Monday, November 17, 2008

November 2008 (Oxnard, CA)

Pho So
..details coming shortly!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oxnard, CA (October 2008)...MY HOUSE!!

Yes, my's a quaint little restaurant with intimate seating for six under a modern chandelier and modestly art deco furnished place..garage parking is available for a small fee. The restaurant boasts an open exposition kitchen so you see everything in plain view. Fine dining at it's best yet in a casual and comfortable optional.. There's outdoor seating for the elite who like to be noticed by the local paparazzi.....The chef has many years of culinary experience..trained by the best......

Ok, enough of my BS!!!!! I'm not much of a cook. Many would say I'm horrible but guess what, that's ok. Today I prepared something that even a child can make. Grilled shrimp..yes, grilled shrimp is about the only thing I can make and cannot mess up.

I have one of those Sunbeam Rocket Grillers...they used to be $100 and now you can get one for about $30. They work very well. Anyway, since I didn't go to any restaurants today, I thought I'd share my simple even a caveman can do it!

Use the largest shrimp you can possibly buy..I typically buy the colossal shrimp about 10-12 shrimp per pound. If I am lazy, I use Old Bay seasoning. Sprinkle a little or a lot (if you are a braveheart) of the Old Bay seasoning onto the shrimp. I put my shrimp on skewers approximately 3 to 4 to each skewer. Get the grill hot and ready. Place the shrimp in the griller and within 3 to 4 have a wonderful masterpiece. People will think you're some culinary genius when we really're not!!!!!

Sometimes I use the Lawry's marinades like lemon pepper. I've tried their mesquite version and it's quite delicious. I made a horrible mistake of marinating cod and trying to grill it..never do this...I marinated the fish ALL was a hot bubbling MESS!!!! I had to throw it away cause I know my husband wasn't going to eat it and neither was I!!!!

Join me next time as we take culinary travels through......the quaint restaurant in the city by the sea...MY HOUSE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Palmdale, CA (October 2008)

I am always always always in Palmdale on business..funny I never blogged about it. Anyway, I was here this week on a brief business trip. I ordered room service so I can only speak about two restaurants:

Famous Dave's
1205 Rancho Vista Boulevard
Palmdale, CA 93551

My colleague and I go here for lunch a lot. I had the chicken strips and catfish strips lunch with cole slaw and corn. I love there cole slaw..pretty crunchy and sweet. The catfish is nothing to ring home about but it's ok. I didn't order ribs this week but they are very good here along with their hot links!

Carinos Italian
1173 W. Rancho Vista Blvd.
Palmdale, CA 93551

This was my first time going here. The place is a chain but the food...not a chain! The bread here is quite tasty. It's rosemary infused and served traditional style with the olive oil and pepper mix. I ordered the cedar plank salmon with sauteed green beans and angel hair pasta. I opted to get less tomatoes on my pasta though. The salmon was very tender and flavorful. They bring it out still on the cedar plank which at that point is pretty damn crispy!!!!!!!!!

Jamaica Mon!!! Couples Negril FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! October 2008

The hubs and I went to Negril, Jamaica for vacation. We stayed at the magnificent Couples Negril! This is a food blog so I'll only talk about the food but...this resort is fabulous and we will be going back in 2009 if I am not pregnant !!!!!!!!!!! Our house keeper was rubbing on my stomach so maybe that was some kinda magic potion...I dunno!!!! Just kidding!

On to the delectables:

Couples Negril has four restaurants: Otaheite, Lychee, Heliconia and Cassava Terrace. There is also a Beach Grill that serves fast foods in the daytime and during the wee hours of the night.

Our first night, we ate at the Jamaican buffet at Cassava Terrace. I am really trying to stay away from buffets since I generally lose my mind there but I did ok. The buffet is only three times a week and it's either Jamaican, Carribean or something else. The other nights are a la carte menu. The Jamaican buffet was absolutely great. Loads of succulent peppery shrimp cooked in a skillet the size of my car! My husband raved about their curried goat. He ate two plates. I don't do goat but he said it was pretty good. They also had whole roasted pig. I normally don't like to look into the face of something I am about to eat but I figured, hey he can't see me anyway!!! I had a few slices of the pig and it was delicious and quite savory. I am not into greens too much but there was callaloo (local spinach) and cabbage on the buffet. This was one of the best vegetables dishes ever. I made the mistake of putting some of the Grace hot sauce in there thinking the hot sauce was like my usual Louisiana hot sauce....not so...Grace is probably ten times hotter! BEWARE!!! The carrots and broccoli were tender and great too. It's weird since I am not into veggies that much but it was really easy for me to eat my veggies there. Perhaps a move to Jamaica could produce a healthier me...what say you??? We also ate the breakfast buffet here at Cassava Terrace daily. The breakfast always had hot pancakes and the best damn crispy bacon ever. Of course there're the normal breakfast fare of eggs, sausage, oatmeal, fruits, cereal and other dishes.One of the cooks got word that my husband likes curry goat so one morning, they made it for breakfast for him. Thought that was pretty nice of them to do that. They have morning smoothies as well. I had the passionate couple smoothie one day. Pretty good. I just wish I could have this kind of service at home daily...

On to Heliconia, we ate dinner here on a Friday night. We were told they were going to have lobster that night but they didn't. We went during the 10th anniversary party so all the goodies would be served on Saturday night. Heliconia menu changes often which is a good thing! I ordered the tuna, scallops and shrimp kebabs over blue cheese and cracked pepper rigatoni. I don't care for blue cheese very much but let's just say, I cleaned my plate. Mom would be so proud of me! I received two kebabs loaded with tender seafood and seasoned artichokes (damn vegetables again!!!). The tuna was thick and moist. The scallops and shrimp were very flavorful. I've never had this style of rigatoni but the sauce was savory to my mouth! My husband has the same thing except he didn't have pasta, he had rice and veggies. He also added a braised lamb shank which he said was good. I didn't taste it so I don't know!

Otaheite is the premier restaurant at Couples Negril. You even need to make a reservation to eat there. Well, we had a reservation and guess what, we didn't go. My husband looked at the menu for Otaheite and then the one for Lychee..well, Lychee looked pretty good so we made the decision to go to Lychee. I had to call and cancel our reservation and it was sad because the lady on the phone kept asking me if I was sure...well damn, I wasn't so sure after she kept asking me. Oh well, guess I'll find out next year!!!

Lychee was a fabulous choice. This is an Asian fusion restaurant. Now, I am always leery of fusion anything but kudos to the husband for this choice. We went there on our 6th anniversary and it was a great dinner to remember compared to other anniversary dinners!!!! Our first choice was an appetizer platter for two....chicken drumstick, eggrolls, wontons, beef stick and something else I am forgetting. There was a lady sitting next to me that wanted to have this delivered to her room at midnight...well shoot, deliver it to us as well!!! The second course was soup. I had a beef noodle soup that was steaming hot. We opted out for the salad. It had eggs in it and I don't like eggs. I ordered the evening special which was honey teriyaki glazed salmon......ok, another great decision. The salmon was a great size and it was filled. The glaze was slightly crispy..just how I like it!!! It was served with grated vegetables and rice. The hubby had some lamb dish. It was ok...if you like lamb, there is plenty around this restaurant! For dessert, hubby had tapioca pudding (ok, we travel thousands of miles for tapioca...give me a break!!!!) and I had the fried ice cream. Now I thought this was going to be the traditional Mexican fried ice cream which is the ice cream rolled in cornflakes....NOT SO...this was a breaded clam shaped dessert stuffed with strawberry ice cream. I ate the whole thing!!!!! If you go there, try their lychee inspired drinks. We had Lychee Sunrise, non alcoholic and it's very good!

10th Anniversary Party
There was a huge anniversary party while we were there. There was just too much food to name. I had a lot of crab legs, steamed shrimp, creole seafood, mussels, lobster and lots of other stuff *healthy right??*. The Cassava Terrace restaurant was turned into a massive buffet for at least 500 people. Huge ice sculptures decorated the place. There was an Asian food station, veggie station, cold seafood station, hot seafood station, jerk chicken and pork station, pasta station, bread and salad station, fruit station and I am sure I am leaving out something else. I have pics to prove it. They had a room.....I repeat a ROOM full of desserts. I had what I call flan (can't remember what the locals call it) and other desserts! This was the best damn party I have ever been too...felt like a celebrity. There was a cocktail party prior to the dinner which had tons of sushi, trapeze artists and ballerinas all over the place.

Beach Grill was open everyday from 11AM to 6PM then again from 11PM to 5AM. This was the place to go get beef patties, hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, sandwiches, jerk chicken and other delights whenever you felt like it. I must admit, we were eating like 4 and 5 meals a day but somehow I didn't gain any weight...I actually lost some pounds...could be all the walking I did and all the water I drank plus walking up and down three flights of steps is good cardio for anybody!!

I tried a lot of alcoholic concoctions on this trip from Hummingbirds to Governor House to Dirty Bananas and other drinks.

OFF TOPIC but useful info:
Sunrise Liquors in the Montego Bay airport has the best prices for liquor. I bought some Appleton rum at the Hilo supermarket in downtown Negril...well, it was $3 less at the airport. them at Times Square Mall at a store next to the smoke shop...cheapest store in the area with really good prices. Shot glasses are $0.75 compared to the $3 everyone else wants. Shirt quality is good too and they have XXL for those like me who need it!! You can get embroided shirts here for a good price.

Jungle Club......a happening place to be if you like to dance all night long. We went there and it was pretty fun. Just don't look at the snakes when you walk in! Pretty reasonable to get in about $7 for ladies and $9 for men. Afterwards, there are plenty of people out there selling jerk chicken, drinks and other stuff if you'd like.

Runaway Deli at the Montego Bay airport has frozen Jamaican patties if you want to take some home.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oxnard, CA (September 26th, 2008)

CJ's Barbeque
480 S. Victoria Avenue
Oxnard, CA 93035

Let me just say.....this place NEVER lets me down...NEVER! This is a small eatery in town and let me tell you, it is always overflowing with folks...that should tell you that they are obviously doing something right or they are putting liquid crack in the food. I vote that they are doing something right! I typically go to CJ's Barbecue after know, get the soul fed and then the stomach! Amen! I went to CJ's on Friday night and I ordered the usual, my usual is half a pound of fried catfish, green beans and macaroni and cheese. Now, I must remind you that this is a southern joint. Don't come up in there expecting low fat, low carb or whatever. You might as well...go home! Their catfish is probably the best catfish one could have ever tasted. Now my husband makes good catfish but this place, it's crispy, evenly coated and for the real's not dried out like some other places. The macaroni and cheese is homemade and baked like I like it. I typically walk in through the back door and I noticed the macaroni shells in a package..certainly not that crap you get at an unnamed chicken restaurant....Kindly Fried Chicken....The green beans are always a hit with me. I don't think they are canned beans just doctored up since canned beans typically have that odd color and slightly mushy, their green beans are seasoned with smoked meat. With the dinner, there's always a nice toasted, buttered roll. The half pound catfish dinner costs $9.99 sometimes I eat it all and others, well I'll take some home. They also sell desserts such as pecan pie (delicious and you would be remissed if you didn't have it), sweet potato pie and other items. They have peach cobbler but I am sorry's missing a key ingredient and I am probably biased since I hail from the south...umm....only I know what the key ingredient is!!!! Regardless, if you're ever in Oxnard, do yourself a favor and go to CJ's..they even have SWEET TEA for all you Californias who can't get tea like momma used to know, the tea made in the backyard..sun tea...maybe only my mom did that????


Duh...I failed to mention the BBQ!!! I am not much of a BBQ person but my grandma and mom came to visit me. Well, let's just say they licked the bones clean....enough said!

Oxnard, CA (September 24th, 2008)

Thai Corner
2131 N. Oxnard Blvd
Oxnard, CA
805- 983-8885

I ordered take out from this restaurant on Wednesday. This was my second time coming here. Rarely do I frequent Thai places...I guess because sometimes I forget they exist? I know, shame on me. Thai Corner is simply a corner off the busy Oxnard Blvd in Oxnard. The restaurant used to be an Arby's many moons ago. The location is large and well decorated with traditional fabrics, artwork and pictures. Now on to the food...I wasn't sure what to order and my husband is pretty picky when it comes to certain foods. I wanted an appetizer so I ordered the angel wings. Unfortunately, they were out. The order taker suggested that I try the Royal Shrimp so I did. This was a slightly spiced shrimp cooked in a wonton skin served with a sweet chili sauce. I was surprised at the size of the order...quite impressive for a dish that was $8.95

For my dinner, I order the Garlic and Pepper Chicken.....moist, succulent chicken in a medium brown sauce with crunchy peppers and onions. There were also fresh cucumbers slices in there along with cilantro for an extra kick. For the hubby, I ordered pepper steak..a unique cocktail of pineapples, seasonings and flavorful steak. Let's just say he ate the whole thing ....

I will definitely return to this restaurant again. Now I know where they are..that hidden gem of a corner!

Men Can Cook Contest-Ventura County 9/27/08

The Men Can Cook contest (sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Xi Kappa Omega Chapter of Ventura County!) was GREAT!!!! We had some last minute emergencies with some of our men. Anywho, I told one of my sorors "what will be, will be" and there it is! We always have different kinds of food. There are three categories: Best Entree, Best Side Dish and Best Dessert. Those are selected from a distinguished panel of judges. The judges are not just folks off the street. They are restauranteurs, graduated from culinary schools and whatnot! The judges were Antonio Anderson from Enoteca Toscana Wine Bistro in Camarillo, Martha Garcia from Tomas Cafe in Oxnard and Chef C. Gerard Turbush owner of Jala Fresca in Simi Valley. We also have something called the People's Choice Award where the people get to select their favorite item.

Anyway, the winners:

Best Entree: Beef Burgundy by Charles Simpson (ok, I don't even like beef but this was off the chain for real!)

Best Side Dish: Soul Food Pancit by Charles Jones (oh my God, I am about to run to this man's house just to get more of this..this dish was filled with succulent chicken and shrimp, pancit is a traditional Filipino dish and Mr. Jones hooked it UP....ALL THE WAY UP!!!!)

Best Dessert:Banana Pudding by Joshua Weaver (what can I say, I am a sucker for banana pudding...let me just say I had banana pudding for breakfast today and I am not ashamed of it either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

There were second runner ups as well such as Earrington Gentry who was 2nd runner up for entree with his delicious bbq ribs. Sidereck Ross was 2nd runner for side dish of jambalaya. That jambalaya was smokin' hot...I don't know what he put in it but a sister was SWEATING!!!!!!!!!!! The runner up for dessert was George Sellers who make this homemade buttermilk pie. I admit, I had never heard of this but this pie had a great flaky crust and a smooth filling. I should have had another slice doggone it!

People's Choice Award went to Bernie Canilao for his homemade lumpia....whoosh, I don't want to tell you how many I ate since that is between me and the lumpia!!!

All the men who win in the Best category win a nice trophy and a nice set of pots and pans. The runner ups receive serving dishes. The People's Choice Award received a trophy and an electric cooker.
Be sure to attend the contest next year!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Camarillo, CA (September 22nd, 2008)

Crab House Restaurant

(805) 987-497-9350

350 N Lantana St

Camarillo, CA

I had the pleasure of eating lunch here today with one of my friends. I've been here before but it's been at least a year or two. Anyway, we arrived and there was only one other group dining today. The server was friendly and he brought us fresh bread...the bread looks like a big roll but it's very fresh and it was served warm with garlic butter (or so I think is garlic butter) on the side. I looked at the Lunch Specials and decided to order the seafood linguini. This dish was $9.50 and it was loaded with bay shrimp and baby scallops. The pasta sauce was this creamy garlic sauce that was flavored well..not overpowering like some places. There was probably enough pasta for two but being greedy...I ate the whole thing. Service was prompt and the prices are reasonable. I added a cup of New England Clam Chowder for 1.99 which was a good compliment to my pasta dish. My friend ordered the lobster fettucine...the lobster was fresh and was moist and flavorful as well. I will try that the next time!

I will return here again for lunch and perhaps dinner.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ventura, CA (August 2008)

Charlene's Urban Tapas and Wine Bar
546 E Main St
Ventura, CA 93001-2629
Phone: (805) 652-2255
will post the website

This is a new restaurant in Ventura on the happening scene of Main Street. Charlene's is a wine bar..the place is really swanky and cool. I went there last month on a Saturday with some girlfriends. The menu is limited to only tapas but there is enough on there to appease even the picky eaters. I had the jerk shrimp over gouda grits....let me say, I am not a cheese lover and I wasn't sure I'd like gouda in my grits but oh....gouda is the way to go. The grits were smooth, not lumpy and stiff like some people make. The shrimp was fresh and quite flavorful...I would have preferred a couple more shrimp but I have to remember tapas are simply that...just an appetizer not a meal. I ordered their southern sangria...the serving size was quite ample and my mind was satisfied. I will be going back here again. There is live music during the week and on weekends. The place is cozy and well decorated..I met the owners and they kinda seem like you're dealing with your brother and sister...very nice down to earth people. Check them out and order the collard green egg rolls if you dare!

Camarillo, CA (September 20th, 2008)

Chester's Asia
2216 Pickwick
Camarillo, CA 93010

This is another one of those gems of a restaurant. I've been eating here for YEARS since I moved to California. The hubby and I went here tonight for one of their family style dinners. We had wonton soup, appetizers (fried shrimp, paper wrapped chicken, eggroll and bbq ribs), three flavor chow mein, shrimp fried rice, sweet and sour shrimp and kung pao chicken. We ended up taking most of the food home which is good so I am not cooking tomorrow! Total bill was only $41 which is decent. We could have shared with at least two other people..thank God it was only us! You will never be disappointed here...go and try it!

Ensenada, Mexico (December 2007)

Mango Mango
Ensenada, Baja California
Av. López Mateos No. 335, Plaza Hussong's
Tel: (646) 178 - 3883 NexTel: 152*131549*3.

I went on a cruise last year and did a cooking class at this restaurant with their head chef. The class was great and I learned the secret to making salsa.....MAKE IT YOURSELF..don't buy it! Ha ha, who knew it could be so easy. During our class, the hubs and I were able to order drinks so we ordered mango careful....these can hurt but then again, I wasn't driving so I just kept drinking them and they were very delicious! Hubs had the strawberry and mango mixed and he loved it. I'd like to go back here again just to see what it's like at night. I believe it's a club then!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tucson, AZ (March 2008)

I will post this shortly....I have to find my info!

Austin, TX (Jan/Feb 2007)

I ate at this place called Houston's. Umm, it was really good. The wait there is long but definitely worth it. Here's info on the restaurant:
2408 W Anderson LnAustin, TX 78757-11041 512 451 7333www.houstons.comI waited over 40 minutes to eat was worth it!! The place is a chain but it doesn't taste like chain food. There are others throughout the states including Memphis, Boston, Kansas City, etc..

On Saturday I went to the Alamo Drafthouse. This is a movie theatre where you can actually have your dinner in the theatre! what a concept! The food is decent. Nothing special though and it was reasonably priced. You can also order "drinks" with your dinner too!!! I will definitely go back here again if I go to Austin. (also in Houston and San Antonio) locations in Austin to serve you.

New York, NY

Maggie Brown
455 Myrtle Ave
Brookklyn NY 11205
This place was really good. It's really tiny and it was packed. Food is reasonably priced and you get a lot. I had the Maggie Brown Fried Fish Club. It was a huge sandwich. I could have shared...but I didn't. I also had the sangria there. Very light drink with fresh fruit.

Garrett Popcorn
242 W 34th St. - 1 Penn Plaza
On 34th between 7th & 8thNew York, NY 10119 the only one in New York, the rest are in Chicago)I love cheese it! Beware, if you eat the popcorn here, go home first and wear a shirt you don't care about or get naked cause it's gonna be all over you!!! Very good cheese popcorn...expensive though!

Dani's Grocery
97-01 23rd Avenue
East Elmhurst, NY11369
Nothing special about this place...I wanted some Jamaican beef patties and this place had them for like a $1.25 They were cold but the guy will heat them up for you.

Empire Sports Bar (inside the Marriott Laguardia Airport Hotel)
102-05 Ditmars Boulevard
East Elmhurst, New York 11369
The burgers are huge here...for $14 they better be!!! Hot wings so hot, I had to ask for bread to soak up the spices!!

Chef Ho's (I went here many years ago...I will post the info later)

Orlando, FL (June 2007)

Palmera's Restaurant
(Puerto Rican cuisine)
6917 Municipal Drive
Orlando FL 32819
This place is kinda like a hidden gem. Kinda off the beaten path but the food is authentic and the service is kinda like having your mom serve you...the lady scolded me (in a friendly) manner cause I was too full to finish my food! Anyway, I went there two days in a row for lunch. Their fried chicken is delicious and is seasoned very well. Probably the best I have ever had. The beans and rice are to die for! Empanadas are good too. I had a cubano sandwich. It was ok but I am not into shreded pork sandwiches. Tried something called mofongo....umm...acquired taste but it's plantains with garlic and pork skins. My coworker loved it but I didn't. Anyway, here's a review:,0,2375928.story?coll=orlnatent-headlines-top

168 Chinese Restaurant
7721 Turkey Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 363-1688
This place was...ok, nothing spectacular

Little Rock, Arkansas (June 2008)

West End Smokehouse and Tavern
215 N. Shackleford
Little Rock, AR
Interesting place. Food was ok. Had shrimp but it had cornmeal on it????? The place is like a Jillians. They have a live band but this night it was a heavy metal band...I had a headache!!!!

Seattle, WA (March 2007)

901 Fairview Avenue
North Seattle, WA. 98108-4457
Phone: 206-749-JOEY
Umm, I had Alaskan king salmon here and some calamari and other stuff

2000 4th AveSeattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-1430
This place was kinda weird...but the food was decent. Go only if you like weird stuff...ha ha, they serve food family style which is decent.

Grazie Ristorante
23207 Bothell Everett Hwy
Bothell, WA 98021 went there for lunch one day and it was a good reasonable meal! I had spaghetti and it was good considering I am not a spaghetti eater.

Kwajalein/Ebeye (August/September 2007)

Litaki Fast Foods
Ebeye Island, Kwajalien Atoll, Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia
I really don't think this place has an address but...once you get off the boats, turn left towards the main road and walk straight, make a left near the store there...Litaki's is on the left about a block's length down. There is nothing fast food about the place...not sure why they say that...I ate there last Sunday and it was really good. It's a Filipino/Japanese/Marshallese restaurant. I had a shrimp dish there with garlic rice and some beef lumpia. Food was superb...service is nothing but smiles. Waitress comes to your table sits down with you until you are ready to The lady with me was from a place called Kosrae. She ordered grilled tuna cooked medium..she let me taste it and it was really good. Kinda covered with a vinegarette sauce but it was good. They also give you this hot coconut pudding stuff. I tasted it and it was very sweet! Good though!

Honolulu, Hawaii (Aug/Sep 2007)

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 3253
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel 808-949-GUMP (4867)
Fax 808-952-0400
This is a chain restaurant and surprisingly...very good. Food service is quick but the server in Honolulu appeared to be stoned...then again...maybe I was the strange one. I ordered the Boat Trash (fried shrimp, mahi mahi and lobster)..everything was good except the lobster. It was too tough so I didn't eat it. I ordered a drink called Peach Rock and Roll or something like that that came in a glass you can keep. That was really good. I spent $40 on lunch so that was ok considering it was a lot and I had one adult beverage.

Tapa Cafe
Hilton Hawaiian Village
2005 Kaila Drive
Honolulu, HI (Waikiki area)
808-949-4321 ext. 26.
Due to a stupid mistake by the hotel (I got in late at 4AM from my international flight and these bozos gave me the key to someone else's room..imagine..4AM..someone enters your room...yeah..just like that), I got free breakfast at this place. Well, it was worth me staying up the additional hour and a half to eat it.'s a breakfast buffet but it had great things on the breakfast menu such as grilled salmon, rice, miso soup, sushi among the traditional breakfast items. Cost is $23 a person but worth it in my opinion..I drank so much damn guava juice there!

Ala Moana Shopping Center
HONOLULU, HI 96814 (808) 955-9517
This is truly a great place to shop from the cheapos like me (Sears, Old Navy)to the discriminating tastes (Armani, Hermes, Prada, etc..). It's the largest open air mall and it's pretty cool!

Wailana Coffee House
18620 Ala Moana
Honolulu, HI
You eat here because it's CHEAP..I got the breakfast special for $5.75 this morning...I couldn't even eat it all!!! Mai Tais are like $3-$4 here which is NOTHING.....

Tapa Bar
Hilton Hawaiian Village
2005 Kaila Drive
Honolulu, HI (Waikiki area)
808-949-4321 ext. 26.
They have live Hawaiian entertainment every night. I caught the show there last night and it was really good. Drinks are really good...think Hawaiian pina coladas and daiquiris with the umbrellas and the weird names!

2005 Kalia Rd
Honolulu, HI
This is a Japanese restaurant located in the Hilton Hawaiian Village area. Two in New York and one in Hawaii. I ate there enroute to the Marshall Islands. It's ok...not great but ok. Food prices are reasonable like lunch specials for $8-$10. The Japanese sweet potato is very's purple but tasted really good. I ordered the combo lunch plate or whatever it is called and it cost $16 and came with miso soup, salad, rice, cali rolls, tempura and chicken teriyaki.

Southern Cali...all the dern time!

Marmalade Cafe
140 Promenade Way Suite
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Tel.: (805) 370-1331
This place is not too shabby. Food's really good. I had halibut here which is probably "too meaty" a fish for me but otherwise very good.

Twin Palms Pasadena
101 W. Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91105-2027
(626) 577-2567
Food is pretty good. Atmosphere is relaxed and not too pretentious like a lot of LA spots. Service is good and very attentive.
We ordered the Dieter's Delight (umm, nothing about that is for someone on a serious diet!)
I ordered the Mediterrean chicken. That was good but I didn't care for the lemon butter on it. The red cabbage was delicious!
Margaritas were ok..I've had better...head to the border!

*Update, since I am in SoCAL, I will be updating this a lot.

San Francisco, CA (March 2008)

House of NanKing
919 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA
This little gem is in Chinatown and it is truly one of those hole in the wall places where you will think twice about going in but...go's safe! If Peter is there, tell him you have no dietary restrictions and see what he comes up with for you! I was in San fran in March and I was with a group of folks and we went in for a family meal. All kinds of stuff from shrimp cakes to chicken with sweet potatoes and apples (it's really good I promise!).

Pier 47
San Francisco, CA

I hate this place so much because it is located in SAN FRANCISCO!!!! Just kidding, I love Scoma's! Everytime I am there, I make it a part of the trip. Everything they have there is great. We love their cioppino!Order it and ask for a to go container because you're going to need it. I always get the seafood platter and nearly die because I try to finish it all!

July 2007 (went to a wedding reception here)

Hong Kong East Ocean Restaurant
3199 Powell Street
Emeryville, CA 94608
I went to a wedding reception on Saturday here and had a ten course meal!! Check this out:
Course 1:Hong Kong East Ocean Assortment Platter (this had roasted pork and chicken, jellyfish, sirloin steak, seaweed and octopus)

Course 2: Golden Craw Claws (this was a crab claw with minced shrimp fried up into a huge crispy thingy)

Course 3:Stir fried cuttlefish, scallops and jade greens (jade greens are really broccoli..who would have thunk it...this dish was great!)

Course 4: Royal Shark Fin Soup with Crab Meat (I didn't like this one..but my husband ate his and mine)

Course 5:Braised Fresh Abalone with Sea Cucumbers (this was ok..abalone is kinda bland though)

Course 6:Braised Lobster with Cream Sauce (now this was a tasty treat!!!!)

Course 7:Cracking Peking Duck (this was served with these little sandwich thingy with some onions and hoison sauce!!)

Course 8:House Smoked Fillet of Black Cod (I love this one too!!)

Course 9:Fried Rice with Garlic and Seafood (another good one!)

Course 10:Chilled Mango Pudding (this came out in the shape of a was so good..I had two!!)

Course 11: (not really)wedding cake!!! lemon!

Chicago/Milwaukee (May 2008)

Phoenix Restaurant
8349 W Lawrence Ave
Norridge, IL 60706
(708) 453-8100‎
This place is going to your mom's kitchen. Mostly homestyle American food. Pretty reasonable and it's good.

The Original Mama Mia's Pizzeria
4638 N Cumberland Ave
Chicago, IL 60656
Phone: (773) 625-8500
I didn't go here but I ordered it for delivery. Pretty good...if you like was ok.

IPic Entertainment at Bayshore Town Center
5800 N. Bayshore Drive
Glendale, WI 53217
They have a restaurant called Ovation Restaurant. I went to the Sequel Bar and that was cool! The place is a movie theatre/bowling alley/bar kinda place. The food was really good although we just ordered appetizers.

Memphis, TN (May 2008)

Highlights from my Memphis trip:
Round One Restaurant
6642 Winchester Rd
Memphis, TN 38115
(901) 367-1801
I went here Saturday night with my brother and cousins and we had a blast. Had a few drinks and I even tasted alligator for the first time. It was pretty good. The place is really nice inside, kinda has this swank appeal. Service is great and the staff is attentive. I will definitely go back here again!

Sunday night went to Beale Street which is like the "happening" street for Memphis. Lots of live music, good smelling food and interesting people to laugh at!
We stopped by one club there...I can't remember the name of it but it was cheap to get in and I was like...umm....ready to go..never mind, I remember now.The club was called Superior Bar. I can't even rate the place since I was there less than 30 minutes. I am out of the loop on music. I understand they do kareoke during the week.

Dodge's Chicken Store
(901) 396-5557
3923 Elvis Presley Blvd
Memphis, TN 38116
I've been here before. They sell these HUGE smoked turkey tasty!!!!

San Juan Capistrano, CA (June 2008)

Ciao Pasta Trattoria
(949) 496-5002
31661 Camino Capistrano, Suite 201
San Juan Capistrano, California 92675
This restaurant is across the street from a huge mission. Lovely street filled with lots of history! I had the Farfalle al Salmone which is bowtie pasta with smoked salmon, onions and vodka sauce. This was really good. Too bad I couldn't finish it all!!! Oh well! There's next time!

Washington,DC (July 2008)

whew, I am home and still tired as heck but I'll survive I suppose...anyway, I went to DC for my sorority's 100th anniversary! It was great. Lots of ladies all over town in their pink and green. Chances are high you probably saw me...or at least thought you did.....anyway here goes the highlights:

THE METRO....not a club...a transpo way of life!I the metro! Spend many of days riding the blue, yellow, orange and red lines of this magnificent transportation system. Cheaper than taxis..I wish I knew this the first day I was there since I spent so much on taxis!!!!

The White House Tour
Umm, this was kinda corny...and to think I gave up my information to get into OBAMA's house...ha ha!! The tour lasts about 20 minutes and it is literally the basement of the White upper rooms for you!!!!!

The Capitol Tour
This was GREAT!!! I traveled with my friend and she contacted our state representative. We had a personalized tour...better than the docent tour. Tour lasted about 1.5 hours and it was worth it. Lots of great history. I took a lot of pictures in here. Maybe I should upload some of them.

FREE...need I say more..this was great and it was topped off when one of my clients called me and took me to lunch in the Smithsonian to know someone and have one of those "id" cards to eat in that area. Pays to know folks in high places.

Mount Vernon, VA 1st President George Washington's House
This was an awesome tour. I loved it. Price was reasonable $13 and it includes a tour of Washington's home, a movie presentation and many other things. They have his burial site here and that was quite interesting. Also, there is a slave memorial and burial ground...umm, I think I felt the ancestors there. It's weird...knowing you are walking on someone's grave site. Thank God for our ancestors though they paved the way. of you know I like food...ha ha, that's what Mr. O says so here are the places I dined:

2250 A Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Tel (703) 413-8181
Fax (703) 413-5566
I went here the last time I was in DC. Pretty good sangria and Spanish tapas. Try the monkfish...who knew I'd like such an ugly fish.....Their menus change frequently so ask if they can make your favorite dish. They have three locations but I visited the one in Crystal City.

5441 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: 301.951.9600
What can I say about that crabcake...impressive is what I should say. The price is right...$10.95 for one and that's really all you need. Try the crab won't be disappointed..tell them mrsk sent ya! They have several locations but we took the metro to Friendship Heights (I think that's where it is).

Georgia Brown
950 15th Street
Washington, DC 20005
Ok..what kind of "soul food" restaurant doesn't have peach cobbler....I digress..I didn't eat much here...had the crab cake appetizer and a side of mac and cheese...umm..not impressed..the crab cake at Clyde's was much better and importantly...BIGGER. I was hungry when I left. The watercress salad was good though. I met a lady here who looked exactly like me...I took her picture so maybe I'll post that and you tell me if we do or not. I had a watermelon margarita here that was so potent...I'm pretty sure I was lit after leaving the joint! Boy was it pretty though!I had drinks and appetizers at the hotel lounge which was cool.Also went to Union Station I think and met up with one of my friends. This place is a big food court but I had a little snack...

Aditi India Kitchen (in Union Station)
I had some samosas here and they were spicy and I loved them!! They give you 2 for $2 which is a great price. They also have your usual Indian specialities like curry dishes and naan. I think I saw mango pudding here as well.SHOCKINGLY.....I never had the opportunity to hit any nightspots..we were pooped by the end of the day so we just fell out by time, I want to dance and sip the bubbly!I hope someone will read this! I plan to come to DC again..there is so much I didn't see. I did come there for my sorority's event which I am sure you DC peeps saw us on the news!PS..ladies if you are looking for the Italian Vogue magazine...better call first.....

Indianapolis, IN (stuff to do!) (August 2008)

I was in Indy in August for a party..actually, I didn't even go to any restaurants but here's a quick recap of what I did:

Into Salsa
363 N. Illinois St. Ste. 202 (Above Acapulco Joe's)
Indianapolis IN 46204
Phone: (317) 496-4196
My friend rented out this dance studio and she hired two instructors to teach us Latin dances. It was great. I'm outta shape so I am in a little bit of pain after dancing...ha ha ha!!
After the party, a large group of us walked The Canal:

Canal Walk
801 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-233-2434

There are a lot of museums and interesting buildings along this canal. The canal was a passageway for commerce in the early 19th century. Good place to bring a date, families, dogs and whatnot. They have a tribute to veterans there which is really nice.

Southern Maryland and bits of DC (September 2008)

Well, as usual, here are my restaurant highlights!

The Naughty Gull
455 Lore Road,Solomons, MD

I was in Solomons this week on business and I ate at this place...the food is excellent...I had the seafood platter which had scallops, shrimp, flounder and crabcake...I had it broiled and it was excellent! I would definitely recommend this place if you are in the area. I wasn't too crazy about the side dishes but the seafood was very fresh.

Panera Bread
45250 Worth Avenue
California, MD 20619(301) 863-8305
This is a chain restaurant but they have really good salads, soups and sandwiches. I suspect you can find these places anywhere.

Mexico Restaurant
11735 Rousby Hall Rd
Lusby, MD, 20657
This is also a chain but it's pretty good. Prices are very reasonable. I had a chicken burrito and enchilada here. Ask them to put half the sauce or else you'll be pushing it to the side like I did! I have to admit...they have the best damn daiquiri I have ever had!!!!

Isaac's Restaurant
My conference was at this hotel and this restaurant provided the lunch everyday....the food, very very good especially their salmon fillets and the clam/crab chowder!

Saphron Restaurant
135 Central Square Drive
Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678
Hands down, this is probably one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. It's a husband and wife team that own this place. There was a book in my hotel called Landmarks and this restaurant was listed in there as one of the best new restaurants...well, it is. I had the Mediterrean Seafood, scallops and shrimp all over a bed of wide noodle tomato pasta with garlic and white wine sauce. the seafood here was very fresh...actually, I think i saw them cut the head off of shrimp and it was still moving!!! ok..maybe not but it was GREAT!!! I will definitely drive to eat here again.

Finn & Porter Alexandria
5000 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
I ate breakfast here since this is where I was staying. Breakfast wasn't bad at all. Buffet style but very very good...I was surprised to see lox on the menu but I guess that's how it is! Would recommend if you are staying at the hotel there.

4000 Campbell Avenue (formerly South 28th Street)
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 931-0777
I've been here before. Had the crab cakes here..very good with minimal filler. Also had the calamari and the blue crab fritters. I would go here again!

There is more I could say but I am way tired!!

(Trip dates 9/13-9/18/2008)

Hey gang!

Hey world, I created this blog to chronicle places I've dined at....I know, I guess I am an unofficial food critic but what the heck, I am here to help you!!! I will probably blog about my travels but not so much!! Some of the info is old so I'll post the dates of the trips. I've been writing these kind of reports for a while so I'll try to update as much as possible! My comments are kinda limited. If you need more info, post a comment and I will give more details!