Posts Tagged ‘restaurant dining’

Years ago, during a stay in London, I had a memorable meal at Roast, which overlooks Bourough Market, the foodie mecca of farmers’ market stalls and specialty food and drink vendors.

Leaving Roast, I spied a chalkboard sign advertising chorizo, rocket (arugula) and paquillo pepper sandwiches. The stand was closed but I did not forget the craving that sign ignited in my traveler’s belly.

This week I was again in London and on the trail of that sandwich, which had since achieved Oz-like status in my memory: Does the sandwich actually exist? Did I dream this sandwich?

My quest landed me back at Bourough Market where, after a few laps through the stalls, looking for people with smiles on their faces and chorizo grease on their brows, I had yet to rediscover the sandwich of my fantasy. Until, in another’s grip, I spotted what looked pretty close to the image concocted in my mind and pled, “Where did you get that sandwich?”

It was wonderful. Maybe I will call this the London Traveler’s Sandwich, close cousin to the Hitchhiker Sandwich.


Make a sandwich out of:

1) Two slices of grilled ciabatta  or ciabatta-like bread, drizzled with olive oil.

2) One or two spicy andouille sausage(s) cut in half and grilled well. *A note about the sausage: The chorizo used in the Bourough Market original is neither the soft Mexican nor the hard Spanish variety. After consulting with a master of flavor and good judgment, my Uncle David, I offer his suggestion to substitute andouille sausage. It will give the right consistency and spice.

3) Arugula

4) Roasted Red Peppers

I guarantee this is a great alternative to typical grilling fare this summer. Beach, picnic, backyard, cricket tourney. Yes, please. And not bad with a batch of Erin’s refreshing drink suggestions. Not bad at all.

Some scenes from Bourough Market….


St. John Bar and Restaurant

Fergus Henderson’s nose-to-tail dining temple promises you a great meal. The space is a one-time smokehouse, turned Marxism Today headquarters, turned hip bar/bakery/restaurant.

What else can you ask for?: A lively, inviting place to linger over a delicious meal. And shhhhhh!!!!…I spied my favorite, favorite, favorite film director dining and doodling on his paper tablecloth.

Don’t Miss –

Roast Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad

Braised Rabbit

Madeleines baked to order and served warm from the oven. Heaven.

Take-away madeleines make a great midnight snack.


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An astute friend recently told me that finding a mate is a lot like ordering at a restaurant. It is easy to get your heart set on a certain dish (read person). You peruse the menu (read dating) and, after some time to consider all the options, you know what you want. You are eager to place your order, asserting your finely honed sensibilities and tastes. You obligingly listen to the specials, knowing that nothing could alter your decision. But sometimes there is that one special special that you just can’t resist. Je ne sais quoi, as they say.

A recent Sunday out in NYC I had my order pretty well sorted. Until I heard the litany of specials. Something interesting caught my ear. Something that I normally wouldn’t have put “on my list.” Like taking a chance on love, I ordered the appetizer special: A fried egg over shaved asparagus, fava beans & morels. (You will find this especially shocking when you learn that I generally don’t care for either eggs (!) or mushrooms (!).)

Now, I want you to picture a fried egg. Ok, now look at the picture below. Does it match the image in your head?

Mine either.

Of the myriad ways eggs are prepared, I’d have to say that hard-boiled is my least favorite. But hardboiled, and then, fried? Interesting. New to me.

The combination of flavors was nice, spring-timey, luscious. The fried hard-boiled egg was, well, a hard-boiled egg with a not-that-satisfying crust. Had I found my soul mate? No. One of the all-time great country-western lyrics ran through my head, “It ain’t love, but it ain’t bad.” Definitely worth ordering outside of my comfort zone.

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Last night was not the first time I’ve given my husband this look in a restaurant, apparently. I found this picture from a trip to San Sebastian, Spain where you can see the locals got into the act, as well. Dining as a couple provides ample opportunity. Take last night.

Firstly, there is the whole ordering coordination. The “what are you getting?…oh good, I can have a bite of that and still order this other thing etc….”

Then there is the cross-examination of the server. This is where the adage, “there are no stupid questions” just doesn’t apply. My husband asks, “What is better the bolognese or the roast chicken?” Our server can’t hide his bafflement. “Well, do you feel like pasta or chicken?”

Next, my appetizer of gratineed raclette arrives. Before I can grab my fork my husband digs in. I shoot him another look. Before I can speak he quips, “Blog about it.”

Finally, he dubs the night: Nightmare Dinner with My Husband. Not really, but I like to keep him on his toes.

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