Kobe Beef at the Second Street Restaurant

23 08 2010

Ever had a Kobe Beef burger?  Kobe beef is known for its delicate and well marbled texture and rich flavor. It comes from a from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Japan. The cows are given daily massages with warm sake, and fed the highest quality grains.

Kobe Beef has been soaring in popularity in North America, and suppliers are having trouble meeting demand. This in turn has made the beef quite expensive. I decided to give it a try at the Second Street Restaurant in Williamsburg, VA. Most burgers on the menu were priced at around 8 or 9 bucks, but the Kobe beef burger cost about twice as much. You have to try everything once, even if it isn’t always as cheap. Here is what it looked like –

Second Street was apparently well known for their burgers, at least according to their own advertisements, so I thought I would take the opportunity to try the cream of the crop. I did not defile the burger with any sauces or condiments so I could zone in on the flavor of the beef. With each bite I noticed that the texture is indeed softer, richer, and juicier. After eating regular “pancake” burgers at fast food joints for so long, this was like a whole new world. Ground beef is mass produced on such a grand scale, and Americans have become jaded with how it is supposed to taste.  This burger was really a wake-up call, restoring my faith in the meat. So many people load up burgers with ketchup, mustard, relish, lettuce, tomato, onions, BBQ sauce, etc.. because the meat itself is usually so bland. Here was Second Street’s regular burger, which was also above average –

Was the Kobe Beef burger good? Yes. Was it worth $18? For my first time trying it, yes. I would not order it every time. Much like a filet mignon compares to cube steak, a Kobe beef burger is a delicacy that should be reserved for special occasions. I would recommend ordering one for yourself and coming to your own conclusions.

The Second Street Restaurant was a great place to eat. Quick and friendly service (I love waiters that make recommendations on what to order), an inviting atmosphere, and reasonable prices. I also tried a Black & Tan while I was there, which is half Guinness and half Bass combination beer, which was interesting. It seemed to be a popular drink further south.

Ever had Kobe beef? What did you think?


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Fractured Prune

12 08 2010

Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme may be the kings of fried, ring-shaped dough, but I found a donut shop that can give them a run for their money. It is known as the “Fractured Prune”, and the company has a few locations scattered around Maryland. The restaurant specialzies in gourmet donuts that are made to order, but they also serve the usual breakfast fare as well.

You know how when you go to most pizza places, you can order a pizza with any kind of crust, cheese, sauce, and toppings? If you go to a Fractured Prune, you can do that with donuts. They have tons of premade selections to choose from, but you can ask them to make anything your heart desires. Start out by choosing what kind of cake for the donut, if you want it dipped in chocolate or another sauce, and then any toppings such as marhmallows, chocolate chips, coconut, fruit, etc.. I decided on a chocolate mocha donut –

Ok so maybe it wasn’t the best shot. It slid a little bit.

It was basically a chocolate donut, dipped in a chocolate-mocha sauce, and then covered in oreo crumbles, and it was delicious. The best part of this donut is the hot chocolate coating, which makes the whole donut warm and moist. Since every donut is made to order, you won’t leave with a room temperature or cold donut that has been sitting on a rack. The price is a bit higher to compensate for this, but you end up with a superior product. I would prefer Dunkin Donuts for buying a dozen, but if all I want is a single warm donut/chocolate fix, the Fractured Prune delivers. If you are not a chocolate fan, they still have tons of toppings to choose from as well.

Gourmet cupcakes are good, but gourmet donuts are even better! More restaurants should offer them. Could you imagine a warm donut with a scoop of gourmet ice cream on top? They fit together so well; it was meant to be. Many restaurants make brownie sundaes, but I want to see more donut sundaes.

Fractured Prune gets a thumbs up from me. If you see one, stop in and make your own donut.





The Embers

3 08 2010

I am way behind on posting lately, but I have a ton of reviews lined up, all complete with photos. It seems like the summer months are just flying by, and I want to get in one more Ocean City review for anyone that is still planning a trip out there. This restaurant is perhaps the best buffet you will find in the area, and there are tons to choose from.

The Embers

The Embers Restaurant is conveniently located just off the coastal highway in OC. It has an attached mini-golf course and a large logo with a fish on it. As I walked inside, I first noticed the grand ceilings and marble floors in the lobby. The place is very large, seating several hundred people with ease. Usually this would be a red flag – large buffets that seat hundreds of people usually take a hit with the food quality. The old rule about buffets – “Quality over quantity”, still applies here, but the quality is high enough that the Embers shines amongst it’s buffet peers. After sitting down at the table, I ordered one of the restaurant’s famous “Tiffany” drinks to share, seen below.

Gloriously fruity. Ordering one of these drinks is a great start to a great meal if you are there with friends. There are blended and iced drinks in a variety of flavors. The Tiffany drinks start at $15, but they are huge, so you can easily split one with four people.

Now, on to the food. The Embers serves everything under the sun. The buffet stretches three long aisles, each about 50 feet in length. There you will find every kind of seafood, chicken, beef, pork, sausage, pasta, pizza, etc. All that stuff is filler though. There is one big reason to go to the Embers. Crab Legs!

Beautiful

The Embers serves giant clusters of glistening, hot crab legs with warm butter to dip them in. They don’t skimp on anything either, proudly serving you 2+ clusters every time you make a trip up to the buffet. They wont stop putting them on your plate until you take it away. These crab legs are very fresh, which is actually a side effect of maintaining such a large restaurant. With hundreds of hungry patrons wanting crab legs, The Embers churns out fresh batches of them every minute, right out of the steamer and on to your plate. If you are a crab lover, don’t miss out on this opportunity while vacationing in OC.

Have you been to one of the other buffets in OC? Do you have a favorite restaurant there? Let me know and post a comment!