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Restaurant reviews from our travels

La Cocina Pepina, Cartegena, Colombia

La Cocina Pepina, Cartagena's hard-to-find Carib-Colombian restaurant in the lively and funky Getsemani neighborhood, is worth the hunt. Blending in to the colorful street with a bright yellow facade, the restaurant's interior is relaxed with rustic and traditional decor. Cartagena is known to have a booming culinary scene with Caribbean and international fare that can rival any American metropolis. This restaurant is no exception. The outstanding appetizer of camarones en aguacate (22,000 pesos/$8.52) is a flavorful and fresh medley of sautéed shrimp, avocado, tomato, red and green pepper, finely chopped onion, cilantro and lime. The perfect starter on a hot afternoon. The dorado asado (29,000 pesos/$11.24) is the dish I [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:37:56-04:00July 11th, 2015|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Restaurant Volt, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany

"Berlin?" asked the helpful American Air Lines person I was speaking to, offering another city I might fly to after I had dismissed Paris, Rome and Lisbon because I'd been before. I wanted to fly comfortably in style to my son's wedding in Europe last month, but didn't want to use all my miles. If I wanted to choose the days, it could have cost me up to 65K miles each way for Business Class seats; yet only 20K for off-peak low fares if I could find one. I paid the extra 25 bucks to speak to that amazingly helpful human. Once she learned that I was completely flexible about [...]

By |2017-09-05T09:47:33-04:00June 22nd, 2015|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

La Bodega, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

While the touristy beach town of Tamarindo offers a plethora of international options from Mexican to Israeli, it's La Bodega, the small and unassuming cafe off the main road that packs some of the most impressive flavors in town. The friendly service and relaxed atmosphere are an added bonus to the daily specials (all local and organic) like Greek chicken salad, fresh fruit smoothies and tasty breakfast dishes. The omelet filled with fluffy eggs, queso fresco, bacon, onions, tomato, green peppers and basil (2500 col/$4.70) is flavorful perfection. The iced coffee from Terrazu, known as the Napa valley of Costa Rican coffee is top notch and refreshing. There's even an [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:37:42-04:00June 20th, 2015|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|1 Comment

Il Timoniere, Rome, Italy

Tucked back in a corner of a residential area of Rome, we entered the cozy family run Il Timoniere, a restaurant known for classic Roman cooking. We were immediately greeted and "warmed" not only by the heat, but also by the sweet older couple who run the restaurant. We started with an assortment of appetizers, beginning with an in-season bruschetta of asparagus and garlic, then crostini topped with zucchini flowers and a honey drizzle. Our final starter was a rich and creamy, yet light, artichoke heart, potato, cheese dish. We knew we hadn't overindulged. Our pasta dishes included the amatriciana ($10), a tomato sauce cooked with guanciale (smoked/cured pork cheek), [...]

BestWorldYet, Tapas at el Atril

Living in Barcelona, we eat tapas almost daily. They’re offered at least on every corner; some are good, some okay and just a few are truly exceptional like those at el Atril (Carrer dels Carders, 23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain). Their pan con tomate is the best in this city. It’s a tapas always served whether or not it's on the menu. The tomato is not chopped or sliced; instead it’s cut in half and rubbed onto the bread (along with garlic and other spices) creating a light, saucy piece of toast. When done right, pan con tomate is a divine addition to every meal. NOTE: this is coming from a [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:45:28-04:00February 11th, 2015|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Usine Gastro Cafe, Bangkok, Thailand

Escaping the chaos of touristy Khao San Road, I ventured to Bangkok's predominantly-Thai residential neighborhood, Ratchathewi, to stay with an expat friend living in the city. It was there in the minimalist and modern Usine Gastro Cafe that I enjoyed one of my favorite meals in all of Thailand, coincidentally it was also my last meal before leaving Asia. We shared three dishes, all incorporating traditional Thai ingredients. The soft shell crab salad for 250 baht ($7.83) was a delectable way to start the meal. The crispy crab sat upon a mix of fresh cilantro, roasted peanuts, carrots, diced chillies and onions. We shared two main courses, Larb Woon Sen [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:39:01-04:00November 21st, 2014|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Porgu Tallinn, Estonia

It's not everyday I can go to hell for dinner, but Porgu, which literally translates to "hell" in Estonian is worth the trip to Tallinn's underworld. The inventive menu drew us to this cave-like cellar adorned with wrought iron chandeliers and blood red walls. Contrary to the name, the service is both attentive and prompt, the food delightfully decadent. Starting with the unassuming baked pork ribs "snack" ($7.90 euro/ $10.38), a portion arrived that could have been the main meal. If Porgu is hell, their ribs are heaven -- coated in a spicy, slightly sweet glaze and topped with minced garlic, chillies and parsley. In between bites, we sipped a [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:34:58-04:00October 29th, 2014|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Trei, Kep, Cambodia

Growing in popularity, the small nation of Cambodia has become a desirable stop for both bucket-list travelers visiting Angkor Wat and backpackers searching for a beachside paradise to rival Thailand. This hidden gem is a surprising destination for some of the tastiest crab. Reading about the must-eat crab in our guidebook, my travel companion and I ventured to Kep, small fishing village,a two hour drive from the coastal hub city Sihanoukville. The crab market there is a row of rustic clapboard eateries on stilts lining the water. We wandered into Trei, one of the more charming huts with a shady table overlooking the water and a cool sea breeze. Their [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:40:00-04:00October 3rd, 2014|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Folks Klub ALA, Riga, Latvia

Ask Riga's locals where they prefer to dine in touristy Old Town and they will point you in the direction of Folks Klub ALA (. The subterranean gastropub proved to be the ideal spot to savor a traditional meal and libations, all in a cozy cellar atmosphere with live folk music. Meat and potatoes are staples in Baltic cuisine, but there was plenty of variety beyond those dishes for our group of 10 hungry backpackers. I enjoyed the filling pearl barley risotto with bits of pork in a cream sauce for only 3.20 Euro ($4.29), a smoky and hearty comfort dish over tart cranberry sauce. A Swede at the table [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:42:35-04:00September 11th, 2014|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Dine Out Vancouver (Canada) Festival January to February 2014

Dine Out Vancouver Festival runs through Friday, January 17 to Sunday, February 2, 2014, featuring hundreds of restaurants and offering three or more course dinners at $18, $28 or $38.  For additional information or a listing of participating restaurants, click here.

By |2017-10-24T07:55:56-04:00January 16th, 2014|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

British Beer Experience at London’s Quilon

London's Quilon has recently unveiled an authentic “British beer experience” — a 5-course British beer and Indian cuisine pairing menu by Chef Sriram Vishwanathan Aylur. Appetizing combinations include: Baked Black Cod paired with Innis & Gunn Blonde Oak Aged Beer from Edinburgh;  Lamb Biryani cooked with traditional Malabar spice paired with Chalky’s Bite from Cornwall. In addition, Quilon’s menus feature ethnic and progressive dishes, with specialties including Spotted Grouper spiced with Chili, Lemon, Mustard and Herbs, Lobster with Mango and Ginger and whole Sea-Bass cooked with chopped Button Onion, Tomato, Lime Juice and Chlli, served wrapped in Banana Leaf. The Quilon Restaurant at 51 Buckingham Gate is a stone’s throw from [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:55:10-04:00July 14th, 2011|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Taste of Playa 2011

Playa del Carmen’s annual Taste of Playa — the Riviera Maya’s premier culinary festival — will take place November 20, 2011, in Parque Fundadores on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean. This day-long event will offer an opportunity to sample a wide variety of cuisines created by many of the region’s local chefs. Over 40 restaurants, bars and specialty food merchants  from the area will offer their signature dishes to a crowd that is anticipated to exceed 7000 people. Taste of Playa is a community-oriented culinary event that celebrates the creativity and diverse cultural influences of chefs on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean. The event is open to the [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:44:23-04:00July 5th, 2011|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Gourmet Beer: Estrella Damm INEDIT

I heard a very interesting announcement recently about the launch of Estrella Damm INEDIT, a beer specifically created for food pairings. This artisinal beverage is crafted by Ferran Adrià & Juli Soler (elBulli chef & sommelier) and Estrella Damm, the ubiquitous brewer of Barcelona. How can you argue with this product!? This incredible beer is already highly lauded within talented circles of the culinary community. INEDIT was introduced to the US during an event hosted by Dan Barber at his restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Barber was recently awarded Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and named the nation’s Top Chef by the James Beard Foundation. [...]