Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brixx Pizza

     Mint magazine had a coupon for Brixx.  Two pizzas and an appetizer for $20.  I invited my good friends Jeremy and Kristy from church, and my wife and I met them there.  I had Brixx once a long time ago, and I didn't remember much about it.  Then again, I can barely remember last week on some occasions.

     Jeremy and Kristy ordered a "4x4", which had four meats – sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto, and bacon - and four cheeses – mozzarella, parmesan, gouda and goat cheese.  Elizabeth and I ordered the Caribbean Shrimp which has citrus-jerk marinated shrimp topped with mozzarella and pineapple salsa.

     The pizza's were 10" and range from $9 - $13.  They also have drink specials and serve beer, wine, and liquor.    

     Both pizzas were fantastic.  The crust was thin, the sauce was not excessive, and the toppings were very flavorful.  They did not skimp on the toppings, and our server was very prompt and attentive.

     If you go with children, the kids will get a piece of pizza dough to mold into any shape they can think of.  The staff will then bake it into a breadstick and return it for consumption.  (Consumption was the word on calendar today.  Had to use it in a sentence.)  Since Jeremy had never been to Brixx, I made sure he got some dough.  After crafting a masterful superman logo, he received a bread treat to share with Kristy.  Fun all around.

     When we first looked at the menus, Kristy had noticed Tiramisu.  She had room for dessert, so the order was made.  I had never had it before, and it just wasn't for me.  Kristy has had it several times, and was not impressed either.  Hey, nobody is perfect.

     In the end, we had a great night of fun and fellowship.  Would I eat here again without a coupon?  Yes.  Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

M&M Catering

     Back when I first started working at Industrial Electronics, I met my good friend Joey.  He told me about M&M, and about its complete awesomeness.  I nodded and smiled, because I am not a huge fanatic when it comes to BBQ.  But lo and behold, my wife finds an online deal for $20 worth of food from M&M, so off I go.

     Looking over the menu, I first notice the variety in which a person can order food.  Want a dinner special?  No problem!  A sampler?  Piece of cake! (Seriously, they have desserts.)  Want to buy a pulled meat product of your choice by the pound?  Easy peasy!  They even cater to large parties.  If you want it a certain way, they can most likely help you out.

     So, we decide to get two pounds of pulled chicken.  Since the sauce comes on the side, we figured that any leftovers can be used to make a new dinner tomorrow.  (We had Chicken Alfredo the next day.)  After taxes, I only paid a buck or so.  So far so good.

    It......was.......AMAZING!!!!   We ordered a sweet sauce since we have young kids, and everyone loved it.  I made the mistake of sneaking a piece of "unsauced" chicken, and then couldn't stop.  No sauce, little sauce, nothing but sauce, it doesn't matter.  The flavor was just plain superior to any BBQ I have had previously.

     We now get M&M twice a month.  For $20, I feed my family of seven, and have a decent amount of leftovers, which stretched the food budget a little longer.  The family gets to eat out, which is a special occasion for us all, but mostly for my wife Elizabeth, who I am glad to give a break from cooking dinner.

     Would I eat here again without a coupon?  I would, and currently do.  Thanks for reading!

M & M Catering on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ebi Sushi and Sake

     Many times over the years, I recall telling my wife about my starting of a restaurant blog.  I love to try new foods and new venues, and the idea just seemed to fit me.  Of course this was easier said than done because first of all, most of my finances go towards my large family.  Second of all, I have the attention span of a ......................................sorry, I saw a squirrel.  Where was I?

     Anyway, all that has changed.  My wife bought a gift certificate to Ebi awhile back and the day finally came in which all the children were elsewhere.  We were soooooo gone.  The experience firmly established the need for me to start my new hobby.

     Located in the Old City, Ebi is a posh little oasis just waiting to be found.  Lighted trees and a waterfall fill a large patio area with a variety of seating, from comfy couches to tables and chair setups.  I almost avoided the interior of the restaurant altogether, but Elizabeth persuaded me to have my sushi indoors.  So be it.

     Ebi is absolutely gorgeous in many ways.  The color scheme and lighting combination was very relaxing, and would have been romantic if that is what we had been looking for.  But not today!  We wanted HIBACHI!

     We were quickly seated and our server (Amanda H.) was very prompt.  Amanda took care of us very well for the entire night.  She did not just stop to fill drinks and give the obligatory "Is everything alright?".  She offered suggestions about our potential entrees, described portion sizes of appetizers, and much much more.  To be honest, I think the owner highjacked a charm school.  Every lady that assisted us was poised, pleasant, pretty, and polite.  (Alliteration is fun.)

     We started with a ginger salad as we waited for appetizers.  It wasn't quite for me, as I guess I am so used to the dressing that is common with most hibachi restaurant salads.  I was not prepared for what seemed to be a spoonful of undiluted ginger on my salad.  A little too strong for me, but maybe perfect for others?

     Next we received our Pot-Stickers.  There were okay.  I like them with a touch of crispiness, and these just did not deliver.  Once again, perfect for others?

     It was about this time that I was telling Elizabeth that maybe I have been eating to much fast food for too long.  Have I forgotten what good restaurant food is?  Do I not have the taste for delicacies that I once had?  Will The Three Stooges movie bomb?  As I was looking for a paper bag to breathe into, my wife assured me that I was fine, and she was feeling the same way.  Maybe this was just not a place for us.  Then she tried to poke both of my eyes at the same time.  Luckily I blocked at the last second.

     Next came out second appetizer.  Baked Mussels.  I was so scared.  What if I tasted what could be my most favorite appetizer ever.....and didn't like it?  I picked one up, put it up to my lips, and BAM!  Complete and total AWESOMENESS!  I have been eating mussels for almost three decades, and that was by far the best I have ever had.  They dice the mussels, add sriracha and a few other ingredients, and cook it all up.  Then they top if off with a slice of avocado and a drizzle of shrimp sauce.  Absolutely amazing.

     While I was enjoying my own personal nirvana, the Shrimp Tempura came.  Eight pieces of yum.  A lot of flavor and you can taste the freshness in each bite.  And here is a spoiler for the end of the review.  They have $2 sushi rolls from 5-6pm Tuesday though Saturday.  Wooohoooo!

     We decided to split the Hibachi Shrimp and Teriyaki Chicken, since we ordered sushi and several appetizers.  The portion size was enough for both of us to fill up and not have a lot of leftovers, which we prefer since it cuts cost and allows us to eat out more often.  The shrimp and chicken, abundance of vegetables, and delicious sauce were combined to make a wonderful meal.

     Although our night had a bumpy start, it turned into a great experience.  I would recommend Ebi to anyone who wants to go to a classy Hibachi restaurant.  Since this is my first critique, I tried to come up with a rating system.  I added and subtracted different criteria from my list so that I would come off like a common critic.  Then I remember that I was uncommon, so I would keep it simple.  Prepare yourselves, for my uncommon rating system.

     Would I go back to this establishment without a coupon or gift certificate? - YES!  :)

     Here are some specials for Ebi!

Tuesday - Saturday from 5-6 is happy hour. $2 sushi rolls, well drinks, domestic beers, and margaritas.

Wednesday - 1/2 off sushi and house bottles of wine.

Thursday -  1/2 off house sake and hibachi.

Everyday - features drinks and specialty rolls.

Ebi Sushi and Sake House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Welcome to my blog.  I am the Uncommon Critic.  While I consider myself uncommon for many reasons, there is a reason the description fits my critiquing.  I have no culinary training, no restaurant background, and no experience whatsoever when it comes to judging food of any kind.  Yet here I am, about to tell you about all the places I try in the future.  Stick with me, and I will share with you all the coupons, specials, and deals I find that allow me to experience the wonderful array of food in Knoxville.