Stay tuned for part #2.
It’s come to my attention that I’ve become known for my, as one friend puts it, “street food foraging” style of eating while traveling. I often say I like to eat my way through continents and it’s true. Street food foraging is not simply just eating a meal at a street stall or food stand. It’s more of an art. It’s the resolve behind dedicating oneself to pick up only bites, bit literally walk through a city and tast it, picking up a snack here and a bite there.
Street food foraging resembles the tapas style dining I enjoy so much while at home. Instead of sitting down to one meal, I enjoy a few. I don’t need a whole plate of one thing, I’d much prefer little bites of many.When traveling this couldn’t be more true. Food is a great window into a culture. The little bites we pick up along the way are insights into the history, religion, geography and people that define a place. The compilation of these tastes are some of the best meals I’ve ever had- like a seven course chefs table, only in my version, each plate is served at a different street stall.
I’ve already planned my street food tours for my upcoming trip to France, Croatia and Montenegro. Along with experiencing the visual beauty of each destination, I plan on indulging in the gastronomic delights of each as well. And yes, while I do enjoy sitting down for a meal (and have a few reservations planned already), I enjoy my renegade style of eating much more.
Is the airline food your favorite thing about flying? I didn’t think so.
Well, Delta Air Lines is looking to change that. Major changes have been happening to better the dining options available to travelers at the airport, and now Delta Air Lines is taking this strategy to the friendly skies. The airline has been working with celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein to upgrade the quality of their in-flight fare. Luckily, for those who are curious to try the new offerings, you don’t need to purchase a ticket to do so.
Beginning today, Delta Air Lines will relocate in part to New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in the form of T4X, a pop-up experiential restaurant to promote the new bites.
Open to visitors on Tuesdays through Sundays between 11 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, T4X the perfect stop for a lunchtime getaway. Meals at T4X are much cheaper than what you’ll have to pay to sample them in the air; each meal will be available for only $4.
Make sure to stop by before May 22nd, when Delta will shift focus to opening it’s actual 1.4 billion dollar terminal space at JFK.
T4X, 376 West Broadway, Tues-Sun 11AM- 3PM
Arguably the best part of a family birthday celebration is going out for a festive and slightly more extravagant than usual meal. With mine and my father’s birthdays just around the corner (we were born on the same day) I’ve been enthusiastically sifting through all the possibilities for our annual feast. In a city like New York, there’s always a restaurant of the moment, and many more compiling a lengthy dining bucket list. Usually, I try and pick somewhere new. Not a place that’s too trendy, fancy or foodie, but somewhere new and exciting for the whole family to enjoy.
Locanda Verde, however, is the exception. While birthdays are a good excuse to go somewhere new, they are also the time to enjoy your favorites and the Andrew Carmellini owned restaurant is one of mine. Locanda Verde is not a new establishment nor a world renowned New York classic but to get a reservation here you still need to call a month ahead. Until my upcoming dinner plans this weekend, I’ve never actually snagged a coveted reservation, but have waited for hours patiently and eaten at the bar time and time again.
What’s all the fuss about you may ask? Well, frankly the food at Locanda Verde is just damn good. The restaurant straddles the fine line between homey and indulgent and the food served here does the same. It’s the sheep’s milk ricotta however that keeps me coming back. Decadent and light at the same time, the appetizer is serious simple and incredibly good. Served whipped with sea salt and herbs and accompanied by a slightly burnt orange flavored toast, the cheese plate is undoubtedly any evening spent here’s shining star.
Though I had multiple reservations for Sunday’s birthday around town, it is this indulgent delight that once again swayed my mind. Now the only problem is I have to salivate for four days until I can enjoy…
Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich Street, 212 925 3797, Mon-Sun 8AM-11PM, mealtimes vary by day
To make your own, adapted from Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini :
*the recipe says it’s meant for six but with how good this stuff is I can hardly imagine it’s enough for one
Bananas may not seem like the choicest dessert, but the version put out on the streets of Vietnam will satisfy any sweet tooth and may create some of it’s own.
Small stands scattered around the country sell the uncomplicated bite to locals and those who know to try it. I stumbled upon the dessert by happenstance, my love of trying street food leading me to order some without knowing what it was.
The unassuming chuoi nuong basks in simplicity. Sweet bananas are covered in coconut infused sticky rice, wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled until crusty and intoxicatingly fragrant. Once ready to be consumed, the small cake like preparation is cut into pieces and drizzled with rich and creamy condensed coconut milk and a sprinkle of peanut.
Whether you like dessert of not, this banana treat is a must try. Bananas Foster, you’ve got nothing on this.
Want to make your own chuoi nuong? Here you go:
(thanks HubPages.com for the recipe)
Southeast Asia has the market on noodle soup and a market I fully intended to research thoroughly. 18 days of traveling through the region and endless bowls of delicious noodle soup. While many of the best are from street stalls with no names, here are a few that are worth seeking out:
Pho 2000: Phan Chu Trinh, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, +84 3 822 2788
Pho Kiều: 14 Gia Ngu, Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam
Pho Suong: 24 Trung Yen Lane, Dinh Liet St, Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam
Express Noodle: on street perpendicular to Wha Pha That Luang, Vientiane, Laos
It should be to no shock to anyone by now that a majority of my travel plans center around food. Tasting the local culture in all its various forms whether be it in a restaurant, market or on the street, is one of my greatest joys in travelling and in life.
Vietnam is filled with delicious treats from spring rolls to jackfruit to my beloved pho bo soup. All of which, I ate plenty of. The country is also home to the bánh mì, a tasty sandwich showcasing both Vietnam’s French influenced past and local flavors at the same time. An airy, crispy, single serving baguette is stuffed with a variety of fillings more often than not including grilled meat, pâté, fresh cucumber, cilantro, pickled veggies, mayo, chili and sometimes cheese. The smorgasbord of ingredients is a flavor explosion for your mouth and a hearty pick-me-up any time of day.
Bánh mì are ubiquitous in Vietnam and especially in Ho Chi Minh City. The sandwich is a popular meal throughout the day, eaten by local looking for something quick and filling to eat on the go. Finding a bánh mì stand is not a difficult task. However, finding an outstanding one is. On this past trip, I made finding the best bánh mì in Ho Chi Minh City my goal, a mission that I think we completed.
In and around the Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh’s largest, hundreds of vendors set up shop, and hundreds more ready to feed them. The little hawker stands range from semi kitchens to one woman, one pot shows. Most of them will serve you a bánh mì. While strolling through, trying to find the best place to order our sandwich, my friends and I noticed multiple old locals munching on what looked to be the same awesome version. After a few miscommunications and a little misunderstanding, we were guided to a lady outside the market on the street, with nothing but a simple cart and serving nothing but bánh mì.
The woman who made the sandwiches spoke no English, and we no Vietnamese, but it didn’t matter, she knew what we had come for. Within seconds was whipping us up one of her (what I’m sure are) famed treats, one with the meat, pâté, and everything in between. The sandwich was sweet, salty, sour and spicy, all flavors in balance and absolutely devine. Having devoured ours in a mere minute, we quickly returned for seconds, the lady giving us nothing but a knowing look before heading to work on bánh mì number two.
My only regret: not getting bánh mì number three.
Want to get one for yourself? Here’s your map to bánh mì goodness. Enjoy, I sure did :)
After yesterday’s post I decided you could use a recipe to make some som tum of your own.
servings 2, time 10 minutes
Smash garlic clove inside mortar and pestle. Next add green beans and halved cherry tomatoes, pound a few times until beans are bruised and tomatoes begin to juice. Add chili peppers and crush just enough to release the hotness, as much as you can handle. One the peppers release their flavor, add in the papaya, lime, dried shrimp, sugar, peanuts and fish sauce. Mash with the pestle until everything is mixed up well. That’s it, you’re done, eat up and smile. Hope you enjoy :)
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and writing) on the connection between food and culture. In Israel, the bond is especially strong. The new Israeli cuisine is a hybrid amalgam of Jewish and other traditions from across the globe.
While I can go on for pages about culinary connection of gastronomy in general and specifically the Israeli one, this video pretty much wraps it all up in under 5 minutes.