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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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 the Swingin’ Door Exchange in Milwaukee

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Swingin’ Door Exchange, 219 E Michigan St, Milwaukee, WI.

Located just off of Water St. in downtown Milwaukee, the Swingin’ Door Exchange, Saloon and Eatery venue has a long history harkening back to Prohibition days. Pretty cool. You walk in the main door and to the left is a charming little dining room with white linen tablecloths, and to the right are a couple of high top tables that lead your way into the tavern. A long, narrow, old-fashioned, rip-roaring bar.

It was a Friday, so naturally in the Midwest (well, Wisconsin at least), yeeha…Friday Fish Fry! Typically, a fish dinner with choice of potato and salad. I always opt for batterfried fish, French fries and coleslaw…you can also get a healthier version, but why bother. I was in for a late lunch and was happy to find out they served their Friday Fish Fry all day…it is usually an evening thing. I was thrilled! I heard they serve up a swoon-worthy burger, so let’s try one of those as well.

The fish platter came, 2 pieces of cod with a nice light batter, homemade tartar sauce, plenty of fries, coleslaw, and a piece of marble rye. The fish was really good, flaky, moist, with an easy crunch. Many times fried fish has more coating than fish, but this was an awesome balance. The burger was phenomenal. A half pound of Angus beef, cooked to order (rare, of course), seasoned beautifully, with pepperjack cheese and L/T/O. Homemade potato chips on the side and a bright dill pickle. Delish! Have a brewski with your meal and do it the Milwaukee way. I will definitely return to Swingin’ Door the next time I find myself near downtown Milwaukee, it is a landmark and jewel. Cheers to ya!

Restaurant hours: Mon – Fri 11:00am to 10:00pm, Sat 10:00am to 10:00pm, Sun 10:00am to 9:00pm

http://swingindoorexchange.com

4.75 out of 5 heck ya hollerback have another happiness points.

 

 

 

 

Mad Girl Eats Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion

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Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant, 7760 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL. Many other locations country-wide.

Aloha! Roy’s in Orlando has always been a favorite mine. I haven’t been back for a while (so many restos, so little time…and money), so when an email appeared for a Wagyu burger, I jumped at the chance to go. I’ve never had anything but a stellar experience at Roy’s and I was sure this wasn’t going to let me down.

The burger is only available in the bar, so I sashayed my way over to seating at the bar that backs up to the open kitchen. Great seats! I arrived about halfway thru Aloha Hour (Happy Hour) so I ordered an appetizer of Crispy Pork and Steamed Buns at Happy Hour prices. Roy’s has a nice Aloha Hour menu for both food and drink. The appetizer arrived and was 2 delightful Asian buns, each with a piece crispy pork, green apple slaw and Red Dragon sauce. It was nicely done, but I’m a saucy girl and it needed more sauce for my liking. My tip is to ask for sauce on the side also….to dip 😉

I ordered my Wagyu Burger, rare of course. It comes with caramelized onion, truffle mushrooms, a sunny side up egg, and Togarashi aioli all on an awesome Brioche bun. The burger arrived and it was a perfect picture of meaty paradise. There were super crunchy fresh onion rings on the plate that I added to my burger as well. Wow, that first bite was pure pleasure and moan-worthy. Quality, moist, rich beef gently seasoned. The many layers of flavor and texture from the toppings only helped to create a fantastic experience. A little sweetness from the onions, a bit earthy from the mushrooms, oozy egg yolk and glorified aioli were an absolute amazing combination and the ending crunch from the onion rings, took it over the edge.

Roy’s, once again, leaving with a smile on my face and a happy, very satisfied tummy.

Aloha Hour is 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Dining room hours: Sun-Thurs 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Fri – Sat 5:30pm – 10:30pm

http://roysrestaurant.com

5 out of 5 beautiful beefy bites of bodaciousness.

 

Mad Girl Eats Pho 88 in Orlando

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Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant, 730 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.

After hearing numerous great things about this Vietnamese restaurant, I knew I had to get there and experience it for myself. Quick and friendly, the staff sat me and helped me with the extraordinarily large menu. Since it was my first venture into Vietnamese, my server was knowledgable, patient, and reserved as to my virgin taste buds. He kept pointing out the most popular dishes along with the word ‘American’. I didn’t want an American watered down version, I wanted authentic, sock-it-to-me Vietnamese cooking. I figured he knew better than I, so I went with the safe, albeit flavorful bet.

I ordered the #5. Shredded pork skin spring rolls, #11. Roasted Quails, #37. Pho Bo with eye round steak and beef balls, #42.Pho Bo with eye round steak, flank, fat brisket, and soft tendon, #114. Chicken stir-fried with rice and vegetables. The appetizers came first and wow, were they nice. The spring rolls were big and chocked full of pork skin and veggie filling, just superb, and made more so by the luscious peanut dipping sauce. Roasted quail, well that was divine. Add a squirt of fresh lime and the little bird sang “Welcome to Flavor Town”! The Pho arrives and none too soon. I was getting over a bad cold (hence the reason for the 2 bowls) and the brothy noodle soup was just what Dr. Feel Better ordered. The bowls were huge! A plate of vegetables accompanied the bowls of Pho. I added bean sprouts and jalapenos for kicks and giggles. Soooo good. The meats were beefy and tender, the noodles and broth were scrumptious. Next up, the Chicken Stir-fry. I was a bit hesitant to order this, I felt I could get this same dish in the Food Court at the Mall. Oh no no no. It was incredible! It may look similar, but the taste was beyond what you’d find at a chain restaurant. Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating it!

The table was happy with the selections, but I plan on going a bit more wild next visit 😉

Open 7 days a week. Hours: Lunch – 10:00 – 4:00pm, Dinner 4:00pm – 10:00pm. Parking lot or street parking.

http://pho88orlando.com

 

4.75 out of 5 Pho-nominally delish points.

Mad Girl Eats La Spada’s in Orlando

 

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La Spada’s Original Cheesesteaks and Hoagies,  1010 Lee Rd, Orlando, FL.  Locations in Sanford and Orange City also.

This shop comes from a deep lineage of fine sandwich shops, starting in 1938 in Atlantic City, NJ with the family’s first Hoagie shop. Family carried forward the tradition and blazed a trail of new shops in Pennsylvania, then the Ft Lauderdale area of Florida, and now Orlando. The La Spada’s know what they are doing! The superior level they have maintained through the years, shows in every bite.

I ordered their original Cheesesteak. Steak, grilled onions, and white American cheese on a homemade Hoagie roll with sweet peppers. Succulent and simple. ATTENTION! This is the best Cheesesteak I have had outside of Philly. I love that they chop up their steak and don’t leave it in long pieces to make it hard to eat. This mix of meat and melty gooey cheese is perfection. The onions and peppers just add to the party going on in my mouth. Great fries too!

My partner in crime and I stopped in on a whim, split a 10″, moaned and groaned with every bite…. and ordered another. It was just that fantastic! Their Meatball Parm looked incredible and will be one for the next visit!

Hours: Mon – Fri 10:00am to 5:00pm,  Sat and Sun 11:00am to 4:00pm. Conveniently off of I-4 and Lee Rd exit, located in the far end of a strip mall.

http://laspadas.com

5 out of 5 bites of bliss. Mangia!

 

 

 

Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Orlando

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Hawkers Asian Street Fare,  1103 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.  Also a new  location in Jacksonville, FL.

If you welcome big flavor and are looking for a quality experience of Asian cuisine, get to Hawkers Asian Street Fare restaurant. They offer some of the best Asian food I’ve had in a very long time. A big menu that offers something for everyone, depending on how adventurous you want to be, and how much spicy heat you can take.

My table ordered Pad Thai Noodles, Curry Duck Noodles, Hawkers Wings, Curry Laksa Soup, Chicken Egg Rolls, Roti Canai, and BBQ Pork Banh Mi. A nice array to sample. They arrive at your table the second they are finished being prepared. It was exciting to keep getting new dishes arriving, fresh and hot!

The Roti Canai arrived first. Roti is one of my favorite things, a Malaysian flat bread served with a side of very spice curry sauce for dipping. A fantastic start! The Hawkers Wings were ordered grilled, excellent choice and also came with dipping sauce as did the awesome Chicken Egg Rolls. Great choices again! The Pad Thai Noodles arrived, huge flavor but also huge on the heat! Noodles and Hawkers sauce stir fried with shrimp, chicken, vegetables and red chili peppers, topped off with peanuts and fresh lime. Hawkers authentic sauce is simmered for 6 hours, so it’s ready to kick your ass. Super spicy, so beware. The hits just keep on coming…. The BBQ Pork sandwich was hearty and heavenly with Char Sui bbq sauce. The Curry Duck Noodles were nice and easy. Egg noodles, veggies, and roast duck all stir fried together with Hawkers own curry recipe. This is for the non-spicy diner. The BEST IN SHOW however, was the Curry Laksa Soup. What a bodacious burst of flavor! Wow. This very large bowl of perfection, was a bit heated but I could handle it. You have egg noodles in coconut curry stew, topped with hard-boiled egg, shrimp, chicken, yow choy, and fried bean curd. This dish is a memorable one and absolutely made my “Best Of” list.

This place should be called Flavor Town. The food is outtabounds, the service is top-notch, the atmosphere is modern cool, and the experience is worth every step to get there. Located in the greater downtown Orlando area.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00am – 10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am – 11:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 10:00pm.

5 out of 5 bountiful bites!

 

 

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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