Friday, November 27, 2009

Bean There Cafe

Do you ever need to just get out of the house?

I do and I'm happy to report that I have found the perfect place for me to do just that. I had no interest in the Black Friday sales but I did need to pick up a few things and afterward I decided to stop into the Bean There Cafe located at Towne Place in Greenbrier.

It is the cutest little coffee shop I have ever been to. It's not fancy at all. It's funky and comfortable and just ... easy. The indoor lighting is dim but there is plenty of natural light coming in from the large window in the front of the store.

The menu has plenty of iced and hot coffees, tea, specialty drinks and specialty lattes such as the Little Red Corvette, The Diamond Dave and Island Kiss. How could you resist that? The store provides plenty of seating throughout either at tables or big, comfortable easy chairs. I even saw board games just waiting to be set up.

I ordered a large chai latte and a pastry called the raspberry rhapsody. The latte was pretty good and for some reason was served to me in a mug which advertised a local heating and cooling company.

The other patrons all seemed to be having a great time just relaxing and drinking their drinks and socializing with one another. One woman came in and headed right toward the back and set up her laptop because Bean There offers free wi-fi.

Bean There is a real coffee shop which is locally owned and operated. So bypass the big guy and sip locally at Bean There.

733 Eden Way N
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 312-0188

Bean There Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tiki Island Bar and Grill

We celebrated the return of “Date Night” with a trip to the Tiki Island Bar and Grill in Virginia Beach and I’m sort of wishing we had chosen a different spot to celebrate.

Tiki is a beautiful place. It is my understanding that it has been completely remodeled and whoever was in charge of the remodel did a fantastic job. The restaurant is tastefully decorated, the lighting is beautiful and there are flat screens over the large bar area. There is also outdoor seating provided for when the weather warms up. It is really a nice looking place.

Unfortunately, that is where the praise ends.

I’m not exactly sure who the target audience is for Tiki Island Bar and Grill but I do know that I’m not part of that group. It only took a few moments to go through the menu because there really isn’t that much on it. I was hoping to confirm that information by checking the website but the site is still under construction and could not be accessed. I seem to remember a few steak dishes, a fresh catch, burgers and sandwiches.

As an appetizer we ordered the Oysters Tiki

Interesting dish as it was a spin on the classic oysters rockefeller only this had melted cheese, black beans and corn. It was very pretty to look at but the flavor just sort of sat on my tongue.

As an entrée I had one of the Luau noodle bowls (which can also be ordered with rice instead of noodles)

My bowl was prepared with seared scallops, plenty of vegetables and teriyaki sauce. My problem with this dish is that the noodles and the sauce overwhelmed everything else. The food was literally drowning in the sauce. In my opinion the dish could have been greatly improved if the sauce was more in the background so the flavors of the scallops and the vegetables could have taken center stage. Along with the entrée came a bowl of she-crab soup

It wasn’t bad. Rich and creamy with chunks of crabmeat but it also had big slices of onion and the top was sprinkled with Old Bay instead of sherry which I had never experienced before. For my taste, the onions should have definitely been in the background for a she-crab soup instead of visible as in a vegetable soup. Just my opinion.

One last thing: I usually have a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner. At Tiki I ordered a cosmopolitan with top shelf vodka. I always do this so I’m used to paying a little extra but in my estimation $12 for a cocktail is totally overpriced.

Clearly, I’m not the target audience and that’s okay because I probably will not be returning. You can check it out for the atmosphere but I would go someplace else for a good meal.

1993 Sandbridge Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Monday, November 2, 2009

Silver Diner

Halloween at the Silver Diner ... what can I say? It was an experience. To tell the truth I expected more. I expected it to be a little more entertaining. I mean, the wait staff took the time to put on costumes however they seemed to be a little resentful about the whole thing. They weren't really into it. I can't say I blame them. I mean, if I had to wear a bumblebee outfit to my job I'd be a little salty too.

We showed up at around 12:30 in the afternoon and the diner was packed and we had to put our names on a list. It wasn't long before we were seated and I enjoyed watching the old music videos in the lobby while we waited.

Anyway, the Silver Diner is known for it's funky atmosphere with the oldies music and the juke boxes on the tables and its classic American fare. It's a diner right in the heart of Pembroke. It's simple, it doesn't over promise or under deliver. You get what you expect to get at the Silver Diner. What did I get?

Cajun salmon and eggs. There are two large cajun-style salmon filets hidden under the tomatoes. This dish is listed on the brunch menu along with many other dishes all served with eggs. The fish was cooked perfectly and the tomatoes were warm and the potatoes were good too. I passed on the eggs. It was a good meal at a very good price.

Silver Diner did not WOW me but it will certainly do in a pinch. The food was hot, the service was fast and the price was right.

4401 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 499-3600

Silver Diner on Urbanspoon