If there is one thing I miss from my fooding time in North Carolina when I was there for school, it is legitimate Southern barbecue. This area of cuisine is highly lacking in Orange County so upon first news of Lillie's Q coming to the community, I was ecstatic to see just how exactly it would be done. News came much earlier than the building and restaurant opening did but that only built up the anticipation. The powerful team of Joe Manzella (whom you may know as TAPS Fish House & Brewery owner) and Executive Chef Charlie McKenna planned to rock the OC world with authentic barbecue, and when the time came to open, Lillie's Q hosted a media tasting event much to our joy. Upon first bite of the actual barbecue, I was sold; this was what we needed to expose people to the beauties of legitimate Southern tender, juicy, and lovable barbecue.
When cookie butter was first released from Trader Joe's, it seemed to throw everyone into a frenzy. This delicious seasonal favorite is based on the speculoos cookie, a holiday treat that has all the makings of a gingerbread cookie but with even more oomph to it (how does one explain it?). Pureed with little crushed bits of cookie, the cookie butter was an instant hit that could be used on top of multiple things...but what if you cooked with it?
My friend gave me a whole slew of seasonal treats from Trader Joe's one day, and I decided I ought to make something with everything combined. I know this limits those of you who want to make the recipe but it's worth it when the time comes. Using shortbread and a chocolate ginger cookie to make the crust, I topped it with cookie butter cheesecake which took on a firmer consistency than regular cheesecake (blame the dough already present in the cookie butter) but was still tasty as ever. Don't worry - the recipe is not difficult at all. Maybe you should treat yourself and your loved ones in the future by making these adorable bites full of is-this-even-real?!
|Photo courtesy of Taylor Strategy|
It is rare to be in the presence of renowned culinary professionals who have made significant impact on the food and beverage world but on one chilly December night, I was privy to a special seminar on bitters taught by King Cocktail himself - Dale DeGroff. Hosted at Bosscat Kitchen and Libations in Newport Beach, the bitters seminar was conducted by George Dickel Tennessee Whisky whose rye whisky served as the base for the educational session. The outdoor patio area was full of professional bartenders, budding bartenders, mixology enthusiasts, and whisky appreciators that evening as we learned how to influence the taste of a spirit (specifically Manhattans) with just a change in bitters.
This post is part of a series Much Ado About Fooding is doing on farmers' markets - Duc and I plan to visit as many as we can, starting in southern California, to get a sense of what sets each apart, what drives communities to them, and what gems people should look out for. To keep track, bookmark the "Farmers' Market" category.
The moment I looked up the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market in San Francisco a handful of years ago, I fell in love with the well-known event. The building itself is home to a culinary adventure on a daily basis but once the farmers' market is in full swing, a whole day could be spent there indulging in the treasures and pleasures for one's palate. Not only are modern-day treats available but there is also much history in the Ferry Building which was built upon the 1875 wooden Ferry House. Originally a hub for train travelers and ferryboat passengers, the building experienced the hubbub of masses of people and with its turnover in present-day to a gourmand's playpen, still faces it today. I had visited on my first trip with Duc to San Francisco but came back again on my next visit to The City by the Bay with much, much excitement.
Heirloom vegetables can be some of the most beautiful you've seen because they take on the shape, size, and color of a varied genetic pool. Curious as to what exactly heirloom means? I wrote a post on it earlier that demonstrates the differences between heirloom and not. What you end up with when you go heirloom are some unique looks and feels that might strike your fancy as it does my own. I got my hands on some rainbow heirloom baby carrots and decided to let them shine a bit. Roasting them with some thyme and balsamic turns these beauties into the perfect side dish for home or as a holiday potluck item. Give this recipe a try and ask yourself why you wouldn't want to handle these gorgeous carrots!
A good burger with some good beer = a good time. When LA-based Eureka established its first OC location in Huntington Beach at Bella Terra, we were interested to see what they could bring to the Orange County restaurant scene that we did not already have. The concept of having American craft beers and 100% grass-fed beef burgers didn't strike us as out of the ordinary but the execution cemented its popularity with the community. Along with an impressive selection of whiskeys, the restaurant makes a mean burger so it was came as no surprise that it was expanding. The next spot was Irvine at the University Town Center (UTC) - that one popped up quickly so it wasn't long before we made it in. Upon invitation, we visited to see how it was laid out, if any different from the Huntington Beach one, and try out the new menu items that were released approximately the same time that Irvine opened.
4725 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 (Neighborhood: Junction)
Pricing - $$$ | Dining - Casual, Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Japanese, Sushi
I first heard of Mashiko from a friend of mine who interviewed Chef Hajime for an article on sustainability and the environment as that is her field of profession. It didn't necessarily have to do with the food aspect of the restaurant but it did touch on the sourcing of their ingredients. While that isn't exactly what Much Ado About Fooding is about, it does play a part in how the food tastes when it is brought out to the customer. So I put it on my mental hit list of places to visit once we ever made it up to Seattle and not too long ago, we did. Our visit there was not under a reservation as so many people have suggested since we weren't sure which night we'd visit but luckily, they had a space for us right at the end of the bar so we could see all of the action. We decided we'd go opt for one of their omakase options that evening.
When I need comfort food, I usually turn to Thai food for some reason. I think curry dishes lull me into a savory warmth that invoke good feelings but funnily enough, I was only exposed to the cuisine a few years ago. I have tried to make Thai green curry from scratch in the past and realized that it takes a while. No wonder a lot of people use the paste one can buy in stores. There is another option too though and that is a powder form that becomes a paste when mixed. With some red Thai curry powder on hand from Savory Spice Shop, I put together a soup made rich with duck broth but which can easily be made vegetarian with a stock adjustment. It is hearty, full of healthful vegetables, and easy enough to make with help from the powder. I hope you give this recipe a shot!
When a star-studded team starts conversations about coming together, you should listen. The buzz about SOCIAL's coming at the start of fall was warranted - names such as Andrew Dorsey, Jeffrey Boullt, and Mike West were associated with the concept. From the beginning, there were many expectations for the restaurant, and we're happy that after our visit, we believe that even those expectations have been surpassed. Duc and I were invited in one early evening to taste what SOCIAL had to offer, and we both left convinced that it is the restaurant the Costa Mesa (heck, Orange County!) needs not only for its communal atmosphere and excellent buildout but also the impressive food and drink.
The latest Test Kitchen ingredient to grace the pages of the blog was a package of steamed black-eyed peas by Melissa's, and the suggestions that came through when we posed it centered on an upcoming Southern tradition. You see, there is a dish celebrated during the new year as an indicator of good luck and fortune upon the eater if enjoyed on January 1st. That would be hoppin' john and it is primarily a black-eyed pea and rice dish. How appropriate! So I got to reading about it and though the basic makeup requires just some onion, black-eyed peas, bacon, and rice, there is definitely more that can be added to make a superb one-pot dish for a whole lot to share. Check out the recipe and make some to bring prosperity to your friends and family!
It coats all parts of your mouth the instant it passes your lips in its luxurious, fatty creaminess. The texture of foie gras undoubtedly takes some getting used to that not everyone will clamor for but it does have its merits in the world of fine dining. When the ban struck California to prevent the purchase and selling of the delicacy, it caused an upset in the restaurant industry and sparked a conversation about the ingredient's nature. Is it wrong? Is it right? Is it ethical or not? The discussion became a dividing factor between food-loving friendships, yet there has not been a definitive moral answer to the subject. What it has done, though, is create a black market feel to the average consumer for this rare(r) item, and it set the tone last week for a secret dinner in downtown LA featuring some Orange County chefs. We waited for the text to come just 24 hours prior to the event, telling us where to drive to, and the "foiebidden" night soon began.
I have finally done it. I have finally made honey oat muffins without messing up somehow. I'm not sure what could have been difficult in the past but every time that I made honey oat muffins, they never turned out right. These mini muffins turned out beautifully though, and everyone ate as many as s/he could, likely also because they were miniature. What I like about honey oat baked goods is that the sweetness from the honey is apparent and leaves out the need for other types of sugars to be baked in. Also, the oats give it a good texture and the maker feels as if s/he had made a difference on the recipients' healths...even if that's not true! Oats are heart-healthy after all, correct?
If Mexican food sounds like a good brunch cuisine to you, then we should be friends. If you already like solita out in Huntington Beach, then we should really talk. Duc and I have enjoyed dropping by the sister restaurant of SOL Cocina ever since it opened; we discovered the joys of the tacos and margaritas spot and recently learned of its brunch option. Served Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm with live music at noon on Sunday, brunch features a short list of items but when those dishes get add-ons of signature proteins, they shine. We were invited in to give the weekend perks a try.
[Giveaway has ended - thank you to all the participants!] I remember that my first impression of Nekter Juice Bar was, "Wow, they are everywhere," and this was apparently only during their first year. The company only recently celebrated its fourth anniversary but already boasts nearly 50 locations across 5 states, the majority of which are in southern California where it was founded. Blame the health craze that has been sweeping the nation; as people seek to reverse the damage their bodily neglect as done, they have taken to juicing and indulging in fruits and vegetables. Nekter launched in a beneficial time for growth in this area. I have always been a huge fan of juices in general but never considered juicing. What I didn't realize was that Nekter also carries several different products that would easily make me a repeat visitor like their acai bowls...yum! Their juices follow the cold press method, and a big part of the company's draw is their offering of a juice cleanse. We initially had gone in to try out their juices, smoothies, and acai bowls but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to challenge myself to do the cleanse, and Nekter agreed. Check out my three-day journey on their Classic Cleanse and maybe you'll figure out if it's something you'd do too!
Do you need a reason to make biscuits at home? Biscuits should have a free pass when it comes to inclusion in a kitchen because they are just too good. Sop up some butter or honey with it...or have it with preserves for breakfast. What's interesting though is how easy it is to make once you consider how few ingredients one needs. Whenever I make biscuits, Duc eats way too many in a day so they never last long! Some people will use buttermilk but if you are like me and don't typically buy just one ingredient when you want to make something (yes, I'm lazy), you can combine milk with cream of tartar from your pantry. Also, I used whole wheat flour to dust and work with the dough instead of all-purpose to give a grittier texture on the outside; it's a preference thing. Let's get started.
[Giveaway is now over - thank you for entering!] We are pretty ready to get sauced this holiday season...but perhaps not in the way that you are thinking of. No, we've been thinking about how we spice up the holiday dishes that fill the days around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Accompaniments and flavor enhancers sometimes help make the sides and main course just a little more special, and what better way to spice up something than to really spice it up? Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa at The Camp has always taken pride in their hot sauces served on a regular basis with their tasty tacos but what you may not know is that they also have limited edition holiday hot sauces. These fruit-forward condiments vary from year to year so getting a taste of one in the season may be your only taste ever for that flavor. We really wanted to get involved in 2014's batch...really involved so we ended up helping Sous Chef Sean Masucci put together their newest: the Jaladay!
It is no secret that Orange County people are into their brunch. It is a weekend affair that many love indulging in so it is no surprise that plenty of the bigger restaurants offer it along with an accompanying menu replete with heavy, savory dishes. The newly opened Del Frisco's Grille in Irvine has hopped onto this trend as well with large plates ready to make you end your day by the end of morning. In addition to their regular lunch menu items being available for ordering, Del Frisco's also provides a few choice dishes on a separate brunch menu that you cannot get any other time. The restaurant also features a handful of libations that can be enjoyed by yourself or shared with others; the most notable is the customizing Bloody Mary "play set" of ingredients to personalize your drink. We visited on invitation one morning to see what else the brunch menu had in store.
It doesn't get all that cold during the fall and winter seasons in southern California but based on the average temperature in this area, it gets relatively cold. It's a good excuse to indulge in soup...and I am a soup fiend, it feels like. I guess it stems from how we used to have some kind of soup or broth with every dinner when I was growing up. It could have been just as simple as a broth made from daikon but without fail, a small bowl to sup from would be the "first" course before we dug into the meal family-style. Soup is comforting but hearty, hefty ones even more so. Combining the trinity of vegetables with some lean ground turkey yields this beautifully savory soup with a medley of components. I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy!
1112 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101 (Neighborhood: Capitol Hill)
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Caribbean
A rum bar? A RUM BAR? Sign me up! I was not so interested in the fact that it was rum as the spirit of choice but that there was a place focused on one particular alcohol. I first heard of Rumba from a friend who had gone there previously and recommended it. Upon further internet-ing, I saw that it featured shelves upon shelves of the stuff; not only that but it also served Caribbean and Cuban food. Considering the lack of such in Orange County and how much I miss the food from Jamaica, Rumba had me sold. When Duc and I finally went to Seattle, we made sure to put Rumba's Happy Hour on our list of things to do. We met up with friends and were quite pleased by the experience.
The latest Test Kitchen ingredient was fresh dill, and several of you chimed in over on Facebook. Thank you for that! It gives me inspiration but also allows me to know what kinds of foods I ought to be posting to meet your own needs. Circumstances made it difficult to make some of the dishes you suggested but with the cooler nights, a soup seemed most appropriate. The prominent flavors of this carry dill soup are the herbaceous nature of dill and the inherent sweetness of carrots. They work very well together, and I hope you will give this simple and swell recipe that I put together a try!
I made these little egg bites one day just to try out an idea I had in mind...and to finally boil some eggs. I had to admit that I've only really boiled eggs once or twice before because I don't normally eat them like that. For this particular appetizer combination I thought of making, it was necessary. This gave me time to also try to perfect the method. I think it turned out just about right! The bites look beautiful in small dishes/bowls but could also work in spoons. After all, they really are just one bite bites!
The camera seems to affect people in multiple ways but a camera at a restaurant tends to elicit more negative reactions than not. We don't talk too often about what the life is like running a food blog but it does make a huge difference on our experience. That's why I have a section for "Eatery" posts which are our incognito adventures out (and thus, actual reviews) and why media visits are pointed out; you know which are anticipated and not by the restaurant. Well, we visited Bonefish Grill one evening based on an invitation but things went wrong, and there were very notable parts of our dining. To be fair, they did have some pretty good seafood but the rest of the dinner needs a little more explanation.
Every season brings back the flavors and ingredients we've missed year-round, so it's always pleasant to see when restaurants rotate with the months. Fig & Olive at Fashion Island in Newport Beach is one of those places that highlights the colors and tastes of each season and has done so this fall with some autumnal inspirations. Executive Chef Pascal Lorange debuted the new menu items on October 7th but will continue to feature these beauties in the coming months, showcasing the flair of the French Riviera in his dishes and transforming some staples into more seasonally appropriate revisions. You better believe pumpkin is involved! I was invited in to taste some of the delights they have this season, and there was no disappointment here.
With more than 20,000 attendees, 900 exhibitors, and 60 countries represented, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA)'s Fresh Summit 2014 was a significant event which brought together key decision-makers in the produce industry. This convention is the industry's biggest on this coast of the world and demonstrates the power of produce on household habits as well as restaurant and retail businesses. Hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center from October 17-19th this year, Fresh Summit consumed the entire venue with creative displays and booths, bright product arrangements, and overloads of information about their areas of expertise. We were able to attend with passes from Melissa's Produce (thank you!) and were in for quite the treat as we explored more about the trends that have been cropping up in the produce scene.
It may not look like anything special but marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts are usually an instant hit at gatherings. They are tangy, herb-y, and a good fit for other plates you've got going on, especially an antipasto spread. I somehow managed to put this together as one of the first things I made when I started cooking and keep coming back to it [original post here - this is a revamp of the first version of this dish that I've made.]. It's an appetizer you can start the day before and should, to allow the flavors to meld with each other better. Served cold, the plate of mushrooms and artichoke hearts will definitely fancy up any party, AND the recipe is easy too!
I have always loved grits in just about any way that I've had them. They usually cannot be messed up other than being blander than preferred. When it became a Test Kitchen ingredient for us to experiment with, I thought of the different applications I have seen it in. Shrimp and grits is a very popular dish but felt overdone...however, what if you combined them into a snackable piece? Chopped up finely, the shrimp would be able to mix in with the grits well enough to make a shrimp and grits cake. What a thought! To prevent it from being too bland, I seasoned both the grits and the shrimp pieces too. The recipe requires several ingredients because everything is made from scratch but this savory, Southern treat is well worth the effort. Give it a try yourself. I got the thumbs up from even my parents who rarely eat non-Asian food!
"Community Table is a sensory experience, a program where we work diligently to connect with chefs in our community who source ingredients with integrity and back-stories."The Congdon House, built in 1878, has seen years of changes to its surroundings and the communities in the area. It began its legs as a slightly out-of-the-ordinary structure, built of English Walnut and Redwood rather than the typical infrastructure at the time but now has withstood the test of time to become part of The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. It sits on a 135+ year old certified organic farm and serves its purpose as an educational center that connects all individuals in the community with hands-on activities to teach and create environmental solutions. "Founded on the principle that each person can make a difference toward a sustainable future," the center offers a variety of programs including what we were there fore - Community Table. This event allows attendees to enjoy local and sustainable food from area chefs while learning about the food ecosystem. We were invited one beautiful morning to enjoy the very talented Tuscan-inspired fare of Chef Ryan O'Melveny Wilson, Corporate Executive Chef for Lawry's Restaurants and Executive Chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor (and Ecology Center board member), and Pastry Chef Nikki Belcore Wilson of Studio at the Montage.
Easy pea-sy recipe right here! Looking for something outside of the typical hummus you see made with garbanzo beans? You can make it with peas which have a sweeter flavor as well as an interesting color that can be good for themed parties or just to change things up a bit. The recipe is simple, as is any base hummus, so you can prep this quickly for a snack or gathering.
[Giveaway details at the bottom of this post] In the quiet of the Quail Hill Shopping Center in Irvine, there is a spot that contains within its walls the community buzz that has been steadily growing for wine and dining. The former Bacchus Secret Cellar wine bar that was in the back corner of the center refreshed itself and relaunched as a more formidable Bacchus Bar & Bistro at the start of the year, resulting in an impressive accolade - the 2014 Wine Spectator Award Of Excellence. Equipped now with a kitchen (albeit modest with only a convection oven and small refrigerator), the establishment can now put forth thoughtfully complementary foods. As a wine bar foremost, Bacchus has extended its hospitality in a way counter-intuitive in the restaurant world by pairing its food to the existing wines whereas most places look for wines to pair with the food. It is a unique stance, and one that we happily experienced upon invitation one early evening when we came in to see what Executive Chef Charity Smith had up her sleeve in her humble kitchen.
3506 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103 (Neighborhood: Wallingford)
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Dressy Casual | Cuisine - American (New), Small Plates
It feels odd to chide a place for not meeting expectations, especially when expectations started high, but when the letdown is worse than even a normal experience would turn out, it is downright disappointing. We don't like to say anything negative without some constructive comments but we also aren't chefs so take the post with a grain of salt. We were just incredibly surprised that we could have had one of the best meals we've ever had in the sister restaurant of this spot that we thought was a terrible way to cap off an evening.
The Whale Wins was recently named in Bon Appetit as one of the Top 50 New Restaurants in the U.S. so when our travel plans took us to Seattle, we were excited to give it a try. After all, the magazine has some clout behind it, and to be listed as one of 50 of who-knows-how-many in the country that excels is an honor. We absolutely loved our time at The Walrus and The Carpenter, sister to this newer joint, and were in high hopes for this one. Surprisingly, the evening turned out 0/5 for everything we ordered...
There seems no end to the expansion that Costa Mesa's restaurant scene has seen in the past year or two. The highly anticipated multimedia space of Boathouse Collective is the newest addition to the good vibes at the end of the 55, opening October 8th to much fanfare. Owner Clayton Peterson, Orange County native, has been in the space for 10 years with the grand goal of making it a venue for both great family-style food and undeniable art and music. Teaming up with Executive Chef Mathieu Royer (of Pizzeria Ortica, Hinoki and the Bird in Century City, and Morimoto in Napa Valley and trained under master sushi chef Gen Mizoguchi) easily put this venture on the map for guaranteed good food, and the locale had already made a name for itself as a hub of interactive industrial design. Why wouldn't there be excitement for its opening? Invited pre-opening, we were immediately smitten with the layout, use of reclaimed materials, and commitment to local, organic, and seasonal ingredients.
1909 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (Neighborhood: Downtown)
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual, To-Go | Cuisine - Breakfast/Brunch, Southern
On our way to Pike Place Market in Seattle, I knew we needed breakfast and landed my eyes on a bold place called "Biscuit Bitch." Sounds edgy enough, and I sure can't say no to good biscuits. Give me your crudeness but follow it up with something delicious please! They certainly delivered on it, and we came away from the experience knowing we'd be back the next time we were in town. Established with the intent of making everyone feel at home (we all know that area of Seattle is a total tourist trap), Biscuit Bitch kept to their promise and we did not feel like we didn't belong. It was great and the food...the food was bitchin'.
We recently had some guests over that I really wanted to make small bites for because they hadn't had my cooking yet. When one indicated that she was vegetarian, that got me thinking about how I could put out a few appetizers that would all be tasty but still cater to her lifestyle. I had a large jar of capers still in the refrigerator so wanted to hinge a recipe on that but still keep it fulfilling. After all, who wants to eat a bunch of bites but not get full in the least bit? Beans were next on my mind so a little mixing put these two lovelies together on top of some citrus-flecked toast. Voila - a savory but light vegetarian delight (in just five ingredients)!
[Giveaway is now over - thanks for participating!] When you think back to your childhood, what are some of the most iconic dishes that come to mind? Is Kraft's Blue Box mac-n-cheese one of them? I remember the radioactively orange powder that got dumped into saucepans when we would beg not to eat Asian food on the weekends (on the rare, rare occasion my mother would allow it) and how it wouldn't dissolve completely sometimes, leaving a gritty texture with each forkful. As I grew up, mac-n-cheese did too to the school cafeteria version that was with softer pasta to the casual restaurant or buffet version that was slightly watery but felt more wholesome. Then I entered a world that understood the toasty, baked crust of a mac-n-cheese that contained sumptuous, umami-laden ingredients and showcased strings of oozy, melting cheese. No going back save for nostalgia's sake!
So what to do now when you just want that goodness without having to also order an entree (since it's usually a side order)? Enter Elbows Mac 'n' Cheese. The success of their Cerritos location led to their second spot in downtown Brea, guaranteed to garner attention. Created to "blend classic American home cooking with gourmet international inspiration," the restaurant is focused on more mac-n-cheese variations than you could imagine (though they do serve salads and sandwiches too). It reminded me of the mac-n-cheese spot I visited in St. Louis but with a simpler feel and more homestyle inspirations. We were invited in one afternoon to indulge a little and boy, did we!
Our latest Test Kitchen ingredient was the wonderfully non-photogenic salted radish which is primarily used in Asian cooking. It is a radish or turnip that has been preserved in a mixture of sugar and salt and usually comes sold by the half pound in bags. I recall how often my mom would use it in just a handful of simple go-to dishes when I was growing up. I was unable to shake that from my mind though as I tried to figure out how to use the ingredient. Therefore, I resulted to some comfort food.
I tell people that I am Chinese but there are so many variations of it that if I had to be more specific, I'd tell you I was Teochew. As I get older, I am beginning to distinguish more and more what was Teochew in my childhood and what was a mash of cultures - one of those things was the porridge we'd eat. Teochew porridge is basically watery rice that is so bland (and made from only those two ingredients) that having something quite salty as the side dish was necessary. I would usually double or triple up the amount of porridge I'd have to the accompanying dish so each bite was balanced. Salted radish (aka chai poh) in an omelet was a solid regular in our meals so I decided it was time to recreate the dish. Luckily, it was easy!
There were several go-to dishes that I could count on eating every week or every other week when I was growing up. Though my ethnic background is Chinese, my cultural background is an odd mesh of Vietnamese, Chinese, and American. That really showed itself through in its food which I thought my whole childhood was Chinese food. Turns out, my mom cooked quite a lot of Vietnamese food! This dish of stuffed tomatoes, or cà chua nhồi thịt, seemed to be on the weekly rotation but I never minded. I had always had an affinity for tomatoes but when you mix it with something savory and baste it in itself, you have yourself a winner. It is most definitely comfort food and not something you'll likely be able to order off a restaurant menu even if you wish it were available. Because of its sauciness, I really recommend rice become a part of the meal with these red baskets of joy.
399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Neighborhood - Hayes Valley)
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual, Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Cajun/Creole
I don't believe that I'll be one who ends up living in a big city but I certainly do like visiting them. Aside from the history and the community culture that fascinates with museums, art, and local flavor, there is also an abundance of food to choose from and usually within walking distance. When my friend and I headed to San Francisco recently, we decided that we would let chance decide our meal plans for us. We wandered around the Hayes Valley neighborhood a Friday night looking for someplace that didn't have a long wait and was appealing. The classic Louisiana menu idea caught our eye via wooden sandwich board propped on the street. It was for Boxing Room and it was just around the corner. They had space so we sat down to experience the menu headed by Executive Chef Justin Simoneaux that night.
[Thank you for participating - the giveaway is now over!] Begun in Denver in 2007, Smashburger became a fast-growing chain that took everyone by surprise with its rapid expansion. There are currently hundreds of locations worldwide of this fast casual restaurant chain that was started by people who had formerly worked as executives in fast food; the vision for the newer concept was to be viable against the corporate giants of the fast burger world but through conscious decisions. Ingredients are different by far but quick service and turnaround for orders is still a priority. When Smashburger opened its doors in Irvine just a few weeks ago, fans who previously had to drive further south in Orange County to get their hands on a Smashburger were excited. The food is prepared fresh daily, making it more attractive than the frozen-then-reheated fast food joints around, and since we had never been to one, we went to check it out upon invitation one weekend afternoon.
4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Neighborhood: Ballard)
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual, Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Seafood, Small Plates
Stick a literary reference into a restaurant, and I'm interested. Blame it on the book nerd in me and that I am a philanderer of words (not women) who is drawn towards such mentions. Toss in the rave reviews and constant barrage of suggestions from others prior to our travels to visit this coveted spot in Seattle, and we are sold. The first stop that Duc and I made once we landed at Sea-Tac was at this restaurant to catch their Happy Hour (started at 4pm that Thursday) for some oyster deals. Apparently there were plenty of other people who were hunting the same specials so even before 4pm, there was a line. The restaurant itself is behind another so a long hallway forms the entrance - make note! I say to make a note of it because I know you'll be going there too if/when you visit Seattle. After all, it is dang delicious...
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
- Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll
- Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll
One of the reasons that this website is not just a chronicle of food and what we think about it is because we are more interested in the ...
I didn't know what pâté chaud (bánh patê sô) was called when I was growing up; I always just called it the "hat pie" becaus...
2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Neighborhood: Kerns) Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Breakfast/Brunch, Southern ...
[ Giveaway has ended - thank you to all the participants! ] I remember that my first impression of Nekter Juice Bar was, "Wow, they...
Do you need a reason to make biscuits at home? Biscuits should have a free pass when it comes to inclusion in a kitchen because they are ...
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- Eatery - 4 Stars 78
- Eatery - 4.5 Stars 53
- Eatery - 5 Stars 89
- Event 180
- Farmers' Market 14
- Food and Travels 3
- Food Truck 12
- Fountain Valley 12
- Fullerton 14
- Garden Grove 34
- Gardena 1
- Giveaway 30
- Glendale 1
- Golden Foodie Awards 12
- Greenville 1
- Haleiwa 1
- Hell's Kitchen 4
- Herndon 1
- Hollywood 2
- Honolulu 8
- Huntington Beach 19
- Idyllwild 6
- Interview 39
- Irvine 44
- Kalaheo 1
- Kauai 3
- Laguna Beach 5
- Laguna Hills 6
- Laguna Niguel 2
- Lake Forest 2
- Las Vegas 2
- Lihue 1
- Long Beach 15
- Los Angeles 17
- MAAF Events 2
- Monterey Park 2
- Mushroom Makeover 11
- Myrtle Beach 3
- New York 15
- Newport Beach 43
- Newport Coast 2
- Oahu 10
- OC Restaurant Week 2013 8
- Orange 27
- Origins and Information 46
- Pasadena 1
- Placentia 1
- Portland 14
- Quips and Anecdotes 97
- Raleigh 1
- Recipe - Bread/Pastry 30
- Recipe - Candy 5
- Recipe - Dessert 63
- Recipe - Drinks 18
- Recipe - Entree 120
- Recipe - Salad 10
- Recipe - Sauce/Seasoning 18
- Recipe - Side Dish 52
- Recipe - Soup 27
- Recipe - Starter/Appetizer 87
- Redondo Beach 1
- Riverside 1
- Rosemead 2
- San Diego 2
- San Francisco 14
- San Gabriel 1
- San Jose 6
- San Juan Capistrano 5
- Santa Ana 26
- Santa Barbara 5
- Santa Monica 2
- Seal Beach 2
- Seattle 6
- Silverlake 1
- Stanton 2
- Temecula 4
- Test Kitchen 83
- Tips and Techniques 26
- Tustin 15
- Vancouver 7
- Virginia Beach 3
- Waimea 1
- Washington DC 5
- West Hollywood 1
- Westminster 7
- Yorba Linda 6