April 20, 2009

  • In-N-Out Burger

    Las Vegas, NV

    When I went to Vegas this past December for my friend Ben’s bachelor party, In-N-Out seemed to be a must stop for the majority of the guys. I’ve never been there before this trip and boy was I in for a pleasant surprise. I’ve been to many burger joints and I have yet to visit a fastfood place with this type of efficient and almost graceful-like service. As for the food.. let me tell ya!

    Simple menu

    Tons of workers (hard workers)

    Piles of Fries

    Double-Double anyone?

    We ordered 4 fries and 4 Double-Double Burgers “Animal Style”.. Luckily I was with my buddy Kaider who happened to be an In-N-Out connoisseur. He explained that there was a “secret menu” that only those in know actually know about. According to In-N-Out’s “Not-So-Secret” online menu.. Animal Style is a “Burger of your choise with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread, with grilled onions.” The inside of eat bun was nice and crisp which gave the juicy burger just the right amount of texture and crunch! Pound for pound this definitely one of the best burgers I’ve eaten.. and it costed nothing but a few bucks!

    I don’t know if it’s the quality of the workforce on the Westcoast but I cannot stop raving about how well everything was prepared and presented. We need your establishment down here in New Orleans! Well done!

    Overall Rating:        (out of 7)

    Great impression and exceeded already high expectations



    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)





April 6, 2009

  • 1st Annual Louisiana Roadfood Festival

    New Orleans, LA

    It’s festival time down in New Orleans! Many different food/music festivals like the Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest and even this newcomer.. the Louisiana Roadfood Fest. The premise is pick out where the foodies go.. not in terms of fancy eats, but more of the diners, drive-ins and dives kinda deal. Good ol fashioned home cooking!

    On this day I sampled over 15 different things. One of my favorite items was the Jambalaya made by the people at the Tabasco Country Store tent. The Jambalaya was loaded with many different sausages ranging from Alligator to Andoullie! Strong cajun flavors along with a spicy but not too overwhelming finish made this one of my highlights of the festival!

    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)


March 30, 2009

  • Cafe Rani



    New Orleans, LA

    I’ve been very disappointed with the quality of food and service as of  late. I don’t like to write bad reviews, but when it’s necessary.. you gotta do it. Cafe Rani is a very nice looking restaurant nestled in a courtyard on Magazine Street. But that’s pretty much where all of the good stuff come to an end. The services was passable even though our Spinach Dip appetizer didn’t until after our entrees and not until we had to remind her. Who knows how long it’s been sitting under the heat lamp..

    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    As far as the quality of Spinach and Artichoke Dip was concerned.. you can see it in the picture. A few pieces of spinach mixed in with some thickened cream and some cheese. The flavors were average, but the look was a huge turn off. The best part had to be the wheat pita bread.

    Crawfish Monica

    Shrimp Eggplant Rani

    Crawfish Monica, “Crawfish tails served in a cajun cream sauce with angel hair pasta, with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs”. It was actually the highlight of the meal. The sauce was good and flavorful. Second was the Shrimp Eggplant Rani, “Layered medallions of breaded eggplant, portobello mushroom smoked gouda, roasted onions & peppers, wilted spinach with grilled shrimp and a pesto-alfredo cream sauce atop cappellini pasta” I’ve got to be honest.. it wasn’t terrible. Could have used a bit more salt, but I didn’t mind adding it.

    Side of Broccoli

    And we ordered a side of Broccoli and this is what we got. A plate with over-cooked dirty broccoli that to my culinary expertise, was thrown on a plate from 5 feet away. They might as well have thrown it from the kitchen. I guess the meal would have been more enjoyable if the service was more efficient and the spinach & artichoke dip were a little better, and maybe if the broccoli was prepared properly.. but please excuse the pun when I say, “it left a bad taste in our mouths”.

    This is why we need food bloggers in this world. We need to be held accountable for our actions. Chefs and servers should take pride in what they do, and when they don’t.. people need to know.


    Would you ever go back to a restaurant after having a bad experience? Another chance perhaps?

    I don’t know myself..



    Meal Rating:  

    no further comments..




    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)

March 6, 2009

  • GW Fins 7 Course Tasting

    New Orleans, LA

    Not too long ago I went back to GW Fins with Barry,  an old culinary school buddy of mine. At Fins our friend Byron threw together a 7 course tasting for us. If this restaurant wasn’t already one of my favorite places to eat in New Orleans, it’s definitely at the top of the list!

    Tuna Course

    Scallop Course

    We started with Smoked Sizzling Oysters. I failed to produce the pictures, I was a bit excited when they first came out. lol But they were indeed plump, fresh and juicy! The Tuna was served sahimi and tartare style. Delicious, fresh, and with a kick from the wasabi.. I liked it very much. For the 3rd course we had the Scallops in a buttery citrus sauce. Light, Perfectly cooked and seasoned.. it was the ideal dish to take us into the thick of the meal!

    Pompano Dish

    Snapper Dish

    John Dory Dish

    It seems GW Fins has alway had a touch of Asian in their dishes. The Pompano was served in a Thai-like broth, with a lot of fresh Asian herbs and even a flat rice noodle? I was very impress with the depth of flavors. And the fish was grilled very nicely! The Snapper was seared and served with some plump, tender shrimp.. The crisp skin gave the fish a great texture to match with the flaky moistness! And to round out the trio of fish, the John Dory fish is a deep sea delicacy. To put it plain and simple, it was cooked perfectly. The sear gave it a nice caramelized flavor and the meat was very tasty.

    Mini Apple Pies

    For dessert we had some Mini Apple Pies with gorgonzola and I believe it was browned butter gelato? At this point we finished a bottle of wine and had several other spirits and drinks. I apologize for the lack of memory on my part. But I do remember it being a delicious meal! If you’ve never been here.. my personal opinion is that Gw Fins serves the some of the best seafood in the city.

    Meal Rating:        

    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)


February 26, 2009

  • Pho Tau Bay

    Gretna, LA

    I’ve been losing my roots.. When I was younger I use to go eat Pho almost everyday. It’s cheap, delicious, and very satisfying. Lately I’ve been eating back at my childhood spot. The same spot where the owner is a Caucasian-American who speaks fluent Vietnamese and married to a Vietnamese woman. It’s where my mom use to yell at me and tell me stuff like, “That man is white and he speaks better Vietnamese than you do!”.. it’s where ,”Drink up all of the soup or you’ll be punished!” happened. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so reluctant to come back? haha

    Pho Nam Bo Vien

    Well there’s not much to say.. I have the Pho Nam Bo Vien or Beef Soup with Beef Brisket and Vietnamese Meat Balls. It’s the same as I remembered growing up. It’s a clean broth that coats your mouth and sits on your tongue! The beef if tender and the herbs are fresh. I’ve been eating very often, as of late. It’s a shame it took me this long to get back there!

February 17, 2009

  • Dinner is Served! (Valentine’s Edition)

    New Orleans, LA

    For me, Valentine’s Day was celebrated a day after the real holiday but worth every second of the wait! in the end I went off the beaten path a bit and decided to go with a variation of option “B”, I did Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc, Bacon-wrapped Haricot Verts and Shrimp Risotto (instead of the leeks and whipped potatoes).. For first course I did a quick Roasted Lamb with Porcini Mushroom Bread Pudding and Creole Sauce. I think my girlfriend liked this one best. She was in love with the Porcini Mushroom Bread pudding, my personal favorite too..

    Roasted Lamb with Porcini Mushroom Bread Pudding and Creole Sauce

    Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc, Bacon-wrapped Haricot Verts and Shrimp Risotto

    The Salmon was delicious.. You gotta be very careful when you cook this fish, it can go from perfectly cooked to completely dry in a matter of seconds. For the starch, I made the Shrimp Risotto by sauteing some shallots then cooking the arborio rice down in some white wine and chicken stock. To finish you sautee the shrimp and fold in some parmesan cheese.

    White Chocolate Ice Cream and a Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

    For dessert I made a White Chocolate Ice Cream and a Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake.. a little too decadent? Naaah.. it’s Valentines Day.. now’s the time you really should indulge!

    Truffles a la Girlfriend! =)

    For Valentine’s Day my girlfriend made some truffles for me! They were very good!! She could have been a great chef in some other life.. haha I hope you guys had as good of a Vday as I did. And to the guys out there, at least once in your life, if you don’t already do it, cook a nice dinner for your girlfriend, fiance, or wife. She’ll never forget it!

    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)


February 12, 2009

  • Valentines Day

    Anywhere, World

    So it’s that time of the year.. the time where you finally express your love for one another? lol Probably not, but this is the time of the year where you can go all out for that special someone and not risk looking ridiculously cheesy!

    So what’s the plan?

    1) Nice dinner out?
    2) Casual dinner out?
    3) Order take out?
    4) Cook a nice dinner at home?
    5) Order take out and make it look like you cooked a nice dinner?

    Unfortunately for me, I’ve left my girl friend with extremely high expectations.. which is only fair because I expect a lot out of her too. That’s the only way to keep things interesting, right? Because it is indeed Mardi Gras time down here in New Orleans.. it’s very difficult to get around downtown and get to some of our favorite restaurants. So I’ve elected to choose option 4, which is cook a nice dinner at home. Well seeing how she’ll be working Friday and I’m working Saturday, this will be a Sunday night deal.

    You the readers will get to have a say in how this will play out! I need you guys to help me pick an entree to cook..

    What should I cook for Valentines Dinner?

    A) Classic Roasted Chicken w/ Buttered Corn and Rice Pilaf
    B) Sauteed Salmon w/ Leeks and Whipped Potatoes
    C) Braised Beef w/ Fingerling potatoes and Carrots

February 9, 2009

  • Cafe Atchafalaya

    New Orleans, LA

    Cafe Atchafalaya is located in the Lower Garden District of Nola. As with many other restaurants in this great city, it’s in an old shotgun style house! This house has been renovated into an unpretentious cafe where the food is straightforward without all of the frills and bams!

    Fried Oysters

    For the appetizer we had the Fried Oysters served over a tasso cream sauce with shoestring potatoes. The oysters are lightly battered and fried just enough to preserve the plumpness and moisture. The tasso cream sauce is creamy and flavorful yet subtle enough so that it does not disturb the flavors of the oyster! Some of the better fried oysters that I’ve had in the city!

    Crawfish Atchafalaya

    Fried Catfish

    And for the entrees.. First up was the Crawfish Atchafalaya, Fettuccini tossed with Louisiana crawfish in lightly spiced cream sauce. It was very good, the flavors and spices were all there I guess I was just expecting a little more depth in the sauce? This dish can be a bit heavy and you may get bored of it so if you want to get this dish, share it and get a couple of apps? Just a suggestion! Fried Catfish with Meuniere sauce, Rice Pilaf and Sautéed Spinach. As simple as this was, the flavors were surprisingly delicate and delicious. The fish was crisp and sauce was tangy, sweet and savory!

    Overall a good experience! The decor was simple enough for a casual outing, yet romantic enough for a wonderful evening for two. The entrees average around $20 a person. It’s a little off the beaten path but look for the giant cast iron skillet on the side of building and you’ll be ok!

    Overall Rating:


    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)

January 13, 2009

  • Pinkberry

    New York City, NY

    Pinkberry.. A national phenomenon, it’s all the rave… even those girls from the Hills go there.. Don’t ask me how I know that. I decided to wait until all the craziness died down a bit and give my unbiased review of the place. And here we go…

    Outside of Pinkberry

    The various toppings.. (the fruity pebbles caught my eye)

    There was a lot of hype before my first visit to Pinkberry. Many friends swore by it (the way people were when Starbucks was all the rave).. and some friends gave me their honest opinion, they felt it was an “aquired taste”.

    the final product (original and green tea yogurt swirl)

    When I first tasted it, I expected euphoria.. I expect to have that “Ratatouille” moment where fireworks were bursting all over my senses.. But alas, I was let down. The taste is interesting.. did I love it? no.. did I hate it? no.. it was different and in my judgment, not worth all of the publicity that it’s been getting. And even in the harsh cold of a New York City winter.. people still jam into Pinkberry for their fruit topped frozen yogurt cups. Who am I to stop them? If you enjoy something, no one can tell you not too.. But don’t freak out when people don’t feel the same way…

    How do you feel about Pinkberry?

    Overall Rating:    (out of 7 )

    Sorry, I just wasn’t impressed..

    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)

October 21, 2008

  • Irene’s Cuisine

    New Orleans, LA

    Okay.. the meal is simple. It’s located on an obscure side street in the French Quarter. The decor and overall design of the restaurant is a touch gaudy but I’m not the next “Top Designer” so that doesn’t really matter. I was there for the food. Real deal Italian food with a New Orleans flair, doesn’t every place in this city ensure that? haha And by the way, the food does not let you down!

    Irene’s from the street..

    Amuse Bouche-ish? Bruschetta 

    Spring Salad with Gorgonzola and Pancetta

    Baked Oysters Irene

    Immediately upon being seated, we were greeted and served a delicious Bruschetta amuse bouche type deal. The flavors were so clean and fresh. Every bite was soft and savory! For the salad, we had the Mixed Greens with Gorgonzola and Pancetta.. a very good combination! If you’re into gorgonzola.. The last part of the starters? The Baked Oysters Irene! Plump oysters topped with tomatoes, pancetta, and romano cheese. These things are spectacular! Highly recommended..

    Duck Saint Phillip


    For the entrees? First was the Duck Saint Phillip. Perfectly cooked to retain that delicate moistness and still have that “Peking duck”ish crisp on the skin! The glaze and sweet potatoes gave right amount of balance to the savory duck. A well executed plate! Second was the Seafood Bouillabaisse with Toasted Ciabatta. When I tell you that I finished every last bite, I really did.. I was left wanting just one more piece of ciabatta and one more spoonful of seafood and the rich luscious bouillabaisse broth! Very satisfied! =)

    The service was good and the wait wasn’t a wait at all. But we did get there at 5:30-6pm-ish. The only hiccup I could report was a piece of burnt bread in our breadbasket. It was served by another waitress though.. Not a big deal and it didn’t bother me, but it’s worth noting because details matter. Just come and enjoy your meal.. I surely did!

    Overall Rating:       (out of 7 )

    Chef Eats’ Directory:
    -Click here for MORE Chef Eats’ Entries-

    Updated regularly, So eat up! =)