Showing posts from October, 2016

[Chiayi, Taiwan] - BANANA CAFÉ | 香蕉咖啡館

I spent about a month living in Chiayi in 2014. Much more free time than when I was in Longtan (I want to say "stationed" as choosing Longtan would be too nice of a version of that story), and I had the use of a scooter. I was able to get around better, especially with Chiayi being a many times bigger than Longtan.  Always on the lookout for a nice cafe to sit in, the Banana Cafe fit the description. Quiet and with coffee that was pretty good, I actually went there at least once a week. They have a banana mocha that is pretty good, with actual pieces of banana in it. The food is also pretty good for a random cafe in the outskirts of Chiayi. I tried the pasta toast, pictured below and liked it. It's a good snack. Don't expect to be full from eating it. On another occasion, I had the omelette. It had mushrooms and cheese and was fairly good too. If you need a place to study that is spacious, has wifi, and A/C, then this is the place! Otherwise, there's always t

[New Orleans, LA] - Shaya

I have a working list of places I want to eat in New Orleans, but Shaya was not on it. I was just excited to be able to cross Atchafalaya off my list this trip! But, when I was told to look up Shaya because it's the best in New Orleans without serving New Orleans style food, I was intrigued. Looking at the menu, everything sounded good. It was so hard to pick what to try. At the restaurant, we all ordered drinks to get settled and try to narrow down our selections. I ordered "The Fuzz" - rye whiskey, peach shrub, Peychaud’s Aperitivo. Definitely recommended! Not pictured, but also ordered was the baba ganoush, tershi, wood roasted brussel sprouts, and THE best pita bread I've ever had. It was so light and fluffy. All of the other pita bread I'd had before this was hard or flavorless. The baba ganoush went really well with the pita. That, the tershi, hummus, and the avocado toast stood out the most. The kebabs were good, but didn't taste anything out of the

[Zhongli, Taiwan] - 壹等品『霸王豬腳』/Yī děng pǐn bàwáng zhū jiǎo

One of my favorite comfort foods is pork belly over rice. It's called 魯肉飯 in Chinese, but in English I just refer to it as pork belly rice. It's pork belly stewed for hours to get it extra tender. Other items can be stewed in there also which are great like eggs, bamboo, tofu, or seaweed. The ones in the States, for reasons I just don't understand, use ground pork. There's less flavor when not using the pork belly. In Taiwan though, pork belly is primarily used, and it's delicious. On a random day off while I lived in Longtan, I took the bus from one end to the other (Longtan to Zhongli). The ride itself is about 35-45 minutes depending on traffic. If you are already in Zhongli, then it's much easier for you to reach. It's about 3 blocks away from the Pacific Sogo Mall, and two blocks away from a big movie theater.  The main thing they are known for here are the stewed pigs feet. I had just walked by one day and gave it a try. Every time I passed by, it

[Longtan, Taiwan] - 翹鬍子/Qiào húzi

There were a few places that I ate at in Longtan, but I didn't always take pictures. At the time I only had my D700 and didn't like lugging it everywhere. That and a lot of the time I would just bring the food home and eat it while grading. I feel like all I really did during that time was grade papers and hate my job. On the way home from work, there was always this one restaurant that I would pass that looked interesting. I normally ate at a place with no name that served rice with chicken and pork over it with a side of tofu and veggie soup for 80NT, but this day, I thought, I will be like a Murakami character and try something new. Book in hand, I asked the proprietor what they recommended and also ordered a side of veggies. The owner told me that this was a Hakka dish, and that the noodles they serve are hand made. They have other dishes that people might find more familiar, but this noodle dish was certainly interesting. It had these dumplings made from a translucent

[Sacramento, CA] - Luke's Pop Up - Netflix Promo @Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters

When Gilmore Girls first aired, I watched it for the first few seasons. The premise was pretty interesting and I enjoyed all of the references, especially the  Pippi Longstocking  viewing that Lorelai forced on Luke. I remember watching that movie as a kid. Any show that loves that movie is A-OK in my book!  Since they planned on a revival of the show, they had pop-ups all around the country. It was a great move on Netflix's part. I was pretty excited to hear that there would be one in Sacramento also. Even better, it was at Chocolate Fish . If they had it someplace with bad coffee, I can't say for certain that I would have gone. I showed up maybe twenty-five minutes before they opened and there was already a long line forming. Luckily, it wasn't too long before they opened. They worked fast, giving us all that free cup of Luke's special coffee. The employees even dressed like Luke Danes; it was pretty awesome! I'm glad I stopped by. I still have the coffee sle

[Longtan, Taiwan] - 旅人咖啡館/Lǚrén kāfēi guǎn

Back when I lived in Longtan for a minute (the longest 8 months of my life, actually), I had very little time to travel around so I was stuck exploring this armpit of a town. I grew to accept it there, even though I wouldn't recommend anyone move there. There's definitely good and bad. Since work was pretty terrible, I had to really reach deep to find the good. One of the good things was this cafe not far from my apartment. Big space, airy, lots of windows. And a ton of books I couldn't read. It was a nice cafe to escape to though. Generally quiet with others who are reading or studying together; there was one time that I went and someone was playing something that sounded great on the baby grand piano. The coffee and food available are standard Taiwanese coffee and food. Nothing too stand out, but it's reliable. I preferred not to eat the food there because being on a budget, it is pricey. I would rather eat at a rice or noodle shop for much less. The coffee was alrea