Skip to main content


The Garlic at New Smyrna Beach Florida

I have visited sunny Florida more than once but this is the first time that I will be able to share anything worthy of a blog post. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of foodie spots at The Sunshine State, I just feel like I need to explore more places that are worthy of sharing here.  However, it feels like a mortal sin to not share about my dining experience at The Garlic in Florida. The Garlic is an eccentric-themed Italian restaurant located at New Smyrna Beach a coastal city that is an hour's drive from Orlando. The restaurant opens at 4:00 pm every day and does not require reservations.  We arrived a few minutes before 4:00 pm and we were a little surprised by the number of guests already waiting for a table. It is a good thing the staff already has a system in place and we got seated after a short wait. 
Recent posts

Dinner at The Black Sheep in Manassas

Northern Virginia is starting to become a culinary hotspot that driving to Washington D.C. for good food. As much as I love traveling long distances for delicious food, I also constantly search for amazing food spots in my area. One of the newly-opened places that we discovered and were blown away with is  The Black Sheep Restaurant located at the Farm Brew Live campus.  Located inside the gorgeous 1920s Thomasson Barn, The Black Sheep serves both modern American dishes, sushi and sashimi, and a wide array of wines, spirits, and beers.  While enjoying some drinks, we typically order their shared plates or appetizers. So far, we have tried the Spanish Garlic Shrimp ($14), Fried Green Tomatoes ($11), and Hushpuppies ($10).  Spanish Garlic Shrimp Fried Green Tomatoes

Breakfast at Becca Restaurant and Garden

Since my last blog post was about a dinner experience , I'm back to add another breakfast/brunch experience and maybe eventually turn this food and travel website into a brunch review blog. LOL.  For our short trip to Virginia Beach, we stayed at The Historic Cavalier Hotel. Completed in the 1920s, this hotel is known to be the accommodation of old Hollywood stars and several U.S. Presidents. The hotel has undergone extensive restoration work and reopened in early 2018.  The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach Our accommodation includes access to the Cavalier Beach Club across the street and breakfast vouchers to Becca Restaurant which located on the ground floor of the hotel. Becca serves modernized traditional American dishes using locally sourced produce and fresh seafood. 

Orion's Roof at Virginia Beach

Staying home for months and not traveling had provided us the opportunity to get creative in planning for a quick getaway to take advantage of what was left of the summer heat before cold autumn takes over. Because I haven't really gone to the area for non-work reasons, we decided to drive down to Virginia Beach. Driving from Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach takes around three hours or more, depending on the traffic.  Our first stop when we arrived is Orion's Roof located on the 23rd floor of Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The restaurant, headed by ex-Nobu chef Hisashi Araki, just opened last May and has been attracting sushi fanatics both visiting and living in the Virginia Beach area.  We reserved for late dinner at least a week prior and we got seated at our table as soon as we arrived. While enjoying our bottle of wine, we had these starters: Edamame ($6), Local Oysters on the Half Shell ($14), Hamachi Carpaccio ($16), and Conch Ceviche ($14).  Conch Ceviche

Weekend Brunch at Trummer's

During the past few months, a lot of places in my area started to reopen and attempt to return to normal, somehow. One of the places that I was able to visit recently is Trummer's located in Clifton, Virginia. Trummer's (formerly called Trummer's on Main) was  recently awarded as the winner of Upscale Brunch of the Year  by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.  I was able to visit this place for brunch prior to the pandemic and enjoyed my experience and decided that it would a good idea to revisit to try their new brunch menu.  Currently, Trummer's brunch schedule is only every Saturday but is otherwise open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations are not required but are highly recommended.  As a foodie, I enjoy visiting restaurants with classic menus but I have an appreciation for restaurants such as Trummer's that regularly change their menu items, so the dishes that we have tried during this visit may not be available if you visit the

Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans

I was fortunate to be able to travel to several cities in the U.S. last year and see places that I haven't been to before. Since I wasn't able to travel anywhere this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought that sharing the places that I visited last year would be a good way to motivate myself that things will get better and hopefully get to revisit these places when things return to normal (or normal-ish).  New Orleans was the most memorable city that I visited last year. New Orleans, a city in the state of Louisiana, is known for its multicultural heritage, historical architecture, the Mardi Gras, and of course, their food! Like any serious foodie, I created a list of restaurants that I wanted to try during my visit. One of those places that my fellow travelers recommended is The Ruby Slipper Cafe.  The Ruby Slipper Cafe is a popular breakfast and brunch restaurant founded in New Orleans and currently has several locations within and outside the city. We went to the dow

Instant Pot Arroz Caldo (Filipino Rice Porridge)

  It's been a while since I shared a recipe - or basically anything at all, but here I go again and hopefully I get to be more consistent with blogging.  The past few years have made me more comfortable in the kitchen and have accumulated amazing kitchen gadgets that make my life a lot easier. One of the newest kitchen equipment that I'm crazy about is the INSTANT POT! For those who are not familiar, Instant Pot is a multicooker that allows you to do basically all types of food preparations - pressure cook, slow cook, saute and bake in one pot.  I had an Arroz Caldo craving a few days ago and decided to use Instant Pot to cook it. Prior to this, I use a Dutch oven to cook Arroz Caldo.  This recipe is pretty flexible - feel free to use any cut of chicken meat you prefer and using kasubha (or safflower) is optional. Ingredients: 2 tbsp canola oil 3-5 pcs garlic, minced 2 tbsp ginger, sliced (or julienned) 1 onion, chopped 1 cup short-grain sweet rice or glutinous rice (or malagk