Blog Archive: Salad

San Francisco in a Bite

A quick plan and a few recommendations online by a travel/food bloggers; I head to my destination of choice San Francisco. After 21 hours of travel and a long wait to get there, I arrived to SFO on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Excited and met by my sister (moved there a few weeks prior to my visit) we head out to grab lunch after the horrors of the 12 hours flight food. First stop was “Souvla” a quick bite a crunchy fresh green salad with grilled pork loin that was just what I needed to feel finally settled on ground, the taste was a lovely mixture of greens that are dressed in a light creamy sauce and the smoky tasting pork loin that was done to perfection. After that we head out for a walk and struggling to fight the jet lag I decided that I should have a big cup of coffee to stay up and awake till night comes along. We get to a lovely area called Hayes Valley with a few open booths my legs walked me up to “Ritual Roasters” where I indulged in a cup of Guatemalan coffee with notes ranging from hibiscus to a mixture of berries and cherries, it was a light brew with a slight acidic finish. What was quite funny is that the barista immediately picked up on the fact that I have a direct connection to food industry due to my detailed questions (eeek guilty as charged, but in my defense I was jetlagged).

At night my body decided that I should have something to help me not get sick, I chose to have some fresh Ramen with all the yummy vegetables and hot soup to prevent that tickling in my throat to go any further. We headed to a place in Japan Town called “Waraku” (I know Jordanians reading this now will have a smile curl at the side of their mouths). The soup was pretty hot with a medley of different types of ingredients, yet it was not the Ramen I was used to with a bigger portion of fresh veggies.

First morning I “Ubered” myself to a place that has been raved about a lot for breakfast, a place called “MyMy” a tiny place on the corner of California and Larkin Street. The host was prompt to seat me and offer me coffee, I have already scanned the menu on my way yet I still explored plates served around me. My plate arrived and I could not wait to dig in, there was a twist to the hash brown by making it paper thin and the base for the main ordered. Mine was an eggs benedict made just to perfection with some spinach and Parma ham as well as a light hollandaise sauce that complement each other in amazing harmony. The prices are San Francisco average and I would say it is a must visit.

My next culinary adventure was heading towards a small Indian restaurant with an authentic feel, for the life of me I have forgotten the name of that place yet, it was a good experience with a nice colorful variety. After resting for a bit, my sister and I planned to watch a new movie “The Intern”, heading to Sundance Kabuki Cinema with one of the most comfortable service ideas in a cinema was giving you the freedom to bring your own food that suits you instead of being limited to what the place offers (mind you also have the option to buy a glass of alcohol if you are over 21 years old). The experience was definitely pleasurable although the place was previously booked full and we had to sit in the front seats which made me cringe at the tickets office as I had the perception that it would not be very comfortable.

Caramelized Thoughts Fourth Year

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4 Years Ago The Journey Began… Still going strong! Stay tuned For What is New From www.CaramelizedThoughts.com

10 Things A New Food Blogger Should Know

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The decision to start blogging about food should really come from passion and lots of dedication. For those who are about to embark on this journey I would say there are main 10 things you should keep in mind:

1- Your recipes should be ones you have tried and tested and never ones you copy from other sites.

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2- Recipes should be simple and easy to follow in sequence.

3- Your credibility is part of your brand reputation, when you write about restaurants make sure you know their quality and can actually vouch for them, one time experiences cannot be the judge for any culinary experience.

4- If you smoke, you probably do not have fresh taste buds and most of your tasting would be of only sharp tastes, while the subtle flavors completely surpass you (My advice quit smoking before you blog about food coz you frankly can’t taste food)

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5- If you use ingredients that not many people can find abundantly, put alternatives that do not affect the recipes.

6- You will receive many treats to try out and test, make sure you deliver the actual experience and not feel obliged to say nice stuff just to keep people happy (this follows point 3)

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7- You will be known for what you post, take a line of food blogging and stick to it to keep your image clearly unique to your audience.

8- Use your social media platforms to spread your posts to as many people as you can (Don’t forget the hashtags)

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9- Keep up with what is new on the world food trends and try to see if you can follow that for the day on your blog or others social media channels

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10- When you go to try all that nice food remember, a bite of the right dish is better than a pile of a dish not worth it, don’t feel obliged to finish your plates when you are tasting you can even ask for a sampling portion which would keep your figure and taste palate entertained!

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Happy Blogging!

Good Goes American

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Country Music
Steak Variety 
Side Dishes Galore 

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to what I would call a night of steak, music and great company an experience worth . I arrived at Grand Hyatt Amman and did not know what was waiting for me. I walk into 32 north restaurant to be welcomed by the team working that night all dressed up in western country  theme.

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The meat station has all what your stomach could year for from tenderloin to t-bone to ribeye cuts to satisfy your meat cravings. Then to give you a welcome and a good wait while your steak grills to perfection as per your order, there is the station with ribs, brisket, mash, corn, spinach and cream and not to forget the salad station with refreshing bites.

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All in all it is an experience worth trying out. I would say bring on the Beef!

 

Grain & Grass

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After work and in need of a warm hearty meal, I head out of my office to remember that invite to try the latest promotion from Grand Hyatt Amman Hotel. Grain and Grass, a combination of imported top class meat from The Meat Master and a local brilliant beer to wash it down. I head there expecting a regular set up but to my surprise they have managed to flip their regular Asian food venue into a new and brilliant American style venue with a twist. There is a balcony with all sorts of drinks and Carakale beer stand, on the inside you have a fridge of wonders, filled with different types of salads ranging from cobb salad to pomelo with shrimps and even Thai beef (a refreshing necessity I must say).

The dishes varied from beef cheeks to skewers with an amazing fried rice with a beautiful sauce. The beef curry was a totally soft and delicious combo (but I must say I love it a bit thicker sauce though with all the dishes I needed to try it was better that way). The burgers were so tasty, the chicken, ribs and beef with what I can say a hint of truffle if I’m not mistaken an absolute delish. I would say going to visit this event while it lasts is a must between 6th and 9th of April.

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P.S.: This Post Is Not Sponsored

San Francisco In a Bite & a Cup (2)

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I know it took me a while before I got to write my second part of SF trip but there was a series of mishaps that happened to stop me from getting to it, but hey better late than never because this list is of a high caliber places sort of speak and definitely worth writing up.

As I recall my last post ended with me having a late breakfast at a cafe, as my sister caught up with me there we decided to enjoy the market that was set up and check the items at display which was both fun and funny (I kept losing my sister at different areas of the market and we kept texting each other our location although the whole thing was not huge). After running around the block she ended up getting famished and decided to hit Reverie Cafe  for a lush Salad, I must say I didn’t try anything there but the setting of that garden was so beautiful and I enjoyed a lovely lively conversation with a sweet lady who happened to be a regular customer there and was writing her speech for a big event in that setting.

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My sister lived in a very convenient space with B Patisserie right beneath the house, which made waking up to all the yummy smelling baked goods and coffee almost torturous. My favorite there was an almond milk cappuccino that just hits the spot but doesn’t fill you with guilt, at some point I picked a few morning bakes to explore the tastes there so I hit the much raved about Kouign Amann and I must say it lived up to my expectations but to mention and be honest I have to say their sweets are much nicer than their savory creations.

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On that afternoon I went hunting for a good cup of coffee and walking around aimlessly for a while got me thinking I should use social media in order to get some directions and there it was the interesting looking account of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, so I followed my instinct and headed there with sure steps. The entrance being small  only made me more curious to what it had inside, I walked in and I was on the phone yet this strange feeling that it would be a good coffee hit me, I put my phone aside and I ordered a cup of black coffee to satisfy my craving. Walking in I saw the design was strangely shocking white almost like a sterile hospital ward but the famous pineapple wallpaper turned that around and made me at ease, the staff  (yes I linked you up here as I promised Brenna) was super polite and once I broke the ice I had a great conversation with the two baristas and the owner who happened to pop by, I must say I had a great afternoon there and would highly recommend it.

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I still had many places to explore and my appetite that evening was calling for something more on the mexican side of cuisines, my sister’s housemate Sam was nice enough to humor me and take me out on a night for tacos at what she described as “reliable tacos and a great atmosphere”, so we headed to Tacolicious , we had a great time, good food and a nice waitress to complete the night.

Next day I had a serious craving for a big breakfast and a good coffee, so I rummaged through the social media sites again to check out another place and I was guided to head to Sweet Maple, I must say it was value for money meal with a lot of flavors and lovely service.

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Later on that day I headed to The Mission area and walked around enjoyed the sun and the lovely creative graffiti on the walls, enjoyed going through some antique furniture stores and thrift stores. It was a lot of fun but I needed a coffee to keep me going so as I walked around I came across a place called Samovar, I walked in to find an ultra modern design with  a familiar smell of spices just enough to tackle my curiosity and after chatting to the barista he offered me a sample of their pumpkin chai with different milk bases which was lovely then something else caught my eyes, the dessert small fridge in the front, so I took a plunge and ordered a bite of a dessert that did not taste as good as it looked.

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A few steps down the road and I found what I was looking for Four Barrel Coffee place which immediately struck me as the place for my much needed coffee cup, on the left I noticed something called (the slow coffee bar) so walked up to it and began to explore with the help of a great barista different kinds of coffee from around the world and how each of them can give you a different finishing taste, I must say if you have time at hand you would enjoy this experience a lot and find it very informative.

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As I left the place and walked further down the road I found a small gem called Mission Cheese which looks like absolute heaven to cheese lovers like me. After a chat with the staff and some tasting here and there I was truly won by their cheesy sense of humor and cute wall drawings.

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“Let It Brie”

 

As my sister finished her work she called me up to join her for a light dinner so we headed to Green Heart Foods so we went into the place that looked a lot like an open back area of a restaurant, almost industrial but with a light spirit, I ordered a veggies soup and was good but felt like I wasn’t so hungry to finish the whole thing, but the plate looked so cute I had to take a picture of it.

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After all that we went home to rest and then I was invited out for a lovely catching up session with a relative of mine who happens to also live in SF and since the sister was busy we headed out for some all American creation for a gourmet burger. We walked to a place nearby called ROAM, after staring at that menu for a while with all the interesting items I decided to try something I’ve never tried before and went for the Bison meat burger and a mixture of different fries, the burger itself was tasty and not very fatty which made it more enjoyable, and as for the  fries the zucchini and sweet potatoes were yummy and crunchy worth every bite.

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Waking up in a sweet breakfast mode isn’t easy to tackle for someone like me who doesn’t like things too sweet or deep fried. My sister and I decided it’s time to try JANE, we head there and it was packed with a long line but the process seemed to go fairly quick as they are really organized. I ordered the figs and walnut bread with ricotta cheese and honey. To my pleasant surprise it was crunchy, creamy and subtly sweet to perfection (I must say I did order extra jam and some honey to try on different sides). All in all it was a great experience and I would recommend that loaf of bread to anyone.

Later on that day we went to explore the public library and I was quite impressed with what it offers from book collections, kids area for reading and even small meditation sessions (I went on and attended the session that was happening, it was simply calming and much needed). Out of the library and willing to grab a special lunch as it started to drizzle over our heads I headed to Rosamunde Sausage Grill and my oh my what a lovely experience that was, the person behind the counter was a very polite young man who knew exactly how to do his job. I ordered a duck sausage and a wild boar sausage, then as per the ritual around there I headed to the bar next door called Toronado to get the beer match made in heaven for what I ordered. I sat there and got myself a pint of dark beer, the taste of the sausage and that beer still mingles in my taste buds memory till this day. I met a lot of lovely people and enjoyed a great time.

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After all that eating I met with my sister again and it was time for a caffeine hit and my sister decided to take me to The Blue Bottle  I grabbed it and chit chat to the baristas for a bit as they prepared the other coffee orders, the coffee was light bodied and a bit acidic but nice. I enjoyed it while the sun warmed me up. I must say it was an awesome day all together.

 

I could say these experiences were the most remarkable but there were places that are worth mentioning like Plow breakfast place, the amazing pizza at The Mill Coffee place (only served once a week), awesome space called Cafe Trieste where the original The God Father movie was written and Sightglass Coffee Roasters which had a stunning industrial coffee house design.

 

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Have a Great Day San Francisco Lovers….

Francisco in a Bite and a Cup 1

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A quick plan and a few recommendations online by a travel/food bloggers; I head to my destination of choice San Francisco. After 21 hours of travel and a long wait to get there, I arrived to SFO on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Excited and met by my sister (moved there a few weeks prior to my visit) we head out to grab lunch after the horrors of the 12 hours flight food. First stop was “Souvla” a quick bite a crunchy fresh green salad with grilled pork loin that was just what I needed to feel finally settled on ground, the taste was a lovely mixture of greens that are dressed in a light creamy sauce and the smoky tasting pork loin that was done to perfection.

 

After that we head out for a walk and struggling to fight the jet lag I decided that I should have a big cup of coffee to stay up and awake till night comes along. We get to a lovely area called Hayes Valley with a few open booths my legs walked me up to “Ritual Roasters” where I indulged in a cup of Guatemalan coffee with notes ranging from hibiscus to a mixture of berries and cherries, it was a light brew with a slight acidic finish. What was quite funny is that the barista immediately picked up on the fact that I have a direct connection to food industry due to my detailed questions (eeek guilty as charged, but in my defense I was jetlagged).

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At night my body decided that I should have something to help me not get sick, I chose to have some fresh Ramen with all the yummy vegetables and hot soup to prevent that tickling in my throat to go any further. We headed to a place in Japan Town called “Waraku” (I know Jordanians reading this now will have a smile curl at the side of their mouths). The soup was pretty hot with a medley of different types of ingredients, yet it was not the Ramen I was used to with a bigger portion of fresh veggies.

First morning I “Ubered” myself to a place that has been raved about a lot for breakfast, a place called “MyMy” a tiny place on the corner of California and Larkin Street. The host was prompt to seat me and offer me coffee, I have already scanned the menu on my way yet I still explored plates served around me. My plate arrived and I could not wait to dig in, there was a twist to the hash brown by making it paper thin and the base for the main ordered. Mine was an eggs benedict made just to perfection with some spinach and Parma ham as well as a light hollandaise sauce that complement each other in amazing harmony. The prices are San Francisco average and I would say it is a must visit.

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My next culinary adventure was heading towards a small Indian restaurant with an authentic feel, for the life of me I have forgotten the name of that place yet, it was a good experience with a nice colorful variety. After resting for a bit, my sister and I planned to watch a new movie “The Intern”, heading to Sundance Kabuki Cinema with one of the most comfortable service ideas in a cinema was giving you the freedom to bring your own food that suits you instead of being limited to what the place offers (mind you also have the option to buy a glass of alcohol if you are over 21 years old). The experience was definitely pleasurable although the place was previously booked full and we had to sit in the front seats.

Half-awake in bed wanting to find a place to have breakfast and indulge in and enjoy so I headed out to a place that had so many recommendations a place called Zazie, the line was long and I had to wait for almost an hour before I was given a table (btw that’s the case in most places in SF). As I sat down I noticed the staff was super nice and very vibrant and it’s one of the few places there that is very tightly set up, yet, it is quite cheerful. The food was good, yet I don’t believe it was up to the hype I have expected; the coffee was good and the service extremely prompt.

 

There will be a part two with more excitement to add so stay tuned people… 😉

 

 

 

Tkiyet Um Ali- Food For Thought

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World Food Day, It’s one of these days that you pause at the word “Hunger” as some of us would never believe it exists anymore and that some people do not have the privilege of having a decent nutritious meal during the day/s due to being poor.

Hunger is spread all over the world and still manifests badly in every continent, yet we all have an option to turn a blind eye to the facts or move and do something about it. In my pursuit for an answer I turned to see my local Hunger Fighting Entity otherwise known as “Tkiyet Um Ali”.

Once you look for a short bio you would find “To feed & sustain underprivileged citizens all year long through the provision of “#FoodforLife” while guiding them towards long term self-sustaining solutions” on their twitter account which leads you to want to know more and more and learn how it all goes down.

Luckily everything “Tkiyet Um Ali” does is out for the public to explore and you are always a phone call away from any piece of information you need about their work. Started in 2003 under HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein as the first initiative fighting hunger in Jordan, as it was the first NGO to supply hot meals and supplies to the poor and those in need.

So “Tkiyet Um Ali” has a main goal which is working towards Jordan with no one suffering from hunger. What makes this NGO special is that you would know 100% of what you give is going directly to the beneficiaries and does not take cuts away for the administration. Working with various local NGOs who have similar goals and standards in the process of choosing the families to benefit, which is later on followed by “Tkiyet Um Ali” in order to insure that everything is being delivered to the beneficiaries.

Their food support program covers 18,300 families and they aspire to push that number to 20,000 monthly. The food package contains 22 kinds and insures full nutritional value. On the other hand, there are always passersby who are in need of a hot meal and they serve around 400 individuals daily. While during the month of Ramadan they open their doors to almost 1500 individuals.

I happened to volunteer a few times in Ramadan over the past two years and to my absolute privilege I got to be part of the action and part of this noble cause. You can say after experiencing things first hand you tend to keep tweeting for that cause.

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As you can see this entity has worked hard to grow a great reputation and stay on track with its services which makes me proud to be Jordanian. Helping out these people would be as simple as buying the monthly package for a family throughout the year or more than just that and so many different ways but I will link you up to learn more on your own:

https://www.facebook.com/TkiyetUmAli?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/TkiyetUmAli

www.TUA.jo

Phone number: +962 6 490 0900

It is the ugly truth but absolute poverty in Jordan has hit the 14.4% of its people. I think it’s time to make a difference; it is time to support the cause.

 

NB: I wrote this article solemnly out of my own support to this entity and it is not by any means sponsored.