Up All Night – Blink-182


Blink-182′s first official song released only days ago! After 6-7 years…this is a real treat for blink fans, like me. LOTS of AVA and Boxcar feel to it. I’m sure Tom was the main producer of this track, but still AWESOME!!


Pho Hoa


Pho Hoa is a sleeper. A lotta people in Orlando perceive this Viet restaurant to be mainly for families and parties. And it may be. But WOW, their pho packs a POWERFUL punch of flavor in their pho broth. My past three visits have been something other pho restaurants rarely achieve–CONSISTENTLY FRESH PHO

Menu (click to enlarge)

I must say, of all the Viet restaurant menus for pho selection, they definitely offer the most variety. They even break it down to pho for beginners, regulars, and “the adventurers” aka PROS!

Summer Rolls

Started off with my usual appetizer. As seen above, it’s smaller than your average roll but still very tasty. Their peanut sauce dip may be one of the most authentic sauces I’ve ever tasted though. It’s thick and chunky but NOT crunchy (which is good). Highly recommend this!

Pho Dac Biet

LOOK AT THIS BAD BOY! When a bowl is brought to me, I LOVE seeing the steak cuts on top so that it’s not too well-done from the hot broth. Notice the pink (rareness) of the steak. And they don’t abuse the green onions, scallions and onions (like most other restaurants). During my first spoonful of broth, I heard music in my ears. My mouth is watering just from looking at this picture.

#FRESHasPHO finish

Demolished. You know it’s a damn delicious pho when you can almost see the very bottom of the bowl. I always get extra lime when I order pho, and I ALWAYS put them to good use. Side note, don’t order their Che, they put too much beans and little ice cubes in it :(

WARNING: PHO ITIS WILL HIT YOU BEFORE YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR

Shout out to HotDealsOrlando.com for hooking us up with a $12.50 for $25 deal at Pho Hoa. My only regret was that I didn’t buy more. I honestly did not realize how awesome Pho Hoa’s pho was until my recent visits. Pho 88 will always be in my top 3, but Pho Hoa may claim the top spot soon…

#FRESHasPHO

Phở Hoa on Urbanspoon


Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon


According to RottenTomatoes.com (as of 6/30/11):

Audience: 90% FRESH
Critics: 36% rotten 

 

The Transformers saga is like any typical summer blockbuster movie series (with exception to some): after the first, it always get worse. And this is true.

After seeing the results from Rotten Tomatoes, I came in with low expectations and ready to enjoy action-packed fighting from the Autobots and the Decepticons. Shia LaBeouf still adds that Even-Stevens-comedy we fell in love with when he was little. The new model chick kinda kills this movie for me. But the beginning of the movie, hands down, has the best story of the entire movie. It revolves around Kennedy’s presidency and an alternate version of why the U.S. went to the moon. The old, real footage of NASA really adds to the story plot of the movie.

Something interesting [like X-Men: First Class did] was the particular casts of actors and actresses in the movie. I guess it’s becoming a pop culture thing with all these superhero/comic movies. John Malkovich undoubtedly had the best acting in his first 5 minute appearance in the movie. But unfortunately, like my favorite movie critic Roger Ebert says, there are just way too many corny punchlines in the movie.

“Class dismissed! Decepticon punk! We’ve got a Mexican Standoff here! What do you think you’re doing! Return what belongs to me!”

But what do you expect from a live-action toy cartoon show?

Transformers 3 is very similar to its predecessor Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. Action-packed most def, but incredibly lacks depth…

Also, Optimus Prime is a bad ass

Optimus Prime (cartoon version)


Rolls ‘n Bowls


I took a trip up to Gainesville a week ago and decided to stop in at one of the local favorites–Rolls ‘n Bowls. I’ve been here a few times and always enjoyed my experience here. RnB (not the music) is very similar to Bento Cafe, especially the menu. The difference (in my opinion) is Bento focuses more on the trendy Asian scene whereas RnB goes for the healthy, green atmosphere. And they do an assembly line for all your meals.

Boss Bowl

I ordered the “Boss Bowl” which came with tuna, salmon, seasoned/seared escolar, scallions, avocado, fish roe and SPICY MAYO! The rice came straight from a container which was not too appealing. The portions are extremely small (excluding the BIG chunk of avocado slices). I do love those orange fish eggs, they give you an extra crunch to your bowl. But if you’re looking to leave full, you won’t. In fact, you may leave hungrier.

Fried Pork Dumplings

I purchased a $20 Livingsocial coupon to here for $10. I had about $1 left on my bill so I spent it on the dumplings ($4ish). Definitely not worth the money…they were super small and super weak. The sauce was nothing special, just soy sauce.

Overall it was decent (mainly because I got 50% off my bill). Rolls ‘n Bowls is very pricey. It’s definitely not the place to get a bang for your buck unless you BALLIN. If you’re not feeling Bento and you want some rice with sashimi bits, come here. Other than that…go on Urbanspoon or Yelp! lol

Rolls N Bowls on Urbanspoon


Little Saigon


You know that feeling you get when you walk through an entrance of a restaurant plastered with awards and plaques? Well most Viet restaurants in Orlando Viet town have back entrances where you can enter from. And Little Saigon’s back door entrance hallway was decorated with numerous awards. I expected a superiorly #FRESHasPHO bowl of pho…

My party of 6 ordered noodle soups all around the table. My friend and I got the pho dac biet, two ordered Bun Bo Hue, and the others ordered rice platter dishes. When I placed my order, I said the usual “Can I get an extra large order please?” My server responded, “Ok, but we don’t put meatballs in our pho dac biets.” 

WHAAAAAAT?????!!!???? (in my head)

Me: “Ooooh, ok that’s fine. But the bowl will be big?”
Server: “Yes, lots of soup and lots of noodles.”

Lies. Pure lies. My bowl came out with disappointing portions of meat AND noodles. The picture above may be deceiving; if you look closely, you’ll see the meat and noodles look like it’s popping out…when really there’s just not much broth (THE BEST PART). The taste isn’t too bad tough, not as bland as other pho I’ve eaten before.

But apparently, I might just be crazy!!!!!! Because according to the same Orlando Sentinel Foodies Award that gave Saigon Flavors “Runner Up in Best Vietnamese”, gave Little Saigon the title…. Either I don’t know the true taste of pho (which may be because I am not Vietnamese) or I should be hired as the Orlando Sentinel’s next food critic. Terrible, terrible choices for Vietnamese restaurants.

Unfortunately (or may be not) I didn’t get to try more of the menu. But I did take a sip of my friend’s Bun Bo Hue, and it was probably the worst Bun Bo Hue I’ve ever had. I don’t mean to dog on this critically acclaimed Viet restaurant, but I certainly must have different taste than [many of] those who rave about it. I just can’t lie about my review though. However, I will probably make another visit in the future to give it a second chance. Probably.

Little Saigon on Urbanspoon


Father’s Day 2011 Lunch


Welcome to the 2011 Father’s Day Lunch FRESH EDITION!

My family and I took an afternoon trip to our local Costco to buy some produce and meat. Then we went home and cooked a feast!

Ribeye Steak

One of my favorite cuts for a steak. RIBEYE! Perfect balance of fatty and lean meats for my liking.

Shrimp Linguini w/ Garlic

Classic linguini dish with chopped up garlic, shrimp and a giant splash of CLAM JUICE! My dad and I preferred more garlic in the noodles, but it was still AWESOME!

Corn on the Cob

Can’t forget the veggies! These corns on the cob were very sweet and FRESH! An extremely simple way to prepare healthy foods!

Ahhh, the smell and taste of home cooked meals… The final display for the AMAZING Father’s Day lunch prepped by my wonderful mother–Ribeye Steak, Shrimp Linguini w/ Garlic, Corn on the Cob, and FRESH Romaine Lettuce.

#FRESHasPHO


Melissa’s Chicken & Waffles Food Truck


Chicken and waffles. Two of the greatest food combos. If you ever go to ATL, that’s definitely something you MUST try! So naturally I was very excited to see this orange food truck on the way to my internship that morning. It is located on Colonial and N Ferncreek Ave (next to Boston Bakery and Chevron gas station).

Ordering Station

The menu list is very small and selective, but it gets straight to the point. You’re coming here for chicken and waffles, or something else on top of waffles. If you don’t like it…GTFO!

Food Truck Menu

I ordered the “Ultimate Waffle” ($9), featured on their dry-erase board daily menu. It was chicken and waffles with eggs, bacon, cheese and gravy sauce on top.

Ultimate Waffle

My first thought upon opening the box was “WOW, what a waffle!” But it was soft, not crunchy or hard at all. So when I tried to pick it up and fold it like a taco, it was very hard due to its texture and size (and it was VERY hot!). After getting a couple napkins and picking it up, I took a bite of this massive waffle sandwich. I had a mouthful of waffle and  breakfast foods. However…it lacked a key ingredient–original taste. The fried chicken was crispy and tasty, but other than that, everything else was pretty bland. It tasted like something I could’ve personally made myself. The batter had almost no distinct taste, just your standard oversized waffle. And the breakfast toppings were nothing special. I will say the gravy was delicious and I wish I had asked for extra on top.

Close up bite view

Overall, my experience of this chicken and waffles truck was subpar. It wasn’t what I had imagined. The breakfast foods lacked original flavor and the batter was a major disappointment. For 9 bucks, I expect a slightly outstanding waffle with fried chicken goodness inside.

My suggestion would be to add a secret ingredient to the batter (throw in something CRAZY…like JACK DANIELS!) and put some more of that GRAVYYYY!!!





Melissa's Chicken and Waffles on Urbanspoon


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