Monday, August 11, 2014

Mama Q's Pizza

Hey Dolls,

One of my friends and I recently made a visit to Mama Q's Pizza for lunch and I am so happy I have another fabulous pizza joint to frequent because you all know I love me some pizza pies!  While visiting, I found out that Mama Q's is coming up on their first anniversary so they are relatively new in town!
  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about chain pizza restaurants vs. locally owned pizza restaurants....I prefer the latter.  Mama Q's is family owned, small and quaint with food that packs a huge punch!  That's exactly what I love about non-franchise pizza establishments and they also deliver to surrounding areas, which is another added bonus!  While there, I also found out that they shred cheese and make dough in house, daily.  They also use locally grown produce as often as possible. 
Check out the painted walls!  They were done by art students from one of our local high schools!  I love that!

Soooo bread is a gift from heavens above lol...there's no denying how much I love it....as a matter of fact, I'm not sure I know anyone who loves bread more than me.  With that being said, I decided to order these garlic knots even though I was planning on ordering a pizza as well.  Don't judge.  They were amazing and we could smell them baking while we were waiting which just built up the anticipation to indulge in them.
We wanted a pizza that was reminiscent of a Supreme style pizza so we ordered the Mama Q's "Kitchen Sink" pizza!  It was phenomenal!  It came with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, red onions, and mushrooms (we omitted the mushrooms)
This pizza was delicious and the veggies were so fresh!  The two of us could've ate the entire pizza in that one sitting along with all of the garlic knots and dessert but we decided not to be little piglets and took some to go.
For dessert we got the Cinnamon Maple Sticks.  Of course they were yummy.  The sticks were buttery and cinnamon'y and the dipping sauce was unexpected.  I was expecting a white icing but got this maple icing instead which was a nice surprise. 
We enjoyed Mama Q's!  The pizza we got was delicious and I'm looking forward to going back and trying some of their more unique pizzas like the  Mama Q's "Mashed Potato Pizza" and "Clams Casino Pizza"!  Sounds enticing doesn't it!  If you are in town, take a trip to the Mandarin area for some Mama Q's, you'll be glad you did!
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
Talk to you all soon.
~Trice

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Olio Market

Hey Dolls, 

After a really cool dinner with a few of my foodie friends last Monday, we decided to meet up downtown the next day for lunch.  Agreeing on somewhere to meet was easy.  We all decided on  Olio Market !  Our food was so amazing, I had to share it with you!
I have heard so many great things about the food at Olio so my vote was an easy one.  They are only opened Mon-Fri from 8am-3pm so I knew if I was going to try them, this would be my last week to do so.  I'll be back at school next week! (Summer flew by!)
 The lay-out of the restaurant was very open and spacious.  We got there right on time because within minutes the line was seriously around the corner!
I also liked the exhibition style kitchen!  I love it when I can see my food being prepared!  That's the best!  Speaking of the best, I ordered one of the best po-boys I have ever tasted!  This is their shrimp po-boy and it was packed with flavor!  Besides the succulent shrimp, it had andouille sausage and jalepeno coleslaw!  Those little white strands are fried phyllo, not cheese...YUM!!!
 One of my friends got the duck grilled cheese sandwich.  This sandwich has been featured on the Travel Channel as Adam Richman's best sandwich in America! How cool is that?!?!  It is made with duck confit, green tomato, and yummy gruyere and white american cheese!  She loved it!
Another friend got the fish tacos.  Made with blackened tilapia, mandarin salsa, shredded cabbage,  and a delicious cilantro-lime cream!

Olio Market on Urbanspoon
 I guess it's a good thing I don't work near downtown because this place could get my waistline in a lot of trouble.  I could probably eat there everyday!  The food was so fresh and flavorful!  Not to mention they strive to use organic and local products which is another plus!  I can't wait to try their breakfast!  If you're in Jacksonville, this is a place you've got to try!

Thanks for stopping by!
~Trice

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday's Best and Statement Necklaces

Hey Lovelies!

Guess who has some AMAZING statement necklaces for $10???  Stay tuned and I'll tell you!  First, is my look for church last Sunday featuring these gorgeous heels and fabulous skirt!  I have been LOVING skirts lately!  I can remember not really caring much for them growing up.  Funny how your taste changes with age.

   The message at church was right on time, as always.  It reminded us of what it really means to be a true Christian and not lukewarm Christians of convenience.  In a nutshell  yes, we all sin and come short of the glory of God but maintaining a relationship with Him and being repentant of our sins is important for our salvation.
 Here was my entire look!  I fell in love with this skirt at first sight!  I was in the store with my friend Krystle who grabbed it first.  It was the last one in our size and after seeing how much I loved it she gave it to me after I promised to pass it down to her the next time I cleaned out my closet!  Deal!
Now on to this statement necklace....  
Did you know good ole wally world, sells amazing statement necklaces for the low?!?!  Yes, Walmart! Lol!
 They had a wall full of them.  I almost lost it up in Walmart.  I grabbed one in each color but put most of them back after reminding myself I was only suppose to be grabbing eggs and paper towels LOL!
I love a good bargain so I'll definitely be returning for more in the very near future!  
 Necklace:  Walmart  
Top:  Ross 
 Skirt:  Banana Republic 
 Heels:  ShoeDazzle
As always thank you for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week! 

~Trice

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eat at Joe's!!! (Joe's Crab Shack!!!)

Hi Dolls,

While my family was visiting me, I took them to the beach for the Jax Beach Art Walk.  While there we enjoyed the art of local artist, the birds on the beach, and the nice ocean breeze. Here are some of the cool creations from local artist!

 Right smack dab in the middle of Jacksonville Beach is none other than Joe's Crab Shack.  I haven't eaten there in a while because from what I could remember, they always left my belly feeling unsatisfied. 
Well this sign grabbed our attention and let's just be real, it was kind of a deal we couldn't refuse.  $2 bucks for some of our favorite treats?!?!?  Uh, yes please!
We decided we would stay for a few hurricanes and some $2 snacks to hold us over until dinner.

These little crab fritters were pretty tasty!  They had little bits of crab and all of the yummy onion-y flavors that come with a hush puppy.  I liked the dipping sauce as well.

These were the little popcorn shrimp & fries. Nothing too fancy but I guess you couldn't expect much more for $2 bucks!

We also ordered one of my all time favs, fried crawfish.  I would've been happy with a bucket of these :)!

 For a couple of bucks each, you couldn't beat this for a mid-day snack after hanging at the beach. 
Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon
It's always good times when my family's around!  Good laughs, good food, good times.  I guess Joe's is not so bad.  I would go back for the $2 deal anytime!  

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back soon!
~Trice

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

San Juan, Puerto Rico (part 3): BUCKET LIST!!!

Hi Lovelies!

I saved the best part of my Puerto Rico trip for last!  For some reason I have always said that I want to zip line in Puerto Rico and guess what....I DID IT!!!  I went skydiving a couple years ago and that was the start of my thrill seeking!  Like most, I have a "Bucket List" of things I want to do and see in this life time and ziplining through the rainforest is one of them!  My brother is my partner in crime when it comes to this type of stuff!  He is the only one brave enough to do it with me LOL!  We went to Toro Verde in Orocovis, Puerto Rico.  We choose this park because they had 9 different ziplines, including La Bestia (The Beast), the world's longest and second highest zipline!

 photo 20140705_104631-1_zps533cafc1.jpg

 Of course, I wanted to be as cute as possible even for outdoor adventures LOL!
 There was a load of stuff they hooked up to you that had to be tugged around for 3 hours.  These were the hooks and "stuff" that were used at each tour, to connect us to the ziplines.

 photo toro3_zps5d0e4e27.jpg
  We were given water too.  If you look closely, you'll see my water bottle....may it rest in peace (it didn't make it across the 7th zip line!!! SCARY!!!)
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Before doing the first tour we went through a short safety briefing. They showed us everything we needed to know and then let us go!!!  It was a blast!!!
 My brother zipping down the first line!
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I made it across my first zipline!  8 more to go, including La Bestia!!!
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I got a great workout that day.  There was a lot of hiking involved and it was warm.  The views were absolutely breathtaking though!
I got to see little critters as well, including this guy!  This lizard had all kinds of heart.  He was not the least bit intimidated by humans.  He just sat there looking at you. He even turned his little head to the side when we talked to it LOL.  
 photo toro10_zps93ae6080.jpg
The more lines we did, the higher up and faster they got!  This is the line where I lost the bottle of water.  I also got stuck towards the end of the line and had to pull my way across.  It was exhilirating to say the least!
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Last but not least was La Bestia (The Beast)!  You feel like a bird on this zipline because you are laying down opposed the hanging back like you do on the other lines.  As I mentioned before, it's the world's longest zipline at 4800 square feet (almost 1/2 mile) reaching speeds up to 65mph!  It was INCREDIBLE!!!  I enjoyed being able to look down and around while flying across this line.   The sights were beautiful!
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I MADE IT!!!
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Zipling was a lot of fun!  I enjoyed skydiving too but I would probably go ziplining again before skydiving if I had the choice.  It started raining towards the end of our adventure but that was O.K.  It just added to the experience.  If you're headed to Puerto Rico and need something fun to add to your agenda, try this!  It was very safe and a lot of fun!!!  I think I want to go scuba diving for my next adventure!  My summer vacation to PR was awesome!  I can hardly believe school will be starting back up in a couple of weeks.  You know what they say, time flies when you're having a good time.
Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back soon with my regular style and food post!
 Take care!
~Trice


Saturday, July 26, 2014

San Juan Puerto Rico (Part 2): Hotel view and the food!

Hey Dolls,

I'm back with part 2 of my PR trip.  I don't think I've ever seen water more beautiful.  We stayed at the Caribe Hilton and the view from our room was gorgeous as well as everything on site.  Take a look!
The wind was trying to blow me away!
Top:  F21 - Belt: Cotton On - Shorts:  Banana Republic
Even the rocks were pretty to look at!

On this side of the hotel are hammocks,cabanas, pools, poolside bar, Starbucks, a jacuzzi, and an onsite beach!

In the hotel lobby are colorful talking parrots!  They say "hello" and "Hola"!  Adorable!
This was the view directly from my room!  Isn't it stunning!?!?  I wish the water in Jacksonville was this blue!
 photo caribe1_zps6a38369c.jpg
 I rocked my natural hair that day and I loved feeling the wind blow through it!  The weather the entire time was amazing!  Not too hot, not to cold...just right.  There was always a nice breeze, even in the middle of the day.  It rained a few times but when it did, the rain didn't last long.

Fortin de San Geronimo
Condado Bridge
Another beautiful view from our room!
THE FOOD
 You know I couldn't go on vacation and not share what I had to eat with you!!!  Wellllll....I must preface this review by stating that overall, I was not too thrilled with the food in PR.  It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great either.  I did, however, want to try authentic Puerto Rican cuisine so I will start off with the restaurant I enjoyed the most while there. 

(THE GOOD)
 "Restaurante Raices"
While strolling the streets of Old San Juan, hunger set in and though there were several places to choose from, Raices was the most crowded so we assumed it was probably the best choice.  The waiting list was pretty long but we got seated in no time!
The decor reminded me of a Spanish cottage and the uniforms the waitresses wore were a nice touch to everything else going on.
It seemed like every where we went to eat in PR, they served their drinks in these tin cups.  I am now on a mad search to find and purchase them because they kept our drinks ice cold!
  Two of us decided to order the Chicharrones de Pollo, fried chicken chunks.  It came with rice and any side of your choice.  I ordered red beans to add to my rice.
I had no complaints!  The chicken was super moist and flavorful!  It went perfectly with rice and beans!
 This was the Chuleta Kan Kan, the biggest pork chop I have ever seen!  It also came with rice and a side.  I tasted a small piece of this and it was pretty good.  Very fatty, but good.  It reminded me of cracklin' .  If you're native to Louisiana, you definitely know what cracklin' is.  If not, take a look here.
 These were the wings and plantains.  My mom wanted them to be "SPICY" and boy did they spice these bad boys up!  You can see the spice on them just looking at the picture and one bite would have you tongue on fire!!!!  
Overall, Raices was good.  Like I said before, it was the best Puerto Rican meal we had on our vacay.  I would definitely recommend it if you were visiting PR and needed somewhere good to eat.  The decor and traditional uniforms added to the experience which I appreciated as a visitor and the food was pretty good!

(THE BAD & UGLY)
"Latin Star"
I really wish we would have done our homework and read up on reviews before going to this place.  I'm going to tell you now...DO NOT EAT HERE!!! It's not often I give bad reviews but this place deserved every bit of it.
(Look at my brother's face LMBO!)
Just looking at the outside, It seemed very inviting.  Plus it was recommended to us by a local so we thought we had a winner....not so much.  The staff was beyond rude but we over looked that, hoping the food would make up for their lack of good service....yeah, not so much.  

Thank goodness for the complimentary bread!  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about complimentary bread lol!
 They were little bread bites. They were buttery, toasty, and chewy. It was honestly the best thing we ate here.  I asked for a second basket.  They told me O.K. and never came back with the bread....FOUL!!!!
For an appetizer, we ordered BBQ chicken wings....this is what we got............
Mofongo is a Puerto Rican staple that's made with mashed green plantains, spices, and a meat.  It was only right that we tried it while in PR.  This was the chicken mofongo.  It came in a cool looking Puerto Rican dish  but it was not a good eating experience.  The mashed plantains were cold and thick and the meat tasted a little overcooked.
This was the plantain skirt steak sandwich that lacked ALL flavor what so ever.  The plantains (tostones) were thick and bland, the steak was tough and flavorless.  It was an absolute waste of money.
 This was a Puerto Rican stew......I honestly was scared to see what was in it.  It too was lacking in the flavor department.
Eeeek is what comes to mind when I look at this picture LOL!
 This was their version of fried chicken.  Weird because the BBQ wings looked fried and the fried chicken looked barbecued.  The struggle!
 Thank goodness for spirited beverages to wash this stuff down with.  They were sorely over priced as well not to mention water was almost $3 bucks!
The food here may have looked appealing but we left there with rumbly stomachs and a bill over $100!!!  Hey, you live and learn.  When things like this happens, I like to say "it adds character to our trip!"  If nothing else we'll always have our great memories including this horror story to add when talking about our vacation to PR.
There were a few other places we went to eat but they are not worth mentioning.  These two were the best and worst restaurant experiences. 
As always, thank you so much for taking time to read my blog!  You are truly appreciated.  Stay tuned for last part of my PR vacation! It features one of my bucket list items I was able to check off!
~Trice