Beijing’s largest mosque

China is officially an atheist society; many references to Buddhism exist as cultural but not religious aspects of life. Visitors might be surprised to learn of the Muslim presence here. Chinese Muslims are predominately Uighur (central Asian/middle eastern culture) or Hui (assimilated into the dominant East Asian Chinese culture). Beijing’s Niujie area is full of…

Peking duck + more at Shang Palace

I just returned from a trip to China, where I ate a lot of good and bad food. The Shang Palace restaurant at the Beijing Shangri-La Hotel was good. Previously I’ve written posts on the banquet-style of eating for more formal occasions in China here and here. This one has the best photos 🙂 We…

Marmite at Chophouse Row

Chophouse Row is the new development on Capitol Hill right now, itself the hippest part of Seattle, also known as the place with an actual nightlife and good independent music/fashion/food shopping options of the density of a Big City. Marmite, one of the glitzy tenants in the gorgeous block of Chophouse Row, wants to be established as…

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…

The Repp

The Repp is located along the main street of Snohomish, Washington, a small town mainly known for its many antique shops. While The Repp’s interior is rather tacky, combining “fancy” and “quirky” fabric and wood elements that look like they were picked up pre-distressed from Pier 1 Imports or Cost Plus World Market, the food…

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen & Ice House Bar

Central and Eastern Washington, where Cowiche Canyon Kitchen & Ice House Bar is located, is often written off as a uninterestings desert compared to western Washington, home of Seattle and all the stereotypes about rain, tech companies, liberal politics, and grunge music. Central and Eastern Washington aren’t the Pacific Northwest, not being on the Pacific…

Salty’s Beach House

Salty’s Beach House is a must-stop if you’re hanging out in the beach town of Penticton, British Columbia. It’s home to this ahi and avocado salad ($18.50 CAD). This work of art consists of seared ahi tuna layered with avocado, nestled on a citrus and sesame salad with snap peas and pickled watermelon radish, finished…

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…

When in Canada, eat poutine

The town of Golden, in British Columbia, is home to the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada, Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge. It’s pretty much the main tourist attraction of a one street downtown area, and measures 151 feet spanning the Kicking Horse River. There are some informative signs on the bridge that tell the…

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…

Buffalo in Whitefish

The Buffalo Cafe in Whitefish, Montana has a diverse menu covering cuisines from classic American to Mexican to Greek to New York. If the three things I tried are anything to go by, this restaurant does all types well. Above, Pork Verde Enchiladas ($13). Roasted poblano chili verde, simmered pork shoulder, mozzarella, adobo-honey sour cream,…

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…