Eating all over the World!

I have spent the last year traveling and eating in rapid succession. My hips aren’t lying about how much I’ve been enjoying this year’s culinary experience, so I figured it was worth sharing this with you all. Here are just a few snaps from recent trips that have been particularly enjoyable, so be prepared to drool…

Epicurean Experiences in Swaziland at the restaurant at Mantenga Lodge.

Italian Eateries are particularly decadent:

German delicacies were diverse and delicious:

Traditional Ethiopian food and Italian food in Ethiopia were unforgettable:

And the icing on the cake is a melange of flavors in Mozambique:

Eat your heart out!

Eat Your Heart Out!

 

IMG_1323One of the highlights of traveling home is, and has always been, gorging on grub, as my travels took me to, through, and around restaurants I loved. So, here’s a brief culinary summary of my 2 week visit home. Hope you all enjoy – visually – my gastronomical exploits…

It all started on the South African Airways plane. My veggie food was pretty yummy, but these mini Tangueray bottles took the entire ride over the top. I have to say that gin & tonic on a plane pairs well with the entire ride.

Then in the great state of New Jersey, an amazing medley of home cooked meals, American processed treats, awesome restaurants and food gluttony occurred. I’m sure, for those of you who live in the U.S. full time, Chips Ahoy cookies with M&Ms in them is nothing to write home about. But, when you live in Africa… I think you get the point. In short, as per below, you can see that I partook in South African wine, Mexican Fish Tacos and beer (only right to honor what should be a world holiday – Cinco de Mayo) at 2 different establishments (the Above Restaurant in South Orange and Red Cadillac in Union), and the best pizza in the whole damn state! There were also (unphotographed) home cooked meals of fried fish, cornbread, collard greens and sweet potato pie made by my grandma, and spaghetti and salmon made my mom. The thought of them will keep me homesick for months.

 

Then, the travels went north(ish) to New York City – the city so bad they named it twice. I popped into the city for a dinner that consisted solely of Key Lime Pie from Bubba Gump Shrimp, but then I had a morning meet up with a professor and mentor that I love dearly. We ended up heading over to the City Kitchen in Midtown, where I had a pancake breakfast at Whitman’s (sadly with Kraft syrup instead of God’s gift to breakfast – Grade A Maple) and fought off the impulse to try every variety of donut produced by Dough. It was tough to resist hibiscus donuts, but my thighs thanked me. And, I had a home cooked Jewish breakfast of bagels with lox and egg frittata with family friends, as well as a boozy brunch at yet another Mexican restaurant, Agave (unphotographed).

Last but not least I headed south to our nation’s capital. With so much political stankness in the air, it was great to find something apolitical to enjoy in the DMV.

I had lunch with a friend at Founding Farmers near Farragut West, where we proceeded to spend $22 a glass on King Estate Pinot Noir from Oregon, which the Vivino app says costs about $24.80 per bottle.  Yea, total rip off. But the food was decent and the restaurant is well located… its greatest highlight.

There was an entire ice cream experiment at Cold Stone Creamery, which ended with my stomach and my tongue rejoicing in perfect harmony. And  I had yet another delicious order of fish tacos at District Taco in Dunn Loring – yummy. Oh, a regular trip fave, was Ginger Salmon at a Vietnamese restaurant in Pentagon City, Saigon Saigon. My stomach is growling just thinking about all these yummy reunions, as well as two trips to Red Lobster with friends (unphotographed) and frequent visits to Starbucks for coffee drinks with non-dairy milk – oh, so rare here on the continent.

All told, while I love the food, what I miss most about being home is the people. These delish meals were a backdrop to meet ups, family gatherings, mentoring and catch up sessions that were long overdue. In just 2 weeks, I ate fish tacos at three different places and not a single loved one judged me for it. That’s what foodie reunions are all about!

 

Page Turner

One has to ask if Nooks and e-readers brought sexy back to reading.  Books on tape never quite made this kind of a splash, but people have been trying to get around actually picking up a book and turning its leafy pages for decades now.  We used to call these people lazy.  Now, perhaps, they are the efficient, eco-friendly, educated wave of the future. The debate rages on and only time will tell if e-readers are Jennifer Aniston (the girl next door that no one expected to be a dud) or Angelina Jolie (the new girl on the block that’s here to stay and ready to birth a global generation). Everybody knows that I still love words in print, but frolicking through the web content of these reads still gets me all tingly inside.

Tabloids: Somehow I can’t justify sacrificing a tree for celebrity gossip, but I will burn out my Mac’s back light reading Bossip!Perez HiltonPop Sugar & World Star Hip Hop. Maybe it’s the ability to link to all the videos and pull up the old articles, but the celebrity dish is just better on screen.

Dwell Magazine: From household D-I-Y tricks to tricked out design solutions, Dwell Magazine always leaves me with something more than I bargained for.  Responsible money management, smart home design and modern families make me all hot & bothered in a future soccer mom kind of way.

BBC World News:  Sometimes NPR is too preachy or localized, and Fox News is just adult male cow diarrhea.  BBC World seems to cover stories that would make it on CNN, the History Channel, Discovery America and Spike TV.  There is even a languages section, so you can hear educated reporting in any dialect that’s sweetest to your ears.

VerySmartBrothas Blog:  Apparently this is the new pulse of Black America, young America, dating America, single and searching America, single parent and fed-up America, horizontal mambo America. You name it, America, and VSB has covered it at some point in time, and I bet whatever was said was both true and funny. Now, that’s sexy literature.

Cookbooks & Foodblogs:  Cookbooks are better known as paperweights in my kitchen. They aren’t on hand when I’m in the supermarket – ready to buy ingredients needed to make cumbersome recipes with ingredients I can’t pronounce.  It’s easy to look up food blogs like Slice of my Lyfe, Sin-a-Mon, and Food & Wine Magazine while getting creative in the produce aisle or trying to figure out what is in season at my food co-op or new in my CSA box.

What else do you prefer to read on the web, instead of on glossy/ matte paper?