Sunday, August 28, 2011

Me, Some Lobster Rolls, and Irene (Luke's Lobster)

Lobster Rolls

I've been back in classes for just one week so far, and yet summer feels like it happened so long ago. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was walking through the streets of Paris under bright skies, eating pastries and veal brains, and just basically having a great time. Fast forward to the present, and now I'm dissecting a human brain, preparing for a hurricane in New York City of all places, and already looking forward to a vacation. While Irene has forced the shutdown of the MTA, the postponement of the Saturday and Sunday Braves-Mets games, and the evacuation of tens of thousands of NYC residents from flood zones, there was a silver lining to all of the chaos and mayhem wrought by the hurricane before it even arrived: discounted lobster rolls at Luke's Lobster. $10 lobster rolls? In the words of the immortal Austin Powers: Yeah, babyyyy! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why the French Don't Suck: Patisseries, Bakeries, and Boulangeries

The two things I did a lot of in Paris: sightseeing and eating pastries

In the first episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain set out to prove his thesis of "why the French don't suck." In support of Bourdain's thesis, one need look no further than the myriad patisseries, bakeries, and boulangeries dispersed all throughout the City of Light. While most people generally associate the French with fine dining and opulent, grandiose cuisine, my short stay in Paris has led me to believe that perhaps what sets the French apart from the rest of the world is not in their fine dining and skill in preparing "regular food" (read: food that you would eat for a meal) but rather in their ability to bake breads and pastries. During a whirlwind three-day trip to Paris last weekend where each day began by 7:00 am and lasted until well past 1:00 am, I still found the time to fit in stops at several of Paris' finest patisseries, bakeries, and boulangeries to sample some of the best breads, vienoinoiseries, and pastries that I have ever eaten. What follows is an overview of the places that I went to in my quest to sample some of the best Paris has to offer and to ingest enough butter in three days to necessitate an angioplasty.

Friday, August 5, 2011

First Impressions Are Everything (The Prince of Wales)

Welsh Rarebit

Whether it's a job interview or a first date, the first impression that you leave on a person tends to stick and, for better or worse, is very difficult to change later on. If I meet someone for the first time and they're picking their nose or smelling like they've been living in a dumpster, then my initial impression -- that that person has no regards for personal hygiene -- is likely to remain in the back of my mind, regardless of whether or not that individual really does exhibit such poor hygiene all of the time. For all I know, maybe they were just scratching the side of their nose, a la "the pick," and maybe they smelled because they had just come back from the gym. Too late, my mind will always think back to that one time where they smelled like ass and had their finger all wedged up their left nostril.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roasted Animals Are Tasty (Oink)

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I was in Edinburgh more than two weeks ago, and I have since visited Cardiff and Paris, so this post is more than a bit overdue. Now I know what other bloggers mean when they say they've fallen behind on their posts. Anywho, as I was wandering the streets of Edinburgh in search of a quick lunch near the castle, I came across Oink. First off, what a great name. Seriously, Oink? Add to that the fact that the storefront is accented with a flamboyant shade of hot pink, and you've caught my attention from afar. But wait, it gets better. As I approached the storefront, I was greeted by the sight of a whole-roasted pig, head and all, staring back at me through the window. Sure, I loved Babe just as much as the next child, but any time a roasted animal is presented to me, any affectionate childhood memories I may have had are pushed to the backburner.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awesome Swedish Baked Goods, No Assembly Required (Peter's Yard Coffee House and Bakery)

Cardamom Bun

My knowledge of Sweden is very limited. Off the top of my head, the only things that I think of that are related to Sweden are Ikea, Swedish meatballs, Swedish fish, and Peter Forsberg, and the first two are inextricably linked anyway. So as you can see, I'm not very familiar with Sweden, or any of the other Scandinavian countries for that matter. When I learned of Peter's Yard, a well-regarded Swedish bakery mini-chain that has a location in Edinburgh, the first two questions that popped into my head were 1) what constitutes Swedish baked goods? and 2) would there be any assembly required? I was intrigued enough to pursue this further.