Matilda tiramisu

Like I said last week, I need to pay the East Village more visits because the gems are tucked away here. Matilda being one of them, and was extremely intrigued by it. The decor alone is adorable, clean and fresh. The details in this space are just too warming to keep away from, with art by Matilda herself on the walls. What I really appreciated were the words on the walls that are made of tiles, someone clearly took their time to create this restaurant and they did it well.

Matilda

They also keep the dessert menu on the table, in a slot carved in to hold it. Very different and impressive.

Matilda setting

Matilda mimosa

Obviously, they also took their time with the Tuscan and Mexican influenced menu as well. I, as usual, was overwhelmed by the enticing menu and couldn’t decide for a while. Luckily, they graced my table with their authentic guacamole paired with nachos and croutons. Just by looking at it, I knew this was made freshly by hand and it was completely amazing. It had a strong basil flavor and the chips were the perfect addition. I had them leave this at my table well after dessert because it was just that delicious.

Matilda Guacamole

Unfortunately, we did have to part because it was time for the French toast, which I was extremely excited to try. My mimosa was already in hand, taste buds already singing and my appetite was waiting. And well, it was worth the wait. French toast served with mascarpone is always a treat for me and strawberries always make everything better so heaven was served on a platter, just for me! I also ordered some of the crispest, fluffiest bacon I have ever tried in my life. It was truly fried to perfection and by now, I want to eat here everyday. Was there even room for dessert?

Matilda French toast

Matilda French Toast

Matilda Bacon

There’s always room so I tried the tiramisu and the churros, which they really pride themselves on. I was sticking to the tiramisu for the most part and it was great. This was all done as I was sipping on their version of a Mimosa, the Matilda.

Matilda tiramisu

Matilda Churros

I actually also got a chance to meet Matilda and I thought that it was the sweetest touch that she’s on the voicemail at the restaurant as well! I really appreciated my brunch here and I can’t wait to go back and create something for Food Before Love.

Matilda Pizza

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Brown Betty icecream
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After a Taste of Chicago, I had high expectations for A Taste of Philly. I happened to be visiting Philadelphia for two days and lucky me, I was just in time for the event. Outside of the entrance, plenty of food trucks lined up and I also got to try some of the worst mac and cheese ever, very sad.

Taste of Philadelphia banner

But that didn’t stop me from buying more tickets to get more food. Like the Taste of Chicago, you pay for a few tickets and then they are used as “money” when you visit the stands. Surprisingly here, the tickets can only get you one size portion,  in comparison to Chicago where they actually offered “a taste” and then that same portion doubled for a few more tickets.

Taste of Philadelphia tickets

The sun was scorching that day so the first thing I got my hands on was an ice cream sandwich from Brown Betty Icecream Truck.Brown Betty

I love strawberry ice cream so I really got a chance to appreciate the authenticity and quality of this sandwich. Did this woman make this ice cream from scratch? I could really taste that she did. The chocolate portion that kept it all together was more like a brownie to me, rich and creamy even, pulling all the flavors together.

Brown Betty icecream

Then I realized I needed some kind of “real” food in my system so I tried the chicken satay at the Twisted Tail stand. It’s always exciting to see the food being cooked fresh right in front of me.

Twisted Tail

And even better was the chicken I got to try.

Twisted Tail chicken satay

The rest of the festival was mainly theme park stands that sold your everyday theme park food, no specialties. I would try to return but towards the beginning of the festival for sure.

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Founder Food Before Love

Still here, but it’s not so bad.

It’s funny how yesterday a good friend of mine was joking about how I used to cry for McDonalds. I certainly didn’t think I’d still be here writing a year later so it’s overwhelming to see the progress.

This is just the beginning…

A year ago today, I wrote my first post on this site and I just wanted to say how humbled I am that you continue to read and support Food Before Love. I appreciate you if you come on here daily or monthly. It takes a lot to just leave my words on the internet, and my opinions for you to share, accept or disagree with. So if you’ve ever given me feedback, good or bad, thank you. i hope you’re running around the world enjoying all the good food the world has to offer.

Founder Food Before Love

I absolutely LOVE FOOD. I could talk about it all day if you let me, and you do. Some of you even laugh at my corny jokes while you read, go to restaurants I’ve been to, and try “what Cass said I have to have here” so Thank you!

Slowly but surely, the blog is growing. We do Restaurant Reviews, have done Sweet Tours, Brunch Parties, Dinner events, Food and Wine pairings, and more to come. I can’t even believe it’s all that it is but there is so much more to do. Please continue stick along for the ride because we have so much more planned for the site, and after all I do this for you. Yes, YOU.

I’m going to cut this short but I hope you understand my gratitude. To everyone who said they were proud, who pushed me, who encouraged me to do it myself, who said they loved the blog, my readers, if you’ve been to an event we hosted, if you follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram , THANK YOU.

Remember to never leave love out of the equation.

Love,

Casandra

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Cuba steak and eggs

After looking at the menu at Cuba 6 times before I even got there, I still had no idea what I was having. The entire menu looks delicious on paper and in person. Bring out the drinks, por favor. They have 5 different drinks here and we had a round of them all. They brought out full pitchers for two hours, whether you’re done with your food or not. Complete lush! My least favorite was the Caipirinha but the mojito here is perfect. The drinks are all very refreshing and WILL quench your thirst.

Cuba Tostones

We started from the bottom with the tostones rellenos and chicken empanadas. The empanadas lacked the burst of flavors I was expecting, but that didn’t take away the flavors it did have, especially the sauce that came with it. I can make these at home though, just saying.

Cuba steak and eggs

The tostones are actually a personal favorite. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with stuffed tostones and I wasn’t about to go wrong at Cuba.  I really wish I had gotten the Ropa Vieja because it tastes as good as it looks. Instead, I had to try their steak and eggs but I really don’t know who told me to get these runny eggs. I thought because they were great at Lokal, I would enjoy them here but I was a wrong. It’s just a preference thing though, nothing against the eggs here.

Casandra Rosario at Cuba restaurant

The steak was tougher than how I like it to be so I’m not sure if I’d order again. Our waiter was really nice and accommodating as well. This place is dope for groups so go with friends!

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