Archive for the category “Pizza”

Obrigada, Brasil!

A few weeks ago, a colleague and I traveled to Brazil (Brasil) for work. We had an awesome, jam-packed week of work, and wonderful hosts! I snapped as many pictures as I could during our travels to and from customers and across the countryside. Here are several that give a flavor (pun intended in some cases) for the experiences we had. (I only wish I had snapped photos of the dogs at our customer sites – that would be wonderful here in the States!)

img_2785

img_2786

img_2787

img_2788

 

Next up: Back to France next month.

Cheers!

Ker

Lunch & Brunch, Milwaukee Style…

I have been SO BAD about finding time to write, so I’m grateful for a day off, college football on the tube (thankfully, my Clemson Tigers pulled off a huge win yesterday so the rest of the bowl games are just gravy), and a comfy spot to sit with my laptop.

I have some photos from a meal in Vegas, but I think my disdain for that city has prevented me from posting about the excellent Beef Wellington I had at Mon Ami Gabi. I have more upcoming travel (San Antonio, I’m looking at you!), so I look forward to hitting my “She Ordered What?” stride again in 2016.

In the meantime, I have recently tried a few¬†restaurants right here in Milwaukee. They’ve been on my list of places to try, but it took me 2 1/2+ years to check them off the list!

First up was Engine Company 3 in Walker’s Point. My brother was in town for Doors Open Milwaukee and I convinced him to venture out to a new, and very cool joint. The Polenta Con Gamberi e Uovo is not on the current menu, but dear gosh…it was GOOD! Excellent, really! It gave me a sense of good southern shrimp and grits from back in the college days in South Carolina. ūüėČ

I’ve recommended this spot to others, always with satisfied feedback!

Next up is Story Hill BKC in Milwaukee. ¬†Our server – if I recall correctly, Beth – was energetic, funny, and on top of her game. She was lovely, and was totally amped when I handed her my card. She showed no hesitation, though my friend did. It was her rookie outing with me during a “She Ordered What?” meal! I¬†have been known to¬†make dining dates uncomfortable by surrendering the decision to our server. It’s not on purpose, I promise!

I was served a flavorful dish which is a standard on the menu – the Shakshouka. The dish consists of two Local Eggs Baked in Cumin-Spiced Tomato Sauce, Smoked Lentils, Cilantro, Goat Cheese, Sumac Mayonnaise, with Flatbread on the side and our server added avocado because that’s how she likes the dish to be enjoyed.

IMG_0224

I admit that I don’t think I ever would have ordered this dish on my own accord, but that’s the beauty of trusting servers to introduce me to new dishes. The Shakshouka was deliciously full of flavor. It was also a healthy portion, but not overwhelming large. When my friend took a bite, she agreed that Beth had chosen a winner for me!

And, let me say that I love having servers who get so excited about reading the card and choosing a meal for me. Beth wasn’t the only one… Next up: Blue’s Egg (a sister restaurant of Story Hill BKC).

Upon arrival, my friend and I decided to take the opportunity to snag two open stools at the counter rather than wait for a table. We both agree that counter service is usually quite good, and there’s just something fun about being close to the action. ¬†Cory was our server that morning.

When I handed him my card, he admitted that he had been wondering what I had sitting on my menu and then gave it a read, gave me a wink, and said he was “on it”. ¬†Frankly, there were so many interesting dishes on the menu, so I knew there was no way I could choose. I also had heard nothing but praise for Blue’s Egg, so I was confident I would be in for a treat. And, I was! I was served the Blue’s Classic Benedict with a helping of stuffed hash browns.

IMG_0164.JPG

 

A huge serving of poached eggs, pulled ham, english muffin, hollandaise and goat cheese stuffed hash-browns. Hello decadence!

I’m not normally a huge fan of ham, but this shredded ham was off the charts good! Admittedly, I had to have half of the meal boxed up – only because it was such a large portion, not because I didn’t enjoy every bite. In fact, at one point, our server overheard me mention that “holy hell this is GOOD”. That definitely put a smile on his face!

This time, my friend was familiar with my routine and knew to wait to eat until I got a picture of his crab cake and poached eggs as well as his Bloody Mary.

 

In addition to the places I’ve detailed here, I’ve also enjoyed breakfast pizza at Wolf Peach (for three meals!), had many great breakfast dishes at Hotel Metro, and yet I feel like there are a million treasures I still need to visit in Milwaukee. We’re so fortunate to have a great culinary scene here!

What is your favorite brunch spot? Brunch dish?

Cheers!

Ker

Flour: Funghi and Friends… Italian Dining in Moreland Hills, OH

Over the holiday break, I met up with a long-time friend of mine, Jen.¬† We made plans to have dinner months in advance of my visit to Ohio, but we waited until the last-minute to choose a location.¬† Earlier in the day,¬†Jen texted me a couple of options, and I decided we should try a place I’d never been to before – Flour Rustic Italian Kitchen¬†in Moreland Hills, OH (about 30 minutes or so from where I grew up).¬† The restaurant had¬†3.5¬†stars on Yelp!, and the reviews were detailed and positive.¬† Not to mention that the menu offered delicious options, and the wine list had a great selection!

After a few failed attempts to find reviews on a couple of wines, Jen and I decided to share a bottle of the Justin Cabernet, which we both agreed was a fine choice.  Smooth and tasty.

photo (12)

We also decided to share a few appetizers and see where the rest of the meal took us.¬† We asked our server about a few of the appetizers and went with her recommendations.¬† Here’s what we shared:

Appetizers

Appetizers

My favorite was definitely the Whipped Burratta.¬† It was creamy, and flavorful, but didn’t feel like a “heavy” appetizer.¬† The stuffed peppers were good – we each had one, but in my opinion, they lacked a little flavor.¬† I tend to like things on the spicier side of life, so mine may not be the popular opinion.

Paul's Peppers

Paul’s Peppers

Where I think the appetizers really fell a bit flat was in the Fried Goat Cheese Stuffed Olives.¬† Our server sold these as “amazing”, yet there was barely a hint of goat cheese flavor to them.¬† Jen and I both felt a bit disappointed with this choice, though we didn’t stop munching on them!

Appetizers: Whipped Burratta, Fried Goat Cheese Filled Olives

Appetizers: Whipped Burratta, Fried Goat Cheese Filled Olives

Where there was no disappointment was with our choice to have the Funghi Pizza to finish off the evening.

Funghi Pizza

Pizzas

The crust was almost like a Naan bread, and the flavors of the mushrooms, shallots,¬†and goat cheese worked beautifully together.¬† The char-grill and mushrooms gave the pizza an earthy element, and the goat cheese’s creamy texture and slightly tart flavor was a perfect complement.

Funghi Pizza

Funghi Pizza

We weren’t able to finish the pizza, but Jen was more than happy to take leftovers home!

All in all, we had a really nice experience at Flour.¬† It’s got a chic atmosphere, solid service, and good food.¬† It’s also always nice for me to spend time with a good friend!¬† Once again, I failed to take a photo with Jen.¬† I’m the worst about that!

If you’re in the CLE area and are looking for a good twist on Italian food, I do recommend visiting Flour. And, if you like mushrooms and goat cheese,¬†definitely give the Funghi pizza a¬†try!

Cheers!

Ker

My Favorite Dining Experiences of 2013…

I wrote about my favorite experiences of 2012 last year, and it has been fun to go back and revisit some of them periodically.¬† So…I thought I’d make another list for 2013 – the first full year of “She Ordered What?”.

First, let me say that 2013 has been a fantastic year!  I left a job that, to put it nicely, was un-fulfilling, moved to Milwaukee (a city that I am LOVING!), am working for a supervisor I respect Рand like, and have coworkers I enjoy (so much so that we opted to spend time together after the holiday party this year).  I am living in downtown Milwaukee, and am thoroughly enjoying metropolitan living (as are my (now 13-year-old) dogs!). I am also traveling a bit more again, allowing for some interesting dining experiences.  For me, change has been very good!

So…I started compiling my top 5 choices of 2013,¬†but the list quickly grew beyond five.¬† I’ll list my “top 5” and a few honorable mentions – which provided great memories with a bunch of friends and colleagues.

5) Melt Bar and Grilled: This is a bit of a cheat, as I actually posted this on December 28, 2012.¬† However, I think Melt deserves a mention since the sandwich was so very good!¬† Full of carbs and comfort, the “Mom’s Meatloaf” grilled cheese was excellent, and very filling!¬† I did end up having the second half of the sandwich for lunch the next day – and I ate it cold.¬† It was really delicious as a cold leftover!¬† I’d also like to thank Melt Bar and Grilled for posting a link to my blog on their website.¬† I really appreciate the additional traffic!¬† I’m looking forward to hitting up Melt when I make it back to Ohio next year.

Melt

4) AJ Bombers:¬† As I mentioned, I had been following AJ Bombers on Twitter ever since I read about their social media program a couple of years ago.¬† So…when I moved to Milwaukee, I was really excited to walk over and check the place out in person.¬† After all, the place promises “Happiness, with a side of burgers”. ¬†Not only is the food far better than your average bar food (let’s face it, it’s NOT healthy!), but the Bloody Mary drinks are the best in town¬†– I don’t care what WISN readers say!¬† Finally, the service is always outstanding – though I tend to favor being a customer of this girl.¬† ūüėČ

AJB

3) Braise: I was introduced to Braise through a local food blogger, Phi, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dining experience with her and another food blogger, Shanon.¬† The atmosphere is so cool.¬† This used to be a bowling alley, and the owners repurposed a lot of the old elements to create a unique and inviting space.¬† But, the food…is SO good!¬† The menu is changed up regularly to incorporate the best ingredients, and it’s not an overwhelmingly large menu so one doesn’t have to feel pressure to sift through pages of options, hoping to make the right decision.¬† I’ve been to Braise several times now, and in my opinion, any decision is a good one!¬† Also, Braise just opened a second floor bar/lounge area.¬† I’ll need to check that out!

Braise

2) Bacon Bros. Public House: Another locally sourced restaurant makes the list!¬† I have Yelp! to thank for introducing my friends and me to this hidden gem.¬†¬† While visiting South Carolina to see my Clemson Tigers beat Boston College, we stumbled upon Bacon Bros.¬† The food:¬† the meat is locally sourced, and spectacular, and the side dishes have a definite southern flair to them, but with a new twist.¬† The service was fantastic.¬† And, their motto is “Powered by Bacon”!¬† What’s not to love about this place?

BaconBros

and…the top “She Ordered What?” dining experience of 2013 was…

1) The Publican:¬† The fact that I drove ~90 miles each way to and from Chicago on a Tuesday night (in traffic and weather) could not even put a damper on this meal!¬† Our server, whom I mentioned a few times in the post, was very good – and he was totally on board to surprise us that evening.¬† The food was expertly prepared.¬† Again, The Publican is a restaurant that sources its ingredients locally – must love that!¬† All in all, the atmosphere, the service, the food, and the company (Chanda!) were top-notch.¬† I loved this place that is off the beaten path, so to speak, but may be home to the best meal I’ve had in Chicago (and I’ve had some REALLY good meals there!).¬† I highly recommend The Publican if you’re looking for an excellent dining experience.¬† The menu changes up frequently here as well, but here is the selection from which we had to choose.

Publican

Honorable mentions:

I kicked the year off by celebrating a dear friend’s birthday in Detroit.¬† I was able to meet some of her other wonderful friends, and we just had a fantastic time enjoying a city that tends to be “off-limits” after work or¬†late at night. Detroit does indeed have some safe and fun spots to enjoy “after hours”.

I also enjoyed celebrating my own birthday with friends¬†– in Massachusetts.¬† My friends gave me a perfectly balanced weekend.¬† We had fun “out on the town”, enjoyed chilling at home, oh, and we ran a 10K in the middle of it all!¬† I’m looking forward to seeing this crazy crew when we meet up for our¬†other friends’ wedding in Memphis this February.

Finally, categorize this under the “last, but not least” header… I had some fun times traveling with my new coworkers this year.¬† We had some really fruitful business trips, but always seemed to sneak in a good meal or two! There was the “first meal in Nola”,¬†the “marathon trip”,¬† the “French food in Montreal”, the “mussels in Brussels”, and the “pork in Paris”.¬† We’ve had other dining adventures,¬†but not all warrant¬†a “She Ordered What?” post.

I will say this,¬†I’m grateful for the way my colleagues have embraced me, and I find it refreshing to enjoy having a meal and/or a drink (or two!) with my coworkers. It certainly makes work more enjoyable!

“She Ordered What?”: 2013 by the numbers:

I wrote 22 posts to contribute to the overall number of 83 posts.¬†The readers and I have posted 221 comments to the blog.¬† There are over 1,800 “She Ordered What?” followers who viewed the blog almost 17,000 times.¬† And, from all over the world…83 countries, actually (led by the US, Canada and Singapore)!

SOWmap

Thank you again for your support and readership.¬† As I mentioned last year, if you would like to write a guest post, please let me know.¬† I enjoy sharing others’ experiences as well!

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling 2014!

Cheers!

Ker

Alphabet Soup – part II (Massachusetts)

This past weekend I headed east and visited a close friend of mine, Eric¬†(whose last name is a ridiculous mess of letters, and thus I dubbed him “Alphabet Soup” when I first met him, “AS”, for short.)¬† I hadn’t seen him in just about a year, and I hadn’t seen our mutual friends (whom I met through him) since that last trip either. ¬†Azelie and Trey (aforementioned mutual friends) are getting married in May, and I wanted to squeeze a visit in before their planning chaos prevented us from being able to spend quality time together. ¬†So, we decided that I would visit during St. Patrick’s Day weekend – which also serves as the joyous (errr, 28th (29 is just too obvious!)) anniversary of my birth, and an annual reminder of just how lucky I am to be blessed with a good life, great friends, and fabulous family!

While I didn’t necessary pull a true “She Ordered What?” all weekend, I did often defer to Eric to choose my/our food. ¬†And, sometimes, it’s just fun to share culinary and personal experiences – even if they don’t follow the theme of this blog to a T.

I arrived Friday afternoon, and Eric was kind enough to drive ~2 hours east to pick me up at the airport. ¬†After a ridiculous scene at the airport that mimicked that one in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (skip to ~2:10),¬†wherein we were on the phone, trying to find each other, we headed west toward Eric’s place in Greenfield.

My personal chauffuer

My personal chauffeur

By the time we got home, we were both starving, so we headed to Magpie for some pizza. ¬†We were greeted with a “Here they are!!!”.

Wait, what??

Turns out, Jim, the lovely (and cute!) proprietor, and his staff were greeting us as the first customers of the evening.  I joked that we should be wearing blue wigs Рit was 4PM, and here we were having dinner!  Or, was it a late lunch?  Not sure!

Before I even checked the menu, Eric suggested ordering the “bread to share” with sea salt and olive oil and the Meatball pizza. ¬†I was totally agreeable, so that’s what we went with. ¬†And…it was ah-mazing!

The Meatball - tomato sauce, roasted pepper, onion, Ricotta, and Parmesan.

The Meatball – tomato sauce, roasted pepper, onion, Ricotta, and Parmesan.

We, reluctantly, decided against the “Fudge bottom pie” and the special shot of the day: Jameson w/ pickle juice and a pickle ¬†(Eric thought it sounded fantastic!).

Later, we headed over to Northampton, which I’ve previously posted about¬†to meet up with Trey, Azelie and Trey’s roommate from college, Chris, who was visiting for the weekend. ¬†We hung out, catching up at Trey’s place, before heading to The Elevens for a monthly stand-up comedy show. ¬†Trey was kind enough to pay our cover charges (very reasonable, folks!), and Azelie handed out our raffle tickets. ¬†Turns out, everyone with proper admission gets entered into a raffle.

There were some really funny comedians that night – a variety of younger and older, male and female, “cleaner” and “more risqu√©”… though I have to admit that most of us were busy talking amongst ourselves and missed many of the jokes that got really big laughs.

At the end of the comedy show, the raffle prize was to be drawn. ¬†Confident in my recent winning streak, including my second consecutive strong showing at The Phillip DeVito Reverse Raffle, I was boasting to Trey that I just KNEW that I’d win, especially when he said that the prize would be a ticket to the next show. ¬†I’m an out-of-towner, and wouldn’t be able to go to the show, so surely I would win. ¬†And as the raffle numbers were called off…my numbers matched, one for one…I did win!!!

Turns out that I had won a perfectly executed surprise birthday cake and celebration! ¬†My friends DUPED me – big time! ¬†Thank you, Aze (the clear Mastermind), Trey, and Eric. Y’all stink at following orders, but you’re fantastic people!

2013-03-15 21.05.41

This was a DELICIOUS chocolate cake!

We ended up sharing this cake with a man with a March 16th birthday, and with the wait staff at The Elevens. ¬†Later, we may have *allegedly* regretted that decision – meaning the “less sober” folks in our group may have wished for cake at the end of the night.

Trey, me, Aze, and Eric (clockwise from top left)

Trey, me, Aze, and Eric (clockwise from top left)

Aze and I were sober, and ready to run our 10K on Saturday.

Okay, to be fair, Aze was ready to run, but I was still scared because I had not trained well at all for the race!  Despite my Asylum training, running was not a natural workout for me these days!

On Saturday morning, Eric and I headed to Shelburne Fall Coffee Roasters¬†for breakfast on the way to Holyoke for the annual St. Patrick’s day 10K. ¬†I had fond memories of Shelburne Fall from last year. ¬†I’m not normally a fan of cream cheese on bagels, but last year, Eric had convinced me to try their homemade veggie cream cheese. ¬†Folks, I am a fan! ¬†Yet, on Saturday, I found myself trying the “Hadley” breakfast sandwich – bagel, strip bacon, cheese, and egg – and it was a PERFECT start to race day. Note: the race didn’t start until 1PM, so the sandwich wasn’t going to sit heavily in my stomach. (until it did)

Aze (actual name = Catherine) and I ended up running pretty much step-for-step during the whole race. ¬†She was a GREAT running partner! ¬†Easy-going, yet motivating. ¬†Between mile 5 and 6, I recall Aze asking “Am I trying to keep up with you, or are you trying to keep up with me?” ¬†The answer? ¬†We didn’t know! ¬†We’re just a good match! ¬†We both finished with the exact same time: ¬†1 hour, 1 minute, 0 sec. ¬†Go figure!

Mine and Azelie's scores - couldn't be in much better sync!

Mine and Azelie’s scores – couldn’t be in much better sync!

That night, we spent some time hanging at Trey’s again – I got a bit of “guy talk education” when Eric left me with the guys so he could visit a friend for a bit (thanks a lot, Eric!). ¬†I’m still hopeful that the scars will heal! LOL.

A bit later, Eric and I decided to go to enjoy a sushi dinner.  The others were happily drinking, so we ventured off together Рwithout them.  We went to Moshi Moshi, and had a great dinner!  We went up the spiral staircase, sat on the second floor and enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Roll (2x over), the Moshi roll, and the Rainbow roll, along with the Tuna sashimi.

2013-03-16 20.28.55

Left to right: Spicy tuna, rainbow, Moshi rolls
Bottom: Tuna sashimi

Everything was truly excellent.  We left as happy patrons.

And, then, headed to East Hampton to the Brass Cat to meet Eric’s friend Brannon, and his girlfriend, Abbi. ¬†We had a nice time chatting with these two – down-to-earth, funny, real, and all-around good people. ¬†Eric, has really fantastic friends. ¬†We share that trait.

Following our chat with Brannon and Abbi, we chased down Aze and the group at “The Deuce”. ¬†The “group” consisted of Trey’s sister Cassie, whom I had met last year too, but hadn’t spent much time with prior to this trip, and Aze, since the guys had gone home and “crashed”, per se.

I have to admit that I was incredibly tired late Saturday night, since I hadn’t slept well Friday night, and was jealous that Aze had (wisely) snuck a nap in earlier. ¬†She and Cassie were dancing up a storm, and they were having a blast doing so! ¬†I WISH I had their rhythm, and their energy! ¬†Luckily, Eric and I shared that lack of talent. We ended up heading home early to catch some zzzz’s.

On Sunday morning, we lounged around for a bit laughing out loud to this series of video clips prior to heading into downtown Greenfield to grab brunch at The Brass Buckle. Eric had the Cowboy (hashbrown patty, bbq, scallion sour cream, bacon & egg on Texas Toast), and I had the Buckle (rocket pesto, tomato, avocado (I LOVE avocado!), & egg on Texas Toast).  

Forefront: The Buckle (mine)Background: The Cowboy (his)

Forefront: The Buckle (mine)
Background: The Cowboy (his)

Both were INCREDIBLE breakfast sandwiches! ¬†(we shared with each other) ¬†We also couldn’t pass up the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, made with Guiness and Jameson Whiskey. ¬†Hey, it was my birthday (and St. Paddy’s day), after all!¬†

2013-03-17 11.42.57

The cupcakes were good, but I wouldn’t say they were super special. ¬†They had more of a carrot cake (mild spice) flavor to them than the chocolate base I had anticipated. ¬†Still, we managed to polish them off!

Then, we decided to head into Boston for the day/evening. ¬†We took the T in from Brookline and headed toward the North End. ¬†After walking all over searching for a place to eat, we settled on ducking into a little Italian joint called¬†La Familia¬†Spagnuolo’s. ¬†We wanted something casual and laid back. ¬†Well, um…

We witnessed the most epic fight between the owners and a patron that I have ever seen – In. My. Life.

I tried to record it, but by the time I got myself together, I had missed the majority of the epic cat fight.

Eric and I sat across the table from each other, each looking like two deer in headlights. ¬†What were we to do in this situation? ¬†Two extremely loud women were yelling at the top of their lungs at each other – trading insults and threatening to call the cops. ¬†This lasted for a good ten minutes or so. ¬†And, we never received an explanation or an apology from the owners, so we’re really not sure exactly what went down!

We did, however, have a tasty stuffed mushrooms (really delicious!)

photo (19)

That’s our server’s hand, not mine!

and the house pizza to which we added sausage.

photo (20)

Peppers, onions, mushrooms, chicken and sausage – oh my!

Parts of the pizza were missing sauce, but it was still a good pie. ¬†I’d say, if you want, err, a “colorful” atmosphere, this was probably a good place to try. ¬†ūüôā

Yet, we were happy to leave that restaurant and find a nice place to grab a few drinks and catch up.  We ended up in the Faneuil Hall area for the rest of the evening Рjust having a good time hanging out.

I always make AS pose for a picture… (he’s photogenic, he should pose!)

photo (21)

And, while I am wildly UNphotogenic, I wanted a picture with the St. Paddy’s day headband some randomly nice woman gave me earlier in the evening. ¬†Too bad I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that they were backward (they actually light up) before Eric took the picture (and, no, it wasn’t due to excessive alcohol).

photo (22)

That was my last night in MA, and then Eric dropped me at the airport Monday morning and we headed our separate ways again. ¬†He headed back to Western Mass, and I headed west! ¬†I’m grateful to have had a few days to spend with wonderful people – to “take a leave” from real life, and to (reluctantly) celebrate my (28th) birthday.

Thanks so much, friends!

Cheers!

Ker

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: