Churros cafe in Metairie, LA

Cuban sandwich

Churros Cafe
3100 Kingman St.
Metairie, LA

the front

This little gem is hidden away in a plaza off Veterans Memorial Blvd in Metairie by the Starbucks and Izzo Burrito. You know it’s the good stuff because the workers in the kitchen area only speak Spanish. The owner who works the cash register is fluent in English though, When I enter the small restaurant, my eye is immediately drawn to the table reserved for the “Cuban Mafia only” hahaha.

These empanadas were good and packed chockful of flavor. The outer crispy skin did not detract from the beefy flavor. This dish has similar origins to the Cuban sandwich, it was made portable for workers back in the day. The empanada is an individual portion of pie, meat and veggies wrapped in pastry dough.

gooey cheese

The cheese is my favorite part of any sandwich and this was no exception. You have no idea how excited I was when I opened my sandwich and saw this gooey cheese. I love Cuban sandwiches!

Cuban sandwich

This Cuban sandwich was voted best in the city and it’s easy to see why. Not a single detail is missed. The bread is toasted with butter and covered with spicy mustard. This sandwich includes ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, and pickles. Now, I’m not a fan of pickles, but I loved the pickles in this sandwich! The tangy sour pickle flavor offset the sweetness of the toasted butter. The reviews of this place rave about fresh ingredients which I must agree on, and I can definitely vouch for the flavor here!

i want more empanada!

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Wynn Buffet in Las Vegas, NV

prime rib

The Wynn Buffet
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Wynn Buffet

So Joe wanted us to come here at a time where we could pay for the lunch price but get the dinner menu. I was skeptical about this plan but when we got there, there were so many people that I knew this had to be true.

the buffet

There were so many stations! a meat station, an Italian station, a cheese station, an Asian station, an American station

sushi station

Lots of little soups

little soups

kalbi steak

I kid you not, they had prime rib and an entire turkey that looks like it belongs on a thanksgiving table

prime rib

 

 

turkey

. But of course, the longest line was for the crab legs  (all Asian people, I might add, in line). While i was waiting in line, I saw the platter dwindle and I was getting pissed off that it would run off before I got to the front of the line. Luckily, they had guys waiting with refills and they refilled it for the person in front of me. Fresh crab legs!

tons of crab legs

My 1st plate (trying to limit the amount of carbs): went with lox and cream cheese, sushi roll, kobe beef meat loaf, Kalbi steak, dim sum, egg roll., etc.

my 1st plate

Joe couldn’t resist the pizza

carb splurge

My two favorites: cheese and desserts!

 

lots of choices for dessert

 

trying a little bit of everything

the warm brownie was the clear winner of the desserts

 

Buffet (Wynn) on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Paula Deen’s Spinach Gruyere Puff Pastry

so yummy!

Ingredients

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 (17 1/2-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

slicing up mushrooms

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture.

draining the spinach

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, for 5 minutes. Stir together spinach, mushrooms and cheese; set aside. Roll 1 pastry sheet into a 13 by 11-inch rectangle.

mix everything

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Brush 1/2 melted butter over pastry. Spread 1/2 spinach mixture over butter. Roll-up, jellyroll fashion, starting with the long side. Repeat procedure with remaining pastry sheet, butter, and spinach mixture. (Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days, if desired.) Cut rolls into 1/4-inch thick slices.

fresh from the oven

Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

so yummy!

The Irish House in New Orleans

fish and chips

The Irish House
1432 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA

the restaurant

We came here because we had a groupon. I’ve driven by this place countless times and it always looked packed. So from the outside this place looked chill so I walked over (yes that’s right. i live close enough to walk) in my t-shirt, jeans, and Rainbows, only to discover shortly after taking this photo that this is actually a nicer bar than I had imagined. I had enough time to rush home, change into nice clothes and drive over and still get there to meet my friend on time. sweet.

soda bread

I believe this place opened in about August or so. The ambiance was nice, dark wooden tables and huge plasma screens all over the place. So i guess this would be a good place to watch Saints games (as if New Orleans watches anything else………maybe LSU games. but even then, someone told me that Tulane is jealous of LSU’s football team and so by default cheers whatever team is opposing LSU).

Guiness

They had a decent beer list so we went with a Guinness. Joe really enjoyed it.

cheesy fries

since I read online that the fries are good, we started off with the cheesy fries. I wouldn’t say these were amazing but they were good. Very hot (cheese was still melting on them as they came out)

fish and chips

Joe had the fish and chips. He didn’t like how the batter came off so easily from the fish. I tried a bite and thought it was good but Joe wasn’t a fan.

chicken wings

my friend ordered the chicken wings. she had had someone else’s wings at this venue a few nights ago and all she could think about were these wings. I tried one and thought they were pretty good. lots of sauce. make sure you have plenty of napkins nearby so you don’t look like a cavewoman like I did.

Bangers and mash

I had the bangers and mash and thought these were really good. The potatoes were creamy and the sausage was good. I always wondered where the term bangers and mash came from and so I looked it up and saw that in WWII, the British were rationing everything and the sausages were prepared in such a way (back then, not today) that if the sausages were left on high heat for too long, they exploded (BANG!).

chocolate tower

we ended our night with this chocolate trifle which was delish! Overall, I would say the experience was pretty solid (altho most of our food was English, not Irish) and kinda expensive for pubfare but we had a groupon.

RECIPE: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Cake

pumpkin gooey cake!

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

cake layer

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.

pumpkin filling

Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

pumpkin gooey cake!

Garden House in Lawrence, MA

jajangmyun

 

Garden House
108 Winthrop Avenue  Lawrence, MA 01843

(978) 691-5448Being one of two restaurants in the area to get Korean food, my family has been coming here for years. there’s another Korean restaurant in Lawrence not too far from this one but it’s constantly changing owners/managers/chefs and my parents ate here recently and were terribly dissatisfied with the quality of the korean buffet. (my mom said a lot of the food was days old).

tangsooyuk

We usually get the same few dishes, the sweet and sour beef (tangsooyuk). The beef is covered in a light batter and then deep fried while a thick, sweet and sour sauce is made separately and then poured onto the meat. we usually order to go because the area isn’t the safest at night (there’s actually a sign asking customers not to park in their own parking lot any more  because of recent frequent thefts). so it’s nice that they pack the sauces separate to keep things from getting soggy. I prefer the smaller pieces cuz they’re crunchier and easier to chew.

jajangmyun

so actually a friend of the family used to own this restaurant and he went to Korea to learn how to make really good jajangmyun and then came back and gave the recipe to this restaurant so whenever we go we almost always order the Double Jajangmyun (for a few bucks more, you can get double the amount). This dish is great for sharing. I love the black bean based sauce with lots of savory veggies.

jajangmyun

Garden House on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

golden brown

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

lots of spices

Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk.

wet ingredients

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well.

dry ingredients

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

golden brown

yummy cookies

Tracey’s in New Orleans, LA

Reuben

Tracey’s
2604 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

entrance

I came here because of a Groupon but I had actually been wanting to check out this place for a while. One of my friends eats here regularly cuz of their wings and reubens so I wanted to check it out.

menu

it was fun trying to figure out how to spend $20 at Tracey’s! So many choices. I ended up asking the guy behind the counter for local favorites (whenever I go out with my big camera, ppl assume I’m a tourist and they always ask me where I’m from……….then I say I live on St. Charles Ave and hide behind my camera).

ambiance

I feel that this place is more Irish then the Irish House on St. Charles Ave. For one thing, there’s a counter on the Tracey’s website counting down to St. Patrick’s Day. True Irish!! Apparently Tracey’s is the original Irish bar in New Orleans. When I walked in, the number of TV’s in the place was astonishing. Then I looked online to see that this is the only bar with 20 TV’s!

hot sausage po boy

my friend had the hot sausage po boy which came highly recommended by the girl behind the counter. She said that this was their po boy served at the po boy fest and they sell out all the time. I sneaked a bite and it was really good. The sausage had a kick to it.

cheesy fries

we split an order of cheesy fries so that our total could be $20. these were great!

Reuben

I had the reuben which came with a side of potato salad. the reuben was delicious. The meat was juicy and the sauce was off the rocks! The potato salad wasn’t great, but not terrible either. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of potato salad.

potato salad

Tracey's on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Soondooboo Jiggae (Korean spicy soft tofu stew)

this is not for the light of heart

Ingredients
Soft Tofu
oil
garlic
red pepper flakes
shrimp stock
shrimp chopped
baby shrimp
onion chopped
mushroom chopped
zucchini chopped

Directions
1. Heat the soup bowls on the stove top

heating up the bowls

soft tofu from the asian market

prep the veggies

2. Once hot, pour in oil and add garlic and red pepper flakes.

add garlic, oil and red pepper flakes

3. Add shrimp stock, onions and mushroom.

add shrimp stock and veggies

4. Add the soft tofu and green onions.

letting stuff boil

5. Boil until the tofu has absorbed some of the color of the soup (cooked through).

some like it non-spicy

my parents and my brother don’t like theirs spicy, so they barely have any red pepper flakes.

this is not for the light of heart

I like mine spicy so it has a ton of red pepper flakes. But don’t add the red pepper flakes once the broth is in because it will just float (you need to add it before with the oil).

Sundubu jjigae (순두부찌개)