Girls on Food

Food

The Gramercy Garden Eating Club in NYC

It’s difficult to focus on how you are eating when you are so much more focused on what you are eating. Steph Jensen, whose background is rooted in health and wellness, is well aware of this. In an effort to educate others on why focusing on how you eat is important, she started a whole dinner series focused on mindful eating called The Gramercy Garden Eating Club.

For her club, she teams up with local New York City chefs to bring her guests a “mind-to-table” experience right in her own private NYC patio. The dinner I attended was cooked by Micah Fredman who has cooked in incredible NYC restaurants including Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park. The night was full of an incredible paleo/pescatarian menu, approachable guests and eating tips that are simple enough for any foodies to follow.

All ingredients used for this dinner were picked from the farmer’s market the morning of the dinner, so the freshness of the vegetables really stood out during the meal.
Chilled squash soup- The chilled squash soup was perfect for a hot summer night, with its smokey finish from spices. It was a great opener to the rest of the courses leaving you not too full but instead, excited for what’s to come.

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Weekly Wanderlust 7/14/17: Omakase at Kru in Sacramento, Nashville Fall Wine Festival, Hopdoddy’s Impossible Burger and Cristina’s Hojaldres de Nutella

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

Julianne here:

I recently visited my mom back home in Sacramento, and I finally decided to make a stop into Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine. Back when I lived in midtown Sacramento, I often dined at the original Kru location (at that time it was on J street… I’m talking 2007), and I was excited to check out the new location in East Sacramento on Folsom Blvd.

The new location is quite spacious, with multiple seating options for diners; bar seating, dining room seating, patio seating, sushi bar. I was a little shocked at how big of a space the new venue is. I’d describe the previous location as “hugable” whereas this location feels more “big time”.

Sushi Chef Ricky Yap

Good things come to those who wait, and I have been waiting a long time to taste Kru’s Omakase, so the day finally came for me! I sat at the sushi bar, and Sushi Chef Ricky Yap guided me through this smorgasbord of special appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri with a couple of wagyu steak dishes.

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M Cocina Creativa: A Mexican-Vietnamese Birthday Dinner in Guadalajara

Last weekend I went to Guadalajara, one of the biggest cities in Mexico. Filled with culture amazing food and lots of tequila, this city is a true Mexican gem. Tequila region is just an hour away from there and you can actually ride a tequila train that leaves from Guadalajara. A cousin of mine lives there and since he knows I’m a food blogger he picked a special restaurant so that I had the chance to blog about his city, he took me to M Cocina Creativa, which means “creative kitchen”. This restaurant totally justifies its name. It’s a Mexican-Vietnamese fusion restaurant that implements ingredients you wouldn’t normally see in a menu in Mexico, like pork stuffed squid (which were delicious).

M Cocina Creativa
Av. Aurelio Ortega No. 611, Seattle, 45150 Zapopan, Jal., Mexico
http://www.mcocinacreativa.com/

Another thing that makes the place unique is the really big two story indoor patio with a rustic feel, a fountain made out of half a tree, really tall ceilings and filled with plants. It’s not only relaxing and romantic but it really makes you forget you’re in the city.

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Girls on Food Hosts an Influencer Tasting at Wood & Vine in Hollywood

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.

Wood & Vine
6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
http://woodandvine.com

From left, clockwise: Mallory (@couchpotatocook), Caroline (@dinewithcaroline), Evi (@evseats), Libby, Sara, Rebecca (@grubfiend), myself (@girlsonfoodblog), Kathy (@redcarpetreport), Tintin and Noriko (@koko_roy)

Girls on Food bloggers in attendance:
Sara
Libby
TinTin
Me!

Influencers in attendance:
@losangelesfoodie
@grubfiend
@couchpotatocook
@dinewithCaroline
@Evseats
@kimlaiyinling
@koko_roy
@redcarpetreport

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Can-Can Fatbois Eat All of France?

This May, the Fatbois were STAYIN’ IN PARIS (s/o to The Chainsmokers, more specifically, Drew) TO GET AWAY FROM OUR PARENTS (like… sort of… we still live at home… don’t judge). As we embarked, baguettes, blocks of cheese, and croissants can-canned through our heads.

Upon arrival to our hotel, Opera-Daunou, we ditched our luggage and ventured out into the city. We stumbled onto La Colombe, a cozy café, located on 2 Rue de la Paix. We were greeted by the friendliest staff, who excused my pathetic attempts at speaking French. One thing we’ve noticed is that Europe does coffee very differently from the states. It is typically stronger, poured into a smaller serving. Discovering the equivalent to our medium Dunkin iced coffees became a series of trial and error. The key to success is to order either a café au lait or a café americano. We topped off our café with chocolate-filled croissants, which easily became an everyday staple. 761BAC8B-5C5D-483E-B9FB-B5571631029D

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Chilling Out at Wong’s Ice Cream & Shop in Toronto

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 Ice Cream & Shop
617 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Y2
https://www.wongsicecream.com/
https://www.instagram.com/wongsicecream/

Chilling on an ice cream sandwich bench with Ed Wong,, Owner of Wong’s Ice Cream and Shop (left) and Tristen, co-owner of Tito Ron’s (right).
Seven flavours currently available (including Tito Ron’s Turon Sundae)

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.

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A Preview of the New Brunch Menu at Portico by Fabio Viviani

Much like Paris, brunch is always a good idea. So are exclusive food tastings with celebrity chefs. So naturally, when I was invited to preview the brunch menu at Fabio Viviani’s newest restaurant, Portico, I accepted faster than you can say, “another mimosa, please.”

Portico, opened in February 2017, is located at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, about an hour’s drive from downtown Rochester, NY. A brand new luxury hotel and spa are expected to open shortly, making it inevitable the Portico would jump on the brunch scene (and giving me serious #vacationgoals).

Open to just a dozen or so publications; I made the guest list thanks to my work with Rochester A-list, a collaboration that has been one of the best parts of relocating back to my hometown.

Portico by Fabio Viviani
1133 State Route 414, Waterloo, NY 13165
https://dellagoresort.com/dining/porticobyfabioviviani/

#roséallday

And what a night it was. If it seems odd to sample brunch dishes at 7 in the evening, let me assure you that between the gorgeous, delicious food, the sumptuous surroundings, and the cold rosé, I lost all track of what time (or day) it was. It was the kind of meal that transports you away from mundane things like clocks and calendars.

Each dish was served family style, and it made the experience so much fun. The first dish we sampled turned out to be my favorite – Lox Cured Salmon served with sliced tomatoes, pickled onions, imported capers from an island just off the Italian coast, and orange cream cheese, served atop toasted, house-made polenta bread.


Are you drooling a little?


I am.

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Restaurante Esmeralda in Acapulco

Acapulco located only three and a half hours from Mexico City is one of the biggest destinations for “chilangos” (people who are from Mexico City) and also for international travelers. Back in the 1950’s, Acapulco was huge for Hollywood elite, even Frank Sinatra included it in his famous single “Fly Me to the Moon.” Other notable characteristics of this charming city are the views of the bay:  “La Quebrada,” a tall cliff where divers throw themselves into the sea (with the only protection of their knowledge of the tides) and over three hundred days of sun and warm ocean. The average temperature is between 78 and 89 degrees throughout the whole year.

Acapulco has many different ways to entertain its visitors including; the longest zip line above the sea opened earlier this year, chic nightclubs, delicious restaurants, bungee jumping, fishing, all of the water sports one can think of and so much more.

Restaurante Esmeralda

One of these water sports is what brought me to Restaurante Esmeralda. After water-skiing we were famished so our captain took us here where we got to eat the most amazing “Pescado a la Talla”, enjoy beautiful views of the lagoon and the ocean, relax in hammocks and look at the amazing nature all around the island, including a baby alligator.

Restaurante Esmeralda
Pie de la Cuesta, 40981 Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

This restaurant is located on Montosa de Cocuya Island it is close to where Cocuya lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean meet. (a 40-minute boat ride to get there from where we were water-skiing) There’s a legend revolving around this island and the ones next to it; people say there was a man here once that had a hundred wives and they all lived there together. The rumor is all the local women here, that serve and prepare the food at Restaurante Esmeralda, are his descendants or ex-wives.

So this island belongs to the staff of Restaurante Esmeralda. 

 

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The Taco Stand in La Jolla, CA #tacotuesday

If there is one thing you all know about me by now, it is that I love tacos, and luckily here in San Diego, the next taco is never very far away. It can almost be overwhelming, how do you choose?!? I have had my eye on one place in particular for quite some time though, and that is The Taco Stand! They have several locations around San Diego and are slinging some authentic and truly delicious tacos, so I was super excited to finally give it a try! My friend Mary Bradlee came out to visit with her adorable baby, and since La Jolla is where she used to live, I thought a La Jolla Taco Stand day was just the thing.

The Taco Stand 
621 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037
http://www.letstaco.com

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Doma Kitchen in Marina Del Rey

Although the Westside of LA has plenty of restaurants to choose from, there is a lack in restaurants not owned by corporate chains. I was craving some serious comfort food with that “made from scratch” taste. When I read about Doma Kitchen, I knew it be a great spot to check out, cause “doma” translates into “home” in Slavic. I decided to drop by and taste their take on Eastern European and Central Asian inspired dishes.

Doma Kitchen
4325 Glencoe Ave #8, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
http://www.domakitchen.com/

Owner Angelika Corrente and her little Doma baby

What I love about the space is that it has a duality in character, it has a rustic and a modern feel. The main room gives off a casual vibe with small tables and one raised communal table. In the second room, you feel like you’re in someone’s home.

I am so glad to have met the owner Angelika Corrente because you get to understand the reason and creation of how and why Doma came to be. Chef Kristina Miksyte is a Lithuanian native who supplies Doma Kitchen with all their fantastic dishes.

 

 

Chicken Pelmont Soup

I was there at lunchtime and you can choose from either the brunch menu or the regular menu during that time. If you want to try the best dumpling soup (that I now crave constantly!) order the Chicken Pelmont Soup. These ground chicken dumplings are in a delightful, savory broth topped with fresh dill. It’s the type of soup that makes you just want to drink the soup from the bowl and forget the spoon!

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Wine, Music & The New York Skyline: The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery 

Summer is almost here and nothing is more synonymous with New York City and summer than a classic rooftop with panoramic views of the city. It’s rooftop season and I’ve been ready for it since I swore I’d put away my sweater for the last time (which was literally less than two weeks ago – I swear). But alas, it seems as though the warm weather is finally here to stay! Let’s sip some Chardonnay, shall we?

The required elements to create a perfect rooftop are unobstructed city views, plenty of comfy couches, great music and an incredible crowd. That’s what I found when I stopped by The Crown in Lower Manhattan, Hotel 50 Bowery’s awe-inspiring rooftop, for the kick off of The Good Measure Tour II this past Wednesday, June 14.

   

The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery 
50 Bowery, New York, NY
http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/new-york/new-york-city-hotels/50-bowery/

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LA Food Fest 2017: A Coliseum of Culinary Delights

One of the best parts of summer in Los Angeles are the outdoor festivals. This month, LA Food Fest had its eighth incarnation at the spectacular LA Memorial Coliseum amid the gloomy June morning, and I was ready with a pair of #stretchypants and a dream to consume as many foods as possible.

Lines are a big part of this type of event, from the line getting in, to the lines waiting for vendors. Patience and a sense of adventure are musts for those excited for the opportunity to sample so many different types of foods.

The crowds weren’t too crazy because of the ample space the location offered and the strategic organization of the vendors by the event organizers.  There were lots of folks, but for the most part, it wasn’t overwhelming.

I decided rather than attempt to feature every single morsel of food, a task that could make a nice relaxing day overwhelming; I would try to find my top five favorites.

Curried Shrimp Soup from Soup Bazaar

First, on the list, the was the Curried Shrimp Soup from Soup Bazaar, a Downtown LA spot which had recently revamped its menu and will be opening a new location just off the busy Spring Street. Soup Bazaar was one of the first vendors I tried, and I was blown away by the flavorful curry coconut milk base against the tender shrimp.

 

Breakfast isn’t my favorite meal. I know, I know, I’m a monster. And of all the fast breaking fare, pancakes are my least favorite. That’s why when I tried the Oatmeal Pancake from Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, I knew it had to be good because it was one of the best things I ate all day.  Light, but substantial, covered in butter and cinnamon sugar, I decided right then and there that I would be visiting for breakfast very soon.

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