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No children menu here!

Nokids


Ici il n’y a pas de "menu-enfant"

C’est à dire, pas de steak haché d’origine incertaine, pas de jambon poly phosphaté, pas de poisson carré ni de "cordon bleu", pas de purée industrielle, pas plus que de ketchup ou de sodas … Ici les enfants ont droit aux plaisirs de la table et à celui de découvrir les saveurs. Ici ils mangent de la vraie cuisine comme papa et maman. Le goût est culturel, il s’apprend et malheureusement ce n’est pas dans les cantines scolaires que nos enfants le découvriront. Peut-être est-il encore temps de réagir !!!

(Translation)
No children menu here.

That is to say, no hamburger meat of uncertain origin, no chemically treated ham, no fish sticks nor "cordon bleu", no dehydrated spuds, not even ketchup or soda. … Here the kids have the rights to the pleasure of the table and the discovery of flavors. Here, they eat real food, real cuisine, just like daddy and mommy. Taste is cultural, it is learnt, and sadly it’s not something our children can acquire in the school cafeteria. Perhaps there is still time to do something about it!!!

Found on the ‘menu’ at an underground restaurant with a super cute name, Le Lapin Tant Pis, in Forcalquier, Provence.

Nothing to add, really, well, except, AMEN brother.

(Image borrowed from Tagaland. Warning: that site contains low music.)

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Olallieberries U-pick, or Me-pick, rather

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This is the tail end of Olallieberry season in Northern California, so when my friends Beccy and Sean asked me to join them to pick olaillieberries at a farm just north of us on the coast highway, I jumped at the chance.

Have you had olallieberries? If not, you really should try. I love them. I mean, how could you not love a berry whose name is pronounced oh-la-la berries. Ok, some people say oh-la-lee berries, but I much prefer saying oh-la-la. Makes me happy just saying the name. It’s a cross between something called Loganberry and youngberry. Don’t look at me, I am just clueless at this as you are. Go check out Wikipedia yourself.

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Rias de Galicia

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What does it tell you when you sit down to dinner at a restaurant and, a few minutes later, one of the most famous chefs in the world comes in and sit down at the next table? It says this is gonna be good, this time at least.

No, this wasn’t at some fancy do. It wasn’t planned, even. It was at a random restaurant, on a random night, entirely by accident.

Well, I supposed it’s not so random. The town was Barcelona. The night was Monday, when most other places are closed. And the place was arguably the best seafood restaurant in town. The chef wasn’t random either. Half of you probably guessed who it was already. Yes, none other than Ferran Adrià.

And, no, I’m not about to recount a seafood dinner with spherical langouste or pulpito espuma -not that oyster dirt wouldn’t be fun once in a while, I guess. But you won’t find any modern wizardry or technique here. No Centrifuge. No chemical additives. Nor will you find italics or "quotation marks" on the menu, I promise you.

This place is simple, supremely simple, and brilliantly so. It’s called Rias de Galicia. I first thought it meant the joy of Galicia or some such approximation. Me no speako Espagnol. Happily Wikipedia (and my friend Pedro) rescued me from saying such outlandish a thing on my blog for all to see. In fact, the rias of Galicia were once river valley and estuaries that are now covered by the risen seawater. It’s that special geographic characteristic of the Galician coast -where the Cantabrian sea meets the vast Atlantic ocean- that makes it such a fertile area for seafood.

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Paco Meralgo – comer algo, get it?


(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.

Never mind. I didn’t get it either. It took our friend the Silly
Disciple
to point out the pun, and then David to translate it. I can
be that thick sometimes. You still didn’t get it? What’s Google Language Tools for?


Paco Meralgo
is a tapas bar in a town full of tapas bars, Barcelona.
With a roster of names like Pinotxo and Quim in the Boqueria market and
the world famous –you either love it or hate it- Cal Pep, just to name a few, it’s easy for yet another tapas bar to get lost in the fray.
Paco Meralgo distinguish themselves with not only good tapas fares –easy
enough to find in this town- but by opening every day of the
week. Now that’s something you don’t find every day. Ha ha –I’m just
so full of puns today. Even more amazing is that they somehow manage
to have fresh seafoods even on Sundays and Mondays. Never mind what
that Bourdain told you. It’s really quite safe to eat seafood at Paco
Meralgo even on those days. The quality is evident
enough in the photos above, so if you didn’t believe me you could see for
yourself.

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How to order coffee in Spain

cafe cortado

While I’m not much of a fan of coffee in France, I love coffee in Spain. I particularly adore it when a matronly waitress comes to my breakfast table with two giant, steaming pots, one filled with dark coffee and the other hot milk, and then performs a delicate balancing –and dangerous- act of pouring both at once into a waiting coffee cup. I wince every time, but I’ve yet to see a spill. Quite extraordinary really! That particular style of coffee is called Café con Leche, coffee with milk, quite likely the most popular breakfast beverage in Spain.

My other favorite –especially to drink in the afternoon- has a bit less milk, and is called Café Cortado. It’s basically an espresso cut with just a little bit of milk. Even better than Café Cortado is Carajillo, espresso spiked with liquor (often brandy or whiskey), which comes in quite handy after a long and full night of tapas crawling.

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