Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taipei: Snacking around [Oct 2013]

Taiwanese breakfast Taiwanese breakfast Taiwanese breakfast.  That's all I could think about when I landed.  However, it was late at night, so I got to my aunt's, changed, and somehow fell asleep while thinking about that fantuan.

Surprisingly not much jetlag so when I woke up, it was close to 10am already, and there still was a line when I got to Yung Ho for breakfast.

Masters at work, making the sesame bread and the youtiao!

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My egg wrapped fan tuan.  There's probably 10+ pictures of this same thing here already, but who cares, I love it.  

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Decided to splurge a little and got the turnip cake.  Perfect with a bit of soy sauce.

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Hmmm perfection.

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After breakfast, I was just about to head out to explore, then I saw an old man selling some zhuabing (hand-grabbed green onion cake), so I had to get it.  With egg of course.

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清玉, which is a "new" chain known for their lemon drinks.  They are not that new, but new to me :P  Oolong milk tea just to check it out.  A little bit sweet, even at half sugar.

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Needed to get some work done so went to Cafe Trouve near 師大.  Recommended by Cyeh and Diana Cheng haha.  I guess there's lots of these homey, hipster cafes popping up in Taipei now!

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Iced latte.

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Why not some beef noodle soup?  Decided to try 龍泉街牛肉麵.  Pretty packed when I went.  There's also some awards displayed that they won from the Beef Noodle Festival.

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How does it compare?  Not too bad!  The soup's lighter even though it looks quite oily.  Beef brisket is pretty cooked.  I liked the tendon a lot more though.  The preserved greens were whatevers.

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Hot spring egg.  Ordered it on the side.  Definitely Japanese influenced.  Essentially a poached egg with a light soy sauce.  I just added it to the beef noodle soup haha.

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So while I was walking back from 師大 to 科技大樓, I saw a frying stand, so had to stop by and get some late night snack.  Picked up an oolong milk tea too haha.

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Popcorn chicken and pig's blood!  The cool thing about this spot is that they add garlic.  Lots of it!  Pretty generous with the basil too.

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Garlic goodness :]

Coming up: my day trip to Yilan, Taiwan!

Taipei: Flying EVA Air [Oct 2013]

Some pics from my trip to Taipei and HK back in October.  I was suppose to head into China too but my visa hit a snafu so I went haha.  Been awhile since the last time I went back either Taipei or HK, so my goal was to eat as much as possible during any downtime, especially in HK, since my schedule there was pretty hectic.

Also, for the first time in over 10 years, I flew EVA Air!  My family's always flew China Airline but the SkyTeam Alliance isn't really for me, and now that EVA's with Star Alliance (United), I decided to earn some mileage and check EVA out.

dinner menu EVA Air dinner menu
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In-flight menu.  I flew Premium Economy so the seats were like the old old business class products.  Just a little wider and more leg room than regular Economy. 

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Pork chop with minced pork rice.  I gotta say, not too shabby!  Wine was pretty good, and I'm a sucker for Milano cookies haha.  Especially dark chocolate!

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Pork chop.  Flavor's pretty good.

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Braised pork shank.

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For dessert, kept the Milan cookies, and went for the Haagen-Dazs Vanilla.

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Breakfast on the other hand... was pretty horrible.  I hate porridge.  The chicken was so bland too.

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Added some fish sung (shredded dry fish) to make it better.

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This lady also ruined my appetite for breakfast.  She didn't eat but kept rubbing her foot with the lotion the airline provided.  Literally she rubbed it for 15+ minutes during service.

When I landed, it was drizzling, warm, and the air so thick you can almost chew it.  Felt good to be back after so long haha.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boston: Harvard & Samuel Adams Brewery

For our last day in Boston, we decided to stop by the area around Harvard, do a little exploring, and check out some of the popular spots.  Afterwards, we headed towards south of Boston for the famous Samuel Adams Brewery.

Pinocchios Pizza & Subs
74 Winthrop St 
Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138

pinocchio's pizza & subs
First stop, Pinocchios for some Sicilian style pizzas!

sicillian pizza
Spinach & Garlic (white) and the Tomato & Basil.

Tomato & Basil, which is essentially a margherita.  Really nice crunchy thick crust.

The Spinach & Garlic was the favorite out of the two.  Very strong garlic flavor, which is what I like!

Since Jadson was already out and about visiting a few schools, we met up with him at the Train station and headed towards Mr. Bartley's for the real lunch.  I was pretty stuffed from the pizzas but gotta visit this landmark!

Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers
1246 Massachusetts Ave
Harvard Square  
Cambridge, MA 02138 

mr. bartley's
Mr. Bartley's!

Since 1960.

Menu.  Lots of burger selections, many named after celebrities!

I decided to go the safer route since I didn't really know what to expect and got the Joe Biden (just read a pretty cool article about our Vice President in GQ). Comes with bacon, american cheese, and BBQ sauce.

onion rings
Upgraded to their onion rings!  Very different from your typical onion rings.

cooked perfectly
The burger after a few bites.  Nothing that really stands out about the burger since the sauce is fairly standard BBQ sauce, but dayum, burger patty cooked perfectly!

Diana got their sweet potato fries.

pineapple relish
They have this jalapeno pineapple relish on the side that's pretty interesting.

After our lunch, we took the train and went south until we got to Jamaica Plains for the Samuel Adams Brewery!  We got there just in time too because when we got there, the last tour of the day had already started.

Samuel Adams Brewery
30 Germania St
(Between Marmion St & Brookside Ave) 
Jamaica Plain
Boston, MA 02130

samuel adams brewery
The brewery.  Definitely can't compare to the Budweiser Brewery in STL haha.

The "ticket" for the tour.

The tour.  Rather than bringing you around the brewery and showing you the different process of beer making, Samuel Adams is more about explaining about the process and a little hands on with some ingredients.

Hops!  Smells just like beer.

They have you take a handful and rub it between your palms to get the fragrance extracted.

Variety of malts.

Lightly roasted.

Medium roasted.

Dark roasted for them heavier beers.

A collection of the beer they brew.

The most famous, the Boston Lager, with its awards.

Banner for all the awards they've won!

Some of the tanks.  SO MUCH SMALLER than Budweiser's.  They were doing so renovating so not all of the brewery was operational and many beers are brewed elsewhere, but even as one of the biggest craft brewery, Sam Adams is still tiny compared to the giants.

aging room
Barrel Room, where they age some of the more unique microbrews.

tasting room
The tasting room!

what's on tap
On tap today, Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Citra Pale Ale, and "The Prohibition" Cream Ale.

free glasses!
Free glasses for going on the tour!

how to taste
Instructions on the glass on how to taste a Boston Lager.

boston lager
Of course, start out with the Boston Lager!  Really is better fresh.

citra pale ale
We got to try one of their newer creations, the Citra Pale Ale!  It's one they are just testing now and not on market yet.  Pretty cool!  Like its name implies, hint of citrus.

Gotta say, I was really surprised at how small Boston is, and even though people talked about how Boston is a clusterfck, we were able to get around the city without much trouble.  The North End was a little harder to navigate around but somehow we managed haha.  The "T" was a lot more convenient than I thought too.

Some LA & SF posts coming up!