Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brisket Sandwich at Dickey's

I received another coupon; this time it was for a buy one get one free sandwich. I normally don't get excited over a sandwich since I do not consider it a meal. I made an exception this time since the coupon was from Dickey's Barbecue Pit. I recently just discovered Dickey's and was very happy with their barbecue ribs.

My friend and I ordered the same thing; the Beef Brisket Classic on a Brioche. For sides, we decided to split an order of the Fried Okra which we've had the last time with some Ranch dressing. They have 3 big containers of barbecue sauce; regular, sweet and spicy which we helped ourselves to. I found that adding the sauce was like adding Parmesan to my spaghetti, it tends to vanish quickly. Needless to say, we both enjoyed the juicy tender brisket.

The 2  young men that worked there at the time were helpful and enthusiastic. We could tell that they liked their jobs and took it seriously unlike some places where they are just there waiting to clock out.

Dickey's Barbecue is located at 407 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. #102 in Redondo Beach, California.

Breakfast Pie at Krust

I have seen this Breakfast Pie before but I was totally blinded by the Lemon-Glazed Donut at ;krust that I never had the time to investigate what this pie was all about.  A friend and I went last week and decided to split one only because I had to have the lemon donut as well.

This beautiful pie is as good as it looks and more! It is a brioche bread with potato, cheese, egg and crumbled bacon. How can this not be wonderful? It was delicious. This is a great healthy way to start the morning; protein from the egg, a little fat from the bacon, some starch (this is healthy in my book), and a lemon-glazed donut for dessert. The donut was no longer warm so I had them pop it in the microwave which made the glaze melt a bit and the donut tasted like it just came out of the oven. I was transported to heaven once more.

;krust is located at 1300 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Redondo Beach, California. They are open at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday and close at 3:00 p.m. They open at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays and stay open till 1:00 p.m.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Mimi's Cafe

Who doesn't like coupons, especially if it's buying one entree up to $17.00 and get one entree free? Sandi and I thought we would try the new "Ribeye" dinner at Mimi's. We started out fine, with the warm bread they served with some carrot-raisin bread shaped like Madelines.

We were there for a very early dinner so there were no crowds. While waiting for our entree, one of the servers dropped a tray with leftover food and landed in our area. Another server helped pick up the dishes but not all of it. In the meantime, our Ribeyes arrived. It looked promising and we were pleasantly surprised that it was quite edible. It was even cooked right so the long wait was worth it.

No one came to pick up the one French fry and the ketchup on the floor plus the large crumbs on the carpet. Several servers, including ours and customers, just walked on it. It was not a pleasant sight on the already dingy carpet. We also notice there were several tables that had to be cleared but nothing was being done. Later on a busboy came and started doing his job. We thought that surely he would see the food on the carpet and clean it. No such luck. A gentleman who looked like he could be the manager finally picked up the lonely fry but left everything else. This really bothered us on how people can pretend to be blind; maybe it was not in their job description.

Before we left the restaurant, we asked if the manager was there and the answer, was yes his name was Pedro. The food may be good but with the very slow service (hardly anyone there at the time), and the filthy surroundings, we both decided not to ever go back to Mimi's Cafe. It's a pity because they used to be good in the good old days.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Birthday Luncheon at Sandi's

Aging happens to the best of us including Sandi who decided to serve her friends lunch after seeing the movie "Book Club" which was appropriate for us women of a certain age.

She started with hors d' oeuvres; cheese and crackers, grapes, chips and cream cheese topped with a mango habanero sauce which was an instant hit. There was champagne for some and red wine for Amy.  There were lots of laughs and stories to catch up.

For lunch, Sandi cooked Turkey Burgers and Hot Dogs wrapped in bacon. Everyone loved the burgers which were juicy and tender. She also made a  beautiful Red and Yellow Beet Salad with purple potatoes, asparagus, fresh peas, shallots, and arugula with a homemade dijon mustard dressing. She also had a Fruit Salad and Oranges which was marinated overnight in ginger, honey and lemon juice. Everything was delicious.

Mertz brought a homemade Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake. We were all impressed with her baking skills; one of her many talents. That too was wonderful with a little bit more of raspberry sauce for topping.

It was a great celebration but a lot of work for the birthday girl. Happy Birthday again, Sandi.....till next year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Birthday Dinner at Bettolino

My old friend Mary (not that old), invited me to celebrate my belated birthday dinner. Before we even made our decisions on what to order, Sonia my favorite server, brought out fresh warm bread accompanied by a dish of olive oil with herbs. I asked for some fresh Parmesan to go in the oil. That alone made us very happy and even happier with the bottle of Pinot Noir Mary brought.

She asked me if I wanted to order an appetizer which I did but I would have wanted to share it with her so I don't get too full. I was thinking of the Polipo (Grilled Spanish Octopus) but I knew Mary would not go for that so we decided to split a Caesar Salad instead. While we were splitting our salad, Sonia came with a dish of the appetizer I wanted. I told her I didn't order that unless she had ESP and read my mind. She explained that it was sent by Andreanna, the owner. Unfortunately, it was not Mary's cup of tea so I devoured that little sucker. Mary ate the beans. If you can get past the looks of it, you would love the octopus; it was so tender and the lemon garlic sauce made it so delectable.

Though there were many interesting things on the menu, we decided we wanted pasta. Mary wanted pasta with scampi which was not on the menu but they were happy to accommodate. I tried something I haven't tried before; the Tortelloni al Limone stuffed with spinach and ricotta which had a beautiful lemon cream sauce topped with Parmesan. I absolutely loved this dish. I had to leave 2 on my plate since my belly was too full from the salad, octopus, and mounds of bread since Mary asked for more warm bread.

The dessert we ordered was my favorite, the Salted Caramel Semifreddo. This is a semi-frozen salted caramel mousse, layered with graham crackers with a chocolate sauce. The picture speaks for itself. There was a bonus dessert presented to Mary so she could blow out the candle and make her wish.

Another wonderful dinner at Bettolino. Thank you, Mary, for a delightful evening. Thank you Andreanna for the Polipo and thank you, Sonia, for the excellent service. Bettolino is located at 211 Palos Verdes Blvd. in Redondo Beach, California.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


My brother Gary invited Sandi and me to celebrate our birthdays at Spago. I haven't been there in a long time and Sandi has never been there. We were excited as I was hoping that we were in for a treat.

We were seated on the outdoor patio which had heaters for when it got chilly. Since Gary has been there more often, Sandi and I told him to order for us. He decided to order a few things for us to share but also asked us if there was something specific we wanted. Halibut, Sandi's favorite fish was on the menu so we did order that. We also ordered the Crispy Scaled Black Bass with Maine Lobster and the Grilled Prime "Cote de Boeuf" with pommes aligot with a peppercorn-Armagnac sauce. As soon as our orders were taken, someone brought an array of bread with different textures. We did ask for butter just in case the dip was not satisfactory. The dip, in this case, was quite edible. Yogurt with harissa was a nice balance that brought out the flavors of the bread.

For starters; two items had to be ordered. One was the Spicy Tuna Tartare in a sesame-miso cone with shaved bonito and the other was a Cheese Pizza with Italian Summer Truffles. Sandi, who normally will not eat anything raw had a cone and loved it. I was hoping she would not want to try it so I could have two! The pizza was wonderful; thin crust, a bit charred on some parts though I would have wanted to see it all throughout. The flavor of the summer truffles was oh so good. As Milena (aka Ms. Gourmet) would say: " I would have been very happy with just the cones and the pizza", in which we all agreed.

The Alaskan Halibut arrived. It was nice and flaky. I much preferred the Crispy Scaled Black Bass with Maine Lobster. It couldn't have been any crispier. The flavor was ausgezeichnet (that's excellent in German) and anyone that knows me know I rarely get excited about fish.

Just as we were finishing our fish, the Grilled Cote de Boeuf arrived. The big hunk of meat made a grand entrance.  I loved that they sliced the meat and even plated them for us. Another server came to serve the Pommes Aligot; cheesy mashed potato. It was entertaining to watch as he stretched the cheesy deliciousness up to eye level. It almost reminded me of how they pour the dressing at Lawry's for their spinning salad. It was a spectacle to watch. The pommes aligot was the perfect side dish to showcase the beautiful beef which was cooked to perfection.

It was time for dessert. We unanimously decided to share the Tangerine Crepe Cake "Suzette", tangerines with toasted almonds, tangerine gelato with Grand Marnier.  Gary also ordered  "Alexander McQueen Inspiration". We loved the Crepe, it was not sweet and the many layers of the thin crepe were light and yummy. The tangerine gelato was a nice escort to the crepe. The Alexander McQueen was a chocolate pearl with dark glazed chocolate. Inside this pearl was creme fraiche mousse with raspberry jelly. The pearl sat on a bed of lemon possit.  If that were not enough, it also had some dehydrated rose petals. The details of these desserts always amazes me.  For our birthdays, they presented us with a plate with an assortment of cookies. There was no dieting this evening.

I must mention that our server Bryan was professional, knowledgeable about the menu and not at all pretentious; we loved that about him. The service, food, and ambiance could not have been better. By the time we left, the patio was pretty full. Thank you Gary for some enchanted evening!

Spago is located at 176 N. Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills California.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Most of us have heard of Dickey's Barbecue and I know they have been around for awhile but I have never been to one. We finally made it to one in Redondo Beach.  The menu had several options of ordering the various meats. You could buy them by the pound, a la carte, meat plates or family packs.

My friend and I decided to order 2 meat plates to share. One was Half Rack of Ribs and the other was the Beef Brisket. We had a choice of  2 sides. I had the Mac and Cheese and Fried Okra. She had Baked Potato Casserole and Cole Slaw.  We could not get over how the meat literally was falling off the bones of the ribs. The barbecue was way too good and the beef brisket was just as tender.  The mac and cheese could have been better if they had used a sharper cheese. The baked potato casserole was satisfactory and we enjoyed the fried okra though we had to ask for a ranch dressing for dipping.

At the end of the meal, you can have a serving of ice cream from the soft serve machine on the house. I didn't have any because I like something on my vanilla ice cream like a topping or some sauce. My friend had one and she commented on the nice crispy and tasty cone. I might have to bring a little fudge with me next time.

I can't wait to return to Dickey's Barbecue in the near future.  We went to 407 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Redondo Beach, California though they have multiple locations all over the United States.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Chocolate Sour Dough Bread

This sounded intriguing to me though I have had chocolate bread in the past, I was curious to taste this one which I got from Paris Baguette. When my eyes first glanced at the dark bread, the word "Healthy" jumped at me so I dismissed giving it a second glance.  I was lucky to have Sandi notice it and said to me: "Did you see the Chocolate Sour Dough Bread"?  I immediately grabbed one to take home.

I have been having the delicious bread for breakfast the past few days. I experimented to see how best to enjoy the bread. Rule #1 It must be toasted so you get the intoxicating aroma of the chocolate. Rule #2 It has to be toasted dark to get the full flavor.  On one slice, I applied butter. On the other slice of bread, I put some whipped cream cheese. Both were good but it needed something else.

I added some Kir Royale Jam on both and that sealed the deal! The bread had cherries and cranberries in them so there was some tartness from the fruit, some bitterness from the almost burned toast, creaminess from the cream cheese and sweetness from the chocolate chips not to forget the jam.  Who can ask for anything more?

Paris Baguette has 3,000 locations worldwide. We are lucky to have one in Redondo Beach, California.