Bonjour!

This will be the first post of several about my trip to Europe with my husband. He’s never been to Europe and I haven’t been in over 10 years so we were both super stoked. Our first stop was to France. We stayed in Paris for 3ish days then drove to Fontainebleau, a climbing destination for 2 days.

In Paris, we stayed between the 10th and 11th quarters near a subway station and found it pretty central to get around and find some delicious foods. During our stay, we saw the glorious Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triumphe, Notre Dame (just the outside, heard it wasn’t worth it to go in), Eiffel Tower (loved seeing it sparkle at night), Pantheon, Montparnasse tower at sunset (get there early), and walked around Luxembourg Gardens. We also went to some museums as well including the Louvre, Orangie (where Monet’s Water Lilies are), Centre Pompidou and d’Orsay museum. We bought the Paris Pass and found it quite worth it as most of these attractions were on there. We also made use of the hop on/off bus tour and river cruise. TBH, the bus and cruise were okay. Both are highly crowded and the wait for the cruise was about an hour. We were pretty much falling asleep on the cruise because we did it at night. Man I can’t believe we did this much in 3 days!

Yes, I did have pastries for breakfast every morning. We got to dine at Septime, our first Michelin star restaurant! It was amazing and I had the best asparagus of my life. We also went to this really cool restaurant that was pretty much only had standing room at the bar and all the food was served there. We had this delicious, tender fish with cream sauce, soup, and clams. There was a huge block of butter (also the best butter of my life). We also went to this famous restaurant that only served steak and frites. Not pictured – we went to this classic French restaurant where we had snails, charcuterie, etc. but they had sold out of the onion soup! It was definitely a sad moment.

PROS:
It was very easy to use the subway
Cute boutique shops everywhere
Easy to navigate our way around using Google Maps
Pastries
Architecture
Gardens and lots of space to make it not feel so city like
Art and history

CONS:
People can be a little snobbish towards Americans especially if you didn’t try speaking any French
Pick pocket paradise. We were super careful and stayed aware in crowded places and nothing happened
Still pretty crowded even during the off season
People dress really nice! We tried our best but only packed a bag of clothes but still stuck out
Coffee actually wasn’t that great

Nonetheless, we enjoyed ourselves and all the butter in the food.

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The mile high city

Over the summer, I went to visit my good friend in Denver. Denver is a beautiful place known for their weather, landscape, and mountains. We spent a lot of time outside as well as at some of my friend’s favorite eats! Enjoy this compilation 🙂

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We went to a Mexican restaurant that’s a little nicer than your casual street tacos and boy was my belly happy! This was at Machete Tequila and Tacos located in Cherry Creek Denver. Top two tacos were the halibut tacos on squid ink tortillas, right two were fried lobster tail with smoked avocado, middle two were grilled shrimp with avocado, bottom left was al pastor with pineapple and bottom right was I believe the hanger steak. I ate probably only 3 of the seafood tacos and they were excellent!!! That aioli is amazing. Would recommend!

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Of course I had to have ice cream! I went to High Point Creamery and went for the sampler. I don’t exactly remember what was what but we had tin cup whiskey and pistachio brittle, early grey shortbread, spumoni, dark chocolate and fudge pieces, and rose gold (last two were pretty obvious). The rose gold was a little overhyped but I really enjoyed the first three flavors I listed. Yummmm.

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Who would have thought there would be New York Style bagels here?! This is called Rosenberg’s Bagels. Got the classic salmon lox, onion, capers and cream cheese. Delicious! Went with the sesame bagel. They have some pretty intense bagels like a french toast bagel with eggs and everything.

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Okay I know, another ice cream spot. This place gives you the best bang for the buck! This place is called Little Man Ice Cream. There is always a line that goes around the block, but they also have another line for express. The express lane has only 6 flavors compared to the 14 at the regular stand. This scoop is also a split kids scoop. WHAT. Totally nuts. I had a lot of trouble finishing it. I think I got the vegan chocolate and the space cow (marshmallow, white and dark chocolate chips, with a black raspberry ice cream).

Just some of the best eats I had in Denver! What are your favorites? I mostly came for friends and mountains 🙂

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Austin BBQ

Sorry for the extra long hiatus. I feel like I say that all the time. I’ll try my hardest to be more consistent with posts 🙂 So recently, we went to Austin and got to eat some delicious food! Unfortunately, the most famous bbq joint, Franklin’s had a fire so we were unable to experience that. We went to the second most recommended bbq place, called La Barbecue. They were a food truck, but recently moved into this grocery/convenience shop that’s pretty hip in East Austin. They’re located inside Quickie Pickie. After reading reviews, we decided to go extra early to beat the lines. We arrived around 930 and they opened at 11. (We are on the West Coast so that was actually 730.. BBQ for breakfast! Sure why not)

sny00166There’s me in line ready to go. As you can see, they have plentyyyy of seating. There’s also seating in outside front of the store and also outside directly behind the bar section.

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This is where you order. It was pretty nice to start because they give you a sample of their delicious brisket. He was super helpful and made great recommendations.

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The spread! We probably went overboard… They also have a spicy and sweet/tangy bbq sauces on all of their tables.

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Above: Chipotle slaw, beef rib, mac salad, and 2 pork ribs.
Below: Sausage, brisket, and of course a side of pickles

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That beef rib was huge!

Overall experience: The brisket was by far my favorite. You could cut that thing with a plastic fork .The rest was pretty tasty but it was hard to finish everything since it was pretty much our breakfast. We kind of went all out because we wanted to try everything. The next favorite was probably the beef rib, but the bark was a little too salty for my liking. It was sure gigantic. The line wrapped around the building by the time we left. We were second in line and didn’t get helped till 1120 because a lot of people had pick up orders. I’d say each party could spend 5-10 minutes picking and choosing their meats and how much time it takes to cut each piece. Wait time can really add up! PRO TIP: email ahead for your order, but you have to do it at least 5 days prior to the pick up date!

Enjoy! The brisket is worth the wait!

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Eating my way through NYC – Day 5

Last and final day. Short and sweet post. We hit up the infamous cronuts at Dominique Ansel. We were able to pre-order and skip the line! Yes that’s a thing.

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Since the line was short we decided to also get the Croque Madame ;P yums

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Cronut! The flavor of the month was caramelized banana and dulce de leche ganache. Overhyped? Slightly. I think it was still worth trying especially since we were able to make skip the line (not much of a line on a Monday!) and grab a table to enjoy them. You’re supposed to consume them within the hour to get the best out of it. Flakey, buttery and all that you could imagine.

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Last stop was Xi’an Famous Foods. It’s a chain of Chinese foods (kind of making up for the hipster Chinese place we went to.. our taste buds weren’t really satisfied). Quick and dirty eats – kind of a hole in the wall set up. You order in the front and find a spot to eat. Popular lunch spot! I love their menu because there are a ton of pictures! Pork noodles

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Stewed oxtail noodles! Not too spicy and oh so tender.

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Also had to try the pork burger – a little meh. Overall a super cheap spot that’s a quick and tasty eat 🙂 That wraps up our trip!

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Eating my way through NYC – Day 4

Day 4 was filled with tons of eats! Prepare yourself and your belly…

Starting in East Village!

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We put our names down at Clinton Street Baking Company and headed to Boba Guys! They’re SF based and recently opened shop in NYC. Please come to Seattle.

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Blueberry pancakes are a top choice here. Oh so fluffy and their warm maple butter on top really makes it. Gosh this was scrumptious.

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Of course we also had to get the fried chicken and waffle. Their chicken wasn’t dry at pretty juicy. Also topped with warm maple butter. Droooool. I can see why this place is worth the wait.

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We made reservations at Mission Chinese. I would describe this place as hipster Chinese. I’m not sure if it was the things we ordered, but sadly I did not dig it. The decor is pretty retro – with pink napkins, dragon wall displays, and Buddha statues. This first dish was thrice cooked bacon and rice cakes. WHOA SPICY. Like tongue numbing spicy. I think I would have enjoyed this if it weren’t so spicy.

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No this is not a soup. This was my drink! Chili oil, coconut milk and gin. Frankly it was not my cup of tea :/

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Dumplings on the house! Pot stickers with a nice crunchy outside. To be honest, probably my favorite of the dishes we tried.

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Salt cod fried rice. Interesting with the chips – I can see that they’re trying to add texture to the dish. A little too salty though :/ Overall, I don’t really understand get the dishes but maybe we ordered all the wrong things. Service was totally fine. Maybe I’m just too used to the traditional Chinese styles and it was a little too hip for me.

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Of course we had to cap the night with some ice cream. This was at Ice and Vice. This is the classic milk money with a blue corn cone. Yes super fancy schmancy cones. Too many flavors and cones to choose from. Would come back!

 

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