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Showing posts from 2012

Ploy Siam, Robbinsville

My companion and I have visited Ploy Siam in Foxmoor Shopping Center a number of times. And we continue to go back because not only is it close to our home, but it is also really yummy.

The only complaint is that the service is often very slow. The staff is really super nice and accommodating and very apologetic about the slowness. After several visits with the same issue, we think it has to do with a couple issues. The kitchen seems to be the cause of the slowness, it seems to take awhile for things to come out. Also, they seem to be understaffed and rather than one waiter or waitress being assigned to each table, they just kind of serve all the tables.

When it comes to Thai cuisine, my companion and I love the spicy, flavorful soup, Tom Yum Koong. It is a spicy and sour broth with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and chili paste, with tomatoes, mushrooms and shrimp. The heat and citrus make it a nice clean taste with a kick. I'm convinced it will cure any cold, in fact after thi…

Morimoto, Philadelphia

For the anniversary of my birth, my dining companion had something special up his sleeve! Leaving the house, having no idea where we were headed, I was shocked and amazed when we ended up at Morimoto. It is unassuming from the outside and I had no idea what we were walking into as we approached the glass doors. The inside is sleek and modern from the front door all the way back to the sushi bar.

The tables are slim and the chairs, very modern and quite comfy actually. The light fixture in the middle of the table is a little phallic but still interesting. I would classify this design as minimalist and very sleek. The restaurant itself is very narrow and goes very far back, past the tables and to the very cool, open raw/sushi bar. The walls have a carved wave design in them that really lengthens the space.

We were seated and immediately greeted by waitstaff who presented us with menus and offered us a beverage. Just water while we decipher the menu please. I had known that Morimoto was …

Philadelphia Pub Crawl

Friends of ours, let's call them Captain and Tennille, are huge fans of a show all about adult beverages, Drinking Made Easy starring Zane Lamprey and Steve McKenna. In the show, the two go out on the town and discover what and where to drink in different cities. Prior to Drinking Made Easy, Lamprey had a different show called Three Sheets, which was similar except he was without McKenna and was mostly international. 

So, after watching many episodes and living vicariously through Lamprey, who states it is his job to drink,  we decided we needed to conquer a nearby city and do the same tour as the Drinking Made Easy team. Philly is close and so we figured it was doable.

We grabbed our pal Pleepleus and hit the streets of Philadelphia. We had a big agenda and set out with the goal of hitting as many as possible. Our game plan was to have one or two drinks only at each bar, drink water and eat something at at least every other place.

We started our journey at a place called McGilli…

Alps Bistro, Allentown, NJ

Good German food. Not something we often hear a lot about in the restaurant world. French, Italian, Asian and Latin seem to rule the roost. But every once in awhile you want the comfort of SpƤtzle. So, grab your favorite Riesling and head to Alps Bistro in quaint Allentown, NJ, right on Main St.

It really feels like you are walking into some one's living room when you walk in to Alps Bistro. The place is small and narrow, there are probably about 8 tables in the whole place. The decor is cute and very homey. The tables have nice cloth place mats and instead of plain cloth napkins there's are plaid. A couple Eastern European knick knacks and mostly country style art line the walls. The waitress dressed in German attire, is the owner/chef's wife. She is very sweet. My companion and I started with a pate platter as an appetizer. There were two types of pate, we weren't told what they were (we also did not ask) but they were both wonderful, we are guessing one was chicken …

Francisco's on the River, Washington Crossing

My companion and I had been wanting to try Francisco's for a long time, but once got turned away because we did not have a reservation. So, when our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Tabata agreed to join us for dinner, I quickly made a reservation there. That was no easy task either since they don't open until 5 pm, there is no lunch served at Francisco's. But I managed to get us in!

Now the question was, will it be worth it? Francisco's on the River, in not technically "on the river" the Delaware River is across the street, but let's be real, that's not "on the river". Their parking lot is all gravel and can be tricky to walk in the dark if you like to wear 4" heels like I do, if not you'll be fine. On the plus side, it is BYOB, so we waltzed in with 4 bottles of wine, we figured one each would work! Oh, I'm so funny, actually we only drank 3 of them and rumor has it Mrs. Tabata was not feeling so good the next day.

But you really want to…

How to get drunk in St. Michaels, MD (Part Two)

After our lunch at Ava's we stopped by a shop called Candleberry, had an amusing conversation with the shop owner and bought a couple of candles. Having had enough shopping we headed back to the Inn at Perry Cabin. The Inn is beautiful, really intimate space, friendly staff. We thought we might get rain that day, but since we did not, we thought we'd take the opportunity to sit by the pool and relax. We put on our suits and headed out to the pool area. It was a very inviting infinity pool with chaise lounges lining the patio and just our luck there was a bar!

We got comfortable in our lounge chairs, ready to soak up some rays and my companion was off to the bar to scope out drinks. I courageously left the decision in his hands. He came back with a frozen, mango mojito. It was a bright orange color and looked really refreshing and it was. Perfect for a hot day, ice cold, sweet, and minty! We sipped our drinks, took a dip in the pool, basked in the beautiful sun, oh it was wonde…

How to get drunk in St. Michaels, MD (Part One)

So, I've told you about some great places to eat in St. Michaels and the surrounding area and I've alluded to our other activities. But let me tell you about some great places to visit in St. Michaels.

Starting our day with breakfast at Sherwood Landing restaurant at our hotel, The Inn at Perry Cabin. The Inn was beautiful, our room, which had a loft was cozy and super cute. A short walk to the patio was the start of a wonderful day. My companion had coffee, but despite my love for coffee, I was really in the mood for tea and so I had a jasmine tea which was incredibly floral and light. There is nothing better than breakfast with a view of the water and as we watched boats come and go we enjoyed a breakfast that would take us through the day. I chose something called the BLT with farm fresh eggs. Bacon, roasted tomatoes and a fried egg on brioche toast. YUM. It was a great breakfast. My companion was feeling sweet and had the bananas foster waffle. What's not to like? A gi…

Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, MD

After our day of shopping, sitting poolside and drinking we decided for dinner to take a drive back to Easton, MD. We'd heard wonderful things about Bartlett Pear Inn and so we made a reservation before our trip. We arrived a few minutes early and our table was not ready, but we were encouraged to enjoy a drink at the bar. Now, we'd had a wine tasting, a beer tasting, drinks at the pool and a couple beers at nearby Bannings Tavern, but we were on vacation, so more drinks!

The bar at Bartlett Pear Inn was small and cozy, our bartender, Justin, was a true mixologist and we had a great time watching him make drinks and chat with the waitstaff as they came in and out of the bar. I had a lovely peach bellini and my companion had the classic sazerac which was made with rhubarb syrup that made fresh on site. Both were yummy and eventually we were seated at our table.

The Bartlett Pear Inn is quaint, like most things in Easton, situated in an actual Inn which was probably built someti…

Ava's Pizzeria and Wine Bar, St. Michaels, MD

After a busy morning of shopping, walking, tasting wine and beer we decided to stop for lunch along beautiful Talbot St in St. Michaels. We wandered into Ava's Pizzeria and Wine Bar and were seated at a nice high top table in the bar near a window looking out onto the street.

We'd just visited the lovely folks at St. Michaels Winery and Eastern Shore Brewing. We were definitely in the mood for some lunch and why not some more wine? My companion ordered a glass of Zinfandel and I decided to try their house made red sangria. We decided to split a salad and a pizza for our little lunch. We went with the market salad, which is their "salad of the day" on that day it was fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella with basil. It was super fresh, the tomatoes were so awesome and refreshing and I think you can never go wrong combining basil and mozzarella. For our pizza, we ordered the Margarita (more basil!) and got two topping, bacon and kalamata olives, yum! The sauce…

St. Michael's Crab and Steak, St. Michaels, MD

After a tough round at River Marsh, we were sweaty and tired and in need of nourishment. After checking in at the adorable Inn at Perry Cabin, we showered, changed and ventured out to St. Michaels Crab and Steak. We sat outside, right near the water at an old style wooden picnic table.

We started off with a local beer, St. Michael's Ale which is made by Eastern Shore Brewing, we visited them the next day too. The beer was great, light, refreshing, a nice way to start our meal. We continued with a dozen oysters, horseradish, cocktail sauce, yum. They were so fresh. I'm still new to oysters and after a few the sliminess can get to me, but my companion had no problem putting away the rest of them!

For entrees I got the broiled scallops and my companion got soft shell crab, he was quite surprised when he was given the choice of fried or sauteed, usually they are just fried. The waitress said she liked them better sauteed so he gave it a try. We also got the choice of two sides wit…

Out of the Fire- Easton, MD

After a quick and easy drive from our home in Central Jersey to the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland, my companion and I needed some lunch before hitting the links at River Marsh.

We drove into quaint Easton, the streets lined with shops and pubs that all were so cute. We had a lovely lunch at Out of the Fire, a cute bistro with a huge brick oven. Despite the wonderful smell coming from the oven we did not get any of their pizzas, we just were not in the mood for that. But we did have a delicious lunch.

Out of the Fire has a nice decor and attentive staff. Our waiter was quiet and very professional. I had the Out of the Fire Cobb Salad which was served over a bed of greens and had chicken confit, bacon, granny smith apples and Gorgonzola. It was incredible. The chicken was tender and juicy, had a little smoke to it. The apples added a little crisp tartness and was refreshing in contrast to the smokey bacon. The cheese gave it just a little tang. They served it with a balsamic vinai…

Red's Lobster Pot, Point Pleasant Beach

When looking for a great place to eat fresh seafood, outdoors, "down the shore", I kept coming across reviews for Red's Lobster Pot in Point Pleasant Beach. Between all my usual "research" sites I found there were mixed reviews, but I know from experience, there is only one way to know the truth and that is to check it out for myself.

So, on a Friday night, I gathered up my dining companion and traveled to Point Pleasant. We winded down Inlet Drive, along the dock where all the fishing boats come in and out of and across from the Coast Guard Station is little Red's Lobster Pot. It is pretty small and has a small lot, but there is plenty of parking nearby (that you have to pay for at the pay stations). Usually there is someone outside to help direct the parking in their tiny lot, but he just happened to not be there when we drove by, so we parked in a nearby public lot.

Red's is pretty much a shack. You walk onto the patio and can go up the stairs and in…

Accidental Paleo Ice Cream Cake

Sometimes good things come out of mistakes. I wouldn't say what happened was really a "mistake" but it just didn't work the way I thought it might. So, first it started with trying to make ice cream. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and I also have the ice cream attachment, which is just a bowl that goes in the freezer and then you "churn" the ice cream batter with a special mixing paddle in the frozen bowl. 
I had found a new recipe recently that claimed if I added a mixture of coconut milk, honey and cocoa  powder to my ice cream maker it would come out like soft serve. Usually recipes require you to make some sort of custard base first and then after the churning you usually freeze it for a little while to make hard ice cream. I was a little skeptical, but I tried it. My fears were confirmed, after several minutes of churning the mix was not changing consistency. I decided to remove the paddle and cover the bowl and place it in my freezer. The next night I to…

Via Napoli, Philadelphia, PA

In this special edition of House of Skip, we have a lovely dinner before a night of gambling and laughs at Parx Casino. This post is also special because it features a special guest, la mamacita numero uno, Skip's mom.

For those of you that know Skip personally, you know that my mom is my partner in crime. Shopping, eating, drinking, gambling, we know how to have fun. So, my dining companion has to make sure every event revolves around fine dining. When my mother requested a trip to Parx, he said, "oh, let me pick a nice place for dinner before we gamble". Skip and her mom say, "ok!".

We arrive a Via Napoli, which is tucked away in a random strip mall of Roosevelt Blvd (referred to simply as the Blvd for locals). Seriously, there was a sneaker store, a bank and a gym in this strip mall, so we were a little suspicious. But when you step through the doors at Via Napoli, you are transported away from the streets of Philadelphia. The quaint, larger than it looks re…

EAT MORE KALE

A while ago, I learned of a guy making t-shirts and stickers with the phrase Eat More Kale on them and I was like "wow, I love kale, I need those!". And upon going through the process of finding Robert Muller Moore's website www.eatmorekale.com I found out more about him and learned some shocking stuff that he is going through.

If you live in an area where the fast food chain, Chik-Fil-A exists you may be familiar with their slogan and signs (including a cow) that read, "Eat Mor Chikin". So, they have been fighting to keep Robert from using the phrase Eat More Kale as they believe it is too similar to their slogan.

I support the Eat More Kale website, I'm a fan on facebook and I try to follow the story as best I can. Recently, I saw another blogger share a post about this struggle, including the Letter of Protest (see end of this post for reference) that Chik-Fil-A submitted, as I began to read it, I became very annoyed. Chik-Fil-A claims that because they …

Breakfast in Chicago

There are just as many choices for breakfast/brunch in Chicago as there are lunch and dinner spots. Our search led us to two to great places.

The first was, Over Easy, on a block where there isn't much other than houses and a laundry mat, the only way we found Over Easy was because of the large crowd waiting outside.

Always a good sign that the food is on point, we didn't mind the 30 minute wait, especially since they had free coffee out front for those waiting. The decor in Over Easy was adorable, one wall was covered completely in white, plastic eggs.

The menu was just as interesting. Of course we had more coffee once we were seated and then had the difficult task of choosing from their creative breakfast/brunch menu.

They have your standard eggs any way, omelets, scrambles, pancakes, french toast. But they also have some interesting twists like blueberry crunch pancakes that have granola in them. They also have a special menu that changes weekly. My companion and I both hap…

Purple Pig, Chicago

Wow. In planning our trip to Chicago, I came across the Purple Pig and new immediately by their slogan,  "Cheese,Swine, and Wine" that we had to go. I had great expectations upon going there and was not disappointed. When my companion and I arrived at the Purple Pig we were amazed from start to finish. The place is pretty big and has giant wooden communal tables (for some reason this is big in Chicago, I think a couple of Paul Kahan's places are like that too). We opted to sit at the large bar so we could have our own space. Our waitress/bartender was awesome, totally friendly, fun and guided us through the process so we could have the best experience! Purple Pig's menu focuses on small plates so you can pick and choose and share all the good stuff they have.

A bonus was we could partially see the kitchen area and that was totally fun to watch. We had had pre-dinner drinks at LuxBar (highly recommend) and so we dove right into wine. I believe at the recommendation o…

Frontera Grill, Chicago

What does it mean when one guy has 5 eateries in Chicago, with 3 all on one city block? That he's probably pretty good and in demand. This is certainly true of Rick Bayless and his Chicago establishments.

On a Saturday night at 5 pm there was already an hour and 45 minute wait for a table at Frontera Grill, the casual Mexican bar and restaurant that is right next door to the more upscale and spendy, Topolobampo and on the other side XOCO, a small torta shop. Considering we were on vacation and there was room to wait at the bar we put our name in.

We absconded a small high top table in the bar and ordered drinks and an appetizer. I started with the tamarind margarita which was very yummy, but too sweet to have more than one of, so after that I switched to the same thing my companion was drinking which was the Topolo margarita, the most popular drink at both Frontera and Topolobampo. For our appetizer we had the amazing and really delicious Oyster and Ceviche platter. I am not a hug…

Lou Malanti's

Pizza. It can be a big debate. What is pizza? Who has the best? Is it Philly, New York, Chicago, Trenton style tomato pie?

If you are not new to House of Skip you know that my companion and I are connoisseurs of tomato pie and are die hard DeLorenzo's fans. We've tried other local pizza places and agree we like tomato pie better than "pizza" and while we think other joints do a good job, DeLorenzo's will always be #1 to us.

So, while in Chicago we felt it was our duty to try deep dish. We can't claim tomato pie is king without trying the competition.

The verdict? Well, let's talk about it.

There are various places in Chicago to get "deep dish" there are probably as many local arguments there as there are on the East Coast about who is better or who is the originator. Well, according to most Pizzeria Uno (now known as the chain bar/restaurant Uno) was the original deep dish pizza place in Chicago but another just as famous and possibly disputed a…

Places to check out in Chicago (according to Skip)

Looking for something sweet? Apparently Chicagoans like Starbucks even more than us East Coasters, there was one like every other block in Chicago, most likely next to a Walgreens. This was great for my coffee addiction, however if you are looking for a sweet treat, try something different than the 1 million calorie frapp or pound cake at the 'bucks and head to More.

More Cupcakes. Another spectacular place that my companion and I saw on a food show. This cute cupcake boutique displays their delish treats in a glass case like they are jewelry. Each cupcake is beckoning you with it's fluffy icing and a trinket on top to tell you what is inside, like the Bacon cupcake that has a little piece of crystallized, sugared bacon on top? Lovely. I did not chose the bacon cupcake, despite my love of pork, as I had just had bacon pancakes (that's another story for you to look forward to). I instead went with the salted caramel, an amazing vanilla bourbon cake with molten caramel on t…

Kuma's Corner, Chicago, IL

Lot's of people claim to have found unique places, but there is no place more unique than Kuma's. And if you don't agree, I'll punch you in the face. Oh, sorry, I got a little swept up in the moment there.

Kuma's Corner is a bar/burger joint in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood that has a focus on heavy metal. Yes, you heard me right, heavy metal. But don't let the tattooed staff, loud music and threatening signs (like the die emo die sign taped to the thermostat) scare you from having one of the best burgers of you life.

Kuma's isn't great just because it is a bar that plays heavy metal and serves burgers. It is great because they serve ridiculously good burgers with insane toppings and then name them after heavy metal bands.

In addition to the burgers, they also have some great craft beers on tap. My companion had an IPA, sorry I do not recall where it was from. I had something called Zombie Dust from Three Floyds which is a brewery in neighboring I…

Mustache Bill's Diner, Barnegat Light

No mustache required at this cash only, tiny diner on Barnegat Light. Mustache Bill's has been featured TV shows, such as Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and is also a James Beard winning restaurant. I know you are thinking the same thing I was, a diner won a James Beard? Shocking, but outstanding food comes in all styles and forms.

Now, I did not set out to Bill's because of all these things, I didn't even know all that before going there. My dining companion plotted out a day trip for us, doing what we love to do, drink wine! And this is where he planned for us to have breakfast to start our journey, so I got in the car and went. My companion is lucky I like him so much, what a long drive for breakfast (and without any coffee, grr!).

Bill's looks like a normal diner, booths, tables, counter. The place is fairly small, well at least the main dining room is, you can also be seated on the porch. We were greeted kindly by our waiter who then brought us coffee…