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!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern - Point Loma

The food photography on the Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (JFAT) website is phenomenal.   Before I visited this restaurant for the first time, I already knew I was going to enjoy my experience based on the food pictures and by reading the menu and food descriptions.  Some of the menu items that made me drool are the jalapeno deviled eggs, warm homemade potato chips with blue cheese sauce, short rib hash (with tater tots, mind you), mussels and fries, and crunchy buttermilk onion rings with spicy chipotle ketchup.  Oh, my stomach just growled!

[outside patio of JFAT in Point Loma]

JFAT is such a simple name for a eatery.  I find that the name is synonymous with downright home cooking that is comforting and delicious.

[bar/inside the restaurant from the outside patio]

Because JFAT is one of the contenders on my burger quest, I met two Twitter friends, @LorenaNR and @malou_nievera, to enjoy JFAT for the first time.  Lorena is a friend and colleague of mine and Malou is a fellow local food blogger whose specialties are her delectable Filipino dishes.  I met these fabulous women on a Sunday afternoon in Point Loma during JFAT's brunch time.

Malou ordered the classic cheeseburger that comes with sharp cheddar cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and JFAT's secret sauce... and a side order of crunchy cole slaw.  All burgers have a side item choice of french fries, cole slaw, potato salad, or a simple green salad.  JFAT burgers are HUGE!

Lorena ordered a cup of their herbed organic tomato bisque and a half grilled 3-cheese sandwich.  Looking at the menu now, it looks like they offer the "Jimmy's Combo", which they didn't have on the menu when we visited, for $10:  cup of the tomato bisque, potato chips, green salad, and a half of a sandwich (grilled cheese, tuna melt, or a blue cheese slider).  Awesome - my kind of combo.  So many different flavors!

I also ordered the classic cheeseburger, cooked medium, with a side of french fries.  Yup, a burger quest candidate.... so here it is. *smile*

[sd bloggers *cheeeese*]

Now, I want to talk about the french onion burger.  We visited JFAT for dinner when Mike's dad and stepmom were in town.  Can I tell you that this burger is now ranked amongst one of my favorite tastes of all time?  It is so deliciously yummy...

This evening, I was craving a burger and ALL the ingredients that make up this piece of art sounded so delicious to me... Meyer Ranch All Natural Beef + melted gruyere cheese + french fried onions = JFAT's french onion burger.  Oh, plus their buns... mmm, there's something about these buns that make me smile.  Because I am a sucker for homemade potato chips, I substituted the french fries for these. 

[are you drooling yet?]

The gruyere cheese was nicely oozing on one side of the juicy beef patty and the burger was piled high with crispy french fried onions.  The brioche(?) bun was nice and soft... and warm.  Oh, boy... was I in heaven!!!  The potato chips were light and crispy.  I forgot to mention that the chips come with a warm blue cheese sauce for dipping.  *in heaven*  I don't even think I really talked during dinner because I was heavily concentrated on my burger -- I was in a happy zone. 

Note:  The french onion burger is no longer on the regular menu, but I sent a Twitter direct message to the staff at JFAT to inquire about the burger. They responded that since they have all the ingredients in the kitchen, the chefs may create it for you if you kindly ask. Yay!

It has been quite a while since I have been back to JFAT.  The menu has slightly changed from when they first opened, but everything on the menu makes me drool.  I will surely be back for tater tots for Sunday brunch!

Click on the JFAT events page for food specials like Sunday Champagne Brunch, Local Only Menu ($20 3-course meal), Jimmy's Combo, and Monday through Wednesday specials (all-you-can-eat honey buttermilk fried chicken!!!). 

My stomach just growled - again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

[Article] "Sharing Holiday Eats Often the Best Gift" - My HomeTown Eastlake Magazine

I am very excited to let you all know that I wrote my first published food article in my community magazine, called "My Hometown Eastlake", December issue.

I invite you all to check it out on their website:  Clicky

Please click on the "Digital Archive" drop down menu and located the 'December 2010' issue.  "Sharing Holiday Eats Often the Best Gift", is on page 21.

Thank you for all the support.

Happy holidays and happy eating!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Smashburger Media Events - Del Mar & Mission Valley

When the opening of Smashburger in La Jolla resulted in a whole bunch of Twitter peeps to tweet about it, the hype prompted me to try and find the best burger in San Diego -- therefore, the existence of the Burger Quest 2010.

[08.23.10 Smashburger Del Mar VIP Opening]

Smashburger is clearly on my burger quest list, so when Junvi, DiegoOnaDime.com, invited me to be her date at the Del Mar VIP Opening of Smashburger Del Mar, it was the perfect opportunity to rate their classic Smashburger and french fries.  What makes their hamburgers a true "Smashburger", according to their website, "Fresh, never frozen 100% Angus Beef [is] smashed, seared and seasoned on the grill."  Nice.

[follow @DiegoOnADime]

Junvi and I were both greeted by Dara of Elle Communications and she welcomed us to enjoy anything on the menu.  The Elle Communications PR staff was very friendly (and fashionable, if I may add). 

I ordered the classic Smashburger [American cheese, lettuce, tomato, fresh onion, pickles, ketchup, and their smash sauce - a type of thousand island]....

....and their smashfries, which are their fries tossed in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic.  They are served in cute little cones with their signature logo on parchment/wax paper.  Because I rated both the burger and fries for my quest, I am refraining from reviewing it. You can be the judge by visiting one of three locations here in San Diego.  *wink*

[classic Smashburger]

PROPS to the Smashburger staff for letting Junvi know that they have a "no meat"option on the menu besides eating just the smashsides (which what she was going to do).  They serve a black bean burger, which isn't on the San Diego menu online, but they do have one as an option.  Junvi ordered the burger along with a side of veggie frites.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the black bean burger.  I tried a piece of her "meat".  It tasted how I thought it would taste -- like black beans, which is a good thing because other restaurants try and 'mask' what the vegetarian item is supposed to be, like to try and recreate the taste of red meat using vegetables, whole grains, etc.  I enjoyed the flavor.

The veggie frites were not what we expected.  Even though the menu description stated that they are 'flash-fried', I expected them to be lightly battered and then fried -- similar to tempura vegetables.  They looked a little sad sitting on the silver dish when they were served to us.  The vegetables were not crisp and "fresh looking" anymore.  The asparagus was limp and tasted just okay.  I would prefer the vegetables to be steamed to maintain its crispiness and "right from the market" look. 

The final thing I wanted to try were the fried pickles.  I could not stop eating these.  They were addicting and like potato chips where I couldn't eat just one.  The pickles were fried to a perfect crisp.  They overseasoned the pickles once they came out of fryer, but still... I kept taking one, dipped it into the cool ranch dressing and popped it into my mouth.  Fried pickle after fried pickle.  I was full from the Smashburger and Smashfries but I told myself that I was just going to have one more.  And one more.  One last one.  OK, this one is it.

We called it a night after chatting it up with the lovely ladies of Elle Comm, including the CEO, Ms. Danielle, and Relationship Coordinator, Dara.

[10.12.10 Smashburger Media Invite : New Menu Items]

Dara from Elle Communications sent me an invitation to the Smashburger in Mission Valley to try their newest menu items this month:
  • Buffalo Smashchicken
  • BBQ Ranch Smashchicken
  • Avocado Club Smashchicken
  • Honey Mustard Chicken Smashsalad
  • BBQ Chicken Ranch Smashsalad

[they highlighted the entrees for us]

I invited my co-worker, Brian, to experience the new Smashchicken sandwiches with me.  We headed over to the Hazard Center on a Tuesday evening after work.

We arrived promptly at 6:00 PM when the event started and met Dara right outside of the restaurant.  After she greeted us, Dara told us to order one of the new menu items, a side, and a drink at the counter.  We also had to show the Smashburger staff our "media" menu upon ordering.

And so, Brian and I came up with our "eating plan" while waiting in line:
  • Buffalo smashchicken with grilled chicken
  • BBQ Ranch smashchicken with crispy chicken
  • Side of haystack onions
  • Side of regular french fries
Our plan was that we split each chicken salad and share the smashsides.

[Voila....buffalo chicken goodness]

Our orders arrived promptly and very quick.  We received a nice portion of the haystack onions (which Brian apparently loved saying) and the stack was accompanied by a side of their onion ring dipping sauce.

The grilled chicken breast on the Buffalo smashchicken was slathered by a thin layer of Frank's delicious buffalo sauce and TONS of crumbly bleu cheese.  The chicken was cooked perfectly.... it was juicy.  The only thing is that the bleu cheese overpowered all the flavors of the sandwich that I could only eat a couple of bites. 

The haystack onions were very delicious.  Crispy, straight out from the fryer, with the right hint of salt.... nothing else to say about these babies.  They were really good.

 [BBQ ranch smashchicken with regular fries]

The BBQ Ranch smashchicken was DELICIOUS.  The combination of the texture of the crispy chicken, saltiness of the bacon, tanginess of the bbq sauce and coolness of the ranch sauce, fresh tomato, and lettuce was perfect.  I liked it better because of the fried chicken breast.  Although I do eat grilled boneless chicken breast at home often, I prefer the fried stuff outside of our household. *smirk*

 [Three... yes, THREE strips of bacon!]

[fries were thin cut & yummy]

[10.28.10 Smashburger Lunch with Elle Communications]

[follow @DaraBuPR]

Dara invited me to lunch at the Smashburger Mission Valley to try out a few of menu items that I did not get to sample at my initial two visits.  We met for lunch on a lovely weekday afternoon.  I also got to try out our new camera for food shots. 

Dara convinced me to try the Oreo milkshake as a special treat (and our appetizer since it came out before the food did).  It was heavenly delicious.  It was cold, thick and creamy and full of the Oreo flavor that I enjoy so much.

THIS was one of the main reasons we got together -- the honey mustard chicken smashsalad.  I can eat this all day.  Crispy chicken (you can get it with grilled chicken too), field greens, red onion, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, and their creamy honey mustard dressing.  It was very filling and a great "lunch" salad for those on a go.  This size was the full size and it was more than enough for sharing (since we had more food coming!).

We both order the black bean burger with melted pepper jack cheese -- and San Diego style, per the recommendation of Dara.  A San Diego style sandwich comes with fresh cilantro & onions, avocado, lettuce, and a drizzle of sour cream & chipotle mayo.  The burger was really good.  As I mentioned before [above at the Del Mar opening], I love the taste of black beans and what I was eating was a simple black bean patty.  Combined with the flavors of Mexico, it was absolutely divine.  I'd order this burger again in a heartbeat -- yes, coming from some who adores meat.  Note:  Dara pointed out to me that this burger is a "no meat" option and not a vegetarian entree since they grilled them on the same flat top as the burgers.

The owner of all the Smashburger locations in San Diego sat and joined us for a while.  He suggested that we try their spicy chipotle roll as a bun alternative for their smashburgers and smashchicken sandwiches.  I took a bite and although it was very flavorful with spices, it was a bit too spicy for me. 

Our final taste were the sweet potato fries, which was one smashside I did not get to sample yet.  No one can really mess up sweet potato fries and Smashburger surely did not.

My reviews of Smashburger were definitely overdue.  I personally would like to thank Elle Communications, especially Ms. Dara, for hosting such wonderful restaurant events.  I look forward to more!
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