Category Archives: Appetizers


When you first look at these, I am hoping that you think “wow, what a creative way of displaying mini grilled cheese sandwiches!”  I’m sure your mind quickly drifts away from that thought to try to figure out what the red, thick, sauce it is served with is? Can it be marinara sauce? No. Spaghetti Sauce? No, try again. It is good old Tomato Soup.

Yes, my friends, there is a first for everything, and this validates the fact that I did not know how to make tomato soup before this past weekend!

We had a few people over on Saturday and since I have been increasingly more and more addicted to pinterest (thank you, mom,) I thought I would try out some of the DIY party appetizers. I was inspired by Because Im Addicted who has various trends, whether it be fashion, food or photography. I loved the idea of making mini grilled cheese sandwiches and placing them over tomato soup! I had always been more of a “Grilled cheese with tomato” girl, instead of the soup part, but I figured they go hand in hand, and they sure look cute so why not give it a whirl!

Wrong!! As my entire can of tomato soup was quickly running out after only filling about five mini martini glasses, I did think to myself that was odd. However, continued to arrange everything and place it out in the dining room so our guests could start to enjoy! It was a few minutes later than my sister asked me why the tomato soup was so thick, and asked how much water or milk I added.



Ummm, none? I didn’t even think to read the can for instructions! I mean how hard could it be to make a can of tomato soup? You have to ADD ingredients? Oops! Luckily, Christy saved the day and made the next round of soup, adding milk, and it was then a big hit. Thank you, Christy for saving the day!

Almost a Big Hit

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I have said it before and I’ll say it again: damn! That is some good calamari!

Biggies is consistently at the top of my list of favorite restaurants. We have definitely featured their amazing Thai Calamari and always fresh Ahi Tuna Tacos before, but after another great experience there the other night, I felt it necessary to feature this MUST HAVE, once again!

What is your favorite appetizer at Biggies?

Thai Calamari Never Gets Old

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I have been going to Fire and Oak for a couple of years now and I am always impressed with the creativity and variety on the menu. I have always loved the tuna flatbread and the sushi, but they also have tasty truffle fries and salads.

During my last visit they offered a specials menu that was new to me, including Tuna Tartar. Just look at it! It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost:)

The dish is served with fresh tuna, scallions, caviar, cucumbers, sweet soy sauce and some type of spicy mayonnaise sauce artistically drizzled over the dish.

It was aesthetically and tastefully created to perfection.

Elegant Tuna Tartar at Fire & Oak

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Yes, they went there. The Shannon Rose took that gutsy risk and decided to offer what is called a MURDER BURGER– a burger deep fried in Harp beer batter. So many different thoughts went through my head when I saw this on the menu. First of course being, “Um of course I want to eat that, a cheeseburger? fried? wow!” Of course the other thoughts consisted of not wanting to have a heart attack at 26 since I would probably be able to finish the entire thing. But still, a fried cheeseburger? It might be a risk I was willing to take. Solution? Have your date order it instead 🙂

Let me step back and give a little history of the relationship I have with The Shannon Rose. The first time I experienced the restaurant was at the Clifton location. My friend Sophia introduced it to me and I loved the pub atmosphere, the drink menus and the bar food as well. They have a great selection of sliders and fries- exactly what everyone and anyone wants to eat at a bar. The problem was I didn’t live too close to Clifton so it was always a bit of a hike. We met friends there a couple of times when the UFC fights were on (to please the boys) and even though I had no interest in what was going on with the fights, I was satisfied with the rest of everything going on…music, friends, food and drinks!

When I was driving home one day and noticed that an old Fridays by our apartment was turning into a Shannon Rose-Ramsey, I was thrilled! A short while later, when we went there for the first time, I was impressed with what they had done to the place. It has been open for a few weeks now and it is STILL a full house every time I pass by. One of the coolest features is that they have live music at night with different bands. Really cool.

I am recommending to everyone out there to go and try the Shannon Rose Quesadilla. You will not be sorry! Not only is the quesadilla delicious but it has a secret, genius ingredient…spinach and artichoke dip. AMAZING.

So back to the burger…I always say you have to try everything once. (Well when it comes to food). And actually, I might not say that if I was having this conversation with lets say, Anthony Bourdain, however; try the burger. Then you let me know…is it true or false? Does everything fried  taste good?

T or F? “Anything Fried Tastes Good”

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About a month ago I went to Bistro 55 in Rochelle Park. Bistro is a part of the restaurant group South City Group. Anyway, we go there occassionally for some awesome oysters and appetizers and a couple of drinks. This night in particular, we tried just about everything on the menu! The manager Jess always has the best suggestions and can pair any food item with one of the numerous beers on tap they have to offer.

One of the best features of Bistro 55 and what really sets it apart from the competition is their incredible beer selection.  They change their draft beer seasonally as well so you always have a great selection of oktoberfests and ciders. The other cool thing is you can order a flight of beer and choose 4 for just $11!

So this picture is the Peach Habanero Glazed Wings. WOW! so good. They definitely have a kick to them but the combination of the sweet with spicy is right on.

Peach habanero deliciousness

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OK…I know what you are thinking…”EW.” I thought the same thing when I uploaded this picture haha. HOWEVER, I did not think ew when this was handed to me, or when I was eating it! So stay open minded! I would like to introduce the one, the only, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl chili dog in Washington DC.

I went to visit two of my very best friends Amy and Laura, and Amy’s husband, Tom in DC a couple of weekends ago and this is where we ended up after going to a few bars. I have to admit that I only ordered my hotdog with cheese, therefore this picture was either Tom, Amy or Laura’s hotdog. I think it’s funny because I didn’t realize how BAD the chili looked until I saw the picture I took even though you would think that is why I ordered mine without.

Because Ben’s Chili Bowl hotdogs are famous FOR their chili, and I just had cheese, I tried a bite of one of my friend’s and have to say that it really was dynamite. They had video footage playing of all of the celebrities that have been to Ben’s Chili Bowl over the years, including President Obama, and the history of the restaurant which was really neat.

Ben’s Chili Bowl is also featured on Serious Eats as one of the Top 29 Touristy Spots in America that are actually good. I have to agree! Stop by next time you are in DC for a good lunch, dinner or anytime snack 🙂

It’s good… I promise!


Houlihans “shrooms” are definitely a weak spot of mine. It doesn’t matter if I’m not hungry, if I’m dieting or in a hurry, I order the shrooms appetizer without fail.

They recently came out with a “small plates” or “small dishes” menu that includes a smaller version of the scrumptious appetizer so I have been ordering that instead. Hey, whatever it takes to make you feel less guilty right?! 🙂

They are basically fried mushrooms stuffed with a horseradish/cream cheese filling and pretty much just incredible.

I went to Houlihans in Ramsey last night for a friends birthday and finished eating them before anyone else had a chance to try them. Oops!

An oldie but a goodie

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Restaurant Owner Danny Engleman opened the doors today of the new restaurant in Allendale, Louie’s Place!  The new hot spot in town is open for breakfast lunch and dinner, and although there are several classic dishes, (eggs, burgers, salads…) I am most excited about the M&M pancakes, Brie Stuffed Burger and 8 oz filet. Served with hand cut fries and mac & cheese. Mmm!  I already have my meals planned out for when I go! It is open every day from 8am – 10 pm, BYOB and located at the A&P shopping center in town. Im really excited to have a restaurant like this so close to home and can’t wait to try it out. Will keep you posted with menu selections!!

Hot new BYOB in Allendale

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My weekly “food for thought”

Thank you to the creator of Chicken Cordon Bleu BITES! My co-worker first introduced these heavenly fried appetizers to me at Allendale Bar and Grill, better known as AB&G during happy hour one day after work. When I tell you that I think of these flavorful bite sized snacks on a daily basis, I would say I was being modest. Who would have thought the frozen chicken cordon bleu dinners I had growing up actually had hope? These mini versions of my childhood memories skyrocket the charts as far as taste! You know what makes them taste even better? You can buy an appetizer for only $3 during happy hour at Allendale Bar and Grill.

I have to say I was there today celebrating a good friend and co-worker’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAUREEN) so I will have to wait another week until I have another excuse to indulge in the oh-so-good chicken bites from heaven.

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