“Eating Bitterness” art exhibition

Last week I attended the opening of a new art exhibition at Chashama in New York. The exhibition, which includes modern art installations using a variety of media, as well as performance, deals with the contemporary Asian-American experience, intensely marginalized and misunderstood. “Eating bitterness,” or 吃苦, is a frequently  used saying in Chinese. “She deserves…

Jin Ding Xuan, again

The first time I went to Jin Ding Xuan was after a day of exploring the hutongs near the Lama Temple. I didn’t know the hutongs were also home to the Beijing Temple of Confucius. I went back a few days later, stopping at Jin Ding Xuan first for lunch. We started with a cold…

Jin Ding Xuan

The ding is a type of vessel which is one of the symbols of Chinese civilization in the Chinese consciousness. The ding is associated with power and domination, and the number of ding you could own was restricted by rank. The Shanghai Museum is even shaped like a ding! However, the ding cauldron did have practical uses, such as storage, ritual,…

Blue Frog

Blue Frog Bar & Grill is a slick American-style pub chain known for its accurate preparations of western food. I went to the one located in the prominent Guomao shopping mall complex in Beijing, with a view of the CCTV building. However, the food was definitely the best-looking part about going to Blue Frog, and…

Stewed frogs

For more coverage of Yunnan food, check out my posts from my trip there last year. I went to a restaurant called “Sea of Clouds” food (Yun Hai Yao) which served Yunnan cuisine. The modern interior tastefully incorporated Yunnan styling. We started with sweet glutinous rice with raisins and goji berries, topped with a candied…

Chinese Pizza Hut

Chinese Pizza Huts are pretty nice, and really different from the American Pizza Hut experience. The menu is always changing so whenever I’ve been in, I end up with something new. This summer, Chinese Pizza Huts were serving a pizza topped with langoustines (like very small lobsters), Chinese chili peppers, roasted peanuts, and Buddha’s hand,…

Mille-feuille cake at a Chinese Starbucks

Y’ALL. This mille-feuille cake I got out of the pastry case at a Chinese Starbucks was SO GOOD. It was rose-flavored (official name: Rose Mille Crêpe). Not only was the cream in between the numerous crepe layers wonderful, so was the rose-flavored jelly layer on top. The flower petals were very delicate and easy to…

Strawberry cheesecake bingsu

I’m not the biggest fan of bingsu. Probably because I don’t think it’s fun to eat alone and I’ve been in too many situations where I’ve had to face down the whole thing alone. Bingsu (or bingsoo,  설빙) is a shaved ice dessert popular in Korea. Syrup, condensed milk, fruit, mochi, red beans, and roasted soybean…

190 Sunset

The small city of Edmonds, Washington, is known to Washington locals as the home of TV travel host Rick Steves and a beach, characteristically gray like all the other Pacific Northwest beaches. Along this beach is a road called Sunset, where 190 Sunset is located, in the same building as the Cascadia Art Museum. The…

Aplets & Cotlets

Aplets & Cotlets are a candy strongly associated with Washington State, where they were originally invented as a way to use up surplus apples. They can be found all around in tourist retail areas but the best place to go for Aplets & Cotlets is the Aplets & Cotlets Country Store. The Country Store, in…

Huckleberry pie in the shadows of a mountain

This is Glacier National Park in the summertime A few minutes outside of Glacier National Park is Two Sisters Cafe. In reality, the cafe is run by three people, but “Two Sisters Cafe” sounded better than “Two Sisters and Big John.” So that’s the name. Two Sisters Catering made food for the James Beard Foundation’s…

Norm’s Soda Fountain

Norm’s Soda Fountain is an old-fashioned soda fountain and diner in Kalispell, Montana. The soda fountain opened in 1938 and serves burgers, fries, soups, milk shakes, ice cream, floats, and hot dogs. There are also 800 types of candy and hundreds of magazine titles for sale. The burgers are hand-pat fresh each day. We ordered…