In a week, my oldest daughter turns 11. So the list below documents my culinary experiences of my journey being a mother, caretaker, and suddenly responsible for a life. She was born in Denver, and before settling down on the hills of Stillwater, MN by the mighty St. Croix River we ventured to Los Angeles and Boston.
As the girls got older, traveling abroad became more manageable, and we ventured to far off places and ate. My list far exceeded ten. So narrowing down to ten was hard. I will have to write another blog about the others; I felt compelled to negate on my list.
Cloudy Bay Storm Clams, The Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand, 2019
I don’t want kid’s menu anymore. My daughter has declared.
I want to return to the Rata, to eat this most delicious appetizer I have ever had in my life. When no one was looking, I licked the shell; the clams came drowned in a wakame seaweed butter and flavorful sauce so mysterious yet comforting. My mouth waters when I close my eyes. My eyes tear up, watching my big girl making her own dining decisions. https://www.ratadining.co.nz/menus/
The Shoyu on fire, Silverlake Ramen, Long Beach, CA, 2018
The Grove, LACMA, Santa Monica beach, Malibu temple, West Hollywood Library, the Urth Cafe saved me from going crazy while raising little kids on my own. Now the girls walk off on their own.
The long wait was worth it. I could spend the rest of my life just sitting by the bar and slurping down the Ramen for lunch. It is my nieces’ favorite place to eat. When I visit my sister, it’s a special treat I share with my niece and the girls. The girls love Harry Potter and laugh a lot when they are together. They leave my sister and me alone. For a change, we can have our own conversation and enjoy our food. I love the sound of the girl’s laughter and the slurping of ramen.
Deep Dish Pizza, Giordano’s Pizza, Chicago, 2017
No more diapers. No more strollers. Just the girls and I holding hands.
I am not a big fan of pizza. The best pizza I have ever had was not in Italy but at Fire and Ice in Nepal. True. So when in Chicago you eat a deep dish, my husband said. I reluctantly agreed since my daughter didn’t like pizza either, and we loved it. No words to describe Chicago’s deep-dish pizza legacy. You have to try it. However, my girl still doesn’t like pizza. My second girl will eat pizza for breakfast.
Pheasant and heirloom vegetables, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, MN, 2016
Homecoming for my husband. Grandparents and a massive family for the girls. Love abound.
We were house hunting, and we stumbled on it by accident. I wanted something simple and fresh. Locally sourced food, lifted my spirits from depressing efforts of house hunting. P.S. The chef creates the menu every day. So go, be surprised. Do not take kids. They will eat your money because the food is divine.
Nepali Food, Taj Meghuali, Chitwan, Nepal, 2015
When in Nepal you do as Nepali does. Eat lots of momos. Now they can make their own.
As a Nepali, I am a discerning eater when it comes to Nepali food. The head chef at the Taj Meghauli fed me authentic Nepali food to my hearts’ content. From authentic, simple Nepali fare to complicated dishes, they hit the nail. And the momos (dumplings) were made just right for me. I love momos. I had them for breakfast, everyday. My girls gave two thumbs up for Nepali food. Now it’s on the family menu. This was their first visit to Nepal, my home country. They began to have more empathy for others and realized that not everybody in the world has amenities like us. Raising kids with empathy is vital in my humble opinion.
Smoked Kielbasa, Bronwyn, Union Square, Boston, 2014
On-demand nursing mom. Sleep-deprived and plenty of creative play grounds. My girls loved playing with dirt and sometimes even eating it.
I was a nursing mother; most of my stay in Boston. So our Sunday brunch with a baby in arm and a toddler – Bronwyn was the place. The freshly smoked Kielbasa replenished my body and spirit. The girls loved freshly baked pretzels. And their hot dogs are a must. My baby girl was learning to read, and she always read Kielbasa as “Kill Basa.” Beautiful memories were made at this place for us.
Curried Chicken, Nyonya, Manhattan, New York City, 2013
I had discovered a double stroller runner. We went up and down the East Coast on the train discovering new places to eat and beaches at the Cape.
I love New York City. It’s just so alive, and you can eat whatever your heart desires. Every visit I go to Nyonya. Stand in a long line. Wait for my turn to sit at this hole in the wall icon in Chinatown to devour the curried chicken. I can’t believe I actually pushed two girls on a stroller through China Town to eat here. My favorite moment was when my daughter hailed a taxi in a Superwoman costume because she was tired of walking. Go, girl!
Chicken Makhani, Rasika, Washington DC, 2012
No more baby food. One less thing to carry.
The first time I had butter chicken was at the famous Moti Mahal in New Delhi, India. After a few misfires, I never ate butter chicken again until I had the good fortune to enjoy my once favorite butter chicken. My girls were little, and they had short-lived table manners, so I took the risk of going to a fancy place with them. They loved it. I was a happy mother since feeding kids while traveling was stressful then. Now I make Chicken Makhani at home for the girls, and I get lots of kisses and compliments.
Peruvian Ceviche, The Bazaar, Los Angeles, 2011
My daughter learned to walk and use words. Her favorite word was “Ball”. She is an amazing batter.
Our babies were little. We lived close to the Bazaar. We had no family close by to share a Thanksgiving meal. Our second child was only a few months old. I had no gumption to cook. It was the only restaurant open that day in our neighborhood. Being a big fan of Chef Jose Andreas, we ventured to our first family Thanksgiving dinner. My two-year-old had two servings of Chef’s Curated meat. My husband and I were ecstatic; she liked new food. It’s still our tradition to go eat out on Thanksgiving day.
Whole Dungeness Crab, Imperial Chinese, Denver, CO, 2010
First time mom. A new baby in arms.
This was my hang out place when my girl was just a baby. I had quit my job to be a full-time mom. I was lonely and new to this whole motherhood thing. Also, I was suffering from postpartum depression. And grieving the loss of my niece, who died at the age of 11. So, I went for lunch almost every day. She liked rice, and I craved soup all the time. But their Crab is my all-time favorite. It has garlic and Chinese peppers. Just enough to accentuate the crab meat and heal a hurting heart. Nowadays, when my husband is traveling for work, we only eat Chinese.
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2 Comments Add yours
I enjoyed every word and every bite! Thank you for this journey!😋
Thank you for taking the time to read. I am happy you enjoyed it.