Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poor Ol' Grandad...

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Final thoughts on Grandpa's were that the food is definitely good... and we ordered wayyy to many things. The danish were good (cheese and lemon flavor) but make sure you dont fill up on them as they are light and addictive. The bacon is nothing really special, not thick but not thin (Bob Evans it Aint!). The Reuben was good, if the other lunch fare is similar then i need to come back for lunch, the corned beef didnt taste over salted and was defnitely slow cooked as it was coming apart very easily with each bite (ergo, fat was rendered out during the cooking). The Reuben's crust.... joyyyyy. I could have put that in a bag and eaten an entire one in front of the tv during a football game.

Onto the stars... the pancakes. Flavor-wise they were good and the blueberries were definitely fresh as they were giving the bloose (blueberry juice) to the rest of the plate. However, they were a little bit overcooked and, in turn, hard to cut into and a bit more chewy and less light than i would have liked. The French Toast was thick.... a little too thick. They followed the first rule of thumb by making sure the bread was stale... but since it was so thick there was a lot of needed 'soak time' which i could tell was not given. However, I let that go since we ordered so much of it! The crust was also a little tough to cut through... in the end it was good but not as soft as this foodie believes French Toast is supposed to taste. At least not the way THIS GUYS Grandpa makes it. And, last but not least, the waffle. To quote SNL: Jizz - in - my - pants! This was one of the best waffles i have had in such a long time. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and topped with the fresh, homemade whipped cream and strawberries. Heaven. I would not mind getting buried alive if my coffin was made from that waffle (may have to change the name of the blog to 'Cla-ffle'). Eh.... i'll think about it.

All in all, i will definitely be going back for some wonderful breakfast and some good service. Even though they were a little slow in keeping the coffee filled... i let it go since we were in the back of the place kind of hidden and that our waitess was a sweetie.

Also, if you stop by the bakery on the way out (provided your not too full) try the cinnamon stick and cheese danish. Honestly, do it now and thank me later... then we can both go to the gym and hit the treadmill with a belly full of sugar-love.

Grandpa's Bakery and Restaurant : 4/5

Well ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Tune in next time for updates on Feeding South Florida and the results of the Ice Cream Challenge! Until then this is PanClayke reminding you that old people, though slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.

(ill be right back... DONT YOU GO DYING ON ME!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. As for now i am of to take a nap... a long long long long long long long nap, lol. Until next time this is PanClayke, reminding you that bigger is not neccesarily better.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The once and Future King...

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Final thoughts of The Kingdom are that I will totally be going back... but Im gonna stick with the queenburger next time. Honestly, the meat was perfectly cooked to my liking and had a real nice flavor, not to mention the rustic and homemade feel of said burger. All these reasons attributed to yours truly setting a new RECORD for the Doomsday's consumption (11min 32sec... BEAT THAT MAN V FOOD!) *note - Man v. Food will be coming to the Kingdom on 2/3/2010!* Basically, the burgers make one remember how homemade burgers taste... giving someone the taste of home. Now, the fries.... im not gonna lie i expected more. They were nice and well seasoned with something that tasted like a garlic/herb blend, but they were a bit too dry for my liking... i like my fries like my women; thick, hot and covered in cheese. The onion rings, however, were totes on point. cornmeal encrusted and seasoned with the same blend. The only warning i wil give you is that the crunch that comes with these bad boys has the 'Cap'n Crunch' effect and the roof of my mouth is not doing so hot at the moment.

The service was almost better than the food. I dont know if we just had an awesome waitress or she was just astounded by the eating of the doomsday... but our waitress (Stephanie) was a friggin angel. She even shared her wings with Matt and I! She was also extremely attentive considering she was the only one there.

In the end, Matt and I already have plans to go back as The Kingdom is totes a winner! from the service to the food everything was on point. If there was a downside its that it might have been a little too loud inside for the general conversation... but how will you realize that when your bust taking down a friggin awesome burger.

The Kingdom 3.5/4 Pancakes

Well, ladies and Gentlemen, there you have it. Tune in next time for more happenings in South Florida food and, hopefully, the report about how children have been made happier through Quickies Toy Drive... not to mention 'Feeding South Florida'. Until then this is Panclayke reminding you that 1lb = 12oz.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Sonny'... with a chance of Hoagie.

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Well ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Tune in next time for more food-ventures/updates in a life currently stinking of awesomeness. Until next time this is PanClayke reminding you to do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

*Here Boy!*


A wise man once told me about a comfort he has at the end of a bad day. Contrary to the 'norm' it was not an illegal substance, a round of retail therepy or a hooker. No, it was something simple, the all american Hot Dog. I did not understand this in the sense that the Frankurter has never been something that gets my dog hot... until today.

In an earlier post I talked about something special vs something you get in the supermarket... and today was the perfect example. Whenever I think of a hot dog I think of something small and born in a litter of eight that dwells on the stove in a pot of luke warm water until its ready to eat... and may or may not have some 'cheez-like substance' in the middle. All this changes today with a trip down Hallandale Beach Boulevard to Fat-Lous.
I remember tasting the Fat-Fare back in high school when a friend who lived nearby told me about the gyros and insisted on my accompanying him on a gyro man-date. From what i remember I went for the gyro and liked what ensued. However, looking over the menu displayed the chicago theme of the restarant perfectly. Dishes from Itallian Beef to Gyros and even baby back ribs. However, flipping to the back of the menu you find a selection of hot dogs with over 20 different topping combinations. Now, of course, the chicago dog is a must and i must say that Lou is doing it right. The frank is all beef and no filler and the poppy seed bun is steamed to perfection before it is topped with fresh relish, onions, tomato, dill pickle spear, mustard and peppers. I think i might need to go to the windy city just to see which i like more but from what i hear this bad boy was too legit to quit. There is something about the saltiness of the mustard and pickle with the sweetness of relish and fresh tomato. Not to mention the crisp casing on the frank and the aroma of the celery salt. This guy took me back to backyard BBQ's and baseball games, coincidently the only two parts of my childhood i dont loathe to this day. This dog also ate less like a snack and more like a whole meal, no wonder Chicago is 'my kinda town'. However, judging from the size of the dogs i have had before and my magical ability to ake food disappear i asked my Chicago Dog if it wanted to bring a friend.
That. It. Did. Since there were 2 dozen of them on the menu it just became a question of which one wanted to come. This led me to the insurmountable need to choose. What was i craving? Well, the 'BBQ Delight' seemed to have something with the sauce and grilled onions, but the 'Mexican Dog' had the tortilla chips for a nice crunch and... OMG look at the fries that guy over there ordered! The only option was the 'My Way Dog' to which i went for BBQ sauce, grilled onions and French Fries. I kid you not when i say i wanted to make love to this burger. The frank was grilled this time which was a nice new texture and the bun was as well lending the sweetness of toasted bread to the equation... as if the BBQ sauce wasnt gving enough sweetness, right. Needless to say, by the time PanClayke was leaving he was two dogs heavier and as happy as a 'puppy with two peters' (city slickers anyone?)
The food was on point and i intend on going back to sample more but not all was perfection this time around. First off, the owner is a HOOOGE chicago fan, im talking Christ Farley 'superfan' huge. I think i may have gotten a dollar in my change that said 'in Ditka we trust'. Therefore, when yours truly wanted to watch the dolpins go at the Jag's, all I could see were 'DA Bears!' The service was also something to sneer at, as it took me at least 20 minutes from the time we sat to the time we ordered (from 2 different waitresses), and then another 20 to get the appitizers (note: Wings are legit, ergo - were eaten before pictured).
In the end, Fat Lous = 4.5/5 (loved the food and will go back... regardless of the 'waiting game')

Friday, December 11, 2009

MAZEL TOV

In honor of the first night of Hannukah I decided to go somewhere 'super-specsh' for lunch on the way home from work. Good thing i was hungry since it was a long work day, it wasn't supposed to be... but there were waitresses from a certain ,restaurant that shall remain nameless which were great at diverting our attention for awhile. Thennn, there was a press screening i had to make, i wont ruin the surprise but rest assured the movie was friggin awesome! Will tell more later. Until then...
Lo-HEIM!
Can you say Deli Heaven? I dont know what it is, but i think a Deli is one of my favorite restaurants, not only is the food a 'mish-mosh' of dishes ranging from sandwiches to bagels to fish to tounge... but there is also ALWAYS a breakfast menu happening and always something new. In a way, going to "Roasters and Toasters" was a little like getting married...
(^Can you say legit home-y-ness?^)
Back to the matrimony...
Something Old: Buttermilk Pancakes! Anyplace that has pancakes available at 4 in the afternoon is someplace where I want to be. Especially when they are made from REAL ingredients and not that "just add water" stuff that I refuse to HOP to. Honestly, they were light and fluffy while simultaneously being filling. However, the saltiness was a bit stronger than i would like, but i thing thats a characteristic of a restaurant that specializes in corned meats. Something New: POTATO PANCAKES! Thats what the little nuggets of love are keeping the pancake company. Seriously, i have not had latkes in forever and im pretty sure I will wait until im back in NY to have them again. The flavor was not bad but i prefer my latke to be more like a pancake as opposed to a chicken nugget. However, dunked in a little applesauce and anyone will be doing the "Yiddish Muppet"

Something borrowed: Turkey Sandwich. Why is this borrowed? No idea, perhaps because there was so much Turkey on this bad boy that only half could be comfortably enjoyed in one sitting. For realsies, if anyone ever wondered how the Hebrew people walked through the desert for so long i think the answer is the size of their portions... this thing fueled me until like ten at night (at what time i may or may not have had the other two pancakes that came with the order I got at the Deli). The Sandwich was served straight up on wheat so you could have the freedom to dress it as you wish (totes appreciated), the turkey was a bit dry... but nothing a little mustard and light mayo didnt fix.
Couple the good food with a great atmosphere and a great waitstaff = a great dining experience. However, the opinion of the waitstaff is speculative since i got my order to go... but the lady that took the order and got me my food was funny and laughed at my jokes... ergo, i love her. The only thing keeping me from going back right now... a bit to pricey for my current cash flow, aka - non existent. This made me the something Blue :(
Roasters and Toasters 3.5/5

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Everybody's brother is up in the armored air.

So so so, it has been a while since a good movie review, eh? Granted, if I had my way this would not be the case... but my reviewing talents have been given to the Paul and Young Ron show at the moment and they have first dibbs. However, there are some days where that times get too hectic (with news and sport happenings, not to mention guests - more on that later) for a good movie review which means.......
PanClayke... AT THE MOVIES! Brothers:
Much like Maguire in this film i but my body through hell and back in order to see something I love and that is a movie with Natalie Portman (however, this love has gone by the wayside recently after a rip to 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium). This movie, however, was the slid-y thing on the Etch-A-Sketch in the sense that it erased all former offiliations with past roles these characters might have played. Maguire is no longer Peter Parker and Portman could not be farther away from Queen Amidalia. And, lets not forget the other boy in the band... who will be remembered, but not labeled, as one of the last people to sleep with Health Ledger.
Kidding aside, the performances in this film are powerful and genuine, the director really put some work into the acting and you can tell. It also refuses to fall into the political satire of the U.S's occupancy in the middle east, which is very pleasant. I just wanted to see a good movie and didnt need to be reminded of something i saw the night before last when Obama adressed the nation.
While the war itself may not be addressed, what does hit home is the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) a solider suffers after he/she is told/forced to kill another person and then throw back into mainstream life where the biggest problem we have to deal with the the poor HD quality on our flat screen T.V's
However, for those of you searching for a hanky in preperation for a tear jerker... dont worry as there is also a lot of light humor, expecially in the beginning. It is an ectremely interesting juxtaposition when paired next to the situation in the Middle East. i kid you not when you go into one scene smiling and leave the next wondering what the hell just happened. This evokes an extreme emotion from the audience and sets us up for something that will eventually make us all feel something we were not expecting.
That being said, this movie is not infallible. The story is great and the acting is stellar but there is soemthing to be said about 'playing it safe'. It reminds me of the contestants on Top Chef who refuse to cook Foie Gras because its more difficult in spite of the better flavor they would get for the dish in the end. There is so much room to push the envelope with this movie, so much potential that was not taken in order to not piss anyone off too much before the oscar nominations go out (in this critics opinion). Though you will walk out of the theater satisfied with your movie and totally getting your money's worth... the fact that they didnt push it will sour the critical viewer.
4.5/5 Pancakes (Iran, Iraq, I-Loved-It!)
Armored
I'm gonna write a letter to change the title to 'yourmored' as I do not wish to offiliate myself with this one. Seriously, i think the only thing that saved this one for me was that i walked out of 'Transylmania' to go see it (was going to review Transylmania, but the fact i walked out speaks for itself)
This story is also about a veteran finding it hard to deal with the day-to-day now that hes back in the states. Unlike brothers, though, this one focusses more on the financial aspect than the mental. Soldier boy is then up in these Hoe's... and by hoe, I mean an armored car that his friends on the job attempt to rob by way of 'the perfect scheme'. However, this scheme arises more questions than it wraps up and is shadowed only by the facade of an everyday joe taking a stand against five guys with scatter guns and enough desperation to want to rob an armored car. Seriously, i dont care how strong a sense of right you have... there needs to be a LOT more emotion behind making the decsion to oppose forces like these and even more when it comes to the decision to put the character there in the first place.
The cast, however, featured some favorites that we always like to see here at PanClayke. Matt Dillon, Cowboy Curtis (lawrence fishburne) and Peter Petrelli from Heroes. However, rather than spend upwards of $15 for a matinee and a soda i would say spend the money on a pizza, six pack and rent Hard Rain (aka... the more attractive cousin of Armored)
2/5 Pancakes

Apparently the title Everybody's Fine concerns the casts acting as well. Do not get me wrong... this is actually pretty ok movie and i would recommend it for adults who still like a date-night and/or children who like to see their parents get choked up. The cast is very nice and easy on the eyes but with the exception of DeNiro the chaacterization is a bit sub-paar. DeNiro even goes as far as to break out of his persona of Paul Vitti and hits home with a widower who is unbeknownst of what is going on in his childrens lives. The ending is also something of a nice little surprise unless your an avid movie-goer and know the few formulas that hollywood is using right now when it comes to the 'reveal' at the end of a movie.

The low points in this movie lie in the supporting roles and how they all lack a background. They are nice to watch and serve their purposes to propel DeNiro thorough is journey but, again, they are pretty one dimensional and are called to be so much more than that. Its hard to pinpoint the cause, whether it is directing or writing, but it was still a good movie all in all. If i had to choose between this and Brothers... the latter wins everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

3/5 Pancakes

Last, but not least, we have the third installment of the recent Clooney Trilogy. Someone has definitely been pushing as we near the oscar season and i am happy to say he definitely gets a hit with this one. After the 'eh' feelings after 'the men who stare at goats' i found this movie to be witty, original and generally well done.
Im gonna sum it up like this, if you liked Juno, Thank you for Smoking, Whip It, basically any movie thats got witty bantar and finds the humor in the intense normalicy of life then you will dig this movie. Clooney is not only awesome at being rather than playing a part but the classic look that we fall in love with time and time again is alive and well. The supporting roles are also someting to write home about with each one having specific moments to recant and quote as you walk out of the theater. At the same time, when you are walking out your going to be happy with the ending. Not gonna give anything away but there are definitely a couple WTF moments that will leave you happy you saw this one. Yet, the quoteage was the main star of the show for this critic (one favorite: "Think of me as yourself... just with a vagina). All in all it was a good way to spend the evening and you will not regret paying for this one.
The only let-down in this one was that there were a couple of moments that tended to drag, but that comes to be expected when your making a movie based strongly on the day-to-day rather than holding up in an armored car (again, do not see Armored).
4/5 Pancakes
To sum up, when your choosing your movie, if your looking t laugh see Up in the Air and go see Brothers if the tear ducts havent been used properly in a while.
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, there you have it. Tune in next time for more reviews (restaurant and film) not to mention a training update for the upcomming Titan burger. Until then this is PanClayke reminding you that the director of Armored has the first name 'Nimrod'. I thought i would make sure we all made note of that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snack be Nimble, Snack be Quick

Quickies burgers that is.
As I am working to sample the wide varieties of cuisine in the South Florida area a fellow Food Blogger, who I MET during said lunching, recommended. Oh bloggers, is there anything they can not share with us?
This time around we find ourselves at Quickies Burgers and Wings. A Quaint little sit down/drive thru restaurant that is miles ahead of the competition. Even though, technically, this is fast food... that guy running with the burger is the new once and future king. There are not only burgers here, were talking: wings, homemade sauces, seasoned fries and a milkshake to be named later. Not only that, but the staff has a smile on its face from the minute you walk in the door.... and the burgers, well - JOYYYYY!
First things first, the wait for the burgers suggest nothing more than a homemade feel. Your order is taken and the food is brought to your table about 10 minutes later. Why was i not annoyed by this? Because the burgers are just that... burgers, aka real food and not a McBurgerlike-substance. Then they go above and beyond by topping the tender patty with the spice of the house sauce (they wouldnt tell me but im guessing seasoning salt and some chipotle) and the crunch of some french fried onions.
Heaven....
The fries were spot on as well, as far as fries go. hand cut and not greasy.
Quickies receives = 4.5/5 burgers
This will most likely be a perfect score when i get a chance to try the wings, but I plan on going back... both for the wings aaaaand,

The Titan Challenge!

Some have called me crazy, and iI say... Crazy like a fox! On Dec. 19th i will be taking on the 4lb titan burger which has defeated all who have opposed it. Until now, just call me Zeus!

I have already started training by hitting the gym 3-4 times a week to increase my metabolism and also drinking at least a gallon of water in addition to the normal intake in order to stretch out the stomach. I am also still working to raise money for Feeding South Florida and will be using the sheer spectacle of the challenge to raise money which will all go to FSF. Quickies is also using the event in support of their toy drive - benefitting the local childrens hospital, "Joe DiMaggio".

Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Tune in next time for a training update and some more reviews on the wonderment of South Florida cuisine. Until next time this is PanClayke reminding you that there is never a bad time for a quickie in the afternoon.