Foodie Finds June 2017

Boy, do I have some yummy finds for you all this month! Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of…Snacks? Bars? Drinks? Let me know and I’ll keep an eye out!

Now, let’s get into it shall we?

Dang Chips

All I can say about these is: dang, they are good! Sorry…been waiting a while to say that one. But really, if you have any type of chip addiction it may be best to stay away from these. Because once you pop, you won’t stop. They’re small, crispy and flavorful…I’ll be trying ALL the flavors, please and thank you.

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

Also seen at: Lucky’s Market in Orlando

Trader Joe’s Veggie and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips

Speaking of chips these are my new fav tortilla chips. I was intrigued because they’re made with a ton of veggies, which means more nutrients than your average tortilla chip. They are as yummy as they are hearty. They held up great when I made a healthier version of skillet nachos, and are also good for a chips and salsa snack. Oh and duh, guac also.

Found at: Trader Joe’s

Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals

These babies are hunger savers when you’re short on cooking time. It’s precooked quinoa that you heat up in the microwave or on the stove, add the accompanying sauce and boom, you’re ready to chow. I tried both the basil pesto and the roasted red pepper and both are delicious. I paired them with chicken and veggies for a complete meal.

Found at: Target

Aloha Bars

I always have bars on hand. I’m not always a big breakfast eater and am usually on the go, so being able to grab something quick, flavorful and nutritious is always a plus. These were new on the shelf at Rollin’ Oats when I spotted them so I had to give them a try. Verdict? They are tasty without being too sweet and I love the punch of protein they give. Great for getting my morning started or after an intense workout. 

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

Heard they’re also at: Target

Vegan Rob’s Brussel Sprout Puffs

So the first time I bought these Jon ended up eating them before I could even try them *sad face*. But I took that as a sign they were really good. Once I got another bag, it was confirmed. These puffs are YUMM-Y. If you’re not into brussels don’t worry…they don’t taste too brussely (they also come in different flavors!)…but they have enough brussel flavor to make us brussel lovers go gaga over them. Great texture and are great as a side for your sandwich or some afternoon munching.

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

What foodie finds have you found lately?

 

Sushi, Tapas and Leftovers

Jon had Monday and Tuesday off this week so he with a 4 day weekend he was in “vacation mode”. Aka “let’s go out to eat and live it up” mode. Which I definitely don’t mind! I know cooking at home is healthier and more cost effective, but I really do love going out. It’s the whole experience of it.

Monday, before we headed to a St. Pete Shakes meeting, we decided on a sushi dinner at The Vue. This was our third time here. We’re pretty picky about everything sushi so when a few friends enlightened us by taking us to Vue we were pleasantly surprised. The prices are reasonable, they have tons of specials, the fish is fresh…what more could you ask for? Well, maybe better service. It’s been hit or miss with us, but on Monday we were practically the only people there and we had to wave down the waitress multiple times. Also, this place does a lot of nightlife so if you dine there when it’s still daylight you kind of feel like you’re in a club after it’s closed down. There’s more atmosphere at night with dim red lights.

 Besides that food is still very tasty. We started with the miso soup, mushroom dumplings and shrimp tempura. The soup is kind of eh, but I was really in the mood for it so it hit the spot. I love the dumplings. The texture, the filling and the sweet sauce they’re served with all blend together pretty well. The shrimp tempura was crunchy and light tasting…that’s what I love about tempura…it’s got the flavor of fried but it’s not as heavy.

For the main event we got 4 pieces of nigiri, which was on special for $1 a piece. I’ve never been a huge fan of this…the whole big slab of raw fish kind of creeps me out even though I know I’m eating the same thing in my roll. But I was brave and tried a piece of tuna and then the escarole. Delish! The tuna was a bit flavorless, but the escarole was nice and creamy. We also shared the St. Pete roll, which had cream cheese, avocado, tuna and roe. It was really good…I try and usually stay away from the rolls that have cream cheese, but I was oddly craving it that night. The other roll we had was their speciality, The Vue. I can’t remember what was in it, but it topped the St. Pete roll.

Tuesday we headed out to Cafe Alma. As of about a year ago we used to go to Cafe Alma A LOT. It was one of our favorite restaurants in St. Pete. But then, sadly, we noticed that the food wasn’t tasting as good. We decided to give them another shot since it had been so long. And what better night than Tapas Tuesday, where they have half off select tapas and half off select bottles of wine. Unfortunately, we still found the food to be at the same mediocre level that we had left it. We got the mussels in white wine sauce, the beef carpaccio, the smoked salmon carpaccio and the crispy shrimp (their version of bang bang shrimp). The shrimp’s texture was off and they were screaming for some more flavor. The mussels were really salty. The beef was eh. The salmon was actually my favorite. I loved the soft grilled bread it was on and you can’t go too wrong with capers and aioli as toppers. But overall we were definitely underwhelmed. It’s like you could taste the cook’s boredom in the food.

With both of us being in hospitality I know that it is better to let people know your feedback rather than say nothing. Because then how can they change it? So when I saw the comment card poking out of our bill I grabbed a pen and wrote down that the food quality had gone down. As we were finishing our last sips of wine the manager came over to talk with us. We were honest and he genuinely appreciated our feedback. We will probably not go back again, and if we do it won’t for a long time. But it was nice to know that hopefully our comments will be put to use.

Yesterday, I headed to Target after work and spent WAY too long in there. I was hoping to find some cute summer dresses but everything was just meh to me. I saw a few cute ones in juniors, but they were way to short for me (and I’m 5’2″!) I figured while I was there that I’d get our groceries for the week. I was really surprised at how many healthy/natural products they have! I thought for sure they wouldn’t have any of my beloved Kashi products but they did! Plus some great fruit and nut snack varieties.

Once I realized it was almost 7 p.m. (!) I booked it out of there and got home in time to take a quick 2 mile run. Then I settled down to some Real Housewives of Orange County and some yummy leftovers.

Mashed potatoes, to-die-for meatloaf and brussel sprouts.

It was my first time having frozen brussel sprouts. Not the same as fresh and roasted, but still tasty and nutritious!

Tell me about some good/bad restaurant experiences you’ve had lately! Do you prefer to go out or eat at home?

 

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