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Brasserie 360 ****

Warm Chicken Club, with Grilled Chicken, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Tomato, Boston Lettuce, and Mayonnaise between 3 slices of Whole Wheat Bread

212.688.8688
200 E 60th Street
New York, NY

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Still full from our Mexican meal last night, Jen and I woke up and headed straight to Bloomingdales without stopping for breakfast or coffee. But after just two hours of lugging around an arm full of shopping bags, we were ready to get some food. Unfamiliar with that particular area of the city, I asked the woman behind the handbag counter for some suggestions and she enthusiastically replied, “ohhh yes, there are so many great places around here to eat at!” Unfortunately, she then listed off places such as California Pizza Kitchen, Papa Johns, and TGI Fridays. What was worse is that she acted as if I had never heard of these places, and described them in detail to me, recommending her favorite menu items. I wanted to get out of the conversation fast but had no escape, Jen had to finish paying for her handbag. I tried to be polite, but I couldn’t even pretend to be interested in these places and she wouldn’t stop ranting and raving about the enormous “gourmet” salads offered by CPK.
I don’t mean to sound like a food-snob (which I openly admit that I am), but why would I ever want to go to a chain restaurant in a city filled with such culinary richness? I’ll save my fast food/chain restaurants meals for desperate times (such as Orlando), thank you!

Anyways, I realized that we were on our own for this one and that the best thing to do was just walk until we saw a menu that peaked our interest. So that’s just what we did. We walked out of Bloomingdales and headed down the block until we spotted Brasserie 360. I can always go for French food, and New York is filled with an abundance of fabulous Brasseries so I figured it was a safe bet. Sure enough, it turned out to be our best meal in New York!

To start we ordered a round of Mimosas and 2 glasses of Chardonnay (after all, shopping is always more exciting with a buzz!). Next we moved onto appetizers—Jen ordered the French Onion Soup baked with Gruyere and Provolone Cheeses ($9). It was probably one of the best French Onion soups that I have ever tasted (second to Nordstrom’s Café Bistro, which holds first place in my mind). It came in a large crock and the cheese was perfectly gooey and browned on the top. The broth was also a beef stock, which I think has a much heartier flavor than places that use chicken stock.

Glass of Chardonnay

French Onion Soup baked with Gruyere and Provolone Cheeses

I ordered the Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Whipped Avocado Cream served over Dill Marinated Cucumber Slices ($16). I was not used to eating tuna tartar without some form of cracker or plantain, but the cucumber slices were just perfect for the crunch (plus they are healthier!). The flavor of the wasabi was perfect and the creaminess of avocado helped subdue the heat, so it wasn’t too spicy. It was a little pricey for an appetizer but they used the highest grade of Tuna and the portion was very generous, as you can see in the photo below:

Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Whipped Avocado Cream served over Dill Marinated Cucumber Slices

For my main course, I ordered the Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Tomato, and Goat Cheese instead of Bacon. The salad came tossed in a light herb vinaigrette, and it was delicious. Of course, it is kind of hard to screw up a Cobb Salad, but I assure you that this was much better than any of the ones at CPK! The goat cheese was especially good, and the chicken had a nice herb marinade.

Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Tomato, and Goat Cheese instead of Bacon

Jennifer ordered the Warm Chicken Club, with Grilled Chicken, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Tomato, Boston Lettuce, and Mayonnaise between 3 slices of Whole Wheat Bread (photographed at top). I thought that the bread was a little bit bulky, and she removed the center slice as well. But the sandwich was awesome and certainly filling! Her entrée was also served with a side of Sweet Potato Fries, which were hands down the best sweet potato fries that I have ever tried, and best of all they were large cut steak fries! I kept sneaking my fork onto her plate to grab some.

Overall, amazing place, great atmosphere, and reasonable prices! Go!

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Fika Espresso Bar ****

 

Assortment of Desserts Offered on Countertop

646.649.5133
407 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

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This morning—after I had the pleasure of scrubbing hardened pasta noodles off the stove under my mother’s watchful eye—Jen and I set out for New York City. Of course, our St. Patty’s Day hangover (and my required clean-up duties) prevented us from getting out as early as we had hoped, but we were on the train by 3 O’Clock in the afternoon and in Manhattan by 5.  Our first line of business was upon getting there was finding some strong coffee, as we were still trying to kick the residual headache/tiredness/nausea. We saw a great little espresso bar called Fika located across from our hotel (on the corner of Park and 29th) and walked over after checking-in.

The place was quaint and very tiny with a monochromatic and modern décor. It is a Swedish owned company (Fika meaning “coffee break”), and traces of Ikea Sweish design are everywhere! On the counter, there was a great little selection of cookies and biscotti, as well as a large selection of house-made truffles in a refrigerated case. Fika is an espresso bar but equally as well known as a chocolatier. I got a Cappuccino with Skim Milk and a piece of Almond Biscotti, but the truffles were certainly calling me and I was sad to pass them up. The cappucchino was very good and steaming hot, with plenty of frothy foam on top the espresso. The almond biscotti was also a very nice crunchy treat and the perfect size. I hate places that serve a jumbo piece of biscotti because I like to finish it still wanting more, rather than be bored with the flavor or overwhelmed by the sweetness. People sitting at the limited number of tables inside the coffee shop were very artsy and youthful.

Inside of Fika Espresso Bar

Overall, I was very pleased with the strength of the coffee and the cozy little atmosphere. I suggest it for anyone that is looking to break away from the Starbuck’s movement, which has taken every street corner and rest stop by storm!

Assortment of Chocolate Truffles and Sandwiches

Cappuccino

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Gusto Fino Italian Deli & Market ****

Chicken Louie Louie with Chicken Milanese, Portobello Mushrooms, Melted Mozzarella, and Creamy Marsala Sauce

Sadly, I boarded a plane and headed back from Colombia this morning. Of course, being a part of the flight safety watch list (long story—starts with a carry on, ends with a butcher knife and interrogation), I was searched several times, holding up the entire group I traveled with. They unpacked and unfolded every piece of clothing in my luggage twice, and they questioned me relentlessly at customs, while the rest of my friends just walked through with a “welcome back.” It was frustrating, but all the hold ups at the airport gave me time to ponder whether or not I would resume my carb-free 4-hour body diet when I got home. I had been pounding arepas, fruit, and chocolate to the face all weekend and didn’t seem to look any different. I certainly felt different though! I felt alive again—like someone had given me a blood transfusion and injected me with energy and pure life. Carbs are the fuel of my existence and the source of my happiness. I will not go without them ever again!

So the first thing I did when I got back to Miami was go get a delicious fully carb-loaded sandwich.

What does fully carb-loaded mean? It means I got white bread, not wheat. It means I ate both sides of the bread, instead of open face. It means I got breaded and fried chicken on that sandwhich, instead of grilled chicken. Carb on top of carb….two are always better than one!

This sandwich sounds a bit gross and overwhelming, I know. But it was absolutely divine. It is called the Chicken Louie Louie from Gusto Fino Itlaian Deli in Miracle Mile. The Chicken Louie Louie, is a hot sandwich with breaded chicken strips, sautéed onions, Portobello mushrooms, melted mozzarella cheese, and a creamy marsala sauce. Cheers to ending that carb-free diet!

That sandwich was awesome. The creamy marsala sauce (which I had some skepticism about) was incredible. Totally buttery and fattening, but you got to walk into this meal knowing that your going to waste you’re entire days with of calories on one sandwich. The bread that the sandwich was served on was also fabulous, a little thick for my liking, but since I’ve been depriving myself of carbs for so long, I ate it! It’s rare to get such good bread in Miami, so I was most impressed by that. I was also thrilled with the meal because it was served piping hot! I had to wait for the sandwich to cool off before eating it, and I love hot food, so brownie points for that!

My roommate, Ariana ordered the Mario’s Ultimate, which is a cold sandwich served with parma proscuitto, fresh mozzarella cheese, pesto sauce, tomatoes, and arugala salad, topped with olive oil and balsamic glaze. It was tasy, but paled in comparison to the Proscuitto Sandwich from La Sandwicherie. We have gotten so accustomed to our proscuitto sandwiches with their delicious secret sauce, that this one felt lacking without it. She actually took it home and put our stash of secret sauce (we steal a bottle from La Sandwicherie every time we go) on the sandwich and ate it for dinner!

Mario’s Ultimate with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Proscuitto, Arugala, Balsamic, and Pesto

Overall, this place has an enormous menu and you can get an extraordinary amount of food for just $10. There are combo options for soup and a drink for just $1.69 extra. It’s such a great value for your money, and its always refreshing to see a deli joint in Miami!

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The Icebox Cafe ****

Assorted Cakes Offered by The Icebox Cafe

305.538.8448
1657 Michigan Ave
Miami Beach, Fl

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This morning I did the ridiculous—I packed a bag and headed to Medellin, Colombia with two of my girlfriends, Sam and Ariana…with absolutely no game plan. You see, a few weeks ago Sam had mentioned that her family would be taking a trip there and after I expressed enough interest, she extended the opportunity for me to join her. I’m not really sure if she expected me to actually follow through or not, but since I am always looking for an excuse to get out of the country, I booked my ticket right away. Ariana also felt the itch to get away and decided to book one too!

So there we were at the airport this afternoon, passports and plane tickets in hand, with no idea what kind of trip we were in for. Sam’s uncle, who lives in Medellin, had planned out the entire weekend and we were just along for the ride. We didn’t know how long the flight was, whether or not there was a time difference, or just where exactly we would be staying once we got there. All we knew is that we were going and that the best way to travel there was drunk!

So as we headed to the gate, we kept our eyes out for a nice little bar to get some vino. After passing several dark, crowded, and unappealing bars we came across the Icebox Cafe. It was an all glass-encased restaurant with lots of natural light and a clean modern décor. It stood out from every other place in the airport and was conveniently located directly across from our gate (in the American Airlines terminal). Tons of people were in the little café area and so we figured it must be a good bet. This was then confirmed after we saw the generous pour of Chardonnay that we were receiving. I was tipsy after just ½ a glass and sufficiently drunk upon its completion. I really wanted to order some of the food at the Icebox Cafe, which all looked incredible, featuring: warm meatloaf sandwiches, thai chicken salads, egg breakfast platters, and a wide assortment of freshly baked pastries and cakes (a refreshing change from traditional airport food—sandwiches served on cardboard-like bread and hash browns from McDonalds), but I still was debating whether or not I would come off of my carb-slow diet altogether while on vacation. Sure, I had had some mishaps in the past two weeks (aka my Vietnamese Noodle binge the other night), but for the most part I have remained pretty loyal to the diet over the course of the past 14 days. As I sipped my vino, I pondered my dietary furture. When I finished my vino, I had my answer—no way was I missing out on Colombian food for the sake of an experiment!!!

I didn’t order anything at the Icebox Café (although they do serve Oprah Windfrey’s favorite cake in America, called The Bomb, which is layers of dark chocolate cake filled with creamy cheesecake brownie and imported chocolate mousse, topped with a dark chocolate ganache). My mouth just watered typing that. I think it’s pretty clear why that is Oprah’s favorite cake. I mean, how could anyone not like that?!?! But instead I saved my appetite for the delicious arepas that awaited my arrival in Colombia, and I made sure to eat two within my first 12 hours in the country!

Slice of Bomb Cake, which is layers of dark chocolate cake filled with creamy cheesecake brownie and imported chocolate mousse, topped with a dark chocolate ganache

The Icebox Café is not only located in the American Airlines Terminal at Miami International Airport, but they also have a main restaurant on Lincoln Road in South Beach, which I plan to visit for some food and cake this upcoming weekend! Even though I have not tried any of the food, I feel completely comfortable making a recommendation for the place, based on their concept and the satisfaction of others eating around me. They also score some brownie points for the generous pour of wine, which only cost $9!! Cannot beat that!

The Icebox Cafe located in Miami International Airport (AA Terminal)

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The First Binge

Exactly how I felt after each and every meal today…..

It’s been a full week of protein, protein, and more protein. Eggs on top of chicken, on top of spinach, on top of steak and beef. Not one carb. Not one cheat. But today is the glorious day. That’s right ladies and gentleman, today is binge day!

It’s currently 9 am in the morning, and I am already about 2,000 calories deep. And yes, I did sleep, meaning that all this damage has been done within just a few short hours (I am now back in bed blogging with a hangover in a food coma…I’m a dedicated writer, I know). Anyways, I got the binge started around 4 am after a night out in South Beach. I was heavily intoxicated, but not too drunk to remember that I could now eat PASTA (one of my favorite late night grubs!!). So I put a pot of water on the stove and anxiously waited as I cooked out an entire box of De Cecco linguini. Of course, this felt like it was taking forever, so I munched down a Nature Valley Granola bar in the meantime (190 calories…start counting). Once my pasta was perfectly al dente, I drained it, tossed it in red sauce, and topped it with crushed hot pepper flakes. I ate my bowl and then proceeded to eat the bowls of others that had passed out during the cooking process. I would estimate that I ate about 2 cups of pasta total, which is 400 calories plus about 100 calories for the delicious tomato sauce. I’m at 700 calories now and it’s time for a nap! I push my bowl a few inches to the left and put my head down, passing out for a couple hours before driving home.

Spaghetti with Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

At 8 am, on the drive home, I get the sudden craving for pastries and not just any pastries….French pastries. So I keep on driving past the apartment building (with Sasha barely awake in the passenger seat), heading in the direction of Le Royal Bakery. I love this bakery dearly, but always find such a limited selection because I get there too late in the day. By the time I get there, all the croissants have been picked over and my favorite desserts are usually sold out. But it is only 8 am and I realize that I will have my choice of whatever I want, because the early bird gets the best croissant! So Sasha and I stumble in (we are both still in our clothes from the night before and she is barefoot), and I am literally taken back and aghast at the assortment of delicious pastries before my eyes. I can feel my blood sugar rising from the very smell of this place. My eyes scan over the case and then bingo…I’ve found it—The Almond Croissant. I order it, but then see that there is also an Almond Brioche located just below it. I should probably find out which one this bakery makes better (for blog purposes…wink, wink), so I order the brioche too! And as I am paying, I also see one of my favorite little Raspberry Custard Tarts. Can’t leave her behind, I’ll take one of those too. Sasha orders a Ham and Brie Sandwich on Baquette with Dijon Mustard, and while we wait for them to make her sandwich, I polish off the Croissant and Brioche. I don’t think I even stopped for air. I can officially say that although both pastries were delicious, the almond croissant was a million times more incredible. It was buttery and sweet and flakey and the almond paste was so pronounced. It was divine…really one of the most incredible food experiences that I have had in a while (certainly in this past week!). I polished off the raspberry custard tart on the drive home, and now I’m in bed holding my stomach and sweating out the food cramps. Too much sugar…too early…too fast. I feel like I’m going to die (although I don’t think even this feeling will turn me against eating that croissant in the near future….yes, it’s that good!). I am now going to try to sleep off this horrific pain (which is going to be tricky due to all that sugar consumption), but I have to be up in two hours for a event in South Beach where there will be buffet-style lunch. Ughhhhh…..the thought is miserable.

Almond Brioche Dusted with Powdered Sugar

Almond Croissant Dusted with Powdered Sugar

Raspberry Tarte with Pastry Cream Filling

I’m finally back in bed, and I am so thankful that the binge day is over. I never thought I would look forward to eating my plain protein diet, but I don’t want anything cheesy, sweet, or breaded for a while. I made it to the luncheon on South Beach at the Raleigh Hotel, and forced down a lunch consisting of; Ceasar Salad, Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich with Tomato and Basil on French Baguette, and Chicken Chipotle Sandwich with Pepperoni, Pepper Jack Cheese, Sweet Peppers, and Chipotle Aioli on Baguette. The food was alright, nothing really special (compared to my breakfast at least!) The ceasar salad dressing was bland and the sandwiches were just so-so. I felt like the food was really under seasoned, so I wouldn’t recommend eating at the Raleigh’s Royal Restaurant. I checked out the menu and the prices were reasonable, but under seasoned food isn’t good at any price, in my opinion.

My eclectic plate of food at The Raleigh Hotel

Shortly after eating, my cramps came back and I was holding onto my belly again. I walked it off, shopping at Victoria’s Secret, but had a hard time feeling sexy with such an un-sexy appetite. I crawled back into bed as soon as I got home, and slept for another 4 hours. I don’t know what happened during those 4 hours, but when I woke up, I had a ferocious appetite. I am not kidding you. The next meal on the binge day list was….drumroll, please….CHIPOTLE! Ohh yes, I wanted a large burrito to my face. So my friend, Sam, and I rolled out of bed, threw on some slippers, and headed out to Chipotle in our pajamas…diary of a fat girl. I ordered a Burrito with rice, black beans, carnitas, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, tomatillo salsa, sour cream, and cheese. I destroyed this whopping 900-calorie burrito in about 5 minutes, but found that I had a difficult time eating the cheese and sour cream. I think that my body might be getting adjusted to a diet without dairy and so the cheese and cream was overload. Whatever the case, I had to take eat around it. I also ate half a bag of chips and salsa before heading out the door.

Chipotle Burrito with Barbacoa, Rice, Black Beans, Fajita Veggies, Salsa, Sour Cream, and Cheese

I then decided that a trip to the gym was necessary. I ran about 3 miles and did abs and arm work for about 30 minutes. I then crawled back in to bed, where I am writing to you now. Sadly, as if I didn’t eat enough, I am polishing off a box of Godiva chocolate truffles while I type. I would estimate that I easily ate anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 today and I feel like shit. I can’t wait to just eat simple meat and spinach tomorrow.

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Filed under Baking, Miami Restaurants

The News Cafe ****

Bagel and Lox with Cream Cheese, Sliced Tomato, and Red Onion

305.538.6397
800 Ocean Drive (at 8th St)
Miami Beach, Fl 33139

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If you are visiting Miami, then the News Café is a must for at least one meal. Is it touristy? Yes. Is it slightly over-priced? Yes. Have you seen the Jersey Shore cast eating here on several episodes? Yes. But the food is good and the scene is ideal for people watching (may I remind you again that the Jersey Shore cast ate here). Now that I think about it, it’s actually the ultimate people watching spot. The tables are situated along the crowded sidewalk of Ocean Ave, and all the freaks know to put on a show around here for tourists. Regular sightings include: skinny white women with big fake tits and long blonde hair looking ridiculous in barely there bikinis and stripper heels, large groups of Asians wearing oversized safari hats with cameras hanging around their necks, “bling-ed” out black men pulling up in pimped out Cadillacs with 10-person entourages, elderly gay couples that look like something out of the movie The Bird Cage wearing visors and speedos,  and last but not least, some cracked out homeless people like this guy that my friend, Sam, and I witnessed over brunch today….

Spotted at News Cafe…lower back tattoo reads: “I bet You Won’t.” No further comment.

It is a hotspot for whack-jobs, so technically you’re getting “dinner and a show!” This two-in-one deal helps me justify the moderately steep prices, which are not completely outlandish, but certainly not a good value. Most of the restaurants on Ocean have ridiculous specials, such as free entrees with the purchase of an appetizer, ½ off the entire check, or two-for-one drink pitchers, but they aren’t nearly as good as the News Café. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a sale, but prepared food that is on sale scares me. I say splurge on News Café and you won’t be disappointed if you order smart. In my opinion, the breakfasts are reasonably priced (around $10) and the best thing to order. I like the Vegetable Omelet with sautéed spinach, red pepper, tomato, mushroom, onion and cheddar cheese, which is served with rye bread and your choice of home fried potatoes, fresh fruit, or pancakes. I order the fruit bowl (pictured below), but hear that the pancakes are delicious, light, and fluffy. The omelet is not too oily, and the eggs aren’t runny, which is a pet peeve of mine. It’s a generous portion too—I would estimate a 3 egg omelet. The  French Toast with Strawberries and Bananas is also very popular and delicious!

Side of Fresh Fruit served with Omelet

French Toast with Sliced Bananas and Strawberries

If you’re looking to do lunch, I highly recommend the Chicken Nachos, which are listed under the appetizers but large enough to be a meal. They are really delicious and the guacamole is creamy and great. I also like the Greek Salad with Chicken, which is tomato, red onion, pepper, and feta cheese on a bed of Romaine lettuce tossed in basil vinaigrette ($15). It is an enormous portion, but tastes light and fresh. Another great salad is the Sliced Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil ($12). The tomatoes are always ripe, and the mozzarella is soft and creamy. Again, the portion is huge (see below) so I suggest this as an appetizer for the table.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil

Another favorite dish of mine to share is the Mediterranean Sampler Plate, which includes hummus, babaganush, tabouli salad, stuffed grape leaves, kalamata olives, chopped tomato, and warm fresh pita bread. This plate is a-w-e-s-o-m-e! You can get it portioned for one or two, depending how hungry you are and how many people there are.

Mediterranean Platter (for one) with Tabouli, Babaganush, Tomato, Hummus, Kalamata Olives, and Stuffed Grape Leaves

Surprisingly, the pizzas at News Café are also really delicious. I am not the kind of person to order pizza just anywhere because I maintain the belief that a pizzeria is where one should go for pizza, but my friends have ordered the Chicken, Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza ($15) in the past, and I undoubtedly swindle a slice. The only thing that I would stay away from really, are the pasta dishes. This is not an Italian restaurant and so the pastas are not gourmet. The tomato sauce is very watery and doesn’t really adhere to the noodles…it’s just not the thing to get at a café. On the other hand, I do really like the drinks at News Café. My dad and I once went late in the afternoon and got tipsy on specialty mojitos (such as mango, strawberry, and coconut) straight into the evening.

Overall, I’ve been living in Miami 4 years now, and the News Café is still my go to brunch spot after a morning spent tanning on the beach. I usually complain about the prices a little, but still voluntarily hand over my Visa to witness and be a part of the News Café scene. As long as you don’t try to customize your order too much—they will charge you for every add on and extra side—you can get away with a reasonable bill.

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Lovin’ Oven ***

Saag Paneer – Creamy Pureed Spinach with Cheese and Indian Spices

908.996.7714
62 Trenton Ave
Frenchtown, NJ 08825

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I don’t know how many of you got into the whole “Eat, Pray, Love” craze, but I swear for the two weeks after I read that book I really thought I was Elizabeth Gilbert. Of course I’m not a recently divorced 40-something year old writer traveling the world in hopes of finding myself, but I so readily identified with her emotions, frustrations, and passions that I felt as if her book could have been my own personal memoir. We both love to eat, travel, write, and stare at beautiful Italian men who speak the beautiful Italian language—and, I too wouldn’t think twice about packing my bags and going to an unfamiliar country such as Bali to meet with some elderly medicine man! But I am not Elizabeth Gilbert. This reality sank in abruptly after my first yoga class and was then confirmed after my attempt at guided meditation (yes, I really signed up for yoga and meditation after reading the book—a sparkler moment—just humor me).

Although I am back to my non-yoga doing life as Kendall Bajek, I was none-the-less excited to hear that Elizabeth Gilbert had opened a store near my house In Philadelphia called Two Buttons. I was less excited when I actually went and saw just how much these rare items cost, but thankfully, there was a restaurant in front of her store to help lift my spirits! The restaurant is called the Lovin’ Oven and the menu is just about as eclectic as Gilbert’s store.

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have inspired flavors coming from all over the world. I went for lunch with my mom and ordered the Quinoa and Tempeh Burger Wrap with avocado, kales, and roasted red pepper aioli. The server told me that this was one of the best items on the menu and it was in fact delicious, but not the greatest lunch I’ve ever had. I expected cut up strips of the quinoa and tempeh burger within the wrap, and it was more ground in with the kale so its texture was indistinct. I like the uniformity that it gave every bite, but I would have preferred to distinguish the burger from the burger from the rest of the wrap. Also, the kale was very oily and rather tough in texture, which made the wrap a bit challenging and sloppy to eat (glad I wasn’t on a date!). The overall flavor was nice, with the bitterness of the kale contrasting the sweetness of the roasted red pepper aioli, and the portion was huge. But my favorite aspect of the dish was actually the small quinoa salad that was served on the side of the wrap. It had a strong balsamic flavor with red onions and halved grapes. It was light and delicious…I wish I could have ordered that only!

My mom ordered the Saag Paneer, which is creamy pureed spinach and fresh cheese with Indian spices served with warm pita over organic brown rice. We were both very unimpressed by this dish because we are familiar with the flavors of good Indian food, but the average person would probably have been pleased. I thought it was lacking in spice and heat, and so it tasted very one-dimensional after just a few bites. The pita bread on the other hand, was incredible! It crispy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside…it was a perfect pita!

On other occasions, my mom has also had the Ginger Teriyaki Tofu Bowl with sautéed fresh vegetables, organic brown rice, sliced avocado, and grilled pita. She said that this dish was so good that it will keep her going back despite our recent disappointing lunch. I want more of that pita bread, so I would probably order this the next time I go as well. I would also save room for the Almond Croissant Bread Pudding next time because it sounds outrageously delicious! In fact, all of their baked goods sound great and I might go just for dessert later this week!

I would recommend the Lovin’ Oven for dessert or breakfast, which is what majority of diners were eating while I was there…now I know why! Just make sure that you bring cash when you go, because it is cash only!

Quinoa Tempeh Burger Wrap with Avocado, Kale, and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

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