Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wine & Dine at the San Diego Bay - Nov. 12th-16th 2008

Hello fellow Grubtrotters...blogging to you for the first time during my class break. However, i was uber excited and wanted to give you the 411 on an highly anticipated event - The 5th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival which started today and runs until the 16th - November. The event will feature 160 wineries, 60 fine dining restaurants, cooking and wine tasting classes, celebrity chefs and more, get ready to please your inner foodie during this world class wine and food experience.

For the food lovers out there this tasting event will feature appearances by Ted Allen of Bravo TV's Top Chef and Food Network's Food Detectives, James Beard and Chef Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud and many more.
For tickets and information, call 619-342-7337 or visit

Please post your feedback, i would love to hear your wine and food experiences!

Happy Drinking & Grubbing!

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Fish 'n' Chips" - Speaking From a True Brit!

Let me clarify a little bit for you...I was born in Manchester, England Home of the Famous “Fish ‘n’ Chips”. (Chips = French Fries in the states). In the UK, fish & chips became a cheap food popular among the working classes. I can vividly remember our “take-away fish n chip/James Bond nights”. (Bond was everyone’s idol at that time). Every Friday evening, my mom would take my siblings and I to a tiny fish n chip joint a mile away from our house, we would stock up on tartar sauce (a great dipping sauce) and ask for extra salt and vinegar on our chips. I strongly recommend malt vinegar, I know it sounds strange, but it is quite tasty. Fish n chips bring back a lot of fond memories from my childhood and I have yet to dine at or take-away from a place in San Diego that serves them just like they did back than. If anyone has any recommendations for a good fish n chip joint, please feel free to post your comments.

Happy Grubbing!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wine Tasting in Venice - May 2008

Hello fellow Grubtrotters...I wanted to share with you a few photos of my trip from earlier this year. My friend and I stopped over in Venice for a few days and on the spur of a moment decided to do a wine tasting event at a local restaurant. Not only did they serve us 5 types of wines, but each wine came with a complimentary appetizer (we had no idea food was involved otherwise we would have not ate pasta an hour earlier). By far, this is the tastiest bruschetta i have ever had. More photos from my European Travel to come, keep posted &
Happy Grubbing!

My friend and I sitting down to taste our wine and food in Venice...doesn't get much better than this :)

Bruschetta with Sauvignon Blanc, killer combination...

Our waiter swirling red wine in a HUGE glass...and yes we did drink all of that!
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

"In-N-Out, In-N-Out. That's What a Hamburger's All About."

I know when many think of fast food, the first thing that comes to mind are french fries that are fryed in re-used oil esp. at chain fast foods places...I'm not going to mention any names. However without a doubt, i can say that In-N-Out stands out amongst the crowd and has defeated tons of the fast food generalizations. Their founders had one simple plan "Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment." I can say they have exceeded their expectations. not only is their meat the freshest but the vegetables taste like they are delivered that very same day.

In-N-Out has a limited menu consisting of three different sandwiches: the hamburger, cheeseburger, "Double-Double" (double meat/double cheese), and French fries and three flavors of milkshakes. The hamburgers come with lettuce, tomato, with or without onions which can be made "animal style" (grilled) or fresh along with their infamous "spread" sauce. A major plus are vegetarians can enjoy their burgers just as much, you just have to order it "veggie style". Famous for their "spread" and excellent customer service, In-N-Out has received a variety of free endorsements from the media as well as celebrities. A perfect example, is the 1998 classic "The Big Lebowski" which contains a scene with the main characters happily enjoying their In-N-Out burgers. In-N-Out has a dedicated fanbase, and benefits highly from the positive word of mouth spread by its enthusiastic and loyal customers. In-N-Out directly uses its positive image and dedication to quality as a selling point. This is most evident in its two slogans: "Quality You Can Taste," and "Cleanliness You Can See." The references to its Southern California roots (such as the palm-tree) most likely appeal to Southern Californians and typically appeals to others outside California.

In-N-Out's high quality foods & positive image has brought on a whole new meaning to fast food.

Happy Grubbing!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Skinny Bitch In the Kitch - Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)

I was on the phone with a friend of mine and went on and on for hours on how I am attempting to cook more and most importantly HEALTHY. She must have been tired hearing about it, as one day I received a surprise package in the email “Skinny Bitch In the Kitch”. I was quite speechless not knowing what the book was about...the subtitle said it all “Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)” This was it, this was my new bible! The book is filled with recipes that have a craving for everything:

  • Bitchin’ Breakfasts
  • PMS (Pissy Mood Snacks)
  • Sassy Soups and Stews
  • Down Home Cookin’
  • Grown-Up Appetizers
  • Happy Endings (Desserts)

Being extremely curious, I looked it up and was excited to see that this is the authors' 2nd best seller, Rory and Kim (my new favorite cooking friends) have written 2 other books “Skinny Bitch” & “Skinny Bitch Bun In the Oven” which I added to my list immediately. I scanned to "Happy Endings" and baked chocolate chip cookies which were a total hit & i am NOT a baker.

Their easy-to-make & non-meat recipes are a “kick ass” way to cooking healthy and looking hot. Check it out on Amazon for a great price -

Happy "Kick-Ass" Grubbing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A First for Pho!

First off, I am a huge Asian- food fanatic, whether it be Thai, Korean, Japanese and my most recent favorite - Vietnamese. Vietnamese is famous for its primary dish - Pho. I had heard of Pho but it never appealed to me in the past esp. since i do not eat red meat. This past year, i decided to take a chance, i mean, whats the worst that can happen? I am glad i went with my instinct, Pho is not your ordinary cup of soup, it consists of vegetables, meat or tofu, and garnishes which can be flavored just the way you like!

Preparation method:
The broth is not the condensed broth found in the cans on the aisles of the supermarket but rather a broth that is generally made by simmering the meat or tofu, bones, charred onion, and spices. Seasonings include Saigon Cinnamon, Star Anise, Charred Ginger, and Cloves. And of course, for vegetarians they have a broth that can be prepared without the meat, be sure to confirm with your waiter before ordering a Vegetable Pho as some are still prepared with the broth containing meat. It is than mixed with the rice noodles and vegetables, and garnishings such as: green and white onions, cilantro, long coriander leaves, bean sprouts, Thai basil and lemon or lime wedges. A lot of places will will have the cilantro, Thai basil, lemon/lime wedges on a separate plate that way you can adjust the soup's flavor to your taste. Sauces to use are the Hoison sauce, Fish sauce and the ever so popular Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce).

A bowl of Pho is more than plenty for one and is great for lunch or dinner. I would love to hear your thoughts on this dish and any styles of Pho you can recommend.

Happy Grubbing!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lunch In a Box - Boudin Bakery

Meet Boudin Bakery this is not your typical sandwich/salad shop. Boudins has been around for ages, primarily famous for their “San Francisco Sourdough French Bread”. Their boxed lunches have to be the tastiest most efficient way to eating a semi-healthy lunch (esp. if you are tired of eating the $5 footlong subways). They have a variety of breads that scream “homemade baking”. An easy to order method on their website allows you to order via the web or phone. I find ordering online much easier as everything is laid out and easy to see. Their boxed lunches offer an assortment of sandwiches, salads and sides that you can customize to your own preference. Not to mention, they have a breakfast box as well. (see examples below)

Breakfast Box
Choice of muffin or bagel & cream cheese served with seasonal whole fruit and orange juice.

Sandwich Box
Classic Sandwich Box
Your choice of sandwich, kettle chips, and fresh baked cookie.

Sandwich & Greens Box
Your choice of sandwich, mixed greens, and fresh baked cookie.

The Ultimate Sandwich Box
Served with your choice of sandwich, mixed greens, kettle chips, and fresh baked cookie.

Half Sandwich & Salad
Your choice of half sandwich & salad, and fresh baked cookie.

They offer a wide range of services: corporate gift program, catering, delivery or pick up. My workplace has used Boudins numerous times for meetings etc. and their catering service has always met our last minute needs and delivers ON TIME. My experience with Boudins has been nothing but splendid, the bread, the salads and soups are a sure hit!

Happy Grubbing!