Oh, Thai cuisine: complexity in flavor, simplicity in process. The flavors are so vast and so varied that the thought of cooking something so rich, so in-the-mouth dazzling is daunting, to some insurmountable.
It doesn’t need to be. Continue Reading »
Chancellor Angela Merkel recently declared that Germany’s experiment with multiculturalism had “utterly failed.” Perhaps, but in our recent experience in Berlin, the city’s multicultural landscape made eating there a treasure.
During our time in Berlin we lived near Kottbusser Tor in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, smack in middle of what our visiting friends deemed “little Turkey.” Food was fresh, accessible, brimming with flavor and typically served by folks who took pride in their cuisine, interest in us as human beings, and great pleasure in serving up an experience.
So here’s our top ten cheap eats in Berlin. Many Turkish, some German, one Asian. Mind you, this list reflects not only what is inexpensive, but more importantly what is high-quality.
1. Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci
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“If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one cuisine for the rest of your days, which would it be?”
Have you ever considered this? The thought of choosing just one cuisine for the rest of our days makes us break out in sweats.
But change that question to: “What’s your favorite place for street food?”
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If I were ever tortured, my captors would break me by playing the morning music from the elementary school next door.
– Dan, after the fifth straight day of waking up at 7:15 AM to enjoy a 45-minute syrupy Thai musical loop resembling “It’s a Small World After All” followed by a live, 15-minute booming drum and bass cadence used to drive a herd of students to their seats. Continue Reading »
We’ve often been asked “What’s the best food you’ve had in mainland Southeast Asia?” If forced to choose, we’d opt for an easy way out and vote Thai food as the king of cuisines in the region. And after eating our way through Bangkok, Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and Krabi in the south, our vote more specifically goes to Krabi. Continue Reading »
Patong is not a place we would choose for a vacation – its main attraction is the beach, but sex tourism comes in a close second. We chose it deliberately as a place to get some things accomplished with ADSL internet in our room, few sites to distract us, and a beach within ten minutes walk when we needed a break.
We were surprised by Patong’s overdevelopment. Many areas had been rebuilt bigger and “better” after the tsunami (2004), as if no one learned any lessons about responsible planning and building. It looked more like the New Jersey shore than Thailand, save the tsunami evacuation sign on every corner. Continue Reading »
Thais love their street food and seem to snack all day and all night. As a result, the streets of their capital, Bangkok, are flush with food stalls and street-side restaurants to suit just about any taste. If you are wary of “Thai spicy”, just let the person know to go easy on the chili peppers when preparing your dish.
Condiment racks often sag with all manner of sauces and toppings to hop up, spice or otherwise customize your dish. Even a basic stall will likely offer dried shrimp, peanuts, hot pepper flakes, peppers in vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sweet and sour sauce.
Bangkok cuisine can be outstanding and almost criminally cheap. Here’s just a sample of what you might find, even if you don’t look very hard. Continue Reading »