Sunday, January 31, 2016

Max and Leo's Coal-Fired Pizza, Now Open in Fenway (Boston, MA)

Max and Leo's is a highly rated coal-fired pizza join in Newton, and lucky for us they've just opened up shop in the Game On! space in Fenway.

Max & Leo's
This is such a great place to grab a bite and a drink before or after a game at Fenway. I really enjoyed the thin crust! We tried a white pizza with mushroom, sausage, and caramelized onion.
Max & Leo's
Wings are also a good appetizer to share. They're not deep fried and the meat was tender and juicy. The favorite (if you can take the heat) seems to be the Honey Hot Habanero wings ($10.50)
Max & Leo's

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Willie Mae's Scotch House (New Orleans, LA)

I'm late in posting about my visit to Willie Mae's Scotch House but decided to do so now because of the recent news of Willie Mae Seaton's passing. This great woman ran Willie Mae's Scotch House for decades until she passed away at age 99.

I had the chance to dine at Willie Mae's when I was in New Orleans for the last Foodie Hub North American Awards (formerly known as Chowzter). This hole in the wall had won a James Beard Award! Of course, Anthony Bourdain has been here, too.

Willie Mae's
Willie Mae's is off the beaten path, but it's less than 2 miles away from the French Quarter, so the pilgrimage here is totally doable. The place was completely packed. You'd probably have to wait in line but thankfully they are quick in serving you and churning food out, so the turnover is high.

Willie Mae's fried chicken definitely deserves one of the top spots on any fried chicken list. The skin is super crispy, the chicken is juicy and seasoned well. We all dug in and loved it! Get it with a side of fried okra.
Willie Mae's

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sicilian Breakfast at Brelundi (Waltham, MA)

First, let's talk about the name. Brelundi may sound like an Italian word to some, but it actually just refers to "breakfast lunch dinner" - the three meals this Italian cafe in Waltham serves. They actually have quite a unique breakfast offerings. Breakfast, Sicilian style. Brelundi is open from 7am everyday and it's close to the T station, so it's great stop for locals on their way to work.

The unassuming eatery actually has quite a few surprises, like their breakfast arancini ($4 each). If you're not yet familiar with it, arancini is a fried risotto ball and it is said to have originated in Sicily back in the 10th century. They're usually filled with cheese, meat, or vegetable, but Brelundi takes a unique approach with their breakfast versions!


The breakfast arancinis, which were quite big - two might fill me up, are filled with either eggs and spinach, or eggs and sausage. They're also great for a grab-and-go breakfast since it's easy to hold and eat them with your hands.
I really enjoyed these since I usually like both arancini and eggs in general, why not put them together, right?

There's also a 12" breakfast pizza for $8, topped with fresh, housemade mozzarella cheese, bechamel sauce, eggs, and a choice of spinach, prosciutto, or sausage.
I was impressed by the thin crust of this pizza - usually I end up not eating the edges of pizza because it's too doughy or too plain or something, but this one was nice and crisp.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Where to Eat In Irvine, CA During WITS '16

There'll be 500 women travel bloggers from all over the world convening in Irvine, CA in March for Women in Travel Summit! Having lived in Southern California, I'm excited to share the diversity of the food culture we have with these women. Here are ten of my picks for the more off-the-beaten and alternative places to eat in Irvine for WITS attendees to try while they're in town:

PS. If you're a female travel blogger, be sure to check out the summit schedule and see if you'd like to join!

14376 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604
Waffle sandwiches! That's all you need to know, really. Not just sweet waffle sandwiches, but savory ones like fried chicken or ham and eggs. Because who needs bread when you have waffles? Read my review from their other location.


Mick's Karma Bar
2010 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614
This small spot is hidden in an office building but rather hard to find, but it's worth it to try their award winning burgers. The meat is ground fresh multiple times a day, making for a great burger that goes well with their strawberry basil lemonade.

14230 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604 
Even though great ramen places have opened up all over the LA area in the past year, Santouka still serves some solid ramen, and some of the beste in Orange County area. Santouka is an oldie but goodie, you can't go wrong with this place when you have a ramen craving.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Beta Burger Brings Sous Vide Patties to Fast Food

Using the sous vide method to cook burgers has been done by some higher end restaurants, but at a fast food restaurant? Beta Burger, steps away from the Roxbury Crossing T station, may be the first. While I do think thick patties are the best for sous vide, using this method for the usually thinner fast food style burger still promises a healthier and juicier burger than its counterparts.


The patties have been slow cooked all day, and when you place your order, they will grill it briefly. You can order one of their three burger options, or build your own with a choice of toppings. Their fries (dubbed "skinny fries") are thin fries that come with a packet of seasoning - pour the seasoning in the bag and shake. They had 4-5 seasoning options but everyone opted for the garlic parmesan.

Topping options include the usual like onions (fresh or caramelized), tomato, along with mushroom, bacon, peppers, and perhaps some special ones for the month - we'll get to that later.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thai-Inspired Poke at Okipoki (Downtown LA)

If you hadn't noticed, there's been a lot of poke shops opening in LA last year. I mean A LOT. I love poke and all, but some point you think to yourself, do we really need another poke place? Among all these, it's great when you encounter one that does things a bit differently. Mix it up a little.
Okipoki in downtown LA does just that, in my opinion. Instead of the usual traditional poke bowl (they have that, too), I believe the point of Okipoki is the way they infuse other cuisine's flavors into it. The chef is Thai, so you'll see some Thai influences in some of these poke bowls.

I started lunch with the Nani Moana Shooter (uni, tuna tartare, scallop, roe, creme fraiche, $6) - a great bite filled with my favorite things.


Another appetizer: Shrimpin Ain't Easy (shrimp, masago, nori, togarashi, hawaiian roll, $4.50)
Shrimp Roll

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Searching for Good Sushi: Cafe Sushi (Cambridge, MA)

I've been on the hunt for good sushi in Boston, but I had put off Cafe Sushi for a bit because someone said the omakase was too expensive. I finally made it there, though, and this Harvard Square sushi joint was packed! As it turns out, you don't have to break the bank to eat here. I didn't get the omakase but you can have good sushi relatively for a relatively affordable price with their samplers.

The first is their Signature Sampler, which gives you chef's selection of five of their signature sushi creations for $15. At $3 per piece, it was a nice value.

Cafe Sushi

Among the signature pieces we got were the Salmon Aburi (seared salmon belly, aburi ponzu, negi),
Gomadare Branzino (European seabass, iced onion, sesame sauce), Maguro-zuke (house cured tuna with yuzu kosho), among others. These pieces are $3-3.50 if you order them a la carte.
Cafe Sushi

These signature creations add a unique touch to the nigiri - for example, the sesame sauce on the seabass was one I particularly enjoyed. The fish itself was great, fresh and definitely some of the best I've had in Boston.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Brunch Menu at The Oinkster Hollywood

by guest blogger @iam_robot

Ever since Andre Guerrero opened the first Oinkster in 2006, it immediately became one of the most sought haute burger and shake joint in Eagle Rock and beyond. By now, many of their popular burgers range from Pork Adobo Burgers to Northeast Bacon Cheeseburger are becoming daily Los Angeles staple.
Living of the ethos “Slow Fast Food”, The Oinkster seeks to whip up multi-ethnic and contemporary cuisines utilizing the finest ingredients. They currently have two locations in LA andt hese days, their Hollywood location is changing the breakfast game in the area, better fast food without the high-price or infinite long-lines. Breakfast price ranges from $6 to $11.50, and there are many great options for just $6. You can have 2 versions of equally delicious breakfast sandwich, egg with applewood smoked bacon or egg with fry chorizo hash.

Moving up the ladder at $6.50, I thought the breakfast burrito is the best one I’ve had in a long time.
I like how much filling they wrapped inside the tortilla: Belgian fry chorizo hash, scrambled eggs, sharp cheddar, and bacon. Burrito felt like the perfect to go food – easy grip with no mess or greasy fingers. Finally, the cream of the crop of breakfast menu is the Cluckster Chicken and Waffles w/ Belgian fries.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Loretta's Last Call: Southern Food and Live Music Steps From Fenway (Boston, MA)

The area near Fenway isn't just for sports bar. If you're looking for something different, head to Loretta's Last Call for some Southern food and live country music.

Loretta's Last Call
When you do go, be sure to get the Bacon and cheese grit fritters
Loretta's Last Call
Tater tots? Arancini? Who needs either of those when you have these, bacon and cheese grit fritters!

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