Hattie B’s Hot Chicken


My friends and I just took a weekend trip to Nashville, and no trip to Nashville is complete without a meal of hot chicken!

Saturday night, after our pedal tavern (a really fun activity that I recommend doing in Nashville!), we headed over to Midtown to Hattie B’s. Hattie B’s had been recommended to us by several people and looked to be THE place to get hot chicken, so we wanted to do it right.


We arrived at around 7:30 pm and there was a line out the door. The wait wasn’t too bad – probably 20 or 30 minutes. Inside, we ordered at the counter where the questions we answered were basically “how much chicken do you want?” and “how hot do you want it?” We sat outside in the patio area which had a bunch of metal benches and TVs playing college football.


I ordered the large white plate, a plate of two breasts and two wings, with sides of pimento mac & cheese and baked beans. The sides were okay – the mac & cheese was a little too soupy but the pimento was a nice touch; the beans were fine with a little bit of sweetness but not too much. The chicken was amazing!! Since I’m a wimp who completely contradicts her Louisiana upbringing, I got no heat with my chicken. The breading was perfectly crispy and still tasty without any spiciness at all. I also had sweet tea, which was very good. My one mistake was that the large plate was way too much for me and a small plate would’ve been just fine.

There are six heat levels – Southern (no heat), Mild, Medium, Hot, Damn Hot, and Shut the Cluck Up. A couple of my friends got their chicken with the Damn Hot heat – big mistake!

IMG_4084 (2) Reaction shot after eating Damn Hot chicken

Karan said that Damn Hot was spicier than Blazin’ at Buffalo Wild Wings, which is their spiciest sauce. Rachel tried a bit of his chicken and said it burned her mouth. Finally, Greg said that the first 5 seconds after eating the chicken are amazing, but then it hits you and you’re like, “Why did I bite into this?” Everyone who got Medium said it was hotter than they expected, and everyone who was conservative and got Mild said they were happy with their choice. You’ve been warned!

Duck & Waffle

I follow a few London food accounts on Instagram and one place that is featured frequently is Duck & Waffle. Then I did a little bit of research and found out that it’s 1) London’s highest restaurant, at 40 floors, and is 2) open 24 hours. Of course, I am all about superlatives and decided I had to go.

Booking online is easy through their website, but not as easy when booking the night before! When I first looked, the only table for the next day was at 5:00 am (I seriously considered it). Luckily, when I woke up the next morning there was a table open at the perfectly reasonable time of 8:30 pm.

That night, I hopped on the Central Line, got off at the Liverpool Street station, and walked 5 minutes to the Heron Tower, where I was greeted by a very nice “bouncer” who checked if I had a reservation. Good thing Google came in handy to prepare me for this when I was searching the day before for “duck and waffle no reservation.” Then I took a quick glass elevator ride to the 39th floor, walked through Sushi Samba, and climbed one last floor to my destination.


I was promptly seated at window table facing the north with a nice view of The City (the neighborhood) and Tottenham Hotspur’s football stadium in the distance. The atmosphere was hip, trendy, and a little too dimly lit for my taste.

I ordered the BBQ spiced crispy pig ears and of course, the namesake duck & waffle. The pig ears (didn’t think about them being pig ears when I ate them) came in a brown paper bag and were a great appetizer! They were sugary, salty, crunchy, and not too filling for the rest of the meal.

Then came the main course: a crispy duck confit leg with a fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. This dish lived up to my high expectations! The slightly salty duck was the perfect complement to the sweetness of the syrup. I don’t usually like eating things together (e.g. I’m not a fan of fruit salad) but it was the best when I was able to gather a piece of duck, a bit of egg, and a square of waffle and cover the bite with syrup.


The only thing I would change about my experience is the time I went! Next time I’ll go during the day, when I’ll be able to see more of the impressive London skyline.



One of my best friends, Jill, and her brother, Jim, planned a trip to Europe so I invited myself along! I met up with them in Paris and then we spent a week traveling through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.



Of course – macarons. I am obsessed with the colors of macarons. I’ve read about the great Laduree vs. Pierre Herme debate, so I thought I’d try my own taste test.


I tried Pierre Herme first, where I just got a pre-made box of 12. The flavors were pretty interesting – milk chocolate & passion fruit, salted butter caramel, olive oil with mandarin orange, mint, etc. The ones with fruit weren’t my favorite, but the quality was great and they really did melt in my mouth.


Laduree had a much longer line. While the colors of the macarons were a lot more Instagramable, but I didn’t think they were as good as Pierre Herme. They just didn’t taste as fresh and the flavors felt a little more artificial. I got a box of six – I tried rose, coffee, pistachio, citron, Marie Antoinette, and salted caramel. Don’t get me wrong though – if someone offered me a Laduree macaron, it’s not like I’d pass it up.


Here we made one of the worst decisions of the trip – eating at Quick, a fast food restaurant similar to McDonald’s that’s big in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. A couple of us had some stomach issues after eating Quick, if you get what I mean…



We got these Belgian waffles pretty close to Brussels’ main square, which probably wasn’t smart. There wasn’t anything special about these waffles, which were absolutely covered in milk chocolate, strawberries, and powdered sugar. It was a little disgusting to eat by the end.


This was actually the first time I had ever eaten mussels. I liked them! However, that might be because they were slathered in butter and garlic. Jim also had them and thought they were good; Jill had one and thought they tasted like boogers.


In Bruges, we got Belgian frites! These are pretty much just normal french fries, but there are a ton of different sauces to get – curry, tartar, cocktail, mustard, and andalouse (similar to thousand island dressing) just to name a few. I got a garlic sauce, which was tasty.

The Netherlands


We ate poffertjes, or Dutch pancakes, several times in Amsterdam. They’re basically just regular pancakes, but mini sized, with a slightly spongy texture. You could get them with chocolate and tons of fruit, or the traditional (and my favorite) way – covered in butter and powdered sugar.


While in the 1 1/2 hour long line for the Van Gogh Museum, Jill and I each got a stroopwafel. Stroopwafels are really thin waffles with a caramel syrup inside. It wasn’t as sweet as you’d think it would be, which was good.


My last day in Amsterdam, I did a wine and cheese tasting at the Reypenaer cheese tasting room! An instructor guided a group of about 15 of us through six cheeses and three wines. I learned that as the cheese gets older, it gets a lot drier and more crumbly. We were provided with a sheet of paper to write down descriptions of the color, taste and our ratings. I wasn’t really too good at picking out the flavors in each cheese – apparently there were flavors like smoke and chocolate in them?! All I could taste was cheese.

I loved my time traveling through Europe, and especially Amsterdam, which is definitely my favorite city in Europe so far! Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to try some raw herring?



For one of my weekends in Europe, I decided to visit Budapest! I have heard great things about the city. I loved my time in Prague and wanted to see more of Eastern Europe. I love how cheap the food is!


Of course, I had to try goulash and I had it several different times while I was in Budapest. My recommendation would be to actually go to a restaurant and order it. I had it a couple times, once in front of Buda Castle, and another time in the Central Market, where you buy by weight. I found that these aren’t really that great – in the Central Market the guy literally scooped it out of the pan, put it into the microwave and heated it up before serving it to me. However, at Menza, it was served with egg noodles and actually tasted like they might have made it right after I ordered it, and I got what the big deal was about. It’s made with Hungarian paprika, which has a nice smoky taste to it.


I also tried langos, which is basically a deep fried bread sort of similar to naan. The most popular toppings are sour cream and cheese; I just got cheese and garlic which was pretty good too. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a nice, simple meal to fill up on.

It was SO HOT the entire time I was in Budapest – it was 95 degrees and sunny each of the three days I was in the city. However, I used this as an excuse to eat some of the best and definitely prettiest gelato I’ve ever had.

Located right by St. Stephen’s Basilica, Gelarto Rosa is the #1 place to get dessert in Budapest according to TripAdvisor, and has way more reviews than any other place. I seriously planned my sightseeing around stopping by this place for a quick treat.


They shape the gelato into roses – so pretty! This was my fruity one with four flavors: basil lemon, mango, raspberry and peach. Like all food in Hungary, this was so cheap – 750 HUF or $2.66 USD.


The next time I went, I got 3 flavors: vanilla, Oreo, and hazelnut. So good!!

I wish I had more time to try more food in Budapest – I wouldn’t have felt too bad about it because it is all so inexpensive! I think I spent about $50 on food the whole three days I was in Budapest, and I definitely didn’t starve. I’m looking forward to my next trip to Eastern Europe!


Nyhavn Harbor

Last weekend, I went on a trip to Copenhagen! Why Copenhagen, you ask? Well, have you ever used Google Flights? Similar to Kayak, it’s a great tool to compare flight prices. But the one feature that is especially useful for me is that you can leave your destination blank, and it will show you a map with all the places you can go with each city labeled with the cheapest price. I entered in the dates I was planning to travel, did a quick look at the map, saw that a roundtrip ticket to Copenhagen cost $41 (yes, FORTY-ONE U.S. dollars), and quickly booked my flight!

Copenhagen is kind of known for being a foodie city – it has 15 Michelin restaurants, which is a lot for a city of only a million people. It’s also home to Noma, a former #1 best restaurant in the world (#3 this year). For comparison’s sake, Copenhagen has 4 restaurants in the Top 100 World’s Best Restaurants, while Chicago has 1 and London has 5.

Of course, with booking my flight so last minute, I wasn’t able to get a table at any of the four Top 100 restaurants. However, I was able to get a table at Manfred’s & Vin, a sister restaurant to Relae, which is one of the Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen. Manfred’s & Vin is just one of many restaurants that serve New Nordic cuisine.

There is a separate menu, but I decided to go with the 7 course tasting menu. One by one, little dishes came out as they were ready. I’m still not entirely sure what everything was but here are my very basic descriptions:

– cucumbers in a yogurt sauce with sage
– poached eggs with salmon truffles
– pork shoulder
– asparagus with hazelnut sauce
– radishes and cabbage
– potatoes with a pesto-like sauce
– smoked trout

I’m pretty sure that I got the same portions served to tables of 2, so I definitely got my money’s worth. I’m glad I experienced the cuisine, but I can’t say that I totally loved it. However, it was pretty good for being mostly vegetarian. The 7 course menu was 250 DKK, or about $37.

Copenhagen is also known for smørrebrød, or open faced sandwiches. The next day for lunch, I rode a bike that I rented from the hostel to Aamanns Deli. I asked the waitress if I should get 2 or 3 sandwiches, and she said if I was hungry I should get 3. So I selected the chicken salad, beef sirloin, and beef tartare sandwiches.

I think in my head it didn’t really connect that beef tartare is raw beef. However when I showed my family this picture, my brother-in-law was disgusted that I ate it! I didn’t think it was too bad. My favorite was probably the chicken salad one. These little sandwiches are expensive though! 65 DKK each, which is almost $10.

Lastly, Copenhagen is known for their hot dog stands everywhere. I probably ate three meals of hot dogs during my 2.5 days in Copenhagen. My favorite, of course, was the hot dog wrapped in bacon. It was a toss-up on if I’d get a bun or not with it – I didn’t quite figure that out with the language barrier.

Overall, a great foodie weekend in Copenhagen! Next time I’ll have to plan in advance to visit a Michelin rated restaurant.

Lito’s Empanadas


I’ve lived less than 200 feet away from for more than two years, but I have always avoided it for some reason and I don’t know why. In fact, it’s right next door to Del Seoul. Maybe it’s because no one is ever inside, but that’s probably due to there being very little seating (there are 6 stools lined up against the window).

One day, I decided to venture inside to try to get further along on my mission of trying every single eatery on Clark Street between Deming and Wrightwood (still not there – haven’t eaten at Frances’ Deli). There are 12 different empanadas to choose from, which includes a couple dessert ones. I chose the #4 (champinon chicken with chicken, cheese, tomato, sauteed mushrooms, and onion) and #5 (slow cooked BBQ chicken and potatoes). After less than 10 minutes, I had fresh empanadas to take home.

Each empanada says “Lito’s” on it, as you can see in the picture – cute! After two bites, I was thinking about how I have been missing out all this time by not trying these sooner. I loved the #4 and the #5 was pretty good too. They also come with a green hot sauce made with green chilis, onions, and cilantro and a delicious ketchup/mayo based sauce.

These were so good that two days later, I decided to get them again for dinner. This time I got three empanadas, the #4 again, and the #2 (beef and rice) and #8 (spinach, mozzarella, and onion).


The #4 was just as good as it was the first time, and the spinach one was also very good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the beef and rice empanada – it was a little dry and bland for my taste.

I will definitely be back at Lito’s – it’s such a quick meal to get and did I mention it’s cheap!? Each of these are $2.99! Two empanadas are definitely enough to fill me up. Next time I’ll have to try the apple caramel with cinnamon sugar one – sounds amazing!

Cafe 300


I’m lucky enough to work in a building that has a really good cafeteria on the bottom floor. It even has its own Yelp page with 3.5 stars! The food is significantly cheaper than if you were to eat out for lunch, and sometimes the portion sizes can be so crazy that you can split the meal into two.

There are six stations: Grains Bar, Sushi, Create, Grill, Wild Greens, Flavors, and Deli. I will almost always get my lunch from the Flavors station, but if I’m feeling something different I might get a salad or sushi. The only station I’ve never been to is the Deli – I’m not a big sandwich person. I’ve decided to give you a look at what you could get here in a typical week!

Monday: Teriyaki Glazed Salmon Fillet with Wild Rice Pilaf and Asparagus ($9.18)


The salmon was really good with the teriyaki glaze. My coworker Justin would refuse to eat this because he insists that it’s farm-raised salmon, but I don’t think about that. The asparagus was also perfectly grilled with a little salt and pepper but not too much.

Tuesday: Build Your Own Burrito Bowl ($8.04)


This usually comes in a tortilla instead of a plastic container, but that’s probably for the best. They have rice, beans, and different toppings and salsas for you to choose from. They also usually have a chicken tinga which is really good.

Wednesday: Tandoori Rubbed Flank Steak with Lentil Dal and Grilled Vegetables ($8.83)


This is one that I ate half for lunch and half for dinner – economical! The steak was perfectly cooked and you could definitely taste the Indian flavoring of the tandoori, which I have never had on steak before. The lentils were just ok (I think all lentils are like this though).

Thursday: House Smoke BBQ Chicken and Pulled Pork with Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese and Green Beans ($12.23)


Barbeque Thursdays! I went a little overboard this day and asked for 2 meats and 2 sides (usually it’s just 1 meat with 1 or 2 sides) but I also saved half of this for dinner. The chicken is huge and well spiced while the pulled pork was flavorful and moist. And the mac and cheese was great. The only downside of barbeque from Cafe 300 is that I never love any of their sauces; I always ask for it on the side in case I don’t like it.

Friday: Green Dragon Roll with shrimp, salmon, crab salad & cucumber inside; salmon, unagi sauce, avocado and green onion on top ($9.93)


Friday is a historically bad day at Cafe 300 for some reason; I never like what they have at the Flavors or Create stations. This day they had chicken & andouille gumbo at the Flavors station and I definitely didn’t want to eat that – I’m sure it’s nowhere near as good as even the gumbo served for lunch at my high school (which was pretty good). So I decided to get sushi, which is always a safe choice. Each roll is handmade after you order it so it’s not like the sushi you pick up at the grocery store, and the fish actually tastes pretty fresh. This roll in particular was pretty… wet. Lots of unagi sauce on it but it was still very good. My favorite rolls are the ones with crispy fried onions on the top.


In the summer, it’s really nice to sit outside and get a break from the office. You get a great view along the river and can watch all the boats and kayakers go by. Just be sure to actually buy food from Cafe 300 if you sit at a table – you’ll get yelled at if you don’t!