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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 5 Most Read Posts of 2014

Thank you for sharing this year with us!
Wishing you the best in 2015!
Happy travels! :)

Read more.

[Seoul] Yonsei University SK Global House Dormitory

Are you planning on studying abroad at Yonsei University? If you are living on-campus, SK Global House will likely be your home away from home.

Monday, December 29, 2014

[NYC New Year's] New Year's Eve Countdown in Central Park (alternative to Times Square)



If you are planning on traveling to New York City for New Year's Eve and are looking for something to do for countdown, consider going to Central Park for fireworks, live music, and a New Year's Eve Run.

This event is very family-friendly and is a great alternative to Times Square.

[Korea] Caffe Bene Green Tea Bingsu - 카페베네 녹차빙수/녹빙

One of my favorite Korean foods is bingsu. Basically everywhere you go, you will be able to find a Caffe Bene, even in places outside Seoul and EVEN outside of Korea!

Which is your favorite Bene bingsu? Leave a comment below. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

[Tokyo New Year's] Imperial Palace Emperor New Year's Greeting [Every Year January 2]

I went to Tokyo last year for New Year's (other Japan itineraries). I had heard the Emperor of Japan makes a public greeting each year on the morning of January 2.
 
Since it coincided with my trip and because I find this sort of thing fascinating, I made sure to make my way there.
 
I was meeting my college friend at Tokyo Station later and mentioned to her my plan of seeing the Emperor and she thought it was so random/hilarious that I, the foreigner, knew about this viewing and she, the Japanese citizen, did not know, that she wanted to go with me to the palace.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

[Tokyo New Year's] Senso-ji and Asakusa Hatsumode - New Year's Eve/New Year's Day Shrine/Temple Visit


Hatsumode is an annual Japanese tradition. It is the first visit to a temple or shrine in the new year. I decided to do hatsumode at Senso-ji Temple/Asakusa since my hostel was very nearby, in case the subways were too packed and I just wanted to walk back.

Other Japan New Year's Posts:
Emperor at the Imperial Palace - January 2

[Chuncheon Restaurant] Halmoni Dakgalbi / Original Joongang Dakgalbi (원조 중앙닭갈비) - Hometown favorite


In planning our daytrip to Chuncheon, I asked my Chuncheon unni for dakgalbi restaurant recommendations. She recommended only Halmoni Dakgalbi in the Myeongdong Dagalbi Street.

Honestly, we made the daytrip just to eat Chuncheon dakgalbi, so with her glowing review, we visited the hometown favorite, Halmoni Dakgalbi (중앙 춘천닭갈비), without hesitation.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

[Korea Shopping] SPAO for Winter Outerwear


It is that time of year again, Seoul is cold and winter has arrived.

For travelers coming from warmer climates, this may be a major shock and you may not have the proper winter accoutrements.

I highly recommend stopping by SPAO for very affordable, reliable, and rather fashionable winter outerwear.


[DC, Georgetown Cafe] Baked & Wired - Best Cupcakes in DC

 
The locals have spoken. Baked & Wired is the BEST cupcake shop in Georgetown, by far. Even with all the hype around Georgetown Cupcake, Baked & Wired is the best!
 
I have tried Georgetown Cupcake (DC Cupcakes fame) and Sprinkles Cupcake (the LA's store was the first cupcakery at the beginning of the trend).

Friday, December 19, 2014

[Seoul Museum] National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) - Seoul, Jongro, Samchungdong, Insadong


I visited Seoul's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Jongro last year with my friend. We both had been trying to get there for a while, but never had enough time.

I have been meaning to write this post for some time, but alas I have failed, so some of the exhibits are out of date. So sorry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

[Chuncheon - Day Trip] Chuncheon South Korea Travel Itinerary (Day Trip from Seoul) - Dalkgalbi trip 춘천닭갈비 여행


I really like getting out of Seoul, taking a break from city life. Chuncheon is very close to Seoul, so it is a great place to escape. In fact, it is easily accessible! You can take the subway from Seoul and get to Chuncheon within 2.5 hours. Take the Jungang Line from Wangsimni Station to Sangbong Station (transfer to the teal line) and then alight at Chuncheon Station.

Jeonju Day Trip Itinerary

Tutorial: How to use free WiFi on Seoul subways
Korean Shopping Tips
Other Korea Travel Itineraries


Sunday, December 14, 2014

[Mall of America] Masu Sushi and Robata - Ramen and Japanese food

I love ramen! Masu serves some of Minneapolis' best ramen! There are now two locations, one in Northeast and one in the Mall of America.

My Japanese friend introduced me to Masu when I was an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. She was obsessed with the ramen and for good reason.

Masterchef Junior

Does anyone else watch Masterchef Junior?

I was super obsessed with the show last year just because it was such a refreshing show, with kids being great at being kids, kind, and cooking killer dishes.

This season was/is good, but I just don't feel as emotionally invested in the kids as I did last year. Or...maybe it has lost its novelty?

SPOILER ALERT!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Korean Movie Theaters: CGV, Megabox, Lotte Cinema


If you've never been to a Korean movie theater, I recommend trying it out one time. CGV, Megabox, Lotte Cinema are some of the bigger movie theater brands in Korea.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

[Osaka Station/Umeda] Holiday Christmas Illuminations

It is that time of year again, time to do a tour of all the holiday illumination displays in Japan.
I really like this one in Osaka station! It is not quite as lavish as other displays, but that's what I like about it.

Where is your favorite illumination display?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bibigo - Korean Bibimbap restaurant chain (Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Food) - 비비고


Bibigo is kind of like Chipotle for Korean food. Instead of burritos, you are served bibimbap (bibimbop).

CJ Foods is one of the large Korean food companies. They own/operate Tous les Jous, VIPS, Twosome Place, among others.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

[Arlington Restaurant] Ray's Hell Burger (Ray's to the Third)

Soul Burger Number One
Sometimes in selecting restaurants, I go by the thought, "if it's good enough for President Obama, it's good enough for me." This is why I chose to go to Ray's Hell Burger the first time - President Obama had been photographed eating at Ray's Hell Burger - and because I really wanted a specialty burger.

[Osaka Station/Umeda Sky Building] German Christmas Market (Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt in Osaka)

It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Osaka.If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, head over to the Umeda/Osaka Station German Christmas Market!

It is held from 11/14 to 12/25. Monday through Thursday from noon until 9PM, Friday from noon until 10PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM until 10PM.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

[Anywhere in the world] Looking for guest bloggers



Hi hi, I'm looking for guest bloggers from anywhere in the world!
You can introduce your favorite food, destinations, itinerary, recipe, book, whatever your hear desires.

If you're interested in being a guest or have any questions, feel free to email me at eatstretchexplore@gmail.com.

I'll be happy to share a link to your personal blog/vlog and promote people to check out your site!

[Jeonju, South Korea Tour Itinerary] Hanok Village (Jeonju Hanok Maul/Traditional Korean Village/전주 한옥마을)


Traveling to Jeonju is great! I like to escape Seoul life from time to time, get away from the hustle and bustle of city life in Seoul.

Jeonju is arguably the food capital of South Korea and has a lot to offer in terms of traditional Korean culture activities and sights. It is famous for its Hanok Village (Traditional Korean Village), which is full of traditional Korean architecture and you can learn about traditional arts and crafts, daily life, and music.

Jeonju is about 3 hours from Seoul via bus (from Express Bus Terminal).
Tickets vary in price based on which comfort level of bus you take, it's typically much less than 20,000KRW, but the prices do vary based on time and other conditions.

Tutorial: How to use free WiFi on Seoul subways
Korean Shopping Tips
Other Korea Travel Itineraries


Friday, December 5, 2014

[Minneapolis] The Tea Garden - Bubble tea, boba (UMN Campus, Mall of America, Uptown)

Avocado Shake with Pearls
 

The Tea Garden is a local tea shop in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are three locations: University of Minnesota (Stadium Village), Mall of America, and Uptown Minneapolis. It specializes in bubble tea, shakes, bulk tea, and vegan snacks.
 
I love bubble tea. I really started drinking it a lot as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis at The Tea Garden.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

[NYC, Nolita/NoHo] Mile End Delicatessen - Poutine Happy Hour

Have you ever heard of a poutine happy hour? That's right. Mile End Delicatessen has half-price poutine during happy hour 5-7PM Tuesday through Friday (not open Mondays).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

[Crafting] Minion doll time!

Did a bit of prototyping for my minion crafts!
How do you think it looks? How should I make the mouths?

Plus, I was able to get the Memory Game for Toys for Tots on Black Friday with a coupon!
Hopefully some child enjoys minions as much as I do.
 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

[Minneapolis, Stadium Village] Big 10 Restaurant and Bar - Subs

Looking for somewhere to eat before/after/during a University of Minnesota Gophers game or a Minnesota Vikings game? Try Big 10 for some great subs!
If you are not looking for a dine-in experience, stop by the Big 10 sub shop right next door.

Monday, December 1, 2014

[Minneapolis Restaurant] Rosa Mexicano - Tableside guacamole, sangria,tacos

 
Last week, we went to Rosa Mexicano in downtown Minneapolis before a show.
 
Rosa Mexicano is a chain with a few locations in the United States - Minneapolis, NYC (Union Square, First Ave, Lincoln Center), LA, Miami, Boston, Atlanta, DC, SF and abroad - Dubai.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

[Seoul, Konguk University Restaurant] Gamaro - Well-being Kimchi Samgyupsal Korean BBQ 가마로 웬빙 삼겹살

Gamaro in the Konguk University (Kondae) restaurant street is a perfect place for you to get Korean barbeque without filling up on only meat and lettuce.

If you haven't noticed, I rarely post about Korean barbeque restaurants on here. For me to go to one, they have to have something impressive about them other than just meat (samgyupsal).

Saturday, November 29, 2014

[NYC, Lower East Side] Death and Company (Speakeasy)

A couple of years ago, Death and Company (Death & Co) was on a list of best bars in the United States. My friends and I checked it out for our friend's birthday.

Its probably one of the best speakeasys in New York City. As a result, there is always a line/long wait. You can't make a reservation ahead of time. The only way to get on the list is by going up to the door. They will take your name and phone number and call you when a table is available, so you're free to go to another bar or restaurant in the area.

CASH ONLY.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cute, but disgusting Thanksgiving-themed cupcakes at Whole Foods.

To all my American readers, happy thanksgiving!
Hope you had a great time with your family and friends today.

Anyone going shopping tomorrow for Black Friday? What are you going to get?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[NYC Bakery] Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery received a ton of publicity a couple of years ago because of its creation, the cronut. I have still failed to get one...well, actually I've never tried, so is that a failure?

My friends and I went with his long-standing popular creations - the DKA and the cannele.

[Gangnam Cafe] 100억 (100Ok - baek-oak) Cafe

I found 100억 (Baek-oak) with my Korean tutor. It is located in Gangnam on café hill. It is quite large, decorated very elegantly and is very quiet.

My Korean tutor and I met in Gangnam often because it was the most convenient location for both of us...it was halfway between each of our houses. We tried to go to some of the cafes we usually meet at (ie. Standard Coffee Bar, Angel-in-Us, Espresso Public), but all of them were full and very loud. We decided to keep venturing up café hill until we found a quiet place for our lesson.

[Kyoto/Arashiyama Tour] Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama (BABY MONKEYS!)



Arashiyama Monkey Park is great! You get to walk around alongside monkeys, including BABY MONKEYS! It is located right by Kyoto, so it is very easy to add to any itinerary.

There are about 140 monkeys at the park! Apart from monkey-viewing, it is a great area to hike around with some spectacular views of Kyoto.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[NYC] Halal Guys - Chicken over Rice



Halal Guys is a legendary food cart in New York City known for its chicken over rice and its very great, central location very near to Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA), and shopping on Fifth Avenue. For only $6, you can easily get two meals! It is such a great deal and is delish.
 
Since it is a food cart, it is CASH ONLY!


Monday, November 24, 2014

[Kobe, Sannomiya] Comme Chinois Bakery


I read about this great bakery Comme Chinois in my Korean guidebook to Osaka.
It was raving about the fresh European-style bread, pastries, and sandwiches. The chef is French-trained and makes about 80+ different types of bread each day.
Once they're sold out for the day, they are sold out.

[Seoul, Gangnam Restaurant] Mies Container - CNN "Hooters for women"

I finally got the chance to go to Mies Container with my friend. I had been wanting to try it out for a couple of years and just never got around to it (mainly because I went back to the US for a long time).
 
It serves Western food (think pizza, salad) and has a very industrial ambience.
 
Have you been here before? What did you order? I kind of want to try it again, but don't want to wait in line.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

[Poll] New poll: Where do you want me to post more about?

Look at the new poll I made. It is in the right hand column. If you are on the mobile version of the blog, you may need to scroll to the bottom and click on "web version."

Where would you like to see more posts about?
Kobe, Japan
NYC, USA
Seoul, Korea
Tokyo, Japan
Other

Please leave a comment here or email me at eatstretchexplore@gmail.com if you have any requests!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

[Seoul, Myungdong] Myeongdong Bongchu Jjimdak (Korean stewed chicken)

As I've said before, I really, really, REALLY like jjimdalk (Korean stewed chicken).

My friend from Germany was visiting me and she also really likes jjimdalk, so we met up in Myungdong (Myeongdong) to have it at Bongchu Jjimdalk.







[Seoul] Geurida Kkum (Real Strawberry Milk and Mint Chocolate Latte) - 그리다꿈 리얼딸기우유 & 오초라떼

Real Strawberry Milk and Hot Oreo Mint Choco Latte

Yum! Geurida Kkum 그리다꿈 is my FAVORITE stop for drinks. The price is great, too! Unlike many of the larger cafes, the price here is low because, I'm assuming, they have lower overhead costs because they do not need to have WiFi or seats.

Friday, November 21, 2014

[NYC, Midtown East] Ess-a-Bagel


I wanted to try Ess-A-Bagel forever! It is one of those iconic New York City eating establishments. Plus, you have to eat a New York bagel with schmear, right?

CASH ONLY!

[Seoul, Shopping] Gangnam Express Bus Terminal - Seoul Shopping Wonderland 고속터미널 지하상가

Sorry, no pictures this post. I feel bad about it, but it just didn't happen.

It may seem strange, but one of my favorite areas to go shopping in Seoul is the Express Bus Terminal (aka Gangnam Bus Terminal).

It's very convenient to Gangnam and, if you're coming from out of town, it is the perfect shopping destination to start your trip off in Seoul.

If you have pictures or more shopping tips, please leave a comment! I will update this post and give you credit! :) :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 11: Homemade pomegranate drinking vinegar experiment


Look at how delicious my pomegranate vinegar looks!
Ahhh, so excited to taste test it tomorrow.

The color is so much deeper now. Compare this picture with the day 1. You can barely see the pomegranate seeds now, whereas before you could see everything.

When I hold it up to the light, I can see that the pomegranate juice has come out of the seeds.

Seriously, so excited. 

[Kobe, Kitano] Sannomiya and Kitano Travel Guide (Christmas Santas)

 
It's almost that time of year again!
Japan is crazy about winter/Christmas. Even though they do not observe/celebrate Christmas, all the buildings, shopping centers, train stations get decked out in illuminations and other signs of Christmas.
If you happen to be in Osaka or Kyoto, head over to Kobe for a really cute display in the Kitano area!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Hongdae, Seoul] Softree Ice Cream

 
Continuing on with my ice cream wanderings, Softree in Seoul!
Softree was one of the first places in Seoul serving honeycomb custard a couple of years ago, starting this huge trend that is now all over the world.

Monday, November 17, 2014

[Seoul, Anam, Korea University] Terre de glace


I found this cute little ice cream shop in Anam, near Korea University. Terre de glace makes its own ice cream from fresh, organic ingredients.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[NYC, Midtown] Grom - Italian Gelato

 
Some days, I crave gelato. I really enjoy Grom in Columbus Circle, Manhattan. This is probably some of the best gelato in the city and is a really convenient location to Central Park.
 
Grom prides itself on being 100% natural and uses no artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Seoul - Subway/Bus] Free WiFi Tutorial! How to use FREE_U+ Zone on Seoul Subways

If you're traveling in Seoul on the subway, you will notice that everyone is on their phone. You can use the free U+ WiFi zone, too. This service allows you to have 30 minutes of free WiFi every day. You need to go through this process each time. To use U+, you need to make sure you have an active Korean phone number. You can ask a friend with a Korean number if you did not rent a phone at the airport.
Share this post to everyone you know! It should be super useful.
I hope this works! Let me know! :)

Korean Shopping Tips
Other Korea Travel Itineraries



Monday, November 10, 2014

[Recipe/Experiment] Pomegranate Hongcho (Drinking Vinegar): Day 1

 
I am kind of obsessed with hongcho (Korean drinking vinegar). Ask any of my friends, they will tell you about how I always consume it and try and get them to try it.

Have you ever tried hongcho?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[DC, Capitol Hill] We the Pizza


When I'm in DC, one of my favorite places to grab a slice is We the Pizza. It is located in Capitol Hill, right next to Good Stuff Eatery.

Monday, November 3, 2014

[Seoul, Express Bus Terminal] Tong Keun Gamjatang Jokbal (Pork Bone Soup) 고속터미널역 감자탕


It may seem a little strange, but my favorite place to eat gamjatang (Korean pork bone soup) is at the Express Bus Terminal in Seoul.
 
Gamjatang is one of my favorite Korean foods, it is just so flavorful and there are a ton of different flavor components that just come together in a very harmonious flavor combination.
 

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