LGBM is going DOWN UNDER!

kiwilgbmkoala lgbm joeylgbm

G'day mates. As of this Friday, I will be embarking on a two week journey to Sydney and Ayers Rock in Australia and Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand with the fam. I will eat shrimp on the barbie and Vegemite (but not really) and whatever they eat in New Zealand. Are there kiwis in New Zealand or just the birds called kiwis? Is that an ignorant question?

Also, THIS:

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Baonana Split aka fried bao w/ice cream, fresh bananas, salted peanuts & Nutella from Belly Bao in Sydney. Yaaaaaaassss.

Any other reccos?

Beignet, Done That - The LGBM Guide to New Orleans

In what will likely be one of the most gluttonous trips of my life (but not the most because no one should underestimate my future ability to eat delicious junk), I traveled to New Orleans and ate for three days straight. Here I am in GIF form enjoying a beignet from Café Du Monde: Beignet

And if you want to get up close and personal with that fine piece of legendary sugar and dough:

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Was it delicious? Yes. Was it the best thing I had in New Orleans? No. Read on to find out what made it to the top of my list of N'awlins eats and lots more Cajun delicacies.


Commander's Palace is as old school as it gets, setting up shop in 1880. And Wikipedia says, "It was ranked the most famous restaurant in New Orleans," so it was obviously our first stop.

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French 75 - Gin, champagne, lemon juice, sugar

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Turtle soup (with 100% real turtle)

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CRAZIEST MENU ITEM: Mardi "Foie" - Black skillet seared Hudson Valley foie gras over foie gras and cream cheese stuffed beignets with a Abita root beer-foie gras ice cream float. Shiiiitttt.

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Pecan crusted gulf fish with crushed sweet corn, spiced pecans, petite herbs, and Prosecco poached Louisiana blue crab

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Creole bread pudding soufflé

Get it here:

Commander's Palace – 1403 Washington Ave – 504-899-8221


Ruby Slipper Café is perfect for a really decadent brunch and a heart attack.

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Bananas foster pain perdu

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Eggs cochon (Ruby Slippers "signature item") - Slow-cooked apple-braised pork debris sitting on a homemade buttermilk biscuit, topped with poached eggs, finished with hollandaise

Get it here:

The Ruby Slipper Café – multiple locations – 504-525-9355


Pat O'Briens is the best time on Bourbon Street.

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This giant sugar-laden red drank is a Hurricane, their signature cocktail. It will have you singing Taylor Swift karaoke on a stage full of strangers.

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Get it here:

Pat O'Briens – 718 Saint Peter Street – 504-525-4823


Go to Apolline just for this epic bloody mary:

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Pickled green beans, bacon, buttermilk biscuits, shrimp, celery, lemon, lime - in a drink.

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Or come for this cinnamon bacon with brown sugar and pecans.

Get it here:

Apolline – 4729 Magazine Street – 504-894-8881


GW Fins is a fancy seafood place for fancy ladies and gents.

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Lobster dumplings with fennel, tomato, and lobster butter

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Parmesan crusted drum with asparagus, crispy capers, jumbo lump crab, Meyer lemon, brown butter

Get it here:

GW Fins – 808 Bienville Street – 504-581-3467


I obviously had to eat a po' boy, but I opted for a non-traditional variety at Killer Poboys, a po' boy pop-up in the back of a bar. And they are SERIOUS about the fact that it's a bar - the badass lady chef verbally chastised two young-looking boys for trying to buy a sandwich. The boys were terrified but the rest of us were quite amused.

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Glazed Pork Belly Poboy - NOLA rum & ginger cane syrup, lime slaw, garlic aioli

Get it here:

Killer Poboys – Back of the Erin Rose Bar at 811 Conti St 


Our final meal was at local celebrity chef John Besh's pizza mecca Domenica. From 2pm - 5pm every day, they have half priced glasses of wine, bellinis, and pizzas; best deal in town.

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Half margherita and half gorgonzola with speck, apples, and honey

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Roasted cauliflower with sea salt and whipped feta

Get it here:

Domenica – 123 Baronne Street - 504-648-6020


So what was the best thing I ate in New Orleans? An unassuming local donut hole called a buttermilk drop at Wink's Bakery.

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Buttermilk drops are part cake, part donut. When I asked what made them so good, the person behind the counter said, "We use the real stuff to fry them." I don't think I want to know what that means, but this was definitely the best bite I had in all of New Orleans. Better than a beignet. Trust me.

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Get it here:

Wink's Bakery – 1218 Decatur Street - 504-309-2481

Day 1 - Paris!

I've been in transit for nearly 24 hours and we've still got about 16 to go before we reach our first destination of Victoria Falls. We took a 7 hour flight to Paris last night, arrived at 11:00AM, and had about 12 hours of layover time to kill so we did what any normal family would do: go into Paris and eat buttloads of French food. See below for some airplane food (full disclosure: we used a bunch of miles to fly Business Class so everything is amazing) and Parisian cuisine: IMG_0247-0.JPG

My bro starting the trip with some champagne and cheese

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The cheese plate that came with my airplane dinner. NOTE VERY IMPORTANT DECORATIVE LEAF

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This was the appetizer: Maine lobster with wasabi mayo and chopped mango salad. THIS HAPPENED ON A PLANE. The "ambassador of French cuisine" for AirFrance is Joel Robuchon, so you know this shit is legit.

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Main course:"pan-seared tournedos of beef with truffle butter, mashed potatoes with horseradish, buttered asparagus" (I'm keeping all the menus for safekeeping.) I swear I think there were real bits of truffle in the butter.

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Made it to Paris! Here's a quiche.

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This is my mom. Her favorite candy in the whole world is Rocher Suchard, which they don't sell in the US. We went into a grocery store and she cleaned them out of their supply. This will last her about 3 days and she will not share.

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Our last stop in Paris was at Berthillion, a legendary ice cream shop. Unfortunately the original Berthillion is closed until September, since all of Europe goes on vacation for the month of August (those lazy jerks JK I'M JEALOUS) so we went to a shop next door that stocked the frozen treat. These flavors are wild blackberry and pear.

Off to the next flight, au revoir!

 

 

Africa Eats - Coming Soon!

LGBM LION KING In exactly one week from today, I will be flying to South Africa for a 2 week journey filled with animals, waterfalls, selfies in safari hats, and copious amounts of family time. I also assume there will be food. I don't know much about South African cuisine, except that their version of beef jerky, called biltong, is thicker and not sweet. It also looks like shit:

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Hopefully it tastes better than it looks and I will eat and write about lots of other delicious, non-shit-looking things.

Before I go, anyone have any good food-related book recommendations?

The LGBM Guide to Napa Valley Eats

Here is Part II of the San Fran/Napa trip. All guidance courtesy of KK Carothers, my college freshman roommate who actually lives in Napa making wine. CAN YOU IMAGINE??? I very nearly uprooted myself and moved into her house on the spot. bottega-gin-and-tonic

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Bottega - 6525 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599 - 707-945-1050

Holy hell. This was the first and best meal I had in Napa Valley. Bottega is located in Yountville, home base for arguably the best restaurant in the country, Thomas Keller's legendary The French Laundry. But what am I, made of money? No. This more casual spot from chef Michael Chiarello was perfect for a leisurely, decadent, and not obscenely expensive meal.

At the top: Italian Gin and Tonic with Frozen Grape, Juniper Berries, and a Sprig of Rosemary. Look at it. Have you ever seen a G&T look so classy?

2nd Pic: Black Pepper Bucatini alla Carbonara. That egg in the middle exploded when we cut into it. Perfect.

3rd Pic: Potato Dough Raviolo filled with Spinach and Ricotta, Black Truffles, Farm Fresh Egg Yolk, Sage Brown Butter. THIS WAS THE BEST THING I HAD IN NAPA VALLEY. The photo doesn't do it justice. So decadent. So truffley. So a;alkj;aldkjfsa;dkf.

Bottom: Duck Three Ways: Roasted Breast, Confit Leg, Duck Liver Mousse. The strawberry stuff on the side was delicious. KK and I both tried to like the duck liver mousse (isn't foie gras illegal in CA?) but we just couldn't. Embarrassing.

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Model Bakery - Oxbow Public Market, 644 1st St, Bldg B, Napa, CA 94599 - 707-259-1128

At Oxbow Public Market in Napa, you can get oysters, pizza, tacos, ice cream, etc. Most importantly, you can get one of Model Bakery's epic english muffins that look and taste like fluffy donuts. The breakfast sandwich above had egg, provolone, avocado, tomato, hash brown, and ketchup. It's a perfect hangover remedy after you've had too much Napa Valley grape juice.

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Here's a bonus shot of KK trying some bitters at Oxbow Market. Hahahaha sorry KK.

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Tra Vigne - 1050 Charter Oak Ave, St. Helena, CA 94574 - 707-963-4444

This place is in a mini castle at the end of the main drag in St. Helena. They have a gorgeous outdoor patio with string lights that looks like a fairytale. Although I previously decided I want to get married in the cheese section of the flagship Wegman's Supermarket in Rochester, NY, this patio is a close second. Most importantly:

Top: Mozzarella Cheese "Al Minuto" - Tra Vigne claims on their menu that they make the mozzarella for this dish the moment you order it. Personally, I don't care when the stuff was made - it's fucking delicious. Our waiter cut up the warm ball tableside and plated it as you see above on crunchy bruschetta with Napa olive oil, salt, and pepper. A can't miss for any cheese lover.

Bottom: Cocoa Marinated Grilled Venison Loin - Honestly I was too full of mozzarella to really eat a lot of this. It was just okay. Get the pasta instead. Or just eat four pieces of mozzarella.

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Fremont Diner - 2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476 - 707-938-7370

This roadside diner can be found on the scenic drive from Napa Valley to San Francisco. If I had been hungrier, and hadn't eaten a block of mozzarella the night before, I would have gotten the chicken & waffles or biscuits & gravy, but these ricotta pancakes with blood oranges were perfectly light and satisfying.

The LGBM Guide to San Francisco Eats

A few weeks ago, I visited some old friends in San Fran/Napa and I ate and drank all of the things. For now, see below for just the San Francisco eats. Napa to follow soon. (There was just too much food for one post.) Mijita tacos

Mijita - One Ferry Building, Number 44 - San Francisco, CA 94111 - 415-399-0814

Taco Vegetariano (beans) and Taco De Camarones (shrimp). Super fresh.

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Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream - many locations 

I didn't actually get to try any of these because I was so full of taco and guac, but this is apparently the hottest ice cream (not literally) in SF right now. Also, anything called SECRET BREAKFAST is a win.

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Tartine - 600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 - 415-487-2600

I got a chocolate rye cookie from famous SF bakery Tartine, which was okay,  but this Chocolate Hazelnut Tart looks better.

birite ice cream

Bi-Rite Creamery - 550 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117 - 415-551-7900

Roasted Banana and Ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodles) Ice Cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. I was told to get the Salted Caramel but ignored my host and was plenty happy with my choices.

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Limón Rotisserie - Three locations

Queso empanada from Limón Rotisserie. Peruvian neighborhood joint with 3 SF locations known for extra juicy chicken. Get the yuca fries and cry starchy tears of joy.