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39 Hours in Pittsburgh

i’m back!! i have spent the last 39 hours in pittsburgh for work and its good to come back to la.  stepped off the plane and got hit with 90 degree weather and bumper to bumper traffic on the 405 freeway.  welcome home to me.

ive never been to pittsburgh (another check off my travel list. woo!).  unfortunately this was a work trip, so i could only manage a few photos with my phone.  the gist/feelings of my trip:

  • the city is beautiful specially on a warm sunny afternoon.
  • i fell in love with the steelers even more.
  • work.
  • pierogies rock my world! (imagine a potato inside of a dumpling! genius)
  • crazy summer thunderstorms out of nowhere.
  • black and yellow.
  • fries on salad and inside a sandwich (mad shout out to primanti brother’s.  thank you for making your sandwich a tradition of pittsburgh since 1933). so good.
  • pirates vs. diamondbacks.  amazing stadiums.
  • the strip.
  • i love pittsburgh. 39 hours is not enough. i will be back to visit you again.

By |August 10th, 2012|Food, Travel|0 Comments

nyc part IV – food adventures

on monday we panicked since we realized there were still so many places we wanted to try.  so we woke up at 7am to go to russ & daughters on the lower east side.  yelp: 463 reviews. 4.5 stars. top tips: scallion cream cheese, smoked salmon and bagel.  we had to try it since last time we loved murray’s bagel (best bagel we ever had).  it was pouring outside and our taxi didn’t drop us off right in front of the bagel joint so we had to run about 4 blocks.  drenched.  verdict: totally worth it.  the smoked salmon with scallion cream cheese – delicious!  however, the bagel itself was a little hard (the bagel at murray’s is better).  this place is a a market so there was no where to sit and enjoy the bagel so we had to eat it outside in the rain! we were still happy campers.

our next stop was katz’s delicatessan.  from what we heard, best pastrami in the city.  since it was down the street from russ & daughters, we stopped in there.  last time we ate at carnegie’s deli so wanted something to compare it to.  yelp: 2651 reviews. four stars.   we got:

  • matzo ball soup
  • pastrami and corned beef on rye with mustard (we really wanted to get it with mayo but didnt want to be yelled at)

according to kyle (pastrami lover and lover of all meats), it really was the best pastrami he has had.  mission accomplished.  after our two-part breakfast, we walked around soho to do some shopping and visit dean & deluca for a nice cup on coffee.

it’s like we never stop eating.  we met up with katy to grub at clinton st. baking company on the lower east side.  (recommended to us by lauren) this place apparently is always packed and that was no exception on a monday.  our wait was an hour and 45 minutes.  we were fine with the wait since 1432 yelpers gave it an average of 4 stars!  another need-to-try-for-ourselves place.  since we had so much time to kill, we decided to grab some snacks in chinatown!

vanessa’s dumpling house.  881 yelp reviews. 4 stars.  (why does new york have such great food?) we got some steamed dumplings and a roasted pork sesame pancake to go.  since katy used to live down the street from this place, she ordered for us.  her favorite thing to get was the sesame pancake.  this was amazing and its only $2.50! the dumplings were also good but overshadowed by the awesomeness known as the sesame pancake.  since i was also craving some milk tea, katy took us to quickly to get some boba! as you can imagine, we were starting to get full after eating vanessa’s and drinking the tea.

the time came when we got seated. we got:

  • clinton st. omelette with biscuit
  • fried chicken sandwich
  • fresh strawberry layered cake

the fried chicken sandwich is a really, really good sandwich and i would definitely recommend.  is it the best? no.  i think the fried chicken sandwich is better at son-of-a-gun in los angeles but this one is up there with my favorites. i cant opine on katy’s omelette because we dont really like eggs but the hash browns were really good.  they both agreed to get the strawberry layered cake for me since i dont eat chocolate.  it was good but the frosting was way too sweet.

by the end of the meal i think we all felt like complete food coma.  we walked through little italy and ran into lombardi’s pizza (a place that we wanted to try but when to artichoke instead).  we didnt have the stomach to get a slice.  next time!

dont worry we definitely continued this food adventure into dinner at boukies, drinks at maya, then dessert at max brenner and then midnight snack at halal cart.  since it started raining, we decided not to bring out the dslr.  why is food in nyc so good?  we will definitely be going on a diet after we get back to los angeles.

By |July 3rd, 2012|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|4 Comments

the city.

we spent all of sunday walking through manhattan.  two things we really wanted to see: 911 memorial and high line.  for dinner, we grabbed dinner with his cousin at artichoke and then dessert with my cousin at chikalicious!

i had to post this picture of me trying to hail a cab because #1) i have ever done this, #2) it’s more intimidating than i thought and #3) i obviously did not pay enough attention to sex and the city where this was done ALL throughout the show.  i used the “i need a ride” hitchhiker thumb signal! mistake. kyle was mortified.  lesson learned.

artichoke pizza in the east village.  we ordered a medium artichoke pizza. flippin’ fantastic! highly recommend.

we joined my cousin at night for some dessert at her favorite spot, chikalicious in the east village. absolutely delightful.  chikalicious is owned by a japanese woman named chika and her husband (who wears bow ties)! for $16, you get a pre-fixe with an amuse, your choice of dessert, and assorted petite fours.  we got:

  • fromage blanc island “cheese cake”
  • toasted almond ice cream with poached cherry and warm almond cake
  • seared pluot on creme anglaise with basil sorbet and sweet basil seed
  • yogurt panna cotta with pineapple sorbet
By |June 29th, 2012|Food, Photography, Travel|12 Comments

Locanda Verde | New York City

day two of nyc.  i fell in love with tribeca (which i just found out means triangle below canal).  we met up with my cousins for brunch at locanda verde. sunday was about 85-88 degrees and felt like 150% humidity! although walking around downtown was awesome, it was just rough especially carrying around the 24-70mm lens.  i know a lot of people say that it is the perfect walk around lens due to its versatility, but for me (just a “photography enthusiast”), i struggled all day.  i didnt take pictures of a lot of things because it was so uncomfortable (sweat city and my shoulder hurt from having the dslr in my purse)! how do photographers do it?! do they have caddies?

taking this picture made me realize how much i need a polarizing filter. even though this has a lot of reflective glare, its one of my favorites.  also, locanda verde is a very cute brunch place.  definitely try the sheep’s milk ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast! it is amazing!  the second thing i would recommend is the lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries and meyer lemon curd! it’s what they’re known for…and you will understand why.

here is everything we ordered (if you cant tell yet, our trip to nyc was pretty much a food tour.  everyone we visited knew we loved food so tried to take us everywhere. brace yourself):

  • Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast
  • Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with blueberries and meyer lemon curd
  • Uovo Modenese with cotechino hash, spinach and tomato hollandaise
  • Uovo Raviolo with asparagus, english peas and pancetta (there is a surprise egg in this! not loving eggs, i was very surprised when it spewed out)
  • Lamb Sausage Grinder with spicy peperonata, broccoli rabe & ricott

(more…)

By |June 28th, 2012|Food, New York, Photography, Restaurants, Travel|7 Comments

short NYC trip – part I

its good to be back home.  i had a few meetings in nyc on tuesday so i decided to make a weekend of it with the hubby! we were debating whether or not to do it since it was so last minute. but! the stars aligned perfectly and it turned out to be a very opportune time for us to go: katy (best friend. known her since i was twelve) was there for a couple of days (she has been out of the country for a month now), two of my cousins recently moved to nyc (move motivated by amazing job opportunities), contiki friends were going to be there (these are awesome people), and kyle’s cousin was in town…i’m telling you. perfect alignment.

we were only gone for 3 days/3 nights but we came back (i) 5-7 lbs heavier, (ii) with a combined total of 17 mosquito bites, (iii) with a whole lotta food pictures, and (iv) happy to have seen friends, family, and the city.

part I

meet our gracious host, lauren.  it was her birthday early last week and it just so happens that all three of us love lobster. naturally, we went to luke’s lobster on the upper east side to celebrate. how did we find this place?  yelp (have i told you how obsessed we are with this site? huge advocate.  yelp, linking foodies together one review at a time) a combined 1300 reviews (multiple locations in manhattan). 4 solid stars.  we needed to try this place.

verdict: bomb. everything on yelp is true.  get “noah’s ark” – lobster roll, crab roll, shrimp roll. it’s pricey, but worth it.  make sure you grab a blueberry soda or the mandarin orange soda!

i had to write a special caption for this photo.  kyle is strutting my new camera bag (case logic, review to come) around upper east side. reminds me of the brawny man (slightly).

happy birthday, lauren.

By |June 27th, 2012|Food, Friends, New York, Photography, Restaurants, Travel|7 Comments