Village Café in Bishop, CA

On our way home from Mammoth we have some mandatory stops to make. Most of the time we have to get gas for the ride home, so we stop at an Indian reservation that has a casino on its land and a gas station to fill up. My mom puts in $5 at a slot machine and tests her luck and then we’re off to the next stop. My brother and dad like to get beef jerky from Mahogany Smoked Meats and we get cheese bread and raisin bread from Schatz bakery. This time we also stopped for breakfast at the Village Cafe in Bishop. The Village Café is a strange place off a dusty road and they are only open five days a week from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. with the exception of some special days of the month when they may be open for dinner, but you’d have to stop by to know.

The Village Café looks like it was formerly someone’s home. The structure is almost that of a single-story house where you’d be eating in the den of grandma’s country-style flat. My dad jokingly said the bathroom is down past the living room where they’re watching TV, make sure to say hi as you pass by, and honestly it looks like that. Small town folks trying to make a living rustling up some grub—I like it.

So as we all arrived, we had a sampling of many items off the menu. I ordered grilled pork chops with home fries and eggs over easy, with gravy on the side and a biscuit; my mom had corned beef hash, which came out burnt so they had to make another one; my dad had a delicious ham steak, eggs and potatoes; my brother had French toast; my sister-in-law had lobster eggs Benedict; and my grandma had eggs with a biscuit and gravy.  I really enjoyed my pork chops; they were lightly floured and cooked on a flat top and the gravy was good, but I’m glad I got it on the side because it would have been way too much if I hadn’t.

The wait staff and everyone in the restaurant were so nice to us, always checking that we had everything we needed. It was really an enjoyable breakfast before the long ride back to Los Angeles.



The Stove; Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mammoth has some quintessential eateries that frequent visitors are sure to know about, one being The Stove. The Stove is known for its country-style old ways and is almost always packed, no matter when or what time it is. They have homemade pies, large waffles, scrambled eggs and every other breakfast thing that you’d normally see, but this time we didn’t eat breakfast there, we opted for dinner.  Sometimes I have qualms about eating at breakfast places for dinner, well most times, but my brother insisted this is where we needed to go, probably because the $14.95 prime rib dinner was definitely calling his name.

Because we knew this place would be crowded, we arrived a little before the restaurant opened for dinner at 5 p.m.  We made the correct assumption because three other cars soon followed us into the lot and as we stood in line, we took a couple of pictures of the beautiful surroundings to pass the time. As five o’clock quickly approached, the line began to grow steadily and we were sat by a nice hostess. Our waiter came over, got drinks and brought us a crumby mess of dry cornbread and muffins to the table; not my preference, but somewhat rustic.  We glanced over our menus and decided on prime rib being the ideal dish for me, my brother, mom and dad. My sister-in-law had chicken fried steak and my grandma had liver and onions. I don’t know who orders liver and onions when they go out, but that was a mess of a dinner if I ever saw one. Lesson learned: don’t order liver and onions again, Granny. Our prime rib came out tender and juicy. I had red potatoes and mixed vegetables with mine and we also got a dinner salad.

As the restaurant continued to fill up, we were glad we came in early. For the most part, our food was pretty good and a hefty portion for anyone to put down. My sister-in-law loves desserts so she ordered an apple bread pudding with whiskey sauce and ice cream, on the recommendation of our waiter. It was really delicious and a very large piping hot portion.  Dinner at The Stove with the family was home-style and comforting, one of those stick-to-your-ribs meals you enjoy every now and again.



Whole Wheat Berry Pancakes with Honey and Granola


There’s something about a perfect fluffy pancake that can be heartwarming. I don’t mean going out to get some, because honestly, they’re so simple to make that paying $10 for pancakes just makes me cringe. So every now and again, when I’m in the mood, I’ll put together a little something different for a delicious breakfast treat.
I had pancakes like these in Seattle, over 2 years ago, in Capitol Hill at Glow . They were delicious and I remembered that particular set of flavors was really just wonderful, so one Saturday morning I decided to make my own rendition. Here’s what ended up coming out. I thought they were delicious I hope you do as well.

Whole Wheat Berry Pancakes with Honey and Granola
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries)
Honey for drizzling
½ cup granola or 1 plain or honey granola bar, smashed
Optional powder sugar

Sift together all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and put together in a medium bowl.
In another bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, egg and milk together.
Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk together.
Fold in berries and flax seeds.
Heat a medium-sized skillet and using non-stick spray heat over medium heat.
Place ¼ cup of batter in the pan, making one to two pancakes at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd each pancake.
Flip pancakes over when bubbles are around the sides of the pancake.
Finish cooking the other side and serve warm with crumbled granola, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.



Chorizo with Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini‏

I eat chorizo often. I love Mexican chorizo, though most people have questionable ideas of its origins and what it’s made of. Chorizo is just something I’ve grown up with, eaten many times and will eat tons more of for the rest of my life.  There are different varieties, from beef to pork and the newly introduced soyrizo, which is also pretty tasty. I’ve never made homemade chorizo, which I need to get around to pronto, so here’s a good reminder for me to make this recipe by Spiciefoodie for chorizo check Nancy out, she makes amazing food.
And so I digress from my recipe, but that seems like something I often do when I think about childhood foods, because who really had recipes to follow when mom just had to feed a bunch of crazy kids who were starving and nagging her to death. I love you mom. So while she put up with our madness, we would have Papas con Chorizo. My mom would cook the potatoes in the microwave with small diced potatoes covered with plastic wrap to steam in a bath of water, seasoning salt, and butter, until they were soft.  Then she would place a good amount of chorizo in a large pan and fry it till it was no longer a solid form, but melted salty goodness. Then she would place the potatoes in and stir the mixture till it was incorporated. She always set a large portion aside for my brother–he hated eggs–and then with the rest of the mixture, she would place scrambled eggs in it and incorporate well. I can smell the chorizo on Saturday mornings with cartoons blaring, me and my brother and sister arguing about something, and my dad mowing the lawn, all while we waited for breakfast.  We would scoop up mouthfuls of Papas con Chorizo with flour or corn tortillas (I liked corn) and have a full stomach in no time.
This is not my mom’s chorizo, but it is still delicious. It’s made with zucchini, sweet potato, eggs and chorizo and it’s the easiest thing you could do for breakfast in a hurry. It makes for a delicious breakfast burrito filling and you can use any type of Mexican chorizo you’d like for this.
I hope you eat many breakfast meals that remind you of sweet times in the kitchen when you were young.
Chorizo with Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini
1 medium sweet potato, diced small
1 large zucchini, cut in ½ and then in ¼- ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons Mexican chorizo
4 eggs, cracked and scrambled in a small bowl
½ cup water
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Splash of Tapatio (optional)
Corn or flour tortillas
In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, place a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in the pan.
Add sweet potatoes to the pan and stir, till edges are slightly brown, about 3 minutes.
Place a ½ cup of water in the pan and 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, stir and cover. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes, till potatoes are soft. Note: This could be longer if you diced your potatoes larger.
If the water has all evaporated before the potatoes are soft, add a ¼ cup more water till potatoes are done.
Take the sweet potatoes out of the pan and set aside.
Take the same pan and add the chorizo to the pan, smashing it and melting it down over medium heat.
Add zucchini to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the scrambled eggs and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Lastly, fold in the potatoes and heat till warmed through.
Heat up tortillas and serve alongside Chorizo or make small burritos. Enjoy with hot sauce of your choice; I like Tapatio.

Spring Breakfast Bagel

I’m always on the search for the perfect bagel. Something that’s not too crazy, you don’t have to be in the kitchen for too long making it, and it’s just plain satisfying. I don’t eat a bagel the same way twice, but this one made me think a lot longer about that statement, so I decided to share it with all of you. There is something about that toasty, crunchy, yet doughy substantial flavor of bagels that beats out other types of breakfast breads; sure, I love toast, mostly rye or sourdough, but I don’t know if I can get through a whole loaf of it on my own. English muffins are tasty, but just not substantial enough for my personal preference of bready morning goodness. Croissants are for luxury morning eating and sweet rolls are for those extra sweet lazy weekends. So what do you do when you need a good “get me going” breakfast on the go? Eat this Spring bagel and you’ll have enough energy for the rest of the day.  Pea shoots make for a subtle boost in flavor, and the freshness of spring veggies help kick start the day, with a spicy arugula finish.
1 everything bagel, sliced in ½ and toasted
1 small hand full pea shoots
½ cup arugula
½ medium yellow heirloom tomato, sliced
2 thin slices red onion
4 slices cucumber
1-2 tablespoons cream cheese, depending on your preference
Place toasted bagel down and spread cream cheese evenly over each side.
Then, add thinly sliced cucumber and yellow tomatoes. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper.
Add thinly sliced onions on top of tomatoes.
Mix together pea shoots and arugula and top the bagel with this mixture.
Top with other half of the bagel, slice in half and enjoy.

Snowy Trip to the Eastern Sierras; Mammoth Mountain and Hawaiian Bread French Toast

I recently took a four day trip to the beautiful Eastern Sierras, wherein lies Mammoth Mountain.  Normally my family and I have a traditional summer vacation to this area around my birthday; we enjoy eachother’s company in the breathtaking surroundings of fresh clean air, high altitude, and fishing in the sunshine. This trip was exceptionally different. I’m not much of a snow person–growing up my whole life in the sunshine makes the snow a very unusual experience for me. As we found ourselves in the biggest storm of the season so far, I found myself taken aback with interesting  incidents such as digging the car out of a couple feet of snow, putting chains on tires, layering clothes until the point of suffocation and also, just being too warm and comfy inside to even want to venture outside.  I enjoyed the beautiful snow escape wonderland for the time that we were there: cooking, laughing, and enjoying company with my brother and sister-in-law.
Hawaiian Bread French Toast
4 large eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
10-15 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls cut in half
Butter for cooking
Crack eggs in one bowl and beat together well.
Combine water and milk together in separate bowl. Then dissolve brown sugar in mixture until there are no large clumps.
Combine water/milk mixture to eggs and incorporate well.
In a medium-sized non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat, making sure not to scorch the butter.
Dip bread into mixture, coating on both sides. Do not let the bread sit in the egg wash, otherwise they will be too soggy.
Place bread in one by one and into warmed pan and cook about 3-4 minutes per side until golden.
Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
Keep French toast in the oven at 350 degrees to keep warm until all are ready to serve.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve.
Sometimes the simplest things are the ones we remember best. Stay tuned for more Mammoth snow adventures.

The Disneyland of West Hollywood Pancake Houses: The Griddle Cafe.

On a weekend morning, with the sunshine in full effect, the girls and I decided that pancakes were in order. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but the ladies (Stephanie and Bryn) are and they’ve been raving to me about the delicious offerings of The Griddle Café for long periods of time, so we hopped in the car and went over the hill. I would most likely never trek over the hill for pancakes, but this place may have just changed my mind. As you pull up to Fairfax and Sunset, there’s a Rite-Aid on the corner with convenient parking for The Griddle Café. As you make your way through the hoards of people waiting in Disneyland-length lines for the amusement park of pancakes, you have to know there’s something trendy, if not just downright delicious, behind the minimalistic charms of such a petite place.
As arrive, we find ourselves standing in lines that rival the Small World, complete with a waiting time of about half an hour. I caught myself thinking, “Can I get a Fastpass?”  Lucky for us, Bryn had arrived early so she was able to put in our name, while Stephanie and I  fought our way though Hollywood and finally found a parking spot. We were asked if the counter would be okay, and seeing as if  we would probably have an even longer wait  had we refused, we were inclined to sit diner-style at the counter, which sat about 20 people in a long U-shape.  After we were seated a very busy staff came over to take our orders for drinks, just water and coffee. The coffee came in a lovely small French press and we were asked if we would like light, medium or dark roasted coffee; I ordered dark roast.  The coffee was delicious and well-brewed, having a very dark roasted aroma and full, earthy body.
After perusing the menu, Bryn ordered ‘Tis the Season: a pumpkin pie-filling pancake served with whipped cream. The pancakes were so light and fluffy and the light flavor of pumpkin and subtle hints of pumpkin pie spices made for the perfect pancake. Stephanie ordered Saturday Morning Fever, which were pancakes made with Kahlua and Bailey’s liquor, in light and delicious buttermilk pancake batter; the liquor is very prominent and delicious creating lively and interesting pancakes.
I ordered Poached y Papas Benedict, which consisted of seasoned potato skins topped with poached eggs and a tender ham steak. I ordered it with avocado, adding a little freshness to the dish. The ham steak was tender and delicious. The eggs were poached perfectly with a runny center, making the whole dish extremely rich. My only issue was the hollandaise, which was a bit overwhelming with its ratio to everything else, but overall a very delicious savory item.
The atmosphere is fun and exciting while the kitchen is working harder than most places will ever have the privilege to work. The chefs/cooks are truly an amazing and eye-opening service to watch. With an open kitchen in the center of the breakfast house, their ability to adeptly adjust to the continuous tickets and the vast amount of batter and eggs that are being scrambled and cooked, is beyond belief. The Griddle Cafe is doing breakfast the right way.

My favorite day in Seattle

I’d have to say the best day I had in Seattle was the last full day I was there. An honest save the best for last type feeling occurred to me and I was able to get in an amazing amount of fun. My morning started off with breakfast at Toulouse Petit  this lovely eatery is located in Queen Anne, its décor is chic and welcoming. The food is fantastic and southern inspired, I love breakfast when I’m in the mood for it and here I was very happy with the outcome of my meal. I ordered Fried Oyster and Bacon Eggs Benedict. The absolute luxury of this dish was something to recoil at because it was such an early hour but seeing this item on the menu was too tempting to pass up the offer. I had chosen correctly and was happily on my way through three quarters of the platter before second guessing its lavish appeal on my taste buds. The influence of the south was present on my plate, thick cut crispy bacon, perfectly fried corn meal battered oysters flowing with runny egg yolk and Creole hollandaise sauce over a lightly toasted muffin take the cup on one of the best breakfast plates I’ve had in a very long time. Breakfast Happy Hour is an affordable and awesome way to start the day.

After breakfast I took the bus down to the city and took a stroll over to the market and looked into some shops. Later on I made my way back to my hotel and decided to stop at the Experience Music Project I absolutely loved this place, it’s a combination of music and science fiction. They have amazing exhibits on Nirvana, so many guitars, Jimi Hendrix, and also they had a really amazing exhibit on Avatar which is one of my favorite movies. I could have spent an eternity in there looking at all the music pieces and reading about guitars as well as playing in the sound labs. It was really one of my favorite museums I’ve been to.

After that I met up with a new friend I made at Ashley and Bryan’s wedding Lia. We had drinks and happy hour at Toulouse Petit because she said it was one of the best happy hours in town which I’d have to say was correct. We had a plethora of different dishes ranging from amazing mouth watering modern southern flavor to the classic down home fried bar grub. We chatted and made it through the menu, I love meeting new people who love food.

Fried Okra with Remoulade

Wild Mushroom and garlic bruschetta with arugula

Ahi Tuna Tartar with Quail egg and horseradish cream

Golden Beet Salad with haricot vert, blue cheese, kalamata olives, citrus vinaigrette and candied walnuts

Katie Mae pearl vodka, st germain, grapefruit juice, prosecco

After some awesome conversation and lots of good eats, Lia offered to take me the other side of Lake Union to Gas Works Park which had an amazing view of Seattle from across the lake. Before getting to the park we stopped at an awesome Pie Shop in Fremont called Pie. They specialize in all things pie, sweet and savory. I ordered a Raspberry Peach Pie and Lia got Banana Cream we sat in the sunshine and ate pie by the lake, which was delicious light flaky and wonderful. It was such a beautiful afternoon. After that Lia let me off at my hotel. I hope one day we’ll see each other again soon.

After I got situated I decided to take a walk on the waterfront and watch the sun set over the sound. I walked by the water front and along Olympic Sculpture Park.  I sat alongside the sculptures and watched the sun fade into the distance, taking note of the beautiful Washington sunset. Something I knew I wouldn’t see again for at least a little while.

I finished walking by the countless bustling shops and eateries got money for the bus in the morning and turned in looking into the cloud ridden skies at the space needle for the last night.


Chicago Austrian Bakery, Lincoln Park Zoo And Conservatory, Lou Malnati’s

My trip to Chicago is more than words could ever really put together. Just as my trips to Tokyo, Seattle, North Carolina, and Vegas, my whole world is always centered on food. Maybe that makes me a lush, maybe it makes gluttony my number one on my list of seven deadly sins but I adore it. I adore seeing what other like minded or even ill minded people care to do with the foods of their city, culture, art, and love and here just like in many cities food is at the utmost center of the universe.

I’m from a large city so seeing other ones is a different experience than those people who are from small towns. I’ve seen high rises and sky scrapers, I’ve dogged traffic, and road subways but everywhere in the world is somewhere that is unique but has some of the same old things going on.

I stayed in three places over the course of about 7 days in Chicago. My flight was simple and quick O’Hare is a monster of an airport and I was lucky enough to meet someone nice enough to give me a couple pointers on how to get around the city at approximately 2 am while I was trying to find my hostel and one of the subway lines i was going to take had just stopped running. Smart move? I think not but it worked out for the best, lucky for me. After hoisting my ridiculous luggage up and down flights of stairs and through pee scented elevator shafts (welcome to Chicago) I traveled a couple of blocks to a small neighborhood and stayed at Chicago Getaway Hostel for about 35 bucks for the night. I “slept” (well not really) then packed up, got a quick shower and headed over to store my luggage. A hostel is a truly funny thing like a not so organized barracks with crazy people sharing the same space. I like my own space just fine but for a couple of hours I couldn’t complain too much.  Welcome to 8 women sleeping in a chaotic clammy basement, oh joy.

Hostel Photos

I decided to get a quick breakfast and coffee I headed to north Clark street a lovely little row of restaurants,shops, and such in Lincoln Park and had breakfast in an Austrian Bakery called Österreichische

I had a quick coffee and a really delicious egg, swiss, homemade sausage, and spinach filled croissant. The croissant was one of the best I’ve eaten. It was so buttery and delicious that I couldn’t finish all the eggs I chose to eat the pastry and sausage instead. The German sausage was very tender and wonderful you could tell that it was homemade pressed pork with different spices in it than a regular traditional breakfast sausage. This place is also adorable because they sell a plethora of different regional pastries, cakes, cookies, and homemade breads, as well as Austrian specialties. If you’re ever up there check it out. The strudel looked to die for. The waitress here was also amongst the best servers I’ve had. Sweet and attentive but not overbearing.

Flowers From the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

After my quick breakfast/lunch I continued on about a 10 mile hike around Lincoln Park. I saw the conservatory of amazing flowers and plants, the Lincoln Park Zoo which was fun and free and I hadn’t been to a zoo in ages, walked through Bucktown and down Lincoln Avenue and essentially got lost for 4 hours. I love roaming places so it didn’t bother me. Finally my co captain for my trip Michelle called me and I had managed to get back towards the hostel and find where our other hotel was going to be and we made it. The Belden Stratford is where we stayed it is an older building facing Lake Michigan, with a gorgeous view and just the right amenities. after we got settled we were on our way to our 1st dinner in Lincoln Park. On my little afternoon of getting lost I found a place that my brother and his friends has talked about called Lou Malnati’s. Lou Malnati’s is a chain of deep dish pizza restaurants that even delivers to other states by mail. The atmosphere in the restaurant is fun and family oriented just as a pizza place should be. The middle of the dining room was even centered with a couple of couches and a big screen TV with the baseball game on. The dining room was packed and for good reason. The pizza here is awesome. What we also agreed on was that the place was filled with people from Chicago and not just tourists. I love eating at places that are good enough for anyone to go to whenever they want something good to eat. This was just that kind of place.

We started with a Malnati Salad

Romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, black olives, sliced mushrooms, crumbled Volpi salami and gorgonzola cheese. Tossed with Lou’s famous dressing with a touch of romano cheese.
The salad was a good combo of sweet and salty, with the hungry people that we were if we hadn’t gotten the salad we could of eaten each other, since pizzas take 30 35 minutes to prepare, which was perfectly fine for us to eat and hang out talking about our flights in and my little day packed of getting lost.

Our pizza came which I ordered


The “Malnati Chicago Classic”
House made specialty sausage, a very thick richly ripe tomato sauce and thick melted fatty mozzarella cheese and a deep dish butter crust
You can taste the butter in the crust it flakey and rich with very little salt. But the salt from the thick perfectly melted cheese and the sausage is a really perfect balance. I love that the tomatoes are on top which leaves the crust to have a crisp texture with the wonderful flavor of tomato.

A really awesome pizza and salad for my 1st dinner in Chicago. Michelle had The Lou spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes covered with mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese. Good pizza!

So that was my 1st day in Chicago you got 5 more to go. Fair warning. I took over 1200 pictures, they wont all be here but it does take a lot of work to get through them all. I hope you enjoy this adventure as much as I did.

Keep checking back