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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Date Night Restaurants

Over the past few weeks, I've been able to try out a few new restaurants in Greensboro - some good, some not so good. It is rare I find a restaurant I just love and rave about. I wouldn't say I am a restaurant snob; I just have expectations when I dine out, and expect a minimum level of service and quality especially in pricier establishments.

Mizumi (309 State Street, Greensboro) had a great selection of sushi that was delicious. We got the Love Boat, a chef's selection of 8 pieces of sushi, 15 pieces of sashimi, and 2 special rolls. It was very fresh and tasty! It was neat to eat at Mizumi because I used to own the restaurant that was in the same location several years ago. The interior has been redone and looks fantastic. We'll definitely be going back for sushi again soon - plus, they deliver!

Cleopatra's (1310 Westover Terrace #107, Greensboro) fell far short of our expectations. The restaurant was exceptionally cold, the food was barely mediocre in taste, flavor, and temperature, and the service was less than stellar, bordering on horrendous. The servers didn't seem to know anything about the menu, and apparently the menu is wrong in many places anyway so who knows what you'll get, or if you'll get what you ordered. There was a bug in my plate (underneath the food, so it had come from the kitchen) and overall the entire experience was not good. Suffice to say, we will not be returning.

Crafted! The Art of the Taco (219-A South Elm Street, Greensboro) was absolutely phenomenal. They have a good selection of craft beer, and had Lake Erie Monster from the Great Lakes Brewing Company on tap while we were there - extra special as I'm from Cleveland and really get a kick out of finding GLBC beer down here. We started with the Stuffed Avocado appetizer which was delicious - a unique and delightful combination of flavors. I happened to notice the table next to us ordered the Mason of Bacon and seriously, if you're into bacon like that, it looked and smelled amazing. For dinner, I had the Bowtie burrito, and my friend had the Messenger tacos. Both entrees were outstanding. It's nice because they also have vegan options available, which is not common and a really nice added benefit for those who aren't carnivores. We will definitely be going back to Crafted, and encouraging all of our friends to visit too!

The Melting Pot (2924 Battleground Avenue Suite A, Greensboro) is a standby favorite of ours. We happened to have a gift certificate (thanks to my brother and sister-in-law!) and decided to forego the entire four-course dining experience this time, and just get cheese and chocolate. We made a good decision - it was just enough food, and the price was right. Fondue is nice because it is slow and allows you to carry on conversation in between cooking and eating. The service is always good at The Melting Pot and of course the food is delicious. It's a great spot for a special night out.

What are your favorite (and not-so-favorite) date night restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dye Nation - Parties 2 Dye 4 and Big Bang Boom

We finally had an opportunity to check out Dye Nation - Parties 2 Dye 4 for the first time yesterday. I've seen their booth at various festivals around town over the past few years, but it has always been packed with people, and well, I'm impatient and have young impatient kids, so we've never had a chance to see what it's all about.

I won a giveaway on Facebook for a free tie-dye shirt last week (heck yeah! I never win anything!) and it just so happened that the store was hosting it's 5th annual Summer Bash this past weekend, with Big Bang Boom playing, who just happens to be the requested music of the moment by my children. The band is awesome - their music is actually still tolerable even after listening to it for hours on end, day after day after day, and very catchy!

The tie-dye process is very well organized and my 3-year-old and her friend each had someone helping them directly. They donned a plastic poncho to protect their clothes and gloves for their hands. Their white clothing was prepped and wrapped with rubber bands to create the pattern they chose. Then their helper assisted with squirting the dye from a squeeze bottle into the proper areas of the white clothing. The kids were able to choose their colors from about 25 different options (they loved having that freedom) and were guided through the entire process. The dyed clothing came home with instructions on how to launder to set the dye. Very easy, and super fun for the kids to be able to go through the process themselves!

At the end of the afternoon, the kids each tie-dyed a sundress and rocked out to Big Bang Boom (translate: they twirled in circles until they collapsed from dizziness and laughter). They came home with balloon flowers, face paint, and happy smiles. Dye Nation - Parties 2 Dye 4 did an amazing job putting together the afternoon bash and the kids had a blast. Super extra thanks to Big Bang Boom for putting on an awesome show.

My very uncooperative photo subjects :)

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