I forgot how much I love Wicker Park. Edgy and hipster (but slowly becoming more mainstream), and cluttered with restaurants from vegetarian cafes to bougie eateries, it is very easy to fall in love with this casual, fun neighborhood. Here you can find boutique clothing shops, second-hand bookstores, restaurants from a wide range of cuisines, art galleries, live music, all in fairly close proximity.
I had been thinking about trying out a vegan diet for a while. Not because it is “trendy” or “healthier” than regular diets if that is what you are thinking. (Whether going vegan is trendy and healthy or not is debatable itself.) But with the rising environmental and ethical concerns with consuming meat and animal products, I have become more and more aware of these issues through social media and the internet.
But first of all, what is veganism? According to the Vegan Society, a vegan diet is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey. If you choose to venture onto a full-on vegan lifestyle, you also avoid using leather and animal-tested products such as makeup and personal care ones.
Specifically, here are some explanations of the reasons why I decided to try being a vegan:
Just 40 minutes away by L from Northwestern’s campus, Argyle is an accessible district filled with ethnic Vietnamese food and groceries, and one of the best places to go to if you’re sick of Evanston and don’t want to venture all the way out to downtown Chicago.
My affinity for Vietnamese food is quite a recent thing. I never knew Vietnamese food can be so delicious and complex. (I blame Hong Kong for having no good Vietnamese food.) In contrast to other Asian cuisines such as Thai and Chinese, which boast bold, strong flavors, Vietnamese food is characterized by its simplicity and depth. Argyle is where I started to fall in love with warm pho noodles, fresh banh mi sandwiches and rich Vietnamese coffee.
Nearly everything mentioned in this guide is a 5 minute walk from the Argyle Red Line stop.
Words cannot describe my love for Korean food. Spicy and sweet, with bold umami flavors, Korean food satisfy all sorts of craving and I can never get enough of it. The West Coast may have its claim on the best Korean food in the country, but Chicago’s Korean fusion food scene should not be missed as well. Affordable, comfort food has never been better. Here are my top favorites in town. Continue reading “6 Places to Go for Korean Fusion Food in Chicago”
Gevulde speculaas is not a person, if that’s what you’re thinking. It is a traditional Dutch spiced cookie, filled with almond paste. It literally means “filled cookies.” It is actually pretty random how I came across this dessert. I didn’t know what I was eating when I first took a bite of this peculiar pastry in Amsterdam, when my friend brought it from a bakery on our way to the train station. After some digging on the Internet and finding out that it’s called gevulde speculaas, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. I still don’t.
I spent my last day in Paris completing the search for a good macaron. Not a perfect macaron, because there is no such thing as a perfect anything. The search was not deliberate at all to begin with. I’m never a big macaron person, but the combination of being in Paris, the beautiful, pearly macarons sitting behind shop windows on the streets, and the tourist mentality that macarons are just so French has made me give in and buy a macaron from time to time.
I don’t exactly know what I look for in a good macaron. But I know it’s a good one when the shell has just the slightest crunch, and after you break into it the macaron just dissolves in your mouth. A moment it is still sitting there on your tongue, the next it is gone. A chewy macaron automatically earns a strike. I want a macaron that is so delicate it is almost fragile.
The French has their own style and customs when it comes to eating in cafes, grabbing something quick from bakeries, or dining in restaurants. I am no expert in dissecting this culture, but here are a few general tips that I’ve learned in the past 4 months.