Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I'm always giddy when I get invites to events and screenings from unfamiliar PR Agencies; because it means what little I understand and try to make happen in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is working!
Last week the Caribbean influenced chain restaurant Bahama Breeze Island Grille invited food writers to come and sip their two new Legendary Island Cocktails:
The pink drink Yaka Hula Hickey Dula, named after a Hawaiian love song, features pineapple juice blended with Meyers' Dark and Bacardi 151 - This drink was a bit strong for me, the bartender told me to stir it some more to bring out the flavors of the juice, but it still seemed like a mixture that was gonna knock me flat, so I only drank half. - 2.5 Tines
The shorter cocktail is called the Daisy de Santiago, invented by Don Facundo Bacardi.
It's a Cuban inspired drink made with Bacardi rum, Chartreuse liqueur, lime juice and mint leaves.- I'm a big fan of the Mojito, so this drink was up my alley, although it differs from a Mojito in that it doesn't contain any simple syrup or grappa, so it's less sweet and more refreshing and limey - 3 Tines
Side note: actually the Daisy de Santiago was probably the more potent drink, as Chartreuse liqueur is 110 proof. Bahama Breeze had to get permission from the LCB to use the elixir in the recipe.
Movie side note: In Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, the bar owner Warren serves a green liqueur. After being asked what was just served, Warren says, "Chartreuse, the only liqueur so good they named a color after it."
|Chef Bryant Bailey with effervescent server and aspiring photographer Natasha Kopa|
Obviously you're not going to liqueur up food writers without serving up some eats!
Chef Bryant Bailey personally presented a variety of their appetizer dishes:
Chicken Empanadas - handmade pastries filled with savory chicken, mushrooms and peppers with a side of corn salsa - 3 Tines
Crispy Onion Rings - hand-breaded with a dusting of coconut flakes. Served with a citrus mustard dipping sauce - 3.5 Tines
Warm Goat Cheese and Flatbread Crips - Fire roasted red peppers stuffed with Goat Cheese & salsa severd w/ Lavache crackers - 3 Tines
Coconut Shrimp - crispy shrimp with citrus-mustard sauce.- 3.5 Tines
- 3 Tines- Buffalo style in a spicy habanero pepper barbecue sauce.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings- oven roasted and marinated for 24hrs in authentic jerk seasonings. These are really large wings, cooked to a nice firm, plump done-ness - 4 Tines!
(see more photos in below slideshow)
Darden Restaurant Goup headquartered in Orlando Florida, with 33 location around the US. However, Gary passionately talks about the uniqueness and attention paid to each location:
- He personally takes pride in hiring the best Caribbean musicians to play live music on the indoor/outdoor deck.
- Bartenders are given a rigorous training, as drinks are made from scratch, with plenty of squeezing, grinding and mixing- no frozen or powdered mixes. The bar even boasts a sugar cane crusher.
- Bahama Breeze has two very lucky people on staff, whose job it actually is to visit all the tropical islands in order to sample, taste and discover popular and legendary drinks being served in these paradise watering holes. - If it were food instead of drink, that job has my name on it!
- The restaurant's aim is to give patrons an hour or two or more of escape with not only special drinks and island inspired dishes, but through vibrant colors and a relaxing vibe.
- The menu changes twice a year. With specials running quarterly. The next special will feature fresh Big Eyed Tuna straight from Hawaii, caught and delivered to each Bahama Breeze location within 24hrs. The menu will feature the tuna in a salad, entree and appetizer.
(Above picture slideshow from Preview Event)
I was invited to the King of Prussia location (320 Goddard Boulevard). I told Gary I'm often in the vicinity seeing a screening at the Stadium 16 & IMAX theater adjacent to the restaurant, but figure I don't have time to order and get to the movies on time. He assured me that although they don't take reservations, anyone trying to get in and out for a movie can call ahead and they will do their very best to accommodate your show time schedule.
Dining "Tine" Rating System:
* Excellent - 4 Tines / * Great - 3 Tines / * Good - 2 Tines / * Fair - 1 Tine / * Poor - Tarnished
Philly Food Blog