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Archive for the ‘U.S.’ Category

Mr. and I recently went on a 10-day road trip to the States. Kicking it off was a celebration of our 4th wedding anniversary and we spent a night at the quaint Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington. Lummi Island is a small island just a 10-minute ferry ride southwest of Bellingham.

The upscale inn deserves a separate post but the highlight of the evening was definitely our dinner at the restaurant. It serves up a 21-course tasting menu every evening, yes 21 courses, that changes regularly and seasonally. It features locally grown produce and other locally fished, foraged and farmed products. And in addition to their kitchen, they also have an outdoor wood-fired BBQ and smoker.

Obviously, with 21 courses this is not your everyday dinner out. The menu costs $225 per person with optional wine pairing for an additional $150 per person. You also don’t know what’s on the menu as they rotate it often. You only receive a copy of the menu at the end of your meal. So you ask, was it worth it?

Without further ado, let us indulge you with a feast for your eyes.

Food

Toasted kale leave, local black truffle, crumbled rye on top — elevated kale chip with the fragrance of truffle and extra crunch from the rye crumble

Wild rainier cherry in nasturtium leaf, wild chamomile, elderflower essence — what an interesting bite. Enjoyed the crisp sweetness of rainier cherry against the herbaceous chamomile and nasturtium. The elderflower essence was made into a little dollop of jelly that combined everything.

Sugar snap peas from their garden, pureed and combined with cream then it’s piped back in the pod — It’s like crudites in a fancy bite. You can taste the freshness of the sugar snap peas. (more…)

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When I asked for restaurant recommendations for Las Vegas, most people suggested Eggslut. So we went. At 12:30am on a Friday night/Saturday morning.

Eggslut Vegas Late Night

It’s amazing to be in the sin city, where a restaurant would open at 12am. Yep, Eggslut opens at 12am on Saturdays, to cater to the clubbing crowd I assume. We flew in late that evening so we figured we would grab a late night meal. There was still a line outside Marquee, right across from Eggslut.

Eggslut Cosmopolitan Vegas

Food

We ordered the Slut, one of their specialty items. Coddled egg on top of potato puree, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. It’s cooked with an immersion circulator so the egg was in perfect consistency. (more…)

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Before we did our brewery walking tour in Ballard, Bad Jimmy’s was actually the first brewery we visited during our recent trip to Seattle. It’s not quite in the cluster of breweries in Ballard but it’s close to that area.

Bad Jimmy's Brewing

The Beers

Here they have a list of Year Round beers and a list of Seasonals. It’s $9 for a flight of Year Round or Seasonals, or $10 to mix them up (stout costs extra $2), or simply $2.50 for a 5oz taster. So naturally, wanting to try more, we ordered a flight off each list. (more…)

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Mr. and I had a few days off in April, so we decided to head down to Seattle for a quick getaway. It’s been a couple of years now since we last headed south of the border thanks to the weak Canadian Dollar.

Instead of hanging out in the downtown area, we chose to stay in the Ballard district, which is known for its ever growing share of breweries. Where we stayed was within walking distance to a cluster of craft breweries, so we did a self-guided brewery tour.

And that means we just hit the street and started walking towards the first stop from our temporary home. When I was looking up the breweries, Lucky Envelope caught my eyes because its logo is the red envelope 利是 we hand out during Chinese New Year and to no surprise, looks like it’s Asian owned. LE it is.

Stop #1 – Lucky Envelope

Seattle Ballard Brewery Stop 1 - Lucky Envelope

Lucky Envelope Brewing

Lucky for us, it was the release day of their sours. And we are big sour fans!! There were 6 on the menu, so we opted for the lighter ones (it’s only our first stop!) plus a couple of other brews:

  • Raspberry Sour
  • Mango Sour
  • Lychee Sour
  • Blackberry Shake Sour
  • Beardless Brewer Red Ale
  • Error 404: El Dorado Haze IPA

Lucky Envelope Brewing

Mr.‘s favourite was the Lychee Sour. (more…)

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During the Christmas Break, Mr. and I went to the States to check out some holiday light displays. We drove through various neighbourhoods in the Seattle area and were amazed by how the houses came together to put on some fabulous displays.

The highlight of our trip was visiting the Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, at the Warm Beach Camp. With more than one million Christmas lights spread over 15 acres, this is known to be the largest holiday light display in the Pacific Northwest. I’m always fascinated by lights, the more the merrier, so I wasn’t going to miss it.

The Lights of Christmas

And it didn’t disappoint. There were 6 themed areas, each with its own unique lights. Some of my favourites include the light tunnels, a light maze (although not as elaborate as what Enchant offered here in Vancouver), the Fireball Tree (that looks like fireworks itself), the Cascade mountains, Christmas Tree Island, the angels, the snow-capped mountain, and the waterfall.

The Lights of Christmas

The Lights of Christmas (more…)

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When Mr. and I went on a week-long road trip, ultimately reaching Crater Lake as our south-most point, we stopped at many cities in Washington and Oregon. We made a few trips to local grocery stores and whipped up some tasty bites in the hotel rooms, but we also checked out a number of eateries, including Beckie’s in Union Creek near Crater Lake.

Crater Lake

First of all, let me show you Crater Lake. This is a volcano crater turned lake, with water of this gorgeous deep blue hue. This is the deepest lake in the U.S. and is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. We drove around the rim, spending a number of hours hiking and checking out the various viewpoints and taking in the mesmerizing 360 view of the lake. No wonder Travel Oregon names it one of the state’s seven wonders! If you haven’t been, add this to your list. It’s worth it!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake, Oregon

Food

Back to the food. This was actually recommended by @pitstopsforkids on Twitter. It was right on our way from Shady Cove to Crater Lake, so we decided to make a stop.

Beckie's Cafe

Before we got to the pie, which is a must-have there, we ordered something more substantial first. To start, we became a kid again and got a Float to quench our thirst. (more…)

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Another trip to the States brought me back to Portland. Watching how much Vancouver’s food truck scene has grown in the last year, I wanted to check out the food trucks in Portland again to see how we differ from them. We went to the food truck pod at SW 9th Avenue and SW Alder Street as it has the largest collection of food trucks. As we were walking towards the area, we saw many people holding a bowl of something; our search led us to discover the Whole Bowl.

The Whole Bowl food truck in Portland

The Whole Bowl food truck in Portland

Food

The concept of the Whole Bowl is simple. They only sell one item – a bowl of healthy concoction of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro and Tali Sauce. Tali sauce is the Whole Bowl’s secret sauce. According to them, it’s a vegan, lemony-garlicky sauce. This is just brilliant! They can do all the prep work ahead of time, and on-site all they have to do is to assemble everything into a bowl. (more…)

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