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Recipes, restaurants, and cooking
  • While many people are out and about again, others of us such as myself are still focused on staying at home as much as possible. It's tough though since frankly, I'm getting tired of the things I know how to make and sometimes you want a restaurant-quality experience that is just easy. Delivery often fails in this regard since that crispy, fresh from the oven experience just doesn't work after sitting in a delivery bag for 20-30 minutes. That's why I love these treats that Porto's Baker from Los Angeles sent us to try out as part of their Porto's Bake At Home experience.

  • San Manuel has long been a leader at delivering a premium gaming experience to Southern California, including their Asian-inspired gaming room - Lotus 8 Palace where you could find slots and table games not found in many other casinos in the area. Lotus 8 even had a noodle menu, and Asian beer as well as sake. What San Manuel was missing though is a really good Asian restaurant and that's why they created Hong Bao Kitchen!

  • For a tiny island, Key West has a lot of stories - some are tales of greatness... others are tales of what might have been. In the case of Pan Am, it is a little bit of both. First In Flight Restaurant & Brewery celebrates this early aviation heritage on the site where Pan Am was born with craft beer and food.

  • Key West has no shortage of great places to get some awesome food and so when our host (The Florida Keys) sent us to the next island over, I wasn't sure why. As it turned out, this was no mistake - Matt's Stock Island Kitchen & Bar located in the Perry Hotel is an absolutely fabulous restaurant and while we just came here for dinner, the property is a great destination for guys planning a fishing trip since the marina is right there. Plus they are building out a distillery and a music venue complete with pool and bar service. What more could you possibly ask for?

  • Just a few hundred feet from my loft in San Diego is Lionfish - Modern Coastal Cuisine - set inside the Pendry Hotel. I've walked by a few times but for some reason never had a chance to enter and check it out. Last week their PR team reached out to me to promote the fact that they have been recognized as a 2019 James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader, and would I be interested in stopping over for dinner sometime. Not one to pass up a chance to enjoy some food and drinks I graciously accepted their invitation. Now, I'm just wondering why I haven't visited before now...

  • Typically, visiting a steakhouse like Ruth’s Chris is something reserved for special occasions like celebrating a new client or a birthday - but why not plan a “because I love you!” date night for someone you love? That’s what I did with Heather a couple of weeks ago before leaving on another week-long trip.

  • In the world of steak, sometimes bigger is better and other times it is all about being ridiculous and over-the-top. This $100 steak at Greystone Steakhouse in San Diego's Gaslamp firmly belongs in that second category. The 3oz Japanese Wagyu steak comes topped with 24 karat gold flakes, hand shaved black truffle and is served on a slab of fine marble. 

  • Good wine needs good food and so when we were invited to dine at Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery, I immediately said yes.

  • Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse is located in Rancho Mirage, CA about the middle of the "Greater Palm Springs" area and that makes it a great spot to meet up after a day of golf, off-roading, or in our case driving at the BMW Performance Center. With a combination of Latin Fusion, a variety of BBQ styles, and craft beer it's got something for everyone.

  • Father's Day is coming up and I think I speak for most men and we'd love a great big hunk of meat for dinner. There's a wide spectrum of options out there today from high-end steakhouses to grabbing a steak at the diner down the street but the middle space seems filled with marginal options. Sure, these chain restaurants are good but inevitably they miss the mark when it comes to quality, preparation, and atmosphere. That's why I was truly surprised after my visit to Black Angus Steakhouse here in San Diego earlier this week. Despite being part of a chain that's operated in the western United States for more than 50 years it felt like an independent location with good quality food and a fun atmosphere that while kitschy - felt genuine.

  • Texas is known for being big and over the top, so I don't know why I was surprised to see a real live Texas Long Horn bull out front of The Ranch at Las Colinas when we arived. Not only was this cool to see, but it was there as a photo op for kids (of all ages!) to sit on as they took your photo. The bit of morbidity that you are quite literally playing with your food before dinner aside, this set the tone for one of the best steak dinners that I've had in a long while.

  • Rodizio style Brazilian Steakhouse is my absolute favorite style of dining. It combines everything I love in a culinary experience - endless meat, a variety of flavors, and that sense of being special. Over the past few decades the Churrascaria concept has spread rapidly in the United States and Texas de Brazil is one of the biggest operators to offer this experience. Now they've added Carlsbad, San Diego to their list of more than 50 locations world wide. They invited us to stop by and try their interpretation on the concept and we loved it!

  • One of the greatest things about food in the United States is that the best elements of the cuisine from around the world can mash together here. That's what I found here at Shrimp Heads in San Diego when I visited a few weeks ago. On the surface it looks like a fairly typical Southern California "shrimp tray" seafood shop but when you scratch beneath the surface you discover that it's an awesome blend of Asian and Cajun united by a love of good cooking.

  • The San Pedro Fish Market is one of the most famous restaurants in Los Angeles and dates back to 1956 when it opened it's doors as Vista Seafood. It's known worldwide as a fun place serving up huge portions of fresh seafood that people know is worth facing crowds of hungry people just to get a bite of. Now they are expanding into a new concept, delivering the food and fun of the classic Shrimp Tray and other items but now in a fast casual restaurant environment. While still family owned, the San Pedro Fish Market Grille has expanded to multiple locations including Rolling Hills Estates, Wilmington, and Harbor City - where they invited us to join them for a taste.

  • Theatre Box just opened up in downtown San Diego and frankly you'd have to be living under a rock to not know about it. Between celebrities posting ridiculous dessert pictures on Instagram and other buzz it honestly wasn't my sort of place I thought. After all, usually these places just have "instagram food" that looks pretty but doesn't really taste that great. However, when I was invited to check it out I accepted since I was curious. Honestly I wasn't expecting much. I figured that at very least though that it would be a good opportunity to finally see Aquaman and grab some dinner. My bias against celebrity endorsement almost caused me to miss out on one of the coolest new concepts in San Diego. 

  • I love a classic steakhouse. You know, the ones with dark leather booths, heavy shadows, and classic bourbon cocktails. STK San Diego is is not that kind of place! From the moment you walk in, it is very clear that this is not your dad's steakhouse. Instead, it's hip, light, and lively. There is even a DJ on some nights furthering the lounge atmosphere and the cocktails match this chic and trendy environment. Don't be fooled though - while it feels like a cocktail bar, the menu still offers huge steaks and classic sides. There's a sense of youth and urban energy here compared to the uber masculinity of a traditional steakhouse but it hasn't lost touch with why you ultimately chose to spend hundreds of dollars on an amazing meal. This vibe perfectly matches Andaz San Diego hotel where it is located and it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. 

  • Attending a luau has been a must-do activity for visitors to Hawaii for generations. The word luau simply means "party" or "feast" but over the years the tradition has evolved into one of the most iconic tourist activities in Hawaii. The folks at Mauna Kea resort invited us to be their guest for the Mauna Kea Luau and we were impressed with both the quality (and quantity!) of food as well as the performance itself. Here's what to expect when you attend their luau...

  • Sometimes, as good as a restaurant might be - you need to visit for just one reason. At Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, a regional restaurant chain with locations throughout Southern California, that reason is appropriately called "The Ultimate". Read on to find out why it is the ultimate BBQ sandwich!

  • Genoa, Nevada is a perfect town to visit for any guys looking for a taste of what the west was like before being tamed. If you venture just around the corner from the Mormon Station and Nevada's oldest bar though, you'll find one of the finest foodie spots in Nevada. The Pink House seemingly doesn't fit here but at the same time it works perfectly. Not only is the building itself one of the oldest structures in Genoa but it was about striking out into unfamiliar territory and trying new things. That's exactly what you'll find here today...

  • Fogo de Chao is hands down one of my favorite restaurants. Not only do you get a never-ending parade of meats but the place is fun and imaginative when it comes to creating seasonal updates to the menu. We were invited to check out their new Spring Menu this week, so how could I resist when it includes three new cocktails to try!

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