Asian Cuisine

Feasting on Manna Korean in North Austin

On a recent Saturday in downtown Austin, everyone was moving. Sidewalks were teeming with UT kids, happy to have reached the weekend. Panting joggers darted through intersections. Scullers zipped under the Congress Avenue Bridge that spans Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake). We, on the other hand, just needed some lunch. Preferably Asian in nature. And hopefully very close by, since it was going on 2:00 p.m., which for our family is a time so late in the day as to cause panic, hallucination and temporary vision and hearing loss if we have not yet eaten our second meal by then.

SIRI “suggested” a Mama Fu’s Asian House close by. We had never eaten at a Mama Fu’s. A little over a year ago, the chain opened its first location in Houston on West Gray, and, with 6 locations in Austin, it’s already a pervasive presence there. Great, then–lunch was settled.

Well, not so fast…

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Desperately Seeking Sushi


“You pick your fish, and I will create something, just for you,” says Masa Nagashima, head sushi chef and owner of Masa’s Sushi & Robata Bar in The Woodlands, Texas.  It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I am on my third visit to Masa’s, the latest test site in my search for good sushi.

I am not a sushi expert, but for many years, we have eaten it on a weekly basis, from all sorts of places. And because we eat it frequently, we’ve become a bit finicky. Craving we know not what, but dissatisfied with our current sushi venues, we find ourselves looking for something better.

And believe me, we’re game for anything, sourcing our sushi from every kind of eating establishment imaginable. Not to dwell on our disappointments, but our experiences have led me to compile a list of the kinds of sushi joints from which we now try to steer clear. Maybe you’ve sampled the sushi at some of these types of places too:

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Vancouver 2: TaiwanFest, Granville Island, Stanley Park After Dark & More

(This is Part 2 of our Tour of Vancouver, B.C. Read Part 1: Visiting Vancouver? Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat.):

We took the city’s public transit rail, a.k.a., the Sky Train, through downtown to Granville Street, cutting through Yaletown once again, on our way to the southern edge of the city. Unexpectedly we came upon a local festival in full swing.


Vancouver is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Canada. Along with a historical heritage of English, Scottish and German immigrants, you will find Greek, Italian, and Japanese neighborhoods, as well as a sizable Punjabi community. But by far, the tremendous growth in Chinese immigration over the last few decades has made the most significant cultural impact on the city.


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Visiting Vancouver? Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat.


(This is Part 1 of our Tour of Vancouver, B.C. Read Vancouver 2: TaiwanFest Granville Island, Stanley Park After Dark & More):

What are the key elements of an ideal travel destination? How about magnificent scenery, abundant seafood, a diverse international vibe, well-rated regional wines, and good coffee close at hand? Look no further than Vancouver. All the good bits are here, seamlessly flowing together, in this coastal gem of a city.

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Banh Appetit! The French-Inspired Vietnamese Po-boy is Booming in Popularity



If you’re from Louisiana, you know the dead seriousness involved in finding the ultimate po-boy sandwich. People, including me, will travel far and wide to get what they like. (See our Delicious Detours post here.) You get the same feeling from those who love the French-influenced Vietnamese sandwich known popularly as the banh mi. Like the New Orleans poboy, the banh mi is a sandwich born in humble circumstances, designed for working people who needed something good, quick and inexpensive to eat.

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