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

The Best Taco Ever- Barbacoa at Taco Rico in Austin

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...]

App Release: Unique Eats of the Northwest

Unique Eats of the Northwest

“I’m having a girl!” the text came in yesterday from my best friend. I couldn’t be happier for her. THERE IS A TINY HUMAN INSIDE MY BEST FRIEND. What could be more exciting than that? Nothing. But this is my blog, not hers, so that’s not my story. Instead, here’s the second most interesting thing going on in my world. I’ve been gestating a little something myself for the last nine months: a tiny, electronic baby. If I were texting my friends about it, the message would say: “I’m having an app!” I’m not texting, though. Even just saying out loud, “My app is releasing today” feels … [Read more...]

Love at First Sight: Yummy Mammy

Spinach Noodles

Yummy Mammy is the Zooey Deschanel of Chinese restaurants. It's got her quirky looks and takes hints from the way she hides behind big glasses to fool people into thinking she's not so  hot. Digging in deeper, ignoring the garbage bag full of dried red peppers sitting on the hostess stand, I found my manic pixie dream girl restaurant. Yummy Mammy's name alone gives it points in the "most adorkable" competition: awkward to get off the tongue and giving no hint of the stellar Chinese food hidden within. Emulating Zooey's Jess, from New Girl, it's just different enough, without crossing … [Read more...]

The French Laundry on Yelp: A Zero Star Review

CheeseCourse

1/8/13   Okay, people, listen up. I went to the French Laundry, and obviously I’m the most qualified person to offer this review, even though there are fifty one-star reviews already on the site, because this is going to be the first person to give a ZERO star review! FIRST ONE HERE! Also, I actually went to the restaurant, so that puts me a leg up on more than half of those silly one-star people. I thought this place, was, like, super exclusive, or something? I was extremely angry that I got the exact day and time I wanted for my reservation (by following the instructions on … [Read more...]

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

DuckMoleBunuelos

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

PuffPastry

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...]

Eating America: The Best Food in Chicago, Part 1: Budget Restaurants

PDSoupBetter

Consider this the food blogger's guide to Chicago. As I say on my About Page, being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Each year I tell my stories of trips to Beijing, Hanoi, and Mexico, but sometimes I leave out my favorite places right here in the U.S. No more! This is the latest installment of my 'Eating America' series, featuring the best eating around our fine nation. In my few trips to Chicago, I’ve mostly had the chance to eat at only a few places while passing through the city on the way to Brett’s family’s place out in the burbs. … [Read more...]

Eating America: The Best Food in New Orleans

WillieMaes

Consider this the food bloggers guide to New Orleans. As I say on my About Page, being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Each year I tell my stories of trips to Beijing, Hanoi, and Mexico, but sometimes I leave out my favorite places right here in the U.S. No more! Here is the beginnings of my 'Eating America' series, featuring the best eating around our fine nation. I make no secret of my love for the city of New Orleans. I first visited it while on Spring Break from college, in the pre-Katrina days, and the last few years I've made it practice … [Read more...]

Altura Takes Itself Just Seriously Enough

Papardelle

It was a coincidence that Altura received a semi-finalist nomination for a James Beard Foundation award the day we had reservations. It made it all the more surprising that tables around us sat empty for hours as we ate, despite my needing to book two weeks out to get a reasonable time slot. After the level of service and cuisine we witnessed, I can't help but wonder (hope!) if it was purposeful--to relax the kitchen and the waitstaff workload--so that the diner's experience is impeccable. If not, perhaps we were just fortunate that nobody read the nominations and tried to jump on the … [Read more...]

My Year in Food, 2011

Swimming Fire Fish

Normal is not what I do best. Thus my end-of-year top-ten list will be anything but. For starters, it's not ten items. Instead, this is a peek inside my brain, where cooking and reading and small creatures in the night all crawl about, mingling and mixing into a delightful stew of tasty tidbits. It's December, and while I'm more likely to look forward to the next year than backwards on the last, here's a few things that stuck in my maw, reminding me why the life of good eating is so wonderful. Best non-cookbook: Grant Achatz's Life, on the Line This is not the best written book ever, … [Read more...]