Taste of Nashville: Pfunky Griddle

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What a neat place in a very popular and cool city.
A new friend took me here and I loved it. Walked in the door, the iCarly co-star was there (I didn’t know it was her till I asked), they invited me to just help myself to the coffee.
This place was very interactive. You got to make your own food! Now, most people would not want to pay to make their own food, but I thoroughly loved it.
They had an organic 5 grain and a homestyle white pancake batter, we got mashed potatoes (for fried cakes), and I got some bacon. Vermon syrup was on the table and I got crunchy peanut butter as my topping.
Let’s just say Amy and I ate our fair share of pancakes and potatoes (and bacon).
If you are ever in the Nashville/Brentwood area – off 65 at exit 81 – you must go. Fabulous prices, vegetarian options for lunch, and great staff!

Taste of Louisville: Blue Lagoon

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The Highlands in Louisville is definitely known for its eclectic dining venues and busy Friday nights. Well, the traffic was nothing new on Bardstown Road at 715 on a Friday night, but this little place with an up and coming chef was a nice little surprise.
My friend Sarah and I went there for an evening of shared food and conversation. Love these meals. She knew the chef, so we got to place a special order (it had recently been taken off the menu).
I totally forgot my camera (blame it on Friday-night brain) so you’ll have to deal with descriptions.
To start: sweet potato fries. I’m used to large, regular-fry looking, sweet potato fries – which I LOVE! But these were different. When our waiter asked if we would like them for dessert or an appetizer, I knew I was in for a treat. He quickly brought out a small bowl set on a plate of petite cut fries. A light snow-dusting of powdered sugar with a small bowl of dipping: saffron honey. I could have downed the whole container of saffron honey. If saffron weren’t so expensive, I’d go buy some and make some for myself. The very last bite (once we had dumped the bowl of fries on the plate), was laced with the chili powder that had been dusted on the place. AMAZING. That was the best bite of the whole meal.
Jody, the chef, made us this wonderful Persian–version of paella. It served both of us and we weren’t stuffed, so that was good. The rice was perfectly done – not sticky or crunchy. There was plenty of seafood in it: shrimp, cod, scallops, and mussels. He didn’t skimp. It was very seafood-y so you would have to enjoy seafood to appreciate this dish. The only thing I could say that was a disappointment was it was not very complex in flavors – very monochromatic if I can use that word to describe food? But, we ate it all!
When the waiter brought our check, he also brought out these lovely tea shots as a palette cleanser I guess. Simple, yet a perfect way to end a meal.
So, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary and somewhat unknown still (so no wait on a Friday night) – go to Blue Lagoon on Bardstown Road. (order the sweet potato fries).

Wknd of Eats in Raleigh

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Love traveling to this city. And I can’t wait to try out more local foods in this zip code – get to know the local places!
My parents were up this wknd and my Dad likes “normal” food (while Mom and I are willing to try funky stuff). We definitely enjoyed our eats though. Here’s some of the things we did. Sorry no pictures, I had my camera with but didn’t take any photos all weekend – can you believe it?

Friday/Saturday/Sunday – the hotel had a wonderful breakfast each morning so that is what we did. Glad it was included in the price of the hotel
Friday lunch: Boston Market is next door to the place where I had some meetings, so we went there. The parents don’t have one anymore. Too expensive – but they have great food – especially those fabulous sweet potato fries!
Friday dinner: Dinner with friends. We had a creamed chicken dish which was great for a cool evening. Rice, veggies, yeast rolls, and a great fruit salad for something sweet to end the meal.
Saturday late brunch: Flying Biscuit in Cameron Village. I split the Hollywood Omelette (spinach, mushrooms, goat cheese with egg whites) with Mom – we also had creamy dreamy grits, applewood smoked bacon, and a biscuit with their fab cranberry apple butter (so good). My friend let me try some of her french toast with raspberry sauce and a honey creme anglaise – great if you want something sweet for breakfast.
Saturday dinner: I don’t often get to treat my parents to a meal, but I was able to this time (Dad covered tip). We went to one of my fave nice chains: Firebirds. Got the lobster spinach queso for an app, then their amazing yeast bread. I got the applewood smoked bacon bbq chicken sandwich. Very moist! Mom got the Salad with shrimp and strawberries. I LOVED it (we shared). The shrimp would have been better hot or just left off completed – but the salad was amazing. Dad got the Herbed Prime Rib and it was so tender. Firebirds always does a great job!
Sunday: Chilis with some friends. Mom and I split the fajita trio. Shrimp were overcooked, but the rest was really yummy. You can never go wrong with chilis.
Sunday dinner: Harris Teeter in the hotel room. We were tired after going all weekend. We got some baked chicken, red skinned potato salad, Special K crackers (yum) and hummus (not the best, but was cheapest), and a cripps pink apple. That was very good to snack on after church while watching Persuasion!
MDW – I had an egg mcmuffin with cheese from Mcds during my 2 hour layover! It was good. I hadn’t had one in a long time.
So, now back to eating right and healthy!

Menu Week: February 22

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This is going to be early because I’m leaving tonight for Carolina so I won’t have time to post it over the wknd. So, here goes…

Monday – travel and leftovers (and going grocery shopping)
Tuesday – Lunch at Butterfly Garden Cafe with Lilly and dinner at the Stringers – can’t wait for either.
Wednesday – leftovers (clean out the freezer time)
Thursday – think I’ll make some peanut and chocolate chip blondies for the recipe of the week for the office.
Friday – Quick and easy is the name of the game for lunch and then heading out for Trolley Friday with Sarah and Shana will be joining us later in the evening. I’ve never ridden the Ville trolley, so I am excited for the excursion, food, and company!
Saturday – heading to Berea for the day – hopefully it will be nice. Papaleno’s and Sonny’s – can the food day get much better – and hoping to see a friend and take some nice photos and do some shopping.
Sunday – lunch at a prof’s house.

So, gladly this week won’t be high in the grocery bill department! Gotta love week’s like that!

Menu Week: February 15

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Post holiday, short week. Going to be good. Can’t wait. Here you go:
Leftovers: tuna whole wheat spaghetti
Monday: whole wheat pita pizzas (I’m making mine a mexican pizza!) and a salad for movie night
Tuesday: white chicken chili and homemade cheese toast for a manicure session
Wednesday: finish up leftovers, roasted winter vegetables with maple and ginger (recipe of the week)
Thursday: white chicken chili, roasted veggies, larabar and fruit at airport
Friday: breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner are in Raleigh somewhere – you can bet it will be yummy!
Saturday: brunch at Flying Biscuit at Cameron Village (yum) – I know I’ll be having an egg white omelette! Dinner will be somewhere!
Sunday: all up for grabs – always an adventure!

I love the food of the Triangle. And you can bet I’ll be stopping by Trader Joes and Whole Foods (this one just because my parents don’t have one near them in Publix land and they always like to go).
Happy Cooking.

Question: What are your fave cities to travel to because of their eats?

Taste of a Chain Restaurant: Yang Kee Noodle

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Sunday was more than just a day for Super Bowl food (coming later). It was also a day with a neat family at my church and me to go to Yang Kee Noodle.
I would compare this to a Moe’s – for Asian food.
Many different options, gluten-free options, spicy, normal, salads, rice bowls, noodle bowls.
I had the general tso’s chicken. It was good and filling, though not as good as some others I have eaten in the past! Chicken was decently spicy (not enough to make your eyes water or sweat pour down your face) and not heavily fried (which I appreciated).
I didn’t think to ask for brown rice, so I ate half the white rice that was served with it.
For the price, I would rather have gone to PF Changs (my plate of General Tso’s was 899 I think).
But, it was quick with different options. And they didn’t rush you out because you wanted to sit and chat! 🙂 Refillable drinks were also a plus!
Would I go again – yes. Would it become a regular place of mine – probably not. Thankful for the provision of lunch!

Menu Week: February 8

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A full week again this week (when is it not). But, I have been a little more disciplined in my planning of menu this week in light of food and money. So, here you go:
Leftovers: beef stew – still gotta finish that off – still yummy. Bourbon chicken from Super Bowl dinner.
New recipe of the week: Bon Appetit’s Consentino’s Spaghetti with Tuna. I have all the ingredients. No need to spend money and the carbs will be good for running.
Baking: Peanut Butter truffles (actually, no bake) and Vday Sugar cookies for the Foster BYOB Party on Thursday night.
Thursday I think I’ll be enjoying a Founder’s Cafe Veggie wrap – so good – for lunch.
Saturday I am meeting up with some vegetarian/vegan folks for a meeting at the Zen Tea House – can’t wait to try it.
Then on Sunday I’m having dinner with a SBTS prospective student and her family. Don’t know where we’ll go yet.

Taste of Chicago – Grand Lux Cafe

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We thought the bags looked pretty familiar when we walked in – we were right – this place is owned by the same folks who own Cheesecake Factory. You know its going to be good. And it was next door to Ann Taylor – so how bad could it bed? And it had a wait at 4pm? We only waited about 15 minutes and when we walked out – it was about an hour wait. Glad we got there early!
I was not anticipating a sit-down nice restaurant when I heard about this place from a friend just based on the name alone. I’m so glad we stopped there.
We had their bread – very good. I took lots of photos. I dropped my knife and fork – silly me. The tables were completely on top of each other, but people know how to dine. I couldn’t tell you what the other folks were talking about at their table. Most of the time people talk so loud at restaurants. Our first waiter wasn’t all that, but halfway through they changed shifts and our waitress was much better.
To start off with – the Edamame: stir fried with Spicy Szechwan Sauce. SO GOOD! Better than Chais in Durham (gasp!)
Then, Janel got the soup of the day – a chicken chowder with veggies. I took a bite – good and warm on a cold day.
I got the mini goat cheese and mushroom pizza. This was not mini (about 7 inches by 3 inches) and was only 4.95 and was AMAZING. I would go back there every time and order this.
For dessert (and take home): New Orleans Beignets Served Warm with Three Sauces (a creme anglaise (close your eyes and savor the warmth and richness good), chocolate, and raspberry. They were warm and yummy. Thanks Kathy for the suggestion.
This place was definitely the best place I ate all weekend and I would gladly go there again! 🙂

Taste of Wheaton: Butterfield's Pancake House

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Love the internet. It created a safe haven for Janel and I to venture into suburbia for lunch after church. Though it didn’t disappoint, it didn’t exceed my expectations. It was good. Not fabulous.

Janel got the hash with chorizo, tomatoes, avocado, potatoes. It was good – there was other stuff in it too. She said it could have used less chorizo and more tomotoes. Came with an english muffin – which I had.

I got the acclaimed heart heathy Caramalized Banana Steel Cut oats. A huge bowl – massive. Good, but very sweet. Basically – a big bowl of steel cut oats – which I love. With a banana chopped up on top, sugar blowtorched on it – with a runny caramel sauce below. Good, sweet – filling.

Do I need to go back if I’m in the area – no not really. Good for lunch on a Sunday afternoon – yes. Very quick service and cheap (under 10$). So there you go.

Menu Week: January 18

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Since I am going to be out having fun this wknd in the Chicago area with my friend, I thought I would go ahead and post the menu for next week.
I am doing good so far. Spending less money on food. Cooking more legumes. This week I am doing well at the start of cleaning out the freezer work that I will need to do in the next 2 months.
So, here goes:
Leftovers: hummus pancakes (yum!)
Monday: brunch in Chicago with Janel and then probably a hummus pancake on an arthur’s thin when I get home.
I am housesitting all next week for some friends so I want something easy and portable that I can just grab or eat in bowls.
All breakfast: oats – saving money, healthy, and filling (and versatile) – T-Friday. Saturday will be tea and muffins I think with a friend over a book review
Lunch: curried vegetables from a recipe that I am adapting from Crostini and Chianti. Yummy and healthy – even without the couscous. Just give me a bowl
Wednesday I’m hitting the salad bar at Jason’s Deli with a friend of mine – taking a break from work and I haven’t been to the new one yet.
Saturday – beef stew from The Kitchn – using some steak and roast that I have in the freezer – full of veggies. And my friend is bringing a late bday offering – oreo cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Yes, there will be some running after that meal. And I have some bread in the freezer we are going to use to sop up all the goodness in the beef stew.
Recipe of the week is from Bon Appetit – Dried Cherry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I am halving the recipe – and it will still make a lot – plenty for a plate for the office.
I am looking forward to picking up a few good finds in Trader Joes on Sunday – and dreaming of the day when I live within easy shopping distance of a TJ again!