Thoughts from some of my recent eating experiences…

I’ve been critical in the past of Big Orange West, but last night’s meal was definitely a step in the right direction. My Mushroom Melt burger with a turkey patty hit the spot, and although the patty itself seemed smaller than I remember, it was perfectly cooked and paired well with the Havarti, mushrooms, and onions. The fries, both traditional and sweet potato, were spot-on and proved once again why they are a must-order on any visit. I can’t speak highly enough of our server, Nathanial, who was friendly, attentive, and truly did a great job. This was an all-around good experience.

Guillermo’s Coffee House recently changed ownership, and, happily, is back to serving some of the best coffee in town. I’m actually sitting inside the shop as I write this post, marking the fifth time I’ve visited the establishment in the past two weeks.

Ciao Baci keeps doing its thing, which is cooking up elite food in a comfortable setting. We sat on the porch, enjoyed a cool breeze, a couple glasses of Screen Door Cellars Rosé, and some great food. Once again, I ordered the pub-style cheeseburger, a fat-pattied concoction with all the traditional fixings. It’s currently my favorite burger in town. My wife’s Smoked Cauliflower Carbonara was true to its name, a hearty bowl of smoky angel hair pasta, that, at $10, was an excellent value. Don’t get me wrong, the dish was delicious, but was quite heavy, and could have used a thicker pasta like a traditional spaghetti.

My first trip to Blue Cake Company, a bakery that took me far too long to check out, was an absolute success. I tried to reserve a birthday cake, but my dumb ass was far too tardy in placing an order for a cake I needed in 5 days. Anyways, I ended up getting four cupcakes, one of which, the Margarita, I actually got to try. Long story short, I’ll now be a regular at Blue Cake.

Go to Juice Bar/Paninis & Company and order the Acai Bowl.

Last week’s lunch at Mosaique Bistro in Conway was pretty much a total train wreck. I arrived at 11:25 a.m. to a locked restaurant (they open at 11 a.m.), which wasn’t a big deal, as someone came and immediately let me in. It also wasn’t a big deal when I requested artificial sweetener for my iced tea, was then brought over six packets, and told this was all the restaurant currently had on hand. No … these were just red flags for the food that was about to hit the table. Outside of a delicious side salad with house dressing, the rest of the meal was forgettable. My Grouper Poboy was boring, lowlighted by a small piece of fish on a hoagie roll that was dominated by two massive slices of tomato. The sandwich wasn’t terrible, but there’s no way I’d order it again, as was also the case with my tablemate’s dreadfully bland, spongy Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Mosaique has a great atmosphere and a prime location right across the street from UCA, so here’s hoping they can raise the bar on the food.

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