Mississippi: The Smokehouse of Laurel

Beef Brisket from the Smokehouse of Laurel.

The Smokehouse of Laurel doesn’t disappoint. You can walk in or go through the drive through. Expect okra, fries and slaw among the sides and whether it is a smoked brisket sandwich or a pulled worked sandwich, you’ll find robust flavor. If you are not into beef or pork, don’t worry because you’ll find chicken on the menu too.

If Laurel, Mississippi sounds familiar, it the town in which HGTV’s Hometown is filmed.

Driving through for food.

New Orleans Cafe Beignet

Thank you to Margaret Adams for sharing you photos and few words about Cafe Beignet in New Orleans.


Native New Yorker, Margaret Adams recently enjoyed a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.   She sampled the local popular dessert, the beignet. In her opinion the drinks were priced moderately.   She described all the food as “fresh tasting and good.” If you never had a beignet but you have the popular fried powdered sugar confection found in New York Italian pizzerias called the zeppola then you will find it similar. The restaurant featured live music.


Manhattan, NY: Inside Kaikagetsu, A Lower East Side Restaurant


Front of restaurant

The Lower East Side never ceases to amaze me, rich in the spirit of immigrant histories.  Known for hosting art galleries, nightlife, variety in eateries and fine dining restaurants representing cuisines from around the world, I was pleased to discover one of the latest additions to the community, Kaikagetsu.  The picturesque restaurant is located at 162 Orchard Street.   Passersby peak into the inviting dining establishment complete with white curtains draped over gargantuan open windows.  Meanwhile patrons savor bites and people-watch.


Kaikagetsu strikes a balance between upscale and a rustic lodge feel, lending to a sense of calm and relaxation.   The romantically dark ambiance further accentuates a warm environment quietly whispering in your ear to get comfortable and enjoy what Japan has to offer.   Menu items are influenced by cuisine in Japan’s Hida Region.


The superb service began with my guest and I given a choice from a wonderful set of sake glasses to drink from.  What I enjoyed the most was a particular sake. I asked the server to choose for me. He chose the Tenryo Hidahomare.  It is a junmai ginjyo sake crafted from Hidahomare rice local to the Hida District as previously mentioned the menu reflects cuisine from the region as well.   I found it to be divinely light and crisp just like I like it.


hot pot.jpg

Let’s get down to the food which included no shortage of scrumptious surprises.   The restaurant graciously provided a five course meal.   Lotus root chip showed up in my appetizer and entrée , adding incredible texture to my dish.  Honestly, I’d devour the chips with everything.   Quietly, I wrapped my brain around eating sashimi, usually I am no fan of sashimi when it comes to  Japanese fare; however, this selection was very fresh and really paired well with their homemade soy sauce. The tuna topped my list out of the three types of fish offered to me.  I sampled whitefish and salmon too.

sashimi retouch

Japanese curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.  Never have I had a curry at a Japanese restaurant so I didn’t know what to expect. The rich bold flavors and the different textures from the vegetables didn’t disappoint, pleasing to my tongue more and more with each mouthful.   My guest ordered the beef rice pot, a dish more on the sweet side and lacking contrasting flavors.  The artist in me, appreciated the artful and exquisite presentation of our dishes.   All and all, even down to the coffee tiramisu  drizzled with pear sauce, we enjoyed our experience at the Lower East Side’s Kaikagetsu.  I’d go back and I’d definitely order the beef curry again with extra lotus root chips please!

*Reservations placed at least 48 hour ahead, strongly suggested.

Written by Nataki Alexander-Hewling


Phone(646) 590-3900

Click Here to Visit Kaikagetsu’s Website

Closed: New York’s eXo Greek Mediterranean

In the mood for some good, no some great Greek Mediterranean food? Then look no further than eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant nestled in a quaint Whitestone New York neighborhood. eXo is a very young restaurant, they first opened their doors in August of 2010 and they have been busy ever since. I first experienced a small sampling of what eXo had to offer at the Queens A Taste of the World back in May. The restaurant boasts of traditional Greek recipes but with a flare.

In my correspondence with Chef Constantine Kalandranis, affectionately known as Chef Costa, I was instructed to come hungry, my response? I promised to wear my eating pants. With all the food we were treated to I should have worn my eating overalls. men from exo

We kicked off the tasting with fresh pita (which they make themselves) and all five spreads which included spicy feta, eggplant, skordalia, hummus, and tsatziki. From the mild to the spicy this appetizer was a gateway to the other flavors we were about to experience. Soon to follow was a traditional horitatiki tomato salad, kefalotiri cheese stuffed meatballs, hand cut potato chips, and a souvlakia trio of chicken, steak, and pork skewers. Told you I needed to put on my eating overalls.

Not much of a carnivore? don’t worry eXo has a meal for that.sauteed tiger shrimp With ingredients such as capers, white wine, and fresh cut herbs the Sautéed Tiger Shrimp, the Pan Seared King Salmon, and the Steamed mussels Kaliopi are all to die for.

food from exo

Although I was stuffed I had to experience eXo’s dessert, if the meal was that good I had to push towards the dessert (don’t judge me.) I indulged on warm rizogalo (rice pudding), my favorite yogurt and greek honey syrup, and galaktoboureko. seafood from exo
I definitely plan on revisiting eXo restaurant many times in the future and you should too. My only warning to you…wear your eating pants. Don’t forget to mention that you read it on the Multi Cultural Cooking Network.


eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant

Where: 15-16 149th St.

Whitestone, NY 11357

718-767-4-EXO (718-767-4396)




Top Ranked Restaurants in the World

Epicurious online magazine recently compiled a list of the top sixteen restaurants around the world. Cuisines that are prepared in fine restaurants from Paris, Spain, New York and Beijing are highlighted on the list.  Check out this list and see if you favorite restaurant made the list: READ MORE

Los Angeles Gourmet Food Trucks

(Photo Credit: Multi Cultural Cooking Network)

Gourmet Food Truck are all the rage in Sunny Southern California.  Find out which trucks have the right bites for your buck:


Toronto Will Your Fave Ethnic Restaurants Be Open X-mas Eve/Day?

Take a break from holiday hassles and enjoy lunch or dinner at some of the finest restaurants serving international and ethnic cuisine in Toronto. The following quality establishments are open at various times during the Christmas season.

Find out about the Chinese, French, Indian, Korean Thai and More Restaurants open during the holidays visit: http://www.examiner.com/x-29478-Toronto-Ethnic-Restaurants-Examiner~y2009m11d26-Some-of-Torontos-best-ethnic-and-international-restaurants-are-open-over-the-Christmas-season

Find more information at restaurants Toronto

Article by Heather Zorzini- Toronto Ethnic Restaurant Examiner

Darker Than Blue Restaurant in Baltimore is a Class Act

Get Ready for the New Series, East Coast Pitstops on the Multi Cultural Cooking Network coming in November.  The series is based on articles written by Los Angeles Restaurant Critic, Crystal Johnson.  Darker Than Blue Restaurant is one of the best places for superb food.

Darker Than Blue– Waverly ( Not far from Johns Hopkins University)

 Named for a Curtis Mayfield song, this restaurant will have taste buds singing a happy tune. Darker Than Blue has a sophisticated vibe of a Blues establishment mixed with fine dining experience on Greenmount Ave. Baltimoreans would scratch their head about the location, location, location but if you love southern cuisine and want experience not only to perfection but with class then Darker Than Blue is the place for you. The chef took our taste-buds from the southern US to Spain. Wine is not sold at the establishment so we have the sweet peach tea. On this night the flavor of peach is overpowered by the sugar. Note, the beverage will be my only complaint.

When it comes to the food, everything is perfection from the most moist cornbread served with a sweet potato butter. Sweet potato lovers, meditate on that. Chicken poppers filled with crab meat are served next with two complimenting sauces including an orange marmalade vinaigrette and and what my companion described as a basic cocktail sauce. However, the cocktail sauce works in the classic tradition of pairing it with seafood and in an unconventional way because of the prominence of the chicken. The meat of the chicken is tender while the coating is crunchy. There are three tiers of texture working together nicely. For our next appetizer, stuffed shrimp takes the stage filled with crab meat. The shrimp seems to be broiled. It is simple and classic in taste. Moving across the waters to Spanish Cuisine is the paella. It has a spicy flare not in a hot pepper sense but a more subtle kick. The dish is filled with chicken, sausage, shrimp, peppers, and mussels along with the classic saffron rice. Part owner and Chef Casey Jenkins also serves a marvelous fish and grits dinner entree. The outstanding tender catfish is placed upon garlic sauteed spinach upon a bed of grits complimented with garlic butter sauce surrounding the mound

caseywithfoodSmallThe local Baltimore Magazine named Darker than Blue among the top 50 restaurants in the city.  People come for good mac & cheese, fried chicken and the pairing of chicken and waffles too.   Run, don’t walk to this restaurant in Baltimore.   Check the website for information about jazz performances and the Sunday Brunch.  http://www.darkerthanbluecafe.com/InTheNews.html

To check out the East Coast Pitstops  Restaurant Review series visit:





The U.S.A.’s best Cupcake Spots

(listing from MSN report)

Here some of the best places for the delightful little round cups of joy called cupcakes.  The listing also include the popular cupcake choice of the place.

cupcakesLove at First BiteBerkeley, Calif. 

Ginger Babycake (Gingerbread cake with Limoncello-cream cheese frosting)


(Food featured in photo from Love at Firt Bite)

Saint Cupcake  – Portland, Ore. 

(Sweet banana and chocolate chip cake, smeared with peanut butter fudge frosting and topped with a fried banana chip)

Baked – Brooklyn, N.Y.Sweet and Salty Cupcake (Dark chocolate cake infused with salty caramel, topped with caramel chocolate ganache and fleur de sel)


Main Street Cupcakes – Hudson, Ohio Half-Baked (Dark chocolate cake stuffed with chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookie dough, then finished with chocolate buttercream)


Cupcake Royale ­- Seattle Lavender (Lavender-infused vanilla cake with lavender buttercream frosting)


Dozen CupcakesPittsburgh East End Chocolate Stout (Dark chocolate cake made with East End Brewing Co.’s Black Strap Stout, covered with dark chocolate ganache and topped with Irish cream buttercream).


Sugar Sweet Sunshine New York Pistachio Cupcake (Pistachio cake with “The Moose,” a satin buttercream frosting)


Lilly Jane’s Cupcakes – Eagle, Idaho

Orange Ginger (Zesty orange cupcake, topped with a citrus-infused cream cheese frosting)

Back in the Day Bakery – Savannah, Ga.

Lemon Coconut (Lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting and topped with fresh coconut)

For in-depth information about these shops visit: http://cityguides.msn.com/articles/article.aspx?cp-documentid=19549029&page=1