Favourite Tables

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The Butcher Shop & Grill

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I found this restaurant in Jeddah recently with a group of friends, when we went to vote (as expats) for the SAfrican elections which were held recently.  After making our mark (and having our left thumbs inked to proved we had already voted, and could not go back to sneak in a second mark)… we headed off to find The Butcher Shop & Grill. Someone at the voting station had heard us talking and said that if we wanted to enjoy boerewors (a typical South African traditional sausage) we should go there. I jokingly said that there is one in Sandton Johannesburg South Africa and maybe it will feel like we are back there – well imagine my surprise when I saw on their business card that they have branches in Dubai, Doha, Kwait, Bahrain, Johannesburg and KSA !

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Not only did they have boerewors as a starter dish, but we could also buy uncooked boerewors to take home. Well that sealed the deal – we were off to find the restaurant.

The decor was welcoming though a bit dark (under lit) but the welcome by the staff at the entrance, and the service was great – we added to the entertainment with all the oohs and aaahs when we got our starter potion of complimentary boerewors, bread and cooked tomato sauce (not ketchup). It was yummmy tasty and just like home.   They had a good menu with a selection of dishes from Australian lamb shank to American beef ribs (which were tasty and very tender that the meat literally fell off the ribs) and a Boerewors main dish.

We took business cards when we left to make sure to a) phone and book ahead if we want to go back during a busy time b) if we want to order bigger quantities of boerewors to bring home.  I have shared their details with several of my friends here where we live/work near Jeddah and am sure that The Butcher Shop & Grill will see more of us in the future.

Crawdaddy’s Brooklyn – Pretoria SA

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A great place to meet for a business lunch or to meet up with friends where you can enjoy a great meal and good atmosphere – whether to grab a quick bite to eat, a pub lunch or where you can kick back and relax for a leisurely meal.  They have a great menu that offers fish, meat, chicken and great salads, and if you enjoy good ice cream the display fridge with various flavours of Haagen Dazs is very tempting. Otherwise you can choose from their desert menu or finish off the meal with a Don Pedro or Irish coffee.

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The atmosphere is relaxing and casual but not too casual and there is lots of seating. I went there twice in 10 days for lunch and, though it was busy, it was not crowded which I am sure it is on a Friday night and over weekends (even when it is crowded I believe there is enough space to not feel that you are boxed in).

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Service is slick and professional, and the friendly, smiling waiters/waitresses are mostly young University students. (I was referred to Crawdaddy’s by my sister who goes there often, as will I when I am in Pretoria). I will be back again.. and again… and again.

 

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro – Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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Hi,

I have eaten at this restaurant in Calgary a number of times and felt compelled to write a review for any residents or would be visitors to Calgary.

The name can be misleading in that this is far more than a wine and cheese bistro, serving up some of the best dishes in Calgary.

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Main Course – I have visited the restaurant on four occasions in the past twelve months and while I am normally adventurous in my restaurant food choices, I’m afraid that when it comes to the main course selection I am unable to see past the rack of lamb option.  I like my lamb cooked “medium” and not only are the cuts succulent but they are thick in form which enhances the juicy taste of every bite.  Some day I hope to go a little crazy and try some of the other main course options. If the lamb rack is anything to go by then the other options could be worth the wait!

Starters – In general, I am a big fan of all things Seafood as well as all Ravioli options.  The “Foie Gras Ravioli: and “Butter Poached Ravioli” are my favourite starter options and my wife really enjoyed the pork belly options.

Wine – The Bollini Pinot Grigio worked well with the Ravioli option and The Zinfandel and Malbec options were a great company for the rack of lamb.

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All in all a great experience I am looking forward to my next visit.

Vincent.

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113 – 8th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
Reservations phone: 403-410-5555

PF Chang in Tahlia Street, Jeddah

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Had a good lunch at this newly opened branch of PF Chang’s. Sitting here with a friend, sharing and enjoying different dishes I almost forgot that I was sitting in a restaurant in Jeddah and could have been in the USA where I believe this chain started.

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We chose/shared 2 different types of chicken for our main meal, and a delicous ‘lettuce chicken wrap’ and spring rolls for entrée – then there was the Banana ‘spring rolls’ and icecream to finish off a delicious lunch – yummy.

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PF Chang will see me again and again – and I will make sure to get there early as the queue when we left was almost outside the door and there were others waiting outside – a sure sign of good cuisine and good service. I will be back !