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...]

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...]

Unique Eats of Philadelphia

SpaghettiMeatballs

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...]

The 7 Best Foods I Ate in Hawaii

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Like so many of our trips, our Hawaii vacation quickly spiraled into 'research.' As in, I carted us all over creation looking for the best bites the islands have to offer. If you've been watching my columns on Serious Eats, you might have seen me talk about some of the things I ate. But right here, right now, I'm going to tell you about the seven best bites I had in the seven days we spent in Hawaii. **Note: The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau helped out with my transportation and lodging costs for this trip, though I chose all meal locations and paid for all meals, except where … [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...]