Tag Archives: san diego

Top 3 Things To Do In California Outdoors

Whitney Bond at Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego

Almost 13 years ago, I made the big move from Oklahoma to California, and I’ve been loving the California lifestyle every day since!

I love to be outside, and the weather in California makes it possible to be outside almost 24/7/365! There are also so many fun things to do in California, from amusement parks to sporting events to lots of great shopping, but my favorite things to do in California are outside!

Read the full post here!

WhitneyBond.com Rebranding Party Recap

Whitney Bond with Instagram Photo Frame

Last week I celebrated the new WhitneyBond.com in style by hosting an official rebranding party downtown San Diego!

A HUGE thank you to the 300+ guests that attended the event including the real MVP, my Mom 😉 , Claudia Sandoval (fellow San Diegan currently in the top 5 on MasterChef, you go girl!), Dining Out Magazine, Where San Diego and tons of my loyal, supportive and amazing friends!

Read the full post here!

7 Ways To Be A Fit Foodie

7 Ways To Be A Fit Foodie

As a full-time food blogger, I’m consistently asked how I stay fit. While it can be tough to balance eating the delicious foods I love, while also staying healthy, I’ve found that these 7 tips help me balance the two!

Read the full post here!

Lucky Liu’s Chinese Restaurant San Diego

Lucky Liu's Chinese Food San Diego

Now this is what I call lunch! Just a small sampling of the delicious food at the all new Lucky Liu’s Chinese Restaurant in downtown San Diego.

Read the full post here!

San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival

San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival

Last week San Diego was transformed for the annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. An event that brings together wine, food, beer, cheese, tacos and all that’s good in life!

Read the full post here!

K7 San Diego – Sushi with a Twist

K7 San Diego Angel Tears Sushi Roll

Looking for a fun new sushi place to hit downtown San Diego?  Look no further than K7, where they’re serving up unique rolls with cool decor and delicious craft cocktails!

I dined in for lunch a couple weeks ago and tried some of their signature items, including one of their craft cocktails, the Ushidoshi, also known as “their version of the mule”.  The cocktail combines shochu (Japans version of vodka, but lighter!), yuzu, mint, bitters and ginger beer.

Read the full post here!

Grant Grill San Diego

Grant Grill Restaurant Week Dinner

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend a preview of the San Diego Restaurant Week menu at Grant Grill inside the gorgeous US Grant Hotel.

Read the full post here!

Rama Thai San Diego: Taking Thai Food To Another Level

Fresh Veggie Tofu Spring Rolls

I was first introduced to Thai Food when living in LA… and it was love at first bite!

Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry

Then I was introduced to Rama.  And my love affair with Thai Food was taken to another level!

There is literally nothing I have eaten at Rama that has not been totally, irresistibly delectable. And as you’ll see through the course of this post… I’ve had a lot of things!

Above you’ll see their fresh tofu, vegetable spring rolls, a deliciously light way to start your meal at Rama, then, there it is, the absolute most delicious thing ever.  Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry Sauce.  Holy cow, there is nothing I don’t love about this simple, little appetizer!

I am so beyond grateful that my friend PK ordered this the first time I ever dined at Rama, now it’s my go-to appetizer!  It also inspired my first homemade curry sauce recipe in my Indian Chicken Curry Pitas!

Beef Thai Salad

When the owner found out I wanted to do a “Restaurant Rave” on the spot, he generously brought out some samples of his favorite dishes, in addition to my regular “go-to” items!

First was the Thai Steak Salad, thin slices of beef top delicious mixed greens, mint, scallions, green onions and thai chilies for one meaty, scrumptious salad!

Next, was the Vegetable Tofu and Eggplant with basil, garlic, bell peppers and onions.  The perfect meal for all my vegetarian friends out there!

Thai Tofu and Eggplant

Next, he brought out a couple of tasty seafood dishes, the Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns and Pan Seared Scallops in Chili Sauce.

Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Chili Sauce

Is anyone else’s mouth watering?

Both seafood favorites were packed with flavor, while still maintaining a light, fresh taste.  I would highly recommend the scallops, like really highly!

Last but not least was my other “go-to” dish, the Drunken Noodles with Chicken.  A simple Thai meal, turned into one of my favorite dishes of all time at Rama!

Drunken Noodles with Chicken

Now it’s confession time.

  • Confession #1: I was alone at lunch when all of this food appeared on my table.
  • Confession #2: I was sitting on their sidewalk patio and people walking by looked at me really funny!
  • Confession #3: I ate 90% of this food.
  • Confession #4: I wish I had worn looser pants so I could have eaten 100% 😉

If you’re in San Diego or visiting in the near future, do not miss this unforgettable Thai food!

My aunt was recently in town for a conference and said this was the best Thai she has ever had. One of my best friends that lives in Miami said this is his favorite restaurant in all of San Diego. So if you don’t believe me, take their word for it 😉

Rama is located at: 327 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA. 92101 (Between J & K St.)

Chef Inspired Dish: Bailiwick, Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Thyme Sake Reduction

After reviewing the delicious Brunch at Bailiwick, I knew I had to return for my next “Chef Inspired Dish” segment with Chef Konstantin Plavnik!

Instead of brunch, we decided to re-create their most popular happy hour and dinner menu item, the Grilled Oysters with Thyme, Sake, Jalapeño Brown Butter.  Check it out!

Ingredients for Grilled Oysters

Ingredients

  • 6 large oysters
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 jalapeño (de-seeded & minced)
  • 4 slivers manchego cheese

Begin by shucking the oysters.

Next, add the sake to a small skillet over medium heat, cook until the sake begins to bubble then remove from the heat.

In a separate pan, add the butter and melt, next add the thyme and jalapeños. Brown the butter for 2 minutes. Bring the sake back up to a boil, then add the butter.

Jalapeño Sake Thyme Sauce

Next place the oysters on a grill over high heat. Spoon the sauce over the oysters,  cover and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Flame Grilled Oysters

Don’t worry if they catch a little flame, that’s supposed to happen 🙂

Add the cheese on top of the oysters, cover and grill for an additional minute, then remove from the grill and serve.

Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Butter

For my first Grilled Oyster experience, this one was epic!

Grilled Oysters with Sake Jalapeño Reduction

Thank you to Chef Konstantin Plavnik, Ali Grant of Be Social Public Relations and everyone at Bailiwick! Also a special thanks to the amazing videography work of Eric Lingle at Web Video Solutions.

To enjoy these delicious Grilled Oysters prepared by Chef Konstantin, visit Bailiwick at 756 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101.

Brunching at Bailiwick: Champagne in Bath Tubs, Chandeliers in Bird Cages and Chorizo in Poussin

champagne, menu, bourbon maple syrup, breakfast cheese plate, coffee, brunch, bailiwick, san diego, chorizo stuffed poussin, pancetta tots, omelets, mini waffles

On Friday night I ventured into the rainy streets of downtown San Diego, stilettos and all, for the Details Matter launch party!  The party happened to be at a new, local, totally unique and totally awesome venue downtown, Bailiwick.  Of course, I was not at all surprised, a cutting edge app must have a cutting edge launch party at a cutting edge venue, obvi!

Oh yeah, about that cutting edge app, you all should download it on your iPhone or Android!  Just search: Details Matter in the app store, you’ll love the design and the app itself gives great ideas for dates and fun things to do! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Now back to that amazing venue, they had me at we have champagne in a bathtub”but I was totally hooked after meeting their chef Konstantin.  He was fun, friendly and excited to talk food with me (which wins me over every time!)

He invited me back for brunch the next morning and I immediately accepted!

As you stroll into Bailiwick, you can’t help but notice all of the details in the decor.

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From the giant chandelier hanging at the entrance to the peacock kicking it on the wall behind the bar!

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Oh, and I love the sign, “Work Hard and Be Nice”, pretty much my life motto!

Also, what’s more unforgettable than a bathtub full of champagne?

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Maybe a chandelier in a birdcage?

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All around awesome decor, then you throw in $15 bottomless mimosas on top of the amazing ambiance… winning!

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Oh, and now you’re going to tell me the food is amazing too? Yes, yes I am!

We started with their Breakfast Cheese Plate consisting of Toast, Mango, Dragon Fruit, Honey Yogurt, Swiss and Ricotta.

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The combination of salty cheese, sweet mango and tart yogurt was delicious!

For the main course I ordered Chef Konstantin’s recommendation, the Chorizo Stuffed Poussin with Quinoa and Bourbon Maple Syrup. That pretty much just sounds like one delectable plate of food, right?

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And it was!

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I swear, I could eat the skin on that Poussin all day, add the added sweetness from the Bourbon Maple Syrup, amazing!

Both friends I came with ordered the Omelet with Pancetta Tots.

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Salty pancetta, potatoes, eggs, veggies and toast, it’s the traditional breakfast plate, kicked up a notch!

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Just when we thought we were finished our friend who launched the app Friday night strolled in and sat next to us.  He then proceeded to order Mini Waffles, which we obviously then had to have!

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We’ll just call this the “dessert portion” of brunch!

Between the service, ambiance, food and drinks, this place is firing high on all cylinders and I can’t wait to go back and enjoy dinner here soon!

If you would like to visit Bailiwick to check out all of the awesome things they have going on, they are located at: 756 5th Avenue, San Diego, California 92101.  You can also visit them online at Bailiwicksd.comFacebook and Twitter!

Little Italy Farmers Market Favorites

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, such as Chalk Art Paintings, Live Music and Delicious Food at Little Italy Festa!, I live in a beautiful and vibrant neighborhood in San Diego that is extremely lively with a ton of local events for its residents.  One of everyone’s neighborhood favorites is the Little Italy Mercato that happens every Saturday from 9 AM – 2 PM.

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It’s a great place to grab a coffee, breakfast and shop for the weeks groceries!

This week I stopped by Suzie’s Farms to pick up some fresh produce.

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Suzie’s Farms provides most of the produce for Quality Social, a local restaurant and the location of my first “Chef Inspired Dish” interview! I decided to make the dish super authentic, I would pick up my ingredients at the same place they buy theirs! (Look for that post coming this week!)

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They have everything from beautiful squash and beets, to gorgeous colorful carrots!

Suzies farms, san diego, organic sprouts, organic produce, organic vegetables, organic herbs, herbs, vegetables, farmers market

With food, the more color, the better!! I talk about the amazingness of eating purple vegetables in my Adventures at the Farmers Market post. (Similar concept, different farmers market, different city!)

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They also sell a variety of sprouts that look super yummy!  I didn’t pick them up this week, but they’re now on next weeks list!

Suzies farms, san diego, organic sprouts, organic produce, organic vegetables, organic herbs, herbs, vegetables, farmers market

My next stop was to visit my girls over at Tea Gallerie.

Tea Gallerie, Little Italy, Farmers Market, San Diego, Chai Tea

I was lucky enough to meet Krizia, the marketing rep for the company at my San Diego Bloggers Happy Hour. She was sweet enough to give me some samples of their amazing tea!

Tea Gallerie, Little Italy, Farmers Market, San Diego, Chai Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea

They were all amazing, but I am now completely addicted to the Masala Chai!

Tea Gallerie, Little Italy, Farmers Market, San Diego, Chai Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea

As you can see, they have a lot to choose from, and just check out all the benefits of drinking tea!

Tea and Health, Tea Gallerie, Little Italy, Farmers Market, San Diego, Chai Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea

Delicious and healthy is my favorite combination!

Next, I went to pick up some fresh herbs to add to my growing window sill garden.  Now that I’ve kept my little basil plant alive for almost 3 months, I was confident enough to give it a couple of friends!  Meet Rosemary and Cilantro!

Herbs, cilantro, mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, rosemary, sage, herb garden

I’m going to take the advice of the sign and grow them 🙂

Although I wasn’t quite confident enough to purchase a larger plant today, I still had to get a picture of this beautiful purple kale!

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I then cruised by some of my favorite spots, like the lemonade people!

fresh squeezed lemonade, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh squeezed tangerine juice, blood orange juice, fresh squeezed juices, polito family farms

Seriously, this lemonade is amazing y’all!  When shopping at the Mercato this summer in the warm San Diego sun, this lemonade saved my life!

Then I cruised by the “Goat Cheese Guy”.  Of course, being the Goat Milking Girl I am, I would have a goat cheese guy in every city!

goat cheese, nicolau farms, chevre, feta cheese, ravioli, lavender goat cheese

Their Lavender Goat Cheese is killer!!

I concluded my lovely day in Little Italy with a delicious coffee at my favorite local shop, Pappalecco, where I sit to write this post to you now!

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Make it a beautiful day and remember “When Nothing Is Sure, Everything is Possible!” – Margaret Drabble

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Boudain, Wasabi, Candy Canes and Shrimp

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

This weeks “Chopped Challenge Thursday” kicked 2013 off with a real bang!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

The combination of Boudain (I’ll explain later!), Wasabi, Candy Canes and Shrimp, gave my culinary mind a run for its money, but I came up with something pretty delicious and super spicy to kick off the new year!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

After googling “Boudain” I found out that it is a Cajun sausage typically made of rice, spices and pork, but can also be made with crawfish or shrimp instead of pork.  I then yelped “where to buy Boudain” and found my newest adventure.

This morning I headed to east San Diego to “Mardi Gras Cafe and Cajun Market” to purchase the now infamous Boudain.

Cajun Market, San Diego, Spring Valley, cajun restaurant, mardi gras, cajun cafe, cajun food

The owners were an extremely sweet couple and very helpful.  I purchased my Boudain, then they proceeded to show me some of their favorite sauces (of the over 100 they had in stock!)

Cajun Market, San Diego, Spring Valley, cajun restaurant, mardi gras, cajun cafe, cajun foodCajun Market, San Diego, Spring Valley, cajun restaurant, mardi gras, cajun cafe, cajun food

I can’t wait to grab a couple of bottles of these before my annual Super Bowl Party!

In addition to a variety of Boudain sausages and walls of hot sauce options, they also sell alligator meat and offer a full restaurant menu. I can’t wait to go back and try their Louisiana home cooking!

Cajun Market, San Diego, Spring Valley, cajun restaurant, mardi gras, cajun cafe, cajun food

Now back to that Chopped Challenge! I decided to combine Japanese and Cajun flavors into a Jambalaya fusion recipe topped with a Sweet and Spicy Wasabi Mayonnaise made with crushed Candy Canes! The result was a spicy, peppery, unique and flavorful dish!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 12 oz boudain sausage
  • 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber (diced)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 candy cane
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1/2 cup wasabi mayonnaise
  • 8-10 large shrimp
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

(Just ignore any of the other ingredients that snuck into the picture above, this was an experimental recipe and not all of the ingredients made the cut 😉 )

Begin preparing the dish by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and jalapeño to the heated oil and sauté for 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic.  Sauté for an additional minute then remove the boudain from its casing and crumble into the pan.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Next, add the mushrooms and cucumber.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Then add the rice, sriracha and wasabi.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Finally, add the beef stock and stir all of the ingredients together.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the Sweet and Spicy Wasabi Mayonnaise to top the jambalaya.  I’m not going to lie to you all, it wasn’t bad, but the jambalaya definitely doesn’t need it.

Pretty much unless you have a bunch of candy canes on hand and some extra wasabi mayonnaise lying around that you feel like experimenting with, this step can be skipped 🙂

If so desired, break a candy cane into a small food processor, then add the ginger and wasabi mayonnaise and mix well.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Now, back to the jambalaya.  After the dish has simmered covered for 45 minutes, most of the liquid should be gone from the pan and the rice should be tender, now add the shrimp to the pan and continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

Remove from the pan and top with the sesame seeds and a little drizzle of the Sweet and Spicy Wasabi Mayonnaise.

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

I also sprinkled a little fresh parsley on top to add some color and served the dish with a couple of lemon wedges to mellow out the super spiciness of the wasabi, sriracha and hot boudain!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

This was the perfect warm dish on a cool San Diego winter day!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

After all my hard work on this very unique Chopped Challenge dish, I couldn’t wait to dig in!

sausage shrimp jambalaya, cajun jambalaya, japanese jambalaya, cajun japanese fusion, chopped challenge, recipes

♣ Vegetarian Option: Replace the shrimp and boudain with extra rice, mushrooms and cucumbers for a vegetarian alternative.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free (just make sure the beef stock you use is gluten-free!)

San Diego Bloggers Happy Hour

I love meeting fellow bloggers from all over the world online, but I thought it would be really fun to meet local bloggers in San Diego!  That is when I decided to host a San Diego Bloggers Happy Hour. The event will take place in 3 weeks, Thursday November 8th from 5-7 PM at The Corner, downtown San Diego.

The Corner has great happy hour specials, delicious food and fun craft cocktails! I will also be creating a Little Leopard Book specialty cocktail exclusively for the event.

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Please share with friends in and around San Diego and join us November 8th! Look forward to meeting you all then!

Chalk Art Painting, Live Music and Delicious Food at Little Italy Festa!

little italy, festa, san diego, food, wine, live music, festival, ItalianLittle Italy Festa is the largest Italian American Festival on the West Coast. I love living in this quaint San Diego neighborhood for events like this! One of my BFF’s PK, or as I like to call him, PKizzle, and I attended the event on Saturday afternoon.

Upon arrival the first thing that caught our attention was the free photo booth from La Jolla Photo Booths, for those of you that know us, this was an obvious first stop as we’re both known as “paparazzi” within our group of friends for our immense amounts of picture-taking!

whitney bond, little italy, festa, san diego, photo booth, photo booth props, italian, festivalDon’t worry about that top pic getting cut off, I was SO not prepared when the first shot happened!

Next, we traveled down India St to check out what else was going on.

little italy, festa, san diego, beer and wine garden, kids area, festival, ItalianWe spent some time walking down Grape Street checking out all the amazing Live Italian Chalk Art that was going on!

little italy, festa, san diego, chalk painting demonstrations, chalk art, live art, festival, ItalianThese artists have some serious talent!

little italy, festa, san diego, chalk art, live art, chalk painting, festival, ItalianIt is amazing that this is all done with chalk!

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Although I have memories of making some pretty legit chalk art on my parents driveway growing up, I think these might be a little bit more impressive!

We then traveled back up India to check out what else the Festa had in store.  We walked by the cooking stage where live cooking demonstrations were hosted by local Little Italy restaurants.

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Although we didn’t catch one, I think this is such a cool idea and every seat in the audience was taken!

Next, we ran into these people…

little italy, festa, san diego, gondola company, gondola hosts, stage, festival, ItalianThey were out promoting their San Diego Gondola business where they take couples or groups out for a cruise across the bay in an authentic Italian gondola.  Such a cute idea, now I just need to find a boyfriend to take me on one (haha)!

Then it was time for my favorite part, the food!

Although we could have gone the traditional route with Italian food from one of the many delicious restaurants in the neighborhood, we decided to steer off the beaten path and try some of Hunter Steakhouse’s tasty tri-tip which we had been smelling all day!

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PK and I split their tri-tip sandwich to save room in the belly for our next stop!

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We then wandered over to Stone Brewery. No, not for the beer, well not exactly.

little italy, festa, san diego, food, menu, stone brewery, stone catering, mac and cheese, festival, ItalianWe were there for the Beer Mac and Cheese.

little italy, festa, san diego, food, menu, stone brewery, stone catering, smoked porter, beer, beer mac and cheese, mac and cheese, festival, ItalianCheese. Beer. Sausage. In a bowl. Enough said.

little italy, festa, san diego, food, menu, whitney bond, stone brewery, stone catering, mac and cheese, festival, ItalianYum, yum, yum.

We took our bowl of mac and cheese (well the portion in which I hadn’t already annihilated!) and went to watch some live music!

 

This guy was amazing.  I could hear him from my condo all morning before we headed down.  I’m pretty sure I heard “My Way” by Frank Sinatra at least 6 different times throughout the day and I didn’t hate it, like at all 🙂

If you want to attend next years festivities check out the Little Italy Festa website for more information!

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THE San Diego Cheeseburger

Hodad's, San Diego, Cheeseburger, Onion Rings, Fries, Milkshake

In San Diego there is an ongoing debate in the city, not about politics or the environment, but simply about where to find the best burger.  The two contenders are Hodad’s and… that other burger joint in Pacific Beach.

For the honesty of journalism I will say that I have never eaten at “that other place in PB”. My theory is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, in this case, if you find the perfect burger, why go anywhere else!

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Menu, Cheeseburgers, Frings

It’s not even so much the burger though, it’s the combination of a piled high juicy burger with a side of thick and crispy homemade fries and freshly battered onion rings. And oh yeah, the ringer, the chocolate milkshake which is flown down by little angels from Heaven every time one is ordered. Yes, that is how amazing this milkshake is.

Hodad's, Chocolate, Milkshake, San Diego, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

It’s chocolate ice cream with chocolate milk with chocolate syrup, blended up and topped with more chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, MilkDo I look happy here?

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Blissful maybe? I think ecstatic would be the word I’m looking for. And who wouldn’t be with this deliciousness in front of you!

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

Yes, that is two spoons you see.  I actually shared this little piece of Heaven with my Mom.

After all, I did have to save some room for the real deal, THE San Diego cheeseburger.

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Bacon, Cheeseburger, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomato

This is the MINI bacon cheeseburger. Yes, Mini.  There is also a single and a double with the increase in size to boot.

Don’t be fooled, I have taken down a double before, but with the double there is generally no room left in the belly for the scrumptious sides, and that is just a crime.

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Although I may not go for the “can’t even wrap your mouth around the whole burger” double, I definitely don’t skimp on the toppings. Delicious American cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and their thick cut white onions, which takes me to my next topic of discussion, the almighty onion rings.

I will admit, I did some Onion Ring battering during my 9 month stint of working at Sonic when I was 16. It’s not a fun job, but it has to be done to get those super fresh, never frozen, crispy bites of delicious fried onion.

Hodad's, San Diego, Onion Rings, French Fries, Fresh, HomemadeSee what’s hiding below that massive pile of crisp onion goodness, yeah that would be their fresh-cut fries. Thick cut, well seasoned and, you guessed it, delicious!

Don’t just take my word for it.  My man Guy thought it was pretty good too!  So good, that he did a little show about it.  Maybe you’ve heard of it, Triple D, AKA Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

Guy Fieri, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Food Network, Hodad's, Restaurant

THE San Diego Cheeseburger originated in Ocean Beach at the first Hodad’s location. Since then they have opened a second location in Downtown San Diego.  Now, I’m all for expanding successful businesses but I will admit I was weary of trying out the “non-orignal” Hodad’s.

Would it be the same?  Would those little angels be able to find the new location to drop down my heavenly milkshake? Was there something about the ocean air coming in off the beach that made the burger so juicy and fries so crispy?

I can now say for a fact that the downtown location is just as good as the original, the little angels found it just fine and you can expect the juiciness, crispiness and same friendly-in-a-bad-ass-sort-of-way service that you expect at Hodad’s!

Hodad's, Downtown, San Diego, Broadway, Restaurant, tenth avenueVisit the original Hodad’s at 5010 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach CA 92107 or Hodad’s Downtown at 945 Broadway Avenue San Diego CA 92101. You can also visit them online at hodadies.com. Dig in and enjoy!

Anniversaries, Adventures and Announcements

picture, collage, shape, number, one, little leopard book

Anniversaries

Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of LLB, and what a year it has been! What started as a virtual place to write down my stories, ideas and recipes, has turned into an entrepreneurial culinary endeavor.

Over the past year my top two posts were A Girl with a Plan, a Blog and a Craving for Adventure and my Summer Adventure Travel Schedule. I’m so excited that people were interested in my “Summer Adventure” and got involved!  Look for an upcoming post re-capping the entire adventure! Coming in at number three was my post on How to Make Canvas Wall Art.  Leave it to Pinterest to make one of the top posts on a food blog, a post about a DIY project!

My top recipe posts were my Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes and my re-creation of Sonic’s Strawberry Kiwi Slush.  Um I’m seeing a trend here, maybe I should just stick with Strawberry Kiwi recipes from now on 😉

The top search terms for my blog were little leopard book (that one’s pretty obvious!), strawberry kiwi cupcakes (the above now makes more sense!) and Russell Westbrook Girlfriend. Um, what?  Yes, due to the popularity of the OKC Thunder, one young stud player and an infamous cake I made for my brother’s girlfriends birthday, the number three search term used to find my blog is “Russell Westbrook Girlfriend”!

Adventures

A year ago I was living in Los Angeles, attending college for Broadcast Journalism and dreaming of one day being on the Food Network. Since then I completed my degree in Broadcast Journalism, spent the summer on an adventure across the United States and moved back to San Diego.

I have turned my little blog into a little business with the hopes of growing into a big blog and a big business in the near future!  I have returned to school, once again, to study the art and business of food and nutrition. I am pursuing a second degree in Culinary Entrepreneurship and could not be more excited to share everything I learn on the little leopard book!

Announcements

On the business side of the blog, I am now offering my blogging and social media services to bars and restaurants. I have a unique approach when it comes to bringing new followers to the business, as well as capturing the attention of current social media followers. I am also combining my previous years of experience in event planning and ever-expanding knowledge in the kitchen to offer small catering party options, cooking classes and event planning services.

All of my services offered are detailed on my personal page www.WhitneyBond.com.

I am also adding a couple of new features to the LLB that I am SUPER excited about!

The first is “Single Sundays“.  This is where I will post simple recipe options for those of you cooking for one.  I always hear my friends complaining to me that they don’t want to go through all the effort just to cook for themselves. Well, Sunday’s are now dedicated to you. Simple, quick meals that can be made throughout the week and enjoyed in the comfort of your own company with complete control of the remote!

The second is “Chopped Challenge Thursdays“. I am completely obsessed with the show “Chopped” on the Food Network.  If you are not a foodie and don’t have the Food Network on 24/7 at your house you might have missed the show, so let me give you a 1 line run-down of the concept. One basket, four mystery ingredients, one dish. The ingredients range anywhere from cherry cola to sardines and jelly beans to lamb chops.  Here’s where you all come in! (Yay, fun, you get to play!) On Monday, I will make an announcement on my Facebook page (if you haven’t yet, just quickly slide your finger over your mouse and to the right, up a little, a little more and click the like button, see wasn’t that easy? 😉 ) I will be asking for the four “mystery” ingredients for my “Chopped Challenge Basket” that week. The first four people to respond will have their ingredients turned into a dish for my “Chopped Challenge Thursday” recipe post! Fun, interactive, challenging, exciting!

Thank you all for reading and sharing in the LLB experience with me!