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I’m a guy, and guys like burgers. This post will be a story about the best burger I’ve ever had. The Gainsbourger.

Introduction

Serge Gainsbourg was a well known French pop star. Who he really was isn’t as important as what he means to the folks that opened Gainsbourg in Seattle. To them, “Serge was the perfect muse: a debauched, dry-witted raconteur revered around the world for his genre-surfing contributions to the pop music canon and his unfailing ability to seduce, enrage and inspire in equal measures.”

Art thrives in many mediums. And for a very brief moment on New Year’s Eve 2012, I chewed and swallowed on a beautifully composed burger.

Chapter One – The Find

We stayed at a cheap little motel north of Seattle. The neighbourhood reminded me of various parts of Kingsway—a little messy but non-threatening.

There weren’t a whole lot of restaurants in the surrounding area. We were able to narrow it down to a couple places, and Gainsbourg was among them. In the end, their $6 escargot won us over.

Even though it was a short drive, it was late, and we were very hungry. As we walked in the door, my heart dropped. (more…)

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Having driven through Portland numerous times on the way to the Coast, I’ve never stopped in long enough to really appreciated this wonderful city. The culture, the night life, and the food are outstanding. Everywhere you go, Portland feels alive.

Anyways enough about my love for the city. Let’s talk about the food, at Brunch Box.

Overview

For those of you that watch the Food Network, you might’ve seen Brunch Box being featured on “Eat Street”. As the name would suggest, this cart serves breakfast and lunch items.

It was a busy place. Quite a few people were waiting in line during the lunch rush. Small wonder considering the waves of buttery and meaty flavours that danced through the air.

Brunchbox

(more…)

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After we confirmed our trip to Oregon, the first thing I did was to ask fellow bloggers for dining recommendations in Oregon. A number of you guys got back to me, each offering a different list of restaurants. However, one particular place showed up on every list – Voodoo Doughnut.

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland

As soon as I started writing this post I knew I’m going to have some problem typing “doughnut” instead of “donut”. The funny thing is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “donut” is American spelling. Be prepared to see “doughnut” and “donut” being used interchangeably here.

Line up!

Line up!

So it was 10:30pm on a Friday, and when this is usually the time for most part of Vancouver (except for the Granville district, or Gastown) to turn into a ghost town, Portland Old Town was bustling. Bars were busy, food trucks were still taking orders, lots of people on the street. In fact, there was a 30-people line up outside of this Voodoo Doughnut location. We chatted with a couple of locals, and they said this was nothing, that usually the line up would be way longer. And apparently we missed an exciting mayoral donut-eating contest. Did I mention that Voodoo Doughnut opens 24-7? I suppose there is a super huge demand for donuts, in particular Voodoo Doughnut, in Portland.

Long lineup for donuts!

Long lineup for donuts!

Food

Menu board - lots to choose from

Menu board – lots to choose from

There are just way too many donuts to choose from. They need to use not one, but two display cases to show them all. And a gigantic blackboard to list them out. All donuts are hand-made, thus each donut would have its unique icing/glaze/decorations.

One of the display cases

One of the display cases

Because we had another 2-hour drive south to Lincoln City, we ordered our donuts to-go.

Voodoo Doughnut to go

Voodoo Doughnut to go

Here is what we ordered: (more…)

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When my girlfriends and I were planning the Vegas trip, all I requested was “can we visit that dessert place at Aria?” Sure enough, my wish was granted. I made sure it was in the itinerary that we check out one of the Jean Philippe Patisseries – Aria or Bellagio. One of my girlfriends and I went to the one at Aria. [Warning: Mouth-watering pictures in effect]

Jean Philippe Patisserie at Aria

Jean Philippe Patisserie at Aria

The Store

Oh my god. It was like heaven when we got to the store.

Vibrant displays

Vibrant displays

There is a retail section for packaged candies, and a cafe section where you could sit down and eat. I just couldn’t take my eyes off everything.

A huge space with retail section

A huge space with retail section

At least we knew we were there for cakes/desserts, so that eliminated the entire baked goods/deli section – which, looked very attractive as well.

They also sell baked goods

They also sell baked goods

Overall, I’m very impressed by the presentation of the food. It just makes you drool as you stare at them. Check out that smoked salmon salad sphere in the picture below. Isn’t that beautiful?

And other deli items

And other deli items

As for the cake/dessert display, gee there were a good 25 or so options to choose from. It was a tough decision because they all looked so yummy.

Mouth-watering cakes and desserts

Mouth-watering cakes and desserts

At the end, between the two of us, we ordered three things to share. And yes, we skipped lunch for this.

Mouth-watering cakes and desserts 2

Mouth-watering cakes and desserts 2

Food

To start, we ordered a Sweet Trio to whet our appetite, which were three cute, petite-size desserts that were “plated” on a solid piece of milk chocolate. (more…)

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If you paid attention to the title, you’ll notice that I’m covering yet another trip. April/May has been an interesting time for me because I’m literally in between vacations. Can you believe that I planned 3 vacations over the span of 6 weeks? Good idea at the time but silly of me to actually carry it out. Grateful that work has allowed me to be off so often during this busy time period but at the same time, I know I’ll be stuck in the office for the rest of the year. Something to look forward to. Sigh.

Anyway, vacation #2 is a 6-day drive along the Oregon Coast with Mr. We were blessed with gorgeous weather so there’s nothing to complain about. And if you have been to Oregon, or Portland alone, you would know it’s a heaven for foodies. So yes, we’ve got some material to work on for the next few weeks.

The Wildflower Grill in Lincoln City, Oregon

The Wildflower Grill in Lincoln City, Oregon

Instead of diving right into Portland eats, I want to start this series with this cute eatery in Lincoln City, the Wildflower Grill. We stopped by this place for brunch when we were basically on our way north to head home. It is actually a house-turned-restaurant, with a covered sun deck at the back, where we were seated, that has a view of some greenery.

Food

Brunch at the Wildflower Grill

Brunch at the Wildflower Grill

We arrived at the restaurant just after 10:30am, which was awkward timing since breakfast is only offered until 11am. We were still able to order from the breakfast menu but the lunch menu would also become available in a matter of minutes. So we became one of those difficult customers – ordering from both menus.

Coffee

Coffee

From the breakfast menu, I chose the Crab Benedict. Situated by the ocean, Lincoln City has a few places that sell fresh crabs, so I figured you can’t go wrong with this. (more…)

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Spent a long weekend in Las Vegas with my girlfriends and checked out a few restaurants. Over the next few weeks, while continuing to write about local eats, I’ll be running some posts on this trip.

Treasure Island at night

Treasure Island at night

Before we even got to Vegas, my friends had been convincing me to have Vietnamese food at Treasure Island, where we called home for the duration of our trip. Frankly I was hesitant – Vietnamese in Vegas, really? Once we checked in at our hotel, we walked around to look for an alternative so I didn’t have to eat Vietnamese. I was out of luck. Other restaurants either didn’t seem all that interesting, or they were serving something I didn’t feel like at the time. Alright, Vietnamese it is.

Pho at Treasure Island

Pho at Treasure Island

Food

The restaurant is actually attached to the Coffee Shop of the Treasure Island, which offers a different menu – a Western menu with sandwiches and mains like fish & chips and steak. However, you cannot order from both menus. Once you selected to eat in the Pho section, you can only order from the Pho menu. Within this menu it not only has Vietnamese dishes, but also a few Chinese style stir-fries. Just to be safe, I ordered the basic Cooked Beef with Rice Noodle Soup. This normally costs you around $7 in Vancouver – this cost me US$12.25. After all, it’s Las Vegas.

Cooked Beef with Rice Noodle Soup

Cooked Beef with Rice Noodle Soup

Portion wise, I’d say it’s bigger than those in Vancouver. (more…)

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Bacon: a gift from the gods to the common man. They are great on burgers, the perfect companion to eggs; they can be had on their own, or used to spice up an otherwise boring dish.

They usually come in 1lb packages, wrapped in paper and plastic, and sitting in their own juices. They are easy enough to cook, but I’ve wondered if there was a more “portable” package of bacon.

What went in

The universe presents to you, Bacon Spread.

The Bacon Spread is made by Skillet, a street food company located in Seattle, which apparently also makes processed products on the side. It’s made with real bacon, rendered down, cooked with seasoning for a few hours, and pureed.

Skillet Street Food Bacon Spread

Skillet Street Food Bacon Spread

It comes in two flavours, Original, and Fennel and Black Pepper. (more…)

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