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    Sacramento, CA
  1. Hey there. So I'm thinking of applying for a Fulbright Grant. Grants are offered for college seniors (me), and may be applied to a variety of places. Being a huge food dork and an aspirant food writer, I have the notion of applying for a grant to write about food. The details are slightly murkier. I am extremely interested in the more unusual aspects of Asian cuisine, especially those that don't recieve much attention in the US mainstream. As a food blogger, I'd like to apply my (debatable) journalism skills to documenting interesting food traditions and preparations in an engaging (one would
  2. I did go to Kaia! I had a lovely salad of asparagus and prawns. My dad had an omlette with salt cod. Delightful meal. (This was after Etxebarri, so we were not as hungry as we might have been, but.). Photos to come. My computer broke last week so a small hold up in the photos...
  3. What a beautiful story! I love pear preserves. My family is NC native as well, but we don't do much in the way of preserving (sadly). Food is really the best way I can think of to connect with our families. I've made some of the stuff my great-grandmother (who I never met) did - what a way to cross time.
  4. Everyone's gotta go to Spain! What epic, epic food. The cliffs around Lekeitio. Lekeitio is not a restaurant mecca, and I only spotted a few actual restaurants during my wanderings around town that day. Most Basques here seem to subsist on pinxtos, the bar snacks that have been elevated to impressive gastronomic heights in this part of the world. Unlike tapas, pinxtos are set out on the bar as a sort of casual buffet for drinkers, and almost always are served on top of a piece of bread. Pinxtos often are uber-refined gastronomic delights in places like San Sebastian and Bilbao, but Lekeitio'
  5. Aw, come on! My dad and I regularly fight over the eyes and the cheeks. We get extremely disappointed if we're served whole fish without eyes... Goat eyes...now, that's where my line is drawn. I saw a Lonely Planet special on Mongolia and goat eyes were served up with great pomp and circumstance to the host. Who ate them. (I swear I could see the Mongolians snickering, but you never know..)
  6. The Basque fishing town of Lekeitio. We decided to eat at our hotel, the </em>Princess Aisia Lekeitio. The restaurant was supposed to be quite good, and had a big white dining room with a view of the water. Our waiter resembled nothing more then a brusque, if friendly, Basque Hank Azaria. We all decided to go for the set menu. My mom and I had some simple sauteed mushrooms for our first course. Pretty good, if unremarkable: if you put a mushroom in front of me, I'm going to eat it unless it is poisonous, and even then I probably won't stop to <em>check.</em> I should probab
  7. One of my favorite finds in Madrid was the Mercado de San Miguel, an absolutely alluring old market retrofitted into a modern farmer's market and eatery. Built along the same lines as the San Francisco Ferry Building, it's an excellent place to suck down some good sangria and sample the best of what Spain has to offer. Fish mongers, bakeries, meat shops, tapas joints, canned fish specialists, beer geeks, and wine sellers all have set up shop here, providing an excellent array of treats in one convenient location. I can imagine no better place to get blitzed and eat pinxtos in the area. I hung
  8. Thanks for the kind words! I should have insisted on witnessing the plate-cutting ritual...ah well, when I return. Wish we had done more super-creative cuisine. I was traveling with my parents, who are definite foodies but not as down for a constant diet of Epic Meals as I am. Guess I'll have to come back and do an exhaustive survey of San Sebastian. Poor me. You know, the Goya comparison didn't even occur to me, and I just read a book on Goya (whoops). That's an excellent metaphor. And a very disturbing painting. Speaking of Spanish food in confluence with Spanish art, I did a little resear
  9. So happy to hear you're enjoying reading this stuff! I love writing it. Spain is an amazing place, especially for the food-inclined, and I hope to return soon. Spain experts: does anyone know where the heck this restaurant was? Typically, I can't remember the name. Anyone remember a big cheesy roadside hotel and restaurant on the road to Madrid just past the turn off to Ananda de Duero? (I know, I know, I was anticipating crap food and didn't bring my notebook and was very pleasantly surprised...) Anyhow... Around 2:00 lunch time, we found ourselves in one of the many small (but at one point t
  10. You should probably visit one of the old-school restaurants, if only for the historical experience. I had a very fine meal at Commander's Palace recently. The super-old school table service is worth it alone. I would certainly recommend August. I've had very positive experiences there. Don't miss the beet salad or the beef cheek ravioli (if on the menu), but skip the oyster appetizer....
  11. Loving this thread and especially those recipes. I hope I can try out that shrimp curry soon. Keep em' coming and thanks for sharing!
  12. Thanks for sharing that piece, Chris. Your comments in particular about your neighbors are truly disturbing. (What I want to know is if they have any idea where said meat <em>comes from.</em> ) I find that, depressing as it is, Balzer is right to some degree. The vast majority of Americans wouldn't know how to cook if their lives were on the line, and that translates into a nation of people who don't know the first thing about what good food is. In my isolated bohemian college-student world, there seems to be an uptick of interest in cooking, but I suspect that's definitely not the
  13. Meson Candido Meson Candido, located conveniently right next door to Segovia's gigantic Roman aqueduct! This is Meson Candido, the most venerable and elderly of Segovia's famous temples to cochinillo, or Castilian roast suckling pig. A true institution, open since 1905 and chugging along with grit and style ever since, Meson Candido operates like a gigantic and hectic machine, turning out plate after plate of succulent and crisp roast suckling pig to a ravenous audience. The decor, meanwhile is true old-school Spanish, all soulful wood salons stuffed to the gills with wall-eyed animal heads
  14. Avila is one of Spain's most famous historical monuments, boasting the best preserved medieval walls in the country. It's also a charming small town on the plains of Castile and Leon, and a great place to base out of when exploring the nearby cities of Salamanca and Segovia. I highly recommend a visit. There is also, incidentally, an excellent restaurant in town. For dinner, we decided to visit what many call Avila's best restaurant, El Almacén. Located across the river from the city with an excellent view of the old walls, El Almacén specializes in high end Spanish cuisine in a refined settin
  15. Toledo isn't a bad looking place. La Abadia for Lunch La Abadia Plaza San Nicolas, 3, Toledo 45001, Spain Yes, we loved this place. The combination of good prices, excellent food, and interesting ambiance proved fairly irresistible. The best restaurant in the town is reputed to be Adolfo, which looked very fine indeed from the menu - but we simply weren't in the mood for a truly Fine Dining Experience during our stay in Toledo. Since lunch is the main meal of the day in Spain, we opted to eat downstairs in the wine-cellar like interior room. In the powerful heat of a Toledo afternoon, it was
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