Monday, March 18, 2019

Charleston Edition: Rock City Cake Company

Rock City

Rock City is a super creative bakery in Charleston that recently moved locations further down on Capitol Street.

Rock CityI thought that warranted another visit.

Rock CityThis location is HUGE, with various levels, making it perfect for performances and events.

Rock CityAnd the cooler is stocked with all kinds of amazing sweets.

Rock CityI am continually amazed at the variety every day.

Rock CityAnd they're items you won't be able to find anywhere else. 

Rock CityFrom unique flavored cupcakes and cake pops to chocolate-covered fruit and strawberry shortcake bars.

Rock CityI got a little bit of everything - including a fruity pebbles rice krispy treat, cake balls and more!

What's your favorite thing to get?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

New Orleans, LA Edition: Emeril's New Orleans

Emeril’sYou've probably heard of Emeril Lagasse. The over-the-top chef and TV personality cooked in New Orleans and opened a handful of restaurants here.

Emeril’sI went to Emeril's New Orleans to get my BAM on.

Emeril’sI was seated at the bar area, which overlooks the kitchen. It's actually pretty cool. So cool, in fact, that the guy sitting next to me looked over at me and said "how amazing is this?" and I was like, "yeah, this is pretty amazing."

Emeril’sWatching the chefs churn out dishes is like an elaborate dance - each choreographed to the station he is manning.

Emeril’s Restaurant is chef/restaurateur Emeril Lagasse’s famed flagship restaurant housed in a renovated pharmacy warehouse in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Since opening in 1990, Emeril’s has been a definitive force in contemporary New Orleans cuisine and has earned rave reviews and accolades for nearly 25 years, including Esquire magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year” and Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” for 14 consecutive years. At the helm is chef de cuisine Douglas Braselman, who works closely with Chef Emeril to push culinary boundaries and deliver bold and diverse flavors for a one-of-a-kind dining experience with unparalleled service and a festive unpretentious setting.
First, of course, bread! So much good bread - focaccia, cornbread, mmm.

Emeril’sAfter looking over the menu,  I went with the appetizer: "Smoked Exotic Mushrooms" with
housemade Tasso Ham, Angel Hair Pasta, and Pecorino."

Emeril’sIt was small, but packed a ton of flavor.

Emeril’sAnd, I did dessert: Emeril's Banana Cream Pie - Graham Cracker Crust, Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Shavings. Just wow. So good.

Emeril’sHave you been to a celebrity chef restaurant?

Emeril's New Orleans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New Orleans, LA Edition: Commander's Palace

Commanders Palace

This bright blue building is home to Commander's Palace, one of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans.

Commanders Palace
Commander's Palace, nestled in the middle of the tree-lined Garden District, has been a New Orleans landmark since 1893. Known for the award-winning quality of its food and its convivial atmosphere, the history of this famous restaurant offers a glimpse into New Orleans' storied past and has been the go-to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and whimsical Louisiana charm. The winner of seven James Beard Foundation Awards, Commander's Palace has evolved into a culinary legend. 
Commanders Palace

When Ella, Dottie, Dick and John Brennan took over personal supervision of the restaurant in 1974, they began to give the splendid old landmark a new look both inside and out including painting the outside the iconic "Commander's Blue." 
Commanders Palace
Now under the watchful eye of co-proprietors Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, the Brennan family's dedication to perfection has never wavered. A steady parade of renowned chefs - Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Jamie Shannon, and now Tory McPhail - have made Commander's Palace the world-class restaurant what it is today and its leading-edge Haute Creole cuisine reflects the best of the city.
Commanders Palace
The menu features high-end takes on traditional creole and cajun food.

Commanders PalaceTo get started, I was served this little shrimp palate cleanser.

Commanders PalaceAnd, then, of course, we are going with bread.

Commanders PalaceI could really get used to this at every restaurant. Crusty, soft inside and smooth whipped butter. Mm-mm-mmmm.

Commanders PalaceAnd then, I was served this cheesy/garlickly bread that was perfect for dipping in the soups I ordered.

Commanders PalaceI went for the "Soups 1-1-1" so I could try the famous "Commander's Turtle Soup,: which is rich veal stock simmered slowly for 72 hours with minced snapping turtle, holy trinity & pressed hen's eggs. It's finished tableside with aged sherry. But I also got to try two more: the soup du jour and gumbo.

Commanders PalaceThe turtle soup was heavy on the sherry, so I tasted that more than anything. But, it wasn't bad. The gumbo was not unlike the previous ones I've had. And the soup of the day was creamy and delish.

Commanders PalaceI also ordered the "Creole Bread Pudding SoufflĂ© “The Queen of Creole Desserts”" which I put in before the soup because it takes quite some time to prepare. But it was so worth it. It was light and jut melted with the cream sauce. It was like eating a delicious pillow.

Commanders PalaceI bet that's the first time you've read that. Anyway. How do y'all feel about turtle soup?

Commander's Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 15, 2019

New Orleans, LA Edition: St Roch Market

St Roch Market

Everyone knows I love a good city market.

St Roch MarketIt's such a cool gathering space where you can relax, get some work done and get a tasty bite to eat.

St Roch MarketAt St. Roch Market, there are a ton of great vendors. Let's go!

Coast Roast
This place had delicious coffee, including this iced coffee.

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

Fete au Fete
This is southern cuisine done right. I ordered "Trash Grits," because of course - creamy cheese grits with smoked pulled pork, grilled onions, smoked gouda, siracha sauce, and a poached egg. Wow.

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

Bittersweet Confections
The "caramel trio" that I got from here will haunt my dreams for life. And that cheddar scone was good, too!

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St Roch Market

St. Roch Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 14, 2019

New Orleans, LA Edition: Arnaud's Restaurant


Arnaud's Restaurant is a fine dining establishment in the heart of New Orleans.

In 1918, a colorful, French wine salesman named Arnaud Cazenave opened the grand New Orleans restaurant that bears his name with a commitment to serving quality Creole cuisine. Arnaud believed, quite simply, that the pursuit of the pleasures of the table is as worthy as anything else one chooses to pursue in life. 
Sixty years later, in 1978, Arnaud’s was acquired by Archie and Jane Casbarian, the second family of proprietors the restaurant has ever known. Casbarian sought to return Arnaud’s to the roots from which it had strayed by both restoring the property and reinvigorating the cuisine. In so doing, Casbarian brought world renown and widespread acclaim to Arnaud’s. 
Presently, Arnaud’s Restaurant is being operated by a fourth generation of owners, Katy and Archie Casbarian along with their mother Jane. They, too, remain committed to carrying on the traditions originated by Arnaud Cazenave. More importantly, they are committed to staying true to the vision of their father as the restaurant nears one hundred years of operation.
ArnaudsI made reservations at this fancy restaurant after Kaitlynn already headed out of town, but the staff made me feel completely comfortable.

ArnaudsThe menu is elaborate, and every single item sounded delicious.

ArnaudsFirst, some fresh, warm bread! I love this - every restaurant here does it!

ArnaudsI ultimately decided on "Crabmeat Karen" - Delectable Louisiana crabmeat and mushrooms baked in puff pastry. Served with White Wine Sauce.

ArnaudsAnd, oh my gosh, look at how cute this thing is.

ArnaudsIt's like a potpie with crabmeat and mushrooms. You can't really go wrong with that.


And then they convinced me to get pecan pie. I couldn't help myself: Old Fashioned Pecan Pie - Served with whipped cream, spiced pecans and Salted Caramel.

I think I had to roll home this night.

Arnaud's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato