Smoked and Stacked

Not a fan of pastrami, but I loved this sandwich.

Smoked & Stacked opened in DC last fall and it’s brought a range of sandwiches to the Shaw area. Better yet, Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley announced she planned to focus on the eatery towards the end of 2016.

My friend ordered the Chicky Chick, while I ate the Stacked. We both deemed the pastrami would be worthwhile for a return with its delicious flavor in between two pieces of moist milk bread. It’s small, but heavy enough to hold you over till the next meal. Each sandwich came with a sliced pickle on the side.

Smoked & Stacked is located on 1239 9th St NW.

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Overflowing buns

Try Asian fusion at Gigi in Wynwood, Miami.

Gigi‘s giant windows drew me into its space for lunch one weekend. The Asian fusion restaurant looked intriguing especially since it’s located in the Wynwood District. We even spotted a chicken crossing the road as we walked along the road.

The overflowing buns gave us a reason to go back, especially during Monday evening when they cost two for one. Be sure to check out weekly specials such as this sushi dish. Yelpers raved about the cornbread and it’s worth starting with a layer of sea salt half melted butter. Finally, complete your meal with thinly sliced grilled octopus.

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Housemade Udon

Warmed up this winter with a giant bowl of udon.

I curved my typical ramen venture and instead decided to try udon at TsuruTonTan in New York. There’s only a few places in DC that serve up this Japanese dish, but I felt pleased to see New York offered a restaurant that primarily served this bowl with pride. I read a few stories about long waits on Yelp, but I arrived a few minutes after noon on a weekend and didn’t wait more than 10 minutes. Upon entering, I noticed this beautiful wooden carved artwork that reached the ceiling. It’s mesmerizing to look at while waiting for your party or table. The staff, bartenders and ambiance felt welcoming.

We ordered the spicy tuna cones; each came carefully placed in a small box of uncooked rice. It’s the perfect appetizer since it’s raw, cold and almost a tease for more to come. After all, the bowl of udon is huge. I placed my chopstick to show the size of my lunch. I didn’t come near finishing it, but I desperately wanted to. The housemade noodles took home the gold, while my tempura turned half soggy since it stewed in the broth for a few minutes. I suggest ordering the Tsurutontan Deluxe to try a bite of everything. The menu remains extensive with more than 30 bowls to choose from (not including donburi). I also didn’t need to pull up Yelp for pictures since the entire menu features images of every dish.

TsuruTonTan is located on 21 East 16th St in New York.

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Hoodie: Bape.

You know my methods, Watson

Cocktails at Sherlock.

Drinks before my final night out in Seoul! We went to Sherlock, a casual, cozy venue paying tribute to the popular detective. The business provides a magnifying glass along with the cocktail menu upon ordering. Low lighting filled the entire space with mostly candles and small overheads providing any potential sight. If you follow the bar’s social media, you can find clues that might lead to a cocktail prize! It’s actually quite creative (and clever).

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Eating live octopus

My new favorite food.

Yup, I did it. I finally checked off eating a squirming octopus in the streets of Korea. My cousin took me to Gwangjan Market (광장시장) in Dongdaemun just before leaving the homeland. My main goal: eat a freshly killed octopus.

It still squirms in your mouth, but chewing it stops the suction cups from sticking to your tongue. I dipped it in a light soy sauce and also wrapped it in lettuce. We also ate a number of other street foods including ddukbokki (spicy rice cake), sundae (pig’s blood sausage) and odeng (fish cake).

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Itaewon nights

Hyundai Card Center and rice ice cream.

I didn’t believe my sister when she told me a melting pot of cultures could be found in Itaewon. Tourists, foreigners, young adults and more filled the neighborhood’s busy streets. Flags from different countries waved above roads.

We stopped first at Gelati Gelati, an ice cream shop with a unique flavor I deemed a must-try: rice. It tasted similarly to a sugary bowl of carbs, but I also paired with with green tea, which added a nice taste of matcha.

We popped into Anthracite, a coffee shop similar to BAT in that it felt like a unique community space rather than a place to grab a cup of joe. We walked by the entrance to UNDERSTAGE by Hyundai Card where a small area beamed purple lights on furniture. We entered the VINYL & PLASTIC by Hyundai Card store where a mixture of Korean and American music filled the establishment.

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Jacket: 8 Seconds.

Dress: Aqua.

Sneakers: Adidas Core Black Ultra Boost.