I’ll Have What She’s Having

The best ribs in the world are in Brussels.

I figured it might be better to just say that at the beginning in case no one reads anything after the first sentence. At least now you know what city to go to if you like ribs. For the restaurant’s name, however, you’ll have to read a bit more 🙂

Like everything hipster, being a foodie has become cool, and so everyone claims to be a foodie without having any idea what that means. Google seems to think it’s “a person with a particular interest in food”, which is silly, because anyone who wants to stay alive has a particular interest in food. Foodie or not, I enjoy eating products that taste like they were grown in soil, then prepared by a human. Fortunately, traveling provides many opportunities to try food that fits my rigorous requirements. I have tasted some truly decadent meals, and while I won’t be giving out superlatives, I will share with you my magical secrets.

The best meal I ate in Prague came from Lokál, a cafeteria/restaurant with Czech specialties and endless beer. I drank a beer, then ate goulash with bread dumplings (and beer), and because it was so good, I ordered a lentil soup (with more beer). Somehow, I was still hungry after that, so I went to Aldolce to eat what was easily the best dessert I have had in years. I ordered a lemon ginger mousse with grapefruit juice. I then became so happy with myself and life in general, that I proceeded to enter La Perla and try on 250 euro bras. I almost bought one*, but then realized I didn’t actually have 250 euros in my bra budget. Ahhh, well, next time!

In Bangkok, I happened to be staying right near what locals deem the area’s best Pad Thai, served at a restaurant named Tip Samai. If you don’t believe me, google “best Pad Thai in Bangkok”, and see what the first few entries are. I ate it five times in five days.

In Reykjavik, I ate at Sushi Samba, which offers Japanese-meets-South American cuisine. I ordered sushi and a “Pornstar Mojito”. The passion fruit, lime, mint, and rum mixed together so beautifully that I think no drink will ever perform as well as the “Pornstar”.

Sushi Samba

Sushi Samba, home of the Pornstar Mojito. A pornstar never tasted so good 😀

And now, for the ribs. One night while I was walking around Brussels with a friend, we saw a queue of people waiting outside a restaurant with a full size taxidermy cow. Obviously, we ate there. Practically everyone ordered the same thing: ribs à volonté. All. You. Can. Eat. Amadeo’s ribs are marinated in a tangy-sweet barbecue sauce that ended up in my stomach and all over my face. The ribs were ridiculously delicious, and if you go to Brussels (and eat meat), you must go there.

Amadeo

The ribs. ORDER THE RIBS!

I have eaten so many good meals while traveling in Europe and Asia, but this is just the beginning. Next stop? Fermented yak milk in Mongolia!

*La Perla may be expensive, but their bras make you look and feel like a goddess.

Eat, Drink, and Walk Slowly

This is the true beauty of travel: getting lost so that you can find something you never knew existed.

People will tell you that a jam-packed itinerary while traveling is the best way to see everything. Others insist that eating long meals and seeing one thing a day is better. I won’t be so categorical, but after the past week, I’ve realized what works for me.

I arrived in Budapest to a hostel full of chatty travelers. I didn’t sleep much in Budapest, but spent much of my time simultaneously getting to know the city and these warm people.

In Prague, I spent the days on my own, but the pattern of eating, familiarizing, and wandering stayed the same. It wasn’t until I chanced upon a small courtyard that I realized there was more method to my madness.

Zahrady Gardens

As I was walking to Prague’s Rudolfinum, I looked to my left and saw a little cobblestoned courtyard strewn with fallen leaves and trees preparing for winter. The trees’ branches hung heavy like damp hair, the green, brown, and yellowing leaves obscuring exactly what lay behind. Streetlamps straight from Singin’ in the Rain or Paris in the Belle Epoque guarded the trees. – I have a love affair with streetlamps; they remind me of chilly nights and romantic bridges.- So when my eyes set upon this scene, I really had no choice!

I walked into the courtyard and heard a violin playing. One song later a jazz tune floated out from somewhere. Searching for the source of the music, I noticed a set of stairs blocked by a gate. Never one to be deterred, I walked up the stairs and pushed on the gate. It was firmly locked, though not that tall. I could see Prague’s Zahrady Gardens before me. For once, I turned back, mind swimming with thoughts of Babylon, and memories of past travels. I sat in the courtyard for a while, enjoying the kind of view that bears more significance than any insta-captured, filtered, or posted photo. I sat and then, all at once, I left, knowing I would have to return to these gardens… one day.

 cafe_Prague