Restaurant review!

Sichuan Chilli.

We LOVE Chinese food! I know, who doesn’t, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Its soul food! All that fresh basil and chilli and garlic tossed into a smoking hot wok! Umm..umm..umm…what’s not to like I ask you?

And do you know what’s even better? Discovering a new restaurant, a really really good one, a stone’s throw away from where you live. I am thinking easy take out nights. Yes? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Hot pepper pork

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Sichuan beef

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Broccoli in garlic sauce

Of course we ordered the ones with the stars next to them. The spicier the better. But, despite the number of stars, the food really wasn’t very spicy. It WAS very flavourful, however (not ‘fishy’ at all. Being a vegetarian, that can be a bit of an issue). And piping hot! An excellent excellent remedy for a cold cold afternoon.

 

 

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Richard Walker’s

Breakfast time and Richard Walker’s beckoned with their HUGE Belgian waffles and apple pancakes and melting crepes.

 

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(The interiors are inspired by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.)

Well, I might have braved their apple pancake because I have a thing for apple pies and this promised to taste like one if not yummier if it weren’t for the fact that they are really really HUGE and we are traveling and leftovers become a challenge. (I couldn’t simply throw all that yumminess away!!!?) So, I settled for their fresh French strawberry crepe, our son had the chocolate strawberry crepe, and my husband had the diced ham and 3 egg scrambled eggs.

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Let me tell you, the food was DELICIOUS!!! The crepes simply melted in our mouths. The strawberries were sweet and there was this heavenly lemony, orangey drizzle that I couldn’t get enough of. So much so, that I polished off all three of the crepes <shhh..you didn’t hear that from me. ;)>. My son wants me to mention that the chocolate was exceptional too and tasted like it was made from the best dutch cocoa. In short, it did not taste like melted Hershey’s. The eggs too were light and fluffy, the orange and grapefruit juice freshly squeezed.ย 

All in all, we were more than satisfied and walked away happy and satiated.

P. S. Look for the bunny on the menu. That is the house favorite. It seems the bunny is a symbol of hospitality.

Buona Forchetta

Buona Forchetta. ย Located on Beech St in San Diego, it was our next pit stop. Wood fired pizzas and pastas beckoned, not to mention the desserts!!! Can I say, YUM?!!!

It is a cozy little place in a residential area with a lot of seating outside which, I am beginning to see, works so well for the California weather. Inside it was all white cotton curtains, dark wood, cream and brick walls. Classy! The servers spoke to one another in Italian. I could have closed my eyes and imagined myself in Italy. Not that I know what restaurants look like in Italy but hey, one can pretend, right?

First order of the evening, Sangiovese, Lo Duca, Italy and Artichoke. ย The artichoke was simply dressed and cooked to perfection! It was SOOOOO GOOD!!!! It went down really fast! And a Margherita pizza for the boyo. The Pizza actually tasted like the one we had in Paris which sent into transports of nostalgia and joy. The crust was so light and airy. We finished the edges after dipping them in the leftover artichoke drizzle.

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For the main entree, we wanted to have some gnocchi and since we were half way full and wanted to share it and I am a vegetarian, they cooked a vegetarian Gnocchi just for us. Isnt that the sweetest thing? It had Marinara sauce which was so fresh, I swear I could taste the vines on the tomatoes! The gnocchi was light and it was sprinkled with vegetables.

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For dessert we had Millefoglie. Light as air Puff Pastry filled with a light, sweet and frothy cream and strawberries. Oh my word, the strawberries! Soft and sweet with fresh off the farm freshness. They quite made the dessert. Oh, and do try their Port wine. It was really good with hints of caramel. It was very tawny!

All in all, a wonderful end to a wonderful day! Cheers!

P. S. I did not take photos of the restaurant because it was buzzing with people and I could not get a shot sans people.

I also did not take photos of the dessert because the minute I saw it, all thoughts of the camera went right out of my head. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bread & Cie

Today, we are off to the Zoo and the Balboa Park! Since it promises to be a long day of walking, we decided to fortify ourselves for all that the exercise with some breakfast.

Bread & Cie

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Okay, so we went kinda crazy in there. All that lovely looking bread! And pastries!

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See what I mean?

The Cafe has an old and new world charm. Its simple and elegant.

We ordered 2 California Muffulletta grilled paninis (Genoa salami, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion, tomato, fresh basil and olive tapenade, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar Wrapped and marinated overnight on Italian Ciabatta Bread), 1 Roasted Eggplant and Feta Cheese Specialty Sandwich (with red onions and roasted red peppers on Black Olive bread. Yum, right?), 1 Creamy Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwich, 1 Cheese Danish, 1 Almond Croissant.

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Let me tell you, BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER.

P. S. One hour free parking at the back. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hodad’s, San Diego

After our stroll along the Sunset Cliffs, we were ravenous. Something about the clear fresh air I think. The sun had kissed the day goodbye but we were ready to say hello to some food! So without much ado, we headed to Hodad’s. (We went to the one on Ocean Beach.)

We parked on Osprey Avenue and walked down the street gawking at all the food, jewelery and fresh produce stalls along the way. YUP! Street Fair! Oh the atmosphere was so different! Hopping, bustling, loud, sizzling. People were even dressed differently from what we see or experience in Cincinnati. They were dressed for warmer weather, as though for the beach. Even though it was closing time, some vendors were trying to squeeze in that one last sale. I would have done that too!

Closer to the end of the Avenue, we reached Hodad’s. It is an unassuming little place, packed to the brim with hungry people. Every inch of the walls were/are covered with license plates. They are from all over the country and say the funniest, silliest things. The spaces not taken over by the plates are given over to skate boards and surf boards.

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We ordered their world famous double cheese burger with onion rings and the veggie burger with French fries. Everything was excellent! My husband did not even feel the heaviness that is sometimes caused by beef. It was very very well cooked and flavorful. So we definitely give it a two thumbs up (or should that be a 4 thumbs up?) and highly recommend it.

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Some fun things we saw along the way.

That is all for tonight folks! Thank you for listening in!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! We intend to!

Kadai

Over the weekend, we were invited to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. 50 years of togetherness and the ‘bride’ was still blushing like a newly wed. It was adorable! And he had a sweet gentle smile on his face as though he was marvelling at the wonder of it all, the joy. To be together for 50 years and still have that sense of wonder…it was deeply moving to watch them, to be in the presence of their love and share in the glow.

In honor of the big event, I had baked them a black forest cake, which, not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe just a little), was delicious!!! Soft, moist, with just a hint of tangy cherry…it was an instant hit!

And I am so happy it was so!!

So, after much teasing of the bride and groom, and the champagne toast, and after the cake had been cut and everyone had eaten their fill, we continued the celebration at Kadai, an Indian restaurant well known for its biryanis.

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It is located on Rt.42 just minutes from I-275 in West Chester.

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It has a warm ambiance with a lot of reds and golds without being too formal.

We ordered Vegetable Potlis (similar to a samosa) and Vegetable Manchurian for appetizers and I had a freshly squeezed lime juice to quench my thirst.

Vegetable Potli

Vegetable Potli

Vegetable Manchurian

Vegetable Manchurian

While I personally did not care too much for the Potli, the chutneys served along with it were delicious! Especially the Green Tomato Chutney. It had a wonderful roasted flavor.

The Manchurian was really really good! The Manchurian balls were soft, well cooked and the masala had a fresh flavor to it, of capsicum, shallots and coriander. We had asked them to make it medium spicy and there was just the right amount of tingle on my palette.

The lime juice (with sugar and salt to taste) was pitch perfect! Although, if you order it, do ask them to put some ice in it. It tastes better chilled.

The main course of Paneer Makhani and Malai Kofta with garlic naan was good too! The gravys weren’t too thick and creamy and so easily palatable. We could eat well without feeling overly full.

The non-veg. eating folks had Chicken Hariyali, Chicken Shorba, and of course, their famous Mutton Biryani.

While the Chicken Hariyali was unique, the Shorba was a standard onion -tomato gravy. The Biryani was the star of the dinner party. The basmati rice had a lovely bounce and the spices were well balanced. The mutton was decently cooked.

Lamb Biryani

Lamb Biryani

All in all, it was a delectable way to end our celebration. We had a lot of happy campers!

So next time you are in town or in this neighborhood and craving Indian food, do give Kadai a try! You will not be disappointed.

Pizellii

About 5 minutes from the charming village of Mariemont, a few miles east of downtown Cincinnati, is a small pizzeria called PIZELLII.

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Privately owned, its a simple combination of homely and contemporary.

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Upon entering, the sight of pizza tossing personnel made our already rumbling-from-hunger tummies rumble double time. And the heavenly aroma of baking pizza crust only made the situation that much more urgent. We wanted FOOD! PIZZA to be more specific! NOW! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Needless to say, we did not waste any time in placing our order. After which, we were given a table number and asked to sit at any table of our choice. Inspite of it being a Friday night and the place being packed to the brim, we were seated within minutes of our arrival and served our drinks.

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A goblet of woodsy and spicy Pinot for me, a chilled and hoppy pilsner for my husband and for our son, a choice(s) from 150 different selections of fountain drinks. Yup. You read that right. One Hundred and Fifty!

The Magic Machine

The Magic Machine

Let me tell you, he was in absolute Soda Heaven. His joy was nigh on complete. I am sure that if he could have, he would have danced a ring of Hallelujahs around that soda machine.

So after he decided to forego the happy dance after all and had made his choice, the process of which was nothing short of excruciating (how does one choose from 150 different options? what if it was the wrong choice? what if vanilla was better than cherry?…well, you get the idea…), we settled in (thank goodness for free refills!! it was easier to narrow it down. a bit.), and sipped our beverages noticing that the place seemed to be a local favorite. The ambience was happy, chirpy, upbeat..perfect for a Friday night dinner with family and friends.

No sooner had we settled in, then our pizza was served piping hot and straight from the oven.

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aaaahhhh…..pizza…..

Spiral Margherita, Pollo and a Classico.

The pizzas were individual sized, the sauce was spot on, fresh, neither too sweet nor too sour, the cheese fresh too and gooey, the crust thin and soft. It was a really really good pizza! We were especially thrilled because the sauce was made using San Marzano tomatoes! Always a plus!

We inhaled those spirals of red, gooey goodness in no time. It was a thoroughly satisfying dinner.

Pizellii is definitely going on our list of favorites around town.