Posts Tagged ‘food’

When you go to a restaurant that serves one particular type of cuisine, one will expect to find some familiar items on the menu. For example, when going to an American restaurant, one would expect to see foods like steak, a chicken dish, perhaps some burgers or sandwiches, salads, and more. This occurs thanks to familiarity of that cuisine that the general public has. The more often the general public sees it, the more often they will accept seeing it. When a food item gets overdone, the public can sometimes forget how good it can taste. Fast-food and sit-down restaurants tend to drown their food in sauces and seasonings, preventing customers from tasting the true ingredient – the meat. Very few places highlight the meat rather than the add-ons correctly, but thankfully Nate’s Garden Grill understands not to drench food in sauces and seasonings.

Considered a hidden gem of San Diego County, Nate’s Garden Grill understands that one does not need to saturate a dish in flavorings to make it stand out. Tucked away on the side of the road in the City Heights neighborhood, Nate’s Garden Grill follows the local & sustainable trend with their ingredients, and they want you to taste the local flavor as it should taste. Contrary to the name, Nate’s Garden Grill does not specialize in salads, nor do they only possess a vegetarian or vegan menu. Nate’s Garden Grill carries a good variety of items on their menu that contain plenty of meat dishes, such as their Pulled Pork Sandwich. This customer favorite contains a generous mound of pulled pork smoked in-house and lightly sauced, along with organic kale slaw in a pretzel bun. For just a dollar more, you can add freshly sliced avocado to the sandwich, which completely changes the dynamic of the sandwich. The meat does not contain much sauce, so you get just enough to taste the barbecue sauce, but a light amount enough that you can appreciate the smoked nature of the pork. The body of the avocado helps to bring it all together, as well as provide a high number of nutrients in one serving.

If you seek an amazing, original, and local meal while in San Diego, take a detour towards City Heights and visit Nate’s Garden Grill. You can sink your teeth into the Pulled Pork Sandwich here for $11.75, plus $1 when you add avocado. To see what else Nate’s Garden Grill has grilling up back there, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for photos, updates, and a live music schedule.

The humble avocado – a miraculous fruit with so many unique characteristics that it really ought to stand in a food category on its own. Avocados possess limitless culinary versatility thanks to its mild flavor and body that fits into almost any food. You can use avocado as a condiment, spread, topping, entrée, ingredient in a beverage, and so much more. When people most commonly think of avocados, they think of guacamole first before anything else, even the recently famous avocado toast. Avocado toast has existed for a very long time, almost as long as guacamole has existed. Avocado toast gained a recent surge in popularity thanks to social media and the internet making jokes and memes involving avocado toast and millennials. But before the internet started making fun of avocado toast, many businesses had already carried avocado toast or some variation of it on their menus, such as at Wow Wow Waffle.

Hidden away in the south half of San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, Wow Wow Waffle remains one of San Diego’s most popular hidden gem (excuse the oxymoron). One may drive right by Wow Wow Waffle without even noticing it because Wow Wow Waffle resides behind a run-of-the-mill laundromat, and you can only access Wow Wow Waffle using the driveway on the side of that building. Wow Wow Waffle specializes in “street style” Belgian liege waffles, which reminds many of what one may discover from a gourmet food truck. Locals love Wow Wow Waffle for the simple yet delicious waffles grilling out of the tiny kitchen, including the famous The Number Seven. The Number Seven represents Wow Wow Waffle’s signature take on the traditional avocado toast. They take one of their signature liege waffles and top it with smashed avocado, goat cheese crumbles, and caramelized bacon. Wow Wow Waffle makes every dish to order, and since the bacon takes a long time to cook, expect to wait at least 20 minutes if you order one of these. However, when you combine all of the ingredients together in one bite, you will understand what makes Wow Wow Waffle stand out so much.

If you intend to travel there on the weekend, plan to arrive early – Wow Wow Waffle tends to sell out of The Number Seven by noon! But if you do make it when they still have some, you can experience breakfast bliss for $8.50 each. Visit Wow Wow Waffle on Facebook to see what else they have grilling up back there.

Los Angeles Chinatown brought back their recurring Summer Nights event this past Saturday night. Free to attend for all ages, this evening festival brings together food, music, art, and entertainment in a multicultural setting. Throughout the Chinatown main plaza, visitors would find food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, and other forms of entertainment. While this event usually starts at 5pm, the true nightlife does not start until after sunset, when the bright lights go on and firecrackers get lit up all over the plaza. Chinatown brings back this event often every summer, usually taking place once a month. Check out their website linked above for all the dates that this event will occur on.

Torrance’s Mitsuwa Marketplace hosted their second annual Nagoya Fair this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this mini indoor fair represented the food and culture of Nagoya, Japan. While Nagoya has Japan’s third largest population, much of the world has less familiarity with Nagoya than other cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima. Regardless, Nagoya has its fair share of unique culture that sets it apart from the rest of Japan, especially in their cuisine. At this Nagoya Fair, visitors could get to sample all sorts of Nagoya foods, such as Sekai no Yamachan (specialty rubbed chicken wings), Kawakyu Ice (Japanese fluffy shave ice), Nagoya miso oden (a type of egg dish), and hitsumabushi (eel, think unagi). Some of the food stands originated from real locations, such as the shave ice that comes from a real Nagoya shop called Koriya Kawakyu. As such, one cannot find these specific recipes and flavors anywhere else except for these actual shops. Throughout the weekend, the lines for all these foods never subsided, making for a long wait in order to taste every single item. A group of four could easily split into all the lines and order enough for everyone to share, as all of these foods together can represent a complete meal.

Mitsuwa Marketplace holds multiple events like this throughout the year, some big and some small. As far as Southern California goes, the Torrance location tends to host the most events since their location lends well to hosting larger events, but that should not deter you from visiting the other Mitsuwa Marketplace locations! For a full list of locations, check out their website for store hours and addresses. Check out Mitsuwa Marketplace on social media too – they have specific accounts based on location, so for this post, check out their main Facebook page and the Twitter page for Southern California.

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not appear to get any cooler in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cool treat. The summer season has a great effect on the types of food and drinks that people consume, as more people start to prefer light and refreshing things to consume. Your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, then Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has got you covered.

We know and love Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) for their amazing food and great ambiance. Their menu always impresses with rotating and seasonal dishes, and they have plenty of weekly specials that you will want to come back for over and over, such as Happy Hour, Burger & Beer specials, and early dinner (supper) specials. The food menu contains many customer favorites, plus a lot of dishes that depend on the month or season. However, JFAT does not limit seasonal rotations to only their food menu – they apply a seasonal rotation to their drink menu too. Having just launched in early July, JFAT has added six new summer-inspired cocktails to their drink menu. JFAT already had a large list of drinks, and now you can enjoy any of the following to cool yourself off:

  • The Pearfectionist – Tito’s Vodka, Absolut Pear Vodka, Pear Nectar, Agave
  • SoCal Sour – Bulleit Rye, Lemon and Orange Juice, Diseño Malbec
  • Summer Sunrise – Ketel One, Blood Orange Juice, Blood Orange Liqueur, Sparkling Float
  • Blackberry Sangria – Troublemaker GSM, Sacred Bond Brandy, Schnapps, White Grape Juice
  • Peach Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, Sacred Bond Brandy, Peach Puree, Peach Schnapps
  • Classic Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, J-FAT Homemade Lemonade, Sacred Bond Brandy, Razzmatazz & Peach Schnapps

Treat yourself to a cool treat at any Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern location while the season lingers! Check out JFAT’s Facebook and Twitter pages to see what else they have that you may like your taste buds to tango with.

Not one to shy away from anything food-related (and free), I decided to visit the 2nd Annual Vegan Faire at Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim this past Saturday afternoon. Hosted by The Healthy Junk, this free and all-ages outdoor event brought the vegan community together for a day of vegan eats, vegan drinks, music, activities, and more. Visitors could snag samples of various things, especially drinks. Visitors could also view demos of crossfit, karate, and zumba. Other than that, this fair mainly set out to spread the vegan propaganda, what with the signs attempting to dispel myths about veganism. Non-vegan visitors would likely not find much to do here, other than try all the samples around. While a Vegan Faire has all the right tools to end up a successful hit, it falls short with lack of content.

Opening weekend of the annual Orange County Fair took place this past weekend. As it does every year, the OC Fair this runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 14 with the final day on August 13. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12am on weekends. Every year, a new food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid, donut cheeseburgers, or the Pepsi Dog. This year, the OC Fair has delivered yet again with a slew of new foods. Lots of the new items have piqued the interests of many, but only one truly caught my eye instantly – the Unicorn Leg. They call it that due to the rarity of the pig that it comes from, but this Unicorn Leg basically represents an entire pork leg with meat all around the bone. Basically, you get five pounds of meat on a stick. That weight does not include the bone, so the entire thing weighs more than five pounds. If you order one, you may struggle to hold it with one hand! This massive plate of meat will set you back $29, and with all that meat, I highly advise sharing it with friends or family.

Watch my visit to this year’s OC Fair below, as I walk through the fairgrounds and finally lay claim to the fabled Unicorn Leg. If it does not play, click here to watch the video.

The 39th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival returned to Alondra Park in Lawndale this past weekend. Always taking place on the third weekend of July, this free and all-ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contained numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolved around the main stage, where they had the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors could stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the left side of the event space, visitors found the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers had to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors could stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visited surely had a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around.

The 2017 South Bay Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. This festival normally contains a lot more to it, such as rides, another stage, and church tours. Due to construction on the property, the organizers could not have any of that this year, so we will have to wait until next year to check those out. However, we still got to enjoy lots of yummy Greek food as they always serve up. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

The 2nd Annual Latin Salsa Festival took place this past weekend in Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this event contained dozens of food vendors all selling their Latin-inspired foods to visitors. In addition, a music stage housed a handful of bands and musicians all playing Latin dance music. Nothing else out of the ordinary occurred – you just have a weekend of food vendors and live music. Southern California has gone through a heat wave recently, and on this weekend, the weather went well over 100 degrees, making for a hot event in more ways than one. Despite that, this event still managed to attract hundreds of visitors over the weekend. I anticipate that this event will return again next year, so keep an eye out for it in early July next year when it will return.