Author Archives: tellthebees

Market City Caffe

Working in downtown Burbank, I am privy to nice strip of restaurants along San Fernando Blvd. I have often walked by Market City Caffe and admired both the decor, the mist machines cooling the outdoor patio and the delicious looking giant breadsticks at the table. 

Turns out, best breadsticks ever. Pair that with rosemary infused olive oil and balsalmic vinegar and you have a prelude to a fine Italian meal. 

For lunch, I had the penne. From the menu: 

Penne al Sugo di Pomodoro e Salsiccia – sweet Italian sausage, pomodoro sauce,
red chili peppers, fresh basil and garlic 

When the waitress described it as spicy, I was skeptical. I am a big fan of spicy and lightly seasoned does not a spicy dish make. However, this pasta had the perfect balance of red chili peppers and pomodoro, which paired great with the sausage and beef sauce.

I shared a carafe of Chardonnay with my friends, and $17 got us each two glasses of wine. Very refreshing lunch, indeed!

Next time I go I plan to check out the DELICIOUS looking antipasto bar. Artichoke hearts, tapenades, bruschetta, oysters… heavenly. You can even add it to an entree for $5.95, but you may not even be able to do it justice along with an entree and breadsticks. 

Go check it out! 

Here is the menu to tempt you. 

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Prosciutto & Parmesan Chicken

If you are looking for a reasonably quick and tasty Italian dinner, I highly recommend the following chicken dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 skinned & boned chicken breasts
  • Flour seasoned with ground sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to dredge the chicken in)
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • Several leaves of fresh sage
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Start by cutting each chicken breast in half and dredge them in the flour. Make sure that there are no lumps of flour sticking to them.

TIP: Leaving the flour on the chicken for too long makes it goopey and pretty unattractive – don’t dredge too far ahead of time.

Set your oven on ‘Broil.’

While your oven is warming up, melt the butter in a large skillet along with your fresh sage. Add the chicken so they are all in one layer (make sure they don’t overlap so they all cook evenly). Cook this over a medium heat until the breasts are golden on both sides. Turn as needed.

Remove the chicken from heat and place on a broiling pan. On each, put a piece of prosciutto and your freshly grated Parmsean (really, fresh is a lot better than the Kraft in this dish).

Throw this under the broiler for as long as it takes for the cheese to melt (approx. 5 minutes).

This is a really tasty dish to serve with fresh polenta (make sure you start this first, as it takes longer than the chicken). Take 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water and boil. Whisk in 1 cup cornmeal and let it cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. When cooked, add salt, butter and a heaping pile of parmesan cheese. Viola!

If you like this recipe, I recommend the cookbook “Italian – the Essence of Mediterranean Cusine” by Carla Capalbo.

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Watch out, Pinkberry!

I adore my tart, yogurty lover Pinkberry as much as the next person, but a brand new yogurt bar in Hermosa Beach may give it a run for its money. 

Lotus Yogurt Bar at first glance looks like yet another Pinkberry rip off with its posh minimalist design, ‘green tea’ and ‘original tart’ offers, but they take a very interesting sales approach. 

Firstly, it is self-serve at 39 cents/ounce. Secondly, it has about a dozen flavors ranging from citrus to the delicious Cookies-and-Cream. Thirdly, you pay by the ounce for both your fro yo AND toppings. 

They offer up an ample choice of toppings which includes berries, kiwi, lycee and many other fruits; Cap’n Crunch, Fruit Loops and granola; finally, the ol’ classics sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms and cookie dough. And that is just about half of them. 

If you are like me, you don’t buy into the 75-cents per six M&Ms method at most fro yo places. Here, the 39 cent/ounce pricing is great for a toppings lover. I got a hearty helping of Cookies-and-Cream fro yo with cookie dough and cookie crumbles for a grand total of $2.03. That’s right. 

So here’s the plan – celebrate summer, go to Hermosa Beach, grab a beer at Patrick Molloy’s and a delicious summer treat at Lotus Yogurt Bar. I will probably see you there. 

Visit their Yelp Page

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Beyond Los Angeles: Santa Fe

 

Hello everyone, 

For those of you who have not treated themselves to a trip to the Southwest, I recommend making time and enjoying a three day weekend in this marvelous city. I travelled there with a friend of mine who is a similar food fanatic and we prepped ourselves for a weekend of overindulgence. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the great places to eat and drink in beautiful Santa Fe, NM! 

Friendly Neighborhood Donkey

RAMADA INN – ALBUQUERQUE (admittedly, not Santa Fe)

Nothing fancy about this place, but they had a continental breakfast that included a chafing dish full of hundreds of cocktail meatballs and a tub of picante sauce. Most bizarre breakfast? Perhaps. 

SANTA FE MOTEL & INN

Firstly, this is a very reasonable place to stay. For about $120 a night, this place includes colorful, fun rooms in addition to a giant menu binder in the lobby and a great continental breakfast. They have a spread that includes breakfast burritos, organic oatmeal with similarly organic maple syrup, bread fresh from the Sage Bakery across the street, and a variety of fruit. I don’t know about everyone else, but I can eat at least a $50 value…. 

KOHNAMI SUSHI RESTAURANT – Friday Dinner Stop #1

Having already planned to eat several times that evening, our first stop was for something lighter. Or at least lighter-ish. The fish here was very fresh, the prices reasonable, and we particularly enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll which consisted of spicy tuna, avocado and cream cheese. 

DEL CHARRO SALOON – Friday Dinner Stop #2 (…and Saturday)

Although the nachos are so good we went back two days in a row, the real draw for this place is the house margarita. For $6 you get an entire SHAKER of this delicious blend. 

COWGIRL – Friday Bar Stop 

After being in the bar for under 2 minutes, I met someone from my home county and got bought a shot by a local for “looking nice.” Made friends with another local, and then another – this city is ripe for socializing. 

ATOMIC CAFE – Friday Dinner Stop #3

One of our new local friends took us to this late night eatery where she enjoyed the fish tacos and we split a pizza. Decent after hours snacks. 

FIVE AND DIME – Daytime Snack Stop

Frito pie. Apparently a Santa Fe classic. Here’s the recipe: you cut open a bag of Fritos, fill with beef chili, throw on some cheese and eat it… out of the bag. It was good, I think, although that may take some heavy justification.

LA FONDA – Saturday Lunch

New. Mexican. Buffet. We practically injured ourselves sampling everything from this amazing spread, my personal favorite being the soups. This place also has the best margarita out of the ones I tasted.

Burro Alley in Santa Fe, NM

 

CAFE PARIS – Sunday “Brunch Dessert”

This cafe felt like something out of the movies. We enjoyed some white wine (they also offer champagne and a good sized wine list), creme brulée and a fruit tart. It has lovely murals on the wall as well as an outside patio. The proprietress was very very nice, and I would recommend this place to anyone. It is located on Burro Alley (above). 

So buy a cheap Southwest Airlines ticket and head over already! There’s eating to be done! 

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Filed under Bars / Happy Hour, Beyond Los Angeles, Restaurants

Happy Hour @ the Daily Grill

When going out, there are some things I truly cherish – drinking & getting more bang for your buck!

Last night I went to the Daily Grill by the Burbank Airport (pilots, anyone?) with one of my friends, and we were quite impressed.

The specials were $7 martinis (that all looked good with the exception of an “espresso martini” – makes me think of Popov mixed with Yuban grounds), $2 off a glass of wine, and $X for X beers (forgot to make a note of those, but I’m sure it’s a value). Additionally, they have appetizers for $2.95. BIG appetizers, for 3 bucks! Color me excited.

Here is what we ordered yesterday. Additionally, you can view a PDF of their menu online (http://www.dailygrill.com/menus/LOID-1-dinner.pdf):

Popcorn Shrimp –
Tempura Battered Rock Shrimp, Served
with Cocktail and Cajun Tartar Sauce
Note: Great dipping sauce. Tasted more like mayonnaise than Cajun, but you don’t see me complaining…

Spinach Artichoke Dip –
A Blend of Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Shallots
and Parmesan Cheese with a Touch of Cream,
Served Warm with Crostini

Note: Good dip, and stayed warm for a long time (which is good if you plan on hanging out for a while). Kerry, our server, was very nice and brought us extra crostini.

Also, for my wine I had the ’05 Dancing Bull Zinfandel- fruity, tasty and reasonable.

Kerry tipped us off that Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to go and people watch, so come by and check it out!

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Filed under Bars / Happy Hour

The Blessing of Devil Cookies

Yet another Paula Deen work of art.

Not Devil’s Food, mind you, but rather the addictive, guilty glory that is Paula Deen’s “Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies.” That is right, GOOEY BUTTER COOKIES. Considering I like my baked goods undercooked, this ‘gooey’ is a much more health-conscious alternative.  

This recipe first came my way from a friend who was lucky enough to catch Paula one afternoon and then nice enough to fill me in on the details. What I now give you is surprisingly easy and will earn you several brownie points (or cookie points, as it were) from the grateful recipients. 

(from http://www.foodnetwork.com)

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature 
1 stick butter, at room temperature 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix 
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

[Dana’s Note: You will have to refrigerate for several hours – see below – so no need to do this before mixing the dough.]

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.” Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

 

…see? Easy!

Now for my tips: 

#1: This dough is STICKY, so unless you want to look like one of those dirty kids from the Clorox commercials, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator between baking batches (after the initial two hours). 

#2: I found that a small bowl filled with powdered sugar is the best for coating the dough – you can roll the ball around like a truffle. Beware though: the powdered sugar tends to get absorbed into the greasy dough, so roll fast and shove ’em in the oven! 

#3: I cannot emphasize enough how useful it is to have wire cooling racks. They aren’t necessary, sure, but after several embarrassing moments of giving someone cookies lumped together in mountain form, I figured it was worth it. 

Enjoy, and go bribe your coworkers. 

 

 

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