Mad Girl Eats Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse

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Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse, 3500 Tyrone Blvd N, St Petersburg, FL.

Walking into Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse, you know you’re in for a great meal. The sights, scents, and sounds strike the right notes for a successful experience. An upscale, warm and woody interior with lots of wine bottles and elegant décor, the delightful scent of garlic and yeast rolls baking, and the server saying it’s Prime Rib special day AND Happy Hour. What more could you want?!

There was no hemming and hawing. I want a one pound Prime Rib, rare with creamy horseradish sauce on the side, Cesar’s salad, garlic mashed, and the House Merlot. Upon ordering, the server placed a small vessel of homemade garlic croutons on the table. I munch a few before my salad arrives. Yummy! Salads are brought and no skimping on anything! Heavy duty on all ingredients, including dressing. I have no problem with that, but if you do, ask for it on the side. The yeast dinner rolls are delish and a nice throwback to when you’d receive a bread basket at the table. Rarely do you get that anymore. The salad and dinner roll were a nice start. I stopped short of finishing my salad to prepare for the main event!

Da da da dah! The Prime Rib has arrived. Thick, pink, moist, succulent…a thing of beauty. Au jus and creamy horseradish are waiting for a piece of meat to take a dip and just then it does. OMGGGGG….the Prime Rib is perfect and somehow even better skinny dipping in the au jus, then dunked in the horseradish sauce. Take a sip of the Merlot and there is a cacophony of righteousness in my mouth! What a major fab pairing! Their house Merlot is an excellent choice with this entrée. I love potatoes of any sort, but rarely eat them at home, only when I’m out. The homemade garlic mashed was a treat! Just the right amount of creaminess and garlic. Sensational!

If you’re in the Tampa area, a happy carnivore, and adore Prime Rib, make your way over to St Petersburg to Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse. You will leave very satisfied and with a gigantic grin. Psst….grab some of their candy coated mints before you walk out the door. Refreshing!

Hours: Mon-Thurs 12pm – 10pm, Fri and Sat 12pm – 10:30pm, Sun 12pm – 9pm. Happy Hour: Noon to 6pm and 8pm to close. Basically, there are 2 hours you can’t get ‘happy’. Ha!

http://seltzersteakhouse.com  to check out their specials.

4.75 out of 5 primo palpitations for Harold’s Prime Rib

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Mad Girl Eats Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen

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Tibby’s,  2203 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL. Two more locations in the Greater Orlando area.

The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, couldn’t be more true than at the Tibby’s location in Winter Park. Set in a generic, blah shopping center, you open the double doors and are instantly transported to gregarious New Orleans. Quickly welcomed and seated by an upbeat and friendly staff, I took my time soaking in the Bourbon St style ambiance. They have a large menu to peruse, all with the N’awlins classics. A must-try today is the Muffuletta, one of my favorite sammies. It states it is just like the original from Central Market in NOLA, so I’m looking forward to this. On their special menu was an interesting “Munday” traditional plate, pork with red beans and rice. Needing a side dish, the New Orleans Potato Salad spoke to me.

My server had a great idea for the Muffuletta, after asking if I wanted it hot or cold. Hmmmm, never had it hot, so she gave me half and half….of a half. Tip: A half of a Muffuletta is good size for 1-2 people. A whole is gigantic, so beware. Their Muffuletta is salami, ham, mortadella, olive salad, swiss cheese and provolone cheese all on a delightful bread that comes direct from New Orleans. I enjoyed this sandwich hot. The cheeses were melty, the meat flavor was more pronounced, and the olive salad makes a bolder statement. Huge flavor blast! The New Orleans Potato Salad was a divine side. Tender potato, eggs, bacon, sausage, olives, pickles, and onion. What’s not to like in that combo of delight?! I always appreciate green olives in my food, it just brightens an otherwise flat dish. Yum! The traditional Munday family dish of pork with red beans and rice was good. For my taste, it did need the Tibby’s Louisiana Hot Sauce on it. Next visit I’ll try the Gumbo, Etouffee,,or Poor Boy.

You can’t visit a New Orleans style restaurant without ending the meal with a sweet treat, like Beignets….and of course that also means, Café Au Lait. Ooohhh yessss. Bring it on! I was sooooo freaking happy with this dessert. This is my breakfast when I’m in New Orleans, and just as cheesin’ to have it for dessert. Gently fried, light and lovely pillows of pastry and  heavy-handed with powdered sugar expertly paired with Café Au Lait, was bliss. Actually, the guy that brought it out to me, shared a great tip. He said, he stirs some the powdered sugar from the Beignets into his Café Au Lait. Genius! It was scrumptious. I have no problem going back just for this as an afternoon treat. Although, they have Bread Pudding to try too. Oy vey!

Great atmosphere, stellar staff, high quality traditional food. Worth stopping for.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-10:30pm, Sun 11:00am-9:30pm.

http://tibbys.com

4.25 out of 5 bright bold and bodacious bites!

Mad Girl Eats The Waterfront

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The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, 328 Front St South La Crosse, WI.

If you find yourself on Interstate 90 in western Wisconsin or Eastern Minnesota, you need to get off of the freeway and make your way into downtown La Crosse. You will find a hidden gem on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, inside a beautiful upscale brick office complex.  The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern’s atmosphere is equal to a Manhattan fine dining establishment. White linen tablecloths, epic picture windows, gorgeous ceilings, and chic furnishings. Amazing ambiance.

I visited for lunch and was happy with their diverse menu. A fine array of appetizers, a Pick Two offering, salads, sandwiches and entrees. Something to please any diner. The table order consisted of Philly Beef Baguette, Fish & Chips, and Crispy Fish Tacos. When they arrived it was a feast for the eyes…and tummy. There was no skimping on quantity or quality!

The Crispy Fish Tacos, which I generally only eat in Southern California or Mexico, but these were a very nice surprise. Crispy pieces of fish were wrapped in jalapeno-cheddar tortillas, with shredded romaine, red onion, dynamite sauce, and a corn/cilantro/tomato relish served with coleslaw…which I also put on top. A burst of flavor, the dynamite sauce was just that, fiery. I recommend ordering that on the side if you’re not into big heat. The Fish & Chips were plenty. Delicate batter, seasoned fries, served with artichoke tartar sauce. Delish! Next up, the Philly Beef Baguette. It should be called Beauty and the Beef. It was an overstuffed sandwich filled with marinated pulled beef, carmelized onions, giardiniera, jack cheese, and garlic au jus to dip it in. OMGeez, a magnificent bite after bite. I highly recommend this sandwich if you love beef. My mouth is watering thinking about it. So delectable, and oh so right.

The Waterfront does not disappoint. It is top-notch, easy but elegant, with incredible food and drink. I have eaten here several times and have left on Cloud 9 after every visit. I only wish it was closer.

Brava to The Waterfront. Doing big things in a small city.

Hours – Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:00am to 2:30pm, Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:00pm to 9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm to 10:30pm. Tavern (gorgeous watering hole) and patio (seasonal) Mon-Thurs 11:00am to 11:00pm, Fri 11:00am to midnight, Sat 5:00pm to midnight.

On street parking or parking ramp across from venue available.

http://thewaterfrontlacrosse.com

5 out of 5 gemstones for this sensational hidden gem.

Mad Girl Eats Burger 21

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Burger 21, 4192 Conroy Rd, #109, Orlando, FL. In the Shoppes at Millenia. Other locations.

I’m always on the hunt for a fantastic burger. Typically, a burger that can be made to order, is juicy ( I don’t mind juice running down my arm), a good bun, and quality meat. Don’t give me a thick burger and cook the heck and flavor out of it. Not happening in my mouth!

Burger 21, a gourmet upscale contemporary burger joint, known for crafted burgers and shakes, was a happy surprise. Certified Angus Beef that is never frozen and cooked to order! Music to my ears, now let the choir sing. A very good and thoughtful menu with excellent flavor combos, gluten-free offerings, as well as hormone-free alternative items.

Since this was my first visit, I wanted to try their simple and classic, Burger 101. A burger that is not covered with so many other flavors that you can’t taste the meat. Okay, let’s go opposite and order up a Tex Mex Haystack too. I can’t get enough of guacamole on a burger so this is my top pick today. I’m hopeful these will be stellar choices. After ordering, I saunter over to the sauce bar. Not your typical ketchup, mustard, and mayo, but about 8 or 10 flavored ketchups and aiolis to hype up your sandwich!

The Burger 101, a juicy, thick patty with lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. Really good for a basic burger. Add some sauces from the condiment bar and you have a winner! Now, let me tell you about the Tex Mex Haystack. A hefty beef patty with apple-smoked bacon, Gouda cheese, guacamole, onion strings, lettuce, tomato and chipotle-jalapeno sauce on a toasted brioche bun. One bite and you will hear angels. Ahhhhh. Delicious. That is the right combination to make me do a happy dance! A mega blast of flavor from beginning to end.

The Spicy Thai Shrimp Burger is definitely on my radar for next visit or maybe a Black & Bleu. Yum.

Hours: Sun – Thurs 11:00am – 9:30pm, Fri and Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm. Right off of I-4 exit, next to Mall at Millenia.

http://burger21.com

4.5 out of 5 magical mouthfuls of meaty madness.

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