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Charming Charleston Part Deux

6 Jan

A belated Happy New Year!  As some of you may recall, I celebrated the New Year in style in Charleston with my best friends.  It was an impulse trip, because to me, it’s perfectly acceptable to buy a plane ticket on my friend’s iPhone.  Let’s just say I’m very susceptible to peer-pressure, and had too much fun last time I was in town to turn down a repeat trip.  Here’s a look at my meals last weekend. 

Saturday morning at Lost Dog Cafe:  Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, Cheese Grits , a Cinnamon Roll and a Pimosa.

I’m linking you back to my last post of the creamy sausage gravy and gritsThe pimosa was a pomegranate mimosa and perfectly tart.  The cinnamon roll, which we split, was awesome.  Not your traditional ooey gooey cinnamon syrup but still sweet and with lick the plate good frosting.

Great motto, great food, lots of cute puppies.  Solid winner in my book!

Most of Saturday was spent driving around and hanging out in the gorgeous 73 degree weather.  I was beat for my early morning flight and squeezed in a nap right before dinner and our New Year’s festivities.

Saturday dinner:  NY Style Pepperoni and Supreme Pizza from Andolini’s Pizza.  

Ohhhh yeah!  Think jumbo slice sizes but with the good greasy taste you’d expect from a NYC joint.  I put away a piece-and-a-half, and managed to stay full all night while we played at Roost.  I was also very glad to have my half piece leftover when we got home.  First bite of 2012!

Sunday brunch:  Fleet Landing with Peel & Eat Shrimp, Fried Green Tomato & Crab Salad Appetizer, and Poached Eggs with a Crab Cake over Grits and topped with Red Pepper Hollandaise.

Brunch was a delight!  Great food, good company and beautiful scenery.  My friends really talked to me, I swear. 

After brunch we spent the day at Red’s and then back for another nap!  We’re not old, we just really enjoyed ourselves on New Year’s Eve. 😉

Dinner:  Triangle with Avocado Spring Rolls and a Pork Belly topped Cheese Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and Apple Butter.

Mmm delicious fried and gloriously greasy food!  If you think my burger looks insane, check out my friend Mike’s meal.  He ordered a burger sandwiched between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.

Another successful culinary journey through Charleston!  I think my friends and I did a great job of making the most of our meals (read over-indulging) considering the trip was just two days.

I’ll finally be back this week with some recipes.   Also here’s your reminder to book your reservations for Restaurant Week Jan. 9-15th.  I’ll be checking out the new Italian place Elisir.  Check out my post at http://www.pamelaspunch.com/elisir-ristorante-cocktail-primary/ for more info on their specialty cocktails and creative menu!

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My Food Adventures in Charming Charleston!

15 Dec

I recently returned from a delish and outrageous three-day girls weekend in glorious Charleston, South CarolinaThe trip was to celebrate the birthday of my best friend.  I can honestly say my abs are still sore from all of the laughs with my girls, and I’m having a very difficult time adjusting to meals sans-grits.  Tragic, I know.  Life in the North can be so hard.

I’m including photographic proof of my ability to consume insane amounts of they city’s sumptuous food.   Feast your eyes on my photos below documenting our weekend of excess!

Friday night at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs:  Cosmic Dog with Blue Cheese Slaw and Sweet Potato Mustard

Saturday Brunch at Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach:  Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and Cheese Grits

Saturday Snack:  Birthday Pastries and Cannolis from Luigi’s in Connecticut and Chai Break from Bake House

Saturday Dinner at 82Queen:  Shared Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento Cheese, She-Crab Soup, Duck Confit with Asparagus Risotto

Sunday Brunch at Triangle:  Crab Cake Benedict with Cheese Grits and Fruit

Had your fill?  Not me!  Loved every last bite and sip, including countless mimosas, mixed drinks and beers.  I’m counting down the days until our return trip to Charleston!

Good Eats in Austin

12 Oct

As previously mentioned, I ate and drank my way through Austin this weekend.  What a perfect way to explore the city and culture!

Austin is known for it’s Tex Mex cuisine, and it did not disappoint.  My first night in town we went to a beautiful restaurant called Vivo.  The restaurant decor was funky, and included little touches like ice in the bathroom sinks and pink parting roses for female guests.  I ordered a beef puffy taco and a chicken enchilada with tomatillo sauce. 

The puffy taco was lightly fried without being greasy, and the tomatillo sauce added a nice acidity to the deliciously cheesy enchiladaThe best part of my meal was definitely the prickly pear margarita Not only was the drink beautiful, but it was nice to try something new that I can’t find in DC.

The following morning we stopped into the South Congress Cafe for brunchJulie and I drank blackberry mojitos with fresh mint from the bar while waiting to be seated. 

I had a very difficult time deciding on my brunch entrée, but ultimately settled on the steak and migas benedict with a chipotle hollandaise sauce and potato and chive pancake.  The steak was tender and I actually liked the migas on top of the benedict for something different.  The whole meal was very yummy, inventive and surprisingly cheap!

After brunch we walked around the SoCo neighborhood, drove past Lake Austin, and even caught an Australian Rules Footy Match.  Then we headed to Erin’s home to learn how to make her family’s recipe for Capaletti pastaPlease note Erin’s adorable apron.

This stuffed pasta looks like a smaller version of ravioli, and has a delicious filling of cheese, herbs and breadcrumbsThe whole dish is served in a warm, comforting broth. 

I’m sure you’re all dying for this recipe (trust me, you wish you could try it).  These sisters make a killer pasta, and I hope I can convince them to make it the next time I’m in Austin.  Thanks so much to Erin and Jenna for letting me “help” roll out and cut the pasta.  I’d also like to give a shout out to Beth for her patience while teaching me how to work the machine. 

My last meal in Austin was at a new restaurant named Bacon.   MMMMM!

The restaurant incorporates bacon in all dishes including dessert.  We all split an appetizer of bacon, cheese and ranch fries, which were good but nothing groundbreaking.  My breakfast was the maple bacon stuffed waffles with bananas and syrup.  The waffle was both crisp and chewy and I loved the taste of the bacon inside, but found the strips a bit difficult to cut. 

The food and company in Austin were superb!  I can’t wait for my next trip there.  Anyone got any other restaurant recommendations?

Keeping It Weird!

9 Oct

Hey y’all!  I just got back from an amazing weekend in Austin, Texas.  It was my first time, and now I see why everyone loves it.  Here are a few highlights of my trip, and I’ll have a follow-up post this week with restaurant reviews and pictures from a fun impromptu pasta-making party :).

Gorgeous Lake Austin

Boots from Justin’s in South Congress

Music and food, the heart of Austin’s culture

Drinks at Opa!

Brunch at Bacon

A special thanks to my friend Julie for being the best host and showing me an epic weekend.  Cheers!

Do They Serve Beer with This?! Pt. 2

25 Jun

I decided it would be fun (for me AND you) to write about my two favorite meals from our Ireland trip for Pt. 2 and Pt. 3 of my Ireland posts.  These meals are proof of the new gourmet food in Ireland; it’s not just soda bread and fish & chips anymore!

I loved the entire trip but my favorite city was definitely Galway with it’s colorful shops and proximity to the water. 

The best meal during our trip was at a restaurant called 8.

This restaurant uses local ingredients and it was downright difficult to make up my mind on the dinner entree.  Thank goodness we’re a sharing family and all of us picked different options to taste.

I selected the Honey & Rosemary Roast Lamb Chops with Sweet Potato Mash, Balsamic Roasted Onions, and Coriander & Mint Dressing.  Honestly, I’m drooling thinking about it now, and you should be too!  The lamb was juicy and the mash and onions were the perfect compliment.  I adore it when I can have a little sweet with my savory meals.  In fact, this was all that was left after I got through with the dish…

We also ordered a side of these hand cut chips and house sauce.  They were perfectly golden, a little crisp on the outside, and slightly soft on the inside.  The sauce tasted a bit like tzatziki, a yogurt-based dip with dill and cucumber.

After dinner we noticed the creative and whimsical dessert menu.  My Dad and I are not ones to pass up dessert.  In fact, we both eat less of our main meal (sometimes) just to save room!  We are nothing if not dedicated to our craft.  In any case, we decided to order 3 desserts for the 4 of us. 

My Dad wisely picked the Chocolate and Almond Brownie with Cappuccino Parfait.  This dessert won the blue ribbon out of all of the desserts and we licked the plate clean.
My Mom and Sis split the potted Citrus Explosion with Almond Brittle.  There were 3 different citrus flavors layered throughout the jar and even the brittle included the zest.  I like lemon, I love lime, but citrus desserts are usually at the bottom of my list.  WOW, talk about a flavorful and bright dessert.  It was light and lovely.  I can’t wait to try and make my own take on lemon and orange zest brittle.

Last and kinda least was my dessert, a White Chocolate Pannacotta & Raspberry Mousse with Shortbread Cookies.  I selected this dessert solely because of the raspberry component.  It was very pretty to look at and the texture was nice.  I found the whole thing to be a bit underwhelming and frankly a little bland.  Thank goodness I had already consumed 2 other winning desserts!

Overall I would rate 8 as a 10!  5 out of 5 stars.  Seriously, I give it an A+ and would probably be a regular if it weren’t for the whole commute and customs bit.  If you are ever in Galway make it a point to stop here.

Stay tuned for my 3rd and final post about Fishy Fishy in Kinsale.  It was seafood paradise!