Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lookout Steak House Gulfport, MS

Good Morning Food Fans!

Friday night my companion in nom, Terri, suggested we try out the Lookout Steak House in Gulfport. http://lookoutsteakhouse.com/.  If you are familiar with the local restaurants Salute and Back Bay Seafood then it's interesting to note they, along with Lookout are run by the same team.

We arrived fairly early and we were happy to see a very busy place! We were afraid we would have to come back another time but the staff was able to accommodate us. We sat up in the balcony and it afforded us a view of the entire restaurant including part of the kitchen.  Terri said I looked like a kid in a candy store as I watched the food being expedited.  Our waitress Lisa was excellent!  An exceptional personality and just down right fun to interact with. 

One of the greatest joys I get from eating out with Terri is she is open to try new things.  I know what's new about steak? Well a lot of things!  For example different cuts and qualities, preperation etc.  We started out with the Kobe beef tenderloin medalions for an app.  Terri prefers her meat cooked more on the well side so we went with them cooked medium well.  This was her first experience with Kobe and I think she really liked it.

We each had bread, a salad and unsweet tea to go along with our feast.  Please note the butter they served is blended with honey and I sure wasn't expecting that!  Not that it was bad, just not expected. 

For her entree Terri had the Center Rib Eye Filet and I had the Coulotte Cut Tenderloin with cabernet wild mushrooms.  We both opted for the baked potato.

Terri and I both found our steaks to be very tender and flavorful.  I had Terri do a comparison of the different cuts to see the difference in flavor and texture.  I love being able to share food knowledge!

Please keep in mind they season the steak here so DO NOT touch the salt shaker before trying your meal. 

If you are on a low sodium diet you might mention that to your waitres as they liberally season. 

So to summarize our experience.  Atmosphere was lively.  There is a bar downstairs and the restaurant floor was full. 

Food was great but remember everything is seasoned so leave the salt ALONE! 

Wait staff.  Lisa was great and everything came out to the table hot, fresh and more importantly with a smile and a great attitude. 

Prices are comparable with other restaurants in the area and considering the quality of the food definitely fair.

Recommendations.  Only one! MAKE A RESERVATION!!!! Especially if you are planning on going with friends and/or family.

Overall great experience!  Thanks again to Lisa for her great service and to the kitchen for a great job.  They were turning out the plates at warp speed!

Well my friends, keep on nommin!

"Chow For Now"


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bulldog Pub

Anyone who knows me knows I eat alot of greens.  My nightly salads are HUGE and being on business travel I began to crave lettuce and I needed a fix.  The Bulldog Pub was definitely the right idea!  I had a Cobb salad with shrimp and iced tea.  I know just a salad????  Well it was pretty darn good! ingredients were fresh and crisp.  Shrimp was seasoned perfectly and the presentation was spot on.  Amy my waitress was excellent!  She smiled and offered me numerous options and even though my order was not the largest, she kept my glass filled and checked on me throughout my meal. Oh by the way did I mention the beer selection? It offers something for every beer lover. If you are ever up in Jackson I definitely recommend a trip to give them a try even if you don't imbibe..     http://bulldog-jackson.draftfreak.com/

Well my friends it's time to settle in and relax for a bit.  I hope I can find a new place to share with you tomorrow!

"Chow For Now"


Twin Lakes

Hello my fellow Food Freaks!!!!

Here I am in Jackson and till today I must admit my opinion of food here was at an all time low.  Since arriving here it's been mostly fast food and conference munchies.  This morning more classmates and I went to the Twin Lakes conference center in Florence MS for some team building exercises http://twinlakescamp.org/

What an incredible facility!  500 acres of some of the most beautiful countryside I've seen in MS! The camp is run by the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson.  This place has a really cool vibe and even though they are operated by a church the staff didn't force their beliefs on us.

After a morning of fun in the forest we headed back to the main camp area for lunch.  Keep in mind this is a camp environment.  We were served cafeteria style but that was completely fine.  The food was hot, plentiful, tasty and served by a great crew! 

Our meal consisted of ham, carrots, green beans, and an exceptional potato dish that left us wanting more! Fresh rolls, desert and sweet or unsweetened tea to top it off. 

After lunch we had opportunity to wander a bit around the lake and a couple people even took advantage of the canoes and took a lap around the smaller lake. 

After our break it was back to the woods for more exercises.  We later went back to the main camp for a debriefing before leaving.  A great day all around!

I would like to thank the entire staff for treating us so well!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Road Trip

Hello my Fellow Food Fanatics!

Well I'll be blogging from Jackson MS next week.  I'm attending job training and I'm looking forward to exploring uncharted territory in search of good food.  Garden is doing well and I finished the last of the romaine last night.  Tomatoes took a beating during a recent storm but I hope they'll recover soon.  Squash plants are kicking out blossoms left and right and I have a few small specimens peaking out.  Snow pea plants are very strong and climbing well.  I also planted some cukes this week!  Thanks Terri for helping me feed my cucumber jones! Haven't been to any new places lately but I'm hopeful to explore a bit more upon my return!

"Chow for Now"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Garden Progress

Hello my Friends!

My little garden was doing great until last night.  We were hit with quite the storm.  Thunder, lightening, heavy winds and hail.  First time I'd heard the tornado siren go off and it made my skin crawl.  The tomatoes and squash took the brunt of the damage. This morning when I went to survey my domain the tomatoes were literally sideways and the squash were squashed!!  By the afternoon things had perked up a little and I hope to see further improvement tomorrow.  On a happier note last Saturday, Terri and I went to Ship Island National Park.  It's 11 miles off the coast and we went courtesy of Ship Island Excursions.  We explored Fort Massachusettes, picked sea shells and found photo ops.  We even found the biggest pizza oven EVER!!

Just kidding!  This awesome beast was used to heat cannonballs to give them the added bonus of causing stuff to burn when struck.  We had a great time and I highly recommend taking the trip out there.  We even saw dolphins during the trip out and back.  Bring plenty of sunscreen and slather it on often or you could end up looking like a lobster.  I know Terri I'll listen better to you next time!  I also recommend you go to http://msshipisland.com/ for all the details.

Well that's all for tonight.

"Chow For Now"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Homegrown is best

Hello my friends in food!

A few weeks ago I became motivated to grow a few things after my dismay at the lackluster, flavorless produce available in the market.  I grew up with fresh veggies being served almost daily and in the off season I was offered fresh frozen all straight from my Dad's garden. 

I hate to be sentimental but I miss the taste of a warm sun ripened tomatoes fresh off the vine or snacking on a fresh picked cuke.  I have attempted to grow veggies here before but with limited success.  The insects here have proven to be formidable foes.  My last years crop of tomatoes, eggplant and squash yielded very little and what it did was almost all infested.  I did have good luck with basil and oregano and they paired well with my homemade mozzarella and local fresh tomatoes.  I'll have a mozzarella lesson soon.  I need to order some rennet first.

This year I decided to grow a few things that I know grow fairly well here and one that I don't have a clue about.  I planted spinach, snow peas, grape tomatoes, crook neck squash, romaine lettuce and asparagus beans.

So after watching and watering I finally was able to taste the first of what I hope will be a continuous cascade of crunchiness!

Here it is in all it's glory!!!

I clipped only the larger outer leaves as I hope that it will continue to produce new leaves all season long. It was crisp without bitterness a great improvement over store bought.  My garden is limited to a few boxes.  I've only been gardening in Mississippi for a few seasons so I'm going to experiment to see what works before I go on to a larger plot.

Here's my little garden.

Out of sight are my tomato plants.  I plant them near the house so the warmth of the bricks radiates to them at night.  If you notice in the 3rd planter I have green onions popping up.  I planted them last year from seed and they spontaneously came back!

I recommend everyone try to grow at least a little something they enjoy eating.   It can take a little time and it can be frustrating but...the rewards of eating something you have grown on your own are immeasurable.

Ah the zen of fresh lettuce!!

"Chow For Now"


Friday, March 11, 2011

Half Shell Oyster House

Hello my fellow Freaks in food!

Tonight I had the pleasure of eating at the Half Shell Oyster House in Gulfport.  We started the evening with Voodoo Shrimp.  A tasty combo of fried shrimp in a sweet yet spicy sauce.  I really liked the flavor and the shrimp were cooked to perfection.  Terri, my faithful culinary companion, really loved these and they are definitely on the must get list next time we go.

For our main course Terri had ordered the Half Shell Pasta with grilled shrimp and I ordered the Seafood Pasta and upon the recommendation of our waitress Brianna I orderd a crab cake on the side. 

Our pasta came with a nice salad with homemade dressing.  Terri went for thousand island and I went for ranch.

First I must say the greens in the salad were very fresh and the salad was a perfect size to tempt the taste buds.  The dressing was fantastic and not over seasoned.  This is very important to me because I love to taste everything as it should be, not masked by spice or salt.

On to the pasta.  There was a bit of an oops here as Terri ordered shrimp and it came with chicken.  No big deal since she had already gotten her shrimp fix.  Brianna was more than apologetic and offered to re-do the order or even take it off the tab.  We reassured her that it was fine and we proceeded to induldge.

My pasta came with shrimp, crab and crawfish tails in a spicy alfredo type sauce and mushrooms.  Terri's was also in a similar sauce.  I will note the dish normally comes with artichokes but Terri isn't fond of them so they removed them for her in the kitchen.

The crab cake was well seasoned and came with a wonderful sauce that I can't put my finger on.  Sort of tangy like tartar sauce yet with it's own personality.

The food was overall wonderful.  I really appreciated the quality of the food.  Everything was fresh and according to Brianna the restaurant tries to buy locally and also tries to introduce ingredients not normally on the food scene in this area i.e., microgreens etc.  I think it's very important to support local growers and establishments.  It's part of the personality of a town. 

On to the service which Terri and I agreed  was great .  When we arrived there was a little crowd but not too terrible.  Unfortunately the hostess wasn't there to seat people as she was with other customers.  Brianna to the rescue!!!! She sat a couple before us and quickly came to assist us.  Not only did she quickly get us a table, she even sat the other couple in another of the wait staffs tables.  This is a big deal to me because she could have easily loaded her own section to maximize tips but she shared the customers.

Our glasses were always full and the food came out like clockwork.  It's nice to see the kitchen staff and wait staff work well together.

Overall The Half Shell gets 2 big thumb up.  Quality food obviously prepared and served by people who care about their product and their customers!

We will definitely be back and will spread the word!

"Chow For Now"