The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog


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Tis the season of good eatin’

38769165_500387043756234_7140208985856016384_n copyFoodies rejoice! Once again restaurant week is upon the city of Huntsville. From August 10 until the 19th restaurants across Madison County are offering their fare at promotional prices. Even the breweries are jumping into the fun with new brews. As part of the promotion for Restaurant Week, I got to sample some of the promotional dishes with the Resturant Week Blogger tour. This is my fourth year to participate (I missed last year because was visiting my in-laws in France! Lucky me!!) and I love it! I get to eat good food with lots of talented food bloggers. What’s not to love. Plus it’s nice because food bloggers don’t even notice the weird things I do like stand on a chair to photograph a piece of cheesecake or gush about how adorable that curl of lettuce it in a salad. Normal people just don’t understand, but food bloggers will offer to hold the reflector. Below: Bloggers doing their blog thang!But seriously how pretty is the salad below!!!!  This year I got to try the special dishes at two restaurants I’d never tried before: Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Keegan’s Public House.Let’s start with Ruth’s Chris. Great restaurants, but I find the name super confusing. Nine times out of ten I call it “Chris’s Ruth” or “that Ruth Steakplace” or “Ruth Christoper’s Resturant”. I digress. As I said before I’d never been, so I let me GPS lead the way. This was a mistake because it led me straight to the Publix Loading Dock. As I walked to the back of Publix I thought, “this is a weird place for a fancy steakhouse” and I was right because there was nothing but some confused employees and dumpsters back there. I eventually got there. It wasn’t confusing, but GPS was just a jerk.1y2b7594-e1533774057866.jpgI met an assortment of extremely talented bloggers and got to eating! Please check their blogs out as well. I know I will. www.diningwithdeliajo.com happeninsintheham.com the bitter socialite rocket city eats hvsfoodlifeWe got to try an assortment of dishes but my absolute favorite was the scallops!! I really wanted to try to Lobster Mac and Cheese, but I have an allergy, but dang it looked GOOOOOOD!!!!!Earlier in the day, I tried Keegan’s Public House. I did not get lost, so I was actually on time to this one.  The restaurant itself is really fun. It is located in the AL.COM building (shout out to all my journalist besties! You rock!! May the Fourth Estate Be With You!)There were different bloggers at this event and I got to meet Love at First Bite and Ihearthsv.comWe started out with the house chips with blue cheese.I ordered the Shepard’s Pie, which was everything you want comfort food to be: warm, tasty, the vegetables hidden at the bottom.  There was also a nice salad

 

Bloggers taking the shots of the dessert on the left. It’s amazing that it wasn’t melted by the end.

…and most importantly yummy, totally unhealthy, but oh so good dessert. It was Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Whipped Cream on top. Yes, you read that right. It came with 4 spoons to prevent anyone from overeating and slipping into a food coma.

 

As you go into Restaurant Week make sure you tag all your local food pics on social media with #dinehsv to win prices and if not prices glory. There are also the most adorable gifs from your posts on Instagram. Just search for #dinehsv. 

So grab your forks and see y’all out and about from Aug 10th to the 19th!


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Day 1: Grille 29 #dinehsv

Grille 29 #dinehsv‘Tis the time of year that North Alabama foodies rejoice and get their taste buds ready: Huntsville Restaurant Week! This is the 5th year of Huntsville Restaurant Week and from August 12th until the 21st patrons can enjoy speciality menu items at great prices from numerous restaurants across Madison County.

As part of the kickoff to Restaurant Week several fellow bloggers and I visited three eateries to get a first look at their specials. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in this Blog Tour for 3 years running. I love it, so please feel free to keep inviting me back! (Not so subtle hint)

This year’s talented bloggers included:

Charles Hunter III with The Salted Table

Jennifer Gervens with Sweet T Makes Three

Katie Wright with Katie Actually

Bo Williams and Stephenie Walker with Rocket City Mom

I’ll include a link to each of their posts at the end, so make sure you give them almost as much love as you give me!

Grille 29Our first stop was Grille 29.  Last year the blog tour had brunch here (the shrimp and grits were to die for!) so I had very high expectations, which were surpassed yet again. You can check out last years post here.

We started with Roasted Cauliflower Soup, which was garnished with crispy prosciutto and greens. I’m a huge veggie-aholic, so I found this dish completely addictive. I seriously dreamed about it that night.Cauliflower SoupNext we sampled a Southern classic, fried green tomatoes, topped with pork belly and blue pimento cheese. It was also scrumptious! Fried Green TomatoesNext came the main course Flat Iron Steak, enhanced with a roasted shallot reduction, topped with house-made Pico de Gallo and sweet potato straws, over cheese grits. Are you hungry yet, because just writing this post is making me drool.Flat Iron SteakWhen we knew we couldn’t possibly eat anymore, dessert came out and we mustered the courage to go on.

We started with a Lemon Lava Cake, which was stunning. It was a delicious dessert, but it was also a beautiful dessert, which really warms a food photographers heart.Lemon Lava CakeThen came a Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, which I’ve had before and loved before. From what I could tell it was a fan favorite. Peanut Butter TruffleAnd last, but certainly not least, was the Cheesecake of the Day, Turtle Cheesecake.Turtle CheesecakeEverything was delicious! While we were photographing food on the patio a jealous lizard kept on eyeing the Lemon Lava Cake.  Sadly for the lizard, we didn’t have any leftovers.lizard and cheesecakeAll of the food was created under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Cara Thompson. Make sure you attend Rocket Chef at the Merrimack Hall on August 8th and cheer for Chef Cara as she competes against other culinary geniuses for the title of Rocket Chef. All proceeds from the event go to the Food Bank of North Alabama, so it feeds your soul as well as your belly.11More about Grille 29 please visit:

Katie Actually: http://www.katieactually.com/grille-29-2/

Sweet T Makes Three: http://www.sweettmakesthree.com/places-to-eat-in-huntsville-alabama/

Rocket City Mom: http://www.rocketcitymom.com/grille-29/

Bo Williams: http://bowilliams.com/2016/07/huntsville-restaurant-week-2016/

Grille 29

 


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New Menu at BRAVO Cucina Italiana

2To be honest, blogging can be a lot of work and often I wonder if it is worth the effort. And just when I decide maybe I don’t want to do it anymore I get invited to a dinner or tasting and I decide I like it again.

My latest food-venture was at Bravo! Cucina Italiana with fellow food blogger C.C. Fridlin. We attended a tasting of the restaurant’s new menu, which included a wine pairing.
4We started with Zucchini & Eggplant Fritti with lemon aioli and pomodoro sauce. Yum! I’m sort of allergic to eggplant, my throat and mouth itches, but dang I love it, so I ate some anyways. I actually preferred the zucchini with this dish, so I minimized the allergic reaction. The first wine of the evening was 19 Crimes, which paired nicely with the appetizers.
11I had the pleasure of dinning with Maddie, a spunky 5 year-old with a yen for lemons. Seriously, this girl loves raw lemons, she ate them by the bowl full and still wanted more! She is also very adventurous, tasting a bit from each dish. I know a lot of adults that could learn eating lessons from this young lady.BravoOur second appetizer, Ricotta & Ciabatta, was heavenly. I’m a huge fan of dishes that you assemble at the table. I know it’s weird, but I love it!5Next came the Antipasti Salad, which had a nice, tangy red wine vinaigrette. It is also gluten free, which can be hard to find sometimes.
6Next came the wine wines and Spicy Shrimp & Clam Linguine. I honestly feel terrible for people that can’t eat seafood because this dish was divine. It had a nice slow burn that crept up on you at the end of the bite.
7Next came the Linguine Carbonara! It was perfect for summer, creamy with hints of white wine. You can also add a sunny side up egg to it for a dollar. What a deal!
9Haricot vert (green beens) framed the Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection, but the veggie-holic in me especially liked the green beans.
8At this point I was pretty full, but the food was so good that I kept on eating. I really enjoyed Decoy’s Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a nice pairing with the Bravo! Ribeye. The steak was wonderful, but I went crazy for the polenta and balsamic roasted mushrooms. I’m salivating just remembering it.
10The last entree of the evening was Citrus Marinated Chicken, which was skewered thighs on a bed of orzo and vegetables.  Since it was thigh meat it was especially rich and flavorful.
12Maddie was quite excited when dessert came. See her patiently waiting with her spooned posed for attack! I don’t blame her as it was a delicious: a warm butter blondie, topped with vanilla bean gelato, cookie butter caramel and sugared pretzels. There were but a few crumbs left by the time we were finished.
13Everything was nice and it is good to know that Bravo’s talented team is always working to update their menu. It is worth mentioning that the staff was truly spectacular. They were prompt, friendly and very informed about every dish.
15There was very little food left by the time we were finished. It was all very good. Thank-you Huntsville Bravo and Tiffany Jordan for inviting me!! Thank-you also to C.C. Fridln for keeping up with all of the plate names. You are so much more organized than I am! Please visit C.C.s post here.
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Aussie Night at Outback Steakhouse

1Y2B4084Outback Steakhouse is upping their steak game by unveiling a new center-cut sirloin.  I got invited to a VIP tasting event at Outback on Whitesburg to sample the new steak and east some of their tried and true fare (a blooming onion).  1Y2B4060I very rarely feel like a VIP, but I had a cool super-star moment at this event. Being Outback at dinnertime, there were many, many people waiting for tables. My husband and I walked up to the event (late as usual) and I was mentally preparing myself to wait. I told the host that I was there for the VIP Tasting and she ushered me to the back, no wait at all! The servers immediately started bringing us cocktails, appetizers, steaks, etc. I felt so much more important than I am.1Y2B4023There were also fellow ‘VIPs’ in attendance, including the illustrious Christy Jordan, super-star blogger and creator of Southern Plate, (sorry I didn’t get a photograph) and the amazing Bo Williams, duel blogger for Rocket City Mom and BoWilliams.com. 6 3I tried to pay attention to the names of all the dishes but I wasn’t as good as I should have been.  If I have messed up a dish please let me know.

We started with drinks and bread. I like how Outback violently stabs their bread through the middle when they bring it to you. I’m not sure what that says about me, but when the bread isn’t stabbed I feel really let down.  1Then came shareable cocktails, which was a weird concept for me. Why would you share your cocktail. They were delicious though, despite the shareable issue.  I tried the strawberry peach sangria and my hubby went for a fresh fruit gin cocktail. Both were great, but I loved mine. I’d totally get it again.1Y2B4027Of course there were some blooming onions (did you know the blooming onion has its own wikipedia page #goals) and Aussie cheese fries.

We then got two types of steak: Center Cut Sirloin and Slow Roasted Steak. Both were lovely.4They also served Bacon Bourbon Salmon, which was to die for. 1Y2B4062We ended with Oreo Mousse, which unfortunately I couldn’t partake in because of current allergy issues, but it seemed like a hit.5Thank-you Outback for the invite! See you again soon!


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Honey Roasted Dates with Whipped Chèvre

Honey Roasted DatesOn a trip to one of my favorite produce markets, Garden Cove, my husband and I came across pints of fresh dates.Fresh Dates Neither of us had ever encountered fresh dates, though we are fans of the dried variety, so we were standing in the aisle debating how to eat them when an employee walked by.

“Excuse me,” said my husband to the employee. “How do you eat fresh dates?”

“Just raw,” the worker said. “But they are not for everyone. I love them, but there are many people who don’t like the taste.”

“What do they taste like?” asked Olivier.

After some pondering the employee said, “They taste like shirt.”

Olivier and I stared blankly trying to figure out what he really said, because surely shirt wasn’t what he meant.

Then the man pulled up the neck of his cotton t-shirt and pantomimes eating it.

“It tastes like… shirt?” Olivier asked skeptically.

“Yes, yes, shirt,” said the employee enthusiastically.

So, of course, we bought some to taste this shirt-flavored fruit for ourselves.

When we got home I washed and dried the dates anxious to give them a try.

Olivier and I bit into our fruit at the same time and damn it if it didn’t taste just like shirt! I mean seriously, it tasted like freshly laundered cotton and the texture was a bit mealy like a pear giving your mouth a drying affect, just like you shoved the corner of tee-shirt into your mouth. Very weird.

I was going to make an arugula salad with sliced raw dates and pine nuts, but decided to go with something more desserty. Plus I had just impulsively bought a lot of honey. 6The dates do have pits, so Step 1, halve 25 dates and remove the pits. Pit the datesPreheat oven to 400°. Put date halves in a plastic bag (or bowl if you’re not lazy and don’t mind stirring) and add 3 tbs honey, 2 tbs olive oil, and 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar. Shake or stir (good for you for not being lazy) vigorously. Place the coated dates on a cooking sheet and place in the oven.Honey roasted datesI roasted the dates for 10 minutes and then flipped them. Then I forgot to set my timer, got distracted and frantically pulled them out of the oven after another 20 minutes in the oven. This seemed to work out nicely for me and added a candied, honey-burnt edge to the dates. They were quite tasty. Whipped Chèvre Combine 2 oz of chèvre (goat cheese) with 3 tbs of heavy whipping cream, a splash of vanilla extract (I was going for half a tsp, but knocked my hand on the edge of the bowl and added a splash instead). I also added a half a teaspoon of confectioner sugar, not sure if this did anything, but I added it.

Then remove the yummy dates, top the whipped cheese on top and enjoy!2

 

 

 


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Blog Tour Grille 29 #dineHSV

feature8The city of Huntsville has a rich culinary culture combining southern fare with German and other international cuisines.

Despite this, Huntsville used to lack a restaurant culture that other cities enjoy. Sure, we had lots of franchises but if you had a yen from something other than Olive Garden or fast-food, your choices were limited. Luckily, in the last decade or so, Huntsville started having amazing restaurants that showed off its culinary potential.

For the last leg of our Food Tour for Restaurant Week, we visited one of these restaurants, Grille 29, which specializes in fine dining in a causal atmosphere.feature10Grill 29 is a sophisticated steak and seafood restaurant that was started by the Restaurant Partners, Inc. (RPI). It is located in the lovely Village of Providence Main and has a picturesque outdoor eating area, as well as stylish indoor accommodations. feature9We all assembled with cameras/phones/notebooks in hand, ready to document every aspect of each dish. Food bloggers can be a pretty annoying bunch. If you think that a friend that has to Instagram every morsel that goes into their mouth is frustrating, then try going to lunch with 7 of these people who do it professionally! Make sure you check out the other bloggers’ posts though. Everyone did a great job showing how great each restaurant is.

Clint Cantwell with Grillocracy

Phillip Fryman with Southern FATTY

Stephanie Walker with Rocket City Mom

Constance Smith with Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Katie Wright with Katie Actually

feature7We started the way every meal should begin (in my opinion) with muffins and mimosas. This is part of their brunch special, which is available every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. As an extra treat, we got to sample the super popular Chicken and Waffles, which was the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Then we enjoyed a chilly lump crab gazpacho. I’m a bit of a veggiholic, so I absolutely LOVED this dish.

Next, we had the main course: cheesy grits topped with shrimp and andouille sausage served in a cast-iron skillet. It doesn’t get much more southern than that.feature1Using a great deal of restraint, I only ate half of my meal because I knew there would be lots of desserts.  I was very glad I did.

We started with warm sour cream fudge cake. Stunning and delicious!feature5Next was the strawberry cheesecake. Each day there is a different flavor of cheesecake so you’ll never get bored. Is your mouth watering yet?feature3And last, but certainly not least, was the chocolate peanut butter truffle. Yum!!feature4

I should also mention that we all shared the desserts! We did not each eat a full meal and then three desserts in a row…

feature6See? Here we are sharing.

 This concludes a wonderful Blog Tour. Thank-you to the Huntsville Visitor’s Center for inviting me to participate, thank-you Jessica Carlton for being awesome (as usual) and making sure that everything ran smoothly, and thank-you to my fellow bloggers for making it a fun, informative and enjoyable experience. thebloggers

Website:

http://www.grille29.com

Location:

445 Providence Main Street
Huntsville, Alabama 35806

Phone:

(256) 489-9470

Hours:

Sunday Brunch – 10am
Sunday – Thursday – 11am – 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am – 10:30pm


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Pieology Pizzeria in Alabama!

Pieology PizzeraBridge Street Town Centre (in Huntsville, AL) has a pizza place! And it is delicious! I was cordially invited to Pieology’s Media Event (Thank-you Tim!) and got a sneak peek at the restaurant, met the talented staff, and, best of all, got to sample their delectable pizza.

Pieology Pizzeria at Bridge Street Town Centre

Pieology Pizzeria at Bridge Street Town Centre

Pieology Pizzeria originally started out west with the goal of creating fresh, customizable pizzas at a good price. Finally they’ve come to the south and we too can enjoy great ingredients, friendly service, and a fun experience.

Pieology Media Event

Happy people waiting for pie!

I attended the event with my husband. I took a photograph of him waiting in line with me as evidence, but he got annoyed that I was taken too long to take the picture and made a stupid expression at the last second. I should have posted the photo anyway (serves him right) but being the loving and benevolent wife that I am, I deleted it.

The line was long, as everyone was excited to sample the fare, but we got through quickly. Plus there is a giant quote wall along the line path, so you are entertained/inspired while you wait.

Pieology Pizza Oven

After several minutes of inspirational quote reading we were ready to order. A super friendly employee (I’m so sorry I forgot your name) explained our different crust options and put the fresh dough in a pizza press for a nice thin crust.  He was very nice so I feel terrible that I can’t remember his name.  I guess I was just too excited about the pizza.

Pieology Pizzeria

You can see my husband’s reflection in the bottom left of the photo. Sadly, that is the only decent shot I got of him at the lunch.

We then picked from one of seven different sauces. You an even mix and match them! I was completely uncreative and just went with the pre-designed Alfredo’s Alfredo pizza, but it was delicious, so I was happy with my decision. My hubby chose the Rustic Veggie. We planned to swap a couple of slices so we could try both, but we forgot. Oops! Guess we’ll just have to go back.

Fresh Ingredients at PieologyThen we picked our your cheeses and toppings.  Again, I just defaulted to the menu item, but I think I’ll get creative the next time.  The great thing is that every pizza is only $7.95 no matter how many toppings you get on it.

fresh ingredients at PieologyEverything is fresh as well. I was told they don’t even have freezers so you know you’re getting fresh food that is produced on site.

Oven at PieologyThis is inside the oven where all the magic happens!

Fresh food at Pieology

Manager Tim is on the right. Say hey to him when you go in for a visit. He is very helpful and nice.

After we picked out our toppings the pizza went into the oven to cook for 3 minutes.

We got our drinks.  There were 4 sweet tea choices so southerners will be happy.  And the tea was good, none of that canned nonsense which will remain nameless.  True southerners will know what I’m talking about.

Drink Station at Pieology

Drink Station at Pieology

We waited in the patio area for a very short time and Volia! yummy pizza goodness.

feature3

Looking at the photo I just realized that I did not follow the instructions of the number sign and place the sign at the edge of the table. It was pretty much in the middle, which is the opposite of the directions. Oops! I’ll know for next time.

I am looking forward to my next visit.  Thank-you Tim and the staff of Pieology for inviting me for the sneak peek.  Congratulations on your grand opening today (April 23rd).  Make sure y’all like them on Facebook to keep updated on any upcoming events!
Pieology Pizza
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