Tag Archives: Long Beach


18 Aug

Aside from its ability to get a Kinks song stuck in my head, my friend Dana and I decided to try out Lola’s because its a wine bar and restaurant. I may definitely enjoy a pint at a bar, but I’m a definitely a wine girl at heart. Lola’s ambiance and decor promised good things.

Sorry for the color drop photos. I didn’t realize someone had switched the settings on my family camera until later on. We were seated right away at 6:30, at a table near the windows. They must have known I wanted the natural light. This was fine until another couple was seated right on top of us. Dana and I like chatting with people and normally would have had no problem with this, but it felt a little awkward. The tension eased later on when the noise level of the restaurant was raised.

Dana and I both decided to do their prix fixe menu, which had a first, second, and third course for $20.10. (For 2010 as the menu states). Drinks were in order from their wine list, and we made vows to come back on their thursday girls nights when bottles of wine are fifteen dollars.

Let me just start by saying that these crisps were delicious. So flavorful. I could have had just these and my malbec, and would have been completely satisifed.

I can’t really say the same about my first course.

Their stuffed rigatoni in a light tomato sauce was alright. I was enjoying it, as I do all cheese stuffed pasta, until Dana said ( and I quote) “It tastes kind of microwaveable. Like one of those frozen dinners”. And I realized she was sort of right.

My second course was a chicken lentil soup which was good, it just needed one punch of bold flavor. It was all kind of one note.I appreciated the big chunks of veggies and chicken though.

This was the mojito salmon, with a muddled mint and rum glaze, served with wild rice and vegetables. Again, I felt the flavor was lacking. I couldn’t even taste the glaze. I had enough rice to feed a family.  The salmon was perfectly cooked though.

And for a bit of contrast, Dana’s 3rd course.

So Lola’s was fantastic with regards to wine and atmosphere, but overall I felt the food was just average. Since I enjoyed the space I’m sure I’ll be back, but most likely just at the bar.

Wine and cute shoes (and great company) made it a fun night out.

Dana's cute peep toes. Sorry for the blur D.


A Tale of Two Sandwiches

24 May

Generally, I eat pretty healthy. I love my vegetables, fruits and whole grains. I go weak in the knees for goat cheese.  Even though in January I went a month without meat, I do eat it. I just couldn’t say goodbye to bacon. I just usually try to limit it to once a week or so, but this past week that number has been a little higher. You’ll see why in a few seconds.

Sunday I went down to Long Beach yet again. By the time August rolls around, I”m pretty sure I will have sampled nearly every restaurant in the West End. As much as I love the Beach House, I told my boyfriend I couldn’t eat there again. After all, I had just been there Friday and there are too many places I’ve yet to visit.  I’m pretty sure I made his day when I enthusiastically agreed with his request to go to Swingbelly’s BBQ.

I’ve seen their sign every time I walked in the area, but Sunday the smell of BBQ wafting across the street was too much to ignore. Inside the decor is fun, with the walls full of different statement making signs. It’s an odd mix of surf town vibe and down south.  Since the last time I had pulled pork was over a year ago, I knew exactly what I was going to order. Sandwich number one: Pulled Pork on a bun.

This meal arrived after our appetizer of fried pickles and I had consumed my first Shipyard IPA. I had ordered grilled vegetables to balance out the meal (and ignored all but two of the fries), but I devoted my appetite to that pulled pork. It was delicious. I had ordered it with the smokey bbq sauce (you can pick from several options), and I ate every last bite.

I can’t eat fried food and bbq every week, and there is no way I will ever even want to attempt the Swingbelly’s Challenge, but next time I have the craving for bbq I know exactly where I’ll be going.

909 W. Beech St. Long Beach


I came home later that afternoon and was in charge of cooking for my family once again. I try to wean them off of meat centric meals for every day of the week, and there is no way I could have had meat myself after that first sandwich. Instead, I whipped up Mark Bittman’s Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes from the last issue of Cooking Light.

Boy were these good. Instead of like sandwich one, which was basically meat on a bun, sandwich two was made with just six oz of ground turkey. Most of the bulk was made of grated carrots, crushed tomatoes, mashed / whole red kidney beans, and the different spices. The whole wheat buns were stacked with red onion slices, and served along with a simple side of steamed broccoli.

The two sandwiches were definitely on two different sides of the nutritious eating spectrum,but both were so incredibly good. I’m going into a food coma just remembering these meals.