Engineering the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Coffee Beans in hand

In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome. Though they paid for my trip, they didn't require me to write anything or dictate what I wrote. Still, that is why this post is about coffee. And illustrated with photos of Colombia. In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome, but I wish my husband could have come. Not because I’m one of those weird co-dependent people that can’t bear a few days without my spouse, … [Read more...]

This Year in Tacos and Other Things, Too

Barbacoa Taco at Pujol in Mexico City

This year was filled with tacos (both Americanized and authentically Mexican), island vacations (Lummi, Sri Lanka, Lummi again, Hawaii, Whidbey, Hawaii again, and San Juan), and some of the highest highs and lowest lows I’ve ever experienced. I won’t deny it’s easier to deal with tough times while sipping a cocktail out of a pineapple on Kauai, but I’ll also tell you that if it weren’t for my wedding in May, I could just as easily have skipped this entire year. Thrown out the many hours I spent in and out of hospitals on both coasts (for myself and for family) like they were rotten … [Read more...]

My Best Bites on Kauai

Tropical Short Stack, Ono Family Restaurant, Kapaa

As one of the only places in the United States where raw fish is considered a completely normal breakfast, Hawaii is one of my favorite places to eat in the country. So obviously, when the Kauai Visitors Bureau invited me down to find the best bites on Kauai, I wasn't about to say no to a free trip to the land of Spam musubi (don't even try to challenge me on the tastiness of canned lunch meat wrapped in seaweed, over rice) and tropical fruits. As the rain starts to fall and drizzle and pour here in Seattle, there is no better time to start dreaming of island cuisine. Best Bites on … [Read more...]

Eating with My Right Hand

Looks like finger food to me

Midway through most of the meals I ate on my honeymoon in Sri Lanka, a smile and a pile of napkins started coming my way. I would swipe at my face, realizing that it once again looked like someone gave a drunken toddler one of those finger-paint-with-curry sets. Other brides count down the weeks before their wedding by practicing dance steps, reciting their vows, or fretting about décor. Something else occupied my mind: eating with my right hand. Immediately after the ceremony, my new husband and I were jetting off to Sri Lanka. (“Why Sri Lanka?” people ask. The answer: it’s as far from … [Read more...]

On Airport Food

Define "airport food" for me, again?

“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

I waited many years to finally try the Bone Marrow at St John. It was fine.

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...]

The Best of 2013

Takashi Beef and Uni New YorkBig

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)

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...]

The Feast Portland Top 10 Bites

Beast-of-Feast-PDX-Spuma-di-Mortadella

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...]

The French—They’re Just Like Us.

The-French-are-Just-Like-us-Salad

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...]