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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Leon de Bruxelle, Cergy

At CDG, we picked up a rental car and drove north toward Giverny. We hit some traffic in Cergy, just 40 minutes north of CDG and decided to have lunch. There were a few restaurants and we chose Leon de Bruxelle. There were a lot of people there and none of them looked like tourists. Just my kind of place.




The Manneken Pis greets you at the entrance. In Brussels, you'll find the same bronze statue. There are many stories about the statue but the one I heard in Brussels was that there was a wealthy merchant who lost his son. When his son was found, he was urinating in a garden. The merchant was so grateful, he had a fountain built featuring his son when he was found.


Anchois Marines--€6.20. My husband thought he was ordering fried anchovies (which we loved in Croatia) but he was actually ordering marinated anchovies. These were good though and not fishy at all.


There was a 2-course menu for €16.90. It's a Belgian restaurant and mussels were the featured item so of course, I chose Moules a la Mariniere--mussels in wine sauce. There was 800g or nearly 2 lbs of it. So good and the sauce was delicious.


My mussels were served with Frites--crispy on the outside. Don't ask for ketchup.


My husband ordered Les Moules "Cote Sud"--mussels over pasta. The pasta was well cooked and al dente.


Dessert was the 2nd course. Gaufre au Sucre--just a plain waffle with powdered sugar.


Creme Brûlée--this was a much better dessert. So creamy.


The restaurant was filled mainly with locals out for a Sunday lunch with family and friends. At the table next to ours, there was a family celebrating their grandmother's birthday. The restaurant staff sang "Joyeux Anniversaire" to her. I love eating with locals. Makes me feel like I'm a part of the local scene. It was a great way to start a vacation.



2017 05 21

Monday, September 25, 2017

Traveling to Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley

In May, we visited Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley. We flew from SFO (San Francisco) to ORD (Chicago O'Hare) then on to CDG (Paris Charles de Gaulle) on American Airlines and returned from CDG through LHR  (London Heathrow) back to SFO on British Air. We were so surprised that we had minimal delays each way. Our flight from LHR to SFO was especially nice. It was an Airbus A-380 and felt so roomy despite over 450 passengers on the double-decker plane.

At SFO, we picked up Andale burritos for the flight to ORD.


A Supremo Burrito was $12.10. Next time, I'll plan ahead and get a salad from Trader Joe's.


In Chicago, we did find this vending machine from Farmer's Fridge selling salads in small jars. Didn't look like a lot of food in each jar though. I think Trader Joe's is still better.



2017 05 20

Sunday, September 24, 2017

El Coqui

My other go-to place is El Coqui, a Puerto Rican restaurant in Santa Rose. It's located at 400 Mendocino Avenue.


I tried the Pollo Al Horno (their signature dish) for the first time--$16.50. I loved it. The chicken is so tender, it falls apart. It's served with rice, beans, avocado salad and plantains.


Picadillo with Scrambled Egg--$14.50 + $1.75 for the scrambled egg. This is what I usually get. Still love the beef sautéed with sofrito.



2017 09 13

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Shanghai Gardens

My latest favorite Chinese place is Shanghai Gardens, located at 20956 Homestead Road in Cupertino.


Bean Curd with Vegetable--$5.95. This is an appetizer. It's not a big portion but I liked the flavors.


Special Fish Gluten with Seafood & Pea Leaf--$14.95. The fish gluten is a big puffy hollow ball.


Braised Pork Leg in Brown Sauce--$17.95. This was so tender--fell apart with just a fork. It had a nice sweet flavor.


Chef Zhao Special Tofu--$10.95. This was okay. Not too exciting in the flavor category.


Eggplant with Hot Pepper on Sizzling Plate--$10.95. The eggplant was tender but it was too spicy with the jalapeños.


Sauteed Snow Pea Leaf--$12.95. This was a little coarse.


Sauteed Shanghai Vegetable--$10.25. This was much more tender.


Meatballs in Clay Pot--$11.95. The meatballs were soft but the brown sauce was the same as the braised pork leg.


Pork Wonton Soup--$5.95 for a small bowl. It would probably serve 2-3.


Shanghai Pan Fried Juicy Pork Buns--$7.55. These are good. There's a lot of juice inside so bite carefully.


Green Onion Pancakes--$4.50. This would be good if it didn't have so much green onion.


Prawn Chow Mein--$8.95. The noodles were good but it needed just a little more flavor.


Shanghai Rice Cakes--$9.95. The rice cakes are good but some may find them a little too sticky.



2017 09 03 & 16

Friday, September 22, 2017

Vino Volo

At YVR, we had time to grab lunch before boarding. We found Vino Volo, a wine bar. If you're part of their Loyalty program, you can get a glass of Joseph Phelps Innisfree Cabernet Sauvignon for $2. You can sign up using YVR's free wifi, if you're not already a member.


The sign said it was a 2011 but it turned out to be a 2014. It was pretty good and wasn't as young as I was expecting. It retails for $30 but if you bought it from the wine bar, it was $120. Granted it was Canadian dollars but that's still quite a markup.


Mixed Greens & Goat Cheese--$7. This was a good portion.


Cured Meat Board--$15. You get prosciutto, capicola & soppressata.



2017 08 28

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Granville Island

Our last morning in Vancouver was spent on Granville Island.


We walked to the end of Howe Street and hopped on the Aquabus--CA$3.50 one way or CA$6 roundtrip. It's a 5-minute crossing. The boat runs continuously.


Granville Island Public Market opens at 9 am but many of the food stalls were already selling.


Teardrop grapes. Never seen these in the US but they're grown in the central valley.


My favorite place is Lee's Donuts.


I had to wait until 9 am to get these honey glazed donuts. CA$2 each or CA$9.75 for 1/2 dozen. If you buy at least 1/2 dozen, you don't pay tax. They're still as good as always, especially when they're hot. The honey glaze is so good and not overwhelmingly sweet.


Stuart's Bakery is located nearby.


Cinnamon Record--CA$4. Crisp, yet a little chewy.


Reminder that Canada has French influence.


Cement storage art located on Granville Island.


2017 08 28

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bella Gelateria

Bella Gelateria is touted as the best gelato in Vancouver.


It's located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim building, located at 1038 Canada Place.


They won the Gelato World Tour in 2014.


A cup of Wickedly Burnt Caramel--1 flavor for CA$5.50. It was very creamy but a little too sweet for me. I'm not sure they deserve to be known as the best in the world.



2017 08 27