Girls on Food

Lunch

Sushi Burritos Hit The Vegas Strip: JaBurritos

JaBurritos Sushi Burritos
3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Suite L12, Las Vegas, NV 89109
LINQ Promenade
http://jaburritos.com/

JaBurritos Sushi Burritos

Imagine your parents owned a sushi restaurant when you were a kid. Now, imagine you have moved across the country and opened the first sushi burrito restaurant in Las Vegas. Now, imagine you just opened the first sushi burrito restaurant on the famed Las Vegas Strip. Ken Aoki, the owner of JaBurritos, doesn’t have to use his imagination–he recently opened his doors on the LINQ Promenade, where he offers sushi burritos, bowls, and more.

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Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton in Toronto

Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton
2439 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2E7
http://www.warungone.com
https://www.instagram.com/Warung_Indonesia_d_Eglinton/

Exterior photo courtesy of Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton

Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton roughly translates into Indonesian Small Family Restaurant at Eglinton. You can find this restaurant a couple of blocks north of a relatively busy business area of Yonge and Eglinton. They serve Indonesian style food in a comfortable and homey environment and prepare their food from scratch to order which allows you the time to just relax in the atmosphere. Recently, my boyfriend and I were invited to a media tasting of this restaurant from DKLO Events and had our first try of Indonesian food!

Toronto is a fairly multicultural city. However, it ‘s hard to come by new cuisines if you are not already familiar with it or if not recommended. This Indonesian restaurant specializes in providing their customers with customized meals. What do I mean by that? They offer a “Set Your Own Meal” option where you can choose two veggie appetizers, one veggie appetizer, and one entree served with rice. This tasting provided us with this opportunity to set our own meal!

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MeNami in North York, Ontario: U-don Know How Fresh This Udon is

MeNami
5469 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5S1
http://www.menami.ca/
http://www.instagram.com/menamitoronto/

You can’t miss this sign!

If you’re looking for some legit udon, MeNami is the place to be! Not only do they specialize in various udon dishes but they also make their udon fresh from scratch. Now, if you know anything about udon (thanks, Google) you’ll know that it is a very temperamental process. The owner, Chae Kim, sent her chef to Japan to learn the art form and brought this knowledge back to Toronto to adjust and perfect it for our crazy environment.

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Oysters for People Who Hate Oysters: Fish City Grill in Dallas

Fish City Grill
18149 N. Dallas Tollway, Dallas, TX 75287
http://fishcitygrill.com/

Confession time: I don’t like oysters. I have tried them raw, fried, smoked and all the other ways imaginable. Really! I just can’t stomach them. Well, that has all changed since I chowed down on the Oyster Nachos at Fish City Grill. These babies are exquisite.

First, the fresh oysters are coated with a cornmeal batter and fried crispy. Then the little babies are nestled on a dollop of chipotle tartar sauce on a tortilla chip and sprinkled with with fresh pico de gallo. The perfect bite: crispy, savory, smoky and sweet. I know these are an appetizer, but I find it really hard to share these. Fish City thinks these nachos are so good they are guaranteed: “Love ’em, or we’ll buy ’em.” I doubt they have ever had to buy them!

I like to split the nachos with a friend and finish up with Raphael’s Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. Picture a shrimp cocktail on vacation at a resort in Cancun, Mexico. Loaded with shrimp, avocado, jicama, tomatoes and onions in a spicy cocktail sauce. So spicy, so buttery, so peppery. Sabroso!

Moral of this story: Forget what you know about oysters and head over to Fish City Grill for a new interpretation. You can thank me later.

A Feeding Frenzy in Florence

I had the pleasure of spending Christmas in Florence, Italy. There is truly no place else in the world like it. The sights, the people, and THE FOOD. When I sat down to write this article, I said to myself, “Boy, you are in trouble!” To whittle down all those wonderful bites to five almost became a mission impossible. In my many trips to Florence, I can honestly say I’ve only had three subpar meals. On the other hand, I have had many, many meals that are imprinted on my taste buds as if branded. BUT I am tenacious and accepted the challenge…so here are my top five bites. Enjoy!

Numero Cinque:
Arà: è Sud
Via della Vigna Vecchia 4r,
Florence, Italy 50122
http://www.araristorante.it/home/

cannoli; florence; dolci; foodie; travel; europe; italy

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Hollandaise Diner: Brunch 7 Days a Week

Hollandaise Diner
2231 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C 1K4
https://www.facebook.com/HollandaiseDiner
https://www.instagram.com/hollandaisediner/

Who doesn’t love brunch? Better yet, who doesn’t love eggs?! Hollandaise Diner is a brunch spot along “The Danforth” in east Toronto that specializes in brunch seven days a week from 7 am to 3 pm. They are even open on CHRISTMAS DAY for your Christmas brunch needs! This east end diner owned and operated by a very proud “east ender” couple who show their love for this diner in all their dishes by preparing them fresh from scratch every morning. This diner may be small (well, it is a diner!) but, in my opinion, is worth the wait!

“Mushroom and Brie Frittata”: three large eggs, potato frittata with portobello mushroom, button mushroom, and brie served with asparagus and red pepper jelly

This diner serves a multitude of various breakfast dishes, ranging from buttermilk coconut pancakes to frittatas to a build-your-own eggs benedict. Their menu is endless! Oh, and their homefries are NOT deep fried! They may taste as crispy and yummy as if they were fried, but they are cooked on a flat top!

“The Original Eggs Benedict”: English muffin, peameal bacon, two poached eggs, original hollandaise sauce
“The Smoke Bloke”: English muffin, two pieces of smoked salmon, two poached eggs with their zesty hollandaise
“The Cajun”: sautéed Cajun spiced peppers and onions, two pieces of baked polenta with two poached eggs and their cajun spiced hollandaise sauce

Just as their diner is named, hollandaise sauce is their specialty. Their hollandaise sauce is made fresh from scratch daily, and they even offer five different hollandaise sauces (original, HP infused, zesty, coconut and Cajun) which give their diners a different experience each visit.

“The Meatloaf”: two pieces of homemade meatloaf, ketchup glaze with sautéed mushrooms, two poached eggs, and their HP infused hollandaise sauce

I have had the opportunity to sample a multitude of their eggs Benedict creations, and it ‘s hard to pick a favourite. I would say that “The Meatloaf” eggs benny is one I would keep coming back for. This benny consists of two pieces of homemade meatloaf, ketchup glaze with sautéed mushrooms, two poached eggs and their HP infused hollandaise sauce. This creation is definitely over the top and is such a homey dish. Meatloaf, in general, can be a bit dry or even taste, well, like plain meat but at Hollandaise Diner their meatloaf is super moist and is seasoned perfectly.

“The Coconut”: grilled tomato on top of bitter greens, two poached eggs, their coconut hollandaise sauce and topped with toasted coconut

Another benny I would go back for if I wanted a lighter option would be “The Coconut.” This benny consisted of grilled tomato on top of bitter greens, two poached eggs, their coconut hollandaise sauce and topped with toasted coconut. This dish a vegetarian variation of an eggs benedict and I would grab it in a heartbeat. You may think that having coconut in a dish may make it sweet, but somehow they magically were able to create this sauce without being sweet yet have that coconut flavour you’d be looking for.

Coconut buttermilk pancakes with blueberry fruit sauce

The last thing I would probably go crazy for is their buttermilk pancakes. Man oh man, did I devour this stack you see. I was super stuffed when I tried these dishes, but somehow I got myself to stuff all of this in my face, and I do not regret any second of it! This stack is their coconut pancakes (YES, COCONUT!) with blueberry fruit sauce. These pancakes not only taste like coconut but they have coconut in them! So when those coconut cravings hit, I know where to go!

“The Croque Madame”: grilled cheese, two poached eggs, and their original hollandaise sauce

One last dish I cannot go without featuring is “The Croque Madame.” This benny consists of a grilled cheese, two poached eggs, and their original hollandaise sauce. If you love grilled cheese and you love eggs benedict, then you know which benny you should have! This benny plays to my childhood, and my favourite thing to request (and cook!) was grilled cheese. I wish I thought of this sooner; having the ooey gooey grilled cheese with the creamy hollandaise sauce and the perfect runny egg yolk, it really cannot get any better.

Clearly, I do recommend this place, and I would say that it is currently my go-to brunch spot. With all of their fresh and made from scratch dishes, I will be a return customer!

A San Antonio #TacoTuesday

Las Carretas Restaurant
4054 Naco Perrin, San Antonio, TX 78217
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Las-Carretas-Mexican-Restaurant/116019481753408

For this installment of Taco Tuesday I sunk my teeth into some amazing puffy tacos. After devouring all that turkey and dressing I needed to cleanse my palate. The puffy taco was invented by Henry Lopez. The puffy taco has been a San Antonio staple since then. Puffy tacos are made with a dough called masa. Fresh masa dough is available at most mexican specialty stores. The dough is then pressed into discs and fried in oil. The water in the dough puffs up when fried. The shell the perfect combination of soft and crispy. Picture a little pillow for meat! The great thing about puffy tacos is that they can be filled with anything!

The first taco was filled with amazing and savory picadillo. Picadillo is a savory meat filling including beef, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic and cumin. Some recipes for picadillo include raisins. Don’t judge. It is amazing.  img_8849

Second up on the taco train was a chicken puffy taco. This taco was filled with shredded chicken. The chicken was moist and seasoned with garlic, cumin, tomatoes and peppers. 
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These tacos were just what the doctor ordered…my turkey coma is cured.

Say Yes to Busy Nights! Crock-Pot Chicken Enchiladas to the Rescue!

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The first time I made these amazing chicken enchiladas was back in February, while covering for a co-worker on maternity leave, and coming right off a week long ski trip to my entire sales team in town! I was extra busy and needed to learn to lean on my Crock-Pot. I have always thought of Crock-Pot meals as 1. Heavy 2. Unhealthy 3. Fat 4. Hokey Midwestern (no offense). In the last 12 months, my opinion on this incredible kitchen appliance has completely shifted, especially after reading this inspiring Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe. So after eight years of being used solely to make my specialty football season queso, we are now using our crockpot on a regular basis. This recipe is the current favorite in our household.

Crock-Pot Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast per person
  • Can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Can mexi-corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 1-2 chopped jalapeños
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot chili spice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • Option- 1 cup dry quinoa

Recipe:

  • Spray Crock-Pot with Pam
  • Put everything (except chicken in Crock-Pot) and stir
  • Add chicken (I would stab it a few times, so it incorporates all the flavors)
  • Cook on low for the 9-5 work day, or on high for 3-4 hours

My 3-year-old was able to pour all the ingredients (except the chicken) into the Crock-Pot this morning. I’m all about empowering kids to cook, and he is so proud when I let him run the show!

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I ran to the market after work to buy Funfetti cake mix for my daughter’s smash cake this weekend and saw a stack of tostadas out of the corner of my eye. So tonight, we have fully branched out. We made…Chicken Enchilada Huevos Rancheros. I mean. Oh. My. Gah. I had to try it. My husband was skeptical but went all in. We did two tostadas stacked (with just a little bit of the deliciousness in between, then more on top; then topped with a salt and peppered egg over easy, diced avocado, pickled jalapeno, and mexi-cheese.

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If you’re ever in a rush or need to bring dinner to a new momma, impress a girl, or feed a group, definitely give this a shot. In taco form or served up fancy, this meal has never let us down, and is always sure to impress! Can’t wait to find our next Crock-Pot favorite!

A Fatboi in South Carolina

This past September, Fatboi Jess moonlighted as a country bumpkin and embarked on a mini vaca to South Carolina.

Rainbow Row

Boone Hall Plantation (they filmed part of The Notebook here!)

Husk Restaurant & Bar located in downtown historic CharlestonCilantro Will Prevail: tequila, fig, cilantro, lime, tonic, and salt.  Dahl’s Dessert: peach infused Bourbon, peach vinegar, anise, cream, and cinnamon.

Poogan’s Porch, one of Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishments. The name comes from the pup Poogan that stayed behind when the home was sold and turned into a restaurant. Ole Poogan served as the official greeter before his passing in 1979.Pan Roasted Salmon, watercress, edamame beans, heirloom tomatoes, biscuit croutons, and basil gremolata Mac & Cheese with country ham and aged smoked gouda, bold, savory flavor. This was just the beginning of my mac & cheese journey as I ordered some each day.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts open til 2 am on Saturday nights for those post-bar munchiesJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a scoop shop with dozens of unique flavors which prompted multiple trips and Forrest Gump imitations…JennayyyyCupcake Down South 

Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square every Saturday from 8am-2pm April through December, with over 100 local vendors!

My personal favorite flavor, they taste just like a cinnamon roll!

Charleston’s RightOnQue BBQPulled Pork Sandwich, there’s nothing quite like authentic Southern BBQ!

Juice Joint pop-up juice barDreamsicle: orange, strawberry, banana mango (left) Watermelon Agua Fresca with fresh lime (right)Hominy GrillGrilled Eggplant & Herbed Goat Cheese with roasted red peppers and grilled red onion on sunflower toastJalapeño Hush Puppies with sorghum butterIf you don’t smother your hush puppy in mac & cheese, you’re doing it wrong.

Downtown Charleston

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, they ship nationwide if you’re in need of that Southern comfortSausage, Egg, and Pimento Cheese with The Glass Onion’s “Belle” sausage patty, pimento cheese, and scrambled eggs. I wish I could’ve eaten this twice.Blueberry Biscuit, blueberries baked inside with lemon cream cheese frosting made in-house with sugared blueberries

Magnolias, upscale Southern cuisineSweet Chili Rubbed Ahi Tuna, habanero hummus and Pepper Jack spring rolls, roasted mango salsa, Créole remouladeSouthern Fried Mac & Cheese, BBQ pulled pork, collards, black-eyed peas

Bakehouse Bakery & CafeNot your average s’mores bar with a cold block of chocolate sandwich between a toasted marshmallow and a thick graham cracker. Cold chocolate is the way to go.

Prohibition  Margarita Caliente: El Jimadore Blanco Jalapeño infusion, Cointreau, lime, agave, Scrappy’s lime, chipotle saltGrass Fed Angus Burger, bacon jam, cheddar, house pickles, garlic aioli, fries

I can’t report too much here on account of the jalapeño margaritas and a failed attempt at initiating a dance off with a bachelor party.

We stumbled upon the Savannah Bee Company tucked away in the King Street Shopping District, where they offer mead tastings. Mead is the oldest alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water and fruits, grains, hops, or spices. While you won’t ever find me ordering rounds of mead at the club, it was a great experience tasting the different types and learning about its rich history.

Notable Food Trends: Pimento cheese, Fried green tomatoes

Closing Thoughts: “If I lived down here I would most definitely end up on my 600-pound life.”

Jess, @FatboiTendencies

Fajita Friday!: Sancho’s Taqueria in Downtown Palo Alto

In honor of Mexico starting to feel like my second home, I’ve decided it’s my California duty to find the best Mexican restaurants across the west coast. Palo Alto, you are first on my list!sanchos-taqueria

Sancho’s Taqueria
491 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
http://sanchostaqueria.com

I showed up, camera in hand, at 11:45 am with a line out the door. That was the moment I knew I picked the perfect place to blog about. I tried Sancho’s Taqueria once before for a bomb breakfast burrito. (Ironically it’s not on the wall menu, but just ask, and they’ll fill you in on the options.) Enticed by such a great breakfast, I decided to give their lunch menu a shot.

sanchos-taqueria

Who they are and how it works. 

The authentic eatery has been around since 2005 and with four locations in the San Francisco area: two in Palo Alto, one in Redwood City and one in San Carlos. They’re also open seven days a week!

I was personally visiting the Downtown Palo Alto location and it never actually stopped being busy, but never felt crowded or stressed. The food is great, the prices are awesome, and the staff is so friendly.

I was snapping pictures of my food like a typical blogger, and one of the staff ran out and thanked me. It’s nice to feel the love when lugging a giant camera around and hovering over my food until I get the perfect shot.

They are cash only, at least at the downtown Palo Alto location, so keep that in mind. I rarely carry cash, but I will for tacos any day of the week. They also have indoor and outdoor seating which is nice with all the lovely weather we’ve been experiencing in the Bay. If you’re ever in need of a party platter or 12, they offer traditional catering with a taco bar buffet option. You can even book their Taco Truck for an event!

Let’s talk food.

Shrimp Ceviche  

I ordered the ceviche thinking it would be like an appetizer and it was almost a meal in itself! The shrimp perfectly cooked had the perfect balance of lime and heat.

sanchos-taqueria

For seven bucks it’s a whole plate plus fresh chips on the side. Had I known, this would have been my lunch.

Pollo Burrito

I went with the shredded chicken burrito with pinto beans and added sour cream. I’m super picky about shredded meat of any kind! I refuse to eat it if it’s dry and on the verge of being jerky. Not for me! Sancho’s chicken was super tender and for $6.25 it was enough to fill someone up or cut in half for two meals (depending on your hunger level).

sanchos-taqueria

Chicken Fajitas

Under the “favorites” part of the menu lies the fajita options (I think I know why its a fav). They used a little lemon in the fajitas which made the whole dish pop. It’s served with all the standard sides and warm corn tortillas. It’s priced just below $11 bucks for a perfect sized portion.

sanchos-taqueria

Sancho’s will be a regular place for me in the future. They have tacos ranging from $4 to under $2 bucks a piece that needs my professional opinion in the near future!

If you’re in the Peninsula area of the bay anytime soon, check out one of their locations and enjoy the happy staff! Thanks, Sancho’s!

sanchos-taqueria

BOOzy Brunch Bunch: Caramel Apple Sangria

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dessertLike any good toddler mom, I head to Pinterest for basically everything party related! Every month or so, I host a “Boozy Brunch Bunch” because well, if you play with kids all day and never see your friends, there is a chance you will lose your sanity. With “Boozy” in the title, I like to have a couple of options available, so thanks to #itsfallyall and Pinterest, I can bring you today’s concoction!

 

This month, I decided to host a BOOzy Brunch Bunch, because of Halloween. Unfortunately, Raleigh got hit way harder than expected by Hurricane Matthew, and my freezer got wiped out, so I didn’t have most of my normal go-to’s, like all the mini muffins I’ve crafted over the years, or the tiny eggos the kids love so much. (I’m seriously not complaining about this; there are towns in North Carolina that people still can not get into their homes, so my freezer is the least of my worries right now). But since I couldn’t just defrost a handful of muffins and throw eggos in the oven, I started to think about my favorite breakfast foods and realized: toasts are so hot right now!

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My favorite restaurant up in Rhode Island is called Persephone’s Kitchen, and the owner, Persephone, has a delightful selection of toasts every morning that I decided to emulate. So for the guests at my home, there were avocado and cayenne pepper sprinkled with goat cheese toast, goat cheese and mini heirloom tomato toast, and the gold standard of Nutella and banana slices on toast! Of course, I provided mimosas and coffee, but I wanted to have a special beverage on hand as well. My sister-in-law and I had thrown a joint birthday party for our new one-year-olds at the beginning of October, and we tried this recipe for the first time then. I just knew it had to make another appearance this fall!

Caramel Apple Sangria

sangria-1This recipe is super easy and takes 5 minutes to put together! Deceptively sweet, so make sure kids don’t accidentally drink it (a valid concern) and make sure your adult friends know they just got sloshed before you let them hop into a car and drive home! It’s the perfect warm fall day beverage, as the sun is shining and you don’t want anything too heavy! Ideal for a southern fall day, for sure!

 

 

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The first step is to cut up 2-3 apples and add them to your pitcher! I started this in a juice jar, and realized I needed something bigger midway through and transferred! Next, add a bottle of your favorite chilled white wine (I used chardonnay), a container of apple cider (I prefer Trader Joe’s  version), and then the coup de grace, is one cup of Smirnoff’s Kissed Caramel Vodka.

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Everyone who has tried this loves it! I’m thrilled for the leftovers to share with my neighborhood tonight as the kids are out Trick – or – Treating!

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