Posted tagged ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’

Happy Heart Day!

February 14, 2012

I got this gorgeous box in the mail last Friday from TM.  Actually, the note only said “Happy Valentine’s Day!” with no name on it so I wasn’t sure who it was from.  It could’ve been from Justin Timberlake for all I know. ; )

Valerie Confections was featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate last December on the Season’s Eatings episode.  Sunny Anderson said these petits fours are amazing and she sends them to her friends for the holidays.  She orders the rose petal petits.

From their website:  “Each rose petal petits four contains 4 layers of delicate vanilla bean cake layered with rose petal ganache and covered in white chocolate. Atop each petits four is a single candied rose petal.”

I tend to always lean towards matcha so I definitely love these.  The green tea flavor isn’t too strong.  The rose petits definitely had a subtle rose taste and the candied petal on top is a beautiful touch.  Each bite was sweet but not overwhelming.  Each treat is handmade to perfection and made with a great attention to detail.  TM was advised to have the petits fours arrive last Friday (even though it is a Valentine’s gift) so they would not sit in a warehouse over the weekend.  I have been savoring each bite and cannot wait to have another tonight after dinner!

3360 W. 1st Street   Los Angeles, CA

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Finger food in Portland

August 19, 2011

It is no secret that I often turn to “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” as a source of inspiration.  If I am traveling somewhere, I will look up which restaurants have been featured on that show and will try to plan my itinerary around those places – if it’s something I’m interested in.  If something sounds really good when I first see the episode, I will make a mental note of it and will remember it is a must the next time I am in that city.

That is exactly why it is so pleasantly surprising to see a place I visited on my own, featured on the show.  It’s even more special when something I ate there is on the show as well!

Rahm Fama chose Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings from Pok Pok in Portland as his favorite finger food.  Guy Fieri visited this place on DD and D.  The chef, Andy Ricker, creates his recipes based on his travels through Asia.  It is described as fresh natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce, garlic and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Phu Quoc fish sauce and garlic and served with Vietnamese table salad on the menu.

Chef Andy mixes garlic, salt and water together then strains it through a cheese cloth.  If actual minced garlic is on the chicken wing, it will burn when fried.  Genius!  He then adds fine sugar and fish sauce to the garlic water and marinates the chicken overnight.  He dredges the wings in rice flour and some tempura flour and deep fries them.  They are then topped with the “wing caramel” which is fish sauce, water and sugar.  He adds some chili paste and fried garlic to it and you’ve got some spicy-sweet Vietnamese chicken wings!

We went to Pok Pok with our dear friends Elisa and Matt, who live in Portland and hosted us that trip.  Everything we tried had wonderful flavor to it and our plates were licked clean.  I’d definitely want to go back the next time we are in town!

3226 SE Division St.  Portland, OR 97202

So we might’ve cheated a little…

February 2, 2011

I was most excited about trying out the english muffins at The Model Bakery in Napa.  Chef Michael Chiarello chose it for “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” so of course, I wanted to try it too.    Our hotel was a few blocks away from the bakery so we (the english muffin and I) were destined to meet!  I had heard they sell out quickly so I knew we needed head over as soon as we could.

Apparently 9:30 AM is not early enough so TM ended up with a cinnamon roll.  It was pretty dense and had raisins in it.  Not exactly my cup of tea.  Plus, I was pouty disappointed that they were sold out of english muffins!

I ended up with my usual cheese danish.  This cheese danish was quite good.  Light and fluffy and cheesy in the middle… but it was still no english muffin.

I got over the missing english muffin after while.  We stopped for lunch at V. Sattui (a must when we are in Napa) and decided to venture across the street to Dean & Deluca.  I was wandering around looking at the overpriced bags of rice (5 pounds for $6, really?!?) when I noticed their bakery counter off to the side.  It was like a light shining down from the heavens.  In the corner of the glass case I saw the english muffins with a sign that read “English Muffins from Model Bakery.” So we might’ve cheated a little.  We really DID try to get these from The Model Bakery!

I immediately bought four and took them home to eat.  They were light, airy, buttery and fluffy.  It looked nothing like a Thomas’ english muffins you buy in the store and tasted nothing like it as well!  These were so buttery, we didn’t need any extra butter and it tasted PERFECT toasted with some strawberry jam.

Oxbow Public Market   644 First Street    Napa, CA

Sorry, everything is delicious

January 25, 2011

TM and I took a little drive to Napa a couple of weekends ago and saw this gorgeous landscape.  We’re so spoiled in California with January temperatures in the high 60’s while other parts of the country are battling blizzards!

This was our first time going up to Sterling Vineyards.  You take the tram up to the top and do a self guided tour with five wine tastings.  It was the perfect day for some wine and relaxation.

We had 11:30 reservations at Mustards Grill and I am so glad we did.  It was amazing to see how quickly every single table filled up around us before we even got our food!  We started out with the crab cake appetizers.  One order comes with two crab cakes and salad and the restaurant was nice enough to split it onto two dishes.  Little did they know I didn’t want to share… TM hates crab usually!  It’s edible for him when it is fresh and fried.  This was no exception.  It was a great crab cake – fresh and meaty, not heavy.  I loved the vinaigrette on the side salad too.

We ordered not only one but TWO appetizers.  TM loves thin onion rings when they are thin like this and he quickly gobbled up most of the plate.  I liked these hot but once they cooled down, they tasted like an oily mess.  I needed to save room for the main entrée.  These were served with a side of their homemade tomato-apple ketchup.  Every single table we saw had an order of these onion rings going out to them!

I ordered an ahi tuna sandwich with the pickled ginger on the side.  It was probably my mistake because the sandwich missed a little extra zing – but I don’t like pickled ginger so I gave it all to TM.  The sandwich was good but the fries were quite excellent.

The thing I wanted to try most was the grilled pork chop.  It was Bobby Flay’s recommendation on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  The sweet and sour red cabbage turned me off so I had TM order it.  I just wanted a bite of the pork chop to say I tried it.  One bite turned into two, then three, then four… this Mongolian Pork Chop was moist on the inside with perfect flavors and the housemade mustard only enhanced the grilled meat.

We parked next to their garden which produces about twenty percent of the restaurant’s produce.  I love this!  It must be beautiful in the summertime with lots of colorful veggies growing on the two acres by the restaurant.

Sorry, everything is delicious.  I overheard the people at the table next to us telling their server that they stop at Mustards every time they come to Napa.  They order different main dishes but those onion rings are a must every visit!  We had to fight our way out of the restaurant.  It was packed with people who had not made reservations and were waiting for a table.

How cute is this sign?!?  Why, I’d love to!

7399 Saint Helena Highway   Napa, CA

Thank you Tyler Florence!

January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!  It is rare that TM has a work-free weekend so we took this opportunity to drive up to Sausalito for a day trip.  He had never been there before and for some reason, I thought it would be sunny and gorgeous up there all weekend.

Of course, I suggested Sausalito because there was some food stuff I wanted needed to try.  I’m starting to quite love Tyler Florence and any of his food recommendations on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  On the “Reinvented Classics” episode, Tyler mentioned the crab roll at Fish.  It is the west coast sibling to the lobster roll!

It is sweet Dungeness crab mixed with chives and butter piled onto a roll that has been grilled with butter.  You can choose shoestring fries, side salad or coleslaw but really, who would choose anything but fries?

These shoestring fries were pretty darn amazing!  They were light and plentiful!!

Here’s a close up of the crab meat.  The best part was not having to crack the crab and dig for the meat myself.  It was bite after bite of meaty, buttery goodness.  At $25 per sandwich this was definitely not a cheap meal but so worth it.

TM is a real trooper and went along with me (he had no choice, really) to this seafood restaurant.  He ordered the Saigon Salmon sandwich which was a grilled marinated salmon with carrot, jalapeno, cilantro, with a Vietnamese ginger scallion sauce spread onto the roll.  The sauce definitely had a little kick to it!  He ordered the side of coleslaw and stole some of my fries.

TM splurged and went for a hot chocolate since it was so cold out.  It had the perfect blend of cinnamon in the hot chocolate!

All cold drinks were served in darling Mason jars.  Even the draft beer!  (I have a feeling they started this before the current wedding trend.)

Everything on the menu is fresh and sustainable.  Fish Restaurant received the Sustainable North Bay Award to honor their commitment to protecting wild fish populations and helping the local economy by supporting local fisherman.  Go Fish!

We arrived at 11:30 on the dot and were the second party in the restaurant.  We soon saw families and couples come in.  I’m so glad we got there when we did.  Every seat in the place was filled once we got our food and a family of four snatched up our table as soon as we stood up to leave.

I was surprised at how many families with little children there were at Fish.  I asked TM if we would come back with our kids one day and he said our future kids can eat $1 chicken mcnuggets from McD’s… not $7 PB&J that is on the menu at Fish.  They have a small kids menu with four items on it including fish sticks, grilled cheese, PB&J and pasta.

This place is cash only so make sure to hit the ATM before you go!

350 Harbor Drive   Sausalito, CA

Benny’s Seafood Restaurant

July 14, 2010

We are going on quite the tour of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” locations in the major US cities!!  It just happens that we have plans to visit LA, NY, Miami, etc. and we go to the places that caught our attention on the show.

Guy Fieri visited Benny’s Seafood on his show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and also mentioned the below dish on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” as the best fried food. 

We went for lunch and grabbed a couple appetizers.  We went for a pizza empanadas and corn sticks.  What are corn sticks, you ask?  They tasted just like the “corn” in corn dog and had a ketchup-y, garlicky dipping sauce.  It was pretty yum but probably no nutritional value whatsoever.

Ever since Boyfriend heard Guy describe mofongo, he was dying to go.  It’s a plantain based dish that’s usually mashed together with garlic, broth and pork rinds.  We got ours with chicken on top.  I’m actually not a fan of plantains and was not excited about this stop at all.  It worked out in my favor though, because the restaurants after this one only got better and better! ; )

The mofongo was pretty dry so we had to mix the broth in to help wash it down.  I was definitely ready for the next meal when we were through with this place…

2500 Southwest 107th Avenue   Miami, FL 33165

Totally weeeiiirrrdd ice cream

March 25, 2010

By weird I mean prosciutto weird.   Pistachio bacon ice cream weird.  And peanut butter curry weird.   I got sucked in by another episode of  “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and headed over to Humphry Slocombe for some dessert.  This episode was about the totally unexpected flavors you wouldn’t expect to go together.  Hence the prosciutto ice cream.   If you remember, Boyfriend couldn’t wait to try out Boccalone after seeing it featured on the show.  When Chris Cosentino mentioned his Boccalone prosciutto was mixed in with ice cream at Humphry Slocombe, Boyfriend couldn’t wait to try this out either.

Humphry Slocombe has tons of flavors which get rotated everyday.  They usually offer twelve a day.  Luckily, prosciutto was one of them the day we went!  Boyfriend went with a scoop of prosciutto and ancho chocolate.  Let’s just say the prosciutto ice cream was very weird and interesting.  I don’t know how I feel about meat mixed in with ice cream. There was a little heat to the ancho chocolate but the sweetness of the chocolate probably counterbalanced it.

Kio got “Jesus Juice.”  It is the red wine and Coca-cola flavored sorbet on the right.  I had a little taste and distinctly tasted the red wine flavor.  It was strange tasting red wine in ice cream form.

I love ice cream too much to have my experience ruined by a weird flavor.  I was boring and got Blue Bonnet Vietnamese Coffee ice cream.  It was delicious!  I think we’ll probably stick to Bi-Rite in the future though.

The sign was chained to the lamp post in case someone tried to steal it.  All in all I’m glad we went and I’m glad I tried little tastes of weirdness.

2790 Harrison St.  San Francisco, CA


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