Yo Mama’s in New Orleans

peanut butter and bacon burger

Yo Mama’s
727 St. Peter
New Orleans, LA

the front

This bar has a prime location in the middle of the Quarter. Is it weird that so many bars were open on a Sunday morning? We got to lunch a bit early (like 11 AM) but I wanted to make sure we got seats. When we arrived, we were offered seats upstairs or downstairs, and when we went upstairs we couldn’t tell that it was daytime so we came back downstairs.

peanut butter and bacon burger

this burger has a ton of hype around town so I tried it. I will say that it is very creative to combine peanut butter and bacon. I just don’t know if it works with the texture of ground meat….But it was delicious.

loaded baked potato

I ordered the loaded baked potato which was pretty usual for a baked potato.

texas BBQ burger

Joe had the texas BBQ burger which did come out with a bunch of avocado on top. He had ordered his burger medium and it came out well done an super dry (even with the salsa on it).  He was not a fan of this burger….

mac and cheese

His came with mac and cheese on the side which was very bland and overcooked. I guess this place is alright for bar but not really for the food (*sorry to everyone who loves these burgers, I was just not wow-ed by them).

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Teriyaki House in Orlando, FL

salt and pepper chicken

Teriyaki house
5600 W Colonial Dr
Ste 108
Orlando, FL 32808

the front

We actually extended our stay in Orlando just to eat at this place for lunch. When we came a little before lunch, every table (all 8) were taken because 3 huge chinese families were eating together. Unfortunately, we had walked in right after them and they had ordered a ton of dishes.  If we had known that when we placed our order, we would have to wait over an hour, we probably would’ve just hit the road.

Order Here

Everything is in Chinese and the owners barely speak English. I thought since my significant other speaks Chinese, that we’d be all set. But noooooo. We got there and he had no idea what to order. There was this one dish that I wanted but Joe didn’t know the name of it and a woman that had ordered before us looked at my picture of the food I wanted and she ordered for us.

stinky tofu

Joe said that this is a Taiwanese staple and it was delicious! The tofu def did not smell good but it was great for all the other senses. It was crispy, it was sweet, and it was delicious.

salt and pepper chicken

this was my favorite by far, the salt and pepper chicken came with its own dry dip (Joe said it’s a mixture of salt and black pepper). It was super crunchy (almost broke a tooth!) and the chicken flavor was enhanced by the dry dip.

mapo tofu

This was our attempt to eat healthy: mapo tofu. Even this dish is one of the well known chinese dishes, this was probably my least favorite.  The flavors just didn’t mesh well at all. And the soggy composition was just unpleasant after having so many other crispy and crunchy items.

twice cooked pork

Joe insisted on this dish. We both agreed it was pretty good and it came with a “Thousand year old egg” and Chinese sausage. The sausage was sooooooooooo good. I thought Joe wasn’t eating it so I reached over and ate half of it in one bite and he said “I was saving that!” Whoops. Anywho, awesome food for a great price, but you need to be able to read the menu cuz it’s in Chinese.

menu in chinese

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Tacos Lupita in Haverhill, MA

"vegetarian burrito"

Tacos Lupita
194 River St
Haverhill, MA 01832

the front

I’m not too familiar with Haverhill but when I read about this place, I really wanted to check it out. Luckily for me, this restaurant is on the major street right off of HWY 495 which makes driving here really convenient. But I did drive right by it when I was looking it. The red sign blends in well with the brick. Street parking is a bit tough to find but there are a few 15 min spots right in front.

lots of choices

For vegetarians though, seek elsewehere. My mom usually goes for vegetarian burritos but the only option here was rice, beans, tomatoes and lettuce which is pretty disappointing for vegetarians. They also don’t have any seafood options for those of you who thought, well I am a vegetarian but I also eat fish.

"vegetarian burrito"

My brother and I got the steak burritos. The meats all looked great and there were so many juicy flavors: al pastor, steak, chicken, chorizo (pork sausage). This authentic mexican joint is a gem outside of Boston. This is great for those who don’t want to deal with the chaos that is Boston traffic and parking. The food is great and all the prices are under $10 per entree (the burritos were like $5!!). They also serve tacos (hard shell, soft shell), quesadilla, gorda (Mexican sandwich).

my extra spicy steak burrito

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RECIPE: Julia Child’s Stuffed Eggplant

broiled eggplant

Julia Child’s Stuffed Eggplant
Ingredients:
3 eggplants
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound finely minced fresh mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 1/2 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter

  1. Stem the eggplants and halve them lengthwise.
  2. Cut striations 1″ apart in the flesh, going down to about 1/4″ above the skin.  Try very hard not to go through the skin.

    cutting up eggplant

  3. Preheat your broiler.
  4. Sprinkle the flesh with salt and lay the eggplants flesh-side down on the towel for half an hour.  This will help remove any bitterness in the eggplant.
  5. Gently squeeze the eggplant to remove any excess liquid.  Pat dry.
  6. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in the roasting dish.  Put about 1/8″ of water in the bottom of the dish and drizzle the eggplants with olive oil.
  7. Broil 10 – 15 minutes, until the flesh is moderately browned and tender.

    broiled eggplant

  8. Remove all but 1/4″ of the eggplant meat with a spoon and chop.  Place it in the mixing bowl.
  9. Heat the first 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet.
  10. Slowly cook the onions in the oil until tender but not browned.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add to the mixing bowl with the eggplant.
  12. Heat the 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet and add the mushrooms.  Saute until lightly browned and tender, 5 – 6 minutes.  Season to taste and add to the mixing bowl.
  13. Mash the cream cheese in the second bowl with the parsley.
  14. Add the basil, taste for seasoning and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
  15. All of these steps can be performed in advance.
  16. About 40 minutes before you are ready to serve the eggplants, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  17. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture from the mixing bowl.

    filling the eggplants

  18. Combine the bread crumbs and Jarlsberg and top the eggplants with the mixture.
  19. Roast 25 – 30 minutes to thoroughly heat and to brown the topping.
  20. Cut each half into two pieces and serve.

    delicious!

Juice Bar in Boston, MA

black sesame seed milk tea

Juice Bar
44 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA

the front

After we had read thru the menu, we tried to order but the woman behind the counter was pointing to items on the menu so I was scared that something would get lost in translation and I would end up with the wrong order. Luckily,that was not the case. As I took my camera out to take pictures, the woman said something in very loud chinese and when she realized that I didnt understand, she pointed to my camera and shook her head no very violently.

taro milk tea

black sesame seed milk tea

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RECIPE: Jajangmyun (Korean noodles in black bean sauce)

yummy!

Ingredients
Noodles (I liked the hand-cut noodles from the frozen section of asian grocery stores)
black bean paste (few huge tablespoons)
sirloin steak cubed  about a lb
one large white onion chopped
one large zucchini chopped and some can be sliced thinly for topping
1 clove of garlic diced

Directions
1. Make the noodles by hand……….. Just kidding!! Go to the freezer section of your local oriental grocery market and look for the already made noodles. Be sure to separate these before putting them into the boiling pot of water (with oil to help keep the noodles apart when cooking).

separated noodles

2. Heat a large saute pan and add oil. Once hot, add garlic, sliced onions and black bean paste (also from an oriental market, look in the sauce aisle). Once the onions are cooked, add water.If you plan on having a meat in here (like chopped up sirloin or pork), add it with the garlic and sliced onions.

sauce

3. Once the sauce is an even consistency, add the zucchini (it cooks very fast so we save it for the end).

4. Once the noodles are done, put it in a collander and then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

5. Arrange noodles in serving bowls and pour black bean sauce on top. And then add sliced zucchini on top for added freshness.

yummy!

this is one of my favorite dishes to eat. my extended relatives all live in Los Angeles which is famous for their Koreatown. My grandfather’s dental office is actually across the street from a very popular Korean mall which has a Sino-Korean (chinese/korean) restaurant on the first floor in front of the water fountain. I have happy memories of my grandpa taking me and my sister here first thing whenever we flew in from BOS to LAX. My grandparents would watch in amazement as I would inhale my entire bowl without coming up for air. My mom has told me a bunch of times that this is a dish that I should not eat while on a date (cuz you get brown sauce all over your face).

Jajangmyeon (자장면/ 炸醬麵)

Guru the Caterer in Somerville, MA

chicken tikka masala

Guru the Caterer
1297 Broadway
Somerville, MA

the front

I was having a hankering for Indian food but didn’t want to deal with the crazy boston lunch rush. This place opened at 11 AM, so while in my pajamas at 11:10 AM, I called this place from my bed in Andover to place an order for take out (should take like 20-30 min which is about the time it will take for my commute). When I called to place my order, the guy on the phone said “10 minutes.” I thought “CRAP!” and jumped out of bed and got ready so fast and yet I was still 20 minutes late to pick up my food. The awesome thing was that my food was waiting for me on a heater and so when I finally got my food home, it was still warm.When I got to this location, I could see why this is a take out location, there were only 2 tables!

chicken tikka masala

This chicken tikka masala lived up to its hype. This was one of the best I’ve ever had. It came with a side of aloo methi (potatoes with fenagreek leaves and spices).

sloo methi

the flavor of the aloo methi was actually too strong for me

samosa

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the filling was the kind where they mash up everything and then put it inside the dough. I prefer the other way where you can tell what is what.

RECIPE: Lobster

yummy lobsters

Live lobsters from the shore (not Jersey)

Ingredients:
Live Lobsters
Butter
Lemon

my mom named this one Mr. Lobster

Directions:
1. Boil the water
2. Melt the butter and squeeze in lemon

cut up the lemon

3. Add live lobster to boiling water until the shells are a nice bright red.

yummy lobsters

Being a Boston girl, my mom said I should know how to crack my own lobster so I gave it a shot. First you flip it upside down so that the stomach part is up, then you run a knife from the neck (??) to the tail. Then crack on either side of the tail to help crack the shell, then pull out the tail intact if you can (it takes mad skills!). Then crack the claws for the rest of the meat. yea, can you believe it? for how expensive a freaking lobster is, about only 20% of it is edible lobster meat.

check out those skills!!!

 Some other seafood recipes
Bruschetta with shrimp
honey ginger grilled salmon
Salmon cakes
Salmon in chipotle sauce
Spicy korean fried shrimp

Zoe’s in Baton Rouge, LA

vegetable skewers

Zoe’s
7707 Bluebonnet Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA

ambiance

Me and my friends happened to be in Perkins Rowe and decided to grab a quick bite to eat at an affordable price. I was told that this place was the solution. This place reminds me of Panera (all you Northerner’s will know what I’m talking about).

chicken kabob

The chicken kabob plate comes out with 2 skewers, grilled peppers and onion, tomato, rice pilaf and side greek salad. The rice pilaf wasn’t amazing but the chicken was juicy. Ok, maybe a Panera with a Greek influence.

vegetable kabob

The vegetable kabob plate had charbroiled portobello, zucchini, peppers, onion, tomato, braised white beans, and side greek salad. Dear Vegetarians, you will not be disappointed!

steak roll-ups

I had the steak roll-ups with sliced tri-tip, swiss, sauteed mushroom, caramelized onions, and dipping sauce which was some sort of blue cheese dressing. The steak was of good quality and surprisingly tasty. When I saw this, I thought oh man, I”m not going to fill up on this but I was wrong! I was a comfortable full (the level past “when’s my next snack” but before “why did I do this to myself!”).

chocolate cake

This had to be one of the moistest, richest chocolate cakes ever. It was spectacular and now I know where to go to assuage my sweet tooth.

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