Girls on Food


New York State of Mind: The Big Apple Part 3

Katz Delicatessen
205 E Houston St
(between Avenue A & Essex St)
New York, NY 10002

Yes, this is the place where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally”. Yes, you will have the same reaction when you bite into the pastrami reuben- only yours won’t be fake like many might be on sites like This sandwich is a gigantic gooey mess that I could only eat half of in one sitting. The tenderness of the meat and softness of the bread is what sets it apart from other sandwiches. The housemade pickles were crispy, sour and fresh. Marcie’s turkey sandwich with a Russian dressing was also very good. It seems expensive when you look at the menu, but it’s worth it. The staff hooks you up with samples prior to ordering the sandwich of your choice.

Sons of Essex
133 Essex St
(between Stanton St & Rivington St)

New York, NY 10002

I loved the interior to this place. It’s dark, the furniture looks vintage and there’s a girl DJ-ing on a Macbook. It felt like a shooting location for “How to Make it in America”, it’s very youthful.
Marcie and I had a round (or two… or three…) of bottomless mimosas to start.

My favorite part of our brunch was the kale Caesar salad. It tasted like it was just brought from the Farmer’s market, it was perfectly dressed and bialy croutons.

I read “Mac ‘n Cheese Omelet” on the menu and thought it sounded so rich, creamy and wrong that I had to try it. To my surprise it was lighter than I imagined, it’s not an overwhelming eat.

I think any “mac ‘n cheese” lover would appreciate this. I know you’re out there…

Austin Eats: Elizabeth St. Cafe, Foreign & Domestic

Elizabeth Street Cafe 
Noodles * Bánh Mì * Boulangerie
1501 S. First Street
Austin, TX
I ate here three out of my five days in Austin, and loved every meal! This adorable cafe features a blend of French and Vietnamese cuisine and the service is as good as their delectable dishes…
Pork Belly Steam Buns (Cucumber, Cilantro, Hoisin, Sriracha) w/Poached Eggs
This is the perfect breakfast you didn’t know to crave until you saw this photo and now, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to get it out of your mind. (Sorry.) It was incredibly good, and such a leap from the standard brunch menu! The soft steam buns with rich pork belly and fresh crunch of cucumber, sweet and spicy with the sauces, are amazing on their own let alone paired with perfectly poached eggs. I might steer clear of breakfast reviews for a bit, biased now.
Pork & Shrimp Crepe w/Coconut & Rice Batter, Bean Sprouts, Herbs, Lettuce Wraps, Nuoc Cham
This is from their lunch menu and it’s another jaw dropping dish. Their coconut and rice batter gives the crepes a really crispy texture and interesting flavor, the best I’ve had. The filling is incredibly flavorful and well balanced. They recommend eating it in the lettuce cups they serve alongside it and I’ll second that!A friend and I enjoyed a few other dishes that I don’t have pictures of as well, everything impressed. It’s one of those restaurants you wish you could pack up and take home with you! Until next time…

Foreign & Domestic
306 E. 53rd St.
Austin, TX
This place was a recommendation from a local bartender after I listed off the spots I wanted to try. He nailed it.
Guy Fieri visited with “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” which I find a bit strange because it doesn’t really feel like any of the three “D”s but it is definitely feature-worthy.
Gruyere Popovers
Do not skip out on the popovers if you dine here. It’s what they’re known for and they are fantastic. Plus, gruyere! Is there a finer cheese?
Shrimp & Grits w/Pulled Pork, Soft Egg, Chives, Veloute
Squid Ink Fettucini w/Wild Boar Ragout, Cherries, Chilis
I’m a sucker for shrimp and grits, almost always order it if it’s on the menu. Also, squid ink fettucini so my friend and I had to order both and split them (a common occurrence when dining with me). Both were great but the wild boar ragout was outstanding.
Apple Pie in a Jar
Here’s my issue with pie: I’m not wild about the crust. I spent three years working in bakeries, more baking at home perfecting my pastry dough recipes, so I know what’s good and bad but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t really like it either way. I love Dutch Apple Pie though – the topping, the filling, the ice cream on top. All the best parts are layered here in an adorable little jar. Perfect!This place is pretty far from downtown so I would not recommend taking a cab here on a Friday or Saturday night. They’ll never come back for you! We had a three and a half hour wait. Literally. Still, it was worth it and I’ll definitely go back!

New York State of Mind: The Big Apple Part 1

I went to New York City to visit my BFF Marcie and watch my pal Molly Ryan ( record songs for an upcoming album. It wouldn’t be a fun trip if I didn’t try the affordable Bourdain’s list spots ( and other spots in between. Here are the food highlights from my trip in a 3 part post.

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St
(between East Houston St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10002
Marcie lives in East Village and one day when she was working I decided to wander the streets myself. I didn’t know I was going to stumble upon the place, I remembered Tiffany posting in the “Bucket List” so it was perfect timing!
Hmmm…. Where I have I seen this place before? Oh yeah, I saw Parker Posey feed Louis C.K. a sliver of smoked salmon on the show “Louie”. It’s cramped like a traditional NYC place. There is an overwhelming selection of smoked fish here. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what I wanted. I finally asked the counter guy his favorite and I went with that.
I had the pleasure of eating my Norwegian Smoked Salmon on a Bialy with cream cheese and capers with a fantastic view….
Trash bags aside, the smoked salmon had a smokey and buttery taste that puts it on a whole other level of amazing. I want to go back and try the Pastrami cured salmon.
 Sylvia's 1

Sylvia’s Restaurant
328 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10027
Walking around Harlem was so much fun. I went to the Harlem market, grooved to an Ella Fitzgerald tribute band and saw the Apollo theatre.
  Slyvia's 2
I stopped into Sylvia’s, a popular Soul Food spot in Harlem. I was a little concerned when I sat down and noticed a hot sauce bottle with Sylvia’s face on it- did I accidentally stumble into a chain restaurant? No, her hot sauce is just that popular/amazing and has been sold to the masses. Phew!
I got the fried chicken with collard greens and mac ‘n cheese. The greens were a little soggier than I prefer and the chicken could’ve used more spice (Sandra Dee’s in Sacramento has the best spices for their fried chicken).I’ve eaten a lot of mac ‘n cheese in my lifetime and this was the creamiest, dreamiest kind I’ve ever had. Made the trip in there well worth it.

Austin Eats: barley SWINE

barley SWINE 
2024 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX

This place is incredible.

It’s my favorite type of restaurant – small shared plates,
inventive ever changing menu, casual atmosphere, beautiful plating. It’s also
very popular and I will share the warning I was given – get there right when
they open since they don’t take reservations. I went with three other adventurous foodies so we of course ordered one of everything, doubling up on the most exciting dishes. This is the perfect way to experience this restaurant and if I lived in
Austin I’d do it every week.
Here’s a peek at our amazing meal, the entire menu captured by iPhone seconds before every morsel was devoured leaving nothing but gleaming white plates behind…



grilled okra, black eyed peas, hush puppy, goat feta

soft duck egg, grilled zucchini salad, popcorn, goat cheese

This was our second dish and the one that inspired the request for “something to sop up the sauce” before our plate was taken away. The server quickly brought back a mini spatula that my shameless foodie friends happily made quick use of scraping the plate clean! (They apparently get this request quite a bit.) Awesome.


grilled butternut squash, peanut, jalapeno, coconut milk

scrambled egg, blue crab, almond, roasted pepper, avocado

One of my favorites! It’s very light and refreshing, reminds me of summer in California.


pulled pig face, potato salad, pickle, egg yolk, apple

I’ve had pig face once before but this dish wins hands down. If you’re curious about the flavor here’s my best attempt at a description: It tastes like the dark meat version of pork, if there was such a thing.


rabbit, schnitzel, shishito pepper, radish, chanterelle

This was my first time trying rabbit! I loved it!! I am afraid the bar’s been set pretty high though.


crispy stuffed pig ankle, foie gras, beans, hot sauce

Is there anything better than foie? Another favorite.


grilled lamb loin & sausage, eggplant, falafel,

olive oil mousse, meyer lemon, parsley sorbet, chickpea
German chocolate cake

Hefeweizen doughnuts, smoked pork ice cream, whiskey, chile


This dessert was absolutely stunning. I’ve never had a doughnut that tasted anywhere near as good as these mini Hefeweizen versions. With the whiskey marshmallows and the pork ice cream, forget about it. Heaven.

Before your night is through, be sure to order the last thing on the menu – “Beer for the Kitchen”! It’s $1 toward each chef (we had six) to thank them for an incredible meal and reward them with the same suds that inspired it.

Sac Food Trucks: Drewski’s & OM Karmabile

Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen – Grilled Cheese, Tots, Fries

@drewskishotrod for locations

This seems to be the truck that everyone knows
about, and loves. A friend has been raving about it so I drove a little out of
the way to seek them out. When I arrived they had been open for about an hour
and the line was still growing. Their deep fried mac-n-cheese balls with smoked
bacon and black truffle were sold out. (My waistline thanks all those before
All of their ‘cheeses were tempting. My runner
up was the “Prius.”
sliced and grilled Granny Smith apples, wild
flower honey, smokehouse almonds, double crème brie cheese grilled on 9 grain
sliced wheat
Next time Prius. This time, I had to go with the
“Hemi.” I figured there must be a reason it’s first on the menu and the cover
photo on their Facebook page.
slow roasted Carolina pulled pork, mac-n-cheese,
grilled onions, cheddar cheese, grilled on sliced French
(I ordered it on
Wow. The pork was incredibly good, tender and
sweet. I’ll admit I rolled my eyes a little at the mac-n-cheese addition, assumed
I’d pick it out, but I loved it. My inner child jumped for joy.
This is comfort food at its best. Don’t let the
line discourage you.
OM Karmabile – Indian Fusion
@OMKarmabile for locations
This food truck has two goals: fill your
belly with delicious Indian fusion cuisine and send you on your way with a
little good Karma. I’m a fan of both. The food part is a no-brainer and I was
very excited to try it because I rarely eat Indian food, mainly because I have
yet to find a great Indian restaurant in Sacramento. (Suggestions please!) The
bit about the Karma though, that’s a head scratcher at first. I learned the
reason for the truck’s name when I went to drop a tip in the jar. After a thank
you I was told they donate all of their tips to different children’s charities,
currently St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I was thrilled with my lunch choice
even before my order was up!


I became happier when the food didn’t disappoint. They have burritos, tortas and rice bowls with chicken, lamb and vegetarian fillings but I went with the tacos…
Vegetarian Curry Taco
Corn tortilla with potatoes, peas and carrots
in a mild curry sauce with tomato chutney
Spicy Curry Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with chicken cooked in spicy curry
sauce with potatoes, peas and carrots with tomato chutney
Masala Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with Masala chicken, cucumber
chutney and creamy mint garlic sauce


All three were simple, tasty, and a delightful
leap from your standard lunch fare. The Masala chicken was my favorite of the
three. The true standout of the meal though was this fascinating dessert…
Gulab a la mode
Indian style doughnut soaked in rose water syrup
with coconut caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut flakes and
topped with nutmeg and cardamom
This sounded incredibly intriguing because I had
no idea what an Indian style doughnut was and lately I have a fascination with
any dish that includes rose water.
(I used to absolutely hate rose
water. It tasted like perfume to me. I tried it in a couple amazing desserts
though and now, I love it! It still tastes like perfume, but in a good way?)
I really didn’t imagine myself loving this once I saw it but it turned out to be one of the most interesting and surprising desserts I’ve had in a long time. The gulab had the consistency of a cake doughnut with the rose water syrup softening and sweetening just the outside. They were addicting on their own and the flavor pairs incredibly well with the coconut and cardamom, with the vanilla ice cream serving to mellow it all out.
It’s definitely sweet and should be shared but if you’re in the mood to treat
yourself, I bet you’ll find it’s the best ice cream sundae you’ve ever had.

Leavenworth, WA: The Bavarian Town of Samples

I needed to get out of Seattle for a little N&R (noshing and relaxation) so I decided to hop on a bus and visit Leavenworth, WA. Leavenworth is modeled after Bavarian towns and is located in Eastern Washington.
No joking, polka music plays EVERYWHERE!
Right when you step onto Front Street, you feel like you’re in a Disney film. It’s a stretch filled with restaurants, unique gifts shops and a cute Nutcracker museum. The best thing about Leavenworth is that most of the places give free samples to the tourists. Not the tiny free samples one would get at Costco, they offer as many samples as you’d like.
The Gingerbread Factory
828 Commercial St
Leavenworth, WA 98826
I wandered off of Front street and onto a less crowded one. I came across a real life gingerbread house. I was worried a scary old lady would be bake me into a cookie if entered but to my surprise I was offered to try a hearty sample of their trademark gingerbread man and their maple walnut cookies. The cookies are better than homemade here they had a fluffiness I doubt I’d be able to recreate.
The interior looks like a Barbie Dream House.


The buttercream frosting topped sugar cookies were also amazing.
The Cheesemonger’s Shop
819 Front St
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Heads up: Look hot when you come in, there’s a few cute teenage boys that work here. They’re friendly and want you to try lots of free cheese. What could be better?
This little shop has an extensive collection of cheese, sausages, beer and wine. So me it’s basically heaven. You do have to request samples here but you can try any of the cheese you wish.
I walked out with Koko’s Coconut-infused Gouda, which pairs beautifully with a stout or porter beer. I bought Truffle Tremor, which is goat brie with black truffle, I’ve topped my heirloom tomato salads with it. It’s not an overwhelming truffle flavor which is nice. I also bought a local honey lavender chevre for a dessert option.
The Oil & Vinegar Cellar 
633 Front St
Ste F
Leavenworth, WA 98826
This was my favorite sample spot of all. There are several oil and vinegars for sampling with bread and they encourage you to try all of them. To make things worse, they offer $5 off each 3 bottles purchased. I could easily go broke here.
 I walked out with an English Toffee balsamic reduction, a Fig balsamic reduction, a Lemon Lavender white vinegar, Key Lime oil (the best!), Garlic Mushroom oil and a Rosemary oil. I haven’t had anything like the Key Lime oil before, I’m still kind of not sure what to do with it so if the readers have any suggestions, please leave a comment and let me know 🙂
The Flavor Express
220 9th St
Leavenworth, WA 98826
This is actually a fudge shop and that’s not really my thing. While looking around I discovered she had a sea salt sample table so I decided to go crazy and get my sodium fix.
At this sample table, tomatoes are on toothpicks and you dip it in the sea salts. Yes, I tried all of them and walked out with Black Truffle Sea Salt.
Leavenworth Sausage Garten by cured
636 Front St
Leavenworth, WA 98826
There weren’t free samples but this was my favorite meal. This is Currywurst sausage topped with fresh sauerkraut, curry ketchup and cajun creole mustard on the side. It was so flavorful it didn’t really need condiments. The beer is Whistling Pig Hefeweizen. This is a patio restaurant, great for people watching and has a great view of the mountain range.

Sac Food Trucks: Wicked ‘Wich & California Love

As mentioned before, I’m on a mission to try out every Sac Food Truck! I’m quite enjoying this decision so far and have two more to report on…

Wicked ‘Wich –
Sandwiches & Burgers
@wichonwheels for locations
Their claim to food truck fame is their massive sandwiches
that are stuffed with fries. It’s not exactly something I’d normally seek out but I’m very pleased that I went for it.
They also serve burgers. Most seemed like your standard fare but their Duck Burger was intriguing – ground duck patty, cheddar skirt, caper BBQ sauce and slaw. If it’s still on the menu, I’ll try this next.
My Order:
Pulled Pork Banh Mi w/Pickled Papaya & Carrot, Fresh Cut Fries &
Vietnamese Carmel Sauce



I was rather surprised I liked this as much as I did. I was on the fence about the fries and the bun is pretty large for my taste. (I’m a thin-crust-over-deep-dish kind of girl when it comes to carbohydrate ratios in meals.) I ended up tossing a pretty hefty amount of the bread but other than that, I loved it! The pork was perfect and the fries added to it without being overwhelming. (The stack is much smaller than the picture on the truck.) The papaya and carrot slaw was the best part though, with the fresh jalapenos on top. My mouth was on fire and my un-glossed lips were bright red from all the burning by the end… but still, it was worth it.

California Love Truck
– Eclectic
@CaliLoveTruck for locations
This truck doesn’t really seem to have a theme. You’ll see
our orders below are quite varied and the one thing we didn’t end up ordering
was the Meatball Sandwich with Jack Cheese & Marinara. A very strange mix…
 Friends’ Order:
Pork Belly Sandwich w/Fried Egg, Arugula & Garlic Mayo
 Two friends ordered this dish. Pork belly’s usually my go-to (actually pork anything) but I decided to go against the grain. I didn’t try it but here’s their review: both thought it could use more arugula, that it would be amazing for breakfast, and that it was delicious.
 Shared Order:
Carnitas Fries – Seasoned Fries, Carnitas, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Chipotle Mayo
 If you’re into this type of menu item you should really just order this, we were all in agreement that it was a very weird side dish with our other sandwiches. It was good, pork was tender, but this is really just one of those dishes that you order late at night after many hours spent drinking.
 My Order:
Chicken & Waffles Slider w/Bacon, Hot Sauce Mayo &
Maple Syrup
I kind of love the idea of this slider, seems very food truck-ish to me. Not exactly something that would land on a restaurant menu. I liked it, didn’t love it. I should qualify that by saying that I’ve never ordered regular chicken and waffles before so I really have very little idea what would make it good or bad compared to “the real thing.” The fried chicken was fantastic, bacon’s always good, spicy aioli with the sweet maple syrup –
who could complain about that? The waffle was too dense for my taste and I thought it might be crispy, but no. The fried chicken was good enough to make up for it though.
Four down, fifteen or so trucks to go…
Here’s the link again for location updates if you want to set your own mission:

Sac Food Trucks: Krush Burger & Mama Kim on the go

My new goal is to eat my way through the Sac Food Truck
scene. I’m rather surprised it took this long for me to try them out actually. I’ll post my favorites here. So far, we’re two for two…

Krush Burger –
Sliders, Fries, Tots
@KrushBurger for locations
To be honest, they had me at the sweet potato tots. They’re my weakness. And these were delightful, especially with the ancho honey dipping sauce.
I ordered the 2 Pack – the “Cowbell” & the “Ninja.” The Cowbell was delicious but I kind of expected it to be – bacon, fried onions, gouda – it’s kind of a slam dunk. Still, it was very tasty. The Ninja was fantastic though!  Sweet and hot, with the soft fresh bun and crunchy slaw – this is what you should order.
COWBELL (on right): Bacon, Crispy Onion Stack, Smoked Gouda, House BBQ
NINJA (on left): Marinated Korean Short Ribs, Asian Slaw, Radish
Sprouts, Crispy Scallions, Sriracha Aioli
Mama Kim on the go – Sandwiches,
Salads, Soup (The Healthy Truck)
@MamaKimCooks for locations
The falafal flatbread sandwich was tempting and the housemade cheddar biscuits they use for their turkey sandwich looked pretty amazing but I went with the fish tacos.
 Fresh Fish Tacos w/Slaw, Pico, Chipotle Aioli & Queso
Sweet Potato Chips

It’s pretty hard not to choose fish tacos when they’re on the menu, but that might be because I’m from California. The tacos did not disappoint though, fresh and a tad spicy with the chipotle aioli. A perfect summer lunch. The sweet potato chips were a bit of a strange accompaniment, but it worked! I also tried their heirloom tomato soup, which was light and refreshing. If they sold it by the gallon I’d probably wipe them out.

Looking for a food truck near you? They all tweet their locations but this website updates the locations of 21 trucks daily so it’s a quick way to see who’s parked nearby so you can decide what you’re in the mood for!

An Afternoon in Ballard: The Walrus and the Carpenter and D’Ambrosio Gelato

Although I’ve lived in Seattle (West Seattle to be exact) for about 6 months now, I still feel like a tourist. I only recently saw the infamous “Gum wall” in Pike Place and I still haven’t been to the Woodland Park Zoo or had a cocktail at Knee High Stocking Co. I’m trying to kick my “bucket list” so this is the start of that.

The Walrus and the Carpenter 
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, Wa 98107
(206) 395-9227
Daily: 4pm – Late
Price Range: $$$ ($30-50 per person)

wal 1
 I tried to not read too many reviews on this place because I wanted to go in with my own blank slate. My mother read about it online and decided we should get there very early. Good choice, Mom. We got there at 3:30 PM (they open at 4 for happy hour) and there was already a line of people leering at the staff.
wal 2
The space itself is very quaint and seating is very intimate. The staff brought us to a table and since we didn’t want to bump elbows with anyone else, we decided to take a seat at the bar. Awesome choice, I got to watch hipster oyster schucking! I love the white on white interior, it’s somewhere in between shabby chic and beach theme.
wal 4
This was not my order 🙁
wal 5The cocktail list was extensive. I ordered a Mustache Ride (get on it!) which was bourbon, cynar, all spice liqueur, maple and lemon. It was perfect blend of sugar and spice and the marinated cherry on top was… well… the cherry on top.
We cut to the chase and got a plate of each available oyster. Each oyster…hmmm… how do you really describe an oyster? It’s like a refreshing burst of the ocean that caresses you tongue. That’s the best I’ve got. The Treasure Cove Oyster from Case Inlet, WA in particular was the most “sea like” one of the bunch. I get why they’re an aphrodisiac, now if only Mom wasn’t my date…
wal 6
After the oysters we moved onto the butter lettuce, so we wouldn’t feel like total fat kids. It was crisp, topped with a lightly melted slice of morbier cheese with hints of black truffle.
wal 7
As if fresh oysters weren’t enough for me, I had to try them fried. The fried oysters are heavenly here. The outside is perfectly crisp, without scratching the top your mouth. The inside is soft and buttery but still maintains a sense of refreshment to it. The cilantro aioli was also the perfect match for a dip, I even had some leftover for my bread.
Fried Oysters with Porch Swing cocktail and bread
wal 9
The innards. Heaven.
 wal 8
Speck. I saw this listed on the menu and honestly had no clue what it was (I’m not a chef or an expert) but we decided to order it anyways.wal 10
Glad we did. It was sliced smokey prosciutto with preserved pumpkin, ricotta cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction and topped with mint. This was like all good types of flavors in one: salty, sweet, fresh and creamy. I want to copy this at home so bad but the preserved pumpkin aspect of it makes it seem too timely. I guess I’ll just have to keep coming back.
wal 11
The finale was the smoked trout, topped with a pickled red onion and rests on a bed of creme fraiche with lentils and walnuts. This dish may look diminutive, but it’s so rich, two people can share it. The smoked trout is the best I’ve ever had and the creme fraiche blend with so chewy and flavorful. I don’t even like uncooked red onion and this won me over.
We wanted to stay for dessert but we decided to take a walk around Ballard, which is a very cute neighborhood. There are lots of bars, plenty of shopping and sadly a lot of construction right now. Makes it tough to shop when you’re worried about not having a hard hat. We walked a couple of blocks to:

D’Ambrosio Gelato
5339 Ballard Ave NW
(between Vernon Pl & N 22nd Ave)
Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Mon-Thu 12 pm – 11 pm
Fri-Sat 12 pm – 12 am
Sun 10 am – 11 pm
Price range: $ (1-10 per person)

D'ambrosio 1
I am missing an Instagram image of the sign 🙁

I haven’t had cantaloupe gelato since my mother used to
take me to the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. It’s one of those food items I put on a pedestal and assumed nothing could live up to it. D’Ambrosio had it as an option, so I had to try it.

D'ambrosio 2
I tried a sample of it and was instantly taken back to being 18 and not able to gamble in Vegas. It was fragrant, but not too sweet and watery. So good. I got that with a scoop of the salted caramel gelato which is also pure awesome. Perfectly salty and sweet. The interior to this place is very Euro-hip, it was very quiet on a sunny day, I think the construction scares people away.I’d come back here for sure though.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato