Posts tagged Food
Media Noche SF
 
 
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Media Noche

3465 19th St, San Francisco, CA

 

 

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What we ordered: 

El Cubano ($12.50) - roasted mojo pork shoulder, smoked ham, swiss, house pickles, mustard

Media Noche ($11.50) - Miami party sandwich; el cubano on sweet brioche

Mariquitas ($5.50) - crispy plaintain chips with famous green sauce 

Midnight Mimosa ($10) 

A few weeks ago, I typed "most Instagrammable places in San Francisco" into my Google search bar. Media Noche was one of them. I was drawn to the simple menu, effortlessly playful decor, colors, and the warm atmosphere.

Joe ordered the El Cubano while I ordered the Media Noche but we eventually traded our second halves. I liked the understated taste of the El Cubano and he preferred the stronger, meatier taste of the Media Noche and the sweet touch of the brioche. We both liked the plantain chips and I especially liked the tart green sauce that came with it. I'm going to make it a little mission of mine to find out how to replicate it! 

If you're in the San Francisco area and looking for some lovely Cuban sandwiches, a great atmosphere, and some very pretty Instagram photos to go along with it, try Media Noche. 

 
 
Feeling Peckish

What we ordered: 
Charcuterie Plank
Rabbit Leg Marsala
Lamb Burger with Goat Cheese
Whipped Goat Cheese & Honeycomb 

Peckish Pig is one of my favorite restaurants and an easy pick for our Friday night sister date. It has an incredibly interesting and diverse menu, wonderful beer selection, great service, relaxed, romantic vibe, and an overall rustic feel from the exposed brick walls to the light fixtures. 

The charcuterie plank is a favorite of mine and I have yet to visit Peckish without ordering one. The variety of cheeses and meats change from time to time and never disappoint. Another favorite is the goat cheese with honeycomb. When my fiance visited Chicago a few years ago, he tried it and insisted we order another to go. Then my sister tried it a year later and always requests it! The smoothness of the cheese with the sweetness of the honey on some warm, crisp bread is everything I've ever wanted in a comfort food. 

For entrees, I ordered the lamb burger and my sister got the rabbit leg marsala. The lamb burger was good (as per usual) but my sister's order was delicious! The meat was tender and the sauce was perfect. I definitely took more than a few bites of her food. I can't wait to try the roasted bone marrow, bistro streak, lamb kebabs, and seafood next time I visit! 

Yolk

Yolk is one of those hyped up brunch spots that my dad is always skeptical about. He can take one look at their menu, see the prices, and insist he can get better service and food at the cozy breakfast spot nearby. My sister and I, on the other hand, are more than happy to drive all the way downtown, pay for parking, and wait in line for random hyped up ~yuppie~ restaurants. And that's exactly what we did.

The wait to get a table at Yolk was loooooooong. My sister and I were left standing by the door for about 45 minutes before we finally got called and ushered over to our table. After spending several minutes perusing their extensive menu, my sister order the All-Star Combo because you can't go wrong with a classic breakfast while I opted for the skirt steak with all the sides. The combo, while pretty standard and 'boring', was delicious with large servings. The skirt steak was tasty and perfectly cooked. But my favorite part of the meal were the waffles! They were crisp and tasted great even without butter or syrup. Speaking of butter, I don't know what they put in their butter, where they get, or if they churn it themselves but it was fantastic and I was tempted to ask for more to bring home.

Yolk is great casual brunch spot in downtown Chicago, perfect for brunch dates and hanging out with friends. I would definitely go back to explore the menu and try the red velvet French toast.

What we ordered:
Skirt steak & eggs with fresh fruit and waffles
Yolk all-star combo (2 eggs, 2 sausage links, 2 slices of bacon, a half waffle)

 

 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna to get" 

"I want to try something different." That's what my sister said when we were trying to decide what to have for lunch at Navy Pier. There was a McDonald's, a Greek spot, a hotdog stand, pizza, Harry Caray's Margaritaville, and Bubba Gump. Margaritaville was packed and I've tried Harry Caray's, the good wasn't all too great. So Bubba Gump was our pick. 

Being an island girl who lived in front of the sea for most of my life, I doubt I'll ever get tired of seafood. We had fishermen passing by our house to sell freshly caught fish, oysters by the sack, and shrimp bigger than my hand. So I was all too happy to order the Shrimper's Heaven with bundles of shrimp cooked four different ways. My sister and her smaller appetite ordered the tilapia with lobster butter sauce. Both dishes were wonderful and our server was the nicest lady. She asked us trivia about the Forrest Gump film, offered dessert, and checked up on us often enough. Eating shrimp out under the sun with a cold beer and looking out at the lake was the highlight of my Saturday. 

 

Ambiance

We were seated outside at a table with an umbrella sticking out of the middle. The seating area was well spaced out and gave each table enough room to back up their chairs and enough privacy for personal conversations. If you happen to be at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on a beautiful day, I would highly recommend sitting outside.

 

Service

The service was great! Our server happily helped us with our choices and gave her own recommendations. They have a stop-and-go system with each table being equipped with two flippable car plates. On one was "Run Forrest Run" in green and on the other was "Stop Forrest Stop" in red. The green plate informed servers that your table was being taken care of and did not need any assistance. The red plate did the exact opposite. As someone who absolutely hates when servers constantly pop by the table to check up on everything, I thought it was a wonderful idea.

 

What we ordered: 
Calamari
Shrimper's Heaven
Jenny's Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce
Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae

The food was great! I think the Shrimper's Heaven is going to be become my go-to order for any trips to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It included breaded coconut shrimp, chilly shrimp, fried shrimp, and Japanese style tempura shrimp along with dipping sauces (tangy Asian, Cajun marmalade, and zesty cocktail). The fried shrimp was a bit too oily for my liking. It was shiny and quite bland without any sauce. The coconut shrimp was interesting in a good way. The coconut flakes had a nice subtle taste that went well with the shrimp. I tried it with a squeeze of lemon and butter sauce. The chilly shrimp was good but didn't have quite the kick of spiciness I was looking for. Next time, I'll sprinkle some pepper or hot sauce over it. Last but not least, the tempura shrimp was perfect. The breading wasn't too thick and the shrimp was tender. It went perfectly with any of the sauces.

My sister, Julia, ordered the Jenny's Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce. It was pan seared tilapia over mashed potatoes and spinach with the sauce drizzled over it all. To be honest, when they set her plate on the table, there was a pang of regret that I didn't order the same thing or something similar. After a bite, that feeling faded away just a bit.The fish and the sauce were great but the spinach didn't do much for it. The mashed potatoes were also lovely but I would have liked for them to be set on the side instead of mixed into the pile.

Brunch at Boltwood

I think I've passed Boltwood several times since I moved to Evanston a year and a half ago. I would occasionally glance at the curtained window but never gave it a closer look.  It was one of those things that you don't notice until it is pointed out, painfully obvious and yet perfectly hidden. 

Yesterday, my cousin invited my sister and I to brunch at Boltwood. After consulting our beloved Google Maps, we hopped on the bus and made our way to downtown Evanston. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was right on Davis Street. We almost passed it actually! Boltwood doesn't have a big sign with flashing lights and arrows pointing to its entrance. It is subtle and understated, letting its service and food do the talking. 

Once inside, the atmosphere of the restaurant continued to be understated but also rustic and elegant. With large windows across one whole wall, natural light poured in onto the wooden tables. Our round table was located in the middle of the restaurant and we had a great view of everything from the open kitchen on the right to the bar behind us by the entrance. I particularly loved that everything felt very relaxed. The servers were attentive but not overly excited and annoying. The chef, a friend of my cousin, came out, happily greeted us, and later gave us vanilla ice cream with maple syrup and malt bits (on the house!). The bartender was happy to assist us when the other servers were busy. Our waitress was great when answering any questions we had and was patient when we couldn't quite decide what to get. There was no pressure to be fancy. It was just about good food at a good place with good people. That's all I really ask for from restaurants and Boltwood delivered on that impeccably. 

What we ordered: 

Island creek oysters + citrus mignonette
Granola bowl + yogurt + raspberry jam
Squash miso soup + coconut milk
House maple breakfast sausage + scrambled eggs, French toast bun, with crispy potatoes
House cured bacon
A rosé a day (cocchi rosa, gin, peychauds, brut rosé) 
Green tea dragonwell 

 

If you ever find yourself in downtown Evanston and in need of a wonderful restaurant, I would highly recommend Boltwood. Find it at 804 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201. 

Joe's Crab Shack

My boyfriend is a huge fan of Joe's Crab Shack. He has a class once a week near Pier 39 so he usually walks over after for a late lunch/early dinner. So it was no surprise that he insisted on bringing me there when I visited. I had not had crab in a loooooooong time so there was no protesting on my end. I was just mildly concerned about looking like a barbarian as I snapped crab legs with bare hands. Back home, we rarely used fancy little fork things to pry meat out of tough spots. It was a joyful event with a mallet, chopping board, and flying crab bits.

It turns out that I am quite skilled with a lobster/nut cracker. The elderly couple sitting at the table beside us actually giggled when Joe eventually handed over his crab legs for me to ~expertly~ crack open. I also managed to share some of our food by accidentally flicking crab meat at surrounding tables. Sharing is caring, right?

What we ordered: Joe's Classic Steampot for two and crab stuffed mushrooms
What's in it? Large Queen crab, sweet Snow crab, shrimp and smoked sausage. ♥♥♥

The food was pretty good! For an appetizer, we ordered the crab stuffed mushrooms. It was very savory and they give you just enough so you don't get too full before the rest of your meal arrives. And best part? We got it for free! I signed up for the Joe's Crab Shack email list and I got a free appetizer for my birthday. ☺

The crab was perfectly cooked and the seasoning on it was great (I was shamelessly licking my entirely palm afterwards). There was sausage as well but I didn't get to taste it. Joe was more than happy to chomp those down. The shrimp was tender but bland. I asked for melted butter and it helped a lot. Overall, I thought it was more than worth it. Definitely earned a second visit from me!