Feb 19 2011

Music for a Springtime’s eve

I’m going to take a step away from actual food and talk about music for a post. Here is a play list I made the other day. I think I’d like to listen to it on a cool late spring evening outside on a garden patio eating some good food family style with friends, sharing a bottle (or 2) of wine talking the night away.

Enjoy.

It’s Only a Paper Moon – Ella Fitzgerald &  The Delta Rhythm Boys

One More Time With Feeling – Regina Spector

Don’t be Afraid, You Have Just Got Your Eyes Closed – Mum

The Dress Looks Nice on You – Sufjan Stevens

Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee – Stacy Kent

Singin’ In The Rain – Gene Kelly

Blue Rain – Glenn Miller

Free Ride – Nick Drake

Slang Tang – Discovery

Lights Inside My Head – Cloud Cult

Man of a Thousand Faces – Regina Spektor

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries – Lisa Loeb

Peggy, the Pin-up Girl – Glenn Miller

Asinn – Amiina

Violin – Amos Lee

Osaka Loop Line – Discovery

Moon River – Audrey Hepburn

Lucky – Kat Edmonson

Cut my Wings – Seasick Steve

Pennsylvania 6-5000 – Glenn Miller

You’re the Top – Cole Porter


Feb 18 2011

East-Borough

Yum, I love having a food blog. What a great excuse to eat out. This afternoon Matt and I grabbed sandwiches at East-Borough so I could write abut it.

“East Borough is a casual place that makes classic and French Vietnamese food accessible. Our aim is to deliver the balance of complex flavors and freshness onto a simplified menu.”

I love the atmosphere of this place. It’s located in a little corner patio of The CAMP very simple, distressed wood tables with folding chairs. I also really liked the light fixtures above the cash register. It was a relaxed nice place to stop in for lunch.

Want to know what else was cool about East-Borough? Matt and I both ate (and were full), got a beverage and it cost us under $20.00.

Their sandwiches are in the classic Vietnamese style – pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, and jalepenos, then a filling of your choice all served up on a freshly baked baguette. I got the grilled pork, and Matt got the pork jicama meatballs.

The sandwiches come in an 8” or 12” version. I choose a 8” and I couldn’t even finish it. My pork was peppery, and savory. I thought it blended well with all of the veggies. The baguette was warm and crusty with a soft center.

Matt’s meatball sandwich was interesting. I think I’d order it next time so I can try more of it. I find the flavor hard to describe. The meatballs were simmered in a marinara sauce and it was a unique paring with the traditional veggies. Matt really enjoyed it and I was happy about it since he had originally requested we eat tacos for lunch.

Both sandwiches were brought to us in simple brown paper with a rubber band to hold it together.

The girls across the patio both ordered Vermicelli noodles. One got the tofu and the other ordered it with the pork. Both looked pretty tasty. The noodles come with fresh greens, crispy shallots, peanuts and an eggroll. Served with citrus vinaigrette.

I’d recommend East Borough if you wanted something elevated from Lee’s Sandwiches but don’t want to spend a ton.

Have I mentioned that I love The CAMP? LOVE IT. Go there. Eat. Be Happy!

East-Borough is located at The CAMP – 2937 Bristol St D102, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

They’re open Mon – Fri 11- 8 Sat – Sun 11 – 5

Visit their website for a full menu: www.east-borough.com

Or follow them on twitter at @eastborough


Feb 6 2011

Tender Greens

A few days ago I was fortunate enough to be up in LA with friends eating at Tender Greens.

The Tender Greens philosophy is simple :

“We believe there should be a conscious connection between the one who eats the food and the source of that sustenance.”

The majority of their produce comes fresh picked daily from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, where it is grown naturally.  If it doesn’t come form Scarborough they utilize a few small local farms. Their food is comprised from organic ingredients wherever possible

Their beef comes from grain-fed hormone/antibiotic free cows.  The chicken comes to you from free-range farms, and fed grain without hormones.

Tender Greens looks for local boutique wineries, microbreweries and organic tea blenders to provide beverages that reflect the same values as their food sources.

Just right off the bat, how AWESOME is that?!?!? A restaurant that not only cares about where the food they prepare comes from, but they make that fully connect to the consumer as well.

And I should mention that this food is pretty darn good.

The soups are hearty, the meat flavorful, and the salads fresh and tasty. I think we’d all expect that a place like this would cost a lot too right? I mean we all see how much organic and free-range costs us at the grocery store. I was pleasantly surprised. The flat iron steak, simple spinach side salad and mashed potatoes cost me around $11.00.

This restaurant is a quick concept place – you order at the counter, and then as you move along the line to the register you see your meal put together. This kind of format does lend itself to the meat being a little dry (I’m not going to lie – mine was) but overall I really enjoyed it. Although dry, the beef was still really tender and the flavor was full bodied. My friend Mel got the chicken and hers unfortunately was dry as well, but still the flavor was impressive. At the end of the day I’d prefer dry beef to chicken but that’s just me. I assume that the meat (chicken or beef) wouldn’t be dry if you caught the cooking cycle just right.

The salads however were wonderful. I got the simple baby spinach salad it was dressed with goat cheese, hazelnuts (they were chopped) and a cabernet vinaigrette. I thought the vinaigrette might end up being heavy but it was really light and I could still taste the spinach. The goat cheese was creamy and mingled nicely with the chopped hazelnuts. The whole salad came together so well, I liked it very much and it will be hard to order something different next time.

The mashed potatoes were tasty, garlicky and rich, but as we moved down the line some roasted sweet potatoes caught my eye…something for next time I guess.

The salads can be ordered with or without meat, and they even have a vegan option that sounds quite hardy. It has farro wheat with cranberry and hazelnuts, quinoa with cucumber and beets, green hummus, tabbouleh, and tender greens. I will have to try it one of these days.

Mel’s roasted tomato bread soup with basil oil was yummy, and although I didn’t have a chance to try it, their daily soup which was butternut squash looked enticing as well.

I will have to go back soon so I can sample more menu items.

Tender Greens has several locations throughout LA, I recommend checking out their website for locations, and while you’re at it take a look at their new blog.

Another good place to eat for lunch. You can feel good that you’ve supported your local farmers, and eaten healthier by choosing organic hormone free food products.

Isn’t it nice to KNOW where your food comes from?

Website for Tender Greens: www.tendergreens.com (you’ll be able to access their blog from there too)

Follow them on Twitter for daily specials @TenderGreens