Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Love for Food and Jeni: How Food Brought Us Together

It's 6:30 pm on a Friday in June. Jeni stands in front of me with a bewildered look. And I just stare at her. Rewind 2 years back.

When I first started my blog nearly three years ago, my intentions were simple. I was bored and the idea of writing a blog interested me. The one thing I did know a lot about and could contribute to others was a knowledge of food. My parents had raised me on the staples of Chinese food, which was basically your on-sale vegetables, noodles and soups made with bones that would normally be fated in a trash can. But what they passed on to me, was more than a simple appreciation for food and the sustenance it provided – no matter what shape or form it took. I wanted to express my appreciation for their love and care by writing about my experiences with food. And measure how much of a pig I actually am.

Three years of writing about food. Obsession. Too much time on my hands. Sure. Both if you would. As you can probably tell, I love food and I have the pounds to prove it. Just look at my profile photo. Ugh! In four years, my weight jumped nearly 15 lbs. and you know what, please give me some more because I am nowhere near done exploring the food of all cultures. I won't be done until the day I have to be forklifted out of my bed just to go to the bathroom. *beep* *beep* *beep* Dylan coming through.

During the three years of writing, I have learned a lot about food, cultural differences, myself, friends, family and mostly, respect. I have learned to never say the terms "the best in the world". I have learned that you cannot please every one in this world – no matter how good of cook you are. I have learned that denying a culture's food because of ignorance and unfamiliarity is the most insulting thing ever. I have learned that what you may not understand may be the key to another culture's survival. I have learned that food sets the stage for everything involving social interaction. And as you'll read in a few paragraphs, I've learned that food can even change the course of two people's lives. One thing remains important, food revolves around everything we do or feel – home life, work, birthdays, dating, weddings, funerals, reunions, etc.

When I first started writing, there were no more than 10-12 Los Angeles food blogs that I was interested in reading. And maybe 3-4 outside of the area. It was much easier to keep up with everyone's eating. Even within that group, the best ones were more than reviews about food; it was those that offered storytelling which made it compelling. Writers that simply said "this was good" or "this was bad" really didn't generate solid readership. Food had been such a big part of my upbringing and I was interested in seeing what/why food was important to someone. After the first year, I developed 'friendships' with many of these bloggers. Though I had never seen their photo (anonymity is a big thing) or met them in person, I could tell a lot about someone by the way they ate.

Especially with a girl named Jeni, who ran a blog called Oishii Eats.

For a few months, I read her postings. I was attracted not only by her looks, but by the food she ate. She ate everything. Low end... high end. Hole in the wall... paintings on the wall. On the street... on sticky-elbow tables. She was in a sense like me. But what I liked most about her was her open-mindedness and respect for a culture's food. We were both from the same college and had mutual friends, but we never crossed paths once.

Less than a year later, I decided to set up a long-overdue meetup between the stomachs and minds of the LA blogosphere at Musha in Torrance – and everyone was stoked. Jeni and I had already been talking to each other over IM and in a sense, we were friends that had never met. It was an exciting day for everyone that attended because not everyone had met in person. I had met Jonah of LA Foodblogging, Pam of Daily Gluttony and Kristy of Best of LA previously (my friend's fianceé). That night, I was late due to traffic on the good ol' 405. I found my group, all 16 of us, waiting outside. I said Hi to everyone, and saved the best for last... Jeni. I was interested in her and I think we could both tell that it was a long overdue meet up. I smiled at her and she waved back. She handed me Japanese books that I needed for my trip to Japan the following week. We had decided previously that we would sit next to one another because we already 'knew' each other. Everyone had a great time. The food was good and the drinks went around. But what I wanted mostly was to talk to Jeni, but I was so busy trying to play host. At the end of the night, I said bye to everyone and hugged Jeni and told her we'd talk when we get back. We ended up talking on the phone till about 4 am that night. It was just wonderful putting a face over a voice finally.

It wasn't long after when we had our first date. I knew it was a date because I could feel it. Instead of the usual nice dinner, we decided to go to a club and get stoopid. And for dinner, we ate tacos from a taco truck in Echo Park. We sat on red crates, eating tacos and drinking Jarritos. For the first time in a while, I was comfortable on a date. I didn't worry about eating properly or keeping my volume down. I didn't worry about impressing her. I was myself – dropping cilantro and onions on the ground, using like 80 napkins for 5 tacos and even broke the Jarritos bottle. We took photos of each other stuffing our faces and it just felt very natural. It was truly good times. Very Wonder Years-like. In a sense it was somewhat of a secondary coming-of-age. Jeni let me be who I wanted to be. And I hoped that she had felt the same way.

Fast forward two years to the present. It's 6:30 pm on a Friday in June. Jeni stands in front of me with a bewildered look. And I just stare at her. With a smile.

D: "Are you ready for your birthday surprise?"
J: "Ok!"
D: "Go to your closet and look under the blanket."

She runs over and lifts up some blankets.

J: "It's my brother's traveling backpack."
D: "No, it's mine. And it's packed."
J: "..."
D: "You've got 2 hours to pack. We're going somewhere."
J: "What do I bring???"
D: "The more questions you ask, the less time you'll have. I'm going to get us some food."

I watched her run back and forth like she was on some stupid gameshow with a $200 grandprize. It was hilarious – I wish I had a camera to videotape it. I left her place and headed over to Yuca's to grab a cheeseburger and cochinita pibil for dinner. She only had two hours to pack and would probably forget to eat! I came back half an hour later and found her still running back and forth. This was great. She tried to ask me questions to narrow down the possible destinations. But I shrugged every time. She didn't know that we would be flying anywhere.

It was now 8:30 pm and time to go. I had texted her brother to meet us in the carport and surprise her. We packed the stuff in the car and Jeni naturally headed for the driver side door – only to be freaked out by her brother, who was driving us both to LAX. Jeni screamed!

The next annoying question any one can ask besides 'are we there yet' is 'where are we going?" I heard this a good 30 times by the time we arrived at LAX. She kept naming off places in the U.S. and got cold shrugs from me. I told her brother to drop us off at Terminal 6 which is where Virgin America is. She screamed, thinking we're going to New York. We said bye to her brother and walked out. I stared at her and watched her puzzled looks.

J: "Are we going to New York?!"
D: "No."
J: "Where are we going then? There's only a flight to New York at this time!"
D: "We may need these."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out our passports. She shrieked in joy. At this time, I took out my camera and started recording her on video.

J: "Where can we be going?"
D: "Look at my shirt and you may get a hint."

I watched her eyes go down to my red 'Carne Asada' shirt and her eyes grew. I then pulled out some pesos and handed it to her.

J: "We're going to Mexico City!"

Jeni & I went to Mexico City (D.F.) in December and fell in love. For months on end, we dreamed about the delicious pastor tacos sliced thinly like pork belly – not the chopped up version we get here in LA. I knew there was nothing more she wanted than to be in Mexico City again. A birthday trip out here would simply be perfect. We stayed in an area called Condesa which many people compare to the East Village/Soho area of New York City. Tree-lined streets, cafes with young couples and delicious taco vendors made this a very special place for us. D.F. was only 3.5 hours away, yet worlds apart.

We had missed so much on our previous trip. We were on a tight schedule and coming back from an exhausting and emotional stay in Tulum, Mexico. We got our lovely Nikon D70 stolen on a bus when we fell asleep. We were angry and frustrated upon arriving in D.F. – we didn't want to do anything. But nothing cheered us up more than the vibrancy of the city, warmth of the locals and of course all the delicious antojitos (small meals; snacks). This is why Mexico City is so special to us; it was a turning point in our trip. And this trip was a makeup for everything we didn't get to do – such as eating at the popular restaurant, Contramar. Contramar is regarded as the hip place for young people to eat. I could care less how hip it is, I just want the food. Our friend Tokyo Astro Girl had eaten here twice and spoke highly of it – her word was reason enough to eat here!

Contramar Mexico City




Pickled onions and peppers. I have never had such a fresh version of these. All the ones I've eaten at taco trucks or at restaurants seemed to be reserved from last year's quinceañara . It was to our advantage to come here right when they opened to ensure freshness. I could've made a meal out of all these elements – tortillas por favor! And some water to abate the spiciness.

Contramar Tostadas de Atun

Tostadas de Atún y Cangrejo
¿Que recomiendes? Tuna and crab tostadas! You can't go wrong with a server's suggestion especially if you're in another country. When we travel, we usually try things we've never tried or can't get in the U.S. Screw the safe food. The tuna tostadas are the big seller here and I know why. 1/8" slices of tuna are marinated in soy sauce and orange juice and placed on top of freshly-fried tostadas with a spicy mayo, avocado and crispy-fried whites of scallions. A simple dash of lime and PacMan-sized mouth and you're good. Mmmmm. So fresh! The crab I loved as well, but this was the wife-stealer. For all the labor involved in removing the meat from crab, this isn't a bad deal at all. $14 for 4 tostadas.

Contramar Ceviche

Ceviche de Contramar
Next we had Contramar's ceviche special. This was not what we thought it would be. I prefer ceviche in smaller chunks and less sour. All I could taste was lime juice and mushy fish.

Contramar Pastor Fish Tacos

Pastor Fish Tacos
I like fish tacos. I like pastor. Can I have both? Si señor! From afar, this really looks like al pastor meat and even smells like it! The fish was moist, flavorful and delicious. The addition of the smoked pineapple adds the much needed sweetness to this spice-ful dish. I should have eaten more of these but at this point, I was STILL thinking about those tuna tostadas.

Contramar Caldo de Camaron

Caldo de Camaron (Shrimp Soup)
I fell in love with Mexican-style shrimp soup back in Tulum at this drive-by restaurant called La Bamba Jarocha. Because some f*ckface took our camera, our only evidence of that delicious soup can be found here. Our soup arrived in a small coffee cup with 2-3 pieces of shrimp. But what I was most stoked about was the use of Maggi seasoning in the broth. Oh how I love Maggi seasoning sauce. The soup was beautiful. I saw the rays of the sun breach through the clouds above and cupids hovered above with trumpets and harps. Absolute harmony.

Full as hell, we decided to eat even more because that's what vacation is all about. While Jeni was getting her Mexican-style ice cream (helado) at Neveria Roxy, I checked out this red truck across the street. There were about 5-6 people hovering around it like vultures. Could only mean one thing: food. I remembered this truck being mentioned in the Lonely Planet: Mexico book.

Taco Truck Guy2

We all love taco trucks, except for Gloria Molina, L.A. Count Board of Supervisors... but have you seen a taco truck, literally? This guy had his truck parked up on a sidewalk with a blue tarp connected from this truck to the nearby fence creating a portable 'roof'.

Taco Truck Guy4

Here you can see that an Asian vulture has arrived at the crime scene awaiting the grisly fate of its target.

Taco Truck Guy

A cleaver, broken piece of wood, plastic plates w/ waxpaper, meat and a truck. Simple yet beautiful.

Taco Truck Guy3

And to add some extra flavor, a juice-drenched hand tattered with spices.

Taco Truck Carnitas

Some of the moistest carnitas I've had.

El Califa Mexico City

But the party doesn't stop. After we took a nap, we were out and about again in search of our favorite pastor tacos within D.F.

El Califa Pastor Taco

Tacos al pastor is a dish that originates in Puebla, Mexico, by way of Lebanese immigrants. Which is why the use of the spit seems familiar – shawerma!

El Califa Pastor Taco2

On top of all the spits sit large pineapples like a star on a x'mas tree. The rising heat from the flames and roasting of the spit meat help cook the pineapple. After the cook slices off the meat, he does a quick flick of the wrist near the pineapple and lobs it on to your taco. Awesome. The spiciness of the pork and sweetness of the pineapple make for Mexican yin yang.

El Califa Costilla Taco

I have a favorite new cut of meat and it's not your typical ranchera steak; it's called costilla and is the rib section of the cow. Thin slices of rib meat are thrown onto an extremely hot griddle and cooks within 35 seconds. I topped these tacos off w/ some fresh onions, salsa verde and a few dashes of my favorite sauce, Maggi.

In a course of 6 hours, we had eaten at one restaurant and 2-3 taco stands. Full right? No. It was time for Jeni's birthday dinner at one of D.F.'s most popular restaurants, Pujol.

Pujol Mexico City DF

We rolled up to the restaurant in a cab and the first thing Jeni said was, "beautiful". I had done my research on this place and considered places like Aguila y Sol (closed) and Izote de Patricia Quintana. But I was interested in Pujol mostly because it was headed by a chef from the Culinary Institute of America in New York – Chef Enrique Olvera. Sold.

Contrary to reviews I had read about Pujol's service, we were given excellent service. From the beginning, we didn't have to raise our hands very often. The waiters came by quite frequently and checked upon us. The Chef de Cuisine even came out a few times for some tableside service – which was awesome. You would think that because we are foreigners that we might get neglected, but this wasn't the case. It also helps if you know a little Spanish and understand that there are no such things as burritos in Mexico City.

Pujol Aguacate Ravioli

Ravioles de Aguacate (Avocado Ravioli)
I expected to see a ravioli and was actually craving one, but I forgot that at any haute cuisine, familiar names for dishes are used quite loosely. This 'ravioli' consisted of shaved shrimp that's been lightly sautéed with spicy mayonnaise and sandwiched between two thinly sliced pieces of avocado (aguacate). Wow, so delicate and delectable. J wouldn't stop talking about this dish.

Pujol Nopales

Ensalada de Nopal Curado En Sal (Salt-cured Cactus Salad)
I tried cactus for the first time in the previous trip to Mexico – in Oaxaca specifically. If you haven't had cactus, it has a sliminess that is inherent in japanese mountain yams (yamaimo) and okra. This was served with a lemon sorbet, thinly shaved cactus, tomatoes and grated Mexican cheese. This dish was nice, and if it weren't for the ice cream, you'd be left with a slimy texture on your tongue.

Pujol Chapulines

Chapulines al Sartén
This is another delicacy I tried in Oaxaca – clay-toasted grasshoppers known as chapulines. This was Chef Olveras deconstruction of a grasshopper taco. The foam on top was made from tortillas, there's guacamole, radish and the protein. This wasn't our favorite.

Pujol Lengua

Lengua de Res (Beef Tongue)
But this was my favorite. I love beef tongue. Braised beef tongue over olive tapanade and fried onion ring. J gave me hers and I couldn't be more happy.

Pujol Fish & Mushroom Broth

Trucha (Fish in Mushroom Broth)
This was J's favorite... sous vide fish swimming in a pool of rich, earthy mushroom broth. The fish was unbelievably moist and went very well w/ the consomme.

Pujol Dessert

Pie Cremoso de Limón Verde (Fresh Yogurt & Green Lime Sorbet)
This was good as well. I've never had Mexican style yogurt.

After this 3.5 hour meal, J and I sat there looking at each other with comatosed expressions. I really needed to be forklifted back to my place – this was just too much food for us, on top of 5 different wines. The servers were very nice and hailed a cab for us as we paid for the bill, and because it was raining. I thanked the servers and told them I'd be back again, for this was truly a meal worth the money and dining experience. What I liked most about Chef Olvera's dishes was that he remained true to Mexican ingredients. It's easy for any chef to take the common items found in haute cuisine like pork belly, foie gras, diver scallops, etc. and add your own twist to it. But none of that was found on the menu.

As we sat in the cab, Jeni sat back with a tired gaze and she was about to get her last birthday surprise. And she didn't know it. We got back to our place and greeted the owner of the guesthouse and said good night. We walked up the stairs to our place. But before we could head towards the room, I took off my sweater and turned to Jeni.

D: "Are you ready for your last birthday surprise?"
J: "What?! There's more? No more, D! I'm tired."
D: "It's nothing big, come on."

I handed her my sweater and did my best terrorist-style blindfolding job. It looked like she had a black turban, which actually went well with her dress. I told her to stay there as I ran into the room. I opened the door, and what I saw, took me aback. I went back to the hallway to grab my lovely hostage and led her with one hand. We walked in slowly, hearing the creaking of the hardwood floor, and I shut the door. I took one more look at Jeni and the room we were in and asked her one more time.

D: "Are you ready for your birthday surprise?"
J: "...Yes."
D: "... Take off your blindfold, Jeni."

As she unraveled her sweater-blindfold, everything turned into slo-motion. I thought back to the time we met over 2 years ago and how we grew from two single people into a couple who could never be separated. I thought about the first time we ate on crates in front of a taco truck. And how we laughed and talked into the night. I never told her that she had a piece of cilantro stuck in her teeth the whole time, but it was okay because I didn't want to kill the moment. I thought about the sporadic weekend getaways to Santa Barbara we would take. I thought about the first time I met her parents and her brother. I thought about all the fights we had had. I thought about the time we rode on a scooter DRUNK in mainland China. I thought about how she never denied any type of adventurous food I ate. I thought about everything that happened in the 2 years that we've been dating and that it all came down to this particular time of the day in a guesthouse in Mexico City.

Jeni took off the blindfold and her eyes immediatly lit up to a room lit solely with candles, ridden with flowers on the floor and a man kneeling on one knee with something shiny in both of his hands. It took her almost 2 seconds to realize that I was on my knee and before I could speak a word, she started to cry. This was more than a birthday surprise for her, it was our engagement. And the best way to tell her that I love her.

And she said, "yes".

Read Jeni's story.

Thanks for reading.


Taco Ring

Jumex Coleccion Sign


Jeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeni said...

What? I had cilantro stuck in my teeth and you didn't tell me??? That's it, THE WEDDING'S OFF!!!

I am balling with tears. It has been an amazing 2 years and I am honored to spend my life with you sitting on crates in Echo Park and riding drunk on a scooter in a developing country. Only with you.

The Guilty Carnivore said...

Amazing show, my good man. Congratulation to you and your lovely bride-to-be.

Jonah said...

Congrats to both of you and impressive set up Dylan! I remember that night at Musha, Suzy and I on the way trying to figure out if you two were dating or not. It was obvious from the beginning that the two of you were destined for each other. Enjoy the engagement, it's a great time together!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Congratulations! Nice work. You went all-out to propose with style.

BoLA said...

Your story should be made into a movie and forever immortalized! Maybe Ron can make it happen! ;)

Congrats again! I am so incredibly happy for you and Jeni, and can't wait to see you guys again...

Much love to you both!!!

boody said...

Wow, you're da man, Dylan! Congrats, you two! =) So who's going to do the food at the wedding??? You guys should hire a taco truck. That would be dope. hehe.

mina said...

What an amazing love story, congratulations!

Reid said...

WOW! I'm super excited for the two of you. CONGRATS on your engagement.

yoony said...

aww i get all teary every time i read your guys' story! congratulations! by the i looooove the love story. :D

KirkK said...

Hey Dylan - I've always thought you were one of the smartest guys I've ever met. Now you've confirmed it! Congrats!

Renée said...


From the start of the post (title) I was wondering if it was your engagement announcement, but I was patient and waited until the end. You can't imagine the little girly scream that came forth once I got to the end. Hee hee. You both are so sweet and cute, it's one of those, "finally" moments.


Family of Food said...

Great, I'm at work crying like a baby for a couple I've never met.
Congratulations to you both. You will surely have a delicous life together.

adi benner said...

I just posted on your fiance's site. I read both your blogs daily. I love them. Your wedding is sure to be magnificent, and the food at the wedding even more so. And as a wedding photographer, i know bad wedding food.

When you are ready to hire a wedding photographer let me know.


ishikawa said...

And I was one of those mutual friends in college. But things are supposed to happen the way they are as you guys were different people back then. I'm so happy for the both of you. No matter how many times I read you and J's story, i'll cry.

One Food Guy said...

Amazing, congratulations Dylan!!

H. C. said...

Congratulations! Hopefully my co-workers aren't noticing the giddy smile on my face & the tears welling up in my eyes.

And what about Jeni eating paintings on the wall?!

Anonymous said...


Food Marathon said...

Congratulations. May your lives be full of food blogging, food-related travels and more food.

Matthew K. said...

that is the coolest story i've heard this year. I hope my future wife is a food blogger. congratulations!

janfrederick said...

What?! Sweet! So are you going to marry your blogs now? ;)

Congrats!!!!!! Awesome post...probably the best food post ever. Now I'm misty-eyed AND hungry.

May your kids NOT be picky eaters!

Clare said...

Damn, dude. Romantic doesn't even begin to describe your story! Congrats to both of you. And good choice on Pujol.

Tokyoastrogirl said...

You guys are meant to be together. I agree w/ BOLA- this should be made into a movie. Dale from Top Chef can play you.

Anonymous said...

I'm an occasional reader & saw your post from a link on Eater LA. This has to be one of the sweetest stories I've read in a long time. Congratulations to both of you!

grubtrotters said...

Congratulations! My husband and I fell in love over food, got married in September and now write a food blog together. Will you keep your blogs separate or join forces? Such a cute and romantic story!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Jeni, you did but you still looked great haha. It has been amazing as well but it wasn't easy haha.

GC, thank you. I'm happy you stop by the blog even though I haven't written since the mesozoic era, when we were measly neanderthals eating stegosaurus sashimi.

Jonah, thank you. I know people were looking at us at Musha. Rosie definitely thought something was up, I'm sure Pam too haha. So far, we are enjoying the engagement period. But not to anyone's surprise, we won't be eating out much because we'll be in penny pinching mode. Congratulations again to you and Suzy on the birth of your child.

WC, thank you.

BoLita, if our story was made into a movie I don't think I could watch it. I surprised myself and Jeni with how much honeydripping went on. Oh by the way, I still have Mac's dvd's... Sleepless in Seattle, Serendipity, Notebook, Bridges of Madison County, My Best Friend's Wedding, Wedding Planner, You've Got Mail. Hope he wasn't mad at about borrowing them for ideas haha.

Boody, if I could cook my own food and have Jeni photograph us during the wedding, we could save A LOT of money. We are considering a taco truck w/ the aluminum cans tied to the back as we drive off.

Mina, thank you.

Reid from Hawaii, I like to add the Hawaii part haha. Thank you.

Yoony, you were here with us both when we first started dating and have seen us grow. And even worked for me at the catering gigs haha. Don't wipe your eyes if you've been cutting jalapenos ok?

KirkK, you are one of the outside-LA blogs I referred to in the beginning. And like Yoony, you've read about our many food adventures. Likewise to you, you are probably the most open-minded food blogger I know of. You'll eat anything. Thank you.

Renée, hi! Haha. I tried my best not to cut to the chase. You can tell that near the end, during the review on Pujol, that I left cheesy comments regarding each dish.

Family of Food, thank you.

Adi Benner, almost all weddings I've been to had mediocre food and it's understandable why it happens b/c i've catered at weddings. You have a real short time frame to punch out dishes before the bride gets bridezilla on you.

Ishikawa, it is weird that I have never met Jeni at your house parties back in the day. Like you said, we were younger back then and had different itineraries. Thanks for being there for us.

OMFG, thanks for your continuing support for both of us. When I'm in Boston, you know I'm going to call you up to go eat/drink/puke.

H.C., sorry I didn't get to meet you at the MILK party. Jeni had good things to say about you. Thank you.

Anonymous, hi mama-in-law. Only one person types in ALL CAPS, and I know it's you.

Food Marathon, like H.C., I didn't get to meet you at the MILK party. We hope to do more traveling before we have any puppies.

Matthew K, thank you.

JanF, thank you for your kind words. The first thing my kid eats will probably be from a dim sum cart.... chicken feet, beef tripe and duck eggs. He won't want Lunchables or oscar meyer.

Clare, thank you. Funny how you and Anne posted at the same time. I just IM'd her... two bodies, one mind.

Anne, Dale is too gangster for me. I don't know how to get angry like him and strike that hip hop pose. We love you and want you to come over soon ok? Thank you for your support.

B104607, thank you.

Grubtrotters, love the name. Congratulations on YOUR engagement too. I think we will have a joint blog soon and have future ventures regarding food. Thanks for stopping by.

Once again, this doesn't mean anything without your support and solid readership. We know there are thousands of food blogs to pick from, and it means a lot even if you just say "you have no taste in food." At least, someone is concerned about what we write haha.

TACO said...

2 of the best get together?! Awesome!!!!

All the best from everyone at LATACO.COM!!!!!

Sandy said...

At least your story matches up with Jeni's version! That was such a wonderful story, and I'm reaching for tissue to wipe my eyes. Now I have to go eat a taco.


oddlyme said...

I am weepy and happy and thrilled for you both.

My husband and I met over comedy, you, food.

I guess the point is, if you start with a shared passion, who knows what miracles may occur!

Wishing you a healthy, happy long life together.

elmomonster said...

I had a lump in my throat reading this, knowing that there had to be something special at the end...and BAM! There it is...sweeter than a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com, more delicious than food itself!

So lucky to have met you guys in person for that Quan Hy get-together! Now when this story is made into a movie, I can say "I KNOW THEM! I KNOW THEM!"

It goes without saying: CONGRATS! May you have lots of well-fed children!

smiley_susan said...

i've been following your blog for a while now and wanted to come out and say congrats!

James said...

Cheers to you and your lovely bride to be. Nice work my man, I know my wife read this and is hoping I propose for a second time just like that...and who knows, I just might.

Congratulations and best wishes to the both of you.

Claire Bidwell Smith said...

Aw, congratulations!

My fiance and I are both writers & bloggers and we met online last year when he was living in Chicago and I was in LA.

Now we live in Chicago and we just got engaged too!

I'm so happy for you guys -- your post totally made me cry!

One Food Guy said...

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, the food looks awesome too! Those tacos, the shrimp soup, the tostadas, the WD-50 of Mexico City! The REAL taco truck!!

I HAVE to brush up on my spanish and go to DF!!

Matthew K. said...

just curious, are you going to give us a preview of what kind of food you'll have for the wedding?

Becky said...

CONGRATS! i love your story...all the best to you guys! i bet your wedding will have the BEST food!

jeannie said...

Excuse me but what camera are you using?? Your photos are gorgeous!!!

han nah said...

Hey! Congratulations to you both! Nice job on the proposal!

L'aura said...

Congratulations to both of you! That is sincerely the coolest engagement story ever(maybe cause it involves suspense and FOOD)!

rain ~ said...

congrats!!! such a beautiful and romantic post!

came across it from la taco!

Cindy said...

I don't know you or Jeni, but this story brought tears to my eyes. Congrats to both of you, and I hope you both keep blogging!

andrea said...

Congratulations!!!!! I've really enjoyed your adventures and I'm glad you chose to share this one too. Yaaaaaaaaaay!

e*star said...


Anthony Wilson said...

major congratulations to you both! great story too! mazeltov!

Spencer said...

That was an awesome story. Congratulations and my you both continue to savor the flavor of food, love and life.

nomnomnom said...

hello dylan. I stumbled upon your blog this morning, and now I am in tears for a stranger that I don't even know!!! You've got another reader out of me.

SauceSupreme said...

Congratulations, both of you.

Love is the best thing on the menu.

Exile Kiss said...

That is such an amazing story! I'm so happy for both of you!

Congratulations! (^_^)/

JadedOne said...

ZOMG! That is the sweetest thing :) Congrats to D & J! I can't wait to see pictures of the bride and groom devouring what will probably be an awesome smorgasborg of food at the reception.

MaxMillion said...

Aww - you guys!! Such a sweet engagement story.

I got all misty! xox Max

Cindy. Lo. said...

Ahhh my god,
You two are too cute,
Sincere congratulations from the bottom of my heart!

janfrederick said...

By the way, if your first born is a girl, I think you have the perfect name right here: good stuff

Food, she thought. said...

Your story has left me so verklempt! As usual, you know how to spin a yarn, and this one is so romantic...such perfect reasons for wanting to marry and spend a life with someone.

Let me add, your photos are both beautiful and mouth watering! I want to go back to D.F with my DH, and experience some of the food you did. I went solo the first time and was nowhere near as adventurous as I would have been had I had a traveling companion.

J Sunu said...

whoohoo! i've been a reader for a while now and even though i've never met either of you, i've read about your relationship unfolding via your blogs so i am whoohooing with you guys!

doesn't good food always taste better when you get to share it with someone you love!?!

my sincere congratulations!

Kelli said...

80 napkins for 5 tacos. That is too funny. I can only imagine how the cake eating will go at the wedding. Congratulations, what a great story.

Lori said...

I am an occasional reader of your blog and have never commented before, even though I've enjoyed it...but I just had to stop and say congratulations! How wonderful for both of you! This was a beautiful post.

joanh said...

wow!! congrats!! it sounds like the best birthday surprise and the perfect proposal at the end of the night with awesome food. still enjoying your writing and pictures..

isn't it amazing how quickly time passes??

Beach said...

Wow, what a story and such happy ending. Congrats. When I met you 2 at Quan Hy, I thought you are a couple already.haha.

mindy said...

WOW!!! This is the 2nd time I meet a new blog, and the first post I read is the author's engagement story! Congrats! And what a fantastic story and images. Can't wait to read more.

ps. Gonna have to show this to my sweet hubby who put out about 10% of the imagination and romance that you did with this trip and proposal. Well done! ;)

indra said...

those food picture make me hungry hehe, .have you taste indonesian food? ok, i’m waiting you in my blog.tx

caninecologne said...

Hello! I've been reading your blog on and off for the past year or so...(it was a link from MMM-Yoso) same with Jeni's, but never made the connection that you guys were dating since I read your blogs sporadically.

I just read our stories last night and all I can say is, Wow!!!Congratulations! May you and Jeni have many more wonderful years together! And of course, may you continue to have more culinary adventures to share!

caninecologne said...

oops, i meant 'your stories'.

Bill said...

Great epic store of two hearts or is it to stomaches together as one :-)

terp30 said...

Greetings from DC. My fiancee came across your blog and relayed it to me. From one food loving couple to another, congratulations! Great, touching writing. We wish you the best.

Pauline said...

I'm catching up on reading foodblogs and (finally) am caught up with yours. Congrats on your engagement! The food photos look great, too! :)

Christine D. said...

Congratulations!! What a wonderful proposal!

Rasa Malaysia said...

Awww, soooo sweet. Sorry for the late wishes, but congratulations!

Food, she thought. said...

are you ever going to blog again?

Love_at_first_bite said...

Congratulations EDBM and Jeni! I'm so happy for you both!

DanGarion said...

Wow that was just an awesome story!

alice said...

i just happened on your blog for the first time. your story is so cute. i really enjoyed your love story =) congrats!!

Meowyee 貓儀 said...

Congratulations to you both, it was very, very sweet and truely romantic.

foodhoe said...

what a great story... I'm feeling weepy too! congratulations and your pictures are really awesome (not that the words aren't too)

Piee and JSBanana said...

When I got to the proposal part, I started crying a gazillion happy tears and feeling all warm and fuzzy! CONGRATS =D

It was super awesome how you were original too and ahhhh /squeal!


Anonymous said...

Nice blog~

weezermonkey said...

Dude. This gets me every time.


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