The Tasting Table.

Already intrigued solely by the title? Who would decline an invitation to taste, well, anything? At least with my cultured and adventurous palette, access to provided cuisine isn't taken lightly; I appreciate food and where it comes from.

So when participating in my usual navigation of the internet while lying in my dorm bed(typical college kid with her laptop, I know) I stumbled upon(copyright StumbleUpon?) this website which instantly appealed to my eye with modern graphics, and delightful food-related phrases.


Apparently with permission to your email, this site will provide us foodies with high quality recipes from renowned chefs in our Metropolitan area of choice, updates on chic events tailored to our palettes, and various travel, entertaining, and menu ideas to please those we associate with. Essentially endeavoring a similar quest to become an adventurous eater, I recommend you embark on this journey with me.

Food is involved; what do we have to loose?
[Follow them on Twitter: @TastingTable or @TastingTableLA or @TastingTableSF]

Will Paula Deen give up Butter? Funny joke in my opinion.

After three years of hiding her Type 2 Diabetes to the public, everyone's favorite Food Network star Paula Dean finally has revealed her status, but in grand fashion. While continuing to deep fry graham-crusted cheesecake, and slather ingredients in sugar, cream, and her favorite butter, this Southern belle will also be advocating "Diabetes in New Light," and the drug Victoza which Deen has taken for nearly five months. 

A bit hypocritical wouldn't you say? Being an avid viewer and fan of the Food Network for it's celebration of healthier choices without comprising beautiful presentation, quality of cuisine, and impeccable[accessible] taste, Paula Deen has never rubbed me the right way(even with her slimy weapon of butter). She may be down to Earth, but hopping on the bandwagon for nutritional living shouldn't change her image too fast.

At least the Network itself is doing something to combat our ever increasing obesity rates by following overweight chefs and their transition into a healthier lifestyle on "Fat Chef". 

"I've learnt that tasting means tasting, not tasting the same dish five times," Vitella, one of the chefs followed on the show states on catering. I'm intrigued to witness their progress, and also applaud this show's spotlight on an issue heavily publicized, yet not necessarily taken action against. *information from USAToday. 



An Undiscovered Gem from Trader Joe's

You know how everyone says it isn't acceptable to eat while standing up? (As if gorging on a Triple Decker dark chocolate drizzled Devil's food cake is any better for you sitting down.) Well those who believe this notion obviously have never come face to face with a cardboard cereal box at the midnight hour.

Cereal. Possibly one of the best processed creations given to society for it's convenience, variability, and taste. This delectable commodity can be eaten for Breakfast, but when providing the perfect balance of puff to extreme crunch, Trader Joe's Honey, Almond, & Flax 9 Grain Crunch cereal pleases at any point in the day.

Similar, but oh so much better(and cheaper!) than Kashi! Go Lean Crunch, this cereal packs 560mg of Omega 3's(the "good fats" from Flax seed!), 8 grams of Fiber, 10 grams of Protein, and 15 grams of Whole grain in ONE SERVING. Slivered almonds, the sweetness of nature honey, and the obnoxiously loud crunch from each bite are what make this cereal a healthful and worthwhile item to add to my cultured and adventurous palette. Normally found on the bottom shelf of their cereal aisle, you're welcome.


The Veggie Grill Review: Accessorize your plate.

"It's rude." My friend exclaims this response following my suggestion to add extra ingredients to a restaurant's menu item. My personal interpretation of food is to experiment and create your own variation on what you believe will please your palette most substantially. Granted, chefs generally know their business and will[hopefully] provide you with a combination of ingredients that compliment each other, yet if your gut is encouraging you to accessorize your meal, don't ignore your feelings.

"The Veggie Grill: Original Sandwiches and Burgers"
A chain of certified vegan restaurants across Southern California, this menu is packed with various burgers, soups and salads, providing the texture and quality of meat, without actually utilizing the animal. "Chillin' Chicken, Veggie-Steak, and Too-Good Tempeh(tem-pay) are the main A-listers within each option ranging from lying on a bed of the highly nutritious super grain Quinoa(keen-wah), accompanied by a helping of sweet potatoe fries, under a layer of VG-cheese, or mixed into an assortment of fresh, and organic vegetables; the possibilities are endless with consistently great taste in every bite. 

The "Bali Bliss"
  • For $6.75(+ $1.50 for my choice to add the robust earthy flavor of portobello mushroom), I chose an Indonesian styled tempeh which didn't provide too much flavor on its own and the texture was similar to condensed rice. 
  • The tempeh was accompanied by lettuce, tomato, red onion and a bed of steamed kale instead of the wheat bun, but their homemade chipotle ranch was the key ingredient replenishing moisture the above ingredients otherwise lacked while also adding tang to what could have been a bland dish. 

Chipotle BBQ .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .8 .50Shredded veggie-steak, marinated intangy BBQ sauce, with chipotle ranch,caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato.

Sweet Potatoes fried. These are popping up in modern burger joints across the country, yet again, these scrumptious sticks being paired with their infamous chipolte ranch is what truly seals the deal. Though I may be a Health Nut, there is no resisting dunking baked goodness[they bake them instead of frying them in a vat of who knows what) in a container of perfectly balanced dip.

Carne Asada .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .8 .95Grilled veggie-steak, marinated in Mexican spices, with southwestern spiced vegan mayo, red onion, lettuce, tomato on a wheat roll.

For those intrigued by gastropubs, high quality ingredients, and joining the speeding train of vegan, vegetarian, or any other fad diet delight, begin with the Veggie Grill. Without emptying your wallet, you fill your stomach with pleasant, yet innovative cuisine.