the Foodcourt : Pambiche


pambiche! i love saying that word. pambiche, pambiche! over and over, on straight repeat.


i stumbled upon this adorable cuban restaurant on my last day in portland, it was a superb send off lunch, a warm friendly tummy goodbye. 


the most perfect cuban mocha, oh my. 


the house sauces, cuban ketchup and hot sauce. 


rabo encendido

“oxtail on fire”. a classic cuban favorite that will have you bone gnawing and finger licking! tender oxtail slowly braised in a spicy (not picante) creole wine sauce. served with white rice. it is also gluten free, pretty neat.


pan con lechón

the original cuban sandwich! adobo roasted pork braised with creole gravy and red onions and served on a toasted cuban roll. served with a side of tostones.


outside dining meant getting to enjoy your food while watching portland's quirkiness go by on the street next to you.


it was a beautiful meal! on a glorious overcast day, eating outside was a really great choice.


i'm not very familiar with cuban cuisine so this was some delicious homework.


i decided to go with the oxtails because it's one of my favorite cuts of meat (perhaps in a tie with beef shanks). it's usually slow-cooked in a stew, braised or featured in a soup and cooked well it is simply divine!   

this dish was prepared phenomenally, the meat was extremely tender and falling off the bone. the savory sauce was rich, flavorful, perfect with the white rice. highly recommend this dish and i'm highly excited to try more cuban food. 


don't mind me, i'm just going to be thinking about this mocha and dreaming about those oxtails.. 

i believe i have a few more yummy portland eats to share! however it is very difficult to peep the photos because i get SO hangry and a little nostalgic, that city is filled with an endless amount of delicious goodness.






the Foodcourt : salt & straw


unlimited samples is extremely problematic. 

ESPECIALLY when they are handcrafted teeny (beautiful) spoons of delicious ice cream.


i remember watching a program on viceland and it featured an amazing human making a bone marrow, smoked cherry flavored ice cream. whaaa?! i didn't quite understand why i wanted to try it so much.. i mean i have watched enough iron chef episodes to know not everything tastes good as an ice cream. (i'm talking to you morimoto!) BUT for some reason watching him make and explain this insane flavor of ice cream as well as his process had me completely mesmerized. i was about it! i wanted to go to there, i wanted to say hello and explore all of the beautiful ice cream ASAP

basically ever since then salt & straw was added to my must visit list for portland. 

i have a fantasy foodie list for many cities, its a little fun thing to do and who knows if i'll ever go but if i do then i'll have some places to start with.



if i walk into an ice cream shop and the first thing i smell are freshly made waffle cones.. i know they mean business. truly, the real deal.

*waffle cone scented heaven*



that wonderful waffle cone smell does nothing to help narrow things down with the flavor decision. the menu was nutter butters AND it changes seasonally because of course it does.


okay reminder on that bit about unlimited samples. 

they will literally let you try every single flavor they have if that is what your heart so truly desires. i have MAD food indecision so i was basically that person and tried super hard not to annoy the kind lady who graciously was spooning me sample after sample. i was very appreciative of her, she was my ice cream angel.



i decided on not deciding and went with a 50/50 split between the sea salt with caramel ribbons and cinnamon snickerdoodle. 

zero regrets.


portland, i fkn love you. 




the Foodcourt: Suite 106 Cupcakery


a few months ago before heading home on a trip to california with my sister we popped into to this cute bakery in rancho cucamonga. usually when i travel i prep a few bookmarks on yelp but this particular bookmark was from my sister.


right off the famous route 66 nestled in a quiet strip of shops is Suite 106 Cupcakery. if that name sounds familiar maybe you're like me and remember seeing them on Cupcake Wars. once my sis started telling me about her bookmarked bakery i remembered that i'd seen them on television. i'm not a devoted fan of the show but i did watch the first season and i usually have the food network on when i am at home so i get my fair share of episodes in. the contestants on that show always blow me away with what they are able to do in those crazy stressed time baking sessions, its just insane!

bake 4 dozen cupcakes in an unfamiliar kitchen completely from scratch, you have 45 mins AND go! pffff girl pleeease.


i like what i see, i like it a lot.

cupcake jar? you shut up. what is that?? i obvs need like four of those.


my sis liked what she saw too and dove right in to ordering while i took a peep around.


someone whipped those cupcake boxes into shape! these guys are obvious professionals.


i have a thing for couches, the more fancy and ridiculous the better. built in and velvety soft? okay, yes you're doing things right.


my turn at the case. time to be my most annoying self and spend an obscene amount of time being super indecisive about which treats to pick. note to self, all of them is not the correct choice..ever. no matter what voices whisper otherwise.





with two cupcake war wins under this bakery's belt their cupcake cake selection was extraordinary. i love the dark brown liners super neat and tidy. they're like a silent classic tribute to Sprinkles the cupcake shop that started it all. not to mention whose owner, Candance Nelson, is one the three main judges on the show cupcake wars.


last photo i promise! the cuppies were too photogenic. very pristine california cupcakery, so happy we decided to make the stop. we packed up our cupcake loot with as much care as possible for the car ride home to vegas.

uh i may or may not have devoured one of their red velvet whoopie pies within an extremely small amount of time upon leaving..and it was delicious!


my order:

1. pancakes n' bacon 2. coconut cream 3. loaded peanut butter 4. christy's southern red velvet 5. chocolate covered strawberry 6. double chocolate

number 3 & 5 were specials and are not on regular rotation so i am lucky to have tried them. fairy new fan of peanut butter i couldn't resist the loaded peanut butter coma.. do you see that beast?! nutter butters aaand reese's pieces.. oh em gee you guys.

pancakes n' bacon was probably my favorite out of the bunch. bacon, hello. yep, still riding that train.

i am also a little bit of a red velvet cake snob and must try one from every new bakery i go to. it's sad to say i get more fails then passes but i will probably continue doing it. it's an obligation and a duty! tough job.. someone has got to do it. Suite 106 gets double pass as their red velvet cake was super yummy, mm mm good job.

until my next indulgence!




LA weekend via iphone

i spent my last weekend celebrating in LA with a very special birthday girl and her most lovely sister who's actually MY birthday twin (september first!). i am SO happy to know these special ladies so of course i had the greatest time getting to visit.

the two planned and sprinkled in a few incredible surprises making me feel oh so special and truly making it a weekend FULL of fun. lots of laughs, food, chatting, new friends, beyonce listening, excellent coffee and really just much needed girl time.

this is my sneaky weekend recap through my iphone but don't worry i'll be sharing the good stuff soon.

jet setter, it's in my roots. i used to be a window seater but i've converted to aisle.


hello los angeles.


yum, can i move in?


milk & cookies, be still my heart.


love at first sight, i'm moving in.

Six Seveneight

which would you pick for the ball?

you have no power over me.

finally! its been a long time coming but i finally found you.


cheese on cheese on pork on cheese.


a lesson was learned at this very coffee shop and that is that dave franco is absolutely not zac efron.


shaking off my camera shame. yea i'm taking photos of you doing totally normal things.. mind yo business! i get that it's just your morning coffee or whatever. but it's just not.




pinoy pride.


best/worst photo of us, because we didn't take not a single other one. story of my life.


i think my heart actually stopped when i came around the corner of the dimly lit gallery hallway, my boots sliding to a complete stop on the shiny slippery wood floors and i couldn't take another step. could this be truly what was on the other side of that tall gray wall?!

yep and then i died.


a little over dramatic? but seriously..unending excitement i fan-girled so hard over this unexpected gem.


had to, even if i had to break the rules juuust little. i could not NOT sneak at least a few the man of steel costumes, i mean come on its freaking superman!

FIDM's whole exhibit was stunning and was so surreal to see familiar movie attire from recent films like pacific rim, hunger games, anna karenina, ender's game, and saving mr banks to name a few.

found a favorite of my dad's while we were picking up things from a turkish market for our birthday get together.


chocolate guinness cake the requested birthday choice found from bleubird blog. kels and i were getting good at kitchen dancing hustling away before and after people arrived.


drunk in love.


'black people + vigorous jazz hands = the female orgasm' - winner.

21+ cards against humanity, it's already in my amazon shopping cart.

how did i not know of this game?! PERF


pure magic behind that counter.. wow.


so nice i had to have it twice.

see you later LAX.







LA dreaming, all the kids in this town were way too cool for me.

sister road-tripping weekend for short and sweet trip to visit friends. a little getaway for the brain.. you know what i'm saying. change of scenery is good for you, even though this whole trip did feel a little deja-vu-y.


6 ladies, midnight, roscoes. don't caaare.

chicken and waffles get into my MOUFFF! always a must stop.


tom cruise..something about aliens. that's all that i'm allowed to say about it.







the oaks. i am such a sucker for gourmet food stores.



the most ridiculous coffee shop EVER! bourgeois pig really was the coffee shop of my dreeeams.

not to mention it's right next door to the daily planet, cute little news paper stand type store.

oh i'm sorry and did i forget to mention that it's right next door to the DAILY PLANET!! ahem



m- o- o- n- that spells moon.



dim lit, dark and cozy. exactly the place to sneak away with someone for a just for two chat.

there was a special back room with the moon that makes you feel like you slipped into Neverland. there were all sorts of trees that had cut outs for shelves and these small secret nooks with tables and tiny stools. plush pillows, interesting mismatched chairs, velvet couches and did you see that purple pool table? overload of awesome.

we get it LA you are SUPER cool. sheeesh 


we hit up melrose because i desperately wanted to check out Japan LA! i remember getting to meet the owner at the magic convention a few years ago and ever since i've been following the shop on the interwebs.

it's weird and awesome forming these little bonds just because of small moments that happen to you.



it was so neat to see Twinkie Chan's Yummy You line in the store! so cool!! there was so much cuteness in this store, there was literally videos of kittens playing on the tv inside. my friend jess's sorta, totally kinda worst nightmare.. but that's a separate story.




trinity of koi fish.


such colorful shops and random eye catching candy every where. we walked all up and down this street.


mostly because i forced everyone to go to the Johnny Cupcakes' store which was conveniently located no where near where we where we started our melrose madness. i have met the man twice now, i couldn't NOT stop by had to follow through.

did i buy anything? no. the one shirt i was set on claiming was out of stock in my size and then my overwhelming indecision kicked in and i settled on nothing. why? because i wanted eeeverything.




the wall of ovens were surprisingly fully functional. randomly they would open and some kind of misty smoke would spray out. first time it happened i did kind of freak out a little haha

giant mint oven? but of course why not, they are just the doors to their back room. pssh no bigs that's not totally fantastic or anything. gosh, it must be so fun getting to work there. all the employees were really helpful and very laid back friendly. my cup of tea.

while we were there we bumped into a couple teams participating in an LA scavenger hunt marathon of some kind. a set of girls needed their photo taken in front of the oven back doors and a team of fellas needed a photo of them presenting a johnny cupcakes balloon to a person. jess, my darling friend who lives there, got to be the recipient of said balloon - random, right?

these are what making memories are about, allowing life to bump into you.



records and bikes.

i can't wait to start a record collection, that's supposed to be a small future goal that i have my heart set on happening.



we found a small corner alley way filled with the raddest graffiti art.

i went snapping crazy!






he was everywhere, everywhere.






..this was my favorite one, she was beautiful.



where the wild things live.


off with your head, dance till you're dead.


so so true, just have to keep remembering that when it's the most hardest to.



these photos were us trying to be sneaky and snag a photo of an actor having lunch in that restaurant behind us.

noooo we're not super creepy or anything. stalking?? pssh no. once i realized who it was my eyes were seeing i had myself a little nerd moment and we had to do a back track to make sure we grabbed photos him. if you've watched grimm or true blood he may look familiar to you too.

losers and we don't even care. putting our business on the streets!


oops, there he is! james frain.

Lalaland collage

a photo of me taking photos, they just will never stop.

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so sad i didn't snap ANY photos of our lunch at birds with my camera. way too involved into our conversations and shoving chicken caesar salad into my face to bother with the silly camera.

don't bother me, i'm eating.

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the adorable spot that my friends call home couldn't be any cuter. i love getting the chance to step into someone else's life. that peep into a different way of living. certainly not how i live but get to pretend for a moment that maybe i do? that's the best part about a vacation or trip. letting go of who you are for just a little bit helps give me perspective on who i'd like to become.

my hosts couldn't have been anymore gracious and welcoming. next trip i am going to aim to almost over stay my welcome.

more photos of my lala land trip and my general randomness will always be readily available on my instagram.

i'd love to get to you know more of you lovelies so if you are on instagram, please don't be shy to say hi!




on a mission, on a mission, going to get it right.

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awhile back i went on a dreamy little getaway..

who knew this magical little place was just a short drive away from vegas.

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just wishing for a little r & r and thinking about all the escaping i'll be doing over this next year. 2014 seems like it's shaping up to be quite an interesting one but shouldn't all years be interesting?

eh, no i have totally had my share of duds.. a few years where maybe my brain was switched completely off but let's not let flaws hold us back from the now.

that's why i prefer to measure my life in moments.

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the Mission Inn was anything but ordinary.

it was like getting a peek into the past tied up in a bow of luxury. certainly a place you'd want to spend with your someone special, perfectly romantic..

let's not leave out their amazing spa - the eucalyptus steam bath. um, wow. if every day would start with one of those it'd be impossible to have a bad day.

our room's windows lead out onto a terrace.

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one of my first additions to the Foodcourt was for Casey's Cupcakes who's shop was located on the property. see? just keeps getting better. not to mention that post was and still is particularly popular. people love cupcakes just as much as i do.

this place definitely was one for the books and i'm happy that i got to preserve and share it. perhaps one day a special someone will take me back here and i can make new moments in such a beautiful place.



always dreaming.


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the Foodcourt: the Upper Crust pie bakery

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I know you saw the sign.. that's right it's PIE time!

as i come to a close with my kansas city trip posts it's making me a little sad not having my biff around. especially today, her birthday! i miss and love her dearly.

our visit to the upper crust was such a delight and going through these photos it made me crave a sweet carby outing with my friend who is so dang far away.

i don't think i have ever been to such a charming pie bakery and this one has set the bar for future bakeries. it was cold day out and the shop couldn't have been any more warm and inviting. and the smell! oh my goodness. butter baby, glorious buuutter.

heavenly. heaven smells like butter.

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take home non-edible cuteness right upon entry.

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it's true. pie can fix quite a few problemos.

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regular sized and a bunch of littles.

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soft spot for the non edibles..hrm i wonder why. more accessories and i went home with a few buttons that expressed my love for baked goods.

thank you SO much to the gracious people of Upper Crust who let me go photo stupid in their pie haven. i had too good of time trying to capture your cozy corner of kansas.

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my biff and i ended up sharing a little brambleberry pie and strawberry rhubarb pie. we popped by a frozen custard place and got some vanilla to a la mode the heck out of our crusty fruity treasure.

pie and vanilla custard are best friends.. the BEST friends.

p.s. their shortbread cookie changed my life like whoa. it's the damn butter, gets me every time.

happy birthday biff! i hope this makes you smile and reminds you of all the fab times we've had and will have. love you for forever.



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the Foodcourt: Dean & Deluca (kansas city)

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poor ben.

poor, poor, poor ben. ben is just a student trying to work his part time job at the sandwich counter in Dean & Deluca's. but he was the lucky fella who got thoroughly deli harassed by my biff and i. some people may have strongly hinted that we can be a bit much when we get together and go off to best friend brain land.

pffff, we're just always trying to have a good time wherever we can.

sorry, ben.

we really did apologize..

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we asked him aaall about this menu.

ben knew his shit.

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mid sandwich action shot. give this dude a raise.

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we ended up with focaccia and sour dough sandwiches that both had bacon on it.


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from the soup station next door we shared a fantastic seafood corn chowder. like full omg wow soup.

note to self: make seafood corn chowder this fall. start researching nooow!

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it's usually some sort of turkey sandwich for me, and always some grainy mustard when possible. brie, argula, and some avocado made this particular one extra yummy.

whenever i finally make it to nyc, the original Dean & Deluca is on my must visit list.

but kansas city you were lovely.




a trip to Dean & Deluca (kansas city)

in a specialty food shop i am such a kid in a candy store. i do also really just enjoy being in candy stores.. and okay so most gourmet stores like Dean & Deluca usually have a pretty decent candy section..wait, who am i arguing with here?? what i am trying to say is i just love them i love ALL of them!

give me a store with kickass food and a promise of unique & international yums, i am there.

i want to check out everything, really see what all they have to offer. what's the strangest, sweetest, weirdest, foreign thing they got! dazzle me, no i am not kidding.. seriously i need dazzle. my idea of a great new shopping trip should be all around pops of inspiration. i am that much of a food nerd that this is pure excitement.

it can also be a walk down memory lane sometimes.. seeing foodie products from the various places i've lived is like bumping into an old friend that you haven't seen in a while.

you just want to hug the crap out of them.

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sometimes words just aren't necessary.

did you enjoy our shopping trip together? i hope so, i sure did. let's do that again some time.




the Foodcourt: Arthur Bryant's bbq

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barbecuuuue, HELLO america! am i right? you just can't get goood bbq outside of the u.s. it really is ours through and through. which is why i wasn't super into it until i moved back to the homeland and actually starting eating REAL american goodness. 

as i mentioned i recently took a trip to visit my biff who lives in kansas city and of course we did more then just hit up the local Cracker Barrel. first time visiting this new city and i got to spend 4 days hanging out with my best friend exploring and chatting up a storm. since moving away from vegas a few years ago any time we get to spend together is precious and truly never feels long enough. long distance relationships can be a bitch.

kansas city hails as one of the five main regional styles of bbq in america, texas, memphis, kentucky and the carolinas being the other four. having only tried two of these regional styles i am certainly no expert but i hope to gain more experience with the others eventually. what makes them different? smoking method, spice rubs, sauces, sweetness, spiciness, and the choice of meat too.

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Arthur Bryant's has been representing kansas city with their legendary bbq since the 1920's, that's almost a full century so obviously they know what they are doing guys.

i think we have located the experts.  

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the ordering process can feel a little intimidating, especially to an introvert like myself, so pull on your big girl pants and get your outdoor voice ready for little volume. my biff, her boyfriend and myself all ended up getting the same thing which made things easier.

the service counter is set up with about 3 low windows and when one becomes available you'll hear a holler from one of the guys in the back and you best have your order ready to go.

remember, outdoor voice. don't be scared!

all the yells, whistles, and yips coming from the fellas in the back make it seem like they were all speaking their own foreign language.

the language of barbecue.

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the burnt ends open faced sandwich with extra pickles. it was gooood, real good. note for next time: sharing is caring, the portions are huge.

i don't know why pickles & bbq but i like it a LOT so always always pickles, and smokey meat just isn't the same without an enormous sweet tea to go with.

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i can't wait for my next trip out to kansas city i got a few more bbq joints that are on my list to try.

happy eating!