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the us postal service released 5 forever stamps with some culinary legends. helllo, joyce chen.
This is cool because of the diversity of the chefs!
Dinner at La Antioquena in Lake Mary, FL: Bandeja paisa: platanos, avocado, bistec, huevo, chorizo, arepa, puerco, mojo y arroz, empanada de carne, arepas con puerco, arepa con queso
This area (north of Orlando) is generally a wasteland of corporate chain restaurants so I was happy to find this family run Columbian restaurant really close to my hotel. Everything was really good - and the mojo and dipping sauce for the empanada really added more flavor.
Japanese textile artist betibettin crocheted this awesome bowl of ramen that looks good enough to eat, although we’d recommend using it as a pillow for a post-ramen nap rather than an actual meal. Each ingredient has been expertly crocheted, right down to the tiny curls of green onion.
betibettin created a fascinating video tutorial for this project so we can see just how each ingredient was made. We were particularly curious about how he made the noodles and broth look so realistic.
No please excuse us while we go heat up some Cup Noodle.
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Gyoza and Shio Ramen at Daikaya, Washington DC: I’m a sucker for a well made bowl of ramen so I made it a point to eat here this week. We sat at the bar and watched them make everyone’s bowls - they saute a few ingredients in a wok before adding to your bowl of broth and noodles and then top off with your extras. The soft boiled eggs were fantastic - so much umami flavor in them. The butter gave my broth an extra smooth finish. We also opted for adding pork belly - our only disappointment of the night. This was just boiled and sliced. It would have been way better if they seared it as well. But definitely a great bowl of ramen. I can’t wait to try the Izakaya menu next time!
Brunch at Skillet Diner in Ballard, Seattle, WA: biscuits and gravy with poached egg, “poutine”, bacon jam bloody mary
We had a great brunch here - it was a few blocks away from where we were staying in Ballard and was very popular with the neighborhood crowd. The gravy was full of flavor (and sausage) and the biscuit stood up to being drenched in it. I added poached eggs which added even more richness. The “poutine” was a bit of a disappointment - why call it poutine if there are no curds? I actually had curds from Beechers and made real poutine with the leftovers later. The bacon jam bloody mary was delicious and the bacon salt rim brought out the flavors.
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Fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, rice and gravy at Sister PeeWee’s Soul Food Kitchen in San Diego, CA: this spot is definitely off most people in SD’s radar - I jumped at the chance to eat here when I was staying at the Hilton Bayfront for my work conference. Sister PeeWee is still there, ruling over her counter. She wasn’t talkative that afternoon - she didn’t seem to be feeling well but it’s nice to just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the cooking. Those greens were so good - I don’t usually like collards but these were well seasoned and cooked perfectly. (They are usually too mushy for my taste but these still had some texture to them.) My friend had the catfish and it was great - the filets were battered in cornmeal and seasoned well and best of all, not overcooked.
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Brunch at Coquette, New Orleans, LA: fried meatloaf, boudin benedict and fig/shaved parmesan salad
They have a three course prix fixe here but we opted to order items off the regular menu. The salad was so summery - such clean flavors and a perfect way to start the meal, The boudin had great flavor and the eggs were properly poached. I tried my friend’s meatloaf and it was really good and very over the top. It really didn’t need to be fried as it could have stood on it’s own.
The cocktail menu here is also fantastic - somehow I didn’t photo any drinks??? Oh well, next time for sure.
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From District Donuts in NOLA: fried chicken slider (fried chicken, fried chicken skin, slaw with sweet and spicy dressing, jalapeno), Pad Thai donut (ginger lemongrass glaze, peanuts, candied cilantro) and a biscuit along with cold brew iced coffee, cookie dough, ginger lemon, nutella and PB&J donuts, croque monsieur (cronut with shaved ham and bechamel)
I stayed a few blocks away from here and stopped by every day for either breakfast or sliders and coffee (always with the cold brew coffee!) I will definitely be a regular here once I move to NOLA.
When in NOLA City Park, Morning Call is a must. Sure you can get beignets, but try the crawfish bread. And definitely get a frozen cafe au lait.
Dinner at amuse at VMFA in Richmond, VA: burger with bacon jam and house made buttermilk bun, baked pimiento cheese, house made beef jerky, house made watermelon soda and vodka
I have had plenty of great meals in museum’s restaurants and this one was no exception. The bartender suggested that I dip the beef jerky into the pimiento cheese and that suggestion was spot on. The cheese was also good for dipping your fries into. The burger was fantastic - the bacon jam added texture and flavor.
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