On Airport Food

“I don’t know, it looks pretty suspicious,” I heard the woman in seat 1A say. “Hmm,” her partner mused. “It looks more like a sandwich to me,” I heard, as I glanced down and saw something missing from my armful of jumbled belongings. I fought my way back to the front of the plane to claim my soft-shell crab po’boy before we took off from Louis Armstrong International Airport—or were prevented from doing so by a suspicious but delicious package. The sandwich was with me because, as a traveler, I have a motto: “Never arrive at the airport hungry.” Given the options in most airports and the … [Read more...]

Eating London: I Screw It Up Again

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. There is no time that I'm happier than locating delicious food in foreign cities, exploring cuisines and delicacies that I can't find at home. It doesn't matter if I'm traipsing through the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens for Liberian food or around an actual Caribbean island. The important thing is finding food that changes how I think. Eating in London makes it hard. I visited London once before, more than a decade ago. Yo! Sushi–Westernized rolls on a conveyor belt—was the height of cool, and we'd saved up. It was our one … [Read more...]

I’m Not Eating It Wrong

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. “If the food goes in your mouth, you’re doing it right,” the waitress told us, in direct contrast to the instructions given by the ramen restaurant’s PR rep. It was refreshing to hear—especially after having just watched a slurping demonstration that brought flashbacks of a time I slurped spicy soup broth right into my eye. It burnt in so many ways. The slurping demo, though, is just one of any number of ways that the “right way” to eat is trumpeted. You’re opening it wrong. You’re eating it from the wrong end. You’re insulting … [Read more...]

Ten Things I Was Scolded for While Making Pierogi

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. There wasn’t much ceremony to volunteering to make pierogi at Seattle’s Polish Home Association for their upcoming bazaar. Everyone else spoke Polish and was there out of love for their community. My friends and I, none of us Polish by anything other than remote heritage, were there out of a different kind of love: that of dumplings. I’m not saying I can’t be altruistic at times, but I’ll be honest: I volunteered because I wanted to watch these Eastern European dumpling masters and learn their trade secrets. I just had no idea what … [Read more...]

Blazing Cattle

"Tickets go on sale in May," says the Burning Beast Facebook page. By the time the ticket-holding public entered Burning Beast, 200 pounds of beef had been taken from the rebar-and-steel cross and were resting quietly (as dead animals tend to do) on the table. One kind of chaos ended as a new one crouched at the starting line. 600-plus people stood ready to descend on the beef and other roasted carcasses strewn around the field. The previous night at dinner Tamara Murphy, seminal Seattle chef and founder of Burning Beast, said to the participating chefs, “We come out for a great party, and … [Read more...]

Dumplings on a Seder Plate: The Closing of Green Village Restaurant

“You’ll tell them, right?” Wendy asked toward the end of the evening. She motioned toward the outside world, as if to remind us that there were still other people out there. We were the only guests in the tiny Chinese restaurant tonight. She looked out the window at another customer pulling at the locked door. “I don’t have the heart.” We nodded, reassuringly; we’d tell the world—the Internet—that Green Village was no more. Let people read what Wendy wouldn’t or couldn’t say to their face, what she shared with us tonight inside the restaurant: Green Village, the restaurant that had been her … [Read more...]

The Best of 2013

I’d say that the reason my 2013 wrap-up isn’t coming out until mid-March of 2014 is because I had a food hangover, but that’s not true. Hangover connotes sick, ugly, gross feelings, and I have quite the opposite. Instead, I’ve retained glee, a glow, and an excitement about what more is to come. 2013 was a year of amazing eating: I visited four countries and six states, and feel that I can confidently declare I ate the best of all of them. But what were the best things that I ate, the best restaurants I went to, the best dining innovations I found? I have the answers for you. Best Place … [Read more...]

The Best! Taco! Ever! (Austin, Texas)

Subtitle: Five Reasons I Don’t Want to Tell you About the Best Taco Ever 1) FoodLibsTM: The Easy Form to Create Every Mediocre Yelp Posting Ever: I ate the best taco (foodstuff). I have eaten a gajillion (really big number) tacos (same foodstuffs), including in Mexico (exotic country) in my life and this was definitely the best one. It was so amazing (adjective) that I was mind-blown (adjective). 2) Finding the best of any kind of food is like a pyramid. Nobody sits back after a really great barbacoa taco and says “Yup. That’s it. The greatest meat shoved in tortilla on earth. I can … [Read more...]

The Feast Portland Top 10 Bites

I've been fattened up like a foie gras goose, and I'm ready to be rolled into the slaughterhouse. Only my version of the slaughterhouse is just a dinner made of brown rice, spinach, and salmon. A detox after a gluttonous weekend that had my stomach and tastebuds begging for mercy. Never have the words "all you can eat caviar bar," been so fearful as when they're combined with "21 of the countries best chefs making Asian or Latin American street food," and "free late-night delivery of grilled-cheese sandwiches." Yup, remember when I told you I thought Feast Portland was going to be pretty … [Read more...]

Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream

I don't love pie. There, I said it. It's out there now, hanging down like a dark cloud following a depressing cartoon character around. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike pie, I just don't find it to be the ecstasy-inducing, home-perfecting, be-all and end-all of the dessert world. I do love that other people love pie. Everyone should have a passion, and one for pie seems much healthier than one for, say, rabbit porn. Not that rabbit porn is my thing. This is not rabbit porn. This is where I went hiking. Huckleberry heaven. One of my favorite facts about the Northwest (AKA the best … [Read more...]