Food: Teela Taqueria

This place is, hands down, our favorite place for tacos in Atlanta – Teela Taqueria. It’s a casual joint located just off Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, perfect for a quick dinner when you really don’t want to cook, but, it’s also a great place to meet friends and always a place we take our visitors! Baring in mind, Mexican food wasn’t really on our radar until we moved Stateside, I think we’ve adapted to it very well indeed.

Teela 1

Inside it’s a little dark, but it has all the bright colors of Mexico – oranges, reds, yellows, greens. There are cute cushions on the benches and tables painted to look ‘rustic Mexican’ if that’s even a thing! It has a great, vibrant atmosphere that’s perfect for couples, friends and families alike.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Food: Pizano’s, Chicago, IL

Pizanos 1

When you’re in Chicago you simply have to eat pizza and not just any pizza, deep dish pizza! The city is famous for it and who am I to say no to pizza? This expat thing is all about exploring and trying local delicacies and this definitely has to be a good one. So, literally hours after landing in the windy city, we could be found in a pizza place, waiting for our deep dish!

Continue reading

Food: Fox Bros. BBQ

IMG_1895

BBQ – it’s a southern staple and we have found the best place in Atlanta to sample it! If you live here and you’ve never eaten BBQ then you’re seriously missing out and if you’re a native, I think you would probably ousted by your friends. BBQ is a way of life and finding a good spot to indulge in it is heavenly. Our favorite spot – Fox Bros. BBQ.

Imagine the best ribs you’ve ever eaten and make them ten times better and you’re still not at the level of Fox Bros. I though we’d tried some amazing BBQ before heading here but I was totally and completely wrong, This place knocks it out of the park and seriously rocks!

As you drive up to the restaurant you can smell the meat that is being smoked and it smells heavenly. When you walk in, it’s a typical BBQ joint, nothing too fancy, no fancy chairs and tables, cool pictures and drawings on the walls and that all important kitchen roll on every table!

IMG_1897

IMG_1898

The menu has your usual suspects on it – ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken that can either be ordered as a plate or in some sort of sandwich. There’s a good selection of appetizers and of course the usual BBQ sides, we’re talking mac and cheese, collard greens, cornbread, coleslaw, brunswick stew – you know what I’m talking about.

We usually start with some wings and they are some of the BEST wings I have ever tasted! I don’t know what they do with them but they’re crispy on the outside and perfectly juicy inside. They’re obviously smoked BBQ style which makes them that little bit tastier. We usually get the BBQ sauce on the side along with some ranch – perfect! Sadly though, we tucked into them so quickly that I forgot to take a picture! Whoops!

Now, here’s my usual order – a combo plate with ribs and either pulled pork or brisket with mac and cheese and cornbread as my sides and let me tell you, it is heaven on a plate! The brisket literally falls apart as you try to cut it, the pulled pork has just the right amount of crispy-ness to it and the ribs, well, they are out of this world! The rub they put on is delicious. They’re the best ribs I’ve had in Atlanta so far.

IMG_1905

 

IMG_1902

We have to talk about the sides too. Mac and cheese is one of my all time favorites, I mean, who does’t like pasta with a cheese based sauce covered in more cheese? Right? This one definitely doesn’t disappoint either. It has a good portion of cheese on top and just the right amount of creaminess, I could eat it by the bucket load! Then there’s the cornbread. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of this stuff, I find it pretty dry. But here, they put cream cheese in the middle along with some jalapeños which help keep it moist and add some extra flavor. It is the only place I ever order cornbread!

IMG_1906

After stuffing my face with these delights and pinching some from the German’s plate – hey, a girl has to try every side on the table – I usually waddle out of the restaurant with a take-out box in hand because I just couldn’t fit it all in and we wouldn’t want that tasty BBQ to go to waste now, would we?

So there you have it, our favorite spot for BBQ in Atlanta. Seriously, if you’re ever in the area, take a trip here, it’s definitely worth it!

Me, Myself and Atlanta is an unsponsored blog. I was in no way compensated for this review, I just wanted to show the place some love! All views are my own and those of my very grateful belly!

Exploring: New Orleans – The Food

Exploring New Orleans

Life has been so hectic lately I still haven’t managed to tell you all about our trip to New Orleans back in June for my birthday. So, for Travel Tuesday this week, I thought we’d take a trip back to the deep south to check out the food.

NoLa is famous for various different delicacies and I wanted to try all of them, in the space of 3 days. I had a list and I was going to tick them all off…and I just about did! I think there was one item I didn’t manage to try so I did pretty well, and came home a few pounds heavier! So, here’s my definitive list of what you need to try (and where!) whilst in New Orleans.

1. A Po-Boy from Killer Poboys
This place is seriously tucked away, so tucked away in fact we had to ask someone where it was after strolling up and down the street it was supposed to be on at least three times. We were told to go into the Erin Rose Bar on Conti Street, walk all the way to the back as if you’ve gone too far and you’ll find it – it was a little strange but sure enough, at the back of the Erin Rose Bar we found some Killer Poboys! A po-boy was just about at the top of my list and I wasn’t disappointed. I chose the shrimp with the Germany tucking into a meatloaf po-boy – just amazing! It was loaded with huge coriander lime shrimp, salad and special sauce, it may even have been one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten! Po-boys are everywhere in New Orleans but f you want a good po-boy when you’re in NoLa, you have to go there – it may look a little strange but it’s worth venturing into the deep dark depths of the Erin Rose Bar for!

NoLa Food 1

2. Beignets at Café Du Monde
You can’t got to New Orleans without dropping by this place and trying some beignets. They’re a kind of doughnut that is covered in powdered sugar. This place is world-famous for them, people head to Café Du Monde, order a cafe au lait and beignets and indulge in a little people watching whilst trying to avoid being covered in powdered sugar! This place is always packed and once you taste the delights they sell you’ll know why! We decided to go for the take away option:

NoLa Food 2
3. Oysters Rockefeller
This dish was invented in New Orleans so it would be pretty rude to not chow down on some oysters rockefeller whilst you’re there. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of oysters, in fact before eating these I’d only ever tried them once and they were a little too slimy for my liking but, after hearing lots of good things about this dish I thought I’d give it a try – the German was a little more wary though and opted for something much more sensible (I can’t remember what but it definitely wasn’t oysters!). So, oysters rockefeller is served on the half shell, topped with various chopped herbs, a butter sauce and breadcrumbs and then baked or broiled – that’s grilled if you’re in the UK! I have to say I was pretty surprised by the outcome, they were very tasty. I may even indulge in oysters more often:

NoLa food 8

4. Sno-balls
This is the perfect treat to cool you down when you’re in the midst of the New Orleans heat and humidity. It’s basically shaved ice-covered in cane sugar syrup. Because the ice is so thin, the syrup is absorbed into it and you can get them in every flavour imaginable, seriously. There’s the usual like strawberry, pineapple, cherry and lemon and then there’s the less traditional flavours like cake batter, peanut butter and silver fox – whatever that is! We went for a mango sno-ball and it cooled us down perfectly:

NoLa Food 4
5. Pralines
Another New Orleans staple is a praline. Again influence by the French settlers, this treat is sure to tickle your sweet taste buds. These are basically sugar, butter, cream and pecan nuts cooked together until most of the water has evaporated and it reaches a thick, creamy substance. They’re then dropped onto a wax paper sheet and left to cool – they taste amazing! No other words needed. You have to try some when you hit NoLa!

IMG_1272

6. Gator Meat
Ok, so this isn’t necessarily typical of New Orleans but alligator meat is huge here. It’s everywhere, whether it’s gator sticks, gator fillet, fried gator, you name it, they do it. The German decided he wanted to try it so we tucked into a gator breakfast at the French Market. To me, gator is a little like a mixture of chicken and pork, it’s light coloured and not too chewy, it’s actually pretty tasty! Ours was laden with the typical NoLa spices and definitely hit the spot!

NoLa food 3
7. Stein’s Deli
We actually stumbled upon this place whilst navigating our way around the Garden District and it was definitely a good find! Stein’s Deli is a Jewish and Italian deli that’s serves up some of the tastiest sandwiches ever! We didn’t really know where we were going to grab some lunch but after passing this beaut and noticing it was busy we headed in. The menu was just immense with everything from a traditional Reuben to the Southern Animal Foundation. I settled on the Rachel (I wonder how I made that decision?) which consisted of hot pastrami, swiss and sauerkraut on rye with Russian dressing, three words – oh, my, lord. It was out of this world:

NoLa Food 6
8. The Ruby Slipper Cafe
If you’re in the market for breakfast The Ruby Slipper Cafe is the place to go. We found this one through the joys of TripAdvisor and headed there to kick off my birthday celebrations. This place was inspired by the sense of homecoming felt following Hurricane Katrina, as Dorothy and her ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz said ‘there’s no place like home!’ Being my birthday I obviously started with a bloody Mary before chowing down on the chicken St. Charles – hey, I’d been stuffing my face all weekend, no use stopping now! It was delicious! The German opted for the Costa Rican with breakfast chorizo and I can assure you that was very tasty too!

NoLa Food 7
9. Hot Sauce
Louisiana is famed for its hot sauce, lets face it, with dishes like gumbo, creole and other spicy creations these people need it! They add it to almost everything to give it the kick they’re looking for and, if you’re in the market to stock up and buy some you’re in luck. In quite a few shops in New Orleans there are hot sauce bars where you can try loads of different types of the stuff, and by loads I’m not talking just 10! We bobbed into one before dinner one night and checked a few of them out. I think I managed about 3 before my mouth was on fire and I couldn’t take it anymore the German however went a few steps further and tried so many of the sauces that his eyes were watering and it looked like he was crying – typical boy would not be beaten by the hot sauce. Obviously some a milder than others and some are majorly strong, so strong in fact they actually tell you to just try one little drop – I steered very clear of those ones!

NoLa Food 5

Sadly we didn’t tuck into any gumbo or jambalaya, another New Orleans staple but it was the middle of June and so hot outside that I think chowing down on something hot and spicy may have finished me off! Another typical dish that we didn’t eat was crawfish. I was pretty sad about this because it was close to the top of my ‘must-eat’ list but, with just a couple of days in the city I think we did pretty well at tasting most of the dishes!

Food: Making our own pizzas

Making Pizzas
As you all know, the German celebrated his birthday the other week and we spent the weekend in Savannah. Lucky that we did because his birthday present was a little heavy to take on a plane.

The German’s favourite food in the whole, entire world is pizza. He could eat it every single day and not get bored. In fact, before he met me I think he really did eat it every single day and, if I go back to the UK and leave him home alone without any pre-cooked dinners in the freezer he definitely would eat pizza every single day. So, with this in mind, I bought him his very own pizza recipe book, a pizza stone and a pizza peel so that he could make his own pizzas from scratch. Turns out it was a blummin good present and he was a happy birthday boy so, last weekend, we decided to try it out.

The adventure started with the dough. Turns out this baby needs 18 hours to prove – 18 hours? I knew it would take a while but I wasn’t thinking 18 hours! Anyway, we made it the night before and waited for the yeast to do its stuff and make the little ball of dough double in size…and it did!

It was pizza time. The German had chosen a sausage and fennel pizza (fennel seems to be a favourite of his lately) so we started with a basic tomato sauce by literally squishing some tomatoes and made the ground pork into sausage meat by adding some ginger, fennel seeds, garlic and chilli flakes. This thing was looking good.

We chopped up the rest of our ingredients (well I did, chopping isn’t really the German’s forte) and we were ready to go:

Making Pizzas 2
First we needed to shape our bases. The German wanted to do the Italian thing and shape them in the air on his hands – he tried, but he needs a little more practice, so after a little bit of air shaping he continued on the counter top and managed to make some good circles! We put the toppings on and these things were ready to go…the only thing we were about to struggle with was getting them from the counter top to the oven…disasters.

Making Pizzas 3
We have a pizza peel but, once half of the pizza was on the peel the other half didn’t want to move. We ended up having to squish the pizza a little to get it on the peel and then onto the pizza stone that had been heating up in the oven but we made it and 12 minutes later our first pizza was ready – success! This thing looked good!

Making Pizzas 4
We then had another struggle to get the second pizza off the counter top and into the oven – does anybody have any tips on how to do this? It seems we really need them. We did use a lot of flour – probably too much if I’m honest – but it still didn’t work! Help is greatly appreciated. Eventually we did it but sadly, whilst the pizza was in the oven the pizza stone broke! It literally cracked into 2 pieces. We managed to patch it together and use it for the pizza but, it’s safe to say, it will be heading back to the store this week.

Next came the taste test, after one bite we realised we did bloody well! They were amazing! Very tasty indeed. The German was pleased with his efforts – I think pizza making will be happening a lot more often in the Richter house. He’s already eyed up another couple of pizzas in his book he wants to try.

Have you ever made your own pizza? What’s your favourite topping?

Food: Chow Bing in Buckhead

I’ve always been a lover of Chinese food (who isn’t, right?) so when I was invited to a blogger dinner at Chow Bing in Buckhead to sample their menu I obviously jumped at the chance!

This, however, isn’t your regular chinese. We’re not talking chicken and broccoli with boiled rice or sweet and sour pork with some greasy noodles, this place serves up fresh, healthy food and fast.

Chow Bing 1

Chow Bing’s modern and industrial decor.

Conveniently located on the same strip mall as the ‘Disco Kroger’ in Buckhead, this place has got chinese food sussed. There’s no orange goop, laden with MSG, colourings and other fake ingredients, Gary Lin uses locally sourced, fresh produce, all-natural, humanely raised meat, none of that MSG garb and far less oils and corn syrups that you find in your typical American chinese restaurant. As a Brit living in a land where super-sized chicken breasts and brightly coloured, radio-active looking icing is the norm, this is a breath of fresh air.

Sichuan Wings / Wonton Nachos / Chicken Dumplings

Sichuan Wings / Wonton Nachos / Chicken Dumplings

Along with some fellow bloggers from the Association of Food Bloggers, we tried a selection of appetizers, including the wonton nachos, the chicken dumplings and the chicken tenders. Out of the three, my favourite was the chicken dumplings, they were so tasty! Although the nachos had an amazing spicy cilantro sauce on them and the chicken tenders a refreshingly light breading. We also tucked into the Sichuan wings that are described on the menu as ‘tongue-numbingly hot’ and believe me, they were the hottest wings I have ever tasted! Don’t get me wrong, they were good but if you’re not a fan of hot food, I’d give these babies a wide berth!

Chow's Chicken Box / Roast Pork / Kung Pao Chicken

Chow’s Chicken Box / Roast Pork / Kung Pao Chicken

After tucking into the appetizers I opted for the roast pork House Bing Platter, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Instead of the usual chinese roast pork which has a pink ring around it and is sometimes pretty dry, Gary slow roasts the pork for several hours, giving it a crispy edge and retaining the moisture. It was super delicious! Another item on the menu that caught my eye was the Chow’s chicken box, this is a combination of just about everything on the menu on one plate, it’s definitely unique!

Oh, and lets not forget the drinks! Chow Bing has a fully stocked bar and also serves bubble tea. I went for a coconut rum tea and it was so tasty! Think being transported to the Caribbean with a kick and you’ve just about got the party in your mouth that this drink provided! I’ll definitely be ordering another next time I head there.

It was so refreshing to eat a chinese and not be faced with a thick, goopy (if that’s even a word!) substance all over it, packed with MSG and bright colours. If you’re into healthy food without the additives and colorings then Chow Bing is definitely the place to go.

*This is an unsponsored blog. I was invited to the restaurant by the Association of Food Bloggers and received a complimentary meal, however, all views in this post are my own.*

5 Things I Love about being an Expat in America…Part 2

So, as you  know, this week I’m in Germany preparing for our wedding on Saturday…eeek! I can’t believe it has come around so quickly. Anyway, while I’m away I thought I’d entertain you with another installment of the 5 things I love and hate about being an expat in America series. Today it’s the things I love, so, here goes…

Expat Love

1. Exploring at your fingertips
Living in a different country means there is so much more to explore than you had back home, especially in somewhere as big as America when it takes hours on a plane to get from one side of the country to the other. It means at the drop of a hat, if we decide we want to explore somewhere new we can, whether it’s in Atlanta itself (we still haven’t seen everything this city has to offer!), in Georgia or further afield. Having the busiest airport in the world on your doorstep means there are thousands of flights to everywhere in America every single day. Just the other week we hopped on a plane to Las Vegas for a few days which was something I could only dream of this time 2 years ago! Last year we explored Florida and there are so many more places on our bucket list that we want to see. It’s definitely a plus point of being an expat, I get to do things that a few years ago would have meant some major planning and a lot of money. It does mean life is pretty busy though because you want to make the most of every minute you have in your new country.

2. Seasonal Beer
IMG_0021Before moving to America I wasn’t much of a beer drinker, in fact I could just about manage 1 pint at a push if there was nothing else to drink. Here though, I’m definitely a beer convert and I think it’s because of the many different craft beers made in this fair land and their different flavours, in particular the seasonal brews. Just aout every single brewery does them and the flavours change to fit the season, currently we’re on summer brews so we’re talking citrus flavours, next will be autumn and copious amounts of pumpkin beer. It really mixes things up and means there’s constantly something new to try. Although once the brews are gone you do miss them and look forward to their return the following season. My favourite beer in America is Blue Moon, their pumpkin beer is so good, I also like the summer one they have out at the minute. The German and I managed to polish off a whole box of Blue Moon’s seasonal sampler whilst at the pool on Sunday…whoops!

3. Closet (or wardrobe if you’re a Brit!) Space
Seriously, these things are HUGE here. If we ever move back to Europe I don’t know what I’m going to do without a walk-in closet. The German’s just going to have to find us somewhere to live where there’s either a spare room to make into a walk-in closet or somewhere he can build one, I don’t think I can go back to having my clothes stuffed into a wardrobe that looks like it’s about to explode! One of the major advantages of America is the amount of space people have and that is definitely reflected in the size of the closets. We have a two bedroom apartment with 2 of the biggest closets I have ever seen, seriously. You could put a single bed in there or have a party. For the first time ever, my clothes are spread out nicely, I can see what I have to wear and there’s still space for some more shopping to be done! We have so much space we have drawers in the spare room that we brought over from England that are empty. The second closet’s more of a storage space with about 10 suitcases in, a bike, a set of golf clubs, anything that we can’t find a home for like camping chairs and cooler bags and any other bits and bobs that we don’t want lying around, every time we have visitors we’re forced to tidy it up so that they have somewhere to hang their clothes!

IMG_6237

What you don’t want to see on your way home!

4. School buses
I’ve talked about this before, I simply love seeing a big, yellow, American school bus! Back in the UK our school buses are the same as the normal public transport buses, only with a different sign on the front. The American buses to me, are what you see in a film, here though they’re obviously a normal every day sight. Just about every time I see one I have one of those ‘Wow! I actually live in America’ moments – sad I know, but it’s the little things that make all the difference when you’re living in a different country! I’m already excited about the idea that if we have children over here they would go to school on a yellow school bus. I’m sure they would think their mum is an idiot and wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I would! They do have one drawback though, you do not want to be behind one when it’s on its way to or from school, they stop literally every 20 yards and once they stop there’s no overtaking them or even passing on the opposite side of the road, both sides have to stop until all the children are safely on or off the bus and on the pavement (or sidewalk if you’re American), believe me, it can double or even triple your journey home!

5. Queso
And last, but definitely by no means least, is the delight that is queso. Seriously, this thing is the food of the Gods. If we ever have to leave this country, this would be one of the things I would miss the most! It is so, so, so bad for you but tastes so, so, so good. I literally cannot resist it if we head to a mexican or any restaurant where I spot it on the menu! Let me explain, with America being so close to Mexico there are thousands of Mexican restaurants in Atlanta alone and they are all amazing. This little delight is a melted cheese dip that you sink a fresh tortilla chip into before stuffing it into your mouth – a taste sensation! I mean, who wouldn’t like pure, melted cheese? It also comes in various different flavours, there’s plain queso, queso with jalapenos, queso with chorizo, queso with ground beef – oh my lord it is simply amazing. If you’re ever in the States you HAVE to try this out! My mouth is watering just writing this and thinking about the stuff! Can you tell it is one of my favourite things over here? If only I didn’t have a wedding dress to fit into…! Here are some pictures of this tasty delight to whet your appetite:

Queso Collage
So there you have it people, the latest installment of ‘5 Things I Love about being an Expat in America.’ What do you think? If you’re an expat here in the States are these the things you like too? What else do you think should be added to the list?

Stay tuned guys, next up it’s another installment of ‘5 Things I Hate about being an Expat in America.’