Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fire and Stone Pizza - Restaurant in Bradenton - Review of visit on August 22 2014

Fire and Stone Pizza , 10519 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210 (941) 792-5300

We have been to this place before. But it has been a while and I like to write my articles as close to a visit as possible. 

Last week we were out and about getting things done in town and on the way to bring my wife to work we thought about getting lunch. Something fast, easy and priced well. 

Fire and Stone Pizza came to our minds. So we stopped by there to see how the lunch buffet looks like and tastes now. As it still is off season we had no problem to find a parking spot. 

Walking through the door we immediately were greeted by a smiling female server and were told to sit anywhere we would like. The place was not super busy but there were plenty of patrons present. 

A couple tables were not done yet but we found a freshly cleaned table by the window and right across the pizza buffet. My favorite spot. You can see what is going on and always are close when new pizzas are called.

The server came within 2 minutes to our table and asked us what we would like to drink. I asked her if they still had the buy 1 get 2 beer special and she said yes. So we both ordered a beer and also some water. Off we were to the buffet line. 

I went for the salad bar first. The salad bar is always well stocked and very clean. They pretty much offer everything you need to put together a great salad. You would really like how fresh all the items are. The green salad looks crisp and actually is just that. They have about 6 different dressings plus vinegar and oil. 

With the salad I had a cup off soup. On this day I found 2 soups. Both were very hot and tasty. 

Our beer was waiting for us on the table when we got back from our first trip to the buffet line. The beer was cold and when drinking it you can taste that they take care of their equipment. No after taste or so. Some times when you order draft beer it has a distinctive taste to it. A result of a line not cleaned often enough or not properly cleaned. 

Next I made my way to the pizza line. They just brought some freshly baked pizzas out. When a fresh pizza is put on the buffet line the cook actually announces it and explains what it is. Really helpful feature and a nice service. 

My choice was the Buffalo Chicken pizza as well as the Ham, Pineapple and Bacon. A great start. Both I liked a lot. Hot, fresh ingredients and just the right amount of spice. The crust of each pizza was consistent and just right ( The only way they would be better would be if they would not bake it in trays, like in Italy). 

After that I followed up with some other kinds which were all absolutely good. You should try every pizza you find interesting and make sure to listen to the cooks. So you get the hottest pizza and often surprise combinations. Favorites of the day to me were: the above mentioned as well as the spinach and cheese and the pepper, ham and onion. 

Meanwhile the server stopped by several times and asked if we are doing OK and if the food is good. The second time around I ordered my free beer, which we got within a couple minutes as well. 

Another nice thing you will see is that all servers watch out for you. This is great service. You will never have to wait too long. Now I have to say that this day was not very busy. On a super busy day ( which they have a lot of them, to the point that you can not find parking and have to wait in line to get in) the waiting times for beer and other drinks might be slightly longer, but never really long. 

After going through about 8 slices of great pizza I was done. Note: Those are small slices. I think they do it so you can portion your food and try as many different combinations as possible. It also helps to have hot food on the plate at all times.  Not that I would not have liked more, but I just could not do it and I wanted to try the dessert, which was included in the price as well.
Christiane had the chocolate ice cream with almonds and I opted for the vanilla ice cream with strawberry compote. Again it did not take very long to get what we ordered and boy it was good. I am not the biggest ice cream eater. But this soft ice I really liked. The compote actually complements it well. I also tried Christiane's dessert and it was equally good. 

We were both absolutely full and satisfied and ordered the check which the server brought in a short period of time. Once you receive yours, live a cash tip for the servers on the table and pay the check at the register by the counter. The lunch buffet was 7.39 $ and the two beers cost 2.99 ( buy one get one free). So one lunch was 10.38 plus tax.  A great deal for what you get, no doubt about it. 

Summary of our visit at Fire and Stone Pizza in Bradenton , FL on August 22nd 2014:

Fire and Stone Pizza serves some of the best tasting pizza we know in the area. We are Europeans and are used to excellent pizza. They put out great combinations of ingredients and all pizza is fresh and prepared well. 

The buffet bar is clean, well organized and offers everything you need for a good pizza lunch or dinner. The salad is one of the freshest you can find on any buffet. 

They have a few beers on tap and all of them are buy 1 get 1 free. A great deal for the beer drinker. Not sure if they offer that for wine as well. Naturally you can opt to drink soda or water ( water they bring with your first drink or if asking, it is filled up often). 

The dessert is not only included, but also tastes very good and they have about 5 or so different kinds to pick from. Make sure you leave room for that. I had a hard time, but could not pass it. 

The restaurant is not huge but has plenty of room. The room right at the entrance has tables, a short bar to sit and enjoy a beer and food as well as the buffet bar. You can also see how they prepare the pizza and even the oven where they bake it right from your table here, from the buffet bar or the bar. 

To the right you have an additional room which reminds me on a small dining hall in Spain or Italy. Here you can put some tables together if you are with a larger group or family ( not sure if they need a reservation for bigger groups). It all looks clean and organized. I have not used the rest room, so I can not tell you about it. 
The staff is friendly and they try to make you feel welcome and keep a good eye on you. 

I enjoyed the lunch buffet at Fire and Stone Pizza and we will go back there for sure. Once we do so I will write an update in the comment section of this article. 

Have you eaten at the Fire and Stone Pizza restaurant in Bradenton, FL? What was your experience?
I welcome comments and stories. But keep it clean and remember as always: No Spam!

Notes: I do not have any photos from this day. But if we go again, I will see if I can make some and add those pictures along the way. You can also order out from this place. Please check the official website for more details about the menu and so on. Thank you. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thai Palace - Thai Restaurant in Bradenton , FL

Thai Palace - 4756 Cortez Rd., West| Bradenton, FL 34210

August 14th 2014 marked our 6 months wedding anniversary. So we decided to go out for a nice dinner. After thinking about where we are going to have the dinner we thought we need to pick something new. Going back and forth the selection fell to Thai Palace at Cortez Road. 

A place where I have never been. My wife has eaten there with her company before and she said it was very good. 

We showed up there without a reservation. Something I usually would not do, but it is off season and I did not think it would be a challenge.

The entrance is not very telling and I did not know what to expect. Just walked in. My first impression was : A real restaurant with cozy interior. I liked it from the get go. 

Took less than a minute and we were greeted by a smiling lady who asked if we want to sit on a table or wait for a booth, which would only take a few minutes. We opted for the booth. 

5 minutes later the same lady invited us to the table. I really like the setting. You can see that things are not new, but they are well taken care off. We had a sense of privacy where we were sitting. Only thing not good was the lamp. It was damaged and they taped it. Looking around from where I was sitting that was the only lamp which was fixed like that. So it might have been a temporary solution. 

About 2 minutes into our visit a server came to our table. She was very friendly and also made eye contact with a big smile. We said we want water and need a minute for the drinks. When coming back we ordered 2 Thai beers. Do not remember the name, but they were cold and very good. 

When she brought the beer we were ready to order. 

Christiane did not want an appetizer or soup. I wanted to try something new. So I ordered the Tom Yum Ta Lay Tong soup ( you can look it up on the menu on their website which I post at the bottom of this article). 

I asked about the scale of spicy. The server told me how it works and I said I want Thai Spicy. That is supposed to be the hottest. 

For our entries we ordered the Red Curry and the Vulcano Duck. The Vulcano Duck we ordered regular and the Red Curry Spicy. We were told we can order spices if we like to make it more hot. 

The soup came within a few minutes. It was hot. That in itself was a big plus. Many times I order soup it is at best warm. Also it was very spicy. Gave a good burn without taking away the taste of the seafood and the lemongrass. I really liked it. 

While finishing my soup the server asked several times if we need water and we were able to order another beer. Great service. 

The food was served just as I was done with my soup. 2 entries and 2 times rice. It all looked good and pretty much like on the photos I saw before. 

Both dishes and the rice were hot. Again, a huge plus for me. There is just too much cold or warm food served. 

 Those are the dishes as we actually received them. Find below the photos they have on their website. The lighting was not very good. So it might look a little darker on this photo, but it was in fact just like below. 

Red Curry as served at Thai Palace in Bradenton, FL 

Volcano Duck as served at Thai Palace in Bradenton, FL 

The Red Curry was a good combination of vegetables and pork ( you can pick other meat if you like). The spiciness was just right. The meat was cooked well and very soft. The curry sauce was perfect. It simply tasted good. 

In Germany duck is a big thing in all kinds of Asian Restaurants. So we know duck. The Volcano Duck lived up to what we had in mind. It was crispy, the meat was soft and tasted great. The sauce was perfect on the duck and in terms of spicy, they got it right. ( I ordered some extra spice to try. Interesting was that she explained every spice to me!)

We ate both entries all the way and loved it. 

While eating we had a 2nd beer and we stuck with the Thai beer. Tasted very good. 

Once we were all done we were asked about dessert. Christiane asked if they had fried bananas in honey. The server told us they have it with home made coconut ice cream. So we ordered it. 

Fried bananas with home made coconut ice cream served at Thai Palace in Bradenton, FL 

It did not take longer than 5 minutes and we had the dessert. Looked great. First I did not want any, but then I tried it. Good decision. It was simply great. The taste of the ice cream in combination with the bananas and the honey. Wonderful. The ice cream was perfect and everything about this dish I liked. 

Our server came one last time to ask if we need anything else and we ordered the check. 

The price was very reasonable for what we got. The quality of the food, the great service and the very nice and cozy atmosphere justified every penny of it. 


The Thai Palace restaurant in Bradenton, FL is a place I certainly would go again. I have not eaten often Thai Food, but I liked what I was served here not matter how authentic it was or not. 

The atmosphere was very nice. The owners clearly wanted to create a space where  you can enjoy your food in a setting which is as authentic as possible. I really liked the fact that the female staff members were wearing traditional clothing. It added to the experience. 

The food was very good. It was fresh and tasted very good. The dessert was exceptional in my mind. I liked both Thai beers. Something you should try if  you like beer. 

Prices were absolutely OK. If I think about what I some times get for top dollars. But I am always willing to pay extra for a little atmosphere and better service as well. 

The restaurant was OK busy but because of the way they designed it and furnished it, we had nice privacy and did enjoy our stay there. 

If you like Thai Food, the Thai Palace in Bradenton might be the place you should try. We will go back for sure. 

Have you been there and what was your experience? Any thoughts about Thai Food in general? Comments are welcome. But remember, keep it clean and no spam.