Friday, July 31, 2009

Allen & Son Barbeque, Chapel Hill, NC

I went to Allen and Son BBQ in Chapel Hill, NC to sample to local version of barbeque pork.
I order the barbeque plate which came with a pile of pulled pork with sides of hush puppies and cole slaw.
The pork was incredible- tender, juicy and fully of porky goodness. The sauce was a vinegar based spicy sauce that went perfectly with the pig meat. It should be noted that their hush puppies were fantastic. Kelly told me they might have been the best she ever had. They were light and sweet to eat.
For dessert, we split a slice of peanut butter pie with homemade ice cream.
I'm glad Allen & Son is nowhere near where I live because I would have to return at least every other day there. It was so good.

6203 Millhouse Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-8101
(919) 942-7576‎

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sandwhich in Chapel Hill, NC

While visiting Kelly in Chapel Hill, NC, she took me to Sandwhich, a lunch place that specializes in amazing sandwiches which also rely on local ingredients.
On the first day we went, I got the day's special, a banh mi with roast lamb and pate. It was great. The bread had a crispy crust, and the fresh ingredients were just delicious.
Kelly's favorite sandwich was the Avocado sandwich with tomato, greens, onion, and garlic mayo. One nice thing about her sandwich was that it was toasted lightly on the inside faces of the bread so as to prevent sogginess from the ingredients.
Sandwhich also make their own potato chips as well as fries- both of which were tasty.
We went a second time, and that time, I got the Morgada sardine sandwich which was also outstanding.

Courtyard of Chapel Hill
West Franklin at Roberson St. (behind Penang)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Resto Los Planes, Montreal

For lunch in Montreal, we wanted something light to save room for our hearty dinners, so we found a small pupuseria near Marche Jean-Talon called Resto Los Planes.

I started with a delicious horchata to drink. We then split an elote tamale with crema that was really nice.

We then ordered yuca frita y chicharron.

We decided to split 2 different pupusas: one with pork and one with beans. Both were very tasty.
Las Planes was a nice, inexpensive lunch in Montreal.

531 rue Bélanger
Montréal, QC H2S 1G5, Canada
(514) 277-3678

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marche Atwater, Montreal

On this trip to Montreal we visited Marche Atwater, which was a little more upscale than Jean-Talon.
They had quite a large number of butchers inside the building. A shame about regulations prohibiting us from bringing some of the amazing cuts of meat back into the US.

Duck fat!
Pork blood products.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kochuan, Happo-en Park, Tokyo

This is basically a food porn post. While in Tokyo during the cherry blossom season, I went to a meal for my cousin's daughter's birthday at the very respected Kochuan restaurant inside Happo-en park.
We had our kaiseki meal in a traditional tatami room that overlooked the cherry blossoms in the park. The theme of the meal was Hanami.
We started with a nice glass of Sakura champagne, and the courses started coming.
This was a shrimp paste made tableside in broth.

This amazing dish was sea urchin, scallop and egg.
Bamboo shoots grilled and then served in the actual shoot.

Red bean and mochi.

108-8631 / 1-1-1-Shirokanedai, Minato-ku

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Alfresco Cevicheria, Lima, Peru

Back in Lima on our last day before flying home, we knew we had to have ceviche again. This time we tried Alfresco, a place in Miraflores recommended by a concierge. This time, having an extra mouth to help in eating (a fellow traveler from New York), we were glad we could order a variety and maybe even finish them. We started with a platter of grilled seafood -- squid, fish, octopus, shrimp, and scallops.

We then ordered 2 of the cold ceviches -- one was the Alfresco specialty (which apparently was voted a favorite of Lima). The other was a ceviche mixto.

Finally, we finished off with a seafood rice. This was so delicious - my favorite dish. Thought we could handle all this food with an extra person, but at the end of the meal I was still absolutely stuffed!

Malecon Balco 790
Miraflores, Lima

Friday, July 24, 2009

MAP Cafe, Cuzco, Peru

After coming back from Machu Picchu, we decided to go out for a nice fancy dinner in Cusco, and settled on the MAP Cafe, in the Museo del Arte Pre-Colombino (MAP - the Museum of Colombian Art). Probably the best restaurant in the city, the cafe is built in a modern glass structure in an outdoor courtyard within the museum. With only a handful of tables, it's a lovely intimate setting.

We decided to get the 3-course prix fixe menu - choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert. They started us off with an amuse - a mushroom cap stuffed with quinoa, peppers, and cheese. Then Redneckhunter chose the oyster mushroom with fava bean capchi casserole (pictured above). The pureed fava beans were creamy and wonderful. I chose the river stone cooked crawfish ceviche (right). The brown lump in the middle was actually the stone. I didn't eat that... but I did eat the sliver of red pepper on top. When the waiter brought my dish, he said something about being careful and "muy caliente." After I bit into that pepper, I realized what he was trying to tell me. My mouth was on FIRE - I practically leapt across the table for the bread basket. The Peruvians at table next to ours made fun of me, not realizing I understood them (this is already after having made fun of me for taking pictures of all our food).

I did recover in time to enjoy my main dish, which was a traditional Peruvian chicken dish, with sweet corn puree, and some cheesy potato side (sorry, there was a traditional name for it that I can no longer find.) Redneckhunter got pork belly braised in Pisco and spices, with pickled yacon and sweet potato.

Finally, dessert: I got lightly sauteed strawberries in chicha (purple corn) syrup with fresh corn ice cream and toasted chulpe corn pralines.

Redneckhunter's dessert choice was strawberry tres leches (we can never resist a tres leches cake) with Urumbamba's fruitillada sorbet.

MAP Cafe
Plaza Nazarenas 231
Cusco, Peru

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marche Jean-Talon, Montreal in July

Just posted some pictures from Marche Jean-Talon in Montreal from a few weeks back. Strawberries were just in season, and you could try almost any item on display.
We ended up grabbing a 36 hour baguette from Au Pain Dore and then grabbed a nice stinky Quebecois cheese for breakfast one morning. Perfect.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tasting Menu at Restaurant DNA, Montreal

Fougoo, Redneckhunter, and I were in Montreal earlier this month, and we decided to have a meal at Restaurant DNA in the Old Montreal neighborhood.
Executive Chef Derek Dammann's cuisine is a blend of Italian- Mediterranean flavors with Quebecois ingredients. We decided as a table to try the tasting menu which was just great.

We started with an amuse bouche of scallop crudo with Meyer lemon, fried garlic, chile, basil and bonito. A really pleasant set of flavors, and the scallop was really fresh.
We then had a charcuterie plate of meats cured in-house which included mortadella, sopressata, pepperoni, fennel sausage, and lardons. All of them were good, but my heart belongs to lardons.

For our first course, we shared a trio of plates.
We had a lobster salad on toast. Like the scallop, the lobster was incredibly fresh, sweet and delicious. Redneckhunter, who boasted about not being a huge fan of lobster, was converted by this dish.

We also had a tasty veal tartare as well as a lamb carpacchio.

For the second course, we again got 3 different items.
By far the best was the duck tongue and foie gras ravioli with a raw egg inside. You could see the color of the yolk when looking at it and the blend of the yolk with the foie was just so smooth.
We also got a mint risotto which looked nice, but not creamy enough.
The third item was lamb ravioli with leeks.

The following dish was white chinook salmon over lentils, green onion and garlic topped with a veal brain bernaise. The salmon was perfectly cooked, and after this initial brain eating experience, I want more (prions be damned).
Our last item was pork shoulder with rainbow chard on polenta. It was topped with a dragoncello (tarragon) salsa. The pork fell apart nicely.

Just before our dessert course, we had another small palate cleanser- a small pots de crème with chocolate cookies that had a ring of salt.

Again, we received a trio of dessert items: a chocolate cake with white chocolate and whipped cream, a slice of pine nut pie with vanilla ice cream, and a meringue burger with ice cream, chocolate, and fresh local cherries and strawberries.
All in all, the meal at DNA was exquisite from start to finish.

355 Marguerite D_Youville
Montréal, QC H2Y 2C4, Canada
(514) 287-3362