Friday, January 27, 2017

Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab - Las Vegas

5/5 stars

You guys. Joe's is AHmazing. Stone crab is perhaps the best crab I've ever had. It's meatier than Dungeness and sweet and alllmooost as good as lobster (and that's saying a lot)! And the horseradish mustard the crab is served with is absolutely perfect. I've never had crab with mustard before and it's a terrific idea.

The service was also exceptional which was surprising because this is a tourist joint. I mean, it's right next to the fountains in Caesars Palace. A millions thanks to Neil & Eric for making our night. We were here for my sissy's whirlwind bachelorette party and we only had time for one nice restaurant so I'm relieved Joe's exceeded expectations.

My only word advice: don't get the steak. Trust me. I would complain about how dry my steak was if I wasn't so enamored with the stone crab.

Oh, actually, I have one more piece of advice: Get the mac n' cheese. It's probably the best mac n' cheese I've ever had. Perfect balance of cheeses and the gooeyness is stunning. I'm dying for the recipe!

Pappas Burgers - Houston (Hobby airport)

4/5 stars

Bleeping pleasantly surprised.

We only sat down because my mother-in-law wanted to. I was going to have Wendy's. Boy was I happy when Pappas Burger kicked Wendy's burgers in the butt.

It was just a really, really, really solid burger! Like, a real cheeseburger. Like, something you would make at home! The bread was nice and squishy, the not-too-thick beef patty was cooked perfectly, and it was just an [American cheese] cheesy, drippy mess. American cheese is the only cheese that belongs on burgers, IMO. I slapped on some mayo and ketchup and ate the whole thing even though the burger was the size of a dinner plate.

Service was nice & efficient too!

Chef Chu's - Los Altos

5/5 stars 

I'm actually not sure if I've ever had *real* Chinese food, but the Americanized chow from Chef Chu's is super tasty and I want to stuff it in my mouth. That's what matters when it comes to food, right?

I liked this place so much, we went twice during my birthday weekend. Btw, that's the how I deal with getting older. I have birth-weekends where I eat whatever my heart desires. And what I wanted were mai tais. And Chinese takeout to take home so I could spend the rainy evening in with my dog. 

I can't think of any other place that serves greasy Chinese food and solid cocktails. I adore the mai tais at Chef Chu's. They're no Smuggler's Cove, but they're well made and go down easy. Waaay too easy. That's the problem with mai tais. You always think it's a good idea to drink another one. 

Gary made our mai tais this time and he's a very nice man. He even serenaded me! Everyone we've met there has been nothing but nice and friendly. They even surprised me with green tea ice cream and a candle even though we were getting takeout. It's the little things that matter in the end. 

My favorite things to order are: 

+ Peking duck! (But you need to order this in advance) 
+ BBQ chow mein (the chow mein is a little different than other places because it has shiitake mushrooms in it and that's why I think I love it) 
+ Basil beef clay pot (the beef is really tender) 
+ Miso-glazed chilean sea bass (this is a splurge... for a special occasion) 
+ Hunan-style smoked pork belly (one of my hubby's favorites... it's a Chinese dish we've never had before so try it if you want something different!) 
+ Braised eggplant in garlic sauce (I always order this)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Positano eats: La Sponda

Positano couldn't be prettier. I've wanted to go to this visually stunning place ever since Only You with Robert Downey Jr (*swoon*). Positano was planned, La Sponda (Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy), on the other hand, was not.

That is... until I saw this photo on Instagram and just had to have it (I guess I eat with my eyes first): 

Not only was the spaghetti vongole as delicious as it was pretty, the restaurant itself was the most beautiful restaurant hubby and I have ever been to. It was also the only Michelin-starred restaurant we went to in Italy.

Ask to sit outside if you can, where you'll overlook this:

Everything was perfect: the attentive service, the well-executed food, the gorgeous view. Even the dinnerware was whimsical. But my favoritefavorite part was this happy little champagne cart that a jolly man pushed around. I mean, how can you not be jolly pushing around a cart like this:

Of course we had to get something from the cart:

Pink just felt like the right color for a celebration at La Sponda. It went well with my vongole, hubby's John Dory, and this silky eggplant:

La Sponda is not easy to get to, because Positano is not easy to get to, but I think... that's what makes them even more magical. You count your blessings here. 

Oh, and the olive oil is stunning. 

Rome eats: Pane & Vino

I really like sandwiches. But I loooooooooooooooooooooove porchetta sandwiches. I literally hunted down porchetta sandwiches when we were in Italy. One of the best eats near the Colosseum is Pane & Vino (Via Ostilia, 10, 00184).

It's a teeny tiny shop with a very friendly, English-speaking owner. His porchetta is delivered fresh every morning. Get the special porchetta with everything and just... eat in silence. And, if you're like me, grin like a fool.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rome eats: Hostaria Romana

You want to eat with locals? You want to eat trippa alla romana? You want a simple, unfussy, non-touristy place to rest your feet after playing tourist? Eat here: Hostaria Romana (via del Boccaccio, 1, 00187).

They're known for their fish and their carbonara, but we went bucatini amatriciana, fettuccine with mushrooms, and trippa alla romana. The food was cozy, peasant-like. Bonus: the waiters gift you little plates of delicious (albeit salty) things, like beans, croquettes, and even pasta (!), while you wait for your dinner. We got lucky and were seated by the windows (make reservations) and got to see Roma grow dark.

You know what the perfect thing to do after dinner at Hostaria Romana is? Walk to the Trevi to see it glow: 

Rome eats: La Prosciutteria Trevi

You like pig, wine, and rock n' roll? Welcome to La Prosciutteria Trevi (Via della Panetteria, 34A, 00187).

This place is run by some bad-ass ladies who build a mean board. Said board is made of olive wood and every inch of it is covered with Italian goodies: meat, cheese, grilled veggies, more meat, and bruschetta.

The music is fun, the place is itty bitty, and the wine is gooood. Try the lambrusco.  It's not sweet at all, but dry, fizzy, and berrylicious. It goes perfectly with the board. By the way, the one that we ordered was a medium and it was already over 2 feet long. Yeah, it comes in bigger sizes. Have fun 😉!

I recommend going here when Roma is napping (i.e., not at lunchtime and not at dinnertime).