Posts From October 2008
News-Journal staffer Amanda Cortright had lunch with her mom, Jane Bradford, recently at Bellini’s Delicatessen in DeLand. They’ve both been going there for years — it’s a favorite spot.
Q. What’s it like? Bellini’s is a DeLand tradition, that’s been there for about 30 years. It’s a mom-and-pop deli that’s casual and very budget-friendly. The menu includes subs, pizza, pasta dinners and salads.
Q. What did you order? Jane ordered her usual — the half salad plate with roast beef, swiss cheese and potato salad ($4). The plates come with pickled vegetables, olives and peppers, which can be omitted, as well as a small loaf of garlic bread. Lettuce and tomato are topped with your choice of meat and cheese (hot or cold) as well as all the salad finishings mentioned above.
Amanda ordered the spinach and cheese calzone ($3.75) with a side of potato salad ($1). Though he wasn’t present for lunch, Amanda’s husband asked for a take-out meal — a spaghetti dinner with salad and garlic bread ($5.75) and a side of potato salad for himself.
Q. Everyone ordered potato salad. Is there something special about it? Bellini’s potato salad is a favorite — it’s not too sweet, not full of celery and isn’t the typical yellow, Southern kind. It’s a creamy white with large hunks of potatoes and very addicting.
Q. Do they take credit cards? No, and the regulars are prepared with cash. Bellini’s is a cash- or check-only joint.
Q. How much did you spend? Remember how Bellini’s was labeled budget-friendly? The total for all three meals, including tax, was $18.43.
Q. Are they open for dinner? Yep. Bellini’s offers the same menu all day.
Bellini’s Delicatessen 111 E. Rich Ave., DeLand
HOURS: 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday
MISCELLANEOUS: No credits cards; cash or check only
PARKING: Bellini’s faces Rich Avenue in downtown DeLand. Parking is available on the street and in public parking lots on the east side and across the street on the south side of the restaurant.
ACCESSIBILITY: Once on the sidewalk, it’s a straight shot into Bellini’s with a small bump at the threshold into the restaurant.
Menu takes you to Mexico and beyond
For a true tour of the Latin palate, Mariachi Restaurant offers a widely varied cuisine — and on Friday night you can get real mariachi entertainment. Staff writer Audrey Parente recently took a friend to dinner there.
Q. How does this place rank on the authenticity scale? As a Mexican restaurant, this is the real deal — no Tex-Mex, no creative taco inventions, but the earthy blends of meat, vegetables and corn flour spiced by South of the Border kitchen wizards. Also on the menu are Mayan and Aztec spices, flavors ranging from Monterey and Brazil to Cuban, plus an Argentinean grill for two. Even the waitresses are from a variety of Latin American countries. My former co-worker Laurence Bennett chatted with Viviana from Ecuador while she attended to our every dining whim.
Q. How was the food? There’s a huge selection of appetizers and dinner entrees, and we began with pupusas, two corn gorditas with pork and cheese stuffed between, served with a cabbage salad.
Bennett went with a dish from the Yucatan, since he’s been there. He said Yucatecan (mostly Mayan) cooking is different from that of Colonial Mexico. So he got a dish called poc chuc Yucateco — several strips of pork marinated in sour orange juice, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted. It was served with a mild salsa of tomato, onion and chile peppers. You can make it “mas caliente” if you want, so Viviana brought some hot sauce.
The black beans were smothered in cheese; the fried plantains were soft. Mexican-style yellow rice was flecked with red and green peppers.
I went for something more standard, — plato Chihuahua — two cheese enchiladas and a batter-fried green poblano pepper stuffed with Mexican cheese. Mine came with refried beans and the rice.
Q. What about dessert? Neither of us finished the food, and we had enough left over for one person to have a whole meal, but we purposely quit early on the meal so we could order dessert: chocolate mousse for me, and Bennett ordered a “cajeta” — which came as a ball of vanilla ice cream coated with toasted nuts and coconut, perched on a thin, crispy cinnamon pastry circle drizzled with caramel sauce.
Q. How did you like the setting? The restaurant is in a shopping complex on Beville Road just around the corner from Nova Road, behind the Riverside Bank and almost overshadowed by a wireless telephone store. But, once inside, white tablecloths, stemware and folded cloth napkins are inviting, and the decor definitely gives a feeling you might be in Mexico.
We were seated right away and Viviana was generous with her time and attention.
Q. What did it cost? The entrees were $12.95 each. With dessert, appetizer and the Mexican beer Bennett sipped (full bar service available), the bill was $51.88, and a tip added another $10.50.
Mariachi Restaurant in the Village Plaza, 1110 Beville Road, Daytona Beach
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
THIS AND THAT: The enormous parking lot is easy-in and easy-out. A special entrance and parking spots are for wheelchair access. Major credit cards accepted.
For years I have gone on-line to read the DBNJ restaurants reviews to try to find places that my family would enjoy while we travel. These posts aren’t as colorful as my posts with pictures…..but still chock full o’ good information !!
Restaurant establishing track record
News-Journal staffer Amanda Cortright and her husband, Larry, explored the new Daytona Beach Kennel Club with friends Jim and Naomi Nichols on a recent night. They decided to stop in the dining room and check out the dinner menu.
Q. What is their menu like? The menu is typical American cuisine, including burgers, pasta, steaks, salads and sandwiches.
Q. How was the experience? It was actually kind of fun. Some tables allow you to bet, complete with a credit-card swiping monitor, right at your table. Simulcast races are viewable from most spots in the restaurant as is the dog track. We opted for a window view to watch the dogs run. The new Kennel Club feels a little bit like Las Vegas when you step inside, so it’s a fun escape — and a big change in decor — from the old club.
Q. Was it expensive? Not really. Most entree items ranged from $12 to $17 and appetizers were about $5. Our appetizers, potato skins ($5.25) and onion rings ($4.95), which Jim said had a “nice crispiness,” ($4.95) were large portions, perfect for four or more diners.
Q. What did you have for dinner? Apparently we hit a popular night — Thursday is prime rib night. That special included a choice of potato or rice and a dinner salad for $10.95. The Nicholses each chose that option. Larry and Amanda followed suit with their orders, and both chose the rigatoni with sauteed vegetables, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
The bowl came heaped with pasta that was quite tasty, enough for at least two meals each. The rigatoni comes with a choice of chicken ($12.95) or shrimp ($14.95), but can be made with no meat for a vegetarian option.
Of note were the dinner salads. They had a nice selection of fresh vegetables on top including red bell pepper, cucumber, tomato and olives and were much heartier than your typical iceberg-lettuce-and-shredded-carrot salad you see sometimes.
Q. Is it vegetarian friendly? The vegetarian options were quite scant. Besides the rigatoni sans meat, no other entrees would suit the veggie crowd. They do have dinner-sized salads that could be ordered without the meat on top.
Q. What about dessert? There were close to 10 choices for dessert, but ultimately the brownie sundae ($4.50) and Key lime ($4.50) pie won out at our table. Each couple decided to share the sundae — a smart move since it was a huge portion. The Key lime pie was the correct shade of yellow and had just the right amount of tartness.
Q. How much was it? The four diners, who sampled everything from appetizers to dessert, spent $85.73, including tax.
Q. How much did you lose on the dog racing?
Not a penny. We only watched. Maybe next time we’ll feel lucky and test out the dinner tables with the cool monitors attached.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club 960 S. Williamson Blvd., Daytona Beach
HOURS: Dinner only beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; lunch, or “matinees” as the track calls them, are offered on Wednesday and Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
MISC: The restaurant is in the back of the kennel club, facing the dog track.
Name now goes with patriotic motif
Editorial Assistant Kathy Page and her husband, Robert, treated themselves to a late lunch on a recent Sunday afternoon at Greg’s Liberty Grill in Ormond Beach.
Q. Is Greg’s Liberty Grill the same place as Greg’s Steak-N-Shrimp? Yes, it’s the same location, same owners, same patriotic motif, just a new name. Soon to be celebrating 13 years in business, owners Greg and Wendy Beer are continuing, as the slogan on their menu and sign says, “an American dining tradition.”
That tradition began more than 60 years ago when Wendy’s grandparents, Kay and Wendell Merthe, opened Kay’s Coach House Restaurant on Main Street in Daytona Beach in 1944.
Wendy’s restaurant roots combined with Greg’s experience working for and managing several area restaurants were the perfect pairing for the couple to open Greg’s in December 1996.
Q. Are there any other changes besides the name? Yes, they’ve added “Greg’s signature daily specials.” For $5.99, lunch specials are available until 4 p.m., and for dinner they’re $7.99 and come with soup or salad. Choices include chicken-fried chicken, baked lasagna, fish and chips, baked shepherd’s pie, shrimp basket, liver and onions and baked tilapia.
There’s also meatloaf, available Wednesdays only, and Greg’s famous chicken pot pie, available Thursdays only. And they’ve added chicken wings and several more salads to the menu as well.
Q. Did you have an appetizer? For starters, we decided on the gator tail ($6.99). They were lightly breaded and fried Florida gator strips (the largest we’ve ever seen) and served with a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce. Robert loves horseradish so he had our friendly server, Jessica, bring him some for dipping. We enjoyed every bite.
Q. What did you order? I chose the baked tilapia special, cooked to perfection with lemon pepper and garlic butter. It was covered with a savory salsa made with fresh corn, tomatoes and onions and served with homemade mashed potatoes with gravy and fresh green beans. Lots of rib-sticking food for $5.99.
Robert chose the patriot’s prime rib dip sandwich, thinly sliced with melted mozzarella.
It was served with lettuce, tomato, pickles, steak fries and cole slaw for $6.99. He was very happy with his choice.
Q. What else is on the menu? There are six different salads, including the buffalo chicken salad and shrimp salad. Sandwich selections range from tuna salad to Greg’s classic fried fish sandwich.
For dinner, there are steaks, prime rib, chicken, chops and seafood. Dinner entrees come with your choice of soup or salad, potato, vegetable and sweet corn fritters.
Q. Did you have room for dessert? Not a chance. But I’m looking forward to our next visit when I can try one of the tempting treats listed on the chalkboard for $2.99, like a piece of the homemade coconut cream, cherry or apple pie or the bread custard pudding.
Q. Would you go back? Anytime. The menu is simple yet diversified enough to satisfy any appetite. The food is fresh and good, the portions are large and it’s all offered at an affordable price.
Q. How much did you spend? Our appetizer, lunches and Robert’s beer totaled $23.93 with tax.
Greg’s Liberty Grill 165 N. Yonge St., Ormond Beach
HOURS: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
MISCELLANEOUS: Major credit cards accepted; beer and wine only; catering available
ACCESSIBILITY: Plenty of parking; special assistance provided for those with handicaps
Daytona Beach – By the Pier
Sometimes me and my Nikon go a-strolling along the water. Sometimes I see nothing more than the interesting way that the light hits the waves and it just makes me want to sit down and shoot photos… so I do.
Sit down on the sand and shoot photos — 100′s of them….
This was shortly after sunrise and I loved the way the light hit the water and the mist rode on the ocean.
And the world was starting to get up and enjoy the day with me….
Even tho I am not really a trained photographer, after several hundred shots — the light will hit the water just so and I get what I consider to be a great shot.
Sometimes the sunshine is all you need to bring a smile….
I love the light on the water in this shot….
I love the light on the water and the birds in this one….
Sometimes, you just capture the quiet… I love long quiet walks on the beach !!!