilantro, avocado and romaine lettuce weren't in the best shape, so it wasn't as good. This time we gave it three out of five stars instead of the normal five stars. We skipped pickling the onion since I can't stomach anything pickled. This recipe has 620 calories, down from the previous versions that had 802 and 750 calories. Slight ingredient variations such as no salad dressing or less sour cream changes the calorie count. We definitely noticed that this one had much less corn and we didn't care for the low fat salad dressing. It was disappointing and from now I'm going to compare the ingredients when they repeat a recipe since they aren't the same. This one took thirty-five minutes to prepare which is what the recipe indicated. It was a large and filling portion.

Rosemary Cider Chicken with Roasted Apples & Butternut Squash

This is the second time we have ordered this recipe and my reaction after tasting it is "it tastes like Thanksgiving". This instantly makes me think of Thanksgiving, the sauce is perfection, heavenly! Look at the sauce above, it's lick the plate good! Hubby did an awesome job! We gave this recipe five out of five stars last time, but we have to go lower this time since the chicken was smaller and of less quality. It took thirty-five minutes to prepare and the recipe said it would take thirty to forty minutes. It was a healthy portion, but not quite as filling as we would have liked. It has 520 calories which is really shocking since it has so much flavor. It certainly doesn't taste like a low calorie meal.

It was a mixed bag of recipes this week since we weren't happy with some of the ingredients, but we still enjoyed them. I also enjoyed that these recipes didn't take long to make. The competition has been taking longer than thirty-five minutes lately. I wish they would come up with more Thanksgiving flavored recipes like the Rosemary Cider Chicken! If you haven't tried Home Chef yet, I highly recommend you give it a try as you can tell since this is our 44th delivery! Wow, that's a lot of boxes! Be sure to use my link for $30 off your first order. That makes your box only $29.70 including shipping for six meals! So what are you waiting for? Order todaySee all of our recipe results on my Home Chef Pinterest Board.

Bargain Alert: 

Green Chef - 66% off, click here
Home Chef - 51% off, click here.
Sun Basket - 50% off, click here.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

8th Sun Basket Review & $72 Plated Giveaway



Roasted Delicata Squash Boats with Couscous & Pomegranate Seeds


Ingredients


Tsuivan Noodle Stew with Beef & Vegetables


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Thai Salmon with Asian Pear Salad


Ingredients


This is a review of our 8th shipment from a food subscription box called Sun Basket. This was our favorite week of recipes so far. We were amazed by the unusual combinations of ingredients and their amazing flavors not to mention their amazing colorful presentations. We gave two recipes five out of five stars and one recipe four out of five stars. Calories ranged from to 570 to 800 and preparation times ranged from to twenty to forty-five minutes. It's difficult to say which recipe was our favorite this week, it's a tie between Tsuivan Noodle Stew and Thai Style Salmon. One recipe was vegetarian and one was gluten free & paleo. If you are here only for the giveaway, scroll down to enter.

Roasted Delicata Squash Boats with Couscous & Pomegranate Seeds

Look at the presentation of this dish above, wow, so colorful! The side salad made with celery, apple, parsley, mint and toasted walnuts was awesome, five stars for sure. The dressing was made with sherry vinegar and olive oil and it was very tasty. We thought the squash needed a bit of spice to raise it from four stars to five. It was so delicious and healthy! Who knew pomegranate, greek yogurt and shallots would taste so good with couscous. I made this one and since I'm a slow cook it took me over an hour to make. The recipe says it takes 35-45 minutes. It has 740 calories, it was a healthy & filling portion and it's vegetarian.

Tsuivan Noodle Stew with Beef & Vegetables

Hubby went crazy for this one, he immediately said five out of five stars and I agreed. This one took hubby fifty-eight minutes to prepare and the recipe said it would take about forty. Mind you some of that time was spent cleaning dishes and counter tops. This one was a huge portion of food and it could have fed four people lunch! I would have liked a bit more cabbage and we both agreed it could have used a bit less udon noodles. We loved being provided with fresh udon noodles and it's texture was wonderful. The cilantro was a nice touch. This one had 800 calories, but I ate half, so that lowers the calorie count in half. It was very filling and scrumptious. This one made us feel like we transported to Mongolia! 

Thai Salmon with Asian Pear Salad

This was yet another winning recipe this week, we both agreed to give it five out of five stars. I did most of the work except for cooking the salmon which Hubby did since he's so good at it. The pear salad made with asian pear, celery, scallions, cashews, shaved coconut and fried shallots was awesome! The vinaigrette made with coconut vinegar, coconut sugar and olive oil was perfect. The sauce on top of the salmon was made with garlic, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and Thai chile. It was fabulous! This recipe made us feel like we were dining in a fine restaurant. It said it would take about thirty minutes to prepare, but it took us about an hour. This one had only 570 calories and it's gluten free and paleo.  

Lately Sun Basket has really stepped it up and they have gone from great to amazing. As usual the ingredients arrive in great shape and at the perfect temperature with no missing ingredients. These reasons are why they are our current favorite food subscription box. I highly recommend you give them a try and be sure to use my link to receive 50% off your first box!

Check out my Sun Basket Pinterest Board to see what recipes we have made so far. Click on the photos to read more about the recipes that interest you. Before you go, be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlatedSun Basket and Terra's KitchenDo you subscribe to any meal delivery services? If so, which one is your favorite?

Bargain Alert:

Green Chef - 66% off, click here
Home Chef - 51% off, click here.
Sun Basket - 50% off, click here.

GIVEAWAY:

Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people, a total of six servings. Enter via Rafflecopter:

The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Plated & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose "cancel subscription" or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose "skip week". Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesdays or Saturdays. 

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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Cheesecake Factory - Grand Opening in Greensboro, NC

3124 West Friendly Avenue
Greensboro, NC  27408
(336) 323-1211


Interior View


Cheesecake - $6.95 to $7.95 a slice


Bread & Butter


Fish & Chips Lunch Special - $13.95


Shepard's Pie Lunch Special - $13.95


This is a review of The Cheesecake Factory that just opened in Greensboro, North Carolina. They opened on Tuesday, October 18th and we visited yesterday, Sunday at 11:50 am. Their hours are Monday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 11 pm. Friday and Saturday they are open until 12:30 pm and Sunday they are open from 10 am to 11 pm. Brunch is available on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Parking is available in front of the building and on the right side of the shopping area. There is no parking in the rear. Parking is very limited, so I recommend visiting during non peak hours. It is not a free standing building and it's about half the size of the one located in Raleigh. I'm really shocked they didn't build more parking for their customers. The other stores must be suffering because many people don't have the patience for driving around and around looking for a parking space! I didn't see a sanitation score posted and there isn't one posted on the Public Health website. Hubby dropped me off and he continued to search for a parking space. I waited in line to get a table and was given a beeper and told it would be a fifteen minute wait. Our beeper went off in about fifteen minutes and we waited again for a table. What? Yep, we waited again! They had four groups of people waiting for a table after they set their beepers off. This was really annoying since there was very little room for us to stand and wait for a hostess to seat us at a table. Normally restaurants will only set off your beeper when they are ready to seat you and the hostess is waiting with menus in hand. We waited about another seven minutes for a table and the hostess had a hard time finding us due to their disorganization. There isn't enough space in the foyer for people waiting for a table or ordering cheesecake to go. The cheesecake case is on the right side of the reception desk. Some people waited outside, but on a rainy day that will be unpleasant. There are only a couple of benches outside.

We were seated at a table for two located in the bar area of the restaurant. It was very crowded since the tables were too close together. While the interior decor is lovely, it was extremely loud with chatter and music. There were people walking past my Husband's chair within inches of him non stop. Our table was situated so that I would be sitting on the seam of the bench and Hubby said his chair was uncomfortable. When they bused the table next to us the employee was standing within inches of me. It was difficult to hear Hubby & the waiter since it was so loud yet the lady sitting next to me was rudely listening to our conversation and reacting to it. She was very loud while talking to her child and shaking an annoying rattle and allowing her child to to throw food continuously. It was not a peaceful environment. I highly recommend asking for a booth only, it's worth the additional wait time! 

We ordered our drinks and continued reading the menu trying to decide what we were going to order. Hubby ordered the Shepard's Pie and I ordered the Fish  & Chips. We ordered them both in the lunch portion which is smaller and less expensive. Both lunch portions cost $13.95 whereas the regular portions cost $15.95 for the Shepard's Pie and $17.50 for the Fish & Chips. The prices are high in my opinion. Thirty-two minutes after we arrived we were finally served their bread and butter as shown above. One mini loaf is pumpernickel and the other is sourdough and it's severed with two small pads of butter. It was served several minutes after our drinks arrived and I thought it was strange the waiter didn't bring it out with our drinks. The bread was served warm and it was tasty, but it needed more salt and butter. The food was taking so long that I decided a bit more bread would help since we hadn't had breakfast and I was starving. It was difficult to get the waiter's attention, but we finally did and ten minutes after sitting down we received the second bread basket. Six minutes after that our food arrived, so that's thirty-eight minutes after we arrived at the restaurant that we were finally served our entrees! The couple next to us looked like they had been there a very long time waiting for their entrees and they were served their food only a couple minutes prior to us and the waiter thanked them for their patience. They didn't even eat their food, they just asked for boxes and left. The table of four on the other side arrived prior to us and they were served just as we were finishing our meal! They didn't eat much of their food either. Hubby gives the Shepard's Pie two out of five stars. He said that it had too much sauce and mushrooms, not enough meat and he didn't like how they cut the carrots and zucchini into very thin strips. He only liked the mashed potatoes on top. It's described as "ground beef, carrots, peas, zucchini, onions in a delicious mushroom gravy covered with a mashed potato parmesan cheese crust". The mashed potatoes didn't have a crust, they should have been browned longer. Traditional Shepard's Pie is baked until it has a perfectly browned crust of mashed potatoes on top. His portion was huge and we think they may have brought him the full sized portion by mistake. He mostly ate the potatoes and the beef. I enjoyed the fish, but it was average. Two pieces of the fish were of average size and the other two were very small and had too much batter on them. I give this dish three out of five stars. It was a good portion for lunch, it was served hot and it wasn't too greasy. The tarter sauce & cole slaw were just ok and the french fries were dry. It's described as "hand battered and fried crisp, served with cole slaw, french fries and tarter sauce". I also didn't care for the basket it was served in since the sides were too tall and it was too large for such a tiny table. I ate most of the fish and left most of the fries and cole slaw behind. 

It was quite dark in the restaurant since they have outdoor seating wrapping around the side of the restaurant that blocks the light and on the other side it's joined to the store next door with no windows. There are only three stalls in the women's bathroom and it's very dark in there. There are two sinks and two Dyson hand dryers which are very loud and the only option to dry your hands. Management didn't make an appearance the entire time we were there which was shocking for their first days of service when first impressions are so important to the success of a restaurant.

On the way out we wanted to get two slices of cheesecake to go and to our surprise even though there wasn't a line at the cheesecake case we had to wait five minutes for them to place it in a box! The girl who took our order and two other girls just stood there at the register when they could have prepared our order. Instead we had to wait behind a long line of dining customers' orders. Why they are allowing three employees to just stand there and stare at customers instead of keeping busy is beyond me. That was another very disappointing experience. Our cheesecake didn't look great when we arrived home since they placed whipped topping on it which we didn't want. We weren't asked if we wanted whipping cream. I don't have pictures of the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Carrot Cake Cheesecake we purchased for $7.95 a slice since the weren't presentable. The Carrot Cake Cheesecake had no cheesecake, it was simply a small slice of traditional carrot cake! We were shocked since they were serving large pieces of carrot cake also and we were asked which we wanted as if one was cheesecake and one was regular cake. The only difference was in fact the size of the slice. The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake was dry and we both didn't care for the crust. I prefer my homemade cheesecake which is extremely moist. The carrot cake didn't have enough cream cheese frosting, too many nuts, no cheesecake and it was such a tiny slice for the price. I prefer Harris Teeter's carrot cake! All in all it was a very stressful, expensive and disappointing visit and we shall not be returning. What's your favorite restaurant in the Triad? Please comment below.

Feel free to browse around at my reviews of local restaurantsstate parks and wineries before you leave. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the boxes below:


The Cheesecake Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sushi Republic Restaurant Review - Greensboro, NC


329 Tate Street
Greensboro, NC  27403
(336) 274-6684


Exterior View


Interior View


Kamikaze Sushi Roll - $9.95


Chirashi Sushi Don - $12.95


This is a review of a restaurant called Sushi Republic located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We visited a couple of months ago on a Saturday around 5:30 pm. I've been putting off this blog post since I don't like writing negative reviews. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and then they reopen at 5 pm and close at 10 pm. On Saturdays they are open from 5 pm to 10 pm and Sundays they are closed. Limited parking is available on Tate Street and on the left side of the restaurant. When we arrived we were immediately seated. We didn't care for the decor and the seating area felt cramped. They also have outdoor seating in the front of the restaurant. Their sanitation score is 94.

We had to wait awhile to order even though they only had a couple of customers. The employees seemed to be more interested in socializing with each other than tending to their customer's needs. We ordered the Kamikaze Sushi Roll and the Chirashi Sushi Don and shared them. They arrived eight minutes after we ordered. The Kamikaze Sushi Roll is described as "spicy yellowtail, avocado, cucumber, asparagus, crab, tempura fried and eel sauce". It tasted ok, but it was nothing special. Only six pieces for $9.95 seemed skimpy to us. The Chirashi Sushi Don is described as "fourteen piece assorted sashimi over rice in a bowl". The definition of sashimi is bite sized pieces of raw fish yet they served two pieces of some kind of fruit, two pieces of cooked imitation crab and two pieces of cooked shrimp. We were disappointed to say the least and the shrimp was overcooked. While we considered ordering another dish, at this point we were done. The waiter wasn't attentive and he was very unwelcoming. He gave us the impression since there weren't many customers that he'd rather socialize with his coworkers. Maybe that explains why there were so few customers on what should be a very busy Saturday night at a restaurant! We suspect they don't have good service because they are located so close to the University of North Carolina Greensboro and students need to eat within walking distance regardless of the service. Needless to say we shall not be returning and we don't recommend this restaurant. 

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin'Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Please share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

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