Cali galleries: Lucille’s flying pig lounge.

TBV - CGLucille'sFlyingPigNo trip would be complete without checking out the local food scene. I’m a huge fan of barbecue, so when my mother’s friend suggested we have lunch at this really good barbecue place, I was stoked. 😆

From the minute you enter the place, you are bombarded with the scent of food being grilled, as well as the visuals of the decor around the place. It was kind of crazy in the sense that there wasn’t really a single theme to the whole place–the bar area was dimly lit and, for lack of a better word, bar-like, but the outer extensions of the bar seemed to have a more homey vibe to them. Their setup was kind both in-cohesive and cohesive at the same time, if that makes any sense at all. 😆IMG_4547

Now on to the food. So Lucille’s has 3 different barbecue sauces that you can try when you eat there, and purchase to take home if you’re into it. I tried all three, and my favorite is probably the original. The Memphis sauce was a bit to tangy for my liking, and I was never really a hot & spicy type of girl. 😕IMG_4548.JPG

When I was looking through their beverage selection, I saw the words “Muddy Waters” and I was so fascinated by the name, I just had to try it (although my tita did say that it was a good drink too). The drink is a mix of iced tea and lemonade, which isn’t too unusual a drink mix. Back in Manila, actually, I liked to mix different drinks and this was a mix I’ve tried. There is a difference though–iced tea in the States is different from Iced tea in the Philippines. I can’t explain it, but even International sweet tea is not the same as the iced tea I’m used to. 😆IMG_4549

Let me tell you, that was soooo good. Again, it’s different from what I’m used to, but it was such an awesome mix of sweet, bitter, and sour. Aside from the flavor itself though, the drink also looked cool with the gradient of brown to yellow in the huge mason jar. It makes it look all the more elegant and chill. 😊

IMG_4550.JPGOkay, now on to the food. Let’s begin with the biscuits and Honey Apple Butter. Now, I’m not really a big fan of biscuits and butter, but as always, I didn’t knock it ’til I tried it. It was different from other things I’ve tried. As can be guessed from its name, the butter was sweet–and way different from what I’m used to. It wasn’t bad at all, but not exactly my type. 😕

IMG_4551Next up is what my tita said was a must try for this place: their Onion Straws. This is Lucille’s version of onion rings–thin strands battered with buttermilk, seasoned, deep fried, and served with their BBQ ranch dip. It was amazing. First of all, when they put it down on the table, I was surprised at the size of the serving, it was just a mountain of onions and I got excited. I love onion rings, but am kind of picky about it, and this was just really really good. In a way, it was both something very familiar, and wonderfully surprising. 😊

Now for the main. When I was looking at the menu, I had a really hard time deciding what to eat because there were so many choices and they all looked good. I then found that they had lunch combos. It was an opportunity to try multiple items on one plate, but not too much of each. I decided to get their St. Louis Spareribs with Brisket Burnt Ends and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. 😄IMG_4552

The photo I took doesn’t quite look too appetizing, and I think it looks smaller than what it actually was. The serving was pretty big, almost too big for me (and can eat A LOT). It was a really good combination, and each item was good on its own. I was worried that having two barbecue meat dishes would be overwhelming, but it really wasn’t. The ribs were delicious, they were really tender and slipped off the bone, and they just tasted like really good ribs. The burnt ends, I thought, took the best part of barbecue (the charred bits) and let it stand alone. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but boy was it good. The garlic mashed potatoes accompanied the two grilled dishes well, while at the same time being able to stand on its own. It wasn’t the type of thing that I couldn’t eat by itself. 😊

After finishing the main, I was so stuffed that I didn’t have space for dessert, so I missed out on that on this visit. I’ll have to try it next time, and there will be a next time. I really enjoyed my meal here. Their decor, their servers, their food–everything just came together in an upbeat and energizing way. If you happen to pass by one of their locations, I say check it out if you haven’t yet. So yeah, that’s it for this installment. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – Check out the introduction to this series here. Links to the other posts are here too. 😄

Golden day: the food.

TBV - GoldenDayFoodA few weeks back, I wrote about going to a restaurant in the city for a surprise celebration for a family friend. I mentioned in that post that the food served was amazing. This is just a little post to accompany that post, one that focuses on the food. This isn’t going to be a long one, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. 😊

The place was called Maggiano’s Little Italy, and we were in the banquet building behind the main restaurant. The place was so pretty and seemed to me to be such a fancy place to be in. Side note: I wore my favorite wolf sweater, leggings, and my gray Vans and I felt under dressed when I saw the other people coming in. 😳

Each round table seated around 10 people, and each person was set with a bigger and smaller plate, a napkin, three forks, a knife, and a teaspoon. This just adds to the fanciness of the place and event. Each person also had a glass of water, as well as the option to get drinks at the bar area of the banquet hall–I got sweet tea. 😆

The first course was essentially the appetizer course. It was composed of ciabatta rolls and butter, stuffed mushrooms, calamari, and the house salad. It was a family style setting, so big serving platters were put at the center of the table, and we passed it around as each person put some on their plate. All of it was so good. ☺️

You can’t really go wrong with rolls and butter so that wasn’t a surprise, and calamari is one of my favorite starters so that wasn’t a surprise either, but I’m not really a salad person and I have never tried stuffed mushrooms of any sort, so these last two were very very pleasant surprises. 😊

Both dishes were very simple in terms of ingredients. The salad consisted of prosciutto, lettuce, onions, blue cheese, and their house dressing, and the mushrooms were stuffed with spinach, garlic, and stuffed bread crumbs. Both dishes were so good, and everything kind of went together too. 😊

There were three entrees in the second course: their signature Rigatoni “D”, oven-roasted pork loin with cream sauce and mashed potatoes, and chicken picatta. The pasta was kind of sweet and was better with the other entrees than by itself, I think, but still good. When I got a piece of chicken, I avoided the capers because those are a bit too strong a taste for me, but even without the capers, the chicken was good, and good with the spinach too. The roast pork was my favorite of these three dishes. It was so tasty and the mashed potato was a really really good pairing. I loved it. 😊

Dessert time! There were two sweets on the menu tonight, Apple Crostada and Tiramisu, and when I saw them on their plates, I just had to take a photo of them on their platters. They looked so pretty and soooooo good. 😆

The Apple Crostada was a dessert akin to an apple pie or tart, it is cinnamon-y apples in a crispy and layer-y sugared crust, topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel. I don’t think I could properly describe how it tastes, but it’s like an elevated apple pie a la mode. The crispiness of the warm crust goes really well with the cold ice cream, and all the components of it just go together in a way that makes it taste just right–not too sweet but not bland at all. ☺️

Tiramisu is a traditional Italian dessert made with coffee soaked lady fingers, whipping cream and marscarpone cheese, some people add rum or coffee liqueur. It’s kind of a sophisticated dessert, and goes really well with espresso. Like the Apple Crostada, it isn’t too sweet but is oh so delicious. ☺️

Nine dishes and a few hours of a cool experience. ☺️ If you find yourself in Chicago, I suggest you check out Maggiano’s too! I will definitely be visiting again soon. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Simply delicious.

tbv-potatocheesesoupI made soup! 😆 I was always used to stew-type dishes which had a lot of meat and vegetables and different textures, so I tended to avoid soup that stood on its own (noodle dishes don’t count). After tasting the Broccoli Cheddar soup from Panera Bread, and this other soup from Bentley’s Pancake House & Restaurant though, I decided that soups aren’t that bad.

I started looking for recipes online, and I made a list a grocery list of the ingredients to make them. But then I landed on this recipe and realized that I already had everything I needed for it in the kitchen. At that point I decided that I was going to make that recipe the next day. And so I did. 😄

abea629c-3caf-4ea9-a60c-bf3172be2e0fI used the recipe almost exactly, but I rounded the ingredients up to wholes and substituted some spices. What I used were: 4 cups chicken broth, 3 large potatoes (peeled and cubed), 1 onion (minced)1 8oz package of cream cheese (cut into cubes), 1/2 tsp seasoning salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper.

af5f97c0-acc1-4b6a-8d0c-949e1f5c5392I put the broth, potatoes, onion, and seasoning in a soup pot and put it on medium until the potatoes were tender (I kept it on for 30 minutes). When the potatoes are ready to go, smash some of them to release the starch, and then add the cream cheese. Reduce the heat to low, and stir frequently until the cheese has melted. And you’re done! 😄1d5314ec-5464-4238-8572-eb6e34ea3a80

This soup was very simple and easy to make, but it tastes so good. The cream cheese gives it sour taste that isn’t too over powering, and the crushed red pepper adds a spicy tingle that isn’t too much. And because it’s main ingredient is potato, it’s pretty heavy on the stomach. I ended up eating just the soup for lunch. 😆

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If you try making this yourself, please let me know! And if you want to check out the original recipe I found, the link is up there. I hope you have a great day and week. 😊

’til next time,

🐰❤️