I wantd to mention that my wife and I are going to Vienna for a week. We’re leaving Friday night and will be back the following Saturday. We’ve got a food tour booked, and dinner reservations at a number of different restaurants, so please stop by to see all the adventures in one of the greatest foodie destinations in the world. I am very excited to be traveling internationally again. Hopefully we won’t get the ‘vid while we’re there!
A few more photos from our DC trip a couple of weeks ago.
We ended up having dinner in the hotel bar a couple of times, and the food was actually pretty good. The crispy pork belly bao were great, as a matter of fact. The charcuterie board was nothing amazing, but it was our last night in DC, we were tired, and everything was tasty if unremarkable.
That same day, we also had lunch at Mikko, a little Scandinavian cafe that was a short walk from the hotel. From that website, I was sort of expecting a fancy European restuarant, but it was a small walk-in with a couple of tables inside and on the sidewalk. We sat outdoors, since it was a very nice day. I had the Skagen, an open-faced shrimp salad sandwich. We also shared a bowl of the mushroom soup. The soup thoroughly exceeded my expectations. It was a thick puree rather than a creamy or brothy soup, full of deep mushroom flavor and almost nothing else.
We had a hard time finding food tours in DC. I don’t know if the pandemic killed hem off, or if it’s just not a thing there. There were only a couple we could find online: one that took people through the U Street neighborhood and focused on the Black ethnic cuisines there (Ethiopian and Jamaican, mainly), and one in Georgetown. We opted for the Georgetown tour, though I am sure we would have enjoyed either. We met up at District Doughnut and then very briskly walked through the gorgeous neighborhood, stopping at several spots that were involved in JFK’s time there pre-presidency. We enjoyed an excellent falafel from Falafel Inc., had the meatloaf special at the famous Martin’s Tavern, and a creme brulee at a newer restaurant whose name I now forget. Overall, the tour did not live up to some of our previous food tour experiences, but it was nice to walk around the neighborhood and sample some local favorites.
Somehow, when I posted the photos from Albi last week, I managed to forget to include the dessert tray, so I have added it here. Tiny little bites of wonder to finish off such a memorable meal. The baklava was especially good.
Barcelona patisserie window
At the beginning of March 2020, just before the pandemic shut down the world, Bridget and I went to Barcelona. It was a trip we had wanted to make for a very lng time, and, thanks to an astonishing deal on cheap airfare, we were able to make happen. So we were goimg, even knowing that the threat of a pandemic loomed on the horizon. We had to hightail it back to the U.S. when Trump canceled all international travel, but every single day we were there was a treasure. I have a zillion pictures of the food we ate and the markets we saw, and I will start adding them here as I work my way back through my archives.
Food tours are now a must-do part of any trip we take, and the food tour we had in Barcelona was really special. We were the only two people on the tour, so we got the complete attention of the tour guide and the locals at the various establishments we visited.
Patisseria Ideal, Barcelona
This is the pastry shop where the first picture was taken. Presumably one of the oldest in the city, in business since 1919. Located in the Gràcia neighborhood, which is one of the most desirable locations in the city. The local pastry speciality is the bunyol (buñuelo in Spanish), a doughnut-like fried dough that can be coated in sugar, or filled, or topped with melted chocolate, among other things. Traditionally, they’re a treat for Lenten season, but the never-ending tourist season keeps them available all year long.