B is for Belgium: The Fry Fix

Welcome to Where in the World Can We Eat in San Diego! Each month, we’ll be trying food from a different country or place, going in alphabetical order by the beginning letter.

For March, we’re on the letter B. I (Jenne) chose B is for Belgium, because the Belgians invented french fries, and french fries are one of my favorite things in life.

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B is for Brazil: Brazil by the Bay

Welcome to Where in the World Can We Eat in San Diego! Each month, we’ll be trying food from a different country or place, going in alphabetical order by the beginning letter.

For March, we’re on the letter B. I chose B is for Brazil, which led my wife and me to Brazil by the Bay, a chill café that’s a great place to unwind with traditional appetizers, stews, and beverages.

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Ariana Kabob House: A is for Afghanistan

Welcome to our new project, Where in the World Can We Eat in San Diego! Each month, we’ll be trying food from a different country or place, going in alphabetical order by the beginning letter. Despite devoting years to eating on Convoy Street, Jenne and I have barely scratched the surface of the diverse cuisines San Diego has to offer. Despite this lockdown, one way we can travel is through our taste buds, and trying more of our incredible, local, immigrant-owned restaurants.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read, you begin with A! I had a taste of Afghanistan through Ariana Kabob House in Mira Mesa.

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New Project: Where in the World Can We Eat in San Diego?

Hello, hello! It’s good to be back. Holy har gow, it’s literally been years since our last post.

For ages, Jenne and I had been chatting about an idea for a new project — one that would highlight the diversity of food that we can find here in San Diego. It was hard to find time though … We were on opposite work schedules, focusing on projects for our second blog, and we wrote a book!

And then, 2020 and the pandemic hit. Though we are isolated from each other and our friends, Jenne and I are privileged to have jobs that have remained stable throughout this time. We’ve been frequenting our favorite foodie spots with both great affection and worry for their owners and staff.

On Inauguration Day, my wife and I celebrated a new presidency with excellent food from countries that are no longer to be on a racist travel ban (see above):

Immigration makes the U.S. stronger. We’re very lucky to live in San Diego, where our community includes immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

This seems a perfect time to finally start our project: Where in the World Can We Eat in San Diego! Each month, we’ll each be trying cuisine from a different country or place, going in alphabetical order by the beginning letter (hi, we’re still librarians). Despite this lockdown, one way we can travel is through our tastebuds, and trying more of our incredible, local, immigrant-owned restaurants.

If you have recommendations, we would love to hear them. In February, we begin with the letter A.

Ramen Marathon: Lessons Learned

#1 lesson learned from the Ramen Marathon: NO ONE agrees on what makes a good bowl of ramen. This must be true about all food, but I thought there would be little more of a consensus? My cousin, a Tokyo native and ramen aficionado, told me that ramen has to meet three standards to be considered good quality:

1. The noodles must be firm.
2. The soup must be hot.
3. The soup must be strongly flavored.

I stand by his teachings while adding one more requirement:

4. The egg must be soft-cooked and marinated well.

Plus, I have other personal preferences: I like the yellow wavy noodles over the white straight kind, and as an assari ramen person, I’m generally not a tonkotsu fan. But I found, to my surprise, that plenty of my fellow marathoners wouldn’t agree with me on any of the above points. For example, Jenne and I were happy about al dente noodles, while other reviewers deemed them too crunchy.

Next goal (which we may or may not get to): We hope to create a flowchart to help San Diegans choose a restaurant based on their preferred ramen flavor profile!

For full results, please see our extensive Google Sheet.

Ramen Core Results & Rankings

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It’s not fair, you might say, that each restaurant was reviewed by a different number of eaters, according to who was available that day. For those who might object to this uneven methodology, we present to you: The Ramen Core Results & Rankings! The Ramen Core is our group of reviewers who tried all 10 restaurants during our June Marathon. There are four of us: Jayzee, Jenne, Laura, and me. (I now think of us as the Ramen Core Four.)

The winner of the Ramen Core Rankings is …

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