Broward Dining: How Do You Roll?

July 14, 2013

How Do You Roll @ Sawgrass Landing
13775 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Sunrise, Florida 33323

Web Site: http://www.howdoyouroll.com

Twitter: @how_do_you_roll

Quick Serve Restaurants, or QSR’s, are all the rage right now in casual dining. The trend of serving “faster, but higher quality” food items than what is served fast food establishments can largely be attributed to Chipotle, which is now a huge success story in the food and restaurant industry.

Since Chipotle made it big, others are trying to figure out what the next big QSR concept is. A lot of stuff since has been various re-spins on the burger concept. Asian cuisine, particularly sushi, is not something QSR as a whole has attempted to tackle yet, due to much higher sanitary standards as well as issues of keeping fish fresh.

How Do You Roll, a QSR chain that originated in Texas (and was profiled on the TV showShark Tank)  is attempting to recreate Chipotle’s “Roll your own” model and success but with sushi and other Asian items. There are currently two locations in Florida, one in Sunrise and the other in Gainesville.

Rachel and I had the opportunity to visit the Sunrise HDYR location on a torrentially rainy saturday night with a group of sushi fans from Meetup.com when business was slow, so we got a chance to observe the franchise under optimal conditions for photography but not necessarily to see how service would perform under busy conditions.

As I mentioned, HDYR is a “Roll your own”, QSR restaurant where you pick from a list of ingredients and the sushi chefs put together your custom sushi roll, rice bowl or ramen soup.

HDYR is most definitely a “beginners” sushi place because there are only 3 raw fish types you can choose from, Tuna (Maguro), Salmon, Escolar (a bland white fish, sometimes referred to as “White Tuna”), and “Spicy” variants of the same. Additional proteins that can be rolled are cooked Beef, Chicken, Crawfish Tails, Surimi (“Krab Sticks”), Shrimp, Eel and Tofu.

There is also a nice variety of fruits, vegetables and a number of different sauces and toppings/condiments which allows for a good combination of things for the diner to create. Pre-designed roll combinations range from $3 to $7, so you’re looking at about half of what a mid-range sushi restaurant charges for similar items.

Like at a Chipotle, or a sub shop chain, you order at the counter and they give you a number and you sit down. When your number is called you either go up to get your order, or depending how busy the place is, they bring it to you. The place was so completely dead that evening due to the weather that we got first class table service.

Is How Do You Roll a fresh or a dead fish? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Miami Dining: El Mago De Las Fritas

July 8, 2013

El Mago De Las Fritas
5828 SW 8th Street, Miami FL
Phone:(305) 266-8486

Web Site: http://www.elmagodelasfritas.com

Twitter: @magodelasfritas

Since moving to Florida I’ve started to acclimate myself with the other local food bloggers. By far, the most serious blogger (and food truck fair organizer) in Miami has to be Sef Gonzalez, also known as “The Burger Beast.”

As his name suggests, he’s big on burgers and all kinds of casual dining kinds of stuff. I first learned about him when watching George Motz’s Burger Land show on The Travel Channel, where he was featured in an episode about hamburgers and food trucks in Miami.

Miami of course is known for a specific type of hamburger, the Cuban “Frita”. I’ve written about Fritas before, specifically El Rey De Las Fritas, which is probably the most well-known establishment serving this particular style of burger.

Lesser known is El Mago De Las Fritas (Burger Beast post), which is owned by another member of the same family. It only has one location, and a much more limited menu than El Rey. But it has its adherents and now that I have been there, I understand the allure of the place.

For the last couple of weeks Sef and I had been planning to hook up and to talk about stuff we could do together. He suggested we have breakfast on a Saturday at El Mago. Fritas for breakfast? Okay then.

The magic awaits at El Mago De Las Fritas on Miami’s Calle Ocho. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Poke Me, Friend Me, Any Way You Want Me

February 12, 2010

Earlier, I spoke about my first experiences with Google Buzz and how I think end-users might run into trouble with the new social networking service. Part of that discussion was talking about the behavior of Twitter and FaceBook, and how it compares to Google Buzz.

Having given this some additional thought, it occurred to me that Social Networking as a paradigm has become overly complex and baroque in its implementation.

Click Here to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


Oy with the Buzz!

February 11, 2010

So yesterday I was anticipating, with much excitement, of getting “Buzzed”. After watching the demo and reading everyone’s coverage of Google’s social media features for GMail, I was ready to jump ship from Twitter into possibly something better.

But as with the Google Wave hype of 2009, that excitement faded very quickly into frustration. In Buzz’s case, it morphed into full blown anger and rejection.

Click here to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


NYC Dining: Ann & Tony’s

July 9, 2009

Ann & Tony’s
2407 Arthur Avenue, Bronx NY 10458
(718) 933-1469

Web Site: http://www.annandtonysonline.com

Ann & Tony's, Bronx NY by you.

Ann & Tony’s restaurant in the Arthur Avenue section of Belmont in the Bronx is one of the oldest continually operating Italian restaurants in the borough, dating back to the 1920s.

Twitter is a very interesting phenomenon. I’ve only really started using it in the last year, initially as way of sending automatic updates from OTB and Tech Broiler to people who actually cared about using the service. A year ago, I thought the idea was pretty pointless, with these limited 140-character messages that people send out that everyone on the Internet can see, which seemed to focus on fairly dumb, exhibitionist status updates such as “eating a Cannoli” or “This alfredo sauce is @#$%ing awesome dude!” so I stayed away from issuing my own updates because I didn’t want to look like a total ass. I knew a lot of people were LOOKING at Twitter, but I didn’t feel like engaging in it beyond the “let’s feed my blog updates into it and see how it goes” capacity.

But then something else happened. I joined FaceBook, which hooked me up with a lot of old friends and many other foodie and technology industry colleagues. But FaceBook, like Twitter, requires you to enter updates about what is going on with your daily life to make your friends feel like you haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. So if I was now committing to doing FaceBook updates, I might as well start updating my Twitter as well. So I downloaded Twitter software for my Blackberry and my PC and started sending updates to Twitter, and automatically syncing those to FaceBook.

So now I’m addicted to Twitter. I have TweetDeck running constantly in the background on my PC and whenever I’m traveling I have TinyTwitter running on my BlackBerry. When people have questions, such as when Eater “Retwittered” a particular person’s inquiry about where to eat in the Bronx on Arthur Avenue, I offered up some advice. No later than 10 minutes afterward, I get a message from Twitterer @RalphNapolitano:

ralphnapolitano by you.@jperlow saw your tweet about Arthur Ave. When are you coming to eat in my restaurant…LOL!!!

So I look Ralph up. Along with this brother Anthony, he Co-owns Ann & Tony’s, one of the many Italian-American restaurants on Arthur Avenue. Normally, when restaurateurs want me to come visit, I usually get  an email extending an invite to an open house or a press event, or sometimes even a phone call from a publicist, but receiving a challenge over Twitter to come eat was a first. Okay, then, I’ll play. What kind of guy broadcasts a message like that to the entire Internet and not expect a serious foodie like myself to take him up on it?

I told him I was coming over that very evening, with hungry wife and friend in tow, and he had better be ready to face the consequences if the food wasn’t any good.

Click on the “Read the Rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Twitter: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It, and Now So Am I

October 11, 2007

If you look at the upper right corner of the screen you’ll see a new button, “OTB Twitter Feed”. If you don’t know what Twitter is, well, then you’ve been living under a rock (or you have a real life).

Twitter is essentially a group instant messaging system combined with electronic wall graffiti — it permits the user to broadcast a 140 character message, with embedded hyperlinks, to a constantly updating “ticker”. Periodically, over the day, I’ll post a status update as to what I am eating, cooking, photographing, or any random stupid thing I might be thinking about at any time. If you join Twitter, you can get instantaneous updates via your favorite Instant Messenger service when I post updates to the blog. If you’ve ever felt like cyber-stalking me but felt it was too creepy even for you, well, now’s your chance. And you can see the status updates of all the cool people I follow as well.

Check it out — http://twitter.com/jperlow


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