Bbq pork – Hai Lua Food Countryside

Bbq pork - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Served with rice, tomato, carrot, cucumber, and sweet chili fish sauce. 62,000 VND
Hai Lua Food Countryside, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

I’ve eaten a lot of Vietnamese grilled pork in my life and I’ll have to say that this was one of the best I’ve had. The pork was juicy and had SO much flavor, but wasn’t too salty like others I’ve tried. Noms!

Moist towelette - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Moist towelette.

Dining area at Hai Lua
Dining area at Hai Lua (aka the middle of the street). :)

Xa Loi Pagoda
Xa Loi Pagoda, Temple of the Buddha’s Relic.

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Demons on horseback – Park Tavern

Demons on horseback - Park Tavern
Lardo-wrapped smoked prawns, remoulade and cucumber. $16
Park Tavern, San Francisco CA

It’d be really easy for me to complain that these cost sixteen bucks, but then it was pretty darn tasty! They had me at lard-wrapped smoked prawns. There was SO much flavor in every bite (even though there were very few bites). :)

Alpine Lake, Mt. Tamalpais Watershed
Alpine Lake, Mt. Tamalpais Watershed.

Imperial rolls – PPQ Beef Noodle House

Imperial rolls - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Cha gio. Crispy fried rolls with ground pork, taro, carrots, and silver noodles. Served with lettuce, mint leaves and cucumber with nuoc mam. $6.75
PPQ Beef Noodle House, San Francisco CA

We don’t order the fried Imperial rolls very often because they’re less healthy than the fresh spring rolls. They’re so much tastier and fun to eat (since you get to wrap them in all the greens) though! I’ve always like how the wrapper gets super crispy and hard and blistered. Noms!

Tea - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Tea. Complimenatry

Rattlesnake grass
Quaking grass/rattlesnake grass (Briza sp., Poaceae), Bon Tempe Lake. I was surprised that I was able to get a clear shot of this tiny subject with my iPhone especially in the wind!

Spicy tuna roll – Rikki Rikki

Spicy tuna roll - Rikki Rikki
With green onion, cucumber, avocado. Happy hour $5.95
Rikki Rikki, Kirkland WA

I think that spicy tuna rolls are always a safe option for me because the addition of sriracha to the chopped tuna seems to cover up some the imperfections the roll may have, lol! It’s not the classiest roll, but I think it’s delicious. :)

Metal and glass fence
Decorative metal and glass fence, Ballard.

Seafood poke – Rikki Rikki

Seafood poke - Rikki Rikki
Chopped various seafood and cucumber dressed with spicy soy sauce. Happy hour $4.95
Rikki Rikki, Kirkland WA

This place has a great happy hour with plenty of discounted food and drinks! That’s probably why one of sisters frequents this place, hehe. The poke was pretty tasty. It was more of a salad with some chopped fish on top, but I didn’t mind because it cost less than five bucks. The fish tasted fresh and the soy dressing was good.

Cape cod cocktail - Rikki Rikki
Cape cod cocktail (vodka and cranberry). Happy hour $2.95

Paddleboarders
Paddleboarders on Shilshole Bay.

Shrimp ceviche – El Techo de Lolinda

Shrimp ceviche - El Techo de Lolinda

Ceviche de camaron. Shrimp, lime, roasted tomato, red onion, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, served with tortilla chips. $13
El Techo de Lolinda, San Francisco CA

Eh, this was a standard ceviche; nothing special and maybe a little on the too sour side. I wasn’t very impressed with this ceviche knowing how popular this place is for drinks and bar food. I think they’re banking on their rooftop location more than providing delicious drinks and food. We’ll see how long before people catch on.

El Cid statue
El Cid statue, Anna Hyatt Huntington, California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Lobster gazpacho – Roxy’s Cafe

Lobster gazpacho - Roxy's Cafe
Heirloom tomato, corn, cucumber, green onion. 10-course chef’s tasting menu $75
Roxy’s Cafe, San Francisco CA

This soup was really delicious! There wasn’t much lobster, just the small pieces on top but they were beautifully cooked and so tasty. I loved the rich, comforting flavor of the soup especially with the extra flavorful, cooked scallions.

View of Twin Peaks
View of Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower from Noe Valley.

Schmaltz rice – Mission Chinese Food

Schmaltz rice - Mission Chinese Food
Dressed in chicken fat, with cucumber, cilantro, ginger, green onion, fried garlic and hot sauce. $7.50
Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco CA

Ok, how can rice cooked with chicken fat not be simply amazing?! This was SO tasty. The rice had a softer texture with the fatty dressing and a lot more flavor. I can confirm that this rice had no chance and was quickly devoured!

San Francisco morning
A beautiful San Francisco morning. It’s great to be back!

Baked venison puff and sweet potato mushroom mei-si roll – Yauatcha

Baked venison puff and sweet potato mushroom mei-si roll - Yauatcha
Baked bun filled with venision. Deep fried sweet potato and mushroom covered in fine noodles. A Taste of Yauatcha menu £28.88 for 2 people
Yauatcha, London ENGLAND

This was probably our best London meal during this visit. We were on a tight budget so we didn’t go to any fancy restaurants this time around, but Yauatcha had a really good pre fixe for 2 people. It was a great way to taste a variety of their dim sum items without breaking the bank.

We received these two items first, and they were probably our favorites of the meal. The baked venison puff was SO delicious. The outer crust was warm and buttery, and the venison filling was so flavorful. The mei si roll was really fun to eat because of its crispy fried noodle shell. The sweet potato and mushroom filling was super tasty and I would have never thought to combine those two ingredients. NOMS!

Dipping sauces and pickled cucumbers - Yauatcha
Dipping sauces and pickled cucumbers. Complimentary

Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben

The Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben.

Falafel sandwich – L’As du Fallafel

Falafel sandwich - L'As du Fallafel
Pita stuffed with chickpea fritters, hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage, salted cucumbers, fried eggplant, tahini, harissa. 5,50€
L’As du Fallafel, Paris FR

This place is a MUST visit when in Paris! It’s supposedly the best falafel in the city and some would argue the best in most of Europe. Those are some strong words that I’ve read on other sites, lol! I will say that this falafel was absolutely delicious. I didn’t try another falafel in Paris for comparison, but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment I felt from eating this one or how tasty it was.

L’As du Fallafel sits on the Rue des Rosiers which was relatively near our hotel. It’s a really cool section of the Marais that boasts an unexpected Jewish neighborhood complete with synagogues, kosher butchers and bakeries. It’s quite surprising to first walk into the area and feel completely transported to another city. It’s somehow starkly delineated from the surrounding neighborhood by the people, stores, and general vibe – quite exciting actually.

There’s always a line for this place because everyone seems to know about it, but it goes fairly quickly. A guy works the line and gets your order and payment before giving you a “claim check” for your order to turn in at the window. I feel bad, but we were standing in line talking when this random guy came up and started asking us something that we couldn’t understand. I mistook him for some street person trying to sell us something so I think I responded in a rudish kinda way. I immediately realized my error and apologized for not being about to speak French, lol! I’m such a dork!

We both ordered our falafels “hot” so they came with extra harissa. These “sandwiches” were HUGE! We didn’t want to sit in what limited indoor seating they offered so we just found a curb nearby and sat with everyone else. I think it took me 15 minutes or so to eats this monster! And it messy and fun! I would take little nibbles and immediately reach for napkins to wipe off my saucy mouth. The tahini-based sauce and harissa are a killer combination. Besides the perfectly cooked falafel, the eggplants were one of my favorite components. NOMS!

I think I’ll always remember that simple meal, sitting on the dirty curb alongside other tourists, watching people pass by while trying to fend off a throng of expert pigeons, and reveling in our communal enjoyment of a special piece of Paris.

View of Notre Dame Cathedral
View of Notre Dame Cathedral from Pont de la Tournelle bridge.