August 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Five Cravings of an American in Paris: David Lebovitz

Since 2002, David Lebovitz has been living the self-proclaimed "sweet life in Paris."

When the author, former Chez Panisse pastry chef and food blogger fantastique stopped by Eatocracy HQ in New York City on a brief jaunt stateside, it behooved us to sit him down and find out what an American expat pines for in grand ol' Paree.

Got a thing that tastes like home? Share with the rest of the homesick campers in the comments below.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.



soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. mexicanfoodflows

    Mexican food sucks. Just look at the people who created it.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  2. Shan

    I moved to Australia almost two years ago. The Aussies love Americans and have many international foods. My problem is that they're fairly health conscious and so they don't serve fatty cuts of steak or greasy burgers. I always joke that it's because the government and tax payers have an investment in health care.

    The older Aussies also eat fairly blandly. It's mostly the under-35s that eat spicy. I'm half-Mexican and have yet to find a good Mexican restaurant. Thankfully, Costco opened a store in Melbourne last year and now we get many more foods. Below are a few of my most-missed foods:

    – Poblano Chilis for Chili Relleno
    – Tomatillos
    – Spaghetti Squash
    – In-N-Out
    – Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese
    – Corn tortillas
    – Dark Chocolate M&Ms
    – Cajeta
    – Rice-a-Roni

    I often get care packages with Tapatio, Ghirrardeli Chocolate, and Mole to keep me alive. :-)

    September 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  3. RS

    After spending a summer in Rome in college, a few of my classmates and I travelled to Paris for a weekend. We were ALL Texans; and were VERY excited (and embarassed) to see a Chili's Tex Mex Restaurant along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées....and YES, we had to eat there! Although the salsa was sweet instead of our usual spicy, the margaritas made us feel at home!

    September 1, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  4. John

    So my favorite, has nothing to do with Paris, but it does have something to do with Mexican food in Europe. I was in Berlin about 10 years ago, staying at a small hotel near the Brandenburg gate and there was a Mexican restaurant there. Now being from Los Angeles, I am VERY picky about La Comida Mexicana. However, I thought WTF, just go and see what that looks like auf deutsche. It was interesting. Mexican??? Probably not, but interesting none the less. Anyway, just wanted to share.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  5. Jack Aubrey

    I've heard that Anahuacalli is very good. We went by on a Sunday but they were closed. Keep in mind that the prices are going to be 2-3x what we would pay in the states.....

    August 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • SM

      I agree. Anahuacalli is a terrific Mexican restaurant in Paris. It's only open for dinner. The lady owner (sorry, I don't recall her name) and her husband, the chef I believe, are very nice. He is from Mexico, I think. Sorry about the lack of complete facts. We were in France for 3 weeks and were craving Mexican. I found this spot in Fodors. Very nice especially being without it for so long. The margaritas were very good. To be honest, we ate there twice and would go back in a heartbeat!

      August 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  6. Jack Aubrey

    San Diego native living in Paris for 3.5 years. The first thing I do when I travel back to CA is go for mexican food. Paris has a couple of places (not Indiana!), but are really mediocre and about 3x the price of good mexican food in SD. The best salsa and chips I've found are 'leader price' brand at Franprix. Biarritz has a good mexican place called 'Taco'Mex'. Nothing wrong with a hankering for good old mexican food, even while living in Paris. Funny things is that many French people consider mexican food very heavy and greasy, but think nothing of shoveling down an entrecote smothered with butter and a plie of frites. Also, CNN must have a Paris fetish, they seem to have a disproportionately high number of Paris featues....

    August 31, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  7. RC

    I was raised in California and Mexican food was a major part of my diet. I have lived in Paris for almost 6 years and think that Anahuacalli (75005) is awesome! They make their own tortillas and the Margaritas are made with fresh juice – as they should be. The service is so warm and friendly and everything I have ever tasted from the menu has been excellent. Anyone who claims there is no authentic Mexican food in Paris has not looked too far.

    August 31, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  8. boocat

    When I spent a week in Paris, I did not miss anything that came from the U.S. French cuisine is the best....that's why it's called "cuisine."

    August 31, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  9. T

    I'm surprised at the "arguments" over where better, more authentic Mexican food is. You're all aware that Mexico is a fairly large country, aren't you? Perhaps, just maybe they make things differently in the Baja vs. Cozumel vs. Mexico City. For crying out loud, learn something about the food. The truth is probably many of the places listed are authentic, but from a certain region of Mexico. Read some Rick Bayless or Diane Kennedy.

    Having said that, I usually crave a burger when I've gone on vacation out of the country for a vacation. I've never lived outside the country, but when I'm out of the country my goal is to experience as much of the country's culture and food as possible so I avoid American things at all costs.

    August 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  10. Tony

    Since Mexicans are taking over this country; I'm sure there is decent Mexican food around every corner.

    August 31, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  11. JJ

    Made an effort to be reserved and respectful of Europeans and their culture while visiting there. Didn't matter. They still went out of their way to treat Americans badly. French worst of all. I can't believe so many of our soldiers perished liberating the place. You can have it.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      I make it a point not to let the locals know I'm American when abroad. We've seriously damaged our image. There's a definite body language change when they find out.

      August 31, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • boocat

      I spent a week in Paris. The people we met were wonderful. Americans can be rude and crude. Maybe you or your friends or whatever behaved like a pack of chimps. The French won't tolerate it and neither would I.

      August 31, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Please go change your adult diaper.If I am treated rudely overseas{not by my own actions} I simply will not return to the establishment.It's the Golden Rule around the world.

        August 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  12. Kristin

    Being from San Diego, I totally understand the mexican food. Now that I live Norway, I am always craving a shredded beef burrito or just a simple quesadilla thats done right. Unfortunately, its not too easy to bring these back with me. Thankfully most American food that I once missed when I first moved here has at least come to Oslo: Rice Krispies (for the treats of course), Jif and Skippy smooth or crunchy pb, Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting, Arizona Ice Tea, just about all the popular American candy (there is even a store that only sells American candy, even the stuff that you cant find in the stores in the States anymore like Pixie Stixs and Now and Laters), Doritos, Jelly Bellies, Dr. Pepper. The only thing I havent been able to find in Oslo that I crave a lot is dill pickles. It makes for a heavy suit case, but I always stock up on them when I visit.

    August 31, 2010 at 3:00 am |
    • karenlac

      Oh yes the pickles....I always get to eat the pickles that come with the plate as my Dutch husband cannot stand them. When I told him that people actually love and buy gigantic pickles to munch on as snacks at amusement parks and state fairs, you should've seem his face!

      Karen

      http://karenlac.wordpress.com

      August 31, 2010 at 9:22 am |
      • Mike M

        Iced Tea! I could never find the store-bought stuff with Lemon in it. It was always green tea or Peach flavored.
        We could make it at home, but they still didn't have the Lipton tea bags that you would use in the US, so it never tasted right.

        August 31, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  13. Tom

    Seems many folks are missing the point here- it's when LIVING abroad- not visiting! ie EVERYDAY of your LIFE– so anyone here saying how stupid he is, just shut up and understand he comes back to the US to *visit*.

    As for me, I live in the UK and my main things are:

    1. American Bacon– it is cured differently and so much better – think "Canadian Bacon" for the the UK
    2. Tex-Mex - lord the British don't know spice and heat, we have some wanna-be Chipotle, but not real Tex-Mex
    3. Lima Beans – odd i know, but you can't get them here.
    4. Good chunky Peanut Butter- they have PB here but it's bad
    5. Wings! – you can find them here, but it's 1 or 2 flavors and they aren't good! (Hello BWW's & WingStop)

    There are a few others, but those are the things I'm looking forward to when I visit this November.

    August 31, 2010 at 2:47 am |
  14. Dan

    I miss Tex-Mex and Mexican food when I leave Texas. Though, I also get cravings for mole enchiladas, which are hard to find even in Austin, but easy to find in San Antonio. I would also miss the annual Hatch pepper events, if I went to state or country without them. Central Market in Texas has Hatch peppers featured in almost everything during season. I miss spicy food in general when I'm in Europe. Growing up in Southeast Texas, it was a mix of Mexican and Cajun foods, which are both spicy.

    August 31, 2010 at 1:27 am |
  15. ParisStinks

    The only things I missed in Paris were Americans. The food was good, but it was tainted by the incredibly large population of assholes. Combine that with fact that a 20 oz beer is like 18 USD, and there really just isn't a reason to go. Crepes are only so good, and seeing the art is like visiting an amusement park that hasn't come out with any new rides in 500 years. Overrated.

    August 31, 2010 at 12:28 am |
    • chwingnut

      I am sorry you had such a bad time but I completely disagree. After staying there for a month for a college course most people I met were very nice, they would talk to you and treat you great. The food prices if you cook for yourself is a heck of a lot cheaper than here. Not to mention wine was cheaper than a bottle of water.

      August 31, 2010 at 12:58 am |
    • Tim

      I've been here in Paris for one full day now. I came with a lot of stereotypes, but since I've been here I've been really impressed with the people. Maybe I had really low expectations, but nonetheless I've been really trying to learn and practice the French language, and I think that really opens up the doors. I cringe when I see ignorant people from the United States with the first thing coming out of their mouth being, "English!!" That's rude.

      August 31, 2010 at 2:24 am |
      • Tony

        B

        August 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  16. Wzrd1

    I could care less. When traveling abroad, the idea is to experience the ENTIRE experience. Not try a little and a lot of home. Otherwise, why bother or spend the extra to go?
    So, when in Rome, go to the best 0rgies!
    Oops, wrong millenia...

    August 31, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  17. elena

    chinese food is awful in europe, and china, for that matter.

    August 31, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  18. Celine

    True Mexican food is hard to find in Paris and ingredients to make mexican food even harder...try to make tamales in Paris, good luck!
    Paris has a good selection of Indian restaurants, you have to go in a specific area of the city where you have Indian immigrants and you can find a pretty good selection...
    French cuisine is not spicy, spicy food (the way American or Indian people sees it) is therefore not too popular.
    The reason why burgers are less juicy in France is because we tend to use ground beef that contains less fat, if you good to a decent supermarket in france you will find ground beef that contains 5% or 10% fat. The leaner the burger the dryer it gets...

    August 31, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • chwingnut

      I couldn't believe how hard and how much Mexican food supplies were after all the incredible veggies that were there for so cheap.

      August 31, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  19. Blessed Geek

    Do you know that you cannot find root beer, nachos tortilla chips, roast duck or pepperjack cheese in Israel?
    Tried to look for durians but the Israeli customs do not allow durians into the country. Pineapples were a rarity. Could not find any anchovies.

    Blueberry pies and blueberry cheese cakes? The rare moments when you do find blueberries, they are imported frozen from Russia. Gotta be careful when you open the bag because of all the juice that had been squeezed out of the berries en transit. Cranberry for your Thanksgiving turkey? Dream on.

    Yes, they have Russian ramen noodles, do you know that? Lots of them. Plus all the varieties of olives and the hottest chillies money can buy. And, of course, the quintessential falafel.

    You will NEVER find a place on this planet where they DON'T have ramen noodles.

    BTW you cannot find duct tape in Israel.

    August 30, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  20. ken

    Indeed one could make the absolute BEST food in world in Paris if one simply gos to the wonderful food markets there and buys the ingredients. besides that, for those too challenged to actually cook a meal at home, Paris is the BEST place on the planet for food and restaurants. Most top restaurants there simply avoid all the "foams" popular in Spain and the USA , and the mass overuse of Soy ,wheat and Corn products in the USA to "fill in" the bulk required to make Americans satisfied(and fat).

    August 30, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  21. Michael

    I've been living in France for 6 years. Marshmallows? Got them. Mexican food? Make it. Really great burgers? All over the place. They aren't 2 lb. burgers, but who needs that? For a "chef" this guy isn't very resourceful. There isn't anything on his list he couldn't buy or make himself in Paris.

    August 30, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
    • Parisienne

      You can't make good Mexican without the right ingredients, and in Paris you simply can't get all of them. Marshmallows and cooking spray are available, though maybe not in the particular brand or variety he likes...same with corn tortillas. Sometimes it's just cheaper and easier to bring over things with the specific taste and texture you want. I've been here for 5 years and miss Mexican food too!

      August 31, 2010 at 1:59 am |
    • colin in Florida

      Uhh ... he a pastry chef, you know: Cakes, pastries, tarts, oies, desserts, etc. Very different from savory cooking. The marshmallows puzzle me, as I make marshmallows. Mint marshmallows (great in hot chocolate), pina colada marshmallows, ...

      August 31, 2010 at 9:46 am |
      • Mike M

        You can make Mexican at home, but only if you imported the refried beans, salsa, and seasoning packets (those are easy to stuff in a carry-on.) The seasonings they sell there are not good. Too much cinnamon.
        Although, lately we have been able to find Old El Paso. It'll do in-between trips to the States.

        August 31, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  22. Karla

    I live in San Diego and there are very good mexican restaurants here.. take it from a native mexican.
    But seriously when I lived in Spain I used to DREAM about jalapeños and spicy stuff. Even when I went to Mexican restaurants there.. the flavor was just not right. Probably right ingredients but the produce is simply not the same, plus they were selling Tex-mex as mexican.. no good. My enchiladas, taquitos, sopes, chilaquiles, quesadillas, chiles rellenos.. omg there is no place like home! lol

    August 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • Ruben

      Oh yes! few things compare with the good mexican edible creations...

      September 1, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  23. Vidas

    I am from Europe and travel to Europe frequently. In Europe I miss good steak and good choice of beers/ales(!) Twenty years ago you would laugh at the beer part but microbreweries changed it all. You cannot find so many beers on tap in any country (Germany, Belgium, Czech R, UK, Lithuania etc.) as in the US.

    August 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Mike M

      Vidas is right!! The beer selection leaves a LOT to be desired. I didn't live in PAris, but in nearby, and any pub or restaurant only had local beers on tap, and few bottled selections – usually Corona of all things! I couldn't get German, Dutch or Belgian beer in France, unless I went to the supermarket. I knew of the ONE place that had Guinness on tap.
      I couldn't wait to get back to the States and have a beer menu!

      August 31, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  24. karenlac

    I would miss biscuits and cupcakes.

    Karen

    http://karenlac.wordpress.com

    August 30, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • Davido

      I can't stand it when people use blogs to promote themselves and/or their own blogs, but here is an example of an actually relevant link. Who'd'a thought?

      August 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  25. Marla

    I noticed all of the talk about Mexican food in California. I recently moved to California from San Antonio, Texas.
    The BEST Mexican food is in San Antonio. The first time that I ordered a taco here in Ca and got something with cabbage on it, I nearly gagged. I love the real Tex-Mex with the meaty chili sauce and lots of cheese!

    August 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Ric

    I've been living for 3 years in Italy and the first thing I do when I go back home is..go straight to a taco truck and pig out. So I can relate to him about missing Mexican food overseas.

    August 30, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • Karla

      go straight to a taco truck and pig out" ... hahahha funny!

      August 30, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  27. morti

    southern food!- cornbread, okra, turnips, SWEET TEA. pot roast! summer peaches.

    August 30, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  28. estrella123

    WHAT? No chunky peanut butter in Paris? Well, I'm not going! Well - if they have peanuts, I suppose I could make my own. The rest of his stuff? Nah, I could do without.

    August 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  29. Rachel

    When I lived in Paris, I missed NOTHING American. Honestly, Americans can learn a lot from Europeans about food.

    August 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  30. Spain

    I lived in Spain for a few months and while there I ate at the best Mexican food restaurants I have ever been to. That's saying a lot since I grew up in south Texas. It wasn't what you would call "tex-mex" but actual authentic Mexican food. Fantastic. I miss it now that I am home.

    August 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Davido

      I can't help but comment on this–months in Spain, and you're raving about the Mexican food? Somethin' just don't seem quite right about this.

      August 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
      • tony

        hey genius, the article is about mexican food. so of course if he lived in spain and ate good mexican food there then he is commenting on such...what is the problem? youre an idiot! that is the problem!

        September 1, 2010 at 9:29 am |
    • Julie Boston

      I have had great Indian food in Paris!

      August 31, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  31. julie

    I have been to France numerous times and the food is so good, I hardly crave anything. Maybe Indian food because of the spices, but other than that, I am pretty satisfied with the foie gras, the duck confit etc. Oh, and I ususally crave homemade popcorn made on the stove with oil (none of that microwave crap!)

    August 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  32. julian

    aimee, ketchup is a condiment for children. also, why would you ever eat at a mcdonald's in europe?

    August 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Brandie

      Because Julian, if you actually live in Europe and aren't just visiting, you get a little sick of eating European food all the time. That would be like me asking you why would you go to an Italian restaurant because you live in the States. And as anyone that has ever been to a European McDonald's can tell you, it's not anything like McDonald's in the States. I went to one in Austria once where we sat next to the fireplace in a comfy leather sofa!

      August 31, 2010 at 2:37 am |
    • amy

      Why would you ever eat at McDonald's in the states?

      August 31, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  33. TommyA

    Living here in Japan now, just started my 5th year, there is a LOT of food I miss. Important background information: I am from Southern California.

    1. Mexican food: They have it, but it is fake, not Mexican food, tasteless, NO CHEESE, corn finds its way into it somewhere it doesn't belong, mayo replaces sour cream, and mention the words Mexican food, and someone will shout TACOS, and the 2 Spanish words they know. Usually their favorite restaurant is a combination of those 2 words....

    2. Multiple flavors of cheesecake: Pretty much only one kind of cheesecake readily available. I lived in Nagoya for 3 years, in the Tokyo/Yokohama area for one, and still have only had ONE kind of cheesecake.

    3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Japan doesn't like things TOO sweet, and bitter chocolate is ABUNDANT! Some American chocolate candy sneaks their way into stores, but not Reese's...

    4. Italian (Americanized) food: Japan does Japanese-Italian food. It is WAY too bland for me! I miss the mom and pop shops in LA, heck, even Olive Garden! Everything here finds Japanese staple seafood (which I am allergic to...), lacks cheese, and the pasta is a little hard for my liking...

    5.Pizza: Yeah it is Italian, but this is huge. Japanese pizza is bad. For many reasons. Expensive, corn, mayo, random animals from the sea, lack of anything similar to American pizza and the sauce doesn't just quite taste right. There are 2 good places for pizza that I have had in my time here: COSTCO (yeah, THAT COSTCO!) and Pizza Salvatore. Luckily both are pretty close to my office!

    August 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  34. JMG

    Never mind, my bad, I thought this was about Paris Hilton.

    August 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • Dave

      I'm sure Paris is well-feared in Paris.

      August 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  35. John

    Far more to miss when you somewhere like India. No beef!

    August 30, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Never thought of that. Good point/bummer.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  36. Yum

    There is a "tex-mex" bar Indiana (no kidding) around Monmartr in Paris. They serve nachos with salsa... American beer is in category of imported. I did not go inside. Ha-Ha

    August 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Gina

      I ate at Indiana's while in Paris but I wouldn't call it tex-mex by any means. Just a typical American-style restaurant with a variety of fried foods and sandwiches. They did have an outstanding veggie burger there but it wasn't like an American veggie burger. It was more of a veggies-mashed-into-a-patty-then-fried sandwich. But delicious. I agree with this chef about the lack of Mexican. The first thing we did when we came back from Paris in June was to eat Mexican. We missed beans and rice and tortillas so much while abroad. We only noticed one real Mexican restaurant (I think it was called Chihuahua's) while walking all over Paris. It was in the Bastille area. Surely there must be a few more mexican-style restaurants but we never saw any others except that one. Someone should open a few up in Paris.

      August 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Mike M

      I was also going to suggest Indiana – next to Gare du Nord. It's not good Mexican, but when its been a while, it was nice to get something Mexican-ish. There burger was OK too.
      But any steak or burger in Europe is not going to compare to US beef. I would make my own steaks at home, since I could get Argentinian beef at the supermarket. But to get it at a restaurant is just not worth it. There is a reason they ask what kind of sauce you want on your steak – to give it flavor!

      August 31, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  37. LMAO

    Thank you MARK. My co-worker and I just laughed really hard. Are you insane?

    Additionally, I've never 'missed' any foods while traveling abroad, but if I was gone for a long time, I can't say I wouldn't start to get a little nostalgic for a taco salad from Wendy's.

    August 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  38. CajunB

    Whenever I travel anywhere outside of the state of Louisiana, I have to bring a can of Tony Chachere's seasoning. No matter how bland the food, sprinkle some Tony's on it and it's edible. Also salt meat, it's salted pork used in many cajun dishes. I can never find it in other places, they only have pickled pork, and it taste so different.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • Marileena

      We use that on everything and we're from Northern Ontario. Wouldn't be without it....

      August 30, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Mary

      As an American, and Cajun as well, I always bring back Tony's with me and have gotten all my spanish friends and family hooked on it too. Double stuff Oreos and strawberry Twizzlers are the other things I have to stuff in my suitcase. Finally we can buy chocolate chip cookie mix and mac and cheese so that's less I have to bring!

      August 31, 2010 at 2:15 am |
      • Tony

        Twizzlers is what is causing our children to develope diabetes at a young age. Fun freindly candy packed with mono,bi and try-glycerides which remain in the blood stream. Oh and dont forget that its pure corn syrup..

        August 31, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  39. IntuitiveCoach

    I can totally relate to David! Whenever we return from our travels to anywhere we beeline it for Mexican food. There's something about the way it's made here in San Diego that no one else seems to be able to replicate. The weird thing is that Mexican food is the first request from almost every single houseguest visiting from anywhere else!

    August 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
    • Yum

      Nay, I always go to seafood restaurant in Pardise Piont Resort in Mission Bay.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • spockmonster

      Floridahas a hard time with Mexican food, too. I am originally from Iowa, and Iowa has great, authentic mexican restaurants run by immigrant families. Des Moines IA has Plaza Mexico and countless other great small family-owned. Iowa may not have much, but it has great mexican food. And corn fed beef.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • anon

      Nothing in the world compares to the Mexican food found in San Diego. Being a San Diego native, but living in both Central and Northern CA, it is not the same. Sometihng happens around LA where beans and rice are introduced into the burritos and the amount and quality of meat diminishes. Whenever I arrived back in San Diego getting Mexican food from my favorite taco shop is always the first stop.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
      • Sean

        I have to agree. I have travelled all over the US and the world, and the best Mexican food (in the American tradition) is in San Diego. One of my favorite all time places to eat was Casa de Pico in old town. I know it has since moved locations but man it was good.

        August 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
    • Hoog

      I was really disappointed by the Mexican food in San Diego. I've eaten much better stuff in Chicago, where I'm from. Granted, I only went to about 5 places, but they were rated well.

      I'll gladly take some advice where to eat, as I plan on going back there in Dec.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
      • Adam

        In my travels around the US, the best mexican food is to be found at places that aren't likely to be rated... roadside trucks, sketchy walkup windows and sidewalk vendors. Look for a place that serves lengua and doesn't pile cheese on everything.

        August 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
      • Pete in San Diego

        You can't have GREAT Mexican food at a place that's RATED by some magazine or newspaper. You have to go out and look for it and decide which type is best for YOU, not what some over payed, self righteous writer is putting down on ink. I bet you only watch movies that are highly rated as well! Oh well, maybe you will learn from this and start experimenting on your own and find what YOU like. BTW, I am Mexican and have been eating Mexican food all my life from California to Texas. It's all different and it's all good!

        August 31, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • TommyA

      I was born and raised in LA county (east, away from the city) and lived in Orange Country (Irvine) before moving to Japan. I always heard of how great San Diego's Mexican food was, but I personally felt, it was on the same level of places I went to in LA, and sometimes OC. They are both otherworldly good, and I miss them way toooooo much!

      Luckily, this time next week, I will be catching a train with my girlfriend to head back home for a week, and indulge in MANY foods I miss, Mexican being the first!

      August 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • Robert E Harris

      Best mexican food in San Diego is Las Quattro Milpas in the Barrio section underneath the Coronado bridge (San Diego side on Logan Street). This family run business has been in business (I believe in the sam location) for more than 80 years! The place looks like a dive but the line out the door and down the street everyday at lunch belies what the food inside. It's definately a no frills place from the decor to the lack of condiments and salsas found at your local chains but...every tortilla, flour or corn, is made by hand. I watched the ladies cut the corn from the cob to make the corn tortillas and turn each flour tortilla on the stove by finger. But my favorite is the Carnitas Burritoe with a bowl of rice and beans. Las Quattro Milpas is your jewel San Diego – I no longer live there but anytime I can find an excuse to get back there, I make a beeline.

      August 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
      • kurt

        Miguel's in Point Loma or Antonio's in dountown SD

        August 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • CH

      I've lived in San Diego for 11 years, and I'd say the mexican food is better in Tucson, AZ. The style is different. It's sonoran, which is more cheese and refried beans. San Diego has a baja influence.

      August 31, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  40. Yum

    The food in France is great! I also had a very juicy and delicious burger in Marriott hotel in Toulouse

    August 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Rick T

      I don't think you can call the food at the Marriott "french"

      August 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
      • Yum

        That's because there is a French restaurant in the lobby of Marriott. I am talking about Marriott in France. Duh

        August 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • Taxie

      What I think Rick was trying to say is that it doesn't matter whether you were France or not, you were still in a Marriott and Marriott serves "Marriott food"–which is NOT the French food we all think of.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Know where the food is NOT great? South Korea. The only thing I liked there was a basic "chicken on a stick". Basically, skewered grilled chicken marinated in barbecue sauce.

      August 31, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  41. Kim

    Agree about the burgers. Here they're cooked TO DEATH and they're all highly seasoned (which I do NOT care for at all!)...plus they typically come with a fried egg on top (as do most sandwiches).
    Also agree about the Mexican. We have Mexican restaurants and they might have a couple of decent options on the menu but since Argentines don't really care for spicy foods, you just can't get authentic Mexican here.
    I have an ever expanding list of things I want to eat when we travel back to the U.S. next year AND a list of things to bring back with me. This week a friend is traveling from the U.S. and bringing me craisins, Ranch dressing mixes, dark cocoa powder and a can of cranberry sauce.
    Foods I miss most: American style pizza, southern fried chicken, Mexican, Thai, Indian, and Chinese. And any dessert that does NOT include dulce de leche. Nothing against the sweet, caramel like spread but IT IS ON EVERYTHING... every pastry, every pie, every cake...you'd be hard pressed to find a dessert without it - even fruity ones seem to include it.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • Julie Boston

      I have had great Indian food in Paris.

      August 31, 2010 at 2:02 am |
    • Tim

      I just ate a very delicious burger in Paris at a pub in Plessis de Robinson. I had it cooked medium and it had a fried egg on top. Delicioso!

      August 31, 2010 at 2:17 am |
    • colin in Florida

      Had an uncle who spent years in living in Southern Mexico. When he came back to the states, he craved things with texture. Most Mexican food is fairly easy to eat, without the texture of a steak, for example.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  42. Amie

    1. Chiaro's Pizza – Green Lane, PA
    2. Philadelphia Soft Pretzels (not the crappy ones they're selling at the airport these days)
    3. American ketchup (the stuff at the European McDonald's tastes funny)
    4. Rubio's fish tacos
    5. Chipotle steak burrito

    August 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Rick T

      yay Chipolte! I eat there way too much.And I know what you mean with the ketchup. I don't think I ever ordered anything in europe that I needed ketchup for, but I ate at a burger king in Ecuador and the ketchup was super sweet.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Kristen

      Chiaro's Pizza is the BEST!

      August 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • lighthouseboy

      went I visit my friends in San Diego, I have two wishes: shrimp tacos @ Rubios and burger from In~n~Out!

      August 30, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  43. Alan

    I could absolutely live without any of his five things.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Duncan Holmes

      What a strange assortment of icky stuff. Don't bring anything back. Savor Paris!

      August 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Lina

      Living in Paris for almost 7 years, I still miss lots of stuff. The food here is fantastic but like he says, I miss good Mexican food! Salsa, guacamole, black beans.... Being from Texas I also miss Texadelphia....yum!!

      I bring back tortillas, black beans and jello because if David's responsible for rice krispy treats here....I'm responsible for the infamous jello shot!!! The French far and wide have now had lemon/vodka lemon shots, watermelon/coconut rum, grape/vodka..I make them all!

      August 31, 2010 at 2:42 am |
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