Homemade Dolsot Bibimbap

Hey ya’ll! I have an awesome post for you today. Remember that picture of bibimbap that I shared with ya’ll for last WIAW? Well Carrianne and I decided that we were going to learn to make our own, so we didn’t have to pay 14-20$ every time we wanted dolsot bibimbap. We adventured to Koreatown on Saturday to look for our very own stone bowls. We ended up going to H-mart, which sold bowls for about 9$. That included the lid, bowl, and a plate. We got a few food items at the market to add to the our bibimbap too. On Sunday, we started our Asian food adventure.

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Stone Dolsot Bibimbap

1/2 c of cooked brown rice
bean sprouts
matchstick carrots
sauteed zuchinni
sauteed mushrooms (we used a mix of shiitake, crimini, and regular)
1/4 c of cooked meat (we used ground beef with 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce)
1 egg
1-2 tsp of sesame oil
Gochugang (red paste)

1. First you place your stone bowl on the burner with medium-low heat. Let bowl get extremely hot. Once hot, add in the sesame oil to the bottom of the bowl.

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2. Once you add in the oil, you want to layer in the rice. Try to get the rice coated all along the bottom and the sides.

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3. Then you add in the vegetables one at a time, making a fan like organization throughout the bowl.

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4. Make sure you have cooked everything before placing it on the bowl. A good tip to getting all the vegetables on the bowl in a nice manner and not making a mess is by using tongs to pick up all the things and place them in your stone bowl.

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5. Place the fried egg on the top and in the middle of the bowl. Keep heating until you hear a strong sizzling/crackling noise, which will be the rice cooking with the sesame oil. If you want the rice crunchier, you should leave it on the heat for a longer period of time.

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6. Remove the bowl from the heat with two oven mitts because the bowl will be extremely hot. Place on your dolsot plate that came along with the bowl.

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7. Top with the red paste (be cautious because it can be very spicy depending on the type that you buy), and mix well. You can stir it up and mix all of the things in with the rice.

This was amazing. Seriously tasted just as good as the time we went to the restaurant in Koreatown with our guy friends. We somehow bought the super spicy red paste, so we were about to explode. However I love sweating and cleaning out my sinuses. The rice was perfectly crispy from cooking in the sesame oil in the bottom of the bowl. We had a great amount of vegetables too. You could definitely make a vegetarian bowl by using only vegetables and tofu or vegetables only. I can’t wait to try out more combinations in this bowl because I think there are some good meat options that you can stick in this. Things such as pork belly or real bulgogi beef. Yes, we made a knock off bulgogi with ground beef. It was really delicious though, which was a nice surprise. I am so happy that we ended up buying dolsot stone bowls because this dish ended up being very cheap to prepare.

Also cooking with two is great because you also can clean together, which makes the whole process go by quicker. Anyways Carrianne and I have decided that we are going to be cooking all kinds of Asian recipes, so we can save money and enjoy the food that we love. I hope ya’ll enjoyed this recipe as much as I did. I definitely recommend going out to buy your own stone bowl because this is a really easy and healthy recipe to make. It was like a luxury too. I felt like I was enjoying takeout without having to pick it up or pay for it. Overall this was a success.

Have you ever had bibimbap?
Have you ever tried to make something from a restaurant at home?

 

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Burger Heaven in The City

Hey ya’ll! I survived my first graduate school midterm. I feel pretty good about it, but there were a few true or false questions that kind of sent my brain through a loop. Especially because one of the questions we had never talked about, but oh well. I feel happy with my success so far as a graduate student and hope that I will continue on with it. We are only allowed to get two Bs in a certain number of classes to continue on the program, so I’m super motivated to do awesome. Anyways I am going to share with you an awesome review of the best burger I have had so far in NYC. Bareburger. There are a ton of locations in the city, but we ended up going to the location on 46th st. It was such a fun atmosphere. We only had to wait a few minutes, so that was nice, especially because the third person in our party was running late.

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The menu was huge. It was really hard to pick because there were so many delicious looking options. You could order a premade type of burger, which came with a bunch of toppings and a general theme, and then you could choose the type of meat that you wanted with it. There was also the build your own burger, which you could pick toppings, bun, and meat. The different themed burgers looked so good, and each even suggested the type of meat that tastes best with those toppings. While we waited for my friend to show up, Carrianne and I ended up looking through the menu and debating back and forth over what we were going to get. While we waited, Carrianne got a ginger soda, which was delicious and we ordered an appetizer.

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We ended up getting sweet potato croqs. These were sweet potatoes with sharp cheddar cheese and they are deep fried. They were served with habanero chipotle mayo and stone ground honey mustard. These were little fried balls of heaven. The sweet potato texture was smooth and the bread crumbs gave a nice crunch to it. The cheese inside made it very creamy. The sauces were amazing. I definitely couldn’t pick a favorite. They ended up giving us two other sauces, which were BBQ and a spicy ketchup. There was a good amount in the basket, which was nice. We ended up eating this so quickly. We were starving. They were served really hot too, which is a nice thing because apparently some establishments don’t serve hot food.

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Aren’t these so cute? They were the regular ketchup and dijon mustard containers. I loved that the restaurant actually had a bear theme to the whole place. There were bear heads (not real ones) on the walls, that were painted different colors and patterns. It just made the ambiance of the restaurant really fun and entertaining. There was so much to look at and see.

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I was debating over getting the big blue bacon or the maui wowie. I ended up choosing maui wowie because I can’t resist pineapple and turkey bacon. The burger came with smoked mozzarella, pineapple ring, turkey bacon, fried onions, fried roasted red peppers, and buttermilk ranch. Bareburger recommended getting the burger wild boar, but I ended up just getting beef with mine. I ordered my meat medium and got it on a brioche roll. The bread was amazing. It was toasted to perfection, so it wasn’t soggy when the burger and sauce soaked through. The meat was cooked exactly as I ordered and was extremely juicy. The toppings were the most appetizing combination ever. The crunch and smokiness of the turkey bacon went well with the sweetness of the pineapple. The spice from the peppers was cooled off by the buttermilk ranch, which also gave the burger a nice creamy texture when you bit into it.

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I mean just look at this burger. It is heaven staring right back at me. I can’t wait to go back to try more burgers. This place sort of reminds me of Hopdoddy in Austin, TX, which is one of my favorite burger places ever, so this obviously means that Bareburger is legit. The best thing about this place is that there is more than just burgers on the menu. They have a breakfast brunch menu, breakfast paninis, and so much more. I pretty much have decided that I am going to go here at least once a month, so that I can enjoy a new thing on the menu every time!

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We ended up splitting a large basket of onion rings and fries. The onion rings were the bomb. The breading on the onions were seasoned and fried perfectly, meaning they weren’t too crunchy or soft. The onion rings were so good that I wish we just would have ordered an entire basket of onion rings. Not that the fries were bad because they were actually golden and crispy, but soft on the inside. I just loved the onion rings so much that it was sad when there were no more left. Of course they came with more types of dipping sauces, which was awesome.

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Carrianne ended up getting the Big Blue Bacon. It had Wisconsin Blue Cheese, country bacon, sauteed mushrooms, fried onions, and bacon marmalade. The burger was recommended with ostrich, but she ended up getting beef. She ordered her beef to be medium well. Also she ordered hers on a brioche bun. She was in a burger coma as she chewed through hers. She said it was delicious. The bacon marmalade had a sweet, yet smoky flavor that went nicely with the cooked vegetables. The cheese was also not overwhelming, which was nice. My other friend ended up getting the same burger as me, but without the buttermilk ranch. After our meal, our stomachs were so full that we could barely walk. We ended up going along the water, but our stomachs were so full that we had to sit on a bench for a good amount of time before we could continue our journey. All in all, I recommend bareburger as a must if you are visiting NYC or if you live here and haven’t already gone! It is a burger paradise.

What is your favorite topping on a burger?
What is the craziest meat you have ever had a burger with?

For the Love of Churro

Hey ya’ll! I’m back for day 2 of my trip to Spain. The second day, we were still in Madrid. Since we got so much sleep the night before, we decided to start the day early in Madrid. I was in the mood for breakfast (something that I did not eat that much on the trip, which made me very sad since that is my favorite meal of the day). We ended up going for a very unconventional breakfast: Churros con chocolate. We wondered off into the streets of Madrid to San Gines, a very popular churreria in Madrid.

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Hello to these crispy cakes of goodness. When a lot of people think about churros, they think of covered in cinnamon sugar. However churros in Spain are pretty plain. Just fried sticks of heaven. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfection. You could either order yours with a cup of hot chocolate or a cup of coffee. My brother and I both got ours served with hot chocolate. This was a huge plate of churros. Somehow we managed to eat it all, but it definitely kept us full for hours and hours.

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When we ordered hot chocolate, I was thinking it was going to be a hot cup of liquidy chocolate silk. However this was not the case. The hot chocolate actually is very thick. It seems just like a cup of melted chocolate, which it probably was. I should have acquired more information on it, so I could have shared the wonders of this delicious cup with ya’ll. It was perfect to go with the churros though because with each dunk of churro in the cup, the churro would be coated perfectly and it wouldn’t drip that much. Three cheers for no messes! After we finished up our churros and took a minute to let our stomachs rest, we set off on our journey to the Prado Museum.

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This is the outside of the Prado. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, which made me very sad. We ended up getting there about 15 minutes early, which was good since we were able to get to the front of the line. If you are ever in Madrid, this is a must do. Get there early because by the time it reaches 10 am when the museum opens, there is a huge line wrapped around the museum and you will have to wait a while in the heat. We had this hilarious tour guide in the museum. She was making us crack up laughing while still educating us on all the wonderful paintings in the museum. We saw tons of El Greco, Vasquez, and Goya. We spent a lot of time at the museum, but it was totally worth it.

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Next we walked all the way to Retiro park. It was so gorgeous. There were tons of different types of plants. My favorite were the trees that were shaped like broccoli. They were quite funny to look at. The people that cut them did a very good job at shaping the plants. This park was huge. It felt like we could walk forever and still discover new areas of the park. We walked to the water, which was so nice. People were rowing boats on the water, which looked like a lot of fun. We then trekked further through the park to find a beautiful structure that awaited us!

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Hello to the Cristal Palace. It was so hot inside haha but it was so beautiful. They had these circles hanging from the ceiling in different colors. It was gorgeous. There were also matching circles spread throughout the floor. It was a really cool thing to find in the middle of a huge park. I definitely recommend for anyone in Madrid to spend some time in the park. Maybe have a picnic or layout by the water.

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For lunch, which was around about 3 pm, we went to this lovely place called Malaspina. This is a MUST. The place was so amazing. Probably the best meal we had in Madrid! This was a tortilla espanola. It was sooooo cheesy in the middle. I love anything that has melty cheese in the middle. The egg and potato part of the tortilla was delicious too. It was served on a perfectly toasted piece of bread. This was definitely the best tortilla espanola we had on the whole trip.

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This may be the best Spanish tapa dish ever. Patatas bravas. They are small pieces of potato topped with a delicious spicy sauce. After this time of having them, we ate these suckers everywhere we could find them. These were definitely one of the best things I discovered on the trip to Spain. I am definitely going to have to recreate these and make a healthy version. I miss them so much. It was like a staple of my diet while I was there. The sauce was the perfect amount of spicy. Not enough to burn your mouth, but just enough to give you that little kick in your mouth. The potatoes were also crispy just like I like them. They reminded me of hashbrowns.

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Just your average Iberian ham on top of some toast. This was delicious. Such a simple dish, but so tasty. I love how thin the ham is. It is perfect. My brother gobbled this plate up. He loved the Iberian ham more than anything on the trip, well besides the patatas bravas.

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This just looks like heaven on a plate. You can’t go wrong with melty cheese on the top of anything. This was a different kind of ham with cheese on top of toast. This may have been my favorite dish of the meal besides the potatoes. It was so rich and creamy from the cheese. The cheese provided a sweet flavor while the ham added a small amount of saltiness. Then the bread added a nice crunch to the dish. It was perfect.

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Of course we had to have a plate of calamari. This one was fried perfectly. We topped it off with some lemon juice and started devouring away. I love tapas because this was a small amount of calamari. If it was a large plate, I’m not sure if I would be able to consume it all with my brother. We really enjoyed this calamari though. I like it when it is in the rings. Although, as seen from my post yesterday, I obviously don’t have a problem eating pieces that look like baby squids.

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After we took a very long siesta (which is much needed every day), we ended up going to House Sorolla. It was the house of the famous Spanish artist, Sorolla. It was so beautiful outside. There was a huge garden in front of the house. We then went inside to look at the gallery. It was a pretty small gallery inside, but the colors of the paintings were very gorgeous. It was a nice museum. The weather was also perfect, so they had the windows open inside the house. It was definitely an interesting way to view art.

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This was the only day that we ate three meals. I know, we were very unhealthy the entire trip. Not eating a lot everyday, but walking all over the place. This meal was also super delicious. It was more of a seafood place, which we had been craving. My family loves seafood, so anytime we can get fresh fish we are there. This dish was shrimp with garlic and some other kinds of ingredients in a hot bowl. It was super delicious.

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This may be the best cheese plate I have ever had. It was a mix of goat cheese and brie. Brie is my favorite cheese. My brother is obsessed with cheese and bread, so that is why we ordered this dish in the first place. It was served with a bowl of caramelized onions! I told ya’ll that you would be seeing those suckers again on my blog. Who knew that it would be so soon! I liked mixing both cheese on a piece of toast and topping it with caramelized onions. It was delicious.

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These were tigres, which were fried mussels. They were so delicious. This was amazing. How can you go wrong with something fried? The inside was creamy and delicious. While the top was fried crispy. We only had these one other time on the trip, which made me very sad. I love mussels. However they were so delicious and I’m glad I have a picture to remember them. My dad loves tigres so much, he always goes on and on about how the tigres in Salamanca are sooooo amazing (I think we heard that story about 5 million times hahaha).

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This is a beautiful looking plate. Underneath the delicious crispy Iberian ham, there is sauteed mushrooms. Two of my favorite things on one plate. These mushrooms weren’t as great as the place we had the night before, but it was a different yet still delicious flavor. I really enjoyed the ham on top. It added a salty flavor to the mushrooms.

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Finally we had paella. I love paella. It is so amazing Filled with all kinds of seafood. My favorite may have been the calamari that was hidden beneath the rice. I was in love with this dish. Unfortunately this was the only paella we had on the entire trip. I was sad, but we were eating so much good food that I didn’t seem to really notice until the end of the trip. My tummy was so happy after this meal. We ate soo late too. We had dinner at like 1030 pm! We finished at around 11 something. It was quite weird, but so typical for Spain. People are out strolling at 11 pm with their children in strollers. I found this to be very interesting. Anyways day 2 was such a success. We were having so much fun that I couldn’t wait to explore more of Spain!

Have you ever had paella?
What is your favorite fried food?

Baby, I’m back

Guess who is back, back, back, back again?!? MEEEE. I know ya’ll have missed me so much! I have missed ya’ll too. I’ve been crazy busy for the last month. I was working like crazy in a lab, I moved back to Austin, and then as soon as I moved back I was off to Spain! For the next week or so, I will be recapping my entire trip to Spain. Once that fun stuff is over, I have a TON of new recipes to share with ya’ll! I also have some pretty big news for ya’ll! I got accepted into the masters program at Columbia University for my masters of science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Go Lindsay. Seriously still so proud of myself. I’m trying to figure out everything right now, so I will let ya’ll know if I end up going there (which I really really really want to go)! Now onto the big topic of Spain.

Oh god the flight was pure hell. I thought I was going to die. It wasn’t long, but it was the fact that we got into Madrid at 8:30 am and we had to wait at JFK for about 5 hours. It was definitely not fun. I was so tired when we got in, but we had to do a full day of activity!

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This guy was hilarious. I am still not even sure what this is, but it was one of the many street performers we saw on our trip. After we checked into our hotel in Madrid, we wondered off into the streets of the city to find something to eat and see some fun things. This is one of the great things we saw that first day. My brother was obsessed with him. He would like move around and make these really weird noises. I was doing some epic stalker pictures of him as he moved around the plaza we randomly walked through.

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When we eventually got to our hotel (we rode the subway all the way), it was around 11 in the afternoon. Then when we went out it was getting closer to 1 pm, so we decided that lunch would be the best option plus breakfast is not very popular there. We ran across this popular market, Mercado de San Miguel. It was actually really beautiful. The entire market was wrapped in glass windows that expanded from the floor to the ceiling, so you could see all the delicious stalls from the outside. As soon as we walked in, the fresh and delicious aroma hit our noses and our stomachs started to grumble. We obviously bee-lined to the first scrumptious looking stall we found, which was this seafood tapas one.

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We got four types of tapas of the many that were offered. They were all different types of seafood on small pieces of toast. One of them was mussels, one was clams, one was salmon, and the other was tuna. They were so delicious. There was a nice blend of textures from the softness of the chopped seafood with the crunch of the toasted bread. It was such a fresh light snack to have. This was what I loved about Spain. You could have multiple tapas or small plates, so you would get to try a multitude of things. You also didn’t feel like you were overeating or anything since everything was very small. I was in foodie heaven at this point.

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My favorite one was the oyster with a little caviar on top. You couldn’t taste the caviar. Only the rich flavor of the chopped oyster mixture. It was so delicious. It was creamy and sweet. I wasn’t even sure that it tasted like oyster, but that is what the label said at the stand. I was definitely not complaining. I could have eaten more than one of these, but there were so many more stands to try, so we had to keep going on.

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Fried food? Yes, sign me up please. My family loves calamari, so as soon as we saw some fried squid we had to grab some to go. It was in a paper cone, which was handy because we were able to walk around the market while holding it and not making a complete mess everywhere. The squid was perfectly fried. It was crispy, but not greasy. Sometimes when people fry things, it gets really greasy and disgusting. The calamari was so fresh too. It was bursting with flavor as you ate each and every piece. My brother and I gobbled this up in a few minutes. We also tried some fried sardines, which was interesting. It tasted like fish sticks.

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Introducing the Spanish food of croquettes. Fried cylinders filled with different types of creamy mixtures? Ummmm HECK YES. These were so delicious. That day we had a jamon (ham) and cheese one, a lobster one, and a shrimp one. It was hard to pick a favorite. It probably was a tie between the ham and lobster ones. The ham one was so cheesy with small chunks of chopped up Iberian ham while the lobster one was a creamy mixture of lobster and cheese. I was definitely a big fan, so this was the beginning of our croquette obsession on the trip along with our ham obsession (THERE HAM IS SOOOOO GOOD)!

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After we went to the market, we decided to walk around some more. After a little while, we ended up in Sol, which was an area filled with shopping (obviously I was in heaven there). We wanted something sweet for dessert and there was this delicious looking bakery. In the windows, they had shelves of some of the treats they offered. We went in and ordered two things. One of them was a napolitana de chocolate, which is sort of like a chocolate croissant. Although I think this was better than your typical chocolate croissant. The chocolate inside tasted like a fluffy buttercream. The pastry was baked perfectly, so it was only slightly crispy on the top and soft all around. It was topped with some type of sugar. We weren’t really sure nor did we care because we shoved this in our mouth so quickly.

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Hmmm this is interesting. A large white square. It is a meringue. It is definitely one of the more weird meringues that I have ever seen, but who cares since it was so delicious. It was soft and fluffy. It was so hard to eat though and we looked very awkward eating it. Every time my brother or I took a bite, our mouths were covered with meringue. It was very sweet, but I didn’t mind. It was like we were eating a soft cloud. I was sad that we never went back to the bakery because it was definitely my favorite bakery we ate at on the entire trip.

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After all our munching adventures, we walked all the way to the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum of Art. There was a special Pizarro exhibit while we were there, which was very interesting. I have a huge love of art, duh, so I was very happen to explore all the museos that Spain had to offer. I am looking hella exhausted. I am even rocking the glasses look. My brother would get so pissed every time I wanted to take a picture. Too bad. We were definitely needing our siesta at this point though. We were dragging through the museum, which made me kind of sad because I wanted to really absorb the greatness of the art.

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For dinner, we went to this tapas bar called Lateral that was very close to our hotel. We had taken a nice long siesta. It was good. The thing about Spain is that siestas are definitely needed. I haven’t been the one to nap during the day, but there somehow I was able to sleep. For the first dish, we had tortilla espanola. It was delicious. Another classic dish of Spain. It is pretty much a Spanish omelet. It was filled with potatoes and cheese. I was definitely a fan, but I had this dish before at a tapas bar in Boston.

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This tapa was jamon con queso. The cheese was a delicious brie that was topped with Iberian ham. This was delicious. The ham is sliced so thin and it is has a wide variety of flavors in just one piece of meat. The brie was so creamy. This probably was my favorite tapas of the night. It made me fall even more in love with the greatness of Iberian ham.

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The lower tapa was foie gras on top of a steak type of meat and the top was caramelized onions on top of the same type of meat. Oh man, how I love how Spain does caramelized onions. It sort of looks like a tablespoon of jam, but really it is a sweet mixture of cooked onions. We definitely had our fair share of onions after this meal. My brother and I also love foie gras. It was one of our favorite delicacies. We had it probably at almost every place that we ate at. Most people probably think we are weird, but ya’ll are the ones that are missing out!

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These are abondigas, which are Spanish meatballs. I thought these were just okay, but I’ve definitely had better. Like the time I was in New York City. They were served cold rather than hot, so I think that is why I didn’t like the dish as much as the abondigas I have had previously. After our meal here, we ended up exploring a bit more. We ended up at this really cute rustic place that was most famous for mushrooms. We ended up getting a plate of mushrooms that was to die for. I forgot to take a picture because I was so exhausted at this point in the night. After dinner, we strolled around the city a bit, but then went back to the hotel. I was exhausted and passed out easily!

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my first day in Madrid! Get ready for some great pictures of food, sites, and random things. I have missed this community so much while I was gone! But now I’m back with tons of delicious things to entertain ya’ll with!

Have you ever been to Spain? Where?
Have you ever had Spanish cuisine?

Celebrating with the Fried

Hey ya’ll! Today I’m providing you with a review for a local food truck in San Marcos, Tx. I actually ate this meal a while ago, but I forgot to give my review on it because I’ve been crazy busy. This was my celebration to the end of Passover. It was a rainy day, probably because my stomach was crying from consuming way too much matzah and it was begging for something delicious to eat. I decided to go the food truck route because I wanted something quick, but with tons of flavor. I went to one of the food truck parks and looked at my options. Hmm..which one should I choose?

photo(7)I was looking for one requirement that day. No wait, two. One: it had to involve some type of bread (in the form of batter, actual bread, or utilization of flour in a product). Second: it had to be delicious and fattening. Fried seafood? Sounds like a plan. I chose to go to the Caboose food trailer to end my Passover starvation. There was so many things on the menu that I had no idea what to order. After talking with the staff, I decided to get the fried oysters for my meal and have dessert for later, which was funnel cake fries (oh yes, I went there).

photo(6)The oyster meal came with fried oysters, french fries, and three hush puppies. It was so much food that I was regretting getting the funnel cake sticks. Then I remembered, oh wait I have a refrigerator, so I can just save this stuff for later if I get full. I definitely got full quick because my stomach wasn’t used to eating so much food and eating flour. The meal came with some special sauce that was really delicious with cajun spice flavors.

photo(4)I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the oysters. They were too salty for my taste. The owner was nice though and gave me extra because he thought the sizes weren’t decent enough. I think next time I’m going to go for a po’boy. The french fries were amazing though. They were rolled in a variety of spices and were fried to perfection. I love a good french fry.

photoThe hush puppies were like none that I have ever had before. They were spicier and were a different consistency than the ones I’ve had. This was definitely a good thing. Take one of these suckers and dip it into the Caboose’s special sauce, and you have yourself a winning combination. I couldn’t eat all of the meal, so I put in the refrigerator to eat for lunch the next day.

photo(1)This may have been the most glorious thing that has ever been created in the world. Funnel cake fries. They are fried sticks of funnel cake that you can have topped with whatever syrup you want and powdered sugar. I would seriously go to this trailer just for these delicious bites of goodness.

photo(2)I had raspberry and vanilla on top of mine. The owner said that was the most popular combination, so I said why not. They also had caramel, chocolate, strawberry, and one other flavor that I can’t remember. Luckily that night I was going to the movies with some friends, so I decided to sneak these bad boys in my giant purse for us all to enjoy.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my fried adventure. Ya’ll probably are like how does this girl not gain a ton of weight from all the crud that she eats? Well it is eating healthy and treating yourself every once and a while. My treat day is usually Sunday and I pick something delicious that I want to have. It doesn’t hurt that I also have volleyball practice on Sundays, so I get an good workout in too! I changed the blog’s name to Functional Foodie because I am more of a foodie blogger than a healthy living blogger.

Vietnamese in Austin

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone, but I’ve been dead. I’m not even kidding. When I landed back in Austin from my time at Ultra in Miami, my feet were completely swollen. Turns out I had edemas in both of my feet with two plus pitting, my arthritis was in my knee and finger, I had a virus, and many other scary complications. Yeah my life sucked for a week. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share a delicious find in Austin for you. I love Vietnamese food, so when my mom suggested this place one night I decided sure why not?

lPhonatic. It is located in a shopping strip next to a walmart. I know, I was sort of skeptical at first because of the location plus I’m extremely loyal to my favorite Vietnamese place in Austin: Tam’s Deli. However I was starving and I thought it would be much more tastier than a salad from Which Wich. We decided to go in and try it out.

IMG_3453This place is really interesting. The menus are all on these electronic screens that are lined up against the wall before the cash register. There are even some delicious looking pictures on each menu. The first two menus consist of appetizers and pho bowls. The third menu has noodles and the last menu contains kids meals, drinks, and desserts. Once you finally figure out what you want, you go to the cash register, order, and they give you a number to take to your table. Your food probably won’t all come out at once if you ordered appetizers. Sometimes the appetizers even come after the entrees. Crazy, but who cares.

photo(1)Hello to the greatest thing to exist on the planet earth. This is now one of my favorite items. They are bahn mi sliders. It uses a soft bun, that usually is served with roasted duck in traditional Chinese restaurants, and it is topped with grilled pork. There is daikon, carrots, cilantro, and this delicious mayonaisse sauce that covers the bottom of the bun. Three come on a plate, so it is the perfect appetizer to share or the perfect meal to have for yourself. I am constantly craving these bad boys. I am so glad that my mom lives down the street from this place.

photo(4)This is the crispy tofu appetizer. My brother ordered this as his meal the last time we went, which I thought was a good idea. It definitely wasn’t enough to sustain you though. It was freaking delicious. The tofu was lightly fried and cut into the perfect size squares. Then it was seasoned with a little spice, but not so overwhelming that your mouth was constantly on fire. I would order this as an appetizer again for sure.

photo(2)One thing they do well at Phonatic is cook pork. The pork there is so juicy, tender, and well seasoned. I have not had a bad piece ever. I decided to get an order of pork spring rolls. This was such a good decision. They were really simple, but because the pork was cooked so well they ended up being extremely flavorful. I would definitely order these again. The peanut sauce was perfect with them too.

photo(3)Obviously since the place is called Phonatic, they are known for their pho. My brother ended up getting a simple pho with just pork and noodles in it. He then topped it with jalapenos, bean sprouts, and cilantro (the place has a bar with various toppings and condiments you can add to your food). I have to say it was really delicious. The soup was hot and flavorful from soaking up the pork and other spices.

photo(5)However I think I win with best pho. I got the shrimp and pork dumpling pho, which was such a good idea. I was really craving a warm soup with good dumplings. The dumplings were soft and fresh while the soup was the perfect temperature. There was also Chinese broccoli in the soup, which I’m a big fan of. I would definitely order this soup again. I actually wish I had it right now.

I hope you enjoyed this review. I definitely recommend that you check it out if you are in Austin. You won’t be disappointed.

A Foodie Adventure

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Mine was pretty good. I went out to celebrate my best friend’s last weekend in Austin (I’m seriously depressed about this since we have been friends since freshmen year of high school). Anyways lets go on to happy thoughts like fun foodie adventures. My family and I love trying out restaurants in Austin, so when my brother suggested that we go to Perla’s on South Congress, we were of course all down to go eat some good food.

The decor of Perla’s is so cute. It has an aquatic theme with a boat atmosphere on the outside (unfortunately not caught in the picture). My brother blended right in with the theme of the restaurant with his blue hair. They were packed full of reservations, but somehow we snuck in a table as long as we were out by 7. No problem.

We decided to order three appetizers for the table to share. One of our first appetizers was mussels. Oh god, they were so good. The mussels were soaked in some kind of sauce with peppers and other chopped up bits of yumminess in the bowl. The toasted bread was perfect to dip deep into the bowl and soak up the liquid. Thumbs up for this dish!

This picture is a little blurry, boooo. Who cares though? This was probably my favorite appetizer of the night. Fried oysters. Really you can’t go wrong with anything fried. They were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The oysters were served with this spicy thick sauce that took it to that special place in food heaven. I would seriously go here just to order about ten plates of these. I couldn’t eat ten plates, but I would so go down trying.

The last appetizer we ordered was a crab cake. It was really good. I liked that the restaurant placed some fresh arugula on top of the cake because it gave it some extra flavoring. I didn’t care for the large amount of onions they placed underneath it, but it was still delicious and the crab cake disappeared within 30 seconds of it being placed on the table.

For my main entree, I ordered the lobster roll with a side of fries. Good choice on my part. The lobster was extremely fresh and mixed with the perfect amount of mayonaisse. The bun was toasted to perfection and had a sweet taste to it. This definitely hit the spot on my lobster roll craving. I have been missing lobster rolls ever since I left Boston in August. The french fries were just okay, but then again I’m not going to a seafood restaurant to focus on their quality of french fries.

We decided to order one side, which was asparagus in Bearnaise sauce. They were actually really good for just a side. The asparagus was grilled and super crispy, which is my favorite way to eat them. Then they weren’t overly drenched in sauce, which I appreciated a lot.

We did end up ordering a dessert, which was a salted caramel pudding with coconut cookies on the side. Somehow I forgot to take a picture. Probably because my camera kept dying. Oh well. It was really delicious anyways. This is definitely going on my recommendation list of restaurants in Austin. If they have happy hour specials then I will definitely be there because those appetizers are so good.

Hope ya’ll have a great Monday!