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Friday

27

March 2015

0

COMMENTS

Salt & Lime Cabo Grill

Written by , Posted in $$ - Bring your debit card, Mexican, Seafood, South American/Spanish

Our latest dining experience took us to Salt & Lime Cabo Grill, located at 6006 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC 27609. The restaurant is tucked away in the corner of an otherwise nondescript shopping plaza. However, when you walk through the door, it’s another story.

Atmosphere

Inside of Salt & Lime Cabo Grill in Raleigh, NC

The interior of Salt & Lime Cabo Grill takes its inspiration from the coastal California scene. It is open and airy, with a full bar to your left, a lofty, exposed ceiling, and generous seating elsewhere,  including a modest patio off of the back.

The atmosphere is clean and laid back. Beach-themed canvases neatly line one wall, while vases, fresh plants, pottery, and simple artwork are tastefully placed throughout.  The ceilings are tall and feature lights that most likely give the restaurant a dreamy, romantic feel at night (Just imagine yourself dining beachside at night).

Baja Cabo Rolls

Baja Cabo Rolls

Cost: $8.95

The Baja Cabo Rolls consisted of four lightly fried wontons, filled with barbecued chicken, roasted corn, poblano peppers, jack cheese, black beans, cilantro, avocado, and spicy ranch. The thing that made this appetizer especially delightful was the fact that, despite it being a “fried” appetizer, it lacked the fried taste/feel.

The Baja Rolls were great! I liked that they weren’t greasy. They were golden brown, well seasoned, and the ingredients tasted really fresh.

This is one appetizer that was really well thought out. It was definitely a sum of its parts. It tasted really good with the spicy ranch sauce. However, if it had been served separate (without the sauce), it would not have been as great.

I don’t like fried food, but this was surprisingly good – mostly because it wasn’t dripping in oil, and it didn’t have that gross, fried taste. However, the rolls sans sauce were really bland and lacked flavor. It was the spicy ranch that really brought this dish together and made it fabulous.

Fire-Roasted Chile Relleno

Chile Relleno

Cost: $10.95

The Chile Relleno conisted of: roasted poblano pepper, cheese, roasted veggies,  quinoa, roasted salsa, lime cream sauce, black bean adobo purée, queso fresco, and cilantro rice. Of the meal, our diner stated:

The Chile Relleno had a very good flavor and fresh ingredients. It was a vegetarian meal, but it was not lacking in substance. The smoky + fresh combination was awesome. The beans around the outside were almost velvety, and the overall presentation was very deliberate and well thought out.

Chile Braised Pork + Lemonade

Chile Braised Pork

Cost: $12.95 + $3.00

The Chile Braised Pork consisted of: braised pork shoulder, sautéed peppers, onions & tomatoes, adobo sauce, black bean & roasted corn succotash, cilantro rice, and neatly folded, warm tortillas on the side.

This dish was absolutely delicious. The combination of ingredients made it incredibly flavorful. If you order this, definitely bring your appetite, and/or a friend! The portion size was generous, and it was nearly impossible for me to finish. I loved how all of the ingredients had that fresh-made taste. The veggies were perfectly cooked with bits of corn and tomato bursting against the adobo sauce and cilantro. I’d definitely order this again.

Island Shrimp Tacos

Island Shrimp Tacos

Cost: $12.95

The Island Shrimp Tacos consisted of: two tortillas, jerk-spiced shrimp, napa-romaine slaw, jamaican sauce, caribbean salsa, lime cream sauce, and cilantro rice.

Simply put, Salt & Lime Cabo has great food. I feel like the menu was created by a real chef. The ingredients were all high quality. We enjoyed eating in a nice, clean atmosphere. From the moment we walked in the door, the service was great and seamless. The shrimp tacos were AMAZING. The pairing of sauce on the tacos + the pineapple in the taco was amazing.

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

Cost: $6.95

The Molten Chocolate Cake consisted of: blackberry sauce, and aztec chocolate ice cream.

I loved it. This dessert is definitely not for the faint of heart. It has a very different flavor because of the spices in the ice cream, but if someone was feeling the need to branch out, it’s a great choice.

Aztec chocolate is known to be slightly spicy and rich. This, combined with the warm chocolate cake, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream resulted in a flavor that I can only explain as indescribably delicious. It’s one of those desserts that you try to eat as slowly as possible because you try to savor every single bite. It was THAT good.

Overall, Salt & Lime Cabo Grill was a huge hit. This is a great lunch spot for business associates, friends, lovers, or families with slightly older children. We’d love to go back and see what the atmosphere is like in the evening. The food, service, and decor were all on point. We’d highly recommend this as one of the best, well-kept secrets in Raleigh, NC. The food was absolutely incredible. If you’re looking for flavor, you’ll find it here in more ways than one.

Total (for 3 adults): $60.07*

*does not include tip

Monday

2

February 2015

0

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Dominic’s NY Pizza

Written by , Posted in $ - Grab change from the couch cushions, Pizza

Those who consider themselves “pizza snobs” may find very little to complain about after visiting Dominic’s NY Pizza. Not only is the food delicious, the service is prompt, the staff is friendly, and the menu options are plentiful and varied.

Located in the Poyner Place Shopping Center (near the Triangle Town Center Mall), Dominic’s NY Pizza is conveniently located near shopping and I-540.

About Dominic’s NY Pizza

Owner of Dominic’s NY Pizzeria, Marco Zelliche, honed his culinary skills while living in Naples, Italy. In 1995, Zelliche emigrated from Naples to Brooklyn, NY where he quickly earned the reputation of “the pizza man”. Not long after that, Zelliche took his delicious Italian recipes and restaurant experience down to North Carolina.

The North Raleigh Dominic’s NY Pizza shop has been around since December 2005 when owner, Marco Zelliche decided to expand and open his second location. Zelliche had previously opened his first location in Cary, NC.

Today, Zelliche runs the North Raleigh pizza location and lives nearby with his wife and daughter. Zelliche’s personality and zeal for authentic, high quality Italian cuisine is evident – both in the food as well as his interactions with customers.

Dominic's NY Pizza Interior

Atmosphere

When you walk into Dominic’s, you’re immediately greeted by the savory smell of Italian cooking: notes of garlic, parmesan, dough being baked, and tomatoes. The atmosphere is open and airy, and there are nods to Italy as well as New York City as seen in the murals, photographs, and other artwork and decor.

The front of the restaurant features floor to ceiling windows that overlook a pond and an additional outdoor seating area. We went here during lunch, and while it was busy, we were able to find a table without any issues, and we were able to have a conversation without yelling to be heard. Overall, it’s a very relaxing and inviting atmosphere, great for lunch dates, casual corporate get togethers, or family gatherings.

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots

Cost: ~$4.00

Dominic’s NY Pizza features a great lunch special. For $6.99, you get your choice of two slices of pizza and a fountain drink. Before we decided on our pizza slices, we placed a small order for garlic knots. A small order turned out to be more than enough for three people with eight garlic knots in one order.

The garlic knots were as great tasting as they looked. The flavor was incredible: a perfect blend of garlic infused bread with lightly brushed garlic butter and parmesan cheese dusted on top. In the past (in North Carolina), whenever you order garlic knots, you often get “garlic knots” that consist of baked balls of dough that are sprinkled with garlic salt and garlic powder. This was most definitely NOT the case with Dominic’s.

As a self professed pizza snob, these garlic knots were freshly made. There was a light crust and a mildly doughy center. The knots were served hot, and the blend of flavor between the garlic bread, parmesan cheese, and garlic butter was out of this world.

Pizza #1 – White Pizza Slices + Fountain Drink

White Pizza Pie

Cost: $6.99 + Tax

This pizza consisted of tomato, spinach, feta cheese, and garlic. All of the ingredients tasted fresh, and the flavors blended together for a delicious taste. The pizza was hot, and the crust was crisp. While it tasted great, it would’ve been perfect if the crust was basted in butter or if they made this with some sort of a stuffed crust option.

Pizza#2 – Pepperoni Pizza Slices + Fountain Drink

Pepperoni Pizza Slices

Cost: $6.99 + Tax

Hailing from Long Island, NY and having lived in North Carolina for more than 10 years now, I’ve often joked with friends that there are no decent pizza places in the Raleigh, NC area. That joke may have finally run it’s course after paying a visit to Dominic’s NY Pizza. The flavor of the pepperoni pizza was a blend of pepperoni and melted cheese, baked onto a thinly set, crisp crust.

Two of us ordered the pepperoni pizza slices, and we really tried to savor as much of the flavor as possible. It was THAT good. The pizza was served hot, and the crust was perfectly baked – not soggy, but not dried out either. The amount of cheese was just right. However, if you are a true lover of cheese, you can certainly request your pizza slices with “extra cheese” on top.

While we didn’t get into the desserts, Dominic’s offers up a wide assortment of dessert options- the most enticing of which was the Nutella cheesecake. Outside of this, their menu is impressive; there is truly something for everyone – from cold/hot Italian subs to traditional pizza slices, pies, and more. Definitely stop by. Dominic’s is, by far, one of the best kept Italian secrets in the Triangle.

Saturday

17

May 2014

0

COMMENTS

Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Written by , Posted in $$ - Bring your debit card, Mexican

Las Margaritas MenuLooking for a great restaurant to accommodate large groups or families with children? Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is it. This restaurant lacks the “Wow!” factor, but still delivers on service and decent food.

First Impressions

Las Margaritas is located within a shopping center plaza. While there is ample parking, the parking lot can be extremely busy during the lunch rush hour.

Walking in the restaurant, there is definitely an older, almost outdated feel. This is accompanied by a faint, musty smell, which I assume came from the carpeting.

It’s surprisingly open, and there is plenty of room to accommodate large group reservations. It is also extremely family-friendly, so feel free to bring the kids. There is covered outdoor seating on the patio, adjacent to the front of the restaurant.

When we were led to our booth, the first thing I noticed was how outdated the decor was. The booth seats were completely shredded, and I hesitated to sit down on the seat. The lighting was also a bit dingy and unflattering. Despite the aesthetic disappointments, the table and silverware were clean, the plates and glasses simple, and the waitstaff extremely friendly.

Food

Dish #1 – Chicken Fajitas

Las Margaritas is always fantastic. It’s a humble atmosphere – definitely not fancy. The service was great, and the portions are good. The tortillas came out to the table nice and hot/steamed. The chicken and vegetables were great, as were the sour cream and guacamole. The margaritas were fantastic.

Chicken fajitas

Dish #2 – Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

I’ve had chicken fajita quesadillas all over North Carolina. While Las Margaritas did an ok job with these, they weren’t the best I’ve ever had. The presentation lost points with me. The tomato wasn’t that fresh, and the guacamole tasted a bit soup-y. The chips and sals that were brought to the table prior to our meal were so-so. The salsa was too runny, and it lacked flavor. Chips were not hot or warm, leading me to assume that they are not made fresh on premises.

The best thing about Las Margaritas, however, was their classic margaritas. We ordered two classic margaritas on the rocks with Cuervo & salt. DELICIOUS. The margaritas were perfectly blended, and the flavor was on point.

Chicken fajita quesadillas

Service

The service was great – no complaints there. The wait staff was friendly and attentive without being overbearing. We were asked if we wanted to see a dessert menu at the conclusion of our meal. This was nice because, sometimes restaurants automatically bring you a check without so much as pausing to ask whether you’d like to see a dessert menu or see if you’d like anything else.

Places where this restaurant lost points were on: presentation of food and decor. However, for the price that you pay as well as the location, this is something to be overlooked. In the future, I would certainly go back – but only for the margaritas. The margaritas are definitely something to behold here.

Margaritas con Cuervo