Avenue 22 BBQ

Vegans and vegetarians look away because Avenue 22 don’t shy away from a good slab of meat. They specialise in low and slow American style smoked meats and are ahead of the game despite not being on the scene for as long as others in the same field.

First of all, their briskets have the perfect smoke ring! For those of you not familiar with this barbecue term, it’s that area of pink colour near the surface of the meat only achieved by having both moisture and a low and slow temperature while cooking. These guys definitely have it down pat. The brisket is juicy and tender – definitely masters of their trade!

Second, their short ribs are another level. Again with the perfect smoke ring and a crust of dark bark. These babies are thick yet juicy af and definitely not lacking in flavour. They fall off the bone whilst using plastic cutlery – what more can you ask for?!

Mixed plate $45.00

If you can’t decide on what to order, the mixed plate is definitely the way to go. It comes with wagyu brisket, beef rib, bread, slaw, pickles and homemade bbq sauce.

That homemade bbq sauce is amazing. It’s sweet with a bit of a kick, the perfect thing to dunk your already tasty meat into. These guys need to start selling this by the bucket load!

The sides they offer are also really tasty and compliment the meat. They have mac n cheese and corn pudding to choose from. Both are equally as good and will leave you wanting more.

Mac n cheese $5.00 and corn salad $5.00

Have I twisted your arm yet?

We drove all the way here in over 40 degree heat to try it out and were definitely not disappointed. We are already planning our next visit!

Help support this small business by feeding your meat cravings. When you take that first bite you’ll see why I’m raving on about this place. You can thank me later.

Frankiie xX

Brownies by U

Brownies by U may not have been around for very long but new or not they know how to play the brownie game.

Layer upon layer of delicious, sweet goodness, a bite of one of these babies is enough to put you into a dessert lovers comatose sending you to dessert heaven.

Being able to customise your brownie with all the bits and pieces you want is the whole appeal. Don’t like something? No problem, don’t add it. You can pretty much build this baby into a mountain only found in chocolate dreams.

Starting off with the base. You have options of Oreo, Tim Tams, Scotch Fingers, Mint Slice, chocolate chips, caramel popcorn, Biscoff popcorn, Nutella popcorn, and Lotus spread. Which to choose?! I went with our local Aussie fave, Tim Tams.

Next you have the spread. Choices are Nutella, Biscoff, strawberry jam, peanut butter, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Caramilk, and salted caramel. I chose Nutella of course.

Now for the brownie! They’ve got milk chocolate, dark chocolate, espresso, red velvet, Caramilk, peppermint, and Cherry Ripe. I opted for the traditional milk chocolate just so I can rate it against other hyped up places like Tee Lish.

Then there’s the toppings. The list includes white choc chips, milk choc chips, dark choc chips, shredded coconut, marshmallows, and the to trio drizzle which consists of milk, dark and white chocolate! I chose white choc chips.

Last but not least are the add ons. Now this is where you can go wild! The list is huge. You’ve got shredded coconut, white choc chips, dark choc chips, marshmallows, the trio drizzle, Oreo (crumbed or chopped), Mint Slice (crumbed or chopped), Nutella spread, Biscoff spread, caramel spread, Caramilk spread, caramel popcorn, chopped snickers, chopped Mars bars, chopped Bounty, chopped Twix, chopped Twirl, chopped Crunchie, chopped Flake, chopped Picnic, chopped Cherry Ripe, chopped Tim Tams, chopped Kit Kat, chopped Maltesers, edible gold foil, peanut or original M&M’s, assorted lollies, original Bueno, white Bueno, and mixed fresh berries.

I went with the chopped Snickers and Twix with a helping of chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

How amazing does this thing sound and look?! As soon as you lift the lid of the box, you can smell the chocolate. I was honestly staring at the thing the whole way home. I almost didn’t manage a picture without eating it!

Four layers of sweetness and it did not disappoint at all. I’m now obsessed and admittedly, have been eating away at the slab for breakfast and afternoon tea! I love how it has multiple layers. The crispness of the base, the gooeyness of the spread, the softness of the brownie and the novelty of the toppings.

You guys have to order your own customised brownie and see for yourself. Send them a DM on Instagram to order. Their handle is browniesbyu.

Frankiie xX

Chir Chir

Chir Chir is a Korean food chain specialising in all types of fried chicken.

You’ll find a range of crispy, spicy, garlicky and somewhere in-between chicken dishes which all look super appealing. Bring your appetites as they serve quite generous portions!

The New Orleans wings was something I really wanted to try, which were grilled wings served on a bed of cheesy corn rice. They were sweet and spicy with a bit of a bite.

The cheesy corn rice went so well with the chicken and is so tasty. I would definitely recommend trying this dish out if you can!

New Orleans Wings $26.80

The Honey Butter Chicken were pieces that were bigger than popcorn chicken but smaller than chicken nuggets. Served with chopped up pieces of fried rice cake, hot chips, sultanas, and a sprinkling of icing sugar, it was something different and quite easy to eat because the chicken was nice and moist. The honey butter was quite subtle and not too overpowering allowing you to eat more without getting sick of it.

Honey Butter Chicken $26.80

The fried rice cakes are so good! Make sure you ask for an extra serving of condensed milk as it runs out quick.

I’ve never had anything quite like these before but they are quite yummy and super soft. To me they were like fried mochi fingers – so good!

Fried Rice Cake $7.50

For drinks we had the peach soju and lychee lime fizz.

The peach soju is 12% alcohol but is quite a clean drink. It doesn’t have that burn after you swallow and has such a nice flavour.

Peach Soju $14.00

The lychee lime fizz is definitely one for those with a sweet tooth. It’s nice and refreshing and leaves you wanting more.

Lychee Lime Fizz $8.80

You can find these guys at Burwood so please go and check them out as they seriously make a mean chicken dish!

xX Frankiie

The Hideout Cafe

The Hideout Cafe is a hidden gem in Toongabbie. If you’re not from the area, it is highly recommended that you take a trek over to try the food.

They have a wide variety of items on their menu and an array of cakes and pastries strategically displayed to catch your eye at the front counter.

It’s always hard to choose a few dishes but we managed to go for the Lebanese big brekky. It comes with two fried eggs, Lebanese sausages, homemade labneh (this is a yoghurt cheese), kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato and Lebanese bread.

Lebanese Big Brekky $22.00

Everything on the plate was delicious. The Lebanese bread was the perfect piece to pair with everything included or just to be creative and make a wrap.

Eggs benedict was another menu item we ordered. It came with a toasted English muffin topped with avocado, wilted spinach, smoked salmon, two poached eggs and a creamy hollandaise sauce.

Eggs Benedict $17.90

The poached eggs were nice and runny and the hollandaise sauce had a really nice flavour to it.

A little something for those wanting a healthier option is the mango and lychee smoothie bowl which comes with a mango, lychee and banana blend, topped with shredded coconut, chia seeds and fresh fruit.

Mango and Lychee Smoothie Bowl $14.90

This to me was heaven in a bowl! I’m not the biggest fan of bananas or coconut but everything on here went really, really well together, not to mention that mango and lychee are two of my fave fruits which made it even better.

One thing you must try is the oregano and cheese pizza. This honestly is the BEST one I’ve ever had and I’ve had quite a few from various places.

Oregano and Cheese Pizza $4.50

It may not look like anything special from the picture but it honestly is the most amazing thing ever. If I could only eat one thing for rest of my life, it would be this!!! The base was soft but the crust had just the right amount of crunch and the topping was the perfect ratio of oregano to cheese.

For drinks we had the lemon and mint crush, and a Tim Tam thickshake.

Lemon and Mint Crush $8.50 and Tim Tam Thickshake $8.50

The lemon and mint crush was nice and refreshing while the Tim Tam thickshake was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Hubby also ordered a long black which was made of a nice blend.

Long Black $5.00

These guys seem to be a hit with the locals and was buzzing with customers.

We dined as guests with a $60 credit. We went a bit over because we like to at least give back a bit to the places we get invited to.

This is one to put on the list – what would you like to try off the menu?

xX Frankiie

Sir Manong

Filipino food is a growing trend in Sydney with the Filipino food movement building up a gathering of followers.

Sir Manong offers a range of Filipino dishes to make your mouth water and they are officially opening their doors to the public on Monday, 29 June.

Their menu features an array of popular dishes as well as some which haven’t been in the spotlight before. I think most people think of Filipino food being marinated pork pieces on skewers but Sir Manong offers more than just a filo barbecue!

Twice-Cooked Crispy Adobo Wings $14.00

The twice cooked crispy adobo wings are a staple Filipino dish which people who have tasted filo food before should be familiar with. This one however is a little bit different. It’s like an adobo flavoured crumb rather than a sauce which was quite a surprise. The crumb is actually filled with flavour, kind of like you’re eating KFC but filo style!

Fried Sinigang Squid $14.00

The fried sinigang squid is a filo take on salt and pepper squid. It’s super flavoursome and melts in your mouth and is definitely one to try.

Pork and Pawn Shanghai Spring Roll $12.00

The spring rolls are a winner – so tasty and filled with all the right ingredients. Depending on where you come from in the Philippines, you get many different takes on spring rolls, some even have sultanas which I’m definitely not a fan of but these ones were so good!

Chicken Inasal $16.00

The chicken inasal was so moist and cooked to perfection. Pair it with the house specialty brine and you’ve got even more of a flavour burst.

Chop Suey $15.00

It’s hard to find a veggo dish in the Filipino culture as everything is meat based so the chop suey is a welcome change. The dish is comprised of seasonal greens, broccoli, tofu and mushrooms with a ginger and garlic sauce. It’s quite a subtle taste but really goes well with all of the other dishes as the flavour doesn’t overpower whatever else you’re pairing it with.

Liempo $21.00

The liempo is soOoo good! The pork is tender and juicy and is even better with the spiced vinegar dipping! This is another dish worth trying as you won’t be disappointed.

Sir Sisig $19.00

The Sir Sisig is one for all of you pork lovers. It has pork hash and pork crackling topped with a soy lime dressing. This is another one which will make your taste buds tingle with delight.

Bangus Ala Pobre $21.00

The bangus is a milkfish (milk by name, not flavour!) topped with salted duck egg and a tomato salsa and is a dish which many Filipinos eat quite often. It’s the national fish and can be prepared in many different ways, fried being the choice of Sir Manong giving it a good combination of the salt from the fish and duck egg and the freshness of the salsa.

Hoy Gising $15.00

The Hoy Gising is a coconut stew comprised of pork mince, beans, fermented krill and chillies. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut dishes but I do have to say that the flavour of this one reminds me of Thai cuisine with the use of coconut milk.

Fried Banana and Dolce de Leche Ice Cream

Now for dessert!

I was already going to burst and I didn’t see any dessert dishes on the menu but we got served some fried bananas with ice cream.

Fried bananas are another staple Filipino dish and this really didn’t disappoint. I’m also not a big banana lover but this tasted really good with the caramelisation of the banana. Here’s hoping they put out a dessert menu so people can also get a taste of something sweet.

Kalamansi Juice $15.00

To drinks they have on offer include soft drinks, kalamansi juice, pandan milkshakes, mango milkshakes, mocktails, pineapple juice, apple juice and buko juice (which is coconut juice to you and me).

I opted for the kalamansi juice which was so refreshing! If you guys don’t know what a kalamansi is, it’s a filo lime. They are super small – smaller than your average lime and is also slightly sweeter in taste.

I highly recommend Sir Manong – the food was delicious and staff super friendly and warm just like you’d find in the Philippines. The chefs also performed really well under the pressure of cooking so many different dishes in such a timely manner and they were also presented really well.

I would love to hear your thoughts on filo cuisine and whether you’ve tried any of the dishes I’ve mentioned before.

Frankiie xX

Desserts by Jen

Desserts by Jen may seem like an unknown dessert company but they set themselves apart from the rest when you take that first bite out of any of their mouth watering desserts.

Founded by Jen and Jeff, these guys know how to satisfy a dessert craving and leave you wanting more.

Mixed Box $50.00

As soon as you open that box, you are slapped across the face with a delicious aroma of baked goods. But it’s when you take that first bite that you know you’re going to be hooked and want more.

Peanut Butter Reese’s cupcake

Their cupcakes are super cute and well decorated but their icing is seriously on another level. Pair it with the cupcake and it’s a flavour explosion only you can dream of.

Each cupcake is a flavour which compliments its icing so you know you’ll get a good combo.

Kit Kat Gold Cupcake

They also do personalized cookies which I love! I think it’s such a beautiful touch and the bits of gold leaf make it just that little bit extra. They are also really tasty!

Personalised Fondant Cookie

The bigger cookies are super good! I got to try the half and half choc chunk and double doc, and Biscoff flavours and they were both delicious. I caught myself having one for breakfast the other day!!!

Half and Half Choc Chunk and Double Choc Cookies

The brownies are also quite amazing. If you think Tee Lish Brownies are good, you need to get onto these ones! They’re not just a brownie with different toppings, some of them have layers which makes them even more yummy.

Biscoff Loaded Brownie
Snickers Brownie and Wagon Wheel Brownie

The pandan creme brulees are out of this world. You can really taste the pandan flavour and they have the perfect crack when you tap the top.

I honestly can’t talk these guys up enough, their desserts really exceeded my expectations. I’m constantly tasting different desserts from different places but these by far are at the top of my list.

Thank you to Desserts by Jen for feeding my sugar addiction and I really hope you guys try their desserts out for yourselves because I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Frankiie xX

Dapto Hotdogs and Burgers

Dapto are a food truck business based in Lakemba so don’t be fooled by its name.

Parked in an unsuspecting area, this is one definitely to visit.

Having won a competition on Instagram, this was my first time out since #iso and I have to say it was pretty good considering it was freezing cold.

I won a family feast so we took a couple of friends with us for a late night feed (or what I would call late now with my lack of sleep) and had our first meal out.

We got to try the plain dog which was a damn good hot dog with ketchup and mustard for those who like things more traditional. It’s a pretty decent sized thing so you definitely won’t go hungry.

Plain dog with your choice of sauce $8.00

The chilli dog which has Mexican salsa, chilli, cheese, onions, BBQ sauce, mustard and jalapenos – a winner if you love your spice and it definitely works for something so different!

Chilli dog $11.00

The cheeseburger which was also really, really good (we went back for seconds) if you like your burgers plain like me just has the patty, onions, cheese, mustard, pickles and tomato. The patty is nice and juicy, and freshly made to order.

Cheeseburger at the front $9.00 and DD grilled chicken on the left $10

The second burger was a DD grilled chicken burger which comes with chicken breast, lettuce, mayo and chilli as an option, which was also really good and we had a second serving of.

Then we also had chips and drinks as part of our sides (all of the above you can get as a combo for seven bucks extra). A bargain if you ask me as most joints charge between $15 and $22 just for a burger on its own and fail at the taste!

These guys can cook up a mean cheat meal or everyday treat if you’re looking for something delicious and filling. Not to mention they have other items on the menu as well like Pluto pups and chicken nuggets. They also do a variety of burgers and different styles of hot dogs as well as a hot dog snack pack – now that is one I’ll be ordering next time round!

What’s your fave hot dog and burger joint?

Frankiie xX

Graze in a Box

If you’re looking for the perfect grazing spread look no further than Graze in a Box.

A newbie on the scene, Graze in a Box comes in strong with their selection of high quality nibbles, you’d think they were in the game since day dot.

The Classic Graze box feeds over four people, measures at 360 by 255 and is jam packed with something for everyone.

With two cheeses, two dips, artisan crackers and wafers, cold cuts and twiggies, pickles and olives, antipasto, Tim Tams, nuts, seasonal fruit, raw honeycomb, chocolate, dried fruit, and other yummy nibbles you honestly can’t go wrong.

The ham used has a yummy smoked flavour, it’s hard to stop eating. The pieces also quite big in size and are arranged like blooming roses – so pretty!

The artisan crackers have me absolutely hooked! They’re sweet in taste and went so well with the apricot and almond cheese.

The sweet potato and cashew dip was amazing. I’d never had this before but it was heavenly. I paired it with the twiggy sticks and the flavours were a really good combination.

The pickles, olives and sun dried tomato were also really tasty – I love sun dried tomatoes so to have them included in the box was such a treat for me.

The fruit packed was fresh, sweet and vibrant in colour, a must for all grazing tables.

The assorted nibbles for those with a sweet tooth really deliver. With things like Tim Tams to Lindt balls and chocolate covered pretzels – chocolate lovers celebrate.

Now you be the judge and tell me if this doesn’t sound like the ultimate graze you’d love to have at your next event or secretly for yourself.

Frankiie xX

Mother’s Day

I hope you guys all had a lovely mother’s day!

Mine started off really well by winning two sets of competitions on Instagram with one of them being from The Pasta House x Lulu Flora.

It was such a good win as I got to choose four different pastas, a bottle of Little Berry wine, garlic bread and the most amazing bunch of flowers from Lulu Flora.

One of the pastas I chose was the pappardelle ai funghi. This had a wild mushroom medley sauce and was just delicious! It had a more subtle flavour but was definitely one of my faves.

I also chose the lasagne emiliana which was so good! This one had a stronger flavour but was so yummy. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best lasagnes I’ve had in awhile.

The third pasta dish I had was the gnocchi napoletana. This had a bang of flavour and was so good. The gnocchi was just the right texture and was still good the next day after reheating.

Last but not least was the cannelloni di carne. This was also really good. Most cannellonies I’ve had have been soggy but this was cooked to perfection. The flavour was again another subtle one but still yummy.

All of the pastas were so good, it was hard to choose a favourite but the pappardelle ai funghi and lasagne emiliana just pushed through to the top.

The garlic bread was also really good and went so well with the gnocchi napoletana!

The wine was Little Berry Mclaren Vale Shiraz. It has a strong taste but paired really well with the pasta dishes.

Lastly, the flowers from Lulu Floral were absolutely amazing! They were the biggest bunch I’ve ever seen and were so pretty.

It’s been 3 days since I received these and they’re still in good condition. The Madonna lilies are now in full bloom and are absolutely massive! Everytime I walk into the room, I can smell their floral smell straight away.

How did you guys spend your mother’s day?

Frankiie xX

Crust Pizza

Crust Pizza has been turning heads with their pizzas since I can remember.

I remember the hype when they first started gaining traction so went out and bought a couple of pizzas. I was lucky to be living in North Parra at the time so was super close to one of the stores.

Fast forward three years later and they’re still as good as I remember.

Winning a prize through Instagram made me remember how good their pizzas were and had me ordering on top of what I had won.

Each month Crust Panania holds a competition and April happened to be a lucky month for me to win their pasta giveaway. I got to choose a starter, pasta and dessert.

I couldn’t go to Crust and not have a pizza so ordered the Chorizo Salsa Verde and Kids Cheese Pizza with a juice on top.

Of course they delivered the goods by making me realise I was missing out not ordering from them more often (please excuse the box photos, we were starving and didn’t want to spend over an hour trying to style and photograph our food).

As part of the prize I chose the Smokey BBQ Wings, Homestyle Bolognese and House Cooked Belgian Waffles with chocolate fudge.

The Smokey BBQ Wings were so moreish! Such a good flavour, I’d definitely recommend getting a box or two of these.

Smokey BBQ Wings $9.50

The Homestyle Bolognese will give your nonna a run for her cooking. It has bacon in it which probably added more flavour because let’s face it, who doesn’t love bacon?!

Homestyle Bolognese $13

The House Cooked Belgian Waffles are insanely good! They’re seriously out of this world. I wanted to eat them both but because I had eaten so much already, I could only manage one without feeling like I was going to burst.

I remembered I had another one the following morning and ate it sneakily for breakfast before anyone could see me and it was still so good (I have to say it was probably better the day after but maybe because I wasn’t at the point of bursting).

House Cooked Belgian Waffles with chocolate fudge $12

The Chorizo Salsa Verde pizza is one of Crust’s newbies. It’s got chorizo, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion and oregano on a tomato base.

Loved this one apart from the onions. I’m not a fan of onions anyway but hubby is and he thought it could have also done better without the onions. Next time I’ll know to customise it and remove the onions! Other than that, it’s definitely one I’d order again.

Chorizo Salsa Verde $23

The Kids Cheese Pizza and juice speaks for itself. Cheese pizzas are so easy to eat. Bub didn’t eat most of it as she’s only 11 months old so of course that leaves me to eat the leftovers and this went down a treat. Because the base is quite thin I could practically eat the whole thing even after eating half the Chorizo Salsa Verde and most of the pasta.

Kids Cheese Pizza with Juice $9.50

Thank you to Crust Pizza Panania for giving me a chance to win and for such a good feed.

I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu next time round.

Frankiie xX