Category Archives: Food

Siam Orchid – Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

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For my next tasting experience, I head to Miracle Mile and to Siam Orchid Thai & Sushi restaurant!  I’ve been writing for VeroVine.com now for 2 and a half years and believe it or not, this is the first Asian restaurant that I’ve reviewed.  Moving from the Midwest a little over 4 years ago, this type of cuisine was not as prevalent up there as it seems to be in the south.  I’ve had the opportunity to dine at a few locations across Vero and my love and knowledge of the cuisine has most certainly grown. 

While this place shares the same name and signage as a place in Orlando, they are independent of each other and I’m happy to report this place is locally owned.  The current owner, Beam Tk and his family operate this place and took over ownership back in November of 2016. They are located in the middle of one of the most confusing intersections in Vero.  As you drive down US Hwy 1 and take the right exit to go to Miracle Mile, they are in a small strip mall at the corner of 21st and 8th Ave.  Parking was not an issue for us although their lot is fairly small and at peak times for all businesses, it could fill up fast.  Upon entry into the restaurant, there is a sushi bar that you can sit at and watch the chef (Beam) at work, and the hostess stand is on the right as is the dining room.  The space is comfortable and minimally decorated with a mix of booths and tables.

 

Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!

Crab Angels – ($6.95) –  First time I’ve heard them called “Crab Angels”, I’m more familiar with the term Rangoons.  A wonton wrapper is filled with a seasoned cream cheese and crab mixture pinched together and fried until golden brown.  A sweet chili sauce was served alongside.  My dad and I always order these and these are some of the best I’ve had around town.  The way they are folded into “angels” allows for a lot more filling inside.  I should also mention that real crab meat was used, not the imitation crab meat like most places use.  They were fantastic!

House Sampler – ($15.95) –  I love sampler platters because it allows me to try a few different items that I may not have ordered on their own to see if I like them.  This one consists of Shrimp in a Blanket, Thai Crispy Rolls, Chicken Satay, Fried Dumplings, and Edamame.  Four different dipping sauces were served alongside.  Everything was perfectly cooked/fried and was quite tasty.  The dipping sauces added additional flavors to some already great items.  The only thing we didn’t like was the Edamame, but that is just a personal preference.

Super Crunch Roll (Tempura) – ($10.95) – This was an interesting twist on a sushi roll that I’ve not tried before.  The roll is made with Eel, Salmon, krab, scallions, cream cheese, then lightly tempura battered and flash fried.  It was served over Eel sauce.  The roll tasted like any other roll of this type only it had an interesting texture and crunch when you took a bite of it.  The tempura was lightly fried, not greasy at all, and added that richness you come to expect from this type of batter, which only added another layer of flavor to the roll.

Salmon Samba Sushi Burrito – ($12.95) – I have to admit, when I first saw this posted on their Facebook page, it did not seem appetizing to me, but after trying it, I can’t stop thinking about how good it actually was.  Inside the roll, you will find Tempura Salmon, Tempura Asparagus, Masago, Cucumber, Lettuce and Eel sauce.  Think of this as an oversized sushi roll that has not been sliced.  My biggest concern for this was would I be able to easily bite through the seaweed wrapper on the outside and it was easier than I thought it would be.  The flavor and texture were really good and I would definitely order this again on my next visit.

Shabu Shabu Hot Pot While this is not my first experience with Chinese Hot Pot, it has been many years since I’ve had it, so I was looking forward to trying it again.  Items are served a la carte and you choose what you want.  You are charged a per person broth price then you can add meatballs, dumplings, vegetables, meat of your choice including seafood options, with add-ons of noodles or tofu.  First off, the broth was amazing!  It’s made fresh in-house by Beam’s mother who works in the kitchen.  All of the ingredients that were provided were fresh and delicious!  If you have never tried this before, I highly recommend it.  It’s a new way to experience food and its fun for everyone at the table.

Yellow Curry – ($11.95) – I think most people have a misconception that Curry tends to be “spicy”, but it most cases it’s just “spiced” which gives it tons of flavor with only a little bit of heat which was the case with this one.  Made with yellow curry paste, it also has chicken, pineapple, potato, red and green bell peppers, and cashews.  The broth was smooth and creamy and had a bold, yet not too spicy flavor.  White rice was served alongside.

Mango with Sticky Rice – ($5.95) – To round out our meal, we were served a raspberry flavored sticky rice with sliced mango on the side.  The sticky rice had just the amount of sweetness and while the raspberry flavor was somewhat subtle, it was just the right amount.  The sliced mango was very fresh and had a wonderful citrus flavor.  As you can imagine what all we had to eat that we were fairly full at this point, but somehow the dessert seemed to disappear before the evening was over.

In Conclusion:

Most of the time my wife and I do these reviews alone, but this time we took 2 additional people with us and boy are we glad we did!  The amount of food served to us was staggering and we were very full by the end of the evening because it was all so good!  Now that we know this place is not a chain restaurant and run by a local family, we will now add it into our Asian restaurant rotation when we choose to dine out for this type of cuisine.  We had a wonderful experience and meal, so I suggest you stop by and check these guys out, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Siam Orchid Website  |  Siam Orchid Facebook Page

Address762 21st St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 569-2829

Hours of Operation: 

Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2:30pm and 4:30pm – 10:00pm,

Saturday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 4:30pm – 10:00pm

Sunday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 4:30pm – 9:00pm

 

 

Nick’s Family Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

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My next Tasting Experience review takes me to Nick’s Family Restaurant in Downtown Vero!  This is one of those places that I like to call a local’s place.  It’s somewhat hard to find and parking is not the best, but it’s so worth seeking out.  It has the feel of a place like the TV show called Cheers, and it feels like everyone knows your name since you will most likely bump into your neighbor while you are there.  The building they occupy dates back to the 1920’s and it got its start as a jewelry store called J.C. DuBose.  Mr. DuBose also used it for the practice of optometry.  Through the years it has seen many different restaurants including Sand Bar & Package Tavern, Bobby’s Café, Pepin’s Pub, Pickles Deli Café, and lastly before becoming Nick’s it was the Palm Tree Inn.  Nick and his wife, Meggin have owned and operated Nick’s Family Restaurant for the last 16 years, the most of any previous restaurant tenant.  The word “family” in the name best describes who is working here more than the atmosphere.  Nick and his mom run the kitchen with help from his niece on busy nights, and you can find Meggin working the dining room and waiting tables.  What are they doing differently than the previous tenants did that has kept the doors open this long?  Keep reading to find out!

I’m sure most of you have passed by this place 100 times and did not even realize it was there.  As you head west on Hwy 60 there is a sign and an entrance, but no parking available.  To park and use the back entrance, turn left off of 14th Ave right before Blue Agave into the ally, and a few businesses down is where Nick’s entrance is located.  They have a few designated parking spots, but in the evening when most businesses close, there are quite a few other spots available.  The rear entrance from the ally feels like you are going into the employee entrance, but it takes you into a long hallway right into the dining room.  The dining room has a large bar that has 10 seats and on the opposite wall are tables and chairs.  They do have a few high-top tables at the front entrance if you prefer.

 

Now let’s jump right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!

Garlic Knots ½ Order – ($3.95) – I haven’t met a garlic knot that I don’t like yet, and these are no exception.  Perfectly baked till golden brown on the outside, soft and fluffy inside.  They are served with a side of house-made marinara is the perfect appetizer to start your meal.

Sausage Parmesan Sandwich – ($7.95) –  OMG that looks so good!  Made with a toasted sub bun, they use a mild Italian sausage and place it inside the bread with their marinara sauce and top it with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  The sausage was ground very fine and had the consistency of a meatball in a casing.  The marinara was the same as served with the garlic knots, and as you can see from the picture above, they don’t skimp on the cheese.  It was amazing!

Bacon Swissburger – ($8.95) – A classic cheeseburger with bacon and sautéed onions & mushrooms is always an excellent choice.  The burger was cooked to a perfect medium and was very juicy, the bacon was nice and crisp and added a subtle smokiness, and the bun was soft and very fresh.  French Fries were served alongside.

Chicken Wings (10 pc) – ($9.95) – Wings are one of my all-time favorite foods on the planet, and Nick’s multiple Award-Winning wings are some of the best that Vero has to offer.  The jumbo wings are fried then tossed in the sauce of your choice.  The wings are crispy on the outside and moist and tender inside.  With 11 different sauce options, they have something to please everyone. 

Cannoli – ($2.95) – We were getting pretty full from all the food they served us, but we still wanted something sweet to round out our meal.  The cannoli made sense due to the size, and there is always room for dessert, right?  The cannoli shell was fried till golden brown, stuffed with their house-made filling, then dusted with powdered sugar.  The super smooth filling had the perfect amount of sweetness and small chocolate chips added a slight texture to the filling.  It was really good!

In Conclusion:

I only just discovered Nick’s less than 6 months ago and I’m glad I did.  I was so impressed with their wings that we decided to do a Vero Beach Foodie wing eating contest at the end of January with their hottest sauce called Italian Pain.  It was a raving success and we plan to do another one later this year, but with a much hotter sauce.  This is a place that both my wife and I continue to suggest as a dinner option since they have items that we both like, so this place comes up often as our go-to place.  If you have not been here before, then might I suggest you give them a try and see for yourself, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried Nick’s Family Restaurant?  What has your experience been with them?  Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Nick’s Family Restaurant Website  |  Nick’s Family Restaurant Facebook Page

Address1453 20th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 567-2311

Hours of Operation:  Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 3pm, Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 9pm

Patty’s Cakes of Vero Beach – Business Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

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I first discovered Patty’s Cakes when I came across one of her creations on Facebook and I felt compelled to reach out to her for more information about the amazing cakes I saw on her page.  We scheduled a time to get together for a tasting and the cakes below are what she made for us to try.  When we arrived at her home, she had a simple, yet elegant setting waiting for us at her dining room table along with champagne for the tasting.  Everything looked wonderful so I could not wait to dive right in and see what flavors she made for us to try.

From the age of 10 years old, Patty started baking in the kitchen with her mother and it quickly became a passion.  One of her favorite things to make were cream puffs.  She got so good at making them her neighbors started to request orders for them and she was happy to oblige.  Her mother started to notice how many ingredients came up missing from her panty and how messy the kitchen became, so she decided that Patty could start purchasing her own ingredients and cleaning the kitchen too.  While the professional training that Patty has had over the years has given her knowledge, her mother has been her greatest influence, providing both experience and the support needed to start her own business, which she also helped give a name to, and Patty’s Cakes was born.

In Conclusion:

Cakes have become so much more than just a simple sweet treat for parties and celebrations.  They have become a representation of what is important to us in our lives, and Patty does a wonderful job of creating that for your special occasion.  We were provided with five amazing cakes to try for the tasting and we loved each one of them.  They were all very moist and were quite delicious with tons of flavor.  With all of her cakes being made from scratch, you have many options to choose from when you sit down with her to create your perfect cake.  If you are looking for that one of a kind cake for your special occasion, then I suggest you give her a call, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Patty’s Cakes of Vero Beach Website  |  Facebook Page

Give her a call to set up an appointment:  (772) 643-7061