Top 5 Burgers in California

My list of the top five burgers in California.

Find out which restaurants made the list.

#5: THE HICKORY BURGER — Ruby's Diner

Enter one of Ruby's Diners, along the California Coast and you’ll feel that authentic Southern California vibe. The Hickory Burger is made of two slices of delicious melted Cheddar Cheese, thick-cut Bacon, crisp Lettuce, Tomato, RubySauce and crispy RubyRings, all topped with zesty BBQ sauce. I definitely don't regret stopping here for a quick bite, on the way to the beach! P.S. You'll get 'bottomless fries' if you're a dine - in guest! Awesome! 

#4: Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich - Chick-fil-A

This sandwich proves that you only need a few simple ingredients to make a truly tasty dish. I have to admit, that we stopped more than once to eat this classic Spicy Chicken Sandwich, topped with American Cheese, a slice of red Tomato and fresh Lettuce. It's crispy, tender and juicy all at the same time! This was definitely the best fast food sandwich I had on the road.  

#3: The VIP Bacon Cheeseburger — Hollywood Burger 

Hollywood is definitely one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the United States, and after all the sightseeing we got really hungry! So we decided to stop by and quickly grab a burger, and I'm really glad we did! The VIP Bacon Cheeseburger consists of Applewood smoked Bacon, American Cheese, red Onion, Tomato, Lettuce & Hollywood Secret Sauce, and it's absolutely fabulous. 

#2: Double-Double — In-N-Out

Aside from visiting Solo's family, eating at In-N-Out, was kind of a highlight for me, while visiting California. But what's so special about In-N-Out? Well, for once, they are California's first drive thru burger joint and they have this super simple menu of burgers, shakes and fries. They've proven, that you can stand the test of time, if you focus on a few things and do them really good. The Double-Double is made of a freshly baked toasted bun, two Cheese slices, two 100% pure American Beef Patties, Onions, Lettuce, a slice of Tomato and their own Spread recipe (unchanged since 1948). Their French Fries are hand-cut potatoes and even more delicious if you order them 'Animal Style', which means extra sauce and chopped grilled onions mixed in with cheese.

P.S. Try your favorite burger 'Protein Style', it's a regular burger without the bun, wrapped in lettuce. 

#1: Truffle Shuffle — Stout Burgers and Beers

For this Burger, I would fly 10.000 km all over again, everyday! This complex and unique burger with Sauteed Mushrooms, Brie and Truffle Aioli was the culinary highlight of my trip! There is nothing that compares to the bold flavors of the house ground-meat, cooked medium rare. Needless to say, I LOVE THIS PLACE, it's my favorite burger place of all time, and I would highly recommend it to anyone! 

3 Easy Steps To Throw The Perfect Italian Dinner Party

Is there anything better than Italian food? I doubt it!

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is in love with the Italian cuisine. From pizza to pasta everything's fresh and full of flavour. Certainly Italian food and culture go hand in hand. From art to architecture, Italy has given us the Colosseum, Venice, the Opera, La Traviata, Guiseppe Verdi, and the most romantic Gondola rides in history. So, here are my 3 steps to plan the perfect Italian Dinner Party, for you and your friends

1. Food

First of all, we'll talk about the menu. For our Italian night I chose to make Antipasto Platters, Pasta, Pizza and Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Salad. I used plenty of fresh herbs, olives, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

Italian food is incredible, and it seemed just natural, to make various Antipasti Platters, as well as, Ciabatta Bread with Pesto and Ham. For my platters I used Peppers, stuffed with delicious Feta Cheese, Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomatoes sunk in Olive Oil, Cheese and Grapes. Some Garlic and Basil for the extra aroma. The menu was so various and tasty and the table was empty faster than you could say 'Ciao'.

2. Decorations

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They're a must! It's important to create an authentic Italian feeling. We all recognize their Green-White-Red flag and I made sure to include it in some of my dishes.
I chose Basil, Mozzarella and Tomatoes to resemble the colors. We decorated the house, so the guests had the feeling of entering an old Italian home somewhere in Rome, and the mask’s helped us to dance with no inhibitions, like we were at the Carnival of Venice.

Our Italian playlist included: Eros Ramazzotti, Zuchero, Laura Pausini, Andrea Bocelli, Tiziano Ferro and Luciano Pavarotti. 

3. Games


There's no party without games! We played the 'Character-Game', that lasted for hours:
You take a piece of paper, and write down a Character/Person; it can be real or fiction. After you wrote it down, you place it on someone else's head. Everyone has to guess who they are, by asking questions that can be answered only with 'Yes' or 'No'. It was a blast and everyone enjoyed it. We had to guess Characters like: Leonardo da Vinci, Nero, Napoleon, Mona Lisa and Umberto Eco.

Since it was an Italian Party we focused on famous people from Italty, but you can play it with any characters you like.


I hope you enjoyed reading my article! We sure had a fun time. Make sure to include Prosecco on the beverage list! 

Did I forget anything? Tell me your ideas for a perfect Italian Dinner Party in a comment below!

3 REASONS WHY STARBUCK'S MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE IS THE BEST

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

Yes, I wrote coffee 3 times, in this post.

I will share 3 reasons with you, why Starbuck's Medium Roast House Blend is the best!

Since the beginning of mainstream coffee, everyone is freaking out about Starbucks. While visiting the US, I drank a ton of Starbucks including coffee, tea, shakes, smoothies and personalized drinks. Needless to say, enough was enough. Now, at home I can also have Starbucks thanks to the Medium Roast Blend. I can listen to my favorite music while I brew it and the wood crumbling in the fireplace while the smell of blended beans covers up the entire kitchen.

1. It's the perfect present

Starbucks has always been the 'forbidden' coffee in Romania due to it's price and hard to find features, but recently, I received the Medium Roast Blend as a gift, and usually, when something is given to me with love, it automatically becomes one of the best. You can never go wrong with this coffee as a present, especially with Christmas right around the corner. 

2. The smell is incredible

I have smelled and felt so many different coffees in my life so you would think they started to mix. But the Medium Roast Blend from Starbucks stands out from all of them because of the subtle flavor that lasts for hours.   

3. The taste is genius

Last but not least and probably the most important. The taste. Thats what coffee is all about, right? I usually drink mine with milk, maple syrup and cinnamon. The taste is pure genius, and the intensity of the coffee filled my soul and actually gave me a shiver down my spine. It didn't compare to all those drinks I had while roaming the US. In conclusion, I support home brewed coffee and hope you are as lucky as me to share it with the loved ones. 

Tell me in the comments below what YOUR favorite blended coffee is

THE HOTTEST HOT DOG OF THEM ALL

There's always a line at the 'GRILLMOBIL' 

There are all kinds of things at this years Christmas Market in Sibiu. From roasted almonds, mulled wine, to Christmas decorations, jewelries, hats and much more. It's the most colorful and cheerful place. 

Culinary speaking, I discovered my 'Christmas Market Highlight' at the 'Grillmobil'. With a simple barbecue grill in the interior of their nicely decorated truck, they manage to create a tasty and authentic 'hot dog experience'.  

Their menu is really elementary. You choose the size of your hot dog and then you can add extras like fired onions and pickles. Now, a hot dog is a food, that's almost impossible to mess up. There are endless variations of the 'typical hot dog'.  But what makes this hot dog stand special? It's definitely their XXL sausage. It's really big and you can barely finish one by yourself. Other than the size, the sausage was just regularly fried.

Another great thing about this hot dog is the bun. The texture is really similar to a 'Pretzel', a dark brown, crispy and salty crust with a soft dough on the inside. The sauces are nothing special. Right next to the stand they have three containers with mustard, ketchup and mayo.

This hot dog is yummy and relatively inexpensive. Street food is so amazing because food, in general, just tastes better if you enjoy it outdoors. It doesn't matter if it's freezing outside. While I was eating, every bite seemed like a celebratory event

Snacking and drinking at the Christmas Market is a social and cheerful event, where people are having a good time. If you visit this year's Christmas Market in Sibiu, I tell you, it's almost impossible to resist the sausages at the 'Grillmobil'. 

HOT CHOCOLATE WITH ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS

It's hot chocolate season and I've got a real treat for all the chocolate lovers out there! 

There's nothing better than a warm mug of chocolate with floating marshmallows! It's my favorite way to warm up after a cold afternoon. So I will share my all-time favorite hot chocolate recipe with you. 

I promise your family will absolutely love this recipe! (But then again, what's there not to love about hot chocolate?) 

You need:
600 ml milk
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate 
1 tbsp cinnamon
marshmallows
Optional: I prefer Hazelnut Milk or Almond Milk for this recipe, but you can use any kind of milk you want!
 

How you make it:
1. Pour the milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a pan and stir until smooth. Pour into mugs. Then float the marshmallows on the hot chocolate. Decorate with cinnamon and grated chocolate
2. Put in predeated oven and roast marshmallows until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes)!
3. Enjoy! 
 

This recipe is perfect for a cozy winter night when the snow is falling and the fireplace is warming you. While enjoying a good book or share some love with your family and friends

Have You Ever Had Coffee From A Syphon?

Well, I did, and I have to tell you, that I wasn't disappointed at all. But is it true? Is there such a thing as ‘a flawless coffee brewer’, so good, it promises the ‘perfect coffee every day’?

Or is it all just show?

I didn’t see Solo in some weeks, so obviously, I was extremely excited when he invited me to a small Cafe called 'Arhiva de Cafea si Ceai'. It turns out, that staying friends after breaking up, is easier than I expected. Located right in the center of Sibiu, it was the most charming and cozy place in town. When I entered this lovely, old style coffee house, I was immediately drawn by the aroma of fresh coffee and tea.

On the first page of the menu, I found the so called 'Syphon Coffee', made by a machine which absolutely insured the finest cup of coffee. How? By actually filtering the coffee, and not destroying its flavor by boiling it.

I read, that the Syphon was invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830's, and to be completely honest, looking at the picture it resembled a lot with something from a science laboratory. Though instantly intrigued, I was also a little skeptical. 

I asked the barista for advice about the brew, and she suggested 'Ethiopia Yiergacheffe', because of the delicate taste. The way she prepared the coffee was absolutely spectacular and really fun to watch. My expectations were getting even higher, while watching this theatrical brewing method.  

After my first sip, I felt like I was tasting coffee for the first time in my life. In front of me, I had an incredibly delicious and most satisfying cup of coffee, which had been prepared in the most spectacular way.

If you’re a coffee lover this nice spot in Sibiu is a must-see. Plus they have insane chocolate cakes as well.  

You should get ready for an unforgettable experience.

 

 

I will definitely go back there soon!

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