I was really craving a Lahmacun and Sultan had always made a pretty good one. It is in fact, better than many that we've had in Turkey. It's a tribute to the food Sultan makes that inspired us to travel to Turkey. Still, the location always seems to be a hassle. And for some strange reason, I'm worried that someday the place may jump the shark. I hope not....... Yet, I shouldn't worry, especially when I get antepezme (acili ezme) as super spicy as this.
Whoa, this was much more spicy than I recalled. I'm wondering if it's me, or if they've really turned up the heat on this. Still, it was wonderful with the lavas.
Of course I had come here for the lahmacun.
The Missus was working so I sent Her a photo and a caption; "as good as ever". Yeasty, savory, and so satisfying. The spices were right on; adding a nice complex component to this $4 bread topped with spiced meat.
As I was finishing up, I felt a hand on my shoulder and another hand placed a plate with a baklava in front of me. It was the owner; one of the nicest folks....... He had a seat and we chatted for a while....first things first you know; the inquiry about how our families are doing. Then about how business was....I was a bit worried since it was 530 on a Friday and the place was empty. He smiled and said, "it is great....right now because it is Ramadan there is a line outside the restaurant at 8 every night". The baklava was fresh, still warm, crisp, light, and satisfying. Much like my visit.
I gotta drop by more often.
Sultan Baklava Mediterranean Cuisine 770 4th Ave San Diego, CA
Thank you for (once again or first time) stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! a blog about food. Since Kirk is vacationing, Ed (from Yuma) decided to also take some time out for a road trip and Cathy is staycationing in San Diego, walking around malls for today's post.
It really has been years since Either The Mister and I have ventured into a Shopping mall. This year, we decided to make our daily walks a bit more interesting and that's worked out.
We went back to Westfield UTC with the intention of stopping here for a respite. This rather large kiosk is in between the Banana Republic and Anthologie stores (and on the way to the parking garage-which was the only reason we noticed it). It opens at 7 a.m. Mon-Fri and at 8 on Saturday, 9 on Sunday...before the mall opens.
You order and pay at one window, find a seat and your order will be called when it's ready.Peeking inside, you can see the crêpe machine and to the right is the espresso machine. That's all that is on the menu here...coffees and crêpes.Calabria Coffee is what's used, and it is excellent and artfully prepared. [That's a small latte above ($3.50)]Since it was early, we decided to share a breakfast crêpe ($5.25). The description is simple 'ham, egg and cheese'...so I assumed the egg would be scrambled, cheese melted in and sliced deli ham would be laid on top and the crêpe would surround it, like a burrito...but no!
Notice the edge of the egg over the edge yet baked within the thin pancake-like crêpe. The ham was *really* good- a smoked ham, cut in chunks, not slices. The cheese added a good tangy flavor with gooey melty component. Far more than I expected at a mall kiosk. Wonderful food here.
Elixir Espresso Bar La Jolla Village Drive 92037 (858) Open daily 9-8 website
The weather started getting warmer a few days later, and we decided to go walking at an enclosed (air conditioned) mall. Westfield North County mall it was!Traveling down the third set of escalators, I noticed this large open eating area from above and was surprised at its name when we stopped to look. Elixir Espresso AND Wine Bar...The menu board was similar, yet had additional food items, and in the seating area, the clipboard menu was most interesting...Sandwiches, bakery items, gelato and wine, all out in the open part of the mall. Crazy. We had to.First, we ordered a Viennese crêpe ($4.75) Simple, filled with honey and cinnamon (and served on an appropriately sized and shaped plate, although I thought the hot dog liner paper was a good way to serve the outdoor crêpe at the outdoor kiosk). This was a nice way to enjoy a sweet crêpe.
The clipboard menu had a 'Flatbread' section on it...and the Pears, Bleu Cheese and Coastal Cheddar ($10.75) sounded nice.
Wow. Thinly sliced pears overlapped and covered this freshly made, soft yet baked to a light crunch flatbread. The toppings of the Bleu and Cheddar, melted in and melded with the bread and pear and this was wonderful. If we had ever thought to do this at home, a nice glass of wine would accompany it.
We have learned to stop and enjoy our breaks and so far, we have been really pleased.
mmm-yoso!!!, a food-centric blog with (almost) daily writings shares posts about various cuisines, new and established restaurants, pubs and other places where food can be found, as well as sometimes home cooking. Today, a short post written by Cathy about a small three-location establishment.
Not that I wrote any posts about the holidays or any New Year resolutions, but now, almost six months into 2015, I feel successful. The free "Steps" app on our mobile phones record how much The Mister and I walk each day and the goal of 10,000 steps a day has become easier and almost regular since about mid-April.
The only thing was, it started getting a bit boring, despite the almost daily weather changes. So, we've become 'those people'- Mall Walkers.Parkway Plaza is covered and air conditioned, Grossmont Plaza is also close to home, but not that interesting to us any more, so one day we drove West to Westfield University Town Center, where we haven't regularly stopped in years.
The Ice Rink and surrounding restaurant choices are new to us and so are most of the shops. (edit- the Ice Rink seating area used to be open to the rink and is now enclosed. Most of the food court restaurants and the food court seating area have been redone since we were last here).
There's also a new movie theater building that was added onto the mall.Down the steps near the entrance (or, exit) of the Arclight Cinemas is Bottega Italiana.
Kirbie visited in January.cc visited the other (Coronado) San Diego location selling Bottega Italiana gelati in November. Faye also mentioned Bottega Italiana in the middle of this post. There is an area selling coffees and San Diego made Chuao Chocolates to take home.The menu is simple, the coffee preparation area is observable, there are a few sweets for sale at the cash register. The gelato is made right here. Daily. The fresh made gelato are beautiful...and overwhelming. We've been offered samples and sometimes that makes decisions more difficult. Fortunately, two flavors can be part of a 'small' size.Also, an affogato (small size gelato ($3.80) with a shot of espresso over it (+$1)) can have two flavors within...in this case, panna cotta (vanilla flavored sweet cream; it's different than (the excellent) vanilla) and hazelnut went perfectly with the brisk shot of concentrated coffee.Another day, a small ($3.80) with Speciale (burnt cream, dark chocolate chips, caramel and sea salt: all able to be tasted in one bite) with a scoop of Opera (pistachio, hazelnut and almond nuts and flavors) was enjoyed at the patio tables out front.
Bottega Italiana is a nice place to stop and get a shareable, excellent treat.
Bottega Italiana 4445 La Jolla Village Drive Suite H-17 (just down from the movie theaters) San Diego 92122 (858)404-0799 website Mon-Th 10-9:30, Fri-Sat 10-10 Sun 10:30-9:30
mmm-yoso!!!, food blog. Kirk is in another country, Ed(from Yuma) is in another state and Cathy is here, in sunny Southern California, blogging about food.
Another overcast day here and time for a snack. I haven't posted about Up 2 Yoü for about two years, even though The Mister and I find time to stop here fairly often. The overhead has been replaced recently.The menu has stayed with almost exactly the same choices.The decor is also about the same as it was...eclectic.
As always, our order remained eerily similar yet with slight variances...This time, a fresh made crepe ($3.75) filled with egg custard ( 75¢) was a refreshing and not too sweet of a choice...However, still wanting an ice cream as well as a caffeinated product, an affogato ($3.95) with my choice of (unimaginative yet quite tasty) vanilla ice cream was our other shared item.
In the past two years, Up 2 Yoü has remained steadfast, profitable and even opened a second location near Mesa College, around the corner from K Sandwiches. (the pink square on the Up 2 You web page)
Most bloggers went here when it first opened, including Kirbie, cc and Jinxie. There are plenty of seating areas and board games you can check out. It's a nice relaxing local owned spot.
Up 2 Yoü Cafe 7770 Vickers Street (at Convoy) San Diego 92111 (619)663-6388 Website
Thanks for stopping by the food blog named mmm-yoso!!! Right now, Kirk is embarking on a well deserved rest. Ed(from Yuma) has completed a session and is making future plans. Cathy is holding steady and writing a short post.
Not very large inside, and it looked like rain on this weekday, so no crowds.
The lengthy menu is essentially variations of hot or cold, coffee or tea, juice or dairy and boba or not...along with a list of probably 100 or more add ins and add ons, making your unique beverage one of a few hundred thousand combinations.
Then there's the shaved snow, frozen yogurt and waffles. Most ingredients cross over.Milk shaved snow with mocha and lychee topped with chocolate and strawberry sauces. ($5)Enough to share. The snow was light and flaky, not icy. A nice snack.
Hope your weekend is going well.
It's Boba Time 4344 Convoy Street 92111 Open Sun-Thurs 11-11, Fri, Sat 11-midnight Website
The Missus had worked quite hard in the weeks up to our trip to Portland. I'm a terminal early riser, so I decided to let the Missus get some additional shut-eye, while I took a morning walk.
Much like Seattle, Portland seems to rise late.....it was still a bit dark when I started my walk at the Paramount Hotel.
I headed out for The Pearl, we'd walked around the area a bit the day before and really enjoyed ourselves, and were probably headed here later in the morning, so I thought why not? Though I'd been up this way before, I'd never been up NW 13th Avenue.
A former street full of former warehouses, turned into restaurants, shops, and businesses....I really liked the transformation.
For some reason, the area seems much more developed than when I last visited.
Walking down Burnside past the North Park Blocks, I descended on the area known as Old Town and Chinatown. Things seemed to have changed a bit since my last visit; it's much cleaner, less (though still a bit) gritty....there seemed to be quite a few bars and art galleries, so I'm certain that additional gentrification might be coming up.
Looking up NW 6th Avenue; I was surprised to see Union Station was a few blocks away! On previous visits; Union Station just seemed much farther away.
Perhaps all those "death marches" with the Missus (I calculated I walked 9 miles on this day...stay tuned) has changed how I calculate distance?
Anyway, walking into Chinatown, I saw that The House of Louie was still there!
And of course, one of my favorite signs....... Hung Far Low. The restaurant, once the oldest restaurant in Chinatown (opened in 1928), is long gone. But I guess there's something, well, unique and special about the sign....it is without a doubt a landmark, and the sign has been preserved. I understand that the city even contributed to making sure that Hung Far Low kept on hanging, high and proud in Chinatown.
Walking past the Chinatown gate, I received a text from the Missus. She was up and about, so I headed back......not directly mind you, there was one stop on the way.
I do wish some of the food carts on 10th and Alder were open for a substantial breakfast....but like their customer base, they seem to wake much later as well.
Seeing food carts in Portland always brings me back to this wonderful post from which Portland Food Carts site was established in 2007. Lizzy Gaston is no longer involved with the little empire that is Portland Food Carts, but I will never forget.
Heading down Washington Street, I came across the SW Portland location of Blue Star Donuts. The Missus isn't a big fan of Voodoo Donuts, so I thought I'd get something from here as a wake up treat for Her.
This was the most folks I saw in one place at this time of the morning in Portland!
The artisan donuts here use a brioche base.
I bought three for the Missus. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but thought the cinnamon and vanilla sugar was the best; the Missus agreed. The raspberry filled with peanut butter powder was our least favorite.
You can read about the North Portland location of Blue Star in Mary's post.
Blue Star Donuts 1237 SW Washington St Portland, OR 97205
So after some donuts, the Missus decided where She wanted to eat Her breakfast.......it was Tasty N Alder again!
So we waited until just before 9am and walked the couple blocks up to Tasty N Alder.
Our Server was the same......so wonderful. She welcomed us back and we explained that we came back for the Radicchio Salad. In a very nice touch, she brought us some coffee cake, telling us, "this is on the house....welcome back...and thanks!" Wow, really?
And so the Missus got Her Radicchio Salad.......half portion ($6)
Of course the Missus loves eggs.....so I decided to order the Cast Iron Frittata ($10).
Good sized....not too big, loved the nettles, the caramelization helped to smooth out the bitterness and develop the sugars, the caramelized onion brought some sweetness, and the asparagus was present in a restrained amount. A nice, light, frittata.
And $16 for a breakfast for 2? And that coffee cake? Priceless......
mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog, is where you have stopped for a moment. The food posting of today is written by Cathy. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are just not feeling it.
As Kirk has mentioned, our weather had been very strange the past few weeks. Very hot days, very cold days, rainy, windy and now, a bit chilly in the morning and evening but clear and pleasant during mid-day...
On one of the hot days, The Mister and I stopped here, the newest location of a business, (which was a pop up inside Pangea Bakery Cafe just last summer), for a refreshing snack.
Anyhow, you should be able to see the Aqua colored building... Walking into the small storefront, there are a few tables and some bar stool seating. Straight ahead, a suggested menu is available. To the left are the snow shaving machines. Pricing is by the ounce (48 cents/ounce on our most recent visit). Topping choices can be overwhelming. Pretty much anything you'd like is available... There are six main flavors of shaved snow always available: original (condensed milk), strawberry, green tea, lychee, black sesame and salted caramel.That day, I wanted something simple, so a small cup of shaved lychee was mine. (4.5 oz, $2.16)This is a good photo to show you the delicate ribbons formed by shaving the ice block. The snow melts in your mouth and the bright flavor is just wonderfully crisp; not too sweet.Special Selection that day was the 'Frozen Hot Chocolate'. This order weighed 8.7 ounces (and therefore was $4.18; I can do math in my head and not show the work, because I am old).
Chocolate shaved snow (very good chocolate), topped with dark chocolate bits, fresh strawberries and house made whipped cream, along with two fluted cookies. The depth of flavors in this combination was great. Even though I don't crave chocolate, this really did hit the spot for me.
Iceskimo 4609 Convoy San Diego 92111 (858) 216-1111 Mon-Th noon-10:30, Fri-Sat noon-11:30 Sun noon-10:00
Antwerp was proving to be quite interesting.....relaxed, laid back, even more so than Brussels. There were less tourists, it had more of a urban-local feel, even though we were staying close to the Grote Markt, there were businesses like a meat market, bakery, produce stands, that served the locals.
The Missus wanted to take a nice walk on our full day in Antwerp....to the train station, which I wanted to see anyway, then back. So we set off from Grote Markt, taking some of the back streets.
We stopped at places the interested us along the way, like the very Baroque looking St Charles Borromeo Church. The most popular local citizen, the famous Baroque Painter, Peter Paul Rubens, was raised in Antwerp and spent a good part of his career in Antwerpen. Even this Jesuit Church displays the influence of Rubens who supposedly designed the decorative façade. In fact, there were 39 ceiling paintings by Rubens that were destroyed in 1718 when the church was struck by lightning.
There are wisps of Rubens everywhere, even on this plate. From what I can find, Dr Lazarus Marcquis was on of the physicians who treated Rubens, who died of heart failure due in part to chronic gout.
We eventually found ourselves in front of the beautiful train station....but first, I was distracted by this.
I have a thing about Chinatown's, whether in Lima, SF, Portland, Toronto, Kobe, or even pseudo-Chinatown's like Brussels, I just can't help myself. So I just had to check it out.
And of course, I could not resist the temptation to check out the at least one Asian Market....just to see what was being sold. Markets like this one stocked everything from Sriracha to Datu Puti and Silver Swan. And some of the prices were no joke....sheesh.
We also checked out the various menus; here are a few in case you're interested.
Chinatown is barely a street or two in Antwerp, but it's all interesting to me.
We took a turn and walked back toward the train station. At one of the streets parallel to those of Chinatown I saw one of my favorite signs. Folks, don't even think about "wildplassen" here, ok?
The Antwerpen-Centraal railway station itself is probably the grandest, most impressive train station I've ever seen. Hard to believe that this structure, finished in 1905 was once considered for demolition.
A look inside and it's quite easy to see why they call this structure the "Railway Cathedral". The restoration job on the place was completed in 2007 at a cost of 2.7 billions dollars. The glass ceilings, intricate work, marble, and stone makes a truly impressive sight.
There's actually a level which links the place to the "Diamond District" and 30 diamond shops.
It's easily my favorite site in Antwerp. I've never seen anything quite like it. When looking at my photos I still stop at the one's we took at the train station.....
We walked down the Boulevard named De Keyserlei, arriving at a large street named Frankrijklei. This was where the city walls of Antwerp once stood. Across the way you could see the beginning of the "Meir", the major shopping street of Antwerp. Here you'll run into a statue of another of Antwerp's favorite son's, the Artist Anthony van Dyck, who was a favorite of England's Charles I.
You'll pass many....well, let's just say shops we know quite well on the Meir...... H&M, Forever 21.....H&M and Zara are everywhere in case you need something in a pinch.
But it's this ornate, but rather discreet portal that caught our attention. Through this passageway is Stadsfeestzaal, which is one heck of shopping mall.....let's just say it makes South Coast Plaza look like a trailer park.... Tons of gold inlay....there's actually a champagne bar! Yikes. I understand that this was originally built as an exhibition hall completed in 1906. It was destroyed by fire in 2000. Being a historic monument, it was rebuilt using the original plans and reopened in 2007. It is something to behold.....not sure about the shops in the place, the Missus wasn't moved; but with a grand staircase and such you can't help but admire the beauty of the place.
We our way through the place until the Missus became bored (I was already there) and walked back out into the sunshine of the Meir.
Back out on the street we quickly noticed a place whose name I recalled. Dominique Persoone is a Belgian Chocolatier, whose rather audacious approach to chocolate, along with his self coined handle as the "Shock-o-latier" has earned him quite a following and reputation. He owns The Chocolate Line with shops in Bruge and Antwerp.
You really couldn't help but be impressed with the upscale boutique look of the place....my goodness.
And when the Missus saw the play on upscale shoes....well we just had to take our time in the place.
And while it's easy enough for me to dismiss the rather seemingly kitschy chocolate lipstick and edible chocolate facepaint, along with his nomme de guerre. The chocolate "snort" made me stop and reassess.
And while some of the creations like the various chocolate sculptures and such, were obviously done to impress in the name of commerce.
A snort of chocolate, hmmmm.....what would that do to my already ravaged grey matter? Perhaps I'd change my name to Cadbury? Or perhaps start a campaign to save the "chocolate bunnies"? Who knows, as my train of thought was interrupted with the Missus telling me; "ok, I've got some chocolate, let's get going. Aaaand, I didn't buy any of those chocolate shoes.......can you imagine, shoes of chocolate, like feet and eat them, ick...." And so my Chocolate Gandhi moment was permanently interrupted.
We had bought some to add to the collection for my MIL and had a few that seemed interesting ourselves.
Interesting, but we enjoyed what we got from Pierre Marcolini and Yuzu in Ghent more...... But not being a "sweets person" who's to say, right?
There was a certain kind of stillness as I looked out our window in the morning.
This was Miyajima before the throngs of tourists arrive....the quiet of the streets...you could almost hear the falling leaves hitting he ground, or at least you thought you could.
We had chosen a Japanese style room at our hotel, Yamaichi Bekkan. While small, the rooms were comfortable in this tiny four room hotel. One of the amenities was of course, a tea pot. We'd bought some Momiji Manju, a manju in the shape of a maple leaf, which is the local specialty. As a whole, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, this was fine.....
After some tea and manju, we headed downstairs. We told the very nice owner that we'd be coming back later for breakfast which was included in our room package.
There was one reason I booked a night on Miyajima.
And no, it wasn't to frolic with our four legged friends.....
Rather, it was to visit what is now one of the Missus's favorite sights.......the "floating torii" of Itsukushima Shrine. I had planned being here even when it wasn't "floating". You see, at low tide, you can actually walk out to the gate.
Having seen it during high tide, this seemed quite impressive in its own right......
We'd seen a large group of kids arrive the night before. They were having a fun time. We recognized an older couple. I'd tried to give them my seat on the tram from Hiroshima Station the day before. They gave us a smile and a wave. Ah yes, the island was indeed getting smaller.....
We hadn't actually visited the shrine yet....I'd kinda saved it for the morning....less crowds so we could enjoy things a bit more.
I mentioned a bit about the history of the island and shrine in my earlier post.
This is one of those places that just doesn't take a bad photo.
It was fun watching the "classes" take photos...."say cheese!!!"
We exited on the otherside of the bay. Taking a seat, we could sit and absorb the whole scene.
And do our parody of the ultimate Asian "selfie peace-sign shot".
I sent this out to friends, and "TFD" mentioned that she had never seen the Missus look so happy....
It was time to head back. We decided to cross the "bay area"....after all, this place is covered by water a good part of the day, so couldn't get nice shots like these without getting into a boat during those times.
We walked back via Omotesando Street...basically the shopping arcade which was not ready for prime time at this hour.
Here's a bit of trivia....I was told that the "Shamoji" the rice paddle was "invented" on Miyajima. According to various stories a monk named Seishin had a dream the product of which became the traditional rice scoop. And, in case you're so inclined, you can find the world's largest rice scoop here on Miyajima.
Arriving back at Yamaichi Bekkan, it was time for breakfast. We had a choice of a "Western" or "Japanese" breakfast. You know which one we chose, right?
I'd had my share of what I call Japanese breakfasts. The basic is what I would call "tamago meshi"...which we had at home. Hot, fresh, rice, natto, green onions, with a raw egg cracked over the mess. What I had at Fukagawa reminded me of growing up...before the days when you'd want to "Leggo my Eggo".
Here it was a much more formal breakfast.
And totally wiped me out. Good thing it was still early. I was able to head up back to the room and take a 20 minute nap!
Soon enough we were on the ferry, leaving Miyajima.
I could tell by the Missus's body language that She really enjoyed Her time here.
And if I were a betting man, I'd say that we'd be returning someday........
Kirk and Cathy are busy elsewhere, so today a short post from the banks of the Colorado River. Although it may not seem like ice-cream weather in much of the US, Ed (from Yuma) and the Yuma Visitors' Bureau want you to know it is always summer here (OK, almost always).
At about the same time Arizona inaugurated a governor who made his reputation and fortune selling gimmicky ice cream franchises (yes, you heard me, Cold Stone Creamery), I thought it appropriate to focus on a local, family-owned, independent ice cream shop in Yuma:
Like Baskin-Robbins, Solano's offers you a lot of flavor choices, but unlike Baskin-Robbins, the friendly folks at Solano's are creative, inventive, and maybe a little weird. Every time you come in there will be at least 18 different flavors of ice cream arranged in tubs with labels explaining your choices:
Here's another photo of some tubs:
While I don't have a complete list (maybe one doesn't exist), we have encountered flavors like balsamic strawberry, sweetcorn raspberry, cinnamon toast, maple walnut, vanilla bean, fruit loops, Yuma Fire Dept (with red hots), malted milk balls, coconut, toasted coconut, pineapple, orange dream sicle, Oreos and cream, sweet cream, rocky road, chocolate, red velvet cake, butter pecan, pistachio, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry habanero, and everybody’s favorite maple bacon (okay maybe not vegetarians’ favorite).
You can buy cups of ice cream with three different flavors – and more than three scoops it seems. If memory serves, on our first trip, Tina chose Yuma fire department , maple bacon, and sweetcorn raspberry:
She liked them all.
More conventional, I picked maple bacon, cinnamon toast, and?:
Maple Bacon is an idea that should spread. Just perfect flavor. The cinnamon toast had the right flavors of cinnamon and toast, but lacked the crunch I was hoping for.
Of course, you can get single scoop waffle cones (maple walnut?):
Or single serving cups – here Solano’s sweet cream:
And if you're really hungry they have a range of Sundaes:
Here's a Sand Dune Sundae (I think):
And a Pecan Grove:.
It took me three evenings to eat this sucker; it was so rich and sweet and filling. And good!
Solano”s is truly a family operation:
I believe I've seen at least three generations working together to make the place of success. I don't have a current price list, but you like good ice-cream, you will find the prices fair and portions large. Some hot evenings in the summer, the service is a little slow, but it is friendly, so I have always enjoyed the weight – correction, the wait.
Solano's Homemade Ice Cream, 1452 South 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364, open noon to 10 PM every day except Wednesday