Tag Archives: Food

Bay Area Eats: Taka Ramen

In the Bay Area, there is no shortage for ramen restaurants. Go to any neighboring city and you’ll have a handful of options. I was running an errand in Santa Clara one night after work when I felt a serious craving coming along. So what’s a girl to do? Pull out your Yelp app and find the nearest ramen stop nearby with a rating of 4 stars. I love eating in the Bay Area and because food is such a necessity for me, I really don’t care if I’m going to a restaurant by myself. I pulled up a seat at the “bar” and decided to order what they were known for. What I love about this spot is the noodles! Every other ramen place in the Bay Area has the thicker kind, which is fine, but kind of inconsistent at a lot of restaurants. Most of the time, they haven’t been cooked long enough and are still unpleasant to chew. The noodles at Taka are really nice and thin though. As you can see, the egg is cooked just right and the pork was super juicy and tender. I haven’t been back since this first time that I stumbled across it, but it’s definitely in my top 5.

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Starburst – All Pink Pack!

Let’s just say that there was never any doubt that the pink Starburst was clearly the best Starburst of all. As a result…what we’ve all known for a very long time… the makers are letting us have what we want for a limited time only – ALL PINK STARBURSTS. You can purchase them in this bag pack pictured above for $4 (a steal really) or a 12-pack of pink Starbursts for $1. How much does a regular Starburst pack even cost? I feel like, not that. Beginning in April, you’ll be able to get your all pink at retailers including Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Happy snacking!

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An Adult Meal Plan

I was really lucky that when I chose to work at my last workplace that I had such amazing benefits. Coming into work every day and never having to think about what I was going to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner not only saved me time and money, but a lot of stress in having to plan future meals. I know what people say about companies that provide all their meals to their employees. You want to spin this as a negative with companies pushing their employees to stay and work later than they need to by incentivizing them with meals. From my point of view, I can honestly say that I never felt this way. I really loved our meals; they were healthy, balanced, and delicious. And you know what? If I didn’t feel like eating at work one day, I wouldn’t and I would go out and get my own dinner and that was my decision. For employees that aren’t spending meal time with their families and are really just providing for themselves, this is truly a benefit that is a godsend.

So why are we posting about this?

Well, contrary to what others might believe, not every company in tech provides all three meals. Sometimes they don’t even provide one and that is totally fine. That’s most of the world. I haven’t been working at my previous company for a month now so I’ve actually been eating most of my meals out, but as I transition to my next job, I’ve been thinking a lot about the lifestyle I want to live. Even though I haven’t cooked for myself for almost 3.5 years, this is something that I really want to get back into again. I used to make meals for my friends (specifically Veronica) in college all of the time. I also was a terribly poor college student and because I lived alone, I would make one pot of pasta with all the sauce and eat it for a whole week straight for lunch and dinner. It wasn’t glamorous, but I got by! I was also super proud that I could be scrappy and that I could provide for myself and save money while doing so.

Lately, there’s been a huge rise in meal delivery startups. I’ve never tried any of them, but my friends have and now I think I’m ready to start. Some things I have been considering for myself are what I’m really looking for. The reason why I want to take this route is because I don’t want to eat out every night. It’s not sustainable and someday I’m going to be cooking for more than just myself so it might be a good time for me to get back into it. I’m considering two types of plans: 1 plan that sends me meals with ingredients so that I can prepare it for myself at home and do the actual cooking and another plan that sends the meals to my door already prepped, but just need to be reheated. Does it make sense to adopt two plans right away? I’ve heard that Blue Apron’s prep time (while detailed) is longer than most had hoped. This isn’t going to be ideal for me when I’m spending most of my day at work and commuting. At most, I think I’m willing to commit 30 minutes to prep and cook time maybe, which is why I’m also considering Hello Fresh. There’s also Plated, Munchery, and Sprig, which I haven’t done too much research on.

Asking for myself here, could y’all share with me what your thoughts are on these types of plans and what recommendations you have? :)

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McDonald’s Cherry Blossom McFlurry

I haven’t had one of these since I was a kid, but when I saw this announcement I was immediately curious about it. First off, how cute is it that they have a Cherry Blossom McFlurry?! Can American McDonald’s have one too? Conveniently timed with the cherry blossoms in Japan, this McFlurry is topped with sakura mochi (rice cake sauce) and has swirled in bits of soft pink waffle cone. Yum! This special McFlurry is available starting today in Japan McDonald’s and is being priced at $2.60 USD or 290 yen. This special treat will be available through March until early April.

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Fall Travel Diary

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Looking back on last fall, I feel pretty fortunate that I had a chance to travel to so many cities in one run with a career that I really enjoy. Growing up, I never traveled very extensively, but I always wanted a job that would not only take me to places, but allow me to see the cities that I was traveling to. When you’re thinking about a career before you even have one, you envision what your life might be like to have one of these jobs. Luckily, my busy travel season is just that – a season. Last year, I met someone who was previously a consultant and spent 4-5 days out of the week traveling for work. No, thank you. :)

This past fall, I spent nearly two and a half months “on the road” visiting Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Boston (twice!) Here are some of the photos I took from these trips; most of them just include the things that I ate, which as you can imagine…were a lot of carbs!

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Philly was just the most darling. I really only got two days here, but I wish I could’ve stayed longer! What an incredibly beautiful city with so much charm to it.

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Coffee Spread

Good morning! We’re sliding in this post just in time for you to have your breakfast and for you to ponder and consider if you would like your coffee to be spreadable and on toast. Full honesty, I looked at this and not one part of me had any doubts about it at all. First off, I believe in giving most everything a shot, but this doesn’t sound bad. We have toast at breakfast. We have coffee for breakfast. Ain’t nothing wrong with simplifying some processes. What do y’all think? Would you give it a try?

Japan’s spreadable coffee will be available starting March 1st.

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Bay Area Eats: Hog Island Oyster Co.

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Earlier this summer before my heavy travel season, I decided to take a random weekday off for myself. I previously wrote a post about this actually about how it was hard for me to figure out how I wanted to use this day. Internally, I struggled. Why did this particular day need to be more important than others? What did I need to do on this day that I couldn’t do on any other weekend I had off? So the first thing that always comes to mind for me is food. Eating at some of my favorite restaurants on the weekends means that I’m facing terribly long lines and crowds. I knew whatever I was doing that day I needed to be in the city. My work was in Southbay so why not have a change of scenery. Together with my friend Leslie, we settled on Hog Island Oyster Co. at The Ferry Building because I had never actually eaten there before. I got a cocktail, naturally, at noon because I didn’t have to work that day. And the both of us shared a dozen oysters, the clam chowder, and their Po’ Boy sandwich. Sharing things always means you get to try more and we loved everything we sampled.

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This isn’t the clam chowder that I’m used to having at Ivars in Seattle! It’s a little bit more watery, but I actually didn’t mind it. I thought it was very flavorful and hearty because of all the clams and potatoes. It ended up being a very filling chowder and I wish I could have had more of it.

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Bay Area Eats: Tin Pot

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My favorite ice cream shop down here likes to entertain me sometimes. They do this really cute thing for kids where they add these edible eyes and carve out a mini mouth. The eyes don’t taste very good (not surprising there) but these make for such cute photo opps. I absolutely adore Tin Pot. Is it embarrassing to share that sometimes when we have a craving for ice cream, we’ll drive the 30 minutes for it? I don’t think so!

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Bay Area Eats: Tanto

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My dad is going to be so psyched when he sees this post. Though they never say this exactly, both of my parents are huge advocates of “treating yourself.” Our weekly phone calls typically consist of them ending it by telling me to eat a really good dinner to which my dad will interject and be like, “go to Tanto! They have fresh fish!” And he’s not wrong. Here’s a photo I took of their sashimi the last time I went. Often times when you go to other sushi restaurants, they really skimp on the way they cut their pieces, but Tanto doesn’t do that. Every piece is fairly large, buttery, and perfect. To clarify though, Tanto (in Sunnyvale) isn’t a sushi restaurant. They’re a Japanese tapas place, which is even more exiting because their menu is enormous. There are so many options and even though I’ve been there a few times, I’m no where close to having tried everything on their menu. They’re a highly rated restaurant with a very good reputation in the South Bay. The bottom photo is the Hotate Butter Uni Nose – a bowl of rice topped with scallops, uni, and salmon roe. If you’re going with a group of four people, it’s best to get about 7-8 dishes that you can all share.

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Sushi Kit Kats

Don’t worry, no one is asking you to mix your favorite candy bar with raw fish, but how cute are these sushi themed Kit Kats? From left to right, you’ve got Tuna, Sea Urchin, and Tamago and I’d say the brand did a pretty good job of rendering these.

Tuna is raspberry atop white chocolate rice while the urchin is really Hokkaido Melon and mascarpone cheese Kit Kats wrapped in seaweed. Tamago is pumpkin pudding.

For your chance to purchase Sushi Kit Kats, you can get them at the Ginza location between February 2nd-4th. It’s limited to those who only spend over ¥3000 JPY (approximately $26 USD).

Kit Kat Speciality Store
104-0061
3-7-2 Ginza
Chuo-ku
Tokyo

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Summer Getaway in LA

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I had the opportunity to take a pretty last minute trip to Los Angeles this summer and every time I go back for a visit, the list of places to go continues to get longer. We were just there in fall of 2015 to see Gelesia, but even still it felt like there wasn’t enough time to do everything. On this trip, we checked out a few new places and returned to some of our old favorites! I’ve never imagined Los Angeles as a place that I could call home, but I wouldn’t mind spending an entire week there. We’ve still got plenty of neighborhood to explore. During our trip, we must have had four meals a day and only retreated back to the hotel for sleep and getting ready for the day/night’s activities. I know we’re six months away from summer, but we can’t wait to get back there already. I hope you enjoy our LA photo diary!

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Our first meal off the plane was going to be Lemonade, but since I had heard that LA just got a Shake Shack, YOU KNOW I made us pivot. How good does this look?

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Homegrown in the Bay Area

It’s only a matter of time until all my Seattle favorites come to me here in the Bay Area! Finding out that my favorite Seattle sandwich shop, Homegrown, was making it’s mark here was the biggest surprise that I learned of this month. They are not only opening just one location, but three. That feels major to me. One of the things that I love about Homegrown is how sustainable they are. They use fresh ingredients and all of their sandwiches are yummy. In case you’re wondering what my favorite is though, it’s the classic Turkey, Bacon, Avocado. It’s almost midnight and I’ve been feeling like I needed a snack an hour ago so this is not a great time to be writing this post.

You can find the first location of Homegrown in the city on 222 Battery St. (already open!) The next two locations will be in Danville and Lafayette. Those aren’t exactly that much closer to me, but we may just make the trek for it. If only they would consider a South Bay location…

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Bay Area Eats: Twirl and Dip

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Because normal ice cream on a cone is boring, you guys! While on a walk through Potrero Hill and finding that my friends and I were having some sweet cravings, we stumbled upon Twirl and Dip. For some reason, the fact that the melted chocolate could develop into a hard shell almost immediately was fascinating to me. However, don’t be fooled. Just because it’s in a shell does not mean you are able to eat the ice cream slowly. It will melt. And it will be a mess running all the way down your hand.

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Seattle’s Summer

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Whenever I return home, I never feel like I have enough time. In a perfect world, I would spend every summer in Seattle and then elsewhere for the other seasons! I spent a week this past June like I always do and we’re now sharing some of the photos from our trip. If some of these look familiar to you (because you’ve seen these shots before) it’s because I basically will do the same kind of thing on every trip. We know what we like, obviously! Now if only we could get back there more often…

^^ I will tolerate sushi in the Bay Area, but we all know that it doesn’t exactly compare to Seattle. And even though my go-to place looks like a club inside, the food is 100. This is at Wasabi on 2nd Ave!

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Bay Area Eats: Souvla

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I was not familiar with Greek food growing up. It just wasn’t something that we ate so when I tried Souvla for the first time, I was hesitant. And actually a little bit self-conscious. Was I going to be the only person in the group that didn’t fall in love with it? The menu is simple. The portions? Large. The decor and interior of the restaurants – beautiful. And the crowds? Long, but reasonable. Souvla is a cult favorite in San Francisco right now and I’ve had the privilege of eating there twice at both locations with the one in Nopa being my favorite.

What I order:

  • Mary’s Free Range Chicken Sandwich – “Granch” dressing, Fennel, Navel Orange, Pickled Red Onion, Pea Shoots, Mizithra Cheese
  • A glass of the Souvla Greek Red wine
  • Frozen Greek Yogurt – Baklava Crumbles & Honey syrup (to share!) for dessert

It’s been awhile since I last went there with Mandi for one of our girl dates, but I’m already developing a craving as I type this.

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