Wednesday, April 9, 2014

There and Back Again - Part 2: Cuisine


This will mostly be a foodie report. We ate well in England and France. I will take this opportunity to direct you to the blog of my wife, who has an amazing heart and an amazing gift for celebrating food and nutrition to the glory of the God; to be satisfied in food by being more satisfied in God. What I will do here is share some pictures and mention some highlights. Like I said, we ate well.

This is called a Full English Breakfast. Eggs, sausage, ham, tomato, mushroom, and black pudding. Yes, black pudding. No, not like dark chocolate pudding. Black like blood sausage pudding, presumably with a high proportion of oatmeal. Um, its delicious.

Can I say, anyone that is underwhelmed with English food is crazy. While in Guildford, our friends took us to an authentic English Pub, and we did what you should absolutely do: order Fish & Chips and some type of Meat Pie (I got Steak and Ale - first picture above). Washed it down with some T.E.A. - no, not tea like afternoon tea, tea like Traditional English Ale. It was a perfect dining experience.

At this establishment: tikka misala. It so happens that the only place with better Indian food than India is London. We (Katie especially) have recently fallen in love with Indian food (she prefers Chicken Korma, and she is probably right), so our friends made a reservation for us at a classic Indian Restaurant in Covent Garden called Punjab. Fabulous.

One thing about cuisine is that it is not entirely about the food. You could say it is not primarily about the food, or that it is barely about the food. It is just as much about the experience. And the experience is always enhanced with friends. Above is a picture with our friends, Jake and Katlyn, at an Italian restaurant in Guildford, where they live. They were such gracious hosts. They had made reservations at an Italian restaurant and a Thai one, for us to choose. We had eaten Indian the night before, had already had all the staple English dishes, and it occurred to me: we love Italian (who doesn't), and aren't we closer to Italy than we've ever been (well, Katie has been to Italy, but still)? So we had Italian. It was wonderful.

On to Paris. My family goes to Ft. Lauderdale every year for vacation, and the first year my wife went with me we had a date night at a French restaurant called Le Cafe de Paris. Great food, terrible service - perfect experience. We loved it. It was there that my wife (and myself years earlier) was introduced to escargot, aka, snails with lots of olive oil. So, the first restaurant we went to in Paris we ordered escargot. Best ever. #Snails

My brother Matt, blogging and tweeting as @enthusiastofall (France Dining Recap), highly recommended a meal at the oldest restaurant in Paris, Le Procope, and specifically the Coq Au Vin which comes in a copper cauldron. I'm very glad he did. It was awesome. And the restaurant itself was a classic spot. Nooks and cranies everywhere. Did I mention the cauldron?

Call me generic, but I had to get French Onion Soup while in Paris. Because, as you know, Paris is in France, making food served there Fren...oh, you understand. I am not necessarily a fan of it normally, mostly because I avoid dairy where I can. But on our last night there, at a great little authentic French place on our street, I saw it on the menu and I went for it. It was so good I slurped the remainder of the broth from the bowl when I was finished.

Our second night in Paris was also our 2nd wedding anniversary, and the best dinner we had. Praise God for that! We found a place just beyond the Arc de Triomphe off Champs Elysees, called Le Hide. Japanese chef, but authentic French cuisine. Small like less than 10 tables. Amazing atmosphere, and delightful service. The best dish I had the whole trip was my first course at this place: Duck and Lentils. Oh man. The Lamb Shoulder main course was pretty good too, but oh those lentils.

In summary, the food was really good. French food might be my new favorite. All glory to God who gives us food to enjoy, and desires that we do so while experiencing ultimate satisfaction in Him! How cool to experience this in other cultures.

No comments: