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Kaiserschmarrn (Austrian Torn Pancake)

vienna austria demel

Let’s just get it out in the open: Vienna is not a food city. Yes, there is food, but to my taste it’s simply not that noteworthy. It’s largely meat-based and (baring cabbage) practically devoid of vegetables. How the Austrians have all avoided scurvy for this long, I’ve no idea. That said, Vienna is a cake city and Vienna is a coffee city, which means there’s still some very fine eating to be had. Read more

Amazake (Japanese Fermented Rice Drink)

amazake recipe

Last summer while planning a trip to Japan, I found an airbnb that seemed to fit my every vacation fantasy. The private home was in a centuries-old converted sake brewery, complete with a sweet cafe in the front and a fire-fueled shower in the back. Despite being located on a remote island four hours from our intended destination of Kyoto, I just couldn’t resist the detour. Read more

Gâteau Nantais

Gateau Nantais Recipe

Nantes isn’t one of those French cities that you hear a lot about. You can’t fly there directly from the U.S. and it’s a decent train ride from Paris, so it’s just never been a major draw for Americans. It has, however, always been a major player throughout French history, shape-shifting in endless ways to meet the times. Read more

Pineapple Buns

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If you’ve spent any time in Hong Kong you’ll be familiar with cha chaan tengs, a style of restaurant whose idiosyncratic mash-up menus defy categorization. Literally a “tea house”, cha chaan tengs arose post-war for factory workers in need of quick, inexpensive meals. At the time, western restaurants run by British colonists were all the rage, but the price points (and overt discrimination towards the Hong Kongese) forced locals to recreate the foods they thought they were missing out on…to very eclectic outcomes. Read more

Where to Eat in Hanoi

quick trip to hanoi

On our first night in Hanoi, my friend Alix and I walked to dinner. The restaurant was just five blocks away, but that’s all the time it took for us to become completely stupefied by the chaos of the streets. We snagged two child-size plastic stools with a view of an intersection, ordered a round of beer, and watch in silence as the tangle of humanity worked itself in and out of impossible knots before us. Read more

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Vietnamese egg coffee recipe

Despite being the world’s second largest coffee-producing country, Vietnam has long been maligned for exporting nothing but low quality swill. French colonists covered the land with Robusta beans (an inferior variety typically used in pre-ground mixes) and local industry leaders then bolstered the product with everything from soy and caramel, to steroids and toxic chemicals. Farmers were getting the shaft, customers were getting screwed, and producers were earning a reputation as the shadiest cats in the biz.

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Old School Eats in Tokyo

monster cafe

From robot restaurants and owl cafes, to cuddle bars and Harajuku Girl waitresses, Tokyo takes modern dining to bonkers levels. In just four days I ate a “poison cake,” had an entirely automated ramen experience, and drank something called the Mad Scientist while sitting beneath a neon pink horse who himself was drinking from a gallon-sized baby bottle. Though delightfully deranged, these experiences left me wondering if there was any old school dining left to be had in this madhouse city. Read more

Tokyo Ramen tour

ramen in tokyo

Free-flowing sake and late night karaoke lead me to eat more than a few bowls of ramen in Tokyo. Some were precautionary, consumed in haste before a night spent at the micro bars; others were medicinal, inhaled as a post-karaoke booze mop. I knew I would hit up my fare share of slurp shops while touring the city last month, but I didn’t know I’d get an education on lesser-known ramen styles along the way. Read more