Thursday, September 1, 2016

What to Eat when You are in Essen, Germany

If you happen to find yourself in Essen and are not familiar with the town, this is a guide of some places to go. I tried to do some research on good places before I came but there wasn't much to go on. I was here for work (almost a year ago and about to go back ... whoops), so unfortunately I didn't have my normal time to really explore and get to know the area but I was able to make some good finds and am able to make a few recommendations. Most of the places I ate at were very close to my hotel, but everywhere that I ate was within 15-20 minutes walking between the City Center and the Train Station. This is by no means a complete list, but a little guide to make your time a little easier if you visit.
First and foremost, Euros are must have. Unlike America, most parts of Europe, from my experiences still use paper money over cards. That is not to say a lot of places do not accept cards, you just need to be wary which cards they accept.  

Tablo - Turkish 
Huyssenallee 5, 
45128 Essen
Takes most credit cards - there were like 8 on the window and they have an English menu on their website (if that is the case, they probably have one at the actual restaurant, but we were here for a business dinner so they ordered for us). This was our fancy pants business dinner of the trip and it could not have been tastier. We started off with an appetizer sampler and I swear most of the restaurant ordered this- delicious (bc I am nosy and I always like to look at what people order). The table also split an order of shrimp in a semi-spicy tomato sauce and everyone loved it. Known for their fresh fish - we managed to get a sample of 3 types of fish and a ginormous prawn (which everyone loved and I skipped). Being new to the fish world, I was really impressed and ate everything on my plate. In fact, I LOVED one of the varieties we sampled, Steinbutt or Turbot as we English folks say it. To finish up our meal, we had a sampling of 3 delicious desserts - baklava, yogurt with honey and orange and Kunefe kit Eas. Bottom-line - everything here was wonderful.
Pizzeria Venezia
Ruttenscheider Str. 52
45130 Essen
The menu is not in English but the waitresses all seemed to know enough to get by, plus it is mostly pizza - it's pretty easy to figure out. I ordered a medium (28cm) Pizza Salami and a Insalata (lettuce with onions and dressing). The Insalata comes with rolls and this yummy garlic herb butter. Both solid options. I am not sure of the quality of the pizza in Germany but this is wayyyyyy better then the majority of pizzas we can get in America so I quite enjoyed it. This was too much food for me, and the total was 10,50 euros - about 12 bucks USD so a steal!
Caf├ę Solo 
Kettwiger Str. 36
Does not accept Visa, accepts Maestro and euros. We had our typical German fair here - a wiener schnitzel and curryworst. I am not an expert on schnitzels, but this one tasted good. The curryworst reminded me of a hotdog (and it very much might be the German version of one) so I couldn't choke it down as I hate hotdogs. If you like hotdogs...then you will love this. My curryworst came with pommes (french fries) and a side of mayo...and German mayo might have converted me from a mayo hater to lover.
R├╝ttenscheider Str. 89
I really wanted to get a Kebap while on my trip to journey so our last night my boss and I set about to find one. A couple of the places that I saw earlier in the week were closed - weird on a Saturday night, especially since kebap's are also known as a drunk food. We both ordered a small/regular kebap and they were huge!! As I was looking around the restaurant most of the people ordered platters - which would probably be a better option if you were to try this place out. The workers didn't speak much English and we paid in Euros - I don't know if they accept cards. 
There you have it, a quick guide of some places to go. I will be back in October, so expect a Part 2 guide with some new options!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Korean BBQ Yakisoba Nachos

I was invited to participate in the JSL Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge and jumped at the chance, because if there is something I really love, (besides guacamole, pizza and wine) it is Asian noodles of any sort. It's my go to at whatever Asian cuisine I am dining at that moment. Admittedly, it took me awhile to try and figure out what I wanted to do with these noodles - go an Asian cuisine route or switch things up and do a fusion dish. I ended up doing both - I made an AMAZING carbonara out of these noodles (which I will end up sharing later, because, yum), but ended up deciding to enter the contest with the recipe you see here, Korean BBQ Yakisoba Nachos
I have amazing friends that are total foodies and help me brainstorm creative ideas. One friend suggested making fries and I expanded on that idea and decided to make loaded nachos. Best idea ever. The recipe may seem a little tedious, but I promise, it is easy, and well worth your time! 
For the Yakisoba nachos
2 packets of JSL Yakisoba Stir Fry Noodles - Hot and Spicy
1 Hot and Spicy seasoning packet from JSL Noodles
2 eggs
Vegetable/Canola Oil for cooking.

For the steak
1lb skirt steak, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Korean BBQ Sauce

For the nacho toppings
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped kimchi
~1/4 cup yum yum sauce
~1/4 cup Korean bbq sauce

1. In a bowl, mix together 2 packets of JSL Yakisoba Noodles, 1 seasoning packet and 2 eggs. 
2. Take out half of the noodles and lay put on aluminium foil in a rectangular shape. Completely wrap noodles and place in the freezer for one hour. Do the same with the other half (see photos below). 
3. While the noodles are in the freezer, heat a skillet to medium high heat. 
4. Season steak with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes on one side, 3 on the other (my steak was about 1/2 inch thick). 
5. Let rest for 15 minutes and then cut into tiny pieces. Mix in Korean BBQ sauce and set aside. 
6. After an hour has passed, in a pan fill up with canola oil, 1/2 inch and heat to medium high. Preheat over to 350 degrees. 
7. While pan is heating, take noodles out of the freezer and divide each packet into 8 pieces. 
8. Carefully slide 4 of the noodle pieces in the oil. Cook for two minutes on each side, or until noodle pieces are golden. Place on paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all noodles are cooked.  
9. In an oven safe skillet (baking sheet if you don't have a skillet), put half of the Yakisoba chips in the skillet. Layer half of the cheese, scallions and steak on the chips. Repeat with second layer of chips. 
10. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 
11. Take out of oven, evenly distribute the cilantro and kimchi over top of the yakisoba chips. Drizzle the Korean BBQ sauce and Yum Yum sauce over top of the chips. 
12. Enjoy :)

Check out their Facebook page or twitter to see other fun recipe creations! 

Available for purchase: Safeway, Albertson's and I am sure many other places - those are just the two that I have been able to confirm. 

I was not compensated for this post and I received samples for review purposes. All opinions about the product are based on my own experience.

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