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travel

You can’t go to Taipei and not hit up a street market or two, or three…or more. There are many street markets in Taipei, but as I was only there for three days, I only had the chance to hit up two. On one of the afternoons, I went to Ximending, which is more of a shopping district. (Okay, I admit, I wanted to go to UNIQLO.) I sampled a few street foods there, such as the fried chicken cutlet, grilled mochi, oyster vermicelli with pig intestine, and boba tea

I was told by a couple of Taiwanese-American friends that Yong Kang Beef Noodle served some of the best beef noodle soup in Taipei. In the evening after I gave my TEDxTaipei Talk, I rewarded myself with a trip to Yong Kang. I think the first time I ever tasted Taiwanese-style beef noodle soup was at Sanding in Houston. The broth is aromatic with remnants of five-spice, which typically consists of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and peppercorns. In a typical bowl, you’ll find beef (duh), bon choy, medium-width

People say the Din Tai Fung in Taipei is superior to any other outposts in the world, but upon my brief trip to Taiwan in late November to do a TEDxTaipei talk, the only DTF I’ve ever experienced is the one in Taipei. But then there are also multiple outposts within Taipei itself, so which one is supposed to be the best? I didn’t go to the main DTF, but instead dined at the one inside a mall. We went fairly soon after opening hour, and there was already a

”The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences.“ ~Christopher McCandless Last November, I was invited to give a talk at the TEDxTaipei Salon in Taiwan. This would be my second TEDx Talk—the first being the one I did at TEDxUCSD in May 2015. The theme was “Inspiration from Five Senses,” and the description blurb I received from the event coordinators read: “In this TEDxTaipei Salon, we will take the audience on a journey

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.

Last fall during our trip to San Francisco, my friends, hubs, and I took a day trip up to wine country. Before crossing the bridge, we grabbed pastries at Craftsman & Wolves. Then on the way, we stopped at Russian River Brewing; as it’s not available in Texas, the hubs always buys a few bottles to bring back home for our beer fridge. We visited a couple of wineries and then had to book it back across the bridge to make it to our dinner reservation at Kusakabe, a Michelin-rated

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

I had some airline credit I needed to use before it expired, so the hubs and I decided to go to San Francisco for a weekend. First we checked out some southern soul food at Brenda’s to see if it could hang with what we’re accustomed to in Texas (it couldn’t). Then the hubs takes me to this eclectic little taxidermy store, which originally started as a gardening nursery, called Paxton Gate. I loved some of the strange things found in the store, but many of them were hella expensive,

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

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