Caffé Primo – New York Bar and Grill

Today on the Dining Diaries

We narrowly avoid an explosion of bread
I remember that eggplant is the best vegetable in the universe and
Hubby doesn’t order the steak and survives the experience… barely….

primo2Diners today we were at Caffé Primo … or maybe New York Bar and Grill… or maybe a combination of both. I think it’s actually a Primo’s within New York Bar and Grill. I’m not quite sure.

Being locals, hubby and I have come to this location quite often in the past. The nachos were just THE BEST!! But that was well before it was ever a Primo’s.

We were on limited time today and just wanted a quick bite to eat so as we were in Marion Shopping Centre anyway, we decided to lunch at Primo’s.

primo3We were there quite early so there were only a few tables filled. One of them had about three or four mothers and their children were playing in the play area within the restaurant.
I think this is a really great idea as it gives parents a chance to catch up and great to keep the kiddies entertained too!

I love the feel of this place. Most, if not all of the old New York Bar and Grill interior is still intact. It doesn’t feel like a Primo’s, it feels like something different!

primoWe got to sit in the nice spacious booth and took a look through the menu. I think there’s a pretty good choice on the menu and most things are pretty well priced.

Now it was entirely my fault as I didn’t notice on the front of the menu that it says a garlic bread is complimentary with all lunch meals. It’s there, right at the top of the menu, but I just didn’t notice it.

I almost ordered a bruschetta to have before my main but I’m so glad I didn’t when I saw the garlic bread/mini garlic pizza coming out.
I think, even though it is clear, it would be a good idea for the servers to mention that the diners will also get a garlic bread with their meal when they go to place their order.

primonybg3In any case, it was really good!

It was just like a mini garlic pizza!

Great toasted focaccia with liberal amount of garlic butter on there.


Probably best to stay clear of it if there’s to be hope of any kissing afterwards though!

Primo’s has a reputation of bringing out food quickly and today was no exception.
I thought both dishes looked pretty sensational when they came out.

Hubby chose the Chef’s Salad. I wasn’t sure I was hearing right when he ordered it. I didn’t even have to try to persuade him to get something non steak like, he did it all on his own! And I think he made a really good choice as it looked really really good.

The menu describes it as following: Tender pieces of chargrilled chicken with pan seared garlic prawns, smoked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, capsicum & lettuce with a balsamic seeded mustard dressing.
He’d asked for the dressing on the side.
So how did it taste? He said it was good and fresh. The dressing was quite creamy and he liked that.
He looked a bit wistful after eating it for a bit and said it didn’t have what he’d expect a good salad to have – and that is cheese, olives and bacon…
Personally I think he’s speaking as someone who normally says “salad is not a meal” and no matter that there were prawns, chicken and salmon in there, I think he felt like it wasn’t a real meal.
I think it looked amazing and would be a great choice for someone wanting a healthier option.

I chose to have a pasta – Fettuccine is my go to pasta – and I chose the Melanzane sauce.
Eggplant, mushroom & roasted capsicum tossed with caramelised onion in a basil & garlic napolitana sauce.

Honestly there’s not much I could fault about this. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the eggplant was absolutely divine. Every ingredient in there is or became my favourite thing. The one teeny complaint is that the Parmesan cheese, if that’s what it was, was below par. It looked and tasted like the “Parmesan” cheese that you can buy from un-refrigerated packets in the grocery store. It didn’t spoil the dish for me though as I devoured that thing and I was really really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for some.
He kept looking into my plate saying “That’s not fair, I didn’t get olives” but I didn’t get olives either, he was eyeing off my eggplant.

When we left I was really pretty full and the place had filled up quite fast.

Primo’s, it may not be fancy but it’s one of those places that will rarely let you down!

Have you been to Primo’s at New York Bar & Grill Marion?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…


Today on the Dining Diaries….

A grumpy waiter does his best to spoil our experience
Nachos!! Nachos!!! Nachos!
Authentic music and good Sangria make everything better

gallery_venue3_Zapata's_800x500.jpgDiners today we were at Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant in North Adelaide. They claim to be Adelaide’s oldest Mexican restaurant and probably are, being established in 1975.

We walked into an almost empty restaurant as dinner service had only just started and a waiter came up to us with no smile and gave us a sense that we had interrupted something really important that he was going to do. It almost made me want to walk out but I’ve wanted to come back to this place for years so we just followed behind him to our table.

FullSizeRender (99).jpgHe sat us by the window and actually it was nice because we could see what was happening on the street outside and it felt a little more intimate.

The disinterested waiter gave us some menus and asked if we wanted to order something to drink. I really wanted to try their sangria but I hadn’t seen it on the drink menu so I asked if they did Sangria. He rolled his eyes and using as little words as possible said chastisingly “front”. I turned to the front of the drink menu and yes, there it was. Silly me. So I ordered some Sangria and tried not to cry.

I have to say, I LOVED that they had Mexican music playing. Loved that! It puts you in the mood. I love the way it’s decorated too. If you’ve been to Montezuma’s you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not as gaudy as the Montezuma decorations but a more elegant modern Mexican style. (FYI Montezumas is a guilty secret passion for me and gaudy does have it’s place!)

So back to the menu; I thought there were a lot of what you’d expect to find in a Mexican restaurant in Australia, as well as  couple of Mexican inspired dishes. What I should have researched more was the fact that they have half price nacho’s on Wednesday’s! I had heard people saying these serves are really big and when we ordered a large serve to share as an entree, the disinterested waiter’s eyes grew big (Effort) and said “they’re big” and I shut him down with a “we’re big eaters” and he turned away.

Turns out he was right. They were big, but I hate when people say that because my expectation of “big” is not the same as others. Still, they were a big serve and hubby and I easily shared a plate. You’d have trouble getting through this on your own I think!
But remember people, although these nacho’s are definitely worth coming here for, make sure you come on a Wednesday because they’re not cheap.

I couldn’t pick what photo I liked better – I should have had something else in the photo to give you perspective of how big this plate was. There was nothing to complain about that’s for sure! They were delicious!

A different waitress came to take our main order and she was lovely. I was so relieved.
Hubby went for the Carne a La Tampiquena – Combination plate of barbecue fillet Steak with onion and capsicum, a Chicken & cheese Enchilada coated with hot mole sauce, frijoles & salad.
I ordered Chilli Colorado – A typically Mexican dish of hearty beef chunks in a spicy sauce of red chilli served with rich, frijoles and fresh garden salad.

Mine (Above) was just delicious. It might not look so pretty on the plate but the beef was tender and just so full of flavour. The sauce was a little spicy but not overly so that you lose all taste in what you’re eating. The rice was cold which was a little disappointing and the salad wasn’t dressed but I enjoyed this dish anyway and it was perfect on this cold Winter’s night.

FullSizeRender (98)Hubby’s dish was equally interesting…

I’m not sure what he was expecting but when he bit into his steak his eyes glazed over. When he was able to, he told me that it was an excellent cut of steak and one of the most tender steaks he’s ever had.

The tomato and avocado on his plate was so heavily salted that he couldn’t eat it. He kept begging me to try it but why would I want to eat something that I’ve been told is over salted?
No thank you. I’d rather reserve my taste buds for things I’m hoping to like.

FullSizeRender (95)The chicken and cheese enchilada was an interesting item on his plate too because it was coated in a mole sauce.

We didn’t really know what this was.

He got me to try it as he said it had a sweetness to it. Now sweetness is something I don’t mind and I definitely did taste sweetness.

I’ve since looked it up and know what’s in a mole sauce.

It wasn’t unpleasant, and it was good to try something different but I’m not sure that hubby will go for it again.

So to sum everything up, we enjoyed our time here despite the efforts of the grumpy waiter – and let me add that the rest of the staff were really very lovely, warm and friendly.

The menu was varied, the food was good, the sangria was excellent and the nachos were great (Even better on a Wednesday)

Have you been to Zapata’s
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!


Till next we chow…