Hometown Glory, Bay Area Edition

Christmas Treats

Christmas Treats: Prime rib, homemade macarons, baked brie and Peking duck.

I had a brief but wonderful trip back home, full of good times with family and friends (and lots of food). I flew back home on Christmas Eve and was welcomed to a wonderful feast of Chinese and Western food. My cousin made amazing homemade macarons and baked brie (he even has a special wood-fire oven in his house). However, nothing could beat the Peking duck. My aunt has a brand-new steamer oven (I didn’t even know those existed) so we had freshly-steamed buns to pair with the three ducks. Yes, we had three ducks and prime rib. That’s my family for you.

Tonys and Super Duper

Pizza from Tony’s and cheeseburger and garlic fries from Super Duper Burger in San Francisco

One of the best days of my vacation was spent in San Francisco trying Tony’s Pizza Napoletena. The line for Tony’s is always CRAZY long (like 2-hour wait long), but I was determined to try their margherita pizza, which won the world pizza cup in Naples, Italy. They use special dough so they only make 73 margherita pizzas a day (talk about a good marketing tactic–exclusivity). My friends and I also ordered the Cal Italia pizza, which was the gold medal winner of Food Network’s pizza champions challenge. This pizza had asiago, mozzarella, gorgonzola, sweet fig preserve, prosciutto, parmigiano and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

I loved the pizza. It was even better than Delfina’s because even though it was thin crust, it didn’t get soggy. While the margherita was delicious, the Cal Italia pizza completely won me over. I loved the combination of the slightly sweet and savory that came from the fig preserves and the prosciutto. The pizza was cooked perfectly with a thin, crispy dough, but fluffy crust. The Cal Italia would have definitely made it on my list of 100 Things to Eat in San Francisco Before You Die. If you go, I’d recommend going early to put your name down (they don’t take reservations) OR even ordering your pizza to-go and eating it in Washington Square Park.

While in SF, I also got to check out Local Edition, an awesome bar that opened up right before I left SF last year. It’s the same owners of the Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch so you can expect highly-skilled bartenders making quality cocktails in ’20s Newsies outfits. No night would have been complete without some garlic fries and a cheeseburger from Super Duper Burger, one of my favorite SF burger chains.


I love you, Pinkberry.

Bay Area Treats

My sister got me hurricane popcorn for Christmas!!! Mexican food from Fiesta Del Mar, sushi from Masa’s and brunch at the Rick’s Cafe.

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Whirlwind Weekend in Los Angeles

Two weekends ago, I had a last minute trip to Los Angeles. I realized that it’s been over a year since I’ve been to LA (seems like a travesty). It was over 70 degrees in DECEMBER and I saw more people wearing flip-flops that weekend than I have seen my entire year in San Francisco. It was ridiculous. I do miss LA weather.

Luckily, I was still able to squeeze in delicious eating. And, I finally got to meet Larinna from iheartspandex (side note: if you’re into fitness, you should totally check out her awesome blog) and share a lovely meal with her twin sister, Rhiannon.

Rather than write out full reviews, I’m going to just highlight the extra delicious parts.

Bottega Louie

Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Burrata and Prosciutto Pizza

Burrata and Prosciutto Pizza

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Portobello Mushroom Fries


So Many Flavors to Choose From!


Pièce de résistance-- Macarons! Salted Caramel, Lemon, Pistachio and Vanilla.

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Jackie, stop eating


That pretty much sums up my entire New York trip. My only plans were to eat, shop, see some friends and eat some more. I’m the type of person who plans her trips around food rather than monuments. I had a huge running list of places I wanted to eat at and made all my reservations ahead of time. This will have to be a multi-blog post series because there is no way I can fit my entire trip in one blog post.

It was a great 4th of July trip to New York and everything would have been perfect if I hadn’t lost my voice. The sad thing is that I didn’t even lose it because I partied too hard or because I drank or screamed too much. Nope, I arrived in NY on Saturday morning at 7am and my throat felt a little scratchy. As the day progressed, it started to feel swollen so I took some Tylenol. It bothered me all day and I woke up on Sunday and my voice was gone. My voice is still gone and it’s been a continuous cycle of Tylenol every 4 hours and staying hydrated. I’d like to stop sounding like a chain smoker now.

Within my first 3 hours of NY, my friend Emily and I hit Murray’s Bagels, Doughnut Plant and La Maison du Macaron, which were all in Chelsea. I had heard SO much about New York bagels and never had one before and didn’t know what the hype was. I understand now. My first New York bagel was an onion bagel with scallion cream cheese. It was untoasted (because I would have been blacklisted if I asked for it toasted) and it was delicious.

First NY Bagel!

Agnes feels me. She understands the importance of “fluffiness.”

What I appreciate the most was having my bagel seasoned on both sides. I think that’s what surprised me the most. Having that onion-y goodness of both sides of my plumped up bagel. At first, I was only going to eat the 1 side with the onions on top and throw away the other half (keep in mind that I knew I was getting a doughnut too). But SURPRISE, there were toppings on the other side too. I wish all bagels were like that. Nothing is more sad than when you eat the top half of a bagel with all its delicious toppings and then are left with the ugly, plain side of the bagel. The bagel was so fluffy and I just could not get over it. I had never seen such a fluffy bagel before and the outside still had a nice hardness to it too. Continue reading