“Pic of the Week”, November 10, 2017: Las Teresas Tapas Bar, Sevilla, Spain

05 An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (109)

While exploring the winding alleys and lanes in Seville’s old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, one of the people showing us around suggested we stop for a snack at a small tapas bar.  We were all game because it looked like an interesting place.

Founded in 1870, Las Teresas has been run by the same family for almost a century.  Las Teresas is what a typical, traditional tapas bar feels like and I was charmed by it.  There are, of course, a number of Iberian hams (jamón) hanging from the ceiling.  I loved the old feel to the place and how the walls were plastered with memorabilia.  The food we tried was extremely good.  The service was friendly and the clientele …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 29, 2017: Hot Chocolate and Churros at Chocolateria San Gines

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A very popular snack in Madrid, especially for those nursing a hangover or having developed hunger pangs while waiting for a typical late 11 pm dinner, is the classic combination of hot chocolate with churros (a churro is a Spanish fried dough treat much like a donut).  Arguably the best hot chocolate and churros in Madrid is found at Chocolateria San Gines, just off the Calle Arenal pedestrian zone of Puerta del Sol in Central Madrid. 

Chocolatería San Ginés has been around since 1894, and it looks about the same as it must have on its opening day more than a century ago.   The walls are lined with photos of local celebrities and even a few you might recognize.

You’ll be served cups …

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.All Trips / California / Food / Southwestern USA

Signs of Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

03 Grand Central Market Los Angeles

Even though I lived in the Los Angeles area for more than 2 decades, it was not until I moved away from the city that I visited its famous Grand Central Market.  Situated in downtown Los Angeles (on Broadway), near many of the city’s massive skyscrapers and businesses, the market has been a landmark for 100 years (established in 1917).

The market has changed with time and it’s not like most of the markets you’ll visit.  Sales of fresh and bulk food , while a component, are a small part of the operation.  It seems these traditional market elements have been pushed out to make room for more restaurant vendors.  People now go to the market to buy prepared food.   …

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.All Trips / Food / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

In ‘n Out — That’s what a Hamburger is all about

57 Las Vegas 2015. In ‘n Out Burger (8)

Many of my Canadian friends find it difficult to understand why someone would want to move away from California.  There were good reasons to stay and, in our case, better reasons to leave, but there are definitely things about California that I miss.  Foremost among these are dear friends, the meyer lemon and fuyu persimmon trees in my yard, and the beautiful winter weather (summers I wasn’t too crazy about — blasted hot).  And

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

La Boqueria: Barcelona’s fabulous Food Market

01 La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

One of the finest food markets I’ve ever visited, and supposedly one of the best in the world, is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually just called “La Boqueria It’s one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist spots — so much so that group tours are no longer allowed inside.  You, the independent traveler, are welcome!  The market is just off the popular pedestrian mall, La Rambla, not far from Barcelona’s opera house. A iron gate frames your entrance to the very diverse and fresh selection of food items within.

The first mention of the Boqueria market dates to 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470, a pig market was …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 23, 2017: Mate — South America’s caffeinated drink

04 El Tigre, Argentina 2014 (96)

If coffee is the morning beverage of North America (and most of the world for that matter), my limited experience in South America was that many people preferred a type of locally grown herbal tea called Mate (pronounced mah-teh). Mate, also known as yerba mate, is rich in caffeine and is especially popular in in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Southern Chile and Southern Brazil. A small amount is exported and sold in other countries, including in the Middle East, but mate has its home in southern South America.

The drink is prepared by steeping a handful of dried yerba mate leaves in hot water. As the beverage is consumed, more hot water is added to the same wet mate clump over …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 10, 2017: World’s Best Donuts, Grand Marais

‘s Best Donuts

Situated in the small tourist town of Grand Marais, on the northwest shore of Lake Superior, is this ‘mom and pop’ donut shop. The name of the place may seem a little overdone, but the donuts it sells are prepared to perfection. They are indeed among the best I’ve ever had.

World’s Best Donuts has an extensive assessment of donuts, prepared fresh daily and greedily consumed by the shop’s many patrons. The several I’ve tried during my visits were all excellent, although they say their cake donuts are a house specialty. The donut shop opened in 1969 and has been run by the family for almost fifty years.

There are seats outside, but it’s especially …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Italy

Catania’s Fabulous Market

13-Catania-Fish-Market

 

Besides the sight of Mt. Etna looming not far away, perhaps the most famous landmark in Catania is its lively fish market, La Pescheria.  There’s more to the market than seafood, but I’ve never encountered a more diverse selection of fresh seafood anywhere.  And the operative word is fresh as much of the merchandise was still flopping and flipping about.  The fish mongers are a lively bunch, trying to entice everyone passing by to purchase their fish, which are said to be the best and/or cheapest in the market.

Given that it’s situated on the Gulf of Catania, it’s not surprising to find that seafood is so popular with the locals and a key ingredient in local cuisine.  You’ll find massive …

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