Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sauced BBQ & Spirits - Livermore, CA

Sauced BBQ & Spirits - Livermore, CA

A view of Sauced BBQ & Spirits

Let's get Sauced baby!
A few days after Christmas, Allen and me met up with our friends Mike, Erick, Jeni and their beautiful kids for dinner at Sauced BBQ & Spirits. We had to wait a bit for a table but it was a Friday night and worth the wait. As we entered, I took a good look around and liked the decor. I read on the website the wood and corrugated ceiling is reclaimed and shipped in from barns in Georgia and North Carolina giving it a nifty southern charm. The space is huge, the decor warm and inviting, and the vibe southern BBQ Sauced style. The atmosphere is lively, packed and loud, with live music in the main room by the bar area, with a lot of dining table space as well. You can also watch cooks prepare BBQ smoked meats of all kinds through the glass.

A look inside Sauced

Here piggy piggy! 
We dined in a partially outdoor area that was heated from above to keep us warm. It was still a little chilly even with the heat since it was very cold outside, but we had a great time. For our starter, we shared the Rednexican Nachos with tri-color tortilla chips, pulled pork stacked high with poblano queso, black beans, smoked corn, fresh jalapeƱo and a cilantro garnish drizzled lightly with Tin Roof BBQ sauce. This was sinfully good and plenty was leftover by the time our food arrived. I was full already.

Rednexican Nachos

the 4 Sauced BBQ sauces on every table
All our friends seemed to enjoy what they ordered and the kids too though they had more leftovers than anyone else. I even swiped some french fries from them. I ordered a Southern BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Smokey Baked Beans. The pork was fork tender, juicy and full of smoked flavor. I topped the pork with extra Pig Candy BBQ Sauce, ate all my baked beans and loved the smokiness and sweet taste.

Southern BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Smokey Baked Beans

Allen holding up Louisiana Hot Sauce which he used on the Rednexican Nachos and  Mac & Cheese
Allen was very happy with his meal and this is a good choice for any die hard carnivore. The menu states the meats are 100% fresh, seasoned and cured with the house rub and smoked low and slow over hickory and applewood. Allen ordered the 2 Meat Combo and chose ribs and sausage with 2 sides, Sweet Honey Cornbread and Mac & Cheese. The smoked sausage was a nice mix of meats and smoked well. The ribs were tender, juicy and seasoned well. Allen complimented the ribs with Hot Tin Roof BBQ sauce to bring up the pepper heat and extra kick of bold flavor. The cornbread was a favorite with whole corn kernels and a hint of sweetness from the honey. I begged for a little bite and loved it. Allen thought the mac & cheese had the right texture, was creamy and super cheesy.

Allen's Ribs, Sausage, Sweet Honey Cornbread and Mac & Cheese

Photographing Chicken Wings behind the glass and they look so good! 

If you visit Livermore, CA and vineyards in the area, be sure to check out Sauced BBQ & Spirits.

Sauced BBQ & Spirits
2300 First Street Suite #120
Livermore, CA 94550
Tel: 925.961.1300

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

Friday, January 25, 2013

IN-N-OUT BURGER - Livermore, CA

IN-N-OUT BURGER - Livermore, CA

IN-N-OUT Burger from the outside

A view inside IN-N-OUT Burger
Every time Allen and I visit our family in California we have to get our IN-N-OUT BURGER fix. We live in New York and do not have the pleasure of eating at IN-N-OUT BURGER since locations are in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas. The burgers and fries from this place are seriously addicting. The french fries are hand cut in-store and fried in 100% cholesterol free, vegetable oil and seasoned with the right amount of salt. The burgers are 100% pure American beef with no additives, fillers or preservatives. IN-N-OUT also sell milkshakes but we did not order any this time, but I have read they are great.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE Cheeseburger, French Fries, Dr. Pepper
We were out shopping with Allen's Dad on Christmas eve and for lunch we went to IN-N-OUT BURGER in Livermore, 1881 North Livermore Avenue. Allen and I ordered the DOUBLE-DOUBLE Cheeseburger with everything, french fries and a soda (Dr. Pepper). The burger consists of freshly baked toasted buns, two beef patties, two American cheese slices, fresh lettuce, tomato, onions and spread. The spread recipe tastes like thousand island (or something close to that) and has been on the burgers since 1948.

Allen with his order
The Livermore staff was friendly when we placed our order. The server took great care to explain any questions we had about the menu. Allen told her he was from the area and visiting from New York. Our server thanked us for visiting and answered some questions about the merchandise in-house, and informed us the website had a much larger selection.

Close-up of DOUBLE-DOUBLE Cheeseburger

Close-up of French Fries
The decor is cool and red and white. I love the layout and open feel inside and you can dine outside if you wish. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal as did Allen. The burger was so satisfying, cooked perfectly and tastes better than any chain burger joint I ever had. The french fries leave me without words to express the utter joy I felt eating them. You can taste the freshness of the potatoes in every bite. What impresses me most about IN-N-OUT is fresh ingredients and quality beef. That makes all the difference in the end product and the great customer service does not hurt either. We cannot wait to be back at IN-N-OUT.

Mt French Fries and DOUBLE-DOUBLE Cheeseburger
For locations and further information about IN-N-OUT Burger, visit:

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Johnny Garlic's A Guy Fieri Signature Restaurant - Dublin, CA

Johnny Garlic's A Guy Fieri Signature Restaurant - Dublin, CA

Johnny Garlic's in Dublin, CA
Guy's Johnny Garlic's has locations in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Roseville, Dublin and San Jose, CA. Allen and me visited his parents for the Christmas holiday and this restaurant was on our "must eat at" list. The closest locations for us were Dublin or San Jose as we were in Livermore. On Saturday, December 29, 2012 we went to the Dublin location. It was such a beautiful day weather wise, sunny and warm about 60 degrees. Allen's parents dropped us off and went and did their own thing while we were excited about finally being in a Guy Fieri restaurant. Anyone that knows us is aware we are huge fans of Guy and have met and taken photographs with him at several food festival events in the east coast.

Johnny Garlic's in Dublin, CA
One thing that caught my eye on approaching the restaurant was the huge neon red sign "Guy!" and the bold Johnny Garlic's logo. Inside Johnny Garlic's, the decor is warm and my favorite red, burgundy and dark wood tones. The atmosphere is warm, comfortable and inviting and you can see the cooks prepare the food right in front of you. I made reservations ahead of time so we were seated within 5 minutes and our server Nikki E. was great and took the time to explain items on the menu and brought us different t-shirts so we could choose the designs we liked.

Johnny Garlic's "Guy!" logo
We wanted to try some appetizers and decided on Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce and Pepperoni Mozzarella Stix that were rolled in Panko and Italian Breadcrumbs and served with Marinara sauce. The latter is a signature Guy recipe. The Coconut Shrimp were fried and had a nice crunch from the shredded coconut and batter. The shrimp were topped with a Sweet Chili Sauce that complimented each bite. The Pepperoni Mozzarella Stix were not greasy and also had a nice crunch from the breadcrumbs. The Mozzarella and Pepperoni were like a mini pizza in a stick, which is a good thing!

Coconut Shrimp
Pepperoni Mozzarella Stix
For the main course, I ordered Volcano Chicken and it was a big serving of two Grilled Chicken Breasts with Yukon Garlic Mash, Green Beans,"Maui Onion Straws" and Volcano Sauce. This is a Guy signature recipe. Everything was cooked to perfection. The juicy Chicken Breasts had grill marks and were seasoned beautifully. I dipped the chicken in the Volcano Sauce (which was BBQ sauce), until I finished it all. The Yukon Garlic Mash were super creamy, full of flavor and went great with the "Maui Onion Straws". The Green Beans were seasoned well and had a good bite to them, and were cooked and blanched correctly and thankfully not soggy. I had leftovers to take home but enjoyed everything on my plate. Chicken Breast fans try this when you go to Johnny Garlic's.

Volcano Chicken
Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf
Allen got the Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf consisting of Ground Bison Steak with Italian Sausage, Yukon Garlic Mash, Green Beans, "Maui Onion Straws" and Bourbon BBQ Sauce. It was a hearty meal and the meatloaf packed a lot of flavor from the seasoning and was not gamey. The Bourbon BBQ Sauce was topped over the Meatloaf and had a very nice bold taste. I buy Guy's Bourbon BBQ Sauce so I was no stranger to this. The "Maui Onion Straws" were crispy and went great with the Garlic Yukon Mash. The Green Beans were crisp and nicely seasoned. This was a well rounded meal and very satisfying.

The cooks making grub!
A view of the bar
The service at Johnny Garlic's was fantastic and we gave our blog card to server Nikki E. and told us she would give it to the manager. As I was taking some pictures inside the restaurant right before we left, a manager approached Allen, thanked us for coming and asked if we enjoyed our meal. He was very professional and personable. Allen told him we loved everything we ordered and  had a great experience and amazing service from our server. We cannot wait to go back next time we are in Cali.

The Liquor Cabinet
Johnny Garlic's A Guy Fieri Signature Restaurant 
DARIN SERGENT - General Manager
4920 Dublin Blvd.,Ste 265.
Dublin,CA 94568
Phone: (925) 248-2347
For reservations please call ahead

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Holiday Baking And Cooking 2012 Wrap Up

Holiday Baking And Cooking 2012 Wrap Up

Red Velvet Snowball Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting
Allen and I went to visit his parents in northern California for Christmas. We spent 12 days there with family and friends, ate at some restaurants (posts to follow), baked and cooked a lot. Below you will find some of the things we made. I cannot think of spending time with family without making food and dessert for them.

December 24, 2012

Red Velvet Cake out the oven

Red Velvet Cake out the oven
For Christmas, I made one of my favorite red velvet cake recipes, Red Velvet Snowball Cake. I think it is the perfect Christmas cake! I found this recipe awhile ago in Redbook but used a different frosting recipe. The Whipped Vanilla Frosting is from: I was happy to use Allen's Grandmother's classic electric Braun mixer and cake pans. The frosting in the original recipe is great, but I wanted a really rich vanilla taste. This vanilla frosting was so fantastic, I also used it with Ina Garten's Coconut Cake for New Years Eve! Chef Dennis makes note he slighted adapted the frosting recipe from Sweetapolita. 

Making Whipped Vanilla Frosting
The Red Velvet Snowball Cake recipe is: I made this cake in 2011 as well so you can see my results:

December 25, 2012
For Christmas we ate turkey, potatoes, sweet mashed potatoes with pecans, green beans, and rolls. 

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner
Here's how much Red Velvet Snowball Cake was left after everyone got a slice.

Red Velvet Snowball Cake
I also made Pecan Pie, but had to use a 9-inch cake pan since I had an Apple Pie in the pie pan. As a result, the edges of the crust cracked as I took the pie out of the oven. The recipe this time around excludes bourbon, so just add a little more Pure Vanilla Extract if you do not have any on hand. The Pecan Pie recipe is:

Pecan Pie
This Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Turkey is exceptional and I used the same recipe from Thanksgiving. The recipe is: cannot go wrong with this turkey recipe, it is juicy and full of flavor from the compound butter, shallots, olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, lemon, rosemary and thyme.

December 30, 2012

Coconut Cake
Ina Garten's Coconut Cake is one of the best cakes I ever made. Everyone that tries this cake loves it, and it is a recipe I always bake at least once every year. You can find the recipe here: I used the Whipped Vanilla Frosting recipe listed above with the Red Velvet Snowball Cake

December 31, 2012

Honey BBQ Wings
Allen made some killer Honey BBQ Wings. Use our standard chicken wings recipe with whatever BBQ or Hot Sauce you have. Allen used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce. The recipe is:

Here is Ina Garten's Coconut Cake everyone enjoyed. Less people were over than at Christmas, so we had more cake leftover. Yay! :)

Coconut Cake served with vanilla bean ice cream

Coconut Cake
January, 1, 2013

Apple Pie
We were flying from SFO airport late in the evening today, so I baked my father in law an Apple Pie. I made one earlier in the week, but wanted to leave him some dessert to enjoy for a few days after we were gone.

This is my go to Apple Pie recipe: For this recipe, I used 3 Granny Smith Apples and 3 Red Macintosh Apples since he prefers a sweeter pie. Use whatever firm apples you like!

I hope you all had as great a holiday as we did.

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys