Tonight: A slight chance of thunderstorms before 11pm. Widespread haze before 11pm. Patchy ... More
We've all seen News10's Trish Glose tasting food on West Coast Flavors. Now she has more space to talk about food and drink!
Hey y'all! Feeling a little "southern food" homesick right now... I was looking through pictures on my iPhone this morning... and noticed several from my trip last year to South Carolina -- most of the pictures are of food!
On this particular trip, we made a special visit to see my little cousin Shelley (she's going to be 26... she'll always be "little" to me)... she's currently in Savannah going to school to become a physician's assistant. She was smack dab in the middle of finals and was in need of a break for family and food! She took us to a restaurant called Sweet Potatoes, one of her favorites, which she said has food "that reminds me of Grandma's."
She ordered fried shrimp, cheese grits and lima beans... I went with fried catfish, collard greens and black-eyed peas... and the collard greens were so good I almost cried. I also ordered a super yummy beer -- Allagash Tripel from Portland, Maine... its description: "strong golden ale marked by passion fruit and herbal notes in the aroma, with suggestions of banana and honey in the complex palate." It was tasty.
Sweet Potatoes also has the BEST banana pudding I've EVER tasted. Want to check 'em out?? Click here for a look at the menu!
And for some strange reason... I had been craving my grandma's chicken and rice the whole time I was in South Carolina. Luckily, my Uncle R knows how to make it and I begged him to make me a batch. We call it chicken bog and it's nothing fancy or spectacular... it's just comforting, yummy southern food. He says it's typically made with a hen (more fat, more flavor) and he adds in sausage... pure food heaven. Alongside our chicken bog... he cooked up some fresh green beans with ham and potatoes... double heaven. I had 3 helpings (insert oink sound here), because I knew it would be a while until I could eat like that again!! I also took a picture to remind me!!
I know I write a lot of blogs about southern food... but I can't help it! This food is my whole life, my history, my soul... it reminds me of family, special events, and comforting moments in my grandma's kitchen.
And I scored the recipe for chicken bog... I'm making it VERY soon!
If you've read any of my recent blogs... you know how obsessed I am with brunch. So, I was thrilled to learn about a pop-up brunch restaurant in Medford!
Braden Hitt (former chef at Elements in Medford) has started a pop-up brunch spot at Downtown Medford Market. Pop-ups are a way for chefs to share their food, or gain kitchen knowledge, without opening up a restaurant. Over Easy opened a few weeks ago... and was an instant success!
Over Easy is open on Sundays from 9:30-1:30 or until the food runs out. Braden changes up the menu every week... there are 3 savory items and 1 sweet. I like to order 1 of each when I go... for uh... research.
I hit up Over Easy's debut Sunday a few weeks ago. Here was the menu that day: Croque Madame ham & swiss on sourdough with gravy and sunnyside up eggs, squash mole with market hash and fried eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy and pear pancakes with candied pecans and Chantilly cream. Ummm, yeah. I'm not ashamed to admit, I tried each dish. All amazing!
If you're looking for something interesting and different and DELICIOUS for brunch... hit up Over Easy. They're located in the Downtown Medford Market... and Braden usually releases that week's menu a few days before. You can follow Over Easy's Facebook page for updates!
I'm heading back there soon! See ya there!
There's a new restaurant in downtown Medford... and the chefs showed up recently for a West Coast Flavors shoot! Neil Clooney already owns the fabulous Smithfield's restaurant in Ashland... and he recently opened up the kitchen in the Bohemian Club in downtown Medford. Great food, cool old building... it's a win-win!
Neil and Bohemian Club chef Matt Stewart tag-teamed the shoot... Neil made a southern classic: bacon cheddar hushpuppies and what he calls "Rattlesnake Tails" -- which are jalepenos stuffed with goats cheese and wrapped in bacon. And if you've never heard of hushpuppies... they're on my favorite food list. Little corn fritters filled with goodness, fried cripsy... yum, yum, yum!
Matt stepped up to the plate next... whipping up a delicious sweet potato cheesecake and then sweet potato gnocchi. Matt's gnocchi are pillow-soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
I recently stopped in the Boho with my hubby for a little dinner and it exceeded my expectations! He ordered a burger (he added pork belly -- wow!) and a side of cheese grits... I ordered the steak and fries. Everything was cooked perfectly, the fries were crispy, the cheese grits were perfect (and I'm very picky about grits!), and it was a LOT of food!
Hit up the Bohemian Club on your next night out... and just as a favor to me... order the hushpuppies! They're so good! And tune in to News10 every Thursday night at 5... for a new West Coast Flavors recipe!
If you've driven by Sweet Tea Express on Main Street in Medford... you've probably seen the smokers out front -- smoking up pork and brisket. So, imagine my excitement when we booked a West Coast Flavors shoot with the new-ish restaurant.
They made some of their most popular dishes from Sweet Tea... including the Pulled Pork Verde Omelette (pictured below), their signature Sweet Tea Burger and their amazing pulled pork sandwich (it weighs a pound!).
These guys were super organized and FAST! We sped through 6 different segments, each one was incredibly delicious! My favorite (the crew's favorite, too... check out the pic) was the omelette... pepperjack cheese, pulled pork and green verde sauce. It was soooo yummy... I can see now why it's one of their most popular dishes.
Check out some of their recipes throughout the month of September on News10 every Thursday at 5pm... better yet, just go by there! Click here to check out their menu and hours.
A couple of local beer festivals, a fantastic beer dinner, an awesome rafting trip, a drive to Crater Lake, a gorgeous wedding... 4th of July with friends, a Britt show... and finally, a few apologies. Sorry about the lull in blog writing... my summer, so far, has been very busy and really fun. And now, I'm sharing the fun with you!
I hope you didn't miss it, but this year's Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival was another winner. The festivals are always fun, but they seem to get bigger and better each year. Some great local breweries were there... along with others from across Oregon and the region. It's a great place to see friends and beer-lovers alike. Oh yeah, and taste some good beer!
My dad made a special trip in June to see me and my beautiful surroundings. We visited some wineries, took in another beer festival (Brews, Burgers and Bluegrass), drove up to Crater Lake and had an awesome journey down the Rogue River. The rafting trip was on his "bucket list" and we had such a great time (big thanks to Indigo Creek Outfitters)!! I think I take this place for granted sometimes, or forget how beautiful it is. Rafting down Nugget Falls and then Powerhouse, then turning around in the raft to see the falls... is just breathtaking. I understand why so many people travel to this area to experience what we have right in our own backyard!
I worked a little on the Fourth, but was able to enjoy a BBQ with some friends, fireworks, a DEE-LISH strawberry and peach Sangria (recipe here) and a very special dip. For years, my Grandma Borucki made this onion dip that the whole family couldn't get enough of. We always had it for gatherings and for the 4th of July. She'd take it out of the fridge and we'd wait around the table, drooling... until the cream cheese softened enough for us to dig in. I asked a few family members for the recipe and finally made it this year. One bite... and I was transported back to my grandparent's lake house in South Carolina... summertime, being 8 years and celebrating the 4th. It made me miss her like crazy, but at the same time, I was flooded with warm, happy memories.
I hope your summer is going swimmingly... I'm thankful for time with family and friends with very few time constraints. I'm also thankful for flip flops and warm nights.
A quick West Coast Flavors note... NEW restaurant starting up. We were recently in the kitchen with Bret from 115 Broiler in Grants Pass. The recipes he put together for the shoot were amazing!! I'm really excited to share these dishes with our viewers. Tune in to News10 every Thursday at 5pm! If you'd like more information about 115 Broiler, just click here. We'll also be putting up the WCF episodes on our website, under News Features.
Thanks for being patient with my blog laziness!
I learned some Polish today! Tried some amazing Polish food! Talked with a REAL Polish person about dancing the polka! It was a culture-rich West Coast Flavors shoot with Julek's Polish Kitchen in Talent. I just have to say southern Oregon is so lucky Bogusia Antczak lives here to cook for us all! The bonus: since I'm part-Polish myself (Borucki!), Bogusia and I had fun talking about food, especially my grandma's goulash.
I knew pierogis were going to be on the menu... and Bogusia's version did not disappoint. They were light, summery and sweet. She filled the dumplings with blueberries and topped them with vanilla yogurt... if you're thinking "oh that sounds incredible"... THEY WERE!
She whipped up a couple other specialties... but the one I (and the crew) couldn't stop raving about was her savory crepes. First of all, Bogusia can make a crepe like nobody's business... and for this dish, she put a mixture of cabbage, Polish kielbasa (family recipe, 100 years old, so legit!), tomato sauce (she wouldn't give up the recipe) and a little cheese all on the inside. These folded crepes were covered in a white wine sauce... crispy on the outside... savory, creamy and delicious on the inside. I would have grabbed a picture for the blog, but we inhaled it.
Bogusia is cooking up traditional Polish dishes in her restaurant Tuesday-Saturday. She's talented, funny, charming and promises you won't go away hungry! If you'd like to read about her story, visit Julek's website here... you can also take a look at her wonderful menu. If you want to keep up with hours and specials, visit their Facebook page!
You can also check her out on West Coast Flavors through the end of May and part of June, on News10 at 5pm!
I will definitely be heading to Julek's Polish Kitchen for seconds and I told Bogusia I might just try a little polka too!
Smacznego! (or Bon Appetit!)
We're back in the kitchen with one of my favorite restaurants in this area: Elements! I not only love the food at Elements, but I love tapas, the idea of tapas and the environment eating tapas-style creates.
Chef Mike Hite (check out the sweet 'stache) was manning the stove on this particular West Coast Flavors morning. He was cooking up some Elements favorites, along with a new recipe. It's already aired on News10, you can find it on our website under West Coast Flavors.
Mike made my favorite, Elements' paella. This particular version had chorizo, chicken drummettes, serrano ham, pork tenderloin and pure goodness. Mike has a way of making the rice super tender, but crispy at the same time... so, so, so good.
And then, he pulled out a dish that included... wait for it... anchovies! I'm not afraid of these little fishies... in fact, after this tapas, I'm a fan.
We're in the kitchen for a few more weeks with Elements... you can watch every Thursday on News10 at 5!
But my suggestion? Don't wait... go eat at Elements Tapas Bar and Lounge in downtown Medford RIGHT NOW! You won't regret the visit!
Vinny is back... words making stomachs happy across our region. Vinny DiCostanzo, his wife Gina and their son Nick have opened up Paisan's Pizzeria in downtown Medford... and the food they're cranking out is better than ever.
I stopped by his pizza joint during the holiday season... and immediately asked if he wanted to get back in our West Coast Flavors kitchen, to show off his new menu. Lucky for me, he said absolutely... and it's lucky for our viewers. They're getting an inside peek at his delicious menu.
He cooked up some of his classic pasta dishes... including a butternut squash ravioli, that he paired with a creamy, garlicky Alfredo sauce. I may have had more than one bite of that yummy plate.
Also on his menu that day (and on the menu all the time)... his New York style Philly cheese steak. Oh my... this was so incredibly good, the crew had to take a moment to reflect on the cheesy, steak-y goodness. It was so good in fact, the editor of the West Coast Flavors segments went out and got one, the day he was editing this particular segment. I posted a picture, but it doesn't do it justice.
The West Coast Flavors segments with Vinny will air all throughout April. But don't just watch... go EAT! Vinny puts his heart and soul in everything he makes. And he takes great care in finding the best possible ingredients for his food... it's effort you can taste in every bite!
Paisan's Pizzeria is located in downtown Medford on Central Avenue, right across from the Medford Library. Stop by, order some food and say hi to Vinny and Nick.
West Coast Flavors airs on News10 on Thursdays at 5 p.m.
If you're a regular Tasty Topics blog reader... or watch West Coast Flavors... or know me AT ALL... you know how much I love food, specifically... a really good cheeseburger. Any time a new burger spot opens up, I am chomping at the bit to try it.
Recently, I tried the Burger Spot in downtown Medford. First of all, I love the name. It reminds me a little of what my stepdad calls burger places... "burgerdoodles." And this little burgerdoodle is a good one! It's located among the RCC buildings and across the street from the Medford library. Walking in, it smells like burger heaven.
I like the menu because it's short and sweet. When it comes to burgers, I often get overwhelmed with what I want, what kind of cheese, toppings... "I'll take provolone, American and swiss cheese... jalepenos, bacon and mushrooms... Wait! Actually...". Yup... I'm that person in line. But the Burger Spot's menu is simple and was made for easy ordering. They also have fries, sweet potato fries, killer onion rings and tater tots. Yup. Tots. Spot Tots.
The burgers were delicious (buttered, toasted buns!), fries were tasty... killer onion rings were... killer. All around, it was a very tasty burger! And the staff was super friendly to boot. I'll definitely be going back.
Head down on your lunch break! Keep in mind, they make their burgers fresh everyday with fresh ground beef and once it's out, that's it! So get in fast! You won't be disappointed.
Drink wine! Why? Because it's National Drink Wine Day! For the wine lovers out there, I know what you're thinking: isn't EVERYday drink wine day?!
Here a few fun facts about the old grape juice so many of us love (this is according to randomhistory.com):
Wine grapes rank number one among the world's fruit crops in terms of acres planted.
There is a right way to hold a wine glass: by the stem, not the bowl. The heat from your hand can warm up the wine.
And finally... one ton of grapes makes about 60 cases of wine or 720 bottles.
We're lucky... southern Oregon is becoming known for its wineries. Some of my absolute favorites (it's hard to pick!) are Wooldridge Creek Winery, Red Lily, Dancin and Paschal. I love these spots not only because the wine is fantastic, but the environment and the scenery complete the package!
Explore a local winery today... sit back, do a tasting and take in all that this area has to offer!
A new year in my house means a cabinet clean-out of all things evil: holiday cookies, snacks, special Christmas treats... all gone and dropped off at work! I understand my co-workers may not want them, but I just can't look at them anymore.
I think we all hit our limit the day after the new year. We've indulged the last few weeks and now it's time to re-think our diets, our exercise plans (I was supposed to exercise during the holidays?!) and try to get back to our pre-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas, pre-Hey-It's-Tuesday-And-I-Want-To-Indulge-Because-It's-The-Holidays weight.
My focus for 2014 is to find some of the best restaurants in our region... eat the best food and then share it all with you, either on this blog... or West Coast Flavors.
Which reminds me -- new WCF tonight on News10. We're hanging out with Inti Latin Soul Restaurant and Cantina again. It's located in Talent. On tonight's menu -- a vegan cream of coconut mushroom soup. It's absolutely delicious! Keep in mind -- the episode will also be on our website, as will the others.
Happy New Year! Eat well... eat LOCAL!!
I can't believe it's already December. My absolute favorite month of the year... not only because it's Christmas... but it's also my birthday! I realize I haven't blogged in a few weeks. I was reminded of this by the 2 people who read my blog (hey Mama and Aunt Karen). So here we are.
I hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. The Glose family feast was fantastic. We do chicken in our house, because I'm the only one who likes turkey! The sides are fairly traditional... I make brussel sprouts, mashed taters and a mean Mac and cheese. The most traditional though, is my Grandma's cornbread stuffing. I make it every year... because I love it and it makes me think of my sweet Grandma and her country kitchen. As soon as the dish comes out of the oven, I smile and think of family. Also, she's hilariously picky about her cornbread. And now, so am I.
Every year, I pull out her china as well. She gave them to me a few years ago. My Grandfather gave them to her for their 25th wedding anniversary. I cherish this set of china. I have fond memories of eating Thanksgiving day dinners on them and other special meals. When I was younger, I felt so regal eating food off these gorgeous plates. I would pretend I was a princess or just a very important person. I felt a little like that this past Thanksgiving.
We will most likely pull those plates out again on Christmas day. I also enjoy having eggnog in the tiny delicate coffee mugs. It's special and now, it's a tradition.
I hope you're enjoying your traditions this month... and staying warm and cozy with family.
We're keeping it in the family for this next round of West Coast Flavors! We had the Arbor House from Talent in our kitchen last week... and had a blast!
Leah was cooking up some simple, super yummy dishes for us... including bruschetta and fettuccine alfredo! She also showed us a really unique way to make a light, healthy salad dressing.
As you know (if you read these blogs often)... I absolutely love our West Coast Flavors shoots. I get to meet people from our community... they cook... I eat. It's a win-win! I really enjoyed meeting Leah and her mom from the Arbor House, because I found out this restaurant has been family owned and operated for more than 30 years! Amazing... and they still pack people in!
I snapped a few pictures... mostly of the crew sneaking a few bites of the yummy food cooked up for us!
West Coast Flavors airs Thursday nights on News10 at 5! For more information on the Arbor House restaurant in Talent... go by and visit! The family running the place is awesome and the food is just plain delicious!
I recently made a trip to my second home, sweet South Carolina. I got to spend a lot of time with family, especially my ridiculously adorable twin nephews... the weather was absolutely beautiful... and the family meals were like I never left.
Meals around the table in my family are serious business. We don't slouch on dishes...from breakfast to dinner... it's a production. On this recent trip, my mom was doing a lot of the cooking and everything was amazing. Her food not only feeds my belly... but my soul. My uncle also whipped up a few specialties... needless to say... we didn't go hungry.
One night my uncle made Jambalaya... with chicken thighs, smoked sausage and pork shoulder. It was amazing... he slaved over the dish for hours and you could taste his hard work in every bite. I went back for fourths.
One morning there was country cured ham, grits, biscuits and gravy... it was better than it sounds. In our family... we KNOW breakfast. We're not a toast and jelly kind of group. Grits cook for a while... country cured ham is browned in a cast iron skillet... gravy follows when everything is done. I crave this food. It tastes like home.
And the last night I was there... a meal that has become a tradition. Good ole fashioned cheeseburgers. With bacon. And homemade chili. Oh, and homemade french fries. Like I said, we don't get lazy when it comes to meals cooked in our kitchen.
So, after rolling myself onto the airplane... and a few days of a lighter diet... I'm already missing those comforting southern dishes. Luckily, I have a family full of amazing cooks. And over the years, I've not only paid attention, I've taken notes.
I'm thinking fried chicken and collard greens may be on my menu this weekend. My husband will be thrilled!
Salud! (To my family... and to yours!)
It's back! A southern Oregon restaurant is open again, under new ownership and is better than ever. The Avalon Bar and Grill in Talent has been open for a few months now... Stefano Cipollone bought it, cleaned it up and is cooking up a storm. You may recognize the name... Stefano was recently the chef at Cicily's in Medford. He was just in our West Coast Flavors kitchen... showing off his super tasty menu.
In my opinion, Stefano is doing things the way they should be done. He and his crew are making things in house, finding fresh, local produce and meats, baking their own bread and putting a lot of love and passion in everything they make.
I don't want to give too much away... but he made some AMAZING dishes for us during our shoot! First up was a pistachio and citrus encrusted salmon... it was super moist, juicy and I couldn't get enough! Stefano says it's one of their most popular dishes at Avalon... and I can see why. He made some other yummy things including clams and a fresh shrimp cocktail... but my favorite... the dish I'm still dreaming about... the "Lot" burger. Sigh...
It's their 50-50 patty (equal parts of ground bacon and ground chuck) ground special by Cherry Street Meats in Medford. It's grilled and topped with cheddar cheese and a fried egg. Now, I'm not big on fried eggs PERIOD... and I also love a burger with some condiments like mayo and pickles... however, I took one bite of this monster burger... with nothing else on it... and was in HEAVEN! It tasted like breakfast! The bun was homemade, the burger was juicy, the fried egg was cooked perfectly... I usually take a few bites and share with the crew... but I ate my whole half of a burger. It was too good to share!
You MUST check out our West Coast Flavors segments featuring Stefano from Avalon Bar and Grill. You can watch him on Thursdays on News10 at 5 for the next few weeks! Better yet, stop by the restaurant in Talent and try some of his amazing dishes for yourself! Congrats on the restaurant, Stefano... and thanks for loving food so much! It shows!
We were hard at work in the West Coast Flavors kitchen last week -- shooting with Marco Flakes from Marco's Pepper Grill in Medford! What a fun morning! While we were setting up cameras and lights, I asked Marco to tell me about his food. A big smile came across his face and he started going off on flavor, seasonings, spice, peppers, melting pot and then said, "there's nothing like my food."
Melting pot is right! In some dishes he pulls out traditional Tex-Mex flavors... and then tops it with cajun spice... or puts a southern twist on the entire plate. It was interesting to watch how he layered flavor upon flavor... and the finished product was delicious every single time!
The first dish he made for me and the crew: Cuban pizza. It started with a flour tortilla that he deep fried. He then layered on sauteed black beans and corn, seasoned up with cumin. On top of that -- chicken seasoned with a special blend of yumminess (he wouldn't give out the details folks!), then cheese, tomatoes and cilantro... and sliced the whole thing up for us. It was not only super delicious... it was hearty and different and unlike anything we'd ever tried. The plate was wiped clean in a matter of seconds! We have a hungry crew at West Coast Flavors shoots!
Marco cooked up some other yummy dishes... including Jambalaya and Mojito chicken. Everything was fantastic! By the way... he was recently featured in Southern Oregon magazine. Check out his article.
Be sure to tune in... and watch Marco in our West Coast Flavors kitchen for the next few weeks. His recipes will be on Thursdays on News10 at 5. If you miss them, we always put the episodes up at ktvl.com... you can also find them by clicking here. You can also learn more about Marco and his restaurant here.
We had a West Coast Flavors shoot this morning... and I'm really excited about this one! We hooked up with Taprock Northwest Grill in Grant Pass and I'm so glad we did! The chef literally brought a taste of summer with him!
We were in the kitchen with Chef Alex Naranjo... some of the dishes he decided to cook up -- mahi mahi with a verde sauce, chicken wings and a crab BLT salad. We topped off the morning with a coconut mojito. These dishes really made me want to fire up the grill, shake up a cocktail and sit in the backyard.
These segments start airing immediately... so tune in to News10 Thursdays at 5 p.m. Also... if you want to learn more about Taprock Northwest Grill, click here.
And I posted some photos below... but also put some on my Facebook page!
You've probably seen them... driving around town. From Ashland to Klamath Falls, breweries are popping up across our region. Lucky for us, especially if you like beer. Really, really good beer. I've made it my mission to try all of them and I'm slowly, but surely getting it done!
I was recently at Bricktowne Brewing Company in Medford. It's located in the heart of downtown, right across the street from the Craterian and Rogue Community College. I instantly felt comfortable inside... there's a lot of brick and darker wood. A perfect place to try some brew!
Every time I visit a new brewery, my ritual starts with glancing at the beer list... making a beeline for the food menu... and then back to the beer list. I also like to hear from the brewer or server about the beers... since they tend to be the experts. But again, back to the food. I was more hungry than thirsty this particular day... and was eye-balling their sandwiches. They have a club, a BLT, a Rueben, Philly and a coupel of paninis. There are also salads, wraps and some yummy looking starters. Everything looked amazing.
As far as the beer goes... a long list... Blue Collar Cream, English Pale, Northwest Pale Ale, American IPA, double IPA, American Red, an English style Brown... really, something for everyone. The hubs and I decided to do a taste. You pick your top 6 and figure out your favorites. A lot of breweries are doing this these days, so you don't have to commit to a full of pint.
Now, I'm not saying you should do what I did... but you should! This is such a great way to experience some of the amazing breweries we have in our local neighborhoods. Grab some food... order a flight... and chill. You don't have anything better to do, right?!
Bricktowne Brewing Company is located in downtown Medford on South Central. If you want to read up on their brews, just visit their website.
Okay guys... it's Friday night. It's getting late. I've been working on the 11 o'clock show for the last few hours... and ALL I can think about is weekend brunch! So, I decided to take some time out from all the hard work... and make sure you know where to go this weekend!
I posted some pictures of a recent brunch trip to the Jacksonville Inn. I absolutely love dining at the Jville Inn. Whether it's on the patio... or the upstairs area... or downstairs dining area (my fav)... it's not only a classy joint, but there's something mysterious about it. I love it.
Anyway... we stopped by one Sunday morning-ish for some brunchy things. The Inn has a killer brunch deal. You get pastries and fruit... endless bubbly and an amazing meal on top of it. I ordered the chicken and asparagus crepes. They were crazy good... covered in a luxurious cream sauce... cheese... oops... a little drool. The hubs ordered the special frittata of the day... it had feta and olives... SO good. We also ordered a couple of Bloody Marys... homemade and super yummy.
These days -- finding a delicious brunch is super easy. The Jacksonville Inn is amazing... but so is the brunch at Elements Tapas Bar in downtown Medford. I wrote about their menu in my last blog. Everything is so different, but classic brunch... the drinks are incredible... it's a GREAT spot in Medford to grab your Sunday morning grub. The blog before that was on Smithfield's in Ashland... and their Sunday brunch. Again... another winner. You can't go wrong with any of these spots... and of course, I like them all.
So, I hear the weather is going to be nice this weekend. At least, that's what the guy sitting next to me has been saying all week. Get outside this weekend, soak up the sunshine and splurge on brunch at a local restaurant. You're not only doing good for the local economy... you're helping out your BELLY! The most important thing in my opinion.
Order a Bloody... have some eggs, some homemade Hollandaise (Elements!)... maybe a perfectly grilled steak with those eggs (Smithfield's!)... and top it off with a freshly baked scone (Jacksonville Inn!). Eat. Relax... make others jealous.
Just a couple more posts about brunch... and then I promise I'll let it go! I can't help it -- brunch is just too good... especially if you live in the Rogue Valley!
Just a heads up in this blog -- we shot a West Coast Flavors segment today with the crew from Elements Tapas Bar and Lounge in downtown Medford. The recipes were all centered around... you guessed it... BRUNCH!
We met up with chef Braden Hitt... who is absolutely amazing at what he does. He's so creative and innovative... and watching him cook in the kitchen is like watching a ballerina dance on stage. Right out of the gate, he fried up some chicken for his chicken and waffle recipe. I now know why the dish is such a hot seller for their Sunday brunch. It's sweet, savory, bacon-y... chicken-y. And downright delicious!
Then he showed me the frittata with duck confit and chevre... and then something I've always wanted to learn how to make, but too intimidated to try: hollandaise. For this segment... be sure to grab a pencil and some paper to take notes. Braden breaks down the process... showing you every step of this crazy good buttery brunch sauce.
Anyhoo -- look out for the segments starting this week! West Coast Flavors airs Thursdays on News 10 at 5! As usual, I'm the one stuffing food in my face. It's so good!
I told you more was on the way! In my last blog, I went on and on about the brunch at Smithfield's in Ashland... well, now I'm going to go on and on and ON about the brunch at Elements in downtown Medford. Elements is known as the lounge-y tapas bar... where you get amazing drinks and Spanish-style tapas during the week. Brunch... is something new they're trying. I was there for Morning One... and was NOT disappointed.
Some girlfriends and I stopped by... we ordered a couple of Bloody Marys, a couple pomegranate mimosas... and then started drooling over the menus. There were some very brunch-y things... like sausage patties and eggs... and then some items that had us saying, "did you see that?!" I ordered the blackened catfish and collard greens. Yes, I'm from South Carolina... I had to. It was served up with poached eggs and a potato cake. A couple of girls ordered the huevos rancheros... they said they were completely different than anything they've ever had... and so much better! There was also a vegetarian frittata... and one with duck confit and goat cheese... a bolognese with poached eggs... AND... a french toast BREAD PUDDING with BACON. Yes, yes and yes... you read right. So decadent... so amazing... the gal who ordered that didn't share with anyone at the table. Can you blame her?!
It was a fantastic Sunday and a wonderful meal. I can't wait to go back and try some other things. Pop in... brunch is on Sundays and it's absolutely marvelous. If you'd like more information about Elements... click here. Otherwise, put on your stretchy pants, order a Bloody Mary and get ready for a brunch you won't forget.
Here's a riddle: what's better than breakfast and lunch combined? Brunch! Okay, not really a riddle, but it brings me to my favorite meal of the day. Brunch is the perfect solution when you can't figure out if you want a burger or omelette... pancakes or steak. I also dig it because the cocktail list is so unique... mimosas, spicy Bloody mary's, tequila sunrises. Count me in!
One weekend, we stopped by one of my favorite southern Oregon restaurants for brunch. I've heard Smithfield's had a killer lineup, but I wanted to check it out for myself. I was stoked once I looked at the menu. It was filled with items like hangar steak and eggs, buttermilk fried chicken, collard greens, duck leg confit hash, burger... duck fat fried potato cakes. It was a crazy hard decision... but I finally decided on the hangar steak and eggs with bearnaise and potato cake. The hubs went for "Neil's brekkie"... a concoction of corned beef, collard greens, fried egg and stone ground mustard cream. Saying our meals were delicious is an understatement... they were better than great and everything was perfect.
I posted some pictures of our brunch before we devoured it! If you're hungry for more, I suggest a trip to Smithfield's on the weekend. You won't regret a single bite. For a look at their brunch menu, other menus and times... click here.
I'll also be on a brunch binge for the next few blogs. I can't help it... I'm very brunch-y these days!
We recently did a West Coast Flavors shoot with The River's Edge restaurant in Grants Pass. What a fun morning... and the food was amazing!
The restaurant has a new chef, Serena Fultz... and this girl is brilliant in the kitchen! She showed up ready to rock and roll... and absolutely blew us away with her dishes.
I don't want to give too much away... the first segment airs this week... but I can tell you this: if you want an amazing meal -- try the River's Edge in Grants Pass!
I think my favorite dish she made was her risotto crab cake... which I pictured, with uh, a few bites out of it. I had to try it to make sure it was extra delicious. It was.
Remember -- West Coast Flavors airs every Thursday on News 10 at 5. We also put the segments on our website. For the next few weeks -- we'll be highlighting dishes from The River's Edge Restaurant in Grants Pass. I will also be putting up some more photos from the shoot on my Facebook page... click here to check them out.
And if you have any recommendations of restaurants we should feature in West Coast Flavors... let me know!! I'm always open to suggestions!
My love for food is obvious... and sometimes, slightly obnoxious. I could talk about recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods for hours with just about anyone. I love discovering new dishes, new ways of making classic recipes... and helping others find their way in the kitchen.
A few years ago... I really started cooking up a storm in my kitchen and thought it would be fun to document some of my culinary adventures. So, this blog is a little bit of show and tell. I always post food I'm eating in some of my favorite spots around town, but this time... I wanted to show off some things from my humble little kitchen.
One of my favorite things to make is homemade pizza. I cheat and buy already-made dough... but I do make my own sauce... and with a pizza stone in the oven, I can make a decent pie. My absolute favorite is crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil and fresh mozzarella. I think the one in the picture is actually a sausage, mushroom and spinach pizza. Just. As. Yummy.
Every time I get together with my southern family... we always make shrimp and grits. It may sound funny, but it's incredible. I do cheese grits... and make a bacon and shrimp "gravy" with garlic, shallot, cayenne, white wine and butter. Throw every bad thing you've ever heard about grits out the window... because this dish is just good, good, good. It reminds me of my southern home.
And finally, in the last year or so, I've been getting excited about popovers. Not only are they super tasty... but they're just technical enough not to intimidate me. I don't really like to bake... I'm not good at it and prefer to be in front of a couple of pans on the stove. But again, popovers are easy... they're light, crispy on the outside... and I always make mine with gruyere cheese, which makes them a little more decadent.
I posted a few pictures of my treats. There are days where I don't want to be anywhere else than in my kitchen. I dig it.
Let's do the math... 3 monster cheeseburgers, 1 chicken sandwich, an order of fries, another order of jalapeno fries... and a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. That's what we plowed through in our recent News 10 West Coast Flavors shoot. And no... I didn't eat all of that. But I certainly tried!!
This week -- we had a West Coast Flavors shoot with Barney's Better Burgers. I've recently posted a blog about the restaurant (see Better Burgers)... so I won't go into too much detail. But I will tell you, the shoot was a blast. We decided to take a break from the normal kitchen (we shoot in a beautiful set up at West Coast Appliance) and crash Barney's. We turned the restaurant up-side down with our cameras and lights... but in the end -- mission: accomplished. Now, everyone at home will get to see Barney's hardworking owner, Cheryl Barnes doing her thing. Cheryl, and the staff at Barney's is doing EVERYTHING right. She wants to keep things the old-fashioned way... with REAL ingredients... made by hand... and made with love. I dig it.
By the way -- Barney's is located on the corner of Riverside and Jackson. Oh, and one thing I learned on the shoot... they don't season the meat before putting it on the flat top BECAUSE the grill is so well seasoned, they don't have to. It's been cooking up burgers for DECADES. Crazy, right?!
Check out a couple of pictures from the shoot... the burgers were out of this world. And watch the West Coast Flavors segments over the next few weeks on Thursdays on News 10 at 5.
Thanks Barney's for a fun and dee-licious time!
By now... you all know how excited I get over food. 5-course dinners... good burgers... even fried bologna sandwiches make me drool. But there are few foods out there... that I could eat over and over and over again. Well made tacos are one of them.
So, let me introduce you to Los Arcos. Get ready to be hooked on the most perfect plate of food... cooked to perfection... every single time. Los Arcos is on Sage Road... It may be one of those restaurants you've driven past about a bazillion times... and didn't realize you were driving right by some insanely good eating. I'm about to change that for you. Your welcome.
Keep in mind... I've ordered a limited amount of items from Los Arcos. It is known for the Menudo -- a traditional Mexican soup. I always see families, smiling over big bowls of it every time I'm in there. Get this... the restaurant goes through 300 pounds of meat for the soup... not including anything else... just the meat... EVERY weekend. 300 pounds of meat... every weekend. I promised to order it next time I'm in there.
When I stop by there... which sometimes can be twice in one weekend... I usually order the tacos... with carnitas. It's pure heaven. They are perfect... every single time. I've ordered the tamales... had a tostada. But I just can't get away from the tacos. Piles of perfectly cooked pork... on homemade tortillas... salsa verde... cilantro... perfection. It's how tacos should be done. All. The. Time. I could eat one right now.
I'll just cut to the chase... Los Arcos is on Sage Road. Have a taco... some menudo... and be happy.
We've all been there. Done that. Either had too much to eat at dinner... too much to drink... or went to bed thinking, "I shouldn't have had that last piece of cake." I feel like around the holidays, it's an entire month and a half of that. Too many cookies... too many glasses of eggnog... and too many holiday dinners to count. Don't get me wrong... this is one reason why I LOVE the holidays. "Let's have a huge steak dinner and peppermint ice cream and homemade Christmas cookies... all washed down with wine and eggnog... Why? Because it's a Tuesday in December!!" The holidays are our excuse to be complete gluttons. But now, none of my clothes seem to fit right. Hmmmm.... strange.
Then... January 1 rolls around... and in the midst of our holiday hangover, we're supposed to start thinking about resolutions, eating healthy, weight loss... blah, blah, blah. It just seems to come on too fast. The night before everyone is eating crab cakes and brie and shrimp cocktail and chocolate truffles... and drinking champagne... and now we're supposed to think about quitting cold turkey? Mmmmm.... turkey. Oh, wait... WHAT?! Stop eating all this delicious junk food??!!
My solution (I have a point somewhere in this)... is to take it day by day... step by step... meal by meal. I think it's a little ridiculous to remove all the yummy holiday food from our kitchens... just because the numbers on the calendar are different. So, try this... instead of eating an ENTIRE box of chocolate covered cherries... maybe limit yourself to a couple. And don't polish off the bottle of red wine tonight... save some for tomorrow!
I feel it for sure and I know a lot of my friends do as well... we've all been talking about "getting back on the wagon next week." My advice? You know, because I'm an expert on these things (that was sarcasm)... is to definitely be healthy. Whatever it takes to get you there... but be healthy and happy for you. NOT just because it's the New Year.
Now, I'm going to go finish off the rest of my peppermint patties.
I get a kick out of having a fancy dinner... a 5-course meal... an evening full of delicious, special tapas... but nothing beats a simple, well-made, full-of-love, thought-behind-every-ingredient cheeseburger. Nothing. And while there are a lot of places in Southern Oregon that do simple, delicious cheeseburgers VERY well... there's one place that recently stole my heart for the grilled beef patty. Barney's Better Burgers.
My husband and I recently stopped in for lunch. Barney's is located on Riverside in Medford... if you remember, where "Eddie's" used to be. It changed ownership... then changed again... and now is run by a woman who worked at Eddie's for years. She's made it her mission to make a better burger.
She's off to a good start... all the beef comes from Cherry Street Meats, and they use 80/20 ground chuck. Which makes for a juicy, tasty burger. While I love the classic cheeseburger... at Barney's, the possibilities of toppings are endless. Bacon, chili, ham and swiss, jalapenos, avocado, mushrooms, bleu cheese, teriyaki... you name it, they'll do it. On this fine day... I ordered the Jalapeno and Jack cheese burger. Oh yeah, and I added bacon. Had to do it. It was calling my name. And since you can't have a cheeseburger without fries (or at least I can't) I ordered the small fries. Okay... I lied. I ordered the large. And didn't feel guilty about it one bit.
A few minutes later, our steaming burgers arrived (they were literally steaming) with a side of fries... and the cheese was oozing out the sides... jalapenos barely staying under the bun. Our burger artist (the man who created this beefy vision) gave us a little wink and a nod as if we were now all in on this delicious burger secret.
I feel like most places either do a great burger... and so-so fries... or vice versa. But Barney's nailed it. All of it. The burger was hot... juicy and perfectly seasoned. Everything on it... from the pickles to the mustard to the bacon was just plain good. And the fries were hot, crispy and had just the right amount of salt. We devoured everything. I don't think we spoke for 15 minutes... there were just a few "oh my"s in between bites... some grunts... some thumbs up... and sighs of pure honest enjoyment. I posted a few pictures.
Now, I know I may sound a bit dramatic over a cheeseburger... but when you find something this good... this simple... this perfect... you want to sing its praises from the mountaintops. Or, write a blog about it and let everyone know how incredibly good they are.
Barney's has other items on the menu... but I couldn't get past the cheeseburger. Or the peanut butter chocolate shake I "shared" with my husband. I didn't really want it... he made me order it. I only had half of it. Promise.
Go NOW to Barney's Better Burgers... in Medford, on Riverside. If you want, check them out on Facebook.
I can't wait to go back for Round 2.
If you're a regular reader of this silly blog... you know that I love food. I don't discriminate... I love all foods... but I particularly love food that comes from a cart... or truck. I don't discriminate there either. Tacos, Thai, barbecue... I'm all in.... all the time. When I spot one -- I must try whatever they're cooking up inside.
If you're in downtown Medford a lot... you may have seen the green truck, with a massive fig on the side of it. As soon as I spotted it and realized it was a food truck -- I got ants in my pants to have some lunch there. It's called "Figgy's" and I didn't realize, but they've been around for a while. They do a TON of catering -- but also serve lunch out of their kitchen-on-wheels.
The menus change weekly -- but typically, it's soups and sandwiches. On a rainy weekday, I decided to give them a try. Their menu this week included a buffalo chicken sandwich and a sausage sandwich (which is what I ordered)... plus a cauliflower soup with parmesan. Yes and yes. By the way, I didn't eat all of this food. I COULD have... but I didn't. Everything was delicious. It all tasted clean, healthy and like it was made with love. The sandwiches came with a fresh salad and homemade dressing. Yum, yum, yum.
Figgy's is on a bit of a winter break right now. Like I mentioned, they do a lot of catering... and according to their website, are moving to another location to continue to serve their hungry patrons. Like me!! Thanks Figgy's.
They're updating folks on their website. You can find a link and other information by clicking here. I also posted a few pictures of our grub.
It's almost 10 o'clock here in the News 10 Newsroom... the 11pm newscast is mostly finished and I'm going over all the stuff I have to do tomorrow for my Thanksgiving Day feast. First of all, let me say, I'm an absolute weirdo in the kitchen. I'm kinda controlling when it comes to meals... especially big dinners like the one I'm doing tomorrow. It irks me when people open the oven door... stir the pot (literally and figuratively) on the stove... or start messing with my dishes. I know, I'm a freak. But I admit it. I have this desperate need for the meal to be perfect... and I guess I think if someone else starts coming in and doing stuff... it's going to mess with my routine. I know... I said I'm a weirdo and deep down, I think I need counseling.. At least I admit it! "Hello, my name is Trish... and I'm a kitchen weirdo."
Anyway... I'm sitting here at my desk, going over my Thanksgiving Day "to do" list for the 19-th time... planning out my timeline... and just stopped mid-list. I realized how much I have to be thankful for... and I do. I have an amazing family... one here in Medford... another in Fort Worth, Texas... and then another one in South Carolina. I think how truly awesome it would be if all of us were under one roof, cooking (it would be loud and obnoxious)... and spending time together.
And I can't forget about my dog and cat. They are family, too... and my bestest buddies... ever.
I also have an amazing job... that I love coming to (most days!)... and I work with an amazing group of people. And I get to live in one incredible place.
Bottom line... I'm so lucky and super thankful... and I'm trying not to stress so much about my turkey day dinner.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our News 10 viewers, website readers and Facebook friends. I'm thankful for you, too! You keep the job interesting!
I have to go now and check my to do list one more time...
When I started to get into wine here in the Rogue Valley... I was slightly obsessed. I had never been a huge fan of the stuff, but gradually, over time... I really started to get into all aspects of it. Growing the grapes, crushing them, turning that concoction into a beautiful product... to be consumed by me. If you were in Southern Oregon about 10 years ago... you know there were wineries, but nothing like we have now. The industry has really blossomed here over the last decade. By the way, thanks for that.
One of my first... and still favorite wineries to visit is Wooldridge Creek Winery in the Applegate Valley. The hubs and I stumbled upon it one day while we were exploring this beautiful area we live in. We fell in love with the people, the scenery, the dogs... and the wine. It was love at first sight... and sip. We've been hooked ever since -- but not in an addictive way. In a love-over-wine-I'm-a-social-butterfly-kind-of-way.
We hadn't been out there in months... but just recently drove out there, on a ridiculously gorgeous fall day. These are the days where you look around, glass of Tempranillo in hand and think to yourself, "really? I live here?!"
Anyway, I could go on and on about how incredible their wines are (and they are)... how beautiful the winery is (and it is) or how awesome the people are who work there (there are, too). But I'll stop brown-nosing... and just tell you to go there. Soon. It's a gem. Go. Take a picnic. And be ready to be wow-ed.
When I was in South Carolina a few weeks ago, I had dinner with my brother and dad in the beautiful city of Columbia. I absolutely adore the Columbia area... especially down by the University of South Carolina campus... even if it is home of the icky Gamecocks. Pooooo! I'm a Clemson Tigers fan through and through.
Okay... anyway... back to the food story I was starting to tell. So, we went to one of my brother's favorite places, Hunter and Gatherer. I have to tell you, it was the coolest joint... I can tell why it's incredibly popular.
It's a brewery and alehouse... open since the mid 90's... and offering up English-style ales along with some really great food. I ordered the gyro and I'm really picky about gyros, but this one was amazing. Get this -- instead of fries... the restaurant serves up hash browns as a side. Brilliant! And to start... we ordered the Pimento Cheese spread... a South Carolina favorite. I could have eaten it with a spoon. You can get the spread on your burger as well. Yes please, I'm in!
Besides the food and great brews... the ambience of this place was almost magical. It was dark, with a few strings of lights up... had a lot of dark wood... loud, busy. I was also having dinner with my sweet brother and hilarious father which may have had something to do with it.
Anywho... I realize that my Southern Oregon family and friends might never visit the HG... but I had to share my experience with you. I honestly felt like I was in an English-style pub... not in my home state. I snapped a few photos as well.
I recently went "home"... to South Carolina. It's where I grew up, where a lot of my family is... and a place that makes my heart happy. Living there for so many years... I can honestly say I never fully appreciated the number of good cooks in our family... and the dishes they made that NO one else on this planet can ever come close to getting right. In the last few years, I've come to really, fully understand why Southern food is so amazing.
I'm not talking about "soul" food... "comfort" food... or any other stereotype most people think of when they think of food from the South.
Take this particular dinner... we had some family over on Sunday afternoon. There was fried chicken (of course)... chicken and dumplings, sweet creamed corn, butter beans and rice, okra, homemade biscuits, potatoes and collard and turnip greens with bacon. All made with love... in old pots with mismatched lids, brought over in tupperware and served on extra large styrofoam plates. This dinner -- like so many others -- had all the elements of family. Everyone brought the dish they made best... and while you ate each one, all you could think is "Aunt Harriet's chicken and dumplings are the absolute best"... or "no one fries up chicken like so-and-so." It's this kind of love and passion we put into our food and family that makes me proud to be a part of it.
So, I posted some pictures of the food. Which, by the way, if you notice the very large cast iron pot with greens cooking in it... well, this pot is legendary. My grandma made every batch of shrimp creole in this very pot. My Papa used it for his catfish stew. It's the BEST pot for fried chicken (so I'm told)... so it was very special for me to cook greens in it for this Sunday dinner.
When my family gets together... we love sitting down around the table in my grandma's kitchen.. eating lunch... and talking about what's for dinner. During dinner, we discuss what we're doing for breakfast. That's just the kind of family we are... the kind of family we have always been... and I'll never complain.
Salud... with a glass of sweet ice tea y'all!
I've never been one of those people to shy away from street food... fair food... or food from a cart. In fact, if you've noticed... food carts are becoming quite the thing lately. And while Medford doesn't have the food cart scene like Portland does... we certainly seem to be working on it. Hooray for that. I absolutely adore a good food cart. There's something about watching the food getting whipped up right in front of you. It's like... magic.
That kind of magic exists in downtown Medford at Wasana's Thai food cart. I l-o-v-e Thai food. The really, really good stuff has this incredible balance of tangy, sweet, salty and spicy. Wasana has nailed that on the head. Her dishes are incredibly fresh and made with a lot of love. I met Wasana several months ago when we were doing a special West Coast Flavors "food cart" edition. She mentioned she wanted to open up her own food cart... to make food how she liked to cook it (insert applause here). My mouth just waters thinking about one of her dishes, Yum Nu... marianted sirloin, cilantro, onion, Thai chili paste... all mixed to order. It's so good. I posted a picture sans drool.
On top of the amazing food... Wasana is a breath of fresh air. She's so friendly and kind and is one of the reasons I stop by and see her. And gobble up her food.
Check out Wasana's Thai food cart... she's in downtown Medford on Riverside and 8th.
And on that note... what's your favorite local food cart? Send me an email and let me know! email@example.com
Spam. It's what's for dinner. Especially if you own a Hawaiian restaurant in Medford and your name is Ed Chun. It was a West Coast Flavors morning... and I had so much fun with my buddy Ed in the West Coast Appliance kitchen. We were laughing... talking about food, his restaurant... his new location... and THEN... he brought out the Spam.
I've actually eaten Spam before this shoot. When I lived in South Carolina, my incredibly sweet neighbor, Mrs. Dolly (who watched some of the rowdy neighborhood kids - yours truly included) would sometimes make us spam for lunch. And boxed macaroni and cheese. The mac and cheese was my absolute fave. The Spam... I never cared for. Can you blame me? I was six years old and it's square meat. From a can.
Ed has changed all that... in today's shoot... he made Spam Musubi (think Spam sushi)... and a spam, bacon and kimchee fried rice. Not at all what I thought... and absolutely delicious. In fact, I'm craving some Spam right now. Fire up the wok, Ed!
He also made a delicious stir-fry and this amazing french toast using Hawaiian sweet bread. Seconds, please!
Any-hoo... I posted a few pictures from our West Coast Flavors shoot... there are a couple more on my Facebook page.
Look out for our WCF segments with Ed Chun from Sunrise Cafe in Medford! He'll be on News 10, Thursdays at 5... for the next few weeks!
I know I normally blog your ears off about food, my favorite places to eat... burgers, bacon, biscuits and West Coast Flavors, but I got so excited after discovering this special little place in the Rogue Valley... my first thought was, "I have to tell people about this!"
It was a typical weekend with my honey. We woke up, decided to grab some brunch and then run a few errands. On our way home, we spotted a little sign on Rossanley that we'd been keeping our eye on. It read, "Apocalypse Brewing Company... Taproom, Coming Soon." Well, on this particular sunny day in Medford... "Coming Soon" was delightfully changed to "Now Open." We immediately wanted to check it out. Right behind the Human Bean coffee stand... was this open, garage-looking... shop-kinda-thingy. Industrial, cool-looking, and interesting. We parked, walked in... and much to our surprise... a taproom. With beer. Local beer. On tap. Cold. Ready to be tasted. By me.
We grabbed a sit at the cool concrete bar and asked for a flight. First, The Tunguska Event... a refreshing cream ale... perfect for summer. Then Fallow Fields, a brown ale... smooth and easy to drink. Followed by Devastated Sky... what Apocalypse describes as an "American stout style brew." They also make a Pacific Northwest Ale, a typical IPA... but we were a day early in tasting it. You better believe I'm going back!
I don't know what it was... the beers, Apocalypse's fun crew... the fact everything is done in the same space I was sitting in... but I got super excited about this new business in the Rogue Valley. This brewing company's philosophy (found on their website) -- "enjoying the time we have, while we have time left." I try and live in the moment as much as possible, so their mission really struck a chord with me. And their beer was tasty, too.
With that said... check these guys out. Their taproom is on Rossanley -- right behind the Human Bean stand. I've posted a few pictures of our time there... and if you want to see what this brewing company is all about, click here. It also lists times and location.
And I know this isn't the only taproom up and running in the Rogue Valley, which makes me even more excited to go try some more local beer... and hopefully meet some equally excited people who are doing something they want. Something fun. Something they believe in.
And the beer's good to boot!
There's a certain energy on Thursday mornings in the spring, summer and early fall. It's all about the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market in Medford. I know there are other markets during the week throughout Southern Oregon... but I fell in love with this particular market a few years ago... and I've watched it grow ever since.
While I try to visit the market as much as possible... my favorite time to go is in September and October. There just seems to be an abundance of goodies, fresh vegetables and shiny, happy people.
I stopped by this week and made my normal rounds. I always hit up the RoxyAnn Bakery booth, if only to drool over the eclairs, brownies and coconut yummies. The brains behind all the baked goods -- John Soares from the Azores Islands. If you haven't yet, go by, talk to him about his passion, listen to his accent... and buy some of his food. You won't be disappointed.
Next up -- I visit Pam and Kim at the Saucy Sisters table... to get my pesto fix and then immediately head over to Sammy's Cowboy Bistro & Bakery booth for some bread. The two are a match made in food heaven.
From here... it's a tough call. Trying to decide which local farmer I want to buy produce from is never easy. I pace back and forth for a few minutes before I decide. There are literally dozens... so I try to mix it up from week to week. I've never had anything from any farm that wasn't absolutely incredible! I never thought I'd get so excited about vegetables... and local tomatoes. Yum.
And... if it's close to lunch time (which is weird... I always seem to end up at the market around lunch time)... you can take your pick between a sandwich... gyro or tamale. Good eatin' folks.
So, take advantage of the grower's market while it's open. For a list of vendors, times and locations... click here.
I'll see you next Thursday! I'll be the one shoving food in my face!
Brunch: one of my favorite meals of the day. It not only gives you an awesome excuse to be lazy and sleep in... but you can choose between breakfast... and lunch... maybe a little of both. Maybe the pancakes and the BLT. Or... I'll take the strata... with a small side of french toast. It's also an excuse to order a mimosa!
Over the weekend... the hubs and I decided to brunch it... and since News 10 just did a West Coast Flavors shoot with Buttercloud Bakery (and I couldn't get their biscuits off my brain), we decided to go there. When I mentioned the restaurant serves biscuits and gravy only on the weekends... it didn't take much else to convince him.
Buttercloud is located on Jackson Street and Genessee in Medford... and I love the atmosphere. You can see inside the kitchen -- watch as Ellen fries up your egg... and then drool over all the cakes and goodies on the counter. By the way, during our WCF shoot, I asked her why the name "Buttercloud." She said when her husband tried her biscuits... it was like eating a cloud of butter. Bingo.
So, back to brunch. I ordered the Farmhouse biscuit sandwich... bacon, fried egg, tomato and basil aioli. It was even better than it sounds. The hubs ordered (what else?) the biscuits with bacon gravy. Both were ridiculously good. We even tried to eat them slower... so we could enjoy it longer. Didn't work.
Buttercloud also has mimosas (yay!), french press... and they can whip up any type of espresso drink. Throw that in with incredible food... awesome staff... and we've found our new weekend brunch spot!
For more information on Buttercloud Bakery, like their menu... click here. Check out the sweets on the front page.
Also... go drool at our breakfasts... I posted pictures below.
One of the best things about summer (besides vacations, flip flops and blue skies) is all the yummy things that are produced in local gardens. Right around August, I love visiting the local farmer's market to check out and buy boatloads of berries, peaches, tomatoes and basil.
We had a West Coast Flavors shoot this week with Buttercloud Bakery in Medford. The restaurant paired up with Thrive -- an online farmer's market, where you can shop for local, fresh produce online and pick it up a few days later (brilliant!). Thrive provided the produce... Ellen from Buttercloud whipped it up into 4 incredible dishes. We had everything from an easy tomato salad... to a roasted vegetable sandwich, with herbed goat cheese... on one of Buttercloud's famous biscuits. Yum and yum.
It was a fun shoot... I posted a couple of pictures... and I got to know a little more about this new-ish bakery in town. They do biscuit sandwiches, soups... and desserts. Incredible, mouth-watering desserts. If you want more information on their menu (check out the sandwiches), location and hours... click here.
Also - I'm excited to shop online for local produce. It's crazy-easy. Just go to RogueValleyLocalFoods.org and start shopping. Local farmers have a list of what they'll have available that week, so from Friday to Tuesday night... you can fill up your cart. They harvest the goods... then, you can pick up your loot from one of 7 different locations around the valley. It's not only smart, but it's a great way to take advantage of the farmer's market... especially if you don't have time to go out there.
That's my challenge to all you food lovers... if you're not doing so already, eat local! I love supporting local ranchers and farmers. Besides -- it's the best!
There are a lot of little "gems" in Jacksonville... that's what I like to call those out-of-the-way eateries that not everyone knows about... they're unique, delicious, and usually have fun, quirky people working at them.
I recently went on a lunch date with the hubs to C Street Bistro in Jacksonville. It's located, conveniently, on C Street. If you haven't dined here yet... go now! It's amazing... the food is amazing... and the owner is... amazing.
One of my favorite items on the menu is the "Forager." It's a burger... with wild mushrooms and a truffle aioli. The burgers are incredible... the owner uses the best cuts of beef and then grinds each burger to order. So, when you order one... you'll hear the grinder going in the kitchen. It's like eating a cloud... it falls apart and is more of a meal than your typical burger. Oh boy, it's dinner time... and I'm drooling.
Okay... what was I writing about again? Oh right... lunch! I was looking to try something new on my lunch date... so I went with a turkey sandwich. Don't let the name fool you... it's a pumped up version... house-brined turkey, house-made bacon, truffle aioli... yum and yum. The hubs had a sandwich with smoked salmon and goat cheese. I posted a couple of pictures. It was delicious... although EVERYTHING on the menu is delicious. You can't go wrong with anything you pick.
And it's not just their lunch menu... C Street serves up an incredible brunch and dinner menu. For more information on the restaurant, times and location... click here.
If you decide to go and try one the sandwiches, paninis... or the waffles (another fav), make sure and say hi to Chef Paul Becking... and wave at me. I'll be the one in the corner inhaling her hamburger.
Spicy. Sushi. Yes please and I'll take seconds. I recently stopped by Misoya Bistro in downtown Medford. If you haven't been, you have to stop by. The food is great and the atmosphere is just plain fun.
It's located right in Vogel Plaza and their outdoor patio is an oasis... a perfect place to enjoy some sushi and people watch. I snapped a picture... but it doesn't really show off how nice the outdoor seating is.
Sushi and I have come a looooong way. I'm from the south, and raw fish was never on the menu in our house, so it's taken several years for me to really enjoy sashimi and hand rolls. I like to think I'm a little adventurous when it comes to sushi, but I'm not. I'm a wimp and I have my favorites. I always go back to something like the spicy salmon roll because I get it all... fish, spice, rice. So nice. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
On this trip to Misoya, I was with the hubs... and we ordered the Crazy Boy roll, the Spanish roll and of course, a spicy salmon roll. The Crazy Boy roll, is well... crazy. Crab, avocado, spicy tuna, jalepeno... in rice... then deep fried and topped with a flaming-orange spicy hot sauce. So. Good. It was the first time I've had the Spanish roll and I'll definitely be ordering it again. It had fresh salmon, cilantro, crab, cucumber, jalepeno... delish! It was spicy, but also really clean-tasting and super fresh!
And you don't have to get sushi... they have an extensive menu full of sorts of incredible yummies... like tempura, Yakisoba, ramen, Korean Seafood Pancakes and the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup which is ridiculously good!
Another bonus... the people at Misoya are incredibly friendly and nice. I feel like I'm visiting old friends whenever I go. That could be said, though, for many eateries in downtown Medford!
Misoya also has local wines and beer on tap. If you'd like more information about the restaurant, click here.
So, next time you're walking along in downtown... and get a hankering for sushi... keep Misoya in mind. You won't be disappointed!
Local wine, beautiful scenery and BBQ. That was my Saturday night... I attended a wine event at RoxyAnn Winery with some friends and it was an amazing evening! Rogue BBQ was on hand... serving up pulled pork, barbecued chicken and tri-tip. If you haven't tried this local barbecue, it's a must! RoxyAnn was showing off its new Cabernet Franc -- which was incredible. So, good food... good wine... good friends, needless to say, I was in heaven!
When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of RoxyAnn's Pinot Gris - which is deliciously crisp and perfect for warm summer nights. We were shown to our table... where there was a variety of goodies in the middle, including a bucket of popcorn. I have a picture of what was left of our bucket at the end of the night. Apparently, one of the gals who works at RoxyAnn cooked it up for the crowd that night and it was so good, I wanted to share the recipe with you!
She pops plain old popcorn... but then browns some butter and throws in lemon zest, chopped rosemary, fleur de sel and pepper. Fleur de sel has more mineral complexity than regular table salt... and a lot more flavor. It was some of the best popcorn I've ever had and I'm dying to try it out at home!
If you've never been out to RoxyAnn winery, you have to try it! The surroundings are beautiful... the staff is amazing and the wine is wonderful! If you'd like more information about RoxyAnn Winery, check out their link here.
There's very few restaurants that have it all... good food, good drinks, good service. We're lucky... we have a lot of restaurants in Southern Oregon that have the trifecta. But then there are restaurants that go above and beyond. It's not enough they make everything in house. No, there are some that make smart decisions based on the good of the planet, our environment and our community. I believe Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland is one of those restaurants.My hubby and I stopped by there this weekend for a late lunch. Walking in and reading the menu, it's easy to tell... every item, every ingredient... had a mountain of influence behind it. Even the straw in a glass of soda was paper and recyclable. And fun to drink out of.We enjoyed burgers and fries... mine came on a homemade pita... I'm just going to say wow. I'm still dreaming of that puffy, chewy warm bread. I beg for a constant flow to my front door. The hubs said his burger was "cooked perfectly" and the garlic fries... absolutely delicious! The beef comes from Standing Stone's own free-range cattle, which is raised on their farm, just one mile from the restaurant. It's not only sustainable, it's responsible. But that's not all, Standing Stone raises its own chickens, which provide all of the eggs they need for the kitchen. And their beer? More than 90% of the grains used are organic. Now, that's what I call love! But that's just the tip of the iceberg... the list goes on and on.It's a place you feel good about eating in. And honestly, I'm thrilled they are right in our backyard. News 10 has done a lot of stories on Standing Stone in our Green Wednesday series, and now I understand why. They just do it right.Standing Stone Brewing Company is open 7 days a week. If you'd like their hours or want to know more about this amazing restaurant and brew pup, click here. Go visit. Have a beer. Order some food. Feel good. And then smile because you're supporting a hard working local business.Salud!
My family and I took a little trip to Southern California last week for some R&R... although, with my vacations, it's more like R&R&F&D. That's rest, relaxation, food and drink.
You know how it is when you're on vacation... it's an automatic free pass to be a complete glutton. Eat a little more than you usually do... have a cocktail way before 5 o'clock and sit around after the fact, doing no activity whatsoever. And yes, I did exactly that last week.
We visited my husband's sister and her family... and one of their favorites spots for Mexican delights is in Long Beach. One night, we hopped over there and stuffed our faces.
I posted a few pictures of our meal. I had to work fast because the food wasn't lasting long on our plates. In fact, I remembered to take a picture of my dinner mid-taco. My hubby ordered what's called "The Baja"... it's 2 pounds of rice, beans, pico de gallo, meat, cheese, sour cream, guacamole... kitchen sink. You name it, and it was in this burrito. He gave it a valiant effort, but ultimately, "The Baja" won the food fight.
The restaurant is known for its crunchy tacos, so that's what I ordered. One with shredded beef, the other with carnitas. Wow. Delish. The place also has about 8 different salsas that are so good, you end up eating them with a spoon.
This place was just one highlight. We also stopped by a BBQ smokehouse that has some of the best braised greens I've ever had. And I'm from the South, so that's saying a lot. Just don't tell my Grandma. They cooked them with pork... and they were spicy... and now I'm drooling.
I don't want to judge a trip by the food, but right after saying, "it was so nice to see your sister," I throw out a, "wasn't that brisket amazing?!" I can't help it. I'm a foodie and proud of it.
I have to say one thing... we are so lucky to live in Southern Oregon. We have amazing restaurants, wines and beers... right in our own backyard. So, while the meals I had in Southern California were delicious... they don't hold a dime to what we have here.
There's nothing more exciting to me than a "West Coast Flavors Morning." That usually means... I get to meet a chef I've never met before, hang out in the kitchen with them, watch them cook and then eat their food. That last one is my favorite part.
Recently, we were in the West Coast Flavors kitchen with Chris Summers, new chef at the Rogue River Lodge. He's no stranger to the Rogue Valley... in fact, he got his start here, in Ashland, as a dishwasher. After moving up the culinary ranks, he spent some time in Aspen, Colorado, then London and now he's back. Back with a vengeance. Your bellies should thank him for his return.
This was my first time trying Chris' delicious dishes and I was not disappointed. When I showed up, I spotted a few of the ingredients he would be using: lobster, filet mignon, mussels, pork, mashed potatoes. Oh... and garlic butter and heavy cream. Ding! Ding! We have a winner! He was careful and meticulous with all of the food, making for memorable meal after memorable meal.
I posted a few pictures from the shoot and be sure to tune in to News 10 on Thursdays at 5 p.m. Chris will be showing off his skills for the next four weeks.
If you'd like to check out the menu at the Rogue River Lodge (you know you want to) just click here.
Pilsner, IPA, porter, stout... these terms are everyday speak for beer drinkers and this week in Medford, odds are you'll be hearing them a lot more. Sunday kicked off a week-long celebration to suds, with a focus on the craft beer industry... and more importantly, the exceptional beers that are made in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
I enjoy a good beer, but what really makes my ears perk up is FOOD!
Monday night at Elements Tapas Bar in downtown Medford, those two came together in mouth-watering ways. It was the Lagunitas Brewing Beer Dinner and I was lucky enough to be there! Lagunitas is now located in Petaluma, California. It started as a tiny operation in the town of, where else, Lagunitas... and has now bloomed into a brewery that distributes beer to more than 30 states... and is considered one of the top ten breweries in the country.So, beer drinkers and foodies alike were absolutely giddy to be trying dishes like "beer cheese soup with spicy pork sausage" and an ice-cold Pilsner. Or, "house alder wood smoked St. Louis cut ribs" with Lagunitas' Maximus IPA. The real treat, though, was the slider. A burger that, according to the magazine 1859, is one of the top 5 burgers in Oregon. It's a lamb and chorizo slider with caramelized onion, manchego cheese, smoked tomato catsup and house-made beer mustard... served with the "Censored" Rich Copper Ale.
Yup. It was ridiculous. Sigh.
Oh wait! Dessert! Get this -- a chocolate coffee brownie with house-made chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce. That was served with a small glass of Lagunitas' Cappuccino Stout. I had to be rolled out of Elements... and stuffed in the car to go home. But the dinner was nothing short of incredible. And surrounded by incredible friends to boot, it was just plain fun.
A heartfelt "Bravo!" must be given to the culinary geniuses behind the magic food curtain. Elements Chef Braden Hitt and sous chef Mike Hite knocked the dinner out of the ball park. And Lagunitas was kind enough to lend Mike Baltus to Southern Oregon to tell us all about the beers and some interesting and funny stories behind the brews.
This week in Medford, get out... grab a craft beer, some good food and revel in the fact we are so incredibly lucky to be living here, right now. There are several events going on all week in the Rogue Valley, capped off with the 2012 Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival in downtown Medford. For a list of all the events, click here.
New posts will be made soon, so check back often!