Restaurants: El Ray De Las Fretas

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another restaurant review and here we go!

El Ray De Las Freitas in Miami, FL

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinion of the lead writer of this blog, alongside her taste buds! Please respect her thoughts about the place she is talking about and hope you guys visit even during a convention!

It’s been a few years since I’ve done any restaurant reviews. I did write about Peach Valley Café and this time is another location in Miami. I had to go back down there for another eye doctor appointment to see about my eye condition and so far it’s still stable but will be doing a vision field test next time since I thought I had issues with that. Will have to see about that next time.

After the appointment, my dad and I went out for dinner and it was a place that Andrew Zimmerman, the one who is famous for the show Bizarre Foods, visited Miami for some places. I think this is on his American Tour show since he does features on places in America like how Guy Fierry does on Diners Drive Ins & Dives which the last time I was in Miami was for Sakya Kitchen which was delicious. This time it was a place that my dad wanted to try and it’s called El Ray De Las Freitas which is almost like a diner style place but with a Cuban twist and it’s located on Calle Ocho or 8th Street in English. For anyone who hasn’t been to Miami, even for some of the conventions, 8th Street in Miami is the main street for anything Cuban Cuisine and this is where we go to whenever in town especially for pastries, in case if you’re there early enough, check out Rosa Bakery which they have the best eclairs and custard horns in town! If you haven’t had a Cuban style custard pastry, the custard is not thick, it’s nice a creamy and not overbearingly sweet like most pastries we find in Orlando. And yes, one other place if you want to get anything savory to take home, Palacio de Jugo, or Juice Palace, is the best place for cheese and chorizo for anything you want to make.

Back to this restaurant, when we walked in, it had a counter where you can sit at or booths of to the side like an old style diner. If you have someone that speaks Spanish fluently, make sure they are with you at all times because I can’t speak Spanish despite my Hispanic background (I’m part Puerto Rican and part German) and trust me everyone asks and I say, “I tried in school!” Anyways, what got my dad to come here is for their burgers! I find it surprising since my dad normally eats the leftover rice and whatever my mom makes and my aunt as well but this did caught me off guard a little until he told me earlier in the day what they do is add little potato sticks to whatever burger you want. This had me curious because I rarely heard a place like this since here in Orlando and Miami a lot of the Cuban places tend to serve a lot of the traditional Cuban dinner plates like roasted pork, rice with black beans, and sandwiches like the traditional Cuban sandwich or Media Noche. This place was way different and it was delicious!

The Food: The food here and drinks were reasonably priced unlike most places where you pay more for your usual stuff. My dad did tell me some of the prices like the burger without cheese is $4.00 and it was twenty-five cents more with cheese and that is not bad for what you’re getting either! I admit I had a hard time eating the burgers since I had two of them, which is not normal for me but these burgers were reasonably the size of a Mc Chicken from McDonald’s or slightly bigger, because the potato sticks fall out like crazy! They stuff that thing with tons of those and they were not soggy! They were crispy! You would probably think they would not be crispy but no they are crispy as a potato chip. Whenever I had stick fall out I restuffed my burger with them and eat any remaining ones on my plate because they were so good! The bread if you’re wondering, it is a burger bun and it’s toasted! I think the buns are baked by them because it tasted like homemade Cuban bread and it held the burger pretty well. The only one that didn’t hold well with the bun is the second one I had and it was with egg and bacon. I know you’re thinking, why an egg and bacon? Well, my dad described one of them having this and you see back in my love for Japan days I heard that McDonald’s in Japan has one of their burgers with eggs in it and I thought it would be gross since you would find it weird and as time went on, I would never thought I would try it out until today. Well, yesterday to be exact and I had to try it for myself since Japan did it at McDonald’s I wondered how a place like this would do it. How did it taste? You hardly taste the egg at all because the flavors from the bacon, the burger meat, and the potato sticks disguise it. The bun did have an uneven bit where I did have that moment where one part of the burger was looming over the edge of the bun and should’ve eaten that part first but this kitty wanted to try it so bad that I didn’t care.

Another thing we did try were the shakes! At this place they do different flavors of shakes even fruit ones which I was glad to try one out. I have had shakes at other Cuban places in Miami and it was vanilla but this flavor I tried was mango! Normally, I would go for strawberry but mango? How did it go? It was like a creamier smoothie because of how light the mango is but you get the taste of the cream and other ingredients they put in. My dad had a fruit one called mame which tasted a bit strong but I do love my mango one and if I go back I would love to try it banana since I remembered trying out banana shakes from Checkers.

Rating: 5 Star Paw Prints Out of 5! This place was delicious! It is a small diner like place on 8th Street that you would never think of when it comes to burgers. Thank you Andrew Zimmerman for mentioning this place on your show because it gives us a new spin on where to go in Miami. Plus it is reasonably priced and you must try the burgers with egg because you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t unless you’re not a fan of eggs. Also, bring someone who can translate for you, I suggest it since you may be a little lost like I was and tried asking my dad for a translation but nope at many times. So, I was a bit lost. Unless they had someone who could translate but wasn’t working yesterday? Who knows? Anyways, if you’re coming for a convention in Miami, I also highly recommend due to the prices not being so expensive and they do come out fresh and in a timely manner on top of it. If you want a sweet treat, the shakes are also a must!

Well, that’s it for this review! I definitely want to do more restaurant reviews since it does give me a new perspective when it comes to my taste buds as a blind person. And what’s next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Another trip with Soundscape and how well it worked in Miami. Stay tuned!

Advertisements

Haul: First Oriental Super Market and Sun Pearl Bakery Plus Review On Food!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is time for a haul and a review! It’s been a long time since I’ve done any haul especially from an Asian Market since I do still go to them time to time to try new foods and snacks and this time it is from a market that StellarNan took us to! Let’s see what I got and what I think about it!

First Oriental Super Market!

So the store we went to is called First Oriental Super Market and it’s located on West Colonial Drive near the Fairgrounds. This place is a very big place and even bigger than my and Gondras’ fave spot Donga Corps. On E. Colonial & Mills. Not only that they carry a lot more than just food and also have cheaper prices! Normally on Donga I spend around $30+ on snacks and tea alone but here I spent $10 on cookies, some candy items, a bowl, and a pack of chopsticks, not kidding there is stuff more than food here! There is even an aisle dedicated to cookware alone if you needed it! Besides that you also have your meat and seafood counters and a small bakery area on top of it but will get to a different bakery later. Let’s see what I got!

Hi-Chew in Acai Berry, Kiwi, and Cherry: To start is my favorite candy from Japan and that is Hi-Chew! I lost my Pokémon container that contained my orange flavor and triple berry flavored ones and not sure where I lost it and have not gotten any new ones since. I should’ve bought some from the Japanese Snacks Guy at Omni but completely didn’t realize it until after the con. I was glad that this place had more flavors than Donga and a bit less than Japanese Snacks Guy since he has a bigger display when he is at cons, I have to make sure at the next one I get more Hi-Chew. Anyways, I did remember enjoying the cherry flavor which is one of the flavors they had. I tend to not like cherry flavored things especially with cough syrup but these Hi-Chews make it taste like real cherries! They also had banana flavor, strawberry, green apple, and even had kiwi which I never tried before and decided to get it. What caught me by surprise was the Acai flavored Hi-Chew! I know there are accent marks with the berry name but it may be complicated to do. I didn’t notice this flavor before since there was the triple berry I got once and the strawberry ones being a common flavor, I have a feeling it’s new since Japan does make new flavors over time and decided why not try these out and how I feel. I’m glad to get these again because there are times when I need something to chew on and don’t chew gum and this is a good replacement because you can chew and swallow it. According to history of Japan, taking out gum from your mouth is gross and unpleasant so making these were to replace that and yes they do have gum in Japan. Another interesting fact, the creator of Fruits Basket in an interview talked about how she is a major gum chewer even while creating her manga panels. I would be too or I was when I was younger but then got off of it and decided these are my replacement when needed and I did start using my Easter Egg containers from Lip Smackers to contain a pack of these things.

Chocolate Mint Hard Candies: Sorry for the long tangent above, next item is these mint candies that contain chocolate chew bits in the middle. The funny thing was that while being in the snacks and candy aisle I gravitated towards something out of nowhere and it was a bag of these candies and StellarNan noticed and was surprised that I took a guess out of nowhere that they were mint candies since I love carrying mints in my bag and love other mint things. I did try these out this morning and besides being minty they also had chocolate and that made it even better! I love chocolate and mint together, especially dark chocolate and mint. The candies started out with the mint coating and then when you bite into it you have a chocolatey chew in the middle. It dissolves as you chew and if you bite into it if it still has a little bit of mint left over then you have both flavors. I guess I picked up a really good item based on assumption.

Lemon Cream Wafer Cookies: Next are some wafer cookies. I did love these when I got them at Donga and when me, Stellar, Tobi, and Vivi went to this place for our first time last year I found the same wafer cookies and they were cheaper but also more flavors to choose from. Last year I got the sesame cream and the taro cream which they tasted very light. As in, they weren’t a-punch-to-your-face taste like most things. Well, the cappuccino ones I tried first had that idea and had to dip it in hot cocoa to make them taste better and it worked better. I did try the strawberry ones but they were too light to me while sesame they had more of a roasted taste since sesame seeds tend to do that and the cream tasted interesting with the wafers while the taro you barely tasted it since it has such a light flavor. The lemon cream ones, which I got this time, tasted very light too but it was there. It does have the cream taste but the lemon had a bit more of a zest flavor rather than the overpowering flavor you tend to taste in cake. The wafers added the slight airiness to the taste and I think I love these the most because I had another one due to how good they are. I will be buying more of these whenever we return since they’re delicious!

White Chocolate & Strawberry Yogurt Wafer Cookies: These were interesting to say the least. I wanted to find regular cookies but these were one other wafer cookie the store carried. These had more of a yogurt base with either white chocolate or regular chocolate but what caught my ears were the ones with white chocolate and strawberry and decided to try them out to see how they were. OMG! I was glad I did! These were individually wrapped and they were more of a square cookie and the yogurt was covering the wafer with a creamy consistency and the cream was solid. When I bit into it, you barely notice the white chocolate but the strawberry flavor is so real! Even more real than a pop tart! I highly recommend these!

Jelly Drink Pouches: Remember in anime where you see characters drinking something from a pouch that kind of make you want to find it? Well, that is how I felt about those! Ever since I got into Fooly Cooly in my high school days, I noticed how Naota and this one other girl in episode three which was the Puss & Boots episode and Naota brought them the drink pouches to have after dinner. I wondered, “I wonder if I could find those in real life?” I tried finding them at a lot of the Asian markets and couldn’t find them and figured you can only get them in Japan while the closest you can find to those were little jelly cups which were good but not what I was looking for. I did eventually found these pouches at this Asian market and happy that I could get them in real life! They are just like they are in Fooly Cooly and many other anime that featured these! I tried one today and it is pretty good! Not only you have the jelly but you also have fruit bits in it which makes it even more awesome! I am not sure if it is supposed to be grape jelly or something but it does taste very good for a jelly pouch! I know if I go back I may get another pack or two of these again and they don’t cost much either, just around $4 and you get around six or eight from what I felt in the packaging.

Instant Miso Soup Packet: Besides the snacks and the jelly drink, I did manage to get something more savory. I was hoping to find mocha since it has been a long time having that but did have something I hadn’t had in a major long time and that is instant miso soup. I had the one from Publix that comes in the cups they sell next to the sushi display and it was not that great in my opinion because if how much it was diluted after making it. This one, on the other hand, is the real stuff! Yes, you can dilute it if you wanted, but it basically asks for 2/3 cups of boiling water and that’s it! While having this despite how strong it tasted due to the amount of water it asked for, I felt like I was back at any of the restaurants I’ve been to enjoying miso soup! I was glad to get this and at the same time I wish I had gotten more of because they were around $2 each a packet. You get the usual seasonings, the stock, and everything else and you just pour the water on top and there you have it! I know there are other soups you can get and knowing your basic ramen, I may have to get more of these if I were to come back.

Mini Cat Bowl: I know, “Mari! You love cats too much!” I can’t help it! The thing is like I said above that this place has an entire aisle, or an entire aisles dedicated to cookery and serving plates and even utensils for traditional Asian families. In the cookery aisle, you have your serving plates, your tea sets, and of course your soy sauce trays for when you have sushi. One thing that got me to buying something was that there were little items with cats on it! You know me, I do love my kitties and good example are my little cats in bananas plush from Hot Topic. I got the bowl only to keep myself in control and plus I can come back if they still sell any of the cat items. One thing that got me wanting to come back is the tea kettle and matching cups! That has to wait a little bit. The bowl does hold pretty well for its size since I did go with the smaller size. A head’s up if you were to buy anything from the cookery aisle, make sure there are no cracks or any other blemishes on the bowls or glasses because it can’t be returned. Nice little friendly tip.

Chopsticks: One other thing that got me excited about this place was of course getting more chopsticks! Last year, I wasn’t able to get a pack since this place sells them in pretty awesome packs of a nice amount of them. Most of the time you tend to get chopsticks by the pair rather than a pack unless if you look further in dealer rooms at conventions. These were really good for a really good price and also I tested a pair and they are pretty sturdy too. It’s been a while since I picked up any chopsticks and this is a good place to get them at since you get more than one pair and of course they do have smaller ones if need be if you have smaller hands or starting to learn how to use them. And they do come in a variety of colors.

Sun Pearl Bakery: After shopping for snacks and other things, we did drop by the Sun Pearl Bakery since StellarNan told us about it and we do enjoy this place. This place has many desserts and some savory things on top of it, last year I had a very delicious pork bun and almost got it again but got three other items instead. At first I was hoping to get another taro Boston cream pie slice but they didn’t have it. Figured that it was closer to closing time, yeah we decided to meet up later than usual to get some rest especially Tobi with his long night shifts and me with waking up super early to catch my rides for Customer Service Training. I did get to enjoy three other things that the bakery had to offer and they were the bag of cream puffs in chocolate, the Princess Custard Bun, and the Taro Bun! These were all delicious! The cream puffs were like Oreos where the outer parts were more cookie and they were soft baked, the cream was a small dollop but they still melt in your mouth in one smooth taste. I may have to get more bags of these in the future because they taste better than the cream puffs you get at Barnes & Noble in my opinion and these are smaller and the cream is not so heavy. The Princess Custard one was a pretty big bun that had a bit of décor on top to match the “princess” parts but the custard was really creamy! You have to be careful in the end of eating this thing because the custard can end up on your hand which can be a huge mess. Wishing they had huge napkins or something to help with clean up even with kids since they can be messier than a blind person eating these things. The taro buns, yes there were more than one, were easier to eat because they were more a bread rather than a cream filled bun. I did have the taro cream one last year and that was also good but this I think I prefer a little bit more because you don’t have a cream coming out, you do have bits of taro baked in throughout it and the bread is baked to perfection! One other thing I wished to have was the Boba tea which has been a major fave ever since I went to some of the Boba places in town. My fave places for this tea are Chewy Boba in Oviedo and Chibi Boba near where Gondras works. They did open a Chibi Boba in Florida Mall, which I want to test Soundscape in but will have to test it in a different mall for a review first. Anyways, they were out of Boba and I was sad about that, there is always next time though!

Well, that is it for this snacks review and the haul! I definitely want to try and find some mocha in the store, I almost got these Fig Newton looking cakes at first but the flavors were a little meh and now looking back on it I may have to try them out next time I go. I definitely want to get more of those jelly drink pouches because I was really happy to find them in real life! I highly recommend anything jelly related that comes from Japan because they don’t taste as artificial as most jellies here in the States. I also recommend trying out the Blueberry & Black Current Preserves and the Lemon Curd Preserves from England because they’re also very natural! I’m glad to find more flavors of Hi-Chew since I missed those things for many months since we did go to Star Wars and had to put my Hi-Chew in Gondras’ car, not sure if it got lost in there or something! Anyways, glad to get these again and try new flavors. I will also be getting more of the miso soup and the lemon wafers because they are so delicious! All-in-all it was a pretty good haul and day!

What is next? Hoping to get more of the Omni Fandom Expo stuff up since we are still behind on that, we also had an interview with J. Michael Tatum and Brandon McInnis over Skype and we need to get the audio edited into a video so stay tuned for that, yes that was the special treat for you all, long story short it was to make up for not interviewing them during Holiday Matsuri so will see how that goes in the editing. And yes I will be trying out Soundscape in a mall, which is an app developed by Microsoft for IPhone users to find out where they are heading on foot or on bus and can’t wait to do that review! So stay tuned for more posts on here! Until next time!

Restaurants: Peach Valley Cafe Review

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Before I do my Omni Expo stuff, I would like to do a food review!

Place: Peach Valley Café
Location: Orlando, FL

Well, it’s been years since I have done a restaurant review since I haven’t tried any unique places as of late. Well, I did try Bakery Plus and Smash Burger except this was around the time when Irma hit! Today, I’m bringing you a place I finally tried and that is Peach Valley Café. I didn’t know about this place until the National Federation of the Blind here in Orlando talked about how they held their Christmas party there for years. I couldn’t go to their Christmas Party due to Holiday Matsuri taking place the same weekend, especially last year, so I finally got to go today because of the 35th anniversary Orlando’s Chapter was having and celebrated at this café.

When I arrived with my dad, it was a pretty big place in a shopping center. I didn’t know it was close to where Gondras lives which he could’ve been at this thing to meet everyone and know what the NFB is about after knowing that I always go to their meetings and have been for years. There is the Greater Orlando Council of the Blind’s fundraising event this Wednesday so he will get his chance then.

Back to the Peach Valley Café, I was led to a room that is meant for group events and it was decently sized as well. There were three groups of tables from my hearing and the waiters and waitresses were very accommodating. Good thing is that we got the event menu beforehand and it was small from their usual menu. I went for the cheeseburger since that is my go to item at restaurants that serve them if it is a new environment. It is the easiest thing to pick for me and don’t have to worry about forks and knives just eating the burger and putting ketchup on my fries. I didn’t know they had sweet potato fries until someone mentioned them and at least I didn’t crack up with that) If you have seen my interview with Bryce Papenbrook then you would know that story!) But the fries were as good. I wish they were extra crispy since I love my fries that way, wishing I asked for them like that but there is always next time since I want to come back on a normal day. I’ve heard the chicken salad is also good and their breakfast items are even tasty which makes me curious about that due to seeing that one of the items to choose was an omelet and that is my favorite egg dish. I almost thought about dessert which their only thing was peach cobbler. I do like cobbler, wishing there was more variety, especially something with chocolate. I mean you can combine peaches and white chocolate or regular chocolate with peaches, I mean Brookside tested that very well with their stuff. I may have to try the cobbler next time since it was close to closing time too on a Saturday which is 3 PM.

Final Thoughts: Even though this is my first time, I would say it was a really good first try. I’m open to new places if I have heard a lot of good things about them and Peach Valley was one of them. I have to try the chicken salad sandwich next since that is one thing I have loved for many years. I also have learned to ask for my fries extra crispy on my part even though they were really tasty. Also, the staff was very friendly and if they get something wrong they fix it automatically. When I got my second cup of split tea, which is half of sweet and half of unsweet and have done it ever since drinking the McDonald’s sweet tea, I noticed it was unsweet and asked for it to be fixed and they did it right away. They should have a bit more variety with desserts since you know me with chocolate, I do want to try out the cobbler next time.

Rating: 5 Out of 5 Star Paw Prints! If you’re in the mood for breakfast or lunch, Peach Valley is the place for you! It is a place with a friendly atmosphere and they are very accommodating too. If you’re in town and have extra time to stop for a fairly priced bite to eat, Peach Valley is for you!

That is it for this review! I will include a link to their website in case if you want to check them out and take your friends to. I highly recommend! Next post will be my Omni Expo review and I will also have Peach Valley Cafe Official Websitea book review lined up! Until next time!

Conventions: Last Minute MegaCon Info!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe. It is time for the last minute MegaCon info.

I know you are wondering why am I doing this now? Well, since MegaCon is our largest convention in town and people tend to get ready through the time between announcements like we are when it comes to press. I do have some updates that I have received in email.

Pulse Tribute Events on May 26th and 27th: First is that there will be Pulse tribute events during the convention. Everyone knows what had happened to us a year ago in June which was the Pulse Night Club shooting and we lost 49 people in that shooting which was even more sad. We will have a Orlando United Day starting this June but MegaCon will be having tribute events this year to celebrate the ones who survived and died during the horrific night.

PikaBelleChu Event: Our friend PikaBelleChu has invited us and if you follow her on Facebook, you may have gotten her invite to her MegaCon photoshoot. I am thinking of going as Pokemon Ranger Link since that cosplay got some love during Omni. It will be Saturday afternoon.

New Guests: Of course there have been more guests added as time went on and two of them you probably have seen my interviews with which include Katie Griffin and Linda Ballumtyne from Sailor Moon and other guests include Danielle Pannenbaker, Alice Cooper, Mike McFalrand, Troy Baker, Jamie Marchi, and so many more. Check the page for more updates and others probably added until the weekend.

Hotels: Knowing that these will be filled by the weekend, I would say if you are into getting a hotel room or bunking with people, do it now! Knowing this will cause a lot of booking along with the tourist season already starting for us. So, check any of the hotel websites or any travel sites for any deals.

Locations to Go to After Con Conquering: Like most people we do like to go around after our time at the convention and what else is there to do in Orlando? There is the theme parks, Disney Springs which you can catch the new Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 if you haven’t and if you don’t want to travel that far there is also theaters at Pointe Orlando and at CityWalk in the same area as the convention center along International Drive. If you have someone who wants to shop their hearts out, you also have shops in Pointe Orlando, CityWalk, even Florida Mall, Disney Springs, and we do have our Belz Outlet, and many more. And of course our many restuarants at the Orlando Eye, Red Robin, and one stop if you can get to which me and Gondras recommend and that is Pao Gustoso in case you want Brazilian cuisine for an affordable price.

That is about it! In case you want more information on where to stay and where you want to go during the convention, you can look under the Travel link on http://www.negaconorlando.com and also any of the theme park websites on top of that. What is next? Besides our coverage from this convention, we will also have the Top Ten Songs of May! 2017 where are you going? And also, make sure you donate to our Go Fund Me, Nerdy Shique Universe Travel, so we can go to these conventions and expand our work!

Travel: We Have a Go FUnd Me for Conventions!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I will be reviewing Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 later on today but right now I need to talk serious with you all!

Well, with the four years of doing press at conventions it has gotten very expensive and it is hard for us to not only travel with the hiking gas prices every winter and summer formula of oil being put into the tanks and pumps at gas stations and in cars but there is also food, parking prices like at the Marriot World Center, MetroCons surrounding parking lots, heck even over at MegaCon with the lots too. Plus, we do consider on thinking of hotel time to time but we don’t have enough money to get a room which the last time we did that was at the LaQuinta during Anime Festival Orlando 2015 which is not bad for a price. And of course what if we want to get our own video camera since Nerdy Shirts is letting us borrow the camera from his brother and that can get risky and I do have my IPad with low memory and trying to fix that and thinking of upgrading since I do use it for copying schedules in Numbers and of course use it for back up notes and sometimes camera work. Yes, I know a lot of expenses to consider as a press guy since we do consider ourselves among convention goers since we have to think of the same things time to time besides the usual cosplay issue.

That is why I created a Go Fund Me for us to help out with these issues. As you know I haven’t been working an actual job and have been trying to do the monetization on our YouTube content but some videos can’t be monetized for copyright claims since now we know what to do during Holiday Matsuri if we get the press pass this year and we all know that YouTUbe is having a lot of companies that provide ads pulling out due to certain content that is posted which YouTube did make new guidelines for last year. Which to tell you the truth, we aren’t getting that many views even though we have over 32K views but it is not that much. Plus, my first book only sold two copies and my next one won’t come out until early September and I am still working on my career stuff while Gondras is still going through school and same with Nerdy Shirts on top of it and Gondras just works part time and has bills like everyone. So, that is why hoping the Go Fund Me will help. Why not do Patreon? We were thinking of that for the moment since everyone is on there but I realized we don’t post as much on YouTube and yes I can put more things on there but everyone has their beauty stuff when we do more of convention videos which that draws a lot more views than my beauty videos which I did try along with a haul and taste testing. I may go back to it but with Patreon, most people draw for most people and come up with shirts but I am not at that stage yet. I am at the business cards stage! I do make keychains though not sure how people would like that. It is something to consider but Go Fund Me is the one to go at this time!

And now, finally what did we title it? Well, it’s called Nerdy Shique Universe Travels because we are trying to go to many conventions in Florida, we even want to go back to MetroCon since we did like the convention and had great experiences so far well except having a panel pushed back. Of course, our goal would be SuperCon in Miami for next year and many others outside of the states in the future since we want to expand our press scope to others. Plus, I do consider conventions part of travel since not only we are enjoying three or four days at one but there are other parts of a city we want to explore, for instance, when we went to Metro back in 2013 we drove around the first night before we found Sonic because it has been years since I been back to Tampa for Busch Gardens and Gondras rarely got to see Tampa for more than that and it’s good to know about your surroundings. So, we will be covered for gas, parking fees, and if we want any hotel expenses since it does become a task finding parking for a day. Also, for any equipment we might consider in the future since besides our usual travel problems, we do have that to consider!

In case if you are wondering, our starting goal is $1,500 at the moment but may change later but it is a start! Please donate if you can! Whether it’s $1 or $10, it will help us get to where we need to go when it comes to what we want to do!

So, that is about it and the link for the Go Fund Me is at:

Oops! Actually our goal according to Go Fund me is $150,000!?

Um…well try and donate?

https://www.gofundme.com/nerdy-shique-universe-travel

There is the link! Stay tuned for our Guardians review!

Concerts: Orlando Overdrive 2017 Review!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Yesterday was Orlando Overdrive and man it was awesome! We only there for some of the acts but not all because Gondras felt exhausted from work earlier in the day but hey we did have fun from what we saw! We will be putting videos up onto our YouTube so you should be following there, our Twitter account for updates, and Facebook for more updates!

Let’s see what I got and who we saw!

Event: Orlando Overdrive
Location: The Geek Easy inside A Comic Shop!

Location: Let me start off by talking about the location itself! For those of you who may be new to knowing about some of the hangouts outside of the club district basically the Geek Easy is a bar/food hangout inside a comic book shop called A Comic Shop that has been around for a while. It used to be smaller but it got renovated to be more spacious and having a better stage, sound, and even a bar/food area to get drinks and food which is awesome! They do do events such as anime showings, concerts, and even dances because back in the day there were raves there too and even a few burlesque shows. Manime Man used to do his Anime Nights every month at this place but now at Bikkuri Lounge, which I recommend that place for Japanese cuisine especially how big of a bowl of ramen and udan you get! While the Geek Easy does grilled stuff such as burgers, grilled cheese, and their tots are in the shapes of Tetris blocs which throws everyone back! They are delicious and I highly recommend if you go to any event or just hang out!

The Acts: This year, people got to vote on the Ongaku Overdrive website for who they want to see and nine of them get chosen to perform. I did vote for some of them but two we didn’t get to see that I voted which were Ben Briggs, which I wanted to see a few times but always missed, and EyeQ, which he is an awesome rapper especially with doing his own Attack On Titan raps! Who else did I vote for? I will reveal down below!

Jasper from Random Encounter: As we got into the event, we were a little late which it does take a bit to get to my part of town to get me from where Gondras lives, wtis guy was on the stage performing. He used to play accordion for another nerdcore band called Random Encounter which took their separate ways but this guy is still performing! Never thought hearing a guy on accordion was awesome! He took requests from the crowd and even quizzed them in what song he was playing. With one song I was thinking of Mario Kart 64 and Gondras tried to say Mario 64 and got it wrong. He did do the actual song that Gondras was thinking but what was even funnier was when GOndras tried to request “Birdhouse In Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. He got the old “Don’t know that one!” I can “Nyu” that one and would be funny if I start doing nerd music that way.

Boy Without Batteries: This is one of the other artists that I voted for because I enjoyed his music a lot from the times he performed at the Anime Prom Nights Manime Man did. He does chiptune music and hooked up an old school Game Boy to his soundboard and acts like he is playing the Game Boy while performing the song. It is like doing the chiptune song with a guitar controller or something from Rock Band. I didn’t know what he was doing because my vision sucks and glad that Nerdy Shirts described it to me! You guys should check this guy out after seeing our footage. One song I did like by him was one that almost was like a combination of “Last Chance” by Kascade and “You Are” by Paul Oakenfold which was the version from the Electric Daisy Carnival set from last year! (I listen to the set time to time since I am a bit of a techno fan.) Still, should check him out.

Under Polaris: And the final act that I voted for is Under Polaris which was a blind vote. I never heard of these guys but they are essentially a metal band that does video game covers! You know me when it comes to metal and when I heard this I knew I would enjoy these guys! This band did covers to music from Batman: Return of the Joker, Double Dragon 2, which was a tribute to a close friend, and one that Vivi would appreciate if she heard it unless it is in the footage, Lavendar Town from Pokemon Red and Blue Versions. I did tell Stellarnan I used to have Red Version until my brother’s ex-wife threw away my Game BOy color when my nephew was borrowing it. (Still mad about that!) They did also do the “Suicide Mission” song from Mass Effect 2 which that made me and Gondras happy due to being fans of that game.Thank goodness I voted for these guys after hearing them!

Shammers: Next is a rapper and his buddy that we tend to see a lot at these events and that is Shammers! A heads up, we didn’t get any footage of these guys rapping because Nintendo has been content I.D.ing everyone who has been reviewing anything or using their stuff when it is supposed to be fair use! Sorry about that but we already went through Copyright Claims done twice in two years with some of our videos from Holiday Matsuri. His partner, Professor Oak, are known for doing Pokemon raps and puns as well. Heck, they even did a rap battle towards their fave consoles which were of course the Nintendo line versus the Sega line. Stellar did ask which one I was on and since I had my Tri-Force goggles from my Link cosplay, Nintendo despite playing both systems as a kid. They did do their Pokemon Snap rap and they did ask the audience to hold up pics of their fave Pokemon so they could do a Pokemon Go based rap. So, it was really improve rap this time! A nice variation this past night.

Sci Fried: Another band that I never expected liking and that is Sci Fried. These guys were surprised that they got voted to perform last night since they were more underground but the crowd had spoken and I could see why! These guys do rock/metal music based on many sci-fi properties such as Alien, Lord of the Rings, and did one song based on the bosses’ point of view in a video game! These guys were amazing and wishing they would open for Traverser because they would fit with their sci-fi sound. Also, I did suggest these guys to Omni Expo to perform next year when they return to the Florida Mall hotel! I would love them to rock the Main Events stage that Friday or Saturday night!

Geekapella: We left during these guys’ set since Gondras was starting to doze off but we did catch them a bit. This group is a ten person group that does geek-style acapella music. I tend to like Rockapella and this was a nice new group that did video game and anime acapellas. They did the first theme song from Attack On Titan and then went into “Still Alive” from Portal, and one of them did their own version of “Creep” which is not that bad! If we saw these guys again, hoping it is the entire set and I would vote for them again next year if we get another press opportunity.

Rating: 5 Star PawPrints Out of 5! This event gets the highest on our rating scale since it was entertaining and very fun! Nerdc cre music has been taking a big rise and a lot of people have been enjoying it. Will any of this music end up on this month’s Top 10? You will see soon! In the mean time, you should give Ongaku Overdrive a big hand for putting on this event even having it moved at last minute which was still a success! I am hoping we get to do press again next year for it and even thank Manime Man for letting us do it! Also, check out the bands above! You won’t be disappointed and give them a like on their social media and stay tuned for our footage from this year’s event!

What is next? Well, I have something special in line for everyone and of course I do have the Top Ten Songs of April for you guys! Stay tuned!

Restaurants: Sakaya Kitchen in Miami, FL

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s been a while since I posted but I’m back and thought it was time for something different and that’s a restaurant review!

Place: Sakaya Kitchen
Location: Miami, FL

Yesterday I went for my annual eye appointment in Miami and found out about this place called Sakaya Kitchen. How’d I know about it? Well, one night I was watching Diners Drive Ins and Dives with my dad since he has been watching stuff on Travel Channel, Food Network, and many other channels besides CNN and one episode came up and it featured this place which is a fast food restaurant but with a Korean twist and was glad to know it was located in Miami, which Guy Fierary has gone to a few places in Florida and one of them happened to be a little bit outside of Tampa which we wanted to try out three years ago after MetroCon but due to what had happened the night before with the fire alarm mess at our hotel we just left. Anyways, when I found out that it was in Miami I went straight to the internet to do my research in finding this place to try out!

Where to Find It: This place is pretty much in the heart of Downtown Miami off of N. Miami Avenue in the Midtown Market area and it is a huge tourist area. It is set up like Church Street here in the heart of Orlando where you have shops and restaurants in different areas. Best thing to do is just park somewhere, which there are places to pay to park, and walk because it’s hard to find by driving. It was on a street corner and the thing you have to look for is a picture of a pig being cooked with the name on it and there you go.

Atmosphere: What is great about the place is the friendly atmosphere! They did show it in the Triple D episode but looks can be deceiving through tv, it did take on in real life with how friendly the staff was and the good thing is that the woman at the counter did answer all my questions about the menu. They did have it posted on the wall for anyone who wants to see it before ordering, which is a major plus, but hearing it from the staff was easier and what was equally great about this place was the music! The music jumped from alternative to classic rock which is a good thing in my book because most places I’ve eaten at is either pop or R&B but this place was switching from Nine Inch Nails to Queen to Eve 6 and so on. Great to eat to “Bohenian Rhapsody.” I bet Guy was rocking out a bit off camera! Good thing is that when the food is ready they bring it out to you which is a nice plus. One thing I have to complain is that I wish they had more wall outlets to plug my phone in since I was listening to I Heart Radio while in Miami, also on the way there from breakfast and on the way home after stopping for a bathroom break in Cocoa Beach. I should get one of those phone cases to charge my phone even when I upgrade. Still, would be nice to recharge your phone next to you like I had during Ranger Stop at TGIFriday.

Food: Oh man the food was amazing! That is why watching Triple D made me want to go to this place but what was featured in the episode wasn’t what I had and what was featured was their duck sandwich which is a popular thing. I can see why this place is so popular. Even an appetizer that deals with tater tots was featured since that was also popular but due to an upset stomach since earlier that morning, I had to take it easy! Good thing that the thing I had helped my stomach immensely and that is a grilled chicken bowl which featured rice and a salad with a lemon peanut dressing and man it was DELICIOUS! I had my bowl with white rice because I am not much of a fan of brown rice, my dad who was with me on this trip did have it with brown rice and he enjoyed it as much as I did! There was another rice that was an option but was being careful with my stomach and that is their coconut rice which is a rice made with coconut milk, scallions, and a fish sauce. I may have to try that if I end up going back next year for my appointment if my stomach doesn’t harm me. Great thing for the sandwiches, you can also get pork sliders and even tacos. Warning is that the food is a bit pricey but worth the price if you are into Korean curisine which was an interesting try since I seen Eat Your Sushi living in Korea and went to so many places in Korea to try out so many foods. Interesting thing is that one dish is big for holidays, break ups with significant others, and moving in and out of places.

Would I Recommend as a Convention Destination? Yes! If you have the extra cash from hotel expenses, parking fees, and even having your eyes in anime and comic book merch, I would say check this place out if you’re heading into the downtown area since Miami is also a big convention area like Orlando and Tampa. As said above, I would say park and walk because it is deep in the Midtown Market area, heck even there’s a parking garage nearby if you don’t want to walk too far. If you’re adventurous enough, try the duck sandwich, but if you want a nice convenient dish, there are plates you can share with your buddies.

Rating: A Stellar PawPrint of Approval!

Well that is it for this restaurant review! If you guys like this idea, especially knowing where to go if you’re in Orlando, Miami, or any other place and want to see what places I would recommend if I have tried, just comment below!

What is next? I’m waiting for Ipsy and BoxyCharm to arrive in the mail this coming week! Stay tuned til next time!