Monday, July 30, 2012

We're celebrating our 1st Anniversary.... with cheesecake

Yep, 2 Dudes Who Love Food Blog is now 1 year old! 

A big THANK YOU to the people who read our blog .......and a special shout out to those who have  supported and encouraged us through their retweets, nice comments, mentions and help including - 

HowChow blog, Hocoblogs, The Strobist, The Columbia Patch.comHoco Rising Richard Gorelick of The Baltimore Sun, Eli of  Adventures of a Koodie, Soffritto blog, The Village Green/Town Squared, Baltimore Beer Guy, The Horizon Foundation, La Casa De Sweets,  HocoVittles  (tweeter), County Executive Ken Ulman  and Burleigh Manor Middle School Home Economic teacher Mrs. Strawitch. 

To celebrate we're headed over to The Cheesecake Factory.  Today is  National Cheesecake Day and to celebrate all the Cheesecake Factory restaurants across the country will offer ANY cheesecake slice at 1/2 off (dine-in only).

Plus, The Cheesecake Factory is debuting their newest cheesecake today, the OREO® Dream Extreme Cheesecake,  in honor of the cookie's 100th birthday.

According to The Cheesecake Factory the new cake is made with OREO® cookies that are baked in their creamy Cheesecake with layers of fudge cake and OREO® Cookie mousse then topped with a milk chocolate icing. 

We are definitely trying this new OREO® cheesecake.  Maybe it will become our become our new favorite flavor?  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Santa Monica Farmers Market

We visited the Santa Monica Farmers Market while we were on vacation in Los Angles recently.

First, it's HUGE!

The market is sooooo HUGE it encompasses four full streets lined with farm stands containing the most amazing variety of fruits, produce and farm products.

According to the Santa Monica Farmers Market website, this Wednesday market is the "largest grower-only certified Farmers Market in Southern California".  Since its start in 1981, the market has grown in its 31 years and now attracts approx. 9,000 food shoppers and many of Los Angeles' best chefs and restaurants.

In fact, we met two chefs at the market....
 Ray Garcia, the famous head chef of FIG restaurant at the
Fairmont Miramar Hotel

Steve Rosen, Personal Chef of  The Fork, Knife & Spoon
- personal chef service

Most of the food was organic or chemical free
What we saw and learned at the Market is too much to capture in one blog post but here are some highlights......

These are fresh figs grown in Coachella Valley of Southern California.
White peaches get their name because of the inside of the peach is a pale white. The inside looks similar to an apple. 

These oddly shaped fruit are called Loquats and are actually native to southeastern China.

An assortment of blueberries, raspberries (red & white) and blackberries.  The white raspberries are sweeter than the red variety. 


A mulberry has a unique tart-sweet taste. The black mulberry is generally considered the best tasting of the various mulberry species.

Fuerte avocados are consider better tasting than its cousin the Hass avocado. The later is more widely known because it has a thicker skin and can travel better than its thin skinned cousin.

This is a vegetable called fennel. It may look like a different variation of lettuce but this veggie tastes like black liquorish.

Interesting fact about yams: Yams are usually grown in Africa and sweet yams are grown in the US. Yams are low in sugar, sweet and very nutritious.  White potatoes contain more sugar but less vitamins and aren't as sweet as yams.
Fava Beans can be cooked in a number of ways.

Chioogia Beets

These Chioggia beats are red and white striped. They are much smaller than the average beat but are  sweeter as well.
 Apriums are a cross between an apricot (75%) and a plum (25%). It looks like an apricot without fuzz.
Farms like Burkart Organics drive four hours down from northern California to sell their food in Santa Monica's farmer market. The farmer said he loves what he does despite the hardship of driving because the smiles on his customers' faces is all the pay he needs.

We couldn't resist buying fruits to take back to our hotel.  These didn't last very long.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Free food.....if you are a cow

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A!

 Calling all cows! Today, win a free food at Chick-fil-A if you dress up like a cow. Here's the deal:

"Wear a partial costume and get a free entrée"

"Dress head to hoof and win a free meal!"

The Columbia 100 Chick-fil-A manager told us Cow Appreciation Day is always a fun day in the store. They never know what crazy cows are going to walk through the door.

More great news-
Take pictures of you in your cow costume, send them to Chick-fil-A and enter to win a $100 gift certificate, a catered Chick-fil-A party or other prizes!

Send us your photo if dress up like a cow today and we'll post them too. Good luck!

Beverly Hills Brownie Company - Los Angeles


We stumbled upon the Beverly Hills Brownie Company in Los Angeles, their new flagship store.

They offer 14 different handmade brownie without preservatives such as Classic Walnut, Red Velvet, Chocolate Mint Chip,  Caramel Blondie, Simply Classic, Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip, Pure Platinum (the one and only all vanilla brownie), Peanut Brittle, Poppy Seed, Mocha Latte), Platinum Almond, Gingerbread, Pumpkin Cream Cheese and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. ( creative much?....I think yes)

We thought these ribbon tied brownie gifts            
were very clever and a unique way of marketing
their product.

Here is Charles tasting the Red Velvet and the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip brownies at the store window counter.

 The red-velvet brownie was terrific in every aspect. It was filled with a creamy vanilla center surrounded by an outer layer of rich tasty red velvet topped with swirling vanilla icing. It tasted just like the mini version of the cake. Both brownies had a soft and creamy texture that made it utterly delicious.
Red Velvet Brownie and Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Brownie 

 The best part of this store is you don't have to go to Beverly Hills to get their brownies. THEY SHIP ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!

To check out the Beverly Hills Brownie Company go to their website here. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Lobster - Santa Monica, CA

The Lobster, obviously named for its seafood heavy menu, is located right at the entrance of the Santa Monica Pier. Since it is very close to the ocean, it is renowned for its seafood, especially lobster. We learned about this restaurant in the airline magazine on our flight to California. So, we decided to give it a shot.

Bread with herbed oil brought to
our table when we first sat down
We arrived via the parking lot elevator on the ground floor. The outside of the restaurant is deceiving because it looks like a generic building but once we got seated, we couldn't believe the fantastic views of the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean -  courtesy of floor to ceiling windows in the entire back of the restaurant. It was amazing! We also noticed that they had outside seating however we decided to eat inside because we had been in the sun all day.

Our meals came out fairly fast. Our father ordered grilled swordfish with sautéed broccolini and polenta. It was fork-tender, well-cooked, and delicious - we all had to taste it and instantly liked it.

 Our mom ordered the American Lobster Salad-
avocado, little gem lettuce, winter citrus vinaigrette & fried leeks. She said that the lobster meat was "magnificent" and "buttery".

Charles selected the Espresso BBQ Sockeye Salmon Sandwich
with Apple Smoked Bacon, Tutti Frutti Crispy Onion Rings, Lettuce & Mayo with Truffle Fries.

Charles wasn't crazy about the pumpernickel bread but he thought the combination of salmon, bacon, and crispy onions was a clever match.

Thomas ordered steak with the truffle fries. Ordering steak in a seafood restaurant may not normally be a good idea, but Thomas just wasn't in the mood for seafood. We got lucky because this steak was excellent.  The meat was seasoned, juicy and tender. The truffle fries carried a punch of garlic and a small kick of parmesan cheese that was different but in a really awesome way!

The Lobster was definitely a great find. We highly recommend it to anyone visiting Santa Monica.

The Lobster on Urbanspoon