Girls on Food

Breakfast

Fairy Tale Ending: 3 Little Figs in Somerville, MA

In Somerville, Massachusetts, on the outskirts of Boston sits a picturesque cafe cute enough to live up to the children’s story it is cleverly named after. 3 Little Figs, has much more than figs.

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Amazing Greek yogurt

3 Little Figs

278 Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02143

617-623-3447

Home

I have been frequenting the coffee shop ever since I moved to the area last summer. It has proved to be a great place for hot or cold drinks, supplying me with the caffeine fix through out New England’s long and miserable winters and hot and humid summers.

True to the area’s diversity and Somerville’s vast ethnic food scene, 3 Little Figs makes delicious Greek inspired dishes from the traditional Spanikopita to a sandwich with Haloumi cheese.

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Spinach Pie

The egg and feta breakfast sandwich on a brioche roll has been my go to weekend brunch item. They also have decadent and amazing pastries. The lavender biscuit and blueberry coffee cake are among my favorites. While they serve Gimme Coffee from not too far away in Ithica, New York, they use milk from right here in Massachusetts.

They don’t allow customers to use their wifi on the weekends or even bring laptops, so customers can chill out and not worry about work. But for Monday – Friday, this is a great place to cram before a test or get your food blogging done.

Espresso Yourself: The Seed in Boca Raton

Doing freelance work offers many perks, but one of the downsides is alone time. Lots of alone time. To break the monotony of going from the bedroom to “the office” in my pajamas, I decided to hit a local coffee shop. That’s when I stumbled across The Seed.IMG_20150624_092939

The Seed

199 W Palmetto Park Rd, Ste E

Boca Raton, FL 33432

561.430.5640

http://www.theseedboca.comIMG_20150624_093313

The Seed is located in Boca Raton and it’s a place with just the right ambiance for someone looking to get work done while still interacting with the community. This place is close enough to hit the scene at Boca hotspots like Mizner Park, but far enough away that you don’t feel sucked into the local hustle of the area.

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The Seed is owned by good friends Carly and Rachel. On this particular morning, I met Anna Kae. She is one of the bakers here and she makes a mean banana coffee cake. Since this was my first time at the quaint coffee house, I asked her for a recommendation. She quickly referred me to the banana coffee cake. Thing is, I do not like bananas and usually avoid anything banana flavored but she was so convincing that I went for it. So glad I did.

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The banana coffee cake is to die for! This goodie had walnuts and small chunks of banana with a cinnamon crunch topping that marries the savory cake with a light, crunchy texture. For someone who does not like banana flavored anything, I ate the entire thing and enjoyed every second of it.

I ordered a macchiato, which is two ounces of espresso with one ounce of almond milk, to go with my banana coffee cake. Not having much prior experience with espresso, (I’m a black coffee kind of gal) I had no idea how much caffeine I was about to put into my body. Let’s just say that I got a lot of work done as a result.

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Even though the Boca Raton coffee shop is local, Kae has branched out to get her baked greats (because they are so much more than ‘good’) to people outside of the area. If you are in the market for killer banana coffee cake, gluten free muffins or any other baked treat, then you can contact her here. Any snowbirds in town for the winter should be sure to drop by to see Rachel and Carly at The Seed in Boca Raton, FL. Be sure to try their smoothies as well. Tell them GoF Mo sent you!

Bonnie’s DIY Tomato Veg Cocktail

VIRGIN....or, VODKA???
VIRGIN?….or, VODKA???

Oh, those lazy days of summer!

Every now and then I like to take a little time to read a book, sip a cocktail, and enjoy our beautiful backyard – completely ignoring the pile of shirts that need ironing and the carpets that need vacuuming.

Fiddle-dee-dee! Like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about it tomorrow.

My beverage of choice today is a Tomato Veg Cocktail. Yes, I could have had a V8, or even bought Bloody Mary Mix. But I like to know what’s in my food, so I created my own version.

TOMATO-VEG COCKTAIL
TOMATO-VEG COCKTAIL

I wish I could say that all you have to do is throw everything in a blender and push the button. Unfortunately, it’s a little more work than that. The veggies need to be cooked for about 20 minutes so they puree better.

The other bit of work is strictly up to you and your preference. Tomatoes and red peppers both have skins that don’t completely break down, even in a high powered blender. What you end up with is lots of skin slivers. Also, the strings on the celery spine should be removed. These things are not necessarily bad – in fact, they add a little more fibre. However, I prefer my Tomato Veg Cocktail without the bits.

PEELING A TOMATO:

peeling tomatoTo remove seeds, cut the tomato in half horizontally and poke your finger into the crevasses. Firmly grasp each half in your palm, cut side facing out, and shake out the seeds.

PEELING A PEPPER:

peeling pepper

REMOVING CELERY STRINGS:

peeling celery

TOMATO-VEG COCKTAIL – makes about 3¾ cups

  • 1½ lbs tomatoes (2 large), skinned, seeded, and chopped in large chunks
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 T red beet, skinned & chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, sliced & packed
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, peeled & chopped
  • 3 stalks chopped celery, strings removed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups water
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1½ T vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Put the tomato, carrot, beet, spinach, parsley, red pepper, celery, onion, and water into a large saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook for 20 minutes. Stir now and then. Turn off burner and let mixture cool with cover on.

Pour into a blender or food processor and purée. Add in lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire, and sea salt. Blend on low speed. Adjust seasonings, if needed.

Refrigerate until it’s super cold.

Cheers!

YOGURT MADE IN A THERMOS? Crazy….Like A Fox!!!

Bonnie enjoying a little homemade yogurt!
Bonnie enjoying a little homemade yogurt!

Who makes their own yogurt?  I DO!

Why? Because it’s healthier than store bought (look at the list of ingredients on nearly every carton – yuck)! Plus, I’m frugal (okay, cheap!).

Yogurt is good for you in so many ways, such as boosting the immune system, helping the digestive tract with good bacteria, and adding needed calcium to our diets (Hear that, ladies?).

I make it in a thermos, which is the perfect medium for growing a culture since the temperature remains constant. It’s super easy and, once you get into the routine of making it, you’ll always have pure, healthy yogurt at the ready. You can watch my how-to video by clicking HOMEMADE YOGURT IN A THERMOS.

A word of warning – homemade yogurt can be an acquired taste since it doesn’t contain all the sugars and thickeners that companies add to make it sweet. So, just add your own fruit or granola, if you don’t like the tartness of plain yogurt.

While the actual amount of work time is about 15 minutes, the cooling and incubation bring the total time to about 13 1/2 hours. So, DO THE MATH! Start the yogurt when you’ll be available to remove it from the thermos.

CREAMY HOMEMADE YOGURT!
CREAMY HOMEMADE YOGURT!

NOTE:  Put aside enough plain yogurt to start your next batch before adding in the goodies.

HOMEMADE YOGURT:  Makes 32 oz

  • 1 quart milk (I use nonfat)
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup PLAIN yogurt (either from your last batch or purchased)

–  Heat liquid and powdered milks in a saucepan to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

–  Prime 32 oz thermos with hot water.

–  When milk cools to 110 degrees F, gently stir in yogurt.

–  Empty water from thermos and pour in milk. (Use a funnel – trust me on this!)

–  Cap the thermos and set aside UNDISTURBED for about 12 hours. The length of time depends on your taste preference – the longer the incubation, the tarter the yogurt.

–  Remove yogurt from thermos and refrigerate.

Be sure and check out my blog, VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES BLOG.

On The Road: Catskill Mountain Foodie High

Memorial Day Weekend: American Flags, cheap beer, BBQ’s. and truncated
weekends away with family and friends.  I journeyed to the vacation destination of my youth.  Nestled near the town of Catskill is The Baliwick Discovery Zoo, a place I highly recommend for animal lovers with a hankering to hand carrots to capuchins and camels.   I worked up an appetite feeding this big guy way too many of my farm fresh carrots.
Megan meets Camel, Megan feeds camel, carrot goooooood
Baliwick Ranch and Discovery Zoo
118 Castle Road
Catskill, NY 12414
(518) 678-5665
As you can see, I make the camels work for it.  Obviously, nothing spells stretching your arm repeatedly over a dirt moat like some good old fashioned greasy pizza.  Luckily, I didn’t have to drive very far to find the perfect place.  Just down the road a bit is Angela’s Pizzeria and Brewery.
The out-side of Angela’s
Angela’s Pizzeria & Brewery
4545 NY Route 32
Catskill, NY 12414
(518) 678-9275
I remember this destination as The Pioneer Pancake House back in the late eighties, early nineties.   After missing my annual jaunt a few years running I was pleasantly surprised to visit this restaurant and find the unique and interesting transition from pancake palace to Italian hot spot, to hybrid pizzeria brewery.  The menu is extensive and full of palatable choices.
To split we ordered a massive calzone and pizza with the full intention that leftovers would abound and we couldn’t have been more right.  With five different fillings, it was tight between The Godfather Calzone brimming with ricotta, ham, salami, pepperoni and mozzarella and The Calzone De La Casa with ricotta, roasted garlic, sausage, spinach and mozzarella. We ended up going with the latter. The large version of this dish was half the size of a small table top.
Calzone the size of half a pizza
Their specialty pizza featuring such fetching items as The Garlic Knot Pie and The Bambino, loaded with meatballs, extra cheese made it harder to choose than agreeing to the right finalist for the third season of American Idol.  We settled on The C.B.R. with grilled chicken, bacon ranch dressing and Mozzarella.  It. Was. Delicious.  If anything, the only thing wrong with Angela’s Pizzeria & Brewery is that it isn’t closer to NYC, so I can call them on Friday and have them deliver to me.  Actually, given my recent decision to train for a half marathon maybe I don’t want that.
 However, their Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company travels to beer festivals closer to home.  They had three of their beers available on tap which all had an excellent rich flavor
that paired nicely with the pizza.  I requested the most popular which was the Kiskatom Brown Ale.  Inspired by the local Native American Mohican word for hickory nut, or Kiskatom it’s a dark brown ale with a hint of nuttiness and chocolate malt.  I followed it with The Mamma Mia Maibock which suggests the name comes from the fact that after a
couple of these beverages you’ll coo “mama mia”……due to the high alcohol content after a couple of these you may cry “a cab, a cab, my kingdom for a cab”.  All joking aside, I think The Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company has a very bright future and if you happen upon a
local beer festival and see their name stop by and try it out.  You won’t be disappointed.  Better yet, if you’re looking for a quiet off road destination consider visiting The Catskill region and making a pit stop.  Their growlers of The Rip Van Winkle will leave you growling for more.
Take It To Go

 

On the second day, I traveled down to the land of peace, love, and floor length bohemian dresses.  Woodstock has become a destination for city folk and upstate locals alike.  I chose to sample two of their foodtractions.  For brunch we stopped at Oriole 9, a quaint packed little joint featuring farm to table entrees brimming with rich bold flavors.

 

The out-side of Oriole 9
Oriole 9
17 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
12498
(845) 679-5763
Upon entering, it features three massive chalkboards that give the diners the option to answer the question, before I die….  My favorite response was the person who wanted the iPhone 5C, they obviously didn’t place enough faith in their longevity.

 

I opted for The Italian Breakfast which was two eggs, any style, garlic toast, sofrito sauce served with a side salad.  It had a twinge of spice and obeyed the mission statement of the restaurant by all being very fresh.

Oriole 9’s Italian Breakfast
As a side, I couldn’t help myself from sampling the falafel.  I’m a sucker for Mediterranean cuisine.  A plate of olives and hummus will keep me happy for days.  The falafel was crisp with a nice dab of tziki.
falafel
The coffee mugs were like something out of a Friend’s episode.  Massive and inviting, there is an extensive selection of brews to choose from.  I was very tempted to delve into the Affogato, espresso and home made vanilla ice-cream but as I looked at my watch which was still very much before 12pm reason set in and instead ordered Cafe con Panna: espresso with homemade whip cream.
Cafe con Panna: delicioso!!
After peering up at the daily board of specials I noted they had a rhubarb pie, I asked after it and the waitress immediately suggested instead their homemade dutch apple.  When in Rome, I had to say yes. The dutch apple pie was served with a scoop of their fresh vanilla ice-cream so I guess I surrendered to early morning ice-cream temptation after all.
Dutch apple pie with homemade vanilla ice-cream
After letting my stomach rest for all of two hours.  I happened upon a Food Network celebrity right in the midst of my vacation paradise.  Could I ask for anything more?
A groovy cupcake establishment
Peace, Love, & Cupcakes
 54F Tinker Street
PO Box 594
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 247-3687
I decided to take some of her Food Network award winning old fashioned chocolate cake with yummy rich chocolate frosting and yet another award winning delicacy, The Hippie Chipper Sandwich Cookie.    Two cookies with a creamy peanut butter pretzel truffle filling.  It was rich and delightful.  It’s the kind of cookie that you split with a friend.  The next time you’re looking for a little peace, love, and flavor for days stop by this adorable bakery right off the man street in Woodstock.
One of my final food pit stops came at a diner right out of a Coca Cola ad.  Betty’s Place is as traditional as Sunday night dinner, and when you’re looking for cuisine slapped right off the griddle and onto your hot plate look no further.
So quaint, your grandma might come out that door any minute

 

Betty’s Place

1122 Main Street

Leeds, NY 12451

(518) 943-1266

 

Burger Challenge!!!
No off the road upstate eatery is complete without a drumroll please!  Eating challenge!!  After consuming fifteen chili taco’s in an hour at Taco King in West Hempstead, NY I have my eyes set on other ways to lovingly torture my tonsils.  Total disclosure, I have competed and indeed won myself a t-shirt and a place on the Betty’s Big Mouth Burger hall of fame.  However, they recently moved all the old Polaroids into a photo album and there’s always room for improvement.  If you’re looking for a food challenge and an afternoon of feeling like you have a burger baby in your belly try this.  You’ll have the t-shirt to prove your prowess and a place on their wall of fame.
Maple Walnut Pancakes
Betty’s specializes in their breakfasts and it’s nothing short of good down home diner cooking at it’s finest.  I suggest you try their delicious maple walnut pancakes.  The portions are big so if you stop here  plan to eat very little the rest of the day or have space for the to go bag in the backseat.
Traditional Hungry Man

This summer, whether you need a daycation or a few days of R&R take a break and visit The Catksills.  With a plethora of lazy activities as well as dishes to brag to your friends about it’s worth the two hour car ride.  Just don’t leave your growler of Rip Van Winkle brew behind, you’ll be wanting that when you get back to the chaos of home.

Cody’s La Jolla: Brunch With a View

Cody’s La Jolla

8030 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, CA92037
Open 8-3 daily
Breakfast offered until 11
Brunch options all day
Cody’s delivers everything you want out of a beachside spot, offering breakfast, lunch, and all day brunch options, and best of all a killer view of La Jolla. So many of the breakfast options looked tempting, I will definitely be heading back early to be able to access those, and to get in on their boozy beverages I missed this visit. I suggest all you San Diegans check it out, just head over on a weekday so you can linger a while, and follow it up with a hike or some sea lion viewing!
Healthy Breakfast Salad with a View
Even though every part of me wanted to indulge, I found some sort of willpower and went with a menu option I had never seen before but piqued my interest:
The Healthy Breakfast Salad.
This was a light and crisp option, perfect for mid day; with spinach and mixed greens, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, and asparagus, and topped with sonoma chèvre,  two poached eggs and tossed in a light and tangy lemon basil vinaigrette.
I have never been a poached egg person, but this salad made me a believer, and left me room to indulge in too many bites of my friend’s french toast.
Awesome French Toast
 Heather has a french toast addiction, and I’m definitely not mad about it. While originally deciding on pancakes, they unfortunately weren’t available, but I’d hardly call this french toast settling. Thick slices of challah with candied walnuts, fresh strawberries, and marscapone honey butter, it was everything you want from brunch.
The important job of instagramming french toast
Followed by a hike on the cliffs and this insane view
Pretty perfect for a Wednesday afternoon!

The Catbird Seat

The Catbird Seat 
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN
thecatbirdseatrestaurant.com
Your adventure begins thirty days out at midnight, when they open up the reservations online. Yes, you should wait up for this. The thirty-two seat restaurant fills up fast! Once you book all you need to do is show up a month later, prepared to be swept away by three hours of fabulous food, drink and five-star treatment by some of the best chefs on the planet.
The menu is ever-changing so your experience will be different but here’s a peek at the kinds of delights that await you from the night I was sittin’ pretty in The Catbird Seat…
Savory “Oreo”
porcini mushroom cookie with parmesan cream filling

For me, it was love at first sight. This grew stronger with the first bite. Apparently I’m a sucker for clever, delicious takes on popular snack foods because I fell hard for you right away with this one Catbird. And it just got better from there.

Left: Scallop Cone (parmesan cream, roe, chive)
Middle: Jelly Roll (jalapeno jelly, cream cheese)
Right: Hot Chicken (crispy hot chicken skin with Wonder Bread purée)

Picture a scallop, in every form you’ve ever eaten one. Now, picture turning it into a waffle cone. Insane, yes? And incredible. As was the whimsical jelly roll and their version of the Nashville favorite “hot chicken.”

Heart of Palm Salad
coconut, pineapple, habanero, nasturtium
  
Pairing: Joel Falmet Brut Rose – Champagne, France
Sake Cocktail
TY KU, gin, ginger, lemon

As you enjoy the last of your champagne a new cocktail promptly arrives to accompany the rich dish below. My favorite sip of the evening.

Monkfish Liver
steel head roe, spring onion, ponzu, cucumber, avocado
   
Shrimp & Onion
truffle, celery, crispy potato, lemon, tarragon

Pairing: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi “Podium,” Garofoli 2009
Grilled Chicken
red pepper, broccoli, oyster mushroom, pea purée

Pairing: Penner-Ash Pinot Noir 2010 – Willamette, OR

This was a crowd favorite. The chicken was deboned and pressed together mixing the white and dark meat so you get a bit of both.

Veal Tender
swiss chard, potato, oyster cream agnolotti, parsley, lemon 

Pairing: Le Grand Bouqueteau Reserve Chinon 2009 – France

I know the veal is supposed to be the star of the show here but the oyster cream agnolotti with lemon dots completely upstage it. Two of the most memorable bites of the evening.

Hudson Red
mustard seeds, fried shallots, cornichon, honey vinegar, 
beer & pretzel mustard
   
Pairing: Shneider Weisse, Hopfen-Weisse – Germany

This was the most stunning cheese dish I’ve had in quite some time. It’s a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that is incredibly rich, elevated by all of the flavors on top.

Coconut
Coconut – Inside
milk chocolate ice cream, coconut, eucalyptus crisp,
sweet plantain, tangerine
Egg
bacon, maple, thyme, custard 
Bourbon
pineapple gelee, vanilla cake, cherry crisp, 
charred oak ice cream, bourbon beads
   
Pairing for Desserts: Royal Tokaji 2008 in a glass soaked with
Black Maple Hill Bourbon

The entire night I couldn’t help but feel that this restaurant just completely gets me, as if they had me in mind when designing the menu. This feeling grew stronger at the tail end of the dinner, when they served cheese followed by three courses of dessert.

The filling in the coconut, unexpected and refreshing. The bacon in the egg, paper thin and delicate. The bourbon beads, a playful surprise. And wine in a bourbon-soaked glass? Genius.
Sweet “Oreo”
chocolate cookie with espresso cream
Oh, and before you go they end the meal as cleverly as they began it – with a parting Oreo, this time sweet.

LA Eats: Huckleberry, Milo & Olive

A short trip to LA made me fall hard for their cuisine, so much so that I was dreaming of my next trip on the plane ride home. Here’s a peek at two of my favorites…
Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe
1014 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
huckleberrycafe.com
 
If I lived in LA this is where you would find me every weekend. It’s not exactly a hidden gem so you have to be prepared to fight the crowd a bit. And wait. Don’t be intimidated by the full seats and long line though. They take your order in line and by the time you pay a table usually opens up. At least, it did for me both days I brunched. (Yes, I went here two days in a row on a three day trip. Unheard of if you know me. It’s that good.)
Quiche – Tomato, Bacon, Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash
I’m a quiche snob and this little bite from the pastry case did not disappoint. A perfect treat to share along with your breakfast.
“Green Eggs & Ham” – LaQuercia Prosciutto, Pesto and  Arugula on a House Made English Muffin
Breakfast Burrito – Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Onions, Fiscalini Cheddar, Roasted Potatoes, Guacamole, Creme Fraiche and Tomatillo Salsa
These two don’t look like much but underneath that pile of arugula and inside that simple toasted tortilla are fabulous flavors that promise to delight. It’s simple food done very well. And for me, that’s the definition of a perfect brunch.
Milo & Olive
2723 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
miloandolive.com
After a late brunch and a bike ride along the beach a friend and I found ourselves famished just before the dinner hour, which is apparently not allowed in LA where every restaurant closes down from 2:30pm to 6pm. After an exhaustive search for decent afternoon eats we remembered that Huckleberry has a sister restaurant! This little cafe with a wood fired oven ended up being my favorite surprise of the trip.
Crostini – Smashed Avocado, Roasted Beet, Ricotta Salata
I’ll admit, this is a strange combination. Paired with their fabulous homemade bread though, I would devour just about any topping. Luckily, this proved to be a delightful dish that I should never have doubted.
Free Range Chicken Meatballs – Tomato Sauce, Arugula, Red Onion
Our server recommended this favorite and it was hard to resist paired with the garlic knot below. If you dine here, order both. I haven’t stopped thinking about them since and am going to attempt to recreate this meal in my kitchen.
Wood Fired Garlic Knot – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Stuffed with a handful of heavenly roasted garlic!

Oh, garlic knot. You may be the best thing I’ve tasted this year. Pizza dough, roasted garlic, olive oil. So simple! And yet, shockingly good. The menu warns of a 20 minute wait but don’t let that deter you. Sit back, munch on some starters, sip on champagne and wait… to be blown away.

Meatless Monday: Brunch at Cafecito Bogota

Cafecito Bogota
1015 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Brunch in New York City is like buying a metro card, you just have to do it. I mean, don’t we all need a great excuse to why we’re stumbling down the street drunk at 5 pm from a “all you can drink” mimosa brunch? My boyfriend and I enjoy getting out once a week to do just this. And I have to tell you, NYC doesn’t come up short when it comes to brunch.
Cafecita Bottega 1

This week brought us to Cafecito Bogota, nestled in the quiet Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. For $16.50, you get two drinks (either a mimosa or sangria) and a bottomless cup of hot tea or coffee, AND your breakfast. Such a deal. They also have a selection of fresh juices made in house, today being guava, passion fruit, or orange/kiwi. I went with a guava mimosa, and my boyfriend tried their housemade sangria. The guava mimosa was a lovely change from boring old orange juice. The white wine sangria was fabulous as well, with passion fruit and crisp chunks of red and green apple. I enjoyed the fact that it was obviously made that day.

Cafecita Bogota

I had the Tortilla Colorada, which was a three egg omelet with corn and a harmonious mix of red pepper and paprika, topped with queso blanco. The corn was an unfamiliar but delightful addition. The eggs tasted like you would make them at home. En lieu of homefries or breakfast potatoes was a mixed green salad with a basic Italian dressing and chopped banana…AND and arepa…topped with cheese…YUM.

If you aren’t sure what an arepa is, it’s a Colombian staple made of ground corn dough. It kind of tastes like a crumpet made of polenta. There are arepa bars all over NYC, and they use it as sandwich bread. You can also buy them in grocery stores back here as well. I don’t hear much about them on the west coast, sadly. Here it was simply served as a side dish for my omelet. Delish.

Cafe Bogota2

Next we tried the Punta Verde, another one of their vegetarian options, which was caramelized tofu sauteed beautifully with string beans and pesto, all resting on top of an arepa. I was unsure what to expect when we ordered it, but it was a welcome surprise. It was absolutely delicious.Cafecito Bogota Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bay Area Bites: Tea Room Cafe & Sol Food

My little sister just got married! (Congrats Lacey!!) The event brought me back to the Bay for an unforgettable day of fun and, of course, fabulous food.

Tea Room Café
316 Western Ave

Petaluma, CA

tearoomcafe.com 
An incredible breakfast kicked off the day’s events…
johnnycake – savory green chile & cheddar cheese corn cake

Their johnnycake is basically my dream version of corn bread – thin and crispy, full of flavor with the chiles. This should be on every breakfast menu, a perfect shared starter before your main course…

avocado omelet w/goat cheese, tomato & basil
roasted potatoes, toast w/homemade apricot jam
A perfect omelet. I’ve been here twice and ordered this both times. The goat cheese is fantastic. In fact, a helpful tip – if you’re in Petaluma, order anything with goat cheese. If there’s more than one item featuring this local delight, order them all!
Fast forward eight hours – laughs, toasts, makeup, dress up, photos, vows, rings, the kiss!, tears, smiles, more toasts – to dinner…
Sol Food – Puerto Rican Cuisine
901 Lincoln Ave
San Rafael, CA
solfoodrestaurant.com
baked chicken thighs marinated in oregano & garlic vegetable casserole  frijoles negros – black beans simmered with peppers, onions and cilantro habichuelas rosadas – pink beans stewed with herbs and Spanish olives mixed greens with lemon-garlic dressing steamed rice with Pique – homemade hot sauce maduros – the world’s most delicious sweet fried yellow plantains!
This is hands down the best wedding food I’ve ever tasted. Everyone was blown away, I can’t wait to visit their restaurant!
And, like every perfect day, it ended with something sweet. I’ve raved about Sift cupcakes here before but they deserve another mention for this adorable display.
The cake was their “Battle Royale” and the cupcakes are all on my favorites list from the previous post, including the “Stud Muffin.” Yes, my sister ordered the beer cake topped with bacon for her special day. That’s my girl!

A City and it’s Brunch: Austin

Brunch is the highlight and kick off of Austin weekends. Whether it is a post run taco stop, a late brunch after sleeping in, or a kick off to your weekend activities. Austin does brunch, we do it well, and we take it seriously.


Tacodeli

tacodeli.com

The line out the door proves my point.

Breakfast tacos will inspire a big debate among many Austinites. Everyone has their own opinion on who has the best breakfast taco. My favorite and dare I say the best in town are at Tacodeli.

Organic Eggs, Papas, Portobella, on Corn

 

Tacodeli prides themselves on serving local and organic produce, meats, and seafood. They have great specialty tacos, but my favorite combo is grilled portobella mushrooms, Papa’s (creamy mexican mashed potatoes), and eggs all piled on a corn tortilla. I have experimented with other combos, but my addiction to this creation is bordering on an obsession. After running, this is what I crave. It may not look pretty, but it is delicious.

 


    
 

Yellow Jacket Social Club

yellowjacketsocialclub.com

Yellow Jacket Social Club is an eastside bar with a great vibe, a tree covered patio, and live music on the weekends. In the morning they are back in action slinging Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, and cooking up a delicious brunch. The chef here blows me away with his Shrimp and Grits.The grits are made with homemade shrimp stock. I would say these are now the best grits in town.

Tofu Scramble
Deviled Eggs

 

Then there is Perla’s…
perlasaustin.com
Beautiful atmosphere, amazing oysters, fresh seafood flown in daily, and amazing brunch cocktails. Its definitely my favorite celebration brunch spot.

Lobster & Egg White Fritatta
Oyster Shooter with Tito’s
Lobster Stock, Cheddar, & Green Onion Grits

 

 

Hush Puppies

 

Lobster Omelette
The Filibuster
Salted Butterscotch Pots De Creme

Battle in Seattle: Bakery Nouveau v.s. Nook

Growing up a total McDonald’s kid, I still get random cravings for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. I try to make my own breakfasts as much as possible but I’ve been super lazy this week.  I decided to try some hot breakfast sandwiches and make them battle to the death.

Bakery Nouveau 
4737 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

Bakery Nouveau is a West Seattle bakery the serves bread, all kinds of desserts, sandwiches and even pizzas. Whenever you walk by there is a line out the door and plenty of tourists snapping Instagram photos (not just me!). The desserts and here pizza are amazing but I was there for the Junction croissant.

The Junction croissant is stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham and melted cheese. It tastes amazing and I love that the scrambled eggs were moist and well seasoned, but it’s a little complicated if you’re on the go. The croissant ends flake everywhere and the inside goodies spill all over. It’s not something I would eat on the way to work, but I had time to dine in I would for sure.
Another slight bummer I had with this place is the service. Their employee handed me the croissant while it was luke warm so I asked for it to be heated. She assured me it was hot and it so wasn’t so I had her heat it up and I could she was a little irritated.

nook

4754 University Way NE
(between 47th St & 50th St)

Seattle, WA 98105This woman should totally look into print modeling, am I right? Yes, I asked permission to take this picture and she posed.

nook is a little vintage inspired biscuit bakery in the U district of Seattle. They are primarily known for their biscuits and gravy, but since I was on-the-go I got a biscuit sandwich with ham, brie and arugula pesto. The biscuit held it self together well, it didn’t flake off. The brie melts perfectly with the thick cut ham, but the arugula pesto added a nutty flavor to it that made it stand out for me. The girl working the counter was also super patient asked I asked her a million questions about their other options. That gives them a boost.

AND THE WINNER IS…….

nook. It’s yummy, doesn’t flake and they have nice service.