Monday, January 16, 2012

Bloggers' Bites: Best Winter Break Food

Bloggers' Bites is a series of posts chronicling the foodie adventures of Penn Appetit's blog staff. During winter break, our staff traveled back home or gone on exciting foodie adventures, delighting in both comfort foods and culinary masterpieces.

The question: What was your favorite food experience this winter break?

Elliott Brooks: This winter break, I discovered my new favorite cheese, La Tur. It's the most creamy melt-in-your mouth cheese made from a combination of sheep, goat and cow's milk. The outside is an incredible dripping, oozing goodness surrounding the firmer center. The most amazing thing is that, while it has a pungent smell, the taste is still incredibly mild. I just discovered that La Tur can be found at the Downtown Cheese Shop in Reading Terminal Market, so I won't be deprived of its decadence in Philadelphia.

Hoi Ning Ngai: The best way I could’ve spent Christmas Eve in Philly was sipping hot chocolate at the Ritz-Carlton. Sitting in the lounge, with my unopened mail and my unread magazines, staring at the Christmas tree, with families and couples milling about, the only thing that could’ve made this experience better was having cookies to go with my hot chocolate. And so I ordered those too! My server was hilarious, and even reprimanded me for not taking more than a few bites of three very substantial cookies. Better to savor than overindulge, right? Then again, I did manage to find room for all that hot chocolate….

Nicole Woon: I had an ethereal experience this break with Apizza Scholls' pizza in Portland, OR. We had just arrived in the city and wanted to pick up something before heading to our hotel room: pizza sounded like the perfect option, so it was off to the well-reviewed Apizza for a pie! With a number of equally-delicious-sounding combinations on the menu, it was tough to decide which pie to order. We finally chose a ½ and ½ pizza: ½ Tartufo Bianco (whole milk and fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, truffle oil, and sea salt) and ½ Bacon Bianca (whole milk mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, lots of fresh garlic, herbs, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and house cured bacon). Those of us not driving dug in as soon as we shut the car door.
Everyone knows that you can't have a drool-worthy pizza in the making without a solid foundation, and Apizza's crust was just that: salivating. It was one of the best I've had with the right chew, spot-on seasonings, and a fantastic wood-fired taste. There's just something in the water in the Oregon/Northern California areas that makes incredible bread and baked goods! The cheese combination had a creamy freshness and the perfect gooey, stretchy consistency, complimenting the other ingredients quite nicely. The Bacon's... well, bacon was generously spread atop its respective pizza half; its crispness and flavorful saltiness added to the full-bodied flavor. The Tartufo's truffle essence also gave the pizza slices a rounded richness, which I can only describe as the ultimate umami. The wait at this restaurant is always long, and it was easy to see why after one bite of this pizza. Bravo!

Abigail Koffler: My favorite food experience over break was at Estancia 460, an Argentine restaurant in Tribeca. We dined for my friend's birthday on modern Argentine dishes. I hope to study abroad in Buenos Aires junior year and if this restaurant is any indication, I will be eating well. Grilled mozarella was my favorite dish (seriously everyone needs to try this). We sampled three types of brushetta, steak salad and salmon. The steak salad incorporated traditional argentine flavors without being heavy. We also couldn't stop eating the warm bread with chimichurri sauce, a total upgrade from the average stale role. The best part, of course, was catching up with old friends in the spacious and well lit setting over delicious food.

Emily Yoon:
Delivery in Korea is super fast. Whatever one orders--fried chicken, McDonald's, sushi, you name it--it will usually arrive under half an hour. In fact, many pizza and fried chicken joints guarantee a 30-minute-or-less delivery time (or the customer gets a discount or a free meal). Amazingly, the food is still good and there is no delivery charge! Additionally, lots of places either deliver until late into the a.m. or for the entire 24 hours. Korea is one country that never seems to sleep!

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