Thursday, April 26, 2012

Place:  Grandma Dot's
Location:  Sanibel Island, FL
Date:  April 14, 2012
Meal:  Lunch

You have to know about Grandma Dot's dockside restaurant to get there because you are not going to find it driving around looking for restaurants on Sanibel Island, Florida.  Located at the Sanibel Marina,  there are no signs at the turn off and you need to drive all the way to the back of the property between two rows of yachts to find it. Even though it's located at the fancy marina, it is not a fancy, fine-dining establishment.  It's a wonderful, family-owned place with big screened windows and views of the harbor.  There's lots of wood and sailing memorabilia  - think "old school Florida yacht club" - for the decor.  Even if the food wasn't great, it would be worth coming here for the ambiance.  Lucky for us, the food is great.

The "high season" of Sanibel runs from Christmas to Easter and that's when it's going to be hard to just walk in and get a table.  There are only 59 seats and 15 of those are at the bar.  In season, there's usually a wait for a table by noon.  But Grandma Dot's is so good, it's worth the wait.  Take a walk around the marina and enjoy the view while you wait for them to call your name.  The service is so fast that the table turn-over goes quick.  Plus, it's not the kind of place where people are lingering over appetizers and cocktails.  The bar serves wine and beer which is all you need for the simple, delicious seafood offered up by Grandma.
I've never had a bad meal here and everybody I bring seems impressed with the food as well as the location, view and yachtsman-for-a-day feeling.  I'm particularly partial to the fried oysters.  (Ask anyone.)  These oysters are fresh, briny and lightly breaded.  I've sampled fried oysters all over the country and these are tops.  You look at the basket and say "I can't eat all of these!" and then you do.  I know I should have ordered the lobster salad or steamed shrimp as healthier options but I love these fried oysters so much I had to go the calorie route today.  The lobster salad, grouper sandwich and 1/4 lb of steamed shrimp are all tempting. Everything comes with a generous supply of homemade potato chips.  Grandma doesn't offer fries which may be why all the food comes out of the kitchen so hot and fast.

I'm happy to start off my blogging on "Hot Plate of Judgment" with a place that I really love.  If you're in SWFL, you should go there and you'll love it, too.  Love, Auntie

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Passing Judgment - Charlie Chang's Ping

Recently Charlie Chang's started delivering to my neighborhood. So I decided to order it for dinner the other night. I have had sushi at the restaurant and it was fine, so I ordered the sushi. Judgment - The california rolls were fine, the Salmon Nagiri was fine, the "special" soft shell crab roll was disgusting. I don't say that too often.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Brunch or How I Ate a Loaf a Butter Covered Bread

For Easter brunch I made two dishes found on Pinterest (of course). 

1. A crock pot egg bake.  This would have been easy to make, if I had been better about my timing.  This dish needs to bake for 8-10 hours on low. I needed it for brunch at noon, so if you are somewhat good at math (I'm not, I had to ask my husband) you can figure out that I needed to wake-up at 2am to start the egg bake.  The good news is that I put everything together in the stoneware that night before going to bed, stuck it in the fridge, and then at 2am I just woke up and stuck it in the heating device (I don't know what that part is called).  This was easy for me because my 8-month-old and husband both woke up at 1am. 

So I'm not going to write out the recipe for you, because another blogger already has. Check out the recipe here at A Latte' with Ott A.

Here is the judgment - This is great if you plan to have breakfast 8-10 hours after you go to bed.  The flavor was really good and it was a hit with my guests.  It's also really easy and if you use low-fat cheese and lean bacon, it wouldn't be that too bad for you.

2. The other dish was a lemon monkey bread.  This is where I ate a loaf of bread covered with butter and sugar - literally.  This was really, really easy to make. Just take pre-made buttermilk biscuits - you know, the kind in a can that you pop. Then you cut them up and coat them with sugar.  You put them in a bread pan and cover with a melted butter, sugar mixture.  Finally, you bake.  JUDGED - one of the best things I ever ate and probably one of the most unhealthy things I ever made.

Here is the recipe:

1 can of buttermilk biscuits
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

1 stick of butter
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar

1. Cut biscuits in quarters and place in a greased pan.
2. Mix lemon zest and sugar together in a bowl, throw in the biscuits and coat with the sugar.
3. Melt the butter together with the lemon juice and sugar
4. Pour butter over biscuits, this will look like it's too much, but it's okay.
5. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.
6. After 15 minutes, remove from pan.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Pinteresting

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog and yeah, I judged myself for that.  I left my blog high and dry and thought of myself as one of those people - the people that think writing a blog is a great idea and then don't follow through.

Then one magical day Pinterest came along and as I started collected recipes and trying them. Suddenly, I had gone back to my roots - judgy. I started collecting recipes, trying the recipes (not everyone does this on Pinterest, some are just collectors - yeah, you're judged) and then providing my opinion.  AND people liked what I pinned, what I had to say and then *here's the magic* they started following me.  So, I thought, "it's time, time to start writing my judgmental thoughts again." 

So here we go. Thank you Pinterest.  My husband is going to be so excited, he really loved it when I took pictures of our food when we went out to eat.