MG Eats Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville!

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Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, 119 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN.

Nashville = Hot Chicken! Timing it just right, I got into Nashville for an early dinner. Of course, there was a line out the door, but it moved right along. The menu was simple, but mouthwatering Southern fare. I was happy to see different levels of heat you could order. I can do hot, but not “wipe the sweat off my dead head” type hot! To be fair, I ordered one piece mild and the other hot. I’m glad I did, aint nobody got time for a mouth on fire!

Chicken and fries were the perfect match. The chicken was a slam dunk! Juicy, seasoned, and hella fried good! Hot was HOT enough, so glad I didn’t go extreme for Damn Hot heat level. Nice little place, fab food, awesome staff. I’d like to return and enjoy even more of this Nashville icon.

5 out of 5 perfect poultry points!

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Mad Girl Eats Fish Tacos in Ensenada Mexico!

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The Ensenada open air Fish Market is at the seaport/marina on the main coastal highway, Federal Hwy 1. Downtown is directly across the street.

Ensenada = fish tacos. The home of the fish taco, the first, the best. Strolling past the myriads of open-air restaurants along the seaport fish market, they all look similar and have boisterous greeters to reign you in. Chef Rick Bayless was here and had me intrigued to return! Let’s eat!

Fresh seafood, beautiful dishes, so much to choose from! Fish tacos, of course, ceviche, and shrimp cocktail washed down with a Corona and life is good. Delectable lightly batterfried fish with fresh cabbage on homemade corn tortillas, just add the abundant choices of salsa and crema placed on the table with a squirt of lime, and you’re ready to rock n roll. The ceviche was placed on a tostada topped with sliced avocado. Oh so amazing. The shrimp cocktail had generous amounts of shrimp, fish, and octopus! It doesn’t get better than that!

Absolutely delicious, fresh, clean, amazing food. I wish I lived closer!

Check out the Fish Market restaurants at the port, or across the street on many corners of downtown. Peruse the fish market itself while there, you’ll appreciate it if you’re a Foodie. It was my first encounter with Geoduck (Gooey duck) beside what I’ve witnessed on Chopped! Interesting.

5 out of 5, fresh and freakin’ awesome food!

Mad Girl Eats Danny’s Donuts in Vista CA!

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Danny’s Donuts, Donuts and Bagels, 102 Eucalyptus Ave, Vista, CA.

Donuts. Doughnuts. Whichever way you spell it, doughnuts are the end all be all of sweet goodness. A cup of coffee and a doughnut is the most delectable way to start my morning, afternoon, or evening. lol. Seriously! Finding really genuinely calorie-worthy doughnuts is a bit harder. A list comprised by The Daily Meal of “America’s 25 Best Donuts”, is one that brought me to Danny’s! Danny’s was ranked #6. I don’t trust many lists, because I travel and eat all over, but The Daily Meal never steers me wrong, unlike most.

A delightful variety, nice guy at the window, this tiny bakery shop on the corner deserves its place on the Best Of list. The Blueberry cake doughnut is what they are known for, and also the flavor I’m known for, so let’s have at it! I’m on a maple kick, so throw a long john in there too. OOOOMMMMGGGGeeeee, I’m glad I live on the other side of the country because I would not be able to resist these magical pieces of heaven.

I gently crisp outer and oodles of tender, pillow-y insides makes for a perfect textured doughnut. Add the blueberry flavor and glaze and yes, a divine doughnut. The maple long john was just as scrumptious. The amount of sweetness of the maple frosting and generous portion topping on the doughnut, gave me endless happiness.

Oh boy, I want a doughnut right now! Best doughnuts I have found in Southern California, and I’ve tried MANY. They place has been around since 1922, so they must be doing something right!

Hours: Mon – Fri 4:00am – 12:00pm, Sat – Sun 4:00am – 1:00pm.

5 out of 5 swoon-worthy sweet treats. Enjoy!

Mad Girl Eats Ray’s Drive Inn, San Antonio!

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Ray’s Drive Inn, 822 SW 19th St, San Antonio, TX.

Ray’s is Home of the Original Puffy Taco. When traveling, I try to visit local eateries that features that area’s specialty. The puffy taco is one in San Antonio. Ray’s is a fun, quirky, welcoming landmark in the city since 1956. Don’t let the name fool you, go inside the restaurant to eat. They do have a drive thru, just don’t think it will be like Sonic when you pull up.

I ordered one beef and one fish puffy taco. Oh so good. That puffy shell is amazing! The beef filling was savory and a blast of flavor. The fish was good, but not the powerhouse I found in the beef. Excellent quality, great prices, super staff, and entertaining atmosphere. Ray’s was a special place and I can’t wait to return.

Their menu offers more than puffy tacos, but when in Rome…er, San Antone 😉

Hours: Tues – Thurs 11:00am – 11:00pm, Fri and Sat 11:00am -midnight, Sun 11:00am – 11:00pm. CLOSED MONDAYS.

*CASH ONLY*

http://raysdriveinn.net

4.75 out of 5 puffy taco points.

Mad Girl Eats Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans

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Willie Mae’s is renowned for their fried chicken and soul food, and has stood the test of time since 1957. This restaurant is so beloved, the community gathered together to rebuild it after Hurricane Katrina ravaged it. It was the first site to be re-built in all of New Orleans. Now that speaks volumes about the food and the family that own it. Divine! All along the dining room walls, you see awards and dignified recognitions. It is pretty impressive!

Of course the only thing to try on your first visit (or any visit, say many), is the fried chicken. So load me up with chicken, some homemade mac and cheese, and a sweet tea…. and we’re ready to throw down! Soon after ordering this blissful looking plate arrives. Generous portions and the fried chicken, say what?! It’s not what any Colonel or Sailorman’s chicken looks like. This is magical. Layers of light tender crust, amid the juiciest chicken I’ve ever encountered! I mean, one of my bites squirted chicken juice up into my eye…and no worries, just comical. That was some amazing chicken. A great fry, moist, gentle flavoring, OMGoodness. The mac and cheese was cream, gooey good, but no one told me about the spice! This stuff had a definite kick. I’m not complaining, I ate every bangin’ morsel. It came with a side of peas, which made the plate pretty, but I’m not a fan, unless they come in a pod. The meal was something you MUST experience.

Willie Mae’s rocked my world!

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm. Closed Sundays.

Street parking, right off the bus stop 250 feet, easy in and out.

Willie Mae’s, a New Orleans institution. Get there.

5 out of 5 absolutely perfect points.

Mad Girl Eats at That One Spot…Burgers by Design

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That One Spot (Burgers by Design), 10968 W Colonial Dr, Ocoee, FL. Orlando metro area. Near the FL Turnpike and Hwy 50.

If you’re a burger lover or consider yourself a burger connoisseur, you know that finding a damn good burger is hard to find. Either you can’t have it cooked the way you like, or the patty is too thin, the meat has no flavor, the price is ridiculous, or the toppings are the only thing that makes it halfway decent. Look no further, Orlandoans!  That One Spot, Burgers by Design, will be thee spot for you.

Burgers cooked to order, full of flavor, priced right….and by design! Yeeha! They have a nice menu, so I select the BB Burger. The beef patty is a custom blend of brisket, short rib, and chuck. It is topped with caramelized onions, melted cheddar cheese, pecan smoked bacon, smokey brisket, and finished off with their own horseradish sauce. I order mine medium rare with a side of hand cut fries and a soda. Yum. I can barely wait until it arrives!

Da da da Dahhhh! This burger displayed in front of me, ooh tantalizing. I cut it in half and go in deep. Incredible. This is what I’ve been looking for, for a while. The beef patty was done to perfection, the flavor was rich and beefy, juicy, and delectable. The addition of toppings were fantastic. The tightrope walk of heavy meats and cheese, sweetness of the onions, and bright shot of horseradish sauce, made it a well-rounded bite. The hand cut fries were amazing and added a nice crunch.

Living in Orlando, visiting, or on the Florida Turnpike…get yourself here. I mean it. I’ll be there trying another burger, maybe the Slaw Burger or That Other Burger. Whatever my choice, it’ll be dang fine! One of the best burgers in the Orlando area.

http://thatonespotburgers.com

Open 7 days a week 11:00am to 9:00pm. At the corner of West Colonial (Hwy 50) and Maguire Rd in the shopping center.

5 out of 5 bodacious beefy bites of perfection.

Mad Girl Eats The Fry Bread House in Phoenix

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The Fry Bread House, 1003 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ. Also one location in Mesa, AZ.

Fried dough. Fried bread dough! FRIED! What is not to love and admire about this?! Absolutely nothing, especially after experiencing this Native American goodness for myself!

I walked in and had no idea what to order besides just fried bread. I had a feeling that no matter what I had, it was going to be spectacular. Thankfully, the sweet girl at the counter helped me along the way to make decisions. They have a nice size menu, so I appreciated the guidance. For certain, I wanted the Powdered Sugar and Honey Fry Bread ( my sweet tooth always wins), along with a couple of savory fry bread tacos to try. After ordering at the counter, you get your drinks, find a table, and patiently wait for the party about to happen in your mouth.

Upon delivery, I was blown away at how gigantic these tacos were. Dang! Not your taco chain-type size. Yeow! The green chili beef taco was bursting with flavor and impressive, but wow, a bit too spicy for me. The chorizo taco was a perfect amount of spice and kick. The fry bread itself it AH-MAZ-ING! Although the fry bread tacos were huge, there was enough room for dessert, and it didn’t disappoint! Sweet but subtle. I could eat this every morning with my coffee. Really. At was an awesome finish to a freaking fantastic meal. I can’t wait to go back and try more!

If you are in the Phoenix area, you MUST stop in and experience this Native American treat.

Hours: Mon – Thurs 10:00am -8:00pm, Fri and Sat 10:00am – 9:00pm, CLOSED SUNDAYS.

5 out of 5 flipping great fry bread points!

 

Mad Girl Eats Au Cheval in Chicago

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Au Cheval, 800 W Randolph St, Chicago IL.

After reading and hearing amazing things about Au Cheval Bar and Diner, it was my second shot at eating there, and I took it. In the freezing, dead of Winter, I was put on the waitlist for one and a half hours….with specific instructions. Don’t let the wait stop you. I would rather wait hours for fabulous, than 20 minutes for mediocre.

The most noted, their Cheeseburger with thick cut peppered bacon and one fried egg, was my number one choice. Second up, the
Crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy, topped with egg….I couldn’t resist.

A rusticly chic, warmly sophisticated atmosphere enveloped me, soothing me from the Windy City winter. Quickly the food arrived, and it was abundantly beautiful.

I first tasted the potato hash. The duck heart gravy was rich, meaty, and herbaceous. With mornay sauce and the broken egg yolk oozing throughout the perfectly done hashbrowns, I wanted to cry with delight. Ok Avery, step away from the dish of yumminess and dive into the burger.

Upon first bite, OMGreatGoodness. I mean…just let me moan. This burger exceeded my expectations. Superb beef, cheese….yada yada yada…the freakin bacon, and another ooey gooey egg brought a tear to my eye. I was leery because they only cook their burgers medium or well done, and I’m a rare girl. The medium did not disappoint and kept it’s outrageous flavor. One of the best burgers to date. Chicago does burgers right. Carnivore Heaven!

Au Cheval, I love you. I’m intrigued to eat my way through your entire menu.

Located in the burgeoning foodie area of Chicago’s West Loop.
Hours: 11am to midnight.
http://auchevalchicago.com

Mad Girl Eats The Joint in New Orleans

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The Joint BBQ…Always Smokin’, Bywater at 701 Marzant St, New Orleans,  LA. Corner of Marzant and Royal Streets.

BBQ. Oh smoky and succulent BBQ. The Joint, like most supreme BBQ restaurants, is sooooo good, “it’ll make you wanna slap yo mama”. That’s just a Southern saying, don’t actually do it.

Driving through the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, remnants remain from Hurricane Katrina. This is definitely a don’t judge a book by it’s cover lesson.  The shack looking establishment bordering the less fortunate neighborhood of the city, is filled with men in crisp white dress shirts and ties, hospital workers still in their scrubs, and everyone else who wants BBQ for lunch. The place is cozy, interesting, and smells like a BBQ restaurant should. Hint: If you go to a BBQ place and you don’t smell that delightful smoking meat parfum, get back in your car and leave.

You walk up to the register and order, then go find a spot to sit while you wait for your food. Soon enough, a platter of meaty bliss arrives! A combo plate with your choice of 3 meats; mine were ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket. Also, I had sides of baked beans, cole slaw and of course, thick ol’ white bread. The smoked meats were INSANE! Moist, tender, and screaming with flavor. I like my meat naked, no sauce cooked on top of it or slathered in a mopping of bbq lotion and potion. Why? It covers up the taste of the meat! I add a bit of bbq sauce the side of my plate, just to try, but generally ending up dipping French fries in it. Give me a fantastic dry rub before you smoke, other than that, leave it alone! The pulled pork was my favorite. The sides were good, the meat was memorable.

The Joint has some of THE BEST BBQ in the country. Leaving the restaurant headed towards the French Quarter, I see the neighborhood is coming under a revival. Baby strollers and bicycles with trendy refurbished homes full of hipsters and the upwardly mobile. So, don’t pass up The Joint, you’d be very very sorry. It will be the best stop you made all day…and a place you will return to time and time again.

http://www.AlwaysSmokin.com

Hours: Mon – Sat 11:30am to 10:00pm. Street parking. There is a bus stop right by the door on Royal St.

5 out of 5 sensational smoking hot points!

Mad Girl Eats the BEST German Chocolate Cake. Ever.

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C. Adams Bakery, 400 N. Water St, Milwaukee, WI.

Tucked into Milwaukee’s Third Ward Public Market, is C. Adams Bakery. A blissful haven for those of us addicted to sweets. C. Adam’s has an incredible size case, full of homemade delectable baked goods. Cookies, bars, pies, muffins, gooey sweet bread, cakes…I think you get it.

I was so mesmerized, I couldn’t decide which dessert to treat myself to! The smartest decision was to choose the one I rarely see available back home. In my case, it was German Chocolate Cake. In Florida, we can readily find Tres Leches, but hard pressed for German Chocolate anywhere.

Standing four gorgeous dark chocolate layers high, and separated by layers of thick luscious pecan and coconut frosting, this cake was a sight to behold. I had just finished a wonderful late lunch, so I took a slice to go. I made it 3 blocks back to my car, but I couldn’t wait another second to try just a bite. OH EM GEE. One bite, two bites, three bites, four bites…ok, needless to say, the piece of heavenly cake did not make it home.

So rich, so decadent, so freaking unbelievable. Ultra moist and dense cake with fantastic deep chocolate flavor. The frosting was divine, as you could taste all of its finest components of brown sugar, vanilla, pecans, and coconut.

I haven’t gone bonkers over cake in a long time. C. Adams Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake, is one of the best cakes I have ever had.

Stop and get a slice…or a whole cake as soon as you can, it will make you swoon….and super happy. You can thank me later.

http://cadamsbakery.com

5 out of 5   An extreme German Chocolate dream!

 

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