Food Adventure Collage.

carnitas snack shack. c-level. world famous. woodstocks. terra american bistro. buddies. corbins. casey's cupcakes. mandarin beijing. nazca grill. eiffel tower restaurant. gordan ramsay burgr. in-n-out. bankers hill bar and grill. los primos. bistro sixty. ruth's chris.


... to a place I like to call my very own. *waving hello*

I invite you to enjoy reading about the food adventures that I have with friends, family, and colleagues.

I adore food and I cannot just choose one particular food that is my fave.

Food is really is my favorite. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Hanalei Wake Up Cafe - Hanalei, Kauai [Hawaii]

Because of the three hour time difference in Hawaii versus San Diego, we were up between 5-6am at the beginning of our trip.  M, J and I got ourselves ready to explore Hanalei by foot to search for a breakfast spot the second day after we arrived.  We walked down the main road (Kuhio Highway) towards Hanalei Coffee Roasters, for a cup of Kona coffee and waffles with coconut syrup (mmmmm), but the wait and line was WAY too long.  By then, we were starving.  

Across the street and right next door to the house we were staying at, was the Hanalei Wake Up Cafe. The restaurant is very tiny and the dining room opens up to the outside patio to let in the fresh, Hawaiian air.  We were luckily sat on the patio.  It was such a beautiful day in Kauai, as the sun was shining and the weather was slightly warm.

This is the view from our table.  I absolutely love the greenery of the island.  

For J, I ordered the simple goodness that is french toast ($7.00).   It was dusted with a little confectioner sugar and the slices were perfect for him.  He loved it.

M opted for a healthier and lighter breakfast -- The Hanalei Bowl ($9.50), a half of a papaya and topped with creamy yogurt and homemade granola.  I was impressed by the large chunks of nuts.  He loved every bite.  The papaya tasted so fresh.

I ordered a few items from their breakfast a la carte menu.... crispy hash browns ($3.50), two scrambled eggs ($4.00), and whole wheat toast ($2.00).   I know, pretty boring, but hey, it was done right and it was really good.  But, wait until you see what special item we shared....   

THIS.  This is one of the many favorite flavors we had in Kauai..... the Mac Nut Cinnamon Roll ($4.00).  It was sinful and decadent.  We devoured every bite.  Think of a regular cinnamon roll -- butter, cinnamon, inside.  But, on the outside, there was a gooey concoction of chopped, fresh macadamia nuts and butter.  This macadamia nut cinnamon roll tops all cinnamon rolls out there!

Overall, this little cafe was a quaint place to have breakfast in Hanalei.  We are glad we found it and we were extra glad that it was just steps away from us.  Oh yeah, by the way, they take cash only (and traveler's checks).

Hanalei Wake Up Cafe
51-5144 Kuhio Highway
Hanalei, HI 96714

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Hamura Saimin - Lihue, Kauai [Hawaii]

[Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park]

Kauai, how much we miss you. I took a blogging break in July 2014, the same month we took a family vacation to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. I documented a lot of delicious food we ate so little by little, I will be catching up on my Kauai posts. With that, I would like to start off with one of our favorite meals in Kauai...

Three people, who do not know each other, recommended Hamura Saimin to us while in Kauai for vacation. Hamura Saimin is a little "hole-in-the-wall" ramen place in Lihue, which is in the same city as the airport we flew into.  When we flew in, we immediately drove 30 miles to Hanalei in the north shore of the island to meet our family members at the house we rented and did not think to stop first to try the restaurant before the long hour drive.  

It was not until day three of our vacation that we decided to take a mini road trip back down to Lihue to do some shopping and have lunch at this small popular place. 

It was the middle of work week so when we arrived it was not busy.  The tables are shared, community tables that can sit about up to 10 people.  We were able to sit immediately.  

We noticed as the time passed, there were a lot of people standing around waiting for a table. Because the restaurant is really small, the guests stand really close to you, staring and waiting for us to finish.  I tried not to make eye contact with them, haha.  

M and my two relatives all got the Special saimin ($7.50), which comes with vegetables, won tons, boiled egg, roast pork, fishcake, green onions and chopped ham.  From the Yelp reviews, this dish seemed the most popular of all.  They topped it off with a chili vinegar at the table and stated that the vinegar really enhanced the dish.  

I was going to share some of my saimin noodles with J, who just turned three last year at that time, so I got him a BBQ chicken stick ($2.00?) for some protein.  It was done "yakitori" style on mini sticks.  Unfortunately, this chicken was tough and overdone.  J only ate a bite and was over it. 

Okay, here is what I ordered (I always have to be different, right?).  I ordered the Won Ton Mein ($7.00).  My saimin came with a lot of won ton pieces and a lot of juicy roast pork.  Oh, yeah!  The broth was really good and flavorful.  The noodles were cooked perfectly.  The portion of our saimin was HUGE and I think this was a 'medium' bowl.  I definitely could not finish the entire bowl, even though I was really hungry too.  

The family in front of us ordered the "regular" saimin, which only comes with chopped ham, green onions, and fishcake, and in two sizes, small and medium.  I think next time, I will order a small regular saimin with a side of their yakitori bbq beef, which I didn't get to try.

I AM SAD because I did not get a picture of the wonderful lilikoi chiffon pie (passion fruit) we ordered for dessert.  We ordered two slices between us and we just dove into it.  It was light, airy, and the crust was perfect.  The slice had a thin layer of meringue on top and the rest of the pie is similar to the texture of a souffle with the subtle flavor of passion fruit,  It was amazing.   We also received a really small slice compared to the pictures I saw on Yelp.  *sad face*

The service is good, not the greatest, because I think they are in the business to get customers in and out very quickly.  All in all, Hamura Saimin is a definite place to visit when in Kauai.  ORDER the lilikoi chiffon pie.  That's a must.  P.S.... CASH ONLY!

Hamura Saimin
2956 Kress Street
Lihue, HI 96766

Monday, July 27, 2015

CREAM - College Area

CREAM, a cookie ice cream sandwich place, opened in the College Area, near the San Diego State University campus earlier this year, but I only recently had the chance to visit and try it.  It is located right across from the large bridge that leads to the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union and it is snuggled in between Bruxie and Bangkok Poco, a Thai restaurant.

Unfortunately, I was only able to take two photos of my experience here (booo, I know).   They have a wide range of ice cream flavors here, including my favorite, strawberry cheesecake!  You can order cookie ice cream sandwiches or you can order scoops in a cup and get the cookies on the side. They have a lot of toppings, as well, from sprinkles, mini candies, and sauces.

I ordered a scoop of their delicious strawberry cheesecake ice cream in between two red velvet (with white chocolate chips) cookies ($2.99).  The ice cream was my favorite part.  It was creamy, sweet and velvety.   The cookies were okay.  They tasted like they were baked earlier, so it did not have that fresh, soft baked taste I was looking for.  Next time, I would probably order a scoop of ice cream and a cookie on the side.  I will still give their cookies a chance.

The place is small and has outdoor seating.  Because they share a lot with two other restaurants, parking is limited, but you can always find parking on the street near Buddie's Burgers or even pay for one hour parking in the SDSU parking structure near by.  While you are near the SDSU campus, you might as well take a tour, too!

I will definitely be back when I have a craving for their strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Yum!

5157 College Ave, Ste B
San Diego, CA 92117

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q - Chandler, Arizona

Rudy's, hands down, has the best BRISKET.  I can endlessly eat pounds and pounds of the brisket here and I will not be ashamed.  

I was first introduced to Rudy's on a trip to San Antonio, Texas, where M went to college.  I immediately fell in love with their brisket.  I have not yet found a place in San Diego that has excellent, moist brisket, so if you know of a place, please, please, PLEASE let me know!  

When Rudy's Country Store and Bar B-Q came to Arizona, I knew I had to visit so my taste buds can do a happy dance, once again.  The location in Chandler is about 15-20 minutes away from where the in-laws live, so it wasn't too much of a drive for delicious, amazing food.

The set up at this location is the same from what the San Antonio location had, except the fact that it is not connected to a gas station (YUP, you heard me right).  You have to walk up, fall in line, grab the cold sides from the refrigerator cases, and place your meat order at the register.  All the meats are priced by a 1/2 a pound, with the exception of the sausages (whole link price).  You can also order sandwiches with any of the BBQ'd meats they offer.  

As you can see, they tear a large piece of parchment paper and weigh your meats on a scale, like they do at the grocery store.  The meat prices can range from $4.99 (pulled pork or chopped beef) for a 1/2 lb. to $9.99 (prime rib) for a 1/2 a lb.  Prices to follow on our items later....

I love it.  They place all the meats, your sides, and a handful of slices of white (or wheat bread) in a plastic basket and that is your "tray" to bring to the long, family style picnic tables.  

This is a picture of their condiment bar from far away.  They have pickles, jalapenos, different peppers, all the utensils, straws and napkins.  The beverage bar in the back serves Coca-Cola products and their delicious sweet tea and unsweetened iced tea.  They do not provide plates, only parchment paper, which I didn't get in the picture.  A large roll is located at the end of the condiment bar, that is where you tear off large sheets for your "place setting."  They also provide you with little cardboard dishes for your sides, the ones that ballparks use for nachos.  Here is what we ordered:

One pound of baby back ribs ($7.49 for 1/2 lb.) - these are M's mom's favorite, but I found them to be a little tough for my liking.  The flavor was there, smoky, but I wished they came off the bone a little more and that I did not have to struggle eating it.

One pound of smoked turkey breast ($6.99 for 1/2 lb.) - this is M's favorite, as it reminds him of his days in Texas.  I liked it; it was flavorful and moist, especially when you put Rudy's BBQ sauce on it and sandwiched a large piece between pieces of white bread.  Yum!

THIS.  My favorite... one pound of the moist brisket ($7.99 a 1/2 lb.).  The brisket comes in lean ($7.49 a 1/2 lb.) and Cutter's Choice ($6.99 a 1/2 lb., which leads me to believe it's whatever the guy/gal cutting wants to give you).  We always go for the moist because it absolutely melts in your mouth.  For most bites, I did not have to put on any sauce but it was so flavorful on its own.  

THIS is my second favorite.  A whole link of the smoked sausage ($4.99).  I don't know how they make it but it has the right amount of spices.  It has a wonderful snap to it, as well.  It is very addictive and it is a must to order the smoked sausage every time I come back.  

As far as the large sides go (they also serve individual sides for one person), we got the potato salad ($3.69 / pint).... creamy, delicious and perfect.  No complaints here.

....the cole slaw ($3.69 / pint).  It was okay.  I loved the crunch, but it was really bland and didn't have much "dressing" (mayo/vinegar).  

....and my third favorite item here, the CREAMED CORN ($4.29 / pint).  I mean, it is what it says it is.  Creamy, sweet corn.  The flavor of the corn is apparent and that is all you taste.  It is exceptional and a wonderful side with the BBQ'd meats.

They have bottles of their homemade 'sause' on the tables, their original sauce and their "Sissy" sauce. The original has a little spice to it, but not too much, and the Sissy sauce is pretty mild (hence, the sissy part of the name).  I liked them both, but I am partial to the original.

This is not the best picture of my meal, but I was hungry and started eating.  Rudy's is awesome.  I love it for the "country style" feel to the place, and of course, for their brisket, sausage and creamed corn.  Yup, I will certainly be back and hoping they will open up one here in San Diego.  *crossing fingers*

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q
7300 West Chandler Blvd.
Chandler, Arizona 85226

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Pink's Hot Dogs: Harrah's Resort Southern California - Valley Center

WHOA, I'm back!  Happy New Year to everyone! I look forward to a fabulous 2015 and wish you all the same. *smile*  

With that, let's talk about hot dogs, shall we?!

The in-laws planned to stay a couple of nights at Harrah's Resort Southern California (formerly Harrah's Rincon Casino) out (way out) in Valley Center in October, so we went out to spend quality time with them.  We arrived in the late evening to meet them and it was dinner time (my favorite meal).

Harrah's has a nice range of dining options; their 24-hour eatery, The Cafe, Earl of Sandwich, Fortunes (a noodle place), 'Ritas Cantina, their buffet, an oyster bar, a fancy steakhouse, Starbucks, and... PINK's. Yum!  Golly gee, the obvious choice for me was a Pink's hot dog. M and I haven't had Pink's since we visited the original location back in 2006, so I bee-lined to their counter (and everyone followed, haha).

At this location, the prices are a bit higher than the original location in Los Angeles (ex: $4.85 vs. $5.99 for a 9" stretch chili dog), but I thought it was priced okay for what we get. All 'regular' dogs are 9 inches, unless stated otherwise. They also have limited menu items, but it was still a good selection of hot dogs, burgers, and sides.

Here we go!

M ordered the Mullholland Drive Dog ($7.99). *insert emoji of the surprised face with big eyes here*  It was topped with three strips of bacon, grilled onions, nacho cheese, and grilled mushrooms. Oh, it looked amazing.  I didn't have a taste of his.  There was so much on top, I couldn't even see the hot dog!  

M's stepdad ordered the Guadalajara Dog ($5.99) with diced tomatoes and onions, relish and sour cream. He said it was "delicioso."  He didn't say it in Spanish (that was all me).  It looked really good, but these are not my type of flavors on a hot dog. 

M's mom ordered a plain hot dog with ketchup, mustard and grilled onions ($5.99 + $0.99 for grilled onions). The onions looked yummy. They piled it on! 

Speaking of piling on... here's MINE!  At the LA location, I had the nacho cheese chili dog and I remember it was so good that I had to have another one. Only, I ordered the original Stretch Chili Dog ($5.99) with mustard, onions, sliced American cheese and meaty, yummy chili.  I heart chili dogs. I really do.  Especially this one -- the beefiness from the hot dog and chili was so delicious together, plus the crunch from the mild, diced white onion and the tang from the mustard made this chili dog one of the best hot dogs I have had. Ooh, if I order it with the grilled onions next time.... yes. 

We all shared two sides to compliment our dogs: onion rings ($3.49) and french fries ($2.79). The onion rings were crunchy and had a nice ratio of batter and actual onion. They didn't seem like the frozen kind.

Personally, I have always thought that fries belong with burgers and hot dogs and potato chips go hand-in-hand, but these french fries changed my mind. They are so crispy, seasoned perfectly and so addictively delicious! I couldn't stop eating them. They reminded me of Rally's fries, but crispier (not soggy) with more flavor.  They went really well with my chili dog.  

Pink's Hot Dogs was a great treat. Driving all the way to Valley Center may be too far for a yummy hot dog, but if you're in the area for any reason, I would recommend that you check it out.  Here is the link to the Harrah's Pink's menu (PDF).  

Harrah's Resort Southern California
777 Harrah's Resort Southern California Way
Valley Center, CA 92082

Monday, July 21, 2014

Taking a break....

Hi everyone,

Just a little note to let you all know that I am taking a break from food blogging for a little while.  The postponement will not be indefinite, and I certainly will be back to share my food adventures with you all. 

Take care and happy eating!

Janice :) 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches - 4th of July Specials

I am so excited that Bruxie had opened right near San Diego State University, just down the bridge from the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.  I have not yet had a chance to visit, but I wanted to let you know about their upcoming 4th of July specials!

For those who are not familiar with Bruxie, they are known for their light, airy waffle sandwiches -- from savory to sweet, you definitely find something there for your taste buds.

In honor of the 4th of July, Bruxie’s culinary team is flying in LIVE MAINE LOBSTERS to create the ultimate New England Lobster sandwich, only available on Friday, July 4th.  Other holiday specials, which will be available Friday, July 4th through Sunday, July 6th, include the new Vermont Apple Pie Bruxie, a Red, White & Blue Shake, and Bruxie’s seasonal Black Cherry Cane Sugar Soda.

The following specials will be available at 10 a.m. (guests are advised to come early, as these will sell out) at all Bruxie locations:

Bruxie Fourth of July Specials

New England Lobster Bruxie: Tender Maine Lobster simply tossed with a touch of Mayo, Fresh Chives, Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt (Available July 4th only)

Vermont Apple Pie Bruxie: Warm brown sugar spiced Granny Smith apples, Extra Sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese and Homemade Crumble served with Bruxie’s Award-Winning Wisconsin Frozen Custard
 (Available July 4th through the 6th)

Red, White & Blue Shake: California Strawberry Shake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Blueberry Drizzle 
 (Available July 4th through the 6th)

Black Cherry Cane Sugar Soda:  the new seasonal flavor for summer

Doesn't the Lobster Bruxie sound amazing?  Click here for the menu for the SDSU location for their regular menu items, like their popular Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffle.  Yum!

Happy early 4th of July and happy eating!

5157 College Avenue
San Diego, CA 92115

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Marie's Mid-Day Mix-Ups - Lunch Menu at Marie Callender's

I was recently invited to try out Marie Callender's new lunch menu titled "Marie's Mid-Day Mix-Ups". MC's offers this special lunch menu, Monday through Friday, from 11am to 4pm. 

A lot of the chain restaurants have their lunch specials for a great deal, however what makes Marie Callender's special is their famous slice of pie as a side option. YUM!

I met the hubby, who had a day off, at MC's, to try their menu.  Here's how it goes... you have a choice of one lunch entree and one side for $6.99 or lunch entree and two sides for $8.99:

Six lunch entrees include:

Four Cheese Ravioli – Cheese-stuffed ravioli in a tomato-cream sauce topped with toasted parmesan bread crumbs

Half Roasted Turkey Sandwich – Hand-carved roasted turkey, cranberry walnut cream cheese, lettuce and tomato on a wheat ciabatta

Half Rosemary Chicken Sandwich– Grilled chicken breast marinated with fresh rosemary, garlic and olive oil, with melted Swiss, spicy mayonnaise, spring lettuce and tomato on a grilled wheat ciabatta

Grilled Veggie Tacos – Sliced red onion, mushrooms, poblano and red peppers, grilled and nestled inside soft corn tortillas, topped with roasted corn, black beans, avocado and pico de gallo

Meatloaf Sliders – Two sliders stacked with home-style meatloaf, port caramelized onions and sharp cheddar cheese

Half Chicken Waldorf Salad Sandwich – Chicken Waldorf salad made with fresh apples, cranberries, caramelized pecans and raisins topped with lettuce and tomato on a wheat ciabatta

Here are the sides available:
  • Cup of Classic soup
  • Fries
  • Fresh potato chips
  • Small garden salad
  • Wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing
  • Slice of Marie's famous pie (excludes cheesecakes and seasonal fruit pies)

We both ordered a strawberry lemonade ($2.99) to quench our thirst on a warm day. It was tart and sweet. Just perfect!

We had a great start to our meal with a complimentary square of fluffy, warm cornbread

M ordered the Half Rosemary Chicken Sandwich and grilled wheat ciabatta with a small garden salad with ranch dressing on the side ($8.99). He ordered a slice of pie for his second side item.  I did not have a taste of his sandwich. He said that the chicken breast was flavorful and juicy. I love that they have wheat ciabatta bread. 

His garden salad looked pretty fresh and the ranch dressing on the side was nicely overflowing from the cup and looked deliciously creamy.  

I ordered the cute little Meatloaf Sliders with a side of fresh potato chips and a slice of pie ($8.99). Look -- the cheese from the grill formed, what I call, cheese crunchies. That was an added bonus of salty flavor.  The meatloaf slices had noticeable chopped veggies in it; celery, onions and carrots. It was delicious. The port caramelized onions were sweet and they went really well with the meatloaf. They went a tad heavy on the mayonnaise, but I just ended up scraping it off of the second one. 

My favorite snack in the entire world, potato chips.  Whenever and where ever I can get them freshly made, oh yes, potato chips, it is.  They were really good.  I dipped a couple of them in M's ranch dressing. 

M ordered a key lime pie slice for dessert/second side item.  We were both so into our own slices of pie that I did not have a taste of his.  

My go-to pie flavor is regular apple (not French apple, just plain ol' boring apple) but I wanted to take advantage of all their wonderful pie flavors. I choose a cream cheese pie flavor... Kahlua cream pie! It was sooooo good! It had a small hint of coffee and chocolate from the chocolate cookie crust.  I was very happy with my choice, but I regret not packing the rest up and taking it home.  I was stuffed! 

One more added special... when you dine in, you get $5.00 off a whole pie to-go. I ended up ordering a whole apple pie for the office ($12.79 minus $5.00) to bring back with me.

Ta-da... I set the pie up for everyone, including utensils, napkins and mini plates.  I did not have room for a slice so I let everyone go at it to fulfill their afternoon sugar fix. I was so busy at work that I forgot to take a picture after they sliced through it. 

All in all, what a yummy experience at Marie Callender's! Their Mid-Day Mix-Ups are certainly a good lunch deal, and I love the fact that you can get a whole slice of pie with your lunch entree. Mmm, pie.   Oh yeah... for those with kids under 12, kids eat free on Tuesdays and Saturdays with a purchase of an adult entree!  

**Disclaimer: Marie Callender's provided me gift cards to try our their new lunch menu. I was not compensated for writing this post and all opinions and views are my own. Thanks!

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