Tag Archives: food review

Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

RAMEN #1: The Ramen Butcher

The Ramen Butcher is one of the best ramen places in Vancouver! 

Located in Chinatown, and a short walk away from the Main Street – Science World station. It’s a very small shop, with cute decor. Might be difficult to get a table, especially during peak times, or if you have a big group. But a great place to bring a date! 

   

This was my second time going to Butchers (what my friends and I call the restaurant), and both times we have splurged and ordered more than we should. Last time I had the Shoyu Ramen. It was a light broth, quite oily but that’s normal, great if you don’t want anything too rich. I also got the truffle gyoza, which has gotta be the most flavorful explosion ever. It’s basically gyozas with cheese and a truffle aioli on top. It’s so incredibly delicious, it feels almost guilty to eat.

 

This time, I coincidentally went during happy hour, so of course I had to order off the happy hour menu. My boyfriend got the Aburi Chashu and green basil Ramen. The Aburi Chashu was very disappointing. It’s a tiny bowl of little pieces of Chashu, that are a bit chewy and bland. Chashu should be a fatty piece of marinated pork that is seared, but it seemed to lack that fat and flavor. The green basil Ramen, is a combination of the Tonkotsu broth along with basil paste and Parmesan cheese. It’s almost like a pasta, since it’s so creamy and cheesy.

For myself, I ordered the cheese gyoza and the Ramen flight off the happy hour menu and added a chicken Karaage don to make it a combo. The cheese gyoza is a level down from the truffle gyoza, but still really good. For the Ramen flight, you get half a bowl of their classic Tonkotsu Ramen and then you get to choose either red and spicy, green basil, black garlic or orange miso for the other half. I actually really like garlic flavored things, so of course I wanted to try the black garlic flavor. It has a roasted garlic kind of taste, and I liked how it wasn’t overbearing, since black garlic a strong flavor. The black garlic went really well with the super creamy broth. The chicken Karaage don is some fried chicken on top of a bowl of rice. The chicken wasn’t crunchy but it tasted really good with the mayonaise and lemon juice on top. The rice is just plain Japanese short grain rice, so I added the Ramen broth, and IT WAS BOMB. Soup and rice go hand in hand. I was so incredibly full that I couldn’t finish the classic Ramen bowl, so I got to enjoy it later that night. I can’t get over how creamy the soup is.

On average I spend $20 at Butchers, but that’s because I order way more than I can eat. One bowl is enough to fill me up, and that would me about $11.50, or $10 during happy hour. They even give you an extra bowl of noodles for free, since the there will always be leftover broth. This place is WORTH it.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

POKE #2: Hula Poke

I have this addiction to poke, and I was downtown surrounded by poke, so I decided to try the closest one.

I was doing a photo shoot with my friend, and I needed a quick bite. In the Pacific Center food court, this cute new place opened, Hula Poke. It’s probably the prettiest looking place in the food court. They have a nice aesthetic, and they even have cool wooden utensils. I was a little disappointed that they don’t give you the option of creating your own bowl, since of course, I am the pickiest of eaters. Although they do let you pick what kind of protein (fish, etc) and what kind of rice. So there are all these flavors with their descriptions. The employee was nice and asked if I had any questions. It was kind of a hard decision with the overwhelming menu, but I tried to skim through the descriptions as fast as  I could (because I was starving).

I went with the one that wasn’t spicy, and had things I didn’t dislike, called Yuzu. Here’s what was in the bowl:

  • yuzu
  • ginger sesame
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • edamame beans
  • carrot
  • furikake
  • black sesame
  • crispy onions
  • kale

I also chose ahi tuna and coconut house blend rice. 

Honestly, I did not enjoy it. Maybe because I have a taste for unhealthy things and this was too healthy tasting for me. The fish, avocado, carrots, furikake and yuzu were good. But I feel like the kale didn’t go well with the bowl. Maybe I just don’t like kale. Also I thought that the coconut house blend rice had a weird texture, and did not taste coconut-y at all. I’m used to poke having a good amount of sauce mixed in, and this bowl was very minimal.

It reminds me more of salad than poke. So if you like salad this is the place for you! But if you’re a kid who doesn’t like eating her veggies like me, it’s time to walk to Poke Time or Pokeritto. Another thing, this bowl was about $12 and it felt small and not filling. But of course, it is downtown Vancouver and an average price for poke. I have to say, so far this is my least favorite experience with poke, but that’s because of how picky I am.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

SANDWICHES#1: Smokehouse Sandwich Co.

Not too sure what cuisine sandwiches would be under…

I didn’t know where to get lunch after class today, so I looked on google maps, which is how I like to decide on a place to eat.  I totally forgot about this little hidden gem in Downtown Vancouver. I’ve eaten in the Vancouver location once before, but the Richmond location is way more official. The Smokehouse Sandwich Co. downtown is hidden in an office tower, that overlooks a beautiful courtyard. Such a relaxing place to eat, especially if you’re alone, and on a nice day, like today.

The staff is really nice, they even gave me a free drink, a hot cup of honey ginger lemon. They gave me a free drink last time I came here too, which was a while ago. Although, it’s a free drink, I don’t like ginger… But I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried to finish as much as I could. It’s not bad, its sweet, a little sour and spicy from the ginger. It’s perfect if you’ve got a sore throat.

They also have cute mason jars for water and cold drinks.

The sandwich wasn’t the most photogenic sandwich ever, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover right? I ordered the Samson – coffee-crusted strawberry-glazed beef brisket with aioli, red bell peppers & lettuce. Honestly, I was disappointed, because it wasn’t as flavorful and juicy as I remember. I think they didn’t add enough aioli. And instead of just red bell peppers, there were also green and yellow, which isn’t a problem if you don’t discriminate between bell peppers.  Especially for a $10 sandwich, I was expecting more.

Perhaps this location is a franchise of the Richmond location, and they don’t make the sandwich as good as they do at the OG (original). 

While I was writing this post, I found out the Richmond Smokehouse Sandwich is on Foodora. Next time I’m stuck at home and hungry, I know what to get.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!