Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

November 23, 2013

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
When I made arrangements to go to San Diego to see my old buddy (who I have known since kindergarten and is my longest continuous friend) for a few days this summer, I was going to stay at a hotel in south San Diego, but that changed a few days before my arrival.  I got a call from the hotel telling me they cancelled my reservation.  Yes, like the Seinfeld car reservation episode, the hotel took my reservation, but did not hold my reservation. But to the hotel's credit, they made good, and set me up at the Lodge at Torrey Pines Golf Course for the same price as I would have paid for my original reservation.   Torrey Pines is in North San Diego, north of La Jolla and south of Del Mar.  Torrey Pines State Park is adjacent to The Lodge at Torrey Pines, is beautiful and a great place to walk ever afternoon to catch views of the Great Pacific Ocean.  Torrey Pines Golf Course is rated one of the best golf courses in the world with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean.  To my surprise, Torrey Pines Golf Course is a public golf course owned by the City of San Diego.  Torrey Pines Golf Course public ownership status is a surprise to me, as the grounds and greens are kept so beautifully well.  Because Torrey Pines is a public course, anyone can play there with a tee time.  All you golfers out there, get  yourself a tee time, and hit 'em straight!

a view of Torrey Pines Golf Course

On this particular trip, I landed in San Diego around 1 pm, and it was getting to be time for lunch.  I was fairly tired from the flight, so grabbed a shuttle and got the Lodge at Torrey Pines for lunch.  The Lodge is very nice with great service, a nice patio with golf course and ocean views, and restaurants with just as spectacular views.  I stopped into the Lodge at Torrey Pines restaurant for lunch fairly late, about 2 pm, and there were not too many people there.  I got to sit where ever I wanted.  Because it was 75F, sunny and slightly breezy, I opted to sit on the patio.  

Signature burger
Asking the waitress what I should get, she suggested I get the signature dish, the burger made with Niman's Ranch ground beef and a side of fries.  So, there I sat on the patio overlooking the pool, golf course and Pacific Ocean.  My burger arrived, and it was a huge burger with cheddar cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomatoes on a sesame seed bun, and served with extra ketchup, mayo and mustard if I wanted it.  It was a good burger, too big, and I could only eat half of it.  I forgot what it was like to have perfect weather and dining outside.  I really enjoyed it this time, it was a real treat.

I was born and raised in S. CA and we ate outside all the time, including school lunches.  In S. CA, my schools did not have cafeterias, there were only food lines, and all the lunch tables were picnic tables outside.  With weather as fabulous as it is in S. CA, of course you would sit outside to dine.  During these few days in San Diego, most every restaurant I ate at has outdoor seating, and mainly outdoor seating to capitalize on the great weather and views of the Pacific Ocean.  I live landlocked now, a state surrounded by 7 other states, and the Cumberland River is a bit industrial and many days it does not smell good.  More times than not, it is not charming to smell the Cumberland River while trying to have a meal.  Also, Nashville can get a bit oppressively hot and humid over the summer, and there is also quite a bit of rain that falls here too, so there is not the same charm while eating outside here as there is in S. CA.  

November 20, 2013

Uber Popcorn

So, dang good, local, and delicious!  I made popcorn from local biodynamic organic popcorn grown at Bells Bend Farms, topped with home churned butter (my pal and co-worker made) and Bourbon Barrel smoked paprika and sea salt.  This was a mighty fine local organic snack while watching ABC's Nashville TV show.  What a great night.

November 17, 2013

TN Food Trucks

This blog post is a direct quote from FOOD NETWORK'S EAT ST. Website!  Food Network Eat St. goes out and finds really delicious food trucks and carts.  I love food truck food!  This week, Eat St. will be in Nashville and Knoxville highlighting some really great food trucks.  Scroll down and see where you can get some great food truck lunch from noon-2 pm.  Come while it's hot, and get on TV!

Tennessee has come a long way from the days when it was known as the “Hog and Hominy State.” Discerning foodies can now get everything from catfish tacos to pumpkin ravioli from one of the state’s many exceptional mobile vendors. We intend to see firsthand how much Tennessee’s culinary scene has grown as we cruise into Nashville and Knoxville to visit six of their most talked about food trucks.

Image courtesy of
Date: Sunday, November 17
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
There’s no time like the present to Crepe A Diem and get yourself an amazing French meal to go! Nashvillians are saying “ooh-lala” over Brittney Blackshear’s beautifully presented crepes, purses, and even stuffed apples! Brittney’s French street eats are made from scratch and stick to traditional methods – while still having a bit of fun. It’s no wonder Crepe A Diem won “People’s Choice” at this year’s Nashville Street Food Awards!

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What they will cook for us:
Coq Au Vin Crepe: Pulled roasted chicken, sauteed oyster mushrooms, onions, and gruyere smothered in a traditional coq au vin sauce (bacon, onion, mushroom, red wine, French aromatics) and topped with fried kale chips.
Tie-Dye Crepe Purse: Beet-colored crepe purse filled with chèvre cheese whipped with Tarragon and EVOO, toasted walnuts, poached golden beets and tied up with a chive.
Crepe Complete: Black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and baby arugula crowned with a sunny-side farm fresh egg, garnished with fresh parsley, sea salt, and cracked pepper.
Duck Confit Stuffed Apple: Cranberry and cognac poached Pink Lady apple stuffed with chiffonade of baby mustard greens, gruyere cheese, toasted pecans, and confit duck leg.

Image courtesy of
Date: Monday, November 18
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
Jon Heidelberg wants you to “feed your face” and “never trust a skinny cook”. You can tell by his accent and dynamo personality that his N’awlins style cooking is for real. Jonbalaya is a legend around town. Its namesake Jambalaya has produced 143 marriage proposals for Jon and he’s declined… most of them.

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What they will cook for us:
Tchoupatoulis Chicken and Waffles: Only on the Jonbalaya truck will you find this crazy rendition of Chicken and Waffles. They soak their tenderloins in buttermilk, hot sauce, and secret spices, then bread them in seasoned bread crumbs and four flavors of crushed cheese crackers. Then they take their famous Bacon Mac and Cheese – and make waffles. Finally, they drizzle the whole order with a homemade orange habanero butter syrup.
Shrimp Po’ Boy: Breaded fried shrimp with sundried tomato pesto, Cajun green onion slaw (toasted sesame vinaigrette and remoulade), onion straws, tomato, lettuce, and roasted red pepper aioli on crusty French bread.
Tilapia Bayou Burrito: Blackened tilapia, Cajun slaw, pico de gallo, onion straws, tortilla strips, dried cranberries, and pineapple-mango vinaigrette in a garlic herb wrap.
Jambalaya: Slow cooked chicken, andouille sausage, peppers, onions, green onions, and Cajun spices mixed in rice. One taste and you’ll drop to one knee!

Image courtesy of
Date: Tuesday, November 19
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
Karl and Sarah Worley (along with their daughter Gertie) are the proud owners of Biscuit Love, Nashville’s warmest down-home truck. The couple are trained chefs who decided to dedicate their efforts to the humble scratch biscuit in sweet, savoury, and “bonut” (biscuit donut) forms! This is the best place to get a primo version of Nashville Hot Chicken, a regional specialty that packs serious Southern heat!

Image courtesy of
What they will cook for us:
The Princess: Fluffy biscuit topped with buttermilk fried chicken dipped in spicy cayenne seasoning oil, honey, housemade pickles, and mustard. An homage to “Hot Chicken” by Thornton Prince in the 1930s. Legend has it Prince was a womanizer. His girlfriend was upset he had been out all night, so she cooked a revenge breakfast of chicken smothered in fiery pepper. Prince loved it so much, he created his own recipe and opened up an eatery. Now it’s a Music City specialty.
The John T.: Fried catfish, sauteed garlic shrimp cooked with butter, cream, and a white wine reduction all on a tender biscuit topped with green onion. Named after legendary Southern chef John T. Edge.
The Gertie: Signature biscuit topped with caramelized banana jam, houseground peanut butter mixed with pretzel crunch, and housemade chocolate gravy (75% cocoa, cream, flour).
Bonuts: Biscuit dough rolled and left to rise, then fried, sugared, and filled with mascarpone and lemon curd. Served with blueberry compote.

Image courtesy of
Date: Wednesday, November 20
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
At Delta Bound, husband and wife team Stacey and Jessica Mobley are sharing the cuisine of the Mississippi Delta, an area of the Deep South ranging roughly from Memphis to New Orleans, where time moves a little slower and life is a little sweeter. They’ve placed in several categories at the Nashville Street Food Awards this year including “Best Hot Nashville”, “Best Olive & Sinclair” (local chocolate), and “Best Dessert”.

Image courtesy of
What they will cook for us:
Le Grand Cochon: 1/2 lb in-house seasoned truck-ground pork, crispy housemade hickory bacon, smoked pulled pork with spicy mayo, Delta Bound BBQ sauce, spring mix, red onion, and monterrey jack cheese on a grilled bun.
Hot Nashville: Spicy smoked, pulled chicken in BBQ sauce and sriracha on a hush puppy waffle (ground corn, pepper, onion, cheese, spices). Topped with deep fried kale and crumbled bacon.
Fried Catfish Tacos: Cornmeal-breaded catfish, Creole coleslaw, roasted sweet corn salsa, and Mississippi Comeback sauce (regional remoulade-style sauce) on warm tortillas.
“I Want S’more” Whiskey Pudding: Dark chocolate pudding mixed with old-fashioned Tennessee whiskey layered with toasted graham cracker crumbs, topped with scorched Italian meringue.

Image courtesy of
Date: Thursday, November 21
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
Savory & Sweet is winning fans around Knoxville by making rotating daily meals from scratch. Their expansive menu has featured everything from deviled egg melts to fruit tarts to fresh truckmade pasta. They’ve amassed a fanatic following and are showing Knoxville that fast food can be fresh and fun!

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What they will cook for us:
Tennessee Whisky BBQ Burger Sliders: Local beef patties topped with candied jalapeños, housemade pimento (cream cheese, mayo, Cajun spices, pimentos, jalapeño juice, smoked cheddar), and housemade whiskey BBQ sauce.
Hot Brown: Housemade sourdough, fried local turkey, candied jalapeño bacon, tomato jam, micro turnip greens, and Mornay sauce. The Hot Brown is a Southern regional dish that originated in Kentucky.
Pumpkin Ravioli: Pumpkin, egg, brown sugar, evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger in housemade pasta dough. Served over oyster mushrooms with a sage garlic cream sauce and sweet & spicy walnuts.
Mexican Cheesecake: Frozen cheesecake wrapped in a sweet tortilla, deep-fried until golden brown, then rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with warm apples. The perfect finish to a hearty meal!

Image courtesy of
Date: Friday, November 22
Filming time: 12:00 p.m.
Mister Canteen is taking “farm-to-truck” to a whole new level. They’ve upped the ante to “seed-to-truck”, meaning many of the ingredients they serve have been grown or raised by them on their own family farm. Foodies appreciate the devotion, but the absolutely delicious fry bread tacos, sandwiches, and especially donuts speak for themselves! With a wartime-inspired navy tattoo and nature motif, antiques, and stunning chalk art, this truck wins with hip, nostalgic charm.

Image courtesy of
What they will cook for us:
Egg Banjo: Local eggs gently fried on handmade and farm-grown sprouted spelt French bread with house aioli, chili relish, sauerkraut slaw, fermented pickle, and organic fried potatoes. Topped with seasonal garden-picked herbs. The name came from an old Navy cookbook that called an egg sandwich a “banjo”.
Roast Beef Sandwich: Farm-raised, grass-fed, slow-cooked roast beef, white cheddar, sauteed bell pepper and onion, housemade sauerkraut slaw, garlic mustard aioli on a farm-baked spelt brioche bun with fermented pickle and organic fried potatoes.
Navajo Fry Bread Tacos: Farm-raised pastured chicken roasted and shredded in housemade enchilada sauce (vinegar, onion, celery, carrot, spelt, garlic) topped with housemade sauerkraut slaw and cultured sour cream on a coconut-oil fried Navajo fry bread.
Spelt Donuts: Organic spelt donuts fried in coconut oil and frosted with lemon curd Swiss meringue buttercream. An absolute must with every meal!

November 16, 2013

Got my Fricco on

Fricco with pickled peppers

I made a bunch of lacto-fermented pickled peppers with onions last month.  We have been snacking on them at work.  I have been sharing them with my friends.  Everyone loves them!  They are crunchy, salty, sour, garlicky and delicious!  The pepper pickles are good on hamburgers.  They are great just as a snack.

I was looking to make something new with the pickled peppers and onions, and I decided to try making a fricco.  At City House, there is a fricco appetizer that is so good, and I normally share one every time I go to City House.  I used the City House fricco as my inspiration.  A fricco is a cheese cracker made by baking or skillet frying cheese until it is toasty and crunchy.  I got some Kenny's Nena cheese which is a variety of Tomme, and tried my experiment.  I started out skillet frying my pickled peppers and onions.  Then I added a bunch of grated Nena cheese to the skillet.  When the bottom of the cheese was crispy, I  turned over my cheese pancake to crisp up the second side.

The verdict:  I really liked the flavor of the pickled peppers in the fricco.  The cheese texture was not what I hoped.  The Nena gave a gritty and chewy texture.  If I were to make a fricco again, I would use a smoother cheese.  City House has used Sweetwater Buttermilk Cheddar, so I might try that cheese next time.   Or, I will call Kenny's Cheese and ask them for a recommendation for a cheese that will melt with a smoother texture than the Nena.  Besides the texture, I really like my pickled peppers and onions fricco.