#foodismyfave

#foodismyfave

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.

Welcome.

... 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!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Michael Symon's Roast - Detroit, Michigan



My sisters and I visited family in Michigan in February of this year.  On our last night, we wanted to have a nice dinner in the city.  We came across Michael Symon's Roast in downtown Detroit, located in the Westin Book Cadillac hotel and made reservations for three.  We valeted our rental car and took a walk around the area before dinner.  We took the Detroit People Mover to the Riverfront and saw Windsor, Canada in the distance.  Because it was a weekday evening, there was no one around and if we did not talk, the sound of the ice floating on the Detroit River was so calming to hear.


L and I enjoyed a glass of red wine from Argentina:  2013 Paul Hobbs, La Flor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina ($9.00 / glass).  L chose the wine, as her and her hubby, know wines and they are fans of Paul Hobb, aka the Steve Jobs of Wine.  This wine is from his winery, Vina Cobos in Mendoza.  I don't know much about wine (had to look him up), so yeah, go Paul Hobbs!


They brought out the bread.  It was a simple bread assortment of rustic white and whole grains.  The bread was soft and the butter was softened, as well.  It is a pet peeve of mine to serve cold butter with bread, especially bread that is not warm.  They did a good job here.


We enjoyed the Roasted Marrow ($10.00) with capers, chilies, oregano, and sea salt.  It was served with thin crostini and pickled red onions.  This was super delicious.  I wish we had ordered two, one for them to share, and one just for me, haha.  Every bite was meaty, crunchy from the crostini, and acidic from the squeeze of lemon and the pickled onion. 


S ordered the Pan Seared Scallops ($28.00) for her entree.  There were seasoned pea tendrils and a schmear of, what I think is, butternut squash puree.  Because her entree was so small, I did not ask her for a taste.  It looked really yummy, though!


L and  I thought we were being smart and decided to split the Dry-Aged Ribeye ($46.00) for the following reasons:
  1. Bread, appetizer, and sides will fill us up
  2. Portions, portions, portions - trying not to be too gluttonous
Big mistake.  I think the steak was a 16 ounce portion (or maybe less?), and we did not ask how many ounces it was before we ordered it.  Don't get me wrong, the ribeye was delicious.  It melted in my mouth and the addition of the little lemony arugula salad with sun dried tomatoes, made it more savory and yummier.  It just left us wanting more.  Now we know.  Own steaks.  


We ordered the Rosemary Fries ($6.00), which was really good.  I wish they were crispier, but I always love a good steak and fries/frites. 


We also had the Brussel Sprouts w/ Walnuts ($10.00).  They had a nice char from the roasting that gave it extra flavor.  I always enjoyed eating brussel sprouts.  I see them as mini cabbage.  They just have to be cooked right.  These were definitely cooked nicely.

Overall, my sisters and I really enjoyed family time in Michigan and spending our last evening there at Roast.  It was a lovely meal with a great atmosphere and friendly staff. 

Michael Symon's Roast
Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
1128 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-2100

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Zahav [Society Hill] - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Zahav is an Israeli restaurant in the Society Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia.  They are the same owners of the famed Federal Donuts, with locations around the city.  L (my sis), A (my cousin) and I walked from her apartment for dinner during my last evening there last fall.  We met my bro-in-law, MK, there.  This is MK's favorite restaurant and I could see why.


I first saw Zahav on Anthony Bourdain's show, No Reservations, when he highlighted the city of Philadelphia.  He told his viewers about this wonderful roasted lamb shoulder that Zahav serves every night, but only in limited quantities.  My sis ensured that she made an early reservation so we can try it. 


The roasted lamb shoulder is part of a Zahav dinner package called Mesibah for $54.00 a person.  The package included an assortment of small salad plates (salatim), hummus with laffa (pita), small appetizer plates (mezze), and dessert.

Ready for the salatim?  Here we go.... oh, yeah.  Also, I just listed the names of the dishes below and did not describe every single one of them.  I tried mostly all of them and I will say, that none of them disappointed.  Everything that I tried was delicious.

Roasted eggplant

Tomatoes / onions / red peppers

Carrots with parsley

Braised beets

Pickled green beans

 
Pickled white cabbage

Hummus

Laffa - light, fluffy and warm


The chef brought out this delicious salad of kale, tahini, sliced pears and mushrooms.  It was fresh and amazing.  I loved the crunch of the fresh pears paired with the bitter greens.


The next dish was my ultimate favorite - cucumber, labneh cheese and tomatoes and Israeli seasonings. 

The servers kept bringing more and more dishes, keeping our tummies satisfied and we waited for the big finale of the roasted lamb shoulder.   Here are the small plates:


Kibbe Naya - raw lamb, corn, cucumber, mint, black garlic tahini, and bulgar wheat served with romaine lettuce leaves

I could have eaten the entire plate of this fried cauliflower dish.  The sauce is labneh, chive, dill, mint, and garlic.

Smoked sable in challah bread, fried egg in the middle, with pickled green beans

Grilled haloumi cheese

Cobia crudo with beets, grapefruit and serrano chili

.....and now, for the grand finale...


Here it is, the roasted lamb shoulder with glazed pomegranate and chickpeas with the crispy rice.  

Closer look at the crispy rice that complimented the succulent lamb very well.

We loved every single bite of it.  It was meaty and flavorful.  I loved the char from the caramelized glaze on the lamb.  The chickpeas were also crispy from the glaze and provided great texture.

Then, we received our desserts....

Pistachio tart with blackberries and pine nuts

Coffee cream with whipped cream and blueberries

Olive oil cake

Lastly, the baklava with candied watermelon rind

This meal was certainly a special treat for all of us.  We absolutely loved trying all the dishes here and the lamb was worth the wait.  The service was impeccable.  They also played a song from my favorite group of all time, A Tribe Called Quest, right before we left.  The party was just getting started there.  I will definitely be back here.

237 St. James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-8800

Sunday, January 24, 2016

[Recipe] Chicken Meatloaf



I have been on a poultry and seafood kick since October of last year and I am trying to limit myself on eating red meat (beef and pork - what, no bacon?!).  I decided to to make chicken meatloaf instead of the usual ground turkey meatloaf.  Ground chicken is generally cheaper than ground turkey at the grocery store, so I have been using it a lot on other recipes, like tacos, burgers, chili, etc.  I purchase all my meat from Sprout's Farmers Market, and there was a special on ground chicken breast, so I purchased a package that was about 2 1/2 pounds.  This recipe only calls for 2 pounds, so made a couple of ground chicken burger patties and stored it in the freezer for another quick meal.

Chicken Meatloaf 

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds ground chicken, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (I used 3/4 of a really large yellow onion)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • large pinch of salt and coarse black pepper

Sauce:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, onion, milk, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper (clean hands or a large spatula).

Using your hands, form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9" x 13" in baking dish or a foil lined baking dish (spray the foil with nonstick canola oil spray).   Sprinkle the top with another dash of salt and pepper.


In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Pour over the top of the meatloaf, spreading evenly. Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar over the top of sauce. Bake for about one hour and a half or until cooked through.  Let the loaf rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into it.


It may seem like a LOT of onion after you finely chop it up, but two pounds of ground meat is a lot of meat.  Your house will smell amazing while it is cooking and I guarantee that your mouth will water.  Ta-da... here is the final result.  I served it with homemade mashed potatoes (with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar), and organic baby romaine with creamy balsamic dressing.


Here is my original post for the No Fail, Turkey Meatloaf.

Happy cooking - enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Perry's Cafe Revisit - Loma Portal


Perry's Cafe is one of those restaurants that you see when you are passing through Interstate 8 or Interstate 5, driving near Old Town, or driving towards the Sports Arena, and you kind of just look at it, wonder about it, and never think twice about it.  That is how I felt for a LONG time now, but since my first visit here, I do really enjoy having breakfast here.  The lines are always long on the weekends, and because they are a breakfast/lunch place, it closes fairly early (6:00am to 2:00pm). Truthfully, it is a pretty far away from where we live, but when we have time off during the work week, M and I enjoy coming here.

We learned that from the last visit that the portions are huge, so we knew that we were going to split something.  Our game plan was this... short stack of pancakes and a frittata.  Perry's is known of their egg frittatas.  They have so many delicious variations of them.


Two fluffy buttermilk pancakes came in a short stack ($5.95).  Each pancake was bigger than my head.  It is served with warm syrup and a small portion of soft butter.  The pancake was soft, comforting and fresh.  It is a simple pancake done just right.  


This is the frittata of choice that we agreed upon.  Yum.  It is the Spinach Frittata ($10.25) that comes with lots of spinach, mushroom, bacon and mixed cheese.  We did not order it with the bacon, though.  We were supposed to ask for "light cheese" but we forgot.  Once we received it, we were like, "Mmm, cheese" and did not mind the cheesy goodness at all.


LOOK.  If you are a spinach lover, they really load it up with spinach.  Now, that's a spinach frittata! All frittatas come with a choice of bread and potato.  I wanted toasted sourdough, my favorite.  And, of course, hash browns!  They also offer blueberry or bran muffins and biscuits.  Instead of hash browns, they have home fries.  You can also opt for the tortillas and beans, instead too!  So many options. 

Our server insisted that we should have the frittata with their fresh salsa.  She was right.  They were amazing together (make a note).


Perry's Cafe is highly recommended for their breakfast.  They open at 6:00am and close at 2:00pm, so I suggest going really early for breakfast.  Expect long lines, but because I think they turn over the tables pretty quickly, I do not foresee groups waiting for that long.  It has been around for a long time, and it is family-owned and run by Perry, herself.  You will thank me!

Perry's Cafe
4610 Pacific Highway
San Diego, California 92110
(619) 291-7121

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

[Product Review] Holiday Gift Ideas from UncommonGoods



I am very excited to share with you a website called UncommonGoods, where they have really fun trinkets that can be described as, well, "uncommon."

UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 in Brooklyn, New York, and offers handcrafted gifts that are unique in design and items you cannot find at a regular, chained department store.  I describe UncommonGoods as a "virtual handcraft fair."  UncommonGoods provides a platform for artists and designers.  The company is committed to sustainability, which is something I value personally. Kudos to them!  About one-third of all of their products are made with recycled and/or upcycled materials.  They are also a founding B Corporation.  According to the Our Story section of their website, "the Certified B Corporation seal means that a company has undergone and passed a comprehensive screening questionnaire, which evaluates areas including company governance, environmental practices, and impacts on the local community."

I reviewed three items taken from the following categories:
Here is what I found from the Stocking Stuffers category....



Can you guess what it is?  Because I have holiday candy in there, a lot of people guessed it was an open "Santa bag".  It is an Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag ($16.50)!



Yup, now I will always have visitors in my office because of the candy.  They have all complimented how the candy jar is super cool-looking and have never seen anything like it.

Check out the entire list of all UncommonGoods stocking stuffers: http://www.uncommongoods.com/occasions/christmas-gifts/stocking-stuffers

The next item in this review is perfect for entertaining and perfect for those who love math (a.k.a. mathletes), like me....

i eight sum pi plates ($35.00).  WHAT?



These cute little plates are perfect for a little treat, especially for pie.  What you do is serve a slice of pie during the holidays and cover up the equation.  After your guests finish, they will see the equation!  You can have your guests decipher and solve the equation to see who the real 'mathlete' is.



Then, they can turn the plate over and see the answer.  I LOVE these plates.  The set comes with two dessert plates.  They would make a great gift for your math-loving friends.



You can find these plates and other cool gifts under $50.00 here:
http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-50

The final product I tried is 45 Second Omelet Maker ($25.00).   The diameter of the dish is only about 5 1/2 inches, so the omelet would be perfect on bagels and English muffins.



The picture of the UncommonGoods card at the beginning of this blog post is actually a "Maker Story" card for his dish.  Tony Holman is a master in pottery skills and creates his pottery masterpieces with functional and decorative shapes.  No two pieces are exactly alike since they are hand crafted.  So cool.

Here are the directions for the omelet dish.  I decided to make it more exciting by making my own omelet creation!  


I chopped up green bell pepper, yellow onions, and grabbed a large handful of organic baby spinach leaves.


I sauteed the onion and bell pepper in a saute pan with a little canola oil; added salt and pepper.  I added the spinach after a few minutes.


I beat one cage free egg in a small bowl.


After the vegetables cooled, I added half of it to the bowl with the beaten egg.  I sprayed the dish with canola oil spray before I poured the egg mixture into it.  


Here we go, 45 seconds in the microwave.


Ta-da!  Nice, huh?  Okay, because I think I overdid it with the vegetables (I think they weighed the egg down), that it was not done all the way through.  I put the dish in for another 30 seconds and it came out perfect!  Note, microwave times will vary.  It is all about trial and error.  Find the perfect time with your microwave and your ingredients.


Here is the cooked through egg.  Yum!  This is definitely BAGEL READY.  But, I did not have any bagels (booo), but I did serve it with my crispy potatoes and locally made sourdough.  Yum.


I tested the dish out without any ingredients and just the egg.  The dish worked perfectly, cooking the egg.  


I put the remaining vegetable mixture on top of the perfectly cooked egg.


You can find the 45 Second Omelet Dish and other gifts under $25.00 here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-25

UncommonGoods is a such a wonderful website to purchase special and unique items for your friends and family, especially for the holidays.  Browse the website because I guarantee you that you will find something you will love yourself or even love to give to someone.  Guess what?  It is not too late to purchase for the holidays!  Click here to see the 2015 holiday shipping information.

Thank you, UncommonGoods!

Happy Holidays!


**Disclaimer:  I was contacted by UncommonGoods and the items reviewed in this blog post were complimentary.  I was not compensated for writing this post.  All opinions and reviews written on this blog post are my very own.


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