Pho Bac, Fo’ Real

Okay guys, don’t hate me but I really don’t care for Asian food.  I know we’ve Americanized virtually every cultures food but even then I don’t care for it. But of course I love food and I’m pretty much down to try most things.

So I decided to go to Pho Bac in Evans, Georgia. I’ve been before and thought the food was alright, I mean seriously, what’s so special about some soup?

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Anyway this time I got the same thing I got last time haha shrimp noodle soup. But I did add on a Thai beer called Singha and some spring rolls.

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Oh yeah and those are crab puffs with the spring rolls. Honestly AMAZING!

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This place is pretty decent. The customer service could use some improvement but as far as food it’s good. Not to diss the CSRA but Pho Bac might be the best restaurant around here.

I hope you guys have a great Saturday!

Love,

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Bodega Ultima

I have found my favorite brunch place in Augusta, Ga. FINALLY! Bodega Ultima is located in Surrey Center, a cute little plaza with restaurants and shops.

So coming in my sister and I were excited to get some breakfast but they only serve breakfast from 8-11, bummer. But their lunch menu was equally appetizing. There were a lot of people inside which got me even more excited.

A coffee was a must

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Guys, I ordered a smoked salmon BLT completely forgetting that BLT’s have bacon in them HAHA

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Absolutely amazing, I never had smoked salmon and I’m extremely happy that it was this great. (I did remove the bacon)

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This is the trashcan wrap with salmon, another absolutely amazing item.

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Jo even loved it!

If you’re in the Augusta area this place is a must!

Love,

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Travel Diaries: Columbia, South Carolina

So I must confess something… I absolutely love food. My family and I were planning this awesome food filled trip to Charleston, South Carolina BUT with all the rain and thunderstorms we decided that wasn’t the best idea, unfortunately. So we decided to make our way to Columbia instead. Yelp is seriously my best friend when I’m going to a new place, so I found a few places that caught my eye but we went with this awesome little place called Cafe Strudel.

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So coming into this place it was PACKED, (which definitely tells me that we went to the right place) our wait ended up being a little more than 30 minutes.

So to kill time we went next door and visited the Old Mill Antique Mall. This place is massive. When you think you’re done another room pops up out of no where. Old Mill has over 75 dealers selling anything from jewelry, books, pins, clothes, old cameras, you name it, they probably have it.

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Once we were antiqued out we headed back to the restaurant and what a coincidence our table was ready.

Our waiter was absolutely wonderful and the service was great. BUT our food was even better.

Duck fat fry Basket: Fries tossed in duck fat and truffle oil with a green onion aioli.

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Freshly squeezed orange juice. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

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Hangover hash browns: Hash browns with banana peppers, onions, tomatoes and scrambles eggs. WITH one pineapple french toast.

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Sunrise Burrito: scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, salsa, black beans and sour cream in a cheddar cheese wrap.

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Apple Strudel 

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If you’re ever in Columbia you must visit this place! I 100% recommend it. They have great service and great food.

Love,

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Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons

My family and I just recently went on a trip to Savannah, Georgia. I’ve always wanted to go and I was beyond excited. For me watching the Travel Channel, Food Network and the Cooking channel is life. (I know, pathetic but that’s what I love!) Whenever I go to a new city or area I search what cool unique restaurants are around. I hate chain restaurants and I try my best to eat something that I couldn’t find where I live. So walking around Savannah (which was torture! It was somewhere aroun 94-100 degrees the day we went) my family and I came across Paula Deen’s restaurant. At first I was like “Yeah, let’s do it.” but when I opened the door to the place I was like “ehhhhhhhhhhh not really feeling this place” but my mom wanted to go so we did.

Walking in you see people walking up with their plates to the buffet so I was kind of turned off because I didn’t know they had a buffet. Mind you, I did not look at any reviews for this place. Anyway, the two hostesses were rude. I’ve worked at a restaurant and the company I worked for was really big on customer service so when I go to a place that sucks at customer service I’m like “really?”. Anyway they asked for my name and told me to wait in the waiting area/shop. I had to ask how long it would be which they replied 10-15 minutes and that was fine. We walked to the shop area to see what they had to offer. Paula Deen’s face is plastered EVERYWHERE! Everything had the word “ya’ll” on it and everything was about butter. I understand that’s what Paula Deen’s about and what she’s known for, but this was ridiculous. I didn’t expect her restaurant to be so kitschy, it was a complete turn off. It was nauseating seeing her bright blue eyes, huge smile, fake orange tan and white hair everywhere. I was so relieved when they called my name over the speaker.

Once my name was called we walked back over to the hostesses who were still rude and they told us to use the elevator up to the 3rd floor and we’ll be seated up there. More than one floor? That was cool. The hostess on the 3rd floor was great! Extremely sweet and helped us with any questions that we had. She sat us down and our waiter came over, he was pleasant as well. He was a vegetarian so he didn’t really know if everything was good on the menu but I didn’t mind. To start my mom and I ordered a sangria. Sangria should be good anywhere and this restaurant showed me that it really isn’t. It tasted like sweetened water and no alcohol. The waiter brought over this biscuit thing, it was a small pancake on a plate with a cheesy biscuit on top of it. I really didn’t understand what that was, but I ate it and it was okay. Nothing special. I didn’t know what to order! I didn’t want anything too heavy, I was going to get a bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese but I could literally get that anywhere. So I ordered the Cesar salad with scallops. I figured the scallops would be great since were so close to the ocean. My sister ordered the crabcake burger and my mom ordered the asparagus sandwich with fried chicken on the side. My salad was probably the worst salad I have ever had. The greens were not fresh and was drenched in Cesar dressing. The croutons were burnt and the scallops were fishy and just plain disgusting. I ate all the scallops because I just didn’t want them to go to waste and I’m not the customer that sends food back (I’ve heard lots of gross restaurant stories). I just sucked it up and ate what I could. With the croutons I originally thought maybe that’s just how the make them but I ate one and it was so bitter it left such a disgusting taste in my mouth, I hated it. My sister didn’t like her meal either, the crabcake was drenched in oil (a big no-no) and she ordered jelly roll fries on the side. I don’t know if this is a southern thing but we had no idea what jelly roll fries were. But it’s sliced potatoes dipped in batter and fried. The “fries” were soggy and I don’t know what kind of batter they used for that but it doesn’t go with potatoes. Why can’t the make just regular good old fashioned fries? My mom kind of like her asparagus sandwich, she said it was okay and she did like the fried chicken but said it wasn’t as good as she expected. She went to the bathroom to change the baby and she overheard some ladies talking. They were talking about the food and how they didn’t like it. One of the ladies said they ordered the buffet and that was good but the other lady didn’t and she was not pleased with her food. The buffet has your classic southern food, fried chicken, lima beans, creamed potatoes, bbq pork, rice and so forth all for $16. Now I’m not going to spend $16 on a buffet where most of the food is meat which I’m not even going to eat.

Everything was around $60, we left the waiter a good tip and left this restaurant. Like I said I used to work at a restaurant myself, it wasn’t some fancy restaurant but I still took pride in what I did. I worked as a server and a cook. I would never serve food that was burnt or sloppy and I would never put out food for a server to take that I wasn’t proud of. I just don’t understand how someone could be so careless with their work. This restaurant isn’t about the quality of the food, it’s about Paula Deen’s face being everywhere and just the hype around her. I would expect that a former Food Network stars restaurant would be great but I was truly TRULY disappointed. I would have rather ate at chipotle or cracker barrel than this restaurant. It was honestly the biggest waste of money.

I really do not recommend this restaurant and I strongly encourage that when you travel somewhere prepare where you want to eat! Look at reviews and have a solid plan before you go.

Hopefully one day this place will get better or maybe they were just having a bad day. I really don’t know, but I do know that I will never go back to a Paula Deen restaurant.

Have a great Monday you guys! I know this review was negative but it is a beautiful day, make the most of it!

Love,

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The Bee’s Knees, indeed!

So the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) is on a ROLL. If you saw my last post I visited a beautiful little café called  Manuel’s Bread Café and that place was absolutely amazing. On the same day, in the afternoon, my family and I decided to pay The Bee’s Knees a visit. Whenever I go out to eat I always check Yelp, it’s a handy app/website where you can find exactly what you want. This place has 4 out of 5 stars and 225 reviews, for Augusta that is a lot of reviews. I was hesitant because it’s a Tapas bar and my family likes to eat a lot so I wasn’t sure if a small plates place was appropriate but we gave it a shot anyway.

THIS PLACE IS GREAT! ***Tony the Tiger voice***

I’m not exaggerating at all. It’s in Downtown Augusta which I believe is a beautiful area, it needs some work but nonetheless is gorgeous.

Anyway our waitress was incredible. I used to be a waitress so I kind of have high expectations from my waitresses but I always give them the benefit of the doubt, I mean they are people too. This is the waitress that I want for every restaurant I go to. She was upbeat, personable and friendly. She was informative about the specials and even had cute notes about everything that was going on. I wish I got her name but I know that she knows that she’s an incredible waitress.

They also try to only use local meats and seafoods and they have organic products. I love places like these! Even if I didn’t like the food I knew that I would appreciate this place.

Anyway, let me tell you about the food!

Since it’s a tapas place we ordered a bunch of the plates.

And to drink I ordered a white wine sangria, literally the best sangria I’ve ever had, it was made with coconut rum and these are dangerous. You can taste the alcohol but it’s so sweet and smooth that if you’re not paying attention you will be drunk in no time.

Smoked Gouda Nachos with seafood = Absolutely incredible, it was with a crab and shrimp and was gone in a second.

Hand cut fries= great! With the fries you can chose 2 sauces out of about maybe 10 or 12. We tried creamy parmesan and spicy aioli with one order and the other order we got dill feta and  jalapeno. All the sauces were so good.

Spinach and black bean quesadilla= this one was just average but I think it was because I’m not the biggest fan of spinach.

My brother got chicken and waffles, I only tried the waffles and LET ME TELL YOU. So soft and sweet, seriously I need this recipe and a waffle maker.

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To finish we ordered raspberry crème brulee and it was the perfect end to this meal.

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This is a MUST go place if you’re ever in the CSRA. I don’t really have any negative criticism for this place, I really enjoyed it and I loved our fun waitress.

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

Love,

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Manuel’s Bread Cafe

If you are ever on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, you MUST go to Manuel’s Bread Café and pay them a visit.

My friend and I did a 5k and decided we needed to eat something. So I pulled up my Yelp app and searched restaurants with breakfast. The majority of things that popped up were fast food chains, chick-fil-a, McDonalds and things of that nature, that was a BIG NO.

I came across this place and I was a little hesitant, it had 3.5 reviews and I just wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But my friend was like “Yeah, let’s go”.

THANK GOD.

This place is a gem, straight from heaven. We got there at 9:15 and they were ready for us. Our waitress was great, she was informative and friendly. She told us all about their weekend buffet and everything we can order. The place was cute, they had both outdoor seating and indoor. We chose to sit outside, we ordered our drinks and got up to get our food.

They had shrimp and grits, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, Greek yogurt with granola, fruits, pastries and rolls. AMAZING!

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I give this place 5 stars! Great food and great service!

Have a great Sunday!

Love,

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Zoe’s Kitchen

Let me tell you guys about the most amazing restaurant I have ever been to in my whole entire life. Yes, I am very excited to share this place with you guys.

When I first moved to Augusta I was pretty disappointed coming from South Florida where there are TONS of food places. There are so many options and plenty of vegan/ vegetarian friendly places you really don’t have to do research to find one. Now here, you do have to do a little work. There are plenty Bo’Jangles, McDonald’s, Taco Bells and basically every other fast food “restaurant” you can think of. (No wonder as of 2014 Georgia had the 19th highest adult obesity rate in the nation).

But thank the heavens that there is Zoe’s Kitchen.

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I’ve been to this place about 5 times now and it has never failed me. There are Zoe’s Kitchens in Florida ( Orlando area and north, no wonder I’ve never seen one), Georgia, Texas, Arizona and more. They have this whole “Live Mediterranean” theme going on. They have soups, salads sandwiches and kebabs! Most of the time when I go out to eat I feel like I’m getting short changed. Most places don’t take the time to cook good food for people that don’t eat meat, the same time and effort isn’t put into our food and frankly it sucks.

Let me tell you the process. It’s a fast casual place so you order at the register, take your number, sit down and just wait for them to bring your food. And when you’re done you have to resist all urges to clean up after yourself and leave your trash on the table for them to clean up after you.

Last time I ate here I got their veggie kebabs. It came with two kebabs filled with Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and onions. I’m not the craziest fan of zucchini, it has to be made right and guess what? Zoe’s knows what they’re doing with their vegetables. It also came with a salad (They make their own salad dressings that they have available for sale), pita bread and the best braised white beans I have ever had!

Can you tell I love this place?

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I also love this place because I don’t feel crappy after I eat. I absolutely hate that feeling of guilt after I eat. This place doesn’t do that for me! I feel great and so proud of myself every time.

This place is a must try!

Let me know what you guys think, have a great Wednesday.

Love,

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