The Yelp 100 Challenge
Rehearsal Dinner Review:
I initially decided to use Capitol Dime's private upstairs dining for my Rehearsal Dinner after an amazing Yelp Event. I was terribly WRONG and would NEVER bring a party here again!!!!
I initially spoke with the event coordinator Glen. We worked out the seating, the menu, and I paid in full as early as October 11th (gratuity and everything so I wouldn't have to worry about anything during the rehearsal dinner)..mind you, my rehearsal dinner was scheduled for Friday, December 6th. A month before my dinner, Glen leaves Capitol Dime and I am assigned to a new person. Who has no record of my payments, no record or notes on the conversation that Glen and I had but assured me that whatever was agreed upon would be honored and completed as promised.
So what went wrong????
Who puts a tent OUTSIDE on a rainy day in less than 30 degree freezing weather (that damn one little heater DID NOT work!!!!)).. Capitol Dime. I don't know what genius decided on this idea but it was totally fucked up!! I had 50 guests and most of them elderly. Everyone had to eat in their jackets. There was nothing I could do because the area that I was promised already had other guests seated there. What was completely fucked up was the fact that my grandfather has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy and is susceptible to pneumonia had to leave because it was too cold and this environment was literally hazardous to his health.
I was horrified and embarrassed. The magical Rehearsal Dinner I dreamt of turned into a cold nightmare. This is the last time I will be working with Capitol Dime for any private party functions. Patrons watch out! Take your business somewhere else. Or at least wait until it's warmer outside.
Fridays after noon is the WORST time to come for a wedding license!!!!! There is a 45 min to an hour wait.
Located in Fresno's sketchy looking downtown area. Parking is metered so make sure you bring plenty of quarters!
The system is a little disorganized when you come in. Some people are there for a ceremony, so it gets a bit crazy with the couple and their 10 guests. That's the limit on how many people you can have attend your ceremony here... not sure if everyone followed the rules though. Only the couple is supposed to be in the building waiting since there is limited space. All guests have to wait outside.
You can not make an appointment to avoid the craziness. This is a first come first serve system.
To help you navigate through a wedding license:
1. When you enter, DO NOT get in line. Go to your left where you will find computers. There is where you will start. Enter you and your spouse's information. If you're on the fence about what your last name is going to be, you better decide before coming here. I was under the impression that I didn't have to make any final decisions until after we were married. WRONG. Under the gun, I chose his last name instead of a hyphenated version.
2. Only after you've entered your information do you get in line. Make sure you have a photo ID and $49 for a public license. They only take card or cash! Once you reach the front, they'll check your ID's and give you a number so you can wait for any where from 45min to an hour.
3. You wait until you are called into the back of the room where they verify more information. For example your mom's maiden name/middle name, your dad's middle name, etc. They make you swear at the end and you finally get your license!
4. For those of you wanting a ceremony there, you are then told to wait again until the ceremony room is empty. Each ceremony takes about 8minutes long and they give you time to take pictures.
No, we didn't opt for a ceremony. We were just there for our license, but we were there long enough to watch how slowly the process took.
If you are not checking by 4pm, they will tell you to come back tomorrow.
Also note that this place also deals with passports, business license, along with the marriage license and ceremony. First come first serve AND they don't distinguish what you're here for. The only short wait time is if you need anything notarized - they take those first.
After my wedding makeup trial my makeup artist gently told me that I needed to get my eye brows done for a cleaner look. Was I upset? No. I did let my brows get out of hand!
I usually pluck them myself, but I figured I should let a professional handle it. I was weary about getting a wax because the wax is hot, it hurts, and my skin gets irritated afterwards.
On my lunch break I decided to check out the threading version next to Macy's. They advertised that it hurt less than a wax - which was something I was excited about. I'm not a fan of pain. And since the method was threading, your skin would not feel irritated after - another plus!
Was there pain???? Hell yes! I teared up in both eyes. It stung! With a wax it hurts after one pull. But with threading they sting you several times. Totally false advertisement. However, my skin wasn't irritated afterwards and she shaped them really clean. Clean, straight lines - my mae up artist will be happy. I think they were cleaner than any wax I've ever had. And only for $10! Definitely be back before the big day!
As soon as I get into Fresno the fiancé insists we go shopping. I was a little hesitant because I Just drove 3 hours to get there and my fur child was with me.
Thank God Fresno is home of the Bulldogs! My fur child was welcomed with open arms into BR! He's well behaved and trained so we didn't have any problems with him while we shopped.
Since I'm the fiancé's stylist, I pick out jeans and a casual jacket for him. What I LOVED about my experience here was the customer service! Besides allowing my dog into the store, a sales rep helped the fiancé with sizes while I just stood back and gave my personal opinions. And I could literally go up to anyone and they were more than ready to help with sizes or whatever else I needed.
Best part is that at the time, many items were 40% off. Scored on some sweaters and a cute necklace!
Best customer service I've received from a Bebe store!
I was looking for a chiffon and lace dress that finally went on sale online. Unfortunately, they didn't have any more XS online. I called my closest Bebe store and they didn't have my size either. They called Modesto and promised that it would be shipped to me by Friday - the day I was going out of town. Friday came and the mail man had nothing for me. I was pissed. I really needed this dress for an event on Saturday night.
I call Modesto and asked if they had any other XS left, since the one they shipped to me was supposedly the last one. Fortunately they did!! Modesto is an hour south of Sacramento, and luckily for me on the way to Fresno.
Since I was going away for the weekend, I had my fur child with me. He's a fat English Bulldog. I never leave him in the car unattended, but this was a fashion emergency.
Since I was unfamiliar with this mall I called the sales clerk and she steered me in the right direction so I wasn't wandering all over the place. Bebe is located within Vintage Faire Mall. This mall is both an inside and outside mall. Bebe is located across from Sephora, Macy's, and Forever 21 at an outside boutique. When I finally got there, all the Dressing Rooms were occupied. I told the sales lady that my fur child was in the car and she let me try on the dress right in the middle of the dressing room area. At that point I didn't care. I was about to purchase both the XS and S just so I could get back to the car. Fortunately the XS stayed true to size. I quickly made my purchase and left running back to the car. The service was prompt and professional. Most importantly understanding. Lucky for me it's fall and the weather is cold. My fur child was patiently waiting for me on the front seat.
I love their appetizer selection!
It was too late for lunch and too early for dinner when the fiancé and I decided to try the place out. We were actually the only ones there on a Saturday afternoon shortly after they opened.
We sat at the bar with the full attention of the knowledgeable bartender and other staff waiting solely on us.
What we ordered:
1. The lamb appetizer: LOVE LOVE this amazing dish. So happy and excited to see it on the appetizer section! *High Five* to the Chef and whoever decided to put this on the appetizer menu. I love how you can sample what's actually on the dinner menu! The lamb was tender and delicious. NOT gamey at all. It also came with mashed potatoes that just complimented the dish. I would come back to dinner for this menu item since it was soo good!
2. The Baby Back Ribs: The ribs also came with the mashed potatoes and were also on the appetizer menu. You can get the full rack or even a half rack for dinner. The ribs were yummy.
3. Calamari: Huge jumbo squid pieces that will make you full!! They were definitely the size of one of my fingers. The batter was light and didn't overwhelm the squid. It was made just right!
4. Lobster Mac and Cheese: Say what? I had to have this dish! The cheese was creamy and covered each pasta with a sprinkle of bread crumbs with large lobster chunks!
5: Crème Brule: I loved how thick and smooth it was. Definitely delicious!
6. Banana Cream Tart: Loved the presentation and flavor!
YES, I ate two desserts. The fiancé and I compromised. He could order another drink while I had a second dessert :)
I need to give a shout out to the bartender that was with us. He does make the BEST Old Fashions hands down! Thank you!!!
We had a great time and I can't wait to come back for dinner!
I don't get why this place has so many bad reviews... You get what you pay for! This place is by no means fancy! First off, it's in Lemoore ( which has ONE Starbucks and the closest Target is in Hanford - a whole other city!!)! Second, I don't get the Yelpers here and in the Fresno area in general. Ya'll are off the wall with expectations and star ratings - No consistency whatsoever. Let me show you how to give an Elite review:
BREAKFAST review: $5 Dollars for EVERYTHING!!!
My T-Bone Steak was yummy and made to my liking. Since it's a $5 steak, I knew I wasn't going to get the choicest cut of meat. It's $5 folks! As I expected, the T-bone was cut thin. So if you like your steak medium rare, order it rare. If you like your steak well done, order it medium. Just remember its a thin steak, so it cooks fast. It came with three eggs, a buttered side of so fluffy bread, and country potatoes. All yummy and worth $5!!
The butter milk pancakes were delicious. I usually prefer my pancakes more thick and cakey, but this one came out crispy and thin. The texture and taste complimented each other very well. There were three large pancakes. Of course I shared it with my fiancé, however, it was soo good that I ate two out of the three cakes.
The future Mother-in-law had the pulled pork sandwich. Of course I asked for a taste! She knows about my Yelp Review habits when dining. LOL. She wasn't even embarrassed when I started taking pictures of the menu and the food. The pork was warm, tender, juicy, and sauced to perfection. Large amounts of meat on two pillowy soft buns. Pretty sure it was the same type of bread that we had with our meals.
The future Father-in-Law (yes, we were on a double breakfast date) accidentally ordered two meals at his excitement for $5 breakfast. The waitress was able to remove the extra meal with no fuss, even though they started making it. Service was fast and we got everything we needed with little to no wait time. Pretty good service for a SUPER CHEAP place to eat. Better than Ihop or Denny's service for sure!!
I arrived from Sacramento on Friday night and the MIL just got home from work and had not cooked anything. So she goes to Ethel Reds for some food because of the 5 meals for $20 deal they have going on. She comes back with BBQ Beef Ribs and Tacos:
1. The ribs: when I first opened the pink box, I was skeptical at presentation. They were huge beef ribs with what looked like BBQ sauce splattered over them. Not appetizing at all. However, curiosity got the best of me and I tasted it. SUPER tender and juicy. The meat was fall of the bone. The bbq sauce was actually really good. Not overpowering like I had expected. Glad I gave it a go!! I ate 3 huge ribs because they were so yummy!!
2. Steak Tacos: I ate four tacos they were so delicious. In the platter they had 5-6 tacos. Flavored well, not too salty at all. Just squeeze some lemon and you don't even need salsa since the flavor was soo good.
HUGE 5 meal portion for $20.
I'd definitely come back here for breakfast again!!! and order some dinner for take out!
Wine bar and live band... in Lemoore?? What?? YES!!!!!
This is the most lively place in the Lemoore "downtown" area. I really loved the outside seating options. I know it's getting cold, but they have outside heaters folks!! And I vaguely remember a fire pit. Located right next to Zeny's and the movie theater. You can't miss it! Especially if there is a live band!
Inside, they had tables and wine barrels with chairs you can lounge in. The bar had chairs for you to sit as well.
$5 to taste their 5 different wines they make using CA grown grapes. They have:
1. Combine - This is a blend of their Cab. Sav. and Zin. Very bold taste.
2. Zinfandel - Made from Lemoore grapes, not 100%, but some. Sorry forgot the percentage.
3. Cab. Sav. - I'm not a fan of anything made in 2010. This one just reinforced my dislike for that year.
4.Chrodonnay: Crisp and dry. Overall good taste.
5. Cotton candy: Tasted like a combination of a muscato and a pinot grigio. Not as sweet as the name would imply. Tastes like summer!
If you buy a glass after tasting all 5 wines, the $5 tasting fee is waived. All you pay for is your glass or bottle! Pretty sweet deal!
The folks at the bar are down to earth and friendly.. just like their patrons. Glad the fiancé and I stopped by!
So this is the fanciest most expensive place in Fresno? I keep reminding myself that it's Fresno. So with that said, it was better than most of the honky tonk/hole in the wall places that Fresno is notorious for. I'm not counting the few cookie cutter chain restaurants that they actually have here.
Located in Fig Garden: Which I'm falling in love with! Close to the Whole Foods and high end boutiques. By high end, I mean Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc... remember it's Fresno. That's "high end" here. LOL!!
Very small, intimate restaurant with pink upholstery. My fiancé's law firm celebrated their 50 years and closed down the restaurant.
The appetizers and wine paired nicely together. My favorites were the bacon wrapped shrimp - huge rock shrimp with crispy bacon wrapped around it - soo GOOD! and the pulled pork crisps. It was tender juicy pulled pork on some sort of grainy chip. Taste and texture complimented each other well.
For dinner, I had the fillet mingon with vegetables. The fillet had some kind of sauce/gravy deal on it. Maybe because it was French? Not sure. It was good, but not blow your mouth out of the water delicious. The appetizers for sure were the better part of the meal.
Dessert: I wrongly ordered the crème brulee when I should have ordered their chocolate mouse cake. The brulee was good, but the chocolate mousse was delicious. Not too sweet and creamy.
Service was good. I'd love to come back and check out this place on a normal night and not on the firm's dime to get a real sense of how this establishment is run. At least I know the appetizers and desserts are really good!
Fitness MD has finally moved to it's new location!
So new that it smells like a new car! New equipment, new carpet, fresh paint, the works!!!
The gym section even expanded! It's separated from the Fit Club sessions. More treadmills, more weights, more stair masters. Basically more of everything.
The Fit Club has more room too for their boot camp style workouts. This place isn't cross fit folks! Let's get that straight.
Best part is that they finally have showers in the bathrooms!!! Glad they finally made the move!
All night Happy Hour on Thursdays are the BEST!
My maid of honor and I just finished my dress fitting with the alterations lady at La Soie Bridal and we were famished! We actually walked into Roxy's to have something to eat. I really wanted to go to Lucca, but didn't want to make her drive or inconvenience her in any way. I already feel bad for all the things she does as an amazing MOH. As we scan Roxy's menu I eye the cioppino and let her know that's what I'm craving. She looks at me and says, "If you want Cioppino, we should go to Lucca!" - AND that's why she's my BFF and MOH!!!
We walk out of Roxy's and head to Lucca's and basically order the whole HH menu!
The mussels: MUST EAT item! So delicious!! The Sauce is amazing and flavorful.
Zucchini chips: Check in via Yelp and they're for FREE! Hint Hint! Crunchy, tasty, and light!
Calamari: HUGE serving size. Dip in the sauce of the mussels and you've got an amazing combination of texture and flavor.
Cioppino: Not on the HH menu but I had to have it! Super filling with huge fish chunks, large succulent shrimp, tangy sauce, accompanied by two crunchy bread pieces. You won't regret this order!
Since HH was all night, this place was packed! You can only order from the HH menu if you sit in the bar area.
Great food, Great experience... every time!!
As a first timer, I had a pretty funny experience!
Background: To attain my wedding day hair look inspired via Pinterest, my stylist instructed me to purchase extensions. Hence my check-in at King's Wig & Beauty Supply.
Since I try to keep my hair low maintenance, I've never had any experience with extensions. Didn't know anything about them until my visit here!
Thank goodness Marina was really helpful! I just went up to her and told her my situation and she asked me how much I was willing to spend. Since I've never made a hair purchase, I didn't know the market value of any type of hair. I just asked her what the other Asian girls get when they come in here...lol! She did a good job of telling me the different type of hair they carry. Apparently the top grade is Remy Hair that runs for $200! Since this is a one day thing for me and I don't foresee myself using extensions often I opted for the lower grade, regular Human Hair. She helped me pick a color and brought me outside in the sun to make sure the hair matched my hair color.
Then came other questions about how its going into my hair... I was totally confused. Thank goodness she didn't make me feel stupid and was willing to go over the different methods of how hair extensions go into your hair. Apparently you can glue it, braid it in your hair, use beads, or clip it in! So many options! Since I'm a beginner, I chose the clip in version.
So apparently they sell the hair and then you have to purchase any tools to get it into your hair. I had to buy the clips, thread, and needle. All the while I was thinking: Oh man! Am I purchasing this correctly? What is my stylist going to say when I have to tell him he has to sew on these clips?? Do I sew on these clips? So of course I ask about their return policy because I felt so unsure. Marina explained that I can do an exchange or get store credit. Obviously I had to go back if my stylist refused my hair purchase!
Later that day I brought the hair to my stylist and he was happy to sew on the clips and cut the tracks according to his preference/my head shape. Glad it all worked out in the end! Definitely learned a thing or two. LOL!
When my fiancé proposed to me, I didn't realize what he was handing me was a Tiffany's Solitaire engagement ring. When you get the real deal it's in a black velvet box folks (He removed the black velvet box from the iconic blue egg shell box with white ribbon)!!! After saying "Yes" and actually looking at the ring was I blown away!
It is such a magnificent piece. The ring of all rings for sure!! My fiancé knows me and got exactly what I wanted: round solitaire. Simple , chic, timeless! He knew my distaste for engagement rings with little diamonds surrounding a semi large stone to make it look like a larger piece when it actually isn't.
Since I've put the ring on, I never really take it off. Which means It's on while I'm cooking, cleaning, taking a shower, the gym, etc. When I first brought it in for a cleaning, the sales rep Woranga looked at me shocked (in a nice way) and asked what I was doing! LOL! Then she informed me that I should get a cleaning ANY time I'm in the area. They care about each Tiffany's piece and want to make sure that It's represents the brand when worn. She also informed me to stop wearing it at the gym since the platinum might bend or scratch. My ring is so banged up now that I have to get it polished before the wedding. Which means they ship it to New York for 2-3 weeks.
Since my engagement ring is a Tiffany's piece I had to get the matching wedding band! Woranga has been helping my fiancé since the beginning and she's been just as helpful with me too. I wanted an understated wedding band that didn't take away from the magnificent stone on my engagement ring. I ended up falling in love with a channel setting, however I was undecided about whether I wanted the diamonds to fully wrap around or just half. To take my mind off it (and since it was a big decision - it's a ring I'll be wearing for my life time) I tried on a plain gold band and platinum band for fun. They let you try on as many rings as you want and never rushed me the entire time! I joked with the fiancé that one day, I'd like to have a plain band to wear at the gym and for vacations. Since he hates that I don't wear a ring to the gym we made a compromise! If I chose the platinum wedding band with diamonds only gong half way around instead of the full, I could get a plain gold band as well. 2 wedding bands? SURE!! He sold me on the idea with the help of Woranga! It's harder to resize a wedding band with diamonds going all around than diamonds only going half way around.
So happy with the patient customer service we always receive when we come in here. Not only are they patient, but knowledgeable, and helpful as well. They will find and ship whatever you need from a Tiffany's around the world! And if you're in there shopping as long as I do, they have water and other beverages for you. LOL.
I'd definitely come back again! And not just for a cleaning. I still need the plain platinum wedding band to match my finace's wedding band, and diamond stud earrings and matching necklace. LOL! Hint Hint!! The fiancé occasionally reads my reviews. Wouldn't hurt to put it out there! hahahahah! Promise that's all I want ;)
Happy hour from 3:00-6:00pm EVERY DAY?!?!!
After the fiancé and I finished shopping for wedding bands, we were famished! We decided to go to Zocalo and meet up with some friends that lived in the area. Located between D&B and Z Gallerie. Since it was a warm fall day, we decided to sit outside.
The Happy Hour Menu included: empanada, nachos, quesadilla, and guacamole for $5 and tacos for $2. Beer, Sangria, and Tequila Shots were $5.
Our friends opted for the quesadilla; which they apparently ALWAYS get. The fiancé and I order a steak quesadilla to share and 2 tacos each. Our friends were RIGHT! The quesadilla was totally worth it. For $5 it was HUGE! It looked more like a burrito than anything else. I ordered 2 asada tacos and the fiancé had an asada and carnita taco. All of which were disappointing and dry :(
Definitely a great place to have happy hour! Free chips and dip, a quesadilla, 2 sangrias, and an impulsive shot later and I was a happy girl!!
I have the BEST bridal party EVER!
My bachlorette party was legit!! I knew I was going to Vegas with a handful of my favorite girls, but other than that I had no clue where we were staying or the days events.
When we landed, I thought I heard a gf tell the taxi cab to go to Tropicana. When we pulled up to the Trump Tower I was blown away!!
* The hotel does not have a casino so you don't have to inhale second hand smoke.
* No casino means no crazy vibe. It's the first time I've been to Vegas and was able to unwind and relax!
* The lobby was very chic with chandeliers and a clean scent.
* Staff was very accommodating with any/all our needs for the weekend.
* We received VIP service and was able to use the Trump vehicle to get to our destination.
* The hotel is located across from the mall which houses some of my favorite shops: Nordstrom, Zara, Topshop, etc.
* Cab rides were inexpensive. Maybe about $10 to get to the strip.
* We were on the 46th floor. So high that my ears popped when getting to the room. Which also means that we were so high that we didn't hear the train that other people are complaining about.
* The two bedroom suite was AMAZING!!!! So huge that we had a foyer!!! Each bedroom came equipped with a kitchenette with sleek stainless steel appliances. AND we had 3 bathrooms for 9 girls. No problems getting ready at all!!!
* The pool was very chic and had cabanas available.
I would definitely stay here again. It was such a great experience.
My only qualm is the fact that one of the rooms smelled like someone lit and smoked a cigarette in it. We called the front desk and they were able to get staff to spray down the room and to eliminate our resort fees for putting up with it. Great customer service!
Some yelpers call the serving size "generous" but I call the serving size ridiculous, wasteful, and to the point of unethical.
I LOVE ice cream, don't get me wrong. I came here with four other people and with the intent of ordering our own personal flavors. We didn't realize we should have maybe shared one bowl among us because of the ridiculousness of their serving size. It was literally a whole gallon of ice cream if your ordered two scoops!
The ice cream itself was good. I ordered the strawberry freeze and vanilla ice cream. It was delicious, but monstrous in size - couldn't finish it! The fiancé ordered a banana split which he didn't finish, the sister in law ordered a scoop of cookies and cream - which she also didn't finish, and the in-laws shared a scoop of strawberry ice cream that also went unfinished. The ice cream was reasonably priced, but it was just wasteful. Most, if not all of us couldn't finish half our order.
The service is to blame for this! Not organized at all. No one spoke to you unless you got their attention. Since this was our first time we didn't know whether to wait to be seated or grab our own seats. There was no one welcoming us in, giving us direction, nor were directions posted to follow. It was chaotic on a Sunday afternoon! We grabbed seats at the bar and literally had to flag down a waitress to take our order. And when we finally got a waitress she didn't warn us about serving size! Come on! And then we watched our ice cream order melt in front of us bc our waitress was no where to be found. Apparently she went on break without informing us. WTH?!
I'm all about supporting small business, but place is ridiculous. I get why there are so many unhealthy people in the Lemoore/Hanford/Fresno area... it's all bout quantity than quality here. UH!
First off: The address to this place is wrong!!!! The old establishment apparently burned down and has now relocated to First and Ashlan Street. I had to call since I'm new to the area and I've never been and I really wanted to eat brunch at a place with 4+ stars.
I ordered the Chili Verde Omelet. It was freaking delicious!!! The different flavors exploded in my mouth in a happy unison. I was smiling as I ate, my heart felt full, and my stomach was happy with my fantastic order. The omelet was filled with tender pork chunks with warm chili verde sauce, then topped with some more chili verde sauce and then melted cheese. So much meat that it escaped the fold of the omelet. My omelet was accompanied with country fried potatoes and the much talked about biscuit and gravy. The biscuit was soft and buttery with a muffin consistency. The gravy was bland and nothing special but the buttery biscuit made up for it.
The fiancé ordered steak and eggs. His steak wasn't made to his liking. It was burned on one side and tough to eat.
We also ordered French toast to share between the two of us. Nothing special about this dish either. The stand out dish for sure with Chili Verde Omelet. I drool at the memory!!
The service was slow. We didn't get any utensils and had to wait. We asked for things and she forgot to bring it to us (ketchup, A-1 sauce, more coffee, salsa, etc.); which is weird because we sat right up front where the food was coming out in the bar area. Stingy with the salsa too! She gave me a very small amount of salsa, but the regular next to me had a bowl. WTH?!
The UGLY: The wait on Saturday morning was ridiculous! It was over an hour wait time to seat 2 people. The people in the ticket booth kept telling me 15-20 minutes until it was well past an hour. I just hate being lied to. And then when we finally ordered it was another 20 minutes before the food came out.
Luckily my Chili Verde Omelet was so delicious!!!! I'd come back for this menu item! At least I left full and happy!
My wedding is 3 months away and I still haven't locked down invitations...until coming to Paper Garden!!!!
I was looking online for invitations, but there was nothing that I truly fell in love with, nor wanted to spend over $1,000 for. Especially since all the templates were plain, boring, and cheap looking.
Thank you Yelp for this hidden gem! I would have never found it without my trusty yelp app!
Stephanie was amazing. I told her I wanted something, simple, chic, and elegant and we came up with a design together. Whatever I was dreaming, she could make into reality. She even made really good recommendations so that I didn't spend too much money on the invitations itself and reduced the stamps I could have incurred with my crazy ideas!
I came prepared after my first visit with invitation ideas, and how I wanted the invites to be worded. I had complete control of what I wanted and took her suggestions seriously. Great customer service!!!
150 invites was LESS than $1,000. The paper was top quality - some of which were special ordered and some they make special in their shop!. They even buy the rights to the fonts. I was able to get the Kate Spade font for no additional charge for my invites.
My invites came with the main invitation, an RSVP card, an Information Card (for Reception and Hotel information) and a Bridal Entourage card (something Filipinos do - aka, my mom made me do it card). In addition all the envelopes for that order. It was supposed to be more expensive, but since Stephanie recommended that she print and cut the invites and I (my bridal party and I) assemble the invitations I saved what could have been an additional $800 for labor. That $1000 also included all the materials I would need to assemble my complicated invitations. I'm talking the double sided tape, the stamp, the stamp pad, the embosser blower, glitter, etc.!
I get why they charge so much for labor! Stephanie showed me how to put the invitation together. It was easy enough in store, but having to do 150 of those suckers is tedious!
I can't wait for my guests to receive their wedding invites. I hope they love it as much as I do!
This place is so great that I may have them do my rehearsal dinner invitations, my bridal shower invitations, and the program for the ceremony! Top quality here folks!!! So happy that I got everything I wanted! Special thanks to Stephanie and her crew! You guys are amazing!!!
Location: On the corner of Howe and Fair Oaks Blvd.
Ambiance: Low lighting, light music, and spacious/semi private booths made date night just a little more romantic with the fiancé.
The food: We chose the items this place is known for!!
1. The corn bread ($7): It came out warm. The outside was crunchy and the middle was soft and of a muffin consistency. The jalapeños surprisingly did not have a kick, but added to the flavor of the corn bread. It was really yummy. I enjoyed it so much that I ate the left overs later that night. And If you know me, I NEVER eat left overs. It was that good! Serving size was huge for two people. Pretty sure it would have been perfect for 2-3 other people.
2. The corn with chili butter ($5): The presentation was cute. It was broken up into three chunks for easier eating. The chili butter was delicious on the corn. Wish there was more slathered onto the corn, but I guess it was so that it wouldn't over power the actual corn flavor. Definitely drool worthy!
3. The prime rib ($32): I NEVER order prime rib. But since prime rib is the star of the restaurant at this place I HAD to try it. The prime rib was humongous!! But guess what? It was so delicious/melt in your mouth that I killed the mofo! Ate the whole thing that there wasn't room for dessert! LOL. Between the corn bread and this main entrée I was sitting lopsided since I was so full!
The food was good, the service was spot on, and the ambiance was exactly what we were looking for. We'd definitely come back again! I have to try their ribs!!
When did everyone find out about the 50/50 fruit freeze?? I don't know if it's the weather, the 50/50, or something else, but the line for Gunther's has been out the door and into the street lately! So long that they had to come up with a better system on taking people's orders! And still it wasn't fast enough!
I arrived at 8:30pm last night because I hade a 50/50 strawberry freeze craving. For those of you that don't know what a 50/50 is; it's flavored fruit freeze with vanilla ice cream in the middle, and then topped with more flavored fruit freeze. You can order just the fruit freeze if you like as well. There are three different sizes: small, medium, large. Lots of flavors with the freeze and you can order up to two flavors in your cup! Since the line was ridiculous I decided to get a large. Might as well get my fill since I waited 45 minutes just to fulfill a craving. The line was so long that it went out into the street. Staff had to come out and direct the line in a way in which Gunther's would not be fined. Yes, it was that serious!
I only come here and wait in the ridiculous line for the 50/50. It's the only place you can get a 50/50! The ice cream is GREAT too, but with that line I'd go to Leatherby's, Vics, or somewhere else that has equally great ice cream with shorter lines.
Hands down the BEST Shave Ice I've had on the island!
Since it was our first time having shave ice, we randomly order the sundae to share since we just had lunch at Ono Seafood followed by 6 malsadas at Leonards. Of course there was a line, but it went fairly quickly. Service was prompt but not very helpful. We were unsure of what we ordered since we looked at what every one else was getting and they all had fruity flavors.
Once we received our sundae flavor shaved ice we decided to sit on the picnic tables right outside. It had shade so the hot sun wasn't beaming down on us. Man oh man! I've never expected that a shave iced could have the consistency of ice cream! Yes, ice cream! It was creamy! With the condensed milk, chocolate sauce, and whatever goodness they concocted harmonized beautifully in the ice. None of the ice was crunchy or chip your tooth big. It was smooth all the way through! So good we ordered a fruity flavored shaved ice with mochi just to make sure we weren't trippin off how smooth it was. Can't believe they were consistent with the second shaved ice! Since this was our first experience, every where else we had a shaved ice failed in comparison. Those other places should just be called snow cones! This place is the REAL DEAL!!
If you're in Hawaii you HAVE to try the malsadas at Leonards! It's blasphemy if you don't.
The fiancé and I biked here to get snacks, which we were supposed to take back to the hotel room to eat later. The bakery was filled with other tourist who had malsadas on their mind. The parking lot was full and there weren't any bike racks, but we were able to chain it to the side of the bakery.
I ordered half a dozen malsadas. One flavor each. When I receive my order I immediately open them up just to smell the fresh, warm malsadas. Since there were benches outside I convince the fiancé to have a seat and relax just so we can maybe taste one malsada while it's warm. Big (but yummy) mistake. I take one bite and the pure deliciousness of the warm crispy pastry on the outside with a gooey doughy inside had me wanting to taste them all. The fiancé was all about it too! Before we know it, we've killed all six malsadas. Mind you we just had lunch at Ono's Seafood! The positive person I am reminds him that we're biking, so we're technically exercising this food adventure away. LOL!
Hands down the BEST Hawaiian Poke I've ever had!
The fiancé and I rented bikes just so I can fulfill my food list. On the list for that meal time: Ono Seafood, Leonard's, and Waiola Shave Ice. I researched using Yelp where I can find the freshest, most amazing poke on Oahu and this place popped up. I wanted to impress the fiancé's taste buds and fulfill his poke cravings.
The place is just a hole in the wall with a blue awning. No seating except for one picnic table right out front. No where to really lock and secure the bikes as well. Very small parking lot that is usually full.
We ordered the Hawaiian Style Poke, Shoyu Poke, and the Miso Poke. My absolute favorite was the Hawaiian Style flavor. It was purely orgasmic. The fish melted in your mouth. The shoyu and miso were equally tasty. Super fresh! None of the items tasted refrigerated or previously frozen. The quality was just top notch! So glad we were able to taste the wonderful poke here.
I love these cute pineapple shaped butter cookies. I shamelessly walked in at least once a day to eat samples!
So good I left with 3 large boxes of cookies to give to friends back home. The chocolate covered macadamia nuts are over rated and over done. These cookies were a better gift and snack to eat. I ate a whole box to myself!
They had different packaged cookies filled with an assortment of flavors, but my favorite was the cookie bar. Basically, there are three box size options and you can decide what flavors you want to add to your box. And not gonna lie, but the other box probably won't make it to the intended recipient. LOL!
My favorite flavors: Coffee dipped in chocolate, coffee, plain butter cookie, and the pineapple flavor.
This boutique is the grown up version of Claires and Icing. It has more classic, contemporary, sophisticated pieces of fashion jewelry with a small fun section.
Great place to find jewelry for work clothes, weekend clothes, and everything in between. Loved how they have every thing color coordinated so you're not all over the place when you have a specific outfit in mind.
This place also carries hand bags, scarves, shoes, and limited clothing items. Really great place to get cute gifts for others as well.
One thing I learned about my Hawaii trip: Hawaii is NOT cigar friendly.
You can not smoke on the lanai, you can't smoke at the park, and you can't smoke on the beach (there is a loop hole: smoke with you're feet in the ocean and you're not really on the "beach" anymore and can avoid getting fined), basically you can only smoke in the designated stinky alley way. BOO!
Since a cigar is meant to be smoked leisurely, we asked around and found out that the Row Bar was the only place that tolerated cigars. You can still get fined, but the Row is located in the middle of the M and the police do not go out of their way to get out of their cars to patrol the area.
Since I wanted to fulfill one of the fiancé's bucket list items I made sure we made every effort to make it out here. From the end of Waikiki to Restaurant Row, a taxi was about $22.
When we get there, everyone was smoking a cigar. We sit down and order drinks and some edemame. Service was a little slow, but at that point we were glad to just be able to sit down and smoke some amazing cigars he brought from home. Luckily enough, a group of guys smoking turned out to be a cigar club. A guy named Dan walked over and chit chatted us up and gave us two free cigars. AT least the cigar smokers in Hawaii are friendly!!
I'm glad the Row was accommodating.
We were on The Bus on our way to the Catamaran Excursion that I booked via my Go -Oahu Card and what do I see next to the bus stop as we were loading and unloading passengers??? Marukame Udon!!! I was excited about the catamaran, but boy was I excited for it to be over so I can try another food place on my list! Man was the line long though!! It was lunch time, so go figure!
I was contemplating on how I'd get myself here and low and behold it was a couple of bus stops away!!! As soon as the catamaran was over the fiancé and I were excited to get off the darn bus. So much so, we got off maybe two bust stops before the restaurant and had to walk a couple of blocks. He was hesitant on eating Udon on a warm day but loved the idea of me completing my food list. He always indulges me :)
By the time we arrived it was around 3pm, which meant it was a weird in-between meals time; which ultimately meant no line, no wait :)
What we ordered:
1. Niku Udon: The fiancé had this dish in a regular size with an egg cracked over it. He was literally drooling as he watched his bowl prepared. When we finally sat down, it wasn't too long till he had slurped up the entire bowl dry. He then proclaimed: BEST Udon I've ever had. I give him a quizzical look and ask about the Udon he had when he lived in Japan for six years and he shakes his head and stood by his proclamation.
2. Curry Udon: I chose this bowl of goodness. I was surprised at how substantial the curry soup was. It wasn't overly watery like I was expecting. It was of a thicker consistency. So thick that the flavor of the curry grasped the Udon noodles so that every bite was filled with a delicious curry flavor. Most places I've tried have given me a more watery based curry, where you slurp the soup trying to catch the hints of curry. This place smacks you in the mouth with the flavor! The soup is not so thick that you can't slurp, but just right!
We also chose a couple of items like the salmon triangle seaweed wrap, the meat triangle seaweed wrap, karage, and calamari. But the shining star is the udon!!
In a small shopping area with plenty of FREE parking. Away from the touristy Waikiki strip.
The waitress was attentive and made sure we were full and drinks were refilled constantly. The wait to be seated was about 30 minutes at around 6pm.
The setup: a bunch of small tables and chairs, a huge bar, and a small stage for a small band.
Ambiance: Filled with locals enjoying the copious beer options with friends and food. You see smiles, laughter, jokes, and stories. A general happy vibe.
My FAVORITE part: THE FOOD:
1. Candied cured bacon: This is an appetizer!!! Strips of candied cured bacon! I can't even explain my glee when I saw this on the menu and the mouthgasm that followed after the first bite. *clapping my hands* as I chewed. Simple yet genius idea to serve with beer!!!
2. The Poke: We're in Hawaii, of course the Poke was good!
3. The mac and cheese: It was good. Creamy and cheesy. Nothing about it stood out, nothing to complain about. I think the candied cured bacon and the chicken and waffles sandwich just out shined all other dishes I tried.
4. Fish and Chips: The fiancé is a fish and chips connoisseur. He thoroughly enjoyed his menu item. I did not partake in his excitement because I was preoccupied with the candied bacon, mac and cheese, and the chicken and waffle sandwich.
5. Chicken and waffle Sandwich: BEST chicken sandwich I've ever had. I don't even think I can call it a sandwich though. I totally deconstructed mine as soon as it landed in front of me. By deconstruct I mean: I ate the waffle first, then the chicken, then the other waffle, and then to anyone else who ordered this menu item and didn't finish their meal. The waffle was amazingly buttery. You can taste the buttermilk and pancakes in the recipe good! The quality of the waffle was what blew me away! The chicken was lightly breaded. Did not over power the waffle at all. It was just such a delicious dish!
I'd place this on my top 10 list of BEST Bar food. Definitely even BEST 5 in the US of A good! I was IMPRESSED! Hats off to the chef. I had such a great foodie experience here!
The fiancé's car dies. Well, at least the battery did. One good thing about this situations is that I learned how to jump start a car! Learned how, but didn't fully accomplish because the battery was dead. Super dead!!!
We contemplate about whether to tow and service or Push it to the garage and buy a battery. Since we just came home from vacation we opted for the latter to save some $$$.
We call the nearest auto parts store; in our case Napa Auto Parts. They were only 2 miles away. Thank goodness! I want to say that their customer service on the phone was way better than in store. The guy over the phone made sure that location had the battery we needed.
However, when we got there customer service declined. It's funny because there were plenty of staff, just not placed well or taking their sweet time in the back doing God knows what. Since the fiancé's car was out of commission, I had to drive him around. BUT I needed to get to the gym. So I put my bitch face on (the don't make me late to my gym session or I'll cut you look - (I was already dressed to go)), started tapping my foot until someone noticed and helped us check out. It shouldn't have taken that long! I'm glad they had the battery and the location isn't too far away from home. Just step up the customer service part!
Since it was featured on the Food Network, I HAD to try it!
3 Different hot dog options: Polish, Regular, and Veggie
3 Different Bun options: white, honey wheat, and BACON Taro
How hot do you want it option?: Mild, Spicy, Hot, and Hot-Hot
Crazy Relish Options: coconut, pineapple, star fruit, mango, papaya, banana, and the traditional pickle and onion.
The Sauces: Guava Mustard, Lilikoi Mustard, ketchup or Dijon.
Pretty cool hot dog combinations. If I was a local I'd never get tired of this place since you can change it up.
I chose the Honey wheat, with a polish, mild, with Lilikoi mustard and pineapple relish. Yummy! Beats my favorite Costco Hotdog hands down.
It seems like all my friends and everyone who's ever been to Hawaii has been to Giovanni's Food truck. So of course it was on my list of foods to try. I didn't want to feel left out of the foodie frenzie.
There were only 3 Shrimp plates on the menu: the famous Shrimp Scampi, Hot & Spicy, and Lemon Butter. ($13)
I ordered the Scampi and was not disappointed. This review was not from hunger, mind you. I just ate at Boots and Kimos before making our way here. The shrimp were large, succulent, and deveined, the sauce was galricy, and I totally get why people come to see Giovanni and his truck. It was freaking delicious! 2 scoops of rice with more sauce drizzled on top. Wish I didn't share with the fiancé! I checked in with my Yelp app and got a free drink! So don't forget to check in!
My only qualm: Food truck food should NOT be $13!!
Even in the rain there was a super long line with an hour wait!
Diner type. Think IHop or Denny's feel with a Hawaiian/Asian aura/twist.
1. Red Velvet Pancakes: I want to give a shout out to Kelly A.! Such an amazing friend to help fulfill my Yelp list of things I NEED to eat in Hawaii. The Red Velvet pancakes were super yummy. Almost as moist as a cake, but soft and buttery like a pancake. Very yummy! The Mac Nut sauce on top was literally icing on the pancake!
2. Steak and Eggs ($12.99): Glad we ate off the strip. This meal was not only pretty tasty, but affordable. This type of meal on Waikiki strip would have been at least $20-$25! They made my eggs and steak the way I wanted, so I was happy.
Since I ordered two breakfast items I was preoccupied and my fork wasn't able to graze the plates of others so I can't tell you personally if the other items ordered were great. Pretty sure they were because everyone cleaned their plates! And that's always a great indicator!
I turned our Hawaii Getaway into a Foodcation! I used Yelp to look for all the must try, top rated food places. With the help of good friends, the fiancé and I were able to make our way to North Shore for the infamous Matsumoto Shave Ice!
Despite the slow drizzle of rain there was a line that wrapped the building. One would think that the rain would scare people away but nope! The staff are very organized and prepared for the crowd so the line moved along pretty quickly.
Lots of flavor options, with ice cream, and condensed milk offerings. I chose the large with strawberry, watermelon, ice cream, and condensed milk. Had to make the hour drive worth it!!! lol! Even splurged on the Shave Ice Plastic Protector for $ 0.30 so I wouldn't get messy!
The shave ice was really good. The ice cream and the condensed milk helped make the texture of the ice slushy and soft. It was definitely very tasty. I can say that this is the best shave ice in North Shore. I still think Waiola Shave Ice is the BEST in Hawaii, but Matsumoto definitely is a very strong contender.
On another note, this place is not really a grocery store. Definitely caters to the tourists with lots of souvenir type items.
I love Target in general. You get amazing products and affordable prices without the Walmart crazy/ghetto.
This location is super busy, especially on the weekends. Just getting into the plaza is a little difficult. Between all the people and cars you get traffic! This plaza is pretty popular because it has so many great stores besides Target. You have Barnes and Noble, Old Navy, Ulta, Cost Plus World Market, and Sports Authority along with yummy restaurants like BJ's, Wing Stop, Panera, and Tokyo Steak House to name a few.
The store is always clean and organized. Staff is helpful. Set up is consistent to other locations so I never have a hard time weaving my way around. Just wish I could come and leave for the items on my list instead of picking up all the other goodies.
I met up my sister at Downtown Mall to check out Macy's for makeup and Express for work clothes. We were supposed to grab lunch somewhere in between but shopping took longer than expected and I had to get back to work. Time was up! While walking to the parking garage I kept thinking of different food places we could go just to grab something and eat.
Then as we were headed for the escalator I see "Carmen's Baked Goods". Curious (because there wasn't a line ) I go check it out. I thought someone sold gelato at this location, but it looks like a new vendor has popped up! I want to say the food type is Romanian. They offered triangles of puff pastries filled with different things like: Apples, chicken and Parmesan, cheese and spinach. They also offered sandwiches, salads, fruit bowls and different desserts. Good , quick, meals on the go. Perfect for me and my sister!
I would have taken pictures of what I ordered but after the first bite, I devoured the thing without thinking. The sister and I both had The Chicken and Parmesan Puff Pastry Triangle for $2.95. It was very flavorful. I just wish more chicken and cheese were in the middle. For desert we had the cold puff pastry filled with Bavarian cream and topped with powdered sugar and chocolate. OMG! So freaking yummy! Loved how everything was easy to eat and you can literally eat while walking. With an hour for lunch, I don't have much time to shop. This place is perfect for people on the go who want to multitask and use their lunch hour to eat AND shop.
Definitely never again. Very disorganized and there was a real break down with communication as far as checking in, where to wait, and customer service in general. Not a good experience.
I get off the plane and head to baggage claim to get my luggage. I assume I wait curbside where all the other shuttles are waiting for passengers. I call Speedi Shuttle because I don't see a shuttle. They tell me to go wait at the white umbrellas. After locating the white umbrellas I Find another family waiting for a Speedi ride. I call Speedi again and ask where the shuttles are and she then tells me I need to go back inside and check in. Why the hell did she not say that in the first place??????
I then check in. No directions were given on where to wait or what to do next so I wait outside. Big mistake again. They apparently call your name to they can assign you a shuttle. I find that out while I was standing outside trying to board a shuttle. I finally go back inside with my fiancé and three bags and finally get it right.
I don't get why they don't give you complete information via email especially when you prepaid. I don't get why they don't give you complete instructions when you check in and you are there face to face. I don't get why institutions weren't posted anywhere. This type of bullshit leads to disorganization and confusion.
I'm finally sitting in the shuttle with other passengers. Before we leave the parking lot the driver locks himself in the back compartment of the car and the fiancé has to let him out. Definitely another bad sign. Will call and cancel my shuttle from the hotel to the airport. I'd rather taxi at this point.
Loved the location of this hotel! It is at the East end of Waikiki and the very last hotel on the strip. Which means, you are not in the middle of the super busy/noisy part of Waikiki. AND, you cross the street and it's the beach!!!
* Car - if you rent a car (something I don't recommend doing! You don't need one) the zoo across the street charges $1 an hour to park. Most parking spots are about $25 a day without in and out services.
* The Bus - The bus stop is literally outside of the hotel. You can wait in the lobby and watch for your bus to come. Really great way to see Waikiki and a cheap way to get around. $2.50 a person. Carry small bills because they don't have change!
* Speedi Shuttle - Picks you up from the airport to this hotel and back. I'd recommend getting picked up 2 hours before your flight home since they can run a little late.
* If you get the Go-Oahu Card for excursions, they pick you up from this hotel!
I chose a Standard room (on the 8th floor). It was part of the Expedia Deal that I purchased with my flight. I definitely was not disappointed by this hotel. The room was clean and every time I called for the room to be cleaned (because I couldn't help but bring back sand every time I went out) they were very accommodating. The Standard Room did not have a view, but who needs one?? We were only in our hotel room to sleep and shower! The beach was literally across the street, maybe 10 steps from the lobby so I didn't feel like it was necessary to pay extra for a view. Just walk outside!!
The bed was big and comfortable, the pillows and blankets were clean and comfortable. The room provided everything we needed. For example: it had an iron, blow-dryer, refrigerator, and safe. All of which was working properly and we actually used on a daily basis. Big screen TV with different channels was nice to wind down to after a long busy day. Mind you, the fiance and I are living child free so this room was the perfect size for us. Families should really think about upgrading.
Also, this hotel is flanked by TWO ABC Stores!! Which means you can buy water bottles to put in the fridge and other snacks in between activities.
Even if we had money to throw away at a nicer hotel, I'd still stay at this one! Has everything you need. Very clean and comfortable and perfectly located on the strip.
The fiancé and I are pretty fit and healthy. We used our Go -Oahu Card for this excursion. Which means they provided transportation and water bottles for the hike.
The hike as about a mile. It was steep with a lot of stairs. It increased your heart beat but definitely wasn't too much of a work out. Little children and the elderly were on this hike!
Since Diamond head gets plenty of visitors a year, they have built a paved hike so that we are not disturbing the shape of the crater. Super easy! Pretty sure we could have walked it twice before our scheduled transportation had to come pick us up.
Things to bring: Water bottle, sun block, and some bug spray.
These 2 stars are for the "Shave Ice".
After the hot and humid hike on Diamond Head, the fiancé and I decide to cool down with some shaved ice from Magoo's Burgers (Since they're the only food truck at the State Park). Mind you, the other day we had Waiola Shave Ice. So we had that experience to compare Magoo's "Shave Ice".
Let's keep it real. Magoo's should call their "shave ice" a Snow Cone. Because that's what it tasted like. It had huge pebbles of ice. It wasn't creamy and smooth. The texture of the ice was crunchy. A slurpy from 7 Eleven would have been smoother.
I wasn't able to try any of their other menu options. I guess I was expecting every Hawaiian place that sells Shave Ice to taste as amazing as Waiola or Matsumoto. Guess not!