Friday, November 2, 2012

Restaurant Review: Original Pete's

 Wow. It's been awhile since I posted here. During the last few weeks, I've been stressing out with assignments and papers.  Luckily one of my professors moved one of our paper due dates from the week before turkey break to after.  Even though there's going to be a two papers and possibly a presentation due that week, I don't mind.  A week more is always good for me :]

A few weeks ago, after a stroll around downtown, the bf and I decided to drive to Original Pete's. They have a nice selection of sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and pasta.  Along with my mother and grandmother, I like their Penne with Chicken, Feta, and Pine Nuts.  This could be easily made at home.  Saute some chicken, spinach, tomatoes... combine them with penne pasta and toss some feta cheese and pine nuts on it.  And there's a meal for you :D
I was almost going to choose this as my entree for the night, but I noticed that they added a new sandwich.  So, I choose the Grilled Wild Salmon BLT. I love BLTs.  It's probably the top sandwich I would eat at a restaurant.  I never had one with salmon, so it was something I had to definitely try.
Grilled Wild Salmon BLT: Wild Salmon grilled to flaky perfection. Served on a soft potato bun, with Pete’s citrus a├»oli, bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Served with my choice of a potato salad.

I thought the Salmon BLT was good and flavorful.  Was a nice, different twist on a classic sandwich.  The salmon complemented nicely with the other ingredients.  I have to try making this sandwich at home.  Original Pete's always gives me new ideas :]

The Bf's Chicken Gorgonzola Bowtie: Gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken, bacon, mushrooms, garlic, red and green onions, basil and rosemary in a creamy sauce with bowtie pasta.  Served with garlic bread.
Original Pete's is one of those restaurants where you can get lunch and dinner ideas for home.  Speaking of homemade meals, I will be posting some meals that I've made.  Look for those soon!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Restaurant Review: Sophie's Thai Cuisine

The Chico weather report mentioned that it's finally going to start raining next week.  Even though the weather has been nice, I could sure use some under the blankets and hot chocolate weather...  After a day of studying at school, my bf and I went to a restaurant close by, Sophie's Thai Cuisine.  It was our 2nd visit there.
If you ever want a a large hot noodle soup, come here! There soups will be perfect for the cold weather. Drizzle some hot sauce on it. So good...:] On the menu, it says that all of their noodle soups are single servings. But these soups come in large portions. Perfect for leftovers :]
The soup I had on the 1st visit: The combination noodle soup with tofu. Perfect.

I didn't take a picture of my 2nd visit, but I had the beef balls noddle soup. Also perfect.

This is one of the best Thai restaurants in Chico.  If your super hungry and want something hot, I suggest getting one of the noodle soups.  Next time, I will be trying their curries.

Sophie's Thai Cuisine
305 Nord Avenue, Chico, CA 95926

Friday, October 12, 2012

Waffle Time!

Ever since my bf gave me a waffle maker last year, I've been crazy over Belgian waffles.  I had alot of pancakes but never got to experience waffles at a younger age.  I would hear stories about my mother and aunts having good homemade waffles when they were young.  But then their waffle maker broke.  That ruined everything.  Here learned that having a good waffle maker is a key for making good waffles.  From what I heard from my mother, their waffle maker was the best, but I believe mine is too.

I have a Cuisinart round classic waffle maker. It was perfectly for me.  It simple, has a nonstick baking plates, red and green "ready to bake/ready to eat" indicator lights, and has a five-setting thermostat browning control.  I recommend this waffle maker if you want one.  It makes perfectly round waffles.

One night for dinner, I made some special waffles for my bf and I.

 Blueberry Belgian Waffles topped off with sliced bananas and drizzled with honey
Hash browns on the side
-For the mix I use Eating Right's Whole Wheat Pancake mix, where you have to add olive oil, milk, and eggs.  I don't use the easy, just add water pancake mix... ick.

-I added blueberries into the mix and put the mix into the waffle maker with a thermostat setting of 4.  I like my waffles a little brown.

-After its done I sliced up some bananas, threw it on the waffles.  While my bf drizzles his with plain old maple syrup, I like to drizzle mine with honey.

-And there's a perfect meal for anytime of the day.

Stay tuned for more waffle time posts! I will definitely experiment more with waffle making! :]

Friday, October 5, 2012

Samovar European Deli & Catering: European Food Delights

During summer, while I was at home I got the chance to stop by at Samovar European Deli and Catering in Mountain View.  I would always drive by it since it's Costco, Best Buy, REI, and Bed Bath & Beyond.  As I was driving with my mother to one of the stores, we both decided that we should stop in and take a look.  I figured that I could something back for my Russian bf. :]

Going into the store, we were greeted by the owners, a lovely Russian couple. We looked around the store for a few minutes until one of the owners asked if we needed any help. I told him that this was our first time in the store and I wanted to bring something back for my bf and I.  He took his time to help and guide us through the aisles, which was nice because some of the products was in Russian and I had alot of questions to ask.  My plan was to find the foods that my bf had introduced me too.  From the freezer aisle, I got some perogies, and in the desserts, it bought halva.

This little market not only sells groceries, but they are also part book store and restaurant.  Next time I come back in the area, I want to try having lunch there.  If you're in in the Mountain View Costco shopping center area and want to try European food, I recommend going here! The owners are super friendly.

Now for the food reviews...

1) Marble Sesame Halva
Halva is a Eastern Mediterranean dessert.
This was good! It was better than the previous halva tha I had, which was nut-based.  I thought that one was too dry and was bitter for me.  The marble sesame halva tasted alot better since it was sweeter.
We quickly ate this up...:D

2) Potato and Fried Onion Perogies 
Perogies are like Italian raviolis.  They are Eastern European dumplings that can be baked or fried in butter with onions, traditionally stuffed with potato fillings, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit.  The kind that I got was the frozen ones where all I had to do was boil them.
One night for dinner I boiled some perogies.  I added some chopped up pork and tomatoes, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and spices. Simple and good.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Restuarant Review: Basque Norte

About a month ago, it was our 2nd anniversary for my BF and I.  Like the year before, he wanted to surprise me and take me to a restaurant where we haven't gone before.  The previous year it was Lassen Steak House, which was disappointing.   More on that restaurant later if we ever go back to it.  This year, he took me to Basque Norte.  (Yes, I know this was a little awhile ago.  But you still have to give me credit for still reviewing this.) :]

This restaurant is tucked away in the quiet part of Chico.  Upon arriving, we had to wait a little by the bar area since we didn't have reservations I noticed that they serve tapas or Spanish cuisine appetizers.  Since we wanted to be seated in the dining room, not the bar, we ordered from the dinner menu.  On the dinner menu, they have main entrees like steak, seafood, fowl, lamb, baby back ribs and ravioli.  My BF and I choose the Brace of Quail.  We never had quail before, so we both had to try it.  The main entree comes with a various of sides that was shared between the two of us.

We started off with some french bread from the Tin Roof Bakery and tomato garlic soup (both not pictured).  Then came the relish plate with carrots, pickles, califlower, red peppers (top right).  On the bottom right, we have the house dinner salad.  On the left, there was the spaghettini with ajioli sauce.
On the top left, we have the green beans with dill and onions.  On the top right, there was the basque style red potatoes.  Then, on my plate (along with the pasta and salad) there was the spicy red beans seasoned with pork sausage.
And my main entree: Brace of Quail (2 oz. Pharaoh Quail: lightly floured, lightly seasoned, and deep-fried).
Last, we have the complimentary chocolate ice cream with whipped cream.

The service good-they were friendly and pleasant.  The environment was dark and quiet.  But that was okay for me because... it was our anniversary dinner... ha. When we got there I noticed that everyone who was leaving the restaurant had take-out boxes.  That could mean a few things...  I thought that my BF and I would finish everything off the table.  But that wasn't the case.  The sides were decent and were generous proportions for both of us.  With all of the food, we each had to take some side leftovers and we both saved one of our quails to eat later.
This restaurant is a bit on the high side for dinner prices.  I recommend going here for special occasions due to the prices.  But overall, good service and decent food.  Sometime in the future, I will come back and try their tapas. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Restaurant Review: Kinder's Meat & Deli

Last night, my bf and I decided to have dinner at Madison Bear Garden since I had a "Buy One, Get One Free" facebook offer for that day only. I was so excited. I wanted to try their Jiffy Burger (burger with creamy peanut butter and bacon. My heart is pounding thinking about it...)  When we showed up the line was out the door. Hungry, I didn't want to wait or make dinner at home so the bf suggested we go across the street to Kinder's Meat and Deli.  We both had one of their hot sandwiches.

The bf had Kinder' Cheeseburger (Two 1/3 lb Angus beef patties w/ American Cheese. Served with a  side of salad.
He said this sandwich is what he gets everytime he comes here.  Must be good.

I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich with a side salad.  This sandwich was pretty good considering I rarely have BBQ.  The side salad was a little small and average, but it made me have some greens for that day.  For the sandwich they added coleslaw to it, which made it a little creamy.  The meat was tender and I thought they put a generous amount in the sandwich.  But the highlight was the BBQ sauce.  That night they had the options of mild or spicy BBQ sauce.  I ended up getting a few ketchup cups of spicy BBQ sauce for the sandwich.  I kept on pouring the sauce on my sandwich. It was great.  The spicy BBQ sauce was smokey, sweet, and added a nice kick at the end.  If I ever do BBQ, I'm considering buying their BBQ sauce bottles they have in the deli.

Overall: So glad I finally got to try Kinder's. But the service was okay.  When we were waiting to order our food, we were standing behind a couple with their little kids, who was ordering from the counter.  A guy came in and stood behind us.  Then another cashier who came from the kitchen told the guy in back of us to go up to the counter and order from her.  I don't know if she saw us or she thought that we were with the family, but I thought that was rude.  She asked the guy if he was part of the group before us, but you would think she would ask us that too if she saw us.  But I decided to close my mouth and wait.
But a happy note: Now I know where to get good BBQ sauce :]

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Taste of Chico 2012

Last weekend, I got the chance to enjoy myself at the Taste of Chico.  For a few hours, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and beverage distributors from around the area gave samples on the downtown streets.  There were also art galleries and four live music stages.  There were three ticket options that were available for the event.  I decided to get the bf and I each the middle ticket option of 7 food samples and 6 non-alcohol beverages.  I was tempted to get next option with 9 food samples, but then we would've wasted our money on the alcohol drinks samples.  We are not much of alcohol drinkers...  I consider soda as my "drink of choice." :]

For the non-alcoholic drinks samples: 
-I had Jones Green Apple, Orange, Berry Lemonade, and Cream Pure Cane Soda: Loved it.
-Chico Chai: original chai with organic milk: 1st time I had Chai. Good!
-Some GNC's sports drink: tasted horrible!!!

For the food samples:

The first food sample that we both had to try was Lovely Layers Cakery.
Left Cupcake: Peanut butter cream (vanilla cake swirled with peanut butter, topped with peanut butter cream cheese, peanut butter streusel, and a chocalate drizzle.)
Right Cupcake: Strawberry Lemonade (strawberry cake, topped with cream cheese and lemon drizzle.)
OMGsh!!! So good! This wins the best for this festival!!! Wished I came back and not waste my last sample on Woodstocks. I have to go to their store and try the rest of their cupcakes!!! :]

Food sample that the bf tried was Bella's Sports Pub.
This was their Pulled Pork Sandwich (BBQ pulled pork served with coleslaw)

The 2nd food sample I tried was Crush
Brick Oven Meatballs (roasted tomato sauce, basil pasta, and fresh ricotta)

3rd food sample: Lucero
Top: Extra Virgin Olive Oil with bread
Right: Tequila Jalapeno Kiss Mustard
Bottom: Grilled Tomato Tomato Tapenade (tomatoes with inions, garlic, capers, with doses of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar)
Left: Green Olive Tapenade (red bell peppers, carrots, garlic, and parsley with green olives, extra virgin olive oil, and capers)

4th food sample: Leon Bistro
Beef Burger with carmelized onions
Beef Burger with fried egg and carmelized onions

Harvest Rice Salad: Local organic Aassa & Lundberg rice with local seared summer squash, sweet gypsy peppers, roasted local winter squash, toasted local walnuts, squash seeds tossed with Berkeley Farms olive oil, and Orland Cremery Feta.
On the side: Heirloom tomato and fresh peach salsa with Lundberg rice chips
This dish was so refreshing, healthy, and left me satisfied!

6th food sample: Mom's 
Pulled Pork Pancakes (corn pancakes with jalapeno cheese, chipotle pulled pork with a Carolina BBQ sauce & whiskey syrup)
Buttermilk Biscuit Bread Pudding (topped with a caramel sauce)
I hope this gets put on Mom's menu!!! I would definitely order this!!!

7th food sample: Upper Crust Bakery
Strawberry Triffle (strawberries, vanilla pudding, angel food cake topped with whipped cream)

8th food sample: Woodstock's Pizza
(Pepperoni Pizza: not worth taking a picture of.  This was my last sample of the day.  Everything else was either closed or ran out of food)

The winners for this event was Lovely Layers Cakery cupcakes, Mom's Buttermilk Biscuit Bread Pudding, and Chico Natural Food Co-Op salad. I cannot wait for the next Taste of Chico or any community event!!! :]