Monday, August 1, 2011

Portabello Market

Portabello Market is a quaint eatery located in downtown Pensacola in the same building as the Pensacola Little Theater. It is a bright, airy place with soothing music playing over the speakers.

Their menu consists of a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, other meals. Every day they have at least 2 soup specials. 

One of last Wednesday's soup specials was creamy cheeseburger. Though it does sound weird, it sounded very intriguing to me and decided to try it. It was a cheese based soup with hamburger meat and finely minced vegetables. Though it was not the best soup I have ever had, it certainly was not the worst. It was very flavorful, though just a tad too thick.
For the main meal I ordered a hot ham and Brie sandwich served on ciabatta bread with a creamy dijonaise sauce. 

Dad ordered the blackened Mahi sandwich with roasted shallots, gouda cheese, & tartar sauce served on a kaiser roll.

We split the sandwiches so we had a half of each. 

The Brie was was nice and creamy and the dijonaise gave the sandwich a little kick. The shallots on the fish sandwich added nice texture. But, unfortunately, the fish was overcooked and slightly tough.

Rating: 3.8/5 

Culinary Journey Part 4


For the Table

Cornmeal Fried Okra
with a spicy buttermilk dressing

Benton's Bacon Cornbread


Chilled Sprite and Melon Soup
with pickled shrimp, sweet peppers, spring onion, cilantro, & mint

with smoked jalapeno, tomato braised kale


Copper Lantern

Pork Skin Noodle Bowl
with Kentucky Miso broth, pork shoulder, crispy pig ears, shitakes, English peas, poached farm egg

Beef Tenderlion
with potato confit fried in beef fat, red wine braised eggplant, & mushrooms


Southern Fried Chicken Skins
with hot sauce and wadmalaw honey


Salad of Geechie Boy summer melons
with country ham, watercress, black pepper honey vinaigrette

with buttered lady peas and charred okra, heirloom tomato gravy

Culinary Journey Part 3



She-Crab Soup
laced with golden sherry
(very popular in Charleston)

Roasted Beats
goat cheese, apples, pecans, baby greens, apple cider vinaigrette

Barbecue Glazed Grilled Salmon
Anson's grits, braised greens, green tomato relish, plum barbecue sauce


Fried Oyster & Bibb Lettuce
pickled red onion, bacon, cucumber, buttermilk black pepper dressing

Seared Scallops
with field peas, okra & smoked pork, Anson's grits


BoneIn Rib Eye
Gnocchi with bacon,  cheddar, sour cream


Fried Okra
cornmeal crusted, goat cheese & chili oil

Cornmeal Fried Oysters
with a green tomato relish, chipolte aioli

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Culinary Journey Part 2

Hominy Grill


Chilled Cucumber Soup
with mint yogurt

Picnic Platter
homemade pimento cheese, ham, bread, pickled okra

Mom, Dad, & Matt

The Big Nasty
fried chicken with cheddar cheese and sausage gravy on a biscuit

Okra and Tomatoes

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Culinary Journey Part 1

Pictures of the family's culinary journey while on vacation in Kiawah & Charleston, South Carolina.

Sunday Brunch


Bottomless Mimosa

Seasonal Fruit 
with Tahitian vanilla creme fraiche, saba

Potato Crusted Salmon 
with dill infused tomatoes and broccolirabe

Hazelnut Butterfinger
chocolate pave, textured miso, & marin
(split with Dad)


Foi Gras Mousse
toasted brioche and rhubarb jam

Mom and Matt

Pork Belly 
with barley risotto and fried quail eggs

Mom, Dad, & Matt

Crab Carbonara
artisanal pasta, pork belly, poached egg, and English peas

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Polonza Bistro

This restaurant is fairly new to Pensacola. It is a coffee house/breakfast and lunch venue.It actually used to be another restaurant called Eat. Anyway, this restaurant is clean, simple, and has a lot of windows.

The menu features reasonably priced homey dishes as well as a wide variety of coffees.

I ordered the homemade pimento cheese, the potato soup, and the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. The pimento cheese contained freshly roasted peppers and was served with an herbal bread. The potato soup was impressive. The last few times I've ordered potato soup at a restaurant it was thick and paste-like. This soup, however, was silky. The pulled pork was juicy and smothered in barbecue sauce. This sandwich is pretty messy so make sure you get extra napkins. The sweet potato fries went perfectly with the pork. They were crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside, and not too sweet.

Wednesday's daily special was meatloaf served with your choice of two sides.

For dessert, I got the bread pudding which was served with a bananas foster/butterscotchy flavored sauce. Though it was delicious, it was way too big for one person to eat alone.

We all like to have snappy service when we go out to restaurants, but sometimes snappy is not always a good thing. I had just started to spread the pimento cheese on a piece of bread when the soup was delivered to the table. I set the bread down, took a spoonful of soup, and then, my sandwich was brought to the table. The sandwich would get cold if I didn't eat it, but then the soup would get cold if I didn't eat that. And, what about the appetizer? I can understand that they would want to be quick and efficient with serving the food, but by not spacing out the courses, it was hard to really enjoy the food.

Overall: 3.5/5

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Five Sisters Blues Cafe

If you are a fan of comfort food, then this is the place for you. A lightly decorated restaurant with bluesy jazz emitting from the speakers.

Upon being seated, a basket of hot rolls are brought out to the table. Now sweet tea usually goes well with comfort food. But, mint sweet tea is even better. It is clean and refreshing and addictive.

The menu of Five Sisters has everything from fried chicken to smothered pork chops to barbecue. They also have a soup and Gumbo of the day as well as a great selection of specials.

Today I ordered the Gumbo of the day which was Cajun sausage and green onion. It was amazing! I think it has to be the best Gumbo I have ever had. It was thick and creamy with the spiciness from the sausage and the slight crunch from the onion. Okra adds a bit of texture to blend. I even begin to say how delicious it was.

For my main meal, I ordered one of the specials. A blackened catfish over cheese grits with a side of sweet potatoes.

I do not usually eat catfish, but this was great. The fish was moist and flaky and well-seasoned. I was very
impressed with the grits. Usually when I order cheese grits with a meal, they turn out clumpy and hard. These were soft and smooth with just the right amount of cheese. The sweet potatoes were coated in a citrusy glaze with hints of brown sugar and possibly honey. They were sweet but not overly so.

For dessert I ordered the peach cobbler. It was served warm which enhanced the juicy tenderness of the peaches.

One of their appetizers is a sampler. You get fried green tomatoes, Chorizo crusted shrimp, and crab cakes. With this you get three different kinds of sauces.

Overall, the food is packed with flavor, and the atmosphere is bright and friendly.

I would give this a 4.5/5