Archive for ‘America’

September 1, 2012

San Francisco, USA

by minibites

sanfran2

Laid back and chilled; San Francisco is home of the food trucks, take-away, the Golden Gate Bridge and picturesque “Full House” homes. There’s plenty of character, friendly places and the most amazing views of the city from it’s crazy topsy turvy roads.

San Fran

After hitting a long weekend of partying in Vegas, it was nice to lay back, catch up on sleep before we hit the road again to NYC. Staying in Japantown was an interesting part of town and quite convenient to head up to Mission, SOMA and the Bay area. A car is highly recommended to fully soak in the sights and for food truck hunting!

Lusk 25, SF

Lusk 25, SFTwentyFive Lusk

Our first night lead us to SOMA, a pretty hip and happenin’ part of town when the sun sets. We hide from the outrageous wind and cold (even in the Summer..) in TwentyFive Lusk. Decked with fireplaces, bare timbers and candle lights; it looks as warm as it is.

Nom Nom

Food trucking is the way to go in San Francisco. It’s embedded into the culture and the chase of hunting one down in time, gets any food blogger into an natural high. Get geared up with napkins, picnic blankets and bibs as there’s a huge variety from burgers, burritos, rice, cupcakes and even, ramen. Roaming Hunger was one of my favourite sites to follow where they conveniently collate all the Twitter feeds into one.

JapacurryJapacurry Food Truck

Nom NomNom Nom Food Truck

Nom NomNom Nom’s Banh Mi

Our first find had our knickers in a knot as we’re huge fans of The Great Food Truck Race – a reality TV show that showcased a number of food trucks in challenges across the US. The Nom Nom Truck took the good ol’ banh mi on the road and came up in 2nd place. Japacurry was hot on our radar as we have been craving a bowl of rice since LA. With queues around the corner, the katsu curry, teriyaki chicken and bento boxes sell out within minutes.

Kara's Cupcakes

Kara's Cupcakes

On the sweeter side of the food trucking business, Cupcake Wars‘ winner, Kara has an abundance of sweets. One of my favourites is the good ol’ vanilla which is soft as clouds with just enough frosting and sprinkles.

Haparamen

HaparamenHaparamen’s More Pork Ramen

What I love about San Fran is the love for food collaboration in its culture; with food truck meet ups (over 25 in one spot!) and local restaurants that close up on a night kindly offer their kitchens to food truckers to come in and take over. After an expensive walk into a snowboard shop, we stumbled into Wild Wings that food truck Haparamen took the night’s reigns of. Delish!

Little Skillet

Little SkilletLittle Skillet’s Chicken & Waffles 

There’s also a craze with chicken & waffles. Absolutely as straight forward as it sounds, it is just, plain fried chicken with waffles on the side. Madly searching, we ended back in the back alleyways of SOMA at Little Skillet for a oily fry up that lead us all into a 3 hour food coma.

'wichcraft

'wichcraft

Our love affair with Tom Colicchio’s never-ending restaurants continued on in SF. There’s a huge trend and success for top-end restaurants to open up a sandwich joint, so ‘wichcraft was no brainer. Good ol’ sandwiches (they call burgers, sandwiches) with a pick me up coffee and bag of crisps.

El Farolito

El Farolito

And when in doubt, hit up Mission St for some street style tucker. Yelp! led us to El Farolito, and keeping the appearances aside, the queues go out the door serving up fat burritos, overflowing tacos and nachos.

Lombard St

While in San Fran, don’t forget to pay a visit to the windiest street in the world, Lombard St!

TwentyFive Lusk
25 Lusk St
SOMA, CA 94107
www.25lusk.com

25 Lusk on Urbanspoon

Nom Nom Food Truck
http://nomnomtruck.com

Japacurry Food Truck
http://japcurry.com

Haparamen
http://haparamensf.com

Little Skillet
360 Ritch St
(between 3rd & 4th St)
San Francisco, CA
www.littleskilletsf.com

Little Skillet on Urbanspoon

‘wichcraft
868 Mission St
(between 4th & 5th St)
Mission, CA 94103
www.wichcraftnyc.com

'Wichcraft on Urbanspoon

El Farolito
2279 Mission St
(between 23rd & 24th St)
Mission, CA 94110
www.elfarolito.com

El Farolito on Urbanspoon

 

July 10, 2012

Las Vegas, USA

by minibites

vegas
Oh baby, Vegas! The exaggerations are true; the flashing lights, 40 degree weather, casino hopping and absolutely no drinking rules whats so ever. It baffles me to see when families come here as it’s strictly X-rated with the classics luring you with promises of ladies, open bar tab and partying, partying, partying.

Vegas

Our little The Star Casino is slowly coming up to scratch but it is incomparable to the capacities of Vegas. Treasure chests of food are hidden amongst their hectares of pokies machines and blackjack tables. There’s your usual fast food injections or fine dining solutions in every casino.

BellagioThe Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Bellagio BuffetBellagio’s Buffet

There’s plenty of buffet options but a little birdie told me to try the Bellagio Buffet, so we did. And so did 100 other people at 7pm. Prepare your stomach to wait at least an hour but then devour in countless desserts, meat, seafood and oh so delicious crab. While at the Bellagio, don’t forget to watch the gorgeous fountains that go off before the hour till midnight.

Caesar's Palace
Serependity3Serependity3’s Mini Sliders

Bouchon BakeryBouchon Bakery

Bouchon BakeryBouchon Bakery’s Macarons

Caesar’s Palace will have your wallet empty by the end of the day. With a string of shops at The Forum, there’s also countless places to sneak in a foot rest; sliders at Serependity3, frozen cocktails by the bar and macarons at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. While at Caesar’s, don’t forget the gorgeous aquarium (and pick up a Fat Tuesday yard glass) and grand scale sculptures scattered about.

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Caesars Palace

No nibbling at The Venetian but damn, a lot of shopping! There is worlds to explore with high class shopping at the Palazzo and Grand Canal Shoppes with quirky knickknack gift shops like David & Goliath and It’s Sugar.

Marquee DayMarquee Dayclub

Holstein'sThe Cosmopolitan’s Holstein’s Buns & Shakes

Holstein'sHolstein’s Buns & Shakes Hen House

Holstein'sHolstein’s Buns & Shakes Onion Rings

The Cosmopolitan is the newest baby on the strip and home to countless number of LCD TVs, chandeliers, EA Sports Bar and the infamous Marquee day & nightclub. Staying here was amazing with birdseye view of the Bellagio fountains, central of the Strip and being in party central. It’s also home to many restaurants including Holesteins’s Shakes & Buns dishing up mean burgers and onion rings.

MGM Grand

CraftsteakCraftsteak’s Lobster Bisque

IMG_1279Craftsteak’s Ribeye Steak

CraftsteakCraftsteak’s Dessert Finale

MGM Grand is at the end of the strip but it’s still a worthy contender of food options with Topchef’s judge, Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft and Craftsteak. Celebrating a whopping 8 years with my man, we wined and dined with the Chef’s Selection menu that fills us to the brim. While at MGM Grand, you cannot miss a Cirque du Soleil show; it is unimaginable compared to the ones we see in Sydney!

Fremont St

Fremont St

Little to eat here, but Fremont Street is worth a visit to see how Vegas used to roll… and it still gets up to crazy shenanigans with a crazy roof, flying fox down the strip and plenty of bars and live entertainment on the streets. It’s also home to controversial Heart Attack Grill which rewards anyone who weigh over 350 pounds (158.7 kgs) a free triple bypass burger. It’s also equipped with nurse waitresses, surgical gowns and an industrial scale.

IMG_4132My favourite shirt purchase this trip!

CraftSteak
MGM Grand
http://www.mgmgrand.com

Craftsteak (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon

Bellagio Buffet
Bellagio Hotel

Buffet (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

Holsteins Shakes & Buns
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
http://holsteinslv.com/

Holsteins (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

Serendipity3
Caesar’s Palace 
http://www.caesarspalace.com/

Bouchon Bakery
Caesar’s Palace
http://www.bouchonbakery.com/ 

Bouchon Bakery (Venetian) on Urbanspoon

Fat Tuesday
Caesar’s Hotel & Planet Hollywood
http://www.fat-tuesday.com/

July 3, 2012

Los Angeles, USA

by minibites

LA

The first stop on our trip is the starry-eyed Los Angeles – but staying on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s filled with drama from seeing the entire road closed for red carpet events at the Chinese Grauman Theatre, to Jimmy Kimmel’s studio, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Madam Tussauds and plenty of H&M, AA and Sephora to keep the pockets empty. Staying in The Hollywood Roosevelt was definitely worth the pennies to be apart of all the touristy action.

In n Out Burgers, LA

In n Out Burgers, LAIn-n-Out’s Double Double Burger

Wendy's, LAWendy’s Spicy Chicken Burger

It’s been a highly hyped up lifetime to try In-n-Out Burger, but surprisingly I was well let down. The old school diner opens 24 hours matched with a menu that is simple with only three options and at $3.55 you can’t go hungry. This would feed you with a decent sized burger, fries a plenty and bottomless soda. If this was a burger battle in LA, I’d choose Wendy’s, another diner contender who is only a few quarters more, but with burgers tasting fresher and much more flavoursome.

You’ll come to find that In-n-Out, Wendy’s, Mel’s Drive In and Dendy’s dominate the fast food market over here than McDonald’s and KFC.

Hardrock Cafe

Hardrock Cafe, LAHard Rock Cafe’s Haystack Salad

For other quick and dirty eats, Buffalo Wild Wings was the way to go for baskets of sticky wings with over 20 sauces to choose from. And the US do onion rings real good here, so stock yourself up with a huge basket with ranch sauce. Staying on Hollywood Boulevard, we couldn’t help but go pass a super douper Haystack Salad and cocktails at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Dodger Dogs, LA

IMG_1967

Dodger Hotdogs, LA

If it’s heading into the Summer, soak up the sports culture by checking out a game at the Dodgers Stadium to score a Dodgers hotdog and salty pretzel. There’s plenty more to fill up on with nachos, huuuuge pizzas and plenty of peanuts.

BLDBLD’s Salmon Eggs Benedict

BLDBLD’s Eggs As You Like Them

In preparation for a day of outlet shopping, we brunched up at BLD. Sadly the eggs in the US are not as good as Aussie chooks, so be super appreciative with what we have! BLD dishes up for all times of the day with some mean brunch options.

ink.sack, LA

ink.sack, LAink.sack’s Banh Mi

ink.sack, LAink.sack’s Spicy Tuna

Being a sucker for TopChef, a road trip to Melrose Ave was in order to find Michael Voltaggio’s (Season 6 winner) restaurant and sandwich joint. ink.sack is amongst the field of Marc Jacobs stores, Tokidoki, Kid Robot and Johnny Cupcakes. Get yourself a mean banh mi (yes, with pork rinds inside…), iced coffee and bag of bbq pork rinds to go.

IMG_3404

IMG_3405Johnny’s Cupcakes on Melrose

Plus, a must visit for cupcake lovers is Johnny’s Cupcakes. Surprisingly nothing to do with cupcakes but all his merchandise in his bakery decked out store.

LA

In-n-Out Burger
7009 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA
www.in-n-out.com

Buffalo Wild Wings
7060 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA

Hardrock Cafe Hollywood
6801 Hollywood Blvd #105
Hollywood, CA 90028
www.hardrock.com

Dodgers Stadium
1000 Elysian Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

BLD
7450 Beverly Bvld
Los Angeles, CA 90036
www.bldrestaurant.com

ink.sack
8360 Melrose Ave #107
Los Angeles, CA 90069
www.mvink.com/menu/

Johnny’s Cupcakes
7959 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
www.johnnycupcakes.com 

Hollywood Roosevelt
7000 Hollywood Blvd,
Hollywood, CA 90028
www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/la/hollywood-roosevelt