State Of Confusion

Ceviche sampler
Ceviche sampler
Monkey bread
Monkey bread
Guacamole
Guacamole
Lettuce wraps
Lettuce wraps
Shrimp Po Boy
Shrimp Po Boy
Steak skewers
Steak skewers

**** (4 stars)

This place is certainly aptly named, as it’s hard to pin down the cuisine. On the one hand a lot of items are Peruvian influenced, but Mexico and New Orleans are also amply represented.

The Peruvian Lettuce Wraps came with minced chicken filling. Combined with the lettuce, there wasn’t a lot of flavor, but eaten straight, the minced chicken had a delightful flavor imparted–I think–by yellow Peruvian peppers.

“Peruvian” guacamole was good, and essential just guacamole, except for the inclusion of plantain chips.

Opinions were split on the Savory Monkey Bread. It was okay, but not a lot of cheese flavor.

Wood Fires Steak Skewers were the biggest disappointment. Not a lot of steak, and not really the claimed rib eye quality. In fact, when the server placed it down she said “skirt steak” which is more what it tasted like. The accompanying confusion potatoes were quite good, though.

Shrimp Po’boy sandwich was wholly authentic, and as good as any I’ve had in New Orleans.

The house margaritas are good, as is the “Ranch Water” which is substantially less sweet.

The place is large, but very busy, so go at an odd time or with a reservation.

Great large outside area for dogs.

State Of Confusion
301 E Main St
Chattanooga, TN 37408

https://www.yelp.com/biz/state-of-confusion-chattanooga

Nick Filet

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Surf and turf
Surf and turf
Old bay tater tots
Old bay tater tots

**** (4 stars)

I’m not sure whether Orlando is ready for an $18 sandwich, but if it is, this is the place to get an excellent one. The “Surf and Turf” is a Lobster Roll plus Filet Mignon, and the quality of the ingredients do, indeed, justify the price. The lobster was fresh and flavorful, and the filet mignon was tender and juicy. Add a perfectly butter-grilled and toasted roll, a bit of mayo, and you’ve got a scrumptious sandwich.

In all fairness, there are other selections featuring just filet or lobster, but they’re $12, so you may as well go all-in and get the Surf and Turf.

Sides of fries or Tater Tots are available, either plain, with Old Bay seasoning, or with truffle and cheese. I had the Old Bay Tater Tots, and they were WAY too salty. Note that the “mini” size is actually quite generous, so unless you’re serving a group, don’t get anything larger.

Service was friendly, and fairly quick, even though the place was fairly busy–certainly busier than the former occupants of this space. If you’re concerned about masks, note that none of the customers or staff were wearing any.

Nick Filet
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/nick-filet-orlando

Achilles Art Cafe Coffee Shop

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Turkey Apple Brie
Turkey Apple Brie
Toasted Tuna! Wow!
Toasted Tuna! Wow!

***** (5 stars)

This is such a great neighborhood find, I almost hate to review it rather than keep it to myself! First off, note that this is not really a coffee shop. Sure they have lots of coffees, in all the various forms and flavors, but it is oh so much more. The incredible sandwich menu is too good to ignore, so please think “cafe”, not “coffee shop.” I had the Toasted Tuna, and it was fabulous. Really it’s a huge salad with lettuce, chunks of tuna, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, and tomatoes, between two panini style pieces of toast. Basically, you disassemble it, eat half the salad, then reassemble it into a scrumptious sandwich.

The other thing that distinguishes this place is the amazing ambiance. It’s filled with cozy nooks and comfortable seating on couches or at tables, plus several outdoor tables as well.

They also have beer and wine, so it would be great for happy hour too.

Finally, the staff is enthusiastic and friendly, and although it is counter service, food is delivered to your table. This is not a place to go for a fast bite, it’s a place to linger and enjoy the ambiance–although you certainly could stop in for a quick and delicious coffee I suppose!

Achilles Art Cafe Coffee Shop
2869 Wilshire Dr
Orlando, FL 32835

https://www.yelp.com/biz/achilles-art-cafe-coffee-shop-orlando-4

Gott’s Roadside

Chili Cheese Fries, Impossible Cheeseburger
Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

Great historic roadside eatery from the 1940s, now occupied by a small local burger chain. Terrific chili fries, Impossible Burger, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had anywhere. Also a shout-out for the coffee shake! Sounds like a great 10am breakfast on Christmas Eve to me!

Gott’s Roadside
933 Main St
Saint Helena, CA
94574
(707) 963-3486
https://www.yelp.com/biz/gotts-roadside-saint-helena-2

TooJay’s

Nova Lox
Exterior
Interior
Interior

**** (4 stars)

There aren’t many genuine delis in Orlando, for whatever reason, so it’s nice to have this Toojay’s as an option. I’ve never been a fan of the other location, but they seem a lot friendlier here.

You’ll find all the deli standards here. My favorite is the hot pastrami on toasted rye. The pastrami is particularly lean and flavorful. I also like their cole slaw and dill pickles.

The Nova Lox, served on very crispy latkes, was a good appetizer.

Service was friendly and efficient.

TooJay’s
10185 W Colonial DriveShoppes of Ocoee
Ocoee, FL
34761
(407) 798-2000
https://www.yelp.com/biz/toojays-ocoee

Sides Hardware and Shoes – A Brothers Restaurant

Grilled cheese
Chicken sandwich
Interior

**** (4 stars)

This cute little vintage building near the center of Los Olivos offers excellent salads and sandwiches.

I tried the chicken sandwich on our server’s recommendation, and it was great; such a delicate batter on the chicken, and the slice of bacon steak was tender and not overwhelming.

The grilled cheese was also very nicely done.

Service is prompt and efficient.

Sides Hardware and Shoes – A Brothers Restaurant
2375 Alamo Pintado Ave
Los Olivos, CA
93441
(805) 688-4820
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sides-hardware-and-shoes-a-brothers-restaurant-los-olivos-3

Pour La France!

Provence salad with salmon
Croque Monsieur
Salmon tartine
Cafe and bar

**** (4 stars)

This cafe is operating far above the level of most airport restaurants. The menu is indeed a french bistro menu with a few American concessions.

Salmon tartine was en excellent appetizer, with a nice stack of smoked salmon, cucumber and pickled onions on cream cheese coated toast.

Croque Monsieur was the traditional grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and the ham itself had been nicely seared.

The Provence Salad was a nice combination of mixed greens, olives, feta, and onions. I had it topped with salmon, which was perfectly cooked and wonderfully flavorful.

There is an interesting selection of beers, and of course wines.

Service was friendly and attentive.

Pour La France!
8900 Peña BlvdDenver International Airport, Terminal B
Denver, CO
80249
(303) 317-9472
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pour-la-france-denver-4

Cream Bean Berry

Interior

***** (5 stars)

Excellent local ice cream maker with a great assortment of ice cream and sorbet flavors. There are several choices for cones and cups, or you can have a unicorn sundae, which is served in a cup with a cone (and some magic) on top. They also make floats with sodas or coffee. The line can go out the door, but moves right along.

Cream Bean Berry
1021 Main Ave
Durango, CO
81301
(970) 903-1300
https://www.yelp.com/biz/cream-bean-berry-durango

El Moro Spirits and Tavern

KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower)
Honey Sambal Lollipops
Smoking Hot Toast
Wall o’ booze
Interior

***** (5 stars)

Really nice selection of small plates, larger plates, sandwiches, cocktails and beers. Limited and somewhat eclectic selection of wines.

We loved the lollipops, a spicy take on chicken wings using drumsticks and a wonderful sweet/spicy sauce, plus a green curry dipping sauce. The Korean Fried Cauliflower was also great.

The bar offers an enormous collection of spirits, and some talented mixology.

El Moro Spirits and Tavern
945 Main Ave
Durango, CO
81301
(970) 259-5555
https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-moro-spirits-and-tavern-durango