Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sweet Sunday Nights @ Brophy Bros.

If you want delicious seafood downtown
with the ambiance of a neighborhood bar
where your mom and dad hang out on Friday evenings.
Then head over to Brophy Brother's in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Where the beer is cold and clam chowder is hot (and to die for!)
the oysters rockefeller rock, and man,
the view is sweet.

Monday, June 28, 2010

East Beach Grill

By the beach
on the Eastside
Is a throwback to a different time.
Where you just run up to the counter in your bathing suit
and order a milkshake.
Or in this case a hot dog
some fries
and a large Diet Coke.
This is not the place you get a "Saesar Salad"
no that shouldn't be bothered with
This is the place that specializes in
grease & salt and cream.
Sweet breezes & sunny toes.
Simple goodness.
And you can't argue with the view.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cantwell's Market

Just down the street
A little gem
Sandwiches, salads, cheese & wine.
Outdoor seating and sunny skies.

Sometimes I ride my bike
and grab some lunch
Enjoying the succulents
and lounging around.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Food. Obsess. NOLA.

I have a new obsession. Which is dangerous because I already have so many! But lately everywhere I turn I see New Orleans.  I swear it is literally calling my name with its infamy for being the grande enabler of indulgences. Since this reputation applies to its treatment of cuisine, count me in. I'm there.
Well, someday soon I'm there.  I'm really just a plane ticket away.

Since the true city of sin will have to wait for my pocket book to catch up to my stomach, I have been forced to find ways to get my fix until I can experience the real thing. Believe me, I'm chomping at the bit. Yesterday though I was able to abate my anxious chattering by stopping by a local legend known as The Palace Grill. Can I describe it to you? Well let's just say for a fleeting moment I said to myself, whats a New Orleans?

My boyfriend's parents came in to town on short notice which caused a flurry of cleaning and some serious hunting for reservations. Opal? Eh too romantic. Carlitos Cafe? Apparently they aren't big fans of Mexican.  Then I remembered my aunt singing the praises of a restaurant in my own hometown that I had overlooked, The Palace Grill.

We arrived for our reservations at 6:45 to a neon pink front window. When was the last time you saw neon lights attached to a nice restaurant. Well that's the New Orleans spirit for you.  They spare no excess.  Sitting down we ordered the Crawfish  Crabcakes and Crawfish popcorn to start. Yum & yum.  Reading the entrees I felt as if I had traveled to some exotic land where all the dishes were new to me.  Since I grew up in a family that loves food this is a true feat.  What is redfish? What does catfish taste like? How do you pronounce Tchoupitoulas? I found myself asking a ridiculous amount of questions.

Thankfully they are kind enough to encase their signature dishes in special boxes on the menu.  It's a good place to start. I got the Crawfish Etouffee   My first experience with Crawfish was a good one I will say. They are like delicious little shrimps.  I sucked down two glasses of the house red to ease my gastronomic excitement and the whole boyfriend's-parents anxieties. House wine = good.  Two glasses of house wine = better.

I am sad to say that since I was on my best behavior due to our guests, I couldn't bring my camera to take pictures! As normal as I feel bringing a camera with me to all my meals and capturing every delicious moment, I had a hunch that the bf's parents wouldn't see it the same way.  So this means you will just have to try it for yourself! My only regret is that I didn't try their signature Cajun Martini with vodka & jalapenos. Next time (when I'm not worried about ending up under the table)

Another Cajun discovery I made (I swear when it rains it pours!) was this awesome website Sucre

Mardi Gras Macarons, its like I've died and gone to heaven!!!


I was also introduced to this King Cake.  A Christmas tradition in some countries, New Orleans brings it out to celebrate Mardi Gras.  The religious background of this pastry is super interesting but more notable to me is that there is a trinket baked in, often a plastic baby (little Jesus)

Any cake with a little Jesus in it is alright with me! lol I might just be tempted to make this soon (but how will I ever get it so shiny?)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Sad Day in SB for Foodies & Friends

So when I started this blog I had the highest of hopes.  I'm 23. I love food, writing, and apparently juggling.  What could go wrong?  Let's just say I should keep my day job because I have dropped quite a few balls recently.  Instead of being my baby this blog has become my badly neglected red-headed stepchild and for that I apologize to my one follower.

I've been driven back to this page by less than happy circumstances; to grieve the loss of a good friend and an eye opening experience known as the GrapeVine Fine Food Market.  This little shop, literally "around the corner" provided friendship in the form of a charming South African mother and daughter named Claudette & Charlotte.   They gave me much more by means of supplying an exotic array of foodstuffs and thoughtfully made meals. It was a little piece of foodie heaven on E. Canon Perdido St. And now it's gone.

I slave away all day at a non-profit organization for little money and even less culture.  Ok I'm being dramatic.  I like my job but when you work in a place that is constantly giving to others you will find that they tend to neglect themselves  a bit.  This is the only explanation I can find for our lunchroom vending machine which boasts 75 cent cans of Diet Coke and some questionably old popcorn bags. Really? This isn't nourishment.

I stumbled around in darkness for awhile when I attempted to find lunch in the neighboring community.  I can only eat so many $10 sandwiches and seriously, who said that basil should be on everything?!! It was looking like I would be brown bagging it. Bad news. While I am very much into elaborate Sunday dinners and special holiday rendezvous, I lack a knack for the simple art of making a quick and delicious lunch.

Imagine my elation when I discovered the GrapeVine. I walked in to dark wood accents, copper ceiling tiles and shelves stocked with Russian chocolates and specialty pasta sauces. I'm really not exaggerating when I say I felt like a kid in a very sophisticated, very gourmet candy store.  I was greeted by Charlotte and Claudette who soon enough became my friends, noticing my new haircuts and trying to set me up.  It's the kind of relationship you just can't develop at your local Subway.  I started looking forward to 12pm so I could hurry over and get a seared Ahi sandwich with Wasabi mayo or whatever else their awesome lunch special was.

I won't lie, it wasn't cheap.  But then again, nothing in SB is. For the quality of the food you were really getting a steal.  For $12 instead of a turkey sandwich and Diet Coke I could have a bratwurst with a side of Caesar salad, or my beloved Ahi sandwich with a side of fresh watermelon.  Another favorite was a grilled chicken and Tiger prawns salad. I'm getting nostalgic just writing about it.  They introduced me to some of my favorite products which I will have to search out elsewhere like Rachel's Pomegranate Acai yogurt or Lemongrass DRY Soda.

Just as we all know that the good die young, so in SB the best will inevitably be evicted.  This January after enjoying their special Christmas chocolate selection and missing them over the holidays I rushed over during my first day back at work.  I kid you not when I say there was a crowd (about five people, but on E. Canon Perdido thats alot, were not talking State St. here) at the door all sharing my confusion at the closed doors.  Seeing a small yellow sign in the window my heart sank when I read how being unable to pay their rent in full, they had quickly been ushered out by the SB Trust for Historic Preservation.  Bye bye to another good establishment downtown.  I was downtrodden, but not surprised.

Maybe they were too generous. I can't imagine that seared Ahi is cheap to make. Maybe that's why all the other turkey sandwich-establishments charge me so much for so little.  I feel silly being sad about the loss of a store, but like I said it really was different.  I've bonded with more strangers on the street over the closing of this place than I've even said hello to before this event. I think that speaks for itself and I hope as they go on to whatever new culinary adventures are in store for them they remember that. As for me I'm sure I won't be lacking in my daily basil intake and walking a little farther to find something special in the SB food scene.