I lived in Seattle for a few months and really got a taste of all that this port city has to offer, from seafood to pho. There are a few standout chains that are worth visiting to really understand Seattle’s culture, and there’s no better way to capture that than through food. Here are my recommendations: Continue reading
Pho is the best food out there, don’t @ me
If there’s a dish I have to eat once a week, it’s for sure pho. I’ve often described it as a hug in your stomach because of how comforting and warm it is, and I am truly convinced that it is the best thing you could ever eat—here’s why: Continue reading
I ate a lot of açai bowls growing up in Hawaii and missed them dearly when I moved out to the East Coast. It was always something I had to eat every time I went home. Somehow this phenomenon made it out to other smoothie shops/healthy restaurants around the continental U.S., so of course it wound up in New York.
There was one day where I was really craving an açai bowl and found a restaurant that made them in my neighborhood. I was so excited to try it and paid $8 for a bowl, but when I took a bite, it was extremely disappointing. It lacked flavor AND there will still large ice chunks. So I sat there and had a revelation that I could probably make a better açai bowl at home. So I did.
Behold: my açai bowl recipe. Continue reading
Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in the country with locations in Williamsburg and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It opened in 2011 and there are more than 100 local vendors each weekend. It’s definitely worth visiting if you have never been, however it can be overwhelming if you do not navigate it properly. I have been many times over the past couple of years and have learned a few lessons. Personally, I prefer the Williamsburg location because it’s more convenient from where I live, and other reasons that I will get into. Here are my tips: Continue reading
Last weekend, I went to Chinatown and was on the hunt for something a little birdie on the Internet told me about: iced rainbow lattes.
The unicorn trend is all the rage right now, and quite frankly, I’m over it. So I was intrigued to try this colorful latte at an Australian-Chinese café on Doyers Street called The Good Sort.
As you can tell by my photo, this latte is the perfect, colorful pick-me-up on especially gloomy spring days (it happened to be raining when I went). And another added bonus? It’s actually healthy for you.
Each layer of the latte is a different ingredient, but all together it packs beetroot, blue algae, turmeric, coconut sugar, vanilla bean, black pepper, cayenne pepper, agave, and three different types of milks: almond, coconut, and oat. It’s no wonder that it costs $8.
Also, each layer tasted different. I could definitely taste the spices once I got to the yellow turmeric layer, and that kept the whole drink interesting.
In comparison to Starbucks’ short-time stint of the Unicorn Frappuccino (which I shamelessly tried), this is 100% tastier (and better for you). I liked the Unicorn Frappuccino, but it did just taste like I was drinking all of the sugar—and blue sour powder. What even is that?
Beyond the rainbow latte, The Good Sort offers homemade sweet and savory congee, gluten-free and vegan bakery items, and other superfood lattes, such as sesame and activated charcoal, and blue algae. The interior is also adorable with millennial pink walls, a collection of records, and flower decor.
Overall, my verdict is that an $8 latte is worth it only if you want it to be. In my opinion, it’s all to do it for the ‘Gram. The photos you’ll end up taking of the rainbow iced latte or anything you order will be 👌
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here (apologies!). Since I last wrote on here, I worked as a food and drink writer with The Daily Meal and also launched my very own website: Samantha Lea. But I am back here today to report something extremely important: I have finally visited In-N-Out Burger and can finally weigh in on the great debate: Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out.
I recently met up with my parents in California and after asking them why we had never visited In-N-Out before, they agreed to go and drove straight there when they picked me up from the airport.
In case you may not know, the debate between these two burger chains are quite fierce. Shake Shack first started out in New York under restaurateur Danny Meyer and went public in January 2015. As of writing this, there are 129 locations around the world.
In-N-Out currently has 313 locations, however they are all native to the Southwest and Pacific regions of the U.S. and remains independently owned. That being said, In-N-Out is the winner in my book, and for a few reasons.
Prices: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack
First, you cannot beat In-N-Out’s prices. A Double-Double cheeseburger is $3.45 and comes with two beef patties with no additives, fillers, or preservatives; two American cheese slices; lettuce; tomato; onions (sliced or grilled); and the special sauce between two toasted buns. It’s the same recipe they have used since 1948, so we’re talking about almost 70 years of an unchanged menu. A Double ShackBurger at Shake Shack costs $8.35—the single is $5.55. It’s served with two all-natural Angus beef patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce on a non-GMO potato bun.
Sauces: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack
Speaking on the ShackSauce, I cannot explain my distaste for it. I have no idea what’s in it, however the internet tells me that it’s mayo, ketchup, yellow mustard, dill pickles, garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne, but for me the garlic flavor comes out too much. On the other hand, In-N-Out’s sauce supposedly contains mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. I’ll take Worcestershire sauce over garlic powder any day.
Toppings: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack
I need to take a moment to acknowledge how much lettuce In-N-Out adds to the burgers and how they are so fresh and crunchy, as well as the tomatoes. I never thought I could appreciate lettuce and tomato on a burger, but In-N-Out sure made me a believer.
Fries: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack
I will say that although I appreciate the In-N-Out’s fries are not crispy and are fried in cholesterol-free vegetable oil, I cannot deny that Shake Shack’s crinkle cut fries are delicious, as an avid French fry eater. I liked ordering the animal style fries at In-N-Out, but it was a bit much for me. The cheese fries at Shake Shack are more of my speed.
Milkshakes: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack
I ordered the black and white shake at In-N-Out, which is chocolate and vanilla, and it tasted malty and well-balanced. Shake Shack may have more flavors, but I find them too decadent and sickeningly sweet for my liking. However, Shake Shack does make a mean lemonade, and I will give them that.
Simple really can be better sometimes, and I completely respect In-N-Out for not going public. Even if it would mean more money for them, I believe that it compromises the integrity and quality.