Bay Area's Best Indian Food
Growing tired of sub-par Indian restaurants, The Snobby Foodie searched long and hard to find the Bay Area's Best Biryani. Her search took her to places so sketchy that she was sometimes afraid to leave her car. One time, she was served an overpriced plate of biryani, and she had to send it back because it was mushy and gross.
Best Boba Pearls
After a lot of bad boba, peppering boba scientists with questions, and trial and error, here is a review of top boba brands.
What makes good boba pearls:
Chewiness: Chewy, but not mushy
Ability to soak in flavors: the boba is like tofu in the way it soaks in flavors like brown sugar, honey, simple syrup, etc.
Consistency: Sometimes store bought packages of boba lack consistency.
Best Oakland, CA Eats
I've been on a desperate search to an alternative to Yelp and amateur reviews. Then I came across Oakland Magazine's Best of Oakland and East Bay.
Here are my favorites from their selections.
The Best Gluten Free Flour for Waffles, Pancakes, and Crepes
I feel for my Celiac disease friends. It sucks not to be able to chew on the gooey texture of a gluten-y pastry (like the popover below).
So I did some research: I ate a lot of bad (some good) homemade, waffles, pancakes, and crepes (you're welcome), and experimented with some popular flours that are gluten-free. Here is a review of popular gluten-free flours when used for breakfast foods (waffles, pancakes, and crepes- oh my!). I tried to find some that had a similar gooey texture so you gluten-free people won't feel left out.
ATX Tour: The Old Goodies
Preface: These post used to be called "off the beaten path". Since first posted, these places have become increasingly mainstream. In fact, I've been told that these places aren't "cool" any more. Regardless, I've quality-checked these venues, and determined that they're still BOMB.
Whenever I think of Austin, TX, I imagine loud, twangy strumming, think about the warm (sometimes excruciatingly hot) sun, and the confidence that I will have tacos soon.
Best of Austin, TX
This post was partly inspired by Aziz Ansari's story on a Chipotle bag, reminiscing of ATX, and a realization I may have list problem.
On the back of some Chipotle bags (and in his book), Aziz describes the analysis paralysis we experience when we strive for "the best". In his book, he describes a brunch researched copiously that didn't happen. In his research, he consults Yelp, Foursquare, and other sources and finally decides on a place. It turns out that his friends are unable to make it and the brunch never happens. He ends up going to that brunch place later, and apparently it's awesome.
Anyways, the lists I create are for these type of individuals. People who get excited by food and want to have "the best". I'll be that crazy person that does the Yelping/Foursquaring and updates these lists. More importantly, I eat the bad food, so you don't have to.
Here's to these old lists and many more to come. Cheers.
The Search for Iceland's Best Coffee
The summer in Iceland makes you feel invincible. Because of the constant daylight, a foreigner (me) feels that 2 AM lattes are very appropriate.
A majority of the coffee shops tasted very similar. It was milder than the roasty kick I'm used to. It was solid (3.5/5). Often times, when I asked baristas about the roast or brightness, they would not know. Latte art wasn't much of a thing.
Coffee Snob Rule #1: Your barista should be able to talk coffee to you.
Coffee Snob Rule #2: If your coffee tastes not as good as my Nespresso Pixie, I'm walking away.
Austin Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants
Austin is a hippy-dippy, vegan-friendly city, so naturally, I had a period where I was on a quest to find vegan food done right. This is food that makes you forget you're not eating meat and/or dairy.
Often times, I would find places with hiked up prices and mediocre food. Vegan/vegetarian food should be less expensive than meat. I would also find meat substitutes that had sodium levels well above a normal person's daily intake.
Bay Area Boba: Purple Kow
San Francisco's Purple Kow has been recommended to me time and time again. Purple Kow's gimmick is having weird souplike boba cups and outrageous portion sizes.
I was skeptical because I prefer quality over excessive quantity when it comes to boba. I was pleasantly surprised.
The Best Tibetan Restaurant in Berkeley: A New Definition of Soul Food
Usually when someone mentions soul food, it generally refers to grits, chicken & waffles, and heavy carb foods with gravies. My definition of soul food is something hearty, filling, and flavorful. Imagine noodles stir fried in a unique sauce that you can neither classify as Indian or Chinese.
Off Solano Ave, Berkeley's "Nomad Tibetan Restaurant" is my definition of soul food. The first time I went here, I was concerned because there were very few reviews on Yelp (this was back when I trusted Yelp). I ate all the things.
The Best Boba in Austin, TX
Bubble tea is great, especially in Texas heat. At a price of $3.50 a pop, you want to get what you pay for. Here's how I judge boba.
Judging Boba -
Boba should be chewy, but not mushy, and definitely not hard. It should have some flavor- whether it's brown sugar or honey.
Judging Tea -
It shouldn't be under or over-steeped. Also, powder is not preferred - it defeats the 'tea' part of bubble tea.