Oh Joy

happy friday + hello from philly... 22 Feb 2013

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We've been in Philly for the past week visiting our families. And brrrr...it's cold! I spent 30 years living on the East Coast, and now I can barely take the chilly weather. So sad. Ruby, on the other hand, loves it. She smiles and laughs when a gust of brisk air hits her in the face!

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We visited some of our favorite spots to eat including Han Dynasty (the best Chinese food), Franklin Fountain, Tacconelli's Pizzeria, and Spread Bagelry.

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But, of course, the best times have been spent enjoying simple moments with family. Ruby's grandparents (that's my Dad above) have been pretty over the moon this week.

Wishing you all an enjoyable weekend full of your favorite foods and your favorite people...

{Photos by Oh Joy}

donuts plus... 13 Jun 2012

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Lately, I've been noticing all the fun gourmet donut shops popping up. But instead of having just donuts, some shops are offering a second specialty that can satiate past that morning sugar buzz. Here in LA, the newly opened Gingersnap {the bakery offshoot right next door to Gingergrass} specializes in Asian influenced donut flavors like coconut {shown above}, pineapple, and kumquat starting at 10am while serving Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches come lunch time.

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And in Philly {my home town!}, Federal Donuts whips up incredible fresh donuts to order {like these Indian cinnamon ones above} starting at 7am, then offers a few varieties of fried chicken {chile garlic, buttermilk, and more} once 11am hits. I fully believe in focusing on a few key items and being really, really good at them. So I love these über-focus donut shops that satiate both my morning sweet treat cravings and provide a lunch-time savory fix! Have there been any other donut {plus} shops like this pop up in your city? — Joy

{photos by Oh Joy}

a day at terrain... 4 Aug 2011

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Earlier this week, I spent a day in Glen Mills, PA {just outside Philly} with a group of fellow bloggers for an amazing day at Terrain. We were treated to a day of culinary treats from their kitchen, cake sampling with the guys from Baked, mini spa treatments, a terrarium class, and a 7-course farm-to-table dinner to top off the evening. Having lived in Philly before, I've made a few stops to Terrain prior, but hadn't been there in a couple years since I moved West. I found myself falling in love with the shop, the space, and the restaurant all over again. Since I've posted about the retail space before {see here and here}, I wanted to share some images from the amazing food and florals experienced that day...just breathtaking...and so, so fun! {Huge thanks to the team at Terrain for an amazing day!} Joy

{photos by Oh Joy}

a szechuan gold mine in {philly}... 7 Jul 2011

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Since I moved from Philly to California two years ago, so many new and great places have popped up in my hometown that I have yet to try. While home this past weekend, I knew I had to visit Han Dynasty. I've been hearing the best things about their Szechuan food {mostly from my awesome cousin and her boyfriend} and knew it would satisfy my spicy food cravings as well. It was honestly some of the best Chinese food {maybe the best} I've ever had. My favorites were the Dumplings in Chili Oil, Spicy Cucumbers, and the Dan Dan Noodles. I'm craving it already and making an outing with some friends in search of some good Szechuan in LA this weekend... — Joy

{oh joy rx} blogging workshop in philly... 6 Jul 2011

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Philly folks! I'll be in town again in a few weeks and have decided to partner with AIGA Philadelphia to hold one of my Blogging Workshops! I'm excited to get to meet those of you in my home town and chat about one of my favorite topics. We'll cover: why you should blog, choosing a focus for your blog, finding your voice & point of view, content & frequency, copying & crediting, monetizing your blog, and more. There's limited space, so sign up right here to reserve! — Joy

{UPDATE: The workshop has sold out, but if there are enough people on the waitlist, we will open up more spaces!}

currently snacking on... 10 Feb 2011

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When I lived in Philly, one of my favorite treats was not a cupcake...but a Belgian sugar waffle from Bonté. Each waffle is made to order {with your choice of ingredients} in an old fashioned waffle iron in the same style the gaufré {sugar waffle} would be prepared and sold on the streets of Brussels. My favorite combination {shown here} is banana and walnut which makes me feel okay about having one for breakfast. But I also love a chocolate & strawberry version come dessert-time! — Joy

{photos by Oh Joy}

currently snacking on... 15 Dec 2010

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...a hot lolita chocolate {with canela & ancho chile} by Marcie Blaine. This little gem mixes two of my favorite flavors...spicy & sweet!

{photo by Oh Joy}

budino love... 29 Nov 2010

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I'll admit it. I've found a new love in a dessert. Lately, I've been seeing many a budino on the menus of some of my favorite restaurants. A budino simply means "pudding" in Italian, but there's something about a budino that elevates the pudding of your lunchbox days to a new delicious adult level. My favorites: the Chocolate Budino from Cucina Urbana in San Diego {left}, the Salted Caramel Budino from Barbuzzo in Philadelphia {right}, and the Butterscotch Budino from Pizzeria Mozza in LA {not shown}. It's seriously one of the best things to fill up a spoon since ice cream.

If you're up for trying to make one yourself, here's a recipe for Pizzeria Mozza's Butterscotch Budino and one from Leslie Sarna. As for me, I lack patience for any desserts that take over an hour to make, so I'll gladly continue to consume them at my favorite stops!

{photos by Oh Joy}

oh joy eats lunch with {ashley primis}... 14 Jul 2010

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Who  Ashley Primis / Director of Special Projects at Starr Restaurants and former Food Editor of Philadelphia Magazine

Where  El Rey, a Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia

Time 12:45pm

What's a typical lunch for you?  Something with a lot of flavor. If I eat something too healthy, I’m hungry again in an hour. These {above} are my latest obsession: Chilaquiles with a fried egg and Salsa Verde. It’s basically tortilla chips tossed in a tomatillo sauce topped with an egg. It's the best version of nachos you’ve ever had.

What's your dream/ideal lunch?  If work/time/geographical constraints weren't a factor, my dream lunch would be Fish tacos from Bear Flag Fish Company in Newport Beach. It’s fish at its best. And if I’m there, it means I’m in sunshiny L.A. with my best friends. (Which is the best part of the dream, by far.)

Dessert with lunch?  Yes, and no. More like a little chocolate treat or fro-yo run somewhere between lunch and dinner.

{food photo by Starr Restaurant Group, photo of Ashley by Zoey Sless-Kitain}

lure me with pink neon... 27 Oct 2009

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Put a well designed sign outside your restaurant, and you'll surely peak my interest. Now get some pink neon, take a little retro inspiration, mix it with a modern twist, and I'll be sitting on your doorstep waiting and eager to see what sights and tastes await....

{images above: Roseville in San Diego - image via Roseville, Milchbar Pinguin in Germany - image via Mr. Mountain}, El Camino in San Diego - image via moi, and the Chelsea in Atlantic City - image via the Chelsea. Another great pink neon establishment (one of my favorite restaurants in the world) is Distrito in Philadelphia - image not shown.}

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