Friday, August 31, 2012

DiCicco's - Fresno, CA

1071 E. Shaw
Fresno, CA 93711

I did not know until recently that there are several DiCicco's not only within Fresno but in different cities like Madera...and that each one has different specialties. Well, this one that Blake and I went to was delicious! The bruschetta was sooo good. Very garlicy and flavorful. Our waiter said that he loves it too.

Here's some of the bread:

 Yummmy minestrone:

I had one of the menu items with vermicelli instead of whatever it was supposed to come with. All I know is that this came with basil, chicken, and mushrooms (three of my favorite things). Goood.

Blake's peppers, sausage, & pasta. Don't know the name of this either. My bad! We were just hungry and I forgot to make a note of the names. I couldn't even recognize it off a menu if I saw it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sno Shack - Clovis, CA

Sno Shack
Southwest corner of Clovis and Ashlan
Clovis, CA

Hmm... Good but nothing special and definitely not Lolo or Kogetsudo. You just cannot beat FINE FINELY shaved (shave) ice. If you've never had true Hawaiian-style shave ice, you are missing out. I'd say this shaved ice was between a hard nasty snow cone and Hawaiian shave ice. So...not horrible but not fantastic. I wouldn't complain about this place too much because some people love this type of ice, but I don't think I'd go back--especially since it's far from where I live. I'm glad I was able to try it though! Thanks to Andrea for mentioning it (her boyfriend loves it). I do love how it's in a tiny blue house.

Rock & Roll sample (kinda a Jolly Rancher, like Rex said)

The flavors are below. The ones I tried were okay. Passion Fruit, Cream Soda, Black Cherry, Piña Colada, & Rock & Roll. They weren't bad, and I'm glad there was a wide variety of flavors, but they put too much syrup in all of ours. We ended up with cups of sweeet syrup, which is not a good thing. I think my Black Cherry tasted more like regular cherry flavor, and I couldn't really taste the Piña Colada half of my shaved ice (not shave ice--this doesn't count).

They form it into a cone shape...but the problem with that is that it gets harder and... end up with a big hole in the middle. It'd be cool if they filled that with ice cream! haha

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Food Tour Round-Up: Chicago, Seattle, & San Diego

How could you not love a good food tour? All you do is follow the guide, listen to the historical and food-related information, and sample delicious food. Plus you get to walk some of it off, meet some cool people (hopefully), and see where you want to explore in the city (if you do this early in your trip). You don't get much time (if any) to shop at each stop, but usually the stops are close enough to each other that you can always return. I think the best part about going on a food tour is that you get to sample a variety of things from different places all within two hours or so.

I've gone on all of these tours with my parents and brother. Thank goodness they enjoy food and trying new things like me! I'd have to say that my favorite tour was the Chicago Food Planet Tour because the samples were the best in taste and size. All were great, and I'd recommend food tours to people who love food and trying new things. See below for a summary and links to each stop!

Chicago Food Planet Tour: 08/07/08

* Stop #1: Latke at Azkenaz Deli
* Stop #2: Orange black tea at Tea Gschwendner
* Stop #3: Spices at The Spice House
* Stop #4: Oils and balsamic vinegars at Old Town Oil
* Stop #5: Chocolate at The Fudge Pot
* Stop #6: Bread & cheese at Catering Chocolate
* Stop #7: Stuffed crust spinach pizza at Bacino's - My favorite food tour stop ever
* Stop #8: Truffles at Ethel's Chocolate Lounge

Taste Pike Place Food Tour with Seattle Food Tours: August 2010

* Stop #1: Salami & cheese at De Laurenti's
* Stop #2: Gelato at Bottega Italiana
* Stop #3: Crumpet at The Crumpet Shop
* Stop #4: Clam Chowder at Pike Place Chowder
* Stop #5: Salmon at Pike Place Fish
* Stop #6: Truffle Oil at La Buona Travola
* Stop #7: Fresh fruit from Martin Family Orchards
* Stop #8: Steelhead Diner

Old Town Bite San Diego food tour: August 2012

* Stop #1: D'O Thai Cottage
* Stop #2: Old Town Mexican Cafe
* Stop #3: Temecula Olive Oil
* Stop #4: San Diego House
* Stop #5: Rockin' Baja
* Stop #6: 25 Forty Bistro & Bakehouse
* Stop #7: The Wine Cabana

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Wine Cabana Bite San Diego Tour Stop #7 - San Diego, CA

Here's stop #7 on our Old Town Bite San Diego food tour
* Stop #1: D'O Thai Cottage,
* Stop #2: Old Town Mexican Cafe
* Stop #3: Temecula Olive Oil
* Stop #4: San Diego House
* Stop #5: Rockin' Baja
* Stop #6: 25 Forty Bistro & Bakehouse

The Wine Cabana
2539 Congress Street
San Diego, CA 92110

We concluded our tour here. It was a very relaxing way to end it because this outdoor area was very lounge-y and comfortable. It'd be so fun to return with friends sometime.

Sorry. Not the best picture. We passed this platter around, so there wasn't a great shot opportunity by the time it came around to where I was sitting.

My favorite was the parmesan cheese. It had an interesting texture that I don't remember feeling when eating other parmesan cheeses. I liked all three though. Wish I had noted the names.

Malbec. I finally found a red wine that I like!

25 Forty Bistro & Bakehouse: Bite San Diego Tour Stop #6 - San Diego, CA

Here's stop #6 on our Old Town Bite San Diego food tour
* Stop #1: D'O Thai Cottage,
* Stop #2: Old Town Mexican Cafe
* Stop #3: Temecula Olive Oil
* Stop #4: San Diego House
* Stop #5: Rockin' Baja

25 Forty Bistro & Bakehouse
2540 Congress Street
San Diego, CA 92110

I couldn't find the official names of these cupcakes on their online menu, but the red one was a red velvet and the second one was something like a maple pancake or just maple with a brown sugar filling. The frostings were different, although both appeared to have vanilla bean specks in them (love!). The red velvet one had a very smoooth cream cheese or sour cream frosting (unlike any frosting I've had...very silky and interesting), and the maple one had a vanilla bean frosting. As much as I love red velvet cupcakes, I actually preferred the maple cupcake with its filling, which is partly because it reminded me slightly of this Butterscotch Square from See's Candies. Both were good. I'd love to try their other sweets and their savory food as well! Their menu features some delicious-sounding items, including homemade fettuccini! They have outstanding happy hour and regular prices too.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two-Year Anniversary @ Ruth's Chris Steak House - Fresno, CA

Blake and I celebrated our two-year anniversary! It actually seems like it's been longer--in a good way. :) Where did we celebrate? At Ruth's Chris in Fresno! I've posted about their delicious fried calamari, petit filet, and Chocolate Explosion Cake before HERE. We had their calamari again because we love it so much, but I didn't take a picture because it's on the first Ruth's Chris post. We had excellent service. I think our favorite person there will always be someone named Karen though. :)

Ruth's Chris Steak House
7844 North Blackstone Avenue
Fresno, CA 93720
* There are several locations throughout the US, including in San Diego, CA and in Boston, MA.

So, so delicious. I didn't know that if you tell them you're celebrating an anniversary there are some special things waiting for you.

Here are the desserts first (We agreed on the surprise sampler): Key lime cheesecake, raspberry sorbet, and some kind of chocolate bark with nuts and a raspberry sauce. Yum!

I'd forgotten how WONDERFUL their bread is. Oh my gosh. Warm, fresh, crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Geez Louise. And that whipped butter makes the bread extra good.

Blake got the Cowboy and I got the petit filet. Our sides were the mashed potatoes (garlicy and smooth) and the broccoli au gratin. So good. Our steaks were sooo tasty and, as always, they come out sizzling and VERY hot. Like Blake said, you just don't get that sizzling, bubbling effect at every steak house.

Pretty! The table was set for four (if you're wondering why there are so many glasses).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rockin' Baja: Bite San Diego Tour Stop #5 - San Diego, CA

Rockin' Baja
3890 Twiggs St.
San Diego, CA 92110

Here's stop #5 on our Old Town Bite San Diego food tour (Stop #1 was at D'O Thai Cottage, stop #2 was at Old Town Mexican Cafe, stop #3 was at Temecula Olive Oil, and stop #4 was at San Diego House).

I'm only a shrimp fan when I can't feel the outer texture too much. I love the pop you get from biting it, but I don't like the wrinkles on the outside or the taste of cold cocktail shrimp, which actually makes me nauseous just looking at it or smelling it. Disgusting. Anyway, I was able to eat two of these because I covered them in the tequila lime sauce. This tasting was pretty good (butter and garlic dishes tend to be amazing), although the alcohol taste was pretty strong, so not EVERYONE would like it. It is Rockin' Baja's specialty (see menu below) though, so that's gotta mean a lot of people love it.

San Diego House: San Diego Bites Tour Stop #4 - San Diego, CA

San Diego House
2767 San Diego Ave.San Diego, CA 92110

Here's stop #4 on our Old Town Bite San Diego food tour (Stop #1 was at D'O Thai Cottage, stop #2 was at Old Town Mexican Cafe, and stop #3 was at Temecula Olive Oil.

I love these bottles!

One of the teas tasted like honey, and the other tasted like an unsweetened black tea. I didn't take a picture of one of them.

Coffee (I believe it was a special Kona blend. I wrote that in my notes.):

I actually did not like this chocolate, but everyone else seemed to.
 This spicy Maya hot chocolate was really good:

Speaking of spicy Maya chocolate, they had a bar there of that and another of potato chips and another of panko! By the way, "panko" is pronounced "pah-n-koh" - not "pain-koh."

Yummy red velvet shake

Monday, August 20, 2012

Temecula Olive Oil: Bite San Diego Tour Stop #3 - San Diego, CA

Here's stop #3 on our Old Town Bite San Diego food tour (Stop #1 was at D'O Thai Cottage and stop #2 was at Old Town Mexican Cafe!

Temecula Olive Oil
Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town
2754 Calhoun St
San Diego, CA 92110

Here are just a few of the oil & balsamic vinegar combinations we had. Some were sweet (e.g. pomegranate) and some were salty (e.g., garlic w/ herbs). They also had samples of olives.Yum!

Saw these everywhere in San Diego