Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Power Pizza

It seems we haven't posted anything in a while, and well, its because we haven't. Raf Gaytown moved to San Diego to start his independence. Alberto Yong is in North Carolina going to NCSA. And Gabe M. is, well, hes Gabe M. and has only managed to get a draft on this thing but has never published anything. But Ryan_Kanyay and I are going to do the best we can to start this thing back up to its next glory days. Anyways, on with the show. Power Pizza.

Aparently, blatant slogans that don't rhyme but are cheesy, no pun intended, is in. But I wasn't really feeling the power so to speak. I'm going to go ahead and break this review into parts now.


No lies in this review. This place isn't classy at all. Its sort of a dump. But in our FOTWT experience, the places that don't look so good, turn out to be the best places to go for food. To give a little bit of description, theres a few small metal tables and chairs outside as well as inside. Theres a counter right as you walk in to order and than as long as no one is there you can sit down at one of the few tables, the main one being right in the middle where the most people can sit down, which is four. Other than that, theres a soda fountain at the end of the counter and thats about it.

5 Power Nine out of 9 Power Nine.
Don't look up what that means. You'll have blackmail material on two of the three current FOTWT members. I'm not telling you the other, but he hasn't published anything on this blog.



Pizza. There is pizza everywhere, so to be respectable to FOTWT we're looking at value, not price. The difference being price is just how much it cost, value is it tasting more expensive than it does. Ya, thanks Gary Vaynerchuk and Jim Cramer.

Thankfully the pizza has good value for a good price. It was around 20 bucks after tip for four people to have a pizza, garlic rolls, and drinks. Thats really good for a pizza place in my opinion. The pizza is really crispy but not cardboard or burnt. Its nice and thin, which to me, helps. It also has the right amount of cheese and marinara sauce with just the right size on the crust. in essence, its almost a perfect pizza. the only thing from really keeping it from being perfect is that its not free, but thats about it.

8 Power Nine out of 9 Power Nine on taste.
8 Power Nine out of 9 Power Nine on value/price/availabilty.

Overall, Power Pizza is a really good pizza place that is on par with all the others. There is one thing that makes it go above and beyond all the others though. It closes at midnight. Trump.

7 Power Nine out of 9 Power Nine.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

(Don) Amici's Pizza

Sometimes, second chances are rewarding. Admittedly, that axiom has been repeated through and through, and I only chose it because I needed a jump-off point...so let's begin. I had the pleasure of dining with Alberto Yong and Ryan Morejon at Amici's Pizza in the Hammocks Plaza on July 18th, which is more notorious for bring Dark Knight Night. It was destined to be a good day for geekdom, I suppose. However, I had previously experienced it roughly ten years prior, when I was a middle school student. Ten years is a long time, so I chose to reflect on it as a first time experience. All I could remember about my previous evening at Amici's was being underwhelmed. Gladly, this was not the case this time around.

When you first walk into Amici's, it suffers from what I call Frontin'; it looks like an establishment too fine to be dined in by a boy wearing a turquoise t-shirt or a kid in ice cream sneakers...but you'd be wrong. The staff was friendly, courteous, and showed us to our table quickly. We ate at around 2pm, which was just enough time to catch the lunch special; easily one of the best deals I've ever had in a restaurant. $5 gets you two slices and a soda. Not a can, but a glass, with refills. Also, this restaurant caters Coke products, which immediately puts it a step above in my book. The slices, however; holy shit. They're as big as your head twice. I've never seen two slices of pizza that large before, and I've been eating pizza for some 19 years now. But the important question is at hand: How did they taste?

Pretty damned good, yo. I ordered pepperoni and pineapple, unofficially known as the Dynamic Duo of pizza since the day I tried em. What is it about grease that blends so well with sweet? We'll never know, I guess. I presume the explanation is much too complicated to sum up before even my notably tolerant attention span were to wane. Amici's had a stone oven taste to it...I think. The crust was delicious, and crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. This caters to my taste, so be wary if you don't like crusts. Albert has a Chicken Parmigiana sub that was supposedly too delish. Ryan stood out though, for being in the middle of his food experiment, so he chose to order lentil soup. He also throughly enjoyed it. I try to stay away from lentils for no particular reason, so I was wary when the plate placed before him looked like a watery stool sample. However, it did smell delicious and Ryan could not stop talking about it, so I suppose Amici's has all its bases covered when it comes to general dining.

However, nothing can be perfect, as simple logic dictates. My few quibbles with Amici's:

Price: I lucked out on the lunch special, but the entrees all seemed to be in the double digits. Definitely not for people on a budget after 3pm, but I'm lead to believe that the quality would be worth it.

Time: We were seated quickly...but that was about it. Our waitress took our order, but our drinks didn't come for about ten minutes after we ordered them. Also our food came out roughly half an hour after it was put in...but it did come out at the right temperature with no sign of having been waiting. I suppose everything must have been freshly prepared, which makes this minus more of a plus, really.

To break it down to a numerical scale:

Atmosphere: 8
As I previously mentioned, the place seems a bit upscale upon first inspection, much like the Beverly Hills Cafe, but ultimately it just means that it's a pleasant looking restaurant.

Food: 9
Amici's isn't the best pizza I've ever had...but fuck was it good. The pie had the right amount of cheese, and the toppings were plentiful and also well spread, which gives the food a good distribution of flavor was well as an appetizing appearance. Truthfully, I probably like it better than the world famous Satchel's, but mostly bc the value of an Amici's slice greatly outweighs Satchels. However, if you want a calzone that will make you believe in a higher power...you take it to Satchel's in beautiful, scenic Gainesville, FLA.

To sum up, this is one of the better Foods of the World locations we've been at. The food was great and the price (at the right time) is on point. I would definitely go to Amici's again, and I'd really like to try out their entrees.

Final rating: 8.5/10 of the cornrows on Xzibit's head, pre X-Files.

This post has officially been pimped:

PS: I almost forgot the Girl Report: the cast of the Golden Girls and the cast of Cocoon apparently reunited the day we went; we probably pissed them off with our coarse language and jokes. I bet they were wondering what us whippersnappers were doing out of school.

PPS: Two Don Ameche references in one post: this could be a personal record.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hungry Bear

If you live anywhere in South Miami or wherever else there is a Hungry Bear in Miami, you've probably at least heard of it. If you haven't gone, that is just your stupidity. I've gone to Hungry Bear before starting college, and that by definition makes me a genius. Funny I mention college since its right across the street from one. That college being Miami-Dade College, or as some call it, Thirteenth grade. Its down the street where the Shell gas station is on the left. One of the only places close that has parallel parking, so female drivers or male drivers that drive like females, beware.

The only reason you should not know about this place is if you have no communication with the outside world, such as Brendan Frasier's character in Blast from the Past. But I'm sure even his mom and dad in the movie would've told him about it and it would have been the first place he went from coming out of his underground bomb shelter. Don't act like you've never seen a horrible movie and remembered it by choice, Waterworld FTW, especially one that plays right after Pleasentville every week on TBS or one of those other horrible-movie-plying-during-the-day channels. Another reason you might not know about it just by driving around is its location. Its acorss the street from MDC like I said, which sounds easy, but its down a street where nothing else is on except Fox-Mar, the senior year picture ruiners.

The actual place is very aimed to fit the college student or close by half hour for lunch consumer. You walk in, tell someone that works there what you want, which will in turn be yelled out and put on the grill. Once your meat of choice has been fully cooked with all desired sauces and condiments on the grill, it is than put on the hoagie and returned to the person you ordered from. They than put the remaining condiments you ask for ask if you want a drink or chips, and than you pay. All this is very exciting when theres ten or fifteen people in the place all getting similar orders and everyone watches the grill like its all the new born babies at a hospital in a movie. No wonder the grill is blocked by an apropriate 6 or 7 foot high plexiglass window. Once your sandwhich, chips, and/or soda are in hand, you can go out side to one of the tables out side (not suggested if windy) or go to designated eating area of your choice. Whether it be a break room at work, your computer desk at home, or at a table on campus, you aren't going to care, because it will be amazing anywhere and everywhere you eat it.

This visit was back in the early Foods of the World Tour days before Bert and I had even picked out a name or thought of an idea for this blog in the first place. We just wanted to try different food every week or so, and Bert had never been but always wanted to go. He ordered a honey mustard chicken without lettuce or any healthy stuff if I recall correctly, with cheese... I think, on white... I also think. Its close enough. I got what I always got and always probably will get-- buffalo chicken on white with provolone, salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar. Simple, yet complex and interesting enough to make me eat the whole dam sub, which if anyone knows me well enough, knows I have a disease that slows down my digestion in my stomach. Ya, not a good foods blog topic.

Anyways. Point is, if your around there, hungry, and in a hurry, but want something above fast food, than go and check it out. If your not in a hurry, go there. Even if your not hungry.

I give it 8 Wu-Tang Shaolins out of 9 Wu-Tang Shaolins. ODB is the ninth. Trump.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beverly Hills Cafe; Or Salad Meccah

A lot of us here at Foods of the World seem to be either lazy, un-motivated, or just plain distracted-- no progress in our proposed/consistent food critiques. Well I'm here, again, to fucking keep this shit going because I'm one of the founders. Also I'm trying to not make this a novelty-- kind of like how I sometimes start things because they sound like brilliant ideas, in which I consistently go with the idea for a couple of weeks until I get bored of them. I'm trying to make this idea keep going as long as it can.

Well this is kind of a special edition of the Foods of the World Tour blog. I am actually the only person in the "tour" that has ever gone to this here establishment... which is a shame, honestly. I mean most of them think their cell-phone is too far away from them, so imagine a restaurant in South Miami. Yet, a Chik-Fil-A in Doral is only a simple 30 miles away. Go Figure.

Anyway, I'm not here to chat about my peers' dining flaws. I'm here to talk about BEVERLY HILLS CAFE.


I've been here countless times meaning I might talk about the countless visits of mine... briefly, of course.

Though, let's start with a brief history lesson. Since I am not a Beverly Hills Cafe historian I will not be able to provide you with the complete history of the restaurant-- all I know is that it was around in the 70's and a couple of major politicians have eaten a meal or two there. They've done some renovations in the past couple of years in where they added an extra room with mirrors to give the illusion that the place is bigger and contains a complete set of clones. But I actually think everyone makes that mistake.

So what do they serve at Beverly Hills Cafe? I mean you can go to any other generic restaurant and probably get a better meal with cool zingy nomenclature... or you can go to Beverly Hills and get a staff of waiters who treat you nice (meaning they want your money) , a good amount of generic American food up for grabs (meaning they love our country), and have an extended SALAD menu (meaning they love me). Yes, the menu's one stand-out is the full page devoted to their "world"ly salad selection. Believe me when I tell you, it's the most blissful thing to see.

I mean no one likes to go to a Chili's or a T.G.I. Friday's to get a salad. They go to get Potstickers and Enchiladas! At BHC, you can the best salad you'll ever taste. Of the times I've gone there I've gotten:
1) Buffallo Chicken Bleu Cheese Salad
2) Fiesta Taco Salad w/ Pico De Gallo
3) Chicken Chinese Salad w/ Plum Sauce and Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
4) Greek Chicken Tycoon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

All of the salads minus the Fiesta Taco Salad was brilliant. That salad was more taco than salad, so it pretty much failed at being famous.

They also serve you these dinner rolls that come in unlimited quantities (meaning they'll give you the illusion that they're unlimited but they'll only give you two servings of them). The dinner rolls are superb, by the way.

Is price an issue for you? It should be. Because at first this place will seem pricey to you, as it did me. But once you get into semantics and start thinking technical, the amount of food you get and the amount of cash you dish out (unintentional pun right there), the price is actually pretty good.


And, honestly it's a great place to bring friends, family, ex-girlfriends, work associates, and sworn enemies.

I couldn't recommend this place anymore.

What's great about it, too, is that appeals to all types of individuals who are picky about their diets. Like when I did my food experiment where I gave up Fried Food, Bread, and Red Meat for a month (it only lasted two weeks).

So I give BHC
5 Abe Vigodas out of 5 Abe Vigodas


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Five Guys Burgers and Fries: The Jump-Off or Leap-On?

As we traveled from the Books on Tape Light Show, myself, Alberto Yong, and Ryan were sitting in Ryan's car, talking about girls, the dib system, and anything but our hunger. We all have a dislike of confrontation, and no one wanted to be the one to bring up the phrase "So where are we eating?" Naturally, I chose to, which sparked our tradition of spending endless moments debating, with at least one person audibly sighing in disgust. Unlike Gainesville, where we'd just give up and go to Tijuana Flats so that no one would be happy, we continued to argue. Eventually we decided on Power Pizza, and were headed there...til Alberto, one of the biggest proponents of decision making, brought up Five Guys Burgers and Fries. We'd all heard of the place, but Ryan and I had not been there, and Alberto raved about their fry distribution system (more on that later.) Deciding I'd had enough pizza to bleed marinara and shit sausage, I turned the conversation towards Five Guys...and we went.

Unassuming is the best way to describe Five Guys; simple layout, simple menu, simple service. You walk in and there's just a bunch of wooden tables with chairs. You look up and the menu only offers hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries...and permutations therein. If you want salad or a chicken, well take that shit down the road, you fucking asshole*. You'll get red meat, and you'll like it. Feeling like my salted meat intake was more than sufficient, I ordered a simple cheeseburger. Alberto, conveniently leaving his wallet so he wouldn't pay(jk Al <333333,) ordered a bacon cheeseburger, and Ryan ordered something with mushrooms on it, because he thought we were still eating pizza, and he loves that. Albert recommends "try the cajun fries, guys! Seriously! They're delicious and the same price!" I decided to opt out, because Cajun has gone very wrong for me in the past, and Alberto decided to be bold. We order, and I inquire as to what's the lowest I can get a burger cooked, as if I'm in a place that gives a shit. The cashier politely informs me that they cook all their burgers well done, and as he steps aside, I see the big glaring sign, advertising that all burgers are cooked well done. How he didn't tell me to eat a dick, I'll never know. We pay for our food and slide it down to the soda fountain on the side, and watch the staff prepare our meals. That's when it happened.

The fries at Five Guys are served thus-wise; they take a big scoop, pour it into a styrofoam cup, and slab it in your brown paper bag. No trays in this joint. Oh, and then it happens again. Except, you don't get styrofoam. They scoop an extra scoop right into the bag. As a fan of "bagglers," I get a little excited at the prospect of what can only be described as "second meal." At the table we had a lengthy discussion about what a great idea this is, and Five Guys Brothers and Fries has set the bar that every burger joint probably won't live up to, or know they're being weighted against. We pour our drinks and then we sit to eat when we all get out burgers.

Wow. Absolutely delicious. Essentially you get two patties, a shitload of toppings, whatever sauces you want (I chose mustard, barbecue, A1, and some ketchup. Trust me.) It's wrapped in tinfoil to keep the heat in, and man is it delicious. Real tin foil, too. The burgers were huge and satisfactory, and while we sat and continued to talk about girlz, dawg, we ate merrily. The fries were delicious; mine were consumed with ketchup. I exchanged fries with Albert, and tried the cajun fries. Ehh...I'd avoid. Regular fries are delicious, because they're fried in peanut oil, as is everything in the restaurant, so be advised. The Cajun fries were the same...but essentially instead of salt they put some spices on top. Not very flavorful at all.

We finished our food, and felt rather sated, and we stayed in and took in the atmosphere. There were a lot of pretty girls in this joint; based on one somewhat biased example, hot girls really, really like hole in the wall burger joints. Five Guys is apparently a franchise, as I discovered by the posts on the wall and the slogans emblazoned on the cups, detailing the many "best burger" reviews the place had garnered.

To sum it up, I'm gonna eat shit and pretend I have an actual system in place, so here goes:

Atmosphere: 10
It's really nice and peaceful, and no one will bother you. Overstimulation is a crime, and chain restaurants are the perpetrators. Also, holy shit were there some cute girls. Everybody likes to eat around cute girls. One of the workers who walked in even kept checking us out, and was overly nice when Alberto asked for an extra condiment that was mayonnaise. Why he requested it, I don't understand, as mayo has no place near fries.

Burger: 9
It was absolutely delicious in every way, but it can't be perfect because I really, really like my burgers medium rare. The A1 and the barbecue sauce combine well with the mustard. If you like tanginess, then boom.

Fries: 7
Pretty good, had that peanuty taste, like if you've ever had Chick Fil-A waffle fries...which I'm not the biggest fan of. Cajun style might be your bag, but I'd recommend your meal with the regular.

In summation, if you like somewhat fast food that's worth the wait, and don't mind a somewhat limited menu, by all means try Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Also, if you like hot girls.**

Final rating, on a scale of Leap-On to Jump-Off: Fishscale.

Til next time, fuck you***.
-Rafael Gaytown

*What I assume they'd say if I asked for chicken or a salad.
** Hot girl in the black frame glasses and the striped dress,
Hi, I would have said something, but I have no way to approach you. Since I'm relatively certain you'll never read this, or care if you did, then I feel confident in saying I think you're beautiful and I'd love to take you out sometime. It doesn't have to be Five Guys, either.
***You know I'm just playin.' I love you all.

This post is Fishscale Approved:

D' Pizza Place

I guess I should start off by saying that the format of this blog will consist of each person being charge of one of the restaurants we all attended. I guess it's only fair for Casey to write his about Sports Grill since the owners rent a room out to him upstairs. Might I also add that we're trying to write as many blogs possible so we can catch up on past restaurants... so a lot of the blogs would be posted on July 1.

Anyway, the next destination is D'Pizza Place... which from the outside looks like your average shady pizza establishment. I mean the name kind of says it all-- it's "the pizza place", right? The kind of place you'd see kids going to eat-- with the typical Italian Pizzeria flair (i.e., Frank Sinatra photograph signed, lame porcelain chef statues, and portraits of mother Italy, etc.)... like Amici's, I guess.

This place is also next to Canton Star which is a really good/cheap/greasy Chinese restaurant. I mean all the Cantons are really good.

Anyway, you walk into this place and it catches you by surprise-- this place is classy as fuck. I'm talking wooden floors, a giant wine rack on the wall, tables with wine, gourmet dishes with garnish, a garcon, and LCD Television (that's classy). The garcon (this really strange Italian guy) saw our faces of awe and re-assured us that this is in fact a pizzeria. I'm sure they get people coming in like that a lot.

He sits us down and gives us the menu. We order a large pizza and half-a-dozen garlic rolls. While we're waiting I guess we start talking shit and watching TV which, by the way, was tuned to the Sci-Fi channel. I guess it doesn't get more authentically Italian than eating pizza and watching Stargate: Atlantis? Whatever. I think they get points just for playing the Sci-Fi channel-- which I don't really watch, but it's obscurity is note-worthy... it's better than watching Hockey or something dumb like that.

Might I also add-- for one I don't drink soda... but KC and Albert do. They ordered a coke and a fanta-- yeah they got their sodas in a classic glass bottle. I'm telling you this place is chuch'n.

Here's where it gets a little ish.

The pizza is not that great... maybe because some of us aren't willing to give other toppings a try (i.e. Mushrooms) and instead go for such generic shit as pepperoni and simple, plain cheese. I'm not the only one who loves mushrooms on their pizza. Either way, the pizza was mediocre-- it's the kind of pizza you'd wanna eat at a run-down, shitty establishment.

The garlic rolls weren't garlic-y enough either. It felt like I was eating dinner rolls.

The waiter was kind of a pooch, too. He seemed angry with his life-- not satisfied with the fact that he works at a place called D'Pizza Place.

Also, at the end of my meal I smelled this strange odor-- that of shit and pot burning together. Not a good odor to smell when you're trying to figure out how much to leave for tip. Points are being taken off for that.

I couldn't find any photos online but they do have a website:

Oooohh. They use flash. And they cater... so if you want shitty pizzeria type pizza at your home-- it's a call away.

Overall Grade: 6/10
If the pizza was good-- it could've been the jump-off. But no. Sorry. I mean it's not that bad. If you simplify that fraction, it's a 3/5-- that's actually okay.


Sports Grill

Most of the restaurants we're reviewing are some if not all of us have never been to before. Sports Grill, however, is one that me, KC Schaffer, and Alberto Yong have been to before-- Well, I've been there countless times since birth, but Alberto and others have not experienced the awesomeness that is Sports Grill.

No bullshit though, this place looks like the most rundown cheap sports bar you've ever seen. It's next to a Tae-Kwon Do Dojo and the only Winn-Dixie in the vicinity. It has asian ornaments probably found in a dumpster behind the place. Kanyays poochin. It also has a mentally challanged waiter who goes around and asks if everythings okay and occasionally doubles as a bus boy. The best thing about it is the location though. Its probably the exact centersphere of all the members of this blog's houses too. Ya, I said centersphere, don't hate, your brain knows what I'm talking about. All the tables are wood and the floor was wood, until the beer pitchers over the years that have little splashes coated the floor with gunk, which to me, is surprisingly comftorable to walk on-- it has a real nice coushin in the sole.

Now the important part, well, second most important part, the food. We've all had the buffalo wings, which everyone agreed were pretty good. The ones they gave us on the date of review were pre-cooked though, sorry for not making this privileged information public earlier, but it wasn't in your best interest, I swear. Nonetheless, they were still pretty awesome with the provided Ken's Blue Cheese. The fries are probably the most amazing thing they have, as long as dipped into the concoction noted on the menu as cheese-- probably cheddar.

Kanyay and Raf had the Sports Burger, aka, a fucking burger whose meat came from a cow that probably didn't play sports-- false advertisement I'd say. From what they[everyone else] tells me they would rate it approximately 8 out of 10. I say from what they tell me because I wouldn't know for myself, because as you will find out by reading this, I don't eat red meat. You'll hear them all pooch on me about it throughout the blog, and I'll just call them poochers in advance for it-- damn poochers.

I also had chicken tenders dipped in buffalo with fries and the aforementioned bleu cheese. These aren't your normal run-of-the-restraunt chain chicken tenders. They aren't fried, they're grilled, and they're delicious. Kanyay had them and it was probably the best thing he tried from Sports Grill. Also, once again, Gabe M. pooched out both days we had gone. Get used to not reading about him in this blog. We call him Gabe M. because we don't see him enough to know his last name. Its that bad. The price for all this is also rarely good for the quality of the food as long as you play your cards right. The most important part of this restaurant is the waitresses though. More some than others, but all the younger ones look pretty dam good. This is especially good since none of us really are into watching sports that much yet go to a sports bar with around 20 tvs playing different stuff. It gives us something to look at while we converse and refuel.

After the scores were counted and we had the triple Florida recount the decision averaged out between all members was around an 8/10. I personally give it around a 9.5 because of the location, price, and eye candy factors. As well as the buffalo sauce being in my blood since I was eating here since before grade school, and that ain't no exaggeration.

-KC Schaffer