Food Should Taste Good’s Brown Rice Crackers

You read all about the Cavalier brunch I attended in March, hosted by Food Should Taste Good (FSTG) and Tablehopper Marcia Gagliardi, in my last post. Now, I’m sharpening my focus and delving into the world of FSTG’s cracker products. Obligatory disclaimer! They were provided for free as samples from FSTG. Swag bags from the brunch had also included a couple bags of FSTG’s tortilla chips and the not-yet-released Real Good Bars.

Real Good Bar Sneak Peak!

Real Good Bar Sneak Peak!

Both product lines impressed me, though the macadamia chai bar and the sweet potato tortilla chips stood out from the crowd. I’m also dying to try the kimchi tortilla chips once I come across them. This brand has been going strong since 2006, but those items and the brunch dishes were my first exposure to it. And as their name makes plain, FSTG is obviously a believer in simple-is-best healthy eating.

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If the ingredient list is long, it’s because of all the whole grains used in their recipes, often amaranth, brown rice, flax, and quinoa. Other common items in the cracker recipes included rosemary extract, potato starch, high oleic canola oil, and brown sugar as a sweetener.

The Tomato and Basil

The Tomato and Basil

FSTG believes in avoiding the mess of lab-created chemical flavorings, opting to bake real vegetables, herbs, and extracts straight into the crackers rather than slathering them with messy powders. That often results in gluten-free and vegan offerings by happy happenstance. I’m neither gluten-free or vegan, but I know that eating more foods that qualify as either for snack food is a healthy game plan.

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Food Should Taste Good Brunch with Tablehopper!

It’s been three weeks since I was invited to brunch at the Cavalier in downtown San Francisco, hosted by Tablehopper Marcia Gagliardi and the Food Should Taste Good (FSTG) snack food brand. It’s never too late to write about great food, right?

The brunch was part of FSTG’s national promotional tour that’s been challenging star chefs, like the Cavalier’s Jennifer Puccio, to make inventive dishes featuring FSTG’s products. Obligatory disclaimer! The brunch was entirely free. The invitees were a fun mix of new media types in a variety of industries, and we were thrilled to be ushered into a reception in Marianne’s Room, a speakeasy-style nook concealed from the restaurant proper and full of lush red furniture and saturation-drenched artwork.

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As we mingled, Bloody Marys and Pimm’s Cups flowed.

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Our expectations rose with our hunger; the Cavalier was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Best New Restaurant award last year, after all. Light appetizers included FSTG peppercorn crackers topped with deviled egg salad, provolone, and pickled jalapeno and FSTG’s “the works” chips with smoked salmon, avocado, spices, and sprouts.

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Both provided an appeasing nibble before the much heavier—and mouth-watering-delicious—roasted garlic and cheddar fondue appeared.

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The fondue was served with FSTG sweet potato kettle chips. While great on their own, the chips weren’t really large enough to hold up to fondue dipping. But that didn’t stop us from making messy attempts to scoop it all out anyhow. Hot cheese! Must eat hot cheese!

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Barcelona Beach Strolling

It’s time for another addition to my Barcelona visitor’s guide! This one is focused on life at the beach…keeping in mind that we were there in winter, so it was less about sunbathing and more about catching nice views from the shelter of a restaurant. But with views this nice, who cares if you need a sweater?

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An excellent way to start your beach day is actually from the mountains. Or Montjuic, to be exact. I’m not talking visiting the tourist attractions on the northeastern side of Barcelona’s most prominent peak but the gardens to the south at the Hotel Miramar.

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They are accessible either by car or by walking uphill about a quarter of a mile from the Plaça de les Drassane. Your reward for your efforts? Not only this amazing view–

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–but this fantastic clifftop bar!

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Once you’ve soaked all that exquisiteness in, it’s time to keep moving. Or be moved, rather, by skyward cable car!

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Right outside the restaurant, get a one-way ticket to Platja de Sant Sebastia and get in line for our journey down to the beach.

Farewell, Hotel Miramar!

Farewell, Hotel Miramar!

Hello, Platja de Sant Sebastia!

Hello, Platja de Sant Sebastia!

Once you disembark, walk toward the water about a block and just keep walking. You’ll figure out what you’re headed toward pretty fast:

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That’s the absolutely gorgeous W Barcelona hotel, and if you’re a photography enthusiast like me, you’ll want to capture it in as many different lights and cloud formations as you can.

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Make sure you head around to the far side of the hotel as well, because there’s a scenic skateboarding plaza to also take in.

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Whew. You’ve likely grown hungry enough for lunch, haven’t you? How about whiling away the lunchtime hour at one of the several appealing restaurants located right below the W Barcelona? I guarantee the views will be worth it.

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And so will the langostinos and a bottle of bubbly.

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Photography credit to my husband for this one.

Photography credit to my husband for this one.

Let that sea air relax and refresh you before you set your sights on the other side of the water.

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