Tag Archives: Snapper

Inti International – Restaurant Review

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

For my next tasting experience, I head to Miracle Mile and to Inti International Restaurant.  This concept comes from the minds and owners of locally owned restaurant chain Ay Jalisco.  Opening November 2017, the restaurant is named after an ancient Incan sun god and is a new concept for Vero.  The dishes offered come from diverse backgrounds and cultures like Peruvian, Mexican and Latin American, thus the name “International”.  The restaurant served us a nice variety of dishes to try so we could sample some of what they have to offer.

Located in Miracle Mile on 7th Ave in what was previously known as The Long Branch Saloon, is one of the hottest new restaurant concepts to come to Vero in years.  The place has been completely redone and while I don’t know what the old Long Branch Saloon looked like, there isn’t much that appears to remain from the previous tenant.  The outside has been updated with a fresh look and feel and the inside is absolutely gorgeous.  From a bright, bold tropically decorated wall, two-toned green booths, and the accent lighting throughout, no stone was left unturned when they renovated this place.  Even the bathrooms were completely redone which is something that most places tend to overlook.  Parking is somewhat limited by the spots along the side and at the rear of the restaurant, but you should be able to park in a few additional spots that are along 22nd Street later in the evening when the businesses in the strip mall next door close for the day.

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

 

Cancha – These are served free of charge to all tables while you wait for your food.  I found a definition online to better explain what these are.  “A popular snack in Peru and Ecuador is made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maize chulpe.  The dried kernels are tossed with oil and salt and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed”.  They taste a lot like popcorn and have a similar texture.  Be careful, they are addictive!

Caipirinha –  Living up to their “International” name, they brought us Brazil’s National cocktail to try.  Made with cachaça, simple syrup, and lime juice, my wife first took a sip and I asked her if it was tangy, sweet, or sour, and she said “Yes!”.  I took a sip and was immediately slapped in the face with the tanginess of the lime in the drink.  It truly was all of what I described above, tangy, sweet and sour.  It was so good!

Tallarin Verde con Bisteck – ($15.50) – This was the first time I’ve seen this dish, so I could not wait to try it.  Grilled skirt steak was served over green pasta that had been tossed in a pesto and spinach sauce.  The skirt steak was cooked and seasoned to perfection, the Fettuccini pasta was cooked al dente, and the pesto was not as “green” tasting as I thought it might be considering how green the color actually was.

Lomo Salteado – ($15.50) – Peruvian dishes are new to me, so I was curious to see what flavor profile the steak was seasoned with.  Peruvian marinated strips of Sirloin steak are sautéed with onions and tomatoes and served with white rice and french fries.  The Peruvian flavors seem to be a mix of Asian and Mexican spice blends with a combination of soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cumin being used in the marinade.  The steak was cut thin and had just a little chew to it.  Only thing I’m a little bit confused by is the french fries.  White rice and french fries don’t seem to go together, but they may be trying to appeal to a general audience that is not yet familiar with this type of cuisine.  I personally would have preferred black beans to be served with the rice which would have been more traditional.

Inti Burger – ($13.00) – We at Vero Beach Foodie are always looking for something different and this one fits that description!  From the bottom up, we have a fried green plantain (tostones), sirloin burger patty, bleu cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce and topped off with another fried green plantain.  Waffle cut fries and a pickle were served alongside.  First off, the presentation was gorgeous!  The burger was cooked to perfection and the veggies were very fresh.  The fried green plantains were fairly thin but held up well when I picked it up to take a bite which was another feat since I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite.  This one’s definitely a stunner!

Pargo Frito – ($18.00) – Back in the mid 90’s I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico with my dad and we had a dish similar to this, only it was called a Guachinango.  A whole red snapper is fried and served with tostones and a side salad.  If you love fish, don’t let the fact that this one still has the head on it scare you away, because it’s delicious!  It can be a little challenging to eat, but so worth it.  The fish was still moist and flaky and the skin was nice and crispy.  It brought back some great memories of my travels to Mexico.

In Conclusion:

With the variety of restaurant choices that Vero Beach has to offer, you would think it would be difficult to do something different and stand out from the crowd, yet Inti has done just that.  Even if you are not as adventurous of an eater, like some of us here at Vero Beach Foodie, there is something for everyone on the menu that will please even the pickiest of eaters.  For those of you that are adventurous, you will love this place and want to come back, again and again, to see what they come up with next.

Join us next Wednesday, March 28th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm for the Vero Beach Foodie MeetUp and try some of these dishes you just read about with other local foodies right here in Vero Beach!  They will be extending happy hour for us and I’m sure they will have a special or two planned for us that you don’t want to miss.  Hope to see you there!

Inti International Website  |  Inti International Menu  |  Inti International Facebook Page

Address2199 7th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 257-6652

Hours:  Monday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, and on Sunday, from 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Original Tiki Bar & Restaurant – Restaurant Review

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

 

My next tasting experience takes me to down to Fort Pierce and right next to the Indian River intercoastal waterway to the Original Tiki Bar & Restaurant.  Before my review, I’ve had the pleasure of dining here twice and I thought the food was good, but nothing special.  Something must have changed recently because I don’t remember seeing any of these items on the menu on my previous visits.  They have taken what I remember as a typical bar food menu and elevated it up to nearly fine dining levels.  The food quality was top notch and I was impressed by the offerings they have now and I think you will be too once you finish reading my review.

If you are familiar with the Saturday Farmers Market in Fort Pierce, then you should know where this place is located.  Parking for the restaurant can be done on the street or in the shared city parking lot.  If they have events going on in the park such as the Farmers Market or other happenings, finding parking can be challenging at times.  As you walk up to the restaurant you pass by the Fort Pierce City Marina and get to enjoy the view of all the great boats docked there.  The restaurant does have the stereotypical thatched roof you would expect for a Tiki bar.  As you walk in, you feel like you are being transported to the islands with its colorful tropical themed décor, the laid-back vibe, and tropical-themed music.  While it is open to the outside, they do have plastic zippered windows for those times when the weather does not cooperate.  The place is quite large with lots of tables and a bar with quite a few stools available.

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

Miami Vice – Now that looks refreshing on a hot day!  This is a combination of a Pina Colada and a Rum Runner, both of which are frozen.  The Rum Runner is made with Cruzan light rum, banana liquor, blackberry brandy, sour mix, and grenadine.  The Pina Colada is made with Cruzan light rum, Coco Lopez, and pineapple juice.  It was light, not too sweet, and definitely hit the spot on a warm summer evening.

Tiki Relaxer – This is one of the more popular drinks at The Original Tiki so they wanted me to try it.  It’s made with vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice.  This one was served on the rocks and had a bright citrus flavor, it was both sweet and sour, and quite refreshing.

Bahamian Conch Chowder – ($9.00) – It’s not often that I am served chowder in a bread bowl, so this was a nice change of pace.  It’s made with fresh conch, peppers, onions, and potatoes that are simmered in a spicy tomato broth.  The portion was large enough to make this a meal in itself.  This seemed more like a hearty stew than a chowder, but either way it was delicious.  The bread bowl was fresh and held together well and was a nice way to present the chowder.

Steak & Watermelon Balsamic Salad – ($18.00) – Hearty salads are one of my favorite meals and this one has a lot going on.  It’s made with a bed of mixed greens and dressed with a watermelon balsamic vinaigrette.  The generous portion of tenderloin steak cooked to a perfect medium was laid on top.  Sweet cherry tomatoes, red onion, blue cheese, purple orchid, and a lime wedge complete the garnish.  The lettuce was crisp, the steak was nicely seasoned and very tender, and the dressing was sweet and tangy.  Overall, a great salad, but I thought it could use a something crunchier than the red onion to take it over the top.

Spicy Chili Calamari – ($11.00) – The description on the menu does not do this justice.  I think they just changed the recipe and have not had a chance to update the menu yet because the description is nothing like what you get.  These are made from a calamari steak that was cut into strips, dredged in seasoned flour, deep fried, then dressed with a spicy peanut chili sauce and garnished with black and white sesame seeds.  A key lime aioli sauce was served alongside.  WOW, this is some of the best calamari I’ve had anywhere in Vero, hands down.  The calamari steaks were very tender and were not rubbery at all.  My wife who normally does not like this type of seafood, had several more bites of this than I have ever seen her eat before.  The spicy peanut sauce had a wonderful aroma and only a tiny bit of heat.  The key lime aioli was tangy and paired perfectly with the dish.

Pistachio Crusted Yellow Tail Snapper – ($28.00) – All the colors on this plate are so beautiful!  The yellowtail snapper has been filleted with the tail on and has been coated with a pistachio wasabi crust and is drizzled with a key lime aioli that has a hint of wasabi in it.  It was served with a side of fried plantains and garlic butter broccoli.  The fish was perfectly cooked and the pistachio crust gave it a slight crunch.  The key lime wasabi aioli was tangy and only had a hint of the wasabi flavor.  The fried plantains were large, sweet, and delicious!

Crab and Shrimp Stack – ($21.00) – As the 1st place winner at the Taste of St Lucie event, I was anxious to try this award-winning dish.  Starting at the bottom working my way up to the top it starts with a grilled green tomato topped with two blackened shrimp, a crab cake, another grilled green tomato, loose crab meat mixture, and topped with a mango salsa.  This dish had a lot of different flavors and textures going on.  The tomatoes were fresh and just slightly grilled to give them some flavor and soften up a bit, the shrimp were perfectly cooked, and the crab cake had a ton of lump and claw crabmeat in it and very little filler.  I now understand why this dish won 1st place because it’s fantastic!

House Made Key Lime Pie – ($6.00) – Key Lime pie is delicious and this one is exceptional.  It had just the right amount of key lime flavor, not so much as to tweak your cheeks, but just enough.  The texture was more like a custard which I think I prefer over the fluffy or cheesecake versions I’ve tasted.  The writing on the plate was made with a raspberry sauce and was a nice touch.

In Conclusion:

For a restaurant to survive in today’s competitive market, they need to do something unique to keep diners coming back for more and the Original Tiki seems to have found the winning formula.  To say we were blown away by the menu changes since our last visit is an understatement.  While they still have some of the typical bar food available, you now have some nice upscale options to choose from if you are in the mood for something different.  If you have not been here for a while, then you need to head down to Fort Pierce and rediscover the Original Tiki!

Have you tried The Original Tiki Bar & 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

The Original Tiki Website  |  Menu  |  Facebook Page

Address2 Avenue A, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Hours:  Open Daily from · 11AM–10PM