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.
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)
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)
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)
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
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!
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.
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.
All in all it is an experience worth trying out. I would say bring on the Beef!
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.
P.S.: This Post Is Not Sponsored
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.
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… 😉
On a random end of summer evening, I decided to grab a glass of wine at a local restaurant and enjoy it with a side cheese platter. As I sipped away I kept watching others around me and noticing the behavior of most, it did not take long to see that barely anyone goes for wine in Jordan. My usual favorite in summer is a cold glass of Rose but it was one of those days where I was craving Red (for those of you who know me, I love red the most because I am a beef lover and for those who love white meat you would best get a white wine or a rose for things alike salmon). Maybe it was not the season yet but it provoked me to ask around and learn more about the behavior of Jordanian residents whether citizens, expats or tourists passing through.
I began my quest by calling a few pub owners that I happen to know and ask about the highest selling of wine they get their answers varied but the majority agrees that wine is not usually on the mind of a drinker in Jordan and that the culture of wine has yet to develop in this country. In reality I believe it was all about the pricing and that most people feared ordering a bottle of wine due to the high prices and taxes that come with it.
The biggest chunk of sales in Jordan for wine is actually coming from expats and tourists and both tend to order local wines, mostly to experience the product of the land they are visiting and others because they believe it has a great taste and quality. We could definitely say that the inclination of choice goes towards Saint George wine by Zumot winery (I usually do not pick it but I definitely enjoyed the Shiraz). As for imported wine, the choices varied as well as the prices and availability so we can say that Chilean wine has ranked top in sales neck to neck with the Italian collection, followed by South African, Australian and Californian.
To complete that study I had a plan to invite different circles of people over for a wine and cheese night, some could not wait to come over and indulge themselves in great wine and company, while others were quite reluctant. The first group (you know yourselves) were close friends who have a high taste in life and know how to spoil their senses, they enjoyed their wine and talked about wines in detailed descriptions. I learnt that they all tend to enjoy full bodied red wines with plum notes accompanied by a nice chop of meat or a variety of strong cheeses. Some of them though enjoyed the lighter, fresher, fruity, citrus variety that reminded them of a good time by the beach or pool.
My second group of tasters were a group of people I didn’t know much; of different backgrounds, young and old with various experiences. At the first sip of the first wine bottle, I realized that the taste buds and choices are totally at the other end of the line in comparison with the first group. Their comments were coming from light wine drinkers who knew very little about wine yet enjoyed the company and came out with a better perspective about the wine taste and the reasons behind why it has that kind of taste. Some declared that drinking wine for them was solemnly connected to romantic dates or cozy winter nights of the sort, but mostly they would not think of going to a bar or liquor shop to get wine.
My third group of tasters were expats in Jordan who enjoyed a glass of wine with a good spread. The setting was very friendly and I must say I have learnt more from their notes about how much a good wine for a cheap price is needed in Jordan to be a set staple for dinners. The prices in comparison to salaries tends to push away buyers as they would not have that much of the budget set for a good quality wine with a great taste. They have enjoyed the various wines that were on the table but most enjoyed were the French Dourthe and the Escudo Rojo as well as the Santa Digna.
Here are some of the top winners in my study:
Saint George – Shiraz
So all in all I have to say Autumn and Winter are knocking the door soon and the perfect setting for that would be a glass of red wine with a juicy steak and side of jacket potatoes to compliment it. I would highly recommend that we enjoy a glass with the family, friends and loved ones for wine is not just a drink for dates (like some might think) but a classy drink to complete the tone of a meal or the setting of a cozy conversation. It makes the hearts open and the minds to calm down while the soul opens it’s arms to make room for passion.
Cheers To All…
Got invited to try out the italian promotion at the Four Seasons Hotel Amman Vivace Restaurant, and I had no expectations whatsoever because I believe that it does not really matter where you are to get a great meal. I head there and got welcomed with a warm smile and a waiter who knows exactly what the menu is all about, which is something of a rare existence around here. The wine was fruity and just the right tone to set the evening off.
The resident Chef Luca accompanied the Chef Ippazio (Who is visiting for the next couple of weeks) to see what kind of dishes we would like to order and since everyone was very indecisive the Chefs surprised us by a little of everything tasting experience. I have to say some of the dishes just blew my taste palate off with amazing flavors and others were just perfect. All in all this experience is definitely something I would highly recommend. If you ever go there and you are confused with the menu items just ask for the Chef Luca and he surprisingly will speak to you in arabic as he spent quite a while in the middle east region.
I cannot describe the beauty and taste but I can surely share with you my humble phone captures of the evening:
On a swift trip to the United States, my taste buds were yearning to explore and wander in taste all over the new area. The city of choice was Santa Barbara, what a calm beauty and beautiful weather it was. The whole atmosphere calls you to relax, soak in the sun and enjoy an array of colourful, bursting with flavor meals.
There was a special kind of joy to wander around State Street just aimlessly watching people pass by or run their errands, but as lunch time came close I was getting hungry and I had heard of a burger joint with a very special menu called “Eureka!”
Wandering in I was faced with a busy buzzing place, full of people who are enjoying a pint of fresh cold beer and some bruger of their choice watching one of the big World Cup games. Finding a place to sit was pretty set since there was only one sofa seat free, feeling lucky I sat down and decided to make myself comfy and wait for my soon to come menu and recommendations.
My server was absolutely attentive and explained to me the whole concept of their beer collection. Eureka has a unique concept of having guest beers around for a “Keg” amount of time and when that finishes they replace it with another in season, of course there is the set bar usuals but the seasonal beer has its own list for anyone to explore.
The menu is pretty brief and straight to the point, wings, salads, burgers and accessories of that. One thing caught my eye and I could not get myself not to try, truffle sauce. I ordered a regular burger and added some bacon to that, a side of fresh house fries and some truffle sauce to accompany that.
It wasn’t long before my server popped back with my order which was something I was very pleased with (since I was hungry), the size of the burger sort of intimidated me but it was surely tasty but to be honest I guess some ingredients would be best if thinner to make it easier to grab and enjoy without dripping everywhere (specially tomatoes and sauce). The truffle sauce was pretty intense and the fries were truly a delight.
All in all I would highly recommend that you visit Eureka at least once if you are visiting Santa Barbara, as I happened to visit for a second time after a few days and also tried their “naked” version of their burgers without the bun.
I had such a lovely time exploring the rest of SB after that and had such amazing meals that I cannot wait to share with all of you. Tip, recommendations and notes for you to explore.
Loving Wishes To All
No doubt about it that we usually fall into the trap of what to put where on the table and it sort of creates this dilemma for any host, but imagine if you go to a restaurant and get mixed up with your cutlery! Is it your fault? Or is it a common service setting mistake? I looked all over the place and found some lovely resources to benefit everyone on that subject so apparently there is a formal setting and an informal setting for the table as you would have less courses in the informal.
That was hopefully very helpful for many, but what about the codes that were very common in the service culture that we barely pay attention to these day. What does every placement of our cutlery in the plate after finishing means? It seems very funny that most of us just leave the cutlery randomly in the plate after finishing the meal.
Loving Wishes For Brilliant Meals Ahead
Some of our local hotels tend to celebrate different cultures throughout their culinary outlets, but every now and then we get an astonishing elaborate festivity that highlights a certain cuisine. I heard about a German week of culinary perfection starting up at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Amman and I decided that I definitely should be part of that event. After realizing that the German ambassador himself will be doing the cooking, it was set. I went and as any foodie would be awaiting to explore and see what is offered.
As soon as you get in you are welcomed by the calming sound of the harp with soft music being played. Lead to the table and offered some lovely german beer was a great kick off for the evening. The setting is really inviting to go around and try the different tastes and bites here and there, so for starters I wanted to experiment with cold cuts and a light salad which had been put out in an inviting way cut at your order by the station chef.
Fresh bread station with whole grain bread loaves and fresh baked goods. The main dishes station was busy where the ambassador and the visiting chef Axel were whipping up great dishes for everyone to enjoy.
As for the main dish I went for a mixture of salt crusted rib eye beef, bratwurst sausages, Sauerkraut and beef with red currant sauce accompanied with a lovely multi grain bread slice.
To finish off that beautiful meal was a variety of desserts that would just complete your gastronomical adventure. A lovely almond cake filled with a yummy custard (I sincerely do not know the name of it)
I suggest you get your chance to indulge in this absolute culinary experience that is totally worth every bite.