Taco Bell in Shanghai

 

That’s right! Your favorite (or most hated) taco restaurant (I refuse to call it Mexican food) has returned to China. Taco Bell first opened in China in 2003 but shut down in 2008. 13 years later, they’re back!

As an American expat, I felt it was my duty to visit this brand new eatery and see what all the buzz was about. Check out our video about our visit!

 

 

Stay hungry,

♥︎K

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Austin Eats

Austin is one of my all time favorite cities. I’ve always said that if I didn’t live in Los Angeles, Austin is where you’d find me. This most recent trip opened my eyes to a city that’s growing rapidly. I think the word has gotten out that Austin is cool and people from all over the country are flocking there.

I see more and more similarities to Los Angeles each time I go. While I am not looking forward to the day Austin has the same level of traffic as LA, I do love all the delicious foods that are popping up around town. Here are some of my favorite finds.

Buddha’s Brew Kombucha

Price: $4 per 16 oz. bottle; $2.50 for refill

Where to get it: Barton Creek farmers market (if you’re in Austin) & select Whole Foods locations

Okay unless you’re already a health foods person, kombucha can be a little weird. It’s made from a fermented colony of bacteria and yeast (what?) and it’s got some floaty stuff at the bottom that looks like something a 2 year old backwashed into a jar. BUT Buddha’s Brew kombucha is something delicious.

It gets as hot as you know where by 9am during the summer in Texas and this stuff was a refreshing god send. People were queueing up to refill their jars with the various flavors that had on tap at the market. If you’re a newbie like me you can also purchase a bottle. I suggest getting at least two because you’re gonna finish one while you’re AT the farmers market and you’re gonna want another one later.

If you want to learn more about these local Austin brewers and all their delicious flavors, you can check out their site here.

Spicy Carrot Relish

Price: $10 for an 8 oz jar

Where to get it: Barton Creek farmers market (if you’re in Austin) or order online from their site

This spicy carrot relish from Moru Foods is addicting and you can put it on just about everything. We put a tablespoon in plain hummus and a bowl of greek yogurt and both transformed into a delicious dip. Take some with a bag of tortilla chips to your next party or stay home and eat it all be yourself. No judgement.

Freedmen’s Brisket Sandwich

Price: $10 lunch special

Where to Get It: 2402 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX

Freedmen’s is located in a beautiful historic building near UT’s campus. Here you can get your BBQ fix along with a number of craft cocktails. No trip to Austin is complete without eating some BBQ so I just have to do a quick shout out to my brisket sandwich. And thanks to the waitstaff for sending over a banana pudding parfait as an early birthday treat.

 

Catch y’all later.

 

K♥LA

(& TX)

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Recently I visited Porto’s, a famous bakery located in Burbank. They have so many insanely delicious pastries and desserts for very inexpensive prices.

There’s always a line but it moves very quickly. I actually needed that time to stare at all the beautiful desserts and pick what I wanted. It can be overwhelming to pick, especially for a first-timer, so I recommend sticking with their classics: the guava and cheese pastry ($.75), the cheese roll ($.70), and a few potato balls ($.90/ea).

Who’s Cookin’: Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Where: 315 N Brand Blvd (Burbank)
What I Ate: This time around I got a cheese roll ($.75) and a spinach feta croissant($1.55) which I ate before I could take a picture of it (first world problems).

 

 

K♥LA

Sage Vegan Bistro

Never ask an LA person for restaurant recommendations unless you have at least 20 minutes to spare. They’re likely to go on and on about their secret spots or the BEST (fill in the blank) IN THE CITY. I know this because I do the exact same thing.

My good friend Andrea came to visit our lovely city this past week for an animal rights convention. We had plans to meet up for dinner but I realized, being a meat-eating Texas girl living in Los Angeles, I didn’t know too many vegan options to suggest. Luckily, her fellow convention goers had a suggestion.

Who’s Cookin’: Sage Vegan Bistro
Where: 1700 Sunset Blvd (Echo Park)
What We Ate: Fried Artichoke Hearts ($8), Butternut Squash Ravioli served over sauteed kale($14), and Potato Broccoli Pierogis served over lemon kale ($14)
Bonus: Each entree comes with a salad and they have a ton of dessert options including ice cream, shakes, & brownies.

If you know a vegan/are a vegan/are dating a vegan/need more vegetables in your life, Sage Vegan Bistro is a great choice.

 

K♥LA