Tag - Food Guides

bubble tea addict tumbler by missy sippy tumbler

Interview with @missysippytumbler’s Bernice Cheng and her mission to be an eco-aware foodie

We sat down with @missysippytumbler ‘s Bernice Cheng to learn more about her aspiring reusable cup business inspired by the goal of raising awareness for the environment.

Nomtrips: Tell us a little about Missy Sippy Tumbler.

Bernice: Missy Sippy focuses on handmaking customizable tumblers that are eco-friendly for users. Our tumblers are great for storing beverages such as bubble tea, smoothies, milkshakes and more.

Our tumblers are assembled by yours truly. And customers have the option to get their tumbler customized. They can either send me their own design or I can design the decors based on their request.

To get the design onto the tumbler, we use a machine to cut the vinyl that sticks to the tumblers and then apply a layer of top coat (aka.Epoxy) onto the tumbler to secure the design. It requires at least 12 hours for the epoxy to cure. For this partial reason, our customer’s would usually need to wait roughly 2 weeks for the tumbler to complete.

Nomtrips: What inspired you to the idea?

Bernice: It all began with my annual Christmas DIY gifts for my friends. I enjoy crafting and it helps to keep my budget low during the festive season. During November 2018 while I was lining up at a Bubble tea shop, I saw a mountain of used plastic cups in the trash can.  I didn’t feel good looking at it. But that was also when the light bulb inside my head lit up. And that’s how I began my Missy Sippy journey.

Nomtrips: What do you want foodies to know about being eco-aware and plastics?

Bernice: It’s all about getting into the habit of bringing your own reusable containers or shopping bags when you head out the door. Yes, sometimes it’s troublesome to bring it with you but long term wise you are creating less waste for the planet. It’s the small habits that make a huge impact. As cheesy as it sounds, we only have one earth and we need to treat it with care.

Nomtrips: Describe the reaction from McDonald’s, Coco and Starbucks when you asked them to use your own cup.

Bernice: It’s all about getting into the habit of bringing your own reusable containers or shopping bags when you head out the door. Yes, sometimes it’s troublesome to bring it with you but long term wise you are creating less waste for the planet. It’s the small habits that make a huge impact. As cheesy as it sounds, we only have one earth and we need to treat it with care.

When we asked a McDonald’s staff, his reaction was a little bit confused at first. But he asked his manager and he gave him an “okay” signal. They were nice about it. 

When we asked a Coco Fresh Tea & Juice staff to make us 10 drinks, we kept the drinks simple and try to go at the time that there are fewer people in the store. The staffs there were very nice. They gave me the feeling of, “Okay, large order coming up, let’s get it done!”, and within 10 minutes they were done with our order.

As for Starbucks, they were used to the concept of people bringing in their own tumblers. They were very open-minded about this idea. Therefore, we had no problem using our tumblers. Starbucks even encourages people to bring your own tumbler by giving 10 cents off to your purchase.

We had another interesting encounter a couple of days ago when we brought our tumblers to a restaurant. When we ask if it would be alright to put our drinks in our tumbler, the waitress looked confused and paused for a second. Her response was, “Yes! Of course! That way we can wash fewer cups!”. It was hilarious. I guess it was a win-win situation?

Nomtrips: Any tips to when you order?

Bernice: Always ask and be ready to take “No” for an answer. Always ask the staff to see if it’s alright to use your tumblers or containers beforehand. If they look confused, just explain to them your intention. If they say “No”, that’s alright too. Don’t be upset with the cashier or waiter because, at the end of the day, we as consumers need to respect the store’s decision as well.

Nomtrips: Where you’re hoping to go with it? A business… Do you have partners?

Bernice: Right now, I look at Missy Sippy as a hobby and hope to influence people to start bringing their own containers to restaurants or shopping bags to supermarkets. I find it important to slowly incorporate these habits into our daily life so we will be ready when 2040 zero waste takes into action for Vancouver.

I don’t have a business partner now but I am very blessed to have my boyfriend who helps me manage Missy Sippy’s Instagram account. He is the man behind the camera that takes all the amazing photos for Missy Sippy. He is also the one who comes up with all the interesting (to me but cheesy to most) captions for each post. He is a very supportive boyfriend who has given me a lot of great advice to help me get to where I am now.

In summary:
We wanted to help Bernice spread the word as we too believe in being an eco-aware foodie. Plastics are a worldwide problem, and we can certainly do our part.

Please give @missysippytumbler a follow to support their great cause.

Peanut Tree Nut Allergy Tags

Tips on Planning a Hawaiian Vacation with Multiple Food Allergies

Here are 5 Tips on Planning a Hawaiian Vacation with Multiple Food Allergies

Planning a trip for many families may be simply choosing your destination, how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. When planning a trip with family members who have multiple food allergies, there’s a few extra steps and precautions we need to take to ensure a safe vacation. Hawaii was our first long haul trip with our Littles. Until Hawaii, we had safely traveled within North America on flights not longer than 4 hours per flight segment. Now that we were traveling further and overseas, we needed to prepare ourselves even more. Here are some tips that helped us plan and prepare for our Hawaiian vacation:

Tip #1 – Carry extra food and snacks for your flight
First and foremost when traveling anywhere with my Littles, I always carry extra food and snacks. We’re prepared for at least one big meal inflight, depending on the time of day of the flight. Flying to Hawaii is not considered international (from Vancouver, Canada) and only inflight food for purchase. We carry dry foods like beef jerky, granola bars, instant noodles, tortilla shells and or pita bread. We also bring luncheon meat and a thermos of hot food like dumplings or rice. At the airport we pick up fresh fruit and beverages. This gets us to Hawaii until we land and we grab a bite to eat.

Tip #2 – Familiarize yourself with local cuisine and ingredients
In Hawaii, we typically stay in accommodations where there is a kitchen to make some meals, but as Chef de Cuisine for my family, I’m also on vacation and need a break from cooking. I spend time researching local cuisine and how dishes are made to ensure ingredients are safe for my Littles. I found basic dishes like Huli-Huli chicken may contain kukui nut. Or some pokes may contain shellfish. Depending on the dish, always ask the chef how they prepare it and inquire about your allergens.

Tip #3 – Plan your meals ahead
Being a Foodie I look for the best places to eat in Hawaii. I read online menus and call restaurants ahead to ask questions on preparation and dishes that my Littles could enjoy. Breakfast is our “danger meal” with Little Mister as dairy and eggs are very often served. To avoid any cross-contamination accidents, we have a light breakfast at our condo to ensure we start the day off right.

Tip #4 – Shop locally
We love to shop locally, especially at Farmer’s markets. We buy fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the local snacks. We talk to the market vendors to inquire about their food and ask for recommendations for places where locals eat. We also shop at local supermarkets, Costco, or Whole Foods to stock up on familiar brands and allergen-friendly foods for breakfasts and snacks during our trip.

Tip #5 – Bring your medications and emergency plans
Ask your Doctor for a letter stating your allergens and medications. We’ve had to explain ourselves about our multiple Epi-pens at airport security and at sites where they search or x-ray your belongs before entering. Showing them a Doctor’s letter or even our Medic Alert wallet card saves time. Create a list with the locations and contact information for hospitals, medical centers, and drugstores. Going old school and carrying lists have saved us time from searching and we just map the locations.

Traveling to destinations that are unfamiliar and far-away requires planning. Our Hawaiian vacations have been filled with lots of memories, especially with these planning tips, we’ve enjoyed many delicious meals away from home.

Marukame Making Udon Noodles

Honolulu Food Allergy Day Guide – Our Family’s Arrival Dinner and Next Day Lunch

Trip Summary

  • City: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Allergens mentioned: Dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish
  • Type of Foodie adventure: Allergy friendly, Family-friendly
  • Dinner: Nico’s Pier 38
    Nomtip: Visit their Fish Market to buy fresh poke to take home or hotel for noshing later.
  • Lunch: Marukame Udon Waikiki
    Nomtip: Extremely friendly staff. They are always happy to help and answer food allergy questions.

Disclaimer: This content on this guide is based on our contributor’s personal experiences and intended solely for information and or entertainment purposes only. We are not medical professionals and the content on this post is not to be considered medical advice.

In Honolulu, we stay at the conveniently located Waikiki Banyan complex which is walking distance to sites like Waikiki beach or the Honolulu Zoo, food, and shopping. There are many affordable and food allergy safe dining options in Honolulu and Waikiki area. From fresh offerings at the rotating farmer’s markets, to the food hall in the International Market Place, the numerous local and franchise restaurants, and even the supermarket there is no shortage of eats in all walking directions from our vacation condo rental.

Hawaiian cuisine has many Asian influences from the different migrant workers who settled into the islands to nurture and grow their families for many generations. My Littles have a variety of meal choices to select from and that are free from their food allergens of dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish. Each day can be a culinary adventure or the simplest of comfort food for their palates.

Day 1 – Arrival Dinner

Nico’s Pier 38

Fresh from the airport and in search of a decent meal having crossed the Pacific, we found Nico’s Pier 38 via Google. Most restaurants along piers offer fresh from the sea eats. Nico’s Pier 38 is one of those establishments. Nico’s has a long history of sourcing and serving local food. Their food was fresh and fast for our hungry family. My Littles both chose shrimp dishes. Hubby and I shared the seared ahi tuna steak and trio of poke. There was live entertainment that night. A bit loud for my Littles and us, since we wanted to eat and go straight to bed being tired from our long flight.

What we ate:

Poke Sampler and Furikake Pan Seared Ahi. As fresh as they come, the sampler features 3 styles of fresh poke. It’s a must try and a great appetizer which is sure to kick off your eating adventure in Honolulu. The Furikake Pan Seared Ahi is coated with Japanese dried seaweed and sesame seeds. It’s then cooked to your liking from rare to well-done. Note, both dishes can also be made gluten free, just inform your server. Lots of other items on the menu too, including soups and salads.

Nomtip 1:
Visit their Fish Market to buy fresh poke to take home or hotel for noshing later.

The Verdict:

Restaurant near the pier offering fresh fish caught from local fishermen is a definite MUST dine at the location for delicious meals made with fresh ingredients.

Directions to Nico’s Pier 38

1129 N. Nimitz Hwy. Honolulu, HI 96817

Website | Menu

Day 2 – Lunch

Marukame Udon Waikiki

Luckily my Littles are carb-etarians, which is a practice most parents can relate. Any form of noodles is what they love to eat. When we discovered Marukame, they wanted to eat here daily. The noodles are fresh hot or cold. Simple ingredients that were food allergy friendly when you advise the staff when ordering about your food allergens.

There is always a line at Marukame, but that should give you enough time to decide what you want to order. If still undecided pass through the line, which is cafeteria style, and take or ask for what you would like to eat.

What we ate:

Family feast for under $40 – 2 regular kamaage udon with shrimp tempura and inari sushi for my Littles. Large kake udon with sides of veggie, shrimp, and cuttlefish tempura for A.J. Regular cold ontama udon for myself. We all left full and satisfied.

Nomtip 1:
Don’t be afraid to inform the staff of your allergens. They are always happy to help and answer questions.

Nomtip 2:
There is a risk of cross-contamination everywhere you dine unless that establishment’s kitchen strictly avoids allergen ingredients.

The Verdict:

When in Honolulu and Waikiki, Nico’s and Marukame are a must visit for us. From it’s friendly staff to food choices, there’s something for the whole family, even with our range of food allergies.

Directions to Marukame Udon Waikiki

2310 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815


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View of New York City on Nomtrips

New York City Street Food Guide – 500 Years of History

From the first settlers to today’s food trucks, this history lesson gives us reason to appreciate the New York City food vendors.

New York City is well known for its fast-paced lifestyle, its crowded roads, its iconic skyline, and its food. The metropolis is a cultural hot pot that caters to every conceivable diet, 20,000 street vendors cover every cuisine imaginable; the best pizza, the best tacos, the best halal, it’s all here. New York City’s street food vendors are as fiercely competitive as brokers on Wall Street.

The First Settlers

The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle around the harbor around the year 1600. The explorers found that New York City’s harbor was home for millions of oysters. Native Indian’s joy for the shellfish permeated into the settler’s colony soon. Wrapped and thrown to the fire, oysters are unquestionably the first street snack of the newfound land.

New Amsterdam was properly established in 1652, but the Dutch didn’t have much time to savor their new acquisition. The British absorbed the colony soon after, and the city became part of the British rule definitely in 1674.

The American Revolutionary War changed the scenario altogether; so did a couple of massive fires that turned the city into ashes. All this made the city reinvent itself, but street food always comes back. As long as people live in NYC, there will be something to eat on the roadways.

The First Immigrants

Fast forward to the nineteenth century, the German immigration that gave the next push in the city’s street food history. No one makes better sausages than the German, and their staple food eventually became New York City’s own iconic hot dog. Germans sold Sausages along with milk rolls and sauerkraut from carts through the city. Pretzels anyone?

Around the same time, the first big wave of Ashkenazi Jews landed in New York City. The delicatessen concept, based on cold 2 meats, bagels, and pickled goods established itself as a pillar for NYC cuisine.

The new settlers made an entire economy based on pushcarts that sold every good imaginable, including various snacks still common today.

Well-established pushcart markets became popular on the Lower East Side and had a reputation for fair prices and great food, the open markets were crowded and loud, not very different from today’s touristic landmarks.

Did You Know?

Did you know the hot dog as we know it, is credited to Charles Feltman, who allegedly made the first sausage on a bun in 1867?

The 20th Century

The twentieth century brought bad news for the thriving hawker community. The prohibition of street food vending pushed businesses indoors, in what would later become New York’s famous food halls, but no one could prepare the city for the next tough years.

The great depression pushed thousands of unemployed men to sell apples from street carts by the penny. Although, quite a successful program, it was sadly the only thing available to eat in the impoverished, gray streets of New York.

The First Chinese Wave

Let’s look back for a moment. The resurgence of today’s NYC thriving food scene came from the help of vital communities, now part of the heart and soul of the city.

During the mid-1800s, Chinese immigrants established in today’s Manhattan Chinatown. Chinese restaurants are iconic, but it’s street carts, offering both, fried and steamed goods are legendary.

The Latin Incursion

Latin America also holds a big part of The Big Apple’s street food scene. The beginning of the 19th century saw significant changes in the American continent.

As Latin America Spanish colonies broke free in a wave of fierce, bloody independent movements, many found in the land of the free an opportunity to start a new story.

Cuba first took hold on NYC. Its sumptuous cuisine permeates the streets, now also merged with Chinese in a Chino-Latino spectacle that holds a special place in New Yorker’s hearts.

Food Trucks

The first ice cream truck, the father of food trucks began rolling just in the 1950s. The food truck craze began in Los Angeles when Raul Martinez converted an ice cream truck into a taco truck and parked it outside a bar.

The movement soon cached on and stormed the entire country. New York has released around 5000 street food vending permits, and food trucks own 500 of them.

There are no two food trucks alike, from Bangladesh chicken over rice to fish tacos, everything goes. These are the modern pushcarts, and with the help of social media, street food is back in the forefront of good eating.

New York city is vibrant, from Michelin-starred gastro-temples to the humblest street food stalls. There’s something to please every palate, and there’s a history behind every hot dog, every pizza slice and every taco.

The next time you’re in the Big Apple, pay your respects for the hard-working men and women that keep the bountiful streets alive and well; each from its jealously guarded corner.

Now, let’s take a look at one of our food day guides starting with Midtown Manhattan.

Food Guide Summary

This summary on the history of street food in New York City is a good way to learn about how culture and hard work has influenced the street food scene today.

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