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Archive for the ‘fish dishes’ Category

facade

Vmannequinfemale

At the entrance to Restaurant Carmen

insideRestaurant Carmen

We arrived in Icod de los Vinos around noon, so decided to have lunch before going to visit El Drago (see previous post). We chose Restaurant Carmen, on C. Hercules 2, just opposite the entrance to the El Drago parking garage, so very convenient. It’s a free-standing building, adobe with a caramel color and wooden doors and windows. The entrance faces the street, but at the back there’s a sweeping view over some banana plantations and towards the sea.

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peacockpic

One of the paintings on the walls

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winesign

One of the wine plaques “Ode to Wine”

You enter, past a couple of mannequins in folkloric dress, and walk down some stairs to a large dining area. It has very interesting décor, including various urns and statues, a collection of decorative plates on the brightly-painted walls, and many tiles with sayings and quotes about wine. A central column of ferns gives a nice touch. It’s a fairly casual place, but tables are still laid with real linen.

 

 

 

 

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“Wine and sun cheer up the heart”

winesigns

Wine plaques

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Tomato and cheese salad. Note the red and green mojo sauces in the bowls behind

We had a selection of small plates, all delicious— garlic prawns, cheese and tomato salad, salad with cod and avocado, and a typical Canarian stew. Plus bread with mojo (the typical Canarian sauces I mentioned before, see here https://viviennemackie.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/eating-on-the-canary-islands/), a glass of wine, bottled water, and coffee, all for a total of  €42.50. Service was good and friendly, and if we were ever back in Tenerife, we would definitely return.

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Garlic prawns (shrimp)

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Avocado and cod salad

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and the Men’s bathroom

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And just for fun…the sign on the Ladies’ bathroom

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outside

Entrance to La Perla

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inside

The bar counter inside

La Perla Bar Restaurant, Garachico, Tenerife

On Jesus Diaz Martin, just a block off the main plaza, opposite the Quinta Roja Hotel.

The lady from our hotel recommended this the first night we were here in Garachico when we said we wanted to try local cuisine. We liked it so much that we returned another night.

It’s quite plain on the outside, but with pretty décor inside (lots of green plants and statues) and linen tablecloths, and doesn’t seem too touristy. There’s also a large bar, with wood trim. But, the main draw is the food—large servings of really tasty dishes. And the amazing thing is that it’s all produced from a tiny kitchen off to the side, run by just the owner and his wife and a helper.

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There’s the small kitchen where it all happens

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Attractive interior

All the wait staff are very pleasant and we managed fine even though we don’t speak much Spanish really and their English is limited. Luckily the menu is in English, Spanish and German.

menu

winelabel

The wine made on the Canary Islands is actually very good

hammelon

Ham and melon

The first night we had sopa de pescado(fish soup—Rod) and Melon con Jamon(melon with ham—Viv) as starters, then Cherne plancha(seabass platter). Plus 2 bread rolls (as I mentioned earlier, on the islands you pay extra for bread), a large bottle of water and a bottle of Canarian rose wine, and the total was only 43 euros!

We also had our first experience with two of the famous Canarian sauces: they are called mojo saucesand are served with every meal, usually with the bread, but added to anything. The most common are the green sauce (mojo verde) and the red (mojo picon), which is much spicier. We also had the famous wrinkly potatoes (batata arrugado), served at almost every meal and a traditional Canarian food. These potatoes are boiled in their jackets in salted water and when tender are drained and left to dry over a low heat until they become wrinkled, hence their name.

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Fish dish, 2 sauces, and wrinkled potatoes

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Rod M with ham and melon

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Those are giant prawns!

messels

The mussels were delicious

The second time, we both had the melon and ham, as it was so good. Then I had Mejillones (mussels) and Rod had Lagostino(giant prawns), plus the wine, water and bread rolls, all for a total of only 50 euros.

Many of the other hotel guests also seem to come here and they were all very satisfied too. And plenty of locals come, so it must be a good place. Definitely recommended.

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sign

outside

beerA Chicago Institution

Downtown Chicago has so many places to eat that it’s difficult to know where to choose. One of our favorites is The Berghoff. We’ve often been to The Berghoff and like it for many reasons: it’s well placed between Union Station, and Millennium Park and the Art Institute, where we usually arrive and go to visit; it’s close to Club Quarters, where we usually stay, and to the Willis Tower; but, more than location, it has atmosphere and very good food. It also has an interesting history, as it’s been an iconic Chicago dining experience since 1898 and is one of the nation’s oldest family-run businesses. It started with Hermann Joseph Berghoff, who immigrated in 1870 from Germany. For a history of the restaurant see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Berghoff_(restaurant) .

license

insideIt’s also known for being the place with the first liquor license in Chicago after Prohibition was lifted, proudly known as Chicago Liquor License “Number One”. The license hangs behind the bar and they boast that there’s not a drink that they haven’t served. They also make their own beers, in many styles, some of which are famous.

The Berghoff Restaurant is up a few stairs from the entrance and the Berghoff Café, which offers lighter fare, is a few steps down.

The restaurant is pretty big, so they seem to easily accommodate most people, in the bar section or the dining section. The interior is very attractive, with big wooden beams, wood paneling, lots of framed old photos on the walls, and some stained-glass windows. We’ve been here as a couple, I’ve been with my sister, and also as part of a group, and the wait staff do very well either way.

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Vera

sole

Sole dish

We’ve always been happy with the menu and the service here, and the prices are reasonable for Chicago. The menu is a mix of traditional (old-style from Germany/Bavaria) and more modern, and all the dishes sound great.

Some of the ones we’ve chosen at various times were stuffed sole and free-range lamb chops with salad. Delicious. Of course, with 2 Berghoff Heffeweizen beers.

 

 

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Near the bar

sausage

Game Sausage Plate

VandVOne time we were there in December and they had two musicians in the bar playing live music. We were seated very close to the bar in the dining section, so could hear them very clearly above the general chatter of diners. Very nice. That time Rod had the Game Sausage Plate (3 sausages—duck, venison, pork—with spatzle) and I had the halibut special. Both were very good. On other occasions we’ve had the stuffed sole—also delicious.

Note too the great way they serve the selection of breads.

bread

Rbreadwine

lambchops

Lamb chops dish

Definitely recommended if you are ever in Chicago and looking for a place to eat, no matter the season.

Address: 17 W. Adams

Daily 11am-9pm, closed on Sundays

https://www.theberghoff.com

 

 

 

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phillips

powerplant

The former Power Plant building

Phillips Seafood was recommended by a friend originally from Baltimore and by all the tourist books and brochures, so we decided we should go there our first evening in Baltimore, as we hadn’t scouted out any other good eating places.

This popular place is at the edge of Inner Harbor in part of the old Pratt Street Power Plant building (Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock Café are in there too). The former coal-fired power plant, built 1900-1909, was repurposed from the mid 1970s. Phillips Seafood moved here in June 2010.

Come very early, or a bit later (8pm) as it gets very crowded around 5:30-8pm and you’ll likely have a long wait, especially on weekends.

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Rod M inside

There is indoor and outdoor seating: we opted for indoors as the wait was slightly shorter. It was cooler inside too! The décor is attractive with pretty chandeliers and stained-glass insets in the ceiling. We had a beer while waiting and then got a bar area table pretty easily.

Here in Baltimore (and in Maryland generally) crab cakes are a speciality, so we had to try them. We shared a beet salad, with two different colored beets and feta cheese on arugula, which was delicious. Then Rod had the classic plate, which was a crab cake, a shrimp skewer, a piece of salmon, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I had crab-stuffed shrimp, which was 5 butterflied shrimp

shrimp

Crab-stuffed shrimp

stuffed with a crab mix, with mashed potatoes and asparagus. All very nice, with a very friendly server.

The atmosphere is pleasant, as it’s bustling with people and two guys on guitars were playing and singing, a bit like John Denver.

Phillips Seafood is a very prominent institution around here, and it would be hard to miss with its huge red sign. I’m glad we came and it was fun. The food was good, but pretty over-priced, I’d say. Definitely good for one visit, but I’m not sure we could afford to return.

601 E. Pratt Steet, Baltimore, www.Phillipsseafood.com

 

 

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ballspickles

Almost too pretty to eat

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Tofu

Kuwana Restaurant in Sapporo, Japan

Miniature edible works of art

Another Amazing Meal in Hokkaido—-Have we ever had a mediocre meal?!

This is a very special restaurant in Sapporo, in the busy downtown Susukino area (think chain stores, neon lights, night life). We went here one evening with Dr K, Satoshi, Max and 2 students from the lab. It’s in a busy nightlife area, down a small side street with many obvious adult entertainment places, so we’d never find it on our own. I doubt many tourists come here, unless they speak and read Japanese, as nothing is in English really.

babytempura

Baby tempura

pork

A pork dish

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Our plates arrive with a clothes peg

So, once again, we are so lucky to have very involved hosts who want us to experience the best their city has to offer. We came by subway, on the Green line from Sapporo JR Station. This is the second stop; the first is Odori.

Kuwana is a small place on two levels: downstairs is a bar-counter, and upstairs is zashiki seating, where we sit with our feet dangling in a cut-out area below the low table. It might be small, with only 28 seats, but it’s a very nice place, quite formal with all the dishes exquisitely presented.

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How to hold the hot clam shell with the clothes peg

clams

Plate of clams

It is known for baked clams in particular. They use the Hamaguri, or common orient clam, a saltwater clam found in Japan. When we sat down we wondered why each person had a clothes-peg on their side plate, but soon found out. We used the peg to hold the shell of the baked clams, as the shells are extremely hot, and then picked out the clam with chopsticks. The clams were delicious, but so many other small amazing dishes appeared after the clams that I’d be really hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

seagrape

Sea grape seaweed pops in the mouth

salad

Tuna tomato salad

tunabone

A tuna bone is a delicacy

All were tasty, all beautifully presented—the whole meal like a work of art. One was umibudo (sea grape), a special kind of seaweed that looks like tiny green grapes, which pop in your mouth when you bite them.

Again, we are really fortunate to be taken out to places like this, and to be treated so well. This is a wonderful way of learning about a very special part of Japanese culture: its cuisine. The Japanese are very proud of their cuisine, and we are very willing learners and experimenters.

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Max, Risa and Yuki

cheese

They even had a cheese plate

balls

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The unassuming facade of the Eel Village

The unassuming facade of the Eel Village

Even I can read the eel part of this sign!

Even I can read the eel part of this sign!

Table with grill and chimney

Table with grill and chimney

Every meal in Korea is an event and experience, carefully thought out, so I’ll be writing about Korean food and meals a lot as I get to write up the Korean trip. This was the first food experience on our last trip.

We went to Eel Village, in Yong-In, a town a little south of Seoul. In Korean “eel” translates as “long fish”, and this was eel served Korean-style.

Our hosts (Jongsoo Chang and Mi Kwon) for the first weekend in Korea took us here for our first meal in Korea on this trip, and it was a great introduction to Korean cuisine, one of the world’s finest.

This is a local, very casual traditional place that basically serves only eels. Each plain wooden table has a table grill plate over charcoal in the center and a metal chimney that can be raised and lowered. You order your eels, which the guy then fishes out of a large tank right there in the restauant, where they are swimming around. He plops them in a huge bucket and takes them away, and later they re-appear, cleaned and chopped on a rack that’s placed on the hot table grill. You can have them just salted, or with a red pepper sauce.

Some of the side dishes to make our eel wrap

Some of the side dishes to make our eel wrap

Eel on the grill

Eel on the grill

While you wait, many little plates appear—with kimchi (the famous Korean picked/fermented vegetable dish), huge slices of pickled radish, lettuce leaves, seaweed in small sheets, fresh chopped ginger, slices of garlic and onion, perilla (shiso) leaves, and various sauces.

The trick is to take a leaf or sheet of seaweed, put on a piece of eel, a couple of radishes or whatever extra you fancy, a bit of sauce, and then wrap it and eat with your fingers.

These eels are much larger than the ones I remember from Japan and served a bit differently, but very tasty. When the eels are finished, each person gets a bowl of either steamed rice, or noodles (we had noodles).

Put some eel on a leaf...

Put some eel on a leaf…

...and wrap it, for a tasty morsel

…and wrap it, for a tasty morsel

The fruit wine

The fruit wine

All a lot of fun to experience and very tasty. And the good thing is that you can pick whichever condiments you want. We tried everything except the spicy kimchi and a red-hot sauce. All washed down by a local fruit wine—actually quite dry and not bad for a wine!

Thanks to Jongsoo and Mi!!

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