restaurants

Russ & Daughters, Lower East Side, New York

I still consider myself to be a New Yorker (technically I am) and go back there at least once or more a year. So I don't write about my trips there all the time. This time I did have more than a few notable food encounters, so here is a not-so-short roundup.

I'm in the New York area at the moment, doing some family things, required government-oriented paperwork and so on. Whenever I'm here I do like to treat myself to at least one interesting restaurant meal. So, this time around I thought of going to Per Se, the famed Thomas Keller establishment. I've never been to a Thomas Keller establishment.

I went to their pretty but so user-unfriendly Flash-only website (see my rant against this deplorable practice) and, after having to reload the site because it was coming up blank a few times, was dismayed to find that they require jackets (though not ties) and 'no tennis shoes' (I guess they mean sneakers...tennis shoes, how quaint) for lunch and dinner. I am travelling light and only have shoes of the 'tennis' variety, and my planned dining partner (who is a much more exacting and well-travelled gourmet than I am) is rather firmly anti-jacket, so it looks like Per Se is out for us. Bummer.

Filed under: 

duesseldorf3-takumi.jpg

I've long been intrigued by the famed Japantown or Japan Quarter area of Düsseldorf, Germany, but haven't had a chance to go there. It's about a 5 hour drive from Zürich, and there was no work-related excuse to go there - until last week that is. So, following up on my mostly Japanese frugal eats blitz through Paris, here is my 2-day all-Japanese blitz through Düsseldorf.

A Frugal Eats (mostly Japanese) blitz through Paris

parisramenya-1.jpg

Pursuing cheap Japanese (and other) eats in Paris.

Type:  feature Filed under:  food travel japanese restaurants shopping france paris ramen

Asha, the reader who sent me the question that inspired me to write Japan: A Survival Guide for Vegans has sent in a great follow-up comment. I've posted it here so you won't miss it. She found it a lot easier to follow her vegan regime in Tokyo than in Nagasaki, where she has been living. That makes sense I thin: any major metropolitan area these days is likely to have many people who are vegan or at least interested in a vegan way of eating, while the same might not hold true for more regional towns (Nagasaki has a long history of being a very international city, but is much smaller than Tokyo of course.)

What follows are Asha's words.

At the moment I'm sitting in a cottage in France (recovering from a cold, but that's another story), a land notorious for not being so vegan friendly except in the larger cities. The native cuisine is generally not vegan - even vegetable dishes often use things like dairy products or animal fats or stock in the cooking process, which can make things difficult. But if you are a vegan you probably know about this, and come prepared accordingly. (I think it's a lot easier for lacto-ovo vegetarians in France; you could live on the delicious bread and cheese.)

If you are going to Japan, you might think that being vegan would be a lot easier. Japanese cuisine has a reputation for using lots of vegetables, seaweed and other vegan-friendly products. There is even a particular kind of cuisine in Japan called sho-jin ryouri (精進料理), a mostly vegan temple cuisine, with a long and highly regarded tradition.

But as a reader who emailed me recently found out, being a vegan in Japan is just as hard as it is in Europe.

I'm sitting here sorting through the giveaway entries, checking out the overnight Twitters, and doing laundry. Typical Sunday morning for me. @macratlove tweeted (twittered?) this, which is inspiring this question:

What's the most memorable famous-person encounter you've ever had in a restaurant?

Here's mine!

Filed under: 

Being pleasantly reminded of a classic piece of food writing.

Here's a new poll to chew over this Monday. The Japanese government has been ruffling some feathers in the restaurant world with their attempts to set up a program to certify the authenticity of 'Japanese' restaurants around the world (read about it here). Should more countries start such schemes, government-sponsored or not? Should a Spanish group be going around the world verifying if a paella is properly Spanish? Should the Germans inspect the quality of wurst? Or, what about the Americans - should they go around the world inspecting bagels? (You can get some mighty unusual bagels in Japan for instance, I can tell you.)

What do you think? Have your say!

Filed under: 

Should there be more restaurant authenticity verifiers?

Yes, I want to know if the food I'm eating is authentic.
43% (80 votes)
No, it's a bad idea
49% (91 votes)
Other (tell us in the comments!)
6% (12 votes)
Don't know
2% (3 votes)
Total votes: 186
Filed under: 

Pages