Monthly Archives: April 2010

Vietnamese food is pho-king awesome…

Ok, I won’t deny. I’ve actually only had pho and sandwiches. And I didn’t like pho till last year. Which is a huge shame as the Ave in the U-district has the best Vietnamese restaurant ever. I was introduced to Thanh Vi by one of my best friends last year after a day of being hungover, or maybe we were just sick? Either way, she was craving her post-frat party/bar Friday morning ritual from college. I figured I’d give pho another try (I had had it once my freshmen year in college and thought it was kind of lame) but that day, Crystal taught me the correct ritual to Vietnamese soupy goodness. As with all my other food, I love it spicy. Extra chili sauce and jalapenos (always gotta ask for more), hold the hoisin sauce. I always order the “pho chin” aka – well done beef brisket. It’s delicious. God’s gift to the Vietnamese, who were so kind to share it with the rest of the world.

When Crystal was back in town, we hiked up Snoqualmie Falls and were hungry, as well as slightly slightly slightly hungover.. So what else would make us feel better than some pho?!?! We headed to the Ave and entered Thanh Vi. If there’s one thing to know about this restaurant, its how nice to employees are. Whether it’s the elderly woman or the young guys, everyone is really nice and there’s always classical music playing. Though if you go to the website, don’t be fooled by the pictures, it’s really not that fancy or romantic, but it’s still damn worth it to take a date there!

We were craving a sandwich, so we ordered the beef sandwich:

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Banh Mi

You would think this sandwich would be like any other, and you would be wrong. The meat is really juicy and sweet, while the bread is perfectly crispy and the veggies underneath the meat just accentuate the taste of this sandwich. Crystal and I split this, and then we moved on to soupy goodness…..

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Pho Chin is Vietnamese for comforting deliciousness

If you’ve never had pho, it’s basically vermicelli noodles in broth with noodles, onions (both green and white/red), cilantro, and you can add in basil, soybean sprouts, jalapenos and sauces such as hoisin sauce or chili sauce. Top it off with some lime juice and you’re good to go!

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Pho extras

If you’re ever in Seattle, make sure you take some time to head to the U-district and visit Thanh Vi on University Avenue!

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Paseo Caribbean is sooo worth the trip to Fremont

I’ve been living in the Fremont/Wallingford area for about a year and a half, and when I first moved here, I was told I needed to go to Paseo Caribbean on Fremont Ave. I didn’t go until a couple weeks ago, and apparently I’ve been missing out on one of the greatest things Fremont has to offer. After our cupcake celebration, my friends and I headed to Paseo Caribbean for some real food.

As usual, there was a huge line outside, but it moved quickly and we got up to the counter trying to figure out what to order. Should I get the Cuban Roast sandwich? It is the most popular… Maybe the grilled chicken breast? Maybe the fresh fish? No no, I definitely had to go with the sauteed prawns.

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I will proudly be a prawn eater for this thing

My friends got the Cuban Roast sandwich I believe…

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Yummy

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Caribbean-y goodness

The sandwiches were hot and crispy. The bread was fresh and crunchy, and when the sauce softened it a bit, pure heaven. It had a bit of a kick to it with the jalapenos, and the onions were a nice addition. The lettuce sort of flopped around, but it was still good. The shrimp was perfect and seasoned wonderfully. I’ve been craving to go back there, and it’s a sin I don’t, I only live a few blocks away. If you’re going to visit, make sure you have cash!

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Cupcake Camp, nothing like Girl Scout camp

But oh so delicious. On April 10, 2010 Cupcake Camp Seattle held it’s first official eventĀ  to benefit the HopeHeart Institute. While I think having a cupcake celebration for cardiovascular research is a bit of an oxymoron, it was still delicious. I went with my two best friends who are foodies like me, and one can match me bite for bite when it comes to cupcakes. There were a lot of different companies there, as well as some cupcakes that some people brought from home. Here are some pictures from the event:

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Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes

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Cupcake dress from Trophy Cupcakes

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There was also a table filled with Seattle themed cupcakes:

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I believe this was supposed to be a latte

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Cute idea, I don't think I'd ever eat it though... The grass looks.. yeah..

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This one makes me giggle

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This one's so pretty! Wonder if it makes your teeth sparkle..

It was a great way to start my Saturday. Picked up one of my best friends at the airport and spending an hour shoving cupcakes in my mouth with two of my best friends and finishing it up with some milk. The HopeHeart Institute raised $5,276.50 and had a great turn out! I’m glad we got there early.

I did come away with one tidbit of knowledge though. I had always compared Cupcake Royale to Trophy Cupcake, actually getting into some intense conversations in bars about which was better. I always thought Trophy had the better cupcake, while Cupcake Royale had the better frosting. I was wrong. Cupcake Royale wins everything hands down. I had tried a peanut butter chocolate cupcake from Trophy, and it was a bit dry and not as sweet, while the chocolate cupcake from Cupcake Royale was fluffy and sweet and had the perfect frosting. And I know they’re a bit cheaper than Trophy. I know where I’ll be getting my cupcakes from now on! It’s Cupcake Royale or bust!

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Korean dinner redux

So I went home for Easter and got some pointers from my mom on how to cook Korean tofu. If you remember, I tried to make Korean tofu awhile ago, and it didn’t turn out so well. It kind of turned into a brown, lumpy, tasty mess. This time, I broiled the tofu in hot water, and mixed sesame oil and soy sauce together. I heated the sauce mixture up with some green onions, and poured it over my tofu and it turned out just like my moms:

Just like Umma's

Ok, well, not going to lie, my mom’s still looks prettier, but it tasted good! My grandma also sent me home with kim-chi, so I had fresh kim-chi to go with it! My favorite! I also made an egg dish I grew up with:

-Whisk three eggs (I used one whole, two egg whites)
-Add in green peppers and some ko-chu, which is like red pepper flakes
-Toss on some rice and enjoy!

This is the outcome, as well as the kim-chi.

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Korean eggs and kim-chi

And this was my delicious dinner:

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Best. Meal. EVER.

It was childhood and happiness all in one. Next up to conquer? Kim-chi bok-eum bap. Wish me luck!

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Schlotzsky’s Deli paid for my high school fun

My first real job in life was at Schlotzsky’s Deli (I don’t count the two weeks I spent at Big-5, mainly because I block that bad memory out of my head.) Schlotzsky’s is based out of Texas, and there were only two in Washington; now there are none. My friend’s older sister was a manager there and she hired me and this other girl, who became really good friends through all the crazy work stories.

If you’ve never been to Schlotzsky’s, you’re missing out. They bake their bread fresh every morning, but the soup is frozen and warmed with hot water. We cut veggies everyday and meat a few times a week. We also baked cookies, daily, multiple times depending on the day, who was managing, and how many we staff we eat on a shift. Oops. We were renowned for our New York Cheesecake, and also desserts like a caramel apple bar and lemon bar. I’m starting to drool as I think about it. Everytime I travel to Texas (which was twice in the past 6 months) I looked for a Schlotzsky’s! I found one at the Houston airport, but not when I was flying out, and I saw them all over when I was in San Antonio for a wedding, but never when I was hungry. The only good thing that came out of my ridiculous layover in Denver was that their airport has a Schlotzsky’s! I hopped on a train to Terminal A to be reunited with my childhood(ish) goodness.

There are so many choices though! Did I want to get a veggie pizza with the delicious pesto sauce? BBQ chicken pizza where Schlotzsky’s is the only place I’ll eat it. The turkey sandwich? The veggie sandwich with ranch, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce? The chicken with no pickles plus dijon mustard? So many choices! Once I saw the menu though, it was easy. They had brought back the Fiesta Chicken Sandwich!

When I first began working at Schlotzsky’s, they had a Fiesta Chicken Sandwich which was chicken on jalapeno bread toasted with two/three types of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and I believe jalapenos. It also had a special fiesta sauce which was almost like a spicy thousand, though I think they don’t have that anymore as my sauce didn’t taste the same. It brought me pure happiness as I sat in Denver, a mile above sea level. I settled in with a bag of sour cream n’ onion chips and I was set.

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Fiesta deliciousness!

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Fresh, crunchy goodness

The sandwich brought back some good, yet crazy memories. I worked at Schlotzsky’s from the end of my sophomore year, till the end of my senior year. I even worked my way up to manager, woo-hoo making $0.10 more than the rest of my employees! It actually wasn’t that bad, every Sunday after church the place was slammed, and sometimes on random week nights, always Friday nights. Even though some customers made me want to throw tomatoes at them, I never spit in anything or did anything terribly wrong (except maybe put a little extra mayo on some sandwiches….) I definitely ate more than I should’ve but it was worth (almost) every bite. I’d like to thank Schlotzsky’s deli for helping me make friends with people I never would’ve been (there were only about 5 of us from my high school working there), for having the HOT senior working when I first started, buying my wardrobe from A&F, and all the other memories!

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If you have a hankering for Thai while in Sydney…

I arrived in Sydney at 7:30 in the morning after a 18 hours of traveling and after I met Neil at the airport and we had checked into our hostel and I had showered. We went to go find food. I was STARVING after my United Airlines food fiasco and wanted some Italian. We had read about an Italian restaurant on Victoria Street near Kings Cross station and decided to go there. It was closed, and we stopped by Bar Coluzzi, which was recommended to me by my Aussie co-worker, but the boys didn’t want to eat there. Sam, our friend who’d been in Sydney for about a week suggested we go to BuddhaBing a couple streets down on William Street. Hands down, some of the best Thai food I’ve EVER had. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had Thai food in months, I was that hungry, or that it was just extremely good, but my phad kee mao was so good I just wanted to curl up in a ball with it and never leave the restaurant (they had some pretty comfy chairs). I was tempted to take pictures, but didn’t want to weird the guys out, and I was really out of it.

I definitely thought I’d make it back there again, especially as I had a craving for Thai food the whole time I was there, but every time I was in Kings Cross, my stomach was so full from lunch I didn’t want anything that heavy. I just wanted salad, which was what Tropicana was perfect for. But that’s another post for another day! If you’re ever in Sydney and want some really good, cheap (lunch was $8.50 AU) food, make sure you stop by BuddhaBing!

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United Airlines has the WORST FOOD EVER

For my flights to and from Australia, I took United Airlines. The Aussie in my office told me that was a bad idea, but since I had ridden them twice when I was going to Europe I didn’t think they could be that bad. I was wrong, dead wrong. On the flight over we were given dinner, a snack and breakfast. It was definitely forgetable, or at least, so bad that that I put the memory out of my head. Even though it was only 3 weeks ago (wow, that seems like such a long time) I can’t even remember what I had. Only that it was bad and I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and get some real food. And a shower.

The trip back though, is one I will never forget. To begin with, they cancelled my flight home, which would have been fine, but I flew in from Brisbane that morning (Qantas gave an awesome carrot cake snack on an hour and a half flight) and I found out when I went to my United gate to check in. I was then stuck at the Sydney airport for 4 hours waiting for them to get my bag from the Qantas flight to give to me. I was very unhappy with the way they handled things, but that’s beside the point. There’s a little food court in the international terminal right before you go in through security, and I had assumed that I would be able to find some good food once I went through security to try and avoid eating plane food. No such luck, I was stuck with United food again.

For lunch we were given the option of pasta or an “asian” dish. I took the asian dish, which was actually just some chicken in a teriyaki type sauce, bok choy and really, really really badly under-cooked rice. They need to learn to put more water into their rice. It was also a bit disturbing to watch them put all the food into little warmers and see them turn on the timers. Mmm, nothing like a heated up meal 10,000 feet up in the air. Awesome. Obviously everyone knows that the food trays are kept warm in heating boxes, but still.. Seeing the stewardesses actually turn the timer on? Maybe they should learn to close the curtain. The food was edible though, and the chocolate cake on the tray was actually pretty good. The salad was wilted, of course, but what can you expect?

The snack, on the other hand. Disgusting. Utterly, purely, made-me-throw-up gross. I took a bite of it and gagged.

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United's "snack"

Is it just me, or does the meat look like something else? The texture was like nothing I had had before. It was almost foamy and made my tongue tingle. There was also a cole slaw type dressing on it and the sauce was so tangy I’m pretty sure it was expired and rotten. It almost resembled spoiled milk, hence why I think it was bad.

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I don't even know what this is supposed to be...

The pregnant woman next to me had the same reaction, and we couldn’t get over how putrid it was. We were so hungry though! Luckily, she and her husband had snacks so we had something to hold us over till breakfast!

The choices for breakfast were fruit, or an egg, mushroom and sausage tray. I thought the fruit tray might be some fruit cocktail sugar type thing, and I was really cold so I thought maybe eggs wouldn’t be that bad. I’m pretty sure I had eggs on the way over, so I figured they would be edible. Quite wrong, quite wrong. The mushrooms were overcooked, but edible. The eggs on the other hand though, were some fake foamy mess mixed with potatoes. And the turkey sausage? Well, let’s just say it tasted as sketchy as it looks. I mean really, they actually thought it’d be ok to serve this?

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"Breakfast"

The croissant in a plastic bag was the only thing on the tray I was actually pretty enjoyable thanks to lots of butter being baked into it, and the fact that it was premade and United didn’t have to heat it up.

I want to know what goes through the food purchasers head when they were buying these meals. I hope the food in business and first class was better. I’m sure it was, but if it was the same cheap quality as the economy meal, but different choices, I pity them and all that they had paid for their ticket. I realize there’s a recession going on and costs need to be cut, but this has got to be the cheapest food they can order. And even then, spend a few extra dollars on a meal that won’t get a constant bitch out. I know a lot of people hate airplane food, but I actually don’t mind it. And considering I’ve been to Europe three times and Korea seven times, I’ve done my fair share of traveling. I’ve had some pretty decent meals, and never had anything that I made me wish I was anorexic, or had a stash of food hidden somewhere. Or that I was able to go 5 hours without eating something.

Moral of this story is: When flying to Australia, choose a carrier other than United Airlines if you can’t handle waiting 13 hours to eat, or if you must take United bring your own food.

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