Monday, July 29, 2013

it's okay to start over


No, not slacker - just - sidetracked.

Summer is here, but passing quickly - a lot has happened and there is a lot to come. I figured this is a great time to restart the blog:

A lot has happened, but I'm just going to start fresh. I will share that over the past two weeks I have had a lot of good eats; I visited Il Pizzaiolo, Verde, Azul (where I had the best Bloody Mary of my life), Salt of the Earth and Tessaro's. 

Il Pizzaiolo:

Il Pizzaiolo was great. I was a little weary about the wine selection - I remember this same thought the time that I visited the Mt. Lebanon location - this time I was at the newer Market Square spot - which I found to be bigger and more comfortable than Lebo overall. The waitress chose the closest option to a Sauvignon Blanc - which is my favorite wine on a hot summer night - and I was happy with her choice. Though I hate being blind to wine.

My salad was phenom. I had the Insalata Romana with arugula, radicchio, frisee, tomatoes and anchovies (which were optional - but they MADE the salad) yum:

And, naturally, I ordered a pizza, for myself:

To be fair, their pizzas are thin crust wood-fired pizza - and I did take half home ;-)

I went with the Funghi - but it was hard for me to choose between that and the Prosciutto E Arugula pizza - I was very satisfied with my choice though.

Service was good, 'til the end - when I think our waitress forgot about us. We waited for our check a little longer than I think we should have, but overall, satisfied with the service and food.


I had a similair experience at Verde as far as service goes. Started off great and then slowly faded off, we all could have gone for a second margarita, but weren't really given the chance - pretty sure this waitress just wanted to go home. That did not, however, make my experience a bad one.

I came in with the mind set of getting the Lavender Margarita that everyone was telling me about when they talked about Verde and their delicious craft margaritas, but much to my dissapointment, the Lavender Margarita was only on their Spring menu, and we are in full swing summertime - so I had the Black Rose Margarita, which was very tasty. Loved the rosemary garnish:

For dinner I went with a pork quesadilla appetizer - which was far from just a starter and was more than enough for a meal - however, I could have been pretty stuffed from the first round of free chips and salsa that they give you, and the fresh guacomole that we had ordered before our dinners came.

Everyone I have talked to really loves this place - and I definitely give it a thumbs up as well.


As I had mentioned before - I had the best Bloody Mary of my life last Sunday at Azul. I needed to go the grocery store because I had no food in my house, but I was starving, so I decided to go down to get a bowl of Azul soup - when the waitress (owner) presented it to me she said, "Here is your chicken stew," and that it was. Heart and delicious, great flavor and loved the big chunks of avocado in it:

AND I figured I would get a Bloody while I was waiting. Such a good decision. I'll repeat what I had mentioned earlier -  this was the best Bloody Mary I have ever had in my life. The owner (I wish I knew her name!) explained to me that they do not use any horseradish and that they use orange, lemon and lime juice. They also use a spice called Tajin, which is what is around the rim along with salt in the picture below. Basically Tajin is dehydrated lime juice, chili peppers and salt. SO GOOD. I stopped at Reyna's in the Strip this weekend to pick some up. She said it's great on cantelope and I looked online and saw that it would be good to put on cucumbers too, for something simple - excited to use it.

Salt of the Earth:

I have been wanting to go to Salt of the Earth for some time, so when my friend Lisa was coming into town for a few days I suggested that we go. It was pretty fantastic.

Their menu changes constantly because they only use fresh and local ingredients - they don't actually have a menu, they write their menu on chalkboards, as shown above. Now, I was able to check out the menu online - but it was just subject to change. Dinner was a tough choice, some very interesting combinations of food. After some help from our waiter, we went with the Alaskan Salmon and Chilled Udon as our appetizers, and I had the Hanger Steak as my main dish. The flavors and presentations were spot on:

(poor quality pictures, I blame the lighting)


So much to my surprise and excitement, my very good friend Marianne decided to visit this past Saturday. She drove in with her sister who was planning to meet some friends at Tessaro's for burgers. Having never had one of their famous burgers, I was pumped. I had the Gourmet Burger (pictured below) which was topped with pepper jack cheese (my choice), sauteed onion, sauteed mushroom, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Yea, it was good:

So, it's defintely been a foodie type of two weeks, and I'm happy for it. Looking forward to sharing more. 

xo. cheers. namaste,