Category Archives: Food_American

Marco’s & Cirque du Soleil MJ Immortal

Standard

Fri Jan 6 2012

My Yelp Review on Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza:

If the food here only deserves 4 stars (or higher depending on the day), the service surely kicks it up a notch to 5 stars. We were very happy to be helped by a non-judging waitress who kept her smile on after we only settled with water for drinks. When I placed the order, she didn’t try to remind us that may not be enough food, until I asked her, which I think is being respectful.

I picked what I thought was the only non-meat salad on the menu: Arrosto (I could be wrong, there might be others…) and it was gone in seconds. Everybody enjoyed it, it’s unusual in that it included both raw and cooked veggies. Off to a healthy start! Then the Manhattan pizza came, the last ingredient – pine nuts – intrigued me, and it turned out to be a fantastic choice. The chicken and basil interacted with each other very well. The second pizza: Sicilia, was recommended by the waitress. What an excellent suggestion! The meats (“Genoa Salame” and “Proscuitto Cotto”) had a nice shaved texture that kept them very tender and juicy. With Marco’s pizza, you can actually taste the freshness of the ingredient. You can also tell the crusts were entirely hand-made. These two important elements create pizzas that may not be loaded with flavors which trick your tongue and bloat your stomach, but rather, subtle after-tastes one can really savor.

The last thing we ordered was Lasagna. Now Lasagna, I do prefer it with a heavy sauce. Marco’s sauce is good, but it doesn’t remind me of Italian food. We still enjoyed it a lot and didn’t have any leftovers!

The best part was that they found out it was our first time here so we got a dessert – Nutella Pizza! – for free! I was curious about it but didn’t want to commit to a whole dessert pie, this was a perfect way for me to sample it. Not that memorable, something you can make at home. And the idea of having carbs for dessert scared me a little.

You really feel welcome at Marco’s, all the young waiters and waitresses are pretty good looking, and growing up in a big city in China, I’m used to restaurants being noisy. So to me, there’s nothing not to love about Marco’s!

一年多以前买的阳光马戏团MJ主题秀的票子今晚终于可以用了。不同以往的是场地居然在Pepsi Center!一般阳光马戏团的表演都比较小型,与观众亲密些。这次搞不好会更像演唱会哦。

在那之前当然要医饱肚子。从来很少带爸妈去什么高档的地方,老爸喜欢去大型连锁店,说食物质量有保证喔。这次挑的是一家在科州有两间分店的批萨店,曾获得当地杂志评全丹佛最好批萨!听说它还有个执照证明店里出产的都是正宗意大利薄饼的手工饼皮呢!

Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza是一家挺潮的店,却坐落在Downtown很古老的一栋楼里,呵呵,美国人就是喜欢这种风格吧。一进去感觉有点像回到国内,店里可热闹又喧哗了,可我们觉得很亲切享受,如果灯光再亮些,窗户再多些就更像了,哈哈。

开胃菜是沙拉,净是蔬菜,有生的也有熟的,我们看到就很高兴,很快盘子就空了。

跟快餐店必胜客等不同的是这里的批萨皮完全手工制作然后用木柴在窑子里烤成的:

新鲜至极!即使没有topping,干啃饼皮也是一大享受。这不是,叫的Lasagna (意大利千层面)里就有两块饼皮,蘸点烤茄汁,更有嚼劲:

我们当然还叫了两种不同的批萨:

第一个是我看中的,酱料用的是pesto(九层塔香蒜酱)而不是普通的批萨番茄酱。上面铺满了柠檬腌制的鸡肉,樱桃番茄,还有最出人意料的松仁!整个饼散发着果仁味,与众不同啊~

第二个批萨是服务生介绍的。酱料跟上面的千层面一样,上面铺了新鲜蘑菇,朝鲜蓟,和Proscuitto (意大利火腿薄片)。真的很薄,却很juicy,口感特别鲜嫩。

这家店的风格就是用料新鲜,口味清淡。不像别的传统批萨店,吃了一大堆饼和芝士,涨一个晚上。我们叫的三个主菜里都有芝士啊,还是好几种不同的呢。但它的量掌握得很好,都溶到别的食材里作为调味品之一了,至高境界啊~

Marco’s的Pizza绝对比千层面做得好。后者的pasta sauce还是太淡了点。不够绸也不够浓,下次不点就是了。

忘了说,这间的服务超好。我们什么饮料都没点,就要了白开水,服务生也没表现出失望。经理过来询问了两次,听说我们是第一次来造访,马上说送一个甜品批萨来我们这桌。太好了!看了菜单后就想试试这个Nutella Pizza(巧克力榛子酱甜饼),但又怕一晚上太多碳水化合物;现在有人白送,就吃一片尝尝呗!

跟咸批萨不同,这个甜品他们先把饼烤涨了:

然后剖开,在中间塞满金沙巧克力里最“正”的巧克力榛子酱,然后上面再洒白绵糖:

其实并没啥特别,自己在家也可以做,搞不好再上一勺雪糕让它润湿一下。哈哈!

吃饭花了不少时间,在Pepsi Center找到车位之后已经8点,show正要开始的时间。我气急败坏地穿着高跟鞋带他们满大街地跑,一路上听到MJ的音乐,倍感幸福。换票的时候出了些小问题,最后总算赶得及开场时分找到座位。

阳光马戏团的秀从没这么大场面过,一般是比较intimate的风格,这次因为是MJ主题的所以搞得比较演唱会化。我们实在坐得太远了,又没有大屏幕(集体秀没办法专著地把镜头只对准某人身上);为了增添摇滚气氛,当晚的喇叭开猛了,音乐实在太大声,好歌的意境被破坏了。

我认为最好看的就是他们把灯光用在衣服甚至人体上,还会像霓虹灯那样变颜色,时光时暗,可好看了。比如这张照片(不是我拍的)里:

红红绿绿的衣服中间和边上都有粗白线,就这样看实在不怎样,但是当舞台灯光被灭掉后,就只有那几条白带子在发光,勾勒出来的是MJ的线条,一眼就能看出来的!非常特别,是对他最好的致敬!

表演进行期间禁止拍照,我也只能在幕帐落下时快手按下一张。MJ头上的灯光就算做是光环吧:

更多专业照片可看这里

The Black-eyed Pea

Standard

I vowed to take my parents out for lunch/dinner every week or every other week at an American restaurant. Last time was Red Lobsters. Today, we thought we’d save a little and go to a more affordable one. The Black-eyed Pea is the first one on my list!

It was a beautiful day outside:

The restaurant serves southern home style cooking. I really enjoy their cornbread and rolls with butter spread:

Not to mention their so-big-and-so-good-and-so-cheap drinks! I’ve tried their Pina Colada which was awesome. So I ordered a Strawberry Daiquiri this time, in a 10 oz glass, for only $4.75!!!! The cheapest ever! Just how big is it?

If the above picture wasn’t relative enough, I got another one:

Haha, I had so much fun with that drink!

I know their portion of food is quite big too so we planned on having two entrees and an apetizer. I remember their American Sampler is really good – “A delicious medley of Chicken Fingers, Potato Skins and Cheese Crunchers served with your choice of dipping sauces.” Sounds wonderful, eh? Too wonderful that I overlooked the price of $3.99, thinking it’s for everything! I was dead wrong though, because in order to get all three things:


… it’s $8.59! But oh well, they are too good to complain about the cost. The Potato Skins, mmm mmm, I’ve never had better!

At least I didn’t read the next one wrong. It was a combo of two selections for the price of $12.99! So we picked Grilled Salmon and BBQ Ribs. With sides like Broccoli & Rice Casserole and Sweet Corns. Yum!

The last one, I chose the Charbroiled Chopped Steak, thinking for $8.59 I can get a steak, that’s not bad at all! Especially when the drescription read “A juicy half-pound of ground Premium Angus Beef served on a bed of seasoned rice. Topped with savory brown gravy and tender sautéed mushrooms.” However, I was wrong again! There ain’t no steak, it was beef patti! With sides like Baked Squash Casserole and Spinich with vinegar:

My parents forgave me because they thought the beef tasted pretty good. That’s what counts!

iHop

Standard

iHop is not to be confused with Hops Restaurant and Brewery. iHop is like Village Inn, family style restaurant that serves breakfast and traditional American dishes.

I have to admit iHop is a cuter restaurant than Village Inn. Look how cute their orange juice bottle is:


They were busy when we walked in. Maybe that’s why we had to wait for everything: the waiter, drinks, our food, dessert, and even the bill! Oh well, they were not even completely full! So I didn’t have an excellent night, but at least the food was OK.

We ordered the special combination – the new Shortcake Pancakes (comes with three flavors: Apple, Strawberry, and Blueberry) with one of the popular breakfast plates:

Description from the website: “Biscuit-flavored pancakes layered with your favorite fruit compote and crowned with creamy whipped topping. Served with your favorite combination, choose from blueberry, strawberry or country apple. “

Hmmm, but it wasn’t as good as expected. It was cold at the core and the apple tasted just like canned ones….

The Breakfast Sampler was nothing special either, but it was what we wanted:

2 “Sunny Side Up” eggs, 2 pieces of ham, 2 bacon strips, and hash browns

Tonight’s featured special was the Chicken Florentine Crepes, I was so glad I picked that because it was soooooooo tasty:


“Chicken breast strips sautéed with fresh spinach, mushrooms and onions in light seasonings. Rolled inside two delicate crepes with Swiss cheese and topped with rich hollandaise.”

We were thinking the shortcake pancakes could be dessert but it was just not good enough. So we picked the dessert that sounded the best – Crispy Banana Caramel Cheesecake. “Creamy cheesecake layered with chunks of banana and caramel, quick-fried in a flaky pastry tortilla. Topped with caramel, cinnamon, bananas and whipped topping
With a scoop of ice cream.”

Yep, it both looked and sounded good, but I truly thought it was a rip-off. There was not enough cheesecake in it! So all we were really eating were just fried dough… It definitely did not worth the $3.50! I was a little upset!

Red Lobster

Standard

In order to celebrate my becoming a full time Federal librarian, we’ve decided to have a feast at Red Lobster – America’s fancy seafood chain. Finally, after putting it off for more than a month, we arrived here tonight:

It was Friday night, so we had to wait about 45 minutes…

First things first, I heard both their cocktails and desserts are wonderful. Considering the calorie and the cost, I only went for one thing – Bahama Mama:

“A frozen blend of tropical fruit flavors mixed with Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and topped with a splash of Myers’s dark rum.”

Hmm… too much good food, we can’t decide what we want to order!


Let’s get an apetizer first!

Lobster, Crab and Seafood
“Stuffed Mushrooms Fresh mushrooms stuffed with seafood, smothered in Monterey Jack cheese and baked until golden brown.” – $7.99

Uh-oh, I must have forgotten to take a picture of the biscuit and salad… I was too busy staring at the three beautiful entrees:

For me, I chose this new item Fire-Grilled LobsterChops:

“Two fire-grilled skewers of split Maine lobster tails wrapped around tender sea scallops, over wild rice pilaf.” – $21.99

Dad likes noodles, so I ordered him a half portion of the Chef’s Signature Lobster and Shrimp Pasta:

“Maine lobster and tender shrimp tossed with fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy white wine and lobster butter sauce over linguini.” – $14.99

Althought it was also a new item, I had to say it didn’t taste as good as it sounded…

Mom got the Rock Island Stuffed Tilapia, which was the best one, in my opinion:

“Fresh tilapia roasted with crab-and-seafood stuffing and topped with langostino lobster meat in a creamy lobster butter sauce.” – $15.50

So, that’s right, even without dessert, dinner came to be about $80 with tips and tax. It was a happy occasion, so I thought I’d splurge a little! 😉