mardi 23 novembre 2010

boulder bites

i've just been with the Delichapittas bunch for a lovely and hectic weekend in Boulder/Denver - a weekend filled with singing, dancing, bowling, playing non-stop iphone games, riding the free tram in Denver, breaking air coonditioners, watching Glee, and of course, experiencing "Finders Keepers Losers Weepeers", an incredible whirlwind play by the Band of Toughs. you must go see it.

and... as vacations should be, our weekend was scheduled around meals. so if you're in boulder, here a couple great spots to check out:

come here for a yummy southern creole style brunch. but as for most brunch places, if you want to avoid waiting in line, you have to do 2 of 3 things:
1) go as a small party
2) go early or,
3) go on a week day

we went early (930am), but we were a big party (7) and we went on a saturday... so we still had to wait 45 minutes!

"Eggs Jennifer" with cheesy grits. mmm... cheesy grits.
a delicious taqueria. my next post will be mia's ranking of best "chicken, rice, and cheese" burritos (pica's made the top 3).

the "wet" veggie burrito. um. YUM!

that's all for now. sign out.

samedi 13 novembre 2010

Prague: a (rather unusual) food and drink guide

If you like beer, meat, and "fat food" (as my Czech colleague calls anything fried), you will be happy pretty much anywhere you go in Prague.

For instance, there are hot dog and sausage stands on every street corner. Where you can get something like this (yup, I gave in, but only managed to finish half):

Otherwise, imagine traveling as 3 girls, 2.5* which are vegetarian, 1 which doesn't drink beer, and you realize quickly that you have to get creative. Lo and behold, we did manage to find pretty awesome gastronomic delights such as ... - a vegan cafeteria - ... and - a bar that serves white russians for "any price we wanted to give"- ... so read below to find out more.

Food tips:

#1 "Dumplings". Don't be fooled. "Dumplings" are just soft white bread that accompany a huge plate of MEAT. Like my "dumpling plate" ... served with 5 different styles of pork:

#2 Country Life. A yummy pay-by-the-weight vegan cafeteria in the Old Town. Highly recommended, even if you're not a vegetarian. Melantrichova 15, Praha 1

#3 Soup in a bread bowl. I think this was my favorite thing we ate in Prague (that's not saying too much....shhh....). It was a potato and mushroom soup in a bread bowl! Delicious! And the setting was lovely too - we were right near the Strahov Monastary outside with a gorgeous view (and blankets!).

#4 Smazeny syr. If you find yourself in a typical beer hall or Czech restaurant looking for something other than meat, just go for the fry. Fried cheese. Fried onions. Fried bread (served with garlic). Of course, this tactic is not sustainable for maintaining that flat tummy...

#5 Tredlnyk. For some reason, we were on a hunt for warm pretzels and apple strudel - instead we found something in between: Tredlnyk. Delicious hot rolled cinnamon - not really buns, but more like bracelet-shaped desserts.


And now, for some drink suggestions:

#1 Mulled wine. You can find hot wine on pretty much every corner with the hot dogs and sausages (and pickles which I forgot to mention).

#2 Pivovarsky Klub. Right near the Florenc stop (thanks for the tip, Jason).
A pretty awesome beer joint with long tables and good atmosphere. Though, the guys at our table looked at us funny when we ordered: 3 onion soups, a side of cabbage, a side of fried bread, apple strudel, and beer bread. "WHERE'S THE MEAT?"

Can you tell which one of us doesn't like beer?

#3 Boulder Bar. That's right. A bar with a bouldering wall in the Zizkov neighborhood. And you can boulder and rent shoes for 5 euros. Not bad. Beth's inspiration in life!

#4 The Big Lebowski. Last but not least, this was my personal favorite. Another bar in Zizkov, it's a small packed-in little joint, with a loft of people playing board games, smoking the sheesha, and of course, drinking white russians. And the coolest thing about this place was that there was no menu no prices. You paid what you wanted. And there's some really funny and cool Czech guys and girls there too! Hopefully they'll still be there if you decide to stop by.

Hope this gives you some good insight on eating and drinking in Prague. Na zdravi!!

* I wasn't a huge meat eater before, but yea, traveling in Prague with two vegetarians definitely made me swing completely the other way for a couple of days.

dimanche 7 novembre 2010

Mick's rules to brushing your teeth

1. You can't brush your teeth if you've recently drunk beer (or any alcohol really). Otherwise, you'll lose the delicious taste in your mouth!

2. You can't brush your teeth if you've eaten anything recently. The mix of different tastes is unsettling.

3. Likewise, you can't eat right after brushing your teeth (same reason as #2). And if you've just brushed your teeth, and someone suggests that "you try something and then just brush your teeth again afterwards", that person might as well jump out the window.

4. You can't brush your teeth on an empty stomach. Because it will make you nauseous.

obviously, due to my teeth-brushing obsessed mother, i don't follow the same school of dental hygiene. my rules are: brush in the morning and in the evening. at least. if not more. who cares if you had beer or ate or haven't eaten, just brush damn it. and flossing is as important (if not more) than brushing! (though i'm not good at doing that on a daily basis).

sign out. :-)

lundi 1 novembre 2010

the ultimate sustainable eco-friendly halloween costume

this year, we were very last minute on halloween costuming planning (as opposed to every other year....).
on saturday afternoon, we were sitting around leti and pablo's place, deliberating what group outfits would be interesting, cheap, and feasible to put together in less than 24 hours. this is what we came up with. can you guess ?

if you're thinking red hot chili peppers... that is ridiculous.

(shoutout to laura)

so. little did i realize, after countless delicious halloween cookies and "eyeballs" and booty shaking at beth and thomas' place, ... that this simple costume would also be ...

the ultimate sustainable eco-friendly halloween costume.

ok, are you ready to hear how it's done?

Step 1: Go costume shopping (aka go to the market)

Step 2: Put on your costume (aka have an allergic reaction to the oh so cute "spicy pepper" earrings you made)

Step 3: Eat your costume

Step 4: Use your costume as decoration !

amazing, huh?

it's easy. cheap. delicious. pretty.

and zero waste. the ultimate sustainable eco-friendly halloween costume.

mercredi 15 septembre 2010

marché barbès

i'm not a marché expert. but i really like marché d'aligre near ledru rollin. nice vibe, fresh and cheap produce. get drunk at the baron rouge.

if you live in the 11th / 12th, definitely go for marché d'aligre.

for another ... shall we say... experience, marché barbès is definitely worth checking out. but you've got to be prepared - prepared to get trampled on by old ladies with their shopping carts, prepared to get hit on by the friendly vendors, prepared to haggle, prepared to leave with a lot more than you intended.... (reminded me of the markets in greece)

i went with my big travel backpack - the one i took to thailand with me for one month... and it wasnt enough to carry back all my exciting groceries. black tomatoes. yellow tomatoes. cherry tomatoes (3 boxes for 1 euro). spicy olives. garlic-y olives. FRESH ALMONDS (that i need a hammer to crack open). "figues berbères" (those spiky-looking fruit in the bowl). nectarines. 7 avocadoes for 1 euro. (ok, only 3/7 were good, but the rest of the produce was delicious).

all this for 15 euros (and 5 of those for the nuts and olives).

and for an hour or so, you find yourself lost in a different world and forget you're in paris. kind of like riding a bike on a sunday afternoon in belleville....

anyway, the marché is open on wendesdays and saturdays. 7h30 - 15h. it's on blvd la chapelle between metros barbès rochechouart and la chapelle.

thanks for the heads-up, célia. (though i did go here once many years ago with warren).

go wild.

lundi 16 août 2010

gra - no - la

i just came back from two and half weeks in gluten-free, avocado-filled, burrito-haven california.

generally when i travel, i get inspired (or re-inspired) to undertake personal projects.

let's just say, my first project upon my return to paris ... was extremely simple. and DELICIOUS.

can someone say homemade granola ?

you mix oats, nuts, honey, and whatever else you want together => and then bake it for about 20-30 minutes, mixing it around every ten minutes or so. (add dry fruit at the end)

so easy, right?

well... i kind of messed up the first time.

fyi, granola cooks quickly!

but i did a second take and it came out much better.

(those black spots are raisins)

et voila! and my personal mix was oats, honey, almond flakes, raisins, cinnamon, and to give it a bit of a kick ... beurre salé ! (butter with large chunks of sea salt)

mardi 8 juin 2010

Persephone's Vice

I'm breaking the 2010 seal for "le fromage qui pue".

And I feel overwhelmed given the myriad of culinary adventures I've experienced for the first half of the year (including 2 trips to Italy, multiple exquisite picnics and brunches, high-class meals with Jordanian senators, and my latest favorite kitchen gadget....). The time will come for each of these subjects.

But let's start with something simple - but which resonates in my palette's memory so clearly.

In April, Erica and I met up for the weekend in Istanbul (incredible city and weekend).

To be honest, above all gastronomic pleasures and surprises we experienced,

like mussels being sold on the street 24/7:

or stall after stall of literal turkish... delights:

or all the GREEK food (i'll save the overwhelming personal cultural connection I felt in Istanbul for another time):

what I miss most --- is our morning cup of freshly squeezed juice. And not just any juice.

Pomegranate juice.

The pomegranate is such an exotic, mysterious fruit to me. And moreover, JUICE! What a luxury! And here, it was so readily available and fresh and delicious for only 2 lira (1 euro).

No better way to start your morning.

Finally, sorry to say this but, certainly one thing to NOT get excited about in Turkey is the "Turkish Tea". I was expecting that the tea would be like the tea at La Mosquee - the sweet mint tea that comes in the really cute cups (perhaps that's me being culturally insensitive?). Yes, you find that sort of tea in North Africa.

Turkish Tea however, is (disappointingly for me) really strong boring black tea.

I prefer the Turkish (very similar to Greek) coffee.