Reviews Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

Kids Eat Free Wednesdays at St. Tropez Bistro

A few weeks ago we were invited up to Encinitas to check out St. Tropez Bistro in celebration of a new offer they’re providing to guests. St. Tropez is introducing Kids Eat Free Wednesdays, where up to two kids can order free kids menu dishes, with the purchase of an adult entree and drink (cannot be combined with other offers or discounts). 

One thing I love is a restaurant that caters to kids. When my husband and I first had kids, we were always nervous to check out new places for fear that others would give us glances or stares when our kids started getting “too loud” for the type of restaurant we were at. So when we find a good family-friendly place, we like to share it with everyone! 

The second thing I love? When the kids menu includes breakfast items all day. Because there’s not much my kids love more than a stack of pancakes and some whipped cream. 

The Atmosphere

As soon as we found parking (boy is that hard to do on a busy day!) we made our way into the small courtyard where Saint Tropez is located. There’s a nice water fountain and little shops all around the courtyard. We found a table outside near the fountain and settled the kids in before heading inside to order. 

Having the option to sit outside with the kids is always a good thing. Especially when it’s a nice day out and the weather is enjoyable. We don’t have to limit them to sitting at the table for the whole meal when they’ve eaten what’s on their plates. 

The Menu

As I mentioned before, the kids love breakfast foods for lunch and dinner. So when they saw pancakes on the menu, they jumped at the chance to order some. But my youngest decided to be a little different and went for the mac and cheese. Each kids meal came with a small bowl of fruit. 

I took quite a while to decide what I wanted to eat because I just wasn’t sure what to try. There were savory crepes, quiches, salads and sandwiches. With a slight nip in the air I wanted something warm. So I went with the Menton panini: roast beef, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli. With the paninis you can opt for a cup of fruit or soup for a small up charge. I chose the french onion soup to pair with my panini. The sandwiches also come with a side salad leaving me very satisfied and full when I was done eating. 

My husband went for his go-to hot sandwich: the tuna melt. And while he wanted to love it, it was a little too dry for his liking. He did enjoy his side salad as well. 

Dessert

One thing you notice as soon as you walk into St. Tropez Bistro are the desserts. Oh the desserts! As soon as we asked the kids if they wanted to try one, their faces lit up. Each of them chose something different: my son chose a chocolate dipped heart sugar cookie, my older daughter chose a brownie (so her!), and the littlest wanted the sprinkle tree sugar cookie. 

But I couldn’t choose something from the display window. I needed to try one of their delicious crepes from the menu! I narrowed it down to the Caramel Apple crepes or the Strawberry Nutella crepes and the strawberry nutella crepes won out. They were served warm and wrapped like little burritos then covered with a drizzle of nutella and good helping of whipped cream. I may or may not have wanted to lick the plate…


St. Tropez has also signed on with UberEATS. Download the app and order from St. Tropez at your convenience, delivered right to your door. And in celebration of National Croissant Day, on Monday, Jan. 30 you can get a free coffee with purchase of a croissant.

They are located at 947 S Coast Hwy 101 (Encinitas, 92024). For more information, please visit www.StTropezEncinitas.com

What is your kids go to menu item when eating out? 

Marvel’s Doctor Strange Hits Theaters: A Dad’s Review

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As I waited in the theater for Dr. Strange to begin I heard someone behind me mussing out loud about his Marvel Universe knowledge. He was amped-up enough to shout out to those of us waiting “What was Dr. Strange’s full name?” I inferred two things; this guy was excited and at least one person in the audience knew the story that was about to be presented to us and what we were in for.

Dr. Steven Strange is medical doctor gifted with photographic memory and really steady hands. His specialty is working on the brain and spine. He lives the kind of nice plush life that being a highly sought after Doctor in a specialized field commands. After a major career setback that stops him from practicing medicine he seeks out non traditional healing methods. From here his transformation to a super hero begins and he must defeat a bad guy that once again thinks he is doing right by trying destroy life as we know it.

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Creating A Super Hero

By now you realize that the number of super heroes we have been introduced to has grown considerably. Dr. Strange the movie follows the same pattern of the Ant Man movie, a one off stand alone super hero movie that will tie into the Marvel Movie Universe in some way later. I am very impressed with the way these movies have all dove-tailed together. For a small example, in the city views of New York you can see the Avengers/Stark tower.

So far the new characters have been interesting and intriguing. Dr. Strange is no exception. His character grows and changes from the medical Doctor we are introduced to into the super hero he becomes at the end. I think it is safe to say that he is rather self centered and all about what is best for him and his career. By the end he has opened his eyes and sees that he must act for the greater good. The story is simple enough to follow and some complexity is added with mystery surrounding Dr. Strange’s mentor. This movie contains humor as is now a standard trait in these Marvel movies. It also has all the special effects we are used to seeing. When the credits roll, make sure to watch them for two extra scenes that setup future events.

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Heros and Villians

In the last movie I saw Benedict Cumberbatch in he was the villian, Khan, in Star Trek: Into The Darkness. As an actor he has a very striking persona. A deep voice and he is tall and slender. I find him a bit different. In the part of Dr. Strange he played it well and the characteristics probably help. 

Rachel McAdams character, Dr. Christine Palmer, was there to help setup the Dr. Strange character in the beginning and help out a little bit later. Really any actress could have done the part, but she was fine. 

The villian played by Mads Mikkelsen kept making me think back to his role in James Bond’s Casino Royal for some reason. No complaints with his performance here. 

Finally Dr. Strange’s associate Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, did a very good job with his role. I think the librarian, “Wong”, steals the scenes he is in.

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Thinking back over the movie that is rated PG-13, I don’t recall many (or any) bad words or excess blood and guts. I think a 10 year old or older would probably be okay to see this movie with parental guidance.

As we approach the holidays and will be enjoying some time off, if you have not already made it a priority to see Dr. Strange, you should pencil it in on your movie list. By the way his full name was “Dr. Steven Vincent Strange.”

Like DOCTOR STRANGE on Facebook | Follow DOCTOR STRANGE on Twitter 

Follow Marvel on Instagram | Visit the official DOCTOR STRANGE website

DOCTOR STRANGE is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Who will you be heading to the movies with to watch Doctor Strange?

Planning Ahead: Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks

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Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks

After recovering from gallbladder surgery last week and this week, there’s one thing I was grateful for. Ok, two. My mother-in-law and husband’s help AND Charlie’s Classic Cooking meal delivery service.

I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to watch my family enjoy what I eat. But after going through surgery, or even just having a super busy week schedule, having pre-made meals in the fridge that I know are going to be delicious just takes a huge weight off my shoulders. And when it’s food as good as Charlie’s? Well… lets just say my family was very happy.

We first heard about Charlie’s Classic Cooking when my son and I took two awesome classes a few months back with Stone & Glass as part of their Fire and Fettucini classes. Perfect for just about any coupling you could think of – mother son, father daughter, significant others, girlfriends, “bros” … hahaha – Stone & Glass paired with Charlie’s Classic Cooking to bring together a glass making class and a cooking class. I did the glass making class and Ethan made some amazing fettucini for us to enjoy together after the class ended. I’ve been thinking about that fettucini ever since.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - packaging

Meal Delivery Service From Charlie’s Classic Cooking

The meals were delivered to our door step and my husband was able to take them inside and put them in the fridge. Each one was labeled with what was inside and we were given our menu with reheating instructions. This made it easy to plan which meal to make on what day depending on what the kids and my husband had going on each night.

Here’s a peek at our menu: 

  • Lime and cumin grilled chicken with tomato-corn relish and fresh green beans;
  • Fettuccine alfredo with carrots, broccoli, red peppers and mushrooms;
  • Swiss steak with egg noodles and baby carrots; and
  • Sheppard pie with mashed potatoes and spinach salad. 

It was hard for me to choose a favorite as I already LOVE Chef Charlie’s fettucini, but the lime and cumin grilled chicken was so juicy and flavorful that it won me over! And I was able to turn leftovers into chicken enchiladas a day later. YUM! My husband, however absolutely loved the Sheppard pie and swiss steak.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - instructions

At Home Prep | Enjoying Our Meals

Once the meals were delivered, all we had to do was store them in the fridge and pull whenever one we wanted to enjoy that night out and follow the directions. It was easy enough to simply leave the choices in my husband’s capable hands, give him the menu with reheating instructions, and let him prepare the meals for the family. He literally had to look at what temperature the oven had to be at and heat up the meals. And if pinched for time, we could use the simple microwave instructions.

What I loved, besides the ease in which these meals came together, was the fact that I could still customize them to my family’s liking. Take the Swiss Steak for example. My daughter does not eat most meats (besides bacon, salmon, and chicken nuggets) at dinner. So my husband simply set aside some carrots and noodles for her to heat up seperately. Even my choosy eaters were able to pick and choose what parts of the meals to enjoy.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - swiss steak

These home delivery meals start at $175 for a family of four, receiving four dinners for four people weekly. The weekly meal service allows you to have chef prepared meals weekly. The meals are delivered right to your door (home or office) weekly and monthly menus are sent via email or on their website as a weekly reminder of what’s for dinner each week. You can check out the Charlie’s Classic Cooking website or email charles@charliesclassiccooking.com for more info! 

What would you love to taste from Charlie’s Classic Cooking? 

*** This giveaway is now closed ***

Congrats to Linda Appleby! 

Chef Charlie doesn’t just want my family to enjoy a good meal, he’s also giving one away to one lucky reader on the Simmworks Family Blog! 

One winner will receive a dinner-for-four delivered right to your door (a value of $75).  

Open to US only, 18+. Must live in San Diego County. This giveaway ends October 16th, 2015 at 11:59EST.

Mandatory Entry
Please comment* below with what you would love to taste from Charlie’s Classic Cooking. Take a look at this sample menu of what others are being delivered in their weekly meal service drop offs. 

Thank you and good luck!

*Important: By completing any entry in our giveaways, you agree to ALL of our giveaway terms and conditions. Comments such as “Thank you for the giveaway” “I want to win” etc will not be counted as the mandatory entry and will be deleted along with all corresponding bonus entries. Please be aware that comments are moderated and may not appear right away. Make sure you use a valid email address so we may notify you if you’ve won! Giveaway winners will receive their meal directly through the sponsor. Winner must provide mailing address within 48 hours to receive their meal.

 

San Diego Restaurant Week 2015 | The Grant Grill Review

San Diego Restaurant Week 2015 - The Grant Grill at US Grant

It’s my favorite time of year! San Diego Restaurant Week 2015 arrives on Sunday, January 18th and will run through January 24th. I cannot wait to indulge and enjoy a new restaurant or two during this celebration of San Diego’s food scene.

My husband and I were invited to try the Grant Grill this past Saturday and I have to say that this is probably one of my new favorite restaurants in Downtown San Diego.

Not only does the menu change around daily, but for restaurant week you aren’t limited to a specific restaurant week menu! For $50 a person, you will be able to choose a starter, entree, and dessert of your choice from their regular menu.  [Read more…]

San Diego Restaurant Week is Here – September 21 – 26, 2014 | The Oceanaire Seafood Room Review

San Diego Restaurant Week - Oceanaire Seafood Room Review

San Diego Restaurant Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year. Not only do we get to step outside of our normal eateries and try something new but we also get to choose what we want to try based on our budget that week.

At the beginning of the year I attended a preview of San Diego Restaurant Week to enjoy bites from a few different places but this year I was asked to head out to a restaurant to enjoy their restaurant week menu a week early.

I was excited to try a new-to-me restaurant, The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Downtown San Diego, and had a fabulous date night with my husband while enjoying delicious food.  [Read more…]

Preserving My First Car For My Son with Gumout

I’m preserving my first car for my son and keeping it running great using Gumout All-In-One® Complete Fuel System Cleaner products from Walmart, as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #WalmartAuto

Preserving My First Car For My Son with Gumout #WalmartAuto

My first car was my step-dad’s truck. I worked full time all summer and saved up the money to purchase it outright and was definitely excited to finally be behind the wheel of my own car.

And I still have that car. And it still runs. So I’ve been thinking about the future of my first car and I honestly think that we can keep it up and running until my son needs his first car.
[Read more…]

5 Tips for the Perfect Barbecue

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5 Tips for the Perfect Barbecue - get a perfect piece of meat every time!

Summertime is the perfect time to whip out the barbecue and open up the outdoor kitchen. With temperatures in the 80s and 90s over the past few weeks we’ve done a lot of grilling in our home.

After receiving an Eat Smart thermometer to try out I decided to write up some tips for the perfect barbecue. They’re very simple and basic but make a huge difference when cooking meat on the grill.

And with Labor Day right around the corner, its the perfect time to start practicing your barbecue skills!  [Read more…]

Dog Safety for Kids: 3 Great Tips for Training Your Dog

 This post is brought to you by I and Love and You.

Dog Safety for Kids 3 Great Tips for Training Your Dog

A dog can provide pet owners and their families with many years of joy, companionship, comfort, and love. However, not all dog breeds are the same. Each dog breed is known for its distinctive characteristics, whether it be for fighting, hunting, intensity, intelligence, wandering, and so forth. No matter what breed of dog you may introduce into your family, the safety of your kids around the dog should be your utmost concern.

After our daughter was bitten by our family dog (warning – graphic photos in post linked), we took dog training and dog safety for kids to heart and have continued to work with both our kids and our dog, Scout, to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Training your dog in an effective manner will provide you with a sense of security in having a dog as a family pet. Whether the dog is part of the family unit before the child arrives or afterwards, both will need to be taught rules, boundaries, as well as consequences. [Read more…]

Dental Care Tips for Parents

Dental Care Tips for Parents

Teaching a child about oral care can be like pulling teeth. They would rather go play with their friends, not brush their teeth. Considering your child will need those pearly whites for many years to come, it’s important that you help them take care of them now.

With help from Oral B – and the awesome Precision Black 7000 electric toothbrush I’ve been reviewing – I’ve been using my own new dental care routine and have noticed a huge difference in my daughter’s interest to brush her own teeth now that I’m visibly showing her my routine. here are a few dental care tips that may come in handy with kids!  [Read more…]

Great Car Care: How to Make an Old Car Run Like New

I spruced up my old car using Armor All products from Walmart, as part of a sponsored post featuring how to make an old car run like new for Socialstars #WalmartAuto

Great Car Care How to Make an Old Car Run Like New #WalmartAuto

It may come as a surprise to many but I still have my first vehicle. And it still runs great! But figuring out how to make an old car run like new didn’t come easily. It took a lot of regular checks and maintenance.

Luckily my husband came into my life shortly after I purchased my truck and helped me by reminding me of the fact that cars need things like oil changes regularly. I started to pay more attention to that little sticker that the oil change place put on my windshield.

And then when I hit a coyote on a late night driving home to the boonies and my truck was put out of commission he jumped at the chance to help fix and rebuild the truck. By learning more about the vehicle inside and out we were able to make sure it was getting everything it needed to stay in tip top condition once fixed.  [Read more…]



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