First is the cake we made for my boyfriend's (David) father. Happy Birthday John!! We were going to make an M&M cake but then his mom got the idea to make a jayhawk (Kansas University's mascot) cake and we thought we'd still add M&Ms. We used a recipe we found online to make a yellow cake, it didn't rise though so we had to make another one so the cake was tall enough. We iced with a buttercream icing and dyed a few bags to make the jayhawk. I made the outline, David colored it in and then he did the M&Ms, his dad loved it! The second set of pictures are from the pumpkin crab risotto we made. It doesn't look great but trust me, IT WAS DELICIOUS. I was a bit unsure about the combination of flavors but nothing was too overpowering, it was delicious, creamy very satisfying.
Alice's Tea Cup (chapter II) is my sister's favorite place to take people in NYC for brunch. Its adorable but the food is not as good as the place is cute. I'll let her go she's only been in New York for a few months, I'm sure she'll find better places ;) So she and I ordered a Mad Hatter which was a choice of 3 scones, 2 sandwiches, an assortment of desserts and two pots of tea. Our scone choice consisted of a ham and cheese, lemon raspberry, and a pumpkin scone. I picked Alice's BLT and my sister had the curried chicken salad sandwich. The desert was a chocolate mousse with assorted cookies. Our choice of teas were an indian chai and a ginger peach. The indian chai was watery and our second pot was better but still not great, the ginger peach was delicious. The lemon raspberry scone was the best one, next came the pumpkin one, and my least favorite was the ham and cheese(I was mostly curious when choosing this option). The BLT was OK but I didn't realize it had blue cheese on it which I am not a fan of, it also had lettuce that should have been used in a salad (my favorite for a BLT is boston lettuce but romaine would have been fine), and there was too much bacon for my taste. The curried chicken salad was delicious with a hint of sweet from the raisins and apples. The mousse was nothing special but there was a surprise of white chocolate mousse layering underneath the chocolate. The cookies were just butter cookies and I could have done without considering i wasn't hungry. We only ate about half of each scone, the sandwiches, and the mousse, everything else went into a doggie bag. The rating for this one is ok but I wouldn't eat there again.
I did it, what i always say I'm not gonna do. I ate at a place I worked at before, but I only got soup so I guess its ok. My friend and I couldn't find a place to go on Sunday for a super late lunch, we wanted to check out Distrito but it was closed. We drove aimlessly around west philly and then walked aimlessly and decided upon Marathon Grill on 40th and Walnut, also known as MarBar. Freshman year I worked at a Marathon Grill (16th and Sansom) and I'll admit I loved working there but its just a policy of mine not to eat where I've worked once I'm done working there. Marathon Grill is a family owned chain (there are 5 all over the city). Their food is what i would call "Applebees" style but with a way better atmosphere and experience, oh and breakfast options. Anyway we were too late to make the Brunch menu although they do have a breakfast all day menu so Adam got a meatloaf sandwich and Lentil and Ham soup and I also had the same soup (I was sick so soup was perfect). The soup was delicious, warm, think, had a good taste, the beans weren't too broken down, and the ham chunks weren't too big. It was very filling and I couldn't even finish mine. The meatloaf sandwich was as to be expected, kind of boring, nothing special, topped with onions and bacon. Although the sandwich was boring the fries were delicious, thin, crispy, not mealy/squishy on the inside, and just the right amount of salt. All in all not too bad but everyone says the breakfasts are the best at Marathon especially the different kinds of egg dishes.
A friend and her daughter came to stay with me so they took me out to dinner! We didn't want to get stuck in traffic (because of the SEPTA strike) in center city so we went to a greek place a friend of mine had gone to recently called Zorbas Taverna. Its a smaller place that was as it said a tavern. Our waiter was very nice and attractive =) We ordered saganaki (kaseri cheese, usually fried in some way) this one was deep fried, huge, but delicious as always. For dinner Jessie ordered a salad while Jenn and I attempted to eat the hugemongous charcoal sampler(meateaters galore) which consisted of lamb, gyro prepared lamb, kebab chicken, chicken breast, pork kebab, sausage, yellow potatoes, rice and beans, and a vegetable mishmosh containing eggplant. All was delicious, my favorites were the chicken breast, gyro prepared lamb, and the potatoes (prepared in a different way then I've ever had them, they were yellow). There was also a dipping sauce which I think was greek yogurt with herbs. Jessie liked her salad, nothing to special or extravagent. The price was pretty good, nothing was too expensive, our sampler was 28.00 and 14.00 a person with a ton of leftovers is pretty good for good food if you ask me.
It was my boyfriends birthday so i wanted to make him breakfast in bed because breakfast is his favorite. I made a spinach, sundried tomato, locatelli, provolone, swiss quiche, pumpkin pancakes with pumpkin butter syrup (trader joe's pumpkin butter mixed with syrup and heated up),and breakfast sausage from reading terminal. Then for lunch i made him a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing(individual portion style). Everything was delicious! I also included a picture of one of the pizzas we made at his sister's the night before (no-rise pizza dough, veggie sausage, bruschetta, onions, and a cheese mix), also delicious.
The international business association went to the UN so then we got to have lunch in New York! Some of the ladies from IBA and I went to Fabio Piccolo Fiore. There one of my friends had a tomato mozzarella salad and then linguine with olives, calamari, and fresh tomatoes in a red sauce. I thought there was too strong of a seafood flavor. I had the penne alla vodka, it was very good, in my opinion the best out of what everyone got, just simple, creamy, and rich in flavor. Another girl had fettuccine al fredo which was good and simple. And the last girl had cheese ravioli which I thought were delicious (but i still liked mine better).
My sister came to Philly so we tried out a new breakfast spot Honey's Sit and Eat ! She had an apple french toast with raspberry sauce. I had stuffed french toast, stuffed with nutella, pears, and strawberries with a side of turkey sausage. One of my friends had a western omlette and the other friend had huevos rancheros. Everything was delicious except for the turkey sausage which was dry and really not worth eating. And FINALLY for dessert we all shared a fried banana split with chocolate and strawberry icecream.
When choosing my restaurant week restaurant this year I was very picky and considered a few options. Noble American Cookery stuck out because of their website to me, I'm all about aesthetics. It was simple and the food looked beautiful. I then happened upon chef Cameron's blog where i read " Local farms who practice sustainability...I want to emphasize and encourage their usage on the menu. Our resources are the heritage of the restaurant. I want to be responsible. I want to limit waste, recycle, support. This is American Cookery. This is Noble." I fell in love (i'm into being environmentally sustainable and conscious) and the restaurant luckily lived up to my expectations. We arrived and there was a bar sort of seating area attached to the front, adorable, and we were taken upstairs. When we looked up we saw the glass between the rafters and thought it would be a great location during the day to see the sun and sky right through the ceiling. Our server came to greet us right away and was attentive and friendly. After we ordered the bread man came over and gave us three selections of breads for us to choose from ( sourdough, baguette, and olive oil) we each chose a different one. Our appetizers arrived being; heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, garden chili in a 50 year sherry and a crab puff, roasted bluefoot mushrooms with kobocha, mizuna, dried tomato and a pumpkin vinaigrette, and arctic char(fish) with sliced garden vegetables and corn juice. For our main courses we had a pork chop with potato dumplings and a tomato preserve, roasted valley chicken over summer squash casserole, and pan-roasted wild east coast striped bass with purple potato salad and virgin sauce. For dessert we had strawberry shortcake on a lemon biscuit and champagne sabayon and a chocolate lava cake with peanut butter inside with a side of pb marshmellow and berry sauce. Everything was amazing, our server was attentive, my friends also had coffee which they said was good, the ambiance was great, not too loud, not too quiet, beautiful furniture. As a whole the experience was wonderful. My friend and I have a rule not to go to the same restaurant twice but I will definitely break that rule for Noble.
This little cafe caught my eye when I needed to kill some time in New York before I got on the subway. The Cosmopolitan Cafe was a small place that only took cash, adorable. Small tables, old style cash register, very nice and personal service. I ordered a turkey blt which was beautiful as you can see. Although it looked awesome the taste was so-so. On the negative side the bread was very tough and the avocados were not ripe. On the positive side the salad on the side was delicious as well as the lettuce used in the sandwich and the dressing on the salad. I would go again and try something else though the atmosphere was definitely the best part.
Seven friends and I just went to The Palm for restaurant week ($45 including tax and tip for an appetizer, entree and desert). In order starting the lobster bisque, chicken parmesan, with the linguine on top, fliet mignon, 16oz. NY strip steak, straws with cottage fries, salmon, crab cakes, and key lime pie. All of the portions were distastefully large, especially for a tasting promotion. Neither of my friends (who are big eaters) could finish their chicken parmesan. Except for the portions it was a good meal, the salmon was good and the crab cakes although a little wet were excellent. The chicken parmesan was nothing special, i was told the steak was amazing, and the lobster bisque was also very good. The key lime pie was hard to enjoy because it was so large but what i ate was good and unlike most of the key lime pies I have seen in the past. It was a good meal, nothing too special but worth the money.