Hello Gringo Bandito & Chronics Taco Challenge!

Late last year, I wrote about Gringo Bandito, a hot sauce that is turning up the heat all over California.

Now Gringo Bandito along with Chronics Tacos is bringing the heat to the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival in Dana Point! This April 8, 2017 will be the Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge at KLOS Presents Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival. It’s the 4th annual festival and the 7th annual Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge.

Top professional eaters from around the world will compete in this professional taco eating contest. Using their skills and speed at taco eating, ten individuals will compete for cash prizes and the highly coveted title of Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Eating Champion!

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Among the 10 professional eaters is well-known world-champion eater Takeru Kobayashi, from Nagano, Japan. Kobayashi, eight time Guinness Record title holder for competitive eating and he was the Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Eating Champion of 2015. In that contest he ate an amazing record of 144 tacos in 10 minutes. Along side with Kobayashi will be Molly Schuyller, Naader Reda, Kevin Ross, Erik Lampkin, Dave Brunelli and defending European taco challenge champion Jesse Pynnönen, from Heinola, Finland.

The fun is not just for the professionals however!  An amateur competition will be open to 8 lucky contestants. Hmm rumor has it Hello Kitty, Tuxedo Sam and My Melody want to join. 🙂

Asides from the contests, guests of the festival can try all the different Gringo Bandito hot sauces, sample various gourmet tacos. indulge in unlimited craft beer sampling, watch spirited games, see lucha libre style wrestling matches. The heat is on at Dana Point this April 8!

Festival General Admission Tickets start at $60, and VIP Lounge + Early Entry Tickets are $99. Day-of Festival General Admission Tickets (if available) will be $75 per person.

For the most up-to-date information on Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival, please visit:
 Website www.SabrosoTacoFest.com
 Facebook: @sabrosotacofest
 Twitter: @sabrosotacofest
 Instagram: @sabrosotacofest
 Hashtag: #sabrosotacofest

Hello Cafe 86!

Pink is my favorite color however I feel like purple is starting to make its way into my heart lately. Yes, that color purple sure is making an impact….thanks to ube!

Ube is the Tagalog word for purple yam and it’s the new “IT” dessert. It’s been making waves all over social media. From ube donuts to ube ice cream, the Filipino fave dessert has become a favorite for many foodies.

For some excellent ube treats, one should definitely check out Cafe 86. This cute Filipino cafe first opened up in Chino Hills, California and soon after opened up locations in Pasadena and Artesia, California. From the moment you walk into their cute cafe, one is sure to say “Oh my Ube.” This place truly is ube heaven.

A fan favorite  for many is the Ube Leche Flan Cupcake.

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The base of the cupcake is purple ube beauty made out of Cafe 86’s housemade ube halaya and then the top of the cupcake is the creamy Filipino dessert leche plan. The ube base and the leche plan topping is truly a match made in heaven. With this dessert you have a soft moist cake and a creamy sweet topping. Every bite is simply delightful.

Another awesome ube dessert is their ube cake truffles.  At first glance,  these truffles look like simple chocolate balls but don’t fooled because there is truly an amazing surprise waiting for you inside.

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It will truly be love at first bite of these Ube Truffles. Inside is a lovely purple colored moist cake made out of…..you guessed it ube! When I visited Cafe 86, I honestly thought nothing could be as amazing as the Ube Leche Flan Cupcake but their Ube Truffles sure is just as wonderful. It has the nice rich touch of chocolate on the outside. The inside is the soft ube cake. It is one of my favorites at Cafe 86.

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There is even more ube delight to be found in their Ube Monster ice cream sandwich.

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It’s Cookie Monster turned Ube Monster with this dessert! It’s a ube ice cream sandwich with two soft chocolate cookies filled with ube ice cream. It truly a “monster” dessert. It’s “monster” gigantic cookies. It’s filled with “monster” loads of creamy ube ice cream. You’re sure to go “monster” ube crazy with this one. 🙂

The Ube menu goes on and on at Cafe 86. Their specials change daily. Sometimes there are Ube Crinkle Cookies, Ube Crack Cheesecake, Ube Butter Bars or even Ube Vegan Bundt Cake. It’s not just about ube at Cafe 86 however. They have lots of other dessert delights like Halo-Halo Bread Pudding, Skyflake cookies and Churochi; a Cafe 86 special dessert of churro and mochi combined. In addition to desserts, Cafe 86 has various iced teas like Hibiscus Calamansi and Peach Mango,  milk teas like Thai Tea milk tea and Sea Salt Black Tea, Milk Shakes and Slush like Caramel Milk Slush and different lattes, espressos and loose leaf teas.

Yes, pink may be my favorite color but purple truly has made its way into this Hello Kitty Foodies heart. Oh my ube, I am a ube fan and Cafe 86 has a lot to do why I am. 😉

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Cafe 86.

Hell Stacked Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich!

 

With and iPad in front,  there I go  clicking, sliding, dragging, dropping and then hit the magic button of “Send to Kitchen”

This my Hello Kitty Foodies is the  process of “Food Well Built” at Stacked.

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I have so many favorites at Stacked. I love how this restaurant lets you customize every thing  from their sides to their salads to their amazing burgers.

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I am so excited that Stacked has a new item on their customizable menu. The latest and greatest addition is their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich! Yes! Hello Kitty Foodies we can now get our fried chicken fix at Stacked.

Stacked’s new Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich has a fresh chicken breast that is hand-breaded with buttermilk batter and fried to a golden brown. It is stacked with pickles, red onion, green leaf lettuce and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun. Just like any other item on the menu, this item can be stacked any way you like. I stacked it Hello Kitty Foodie style ;).

My Hello Kitty Foodie style Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich consisted of the golden brown fried chicken sandwich stacked with green leaf lettuce, onion strings, sautéed mushrooms and mac and cheese all on top of the brioche bun. I had garlic aioli and honey mustard on the side for dipping.

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The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich was phenomenal. The fresh chicken breast was superb in flavor and had a bit of a spicy kick to it. The addition of the crispy onion strings gave it an extra crunch! I’m also a big fan of Stacked’s creamy mac and cheese and this brought a bit of Southern deliciousness to the sandwich.

My Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich also paired well with Stacked’s delicious sides of  garlic parmesan sweet potato fries and onion strings.

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In addition the new Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich, Stacked has an amazing shake of the month this month! This month’s special shake is the Caramel Delight.The Caramel Delight Shake is inspired by the @GirlScouts Caramel deLites cookie. img_0315

The Caramel Delight shake is truly a delight! It has caramel, coconut, swirls of chocolate and is topped with the@GirlScouts cookie! I loved this new shake just as much as I loved the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich!

Stacked has always had a special place in my heart because the Stacked Del Amo location is where I got my first ever Yelp ROTD (Review of the Day).  This place is simply memorable with amazing food. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich just adds to my love of this place! Fried Chicken Heaven now at Stacked! 🙂

Hello Tasty Noodle House!

There’s a tasty new place that opened up late last year in Lomita, California and it’s no other than Tasty Noodle House. It’s a Shanghainese cuisine eatery that has several California branches. They have restaurants in Hacienda heights, Irvine, Cerritos, Chino Hills and San Diego.

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Tasty Noodle House has quite an extensive menu and during my visit here, my initial thought was their menu was comparable to the size of Cheesecake Factory’s! (Insert Hello Kitty Foodie giggles here :D). Instead of pages and pages of entrees and cheesecake however, this place had pages and pages of delicious Shanhainese selections. 😉

One of the first noticeable items is their amazing line of up of various dumplings. Their dumpling menu ranges from different vegetarian, meat and seafood wontons to different wonton soups.

I first tried their Shangai Sticky Rice Shiu-Mai.

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I’ve always been a fan of sticky rice at dim sum restaurants. I found this shiu-mai to be so interesting because it is a dumpling with sticky rice inside. It has a chewy dumpling skin on the outside and inside is the moist sticky rice. It’s a very unique take on sticky rice.

One of my favorite dumplings here is actually one of their soup offerings. I absolutely love their Shanghai Wonton Soup.

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It’s a very heartwarming broth filled shitake mushrooms, veggies, wonton strips and ten soft luscious dumplings. The dumplings are generously filled with flavorful pork.

Speaking of pork, Tasty Noodle House has a very popular dish in their Shanghai Grilled Pork Bun.

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The Shanghai Grilled Pork Buns is a absolutely wonderful! They’re huge in size and are filled with a nice amount of flavorful pork. I also like the touch of sesame seeds that they have on the buns.

Aside from different dumplings, they have various rice dishes. I tried their Yeung Chow Fried Rice.

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This is a very fulfilling fried rice dish. It is packed with several ingredients such as shrimp, Chinese Sausage and veggies.

Last but definitely not least is their extensive noodle selection. After all this is Tasty Noodle House. 😉

One of the first noodles I tried was their Shanghai Style Chow Mein.

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I liked how this dish had chicken and Chinese broccoli. It’s got your greens and protein. You can check off healthy eats with this one.

The other noodle dish I got to try was there Basil Beef Noodles.

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The basil in this dish is very distinct and one will instantly taste the flavoring at first bite.

Tasty Noodle House definitely lives up to it’s name. It wasn’t just the noodles that was tasty but their dumplings, soup, fried rice and pork buns. Hmm perhaps their name of should’ve been Tasty Everything House. 😉 Overall a very tasty place. 🙂

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Tasty Noodle House.

 

Hello Paris Baguette Bakery Cafe!

Bonjour Hello Kitty Foodies!

We now have a  little taste of France in Redondo Beach! Paris Baguette Bakery Cafe has recently opened up in Redondo Beach and this place is sure to make you say “Je T’aime Paris Baguette.”

It is truly not hard to fall in love with this cute little bakery cafe. Walking in you are greeted with a wonderful assortment of French bread and pastries. They have a wonderful array of both sweet and savory goodies for you to enjoy. Among the delicious sweet treats are raspberry cream cheese and blueberry cream cheese croissants, lemon pain aux raisin bread and chocolate croissants. (I love how the raspberry cream cheese croissant has lots of sweet raspberry jam in it! I also love that the lemon pain six raisin bread has swirls of cream cheese on top!) Savory delights can be found in their ham and cheese panini and their hash brown bread. (I am simply crushing how the ham and cheese panini has a hint of pesto! This Hello Kitty Foodie is also enamored with the hash brown bread that is packed with a whole hash brown, ham and cheese!)

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To go along with their fresh baked offerings, Paris Baguette has a full coffee menu with iced coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, mocha and drip coffees!

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It is no secret that I love cute coffee houses and Paris Baguette just made me oh so happy with their fragrant cup of hazelnut coffee. A croissant plus their coffee is truly a match made in heaven!

Last but definitely not least, is their beautiful desserts.

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It is truly every sweet tooth’s dream come true here. They have various cream puffs, fruit tarts, cheesecake, cake rolls, cakes and macarons! They also have “Delightful Bites” of cookies in cranberry almond flavor and salted caramel chocolate in cute small mason bars. These sweet treats are perfect for a small afternoon snack or dessert!

From their freshly bakes French bread and pastries to their fresh brewed coffee and their beautiful cakes and dessert, it is hard not to fall in love with Paris Baguette! It makes my heart happy to see this new bakery open up in Redondo Beach!

Je T’aime Paris Baguette!

Hello Munch!

I’ve always been a fan of macarons! There is something just so special about the delicate French confectionery. The crisp cookies and jam in between simply spells happiness. It was thus a very happy discovery for me when I spotted Munch at the Torrance Farmers Market.

Trays of colorful, cute pastel colored macarons were on display and I could not help but stop. Lemon, vanilla, nutella, red velvet, salted caramel….ahhh! Wait what is that I spot? Buko panda, leche flan, ube? Oh my! Munch has Filipino flavored macarons! Spotting the various flavors simply had this Hello Kitty Foodie sold on trying these macarons out!

Two of my favorite Filipino desserts ever are leche flan and ube and thus it simply was meant to be that these would be the first two macaron flavors I would try from Munch.

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I tried the Leche Flan macaron first.

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With its soft base, creamy texture and sweet top, leche flan is one very popular egg based Filipino dessert and my personal favorite. I was quite intrigued to see how Munch create the Leche Flan macaron style. I’m happy to say that equal to the Leche Flan dessert, the Leche Flan macaron is sweet and soft.  The delicate macaron reminded me of Leche flan’s lightness and deliciousness.

The Ube macaron was the next macaron I tried.

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I was simply amazed with this macaron. Munch knows ube. This macaron not only had the bright purple color of ube, it had the sweetness of the purple yam as well! It was truly purple yam love at first bite.

It didn’t take long for me to convinced that I was munch happy munching on these delightful macarons and I eagerly looked forward to my next visit to the Torrance Farmer’s market.

I definitely wanted to try more of Munch’s Filipino flavors and on my next visit I tried another one of Munch’s signature favorites, the Buko Pandan.

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Buko Pandan is a Filipino dessert made from young coconut meat and Pandan leaves. I was quite curious to see how Munch would bring incorporate this delicious dessert into their macarons. Right at first bite, I knew right away this was a Buko Pandan macaron. The flavor of young coconut is instant. It is impressive.

Another Filipino flavored macaron that I tried was Munch’s calamansi.

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Honestly before I tried this macaron, I was wondering if it would be too sour. It was thus such a pleasant surprise when I tried it. It had just the right citrus flavor. It was very refreshing and not too strong in sourness at all. It actually instantly became a new favorite of mine.

Sans Rival is another Filipino flavor I tried on my third visit.

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Sans rival is a Filipino dessert cake that is made out of buttercream, meringue and chopped cashews. Here at Munch, I love how they have the roasted cashew flavor of the cake in this macaron! The buttercream is present as well. It is a cake turned macaron.

Now Munch has some amazing Filipino flavors and it’s definitely my go-to place if I want some Pinoy macarons but I knew I also had to try their other flavors as well. They’ve got quite a list of popular flavors that are non-Filipino based such as vanilla, nutella, salted caramel, white chocolate raspberry and black sesame.

This Hello Kitty Foodie absolutely fell in love with the white chocolate raspberry macaron at first sight.

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It has a beautiful pastel pink shell and inside the cream filling is white chocolate with a dash of raspberry. This is really delightful and one of my personal favorites!

The black sesame is another crowd favorite that is also one very good macaron.

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When I think of black sesame, I always think of black sesame ice cream. Thanks to Munch however now when I think of black sesame, I may think of macarons now. Their black sesame macaron has the same sweet, nutty type of flavoring of black sesame that I find in ice cream but even better.

Munchin’ on Munch’s macarons has made this Hello Kitty Foodie very happy! I’m looking forward to trying out many of their more amazing flavors on my next visit to the Torrance Farmers Market.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Munch Bakery.

Hello Silog!

Silog is a traditional Filipino breakfast. Silog means the meal has sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (eggs), hence sinangag + itlog = silog.

A silog meal has always been my favorite type of breakfast and thus I was thrilled to find a restaurant in Harbor City, California specializing in this Filipino breakfast delight. How appropriate that the restaurant’s name is Silog.

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This Harbor City restaurant specializes in different types of silog. They have tapa (ribeye), longanisa (Filipino sausage), tocino (cured pork), sisig (braised pork belly), adobo chicken, adobo pork ribs, pares (beef brisket), spam and salmon.

The main entrees here come with a small side salad.

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The salad actually is a wonderful starter. It’s very refreshing and light spinach salad that is topped off with tomatoes, mango and vinaigrette dressing. I love the addition of mango. It brings a nice, sweet kick to this salad.

In addition to the salad, each entree comes  with garlic rice and soft boiled egg.

The soft boiled egg here is perfection. Silog does soft boiled egg right! The white is firm and the inside has the runny yellow yolk that you will sure to love over the garlic rice.

Yes, garlic rice plus egg plus your choice of meat is sure to give make you smile here at Silog!

My favorite silog is their Tapa.

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Here at Silog, their Tapa comes in the form of thin cut ribeye steak that is marinated in garlic and lime. It’s very flavorful.  This dish will tantalize your taste buds for sure.

Another excellent silog dish is their Adobo Ribs.

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It’s pork ribs braised in garlic, soy, vinegar and spices. I like this silog dish because it’s something different. It’s not your traditional Silog meat and so I find a Filipino fusion dish. It’s unique and tasty.

Aside from silog dishes, they also some amazing appetizer dishes like lumpia, spicy garlic adobo chicken wings and sisig.

The sisig here is a little bit different from your typical sisig.

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The sisig here is braised pork belly and shoulder shredded in fine pieces and topped with chicharon and garlic creme aioli drizzle. Once again not necessarily the traditional Filipino dish but yet very delicious.

Silog is a great Filipino restaurant to find not only silog dishes but other Filipino dishes with a twist. 😉