Tag Archives: grilled cheese


Food, Wine, and Cakemix

food events

The 3rd Annual LA Food and Wine Festival is coming up!!! I got a sneak peek with one of the celebs that will be there, Duff Goldman, at Cakemix


…been wanting to decorate here since the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck parked outside. It’s Color Me Mine meets bakery – I brought my secret weapon, Joy, who is exceedingly talented at every single thing she does – to help with the evening’s competition.


The contest theme was “California Cuisine.” We got some tips from The Ace of Cakes himself!!!


Also crafting at our table was Chef Eric Greenspan, whose short rib grilled cheeses are legendary.


I nibbled on one of those, plus all these jelly beans, while we worked…


…I remembered (from The Brown Derby at Disney World) that the Cobb Salad was invented in Los Angeles. We made one with eggs, avocado…


…cherry tomato, carrots…


…bacon and “blue” cheese.




Completely floored by all the other creations…








…then Duff came around to judge…


…and announced ours the winner!!!!!!!


I may look speechless, but in reality I screamed the entire time, like a crazy woman.


Really did NOT think we would win!


Joy and I split our baby in two…


…and I ate a slice with Abe at home.



Victory never tasted so sweet!

Duff's Cakemix on Urbanspoon

Sunday Sammy

movies - salads - sandwich - vegetarian


grin smiley

I hope your weekend was as lovely as mine! Yesterday I ate brunch at Veggie Grill – ordered my favorite, the All Hail Kale


Traded bites with Abe for my second favorite dish, the Sante Fe Crispy Chickin’ sandwich


We met a friend to see the new Errol Morris documentary, Tabloid


I didn’t know anything about Joyce McKinney before seeing this, but what a CRAZY story (or bunch of stories, I should say)! If you like This American Life, you will LOVE this movie. It’s bananas!

We hung out with Julius for a few hours before checking out the Los Feliz Village Street Fair


There was live music, a guy with a cat on his shoulder….


…and lots of food!!!


But I just wasn’t feeling any of it; not even in the mood for this pizza place I’ve been wanting to try:


Just wanted to make something at home. Earth Balance sent some free coupons to try their vegan products, and I picked up a jar of Mindful Mayo.

I saw somewhere (probably Paula Deen) that you can substitute mayonnaise for butter on grilled cheese sandwiches. Certainly spreads easier!


On the other side of the Silver Hills bread slices – Jarlsberg Lite + Dried Fig Compote


A little handful of baby spinach in the middle


Grill both sides until brown (2-3 minutes on high)



I took the sandwich made from the loaf heels, but photographed Abe’s, which was prettier


For dessert, we shared the Embrace Sweets cookie…


…with the watermelon chunks that never got made into cheeseburgers


Oatmeal cranberry with big chunks of walnut – so yummy dipped into hot cocoa!


The Great Fundraising Act (which I blogged about here) is on! Bidding for my donation (a Surrogate Valentine digital download) ends at 5:35pm EST.


There are many, many items you can put your $$$ on NOW!  Off I go to check them out!


take out - TV shows - vegetarian

Thanks to readers, L.A. food bloggers, and some lively message board discussion on Chowhound and Yelp, The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Los Angeles suggestions have grown to over 50!!! Obviously this is going to take a while…my goal in the next year is to narrow that down to at least half, and publish an “official list.”

My first experience with Locali, a Hollywood eco-friendly convenience store, wasn’t the greatest. I was unimpressed with what I found to be a very painstakingly-slowly-put-together-overpriced-and-bland quinoa salad. But that was back in July, when they had been less than a year old. Since then, they’ve worked out the kinks, had plenty of online reviews to advise foodies, and won an award at the 2010 Grilled Cheese Invitational. The latter fact, combined with quarrygirl’s review of their veggie reuben, was enough to convince Abe to give them another chance last night for my sandwich quest.

Located in a strip mall, it can be hard to find parking. I called my order in 20 minutes beforehand, since it’s not the greatest space to wait around, especially if you wind up idling in your car (wouldn’t THAT defeat the purpose of an eco-conscious place).

We were lucky and found a spot right away.



The space is teeny, and with just a few people standing inside you begin to feel packt like sardines in a crushd tin box.


But sardines are a sustainable choice, and that’s really what this store is about:

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Our sandwiches were ready 5 minutes after we arrived, and there were some tables available outside. I had been prepared to eat in my car, so I was in a particularly good mood as I unwrapped these babies.

The award-winning Grilled DaVinCheese ($8.95)


…and the Vegetarian Reuben ($9.75) – you can get this veganized, made with daiya cheese, but when I called to order, the guy said he preferred it with swiss. And since this list is the best vegetarian sandwiches and not the best vegan ones, I heeded his advice.


I devoured half of each.


First, the grilled cheese.


“A Tuscan Style Kalamata Olive bread stuffed with organic goat chevre, a layer of fresh herbs, garlic, cracked peppercorn, then a layer of organic provolone, sundried tomatoes, and finally a thin layer of organic swiss. Last, but not least, the bread gets coated with a honey balsamic vinaigrette and grilled.”

Despite how it may look…

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…this grilled cheese wasn’t very messy and held together excellently. How could it not, with the bonding power of three cheeses?! That was the real beauty of this sandwich – the different textures of this mighty trio, none of which were too salty or overpowering. The sweetness from the honey balsamic and sundried tomatoes were a wonderful balance – Abe liked the choice of sundried tomatoes over fresh ones, which can get watery. And the olive bread was truly grilled to perfection – not too greasy, not too dry.

Next up: “Marinated tofu deli slices topped with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and smothered with homemade vegan russian dressing.”


I found it quite amusing that the “corned beef” was such a vibrant pink color. In fact, the entire sandwich, with its super swirly rye bread, looked like something out of “Alice in Wonderland.” And this sandwich did transport me to another world – one where meat eaters and vegetarians can finally eat together in perfect harmony! I’m not turned off my faux veggie meat, but if you are the type that is, this may change your mind. It is some of the best soy-imitating-meat I’ve ever had – super thinly sliced, great flavor, and tender! There was the perfect amount of sauerkraut and dressing, so that it didn’t get too soggy, and they toast the whole thing, for a perfectly warm and gooey delight. Abe, a big reuben fan, loved this even more than the grilled cheese. I couldn’t pick a favorite.

We washed it all down by splitting this Virgil’s Diet Rootbeer, made with the natural sweetener xylitol.


Locali really redeemed itself! I am actually craving another grilled cheese for breakfast.

So in summary – when you go there, do not order anything like a quinoa salad, order 20 minutes ahead, and be open to the possibility of having to wait/eat in your car. But for about $11 each, you can have one of the best vegetarian date meals ever! The fact that these sandwiches are not only mind-blowingly delicious, but organic AND sustainable, put them on the official list. And they have plenty more on the menu, so I’ll have to come back for more “research.”

Surprisingly, they didn’t sit heavily in my stomach afterwards – I snacked on a big old apple a few hours later.


We watched some “Treme” before bed. I’ve been trying to give this show a fair shot – I know people who love it – but sitting through each hour (though well acted/shot) felt like work to me – I was easily bored and distracted. This episode was the deciding factor – there were celebrity chefs on it – and if that didn’t keep me watching, nothing was.


Even Tom Colicchio, Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, and Eric Ripert were a bit of a snooze. BUT, by the end of the show a bunch of exciting stuff started happening so I decided I’ll tune in again.

As I learned from Locali, you gotta give things another chance!

Locali Conscious Convenience on Urbanspoon