Girls on Food


Doggie Style: Vegan Hot Dogs in Austin

doggie style - vegan hot dogs in austin

doggie style food truck

Hot dawg! ? ?

I was a fan of hot dogs briefly during my childhood, and then they became increasingly weird and icky to me, especially once I found out what’s actually in hot dogs, but we won’t go there in this post ?

This post is all about Doggie Style, the new vegan food truck in Austin, Texas that serves what else – vegan hot dogs!!! My non-vegan boyfriend and I decided to check it out (i.e. I forced him to come with me) but I had a feeling he would like this place because he’s very open minded about vegan food and is a fan of pretty much all things vegan ?

First, here’s the basics:

Doggie Style located in the heart of Austin and the food truck scene. The physical address is 603 W. Live Oak St. They’re in the South First Food Court, right next to Rabbit Food Grocery: Austin’s First Vegan Grocery Store!

Doggie Style’s exact hours are fuzzy. I couldn’t find conclusive info online. We showed up on a Sunday around 2 pm, and they were open and serving free beer ?

I would suggest checking their social media posts to see what times they are open each day.

south first food court

doggie style menu

I knew right away that I wanted to try the special that week, the Poutine Dog. It’s a hot dog topped with mushroom gravy, hot French fries, and vegan cheese curds ?

My boyfriend got the Jon Stewart (pictured at the top of this post), which consists of a dog drenched in sauerkraut and Russian dressing. It honestly didn’t sound that good to me, but when I tried it I loved it!

We also got chips and queso, which didn’t look like much when it came out but was surprisingly good. My boyfriend liked it, and his hot dog was so filling he couldn’t even finish it all. I couldn’t finish mine either but saved it later for a snack.

doggie style austin

vegan hot dogs

The food was awesome, the service (although not personable) was fast, and the prices are super reasonable. I would go back to try out some of the other menu items.

Plus, it makes me happy that when I’m craving a hot dog with monster toppings, I can have it and it’s cruelty-free! Austin is a fantastic place to be vegan because there are options for pretty much anything you want. And non-vegans can enjoy Doggie Style too! It’s a tasty, healthier version of a beloved American classic Hot Dog on Google Android 6.0.1

Jillian ?

Kohinoor Kabob House in Richmond Hill, Ontario

Kohinoor Kabob House
10737 Yonge Street Unit 2 & 3, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3E3

Store front picture courtesy of Kohinoor Kabob House
Storefront. Picture courtesy of Kohinoor Kabob House

Feeling for some Afghan/Indian food? I’ve got the place for you! Situated in a small shopping plaza in Richmond Hill (a 30 to 40-minute drive north of Toronto), Kohinoor Kabob House is a family owned and operated restaurant that provides quality and authentic Afghan and Indian dishes for you to discover and enjoy.

Interior Menu
Various dishes to choose from!

The first time I tried their food was when one of my coworkers (at the time) brought in food from his family’s restaurant, and I got to try their Chicken Biryani. Man oh man, that Biryani was delicious. The spice and heat were just enough to make you sweat a little (if your spice intolerance has dropped like mine) but yet you get the full flavor without the heat interfering. Just from having a few bites of this dish I was hooked and determined to make the drive up. So since I do not drive, I managed to bring my chef-in-training boyfriend, Nico, with me to enjoy and try a couple of dishes!

Lamb Shank
Lamb Shank

Every time I see lamb shank on any menu, we always go for it. Usually, you do not see such a dish at a casual mom and pop style restaurant, so you can imagine how delighted I was when I saw it. This lamb shank was super tender and fall off the bone! We were very very impressed since the process to get the lamb shank that tender can take forever and a half but they managed to cook the lamb to perfection.

Naan with Chutney. Please excuse the piece missing, we got hungry.
Naan with Chutney. Please excuse the piece missing, we got hungry.

Naan is such a staple you really cannot go wrong! Naan is usually something I would order alone but now that I have learned more of the world of chutney these two are just perfect for each other. Naan is such a staple that every meal on their menu has it included (don’t believe me? Please double check the menu picture at the top!).

Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken Drumstick

Nico is a chicken person, so, of course, he grabbed their Tandoori Chicken Drumstick. The chicken was moist, flavorful and fell off the bone. Delicious!

Mango Lassi (seasonal)
Mango Lassi (seasonal)

Of course, I had to grab a mango lassi while they had it in stock. We are mango freaks, and this was fantastic and refreshing. Plus, it makes a great dessert!

Chicken Biryani with Raitha

Of course, I just couldn’t resist and just had to get their Chicken Biryani to go since I was so stuffed. This dish was just as good as I remember from the luncheon at work and I wish I bought more. If I lived in the area, I would probably live off of this alone.

If you want to try some Afghan-Indian foods and are up for a nice cruise, definitely check out Kohinoor Kabob House! They also offer catering and sell in party size containers so you can spread the love of Kohinoor Kabob House with the world.

OktoberFEAST: Feasting for Cancer Research in Toronto

Instagram: @CCSGTA @CancerSociety

Facebook: Canadian Cancer Society

Website: OktoberFEAST

OktoberFEAST Shan 6

CCS logo
Canadian Cancer Society
OktoberFEAST logo







October is filled with Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving, eh!), Halloween, Oktoberfest and, of course, it is Women’s Cancer Awareness Month. I was given the opportunity to attend a fundraising event called OktoberFEAST Toronto which was hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society. My boyfriend’s family has a history of breast cancer so anything to support the research, I am in! If you are interested in attending an OktoberFEAST event definitely check out their website to find a location near you! The night was filled with music, company, drinks and of course FOOD!


Steamwhistle beer

To start off, I’ll share our beer of choice of the night — Nico, my boyfriend, and I chose SteamWhistle, a local beer brewed next to the lakeshore in downtown Toronto. It is definitely our local beer of choice because it has a full body, yet is still light without being watery. When I get my hands on a favourite beer, better not accidentally take my glass otherwise I’ll take yours too!

Two glass filled now!
Two glass filled now!


Three different pokes available (front to back): Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Octopus
Three different pokes available (front to back): Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Octopus

Now for the food: first up, North Poke! Lately, poke has been a big trend in Toronto and there’s probably a new poke restaurant popping up every other week. This is my first time trying North Poke and I definitely enjoyed it!

OktoberFEAST Shan 9

There were three choices of poke, and I went for the salmon poke which had gochuchang dressing, kimchi crema, radish, fried shallot, scallion and microgreens on a bed of sushi rice. Nico is not much of a fan of raw foods but he ate majority of this poke! This poke was not only fresh but made us want more and more. I will definitely be dropping by their store-front for a large size!

KANTO by Tita Flips

OktoberFEAST Shan 10

Next, we went back to our roots and got a Filipino classic from Kanto by Tita Flips. We are big fans of Kanto and were super happy to see that they partook in OktoberFEAST! Featured is a lumpia, a Filipino spring roll! They had a pork and a vegetarian option, but of course we had to go for the meat. The lumpia was perfectly crunchy and the meat was moist and flavourful. We can’t wait to have more!


OktoberFEAST Shan 11
Crunchy Cauliflower Trio and Siu Mai

Hawthorne Food & Drink was new to me. They serve “Farm-to-Fork City Food” using only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. For this event, they brought out their Siu Mai and a Crunchy Cauliflower Trio. Not only were these dishes beautiful and colourful, but knowing that everything on these dishes are local makes the flavours brighten. I can’t wait to explore more of their menu!


Jerk Chicken on lentil rice with Oxtail Gravy
Jerk Chicken on lentil rice with Oxtail Gravy

Now, who doesn’t love a good Jerk? We indulged in some jerk chicken with rice, lentil and oxtail gravy and also some African coconut donuts from Hedwige Dumplings. The chicken was moist and the jerk was simple enough that it worked really well with the lentil rice.

African Coconut Donuts
African Coconut Donuts

Now those donuts, they definitely remind us of the Jamaican Dumplings which are fried sweet dough. Man, anything sweet and fried is bomb and these donuts are no exception. On top of that, the two ladies who own the booth are filled with so much energy and smiles that you can’t help but smile along!


OktoberFEAST Shan 16

I don’t know how but we managed to have room for dessert! Here is the Turtle Waffel from WAFEL BAR food truck, a classic sweet Belgian liege waffle topped with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and pecans. Oh man oh man, so delicious and so perfect. The waffle has the classic hard outer shell but was still soft  in the inside. If you’re in the area, you have to seek out this truck!


OktoberFEAST Shan 15

The best part of this experience is that we were given VIP passes — and paying an extra few bucks is definitely worth it. Not only do you get the mason jar included, a cool orange bracelet, one free drink and a VIP lounge,  but you also get popcorn —  not your ordinary popcorn, no no, but gourmet fancy popcorn! And the best part? You get to take as many as you want!! Not going to lie, if I had a big bag with me then I would have taken all of these, but unfortunately I only took home three. The Toronto Popcorn Company is a local popcorn company that creates and sells some crazy flavours, from classic caramel to maple bacon to vanilla spongecake popcorn… they have ’em all!

OktoberFEAST Shan 17

Overall, this event not only had amazing food but also brought cancer awareness to a whole new level. We wish them all the best and cannot wait for next year! Two more locations will be hosting an OktoberFEAST event so definitely check out their website.


Salt & Lime Cabo Grill in Raleigh, NC

Happy #nationaltacoday!

The first time I stumbled onto Salt & Lime Cabo Grill, it was with my sister in law and her then 3-year-old. It was a beautiful, unusually cool North Carolina summer day, and we comfortably sat outside in the patio area with our two toddlers, eating salads and drinking margaritas. It was awesome (and surprisingly relaxing)!

Salt & Lime Cabo Grill
6006 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609


Fast forward a year later, and this restaurant has become a staple for our Friday Family Date Nights! It’s so much fun to get the four of us together for a no-pressure meal. Over chips and salsa, we laze our way into the weekend. Over the course of the meal, our almost-toddler daughter nabs her way through the fruit at the top of my white wine sangria, and our 3-year-old son eats chips and salsa non-stop for about 45 minutes. Insane. The GM always stops by to play with the baby, and every single wait staff we’ve had has been both incredibly accommodating and extremely welcoming to our chaotic family. On several occasions, they have even squeezed us into a table that is reserved in 45 minutes, allowing us to get in and out and home before bedtime. As far as I am concerned, Salt & Lime has the best customer service in town!


Salt & Lime is a Baja-inspired restaurant serving everything from taco plates to fresh salads to delicious looking burritos and plated entrees. Everything is prepared fresh daily, which would be my only caveat with this restaurant. On one occasion the salsa was way too spicy for us, which ruined our son’s “dinner” – but one in twenty times is a blip; hardly an issue! They have a pretty extensive menu with several types of salsa and guacamole – one day I’m going to try that fire roasted tomato with goat cheese guacamole; it sounds amazing! I regularly order their Avocado-Tomato Salad with House-Spiced Salmon added. It’s one of my favorite things on the menu, so fresh, and the salmon is just perfect!


Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a taco kick! This is our new go-to when our parents are in town, so it’s fun to order 3 or 4 taco plates and swap out tacos. My husband always goes for the BBQ Mahi taco plate – he loves it! My current favorite is the Bangkok Shrimp – they are sticky and sweet and a little bit spicy! My only albeit is that it is fried shrimp, but a little cheat every once in a while is good for the soul! (I’m sure they would grill it if you asked, as a whole, the restaurant seems very keen to please). The Jamaican Jerk tacos are also on point, but a tad too spicy for me! The last time I took the whole fam, my brother, a vegetarian, ordered the spicy gazpacho and the Baja nachos and was very impressed. I was pleased, to say the least, as he is quite the world traveler; Paris being the newest town he can call home. My sister and mom split the Quesadilla Grande, and we all shared around the table. Everyone was full and happy when we called it a night!


They are constantly adding to the menu, and so there is always something new to try whenever you go! I’m excited – we are heading there Friday night to celebrate my babe Margaret’s first birthday! We rarely get dessert when we head out on the town, but you can bet I’m getting my girl something sweet to celebrate the big UNO!

Piece of the Middle East (in Seattle): Anar and Mamnoon Street

A couple of days ago, my friend and co-worker, Quinn and I had a great idea to indulge in our pun obsessions and decided to try a little piece of the Middle East (Get it?  Piece?  Middle East?).  Essentially doing a food crawl and sampling everything at a local Middle Eastern restaurant and its vegetarian sister restaurant next door.

Mamnoon Street
2020 6th Ave Seattle, WA 98121

screenshot-2016-09-11-13-32-44The same people own both Mamnoon Street and Anar, Racha and Wassef Haroun.  They also own another restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, also called Mamnoon, but there you can sit down and enjoy cocktails with your food.

The Haroun’s came to the Pacific Northwest to work in the tech industry.  They decided to plant roots here and brought a bit of their Syrian/Lebanese heritage with them into the restaurant scene.  They have found their place amongst the foodies and have expanded their availability and visibility by opening up two more locations in the Amazon campus in downtown Seattle.

Our first stop during our food crawl was Mammon Street.  We opted to sit outside in the wind, as opposed to dining inside like a rational people would.  However, sitting outside when it’s NOT raining in Seattle is a treat one can enjoy when the opportunity arises.

img_1686I ordered both the lamb and chicken shawarma.  I had every intention of eating just a little bit of both to give a fair review, but as soon as I started to bite down into the lamb, I couldn’t stop.  I began to feel full right away, and I wasn’t even a 1/4 of the way finished with it.  So I knew that trying the chicken shawarma would have to wait until later, but it eventually went into the eager hands of my Uber driver later that afternoon.

Quinn wasn’t as ambitious as I was (since I suffer from eyes bigger than stomach syndrome), so he ordered a kefta arayess aka sandwich with a side of halloumi cheese.

img_1687Of course, there was no waiting to take a pic for this guy.  He’s all about business and just started noshing.  I was able to snag a little bite of the kefta arayess and was struck by the perfect balance of seasoning in the ground beef and the saltiness of the halloumi.

Eventually, Quinn gave up and decided he was full while I still wanted to go to Anar.




2040 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

img_1692Anar is right around the corner from Mamnoon Street.  The vibe inside looks like a typical juice bar with the display of fresh veggies.  I’ve been there before, and I die for their iced Turkish coffees.  But what I’m really all about is their lentil and brown rice dish called Mujadara.

Topped with pickled turnips and Greek yogurt, this dish is also extra filling.  I knew that I would be eating this for leftovers during the week because it might not look like a lot of food, but it’s a lot of food.  I did manage to take a few bites, but honestly I could have exploded at that point.

img_1693Also, I couldn’t leave without getting the chia seed pudding topped with apricot jam for the road.  Again, this is something to be enjoyed when you have room in your stomach.

The price points for both Mamnoon Street and Anar are relatively reasonable, and you get a huge bang for your buck.  I don’t recommend driving to their location because parking is awful in this part of downtown Seattle. If you are in the area and are looking for a better option than Thai food or a sub sandwich, either one of these fantastic places will be a welcome change for your taste buds!

The Top Tomato: Market City Caffe in Burbank

I love tomatoes. On top of being delicious, they are packed with antioxidants. Any food that tastes just as yummy as it is healthy is a winner in my book, and Market City Caffe agrees. They have a new, seasonal menu starring this tasty treat. I was lucky enough to sample a few items off the menu.

Market City Caffe
164 E Palm Ave, Burbank, CA 91502
IG/Twitter: @marketcitycaffe

A lovely hostess and Sean, the general manager, greeted me as soon as I walked into this adorable restaurant located in the heart of downtown Burbank (pro tip: there is ample parking at the garages in Burbank town center). As soon as I sat, fresh breadsticks and olive oil were presented. I was starving and comfort carbs were just what I needed.

Fresh breadsticks

There are a couple pizzas on the menu, but I opted for the organic truffle mushroom and heirloom pizzetta. The pesto heirloom tomatoes were the stars of this show. I could have easily housed the entire thing, but I was trying to save room for what was to come.

Organic Truffle Mushroom and Heirloom Pizzetta

The crispy fried sardine was on top of a bed of red and yellow tomatoes and delicious spongy bread. It definitely opened my mind to how good a sardine could be.

sardine 2
Crispy Fried Local Sardine

The quinoa and grilled yellow tail tuna salad was definitely one of my favorite dishes. It was so light and fresh, perfect for these hot valley days. Topped off with a beautiful watermelon radish, it was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Quinoa and Grilled Yellow Tail Tuna Salad

The bucatini is every pasta lovers dream. You’re served a healthy portion of a thick spaghetti-like noodle topped with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil,  toasted bread crumbs, and two cheeses (mozzarella and smoked aged ricotta cheese). It sort of reminded me of a noodle shaped gnocchi. I really had to hold back from polishing off the entire plate.


The last item I tried was the grilled pacific yellow tail tuna. It’s served over roasted sweet corn, seared tomato relish, daikon sprouts and cucumber and jicama. This was a total win for me. The combination of the fish and the sweet corn and tomato relish won me over.

yellow tail
Grilled Pacific Yellow Tail Tuna

Don’t forget to ask about beer pairings for each dish when you go. I was walked through each one and had just the right combinations for each dish.

pizza with beer
Slice of Pizzetta with El Sugundo “Station No. 1” Red Ale

Market City Caffe definitely proves that tomatoes deserve the spotlight with their carefully thought out special menu.

Hummus Where The Heart Is: Semsom Eatery in NYC

What’s the best way to detox your body from a week of sun & fun in Las Vegas? Clean, yet flavorful eats! If only it were that easy…

Semsom Eatery
2 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003 

However, on a serious note, Semsom Eatery is a chill Lebanese eatery serving up classic Lebanese and Mediterranean favorites with a modern spin. Semsom (it means Sesame Seed in Lebanese) was created in the Middle East by two sisters, Christine and Carine and it eventually made its way stateside.

Semsom focuses on fresh quality ingredients; this is probably most apparent in their hummus, which is made fresh daily. The flavors are simple, yet powerful and the texture is smooth and creamy. Unlike many other Mediterranean restaurants that may use canned chickpeas, Semsom cooks begin each batch with fresh chickpeas that are soaked overnight. Tumeric, Zaatar, and Sumac are prevalent flavors throughout the establishment, as well as, one particular ingredient that isn’t easily found; family. Many of the recipes hail from the sisters’ mother, grandmother, or the dynamic duo. When I was briefly chatting with Carine, she explained that she was an “emotional eater,” and that it made her really happy to see others enjoying recipes that reminded her of her happy childhood.


Meals are served with a choice of base (bowl or wrap, brown rice, romaine, or half/half), choice of a main protein, as well as two flavors. I chose a bowl, half rice, half lettuce, Taouk chicken, Tahini carrots, and of course, the hummus. I also opted for a little side of the sweet & sour eggplant. The colors and flavors were vibrant, rich, and they tasted as beautifully as they Instagrammed.

Taouk Chicken
Taouk Chicken

Semsom also offers freshly made lemonades. The Rose Lemonade was, by far, my favorite! In addition, I was pleasantly surprised to discover they brew La Colombe coffee!

If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat afterward, Semsom also offers mini muffins in three flavors; cranberry cardamom, chocolate halva, and turmeric. Should frozen treats be more up your alley, the Astor Place location offers Vegan soft serve ice cream, while the Columbus Circle offers popsicles.

When the meal is over, guests can check out the retail area and purchase some artisan soap, rose water, orange blossom water, or many of the other Mediterranean themed items the restaurant has to offer. For diners who are short on time, Semsom also offers freshly pre-packs Watermelon and Feta salads, hummus packs, and other tasty treats. Whether you’re looking to try some authentic Lebanese flavors or just needing a quick snack after that intense workout at David Barton, make sure to stop in at Semsom and “seed” what it’s all about.


The Social List: Beers and Bites in Long Beach

IMG_9158While I may be a San Diegan now, my mom still lives in Long Beach and I have always loved that neighborhood and the awesome eateries that pop up there.  So when I had the opportunity to check out The Social List I jumped at it, and my foodie brother Eric was happy to tag along for some beers and delicious bites!

The Social List
2105 E. 4th Street, Long Beach CA, 90814


The Social List is an airy and modern spot located on a quiet corner in Downtown Long Beach that has a cute outdoor seating area, the sweetest staff, craft beers in both bottle and tap, and some really stellar food that we are still raving about. The entire experience from start to finish was one of the best restaurant experiences I’ve had, and the staff was so knowledgable and helpful in selecting beers and bites!


Because we are two of the most indecisive people you’ve ever met, we started out with a flight of beers and went with (from left to right): Avery Raspberry Sour, Stone Farking Wheaton W00t Stout, Nom Nom Mango Hefeweizen, and – one of my personal favorites – Modern Times Black House.

FullSizeRenderWe then moved on to our three delicious appetizers! We tried the Patatas Bravas, which are crispy Kennebec potatoes in a garlic aioli and spicy bravas sauce. Our server suggested that we squeeze the lemon over them for an extra pop of acidity and it definitely put them over the top. The tangy bravas sauce was balanced out by the aioli and the lemon tied it all together while the potatoes still maintained a nice crispy exterior. IMG_9171

Our next choice was the Roasted Cauliflower, because I am a huge fan of buffalo cauliflower in basically any way shape or form, and this did not disappoint. I really appreciated that they were not totally smothered in the house-made buffalo sauce (even though it was delicious) as they were able to maintain a nice crunch, and the blue cheese added the perfect little kick without being overwhelming.

IMG_9169Our last appetizer was the Chicken and Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, which had the perfect balance of chicken and shrimp, and a light and tasty sauce that still let the proteins shine. I loved the combo of the chicken and shrimp as opposed to the typical chicken lettuce wrap, as it added a whole new dimension to a classic dish.





For the entrees our server pointed us in the perfect direction of this Spicy Sriracha Pasta: linguine in a spicy sriracha sauce with both chicken and shrimp. The sauce on this pasta was amazing, and even though I was getting full and starting to slow down, I kept coming back for more, and more, and more. The shrimp and chicken both worked really well here and I once again appreciated that they used both, as it mixed up the textures and kept things feeling fresh and not one note, as pasta can sometimes be.


For my brother, who eats red meat unlike me, the server suggested he go with the Braised Short Rib entree, served over sauteed kale, marinara, and house-made gnocchi, and he was so happy he did. Eric said that the short rib was super tender and delicious, with mild flavors that paired really well with the kale and marinara. Even though I couldn’t taste the star of this dish, I definitely stole a gnocchi and it was like a magical little pillow that I immediately wanted more of.

FullSizeRenderI would highly recommend running over to The Social List if you find yourself anywhere near Long Beach, and I know that I personally will be returning with the rest of my family in tow as soon as I can!

SF Foodie Fest Preview: Eat Drink SF 2016

Photo by Gamma Nine

I know everyone always claims their hometown food is the best — but when you live where fresh bay water meets sea salt and sand, it’s hard to deny that San Francisco is where it’s at when it comes to fresh produce. Now add the fact that some of our country’s most innovative chefs set up shop all along the peninsula, and us San Fran kids really have something to be proud of. So this year, I’m joining the crowd to celebrate the best of the Bay’s homegrown food, world-class chefs, restaurants, somms, mixologists — and all things to eat and drink in SF — at Eat Drink SF 2016.

Photo by Gamma Nine
Photo by Gamma Nine

About the Eat Drink SF

Each year, Eat Drink SF invites foodies, wine-nerds, culinary enthusiasts, and just plain hungry and thirsty people to meet and greet with top local chefs, bartenders, and sommeliers. The three-day event, running from Thursday, August 26 – 28, will include over 160 restaurants participants who will provide tasty treats, cooking demonstrations, and more.


Photo by Gamma Nine
Photo by Gamma Nine

Those looking for a little more to munch on will certainly be able to find it. Participating restaurants include:

1300 on Fillmore, Alembic, Brasserie S&P, Cafe Claude, Cathead’s BBQ, Chiaroscuro, Cross Hatch Eatery, Delfina Pizzeria, Dragon Beaux, E&O Kitchen and Bar, Gaspar Brasserie, Gitane, Hog & Rocks, Humphry Slocombe, Huxley, Konjoe, Lemonade, Luce, Michael Mina, Precita Park Cafe, Roka Akor, Souvla, Spaghetti Bros., SPIN San Francisco, Terzo, The Keystone, The Market, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Tratto, Zero Zero

If you’re interested in learning a few kitchen tips and tricks, you’re certainly going to want to check out the Main Stage where lectures, demonstrations, and Q&A with industry experts will be featured all day. Check out the Events Page for details.

And let’s not forget about us drink enthusiasts! This year, Eat Drink SF will feature over 70 bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries who will provide the events drinks as well as host tastings and seminars. Featured beverages will include:

Bass Note Sangria, Beaujolais Wines, Bodega Norton, Buena Vista Cafe, Ca’ Momi Winery, Carpano Antica Formula, Chateau Gassier, Concannon Vineyard, Fernet Branca, FloWater, Joel Gott Winery, Kikori Whiskey, Korbel California Champagne, Junipero Gin, Mr. Espresso, Provenance Vineyards, Pure Leaf Iced Tea: Tea House Collection, Purity Organics, Robert Mondavi Winery, SIMI Winery, Singani 63, Sipsmith Independent Spirits, San Francisco Brewers Guild, S. PELLEGRINO® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Spirit Works Distillery, Stella Artois, Stella Artois Cidre,Templeton Rye, Teeling Whiskey, The Glenlivet, The Hess Collection, Torres Brandy, Trinchero Napa Valley, Trumer Pils, Tullamore D.E.W, Wente Vineyards, Woodford Reserve, Zaya Rum, and Zodiac Vodka.

Photo by Gamma Nine
Photo by Gamma Nine

And just like the culinary kids, pros in the beverage industry will be hosting several educational seminars throughout the day as well in the San Francisco Wine School Beverage Classroom. I’m personally excited for Saturday’s Chardonnay: Burgundy, Butter & Beyond with Chris Gaither, AS.

Oh, but I do hope the SF Wine School brings more cute tattoos…

SF Wine School Tats

Join Us!

Hungry for more? Tickets are still available on the Eat Drink SF website. And whether you’re there for just one day or the whole weekend, I guarantee you won’t go thirsty or hungry.


Eat Drink SF is presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association — the local restaurant representative organization and political advocate.

All photos of EDSF are from the 2015 event. Photography © 2015 Marc Fiorito w/ Gamma Nine | All Rights Reserved

Tito Ron’s Brings the Philippines to Kensington Market in Toronto

Can’t you feel the love?!

14 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L8 (Kensington Market)

Welcome to Tito Ron’s!

This power couple, Tristen Petate and Michael McFarlane, have made the culinary dream come true; to open up shop and sell their food to the masses. From humble beginnings of working food festivals across Toronto in 2015, to finally opening their shop in Kensington Market in 2016; these two have managed to open up shop in less than a years’ time. A common way to test the food scene waters is to start up in various food festivals held throughout Toronto. Tito Ron’s started with those rounds and that is how I (along with other Toronto foodies) got to know the two amazing owners. Tito Ron is the father of their Chef, Tristen Petate, and they started this business not only to sell and promote Filipino Food but also to help Tito Ron retire and rest his bones.

Tristen Petate (left) and Michael McFarlane (right) speaking with customers

Who doesn’t love a good fusion?!

They have worked hard and created this concept of a fusion of Caribbean and Filipino Flavours that they hope will turn the heads of Torontonians and get Filipino food on the map! Once they’ve rallied a ton of support through the food festivals, they were able to open up shop in Kensington Market, a multicultural neighbourhood which is designated a National Historic Site of Canada. They always refer to their supporters as “Lumpia Lovers” (lumpia being Filipino Spring Rolls; #LumpiaLovers) as this is the dish that has started their reign.

Jerk Chicken Lumpia

Jerk Chicken Lumpia (spring rolls) with their housemade hot sauce & lechon sauce

One of their fusion Filipino/Caribbean babies is the Jerk Chicken Lumpia (pronounced Lume-pee-ah). That’s right, JERK CHICKEN SPRING ROLL! To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical as I LOVE a good jerk chicken and nothing can ever beat jerk chicken from Jamaica (amazing country to visit. by the way!). However these sticks explode with flavour! You get the flavours of the spices you expect from a great jerk with the crunch of the perfectly deep fried spring roll wrapper. To take it over the edge, dip these bad boys into a mix of their housemade hot sauce and lechon (pork) sauce and game over.

Tocino Slider

Tocino (aka Filipino bacon) Sliders topped with salted tomato, their “Big Mac” sauce and pickled carrot slaw in Caribbean tennis rolls

One of their best sellers (and definitely my favourite) is the Tocino Slider. This is their take on a Filipino dish, Filipino Bacon aka Tocino (pronounced Toe-see-no). They do offer this in a more traditional form (aka rice) but this is definitely a new take. Tocino is a cured pork which can be sweet or savoury; this is a childhood favourite of mine so the standards are up high! Tito Ron’s take on tocino is of the sweet variety which they prepare and cure in house! The sweetness that you can take away from it is pineapple which also adds a bit of a sour factor. The tocino is grilled on their flat top along with a pair of Caribbean tennis rolls which are used due to their near resemblance to the Filipino sweet buns, pandesal. The tocino is then placed on the bun sauced with their “Bic Mac” sauce and topped with a slice of salted tomato and housemade pickled carrot slaw. Just perfect. These sliders just encompass the essence of Filipino cuisine; it’s sweet, savoury, salty, sour, everything that Filipino dishes are!

Turon Sundae

Turon Sundae with a scoop of ube ice cream, a scoop of cheese and corn ice cream, three ube turons, drizzle of mango condensed milk, plantain chips and ube cookies

For their first summer in Kensington Market, they have created the Turon Sundae. Want something that’s sweet, crunchy, cold, hot, yummy and everything under the sun? This is the treat for you!

The turon sundae was featured on BlogTO (an excellent source for the newest and upcoming in Toronto) in a video format with over 917K views! The Turon Sundae consists of 2 scoops of Magnolia ice cream (which, as co-owner Michael would refer to it as is the Häagen-Dazs ice cream of the Philippines). You have your choice of various flavours from mango to ube (purple yam) to cheese and corn, 3 of their Ube turon (sweet purple yam spring rolls), plantain chips, ube cookies, and mango condensed milk.

The ice cream combo I ordered is what Michael refers to as the “Pinoy Special”. I chose the ube and cheese and corn. Why is this referred to as the “Pinoy Special”? That’s because only Filipinos would be excited to have cheese and corn ice cream. So if you would like to be an honourary Filipino then be sure to get a taste of the cheese and corn ice cream! (Yes, you can ask for samples of the ice cream flavours to ensure you do enjoy it!)

Pro tip! Take the hot freshly deep fried turon and scoop it into the ice cream and all the toppings, for the perfect bite! Not only is this treat refreshing but it is also a pretty filling and satisfying snack!

If you’re ever in Toronto, definitely check out Tito Ron’s and the Kensington Market! You’ll be able to get a taste of our history and also a taste of the Philippines.

Everything’s Peachy with Dawn

peach, mozzarella, basil, summer saladPeach season is in full swing. I prefer to wait until freestone peaches are available before I shop. I do not have the time OR the patience for the cling style. Too much waste. I always buy a half bushel. I freeze 2/3 of the bushel. I peel and slice the peaches then lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After the individual slices are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag. I can then grab what I need! Here are just a few of my favorite peach recipes. Enjoy!

Peachy Caprese Salad
Servings: 1

1 peach, peeled and cut into dice-sized pieces
1-2 ounces fresh mozzarella
2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn
Balsamic glaze, drizzle

Gently toss the peaches, mozzarella, and basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy.
Add some vine ripe tomatoes.
Replace basil leaves with mint.

green tea, peach, smoothie, healthy, summerPeachy Green Tea Smoothie
Servings: 1

1 cup brewed and chilled green tea
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1/2 banana, frozen
1 tsp. agave nectar

Place all ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth.
Replace 1/2 cup green tea with 1/2 cup greek yogurt.
Add one scoop of vanilla protein powder.
Add one tsp of ground flax seed.

peach, almond, crisp

Smitten Kitchen’s Almond-Crisped Peaches
Serves: 8

4 ripe peaches
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter cubed
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut peaches in half and discard the pit. Put peaches, cut side up, in a low-sided baking dish. Stir together almond flour, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Add butter and combine with other ingredients with a fork or in a food processor. Spoon the mixture into the center of each peach and press flat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tops are crisped and fork tender.

I eat these babies for breakfast with an egg and a slice of toasted raisin bread or for dinner next to a yummy pork chop.
peach, almond, cinnamon

peach chutney, summer recipe

The Porch Restaurant’s Peach Chutney
from Southern Living Off the Beaten Path Second Helpings
Servings: 2 cups

1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add brown sugar, black pepper and ground red pepper. Continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in peaches. Process half of the mixture with an immersion blender. Stir the pureed mixture into the remaining peach mixture. Put in another bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

The Porch serves this with fresh burrata and garlic toast. This chutney is good on everything! I have even put it on ice cream.

Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop in College Park, FL

Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop
3405 Edgewater Drive, College Park, Florida 32804


Imagine a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-style Chipotle and you’ll have a good idea of the concept behind Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop. In a cheery environment, Hubbly Bubbly has an authentic taste with meat roasting on skewers to go with the fresh hummus, pita, and vegetable salads down the line. Everyone shows up for the food but always come back to see Georgie. Georgie is the talkative Lebanese owner and, if you’re lucky, by the end of your meal, he will bring samples of new dishes to your table.


My usual order is a hummus bowl with fresh falafel. The hummus base is smooth with paprika and olive oil poured over it. My favorite toppings are the pickled radishes and homemade tabbouleh salad. By the end of the line, my bowl always looks like a bright, healthy rainbow. The crunchy vegetables with the creamy hummus make for a great, lighter bite. Whether you eat your food with a fork or with pita,  you always have enough left to take home for later.

The spinach pies are another must-have! The spinach marinated with a delicious blend of spices is then wrapped in a crispy filo dough.  The Spinach pie is prepared fresh in-house or IMG_5744sometimes delivered each morning from a nearby bakery. The savory pastry is delicious and served fresh from the oven. Along with a delicious lentil dish in a tomato sauce base, the spinach pies were a suggestion from Georgie when he found out I was a vegetarian. Since then, I have always trusted Georgie’s recommendations.

Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop is a staple on Edgewater Drive in the College Park neighborhood. The local business has a unique menu and boasts an exciting, local beer selection. With a staff that is more than willing to make suggestions, it’s a great place to try new things in an inviting atmosphere. While you’re there, tell Georgie I say hello!