Fish Markets of the World: A Photo Essay

Thank you to Blacklane for sponsoring this post. Scroll down for more info. The chaos of an early morning clamor for seafood is balm on my jet-lagged soul. The hours match up with my skewed body clock, giving me something to do besides count the flies on my hotel ceiling. Rows of freshly caught fish, stacked and ready to sell give me something besides empty roads to feast my eyes upon and the strange hours of fisherman and fishmongers mean the promise of a hearty meal at all hours. As I semi-professionally wander about the world, the fish market is often my first glimpse of a new … [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...]

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 French—They’re Just Like Us.

Here in the U.S. there’s a general feeling that France is the star of the dining scene. Sure, we’re doing our best, and we’ve come of dining age, but the real masters, with their mother sauces and generations of heritage, are in France. Just like US Weekly’s celebrity spying, column Stars, They’re Just Like Us, what I learned on my recent trip to Paris and Avignon is that when it comes down to it, the French? They eat just like us.  They serve out-of-season tomatoes: Only theirs are smothered in broiled Brie. They shop at Farmers Markets: They like to picnic: Things I need for … [Read more...]

Unique Eats of Philadelphia

Sure, the town is known for its sandwiches (and Rocky, obviously), but we did eat a few non-sandwich meals while exploring Philadelphia. What we found was a town full of food opportunities that we never get in Seattle, and a few that I don't think are found anywhere outside of those specific restaurants. Taco pizza, anyone? Read on for the bits, bites, and meals that are worth a stop in Philly. Red Gravy at Villa di Roma Ignore this entry if you're in New York or New Jersey, because you can probably find this kind of thing near home. The food is nothing like the uber-authentic Italian … [Read more...]

6 Books to Give Adventurous Eaters (Or, Let’s Be Honest, to Buy for Yourself)

Everybody and their monkey is putting out a gift guide, and obviously, I wanted to jump in on the fun with my own area of expertise: what to buy for people who love to cook and eat (or at the least, read about cooking or eating) food from all over the world. Since the monkeys write poorly and everybody else tends to stick to mainly Euro-American-centric stuff, I thought I'd better get the word out about some tasty tomes. I devour over 75 cookbooks a year. Figuratively, of course. Between those sent to me by publishers, the ones I buy myself, the ones I take from the public library, and the … [Read more...]

High-End Mexican Food: Izote, Azul, and Others

Part 3 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Fine Dining in Mexico City Did you miss part 1 or 2 of my food blogger’s guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.) and Mexico City: A dive into street food? In a year when I was fortunate enough to enjoy meals at the likes of the French Laundry and Alinea, my favorite high-end meal was in Mexico City, at a place called Izote. The cost, for two of us, was less than a quarter of what I paid for one person at French Laundry, and the service, ambience, and food were not a step behind. Sure, I'm a big fan of street food, but what made … [Read more...]

Where to Eat in White Center

I've repeatedly explained to people that some of the best eating in Seattle is in White Center. Which technically, isn't Seattle, so perhaps that's why people are so scared to venture down there? Formerly a piece of unincorporated King County, recently annexed by the city of Burien, White Center picks up where West Seattle leaves off, at the south end of the city. Culinarily, White Center holds much of what Seattle lacks: authentic, cheap foods from all parts of the world. Having worked in West Seattle for over two years, I've spent a lot of lunches dining on the cheap tamales, the lovely … [Read more...]

Mexico City: A dive into street food

Part 2 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Street food and Casual restaurants in Mexico City Did you miss part 1 of my food blogger’s guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.)? Street food is nearly synonymous with Mexico City's food scene, and for good reason. Everywhere you turn, there's another stand making something else delicious! I know many of us Gringos are scared of street food and hygiene and what not, but honestly, I carry a little cipro with me, choose carefully, and dive in. What you'll find below here are 5 days worth of wandering around, eating wherever … [Read more...]

My Love Affair with Mexico City

Part 1 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.) Mexico City just might be the ultimate food vacation destination. Oh, I’m enamored with Beijing myself, I enjoyed a little Hanoi, no lie, and I wouldn’t turn down a return trip to Thailand either. Yet, if you asked me where you should go first, I’d direct you to Mexico City for incredible high-end cuisine at ridiculous bargain prices, for the well-known killer street food culture, and for a drinking scene that offers century-old traditional pulque next door to a modern microbrewery. “Is it safe?” I had … [Read more...]