A brisk stroll in the chilly December air brought us to a restaurant I frequently pass in the Alicante Golf area of Playa San Juan, it is part of a family owned chain of restaurants and what we call "Everything" shops, we had a spendid A La Carte experience last year at their first restaurant in the village of Sant Joan, and we were not disappointed at the buffet restaurant.
From the moment you walk through the doors you are welcomed warmly, and the service is exceptional throughout. The food is plentiful, there is a reasonable wine list with the more expensive wines still around the 10 euro mark, they also sell Sake by the cup or small carafe so we warmed up straight away with a carafe which was only 4.50!
There are three large main course buffet trolleys, one with raw ingredients you plate up and take to the chef for cooking, one with hot prepared dishes like rices and fried starters, one with cold salads and vegetables, a nod to the Spanish House Salad with olives, boiled eggs, tuna, cheese etc. There is also a smaller dessert buffet with a good selection of fresh fruits and a fridge with puddings.
There is a fantastic selection of seafood and meats for the chef to cook for you, shelled raw tiger prawns, langoustines, razor clams, squid, large shell on prawns, and just as many meats to choose from, lamb chops, steak whole or sliced, chicken breast whole or finely sliced, with lovely fresh vegetables if you're so inclined, I had some asparagus, oriental mushrooms, green pepper and brocolli for example.
The puddings were also very good, there were Asian fruits as well as more local ones, and an assortment of puddings from Tiramisu to Creme Caramel.
Everything was fresh, well stocked and the waiting staff were friendly and attentive. The chef was a charming man too, even under pressure when it got busy as the evening progressed. Unlike the waiting staff I don't think he spoke any English, however should you need help there was always a waitress nearby waiting to see if you need anything.
We arrived early which I recommend as the restaurant gets really busy, but lingered for a good couple of hours. They open for the evening at 8pm and by half past 9 they were almost full.
We had a great evening and will definitely be making this a regular haunt! To have such great choice for such a reasonable price it's great value. Well worth getting out of the city for, there is also a tram stop on the L4 route from the city within sight of the restaurant, called Sergio Cardell, once there find the street Avenida Vicente Ramos and within a few seconds you will have passed the Post Office(Correos) and have found the shopping complex where the restaurant is situated. There's also a taxi rank outside. The buses-there's a stop for the number 9 almost directly outside, and the …
If you are running late and you do not wish to lose your reservation, call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know how late you expect to be.
Barging in an hour late and demanding your table is inconsiderate. Be courteous, and by calling ahead, you could be in luck because there might be a last minute cancellation.
If you do end up losing your table, do not yell at the staff. If you do not show up on time, they will have to assume that you are not coming.
It can be frustrating to receive food that is undercooked, burned, tastes bad, or food that you simply did not order. You have a few options in this situation. You can eat it anyway, say nothing at all, or alert the waiter. If you choose to alert the waiter, calmly explain that the food is not to your liking, or that it is not what you ordered. The waiter is usually accommodating, and if the food is not what you wanted, he or she will gladly replace it for you.
Remember that waiters do not cook the food, they serve it. Do not yell our curse at the waiter if you do not like the food.
Cell Phone Use
Avoid using your cell phone in a restaurant. It is especially difficult for the waiter who is trying to communicate with you. If you must use it, wait until after you have placed your order, excuse yourself from the table, and make your call.
Carrying on a cell phone conversation at the table is not only disrespectful to your guests, but to the other diners who do not want to be disturbed by your cell phone conversation.
Children and Dining
According to an LATimes interview, experts suggest that if you will be bringing your children to a restaurant, you should first practice a few things at home:
Don’t have your children running around, fighting, bothering other diners, or tugging on the waiter’s apron or hair.
Before going to the restaurant, urge your children to be on their best behaviour. If your child is yelling and screaming, he is no doubt embarrassing you, but he is also disturbing other diners, and making life difficult for the staff.
Paying the Bill
When you are ready, ask for the check. The waiter generally will not ask you if you want your bill because this is considered rude. It is not the waiter’s job to rush you out of the restaurant.
Tip 15 percent or more. According to an Oprah.com interview, waiters are paid as little as $2.15 per hour in some states, and must live off their tips. Waiters must share their tips with the bus staff, bartenders, hosts, …
So how do mom and dad accomplish a successful night out to eat with the kids? It’s not that hard, with a little key preparation beforehand.
Steps to Set the Family up for Success When Dining Out
To have a great evening out with young kids at a restaurant, parents can try the following ideas:
Some Great Toys to Keep Kids Busy at a Restaurant
Kids have short attention spans and can't sit still for long. Many won't wait patiently for their meals. Parents can keep them busy with some fun activities.
Waiting and sitting still can be really hard for younger kids. By doing some preparation before-hand mom and dad can make a meal out a successful event. Younger children do better when they know what to expect, so be sure to go over expectations well before leaving the house.
In addition, make sure to have a bag …
Dublin native chef, Cathal Armstrong has brought innovation and passion into Old Town with his cuisine. Restaurant Eve is a family business that Armstrong started with his wife, and the restaurant is named after their first child. The restaurant has two different dining experiences, which are the bistro and the tasting room. Each offers their own menu and atmosphere in two separate rooms. The food is tantalizing yet still homey with such dishes as roasted belly of Korubuta pork and seafood chowder with shellfish, baguette croutons and aioli. For desert try the birthday cake which is delicious. The restaurant is expensive and dress attire is required.
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-706-0450; Restauranteve.com
Grape + Bean
Grape + Bean is located in a quaint row house on Royal Street. Grape + Bean is known as a wine and coffee stop with a lunch and dinner menu. Grape + Bean is the brain child of longtime Alexandria residents David Gwathmey and Sheera Rosenfeld. The goat cheese and onion jam on a toasted baguette is enticing, and if you are looking for a bigger meal, try the American Artisan Flatbread with shaved prosciutto. For desert have some coffee and ask for a sample of the chocolate coco nibs or skip the coffee and just have the nibs. The menu is limited but inexpensive. Check the Grape + Bean calendar for wine tastings and wine education classes.
118 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; 703-664-0214; Grapeandbean.com
A la Lucia
This casual Italian eatery is full of rustic charm and offers homemade pastas, as well as brick oven pizzas. You can sit at the bar, one of the two dining areas or pick up your to go order. Several local favorites are house made lasagna and thin crust pizza gorgonzola or have a cannoli for dessert. The menu prices are moderate and the atmosphere is casual.
315 Madison Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-836-5123; Alalucia.com
Fresh ingredients and premium frying take this chipper to the next level. Who needs fast food when you can have Eamonn’s fish and chips? The restaurant is owned by Chef Cathal Armstrong and Meshelle Armstrong who also own Restaurant Eve and The Majestic. People go there for the cod, but there are other different kinds of fish with a great selection of homemade dipping sauces. Don’t forget dessert, where there is a variety to choose from including fried bananas, dough balls and candy bars. Eamonn’s is an inexpensive place to have a perfectly fried meal.
728 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-299-8384; Eamonnsdublinchipper.com
This restaurant boasts the talent of executive chef Tony Chittum and recently won the 2010 RAMW award for the best upscale casual restaurant. Located in a quaint row house with yellow trim, chef Chittum marries fabulous food with moderate prices. The pastas, sausages and scrapples are all made in house. Try the “brandade” crusted halibut or the beef striploin. Follow it up with the crispy ricotta fritters for dessert. On …
Little Tibet is a small, unassuming Toronto restaurant that used to be in Yorkville and is now on Queen Street West, a few blocks west of Bathurst. Although allegedly very popular in the evening and on weekends, the place is quiet at lunchtime on a weekday.
While Tibetan food is spicy in the sense that it is seasoned with ginger, garlic and spices from India, most of it is not hot. Not well known in North America, the cuisine is based on barley, dairy products, and meats such as lamb and yak. Staples such as rice are borrowed from neighbouring China; few vegetable crops grow at the high altitudes of Tibet.
Tibetan Herbal Tea, Tsampa, and Tenchung
Besides the de rigueur barley tea with yak's milk, there is a Tibetan Herbal Tea with the alluring description: "A blend of handpicked herbs from the Himalayan Mountains. Used by Tibetan healers." One regular patron claimed that the herbal tea is reminiscent of a new-mown field of hay. Along with several homemade sauces, the tea is available in packaged form to take home.
Several soups are available to start the meal. Tenchung is a "red lentil soup with roasted onion, garlic, herbs”—salty but not otherwise spiced. It is fine-grained and delicious. The less interesting Tsampa (named for one of Tibet’s staple dishes) is "roasted barley simmered in chicken broth with thinly sliced radishes and lean minced beef."
Meatless Items at Little Tibet
The Tibetan staff spends the off-moments of the lunch hour preparing a beautiful array of Momo (steamed barley flour dumplings) at the back of the room. One option is Cheese and Spinach Momo, an excellent plate to share; "marinated in roasted onion, ginger and oregano” and served with a green salad, the dumplings also come with a mild tomato relish or salsa for dipping.
Shogo Ngopa is similar to very thinly scalloped potatoes and it has only one fault—it is virtually impossible to eat with chopsticks. Bo Thuk Ngopa is a dish of “pan-fried egg noodles topped with salted mixed seasonal vegetables tossed in a light ginger and garlic sauce.” Tasty, but very mild.
Meats (Beef Sham-Dae), Desserts (Mindha), and Extras (More Momo)
Beef Sham-Dae is “Cinnamon spiced beef curry slow-cooked in ginger, garlic, onion, and seasoned with exotic Indian spices.” For meat-eaters, this is one of the more memorable among the main lunch dishes. It comes with a separate bowl of steamed rice. The beef is very tender and deeply flavoured by the sauce, which is exquisite.
An unusual …
Mix 1 tablespoon orange juice, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup original or low fat sour cream, 1/4 tablespoon honey OR 1/2 tablespoon applesauce. This is a tasty dressing for a lettuce and/or cucumber salad.
Indian Style Lentil Soup
Heat 1and 1/2 tablespoon oil in a soup kettle on medium high heat
Add 1 inch piece of ginger root and 3 cloves of garlic
Stir in vegetables of your choice. I like chopped carrots, potatoes, and a small amount of cabbage or spinach.
Add 1/2 cup lentils and 2 inch cinnamon sticks, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour. Gradually add 4 cups of water.
Creamy Corn and Bean Soup
The original recipe called for mung beans. I was in a hurry, and I couldn't find mung beans at the store. I substituted garbanzo beans, and receiveved no complaints from my guests.
1.Simmer 1/2 cup canned garbanzo OR mung beans, 1 cup corn and 2 cups water together for fifteen minutes. Remember, if you use dried beans rinse, sort and soak following package instructions. Dried beans will also take quite a bit longer to cook.
2.Add more cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice.
3. Serve in individual bowls and add a large dollop of original or low fat sour cream and garnish with watercress.…
EASY PIZZA DOUGH
HAM AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA
Spread prepared pizza base with pizza sauce. For kids, use ½ cup of tomato sauce. Drain a can of pineapple pieces. Chop a few ham steaks or four rashers of bacon, dice a red capsicum. Top the prepared pizza base with pineapple pieces, prepared ham, chopped red capsicum and 1 cup of grated cheese. Sprinkle toping with 1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs of 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is well browned and cheese is melted.
SALAMI AND OLIVE PIZZA
Place an 8oz (250g) jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil in a food processor, add 1 teaspoon garlic and process to a spread. If necessary, add a little more oil. Spread over prepared pizza base, top with chopped salami of your choice, 1 cup of grated tasty or parmesan cheese, and scatter the top with black olives. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
CHILI BEEF PIZZA
Cook 7oz (200g) beef mince in oil, and then add ½ cup tomato pasta sauce and 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, dried coriander and cumin. Spread prepared pizza base with pizza sauce. Top with cooked mince and sprinkle with ½ cup of grated tasty cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes, and then top with sour cream and avocado before serving.…