Ribs, Yes, but so much more….

I was recently invited to Tony Roma’s to visit their location in Sunny Isles Florida to sample some of their newest menu additions and of course their World Famous Ribs. I decided to bring along #MamaMaria because, lets face it, she loves food just as much as me!

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Now for any kind of tasting, the first thing you must do is cleanse the palate. What better way to wake up the taste buds then with a #Romarita. Made with Sauza Gold Tequila, Cointreau, guava and mango. I’m not ashamed to admit that first glass went down a bit too easy.

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drink with mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To keep the festive atmosphere going they started us off with sweet, savory and crunchy BBQ Shrimp tacos! These little firecrackers of taste, snapped, crackled and popped to our mouths delight! The “taco” is made out of a fried wonton wrapper making them the perfect bit size treat. Loaded with sliced cucumber, chopped lettuce and cabbage, pieces of pineapple and lightly breaded fried shrimp, coated with a slightly tangy BBQ sauce, each bite tasted fresh and exciting. My server said this dish was dairy free which scores huge points with me.  If you try it, to be on the safe side, I would ask that the chef verifies that information.

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flatbread

Next came the Steak and Wild Mushroom Flatbread.

The crisp flatbread was topped with havarti cheese, crumbled bleu cheese,  red peppers, chives, grilled beef tenderloin (which was perfectly cooked) wild mushrooms and served with a horseradish sauce. For me it was the wild mushrooms that stole the show. A veggie version of this showcasing those tender morsels of edible fungi would rock my world.

 

With no fanfare came the two dishes that, to me, deserved the most bells and whistles for fear they will go unnoticed and they are not to be missed.  Salads.  Yes, SALADS! First up was my absolute favorite… the Green Goddess Salad.  This large bowl of chopped romaine lettuce topped with grilled chicken,  grape tomatoes, avocado, radishes, edamame was set before me and it was love at first sight.  But it was the Green Goddess dressing and and the genius fried polenta & quinoa croutons that took the foodie in me to my happy place. Especially when I was told that the GG dressing was dairy free!!! Without the chicken, this dish alone would make your vegetarian friend come to a rib joint with you. Sadly, my server hinted this might be a limited time menu item. Such is the way of true love.  Oh Tony Roma’s say it isn’t so……

salad

The second, that’s right, they brought us two, was their Asian salad. Fresh chopped cabbage, diced red peppers, cilantro, crispy wonton noodles, sesame seeds, sweet Tai Chili are tossed with their Pan Asian dressing.  On an ordinary day you can get this topped with your choice of grilled chicken breast, hand breaded chicken strips or grilled salmon.  However, on this special night it was served with a tee-pee of sesame coated shrimp skewers. What a wonderful way to give a crunch to the seafood without frying it!

Shrimp salad

I strongly suggest you order either one of these salads as an appetizer and split it with your guests. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be sneaking your veggies into your meal.

As if my sever was reading my mind, another signature drink was brought to the table.  This time it was the hand shaken Watermelon #Romarita made with Jose Cuervo® gold tequila, triple sec (Frozen or on the rocks) served with a slice of the fruit dangling from the side of my glass. Me so happy.

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watermelon drink

 

Although this drink was a bit sweeter than the first, I made sure to sip it slowly so not to get a sugar rush.

 

Finally it was time for the parade of meat.  I am not kidding you.  For this VIP tasting, Tony Roma’s made sure we had our own personal chef outside grilling the food for our viewing pleasure.  Let me tell you, that master of the flames did not disappoint!

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From a never ending buffet of meat we sampled sausages, chicken (that was marinated in beer!!!) and St. Louis and Beef ribs. These were served with a side of coleslaw and awesome potato wedge like french fries.  Truth be told I could have eaten a whole plate of those perfectly fried spuds.

 

 

But wait, there’s more. We were then treated to a plate of  Tony Roma’s world famous original baby back ribs. These tender, fall off the bone lean pork loin meat treasures are basted with TR’s Original™ BBQ sauce, but if you prefer there are other delicious sauces to chose from. Accompanying the ribs were filet medallions topped with a cabernet demi glace, served with loaded mashed potatoes and broccoli.

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Then, just when you thought there would be no more.  The sweet ending appears on a slender white plate filled with a trio of more than a bite size sugary treats consisting of a strawberry cheesecake, double berry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream and a strawberry short cake with a whipped cream top.

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Growing up, while visiting Florida, I fondly remember visiting Tony Roma’s with my grandma.  It’s the only place she wanted to go for her birthday because her meal was free.  I can assure you that this is not your grandparent’s place any more.  With new, healthier menu items with fresher ingredients they are not only giving you what you want, but what you need. Although they do still give you a free rack of ribs on your birthday, just remember they are “Legendary for Ribs, Famous for so much more!”

Thank you so much Tony Roma’s.  A #FunTime was had by all 🙂

contact Lisa

@lisapirro315

Tony Roma’s on Facebook

 

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