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Pasteleria Escribà (La Rambla location, Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Interior of the cafe; Savory mini bocadillos; various pastries on display One of the mornings while we’re in Barcelona, one of my friends who were traveling with me was up at an early morning and wanted a very simple breakfast (unlike the hearty one we had at El Quim). And well, our mutual friend was still in deep sleep and refuses to get up. We did recall while walking to the Boqueria was this small bakery on the Rambla called Pasteleria Escribà. This bakery brand (it has two locations) was established in 1906 and is still owned by the..

Vioko (Barcelona, Spain) – Upscale Chocolates and Delicious Gelati

[Translate] During our vacation to Barcelona, we stopped by Vioko since we’ve read the shop has some seriously good gelati (plural for gelato or an Italian version of ice cream) that has more than the basic flavors. Since we were near the beaches of Barcelona and it was a very warm, mid-October afternoon (the high temperature then was near 80°F) this was a great idea. Vioko is owned and run by pastry chef Lucila Baiardi (photographed above), an Argentine expat who studied the fine art of pastry around various kitchens in Europe and eventually settled in Barcelona to open this..

Tickets (Barcelona, Spain) – Fun, Innovative Tapas & Worth The Hype

[Translate] Tickets: Entrance; Busy rush at the door; Menu & tweezers I admit I was one of those people who was completely taken by Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode when he and José Andrés dined at Tickets. The restaurant doesn’t look like it’s taking itself too seriously but serving seriously good food. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the gorgeous beaches of Costa Brava and dine at the famous El Bulli prior to its closing on July 30, 2011, Tickets would be the next best thing especially dining with a few friends. As most of you might..

Alkimia, Barcelona, Spain (1* Michelin)

[Translate] At Alkimia’s foyer: Sign; Modern lamp; Looking at the dining area One of our upscale lunches was at Alkimia. Alkimia is walking distance from Gaudi’s awe inspiring masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, which we have visited prior to having lunch here. Alkimia is a modern and sleek restaurant that almost like a fancy art gallery staging for the beautiful food that will be presented. This is a 1* Michelin restaurant led by Chef Jordi Vilà whose modern Catalan cooking that looks minimalist but it tastes so much more than meets the eyes. Spiced crisp topped with macadamia nuts; glass of..

Breakfast and Spa at Fiesta Americana Grand Resort and Dinner at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico

[Translate] Sleeping by the beach at the Governors Suite, Preparing for breakfast on the beach, and Cabana with a view of the hotel Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort has been recognized with the AAA 4 Diamond Award for 2012. This is one of the few exclusive, luxurious properties in Los Cabos. There is comfort and elegance its 249 rooms and suites that this property offers and the breathtaking views from the many pools and beaches that goes out to the Sea of Cortés. On our agenda for that particular morning at Fiesta Americana Grand, we had..

Camel Back Riding and Real Mexican Food at Los Cabos, Mexico

[Translate] Trucks the droves us to Rancho San Cristobal and a view of the ranch The most interesting part of the trip beyond the picturesque beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico was camel back riding with Cabo Adventures. This particular activity is part of this company’s Outback and Camel Safari where we travel in one large group from various hotels around the area and eventually divided up into small groups (about 12 people) to Rancho San Cristobal, about a 20-minute drive from their home base at the marina. (more…)

Seasonal Tasting Menu Dinner at Manresa, Los Gatos, CA for My Dad’s Birthday

[Translate] Outside of Manresa I have heard about Manresa and its Chef-Proprietor David Kinch for the past several years from the food media and it’s been placed on my list of restaurants I must eat since then. (Within the past 6 months, Manresa was earned a 2* Michelin rating and a spot within The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.) With the timing of my then graduation from my Master’s program and my dad’s birthday, it’s just one of those very good reasons not to pass up this opportunity to celebrate and dine at Manresa. (I wrote back on my post this..

Love Apple Farms, Santa Cruz, CA – Lovely Farm on the Mountains

[Translate] Love Apple Farms’ sign, the nursery, seen from the farm’s offices, the garden, Love Apple Farms’ Co-owner, Cynthia Sandberg (in blue shirt) and Garden Manager, Sarah When my family and I planned to dine at the 2* Michelin Manresa (my post on that meal soon) earlier this June, I insisted that we must book a tour of the farm that grows the beautiful produce for this restaurant and that is Love Apple Farms, about a 15-20 minute drive from Manresa or about 1 hour and 15-40 minutes from the center of San Francisco. (more…)

Ritual Roasters – Amazing Coffee in San Francisco, CA

[Translate] Brandon of Ritual Roasters met my family and I when we’re in San Francisco on one bright and early June morning. All in the name of great coffee. I know a number of you might be screaming at your screens, essentially at me, “Why didn’t you visit [insert well known San Francisco coffee cafe and roaster]?” One main reason: We have it in New York City. Three locations. My purpose to visit, dine and/or drink at certain places when I travel is because I can’t find them at home and it has to be good. At the Proxy location..