Restaurant Reviews

  • Utah Eats Part 4


     Before I get to the eating, can I tell  you how amazing Park City is? We only used to visit in the winter to go skiing/ snowboarding and boy have we been missing out! That is saying a lot coming from a Southern California girl who loves to live at the beach all summer long. This place is so stunningly beautiful and has the best biking trails! The Rail Trail is one of the easiest trails there. My hubby, son and I ventured out one day on this particular trail and got wonderfully lost. Not really… it was more of an adventure… trying to figure out how to get back to our hotel. We ended up biking 18.5 miles. I love a good workout! And a good workout I got!


    My hubby checking his app to see which way we should go. This is after about 10 miles or so. Thank goodness for technology. We might have biked forever without it!


    Until I found this place…Riverhorse on Main… I have not fallen in love with any particular restaurant in Park City. Boy am I head over heels in love with this place!


    Great looking restaurant with a great ambiance. They also have a large patio with a lot of seating. We ordered A LOT of food, so I have a lot to share with you below.


    This is their watermelon and mango salad. We loved it!


    Their sashimi was fresh and excellent.


    Now this starter was unique. Goat cheese panna cotta with figs. Creative and delicious. I liked it… worked for me!


    Their Wedge salad. Also delicious! I don’t know how I forgot to take a picture of my favorite starter of all! I guess I was so enamored by it, I couldn’t think straight! We ordered a mushroom risotto that was probably one of the best risottos I have ever had. We all just died over it!


    On to our entree’s. This was their trio of of wild game. It was amazing. I promise you it was not gamey in the least bit. It was by far my hubby’s favorite dish. 


    This my friends was my favorite entree of the evening. The wild caught sockeye salmon served with the most amazing potato croquettes. Simply divine!


    When in Utah, you must order fresh trout! It did not disappoint.


    My son wanted steak so we ordered the center cut filet mignon. Yup… he was in heaven.


    And last but not least, we ordered the sesame seared ahi. It was good but not memorable. The ginger risotto that came with it was not the best though. 


    Now this was memorable! Their truffle macaroni and cheese. I am a huge lover of truffle anything and so this was right up my alley!


    For dessert, we ordered the peach torte (pictured above), warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, blueberry pie and the mud pie. All the desserts with the exception of the warm chocolate cake were a disappointment. Not worth your money or calories. 


    As a pre birthday celebration, my daughter asked for her favorite dessert on the planet. Plain ole vanilla ice cream. She was thoroughly satisfied and happy with her choice. Who’s daughter is this?!

    The final word on this place is… go! I finally found a restaurant in Park City I can’t wait to go back to. But I must warn you… you it is a very pricey restaurant so come prepared with very deep pockets!

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  • Utah Eats and More Part 3

    I have so much to share with you about this trip! Bet you want to go to Utah about now. Just wait… there is so much more. 

    IMG_0040We love to go to the local farmer’s market they have in Park City. Here one of my son’s is enjoying a chocolate dipped frozen twinkie on a stick. He wanted to try something different from his beloved chocolate dipped frozen banana. I have a confession to make. You know how I do not like fast food or processed food and am proud of it? Well, I love twinkies. There… I said it. I grew up on twinkies and I have never shaken off my love for the little devils. Gross, I know. But I can’t help myself. Once, when in South Beach Florida, I found a fantastic chocolate shop that sold great milk chocolate dipped twinkies. Now I am talking good quality chocolate people. I took one bite and thought I died and went to twinkie heaven! My husband looked at me like I was daffy and frankly, was grossed out by the whole thing. Not me… I devoured the whole thing in nothing flat and couldn’t have been happier! Ok… sorry to get side tracked. I think about twinkies and that just happens!


    Look what else we found at the Farmer’s Market. A roasting fishing pole. It can hold up to four marshmallows or hotdogs. What a great invention. We love it! Seriously love it!


    This is a fairly new restaurant called Plum Alley. The owner, Ryan Lowder opened this restaurant next door to another one of my favorite restaurants, The Copper Onion, which he also owns. Plum Alley specializes in South East Asian cuisine and it is fantastic! Get ready, because I have a lot of dishes to show you from this place.


    They have fantastic steamed buns. I love how they serve it taco style. This one is their braised short rib with kimchi. Loved it!


    Their pork belly steamed bun was out of this world good too!


    Now this dish was probably my favorite of all. Simple, but so flavorful and adding a fried egg on top? They know how to win a girl over! This is their wok seared zucchini with mushrooms. Their menu changes, so this particular dish will change out with whatever vegetable happens to be in season at the time. Get it. That’s all I have to say.


    Persian cucumber salad. Fresh and delicious. 


    Spring Peas side dish. Yum!


    Chicken Stir Fry. Awesome!


    Pad See ew. Charcoal smoked pork, chicken, rice noodles with seasonal greens. Oh my! It was a flavor party in my mouth.


    Duck Stir Fry. Another hit.


    Plum Alley Ramen with their house noodles. We couldn’t get enough of that broth!


    Pandan Ice Cream. A special for the night. I could’ve eaten the whole bowl by myself. Actually I pretty much did.


    Another House made ice cream for the special tonight? Chocolate cashew. Ok.. if you twist our arm.


    This is one happy and satisfied group! We had an awesome waiter too. If you like Pan Asian food, this place is a must!


    The following day we headed out to find the “crater” hot spring located at The Homestead in Midway. 


    Pretty charming looking place. Charming enough that I had to take a picture of it! I am a sucker for anything “charming.”


    Here we are… headed in. Oh we love adventures and discovering new places!


    This is what it looks like inside.


    There is an opening at the top. It was a fairly rainy day so this was a perfect activity. Luckily the rain had stopped while we were in there. 


    The water is very warm and blue. They don’t have any jumping off spots so this is pretty much what you do. I think we paid somewhere around 15.00 a person and got about an hour to swim. It was a fun adventure but definitely not something we would return for. Stay tuned for part four!

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  • Amazing Utah Eats Part 2

    Yes, this post is all about amazing food! A full day of amazing food! And some side activities too… because we are well rounded people. I’d say we were rounder after this trip than before it started! By the way, all the places I will tell you about in this particular post are located in downtown Salt Lake City.

    IMG_0009This place is all the rage for a particular baked treat that is out of this world good! 


    Have you heard of a kouign amann? I never did until recently and I do not know how these amazing delicacies never made an appearance in my life before! They are a buttery, caramelized, crispy with a gooey inside, flakey dream. Although this is my first and only experience with this treat, apparently Les Madeleines makes the best. FYI… kouign amann (pronounced kween-ya-man) is a specialty that was born in Brittany France. So make this a huge priority next time you find yourself in Salt Lake City. You can thank me later… because I know you will!


    As I told you I am crazy and make my family follow in my crazy ways….. so right after we left Les Madeleines, we headed to a cookie shop to try their goods. Ruby Snap Cookies…. oh my.


    They have SO many flavors and I can guarantee they will have one that has your name written all over it. Each one of us picked a different cookie that we chose as the best. The most amazing thing about this place? They let you sample as many of their cookies you would like and the sample is half of their big cookies! I sampled just about every one in the case! Look at the top of this picture and you will see some of the many samples I tried that I lined up. Well…. what was left of the samples. Let’s just say I can definitely handle my sweets. Maybe too well?


    Here is the box with the cookies we selected. A plethora of everyone’s favorites. And their sugar cookies? The only ones I like outside of my own. I seriously love this place and highly recommend you coming and sampling the soft and perfect cookies before you make your selection. You have been forewarned… sampling these babies are not for the faint of heart. You have to be be able to handle all of the sugar!


    It was time to take a break from food and sweets so we could be ready to enjoy dinner in less than four short hours! Downtown Salt Lake has a new shopping mall called City Creek. Here are my two shopping loving girls.. happy as can be.


    Right across the street from City Creek is Temple Square. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) built this beautiful temple that stands majestically in temple square as well as two visitor centers and other beautiful and historic buildings. If you have never had a chance to visit Temple Square, I highly recommend it! They give tours too.


    Me and my girls in the visitors center enjoying the statue of Christ. I love this place!


    Now… on to the secret (speakeasy) restaurant that I have hinted about. Not only was it yummy, but a fun and unique experience too! I will walk you through the whole experience. This is what you will walk up to. Bodega is a front that they built when they built the restaurant(complete with graffiti on the windows). This place is opened up just two short months ago. Inside you will find a small market on one side and a small bar on the other side. You wouldn’t think there was anything else to this place…. unless you know the secret! 


    Above a doorway you will see this neon sign. Did you notice that THE REST is the lit part? Well, that is because after you go under the sign, there is a door that will lead you to The Rest (the name of the name of the secret restaurant). You can only go through the door if you are given a key. And just how do you get a key you ask? If you call and make a reservation, the person at the store will hand you a key with  your name on it. 


    Here is mine with the number of people in my party. To get the number for The Rest, you call the store (Bodega) and ask for the number for the restaurant below. Here is the tricky part. When you call the number, you have to leave a message for a reservation. If you don’t get a call back, you are in! They will call you back if they are full and cannot fit you in. Good thing I told you, right?! Lucky for me, a friend (thanks Mosi!) knows the owner and had the owner call me directly and got us in. I never would’ve figured out the whole “you are in if you don’t get a call back” thing.


    Here we go!


    We are in! Did I mention the restaurant is below the market? Once you enter through the door, you head downstairs. 


    This a landing area as you head down the stairs. There are a lot of stuffed animal heads throughout the place. This is as far as I am going to show you. Yes, I took pictures of the restaurant (which is very cool by the way), but I want you to see it for yourself for the first time when you go. It is part of the experience! They also have a sitting library room. Loved this place and so did my kids. Now… let’s talk food!


    This is one of our starters. Deviled eggs with pork belly bacon. SO good!


    Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, but it was not a well lit restaurant so this is what you get. Now these my friends are onion rings made with pickled onions. Inventive and Y.U.M.M.Y!


    Beer can chicken with the most amazing potato and mushroom side dish. They bring it out to show you the cooked bird before they take it back to cut it into pieces for you. The chicken is so tender!


    This is their Hobo Trout. Amazingness…. serious amazingness! By far everyone’s favorite at our table. I don’t know how they make trout so over the top good, but they do. Trust me and order this!


    They only offer one dessert and this is it. Blueberry filled beignets with a mocha cream side. It wasn’t the best beignets I have had, but they weren’t the worst either. We ordered more than what I showed you but I liked the entree’s I showed you the best. There was a lot we didn’t get a chance to try this time around. I know I will be back. My whole group loved the whole experience of this fun place. I can’t wait to take my hubby here (he had to fly home for 24 hours and missed this dining experience). You all should make a point to try this place out when you find yourself in the Salt Lake area. It is such a fun experience and they offer great food too! 

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  • Utah Trip and Good Eats Part 1

     Can I tell you how surprised I am with the amazing food and restaurants Utah has to offer? First of all, they are on board with the eating local and organic train… well… a lot of them at least. Many more than we have here in Orange County. Who would’ve thought? If you are wondering what the big deal about eating local is, let me tell you. First of all, you will get produce that is fresh, at it’s peak and in season. And that my friends means fresh tasting and flavor packed food.What a week we had of amazing meals and baked goods! 


    I have some friends that highly recommended this place. The Tortilla Bar in Orem. This is a relatively new place with a great story and family behind it. I met one of the family members and he shared their story with me. First of all, the Oteo family is a large one and they are the heart and soul of this place. I love that they chose organic and local. It is evident when you eat the food. But as Mosi (one of the sons) says, ” The romantic part of the story is the humble truth of why we chose organic and local. Mom has been fighting cancer and she’s limited to where and what she can eat. Everything on the menu, mom can eat. Everything is her kind of food. I believe the success has been due to this alone. Tortilla Bar is family. It was meant as a vehicle to maintain our family close and at any given time you will catch 3-4 of our family members there cooking, serving tables, prepping food….. My favorite is when mom makes the tortillas. Something about the touch of a woman that makes them truly delicious. I always tell people you don’t just come to try the food here, you hear the story and embark on an experience.”


     Here are some of the delicious and creative tacos we devoured. Above is their hanger steak with apples taco. 


    Their avocado and beets taco (there is some delicious goat cheese from a local farm under all of that).


    This was my personal favorite, the Pork Pibil taco. Everyone had a different favorite. This is just a few of the many, many dishes we tried here including a delicious kale salad with pineapple. I love their take on food. Wonderfully surprising! The menu changes so it will be fun to see what dishes they come up the next time I am in town.


    Here I am at the end of our meal with my newest friend, Mosi Oteo. Stop by this fantastic, small restaurant next time you are in town and don’t forget to say hello to this awesome family while you are enjoying their delicious and creative dishes! Tell them Jenny sent you!


    After a long day getting our college- aged daughter moved into her new apartment, we set out with hungry bellies at a late hour. Can you believe we went for Mexican food again? It is a family favorite! They have simple, but oh so fresh food. “Everything is made fresh daily. We use pasture raised organic chicken and locally grown organic produce whenever available. We do not own a can opener.” My kind of place!


    Chicken Taco


    My Chicken salad with chicken that was so tender. We got here five minutes before they closed…. whew! Sorry for the terrible pictures. It was really good despite what it looks like with my pictures! Stay tuned for the many, many more wonderful eats from this week including the secret restaurant I am so excited to share with you (I guess it won’t be much of a secret anymore)! Now that the kids are back in school, I will hopefully have more time to blog about this amazing week we had. See you when you check back!

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  • New York Fun and Eats Part Four


     The Chelsea Market is a great place with a variety of bakeries, small restaurants and specialty food markets. The Chelsea neighborhood itself is a great place to discover.


    Here is a little peek into this fantastic marketplace.


    This is The Lobster Place that not only sells fresh seafood, but also serves fresh seafood. Yum! Lobster anyone?

    IMG_0152Look at this spice shop. How beautiful is this? My heart skipped a beat when I saw this!


    Also in the Chelsea neighborhood is a Billy’s Bakery. This is just one of their three shops in the city.


    Here is a display of their many cupcakes. 


    This time we opted for cake. We had their chocolate, carrot, red velvet and banana cake. Their cakes were not that great… not moist enough for me. Except for this one… their banana cake. It was unbelievably good! So moist and so packed with flavor!


    After our appetizer of cakes, we headed to The Meatball Shop for dinner, also located in the Chelsea neighborhood. Dessert first isn’t a bad idea… at least you aren’t too full for it!


    This place is packed tight and very loud! But we didn’t mind. 


    We ordered a ton of food. Meatball sliders of all sorts of flavors. They also offer meatballs in bowls with your choice of gravy or sauce, served over your choice of sides such as mashed potatoes, risotto, pasta, beans or polenta. We found the meatballs to be very average in both flavor and texture. I am not sure why so many people flock here. It certainly is a happening place. 


    Now I do have to tell you how much we enjoyed their cookie ice cream sandwiches. You pick the flavor of cookie to go with whatever flavor ice cream they offer. Pretty much the perfect dessert! Our favorites were the apricot ice cream with the snickerdoodle cookies and the oatmeal cookies with a brown sugar ice cream. SO good I tell you!


    The following day we had lunch at this Peruvian restaurant. They have many locations in the city.


    Their Peruvian roasted chicken was amazing!


    This is a very common and very delicious Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado. We absolutely love this dish and Pio Pio makes it perfect! This is a must try!


    This is fried plantains and I must say, I couldn’t stop eating them. The dipping sauce they serve with it is also amazing. Yum!


    This is another side they served us. French fries with hot dog weiners. Sounds weird, I know. I don’t like hot dogs, but for some reason I liked this. Weird.


    I highly recommend this restaurant to you all. It was one of our favorites of the week!


    My goof ball kids enjoying our walk to Washington Square and enjoying life!


    While in the West Village we walked by this place and we are major risotto lovers, so of course we stopped in to eat! Beware… this is the tiniest place and seating is very limited. For those of you that eat gluten free, this is the place for you. They offer everything on their menu with a gluten free option and also sell a ton gluten free products. 



    Here are a couple of the risotto’s we ordered. They were okay. Far from the best we have had.



    They also make pizzas, and these are so good! I especially loved the shrimp with pesto pizza. The crust was fantastic, they were flavorful and fresh. I would come here again just for their pizzas. 


    Talk about pizza… we discovered a new pizza place in the West Village. Well… new to us. I don’t think you can have enough pizza in this city full of pizza joints. 


    Not much seating here, but their pizza is so good you don’t need to sit down. Just gobble it up fast because you can’t stop! We now have a new favorite pizza place. When you come to this city and want awesome New York pizza, this is the place! We will be back many, many times! Well, as you can probably guess after reading all these posts, my pants are a lot tighter than before I came here. Was it worth it? A big fat (Seriously FAT) Y.E.S.!

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  • New York Fun and Eats Part Three, Plus a Little D.C.!


     No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the beautiful Central Park. And what a gorgeous day it was…. a nice break from the rain!


    And of course, a stop at a frozen treats vendor is a must for these kids of mine!


    During our hike through the park, the kids saw the sign for Belvedere Castle and had to search it out. If you saw the word “castle” wouldn’t you want to do the same? I did… years ago on my first visit here. A castle in the midst of a park? Sounds too magical to not see it. But as you can see… it is not much of a castle…. but it still fun to explore.


    My Daughter couldn’t pass up the chance to play “Rapunzel” at a castle! 


    While we played, my hubby enjoyed the view. He served a mission for our church many, many years ago right here in this wonderful city. NYC has a special place in his heart.


    A horse drawn carriage ride through the park? Don’t mind if we do!


    Our next stop was another kiddie wonderland. Well, maybe for kids of all ages! Dylan’s Candy Bar. We are talking a huge store dedicated to the sweet stuff. Maybe we indulged just a little!


    How cute is this landing on the steps in the store?


    And then because I am a crazy person and cannot get enough to eat on vacation, we headed over to another bakery I wanted to try. I didn’t get any resistance… I trained my family well! No such thing as too much sugar on vacation, right?


    Here is a sampling of what we tried. I heard their cupcakes are the best, so we got a few of those of course! I also heard their cheesecake is amazing so trying that is not even a question. And my hubby wanted to try their scones simply because they looked amazing and he is my best partner in crime when it comes to eating ourselves sick! He is always game…. Oh how I love this wonderful man of mine! Yes, the cupcakes are moist and fantastic! Yes, the cheesecake is out of this world good and that is saying a lot coming from me! And yes, the added scone was also so, so good! We all give this place two thumbs up so you should all come try it yourself the next time you find yourself in this city!


    While we were uptown, we had to take the kids to visit the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). It is huge and amazing. 


    I love how our schools are teaching our kids about great artists and what art is all about. My son found an painting from an artist he learned about in school and was excited find it!


    When I first came to the MET, I was enamored with the display of the knights and and all their armor. I wished I had my kids with me to see it. I was excited to have them experience it and love it too! But honestly, our visit here didn’t last that long. The kids got bored after a while…. I know.. so uncultured! Well folks… that is how we roll. 


    No visit here is really complete without having some street food. And this here, is my favorite in this city. A souvlaki… perfect in every way. The mix of different flavors and messy sauce equals awesomeness! You can find these on street carts or food trucks throughout the city. A definite must try! You will thank me later.


    Everyone and their brother told me I HAD to go to the Shake Shack, so we did. Hamburgers, fries, onion rings and shakes…. you don’t have to twist my arm. 


    Their cheeseburger with a fried mushroom.


    French fries are a must with a hamburger!


    Assorted shakes we ordered. Chocolate peanut butter was our favorite hands down. Now the verdict? Eh…. the burgers were okay. Sorry, but I have had some amazing burgers and these just don’t make the cut for me. My family felt the same. Yes, my kids are a bit spoiled when it comes to good food. These were in the same league as In n Out I guess. Don’t hate… I really wanted to love them. 


    The next day we loaded onto the train and headed to D.C for the day. My two youngest have never been. Do you think they are excited?!


    Our first stop was Ford’s Theatre. One of my favorite places to visit in D.C.


    Next, we headed to the Capitol where we got a private tour from a family friend. How cool is that?


    As part of that private tour, we got to ride in the Senate tram that runs underground from their offices to the Capitol building. Why is it always so fun to be able to be in places that the general public is not allowed in? 


    The National Archive building is another favorite! 


    How gross is this? A real mummy in the Natural History Museum. Kids of course thought it was cool! I guess you don’t see these everyday!


    The White House is a must. So sad they don’t offer tours anymore. 


    Julia Child’s whole kitchen was brought over. I loved it! She had some great stuff… of course!


    The reflection pool, the Lincoln Memorial and the National Monument are all such a beautiful sight. This city is simply gorgeous!


    My son was so happy to be here he literally jumped for joy! We visited so many great places… more than I can show you here.


    Back on the train headed back to NYC after a long day. We arrived at Penn Station at 1:30 a.m.! Sleep was not something we got a lot of on this trip!

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  • New York Fun and Eats Part 2



    A friend recommended this amazing restaurant to me and I knew I had to try it. We decided to try it for lunch one day and it was raining cats and dogs on our way to this gem of a place. But boy, was it worth the wet adventure of finding it. It is located in the beautiful Tribeca area. 


    We started with their fresh ricotta and grilled bread. It was heavenly! 


    And this my friends, was the best arugula salad I have ever, EVER had! It was simple but so flavorful. I dream of it now. 


    This pasta dish was another highlight. It was a special and I cannot remember what it was called. But once again, it was beyond amazingggggg! This place knows how to make amazing food and I fell in love. Locanda Verde was my favorite restaurant of this trip. I cannot recommend it enough to you all!


    We continued on our rainy day adventure to find another highly recommended bakery. The first of many, many bakeries we ate at this week. Yes, we take our desserts seriously… maybe too serious!


    I want to show you a shot of this place from across the street. Why you ask? Because we walked by it time and time again! It was so little I kept overlooking it. But no, I was determined to find it and so that is what I did… after walking up and down, then down and up, and up and down again. I will blame it on the rain! Hopefully we walked off some calories before we indulged big time. 


    I have heard of this place for so long, but never took the time to search it out until this time. The cookies are big, heavy and thick. 





    We took shelter in a covered walkway across the street to start devouring these babies. The last one (Chocolate Peanut Butter) was my personal favorite. Don’t hate me, but I could be fine to never eat another one again. Yes, they are good, but they did not rock my world. I am sure it is a personal preference. Some like their cookies like these, more cakey ( at least these are moist, cakey). I am more a chewy, almost dough like cookie lover. We all have our favorite preference, and these are just not mine. But I was glad I came and I conquered!


    Next, we decided to take cover for a while… and there was no better place then the Natural History Museum. My kids were excited to visit the “Night at the Museum” museum! We had a blast searching for all the movie displays. 


    Of course, the “dum dum want gum gum” Easter Island statue was the biggest find!


    Then we headed downtown to find the bull that is so famous in so many movies. This boy of mine was so happy to find this!


    Another tradition we have is take our “first timers” to Liberty and Ellis islands. But sadly, they were both still closed from the damage from Hurricane Sandy. This is as close as we got. 


    Our dinner spot is actually kind of a famous place. The Little Owl is located at the bottom of the building that was used in the Friends show. It is located where “Central Perk” would be. It is also the absolute tiniest restaurant! Definitely make reservations before you go. 


    We started with their meatball sliders. Bon Appetite did a write up on these and so I knew we had to try them. They were tender and very good.


    This was my favorite dish here. Broiled Halibut with summer peas, corn and a pesto vinaigrette, So good!


    My hubby loved their pork chop. 


    Their branzino was also very good and so tender. My son couldn’t get enough of this one. We also ordered their lobster risotto (I don’t recommend it) and the crispy chicken that I also do not recommend. It was crispy, but also very salty and just not that tasty. Win some, lose some. 


    For dessert, we ordered beignets with nutella and raspberry sauce and a vanilla panna cotta. The beignets were just okay tasting and the panna cotta was the worst I have ever been served. In their defense, the hostess saw how gummy and tough the panna cotta was and she apologized and said that was not how their panna cotta normally is and there was a mistake. Unfortunately, we already paid for it and it was completely unedible. Oh well… 


    Another big tradition we do for our “first timer kids” is the Blue Man Group at the original Astor theatre where they started. It is such a fun experience. If you have never been, you must go! It is a tiny theatre and just perfect!


    Dad, treated us good and bought us seats in the “splash zone.”


    After the show, the blue men come out and are happy to take pictures with everyone that wants a picture with them. The kids loved it!


    Back to eating…. again. I am a lover of rice pudding and they have a place that is all and only about the stuff. They offer so many flavors… it is unreal. 


    I wish I could remember what flavors these were, but with everything we ate all week… it has become a blur. I don’t recommend you get this size or multiple flavors. It is heavy, rich and overwhelming with too much. Maybe we just weren’t hungry anymore???


    Call me crazy, but on the way home I had to try another bakery. You all have heard of Momofuku’s Milk Bar, right?  I was dying to try the cereal milk soft serve, their cookies (especially their compost cookie) and the crack pie. Luckily we caught a cab and got there right before they closed. But honestly, I was somewhat disappointed. The cereal milk soft serve was nothing special, but the biggest disappointment was their baked goods are not baked on the premises. They are baked elsewhere and prepackaged. It was more like a store than a bakery. The cookies were not that great. But I did like their cake truffles and their crack pie (even though it too was prepackaged) was fantastic! We all went to bed that night with very very full bellies!

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  • New York Fun and Eats!

    I am finally blogging about our fabulous trip to New York city and Washington D.C.! It was a fabulous, busy, wonderful trip with a lot of eating! I will share the fun and tasty experience with you through the next few blogs over this coming week, so check back often!


    Here we are (with four of our six kids) fresh (well maybe not so fresh!) from the coast to coast flight. We are so happy to have arrived and we are hungry!


    For those of you that have never been to New York City before, this is Times Square and it is crazy busy and crazy crowded! It is truly not my favorite part of the city, but this year we stayed at the Marriot Marquis in Time Square so we were in the thick of it…. a lot! This was the first time in this city for my two youngest kiddos and they were excited to be here and soak it all in.



    We arrived on a Saturday night, so getting in any good restaurant was more than a challenge for this hungry bunch! For those of you that know me, I am not one to just go to any restaurant. Especially in New York! Every meal is hopefully a great one for me! But as I said, I was not having any luck getting in any restaurant I called before 11:30 pm…. yikes! So we opted for good ole New York pizza. But I am picky about my pizza joints too! I have loved Ben’s pizza in Soho for years. I first fell in love with this place when I tried their salad pizza. The best and most refreshing pizza on a warm sunny day or night. They have a great selection of so many flavors and two different crusts… thick and thin. I love them both here.


    Here is a slice of the salad pizza. And yes, it is really good!


    Did I mention their garlic knots? Pretty amazing.


    Also, in Soho is a tiny little takeout window for the tiniest bite sized cupcakes in a ton of different flavors. They are pretty good and I don’t know how they make them so moist when they are literally bite sized! It was a perfect sweet treat. We have been coming here for years.


    The following day we were going to a musical and literally had one hour to get something to eat. As I mentioned, Times Square is not my favorite place and the eating joints there are touristy and not my cup of tea. But with no time, I opted for this new place with a menu that didn’t sound half bad. It is located at the bottom of the W hotel on Broadway. I was surprisingly happy with this place!


    This was my favorite dish. It is their lobster popover with spinach, gruyere cheese, runny eggs and hollandaise sauce. It was amazing! I think I may have to recreate this dish someday. 


    We went to see Cinderella and it was magical and perfect! Even the hubby and boys loved it. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the city!


    Our next stop was the Empire State Building. We have taken all of our kids here on their first trip to this city. This was the first time we went up to the 102nd floor. You pay extra and if you ask me, it is worth it! Look how close we were to the very top! The views are even more amazing!


    Isn’t this view spectacular? Do you spy a restaurant at the top of that building fourth from the bottom of the picture? It has me intrigued. I must find it and try it on my next visit!


    Our family also got a chance to attend church in the city. It is located in a beautiful building located across from Lincoln center. Such a treat!

    IMG_3336Of course a visit to the 9/11 site is a must. The new building is almost finished. A lot of construction is still going on with more great things in the works.


    The memorial pools with inscriptions of all the names of those that died that day is so moving. It is a beautiful memorial. 


    Here is my beautiful daughter Hadley. Our budding, talented photographer.


    We had lunch one day at this charming restaurant near Chinatown. 


    Just look at this place! Charm up the wazoo!


    Here is their kale caesar salad. Delish!


    Their bacon cheeseburger with duck fat fries was pretty fantastic as well. 


    Their highly recommended banoffee pie was as good as they said! And it takes a lot to impress me, especially with desserts!


    The Toys R Us store in Time Square has a huge ferris wheel inside and I have always thought how much my kids would have loved to ride it. Well, the day has finally come!


    Yup, they enjoyed it and the ride was so long I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to let them off!


    It was fun to be in this city and see it through the eyes of my kids. I have so much more to share with you, so check back for part two!

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  • Santa Monica Restaurant Reviews Part 2



    Oh how I loved eating my way through this great town! I found this great cafe on our second day in town. I heard they are packed for breakfast! We came for lunch and loved it! 


    If I ever owned a restaurant (which by the way, I never will because I don’t want to!), I would want it too look just like this place. Look at this case, such beautiful and delicious yumminess calling my name. I hate making decisions when there are so many good choices!


    We had the trio salad plate where we picked three salads of our choice from their freshly made salads case. Kale, Roasted carrots and Farro. Yum! We also had a couple of pastries and a turkey meatball sandwich. It was like having a piece of San Francisco right here in L.A. 


    Once again, my phone does not do this wonderful bread pudding justice. It was one of the few that my hubby and I loved! Moist and full of flavor….just the way bread pudding should be. If you are ever in this town, Huckleberry is a must!

    veneto photo

    Our next stop for dinner was a place I have been dying to try for years! Via Veneto…known for authentic, delicious italian food. If you are on a budget, you don’t want to come here as you will pay a pretty penny or two! We ordered quite a few things…. I had to taste as much as I could since I had been waiting to come here for so long. Below are a couple of my favorites. 


    We started with a sampling of house made raviolis. They were fantastic!


    Their truffle risotto was simply amazing! I could’ve eaten the whole dish by myself in a nanosecond. With that all said, the other dishes we had were good but not memorable and wouldn’t bring me back. I am glad to have tried this place but not sure if it was worth it.


    Saving the best for last. Tar and Roses… I was over the top in love with this place! Make sure to make reservations or get there right when they open to get a table. By the third night… our last night in town we finally got in. And I tell you…it was worth the wait. 

    tar photo

    M hubs and I are cheese and charcuterie plate lovers. Have you ever seen a more beautiful charcuterie plate? And the taste surpassed it’s beauty. Simple. Fresh. Goodness. We could’ve stopped with this and been happy but of course I had to taste as much of the menu as I could. The things I do for you people! 


    These are their balsamic glazed pork ribs. Wow! I died and went to hog heaven! You know I have been working hard to duplicate these babies. I have an amazing version to teach you all soon! We also had an amazing salad I will also duplicate to teach…it was that good! This place gave me all sorts of inspiration….and that is what makes a restaurant over the top good for me! We had more dishes that night, but these were the top picks. I can’t wait to come back here and try more of their delicious creations. I have fallen in love with Santa Monica and all it has to offer. And the restaurants? There are so many I need to stay here for a month to get to them all! Needless to say, we will be back!

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  • Santa Monica Getaway and Restaurant Reviews Part 1


    Me and my hubs stayed at this charming hotel with a room overlooking the ocean. My favorite view!


    The Third Street Promenade was busy and happening. Lots of street performers and great shops. Not that I like to shop or anything 😉


    The first night in town we ate at The Misfit, just around the corner from Third Street. Don’t you just love the name? It did not disappoint!


    This is the restaurant from the inside. We sat upstairs and this was the view from our table. I felt like I was in NYC. A very happening and busy restaurant with lots of small tables. It would be hard to accommodate a family of my size! Good thing it was just my hubby and I.


    Their roasted brussels sprouts were amazing good. (I apologize for the poor photo quality. I only had my phone to shoot the pictures.)

    6photoHow do they make prime rib sliders so good? Such a simple dish but we loved them! I know they don’t look like much but looks can be deceiving. The perfect slider all around.


    This is their fried chicken sandwich that we did not order. As soon as I saw this as we were walking out, I had huge regrets! I have to go back to try this. It looked beyond amazing and the waiter said it was his favorite thing on the menu. We had a few more dishes and we loved them all. I highly recommend this gem of a restaurant. Oh how I wish we had restaurants like this in Orange County! After your meal, the waiter comes to your table with a plateful of salted chocolate chip cookies for you to taste. I found the salt on the top of the cookies too salty but I loved the gesture! I will write about some other restaurants we ate at later this week so check back! It was a few days of some seriously good eating!

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