I'm not sure why I take so long doing "last" posts on places we visit. Perhaps it's because I really didn't want our trip to end....or maybe I'm just too darn lazy? Go figure. Anyway, since I just posted on our last meal in Madrid, I figure I need to get Lima done as well.
The Missus's favorite eating spot on this trip was El Veridico de Fidel. She enjoyed Her meal so much, that before we left, we made reservations for dinner on our last evening in Lima here.
In contrast to our previous visit, which was during an early lunch, the place was humming!
When we arrived; the really nice young lady....the only one who we noticed that spoke English saw us, waved, and immediately came over....dropping off our menus, canchita, and even aji limo! I guess She remembered we enjoyed things "picante"! Great service.
As I mentioned earlier; our last visit was for a pretty early lunch. This time though.....we had no qualms about getting some beer and a pisco sour of course!
The Missus requested Her Pisco easy on the sugar and She really enjoyed it.
The Missus went straight for the Cebiche Lenguado; basically sole, and She really enjoyed the bracing, yet, not too sour leche de tigre.
The fish had been marinated well; it wasn't too "cooked" by the citrus and still had a nice tender, yet toothsome texture. Nice flavors all around. The Missus enjoyed a touch of the aji limo, which added a decent amount of fragrant heat to the dish.
Much had changed since our last trip to Lima all those years ago; I hadn't remembered seeing the interesting, creamy "leche de tigre" type dishes on menus before. Like a chilled, creamy, citrusy, savory cold soup. I had enjoyed the version eaten on my previous visit. So this time went with the version with chicharron de calamari. Basically, fried calamari....something I'd usually avoid in most restaurants.
Of course the Missus poached the camote (simmered sweet potato). The fried calamari was quite tender, the crunch of the batter and the texture of the squid really set a nice contrast to the refreshing; tongue coating, slightly tangy-sour leche de tigre. It was so refreshing and satisfying.
One of the "new dishes", that is, something I don't recall seeing during our first trip to Peru back in 2007 is Tacu Tacu con Lomo Saltado. Our Driver, Benjamin, introduced this dish to us on the way back from checking out the Nazca Lines. I saw that on the menu here and just had to try it.
First off, the beef was really tender and we loved the flavor of the peppers, nicely sweet. The flavor of the tacu tacu was quite mild and not very "beany" and the sauce could have had a bit more umami and saltiness for our taste. It was very filling and we were done after this dish.
We really enjoyed El Veridico de Fidel and will definitely return if/when we're back in Peru. Hopefully, it won't take another ten years!
El Veridico de Fidel Calle Colon 246 Lima 18, Peru
We took a very roundabout way back to our hotel. I think there was a football game going on that day; this group of folks seemed to be celebrating something.
Strangely, at least for us, our flight didn't depart Lima until 1255 am. Luckily, we were flying Business, so we were able to take advantage of the Sumaq Lounge at Jorge Chavez International Airport. Based on how crowded the lounge was at 10pm; I'm guessing there are quite a few flights that depart at that rather late time.
The spread at the lounge was ok, but good golly, after being to a couple of these, I'm amazed at the feeding frenzy. It seems that folks are so focused on getting what they assume to be their money's worth I guess? I mean, really, do you actually need to have six mini-hamburguesas? Well whatever....to each their own......
I got a fair Pisco Sour as my "goodbye to Peru" gift.....for now!
Well, here's the abridged version. One of my projects....a really huge project, was delayed. All trips had been put on hold. As soon as I got official word of the dates being pushed back, I pinged the Missus and went to work, first requesting time off, then doing the logistics. It came together in an instant. You see, a few months earlier, one of the folks I occasionally work with mentioned the Icelandair free stopover program. Basically, you fly out of one of the airlines hub and you get up to a 7 night stopover in Iceland at no extra charge (there's even a "Stopover Buddy" program that's offered on occasion). I started quickly checking prices and found that Business Class from SEA to ORY was really affordable and we could easily fit in a 3 night stopover on the way back.
This meant we'd have 1 night in Seattle on our way to and from Paris.
We've been here so many times, way back to pre-blogging days, and I used to visit regularly while living in HNL....in fact, before I met the Missus, I was considering a move here.
But that's ancient history now and here we were....staring at this!
I had just been mentioning what a clear night it was when we came upon Fernando Botero's"Adam". (Click the link - It's a great article). So perhaps the night was a bit too clear for us?
We had a perfect night of rest and since breakfast was included in our room rate, we ended up having a satisfying breakfast at the Renaissance.
Pretty standard stuff. What made this for us was the awesome service. Friendly, efficient, just really perfect. Before we left one of the Servers brought us more coffee....in take out cups....a "little something for the morning". The Missus whispered to me, "increase your tip". Now that's a new one! I know it doesn't cost the Servers anything to do these little things, but they make all the difference to us; the customers.
So while we hadn't stayed at the Renaissance in ages, I think this is where we'll be when we return.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel 515 Madison St Seattle, WA 98104
Plus, check out time isn't until noon, so we took another nice little walk.
It had drizzled in the morning, but things had cleared up......but not everyone was enjoying their walk.....
Though by the time we headed down the Waterfront Steps, things were under control.
We headed up Post Alley to another "landmark", the Seattle Gum Wall, which is kinda neat or pretty gross, depending on your point of view.
Still, there's always something interesting to see or experience at Pike Place.
Our flight wasn't until almost 5 pm; as I mentioned earlier check-out time at the Renaissance is at noon, I'm sure I could have requested a late check-out, but we decided to just catch the Link out to Sea-Tac. Icelandair flies out of the 'S' terminal at Sea-Tac, which is our least favorite, but since we were flying Business we got to use the "Club at SEA".......even though there wasn't anything special in terms of food or drink, the comfort and low stress vibe is a welcome change from the usual cattle call.
Flying Business Class on Icelandair was a mixed bag. The seating is like domestic first, which means nothing lies flat....the movie selection is dated.....however, the service is fantastic, and in all honesty, the food was not bad.
Since we travel a few times a year, we do spend quite a bit of time in airports......though not as much as in my consulting days. During most trips we plan rather well with regards to bring something to eat (i.e. Jamon Bellota Sandwiches in Spain, nuts are always good) to the airport. But there are those times we do grab something. And then we get to relax and people, or even puppy watch.
So here are a couple of places we've tried at Airports.
Eat at Joe's (Philadelphia International Airport):
I'm not sure why we ate at Joe's. I do remember that for some reason I was starving....and hey, in spite of this being the airport; it's still Philly, right?
So why not get a Cheesesteak?
I've had some nice Cheesesteak's in Philly....the last time back in 90's, having tried both Pat's and Geno's, though my favorite was Rick's in Reading Terminal Market. This one, won't make me forget any of those.
A bit on the dry side. For some reason the texture reminded me of shipped beef. The flavor was nice; the Amoroso roll was ice cold. The fries, hot, but routine.
The dining area was a mess. First off, shame on the customers for not cleaning up after themselves. But there were also four airport employees who were just standing around goofing off, until their supervisor came along. They'd start cleaning. When the boss left; it was back to monkey business.
Eat At Joe's Terminal B, Philadelphia International Airport
Shake Shack (JFK International Airport ):
During a long layover at JFK, I just couldn't help myself.
Other than the bun, which seemed a bit past its due date; this was quite a nice burger; great char, good seasoning...very moist, and a nice beefiness.
The Missus also enjoyed the burger and said basically what I was afraid to say out loud; "if they come to San Diego; In N Out might be in trouble". Of course, I'm not sure what the price point on that would be, but still, blasphemy! And then of course, I read about the possibility of Shake Shack opening in San Diego on Eater. Check out the comment; it says that they've signed with UTC Redevelopment; which I believe is in charge of Westfield UTC......now those will be some major lines!
After dinner at Hyousetsu no Mon, we decided to take our time walking back to our hotel. There was a wonderful, crisp chill in the air, and for some reason, a holiday feeling that just kind of resonated. Folks were out and about enjoying the Christmas lights and displays in Odori Park. I guess this is why we decided to visit Sapporo. It was just joyfully chill; both figuratively and literally.
Odori Park sure was lit up brightly with a number of displays. There's just something about this place that felt right.
On an interesting note; we really enjoyed the snacks in Sapporo....man, all the shops and samples really lured us in. We bought so many snacks for my MIL, that we had them shipped to her from the Post Office here in Sapporo!
We slept well and awoke the next morning refreshed; though not quite ready to leave.
The Missus had what She has deemed Her favorite breakfast buffet. No kidding.....look at what She ate!
She had always said that shiokara was one of the worst things She's ever eaten. And yet, do you see it on one of Her plates! Apparently things have changed!
I was going to miss the black bean natto, which I loved.
Man, what a breakfast.
We checked out and left a bit early for New Chitose Airport. For some reason, it's one of our favorite airports. It's not super huge, but there are a ton of shops.
With tons of food!
Just in case you needed to pick up some seafood for that person you forgot about......
I think one of the reasons we loved the airport were the easily accessible lockers and all the samples.
There's this one chocolate corn snack that I just loved......melon flavor....I know...me...mister I-don't-really-like-sweets. But man, that was so good. We'd arrived early so we could check out Hokkaido Ramen Dojo in the airport. But ended up stuffed by all the samples folks kept handing to us, that we were too full.
That will have to wait for the next time we're here.
I'm thinking it will be a matter of when; not if.
Before we knew it; we were on our flight, on JetStar Airlines.
I don't sleep in much. Remember what they say about needing less sleep as you get older? I'm not sure I buy into that, but I usually wake at 5am on work days and by 6:30 or so on weekends. But there's something about the weather and coziness of Seattle that just makes you want to sleep in. Or perhaps it was that wonderful dinner and the rather long walk we had the night before. Regardless, by the time I threw back the curtains on our hotel room, it looked like a glorious day.
Our flight wasn't leaving until 5pm, so I had arranged for a late check-out. We'd just loaf around until then. But first, we needed sustenance.
We'd passed by The London Plane, a wine bar, cum bakery, cum specialty food shop, cum cafe the day before. I'd heard of the place, so we stopped in and looked at the brunch menu. The menu looked interesting, so we decided on yet another Matt Dillon shop for Saturday brunch.
Though the rest of the "in transition" Pioneer Square area looked pretty empty, the London Plane was almost half full.
Our Server told us, "I think you got the best seats in the house...." And I don't doubt him. I love watching the timing and coordination of the different stations. An open kitchen means you've got to work really clean....which this place totally did.
Wanna make a food blogger's day? Give them seats at the counter or open kitchen.
We started with the Smashed Avocado and local Albacore Toast ($12).
I believe the albacore was oil poached...still, it was rather dry, and a bit "fishy" to my tastebuds. Guacamole on toast....why didn't I think of that before? I actually enjoyed the avocado - olive oil...the sourdough, which I think is one of the shop's hallmarks is very good and the red pepper...well, not flakes, but crumbs brought a nice mild smoky, pungent, heat to the whole deal.
Take a look at some of my coolking posts over the last couple of years and you'll notice how various vegetables have started to really take up a bigger part in our diet. So there's no wonder that the Missus decided She wanted brunch here after seeing different assortments of vegetables available for brunch.
By far, my favorite were the Roasted Baby Carrots and Red Emporer Onions with pistachios and mint (far left). I really enjoyed the levels of savory sweetness....it never went too far, the light touch of mint really added a nice touch. The Missus loved the roasted delicata squash (duh...) and kale (double duh...) with tahini and pumpkin seed. Nice balance here as folks tend to be rather heavy handed with tahini.
The raw beet, apple, fennel, and celery slaw with walnuts was definitely no shrinking violet, but was a bit too tart for my taste.
One bad thing about having several enjoyable dishes is that as the meal goes on, the higher the expectations. Since I make gravlax at home, the Missus expected the lox in the Salmon lox, potato, pickled peppers, and creme fraiche was going to be something sublime. I guess simply being "lox" was not good enough......
Of course the Missus loved the romanesco........but was less than impressed with the rest of it. Deconstructed; the potato is the "bagel", the pickled peppers the red onion and capers, and the creme fraiche....well, creme fraiche. I would love a bit more dill and something more herbaceous to set this off. Not a bad dish by any means....but while carried out well, quite mundane.
As we left, the dining room was packed, and the shop quite busy. We'd enjoyed our meal here and the service(and the coffee) was quite good as well.
The London Plane 300 Occidental Ave S Seattle, WA 98104
This was a bit more than we'd usually have for breakfast....which left us ready to roll back in bed. Having a late check-out, that's exactly what we did. After all of the walking the last two days, the extra rest was welcomed.
After our nap, we walked around a bit, then checked-out and headed off to SeaTac. Man, the light rail makes everything so easy.
We managed to grab a beer at the airport since we got there early.
And even a grilled cheese and some cheese curds from Beecher's near Concourse C.
Like I learned in Madison; those cheese curds will hold you for a good long time......they were really good; garlic and herb flavor. We didn't get to the grilled cheese until getting home!
Anyway, we had a blast in Seattle; it remains one of my favorite cities. And we surely won't wait another 7 years to return!
Not everything makes it into a post, I've deleted many photos for posts that never got started....that Mariscos place where I got ill, that very good fine meal with no lighting....though unless we're travelling, I usually don't even break out the camera for those type of meals. And the one's I just never got around to.... I've done these "Never Made the Cut" posts before. Here's another batch.....
Recently, "Kha" sent me an email for some Hawaii recommendations, which included some requests for the North Shore.......
One of the places was Mackey's Shrimp Truck.......I sent him a photo and realized I never posted on the place.
Which made me realize that I had photos from meals during our travels that I never posted on. Too much time had passed.....
Sometimes I even had a very good meal, but the lighting was just too bad......like this revisit to The Old Fashioned.
Pickled Pork Hock...pickled egg.....
Nice burger.....and cheese curds of course....
And an adorable Server.......
But that lighting....ick......
I just plumb forgot about our revisit to Fresh Catch....
We enjoyed the poke much more this time around....
The Missus loved the really aged poi.....which was a surprise.....it was really funky.
This last one is from Tunis. It was a surprisingly decent meal......
This was pretty inexpensive as well.... in the Airport in Tunis! Airport staff and flight crew were on the other tables....so I guess this is the place!
So that's it....another Clearing Out the Memory Card post! Have a great weekend!
Getting something to eat during long layovers is a necessary evil. Waiting for flights or connecting flights you're often left with a choice of fast-food joints, pre-packaged foods at high mark-ups. Over the last couple of years airports have started featuring more popular local chains and greater variety. And while I'm still convinced that something is lost in the transition (most notably a nasty Superdawg at Midway Airport) it still makes things interesting. Also, for more interesting posts check out Dennis's posts on airport meals.
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company - Dane County Regional Airport:
In spite of all my trips to Madison, I'd only flown into the local regional airport once. Mainly because I'd be able to justify a rental car if driving from Chicago, which turns out to be a fairly relaxing drive for me. But I quickly banished the thought of driving from Chicago in February.....moi....the guy from Hawaii who lives in San Diego, dealing with the possibility of snow, sleet, ice, or worse? So there I was at the airport at 1230 for a 430pm flight because that's when the airport shuttle ran. I even skipped lunch so I go thru security and looked for something to eat.....and lo' and behold......there was a branch of the Great Dane right in front of me.
I took this as a sign of sorts.......because of scheduling and transportation issues, I hadn't been able to complete my usual rendezvous with deep fried cheese curds on this trip. During my first visit to Madison, I'd had my first dose of those at the Fitchburg location of the Great Dane.
So even though prices were anywhere from $3 - $5 higher then the non-airport locations, how could I ignore the divine placement of the Great Dane, right?
I must say that these were rather disappointing. The curds were quite hard instead of having a nice gooey texture. These were also on the salty side, not anything like versions I'd had previously.
If you've read my previous post on the Great Dane, you realize that this ain't food for the calorie or fat conscious. With that in mind I went all in and ordered the Brat and Bacon Burger....something I also ate before.
Man, this was greasy, even more greasy than expected and I'd had this before! The grease saturated the roll cuasing it to be a mushy mess. The burger was tough and overcooked, though the brat was decent. Not particularly good eats overall.
The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company Dane County Regional Airport
Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food:
Finding out that we'd be flying through Heathrow an acquaintance of mine told me that Gordon Ramsay had a restaurant in terminal 5. He told me that the place has changed the game with regards to airport food. I was indeed a bit curious....we'd seen the brash and bombastic Ramsay on his Kitchen Nightmare show and really wondered......"he talks a good talk, but does he walk the walk?" Since we had four hour layovers in both directions, we thought we'd try something small on our way to Istanbul, if it showed promise, we'd have more on our way back. This seemed prudent, because the prices ain't cheap folks! Personally, I'm not a big fan of Heathrow for a couple of reasons....the signage sucks, this is coming from a guy who has travelled to five continents. They make you sit around in terminal five, which lacks sufficient seating until anywhere from 1 hour to 30 minutes before your flight. Then you have to find your gates. They make you go through additional checks even though you're connecting and charge a rather exorbitant amount for wi-fi. I will say that I find the British accent and slangquite entertaining though. When the security guy wanted a red head who had just gone through the detector to stop you shouted, "hey, you there, GINGER-Girl, please move about to the side please!" Ginger-girl?
The actually entrance to the restaurant can be hard to find initially, but once down that alleyway, everything opens up to a large, wide-open seating area.
We started with something very basic, the Steamed English asparagus, pan fried duck egg , grain mustard dressing (£8.75 - about $16 US at the time).
This was pretty atrocious for a couple of reasons. First that "pan fried" duck egg was cold, had no taste, and the whites were rubbery. It had the look of "buffet eggs", eggs that were cooked in an egg ring, then placed in a hotel pan over sterno to serve during a lunch or dinner buffet. How do I know? I've made these many times during a previous career. The asparagus was tough and fibrous, the lower, very tough portion should have been peeled. The stalks were also severely under-seasoned and the mustard sauce was also fairly bland. I wonder what Mr Ramsay would have said had he come upon this dish at one of his "nightmare" restaurants? Can't fry an egg to order and trim asparagus?
The Crispy Duck Salad with Watercress, chilli, and ginger (£12.50 - over $20 US at the time) was a bit better.
The duck was flavored nicely, sweet, mild five spice flavor, made in the fashion of Chinese style crispy beef. The watercress was nice, though we found some yellowed leaves at the bottom. Couldn't really make out the ginger flavor, but the dressing was nice and we could have used a tad more of it. Still, I'm not sold that this was a twenty dollar salad, even with the airport mark-up.
In the end, we were glad we started small here and decided to skip it altogether on the return trip.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Cousin's BBQ - Dallas Forth Worth Airport:
In case you're thinking that I hate all airport food, that's really not the case. During another one of my trips I had a four and a half hour layover at DFW airport. Now I kinda like terminal B, wi-fi is free, there's enough interesting shops to keep me occupied, and I enjoyed most of my meal at Cousin's BBQ.
Cousin's is a DFW chain of six restaurants, so I figured if I had a meal in this airport, it should be here. Since this was Texas, I decided on the brisket.
First off, I found the sides to be mediocre; the mashed potatoes bland and the gravy like glue. The coleslaw needed a favor infusion and the Texas toast was like cold, stale, buttered bread. Not a big fan of the runny sauce either.
But I really enjoyed the brisket, which I found to have a nice, though light smoke flavor.
I loved the crisp end piece which had a nice balanced flavor, The meat was tender and moist though not falling to pieces.
I felt totally satisfied after this meal. It was probably the best thing I've eaten in an airport in a long time. If I'm ever here again, I'll probably pass on the sides and do a brisket sandwich or something.
In the end, I'm not expecting great food in an airport, decent food that I feel is worthy of the price will do it for me.
Cousin's BBQ Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Terminal B, Gate 28
mmm-yoso!!! is a blog about food. Everybody has to eat. Kirk and His Missus are eating, safely, in another part of the world. ed(from Yuma) is eating mostly in Yuma. Cathy is writing about where she has eaten.
Some people have asked me how I 'find' the restaurants where I eat. Basically, it is drive and stop, looking for where somebody who lives or works nearby would chose for a convenient meal.
The County of San Diego is about 4200 square miles and is home to eight airports in addition to the three airports in San Diego City limits: Lindbergh Field, Brown Field and Montgomery Field.
In El Cajon, Gillespie Field is conveniently located between Highway 67 and a Trolley station. (it's the Northernmost station which has both green and orange lines). It is the oldest and largest of the eight county airports, and the land includes many airport related businesses (flight schools, aircraft storage, repair and maintenance shops, avionics and instrument shops) as well as two Business Parks. About 2000 people are employed nearby. People need to eat.
In the far corner of the automobile parking lot, conveniently located next to the airfield, where private plane owners can also park and walk ...
right next to the Control Tower is the Gillespie Field Cafe. It serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays (and is applying for a liquor license and is open from 4 p.m. until about 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.)
It is open at 6:30 a.m., Monday thru Friday and 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Cafe closes about 2 p.m. on weekdays. On March 1, 2011, Roxanne and Peter, took over the running of the cafe. Roxanne is the waitress, Peter is the chef. There are both an indoor and an outdoor eating area, with an unobstructed view of the airfield. They serve good, diner food. Not gimicky pseudo-diner food. This is the real thing.
I was fascinated by the description of '4-5 eggs' being used to make an omelet (in addition to the 'comes with two' part of the menu).
A "Build Your Own" Omelet ($9.75) made with 4-5 eggs, bacon,sausage, mushrooms and avocado. Fresh mushrooms, crispy bacon, really good breakfast sausage. Sides of cottage cheese and a biscuit with gravy. Good biscuit- fluffy and soft, but almost underdone. I didn't mind not having a crispy crust, because I was mostly using the biscuit as a device to eat the gravy. Great gravy- smooth, with sausage bits and a nice, pleasant combination of Peter's special seasoning including black pepper. Then there was Breakfast Combo #2 ($7.75) (not the weekday specials; the Breakfast menu is four pages, including waffles ). Six wedges ( 3 slices) of French toast, 2 eggs and two bacon. Properly cooked French Toast made with a thicker white bread. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not quite creamy soft as an egg bread would be, but very good and egg soaked and cooked through. I did not need the syrup. The bacon was crispy and not thin but also not really thick. It had a good flavor and just enough saltiness.
Perfect poached eggs. Fresh eggs. Creamy eggs. My kind of breakfast.
Of course, Farmer John's coffee ($1.95)...always fresh and hot pot, since everyone here seems to order it.
One weekday, The Mister was home and we came here for lunch. We had to have a side order of onion rings which are lightly battered and perfectly fried to go with our lunch selections, in this case, hamburger based.
All the burgers are 1/3 pound coarse ground beef, hand formed. The menu says Angus beef. The Patty Melt ($8.29), cooked medium (we were not asked the level of doneness) and topped with a lot of sliced fresh grilled, unburned onions and Swiss cheese, on a very good rye bread, which was not greasy, but lightly grilled. There were almost too many onions, even for me...but I managed. The side of potato salad I chose was good, made with skin on red potatoes, finely chopped carrots and celery. I think it was made with a 'Light" mayonnaise, which I don't crave. The Mister ordered a chili burger on this visit ($9.29) The same 1/3 pound burger, topped with Cheddar and the Cafe Chili on a toasted sesame seeded bun. The chili, made with beans, is really good and I will order it as a meal on another cold day. The cole slaw was fresh and crispy and lightly dressed with a vinegary mayo mix. I added salt and pepper to it.
Even if you are seated indoors, there is a view of the airfield and runway.
Not fancy, not a large place. Good food and lots of "regulars" who eat here. A true diner.
Gillespie Field Cafe 2015 N. Marshall (at Bradley) El Cajon, 92020 (619) 448-0415
We had been planning a trip to Hanoi and Cambodia since we had returned from Peru in September of last year. By the time we hit US soil, the Missus was already pondering our next trip. Over the next 7 months, with the help of "Beach", we slowly saw our plans come to fruition. On the day of our departure, the Missus decided that Jiaozi was our good luck talisman.....on our trip to Peru, Her Mom made us Jiaozi before we left, and since everything had turned out so well, why mess with a good thing? So there we were, running to Ranch 99 Market shopping for the fixins for some dumplings. The Missus, who had unofficially retired from Jiaozi making rolled out the dough, I did the filling, the Missus formed the dumplings, of which I boiled half of the dumplings, and fried the other half.
After a busy morning of Jiaozi making the Missus promptly "re-retired".
"What about tradition, and good luck?" "We'll have to come up with another tradition, good luck is over-rated!"
These were pretty darn good; the chives at the market looked horrible, so we settled for shrimp, Chinese celery, and scallions.
We had packed light.....I mean very light for our 15 day trip. I'm definitely not a "backpacker" like Miss Oishii-eats, and I'm several decades(and probably an entire universe) removed from even remotely thinking of backpacking, but the thought of running through so many locales made the thought of traveling light quite attractive.
For a self-proclaimed "soft American", I think I did pretty good....plus, still-damp T-shirts washed in the bathroom sink felt pretty good in the heat and humidity of Siem Reap.
We turned da' Boyz over to our house sitter, and headed up to LAX. About an hour into our drive the Missus got hungry, and we made a short detour...
Yep, Lee's Sandwiches....cheap, and relatively fast. After getting to the airport, getting through security, and making our way to the our gate, we had our sandwiches.
I still have the same opinion about Lee's, the baguette is too dry, doughy, and the crust too hard, lacking crackle, but for $2.50, this 10 inch Cured Pork(Ba-chi), and Pate will fill you up.
The Missus enjoyed the flavor of the Bi(shredded pork), but it was dry as heck....She chugged down a whole bottle of H2O. I also noticed, that just like in movie theaters, smells carry really far in airports.....so if you happened to be on the same flight as us....yes, that was me....'ol Banh Mi breath.
Lee's Sandwiches(They're everywhere.....) 9261 Bolsa Avenue Westminster, CA 92683
Beach had made our flight arrangements....suggesting that we fly EVA Airways, with Elite Class seats. Boy was that great advice......with the extra leg room I was able to catch 2 or 3 20 minute naps(I'm usually unable to sleep at all on flights). And the Missus liked all the "stuff", like slippers:
And other "stuff"....
I swear, the Missus would have sold Manhattan for a handful of trinkets.....the selection of movies and shows on the "video on demand" touch screens kept us entertained.
The food was an interesting mix of Asian and Western.....each meal had 1 Western type entree(i.e. chicken with pasta), and one Taiwanese-Chinese entree, like the Seafood Rice Porridge:
There were several "snacks" on the way to Taipei....I saw a Guy put away 3 servings of instant noodles! I wonder what his MSG level was????
14 hours later.....we were in Taipei. Here's the flight crew......
The airport in Taipei is interesting......and quite quirky. Here's the huge Hello Kitty/Sanrio area.
In addition to the Sanrio store, there's a children's area, and a television to keep the youngsters hypnotized occupied.
But the most interesting feature of this Pepto-Bismol Pink area is.......the gate....yes, this is the Hello Kitty Gate!
We did notice a large number of males....especially young men, refused to sit in the Hello Kitty area, and sat near the automated walkways...and as far as possible in some cases. I'll have another post on this gate later on.....
With a 4 hour hour layover in Taipei, hunger pangs eventually set in....and we were drawn in by this sign:
It was a pseudo food court, made up to resemble a collection of street food stands...
Yes, we were suckered in.......and ordered a few items. Starting with the Pig's Feet with Rice:
This was the best dish overall....mostly rice, but the sauce was well flavored, as was the 2 pieces of pork.
The Pork and Mushroom Soup
More like a potage...the broth tasted okay....but the pieces of pork were inedible....
A pork steamed bun.....which was an interesting thing, the Missus broke it open, sniffed it, and said, "don't eat this....."
All sucked down with "Coke Light".....it's kinda funny, I haven't had anything with saccharin in a while, so the difference in flavor was very pronounced. This turned out to be one of the more expensive meals on our trip $14 US.