Soo Out of the City

Trinket (Portland)


Wow, this place doesn't have a ton of reviews, but is really great!  Love the decor, cozy, masculine, rustic, great interior!  And the food was really good!  I got the sweet waffle and a side of eggs, Matt got the duck bennie, both were really awesome!  I thought the waffle texture was the best, crispy!  And they toppings on it, really tasty.I normally eat with syrup but they put an orange marmalade with whip and candied pecans, yum!  His Bennie was tasty, flavorful!  And his hash browns were crispy and great!  The coffee was good too!  Really great, under the radar spot!

Mother's Bistro (Portland)


Love the atmosphere, traditional decor, nice, I like it.  Our wait they said would be 35-40mins, which we were surprised about because there were so many people waiting, but we also didn't realize the restaurant was a wide as the entire block!  Our wait time was actually an hour.I ordered the Portabella Scramble, really good.  Matt got the Eggs Benedict which he said was the best he's ever had.  We shared a French Toast, which I thought was ok and Matt really liked.  The Ruby Red Martini was tasty!

Mediterranean Exploration Company (Portland)


Wow, wow, wow!  That's all I really want to say, it's that amazing!  But I will list and go into depth about their amazing dishes that we tried...

Fennel salad was great, light, refreshing, crisp and just a hint of nice herby flavors, mm!

Eggplant flavorful and delicious.

Hummus and pita, seriously the softest, best tasting bread I have ever had and the hummus was so creamy and delish!

Lamb chops, wow can't help being so repetitive but delicious!  So flavorful and perfectly cooked!  I think best lamb chops I have ever had!

My husband thought the broccolini was the best he's ever had!

Olive cake...yumeeeee!  Wonderful flavors, different, so delicious!  Mm...what a wonderful, amazing experience!  Can't say enough!

Bonjour Montreal!

I was really looking forward to the Montreal portion of our trip, hoping it would be much like Paris or atleast remind me of it.  It did.  I especially love how French is the native tongue and I was glad I was right about the French French or French Canadians not being rude.  Although, we tend to only speak with those in the service industry, but I quite like the French.  Some of the persons with more bilingual capabilities are so impressive.  It's such a cute town, lots of character, love Old Montreal, which is where we stayed.  Mount Royal was so beautiful.  It's nice to see nature in true fall...gorgeous!  We didn't have much time in Montreal, but we enjoyed this small, beautiful city with all it's cultural diversity while mostly only French speaking people, a romantic city!

Touring & Tasting Toronto!

We had a wonderful time in Toronto.  The weather was great, except the last day of rain, but overall great walking weather.  The restaurants, shops and sites were fabulous.  We had a few things on our list we wanted to see, CN Tower, Distillery District, shop and eat and the rest was up to the wind.  Our favorites were our hotel Gladstone for it's uniqueness, creativity and art, Terroni, Drake, Wvrst, and Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie for atmosphere, service and food.  Wish we had more time.  It was good seeing you again Toronto!

Visiting Northville & Detroit Michigan

On Northville, I'll be honest, I was thinking podunk, but I was wrong!  It is so cute!  At least their downtown was. It's generally a small town, you know big chains, etc, but they have a great charming downtown and believe it or not, some places with really great food.  In their downtown their bookstore had one copy per book, hehe.  They have cute little shops and Rebecca's Family Restaurant had really great omelettes and an amazing banana nut breat!  Still thinking about it.

Isn't Northville so fall?  We're not having much of a fall in Houston.  We get lucky if it gets a little cool in Houston.  No, but I thought Northville was great, but you do run out of things to do.  So on to Detroit we went!  I'm so glad Matt was ok with us going to Detroit.  I really really really wanted to see it.  Especially with some of the research I had been doing, it looks like there is a strong arts and culinary culture.  We hit up one spot for brunch before our Canadian roadtrip, Dime Store.  Super urban cool, food was great and we got a chance to walk around downtown Detroit, it's not as unsafe as everyone makes it out to be.  Atleast not in downtown it isn't...see my pictures!  I thought their downtown was very nice, maybe even nicer than Houston's...nice on a more interactive scale, that is.  And we actually got pulled into a broadcast interview for the local news!  I hope we get a chance to see that!  Anyways, it was great to meet you Detroit!

Three Days in Santa Barbara!

And a last stop over back in Los Angeles.  Pictures of food, in order, Los Agaves, Arigato, McConnell's Ice Cream, Tupelo Junction Cafe, Mesa Verde, Persona Pizza, Anderson's Bakery, D'Angelo's Bakery, and lastly Kang Do Hong Dae Restaurant (Los Angeles)...all great!  You would think the highlight of the trip was skydiving for sure, but it was not!  Instead We did the highest jump in the nation, 18,000 feet and I think we all permanently damaged our eardrums!  Jumping out of the plane was frightening and exhilarating, I'm glad I did it, but it was definitely not the most comfortable experience.  I enjoyed the paddle boarding the most, the great eats and as an acquaintance of mine says, "friendship time".  We had full days and we really enjoyed our girls trip to Santa Barbara!  Beautiful city!

Jun Won (Koreantown)

I mean, if you're going to be in Los Angeles, you have to have Korean food!  I looked up Jun Won  Restaurant, who seems to get really high marks from the local scene.  Getting there was pretty easy, finding the actual restaurant was another thing.  We walked around the building, followed a sign, went up some stairs, then down some stairs, ended up back on the front side of the building and then looked a little more carefully and saw a door finally that kind of looked...oh yes, there's a sign "Open", and someone sees us and opens the door, thank God, else we might have just given up.  It is really a nondescript place and after looking at the menu were questioning why we were here.  But we decided to stick it through and I have to tell you the service was great and the food was awesome, super flavorful and tasty!

We ordered the bean soup (dwen jang jigae) which tasted an in between of traditional bean soup and kimchi soup.  We loved it, it was really good, cooked really well.  The spices and soup had all seeped into the tofu nicely, yum, perfection.  We also ordered the kimchi with pork dish and that was really good too.  Again, marinated through and all the spices and flavors were really seeped into the kimchi and pork.  Our server recommended this combination instead of the 2 soups we were going to get.  She strongly suggested and we're glad she did.

We had another friend come, late, an hour late and they were so nice to remove all the old dishes and prepare her a new setting with new side dishes and heat up the soup for her along with her order.  That was unexpected and we were all very impressed with their service!  But do keep in mind the menu is heavy on the fish, which everyone there seem to know.  Mostly Koreans, which is always a good sign.  I love this place!

Sqirl For Lunch in Los Angeles

I ate too much!  The food was so good.  Much creactivity and pure deliciousness, mm mm good!  All these unexpected flavors, the tart, smooth, ahhh...delicious!  I feel inspired just eating the food!   Definitely try the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl, I added a couple more poached eggs to balance the protein carb ratio and also added some kale and avocado, at cashier's recommendation....great suggestion!  And also got the Brioche Blackberry and Peach Jam...Blackberry better.

There was a bit of a line, but I came in just after 1245pm so figure there should be one, but it wasn't out the door or anything.  Nice place, a must try!  I know, this place is old news to the locals, but to me it's new and so fresh!  I love love it here!  Love the creativity, I want to take this cute little dive back with me to Houston!  

Last Dinner at Ada St 1664

We found Ada through our server Sara from Little Goat.  She highly recommended it and she was so sweet and helpful to arrange dinner reservations for us the same evening.  Who does that?  No one!  She heard we were not having such great luck with food in Chicago and made it her mission to change that for us.  It's people like her and the people at Ada that really care about local food that make the culinary scene so exciting.  They really wowed us and helped end our trip on a super high note!

Anyways, back to Ada...when we arrived, from the hostess, gm, executive chef, and our servers we were really treated with such great care.  They were all so great!  About the restaurant, the building, man it is super cool.  We loved the atmosphere!  An urban, outdoorsy, creative, and festive environment, we loved it!  I could not capture through photos the wonderful vibe it had, but it was urban cool.

On food, with the help of our server we ordered the Shiseto Peppers, Gnocchi, Pork Ribs, Steak Tartar (not sure on spelling), and we added the Bacon Salad changed to feta cheese, Linguine, Pretzel bun ala mode dessert and Chef Zoe sent us the Octopus and Chocolate Grenache dessert.  We loved how creative and how much love was put in the food.  We especially loved the Ribs, but everything was so good, super delicious!  Our mouths were overjoyed with orgamic pleasure, enjoying each bite.  We knew it was going to be another one of those nights where we would be uncomfortably stuffed, and we were.   Service was excellent!  A definite must try!  

Brunch at Little Goat (Chicago)

Oh my!  I didn't think it was possible after 2 full days of eating and being un-wowed by the culinary scene in Chicago.  So after changing my search strategy to just high ratings, not necessarily the most reviews on Yelp, I came across Little Goat, which looks really cute and they do get high marks, but not necessarily the most we make our way...

It's a little further than the places we have been going to in the downtown area.  We finally start to walk up and I get a good feeling at just the way the street it's situated on.  We walk in and wow, it's so cute!  I love it!  It's got this retro earthy feel...lots of character!  That's what I've been missing on our trip.  I mean we liked RPM, but it didn't have much character.  We sit in a cute little 2 seater booth and the server, our wonderful Sara, greets us.  She helps us through the menu, Matt is being healthy and boring so he makes his own omelette and I follow her suggestion and get the Prathas Burrito (indian flatbread . sunny side eggs . avocado-bean salad . chili pepper sauce . sheep's milk cheddar), $13 and I also get one Sourdough pancake.  I was a little apprehensive about the burrito, but man when it came out and I tasted it, wow, it was exactly what I wanted!  It was tasty, creative, but actually tasted somewhat healthy too.  It wasn't too heavy.  But, most importantly it was delicious!  And when I finished that, I had the Sourdough joke, best pancake I've ever had!  It wasn't doughy, but kind of spongey with subtly crispy edges, good!  I gave Matt a try and he agreed, it was pretty good.  Goodness, please go visit Little Goat if you haven't, it such a cute place and the food is so awesome!  Love all the character in the food and atmosphere!  And our sever Sara...she was super awesome and helped us with our dinner plans!  Her suggestions were Ada, the Winchester, Kuma, and a few other places.  We tried Ada and she was right, super awesome restaurant, again character in food and atmosphere!  I want to put this restaurant in my pocket and take it with me to Houston!  Obviously a must try!  

Food In Between...

RPM and our last day of great eats, were the okay restaurants that got a significantly high amount of reviews and ratings, which we didn't agree so much.  We thought they were all ok and  they included Quarino, Wildberry Pancakes, Portillo's Hot Dogs and Sunda.  We still had a good time, but they weren't the most impressive of the bunch.

First Meal at RPM Italian (Chicago)

Our first restaurant in Chicago this trip!  It was a good choice.  We enjoyed all the food, but that Burrata, best dish hands down!  Mama DePandi's spaghetti add meatball was good and the Carbonara was good, but I still think Houston's Coppa's Carbonara is the best I've had.  But RPM's Carbonara was a close second.  The restaurant is super nice, very modern and gorgeous.  Great introduction into Chicago's culinary scene!  We enjoyed it!

Hello Chicago!

I forget how nice Chicago is...I've been once before and it's where I fell in love with gourmet popcorn, Garrett's.  This beautiful city, I'm getting reacquainted with, but Matt's first time.  We'll be here a few days to enjoy city life before we head over to Traverse City for some lake time.  Just a few photos of our 3 days here in this great city!  All the individual places will be in the next posts.