Monthly Archives: May 2012

Hardee’s Charbroiled Burgers

Recently, while driving I see Hardee’s advertisements showing their new burger the “Big Hardee”.

The thing with fast food places that make sandwiches and burgers is that its essentially the same thing with a slight factors changed, added or removed. When I first saw it, I thought of the Super Star without all the vegetables. Either way, I was intrigued (as all Fast-Food advertisements are delicious looking!), so I ordered it for dinner.

The delivery time was within the estimated bracket given by the call center (Which is something I have always experienced with Hardee’s delivery to Barsha 1). The Drink was separate and was handed as is in the picture above. I never was a fan of those carrying containers but I guess there isn’t much choice if they are delivering more than one drink.. The Bag’s paper material was thick, slightly plastic-like and is not just a brown bag. This is good because there can be grease sometimes which could have eaten through an ordinary paper bag.

Inside though, it didn’t seem like things were arranged. It was more like things were tossed in there. They could have put the Cookie and Fries upright beside the Sandwich and things would reach without spilling anything, and easy to take out as well.

So, the Main Attraction, the Food! I ordered a Big Hardee Combo Meal with Curly Fries and a Cookie.

The Burger was wrapped in an ordinary Paper Sandwich Wrap, which was a little greasy on the outside. I am guessing with the volume of sandwiches made, things can get a little messy. The burger itself was quite nice. The sandwich has two patties of Charbroiled Burger, two slices of American Cheese, Lettuce and what Hardee’s calls “Tangy Big Twin Sauce” which was pretty nice. It tastes like a combination of Mayonnaise and Thousand Island Sauce with tiny bits of Diced Pickles (Which now that I think of it, might actually be the sauce’s ingredients!)
The Curly fries was mediocre. Tt was slightly dry rather than crispy, I am guessing it stayed there for a while. The flavor was alright, certainly an “okay” change to French Fries.
The whole thing came to a good end with the Cookie. It was fairly big, as its name, and was delicious. It is soft and there was sufficient chocolate chips in it. Being on top of the Sandwich or against the Fries in the bag, it was warm.


The Big Hardee Combo, Up-sized with Curly Fries, Cookie and an additional Big Hardee Sandwich came to 44 Dhs. Hardee’s charge 5 Dhs for delivery. Without the additional Sandwich it would have cost 33 Dhs which is quite good value for a quick meal that includes Dessert.

The Packaging: 5 / 10
The Food:         5 / 10

Overall: 5 / 10

I’d recommend this place to deliver. Decent Fast-Food delivered for a quick meal.

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Delivery


Al Andalosia For Lunch in Uptown Mirdiff

As the weather starts to warm up, I like to take advantage of the last few outdoor seating options as I can, and did so at Al Andalosia for lunch (well.. late lunch..)

The place is rather big with ample space inside and outside for seating, although their outdoor seating is bigger than the inside. A cool thing about the place’s architecture is the section that is indoors has glass panels around it which can be folded like a curtain, thus leaving the indoor.. as outdoor.

The outdoor seating overlooks a round about which is a second entry to Uptown Mirdiff.

The view is spacious and there aren’t any high buildings around. Good fresh air.

The staff usually stand in a little gap between the doors of the restaurant’s two indoor sections (Assuming for the Air Conditioning) and were overlooking the outdoor seating attentively. One thing that was especially nice was a feeling that they maintain standards. I was outdoors and when I sat on a table, it was shiny and clean. I might have come right after they cleaned, I do not know, but when I came and sat, it was!

As it turns out from the menu they are a part of the Al Hakawati group of restaurants.
The menu is quite good, there is a good selections of starters, appetizers, grills, and international dishes. Nothing special or a specific dish of the place but a good enough selection to find something one could fancy. They did not jump ahead with water, and they brought it only when ordered. The place has Shesha indoors and outdoors for the smokers out there but I wouldn’t know whether to recommend it or not (I only do food here!)

For Starters (and after giving up on sitting outside…) I ordered the Mushroom Soup.

The Soup was really good! There was plenty of Mushroom in it (as can be seen in the picture) and tasted just right. It was slightly salty (A trend I am seeing in some soups these days..) but not in a bad way, it was flavorful and meant that way. Just warm enough to enjoy and not too warm to burn anything. The soup itself wasn’t too thick either, just watery enough for Cream of Mushroom Soup.
The Sides: This is a mystery at Al Andalosia. I have been here a few times, and every time I get served a different creation by the chefs inside. In this instance I got Bread with Cheese (This seems to be the most often served side) and fried bread or something.. That was not nice at all. Tasted fried and oily. Naturally that was the only thing that returned to the chef after my soup was done.

For the Main Dish I ordered the Grilled Chicken Breast.

First thoughts were that it looked nice and I liked the shape of the plates, and I liked the fact the plate was hot. I do not know why that matters to me but I like that touch.
The Chicken: Perfectly grilled, it was juicy and delicious. There was an overflow of Mushroom Sauce, which really complimented the soup I just had. The Mushrooms were exactly the same too. There was enough sauce to really dip in the Chicken to liking.
The Side: I couldn’t really tell if they were just Grilled, but I felt like they steamed the Vegetables and then finished them on the grill. Nice touch being a Grilled dish. They were cooked well, and were not crunchy.

The Service: There was enough staff to go around the tables and were attentive. They would pass different sections of the place to be sure no one is waiting. The service was fairly quick as well. Staff were friendly and polite. There really was no complaints on the service, yet nothing extra-ordinary, just simple good service.

Value: 1 Soup, 1 Main dishes and a Large water came up to just under 100 Dhs. The price is quite fair for a nice clean place with good food and service.

The Place:    5   / 10
The Service: 6.5 / 10
The Food:     6   / 10

Overall:  5.8 / 10

I’d recommend this place. Especially when the weather is just right.

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Dine In


Chilis For Lunch in Al Garhoud

It’s been a while since I have been at the Al Garhoud branch of Chilis so it was a good opportunity to do so!

Since I can remember the restaurant has been calm and relaxing. At lunch, it was no different.

We even got a little plant on the side of our table. As it turns out, it was Chilis’ 15th Anniversary and they had some decoration around. The thing I adored the most about this branch was the calm and quiet, it didn’t disappoint. As soon as the doors were opened, the staff were cheerful, polite and offered a table that was quite appropriate. Just away from other people, but not too far away. It is nice they understand spacing out customers for noise and comfort! Once seated, they brought their new menus, stated that there are new things added and some old removed and introduced us to the name of our server.. Although I couldn’t fully understand the waitress’s accent, I pretty much got the idea.

I really liked the place because the seating is varied and there is windows around bringing in plenty of light and the soft music in the background doesn’t distract nor leave a deafening silence.

So, the new menus!

I didn’t really know the old menu by heart, but I do remember my favorites and thankfully they are all there! As per what the waitress informed (and what I can remember of what the waitress informed) there were a few new Pastas and Chicken meals with the “Guiltless” section removed. I am one of those people who agree trying to save calories in a place with a menu baring millions of calories isn’t recommended, but still, people who are cautious of their calorie intake and are trying to slim down or lighten down should have that section, especially since I tried a few of them and they were delicious in the past.

For starters, I ordered a bowl of Chicken Mushroom Soup and Boneless Buffalo Wings.

I liked the side of crackers. The soup was acceptable. I have had this very soup at Chilis numerous times and there have been some good experiences, but this time it was not one of them. The soup was extremely thick, almost like a paste. The taste of everything in it was nice except for an increase in Black Pepper. Being thick and having more Black Pepper than usual, I did end up chewing on some peppers at times. Overall, the soup was alright and was at a good warm temperature but nothing to run home about.

The Boneless Buffalo Wings was nice. It was perfectly cooked and hot. It was extremely Vinegary and had a lot of spices in it and the dip is to cool the whole thing down. There is also some Celery if one ever needed to calm things down more! It is yummy to have but just keep in mind, if you have more than 2 or 3 pieces, your taste buds are going to burn and you may not really taste the rest of the food! I like it, but with moderation.

For the main dish, I, for the first time, ordered the Ribs. I was told that it was a lot and could cater for two people and it was recommended to have half. I of course didn’t listen and ordered the full one.

It was big! It was two big chunks of meat around a gigantic bone. Time to break it down..
The Meat: It was super tender, covered in delicious Barbecue sauce and would melt off the bone. Slicing it barely even needed the knife. If you like this cut of meat, you would adore it. I personally liked it, but a Rib-Eye is still preferred.
The Sides: Typical Chilis French Fries which are seasoned with Salt and Black Pepper. Tastes good, especially with your choice of dip (Mine is their Honey Mustard)
The second side was Cinnamon Apple. I have no idea what it was doing with this dish, but I understood the idea of bring something sweet to it. I also was given additional Barbecue sauce in a cup, that went along well with the meat.
A nice touch though was that they brought hand wipes with the barbecue sauce… I guessed probably in case someone does decide to have the Ribs with their hands, the old fashioned Meat-Lover way.

The second dish was the Monterrey Chicken with Shrimps.

This is my usual at Chilis but decided to change this time. The dish is simple with a Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Barbecue sauce, Beef Bacon Strips, Cheese and Chopped Tomatoes. This is a Combo set, where one can decide on two main dishes (from a selection of around 6 optioned) and 2 sides. The first peeve is that even though the Shrimp is considered a second “Main”, 6 or 7 tiny Shrimp certainly isn’t sufficient, especially compared to the other main beside it on the plate.
The Monterrey Chicken itself was well grilled, moist and the Beef Bacon was a little chewy. With the toppings, it is a very delicious dish.
The Sides: The Mashed Potatoes with Cheese and Chopped Beef Bacon has always been standard across every branch I been to and has been consistent here as well, delicious but needed Salt.
The Vegetables did require a little more steaming as they were a little crunchy.

After all this food there certainly wasn’t any place for any sweets or desserts, so probably some other time.

The Service: It was really good. When the re-fill-able drink was around 20-30% of the glass, they provided me with a full new one. When ordering food and the side dish was Vegetables they informed us that they were out of Broccoli (Which I believe is a sign that they really do know whats happening in the background). They were quick and attentive to our needs, the manager visits the tables to check if everything is suited to liking and there was ample polite staff to go around.

The Value: 1 Starter, 1 Appetizer, 2 Main Dishes (Albeit, one rather large main dish), 1 Juice, 1 Soft drink and a small bottle of water was around 250 Dhs which is good value for the quality and quantity of food served with really good service.

Another important Value factor which I found out by accident was, EmiratesNBD Credit and Debit card holders get a 10% discount when paying with the card. If you do not have that card, there is an online survey of some sort (I wasn’t fully attentive) that if filled along with the code on the bill would give either a discount or dessert on your next visit. Nice touch.

The Place:   6 / 10
The Service: 8 / 10
The Food:    6 / 10

Overall: 6.7 / 10

I’d recommend this place. The Al Garhoud branch for its calmness is a special favorite of mine.


Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Dine In


Café Blanc For Lunch at Dubai Mall

Passed by Dubai Mall and caught a quick lunch. I didn’t really have time for a complete dining experience but had a quick one!

The Café is classy and big with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating is especially nice because of a clear view of the Fountain Shows outside.

Even though it was a little hot, I enjoyed the views during the day so sat outside for the quick lunch.

The Café has lovely Place Settings and Cutlery.

The menu selection is mainly Arabic being that its a Lebanese Restaurant but they do have a good variety of food selection. I specifically like soup for lunch before food, but nothing really caught my eye. I’d expect any restaurant to have at least Chicken, Mushroom Soup or interesting creations but they didn’t.

A nice touch to the atmosphere and theme of the restaurant was when the water came (which didn’t come as soon as we were seated, unlike the trend of places I have visited recently) they brought two small dishes with Almonds and Termis (As per Google, its also known as Lupin Grain).

The nice thing about them was that they were Ice Cold! It was like a perfect snack before the food came, and being cold, really went well with sitting outdoors.

Waiters were not that attentive and there was some looking around for someone to take an order in order to get attention. The place does serve Shesha in their own unique Stainless Steel Sheshas which are like Cylinder Tubes which is pretty classy.

The Main dish was their Mixed Grill.

The food was served with Pickles as most Arabic Restaurants do with Grills.
The Meats: The Beef cubes were good. They were warm (I could have liked if a little warmer) and cooked well. The Kofta (Minced Meat Grilled on a Skewer) was really good. The flavors and herbs in it was superb, but the real highlight was the Chicken Cubes. They were perfectly cooked, really tender and juicy.
The Sides: There were two slices of bread with two fillings, one with Minced Meat baked in the bread and another with Herbs, Tomato Paste and some greens (Lightly Spicy). These were nice bites on the side, but nothing special. The other side was French Fries which with a little Salt and favored Sauce (Ketchup in this case) was quite normal.

It was a good dish, and the Meats were cooked really up to standard. The dish required a little more flavors around the Meats, and the menu could use a little updating. Also, some might find (including me) that just 3 Skewers might not be very filling. Some places with similar food offer bigger Skewers or additional Meats in their Mixed Grill such has a Lamb Chop or a Shrimp.

The Service: It was alright. The waiters were around, just not always a 100% attentive, they were polite but might have been better suited with a smile. I couldn’t fully go against them because it is pretty hot and if I was out in the heat I’d not be Smiling much either. I have been here before though, and the service standards were quite similar. There was a slight delay in getting the bill too.

Value: 2 Main dishes, 1 Large Bottled Water, and a Shesha was a little over 250 Dhs. It is slightly above average on the price front, and that is considering the location and views too.

The Place:   6 / 10
The Service: 4 / 10
The Food:    5 / 10

Overall: 5 / 10

I’d suggest this place but know there are worthy alternatives near by!


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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Dine In


Pizza Hut for Dinner at Hor-Al-Anz

Pizza Hut has never been overlooked in terms of delicious pizzas, and so, I didn’t overlook it today.

Driving around, found a Pizza Hut in Hor-Al-Anz, Dubai. Now, there wasn’t much expectation of the overall quality of the place as it was in a services station surrounded by car services, oil change stations and car washes. The restaurant didn’t disappoint my original thought, but wasn’t that bad actually.

The place was acceptably clean and from what I understood by people making orders that it was mainly a take-out branch than a Dine-In one, even though there were about 6 places for people sit and eat.

From first glance, the salad bar was fairly clean and nothing to discourage eating, not like it was extremely appetizing either.

The first evidence that this branch isn’t the traditional Dine-In

Yes, No normal plates. There was just 1 person working in the place as a cashier/waiter and he came up with paper plates, and an aluminium container for the salad.

The salad itself was fresh, and although I did not pick a variety I could see that the salads were fresh and clean.

The meal we ordered (Meal for Four) came with Garlic Bread which we upgraded to have additional Cheese

At this point, Pizza Hut started clawing back points! Ignoring that it also came in a paper plate, the Garlic Bread with Cheese was crunchy, warm and delicious. It is exactly what one can expect from Pizza Hut’s standards. The cheese was stringy and had melted into the bread.

There was still a little doubt as to whether the main pizzas would continue the trend or not..

Oh yes they did. We had two pizzas, the Pepperoni which Cheese and the Super Supreme. The Pepperoni was traditional Pizza Hut quality Pepperoni pizza. It was hot out of the oven and the Cheese was stringy and created all the pizza Cheese drama expected and there was sufficient Pepperoni thrown around. The Super Supreme also didn’t disappoint, the vegetables tasted fresh and the Cheese was also hot and stringy. Both the breads were soft and crunchy at the edges.

The Service: I wouldn’t want to be biased on the service being that there were plenty of customers coming in and the cashier himself was the server, but he did respond well when he didn’t have someone in front of him. He was quick to serve and was polite. He did seem extremely stressed out but managed to maintain good customer service.

Value: Meal for four (Should be meal for 3 max!) included 2 Medium Pizzas, 4 Garlic breads with additional Cheese, salad plate (or in this case aluminium container) and 4 drinks came to 67 Dhs. Which is good value for the quantity.

The Place:     3 / 10
The Service:   3 / 10
The Food:    5.5 / 10

Overall: 3.8 / 10

I’d recommend Pizza Hut in general, just in a bigger and more Dine-In focused branch.

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Dine In


Dahleez Restaurant For Lunch in JBR, Dubai

JBR is full of restaurants and cafes but Dahleez is a special one. It is located on an upper floor (Above Burger Fuel to be exact) which means it is away from the traffic of JBR and it is really calm, especially indoors. The only down side of this is that Dahleez has no view.

There is seating inside and outside. The staff were very sweet and the selection of where we wanted to sit was open to where ever we decided. Instantly with settling down and being handed the menus, the water arrived which again, is a nice touch.

They have a good Menu with a wide variety and Shesha as well (both indoors and outdoors)

For lunch, I started with a Cream of Chicken Soup.

I have to admit, it really is one of the nicest Chicken Soups I have had. First of all, the Chicken is not cubes (as I general come across) but minced Chicken with chopped onion, and for some reason it really works. It is also a little salty. Not in a bad way but there is that little touch of salt flavor either from the Chicken stock or broth or something but it really is delicious, especially with lemon. I usually never add anything to Cream of Chicken soup but this one with Lemon is just really good. There is a good selection of soups on the menu but I have no heart to order something else instead.

For the main course, I ordered something called Chicken Special

A simple menu option saying Chicken Special, I think, is a waste for this dish because it certainly is a very nice idea! Essentially, the chicken is pan grilled around baby Tomatoes and topped with a white Mushroom sauce. When I first tried it, I adored the idea. It was a delicious dish but there were a few issues. The chicken was a little dry but not too much and also resulted in the Tomatoes squirting when trying to get off the sticks. The French Fries were ordinary, which with a little salt was nice. The vegetables were alright too, and could have used a little more steaming. Overall, the dish was good and the flavors were all there.

The dish is actually really filling! I was really hungry and after the second stick, I was pretty much done.

The Service: All staff were polite, attentive and quick to serve. There is sufficient staff to go around and I do like the fact there are supervisors or managers around at all times, it does give the impression they are all watched to maintain standards.

Value: 2 Starters, 2 Main dishes, drinks for two came up to a little over 100 Dhs. Being in JBR, with good service, good food, and a calm environment, it certainly is very good value. They are a member of Al Koufa group and they fall under the Al Multaqa Points Program which gives 10% of your bill as points which can be redeemed at any time against your bill. It is like a permanent 10% discount.

On Friday, they have a buffet for 35 Dhs only too!

The Place:      5 / 10
The Service:    7 / 10
The Food:       6 / 10

Overall: 6 / 10

I’d recommend this place.

I have Re-Visited the Restaurant and posted a Re-Visit Review which can be read here.

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Dine In


Chin Chin – Chinese Restaurant

I have always been a fan of Chin Chin’s Chinese food. I was a regular customer of the branch near Al Deyafah street but there has always been something unusual about Chin Chin. They have branches around Dubai that have no relation with each other, the Dubai Marina Branch has nothing to do with the Al Deyafah branch. The Marina Branch which made different branches have different tastes, prices and serivce..

Recently though, Chin Chin opened in Al Barsha! and the confusion began…
As it turns out it was part of the second franchise (The Dubai Marina one) but the food tasted as good as the Al Deyafah one, and so the eating began!

Yesterday I ordered me some Chin Chin for lunch!

So first up, the delivery was fairly quick (but then again I am very close). They put the soup in an individual bag. What I did not like about their packaging is that they have stapled everything! even the soup bag is all stapled. (So be careful!) They might need to re-think their delivery packaging.

So, the food! I ordered a Shezwan Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken Manchurian Sauce, and a Chicken Corn Soup.

The overall food packaging was simplistic, clean, and neat. No paper packaging or aluminium foiling. The plastics are Microwave friendly too. This might come in handy because unless you are extremely hungry, the sauce will definitely not finish, and most often, neither will the rice as it is good for 2. Experiencing various deliveries and having things dripping or loose, the packaging by Chin Chin is very good.

What was required in the delivery was proper utensils. They only provided chop sticks. I have ordered from them before and it was the same, apparently they do not delivery utensils. So, chop sticks aside, I got my own spoon and dug in!

The Soup: Delicious. Simple, straight forward, nothing fancy (Ironically their slogan) or out of the ordinary. It was just right in taste, texture and temperature. I mixed in a little vinegar sauce and soy sauce and it was among one of the nicest tasting Chicken Corn Soups out there from Chinese Fast Food.

The Rice: The spices were sufficient, and the shezwan part of the rice was evident making it all spicy. The taste was good, there are a few vegetables that need to be cooked a little more. I had to crunch a few things every once in a while (Has happened before too), but the rice and protein in it were good.

The Sauce: It was thick and well cooked. Also among one of the best Manchurian sauces I have tried from Chinese Fast Food. My only issue is some pieces of chicken had a little fat and/or a little skin. Nothing tasted or smelled wrong, it tasted good actually.


1 Soup, 1 Rice Dish, and 1 Sauce Dish was 59 Dhs which is very fair, especially since the food is really filling for 1 person and could easily be sufficient for 2, and there is no delivery charge as well!

The Packaging: 6 / 10
The Food:         6 / 10

Overall: 6 / 10

I’d recommend this place to deliver.


Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Delivery


Carluccio’s For Lunch at the Dubai Mall

So passing by the restaurants in Dubai Mall and getting hungry from shopping and walking around, decided to pop into Carluccio’s

First task, location. The restaurant is fairly large and has very nice decor. We sat by the window to enjoy the view. They also have seating outside, but it was a little hot for us.

The restaurant is very clean and everything is perfectly matching with the decor and layouts.
The main attraction! The food!

For starters I had ordered the Mushroom soup, and for the table; Garlic Bread with Cheese and Fried Calamari.
I am not a big fan of clear soup but as it turns out it was slightly creamy. The soup was delicious and filled with mushrooms which is something I really appreciated.
The Calamari was nice, crispy and the dip was just right, but I have had better Calamari.
The Garlic Bread with Cheese was really nice, came in 3 pieces. It was crispy around the edges and soft in the middle, slightly warm and delicious.

For the main meal, I ordered the Rib Eye Steak, cooked well done.

As soon as the main dishes arrived they rushed to offer fresh pepper which was pretty good.
So, the dish! I liked it overall but there were a few downfalls!

The Meat: Delicious! Perfectly cooked, tender, juicy and sufficiently sized! I Really appreciate when a steak is served with a knife. Plus points for that!
The Side: Seriously disliked it.The potatoes were bland and tasted a little funny. I like spice so I asked for Tabasco which still didn’t help the potatoes (I think it might be the first time Tabasco didn’t fix something that isn’t yummy!). The sauce didn’t compliment the steak nor the potatoes in my opinion, it was a bit sweet maybe a little fruity. Regular bottled barbecue sauce or some mushroom sauce would have been ten times yummier!

The second dish was a Penne Pasta with a minced-meat sauce.

I really love my steaks, but I liked this. Couldn’t decide whether I rather have ordered this or not but I enjoyed my steak!

Nothing much seemed flawed in the pasta, it was more than enough for 1 person, they served shredded cheese on the side, and it was warm enough for the cheese to melt. It did require salt to be added as it was a little bland at first.

The service: The service was sweet! No complaints. They were welcoming at the door, allowed us to select any place we liked to sit, served water quickly (Not sure whether its because its hot, or that’s just their service, but I liked it), the menus were packed with choices (few funny words but was clear) and were quick to serve anything we required whether it was Tabasco or a new bottle of water.

Value: 3 Appetizers, 2 Main dishes, 2 Large water bottles and the bill was around 300 Dhs. Pretty decent for a nice restaurant with good service and brilliant views.

The Place:    6 / 10
The Service:  8 / 10
The Food:     6 / 10

Overall: 6.7 / 10

I’d recommend this place.

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Dine In


First Post!

Well I wanted my first post to be more of an introduction to what this blog is all about!

I decided to write reviews of dining experiences I have around Dubai mainly, and also shall include food that I order in.

I do not have any culinary experience nor am any professional but I do know that in Dubai there are so many expatriates and also tons of restaurants everywhere we go. I also know that most of the people going to restaurants are not professionals nor culinary experts as well, so I am a part of that majority of people who just enjoy good food!

My reviews aren’t going to just be about the food, I want to review the entire experience, service, layout, and anything I can think of actually!

I hope you enjoy the reviews and visit often! 😀

Follow me on twitter!!/IhabInternetm

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Personal Notes

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