Category Archives: Travel

D’Noche – Chicago, IL

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Last week I went to visit my boyfriend in Illinois (I realize normally you go somewhere warm for spring break, but surprisingly enough my trip to the mid-west meant I missed a DC snow storm).  I flew into O’Hare and he took me out to a surprise dinner in Chicago.  We ended up at D’Noche (because he knows my never ending love for Mexican food).  The restaurant had all kinds of delicious Latin American food, it was the perfect meal!

dnoche menu

We started things out with a sangria blanca (because white wine sangria is one of my favorite things, and who doesn’t need a drink after a flight?) and guacamole (because you don’t need a reason for guacamole).

sangria blanca

We also ordered the trio de empanadas (very reminiscent of my time in Argentina).  An order came with a beef, shrimp, and chicken empanada along with a variety of different sauces (one of them being chimichurri, which is the best I’ve had since getting back from Argentina) that went well with all of the empanadas and the guacamole as well.

empanadas

empanada halves

For dinner I got chiles rellenos (pobalano peppers stuffed with cheese, and covered in salsa Ranchera) which came with beans and rice.  The cheese was melty and rich and delicious and the side orders were great too.

chiles rellenos

Luke opted for the tacos de camaron (shrimp tacos) with green rice which he let me try (because I would have stolen some anyway…) and they were quite yummy as well, the goat cheese went surprisingly well with the shrimp (I never really thought of putting shrimp and cheese together, but then again cheese goes with pretty much everything).

tacos de camaron

It was an absolutely delicious start to a wonderful trip!  I’ll be telling you all about my visit to Urbabna-Champaign in an upcoming post, so keep your eyes open for it!

Truckeroo Part 2

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You may remember my last post about Truckeroo, a monthly food truck festival held right outside the National’s stadium in DC.  Well, it was so delicious I decided I had to go again, so Friday night my roommate and I headed to Truckeroo for dinner and dessert.  As we always do, we decided to split everything so we could try even more food!

 

First we went to The Big Cheese for a delicious Thrilled Cheese, which was chipotle cheddar, jalapenos, and guacamole on sourdough bread.  Now, if you know me at all, you know I love guacamole so this was the natural choice!

The Big Cheese

Big Cheese Menu

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the absolute best grilled cheese I’ve ever head, the bread was thick and crisp, and the creamy guacamole went perfectly with the slight spice of the cheese and jalapenos.

Thrilled Cheese

Next we got in the monstrous line for TaKorean, the Korean BBQ taco truck.

TaKorean

TaKorean menu

We ordered one Bulgogi steak taco, which was beef in a sweet, spicy, soy based sauce with Napa-Romaine slaw, and two tangy chicken tacos (chicken in a sweet chili, ginger, soy sauce with spicy kimchi style slaw.  All of the tacos came with Sriarcha, lime crema, cilantro, and sesame seeds.  After I bit into the tacos I understood why the line was so long!

TaKorean tacos

For our last dinner course we went to Feelin’ Crabby for some absolutely amazing crab sliders that we’d seen when we were in line for the tacos.

Feelin' Crabby

The sliders consisted of soft rolls with a delicious crab salad.  The salad consisted of very large lumps of crab with a very light mayonnaise dressing with lemon and a healthy sprinkling of old bay.

crab sliders

Right next to the Feelin’ Crabby truck was the Sinplicity ice cream truck.

sinplicity

Sinplicity menu

We ordered the Tipsy Strawberry Sinwich and it was absolutely sinfully delicious!

tipsy strawberry sinwichStrawberry Ice Cream with chocolate chunks with layer of margarita custard, all sandwiched between two berry macaroons.

sinwich

Our last stop was That Cheesecake Truck for a slice of key lime cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate.

that cheesecake truck

It was the perfect combination of creamy, tangy, and sweet.

chocolate dipped key lime

cheesecake pop

The musical entertainment for the night was The Morrison Brothers Band, a really awesome band that you should all become fans of!

The Morrison Brothers Band

It was another great night at Truckeroo and I highly suggest you go to the next one on September 6th if you’re in the DC area, I definitely plan on being there!

McGinty’s Brunch

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I’ve mentioned before that I have a love of all things breakfast food related and think breakfast should be served all day long, which makes brunch pretty much perfect in my book!  A few weekends ago some friends and I went to McGinty’s Public House, an Irish restaurant and bar, in Silver Spring.  They have a prix fixe menu where you get 3 courses and a mimosa for $20.95, which 4 of us decided to get.

Prix Fixe menuTheir regular brunch menu also had a bunch of delicious options.

mchinty's brunch menu

We started out with our round of mimosas.

mimosas

For our starter all of us decided on McGinty’s Brunch Tart, which was a tart with avocado, tomato, mozzarella,  scallions,  bacon and an egg, it was a great combination of flavors!

brunch tart

brunch tart 2

We got a variety of entrees.  Alyssa, Nick, and I all got McGinty’s Crab Cakes Benedict, which was absolutely delicious, the chipotle hollandaise sauce really set everything off.

carb cakes benedict

Don ordered the steak and eggs which came with home fries and kale.

steak and eggs

Brooke ordered the corn beef hash which came with eggs, home fries, and asparagus.

corned beef and hash

For out final course we each ordered a different dessert and I have to say, they were all amazing!  I went with the crepes brulee which was 2 crepes filled with berry compote and topped with lemon cream and pecans.  The crunchy caramelized sugar was soooo great!

crepes brulee

Alyssa got the granny smith apple strudel, it came with sea salted caramel and balsamic strawberry ice cream.  The ice cream had a really great flavor and went really well with the sea salted caramel and apples.

apple strudel

Don went with the brioche bread pudding that came with vanilla ice cream.

bread pudding

Last but not least, Nick ordered the profiteroles.  the crunch outside and the gooey inside was fantastic, especially with he strawberry compote.

profiterole

Everything was incredibly delicious, I highly recommend McGinty’s for your brunch needs if you find yourself in Silver Spring!

 

 

 

 

 

Truckeroo

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Truckeroo

Friday night I went to Truckeroo with a few friends. Now, many of you may be asking, “what the heck is trukeroo?” (don’t worry, this was my exact reaction when my friend Brooke asked if I wanted to go). Basically, once a month in the summer a bunch of food trucks gather in the Bullpen and the National’s Stadium and sell their delicious food from 11 AM to 11 PM, there’s also live music and drinks available. After I learned what it was I couldn’t say no (if you’re in the DC area you should ABSOLUTELY go to the next one, it’s August 16th and I plan on being there too!) so I invited my friends Nick, and Kerry to join us too!

trukeroo

We took the metro to the stadium and were greeted with a ton of people, live music, and smells from TONS of food trucks. Our plan of attack was to make a loop and see what our options were. After seeing what was available we decided to try DC Empanadas.

DC Empanadas

Everything on the menu sounded sooooo good!

DC Empanadas Menu

Nick and I got the fish tacos. I originally wanted to get an empanada because, afterall, it was an empanada truck, but he fish tacos sounded so delicious and it’s really hard for me to turn down a good taco. I’m so glad I got the taco because it was hands down the best fish taco I’ve ever had. The chipotle remolade and avocado lime crema on top were delicious!

fish tacos

Brooke got the Ropanada, which is a shredded beef taco with rice in a tomato sauce.

empanada

ropanada

Kerry decided on the Tio Asher, a vegetarian empanada made with tofu, black beans, corn, cilantro, chipotle peppers and green onions.

tio asher

The food was so hot we decided we needed drinks, so Kerry and I headed to the daiquiri stand.

 

Daq Shack

I got a passion fruit daiquiri, it was absolutely perfect for cooling me off in the crazy DC heat and humidity.

Passion Fruit

For our second course we headed to the Tapas Truck.

tapas truck

Most of their items were served with garlic fries, which was a big plus for me! Kerry and I decided to share the Shrimp Pil-Pil, which was fried shrimp over garlic fries with sweet chili sauce (the sauce was probably my favorite part, it was the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, and spicy).

shrimp pil-pil

Nick ordered the Pork Slider Andaluz.

Pork Slider Andaluz

And Brooke went with the Rabas – calamari served over garlic fries with spicy chili sauce. I absolutely loved how they served them in the newspaper cones.

Rabas

After those courses we were all pretty full but we decided we HAD to have dessert! Brooke and I headed to Carmen’s Italian Ice & Cafe.

Carmen's Italian Ice

As usual I was indecisive and couldn’t decide between custard and ice, luckily Carmen’s has gelatis that combine the two! I ordered the mokaccino custard with piña colada ice and it was absolutely fantastic!

gelati

Brooke got the mokaccino custard topped with chocolate chips.

custard

Nick decided to go to Pleasant Pops.

pleasant pops

They had a bunch of interesting flavors, he decided to try the cookies and cream pop, he said it was delicious.

cookies and cream pop

After we got our desserts we decided for sit at the picnic tables with some drinks and listen to the live music.

the bullpen

 

Brooke and Nick

Brooke and Nick

Kerry and I

Kerry and I

It was a great night and I would definitely recommend you check out the next truckeroo if you’re in the DC area!

 

 

Party in the City Where the Heat Is On

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Party in the City Where the Heat Is On

A few weeks ago my friend Alyssa and I went to Miami to visit my friend Spencer who is in law school at the University of Miami.  It was a great, relaxing trip!  Miami is gorgeous, the weather was beautiful and warm, and we had some DELICIOUS food!

After our plane landed Spencer picked us up from the airport and we headed to the beach.  The water was an amazing clear blue-green, and it was super warm!

The View from Spencer’s Apartment

Following our fantastic day at the beach we got ready and went to Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe for their Thursday pasta special.  I kid you not when I say this is the best pasta place I have ever been to.  Every Thursday they have a $10 pasta menu, and everything sounds delicious!  I am quite possibly the most indecisive person on the planet and absolutely could not decide what I wanted.  Luckily for me, the three of us decided we would get three entrees and share them!  (Also, sorry about the picture quality, it was dark in the restaurant!)

We ended up ordering the Penne with Grilled Chicken, because who doesn’t love pasta and chicken and feta and sun dried tomatoes and olives?

And Fiocchi Gorgonzola, because purse-shaped pasta sounds fun, and pear, four cheeses and a walnut gorgonzola sauce was just too interesting to pass up.  This was by far the BEST dish of the night, don’t get me wrong, everything was delicious, but this absolutely took the cake.  If you ever find yourself in Miami at Perricone’s you HAVE to order the Fiocchi Gorgonzola.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.  I Promise.

And last but not least, the ravioli, because it’s a classic and coral pink sauce sounded yummy and pretty!

For dessert there were more fabulous choices.

But in the end, chocolate deliciousness won out in the form of triple chocolate layer cake. Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache, what’s not to love?

It was FABULOUS!  One of Spencer’s friends who came along got the Homemade Apple Cobbler, which looked delicious as well.

One day we walked around the downtown area and spotted this place called Montaditos (which Spencer informed us was a chain in Spain) for a drink.  Spencer and I both got sangria (which was AMAZING) and Alyssa got a beer called Mahou.  They came in really cool mugs too!

A fun fact about Miami: happy hour goes from 4-8 because people in Miami don’t eat dinner until later.  Because of this fact we decided to go to Blue Martini for drinks and appetizers one night since their happy hour specials are half off all drinks and discounted food.  We ended up getting the baked brie with fruit, which was creamy and delicious.

They also had a very impressive drink menu, but we mostly stuck to the Treats portion of the menu.

Between the three of us we tried the Cake Pop (a new martini consisting of Three Olives Vanilla Vodka, Champagne, with a Splash of Cranberry Garnished with a Sprinkled Rim) which was probably my favorite, the Almond Joy, the Caramel Swirl, and the Three Chocolates.

Spencer, Me, and Alyssa with the Three Chocolates and the Cake Pop

Almond Joy

Caramel Delight

We also went to a delicious dinner at Doraku, a really great sushi place.  We started out with a lychee martini and some white sangria which were both delicious.

Then we ordered the salmon carpaccio, a rainbow roll, a Philadelphia roll, and the spicy tuna chili roll.  In our haste to eat I forgot to take pictures, but we did order a second spicy tuna chili roll, which was our favorite roll of the night!

Our final night we joined up with a bunch of Spencer’s friends to celebrate a birthday.  We ate at a restaurant called Dolores but you can call me Lolita, which was also really good!  At Dolores Lolita every entree comes with an appetizer, so once again we decided to get three seperate entrees and appetizers and split them.  For our appetizers we ordered the spinach artichoke dip, the smoked salon and guacamole crostini, and the Asian vegetable spring rolls.

For our entrees we got the “Skinny Lolita” – grilled chicken, sauteed spinach and cherry tomatoes, the “I can’t believe it’s not pasta” – zuchinni pasta with fresh mozzarella and cherry tomato sauce, and a fettucine alfredo (which was delicious with the chicken).

All in all it was a great trip with amazing food and I can’t wait to go back!

Buffalo

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Buffalo

I spent the past week with my boyfriend, Kevin, in his hometown of Buffalo so I don’t have any new recipes for you.

However, I do have some fantastic restaurants to tell you about!

While Buffalo is well known as the land of endless winter snow and sub-par professional sports teams (sorry Bills and Sabres fans…) they also have some really delicious food.

First, there are Buffalo chicken wings.  I’ve been told by several Buffalonians that it is impossible to find good wings outside of Buffalo, and while I don’t agree, I must admit that Duff’s are some of the best wings I’ve ever had.  Now, you may be familiar with the famous Duff’s vs. Anchor Bar feud.  I’ve never had wings from Anchor Bar because Kevin is an adamant Duff’s supporter, but they would have to be pretty phenomenal to beat Duff’s.

On a side note, Buffalo has this drink they serve in pretty much every restaurant called Loganberry.  It’s a juice beverage that I had never heard of prior to my first visit, but after my first sip I fell in love.  It’s pretty, and sweet, and delicious.  You should all try some.  Immediately.

In the same vein as the chicken wing is the chicken finger sub.  This  is exactly as it sounds, chicken fingers, placed on a sub roll.  It’s surprisingly delicious for something so simple.  We got ours from Jim’s Steak Out (which is a chain in Buffalo), but they’re available all over the city.

For breakfast one morning Kevin’s mom took us to the Original Pancake House, which isn’t a Buffalo original, but is still good (and serves ridiculously large portions).  I got the apple pancake, which is a huge pancake covered in baked cinnamon apples, and Kevin got the Dutch baby, which they fill with butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, fresh strawberries, and strawberry compote.

In contrast to their freezing winters, Buffalo’s summers are very hot.  To beat the heat we decided to some ice cream at Sweet Jenny’s.  They had some really interesting flavors, and it was a really cute place!  We opted for birthday cake and chocolate orange.

They even had sprinkle shakers on the tables!

Last, but certainly not least, is the Chocolate Bar.  While I realize this is not a uniquely Buffalo restaurant, it was absolutely delicious and I feel the need to share it with you.  We started with Georgia peach, and chocolate dipped strawberry martinis.   They were both super sweet and super yummy!  (These pictures aren’t the greatest, the lighting wasn’t exactly ideal for pictures.)

For our appetizer we got the chocolate bar baguette, which was a baguette sandwich with delicious melted chocolate and an olive oil/chocolate dipping sauce.

We split the chocolate bar pasta entree, which was fresh pasta tossed with a white chocolate cream sauce, white pepper, and other seasoning.  It was served with an amazing roasted corn and red pepper relish.  While the pasta was a little bland, it was delicious mixed with the corn and peppers.

The crown jewel of the meal was, of course, dessert.  We ordered the chocolate explosion.  This monstrosity of a dessert consisted of brownies, dark chocolate ice cream, house hot fudge, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.  It was absolutely AMAZING and the hot fudge was the best I’ve ever had!

We also went to a great restaurant called the Irishman, but I was dumb and forgot my camera…

Anyway, if you’re going to be in Buffalo anytime soon, I highly recommend you check out these restaurants (and Ted’s Hot Dogs, and Mighty Taco, and Tim Horton’s, and Just Pizza… the list is never ending).