A Vegan, Gluten Free, Almost Too Healthy Heaven in Philly

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Pardon the delay in writing this post. I couldn’t let this one get away but not only did I visit this place once on my 2.5 day jaunt to Philadelphia to visit a friend, but twice. As a gluten free member of society, P.S. & Co. rocks my socks off. Some gluten free members of society are truly terrible, but I assure you that I am not one of those people…think of me as Zooey Deschanel of gluten free living – strolling gleefully through gluten free life and not forcing my gluten free eating on others. 

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Anyways…. P.S. & Co. is an amazing little cafe meets grab-on-the-go bakery right near Rittenhouse Square in Philly. My friends that I was in Philly with – one of them lives there currently – love to do what we call “shop and bop”. So P.S. & Co. fit perfectly in the “shop and bop” plans. After a nice long day of walking to the Philadelphia Art Museum and getting our inner nerds on, and then walking all the way back to Rittenhouse, it was time for an early dinner and snack pick-me-ups before our night party plans.

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Everything – absolutely everything – in P.S. & Co. is gluten free. And none for Gretchen Weiners. Rejoice. To see all the healthy snacks and amazing gfree and vegan sweets we ate, see below images with descriptions:

IMG_8719Seriously such good sweets. The cookie is a snickerdoodle sandwich of peanut butter and snickerdoodle cookies with sea salt on top and salted caramel in the middle. BOOM. DECADENT. The macaroon next to it is a spicy Mexican chocolate coconut macaroon. Arriba, abajo…gimme this now. 

IMG_8718Wonderful vegetable nori roll – WASABI puh-lease 🙂

IMG_8715Ingredients (100% organic): Lime, mint, lemongrass, spring/filtered water

Juice plus my favorite flower = happiness in an urban cafe

I WANT TO DRINK THIS JUICE ALL DAY ERRYDAY – IT IS A SPA DAY FOR THE SENSES #HALLELUJAH 

Gluten Free Granola Gluttony

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So as you know by now – I have gone gluten free. I know, I know, so many people are into this right now…kids these days. But I really have a medical issue with gluten (not a celiac but a sensitivity) so you can’t do any of the following if this is your first time learning this fact 1. eye roll 2. gasp 3. unfollow blog 4. say something under your breath about gluten free people…I will find out. 

OK – let’s get back to it then, granola gluttony is kind of a problem for me. Relax all you Michelle Obama lovers out there with her healthy eating campaign…I don’t mean actual gluttony…just like a healthy relationship with gluten free granola that can sometimes seem gluttonous. 

My favorite ways to eat granola include with a scoop of peanut butter or almond butter (currently obsessed with barney butter) but I also like granola (if it is actually good granola) by itself.

Certain granolas taste best with almond milk – I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk and normally buy Blue Diamond brand. Right now I am really into a new gfree granola Kind Raspberry Clusters with Chia…so tasty! The almond milk combo is pretty gush-worthy.  Especially since a bunch of the gluten free granolas out there are so, well, free…of everything – including flavor.  Here’s my current gluttonous obsession granola wise:

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The Best Birthday Dinner (and friends) That Anyone Could Have…Yes That’s From The Hangover

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So, I entered the quote/unquote real world on Tuesday. My launch into adulthood (Kidding, I have been an adult since I was 18, right?) was pretty wonderful seeing as I ended my 26th birthday surrounded by some pretty cool people, eating some pretty tasty food. And of course we started off with some “adult beverages”. After all, I am now a full grown, completely self-sufficient, most responsible adult now…as Cher from Clueless likes to say…As If. 

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We dined at Moxie Kitchen and Cocktails, the highly anticipated Tom Gray restaurant that is hit and miss according to many.

I really only have good experiences here, so I cannot complain.

Hence – I chose Moxie for my birthday dinner location. And it was incredibly lovely. I mean, it is pretty hard to go wrong with scallops on top of cheese grits in a lobster bisque reduction. But really, if what I just described sounds bad to you, then please, stop following this blog. 

We started with deviled eggs. But not just any deviled eggs. A group of chicken-topped, red pepper-topped, smoked salmon and dill topped, and BLT topped deviled eggs. Truly devilish. 

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OH – you want to see a photo of those scallops I described? Well, here you go. And again, if these don’t sound appealing to you…then well “I can’t”…I mean because I ate every. single. bite. of these. 

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A Restaurant that Specializes in Desserts? Sign me up. Mexico City for the win.

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Polanco is a part residential, part business district in Mexico City. It is pretty posh if you say such things. Not gonna lie, every time I hear people use the word “posh” it is hard to think of anything but the Spice Girls. I just can’t help it that I was a young girl in the 90s, and sadly, yes, I saw Spice World in theaters…like opening day. 

I visited La Villa de Guadalupe in the morning and then went on down to Porfirios to meet my cousins for an awesome lunch. Too bad they had to go back to work after- we could’ve hit up the martini list. 

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Anyways – this post is really about food presentation…because the presentation of the food – but mainly the dessert- is insane at this place. So Porfirios is the place I’m talking about…and it is well, a special place. It is trendy, new Mexican, but it is also a spot that is frequented by politicians and the typical male, cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking businessman. Nevertheless, if you are a nice, normal, non-political female, you can still have a great lunch here – a power one.

OK – the food presentation here is unlike anything I have seen. I mean they bring a literal mini version of a churro cart to be placed on top of the table. And they bring an ice cream cart with the actual ice cream frozen in individual spots to scoop out from…I mean this is literal “Fat American” heaven. Top it off with a coca-cola light? DEFINITELY calls for a siesta afterwards.

HERE – see some photos of the amazing dessert presentations in Mexico City at Porfirios:

(unfortunately The East Coast Food Blogger had to eat around the gluten parts of dessert…NBD.)

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YUM – AM I RIGHT?

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I think I found a new favorite city, with good eats too! Romita Comedor

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I just spent 8 days in Mexico City, after never having been there before, and was pleasantly surprised. I had been to Mexico many times before, mostly to visit family in Veracruz, but I never ventured to D.F. before this trip. 

I truly was pleasantly surprised by Mexico City’s culture, city, and dining scene. I know, I know. I probably sound like a lot of Americans do when they are shocked by how cool other countries are…but I have traveled all over, and really was truly impressed by D.F. and stunned by how much I liked it. My cousin even said “You Americans all think we ride burros (donkeys) and wear sombreros everyday”, when I told her that I was loving visiting with her in Mexico City. 

Anyways, what I’m trying to say here is that if you haven’t been to Mexico City and are a cool- cultured-openminded person (sorry to stereotype my own Americans) who likes to learn new things and explore new cities, then you should go! 

Upon my arrival in Mexico City, my cousins and my aunt took me to a really cool neighborhood called Colonia Roma for lunch. In case you didn’t know, lunch is the big meal of the day in Mexico, and it’s awesome. 

Driving through Colonia Roma, the ambience felt like a combination of Madrid, Washington D.C., and San Francisco…mixed together with a little New York and a little Paris. Ok, so you might think “hmm that combination”, but I ilved in 3 of those cities I mentioned and I explored a bunch of neighborhoods there…also who doesn’t also like to be compared to San Francisco and Paris? Ya, I didn’t think so. OK – back to the food – since this is a food blog and all. Even though it is about my travel adventures and my coping with severe addiction to travel. Obviously Tony Bourdain is my idol. 

REALLY – THE FOOD 

My family took me to Colonia Roma for a nice sunday lunch around 3 pm. We walked up the windy staircase, past the art gallery, and into the top floor restaurant, Romita Comedor. This place was really cool, like even hipsters from Williamsburg would think it is cool – which is like – saying something. Also found out that hipster is an adjective and noun in Spanish as well…OK FOOD. The food was really good, despite a menu with almost too many options and an odd waiter. The innovative take on traditional Mexican dishes was really tasty and it was a fun experience to try new takes. 

  • The Restaurant – like an open air rooftop greenhouse with a giant window open to the street as well #happyday
  • Took the below photo from my spot at the table #win 

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SEE : THE New Mexican cuisine that i enjoyed on a sunny summer sunday in the open air space of Romita Comedor. 

OH YA – AND THEY SERVE COCONUT WATER FRESH IN A COCONUT – WHICH IS AMAZE WHEN HUNGOVER 

PHOTO TO PROOVE IT, AND IT DID INDEED CURE A HANGOVER FROM THE WEDDING THE NIGHT BEFORE

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Delicious take on traditional chile dish from the city of Puebla, Chiles en Nogada  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiles_en_nogada

  • Delicious take on traditional chile dish from the city of Puebla, Chiles en Nogada

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  • Ahi Tuna tostada…also love all the corn in the Mexican diet since I am now Sin Gluten (gluten free)photo-2
  • A cucumber agua fresca, chia seeds and some delicious herbs…it really quenched my thirst on a sunny sunday

 

Meet me in Macao

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Macao Trading Co. takes you to another place upon entrance. You truly are transported to Asia when you walk in the door. The decor pushes you into an oriental trading company from colonial times on the island.

IMG_6625INVENTORY: THE WESTSIDE AND THE YELLOW FEVER

I had been to Macao Trading Co. in Tribeca before for some wonderful cocktails in the downstairs lounge but had never dined at Macao. Let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised. A fun, trendy place for cocktails in Lower Manhattan that also has tasty food with original preparations? And with great service and no side of pretension? I must be dreaming. But, no. I am simply dining at Macao. 

I was truly surprised by just how tasty the food was at this hotspot – because, well, oftentimes the frequenters of these hotspots don’t tend to eat but simply drink, so the food is normally bleh. Sorry I’m not sorry I don’t look like Gisele Bundchen and therefore I do, indeed, like to eat. 

Ok – anyways – sorry to all those out there who have an annual tradition of watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for “thinspiration” and have a gust of wind for dinner – but I went to Macao a few months back and ate, drank, and was merry. If you didn’t get the Santa reference there, well…

Here are some photos and descriptions of the delicious dishes I devoured at Macao:

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This is pretty self explanatory but this is fried rice with a sunny side up egg on top. Eggcelent you say?

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Chicken and Pork Belly steamed dumplings. Better than average. And who doesn’t like good dumplings.

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Mushroom & Truffle croquettes that bring out the Portuguese influence on Macanese cuisine.

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Shrimp Mozambique spiced up with bountiful black pepper and rosemary.

Overall I am intrigued by Macanese cuisine and would love to try out some Macanese recipes soon!

Look out for a post on my cooking Macanese cuisine adventure. Time to channel my inner Giada!

 

 

Tapas make the world go round

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Tapas. Small plates of Spanish goodness served for sharing. An ideal situation for anyone who likes to try multiple items on a menu without spending a fortune or overeating (well overeating is optional).

Cheese and fig jam anyone? #porfavor

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Estadio in D.C. in Logan Circle is one of my favorite tapas restaurants in the U.S. and it comes pretty close to some restaurants in Spain. I know, bold statement. But really this place is so authentic that Francisco Franco probably would’ve eaten here. And he was about as nationalistic as they come. Oh and a fascist dictator. In case you didn’t know.

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I pretty much like all things Spain. I lived and studied there and became an even bigger fan of the food, culture and people. I lived right near the Real Madrid stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, so I was definitely pleased when I saw the life size mural of Sergio Ramos on the wall in Estadio’s bathroom.

Ok back to the food. Machego. Jamon Serrano. Sangria. Patatas Bravas. All things that come to mind when thinking Spanish tapas. photo-50 photo-49

And these things were wonderful at Estadio. We also drank some Priorat wine which is one of my new favorite regions to buy wine from nowadays. So, go to Estadio and get your inner gluton on. You WILL NOT be disappointed. Salud!

Batter Bowl Bakery…the best thing since sliced bread

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BATTER. BOWL. BAKERY.

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Washington D.C.’s H Street Corridor has seen some major changes over the years. One welcome addition to the neighborhood is definitely Batter Bowl BakeryI know, I know…every newly gentrified neighborhood has some sort of hip new bakery. But, this place is more than that. Honestly, even despite the hipsters that flock here, and whether or not you’re 22 and dress up like hipsters, the pastries are pretty freakin’ tasty. 

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Ever have a little too much fun on a Saturday night? If your answer is no…you are lying. When you wake up on Sunday morning after that “too much fun Saturday night”, you really just need one thing. The breakfast sandwich. Behold – the mighty breakfast sandwich is here for you when you need it. So I walked over to Batter Bowl Bakery (alliteration much?) from my friend’s apartment a few blocks away. I had just a little too much fun on Saturday at the Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase and a fun night out in the district. We were saved on our Sunday morning stroll over to Batter Bowl Bakery. Not only did we get the mighty breakfast sandwich on the best croissant ever, but we also had chocolate croissants that were buttery and flaky and perfect. All in all Batter Bowl came to the rescue and did not disappoint.

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The pain au chocolat was so good that it was ALMOST like being in France. Even though we were in fact in the nation’s capital, we were instantly transported to a parisian patisserie. Vive la France! 

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Dallas Design District Gem: Meddlesome Moth

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Easter brunch. Generally has some major shoes to fill from the previous year’s brunch. My last few Easter brunches have ranged from oceanside at Laguna Niguel to wonderful country club brunch in Florida. But honestly I think this year’s brunch might win the award for overall best. The vibe was relaxed but still formal enough for Easter. They played awesome music throughout the restaurant, ranging from Motown to Funk. And, how could I forget, the food…it was the icing on the cake. Literally. Well, not literally, but figuratively. Wait did we have cake? Ate so much I can’t remember. Michelle Obama would be pissed. Let’s Move was not the motto for Easter Brunch. Sorry, FLOTUS.

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So for Easter I had Easter Eggs – I actually just decided to call them my Easter Eggs but they are on the regular brunch menu and these Eggs Creole are outta this world. First of all it is really frustrating when people don’t serve you the perfectly poached eggs that you ordered. But, guess what, Meddlesome Moth got it right! Thank the sweet baby jesus. (Easter appropriate? I think so)  The Eggs Creole had amazing breakfast potatoes to boot. And the crawfish felt like it was straight outta the bayou. So fresh and so good. To top it all off the eggs were served on buttermilk biscuits. Let’s just say that after eating all of that I was pretty happy it was a day of rest. #indulgent

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My dining companions loved their food too. Fried chicken with jalapeno grits anyone?  WWJD? Jesus would order this for sure. I mean it is called the “Mother & Child Reunion” but it actually is…see the menu here if you don’t believe me.

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Also – the drinks – were legit. I had organic Sam Smith cider from the UK. But, if you aren’t into cider – which a lot of people aren’t – guess what you can order? 40 different beers on draft, more than 85 by the bottle, and you know what else? Bloody Marys that come with a beer tasting of your choice. BOOM. Meddlesome Moth wins for Best Easter Brunch I Have Had So Far. #rejoice 

Nick and Sam’s: You can have your steak and eat it too

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Nick and Sam’s. If you have spent time in Dallas, watch the show Dallas, or keep up with the best steakhouses in the USA, then you have heard of Nick and Sam’s.

Warning: If you are a vegetarian and don’t eat steak, you may be tempted to after reading this post.

I don’t eat steak regularly but when I do I go all out. Gimme that full 10 ounces of filet mignon. #pleaseandthankyou

Nick and Sam’s is really good. I mean REALLY good. I have been to my share of steakhouses in the country since I love having a good steak with some red wine to celebrate a special occasion. Peter Luger. Been there, done that. Love it. Sparks NYC. Drooling. Also have been to the less traditional steakhouses like BLT and STK. Alphabet soup of steakhouses…

In terms of ambience, the piano player in the main dining room and the art deco decor of the restaurant transport you to the Prohibition Era. Think Great Gatsby meets Chicago. It would’ve been fun to live in the Roaring Twenties I’m thinking. Any Nick Carraway’s out there?

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Even though I love the New York steakhouses with my favorite probably being the original Smith & Wollensky, followed by Peter Luger and Sparks, I feel that Nick and Sam’s is on the same level as these places…if not better. I know, bold. People worship Peter Luger more than some people worship god. BUT everything at Nick and Sam’s is just so good. Spinach salad to start with a poached egg on top. Amazing. Not to mention the caviar and toast points they give to the table before the meal. Delicious. Sorry Nemo.

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Caviar toast with all the toppings…pretty awesome alternative to the usual bread and butter…

The steak is cooked to perfection and you know what compliments it so well…sweet potato fries…and lobster mac n’ cheese. Gimme. Also – has anyone ever turned down creamy delicious goodness that is au gratin potatoes? I don’t think so.

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ImageImageSides on a side plate – yum