All posts tagged: Food recommendations

My Mental Health Day at Pangea

The trend in the food world these days seems to be pop ups — places that set up at selected spots at a limited time, with a theme and specific menu. In recent years, established restaurants have also done pop ups, bringing their food closer to people other than those living in their own cities. This weekend my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go to one of these pop ups — the Culinary Institute’s Pangea. We had learned that the director of Pangea was given limited resources to come up with a concept, turn one of the students’ former dining rooms (if you are not familiar with the Culinary Institute, it is where arguably, the best chefs are trained) into a restaurant, a menu befitting the CIA’s reputation and a specific deadline. What they have come up with is very impressive, an “earth-conscious” menu that takes into consideration the way we “produce and harvest” the food we eat, drawing into it many cultural and culinary techniques while remaining true to the ingredients. Aside …

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

Pizzas from Around the World

On a quintessential Eat, Pray, Love scene, Julia Roberts tells her friend Sofi: “I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese. I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow, we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.” I don’t recall exactly how it was written in Liz Gilbert’s book, the title character Roberts was playing, but the gist of it is the same — giving yourself permission to enjoy life’s simple pleasures without conforming to society’s ideals of beauty. I personally believe in allowing myself to indulge — after all, we only live once and there is no sense being unhappy. In the …

Our Culinary Institute Experience: Bocuse

It was one of those work days when it was one stressful event after another, and my boyfriend said he had a surprise for me. To cheer me up, he had made a reservation to the Culinary Institute of America’s French restaurant, Bocuse, the weekend coming up, to remind me once again of the reason why we have our day jobs. We do our best with our work, hopefully in a profession that we love, so we could live the life we love, live each moment and savor it — and that weekend, savor it we did. The Culinary Institute, CIA, is located in Hyde Park, NY. Restaurants here are used to train their students to be ready for the real world, and it has been a training ground for chefs renowned in the culinary world such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Simon, to name a few. I have written about it before here, but this time I would like focus on the time we had the best dish both he and I have …

Which chain restaurants serve the best bread?

Lately, we’ve been going to Texas Roadhouse on our way to our weekend summer concerts for one reason: their bread. So I thought I’d make a list of the best chain restaurant bread baskets that I personally like. Texas Roadhouse rolls. The rolls themselves are coated with honey and served warm, with cinnamon butter on the side which makes its taste reminiscent of cinnabons. Noches De Colombia’s Pan De Bono. Not very sure if Noches belongs in this category since I am not necessarily sure if it’s a chain, but this place in Englewood, NJ serves a crunchy cheesy bread called pan de bono. It’s not free, but it’s so good that it’s a best seller — customers even order some to go. Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Cheesy, garlicky, herby, warm and addictive, we always end up asking for much more than we should of these whenever we are at a Red Lobster. Outback Steakhouse’s bread. The combination of this honey wheat bread and the light butter almost always fills me up even before …

Do Giant Fortune Cookies Also Bring Big Fortunes?

I love getting my fortune cookie after a meal at a Chinese restaurant. The history of fortune cookies aside, it is a staple we have come to expect. At Tao in Manhattan, one of my favorite Asian fusion restaurants, the dessert menu includes a giant fortune cookie, which is filled with white and dark chocolate mousse. I had the chance to sample this interesting dessert when I went to the restaurant with my parents. It was served with assorted fruits on the side, and came with three giant fortunes. True to form, some of the fortunes made sense, some did not.It’s definitely a clever and creative dessert. The mousse had good consistency and had balance in sweetness between the white and the dark. I wished the cookie itself would have been crisper, but overall if you take a bite with the cookie as the textural element, the fruits giving the acidity and the mousse the sweetness, it will be a good bite. Tao Restaurant rating: 7.5 out of 10 Giant Fortune Cookie dessert rating: 7 out of 10  …