Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 3rd Day After Christmas: Top 13 Foodie Moments of 2013

Although I don't write about it on here as much as I should, if you know anything about me, it should be about my love for food! If you were to look at my expenses, most of it would point towards eating. Why? For Filipinos (or even Asians in general), any kind of gathering or time spent with friends isn't complete without some food! This year I tried a few new foods and enjoyed even more of old time favorites of mine, and today I will be counting down my top 13 foodie moments of 2013!

1. Cuy & Anticucho - I decided to start off this list with Peruvian food. I went to Peru this past summer, and the food was some of the best food I'd ever had but these two dishes were probably the most interesting. These two dishes are pretty crazy and unusual... to the average American. However, to most Peruvians, these are actually pretty normal.

Any guesses on what this is? No?

Me trying the cuy for the first time!
Yummy Anticucho -- found on
If you're still stumped, well here are the answers. Cuy is what Peruvians call guinea pig and anticucho is another word for cow heart. 

Some of you may own or may have owned a guinea pig at some point in your life and most of you probably don't think about eating the heart of anything (except probably an artichoke). The looks I got when I told people I ate guinea pig weren't as bad as when I told people I tried dog the last time I went to the Philippines in 2010 (I wanted to spite people by fitting the Filipino stereotype--plus I wanted to say I'd tried it). Cuy was a little too fatty for me, but it was definitely an experience! As for the anticucho, it tasted like any other delicious piece of beef, but knowing what it was made it just a little more difficult to eat. Yum!

2. Maracuya - Another Peruvian favorite, my team and I would drink this any time we were eating, no matter the meal or time. The English name for maracuya is passionfruit. All juices in Peru are freshly squeezed and very natural, making this exotic drink the choice of drink for us (unless it was Peru's beloved Inka Cola. hahaha). I've been searching around here to find it since then, even if it's sugared up, but I still haven't found anything!

All juices in here are of the passionfruit - courtesy of my friend,  Madi
3. Frosted Cupcakery - Over the summer, one of my friends introduced me to a local cupcake shop called Frosted Cupcakery. There are three locations in Hermosa Beach, Long Beach, and Hollywood. (But they do online orders too!) I have so far been to the Hermosa Beach location twice and really enjoy their red velvet cupcakes. The store itself is very cute and gives off a 50's vibe to me. I hope to try some of their other flavors someday [:

4. Korean BBQ at MooDaePo - Over the summer, I had the opportunity to eat at MooDaePo Rowland Heights with some fellow blogger friends of mine. It was simply the best quality korean bbq that I've ever had, ever! From the beef cheek to pork belly, from beef brisket to even the prawns, there so many choices and everything was delicious. Plus, the experience of meeting up with other bloggers for the first time was a lot of fun. 

P.S. we also tried some stuff off their regular menu and it was just as delicious! 

5. Chifa - Chifa is the word that Peruvians use to refer to Chinese food, but they also have Peruvian flavors attached to it. I was surprised to see how many chifa restaurants there were in Peru everywhere we went. On our first full day in Peru we stopped at a Chifa restaurant to go all out on our meal and be able to watch the Colombia vs. Peru fĂștbol game, and we ordered about 8 dishes if not more. I must say that the chifa we ate was probably some of the best if not the best Chinese food I've ever eaten in my entire life. 

6. Mongolian Hot Pot - For the first time over the summer I tried Mongolian Hot Pot. What it basically is, is that it is a broth that you can have spicy or mild or half/half. You order a whole bunch of meats and veggies raw and you stick it in the broth to cook it. It is quite amazing, actually. 

Source: UBC blogs

Charges are per item, not per person (at least where I went) so if you bring a huge group it would be easy and probably cheaper to split the bill.

7. Handel's Ice Cream - Another summer discovery: Handel's Ice Cream. My sister made me drive her here over the summer and I was instantly hooked. I've only ever had one of their ice cream flavors--S'mores--but I love anything S'mores and their version of their ice cream compared to Ben & Jerry's is so much better. Instead of chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and graham cracker bits, it's graham cracker ice cream with chocolate and marshmallow bits. So much better. They have so many choices in flavors and other treats, like Handel's pops! They have a few locations around the country, so try to find one near you!

8. Pieology - If you like Chipotle and pizza, then you will love Pieology! It is a combination of both--the vibe of Chipotle and being able to put whatever you want on the pizza for one price (also like Chipotle) and of course, America's favorite, pizza! I paid about $8 for a decent sized pizza with 8 slices (my toppings were cilantro, mushrooms, bacon, and pepperoni), and this wasn't your typical personal pan pizza. This could probably comfortably feed between 2-4 people, but because of my appetite, I ate it all myself. As of right now, there are only locations all throughout California and soon to be one in Colorado. 

9. San Francisco's Chinatown (and frog legs!) - When I was in San Francisco for a journalism conference earlier this year, we just had to eat in the iconic Chinatown of SF! We found ourselves at a restaurant with cooked ducks hanging in the window (probably surprising and scary to everyone but me and one other person) and managed to order 10 different dishes for each person and only paying about $66 (including tax) for it! Fellow newspaper co-editor, friend, and blogger, Adriana, was there too! 

Oh yeah, I also tried frog legs for the first time! (That's it on my chopsticks!) I'd seen family of mine eat it as a kid so I finally decided to try it myself. It was weird but it really did taste like chicken! 

10. Nutella & Go! - In high school I'd seen these all over tumblr and everyone was wishing they were real. I walked into my school's mini-mart for a snack before class one day and found these on the shelf! I thought it was a dream come true, seeing and eating something I'd seen on tumblr for the first time in person. 

11. Thai food - This year was like year of the Thai for me. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but Thai food is my favorite kind of food right behind Filipino food for me. I love the flavors and their rice so much. I ate it so much more often than I normally do this year more than ever. I even one of my roommates to order it to be delivered to us one night! 

My favorite Thai dish ever? Tom Yum Gai soup. If not that, I could eat Thai bbq ribs and Thai fried rice forever.

12. Lomo Saltado - Another Peruvian classic. I had this once before going to Peru and once while in Peru, but the dish has definitely left an impact on my foodie adventures. A combination of rice, beef, french fries, a fried egg, grilled veggies, and a plantain, Lomo Saltado is a great mix of food and keeps you satisfied.

This is one of those dishes that I think most people would like. If you like french fries and beef, then you'll be good to eat a plate of this deliciousness.

13. Last but not least, Mate de Coca? 

A question that my cousins asked me when I came back from Peru was whether or not I had cocaine? My answer? Yes. I drank it.

And before you think I'm a drug addict or anything like that, it's not what you think it is. Mate de coca uses the cocaine leaves for tea. And don't worry, my group leader reassured all of us that the leaves only had a small percent of cocaine in them. And if you're wondering why I was drinking cocaine tea in the first place, well, in Peru we drank it to help keep us from developing altitude sickness when we were in Machu Picchu. We were so high up that the tea was supposed to somehow help our bodies adjust to the extremely high altitude.

Source: WikiMedia

So don't worry, I didn't experience any of the effects of the drug. It was purely for health reasons. 

Wow, that is a lot of food and I am now really hungry. 2013 was a great year for food for me, and there are so many other dishes that didn't make it onto this list that I loved just as much! Next year I definitely want to make a point to write more about food so I will be better at documenting my food adventures!

Tomorrow I will be counting down my top 13 God moments of the year! God has been doing amazing things! Missed yesterday? Don't worry, here are my top 13 beauty moments. Want to start at the beginning? Here are my top 13 outfits of the year! Stay up to date with me as I count down the last few days to the new year!

Until then,


  1. i love your series!
    all of the food looks amazing, although i'm not sure i'd eat some things :p nutella and go is pretty fantastic tho!

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Haha, yeah I know a couple of these things are pretty out there but I like to try things at least once to say I tried it. As for Nutella & Go, you're right, it is pretty amazing. Haha.


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