Sunday, November 27, 2005

Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Prailines (New Orleans, LA)


Just in time for the holidays...Aunt Sally's Original Creole Pralines come in two irresistible flavors, Original and Triple Chocolate or you can get an Original Creole Praline Assortment and get 6 of each. The Creole Praline was invented in New Orleans and since  1930 Aunt Sally's Praline Shops have been providing the world's best. They also carry other unique New Orleans products such as: Cafe du Monde Coffee and Chicory, New Orleans Beignet Mix, Boscoli's Muffaletta Olive Salad, Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Cocktail Mix, and more. Aunt Sally's ships out prailines worldwide, you can order online here or visit their store at 810 Decatur Street, in the heart of the French Quarter.

Dylans Candy Bar (NY)

A couple of years ago while strolling the Upper West Side I came across this specialty candy shop. The eye-catching design creates a Willie Wonka-like feeling that makes this a unique experience for candy lovers of all kinds. In their own words: "our 10,000 square foot New York City flagship store totally redefines the idea of a traditional 'sweets' store by creating a unique and completely unmatched shopping experience in a visually awe inspiring environment".


This includes Pez dispensers (ranging in price from $2 up to $2,000 for a rare vintage collectable). Lollipops that range in size from 3 ounces to 3 feet tall. The candy shop was co-founded and owned by Dylan Lauren (daughter of Ralph) and offers the best candy money can buy and the Wonka-esque setting to go along with it. Last year I ordered some of their excellent 10 Pack Assorted Chocolate Bars for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. This year I may just order something for myself. Order something for yourself here.

Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet (La Mirada, CA)

I usually find myself inventing reasons to make my way down to the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet (previously known as the La Mirada Swap Meet) on on saturdays or sundays. Usually this is beacause I’m itching for the perfect Border Dog. I’ve had Border Dog’s before...but to me none are better than the Border Dogs from the vendor at the back entrance to the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet...this is where you’ll get the perfect Border Dog. A kosher frank wrapped in bacon in a warm toasted bun with grilled onions and grilled jalepeno...mmm. I think I’m gonna have to make a trip out there again very soon.

Santouka (Costa Mesa, Ca)

Santouka is located in the food court of the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa, CA. This noodle house is regarded in Japan as being one of the best places to go for ramen, and they woud know! If the only ramen your familiar with is Marochan or Top Ramen Cup Noodles, then you are truly, truly missing out. First, rent the 1987 Asian cult classic film Tampopo (available through Netflix) so that you can see all the preperation that goes into making the perfect bowl of ramen. My Santoka favorites are the Shio Ramen and the Shoyu Ramen. After I've cleared my bowl of it’s Chasu (pork), fish cake, bamboo, green onions, sliced mushrooms, and noodles, I like to slurp up the delicious doesn't get much better than that, especially on a chilly December evening. When I'm finished I usually stroll over to the grocery store and pick up some Japanese specialties items like Kirin Ichiban Beer, Azuki Red Bean Ice Cream, Sake, or any of the numerous candies. Also, after 5pm the Bento Box’s are marked down, but practice some restraint and leave a few for me!

Super Antojitos (Tustin, Ca)

This is usually where I end up for breakfast when I’ve been up late drinking the night before...which, in my case is pretty much every weekend. I typically find myself craving their Pasole with onions, chile, and limes (to-my-liking) to cure my early morning hangover. Their Chilaquiles w/green sauce is also especially tasty. I haven’t really tried out their lunch or dinner menus, seeing as I tend to only pop in for breakfast...but one day soon I just may. For your convenience there are also Super Antojitos restaurants in the cities of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.