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Old 02-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Travel & Food experiences

Just wondering about interesting places you have visited in other parts of the world outside your own country ? What did you enjoy about the place and how was the food ?

Plus, do you have anywhere on your To Do list you still want to visit ?

For me, I love the Caribbean . Jamaica in particular was wonderful , beautiful place and the people were friendly and funny, great sense of humour . Loved the food, ate jerk chicken and jerk pork a lot, served with hot hot sauce and corn. Also loved the rice and peas, plus curried goat .

I liked Cuba too but that may have something to do with Havana rum

Would still love to visit Norway, and New York .

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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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Most of my out-of-country experiences are limited to Europe. I've been there more than a dozen times over the years.

Paris: Le Florimond. Absolutely loved this place. It's pretty tiny, but the food is awesome. Also helpful that all of the waiters and the owner speak English well, as my 4 years of high school French classes have thus far proven to be useless in Paris. Their prix fixe menu is reasonable at 35€. We had steak and veal brains when we visited but the menu is seasonal. They also offer some wonderful wine selections. Another place we like is Le Petit Niçois. We ate there one year for my wife's birthday. Fabulous!

England: I've been all over England and wish I could remember all of the places I've dined at here. Some were extraordinary (there was a Spanish restaurant in London we liked a lot). Others were odd. One memorable place (also in London) offered "American Style Barbeque". We had to try it. Turns out it was run by a nice Polish couple. I'm sorry to say that nothing on the menu was remotely Barbeque-ish, let alone American style. But it was interesting. Their take on chili was like nothing I've ever had. More like goulash. It was very good, though. When I travel in the UK, I tend to stick to two types of food that I feel are always good choices: currry/balti and pub grub. No one does common man fare like the British.

Italy: I've been to Italy three times. You really can't go wrong anywhere in Italy, so I'll stick to a few of the more memorable places. The first is La Mistra in the Giudecca area of Venice. It's run by a red-faced German guy. We were never handed a menu there. The waiter simply came over to our table and asked us what we like. After some back and forth chatter, he asked "Do you like Lobster?". Of course we do. So he made us some angel hair pasta with fresh lobster meat. The starter course was a salami type thing infused with squid ink. Very interesting. The other place we enjoyed was in Rome. It was an outdoor cafe in the piazza where the Pantheon sits. We spent hours there, sitting outside enjoying street musicians, and course after course of fabulous food and wine. What memories I have of that little cafe. There was another place in Milan that served the best rabbit I've ever tasted. It was cooked casserole style in a brick oven.

Spain. Spain has a lot of good food. We did the whole tapas thing there one night. The thing to know for Americans visiting Spain is that they eat at very weird hours compared to us. They get up late in the morning. They eat a big meal in the middle of the day (usually followed by a nap) and then snack into the wee hours of the night. Don't go there expecting dinner at 6:00 pm because you'll never find it.

Turkey. I visited Turkey for a couple of months back back in the mid-1990s. I don't remember a lot of specifics, but one thing really stood out. All over that country they have one-stop places along the main routes where you can refuel your car, eat a meal, and pray at a mosque. The food in some of these places is actually pretty decent. It's mostly cafeteria style and served from warmers in glass cases. We would simply point at what we wanted and they would dish it up. Sometimes it was very good (doner kebaps, which are Turk style gyros). Other times it was dreadful. I once had a rice dish with minced lambs brains that was virtually inedible.

As for places where I would like to visit, Germany, Portugal, and Denmark are on the short list.

I'll also add that some of the best food I've ever had was right here in the US. A lot of people outside of our country don't really realize how big and diverse it is here. A couple of my favorite regional specialties include Creole cuisine in Louisiana (some of it is truly world class), and Southwest food in Arizona/New Mexico.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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Hmmm. I guess I'm the only one here who travels outside of the country.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
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When I went to the UK for 6 weeks I went to a fair few places in England and we also went to Ireland, spent most of the time there in Dublin and ate at a couple of very nice but very expensive restaurants

In England we ate at a few Italian places, one in particular was really nice in Steve;s home town Sheffield...it was called Piccolos, very nice food there

Also a couple of nice Cantonese and Chinese restaurants

Looking back, I still cant believe I was in the UK for 6 weeks and didnt have one curry

I would like to visit Italy, Paris and to go back to the UK and visit England and Ireland again and also go to Wales and Scotland
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Loved hearing about your travels Steve! I know what you mean aboutbSpain, by the time people are going out for dinner I am ready for my bed. I would still love to go to Italy too at some point, never been there . Portugal is wonderful, lovely country been a few times and great food .

Kylie I don't ever go out to eat curry here I think it's more popular in certain parts of the UK . I do like to make curry at home now and again. You would love Wales, such a lovely part of the UK and not too far away from me !
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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So who else has travel tales ?
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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I had the best Chinese food I'd ever eaten in a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. The food on the French side of St. Martin was outstanding, we found a place halfway up a mountain where you signed up on a blackboard outside, and showed up later. There were only about 6 tables, and the courses were beautifully prepared.. I was served what looked like a dead rat when we were in Antigua (I'd ordered chicken). New Orleans has outstanding food. Wonderful places to eat on Maui and Kauai. We love the different offerings in Mexico, my current fave is the coconut lionfish. Not many places serve it, but when we can find it, it's some of the best fish I've ever eaten, even better than walleye!

Some day we would love to snorkel Australia's Great Barrier Reef. I've also always wanted to see Greece.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
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For our 25th anniversary, DH and I spent 10 days in Germany, visiting our former exchange students, and Italy, on our own. I loved the veal schnitzel wiht mushroom sauce I had for lunch right after we got off the plane. We stayed one night with the parents of one of our students; his father grilled wonderful Thuringian sausages for dinner and his mother served the most delicious homemade rolls and jams for breakfast.

In Italy, one dinner I really enjoyed was the lemony meatballs over pasta, and before that, the ribollita - twice-boiled Tuscan soup with white beans, tomatoes and greens. Delicious. We often had panini from delis for lunch - the cases of wonderful cold cuts and cheeses were beautiful. One day, though, I had a tuna panini with olive oil, lettuce and tomato. Yum.

I also vacationed with some relatives in Turkey in 2001. The food was just fabulous. I remember really enjoying lamb kebabs, rolled pastry filled with ground lamb or cheese, simply prepared fresh seafood and cherry juice, which I had never had before. I love traveling
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #9
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Stand by for an epistle, and thanks for letting me relive..

This is an interesting question. I have been fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on POV) of have done a lot world travel for business, and a fair amount pleasure travel with my spousal unit. Many, many great meals. But the ones that seem most memorable have to do with the setting and the experience. Some of the more memorable ones that come to mind:

Ankara, Turkey... dinner with some Turkish political people at a restaurant in the ANCIENT citadel that overlooks the city. Marvelous food, braised lamb on aubergine puree, numerous sides, Cuban cigars and high end cognac. On a terrace overlooking all of Ankara and a beautiful sunset.

Also Ankara, was with an associate that used to run the US Military mission to Turkey. He took me to an old part of town – Ulus. Went into a rug shop where he had directed a lot of business to over the years. They, of course, loved him. The shop owners had us sit down, they sent out for Iskendr Kebaps (sliced lamb in a tomato based sauce over pita. All served in aluminum tins. While we ate they were showing their wares, beautiful, hugely expensive carpet after carpet, throwing them in the middle of the floor.

Positano, Italy, with wife. Big dishes of fresh seafood and great wine in a beach side restaurant. Was the same restaurant that was in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun.

Sorrento, Italy, also with wife, pizza and wine on a sidewalk restaurant on the city’s absolutely charming main piazza in the evening, watching all the people stroll by.

Tokyo – yakitori and beer “Under the Tracks” with business associates. Place was in a wide pedestrian tunnel under the main rail line that runs through Tokyo near the Ginza. Sort of open air, except being in the underpass, smoke everywhere. Place was mentioned in Steve Raichlin’s BBQ Bible.

Lamma Island, Hong Kong. This island is several km south of Hong Kong Island. They have a beachfront promenade with a dozen or so seafood restaurants, each with hundreds of different kinds of sea creatures swimming around in tanks in front of the restaurant. That’s dinner. A company I was doing business with had a 70’ yacht and took a few of us on it to get dinner. I didn’t know what half the seafood was that I was eating. Very unique dinner, and a very cool ride to get there.

Paris, with wife… Croque Monsiuers and nutella crepes at a sidewalk café at the foot of the bluff in Montmartre, the Basilica of Sacre Coeur towering above us. Beautiful.

Bath, UK, with wife..Shepherd’s Pie and Fish n Chips at at a pub overlooking the River Avon in one of England’s most charming towns.

Wife and I are headed to Barcelona, Madrid and Paris in 6 weeks. I’m sure there will be memorable meals from this trip.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:37 PM   #10
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Sorrento, Italy, also with wife, pizza and wine on a sidewalk restaurant on the city’s absolutely charming main piazza in the evening, watching all the people stroll by.
You just made me remember Sorrento. I love that place, as well as nearby Capri. I remember having a wonderful lunch of seafood risotto down by the small city beach, while my wife and daughter went perusing the small shops along the back streets. The whole Amalfi coast area has many charms.
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