Philly Style Sandwiches at Paesano’s (Philadelphia, USA)

For the ultimate old Philly dive baresque sandwich experience (or hoagie as the locals call it) head over to the Italian Market or Northern liberties for the best sandwich in town at Paesano’s (no exaggeration). I already fell in love with chef McAndrew’s Modo Mio and now Paesano’s.

Paesano's- The Hungry NOMAD

 Sandwiches cost between $6 to $9 dollars. What makes it so special? The range of flavors and ingredients which are blended to make the best hot and cold sandwiches in town. The menu is simple yet sophisticated (See Menu). Although the shop has won many awards for it’s famous Arista sandwich we opted for the Gustaio and Daddywad.


The daddywad- a mix of italian hoagie, hot and sweet peppers, tomato, onions, arugula and sharp provolone. It was on serious sandwich ($8).


My eyes went straight to the Gustaio since I love anything lamb based. It was a mix of roasted lamb sausage, sun dried cherries, mustard, Gorgonzola and fennel ($9). It was an amazing mix of sweet and savory flavors and tasted like a Moroccan Tagine served in a sandwich. I loved it!

Paesano’s is definitely the best sandwich I’ve tasted in Philadelphia since my arrival. It trumps any cheese-steak any day. So to the tourists out there make sure you skip the cheesy cheese-steak lines and have yourself a real, sophisticated hoagie at Paesano’s. That’s what Anthony Bourdain did on his recent stop in Philly for his new show the Layover. 

Paesano's on UrbanspoonPaesano's on Urbanspoon

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Japanese Soul food at Ippudo- East Village (New York City, USA)

Confession: I am obsessed with all things Japanese. But mostly with Japanese food, especially ramen. Nothing makes me happier than a warm bowl of creamy soup and hand-made noodles. Ippudo being on my list was one of the first places I have visited since my temporary move to the City. On the first night, I was unsuccessful (the wait was 2 hours long). The second time the wait was 1.5 hours long. The third time, I tried to catch them off guard by showing up in the middle of the afternoon. The wait was 15 minutes.

To celebrate the short wait and finally reaching our destination we ordered the Kaori Mikan Sake: a mandarin orange flavored Sake. It was delicious but I do prefer traditional Sake over this flavored one. 

We started with an order of pork and chicken buns. One of our friends does not eat pork which led to a dilemma: most items on the menu are pork based and so her options were limited to the vegetarian ramen and some appetizers. 

Both buns were perfect (and better than other more hyped buns in the area). The bread fluffy and fresh and the ingredients full of flavor. 

Our ramen came out shortly after: one vegetarian, one Akamaru modern (for me) and one Shiromaru Chasu (See menu).

The Akamaru Modern came in a tonkatsu broth with Ippudo’s special sauce, miso paste, garlic oil, chashu, half boiled egg and spring onions. 

I really enjoyed the broth and the additional flavors added at Ippudo. I like to add pretty much everything to my bowl as you can see below. 

The noodles varied for each ramen dish and we all agreed that they were very good.

For dessert we had the green tea creme brulee topped with green tea ice cream. I love creme brulee especially cracking the hard sugary top. But I have to say this one was not my favorite. I prefer the original flavored creme brulee but I did appreciate the creativity that went into this dessert. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the ramen and will go back while in New York but I find that I am truly spoiled by all the good and cheap ramen restaurants in Vancouver (apparently some of their ingredients are brought over from Vancouver). 
Ippudo on Urbanspoon
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Insomnia Cookies (Philadelphia, USA)

I don’t think much needs to be said after viewing the above photo. But if you are still not convinced let me tell you: this cookie is worth making a trip from out of town for! It’s warm, gooey and oozing with flavours. I bought a variety of different ones including the chocolate s’more, peanut butter chocolate and the sugar cookie. All amazing. All gone within hours. I’ve been over the cupcake fad for a while now, in fact, I have never been a big fan of cupcakes and the icing on top. But cookies! Cookies I can eat for life! If only there was an Insomnia Cookie closer to home I would be making orders daily. 

Insomnia Cookies on Urbanspoon
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A Love Letter to New Orleans (from the Hungry Nomad)

My dear New Orleans,
I am sad to be writing this letter, sad to end a chapter, sad to have it all come to an end. But it is time for us to part ways. I want you to know that you have been so good to me. I am so lucky to have lived you, experienced you, breathed you. Why?  
Where do I begin?
I loved waking up every single day to sunshine- that sweet and warm sunshine. Yes there was plenty of rain- but tropical warm rain still feels so good, especially for a Canuck like me. And with the rain came the amazing green lush streets. Those massive oak trees that speak to you if you listen long enough and tell you tales of New Orleans rich past. I have fallen in love with those oak trees many which wear colorful beads proudly and boast their attendance at Mardi Gras.
Yes, I have fallen in love with a tree. Anne Rice once said I love New Orleans physically. I love the trees and the balmy air and the beautiful days”.  I, like Ann Rice, have physically fallen in love with New Orleans.
But the beauty of a town is never complete without the people. I have fallen in love with the warm, friendly and happy people of New Orleans. 
If there was ever a town to have a reason to be full of sorrow and pain, it is New Orleans. And although the damages of Katrina, poverty and crime are all around, it does not stop people from living to the fullest. Every day is a new day and more reason to celebrate. 
I loved all the festivals. How can one town have so many festivals in one year? It started with the New Orleans Jazz Festival where I heard the best soulful music while eating some of that hearty food. Crawfish enchiladas while listening to Jazz. Could anything be better?
Jazz fest gives locals and tourists two full weeks of celebrations. Two weeks of celebrating the town’s rich musical history and artists. So many untapped talent in one town. So much beauty in each performance. 
Even the local cats go to the bar in New Orleans!
I loved Frenchmen street. The energy, the music, the soul of the city comes out at night on Frenchmens.  On any particular night, stepping into any bar I would hear some of the best music ever to hit my eardrums. I would dance among young and old. Locals and tourists. All enjoying life, swaying to the music and happily existing. 
It didn’t end there. Next came the French Quarter festival, the Po-boy festival, Oak street festival, oyster festival and creole tomato festival. So many reasons to celebrate. Little reason to mourn the past. 
But nothing, absolutely nothing could top Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras gives people a reason to live. When I first moved down to New Orleans I didn’t appreciate how Mardi Gras is ingrained in the genes of New Orleanians.
One month of celebrations. 
One month of drinking, feasting and playing dress up. 
One month of wonderful, creative and clever floats driving through Saint Charles street.
One month of fancy balls letting you take a step back in time and relive the town’s glorious past. 
One month of king cakes. 
That purple, yellow and green sugary piece of heaven with a surprise in the middle….
… 11 months of planning and counting down the days.
And the food! 
What can I say about the food? I fear whatever I say won’t be enough. My first dining experience was at Commander’s Palace. Twenty-five cent martinis. Turtle Soup and Gumbo. Then came the Chargrilled oysters at DragosBarbecued shrimp at Mr. B’sPo-boys at Parktown Tavern and an experience out of this world at Jacques-Imos. 
Oh the food! 
The seafood! 
The oysters, oysters, oysters. 
The spices. The richness and the sauces. 
The fresh chargrilled oysters, the rich seafood gumbo, the spicy jambalaya, the creamy crawfish etouffes, the bread pudding and pralines and my favorite- barbecued shrimp from Mr. B’s. 
But best of all:
I fell in love in New Orleans.
And got married in New Orleans.
I had the second line band follow me down the beautiful grounds of City Park in New Orleans.
And danced to the hair rising soulful voice of Louis Armstrong in New Orleans. 
Even though we are parting ways, New Orleans you will always be in my heart, mind and memories. 
Thank you for the unforgettable time and hospitality. 
Your biggest fan, 
The Hungry Nomad
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Greetings from Miami

This week’s posts are all about Miami. More specifically, South Beach. As a frequent Miami/Fort Lauderdale go’er, I’ve been asked about my favorite spots to dine, shop, have drinks and sleep in South Beach. The next few posts are therefore dedicated to South Beach and all of its glory. 

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Guide to Miami

The first rule of being a true nomad is to constantly move around and travel. I take it very seriously and involuntarily find myself travelling around every few weeks (job allowing). Last week’s trip was to Miami.

Ay Miami! So much to love in this City…mainly the beach, beauty and of course the food. Here’s a few tips from my adventures in Miami. 
If you make a trip to Miami, you definitely want to stay in South Beach. This is where everything happens. From the fancy hotels, amazing beach pool/beach parties to the nightclub scene, South Beach is where it is at. 
If you want a less fancy option on places to sleep, try the boutique Art Deco hotels on Collins Avenue. They are very cute and a block away from the beach.  
For fancier options check out: 
The Setai (2001 Collins Avenue, Miami, Florida)
Gansevoort South, 
the Raleigh. 
For a night out on the town the best clubs are (as of April 2012): 
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Phnom Penh 金邊小館 (Vancouver, Canada)

The name is Cambodian but the food a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodia…did I mention authentic?
The Owners- the Huynh family are a blend of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Chinese. They have run Phnom Penh on East Georgia Street since 1985. I know its become popular amongst my friends in the past few years. And ever since I have never missed an opportunity to make a quick stop at PP for their chicken wings.
The butter beef and beef luc lac melt in your mouth, chicken wings to die for and perfectly crispy and the soups are ever so tasty.  Their crab roll, wrapped in tofu paper, and stuffed with jicama, crab and pork with a hoisin chili sauce is a family creation. As I write this and stare down at tbeef luc lac, mouth watering up, I think I may just have to make a trip down there today. Will keep you posted if I try anything new but I tend to stay with their lotus root soup, the beef luc lac and chicken wings- always a winner combination.
Chicken Wings



Phnom Penh 金邊小館 on Urbanspoon
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