Foo’d Served Daily

Around Richmond, there are a ton of restaurants on my list of places to try. One, until recently, ranked above the rest on my list. The last few weeks have been filed with everyone’s ravings about this place. So I decided to finally give Foo Dog a go.

It is very characteristically Richmond. Funky and unique vibe but yet, still chill. It is very manga inspired with anime drawings that line the walls and they even show Pokemon on the TV. We proclaimed that this would be my little brother’s favorite restaurant, being the Japanese culture freak he is, if he ever got the chance to try it.

Everything on the menu is Japanese and Asian food with a flair. There are delicious Ramen dishes, pad thai, and calamari. And even things like KFC – Ken’s Fried Chicken, fried Asian style. Not the standard fare you would find somewhere else.

We shared the Gyoza for an appetizer. The dumpling fillings were cooked to perfection and popping with flavor. Not to mention, the sauce served with it was delicious as well. It was hard not to share.

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As the entree, I got the Kim Chi Fried Rice. It packed a little bit of punch but was again, popping with flavor, even a tad of sweetness. It seemed like sushi rice because it kind of clumped together but I love when rice does that, personally. It felt healthy with all the veggies it was topped with. But throw the bacon on there too, not so healthy after all. Still delicious!

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I will admit that even being the big foodie I am, sometimes I don’t explore as much and keep to my food cultures I am accustomed. So Asian food is a little more out there for me, in some cases. Foo Dog made it easy for people, even worse than me, to still find something delicious and not totally out there dishes on their whole menu.  I have only been there once and I am already writing a list of what I want to try next, including the calamari.

Foo Dog is like your mediocre Chinese food place on steroids. Definitely a must try in Richmond!

The One with a Set List and a Speakeasy

Recently, I have started working at a great urban bistro downtown. From my observation, it is a bit of an underrated spot within what I would call a “food desert” of downtown. There aren’t  many other places around it within a two block radius. Most of the good (and expensive) eats of downtown are a few blocks closer to the James. Coda  has an urban environment with grey hues and funky decorations. If cool was made into a restaurant, I dare say it was this place.

  

Connected to the National, Coda offers a ton of good deals to their customers, who are going to a show. They offer them early entry, which allows the customers to get in 15 minutes before the National doors open. Also, the restaurant houses a speakeasy, where they hold after parties. Be aware, you must have one special item in order to get in and enjoy this killer spot.

Having only worked there for a week, I have tried far too much of their menu. I get to the end of a shift, hungry and remember my employee discount. Not to mention, I have not been disappointed by anything I’ve tried. Some things definitely shine above the rest, but they are all still delicious. Meatballs, Shrimp Salad, Assorted Flatbreads, one of the burgers and this awesome dish called Tuna Poke.

The Tuna Poke (pronounced po-key, not poke) is a “smalls” but big enough for me to eat a whole meal of it. The dish is comprised of raw tuna, arugula salad, and wonton chips. The flavors achieved with the tuna are seriously magnificent and addictive. Soy dressing mixed with sesame, and a bit of seaweed salad. It is a fresh plate, fiercely healthy and utterly delicious. I can’t stop thinking about it.

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Being the burger queen, of course, one of the first things I try on the menu is one of the burgers. I got the Ol’ Hickory. Caramelized onions, housemade pickles, cheddar, hickory BBQ sauce and a side of fries. The beef is raised like Kobe beef is raised in Japan, but in America. It is the same process, but called Wagyu beef instead. Because of the this process, the fat renders, giving the beef more flavor without much help.

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The beef was flavorful to say the least. Just a patty of that beef alone, I would’ve been happy. Juicy burger with such good flavors. The housemade pickles were slightly sweet but you could definitely tell they were housemade. The hickory BBQ has a tangy kick that helps add even more flavor to the burger.  The fries. Probably some of my favorites in RVA now. They were crispy and you could they were made to order – hot! They can’t compare to my beloved Belgians. But for now, they will do. Overall, it may become one of my favorite burgers in Richmond.

  

If you’re going to a show at the National or simply want some great food with an urban environment, Coda is definitely the place to look.

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PS: I promise you I am not biased about the quality and deliciousness of these dishes simply because I work there. The dishes are seriously great!

Cheesy and Creamy

First off, let me apologize for being so MIA these last few months. This past Saturday, I graduated from VCU with a degree in Business specializing in Entrepreneurship. The last two semesters have been crazy nuts. These four years of school have been just the same. I am happy to be done and focus on things other than school, like this blog. My biggest lesson: everything happens for a reason.


Many of you may have tried the majesty that is Boursin cheese. Creamy cheese oozing flavors of garlic and herbs. If you haven’t, try it now. Or make this recipe. Either one.

My step-father was the first one to introduce to me this cheesy creamy delight. I was addicted from the start. It has all of my favorite flavors rolled into one. How couldn’t I like it. Even in Belgium, I took advantage. Partly because of the cut in price in Europe. Who am I kidding, I bought so many of my favorite cheeses, simply because they were SO cheap. Like Port Salut. Creamy and delicious!

But homemade?

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This, to my complete surprise, was one of the easiest things I may have ever made. It’s simply just cream cheese, butter, and herbs. What could be easier. Butter and cheese, what could be better. The homemade counter part is cheaper but I don’t know if I’d go as far as better. It is still stinking delicious. Did I mention cheaper?

But the lucky thing is this recipe is open to interpretation. Try it with crushed red pepper instead of herbs, or even sriracha. It’s really up to you. For my recipe, I used basil, Italian seasoning and a 21 spice blend from Trader Joe’s.

Ingredients:

8 oz. room temperature cream or Neufchatel cheese

1/2 – 1 cup room temperature butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons herbs (add more to liking)

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Once all ingredients are placed in a bowl, stir to combine all ingredients. I say the different butter measurements based on your butter liking. I did 3/4 cup of butter for some extra deliciousness. Cover tightly and allow the mixture to sit overnight. I highly suggest a jar. This will help the flavors meld. Serve or mix into your favorite recipes. Good for two weeks.

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Stir. Really, that’s all there is. How easy!

One of my favorite things with this Boursin is adding it to grilled cheese. Creamy and buttery. Mix with a melty favorite like cheddar or gouda. There are no words. The homemade Boursin adds a bit of creamy delight to anything you add it to.

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After making this recipe and seeing how easy it is, I may never buy the store bought version again. It’s easy and cheap. Oh yeah, and of course, the main ingredient is cheese. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

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