Saturday, February 17, 2007

What makes me never ever want to go to a restaurant is when I see that the background on the website is a photo of the chef, talking on a cell phone.

Like, oh, say, this one.

Obnoxious much?

I think it's the cellphone that does it for me, though the "windswept" hair doesn't help, either.

This chef's London restaurant is one of my favorite ever*, but that photo just makes me smirk and roll my eyes.

*I loved it so much that at one point I even considered becoming a member, but their membership application was just as ridiculous and included questions such as "What are your favorite restaurants in New York, London, and Paris?" and "What were the last exhibitions you attended?" and "What are your music preferences?" Reading these, I knew I was far too unhip to ever apply, much less be accepted.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

I know I'm back home when...

Grocery Shopping Edition

The store brand package designs are minimal, clean, and sadly do not feature picketing cartoon characters. (But the name is much funnier when imagined in a Borat voice.)

The beef jerky aisle rivals that of the entire meat section of my corner grocery in Paris.

Grill packs to go for ~$10.

The gas station's coolers make it so easy to shop for that 40s or Hurricane-themed party you've always dreamed of hosting. Yep, those are 40s, no baby 12 ounces here. And for only 99 cents!

And strangely enough, at the local liquor store, not only could I find a bottle of Henri Bardouin Pastis (my boyfriend's favorite), and not only was it the same price it would be in France, at ~$20, but also less than the Ricard (at a whopping $30)!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

See, even the NYTimes thinks Strasbourg is cool

Just to give you a little perspective on those last posts about Strasbourg, I suggest you check out this article in the New York Times, "At the Crossroads, Between Red Tape and Red Hot" which claims that Strasbourg will become a hoppin' "fun" weekend destination with the arrival of the TGV. I think it is definitely a great weekend trip, if not more, but I'm not sold on their account of Strasbourg nightlife. It is hilarious that they start out by describing the Salamandre, this shitty club that the boyfriend and his friends used to frequent back in the day when he lived just around the corner from it. But maybe it has changed since I was last there, a few years ago.

They do get one thing right, though, with their mention of Chez Yvonne. I didn't go this time, but I have been before, and I still remember that meal like it was yesterday. Incredible. Cosy, warm, with unbelievable hearty portions that are just perfect during the Strasbourg winter. I would almost compare it to the Alsatian version of l'ami jean, which brings me to another NYTimes reference. Last November or December, my boyfriend was eating at l'ami Jean with some colleagues and was seated next to a NYTimes photographer, who apparently took photos of them and their food, and told them to expect to see everything sometime in January. We have been anticipating this article, and so when we finally read "Bistronomy"
last week, the boyfriend was just a tad disappointed not to see his face in the NYTimes. But it's still a good article about that place, and it should definitely convince you to make reservations if you have not yet been there.