This is the 2nd post of my South America Trip series, you can find the first post, my South America Tour , here . If you want to plan a...
|With J at the Buenos Aires Airport|
There were two places that I really wanted to go see this trip, Igauzu Falls in Argentina & Brazil and Machu Picchu in Peru. Luckily after some ambitious planning, I was able to visit both. After working in BA for a week, I made my way through South America for a 10-day packed itinerary travelling to 7 different cities via:
- 6 flights
- 2 train rides
- Sleeping overnight at the Lima airport
- A long altitude-sickness prone car ride passing La Raya, a 14,000 ft high mountain peak
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Argentinian Tango Show at El Viejo Almacen|
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and the second largest metropolitan city in South America next to San Paulo in Brazil. It's a beautiful city that's rich in history, culture and romance, and probably especially well known for both their passionate Argentinian Tango and Argentine steak.
A few months ago, I was sent to Buenos Aires for work so I decided to make a trip of it. As it turns out, hitting up all the hot spots that ...
Now that I've properly compared the 3 most well known Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia - Jim's, Pat's and Geno's - I can wrap up the Philly Food Tour series and let you know that there is more to do than to just eat in Philly. Seriously though, how did I not know that Philadelphia was such a great foodie city?
|Onlooking Philly's Art Museum through the Love sign in Love Park|
Of all the touristy spots in Philadelphia, there are two that comes to the top of mind, the Rocky Steps and the Liberty Bell. To supplement all the cheesesteak eating, we browsed the Philly Art Musuem, ran up the Rocky Steps and went to see the symbol of American Independence.
in 15 minutes or less?
This Soy & Sesame Cucumber Salad is quick and healthy recipe. It only takes a few ingredients. It's an amazingly refreshing side dish and I just love eating it as a quick snack.
Trust me, I kept picking at the cucumbers while it was marinating in the dressing. If I wasn't working to post the finished product here, it would have disappeared a lot sooner than that!
|Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter, easily the best thing you'll ever taste during brunch|
|Gawking into the empty restaurant at 8:30, the restaurant is small and seats less than 15 parties|
They open at 9am, but I can assure you by 9:05am the restaurant is completely full and you will have to wait an hour at least. How do I know this?
J's serious about his brunch (and not waiting), so he's made me come here at 8:30 on a Saturday morning to try this magical pancake. At around 8:30am, there were already quite a few other hardcore brunchers lined up and signed up on the waiting list. We were lucky enough to be the last table seated - can you imagine?
If we came at 8:35, we would have already been TOO LATE.
In another experience, I came here at 11AM for a table for 3 and we actually had to wait close to 2.5 hours. Yikes! Luckily, they take down your phone number and will text you when your table's ready. What did the 3 of us decide to do as we waited? Pre-brunched of course ;) But more about that another time.
|Three Jim's cheesesteaks with peppers and mushrooms - two provolone and one cheez whiz|
With so much hype around Jim's serving the best Philly's cheesesteak and not Pat's or Geno's, we had to give it a try. After brunch at Beau Monde, we took a quick 5 minute walk to grab some Jim's cheesesteaks.
We got there at 1:30pm on a Sunday and was surprised by the long line. It took us 30 minutes before we got our hands on a cheesesteak. This was very different from Pat's and Geno's where we only waited less than 5-10 minutes in line. Also, unlike Pat's and Geno's, Jim's isn't open 24/7.
|Jim's Steaks on South Street with lines around the corner|
After our pre-brunch at Tinto, we continued our day eating around Philly. First, we had brunch at Beau Monde for crepes, then a stop at the classic ice cream parlor, The Franklin Fountain, and finally a pit stop at Monk's Cafe for some mussels and beer before heading back to the city.
|Chorizo Crepes, Double Scoop Ice Creams, and the Beer Bible at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia|
Ready to take a look at some delicious Philly food?
This is part 4 of my Weekend Trip to Philly series. Previous posts include Philly Cheesesteak in Philly (Pat's vs. Geno's) , Bes...
As I was researching restaurants for my recent Philly trip, I found that the Season Two winner of The Next Iron Chef, Jose Garces, actually owned seven restaurants in the city. His tapas restaurants, Amada (an authentic Andalusian tapas bar) and Tinto (a wine bar and restaurant inspired by the Basque region of Northern Spain), came highly recommended by locals and visitors alike. Sadly, since we were so last minute on planning the trip, we couldn't make a reservation in time at either location.
So, it was pure serendipity that brought me to enjoy a wonderful Spanish brunch at Tinto on my last day in Philly.
|I love the decor at Tinto, it feels a bit rustic yet modern and reminds me of being in Spain|
After a night's rest, I woke up refreshed and ready to spend my day eating my way through Philly. While a few others in our party were still sleeping, I dragged 2 others to go and try a gelato place I read rave reviews about, Capogiro.
However, to my dismay, when we got there at 10am, the gelato wasn't ready yet - I guess I'm the only one crazy enough to have gelato that early in the morning right? I was definitely a bit bummed out about the lack of gelato until J spotted Tinto with his super vision. Turns out it was right across the street from us!
Given this golden opportunity with no plans for the next hour, the three of us thought about the wise words of the Iron Chef chairman:
"With an open heart and an empty stomach, .
I say unto you in the words of my uncle: 'Allez cuisine!'"
|The corkscrews wall art, all shaped like a T for Tinto!|
|Make no mistake, Tinto is a wine bar ;)|
So indeed, with an open heart and empty stomach (not to mention a brunch reservation at Beau Monde at noon), the three of us decided to seize the day and pre-brunched at Tinto! Thankfully Tinto was open at 10:30am and obviously we were the first party of the day - no reservations needed.
This is part 3 of my Weekend Trip to Philly series. Previous posts include Philly Cheesesteak in Philly (Pat's vs. Geno's) and ...
|Vodka Tomato Cream Pasta, such a easy recipe, make it to impress your friends or even for date night!|
It's also a great lazy weekday dinner - it takes less than 30 minutes and most ingredients should be already stocked up in your pantry. I also like to add chicken or shrimp on top for a more hearty meal!
|Blueberry Cake on the left, Malt Ball on top right, and my favorite Creme Brulee on bottom right|
|LES location, there's another near Chelsea|
|Jo's excited for her Tres Leches Cake Doughnut|
A few Saturdays ago, as we were waiting for the overrated Mission Chinese, we decided to make the 10-minute walk over to Doughnut Plant to pre-brunch. Pre-brunch is what I call the mini meal you eat as you're waiting in line for another brunch place; it's a thing, trust me! ;)
|A few of the many varieties of Doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant!|
There are four types of doughnuts at Doughnut Plant:
- Yeast doughnuts: Your typical light, airy, fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts - I've never tried this!
- Cake doughnuts: Denser doughnuts with a cake consistency, my favorite is the Carrot Cake.
- Filled doughnuts: Yeast doughnuts filled with jams & custards, J's go to is the PB&J.
- Doughseeds: A bigger doughnut hole that's filled, ALL TIME FAVORITE: Creme Brulee
|All of these doughnuts are made fresh and are just too amazing|
|From top left, going clockwise: Carrot Cake, Malt Ball, Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam, Tres Leches, Creme Brulee|
|The beautiful Carrot Cake, which was perfectly dense, and had an amazing texture from the carrots and raisins|
As you can see, we take pre-brunching very seriously. And, as it turns out, Doughnut Plant was the highlight of our day considering how much we didn't like Mission Chinese. So, it turned out to be a blessing that we pre-brunched and shared a couple of doughnuts.
If you haven't tried a doughnut yet, please go ASAP and be sure to take a few home to enjoy!
Have you been to Doughnut Plant? What's your must-have doughnut there?------------------------
Doughnut Plant | Yelp
379 Grand St
(between Suffolk St & Norfolk St)
New York, NY 10002
I made a reservation on OpenTable 2-3 weeks before the big night and was able to grab a table for 4 at 6:30PM pretty easily. Right when we walked through the revolving doors, I was happy to see the warm decor throughout the restaurant and the brick ceiling was a fun touch.
|The dining area was extremely big, with a large bar as well|
Sadly, the rest of my experience at Boulevard kind of went downhill from there. My dinner was mainly enjoyable because I was in good company. Sorry Boulevard, I really wanted to like you, but each of your dishes are so forgettable and one-note in flavor. Given how pricey you ended up being, nothing really stood out as a "must have" and I'm sad to say that you didn't live up to my anticipation.