Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VERTS, a New Fast Casual Mediterranean Grill Opens in Downtown Boston

VERTS started in Austin, Texas about five years ago. In that short period of time, this chain of healthy, fast casual Mediterranean grill has grown to 35 locations around Texas and it has now made its way to Boston as its first non-Texas location.
I recently attended the opening party of the Boston location, in the Financial District, to check out the food that makes this chain so fast-growing.
VERTS is a build-your-own concept, and you can choose between rice bowl, quinoa bowl, pita wrap, or salad.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Shuhari Matcha Serves Green Tea and Japanese Snacks on Abbot Kinney

Tea lovers, and especially matcha lovers, head straight to Shuhari Matcha on Abbot Kinney.

Shuhari serves a selection of green tea as well as savory snacks and green tea-based desserts and drinks, like this The Matcha Sundae ($8.50).
Shuhari Matcha
The sundae is made with matcha ice cream, chocolate sauce, corn flakes, and dried raspberries.

Shuhari Matcha Cafe is an interesting business, as they partly funded by the Cool Japan Fund, a joint public-private fund that promotes Japanese culture.
Shuhari Matcha
On a warm LA day, get one of the yuzu matcha sparkler ($5). This was one of my favorites. Lightly sweet, and the yuzu complements the bitterness of the matcha well. They also have other flavors for the sparkler that I'm looking forward to trying next time.
Shuhari Matcha

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes + $100 Fleming's Steakhouse Giveaway!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and there will be lots and lots turkey to devour. Too much turkey, sometimes. Admit it, you also have leftover turkey and have to figure out what to do with it after the big day. Well, Fleming's Steakhouse has offered some easy recipes in which you can use up your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Scroll below to check out Fleming's Thanksgiving leftover recipes and continue on to enter to win a $100 gift card to Fleming's Steakhouse! After all that hard work cooking, you deserve a night dining out. Or you can skip cooking Thanksgiving dinner altogether and head to Fleming's for a 4-course turkey dinner for $39.95.

Turkey Fried Rice

Ingredients: 4 servings
2 Tbsp. sesame oil 1/2 ea. red pepper, 1/4” dice
1/4 ea. yellow onion 1/4” dice 2 small cloves garlic
2 ea. stalks green onions, 1/4” dice
4-5 oz. left-over turkey 1/2” dice 4 Tbsp. frozen peas, thawed
1 ea. large egg, beaten 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Pinch black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice

Preparation Instructions:
Heat sesame oil in a wok on high heat. Add red pepper, onion and rice and sauté for 5 minutes and the rice starts to get a bit crispy on the edges.
Add garlic, green onions and diced turkey and cook for 2 minutes.
Add peas and cook for 2 1/2 minutes tossing all well
Make a well in the center of the wok and add the scrambled egg then stir until cooked breaking up into small pieces.
Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire and black pepper the stir into the rice cooking for 30 seconds.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Chilling at Quebec's Ice Hotel, Hotel de Glace

When Sweden's Icehotel opened in 1990, I dreamed of going there. While I haven't had the chance to go to Sweden at all, luckily I can experience an ice hotel in Canada! Hotel de Glace is open every winter in Quebec, giving vacationers the chance to tour, sleep in, drink in, or even get married in this wintry surroundings.
Hotel de Glace
I decided not to stay at Hotel de Glace, but instead to take a tour of the hotel. In the afternoon, all the rooms of the hotel are open for public tours. In the evening, the hotel is closed to the public and overnight guests can sleep in private.
Hotel de Glace
For the day tour-goers, especially families with children, there's an ice slide they can go on (hey, adults are welcome, too).
Hotel de Glace
Each room has a different theme and decor (think ice sculptures) and the price is different as well. This was one of the most expensive suites (which comes with a private hot tub and bathroom)
Hotel de Glace

Friday, November 4, 2016

Being a Tourist in Boston with Go City Card: From Duck Tours to Museums

Traveling can get expensive, that's a fact. Never mind the flight and the hotels, once you get to your destination, it can cost a lot of money to visit the all the attractions you want to see. Thankfully, you can save money with multi-attraction packages like Go City Card from Smart Destinations.

They recently gave A Traveling Life5 Things to Eat, and me a 3-attraction Explorer Pass to try out. It was our chance to do all the touristy Boston stuff that we haven't done!
Our first attraction was the Boston Duck Tour. We got on the tour at the Science Museum.
The bus goes to Boston Common area and continues on to Back Bay to Copley Square.
It then heads back to Cambridge and near the Science Museum and enters the Charles River from there. The best part is getting in the water!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga's PABU Opens in Downtown Boston

PABU Boston at Millennium Tower from Chefs Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga officially opens today, November 1! PABU is located on the second floor of the Millennium Tower in downtown Boston, right by the Downtown Crossing T station. The restaurant will be serving sushi, izakaya-style dishes, robata, hot pot, and plenty of cocktails and sake.
Chef Michael Mina was a fan of Chef Ken Tominaga's original restaurant, Hana, in Sonoma County, which opened more than 2 dozen years ago. They finally partnered for the opening of PABU in San Francisco, and the partnership continues since.

The cold plates section includes the "Happy Spoon Oyster", of which we got a whole tower of during the opening party.


Happy Spoon oyster (uni, ikura, tobiko, ponzu creme fraiche, $9)
Among the hot dishes, you'll find okonomiyaki, chawanmushi, seared foie gras and more. We tried the Chicken karaage (ginger-soy marinade, spicy mayo, $12)
During the party, we also had the lucky chance to see chef Ken Tominaga in action, breaking down a 240-lb blue fin tuna for our consumption (we didn't eat the whole thing, don't worry).

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