FOODIE FRIDAY//TRADER SAM’S

Hello!

About a month ago I was out with a friend and we had a few hours to kill in-between looking at houses and meeting up with friends for dinner so we naturally went to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Well…the parks were crowded and after walking around Downtown Disney (and scoping out the newest Tsum Tsums because we are nerds) we decided on Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (based on the famous Trader Sam from the Jungle Cruise). It’s located next to Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel with a view of the pool area. We attempted to sit inside but it was crowded…this is normal even at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

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I love the entrance!

After grabbing a sad table outside and trying to befriend a cat we saw several people leaving the bar so of course we casually ran/walked inside and were able to grab two seats!

The bartender gave us a bit of time to look through the menu and we each asked for the Ahi Poke. I normally don’t share because “Kayleigh doesn’t share food!” and because I’m usually so ravenous I want to eat everything. Since I was driving I decided on a non-alcoholic drink and my friend got to enjoy a margarita.

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the hot pink bendy straw really makes it…

The Skipper Sipper ($4.79) was one of “Sam’s No-Booze Brews”. It has tropical juice, agave nectar, falernum, mint, fresh lime juice, and soda water. It tasted like a virgin mojito and was super refreshing.

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yep…totally makes it.

My friend got the Rosita’s Margarita ($11). It has tequila, orange curaçao, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and falernum. You can get sugar or salt on the glass and it’s garnished with a mini fruit spear.

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one tequila, two tequila, three tequila…falernum?

The Ahi Poke is my absolute favorite thing to get and I don’t visit Trader Sam’s enough to enjoy it. It comes as a fancy little stack with ahi tuna, avocado, wasabi yuzu, sriracha aïoli on the side and wonton crisps for dipping. I always think there needs to be more crisps but I eat the leftover tuna with my chopsticks because why waste such a glorious thing?

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cute little hidden Mickey’s!

Overall, Trader Sam’s is a super casual bar with a fun vibe, delicious drinks, and tasty food!

Enjoy❤

 

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I’m Back!

Hello,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged but I’m back and determined to post regularly! I have a few posts lined up so please keep an eye on this space.

Enjoy❤

 

Foodie Friday // Steuben’s Food Service

Hello!

If you follow me on Instagram you may know that I am currently on vacation. So far we have seen Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Wyoming and now we’re staying in Colorado. The last time I was in Colorado was four years ago in May (which means it’s been four years since Steuben’s!!!)

My husband found Steuben’s when it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This visit was just as good as I remember from the first time. We decided to have an early lunch here before heading to the Rockies game for the afternoon.

the front of the restaurant

the front of the restaurant

The best way I can describe Steuben’s is upscale diner/comfort food. The design is very mid century modern but not stuffy or pretentious. Nothing is greasy spoon about this place. I love how hard Steuben’s works at making everything they use sustainable, from energy to napkins to food.

My husband and I decided to eat outside (even though it was getting hot) but the patio had an awning that provided shade as well as fans.

the patio

the patio

For the eats we decided upon gravy cheese fries and deviled eggs for appetizers, macaroni & cheese for me, and the Monte Cristo sandwich for my husband. We’re boring when it comes to drinks and we almost always order water or tea. I like how a carafe was placed at the table because I consume water like I’m stranded in the desert.

the simply dressed table with the water cafe (an old Jack Daniels bottle)

the simply dressed table with the water carafe (an old Evan Williams’ bottle)

Now to the food! We started off with gravy cheese fries. That’s right. Gravy. Cheese. Fries. I normally try to maintain a healthier diet….but I’m on vacation and this is one thing I cannot pass up. The fries are just a bit crispy so they can hold up under the gravy and melty cheese. These were delicious just like I remember.

the platter of gravy cheese fries

the platter of gravy cheese fries

I meaaaaaaaaaaan...

I meaaaaaaaaaaan…

The next appetizer we got were the deviled eggs. If you know me you know I love deviled eggs. Most places have their own variation and add bacon or relish or olives or some other fancy topping but Steuben’s is as classic as you can get. I’m very picky when it comes to what goes into a deviled egg but this is just topped with some paprika and chives. So simple but comforting at the same time.

a beautiful little egg (they put a small amount of of filling on the plate so they don't slide around)

a beautiful little egg (they put a small amount of of filling on the plate so they don’t slide around)

perfect to share between 2-3 people

perfect to share between 2-3 people

I didn’t want to eat too much since the fries were a little on the heavy side so I ended up getting a side of macaroni & cheese for my main. Again, if you know me I love macaroni & cheese. Cheese is my weakness and I appreciate it in most forms. I judge hard with most macaroni & cheese recipes because they try to get fancy and add weird ingredients but Steuben’s knows how to make it perfectly cheesy and it’s topped with some toasted breadcrumbs.

macaroni & cheese

side of macaroni & cheese

close up of cheesy deliciousness

close up of cheesy deliciousness

My husband wanted the Monte Cristo as he loves the ones at Disneyland so much. He enjoyed the fresh raspberry jam on the side as well as the balance of the the actual sandwich ingredients.

monte crustier with fresh raspberry jam and a secret pickle!

Monte Cristo with fresh raspberry jam and a secret pickle!

Overall we love Steuben’s and will always recommend it to people who find themselves in the Denver area. It’s all very decently priced with entrees running from $4 to $23. There is parking on the street and there is a small lot at the restaurant. There is a sharable bike rack in front if you want to explore they city.

Enjoy ❤

Foodie Friday // Pizza Press

Hello!

Last week I had quite the adventure and decided to eat at three different places for one lunch. Today is all about the appetizer and my favorite food group…pizza.

My husband and I love going to the Orange Circle to eat and we have our favorite places but we were intent on eating somewhere new for this lunch. The restaurant we were going to go to ended up being closed (after checking the times twice!). My ‘hangry‘ was starting to set in so I asked my husband if he wanted to split a pizza from Pizza Press since we hadn’t eaten there yet.

grab a menu!

grab a menu!

Pizza Press had been open for a while but the lines were always SO LONG. Which is a good thing because that means business but also ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that’. This time I was happy to see a shorter line so we took a look at the menu board and after reading the many delicious options we opted for the regular cheese pizza.

where you line up to make your own or one of their specialties

where you line up to make your own or one of their specialties

Pizza Press works like many other fast casual pizza joints. You can basically get unlimited toppings for just around $8 or get one of their featured pizzas. While we only got the cheese pizza (The Press Cheese-$6) it did come with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. There is a wide variety of cheeses, protein, and vegetables to choose from.

the proteins

the proteins

the veggies

the veggies

After ordering and choosing what toppings you would like the pizza is sent through a convection like oven so it pops out on other side after a few minutes.

*not my pizza*

*not my pizza*

After the pizza is done a crew member will ask if you would like any finishers added to the pizza like fresh herbs, pesto, BBQ sauce, etc. I feel like this part was little rushed as nothing was labeled and I wasn’t sure if I could get anything since I got one of the ‘set’ pizzas. I declined as I didn’t want to be that person holding up the line asking what each item was.

HUGE beer menu

HUGE beer menu

After that you are almost done! You are greeted by a giant beer menu and I was so overwhelmed I just got water, haha! This is probably a huge selling point and why this place is always packed. Pizza+beer+(a college town)=BUSY. I paid for my pizza and it was placed on a classic pizza board with paper. I grabbed it and headed outside to my husband to share our little appetizer.

pizzzzzzzzza *hearts in eyes*

the pizzzzzzzzza *hearts in eyes*

So it would seem like there is a ton of sauce on the pizza but there really wasn’t that much sauce at all, it just kind of migrated to the edges. The sauce is sweeter which is what I prefer and the cheese was melty and delicious in the middle. The crust was really good and crunchy but the slices were a little weird and uneven. I don’t think my husband minded as he ended up eating the larger slices, ha!

I would visit Pizza Press again but only if the line isn’t that long. The ordering process can be a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with the type of quick service and the ingredients aren’t labeled and I think that would ease the long lines. The beer menu is a plus and will definitely try one next time. The whole place is supposed to be like a newspaper factory (The Pizza Press, get it?)and I loved the little touches throughout.

Plus it’s pizza.

*drools*

*drools*

Enjoy ❤

FOODIE FRIDAY // LOBSTER WEST

Hello!

So let me tell you about an amazing little place called Lobster West. It’s located in the coastal town of Encinitas and they have the best lobster rolls ever. 

from my first visit in 2014

from my first visit in 2014

I live in Orange County so it’s an amazing treat to visit Lobster West every year for the Encinitas Street Fair in the spring. I really do need to make my way toward San Diego more often so I have an excuse to eat here all the time. This year I travelled by Metrolink for both days of the fair just so I could eat lunch here (and to walk around and enjoy all of the booths/music/crafts/etc). I also was able to stop by after the last day of San Diego Comic Con so my friend and I could indulge after geeking out that morning.

I mean...c'mon...*drools*

I mean…c’mon…*drools*

Now…about the lobster. It is FRESH. It’s flown out of Maine and shipped overnight to California to provide the freshest possible meat. The lobster meat is coated in the lightest amount of mayonnaise and lemon butter then is packed into the most perfect toasted spilt top buttered bun and topped with their spice blend. It’s basically just lobster. There is NO filler and I love that there is no fussing about with a ton of dressing and celery. They stick to what they know and are great at it.

straight up LOBSTA

straight up LOBSTA

There are two different styles you can get: Maine; served with chilled lobster meat or Connecticut; served with warm lobster meat. I have always gotten the Maine style but I may just have to get both next time. The price for the rolls are $12.95 for just the roll or $15.95 with coleslaw and chips. Not too bad when you consider many places charge $20 for just the roll! They don’t just have lobster rolls either. Lobster West also has shrimp rolls, crab rolls, lobster grilled cheese, soups, salads and as well as dessert.

WHOOPIE PIE

WHOOPIE PIE aka Sugar Heaven

The whoopie pies ($3.75) are huge and plenty to share between two people (unless you don’t want to of course). It’s a soft chocolate cookie cake filled with vanilla frosting and it’s simply delicious.

lobster bisque in a sourdough bread boule <3

lobster bisque in a sourdough bread boule ❤

I was lucky enough to win a contest at the street fair earlier this year for having the best foodie photo and I was rewarded with a free lobster bisque in a sourdough bread boule.  It took a few months for me to come down and claim it but finally it was all mine! I don’t think I can eat lobster bisque any other way now. The bisque isn’t overly salty and the little chunks of lobster are perfect. The bread inside is the best part and I tried to be as ladylike as possible while ripping apart the boule.

I love this mat!

I love this mat!

I love this place and can’t wait to visit again, until then I’ll cry into my Instagram photos.

menu and where you order

menu and where you order

small

indoor seating

there is plenty of seating indoors and out

there is plenty of seating indoors and out

Enjoy ❤

Foodie Friday // Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Hello!

Last week I scrolling through Instagram and I kept seeing Sidecar Doughnuts pop up on my feed and one of my best friends kept mentioning this fancy cold brew coffee craze. Like any normal person I bugged my husband and friends to go experience these wonderful doughnuts and coffee. So last Sunday my husband and I trekked down to Costa Mesa and got in the line (only 10-15 minutes) to see if everything was as hyped up as it was made to be.

I'll take them all, thanks!

I’ll take them all,please and thank you!

Well it was. I poke fun and call this a ~hipster~ place but you can call me a hipster all you want because they are AWESOME. They serve freshly made doughnuts with au natural ingredients, use what is fresh and in season, and they also feature Stumptown Coffee. I have never tried true cold brewed coffee (I’ve had iced coffee) but this is different. Different in a wonderful way. It was too strong for me but I tried it how it was served so I could full appreciate the cold brew-ness (which was served the ‘nitro’ way, other options are bottled or on tap). Next time I would add some almond milk and a bit of sugar but it was so smooth and not bitter which I find in most iced coffee. My dad, who joined us later, quite enjoyed the cold brew and was probably happy that I couldn’t deal with all of the coffee-ness. There was also some hints of chocolate in the cold brew as well which is always welcoming.

#blessed

#blessed

But enough about the coffee, we are here for the doughnuts too! And boy, are they worth it. I wanted to try a variety and there was three different tastes in our party so we ended up trying five doughnuts: Blackberry & Rose Geranium, Amaretti & Peach, Coconut, Maple Bacon, and the Rocky Road. All the flavors (besides the Maple Bacon) are only offered turning the month of July. I figure I can come back and sample (all) of the regular offerings anytime.

*wipes away a tear* They're so beautiful!

*wipes away a tear* They’re so beautiful!

First up on the list is Blackberry & Rose Geranium ($3.75) which my dad tried. It is a messy doughnut and it looked like he got into a fight with a blackberry and it lost but overall he said the whipped cream topping and blackberry glaze were a winner and he would get it again.

Blackberry & Rose Geranium

Blackberry & Rose Geranium

Next we have Amaretti & Peach ($3.25) which tasted most like a ‘traditional’ doughnut except 10x better because it has a peach and amaretto glaze. Plus the cake has peaches in it and almond extract. AND…it’s sprinkled with an amaretti cookie streusel. I mean…c’mon.

peaches and cookie strudel!

Amaretti & Peach

The next flavor is Coconut* ($2.75). This was my dad’s choice as I won’t eat shredded coconut unless it’s on a certain Girl Scout cookie. However he loved this as it’s a coconut cake, with a coconut glaze, and topped with shredded toasted coconut. So if you love coconut then this is for you!

*Every month Sidecar teams up with a charity/non-profit and 10% of sales of the featured doughnut gets donated, pretty neat! This month is Coconut and changes every month*

much coconut. such donate.

Coconut

Alright next is a staple doughnut that is offered all of the time and for good reason because it is covered in BACON. My husband knew he was getting this one before he even saw other choices. The Maple Bacon ($3.50) was delicious (I was able to take a bite before my husband basically inhaled it). The bacon was perfect and slightly crispy on top and not greasy at all. The maple glaze wasn’t so sweet that it was overpowering. Like all of their doughnuts every flavor compliments the other. This will definitely be one we get all of the time.

BACON.

Maple Bacon

And all of these beautiful doughnuts bring us to the Rocky Road ($3.50). Words cannot really describe the loveliness of this doughnut. Sidecar got their inspiration from the ice cream flavor and came up with a chocolate doughnut that tasted like something between a brownie and a doughnut. It’s also dipped in chocolate ganache and then sprinkled with chopped toasted almonds and homemade marshmallows. Oh, it also has chocolate chips in it so it’s sort of like a lava cake in the middle except less messy. I’m sad this is only available in July because I would get it every time.

GET IN MAH BELLY *drools*

Rocky Road

The prices aren’t like you can buy a dozen of these and pay $5 for it like your normal store. However, they are certainly worth it. I would rather take the time and enjoy a fresh product made with quality ingredients made by people who genuinely care about their customers and community. I will absolutely be returning to Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee and will make (terrible) excuses just to make my way down to Costa Mesa weekly.

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Enjoy ❤