Yardbird Southern Table and Bar (pic via website)
Mason jar light decor at Yardbird
It’s a given that when I’m visiting my friend Shahla in Miami, she’s going to introduce me another restaurant that I’m going to crave as soon as I leave. I was FAMISHED when I touched down in Florida a couple days ago and when she was throwing out options, I was decidedly in the mood for some Southern comfort food. Actually, I’m always decidedly in a Southern comfort food mood, but I eat other cuisines for variety sake. Anyway, so went my meeting with Yardbird Southern Table and Bar.
What you can expect: dishes made from scratch, decadent, and rich flavors with fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Co-owner Jeff McInnis (of Top Chef finals fame) teamed up with two local restaurateurs, Chris Romero and John Kunkel to achieve just that. Complete with long communal tables or cozy booths, it turned out to be a pick for my first night in Miami with Shals and our friend Shireen. The hardest part was deciding WHAT to order when you have options like big ol’ cheddar waffles, pan seared fish, and of course, fried chicken. We decided it would be hard to go wrong with their Butter Bean Risotto (with grilled hen of the woods mushrooms and winter park tomme cheese), Shrimp n’Grits (Florida shrimp, Adluh South Caroline stone ground grits, minus the ham), and Chicken under a Brick (Carolina poulet rouge, fresh rosemary, local lemon, brussels sprouts, fresh tomatoes and okra):
Shrimp on Grits (photo via website)
Chicken under a brick
Chicken under a brick
This past trip to LA was the most I’ve spent in the area in one visit, and fortunately it was filled with some good eats. On my second night there, I visited Bottega Louie in downtown with my friends Sarah and Yasir on the suggestion of our local friends Danish and Sarah (did you keep that all straight? And PS, Yasir is just a simple guy whose belongings Jared Leto likes to blog about…nbd). If the pastry display itself doesn’t reel you in, their macarons will. I’m not generally one for macarons, but if you do dive in, make sure you get one of the espresso ones! The flavors are intense and a little more dense than other ones I’ve tried.
Clearly, we started our meal backwards (you try waiting right in front of all that sugar-ey temptations without ordering at least ONE). When the rest of our party came, we were seated in the massive dining area pretty fast. The room has space for about 800, to give you an idea…you would think it’d be no problem getting a seat fast, but considering their ‘no reservations’ policy, it’s not uncommon to be waiting on a busy night.
Hurricane, winter storms, and the generally miserable weather on the east coast warrants a visit to California. And MAYBE my friends Yasir and Sarah moving out here had something to do with it. But 70s (aka perfect) and sun made it a little bit of a selfish vacation to get away from the madness in the city. I don’t think I realized how many people are out here but my days already have been full of good company, including having brunch yesterday at Frida at the Americana mall with the lovely Nadia of Sweet Pillar & Co..
We split a burrito vegetariano (sautéed asparagus and zucchini with white rice, black beans, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole, wrapped in a flour tortilla) and burrito mazatlán (sautéed shrimp in a chile-pasilla orange sauce, onions, lettuce, and guacamole wrapped in a flour tortilla. Served with rice and beans). Without meat, you would think it would fall short but both burritos were fresh, tasty, and in the case of the mazatlan, spiced perfectly. We finished off with green tea and a very strong, but well-timed, latte.
Plus with plenty of outdoor seating, we felt like we weren’t missing the extremely beautiful day I was hoping for…even after sitting there comfortably for four hours. Time flies with good food and good company!
This is pretty sad, but I only recently learned Nordstrom even had a cafe (thanks to Safia…she’s a reservoir of random facts I always benefit from). When I went back to Chicago recently to visit my family, I truthfully only ate out twice. The first day I touched down, I went shopping with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew at Woodfield Mall and we took a short break at Nordstrom’s Cafe Bistro. The food was so fresh and delicious…which in turn, makes it worth blogging about. Behold:
Nicoise salad with salmon
Grilled chicken with candied pecans, strawberries and feta
And seriously, those candied pecans were un-REAL. All shopping breaks should be so delicious.
Nordstrom Cafe Bistro
5 Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg, IL 60173
By Munia Islam
It was Valentine’s Day, and while every girl is showing off her flowers, teddy bears, and chocolates on every social media outlet—which I would attend to later—I’m more focused on the best part of the day—the food! [Editor's note: Flowers, teddy bears, chocolate?! I spent V-Day on the couch with my roomies. -Shy]
My loveable boyfriend had booked weeks in advance for this popular modern-twist-on-American-food restaurant: Meme. I knew he was busy eyeing the mussels on the regular menu, but as a guest on Valentine’s Day, we were in for a “special” menu surprise.
Ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you I love my Honey Bunches of Oats (I’m partial to the ones with almonds!). So when I was invited to Marina Maher’s offices for a honey-bunched-out viewing party to watch the People’s Choice awards, I was so there.
Honey Bunches of Votes viewing party!
Honey Bunches was actually one of the sponsors for the People’s Choice Awards, so it was only right to watch the show this way . Here they are on the red carpet…literally:
Anyway, back to the viewing party. Granted, I was technically in the middle of my three-week cleanse which forbade me from eating any processed foods and/or carbs. I will say this was the ONE time I made an exception. I tried to keep it minimal, but oh, it was so worth the tastes!
Chocolate covererd strawberries with HBO flakes
Fruit and yogurt