Why Watch Sugar Rush Today?

I always love competitive cooking shows. Iron Chef? I have every episode memorized. Cake Wars? Masters in the making. Netflix came out with a new version of competitive cooking show. It is called Sugar Rush. The concept of the show is for teams of bakers teams racing against the clock to bake the best-tasting sweets. Any time the can save will compound on to the allowed time for the final challenge. Each episodes is themed around a central idea such as fashion or science. They have two regular judges and one special judge that is knowledgable in the theme. The host helps bakers keep tract of time and progress of each contesting team. 

The Chef’s Line: Restaurant Chefs vs. Home Cooks

I am a big TV watcher and a big foodie. So the shows that you can typically find me watching are cooking shows or food competition shows. It is a staple of late night watching or late Sundays mornings. I have watched so many that I find myself talking to the TV about what I would have done and/or correcting the competitors. I mean it looks easy enough on my TV screen. I think anyone in my family could give those guys a run for their money especially in something we do everyday. Well, Netflix decided to test home cooks against top restaurant chefs in Australia. 

Borgo San Jacopo: Michelin Star = Michelin Yum

When a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star, it is considered one of the greatest achievements it can receive.  Florence is home to a plethora of Michelin Star restaurants. In a city full of high quality restaurants, why wouldn’t you go try one out? So after searching for an opening, we were able to dine at Borgo San Jacopo.

Golden View Open Bar: Go for the View, Stay for the Food & Wine

Above the soft lulls of the river in Florence, there is a restaurant near Pointe Vecchio that has the most beautiful views of the river front. They have aptly named this restaurant and bar, Golden View Open Bar. If you have a dining table by the massive windows then you will be stunned by the setting sun and twinkling lights of the city. You can watch the steady stream of tourist and locals meander over the bridges that connect each river side to each other. The whole atmosphere is of peace and tranquility. I see why this was a strong recommendation from Giada De Laurentis. Now onto the food!

Gran Caffe San Marco: An Italian Sweet Treat

Florence is the city of delicious foods. In food blogs, we hear about the pizzas, pastas, and gelato of Florence. However, there is more to the food of Florence than just those three things. Today I am going to look at the more sweet side of the items one should try while in Florence. So after doing some online research from accredited reviewers and trip advisory sites, I went to one of the top cafés in Florence for a sweet treat. Gran Caffe San Marco has many dinning options from to-go sandwiches to culinary pizzas. But this time I focused on the giant sweets display case that runs on both sides of the café.  

Hostaria Osottoospora: Venetian Food Extravaganza

Italy is the dream land of pasta, cheese, and other Italian food masterpieces. When I planned my recent trip to Italy, I was ready to feast on perfection. However, my dear friend brought a rainy cloud on my ideal Italian trip. She had traveled to the city of Venice a month before and was sad that her hunt for the perfect plate was empty. She said that all the restaurants had pre-frozen food or the food was the tourist version of the dishes that she hoped to try in their original form. So when I landed in the City of Bridges, I was on a mission to prove my friend wrong. I was going to find the best Venetian food and feast until I reached food coma. I am happy to report I found my Venetian food heaven. Let me welcome you to Hosteria Osottoospora, my Venetian food heaven. 

Strictly Dumpling: Let’s get hungry

Do you know someone that seems to be able to find all the best restaurants in town? For me, it is youtube star, Mikey or Mike Chen. Don’t know him? Then you should definitely read on because you will want to binge on his videos after this. Mikey Chen has built a career filled with videos on his channel called Strictly Dumpling around his favorite food during his travels. He has traveled to far off destination such as Singapore, Philippines, and India. His passion for food shines in every video as he ‘fanboys’ over the beautiful crafted dishes. The most popular type of food that he features is Chinese. However he has featured anything from Japanese to Las Vegas buffets. He has eaten things that most would possibly shy away from like frog fallopian tubes. (Not a dish I personally I am going to try any time soon.)

Tea: More Than Just A Leaf

I recently visited Vital Tea Leaf  in the neighborhood of Chinatown in San Fransisco, California. There I started to discover that there was more to tea than just the simple package of leaves. I mean let’s be honest. How many of you have ever taken a break to contemplate the creation of tea?

So with my curiosity awakened, I went to the one place a broke college student can go to learn without a major price tag. The local library. I found a book that does a wonderful job capturing the complexity of the tea making processes, the benefits of tea, and how tea affects the world in various ways.  The books was The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard. I was fascinated by what I learned so I am sharing it with you. Here are the top 10 cool factoids about tea that I learned.

Mr. Max: Little Piece of Japan Deep in the Heart of Texas

Tucked away behind a donut shop and insurance company is a nondescript strip mall. When you step out of your car, you can see the odd blinds covering the windows along with the crinkled poster listing when the are open. Past the unfinished wood door is supposedly one of the top 50 restaurants in Dallas called Mr. Max, but nothing on the outside would lead you to believe it. However, I promise you that with a leap of faith you will find a little piece of Japan that will transport miles away from the Texas heat.

Opening the door, you are greeted by the smiling hostess while shuffling to the side of the tiny hallway so guest can pass you. Peek around the bend to see, tatami tables full of guests speaking a variety of languages, and a long bar in front of the kitchen where you can watch the kitchen bustle out orders. The walls are covered in vintage Japanese poster along with Japanese Kanji listing the offering for the menu with tiny English handwriting underneath for those who do not read Kanji. Find the little figurines throughout the place that give the restaurant a homey feel. Just on appearance alone, I was beyond excited. This bar looked like it came off the streets of Tokyo but it was actually in Irving, Texas. I was convinced I entered my Japanese happy place.

Vital Tea Leaf: A Story of Tea

Many places that produce tea have a specialized manor of extracting tea that requires water being the right temperature, how much water, how many times can you use the leaves, and so much more. Ceremonies and services have been developed over this drink and the perfect art of drinking it.Since I was in San Francisco with some of the greatest diverse and historic neighborhoods made up of immigrants, I decided to travel to Chinatown to talk to an expert and see what made their tea so special. So here is my dive into Vital Tea Leaf to learn more about the Chinese art of making tea during one of their tea services.