zahav, round 2

If you have been reading for a while, you may recall (note: really, really awful photos, click at your own risk) the first time I went to Zahav. I went during restaurant week again, but this time for lunch.

hummus-tehina & laffa

assorted salads

In typical Zahav fashion we started off with the hummus-tehina w/ laffa and a selection of salads. The salads were (clockwise from bottom in above picture) twice cooked eggplant, radishes, fennel, and tomato/cucumber.

crispy haloumi

house smoked sable

The second course order consisted of crispy haloumi and house smoked sable. I’ve had the haloumi before and it was just as good if not better than the first time I had it. Cubes of haloumi were served with pine nuts over a date spread. The sable was served over toasted challah with a fried egg in the middle, egg in the basket style.

the galil

monsieur merguez

Me and my dining companion ordered the galil and monsieur merguez for our third course. The galil was eggplant topped with tehina and zucchini, served over a tomato couscous. The monsieur merguez was a sausage served with matbucha over couscous.

almond semifreddo

halvah mousse

Finally our desserts of an almond semifreddo and halvah mousse arrived. The semifreddo was served with a chocolate crisp and the halvah mousse was layered with a chickpea praline and blueberries.

The food was delicious as expected. I did however, wish I checked out what I ordered last time and tried some new stuff…previously I had the monsieur merguez. Totally would have ordered the farsi (hanger steak, persian rice, pickled garlic, and fried corn) had I realized it. For the second course, I REALLY wanted to try the crispy sweetbreads and grilled lamb tongue. It’s true, I think offal is pretty awesome and delicious…unfortunately, not everyone feels the same. There is always next time!

Haven’t gone to Zahav yet? What are you waiting for?! The hummus-tehina & laffa alone is worth the trip!

237 St. James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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pizzeria stella

I’ve decided, foodie double dates (and I’m sure triple+ too) are fantastic. Why? Because you can get lots of food and try it all! This is exactly what happened a few weekends ago.

eggplant bruschetta

heirloom tomatoes

Venue: Pizzeria Stella, Stephen Starr’s artisanal pizza joint in Society Hill.

They had three specials, a pizza and two appetizers. We ordered both appetizer specials: eggplant bruschetta w/ caramelized onions & ricotta salata and heirloom tomatoes w/ red onion, pesto aioli & ricotta salata.


For the pizzas, we ordered a piccante, spinach (shown at top), and san daniele. The piccante had capicola, aged provolone, crushed red pepper, and tomato. The spinach had baby spinach, oven roasted tomato, mozzarella, and pine nuts. Lastly, the san daniele had prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, and arugula.

san daniele

All the food tasted great, especially the san daniele…seriously, who can resist those ingredients put together?! Ahhhh!

Pizzeria Stella
420 S. 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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the runner’s kitchen in philly!

Meg over at Runner’s Kitchen wanted me to do a guest post for her covering the past weekend.

Check it out here.

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From the moment I knew I was going out west, it was a mission to go to In-N-Out. I was glad to know that they had locations in Vegas.

I studied In-N-Out’s secret menu prior to my visit, knowing exactly what I wanted to get…

animal style fries

What’s animal style? Topped with cheese, grilled onions, and In-N-Out spread.

double double, animal style

I ordered a double double, animal style along with the fries. This was the most beautiful, well put together fast food burger I’ve ever had, not to mention the tastiest. I also used to take pickles off burgers as a kid, but I left them on here. Everything was just great together. Another reason this is the best fast food burger I’ve ever had? They toast the buns! The toasted buns added an extra texture and held up nicely with the fillings.

Of course, it’s still fast food which I pretty much sworn off on now, unless I’m desperate. But if I’m out west, I might give in to In-N-Out every time I have the opportunity…

In-N-Out (multiple locations)
4888 Dean Martin Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89103

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bouchon – las vegas

I was on a fairly tight budget in Vegas last weekend and this is definitely a big restraint, especially when you love food because there are a bunch of great restaurants with tasting menus all over the strip. A friend, however, did mention Bouchon to me. Initially I figured it was out of my budget, it is a Thomas Keller restaurant after all. But, I browsed the website and their brunch menu was totally affordable! So, that’s where I was on Saturday morning.

It took us a while to find the restaurant, which is located on the 10th floor of the Venezia Tower in The Venetian Hotel & Casino. Once we got there though, it was beautiful. The atmosphere was relaxing and the large windows let the morning/afternoon sun shine in as jazz played throughout the restaurant. The staff was friendly and service was great from the maitre d’ to the waiter. We were supposed to dine out on the porch outside in the courtyard, but there was a miscommunication amongst the staff and a party after us got seated before us. No biggie though..

We all started off with some coffee and they brought out a freshly baked baguette with butter and jam (pictured above). Honestly, the meal could have ended here and I would have had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. There’s just something so amazing about a simple, fresh baguette and butter. It was SO good. Also, on a random note, it was totally not in traditional baguette shape…

There was a pastry section on the menu, as well as a couple pastry specials on a chalkboard. We decided it was a must to order a pastry basket (choice of four different pastries). The pastries we ordered were (photo above, clockwise from left) concord grape beignets, pecan sticky bun, chocolate almond croissant, and cheese danish.

My words and photos really can’t describe this basket. Everything was amazing. Easily the best pastries I’ve ever had. Light, flaky, delicately sweet. I wish I could choose a favorite out of the bunch, but that’s too difficult.

Here are the dishes ordered around the table:

corned beef hash

croque madame

sourdough waffle

steak frites

My dish was the croque madame, ham & cheese sandwiched between toasted brioche, topped with an egg and mornay sauce, and served with pomme frites. My first French croque…loved it. The pomme frites were also delish, but there was no chance of me finishing all of them.

I also got to try the corned beef hash and the sourdough waffles. The corned beef hash was the most delicious and elegant corned beef hash I’ve ever had. The scrambled egg was cooked to perfection too. Where do I begin with the sourdough waffles… I had one bite and fell in love. It was “just right”. They were light and airy, accompanied perfectly with maple syrup, strawberries, and Tahitian vanilla infused butter. Oh em gee.

Everyone was full after this meal..and very, very content. If you’re ever in Vegas or in California, make sure you check this place out. I promise you won’t regret it.

Also, there’s Bouchon Bakery on the basement floor of The Venetian. I didn’t get a chance to check it out, but I would assume you could buy the pastries there.

The Venetian Hotel & Casino
Venezia Tower, 10th Floor
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109

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