(I must be in some kind of time-warp or something. Maybe the "or something." I thought I posted my visit to a Chili's in Orlando, FL right after I got home. Time warp? Mind warp? I dunno. Anyway, I couldn't find it. Perhaps I only THOUGHT about posting it . . . Hmmmmmm.)
Any way, I went to Orlando three weeks ago to spend a special day with my youngest daughter, her husband, their precious daughter, Baby Cakes, and son-in-laws parents at the LDS Orlando Temple. It was a wonderful experience--even though it was exceptionally hot that afternoon!
As we traveled to the airport for my return flight--the in-laws had other obligations to attend to--the rest of us found a Chili's restaurant to feed our hunger. Daughter and I chose to split a "Caribbean Chicken Salad" that sounded good. Let me tell you, it was REALLY good! The chicken marinade was excellent, not overpowering, but very tastey--like lime juice, maybe brown sugar, and other seasonings that when grilled, was better than I expected. Add to that the pineapple, mandarin oranges, and cherries, cilantro, scallions, some salad greens--and honey/lime salad dressing--VERY yummy. I want to eat it AGAIN!
OKAY! I'M POSTING MY DISCLAIMER: I'm not a professional food critic. (Shock!) Not a gourmet. (Double shock!!) Just so you know. (Now I know you all feel better knowing I'm just a regular person who's picky about what she finds at restaurants.) No claim to culinary training or special knowledge of the culinary arts. I just like to eat good food. (But, I like some junk food, too, so there you have it!)
Tonight, my sweetheart took me out to eat on our regular Friday-Night-Date to "Hana's Japanese Sushi Bar and Grill" in Natchitoches, LA, a new-to-us place. The decor was pleasant. The meal, okay. We each began with miso soup and a salad (iceberg lettuce, a whole "baby" carrot, one cherry tomato with ginger salad dressing--left a lot to be desired) before our Spring Rolls. They were passable, but I've had much better. I had shrimp and vegetable tempura. The flavor was not bad, but it was warm, not hot. Rather than being light, it was heavy and greasy. The presentation, however, was attractive. Husband had chicken terryaki served in a cast iron skillet on a bed of sliced onions with barely steamed broccoli florets.. The chicken was tender. Each item was passable. Not impressive.
Of course, since we lived in Japan and had the "real deal" there . . . we might be somewhat biased in our views. However, we've had the privilege of eating some excellent Japanese food in various places over the 40 years we've been married (as of tomorrow). And this meal didn't qualify/measure up/impress us. Sorry, Hana's.
Chili's Caribbean Chicken Salad = **** (or 4 stars)
Hana's Shrimp Tempura and Chicken Terryaki dinners = * (or 1 star)