Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Catania Cafe - Brooklyn

Sicilian Breakfast is an Eye Opener!
Back in Brooklyn!!!  Man it feels strange - I've been away since July.  As usual, things have changed here and there.  A Sicilian cafe named Catania has opened up around the corner, in a bad luck spot that's housed many failed pizza shops.  Based on my breakfast, the luck has changed.  Permanently.  I arrived at 8am on the dot, right when they were pulling hot things out of the oven.  It was so good that I ate the equivalent of three breakfasts in one sitting!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pain de Sucre - Paris

the Spaceship has Landed
Pain de Sucre is an old favorite - half of my "winter mashup" experiment.  Two store fronts away from their original, they've opened a shiny, sleek new shop.  They're selling the usual excellent pastries and marshmallows, but unlike the old shop you can sit outside and eat your treat immediately.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar - Singapore

I Thought I Was Having the "Big One"
Smitten is another of the hip Singaporean cafes to open recently.  They do it right - good, rich coffee, nice cakes and snacks, cool contemporary interior.  There's just one problem....  price.  When they handed me the bill I almost had a heart attack.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Claus - Paris

More often in Paris than any other city there are restaurants that leave me feeling cold.  It's as if the owners are cooking at home for friends and here I am, the uninvited guest, unexpectedly ringing the doorbell, brushing past them in the doorway, taking up space.  They smile, they're polite but they seem scared they'll never get rid of you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coutume Cafe - Paris

After so many tartines and croissants and dark Parisian swill pretending to be coffee, a real breakfast!  I downed the velvety scrambled and spread the entire golden brick on my whole wheat toast.  Coutume cafe is known for their coffee, but I give them credit for their breakfast.  It's the kind that leads to a deep, satisfying nap.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hokkyokusei - Osaka

Omelet Rice Ground Zero
Not far from the famous crab sign, out of the neon flicker, Hokkyokusei humbly awaits your discovery.  They invented "omuraisu", otherwise known as omelet rice, and they're proud of it.  It is as you might infer, an omelet stuffed with rice.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Canezees Donut - Fukuoka, Japan

"Healthy" Japanese Donuts from the Memory Bank
In the early days I'd blog immediately.  I find I'm getting slower and slower.  Take Canezees - I was there almost two months ago and am just posting.  It's not a comment on their donuts, more my laziness.  I remember being surprised by this funky donut shop, found along the railroad tracks in a forlorn section of Hakata.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Pigeon Hole - Singapore

The Cool Cafe Wars Are Brewing
It's like 00's NYC all over again.  Here in Singapore a cool cafe opens weekly.  In an eyeblink, we've gotten The Pigeon Hole, Loysel's Toy, Sarnies, Orange Thimble, Drips, Smitten and undoubtedly a few others while I wrote this post.  If you're an office-less worker like me the Pigeon Hole is remote-bot heaven. They have comfortable tables, coffee and free wifi.  After 20 minutes of work and 40 minutes of net-surfing I dug into their signature chocolate bread-and-butter pudding.  It's described on the menu as velvety creme brulee topped with chunks of fluffy buttery croissant and chocolate chips.  I wonder, is that really a croissant on top or pieces of you tiao?  The latter, I hope - that would be cooler.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hisago - Kyoto

Going Against the Crowd (Us Usual)
Visiting the famous temples in Kyoto nourishes the spirit but not the body.  Using a Japanese food guide as our bible we made our way to Hisago (ひさご) to try their famous Oyakodon.  We, as in her.  I went against the norm - every single person there was ordering, waiting for or eating Oyakodon.  I thumbed my nose at them all and chose the cha soba, cold buckwheat noodles zapped with green tea.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dohton Bori - Osaka

As You Like It, in Osaka
Okonomiyaki is Osakan soul food, they tell me.   It means "cooked the way you like it" (okonomi = as you like it and yaki=cooked or grilled.)  At Dohton Bori, they take your freedom seriously, giving you all kinds of crazy combo choices for what I'd describe as a savory pancake/omelette.  I kept it inside the ropes, adding ham, cheese, prawns, and eggs to a batter made of shredded yam, flour and water. On top were the usual accompaniments: a Worcestershire-like black sauce, mayo and bonito shavings.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swindle Factory - Fukuoka, Japan

It Helps to Be Forgetful
"Who goes on vacation for two weeks and forgets their wallet?"  It was a fair question, one I'd asked myself before she gave voice to my inner thoughts.  I wasn't sure if she was mad or scared.  Is there a small tumor wriggling it's elbows inside my grey matter?  Or is it early onset alzheimers?  Or, was it a devious plot, she suggested, to keep from paying for her shopping?  At our hotel, after coffee at Swindle Factory, the debate was put to rest.  I couldn't find my camera - I'd left it behind.  We tracked back to fetch it and decided to stay for dinner.  Thanks to my creeping senility we filled up on Hayashi rice and pasta.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asahi Ken - Fukuoka, Japan

Whatchya Making Grandmama?  Gyoza?
You ever been to a restaurant where grannie is sitting right behind the counter hand-making gyoza and chit-chatting with the customers?  I have and I feel special.  We picked Asahi Ken (旭軒) out of a Japanese food magazine we bought at the train station.  After a few bites of grannie's food, I wanted to pick up that fat pink superphone on the counter and call everyone I knew to brag! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hakata Yatai - Fukuoka, Japan

My Best Experience in Fukuoka
Fukuoka is known for ramen, but they also have famed street stalls called Yatai.  They're no larger than a picnic table and you sit elbow to elbow on attached wooden benches and gobble freshly made, tasty street food.  We happened into this one as we got lost trying to find our hotel and came back for dinner.  Dodo dragged her feet a bit - she mumbled about not immediately getting to eat ramen.  After a few bites she stopped complaining.  Every thing we ate was good, especially the tightly rolled tamago, dolloped with a local delicacy - Mentaiko, a marinated pollock roe.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tempura Tsunahachi - Tokyo

It Takes More Than Hot Oil...
As a boy, when we went out to eat, I refused to eat anything but burgers, fries and milkshakes.  How things change - I didn't even wait for her to finish saying "prawn head" before I'd popped it in and crunched happily.  I think she was as surprised by my lack of hesitation as I was.  It was nice, in a way that suggested a master's steady hand.  At Tsunahachi, every member of the staff looked to be in their sixties, including our chef.  I'd venture that experience is a positive when you're dunking things in hot oil.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Columbia 8 - Osaka

Burn You Twice Curry
It burned the buds and it's gonna burn the cheeks.  Not the cheeks on your face, the other ones.  The Columbia 8 curry is the hottest thing I've eaten in Asia, bar none.  That includes Thailand.  It didn't help that Dodo "gohan sukoshi'd"' (less rice) the order, forcing me to eat two spoonfuls of fire for each spoonful of rice.  This hidden ten seater is a nice place to eat curry in Osaka.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bakeshop - Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

Iced Coffee Relief
I imagined it was pool-sized.  I dived in, did a doggy-paddle past a stray ice cube and then back-stroked to the straw.  Back in the real world, a few sips of the Bakeshop iced latte were like slipping on a frozen raincoat.  My temples stopped pulsing and the moving lips of my girlfriend started to make words I recognized.  Be warned if you come to Tokyo in August, it's hot.  Stroke-inducing, lung-collapsing hot.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moon Rabbit Onigiri - Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

Rice Ball Charmer
I'd forgotten that Tokyo is a steaming cement stew in August.  I made a quick first purchase - a dark black umbrella, under which we wandered the streets of Jiyugaoka in Meguro prefecture.  Happenstance or perhaps heat stroke led us to a four-seater serving onigiri with sides.  Onigiri are rice balls and the version at Moon Rabbit are pure - unlike my translation of their name.  Officially, the place is called "Tsukitate Onigiri Tsuki Usagi."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison - Singapore

Juicy Pork Loin Salvation
After a day with Dodo's girlfriends spent gossiping in the hair salon and loitering in the mall as they tested skin cream and shouldered pricey bags, I felt like I'd grown ovaries.  What saw me and my shrinking gonads through it all was the anticipation of a deep-fried pork loin dinner at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison.  They served me the juiciest, most succulent, mind-bending tonkatsu - I cannot imagine a better one - not even on my upcoming Japan vacation!  If I find a superior version, as improbable as that is, it will be purely by chance.  I feel about their tonkatsu as I do about the Dodo - no need to search any further.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cupcakes with Love - Singapore

The Coming Cupcake Craze Crash
Cupcakes have gone global, they're multiplying like a virus.  Cutesie-poo cupcake shops have been popping up in Paris and now I'm seeing them sprout in Singapore.  Kinda reminds me of real estate in '07.  You knew things were crazy and it was going to end badly, you just didn't know when.  I enjoyed my visit to Cupcakes with Love and I wish them well but I suspect they're like a Miami condo a few years back.  It's all about timing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cindy - Singapore

Settling into the East Coast
When in Singapore, I usually stay in Serangoon but this time around I'm staying in the East Coast.  Not a great location for trains, so I'm figuring out all the bus routes but what an amazingly good location for food!  One of Dodo's friends took me to the LC hawker on Tanjong Katong Rd and there I discovered my dinner soul mate: kung pao chicken from a stall called Cindy.  It was spicy, artery-clogging love at first bite!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Loysel's Toy Cafe - Singapore

Hi, I'm Lactose!
I have a buddy who never quite finishes his sentences.  If you ask him to have a latte he'll say "I can't, I'm lactose."  He's missing the all important "intolerant", which imparts a noticeably different spin.  I've been intolerant my whole life but have chosen to pretend otherwise.  However, with a nod to the power of milk sugars, I've been trying to warm up to soy.  Loysel's Toy Cafe makes a great soy latte and that's no easy feat.  Their strong espresso tastes as if it's mixed with milk.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feeling Unmotivated

Singapore, Here I Come
I didn't mean to mislead you.  You've been clicking into the Puff List and upon seeing that same old doughnut shot, cursing me and my momma.  Truth is, I've been feeling lazy and unmotivated.  I have no idea why.  I hope that when I arrive in Singapore on Monday, that'll change.  I might start off with a plate of carrot cake at my local Serangoon spot.  Or, hit Sin Ming.  Either way, it'll be warm and far from the Paris and loaded with good eats.  Check back with me in a few days.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dough - Brooklyn

Bus Worthy in Bed-Stuy
As the B38 bus rumbled over potholes, I had a good feeling.  I suspected I'd be adding Dough to the "bus-worthy" list.  To be bus-worthy means I'm willing to ride a bus to eat at a place.  If you've never lived in NYC, the worst way to travel is by bus; they're crowded, slow and attract a high percentage of nutjobs.  To be bus-worthy is the highest compliment I can give.  Only Baked in Red Hook was on the list, but now they've got company.  Dough's donuts are so good I didn't even mind taking the bus back home.  They offer interesting flavors like hibiscus, passionfruit, chocolate earl grey and lemon poppy but being a coffee guy I picked one called "cafe au lait."  It was so big and puffy I could've used it for a pillow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blue Bottle Coffee - Brooklyn

Sometimes Less is Smore
It's all fun and games until it backfires.  I'm talking about the trend where you take an old favorite, break it down and build it back up with fancy-schmancy ingredients.  Case in point: the uptown smore I got at Blue Bottle Coffee.  It sported a name card explaining how the graham cracker was made from scratch, all the better to house the hand-crafted marshmallow and single-source cocoa bean chocolate sauce (I'm exaggerating.)  Sorry, but when I think of smores, I think of this.....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

B&B Empire - Brooklyn

Two Makes a Trend: Montreal-Style Bagels
I worked in Montreal some years back but it wasn't until Mile End opened that I tried a Montreal-style bagel.  Where my doctor's office once stood, there's now a new place called B&B Empire.  They hand-roll and bake theirs on site, exactly where a female doctor once cupped my sac and asked me to cough.  Come to think of it, I haven't been to a doctor since.  As pervy as this sounds - a bagel with Montreal style is usually skinnier, sweeter and has a bigger hole.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tacombi - Manhattan

This is What a Cool Taco Spot Looks Like
It's hot in NY, the past few days in the mid-90's.  The Dodomode is in town pretending it's not as hot as Singapore.  She's due to leave soon so we went on a Nolita shopping run and took note of Tacombi, filing it away for a future visit.  The future arrived sooner than planned when the swirling dark skies began to drop water and ice on us.  We ran back to Tacombi, only slightly wet, and tucked into some tacos.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Zuzu Ramen - Brooklyn

Traveling Changes You, Sometimes for the Worse
From a very young age I wanted to travel.  As soon as I graduated college I got a Eurail pass and bounced around Europe for a summer.  I even did a 41 day stretch on the trains, sleeping upright in the seats and pulling into a new town every day.  Now I split my time amongst three continents and am constantly amazed by it.  I've learned more from travel than from any classroom.  Unfortunately, it's spoiled me.  I cannot eat Mexican in Paris (sorry Candelaria) or croissants in New York.  I'm stubborn about ramen, even though I've slurped it many times in Tokyo and should know better.  My latest disappointment was at Zuzu, where they plied me with gyoza with skin as tough as a rawhide football....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Al Taglio II - Paris

Frenchie Silverware Struggles
During my three years in Paris I've studied the locals up close like a science project.  They're funny ones, the Frenchies.  They rarely notice when their dogs drop a hot load on the sidewalk - best to leave that for someone else.  They can be seen in summer, sporting woolen scarves like nooses, as if fearing a polar breeze.  Strangest of all, they eat finger-foods with knife and fork.  I've seen them carve up a burger, fork pieces of sandwich into their mouths and even attack a pizza with cutlery!  So, when my Al Taglio pizza arrived pre-chopped, sans silverware, I got out my notepad and pencil.  Time for some Frenchie-watching!  They struggled mightily when the pizza arrived.  They looked around, confused. Slowly, after accepting the lack of silverware, they reluctantly picked up their pizza shards.  I wanted to give em a hug and tell em everything would be alright, but feared the pizza grease I might get on my back.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Popelini - Paris

Then What Happened?
When I arrived back at work, fresh from Popelini, they were still arguing.  The limey was gesticulating so hard, he batted his shiny thin tie over his shoulder and left it there.  None noticed the long trays of cream puffs I'd placed in the middle of the table.  Each was annoyed I was blocking his view of the idiot on the other side of his argument.  I began to wonder about my colleagues - how can they be so passionate about work?  Hello, there are rows of tiny choux à la crème, people!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bagatelle - Paris

Location, Location, Location
Rarely does the Paris-of-the-movies intersect with real life but on a recent afternoon, outside in sunshine filtered by leafy-green Bagatelle Park, they came together as one.  The evil me felt sorry for you.  You should've been there at Bagatelle, blowing off your afternoon meetings, sipping wine and taking small bites of prawn risotto with cuttlefish in veal stock.  I chewed slowly, glancing at the deep blue sky and felt happy knowing the weekend, though a day off, had already arrived.  The prawns had that perfect smoky barbecue aftertaste, drawing me further into summer, to the 4th of July.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Versailles - Miami

Chilling in Little Havana
After a punishing round of golf at Doral it was easy to convince the dejected to make a run to Versailles for a Cuban lunch.  We gorged on a variety of delectables, pushing our guts to the edge of explosion.  We later napped sitting on the couch, tv blaring and upon waking didn't discuss dinner.  Everyone was still full and reflecting on the lunch.  I teased them for not getting the flan with coconut, one of my favorites.  The Versailles version was stellar.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Asiadog - Manhattan

Thumb-Deep in Toppings
What kind of sadistic genius carpets a beef dog with cubes of barbecued pork belly?  I'd read the ingredients before ordering but somehow it didn't quite hit me until I had it in my paws.  There they were, cow and pig together, in optimal forms, cucumber and scallions sitting shotgun.  I really enjoyed it, staining my jeans in the process.  It was my first time eating an Asiadog, and it didn't take long to realize that the place is not so much about the dogs as it is about the additives.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cocoron Soba - Manhattan

You Better Be Good With the Sticks
One more hour of tweaking powerpoints and I was going to snap.  I hoped a faraway lunch adventure would break up the drudgery.  No planes involved, only a NYC subway ride to Cocoron Soba.  Just what the doctor ordered - pork croquettes and plenty of noodles.  However, there's work to put in - the chopstick variety.  You better be able to maneuver with the wooden sticks - at Cocoron you may have to dip your own soba into boiling broth, one pinch at a time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dans le Noir - Paris

No, Not What You're Thinking
I doubt it's a coincidence that Dans le Noir has a slew of lovely, dark ladies working the front door.  However, it's not about that at all.  It's not really about the food either.  It's something so strange that you have to try it.  That is, if you can handle it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Le Meating - Paris

French Steakhouse Fail
Back in grammar school, the unlucky ate the cafeteria food.  A few of us carried our lunch from home in a  brown bag.  Without imagination, I'd attack in order: first the carrot sticks or apples, then the sandwich and finally the dessert.  One day I noticed a kid who was eating his dessert first.  I asked him why.  He looked at me as if I'd asked to pee on his shoes.  "In case I get full, at least I've had my dessert!"  This kid was clearly brilliant - he probably grew up to be an astronaut.  At Meating, had I been able to start with dessert and go backwards, I would've been much happier.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nomiya - Paris

Living the High Life
So rarely do the fancy places impress.  After overpaying I often feel disgust, feign indifference or burst out in laughter (Joel Robuchon.)  Then there is Nomiya.  It sets such a high bar and hurdles it so effortlessly that I don't consider it another "fancy" - I place it in separate orbit.  We compared notes and decided that this may be the best lunch we've ever had.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Le Verre Volé - Paris

Is Canal St Martin the Paris LES?
On the train to work each morning, I squeeze my Kindle with stubby fingers and read the NY Times like it's a lifeline to home.  Rarely does the Times strike a false note but today, as I read a story about Paris restaurants, I bristled at the comparison between Canal St Martin and New York's Lower East Side.  The LES?  Seriously?  News flash - ALL the interesting neighborhoods and food in NY are in the outer boroughs, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens.  It would be more apt to say that Le Verre Volé resides in Paris' equivalent of Williamsburg, Red Hook or maybe even Gowanus.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nanashi II - Paris

Japarisian Deserves a Second Look
I've always admired the hard-working Japanese ladies at Rose Bakery.  They wake up early to make me scones and carrot cake for breakfast.  I like to get there early to peoplewatch them mixing and kneading next to the towering double stove.  One of them, Kaori Endo, left to open Nanashi in the 10th and I figured it would be a no-brainer success.  When she quickly opened another in the 3rd, I was surprised.  It's right in Rose's backyard.  I tried it out today and while not quite ready for primetime, it deserves a repeat visit.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Locanda Verde - Manhattan

The Out of Towners
A while back two of Dodo's friends visited NY for the first time.  One from Singapore, the other from Chi-town.  We took them to Locanda Verde for brunch.  It's pretty schwanks - chock full of bright-toothed model babes and well dressed enablers.  Cleary, with my broken mouth smile and day before yesterday's outfit, I wasn't enabling shit.  No worries, we weren't there to pose, we were there to stuff ourselves.  Besides, Locanda Verde is wasted on the slimmies - you gotta put down the iBaubles, roll up your sleeves and dive into their sumptuous high-post brunch.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eataly - Manhattan

Pricey but Tasty!
I visited Eataly when it opened a few months back and immediately wanted to kill myself.  It was a buzzing mess of gawking tourists and elbowy locals, stretching wait times and my patience beyond reason.  I swam against the current out the exit, empty-stomached and pissed, no intention of ever returning.  I didn't tell this to my colleagues who booked a "haven't seen you in a while" lunch there.  Luckily, the place has settled down; you can get a table in a reasonable amount of time and savor some good food.  I regret not trying Cacio e Pepe while I was in Rome.  The Eataly version was al dente and the pecorino and ground black pepper speed-bagged my taste buds perfectly.  I could eat this every day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mexicue - Manhattan

More Manhattan Truck Love
If you ask me "Mac or PC?" I'll smile and answer "both."  It's not because I'm a smartass (though that helps) - I simply don't buy into the question.  On my travels I've learned that everyone thinks their country's food is the best.  Regardless the location, there's pressure to side with the locals.  With an open mind you can find good (and bad) in each country.  On my food continuum, the NYC lunch truck is closer in spirit to the Singapore hawker than the Parisian two hour wine-soaked lunch.  If you've tried the Mexicue truck you know what I mean - they serve-up quick yet excellent barbecued meats in taco and sandwich form.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bian Dang - Manhattan

Trading Abe for Chops
Some crazy people were slinging chops from a van for only five bucks today.  I saw em driving down Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn on Saturday and jotted the name down - Bian Dang.  Pure luck - they parked a block from the job today so I donned the snorkel parka, waited in line and traded over a fiver.  In return, they gave me a filling two chop lunch that included rice, pork sauce and greens.     

Friday, March 4, 2011

Van Horn Sandwich Shop - Brooklyn

Love is Four Letter Word: P-O-R-K
I've been away from Brooklyn for three long months. Enough time for someone talented to plop down an excellent southern-style sandwich shop near my apartment.  They call themselves Van Horn and they must have sold their souls to the devil.  They made me a pulled pork sandwich for lunch that singlehandedly removed both my jetlag and the bonechill I'd acquired on the walk over.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

40 Hands - Singapore

Outsourcing the Hobby
Puff List readers realize I don't know what I'm talking about and my photos are crap.  I'm no pro, this is a hobby - one that can be very time consuming.  At 40 Hands, I accidentally stumbled into an epiphany - I may be able to outsource some of the work.  I was there for brunch with Dodo and her friends MC and Pirate Pixels, two photo fanatics.  They whipped out their expensive cameras and were like food paparazzi.  In this post, I'm using their shots and you can definitely tell the difference - notice the beautiful depth of field in Pirate's egg cocotte.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tong Hua Jie Night Market - Taipei

Closing it Out in Style
Mom, I apologize in advance for the double negative because in Taipei you cannot not go to a night market.  We opted for the less touristy Tong Hua Jie rather than Shihlin.  Special thanks to Nicholas of My Inner Fatty for giving me a heads up on this - a pork sausage sitting in a small rice canoe.  How they fashioned a bun from rice, I can't figure out, I just know the combo works. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sit-Fun Shih Tang - Taipei

This is the Healthier Side of the Street?
I fancy myself the pork fat king - it's only a matter of time before I'm fitted with my coffin-shaped crown.  However, even I sat blinking, dumbfounded at the inch-thick layer of fat on the pork at Sit-Fun.  When later research suggested they offer "lighter versions of Taiwanese delicacies" I broke out in laughter.  Surely they must be joking.  The first bite was delicious but I soon felt like I was eating all icing and no cake.  The King admits to leaving a lot of the fat in the bottom of the bowl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cafe Ole - Taipei

The Coffee-Crazed are My Kinda People
I immediately noticed all the cafes in Taipei.  They're everywhere and that warms a man's heart.  There's nothing better than lazing in a cafe, drinking coffee, surfing the net, flipping through magazines, wasting time.  It's the template for my retirement.  I don't think I could live in a city where it isn't possible.  NY excels at it, Paris fails - not enough free wifi.  Singapore is coming along - though they need more free wifi.  Taipei, it turns out, does pretty well, Cafe Ole being a good example.  We went a few times, surrounded by hip Taipei-ers (Taipanese?) and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maroco - Taipei

Thick Toast Wake-Up Call
Before I arrived in Taipei, Dodo had already scouted a breakfast spot near our hotel.  She described it as a "thick toast spot" and I knew exactly what she meant.  Maroco makes their own bread, slices it thicker than your head, toasts it and loads it with butter.  They do much more - feast your eyes on the tarts.  Though our Taipei trip wasn't a long one and repeating visits to a single place makes little sense, we came to Maroco many times - because of the toast.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shin Liu Farm - Hualien, Taiwan

Healthiest Meal in the History of the Puff List?
I rarely do the things I should. Back in my youth I used to exercise, smile, make new friends and eat vegetables.  I've grown up to be an old, lazy, scowl-faced carnivore.  I like to think of myself as a work in regress.  That's not to say I don't enjoy a plate or two of veggies from time to time, I just don't go searching for them.  Our Taiwan guide, a colleague of Dodo's, was something of a health nut.  She drove us south of Hualien, into the east rift valley to Shin Liu Farm for some greenery, both the viewing and eating kind.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yi Wan Xiao - Hualien, Taiwan

Perfect Post-National Park Meal
Hualien is a city on the Eastern coast of Taiwan near the spectacular Taroko National Park.  We'd spent the day at Taroko, gawking at seascape, rivers and mountains through sun, clouds and cold drizzle.  By dinner time we were famished and looking for restoration.  Luckily our B&B owner gave us an insider's inside scoop and sent us to Yi Wan Xiao for noodles.  The name could be translated as "A Small Bowl" and indeed that's all it took for me to be totally satisfied and ready for a night of unconsciousness.