Friday, October 26, 2012

McDonald’s CBO (Cheddar, Bacon, Onion) Burger

                I really do not want to write this review because I hate saying anything good about McDonald’s but I have to give credit where credit is due. This burger is pretty freaking good. It is a 1/3lb. angus burger covered with a creamy mustard sauce, caramelized onions, hickory smoked bacon and white cheddar cheese. The flavors all meshed very well and it tasted like the old Hickory burger that I think was sold at Wendy’s.  The mustard sauce is delicious. The bacon really does have a smokiness to it that added a lot of flavor and surprisingly the onions really were caramelized and were sweet and delicious. The white cheddar was not amazing but the two slices, one on top one on the bottom were perfectly melted and made for cheesy goodness throughout. Honestly, I’ll probably not get it again only because it was almost $5 for just the burger and if I am going to McDonald’s I’m going to try to spend no more than $2.50.  But the burger really was delicious.

Wendy's Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt

  I had a buy a burger and get free fries and a drink coupon so I decided to try it out on Wendy’s new Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt. Typically, Wendy’s has a pretty decent Fast food burger because as you know they do not cut corners. It was extremely cheesy; I guess globs of cheese sauce does that. The mushrooms were not overly mushroomy or slimy like many you will typically find on a fast food burger. With that being said you could definitely tell that they were far from fresh.  The burger was hot and juicy and cheese cascaded with every bite. The bacon was hidden by all of the cheese and mushrooms. Overall this burger was pretty good but I don’t know if it was worth 4x the amount of a value menu burger, but I suggest you decide that for yourself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe Too

3815 Jefferson Park Drive
Hopewell, VA 23860

                Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe on 460 must be doing pretty well because it has recently opened a new location Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe Too on the other side of Prince George. Located in the “cursed” location that formerly housed Mamasita’s Taco Shop, the Big Catch and Fish Fry to name a few many are hoping that Big Mike’s Too can break the “curse” and last for more than just a couple of months. It looks promising so far with the place being packed most weekdays at lunch. Last weekend Amanda and I decided to try it out last weekend.
                Inside the Original Big Mike’s and Big Mike’s Too could not be more different. While the original is dark, dank and had a very down home feel, Big Mike’s Too is bright, open and airy. If it didn’t have the same name and the exact same menu one would never guess that the two places are connected. Inside there are about a dozen or so tables with comfortable cushioned chairs and soft orange and teal walls. The place was exceptionally clean and well kept. 
Our waitress immediately met us at our table to fetch are drink orders. Since they only served bottled drinks and Amanda I and were both extremely thirsty we both ordered waters. Like I mentioned earlier the menu is the exact same as the Original Big Mike’s; burgers, Big burgers, Huge burgers and Monstrous Burgers along with the usual appetizers, a couple of chicken and fish dishes and assorted sandwiches. Everything sounded very appealing and I am sure is very good. Just like at the Original Big Mike’s I wish that they had creative burgers with different topping to go along with their huge burgers. If they offered a “Western” burger, a “South West” burger, ect. I don’t think that I could stay away. That is what will make Big Mike’s a game changer in the area because even though it is extremely cool I seriously doubt  very many if any people are interested in a $45.00 4Lb burger.
Since I was not very hungry and I had a burger when I visited Big Mike’s on 460 I opted for a hot dog with chili, cheese and slaw for $3.50. I know what kind of idiot get a hot dog at a place called Big Mike’s? Well this guy is that idiot but I’m the one laughing because that hot dog was out of this world.  It was thick and juicy and was covered in delicious chili and cheese and some of the best slaw that I have ever eaten.  Everything tasted homemade and was outstanding.  Sure I could’ve gotten a chili cheese dog for half the price at Valero or 7-11 but who knows what is in those hot dogs chili and if that orange stuff they serve is even really cheese. At Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe Too I knew that what I was eating was the real deal and tasted 10 times better then the junk they sell at a gas station (Timmy’s in Victoria, Virginia excluded).  To get a review of the burgers check out my review of the original Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe,
I was very impressed with Big Mike’s Burger Shoppe Too. Aesthetically it is much more appealing than its big brother and it serves the same great food. I do hope that they expand the topping choices in the future but even as it is Big Mike’s has the best locally owned burger place in the area and their hot dogs are damn good too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


13130 Kingston Avenue
Chester, Virginia

Editor’s Note: To be fair, I had a hard time judging Jalapenos based on its own qualities and faults and not comparing it to El Nopal. You will see my comparisons throughout this review.

                Yesterday I was lucky enough to have my little brother meet me for lunch. We decided to meet somewhere in between my office and his home, he chose Jalapenos near Rivers Bend off of Rt. 10.  Jalapenos is an upscale Mexican restaurant, and no that is not an oxymoron. The place has much of the same cliché Mexican restaurant decor as other Mexican restaurants but somehow it does it rather tastefully and does not come off as garirish as most.  It is also rather dark inside which may have made it look more tasteful.
                Even though at noon the place was packed we were quickly seated and had chips and salsa in front of us. This showcased Jalapenos’ biggest flaw… NO WHITE SAUCE!!!  I practically go to Mexican restaurants for their white sauce and chips, without it I feel that a Mexican restaurant is severely lacking a necessary dish.  After a couple of minutes, I brought myself together enough to begin sampling their chips and salsa. The chips were fine, fresh and warm but nothing special. I was disappointed by the salsa, it was pureed and very mushy and too spicy for my taste.
As I drank my water to cool my burning tongue I looked over the menu. I guess that I have been spoiled by El Nopal and Plaza Aztec because the menu seemed rather small and plain and very expensive. There were only 5 seafood dishes on the menu and the one that sounded the most appealing, the Seafood Burrito was an astounding $17.95. There was a page of lunch specials but nothing stood out as too exciting; just the typical tacos, fajitas and combination plates which for $5 I thought was a good until I discovered that you had to pay an extra $3 for rice and beans. Rip off!
I settled for a chorizo quesadilla for just under $4.00 which was brought out to me in less than 10 minutes. For about $4 it was a decent sized quesadilla, a large tortilla folded in half stuffed with sausage and cheese. It was served with a side of sour cream which I thought was a nice addition.  While the tortilla was nice and crispy and the cheese was perfectly melted inside I was disappointed by the taste and consistency of the chorizo. Much like the salsa, the sausage was extremely mush and had a consistency more like baby food than crumbled sausage. It didn’t taste bad; it just was not as good as the chorizo I get at El Nopal. It may have had a little too much spice in it, not hotness just flavor wise.
All in all, Jalapenos might be better to bring a date to than El Nopal because it is extremely clean and looks a good deal fancier but in terms of food it falls very short of the reigning Tri-City Mexican Restaurant juggernaut, El Nopal.  It was a little pricey for my taste and lacked the variety of menu selections I have grown accustom to finding at Mexican restaurants and it DOES NOT SERVE WHITE SAUCE!!!  Jalapenos is not bad by any means I just like El Nopal better.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sebra's Custard Kitchen

6335 Courthouse Road
Prince George, VA 23875
- overall

 - Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

          Growing up Prince George only had on place to eat and that place was Sebra's Custard Kitchen. After sporting event, after school, or even just as lunch on the weekend the Custard Kitchen was the place to go. Not exactly a restaurant but more than a deli counter, it served up simple eats for us county folks. From hamburgers and hot dogs to sundaes and milk shakes Custard Kitchen would fill you up without emptying your wallet.

           Over the past couple of years more and more restaurants have started popping up around the county and surrounding areas opening up more and different flavor avanues than simple diner food, so I have not really eaten there for quite sometime. But this morning I was working the Courthouse Faire with Amanda right across for the Custard Kitchen and since I hadn't eaten breakfast I decided to stop in and grab a quick sandwich.

        Inside it looks almost exactly the same as it has since I was 5. Simple, economic and a little bland. It has expanded, lost some seating but added a sundae shoppe much like Sweet Frog, well the exact same as sweet frog but with ice cream instead of frozen yogurt. The menu is the same as it has always been, hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, BLTs, sundaes, ice cream cones, fries ect. I walked up to the counter and ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit for $2.70.  Sitting down to wait for my order flooded my mind with memories of the place; Ice cream after winning a soccer game, Hamburgers and milk shakes with friends after school and sharing hot dogs with Amanda while on her lunch break from BSV. Suddenly I was startled back into reality as they said that my order was ready. 

       I must admit that I'm not teh biggest breakfast fan but this biscuit was absolutly amazing. Everything was fresh and made from scratch. The buscuit was moist and flakey with a slight buttery taste. The egg was a real egg not that powered junk and had just come off the grill for my sandwich, the bacon was thick, crispy and salty and the melted cheese brought the whole thing together in a harmonious symphany of deliciousness.  I that that it was the best biscuit sandwich that I have ever eaten, simple but executed extremely well.

        While Sebra's Custard Kitchen has a limited menu and doesn't have anything to exciting or adventurous it is family owned and does serve some pretty tasty food. The hot dogs and hamburgers are not a great as the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit I had this morning but they aren't half bad. plus, you can't get much more locally owned than the Custard Kitchen because Mr. Sebra lives in a house right behind the place.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


168 Southgate Square  
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
(804) 520-8989

            Last Sunday Amanda and I were out and about and decided to grab a bite to eat. On a Sunday, many family run restaurants are closed leaving only large chain restaurants to choose from. Since I try to never eat at those places this often poses a problem.   Luckily, after thinking hard and driving around we ended up at Koreana, a Korean Restaurant near K-Mart. 

            Let me give you a little bit of background. Amanda’s Dad was stationed in Korea when she was little so she grew up eating Korean food and introduced this often overlooked cuisine to me.  Since then I have taken  a liking to Korean food especially bulgogi, mandu and  jap chae. We will even go check out the Oriental market in Hopewell from time to time. Unlike Chinese and Japanese foods Korean food has not become quite as Americanized.

            Koreana’s offers a lunch buffet, apparently seven days a week, for $7.95.  Amanda an I both got that so we could get a little bit of everything.  The buffet has many of the typical Korean foods.  It had great bulgogi; it was thin and tender yet still juicy and flavorful.  The Mandu was crispy on the outside and filled with delicious meat and vegetables.  Dipped in soy sauce I dare you to find anyone who would not love mandu. The jap chae did not have any meat or a lot of vegetables but the glass noodles were cooked perfectly and it had a great taste.  The kim chi, which I typically don’t eat because it is too spicy, had just the right amount of heat for me.  There were tempura fried sweet potatoes that mix salty and sweet perfectly, spicy cucumbers that were cold making for a nice spicy and cold combination.  There was also a chicken dish which I have never had before. It was ok but not my favorite thing on the buffet.  Overall all of the food on the buffet was great.  It may not be as good of quality as individual dishes but it is better than a lot of buffet food.

            While the food was delicious the best part of Koreana is the owner/waitress. She is one of the nicest people and best hostess you will find anywhere.  She is quick to fill your glass, answer any question that you may have and she will make sure that you try a little bit of everything so that you will get a true taste of Korean food.  For a great as the food and atmosphere is, she really makes the experience.

            If you are looking for good Korean food or just want to try it out to see if you like it, Koreana is the place to go.