Sunday, August 26, 2012

CAPTAIN CHARLIES REEF GRILL - Juno Beach, FL

If you are a fan of Food Shack and Leftovers, I would think you would like Captain Charlies Reef Grill.  You will find a very similar atmosphere and during season you will have to wait three doors down from the restaurant.  You actually have to wait in a separate suite where there is a bar to wait for your table.  You will definitely get to know your neighbor there.
The original chef from Captain Charlies actually left and opened up Food Shack and then Leftovers.  This is why you will find a very similar menu style and restaurant feel. Captain Charlies is slightly tucked away on U.S 1, but that doesn't keep the locals from going there.  With more specials then the menu itself, you will not be disappointed in their fresh fish and interesting dishes.  With only beer and wine, they have a great list for a small restaurant and at very reasonable prices.

Just to give you an idea of how dated this restaurant is, I had to take a picture of the front page of their cover.  I have not seen something like this in forever!


One thing I love about Captain Charlies is that they have a ton of appetizers as specials, so we usually just order a variety of appetizers and then the whole table can share and taste different dishes!

Once seated the waitress arrives at your table with homemade coleslaw for the table.  I am not a huge coleslaw fan, but it was tasty.


We started with an Asian style Tuna roll.  It was tasty because it was an egg roll and a tuna roll in one!


Next up, We tried the fried green tomatoes with goat cheese. I thought the goat cheese was a nice thing to add, but the tomato was a little bland and dry.  Probably wouldn't order again.


We then tried the rock shrimp tortizza.  This was my favorite dish of the night.  The think crust and with a mixture of goat cheese, shrimp, and mushrooms made this dish yummy!


Next, we tried their scallops served with a corn biscuit.  I love scallops, but i found these to be a little dry and not very flavorful.  I was disappointed, I think i may have enjoyed more if they were served with some sort of sauce.


When I asked the waitress what was her favorite, she said she loved the Sesame Crusted Snapper Cake. She said everyone who orders it raves about it.  Well, I guess I am the odd one because I found it dry and a little fishy.  Not my first choice when I return.


Last but not least, Brandt ordered the grilled marinaded duck breasts.  The Duck was very tender and full of flavor.  I was surprised when he ordered but probably one of the tastier dishes of the night.


Well, we were finally full and did not have a chance for dessert.  Captain Charlies is a "local" dine here in Palm Beach Gardens, but if I had to choose between Leftovers vs. Captain Charlies, I would hands down say Leftovers.  Plus the atmosphere is a little more inviting.  Captain Charlies is defiantly worth a try since I don't think some of the restaurants that are open in the Gardens/Jupiter area would have ever existed without the discovery of Captain Charlies.

Cheers!

Food


Atmosphere


Service



Captain Charlies Reef Grill
12846 US Highway 1
Juno Beach, FL. 33408
561.624.9924




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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

RIVER HOUSE - Palm Beach Gardens, FL

I have been told that I have not been critical enough with my reviews and that I have been a little too nice in some of my reader's minds. I must say, I try to give restaurants the benefit of the doubt, but most of the places I have blogged about so far, I truly have enjoyed and loved.  Also, wine or a martini always makes a night better, wouldn't you agree?  Today's post I will be a little more harsher, not because I was told to, but because I truly don't have all positives to say.

For our Friend Kelli's Birthday we decided to try The River House. The River House has been open since 1984 and I usually hear positive things about this place.  Mostly about the "Salad Bar."  Anytime I mention River House, all I hear is "They have the BEST salad bar". The River House has a very pretty view overlooking the inter coastal waterway.  It is a great place to watch sunsets.  They also have a cute outdoor bar, which looks nice to go for a drink.  Maybe Brandt will take me on our next date night!

Just like we always like to do, we brought our own bottle of wine and popped the top for a $25 corkage fee.




Kelli tried their French Onion Soup before tackling the salad bar.  It was tasty,however the cheese was soo thick she couldn't even break the cheese without all the soup flowing over the bowl.  They either need to give you sharper spoons or maybe slightly less soup.  Overall, I thought it was tasty.



Now the salad bar!  I had been anxiously awaiting this most talked about salad bar. The salad bar is filled with various leafy greens, condiments, and dressings. My favorite part was the blocks of cheese you get to cut yourself.


The salad bar was good and I can't really say anything bad about it because all the veggies were fresh, but the salad bar is just a smaller version of what you see at Sweet Tomatoes. Nothing fancy.  Again, I don't know what I was expecting, but I have heard so much about the salad bar, I think I was expecting gold to be hidden in the ice. 


Before I get to the entree's, I have to compliment the staff.  One of my all time pet peeves is when the staff rush you through dinner and bring your entrees while you are still enjoying your salad.  Since there was a salad bar that you help yourself with, I was certain our dinner was going to come out while we were still eating.  I was pleasantly surprised that our waitress checked multiple times to see how we were doing before putting our dinner orders in.  

Brandt ordered the bone in filet, which was a special for the night.  It was tender, juicy and flavorful.


I had the filet, which unfortunately had no flavor.  I actually had to put salt on my steak.  I was disappointed, but the baked potato was yummy. 


Kelli ordered the Swordfish, which she enjoyed after discovering the mango salsa that was placed on the side.


As for dessert, we tried two.  The apple pie with ice cream..yumm!


and the brownie with layers of ice cream.  Not as good as it sounded.


Our experience had both ups and downs.  Nothing I ordered made me say "Oh my God, you have to try this."  The ambiance is just OK, as I felt it was an older crowd.  They were busy for a Wednesday night and the water view is appealing.  If you are going for steak, hands down I would go to Capital Grille over River House any day of the week. I think the quality and atmosphere is better.  I am happy I tried "the talked about salad bar" and I would encourage you all to try to see for yourself.  The River House is a landmark here in Gardens and I am happy to see it is staying strong.

Cheers!

Food


Atmosphere


Service


2373 PGA Blvd
Palm Beach Gardens, FL. 33410
561.694.1188


  




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