Cape House and Beachy Eats

The perfect way to round out the summer meant family getaways to the Cape and Maine. This is the start of being gone for 7 consecutive weekends but was totally worth it.

Growing up my parents had a house on Cape Cod and began renting it more and more as we grew older. The house was super charming and HUGE! We made lots of great memories there and I get nostalgic wishing they still owned that house. Now that I’m older I definitely understand what goes into owning property, paying taxes, planning for time there, and can only imagine the stress of finding normal renters, especially for the off-season months.

I usually go to that beach at least once a year for a beach day trip, but the ‘rents rented a cottage for a week this year! I hadn’t stayed there in years, decades really. Mr. J and I boarded the pups and spent a few days at the beach. Sis was able to squeeze in a brief stay while we were there too. I’m protecting this special spot’s anonymity since the beach is spacious, adorable, and I don’t want it overrun with tourists (ask me outside of the blogosphere and I’ll profess my devotion, proclaim my love, and give great recommendations).

We got pizza the first night, for old time’s sake. There’s one pizza joint in the town and everybody loves it. Literally, the 3 phones ring off the hook while a steady stream of walk-ins place orders to go or to eat there. We walked over to pick it up and then ate on a picnic table in the backyard of the rental. The pizza was delightful and it was so great to eat a bunch of pizzas while enjoying the gentle August breeze.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food

We got a supreme pizza. It is a pizza turned over onto the underneath pizza. I know, I know. I get it. It sounds like a calzone. It is not. This is a pizza, with a cheese pizza overturned on top, with sauce and cheese on the very top. It was “filled” with sausage, garlic, onions, green peppers, and eggplant. I loved every bite. It was hard to stray to taste another amazing pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food

We got some small ones too. One was bacon and onion. The other was a white one with feta and garlic. Ohh goodness. I had to cut myself off.

When on the Cape, we went on bike rides (not me), went to the beach, played card games, ate ice cream every night, and of course ate seafood while overlooking the beach.

I got lobster mac & cheese that was ahhhmazing. And huge. With tons of lobster chunks. And I had to cut myself off once again…well, I had to make room for ice cream, ya know.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
I nabbed one of Mr. J’s fried scallops and would have loved them too.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
Dad got clams and the other menu items were Mediterranean inspired dishes. Mum got scallop & shrimp kebobs and sis got chicken kebabs.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
Nightly ice cream was an indulgence that was totally necessary. I didn’t snap any photos because it was too good to let melt. Have you heard of Phantom Berry? It was black raspberry ice cream with oreos & chocolate chips. I wish we had discovered this gem sooner!

Bermuda Recap

I’m nicely tan and back from Bermuda. We went on a family vacay that was long over due. It had been wayyy too long since the R fam all went away together. It was just so great to get away, spend time together, hit the beach, and relax. I had a ton of fun and was so happy to travel not for a work event.

How cute is Hamilton, Bermuda? Is it crazy to think Bermuda is just off of South Carolina? It feels like a world away and it seems like the Caribbean.
We ate a lot of great food but I had a few favorites to share. I had this app that was listed as lime dressed shrimp over potatoes. It was citrusy shrimp over a creamy potato salad. I loved it. Dad had it too and we were totally surprised. It wasn’t quite what we expected but we liked every bite. I wasn’t thinking it would be a cold salad at all and that was a great surprise!
Another favorite dish I had was a chickpea and rice cakes. These were served over a chickpea, tomato, and onion salad. There was a light creamy dill sauce over the top. I really liked this entree. The cakes were warm and crisp with a cool salad and a creamy sauce. It was delicious.
On our last night, I spotted a dessert special I HAD to have. I normally lean towards desserts that are chocolate or coconut. This mango soufflé had me at soufflé.
Mr. J proposed with a surprise soufflé in NYC. I spotted this one and it was as good as it looked. It was perfectly light with a fresh sweet mango sauce.
This trip was really great. I definitely appreciated a week of down time after such a busy time of year at work. This year was so stressful and anxiety ridden in the office so sun, sand, and 3-course meals with the family was just what I needed.

Guest Post: 82 Queen in Charleston, SC

Today we’re taking a trip. I have a guest post for you from the fam. My parents are undoubtedly The Three Bite Rule’s biggest fans. They took a trip to Charleston, SC and had some really great food. Sis and I went a few years ago (seen here and here) and I’m happy to introduce the ‘rents and the meal they wanted to share! Here we go!


Spending a few days in Charleston, South Carolina, we found many quality restaurants at varied priced points. After sampling a few modestly priced, down-home type establishments, we opted to go a bit upscale on the last evening in the city. 82 Queen became our destination.

Located in what was formerly a plantation, the restaurant has an unusual arrangement. We were able to be seated in the courtyard. The personable, attentive waiter offered numerous suggestions as well as copious details about the most popular dishes. He was extremely knowledgeable about each item on the menu.

The She Crab soup typically wins Best of Show at Charleston taste fests. He described it as having the consistency of a chowder with the feel of a bisque. It was outstanding choice served with a bit of sherry to be mixed in at the last moment.
We also chose the crab cake appetizer which the waiter said was 95% crab with just enough filler to hold it together. Quite a memorable treat.
A lovely basket of cheddar and chive biscuits appeared. They were flaky; restraint was needed since dinner was coming.
We had never had grits before…here goes. This dinner featured large barbequed shrimp atop grits treated with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions. Tasty but we still do not know what straight grits would be like.
The Lowcountry Jambalaya had both shrimp and crawfish. The waiter indicated that this would be a bit on the spicy side with carmelized onions, a trio of peppers and Carolina red rice. Actually, the dish could have used a bit more spice since the rice was a bit dry. This included Tasso ham had a bit of zing but could have been eliminated.
Could there be a dessert menu without a chocolate offering ? Apparently, the owner’s wife makes the desserts and the choices change often. The choice was made for coconut chess pie. Served with a hearty coffee, it was adequate although the crust had a grocery store freezer in its background.
82 Queen was memorable for the pleasant courtyard setting, twinkling lights on potted trees and what seemed to be truly Southern hospitality.

Mexican Cooking Class in Cozumel

Just before the holidays, Mr. J and I went to New Orleans and then got onto a cruise. We stopped in Belize, Honduras  and two cities in Mexico. It was amazing, and it flew by. We loved out time on the beach and some awesome adventures. It was the perfect getaway and break to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary (again). We ran around New Orleans then got to really relax and enjoy the cruise. It was the best of both worlds.

In Cozumel we decided to take a cooking class. After a mini-jeep adventure, a private island beach day, and a tour of Mayan ruins it seemed like a fun and different excursion. It was amazing, my favorite day of the trip.

Our chef instructor was just so funny.

annnnd the margaritas just kept coming which helped the fun.
We made an appetizer of Devil Shrimp Sopes. They were slightly spicy shrimp with a fresh crunch and a great corn masa base.
We made a tamarind fish fillet packet with grouper and chopped veggies
And we made caramelized plantains with a tequila chocolate sauce
It was such a fun class. The drinks were awesome and then the meal was perfectly flavorful.  I was afraid it might be a dumbed down menu but it was great. The fish was really light and flavorful. The app was my favorite part because I have always loved shrimp.

Mr. J didn’t take the chicken option. He tried (and liked!) the grouper! He liked the shrimp app too! The class was just so enjoyable and we were laughing the whole time. We learned some good tips and really enjoyed the lunch.

Afterwards we spend the rest of the day on the beach. Not too shabby.


New Orleans Eats Recap

Mr. J and I just got back from New Orleans for the first time. From New Orleans, Mr. J and I got on a cruise to the Caribbean  Perfect 1 year anniversary celebration (if I do say so myself). I was psyched for the food in New Orleans. Some pretty reputable sources suggested all sorts of restaurants and I’d never been to New Orleans before. I loved it. I thought it was a cute city that definitely had its own vibe and culture. I love cities that have personality.

The food was fantastic. We stayed right down town at a hotel I scored a huuuuge deal with a friends and family discount. I earned it after taking about 134,543,467,874 calls from a sales rep at work. We went to Mardi Gras World to see how the floats are made, we went to all the tourist hot-spots, we went to the Louisiana History Museum to learn more about Hurricane Katrina, Mr. J got to get a couple of photos his dad took years ago from the same vantage point. It was a really great time.

Of course we went to Cafe du Monde. We actually made it early to beat the crowds. Early by our vacation-running-around-on-speed, standards actually means before they’ve even opened the patio seating. Like before they go from 10 tables to 40 tables.

Looooved the coffee. Obviously the beignets were delicious as well. Man, I need more chicory coffee in my life!

We had a super local feeling dinner one night too. We went to Pierre Maspero. We chose it because a) it was in walking distance and we were hungry/tired. b) it had a better balanced menu with choices for both of us c) it was priced that wasn’t going to give me heart palpitations after a 10-day vacay. d) the building has been around since the 1700s which is always a perk for me.

We started with some fried green tomatoes. It came topped with grilled shrimp! It was really good and I could have eaten that for my meal alone. The Mr. J had been eyeing a fried alligator appetizer he spotted on the online menu but that sadly wasn’t on the menu when we got there.

I got fried catfish that came with crawfish cornbread, rice, and white beans. It was tons more food than I needed. I couldn’t finish any of it. I didn’t even waste time on the rice.

Mr. J got the Fettuccine Corn Maque Choux. It had blackened chicken over corn, peppers, ham, and cream sauced fettuccine. He loved it.

It was a great meal in a super cute spot.

We went to the Wine Institute of New Orleans and I loved it. It was an opportunity to try all different wines.
We filled a card with a set amount (after reading that tip from others to avoid the priciest tasting ever). It was really fun and we tasted and enjoyed a ton of wines. It was a fun happy hour for us as a precursor to a later dinner.
I liked that a wine connoisseur wasn’t waiting for me to have a reaction to a particular wine and that we could chose our own size pour. It was really fun. We went as a chance to drink a few different ones. I would love to have this in my neighborhood to try a wine on the spot, buy it, and bring it home.

Some sights & tastes of the Caribbean is to come! Stay Tuned!

Atlanta Eats

To celebrate Sis’ birthday we jetted off to Atlanta for the weekend. It was a fun-filled, sight-seen, deliciously-eaten weekend. Remember last year we went to Charleston?

We went to Juke Joint for a local dinner and were pretty surprised how much fun the jazz was. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been into jazz but it was so fun with our southern dinner!
I hemmed and hawed between a few entrees but just kept coming back to the fried chicken. I got to pick two sides so I went with mac & cheese and fried green tomatoes. When in the south…fried and fried and cheese!
atlanta_juke_chicken_590_390 The chicken was so good and actually unlike any I’ve ever had. It had the slightest sweetness to the crunchy batter. The mac and cheese wasn’t amazing, but good for a few bites. The fried green tomatoes had a little red pepper aoli and goat cheese. Ohh my word. It was a great meal.

Sis chose the grilled pork with peach barbecue sauce. Hers came with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon baked beans. The potatoes had a very genuine garlic flavor. They weren’t kidding. It was really garlicy and really good.

Our drinks were fun. She went with the Miss Ceeley’s Fruit Punch. How could you go wrong in the south with a drink named that?! It came in a mason jar and had lemon moonshine and pineapple. Makes me want to sit on a porch!
I got the Sneaky Sneaky with sweet tea vodka, lemonade, and lemon. It didn’t taste like alcohol at all. Very sneaky sneaky indeed. Sweet Tea Vodka needs to make it to the north.

Our lunch/dinner another day was at a super cute bbq place. It was packed at 3pm which definitely is a testament to the food. Apparently Fox Bros.  is ranked #1 bbq in Atlanta. Wow!

We both got pulled pork and loved it. The bbq sauce was super tangy and vinegary. I got onion rings and she got tots, just so we’d have some variety.
It was a warm day and sweet tea with bbq felt like just what we were supposed to be doing.

We had a fun weekend and we were glad to see a city very different than our own. I don’t think we’re in a hurry to get back, but it we loved the history (we toured CNN! MLK Jr. sites, Olympic Park, etc) found it super clean, friendly, and of course we thought the food was fun. What more could we ask for?

Portland Pie Pizza

The vacation of eating continues! Seriously, Portland ME is a foodie mecca (donuts & duckfat fries). I really hoped we’d make it to Portland Pie and it was everything I dreamed of. I buy their refrigerated pizza dough at the grocery store and love it. It is the best, hands down. It worked out to be a great dinner option for the last night we were in town.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

I was really torn as to what I was in the mood for. Their fall specials looked amazing. I might need to recreate one of their fall dishes. There was a mustard/sauerkraut/bratwurst/pumpkin ale pizza that sounded amazing. I also was intrigued by a maple balsamic dressing for salad.

We got an app (even though Mr. J was all about the pumpkin cheesecake for dessert). I knew after all our eating we could not eat an app, pizza, and dessert. Way. too. much.

We chose the sweet potato smoked cheddar dip with rosemary biscotti.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

They were working the kinks out on this one. We actually sent it back to be reheated. The breadbowl it was in was nicely warmed, the cheddar on top of the dip was melted, but the dip was cold. It wasn’t just “not piping hot” but it was cold. We neverrr send stuff back but this was meant to be warm. It then took forever. Other tables got their salads, drink refills, salads cleared and pizza served while we waited.

The kitchen wasn’t sure the best way to reheat it while maintaining the dip. I wanted to cancel it but our server was a bit MIA. She returned telling us it would be ready when the pizza was and the kitchen made a new app. I really would have just cancelled it or they could have offered to take it off the bill. Instead they offered us dessert. That made Mr. J one happy guy.

Our server thought it would be ready when the pizza was so we asked for whatever was ready to come out. I didn’t want the pizza sitting to stay warm. I’m not sure it was worth all the hype for all of this process, but it was good. Smoked gouda would have been better.

We ordered 2 pizzas so there’d be some leftovers to take home for the next day. We got one Bar Harbor which was super exciting now that Mr. J eats scallops! Woohoo! It was scallops, bacon, mozzarella with alfredo sauce. It was amazing. The scallops were cooked nicely and every bite was flavorful. The topping to crust ratio was spot on.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

The other pizza we got was called Dead River. It was red sauce and had spinach, red peppers, ricotta, and we swapped out hamburger for sausage. It is finished with garlic and crushed red pepper. Some bites definitely have a kick to them. I liked this one a lot and it was a great contrast to the sweet & smokey scallop pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

One of my favorite things that happened was just too funny. For some reason our server didn’t seem sure that we were together. She packed the dessert to go as separate containers and asked if we each wanted some of each pizza packed up. I was so amused since we were celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary weekend!

I love their menu. I wish there was a Portland Pie near me! I’d be happy to drink the delicious local-to-Maine brews and dine on their expansive menu if they wanted to come further south!
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

Duckfat Fries in Maine

On our lovely getaway to Portland, ME, I knew we had to go to Duckfat. Everything else was negotiable. I just couldn’t be in a town with french fries that are fried in duckfat and not try them. This trip was definitely a culinary adventure and why yes, we did enjoy donuts then duckfat fries on the same day, thanks for asking! I’m not saying it was a healthy trip, but we did walk a lot, and swim daily and I view vacation just like your birthday, you can do whatever you want when on vacation!

Back to the duckfat fries.
The Three Bite Rule - Duckfat Maine

We ambled up to Duckfat at about 2:30pm on a Sunday. There was only a short wait, but literally people are munching here all the time. I was so busy peering at everyone’s food that I almost didn’t notice they were trying to seat us inside. Ohh no. There were 2 open spots outside so we asked to be there. You wouldn’t have the glorious sunlit photos to enjoy if we were inside…though there is fun magnetic poetry as backspash against the high top tables.
The Three Bite Rule - Duckfat Maine

Mr. J and I were not exactly starving after feasting on donuts that morning but this was a mission we were happy to accept. The menu is a bit pricy but we stayed focused and made great choices. By pricey, I mean $9 sandwiches that don’t come with a side or $8 salad without a protein. I didn’t feel like we were there for the sandwiches anyway so onward we went.

We split everything and ordered:
Corn Chowder with Bacon – delicious. Not too heavy but definitely had a chowdery appropriate thickness.
The Three Bite Rule - Duckfat Maine

Blueberry Buttermilk Milkshake – bright and buttery. This was calling to Mr. J and he loved it. I liked it, but saved myself more so for the chowder and fries.
The Three Bite Rule - Duckfat Maine
The fries – decadent. They weren’t distinctly duck flavored but they were richer than any fries I’ve ever had. We chose a roasted tomato aioli as our dipping sauce which was great. They were perfectly soft inside and crispy on the outside.
The Three Bite Rule - Duckfat Maine I loved it.

Portland Maine’s Holy Donuts

I can’t even describe how lovely our Portland, ME weekend was. Well, I’m nothing if not wordy so I’ll try. I fell in love. I’m in love with Mr. J and we LOVED celebrating our one year anniversary in Maine for the weekend. It was beautiful and the Old Port is just too cute. Why didn’t I know about this before?!?! It was so great to wander, eat, shop, gaze at light houses, and not run around like crazy tourists.

Check out Mr. J’s Portland pics here.

My mum suggested we check out The Holy Donut. What. A. Find. I didn’t know I liked donuts that much until I went here.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Donut

They make these amazing homemade potato donuts in incredible flavors (think sweet potato ginger, or pomegranate, or dark chocolate peanut butter glazed, or dark chocolate sea salt). Before you bail. Don’t think you’re “not into donuts” if you’re only thinking spongy sogged donuts of the legendary Dunkin. I’m not into those. I’m all about these Holy Donuts. Amazing. Life changing!
Portland Maine Holy Donut
I don’t know if I want to admit how many we got…let’s call it a sampler.

Portland Maine Holy Donut

I eased my way in falling hard core for the dark chocolate seasalt. The special of the day was apple with cider glaze. Ohh my fall-goodness.
Portland Maine Holy Donut

This one was created for me and was hands down my favorite: bacon and cheddar donut. I was surprised that it was a filled donut. None of their others are filled but this one is warm and oozing salty bacon and melty cheddar inside a sweet donut. It is like a monte cristo. Mr. J didn’t love it as much. Muhahahaha. All the more for me!
Portland Maine Holy Donut

The building was charming with some outside seating. Early Sunday morning folks made their way here to eat outside with the pup or on a leather couch with a newspaper. Nobody else seemed to have quite the spread we had, but hey, we were on vacation! The staff were great and enthusiastic. It reminded me of the family owned and run candy business I grew up working at. Although that business wasn’t my family, there was care in every item sold and consumed.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Donuts

Now, to continue the important matters. Coffee. I ordered an ice coffee and then they filled my cup with coffee ice cubes. Love it!
Portland Maine Holy Donut


I have a bunch more amazing meals to share too, so pull on your fat pants and get ready!

What I Ate: Foodie Vacation Souvenir

Wayyy back, just about a year ago, Mr. J and I went on our honeymoon to Spain & Italy. We actually didn’t buy many souvenirs since we were racing around like maniacs to see the sights! Although I wasn’t impressed with the sights of Naples, I still chose a treat to bring home. We got some lemon risotto.
WIA lem_risotto_390_590This very same treat provided a halt at security in the US after flying for 8 hours. Not funny. Serves me right for claiming it to a customs dude who had noooo idea that risotto wasn’t a vegetable. Sad.

I remembered the freeze dried pack in the cabinet and thought it was as good a time as any. I hadn’t been saving it but I buy arborio rice in containers so this flat pack slipped my mind. It wasn’t amazing, but it was good and a nice reminder of our time in Italy.

WIA lem_risotto_bowl_590_390
Get excited! I finally got around to editing the photos from our delicious anniversary getaway. Seriously, this tasty destination means so many meals to share next week. Just maybe I’ll get around to sharing some final shots of the completed bedroom renovation/redecorating project.