Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Music Review - Paper Gods (Duran Duran)

Greetings, Darlings! Stand back and get ready for the first Phat Unicorn Music Review! ::and there was much sparkly rejoicing::

I have such mixed feelings as I write this review. I go into it knowing that some of you will violently disagree with me, because I’m about to poo all over one of your (and my) favorite pop icons. That’s right, DURAN DURAN and their newest album, ‘Paper Gods’. ::squeeeee!!!::

Who doesn’t love Duran Duran? What’s not to love?! 80s glammy/New Romantic superstars, whose meteoric rise was responsible for 80% (or more) of the popularity of MTV, and whose lipsticked, often-pouty faces graced the walls of many a young person – including your favorite sparkly Unicorn.

As a lifetime fan, I was pretty excited about this album - especially in light of just how much I LOVED their last album (All You Need Is Now) a few years ago. I pre-ordered the deluxe version (the one that came with a nifty t-shirt). I avoided listening to any of the digital songs until the actual CD came, just so I could physically put it into my laptop and listen. I was so ready for a new injection of D2. I threw on my headphones and hit ‘play’, and –

...felt SO disappointed.

AYNIN was brilliant, the perfect evolution of the ‘Fab Five’, bringing the heart of their music into today. They never really ‘went away’, of course. Newer, dare I say younger bands came along and stole the fickle hearts of the newer generations, as always happens, but the hardcore fans – like yours truly – were still there. And I’m sure I was not the only one salivating at the chance to hear another album that would go instantly onto ‘repeat play’, to lift us up and take us to that special place their music has always done.

Paper Gods is not that album.

I feel like apologizing for saying this, but it just felt - ordinary. Not 'It's still Duran Duran, even if it's not their best work' ordinary, but 'don't care who it is, wouldn't stop to listen to it if I heard it on in a store and didn't know Simon leBon was singing it' ordinary. Almost unfinished. Wait, no. Not unfinished – uninspired. What went wrong?

Some have said it’s their insistence on ‘trying to keep up with the times’, but I reject that. It doesn't sound to me like they're trying too hard to be modern (although having LiLo featured on one track, and having other celeb guest stars in does suggest it a bit). It fails to sound modern, either. It's just - and it kills me to say this - kind of a 'meh' album. The kind that the die-hard fans will buy anyway, but that will end up sitting on the shelf gathering dust while we put AYNIN back into rotation in its place.

Oh, well. They’ve had a lot of hit albums, several of which I would consider among the best albums I’ve ever bought. Maybe the next one will be better. At least I got a nifty t-shirt out of it. ::shrug::

And a special note directly to D2, with all of my respect and love: Guys - you're geniuses, and what you've given the world musically can never be taken away. Keep making music - but quit overthinking it and just do what comes naturally. I can NOT believe that this album is that. It's just so - forced and awkward. And this from someone who has adored you since 1980... We know you can do better. Much love.

Phat Unicorn! Rating: 'Meh'.
I did not draw this unicorn.
If you did, let me know
and I'll credit you. Thanks.

Have you listened to Paper Gods yet? Do you feel the same, or does your opinion differ? Either way, I’d love to hear from you! Unicorns love comments.

Thanks for reading, and always remember to sparkle like you MEAN it!

~ Your affectionate four-legged friend ~

Monday, September 14, 2015

Phat Unicorn Restaurant Review - Friends Cafe (Flagler Beach, FL)

Hello, Darlings. I hope you're hungry - I've got a fantastic little spot in Flagler Beach to tell you about. As I may have mentioned before, I adore living in Palm Coast. It's peaceful, it's lovely, and it's (relatively) safe. As far as location, it cannot be beat.

Unless you want to eat breakfast and don't want to cook it yourself.

Now, don't get me wrong - there are some wonderful restaurants in Palm Coast. (In fact, I've reviewed several of them for you already.) Breakfast-wise, however, if you don't like chain restaurant food - or what I like to call 'nuke food' because most of them get everything in frozen and then nuke it - then you're pretty much out of luck.

Fear not, however. Just down the road in Flagler Beach lies salvation, in the form of an unpretentious eatery with the welcoming name of 'Friends Cafe'. Partner and I decided to check it out this past weekend. SO glad we did!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Phat Unicorn! Restaurant Review - World-Famous Oasis Cafe (St. Augustine)

Hello, Darlings. Sparkly restaurant review for you: The World-Famous Oasis Cafe in St. Augustine. Short version - Don't bother. Two Hooves Down!

The name itself probably should have been the tip-off for a red flag: Anyplace that has to literally name itself "World Famous" anything may either have delusions of grandeur or, at best, be trying to make a name for themselves before they really deserve that level of kudos. If they were actually that good, they wouldn't have to advertise the "World Famouls" part.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Phat Unicorn! Restaurant Review - Mellow Mushroom (St. Augustine, Florida)

Hello, Darlings. Today I bring you a review of the Mellow Mushroom in St. Augustine, Florida. Short version: "I wanted to like this more. Food pretty good, but prices a bit high (and inconsistent)."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Phat Unicorn! Restaurant Review - Manatee Cafe (St. Augustine, Florida) - Meh.

I hate to write a negative review, especially because my initial review of this place was so darn good, but the second visit was so much worse that I felt it was only fair to mention it, to warn the unwary. We had a meetup here that went so well that I thought Partner and I should go back. We should've driven to Cafe Verde in New Smyrna beach instead - it would have been worth the extra drive. 

NOTE: I'm giving them the courtesy of a 'Meh!' rather than a vomiting unicorn because even though this visit was decidedly POOR, the previous visit was quite good and I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt that usually they do provide better service and quality. Also, no one actually got sick, so it could conceivably have been worse...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Phat Unicorn! Restaurant Review: Cafe Verde (New Smyrna Beach, Florida) - Two Hooves WAY Up!

Oh, Darlings. Allow me to wax poetic here, and swoon about with my raptures over this divine little eatery in New Smyrna Beach. I'm torn - because on one hand, I want simply everyone to have the chance to experience this place! But on the other hand, I'd prefer that it remain relatively unknown except by locals, because I don't want to be crowded out by tourists and snowbirds. Greedy little Unicorn! ::chuckle::

Partner and I *ADORE* this place! This was our third visit since we discovered the place a month and a half ago - and we will be going back again and again and again. We live up north in Palm Coast, but it is SO worth the hour drive to New Smyrna Beach. The yucca fries alone are worth it! :) Definitely our #1 go-to-brunch or lunch place from now on. 

Everything Partner and I have ordered here so far has been wonderful. I'm vegetarian, and he's a gluten-free pescatarian, so we're kind of hard to feed. No worries here! They're super flexible with making changes if you have special dietary needs, which we really appreciate!

My favorites so far: The plantain bowl, yucca fries (the dipping aioli is to DIE FOR) street corn, vegetarian gyro, sweet and spicy hash... I can't wait to taste some of the other things on the menu, but I love the things I've tried already so much that it's hard not to order them again!

The only thing negative I can think of to say is only a little bit negative, and not a huge deal. There has been a performer playing a guitar and singing most of the times we've eaten here. The music itself is VERY GOOD - but the volume is a bit too high, and makes conversation a little difficult. KEEP the musician - but unplug them! The room is plenty intimate enough that we'll still be able to hear without the amp. :) Just an idea.

Summary: Go here! Often! Bring friends! Support this local business and keep them thriving! But - don't tell so many people that we can't get in anymore. ;) Phat Unicorn! rating: Two Hooves Up!

I did not draw this unicorn.
If you did, please let me know so I can give you credit.

Friday, June 26, 2015

SCOTUS Decision Day - Marriage Equality. Love wins!!! ::sniffle::

(I know this blog usually focuses on food & travel-related items, but I had to...)

Oh, Darlings... Your faithful Unicorn is literally speechless with happiness right now. (Savor that - it happens so rarely.)

Today, love won.

::crying tears of happiness::

Congratulations, to all human beings today. The SCOTUS did the right thing today, and we will NEVER let them take this away from us.

#suckithaters #loveislove

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Phat Unicorn! Restaurant Reviews - It's three-for-one day! Saigon Bistro, Salsas Mexican, and Ivory Thai Kitchen

Hello, Darlings. I've just realized that I'm woefully behind on restaurant reviews.

That’s a lie, actually. I’ve known it for a few weeks, but haven’t had a moment to write them up and share them with you.

Ok, that’s a lie, too. I have had time, I just haven’t felt like doing it. Because... ::whispering:: ...sometimes Unicorns are lazy. Don’t let that get around, OK? But the long and short of it is, I just haven’t made time, and the list of places we’ve been doth groweth long. So here I am.

As it happens, Unicorns like to eat, and since moving to NE Florida (Flagler County, if you're keeping track) we've sampled a few places, despite my growing determination to eat "food with food in it" - i.e., mostly homemade food that is (a) mostly vegetarian, (b) mostly in as unprocessed a state as possible, and (c) often raw. Partner is being wonderfully supportive of this, by the way, despite remaining a pescetarian themselves.

So, where have we been lately? A whole slew of places! I don’t want to overwhelm anybody, so I’ll tackle three of them now. As my maternal grandmother used to say, “Carry what you can, and let the hind end bump!” I’ll catch up on more of them, as Scarlett would say, on anothah day! Now, off we go!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recipe Alert! Gluten-and-dairy-free Saucy Meat(less) Balls!

Hello, Darlings! It's your favorite sparkly Unicorn here with a new Phat Unicorn! recipe for you. I've been striving for a little while now to create a delicious, healthy, gluten- AND dairy-free meatball, with mixed success. I've had a few that were OK, and some that were pretty good. I think the current iteration that I'm bringing you today is in the 'pretty good' category, good enough to share. And I'll keep striving for PERFECT. (Stay tuned, because when I create that PERFECT meat(less) ball, you'll be the first to know about it! Well, other than Partner, because a Unicorn's gotta have taste-testers, right?

So, without further ado, Phat Unicorn! Gluten-and-dairy-free Saucy Meat(less) Balls!

Please note: In this photo, the balls are dry. I wanted to show what
they looked like before they got gooey. And, believe it or not, gooey 
balls are - in this one, specific case - a good thing!

Monday, April 13, 2015

PhatUnicorn check-in or 'All Quiet on the Sparkly Front'

Image NOT mine; found uncredited on 
teh interwebs. If it's yours, tell me and I'll happily 
give you credit!
Good morning, Darlings! I hope you're all having a fabulous springtime, or at least that springtime is starting wherever you are. It's been a long, cold winter for most of us. Even in Sunny Florida, we felt the gray days and cold, but now spring is in swing, and Partner and I are LOVING it!

We've just moved to gorgeous Palm Coast (on the Atlantic side, for those who don't know), just half an hour south of fabulous, historic Saint Augustine! Shops, attractions, and FOOD of all sorts - and I have to avoid it like the plague for another month and a half. Can I get a BOO, friends and neighbor Darlings?!

And, "Why?!", I hear you ask, would your own sparkly PhatUnicorn be avoiding food? Long story, too long to go into here, but I'm working on my health and nutrition, and part of that involves not eating at restaurants or other fun places for two months or so. Waah... ::insert crying sparkly unicorn here...::

Once that's over, I'll be back to my mostly-vegetarian, mostly-paleo, mostly-gluten- and mostly-dairy-free lifestyle, hopefully feeling a whole lot stronger, healthier and more fit. Looking forward to sharing some more delectably tempting recipes with you, as well as exploring some not-too-naughty options in St. A and other new areas here in NE Florida (and beyond). You can't keep a good unicorn down!

In the meantime, if you'd like to show off your sassy sparkle and get your SWAG on, visit the PhatUnicorn! shop on Cafe Press


the Unicorn Babble shop, affiliated with our sister-blog Unicorn Babble!

Cheers to you all, and hope you're well. Thanks, as always, for reading. Stay fabulous, and sparkle like you mean it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Phat Unicorn Restaurant Review - South Cape Diner (Cape Coral, FL): Adequate, but off-putting

Hello, Darlings! Welcome to today's sparkly review: The South Cape Diner in Cape Coral, Florida. Just in time,  because Partner and I are hauling our tails 6 hours north to the lovely area of Palm Coast (just half an hour south of Saint Augustine, famous for being the oldest city in America, thankyouverymuch) - TOMORROW. Busy Unicorn!

So, without further ado, the review:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review - Blue Pointe Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill (Fort Myers, FL) - Phat Unicorn Rating: Meh.

Good afternoon, Darlings! Today, Partner and I found ourselves feeling peckish while out and about, and decided to pop in to the Blue Pointe Oyster Bar & Seafood Grille, in the Bell Tower Plaza in Fort Myers. Review follows ... Read on, if you dare!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse: (Brandon, FL). Phat Unicorn rating: So-so

Note: This is a google'd pic, and
NOT actual Ichiban we attended.
Hello, Darlings! Tonight your favorite sparkly equine reviews Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse in Brandon, Florida.

Read on, if you dare...!

Monday, January 19, 2015

REVIEW: EL Chinese (Fort Myers, FL). Phat Unicorn Rating: Yay!

Hello, Darlings. Tonight your favorite sparkly equine will spout - briefly - about a delicious dinner at a place with a most inauspicious-sounding name: El Chinese, in sunny Fort Myers, FL! Read on, if you dare...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Follow us on Twitter!

I'm giving Phat Unicorn! its own brand-new, sparkly Twitter account! Follow us @ PhatUnicornBlog on Twitter.

Phat Unicorn! and Trip Advisor - a match made in Heaven!

Hello, Darlings. :) For those who can't wait for my newest restaurant and hotel reviews, here's a teaser for you: a link to my previous posts on Trip Advisor.

Phat Unicorn on TripAdvisor.com 


Coming Soon - Phat Unicorn Restaurant Blogging!

Image: Rainbow Burgers by Nic Parris.
Hello, Darlings! :) Just a quick note to let you know that your favorite Phat Sparkly Unicorn will
soon begin bringing you a real treat - Restaurant Blogging! Stay tuned for tasty treats, mouthsome morsels, and (hopefully not many) dubious dinners! For a foodie like me, this is a no-brainer, and hopefully some of my insights may help YOU make your dining choices, as well! Long live the Phat Unicorn! Bring on the food!