Tuesday, May 3, 2016

March/April Recent Eats

Hi everyone! Once again I've been MIA -- school has been crazy busy. The food at work has been catered for the past two months, so I've been saving money by not buying lunch... only not really since I've used it as an excuse to eat out more (such guilt). I'm now finally done with third year, and I'm currently studying for a board exam, but it's a couple of weeks away so I figured I'd post some recent eats during my study break.

Happy hour at Kona Grill. They have a really great deal with all sushi and appetizers for 1/2 off until 7PM, and it's located at a really nice mall so it's always a fun occasion for a Friday night date. And their passionfruit creme brulee, man oh man.

Fried ice cream at El Vaquero. Okay so posting about eating at this place akin to posting about Bob Evans or Denny's, but I absolutely have to rave about their amazing fried ice cream. This thing is freaking like $4 and it's enormous and filling. And you can get some cheap beer for $2, plus the free chips/salsa that they serve you. It's not the healthiest meal, but when you feel like eating dirty, this is how to do it.

Miso ramen at Fukuryu. The ramen here itself is pretty stellar, even though we had to get something else other than what we wanted. They had no Tonkatsu...and I was talking to some friends who ate here previously, and they were also out of Tonkatsu (so do they ever even make Tonkatsu??). Also, their green tea soft serve ice cream was pretty sad. They have a lot to work out, but they are new in town and I'm willing to give them another try when I have a craving. 

Pork belly cassoulet at The Crest. Khoi and I ate here for brunch after exams, and it was quite tasty. I would've taken a photo of his food too (he ordered the sweet potato hash) but our two dishes were plated the same so I figured one pic is enough. I've heard stellar things about their lunch special and their shrimp and grits, so I think it's definitely worth a revisit. 

Sushi night at home again after a trip to Tensuke Market. This time we even bought an uni boat huehuehue.

Spaghetti with fried eggs recipe by Mark Bittman. Okay so this is likely the saddest photo of DIY food that I've posted on this blog in its four-year history BUT it's surprisingly tasty yet fast. All the more to prove that Mark Bittman is a genius. 

And a couple of tiny life updates...

I voted for the first time as an American citizen!!!

We're finally done with MS3!!!

I'm probably not going to post again at least until I'm done with my tests at the end of this month. I'm going to be in LA for part of my boards, and then heading on a road trip to NAPA(!!!) so hopefully I'll have more tasty food pics to share then.

And last but not lease...the craziest cocktail of 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

February Recent Eats

Happy Leap Year! I'm usually never on time with these summary posts, but since leap days are a once in a blue moon sort of thing, I figured that I could try to get this post cranked out before we peeked into March. Here's some tasty food from the month of February:

Chinese New Year celebration with friends at Fortune. Columbus somehow has a variety of really delicious Szechuan restaurants, while remaining pretty sparse with some of the more stereotypically popular Chinese cuisines like Cantonese and Shanghai. The best way to order food at Fortune is to order from the specials -- there's a page of authentic Chinese special dishes in the menu AND they have a whiteboard of daily specials by the door (which is where the real top notch stuff is at). 

More Szechuan food at Little Dragon. This restaurant, Fortune (above), and Helen Asian Kitchen tie for my favorite Chinese food in CBUS. I'm biased to like Helen the best because of the name, and Little Dragon is a little out of the way but it's so tasty that it's always worth the drive. 

Valentine's Day with babe at Akai Hana. We actually went the day before Valentine's Day for dinner, after I had worked a long Saturday shift in the ER and needed a treat. 

On actual Valentine's day itself, we went on a Costco trip, during which we acquired filet mignon for steak fondue. Khoi also made these green tea white chocolate covered strawberries, and I was quite touched that he tried his hand at making dessert for me ^^

The most delicious green tea shaved ice with red bean and condensed milk, piled high with green tea vanilla swirl frozen yogurt, all courtesy of Belle's Bread. The option for this is not on their regular menu, but rather on a placard at checkout, so most people don't know that you can order this here and everyone was staring in jealously after we got our food puahaha. 

Sashimi bibimbap at Japanese Oriental. This restaurant looks a little sketch from the outside if you're just driving by, because it literally looks like you're going to eat at someone's house, but the inside of the restaurant is quite nice and their food is awesome. They were super duper generous with the amount of sashimi in this dish, and it was only around $10 as part of the lunch special. So worth it.  

Ramen at Meshikou. They no longer have tonkatsu broth (SAD!!!) but their chicken broth wasn't half bad. And they have this amazing grilled bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom appetizer that somehow reminds me of squid, which must be ordered anytime you visit this restaurant. 

Hai Poke at Red Velvet Cafe -- a new poke popup shop took over the kitchen of a local cafe, where I was trying to get some work done during my lunch break and wanted delicious noms in the meantime. The presentation is beautiful, and although it's not quite comparable to some of the other poke places that I've tried in Los Angeles, it's pretty boss for Cbus. 

Hot Chicken at KFC. This was only so-so, and it really made me appreciate that we have Hot Chicken Takeover in CBus. KFC gets an A for effort. 

Homemade blackberry mascarpone cream pie for my weekly Bachelor viewing parties. A group of us get together to watch The Bachelor and eat snacks every Tuesday evening, and we have a bracket which I'm currently winning (but may be losing my lead soon, so sad). I had some extra mascarpone and cream in the fridge, and threw this together. I don't have a recipe persay, but you can make some tiramisu cream and use it to fill a store-bought pie crust, then top with berries and powdered sugar. Super easy peasy. 

We had some free time this past weekend to take professional photos with my fancy camera, since interview season is not too far away, and we ended up taking some less serious photos at the end. Happy February, and goodbye winter!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Winter Weekend Trip Chicago: Summary

I finished my family medicine rotation few weeks back, and man oh man did it have the most awesome schedule ever (9 to 5 schedule with occasional half days thrown in). And at the end of my rotation, my attending went on a trip for a conference, so I had 4 whole days off to myself during which I managed to fit in a weekend trip to Chicago. Here are some highlights:

The most unique view of downtown Chicago. My friend brought us to The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, and we hung out at their rooftop bar overlooking Millennium Park. It just so happened to be the prettiest warm winter day, lucky us. 

We also visited Maggie Daley Park, which was recently constructed. Apparently it gets super crowded on warm days, but it was chilly for us and nowhere nearly as crowded as it would've been, so we were able to play around without being embarrassed to be the oldest people on the swing sets. 

At night, one of the restaurants we tried was Fat Rice and it was quite amazing. It's has a Michelin Bib Gourmand and it's also the most popular Asian restaurant on Foursquare, and they served the most delicious shrimp I've ever had in my life. They are chili-stuffed prawns, swimming in a broth of fermented black bean and butter. Next time, I definitely want to come back and would just order this as my main because I could never get tired of this dish. 

Just down the street from Fat Rice is a relatively new tiki bar called Lost Lake, opened by the same people as Three Dots and a Dash but now in a more hipster part of town. All of the drinks were delicious, but the banana daiquiri was phenomenal (and even came with a banana dolphin!)

For lunch on a separate day, we headed to Lawrence Fish Market for some takeout. This place is super popular but extremely cheap, mainly because it is takeout only and cash only. People can call in orders, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour before pickup.  Among 4 people, we spent $100 on 8 rolls, 6 sashimi, 4 tofu thingys, and 8 uni, and it was all fantastic. 

On my last night, we went to the Hearts and Hounds Valentine's Ball, organized by Greyhounds Only, which is a nonprofit greyhound rescue and adoption agency through which my friend adopted her adorable greyhound named Simba. We basically ate yummy food and played with some dashing greyhounds all night before I headed back to Cbus.