Mad Girl Eats Gus’s Fried Chicken in Chicago

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Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 847 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL. Located in the West Loop with multiple locations in different cities.

Short and sweet. I had chicken and only chicken….and really, thats all that matters. First bite was an OMG moment. A perfect crisp and gentle bite, sunken deep into super moist and flavorful chicken. A medium spicey heat where the chicken doesn’t get lost. You’re not wiping your brow, nor crying due to your mouth being on FIYAH! More please!

Superbly done. This chicken is worth the trip.

Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:oopm to 10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am to 12:00am.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

5 out of 5 perfect poultry points!

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MG Eats Smokey Bones in Kissimmee

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Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 2911 Vineland Rd, Kissimmee, FL. More locations.

Smokey Bones bbq has always been a good place to eat. They came out with a Late-Night menu that worked into my schedule on a Saturday night to make a visit. Great prices and nice choices that last from 10pm until close every evening. I like eating at their bar. A large wrap around bar with a multitude of TV’s, some hi-top tables and booths are available as well as their dining room.

I’m pretty finicky when it come to burgers, but theirs never disappoint. The LN menu offers a  1/2 lb Premium Burger with cheese, none of the others are offered on this menu, but for 7 bucks, I don’t need avocado and bacon. They are cooked to order and I love that. Let’s add Smoked Wings $7.00, and the Loaded Cheese Fries $5.00. A beer seems the perfect pairing for this mix, and they were having a special, $2.95 for a Blue Moon. Score!

The cheese fries came first and dang, they looked amazing! A hefty amount of seasoned French fries covered in cheddar jack cheese, bacon, chipotle mayo, sweet BBQ glaze, green onions, tomatoes, and ranch dipping sauce. Yes, it could be an entire meal and you’d be completely happy, just wash it down with beer and it’s all good. My PIT (Partner in Crime) wasn’t sure about the sweetness of the bbq sauce on it, but after a few bites, I had a hard time keeping up! Damn, I want some now…my is watering!

The chicken wings came and they were very good. I probably would have like them better naked, instead of the sweet glaze on them. I like to dip into my own sauce, because if you don’t like their sauce, the whole plate is ruined. Nice hint of smoke though.

The burger arrived and it was cooked to perfection! Not many can get the Rare temp correct, but they mastered it. It has your basic sides, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles. I put some ranch dressing on it and it was on! Delectable burger. Lots of flavor and a tummy full of happiness.

Go to smokeybones.com and view their Late Night menu. It’s a good one for late night noshing. Super specials throughout the week from their regular menu, lunch and dinner.

Their best Sammy is the Pulled Pork and it is on the menu for $6.00. You can’t barely get a crappy fast food sandwich for that!

4.5 out of 5 points

 

 

 

 

 

 

MG Eats Cid’s Filipino Restaurant

 

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Cid’s Filipino Restaurant, 1328 N John Young Parkway, Kissimmee, FL.

I was searching for a good Filipino restaurant since eating at one in Chicago and again watching Andrew Zimmern enjoying some Crispy Pata. It was time to delve back into some awesome Filipino eats and I came upon Cid’s.

Cid’s is located in a strip mall right off the main drag in Kissimmee, John Young Parkway and Hwy 192/ Vine St., a suburb of Orlando. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall, but generally those venues create the best food. An interesting menu, it was time to have a new experience. Definitely the small cigar looking Lumpia, (spring rolls and eggrolls are my jam) these will be right up my gullet alley. Siopao(steamed bun) and Lechon Kawali (pork belly) will round out this lunch. This is a pretty basic introduction into Filipino food if you’re a beginner.

All three choices come with their own sauce, which I love. I’m a saucy chick. Everything looked amazing and made my mouth water. First up, the Lumpia. Oh yes, crispy outer with a nice filling of ground meat and spices. The sauce was very mild, so I dipped them in sweet chili sauce when I got home. Excellent! The Siopao (Special asada) was filled with a mixture of chicken, pork, Chinese sausage and egg. Delicious! Big, squishy, warm and a good amount of filling for a steamed bun. So tasty, with good sauce.

The Lechon Kawali is in a word…..awesome. Crispy skin, flavorful, fatty meaty pieces of pork heaven dipped in a golden sauce. I was told they have a customer who uses it to make tacos at home. Great idea! Sooooo good.

Very warm and welcoming people at this restaurant. Thoughtful with their food, and even packing it to go. To keep the integrity of the food, they cut an opening in the top of the container. Magical idea!

I will be back for their Crispy Pata next time, and their Daing Na Bangus. It is a whole fish that is marinated and fried. Freaking fabulous!

Hours: CLOSED MONDAYS. Tues: 11:00am – 6:00pm, Wed – Sat: 11:00am – 8:00pm, Sun: 11:00am – 5:00pm. ** Last Dine-In 30 minutes before closing.

http://filipinofoodatcids.com

5 out of 5 Fantastic Filipino Points

Mad Girl Eats Keke’s Breakfast Cafe in Winter Park

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Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, 345 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Other locations around Orlando, Central and South Florida.

Sunday morning, rainy and cool. I need breakfast and a visit to Keke’s is just the place to fill the bill. Keke’s is a breakfast and lunch only restaurant. They have a large menu and when everything sounds soooo darn good, making a decision seems like an epic chore. Start me off with coffee and let’s go from there. Good coffee, by the way!

Belgian waffles, pimped out waffles, pancakes (dinner plate size), pimped out pancakes, French toast, stuffed French toast, eggs, omelets, ….oy. Everything looked amazing to my starving belly. I’m feeling like something sweet with savory on the side.

I went in hard for a Banana, Nut, & Caramel Waffle. A beautiful masterpiece. Banana and pecans baked inside the waffle, topped with more banana and pecans, then add caramel drizzle, whipped cream, and powdered sugar, Sugar! Wow. Hey, don’t stop there. You MUST add maple syrup to get the entire scrumptious layers of flavor. Yes, do it.

Also ordered were their pancakes. Gigantic pancakes. Eggs and bacon. Former patrons had said, their pancakes were enough for 2 people. I’m saying, they are correct. The taste wasn’t anything special, regular pancake mix flavor. The bacon was excellent and the eggs were fine. If you’re a picky eater, get this basic breakfast. If you’re adventurous, get a souped-up, pimped-out waffle, pancake, or egg dish. They know how to put some bang in your breakfast!

Hours: 7:00am to 2:30pm daily.

http://kekes.com to peruse their breakfast AND lunch menus.

4.5 out of 5

 

 

Mad Girl Eats Carnitas Snack Shack in Del Mar California

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Carnitas’ Snack Shack, 12837 El Camino Real in Del Mar, San Diego, CA.

A pretty little bbq spot in a pretty little area of Del Mar in the northern San Diego area. Cool “Q” dining area with outdoor seating available.

I ordered the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich and the Snack Shack Steak Sandwich. Both were meaty and flavorful. The Triple Threat Pork sandwich was brilliant. It had pork loin schnitzel (wow), pulled pork (yum), and bacon (heck ya!) with a pepperoncini relish and Shack aioli. Dang! That was a pork masterpiece! The Steak sandwich was delectable. Sliced ribeye, pepper jack cheese, tomato, pickled serrano, chipotle aioli, and jalapeno. It was bounding with flavor and heat from all of the peppers. If you like it caliente’, you will love this!

Located in an upper crust strip mall with easy and plentiful parking. There is also a shack located in North Park. Great flavors, quality eats.

New hours: Sun – Thurs 11:00am – 9:00pm, Fri – Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm.

4.75 out of 5 points.

 

MG Eats Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville!

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Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, 119 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN.

Nashville = Hot Chicken! Timing it just right, I got into Nashville for an early dinner. Of course, there was a line out the door, but it moved right along. The menu was simple, but mouthwatering Southern fare. I was happy to see different levels of heat you could order. I can do hot, but not “wipe the sweat off my dead head” type hot! To be fair, I ordered one piece mild and the other hot. I’m glad I did, aint nobody got time for a mouth on fire!

Chicken and fries were the perfect match. The chicken was a slam dunk! Juicy, seasoned, and hella fried good! Hot was HOT enough, so glad I didn’t go extreme for Damn Hot heat level. Nice little place, fab food, awesome staff. I’d like to return and enjoy even more of this Nashville icon.

5 out of 5 perfect poultry points!

Mad Girl Eats Pionic in Tucson!

wpid-photogrid_1435883597038_wm.jpgPionic Pizza and Pasta, 2643 N Campbell Ave #105, Tucson, AZ.

Pionic is a new, unique place for artisian pizza. It is like Chipotle for pizza lovers, also offering pasta and salads. Walk up to the long counter, choose your crust (gluten-free available), and unlimited toppings of meats, veggies, cheeses, and herbs. It then gets thrown into a mega oven and is finished in 90 seconds. It is crispy, light, and oh-so-delicious!

Great tasting pizza, any or all the toppings you wish, and walla, you have a pizza engineered to your specifications! All ingredients are fresh, and you can taste it in the final product. Nice prices, cordial staff, and cool atmosphere. Don’t miss Happy Hour,  Monday – Friday from 2pm – 5pm, pizza, beer and wine deals! Excellent!

Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm.

http://pionicpizza.com

5 out of 5 Perfect pizza points for the price!

Mad Girl Eats Little Goat Diner in Chicago!

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Little Goat Diner, 820 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL. Located in Chicago’s West Loop.

Little Goat Diner is the little sister resto of Stephanie Izard’s mega famed Girl and the Goat restaurant across the street. You walk in and the interior is far from any ‘diner’ I’ve ever seen.Think chic industrial.  Super busy per usual at lunch time, I opt for a sandwich to take out and am directed to the Bakery bar area. After perusing the menu, I decide on a signature goat item, the Goat Almighty. As you can see by the photos above, it was aptly named.

I opened it up and was like….Holy Toledo Batman, this is a gargantuan burger! How do you even begin to eat it?! Let me lay it on you….it consists of a goat burger, braised beef, bbq pork, pickled jalapenos, salsa verde, onion rings, cheddar cheese, and  pickles all inbetween a yummy bun. The only way I could possibly take a bite is by halves…top and bottom. It was fantastic, but the only thing I couldn’t get was a good overall sense of all components in one bite and how they worked together. Other than that, it was good!

Little Goat offers an awesome menu for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Diner food twisted into something special. My next trip back I want to try a Pork Belly Pancake, a Smoked Pork and Toffee Crunch Shake, a delight from the Bakery, or maybe something coo coo crazy from their Breakfast menu which they serve all day. I love that!

Diner Hours: Sun – Thurs 7:00am – 10:00pm, Fri – Sat 7:00am – 12:00am  Bakery Hours: Everyday 6:00am – 6:00pm.

http://littlegoatchicago.com

Don’t be surprised if wait time for a table is an hour. Reservations accepted for Dinner only.

4.75 out of 5 points.

Mad Girl Eats Ray’s Drive Inn, San Antonio!

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Ray’s Drive Inn, 822 SW 19th St, San Antonio, TX.

Ray’s is Home of the Original Puffy Taco. When traveling, I try to visit local eateries that features that area’s specialty. The puffy taco is one in San Antonio. Ray’s is a fun, quirky, welcoming landmark in the city since 1956. Don’t let the name fool you, go inside the restaurant to eat. They do have a drive thru, just don’t think it will be like Sonic when you pull up.

I ordered one beef and one fish puffy taco. Oh so good. That puffy shell is amazing! The beef filling was savory and a blast of flavor. The fish was good, but not the powerhouse I found in the beef. Excellent quality, great prices, super staff, and entertaining atmosphere. Ray’s was a special place and I can’t wait to return.

Their menu offers more than puffy tacos, but when in Rome…er, San Antone 😉

Hours: Tues – Thurs 11:00am – 11:00pm, Fri and Sat 11:00am -midnight, Sun 11:00am – 11:00pm. CLOSED MONDAYS.

*CASH ONLY*

http://raysdriveinn.net

4.75 out of 5 puffy taco points.

Mad Girl Eats Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans

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Willie Mae’s is renowned for their fried chicken and soul food, and has stood the test of time since 1957. This restaurant is so beloved, the community gathered together to rebuild it after Hurricane Katrina ravaged it. It was the first site to be re-built in all of New Orleans. Now that speaks volumes about the food and the family that own it. Divine! All along the dining room walls, you see awards and dignified recognitions. It is pretty impressive!

Of course the only thing to try on your first visit (or any visit, say many), is the fried chicken. So load me up with chicken, some homemade mac and cheese, and a sweet tea…. and we’re ready to throw down! Soon after ordering this blissful looking plate arrives. Generous portions and the fried chicken, say what?! It’s not what any Colonel or Sailorman’s chicken looks like. This is magical. Layers of light tender crust, amid the juiciest chicken I’ve ever encountered! I mean, one of my bites squirted chicken juice up into my eye…and no worries, just comical. That was some amazing chicken. A great fry, moist, gentle flavoring, OMGoodness. The mac and cheese was cream, gooey good, but no one told me about the spice! This stuff had a definite kick. I’m not complaining, I ate every bangin’ morsel. It came with a side of peas, which made the plate pretty, but I’m not a fan, unless they come in a pod. The meal was something you MUST experience.

Willie Mae’s rocked my world!

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm. Closed Sundays.

Street parking, right off the bus stop 250 feet, easy in and out.

Willie Mae’s, a New Orleans institution. Get there.

5 out of 5 absolutely perfect points.

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