Port Aransas Shrimp Breakfast Taco

Food Porn Champion: Tacos for Breakfast

Port Aransas Shrimp Breakfast Taco

If you haven’t had a breakfast taco in your life, you (a) have never been to Texas, and (b) are doing yourself a huge disservice. And if you haven’t had a breakfast taco while hungover, you are doing yourself a HUUUUUGE disservice because breakfast tacos are some of the best hangover cures ever. This particular breakfast taco is from a teensy diner in Port Aransas, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It features fresh gulf shrimp, battered and deep-fried, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and shredded cabbage. Oh, and on the side? Hashbrowns. Why? WHY NOT.

Smoky-Sweet Autumn Breakfast Hash

Smoky-Sweet Autumn Breakfast Hash

Smoky-Sweet Autumn Breakfast Hash
Rise and shine! It’s November and it’s time to start eating some hearty, wholesome meals.

This weekend I was bored of my typical post-Saturday-morning-gym egg-and-vegetable scrambles so I decided to change it up a bit and really embrace some fall produce. If you don’t have butternut squash readily available, you could definitely use sweet potatoes instead, for a more traditional hash. I really want you to use good sausage in this – none of that frozen Jimmy Dean breakfast patty stuff. I used an all-natural chicken-apple-gouda sausage from the local grocer.

Smoky-Sweet Autumn Breakfast Hash

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Ultimate Hangover Sandwich in Seattle

Food Porn of the Day: Ultimate Hangover Sandwich

Ultimate Hangover Breakfast Sandwich Seattle

On a recent visit back to my hometown of Seattle, my friends and I were in a dire hangover situation. We needed greasy goodness but after a night of questionable “dining” choices (midnight quesadillas and – dare I admit it? Domino’s pizza) we also wanted something that was actually well-made and worth our time. No ordinary diner breakfast would do.

Luckily pub/restaurant Lot No. 3 had us covered. This is their grilled cheese (made with Beecher’s – some of the best cheese ever, also Seattle-based) with three important additions: a runny fried egg, caramelized onions, and BACON. But not just any bacon. House candied bacon. Be still my heart (literally, I think I had a mini heart attack while devouring this, but it was worth it). Plus, it doesn’t come with some bullshit salad on the side or whatever. It comes with a miniature bowl of tomato soup. TOMATO SOUP! What else could you possibly need when you’re hungo and hangry?!

Coffee Gone Wild! Top Ten Ways to Use Coffee

Need I remind you of the importance of this day? It’s National Coffee Day! Hopefully by now you earned that first of several free coffees today and are ready for more.

We perused the ES vault and found our favorite recipes that include coffee. There are cocktails for any time of day, sweet treats, and even some savory ideas. Only one recipe does not actually include coffee, but it was hard to leave out a coffee cake. Lastly, props to our trusty ES friend Baker’s Royale for contributing to the list! Here they are (in no specific order):

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10. Caramel Clover

Jameson, Bailey’s, caramel, espresso. BOOM. Make it hot in the cold months and iced in the warm months.

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9. Irish Cake Bombs

Little truffle-like cakes that pack a punch. The cake bombs offer a sweet balance between the bitter flavors of Guinness and coffee with the sweetness of a chocolate cake. Yum.

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8. Serious Irish Coffee

No worries, you can make this cocktail in a glass that isn’t as fancy as this. BUT, what doesn’t sound good about rich, roasted espresso with sweet and warming whiskey?

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7. Coffee Macaroons

Macaroons always seemed boring to me. What’s so special? But, now that these include coffee, I may be a bit more open minded about these tiny .baked goods.

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6. Coffee King

Not REAL coffee, but the booze that takes like coffee mixed with cake flavored vodka. I’d give it a try.

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5. Cocoa Crumble Ricotta Cake

Yeah, yeah, yeah – it doesn’t necessarily have coffee IN it, but it does have the WORD coffee in it. So get over it. I mean, look at it – you can see the creamy, moist layers of the cake. I’m sold.

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4. Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Enough said.

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3. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Coffee adds an incredibly complex layer of flavor to meats. Add it to sweet BBQ sauce and now the sauce and the pork become rich and extra savory.

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2. BEER: Stone Xocoveca Mocha Stout

My favorite Stone collaboration so far. Coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and pepper creates a surprisingly delicious drink! Oh yeah, and it’s in the form of beer.

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1. Affogato

My favorite dessert. Ice cream topped with espresso makes me salivate just a bit. While this recipe is for the holiday season, you can also make it with some simple vanilla ice cream and espresso.

ES Guide to National Coffee Day

Listen up! National Coffee Day is coming up on Monday 9/29 – do YOU know where you’re getting your free cup of Joe? You need to create a plan of action for the day. Unless you live in the boonies, there’s enough coffee chains to fund your day of free coffee goodness. Many of the chains don’t require a coupon or anything – those are the key stops. Check out the list below and start your plan now. Links provide the deets for each deal. Caffeinate early and often. IF we missed any – let us know!

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Dunkin Donuts:  Free Medium Dark Roast (then .99 Medium Dark Roasts from 9/30-10/5) (you may have to download the app)

 
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Krispy KremeFREE 12 oz. Cup of Coffee

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Burns My Bacon: Secret Menus

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Not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently it’s still cool to be a hipster. I thought now that being hipster is cool, being hipster is no longer cool. But anyway, I digress. I’ve noticed many of the flannel and skinny-jean fashioned patrons at restaurants ordering Starbucks drinks that weren’t listed. I admit, I am a Starbucks snob who knows that they shouldn’t be charging you for “one pump” of syrup, but that’s as far as I go. I looked up “Starbucks secret menu” and realized that Starbucks isn’t the only place that has a supposed secret menu.

Several other chains have “secret menus” published online. I have a problem. Nay, several problems. First off, the publishing of a secret no longer makes it a secret.

Second, why? Why have a secret menu? Who are you helping? Is it really generating enough revenue within that hipster or foodie crowd who really want to know something that everyone else doesn’t? Or is it that the secret menu offering items are too expensive to be on the menu? Well here’s an idea – rotate the menu!

Third, a secret menu defeats the purpose of a regular menu. Patrons look at a regular menu with the understanding that the items listed are the only items available at the time. Now, the regular menu really has little meaning if we are looking online for secret menus, coming to a restaurant, and asking for something that is NOT on the menu. I’m just not seeing the logic. Custom orders are one thing…but even so – STOP IT.

Maybe it is just for the novelty of it all. Maybe there are so many self-righteous people out there that the industry now has to make everyone feel even more special than they already do. If you need to “feel special,” there are plenty of “services” you can purchase to get that special feeling. Or, just get over yourself and realize that restaurants have a select offering of food items that they specialize in. If you are not happy with the offerings of chain restaurants, maybe try something new. We have enough snobbery going around these days; we don’t need secret menus promoting even more snobs.