Una Mas Mexican Grill

Hubby is a crazy fan of Mexican foods. He had told umpteen times that he survived on burrito bowls and quesadilla when he was in U.S. I too like like Mexican food although am not a die hard fan of it. In Chennai, we often visit Don Pepe for good Mexican. The burrito in Spoonbill along with the fresh guacamole is good too. Hubby was craving for some burrito bowl and I saw someone mentioning this restaurant serving burrito bowls. Told hubby and decided to hit this place for late Sunday lunch.

The place is easy to locate in the Kodambakkam high road. Sadly a very small car parking and no valet parking too :( We managed to squeeze in our car with the help from the security person. The interior is colorful and vibrant. The menu is displayed on the wall behind the self service counter. We settled with a chicken quesadilla, a veg burrito bowl and a chicken burrito bowl. The chicken quesadilla was decent with good amount of filling. For the burrito bowl u can choose from a wide range of items in the counter. I opted for a double meat version with mexican rice, lime n cilantro rice, black beans, sauteed veggies, corn, lettuce, smoky salsa, sour cream and guacamole. The bowl was too good and very filling.





We also had nachos with cheese. But this one was total disappointment. Less nachos, very less cheese and loads of corn and black beans didn't do justice to the whooping 239 bucks in anyway. Told the same to the gentleman who was taking feedback from us. I prefer the nachos from Don Pepe anytime. And for the drinks junior and myself had a strawberry and orange blast. A tad bit sugary, fizz tasted okay. For desserts I had a filter coffee panacotta and churros. Both of them tasted yummy. The panacotta had a nice kick of coffee flavor. The churros came in hot hot with chocolate sauce. With mild cinnamon flavor and dusted with sugar it tasted delicious and vanished in no time.





To sum it up, the food was very good. Particularly the burrito bowls were total VFM. Will definitely go back for the burritos and churros :) All the above set us back by 1300 bucks

Place : Una Mas Mexican Grill
Location : Kodambakkam high road, Nungambakkam
Cuisine  :Mexican - Veg & Non-veg
Price : Moderate. A meal for two would cost around 700 - 800 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. 


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The Grand Annual Bake Sale - 2015

I've been a member of this community for home bakers in Facebook rite from the time they started. Learned a lot from the talented bakers there. Have been to the bake sale by Home Bakers Guild couple of times. First time at Crimson Chakra, Adyar and the second time in Hindustan School, Nungambakkam. This time the Bake sale was happening in Besant Nagar. Being a resident of Besant Nagar, being a foodie and a half baked baker myself :P, I wanted to give it a visit.

The sale timing was 4pm-7pm and was happening at Spaces, Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar. Drove there by 4.10pm to find the parking at beach being completely full. Parked in one of the parallel streets and walked into the venue. My god. So much of crowd. People were storming each and every stall, like buy or die :O Startled back by the crowd, I hardly managed to get near few bakers.

Grabbed the rummilicious pudding, chicken pickle and lemon cake slices from Smitha Kuttaya Boppananda of Baked Delights. The lemon cake was whole wheat tasted good but a bit dense to my liking. The pudding and pickle was yummilicious.



Then was pushed by the crowd and stopped by a stall called BumbleBee. Couple of items i wanted was already sold out. By then it was only 4.20pm :( Then managed my way to Adoniya. Y stop by a stall which has its own cafe and to which i'm a regular visitor. I found my answer from Lemon curd & Rosemary cake. If i would hv not stopped by I would have missed this beauty. The cake was absolutely divine. The fragrance from rosemary and tangy - ness from the lemon curd was married beautifully and tasted great :) So was the carrot cake and the Gulab Jamun Tiramisu.




Finally peaked up into V's Bakehouse stall and grabbed a Tresleche jar, french macrons and lemon brownie. Everything was yumm. Especially the dessert jar and the lemon brownies were too good.



Here comes the nightmare part. Yes!! You read it right. Either the place was not enough to handle the crowd or the crowd was mad and insane or all of the above. Forget buying. It was difficult to go near a stall even. Pushing, shoving and what not. I understand it is difficult to form a queue in these kind of places but the way the crowd behaved was horrible :( Felt like was in thirupathi devasthanam before the darisanam. Only thing was I didn't hear "Govindha govindha" or "Jarugandi jarugandi" :D Having been to this event earlier, I personally feel that the Nungambakkam venue was way better. Secondly it was sad and frustrating to hear most of the items were sold out. Come on. You've advertised well enough in all food groups in FB, articles in leading magazines, the organisers/bakers should roughly anticipate the turn out and should have been prepared for that. I dont know how can be "Sold Out" being justified withing 20-30 mins of opening. Then the time frame for the sale should be 30 minutes or 45 minutes. Not 3 hours!!

Will I go to the bake sale. May be not. Or atleast i'll be give a second thought on it. I'll rather order the goodies from the bakers themselves and happily pay for the delivery charges rather being pushed and shoved ;)

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Brick House Bistro

I'm not a big fan of burgers. Not that I don't like the taste. The major issue being eating that without creating a mess. Yeah. My table/plate looks like it witnessed a world war. I need loads of tissues to finish off a burger. And 99% my patty slides off the bun leaving me eating the patty and the bun separately. This time I was looking forward to visit this place. Not only because it was getting too much of attention, a positive attention in food groups, this was the first time I tried my hands on beef :) Another milestone in my non-veg journey.

My brother was asking me to try beef for a long time. A couple of times our plans got cancelled. This time we decided to head into Brick House Bistro for lunch on a Saturday. The place is nicely done. Thanks to MasterChef I could identify Heston, Marco Pierre White from the stencil art on the wall at the entrance.

Coming to the food. A single page menu with choices on fries, chicken wings, hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers and some main course along with drinks and desserts. For starters we had gooey cheesy fries with sausage bits and bbq chicken wings. The fries were cheesy and gooey but cold. Would've been great if the fries were crispy rather than soggy ones. Nothing to rave about the bbq wings. It lacked flavor totally. And for drinks we had iced lemon tea, vanilla milkshake and coffee milkshake. The coffee milkshake was very good with perfect sweetness and strong kick of coffee. The other two drinks were average.

I





We had a hot dog, a single and double tenderloin burgers. Didn't taste the hot dog. But Junior completed it without any complaints. That means the hot dog was good - fantastic ;) I had the single patty beef burger and brother had the double one. The burger was simply mind blowing. As said earlier, I'm not a big fan of burgers. But this one was simply amazing. Rite from the juicy patty to the caramelization of onions to the tanginess from the sun dried tomatoes to the melting cheese to the perfect bun, each and everything was too good and complimented with each other well. To my surprise, the patty didn't slide off and the plate was less horror site to look at. Lol..






For desserts, we had the lemon cheese cake. First set back was that, it was served in a plastic container. Second though the cheese mixture was lemony and good, the base of the cheesecake which was supposed to be dry n crumbly was very soggy due to the juices seeped from the cheese mixture. But it was okay tastewise :)



Service was good. It was a bit irritating to learn that atleast one or two items were not available in each section of a single page menu. That too at 12.30pm for lunch. I don't think it is acceptable. I will definitely go back for the burger :)

Place : Brick House Bistro
Location : 6th avenue, Anna Nagar East (Adjacent to K4 police station)
Cuisine : American, European
Cost : The bill for all of the above was Rs. 1500. 

P.S : The writeup is based on personal experiences only.

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Food Street - Mylapore Festival 2015

Every year in January, Mylapore festival is held for four days, on the eve of pongal festival. Music and dance concerts, contests that reflects our culture (like kolam, pallanguzhi, dhayam etc), games, shopping, food and so much more, it's got something for everyone. Last year I landed there very late and encountered empty food stalls. So this year, we decided to hit it as early as possible. Landed there by 5.30pm. The food street happened in the Sundareshwarar street, next lane to Karpagambal mess. 


The street was already flooded with people and more crowd was pouring in storming each and every stall. We kickstarted with Mani Kozhukattai and sweet kozhukattai. To my knowledge there are two variations in the mani kozhukattai. One they make balls with leftover dough of kozhukattai, temper with the ulundhu pooranam. Another one is a simpler version of adding chilli powder to the left over dough and giving it a simple tadka with coconut shavings. The one that was available here was the simple version but tasted great. The sweet kozhukattai had a bit harder/thicker outer dough but the filling was yummy. We also took a parcel of the podi idly which tasted alrite.



At the next counter we had adai aviyal which tasted good. Typical iyer style adai aviyal with thick adai crispy at the edges and not so spicy aviyal. The filter coffee was average and the kasi halwa tasted great.





The vazhaipoo vadai (banana flower vadai) was the show stopper. Priced at 20 bucks for 2 vadai it was absolutely yumm. Crispy outer with rite amount of spiciness and salt. When i complemented the lady, she was so happy and was enquiring whether the salt level was okay.

The mangalore bonda was too good. Luckily, when we bought that it was damn hot and the sambhar n chutney was also good. Went for a second round and got a parcel too. 

The next stall served Karnataka specials. We tried Rava vada, banana buns and the mysore masala dosai. The first two were very ordinary. The dosai was too thick but the potato + peas filling smeared with spicy red chutney was nice. And the chutney served in the stall was spicy and good. 




The dhoklas were simply divine. A bit sweeter, it was fluffy, moist and juicy. Carrot halwa was so so.



The red rice puttu was delicious. A tad bit sweeter, it tasted great with coconut and moong dal. The pidi kozhukattai was average as i felt it to be too hard and lacked salt and spice. But the mint chutney was damn good. 



We winded up with a paneer soda and rose milk from kalathi news paper mart.




Mylapore festival, sponsored by Sundaram Finance happens every January on the eve of pongal. It really brings the village thiruvizha effect with merry go rounds, cotton candies and loads on loads of items for shopping.

For more details about the festival, http://www.mylaporefestival.com

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