Do you ever wonder where the word burger derived? I decided to look it up and sure enough Hamburg, Germany is the home of the first hamburger, made from a Hamburg steak (this blend consists of three muscles: chest, shoulder, and back). German immigrants in New York brought the steak into restaurants, then it naturally took a turn during the Industrial Revolution and became more Americanized. It was served first to industrial workers as a “steak” from a food cart. Workers found it hard to eat while standing so this unknown innovator decided to put the meat between two slices of bread. How ingenious, right?
Growing up burgers have always been revered as America’s favorite food. I grew up first with Mc Donald’s, In-N-Out, Carl’s Junior, Jack In The Box, Burger King and Fat Burger. I thought those were the best back then. Then over the years Umami, Fuddruckers, Five Guys, Smashburger, Steak N’ Shake and Shake Shack emerged and elevated the burger game.
Now there’s a new player in Southern California that has been around for seven years, Burger City Grill. I went to their newest location in Torrance, which has been open since January 2017. What’s great about this fast food restaurant is that you have the choice to build your own Hamburger or to choose from the preset menu. Always good to keep options open.
South Bay favorite The Standing Room will be serving an original creation, Tako Poke Tacos, which we’re the most excited for. We predict this taco—a blue corn tortilla topped with smoked octopus, tobiko, ikura and chives—will be the most innovative bite there.
General admission per person is $35, but if you use the discount code THRILLISTVIP at check out, you get $5 off. Just a little gift from Girls on Food. #yourewelcome
Traditionally this event takes place in NYC but it’s about time Thrillist brought it to LA! Not trying to start a Tupac vs Biggie feud here, but SoCal really is the home of the best Mexican street food in the U.S.
For out-of-towners, I will be live on our Instagram stories feed providing you with footage of the event. But if you’re in LA and at the event, be sure to say hi!
One of the most iconic neighborhoods in Mexico City is La Condesa-Roma, which used to be a hacienda during colonialism but in the 20th century started to change along with the fracture of the hacienda and the expansion of the city. Its narrow streets are filled with small businesses and a combination of tourists, hipsters that live in the area, and the old timers, which combine to make this area of the city feel vibrant, fun, diverse, and forever changing.
You can now find libraries, art galleries, bars, nightclubs, antique stores, offices, and of course, hundreds of restaurants. Mexican, Italian, German, ice cream shops, vegan, French, Japanese, Chinese, American, Spanish, bakeries… that’s just a few examples of the cuisine you’ll find here! They’re also almost always great and no chains. The owners might be in the restaurant, and a lot of them like to get creative with their business. You can find amazing experiences in this area.
I headed down to Pennsylvania to catch The Three Musketeers in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival playing now through August 6th. It was a spirited evening of Muskateering which turned out to be a super funny and well produced show. Anyone in the area should swashbuckle over to the PA Shakes Center at DeSales before they close and be sure to bring a bottle of wine and picnic for outside beforehand- there’s a lovely seating area to partake in. You shall notethhhh be diappointedettthhhh (see what I did there)
Of course, all of this theater-ing made me hungry and I headed back to Bethlehem, PA which I had visited on the holidays a couple of years back. This time, I fully experienced the quaint Celtic eatery McCarthy’s which was definitely way more than we bargained for.
The first notable item to catch my eye on the menu was the House Made Banana Whiskey. They had a ginger version too but how could I say no to banana? I feel like the minions could get really into this. O-M-G…..SO GOOD. I want a bottle. Seriously, I want a bottle….but that would be bad news.
The favorite cocktail of the evening was The Botanist Gin and Tonic. This G&T incorporates fresh muddled cucumber for a very refreshing taste! Favorite treats included Mary’s Fried Chicken Strips, Margherita Flatbread, Vegetarian Flatbread and the Mushroom and Mozzarella Flatbread.
We’re already in talks to host another event with them, so stay tuned to the Weekly Wanderlust Column for the next collaboration with Hooch!
Ginger here: Every time I visit Houston my friends take me to wherever Chef Ryan Hildebrand is behind the pass. That place used to be the upscale Triniti restaurant, but since it recently closed Chef Hildebrand has gone in the opposite direction, to the land of burgers and brews (or what I’ve seen described as “road trip inspired food”). But please don’t confuse FM Kitchen and Bar with your average gas station and roadside diner food! The food at FM is leaps and bounds above quickie road-side fare!
In fact, the burger is so mouth-watering that it won a blind taste-test conducted by staff at the Houston Press, and if you think that’s fake news then consider this: I prefer not to eat burgers often for health reasons and yet I ate this burger twice in a 3-day period (the second time in my car during the 3.5 hour drive back to Dallas) and my nephew dragged his father to FM four times in one week for the burger while mother was out of town.
Order your burger as a single or double with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and secret Shhh sauce (so darn good!) and, instead of the standard fries, pair it with a side of hush puppies or tater tots. I think the burger is a must, but there are plenty of other tasty non-beef items like the fried shrimp and hush-puppy plate (add a side of smothered green beans for some veggies) or the lemon-thyme brick chicken.
You can’t leave without trying one of the cocktails (all under $9), like the strong but refreshing Watermelon Mule made with melon vodka, fresh watermelon and ginger beer or the Farmhouse Tea with TX Ranger whiskey, lemon and tea.
Have room for dessert? Then try a virgin shake for the kiddos or a loaded shake with shots of alcohol for the hard-working adults. You can work off the calories by playing yard games on the patio while listening to live music.
Carla here: Hey all! I’ve been a pescetarian for more than 7 years now and yet my love for burgers has never left my side.Burgers without meat are always better since they have to try a little harder. #fact.
I am beyond blessed to have the absolute best vegetarian burger in OC down the street from my home. May I present to you… Burger Parlor’s Portland Burger.Contrary to most vegetarian options, a veggie doesn’t replace the meat patty. At Burger Parlor, a square of fried mozzarella is the patty that brings envy to all your pals eating cows. The pickled carrots, sprouts and arugula are greatcompanions as well, but the marinated beets really get you to flavor-town.
Friends, please don’t be scared of beets — they are amazing when done right! The onion rings here are beer battered, which make them of the softer variety and beautifully melt in your mouth. If you want to be a little healthier Burger Parlor allows you to get any of their burgers in salad form or, if cheese isn’t your thing, you could also sub any of the patties for a portobello mushroom. Also, try the shakes, they get slept on way too often!
Paula here: We are now officially in the middle of summer, which means we are embarking on fresh delicious veggie season! Beans, corn, sugar snaps, and of course… zucchini!
Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable. You can make anything with it! From sweet zucchini breads to my personal fave Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini. Luckily, it’s super easy to make and a perfect addition to any summertime BBQ.
Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini
-2 large zucchini sliced thin and length wise
-1/4 cup basil pesto
-1/2 cup goat cheese
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
First either fire up your BBQ or start heating up the grill on your stove. Brush the zucchini with olive oil, both sides and place on the grill. Make sure you get those beautiful grill marks. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium high then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a cool plate and set aside for 10 minutes until it has cooled down.
Next, spread a good amount of pesto over each zucchini slice. At the thicker end of the zucchini place some goat cheese. Don’t be shy, goat cheese is life. Once all of that is done start rolling the slice, starting with the goat cheese side, and secure each one with a toothpick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then chill in the fridge for an hour. Such a great little appetizer! Enjoy!
Stay tuned for next week when we feature a Bay Area Bakery and an upcoming event from our friends at Thrillist.
Right when you walk into Sloan’s Ice Cream in Santa Monica, you enter a world of pure imagination. Sloan’s invited Girls on Food and a few of our influencer pals in to taste and photograph a few of their favorite icy concoctions.
I love nothing more than a brunch that’s delicious and comforting with an innovative twist. As much as I love classic American brunch cuisines, it’s easy to grow a little tired of them. I was invited in to taste brunch items at Spartina, in Los Angeles recently. Spartina offers Northern Italian inspired dishes with a SoCal twist. After this brunch, I believe I found the next “it” brunch items that could spawn many copycats.
Spartina opened in 2015 and is owned by Chef Stephen Kalt, well-known for stints at Le Cirque in NYC and Caulfield’s in LA. Executive Sous Chef Gary Caldwell started cooking here last September. He comes from the Las Vegas scene (having met Chef Kalt from his stint at the Sinatra in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas).
This atmosphere feels relaxed with the amount of sunlight and use of sky blue tables. I’m already itching to come back for dinner and seeing if it feels a bit more formal in the evening. Pricing wise, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable for the LA dining scene.
Nashville is quickly turning into a big city but we’re lucky enough to still be surrounded by farm land that’s only a quick drive in any direction. The Nashville Farmers Market is a bustling hub for all these farmers to sell their produce and goods and for the community to come together for events and learning. Any given day you’ll find farmers selling their organic homegrown produce at the Farmers Market.
Community Farm Day is a special day that brings tons of farmers to town, giving patrons a chance to sample and purchase just about anything you could think of from over 40 farmers and merchants!
July is the peak of growing season in Tennessee, so every single booth is overflowing with delicious, fresh produce and goods. Community Farm Day not only brings the farmers to town, but it also brings fun activities, artisans, bakers, cheese makers, live music, and, my personal favorite from the day, Nolensville Lavender! This stuff was so strong the whole farmers market smelled of lavender. I bought a bunch and once it’s dry I plan to make some lavender sugar cookies and lavender lemonade! I also found beautiful pottery, metal work, jewelry, handmade soaps and candles, local honey and tons of flea market goodies! (more…)
Many have deemed Hollywood Boulevard “the boulevard of broken dreams”, but on Sunday, June 25th, the energy on this iconic street was anything but broken.
Girls on Food teamed up with Wood & Vine, a restaurant and cocktail bar that rests on the legendary corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in LA, for our first (of many) social media influencer tastings. Becoming a social media influencer takes a lot of hard work, although the process can be simplified if you go to Buzzoid to buy followers on Instagram. Who knows, this could lead to you going out doing tastings like this in the future. These tastings bring social media awareness to restaurants on social media platforms and help them out with some instagram bio ideas. At the last event, we kept it limited to GOF bloggers, but for this one, we decided to get a little more social and invite some of our favorites Instagrammers to come out. It’s nice to pretend we’re a real influencer marketing agency!
W&V particularly wanted us to give feedback on Bar Manager Katy Nichols‘ new summer cocktail menu items. We were definitely up to critique the sips provided and taste their shared plates.
HELLOOOOO SUM-MAH! Hot weather calls for some cool ice cream! Located in East Chinatown (aka Old Chinatown) is Wong’s Ice Cream and Shop. Not only is the ice cream cool at Wong’s, but their ice cream is crazy and unique! Wong’s is owned and operated by Ed Wong, the genius behind the crazy ice cream flavours such as black sesame with salted duck egg, wasabi honey and rosewater white chocolate jasmine (to name a few!). Ed creates the ice cream in small batches once a week and even offers the ice cream in quart containers to take home.
Wong’s has just recently opened on June 14th, 2017 and within the past two weeks of them being open, I have dropped by and had myself seven out of nine of their flavours! Not only are there dairy ice cream flavours but they also have vegan flavours that are created with coconut milk and a touch of soy milk.
These two weeks have taught me quite a bit about ice cream making. Did you know that the amount of air mixed into an ice cream determines its taste? (Well, imo, it does) This is basically why massed produced brands will taste more “airy” and less flavour than small batched ice creams. You can definitely taste the difference while eating Wong’s ice cream, as the ice cream produces so much flavour and is more of an icy texture that melts in your mouth.
Welcome Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory to downtown Toronto! I was given the privilege to attend a media event hosted by DKLO Events to explore this new sushi joint and all their offerings. Mi’hito opened up their first location in Mississauga (right next to Toronto) and were the first to bring the sushi burrito craze to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)! I have actually dropped by this downtown location during their opening week and had the chance to try a few of their varieties but this event allowed me to try more.
This past Wednesday, over 2,600 DC foodies, including myself, flooded the streets of 14th St and Penn Quarter to participate in José Andrés’ Dine-N-Dash charity event. The event raised over $543,000 for his non-profit World Central Kitchen, which helps fight poverty and hunger internationally through the power of food.