Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finding Florentine's Fit to Eat?

Florentine's Downtown Grill
102 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

I love buy one get one free meal coupons. I get the Entertainment book each year. I go through Clipper Magazine and my junk mail looking for BOGO offers. I figure if a place is going to give me a meal for free, it is worth checking out.

This brings us to the BOGO free king of all restaurants, Florentine's Downtown Grill. Florentine's has flooded north county mailboxes with so many coupons, that the waitress said they automatically just take one out of every two entrees off the bill, with no coupon needed. We had a party of seven, so that meant that three meals were going to be free. Already a nice savings.

Florentine's is located right in the heart of downtown Fullerton. Sandwiched between the Tuscany Club and Palapa Grill, all three of these restaurant/bars are owned by Joe Florentine. Joe learned the restaurant and bar business from his grandfather and his Dad, Tony. In fact where Florentine's stands today, once was where his Dad's place, Pete and Tony's operated from. Enough of this history lesson, let's check out the food.

First stop is the bread basket that came to the table. My Dad was very enthusiastic about the sourdough bread here, calling it, "some of the best sourdough I have ever had". Not sure I would go that far, but it did come out very hot.

My sister was excited to be free of the kids this night, so she went all out and got the Chicken Tender appetizer. These were your basic chicken tenders. Not too impressive, but it satisfied her hunger. I did not try these.

Nothing really came out and wowed me about the menu at Florentine's, so I went with the safe bet, the Bacon Guacamole Burger. This half pound burger came with all of the stuff you would expect, cheese, tomato, grilled onion, and the biggest piece of lettuce I have ever had on a burger. You can check that out in the last picture above. I almost wanted to ask for some dressing and make a salad out of it. The burger was okay. The meat needed to be seasoned more, and with all of these big flavors on this burger, they all kind of fell flat. One thing I did enjoy about this plate, was that it came with your choice of fries or chili fries at no additional charge. Chili fries at no added price? Yes please. The chili fries unfortunately, like the rest of this dish did not create a wow factor for me.

Now on to Katie's choice for the evening, the Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini. This dish also featured prosciutto and mushrooms in a sherry wine cream sauce. Katie felt that this dish was very salty, probably due to the prosciutto. She thought the shrimp was cooked well, and this came out piping hot. All in all she thought this was a decent dish.

Jarrod went to the east coast for his dinner when he got the Philly Cheese Steak. This sandwich is made up of onions, peppers, mushrooms, spicy mayo, pesto?, all on focaccia. I was impressed with the size of this sandwich, but the meat was nothing to get excited about, very bland. The whole sandwich kind of lacked the flavor test for me, which is odd because all of these flavors should add up to a rocking sandwich. Jarrod had the exact same opinion of this sandwich.

My Mom and sister split a Ranch Chicken Club sandwich. They both liked this sandwich. It came with bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing. I did not try this sandwich.

Here is another item I did not try, the Coconut Shrimp Tempura. Kristen felt that this dish was okay. She did not seem too wowed by this. The shrimp looked to be heavily breaded. This was served with a sweet chile dipping sauce.

Last but not least is my Dad's Santa Fe Patty Melt. What makes up a Santa Fe Patty Melt? Glad you asked, it is pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, Ortega chile's, and mayo. It looks like this was put on a dark rye bread, but I am not sure of that. I did get a bite of this, but like the hamburger, it needed to be seasoned more. Yes, my Dad did get mashed potatoes instead of fries. He did not rave about these though.

The buy one get one entree free offer works well for Florentine's because their dinners are just average, and most people would be upset paying full price for this food. Not saying this to be mean, but the food here is nothing special. The competition is so tough in downtown Fullerton, at least they are offering free meals to get people in the door. Even if it is for only one visit.

Out of five art museums, (because Florence is known for their art museums, and the people of Florence are called Florentine's), five being best to zero being worst, Florentine's Downtown Grill gets two art museums.

For more information on Florentine's Downtown Grill click here:

Florentine's Downtown Grill on Urbanspoon

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