Friday, April 20, 2012

I love it up there in San Gabriel where if you hop a few blocks over you will find yourself in another city full of yummy goodies. In El Monte there's this place called Tito's Market that's well known for their empanadas and sandwiches. The area can seem a bit sketchy but you know what, Tito's Market is the safest place around with 4 cop cars parked in front and another one pulling in as I pulled out. This place must be a hot spot for cops, so don't worry because it's super safe with tons of people coming in and out grabbing their food to go.
The ladies are very friendly and the prices are very reasonable. Everyone is very polite. The Beef Empanadas are $1.79 and they are a pretty decent size that's filled with tons of meat. I have been here twice and yet to try the Chicken Empanadas, so be sure to come earlier because that always seems to run out first. The first time I had the Milanesa as well but I wasn't that impressed with the sandwich but I did really like the empanadas so this time I had to stop by since I exited from the 60 Freeway on Rosemead. It's great for a quick grab and has that wholesome feeling.
All in all a great local eatery that's priced very reasonably. They have a huge menu that's worth looking into if you lived nearby. As for me, I am just there for a "snack" on my way to a multiple meal fun night!

Tito's Market
9814 Garvey Ave
El Monte, CA 91733
(626) 579-1893
Tito's Market on Urbanspoon

Due to Ms. Lin's random research of finding a new optometrist, we suddenly ended up in Arcadia. You would think this was a good thing but I have to say that they really suck and it is not worth the gas to keep going up there for her stupid glasses! The first time we stopped by I was intrigues by the sign : Honey Boba. How could you go wrong with something that sounds tasty? Of course it reminded me of Half & Half Tea House. This caught my eye so on the 2nd trip up I decided it was time to try this place...
STAY AWAY! Don't do it!!! The boba was decent for an add in of $0.49 but not the drink itself. Sure, everything sounded good on paper but fell really short. We read online reviews to see what to order and chose which one that sounded good to us. I decided to go with the Ghiradelli Caramel Milk Tea since I love caramel milk tea but this did not taste like caramel. Rather a fermented alcohol like simulation of caramel. Ms. Lin decided to order something different from me and got the Earl Grey Milk Tea with Honey Boba. I have had Earl Grey before and this was bad. I was so glad that was not my drink and I tried to finish off the bad drink I had as fast as I can. Soon afterwards, I ran over to Sinbala to cleanse my palette of the horror. I had to buy a bunch of other milk teas to help me forget this taste @_@
All in all it may seem like the perfect place for teenagers and college students to chill out, but keeping in mind the area we are at that there are MUCH BETTER places around. I'd save myself the pain and check out the other hip hang out joints that serve a good drink to go with it!

Honey Boba
1 W Duarte Rd
Arcadia, CA 91007

(626) 446-9788

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

After a long arduous red-eye flight from LA to Miami, Ms. Lin and I were looking for what we could do to kill time. We had a horrible time dealing with Hertz and their incompetent staff. Believe me, we needed something to wash that nasty taste from our mouths. After an endless search for what was open at 6-7am in the morning, we were able to find Enriqueta's Cafe.
Sure, it might be super early but we definitely needed a caffeine spike. A whole night without sleep because of other inconsiderate airplane passengers plus idiotic service at Hertz, I needed a few gigantic cups of coffee! If you have never had a Cuban coffee, it's really time that you hunt down a tasty Cuban cafe to get a few helpings of it. I loved how they were cranking the machine like crazy and then scooping a ton of sugar into a tiny cup of coffee. Welcome to the world of diabetes and flavor!
Still, there's a reason why they sell tons of this coffee and for the price it is not bad. I wish we had bought a few cups and asked for light sugar. In my memory, Cafe Versailles had such tasty Cuban coffee that I didn't want to order too much here but times have changed. I am not sure if it was an off day or something but I thought the coffee at Enriqueta's Cafe was a million times better. The one at Cafe Versailles was like muddy water. It was quite sad actually. Hence, I wished I bought more coffee here and not save my tastebuds for Cafe Versailles later.
I asked what they recommended and they said to order the Bistecca (Steak) Sandwich. This was about $8 and I was skeptical, but it turned out to be super tasty! They stuff the sandwich full of thin crisp fries that are so crunchy and wonderful with every savory bite. The meat was very aromatic mixed in with fresh tomatoes and onions. Everything just came together heavenly. If I wasn't planning to stuff myself later, I would have gotten another one of these! It took a while for them to crank out this sandwich but it was worth the wait! The number one sandwich I was looking forward to was a Cubano (Cuban) Sandwich, but the steak was the clear winner that morning!
Somehow there was a miscommunication because they thought that we ordered the simple bread with butter. I don't think we really ate it but everyone else was getting it and somehow they messed up with our order. It would be smart to double check your order so that you won't run into the issue we did. The bread was only $1.50 or so but we weren't going to eat it. Ms. Lin had to go back and re-order the Cuban sandwich.
Maybe it was because the steak sandwich was toooo good that it made the Cuban sandwich seem less impressive. They packed it full of meat and pickles. It was nicely toasted and flavorful but I think that morning I was really feeling the solid savory flavor rather than a mix of salty and sour. Again, I might have been judging them to the memory of the Cuban sandwich I had at Cafe Versailles a year or so ago. Yet AGAIN, when I went back to Cafe Versailles I was dramatically let down. The Cuban sandwich here was much better and it was piping hot versus the lukewarm slop I got at Cafe Versailles.
All in all I thought the food here was tasty, reasonably priced, and they were open when the sky was still dark! Many thumbs up! Next time I am in town and have a car again, I will definitely come back again for another go. Hopefully it will be just as good!
While we were waiting for everything to be made, the air was filled with the scent of the ocean. I told Ms. Lin that she was going the wrong way but she did not believe me. After a little detour on our way to Cafe Versailles, we reached a dead end where we could see the sunrise glisten on the water under the bridge. Of course I had to take some photos to celebrate this momentous occasion... us going the wrong way! lol
Ms. Lin of course used the excuse that she did this on purpose for us to enjoy the view... BS! lol =) Still, it makes a great story at least.

Enriqueta's Cafe (Sandwich Shop)

186 NE 29th St
Miami, FL 33137

(305) 573-4681

Monday, April 2, 2012

It was getting really late at night and we had a full day in NYC already but our last stop of the night was at the The Breslin in Midtown West/Chelsea. I will admit that I was a bit skeptical when Ms. Lin suggested this gastropub for lamb burgers. There have been very very very few places where I have actually had a decent lamb burger that did NOT taste like feet. Don't get me wrong, I adore lamb and raw meat but I don't like the heavy herbs that over power the natural flavors and only makes the gaminess unbearable.
Since I have had many bad encounters, I was a bit cautious when she ordered. It was late at night and close to last call so we asked the guy to first put in an order of the lamb burger and THEN I will decide if I will have another one. Ms. Lin and him probably thought I was funny and since they have both had the lamb burger, they knew that the answer would be yes! Not that you couldn't tell from the title of this post, lol.
At first I was in a sour mood because nothing else on the menu appealed to me and the prices were mid-high for stuff that I did not want to eat. Prices in NYC always tend to be higher, but since I was not here for a real meal and I am surrounded by tons of great eats in this city I was hesitant to order the other dishes. Luckily I just waited to try the lamb burger and didn't!
If I wasn't so full from all the eating around NYC, I wish I stuffed another burger down the gullet! The Lamb Burger ($21) was topped with feta and served with cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips on the side. I am glad that the mayo was on the side because I don't really like cumin. The fries were piping hot and well seasoned. I really enjoyed the presentation on the cutting board. We cut the burger in half and I was delighted that the center was reddish-pink. It was a juicy, sensuous, and flavorful burger that completely melts in your mouth! Be sure to eat it while it is piping hot and before the juices leak out onto the bun. **Gobble Gobble**
We started the night off with the Caramel Popcorn ($5), which I thought was cutely presented. The name tag and date of birth was a great idea. It wasn't quite what I expected it to be and the caramel was quite sticky and chewy. For me, it was just okay but I did really like the packaging.
I have never heard of a Scotch Egg ($8) but Ms. Lin was excited and wanted to order it. What? I was a bit skeptical because I thought it was a bit pricey for something that has the word egg! For those who know me, I am not a big of eggs and wouldn't order it but I am glad we did. This was surprisingly tasty! Instead of a hard boiled egg inside, it was a nicely poached runny egg encased by meat then batter and fried to crisp perfection. Yum! It was crispy and savory. I actually thought the combination was very nice and was tempted to have another one. The portion size was pretty decent too.
We debated about another appetizer/snack and we decided to order the Beef and Stilton Pie ($7). The server described it as beef and cheese inside a tasty crust, so we thought sure bring us an order! I wished we ordered another scotch egg instead! Of course I wouldn't have known without trying so c'est la vie. The flavor of the beef was decent but there wasn't much cheese inside. To me it was just alright.
All in all it was a hip and tasty gastropub. They definitely sold me on their lamb burger and scotch egg! The menu might change often but I hope they keep those two on the menu! Ms. Lin was a little reserved about this place because it had been a while since she'd been here and since she was introducing this place to me, she wanted to make sure I'd like it too. Luckily, the burger was just as good as she remembered. Proving that when something is good, it can still taste just as good years later and not just be a memory.
The Breslin
16 W. 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-2222
Breslin Bar & Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Blog Widget by LinkWithin