Tag Archives: eat

Cleveland, Ohio



Michael Symon is a local hero. He runs two restaurants in the city – Lola and Lolita –  and while both are stellar, Lolita is my favorite. It has a cozy, neighborhood vibe and the kind of dark, dusky light that makes everyone look glamorous. I’m lucky enough to live right around the corner, so I like to duck in as often as I can for a glass of wine and a snack. Everything I have ever eaten there has been absolutely delicious, and they have the best happy hour in the city. If you are going for dinner, make reservations.
900 Literary Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Tuesday – Thursday, 5 – 11; Friday + Saturday, 5 – 1; Sunday, 4 – 9


Sokolowski’s University Inn
This is a 73 year old Cleveland institution run by the third generation of the Sokolowski family. Everyone from Bill Clinton to Martha Stewart has eaten there, and with good reason – it’s the closet you can get to having an old-school Clevelander make you a stick-to-your ribs lunch. Everything is served cafeteria style, so be prepared to grab a tray and dive in. While you eat your pierogies, you can marvel at the dizzying array of autographed photos covering the walls.

1201 University Rd. Cleveland, OH 44113
LUNCH: Monday-Friday, 11:00 – 3:00; DINNER: Friday, 5:00 – 9:00;  Saturday, 4:00 – 9:00



This is my favorite place in town for Sunday brunch – you can’t beat the $6 steel cut oatmeal “brulee” with poached apricots and candied almonds, although sometimes I succumb to the siren song of the cured salmon plate or the brioche french toast, and we usually have to get at least one order of the cinnamon sugar clay oven bread for the table.

Don’t even get me started on the Bloody Marys (served with house-made pickles). Afterwards, it’s a very short walk to the Shake Square Cinema to catch a Sunday matinee.

13220 shaker square, cleveland, ohio 44120
(216) 921-3473
monday closed, tuesday–thursday 5pm-10pm, friday–saturday 5pm-11pm, sunday 10am-2pm (brunch); 5pm-10pm


Eastern Hemisphere – Cuban Food

I believe that if you’ve never tried Mexican-style grilled corn, your life is not complete. My boyfriend believes that no life is complete without a Cuban sandwich. Luckily two of my favorite restaurants have both, and they’re amazing. I love going for Cuban when I’m tired of the usual Mexican food dish. A popular favorite in Nolita is Café Habana, which is really more of Mexican-Cuban fusion fare. It’s cramped and hard to get a table, but the wait is usually not too terrible and is definitely worth it. For brunch I love the Huevos a la Mexicana, and for dinner you have to, of course, get the Cuban sandwich and grilled corn. I highly recommend their cheap brunch.
17 Prince St., New York, NY


Cubana Café is a very similar cafe in SoHo that’s a perfect stop after a long day of wandering around and/or shopping– especially if you’re in town on vacation. Their grilled corn is even better then Cafe Habana’s, their Cuban sandwich is a good, simple take without trying to add anything fancy (duck Cuban? Please, no.) But what I love most is a simple side dish – Whipped Sweet Plantain Puree. I can best describe this as being close to banana pudding, but it’s not quite as sweet and goes well with all of their dishes on the side. It’s just plain heaven and I think about it all the time!
110 Thompson St., New York, NY



Götgatan Stories is on the bottom floor of the relatively new galleria
Skrapan on Götgatan. The café serves light meals, has got a nice cosmopolitan feel to it, a great tea selection and a long wooden table with a good selection of books and magazines to browse.

Gotgatan Stories

Gotgatan Stories

Bistro Süd
P.A. & Co has been on Riddargatan for a long time and is very popular
so book or come early! Their sister restaurant Bistro Süd at
Swedenborgsgatan is a stones throw away from Mariatorget and I’ve
heard only positive things about that although I’ve never visited it
myself yet…
Bistro Sud

Bistro Sud

In the summer – find a beautiful spot and have a picnic of fresh
shrimps and a bottle of white wine.

Shrimp Picnic

Shrimp Picnic

New York City



 I live in Greenpoint, a Polish neighborhood populated with a large number of unremarkable Thai restaurants. Any of these place are fine if you’re hungry and broke, but if you want a truly delicious, quasi-religious dining experience, you’ve got to go to Queens. 

Almost everything is delicious at Sripraphai but I recommend you avoid the standard Thai take-out fare and stick to dishes like soft shell crab with green mango, fried red snapper with basil and chiles or their famous crispy watercress salad. Go with a big group, order family style and try a bit of everything. You will leave very full and very happy.

64-13 39th Ave (between 64th and 65th Sts, Woodside, Queens)

Woodside, Queens


Subway: 7 to 61st St- Woodside


The menu at Sripraphai is a small book!

The menu at Sripraphai is a small book!



Bouchon Bakery

One of the nice things about guest contributing to this blog is that I had an excuse to visit places I have always wanted to go to but never made the time for. I am a bit of a food blog addict and I know that Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery rates very high with New York foodies so my friend Sarah and I trekked up to Columbus circle in the name of “research”. 

I don’t find myself getting excited about a mall very often but the delicious sweets are worth the trip. Keller excels at revved up versions of old favorites like Oreos, Nutter Butters and Ho-Hos. It’s hard to appreciate a good pastries in a mall though, so grab your sweets and walk across the street to Central Park where the ambiance is much, much better.

10 Columbus Circle

At 59th Street – Third Floor

(between Broadway & W Central Park)

New York, NY 10019

(212) 823-9366

1, A, C, B, D to 59th St-Columbus Circle

N, Q, R, W to 57th St-7th Ave

B, D, E to 7th Ave-53rd St.

Take your dessert and a cappuccino out for a walk to Central Park. This beautiful scene awaited us right across the street.

Take your dessert and a cappuccino out for a walk to Central Park. This beautiful scene awaited us right across the street.



Eastern Hemisphere – Jackson Diner

Jackson Diner

Jackson Diner

Jackson Heights has a plethora of different ethnic areas, but my favorite is the Indian section on 74th st, known as “Little India”. There are lots of shops, food stands, and restaurants that are all amazing, but I will make the trek just to have a meal at Jackson Diner. It has a kind of airy-cafeteria feel and a flustered staff (though, incredibly fast service, I will say), but is inexpensive, has huge portions, and is probably the best Indian food I’ve ever had. The big huge windows in the front are great for people watching, and they have a super cheap lunch buffet daily. After you eat, wander your stuffed-self around the block lots of interesting things to look at.

37-47 74th St
Jackson Heights, New York

Hawaii: Everything you Must know

There are a few things that Kaitlin recommends to eat if you are traveling to Hawaii this season. They all sound so delicious I just don’t know where to start.

Pass on the hotel luau and go to Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Pretty much everything here is a must try, but if I have to be specific get the squid luau, butterfish collar, pipkaula (short ribs), poi (pounded taro), lomilomi salmon (diced salmon, tomatoes and onions) and some haupia (coconut dessert).

 1240 N. School St. Honolulu HI 96817

 Another must try is poke, pronounced poh-keh, which is raw fish diced up and typically dressed with shoyu, green onions, Hawaiian sea salt, chili pepper flakes and ogo. Try The Poke Bowl or a local grocery store.








 Snack on this: li hing mui manoges, kakimochi, dried squid and rock salt plum. Get this and more at Wholesale Unlimited.

 Malasadas, originally a Portuguese dessert, has become a mainstay in our local culture and a huge crowd pleaser. Balls of dough are fried, which make them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and then covered with sugar. My top pick is Champion Malasadas. 


This is a fantastic guide for shopping in Oahu.




Well Bento | 2750 S. Beretania, Suite 204, Honolulu, HI 96826 |

Avoid all the heart clogging plate lunches Hawai‘i has to offer and head straight to Well Bento.  The owners Todd, an Iron Chef Hawai‘i winner, and Kristine Brown, a certified nutritionist, cook up the freshest and healthiest plate lunches you’ll ever eat. I’m a creature of habit and always get the Zen Macrobiotic, packed with brown rice, tahini gravy, fresh veggies, beans, potatoes, mayo-free macaroni salad and coleslaw.  And vegetarian isn’t all they do – my meat loving friends crave their steaks!

Delicious and filling to the very last bite!


 JJ Bistro and French Pastry | 3447 Wai‘alae Avenue Honolulu HI 96816 |




The decor of this French-Laotian restaurant – an Eiffel Tower archway, Asian trinkets and Egyptian figures – is only a hint of what’s to come from its kitchen. 



Their set four course meals for $24.70 is the perfect way to plan your dinner out. My favorite option comes with asparagus soup, baked lobster on French bread and their Fisherman Potpie, which includes salmon, bamboo shoots and zucchini in a green curry sauce.



And last, but definitely not least here, is dessert! The aforementioned portions aren’t huge, so don’t worry you’ll still have room – if not your stomach will make room once you set your eyes on their dessert case.  Highly recommended are their chocolate pyramid and chocolate liliko‘i desserts!

Eastern Hemisphere – Doughnut Planet

The Seattle girl in me tells me that I should not be disloyal to Top
and make a statement like this, but Doughnut Plant has the best donuts on the planet. With rotating flavors like pistachio, blackberry jelly-filled (they make their own jelly), creme brulee, and tres leches, it’s a little piece of doughnut heaven in the Lower East Side. The lines are long in the morning, so try going at a random hour in the afternoon- but know that some
flavors may sell out. The coffee isn’t bad, but skip that and go for
the chai – a seriously delicious compliment to any of the doughnuts.
379 Grand St nr Norfolk St

Doughnut Planet

Doughnut Planet

Eastern Hemisphere – Affordable French

If someone were to force me to decide what my favorite type of food was, I’d have to say French. Fortunately New York is not lacking in that genre of good eats, but unfortunately they’re not always the most wallet-friendly. I love splurging on a nice restaurant every once in a while, but my family instilled a great sense of thriftiness in me when it comes to food. Luckily my two favorite French restaurants have options to splurge a little, or take it down a notch but still have a nice meal.

First, a restaurant I covered in Truant’s debut issue – but is totally worth mentioning again – is Zucco. It’s impossibly tiny, but don’t let it’s size fool you: this French diner has some of the best food I’ve had in the LES. You can go simple and cheap with sandwiches on baguettes (the Le Poulet de Belleville: chicken, goat cheese, and ratatouille is perfection) or try something fancier like the mouth-watering salmon, and don’t forget a little glass of wine from their all-French list. The very French owner, Zucco, adds to the charm of this adorable diner so sit at the bar if you can to witness his one-man show waiter skills and serious charm.

188 Orchard St

Ny, ny

Zucco Restaurant

Zucco Restaurant

Moto is easy to miss. Hidden underneath the J train, dark windows and a black door with the name written small, you could walk by it a million times and not notice it. But once you open the door you’re transported to world so different than what’s outside on Broadway, on the south side of Williamsburg. Not quite as small as Zucco, but still not the largest space, the decor is rustic and ancient. I’ve never had a bad meal here. The ribs, mac & cheese, risotto, and best of all – the paninis – are amazing. If you’re on a budget, go for the paninis. If you’re waistline isn’t on a budget, try the mashed potatoes and finish your meal with the grilled donuts. You will die happy.

394 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY

Moto Restaurant

Moto Restaurant

Washington DC – EAT



Dukem is my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in DC. My friends and I always order lamb tibs (no. 1) and the vegetable combo plate (no. 32). The food is served on top of injera bread on a metal platter. Come prepared to eat with your hands! If you come on weekend nights, there is live music and dancing.







The storefront sign is tiny and it’s a bit dark inside, but Bar Pilar is not to be missed during your visit to DC. It’s a cozy, hole-in-the-wall, local secret—that’s why I love it. Come here to grab dinner and drinks with your buddies. I also like coming here on Sundays for brunch.


Outside Bar Pilar

Outside Bar Pilar

Bar Pilar

Bar Pilar


Located on 14th St, the Taqueria D.F. serves home-styled mexican cooking. My favorites are the beef tacos and horchata.