Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bite This!: Ken Shin – Hot Sea Roll

After watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, my stomach reminded me of how much it longs for a good sushi sit-down feast. Although I haven’t made it to my feast just yet, I picked up the phone and called for my favorite sushi roll in the area: The Ken Shin, Asian Diner’s Hot Sea Roll.

Ok, I know. When you hear Asian + Diner, you can get a little skeptical. What can an Asian diner possibly sell? Well, just like an American diner you can find a smorgasbord of delicious Thai, Korean, Chinese Japanese and Vietnamese varieties, all jam packed into one awesome menu! To me that sounds way better than your typical American diner fare.

Stop in to Ken Shin and start with the Hot Sea Roll, a simple Spicy Salmon and Avocado Roll topped with a nicely peppered and flavorful seared tuna. I know it’s just one roll, but DAMN, it’s a good one. Other favorites are the tiger roll, Pad Thai, Pan Seared Udon, the Chicken Pho (I know – weird, but also a good one), and the long list of bubble teas (Tara is the preferred here).

Don’t be fooled by the cheesy nightclub feel, Ken Shin is about its food. This is a great Asian Fusion off-beat spot in the booming neighborhood of Northern Liberties. Get to it people!

Ken Shin Asian Diner
301 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123


Travel Bites: Boston Food Truck

If you are a food truck lover like I am, then you would appreciate the amazing simplicity of this truck – Grilled Cheese Nation Food Truck in Boston, MA. I will admit I have a lot of  “favorite foods”, but you can always get to my heart through a grilled cheese sammie.  This wonderful American favorite originated in the 1920’s due to the abundance of inexpensive cheese and bread during the Great Depression. Nothing about a grilled cheese makes me depressed.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the  owner of Grilled Cheese Nation and founder of the Boston Area Food Truck Association. For one, he and his members are fighting to get a larger food trucks presence in the city of Boston which is a kind-of-a-big-deal, and super respectable. Secondly, he is killing it with the grilled cheese options at his truck! Seriously.

I can only share a photo of the menu and not of the actual food because I scarfed it all down waaay  before I could say “cheese” (hehe get it?).

The gourmet grilled snackables that I tried were:
The Boston CommonAged Mild Vermont Cheddar with Applewood Smoked Bacon on Iggy’s Organic Pain de Mie Bread.
Brie Me Up: Melted Creamy Brie with Sliced Asian Pear on Iggy’s Organic Wheat Pain de Mie Bread.

But the most noteworthy and honestly, the one I still crave the most was:
The Blue Man GooGreat Hill Blue Cheese and Organic Fig Spread with Aged Balsamic on Iggy’s Raisin Pecan Bread. HOLY GRANOLI. That blew my mind. The salt of the blue cheese, the sweetness of the fig spread, the tart flavor of the balsamic, all pressed and grilled in a sweet and nutty bread. Man oh man, this is a must try.

What made this even better (since it was cold at the time), was their shot’s of tomato soup to accompany my grilled cheeses. What a combo!

If you are ever in the Boston area, you need to get your hands on one of these delicious sammies. You can find Grilled Cheese Nation’s schedule here or call: 857-728-2057.

Keep it cheesy.


Travel Bites: New York: Lobster Rolls

I don’t get to eat this tasty treat often, but when I can devour some good ol’ Maine-style lobster rolls, I do. What’s a Maine-style roll you ask?? Simple. It’s a split top roll (like a hot dog roll or similar) that is lightly buttered and then lightly grilled (like). A gentle swipe of mayo is added (like), which is then filled with a generous serving of chilled seafood (love). Lastly it is topped with a sprinkled of lemon juice (like).  I’m drooling.

On a casual stroll in New York’s Upper East side we  stopped in on a  Luke’s Lobster, one of many locations in the city. Peep the menu.

Of course we went with the Noah’s Ark special: Two half lobster rolls, two half crab rolls, two half shrimp rolls, four crab claws, two sodas, two chips and two pickles. BOOM! Instant happiness.

Sadly the shrimp roll (right) was nothing special, but that lobster roll (left) takes the dang cake!! Crab roll (center) came at a close second. That warm buttery bread topped with creamy fresh lobster, with a dash of Luke’s yummy secret spice, is a definite Bite you need to take. If you make it to Luke’s, don’t sleep on the crab claw either. Might be good enough to make you move to New York. maybe.

Luke’s Lobster – Upper East Side 
242 E. 81st Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 249-4241