Who: Ocean Grill
What: Oceanside Restaurant & Beach Club
Where: Boca de Tomatlan (Puerto Vallarta)
Tidbit: Reservations required, need to hop on a water taxi to get there, cash only
Live, Love, Grill is the motto of Ocean Grill’s fabulous oceanside seafood restaurant where everything is grilled to perfection. They have a total of 8 tables for seating overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. If you’re staying in Puerto Vallarta, it’s a 30 minute cab ride into the town of Boca de Tomatlan and a 5 minute water taxi ride to a meal in paradise. The water taxi ride is quite the experience They have a private beach that you can walk over to so don’t forget to bring your swimsuit to swim off the calories afterwards!
What: a cute local cupcake shop
Where: 45 Province Street, Boston, MA
Tidbit: cupcake flavors are designed after what a panda would like
Cakeology recently opened up in July 2011 by Victoria Donnelly who won the December 2011 edition of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network channel. Read More
My quest to find the best bowl of New England Clam Chowder is claimed by Island Creek Oyster Bar. Chowda was creamy, smooth, hearty, and bursting with flavors. It had decent chunks of clams, mini buttermilk biscuits, and house cured bacon. The bacon bits was what put me over the top. A great way to balance out the creaminess with a touch of salt. Their mini buttermilk biscuits were flakey, buttery, and added great texture. A bowl well done and by far the best in Boston. They might want to consider serving it in a sourdough bread bowl. Yum! Read More
What: awesome Spicy Beef Noodle soup
Where: 665 N. Cass Ave., Westmont, IL
Tidbit: cash only, closed on Wednesday
Katy’s Dumpling House is truly a hidden gem. It’s a hole in the wall tucked away in the supermarket plaza. There is nothing fancy about the decor. They have 8 tables with a total of 28 seats. You walk up to the cash register, order your food, and pick a seat to wait for the food to come out. It’s a bit of a carry out type of atmosphere. Read More
My project in Boston to find the best New England Clam Chowder and Lobster Roll.
The 2011 Julia Lobster Roll Award goes to Neptune Oyster. A super cute and cozy raw bar located in Little Italy (North End) serving the freshest catch of seafood. Seating is very limited with their 18 seat raw bar and 26 seat banquette. Neptune does not take reservations so when you get there, you give the hostess your name and cell number. The wait can be as long as 2 hours for dinner or on the weekends so be prepared to wait but trust me, it’s all worth it. A little tip for while you wait to be called, go across the street to Vito’s Tavern, they serve great a Cosmopolitan and Martinis.
When you order the Lobster Roll, you have a choice to have it prepared hot or cold. It is all about the hot Lobster Roll. The roll is nicely toasted on the outside with a glaze of melted hot butter on the inside. Topped with juicy, tender chunks of lobster maine and claws that just melts in your mouth. The portion is so huge that it put me in a food coma. It’s served with a side of hot and crispy fries seasoned with sea salt. Fries are hot and crispy. The bonus – not a single sign of grease. Delish! Read More
Who: Chodang Tofu Village
What: the best Soondubu Jjigae in Chicago
Where: 1719 W. Algonquin Rd., Mount Prospect, IL
Tidbit: closed on Sunday
Chodang is one of my favorite hole in the wall places. It’s hike from the city but well worth the drive. It is a family owned restaurant with 2 locations – Mount Prospect and Naperville. The Mount Prospect location is the original and is the place I recommend. The experience at the Naperville location is just not the same. Read More
Chicago’s China Town has recently started transforming itself away from the traditional hole in the wall type of establishments. New restaurants are popping up or existing restaurants are remodeling with a contemporary design in mind or having “high end” fancy finishes. One of the newest additions to China Town Square is Cai. Cai falls into the “high end” fancy decor genre and the color theme is gold. It has the huge banquet hall feel, set up with the fancy drapes, covered chairs, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. A little too fancy for dim sum but hey at least its clean so I won’t complain.
After the best dim sum experience I’ve ever had in Boston at Winsor Dim Sum Cafe, I said I would never eat dim sum in Chicago again. I guess I should never say never. My mom actually told me about Cai and that it recently just opened and had received good reviews. She suggested that I should go check it out before she makes the hike down to the city. So I went on a Saturday morning for brunch around 10am to beat the rush. When going to eat dim sum, you have to be strategic about it. You’re going to sit around waiting for the food to roll by so that means you’ll be sitting around for awhile. The last thing you want is to wait an hour to be seated. So when do you go? Before 11am. 11:30am may be pushing it. Why? Thats when folks haven’t gotten out of church yet and its not prime time for lunch yet. Read More
Who: Sunrise Cafe
What: delicious Mom and Pop diner
Where: 2012 W. Chicago Ave.
Tidbit: crowded on the weekends from 9am to 11am; cash only
Sunrise is my go to spot for breakfast. They serve breakfast and lunch daily from 7am to 3pm. They offer your typical breakfast plates – eggs, Read More
Usually you save the best for last but this is not the case. My overall experience with the desserts were average, which was expected by the time the appetizers and main entrees made its round. The dessert menu consists of Macaroons, Ice Cream, Cream Puffs, Organic Tofu and Egg Caramel Custard, An Mitsu, and Cyndie’s Egg Shooter.
The favorite of the evening was the An Mitsu, also known as the Japanese Sundae. It’s basically a scoop of vanilla ice cream placed upon agar agar cubes, surrounded with chunks of kiwi, longan, and mandarin, and topped with chilled red bean. Definitely a delightful way to end the night. Read More
Welcome back for part 2 of the Slurping Turtle’s opening night.
Besides the ramen menu, there’s a variety of hot tapas and appetizers. My favorite was the Lobster Corn Dog. I’m really not a corn dog fan but this has forever changed my experience with corn dogs – ok maybe just gourmet corn dogs. The batter had a crispy outer shell and a light and flavorful inside. The texture was soft and grainy like Long John Silver’s hush puppies. As for the filling, there were chunks of juicy lobster meat