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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill Review ~ South Portland, Maine

This past Friday my friend Missy and her daughter Brooke met up with us at Fort Williams park to do some exploring. Sometimes I start wishing I could live somewhere else (the grass always seems greener) but then I go to a place like Fort Williams and remember how lucky I am to live in Southern Maine and how beautiful it is here.
After dipping our feet in very icy cold water and working up an appetite, we were ready for dinner. There are tons of great restaurant options on the way to the Park but the wonderful smells coming from Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill were too hard to pass by.
The staff was wonderful to us from the moment we walked in the door. The all seemed to really love working there and had great pride in the restaurant! They have a wonderful patio area, some regular tables, counter service at the kitchen, a bar, and some high tops. We ended up at the high tops and while they were nice, I think next time I would prefer to sit at one of the regular tables or the patio.

There were so many great options on the menu and their special board but we finally got it narrowed down and placed our orders. We spent some time looking around the restaurant (we are guessing that it was at one time a garage).

Our drinks came up first (like they usually do in a restaurant). Both Brooke and Gabrian went with Shirley Temple's. Unfortunately, Brooke didn't like hers (and poor Missy got stuck drinking it) and Gabrian dropped his 3 sips in and it the plastic cup cracked on the concrete floor (we switched to safer water after that).

The kitchen was on point that night and it took almost no time before our food was coming out.

Gabrian went with Kid's Quesadilla ($6). It was filled with cheesy goodness. I didn't actually get to try any but based on the rate of speed Gabrian scarfed it down, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it was awesome.

Brooke went with the Elsmere Double Double Cheeseburger ($11) that was on special. She said it was great and really enjoyed the macaroni and cheese side ($1 upcharge).
Missy chose the BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($12). She said it was great and it looked so delicious!

I ordered the wedge salad that was on special ($9). They had the correct ratio of blue cheese dressing to lettuce. It had the perfect amount of red onions and the bacon was super amazing! I would love to have this again in the near future.

I also ordered a side of BBQ Beans ($2) and a side of corn bread ($3). These were both beyond delicious but the corn bread was the winner (it had actual corn in it!). Darn I wish I was eating corn bread right now.
We finished off the night by sharing this Grand Marnier soaked orange cake ($7). This was moist, flavorful, and topped off with locally grown strawberries and whipped cream. We liked this cake so much that I attempted to recreate it for Missy's birthday this past Monday. 

Overall, we loved this restaurant (minus our high top table) and we have definite plans to go back. If you would like to try Elsmere BBQ out for yourself, they are located at 448 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Viva Perú Restaurant ~ Pucón, Chile

I discovered something major while I was in Chile. I love Peru! Well, I love their food at least (I am pretty sure I will love the Country too once I make my way out of the airport at some point). Peruvian food is the bomb diggity! My mom and I had an afternoon to ourselves while we were in Pucón and we were in search of a delicious lunch spot. We found the perfect place when we discovered Viva Perú
It was a gorgeous day and we were looking for a nice outdoor spot (I love that about Chile. Most of the restaurants offer outdoor seating). Viva Perú smelled delicious and we were lured in (it also may have been the happy hour that was going on and they were offering 2x1 pisco sours). We let the waitress know we were there and started to look over the menu.

They also had a daily menu set out.
We placed our orders and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside!

Our delicious, delicous drinks came out first.

I really miss my pisco sours (I really need to find a supply of pisco so I can start making my own). This one was an icy cold concoction which was perfect on a warm day. I also drank tons of water (in fact the entire time I was there, it was so dry and I was always so thirsty.

Freshly baked bread came out next. I adore the bowl that the butter was served in. I am such a sucker for cute bowls.
We also ordered a chica morada (a drink made with purple corn). I was not a fan of this drink. They didn't do anything wrong, it just wasn't the drink for us. I found it overly sweet and it was served warm (maybe if it had been cold I would have liked it better?).
My mom ordered the Papa a la Huancaín which are yellow peruvian potatoes served with a yellow and cheese sauce. These were amazing! The sauce went so wonderfully with the potatoes. It was creamy, cheesy, and just a little bit of spicy! I kind of wish I was eating them right now along with an icy cold pisco sour.
I ordered the daily special and picked the Arroz Chaufa. It is a peruvian spin on fried rice. I seriously don't think I have ever eaten better fried rice in my life. It was perfectly balanced with spices, vegetables, and chicken (I really should have eaten dinner before writing this post, I am starting to drool a little).
On top of the wonderful meal we had, the restaurant also offered free wifi! Thank goodness for Facetime on iPhone. It made it so much easier to keep in touch with Riley until he was able meet up with us. It was so nice to be able see his face while we were so far away.

Overall, we absolutely loved Viva Perú and will definitely be eating there the next time we are in town. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at Lincoyan 372, Pucón, Chile.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mainely Wraps Review ~ Scarborough, Maine

Gabrian and I were out doing our errands yesterday and we were starting to get the rumbles in our tummies. I still had maple aioli on my mind from last night's dinner and felt like I needed more of it in my life. I remembered that Mainely Wraps had some items on the menu that had maple aioli on them and I needed them stat!
When you arrive, they have specials up on the board. They also have paper menus to look at and a grab-and-go section if you are in a hurry.

Gabrian and I placed our order, got our drinks and found a seat.

I loved their water system. They had chilled blue bottles of water and mason jars set out. You took it to your table and returned it when you were finished.

They have a nice selection of tables to pick from. You choose from regular tables, high tops, and one really large table. We weren't too adventurous and went with a regular table. It didn't take too long before our name was called and we went to pick up our food.
Gabrian went with the Chicken Tenders and Fries ($6.49). It actually came with more chicken than this (in fact you will see it on my plate in the next picture). We had a slight mishap where they slid off the plate but we were able to save worries! Gabrian had no complaints and loved his lunch. In fact there was enough that he had the leftovers to eat for dinner.

I ordered the New Englander ($7.49) which has fresh roasted turkey, applewood smoked bacon and sliced avocado topped with lettuce and tomatoes all dressed in a toasted garlic and maple aioli sauce (mine was minus the tomatoes). This was served with a bag of chips. This wrap was amazing! The maple aioli was the perfect complement to the turkey, avocado, and bacon. I will probably be thinking about this wrap until next week until I can get another one!
We finished off our lunch by sharing this delicious chocolate chip cookie. I was impressed that it was almost the size of Gabrian's head. The best part was that it was only $.99!

I would highly recommend making a trip to Mainley Wraps for lunch! If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 360 US Route 1, Scarborough, Maine.