I love reading negative reviews on Yelp, Amazon, Rotten Tomatoes, etc., especially restaurant reviews for places I've enjoyed eating at. A feeling of self-righteousness fills me: well, I had a good experience there. You must have done something wrong, ordered incorrectly, or just plain don't have good taste if you didn't enjoy it. My favorites are things like, "I went to a super popular brunch place on Sunday at 11 am and we had to wait forty-five minutes even though the hostess told us it would be forty minutes!!!! One star!!!" or "There were no healthy options at [restaurant known for its decadent menu options and has all menus available online for preview]. I couldn't eat. One star."
Budapest is not just about traditional Hungarian cuisine. It's a city catering to thousands of international travelers each year, and the dining options reflect that. When looking for what to eat in Budapest, you'll find fine and low brow dining options, local and chain coffee shops, and international cuisines ranging from Japanese ramen to French bakeries. Food trucks are a hip new enterprise there and a number of restaurants cater to vegetarian and even vegan customers.
With its excellent fresh seafood, expertly grilled and roasted meats, and quality ingredients, Croatia is a food lover's paradise. Whether you're looking for a luxurious truffle-centered feast or a simple sausage and bread sandwich, Croatia delivers delicious food. Eating in Croatia is an experience and as a diner you should take your time to experience the culture around eating and food.
My time in Ventura is coming to an end. I will be gone for almost the entirety of May visiting friends in Croatia and we move up to the Redding land in June. With my move-out day growing closer, I wanted to write a smidge about my time spent eating in Ventura. While the list is not exhaustive of every place I've eaten here, it's pretty close. If you're not up for an extensive review of seventeen different Ventura restaurants then I would skip this post. Or if you're hungry and the only thing left in your cupboard is an expired can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup.
I wrote a long explanation about the different kinds of cultures that went into the making of Puerto Rican food and then my blog ate it. A good reminder to write blog posts in Google docs before copying and pasting them into squarespace. What a waste of time and energy.
I knew next to nothing about Puerto Rican cuisine before I stepped off the plane in San Juan and I still know little. An amalgamation of Taino, African, Spanish, and Indian influences, Puerto Rican food heavily features pork, plantains, rice, beans, and fresh fruit. Maybe you've heard of mofongo, fried mashed plantains served with just about anything under the sun, or lechon, the roast pork available from roadside eateries; there's an entire highway dedicated to the stuff.
If you haven’t already realized, I like food: eating food, taking pictures of food, how food gets made, politics around food, etc. I also like to drink beer. Over my holiday vacation with my family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I enjoyed both these things in bunches. Grand Rapids, Michigan in western Michigan brings down to earth midwestern charm to the microbrewery trend.
I was unsure of what to expect with Swedish cuisine. I watched an episode of Chef's Table with some Swedish chef living in a very small town. He had long hair and there was a lot of snow. I know Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden. New Nordic cuisine is a thing I've seen cookbooks for. I ate Swedish meatballs and apple cake at Ikea and enjoyed it. I watched Anthony Bourdain rant about ABBA, as if it were still relevant, and eat goose with singing. I knew hot dogs were a thing, as hot dogs or meat in tube form is a thing in most places these days. I learned from Girl with a Dragon Tattoo that there's a beverage called Aquavit and people drink it a lot.
Cinnamon rolls and hot dogs may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of food in Iceland. Known for traditional delicacies such as fermented shark (the food item that Anthony Bourdain says is the most disgusting thing he's ever eaten), puffin, and minke whale, Iceland may not seem like a food destination. And truthfully, I would not consider it a food destination the way I did Vietnam.
Pho: it is what comes to mind when talking to many Americans about Vietnamese food. Banh mi and fresh spring rolls might also come into the conversation. While these foods are tasty, though personally, I find pho a bit on the boring side, they are just the beginning of a deep culinary tradition. In Vietnam, I felt I only got to Viet Nam Food 101: The Basics. So much food, so little time.