Foodie Friday Round Up!
I’ve got some great food adventures to share with you this week.
New Computerized Ordering at McD’s
First up, we’ve got some exciting foodie news for all of you in Pinellas County. If you recall, I was able to try out the new McDonald’s Creat Your Taste kiosk ordering system at the Wesley Chapel location. It was the only location in Florida. Just last week, the Clearwater 1500 Belcher location held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unvail their new Create Your Taste. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out because Wesley Chapel was just too far, now you’ve got your chance on the other side of the bridge.
You know it’s a big deal when the Clearwater mayor and city council members are cutting the ribbon for the grand unveiling. I felt special to be one of the invited guest. In the words of Ron Burgundy, “I’m kind of a big deal.”
There was also McDonald’s royalty in the house – Mr. Ronald McDonald himself was in the building. Listen, I haven’t seen Ronald McDonald in ages! I was reliving my childhood 80s for a moment when I saw him. You know I had to get a selfie! Life goals people….life goals.
There was also a local book author on hand to sell his best-selling children’s book as well as a local artist. Ronald conducted fun games with prizes for the kids who were in attendance. The best part of the day was that for every CYT sandwich sold, McDonald’s Tampa Bay donated $1 to Ronald McDonald House for charity.
If you recall what makes CYT so neat, is the giant iPad-like touch screen ordering kiosk. You get to choose from an array of fresh toppings and options to create the sandwich of your dreams and they deliver it to your table. At the time we were limited to ordering a burger. Since that time McDonald’s has introduced the new Artisan grilled chicken breast. According to their website, this is a 100% grilled chicken breast filet seasoned to perfection with ingredients like salt, garlic and parsley. I was able to build my sandwich with chicken this time and it was pretty good. I know what you are thinking. The answer is yes, it’s a real piece of meat. It’s not a patty of minced meat. It’s a real chicken breakfast. Mmmmk? Okay. I kept it pretty simple with lettuce, bacon, grilled onions, pepper jack cheese, and the creamy garlic and it was good. All of the toppings were fresh.
Restaurant Week Foodie Adventure
Next up on the Foodie Friday round up, is the Bourgeois Pig in seminole heights. It’s Restaurant Week in Tampa so it’s a great time to try out new places you’ve been meaning to visit. During Restaurant Week, many restaurants have a pre-fix menu for $30 with an appetizer, main course, and dessert.
The Bourgeois Pig describes their foodie style as upscale southern comfort food. Their Restaurant week menu consist of an appetizer sampler of 3 items: cider glazed pork belly, potato bravas, and panko-siracha herb deviled eggs. The main course options were red wine chicken or the stuffed pork chop. Dessert choices were berries and biscuits or apple strudel.
The fancy pants deviled eggs were the winners of that trio. I’m southern through and through and I wasn’t sure how I felt about deviled eggs with all of the additional ingredients. I’m a fan. They were sooooo good! I could have probably finished off a dozen of them.
I chose the stuffed pork chop as my main entrée. It was a great decision. It’s an oversized pork chop stuffed with browned apples and cheese, served over mashed potatoes with freshly sauteed veggies, with an apple cider reduction. It wasn’t tough or overcooked and the apple worked very well with the pork. Yum! My dinner mates had the chicken Marsala and the pork ragout. They both really enjoyed their food.
Sooo about dessert. I had to get my apple strudel to-go and I didn’t get to enjoy it warm with ice cream the way it’s intended. It was ok. Nothing memorable. Perhaps it would have been better had I been able to have it with the ice cream. I didn’t even bother to take a picture of it.
So why did I get it to-go you ask? Well, we had reservations for 7:30 for a party of 3. 2 of our 3 were there at 7:30 but they wouldn’t seat us until the 3rd person arrived. We were probably seated around 7:45. No biggie. It’s a small venue and they were probably 75% full. There seemed to be just one guy waiting on all of the tables. I don’t recall seeing another waiter. Service was slow. They were friendly and courteous and kept letting us know he would be with us he let us know right away. When he was ready to take our order we were told that although the Restaurant Week special called for a choice of 3 out of 4 choices for your appetizers, they had decided to select the three for you to make it easier for the kitchens because they were slammed. Not a huge deal, but that seemed to be the theme of the night. “The kitchens were slammed.” When we inquired as to what the hold up was for the appetizer, we were told that it was at least an hour wait to get any food to your table because they were so busy. It’s Restaurant Week so it’s expected that volume is going to be increased, no? An hour wait for an appetizer is ridiculous. Not being forewarned before we were seated made it worse. It may have changed my mind to stay or I might have foregone getting an appetizer and just ordered my entrée.
Our waiter actually forgot to ask me for my dessert choice and by the time I remember it was 10:45 and we were tired and ready to go. Afterall it was a Wednesday night. While the food was very good, clearly the kitchen operations and restaurant management was not prepared to take on they foodie Christmas that is Restaurant Week in Tampa Bay. Don’t jump in the deep end if you can’t swim, ya know?
Overall I would still recommend them because it really was alot of deliciousness going on on that menu. The ambiance and decor was also super cute and hipster. However, restaurant week might not be the best time to go if you don’t like to wait. Go. Just don’t go when you’re starving.
Are any of you planning to take advantage of Restaurant Week this weekend to have some new foodie adventures?
Disclosure: I was invited to come try out the new Create Your Taste experience in exchange for sharing my experience with my readers. Full Disclosure is here. Bourgeois Pig was not sponsored. As always, all opinions are my own.
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle!”