Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2017!

Oh my, oh my, where do I even begin? Maybe I should state that I have gained 5lbs for the last 3 days and now I’m bleeding cheese and brats?๐Ÿ˜‚ 

We go on this baseball/food trip every year. The destination this year was Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

When we got to the airport (MKE), we found this amazing thing: exclusive Uber pick-up zone! DCA (or taxi drivers in the DMV area?) seem to kind of mind people using Uber. However, MKE has designated a spot near Baggage Claim 1 for Uber pick-ups. No more calling the driver trying to explain where the heck you are!

Our Airbnb place was located right off Brady Street, which has fun bars, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. Everything was open late even though it was a Thursday night. 

We got to our place quite late but decided to try this Japanese ramen place, Red Light Ramen, that night. No one wants to be around hangry family! 

The most interesting thing on the menu was this “Whipped Spam”. Yes, spam. It is served with thin sheets of seaweed, aka nori, pickles and spicy mayo. We had to try it because no one had ever seen anything like this before. You gotta. Verdict? Not bad. It was a little salty (to me), but it tasted much better than we anticipated. I know even the word, Spam, itself gives some people cringes. To be honest, I do not mind it at all; I actually like it! Pan-fried spam and a piece of kimchi over hot white rice? Mmmmm. Anyway, that was our first night!

The food tour. On our annual  baseball/food trips, we seem to do this pretty much everywhere we go. With our limited time and lack of knowledge, it makes sense. We get to go to several different restaurants and try many kinds of food in a short period time.

Our first stop was Zaffiro’s Pizza. It was the original location, which was established in 1954. You can totally tell that it has been there forever: the signs, decor, etc. Now they have multiple locations including the one at Miller Park!

The pizza, though…! It definitely wasn’t my go-to, greasy NY style pizza. When they said “thin crust pizza”, I thought of Ledo pizza. It was something completely different! They cook their SUPER thin dough first and flip it. Then, they put their toppings on the dough. The dough is thinner than saltine crackers! The crunchiness and delicious toppings make it my new favorite style pizza now!

Second stop was La Masa, an empanada bar. We tried Argentine beef, pork and cheese/spinach. All of them were good but personal favorite was pork. 

More importantly, their coleslaw was a hit! It was quite different from the traditional coleslaw we get at a supermarket. Jicama adds a very unique taste and texture!

Our next stop was Peter Sciortino Bakery. We actually happen to go there before the food tour that morning to get pastries. We ended up getting way more than what we were planning on getting for breakfast but that’s what happens when you go to a good bakery, right? In fact, this bakery makes breads pretty much for the whole town. Their kitchen was up and running around midnight!

On the food tour, we got to taste their cannolis. I hate it when the shell is all soggy from sitting there too long. These were just perfect. Who says we can’t have desserts between meals, by the way! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next, we went to Glorioso’s Supermarket. It is a family-owned Intalian store with all kinds of goodies, which makes it a very dangerous for foodies! We had a nice spread of olives, hams, cheese, bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Next stop, which was our last food spot, was Red Lion Pub. This pot pie definitely filled us up! This place has a nice deck upstairs. The best feature was this “pool table” where you play pool with a soccer ball!โšฝ๏ธ How fun!! Apprently, this place is a hot spot for local people to watch soccer matches. I would live at this restaurant if I lived in Milwaukee. 

Our LAST last stop was Wolski’s Tavern. You would never guess that a bar is located in this quite residential neighborhood. No frills, but just great atmosphere, good local beers on tap, some games to play and a pretty backyard where you can sit outside and enjoy your drinks. 

Walking out of the bar later, we noticed that these “I closed Wolski’s” stickers were EVERYWHERE. Apparently, everyone in this town has closed this bar once or twice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This food tour company seems to offer a lot of food tour options. I even saw their own tour buses. There are other parts of town you can walk around and taste delicious food as well. I would have been definitely interested in doing their German food tour but the only option we had for our schedule was this Brady Street food tour. Brady Street is such a fun, lively neighborhood so it can’t go wrong. Food was good, but also, it is great to walk around the town and hear fun stories and find out about hidden history from a local tour guide. We asked our awesome tour guide, Mary Jo, what happens if it rains. She said, “you gotta bring your own sunshine”โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž Love that!

After the food tour, we walked to Lakefront Brewery. Didn’t get to do too much there but we did get a beer and sat by the water. 

Later that afternoon, we went to Jack’s American Pub for fish fry and fried cheese curds. Of course, we didn’t forget to get Bloody Mary’s. Yes, with beef jerky stick and cheese strings!
I still can’t get over how much fun Milwaukeeans have! Jack’s American Pub offers free rides to/from Brewers games to their customers. You can drink on the shuttle too! How cool is that? Why aren’t bars in DC/NOVA doing this already? Who’s in charge? Hello?โšพ๏ธ๐ŸšŒ๐Ÿบ

At the Brewers game, which happened to be against the Nats (GO, NATS!), even though we were so full from all the food we ate at Jack’s, we had to eat the brats. Don’t forget to try the secret sauce! By the way, it is a beautiful ball park. The fans are so much fun too. Our ride back to Brady Street was quite interesting. Party must go on.

Next morning, before we left Milwaukee, we wanted to check out Milwaukee Public Market. Markets never disappoint. Delicious breakfast sandwiches, so many cheeses, LOTS OF brats, fun t-shirts. Too bad we didn’t get to see the ourtdoor part of it, for we had to go up north to see family. One more day would have been perfect but, oh well, this way, we have a reason to go back.

Even with family in Northern Wisconsin, we ate VERY WELL. This picture has three kinds of brats: Bloody Mary, beer & cheddar and garlic & onion. Yummy!

โ€‹โ€‹On our way back to the airport, we got to party HAM in the car thanks to our Lyft driver, Glowstick Tom, who provided us with glow sticks, a disco ball, a fog machine and hand-picked music videos! Never experienced anything like this before and I don’t think we will in the near future. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘

I love where I live right now, but people in Wisconsin definitely seem friendlier and more fun, in a sense. We will pick another city for our baseball/food trip next year, but I would love to go back to Milwaukee and further experience what it has to offer. 

Now, I can enjoy this small piece of Wisconsin I brought from the market.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

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Visit to Korea 2017ย 

Oh boy, where do I even begin? 

We get to visit Korea (yes, South Korea) only once every 2-3 years. I’m from Busan, the second largest city in Korea. This time, we were there for my sister’s wedding so we stayed around Busan the whole time. Seoul is fun but I think I’ve come to like Busan more. I definitely enjoyed every single moment, every bite. 

Well, right after we got off the airplane, we went to Geoje Island for a family trip. We lucked out with this beautiful resort, Hiclass Geoje
Playing in the pool means HANGRY people!
There’s nothing like stuffing your face with BBQ meat and soju on a vacay!
On our way back from Geoje Island, we dropped by this restaurant for some FRESH seafood. In addition to sashimi, they also give you so many side dishes, aka banchan. The things in the above picture are: sea pineapple (sea squirt), conch, “live” octopus in sesame oil and sea cucumbers. They sound kinda horrifying but aren’t that bad๐Ÿ˜‰ 

So, now, I’m just gonna list all the things we ate in Korea๐Ÿ˜‚ 

Dwaejigukbap: pork and rice in pork-base broth. Busan is well-known for having awesome DJGB!
Guksu: Korean style noodle soup. It’s quite easy to make it at home but I have a go-to place in Busan. Never disappoints. 

Fruit cakes are a thing in Korea I’d say. Cakes are so pretty that I sometimes don’t even wanna eat them๐Ÿ˜‚ Do they taste as good as they look? Heck yeah. 
์•™๊ผฌ์ ˆํŽธ, some super famous rice cake! In Korea, things change very fast. There are a few VERY trendy items whenever I visit Korea. This time, at least in Busan, this thin rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste was a hit!
Mommy’s hangover soup! This dried pollock soup, aka bugeoguk (‘guk’ means soup), is the ultimate remedy for bad hangovers. My mom loves to add ground black pepper at the end. 

Kimchi pancake and makgeolli! The salty, crispy kimchi pancake goes perfectly well with the sweet rice (alcoholic) beverage. It’s pretty easy to get korean style pancakes in the States now. I definitely recommend you order one of these next time you are at a Korean restaurant. 

Handmade dumplings. You easily run into these big batches at any market places. 

Speaking of markets, I just LOVE walking around them and looking at all these delicious snacks, sauces, etc. 

Tempura style snacks: battered and deep-dried. Everything tastes great when fried!

Tteokbokki, rice cake and fish cake in spicy gochujang (red chili paste)! If you dip that deep-fried stuffed pepper in the red sauce and have a big bite, I guarantee you that there will be a party in your mouth. One of my favorite street food dishes!

Korean beef BBQ….! We went to this butcher’s/restaurant, where you pick your own meat. You take what you have picked upstairs and they give you this tableside grill along with a variety of side dishes. Locally grown Korean beef just melts in your mouth. 

Duck BBQ! No marinating, no seasoning. Just some fresh duck meat and lots of garlic!
Bar food aka anju. One great thing about drinking in Korea is that you keep eating while drinking. Your bar food selections are amazing too. This seafood noodle soup was perfect with our sake! Also, you can drink pretty much all day/night in Korea. A great place for party animals. 

Just another typical breakfast scene at my parents’. You get a bowl of rice and several side dishes. I think I ate so many veggies even without trying. I already miss her food๐Ÿ˜ญ

Sashimi bibimbap and gukbap (‘bap’ means rice). We went to this old, quaint village by called Huinyeoul Cultural Village by the ocean. Right before we walked around the hilly alleys, we went to this restaurant and had an amazing lunch. Not too heavy or light. Fresh fish and lots of vegetables. 

Then, more street food! Hotteok is like a mini pancake filled with brown sugar and nuts. My brother-in-law’s favorite snack it is. Dakgangjeong is Korean fried chicken covered in spicy sauce. They are usually in a bite size so it’s easy to eat them while exploring busy streets of Korea. 

S. O. J. U! This liquor is found everywhere in Korea. Super cheap. Each city has its own so it’s another fun to try different kinds.

Rice gelato! Yes, I said rice. Centum City is a huge mall located near Haeundae beach. There, I found this mysterious flavor and I fell in love right away. The combination of tiramisu and rice flavor was oddly satisfying!

Cakes, cakes and cakes! Too pretty. 

All-you-can-eat korean buffet! You pay $25 and just go to town. Amazinglicious!

Mom’s bulgogi lunch! 

My aunt’s scrumptious gimbap…! This is one of the things that I definitely miss a lot. I don’t know what she does to it but we all love her rolls. Very addicting!

Lastly, meals served on Korean Air! In-flight meals are usually awful but I actually do enjoy eating what Korean Air serves. On the way to Korea, the lunch was bibimbap with seaweed soup. On our way back, it was rice served with doenjang (korean miso, if you will) and veggies. 

Our trip to Korea this time was a bit too crazy between the wedding and some personal issues. I am not complexly confident that I ate everything I wanted to. However, it’s always so much fun to go out there and spoil myself with endless eating and drinking. What’s surprising is that I somehow lose weight despite all of that..! I guess it’s the lifestyle. 

I did have a great time in Korea, but it’s good to be back home with my kitties. So, Korea, till next time!

Nasime Japanese Restaurant – Old Town, Alexandria, VA

I won’t beat around the bush. One of the best Japanese restaurants I’ve ever been to in the States. Just go to Nasime and get fed, if you love good food, if you’d rather pay a little more for better quality food than go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and eat lots of meh food, if you are somewhat into Japanese food, and if raw fish doesn’t scare you!

Make a reservation. The chef, Yuh Shimomura, prepares food from scratch and he will satisfy your palate with a five course menu, which changes on a daily basis. You don’t choose what to eat; you eat what’s given to you: omakase

Today’s first course: fried Chilean seabass with clam sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly – nice and juicy. The clam sauce, which, by the way, I had never tasted anywhere before, added just the right amount of saltiness to this beautiful dish. 
Today’s second course: otsukuri (sashimi). No frills; just fresh fish nicely cut and served. Boston mackerel was my favorite. Even if you are just used to eating raw fish on a thing of rice and this “just the fish” sashimi dish intimidates you, please give it a try. With just a little bit of soy sauce and wasabi, you can totally appreciate different flavors of different fish! Yumโค๏ธ 

Today’s third course: pork tenderloin with soy ginger sauce and root vegetables. Pork, soy ginger and root vegetables – it sounds like a typical dish any Asian restaurant would have. That’s why it stood out more, IMO. Feel the difference!

Today’s fourth course: fresh bamboo shoot okowa. Okowa is a sticky rice dish mixed and cooked with other ingredients. Uni (sea urchin) and fish roe over rice may sound too exotic, I know. What the heck is sea urchin anyway, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ This combination of creaminess, stickiness, briny ocean taste with that fish eggs popping in your mouth…. Mmmmm…. The green garnish on top is called shiso, which has a very refreshing, distinct aroma. 

The last course: sesame and kinako ice cream! Kinako is roasted soybean flour, which you may have seen sprinkled on top of mochi. Hubby and I both agree that it’s the best ice cream that we’ve ever had! Pure foodgasm..!! Ground black sesame seeds gave this ice cream the out-of-this-world taste and texture. Gosh, I wish I could’ve bought 10 gallons of it on the way out!

All in all, it was worth every penny. I can’t wait to go back and see what the chef has to offer next time! 

Happy Valentine’s Day๐Ÿ’•

Summer Vacay 2016 – NY/VT/RI

I was away for a week and just got back home..! This vacation was, of course, amazinglicious as usual! LOTS OF FOOD every single day. 

It started with awesome BBQ at the annual family picnic in upstate NY. People bring not only sausages and burgers but also homemade desserts too. It’s one of the events that I most look forward to every year!
Then, there are meals prepared by Jo, who is better than any other chef!l that I know!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ Her homemade food is out of this world. Pretty much everything is made from scratch! Don’t know how she does it every time. Her buckwheat crepes were a bit hit this year! 
During the visit to NY, we took a day trip to Burlington, VT. YES, when in Vermont, do what everyone else does: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Too bad that we didn’t have time for the factory tour. Oh well, next time.  
After we left NY, we went to Rhode Island. Real vacation started there! Seafood, seafood and more seafood!โค๏ธ
Among all the great food options, these 3 particular spots were my personal favorites. 

1. Matunuck Oyster Bar, South Kingstown, RI – Great location, awesome service and delicious lobster rolls!

2. Wharf Pub & Restaurant, Newport, RI – Super friendly staff, GREAT food and fun drinks! This was by far the best restaurant (food and atmosphere wise) in Newport. Sit at the bar and make some friends!

3. Del’s Lemonade – THE. FROZEN. LEMONADE. OMG. We went to Block Island for another day trip. After biking for a couple of hours, the frozen lemonade just hit the spot. Refreshing, yet not too sweet, the lemonade even had bits of lemon in it! Gonna miss this one a lot I think. 

Yes, the trip was so much fun and delish! However, I can’t deny that I’m so glad to be back home snuggling with my kitties! 

Summer is almost over but it isn’t yet! Time for some more fun back in NOVA/DC! Happy summerโ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ

P. S. When in Newport, don’t forget to check out the Bit Players at the Firehouse Theater! Great improv comedy shows on Fridays and Saturdays! Many of the people in the audience seemed to be locals. Apparently, Newport locals hate the construction of Broadway, which is a street a little off the main drag. It’s where things are happening these days! 

It’s the thought that counts; better when that thought is delicious!

My father-in-law is a HUGE fan of Linzer tarts. Since the whole fam is down here with us to celebrate the holiday season, I’ve decided to make his all time favorite snack!

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I gotta say, it’s a major pain to make these little delicious treats but it was definitely worth every bad word I let out of my mouth while making them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I kept saying to myself, “it’s the thought that counts, right?” However, my father-in-law, aka a Linzer tart connoisseur, gave a generous 9 out of 10! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Now it’s time to enjoy!

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Patisserie Poupon

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Patisserie Poupon
202-342-3248
1645 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

I’m just gonna post pictures and torture you. You can go to this delightful French bakery and experience their great dessert selections ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great coffee as well. Parking could be really tough but I gotta say it was totally worth it!

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