The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

Boscos Restaurant – For Beer Lovers

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 28, 2010

For dinner in Little Rock, the Husband and I hadn’t received any recommendations on where to eat so we decided to explore the local area to see what we could find.  A quick perusal of Urbanspoon restaurants showed a handful of restaurants that didn’t speak to us.  We saw that they had a Flying Saucer, but having been to the one in Charlotte and the one in Columbia, SC, we knew we’d like it but we were hoping for something more unique.

We walked up and down the block and just as we were about to settle on the Flying Saucer (well not quite settling as we knew we’d have a good meal and good beers), we saw Boscos Restaurant.  (The Husband saw the awning while I saw a folding board noting their Sunday brunch.)

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Being beer lovers ourselves, and their awning claiming to be a place for beer lovers (hey! that’s us!) we decided to give them a shot.  We were offered seats outside but it was a tad chilly and the latino concert/festival was still going on, next door, and quite loudly! I did pop outside to get a photo from the balcony however.

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We met our waiter, Brock, and were immediately impressed and looked forward to the rest of the evening.  He was personable, friendly, and gave us lots of great recommendations.  We started with beer of course! Boscos brews their own beer and we do love microbrews.  The Husband ordered the Boscos HopGoddess Ale, described as being  brewed with 100% pilsner malt and a heaping helping of Saaz hops, a hybrid pilsner fermented as an ale.  I had the Downtown Brown, a classic English-style Nut Brown Ale.  As described, it was flavorful and easy to drink.

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Later in the meal, Brock brought us samples of the Boscos Oatmeal Stout (I was a fan!), the Isle of Skye Scottish Ale (a well brewed Scottish Ale according to the Husband), Boscos Bombay IPA, and Boscos Famous Flaming Stone Beer.

The food menu had lots of interesting options but the Prix Fixe menu caught our eye.  Both the Husband and I were sold on it.  $25 for three courses, that all looked appetizing, looked good to us.

To start, the Husband ordered the Petite Oyster Poboy.  This was not at all petite! It was fried oysters tossed in honey hot sauce, served on toasted french bread and topped with melted blue cheese.  The Husband really enjoyed this and shared it with me even though I was hesitant as I hate blue cheese.  This was GOOD! Perhaps it’s the first dish that will help ease me into liking blue cheese.  We’ll see…

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I ordered the Chicken Flauta.  It was shredded chicken, refried beans, and mozzarella rolled in two tortillas and pan fried, served over salsa de rojo.  This was also excellent.  Creamy center and the salsa had a nice kick to it.

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For our main courses, the Husband and I both ordered the same thing, a dish highly recommended by our waiter.  We got the Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin.  They were topped with an apricot glaze and served with garlic mashed potatoes and braised cherry tomatoes.  The tomatoes were cooked perfectly, the mashed potatoes were flavorful, and the pork was tender.  A great recommendation! IMG_8553

For our last course, we of course had dessert.  Our options included Apple Crisp, Brownie a la Mode (always in fashion as the Husband says), and Sorbet.  I went with the Apple Crisp while the Husband went with the Brownie.  Neither of us were impressed with the desserts, but they weren’t bad.

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While we’re sure we would have had a good meal at Flying Saucer, we were glad we found Boscos.  The service was good, the food was excellent, and the beers were refreshing.  There are four locations, according to their menu, so if you’re looking for another brewery and you’re near one of these cities (ironically we’d been in all of them in the last 48 hours!), check them out.  IMG_8539 IMG_8544

Boscos Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Bahama Breeze Las Vegas

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 13, 2010

Our last night in Las Vegas a week or so ago, we met up with friends that recently moved to the area as well.  Our friend has been scoping out restaurants to try in the area and recommended that we go to Bahama Breeze, a few short blocks off of the strip (the Husband and I walked there from the Paris.)  I’d been to the Bahama Breeze outside of Baltimore with my mom and sister before and, remembering a good meal, looked forward to trying out the Las Vegas version.  After a brisk walk to the restaurant, we found our friends waiting at the bar for us.  They hadn’t been waiting long, but a table was ready when we walked in.

We ordered a round of drinks and took a look over the menu.  The boys got some beers while us girls had some martinis.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but it was yummy! (I couldn’t get the right lighting on it unfortunately.)

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Our server read off the specials and one caught the Husband’s eye.  I was intrigued by the fact that the offered “lighter portions” under different sections of the menu.  I asked the waiter about this and it pretty much sounded like a lighter portion would be a more reasonable size, possibly even a bit more than I wanted.  I ordered the Fresh Pan-Seared Salmon Pasta.  The menu described it as passion fruit cream sauce with fresh spinach, basil, tomatoes, and mushrooms on bow tie pasta.  The passion fruit in the cream sauce was excellent! And I was right about the lighter portion – a much better size than many restaurant meals, and possibly still a bit too big. IMG_2510

As I mentioned before, the Husband’s ears perked up at the description of the Chef’s special.  It was Buttermilk Fried Chicken layered with spinach, tomatoes, and melted cheese served over garlic mashed potatoes and black bean roasted corn salsa.  He loved it! IMG_2509One of our friends ordered a grilled chicken dish (perhaps over pineapple?).  He had the same thing as the Husband a few days earlier and preferred that dish.  He didn’t dislike the one he ordered, though.   IMG_2507 His wife ordered the Seafood Paella.  I think it may have been a bit salty, but she enjoyed the variety and the plentitude of seafood.IMG_2508 

Overall, it was a decent dining experience.  We had arrived around the same time as a very large party.  This caused our meals to take a bit longer to come out.  Before we even mentioned anything, our waiter was quite apologetic and brought us warm, crusty bread to enjoy.  Luckily, we were too engrossed in catching up to notice too much.  By the time our stomachs were grumbling, our food was there.





Bahama Breeze on Urbanspoon

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Harbour Kitchen & Bar

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 2, 2010

When planning our whirlwind vacation to Australia, I realized that we would be in Sydney around the time of Foodbuzz’s March 24, 24, 24 (check out foodbuzz.com if you’re not familiar with it).  The Husband and I thought that dining in Australia might be competitive for this competition so we searched for interesting and unique restaurants and menus to submit for our idea.  We found that the Harbour Kitchen & Bar at the Park Hyatt at Sydney Harbour had a fantastic degustation menu with the option of Australian wine pairing.  We submitted our idea, but unfortunately didn’t get selected.  However, we had already made a reservation just in case and decided we couldn’t pass up the opportunity and took the Husband’s brother out for his birthday instead.

After enjoying the weekend markets at the Rocks on what was supposed to be our last day in Australia, the Husband and I headed to the hotel and got dressed up for the first time in weeks 🙂 The Husband’s brother met us there and we walked the few blocks down to the water to the Park Hyatt.  We entered the lobby and were shown the direction to the restaurant.

IMG_2341 Our reservation was for 6:30pm, I believe when the restaurant opened for the dinner, so it was generally empty when we arrived.  As the night went on, the restaurant was full!

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The restaurant’s main wall was all glass and overlooked the harbour and opera house.  We were seated directly next to the window and had a wonderful view. IMG_2344

IMG_2345 Harbour Kitchen’s menu offered a variety of options to choose from, but the three of us had our eyes and stomachs set on the Degustation Menu plus wine pairings.  The waiter left our menu propped up on the table so we could refer to it if we forgot what we were tasting 🙂

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While waiting for our wine and courses, we were brought individual rolls and butter.  I enjoyed the view behind my roll 😉

IMG_2350 Although we were doing the wine pairings, we decided to start with a bottle of wine to enjoy throughout the meal.  The Husband chose the 2006 Yering Station Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Victoria.  He knows how much I love chardonnays and since we didn’t get a chance to get to the wineries in Yarra Valley, this would be a substitute till we could get back.  It was light yet flavorful and a perfect match throughout our meal.IMG_2351

Up first, we had the Lightly grilled tuna with green beans, olives, and crisp potato.  The plate seemed to be dressed with a mayo (or something similar) and some oil and there was also an egg (quail?) and some greens garnishing the dish.  The flavors melded well together and we enjoyed the different textures of the various ingredients. IMG_2352 It was paired with the 2009 Charles Melton “Rose of Virginia,” a Shiraz Grenache from Barossa Valley, South Australia.  During our visit to Hunter Valley, I learned that I really like the Grenache grape, particularly in a Rose, and this one was no different.  It went very well with this first course and we were looking forward to the other three.

IMG_2354The sommelier Nicolas Deradin was incredibly informative and friendly.  With each course, he brought us out our matching wine and explained to us the different flavors of the wine as well as additional information regarding how they matched the food and the wineries themselves.  We asked a handful of questions throughout the evening and he answered each one for us.  I attempted to take some notes and share those here where I can.

The second course of the degustation menu was Toasted fregola cooked as risotto with Western Australian yabbies and puffed pork.  (Typing that up, I realized that I have no idea what a yabbie is.  According to a quick Google search, it’s an Australian fresh water crustacean.  Fregola is a pasta similar to couscous.)  This dish was much larger than a lot of tasting menu courses.  It was savory and flavorful.  We could taste the toasted flavor like a risotto (as described).

IMG_2357 This dish was matched with the 2007 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria (the one on the left).  Since we were enjoying a bottle of chardonnay as well, it was a fun opportunity to try the two.  Nicolas advised us that this wine is oaked with some French oak and some New oak.  We could certainly taste the difference between the two chardonnays (the other one is unoaked).

IMG_2358 Our third course was Free range chicken with celeriac cream, pumpkin, and carrot.  The chicken was very tender.  This was the Husband’s favorite course 🙂 The picture didn’t do it justice!

IMG_2360The wine pairing with this course was the 2008 La Linea Tempranillo from Adelaide Hills, South Australia.  This wine was juicy with plum and licorice flavors.

IMG_2362 A quick break here in the food and wine porn… the night of this meal, March 27th, was the celebration of Earth Hour.  The restaurant was adorned with candlelight in anticipation of their participation in Earth Hour at 8:30pm.  As the sun went down, my picture quality was limited with my photography skills.  We enjoyed a couple photo though while it was still light enough in the restaurant 🙂  Earth Hour did afford us a wonderful view of the Harbour and Opera House as the lights slowly dimmed to a nearly-imperceptible  glow, adding further to the backdrop of our fantastic meal.  As the lights were off, I didn’t get any pictures.IMG_2363

Our fourth and final course was the Vanilla creme brulee with rosemary sorbet and strawberries.  This was my favorite creme brulee ever! The rosemary sorbet and strawberries went so well with it.  It was a great final taste to this meal.

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Our final wine pairing of the night was the 2009 Mr. Riggs “Sticky End” Late Harvest Viognier from McLaren Vale, South Australia.  Its name says it all.  As a dessert wine, it was very sweet and sticky.  If you like dessert wines, you would likely enjoy this one. IMG_2366

To end the meal, I had a pot of tea while the boys had long black coffees.  We were also served chocolate truffles. IMG_2367 Overall, this meal exceeded our expectations.  We were very happy that we decided to go with both the degustation menu and the wine pairings.  This restaurant can be quite expensive but is great for a special occasion.  The atmosphere, service, food, and view are all wonderful.  Although we were disappointed to not be selected for Foodbuzz’s March 24, 24, 24, we wouldn’t have found this restaurant without the research done for our proposal and we are glad for that.

(This is the last of our food and travel posts for our vacation to Australia.  If you missed any posts, be sure to check our “Where We’ve Been” tab above to check out other restaurants, hotels, and cities throughout eastern Australia!)

Harbour Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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Huskisson, Jervis Bay, and Dolphin Sands

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 31, 2010

After our enjoyable evening in Gipsy Point and our breakfast basket, we got back in the car and continued our roadtrip east through Victoria toward New South Wales and our second to last night in Australia.  Less than 10 minutes from leaving our hotel, we believe we saw an Emu! (another check off of the Husband’s Australian to do list – see a wild Emu)

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As we drove toward Huskisson, our next destination near Jervis Bay, we tried to plan our trip around the 3-5pm check in time.  Along the way, we found ourselves in Bega which is a town famous for its cheese.  We saw signs for the cheese factory and assuming they would have tastings, we took a slight detour.

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The Husband took a quick pit stop before we headed in for the tastings 🙂IMG_7631

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IMG_7633 Once we found our way into the Tasting Room & Store, we found that it was a serve-yourself tasting area.  A number of cheeses in Australian have the label “tasty” on them and we were glad to finally get a chance to see what this flavor was about without buying a block of cheese.  “Tasty” can best be described as flavorful… similar to a Colby perhaps? I originally assumed it would be more like a Sharp cheese, but there was one called “Strong & Bitey” that better fit that description.

IMG_7635 Although I would have liked to buy some cheese, we didn’t know what our refrigeration situation would be and didn’t want it to spoil.  Too bad Bega wasn’t closer to one of our other stops over the previous nights!

IMG_7636 On our way out, we admired the cafe area which appeared to have lots of history of the town and the cheese.

IMG_7639 And I couldn’t help but get a quick snap of the cow 🙂

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We hopped back in the car toward our destination, driving with no plan in mind except to stop when we got hungry for lunch.  A short while later, we found ourselves in the town of Moruya. It was one of the biggest towns we’d seen in a while and knew it would be a good place to stop.

We found a side street and parked.  As I opened my door, I looked down at the curb and inhaled sharply.  I looked up at the Husband, while I was still in the car and said “Um, I think I see a snake.”  Now, this far into the trip, we’ve heard left and right about how dangerous the snakes are but we hadn’t seen any yet.  What I saw, looked like a snake, with his head poking out of a drain pipe.  I didn’t want to move! The Husband got back in the car and backed up so that we at a safe enough distance away.  We snapped a picture from the middle of the street and then saw a local walk by.

IMG_7644 We caught his attention and asked him if it was a snake.  Relieving us, we learned it was actually a blue tongued lizard and not dangerous at all! Phew!  We left him to hang out in the drain pipe (which they apparently do when it rains), and meandered into town.

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The Husband wanted to find a bakery and asked a local where to find one.  Once there, we asked the staff what they recommended.  I ordered a Cheese & Bacon Meat Pie while the Husband had a Cheese & Bacon roll (essentially a long roll with cheese and bacon baked on top).  It was good 🙂

We headed back toward the car, snapped a few photos of the local church, and continued on trip to Huskisson.

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About 5 hours after our start, we arrived in Huskisson, another small beach town on Jervis Bay.  We were scheduled to check in at the Dolphin Sands Bed & Breakfast between 3 and 5pm and arrived right at 4pm.  We parked the car and followed the sign to Reception.  As we walked up onto the front porch, the Husband was surprised by (and in turn he was surprised by the Husband) Wayne, one of the owners of the B&B who was enjoying the beautiful weather and reading at one of the tables.  We introduced ourselves and completed the check-in process.  Wayne showed us to our room and gave us lots of great suggestions of things to do in the afternoon and where to potentially eat dinner.

IMG_7659 IMG_7663 The grounds of the b&b were lovely.   IMG_2316

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This was the view of the house looking at our room.IMG_2318 And the view of the porch and dining room.

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Using one of Wayne’s suggestions, we decided to head out to Hyams Beach, where we were told they have the whitest sand in the world.

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We parked the car and headed down the steps to the beach. IMG_7665

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At first, the sand didn’t seem particularly white but as we walked further on the beach we found it to be so fine and quite white.  It reminded me almost of powdered sugar.IMG_7670

The Husband played with the camera for a while.  The view of the water was just beautiful so I let him do his thing 🙂    IMG_7675 We were jealous of the beach side homes.IMG_7702

After a good hour or so, we decided to head back toward Huskisson.  On that walk, we noticed fishermen and took a quick photo.  As we did that, a couple asked us to take their photo and we discovered that they were from Atlanta! We stopped to chat with them for a while before they decided to go for a swim and our hunger began to increase. IMG_7792

We headed back to the B&B to get cleaned up and walk into town to find some dinner.  We walked past the handful of restaurants suggested and decided to go to Stonegrill, remembering our enjoyable meal at the Raging Bull in Hervey Bay two weeks ago.  We were especially enticed by a chalkboard noting a 3-course meal for $29!

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After a quick look through the menu, we each decided to go with the 3-course set menu option.  For the appetizer course, we had an option of 5 or so choices.  The Husband went with Turkish Bread with a Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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I had Mixed Seafood sauteed over rocket.  Both appetizers were off to a good start! IMG_7798

For our main course, we had an option of steak, chicken, or seafood and an option of salad, vegetables, or pasta salad.  We also had a selection of sauces to choose from.  Just like our awesome meal at the Raging Bull,  the meat was brought out on extremely hot stones for us to cook to our liking.

The Husband’s main course consisted of a mixed salad, steak, and a pepper sauce.  As expected, he loved it!IMG_7800

My main course was the steak as well plus the Diane sauce and a pasta salad (penne, rocket, onion, and olive oil). IMG_7801

For dessert, we got to choose from three or four small cakes (perfect size of dessert in my opinion!).  The Husband had the Caramel Mud Cake and I had a Berry Cheesecake. IMG_7802

As we hoped, this dinner was great! And at only $29 per person, we couldn’t ask for it to be better.  Once dinner was over, we walked the one block back to our B&B, enjoyed some Aussie tv, and slept well 🙂

The next morning, we awoke to possibly our favorite breakfast throughout our entire visit to Australia.  When we checked in the day before, Wayne asked if 8:30 or so would be a good time for breakfast and we planned to be there on the dot.  We walked out of our room, unsure whether breakfast would be on the front porch or in the house.  The weather was amazing that morning and we found our place settings at a quiet corner on the porch.

IMG_2306 Wayne double checked if we both ate meat and headed back into the kitchen to prepare a hot breakfast for us.  We then met Beatrice, his wife, who invited us to check out the buffet and offered us drinks.  The buffet alone was wonderful!  It included fresh, homemade breads, fruits, and cereals.

IMG_2307 I personally tried almost some of every type of fruit! We were promised toast with our hot meal so we didn’t touch the bread on the buffet, but it sure did make our mouth water! Quality bread has certainly been lacking during our vacation… our options have mostly been “white” or “raisin.”  On my fruit plate, I had (clockwise from the top) cantaloupe, pear, a baked yogurt & berry pudding, rhubarb, and dried fruit poached in orange juice.  This breakfast was off to an amazing start!

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For beverages, the Husband went with his usual Long Black while I had English Breakfast tea (which came in a french press that I loved) and an apple juice.

IMG_2310 To make our perfect Australian breakfast complete, Wayne brought us out a fresh ham and cheese omelet, roasted tomatoes, and homemade whole grain toast.  We learned that the eggs were from chickens they raise at their house, the tomatoes are from a neighbor’s garden, and as we already knew bread was homemade.  It was all as good as it looked too!

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As our readers already know, the Husband and I have definitely come to really enjoy Vegemite so we asked for some of that as well 🙂  Of that spoonful, I had a very light layer while the Husband had most of the rest.

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After our incredible breakfast, we packed up our stuff, wished farewell to Wayne and Beatrice who were in the back patio, and headed on our way back to Sydney via the Kangaroo Valley per Wayne’s recommendation.

If you find yourself near Jervis Bay and you’re looking for a good Bed & Breakfast, look no further than Dolphin Sands!

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