Monday, September 22, 2014

European Snacks

I was recently in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Prague. I like to go into stores in other countries and see what kinds of different flavors and products they have. I don't think it matters much for me to tell you where various things came from since it seemed pretty consistent over these areas.

I tried this as it sounded like a fantastic idea. Unfortunately they seem to mean some kind of vegetarian bolognese because instead of a rich flavor, it was just a vague tomato onion garlic thing. I saw a couple of companies with a bolognese flavor, so if anyone tries one that's good, let me know.

There are paprika chips everywhere in Europe, everywhere. Every company has them. It's like, what is their fucking obsession with paprika? See below for answer. I tried these... eh, they were okay.

More paprika, a "Mexican Peppers & Cream" I really should have tried. I couldn't get to them all.

These looked good. Happy to see bacon's popularity is world-wide.

Cheese & Onion - Subtle, perhaps, but we don't quite have this flavor in America.

I saw a handful of meat-themed chips. I'll take the Western Style business as a compliment. They do love their currywurst in Germany.

I had to try Exxtra Deep Grilled Steak chips. They were okay, but not what you'd hope. I'd love to know in what language "Exxtra Dick" mean "Exxtra Crunchy."
Sadly, I didn't get around to trying to Intense Honey Roast Ham Chips. Maybe one day Americans will be graced with this flavor. If we can handle Cappuccino potato chips (which, in case you haven't tried them, taste like potato chips that have been sprinkled with an instant latte powder. They're pleasant enough to put in your mouth, but seeing as every other flavor in the world is better, you'd never want to. If anyone wants a 90% full bag of them, let me know), we can take on honey roast ham, hamburger, currywurst, cheese & onion, bacon, Thai Curry, and Mexican Peppers & Cream.

I just thought this was cute.

I would love to have been there for the meeting where this seemed like something to do. In what context would one buy these chips for oneself or someone else? All I could think would be one of those Valentine's Day parties single people throw for all their single friends, where this would be a funny little snack to set out for it.

I was curious to see what the difference between Classic fry sauce and American would be.

It appeared to be some kind of "lite" version and had more than twice the ingredients. Sounds about right.

"The Famous American Style Recipe" ? Well, if Americans invented brownie-cookies, I can't say I'm surprised. Proud, even.

It's a bit hard to read, but the packaging says, "Rainbow Cookies - Even the kids like 'em!" - As opposed to the brownie cookies the kids turned their noses up at? Are Dutch children regularly turning down less colorful cookies?

These treats are called "Gangmakers," which I enjoy. If you read the Wikipedia article on them, translated into English, "Gangmakers" apparently means "Pacemakers." They're basically cupcake cookies, covered in chocolate and filled with raspberry jam. I'd join a gang for that, sure.

In Germany I passed by the front of a store and saw this. Oh. Paprika is European for red pepper. Apparently in America paprika is a spice made from dried chili peppers. But for a lot of the world, paprika is just a bell pepper. Red pepper chips is all they are. Bah. 

A number of products had this little American label on them. Fried onions? Oh, that's ours? Cool. A ketchup and mayo twist though? I have never seen that in America. I know we like ketchup and mayonnaise in the US, but the rest of the world is at least as in love with these condiments as we are, so I'm not sure that one is fair. It (or its ancestor) was invented in China, from where it made its way to present-day Malaysia and Singapore, where English explorers discovered it. Some of them took it to America. It does seem that the sweet tomato recipe that ketchup became did happen in America though. So fine. Mayo, however, was invented in Spain, then taken to France, where it came into its own. 

I should mention while I'm at it that what we call Cool Ranch chips, they call Cool American in The Netherlands. Fair enough. We probably did invent that horrid flavor.

A marzipan treat that adorably looks like little potatoes, hence the name "Kartoffeln." They're tasty little things. I could see these being in a stocking, like those baggies of coal gum.

Belgian waffles are awesome at waffle shops, but these packaged ones sucked.

Due to train issues, I had to settle for vending machine food for a meal. This was the most food like, and to be honest, I was kind of happy to get to try this horrible idea, a Calzone in a bag in a vending machine, no microwave around. It tastes exactly as you should be assuming it tastes.

The brownie was okay, though quite messy. The Erdnuss (peanut) snack was the bomb diggity, a lot like a Nutter Butter.

Why do Americans not get a hazelnut Kit Kat? Does Kit Kat not think we can handle it? Same with the Wunderbar. These were both good, and they would've been great if they were done with dark chocolate.

Sometimes you want a treat but you have no words to help you and must rely on pictures. I assumed this would have a nice coffee taste. No such luck. Any coffee was what you'd call very subtle. It was pretty plain tasting but strangely addictive. Or maybe I was a bit drunk.

Who knew there were Angry Birds sodas? Maybe they have them in America too and I just don't know it.

In Prague they had lots of random Cannabis products like this, which I'm told won't actually get you high. They're just a gimmicky thing for tourists.

I still wanted to try the silly Cannabis Absinth. Don't.

The beer also won't actually get you high, and it just tasted extra bitter to m, and not in a good hopsy way. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Glenville Stops - The Most Adorable, Perfect Neighborhood Gastropub

If only I lived in Allston.. is a sentence I don't say all that often, but I said it yesterday when I ate dinner and glugged a pint London Fuller's Pride (on tap!) at Glenville Stops. the place is so cute, with a long bar wrapping the bar, another bar along the wall, and lots of tables. It's kind of coffee shop-like.

There's complimentary tahini and roasted eggplant purée with really nice bread.

Riblets: Tasty, good flavors, so much easier to eat than long ribs

Asian Burger: So good. Almost perfect medium rare. Great light bun, great Asian shit

Fries: A little greasy, but not overly
Ahi Amarillo Aioli: Really, really good

The Glenville Stops on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 19, 2014

Neptune Oyster

What can I say about Neptune Oyster that hasn't already been said? Probably nothing, so this review is really just a way for me to remember what I've had for future purposes.

Long wait even at 2:30 on a Thursday

Warm bread served

Buttermilk Johnny Cake: fuck. Better. So good. Yes. The sturgeon tastes like tuna, except not like a vagina. Butter butter butter yeah! Butter under the caviar and a bUtter soaked cake. Turns out butter pairs really well with butter. One of the best things we've ever eaten.

Bee's river oysters ($2.90): Almost too salty, but so good
Totten inlet (Puget sound - $3.20): They got fucked up in transport, I guess. Some gooey shit happened, like a yeasty vagina, nothing like my wonderful PNW coast oyster experience in Seattle.
Thatch island ($2.80): Mm still salty. Almost gulf-ish. 
I tried having my oysters with a Guinness this time cuz I read that shit somewhere: Yes! Do this!

Anchovy cocktail: fresh anchovies, good, okay, whatever

Scallops: cooked perfectly, perfect flavor combo. Even way better than Island Creek. My wife said she'd never bother cooking scallops again. The pear butter and or baked brussels sprouts had a hint of lightly burnt marshmallow that mmph.

Lobster roll with mayo: A tiny but too much pepper, and when I'm criticizing someone on the nuance, that's a good sign. Tons of lobster, nice amount of mayo. Great buttered, lightly toasted brioche hot dog bun
Fries: Russell House kind of fries. Greasy
Garlic mayo: Whoa lots of garlic, still nice
Asked for pistachio aioli, really fun aioli

Neptune Oyster on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Best Thai in Boston - Bangkok Bistro

At least of all the places I've been, Bangkok Bistro is the best Thai restaurant in Boston.

Roti ($6.95): This is the shit. Perfectly spicy curry with great beef (not sketchy at all), deliciously fried roti (not too oily)

Drunken Noodle ($7.95 at Lunch or $10.95 for Dinner, as above): Addictive, perfectly spicy (at our house we're big fans of the dishes here with two chili peppers next to them), and all fresh ingredients

Spicy Eggplant ($11.95): I loved the minced chicken and the rich broth and all the vegetables, so fucking good, perfectly spicy

Wild Wild Wild with Duck ($8.95 for Lunch, $14.95 for Dinner, with Duck):
Excellent duck, perfect spicy level, delicious, also this is just maybe a third of the takeout portion. 

The menu is long, with all the combinations you could want, many adorably named (Duck Bistro, Sea World, One Night in Bangkok, Double Feature, etc.)

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. This is the best Thai I've ever had.

Bangkok Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 1, 2014


If you want to sit outside in the Fenway area and eat some fun and decent sushi, I'm not sure where else you'd go besides BASHO. Enjoy a glass of iced green tea ($3.50 - beware: refills are not free).

Crunchy Roll ($12.95): This was our favorite roll of the day. The fried onion is really nice and fun, the mango drizzle is great, then fish and tobiko and cucumber - it works really well. Surprisingly good. Turns out not enough people are putting fried onions in their sushi.

Spicy Avalanche Roll ($12.95): The funny idea here (a bit of toasted cheese) worked pretty well too. It was nicely spicy and almost as good as the Crunchy Roll.

   Tiger Roll ($12.95): This would've been really good if they hadn't gone so heavy on the mayo. I'd either ask about going easy on it or skip this roll. 

Spicy Duck Bao ($9): Nice soft bao, only okay duck and other flavors

Basho Japanese Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 29, 2014

Only for the Burger - Eastern Standard

Make sure there's not a goddamn fucking game that day (or be in the area for it and thus be prepared for the parking rape), and you can have yourself a real good meal at Eastern Standard. If, that is, you stick to the burger.

Standard Burger - $13: It was perfectly cooked, like weirdly perfect. The entire thing was evenly perfectly medium rare. The bun really is lighter and airier than most brioche, which was a huge plus. You can feel in your hands that this will be a good burger. I added a little salt and pepper, and then it really is an A burger. You can and should come just for it when a good opportunity or craving arises.

Fries: Even though they're shoestring, they're still a little potato-y and some were soft like I like 'em, some were crisp like the rest of you like 'em.
They brought me an aioli for my fries. It was good.

Sweet bread with butter comes out; it's fine.

Chicken liver and foie gras mousse - $13: Shana doesn't like chicken liver, we finally established, and really it's not my favorite either. Or maybe it's just a little funkier here; maybe a little higher foie gras to chicken liver ration would've helped. The little peach, pecan and celery part was nice.

Rare tuna nicoise salad - $16: The description on the menu says, "Olive tapenade, deviled egg, haricots vert." It's funny to me no one's told them they need an "s" on "vert." But anyway, the tuna was almost flavorless, and the egg didn't seem to actually be deviled, but rather just a boiled egg cut in half with a sprinkle of chives. Huh.

The menu is pretty boring anyway. Just get that burger.

Eastern Standard on Urbanspoon