It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s that time again!

pumpkinlatte

Time to gear up for the return of Starbucks’ most popular drink–and my favorite!–the pumpkin spice latte!

*throws fall-colored confetti*

September 6 will mark the start of the drink’s eighth season on the fall menu.

For those of you who have never tried it…..SHAME ON YOU. There is nothing wrong with being a PSL addict. I myself attend weekly PSLA meetings, always with a drink in each hand.

So prepare yourselves…the PSL is coming.

~ The Monkey

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Argentine Tango

I recently took a trip to Argentina with my mother. It is a mere 15 minutes away from my house in Virginia—proof that portals exist. This portal was named Jorgio’s.

As soon as we set foot inside the restaurant, it was like we were transported. We were greeted with the melody of an Argentine tango and escorted to a corner table by the window. It was a quaint little restaurant with simple decor, but the atmosphere was perfect with the Argentine music and the friendly servers.

Arg_Decor

We were the first to arrive for lunch, so we were promptly served; though during our visit, no party that came through seemed to experience any delay in service. Looking at the extensive menu, it was quite difficult to choose, but we decided on two appetizers and an entree, which seemed to give a well-rounded representation of Argentinian fare.

Before we even got our appetizer, the server brought out a basket of fresh perfectly toasted bread and a small bowl of garlic dipping oil. There was so much garlic we had to use forks to get some on the bread. Though the amount of garlic was certainly not a deterrent. As evidenced by the image, it was all gone before we remembered to properly document it. The starter reminded me of something you would get in an Italian restaurant, which seems to accurately represent the demographics of Argentina, the majority being European immigrants.

Starter

Appetizer 1: Empanada Argentinas Come Pollo Camaron

The first dish was a meat empanada. When it arrived to our table, it looked perfectly golden, and it crisped as we cut it in half. As I ate it, it reminded me of a pot pie or a sloppy joe but so much better. The balance of pastry and meat was even. The meat was perfectly spiced and sauced, and the pastry was well done.

Empanada

Appetizer 2: Aguacate Rellenos (Stuffed Avocado Shrimp)

This dish is a must for anyone who likes avocado. When the server brought this plate out, the presentation was so exquisite I almost didn’t want to eat it. The avocados were stuffed with small shrimp and onions and covered with a lemony yogurt dressing while sitting on a bed of mixed lettuce. I didn’t know where to start, so I just cut into one of the avocado halves. The first bite was like a fiesta of flavor that didn’t end until I had stopped eating. The avocado was smooth and mixed well with the dressing and lettuce. It was like a salad that had dressed up for the occasion. The whole dish was fresh and light, perfect for summer fare. I have never had anything like this before and am very glad I discovered it.

StuffedAvocado

Entree: Sandwich de Lomo Pimiento Rojo y Cebolla (Argentine Beef Tenderloin Sandwich)

Finally, the main course arrived–one of the main reasons we’d come. The article that featured this restaurant had described this sandwich in enough detail that made us salivate to try it. In addition, we’ve heard that Argentina is renowned for its grass-fed beef, which was used for this sandwich. The sandwich came with shoestring fries; and condiments included a spicy mustard-type sauce and some giardiniera (an Italian relish of pickled vegetables).

BeefSandwich

On the sandwich itself was a thick slice of beef and an assortment of onions, peppers, lettuce, and tomato, and it was held together with toothpicks. The beef was made to order–we chose to have it cooked medium. Every bite was juicy and full of flavor from every item that made this sandwich. If anyone out there has been to Chicago and indulged in their famous Italian beef sandwiches, it was like that. I’d say it was better than Chicago’s beef sandwich, but really every region probably has their own take on the sandwich (Italian beef, Philly cheesesteak, etc.), and I enjoy both versions equally. I enjoyed the shoestring fries as well because there aren’t many restaurants that serve them in this area.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable experience at Jorgio’s. The music, the servers, the food, and the atmosphere set the mood and made it feel like I was in a cafe in Argentina.

Appearance: 9
Taste: 10
Revisit value: 10

Next stop: The British Isles

See ya Off the Grid.

~The Monkey

Introducing…a Summer Ethnic Tour

Our local paper, the Virginian Pilot, is doing a weekly series in their Flavor section. It is called Off the Grid and features local little-known restaurants. Each week the Pilot will feature a different ethnicity, and the series will last throughout the summer.

I’ll be bringing you reviews of those restaurants in the order that they featured but possibly not at the same frequency. I’ll do my best! Looking forward to sharing my culinary experiences with everyone.

Let the vacation begin!

Suitcase

~The Monkey

Flavor 5: Banana Split

My first selection from Sonic’s Summer Shake Menu was the #5 Banana Split. I imagine that the shake is a combination of chocolate syrup, banana flavor, strawberry flavor, and vanilla soft serve. It came topped with whip cream and a cherry, that tumbled to the bottom; the whip cream is a solid whip topping that doesn’t deflate like aerosol whip cream, the cherry was still great even though it had sunk to the bottom. My first sip was incredible, an explosion of chocolate, banana, and strawberry which tasted like a liquid banana split. The rest of the shake was still delicious though it was often interrupted by chunks of banana trying to climb up the straw. In the end there was a large, although tasty, chunk of banana at the bottom.

As a huge fan of banana splits but not of the effort it takes to eat them this shake is the perfect substitute for dessert.

Rating: 5 banana splits out of 5

Texture: Smooth, except for chunks

Coldness: Chill

Flavor: Excellent

Name achieved: YES! YES! YES!

Suggestions: Order it double-blended

-The Raven

Flavor 29: No-Bake Cheesecake

I decided to kick off the Sonic Summer Shake series with the no-bake cheesecake shake. I was looking forward to this one and almost did a variation with chocolate but am glad I did not.

The shake was good; it had graham cracker crumbs to serve as the crust. However, the cheesecake flavor was quite weak. It seemed more like an undertone than the main flavor of the shake.

If you’re expecting liquid cheesecake, I would not recommend this shake. With my limited exposure to cake batter shakes, my favorite is still Coldstone’s Cake ‘n’ Shake. Though I’m open to suggestions!   🙂

~The Monkey

Introducing…the Sonic Shake Series!!

Many of you have heard of Sonic’s Summer Shake Menu. They recently introduced 54 shake flavors. You may be thinking “Whoa!! That’s too many to choose from!” Believe me, we thought that many times while staring at the menu. But have no fear! We plan to try as many flavors this summer as we can and bring our reviews to you! We’ll bring you the good, the bad, and the not-so-tasty.

So sit back and enjoy. It’s gonna be a shake-y ride! 

How it All Began…

Once upon a time there were three nerdy friends who loved food, recipes, and eating. Then one day they decided to collaborate together on blog where they would post their musings, opinions, and favorite recipes. This is that blog.

Welcome

-Rav

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