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Archive for the ‘U.S.’ Category

Late August, my friend and I ventured to the East Coast of the US to New York City. Hot, humid, polluted air smacked my face as soon as we neared Manhattan. For 10 days, we travelled from place to place by foot or subway, shopping and eating wherever and whenever. Unfortunately, we were rudely interrupted by an earthquake and then a hurricane, keeping us confined in the apartment for 2 days.

While we were walking along Prince Street going towards Soho, we stopped at the Vesuvio Bakery. The bakery has an old rustic look to it, very old school. Of course, whenever you see places like these, you would assume that hipsters would be running the joint. It’s true, and they were very nice.

Vesuvio Bakery, one of the best cookies I've ever had

The inside of the bakery smelled like oats and sugar, what I would imagine a house in the 1950’s would smell like if you had an amazing cook for a mom in the prairies, hahah. The bakery encourages a more green approach, one way being that there’s a discount if you ride your bike to the store. Neat, eh?

Their delicious cookies, we ended up getting an oatmeal cookie, mmmm.

Our first day in Soho was incredible, so much shopping to be done. By the time we stopped for food, we were extremely tired and just wanted to get something in our stomachs before heading back. We stepped into Bari, as it looked somewhat promising from what we saw on the exterior.

I was so wrong to judge from the outside. (more…)

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Pizza, the bread and butter of the 20-something age group, is a simple yet magical food. Everything from the sticky cheese to the crispy (as it should be) crust spells deliciousness.

Picture this, a big slice of pie being lifted away from its friends, hot steam pouring out from the edges, strings of mozzarella cheese tugging at the crust, refusing to let go. Next, the scent of tomato sauce and toasted meat slams into your nostrils…

You are drooling now aren’t you?

It’s pretty amazing that for something so easy to make, so many people screw it up so badly. There’s something to be said about finding a decent pizzeria. And I think I’ve just added another one to the good list.

Overview

It was 7:30 on a Friday night, in the dead still downtown of Bellingham, WA, I was driving around looking for a place to fill my empty tummy. For blocks on end it was completely dark and void of life. All of a sudden I see cars parked on the street, some light, and noises that sounded like happy people taking a mouthful of delicious food (might have imagined the last part).

Inside

I pulled over and went in for a look. It’s decorated like a grass hut inside and out. It’s a Hawaiian theme. The restaurant is casual — you order at the counter and sit yourself anywhere you’d like, just like a little hut on the coast of Hawaii. The crowd is pretty young, mostly early to mid-twenties type. It looks like a college hang out.

The menu is pretty short, everything fits on one page. All the pizzas are deep dish, and come in either 6’’ or 12’’ pans. Sandwiches are equally simple — you can go for either a full or half sized piece.

There is also some other stuff appropriately listed under “other stuff”, such as various types of balls, wings, nachos and sides. I didn’t order any so I can’t tell you much about them.

What went in

We ordered a small ‘Da’ Big Kahuna and a small Waikiki, as well as a full-sized Bar-B-Que Killer Pork. (more…)

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America, the land of the plentiful and home of the obese. A country where the only thing bigger than their stomachs are the size of their portions.

This is a manly man’s playground.

Enter the Red Lobster.

Overview

The four of us went down to the States to spend a day with my guy crush, Chris, to celebrate his birthday. He has always expressed an undying love for shrimp. So we thought Red Lobster would be a fun place to go eat.

I have fond memories of Red Lobster from 2 summers ago, when they had the unlimited shrimp promotion going. I had plates after plates of shrimp, deep fried, grilled and boiled. This time around, the Lobster Fest was on.

What went in

The two of us shared a Lobster “Pizza”, Coconut Shrimp, and the Bar Harbour Lobster and Shrimp Trio.

Lobster Pizza

The lobster pizza isn’t really a pizza at all. It’s pizza toppings placed on a crepe, which actually tastes much better than it sounds. It’s topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, a light layer of mozzarella cheese, and chunks of lobster. Being that it’s a crepe, it takes thin-crust to a whole new level. What makes it work well is the fact that it has no sauce. It reminds me of an open-faced quesadilla. (more…)

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Ebelskiver, what? That’s my first thought when I walked past the Ebelskiver Lady booth at the Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle. Curiosity combined with an empty stomach, I approached the booth and asked the lady behind it.

The EbelSkiver Lady booth

The EbelSkiver Lady booth

Sure enough, she is the Ebelskiver Lady and she told us that ebelskivers are traditional Danish pancake balls. That sounded so interesting, and I’ve never had Danish food before so of course I went for some. To order, we would choose 1-2 filling for each ebelskiver and there are numerous items on the menu that you can mix and match with, including fresh fruit, jam, sauces and even salmon. (more…)

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While visiting Seattle on the Thanksgiving long weekend, I took the opportunity to visit Theo Chocolate. Theo is one of the dozen bean-to-chocolate factories in the United States and the first and only organic and Fair Trade factory in the country. A huge chocolate lover that I am, I was really excited to take the factory tour.

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

As soon as I arrived, I saw a big crowd walking around inside the retail store. You don’t usually see this many people at a chocolate retail store! Some were waiting for the tour to start; some just finished their tour and were picking out chocolate to take home; and some were simply here to buy some treats.

Many customers drop by for the tour and to shop

Many customers drop by for the tour and to shop

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

The tour was just a bit over an hour long and it includes the history of Theo Chocolate, background info about chocolate production, a walk through the factory and introduction to the various machines, and of course, lots of chocolates to taste. (more…)

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Throughout history, there has been much discussion about what it means to be a man. There are many qualifiers, and they change overtime–not by a lot, but they do. Luckily, the world has guys like me to follow as examples.

When KFC’s Double Down Sandwich was first introduced in the US, I knew right away this delicious meat on meat on more meat sandwich will one day end up in my tummy. Call it man-stinct or what have you, I just knew.

While travelling through Washington, this day came. I started it like any other day, full of vigour and testosterone. However by the afternoon, I wasn’t feeling up to my usual self. So after I wrestled with a couple great whites, fought with a band of ninja pirates, and conquered a few local villages, I decided to call it a day and pickup a colonel’s Double Down for dinner.

As it turns out, that was my manliest experience of the day.

KFC's Double Down

(more…)

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One of the best things about travelling is the food. You get to eat out every meal and you can rationalize it. And what do you know, while staying in Seattle this past month, I got hungry and had to eat.

It’s always a good idea for you to chat up the front desk staff when you are looking to feed yourself, since it’s likely they would know their own city better than you, the tourist. We were lucky to have Ryan—an easy going fella with a slight southern draw. He made a few suggestions for us, here’s the first of the two.

Overview

After a raving review from Ryan, we decided to grab a little lunch from a Pho joint (FYI it’s pronounced “fuh”; are you happy now Frank? Are you?) down the street, called Pho Viet Anh. This place definitely stands apart from the typical pho places around Lower Mainland. Inside, the restaurant is dim and cozy. The windows are mostly covered with bamboo sticks, the walls are painted in a brick-red colour, and the décor is very much Asian, though I can’t speak to its authenticity.

Moving onto the menu, there is a choice of four distinctive types of broth: traditional beef, hot ’n spicy beef, chicken, and vegetable. In addition to beef, there are also chicken and veggie options as well. I’m a huge sucker for choices so this is definitely a plus for me. However, there are less beef options, with the menu missing the essential (to me anyways) beef tendon.

What went in

After some thought, I chose the hot ’n spicy beef broth with brisket and fatty flank. I could be imagining this, but the broth tasted that much better pre-spiced than if I had added in the hot sauce myself. The large bowl I ordered is well deserving of the label large, with a very generous portion of meat piled on top. The brisket was tender and done just right. The fatty flank was… well, very fatty, and unless that’s your kind of thing, you are probably not going to enjoy it. Being the manly man that I am, I savored every bit of the fatty meat.

The best part of the meal came afterwards.  (more…)

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