Great Lobster Roll and Friendly People – Red’s Eats – Wiscasset, ME

Red's Eats
Red’s Eats – Wiscasset, ME – Click to Expand

While on our foodie tour of the Northeast, Kim and I were told to check out Red’s Eats with promise of the best lobster roll in Maine. Kim also found them on every single top lobster roll list when she searched the web. We were hesitant to try them because they were about 40 miles out of our way .

Lobster Roll - Yum!
Lobster Roll – Yum!
Fried Whole Belly Clams
Fried Whole Belly Clams

I am so glad we did because this place is legit. We were lucky to be there during off-season so the line was minimal. I ordered a lobster roll and fried whole belly clams. The clams were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. However, the real winner was the lobster roll. They’ve won almost every award there is when it comes to lobster rolls, including Best Lobster Roll in Maine. It might be because they put an entire lobster on each roll. We’re talking claw meat, tail meat, the whole thing. The roll was lightly toasted and the lobster was sweet and tender, perfectly boiled with a slight crunch when you bit into it. It comes with a side of clarified butter or mayo but it did not need it. I want to go back to Maine just to eat this. This has ruined me for other lobster rolls I will encounter.

Maybe a Shack, but One Great Lobster Roll
Maybe a Shack, but One Great Lobster Roll

We’d been warned by all of the folks that recommended this place that it was a “shack”. Shack or not, it is a Maine institution. It is a small place and you walk up to the window to place your order. However, they have two small decks out back with 7 or 8 tables, so we were able to sit down to enjoy our culinary delights with a view of the bay.

The people were really nice. I’d heard that people in Maine are some of the nicest people you will ever come across and the folks at Red’s did not disappoint. They were very friendly and answered questions to make sure you got what you wanted. A young lady got in the line with her dog. About 45 seconds after she got in line, someone came out of the kitchen and brought the dog some water and a treat. That was really cool.

If you are looking for a great lobster roll, this is the one for you. It is not all hype and it deserves all the accolades it gets!

Red's Eats on Urbanspoon

From Food Truck to Brick and Mortar, Still Awesome – Grill’em All – Alhambra, CA

Grill’em All – Alhambra, CA
Grill’em All – Alhambra, CA

One of my favorite gourmet food trucks was Grill’em All. Yes, the same Grill’em All that won the first season of FoodNetwork’s Great Food Truck Race. They would pop in to the OC every once in a while and we would go wait in the long lines just so we could stuff our faces.

About a year ago they opened a brick and mortar in Alhambra, CA and now only use the truck for catering. And while you might think having a single, physical location would be much easier than chasing down a food truck, unfortunately, it is a part of Los Angeles that Kim and I don’t get to very often. We finally made our way out there to check them out.

Great Open Space
Great Open Space – Click to Expand

They are located on Main St. in downtown Alhambra, right outside a movie theatre. It is a prime location for movie-goers to stop by before or after a movie. It is a fast casual restaurant that still reflects the metal music-listening, burger-slaying attitude from the guys that started the truck.

Unexpected Surprise while Walking the Streets of Boston – Marliave – Boston, MA

Marliave – Boston, MA
Marliave – Boston, MA

It’s Memorial Day of our New England foodie tour and we’d been anxiously waiting for a respectable hour to try Drink, a local watering hole in Boston known for its speakeasy vibe and craft cocktails. However, unbeknownst to us, the bar was closed on this holiday. After walking what felt like all of Boston proper, and having a hit and miss experience at a bar that was actually open (First Amendment), we were hot, tired and desperately in need of a decent drink (within walking distance). I did a search on Yelp and Marliave popped up. It had a solid 4 start rating after 590 reviews so I figured it would work for us.

We strolled up to the bar and the bartender graciously handed us a large menu of their signature cocktails.

6-week barrel-aged Manhattan Old Overholt Rye, Vya Vermouth and Housemade Cinnamon Clove Bitters
6-week barrel-aged Manhattan Old Overholt Rye, Vya Vermouth and Housemade Cinnamon Clove Bitters
Flapper: Greylock Gin, Lavender, Honey & Lemon
Flapper: Greylock Gin, Lavender, Honey & Lemon
James Pepper: House Infused Bakers Bourbon with Orange peel & Vanilla Mixed with Lemon, Sugar cube & House Orange Bitters
James Pepper: House Infused Bakers Bourbon with Orange peel & Vanilla Mixed with Lemon, Sugar cube & House Orange Bitters
Molasses Flood 1919 - Sailor Jerry’s Rum, Molasses & Lime
Molasses Flood 1919 – Sailor Jerry’s Rum, Molasses & Lime
tres curieux Au Bohemian, Au bicycle, Au basket: Henderick’s Gin, St-Germaine,  Lime, Grapefruit & Prosecco
tres curieux
Au Bohemian, Au bicycle, Au basket: Henderick’s Gin, St-Germaine,
Lime, Grapefruit & Prosecco

The drinks were hand-crafted and exactly what we’d been hoping to find in Boston. We also found out that they offer some great happy hour specials, specifically $1 oysters and clams so we were more than willing to partake.

Happy Hour Shucked Oysters
Happy Hour Shucked Oysters

Having whetted our appetite with the clams and oysters, we also ordered the escargot made with garlic, shallots, butter, parsley, cognac, parmesan and served with toasted bread and polenta complimented by gorgonzola and caramelized onions. Delicious!

Creamy Baked side of Polenta - Yum!
Creamy Baked side of Polenta – Yum!

Although Marliave might not have been our original destination, we’re sure glad we found it.

Works for me!
Works for me!
The Bar Downstairs
The Bar Downstairs

Marliave on Urbanspoon

CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS: OC Fair "COME & GET IT", July 12 – August 11, 2013

2013-OCFair-Logo-SingleCharacter copy

The 2013 OC Fair, themed Come & Get It, is July 12 – August 11 and brings 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats and single-day general admission are available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com or from the on-site Box Office. The popular Super Pass, which offers the passholder 23 days of admission, is available for purchase from the onsite Box Office or any public entry gate during regular Fair hours.

With plenty of food vendors and culinary activities, the OC Fair has something for every palate. Here’s what the Fair is cooking up this year:

• Chicken Charlie: Chicken Charlie is churning out new food with Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joes, Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Pickles and Waffle Dogs (a hot dog wrapped inside a waffle and all on a stick). Plus, don’t miss deep-fried cookie dough!

• Bacon A-Fair: This year’s new additions at Bacon A-Fair include Truffle Gouda Bacon Fries, Bacon Beer (root beer) and Cheesy Bacon Bombs. Plus, wild boar bacon on a stick will be served exclusively at the OC Fair.

• Biggy’s Meat Market: Channel your inner cave man (or woman) and come to Biggy’s Meat Market for the returning 17-inch The Big Rib plus the new Biggy Sausage, a 2-foot-long smoked sausage on a stick, and the Big Chic, 24 ounces of chicken breast on a stick of course.

• Ten Pound Buns: The mad scientists at Ten Pound Buns have added ground bacon, whipped butter and Nutella on top of their famous sourdough “pizza” for the Bacon Nutella Bun.

• Pink’s Hot Dogs: Long known for their innovative hot dogs named after celebrities, the Ghiradelli hot dog takes it to a new level. It is a beef dog topped with cream cheese, honey mustard, crumbled bacon and dark chocolate.

• More New Food: There are new tastes to be found throughout the OC Fair this year including deep-fried strawberries, a macaroni and cheese hamburger, fried bacon ice cream, deep-fried lobster, cream cheese on a stick, mango & chamoy popsicle (spicy-sweet lemon chile flavoring), heart-shaped funnel cake, Dirty BBQ Tasti Chips and more.

• $2 Taste of Fair Food: Every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., Fairgoers can sample the best the Fair has to offer for only $2 each sample. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, BBQ tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.

• Celebrity Chefs: The 2013 OC Fair presents two shows in The Hangar featuring charismatic celebrity chefs demonstrating their culinary prowess. Scheduled appearances include the owners and chefs of the award-winning La Casita Mexicana Restaurant Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu (July 20, 4 p.m.) and award-winning chef and owner of Bottega in Napa Valley and Coqueto in San Francisco Michael Chiarello (August 1, 4 p.m.) Free with Fair admission.

• Culinary Presentations: In addition to celebrity chefs, the 2013 OC Fair is also featuring local professional chefs from some of the county’s top local restaurants and other culinary artisans in the OC Promenade. Presentation days and times vary.

• Food Truck Fare at the OC Fair: On top of traditional and new Fair foods, Fairgoers can purchase gourmet fare from their favorite food trucks from inside the OC Fair gates every Thursday from Noon-10 p.m. Access is free with Fair admission and prices for food and drinks vary per truck.

• Kitchen Challenge: Watch local culinary professionals show off their chops and go head-to-head in a series of live cooking challenges set to various themes every Thursday in the OC Promenade: Meatheads (July 18), Time to Make The Donuts (July 25), Firehouse Chefs (August 1) and Vegan (August 8). Winners will receive bragging rights and an award to commemorate their culinary victory. Viewing is free with Fair admission.

• Contests and Competitions: Most of the traditional Culinary Arts competitions have closed their registrations but the Culinary Arts department is again hosting live contests that offer late registration with the Special Culinary Contests held the last four Saturdays, including the popular OC Cupcake Classic on August 3. Registration for these contests is the Wednesday before each contest. New this year is the Salad Daze contest, which is judging for the best picnic-ready salads. For a complete list, visit ocfair.com/competitions.

• Food As Art: Chef Ray Duey is an acclaimed food sculptor who was a gold medal winner from the Food Network’s Challenge Team and will be creating works of art out of fruits and vegetables daily in the OC Promenade. Award-winning Shaile Socher creates masterful floral arrangements out of sugar and will be demonstrating her intricate and dazzling talent in the OC Promenade daily. Demonstrations are free with Fair admission.

Best part is we are giving away a pair of tickets!!

Contest details:  

There are a three ways to win:

  1. Follow @satnightfoodies and @OCFair (1 entry for each follow).
  2. After you follow, simply RT this link (1 entry). We’ve made it easier for you tweeters, all you have to do is copy and paste the following into twitter:
  3.  
    I entered to WIN TICKETS to the @OCFair COME & GET IT! July 12-Aug11 via @SatNightFoodies http://bit.ly/ocfair2013 RT to enter!
     

  4. Finally in the comment section below let us know what fair food you are looking forward to the most

That means you can get a total of four entries!!

 

Contest ends Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 11:59pm PT and the winner will be announced on July 12.  One lucky winner will win two general admission passes (Valued at $22).  Good luck and happy tweeting!

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/OCFair, follow us at twitter.com/ocfair or call (714) 708-1500. Also, download the free OC Fair iPhone and Android apps available now.

Craft Cocktail Recipe: #070313 California Sour

#070313 or the SNF California Sour
SNF California Sour

A New York Sour is a classic cocktail that we decided to tweak. It turned out really good on the first try which surprised us. It helped that we used a very good rye whiskey, spectacular Syrah and some of our own homemade simple syrup. This drink is very easy to make and surprisingly addictive.

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz Templeton Rye Whisky
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Blood Orange Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
2 oz Syrah (we used 2010 Justin Vineyards)

PREPARATION:

Mix whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup and half of the lemon zest into a shaker. Shake with ice, and strain into a glass over ice. Holding a spoon on top of the glass, slowly pour the syrah wine into the spoon, gently letting it overflow into the drink to avoid mixing. Garnish with the rest of the lemon zest and serve.

Blood Orange Simple Syrup Recipe:
1/2 cup blood orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
zest from 2 blood oranges

Pour all ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and then strain with cheesecloth into container for storage. Refrigerate for up to two months.

If you want to see other cocktail recipes from Saturday Night Foodies, go to <CLICK HERE>

Third Annual 4th of July New England Lobster Bruxie Celebration

New England Lobster Bruxie
New England Lobster Bruxie

Having received international attention for its unique concept known best for its savory and sweet gourmet waffle sandwich offerings, Bruxie will once again celebrate the 4th of July in culinary style with holiday specials worthy of fireworks! For the third year, in honor of the American holiday, Bruxie’s culinary team is flying in LIVE MAINE LOBSTERS to create the ultimate New England Lobster Bruxie, only available on Thursday, July 4th. Other holiday specials, which will be available Thursday, July 4th through Sunday, July 7th, include the new Vermont Apple Pie Bruxie, a Red, White & Blue Shake, and Bruxie’s seasonal Black Cherry Cane Sugar Soda. The following specials will be available at 11 a.m. (Kim and I will be their early, as these will sell out) at all Bruxie locations (Old Towne Orange, Brea Downtown, Rancho Santa Margarita, Chino Hills and Huntington Beach). 



Bruxie Fourth of July Specials:


-New England Lobster Bruxie – Tender Maine Lobster simply tossed with a touch of Mayo, Fresh Chives, Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt (Available July 4th only)

-Vermont Apple Pie Bruxie – Warm brown sugar spiced Granny Smith apples, Extra Sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese and Homemade Crumble served with Bruxie’s Award-Winning Wisconsin Frozen Custard
(Available July 4th – 7th)

-Red, White & Blue Shake – California Strawberry Shake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Blueberry Drizzle 
(Available July 4th – 7th)

-Black Cherry Cane Sugar Soda – our new seasonal flavor! (Available July 4th – 7th)

All Bruxie locations feature indoor and outdoor seating. The menus offer Bruxie’s unique takes on authentic Belgian waffles, as well as salads, locally produced old-fashioned cane sugar sodas, real Wisconsin frozen custard, shakes, sundaes and floats. Bruxie proudly serves Peet’s Coffee & Tea products.

The Hawthorne in the Hotel Commonwealth – Boston, MA

@ The CommonWealth Hotel
@ The Commonwealth Hotel

When we planned our New England foodie tour, we knew Boston would be our opportunity to not only have great food but explore great craft cocktails. We did a lot of research prior to the trip and The Hawthorne, located in the Hotel Commonwealth was one we kept coming across. I can tell you that I was a little skeptical about a “hotel lobby bar”. Considering that when we travel, we do not stay in fancy hotels like The Plaza (no hotel loyalty points!) so my experience with hotel chain lobby bars, set a pretty low expectation. They also don’t have a website yet so my only exposure to them was Googling to find other articles that had been written about them.

Quick View of the Bar
Quick View of the Bar

We went on a Tuesday night so the bar wasn’t very busy. The main room has a long, white granite bar that seats 18 people, a large communal table made of espresso wood and a few smaller seating areas which included couches, wingback chairs and small coffee tables. There is a second room off to the right that is used for overflow but can also be rented for a small private party with its own private bar. The entire space is decorated in a cool, modern color palette of black, white and gray and small pops of color. It was designed to look and feel like a penthouse living room, upscale but comfortable, as if you were at a friend’s house. It is beautifully appointed and definitely model-house worthy!

Love the Decor
Love the Decor

We sat at the bar because we like to talk with the bartenders and watch them as they artfully make our drinks. Like many great craft cocktail bars, they have a changing menu of signature creations. We always like to start with one (or two) of those before working with them to devise a unique creation based on our spirit and flavor profile preferences. This gives us the chance to get to know the bartender to see if they truly know their craft or have just memorized the signature drinks and spiel for each.

"Penicillin" with Laphroaig Whiskey
“Penicillin” with Laphroaig Whiskey
'Colleen Bawn' Rye Whisky, Benedictine, Chartreuse, Egg, Nutmeg
‘Colleen Bawn’ Rye Whisky, Benedictine, Chartreuse, Egg, Nutmeg

Our bartender’s name was Carrie and she truly was a master of her craft. She was an easy conversationalist and passionate about the beverage program that Jackson Cannon had created at the Hawthorne. Cannon also heads the bar programs at sister establishments Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard. We were feeling pretty comfortable with Carrie so we were ready to put our trust in her to make us some drinks based on spirits of our choice.

'Call Me Maybe' c/o Carrie Plantation Rum, Cardamaro, Housemade Vermouth
‘Call Me Maybe’ c/o Carrie Plantation Rum, Cardamaro, Housemade Vermouth
Vida & Del Maguey Mezcal, Cocchi Americana, Muddled Grapefruit and Mint
Vida & Del Maguey Mezcal, Cocchi Americana, Muddled Grapefruit and Mint
All the Tools needed! Vida & Del Maguey Mezcal, Cocchi Americana
All the Tools needed! Vida & Del Maguey Mezcal, Cocchi Americana
Another Creation by Carrie
Another Creation by Carrie

The Hawthorne Bar on Urbanspoon

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop – Costa Mesa, CA

Costa Mesa, CA
Costa Mesa, CA

We recently tried Greenleaf, a fast -casual dining restaurant that opened its first Orange County outpost in Costa Mesa. The gourmet chopshop, as they are known, is a healthy concept that prides itself on using fresh and healthy ingredients as well as being built in environmentally conscious locations using recycled and compostable products. They make to-order salads, wraps and sandwiches using flame-grilled proteins and organic, locally-grown produce. With seven types of lettuce, 16 meats and proteins, 60 toppings of vegetables, carbs, nuts, herbs, cheese, legume and fruit and 17 dressings to choose from, the possibilities are endless! And if you don’t want to create your own, they also offer numerous specialty salads and a seasonal salad of the week. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.

Great Open Layout
Great Open Layout

The first thing you notice about the restaurant when you walk in is the large communal table made from reclaimed wood in the open floor plan and eclectic furnishings of wood tables and metal chairs. There are several dining vignettes, both indoors and out, as well as a beer and wine bar and a juice bar.

As mentioned, it is a fast-casual restaurant, so you need to order at the counter and then grab a seat and they will bring you your order. Below are a few of the items that we sampled.

The Antioxidant Orchard
The Antioxidant Orchard – scarborough farms baby mixed greens, grapes, celery, walnuts, dried cranberries, apples, blue cheese, mint, red onion, cucumbers, strawberries and blueberries, with pomegranate whole grain vinaigrette
Lemongrass Chicken - scarborough farms baby mixed greens, grilled chicken, mango, grilled pineapple, jicama, toasted coconut, cashews, thai chili and thai basil with lemongrass lychee vinaigrette.
Lemongrass Chicken – scarborough farms baby mixed greens, grilled chicken, mango, grilled pineapple, jicama, toasted coconut, cashews, thai chili and thai basil with lemongrass lychee vinaigrette.

In addition to all the menu items mentioned above, Greenleaf also offer small plates. We tried the turkey melt on pretzel bread, turkey meatballs and steak sliders

 Turkey Melt Sandwich on Pretzel Bread
Turkey Melt Sandwich on Pretzel Bread
Turkey Meatballs
Turkey Meatballs
Steak Sliders
Steak Sliders

The LA locations are only open for breakfast and lunch, but Costa Mesa is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The latter also has a happy hour but you have to get their early (3-5 p.m.).

Costa Mesa
234 E 17th St. Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (Hillgren Square Shopping Center)
http://www.greenleafchopshop.com/

A second Orange County location is scheduled to open later this summer at the OC Mart Mix.
3303 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Craft Cocktail Recipe: #062213 Perfecting the Mai Tai

Check out the Vintage Glass
Check out the Vintage Glass

The Mai Tai is a surprisingly difficult drink to nail down. Over the last couple of years, Kim and I have had oue share in the quest for the very best. Our favorite to date was from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki beach at their Mai Tai Bar. To be specific, it is the “Royal Mai Tai”. But I digress, did you know the original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai is guessed to have rum, Curaçao liqueur, and lime juice. Say what? Ours on the other hand has may more ingredients than that. This is probably one of our most complicated drinks created. However, we are pretty proud of how it turned out.

If you make this, please give us feedback. It took four tries to get this where it is but we think it’s near perfection. If you happen to find the syrup from Luxardo maraschino cherries sold separately, which we used in this recipe, please let us know. Our Luxardo cherries are drying as I write this because we used up all the syrup.

INGREDIENTS:

2oz Spiced Rum
2oz Kraken Dark Rum
2oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
2oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1oz Small Hand Foods Orgeat (Almond Syrup) – This is a must!
1/2oz Disaronno
1/2oz Luxardo Syrup (From maraschino cherries)
1/2oz Grand Marnier
6 drops vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

Mix all ingredients and some ice in a shaker. Shake and pour into a tiki cup over ice. We garnished with fresh pineapple and one of those cherries that are getting dry.

If you want to see other cocktail recipes from Saturday Night Foodies, go to <CLICK HERE>

Huntington Dog Beach Teams Up with Slater's 50/50 for Fundraiser – June 19, 2013

Be sure to print and take this flyer with you!
Be sure to print and take this flyer with you!

The summer season is here, and we’re kicking it off with a fund-raiser at Slater’s 50/50 restaurant on Monday, June 17, 5-7pm. Bring your dog to dinner with you, along with your Dog Beach flyer, and Dog Beach receives a portion of the proceeds. What could be better, dogs, great food and drink, all for a good cause!!

Now that is a burger!
Now that is a burger!