Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 16!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you had a fantastic weekend! In this edition of Foodie Adventures, I’ll be taking you on a tour of Taco La Barra, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Brunch at Southern Culture!
I love me a good taco, and this restaurant opened up a few months ago down the street. When Max invited me to a young professionals night there to benefit Habitat for Humanity, I jumped at the offer!
It’s decor is bright, colorful, and that mixture of brick and industrial that is becoming so popular nowadays. Bright paintings and colorfully drawn and designed menus greeted us at our tables.
I wanted to get a good idea of the quality and tastes from the most talked about items they had, so I started with three tacos – Al Pastor with crema (pork marinated with pineapples, which I love trying in any form anywhere we go), Blackened Mahi Mahi with mango salsa, and Ancho Chicken with salsa and cotija cheese.
They were absolutely delish!! In order of my favorites:
- Al Pastor
- Blackened Mahi Mahi
- Ancho Chicken
The Al Pastor was fantastic, the Mahi Mahi had good seasoning and was cooked well, and the chicken was really juicy with the cheese adding a nice touch. The mangoes could have been a little riper, but other than that, all three were great!
Max even got a couple tacos, his were both the ancho chicken version and he loved them!
The one thing I saw on the menu and I knew I had to try was an Arepa (a-rayp-ah), stuffed with my choice of two different fillings, the ancho chicken from above or Ropa Vieja, a great marinated and stewed pork dish. I went with the Arepa Ropa Vieja, as I love the Ropa Vieja at Havana Kitchen up the street and wanted to compare.
It was a lot bigger than I anticipated! The arepa was a little crumbly and dry, so it was definitely a fork and knife scenario here instead of using your hands, but the filling was really good! It made awesome leftovers for lunch the next day 😋
Arepas can mean different things in different countries. When I was growing up, my family was friends with some people from Columbia who taught me how to make arepas their way. The ones I made were about the size of silver dollar pancakes (or the same size as the tortillas used for the tacos above) and had queso fresco infused in the batter. However, I’ve since come to learn Peruvians, Venezuelans, and Mexicans make, name, and stuff theirs a little bit differently.
A little history on arepas…
“The Arepa originated hundreds of years ago, and was a staple in the diet of various indigenous tribes across the areas that are now Venezuela and Colombia. Known as daily masa bread, Arepas are eaten across various socio-economic groups, at all times of the day. The Arepa received its name from the word “erepa”, the indigenous word for corn. Until the 1950s, when Areperas (Arepa joints) were few, Arepas were primarily eaten as a bread or side food. When Areperas began growing in popularity, people became more innovative with their fillings.
Initially the filled Arepa was referred to as a tostada, but now, it is simply called a filled Arepa or Arepa Rellena. The fillings vary and there are no rules (just like with any sandwich, fillings are endless). Some recipes have now become a part of traditional Arepas.”https://www.amaizeyou.com/arepas.php
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…..
Of course we couldn’t leave the restaurant without dessert!!
Churros stuffed with Dolce de Leche and ice cream, the perfect way to end the meal. Definitely check this place out if you’re in the neighborhood!
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lake Norman, NC
With me putting more effort into cooking with non-dairy alternatives, it has inspired Mom to try Gluten Free baking, as she’s found out she may have sensitivity to gluten in the last few months.
We started with the basics, chocolate chip cookies of course! The only difference between our normal family recipe was the flour and oatmeal we used.
This is the first time we used Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One gluten free flour and Bobs Red Mill gluten free oatmeal.
Did you know that not all oatmeal is gluten free? If it’s grown near any oats in the fields, the package cannot claim it’s gluten free as there is a chance of cross-contamination.
The cookie dough looked the same, seemed to bake the same, and they tasted really good (as we expected). Warm and yummy out of the oven, and when cool, were not crispy-crunchy but a nice in between soft and crunchy cookie.
The cookies tasted as expected even for gluten-free flour. My grandma thought that the cookies did not taste as sweet as usual, but they were delicious either way!
Stay tuned for the recipe on the recipes tab in the next couple days 💜🍪
Brunch at Southern Culture
Cherrydale, Greenville, SC
You all know me by now, Weekend Foodie Warriors wouldn’t be complete without a brunch portion! My coworkers have been talking up Southern Culture for the last couple weeks and I had to check it out.
As you walk in, they had a great area that was used as a stage, a screen for TV or movies, and a patio through the back entrance with a waterfall and fire pits on the left. They had the World Cup playing this morning!
I loved the open kitchen and getting to see the chefs at work! They also had an area near the bar with couches, a Bloody Mary Bar, and a great hang out area for happy hours.
We couldn’t have started the day off other than with biscuits, which were super fluffy and served with butter and homemade raspberry jam.
I ended up getting the Stuffed apple french toast – thick-sliced brioche, sweet pecans, local apples, maple syrup, and a goat cheese whipped mousse. The bacon included was extra crispy and extra delicious!
One of Zach’s favorite brunches is eggs Benedict, and this one had country ham, poached eggs, an English muffin, and Cajun hollandaise. He got them with brunch potatoes, which were home fried potatoes with barbecue sauce.
This place definitely lived up to its hype! The Greenville News voted it Best of the Upstate’s 2015 Best Brunch and Best Soulfood, and 2016 winner of Best Brunch. Check this place out, it’s in the little suburb of Cherrydale near Greenville.
So how was your weekend Foodie Friends? What’s your favorite place for brunch on the weekend? Sound out in the comments below or let me know your suggestions of where I should try next. As always, feel free to like, comment, and share 🤗