How was soft serve invented?

Although I’ve been based in New York for the past five years, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Since moving to the east coast, it’s been interesting finding out about, and trying, east coast fast food chains. Even though I’ve been here for a while now, I am still discovering new chains. One chain…

Churro ice cream sandwiches and more at Playa Betty’s

Continuing from my last post’s Upper West Side-ish theme, we have Playa Betty’s.  A trendy, casual Americanized-Mexican joint that does it well. We started with an order of “Tot” Chos – tater tots topped with cheese, guacamole, sour creame, pico de gallo, and chili (choice of vegetarian or beef), $12. We got beef. This was…

10 Corso Como brings Milan to New York

10 Corso Como is an aggressively fashionable network of concept stores combining art, design, fashion, music, culture, and cuisine. Each 10 Corso Como is unique, but inspired by the consumer culture of Milan, Italy, where the brand was founded. Stores are expansive and can be divided into different sections. It’s not just shopping, it’s an…

Dessert wonders at Bibelot

On my way to the South Melbourne Night Market, I wanted ice cream, so I stopped at the nearby Bibelot. I was really glad I did. Bibelot focuses on high-end patisserie like the kinds you’ll find in Paris, with a modernized twist. The petits gateaux case was gorgeous, filled with glossy pastel-colored cakes with inventive…

Ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory

  I’m currently spending the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Australia, where it is their summer and very hot, so I thought I’d write a post about some cold food (carrot cake ice cream). I had a “cool” experience in Tillamook, Oregon, at the Tillamook Visitors Center. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I…

Vintage Beijing soda on a mountain

My family members took me to Fragrant Hills area of Beijing, where we visited a temple complex. The Fragrant Hills are a popular destination for Beijing residents, because they’re a way to get away from the city and into nature without having to drive for more than an hour. We took a cable car/gondola ride…

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…

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…

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…

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town: street scenes

My last post about Zhujiajiao Water Town showcased traditional Chinese heritage through food, but the sprawling water town actually incorporates modernity and tradition in its storefronts, architecture, and general scene. The straightness of the roofs in these pictures demonstrates the mixing of Chinese and western culture apparent even in this relatively exotic setting. Chinese roofs…

Caramel cinnamon toast? Oh Maan oh Maan

Maan Coffee is a super gorgeous chain of Korean-owned coffee houses that have captured the hearts of Chinese consumers with its distinctive interior design – featuring live trees growing to the ceiling and eclectic chandeliers and seating – and trendy food characteristic of East Asian cafe culture. While we came for a sugar fix, we…

Average and reliable La Pasta

I stopped being thrilled about going to La Pasta after the fifth time my friends dragged me there. It was the closest restaurant to our dorm, being right outside the gate, and we passed it every day. La Pasta isn’t bad, it’s just really unremarkable – from food to atmosphere to pricing – like so…