Monthly Archives: October 2014

St. Felix – HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles, CA

photoI finally hit the pavement in downtown Hollywood for an evening of cocktail fun! Our first stop was happy hour at the St. Felix located at 1602 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood. Upon first glance the fancy font and wooden facade confuse your expectations as your eyes need a good five minutes to adjust to the dim lighting of this cavernous space. The interior is a tad industrial (Meets Shabby-Chic with a touch of Moulin Rouge?). They have a nice sized bar running the length of the room and TV’s in case you are alone (or maybe your company is really boring). With half price cocktails (from 4-8pm) and their tasty bar treats you can’t go wrong unless you don’t show up. We did not have a problem with the latter.

 

 

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(Pictured Above: Three cute girls enjoy a happy hour at St. Felix.) Wink*

I know I’m not the first person to mention how good the Firecracker cocktail is, so I ‘d like to introduce another notable bevvy that I thoroughly enjoyed called the “Dame Peligro”. I’m embarrassed to admit I forgot the name so I had to do a little research. I pulled the recipe off mom.me if you’d like to try this at home! The plan of attack was to stay within the spicy genre, but I already had their spicy drink on the menu and having two of the same was clearly not an option.

10665779_704721666263296_2065765271367655305_n (1)(Pictured Above: A Dame Peligro, the spicy watermelon Margie!) In the distance a mixologist greets a regular with a warm smile and a cold drink. All that was missing was a shoulder massage…

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Since it’s not responsible to have half priced cocktails on an empty stomach, I lined it up with some of these delicious St. Felix fries with a choose-your-own dipping sauce(s). You get to select one and anything additional gets slapped with a .50 modification charge. Of course I had to have three because I’m a saucy girl. Pictured Above: avocado crema, roasted red pepper coulis and coconut ranch.

10612798_10152506438233509_4358272002022128090_nAfter a couple rounds at the St. Felix everything seems like a rip-off. I would highly recommend this bar to get your night started right. They actually have solid drinks and delicious snacks at unbeatable happy-hour prices. On a budget? You’ve found your dream-bar! The only issue is you have to watch your martini intake and your driving in this city…Remember to drink responsibly and embrace ze Uber when you can! Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

~PeanutPimpMama

(PPM does L.A. Right 2014)

For More Information: www.saintfelix.net

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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The Standard – HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles, CA

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I really appreciated waking up to sunshine and hitting the treadmill as I overlooked the mountainous backdrop. It is nice to complete thirty minutes of cardio followed up by some sauna then cooling off in the pool. Since I was in L.A. I had to “do like the locals” by incorporating fitness into my daily regime along with all of my foodie-exploration. I love being a lady of leisure and therefore made it my mission to sit pool-side with all of the delicious cocktails at least once before this vacation was over. That was exactly what happened after a failed attempt at seeing The Getty Museum. I regret missing out on that beautiful architecture and intriguing art. However, today’s traffic avoidance plan included basking in the rays at The Standard located at 8300 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

 

 

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Contrary to popular belief, you can enjoy the fine amenities of many-a-hotel (for the right price) without actually staying there. After arriving in L.A. and doing some “googlay” on subject, ie. Los Angeles hottest pool parties etc…. It is my opinion that The Standard is where it’s at if you want the pool-side experience sans the $500.00 highway robbery. It is NOT cool even if it is on THE 101.

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Hotels- Really? You want me to pay $200.00 to sit in your cabana so I can spend a couple hundred on bottle service? (PeanutPimpMama doesn’t like that, and she has sat by some world-renowned pools around the globe.) One of two Standards in L.A., (the other location downtown) offers their pool with a roof-top view vs. ground level. Although a lower altitude, the Hollywood location offers binoculars for all of your peeping enjoyment.

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I must say there is something about L.A. that makes me want to drink rosé and re-live my younger days on the French Riviera. It must be the city vibe on the coastline where the mountains hit the sea and that understated glam attitude that adds to the allure…Everyone is just beautiful here. Who am I kidding, it’s actually the speed of the service in the hospitality industry and reluctance to provide salt and pepper shakers on tables as if to imply the food is already seasoned perfectly that really takes me back.

10639509_704723679596428_7209625435162568623_nOh look at that! I think I died and went to pool-side Heaven with their Italian Tuna Salad featuring: arugula, tomatoes, olives, red onion, basil cannellini beans and capers. I appreciated the generous chunks of white tuna and tartness of the vinaigrette with the saltiness of the capers. A little protein and sodium was everything I needed to recharge from all of my hard work the day before. While I did not get to see the inside of this restaurant which is open 24/7, their menu offers all three meals of the day and snacks which run the gamut of kale chips to a delightful array of desserts at fair prices. (PPM likes that.)

10659440_10152506432223509_3592840266861218040_nAfter the light bite, we decided to assume our positions on the astroturf to catch some rays. All of the lounge chairs had mostly been occupied by hotel guests, but the astroturf was a kitsch and fun alternative for tanning! (Pictured Above: PPM watches a team of male cheer leaders practice their tripod formations.)

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Thankfully the hotel wasn’t too overcrowded and I was able to participate in some water sports.

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We spent hours at that pool until we were brown as berries and sweet as nuts. It was really the dj booth that signaled departure time. Although my inner 23 year old really wanted to stick around and rock out, my inner old lady knew it was about to get loud in there.

(PPM does L.A. Right 2014)

For More Information: www.standardhotels.com

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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Holy Guacamole – Santa Monica – Los Angeles, CA

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As the sun started to set on Venice Beach we were now in search of “the snack”. Day one was full-on and coming to a close while the pilgrimage towards sustenance commenced. We started North towards Santa Monica with ambitious thoughts of popping into a hotel bar or perhaps sitting pool-side before the sun went down. That plan didn’t exactly go our way, but everything always seems to work out for the best as we managed to sneak in a nightcap at my cousin’s house. After catching up over a nice bottle of white wine, he introduced cousin Kristen and I to Holy Guacamole’s website. Keeping it simple and straight forward, Holy Guacamole is a Santa Monica Mexi-haven (open until 12:00 most nights and 2:00am when you need them) serving up tacos and burritos that are rather “large and in-charge”.

 

 

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Funny that one of their website slogans should be, “Tacos from heaven, hot sauce from hell.” PeanutPimpMama lived the fiery pits first-hand.

 The Low-Down:

I could have easily eaten a horse when we arrived. I might have been quoting that as we were waiting on this burrito. It seemed like preparation took all of eternity. (In wine-time that translates to about ten minutes.) The ingredients performed well, but I saw those fish sticks they threw into the deep fryer (on the sly). After all of that build up we were quite surprised to see the diameter of these burritos.

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I ordered my “Fish” burrito “Wet” which means it is doused in mole sauce and topped off with melted cheese, sour cream and guacamole (because why not). I was going all-out. I made sure to purchase a Snapple in case there were any fires to be extinguished. While the girth was hard to get a handle on, there was an abundance of plastic knives and forks for dissection.

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 These things were so obscenely large you could feed a family of five if you wanted to.

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Everything was okay until Dave’s Insanity Sauce happened. While our family prides themselves on “loving spice” and consumes hot-sauce by the gallon, I met my match that evening. PeanutPimpMama was a little insane with pain for a good thirty minutes. I’ve never been so hungry and in such agony at the same time. It was such a sad sight as I had this heavenly burrito in front of me and I couldn’t even enjoy it by my own doings. I gave the kitchen a good laugh with my Gringa-stunt. They chuckled as they let me suffer, but shortly thereafter were kind enough to pour me a giant horchata on ice as a peace offering. The horchata gave me temporary relief, but the cure was slopping a giant pad of sour cream right on my tongue. I’m surprised it didn’t sizzle.

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 Never again will I touch that sauce. I will never forget this burrito and I will definitely return.

(PPM does L.A. 2014)

For More Information: www.holyguacamolemain.com

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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High Rooftop Lounge – Venice Beach -Los Angeles, CA

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My cousin (aspiring L.A.-er) and I had done our due diligence and decided it was best to stay put for the afternoon before we Uber-ed anywhere too far. It’s amazing how that car service has taken off in L.A.. Sadly here in NY it feels like ordering an Uber X is as painful as donating bone marrow as they are hardly any cheaper than taking a taxi ride (twice) for the cost. We walked West-ward towards the beach in search of the cocktail. I was excited since I took a lot of heat for wanting to spend some time there in the first place. Evidently if you are “cool” you only hang out at selected bars in Venice when it’s dark out so no one can see you. (wink*)

 

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Pictured above: A drum circle from 2009. It was really hard to get anyone to join me for a drum circle this time around. (PeanutPimpMama is a sucker for a good drum circle.) I nearly danced with the Hare Krishnas and that was as far as I got to any real dancing on the beach this time…10704029_10152506417278509_2406527922652433921_n

 PeanutPimpMama throws her own impromptu dance parties when necessary.

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Way Way back in the hizzay my dearest Seattle-International turned Californian friend introduced me to The High Rooftop Lounge located on the top of Hotel Erwin. We’ve had the luxury of touring many a(n) international and domestic city together in the last decade. It’s been quite the adventure. I figured since we had coincidentally dined at Gjelina in 2009 that my cousin and I may as well revisit this unique perspective of Venice Beach as well. (The complete déjà vu tour if you will.)

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The view hasn’t changed that much. Rumor has it that the cocktail scene has upped its game with the revival of an original speakeasy in Venice. Sadly PPM did not get to go…She’s saving it for her next trip.

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As we entered the bar and we were approached by the hostesses, we observed that they are quite particular about the seat rotation. It was kind of strange (given the roof was quite empty) we should be seated in a shaded area without a view. PPM took care of that. The drink menu was a bit stale given the steep price points, but I found my spicy beverage (The Spicy Mango Tree) and soaked in the rays. It’s really hard to not enjoy yourself in 90 degree weather on a sunny rooftop with a cocktail in your hand while overlooking the Pacific ocean. I quietly sipped my jalapeno mango cocktail (in my plastic cup) and I was grateful. After all, there are kids walking to school every day up-hill (both ways) in the snow with no shoes on. They certainly aren’t spending $15.00 on a cocktail.

The Beverage:

Spicy Mango Tree- casamigos tequila, Cointreau, mango purée, jalapeños and fresh like juice.

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So thankful I have mass transit and shoes!

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The menu and drinks may need a little love, but you’re coming here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Venice Beach boardwalk and to enjoy the majestic sunsets.

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 Not to mention, it sure is a great spot for cheesing!

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(PPM does L.A. 2014)

xoxo

For More Information: www.highvenice.com

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

Click Like* and Share* with your Friends! Also follow my foodie adventures on Twitter and Instagram!

Gjelina- Venice Beach – Abbot Kinney-Los Angeles, CA

Recently PeanPeanutPimpMamautPimpMama got to travel to the West Coast a.k.a. “The Best Coast.” While my tri-state area pride can’t let me agree… It’s hard to hate on L.A., and PeanutPimpMama happens to be quite good at it! The week was full of eating, drinking, shopping, beaching, pool-ing,  yoga-ing and of course catching up with old friends and family. My goals of adding to my diary of delicious foodie tales was well supported by all as we sipped many a fancy cocktail from all kinds of heights. I was grateful to experience a new perspective of L.A. daily while indulging in delicious meals that were less than bikini friendly. I also managed to fit in a “proper” Mexican burrito… I’m still in pain.

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My trip started off on a fantastic note. I somehow finagled a free wine and cheese snack out of Jet Blue, and they charge for everything! It was like the magical flight of free flowing snack all night long. Perhaps it was a red-eye special? I arrived safe and sound about five hours later and Ubered (like you do) to my new home for the next 48 hours.

Day One: Abbot Kinney and Venice Beach

First Stop: Gjelina

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I downloaded Goop for my last trip to Soggies and decided to try it out in L.A.. Our lady Gwyneth has inspired PeanutPimpMama with her collection of solid suggestions. When my cousin wanted to go to Venice Beach to check out Abbot Kinney, Gjelina’s description caught both of our eyes. Something about the feminine name and Mediterranean menu specializing in brick oven pizzas and heavenly salads on a warm and sunny Californian afternoon was particularly appealing. Since I had just spent 45 minutes on a treadmill, I was ready to conquer the world. I began conquering with a Plum vinegar cider (pictured above) It made a nice addition to the PeanutPimpMama-sips with its attractive color, cidery-fizz and an understated plummy sweetness with a tart vinegar finish that somehow tied in with the fresh sprig of rosemary garnish. A proper mock/cocktail is always a true experience for ALL of the senses.

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As my cousin and I started to look at the menu I had a serious moment of déjà vu. Four years ago I had not only dined at Gjelina but sat with my friend at the very same table. After confirming that it had been Gjelina for the last six years, I knew we were in for a feeding. The plates sold themselves at this resto (and that’s exactly what they did) as we based our choices off our neighboring table’s selection. These ladies were having a blast and we wanted in! We chose our first course pictured above: Smoked Trout, Grapefruit, Avocado, Red Onion and lemon…This was originally going to be my lunch until we decided ONE course was NOT enough.

grilled vegNext Up: Gjelina has an extensive small plates selection that could be served up as Mediterranean tapas. Even the vegetables were a challenge to select with the many decadent possibilities. We needed to fit in a pizza so the wood roasted cauliflower with garlic chili and vinegar it was! (No regrets).

IMG_7509Woomp there it is! I mean seriously check that pizza out…We were totally perving on this bad boy before we even ordered bevs. What’s on this pizza: Squash Blossom, Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, Burratta and Parmesan. We would soon learn that fresh Burrata would be hard to avoid in Los Angeles.

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Take a look at this cheesy slice. It’s amazing how many calories we managed to pack on, yet walked away from this meal feeling somewhat light. The puffy crust was so chewy and a superb vehicle for the cheese, sauce and the selected vegetation.

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With a nice belly full of goodies, we worked it off with some shopping around Abbot Kinney. Cousin Kristen got to see the famous camel-toe painting and we bought some locally made underwear from an Australian woman that bragged about her 11 year old son who designs them. After embracing the local artistry, it was time to search for the cocktail…It was definitely time.

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Go surround yourself with beautiful people and pizza…

~PeanutPimpMama

For More Information: www.gjelina.com

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

Click Like* and Share* with your Friends! Also follow my foodie adventures on Twitter and Instagram!

PeanutPimpMama’s Grand Finale @ MAD SQUARE EATS 2014 (Fall Session)

PeanutPimpMama1-300x300We’ve officially passed “hump day” and that means we have ONE DAY left of MAD EATS for the season! (More like one meal) Why would you end a food event on a Thursday leaving peeps with no plan for Friday? Everyone I know has a flexible lunch on Friday! (Mind boggling) That said, I’ve decided to do one last post about all of the foodies before I start to write about “white girl favorites” like … PUMPKINs. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you about all of the fabulous yoga pants I just bought at lulu. Meanwhile, let’s check out the dishes that PeanutPimpMama had the pleasure of consuming. You better go out and get yours before it’s too late!

 

 

The Stand:

Mexicue is serving up Southern-Style BBQ-Mexi-Fusion!

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The snack:

PeanutPimpMama ordered: The Kale and Quinoa Bowl -including kale, blackened brussel sprouts, corn salsa, slow-simmered black beans with cotija cheese in a creamy chipotle sauce.

On The Side: Green Chili Mac N’ Cheese

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The Thoughts:

The kale and quinoa bowl was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. There’s just something about all of those fibrous irony-greens that will make any girl’s eyes glow. The charred brussels were a nice contrast to the creamy chipotle sauce, and just a sprinkle of cotija cheese and sweet corn gave it a hint of salt which balanced out those slowly-simmered black beans that tend to take over. All of that deliciousness combined with another protein packed superfood and this partial-veggie was sold! It was a well balanced meal packed with nutrients for under $15.00 that kept me sustained well into the evening. All the good I did with my Mexi-Bowl I surely undid with their Green Chili mac n’cheese. My macaroni was OTT creamy that any sign of green chili was lost. (Quick someone grab the sriracha!)

The Info: www.mexicue.com

The Stand:

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The Snack:

Regretting there was no sign of Birthday Cake Truffles left, I begrudgingly chose the Apple Pie Cake…

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The Thoughts:

These truffles were pretty self explanatory for a Milk Bar patron. Sadly I have only been to the East Village location once and I’m excited to hear they have ventured off to new locations of NYC. I have been lucky enough to have these magical treats on the dessert menus of various Momofuku restaurants. I felt like I could have easily popped these apple-cinnamon balls in the oven and they would have turned into the most amazing biscuits of my life. The essence of apple and cinnamon was so strong it felt like Thanksgiving Dinner. I had that gobstopper moment where I could finally taste the buttery crust. It was really hard to make it through to the third one as truffle one and two slowly lost utility. They were so compact you could use them as weapons of self defense… Slingshot anyone?

The Info: milkbarstore.com

The Stand:

Another restaurant on the run… You have to access their website to see where they’ll be next! (Bandits)

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Takumi Taco is serving up Japanese inspired Mexican street food… There was a line, it’s true.

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The Snack:

Spicy Tuna Taco: Sashimi grade big eye tuna, jicama, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo, tucked inside a crispy gyoza shell

Spicy Shrimp Taco: Shrimp, corn salsa, avocado, scallion, chipotle aioli, tucked inside a crispy gyoza shell

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The Thoughts:

The Market Greens were a waste of space. I was into the charred corn salad which had shishito peppers, cilantro, edamame, avocado, Thai basil, shiso, and wasabi citrus dressing. It might have actually been my favorite part of the entire meal. I was also excited to be sitting on the lawn with my friend on one of our last warm and sunny days of the year. They do have Sriracha on the counter and offer gluten-free options.

The Info: www.tacotruck.marketmymarket.com

The Stand:

Baaaaaaaahahahhahahah! (That’s all.)

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The Snack:

One of a couple Ball-Purveyors out there…They make balls with mix and match sauces and toppings that all seemingly suit each other. I’m not sure you could make their balls taste bad (even if you wanted to).

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The Thoughts:

While I believe that two balls are certainly enough for me, Mighty Balls come in threes. While three is company, you get to try a whole other sauce and topping which certainly is a great incentive for overcrowding. They also offer their balls in pork in addition to beef along with their veggie balls (for those who would rather abstain from carnivorous consumption). If you like saucy balls and would like to sauce your own balls at home, they sell their specialty sauces over-the-counter for your take home enjoyment!

The Info: www.mightyballs.com

The Stand:

They have a box and they have a stand.

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They are well versed in social media. PeanutPimpMama loves to engage in friendly banter with them!

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They have healthy concept with Mediterranean inspiration. That deep fryer tho…

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The Snack:

I oredered The Brussel Sprouts, A falalfel sandwich and hummous. (Girls gotta eat.)My eyes were certainly bigger than my stomach as I walked away with an entire basket of food heavy enough to feed me for a week at least.

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened up the brussel sprouts. It was that moment you feel like all your friends that worked in this area had been holding out on you the whole entire time. This container easily had 1000 calories (no joke). I watched as they chucked them in a deep fryer to char them, strained them into a metal bowl consisting of fig jam and sherry vinegar for a toss, then finally dropped them into this cardboard box (pictured above) where they were lathered with mint yogurt and walnuts and finally crowned with some juicy red grapes. This might possibly be the most indulgent side of brussel sprouts I have had in my life. This could have been my meal alone.

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Then I did this to myself- I ordered the Falafel Beiruti with pickled turnips, tahini, parsley and tomatoes. I was still hungry ya know…Those pickled turnips were a delightful surprise. (PPM loves anything pickled.)

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The Thoughts:

Too much food for PeanutPimpMama… I needed two coffees to get through the afternoon. Zzzzzzzzz

The Info: www.ililibox.com

The Stand:

What is up with “The Eye”? I finally got to try Roberta’s after all the hype. It lived up to it to be fair.

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The Snack:

There were a good amount of pies to choose from. I decided to go with ‘The Famous Original” because it had some Grana Padano and chili on it along with the fresh mozzarella. YUM! The meat eater in my totally wanted “The Bee Sting” which includes some sopresata chili and honey!

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The Thoughts:

While their pizza was downright awesome at a stand, I’d love to try it in BK next time my friends recruit. It’s good to have friends in BK.

The Info: www.robertaspizza.com

Finally…

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I decided to end my MAD EATS season on a sweet note with two cannolis from Stuffed Cannoli. To the left we have “Peanut butter Cup” to the right we have “Birthday Cake”.

The Thoughts:

I’m going to lose so much weight now that MAD SQUARE EATS is gone for the season. Until next time!

The Info.: stuffedcannoli.com

Just think… Next time we see you we will have survived the winter and ditched our parkas once more.

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Au revoir and Adieu!

~PeanutPimpMama

 Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

Click Like* and Share* with your Friends! Also follow my foodie adventures on Twitter and Instagram!