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    San Francisco Bay Area/Metro Manila
  1. Not true. I took a couple of friends to France last year. For both of them it was their first time. They never saw the Eiffel Tower, didn't visit the Louvre or any museums, didn't go inside the Notre Dame, and did not visit any historical landmark. Instead, we spent most of the time hitting bistros and cafes, wine bars and food stores. They told me it was the most memorable trip of their life. One of them is joining me again next month and I can tell you all that he's interested in is making reservations at various restaurants and checking out the jamon Iberico at Da Rosa.
  2. My travel to France in March will be bookended by stays in Paris on a Sunday and Monday. I would greatly appreciate recommendations on good restaurants to try. One with a decent wine list would be a plus.
  3. In Avignon, Christian Etienne's stunning venue plus the tomato menu make it a worthwhile experience. I also like the tiny Au Petit Bedon for good Provencal cuisine. In Beaune, Ma Cuisine is still good, though I feel the place has shed some of its charms. Fabienne has help in the kitchen now so she's able to greet and chat with diners more, but Pierre is looking more harried. Most of the well-priced jewel off-vintages in the wine list are gone. I like Cave des Arches. Yes, it's more posh and modern for the area, but nothing wrong with that. The salmon tartare is amazing. The wine list has many overpriced top labels, but there are enough good picks as well. The fromagerie on Place Carnot that opened probably just a year ago is great. Cave Madeleine is my favorite bistro in Beaune. Try the herring appetizer if you see it on the board.
  4. Strictly breakfast, not brunch, especially weekday breakfast, my two favorite breakfast places in San Francisco are Buena Vista Cafe in Fisherman's Wharf and Bocadillo's in Financial District/North Beach. The food, location, and atmosphere of these two places are just uniquely San Francisco.
  5. While it would never occur to me to visit one around Paris, I've bought stuff, including wine, at the Auchan just outside Avignon and I though I got some good deals. I think you just have to be very selective and have some good knowledge of what you're buying, more so than in a specialty wine store where you can get knowledgeable advise.
  6. Your taste is sublime. I'm so with you on St. Honore.
  7. Another splurge is Senderens on Place de la Madeleine at the old Lucas Carton location. And for a casual eat, if you like to find a good selection of wines, how about lunch at Restaurant Lavinia on Blvd Madeleine in one of the best wine shops in Paris?
  8. syrah girl. I happen to find your question interesting because obviously Harris is more of a convenient stop while on 5 instead of a destination place. But since you seem really curious and you have the coupon maybe you'd go anyway and tell us about the whole experience? The trip could be a first.
  9. In the same vein as Carlsbad's comments, when I'm back in Paris after trekking in the outer regions and find myself down to my last euros but still want to eat good cuisine (after all I'm in Paris), then I start frequenting the excellent delis in town and bringing warm food back to my hotel. I have a favorite, but the name escapes me, in Rue du Bac, just a few doors from the corner of Blvd St. Germain. But there are plenty of these types of places in the city.
  10. Thanks for posting. The 1 Star list is a mish-mash. Surprising that Danko and maybe a few others didn't get the 2.
  11. Also, Yves Camdeborde (ex Ambassadeurs, Regalade) at Le Comptoir and Alain Senderens, formerly of Lucas-Carton, at Senderens.
  12. Gul. You can make it skinless (without casing) as Domestic Goddess mentioned. To make it easier to form, you can also roll each sausage in wax paper and let it cure, then unwrap and cook. Now, cooking longganisa is similar to other sausages. You can directly saute, grill, or broil, but you can also boil in a small amount of liquid (usually water) in a sautee pan until the liquid boils out, then you finish off by sauteeing the sausage. No need to add oil as the fat of the meat will grease the pan (if theres casing, prick the skin to let the fat out). Cooking it in liquid first is the popular method in the Philippines. Longganisa is popular with rice, but it makes a great sandwich too. And you can slice it and add it to dry noodles or serve it by itself like tapas and wash it down with cold beer.
  13. Longganisa (or longanisa/longaniza) is a Philippine sausage that's an all-time favorite of mine. It's made of pork (though there's a chicken variety) and is about two-thirds the length of an Italian sausage. My guess is that longganisa is a local adaptation of the Spanish Cantimpalitos sausage which comes from the area of Cantimpalos near Segovia, Spain. We Filipinos love to eat it for breakfast, usually with garlic-flavored rice. As far as I know there are three basic styles popularized by the provinces where they originated: Pampanga, Vigan, and Baguio. The Pampanga-style is by far the most popular. It's sweet and longer than the other two types. The Vigan (my favorite) is about half the length of Pampanga longganisa, not sweet and has a pungent, sour taste; very close in taste to the Spanish Cantimpalitos. The Baguio-style is even shorter, about thumb-size, and is sweet and garlicky. Undaunted by typhoon Xangsane (Milenyo), the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, the parade of the longest longganiza went on today as scheduled in Baguio. It's a 2.3 kilometer long Baguio longganisa made by a local meat shop. Actually, the meat shop made a 4.8 kilometer long sausage chain, but not enough volunteers can be found to carry that length so they had to shorten it. Here's the web link to baguiocityonline.com if you'd like to check out photos. The longganisa took over a week to prepare and about 70 pigs were used. Afterwards the sausages were sold for P30 (US$60 cents) per dozen. What an incredible and tasty event!
  14. I find this a great topic. In this US of course they do a lot of smoking there and good smoking woods are well known. But what to use in SE Asia? In the Philippines, mangrove wood (bakawan) is commonly used for firewood and barbecue so I'm sure it's good for smoking. It's interesting to know that mango is not a good idea for smoking because of the toxins. I wonder what else would be good? Coconut husks would burn too fast for smoking. Guava? Tamarind? I'm interested in smoking fish and some shellfish one of these days.
  15. Gul. Have you considered some kind of greenhouse? Even a small, makeshift one could be beneficial in growing those Mediterranean plants in our tropical environment. tristar. We call this fruit balimbing in the Philippines. Never seen it done as a preserve, but will inquire. bvmisa. You have a cool garden!
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