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Cuban Korean Mexican Oregon Travel

3 Places To Check Out In Bend Oregon

Our friends in Seattle had been raving for over a year about how amazing Bend, Oregon was. When we got a weekend away, we happily joined them to see what Bend was all about. I was so glad we did because it’s a charming high desert paradise with mountains, rivers, pine trees, sunflowers, food, beer and a real sense of community. These are three spots (out of many) that are worth going back for.

Spork

Spork started as a globally-inspired green-conscious mobile street food kitchen housed in an Airstream that served creative delicious global cuisine. It’s expanded into a full size restaurant with dishes from across Latin America, Africa, and Asia that are remixed in the best way. We ordered to share: Mexican corn, Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with kimchee and pickled cucumbers, Carnitas Tacos, Spicy Pork Noodles with fish sauce caramel pork, Burmese Fried Cheese, and other small bites (that were consumed too fast to photograph.) The fried chicken is beyond addicting, spicy and sweet, and has been on my mind ever since… We cooled off the spice with a Thai Collins made with vodka, mint, basil, lime juice and soda. Check out their amazing menu here.

Sparrow Bakery

Photos Courtesy Of Sparrow Bakery

Sparrow Bakery’s breakfast sandwich is one not to miss with its house smoked bacon, avocado, arugula, aioli and a poached egg. On a croissant. Yes… It’s just as much perfection as it sounds. We had to also try their world famous Ocean Roll, a buttery pastry filled with cardamom, sugar and vanilla, pairs perfectly with coffee.

Barrio

Barrio is another food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant drawing inspiration from Mexican, Spanish, and South American cuisines. We dug into Carnitas street tacos, Shrimp Ceviche, Cuban sandwich, Watermelon gazpacho, Chips/salsa & guac, with a pitcher of great margaritas. It was a great ending to a short getaway with our good friends.

There was plenty more to see than food… there are so many breweries to sample beers from, you can rent a tube and float the Deschutes River or go for a long walk or hike.

Have any favorites in Bend? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to another visit.

Best of Burgers Sandwiches Seattle

Best burger in Seattle

I know, it’s a big statement. I still think about this burger since the first time, and am now as I’m writing this. Meet Loretta’s Northwesterner. Thanks to our friend and chef, Brian Walczyk of the Tom Douglas fam and his wife Bea for taking us.

Located in the Seattle neighborhood of South Park, Loretta’s is like a cool cabin in the woods with a with wood paneling, icy frozen glasses of beer, vinyl and board games to play, and an open-air patio with an Airstream trailer to hang out in.

There’s a few burgers on the menu, but we went for the Tavern Burger ($4) with its charbroiled patty, American cheese, chopped onion, sliced pickles, and a special house sauce on a buttery toasted bun. Up it to a double tavern (shown here) or deluxe for a little more. Handcut fries are available for $3 and their icy cold beers were so cold that there were ice chips on top. We liked the Lucille from Georgetown Brewing. The vibe is mellow, full of locals from the neighborhood.

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Loretta’s is located at 8617 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA. Check out their full menu here.

What’s your favorite burger?

Hotels Korean Los Angeles Travel

24 hours in LA

Ever since hearing Roy Choi’s story and reading his cookbook, I’ve wanted to check out The Line hotel. We got that chance when J was booked to DJ in LA. We’re so glad we did.

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We checked in after a 45 minute Uber ride from LAX. (Ubers seem to be cheaper in LA👌) We loved the industrial-chic rooms with concrete-patterned walls, funky original art, floor-to-ceiling windows, and chairs upholstered from vintage Mexican fabric.

We were starving and ready to try their restaurant Commissary overlooking the pool. We were greeted with a friendly welcoming smile by the host and sat in their greenhouse dining room. It was filled with the most lovely filtered light that gently hit the tables that were covered in sweet vintage linens for napkins. J ordered the French dip and I ordered the Pan roasted scallops with green sauce, pea shoots and a glass of rosé.

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We decided to grab a happy hour cocktail at Lobby Bar. We again were met with a smile, thanks Raphael! Boxes full of toy water guns and colorful glasses, big bowls of fruit, Mexican candelas, lollipop roses, tamarind sticks and bowls of candy line the bar. The vibe is laid back with huge booths for kickin’ back. Super fun.

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We pondered about going for a walk as there’s many things to do nearby like Grand Central Market, the art deco Wiltern Theatre, Downtown or Koreatown. It was 96 degrees and climbing so we decided to enjoy the AC and take a nap. 

Our highlight was dinner at POT, Roy Choi’s modern Asian spot. You walk down a dark hallway and are met by a glowing green POT sign and the sound of bumpin’ old school hip hop. We ordered way too much food from their newspaper-like menu but it’s easy because everything sounds delicious; Duck fried rice, Korean spicy chicken wings, and Steak ssam with crispy rice and lettuce wraps. The servings are pretty big, so keep in mind though leftovers are always awesome, right?

The rice was served in a volcanic-hot pot so the rice crisps up on the bottom. A soft egg is added on top and you stir it up and enjoy. Incredible. The Steak Ssam with crispy rice was excellent. Served with assorted lettuce wraps and kimchi to make little bundles of joy.

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The highlight for me was the Korean spicy wings. Crispy, sticky, spicy and sweet. Worth the mess that comes along with it. I’m on a mission to find a recipe that comes close so I’ll post it here when I do.

After J DJ’d, we came back to the room and feasted on late night leftovers. YES!

The next morning, after a coffee and croissant, we lounged while listening to the smooth soul and hip hop from the Stones Throw pool party happening below.

Always a fan of unique magazines, I checked out this great little one created by the hotel called HERE that features people and places nearby, encouraging you to get out. You can sample it digitally here.

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I would’ve loved to stay another day and explore the neighborhood. Great staff, delicious food and some sunshine- quick trip win! If you have favorite LA or Koreatown spots, feel free to list them in the comments!

Coffee French Paris Travel

The First Espresso in Paris

The first espresso-Tiny Global Kitchen

Cafe

I was anxious when landing in Paris. Why? Curious isn’t it? My heart was pounding. Probably because I’d longed to be here for so long. In my mind I’d wandered the streets, sat in cafes, taken photos down narrow alleyways. But now, I felt nervous. Like it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Like I didn’t deserve to be here. Would I be able to communicate? Would they be rude? Did I pack the right clothes? Do we have enough time? We landed and breezed through customs. Not one question. We collected our bags and met the taxi station. All the women are so fluid. Words spill out of their mouths like a vinyasa flow. The cab driver greets us with a hearty bonjour. He struggles to communicate with us in English but he’s trying. A heartfelt kind of communication, using body language and warm smiles. He turns on the AC and I silently praise him. The 11-hour flight has left me drained and unemotional. We drive into the city in silence and I hold my breathe waiting for a stirring, a feeling of expected excitement. I see industrial buildings and wonder what’s around the next bend. The traffic flows, no honks, motorbikes, Audis, Peugots, and sleek Mercedes all around. I catch a glimpse of Sacre Couer. It’s smaller than I imagined but perched on a hill watching the city. The tip of the Eiffel tower shows itself and my mouth pops open. We exit the freeway into the Arc De Triomph. The driver tries to explain that we’re staying on a ‘very good street.’ We pull up at 33 Avenue Foch. A sleek apartment building surrounded by a long park and the widest avenue in France. He graciously thanks us and we arrive into our temporary home of the music promoter we haven’t even met yet. How trusting.

It’s warm. We open the windows to try to get a cross breeze. It’s quaint. A modern couch, a vintage couch, sueded walls. Wood floors and a beautiful view from the kitchen. We are so tired. We have a few drinks and collapse for a nap, guiltily. All I can think is, Sarah- you’re in your dream city for not even three full days and you want to sleep…yes. I awoke from a nap to the sun shining over the buildings. It’s 5pm. I wake J up and tell him the evening light is amazing. That’s enough to rouse him up.

We wander down and find a cafe called Cafe Victor Hugo and find a table outside. Our first meal. We order a filet of beef with béarnaise, fries, and a glass of rose. After dinner, we order an espresso. It arrives with a perfectly rich caramel crema. We people watch, the woman walking in her ballet flats, chewing the end of a baguette, the slim tailored suits of the French businessmen with their pointy shoes. We talk about the future and slowly savor our coffee. Afterwards we walk down the avenue, stop in for some Perrier to go. We take photos of the Arc De Triomph, and watch the insane circular traffic nightmare, then back up Avenue Foch, taking photos of old doors, Embassies, rich Parisians houses, and collapse on the couch back in our apartment. What is the feeling of the first day? A curiosity, an overall feeling hoping people will be nice. I feel a hesitation with not knowing enough French. It’s so easy to just speak english. But are they silently cursing me, a disdainful look or answering in French. It’s different than I expected, but very much the same as things I’ve read. I’m waiting for goosebumps, for those serendipitous moments of wandering down just the right street, a life changing meal, the magic that I’ve been told about. Until then, it is time for sleep. Or maybe one more espresso…

Recipe Sandwiches

Open-faced Egg Salad

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Saturday afternoon and 1pm rolls around. What to do for lunch? I have such fond memories of my Mom making egg salad on weekends. I loved watching her hard boil eggs and turn them into a great balance of creamy and crunchy textures and bright, fresh flavors to make us the tastiest sandwiches. I thought I’d re-create on a sunny Saturday. There’s so many directions you could go to customize…with curry, traditional or adding extra crunch with radishes or your favorite veggies. See? Even Bon Appetit loves egg salad. I decided on mayo, dijon, white balsamic vinegar, salt/pepper, fresh cilantro, red onion. Also, after reading its health benefits, a little turmeric. Who knew this little power plant would work so well in egg salad. I served it open faced on a slice of Dave’s Killer Bread. If you haven’t tried Dave’s, I highly recommend. Organic, non GMO, full of seeds and excellent toasted. Hope you enjoy!

4 hard boiled eggs, chilled, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T. dijon (or more to taste)
1 dash of white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tsp turmeric
Course salt and freshly ground black pepper
One slice of your favorite bread

Mexican Tacos

Green chile and cotija chips

Green chile chips - Tiny Global Kitchen

We missed Cinco de Mayo traveling back from Europe. Not that it really matters, because I could eat tacos every day. We landed in Chicago and I had about 24 hours before my flight back to Seattle, so we decided on one of our favorite places, El Milagro in Pilsen for lunch. Their tacos are not for the light eater. I only usually can eat one because they’re stuffed with your meat of choice, rice (yes, inside the taco), beans, shredded cabbage and their spicy salsa. Delicious. But they have something else that I accidentally ordered, that I cannot live with out when we visit.

My first time at El Milagro, I was really hungry, so I saw they had a side of chips and salsa. Yes please! The woman behind the corner asked me if I wanted cheese on them. Huh? I said ok, not entirely sure I understood her correctly. Then, it arrived. Warm, freshly made tortilla chips with a warm green chile salsa and Cotija cheese on top. I took a bite and the crunchy, salty, warm chips and green chile, combined with the cold cheese… I told J it was truly, one of the best things I’d ever eaten. I asked the staff working what kind of chiles they were and they said “green.” Hmm. I would guess using Hatch could come close, and I’ll be trying to replicate these soon.

Chicken Sandwiches Street Food Travel

Prosciutto, Pilsners and Prague

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I wasn’t going to come along on this trip. Work schedules, family, stress, money… all reasons we give ourselves for not being able to get away. The opportunity came up for J to DJ three cities in Switzerland, Germany and Prague. I decided to take the opportunity and get away. Friends had always told me Prague was beautiful. It’s old, rich in culture and home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe.

The first few days were spent wandering taking photos, hiking to the Prague Castle and sampling their Pilsners. But it’s what happened in the moments of quiet, like quickly deciding to go watch the sunset after a thunderstorm, that was truly moving. Travel gives you perspective and a glance into the human experience like you don’t get with anything else. Watching people of all backgrounds take photos, experience meals in a picturesque outdoor setting under an awning, or wander tiny streets holding hands while speaking French, Italian, Japanese or German. I’ve had a hard time finding reasons to take photos or be creative and recently felt that I was in a slump. But this city was reinvigorating. It surprised you around every corner with a beautiful old wood door, a canal flanked by sunny lilac bushes, or a chef in full uniform and hat handwriting specials on a menu board.

In our last full day here, we ventured out to find some brunch. After a grumpy manager didn’t want us to sit at an outdoor table yet, we decided to walk and find someplace else. We found a small cafe by the river with a view of the city and had an open face sandwich with Prosciutto, cheese, balsamic, and sun-dried tomatoes on a baguette. Simple, but with the view, spectacular. It’s in moments like this, that spontaneity is the best medicine. 

Bacon Brunch Recipe Sandwiches Tiny Kitchen

Bacon, Egg, Asparagus and Breakfast Sandwich

Bacon Egg Asparagus Breakfast Sandwich-Tiny Global Kitchen

We’ve become obsessed. I’m a lucky girl because J makes us breakfast every morning. We recently we bought some stellar Rosemary bread from Essential Baking in Seattle. We toasted up a few slices, spread some garlic mayo on the toast and topped it with grilled asparagus, bacon, a fried egg and some Sriracha. Heaven! Let the obsession continue…

  • Asparagus (extra points if they’re from your garden, like asparagus candy)
  • Egg – poached or fried
  • Crispy bacon
  • Rosemary bread
  • Mayo (regular or add a touch of garlic)
  • Sriracha

Trim the asparagus, drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, salt and lemon zest and roast on a grill pan to desired doneness. Toast up your bread while you fry your egg and bacon. Once everything is cooked, spread a layer of mayo on the toast and add your asparagus, bacon, egg and top with Sriracha. Serve open faced.

Cuban Recipe Sandwiches Seattle

El Cubano

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We used to travel to Miami every year to go to the Winter Music Conference. Meeting with fellow music industry friends, seeing your favorite DJ’s by a pool or stacked back to back in art deco boutique hotels, paying $12 for a Corona… oh that’s right, we don’t go anymore. The highlight of WMC was secretly always about one thing, yes the music was great… but it was the late night Cuban sandwiches with matchstick potato chips at David’s in South Beach with a sweet and slap-your-face Cuban coffee. Every time we see this on a menu, we’re pulled to order it because quite simply- it’s a great combo of flavors (and probably for the sentimental value too.) Ham, pork, yellow mustard, Swiss cheese and dill pickles on a crunchy French style bread, grilled on a plancha or grill press to be melty and crunchy.

We had a date on Sunday after watching The Grand Budapest Hotel at Big Picture, then ducked into The Inn Keeper across the street for a late lunch. The Cuban was spotted, ordered and was delicious. Instead of pickles, they substituted picked jalapeños, and had a moist pulled pork and spiced mayonnaise. I missed the French style bread but it was amazing all the same.

Here’s a recipe for a Cuban, I think a little slice of mango in there would add a nice sweetness, but I digress.

  • 8″ Cuban bread
  • 2 T yellow mustard
  • 5 oz. smoked or roasted pork
  • 3 oz. sweet cured ham (Black Forest would work)
  • Few slices of dill pickles
  • Few slices Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
  • Butter for the outside of bread and grill

Press down on sandwich, and cook sandwich one each side for 5-6 minutes, allowing the flavors from the cheese, pork and ham to infuse and for the sandwich to flatten down. Enjoy!

Austin Food trucks Hot dogs Korean Mexican Tacos Travel

I love you Austin, but I need a salad

Yep, we did sushi in Texas. But it was a jalapeño and cilantro roll!

I’ve always loved Austin for it’s being so different from other parts of Texas. The food trucks, the friendly people, and all the music venues. J and I were excited to venture down once again for SXSW. We walked all over the city, checking out bands for my day job, meeting with industry friends… and eating. Tex Mex and fusion dishes like Chi’Lantro Bulgogi tacos, Mexican sushi rolls with crunchy jalapeño and cilantro, smoked pork tacos, Frank’s hot dogs with BBQ sauce and burgers too big to admit you consumed. I think there was a poblano caesar in there, but it was underwhelming, probably because it was trying to be a salad. At the end of the week, we had blisters from walking from one side of the city to the other, but reinvigorated hearing great music. Ok, I won’t lie, we enjoyed ditching our normally clean diet for some Frito pie. But we were happy to be headed home… I love you Austin, but I need a salad.