Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was recently invited to a special Food Blogger event at Tijuana Flats in Coconut Creek. Amongst the bloggers who attended were Shaina Wizov from Take a Bite Out of Boca, Tracy & Wayne Augustin from Two Forks & a Cork and Holli Lapes, The South Florida Sage.

We were all assembled there to try out 5 new menu items that are being rolled out for a limited time from July 9th - Sept 2nd. As part of their "Give in to Hemptation" campaign, each of the 5 dishes we tried had incorporated hemp seed into the tortillas. Why hemp seeds? Why not?!? They are, after all, high in protein and Omega 3's.

In case you didn't know the history about Tijuana Flats, here's a little background: Back in 1995, college student Brian Wheeler received a $20K loan from his dad; almost 20 years later, they have 101 locations in 6 states (90+ of them are located in FL). According to Jeff Rettig, aka "Junior", Tijuana Flats likes to think of itself as "Edgy, an Un-chain chain". They like to hang on to the inuendo and push the envelope. Junior proudly proclaimed that "something may offend you (here at Tijuana Flats) but it will never be the food."

The company held a contest in each of their markets asking each of them to develop two burritos using two items that were not on the regular menu and the following items that we were trying were from the winning recipes selected.

1. Adam Bomb
Like a Jalepeno Popper, served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce
2. Pie Roller
Kind of like an Italian Stromboli, it contained mushrooms & pepperoni, fajita peppers, lowfat mozzarella and Chipotle red sauce.
3. The Tree Hugger
This Vegetarian Burrito was made using a Cilantro Cream Cheese sauce, made in-house with crumbled tortilla chips, queso, cooked white onions, poblanos & mushrooms and put under the toaster.


4. Sweet Hemptation
This is Tijuana Flat's version of "Chicken & Waffles". Chicken pieces, churro, red onion, bacon, queso & maple syrup tossed in cinnamon sugar.


5. Banana Empanada
Banana pieces tossed in cinnamon sugar and stuffed in a lightly fried empanada shell and served with caramel syrup.


Jeff Rettig, aka "Junior", Director of Training with Tijuana Flats




Tracy Augustin proudly displaying a bottle of hot sauce she was lucky to win.  

Brandy Blackwell, Marketing Manager for Tijuana Flats welcoming all the bloggers
For a Tijuana Flats location near you, visit their website at: www.TijuanaFlats.com

Until we eat again...
  I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise






Can it be True? This Wino is actually getting in to locally brewed Craft Beers!

Hello Foodie Friends,

I sure had my share of craft beer dinners in one week. After attending my first Funky Buddha craft beer pairing dinner at the Boca Resort a couple months back, I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to organize one at True, one of the restaurants I represent in Downtown Boca. Tuesday, June 24th came and we had an awesome event featuring Funky Buddha, Due South and Cigar City beers with the most delicious pairings by True's Chef/Owner Frank Hawkins.

Brian Torres, from Brown Distributing led the group through an informative talk on each beer, while Frank came out to talk about each food pairing. We got the night off to a start with a Funky Buddha Floridan which paired perfectly with True's Stuffed Shrimp (large shrimp stuffed with crab and topped with this amazing imperial sauce).

Next came the Due South Caramel Cream Ale paired with Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped dates filled with homemade herbed cream cheese and served with a ginger soy dipping sauce).

Tom's Sliders (Slow roasted beef brisket with cheddar cheese, red onions, cherry peppers & mayo) paired great with Cigar City's Maduro Brown Ale.

Another Cigar City brew, the White Oak Jai Alai IPA was presented with a Chicken Curry (a mild Indian style curry served with Basmati rice and naan).

And for dessert, we had a delightful pairing of Cigar City's Cubano Espresso Brown Ale with an award winning dessert Frank's wife makes called Mud Bars served ala mode.


 
 








Curry Chicken, Basmati Rice & Naan

Tom's Sliders

Shrimp stuffed with crab & topped with True's famous Imperial Sauce


Mud Bars ala mode, an award-winning dessert!
True: 147 SE 1st Ave. (561) 417-5100  www.TrueBocaRaton.com

So that was Tuesday, then just two days later, on Thursday, I get a call from my good friend and fellow food blogger, Shaina Wizov of Take a Bite Out of Boca, who happened to have also attended a craft beer pairing dinner at Rebel House on the same night as my True event, asking me if I happened to be  free last minute to attend a Cigar City beer pairing dinner at the Boca Resort that evening. As the Beer Gods would have it, I happened to be free and graciously accepted the invite.

Phil, from Cigar City was our facilitator and Chef Ray was the Executive Chef of 501 East at the Boca Resort & Spa. Our line up was as follows:

Tangerine Berliner paired with a Wahoo Crudo, Citrus Supreme, Chive Blossoms and Crispy Hearts of Palm.

Margarita Gose paired with a Sea Salt Roasted Hogfish, Fire Roasted Tomato, Tequila Lime Butter and Chili Garlic.

Barley Wine paired with Veal Ribs, Beer Battered Onion Rings and a Drunken Local Melon Salad.

A Double IPA was paired with New Zealand Lamb-Chetta, (the chef's rendition of a porchetta), Carolina Stone Ground Grits and Florida Lychee.

To complete the meal, we ended with a Cubano Espresso paired with a Smoked Vanilla Souffle, Espresso Ganache (which came in little ramekins that we were instructed to pour over the top at our leisure) and Macerated Local Cherries.

















Until we eat again...

   I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

P.S. Interested in Savoring the City? Check out my new website: www.SavorOurCity.com


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Introducing Mia Wines

Hello my Foodie  & Wino Friends,

I recently attended a private press event with Freixenet winemaker Gloria Collell who introduced her new wines called Mia. These Spanish wines are casual yet modern, reflecting the vibrant style of Gloria’s hometown of Barcelona.

Fort Lauderdale was her only Florida stop on the launch tour, and I was excited to have the opportunity to meet her – she is dynamic, fiercely intelligent, down to earth and a lot of fun. The reception was held at a beautiful waterfront mansion in the Seven Isles neighborhood.

Gloria had a dream of creating a new brand of wine for the 21st century;  she set out to do something different. She dreamed of bringing to the world the best of Spanish grape varieties in wines that are as young and exciting as her home in Barcelona. A cosmopolitan city of contracts - of old and new, of color and passion and spontaneity. This dream had Gloria searching for the best of her country's grapes, rediscovering old varieties and exploring new combinations- looking for perfection in a glass. And throughout her journey, she credits Freixenet with helping her.  Their wisdom and experience, she says, provided inspiration and together they have created wines that we can all call "mine" (Mia in Spanish).

Due to the crisp freshness and fruity character of Mia wines, they are excellent with food or simply enjoyed on their own. Mia reds are made with the best Tempranillo grapes. They pair extremely well with pasta dishes and meat and of course their local ham, says Gloria.

Mia's sparkling wine is perfect for celebrating any occasion and touts this sparkler as a delicious and easy drinking wine that bursts with apples and pears on the palate.  If you are in a sweeter mood, Gloria suggests reaching for their Moscato.  It's an explosion of wonderful aromas, she says, and she loves it with chocolate, pastries and even cheese. 

To learn more about Mia wines, you can visit their website: http://www.miawines.com

















Until we eat (and drink) again...

 I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise