I love traveling, it’s an outlet that helps further my understanding of life by seeing the world’s awestruck sites and experiencing new culture, food, and people. To continue this journey we just booked tickets to Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, and Eastern Europe. We’ll get to live a little bit of the Scandinavian life, post along the Adriatic and see the history and culture chic of Berlin. Pumped!
Last year we visited Barcelona and saw the mesmerizing constructions of Antoni Guadi. Our first stop was the larger than life gothic influenced church, La Sagrada Familia. It’s so amazing that one man can have so much power and creativity. Barcelona life was great with its sites, café con leches, parcs, and siestas.
Mi Quang (turmeric rice noodles with pork and shrimp cake)
Banh Uot Cuon Thit Nuong (grilled pork wrapped with rice noodles, the answer to the next level spring roll)
Com Tam GA (chicken)
Lots of love for the good ol’ 408! I have been visiting here and hanging out with my grandparents and uncle since I was a toddler. San Jose has one of the highest Vietnamese populations in the US, so you know the food has to be good.
When in San Jose, I’m always in exploration mode, looking for tasty Vietnamese food. In this past trip I took it back to the old school. I was looking for one of my favorite dishes, Mi Quang (turmeric rice noodles with pork and shrimp), and the search led me to Quan Hue in the Lion Plaza food court. I used to go to this food court with my family when I was a kid, so it was interesting dining now with an adult pallet. And don’t be fooled – Vietnamese food courts in their many strip malls can serve just as good food as in a fancy restaurant at half the price.
I was very impressed with Quan Hue with its vast selection of the Hue region’s best creations. Of course I ordered the Mi Quang, which was pretty spot on with flavor, spices, acidity and with the pork and shrimp cake. I felt like I was in Vietnam again. We also ordered the Banh Uot Cuon Thit Nuong (grilled pork wrapped with rice noodles, the answer to the next level spring roll). Both of these dishes are hard to come by in Seattle and a treasure when found.
My uncle ordered the Com Tam (broken rice) with grilled chicken and egg served with fish sauce. Com Tam is always a hit because the broken rice absorbs so much flavor of the fish sauce. The Lion Plaza food court is a “nguyen nguyen” situation for authentic Vietnamese food. There’s plenty to choose from, everything’s reasonably priced, no gimmicks, and easy seating. I can see myself eating here on the weekly if I lived in San Jose. Guess in the meantime this is my go-to spot.
Shake Shack stacks on stacks
The order window
It’s a long way to the front but you get to have a beer while waiting
Shake Shack stack - cheeseburger with a fried portobello stuffed with cheese
When someone visits New York City, you can be about 95% sure that they will be snapping a Shake Shack burger picture for their Facebook and Instagram feeds. And yes, I am a part of that population.
The Shake Shack at Madison Square Park is the true NYC experience. You wait in a long line on a hot muggy day with fashionable people. You get to drink beer in a park with bistro lighting. Then you get to dine on a juicy burger that you’ve built up an appetite for while waiting in line. Shake Shack definitely lives up to the hype and one day I will be back here experiencing it all over again.
Neighborhood life in Chelsea
Obligatory tourist pic
Shopping in SoHo
The crowd in SoHo
Still SoHo shopping… @ Unis
Stylish line at the Shake Shack @ Madison Square
When planning my trip to Europe I had the option to layover in Atlanta or New York. It’s no contest. New York is the most active and fastest city in America. The sight seeing here is endless. On this trip I had only 10 hours, so I used the time wisely to visit Chelsea, Flatiron, and Soho. The highlights of the sight seeing were the Chelsea Market, the High Line, the Flatiron building, the retail in Soho, and all the food spots we dined at. I love you New York despite your heat and humidity. Hope to see you soon!
Coffee drink of choice
High Line Park Zoo
The concrete jungle is home to many parks….Central Park, Bryant Park, Park Ave, and such. On this past trip, I had a chance to check out the newest of them all, the High Line. The High Line is an uber urban green park built on a rail line and known as one of NYC’s highlights. During the stroll you’ll experience the creativity of the architects, see the mix of NYC’s classic and modern structures, and discover the many creative subtleties planted throughout the park. I can’t wait to come here again.
Rolling with the homie Kevin Chou as we backpacked through the urban jungle
Highly anticipated pork belly buns
Duck wontons “Shut it down”
Spicy pork sausage and rice cakes
Infamous duck with rice
I have literally been waiting years to go to New York and walk into the Momofuku institution. As with any other Asian food enthusiast, I copped the book, follow the twitter, and read the articles. The anticipation to go here felt like waiting until Christmas to receive a Super Nintendo. Lo and behold, this past summer I finally got my wish.
The Momofuku of choice was the Ssam bar since they offered the most variety. Right when you walk in, you can feel the New York urban cool. The decor has a modern feel as it’s decked out in wood panel and a few John McEnroe posters. The staff is hip and the crowd is a pleaser.
For our order, there is no doubt we got the pork belly buns and duck with rice. We supplemented these staples with duck wontons and spicy sausage with rice cake. The outcome was true happiness.
Subway station (urban living)
All brick hallway
Outside dining at Amy’s bread… yet still inside
World famous cheddar cheese bread
Hipster coffee at Ninth Street Espresso
I like to travel too
For the first leg of our trip my fiancee and I embarked into New York City. The last time I was in NYC was 2007 and quite a bit has changed since. Yet a spot that still remains popular (and faves) is the Chelsea Market (aka home of Food Network).
The first place in the market we hit up Amy’s bread. Since it was early breakfast time baked goods were the best idea! At Amy’s we got the cheddar cheese biscuits as they are the most popular item and the quiche (it’s hard for me to pass up quiche). I also had a morning glory (not pictured). All the goodies were solid choices…. To cap it off we had some pretty good hipster coffee at Ninth Street Espresso.
This past summer has been one of the busiest travel time’s in my life. I was lucky enough to go to Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Turkey, NYC, Vancouver BC, SF, Vegas, and PDX. From these trips I have accumulated quite the collection of photos. Going forward I will be integrating the “FH Travel” stuff with the Seattle post to keep both photo sets moving. Check out my my instagram for the iphone “FH Travel” pics.
Spicy noodle with beef cheek
Pork belly with thousand year old egg and rice rolls
Salad rice rolls
BBQ beef brisket sandwich (GQ’s best dish in San Francisco)
My mission if I chose to accept was to dine at Mission Chinese Food and take instagram it up. The mission was gladly accepted however I think we ordered more dishes than two people can handle.
The Mission Chinese Food menu was like Disneyland! There were so many asian dishes with all my favorite ingredients and sold at reasonable prices. I done lost my figure in an asian foodie’s paradise. The BBQ beef brisket was delicious, slow cooked and flavory to articulate all it’s goodness. The salad rolls, pork belly, and spicy noodle soup were all good as well. The mission very much satisfied.
On a bonus note, I tweeted that the food hipster had finally embarked on this mission and then chef Danny Bowien came out to chat it up. He appreciated my venture down from Seattle and called in a table for me at my next destination. Too bad I wasn’t picture ready since my glasses were fogged up from the spicy noodle soup.
Short rib tacos
The Namu Street Food stand is the Nordstrom Rack of Namu Gaji. The stand is a fraction of the cost with fraction of the menu. The cuisine is Korean and fused with the other Asian cultures. We had the short rib tacos and okonomiyake. They were good choices and had tons of flavor. However, as another patron walked by with the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) I saw goodness, spiciness, and delicious! I guess that’s on my to do list for next time.