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Jackson’s Bistro [Tampa]

This is my new favorite restaurant in the Tampa Bay area! I went here for the first time on my birthday. It was amazing! I absolutely loved it.

Jackson’s Bistro is located in Harbor Island, right on the water. Needless to say, the atmosphere was relaxing and the views were beautiful. Luckily for me there was outside seating! It was really nice outside, so this was the perfect arrangement. The outside seating is arranged like a waterside lounge. It was very sexy and suave. It’s definitely an upscale restaurant.

The server was really nice. He was attentive, and very helpful. He was able to provide recommendations, and answer all of our questions. Our table was clear of dirty dishes, and our glasses remained full.

I ordered the Brick Chicken dinner. It was a 12 oz. soy marinated airline chicken breast grilled under a brick, served with garlic green beans, truffle shoestring fries, and tomato demi sauce. The chicken was so good. It was juicy and marinated just right! Every bite was just as good as the last. The green beans were cooked perfectly. They were neither too soft nor hard; they had the perfect consistency. I was a little taken a back by the fact that this meal was served with fries. However, I won’t complain because the truffle shoestring fries were delicious! Parmesan cheese was added, and that just made my day! I wasn’t a big fan of the tomato demi sauce. I thought it was going to be more like a BBQ sauce, but it reminded me of A1 steak sauce. I also ordered a side salad, it was a good size and priced quite nicely. I also tasted a sushi roll, which was really good and fresh. I’d like to go back for their sushi, especially since this is something they’re known for.

The first sentence should have given you a hint as to whether or not I would recommend this restaurant because I certainly would. It’s perfect for a date, or to celebrate a special occasion.

Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles [Atlanta]

I am definitely shaking my head while writing this review. I had high expectations going to this restaurant located in Atalanta. My expectations were met with disappointment.

I ordered a chicken breast, waffle, catfish and grits. The chicken and waffle came out cold. Yuck! My butter didn’t even melt on my waffle. I asked the server to nuke my chicken and waffle, and that’s exactly what she did. Everyone knows what warmed-up fried chicken tastes like; it’s gross. She should have said that she’d have the kitchen make a fresh waffle and chicken breast. After re-receiving my chicken and waffle, I didn’t think there was anything special about them at all. Considering this restaurant is supposed to be known for these two items, I was quite disappointed that it had no flair and was just the average chicken and waffle combination.

The catfish was pretty good though, but the grits were salty. I wish that I had only ordered the catfish and grits because I wasted my money ordering the chicken and waffle. I’ve definitely had better.

The server was okay. She was somewhat attentive to our table; she could have checked on us more often. After the food was delivered, she kept away for quite a while. There was nothing spectacular about her service.

I was really excited to visit this restaurant, mainly because of the names associated with it. However, that’s all this restaurant stood on, its name. This was later confirmed by a resident of Atlanta, who said that people only go there for the name because the food is not all that good. Now, the menu offered a lot of other options. So, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I don’t recommend it. I’d give it another shot, but I would definitely order something else.

Jonah’s Fish & Grits [Thomasville]

I was born and raised in Florida, so I think I am well-versed in my Southern cuisine. Some may argue that Florida shouldn’t really be considered Southern in nature, but I begs to differ.

Although, I was born in the South, I must say that I am a bit picky when it comes to certain foods that are of Southern decent, e.g. grits. I haven’t always liked grits, and that’s mainly because I am weird when it comes to different food textures. However, over time, I’ve become very fond of grits. And I absolutely love fish & grits and shrimp & grits. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to order this meal, I will rise to the occasion.

Needless to say, I just had to order the shrimp & grits at Jonah’s Fish & Grits. Although I haven’t eaten grits for an extremely long time, I am quite aware of when I get bad batch. That seems to happen a lot when dining out. Grits, like rice, is easy to prepare, but for many, it’s hard to master. I was skeptical, but after reading the description, I knew that is what I wanted.

This dish did not fail; it was so good! My Mom is an amazing cook, but I have to say that Jonah’s shrimp and grits was just about as good as hers. It pains me to say, but it’s the truth. The entrée was a mixture of sautéed shrimp, cheese grits, and vegetables, and it was served with a homemade hushpuppy, which was also really good. The serving size was perfect, and very filling.

Our server was nice, and helpful. I wasn’t asked if I wanted another coffee. That kind of erked me, but other than that the service was decent.

The restaurant is small, and set up like a cafe. It doesn’t really have a personal atmosphere. It’s perfect for lunch with the coworkers, or a quick meetup with a friend. I definitely recommend this restaurant, and the shrimp & grits!

Cantina Laredo [Chicago]

Let me start off by saying this restaurant is gorgeous. The atmosphere is amazing! There are two floors for dining. The first floor was a bit more crowded, and set up more like your typical restaurant. The second floor, where we dined, was arranged like a lounge. There was a very relaxing and laid back ambience that I truly enjoyed, especially after walking all day. There were huge windows they let open and allowed for the cool breeze to come through. It was great!

I will say this though, the menu was lacking. They did not offer a lot of items, at least not to my liking. Thankfully, I was able to locate something to eat. I ordered a quesadilla with a small side of guacamole. The quesadilla was pretty good, but the guacamole stole the spotlight. I absolutely love avocados and I love guacamole. I’m not easily moved by a lot of guacamole, but this was definitely noteworthy. It was fresh and wonderfully prepared.

Our service was pretty good. Our glasses stayed full, our complimentary chips and salsa were brought out quickly, and all of our questions were answered throughly and truthfully. He also provided us with recommendations when asked.

I would recommend this restaurant. The food was good, but if you’re looking for a wide variety of Mexican food to try, this place probably won’t suit your needs. It’s not a typical Mexican restaurant. It’s more “modern” as it states under the restaurant name.

*There are other locations around the Nation.

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