Talk about eating out much? When the nutritionist asked me last thursday if I eat out frequently I responded with a quick, "No! I love cooking and baking for myself!" The following does not actually depict me eating in very much at all and in fact I even had dinner out tonight for my Dad's birthday!
So last year I was really into going to different coffee shops, cafes and restaurants and giving them my amateur review...it was fun and kept me busy as I acclimated to my new school. Now, busier than ever, I still enjoy it however rarely post anything about my restaurant findings. I have found some great ones and some that are a bit um, how shall we put it gently....not for me? I am picky, picky, picky and I hate to admit it sometimes but I am a HUGE internal food critic. Not quite sure what that means in the real world but to me that means I literally scrutinize almost any restaurant I go into (not always sharing it with whomever joined me) and determine if it is a quality establishment.
I'll let you in on a few gems I found in the past week (though I have been to all before!)
1. Rio Tomatlan
Enchiladas Verdes with Chicken and Rice
The best Mexican you will find in the Rochester/ Canandaigua area. By far. I have tried a bunch including Salena's and none even come close. They offer amazing dishes that aren't your average tex-mex and serve up some amazing cocktails--fresh squeezed sangria? Yes Please! They are also extremely accommodating for food allergies and dietary restrictions including vegan/ vegetarian options, dairy-free and gluten free!
Dishes to try: Enchiladas Verdes (of course) Burro Raffael, Enciladas Mole and of course their house Margs & Sangria
2. Open Face
Flaked Albacore atop Field Greens and Ginger Carrots
Special: Turkey Reuben and Moxie Soda
I lived right down the street from Open Face last year and never stopped in to have a sandwich. I walked by and peered in wondering where their menu was (it is by the door when you first enter) but never took the time to really investigate. Now I can tell you that this is the place to go for lunch. In my personal opinion it is better than Mise En Place down the way a bit but in a different way. The atmosphere is what I would describe as hipster but a bit "posh" with their apothecary teas and natural healing tonics. Sounds crazy? Don't let me deter you one bit. My second time I had to go with the flaked albacore again and yet again I left full and happy. I absolutely adore small restaurants such as open face that really bring you to a different world--admire the tin cups and Moxie (an older soda resembling Root Beer but with hints of Licorice). Brendan ordered the Turkey Reuben and agreed that it was a hit though the "reuben" was more of a turkey sandwich with gingered carrots and 1000 island dressing he still said it was great!
They offer a soup and sandwich combo for lunch or you can choose to mix and match two different sandwiches. They also carry several vegetarian dishes and gluten free baked goods!
Tea Sampling anyone? They bring this lovely tray of teas over to your table for you to smell and pick out. And no they don't take your tea from these samples!
They also encourage dress up...just saying!
Clockwise from bottom left: Apple Cobbler, PB&J, Maple, Twixie
yet again, more dress up! Rob you're a champ...
La Tea Da is the perfect place to go if you'd like to step back in time and into your childhood. That sounds rather cliche but if you stop in you'll quickly realize that the majority of diners are sporting some crazy hats, fairy wings and frequently some boas. The walls are covered with Alice in Wonderland decorations and each table is adorned with a hand selected tea pot. You can choose from numerous teas and either a personal pot or one for the table to share.
There is a menu but we chose to just pick out our cupcakes from Sugar Mountain which is connected and enjoy our great choices. I went with the Twixie which was filled with caramel inside a rich chocolate cake. Another winner was definitely the Apple Cobbler--spiced apple cake which had me eager for the first of fall (which is today!)
Go here if you want cupcakes, tea, tea parties or a girly lunch. Rob was definitely a great sport but I wouldn't consider this a first date sort of place!