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Food | Ryan's Blog

Archive for the ‘ Food ’ Category

Geoffrey’s – Malibu, CA

So I had a day off of work and was trying to think of something to do.  I get so few off I didn’t want to waste it.  I was going over several hiking trails, and found Escondido Canyon.  Of course you need to eat before you hike, and luckily I found this amazing place next to the trail called Geoffrey’s.  

While you may feel a bit underdressed in your hiking cloths, jeans and t-shirts are just fine for lunch.   When you pull in, you will need to valet your car (unless you can find parking on PCH).  It’s only $5 and included on your bill.  

When you walk through the entrance to the patio to be seated, breathtaking panoramic views of the Malibu coastline hit you on all sides.  It was a perfectly clear day and you could see all the way to Palos Verdes, Catalina, and the Channel Islands.

Enough on the view – the real reason you go to a restaurant is to eat, right?   You won’t be disappointed.  I ordered the lunch filet with vegetables.  Extremely tender and perfectly seasoned, the filet was accompanied by a exquisite sauce. 

If lunch is any indication of dinner, I would imagine it would be absolutely amazing.  I’d love to come back for a sunset dinner on a full moon to enjoy the view and great food.

Official Website:
http://www.geoffreysmalibu.com/

Contact Info:
27400 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA  90265
(310) 457-1519

Restaurant:
 34° 1’31.06″N
118°46’10.70″W

 

Geoffrey's Malibu on Urbanspoon

Fresh Foods Cafe – Long Beach, CA

My friend told me about this place in Long Beach that has an amazingly fresh and progressive menu.   While it is a bit hard to find, it is well worth the hunt!  It is located right in the Catalina Landing Building (where the Catalina Express departs).  They even have 90 minute free parking if you can find it (use the coordinates below).  

I’ve been to Fresh Foods Cafe several times now, and I still haven’t tried everything I wanted to try on the menu.  They have great daily specials to spice things up.   Every time I get the soup – it is always amazing.   If you like fresh salads, you can watch them make it in front of you. 

Prices are very reasonable – every time I went I never paid more than $12.   My favorites would be the turkey sandwich, and rotisserie chicken.  Both are extremely moist.  The bread is extremely fresh and must be made daily.   Their motto is “Everything Fresh, Every Day.  We do not buy it, we make it.”  I go back so often I signed up for their “I like it Fresh” club which gets you free food after so many dines.

Official Website:
http://freshfoodscafe.com/

Contact Info:
340 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 980.9200

Cafe:
 33°45’48.22″N
118°12’1.63″W

 

Fresh Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

Dixie Crossroads – Titusville, FL (Orlando Area)

On our way back from Kennedy Space Center, we stopped at the Dixie Crossroads seafood restaurant off a recommendation from my Aunt.   Even though she gave great directions, there was no trouble finding the place with its huge red neon sign. 

We arrived at around 6:30PM on a Sunday evening and the waitress was quoting us a 40 minute wait.  From the size of the waiting area, 40 minutes seemed to be pretty quick.   They have a beautiful outdoor waiting area set in a lush park-like fashion.  While you’re waiting, you can take a look at the Dixie Crossroads merchandise, or head over to the bar to get a drink.     

The wait was well worth it.  We were actually seated in about 30 minutes, so that was a nice surprise.  The Rock Shrimp was absolutely amazing.  You could tell they were very fresh and were seasoned to perfection.   We will definitely be coming back next year!

Official Website:
http://www.dixiecrossroads.com/

Contact Info:
1475 Garden Street
Titusville FL 32796
(321) 268-5000

Restaurant:
 28°36’54.78″N
 80°49’14.30″W

 

Dixie Crossroads on Urbanspoon

Parkers Blue Ash Grill – Cincinnati, OH (Blue Ash)

This was my third visit to Parker’s  Blue Ash Grill.  Their warm crackling fire was very welcoming on a cool fall evening.  Since I wanted to watch the game, I opted to have dinner in their bar area next to the fireplace, fully equipped with  large screen TVs.

Looking for something light, I opted for the broiled Tilapia.  Paired with steamed spinach with fresh garlic and roasted potatoes it was exactly what I had in mind.  The food has always been very fresh and flavorful.   In the past I’ve also enjoyed and recommend the filet.   For lunch, their 1/2 sandwitch and 1/2 soup (baked potato) is an exceptional value.

Official Website:
http://www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersblue/index.html

Contact Info:
4200 Cooper Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242
(513) 891-8300

Restaurant:
39°14’16.69″N
84°23’30.09″W

Parkers Blue Ash Grill

Parkers Blue Ash Grill - Tilapia

Parkers Blue Ash Grill on Urbanspoon

Vineyard Cafe and Wine Bar – Cincinnati, OH

Overall, the Vineyard Cafe and Wine bar is my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati. I’ve been there about four times now and every time has been a memorable experience. From dining on their patio overlooking Hyde Park Square in the summer, to dining in their cozy wine room on a cold fall night; each time the food, service, and hospitality were top notch.

Located in Hyde Park, the restaurant is surrounded by quaint little shops that warrant a visit. Just be sure to shop before dinner as many close around 5.

To start off, I highly recommend the Brushetta Trio. You get to try olive tapenade, boursin hummus, and sun dried tomato basil spread all in one appetizer.

For dinner my favorite is the Tenderloin Medallions. The sauce that comes with them is perfectly paired with the steak. I always worry that the sauce will take away from the high quality of meat, but this truly did accent the flavor instead of masking it.

If you have enough room for dessert, try the Key Lime Tart. The best way to describe it would be an explosion of lime flavor in every bite. The flaky graham cracker crust is rich and buttery.

I make it a point to come back at least once every time I visit.

Official Website:
http://www.vineyardwineroom.com/

Contact Info:
2653 Erie Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 871-6167

Restaurant:
39° 8’22.60″N
84°26’36.90″W

 Vineyard Cafe - Patio

Vineyard Cafe

Vineyard Cafe - Medallions

Vineyard Cafe on Urbanspoon

Number Nine Noodles + Beer – Long Beach, CA

I talked my friend into having dinner (even though we were trying to be good and eat at home). We’ve wanted to go back to this new Vietnamese restaurant called Number Nine Noodles & Beer, located in the recently revitalized 4th street Art Theater area.

The narrow setup of Number Nine is very New York esque. It is very clean, to the point and efficient.

For an appetizer we decided to start with the vegetarian spring rolls. The waitress made up our minds when she told us the spring rolls weren’t deep fried like the egg rolls (still trying to be good). Don’t be shy with the tasty peanut sauce.

During our last visit, we had the Soda Chan Vietnamese Lemonade. It was VERY delicious. This time I thought I would try something new and had the lychee infused jasmine iced tea. It was okay, but I definitely prefer the lemonade.

Since it was a bit chilly outside, I decided to have the chicken rice noodle soup (pho). It comes with tender chicken, fresh herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, scallions, and an amazing broth. There were also two sauces that came with it for you to add at your discretion – one spicy and one that had a smoky BBQ flavor.

We’ll definitely be back, however we both decided it was too much food for two and instituted a 3 person minimum for appetizers.

Official Website:
http://www.numberninenoodles.com/

Location:
2118 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA  90814
(562) 434-2009

Restaurant :
33°46’17.92″N
118° 9’57.77″W

 

Number Nine Noodles + Beer

Number Nine Noodles -  Chicken Soup

Number Nine Noodles - Spring Rolls

Number Nine on Urbanspoon

Bai-Plu Thai Food and Aki Sushi Bar – Long Beach, CA

Tonight I recommended that our Thursday night dinner group try Aki Sushi & Bai-Plu Thai restaurant.  While you won’t find a Ferrari in the neighborhood, its not as bad as some reviews make it out to be.   I really like the fact that they have a decent sized parking lot on site so it is easier to find parking.  Don’t park in the back unless you want to enlist the help of a fellow restaurant patron to get you out.

When it came time to order, the waiter asked how spicy I’d like my steak salad.   “Medium?”, he suggested…  Being the only male in the group tonight, it must have been my primal machismo speaking when I nonchalantly agreed with him.  Not to fret, though.   The waiters have a sixth sense that tells them exactly when you are about to run out of water, and are back promptly to refill your glass.

The Spicy Beef Salad is marinated in a lime sauce that gives it an incredible flavor.    Another favorite is the Spicy Chicken Soup (Tom Yum Kai) which has chicken, lemon grass, mushrooms, lime juice and chili.  The ladies also tried a caterpillar roll which they said was very good.  We’ll definitely be going back.

Official Website:
http://www.akibaiplu.net/

Contact Info:
1626 East 7th Street
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 436-3123

Restaurant:
33°46’30.91″N
118°10’16.55″W

Aki Sushi Bar

Steak Salad

Spicy Chicken Soup (Tom Yum Kai)

Caterpillar Roll

Aki's Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

La Muse Cafe – Long Beach, CA

It was a perfect day out, so I decided to go to one of my favorite outdoor lunch destinations, La Muse Cafe.    Ideally located on Ocean Ave, it is close to the downtown office high rises, while still allowing you to enjoy the fresh ocean breeze on their outdoor patio.

I had the “Melpomene the Songstress” crepe, consisting of chicken, cheese, spinach, and caramelized mushrooms.  The mushrooms definitely made the crepe.  Now I have a new favorite item on the menu!  Also recommended is the San Pellegrino Limonata (lemonade).   Even though it is Italian, it goes very well with the food.

Official Website:
http://www.lamusecafe.com/

Contact Info:
455 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA  90802
(562) 432-1965
LaMuseCafe@verizon.net

Restaurant:
33°46’0.15″N
118°11’12.25″W

La Muse Cafe

La Muse Cafe - Crepe

La Muse East Village Cafe on Urbanspoon

455 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, California
90802

El Callejon – Laguna Beach, CA

On our way back from the wedding, we decided to go to the beach for a few hours and grab some lunch on the way home.  We didn’t know of a good Mexican place along PCH, so while we were walking in Laguna, my cousin asked a police officer where you could get good guacamole.

We were definitely happy with the suggestion.   The food was very fresh, tasty and the service was quick and friendly.   The skylight and great decor gives you the illusion that you are dining outside somewhere in Mexico.

I had two Carne Asada tacos a la carte, along with their freshly made guacamole, salsa, and chips.  Everything was very delicious.  Perfect for lunch.  If you are in a fiesta mood, try one of their 750 different brands of tequilla.

Official Website:
http://www.el-callejon.com/el_callejon/Laguna_Main.html

Contact Info:
480 South Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-5999

Restaurant:
33°32’26.49″N
117°46’55.33″W

El Callejon

El Callejon - Inside

El Callejon - Carne Asada

El Callejon on Urbanspoon

Campanile – La Brea Bakery – Los Angeles, CA

Before our hike today, we though we’d stop by La Brea Bakery for lunch. When we arrived, we found an upscale option that was affiliated with the bakery called Campanile.  We were a little under dressed, however the airy, natural concept of the restaurant drew us in.

The atmosphere was casual, polished, and elegant.   For my main course I had the BLT.  I know what you’re thinking… BLT, how original.  The fact was that this BLT was anything but ordinary.   Thick slices of bacon, perfectly ripe tomatoes, crispy lettuce and an exquisite sauce served open face on fresh La Brea Bakery bread made for the best BLT of my life.

For desert, we shared a chocolate cup cake, complete with freshly whipped cream.  Absolutely sinful.     We decided to hike an extra few miles, but it was worth every step.

Official Website:
www.campanilerestaurant.com

Contact Info:
624 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-1447

Restaurant:
34° 3’50.90″N
118°20’37.90″W

Campanile

Campanile - BLT

Campanile - Cupcake

Campanile on Urbanspoon