Posts in Travel
Eat.Drink.Travel: The Houston Hit List

Our Houston visit wasn't the longest, but we tried our best to cram a lot of deliciousness in a couple days. We got in just in time for Houston Restaurant Week and that was our cue to sample local favorites. 

 

Tacos Tierra Caliente

Our Order

Barbacoa Taco, Pollo Taco, Breakfast Taco.

Verdict

It's just a food truck so don't go there expecting a place to sit, but it'll be the best damn tacos you'll eat in this life. It's on every "Best Taco" list for good reason. The staff don't "have your time" so you can trust us when we say it's good. The barbacoa is absolutely magnificent. Also, make sure you get the green salsa.

Price Range

$


Breakfast Klub

thebreakfastklub.com

Our Order

Chicken & Waffles, The Breakfast Klub

Verdict

We checked this out on a Monday morning and the line for a table shot out the restaurant. The locals clearly love it and it's a Houston brunch staple. Everyone comes for the chicken & waffles and the chicken is indeed heavenly, but the Breakfast Klub sandwich is very underrated.

Damage

$$


Ruggles Black

rugglesblack.com

Our Order

Fried Oysters with Caviar, Crab Poblano Pasta, Paleo Fish & Chips

Verdict

Zagat says it's a combination of Indian, French, and American fare, but that's not really what brought us to Ruggles Black. The big selling point was the very paleo and keto friendly menu. Zoodles? Paleo pizza? And it all tasted oh so good. The paleo lemon cheesecake, in particular, is to die for. 

Damage

$$

rugglesblack.com


Crepeiffel

u8KHP1raQyuA1aeDx3lcFA_thumb_2a07.jpg

Our Order

Casablanca Savoury Crepe

Verdict

This wasn't the greatest if we're being completely honest, but we're adding it here because savoury crepes are a thing and if you're in Houston, you should try some. Do Sweet Paris Cafe instead, however.

Damage

$$

Eat.Drink.Travel: The Los Angeles Hit List

FOLLY: Whenever EDL travels, exploring the cuisine of the new city is definitely a highlight. We've been thinking, for a while, about how best to curate this for our Lagos-focused blog and the idea of the Hit List was born.

NOSA: Each time EDL visits a new city, we'll try out as many spots as possible to create a Hit List for that city so that if you ever found yourself in that city, you'll have a few of our recommendations to start things off with. It's basically a one-post summary of what's hot in the city.

FOLLY: You're welcome.

NOSA: We'll still have the dedicated review posts for really special spots. 

FOLLY: Our first Hit List is for Los Angeles. It was very interesting to visit LA in the weeks following the sad and untimely passing of Jonathan Gold - the LA Times' prolific and Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic. If we'd stayed a few days longer I'd probably have liked to attend the event organized to honor him held at Grand Park. It was a unique memorial in that a number of food trucks were parked around his favorite spots to grab lunch while selected speakers delivered remembrances - how fitting. While we couldn't hit up all of Gold's faves we made sure to have a fave of his, Korean fried chicken, at the very least

 

The Gangjung

Our Order

Original and Hot & Spicy Gangjung, Rice Cake, Sweet Potato, Shack Shack Fries.

Verdict

Two thumbs up. Although after a few bites, the Original Gangjung was sickeningly sweet. The Hot & Spicy is lovely, however.

Price Range

$$


Eggslut

eggslut.com

Our Order

Bacon, Egg & Cheese and the Fairfax

Verdict

You should definitely add bacon to the Fairfax as without it the sandwich is completely homogeneous and it could definitely do with some texture. The Bacon, Egg, & Cheese is safer and if you like your eggs runny, it's the one.

Damage

$


In-N-Out 

Our Order

Cheeseburger Single, Cheeseburger Double, and Animal Style Fries.

Verdict

We prefer Five Guys and so should you. Largely overrated, but you should try it once because it's the tourist thing to do. The locals love In and Out and rightfully so. We would never accept when Ghanaians say their Jollof is better and neither should they. 

PS: Animal Style Fries are a heart attack waiting to happen.

Damage

$


SOCA

soca-la.com

Our Order

Korean Beef Dumplings, Lobster & King Crab Bites, Colossal Tiger Shrimp, Ocean Trout, Peruvian Carne Asada, and 32 oz Prime Tomahawk

Verdict 

The gin bar here puts the very best cocktails in Lagos to shame. The gin cocktails are named by numbers alone and the Number 28 was by certainly Folly's favorite. For the food, the dumplings and the shrimp were a favorites, but the mash that came with the carne asada was particularly lovely.

Damage 

$$$


Rose Cafe

rosecafevenice.com

Our Order

Breakfast Burrito and Avocado & Egg Toast

Verdict

Absolutely perfect for brunch. You absolutely MUST do this one. Mimosas in the outdoor area are the ultimate mood. Rose Cafe is also prime for celeb spotting - if that's your thing.

Damage

$$


Salt & Straw

IMG_9576.JPG

saltandstraw.com

Our Order

Almond Brittle with Salted Caramel Ganache

Review 

There was an avocado flavor and another with black olives, but we ordered the Almond Brittle with Salted Caramel Ganache. The Nigerian definitely jumped out. Still, it's very very worth it. 

Damage

$

Eat.Drink.Travel: The Sands at Nomad (Diani Beach, Kenya)
 

 

NOSA: Before we get into this, I think we need to issue a little disclaimer or something. Diani Beach is not in Mombasa. When people say they're going to Mombasa for vacation, they usually mean Diani Beach because there's no way you're really vacationing in Mombasa. Mombasa is like Apapa. 

That said, The Sands at Nomad is on many a Kenya bucket list. Year after year, it's a Trip Advisor Traveller's Choice spot so we HAD TO check it out. 

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FOLLY: After being warned by locals to save all sushi allowances for Diani Beach, we excitedly ordered sushi when we got to The Sands at Nomad. I ordered only the Ebi Tempura and I left the rest to Nosa. 

NOSA: I ordered the Tempura Prawn Roll and the Rainbow Uramaki

 Ebi Tempura

Ebi Tempura

The ebi tempura was really underwhelming. Like, the blandness of it was so jarring to me. It was almost like they refused to season it by design. This was a running theme across the table as well. All our friends at dinner thought their orders were bland and seasoning notably absent. 

FOLLY: We also ordered the seafood pizza but that never arrived. Probably because the waitress was probably wondering how one table of 8 people could want two of the same pizza. I didn't miss it because we had over compensated for the near loss of a phone with copious amounts of sushi and wine. 

 Calamari

Calamari

FOLLY: We combed through TripAdvisor reviews before visiting and ordering but past patrons were split down the middle in terms of excellent and piss poor, which explains our rather average and disappointing dinner.

NOSA: Ordering calamari was our smartest move of the night because it was a probably the only satisfying item. It must be said that for place so close to the sea, the seafood was just so disappointing. 

 Tempura Prawn Roll

Tempura Prawn Roll

NOSA: The biggest letdown was the sushi. I don't think I've had sushi this bad since Bonsai two years ago.

FOLLY: The Sands at Nomad was the most disappointing food experience at Diani beach (and there were quite a few) because everything was tasteless and without personality. All the maki rolls we ordered were heavy on the rice and the fish felt like an afterthought. 

 Rainbow Uramaki

Rainbow Uramaki

FOLLY: Overall I'd give this a miss if I were you. However, in looking for a silver lining our friends, based on TripAdvisor reviews, ordered the home made ice-cream in which they were well pleased. I didn't because I'm lactose intolerant.

Thanks Nkemka for the pictures!


VERDICT

Meh.jpeg

DAMAGE

Rainbow Uramaki - $8.90 

Tempura Prawn Roll - $8.90

Samosa (4) - $7.90

Ebi Tempura - $15

Calamari Rings - $8.90

 

 

RECOMMENDED DISH

The homemade ice-cream

5 Restaurants You MUST Visit in Nairobi

We spent a week in Nairobi and we were absolutely blown away by how extensive and diverse the culinary scene is. From the sausages on the streets to the fancier garden restaurants, Nairobi might be the most popping African city for for gastrophiles outside Johannesburg. Combine that with the weather and endless greenery, we're really suffering in Lagos


 Dim Sum Burger

Dim Sum Burger

Perfect for late night eats, Brew Bistro is heaven if you love your beer. The Dim Sum burger, in particular, is excellent. The pulled pork on it is outrageous and it's easily the greediest thing you'll ever order in your life. Oh, if you're down to party, the DJ is pretty elite. 

thebigfivebreweries.com

 

Carnivore

 Carnivore Menu

Carnivore Menu

Langata Rd, Nairobi, Kenya

+254 733 611608

Move over Fogo de Chao. If you're ready to "finish" yourself with all manner of meat, Carnivore is the move. It's on every Nairobi to-do list for good reason.

From safe choices like beef sausages to more exotic options like crocodile and ox balls, the odds of you tapping out after the second round of meat are very high. 

tamarind.co.ke/carnivore

 

 

 
 Thai Red Curry with Pork Shank

Thai Red Curry with Pork Shank

As far as dining in Nairobi in concerned, Talisman is at the topmost of the top tier. They serve a combination of African, Asian, and European fare. The feta and coriander samosas are to die for while the Talisman Burger is probably the best burger you'll find at any upscale restaurant. 

thetalismanrestaurant.com

 
 Pork Belly Ribs 

Pork Belly Ribs 

Marula Mercantile is one that slips under most radars, but it was one of our favorite spots in Nairobi. The space is super cozy and the menu is pretty "edgy". Perfect for brunch.

marulamercantile.com

 
 Finga Lickin' Harissa Chicken Wings

Finga Lickin' Harissa Chicken Wings

Mama Rocks Gourmet Burgers

Argwings Kodhek Rd, Nairobi, Kenya

+254 705 155155

If you're going to only one place on this list, it should be Mama Rocks. And if you do, visit the location at the The Alchemist.

The African-inspired burgers are absolutely glorious. The burgers you MUST try:

  • Ushago.at
  • Sweet Mother
  • Mango Masai Mama

mamarocksburgers.com

 

 

 
Eat.Drink.Travel: Mama Rocks (Nairobi, Kenya)
 
Mama Rocks 1.jpg

FOLLY: I alluded to the Mama Rocks over eating incident in our Talisman review on Monday but we really went overboard with this one. 

NOSA: Pureeeeee  gluttony. Mama Rocks is HIGHLY recommended if you're in Nairobi. It's on every list you're going to come across.

FOLLY: Between the 8 of us that went to Mama Rocks, we had 13 burgers. I believe that will tell you everything you need to know about the “over eating incident”. In addition to the 13 burgers, we also had sides - sweet potato fries, regular fries, and multiple portions of chicken wings. 

Oh, and the Alchemist Bar is in the same premises as Mama Rocks had a happy hour deal so naturally we helped ourselves.

Mama Rocks 3.jpg

FOLLY: Let’s just say that we were deprived after coming back from Diani Beach and so we went HAM. 

NOSA: The less said about Diani Beach, the better. The place is like a commercialized Zanzibar and that's not a good thing. It has none of village charm of Zanzibar and all of the goats. There's tons of alcohol, but the seafood is not as good. I'm getting stressed just thinking about Diani Beach again. 

Sigh. 

FOLLY: Between Nosa and I, we ordered:

  • Nollywood Suya: beef patty + red onions + nutty mayo + rocket
  • Mango Masi Mama: beef patty + chili mango mayo + orange cheddar + pickles 
  • Desmond Tutu: pulled pork + cheddar + rich mayo slaw
  • Ushoago.at:  goat patty + mint sauce + feta. 
 L-R: Nollywood Suya, Mango Masai Mama, Flaming Desmond Tutu

L-R: Nollywood Suya, Mango Masai Mama, Flaming Desmond Tutu

NOLLYWOOD SUYA SAGA (W.Africa)
A prime cut paprika spiced beef patty, sautéed red onions, mama’s special honeyed-nutty mayo, rocket lettuce and homemade Only The Brave Hot Sauce.
 Fries

Fries

FOLLY: If a Nigerian picked N50 from the road and was transformed into a burger (not yam this time), urban legend style, the Nollywood Suya Saga burger is what he/she would taste like. You know how Nigerians love stew? This was a stewy and peppery burger. The stew was so deep that it was like the patty had a thin red line through it like it was mixed with stew when it was formed.

NOSA: The Nollywood Suya burger tastes like what other Africans think Nigerian food tastes like. 

They're not wrong. 

FOLLY: I was disappointed that I had a very small helping of the nutty mayo because it only came through in one little section of the burger but my friend's burger had a more generous serving.

 How cool are this shave down Ciroc bottles?   

How cool are this shave down Ciroc bottles?

 

NOSA: Before we get into the other burgers, do you know what was really great? The wings. 

FINGA LICKIN’ HARISSA CHICKEN (N.Africa)
Fall of the bone chicken wings smothered in Harissa – a unique blend of roast peppers, chilies, garlic, coriander and warm spices.

NOSA: Maybe it's because a lot of the stuff had been eating didn't have any "pepper" and it affected our taste buds, but EVERYONE in our group loved these wings. Absolutely delicious. 

FOLLY: A couple of my favorite food bloggers hype up Harissa as a spice blend and it's LIT.

 Finga Lickin' Harissa Chicken

Finga Lickin' Harissa Chicken

NOSA: There are two types of burgers at Mama Rocks: African Style Gourmet Burgers and Sapeur Boutique Burgers. The gourmet burgers are their regular run-of-the-mill burgers (if you can even call them run-of-the-mill), while the boutique burgers are their burgers with a little more oomph. Because they have a little extra to them, you can get the boutique burgers as either full burgers or sliders. 

FOLLY: Also the burgers also represent different regions in Africa.

MANGO MASAI MAMA (E.Africa)
Prime cut beef patty, chili mango mayonnaise, orange cheddar cheese, mixed salad, homemade gherkins and a slice of sweet roasted red bell pepper.

NOSA: One burger you must try at Mama Rocks is the Mango Masai Mama. You're might not find mango flavored mayo anywhere else on earth so you might as well try it at Mama Rocks. On a serious note, I'm massive hater of fruits. Like, I absolutely detest them, but I loved this burger. It's messy as hell, but it's so so yum. The saltiness of the bacon and the sweet kick from the mango mayo form the most perfect union. 

DESMOND FLAMING TUTU (S.Africa)
Braai style pulled pork, beef patty, cheddar cheese, summery apple-sauce, and a rich mayo slaw. Add extra cheddar to turn this spark into a flame!

NOSA: Of all the burgers we tried, the Desmond Flaming Tutu was the one we could've probably skipped out on. Not saying it wasn't any good, because it was, but it wasn't worth being a glutton for. On its own, it's a solid burger, but compared to the others, it lacked a little something. 

FOLLY: So the summery apple-sauce had a tinge of pepper and ended up tasting like sweet fried stew - it was so tasty and I made everyone use it as a dipping sauce for their fries.

 The GOAT

The GOAT

Now for the Ushago.at, a boutique burger, as always mint and feta is a VIBE, you can never go wrong with that. The goat patty also vibed well with the fillings to match the alte burger vibes. 

NOSA: Putting feta a burger, to me, represents a commitment to excellence. Like, you aren't here to play with anyone. Putting all your competitors on notice LOL. 

Jokes aside, the Ushago.at tastes like pure sex. After a tedious flight from Mombasa, this burger was the perfect welcome. 

USHAGO.AT (Kenya)
A homey mouth-watering goat patty, Maziwa Lala and mint sauce, refreshing kachumbari, skuma (Mama Style), crumbled feta cheese (and optional Mama Jane’s Green Chilli sauce).

FOLLY: The real shame that this was the last burger we tucked in to because I was already so full that I had to let Nosa eat most of it.

 USHAGO.AT

USHAGO.AT

NOSA: Whatever your itinerary is, if you find yourself in Nairobi, you MUST stop by Mama Rocks. You'd be a fool not to. You can skip on the other places like Talisman and Thai Chi. Just do Mama Rocks. 


VERDICT

Like.jpeg

DAMAGE

Ushago.AT - $11

Mango Masai Mama - $9.50

Nollywood Suya Saga - $8.50

Flaming Desmond Tutu - $11

Finga Lickin' Harissa Chicken - $6.50

 

RECOMMENDED DISH

Mango Masai Mama

Sweet Mother

Ushago.AT