Cafe Patachou, Indianapolis

Cafe Patachou, Indianapolis

I have to admit, I wasn't initially thrilled the first time I visited Indy, but my opinion of the city has now changed. I was lucky. I had the most upbeat and fun loving host to show me around, and THAT made a world of a difference. I guess it really doesn't matter where you are as long as you're in good company, right?

My friend, T, was a little distressed when she was trying to figure out where to take me for breakfast the first morning I was there. She wanted to find a place that would excite me, and I'd say she met her goal.

We went to Cafe Patachou, a "student union for adults". At least that is how they identify themselves. It's a casual place that serves only breakfast and lunch. Despite all the locations and Patachou spin offs, this is not a chain. It is locally owned, and was started by former attorney and also mother of three, Martha Sanders Hoover.

Cafe Patachou, Indianapolis
Cafe Patachou

T and I shared two breakfast dishes so that we could get both the savory and sweet tastes. That's the sign of a good friend!

The first was a pear french toast brioche: french toast topped with warm vanilla-scented poached pears, sugared pecans and maple syrup. This was to die for. The pear and pecan combination was amazing.

Pear French Toast
Pear French Toast Brioche

The savory dish was the broken yolk sandwich with smoked salmon. Two fried eggs and sandwiched with naturally smoked salmon. This was served with a cup of fresh fruit.

Broken Yolk Sandwich with Smoked Salmon and Fresh Fruit
Broken Yolk Sandwich with Smoked Salmon

Mmmmm...I loved the gooey yolk with the smoked salmon. The sandwich was made perfectly.

Broken Yolk Sandwich with Smoked Salmon
Broken Yolk Sandwich with Smoked Salmon

T could not leave Cafe Patachou without ordering a side of their English muffin. She couldn't stop raving about them, so I had to take a bite. They are fluffy English muffins that tasted like a half crumpet and half English muffin.

Turns out, they were Wolferman’s thick English muffins. Wolferman's, part of Harry and David have been making English muffins since 1910. In the beginning, tuna cans were used as a mold and the muffins were baked on an open fiery griddle, giving them its unique size and texture. The techniques used to make these muffins have advanced since then, but the recipe is similar.

Wolferman's English Muffin
Wolferman's Thick English Muffin

Cafe Patachou
8691 River Crossing Blvd
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Telephone: 317-925-2823

Cafe Patachou on Urbanspoon

Bloodwood, Sydney

Bloodwood, Sydney

Bloodwood in Sydney is awesome for so many different reasons.

First off, the location is great. It is an unpretentious, little neighborhood joint at the end of Newtown, a young and funky suburb.

Second, the chefs are great at what they do. Chefs Claire van Vuuren, Jo Ward, and Mitchell Grady came from a world of fine dining, so they know exactly how it should be done. Great food, great service, but without the fuss of a fine dining restaurant.

Lastly, this is where I met my good friend A. We met briefly in Newcastle through a mutual friend on a road trip I took, and we decided to meet the next time she was in town. A and I immediately connected, and as it turns out, she was key in getting me through some tough times months later. I'll always love her for it.

The two of us shared a small but filling lunch.

The first was the salt cod brandade: a salted cod and olive oil mixture, smothered over fresh bread and served with ox heart tomato salad, and Pedri Ximenez vinegar. The brandade was delicious...not an overwhelming fish taste but enough to really know that it is the main ingredient. Drooling just thinking about it.

Salt Cod Brandade
Salt Cod Brandade

The second dish was the socca: a chickpea pancake with zucchini, pumpkin, Persian fetta, and herbs. The pancake was seasoned with a perfect blend of spices, the ingredients were fresh, and it was filling!

Chickpea Pancake

A and I were in the mood for dessert, but the one we ordered had run out for the day. Bloodwood has a small menu, and we just couldn't find another dessert that tickled our fancy.
This is a great place for a casual meet up and fantastic food.

416 King Street
Newtown, New South Wales, Australia
Telephone: (02) 9557 7699

Bloodwood on Urbanspoon

ORHMA Gala 2011

Marc Lepine and Sarah Allen
Chef Marc Lepine and Chef de Cuisine Sarah Allen of Atelier

Congrats to Atelier for winning the people's choice award for best dish at the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA) Gala last night in Ottawa! It was my favorite dish of the night, and I was excited to see them win. They deserved it. The Atelier dish was a beautiful display of Albacore tuna, Niagara prosciutto, whitefish caviar, cilantro, basil, young coconut, cucumber, spicy shallots, and pickled cattails. The dish was light with the perfect amount of spicy and salty. A beautiful blend of tastes.

Albacore Tuna and Niagara Prosciutto
Albacore Tuna and Niagara Prosciutto

My second favorite dish of the evening was Wellington Gastropub's seared beach scallop with roasted sunchoke salad, lamb bacon, preserved lemon, parsley, and veal jus. An honourable mention goes to Absinthe for their foie gras 3 ways: foie gras terrine with cranberry walnut crostini and quince jelly, seared foie with beef short rib, and a foie chocolate bon bon. And of course, a huge congrats to all of the other winners from the event:

17th Annual Bill Joe Restaurateur of the Year: Steven Beckta of Beckta, and Play

Chef of the Year: John Taylor

Lifetime Achievement Award: Val Belcher

Ottawa's New Restaurant of the Year: TOWN

Top Restaurant Design Award: Shore Club

A recap of the event can be found at Ron Eade's blog.

Fruit and Nut Pringles

Fruit and Nut Pringles

My friend busted these Pringles out while I was visiting at her place one day. Her brother had just gotten back from Vietnam and brought back these fruit and nut Pringles for her as a gift. When she asked if I wanted to try some, I was like "heck ya!" As some of you know, I'm a sucker for International edible goodies. Check out these Skittles and Kit Kats I've written about.

Were the fruit and nut Pringles good? I wish I could say yes, but they really weren't. The whole nut & fruit concept was a good one and they were cool to try, but it's not something I would buy again.
The two flavors we had were blueberry & hazelnut and lemon & sesame. The fruit taste was very artificial in both, kind of like candy flavors on chips. Of the two, the blueberry and hazelnut was the best. I expected to like the lemon & sesame better but it just tasted like lemon candy with sesame. The blueberry was at least a bit more subtle.

Sushi Kanata, Ottawa

Sushi Kanata, Ottawa

Look at all the snow! I was such a wuss about the cold when I first moved back to Ottawa but now it's like second nature again. I was in serious denial that I was back in the cold, and for the longest time, I refused to wear a proper winter jacket. That didn't last long!

Sushi Kanata is my default sushi place in the west end. Now that I'm back in Ottawa, I get to come here all the time again. Yay! I swear I come here at least once a week.

Sushi Kanata doesn't serve the finest sushi in town, but it is consistent and fresh. This is where I meet up with my good friend Aky to talk about football, the bright side of life, and more football!
Our meals always start with a bowl of miso soup with chives, tofu bits, and kelp.

Miso Soup
Miso Soup

My standard lunch is two sushi rolls, and without a doubt, I will always order a spicy tuna roll. My second roll will vary between salmon, sun kissed roll, rainbow, or unagi. On this particular day, I decided on the rainbow roll.

Their spicy tuna is da bomb! Full pieces of tuna with a spicy mayo sauce.

Spicy Tuna and Rainbow Roll
Spicy Tuna Roll and Rainbow Roll

I love mixing loads of wasabi with my low sodium soy sauce. Clears the sinuses with every bite!

Low Sodium Soy Sauce Mixed with Wasabi

A sexy close up of the rainbow roll. The rainbow roll is a California roll topped with thin slices of salmon, tuna, mackerel, avocado and sprinkled with dried seaweed.

Rainbow Roll
Rainbow Roll

Aky orders one thing and one thing only. All the waitresses even know his order by heart! The chirashi bento set is a box set of 12 pieces of sashimi with white rice, a mini salmon roll, a California roll, spring rolls, seaweed salad, and a fresh orange slice.

Bento Set
Chirashi Bento

A close up of the sashimi before it was completely devoured.


The owners of Sushi Kanata also own the Sushi Kan buffets on Baseline and Innes Road. I'm not a huge sushi buffet person, so can't say I've been.

Sushi Kanata
655 Kanata Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 513-599-0009

Sushi Kanata on Urbanspoon

The Bazaar, Los Angeles

Bazaar, Los Angeles

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you're well rested and ready for 2011. I'm not much of a New Year's resolution type person because any day is a great day to make changes in your life, so why wait until New Year's right? Buttt, if I really had to make New Year's resolution, it would be to take life one day at a time, don't sweat the small stuff. Everything will work out for the best! It always does.

I'm gonna start the New Year with a post from one of my favorite cities to visit, L.A! I love L.A. partly because it is so over the top, but mainly because I can always count on my cousin H to show me a great time.

On my last visit, we met up at The Bazaar in Beverly Hills for dinner. We got reservations to eat at the bar, and had an awesome and exciting meal full of ooh's and ahh's as each dish came out.
José Andrés is the man behind The Bazaar, and is known for bringing the small plates concept to the US. In addition to his endless awards, he also trained at El Bulli early on in his career.

The food at The Bazaar is a combination of both traditional and avant garde Spanish tapas.
Our exciting meal began with a "Salt Air" Margarita, a traditional margarita with salt foam. It was good but a little on the strong side. Their cocktails may seem expensive at first glance but you're paying for the alcohol and the creativity that goes along with it.

Margarita with Salt Foam
"Salt Air" Margarita

My favorite dish of the night was the “Philly cheesesteak”, air bread filled with gooey cheddar, and topped with thin slices of Wagyu beef. Not only was it delicious, but it was fun to eat too.

Philly Cheese Steak
“Philly Cheesesteak”

My second favorite dish of the night was the Organized Caesar with quail egg and shredded Parmesan. It doesn't look like a Caesar salad and you don't eat it like one, but it tasted exactly like one! Each roll was wrapped with a thin slice of jicama.

Caesar Salad
Organized Caesar

The Japanese taco was grilled eel, shiso, wasabi, chicharron, with a cucumber taco shell.

Japanese Tacos
Japanese Taco

The embutidos platter was a combination of chorizo, lomo, salchichon. My favorite was the lomo, shaved pork tenderloin.

Cured Meat Plate
Embutidos Platter

The fermin platter consisted of Jamón Serrano Fermin (dry cured ham), Jamón Ibérico Fermin (dry cured, free-range Ibérico ham), and Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin (the finest free-range Ibérico ham, acorn-fed). There were slight differences in textures between each ham, and no doubt, Jamón Ibérico de bellota was the best.

Jamon Iberico
Fermin Platter

The two meat platters were served with a Catalan style toasted bread with tomato.

Catalan Style Bread with Tomatoes
Catalan Style Toasted Bread with Tomato

The papas canarias is another dish I recommend. Salty potatoes served with mojo verdé. The potatoes were boiled in sea salt water, and the sauce had a fresh cilantro taste.

Salted Potatoes
Papas Canarias

"The ultimate Spanish tapa!" is a traditional Spanish potato salad (ensaladilla rusa) with potatoes, carrots, mayo, and tuna belly. I'm not a huge mayo fan so it wasn't quite the ultimate tapa for me.

Spanish Tapas
"The Ultimate Spanish Tapa!"

The Ottoman carrot fritters were awesome! They were served with apricots, and a pistachio sauce.

Carrot Fritters
Ottoman Carrot Fritters

The croquetas de pollo (chicken and bechamel fritters) tasted kinda like chicken pot pie in fritter form.

Chicken Fritters
Croquetas de Pollo

The great thing about sitting at the bar is that you get to see what goes on behind the scenes. At one point in the night, a lady was making liquid olives as we all watched with amazement. Noticing us, she asked if we wanted to try some. YEAAAA, of course we want some! :)

The liquid olives were AMAZING. They burst apart the moment it enters the mouth, resulting in a rush of fresh olive puree. I could sit there and eat a big plate of these if I could.

Liquid Olives
Liquid Olives

At this point, I was insanely full, and didn't get to enjoy the watermelon tomato skewers the way I wanted to. The skewers were served with Pedro Ximénez reduction and lemon dressing.

Watermelon/Tomato Skewers
Watermelon Tomato Skewers

The last dish was the tortilla de patatas "new way". Slow cooked egg at 63C, potato foam and caramelized onions served in a real egg shell.

Slow Cooked Egg with Potato Foam
Tortilla de Patatas "New Way"

After dinner, we were moved to The Patisserie for dessert. It was a cute little area, but it was isolated from the rest of the restaurant and we found the service rather slow.

H had the creamy chocolate heart with coffee and cardamom. It was good but it didn't wow us like the tapas dishes did.

Chocolate Cake
Creamy Chocolate Heart

I had the Greek yogurt panna cotta with apricots and muscat gelatin. Their desserts are good but if you're not a huge dessert person, I would skip it and stick to the tapas.

Passion Fruit Dessert
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

There were other dishes that I wanted to try like the fois gras cotton candy but I was way too stuffed. Check out this blog post by blogger Caroline on Crack for some other cool dishes.

The Bazaar (SLS Hotel)
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, USA
Telephone: 310-246-5555

The Bazaar By Jose Andres on Urbanspoon