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Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas Chef’s Table

Like most cruise ships today, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas has many specialty dining options for a nominal fee. The most expensive of the 26 dining venues is the exclusive Chef’s Table at $85 per person. By the end of this review, you’ll hopefully see the bargain in this price and what it brings you. There is only one seating per night, and each seating can only accommodate 16 guests. That means that on each cruise, only 112 of the approximately 6,500 passengers get a chance to attend this unique dining experience. It’s important to lock in your reservation as early as possible if you’re interested in participating. I’ve eaten at Chef’s Table twice, and both experiences were very similar in style, but differed in the food served. Continue reading

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The Candybar Bakery

After over a year of doing these reviews, I’ve talked with many different restaurant owners and their employees. Last week I had what was probably one of the strangest encounters with a business owner that I’ve experienced so far. Not long after Lagniappe Deauxnuts closed in Fayetteville, GA, a sign was put up in their window that told of a new bakery coming soon. I was excited that I had a new bakery opening so close to me, and hoped for some unique food to sample. I thought it would be interesting to visit on their opening day, try some food, get a feel for the place, and post a review so readers could see what it’s all about before most of them even knew it existed.

By their opening day, I still had yet to see a single piece of advertising for The Candybar Bakery, other than the sign that had been up in their front window saying that it was “coming soon.” It was exciting to think that my review could be one of their first, and I was more than happy to get the word out that they were now open. Continue reading

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Publix Cupcakes

I don’t know anyone who would disagree that Publix supermarkets have some of the better bakery items around (for those living in the Southeast). I have always thought that they may have the best key lime pies I’ve personally eaten. In fact, all their pies are fantastic. The amazing thing is that the majority of all their baked goods are frozen, but you’d never guess that unless you were told. Everything including the cakes, pies, cupcakes, and pastries are brought in frozen, and then thawed. They then decorate items like the cakes with frosting in the store. This is probably done at most grocery stores, but somehow Publix’s thawed bakery foods still taste so fresh, you’d swear they were made that morning.

I’ve noticed my local Publix has been well stocked in cupcakes lately. Their cupcakes are fairly large, and sell for just over $3. During my last visit I was admiring how well decorated and delicious the cupcakes looked. I was curious how they compared to my personal reference point for all cupcakes, Disney World. Disney by far has some of the most elaborate cupcakes I’ve tried. They are always at the forefront to new and innovative ways to decorate and spruce up these old favorites. Publix’s cupcakes seemed to be almost the same size as Disney’s, but they were about $2 cheaper. Could they possibly be a substitute when I’m having Disney withdrawals? I was about to find out. Continue reading

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Broadway Diner Desserts

Located a couple blocks from the Fayetteville square in Georgia, a popular local restaurant is packed with diners every night of the week. At Broadway Diner, it’s not uncommon to see folks waiting outside for a seat, even in the middle of the week. Usually the wait isn’t any longer than twenty or thirty minutes, but that’s an indication of something. There must be something people find special about this place. After all, it is a diner, and people wait here like they would for the big chain restaurants.

Because of their exceptional gluten-free options, you will probably see a future review here on their meal options, but for today it’s just about the desserts.

Broadway Diner has a single dessert case that isn’t large at all. Fortunately, that doesn’t stop them from stuffing it with huge cakes and pies offering some of the most incredible flavors around. My wife and I stopped in after dinner to pick up a couple slices to bring home for dessert. Just like Frank’s at the Old Mill, the portions here are quite large, and to top it off, they’re only $5.95 a slice!

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Kona Cafe

It’s time for a very short review of one of my favorite breakfast spots located in Disney World’s first ever resort hotel, The Polynesian. Kona Cafe is one of the few places that my wife and I try to patronize at least once during every visit to the parks. So far, we’ve only done breakfast there, but have plans to try a dinner sometime soon.

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Comprehensive Review: City Cafe, Part 4

I recently made another stop at City Cafe while running errands. My wife and I stopped here on the way home to pick up some desserts to sample. Previously, I started this comprehensive review by enjoying a lunch, then came back for some desserts, and then back again for another meal. I didn’t stay long enough on this stop to get any new information on the restaurant, so this will simply be a quick review of some treats we brought home to enjoy.

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Melt Bar & Grilled

Whenever traveling to other cities, food is generally a main focus when planning the trip. One thing I like to do is look up where Adam Richman from Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” has been. While I have little interest in the challenges themselves, I find that many times the food that the challenges are based on look really interesting, delicious, and often unique. One such place exists in Lakewood, OH, where a recent trip to visit family brought me to the area.

Melt Bar & Grilled is TripAdvisor’s #3 out of 113 restaurants in Lakewood, which was the original of five locations to eventually open. Melt is a very popular place in the Cleveland area, and many patrons are known to wait over two hours for a table. Based on the reviews, an hour or longer wait is not uncommon on most days. Maybe we were lucky, but my wife had taken me here once before, and both times we showed up as they opened and got seated immediately.

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Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Bar

A friend of mine was up in Concord, NC at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort. At some point during his trip he stumbled across a dessert from one of their dining venues that was so amazing, he couldn’t resist texting me a photo and telling me that he “met his match.” Knowing my love for unique and amazing foods, he purchased an extra one and brought it back for me to try.

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Peanut Butter Pie & Nutella® Cheesecake

My wife and I often drive up to Brookhaven, GA to shop at Costco. Every time we go up there we pass a small café-looking place called Sugar Shack. If you know me, you know I can’t see a place with the word “sugar” right in their name, and not at least take a peak inside. On our last trip up there I finally got permission from my wife to stop the car and go in.

Sugar Shack is a café and bakery combo that has some display cases filled with unique and delicious looking desserts. Everything including pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies… you know what, let’s just call it the works. I wanted one of everything, but since my wife was waiting in the car, this would be just a quick grab-and-go stop to pick up a couple things to bring home.

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Flip Burger Boutique

Atlanta is home to several unique burger restaurants. Some of them have gotten national recognition and made some lists of top burger restaurants in the country. One such restaurant is run by Richard Blais, a man some may know from Bravo’s “Top Chef” series and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” He is currently the creative director of Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta, GA, and has created some unique burgers that have made the restaurant a very popular place.

Currently rated #72 out of Atlanta’s 3,387 restaurants on TripAdvisor, the location on Howell Mill Road is one of two locations. It gets mostly rave reviews for the unique ingredients and combinations of ingredients that make up the burgers, sides, and milkshakes.

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