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  • About Me

    I've always thought that the best way to really get to know any culture is through its palate. A steaming spoonful of grandma-style stew or a single chunk of meat prepared in a familiar way have the potential to elicit an onrush of memories and stories from the past, heated discussions about preference and preparation across the dining room table, smiles and winks of mutual satisfaction, a general breakdown of every type of barrier imaginable. It is the emotion behind food that draws me to it, the reactions it brings out in people.

    Feeling hungry? Why not take a moment and flip through my life's pages! Take a journey with me to the wet markets of Hong Kong or perhaps meet me for a nice asado in a parilla in San Telmo. Wondering what bird's nest tastes like or looking for the best Bloody Mary bar in Boston? Stick with me and I will take you to some of my favorite spots in town, some of my favorite places in the world.

    For my full bio, check out my ME page.

sahlep

Sahlep

It gets cold in Istanbul in December. Walking from mosque to mosque to the occasional sultan residential complex in a jacket that’s just not warm enough is a good way to catch the bug. I was in no mood to get sick on the first day of my trip, as I still had 3 days of questionable … Continue reading

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Midye Dolma, Midye Tava: More Street Eats in Istanbul

I arrived to Istanbul with an open mind, with no prior research on what to eat and where. Instead, I allowed myself the opportunity to be surprised by a city that I’ve heard does not cease to surprise. I knew there would be kebabs, the Turkish forefather of gyros, or meat on a spit sliced into pita. I … Continue reading

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Wet and Ugly: The ıslak Burger

“It’s our hamburger. It’s small and it’s wet,” said my new Turkish friend. We had spent the day roaming the narrow alleys of Kadıköy Market on the Asian side of Istanbul, and I had stuffed my face with room temperature street mussels, minced meat flatbreads and a sketchy looking sandwich made with frozen fish from Norway. I had a … Continue reading

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A Cozy Winter Lunch at La Venta

It’s gotten cold up in the mountains of the Priorat as of late. While I sit in my brightly lit and climate-controlled Barcelona apartment my colleagues gather dry wood in early afternoon darkness, twigs with which to make a fire, not recreationally. There’s no marshmallows or campsite stories going around. It’s just a part of the routine. I … Continue reading

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Sopping up the Saucy Stuff at Suculent

I dined not long ago at a relatively new restaurant on the Rambla del Raval, a place called Suculent I had heard only good things about. It’s a project shared by owner Carlos Abellán and young stud/head chef Toni Romero in the kitchen of a converted wine house. Next door is a vermuteria that shares the restaurant’s … Continue reading

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Cooking with Grandma: Padlizsánkrém

I’m going to Budapest for the holidays this year and I’m pretty excited about a handful of things. The villamos trolley-cars will be decorated with strings of sparkling Christmas lights. Wine mulled with winter spices will be available at any time on virtually any street corner. The sun will set well before Széchenyi bathhouse closes and steam from the … Continue reading

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Vermut and Tricks at Bodega 1900

It wasn’t a night for calling ahead, for calling in favors or waiting in line. It was a night for dropping in lucidly without stress or a reservation. We didn’t go to Tickets. We went to Bodega 1900 across the street. The name of the restaurant celebrates the birthday of the building that houses it and the … Continue reading

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Dinner in a Pink Wig at Tapas 24

We stumbled out of a costume store, the Basque and I, gripping shiny cellophane packages and an orange balloon he had snatched from the counter “sinpa”. It was Halloween in Barcelona and I was ready to play, as I do each year regardless of where I happen to find myself. In the past 5 years … Continue reading

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Cargols and Boar Estofat in Porrera

On weekends we used to go town-hopping; poking around the Priorat, lookin’ for trouble. Sometimes we’d climb the rock walls of mountains near the medieval town Siurana. Other times we’d walk through Poboleda, Cornudella, Prades, looking for cultural events with which to breathe life into our barren social calendar. When there was a dance, a festival, a bar opening we’d … Continue reading

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Braç de Gitano from Forn de Pà Floro

Floro also happens to be quite the wiseass. One time my colleague (rhetorically) asked him how he is capable of baking such consistently delicious breads without anyone’s help and he responded, “Well, how do you put your underwear on in the morning without anyone’s help?” I’m still not sure I understand what that means. Maybe his riddles take time to untangle.

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