Year: 2014

2014 in Review: Eating, Traveling, and New Year Resolutions

Goodbye 2014! 2014 was the year I finished my year abroad in London, traveled to Greece and Italy, spent a summer in Tokyo interning for a NGO, and started my last year of University back in Baltimore. I’ve pursued so many of my passions in 2014, it’s surreal this whirlwind of a year is coming to an end. Throughout everything, starting eatprayjade (and buying my coveted camera!) has been a concrete reminder of places I’ve loved, food I enjoyed, and why it’s worth pursuing all your passions–even if it’s the desire to start a food blog! I’ve always believed in the cliche ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so here’s my 2014 in review through a collage of photographs. Top Moments of my 2014: 1. Turning 21 in London My birthday brunch at Duck and Waffle with girlfriends that made my year in London incredible! Girls that love to brunch are always the best ones right? Check out my fabulous fellow blogger Lilybelle and her blog post on our brunch here.  2. British Afternoon Tea with a Twist Celebrating Talia’s birthday with afternoon tea at Bake-a-Boo …

Duck and Waffle

Duck and Waffle, located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, boasts an amazing brunch menu and a panoramic view of London. Featuring modern European cuisine, it’s a gorgeous spot to spoil yourself for special occasions. I visited Duck and Waffle with my best girlfriends this past spring to celebrate my birthday and it quickly made its way to one of my top favorite brunch places in London. Its signature dish is like its name–crispy duck leg confit with a fried duck egg, drizzled with mustard maple syrup. Sounds good? It tastes just as good as it sounds! But you really can’t go wrong with anything–from Belgian Waffles to English Breakfast–Duck and Waffle’s seasonal menu is a treat. The elevator that whizzes you up to the 40th floor of Heron Tower feels like part of the dining experience–it’s incredibly fast, and there’s no denying the rush of adrenaline only makes you more excited to eat! Once you stet out, you’ll see coat check up front, with a nice bar area next to the main dining room. It’s easy to drop off your coats, and head straight to …

Alice’s Tea Cup: “it’s always tea-time”

Alice’s Tea Cup is not too far from the magical world Alice stepped into. With a wide selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and mixed teas, this cosy tearoom is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. My brief stop in New York–before visiting my family for Thanksgiving Break–consisted of a satisfying brunch at Friedman’s, a great spot for homemade comfort food, followed by high tea at Alice’s Tea Cup. I met up with one of my classmates from university who is in the process of finishing her dissertation. Now, when I say classmate, I mean more of an older sister I look up to. In the year and a half I was gone in London, she got married to a wonderful guy and gave birth to the most precious baby girl. I was ecstatic to meet her family so where better to have a reunion than over high tea? I loved all the Alice in Wonderland-themed tea sets at Alice’s Tea Cup. Between The Nibble “a lil bit hungry?”, The Mad Hatter “hungry?”, and The Jabberwocky “famished?”, we ended up getting …

Carma’s Cafe: sesame noodles, paninis, and more

Carma’s Cafe is a magical little hideout in Baltimore. The cafe’s menu is constantly updated with seasonal specials but nothing beats their staples: the best sesame noodles around, Pink Dalmatian cookies (cranberry white chocolate chip magicalness), and an array of freshly grilled paninis. On gloomy days, there’s nothing more comforting than an order of Carma’s grilled cheese with tomato soup. On days when all your stomach craves is savory carbs, Carma’s TCB (turkey cranberry brie panini) with a side order of sesame noodles is on point My friend Marc, whose palate matches his deeply fabulous style, recently introduced me to the Xander–a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with granny smith apples, light cream cheese, and honey drizzled over. I don’t know how I went so long without trying it! Carma’s Cafe is also famous for its Icelandic Yogurt (with berry compote!) and baked cookies. If you’re really lucky, you’ll manage to catch a fresh batch of Carma’s blueberry muffins in the morning! Plus, since it’s located right next to University campus, you’ll always find students grabbing coffees to go, or studying outside the cafe when the weather is nice–a perfect people watching spot. It’s crazy how Baltimore’s …

Fall Weekend Holiday in New York

Gourmand (one who takes great pleasure in food) is a word I’ve been called by some of my close friends and it’s most definitely the best word to describe my recent long weekend. After all, Fall Weekend holiday was the perfect excuse for a girls getaway in New York City! Luckily, with a lovely airbnb booked in East Village, my best girlfriends and I were ready to start on a long list of delicious places to visit. Unsurprisingly, right at the top of our list was The Fat Radish, Ippudo Ramen, and Chelsea Market. The Fat Radish was the newest addition to our list of must-try brunch spots–curtesy of my friend Ellie who constantly scouts out amazing finds for me! As for Ippudo–I just couldn’t wait for a bowl of their spicy Tonkotsu ramen. It sounded like the perfect throwback to Tokyo’s noodle shops I miss so dearly (oh but of course, Ippudo’s Hirata pork belly buns are to die for too!). And last, but definitely not least–Chelsea Market. Does it need any explanation? Oysters, donuts, crepes, beef pies, anything and everything. We were even lucky enough to grab a table …

The Beauty of Artifact Coffee

Coffee shops are best on Sunday afternoons when you need a space to relax in before the beginning of another week. Artifact Coffee, a spinoff of Baltimore’s widely acclaimed Woodberry Kitchen, is a lovely place to do just that. I visited Artifact Coffee for a late lunch with my friend Sarika and absolutely loved the hipster decorations. With a spacious interior, Artifact Coffee offers freshly baked goods, an interesting mix of coffee drinks (lavender latte anyone?), and a great all day menu. Plus, if you don’t want to sit, they also have island bar tables you can stand and chat at–a reminder of my favorite coffee bars in Italy.

It will never rain roses

Some days it rains, and everything is dark and gloomy. But I’ve found there’s beauty in that gloominess too. Here are some gorgeous photos of a city I lived in for a year and love even now. Look at this incredibly gallery of London in the rain here. ‘It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.’ – George Elliot  love, eatprayjade x.

Sushi Dai 寿司大 at Tsukiji Fish Market

Sukiyabashi Jiro might be the ultimate sushi master, but if you can wake up amazingly early in Tokyo and make your way to Tsukiji Fish Market, you’ll find yourself lost in the buzzing excitement of the world’s largest seafood market. I’ve had such amazing sushi in Tokyo but Sushi Dai, located in the busy lanes of Tsukiji Fish Market, is one of a kind (and yes, this is where Jiro and other renowned sushi chefs come to select their fresh fish!) Lines can stretch up to 5 hours, so bring some entertainment or simply come to enjoy the good company you’ll meet–I’ve truly met the most interesting and international people in line before. After all, as Julia Child so wisely reminds us, “people who love to eat are always the best people.”

‘O Say Can You Sea’ at Ouzo Bay

It was the 200th year anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner recently and Baltimore really celebrated in style with gorgeous fireworks–as Lana Del Rey would say, “Red, white, blue’s in the sky.” On top of that, it was my roommate Lauren’s 21st birthday so delicious celebrations were in order of course. Our restaurant of choice, Ouzo Bay, boasts everything we love about authentic Greek cuisine: delicious seafood fare with a lovely selection of wines and possibly the best bread basket we’ve had in a while.

Celebrating Labor Day Weekend on Carolina Beach

After a whirlwind year and a half of being in London and Tokyo, it’s hard transitioning back to American culture. I already miss the questions about red solo cups, amused compliments on my American accent, and most importantly, friends I made abroad. But Labor Day Weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to assimilate back to ‘American college’ life and most importantly, American food. And since we were headed to North Carolina, Southern comfort food was a must! Having rented a house on Carolina Beach, we had a long weekend full of sunshine, soft sand, and fantastic company. Although we mostly cooked, we snacked like queens when we visited Carolina Boardwalk and obviously enjoyed our Corona and limes–a perfect end to the fading summer season.