• There and Back With Harry Potter Snacks

    Frozen Butterbeer and Hogwart's Castle

    Frozen Butterbeer and Hogwart’s Castle

    If anyone has ever seen a Harry Potter movie, you will know how beautiful they make the food look. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the UK and let me tell you, the food is not as magnificent as it looks in the Harry Potter movies.  BUT! At The WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, it’s a different story! The food looks.. well.. magical. Everything from the pot pies, Honeydukes candy , ice cream and butterbeer look delicious and look like something out of the movie itself.

    It can be overwhelming in a theme park, with so many (overpriced) food items, you want to make the right decision. Your tummy and wallet count on it! There are of course food items at the other areas of Universal and Islands of Adventure, but for this particular post, I will focus solely on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Alright…hop on your virtual Hogwarts Express and let’s go!

    Diagon Alley:

    This is on the Universal Side, technically the newer part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but also the smaller area.

    Florean Forescue’s Ice Cream Parlor

    Although this ice cream parlor has some rad flavor combos like chocolate chili , earl grey and lavender, strawberry and peanut-butter. All for the price of  $4.99in a cup or if you prefer a cone, $5.99. The true star for me (as you’ll see from this list) is the butterbeer soft serve. It’s not only my favorite way to enjoy butterbeer, but the creamy texture is devine on a warm, Florida day. You can also enjoy this treat for $4.99 in a cup or again, $5.99 in a cone.

    Soft serve butterbeer ice cream in Diagon Alley!

    Soft serve butterbeer ice cream in Diagon Alley!

    Leaky Cauldron

    I didn’t personally eat here, but I  hung around the restaurant and lurked enough people’s food plates and stared at the menu enough to have a solid idea about this place. If you’re looking for “real” food in Diagon Alley, this is your jam. You can have popular British items such as: Toad in the hole, Scotch Eggs and Guinness Stew. These items are going to be a little more expensive, at about $13 – $18 a plate, but you’ll find yourself full for much longer.

    That’s it for Diagon Alley, short and sweet, just like the place!

    Hogsmeade:

    Located within Islands of Adventure, and what is considered the “main park” of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogsmeade will have more dining options overall.

    Butterbeer

    To be fair, butterbeer can be found in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, but since I had all my butterbeer in Hogsmeade, that’s where it’s being categorized. You can have it hot (inside of the Three Broomsticks), soda style, or frozen. All versions have a marshmallow whip on top that really seal the deal on the flavor profile. You HAVE to try all three. My favorite liquid form was the frozen butterbeer. But any of them make a magical beverage. You can purchase the butterbeer for $7 regularly, or you can spend the extra money (which I did) and get the souvenir mug for $12. The mug is only for the frozen or soda since it’s not meant for hot beverages.

    All the butterbeer and real beers in Hogsmeade.

    All the butterbeer and real beers in Hogsmeade.

    Three Broomsticks

    Similar to how The Leaky Cauldron is the main food hub in Diagon Alley, The Three Broomsticks is the main dining option inside of Hogsmeade. The Three Broomsticks offers popular British and Harry Potter food staples such as: Cornish Pasties $9.99, Fish and Chips $13.99 and Shepherd’s Pie $12.49. This is a great place for a mid day break and to fuel up for the evening.

    Honeydukes

    I feel like if you’ve seen the movies, read the books, then you too have been dying to go to Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. The beauty of this store is… it truly looks like the movie! The walls are lined with candy. There are cockroach clusters (yum!), lemon drops, pumpkin pasties and the ever popular, Chocolate Frogs $12 and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans $11. No trip to Hogsmeade is complete until you buy or try those two. The price is a little steep for candy, but it’s really the experience you’re buying with that.

    One of the candy walls inside of Honeydukes.

    One of the candy walls inside of Honeydukes.

    Those are indeed the ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, YOU BETTER DO IT, items from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that I believe are worth the time standing in line and the money it takes from your wallet. (See my other post, HARRY POTTER AND THE THEME PARK THAT TOOK ALL OF MY MONEY.)

    But there are some notable mentions to add to this list as well.

    If you have to’s:

    Pumpkin juice

    Similar to Butterbeer, the Pumpkin juice comes in different forms. The fancy bottle for $7 or Pumpkin Fizz (carbonated pumpkin juice) in a plastic cup for $5. The latter can be found in the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks. Now, it’s not a must have for me because I Loooove love pumpkin, and the drink did not taste like it. It was a little bitter but still super sweet. It’s worth a try if you have the time and money, but you’re experience at the park won’t be lost if you don’t try it. Just take pictures of the cool bottle.

    Pumpkin Juice and their cool bottles.

    Pumpkin Juice and their cool bottles.

    Hog’s Head

    Personally, I’m sure this ends up on some people’s MUST DO list, but I’m not a big drinker so I’ll categorize this here. The Hog’s Head is connected to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. It’s not a full bar area, just a bar. They have some custom beers on tap such as Wizard’s Brew $8 a pint and Dragon’s Scale for $8 a pint. Of course it’s fun to try a custom beer, but for the $16 it costs to try both, I would recommend trying a sip from a friend’s and using the money on souvenirs.

    Gillywater

    Last but not least on my if you have to’s… this is a seriously if you have to aka don’t bother. The bottle looks similar to a water bottle.. .yet it’s labeled Gillywater and is a shocking $8!! I wonder what it is? SPOILER ALERT: It’s an $8 bottle of water. Seriously save your money. They have water fountains.

    Needless to say, I was full and happy from my time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I hope you have a productive feasting. Let me know what snacks you enjoyed and what snacks you passed on.

     

     

  • Is Sweet

    Is Sweet in Las Vegas

    Is Sweet in Las Vegas

    There is a new dessert and coffee shop in Las Vegas and it IS SWEET. (See what I did there?!) That’s what it’s called and that’s what it is! A locally owned business, the shop is located right outside of Las Vegas Chinatown. It’s open daily from 11:00am until midnight which means it a great choice for many Las Vegas locals o=who work way past the hours of a 9am – 5pm job.

    Is Sweet menu

    Is Sweet menu

    Is Sweet has a few basic selections of espressos and coffees and classic treats like coffee cakes and tiramisus on their menu. However, the highlights of their menu are their Asian inspired desserts such as a green tea crepe cake, honey toast and assortment of milk teas in flavors like Thai tea, matcha green tea and taro!

    Is Sweet vanilla crepe cake.

    Is Sweet vanilla crepe cake.

    I had the chance to try my friend’s crepe cake (she opted for the vanilla instead of the green tea flavor) and it was light and delicious. It was served with berries that complimented the dish well. I could easily eat two of them in one sitting. If you are looking for something light, this is for you. If you are like myself and have a huge sweet tooth and a tummy to match…. then you may want to order another option… like the HONEY TOAST.

    Is Sweet honey toast.

    Is Sweet honey toast.

    Honey Toast. There are not enough words to describe how simple yet amazing this dessert is. Normally, it is just sweet white toast in the shape of a brick and is traditionally topped with honey and vanilla ice cream. Straight forward. No fuss. Very straight forward but still a comforting dessert. Now… flash forward to Is Sweet and they allow you to make your honey toast as plain as you would like or as fancy! You can choose the toppings, syrups and ice creams that go on top! Each topping ranges from 50 cents to a dollar 50 each, but the beauty is in the control. You can create the honey toast of your dreams and you can also come back multiple times and never have the same thing twice! For my first visit I opted for almonds, honey, condensed milk and green tea ice cream. It was perfect!

    Is Sweet taro milk tea.

    Is Sweet taro milk tea.

    Finally, my drink selection. To be honest, I love milk tea. I love all flavors of milk tea. I tried their iced taro milk tea. It was very rich and sweet and to some it might have been too much, but to me, it was milk tea nirvana. It paired nicely with my honey toast and I would definitely get it again. If you have never had taro…. the purple can seem very strange at first but it is similar in flavor to cookies and cream…although it’s a yam. Odd. I know. But try it!

    Is Sweet! Look for the sign.

    Is Sweet! Look for the sign.

    Overall, Is Sweet was amazing and I hope they do so well! The presentation on all their items is so adorable and the environment is so relaxed and homey. I honestly have no complaints. They have a loyal customer with me and if you are in Vegas or ever in the area, be sure to check them out! How about you? Where is your favorite coffee shop located? Do any of these treats appeal to you? I would love to know!

  • Mooncakes

    I’m going to start the documentation of my most recent California adventure by highlighting a MOONCAKE. For those of you who read my blog avidly (I hope that means YOU!) I mentioned moon cakes in my previous post about San Francisco – Chinatown. If you haven’t read it or don’t remember…. click the link to find out more! But I digress. Mooncakes!

    Moon Cake from San Francisco Chinatown

    Moon Cake from San Francisco Chinatown

    This round pastry is considered a Chinese delicacy and is traditionally eaten during mid-autumn. However, in San Francisco’s Chinatown area this snack can be found in a few hole in the wall bakeries. The mooncake is flaky on the outside but the inside is usually filled with a red bean or lotus seed paste. Sometimes the lotus seed paste is substituted for white bean paste. These items may seem odd, but are actual a staple of many Chinese sweet dishes. This particular mooncake is about 4.5 inches in diameter and is filled with lotus seed paste and it has a special something in the center… an egg yolk! How crazy, right?

    All in all, this snack is amazing and is really hard to find in Las Vegas. (I mean… I haven’t actually even found one yet!) So I get over the moon… see what I did there? When I have the chance to go to San Francisco or if I know someone who is headed that way. It reminds me of my childhood growing up in the Bay Area. It’s definitely a comfort food for me, in it’s own way. The mooncakes are very dense, so I can only eat about a third at each seating. Which, in the long run is great because each mooncake is about $5. The price may seem steep, but it’s worth the treat!

  • Sage at Aria

    Sage Menu

    Sage at Aria is a contemporary American restaurant with a bit of French flair. Created by Chef Shawn McClain, Sage features fresh, farm to table produce and puts a new spin on what is considered comfort food or American Cuisine. As a Concierge, I have been fortunate enough to sample Sage during a work dine around, however, this was my first time having a full blown, dining experience and my opinion has done a 180 degree turn around. 

    Let’s begin at the bar. Their drink menu is phenomenal. It was a little difficult to choose. Do I want something with jalapeno? or maybe some ice tea ice cubes? How about a drink with liquid nitrogen? In the end, I chose the sweetest option. The Pink Cashmere $18, aka, a drink made with a huge pile of cotton candy!!

    Sage Pink Cashmere

    Sage Pink Cashmere

    Adorable presentation of the cotton candy that melts once the drink of cherry vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice is poured over it.Totally girly, totally me. My boyfriend opted for the Queen Bee $15. I know it too sounds girly but the mixture of gin, lemon juice and honey & habanero syrup leaves a manly kick. They also have a wide variety of craft beers from around the world, various wines and their signature Absinthes! If you just drink and dine at the bar, you would not be disappointed.

    Decor at Sage

    Decor at Sage

    For us though, it was onward to the main dining room. Let me take a minute and tell you about what Sage looks like. It’s gold and dark purple, with interesting painting on the wall. The light fixtures and plush seating is all meant to be reminiscent of a prohibition era speakeasy. Think Great Gatsby in Purple. Sounds nice right? It is. They do an excellent job seducing you into the restaurant and making you forget you are actually inside a hotel, yet it is not so stuffy you feel like you can’t let your hair down a tad.

    Now on to what is REALLY important (at least to me) in a restaurant. The food. They have a great selection, but some items spoke to me right away. We opted for the following appetizers: Kushi Oysters $21, Roasted Veal Sweetbreads $18 and the Spanish Grilled Octopus $22. Dear Lord, let me tell you!! Each of those were great.

    Kushi Oysters at Sage

    Kushi Oysters at Sage

    The oysters were served a sauce of tequila, pepper and tobasco that gave the right amount of kick I like.

    Veal Sweetbreads at Sage

    Veal Sweetbreads at Sage

    The sweetbreads were very interesting. Creamy yet meaty all at the same time. It paired well with the mushrooms and polenta it came with, definitely the more filling of the appetizers.

    Spanish Octopus at Sage

    Spanish Octopus at Sage

    But the octopus was the real star of the appetizers. t’s so fresh and cooked so well, it will leave a lasting impression on you. I think there is only one other octopus dished I’ve had that has come close, but I would have to go to San Diego for that. (Click here if you want to see what I’m talking about).

    For my main course, I knew I needed the Maine Day Boat Scallops $44 in my life.

    Maine Day Boat Scallops at Sage

    Maine Day Boat Scallops at Sage

    The plate comes with three massive oysters and oxtail. The plate was light, yet satisfying. The scallops were perfection. I do not believe I have ever had such a great scallop dish. If you go to Sage, get the scallops! I mean… after all… it is one of their signature dishes.

    After the appetizers and my main dish, I didn’t think I would have enough room for dessert, but my waiter sold me on the Foie Gras Candy Bar $20.

    Foie Gras Candy Bar at Sage

    Foie Gras Candy Bar at Sage

    It sounds a little… odd, I know. Served with salt & pepper peanut butter ice cream with a layer of foie gras, which is then covered in a milk chocolate shell and bourbon caramel sauce and popcorn. I don’t know about you, but that translates to heaven to me. It is so decadent and out of this world. It is literally a game changer in the dessert world for me. I usually like my foie more savory and I thought I wouldn’t like it served sweet, but to be honest, you can’t even taste it in the dessert. I think if anything it just enhances the creamy texture. I can’t express enough how much I love this dessert. I would go back and order three courses of this.

    I know that Sage is known for a constantly changing menu, but the selfish part in me is really hoping that they don’t change any of the listed items any time soon. 🙂 Now that my mouth is sufficiently watering, please excuse me while I go and book another reservation at Sage. Until next time!

     

     

     

     

  • Chinatown: San Francisco

    Chinatown entrance on the intersection of Grant & Bush

    Chinatown entrance on the intersection of Grant & Bush

    When I am in the San Francisco area, visiting Chinatown is one of my must do’s. I love it. I think Chinatown is its own little world in a big city. Its great how clustered it is and how it feels like you are in another country. Walking through the streets you pass little markets, all sorts of restaurants and shops selling various goods. It’s a blast that needs to be had by everyone.

    Street in Chinatown

    Street in Chinatown

    Good Mang Kok Bakery

    This particular visit had one goal, FOOD. I wanted to eat some really good Asian food. Particularly Dim Sum. We went on a Wednesday and surprisingly many places were closed, but we lucked out and found a bakery that had some dim sum options. It’s called Good Mang Kok Bakery and their signs were mostly in Chinese with a line that was around the block, which I took as a good sign! And I was right.

    Good Mong Kok Bakery

    Good Mang Kok Bakery

    The food was delicious. We ordered about 6 shrimp dumplings, 4 pork buns and 1 sticky bun to go. The total cost came up to $7.00!! That is a steal! In Las Vegas, that would have probably cost me close to $15-$20 depending on the location. From what I gathered though you really can’t go too wrong with Dim Sum options in Chinatown, so be sure to pick some up!

    Floating Sushi Boat

    After walking around Chinatown for another hour or so, the hunger began to set in again. This time, we wanted something a little different. We opted for sushi. But not just ANY sushi… we found a place that had sushi on a boat conveyer belt! The restaurant was called Floating Sushi Boat. Really self-explanatory.

    Chinatown sushiThe sushi boats come by with different options on each. The price is determined by the type of place it sits upon. The prices were fairly cheap if you ask me. After our meal the total cost came up to about $27.00 for two people.

    Chinatown sushi2Not bad at all! Normally all you can eat sushi in Las Vegas is $25.00 per person, so this was a really cost effective meal. I thought it would end up being more, but alas, the bargain was in our favor. 🙂

    Eastern Bakery

    Last but definitely not least, food find in Chinatown was Eastern Bakery. Found again on a whim through Yelp searches, this bakery didn’t look too extraordinary from the outside. It didn’t even look that great once we got inside. However, I really had a craving for mooncake and egg custard. They had both, so I figured Why Not?? We picked up the order of mooncakes for about $6.00 each, egg custard for $1.50 each and sugar coconut bread for .75 cents each.

    Chinatown bakery 3 Chinatown bakeryWe paid the nice ladies a total of $20.00 and exited. I began eating the coconut cake and got about 20 feet away from the bakery before we unanimously decided as a group to go back for more. Everything I put into my mouth from that bakery was orgasmic. I had to have more. I returned to the bakery and doubled my order. It wasn’t until the second time around that I noticed the signs and pictures they had in the shop.

    They were the oldest bakery in Chinatown! Established in 1924. That means they have been there before World War II. And to top it off, Bill Clinton is a fan. They have pictures of the former President stopping by for their baked goods on their wall as well. Eastern Bakery has stood the test of time and is still going strong. This has become a new staple for my Chinatown adventures. I know I will be back and you should go too!

    Until next time…

    Chinatown 2

  • Ferry Building Food

    Ferry Building 6San Francisco is fondly called the City by the Bay, and for just reasons! It is literally, a city by the water and it’s beautiful. I love San Francisco. It will forever hold a place in my heart. No matter how far away I move from the Bay Area, I will always want to return.

    The first day in The City (especially traveling with someone who has never been), priority number one was to spend time by the water. Many tourist visitors enjoy going to Fisherman’s Warf, but I however, am not a fan. One of my favorite places near the water is actually the Ferry Building! Located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, it is the major transient hub of the surrounding cities. It also serves as a market place for local goods and a great location for various dining! Overall, my kind of place. The Champions of the Ferry Building go to:

     3rd Place for the Bronze: Blue Bottle Coffee

    Blue Bottle Coffee

    Blue Bottle Coffee

    The line for this place was ridiculous during lunch time. I almost didn’t power through and wait! But it was worth it for their New Orleans style iced coffee. It tasted like chocolate but gave that caffeine kick. Be on the look out for their logo! If you are having a hard time, just look for the line.

     2nd Place for the Silver: Humphry Slocombe

    Their constantly changing menu!

    Their constantly changing menu!

    I already enjoy ice cream on a regular basis. But I am a bigger fan of novelty. This place was both! Humphry Slocombe served ice cream in fun flavors! It’s not every day you can find flavors like Butter Beer, Harvey Milk + Honey Graham… and my favorite flavor… Roasted White Chocolate Lavender.

    Ferry BuildingThe flavors were so delicious they danced on your toungue and the consistency of the ice cream was perfect. If my calorie intake would have allowed it, I would have gone there after every meal. Conveniently located right across Blue Bottle Coffee, be sure to stop by for this delicious treat!

     1st Place for the Gold: Hog Island Oyster Company

    The menu

    The menu

    Chosen on a whim, even before doing my standard Yelp check, this place was superb. The menu had a great selection and at reasonable prices. It was hard to select only a few options but our table settled on three main dishes. The fried Oyster Po’Boys that were fried to crunchy perfection and served with the most addicting peppered chips. Also, the Clam Chowder which had the perfect amount of seafood and not too thick so you can eat the whole bowl without feeling too full… and an order of Pork Belly Sliders that were so thick and juicy, even though it was only two bites per slider, they were satisfying bites. Everything was excellent, it’s hard to say which was the best. Even the butter for the table tasted like magic.

    Top: Oyster Po'Boy Bottom Left: Clam Chowder Bottom Right: Pork Belly Sliders

    Top: Oyster Po’Boy Bottom Left: Clam Chowder Bottom Right: Pork Belly Sliders

    All the food items tasted fresh and full of flavor. Personally, it was also fun to look at. I’ve never seen oysters served in this way. 🙂 On top of everything being delightful, they had plenty of local beers on their menu that went great with their food. Lastly, but not least, you can eat out on their patio and enjoy a sweet view of the Bay Bridge. A first meal in San Francisco doesn’t get much better than this, if you ask me.

    The view from my table

    The view from my table

  • Back With Philippine Snacks

    After all was said and done, I had a wonderful time in the Philippines and I will remember every aspect of my vacation fondly. No matter how much I wish I could bring everything home with me, at the end of the day, all I can bring home are my photographs and some snacks! Considering those are my two options, we already know I took many photographs… but I feel like I brought home that much more in snacks! I loved almost everything I tried and wanted to bring it all back with me! So what are these snacks? Let’s take a look! And if you are in the Philippines, make sure you try these snacks and feel free to bring back some extra for me too 😉

    Philippine Snacks

    Cornickles: Their version of corn nuts. Simple, delicious and addicting.Snack8 Lengua de Gato: Translates into tongue of the cat… but in reality, they are just sugar cookies! Super light, it’s easy to go through one container in one sitting if you aren’t paying attention. Snacks4Polvoron: A dessert made up of milk powder and sugar. It is commonly found in the US at Asian markets or Goldilock’s bakeries.Snacks10 Chocolate covered Polvoron: The more illusive counterpart of the polvoron. I have only been able to find these in the Philippines so far. Snacks5Peanuts: Because… why not? Snacks6 Nagaraya: Another peanut snack. This one is covered in a light chip shell and is usually flavored. Also addicting an very satisfying. It comes in a variety of flavors and has become my new favorite snack to sneak into movie theaters.Snacks7 Wine: usually made from othe wild fruits. It’s much sweeter than regular red wines. Not something I can imagine being served in a fine dining establishment, but still worth the try.Snacks8 Yema: a dessert made primarily of condensed milk and egg yolk. I love this sugary sweet. I can go through a whole bag in a day or two if I really wanted a cavity by the end of the week. It would be worth it though.Snacks9Hot Coco tablets: Chocolate is rare in the Philippines. This is their version of Hot Coco. Just add the tablets to milk and there you go. It’s the closest thing I found to an all chocolate item. Snacks11

    Bonus: Korean Snacks

    I had a layover in Korea on both legs of my trip. On my way home I had a good 3 hours to shop around the airport and found some awesome snack souvenirs! Best seaweed ever!! Handmade and seasoned with seasalt and seasame oil.I would fly back to Korea for this.Snacks3Liquid tea mixes. Lemon, green plum and pomegranate. Snacks2 Korean Hoho. I didn’t know what to expect but it literaly tastes just like a hoho.Snacks Variety bag of Korean snacks. Just as it sounds. Everything mostly resembled a fig newton hybrid with a rice cake. I feel like an anime character when I eat these.Snack5

    I hope you have enjoyed my posts about my time spent in the Pacific! Thank you for letting me bring it to a full circle stop with the snacks I brought home. <3

  • Philippine Street Food

    A tray of choices for BBQ

    Philippine Street Food – A tray of choices for BBQ

    Living on Las Vegas has many benefits, but an abundant amount of street food is not one of them. Fortunately, the Philippines has no short supply of street snacks! I love Philippine Street Food. Almost every corner has a different vendor selling their own variations of a Filipino treat, and at a very affordable cost! It can seem intimidating and scary to a foreigner, but fear not! Have an open mind and you will have a happy tummy. Below are some of my favorites that I had a chance to devour in different cities during my vacation.

    Manila – BBQ
    My Philippine street food highlight is hands down, the ever popular bbq. They have a variety of different meats to choose from. Some as common as beef or pork, all the way to something a little more exotic like chicken heads and blood. As for me, I like to keep it simple (and a little safe) in this department and I opt for pork and pork fat.

    Street BBQ

    There and Back with Snacks enjoying Philippine Street Food!! Just within walking distance of my Aunt’s townhouse in Manila.

    Street BBQ3

    Philippine Street Food – BBQ

    One of my cousins treated us to a few barbeque sticks, about 7 sticks total. The cost was about 80 pesos, or $1.75.

    Baguio – Taho & Quail Eggs
    One of my fondest memories of growing up in the Philippines involves chasing down the man selling Taho. Usually found shouting “Taaahooooo…” they are unmistakable with their two large containers.

    TahoFor those who don’t know, Taho is mainly tofu with tapioca pearls and sweetener. It doesn’t sound like much, but the combination is delightful. The cost is only 30 pesos for one. That is about .70 cents.

    Taho
    Quail eggs are exactly just that. A small pack of quail eggs and salt. It only costs about 50 pesos, which is the equivalent of $1.10. Pair that with your taho and you can have a quick and delicious snack for under $2!! What’s better than Philippine Street Food? Cheap Philippine Street Food.

    Quail Eggs
    Vintar – Kamote Sticks & Empanadas
    Kamote is a root crop that resembles a sweet potato. It can be Thanksgiving all year long in Vintar. Served fried with brown sugar, it taste similar to candied yams. It’s also a very filling option. Only 30 pesos or .70 cents per stick.

    Across the street from my mother's family home.

    There and back with Snacks enjoying more Philippine Street Food! Across the street from my mother’s family home.

    However, my favorite street food in Vintar is the Filipino empanada. Usually stuffed with shredded unripe papaya and lettuce, longganisa sausage and an egg. Made fresh before your eyes and best served with some vinegar and hot sauce. It is literally happiness in your hand for the low cost of 60 empanadas. This is considered one of the more expensive street foods for only $1.35 apiece.

    Filipino Empanada.

    Philippine Street Food – Filipino Empanada.

    As if Philippine street food wasn’t glorious enough all on its own, most of the street vendors stay open until about midnight (which is considered relatively late in the Philippines.) They also begin pretty early too. If in the Philippines and looking to get by with limited spending, do not be afraid to try the street food! It will not only nourish your body and thrill your taste buds but it will give you a fun experience for a noticebly low cost!

  • Fantastic Fresno Find

    If you ever find yourself in the Fresno, California area, and notice that you are particularly craving some Chinese food, I have the place for you! The Golden Horse Chinese Restaurant!

    Normally, I wouldn’t write up a post about a local restaurant in a small town like Fresno, but in the new light of Ashley (who is like my older sister) moving to that general vicinity, I figured I might as well become somewhat familiar with the neighboring cities and their food options. And also, Golden Horse was some of the most legit Chinese food I have had in a long time! (By legitimate Chinese food I mean legitimate to San Francisco Chinatown standards)

    Golden Horse

    We had the house fried rice, black pepper beef, Chinese chicken and wonton soup. Everything was really fresh and very flavorful. I know there have been times where I have dined in a Chinese restaurant where all the different meats and rices started to have the same flavor palate, but not at the Golden Horse. The rice tasted like a mixture of chicken, beef and shrimp. The Chinese chicken tasted like hot red peppers and the black pepper beef tasted like freshly crushed black pepper. The broth in the wonton soup was so good that I would drink it even without the veggies and wontons!

    So there you have it, a very quick discussion about my new favorite Chinese restaurant that I would need to drive 7 hours to get to. Remember, if you are ever in Fresno! Check them out. Adorable Chinese restaurant run by a very sweet Chinese family. It doesn’t get more authentic than that. So authentic that even the fortune cookies have a bit of personality with their typo. =)

    Can you spot the typo? :)

    Can you spot the typo? 🙂

  • The Crumpet Shop, Downtown Seattle

    Be on the lookout for this sign when in Downtown Seatle <3

    Be on the lookout for The Crumpet Shop, Downtown Seattle

    When visiting Seattle, I really thought that seafood would be my favorite dining experience while visiting the Emerald City. I was wrong. The seafood was there, but it wasn’t a star in the kitchen the way I thought it would be. It felt more like an afterthought. “Oh… and we have seafood options.” Maybe I just need to explore beyond the tourist destinations? I’ll bookmark that thought if I’m ever in Washington again. HOWEVER, a place that I did find especially enjoyable and that I highly recommend to anyone visiting the Seattle area is The Crumpet Shop, Downtown Seattle.

    Crumpet Menu

    The Crumpet Shop, Downtown Seattle

    The Crumpet Shop is located right outside the Pikes Place Market. The sign is prominent outside of the building, but it’s tucked away on the second level. A very small café with no more than 4 tables and a wooden bar to sit at. The menu is simple, they serve Crumpets. For anyone who really knows me, knows that London is my favorite city in the world, so obviously anyplace that has strictly crumpets and tea would have to be a MUST EAT. But that’s beside the point. Let’s get back on track with crumpets. The shop makes the crumpets fresh daily. If you are not familiar, a crumpet is similar to if an English muffin and a pancake had a baby. That’s a crumpet! And they are prepared to the tune of sweet or savory.

    I opted for one of their signature crumpets. The Vermont Maple Butter with everything (which would be maple butter, cream cheese, honey and walnuts.) It was a little bite of heaven! It was the perfect combination of sweet. Nothing too overpowering, with just the right texture. The crumpet isn’t too bread-like and it pairs well with the smooth spread of the maple butter and cream cheese as well as the crunchy quality added by the walnuts.

    SO HEAVENLY!

    The best crumpet ever. SO HEAVENLY!

    This was one of my last stops on my last day in Seattle and I regret not stopping in sooner so I could have tried more than one. I definitely wouldn’t mind spending a morning or two drinking some tea and eating a crumpet in this appropriately Alice in Wonderland hole in the wall.

    Crumpet Shop

    The Crumpet Shop, Downtown Seattle.