Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Barely Controled Chaos

Daughter of Food has held back an important piece of information about her private life which now must be revealed. Daughter of Food has two very small children, twin babies. This adds to the difficulty of eating out, as it means that either she pays $60-$100 for the night of babysitting or she brings the babies with her. Daughter of food is ever the brave adventurer, and is willing to attempt even the most difficult on the baby scale for eating out. Here is a description of Daughter of Food, Husband of Food, Friends of Food and Babies of Food pushing the envelope in the search for a new food experience.

So, the other day, Friend of Food and I, Daughter of Food, decided that it would be loads of fun to try The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant in Pasadena, California. She has a two year old; I have two babies, what could go wrong? We made reservations, four adults and three high chair sitting children for dinner around six o’clock. Now the restaurant was great sitting us in a small room with only two large tables and no other guests to start the meal. As we had never been there before, we hadn't thought of all of the dangers. Hot steamy fondue pots boiling away at the center of the table to burn our hands on, granite table tops to bonk our heads on, numerous knobs and switches at the table's end to turn and play with. This was going to be an adventure. We juggled babies, handled fire, and spun plates like we were on the Ed Sullivan show. Four delicious courses, three fondues, two diaper blowouts, and one incredibly kind waiter later, we were done with dinner. Only the toddler suffered a minor bump on his head while jumping up and down on the booth seat, but it was somewhat expected that we would not come away completely unscathed. The twins loved their chance to sit in real high chairs for the first time and the parents were glad for the chance to eat with others who didn't mind the insanity of young children.

Now for the food... The traditional Gruyere cheese fondue was good, the cheddar was not great, but passable, the "Big Night Out" with the fillet was very good, and the two chocolate fondues (dark and peanut butter) were excellent. We had the meal for three people which was more than enough food for four. With drinks, the meal ran about $50 per person. Again, the service was excellent. Get a babysitter for this one, or take the kids if they are older... They'll love it.

The Melting Pot
88 W. Colorado Blvd., 2nd Floor 91105
Phone: (626) 792-1941

Thursday, August 23, 2007

small plates --- big taste

Do you ever have this dilemma? The menu has so many interesting and appealing dishes you can't make up your mind. You wish you could order several just to taste. Well then a tapas bar or restaurant is the answer to your prayers. Tapas are appetizers, canapes, snacks usually finger food served on small plates. History says this custom was started in Spanish taverns centuries ago and is still going on. Today all over the USA tapas dining is becoming the rage.

My favorite here in Las Vegas is FIREFLY. The restaurant is open for lunch and continues on till the wee small hours of the night. The crowd is mainly groups of singles under the age of thirty five. The tempo really starts to pick up about four in the afternoon as people get off of work. It gets very busy at dinner and lines start to form. There is music in the evenings (Salsa dancing) is Tuesday night and the energy level is very high. There are different rooms including one with very comfortable leather couches and chairs,a bar and also outside patio seating. So why does an alta cocker (senior citizen) like me and my lovely and much younger mother of food come to FIREFLY? The answer is simple... we love it!

The wait staff is excellent; friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. However the real star of the show is the food. These miniature entrees will excite your tastebuds and you will experience each layer or component of every dish. There are over fifty dishes to pick from. You will find chilled, hot, seafood, and meat & poultry tapas. There are great desserts and large or big bowl entrees also.Enjoy dinner with a pitcher of sangria or fine Spanish wine. Let me describe some of my favorite tapas.

Gazpacho (with avocado garnish).
Stuffed dates (bacon-wrapped, smoked almond, red wine reduction, blue cheese).
Firefly fries (parmesan, herbs, aioli).
Spicv beef salad (seared beef, warm dressing, romaine, tomato, cucumber, ginger) think thai
Mushroom tart (puff pastry, borsin cheese).
Firefly fish sticks (fillets of grouper, Japanese breadcrumbs, spicy tartar sauce).
Ahi tuna skewer (mango, basil, mustard-ginger glaze).
Filet mignon sliders ( mini burgers with Serrano ham. cabrales cheese, caramelized onions).
Crispy duck rolls (cherry hoisin sauce).
Empanadas (pastry stuffed w/roast pork, red pepper, w/salad, aioli).
Chocolate cherry bread pudding.

This is only a sampling of the many exciting tapas you will find at FIREFLY. They also offer herb-roasted chicken, paella and steak frites. I would recommend this restaurant for a first date, lots to talk about and nothing more intimate than sharing good food from the same plate.

FIREFLY is located in a small strip on Paradise road that has many other fine restaurants, so parking can be tight. If coming from the strip take a cab - no problem after dinner many cabs waiting. Next door is their sister restaurant Dragonfly " an asian joint". Maybe someday they will open a soul-food restaurant and call it Superfly.

FIREFLY - tapas kitchen and bar
3000 Paradise Rd. Suite A
Las vegas, NV 89109

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Logo

Hi Family of Food fans,

You may have noticed some changes on the page lately. We have added new links, RSS buttons, and logos. Above is a Family of Food Button that you can use if you want to link to our page from yours. Please take it and use it in good health, as Grandma of Food would say.

And if you have any comments or suggestions of how to make the site better, we'd love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Breakfast Anyone?

Last week I finally caught one of my favorite breakfast and lunch spots while they were actually open. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten over to Eat and Park in Burbank before two in the afternoon, which is when they close, but I finally managed it. This place has a new modern awning on the outside, but on the inside it’s an old fashioned greasy spoon diner… and that’s the way I like it. I took a couple of friends who said it reminded them of diners in upstate New York. Huge omelets and an unusual potato pancake are two of the reasons I keep coming back to this place. The other reason is the friendly service from a family oriented staff. This is not the place you want to try when you’re on a diet, but when you are hungry, this place will stuff you and the guy next to you for under ten bucks. For all of those readers who log on early on Sunday, they’re open from 6 til 2, go now!

Eat & Park
2517 W Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 953-9302

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


There are many good Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas but LINDO MICHOACAN is my favorite. This family owned (Javier Barajas) colorfully decorated eatery always makes me happy when I dine there. Of course starting with complimentary bean dip and chips and one of their tasty margaritas helps. Pick from a nice selection of botanas (appetizers), all dinners come with soup. The menu is extensive with numerous seafood, steak and chicken dishes. Michoacan is a state in central Mexico and is especially known for its carnitas (a pork specialty). Many of the dishes are family recipes. Corn and flour tortillas are continuously made fresh daily and for a treat have guacamole made table side. For dessert try the Lindo's Flameado... fresh bananas, vanilla ice cream and served on fire. Topped with homemade caramel. LINDO MICHOACAN is open for lunch and dinner and has a Sunday brunch. The restaurant is family friendly, has very good service and does catering. At night there is music.

LINDO MICHOACAN is located at:
2655 East Desert Inn Rd.
Las vegas, Nv. 89121

A Solid Pick

I know you've been waiting, so I'll hold back no more. Before heading off to a lovely anniversary weekend in San Diego, Daughter of Food and Husband went to LA Prime at the Westin Bonaventure in Downtown Los Angeles. LA Prime is a classic steakhouse restaurant with solidly good food and an extraordinary view of downtown from the top of the Bonaventure Hotel.

We were greeted with top notch service by Alex and his partner in our cozy, somewhat private booth. He first brought us an "appeteezer" of fresh crab on cucumber/tomato salad, which was very good. We had a variety of breads, including sweet flavored bread with raisins which seemed out of place and some good seasoned and melted cheese drizzled crackers before the appetizers. Appetizers were delicious lobster bisque and an incredible gruyere and onion tart. By this time we were a bit full, but we soldiered on to a Surf and Turf and Seared Ahi for our main dishes. The Surf and Turf was my husband's, and I know he did not get it served quite at the doneness he asked for, so I will leave it to him to elaborate if he so desires in the comments section. My ahi was fantastic. It was crusted with a thick layer of spices leading to the sensation of eating a perfectly seared steak. I was saddened by the fact that I was so stuffed I could not eat the whole thing (seared ahi doesn't keep well for leftovers).

Afterwards we went down to the rotating bar (just below the restaurant) for a drink and watched the city rotate around us. We were the center of the world for that moment... the two of us.

For the price class, the food at LA Prime is not unusual or extraordinary, but it is a predictably great meal with excellent service, and a view that lifts you out of your everyday life.

404 South Figueroa Street,
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 624-1000

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Perfect Place for an Anniversary

Today is my (Daughter of Food's) wedding anniversary and I am going to ask you for a present. Husband of Food is taking me somewhere special tonight. Where, you ask? I will save the blogging for after the fact, to keep the papparazzi away. So for a gift, please tell me, and all the Family of Food readers, what your favorite restaurants are for a special occasion.

It's easy to leave a comment, just click on the word "comments" beneath this post. You don't even have to leave your name or be registered. Just let us know what the best places to eat, anywhere in the world, for special occasion.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wait, you've got your Italian in my Thai!

This past weekend my husband and I wanted to grab some lunch out. Husband of Food loves Thai. Daughter of Food loves Italian. How could we possibly choose a lunch spot based on our favorite foods? It looked like the perfect time to try Thaitalian “Cooking Duet”.

We had never been to this restaurant before so we sought to maximize our fusion experience by ordering things that were a true combination of Thai and Italian cuisine. For an appetizer we had the Mozzarella Rolls. These were a spring roll wrap filled with Mozzarella cheese and dip of a spicy tomato sauce. Other than being incredibly hot (the mozzarella could be described as molten) coming out of the kitchen, they were quite tasty. We were also given an olive tapenade on toast as a starter. For our entrées we had the Pad Thai Pizza and the Thai Pesto Spaghetti. The Pizza had broccoli, green onions and pad Thai sauce, but the mozzarella cheese on the pizza was not melted enough. I still liked it quite a bit, it just could have been better. The spaghetti was really flavorful blending a pesto sauce with a bit of Thai chili and garlic. The bell peppers really hit the right note for me. The heat of the spice kept me from eating the whole plate, but someone with a heartier palette would have surely eaten it all. We had enough left over to make a nice meal for lunch the next day. Fusion restaurants are often a gimmick that while interesting, do not end up a go-to spot for regular meals. Thaitalian was pleasant enough that it just may make it into Family of Food’s rotation.

49 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 585-8808

Mom's Nght Out


Title.... "Two old people eating"

After watching " Food Glorious Food"

Father of Food took Mother of Food out for some gruel.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Food Glorious Food

Family of Food Glorious Food.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My nose won’t grow, but my belly will…

…If I keep going to Pinocchio’s in Burbank. Pinocchio’s is a pick-up-your-own-food cafeteria style restaurant and Italian Market (The Market side is called the Monte Carlo Deli). They have traditional Italian American dishes like pastas, sandwiches, and pizza. I almost always get the pasta, ravioli, or lasagna. The pasta prices are reasonable especially since the portions are large and include garlic bread. The deli-market side is recently expanded and there is a gelato bar which tempts me, but really I’ve never gotten to try it, because I am always so full from the food. The seating is plentiful in its three rooms and patio area and is comfortable for bringing in children and strollers. If you live in the area, I highly recommend it for picking up food and buying those Italian basics needed to make your grandma’s best friend’s cannoli recipe.

Monte Carlo Deli and Pinocchio’s
3103 W Magnolia BlvdBurbank, CA
Phone: (818) 845-3516

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