Brandberg

20150628_145905Kalahari is a brand new resort in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania just off of I-380. This resort has a large indoor/outdoor waterpark, 20150628_174924spa and convention center. It is also conveniently located among other adventures you may experience in the Pocono Mountains. Two weekends ago was their soft opening and the official grand opening was July 1, 2015. We were cordially invited to their soft opening to have dinner in one of their three restaurants, along with a voucher for chocolate at their chocolate shop (The Last Bite), plus a beverage and pastry from (Java Manjaro). At Java Manjaro, I went with the chocolate cup filled with whipped cream and strawberries. It was just that whipped cream and a few strawberries, simple but so delicious. He picked the large brownie, which I believe, he also enjoyed very much. I think he had it for breakfast the next as we were full from our lunch.

We joined my mom and sister for lunch at the Brandberg. My dad, his finace, her daughter, granddaughter and grandson also joined us, but were seated at the next table. (A review of their food will not be included, but I believe they all had good things to say).

20150628_140156We started with some appetizers to get a full experience of the menu. Since the family who owns the resort are Wisconsin natives, they brought some Wisconsin to the Pocono Mountains with cheese curds. I have never had these before, but they were amazing. Not even close in comparison to mozzarella sticks. Outside was very crisp and unlike mozzarella sticks, I don’t think they are breaded. I stand corrected, they are20150628_140128 breaded. Deep fried soured milk may sound unappetizing, but the taste is phenomenal. Our 2nd appetizer was BBQ bone marrow. I have not had bone marrow, but please sir, can I have another? The texture was not great; it was slimy and tasted/felt like fat. But, with a piece of toast and some BBQ sauce, it was magnificent. The last appetizer we shared was a meat and cheese board. This had a nice selection of varying meats and cheeses, some better than others. My favorite part of this board was the bacon jam. It was literally ground up bacon made into jam. I 20150628_140135feel like I could eat this on everything. It was sweeter than your average piece of bacon and may have had some brown sugar added in the jamming process. It was just divine. Our appetizers were served hot in a timely fashion.

My sister ordered the Ahi tuna melt served on an english 20150628_142439muffin. This was a good size sandwich and came with fries and a pickle. The sample I had did not impress me. I would have preferred a seared tuna rather than the overly cooked variety. I also did not think the muffin was a good bread for this sandwich. It was too thick. She ate it as an open face sandwich and that helped.

20150628_142845He ordered the steak and fries. A nice plump filet mignon was brought out to his surprise, it didn’t specify on the menu. Despite his request for medium well, it was still tender. It was nicely seared on one side and not overly seasoned. It was done evenly and the texture was perfect for him. I thought it was a little drier, but I prefer my steak done less. He really enjoyed it!

My mom ordered the chicken club. For her bird size portions, this was a huge sandwich (I 20150628_142545took the leftovers back to MD, which not not make such a good lunch for the next day). This also came with a side of fries. She said it was “good”. I explained that “good” does not make a blog post, but she said “it is good”. The bread was a little greasy for her, but I think it was buttered and toasted on the grill. Chicken was done and not dried out. Vegetables were fresh and all around I think a standard sandwich. All the fry eaters had things to say about their fries. These were more of potato wedges than a simple fry and was misleading on the menu. The fries had a nice crisp texture on the outside, but they were just too thick. I think each serving was a whole potato sliced about 8 times. The fries would have been much better if smaller in size. Otherwise, the flavor was good and they did not call for much seasoning.

20150628_142349Now, onto my dish, I ordered the miso salmon. It was a nice size piece of salmon served over an asian noodle salad. The salmon was well done, but it still was light and flakey. It had a soft, buttery flavor and did pair nice with the peanuts and asain fushion. I wasn’t expecting the noodles to be cold. It was a surprise, but not an unpleasant one. The cucumber slices added a lovely texture and refreshing bite to this dish. The entire cours was very light and refreshing.

Our bill would have easily been near $200. The staff was very friendly, but needed the practice on timing orders and coming back to check on the meal. With it being the first day, it was to be expected and I sure will only get better with time. I enjoy that the family brings some of their life to the meals, but am disappointed on the lack of African dishes. The resort is centered around an African theme and decorated with authentic African crafts, purchased directly from the people in the villages. But, there is nothing that says Africa about the menu (at least at this restaurant). I would really like to see some African infusion into their dishes or at least a dish that is important to the culture. The restaurants in the resort will add a much needed dining variety to the area!

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