All posts tagged: restaurant recommendation

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┬áLe 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. …

Travel Tips Thursday: New York City

There was a very good article a few days ago on Lonely Planet that mapped out how to have a perfect day in New York. I thought I’d supplement it here with a few additional tips of my own. Skip Times Square. If you do not absolutely have to, do not venture onto Times Square. It is extremely crowded and there isn’t much to see. Unfortunately, I have to pass by Times Square on my way to work, and to class as the midtown building of NYU is located at West 42nd. It is painful getting through and you could use the time exploring Central Park or one of New York’s many museums. Do not be afraid to try smaller restaurants. New York has a wealth of eclectic fare for diverse tastes. In midtown, for example, Sake Bar Hagi is a hidden gem of a yakitori restaurant. It is open from 5 pm – 2 am so if you find yourself trying to find food really late this is a place that is open. (I …

We’ll Always Have Paris (And That Escargot)

If you were to choose the first time to have a certain dish, I’d say it would be a dream to do so in the place of its origins. I have spoken of my Contiki trip on this blog before, and one of the things I had the privilege of experiencing during the Paris leg was the great food. On our last night, our tour manager took us to Monmarte to show us Sacre Coeur and to a nice Parisian dinner at La Bonne Franquette. For my appetizer, instead of French onion soup I chose escargot — my first time — and it was quite an experience. The dish was served with shells on, with a shell holder and a small fork for you to use in taking the snails out (as opposed to those I had everywhere else since, where the snails are already taken out of the shells for you). The sauce was a perfect blend of garlic and herbs, and definitely great for dipping the bread, for which we were reprimanded (playfully) …

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 …

Crepes: Philly, Warwick and While Sailing the Open Seas

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you have eaten as many crepes as I have. So when my boyfriend and I went on our Philly food tour last year and saw online that Alton Brown was on Best Thing I Ever Ate talking about Beau Monde‘s crepes, we had to add it on our list of places to visit. In the episode “Under Wraps,” Alton named two crepes, one savory, one sweet, as the best things he ever ate that are wrapped. If you like pears, you would like the dessert crepe, which is pear, chocolate and chestnut creme. The pear wasn’t overcooked, the chocolate and chestnut creme were a good combination and complimented the sourness/sweetness of the pear very well, but I did not like it because of the texture and grittiness of pears. This, however, is personal preference. The savory crepe, mushroom, swiss and almond, was perfectly cooked. They chose the right cheese for the crepe and the almond provided a crunch — it’s just the textural element that it …

Taking the “Best Thing I Ever Ate” Route

Last year my boyfriend and I went to Philadelphia to do a food tour. Before we went, we (mainly he) searched for videos of places that were featured on Food Network and Travel Channel shows such as Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and Best Thing I Ever Ate and mapped out where we wanted to go. One of the places on our list was this restaurant called Lolita, a recommendation from Food Network chef Robert Irvine on The Best Thing I Ever Ate’s “In A Bowl” episode. The dish: tiramisu. It is sweet, with a perfect amount of heat, which makes it a very balanced dessert. The texture and creaminess add to it as well. The verdict: it was the best tiramisu we’ve eaten. Lolita Tiramisu Dessert rating: 9.5 out of 10 (We didn’t eat anything else in this restaurant other than the Tiramisu, so a restaurant rating will not be fair)