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my 2 cents

Almost every time wee visit the Bay area, the hubs has to make a trip up to Santa Rosa to fill his beer quota at Russian River Brewing Co.. A few of Russian River’s beers have been named some of the top beers in the world, and because they’re not available in our home state of Texas, we usually stow a few bottles away in our check-in bags. We arrived about fifteen minutes before doors opened on a Saturday morning, and there was already a line about thirty people deep.

They call ‘em “crack wings” (though I prefer not to make light of something as serious as addiction), but yes, this fried chicken from written about San Tung before. I usually get the dried version because that was what was originally recommended to me, so I have no idea how the wet fried chicken tastes. With the dried wings, the skin is crispy and the meat flavorful. I also love their noodles with black bean sauce—chajiangmian—which can also be found in Korean cuisine. Consumer reviews online also rave about their

Even after Rodney’s Oyster House, I couldn’t get enough seafood in Toronto. On another evening, I met up Jenna, friend and co-blogger at NMO Diaries, for some ocean eats at Pearl Diver. Pearl Diver was sort of a newcomer on the restaurant scene at the time, and I’d heard good things about their seafood circus tower, which is a multi-level platter available for half off during happy hour. We ordered the seafood circus tower as soon as we arrived since it’s a popular item, and we didn’t want to risk

When I tell Canadians some of my favorite raw oysters to consume are the Kumamoto oyster—hailing from the West coast but originally from Japan, mildly briny, moderately sweet, medium in size—they gasp and say, “Oh no…Prince Edward Island oysters are the best!” I believe in equal opportunity. I love all oysters, even those fat, briny Gulf Coast oysters poo-pooed by so many. (Hey, don’t knock my third coast!) Anywhere I go, if the region is known for oysters, I’ll most likely be slurping down a few. (Okay, maybe more than

Recently, it was announced that my cooking show, Four Senses, would be entering its fourth season of production on AMI! To celebrate the milestone, I’m taking the next few weeks to reminisce on our friendly northern neighbor, Canada. Back in 2014, we were shooting our second season. One of the first meals I had on my return to Canada was tonkotsu ramen at Sansotei Ramen in downtown Toronto. Being from Houston where there are not a lot of Japanese, I tend to seek this cuisine when traveling to places with

While filming MasterChef Vietnam season 3, I met some folks from the Singapore Tourism Board; their job was to help the producers obtain permits for on-site shoots and make sure things ran smoothly during filming. As we were wrapping our first day’s shoot, Glenn and Junnie invited me to dinner to try some traditional Singaporean dishes. Of course, I said yes. How could I resist? On my travels, I love discovering new foods through the tastebuds of locals. Everyone talks about chile crab or chicken with rice when they talk

I was in Singapore because we filmed a MasterChef Vietnam season 3 challenge there, and sadly, I only had less than 36 hours! This was my first time ever to this baby of a nation, and I was excited to try Singaporean food in actual Singapore. I’ve had their renowned cuisine in restaurants, and now I’d get to try the real thing. Because I was in Singapore for work, that meant I’d have even less leisure time…which meant less foods to try. Double-disappointment. As soon as I’d landed, though, I

This is my last entry on my four-part series on traveling like a pro. I’ve already written advice on how to book cheap flights, how to pack your bags, and how to travel if you’re blind. Now here’s tips on how to make your arrival and trip go as smoothly as possible. It all starts way before you even pack your bags and leave for your destination. Do your research. Where are you going to stay? What are you going to do? All very important questions that contribute to the

This post is geared towards the vision impaired and their travel companions, but it could also be useful for the sighted. Use your cane or service dog. When I first lost my vision, I didn’t like to pull out my cane because I didn’t want to be viewed as disabled or treated differently. I left my cane folded up in my bag, took the arm of my travel companion, and then bumped into people left and right, probably collecting dirty looks along the way. Nobody dodged me—obviously, nobody knew I

That’s a montage of my last Korea trip in 2012. I love to travel, but packing for a trip is one of its ugly necessities. When I was younger (and much less an avid traveler), packing for a trip was exciting. It meant I was about to go somewhere new or fun, and I enjoyed poring over which items to fold in to my suitcase or duffel bag. Unpacking, on the other hand, was less appealing—it was the mark that my vacation was over, and I’d soon be rejoining the

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