Fried Chicken!

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Fried chicken, mac & cheese, peas, corn bread muffin – Willie Mae’s Scotch House (New Orleans)

This James Beard award-winning chicken was the ultimate indulgence. Not only was it tasty, it had an amazing crispness and texture to it. The side dishes complemented the chicken perfectly. I had dreams of this chicken upon returning to the Bay Area. Yes. That good.

Cafe Amelie

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Small plates and cocktails – Cafe Amelie (New Orleans)

For our first dinner in NOLA, we came here. No reservations, as we decided to ditch our Phantoms, Ghosts and Vampires Tour when we saw the Cafe Amelie sign. I had bookmarked it on the Yelp app prior to coming here- 400+ reviews and 4.5 stars, how can you not?!

Their lit-up courtyard looked nothing short of magical as we walked the path to the “carriage house.” Brick, warm colors, and homey accents added to the charm of the place.

While the hostess informed us that table for 2 (on a Thursday night) was an hour wait, she invited us to eat at the bar. We gladly accepted and proceeded to have one of the best meals ever!

I ordered an Amelie cocktail (refreshing!) and we shared the following small bites: shrimp and grits, crab cake, and brussels sprouts. All the dishes were spot on. The shrimp and grits was creamy and flavorful and we loved the bacon and dates accompanying the brussels sprouts, which had a nice char to them!

My friend ordered a French 75, made with ginger infused gin and it was a sparkly delight.

For dessert, we had the New Orleans doberge cake…ohmigoodness deliciousness- 9 thin layers of cake and pudding encrusted in a caramel frosting!!!

Super friendly, attentive service by the bartenders and incredibly friendly patrons. We loved hearing the banter among the employees and the people seated next to us (obviously regulars).

This was so awesome that I’m afraid Cafe Amelie may have set the bar too high for the rest of my stay!

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Mediterranean Delight

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Gyro Combo Platter + Assorted Desserts – Taste in Mediterranean Food (Burlingame, California)

It’s been a while since my last post…mother dear is in town and I have been quite busy entertaining her. This is a meal I had recently at a quaint little place, and it was superb!  I had the lamb gyros, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh salad. All were tasty and served with piping hot pita bread. For dessert, we had walnut baklava, a mini “rosebud,” and a creamy roll pastry doused with rosewater. Deeelish!

Summer Scramble

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Summer Scramble – Cafe Iveta (Santa Cruz, California)

I guess I’m still on a breakfast kick ;) This dish was so awesome because of the way the eggs were prepared (steam-scrambled). The eggs were lightly seasoned, mixed with spinach and goat cheese, and then topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and green onions. Served with their tasty bread (baked on site). Creamy, fluffy egg goodness!

Belgian Waffle

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Belgian Waffle – Etablissement Max (Ghent, Belgium)

Traditionally a “breakfast” food, I had this waffle as an afternoon snack while wandering the streets of Gent. This cafe knows how to do waffles. Flambéed in Grand Marnier, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with fruits, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. The result was a delight to consume – light, fluffy, the edges crisp with the caramelized liqueur. Enjoyed with a cappuccino.

Breakfast of Champions

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Breakfast – Navio (Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay)

I’m on a breakfast kick! This meal is often rushed and sometimes completely ignored during my workweek. When I can, I attempt to make up for this by indulging in the best breakfast foods my belly can handle. On a recent trek to Half Moon Bay, I enjoyed a cappuccino, “coastal” eggs benedict (with dungeness crab, artichoke, lemon hollandaise) and buttermilk banana pancakes. Needless to say, I think this meal’s importance is cemented in my mind (and on my taste buds)!