National Dog Day

Apparently today is National Dog Day and some such. So! To celebrate:

Here is my most favoritest dog ever, Cheeto.

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To stay food blog appropriate, here is a pretty cool dog food recipe.

Here is your reminder that rescue dogs are SO GREAT and that if you’re wanting to bring a new pet into your home, there are so many amazing, wonderful, sweet dogs in shelters that could really use your love. We adopted Cheeto when she was five and she is THE BEST. Check out Petfinder.com for some cute faces near you!

Restaurant Review: Barbacco

Cat and I ventured into the city and risked trying a new restaurant instead of going to one of our oft used favorites and things actually turned out pretty darn good.

We arrived at the the San Francisco Ferry building and started yelping to see what was near and what sounded good. There were too many options so I searched specifically for steak and Barbacco showed up with 4 stars, and 2 dollar signs and was only about a 10 minute walk away – Perfect!

Since we didn’t have a reservation (on a Friday evening) we were seated at the bar which was fine with me as long as we were still able to get food.

They had an extensive wine list, which I took advantage of with a glass of a California white that they described as having notes of “butterscotch”, and their menu looked quite tasty.

We started with the cheese assortment with two different cheeses, crispy thin nutted crackers, with some sort of sauce and soaked raisin.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. constipation station

Photo by Yelp user Stacy M.

Cat ordered the marinated stone fruit salad with arugula and whipped ricotta and the soup of the day which was a Tuscan tomato bisque.

stone fruit and soup

Photo by Cat

Because I was clearly in the mood for some meat I ordered the Tagliata – roasted, sliced flat iron steak with red wine gorgonzola dolce latte butter over arugula . The steak was cooked perfectly and the butter compound was so yummy.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. Flat iron steak. very tender and tasty

Photo by Yelp user Kaori T.

 

And for my side I had the fried brussels sprouts with capers and an anchovy red wine vinaigrette.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. Brussels sprouts with garlic and duck fat!

photo by Yelp user Ailyne H.

Although we were already incredibly full, as soon as we glanced at the dessert menu we knew we had to get a couple of things. This is where Barbacco really shined. The dinner was really tasty, but the dessert was so amazing.

Cat had a brown butter angel food cake with blackberries, peaches, whipped cream, and little meringues. I tried a bight and it was so light and so wonderful.

cake

Photo by Cat

I was drawn to the chocolate nemesis cake which had fudge, toffee crumble, and vanilla crema. And I cannot explain fully just how chocolaty and rich and satisfying and delicious this cake was.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States

Photo by Yelp user Massiel R.

I may or may not come back for dinner, but I will definitely want to get dessert again.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something.

Hosted by an apricot.

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(Image from Smitten Kitchen)

1. Apricot Lime Mojito from Heather Christo.
2. Rustic Apricot Jam from Serious Eats.
3. Apricot Breakfast Pie from The Kitchn.
4. Apricot Dijon Pork Chops from Budget Bytes.
5. Apricot Pistachio Squares from Smitten Kitchen.

Montana Summer Part 3

Part one here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer/  Part two here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer-part-2/

I’m still feeling kind of full from all that rich road trip food, but I don’t regret a single bite of it. Here’s the last of my set of personal favorite restaurants from around Big Sky Country:

3. Missoula

I’ve admittedly not eaten at many places in Missoula, but golly are there a lot of options. From what I’ve tried so far, this next one is my fav.

The Silk Road, 515 South Higgins Street, Missoula, MT

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(Image from Yelp User Ms. V.)

I’m usually nervous about restaurants that claim to serve more than one style of food, but The Silk Road delivers. It’s fun and feels a bit festive, while maintaining a cozy/comfy atmosphere.

No relation, I presume. 😉

4. Great Falls

Bert & Ernie’s, 300 1st Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 

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One of the highlights here is the Smokehouse burger. So good!

5. West Glacier

Babb Bar Baron Supper Club, Highway 89, Babb, MT

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(Image by Yelp user Ricky W.)

Hmm – online reviewers seems a bit mixed on this place, but it’s where I had the best steak of my life. (Seriously, YUM!) That’s really the thing to come here for – the sides and other dishes are fine, but it’s the meat that really shines. Er… glistens? Anyway, the outside looks a bit hokey and the interior is classic Montana lodge-y with a sprinkling of extra character from some beautiful Native American art.  It’s worth stopping by if  you want a filling meal while you’re visiting Glacier National Park.

Honorable Mention:

My #1 favorite place to eat in Montana is I-Hos, a Korean place (of all things!). Unfortunately, it has been closed for awhile now. There were rumors that it may reopen, so I’m hoping that by putting my good thoughts out into the ether, it might spur them to get back to business. If you find yourself in Bozeman and I-Hos is open, get the bi bim bap. Amazing!

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Hope you enjoyed my little food roundup! Did I miss something? Tell us about it in the comment section!

State Fair Birthday Party

Adam and Brandie are August babies and we haven’t really gotten to throw them a birthday shindig before, but, they gave us the okay this year with the theme idea of “fair food”.

They requested the always amazing corn dogs, cheesy nachos, crispy onion rings, and I tried my hand at funnel cake for the first time; I used this super easy recipe from food.com.

Corn DogsSuper Crunchy Onion Rings

We also put out a tasty cheese platter (Gouda, Gruyere, and Smoked Havarti), fruit and veggie assortment, a really yummy Hidden Valley Spinach and Parmesan cream cheese dip, and stocked the mini-fridge with an assortment of glass bottled sodas.

To top it all off with some decoration, Cat did some quick photo-shopping of Adam and Brandie’s amazing and adorable kitties.

aries josh stilton

 

 

 

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something.

Hosted by a pea.

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Image from Chimera Obscura.

1. Cheesy Rice Balls from Natasha’s Kitchen. (I’d use bacon instead of ham… no likee ham).
2. English Pea Dip from Chimera Obscura.
3. Stir-Fried Beef with Snap Peas from Serious Eats.
4. Plump Pea Dumplings from 101 Cookbooks.
5. Curry Beef with Peas from Budget Bytes.

Montana Summer Part 2

Cat is road-tripping. In the meantime, here’s a prescheduled post for your reading enjoyment. Original post here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer/ 

If you know anything at all about Montana, you probably associate the state with big skies, stunning vistas, and an infinite number of excellent outdoor activities. Food, besides steak, rarely makes the list.

Luckily, I did a lot of eating on my trip and have plenty of recommendations (I also did a wee bit of eating out back when I lived there). The next time you visit this goooorgeous state, check out the following restaurants for a culinary treat:

1. Helena, MT

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Image by Flicker user, tracyelizabeths

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Helena highlights include:

On Broadway, 106 East Broadway Street, Helena, MT

Image by Yelp user, Ashley P.
Image by Yelp user, Ashley P.

Their housemade pasta is delicious, the servers are incredibly friendly, and they have a dessert menu that is extremely hard to resist. (I had their gorgonzola angel hair pasta and key lime pie – YUM!) Bonus: the place also has a lovely, intimate atmosphere that is great for date nights.

Mackenzie River Pizza Co., 111o Roadrunner Drive, Helena, MT 

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You’ll want to try their pesto lodge poles. As for pizza, I enjoy the thai pie (remember when I made one of my own?), but it’s hard to go wrong with their other offerings.

Big Dipper Ice Cream, 58 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT

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Image by Yelp user, John D.

Not only is the ice cream delicious, the business owners are excellent human beings and support great causes. I recommend the Mexican Chocolate shake. :)

2. Bozeman, MT

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Image by Flickr user, University of Exeter

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Plonk, 29 E Main Street, Bozeman, MT

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Image by Yelp user, Amber E.

This place is great for getting your fancy on. The atmosphere is noisy, but full of character, and the wine and cheese selection is fantastic.

Cateye Cafe, 23 N Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, MT

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Image by Yelp user Sarah K.

Ready for breakfast after a late night at Plonk? This is a great option. The Gravy Love (biscuits, gravy, country potatoes, and your choice of bacon or sausage) is my jam.

The Garage, 451 E Main Street, Bozeman, MT

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Full disclosure: I totally used to work here. That’s how I fell head-over-heels for their Blue Moose Clam Chowder and other soups. Seriously, go there for soup. YUM.

Next week, I’ll feature my favorite places to eat in Missoula, Great Falls, and West Glacier. TBC!

Am I missing any of your favorite spots? What’s good? :)

Summer Recipe Flashback

I am on vacation for exactly one more week.

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I’m both excited to get back to classes, but mourning the end my freedom for another semester.

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This last week and continuing through this week my father and his lovely girlfriend are visiting us in beautiful sunny California.

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Everything feels very Summer-ey right now, and in honor of that here’s a compilation of some of my favorite Summer recipes that Qwerty Cafe has published so far.

Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta

Summer Lemon Breakfast Rolls

Creamy Potato Salad

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something.

Hosted by a peach.

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(Image from Julia’s Album)

1. Virgin Peach Bellini (from us!)
2. Ginger Peach Bourbon Pie from Serious Eats.
3. Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie from Smitten Kitchen.
4. Sriracha (!!!) Peach Crisp from BudgetBytes.
5. Peach and Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake from Julia’s Album.

Montana Summer

Cat is road-tripping. In the meantime, here’s a prescheduled post for your reading enjoyment. 

The rest of the Qwerty crew is holding down the fort in California while I’m gallivanting around Big Sky country. The last time I was in Montana, it looked like this.

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Brr.

Thankfully it’s summer this time. My last summer trip to the state was in 2008. My grandma had passed away in 2007 and a whole bunch of extended family gathered together in a way that would honor her memory – getting sunburned and bug-bitten while risking grizzly bear encounters in the wilderness of Glacier National Park. An amazing place that I highly recommend visiting at least once in your lifetime.

Here’s grandma Dorothy when she was a spry young thing. See that twinkle in her eye? After my grandpa passed away, she was still getting marriage proposals — into her eighties. Rawr.

dorothy

 

Anyhoo, here’s what I’m probably looking at right about now (forgive my 2008 photography skills):

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And here’s a lake and some mountains and trees and stuff.
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More lake, a hill, trees, and some boats or whatever.

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Water and such.

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Water, trees, mountains. The usual.

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GUESS WHAT THIS IS A PICTURE OF.

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Road, water, trees, and the aftermath of a forest fire. 2758738362_04f05a5d99_o

Anyway…

Montana is a gorgeous place and, since this is a food blog, I’ll share with you some of my favorite Montana places to grab a bite to eat…

After I get back.

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TO BE CONTINUED.