Girls on Food

Tacos

LA Food Fest 2017 Preview: Familiar Faces And New Friends Representing The Best Of The LA Scene

Tickets are still on sale for the LA Food Fest! Check out their site here. We hope to see you there! 

We were given a glimpse at all the goodies that are in store for the LA Food Fest, June 10th, 2017, 2 – 7 PM at LA Memorial Coliseum, 3911 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037.

Get out those #stretchypants! The LA Food Fest always features award-winning chefs and restaurants, plenty of food stands, food trucks and carts, a beer garden, cocktail bars, coffee, desserts… basically everything under the sun!

For the $65 general admission ticket, LA Food Fest offers 100+ food and beverage vendors. For the $95 VIP ticket, attendees are given early entry and access to the VIP Lounge.

We were at LA Food Fest last year and this year, we’re even more excited because many foodie businesses we’ve featured on GOF in the past are going to be there serving up bites. It’s always good to see your friends! There will also be some new faces, and we’re excited to see them as well.

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San Diego Reader’s Tacotopia 2017

There are very few things in this world that I love more than tacos, to be quite honest, tacos were over half the reason I even moved down to San Diego. That being said, I was probably way too excited to go back to Tacotopia, at Golden Hill Park, this year to help cast my vote for the Most Innovative and Best Traditional Tacos in San Diego. My friend Courtney and I spent our Saturday in Golden Hill Park eating our way through over 50 of San Diego’s best tacos!

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

 

This event put on by the San Diego Reader is always extremely well-executed with various beverage companies sampling products, tons of prizes and giveaways, live music, and this time- margaritas!

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Ocean Avenue’s Day At The Races

Ocean Avenue’s Day At The Races, was a culinary walking tour jam-packed with food, drinks and entertainment. Select Santa Monica restaurants, located within walking distance, such as Del Frisco’s, Red O, O+O Sicilian Kitchen and Bar, Chez Jay, Jimmy’s Famous Tavern, and Herringbone and also the Loews Hotel come together and celebrate the Kentucky Derby. Proceeds went to the Surfrider Foundation, which is an organization that is dear to me.

Ahi Tacos by Del Frisco’s

Surfrider Foundation helps protect our beaches and to keep our waters clean. I was fortunate enough to meet and speak with three core volunteers Summer, Josh and Graham from the West Los Angeles Malibu Chapter. My son has participated in beach clean ups before for Dock Weiler (#proudmomma!) so I was happy for him to meet others who are noble in their care for beaches as well.

We were given a card that mapped out all 7 places we needed to visit and had to have checked off on our list. Once you complete the card, you have the opportunity to bring it back to the main booth at Del Frisco’s and be entered in a drawing to win a night stay at The Shore Hotel. Who wouldn’t want to win staying at a cool, chic and hip hotel right on Ocean Avenue?

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Hermosa Beach Fish Shop: Fast-Casual With Something For Everyone

I always feel my best when I’m following a pescatarian diet. I may post the best burgers in town, but in my off time, I try to limit my proteins to ocean and plant based ones. When I was invited to taste items from the Hermosa Beach Fish Shop menu I was relieved, cause after so many meat-packed tastings, I was excited to try some lighter bites.

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop 
719 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
http://thefishshophermosabeach.com

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

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

Straight up chillin’ in the prison yard, yo

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

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

 

a view from the balcony
classy pants art installation

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

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

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

Biscuits

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Katie’s Crock-Pot Fajitas: Perfect for Busy Moms!

I’m obsessed with this new (Crock-Pot) recipe, it turned out so much better than expected! Before settling in for the evening last night, I cut up my veggies, and when I woke up this morning, I sprayed my Crock-Pot with coconut oil (from Trader Joe’s), and tossed in my onions and peppers, added a pound of chicken, and spices.

 

 

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Taco Tuesday: Buena Onda in Philly

After a sleep deprived night in Center City Philadelphia, Fatboi Jess and friends set off to find a brunch spot worthy of a blog post. Promises of an hour wait from Sabrina’s Cafe led the crew to happen upon Buena Onda Taqueria. This spot opens at 11 and when we arrived at 10:45 there was already a line forming, which proved to be a good sign. Walking into the establishment we were met with dreamy, island decor. A beer tap beckoned with a sign for a free cerveza for patrons of age. Who could fret over a line with an invitation like that?

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Let’s Taco About It!: Tacos Chukis in Seattle

Tacos are the universal go-to food for anyone who’s looking for something quick to eat, and they offer a unique versatility and variety. The thing that I like the most about them is that almost everyone you know loves to eat tacos! In fact, we as a society take eating tacos so seriously that we created “Taco Tuesday,” a day in the middle of the week dedicated to celebrate eating them.

Tacos Chukis
832 Dexter Ave, Seattle, WA 98109

You won’t be able to find a website for Tacos Chukis. I’ve heard that this place is like the Fight Club of tacos. Supposedly you don’t talk about Tacos Chukis unless someone is bringing you there for the first time, or you bump into it. In fact you only know about Tacos Chukis from Seattle natives like myself OR most likely you’ll see one of your friends post on either Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

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Tex-Mex #TacoTuesday in Round Rock, Texas

 

Torchy’s Tacos
2150 Palm Valley Road, Round Rock, TX 78664
http://torchystacos.com/location/round-rock/
During the Christmas holiday, I left the sunny skies of Fort Lauderdale to visit my little sister who lives near Austin, TX. She let me know that Torchy’s Tacos was definitely on the menu during my stay there and for good reason. Since being featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Torchy’s Tacos is well on its way to becoming a legendary “must-stop” spot near Austin, TX.

Having lived in Southern California for some years, I learned to love a good, authentic street taco so I was not sure what to expect with Torchy’s. My sister just moved to Texas from our hometown in the Midwest. While there’s nothing like the staple meat and potatoes dishes from back home, I wasn’t quite sure if her definition of “damn good” tacos would stand up to my seasoned palette. Either way, my little sister talked up this place something fierce, so I was revved try it. I have to say I was not only very much not disappointed; I was as pleased as a pig in mud.

Quite simply, the food here is damn good.

My boyfriend, sister and I all went in with a battle plan of sorts. First, we were going to tackle their homemade sodas. They both stuck to that plan. Me? I decided that even though it was only a bit after noon, I wanted a drink. That is what vacation is about, eh?

On to the food! We planned to each get something different so the others could try a variety of tacos. That plan pretty much went by the wayside when my boyfriend and I ordered almost the same spread and my sister decided to go with a shrimp taco variation. For the average person, a shrimp taco might sound divine, but unless I am ready to meet my maker, it’s a no-go for me since I am highly allergic to shellfish.

I ordered three tacos. The Brushfire, which was a combination of spices and seasoning that almost blew my mouth away. It. Was. Spicy. The taco consisted of marinated jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, and cilantro. Ladies, it comes with a dab of Diablo hot sauce as well. I’m pretty sure the devil himself made it because when I bit into it, I felt the heat of a thousand suns in my mouth. I thought I was just being a baby, but my Jamaican boyfriend who is plenty used to spice said it was spicy to him. So, yes. It’s spicy. This taco usually comes with sour cream, probably to cool things down, but I opted out of that. I guess I like to walk on the wild side. Despite its straight from hell spicy factor, I would order it again. It had great flavor and is a bonus if anyone needs their sinuses aired out.

Chicken Fajita. Y’all. I had a regular, ole chicken fajita taco at a place that offered specialty tacos with names like Dirty Sanchez and Mr. Pink. I lamed out with that choice. Of all the tacos I had, I would skip this one when ordering again. There was nothing wrong with it. But, the other two tacos were so right that this one seemed a bit bland in comparison.

 

That brings me to the last taco. The Mr. Orange, a fresh combination of blackened salmon, grilled bean and corn relish, a sauce blend of queso fresco and cilantro along with cotija cheese and avocado salad. Of the three, this was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. Each taco was delicious, but I could have easily put away three or four Mr. Orange tacos. The salmon cooked just right, and the mix of flavors had a nice combination of sweet, zesty and savory. I usually ask for my sauces on the side, but since I was going for the full experience, I decided not to, which ended up being a great decision. If you usually are a sauce-on-the-side girl, try asking for light sauce but keep the taco as original to the menu as possible. Your tastebuds will thank you.

After getting our grub on at Torchy’s, we decided to head to Round Rock Donuts for sweet treats. If you remember from another post of mine, I do not like donuts. In fact, when ranking my top dessert options, donuts would not be anywhere near the top of the list. However, since being exposed to the fine confections that are homemade donuts, I figured, “why not?”

Round Rock Donuts
106 W. Liberty Ave., Round Rock, TX 78664
http://roundrockdonuts.com/

It was, again, a smart choice. We got a variety of donuts there. Small ones. Big ones. Ones you might even be able to fit your head through. That would be the Texas-sized donut.

When compared to a regular one, the Texas-sized donut probably equals about five donuts stretched out to make a giant “O” shape. It looked glorious. And like a heart attack. So we passed on that one. But, if you’re a “when in Rome” type person, try it out and comment on how you liked it. With so many appealing goodies in the local donut shop, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.

Taco Taco in SLC: Naked #TacoTuesday

Situated in downtown SLC is Taco Taco, a modern taqueria that is beautifully balancing authenticity with modern “millenary cuisine.”

Taco Taco
208 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
tacotaco.com

 

 

 

I am a street food junkie and lucky for me once a week, every week, we devote the day to tacos. After grabbing a beerita and some chips & salsa I settled in and got ready to feast.

Authentic and best served naked, these tacos are served to your table sans toppings – just a healthy heaping portion of whatever filling you ordered. As a meat lover and taco purist, it is refreshing to see this Mexican street food served traditionally and authentically.

However, for gringas like myself, they have provided a generous topping bar that, I am ready to say, is hands down the best in Utah. Filled with house made caramelized onions, shredded cabbage, pickled red onions, pickled jalapeños and carrots, limes, cucumbers, and of course white onions and cilantro, their topping bar also includes a selection of fresh salsas/sauces for you to top your tacos – six of them, to be exact.

 

 

 

 

 

The chicken chili verde is a house favorite, so first I ordered that. However, I decided today, like every day, would be a cheat day… so I ordered every taco on the menu, nachos al pastor, and a margarita (for digestion, obviously) then quickly got to work. The meat and zucchini blossom taco is good enough to eat sans toppings, but I was not about to pass up the chance to creatively stuff my face and to make a long story short – I put everything on everything. Tacos also come with a side of tortilla chips that are perfect for scooping up anything that may have jumped out of your taco. 

    

The big surprise here was the zucchini blossom. It tasted fresh and creamy and as a meat lover who is super non-accommodating to my vegetarian friends, I didn’t feel like I was missing a thing. This taco should be named “king taco” for vegetarians because it packs incredible flavor and (honestly) potato tacos are not cutting it. I topped it with mild pico, cabbage, caramelized onions, and a very spicy white sauce that turned out to be spicy crema. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

My hands down favorite was the al pastor taco. Prior to overfilling it with all the toppings, I tasted the meat and this was so perfect naked I could cry. It had the most flavor and the meat was cooked to perfection. It was tender and juicy and at home in the corn taco shell.

The special, which was a mahi mahi beer battered taco with a cabbage slaw, paired well with the lime margarita and didn’t need a thing from the toppings bar. Their daily specials, which are primarily seafood, provide variety for the one person in the group who is doing a stupid diet so it’s fish taco Tuesday for them.

Taco Taco is easily the quiet assassin of all taco restaurants in Salt Lake, delivering a clear message to taco importers. From their laid back atmosphere to their done-up toppings bar they are definitely not to be missed. If you like good inexpensive food grab your friend who’s always down to get tacos and get there.

A Hollywood Take on #TacoTuesday

A while back, Girls on Food founder Julianne had the opportunity to visit Trejo’s Tacos Truck and posted an interview with Danny Trejo. I drooled over the taco shots! So when the Hollywood spot opened up, I jumped at the chance to give their new menu a try.

Trejo’s Cantina
1556 N Cahuenga Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
http://www.trejostacos.com/

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Guacamole

Trejo’s Cantina takes a modern spin on traditional Mexican favorites. I began the night with a delicious guacamole and iced cochata (cold brew coffee and horchata). Packed with flavor, the guacamole featured pistachios, lime, and Serrano chilies, which gave it a tangy kick with a smooth finish.

The cochata was also a winner in my book. I love horchata, so I was interested in trying it with coffee. I wish I had waited to get it for dessert because it went well with the churros but more on that later!

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Cauliflower Taco

I tried several of the tacos including the rainbow cauliflower taco, mixed with corn, cashew cream, pickled onion, and cilantro; this taco offered a range of flavors that I wasn’t expecting in a veggie dish. I don’t usually like cauliflower because it’s sometimes too soft but to my surprise, the cauliflower was firm and full of flavor. I also enjoyed the carnitas with grilled pineapple taco. It was spicy, but the pineapple offered sweetness to balance out the kick.

I also tried several burritos, not offered at the La Brea location and received another surprise. The chicken burrito was delicious. I typically sway toward steak and carnitas when it comes to Mexican food, but this chicken was juicy and flavorful. The beans were also delightfully seasoned and meshed well with the rice. If you’re into spicy food, I would recommend the spicy shrimp burrito. I struggled to get through it because I’m a cry-baby when it comes to spicy foods but if that’s your thing then that’s your dish. The shrimp was super good, but I had some tears swelling up by the end of the plate.

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Churros with cajeta, Mexican chocolate, and strawberry sauces.

Now for the sweet finale – Trejo’s offers three different desserts and I went for the churros. As I mentioned before, the churros go well with the iced cochata. Because the coffee-based beverage has sweet notes and coffee in it, it pairs well with the churros. The churros came with cajeta, strawberry, and Mexican chocolate sauces. I’m usually a chocolate gal, but the strawberry sauce was the real MVP of this dish.

Trejo’s Cantina offers more than good food. The restaurant brand has expanded to serve craft beers to pair with each taco and burrito. Be sure to ask your server for recommendations for beer to pair with your meal. They have tons of beers, including an award-winning dessert beer, to go with each menu item. Just be sure to keep it safe and leave the car keys at home because you’re going to want to check out a wide variety of the craft beers and maybe even finish the night with a spicy margarita! Cheers!

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Cheers!