Bánh Flan Take Out


You may recall a post back in January about Cha Gio or Vietnamese Spring Rolls at the darling little Nam’s Red Door Restaurant?


Well this time, we took the food, including dessert, to go.

Caramel custard became part of Vietnamese cuisine through the French colonization of Vietnam. The Vietnamese way is to steam the custard as opposed to the French method of cooking in a bain-marie. Delicious, very light with a silky texture.


Take Out Container: Isn’t this a clever recycling use of soda cans?

Ăn nào! Bon appétit !

With its high calcium content, I am submitting this Flan to Food Blogga’s Beautiful Bones Event for Osteoporosis Awareness. Thanks Susan!

The FDA states that calcium intake is critical, but calcium alone can’t build bones. Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb calcium. The skin produces vitamin D in sunlight. In addition to attention to diet, exercise is important in treatment and prevention of osteoporosis as well.

For your consideration:

Take a nice walk in a moderate amount of sunshine, then enjoy tasty calcuim rich Bánh Flan from your favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

Stone Crabs – A Renewable Delicacy

The Stone Crab fishery is unique in that stone crabs are not killed but, rather, the legal-sized claws are removed and the crabs are returned to the water alive.

There is no better restaurant at which to enjoy Stone Crabs than Joe’s in Chicago on the corner of Grand & Rush where the ambiance and service are second to none.

Although it is lawful to harvest both of a stone crab’s claws this practice leaves the stone crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Having one claw (if the other one is harvested) will enable the crab to obtain greater amounts of food in a shorter amount of time. Stone crabs (like other crustaceans) have the ability to grow back their claws, but this process requires a large amount of energy in the form of food. The quicker the crab can obtain the energy required to molt and grow its lost claw, the sooner this renewable delicacy will have another claw to replace the missing claw. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute for more information on Stone Crabs.
Good News: Stone Crab population levels are estimated to be high and no overfishing is occurring. The unique manner in which stone crab claws are harvested helps ensure the long-term sustainability of the species. Stone Crabs are a good, low-fat source of protein, selenium and magnesium. All of the stone crab claws on the market come from wild fisheries.

Joe’s Remoulade Sauce – a combination of creamy mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, minced celery, minced parsley, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and minced green onion is a classic accompaniment to the crab. You can visit Joe’s website for the recipe.

My Wine Pairing Recommendation: Joe’s serves King Estate Pinot Gris by the glass. With its gorgeous tropical fruit flavors and creamy complexity, this wine is a perfect complement to the crab.

On our most recent visit, our waiter Steve B. was awesome. We were celebrating my cousin Vicki’s engagement, and not only did Steve surprise Vicki with a slice of their famous Key Lime Pie with a candle, he also brought a slice of Chocolate Fudge Pie for Geri, to honor the soon-to-be mother of the bride. And when I told him about Taste With The Eyes he graciously brought out more food to photograph. I would like to extend a special thank you to Joe’s entire waitstaff. See you soon!

Charlie Trotter’s Guest Chef – Me!!!

Today is my birthday. The reason I am telling this tidbit of information to the world is to share my excitement over the coolest birthday gift from my brother, Don, and sister-in-law, Kristy. I will be the Guest Chef For The Day at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant in Chicago, spending the complete day in the kitchen including food preparation training and working on the line! Then after cooking from 2 PM to 9 PM, I change out of my chef’s whites and sit down to dinner in the dining room with my family. Whoo! Hoo!

Charlie Trotter’s is regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the world. For 20 years, the restaurant has dedicated itself to excellence in the culinary arts. Never willing to rest on its laurels, Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant is innovative and progressive in the world of food and wine and has been instrumental in establishing new standards for fine dining.”

If any of my friends, including my blogger friends, are in Chicago on this particular summer evening (date to be determined), come to Charlie Trotter’s (reservations required) and let me cook for you!

Thanks Don and Kristy. I love you. Whoo! Hoo!


A video profile of Charlie Trotter’s eponymous restaurant.

Reuben Sandwich


Norms Restaurant
Grilled Reuben Sandwich $7.99
Deep-Fried Jalapeño $0.25

“Reuben, make me a sandwich, make it a combination, I’m so hungry I could eat a brick,” said actress Annette Seelos to Arnold Reuben, owner of Reuben’s Deli in NYC, circa 1914.

This is just one of the many legends on the invention of this sandwich.

A Reuben Sandwich: Corned Beef, Turkey or Pastrami? Cole Slaw or Sauerkraut? Russian Dressing or Thousand Island? Swiss Cheese or Jack Cheese? Toasted or Grilled? At least everyone agrees to serve it on Rye.


Across the street from the car dealership is Norms We Never Close. It’s a fun place (for a food blogger with a camera) to spend a few hours while getting an oil change and other automobile maintenance.

I’m making corned beef and cabbage in honor of St. Paddy, but since it takes about 50 minutes per pound, and my brisket is 4 1/2 pounds, it won’t be ready anytime soon. So I’m posting the Reuben Sandwich – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Gina Lee’s Bistro

Thai Marinated Sea Bass with Spinach, Baby Bok Choy,
Chow Mein Noodles in a Coconut Lemongrass Broth

Crispy Fried Shrimp & Pork Won Tons
Hot & Sweet Sauce, Cucumber Slaw

Korean BBQ Flank Steak with Spicy Dressing
Scallion Fried Rice and Tofu Stir Fry

Bento Box: Selection Changes Nightly
Mini Ahi Burger, Crab Cakes, Chicken & Snap Peas Stir Fry, Beef Skewer on Mashed Potatoes

Ahi Burger, Selection from Bento Box on this Night


Korean Lettuce Wraps: Chicken and Tofu, Korean Red Bean Paste
Daikon & Cucumber Relish

Pistachio Crushed Mahi Mahi with Three Sauces

Mandarin Orange Sauce, Creamy Sesame Splash, Soy Syrup


Scott & Gina Lee have been my dear friends for many many years. They opened Gina Lee’s Bistro, an Asian Fusion restaurant in Redondo Beach, over a decade ago. A while back I offered to help Gina start a blog so on this night I took some photos of the food as it was leaving the kitchen.


For dinner, I enjoyed the Thai Marinated Sea Bass paired brilliantly with a glass of Etude Pinot Gris from Scott’s eclectic wine list.

Irene Virbila from the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Everything from Gina Lee’s kitchen tastes fresh and vivid. There’s also a logic to how flavors are woven together.”
I couldn’t agree more. The flavors are just so vibrant…

When you are in Southern California, I recommend a visit to Redondo Beach to have dinner at my friends’ fabulous and unique restaurant. And be sure to tell them Lori Lynn sent you 🙂