Grampa’s Bakery and Restaurant: Dania Beach

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If you enjoy not gaining weight then I suggest you stay far, far away from Grampa’s Bakery and Restaurant. A Paleo dieter may actually burst into flames if they dare step foot in this place. Actually, on second thought, it wouldn’t be such bad thing if a paleo preacher burst into flames. We get it already! You eat like a caveman! You spend hours preparing meals! No one gives a shit, Encino Man…WOW. That felt good.

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Clearly, I have no interest in dieting. I eat my complimentary Grampa pastries with no guilt whatsoever and I have been eating them long before Guy Fieri showed up there in his douchey car.
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That’s right, I said complimentary pastries. They are served with all breakfast and lunch orders. It’s like a bread basket on crack. Honestly,  I would come here just for the free pastries, but that’s frowned upon.

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As we were eating here on Monday my friend made a great point about the food. She said,  “It’s so good because it’s simple”. And she’s right. Everything is home cooked in the most simple way and it is this simplicity that makes the food so delicious and comforting.

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Example A: Grampa’s French Toast. Whoever says that everything is bigger in Texas has never been to Florida and eaten Grampa’s french toast. Our omelets paled in comparison to my husband’s gigantic slices of deliciousness. This dish is made the way we expect french toast to be made. The familiarity of the flavors makes the meal even more enjoyable than it already is.

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The restaurant itself could definitely use an update but an update would just be sad. The outdated decor is part of the charm of Grampa’s Bakery and Restaurant. It’s the type of place that you can always count on to look the same. I am confident that 20 years from now Grampa’s Bakery and Restaurant will still look the same and taste the same. This makes aging a little easier for me.

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The Brick Café: Astoria

“Well, that was disappointing”, said the soggy ravioli to the under seasoned soup.

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A couple of years ago I celebrated a friend’s birthday at the Brick Café on 31st Ave in Astoria, NY. The food, drinks and service were all excellent! So tonight, when we couldn’t find parking near the restaurant of our choice, my husband and I defaulted to the Brick. We thought it was a safe bet…Wrong-o!

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The dim lighting and dark wood of the Brick Cafe is welcoming and cozy. The restaurant is split into two sections, the formal dining area and the bar. Both sections serve the same food. Since we were dressed like hobos, we decided to sit in the bar section. The bar has a great atmosphere and the drink selection is wide and varied. It’s too bad the food sucked tonight because everything else grade A, including the rating from the health department.

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The husband and I weren’t in the mood for full meals tonight. So we each had a soup, french onion for me and pea for him, and shared an order of fries and fried ravioli. Let me clear the pink elephant in the post. Yes. We have an appetite for fried, unhealthy food. Whew, felt good to get that off my chest! Okay, moving on…

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Let’s start with the soups.

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Both soups were highly under seasoned, and the pea soup was actually cold! Have you ever tasted cold pea soup? It’s not fun. Not fun at all. A good french onion soup should be salty and oozing with cheese. This one just didn’t have enough of either. It was like biting into a joy bar, when expecting a snickers. Disappointing and not worth the calories.

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The fried ravioli were the saddest part of the meal. The little guys had so much potential. They could have been something! Instead, they were soggy, little pockets of cheese. The rich filling and spicy sauce were DElicious but these flavors could not save the dish. Ah, it’s so sad when good flavors are wasted on poor execution.

And a yadda, yadda, yadda…I will only eat at the Brick again if there is a zombie apocalypse and it is the only restaurant within a 50 mile radius that I can raid for survival. Too harsh?

Burger Heaven: NYC

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Burger Heaven is truly a little piece of heaven on the corner of Lexington and 62nd street. Here, you can get an omelet with toast and potatoes for $7.95! Usually this type of deal comes with a warning from the board of health, but this place is clean, the food is great, and they offer two floors of dining to avoid overcrowding. A rare find in Manhattan.

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Burger Heaven is a loner’s paradise. Right now,  as I write, I am sitting alone in Burger Heaven and I feel totally comfortable! No one is rushing me out and the booths are a nice small size. In other words, if you choose to eat in a booth alone then you will not be the ass hole preventing the family of four with the crying baby from sitting.

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Please know that even Burger Heaven cannot keep out the pompous, brownstone owners, nor can they prevent them from talking once they’re inside. In that regards it is more of a purgatory than a heaven, but such is NYC.