Tag Archives: Chicken

Dagwood’s 2018 – Restaurant Review

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

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

My next tasting experience takes me back to one of my all-time favorite sandwich shops in Vero, Dagwood’s Deli & Sub Shop!  A lot of people often wonder where a food critic likes to spend their money and go back to after the reviews are over.  Dagwood’s is one of those places for me.  Why is that?  I strongly believe in supporting small business over the corporate guys.  They are working hard to give you the absolute best quality and experience possible because their livelihood depends on it.  I know where my money is going and what it’s helping do.  Not only is it keeping the money right here in Vero, but I also know it’s keeping a roof over their heads and putting shoes on their kid’s feet.  Small businesses like this are run by people just like you and me, and it’s good to see them succeed at something they love to do.    

Parking can be tight in the strip mall and this place is always busy over the short 4 hours that they are open.  Plan to come early or be prepared to fight for a parking spot, but trust me, it’s worth it.  Since my last visit, they recently started staying open till 10:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, so parking does get a little easier later in the day since the other businesses in the strip mall are closed.  As you walk into Dagwood’s, you are greeted by a counter with stools and a dining room to the right with low and high-top tables.  One new thing you will notice is a wonderful selection of local beers that they offer on tap.  After placing your order at the front counter, you will receive your drink and then instructed to take any seat and your sandwich will be delivered to your table.  The atmosphere is nice, with ochre-colored walls and black accents.  Decorations are bold and add a unique vibe to the place.  They have also added a large chalkboard menu on the left wall you can browse while waiting your turn to place your order.

 

Now on to the food!  Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

New York Club – ($6.75 half / $9.99 whole) – New York deli is one of my all-time favorites so I was looking forward to trying their version of it.  A combination of Dagwood’s own house-made pastrami and corned beef is layered with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and is served on rye bread.  Can’t make the trip to NY for some of the best delis in the world, stop by Dagwood’s right here in Vero and I’m sure you will fall in love all over again.

Open Face Chicken Club – ($6.75 half / $9.99 whole) – Who knew you could have it made open faced?  This sandwich is made with oven roasted chicken breast, bacon, provolone cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and Dagwood spices. 

The Okeechobee – ($9.99) – As one of Dagwood’s newest creations, I could not wait to try this one!  Roast beef, bacon, cheddar, lettuce & tomato is piled high on white bread and dressed with mayonnaise and bang sauce.  This thing was a monster!  I felt as if I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite.  Everything worked very well together and you get a little heat on the backend from the bang sauce. 

Vero Beach Classic – ($9.99) – This is also a new sandwich that is not on the menu yet, and I think my new favorite!  Chicken, roast beef, swiss cheese, bacon, avocado, peppercorn, parmesan, lettuce & tomato, Dagwood spices, piled high on garlic toast.

BBQ Sub – ($6.75) – Man, doesn’t that look good?  It’s made simply with pulled chicken, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, on a sub bun.  While it may sound simple, everything just works and it’s quite tasty. 

In Conclusion:

Dagwood’s continues to impress me with their offerings.  From their house-made meats, beyond fresh ingredients, these are some of the best sandwiches you will find in Vero, period.  Now open till 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, your weekend dinner options just got easier.  Josh and Marie are also some of the nicest, most hardworking folks you will ever meet in the food industry.  Their drive and passion for what they do shows and you can taste it in the sandwiches they make.

NOTE:  My comments about each sandwich were kept at a minimum for this review because there are only so many ways you can describe a sandwich and how it tastes, or how fresh the ingredients are, so I figured I would summarize my experience in the “In Conclusion” part of this tasting experience article.  I also think the pictures speak for themselves!

Vero Beach Foodie is stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new!  Check out our very first Mukbang video of Dagwood’s review and let us know what you think!

Have you tried Dagwood’s?  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.

Dagwood’s Website  |  Dagwood’s Menu  |  Facebook Page  |  Chow Cab

Address835 17th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 778-1900

Hours:  Open Monday – Thursday, 11:00am till 3:00pm, Open Friday – Saturday, 11:00am till 10:00pm, Closed on Sundays

Heaton’s Reef – Restaurant Review 2017

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

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

If you are a regular reader of my restaurant reviews, you may recall my friend and neighbor, Eden Colonna, who wrote the review of Heaton’s Reef last year.  She is attending culinary school down in Boca and was home for the summer.  She had an interest in food writing, so I invited her to tag along and write the review.  Check out the link below if you would like to see her article from last year.

2016 Restaurant Review of Heaton’s Reef

My friend and manager, Will McKinnon invited me back to check out their brand-new summer/fall menu for 2017.  I’m always up to try their food because it’s made under the direction of the culinary team at Cobalt, so their standards are set high by the same great chefs running that kitchen.  Most of you know that Cobalt is one of my favorite restaurants on the island, so I jumped at the opportunity to review Heaton’s Reef again. 

Parking is limited due to its location right at the ocean, but they do offer free valet parking (tip), or you can park on the street with only a short walk to the hotel and restaurant.  The outside of the hotel is still nicely maintained and always beautifully landscaped.  The greenery did take a hit from the hurricane, but it’s been trimmed and should be back in all its glory by springtime next year.  Since there is not a separate entrance for Heaton’s like there is for Cobalt, you can enter through the lobby and ask one of the staff for the best way to get through the hotel to the restaurant.  The atmosphere here cannot be beat when the weather is perfect.  There are lots of tables outside, all with an ocean view, so there is not a bad seat in the house.  If the weather does take a turn for the worse, you can cozy up to the bar and stay dry and you still have the ocean view.  I had requested the “Tiki Hut” covered seating area that has the direct ocean front view.

 

Executive Chef Daniel Triamas happened to be working on the day of the review, so he came to the table to greet us before service.  Now without further ado, on to the food! 

Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat and drink!

Sunset Point –  It’s made with Coconut Rum, freshly squeezed lime, coconut water, club soda, and simple syrup.  Coconut flavor was very evident in this drink due to the flavored rum and coconut water used to make it.  The lime added a little zing, and the club soda gave it a nice subtle effervescence. 

Florida Berry Sour – It’s made with Stoli razz, freshly squeezed lemon, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, and simple syrup.  With “sour” right in the name, I wasn’t sure if I would like it since I tend to like my drinks sweeter.  To my surprise, it was not as sour as I expected it to be.   The strawberries, raspberries, and the pomegranate added enough sweetness to counteract the sourness of the lemon.

Chilled Seafood Salad ($17.00) – A mixture of shrimp, bay scallops, and calamari, diced red and yellow peppers were tossed in a lime vinaigrette and served over bibb lettuce.  It was garnished with chopped chives.  The salad reminded me of a ceviche, but only larger.  The seafood was beyond fresh and a very generous portion.  The lime vinaigrette was very fresh and quite delicious!

Grilled Shrimp Skewers – ($21.00) –  The dish contains two shrimp skewers that have a mixture of peppers, red onion, pineapple, and shrimp on them. They were served over a citrus tabbouleh, and an herb yogurt sauce was served alongside.  The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the veggies had a nice char and a slightly smoky flavor from the grill.  The tabbouleh was new to me but reminded me of couscous in both flavor and texture.

Chicken Pesto Wrap – ($14.00) – It’s made with diced tomato, fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken, arugula, and pesto all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.  French fries and ketchup served alongside.  The chicken was perfectly cooked, the tomatoes were sweet, and the arugula was fresh and peppery.  The tomatoes and the pesto were not that evenly distributed throughout the wrap, so a few bites I had without them were a bit bland, but otherwise, all the ingredients work very well together.

Heaton’s Burger – ($15.00) – It’s made with an all-beef patty and topped with bleu cheese, crispy onions, lettuce, tomato, maple mustard BBQ sauce on a brioche bun.  The burger was cooked medium well which gave it a little texture on the outside but remained nice and juicy on the inside.  The blue cheese was creamy and not too sharp, the crispy onions added additional texture and flavor, and I absolutely loved the maple mustard BBQ sauce.  It really brought everything together quite well.

In Conclusion:

The menus at Heaton’s Reef change from season to season to help keep things fresh so you most likely won’t have the same experience that you had last time you visited.  All the food is prepared under direction by the same culinary team that runs Cobalt, so you can count on the same excellent quality and freshness that you have come to expect from them.  If you enjoy oceanfront dining, $5.00 daily drink specials, and lots of fun special events, then I think you should check out or rediscover what all Heaton’s Reef has to offer! 

Have you tried Heaton’s Reef?  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.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 4 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Website  |  Facebook Page  |  Daily $5.00 Drink Specials

Open Daily from 10:00 am till 10:00 pm

Address3500 Ocean Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963

Phone(772) 469-1060

 

Bluewater Beach Grill – Restaurant Review

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

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

My next tasting experience takes me to down to South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce and to a restaurant that “is as near to the beach as you can get without getting wet”.  It’s located directly across from Jetty Park in The Graziano building.  I had the pleasure of meeting the new manager, Shane, at my review of Sailfish Brewery a few months ago, and he invited me to come down and see what Bluewater had to offer.  I had not heard of this place before, so I was excited to go and check it out.

As you drive by on A1A, you may miss this place since the front of the restaurant faces north and is not that visible as you pass by.  There is limited parking on the street in front of the building, but ample parking in Jetty Park if you arrive early.  We arrived on a Thursday night around 5:30 pm and had no problems finding a parking spot in the park.  Later that evening as we were leaving, parking was at a premium and there were several cars circling the area looking for an open spot.  There are other restaurants and bars in the area so as the evening progresses, the lots tend to fill up quickly.  As we walked up to the entrance, there were lots of tables outside, and plenty of seating inside if you prefer the A/C.  There was a mix of hi and low top tables, a few booths, and a long bar with lots of stools to choose from.  It had that rustic laid-back beach vibe and was very comfortable.

 

Now let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

 

Trestles Salad – ($16.00) – I absolutely love the sunny side up egg on this salad!  This is Bluewater’s take on a Southwestern salad.  Roughly chopped romaine lettuce serves as the foundation for blackened chicken, avocado, tomato, black beans, corn, parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing and it’s topped off with a sunny side up egg.  I’m a big fan of complex salads and this is the first time I’ve seen a sunny side up egg on top of one.  The lettuce was fresh and crisp, the chicken was cooked perfectly and still juicy inside, and the egg yolk added a nice richness to it.  Overall, a great salad that is light, yet hearty enough to be a main entree.

 

Baja Fish Tacos – ($14.00) – Who doesn’t love a good fish taco?  These are made with a flour tortilla, blackened fish, shredded cabbage, cilantro, tomato, jalapenos, and a spicy white sauce.  The blackened fish was seasoned lightly as to not over power the other flavors, the cabbage was finely shredded and crunchy, and the white sauce was like a chipotle aioli and had a touch of heat to it.  The black beans and rice served alongside were both were really good and loaded with tons of flavor.

The Pipeline – ($13.00) – I know what you are thinking.  That is one impressive looking burger, but you’d be wrong.  This is their take on a chicken sandwich and it’s made with your choice of grilled or fried chicken breast, jack cheese, bacon, avocado, and a chipotle mayo.  Fries were served alongside.  This thing was hard to get a hold of.  We extracted it to a plate so we could cut it, then actually take a bite.  The flavor profile reminded me of a chicken club sandwich and was quite good.  It’s messy to eat, so be sure to request extra napkins.

Corky’s Firehouse – ($14.00) – While it’s hard to tell what this is just by looking at it, I guarantee you that this is a burger and a MONSTER one at that!  It’s made with a handcrafted beef patty, pepper jack cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and topped with onions rings and BBQ sauce.  Fries were served alongside.    This was as big, if not bigger than the chicken sandwich.  The burger was cooked a perfect medium just like we ordered, the bacon was smoky and quite flavorful, and the onion rings and BBQ sauce added a slight sweetness to the burger.  It’s one of the best burgers I’ve had in a while.

Ahi Poke Surf Bowl – ($20.00) – I was really impressed with the presentation of this dish.  Marinated Ahi tuna is served over a seaweed salad that is perched on top of a bed of white rice.  It was garnished with green onions, caviar, and a wasabi & Siracha aioli.  The tuna was very fresh and had subtle flavor from the ginger lime marinade.  The seaweed salad added a nice crunch and the aioli added a punch of bold flavor to the dish.

Coconut Cream Pie – ($6.00) – I was a little disappointed when they brought out dessert because I had a preconceived notion of what Coconut Cream pie should look like in my head.  It’s usually this HUGE piece of pie with meringue piled up high, yet this one did not look anything like that.  I must say that it only took one bite of this to dispel my notion of the visual I had expected to see and to fall in love with this new version.  The crust was a lightly sweetened graham cracker crust with just a hint of vanilla.  It’s made more like a cheesecake than a cream pie, but it was light, creamy and it definitely hit the spot.

In Conclusion:

I was not sure what to expect food wise before coming here.  I looked over the menu and it looked like your “typical bar food” offerings such as burgers, wings, hot dogs and tacos.  After dining here, I am happy to report that it’s anything but typical.  Everything we ate was fresh and made to order and even the dessert is house made too.  If you are looking for a great beachside restaurant with some fantastic eats, then look no further if you are down in Fort Pierce and go check these guys out!

Have you tried Bluewater Beach Grill?  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.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 5 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

 

Bluewater Beach Grill Website  |  Menu  |  Facebook Page

Address2025 Seaway Dr, Fort Pierce, FL 34949

Phone(772) 466-0023

Open Daily from 11:00 am till 10:00 pm  |  Happy Hour Everyday from 4:00 pm till 7:00 pm