99% Food, 1% Skin

Eating in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles

I wish I could eat in each one of the countries we visited on the cruise!

In reality, I knew it would be difficult to get my hands on local foods for one reason or another.

In the Bahamas, we were dropped off at a secluded part of an island basically ran by the staff of the cruise ship – no local food.

In Aruba, everything near the strip off the port was touristy.

There were quite a few eateries but they were serving sandwiches, pizza and pasta.

Colombia and Costa Rica were challenging because we only have enough time to tour but not enough to eat locally.

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia  L: fruit vendor -- R Top: sweet cookies snacks -- R bottom: orange juice vendor

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia
L: fruit vendor — R Top: sweet cookies snacks — R bottom: orange juice vendor

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Kauai Family Restaurant

Hawaii is probably one of the top destination choices for Northwesterners’ escape during our long, gray, dreary, rainy months.

The U.S. State that is completely detached from the main land, Hawaii is culturally unique, with its diversity reflected in its food as well.

To me, Hawaiian food means plate lunches, with heavy influence from Asia (musubi, fried rice, saimin), and other places such as Portugal (malasadas) and of course, America (hamburger meat).

There are also food that are considered as native Hawaiian cuisine, such as poi and lau lau.

One of the established Hawaiian restaurants in the Greater Seattle area is Kauai Family Restaurant.


Dad wanted to have Hawaiian, and we begin our journey to Georgetown, a neighborhood in south Seattle where Kauai is located.

In the past, I have gone there every time to order my own plate lunch: almost always my favorite, Lawai crispy ginger chicken; and occasionally, Kalua pig.

With my family, it was more fun to order an array of Hawaiian food to sample.

We got my favorite, plus the oxtail soup that I had wanted to try; poi, the must-have Hawaiian food, barbeque chicken plate with fried rice, Portuguese sausage musubi and a big combo with lau lau, kalua pig and lomi salmon.

My favorite remains my favorite.

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Huong Binh

One of my top International District restaurants is Huong Binh.

Ten plus years ago, my Vietnamese friend brought me there for their famous grilled meat.

Ten plus years later, I still believe they have the best grilled pork and pork balls.

Located in Ding How shopping center, there was no way one would miss Huong Binh with the most colorful display of snacks, candies, cookies and to-go food outside the restaurant.


I still remembered when all those display used to be around the cashier inside the restaurant; they piled so high that it was difficult to find the cashier.


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What’s for Dinner?

Beef is a must when my Dad is around.

In the past, his favorite was El Gaucho’s fantastic steaks.

This year, I decided to make prime rib for him.

It was not my first time making prime rib, however, I do not make it that often just because beef is not a big part of our diet.

When I made it recently (twice actually; because my Dad loves it so much, and he thought it was better than the expensive Red Cow steaks), I was being reminded how easy it was to make prime rib.

Aside from buying great quality meat, the key to success is an accurate meat thermometer.

If an au jus is desired, be sure to use an oven and stove top safe pan for roasting and making the sauce.

A perfect dish for large party,  give it a try!



~ 4 lb. bone-in rib roast (about 2 bones), intact, no cuts between the bones and meat

3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, main stem removed, finely chopped

5 sprigs of fresh thyme, main stem removed, finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 to 2 1/2 tbsp. coarse salt

1 1/3 tbsp. coarse ground pepper



rub chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and black pepper evenly on the surface of the meat and marinate for at least 4 hours

Rub salt generously and evenly to the surface about half an hour before cooking

Preheat oven to 350F

Insert the meat thermometer right in the middle of the rib roast, as viewed from all angles of the meat

Roast, bone side down, to appropriate internal meat temperature: 130F for medium rare (as pictured), 140F for medium, and 150F for well done*

Remove from oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving^


*from a timing perspective, it is about 18-25 minutes per pound of meat

^from my experience, the meat’s internal temperature rises about 15F during the 15-minute standing time


Au Jus Recipe


1/4 cup of onion, chopped

1 cup of beef broth

dripping from the pan



After removing the prime rib from the pan, place the pan over medium heat

Stir in and sweat onion until soft and translucent

Turn heat up to high and add beef broth until boil, and all the meat dripping attached to the pan are removed

Lower heat to a simmer and cook until desirable thickness**

Pour and serve


**if the sauce still seems runny, feel free to add corn starch slurry to thicken the au jus; heat needs to be brought up to a boil, and stir au jus continuously while adding the corn starch slurry







WP_20150731_19_33_27_Pro Brought to us by Lardo folks, Grassa is a casual pasta place in bustling downtown Portland.

Once entered, the eyes were drawn to this ginormous chalk board with Grassa’s delicious offering: pork belly mac n cheese, squid ink campanelle etc.


One single cashier by the door to take orders and payments, and we were off to look for a table to sit: seats were “grab as you see them”, there was no line to open table.

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