Thursday, March 15, 2012

McDonald's Shamrock Shake

Writing about anything from a fast food restaurant isn't a very "foodie" thing to do, but I'm doing it anyway. I haven't had McDonald's annual St. Patrick's Day treat in, I'd estimate, at least 20 years- So this week, on a whim, I decided that I had to give in to this guilty pleasure.

The Shamrock Shake I remember from my youth was a mass of weird green goop served in a tall paper cup that looked just like every other McDonald's beverage. The modern 2012 Shamrock Shake has had a significant facelift- it now sports a clear plastic cup with a domed lid (so there's no mistaking it for a non-green beverage). It is also adorned with ribbons of whipped cream (I think) mixed in with the green stuff, and capped off with a generous helping of the same. It looks considerably more "sexy" than it did back in the 70s or 80s, and it is surprisingly lighter than expected, with a refreshing minty flavor. There's no mistaking this for anything healthy or "high end quality"- but the Shamrock Shake has taken great strides towards outgrowing it's humble roots as a novelty item.

It still is a yearly novelty item, but, I feel, it brings more to the table than it used to- or at least that's how I'm rationalizing my purchase! With March 17th right around the corner, you'll miss your chance to dive into this guilty pleasure if you don't hurry up and get one. Yes, I'm beginning to sound like a commercial, I think fast food has that effect on me, so I'll quit while I'm ahead!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rivoli's - Toms River, NJ

So we took the family down to the Jersey Shore to take a look at vacation rentals for the summer. This year's vacation spot is a short walk from the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, made famous (or infamous) on the reality TV show "Jersey Shore". In our experience, the town bears only a passing resemblance to the 24/7 party shown on TV. We've been going there for day trips and short vacation getaways since well before the show brought the shore into the national spotlight. Despite this, we couldn't resist the urge to check out a restaurant featured on the show. After reading the harsh reviews on Yelp, and wondering if we were making a big mistake, we threw caution to the winds, and drove a few minutes inland to Rivoli's in Toms River, New Jersey...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Frank's Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Manville, New Jersey

Frank's is one of those unassuming pizza places that also has a full restaurant attached. They have a combination of reasonable prices, convenient location, and local charm that makes it a busy place all week long. Their pizza is considered a staple by many locals, and their restaurant menu, packed full of the kind of Italian-American classics that everyone craves from time to time...