As I was going through my photographs of chocolates, pastries and street food from my Vienna visit, it struck me how I am always more drawn to savory delicacies than sweet. To the bemusement of my friends and family, I always choose charcuterie over chocolate or appetizers over dessert. Easily distracted from the task at hand, uploading photos to my posts, I wondered how contemporary knowledge about taste and taste preferences has advanced from the basic information I learned in first year physiology eons ago. We were taught that there were four primary taste senses - sweet, sour, salt and bitter, and that the distribution of taste reception in the tongue was bitter at the back, salt and sour along the sides and sweet at the tip. My first idle foray via Google into the matter of taste introduced me to the fifth taste sense, umami - and got me sidetracked into reading about the genetics of taste. Hmmm.. maybe I can finally understand my gustatory peculiarities. It's not me that hates cilantro and olives, and loves prosciutto and salamis - it's my genes.
Here follows some of my non-restaurant focused food experiences in Vienna.
The Kettle Restaurant
1138 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, California
Instead of spending a 6 hour layover in the not-so-comfortable International departures area of LAX, I was lucky that my family came to pick me up at the airport to take me out for lunch. We drove out to Manhattan Beach and enjoyed a nice lunch at The Kettle restaurant a couple of blocks up from the beach.
This is the INDEX of posts for the travelblogue of my trip to Peru for a week-long cruise on the Amazon River. I signed up for the Amazon River Expedition travel program sponsored by the University of British Columbia Alumni Association.
From Lima we flew to Iquitos in Northern Peru, took a coach to Nauta and boarded our riverboat, La Turmalina. During this trip we traveled beyond the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, visiting the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (the largest wetland reserve in the world), Pacama village and spending a night in the Kapok Camp.
A small skiff took us on several excursions. They are numbered 1 to 14 on the map which is the key to upcoming posts. Along the way we saw birds, monkeys, river dolphins and a fascinating variety of medicinal plants and trees
The Verandah Restaurant on deck 2 at the Grand Lobby of the Queen Elizabeth features French cuisine from Cunard's Culinary Ambassador, Jean-Marie Zimmerman. Dining is a la carte but the prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service provided. The ambience is sophisticated and elegant with quietly efficient service.
Once seated and your meal order taken, you are presented with an amuse bouche. When two people are dining, each receives a different amuse bouche.
On my second day in Athens I woke to another warm and sunny day. Highs were predicted to be around 24ºC. The first task on my mind was to find the local Post Office and buy stamps for the postcards that I planned to mail to my grand-children. I gave them a map of the places that the cruise will take us to and hopefully getting the picture postcards will mean something to my grand-daughter, who has studied the continents and the various countries and their capitals.Today is the day of the big transit strike so I was curious to see what difference this made in the traffic through these narrow streets.
As I exited the hotel ready to walk in the direction of the square where the Post Office was located, the first thing i noticed was about thirty policemen on the opposite side of the road. They were just milling around and it did not look as if anything serious was happening but I wondered.
We finished our Hop On Hop Off Red bus tour of Athens around 5:30 and although it was really early, we were both famished and ready for some good Greek food. The restaurant Kuzina had been recommended to us, and although we passed restaurant after restaurant as we walked along Adrianou Street, we persisted until we found it.
It was still quite warm although late in the afternoon so we chose to sit outside and enjoy watching the passing throngs. Being Friday and the end of the week, people were out in droves, walking and shopping and people watching was fun.
The service was prompt. We decided to start with the obligatory Greek salad. Interestingly this version had arugula and caper leaves with luscious red tomatoes, capers, cucumber, olives and feta cheese. The croutons were of crispy Greek bagel. And the dressing was olive oil.
Yonge Street Grill at the Courtyard Marriott
475 Yonge Street,
Ph: (416) 924-0611
After an intensive three days of farewell get-togethers and long walks in warm humid weather, I was ready for an early quiet and solitary supper during which I could enjoy reading the novel I had just begun on my Kindle.
So I took the elevator down from my room and moseyed on down to the hotel restaurant, The Young Street Grill. I was seated at a window table where I could observe the passing parade on Yonge Street.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill
33 Yonge Street & Front Street,
Ph: (647) 260-2070 or Reserve Online
It is ages since I enjoyed an incredible dinner at Canoe Restaurant and had wanted to try other restaurants in this group. On this visit I planned to meet a friend to discuss next year's upcoming high school reunion back in Cape Town and a quiet relaxed lunch at this downtown restaurant seemed just the place.
191 College Street,
Ph: (416) 916-6448
Three of us were meeting for a farewell brunch near the university. We dropped in at Pour Girl on College Street. A sister cafe to Pour Boy, it has an eclectic and really inexpensive menu, and the food is very good.
Having missed breakfast I opted for an omelette. The platter was quite substantial with generous helpings of salad, fries, toast and a hot and tasty ham and cheese omelette. All this for 5.75 - excellent value.
One guest ordered the penne with vegetables and shrimp served in a white wine and cream sauce.
The third choice was the BLT sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise served with sweet potato fries and salad.
Hair of the Dog
425 Church Street,
Ph: (416) 964-2708
It was girls' night out and another farewell event. So four of us crowded around a table at the lively Hair of the Dog for imbibing, ingesting and intellectual conversation. Well sort of intellectual. The conversation ranged from belly-dancing to feminist film theory with stops on many other topics in beween!