Traveling Food Fest 2011 – The Quest for the Best Strawberry Frozen Lemonade

We are knee deep in vacation bible school week, and it’s a hot one. Going to surpass 100 degrees this week…and we are feeling every sticky inch of it. HOT TAMALES!

So, I thought it was a good time to report some recent findings…after, ahem, some extensive research (that may or may not have included some lunch eating with my Tracy-girl). The matter at hand: Who has the best strawberry frozen lemonade? I know, it’s a really important question. Bet you are just sitting on the edge of your seat, desperate to know my findings. Hee hee.

(Sorry that I don’t have pictures to entice you further, as you await this incredibly pertinent information.)

O.k., here’s what we know…

I have been having a summer fling, an outright love affair if you will, with McDonalds Frozen strawberry lemonade. Now, I am hoping this doesn’t cause an uproar. Because, I mentioned this on facebook, and it turns out that people had some strong feelings about this subject…and did not share my love for the sweet and sour nectar that is the McDonald’s strawberry frozen lemonade. It’s a forbidden love, perhaps. But, if loving my lemonade is wrong…then, I don’t want to be right!

I wasn’t even deterred when a dear facebook friend said that she couldn’t finish hers and that it tasted like cleaner. Nope, I enjoyed both the consistency and the taste of my lemonade and returned time and time again for this summertime treat.

To further my quest, I tried the frozen strawberry lemonade at Applebees. I have to admit, although it pains me a bit to say, that the Applebees lemonade did edge out McDonalds on taste. It was the perfect blend of strawberry sweetness and lemonade sour. Not even a hint of the aforementioned “cleaner” taste. But, the problem came when I slurped away, struggling to get the lemony goodness into the straw. I sat thirstily waiting for the drink to melt enough for me to be able to slurp it up. It was frustrating and, quite frankly not worth the effort. The consistency was all wrong. So, I would have to say that McDonalds frozen lemonade wins, because I can’t have frustration interrupting my bliss when spending quality time with a frozen summer drink.

The third test was held at Panera. I LOVE Panera’s regular lemonade, so I may have set the bar too high. Definitely should have lowered my expectations, because when I took a couple sips of Panera’s version of the strawberry lemonade, my face wrinkled up, and I shook my head. This was no frozen strawberry lemonade. It was all kinds of wrong.

I looked at it and declared aloud, “You call yourself a frozen strawberry lemonade? You are not!!”

You see, I expect my summery lemonade treats to be fruity, not creamy. This drink was a little lemonade with a milky strawberry smoothie type concoction. Blech. I’m not even sure what they were thinking, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected. I generally love everything about Panera. Good lemonade. Delicious breads, soups, and sandwiches. Most of the time, I am all kinds of happy and satisfied by Panera. But, their frozen strawberry lemonade…not so much. Not at all. Two thumbs down and a big toe.

So…that leaves McDonalds as the current reigning winner of the best strawberry frozen lemonade. I know many of you may have strong opinions on these controversial findings…and that’s o.k. However, I can’t help but think that the search isn’t over. It seems there has to be a better option out there somewhere. If you have a suggestion, I’m open. You don’t have to ask me twice. It’s a tough job…researching frozen strawberry lemonades…but I’m willing to take one for the team.

If you agree or disagree with my findings, I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite summer “cool-me-down” drinks?
P.S. Please keep praying for Tug. I will continue to post updates on his condition on this post.

Food Fest 2011

Have you wondered what happened to Travelling Food Fest 2010?

O.k., probably not…but I’ll tell you anyway. It sort of fell by the wayside when my partner in crime…(er lunching) and I decided to try and eat more healthy and lose some weight. So, that was the end of Travelling Food Fest 2010.

I’m still on a mission to Get-it-together-eat-healthier-keep-priorities-in-order-cling-to-the-Lord, so I can’t promise there will be a lot of Food Fest posts in 2011. But, today I’d like to share about a couple of fun and yummy restaurants I visited recently with friends. I love a good lunch with a good friend, good food, and good conversation! And the following lunches had all of the above!

First Stop – Granite City, with my friend Tracy…

And a whole lot of yum!

Delicious chicken salad on wonderful bread and waffle fries dipped in an exquisite sour cream sauce!

Tracy’s meal of perfectly breaded fish and waffle fries. She loved it! Her hands were the most she wanted in the picture on this particular, not looking our best lunch.

As evidenced by this picture of me taken by accident while trying to work the camera on my cell. Lovely! =)

The service was friendly, attentive, and impeccable. Our very patient waiter handled our quirky struggle with indecision, our desire to have bread on the table as soon as possible (any restaurant that offers bread scores immediate points with these carb-lovin’ girls!), our preference for booth seating, and the strange way we were taking photos of our food with my cell phone quite graciously. I was tickled that he labelled our to go containers. What a nice touch!
We give Granite City two thumbs up!
Next Stop – Tea Tree Asian Bistro with my friend Brooke
And…some more yummy goodness!
Me in front of the Tea Tree. I’m thinking that blue shirt must be my go-to lunch shirt, since I’m apparently wearing it in last year’s pics, as well! Funny!

The ambiance at the Tea Tree was aesthetically beautiful and way cool. Brooke and I were the only people in the restaurant at first since it had just opened that day, which made it even more delightful. The chef looked up after I snapped this picture with my phone, (which makes a really loud click accompanied by a bright flash, making it hard to be inconspicuous).

Even the menu looked neat…I am loving this turquoise color lately!

The lettuce wraps were amazing. We could have probably made a meal of those!

I ordered almond chicken, and it was also delicious! I didn’t get any pictures of Brooke, even though she was looking adorable.

I took a picture of this lovely piece from Kirklands…my new favorite, inexpensive decorating store. I would love to buy this sometime and decorate my front room in these colors. But, for now, my room is still bordered in 90′s floral pattern and carpeted burgundy. Someday…sigh.

And, the above picture is me…sporting my pre-St. Patrick’s day Shamrocks and the crazy outfit pictured below. (Taken with my phone…sorry about the quality!) We are going to school late because James was not feeling great this morning, but he’s feeling better now. Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
Yes…I am a dork! =)