Seattle Trip “Trader Joe’s”

Friends have told us about Trader Joe’s and raved about how different they are from other grocery stores. We don’t have TJ’s in Canada and have always planned to check out TJ’s the next time we’re near Seattle. We found one in Everett on the way to Seattle.

TJ’s products are private labeled. They are known for their low prices and boasted the fact that each and every item in the store are tasted by their own panel. Only items they like are sold to the public. If you don’t like the things you bought, you could always return them, with no questions asked.

Since we’re travelling we just bought a couple of snacks for the trip, although there are so many other stuff we wanted to buy too. We bought a bag of TJ’s Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips for $1.99.

_MG_6873_edited-1

The tortilla chip is really good. It has a flaxseed (like sesame seed) embedded on the chips which gives it a nutty flavour. The spiciness was just right. We couldn’t stop munching them in the car.

_MG_6874_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading Seattle Trip “Trader Joe’s”

Seattle Trip “The City”

The Space Needle is definitely the most recognizable landmark in Seattle. The Needle was built in 1982 1962 (Helena pointed out that the Needle was built in 1962, not 1982. Amazing, over 40 years old!) as the central showcase of the Expo. We had been up on the Space Needle before and so did not go up there again on this trip.

_MG_6877_edited-1

At the Seattle Centre (where the Space Needle is located), there is a dome shaped fountain called the International Fountain. It was a pretty hot day and there were a lot of people cooling off near the fountain.

_MG_6910_edited-1

No visit to Seattle is complete with making a visit the Pike Place Market. This is the place where the first Starbucks shop was opened. We tried looking for it in the Market but could not find it. We found one across the street but I don’t think it’s the original one. Do you know where that original Starbucks is?

_MG_6958_edited-1

The purple coloured cauliflower caught our attention.

_MG_6953_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading Seattle Trip “The City”

Seattle Trip “Bite of Seattle”

The Bite of Seattle is an annual affair held at the Seattle Center. The 2006 event is the northwest premier food festival and hosts more than 50 restaurants, 30 food product companies and other food and beverage related events. We were there primarily for the food.

When we got there at about 2 pm, there were already a lot of people. Couple with one of the hottest days, it was quite unbearable really. Our main grouse is that the organizers did not have a proper eating area with tables and chairs. So, most people ended up eating on the lawn under trees.

_MG_6880_edited-1

The below is Alligator Meat. It tastes a lot like chicken to me and do wonder if they really are alligator meat. A skewer costs $5 … it better had to be alligator meat for that kind of money!

_MG_6882_edited-1

The Louisiana Crab Cake costs $5 and is served over dirty rice and lemon garlic and tomato wine sauce. We’ve never tried this before but frankly, this does not stand up to Chinese style dish of the same sort. I guess we’re not used to having so much sauce drowning the rice.

_MG_6883_edited-1

The Salmon and Cream Cheese Piroshky is a Russian food very much described as a pocket pastry. It appears deep fried. It is crusty on the outside and has a pillowy pastry just under it.

_MG_6890_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading Seattle Trip “Bite of Seattle”

Seattle Trip “McDonald’s Breakfast”

We just made a two-day trip over the weekend last week. This time was to Seattle to check out the Bite of Seattle event. We have never been to the Bite of Seattle and was really captivated by the scale of the event on the website. They appear to be much bigger than the EAT! Vancouver event here. So, here we go again … another series of blog on food and of our short visit.

Since we had to leave early, Suanne wanted to have breakfast out instead of getting up way too early to prepare breakfast, not to mention the time needed to clean-up. We went to the McD outlet in the Ironwood Mall.

IMG_6849_edited-1

The things we do for a blog these days! What we ordered was different sets of Extra Value Meals — McGriddles, McMuffins and Bagels. Besides the sandwich, the Extra Value Meal includes coffee/hot chocolate and Hash Browns.

IMG_6852_edited-1

We like their hashbrowns very much — made to perfection, if you ask me. Total calories 150.

IMG_6853_edited-1

The first sandwich is the Breakfast BLT (that’s Bacon Lettuce Tomato) Bagel. Looks pretty but seems very dry … need to wash it down with lots of coffee. That’s 430 calories.

IMG_6854_edited-1

Next on the list is the Sausage McMuffin with Eggs. The sausage (in the form of a patty) looked juicy. We liked the melted cheese look on the bun — does makes it look more appealing, doesn’t it? The bun looked dry. This has a bit more calories: 440.

IMG_6855_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading Seattle Trip “McDonald’s Breakfast”

Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast at DeDutch Pannekoek House

We saw some travel brochures saying that DeDutch has the “Best Breakfast in Kelowna” and decided to try that for breakfast instead of the ho-hum fare that the hotel dishes out for free. There were a few DeDutch’s in Vancouver but we have never eaten in them before.

Despite that name DeDutch is a BC company with franchises around BC only. Their specialty is a dutch pancake called Pannekoek.

_MG_6778

Knowing how large the servings are we ordered three different types to share. We simply had to try their Pannekoek and opted for their Farmers (Boer’s) Pannekoek. This huge plate costs $14.49.

_MG_6785

Pannekoek is similar to the traditional pancake and is slightly thicker then crepe. The dish consists of Hash Browns, Ham, Bacon, Bratwurst, and Hollandaise Sauce.

_MG_6786 (more…)

Continue Reading Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast at DeDutch Pannekoek House

Kelowna Trip Report: Picking Cherries

The highlight of our trip to Kelowna is picking cherries. On the first day we were there we went to a cherry farm on Westbank. We had been to this farm before but were pleasantly surprised at the abundance newly ripe cherries on the trees.

_MG_6714

Picking cherries is simple. You need to pick it with the stems on. This will keep the cherries fresh longer. The man in charge of the farm showed us how best to pick cherries — basically, you push the stem up and snap off the stem.

_MG_6699

The cherries in the Westbank farm is free of pesticides but is a bit small compared to larger ones we see in the stores. They a bit soft and not crunchy.

_MG_6791

You really need to climb ladders to get to the better fruit. The lower ones were gone very fast. We need to make sure that the ladder is stable. In all, we picked about 11 lbs of cherries from the Westbank farm. Each lb costs $1.25.

_MG_6715 (more…)

Continue Reading Kelowna Trip Report: Picking Cherries

Kelowna Trip Report: KFC in the Park

By the time we got near Kelowna, it was already noon. We took a few stops along the way to enjoy the scenery. Below is our first glimpse of the Okanagan Lake. The Okanagan is a longish and deep lake stretching north south for 120 kms. The area is famous for their fruit production and tourism.

_MG_6662

The drive into Kelowna will pass through the West Bank on the western side of the lake.

_MG_6668

We decided to get something to eat in a park by the lake. It was a great day to be out in the sun. We went and got a bucket of KFC fried chicken in Westbank.

_MG_6670 (more…)

Continue Reading Kelowna Trip Report: KFC in the Park

Kelowna Trip Report: Snacks on the Road

It takes about 4 hours in all to get from Vancouver to Kelowna. I think it’s about 400 km in all. We took Highway 5, which is better known as the Coquihalla Highway. This is the more scenic route as it climbs up very rugged and spectacular scenery.

_MG_6638

Along the route, there are a lot of creeks and rivers. We stopped by one of them for a few minutes.

_MG_6624

There are hundred of miles of greenery along the route. I am always amazed with the sheer size of the forests in British Columbia. BC is beautiful because of the abundance of nature.

_MG_6643

For the past few years, the mountain pine beetle has infested much of the forests. It is a major concern in BC because there is no effective way to contain the infestation. The only effective way to contain the beetles is to have a prolonged freeze of -40C to kill them off. Winter never gets that cold in this part of BC.

You can see that the infestation has taken root with the forest turning flaming red. This is the beginning of the end of the tree and within a couple of years, they will completely die and turn the scenery grayish.

_MG_6809 (more…)

Continue Reading Kelowna Trip Report: Snacks on the Road

Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast in #9 Restaurant

Every summer we always had plans for vacation away from Vancouver. However, this year, it’s difficult to get a week or two off on a stretch. So we decided instead to take a day off here and there and make a long weekend for s short trip nearby.

Last weekend we decided to make a short trip to Kelowna. It’s cherries season at this time of the year. This is the start of the series of our blog on our Kelowna Trip. Hope you enjoy it.

We started off from home early — at 6:30am — because the road trip itself will take about 4 hours non-stop. So, we decided to go out for breakfast. About the only restaurant opened at such time is the #9 Restaurant (a.k.a. Kau Kee in Cantonese) in the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond.

IMG_6589

The #9 Restaurant is opened 24 hours and they have a steady stream of customers, even at 2am in the morning. However, when we were there at 6:30am, there were only about 3 tables of customers. The #9 Restaurant is a Cantonese restaurant but they not only make traditional Chinese food but they do also serve western-style food like spaghetti, fries, sandwiches, etc.

_MG_6590

Arkensen ordered the breakfast meal consisting of scrambled eggs, toasts, bacon strips and hash browns. The dish costs $5.20.

_MG_6598

Cantonese / Hongkong restaurants are famous for their milk tea (lai-char). It’s a creamy and rich black tea served with evaporated milk. Most people like it sweet and add granulated sugar. Not ordering this with chinese breakfast is like not ordering Coke with a Big Mac.

_MG_6596 (more…)

Continue Reading Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast in #9 Restaurant

London Trip Report Day 9 “Harrods”

Today is my last day in London. My flight is in the late afternoon. I thought I should just take advantage of some time in the morning to get to some places I did not manage to visit. I went to Harrods in Knightsbridge.

Harrods is an upmarket department store with over 1 million square feet of retail space. In particular, their food hall has been famous for their variety and quality.

_MG_6307_edited-1

There were a lot of tourists waiting to get in. I see many people taking pictures at the entrances. As in many places I’ve been to, photography is not allowed in the store.

_MG_6309_edited-1

I went straight to the food hall since I got to get back to the hotel and then to the airport. The food was very impressive. The food displays were well laid out. There are actually a few side-by-side food halls in all, including a small Krispy Kreme instore. (more…)

Continue Reading London Trip Report Day 9 “Harrods”