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  • Hip Czech

    Article

    Hip Czech

    The dining room is imposing in its whiteness, accented with pine paneling in the style of a suburban rec room, and there are a discreet number of ethnographic doodads plastered on the walls, including mugs with carved animal handles and a few decorat...

    by Robert Sietsema on March 19, 2002
  • Crepe Soul

    Article

    Crepe Soul

    The fashionista dictum that you should ignore anything you wore the first time when it comes around again may hold true for elephant bell-bottoms and Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses. But in the culinary realm the second time around is often more f...

    by Jessica Harris on March 12, 2002
  •  La Cart

    Article

    La Cart

    For such a tightly wound placegum chewing carries stiff penaltiesSingapore is freakishly casual about eating. Central to the food culture are thousands of street carts, each serving one or two specialties from a roster of hundreds flaunting Indian,...

    by Robert Sietsema on March 5, 2002
  • Dueling Dragons

    Article

    Dueling Dragons

    China and Japan are the poles of Gotham's Asian culinary universe. It is impossible to walk more than a block or two without bumping into a spot purveying food from one or the other. Yet as often as we crack open chopsticks and chow down, we rarely j...

    by Jessica Harris on February 26, 2002
  • Goodbye Palm

    Article

    Goodbye Palm

    A decade ago, when African bistros began lining West 116th Street and popping up on the avenues, the Senegalese ruled, offering cheap and abundant one-dish meals like cheb, yassa, and mafe. Gradually, coffee-drinking and baguette-wielding immigrants ...

    by Robert Sietsema on February 19, 2002
  • Not Exactly Identical Twins

    Article

    Not Exactly Identical Twins

    As an only child, I don't truly understand the dynamics of siblings, so I was amazed several years back to note twin Italian eateries flanking an apartment entrance at the same address. Each is owned by the same company, but, like so many siblings, t...

    by Jessica Harris on February 12, 2002
  • Kabul Cheese Steak

    Article

    Kabul Cheese Steak

    On a carpeted dais, a pair of handsome brocade chairs covered in plastic stand next to a small table set with a tea service. Between the chairs a gypsy woman holding a guitar peeps from a dime-store painting. The diorama seems to be waiting for a roy...

    by Robert Sietsema on February 5, 2002
  • Edamame and Black Angus

    Article

    Edamame and Black Angus

    In our return to the new normalcy, we all have become a lot more thoughtful about what America is. As one who had long found a people's history on their plates, I was surprised to find myself musing on New American cuisine at Guastavino's, British st...

    by Jessica Harris on January 29, 2002
  • Eight Arms to Hold You

    Article

    Eight Arms to Hold You

    Gentrification patterns often astonish. How, for example, did Avenue B become the most hopping restaurant strip in the East Village? Or Smith Street in Brooklyn accumulate dozens of upscale bistros? In a similar fashion, Williamsburg's Grand Street h...

    by Robert Sietsema on January 22, 2002
  • Porcine Pilgrimage

    Article

    Porcine Pilgrimage

    Aside from some enclaves in deep Miami, there's never been any doubt about the African side of Cuba. It sings forth in the rhythms of rumba and peeks from behind Catholic saints in religious processions and Lucumi ceremonies. It certainly turns up in...

    by Jessica Harris on January 15, 2002
  • Black Curry Sour

    Article

    Black Curry Sour

    The bread's the thing at working-class Sri Lankan joints like Staten Island's New Asha Caf. Mottled brown on top, gloriously gummy underneath, rectangular rotis stand atop the counter folded and stacked like diapers ($1). Next to them totter amazing...

    by Robert Sietsema on January 8, 2002
  • Whitebait and Switch

    Article

    Whitebait and Switch

    It all began when my editor and I went out to celebrate my completing a manuscript scarcely more than a year late. She suggested a new place where she'd had a grand meal and we headed off to Marseille, a nouveau n on the increasingly gentrified Nint...

    by Jessica Harris on January 1, 2002
  • Some Like It Hotter II

    Article

    Some Like It Hotter II

    As we sheepishly asked for forks, the motherly waitress smirked: "In Honduras, we eat those with our hands." She was referring to the enchiladas ($3 for two). If you were dining in a Mexican restaurant, you'd call them tostadascorn tortillas fried f...

    by Robert Sietsema on December 25, 2001
  • Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

    Article

    Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

    I grew up in a garlic-free household. My benevolent despot of a father couldn't abide it, and my mother wasn't fond enough of pungent tastes to resist. When we traveled he studiously learned the words for "without garlic," and our voyages were punctu...

    by Jessica Harris on December 18, 2001
  • Some Like It Hotter

    Article

    Some Like It Hotter

    The name originally comes from the Babylonian word for fire, but similar Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian words have been used for millennia to designate a beehive-shaped clay oven used to cook bread and meat. Surprisingly, the tandoor wasn't int...

    by Robert Sietsema on December 11, 2001
  • Mariquitas and Chango's Meat

    Article

    Mariquitas and Chango's Meat

    Zarela Martinez is a small lady with the vibrancy of a hummingbird. Twirling about on staggeringly high heels, she has taken television viewers on tours of her native Mexico. Now she unveils the delights of Veracruz, one of the original points of ent...

    by Jessica Harris on December 4, 2001
  • Rome, Romance, Romano

    Article

    Rome, Romance, Romano

    Though the dining public remains preoccupied with Tuscan, Brooklyn's ancient red-sauce palaces still beckon. Hunkered down in remote neighborhoods, eluding guidebooks and tipsters, they look to distant memories of Naples, Apulia, Sicily, and the Sorr...

    by Robert Sietsema on November 27, 2001
  • Swashbuckling Fare

    Article

    Swashbuckling Fare

    Gascony is one of France's celebrated culinary regions. The birthplace of King Henry IV, who knew that we all need a chicken in the pot every Sunday, it is home to foie gras, confit de canard, and Armagnac. It was also home to D'Artagnan, the most fa...

    by Jessica Harris on November 20, 2001
  • Lucky Hit

    Article

    Lucky Hit

    Though 118 Lucky is the most formidable of the Fuzhou cafs that have spread across the Lower East Side over the last five yearscreating a new Chinatown centered at the corner of Allen and Grand streetsthe premises are distinctly utilitarian. An au...

    by Robert Sietsema on November 13, 2001
  • Twice the Price, Half the Fun

    Article

    Twice the Price, Half the Fun

    I first went to AZ the week before it opened, in what seems another world and time. I loved the lounge's slickness and the opium den feel of its crimson-lit beige drapes, low couches, and fabric-covered lanterns. Most of all I liked the Asian-inspire...

    by Jessica Harris on November 6, 2001
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