15 Hour Flight, Here I Come!

So if you’re reading this, I’m either:

A.) In the middle of a 15 hour flight

B.) On a three hour bus ride

C.) In China!

Yes yes! My mom and I have been planning this vacation since it’s the only year I probably won’t have summer school. We’re spending three days in Hong Kong & Guangzhou, ten days in Sichuan and seven days in Japan!

I’m so excited that I actually packed early and not 20 minutes before we have to leave for the airport!

Chi thinks it’s weird that I pack everything into separate shopping bags, I just think it’s way easier to find things this way.

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In terms of blogging, I’m going to change my posting schedule to Monday and Thursday for the next three weeks and I’m so excited to share that some of my favorite bloggers has agreed to help me out and write guest posts! I got to take a peak at them and I’m sure you guys will love! Monday will be my blogging friends and Thursday will be Asia recaps. I wasn’t planning to blog during my time out there, but a lot of my friends wanted to see how everything was going and I would love to share my pictures as well.

Although I am so excited to go, I am going to miss this guy very very much.

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Yesterday, for my last night in SF, he took me out to eat at a very special place. Lolinda.

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They have an ahh-mazing rooftop bar where Medjool used to be, we managed to grab a drink before dinner started.

They must of put a ton of money into renovating, because I was in awe when I walked in. I’ve been to a lot of fancy pants restaurants, but this one was decorated so well. Pictures seriously doesn’t do it justice, it’s a lot bigger and grand-er (?) outside the lens. They also paid a lot of attention to detail, which I love.

It was almost pitch black too, so my camera picked up a lot of light. This is a fore-warning for how diluted the lighting is in the next few pictures.

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Lolinda describes its self as, “a new kind of Argentinian steakhouse that combines Latin American flavors with californian sensibilities”.

There were so many ambrosial options on the menu that we had a hard time figuring out what to eat. We started with the empanada de carne, stuffed with beef, raisins, egg, potato, olives and a side of chimichurri. My time at Lolinda reminded me of how much I love chimichurri dressing, I”m going to have to make some when I come back to the states.

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The choripan came next, which wasn’t exactly what I expected but thoroughly enjoyed. I thought it would be more ground chorizo with bread but it came in the form of a fancy hot dog. The flavor was on point, Chi and I were eating the bits left on the plate after.

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The table next to us recommended the pork chops (which I love, Chi hates) and sea bass (which Chi loves, but I hate) so we settled for a good ol’ fashioned Matambre: flank steak. I wish there was more, it was one of the best cuts of meat I had in a long time.

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Of course I had to order a side of veggies, to Chi’s exasperation, to balance out all the hearty meats we received. Dino kale, crimini and chili flakes in the first bowl and Chilero (spicy picked vegetables) in the other.

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It was an awesome meal at the end of the day and the bill came to a little less then 100 bones, including two drinks. Thank you Chi!

How do you sort your things in the suitcase? Any great eats this week?

An Eco-Friendly Kind of Day

Today was a whirlwind of healthy, non-GMO and organic everything!

My friend Jacque and I sought out with a game plan in mind of things we wanted to cover. We figured lunch first would keep us happy, followed by shopping on Valencia St in the afternoon and wrapping up our day with grocery shopping.

I have heard mixed feelings about Gracias Madre, which is a vegan new-aged Mexican restaurant located in the heart of the Mission district. It’s hard to imagine vegan and Mexican food in the same sentence. When I think of delicious Mexican, I think of cheese on top of meat on top of more meat. However, after much deliberation, I give it two thumbs up!

Not only is the food vegan, but all the ingredients are produced organic and local, which is something I really admire in a restaurant.

Jacque and I decided to do family style, so we can maximize the deliciousness. We started off with papas al horno, which are basically potatoes roasted in olive oil and garlic topped with cashew nut cheese. This was the first time I tried cashew nut cheese, and I must say that I am impressed. It didn’t taste 100% like dairy cheese, but it had a similar consistency and the flavor was not too far off.

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The next thing to come to our table was an empanada. We ended up getting two appetizers and an entree, which was more than enough. The empanada was stuffed with plantains and served on their special spicy mole sauce with the same cashew nut cheese layered on top. This one happened to be Jacque’s favorite, I liked it but didn’t go crazy for it.

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My favorite was the chilaquiles, which was very different from what I imagined. The typical chilaquiles served in a traditional sense is fried tortilla, scrambled eggs, beans, rice and your choice of red or green sauce. Gracias Madre had to maneuver over some of the ingredients and delivered the fried tortilla with a tomato salsa, cashew crema, avocado and black beans.

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After wrapping up our food and paying our bill, we headed over to The Detox Market only to find it closed for good. The store was empty and anything remaining was boxed up and ready to go 🙁

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I honestly never been here before, but Jacque raves about it. They sell organic beauty, health and wellness products. I was looking for a new face wash without harsh chemicals so I was kind of bummed. But, I bumped into a girl who told me about an amazing household oder eliminator that can be found at https://odorklenz.com/home-odor-eliminator/ so that cheered me up a little.

The next place we ended up was The Scarlet Sage Herb Co.

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They had a huge assortment of bulk tea ingredients and we went nuts. Jacque had a handy book of different elements of tea and the different properties that each herb has. It was a new experience for me; she made a tea for her boyfriend’s circulation and I made one for relaxation. With the day ending, we made one final trip to Rainbow Grocery, which is what I was looking forward to all day! Rainbow is a San Francisco co-op that serves only organic, local, sustainable, affordable vegetarian food and household items.

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Their produce is fresh and it’s one of my favorite places to shop. The pricing is somewhere between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, so it’s not crazy expensive for the quality you get. My days are usually not so green and healthy, so it’s nice to have something different every now and then!

Do you have certain expectations when you grocery shop?