Tuesday, March 30

Hofbräuhaus Newport

At the end of our first day of the boys soccer tournament in Cincinnati, we spent our evening in Newport. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather, gorgeous view of the Cincinnati skyline at the border of Ohio-Kentucky. Then some of us decided to go to Hofbrauhaus for nice beer and German fare. Hofbrauhaus Newport is America's first authentic Hofbrauhaus, modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany.

We walked through the Bier Hall where there were long wooden tables lined up. It was busy and it was loud -- but that's the unique character of the traditional German beer hall which can seated up to 250 people, together with live entertainment -- it's definitely fun ambiance!

Traditionally decorated and dressed

Newport Combo Appetizer: pretzels with homemade Bier Cheese, fried zucchini with lemon Aioli sauce, potato pancakes with apple sauce, and fried sauerkraut balls with honey mustard dip.

Choices of dipping sauce

Soft pretzels with bier cheese dipping

Everyone's favorite: Sauerkraut Balls. Yummy tasty!

Sauerkraut Balls with Honey Mustard Dip

Fun atmosphere, pretty decent German food, and great beer!


Hofbrauhaus Newport
200 E 3rd St.
Newport, KY 41071
(859) 491-7200


Toot's - Cincinnati Eats

A weekend of my son's soccer tournament in Cincinnati went by so quick I have to say... The boys and parents, as well as siblings spent a quality time bonding and sharing the love for soccer. Besides the games, there're eating, eating, and eating. The fun part was we did it as a team! Imagine going into restaurants and asking for tables for 30-40, waiting to be seated, ordering food, matching each family on separated bills, and etc. -- it was absolutely great time!

Our lunch at Toot's was one of our between-game meals.

Toot's famous Fried Dill Pickles

Fried Oyster Basket

Fried Frog Legs
Buffalo Chicken Salad

Toot's serving up "Good Food and Fun"


12191 Montgomery Rd.
Loveland, OH 45140
(513) 697-9100

Thursday, March 25

Sunday Dinner

Last weekend, my foodie friends and fellow soccer parents - Jill and Al - hosted a Sunday dinner: Thai style, at their home in Dewitt. I was flattered to be invited to share my love of Thai cooking with them. I had so much fun that I felt like I was on a play date, while we were cooking together. We exchanged cooking tips and tricks; shared food-related stories, and must-visit-eatery info.

The cooking scenes happened outside and in the kitchen. Jill ran back and forth in between, making sure her husband had everything at the grill, and making sure she and I get the other 3 dishes moved along. I love that everyone gather around having conversation, enjoying drinks, and utilizing our five senses with food :)

Jill preping the pineapple bowl. The cubed pineapple meat is used in fried rice. Also goes in the Pineapple Fried Rice are shrimps, and cashew nuts.

In the kitchen with friends who share culinary passion.

Al was the master of the grill. There was unbelievable amount of marinated Kalbi that got cooked up on that grill. I know it's Korean short ribs (with Jill's delicious marinade), but with all the meat lovers there.. we just had to have "the meat"!

Somehow...., I felt a little sorry for the neighbors, the smell of those Kalbi was just amazing!

"Tom Kha"
Thai Coconut Galanga Soup, with Mushroom and Tofu

Chicken Panang Curry with Lime Leaves and Thai Basils

I hope everyone had a nice time as much as I did!

Until next time...

Sunday, March 21

Happy 30th Monahan's!

This Saturday we headed to Kerrytown, in Ann Arbor, MI, to celebrate with Monahan's Seafood Market on their 30th birthday. Yes, Monahan's has been serving fish and seafood lovers in Ann Arbor area for 30 years! Mike Monahan and Paul Saginaw started the market in December 1979. Through these years, Mike and his family, together with his dedicated and service-minded staffs, have shared their passion and knowledge with the customers -- with great pride.

I am so glad I could join their celebratory event. Customers and market shoppers stopped by to congratulate the Monahan family for their success. Mike was happy and excited to tell everyone about the history of the market, how he loves to fish, and his passion for food and cooking. His wife, Lisa, from Lisa Monahan Photography, and their children - Carson, Kim, and Sarah - were all there greeting customers and sharing stories of the displayed photos.

There were delicious samples, decadent cake, bubbly champagne, contest with prizes, lots of laughter, and endless joy! It was absolutely a day of celebration.

Sample platter of smoked fishes

"Bernie's Famous Chowder"

Smoked fish and coleslaw


With Lisa and Mike Monahan


Happy Birthday Monahan's Seafood Market!

Food Porn

Yes, I am one of them -- those who can't help but take pictures of food.

Mango Mousse Cake

Green Tea Tiramisu

Tuesday, March 16

Drunken Noodles

You will need:
  • 8 oz. dried wide rice noodles (size L), cooked
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork (or chicken, beef, turkey - whatever you like)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5 Thai red chili pepper (or adjust to your preference)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-size strips carrots
  • 1/2 cup baby corn, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes cut in wedges (I had to use canned ones here since I forgot to buy fresh ones.)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • grounded white (or black) pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce


  1. Cook rice noodles a little lesser time than the instruction on package, they will be stir-fried and cooked all the way later.
  2. Pound garlic cloves and chili peppers together using mortar and pestle. Or you can mince them together using a knife.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chili garlic mixture and stir until lightly browned and fragrant.
  4. Add ground pork and stir well to evenly mix everything together. Once the pork is browned, add carrots and baby corns. Stir to get vegetables cooked real quick, you want them to be a bit crisp, not all soft.
  5. Then, add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, and grounded white/black pepper. Stir quickly to mix the seasonings into ingredients.
  6. Then add rice noodles, water, and dark soy sauce. Stir to get everything coated with sauce.
  7. Add the basil leaves and tomatoes, give it a good stir. Transfer to serving dish.

    I do play around with the ingredients for this dish a lot, depends on what I have on hand. Bite-size meat, fried tofu, or seafood are all good options. And if you make it with spaghetti instead of rice noodle, then you'll have Drunken Spaghetti :)

Sunday, March 14

Great Time at Sansu

Weekend eat at Sansu: where I had a pleasure of dining with a great group of food lovers -- a foodie friend, a talented chef, and a total stranger who shared a passion for food. The food was absolutely amazing, and the experience was priceless. Each dish we had was either picked for, or recommended to us by the owner of Sansu, Rebecca Jeon, and the pastry chef & co-owner of Chapelure, Chef Tae Ahn. What could have been better than that?

Sushi Cake: my favorite item of the night
Layers of all possible goodnesses to make up a delicious combination.

Spicy Crunchy Tuna Salad

Tuna Tataki

We went light on the wines, to go with our sushi dishes.

Sharing a good meal, good company, and good conversation.
A few more dishes we had but not photoed here were Baked Mussels, Avocado Bowl,
and Tuna Tartare. All were very delicious!

Our bartender, Molly, was fantastic! She made our evening such a pleasant one. It was so much fun sitting and eating at the bar, also watching all kind of drinks made. I learned a new drink of POM Cosmo: a lip-licking mix of pearl sake, POM, triple sec, and lime juice. Really nice :)

Hannah Plaza
4750 S. Hagadorn Rd;
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 333-1933

Tuesday, March 9

The Common Grill

A couple of weeks ago, two of my wonderful friends took me out for a very very nice lunch at the Common Grill, and had expanded my culinary experience. I had heard about this staple of Chelsea for many years but never got to make my way there. It is such a highlight of my life that I do have a family and awesome group of friends who enjoy tasting a wide variety of food and wines..

The atmosphere - though it passed lunch hour, the restaurant was pretty packed. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our table. Standing there and watching the staffs serving great-looking dishes to seated customers wasn't easy at all :)

The famous Common Grill's homemade rolls : .."baked continuously during the day and lightly sprinkled with spices.." You will find anyone who eat here raving about these rolls. They are so good, and I did enjoy it a lot!
Tuscan Pear Salad: bib lettuce, honey pears, sugared walnuts, and Gorgonzola - in herb-balsamic vinaigrette. Very refreshing and flavorful.

Warm Spinach Smoked Chicken Salad: with goat cheese fritter, hickory smoked chicken, sweet red onion, sugared pecans, and honey pears - in bacon balsamic vinaigrette

Oven Roasted Blue Hill Bay Mussels: in plum tomato garlic sauce with pancetta, shallots, and basil - served with grilled garlic bread

Goat Cheese Ravioli: in plum tomato garlic sauce with crimini mushrooms and baby spinach

Caramelized Vanilla Bean Cream Brulee: with fresh berries (gorgeous looking and delectable - my all-time favorite dessert!)

Warm Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding: with mocha and vanilla bean cream anglaise and caramel sauce (Lynne always has a thing with bread pudding!)

Peanut Butter Pie: with chocolate cookie crust and hot fudge sauce (anything peanut butter and/or chocolate = Beth's favorite!)

Feast for the eyes..

After lunch, we took a walk around the area a little bit. There were many cute and neat galleries and stores. We walked into some of them...

I had a very nice time. I absolutely love the place and our great meal. But more than anything I love spending time with my dear friends (who also know where to find yummy food.)

** Thanks ladies! **

The Common Grill
112 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 475-0470

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