Sunday, March 25, 2012

Savory Snapshots (Highlands Edition)

Ladies night at Avalon features select $5 apps, martinis, and wines. Oh what a night! We started off with the Mushroom and Spinach Flat Bread. I'd definitely get this one again.

Not pictured: The delicious goat cheese app... I meant to take a pic, but we had the platter licked clean before I could even reach for my camera.

The Sicilian Manhattan (AKA bourbon martini). It was a bit too strong for me. I had to call for backup from Jules, who finished it off right.

Jules went for the Double Espresso Martini, let me rephrase, she tried to go for it. But I got it! Yuuuu-mee - a creamy treat indeed. We pretty much switched martinis.

My second drink of choice - The Lavender Blue. Blueberry vodka mixed with lavender lemonade. It was soft, smooth and just sweet enough for my palate.

Not pictured- The French Nouveau - vanilla vodka mixed with pineapple, chambord, and champagne. I had this on another Ladies Night and felt it to be too sweet. However, it should be noted that I'm not keen on pineapple flavor in cocktails.

Moving on to another fun dinner with Jules which entailed devouring of the plate above and a few others at Wild Ginger. It was deep fried sushi goodness, stuffed with spicy crab and topped with STEAK! That's right, steak. She loved it. I thought it was bizarre yet tasty. You will notice yet another martini... extra dirty, just the way Jules' likes it.

Next up, Mediterranean cuisine with Michael and Liz at The Falafel House. Above you will notice the Beef Schwarma with hummus and rice. This was Michael's pick. He was pleased and noted that the beef was very well seasoned.

My platter of choice was the Atomic Falafel. The falafel was accompanied by hummus, lettuce, tomato, and tiziki sauce, as well as a triple kick of spiciness from banana peppers, jalepeno peppers, and a unidentified red sauce, all wrapped up in pita bread. The side of fries were pretty standard.

Not pictured: Liz' Veggie Plate, featuring a variety of Mediterranean cuisine, which she raved about. I tried some of a grape leaf for the first time and thought it was salty but not bad. I also tried some of the baba ganoush - a dip that is made with eggplant (similiar to hummus). I love the name "baba ganoush" but did not care for the taste.

The picture above is just a little preview from my next post that will feature some great eats and treats in Atlanta. The adorable little mason jar is filled with a bourbon and coke slushi that we discovered at a serious Hipster bar. Stay tuned for more mouth-watering pics from this fun weekend trip. Until then, LIVE TO EAT!!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

McGuire's Irish Pub - Destin, Florida

 In honor of St. Paddy's Day today, the Holladay Platter would like to recognize one of the best Irish pubs I've ever visited. There are many great ones in Louisville, especially the Irish Rover, O'Shea's family of pubs, and Molly Malone's, who will all be doing it up big with green beer and Guinness flowing all day and night. I plan on stopping by one of these spots at some point. But for now let's talk about my great experience at McGuires Irish Pub in Destin, Florida (also located in Pensacola, FL) If you keep up with this blog, then you know the Holladay family enjoyed a heavenly beach vacation in September...ahh, to be back there again (sigh). Anyway, we had some spectacular seafood which I revealed in a post a few months ago. At the end of the vacation, we happened upon this fun Irish brew pub and steak house. After maxing out on seafood all week, McGuire's was a nice change of pace and is a definite must-do-again.

You might be wondering what's up with the dollar bill photo? Well, the entire pub is covered in dollar bills from floor to ceiling!! The servers even provide you with a marker to sign and a stapler to post it up. Another unique thing about the place is the bathrooms... they are purposely labeled to confuse drunk patrons, possibly leading them to the wrong one. For example, the women's bathroom has a huge "Men" sign with further explanation below for men to stop because it's the womens restroom!!". The writing below is much smaller and less noticeable. Leave it to Michael and I, to not only go in the wrong bathrooms, we used them too. In our defense, we each had one round of McGuire's Irish Stout.

The brewery features Ales, Stouts, and Porters and currently offers five regular selections along with a rotating seasonal beer. I really enjoyed the Irish stout that was robust, yet smooth and creamy. In addition to the brewery, they also have a tremendous wine cellar that is said to be one of the largest in the world!

We ordered from the lunch menu. Mom went for the traditional Shepherd's Pie with ground steak, veggies, Irish smashed potatoes, and cheddar cheese all baked into a golden brown casserole. It was piping hot. I'm not normally a fan of this but I must say, it was delicious. The rest of us dined on black angus steak burgers. They are enormous!! I was so sad to see my left-overs go to waste, since we had to go straight to the airport afterward. We easily could have split a burger. Guess, we'll know better next time. I did manage to eat nearly all of the thick and crispy Irish Potato Fries. They were so good in fact, I literally had to tell myself to stop eating them and try a bite of the burger. There are several angus burger styles to choose from. I enjoyed the guac and monteray jack burger, while dad feasted on the black and bleu cheese, and Michael savored the smoked gouda.

As, for the wait staff, they couldn't have been any friendlier or more attentive. Hopefully on our next visit, we can try out their dinner menu and catch some live music, along with more Irish brews of course. And hopefully we will make it into the appropriate bathrooms... but let's face it, we probably won't. Just remember, the next time you're staying on the amazing Emerald Coast, you must stop by McGuires Irish Pub for great steak burgers, brews, and fun... Live to Eat an Irish Platter!!! HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY