Homegrown tomatoes in the urban garden make for fun and abundant summer gardening.

There’s much to be said about growing your own things to eat. A small strip of unused land behind our apartment has become our urban garden and that strip of land has brought large amounts of food and joy to our friends and neighbors.

“Using small parcels of urban land to compost, cultivate, care for and grow food to fortify our lives is a great way to unite people and nature in a wholesome and caring way. ” Peter Pearce co-owner https://guerillagardenersocal.wordpress.com

Peter goes on to say, “We prepared some dried earth to be growing ready by weeding, watering and naturally fertilizing with compost and have created a meeting area for people to chat, have a drink, a smoking section and a garden place to be at peace with nature all in one.” 

“The main thing we have grown so far are tomatoes that are doing really well, but we have also grown potatoes, Lebanese mint, artichokes, white onions and bell peppers. We are trying to get a couple citrus trees going but I think they are stupid GMO controlled seeds that are having troubles getting past budding. We have also started nearly a dozen avocado trees and have donated them all to the community. It’s good fun.”

“Our group has grown to include nearly 20 neighbors who all enjoy the space. We drink sangria and pitch in to keep the area maintained. Our group is expanding into a local landscape business where we help clear, care for and maintain other peoples landscapes now too.”

Read more at  https://guerillagardenersocal.wordpress.com

Flippin Pizza in Long Beach is home to one of the neighborhood’s best pizzas.

flippin-pizza-entIf you are a pizza lover, like many folks who now live in Los Angeles are, then you will be happy to know the Dude of Food has picked up where the LA Weekly Best Pizza Search has left off in the search for Southern California’s Top Pizzas and has found another contender for the Top 10 Pizzas in the Area list at the Flippin Pizza location.flippin-int

 

Upon entering Flippin Pizza it is apparent the place is fresh and clean. A friendly staff member greeted and informed me of the daily specials. The nice staff member turned out to be the owner, Anthony. We chatted and I learned that the restaurant had been open since August 2015 at 6269 East Spring Street, Long Beach.

They offer daily pizza specials and also offer a happy hour from 3-6p with $4. pints. (Hello, Pizza, Beer & NHL Hockey!) Besides carefully crafted pizzas you can find really nice salads too. The lunch specials offer various versions of slices, salads and drink options.

flippin-pieThe Dude of Food tried a slice of the 4 Cheese and a slice of the Little Brooklyn and was satisfied with both. The crust is thin and lite. It is not all rubbery and sweet which is a good thing. Both slices could have been a little greasy but both showed signs of very little accumulation on top.flipin-pie

 

 

The two slice and a drink lunch special will run you $6.50 and will satisfy your pizza craving for the time being. Flippin Pizza is Dude of Food approved and will be appearing on the list of Top 10 as the survey works towards the Top 5 round.

If you are craving pizza in the Long Beach / Lakewood area give Flippin Pizza a call and have something delivered.  562/421-1111  http://www.flippinpizzalongbeach.com

The Dude of Food email – weallgottaeat on g mail

The Dude of Food visits St. Florian’s Brewery in Windsor, CA

The Dude of Food went to visit the crew at St. Florian’s Brewery.1459875806642

Good people and many beers to choose from.

I liked the IPA’s best and want to add this brand to my food portfolio for the world markets.

See their beer selection list – http://www.stfloriansbrewery.com/our-beers/

st florians bar

The Dude of Food creates a great new oatmeal-tapioca breakfast treat.

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Tired of the same old thing for breakfast? Give up on your quest to eat healthier 10 days after your New Years resolution? Perhaps you are a hockey player and have no front teeth to bite a burrito with. What ever the case may be, the Dude of Food has created an awesome new way for people of all ages to enjoy a pretty healthy breakfast.

The Dude of Food decided that he wanted to try a German packaged cereal thing he saw on a market shelf in Munich. The package was made by a guy named Dr. Oetker and was called Griessbrei. As you can see below the label is in German as were the directions for preparation. I had a heck of a time online trying to decipher exactly what the proper measures and times were when I decided to try and prepare it. Anyways to make an interesting story short, the stuff was like a cross between creamed wheat and tapioca pudding. I liked it and mentioned it to my Bavarian friends. They all  said the same thing, “You like baby cereal?”Dr-Oetker-Griebrei-Klassische-Art-Sweet-Porridge-92g_main-1

Well since the stigma is that this stuff is too sweet for a proper adult breakfast the Dude of Food decided to try mixing tapioca pudding with oatmeal. The tapioca pudding is easy to acquire. In the German market the small packet of Dr. Oetker Griessbrei was like .89 euro or about 93 cents. If you can find it in the states or online it is $3.99 a packet.

So the Dude of Food  (www.facebook.com/dudeoffoodpage) prepared 1 cup of oatmeal. Just as it was time to turn it off and cool off I added a little bit of warm homemade tapioca pudding and stirred it together. I topped it with a little bit of strawberry preserves and put it to the taste test. The results = excellent.

Get ready America for a new little something good for breakfast.

The Dude of Food showcases Cee Gee Farm’s homemade goat milk cheese

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Somewhere in the Tucson foothills a couple stones throw away from Arizona Wildcat stadium is located a small rancho that carries the brand name CG. On this small but productive rancho known as Cee Gee Farms live a community of award winning european show goats that are hand kept, cared for and loved by the farm’s, Charlotte G. The Dude of Food recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Charlotte G and her fury Alpine buddies and learned some stuff.

Bred of good farm genes and with the energy of 2 energizer bunnies, Charlotte G breeds, feeds, tattoos, milks, cares for and shows this collection of goats and has been the recipient of more than a dozen Grand Prize and 1st Prize awards over the years for her top notch goats. These goats love to be fed the pods of the mesquite trees that are everywhere. Goats are funny animals and fun to play with for awhile.

Charlotte has learned to make goat milk cheese of various flavors as shown in the photo above and also creates a really nice and all natural goal milk soap that is great for gifting.

Baaasically, the Dude of Food can report that the goats located on this farm in Arizona are a happy bunch of kids.

The Dude of Food introduces his plate of arms.

Plate of arms

Every grand family has a coat of arms, so while sitting in Prague, the Dude of Food created his own plate of arms. It needs a ketchup D and a mustard F.

Below are some other famous family crests an coat of arms.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Familyking

Napolean Bonaparte family crest

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The Dude of Food finds 1 of the best pizzas in Europe, at the Dusseldorf airport!

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  The Dude of Food had just left Munich. It was with a painful heart that he dragged himself away from Minga, a city that he loves. He had prepared for the long flight back to LA by staying up all night on his last visit in town before he left. He knew he had a 1 1/2 hour layover in Dusseldorf Airport’s Terminal ‘C’. Upon arrival to Gate 32 Terminal C a vision similar to an oasis housing a food mermaid revealed itself to this hungry traveler. A restaurant at the next gate had a sign announcing food and beer that read Zigolini.

At gate 34 this small restaurant named Zigolini offered some good looking pastas and pizza for a reasonable price. The Dude of Food asked for a large beer. The guy next to me received a veggie pizza and that was it. I needed one also. A sausage and bacon pizza was asked for. There is no exaggeration in saying that this may be one of the best pizzas ever!

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The next time I flew through Dusseldorf it was a no brainer to go back. Zigolini was still there waiting for me in all her delicious glory. The only thing that was different was the sign now reads Marche. You can read more about Marche at http://www.marche-restaurants.com.

Muhamad Ali, the head chef and designer, personally told the Dude of Food that the restaurant is still called Zigolini even though the sign has changed. The receipt still reads Zigolini. Chef Ali has one of the best secret recipes ever and is a sweet guy that loves sharing with his customers. His pizzas are simply amazing and he will happily add the ingredients you may want if you don’t see the combination you like on the menu.champ

This pizza was better than nearly all I’ve ever had in Firenze, Rome, Germany, New York, Chicago, LA or maybe even ever! Certainly the Best Valued and Best Tasting Airport Food that the Dude of Food has ever encountered. If you are ever near the Dusseldorf airport and have some time to kill, the Dude of Food highly recommends that you go see for yourself about the pizza at Zigolini Italian Food.

pasta1pasta2pasta3pasta4olives

Chef Muhamad Ali is doing it right and deserves the title of ‘the Champ’!

Zigolini

Dusseldorf Flughafen                                                                     Terminal C / Airside                                                                              40474 Dusseldorf

The Dude of Food encounters a market apocalypse!

aisle 2 When the Dude of Food walked into this closing local southern California market he didn’t expect to feel like he missed the party. There is something really ominous about walking around an empty market. Even if you are full from just having eaten, this sight has a way of making you feel hungry. Even now when I look at the photos I feel myself getting hungry.

The Dude of Food found his mind racing as he wandered around the desolate market while enduring hunger pains. As he walked through this empty space he begin to think maybe everyone already knew something that he didn’t and they  hurried out for a solid reason.

I had to remind myself to not touch anything, don’t breathe deep and certainly do not rub my eyes for fear of getting kooties. I saw enough as I begun to realize I was in the back of the place and held my breathe and swiftly walked to the exit.

The Dude of Food has always wanted to run a market and would love to have a small store of empty shelves to stock with quality goods for the neighborhood.

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California Chardonnay Taste Test Winner

storytell  From the 6 bottles tested in round 1 of the Dude of Food’s search for the best inexpensive Chardonnay on June 22, 2015 we have a winner. The results are in. The notes have been compared and the winner of this tight competition was Sonoma County’s Storyteller Chardonnay. That was until I updated this story on July 28, 2015.  While the Storyteller was holding down the 1st place spot the Dude of Food added three more bottles of Chardonnay to his list. The new results follow-

1st Place –  Nitty Gritty Chardonnay Napa Valley 2012   3.9

2nd Place – STORYTELLER 2012    3.8

3rd Place –  Ghost Pines Chardonnay blend 2013    3.6

4th Place –  Kendall-Jackson Vinter’s Reseve 2013   3.5

5th Place – Benziger 2012    3.3

6th Place-  Frei Bros Reserve 2013    3.2

7th Place – Hawkstone 2013    3.0

8th Place – EDNA Valley 2013   2.9nitty gritty

 

 

Paella search Barcelona? See the Cheriff.

When the Dude of Food was wandering around the streets of Barcelona asking folks where he could find the best paella in the city there was 1 name that kept popping up.  Located on a corner in the easily accessible Barcelonetta district, it’s easy to find this restaurant named Cheriff.

cheriff frontCheriff opens for dinner at 8p and there were 3 parties waiting to come in when the doors opened. The Dude began with a bottle of local dry white wine and a salad. cheriff salad

Both were satisfying. Then when it came time to order I had a last minute change of mind and instead of ordering the normal seafood paella I decided to try the black ink squid paella.

cheriff ink paella

 

The choice turned out to be a good one and the black ink paella with fresh squeezed lemon was delicious.

The Cheriff is a family run place, where mama is running the kitchen and papa is managing the finances. They are great and make awesome food.

The Dude of Food thinks when in Barcelona you need to go here!