Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tropicos Breeze in Greenwood

Impromptu lunches sometimes turn out to be fingerlicking good. We were in the Greenwood area on Saturday when we decided to have lunch at Tropicos Breeze based on the reviews for their delicious pupusas. We couldn't find the menu online so we called to ensure they are vegetarian friendly.  And they so are! One bite and we realized that these people cook traditional Salvadorian food with great expertise and lots of love.

The decor is very plain. Very bright, lots of place to sit, TVs to watch and plenty of patio seating for the sunny days. They have lots of parking space in the rear.

The waitress was very friendly and was happy to accomodate out customizations. There are plenty of vegetarian appetizers that one can choose from. But, the only vegetarian entree is the Chili Relleno. Here's what we got

We started with the Maracuya, a passion fruit drink.  It was cool and refreshing.

Maracuya @ Tropicos Breeze

Jalapeno Cheese Pupusas -  Pupusa is a Salvadorian dish that is made of thick corn tortillas stuffed with different kinds of fillings. This one here came filled with Jalapeno and Cheese.

Jalapeno Cheese Pupusa @ Tropicos Breeze
It came with a Salad on the side that I was not very fond of. But the Pupusa was relished with hot sauce. Extremely delicious. I was trying these for the first time and I love these.

Pastelitos - Folded and fried corn tortilla filled with veggies! Wow! Very creative and so very yummy. I ignored the Salad on the side, yet again. Didn't look very appetizing.

Pastelitos @ Tropicos Breeze
Baliadas - Flour tortillas filled with beans, fresh cream cheese, avocado and eggs. Again, I was eating this for the first time and another winner. Absolutely loved stuffing.

Baliadas @ Tropicos Breeze
Platano Frito - Fried plaintain served with beans and cream. The plaintains were nice and sweet. Very moist and soft inside and crispy outside. Another delicious item on the menu.

Platano Frito @ Tropicos Breeze
The Pupusa was so good, we had to get another. This time Zucchini, Jalapeno and Cheese! It's not listed on the menu, but the waitress was happy to accomodate our creation. Needless to say, it was another big hit.

On the whole, a great place to try the most delicious Salvadorian food! The service was quick and the waitress very friendly. A must try in the Greenwood area!
Tropicos Breeze (FKA Mi Chalateca) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

42nd Street Bistro @ Long Beach, WA

A cute Parisian bistro came to mind when we stepped into this warm and inviting cottage buzzing with waiters juggling plates of Beignets and mugs of Coffee. The food is gourmet and smack worthy. We got there at 10:00 am and were promptly seated at the only vacant table. The tables were closely placed, the cutlery fine, tablecloth linen and there were kites hanging above our heads.

All breakfasts are served with fried red potatoes and toast. They have quite a few vegetarian options.We picked the Greek Vegetarian Omelet - A three egg omelet folded over feta cheese with fresh Roma tomatoes and fresh basil. Coffee was ordered.

It was delicious. Basil, feta cheese and roma tomatoes are meant to be together.The potatoes were a little scanty and the whole plate is just enough for one person.

We saw the waiter waltz by with a plate of fried pastry adorned with powdered sugar that screamed "Eat me!" and so we ordered one too. Who can resist Beignets?  The New Orleans famed fritters with a hint of spice....yum. It came with a spread of cranberry, marrion berry and walnuts. If I could be like the French women who never get fat, I could eat one now.

While this place is a cafe during the day, it turns into a bistro at night, serving American dinners. The service was fast. I highly recommend eating at this restaurant when you are in the Peninsula. Yes, especially for their Beignets.

42nd Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Surfer Sands @ Long Beach, WA

My affair with Surfer Sands didn't last very long, but was a memorable one at that. A cute little shack in Long Beach, WA that makes amazing Sandwiches where the bread is homemade and the fillings are out of this world. If you want a quick lunch, then this is the place to go. One orders at the window and eats at one of the picnic tables outside, in the shade.

It all started with the smell. The smell of grilled Sandwiches. If you are a Sandwich lover like me, you will know what I am talking about. While the smell made me stagger to the window to place my order, one bite and I was blown away. They have killer vegetarian options to tantalize the tastebuds of even the most finickiest eater.  We ordered the Shark Attack - Grilled tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, pineapples, cashews, raisins and provolone cheese.

First time I have had nuts and raisins in my Sandwich and I must say I am nuts about it! While they make innovative Sandwiches, it would be nice to have a choice of bread. The hoagie bun kind of bread is not very appealing. At $7.42 plus tax it is a bit spendy but then they make gourmet Sandwiches. And one could ask for any Sandwich to be made into a Salad! Add a smoothie or chips and make it a meal! I recommend giving this place a try. You will love it!
Surfer Sands on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Djan's Thai @ Wallingford

A cute little restaurant in an adorable little house serving big portions of delectable Thai food, kind of sums it up. The chic interiors with paper place mats, beautiful flatware and fancy cloth napkins gives it a stylish bistro-ish feel. While the soft lighting and the candle lit tables scream "date nights", it is a great place for group dining too. It is supposed to be a kid friendly place except for the fact that they have only two high chairs and a few booster chairs (sans the belt) that reminded me of potty seats. What they lack in high chairs they make up in the food. Spicy food.

We were in a big group, so obviously the service was a little sluggish. But the waiter was very prompt with other requests. Like that one time when A asked for hot sauce on top of the five star burn-my-ass spicy food. When the food arrived, it was totally gobblesome.

 For starters A and I got the Veggie Curry Puff  - Thin crepes filled with onions and potatoes.  Served with cucumber sweet & sour chili sauce. The description says crepe but it was more like a fried dumpling. I would easily relate it to the Indian Samosa. It was excellent and not a wee bit spicy. My little one loved snacking on the potatoes.

Veggie curry puffs
For the main course we got the Djan's Fusion Noodles - A blend of Pad Thai and Pad Khee Mao in a spicy stir-fried version. Thin rice noodles with egg, bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, jalapeno and fresh basil leaves. We asked for tofu, of course. For a change, five star spice level IS that spicy!!

Djan's Fusion Noodles

The blend of my two favorite Thai dishes has to be delicious, what? Spicy and flavorful I couldn't stop eating.

The Sauteed Eggplant said "Eat me!" so I had to order it. Deep fried eggplant stir fried with tofu, bell peppers, carrots, soy bean sauce, white pepper and basil leaves.

Saute Eggplant @ Djan's

 The Eggplant was so tender, juicy and succulent. The basil leaves are what made the dish extra special. The portions were big and we boxed half the food back home and it made a great lunch the next day. 

They have a private room upstairs for parties that one can rent.They have parking too. With great food, service and ambiance, Djan's is a sure winner. 

Djan's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kauai Pasta @ Lihue

What a find! Our last dinner in Kauai was at this cozy little Italian restaurant in Lihue. They have another location in Kapaa but this was closer to where we stayed. This somewhat smallish place is usually packed for dinner. Tourists, you see? And locals as well. The dark, warm, cozy interior is typical of any gourmet Italian restaurant.The food was great and at the same time not too spendy.

For starters we got the Garlic Buttered Grilled Sweet Corn - with garlic aioli, parmesan and crushed chiles. The corn was very juicy and grilled to perfection. The flavor was out of this world. It was quite filling too.

Grilled Corn @ Kauai Pasta
We got a side of the Kalani Farm Field Greens - Kauai fresh farm tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and balsamic vinaigrette. Fresh, nutty and crunchy!

Salad Greens @ Kauai Pasta
Pesto Pasta was called for. Fettucini tossed in Kauai basil & Italian parsley,  blended with macadamia nut, Parmesan and Olive oil. I twirled my fork through the pasta, took a bite and instantly knew I was in an authentic Italian restaurant where they take food seriously.
Pesto Pasta @ Kauai Pasta
Most of the pastas can be made vegetarian. The waiter was friendly and catered to our needs promptly. He offered to split the pasta for us into two plates and the picture above is just one of the plates. That shows the portions are big!

On the whole, Kauai Pasta is a great little authentic Italian restaurant on the Island. It is a must-try if you are craving Italian!
Kauai Pasta on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Duke's Canoe Club @ Lihue

We are a big fan of Duke's here at Alki Beach and love the Duke's at Waikiki and were thrilled to have a Duke's right where we stayed, at Mariott Beach Club in Lihue. It was our regular hangout for a late night drink while strolling the beach in the wee hours.
Why this place was perfect? Well, for one, it was on the beach. Second, it was on the beach. Third, it was on the beach! You could listen to the waves, go in bare foot, sit outdoors and just have a ball! There were big screen TVs for the TV junkies. The waitresses were friendly and very attentive and it's always packed. Heck, everyone wants to hang out at Duke's.

We had lunch on one day. The Grilled portabello mushroom sandwich. - ciabatta bun with pesto-goat cheese, grilled tomato and roasted red balsamic red onion

And the waitress offered to make a veggie version of the Grilled Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich with Avocado, green sprouts, tomato, Swiss Cheese, Watercress, honey mustard sauce on a multigrain bread. Both came with crispy waffle fries.

They never go wrong with their creations. The friendly service and the laid back atmosphere along with scrumptious food makes one want to eat here again and again!

Duke's Kauai on Urbanspoon

New York Street Food Scene

Aloo Puri Cart @ 39th st & Avenue of the Americas

An Indian family travels all the way from NJ everyday and sets up this cart at 39th st & Avenue of the Americas. They are open Mon - Fri 9am to 5 pm. They serve indian veg and non-veg platters for $6 /$7. My favorite is their Aloo Puri. The lady rolls out the puri stuffed with daal and fries it upon order. It comes with a side of two subzis (veggies) - aloo (potato) gravy and channa (garbanzo beans) masala and a lahsun (garlic) chutney. At 2 for $3 or 4 for $5, it is dirt cheap! The puris are fresh, hot, fluffy and delicious. The gravies were okay, could be better. The chutney was fantastic and was more than enough to eat with!

Somewhere near the ferry terminal to Staten Island we came across this Falafel Biryani cart! Made a perfect spicy lunch on the go!

And a mobile Frozen Yogurt truck! Only in NYC you get to see all you that wish existed, I tell you.

In Little Italy there was this Cannoli cart that had a wide variety of fillings in the holy cannolis! We tried the Pistachio. Yummy!!

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