A January 2010 trip
to Pensacola by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: Mom was away for twelve days visiting her sister. So the Wildcat was a bachelorette for those days, and I got to try out some new restaurants along with an old restaurant and spend some time with a new and dear friend.
Restaurant | "A Great Lunch For A Good Price"
That opportunity came on Tuesday when I had to go to Pensacola for several errands before picking Mom up a the airport at 5:45 p.m. After making a quick run to the bank, I drove across the street over to Bagels del Sol for lunch before heading to my sister's house for a quick Mocha and Dakota fix and getting my hair cut.
Bagels Del Sol is located next to What A Burger on Davis Highway in Pensacola and other businesses. It is a small place and can be easliy missed when driving south on Davis Highway.
Upon walking inside Bagels Del Sol, I was greeted by the two ladies behind the counter who were struggling to get two buckets apart for store use. They said they would be right with me, and I chuckled and offered my help in the matter. After the ladies got the buckets apart, the older one who I believe was the owner, took my order. The menu at Bagels Del Sol isn't huge, but it has a lot of variety of different sandwiches on different types of bagels and other bagel related foods. It didn't take me long to order the first thing on the menu, The Istanbul ($5.79), which is turkey with herb garlic cream cheese, lettuce and tomato on a bagel of your choice. Since the business day was winding down for Bagels del Sol at 11:30 a.m. (they are open only until 2:30 during the week), my bagel choiced would be limited, but I was lucky to get my Istanbul on a Whole Wheat Everything bagel. I wasn't in the mood for a soda or water to drink and got a strawberry smoothie ($3.89) made with milk for my drink (you can get the smoothies made with apple juice, too).
At first I was thinking of taking my order to go to eat at Erika's, but after two weeks of competing with Zoe for my dinners in front of the TV on the coffee table, I wasn't in the mood of competing with the two Hellions known as Mocha and Dakota for my lunch and decided to stay to eat. Besides, on the counter near the register at Bagels del Sol, the owner keeps a picture of one of her dogs and we got talking about our four-legged companions as I was paying.
I sat down at one of the half-dozen tables in the restaurant and looked at the menu I was going take home with me for future meals while waiting, and I didn't have to wait long at all before the owner came out with my sandwich and said that she would get my smoothie out as soon as she got it made. "Take your time!", I told the lady because I wasn't in the biggest rush to get to my sister's house and the other errands.
My Istanbul Sandwich was very good with the turkey, herbed cream cheese, and lettuce and tomato all fresh and good. The meal came with homemade bagel chips and a pickle spear. The Whole Wheat Everything Bagel was very chewy and fresh, and all of that chewing and tearing of the sandwich with my teeth and the filling thick smoothie made me full in a short time, and I wasn't able to finish the bagel chips on my plate. I only had to eat a fruit salad and cheese tortilla wrap for dinner later that night it was that good, and it cost me under $11.
As I was throwing my trash away and getting ready to leave, the owner called out and asked how everything was, and I told her "Very good, and I am full, thank you!" and she wished me a good day as I did to her. I am looking forward to returning to Bagels Del Sol in the future because of the quality of the food and the intimate atmosphere a small business brings to you.
Bagels Del Sol is open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7-1 on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. It's a great place to get a bite to eat on a lunch break or for retired folks since I saw a couple of older couples enjoying lunch while I was there. I am giving this top ratings because it meets my criteria of good food with good customer service and prices.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2010
Bagels Del Sol
6604 North Davis Highway
Pensacola, Florida 32504
Unfortunately, Eddy's cancer had spread into his pancreas, liver, brain, and spine, and an infection after surgery to remove the spinal tumor weakened Eddy terribly. Mercedes was desperate to save her youngest child and took Eddy to the Siteman Cancer Hospital in St. Louis. I sent a hand-knit hat to Eddy for warmth which turned into two afghans and other knit goodies for Eddy to be comfortable during his stay at Siteman. But even the best cancer hospital in the USA couldn't save my friend Eddy, and only 24 hours after talking to him on the telephone, he fell into a coma and never woke up. Eddy died on October 9, 2009, and many of us at Home Depot were devastated and are still feeling Eddy's loss.
I needed to tell this story to set up for the next part of this journal entry. Mercedes and her friend Kathy drove up from Sebastian, near Orlando to give Eddy's former partner part of his ashes and visit all of the people from Home Depot who were his friends. Mercedes, Kathy, and I met at the Wasabi House, and after we all ate dinner, Mercedes wanted to take a ride to show Kathy the area. I suggested we go and see Palafox Pier and downtown Pensacola, and we crossed the Escambia County Bridge and headed south.
Now Palafox Pier isn't any old pier to me. It became a great place for Mom and I to walk around and take our dog Loki for a walk during our first eight months in Pensacola. We would enjoy watching people fishing off the pier and walking around the marina and seeing the ships docked at the port. Now, there is a statue of Tristan de la Luna that King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia dedicated during their February 2009 visit to Pensacola, and I knew that Mercedes, who was born and raised in Spain until she was 20 would love it. We arrived at the pier and parked her SUV. Kathy was a bit chilly and stayed inside while Mercedes and I got out and looked around a bit. Mercedes took pictures of the statue and I of some of the ships docked at the Port. The rain had let up enough to enjoy the sunset and smell the sea air.
After Palafox Pier, I gave Kathy and Mercedes an abbreviated tour of downtown Pensacola passing the the Federal and county courthouses and St. Michael's Church (1781). Mercedes didn't have a chance to see Pensacola while Eddy was ill, but she and Kathy didn't know the history I was telling them about the place and how most of the downtown was mostly law offices and cathouses during its wild days as a Navy port. My tales that I have heard in a short time here in Pensacola left Mercedes and Kathy craving for more, and I hope they will return to Pensacola when the weather is better and we can walk around and really enjoy the sights and sounds of Pensacola.
It was getting dark and rainy by the time the little tour ended, and Mercedes didn't want to be driving in the dark for much longer, so we reluctantly headed back to the Wasabi House parking lot where we left my car and parted ways with big hugs and kisses and promises to keep in touch.
Restaurant | "The Dragon Roll Without Any Fire!"
Mercedes didn't want to drag me away from AFC Playoffs knowing what a big football fan I am, but I love this little Spanish woman, and I really wanted to see her before she went back home to Sebastian, about 90 from Orlando and spend some time with her. She called me and we met at Wasabi House where she and Kathy were sitting after eating their meal.
The guy at the counter didn't bring me a menu when I came in and sat down, so I had to go up and get one off the counter and look at the menu while talking with Mercedes and Kathy, who is a Spanish teacher. I looked twice at the football game on one of the TV's in the restaurant and behaved myself for the rest of the time there. If the Patriots had made it to the AFC Championships (We won't go there!), I would probably have had to be peeled off the ceiling.
I wasn't too too hungry and settled for The Dragon Roll, which was white fish, tuna, and cream cheese rolled into a sushi roll and deep fried. I like Publix's cream cheese sushi rolls every time I go there, and I thought this would be a good choice. While waiting for my food to come, Kathy and Mercedes let me try some of their teriyaki lobster, and it was kind of salty and over cooked. It was like chewing a rubber band, and I said that I would have been happier with a Maine Lobster with butter instead of that. About 15 minutes later, my Dragon Roll came, and it didn't have much bite. The presentation was nice on my plate, but the roll was overcooked making the fish dry and not very flavorful. A little wasabi helped, but it didn't rock my world, and I left disappointed. But talking with Mercedes and Kathy made the experience very nice for me and we enjoyed some quality time together.
My meal cost me almost $12 plus tip, but I don't think I will be returning to the Wasabi House anytime soon. I'll stick with Publix's sushi whenever I get a craving for Sushi!
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 25, 2010
4797 Highway 90
Pace, Florida 32571
Restaurant | "Two Paws (I Mean Thumbs) Up For China Fun!"
I had seen Jason, one of my co-workers eating take-out from this restaurant near work called China Fun near the Office Depot and Dollar Tree Stores in Pace, and he said it was good and the prices were reasonable. So that was going to be my dinner for Saturday night.
I got out of work at 4 and rushed over to China Fun before it got too busy with the Saturday night rush, and I was lucky that no one was in the place when I got there and was able to take my time to peruse what became my copy of the extensive menu on the counter. Not wanting another disappointing seafood dish like I did at Tu-Do, I decided to play it safe and got the Cashew Shrimp $8.75 with Vegetable Fried Rice ($2.95 for a small and $5.95 for a large order. To make up for the missing egg rolls from Tu-Do, I got two Pork Eggrolls ($1 each) to begin my meal. Along with a Diet Pepsi to nurse while waiting for my takeout order, the order was under $20, and I sat down in the six-table dining room to wait for my food.
Within 15 minutes, dinner was ready, and the nice girl at the counter gave me my bag, and I loaded up with sides of duck sauce and hot mustard that is also on the counter and headed home with the aroma of Chinese wafting towards me in the passenger seat.
I got home about 15 minutes later and fed my starving cats (Zoe and Xena act like starving cats every hour to con us to get extra food, but the act never works!) before getting comfy on the couch with my dinner. The eggrolls were still pretty hot even after I had nuked them in the microwave to be sure, and with some hot mustard and duck sauce, I enjoyed the eggrolls very much. Even Zoe tried a little of the filling but it wasn't up to her standards. But both Zoe and I did enjoy the Cashew Shrimp very much. It was full of shrimp, tons of cashews, water chestnuts, and other veggies in a dark soy sauce that was very subtle (OK, a little hot mustard helped it along, too!). Zoe kept making attacks at my plate for shrimp and I gave her some to keep dinner from landing in my lap. There was enough Cashew Shrimp left for my lunch on Monday afternoon, and once again Zoe and I enjoyed the meal the second time around just as much as the first time around. The Veggie Fried Rice was good, too, and the Cashew Shrimp came with white rice.
Bellies full, Zoe and I laid down on the couch and watched a DVD and rested. China Fun is located on Hwy. 90 across the road from Wal-Mart and next to Dollar Tree and Office Depot. It's open seven days a week with it staying open from 11-9:30 Sundays-Thursday and 11-10 on Friday and Saturday. I highly recommend it for lunch (there is an extensive lunch special menu) or dinner for you or the family if you ever visit Pace. Zoe even gives China Fun two paws up!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 25, 2010
4916 Hwy. 90
Pace, Florida 32571
Restaurant | "Dude! Where's My Eggroll?!"
Finally I had time to myself when Mom left to visit her sister in Georgia last Thursday, and I was too lazy to cook dinner and said, "I'm going to Tu-Do!' After dropping Mom off at the airport and visiting Erika and my furry nieces Mocha and Dakota in Pensacola for a couple of hours, I made my way up Davis Highway to see what Tu-Do was all about. Located not far from the on-ramp for I-10 East to Tallahassee and Milton, Tu-Do is a non-descript little restaurant decorated with Vietnamese knick-knacks and has about twenty tables to serve one who wants to eat there.
But I was going to take my food home with me to eat. I parked my fanny at the bar and started to read the extensive menu of Vietnamese delicacies. The waitress who greeted me gave me time to look over things decide what I wanted to eat. Lauri swears by the Pho, the soup that has beef and sometimes seafood in it along with noodles in a spicy broth. Anthony Bourdain swears by it, but I think I have eliminated myself from any future No Reservations shows by saying I don't eat any red meat including beef. So Pho was out of the question. I finally decided on Menu Item Numbers 36 and 64, Bun Bi Ga Nuong ($6.95) and Do Bein Xao Thap Cam($8.75). For those of you who don't speak Vietnamese that's Vermicelli wiht Grilled Pork and Eggroll and Special Stir-Fried Seafood (Shrimp, Scallop, and Squid) with Vegetables. Not wanting to embarass myself trying to order in Vietnamese (wasn't offered in my high school, ha ha!), I told the waitress I wanted #34 and #64 to go and settled down on a barstool watching CNN while waiting for my food.
After about 15-20 minutes, my food was ready and after a little small talk with the waitress, I headed home to Milton and dinner. Suprisingly Zoe and Xena didn't climb all over me looking for a special treat of seafood and were happy with their Friskies for dinner. I put my food on a couple of plates and heated them in the microwave drooling in anticipation. But I noticed that they forgot to put my eggroll in order that was included with my vermicelli dish. I live too far from Tu Do to call and drive back to Pensacola. So I surrendered to the fact that my feast was going to be without an eggroll. C'est Tragique! I started with the seafood dish, and it didn't rock my world. It had a little too much ginger than I like and there wasn't much seafood in it. What was of the seafood was a little overcooked, and I added some of my Chinese hot sauce to make it a little more palatable. Even Zoe came over to check out the seafood and stuck her nose up at it! But the Vermicelli with Grilled Pork without my eggroll was to die for. The pork slices were tender and flavored nicely with soy sauce and other seasonings, and the rice was full of veggies and flavored nicely by the sauce. I ate the whole thing of the vermicelli and saved the rest of the seafood dish for the next night. Sometimes they say food is good if it sits another day, but sitting in my fridge for 24 hours didn't improve the seafood dish.
For under $20, I was partially satisfied with my meal from Tu-Do, and I am willing to try it again and get another dish from its extensive menu. I wouldn't mind eating inside to get the food right from the kitchen. The service was great and friendly and the prices are right for a nice meal for yourself or if you are feeding more than one person. Tu-Do is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2010
Tu-Do Vietnamese Restaurant
7130 North Davis Highway
Pensacola, Florida 32504