Photo: Matteo Martinello
He and She Said:
Our itinerary is set for our Moroccan adventure. As we mentioned a couple of months ago, we were fortunate enough to win an incredible privately guided trip to a place on our once-in-a-lifetime list.
We leave in February, and our trip will include stops in Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fez, Marrakech, and Essaouira. We’ll eat, drink, experience, and bring back some cool things, and maybe something for you as well.
We’re looking for tips, especially of (but not limited to) the food variety. Most of our dinners and many of our lunches will be on our own, giving us the opportunity to find the best cross-section possible from street food to haute cuisine. Morocco’s a bit off the beaten path relative to places in Europe, and good intel is correspondingly a bit more difficult to obtain.
If you’ve been to Morocco, give us your insider secrets. If you know someone else who has, ask them for theirs or forward this post to them.
In return, we announce the very first He Said/She Said contest: best Morocco tip wins a free tagine, courtesy of us. The traditional clay pot used in Moroccan cooking is an item we already know we’ll need to acquire when we’re there (we’re still kicking ourselves for coming back from Spain without a paella pan), so we’ll pick up another as a thank you to the respondent who’s suggestion knocks our socks off the most.
Game on, and thanks in advance!
Photo: Katina Lynn
Capturing the essence of a thing is a difficult challenge. That’s an explicit part of what we do here, asking the question: ‘What’s this place or this experience really like?’ Sometimes I think we’re successful in conveying that, but often I’m not too sure. So I respect so much those who really nail it, and here’s the best example I’ve seen in a long time.
Rick Mereki, Tim White, and Andrew Lees are travelers and filmmakers. Credit where it’s due: their work was pushed to me via the Zite app on my iPad in a piece that appeared in the Huffington Post. Here’s the filmmakers’ take:
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage…all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food…into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…
I’ll agree with beautiful and compelling, for sure. The result is three one minute films, Move, Eat, and Learn, that arrestingly and charmingly tell the story of the scope and, more importantly, the joy of their adventure. If these don’t make you want to book your flight to somewhere else, you’re beyond help. Check them out for the best three minutes you’ll spend today.
He and She Said:
We’re stuck, but maybe y’all can help.
We like to take a little trip when we can to celebrate our anniversary every March, and we need to figure out where to go.
Why worry so soon about a trip 9 months in the future? Two reasons: First it is our 5th, so we feel it’s an event of some significance. Perhaps more importantly, we poured all our money into our kitchen this spring, resulting in no vacation at all (unless you count that time we went to Laplace for Andouille). These things can get away from you if you don’t prioritize them, so we’ve resolved to do exactly that. We’ll book our flights very soon so we know we’re committed; we can work on lodging and the other details in the months to come.
But, we can’t book until we know where to go. We started out with a map of the world and grouped the entire planet into four categories:
- Places we didn’t want to visit. (North Korea, Detroit, Shreveport, etc.)
- Places that were too far for us to visit: (Australia, New Zealand, the Westbank)
- Places a little too ‘adventurous’ right now: (Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, Vancouver, etc.)
- Everything else
After much discussion we uncovered more evidence to support what we already suspected: We’re shameless Eurotrash apologists. So here’s the sales pitch for each of our final contenders; check them out and please vote in the poll below to help us pull the trigger.
Posted in Polls, Travel
Let’s face it: Women are better then men at this. In my experience, a girls weekend involves a degree of anticipation and planning foreign to most guys. Often, a male gathering involves a sports bar and a quick check to ensure there’s money for beer, quantity trumping quality in many cases. However, most of us still don’t carry purses, and that does make it less likely a calculator will be produced at the table for the hideous purpose of splitting the check, a practice that should be illegal in any civilized country. So we’ve got that going for us.
But we can do better than just showing up and drinking right? There’s more to New Orleans than Hurricanes and Hand Grenades, correct? If you’re planning a guys weekend in NOLA and want to be sure to hit the hot spots on Bourbon, you can stop reading now, because this post won’t help you. But really, who needs a tour guide? Bourbon Street isn’t what you’d call subtle in its charms. Just show up; you’ll manage to find the party. Trust me. But if you’re looking for something different, you’ve come to the right post. Here’s my take on the male foodie’s weekend in New Orleans. Hand-grenade free, but hopefully complete with acceptable levels of testosterone.
My wife loves it when I’m wrong. She’ll adore this post.
My real profession involves consulting with businesses and leveraging technology for process-improvement (you’re getting sleepy already, right?). In this post I was able to apply that everyday knowledge to create what appears upon a second reading to be an amazingly myopic and self-indulgent critique of the restaurant business based upon a single experience. So I thought I’d leave the redacted paragraphs up because, while no one wants it every day, a little humble pie every now and then is probably a good part of a balanced diet.
Here’s the original beginning of this post:
If you’re doing exactly what was successful for you yesterday, you are dead in the water. No matter what your industry, and restaurants are no exception, it is almost not possible to overestimate the extent to which and the speed at which technology is changing your business. Serving customers great food with great service remains necessary, but is no longer sufficient. I wanted to share a story about a restaurant that gets it.
Hmmm, let’s try that again:
Great food and great service take intense work, discipline, and commitment. We’re spoiled here in New Orleans, surrounded by countless examples of this. I wanted to share the story of a place far away that demonstrated the same thing to us, and then went above and beyond: (better, huh?)
Church of the Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg
“I must break you.”
The words, heavy with a Slavic accent, dropped like stones from the immigration officer’s lips. As I glanced at the soldiers flanking us, hands on their Kalashnikovs, it finally sunk in: We were behind the iron curtain, with no way out.
Ok, so it wasn’t exactly like that. If you want to be nit-picky, the iron curtain collapsed like, twenty years ago. And we weren’t actually intercepted by the KGB during a midnight border crossing. It was more like a departure from a cruise ship. With a tour group. And the immigration officer might not have specifically quoted Ivan Drago, but I don’t speak Russian, so how do I know? And she was like, 110 pounds dripping wet, but nevertheless very stern.
Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. What’s indisputable is that we spent the day in Saint Petersburg this August and have the passport stamps (and a few rubles still burning a hole in my pocket) to prove it. Russia’s certainly a place I’d never anticipated visiting, and we were thrilled when we discovered Saint Petersburg would be included on our corporate trip. So, I thought I’d jot down a quick field trip report.
For awhile, I’ve been meaning to catch up on some of what occurred during our little sabbatical. We gave you the quick and dirty in a recent post, and those very familiar with my writing are probably thinking that’s really all you need. Fortunately for me, the high-level He Said/She Said marketing department has been able to determine that masochists, insomniacs, and people who’ve never read a word I’ve written constitute a huge segment of the population. Right in my wheelhouse.
These travel posts may be only tangentially about food, and this would seem to run counter to our mission or perhaps dilute our brand, or change the paradigm, move the cheese, or whatever. Yeah, well, it’s my blog, and turning down my muse when she decides to show up because I’m not ok with the topic is like turning down the girl dancing on the pool table at F&M at 4am because I don’t like her purse…NOT gonna happen (This is of course a purely hypothetical simile: I am very married, can barely remember what it’s like to be up at 4am, and am very picky about purses). As always, I digress.
Lost River Gorge, New Hampshire
Better late than never: here follows at last the conclusion of our trip to New England. Part 1 is here, if you missed it.
After a nice but unremarkable breakfast and a stop nearby at yet another gorgeous waterfall, during which time it started sleeting (what is it with us and weather events on vacation?), we set off out of Vermont and into New Hampshire. Drizzly rain followed us for much of the day, but that was the only real damper on our travels. The chilly air outside made the car all the more warm and cozy each time we jumped back in. We stopped for coffee every now and then, kept the radio off, and chatted as we watched the miles and the scenery go by, feeling very much alone in the world together.
We were sleeping in Boston that night, and that was the extent of our plans, freeing us for utter spontaneity on the road. We were a couple of latter day Kerouacs, except with no dope. In a rented Hyundai Sonata. Alright, maybe more Griswold than Kerouac, but whatever.
Fall foliage, Vermont
We only have two (ok maybe one and a half) seasons in NOLA, plus it had been like 60 days since we’d travelled. So, perfect time for a field trip to autumnal New England.
Neither of us had been north of NYC before, so we were both looking forward to this little getaway made possible by some cheap flights and an abundance of Hilton points.
We left the Big Easy Friday morning and flew into Boston. We had dinner and spent the evening there, rented a car the next morning and explored some points north, and returned to Bean town Sunday night. We had a final day of exploration before returning home. Well, theoretically, at least. I am composing this post as we work our way from Boston to Houston in order to hopefully get back to NOLA around midnight. Gosh, I just love flying!
Anyway, the foodie details, plus other random stuff, below:
Posted in Breakfast, Dinner, Dinner, He Said, Lunch, Restaurant, Reviews, Travel, Wine
Tagged restaurants, travel, wine
I have been known to say that we are at our best together as a couple when we are traveling. There is something cosmic about when He Said and I wander the world outside of this city. As such, we make it our mission to travel as much as we reasonably can. And throughout the last few years we have developed a kind of travel mantra. It all happened accidentally, but this past May in Portland, Oregon, we found ourselves discussing with another couple our travel rules. In case you have not yet realized, we are kind of quirky. I thought it might be interesting to share our travel do’s with others in hopes that they may either find them ridiculously amusing or maybe something to adopt in efforts to improve their own travel experiences.
Editor’s Disclaimer: Keep in mind, these are married foodie travel rules. If fun for you means 2am karaoke, eating at Friday’s, Applebee’s, etc. or riding around on a double decker tour bus, then this isn’t the advice for you. For everyone else, here they are, in no particular order: