Chori- Buenos Aires, Argentina

In the bustling city of Buenos Aires, you’ll find a small corner shop in the Recoleta. The shop is always moving. People go in and out, ordering a choripan to go and occasionally staying to eat. Choripan is an Argentinian specialty– it’s traditionally a chorizo sandwich, but comes in vegetarian and curry varieties. The shop is one of the most famous in Buenos Aires, located on Thames 1653, C1414DDG CABA.

The server spoke perfect English, and recommended the Chori de Cancha, Cerdo Classico, Chori San, and El Regional de Cordero. The Chori San is award-winning, and was certainly my favorite. It was spicy, flavorful, and wrapped up perfectly in that baguette-like bun. The Chori de Cancha annd Cerdo Classico were also very delicious. The Chori de Cancha had a side of chimichurri; that additional Argentinian splash made the sandwich a bit more special. The Cerdo Classico reminded me of some American sandwiches at home, so if you’re looking for something more Argentinian, I would recommend the Chori San instead. On the other hand, the El Regional de Cordero was very unique, featuring yogurt and potatoes. Here’s a snap of some of the best sandwiches at Chori:


We finished lunch with full bellies and an eagerness to walk off all the calories we just gained. The service was excellent. By the time we finished lunch, I’d say about 20 different people walked in and ordered meals. And when we’re hungry, we eat quickly.

For newcomers to Argentina, choripan is a must, and I would highly recommend Chori as a stop. Locals come in all the time, and its sandwiches are award winning among tourists as well. (Pro-tip: get the Chori-San).

Bon appetite and a Happy New Year!

Anya

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

ROUX Restaurant- Buenos Aires, Argentina

Welcome to Buenos Aires, where the hot, humid air sticks to your skin and the streets are bustling with people.

I’m currently on my way to Antarctica, land of ice and penguins, traveling from the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. At the start of my Antarctic journey, though, I was in Buenos Aires for Christmas Eve dinner.

You could hear the noise from the houses– children were waiting till midnight to open presents, and fireworks cracked in the distance. So the streets were empty that day, but the restaurants were completely booked with families looking for a relaxing Christmas eve dinner.

We ate at Roux Restaurant, located at PeΓ±a 2300, C1126ABF CABA. Roux had a special Christmas Eve menu: one, paired with wine, and the other, with fewer courses and without wine. Since I’m not drinking age, I of course opted for the Christmas menu without a wine pairing. It’s a good thing too– the food was so much I don’t think I would have been able to finish a few extra courses! It was a four hour meal, but the food was downright delicious, and the company (as usual) fabulous.

Below (Top, wine-paired menu; bottom, regular menu)

Dinner began with gazpacho andaluz and red herring. The gazpacho was especially delicious; the herring reminded me a little of foie gras (though not as creamy). The appetizers were a great way to start our dinner off, setting our taste buds for the rest of the evening.

The first dish was a plate of delicious croquettes, crunchy on the outside, warm on the inside. Croquettes are pretty popular in Argentina; in fact, I’ve seen them at several restaurants already!

For our next course, we were served osso buco ravioli with tomato sauce, mushroom, and saffron. While the osso buco, a veal specialty, was an interesting addition to the ravioli, the tomato and mushroom combination seemed a bit ordinary for a first class meal. That said, the osso buco is what made the dish unique, and its not often that I get to say I had osso buco ravioli for dinner.

Black Angus Steak is one of Argentina’s specialties. Served with a delicious pumpkin puree, the steak was hands-down the best savory part of the meal. The puree was soft and creamy, and the steak was cooked medium rare, just the way I like it.

The presentation was also outstanding. It’s always a bonus when dishes both taste and look beautiful.

After several courses and an enlarged tummy, I was left with only room for dessert (they say that those with dessert stomachs live longer! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding. They don’t say that. But I wish!). Dessert was a homemade dulce de leche– dare I say, the best dulce de leche I had in Argentina. And I had quite a few, since they were served at almost every restaurant. The dulce de leche was perfectly sweet, and with a side of coconut ice cream, deliciously refreshing.

Dessert topped even the steak. As a steak lover, that means a lot.

While dinner was very expensive, it was definitely worth dressing up for. An amazing Christmas Eve dinner.

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 1/2

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

sophisti-kids

P.S. Over 2000 followers on my instagram food account, @inspector_food! Thank you to everyone who’s supported me, featured me, and took a picture with a foodie trying to make her way in the world.

Here’s a picture with the Chef at Roux to close off the Christmas Holiday. Cheers!

Dominique Ansel Bakery- New York City, NY

Dominique Ansel is one of the most prominent bakeries in the area– it’s so famous, in fact, that there’s a line out the door every morning. Most people are there for their famous cronuts, but Dominique Ansel also sells other goods, like croissants and meringues and breakfast sandwiches.

This visit to New York was the first time I had a cronut, that’s a half croissant, half donut. Dominique Ansel served as the pioneer of the cronut, and that’s one of the reasons there’s such a long line out the door. But the cronut’s not the only amazing thing at Dominique. I did love it, but their Kouign Amann and meringue were equally delicious.

We ordered an unhealthy amount of pastries, but above all, my favorite thing was this:

Yeah, it’s pretty much the most blogworthy thing on the planet. Not only was it my favorite sweet at Dominique, but it was also probably the best thing I’d had in New York. The raspberry mixed with the meringue was mouth-watering, and the presentation was something else.

The meringue alone convinced me of wanting to go a second time (and a third and fourth and fifth). But combined with the croissants and kouign amann and cronuts, I was sure after that visit that Dominique Ansel was the best bakery ever. Mark my words, the next time I’m in New York, I’ll be visiting at least once a day. The lines are worth it.

Dominique Ansel: πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ (and maybe even a half more)

Signing off,

Anya

IPPUDO NY- New York City, New York

Every year, my mom and I go on a mother daughter trip to New York. She’s hoping that it’s a tradition that’ll last even when I’m in college. It’s every Labor Day weekend, and each year, we start out at IPPUDO Ramen. As ramen lovers, we find that eating at IPPUDO for our first meal is a sure way of starting out the trip right.

IPPUDO NY has two locations, but most people go to the one on 4th avenue. It opens at 10:30, but there’s always a wait and a long, long, line. That’s how you know it’s good.

When you finally get seated (don’t be upset, it’s worth the wait!), the waiters welcome you to your table in cheery Japanese. We actually asked our waiter about this, since most of them don’t start out knowing Japanese at all. Every waiter and every person in the open kitchen usually knows about 20-40 words each. It’s a part of their training, and definitely adds to the ambiance and authenticity of the restaurant.

I usually go with the Akamaru Modern, and add Bakudan, which is a spicy paste they put in Ramen. The only naturally spicy ramen is the Karaka-men, but bakudan can add spice to any ramen too. The Shiromaru Hakata Classic is another really popular one.

For starters we usually go with the IPPUDO pork buns, but we also got the karage chicken. The pork buns were disappointing simply because last time, I remember them being absolutely delicious. I think the house changed the sauce (now there’s an excess of mayonnaise), but the pork itself was still the same.

Now that we’ve tried karage chicken, we always order it at ramen restaurants. It’s a crispier chicken because they only use the leg, and they usually pair it with some kind of delicious citrusy sauce or peppers.

Karage chicken is now an “always order” for me, a perfect appetizer (you can’t go wrong).

The kitchen is unbelievingly fast with the food, and everything is very filling, so come in hungry. The Akamaru Modern ramen comes in a big red bowl, with my bakudan on the side.

I’ve said before that I love the meat in ramen– it’s always slow-cooked, delicious, and melt-in-your-mouth. IPPUDO’s meat tops that list, and their broth is always flavorful and hot.

Since the last time I went, IPPUDO definitely hasn’t gotten less busy or gone downhill. Its ramen is a full meal– you’ll be set for the entire day. The waiters are super accommodating, and the kitchen is always fast with the orders.

You won’t be disappointed.

See you next year, IPPUDO!

乾杯,

Anya

Mochicream- Torrance

Mochicream has long been one of my favorite places, up there with Tpumps and Amorino. They’re basically a gourmet mochi place, with flavors like double mango, raspberry mille feuille, caramel pudding, and honey raspberry. Those are my favorites, at least.

Since I’m not a big fan of red bean or matcha, Mochicream gives me the liberty of choosing flavors I love, like delicious caramel pudding. For red bean and green tea lovers, however, Mochicream also has those flavors available. I got a set of 10 mochis, and while they’re pretty expensive, averaging about two dollars each, I would much rather pay for it than sub par mochis elsewhere.


Cross-section!


Since Mochicream will always be one of my favorites, I’d give it nothing less than πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ !

For mochi lovers everywhere!

Anya

Shiso Burger- Berlin

Looking for a burger place in Berlin isn’t hard. But unlike most other burger places in Berlin, Shiso is fusion, and they use much smaller buns than other restaurants.

It’s busy, and a bit hot, but the twisted potatoes are worth it. Let me explain. Many European cities and small markets sell twisted potatoes as a cheap eat– they’re crispy, twirled around on a stick, and probably bad for you.

But I love them, and it’s so worth it. They’re better than french fries, and better than chips.

With my favorite chips as an appetizer, I shared 4 small burgers for my main. The best of these was the chili lemon burger, but the cheeseburger, shiso, and bulgogi burger were also quite good. The shiso and bulgogi burger were the most unique; in place of the meat, they offered tuna and bulgogi instead.

I wasn’t a fan of the buns, they were soggy, and soft, and I like my buns crispy! They’re also rather difficult to share, but the portion size is small enough that you can have one on your own and order an appetizer as well. It’s also supposed to be one of the better burger places in Berlin, and while I’ve certainly had better, this was still quite good.

Shiso Burger: πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 3/4

-Anya

Katz Orange- Berlin

A modern eatery known for their slow-cooked eats, Katz Orange works as a “food lab”, experimenting with different flavors and techniques. Their menu is extensive, with many different food options, and for their slow cooked meats, they even offer “second helpings”.

We started out with some bread and butter, and I got a pink grapefruit vanilla soda, which was delicious, fizzy, and sweet for summer.

After drinks, we ordered appetizers, beginning with the ceviche, which was okay, but not impressive. The ceviche at Mossel and Gin was far better in my opinion, with subtle flavorings and soft fish, whereas this was more harsh and cutting in its flavor and texture.

We then loaded up with food, duroc pork (slow-cooked of course) and spreewald lamb, ordered with sides of green pea mash and braised carrot. As another appetizer, we ordered the french fries with dipping sides of tarragon mayonnaise, avocado-tomate, and mojo rojo.

The full extent of our food that night is this:

Looks heavenly, tastes heavenly.

The pork and lamb came in twin containers, but the pork is the specialty, served with pickled cauliflower on the side. The sauces in the picture accompany each meat. Seconds of each dish are also served (when asked for πŸ™‚ ).

Here’s a close up of the green pea mash, which I thought went excellently with the meat. The cashews on top also added to the rougher, more nutty texture to the dish.

We chose three sauces for our fries, but the best was by far the tarragon mayonnaise. They make their sauces themselves, and it pays off, as does the fact that the french fries are cooked in delicious organic goose fat.

The roasted carrots were my favorite of the sides we got with the meats; they came with delicious chanterelle mushrooms, and frankly tasted a bit candied.

I may have single-handedly polished off the carrots and pork by myself. πŸ˜‰

While the main meal was better than dessert, the dessert was delicious as well, with caramel lemon overtones.

It came with a side of lavender ice cream, subtle, but taste-changing at the same time.

Cheers, to Katz Orange.
πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

-Anya

John Dory- Amsterdam

It’s easy to underestimate how small Amsterdam is. As frequent travelers, my family tends to walk everywhere they go, in every city we fly to. Amsterdam, however, is so small, that you can traverse the whole thing and it seems like we don’t even miss a beat! As a consequence, we arrived at our reservation for John Dory a full hour early.

Luckily, they were open, but only for drinks, so we leisurely sipped for a while before ordering our food. They did let us order quick snack– oysters to share.

After a little bit of a wait but some great conversation, we decided to start ordering from their delicious (though limited) menu, which I’ll include a picture of here.

The deal was you could choose however many dishes you wanted of whatever combination, according to the course prices at the bottom of the picture. I chose the mackerel, the octopus, and the dessert featured on the left-hand side of the page. The dessert was a special, and the waiter kindly recommended the other two dishes. πŸ™‚

Before our mains, the kitchen came out with some surprise amuse bouches. And they were absolutely wonderful!!

I loved the beautiful arrangements, and the amuse bouche at the bottom of the picture was one of my favorites of the whole meal. It was crunchy, I believe filled with crab, and perfect for the appetite. Sort of like savory ice cream cones. πŸ™‚

The mackerel was the best of my mains, with an amazing pumpkin flavor and a beautiful edible flower to top. Truly, this dish was Michelin worthy, though John Dory is not a Michelin restaurant.

Although the octopus was amazing, I think I would have liked it better had it not been for the peanut sauce on the side. I rarely like peanut sauce on my food, so I admit that bias. But I can hardly see how anything could compare to the gushes of flavor and beautifully placed sides on the mackerel.

The dessert lived to it’s hype on the menu, with a gushing lava cake in the middle (it’s made to share) and whipped cream and caramel on our separate plates.


Hot, melting chocolate. Yum.

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 1/2

Monte Pelmo- Amsterdam

Please do not do the following stunt at home. It should be said that we did all these ice creams in one day, and let me just tell you that that was a BAD idea. And that’s even after a full meal.

Monte Pelmo is number one on the list, so thankfully, we stopped after that (for Amsterdam, at least). It’s a very busy shop, especially on a hot day. It’s on an alley with other small restaurants, and the poor employee there must have to work doubletime with all the people inside!

Also rarely served in the US, passionfruit has always been one of my favorite flavors, with a unique summery glow foodies crave. Tart, sour, sweet, and refreshing all at the same time, I got in in a cone (with another cone on top because that’s what foodies DO!).

Ahhhhhh…. ice cream makes for such beautiful foodie pictures. I definitely have a love affair with ice cream.

Cheers!

Anya

Jordino Haarlemmerdijk- Amsterdam

Back on my mission to try all the best ice creams in Amsterdam! Previously, I did Banketbakkerjj Van der Linde, the ice cream shop with only one deliciously creamy flavor of ice cream. The link to that post is here at http://www.sophisti-kids.com/2017/07/24/banketbakkerjj-van-der-linde-amsterdam/.

Jordino is number 4 on that list, run by a cute old man who also serves up homemade delicacies like cannolis and champagne truffles.

There are so many delicious ice creams in his shop, but the one that looked most appealing to me was the smurf ice cream. The novelty of it drew me in, I’d never seen a smurf ice cream in the US before.

He served it to me in a sugar cone, and it made for an excellent picture. My conclusion is that smurf ice cream is SO GOOD! It tastes like marshmallows, but blue! AKA exactly what you’d think a smurf would taste like, if that makes sense. πŸ™‚ It’s a little sweeter than other European ice creams, but I really didn’t mind because a) marshmallows and b) smurfs.

I SCREAM YOU SCREAM WE ALL SCREAM FOR

ICE CREAM!

Anya

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚