The Weekend E.A.T. – Shucking and Swinging

Chocolate caramel toffee mousse from B. Patisserie – let the drooling commence.

Ahoye June! The year is nearly halfway complete – how quickly is time flying right now? In two weeks, I’ll be running 13.1 miles; in three, I’ll be getting my tan on (#butnotreallytho) in Tahoe; in six, I’ll be another year older; and in twelve, I’ll be out of this country. Seal (wattup Space Jam) said it best: Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’

As we move into the second phase of 2013, I take pride in knowing that I am on my way to more food, friends, and new experiences. It won’t always be a smooth process, but I’m not wont to thrive in an environment of perfection. In fact, I usually always end up watermarking it somehow, leaving it slightly blemished with my personal touch. It’s not ugly, but it’s not flawless, and most of the time, that’s just fine.

I like to demolish pretty things.

L to R: Scallop carpaccio with cucumbers, purslane and grapefruit (Loved the scallops, but the grapefruit was bitter); Veggie miso ramen with mushrooms, egg, fava puree, pickled fiddlehead ferns, and mizuna (need moar now)

If you ever doubt for one second how much I love ramen, please keep this anecdote in mind of how I drove across the bridge and braved my sickly feverishness to get some…noodles. Ramen Shop in Oakland is easily one of the best bowls of brothy goodness I’ve ever had with a refreshingly enthusiastic and polite staff to match. U don’t have to call, cus Imma be alright tonight with this.

Recently Updated1

The 14th Annual Guinness Oyster & Music Festival went down in Golden Gate Park. Although I wasn’t a fan of the Dodgers blanket I lounged on (#beatLA), the horseradish-laden shucklers were delicious, if a bit overpriced. The winner though? Guinness ice cream float with honey ice cream and tawny port.

On mah oyster fest date with Zoe! Dresses + sunglasses + ice cream = happiness.

20130602_132800

What else is there to do on Sunday than learn swing dancing? After mastering the Mashed Potato (best watch out at the club this weekend), I had my final sweet surge at a Mission favorite, Craftsman & Wolves. Its rotating seasonal desserts and punch of strong espresso keeps me chatty and bright-eyed enough to deliver this to you 🙂

Almond, raspberry, strawberries, cream, love.

Q&A: Liz Emery and Why NOLA is Baller

Today’s post is a mouth-watering snapshot of the eats and treats in New Orleans, brought to you by my whacky and loveable coworker/homegirl Liz Emery!

I definitely just lurked on her Facebook for this photo. No shame.

When Liz isn’t sales planning the crap out of our company, she has been experiencing all sorts of awesome foods around the country. Hailing from Chicago, she visited the land of beignets and bourbon earlier this month. She agreed to chat about her trip and provided all the photos in this post today. Enjoy!

NOLA

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What kind of food do you usually like and eat? Are you adventurous with your eatings?

I’m usually a healthy eater (chicken, kale salads, turkey lettuce wraps, etc). I just started experimenting with my recipes. Within the last year, I have adopted the “try anything once” mentality with food – I started eating sushi about 8 months ago!

Tell me about that!

My mom always hated seafood, and you know that when your mom hates something, you hate it too. I’m also a texture eater – things that are too chewy, etc., weird me out. Finally I had this epiphany to get out of my comfort zone with food and with life. Now, I love sushi – I have cravings for it!

What was your first impression of NOLA? 

New Orleans is amazing. It’s a melting pot of beautiful architecture, music, people & food.

Did you have any idea of what you absolutely HAD to eat when you were there? 

My friends and coworkers gave me recommendations before I left – I knew that beignets were a MUST from Cafe Du Monde.  I was also dead set on eating as much seafood as possible – lobster, crab, oysters, etc….really as much as I could stomach!

image_7

What was the best, worst, and weirdest thing you ate there? 

Best = Jambalaya wrap with Cajun fries; it was unbelievable. Worst = NOTHING, it was all good! Weirdest = Alligator; it tastes like chicken, once you get past mental block that what you’re eating isn’t chicken/beef/pork. 

How is NOLA food different from Chicago food?

The food I ate in NOLA was unlike anywhere else – you can’t get this combination of flavors in any other city.  Po boys, beignets, gumbo, jambalaya, muffalettas & seafood…YUM! 

Was there ever a point where you went, “Okay, I’m too full?”

NOPE – I love food too much…it’s a problem.

So I love eating quesadillas after a night out with friends. What was the post-midnight food like, and it is better than a quesadilla? 

Clockwise from top left: Assortment of NOLA food; Debris fries from Bourbon Street; BBQ pulled pork nachos from Huck Finn’s; Jambalaya wrap with Cajun fries from Huck Finn’s

Oh yeah – I went to the casino one night and had the most amazing cheese fries I’ve ever had in my life. It was a combination of about 4 types of cheese and bacon from a hole-in-the-wall on Bourbon Street…AMAZE BALLS!

Final words?

[NOLA] is one big city of deliciousness. I didn’t have any food that I didn’t love, and even though I gained 5 pounds, it was worth it 🙂

L to R: Blackened Parmesan chicken with angel hair pasta from Drago’s; Oysters; Fried alligator with chipotle mayo