(Travel + Leisure) Robert Flicker recently experienced a conversion—of the tortilla-wrapped variety. “I’d been a believer that a truly great taco must be served in a dive and consist of chicken, beef, or pork,” says the Nevada communications executive.
But the taco appetizer at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur—with tuna tartare, ponzu, serrano peppers, and an avocado cream—changed his mind. “It elevated the taco,” he praises, “into the realm of fine-dining legitimacy.”
For comfort-foodies who embrace the nuances of grass-fed burgers and artisan donuts, the taco is finding a new picante status. Even high-end gourmands are on board: chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s award-laden Noma recently tweeted his enthusiasm for the distinctly non-high-end, Queens-based Tacos Morelos.
When we looked around the nation for the best tacos, we focused primarily on taquerias where the hand-held delicacy gets top billing—and we still found more style and variety than could fit in any one Tuesday.
This is the fourteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a semi-regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
I go to Las Vegas for the food and booze. Yes, I live in New York, one of the greatest dining and drinking cities on the planet, but there's something about the unapologetic bombast of Sin City that just stirs my soul.
I've been to Vegas an awful lot over the past 15 years, and I don't gamble with my dining dollars. Neither should you. Here are seven sure bets I've made time and time again, and I hope they'll pay off for you, too.
1. The Peppermill
Alex Atala is a punk rock fan with tattoos decorating both arms, and he runs his kitchen like a monastery.
“You won’t hear shouting. People are very concentrated,” he said as he welcomed us into his Sao Paulo restaurant D.O.M.
Atala has built D.O.M into Latin America’s top restaurant by featuring native ingredients in meticulously created dishes that even include insects. Recently, it was ranked sixth in the world on the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
For most of the past decade, I was on the road. I was a travel writer, working primarily for the New York Times (where I was the Frugal Traveler), and also for several other publications, including Saveur and Afar magazines. As I ranged from Buenos Aires to Gdansk to Chongqing, I was so hungry for the experience of new, great food that I quickly realized I couldn't just return to my nominal home in Brooklyn, without bringing back a taste of my adventures.
Flouting U.S. Customs regulations (or, really, just not bothering to find out what they might be) I sought out these five essential ingredients that travel well, last long and offer up pungent memories of far-flung lands.
Five Essential Foods to "Smuggle" Home: Matt Gross
World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain is the host of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," CNN's new showcase for coverage of food and travel. The series is shot entirely on location. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" premieres Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET
For renowned chef and author Anthony Bourdain, travel isn’t about taking a vacation or following a tour guide; it’s all about discovery. That’s exactly what he's doing on his new show "Parts Unknown," where he sets out to experience all the culture and cuisine the world has to offer.
Shellfish, displayed on ice in wire baskets, are the main attraction at Seattle’s Walrus & Carpenter, where the shucking of Pacific oysters is itself a work of art.
Such dedication to the finest local ingredients unites the best seafood restaurants across the globe, where what’s fresh is what’s for dinner. From spaghetti with sea urchin on the Amalfi Coast to crabmeat roasted over a fire in a coconut husk on the Thai island of Koh Samui, we hauled in a mouthwatering variety of fish as part of Travel + Leisure’s 100 Places to Eat Like a Local.
In a cozy bakery in Boston’s South End, where sticky buns drip with caramel pecans and donuts are sold out by noon, a cheeky sign above the register proclaims: “Make life sweeter - eat dessert first.”
There’s no arguing with pastry chef Joanne Chang, whose Flour bakery sees crowds lining up as early as 7 a.m. for her signature treats. Indeed, the best places for dessert inspire you to throw out all the rules—eat with moderation, save the best for last—and give in to sugary bliss, no matter what the time of day.
Ah, fermentation. And distilling.
Where would the world be without them? Yes, the Irish might have taken over the world had God not invented whisky, but what about rum, gin, vodka, beer and wine?
Americans who celebrate on New Year's Eve with a bottle of champagne, party hats and a kiss at midnight have an important lesson to learn from the rest of the world (and certain regions of this country): The arrival of the new year is meant for feasting.
As the new year arrives around the globe, special cakes and breads abound, as do long noodles (representing long life), field peas (representing coins), herring (representing abundance) and pigs (representing good luck). The particulars vary, but the general theme is the same: to sit down and share a meal with family and friends to usher in a year of prosperity.
Here are some of the common traditions around the world and a few hints about where to partake in them: