Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants’

Lumihai BeachWhen this post goes live J. and I will be lying on a beach in Hawaii. We have 7 days and nights of relaxation planned or not planned as the case may be in Kauai. Though we don’t have any activities planned, besides lying on the beach, we do have our food plans well and truly under control.

As I have mentioned previously, J. is more often than not in charge of our eating arrangements when we travel. He researches, reads, studies and discusses all the possibilities. He has been responsible for finding some of the most unique, out of the way, hole in the wall, restaurants/foodtrucks/shacks that we have ever been lucky enough to try. He is always organized for our trips but when it comes to Kauai he has taken it to an entirely new level!

Here is the evidence – THE SPREADSHEET!

THE SPREADSHEET

Puka DogA comprehensive document, organizing possible food choice by local. It details opening hours, location, whether they take cash only or credit card and possibly most importantly what kind of cuisine they serve. We have choices of traditional Hawaiian plate lunches, poke, seafood, burgers, Japanese and who knows what else. He has found us so many to choose from there is no way we will get to all of them!

We went to Kauai back in 2009 and discovered some amazing places to eat. They have made it Mark's Placeonto the spreadsheet, along with some of J’s new discoveries. The places I am looking forward to revisiting are Shrimp Station, Puka Dog, Mark’s Place and Hamura’s Saimin and a few others. The shrimp at Shrimp Station were delicious and amazing. I had never tasted anything like the hot dogs from Puka Dog. Mark’s Place and Hamura’s Saimin were just cool, low key locals joints.

Shrimp StationOf course J. has found us a whole new  group of places to try out. When we travel we try to stay away from the touristy places (although Puka Dog is definitely a popular destination) and go where the locals eat. Kauai, the second time around will be no different. I’m really looking forward to trying out Koloa Fish Market and also Chicken in a Barrel but there are so many other delicious options who knows what we will actually eat!

Hamura's Saimin

I’m sure as you are reading this we are either lying on a beach or eating some fabulously tastyfood! Stay tuned for Live from Kauai posts later this week!

ALOHA!

FatooshOn my final day in Washington DC, I managed to sneak away for a delicious and yummy lunch. The conference I was exhibiting at had quietened down, people were leaving and I had a long night of travelling home to Phoenix ahead of me… a hearty delicious meal (and a couple of beers) were definitely called for.

Recommended by fellow blogger Alina and some great people I met at the conference, Zaytinya was my destination. Only 2 short blocks from the hotel that I was exhibiting in, I wandered down for a late lunch.

Mythos Beer

Taking my traditional seat at the very big bar I was ready for a nice cold beer and some great food. I ordered my Mythos beer, a Turkish beer that I had never tried before and perused the menu. The girls I met at the conference had insisted I try the $25 Mezze Lunch. It was a 4 course meal with multiple choices under each course.

For first course I went with the Fattoush salad, a combination of tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper and radish. This had a delicious pomegranate vinegar dressing over it. Given the heat of DC, it was such a light, fresh and yummy start to the meal. The fresh pita bread they kept refilling throughout the meal was a great accompaniment.

ArayesSecond course was a difficult choice for me. I could have had any of the 4 choices but decided to go with the Arayes, a dish I had never heard of or tried before. These were stuffed pita breads, filled with grilled ground lamb and tahini on a bed of garlic yogurt. I don’t think it is possible for me to describe just how delicious this small plate of goodness was. Such flavor but so simple. I could have eaten an entire meal just of those. However, with 2 more courses still to go, I thought I shouldn’t order a second round. I ordered another beer instead.

Spanakopita

For my third course I decided to stay with something traditional, Spanakopita. This was flaky, melt in your mouth house-made phyllo pastry that was then stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Carefully rolled into a crispy, tasty roll and placed on a spinach puree. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This was possibly some of the best Spanakopita I have every eaten. I couldn’t believe how perfect the phyllo was. I wanted to eat 6 of them, not just 1.

Apricots and yogurtI restrained myself and just sat back with another beer and waited for my dessert. I had chosen to go with the lighter of the 2 dessert choices, Greek Yogurt and Apricots. I actually didn’t read the description until after I had ordered it. It may have been the lighter of the 2 but oh my, did it sound delicious. A small cup came out, looking like a orange and white parfait. There were layers of muscat soaked apricots, vanilla yogurt cream, apricot sorbet and pistachio powder. If I hadn’t have been in a public place I would have licked the cup clean! Delicious, light and refreshing – an excellent end to an amazing lunch!

I will go back to this place – I actually would go back to DC just for a lunch here and a dinner at St. Arnolds. My DC trip was great both professionally and culinary! I ate great food that had been recommended to me, found my own little gem on my wanders through the city and got to spend some time in one of my favorite cities on the East Coast.

When in DC next I recommend you try one of the great places I visited or perhaps you will discover a little gem of your own!

Mussels.jpgLast night I walked around downtown DC and worked my way towards another delicious dinner, recommended by Everyday Sarah Jane.

St Arnold’s Mussel Bar on Jefferson Street was my final destination and it was worth the walk. I arrived at a great, but small basement bar. There was a line out the door but the one benefit of eating alone is getting to skip the long line, and be seated immediately.

Though there are other delights on their menu I was always going to have mussels, it Pilsner.jpgwas just a matter of choosing what flavor to go with. In the end I chose to have the House Specialty, forgoing the Thai curry mussels and the Mexican inspired mussels. The specialty is Mussels St. Arnold’s – Mussels cooked in a house beer sauce with caramelized shallot, garlic and thyme and finally… wait for it…duck fat! Seriously, who cooks mussels in duck fat!

After ordering my mussels, my beer arrived. They have a fantastic selection of beers to choose from and I am sure if J. was here we would have made a night of it. When i say we, imean me and J. would get me home… Traveling alone I settled for a single beer, a Bavik pilsner. Yum!

Frites and bread.jpgThe mussels arrived accompanied by frites and bread… Carbs, seafood and duck fat – I was in heaven!

The frites were crunchy and perfectly cooked, not too oily. Dunking the bread into the beer sauce seemed incredibly decadent. The mussels themselves were perfect. The steaming cast iron pot was filled with plump juicy mussels, all open, which I think is the mark of a good seafood restaurant.

The broth was sweet and savory at the same time. Not oily or fatty at all. If I hadn’t Duck fat broth.jpgbeen bursting by the end of the meal I would have asked for the broth to go and had it as soup today. So deliciously good. They were some of the best mussels I’ve ever had.

It was a good thing I had a 2 mile hike back to the hotel to work dinner off. Thank you fellow bloggers, we’re two for two on restaurants! Being seated quickly also meant I got happy hour food prices with the mussels and frites costing less than $10!!!! Love it.

Friday night I am going to try Founding Farmers, I wasn’t able to get a reservation but thought I might try walking in, even though it is incredibly popular. I have a back up if necessary. Wish me luck!

Steamed dim sum.jpgFirstly, thanks to everyone who gave such great food suggestions for my trip to DC. I would need to stay here a few weeks to make it to all of them but unfortunately I only have 3 nights. I arrived into the city late this afternoon and have already been out to try the first of the 3 places I decided on.

Ping Pong Dim Sum was recommended by FreshDaily 101 We have a weakness for dim sum. I had to go to this place, just so I could send photos of the delicious food back to J. To make him jealous… Oh, and it is so close to the hotel. It is a really nice restaurant, not at all what the name suggests and tonight it was packed and energized for their Wednesday mojito madness. I stayed away from the mojitos but was ready for a good meal after having only a smoothie hours before back in Arizona.

Although the menu isn’t completely traditional, it still offered all of my favorites and Ping pong selection.jpgthen some. After perusing the menu, I decided on the Ping Pong Selection which gave me my favorites and a mix of their more unusual dim sum flavors. To accompany the dim sum I ordered a draft beer I had never seen before, yuengling lager.

The beer came out quickly and it was delicious, a nice accompaniment for dinner. The Ping Pong selection was 10 different dim sum for $20. A little more expensive than other dim sum but I think in the end it was worth the money.

My first plate came out with 3 pieces, a honey roasted chicken puff, a Vietnamese rice paper shrimp roll and a crisp potato cake. Not the most traditional but incredibly delicious. All three were very fresh and crispy. The potato cake was amazing and so crunchy on the outside but creamy inside. A really good start to the meal.

A little different.jpgThe remaining items all came out in a large steamer. I do love being presented food this way. They were all still steaming and looked delicious. I left my favorites until the end… Eating my way through a steamed sea bass dumpling, a chicken, pineapple and lemongrass dumpling, a crabmeat and prawn dumpling and a beef and cumin dumpling. They were definitely fresh and perfectly cooked to my liking. They were unusual flavors but I really liked them. The beef had Indian flavors to me and the sea bass was just amazing.

Finally I came to my 3 favorites and how I measure any dim sum restaurant… Har gua, seafood shu mai and a char sui bun. The first two were good, tasty and well made. The char sui bun was the final test. It was so very good… After years of eating these after nights out in Japan, they are still one of my all time favorite foods. The bun was light and fluffy and pork had such great flavor.

I was so pleased.

This is a different dim sum restaurant. If you are looking for traditional, it isn’t the place for you but I say live a little, try something different! This is a great place to do that… Pineapple, cumin, and potato in dumplings… Who wouldn’t want to try that… Plus some of the best steamed pork buns I have eaten.

Thanks again Fresh Daily 101. This was a wonderful start to my trip. Tomorrow night is St Arnold Mussel Bar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the big advantages of my job is that I get to travel. In the last few months I have been to Las Vegas, Charlotte and Austin… all for work. There will be posts about all the deliciousness I ate on those trips.

In the next couple of months I am going to Washington DC and Dallas for work and then on vacation to Hawaii.

With all this upcoming travel, I have a lot of food planning to do. This is usually J’s responsibility but he isn’t coming to DC with me, so it falls on my shoulders.

Ben's Chili Bowl

I have been to DC before and done all the sightseeing. Last time we were there  was around 3 years ago. We ate some great food on that

Capitol City Brewing Company – I don’t have any photos of the food we had here but it was good quality pub fare. Most importantly they had a large and delicious range of their own beers which were most enjoyable.trip!

Ben's Chili Dog

Ben’s Chili Bowl – From everything I hear, this is an institution in DC! We dragged our friend with the meat phobia here and even convinced   her to try one of the chili dogs. Telling her that President Obama had eaten here convinced her it would be ok. It was fantastic! It was my first chili dog and I probably will never have one anywhere near as delicious as this was. This place is an example of exactly the kind of food and place we love – simple, hole in the wall just doing what they do very well and deliciously!

The Dancing Crab – This was one of J’s discoveries when he was researching our trip. Being huge seafood lovers, it was a must and we weren’t disappointed. Giant trays of spicy crabs were brought Dancing Crabout. Dressed in our plastic bibs, tools in hand, we dug in and ate ourselves silly! Again, this is the perfect kind of place, out of the tourist areas with great service and food. This crab was unlike any I had eaten before – I might have to make a trip back to this place – if I can figure out how to get there!

Oyamel – If you have read any of our posts about Mexican food, you will be familiar with exactly what our thoughts on it are… if you haven’t read J’s entry about this topic. Oyamel is not our usual Mexican fare. It is pricey, fancy and more like a tapas restaurant then the hole in the wall, divey places we usual frequent. However, the Oyamel Tacosfood was good and it was our chance to take a friend out for their first Mexican restaurant experience in the US. We ate tacos, mole, yummy desserts and I can’t remember what else. It is a restaurant with an interesting concept combining Mexican food and tapas, with good service and food. I have to admit though that I still prefer my hole in the walls back here in Arizona.

So that was our first trip to DC! There were other places we ate, including a random Oyamel MoleBBQ place that none of us can remember the name of, but these were by far the best experiences we had.

I would like to have great food experiences on this next trip too. This is where I need your help and advice if  you know of any great places in DC. I will be staying downtown, close to the Convention Center and am limited to public transport and taxis…

Where should I eat? I can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

Chicken Fried Steak.jpgA few months ago, it might be more than a few now… we discovered a new café had opened right next door to our gym. We have some favorite breakfast places here in Phoenix but none close to us and on a lazy Saturday it would be nice to just be able to drive or walk around the corner and get a yummy breakfast.

When we saw Biscuits Café had opened, we decided it was worth giving it a try. Plus if it was good we could always stop in there after a weekend workout to undo any good we may have just accomplished.

We stopped in one Saturday and were surprised at how busy it was, we even had a short wait. Once seated, we studied the menu that was really quite big. It was a big menu considering that it is only opened for breakfast and lunch.

Considering that the place is called Biscuits you would imagine that at least one of us would have chosen biscuits for The meat platter.jpgbreakfasts but we didn’t! Of course not!

A quick aside, we still haven’t tried the biscuits at Biscuits but when my parents visited a few months ago they went here and were given a complimentary biscuit to try since being Australian they had never tried an American style biscuit before… They said it was delicious!

Back to the story…

J. ordered THE MEAT LOVERS PLATTER… of course he did! With that on the menu there was no chance of him ordering anything else. For $10.99 he got a platter loaded with ham steak, bacon and sausage links. He could then choose 2 eggs anyway, hash browns or red potatoes and biscuits, toast or pancakes. He went with fried eggs, hash browns and pancakes. What a mountain of food!

I went with CHICKEN FRIED STEAK… it seems so unnatural but I love this stuff. It was smothered in sausage gravy which was just unbelievable. This really isn’t something you find in Australia, the sausage gravy and we used to have crumbed steak growing up which is as close to chicken fried steak we can get there.

Side of Pancakes.jpg

I also had the same choices as J. and went with with fried eggs, hash browns and toast. The toast came with some delicious jam which I could have eaten by the spoonful. All of this for only $10.99.

We were really impressed with Biscuits. So much so that we have returned a number of times, taken friends, and recommended it to my parents. The food was incredibly tasty, the service was great – we had continuous refills, of my coffee and J’s ice tea, even though they were really busy. I think the food felt like it was made in someone’s home kitchen rather than a restaurant. Just good, delicious and unpretentious food.

We found out a little after our first visit there that it is actually a franchise with one other in Phoenix and then a few scattered around the US. If the others are anywhere near as good as this one, it is worth a visit!

Betel Leaf.jpgFirst let me apologize for my absence. I haven’t been well and have not been up to sitting down and writing when I Watermelon.jpgget home from work. I hope I am back to normal and be posting regularly again from now on.

Back to food!

J. and I still have so much food to write about from our time back in Australia. I thought I would share one of the meals we had at a great Asian restaurant in Melbourne while we were there.

For Christmas we were lucky enough to get a $100 gift card for Red Spice Road, a very cool, very delicious Asian restaurant in one of the gorgeous laneways in Melbourne. For those of you who don’t know Melbourne, it is filled with small laneways that have some of the best food, coffee and nightlife the city has to offer, well really, Australia has to offer. Whenever in Melbourne, time must be taken to wander these laneways and see what has changed, discover new places and visit old favorites.

Oysters.jpgJ. had never been to this restaurant before so we decided to go all out and get the $75 per person tasting menu… Tofu and mushrooms.jpgwhy not when we had the gift card! We mistakenly thought that we needed to pick a few of the items from the huge tasting menu to have, however it turned out that we got enough of everything on the menu for two… Oh dear!

The first trio of dishes were little nibblies or starters. Just a bite of each for us. But those bites were magnificent! First up was Betel Leaf with Chicken, Crab, Coconut, Chilli & Kaffir Lime. I usually find things wrapped in betel leaf to bitter but this was just perfect. The chilli & lime fought against the bitterness and the sweet crab and coconut just tied it all together. The next bite was Watermelon topped with Sticky Pork, Peanut and Prawn Relish. As weird and unusual as this sounds it was probably my favorite thing of the night. I don’t actually know how to describe this accurately but it was a burst of sweet, savory flavor in your mouth. I could have eaten 12 of them but we only got 1 each.

Lamb Ribs.jpgThe last dish in this first trio was an Oyster with Chilli Jam, Lime Juice and Crispy Shallots. Now IBeef salad.jpgam not sure if I have ever expressed the love J. and I have for oysters on the blog before… but we seriously have an obsession with them. I think we would have been happy to eat the oysters and nothing else if we could have had 3 dozen of them! These were the perfect bite, but sadly just one bite each.

A few sips of wine and a little chatter later the next trio of dishes arrived. These would be the appetizers. First was the Beef, Rice Noodle, Herb, Pickled Carrot, Cucumber and Shallot Salad, seriously spicy and delicious. There is something so refreshing about this kind of salad!

Kingfish salad.jpgIn this trio we also had Crispy Tofu with Mushrooms, Wombok, Bamboo, Green Onion and Masterstock Duck curry.jpgand Twice Cooked Lamb Ribs with a Tamarind and Coconut Relish. Both of these were completely amazing. The lamb ribs, well the meat just fell off the bone and then the tofu dish was unbelievably delicious. J. even enjoyed the tofu.

I was getting full, really full by this stage and the main dishes were still to come! I thought they would be small but they were huge and this trio had my favorite dish from this restaurant in it so I had to find room to eat!

The final trio… could we do it??

First was the Raw Kingfish, Green Tomato, Asian Celery, Green Chilli and Coriander Salad, light and perfectly cooked… we managed to squeeze all of this in. J. was a trooper and pushed through the pain. Also in the trio was a Duck Red Curry with Pineapple and Sweet Potato. This was a creamy, spicy curry with just the right hint of sweetness. If I hadn’t already had 7 other dishes I could have dived into this!

Pork Belly Perfection.jpgThe last dish was the dish that I come to Red Spice Road for… Pork Belly with Apple Slaw, Chilli Caramel and Pandan Cream.jpgBlack Vinegar. What do I have to say really… the name says it all. Crispy pork belly with chilli and vinegar – PERFECTION!

We were full… 9 dishes of food… I know it was a tasting menu but those servings were not small… And then there was still the dessert. I didn’t know if we could do it but the waiter promised us it was light and refreshing…Pandan Cream with Puffed Wild Rice, Peanut Praline and Coconut. Well, the waiter was right. It was fresh, light and delicious. The best thing to finish off our feast.

It was a long meal… 3 hours. It was a delicious meal and it was a big meal! We were both so impressed and happy with our dinner. We didn’t really need to eat for a few days after but of course we were on holidays so that didn’t happen.

So if you ever find yourself wandering around Melbourne’s laneways definitely check out Red Spice Road!

Mixed Grill.jpgI am a city girl, I love the noise, the pace and the variety that a city offers… Until I moved here to Arizona, I had been living smack bang in the center of Melbourne city… The strange thing is, is that I grew up in the country. Small town Queensland. When we moved from first small town to second small town (of 10,000 people) when I was 14 I was so excited because they had traffic lights and fast food places… McDonald’s, KFC, Red Rooster… What a metropolis! I would never move back to live in a small country town but I love visiting and my parents still live in a small town so I get plenty of fresh air, country hospitality and good food when I visit them.

One of the great things I find about Australian small country towns is that there is always a good pub. At least one, sometimes 3, even 4 or more sometimes! You are never short of a pub in the country. The food at these out of the way pubs can often be some of the best, largest and most delicious pub food you will ever get. Meat so fresh you would think they had just carved it off a cow, servings so large to help fill the hole that country air seems to create. They would give many city pubs a run for their money when it comes to their food… not to mention their cheap drink prices.

Lamb Shanks.jpg

The Saturday night after we got back to Australia we had driven up to Mum and Dad’s and decided on the way we wanted to go to Meringandan Pub. This is a tiny, tiny little “town” about 10 minutes from my parent’s house and 15 minutes from a pretty big city (by Australian standards) but they have possibly the best pub food I have ever eaten!

The four of us, J., my parents and I headed off for our yummy meal. J. had decided to take on the challenge of the mixed grill that many have tried but failed to finish. I um’ed and ah’ed but finally decided to go with the surf and turf option. My Mum went with braised lamb shanks and Dad went with the bone-in rib eye.

I went up and ordered for us all and of course it is never as simple as that… the questions began… how would you like it, what kind of sauce; veggies or salad & chips??? So many options to go along with our meat… lots and lots of meat!

Surf & Turf.jpg

Let’s start with the smallest meal – Mum’s lamb shanks were quite scrumptious. Nice and tender – the meat falling off the bone. She had veggies with her shanks, there were a variety of veggies, including potato done two ways… mashed and roasted. I think she was very happy with her selection.

My surf and turf was unbelievable… it came with a mountain of beer battered chips, a great garden salad and then the meat… I a couple of battered prawns and some crispy calamari on top of a huge perfectly cooked medium rare steak. I had a chosen the pepper sauce and it was great for dipping both the chips and steak in. I was unbelievably happy with this. The meal was so big I didn’t even come close to finishing it, the steak was hanging off the plate it was sooo big. I just have to say though that the chips were amazing and I just couldn’t stop eating them!

Dad had his rib eye on the bone, also with chips, salad and pepper sauce (we weren’t so original with the sauce choices). His steak was huge as well and perfectly cooked. That is something I have found at this pub – you never get a badly cooked steak!Rib on the bone.jpg

Last but certainly not least was the monster of all meals, J’s MIXED GRILL!!!! A plate piled high with salad and chips and then stacked with a steak, a lamb chop, a pork chop, a beef sausage and some bacon just to top it all off! J also got the pepper sauce just as a side note. Now my uncle has tried to finish this as have some other friends of ours but no one has ever succeeded… until now! J attacked it with a vengeance… head down, no conversation, he was a man focused and obsessed!

I was so proud of my man for conquering the mixed grill and it was enjoyed at the same time. He said it was great steak (he usually refuses to eat steak outside of our own home) and the rest of the meat was just delicious. He couldn’t believe how tasty the pepper sauce was either – who knew it would be that yummy!

Our dinner here was just fantastic… everytime we go home to visit my parents now we will definitely make a stop off here. If you are ever in Queensland – out near Toowoomba – stop here, get some lunch or dinner… just be prepared to sleep off a feast in your car afterwards if you have to keep on driving! Another great pub with fabulous food in a small country town… unbelievable!

Let me know if you know of any great country pubs with amazing food for our next trip home!

Since I am busy having fun and celebrating the New Year in Australia I thought I would just post about posts. These are our Top Ten Recipe Posts and Top Ten Restaurant Posts as voted by you!

Just some light reading as you nurse your New Year’s hangovers.

Thanks for the support in 2012 and I look forward to much more deliciousness in 2013!

Top Ten Recipes

1. I’m No Liar! The Best Chocolate Cake Ever…

2. My First Halloween

3. Wingin’ It!

4. The Best Kind of Recipe – Secret Family Recipe

5. How to Impress Your 1/2 Italian Girlfriend

6. A Soup to Chase Away Your Worries

7. Melt in Your Mouth Christmas Shortbread

8. Thanksgiving Eve Dinner

9. Potato Gratin with a Twist

10. Lasagne – the Best of the Best

Top 10 Restaurants

1. Magic & Fairytales

2. Christmas Drinks with New Friends

3. Hot ‘n’ Juicy in Vegas

4. Delicious American Oddity

5. Food Truck Friday

6. Lobster Drunk

7. Searching for “The One” True Taco – J’s First Blog

8. Triple S…Sushi, Sashimi, Sapporo

9. Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara – Best Sandwich Ever

10. The Dog of All Dogs!

Pink Cougar.jpgMe and a new friend and soon to be colleague, S, headed out for some early Christmas drinks last night. We went to a place down the road from my soon to be office called Grassroots. This is a bar, meets gastro pub, meets restaurant. It is a really nice place and so close to work and most importantly their “social hour” has both food, beer, wine and cocktail discounts.

I was in a celebrating mood so for a change I went for a cocktail instead of beer or wine. I got a giant glass of white sangria. I would tell you what was in it but unfortunately the menu stated that it was a secret recipe so I have no idea. But it looked so pretty and festive, plus it tasted super delicious! Is it strange that sangria makes me think of Christmas? My family went through a stage of making sangria during the Wisconsin Burrata.jpgholidays, since it is so warm in Australia at that time of year. I thought I was being very good only ordering a class when I could have ordered a jug for $20! How restrained I was.

S ordered something called a Pink Cougar, this was a combination of vodka, chamomile-lemongrass syrup, lemon and a pink candy wedge. This came in a lovely martini glass. I assume she really enjoyed it… she drank it all. All I have to say is that it wasn’t very pink… I would have liked to see more pink.

I always like to nibble on something when I am drinking, especially if I have to drive so S and I decided to order some of their yummy shared plates. Ok, to be honest I ate enough that I didn’t need dinner when I got home… but that’s ok, isn’t it?

White Sangria.jpg

First up we ordered the Wisconsin Burrata… a plate of yummy goodness. The plate came out with a giant ball of fresh mozzarella, arugula with a delicious dressing, a spicy tomato jam and sea salted crunchy ciabatta. So we spread on some jam and mozzarella and added some arugula to a piece of ciabatta. What a delicious combination and the mozzarella had to be some of the best I had ever eaten!

Next we ordered something called Dad’s Grocery Bag, basically a meat and cheese platter. Lucky for me S. is a vegetarian so I got to eat all of the delicious cured meats, some salami, ham and pastrami! Yummy. Somewhere in there I also ordered a second glass of White Sangria.

Ok, back to the platter… It had 3 different cheese on it, I know one was a goat cheese, another was a sharp cheddar of some kind and the third though delicious, I have know idea what it was. Also on the platter were some mixed nuts, honey and beautifully freshDads Grocery Bag.jpg french bread. This was such a great thing to nibble on while we chatted and drank.

One of the things I have missed about home are having after work drinks with friends at a cool cafe or bar. Just hanging out and chatting over drinks and good food was how I spent many a Friday night back in Melbourne. I am hoping since this Grassroots Kitchen & Tap is just down the road S. and I will have at least a few more opportunities to sample their wares! Sitting out on their heated patio will be a perfect end to a work week. New friends and new jobs… now that deserves another cocktail!