Nothing Poor about Doyle’s Pour House

I’m Arlene, Empty Nester of Small Chick Big Deals. This weekend started out in the south Jersey shore area. Just some adults looking for some good food at a good price and some good company. Friday night, decided to meet up with some friends from southern jersey in a town about halfway between us is Barnegat. Heard there was a Doyle’s Pour House that had opened there. I’ve been to the one in Tuckerton and found they had some unique menu items and a comfort food/Irish bar atmosphere. It sounded just right for some adults on a Friday night. We met our friends there and they told us there was a 30 minute wait. Okay, on a Friday night, I could live with that. The bar was full, so we waited and chatted by the doors with our call buzzer in hand. Now, when I say the bar was full this was a bar that wrapped around 1/3 of the restaurant. There are also 2 pool tables on the opposite wall that were busy as well.

Guiness Stew

Guiness Stew

Once seated, we had great service. Drinks brought promptly and well made. I had an Absolute martini and it was made absolutely perfect with 3 olives. Now a little thing that is my own particular pet peeve about martinis; if you served martinis, you should be serving them with nice sized olives, not little salad olives. Here, Doyle’s gets an A+ with 3 huge, healthy olives. One of the specials was a Guinness stew served over mashed potatoes. One of my buddies and I decided to order that and the stew was great. The stew covered the mashed potatoes and filled the plate it was served in. The meat fell apart, no need for a knife for this meal. It was comfort food at some of its best. You know I’ll be going back to Doyle’s.

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Crocking Away…Tasty Turkey Chili

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Hello all! I am Katrina, and have been writing since I was 17, and have been interested in food since I was 15, and got my first “real” job, working in a bakery down the block from my high school. I however, like to cook and eat healthy 24/7. Yes, I will grab a slice of pizza every now and then, but why bother, when I can make my own on whole wheat dough, with low-fat cheese, low-sodium sauce, and turkey pepperoni? You catch my drift…I love food, and love to cook and bake…healthy…at home.

I am in love. With my crock pot. Not what you thought I was going to say, right? Well it’s true. I discovered this hidden gem in my kitchen cabinet not too long ago, and have been whipping up tasty turkey chili for my whole family ever since.

The machine literally is fool-proof. You prepare a meal in the morning, toss it in the slow cooker (crock pot, as I grew up calling it), and let it simmer all day until you get home from work. Because let’s be honest: who wants to cook chili after working an 8 hour day?

And that is just what I did today. I had to be at work at 9:30 so I got up a little after 7:30AM and sauteed my turkey chop meat in 2 TBS of olive oil on the stove. I broke it up with a fork, and then poured in a little bit of cumin and S+P to my liking. When that was almost all cooked, I transferred it over to the slow cooker, which I had plugged in and set to “Low for 8 Hours.”

I went back to my stove and poured another TBS of olive oil, and chopped up two small cloves of garlic, one small onion, and one green pepper and tossed those into the pan on the stove. Then I added in a can of cannelloni beans, a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes, and one can of low-sodium chicken broth. I let these ingredients simmer in the pan for about 5 minutes, before transferring it over to the crock pot.

Once I poured in the remaining ingredients, I mixed them together with the turkey chop meat. Then….that’s it! I put the lid on, and left for work, and left my trusted Hamilton Beach crock pot do the rest of the work. Now some people, (like my cousin) are convinced leaving a crock pot on all day while you go to work, is a sure way to start a fire. And yes, I was worried about this too at first. But then you realize, it will be fine. It is meant to be fine. And just for safe measure, I always clear the space around it, so it is the only appliance plugged into the wall at that particular unit, and I make sure no other appliance is rubbing up against it…give the crock some space 😉

And viola! You come home to a nice meal, that only took you 25 minutes of your morning to prepare. So dust off your cookbook, and invest in a crock pot. I guarantee soups and chili will never taste the same!

Love Seafood? Indulge at Millesime!

Before I got the flu I had some really exciting food adventures including dining at Millesime with some of my blogger friends, Blanca of FriendsEat, her friend & Lindsay, The Lunch Belle! We were in for great dining and a fun girls night out in the city!

Here’s some background on the restaurant, taken from their site: In the heart of the Flatiron, centrally located to 5th, Madison and Park Avenues, Millesime is aging like a fine wine.  Mil-e-zim (French for “vintage”) features a Tiffany skylight dome circa 1904, original mosaic floors and century-old bars. A compilation of venues including a bustling seafood brasserie, Live Music Venue, Oyster Bar and event space, Millesime has something for everyone.

oysters

Photo Credit: Blanca Valbuena

We started the night off right with Prosecco, $1 oysters, and cocktails followed by a chef tasting! It was one of the best meals I’ve had.  One of the dishes that stood out most to me was their Caesar Salad which has one plenty of best of awards. That was just one of the many dishes we tasted. I also enjoyed the tuna tartare, ceviches, and snapper we tasted. Of course, we ended the night with dessert which delicious and incredibly flavorful and unique.

Here’s a peek of what we tasted:

fish dishphotocevichefiletsnapperfrench toastsouffle

Even if you don’t come in for an entire meal they have $1 oysters every weekday from 5:30pm-8pm at Millesime‘s Oyster Bar!

Unsure where to take your sweetie for Valentine’s Day brunch this weekend? Go into Flatiron and be wowed by Millesime!

Happy Eating! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Authentic Mexican Food & Cocktails at Chapala Grill– #SCBDApproved!

So normally I try to go to a restaurant once or twice if I can before I write about it but I went to Chapala Grill in Bergenfield, NJ this past Saturday night with my roommate Leah for a girls night out and had to tell you all about it!

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When we first decided to go we figured we’d just order drinks and appetizers since the cocktails they had and beer were an unbeatable price. Leah got a beer ($3.50)  and I got a Peach Margarita on the rocks ($5.50) to start and they brought us out some tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa was perfect not too thick and had a little kick in every bite. Next, we decided to order some of their specialties since they were amazing priced. Leah got the Burrito Chapala ($13.95) that is a burrito with crab meat, spinach, and more. I decided to get the Tacos Mexicanos ($11.75) with steak, pico de gallo, and cilantro. We both devoured our meals and enjoyed every bite. I even put some salsa on my tacos it was so good and we took our leftover rice & beans to go.

I’ve learned the secret to a great Mexican restaurant is that it has:

  • Strong, delicious Margaritas
  • Food Portioned perfectly
  • Affordable
  • Authentic

Chapala Grill was all that & more! We both decided to we had to bring our boyfriend, friends, and family here for dinner. They also have an awesome happy hour we were interested in attending sometime.

Chapala Grill is located at 52 South Washington Ave  Bergenfield, NJ 07621

Happy Eating…Cheers! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#DealAlert Get A Bang For Your Buck At Biggies!

If you are in the mood for a great meal that is HUGE, filling, and flavorful then Biggie’s is the place for you. I’ve been to two of their three locations in Jersey since they have two in Hoboken and one in Carlstadt. My favorite location is Carldstadt because it’s about 20 minutes away from me and conveniently close to MetLife Stadium.

Anytime I’ve gone to Biggie’s, I’ve got a bang for my buck. There appetizers are big enough to share and made just right (pictured below). I highly recommend the Thai Chili Calamari which will give your taste buds a treat. If you love the wings and thin crust pizza get them while you are there, they are also must-haves. It’s an ideal location for night out with friends, family or even a date. I have yet to have an entree or sandwich there but I’ve heard they are just as big and delicious and plan on trying one of their signature sandwiches during my next visit. Check out their full menu at the Carlstadt location, here.

3506_10151161976865588_1834578728_nbiggies buffalo wingsthai chili calamari biggies

If all that good food doesn’t have you in the mood for Biggie’s now, then maybe this will. They have $5 martini’s all day everyday, and they aren’t boring flavors either they range from Lychee, Peach, Bellini, and more! I love the martini glasses that they are served in because they add a little flair. The drink menu has a good variety and is affordable in general which is always a plus.

Lychee Martini from Biggie's

Lychee Martini from Biggie’s

Next time you are headed to North Jersey make sure you make Biggie’s one of your dining destinations. Biggie’s has delicious food & cocktails, football, a family friendly atmosphere, and a great staff. Just talking about it makes me want a Lychee Martini & their calamari.

Biggie’s is #SCBDApproved!

Cheers!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBD Last Minute New Year’s Specials!

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching and there are tons of places in the city where you can ring in 2013 this year. Whether you will be friends, family, or your other half, here are some specials in the city:
New Year’s Eve
River Park, Picture courtesy of YM Nation.com

River Park, Picture courtesy of YM Nation.com

450 East 29th Street
212.729.9790 
Hours: 5:30pm -7pm; 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Price: $85/first seating; $125/second seating
Riverpark will celebrate the new year with tasting menus and big-band music performed live by Gerar Carelli & his orchestra. Menu offerings will include smoked sturgeon carbonara with caviar, veal loin with sweetbread, cauliflower & black truffle and gingerbread baba au rhum.
DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

299 Bowery Street (Houston)
212.933.5300 
Hours: 5pm-12am
Guests at DBGB can ring in the new year with a complimentary champagne toast while enjoying celebratory dishes such as oysters and whole roasted Amish chicken for two from chef Collins’ a la carte menu.
Telepan, picture courtesy of Travelsort.com

Telepan, picture courtesy of Travelsort.com

Telepan
72 West 69th Street (at Columbus Ave)
212.580.4300
Hours: 5pm-6:30pm; 7:30pm-8:30pm; 9pm-10:30pm
Price: $75/first seating; $95/ second seating; $125/third seating
Telepan will offer a festive three-course prix fixe menu from 5-6pm: great for dinner before going out to celebrate the New Year with friends. Then, from 7:30-8:30pm, guests can enjoy a four-course meal featuring caviar, black truffles and some Telepan favorites. To end the evening from 9 – 10:30pm, a celebratory Champagne toast accompanies the four-course dinner.

The Americano (518 West 27th Street, 212-525-0000) is holding a stylish New Year’s Eve party — the Masquerade Ball, complete with dinner and dancing. Guests are encouraged to wear black and white for the bash, which pays homage to the costume parties that were all the rage in France during the 15th century. The design of the restaurant perfectly embodies the party’s sleek theme: Black banquets give The Americano an air of sophistication, while high ceilings, large light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows accentuate the light-filled room. And The Americano’s New Year’s Eve tasting menu is just as stunning as the décor, featuring Executive Chef Joseph Buenconsejo’s exquisite French fare with a Latin flair.

The Americano, courtesy of number3mag.com

The Americano, courtesy of number3mag.com

Neely’s Barbecue Parlor (1125 First Avenue, 212-832-1551) on the Upper East Side will transform into a cabaret-meets-saloon, hosting a raucous Barbecue and Burlesque party with seatings at 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm. Expect skilled dancers clad in lace corsets, feathered boas and ostentatious make-up, Red Velvet Martinis, surround sound music blasting Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hits, the song “Lady Marmalade” and more, and an awesome barbecue buffet. Dining highlights include a house-smoked ham carved to order, smoked onion hush puppies, roasted corn arugula salad, peach cobbler and much more. And of course, a champagne toast at midnight.

Neely's BBQ Parlor, courtesy of Eater NY

Neely’s BBQ Parlor, courtesy of Eater NY

New Year’s Day
299 Bowery (Houston)
212.933.5300
Hours: 12pm-3pm; 5:30pm-11pm
Brunch and dinner will be offered on the first day of 2013. Guests can choose from the classic prix-fixe or a la carte brunch menu of specialties such as croque monsieur, warm ricotta crepes and eggs florentine. Those looking for a sweet finish to the meal can order pastry chef Mymi’s cafe gourmand selection, featuring one coffee drink or tea, a scoop of ice cream, sorbet or gelato and a pastry bite for $9.
DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

China Latina (127 West 28th Street, NYC, 646-397-9881) will serve brunch featuring Executive Chef Julieta Ballesteros rendition of the ultimate hangover cure, Chilaquiles: Tortilla casserole, shredded chicken, tomatillo, red salsa, Chihuahua cheese, refried beans with 2 poached eggs ($16). You’ll also find dishes like Huevos Rancheros ($16) with pork belly and a Breakfast Quesadilla ($14) with both bacon and chorizo.

China Latina, courtesy of FriendsEat.com

China Latina, courtesy of FriendsEat.com

 Have fun and be safe ringing in 2013 wherever you will be!
Cheers!
Sara SCBD Logo Edited

‘Put Some South in Yo Mouth’ at the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in New Jersey!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to go dine at the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ that just opened by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. I’ve been past some of the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in the city but had yet to go while I was there. I was staying by my boyfriend Jason last weekend and figured since he doesn’t live too far from New Brunswick it would be the perfect opportunity to enjoy a great, post-birthday week night of food & drinks with to kick off the weekend and Brother Jimmy’s did not disappoint!

carolina cooler

To start, I got the signature Carolina Cooler and Jason got a beer. The Carolina Cooler was great because it’s a mix of Skyy vodka, fresh lemonade, blue curacao, and muddled lemons. It wasn’t too sweet or sour so I enjoyed it. We also ordered some spinach & artichoke dip to start. I really loved how that it was heavy on the spinach, the flavors were right on point.

spin dip

After fully digesting the menu, our waitress came around and we had decided on what entrees we’d order, our  spinach and artichoke dip was almost gone.  I decided to get the half rack of Northern Style Ribs with collard greens and Jason got the BJ’s Signature BBQ Burger with all the fixin’s and fries. The ribs are smoked then grilled with Brother Jimmy’s Original BBQ Sauce. The BJ’s Signature BBQ burger wasn’t just any burger, they actually have their Pat LaFrieda custom blend, which is really tasty. The burger is basted with their Chipotle BBQ sauce and topped with cheddar cheese & onion straws.

BJ's Northern Style Ribs

BJ’s Northern Style Ribs

BJ's Signature BBQ Burger

BJ’s Signature BBQ Burger

I loved the Northern Style ribs, the flavor was perfect and had a little kick and Jason savored  and devoured his entire burger. In fact, there is a little kick to all of the food at Brother Jimmy’s but I enjoyed it and so did Jason.

The Charleston A.P

The Charleston A.P

I loved my first cocktail so much that I figured I might as well try another signature so I went with The Charleston A.P– Brother Jimmy’s boozy take on the classic, Arnold Palmer made with South Carolina sweet tea infused vodka and lemonade. Our waitress and some of the staff recommended it. I also looked around and the cocktails were flowing, the restaurant was crowded. As always, I had some leftover ribs to take back to with me, which were just as delicious the following day. I actually couldn’t wait to eat my leftovers!

Cheers!Sipping on my Charleston A.P!

Cheers!
Sipping on my Charleston A.P!

Our trip to the new Brother Jimmy’s was definitely a success. It’s a great addition to the dining scene in New Brunswick and is a new Jersey foodie destination, especially to those who may get to NYC often. The food is top notch, staff is friendly and accommodating, and the drinks are creative and won’t break the bank! I’m definitely a fan of the Brother’s Jimmy’s BBQ now and plan on taking a trip back in New Brunswick or NYC soon!

BJ BBQ
5 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ

Happy Eating!

Cheers to the weekend! 😀


Sara SCBD Logo Edited

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*