Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eat'n High Thai Food


Yay! It's time for another Thai post. I think Thai food might be my favorite food type. Definitely in the top three.
The day went like this. It started out as a lazy Sunday afternoon. My housemate Joe wanted to go test drive a car, so we go way over to the West side (not only WoVermont, but Wothe405), where you can smell salt, I don't usually travel that far WOV. On the way back, after three hours of driving, traffic, test driving in traffic, and starting to drive back, we decide on a great deli in Santa Monica.
So great, that it is closed on Sundays. As are the next 5 places we try to visit.
Then I remembered that both Liz over at Yo Soy! and Kirby at Von Scrumptious have recommended the whole in the wall that is Eat'n High Thai. With a name like that, I suspect the owners are poets, and probably don't even know that they are.

I ordered a Gang Panang Curry, and a Thai Iced Tea. I was a little dissapointed that White Meat Chicken, or Shrimp costs an extra $1.00
$6.99 for the beef curry fit my budget, and we were on our way ToGo back to the house. It was a good curry, great tea, and not bad on price. Not the best Thai food, but good enough atmosphere for a sit down meal, and I would go back to again.

Joe got some sort of dinner special, or pad thai, or noodle dish, or soup, or curry. Ok, so I don't exactly remember what he got. He liked it though. Give it a try if you are EOV someday.
Eat'n High Thai
4501 Fountain Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
323.669.9682

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crepes, Finnish style

Ok, here we go, it's been about 4 days, and I am finally getting around to posting an old post. This whole work thing is really getting in the way of blogging. I guess, the whole paying rent is getting in the way of not working. It is a vicious cycle I tell you.

This was one of the last meals that Dasha came up with before she moved back to New York. Finnish style crepes. They might be Russian or some other Scandanavian style, but she is half-Finnish, so that's what they will be called. The crepes were a typical simple recipe, similar to the Argentine influenced, Panqueques.

The only difference were the insides. On the left, we have Salami, and English Cheddar inside. These ingredients were added right after the crepe was finished cooking, before it was removed from the pan in order to properly melt the cheese, and warm the Salami. Fresh Dill was added as a garnish. Boy what a difference an herb makes.

The crepes on the right are vegetarian friendly. Ripe, fresh aprictos are sliced, and placed inside along with a goat cheese. We had a three pack of regular, herb filled, and I believe a red pepper goat cheese. This photo contains the herbed cheese, and with a few leaves of mint, perfectly complemented the apricots.
Come up with your own filling and let me know what your favorites are. Until then, enjoy this Finnish take, on a American twisted, French

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award


Howdy folks. Today is a special day. I was nominated for a 2008 Brillante Weblog award for excellence in Food Blogging, and my ability to eat Ice Cream and stay svelte. Many thanks to my friend Liz, over at Yo Soy Blog! for the nomination. In accordance with the award, I must follow a few rules. Which I believe includes not nominating the person who nominated you. If I could, I would, as Liz has done a tremendous thing for the Vegan community in WOV. Her term for West of Vermont, a street that divides, our little Silver Lake/ Los Feliz community with the rest of Los Angeles.

The rules for receiving the award are as follows:
1.)Post the logo on your blog. Check
2.)add a link to the person who nominated you. Check
3.)Nominate 7 other people for this award and add links to their blogs. Will do
4.)Leave a message for the people you've nominated. Will do

Alright, I get to highlight 7 blogs now.

First off, I have to nominate Kirby Von Scrumptious. She helped inspire me to add photos, and really blog rather than journal once every 6 months. Also, she constantly entertains me with her witty titles, and banter in her blog. Also, one hell of a cook.

Before I get to my second nomination, I would like to give a shout out to Leslie, author of Brunch and Such. I would nominate her for this award, but I am not sure if it is just a foodie award. While she doesn't do recipes, she will tell you about the brunch and dive bars in Los Angeles.

Second. I am going to nominate Adam Roberts, of Amateur Gourmet. Now he has a fantastic food blog, filled with great anecdotes, however, it probably isn't fair as The Food Network, is his sponsor. Regardless, a great read. I hope to meet him someday.

Third, I nominate For The Love of Cooking. Always with great photography, For the Love of cooking inspires you to make or eat something sooner than later. The photos and are too appetizing to resist.

Fourthly, Sarah, for The Delicious Life. While I wish she would update her blog more, she is also a big reason Tastespotting is a reality. So, for that she gets this award.

Fifth. I want to give an award to a blog of my hometown. The best blog for the area in Western North Carolina, would have to be Hendersonville Epicurean. I like how the two anonymous Chefs are sneaky, and don't reveal themselves. They also stay away from poor reviews. Read their blog to find out why.

Sixth. 101 Cookbooks. Heidi, always has something tasty for me to cook from her recipe journal. It doesn't hurt the eyes either, as she is a professional photographer. Always a good read.

Last, but not least. Fotocuisine. They always have stellar photos. As you can tell, presentation counts for a lot in my book. Great photographs help a blog stand out.

I have been working a lot this week and haven't been able to blog as much as I would like. Hopefully, I can return to that soon. Thanks again Yo Soy for the award.

- The Food Monster

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pho Cafe

Tucked away in a tiny strip mall, in Silver Lake, Pho Cafe is a hidden gem. The only Vietnamese restaurant I have to compare it to, is Lime and Basil in Chapel Hill, NC. Pho Cafe, is just as tasty, while cheaper. This wasn't my first attempt at eating here. The first time, Scrumptious, Joe and I were in a time rush, and figured Pho Cafe would be a quick place to eat. If we hadn't spent 30 minutes looking for it, then I think we would have been fine. If you call them, they say, we are near the liquor store, and are the ones without a sign. On this strip of sunset, there are 4 liquor stores within sight. Once we had found it, there wasn't enough time, and we put it off for another day.

Back to the day at hand. Three of us again ventured to Pho Cafe. After a quick 10 minute wait, we had menus in hand and were sitting down. I ordered a Beef Pho, Dasha, a vegetarian cold noodle dish and a beer and her friend Nate, a different cold noodle dish. I also grabbed a Lemonade.
Here is where it gets interesting. The waiter brings us out a plate of lettuce, and what appears to be 3 spring rolls. Nate, confidently tells us, these must be complimentary. As we tear into them, a lady at the table next to us, tells us how to eat them. Roll them up in the lettuce and add mint she says, I love those and get them everytime. About this time, a lemonade and beer are delivered to her table. Once the Pho arrives, and another Pho for Dasha, we figure something is up. Apparently the waiter had confused our tables. So, the other table got their Pho and Spring Rolls, we eventually got our Lemonade and Beer, and food, and everybody was on their merry way.

The spring rolls were delicious, although I wouldn't pay more than a couple bucks for such a small appetizer. The Pho was outstanding. It came with lots of veggies to put in it, just see above picture. It gave me 2 more meals later on that week. The cold dishes, were finished, bowls licked clean, so you can imagine how they were received. Also, the lemonade was some of the best I have ever had. Lots of tart, and just the right amount of sweetness to balance it out. Lots of pulp, definitely a hand squeezed job. It was also a very cheap meal, setting us back less than $10 a person.
I will return next time I get a Pho urge again.



Pho Cafe

2841 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213.413.0888

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scoops!!!


Heliotrope is a fine street. Home to lots of construction, ticket happy parking police, a great Vegan restaurant that even Pamela frequents, and of course, the best place in Scoops!
Scoops has become a running joke in our household. When anyone asks what we are doing in a given day, the answer usually involves some form of, "...and going to Scoops". Out of towners, are mystified, one, because they don't know what scoops is, and two, because they don't understand we don't actually go everyday.
Scoops, is not your typical American Ice Cream stand. There is something different about it. Quite possibly, it could be the flavors. These flavors are real. Whatever they are named, they were made with those ingredients, and taste just like them. Almost straight out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, The Banana Oreo, tastes like Banana Oreo. The Coffee Cinnamon, tastes like Coffee Cinnamon.
The flavors also change quite often. Whenever they run out of a batch of something, they replace it with a completely different flavor. They may have some staples, or people just don't eat them , hence why they are always there. They also have Sorbets, and Vegan Ice Cream. For the lactose intolerant or to cater to Yo Soy and the Pure Luck crowd.
When you arrive at Scoops, you walk under a giant sample spoon Mobile. It's a small little place, and is either almost empty or way overcrowded. It's probably because the staff are so quick in handing out Ice Cream, that people get in and get out to begin enjoying the wonderful flavors immediately.
My favorite flavor is the Thai Iced Tea flavor. It tasts like they went to PiMai It's Thai, stole their recipe, added cold and voila. My other favorite was Honey Lavendar.

I just so happen to have a photo of Honey Lavender. The bottom flavor is Chocolate Raspberry, and wasn't as good. I went back for a refill ($1.75) and got Papaya Guava Sorbet with the Honey Lavender. They paired well together.
At any rate, Scoops, is not your gateway Ice Cream Parlor. You should head over there after you Ice Cream pallete is sophisticated enough to appreciate the intricacies of Scoops Ice Cream.

Scoops
712 N Heliotrope
Los Angeles, CA
90029
323. 906.2649

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Open Faced, Mango, Salami, Cheddar, and Dill Snack Sandwices


Continuing on with our Scandinavian Pumpernickel Wheat bread, we arrive at a creation of leftover ingredients. To the bread, Dasha, and I added Wasabi Mayo, Sliced Mango, Sliced Salami, and Aged English Cheddar. We then broiled them until the cheese had melted. Fresh Dill, completed the snacks. After we sliced them into smaller pieces, they were a hit at our poker night.
Try it sometime, leftover open faced sandwiches.

Ingredients:
Carb
Fruit
Protein
Dairy
Herb

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Air Tran, what did I do to thee? - Chili's

I must warn you this is a long post. If you aren't in to reading novels, then scroll down for the pretty picture, and be on your way. End disclaimer.

I promised I would tell the story of my day with Air Tran, yes it turned out to be an entire day, 21 hours worth. In order for this to fly on the food blog though, I decided to include my meal at the airport. So, there, is where we shall begin our journey.

In a tribute to my house mate, Craig, who wrote a spec script on Pushing Daisies, and recently turned 23.
The facts were these: The Food Monster had long been hungry after surviving on a few small assorted snacks for the day, it was already 5:00pm EST. The options in the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport were unfortunately unappetizing. After spotting a Seafood Restaurant in one of the terminal directories. The Food Monster (TFM) was off to find dinner. Large jumbo LCD's lured TFM into a small alcove. A Chili's To Go.

The Food Monster (to self): this will be a quick, perfectly priced meal, and I am already right here, no need to walk any further.

Perfectly priced indeed. You see TFM had a $10 voucher for any restaurant in the airport, given to him by Leeah, an Air Tran Representative, for certain unfortunate circumstances.
Here is what he ordered.Chipotle Bleu Cheese Bacon Burger: Spicy and smoky with chipotle pepper sauce, bleu cheese crumbles, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle and bleu cheese dressing.

However, today, TFM decided to have a black bean burger instead of the normal beef patty. To this day nobody is sure what overtook him with the urge to go vegetarian. Luckily, crisp, tasty fries accompanied this dry patty. Also, TFM, has never been one for the smoky flavor of Chipotle. That sauce, while tested, remained on the sidelines throughout the game.
The good bits: The Fries, the Bleu Cheese, the Bacon, and even the ketchup wasn't bad. The burger wasn't terrible.
The bad bits: The burger was dry. Flavorful, but dry. It tasted, like it had been frozen for a really long time, and nobody dared order it until this young chap decided its fate.

TFM began his journey at 4:00am EST, when he left for the airport to catch a 6:00am flight in RDU. In order to catch the reason for leaving so early, we would have to turn back time to his previous flight.
There, at the baggage claim, his bag showed up with the 3 of the front 4 pockets torn 80% off the suitcase, dangling, waiting for somebody or something to put them out of their misery. In order to get a new suitcase, Theresa, assured TFM that he could spend up to $100 of reimbursed money. The only catch, was to return the suitcase, and a receipt the next flight. Great, TFM was here early to return the case and receipt, and get on his plane to ATL, where he would make a connection to LAX.
A man named Andy, was super courteous and assisted TFM in photocopying the receipt, and taking the suitcase, as well as checking him in and taking his new suitcase full of his belongings. Already through security an hour early. The day had started off great. Unofficially, due to some storms the night before, every AirTran flight leaving RDU was well overbooked. Including the 6:00am to ATL. Upon hearing that a small change in itinerary, would grant some rewards, TFM took AirTran up on its offer. The rewards were these. For compensation of voluntarily giving up his flight, TFM would receive a free round trip flight to use within a year, as well as business class flying for the day, provided it was available, and a flight leaving at 9:55 to ATL, and a connection from ATL to LAX at 12:22 pm.
After final boarding and the plane had left the gate, Andy, who was now at the gate (the young lady who informed TFM of compensation was now missing), told TFM that the 9:55am was full, and that he could fly standby, but would have to wait until 2pm for a guaranteed seat. This was completely different than the compensation offered, and wouldn't have been accepted if the plane was still there.
Fortunately, TFM was early for the 9:55am flight, and got on the standby list and onto the plane. He informed the ticket agent that he was promised a business class upgrade on all flights today, provided they were available, for free. It was granted. All right, AirTran, although not 100% consistent or honest, were flying by the seat of their pants in keeping their word.

In Atlanta, TFM spoke with a nice lady, who helped him get a 12:22pm ticket to LAX, even though the flight was already overbooked. Apparently getting bumped from a flight, voluntarily or not, grants you certain status. TFM arrived at the gate with plenty of time to spare, an hour and a half, and informed the gentleman who he was, that he had a coach ticket, and if there was availability, he would like his free business class upgrade. The man had never heard of such a thing, and so it goes, without any RDU employees, TFM was in a helpless situation, his word against no existing company policy. Nobody had written any compensation under his name on file. How was he supposed to trust an AirTran employee again, he had just been lied to.
However, there was indeed one business class seat, not checked in, and the man said he would check with a supervisor as the time to board approached.

Now 20 minutes until the flight, it was boarding time. The man was nowhere to be found. The nice young lady there, Dorian, was approached by TFM, boarding pass in hand.
He calmly offered for her to scan his ticket to insure a seat on the plane, and inquired about a business class upgrade. She said she would check with her supervisor to approve the free transaction as the business class client hadn't showed. Scanning the boarding pass, would be unnecessary, she told him.
Great, so TFM waited by her side until 10 minutes left to board, the time where you have to be at the gate, or they give your seat to stand-bys. TFM reminded Dorian, that he hadn't spoken with a supervisor yet, and hadn't been scanned. She acknowledged he was there and said not to worry.
Other people were boarding, no supervisor in sight. TFM's seat had been given away. The man had now returned and was furious the way that TFM had handled the last minute preparations. He said, "I hate it when people try to get business class this way." He printed out a ticket with confirmed seat 1A, in business class, and said ok, you can board the plane.

Once down the tunnel, inches from the plane door, TFM was stopped by Monique. she said, please hold on a second. She peered in the door, and then came out, shut the door without a word, and told TFM, there are no more seats on this plane, walk back up to the airport. But I have this boarding.... TFM began to say.
Monique, said we can talk about this in the airport, and began to move the boarding tunnel away from the plane. While TFM was near the edge. This was unsafe and could have had a terrible result, she could have at least warned him she was going to move it.

The plane left....

Once back up in the terminal, TFM was told to go to the back of the line and wait to talk to Monique. Once up to the desk, she said, What?

TFM informed her of his situation, that TFM was involuntarily denied boarding, a policy that, when complying with DOT regulations, should result in up to $400 in compensation, double that up to $800 in compensation, if AirTran can't get a person to their destination within an hour after the original plane lands. Whether that be on an AirTran flight, or another airline.

TFM asked how she was going to compensate him for not letting him on that plane. She explained that TFM was late, and there was nothing she could do. It turns out, there was a slight miscommunication. Dorian, never brought it fully to Monique's attention, who turned out to be not just her supervisor, but the regional supervisor. Therefore, there was no scanning of the boarding pass, the computers said TFM was never there, TFM's coach seat was given up, and TFM didn't confirm his business class seat soon enough to warrant boarding. There was obviously still an empty seat on that plane. A lie told by Monique. Lie #2 by an AirTran employee if we are keeping count.

She ended up routing TFM through Indianapolis, on two well-overbooked flights, to ensure he would get home by 10:30pm PST. Nothing else she could do...

Two customer Service desks later, all inquiries went through, you guessed it, Monique. She said she had handled the situation. Nothing the employees could do. TFM then called the DOT liason for AirTran and explained the situation.
Debbie Hearns, said, oh that doesn't sound right (now looking at the flights), why would she send you to Indy, when there is a direct flight that is less overbooked than either of those flights, and gets in earlier?
That is a good question Monique.
She said she would make some calls and call TFM back soon. Time went by, and the Indy flight was boarding. TFM walked to the end of Terminal D, to prepare to board, if Debbie couldn't save the day.
After the treatment from Monique, he wasn't expecting anything miraculous.
However, she called just in time and informed TFM not to get on the plane, rather, head to the familiar Customer Service desk and speak to Leeah, she will have your boarding pass for the LAX flight.
Back across the D terminal, train to Terminal C, back to the line at the Customer Service desk. Leeah, not only had a boarding pass, with a seat, but a coupon for $10 at any airport restaurant, and a $25 ticket voucher to be used by 12.25.08 for TFM's trouble. Debbie called back to make sure everything was taken care of and informed TFM that he would have a business class upgrade to use in the next year, as the LAX flight did not have one available.

Monique, couldn't have even done that for TFM. Hardly, seems like she did everything in her power.
Thus brining us full circle to his meal at Chili's. While not, $400 or $800 cash in compensation, it was enough to get TFM to LAX by 9:00pm and home by 10:00pm PST, after picking up his new suitcase, which was again, damaged. In it's maiden voyage. Thanks alot AirTran.
And that is how TFM spent a day with AirTran.

Thank you for enduring my rant on AirTran. I will be writing a letter to corporate, requesting the involuntarily denied boarding compensation, and let you know if I hear anything. Do you all have terrible or delightful AirTran stories?
I will definitely fly AirTran again, to use my free flight.
If you have been traveling since 4:00am, and you are eating an airport Black Bean Burger, you have many other things to worry about than the dryness of the patty. Thank you Chili's for giving me sustenance.

Sashimi Snacks


We had a subletter who lives in NY, and occasionally comes to LA for jobs. She was in town for the fourth and was still here for a few days when I returned from the beach. The next day, I was greeted with Dasha's (Dah - Shh - a), Sashimi Snacks. Dasha, picked up a pound of Sashimi Grade Tuna from a farmer's Market, earlier in the week, and had just thawed it. The day before she had gone to a wonderful Scandinavian Market, where she picked up liver pate, Finnish Cheese, and a loaf of whole wheat Scandinavian Pumpernickel. These simple Sashimi Snacks, are made with Toasted pieces of that pumpernickel, a healthy cut of Tuna, a dollop of Wasabi Mayonaisse, I believe from Trader Joe's, and Fresh Dill on top. In case you haven't used it yet, fresh Dill, is leaps and bounds tastier than dried dill. What a difference fresh herbs make. The Wasabi Mayo, helped to fuse this Asian-Scandinavian-American Snack into one. I hope you can get some Sashimi Grade Tuna soon and experiment with it's rich flavor.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Beach Rewind Wrapup - Elmo's Diner

Wow, I guess the Dessert post, was the last food from the beach that I have photos of. This next post will conclude the Beach Rewind.
Before Lauren and I left for the Beach, we decided to hit up our favorite Diner in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, in Elmo's. Elmo's isn't your typical diner. Sure they have killer pies, good food throughout the day, and Diner booths, but they are nestled in a corner of a refurbished warehouse, with beautiful photography on the walls, outdoor (heated) seating, and they serve a fantastic breakfast, good enough to not be expected at a Diner.

After a short wait, we had a jumbo booth large enough for 4 adults. We each grabbed a water with a lemon wedge floating in it and delved into the menu. Lauren had come for one thing and one thing only, the Blueberry pancakes.Me, I needed some more time to peruse the menu. I have been here several times and have never disliked my experience, yet I usually try to switch it up and get something different.

The restaurant does attract the granola crowd, complete with crying babies, however, that is just another component of the atmosphere. After all, the website says it's kid friendly.
After a little debate over getting a Waffle, one of their 8 specials of the day, Peach Pancakes with eggs, or something else, I decided to make my own omelet. I added Spinach, Mushrooms, Bacon, and Feta. What a great combination of ingredients. The omelet was cooked well, and had the Feta all gooey inside, their home fries, or quartered red potatoes, left a little to be desired. Only about half of them were cooked all the way. The others were a little bit on the raw side of al dente. The sourdough toast was light and crispy. Especially after I applied a mixture of Strawberry Jam and Apple Cinnamon Jelly from their Jelly caddy.
Lauren's blueberry pancakes, were as always delicious and worth returning for.

I guess it doesn't matter what you get, Elmo's is always hopping, and worth a-stoppin'. Next time you can make it to Carrboro or Chapel Hill, get over there to eat any meal of the day.
(There is also a rumored Elmo's in Durham, although I have never been, and don't recommend it as it is probably filled with Dook students/fans)

Elmo's Diner
200 N Greensboro St
Carrboro, NC
919.929.2909

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dessert at the Beach - Dr. Rootbeer's Hall of Foam and Fourth of July Brownie Sundae

Before I begin, let me follow-up on a previous post. I had told you all about the 4 new batter flavors from Coldstone Creamery. I finally got Lauren to go with me in Chapel Hill. To my dismay, they only had two flavors, Chocolate Cake Batter, and Blueberry Muffin Batter. They were both delicious on a tasting. She got Bluberry Muffin Batter with Cake mix-in. I got Chocolate Cake Batter, Peanut Butter, Coffee, and Raspberries and Butterfinger Mix-ins. We were both underwhelmed. They were way too intense, of Blueberry and Suagr flavorings to finish either. I hope the Carrot Cake is done a little more gracefully, but it sounds like Jesus Christ Flavored Ice Cream, would only get a slight change (Cake Batter to Chocolate Cake Batter) if any.

I told you all that while I was in North Topsail that I would be visiting Dr. Rootbeer's Hall of Foam, and made sure to keep on my promise. At first there was some confusion as to whether or not it still existed. Apparently, the owners, decided to go down to N. Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing and open a Dr. Rootbeer's Hall of Foam there. A great idea considering the larger amount of foot traffic that the "Boardwalk" gets. One quick call, from Lauren's brother-in-law, straightened it all out and we discovered they had inded done this. However, while there was no mention of the Snead's Ferry location on the website, they had only gone to N. Myrtle Beach, to help start another Hall of Foam, and had since come back a week or two earlier to open the Snead's Ferry Location for the summer, lucky us. After our dinner at Rick's, we plugged in the Hall of Foam into our GPS and headed the 5 miles to the mystical location. There was some build up and expectations that I had in my head for this wonderful place. After all, Hendersonville, NC, boasts a fine hand-dipped Ice Cream establishment itself, in Miss Piggy's. I was expecting something on a grandeur scale. I realized though, that we were in Snead's Ferry, NC. What I got was an old renovated Gas Station, filled with gimmicky decorations, delicious Root Beer, and great Ice Cream. I ordered a Small Root Beer Float. One or Two scoops of Ice Cream, filled with Root Beer, and then a swirl helps create the mountain of foam that overflows the lid if you don't slurp it up quick. Mine, felt a little light, so I asked them for another scoop of Ice Cream, which they happily obliged with two. That sent me on a nice sugar fest for the next half-hour. The ice cream, was deliciously creamy and not too sweet, and the Root Beer superb. (The picture above is pre-extra scoops of ice cream.)
If I am ever in the area, either near Snead's Ferry, or Myrtle Beach, I will probably visit again. I am really interested in their Pot Roast Burger. As a large dry erase board had hinted at when we pulled up. Too bad we went to Rick's earlier.

Another dessert treat we had on our trip was a Fourth of July Brownie Sundae. We got to the end of the week, and still had a gallon of Ice Cream. Lauren's brother and sister-in-law, stopped and got Brownies and Cookies to bake, and we went about our merry way.
Details: The brownies, were done exactly as I like them. Still a little gooey, but done. I always choose a middle section.
Ice Cream: 1/2 Gallon of Breyer's Double Churned Vanilla
1/2 Gallon of Breyer's Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.
Toppings include: Fruit, Whipped Cream, and the Hard Shell Chocolate Sauce, which eluded us and its whereabouts are still a mystery, (it may still be at the store).
I put in some Brownies, added both kinds of Ice Cream, Topped it with an Oreo cookie, added Blackberries, Blueberries, and sliced Strawberries, topping it off with excessive amounts of Whip Cream!!! A fourth of July Brownie Sundae! It tasted just as good as it looks. I hope next time you are at the beach, you are able to give your sweet tooth a little something, something.

Rick's Restaurant

One night out while at the beach, we made our way to a Steel City Mafia hangout: Rick's Restaurant and Bar. We started things off with a few appetizers. Nachos for the grown ups, and cheese nachos for the kids. By cheese nachos, I mean chips, and cheese melted over it. The grown-up nachos, were good, large and full of ingredients. From meat, to cheese, and cheese sauce, to jalapeƱos it seemed to contain everything you look for in a good plate of Nachos. That set a good tone. However, a table was sat next to us, about our size, and they were brought bread, which we didn't get until our meal came, and only because we asked for it. I wouldn't have known it was complimentary if the other table hadn't gotten it. But, it reflects poorly when you give it to one table as they sit, and you don't plan on giving it to another table.

I ordered the Lobster Ravioli, with Lobster-Crab Bisque, and Garlic Smashed Potatoes.
The soup came out first, and it was delicious. Although, I didn't see any real lobster in it, there was fresh lump crab meat on top. Which, made for a tasty dish. Next came out, one of the two specials of the day. Lobster Ravioli. These were breaded, and fried, and served on a bed of lettuce leaf and lobster sauce. It tasted an awful lot like the lobster bisque minus the crab. Unfortunately, this dish was nothing to shake a stick at. The dish reminded me of a breaded fish stick that you get frozen out of the box and cook up in the toaster oven. I wish I had ordered two bowls of Bisque instead. The garlic smashed potatoes were standard, nothing exciting, definitely edible.
Fortunately, this wasn't a total bust, as there were 12 of us at the table. Meaning a little sample here, a little sample there. The other special of the day was a skewer of Grilled Jumbo Shrimp. Boy were they jumbo. Everyone who ordered this dish loved it. I sampled the Scallops, from a dish on the other end of the table, not sure what it was, but they were cooked properly and were tasty. It seemed everyone else enjoyed or thoroughly enjoyed their salads, and meals.

I would definitely go back to Rick's if I were in Snead's Ferry again. The prices were cheaper than other restaurants in the area and I would love to try some of their other foods.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good Morning Beach Breakfast Biscuits

Good Morning Beach Breakfast Biscuits as seen on Tastespotting.com

Now on to food actually from the Beach trip. Going back over my photos, I realized I didn't actually take that many. When meals rolled around, I often was halfway through it before I realized it would go perfect in the blog. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

We started things off by grilling out the first night. Lauren and I brought marinated Chicken and 24 Ears of Corn from the Farmer's Market. We also had a Farmer's Market Melon feast (Cantaloupe and Watermelon). This was one of those times I forgot. However, I will tell you, giving that chicken a good day and a half in the marinade really helped with having a moist flavorful meat.
Breakfast was usually something simple like cereal or fried egg and English muffin. So no need to photograph those. Then, one morning her brother made everybody a tray full of biscuit sandwiches. With ingredients pulled from the fridge we had 4 types.

Grands Biscuits
Fried Eggs
Sausage or Turkey Bacon
White American or MuensterAll contained Grands Biscuits and a Fried Egg. Then some had Sausage and White American Cheese, Sausage and Muenster Cheese, the rest had Turkey Bacon, with either White American or Muenster. Once all the Biscuit Sandwiches were assembled, they returned to the oven to finish melting the cheese. Due to the abundance of these, I had both a Sausage and Muenster and a Turkey Bacon and Muenster. Both were some of the best biscuit sandwiches I have ever had. Growing up in NC, that's saying something. Don't knock Turkey Bacon when you don't have real Bacon. It's still better than nothing. I hope you can get a group of friends together soon and whip up a batch of these.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raspberry Summer Sensation


Raspberry Summer Sensation
Before we headed to the store to pick up Lobster Tails, my girlfriend, Lauren, had already started preparing this delectable dessert. Taken from the Kraft recipe portion of their website.
This treat is surprisingly simple. The recipe is available at the above link, so I am not going to spell it out here. The top portion is Raspberry Sorbet, the bottom a whipped/frozen mixture of Cool Whip, Milk, and Vanilla Pudding. Garnished with a Healthy amount of Fresh Raspberies, this is one dessert that will please any palate.
pre-garnish...
post-garnish....

Enjoy!

Beach Rewind -Lobster Tail and Baked Vegetable Medley

Oh the beach, what a fantastic wonderful, salty, sandy food-filled fun vacation spot. I had a fantastic time and am already looking forward to the week at the beach next year. Although the beach trip was filled with delicious food opportunities, I didn't have a way to upload photos or blog while I was gone. So, I will present you now with my Beach Trip Rewind, where I will go backwards through my trip starting with my last night in North Carolina, post-beach. (I actually have a story to share about Air Tran and all its glory, but that will have to wait until I am ready). My girlfriend decided that with Lobster Tail being on sale at Harris Teeter, that they would make a fine start for a post-beach meal. After picking up two, we went home and she made this fantastic meal. She started by cutting up the vegetables from the farmer's market, Tomatoes, Onions, and Green Peppers, adding in some Harris Teeter vegetables, Squash and Brocolli, and then tossing them with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Basil, then placing them on aluminum foiled pan (greased). Then she baked them at 350 for I think about 20 minutes.
Once she got those started it was onto the Boiled Lobster Tail and Lemon Butter.
Bring water to boil, add Lobster Tails, cook 1 minute per ounce.
Add 3TBS of butter and 1 TBS of Lemon Juice together, and either heat slowly on stove or in microwave until melted.

Remove vegetables from oven.

Cut open Lobster Tail, and remove meat. Serve, with Lemon Butter for dipping.
Boy am I glad that my girlfriend can cook. It was a delicious meal, and was capped with a wonderful dessert. Which I will blog about next. Until then, get out to Harris Teeter, and eat up these lobster tails.
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