Battle of the Pizzas

America’s newest restaurant craze follows the built your concept we all so dearly love. First came subway with their sandwiches, then Chipotle with their yummy burritos and now we have pizza. This new trend is changing the way we eat pizza and giving big chains like Pizza Hut and Dominoes a run for their money. Build-your-own pizza shops are just more convenient. You get to create your own personal size pizza. You get to add all the ingredients that you want without having to compromise with anyone or pay extra. The price per pizza is also reasonable.

Image by: Thomas Wasper
Image by: Thomas Wasper

Since the idea came out, we’ve seen various restaurants with the same concept emerge. The top three chains currently battling it out for the top spot are Pieology, Blaze Pizza and Pizza Rev. They all custom craft your pizza using a variety of ingredients.

This is a general menu of the ingredients used by all three chains:

Dough:

House made   Gluten-free (add. $2)

Sauce:

Red sauce   BBQ sauce   Olive oil   White sauce

Meats

Pepperoni   Sausage   Meatballs   Chicken   Ham   Bacon

Veggies

Artichokes   Bell peppers   Garlic   Basil   Jalapenos   Mushrooms   Olives   Pineapple   Onions   Spinach

Cheese

Mozzarella   Ricotta   Vegan (add.)

The only difference among these restaurants is their minor variation in ingredients. You might find an ingredient in one of the places that you won’t in the other two. Wheat dough might just be a record breaker for you. Maybe you’re a big fan of goat cheese and you just have to have your pizza with it. Well, I am here to save you the hassle. I took care of all the dirty work. I went out and tried all three places and here are the results.

Pieology

Image by: Nero_570
Image by: Nero_570

By far, Pieology was my favorite. It was overall a better tasting pizza. Their crust was the best tasting out of the three. They had a few different choices on their menu and these included:

Dough

Whole Wheat

Sauce

Herb butter Fiery Buffalo

Veggies

Corn   Banana Peppers

Cheese

Daiya-Mozzarella

Blaze Pizza

Image by: LA Foodie
Image by: LA Foodie

Blaze would be my second choice. They have a spicy red sauce that is really flavorful. Choices only found at Blaze include:

Veggies

Arugula   Zucchini   Pepperonicini

Meats

Salame

Sauce

Spicy red sauce

Pizza Rev

Image by: David Hawkins
Image by: David Hawkins

Pizza Rev offers the most choices in meat, but their crust isn’t any good. The dough gives the pizza a slight frozen pizza type of taste. Choices only found at Pizza Rev include:

Veggies

Cilantro   Fennel seeds   Capers

Meats

Vegan sausage   Crumbled beef   Anchovies   Beef pepperoni   Sweet fennel sausage

Now that you have all this information, go ahead and try the one that sounds most appealing you. After you’ve done that, come back to this post and vote for your favorite.

 

Feature Image by:Dominik Schwind

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Simply Quinoa

Want to know how to load your diet with protein, fiber and minerals without a gluten overload?

Image by:  net_efekt
Image by: net_efekt

I have the answer for you. It is pronounced keen-wa. In this little, gluten free, seed you’ll find twice the fiber than in any other grain. Quinoa has some major health benefits, including metabolic health and weight loss benefits, making it a super food among health junkies. Not only is it healthy and trendy, but it is also easy to incorporate into your diet.

Below is my favorite quinoa recipe. Try it!

Quinoa stuffed zucchini

Image by: Petrina Tinslay
Image by: Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

4 medium zucchini

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine quinoa and one cup of water and boil until tender
  3. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and place in baking pan
  4. Combine quinoa (rinsed), beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons of oil
  5. Stuff the zucchini’s with mixture, top with remaining oil and cheese, cover with foil and bake until tender (25-30min)

Bon Appétit!

Featured Image by: Lablascovefmenu

Meals on Wheels

Food trucks are taking over the nation and, they might just start taking over the restaurant industry. Food trucks have always been around, right? But this new trend features a modern, eclectic, gourmet selection. With the recent food truck hype, mobile cuisine has gained the respect of foodies everywhere. You no longer see them only at music festivals or special events. Food trucks are the event. If you don’t know what I mean connect with a food truck through social media to experience the fun.

Here are three options on my favorites list:

The Grilled Cheese Truck

Image by: Kevin Stanchfield
Image by: Kevin Stanchfield

The Grilled Cheese Truck began as a weekend activity to enter LA’s 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational, a cooking competition exclusively for grilled cheese. It was then when the team decided they needed to bring their creations to the streets of LA. The Grilled Cheese Truck drifts away from the traditional melted cheese on buttered bread we all so dearly reminisce. Their menu includes items like the Cheesy Mac which is made with macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, BBQ pork and caramelized onions. Or how does their French Onion Soup sound? This sandwich is made with Gruyere cheese, onion soup compote and a parmesan crust served with onion soup broth. Is your mouth watering yet? Hold on, I’ve got more. Not only does The Grilled Cheese Truck serve cheesy melts like the Brie or the Pepperbelly, but they also have a wide selection of dessert sandwiches. Their dessert menu includes mom’s apple pie melt and a s’more melt. Their event calendar is conveniently posted on their website for you to check out their next location.

Kogi BBQ

Image by: Punctuated
Image by: Punctuated

Kogi is LA’s first Korean BBQ taco truck. Their famous tacos start at $2.49 with the choice of short rib, spicy pork, chicken and tofu. Kogi’s menu has expanded since they first hit the streets Thanksgiving of 2008. Kogi favorites include sliders, burritos, quesadillas and mulitas. They have also added a dessert menu which includes the spicy sriracha bar which is surprisingly deliciously chocolaty. Their food is not only delicious, but it is also very physically appealing. Kogi also has their event calendar posted on their website for you to follow.

Baby’s Badass Burgers

Image by: Al Pavangkanan
Image by: Al Pavangkanan

Baby’s Burgers aren’t only popular among us regulars, but they seem to be celebrities’ favorite burger stop. From Robin Thicke to Dwayne Johnson, many celebrities are part of Baby Burger’s wall of fame. Baby’s makes sure that each burger has a feminine touch. For one, the burgers are each uniquely named. How does the “She’s Smokin!” sound? Does “The Other Woman” sound appealing to you? The burgers are big, filling burgers. They are all about ½ lb. Slaters 50/50 is probably the best comparison to their size.

If you happen to fall into the food truck craze after this post, I recommend you check out the LA Street Food Fest held in Pasadena on July 11.

Featured Image by Alonzo

Canadian Classic

Move over chili cheese fries, the new trend in fries is on its way! The French-Canadian dish Poutine has reached peak popularity in Canada and is now coming down to the U.S. It’s a simple dish made up of French fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Legend dates Poutine’s birth back to 1957 in Warwick where Fernand Lachance combined French fries and cheese curds at the request of a truck driver who wanted something fast. Lachance then proclaimed, “Ca va faire maudite poutine!” which translates to “It will make a damn mess!” Poutine can be found from fast food restaurants to fine dining restaurants. It was only a matter a time before it started jumping borders!

Poutine locations:

Stockyard Sandwich Co.

Image by: Stockyard Sandwich Co.  Price: $8
Image by: Stockyard Sandwich Co.
Price: $8

 The Kroft

Image by: L.A. Foodie Price: $7-$8
Image by: L.A. Foodie
Price: $7-$8

Feature image by: Ruth Hartnup

Popsicle Trend Heats Up

Forget everything else- popsicles are the coolest way to keep cool this summer. Gourmet popsicles have begun taking over the cupcake trend, and I have to say, it is not a bad trade. For one thing, we won’t have to worry about eating so much bread just to keep trendy. The new trend is a healthier approach to desserts. Gourmet Popsicle shops use fresh fruit, no preservatives and no artificial flavorings in their frozen treats. Not only are they delicious, but also guilt free! Do you remember your childhood when all you could wish for was a cool Popsicle on a hot summer day? Popsicles have become a trend for adults everywhere. Some Popsicle shops have even entered the catering business. They come to your event  with an ice cream cart and give out popsicles to your guests. Is that too much? Below are the trendiest Popsicle shops in the area for you to check out before you decide on booking any catering.

Popbar

Image by: Brooke Podgorski
Image by: Brooke Podgorski

Popbar has locations worldwide with only two in the U.S, one in Anaheim and one in New York. The location in Anaheim is inside the Packing District, one of the trendiest culinary walkabouts in Orange County.  Their popsicles are made fresh every day using fresh fruit. The popbars are made in small batches of 26 bars at a time. Step1: You are given the choice of a popgelato, popsorbetto or yogurtpop, each with a wide a variety of flavors. Step 2: You chose your chocolate dipping. Step 3: You chose your toppings. How does an apricot popsorbetto sound, or how about a hazelnut popgelato? This is a place you will never find line-free. The line for Popbar usually circles around the shop, so make sure you give yourself some time. One last thing, don’t call them popsicles, they absolutely hate it!

Price: $3.99 (.50 cents per additional topping)

The Ice Bar

Image by: The Ice Bar team
Image by: The Ice Bar team

The Ice Bar has only one location, and it is in West Covina.  Their popsicles are honestly a work of art. You’ll surely find yourself snapping some pictures as soon as you get your hands on one. They are made with fresh fruit- daily. Their pops are limited to four flavors: Nutella bananas and cream, mango strawberry, korean pear blueberry and strawberry lemonade. That is probably the only bad side to The Ice Bar, but their wide range of toppings makes up for it. Once you pick your Popsicle and the toppings you want, you get to watch them carefully put it together into something so beautiful you won’t want to eat. Well, maybe you will. I’ll let you decide.

Price: $3.25


Featured image by: Aforestfrolic

Thirsty Thursday

In honor of Jamba Juice’s 25 birthday, the chain will be giving out free smoothies this Thursday (4/23). The chain will be offering free small smoothies and juices in three flavors: Tropical Greens, Caribbean Passion and Strawberries Wild. The giveaway is from 9 to 11 a.m.

Set your alarm and be sure to head out tomorrow morning to Jamba Juice for your free smoothie, I know I will!


Featured image by: Denise Carrasco

Tax Day Steals

There’s nothing more trendy than freebies and good deals. We all like saving a few pennies. In honor of tax day a lot of places are giving away free or discounted food in an attempt to make up for a day dedicated to paperwork and,  in some cases, paying large amounts of money. I’ve put together the best Tax Day deals below. Take advantage of the savings. You still have a few hours left, go!

Boston Market

Image by: Mike Mozart
Image by: Mike Mozart

Buy one meal get one free

Sonic

Image by: Cornfusion
Image by: Cornfusion

Half-price cheeseburgers

Bruegger’s Bagels

Image by: Janelle
Image by: Janelle

Customers belonging to Bruegger’s eclub can get 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese for only $10.40

Burger King

Image by: Mike Mozart
Image by: Mike Mozart

Coupon for free Whopper with the purchase of a Whopper

Offer expires April 19

Outback Steakhouse

Image by: Mike Mozart
Image by: Mike Mozart

Coupon for 15 percent off dinner check

Offer expires May 3

You’re welcome!


Featured image by: Cunnigham