Girls on Food

Dinner

Garden to Table Dinner: Independence Gardens Hosts Dinner For a Good Cause

I love eating food, but when all that noshing is for a good cause, it tastes even better. That is exactly what happened last weekend at the Garden To Table Dinner hosted by Independence Gardens. Sarah Allen is a first grade teacher at a school with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students. The students live in an area referred to as the “food desert” because of the lack of grocery stores within walking distance from their homes. The need for access to healthy foods and the knowledge of nutrition is heartbreakingly real. When she heard about Independence Gardens and their mission she knew she had found the perfect partner. I am a first grade teacher as well. I have seen first hand the effect lack of nutrition can have on children. I was beyond excited to receive an invitation from Chonnie Richey, Founder of Independence Gardens, to attend the event.

The six course menu was inspired by the fruits and vegetables growing in the community schools gardens and each course was cooked by a different local chef. It was an absolutely beautiful night to eat outside and the entertainment put on by the students was stellar.

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Chef José Andrés Presents Dine N Dash DC – Get Your Tickets Now!

Will all my DC foodies please stand up?!  Dine-N-Dash is back for its fifth year and better than ever! My favorite Chef, José Andrés, along with special guests Ted Allen (host of CHOPPED) and Andrew Zimmern (co-creator of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel) will be hosting this year’s event on June 7th starting at 6:00 p.m.

For one night only, guests will be able to “taste the city” and have access to unlimited food and drinks at over 30 restaurants in DC’s Penn Quarter and 14th Street Corridor neighborhoods. Leave your wallet at home and eat and drink to your heart’s desire until 10:00 p.m while enjoying live music as well.

This night is sure to be a foodies dream. I’m most excited to try some of the great DC restaurants like Colada Shop, Estadio, and Graffiato to name a few. Also, this year the new MGM Grand National Harbor will be blessing us with pop-ups of some of their restaurants too, like Fish! A full list of participating restaurants can be found here: 30 Restaurants, One Night, No Rules.

Image Provided by Dine-N-Dash

Worried about crowds and lines? Don’t be! Event guests will have different restaurant starting points, and wait staff will be there specifically for the event. There will be ample opportunity to sample everything!

Tickets start at $125, and all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization started by Chef José Andrés that uses the “power of food” to strengthen communities through health, education, and jobs. Go grab your tickets right now here. You’re sure to have a serious case of FOMO if you don’t!

Our Jersey Girls, Fatboi Tendencies, Check Out Blue Smoke in NYC

Despite being two of the unluckiest humans on God’s green Earth, the Fatbois won Phoodieur‘s Spring 2017 Restaurant Week Contest, earning themselves a gift certificate to Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants (Thank You!!).

The selection process was daunting, with over 14 options to choose from. Our plan of attack was to single out the most artery-clogging cuisine, and what better way to do so than with some southern-inspired barbecue? One glance at the Blue Smoke menu, and we quickly jumped on OpenTable to make a reservation. With locations in Flatiron and Battery Park, we embarked to Flatiron for some Monday Funday action.

Blue Smoke 
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
http://www.ushgnyc.com/location/blue-smoke/

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Biwon Restaurante Coreano Brings Korean BBQ to Mexico City

Korean food in Mexico City is not that easy to get. After living in Los Angeles for almost three years and having Korean food only fifteen minutes away from me it was harsh to accept my new reality: no Korean food. Heartbroken is an understatement for the way I felt about this. 

One day as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I found out there’s a small Korean town close to Downtown Mexico City. It consists on a couple blocks right next to El Angel de la Independencia, Mexico City’s icon. 

As soon as I got this news of a K-Town in Mexico City, I called my boyfriend (who was also heartbroken because he fell in love with Korean food while visiting me in L.A.) and on we went for some Korean barbecue.  

Biwon Restaurante Coreano was our choice. If you’re walking down Florencia Street you could totally miss it. It’s a small entrance, so tall people, be prepared to duck down in order to get in. This old-fashioned restaurant is situated upstairs and it was packed at the moment we arrived. No hostess just a couple of waiters running fast and furious to accommodate hungry patrons. 

Biwon Restaurante Coreano
Florenica 20, Juàrez, 06600 Cuidad de Mexico, CDMX, Mexico

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Megan’s Philly Tour Part 2: Eastern State Penitentiary and Philly Foods

Sure, I drank my way through Market Street, but surely, I wasn’t done. There is so much more of the Philly food landscape that’s ripe for exploring. To work up an appetite though I had to do a little sightseeing first. That brought me to The Franklin Institute and The Jurassic World exhibit.  ROAAAAAR, real monsters, and The Eastern State Penitentiary.

Straight up chillin’ in the prison yard, yo

The Eastern State Penitentiary is a pretty baller landmark to visit on a beautiful day. Using an audio tour, you weave in and out of its hallways, peak into Al Capone’s luxury cell, and get to take the tourist photo from atop the loft looking down a dark corridor. I accomplished all three and even got to work on my tan in the prison yard.

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19130
https://www.easternstate.org

 

a view from the balcony
classy pants art installation

They had some pretty neat art installations on exhibit. This in particular by Cindy Stockton Moore entitled “Other Absences,” showcased the victims of the inmates, hanging their photos from the ceiling of a corroding jail cell. I emerged triumphant, having experienced my very own Shawshank Redemption, falling to my knees and staring up at the sky my head turned slightly, and I looked across the street noticing a charming eatery cobbled out of an old firehouse.

Jack’s Firehouse
2130 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
http://www.jacksfirehouse.com/

The day could not have been more perfect, and the warm April air joined us for our nosh. The large doors of the converted firehouse are left open when the weather is just right allowing diners inside to get a glimpse of the historical landmark and the gorgeous day.

Biscuits

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August 1 Five in San Francisco

When you hear that Chef Manish Tyagi from Rasika in Washington D.C. is cooking out in the Bay, you gotta get over there to eat fine Indian dining, stat. After visiting D.C. and spending a summer there, I came back missing Rasika’s fantastic food. My whole family is a big fan, so when they came up to the Bay during New Years, we knew we had to make a reservation at August 1 Five.

August 1 Five
524 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102
http://www.august1five.com/

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Bites by the Beach: Leona in Venice, CA


When Leona opened in the summer of 2015, I was there for their first brunch. I loved the casual, yet sleek vibe and the inventive, seasonal menu. Not to mention that adorable cookie stand? Too cute! So what’s next for one of Venice’s most-beloved spots?

Former Sous Chef Jennifer O’Neil, now Head Chef, is leading the way at Leona with a new menu and is introducing new concepts to the restaurant.

Leona
123 W. Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://leonavenice.com 

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Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in San Diego

This weekend, a friend and I left our little Ocean Beach bubble down here in San Diego and ventured over to Mission Valley for dinner and drinks at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill. The whole experience from drinks to dinner to dessert (which we were way too stuffed to finish) was excellent. I will definitely be back to visit whenever I have meat-loving visitors in town!

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
7510 Hazard Center Drive #215, San Diego, CA 92108
http://www.woodranch.com

Tennessee Peach

After being seated, we followed our waitress’ drink recommendations, as we both had a hard time choosing. I opted for the Tennessee Peach which combined Gentleman Jack, peach schnapps, house-made simple syrup, mint, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. This drink was perfectly sweet and refreshing and really hit the spot. I also loved munching on the alcohol soaked peach once I reached the bottom!

 

 

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Soi Thai Street Food’s 2nd Anniversary and Songkran (Thai New Year)

Soi Thai Street Food
651 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B7
https://soithaito.com/
http://www.instagram.com/soithaito

I was given the opportunity to attend a media event hosted by #jojoinstameets to preview the celebrations for Soi Thai’s 2nd Anniversary and Songkran (Thai New Year) which will occur on Thursday, April 13. Songkran is the biggest and most memorable water festival in Thailand! Traditionally, Thais pour water over friends and family to symbolically wash off the misfortunes from the old year and to welcome the new year with a fresh start.

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Speakeasy to Me: The BoardRoom in DTLA

Kendall’s Brasserie (Patina Restaurant Group) has been serving up traditional French cuisine to DTLA eaters inside The Music Center for 14 years now. This past month, they opened a speakeasy in the back called The BoardRoom, and I can assure you, the meetings held there will be nothing like the meetings at your 9-to-5. Think of The BoardRoom as Kendall’s artsy, Francophile little sister.

The BoardRoom at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://patnagroup.com

The BoardRoom has the speakeasy essentials- a slightly tricky to find front door, dim lighting, live performances (Thursday – Saturday nights), cushy seating in booths (intended for large groups) and a menu offering updated classic cocktails and sharable foods. From the moment I walked in through what seemed like Kendall’s back office, I could hear singer Melissa Morgan crooning to a standard jazz tune with her band.

Front: Tennessee Williams (yes, it comes with a macaron), which is their take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Back: Gertrude Stein, similar to a Pimm’s Cup

Our blogger Christina Russo, is currently the bar manager of The BoardRoom and has created a cocktail menu inspired by the arts. I always love seeing punches on a menu (they serve 4-6 drinks), not only are they trending, they’re perfect for larger groups. But what separates her menu out from others in LA is the Tripple Tipple, her 3-course cocktail tasting menu. This menu is looking like it’ll be changing bi-weekly to weekly and consistently inspired by the arts. It truly is the crème de la crème of the cocktail menu.

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Headwaters Restaurant at Millcroft Inn and Spa

Headwaters Restaurant at Millcroft Inn & Spa
55 John St, Alton (Caledon), ON L7K 0C4
http://www.vintage-hotels.com/millcroft/dining.php
https://www.instagram.com/MillcroftInnAndSpa

Located within Caledon, ON, in a little town called Alton, this restaurant is a hidden gem within the palace of Millcroft Inn and Spa. My boyfriend, Nico, and I had the privilege to dine at this restaurant and catch up with his previous Chef who is now the Executive Sous Chef at this prestigious spot. With a short one hour drive North of Toronto, and feeling like we were lost in the wilderness (but we had our trusty GPS!) we finally arrived and instantly wished that we were staying for the night and not just for dinner. You feel like you are in a different world on their grounds.

The top section is referred to as “The Pod”. The Pod is probably an ideal dining spot in the entire restaurant. The section below is part of their banquet hall. The doors open up, so you and your guests can be right beside the waterfall! And yes, there are lights that light up the waterfall beautifully.

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Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas Introduces a New Bar Menu

For believers of the supernatural, Los Angeles is a goldmine for ghost hunters, especially for the spirits of Old Hollywood movie stars. The only rumored haunted spot I’ve been to in LA is The Magic Castle and I saw no ghosts. So when I got an invite from Chef Adam Horton to taste the new bar menu at Saddle Peak Lodge (rumored to be haunted by a few spirits according to Haunted Places), I wondered would I finally see a ghost?

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas, CA 91302
http://saddlepeaklodge.com 

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