May 21st, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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(Travel + Leisure) You’re not going to say exactly what happened last night, but a few drinks may have been consumed. This morning, all you can think about is waffles and eggs Benedict and king crab legs…ooh and maybe a make-your-own-sundae bar. They’re waiting for you at the all-you-can-eat buffet—that great smorgasbord pioneered, naturally, in Sin City.

The western-themed El Rancho Vegas introduced a gastronomic free-for-all in 1941, rolling out a $1 chuckwagon designed to keep high rollers full and gambling into the wee hours of the morning. Almost 75 years later, the indulgence has spread across America. And why not? Gluttony is at its best at brunch, when you and your fellow travelers can while away the day recapping your exploits over a steady procession of mouthwatering dishes.

The restaurants we’re spotlighting prove that buffet no longer has to mean sacrificing quality for quantity. For example, Orchids Halekulani plays to Hawaii’s strengths with suckling pig and lomi-lomi salmon at a buffet that also includes universal favorites like made-to-order omelettes.

So grab a tray: we’ve got the meal to match your craving, whether it’s Cuban-style suckling pig and taco bars poolside in Miami, nouveau tapas whimsy in L.A., or jazz-fueled Creole in New Orleans.
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This hippo-like critter can help you be less lonely
May 16th, 2014
12:45 AM ET
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Talk about creative coping mechanisms for being alone - from the blogger who photographs selfies with his imaginary girlfriend to the company that takes your stuffed animals on vacation without you, Japan appears to be cornering the market on accommodating solo travelers.

You can now add the "anti-loneliness" Moomin House Cafe to the menagerie of "wait, what?" strokes of Japanese brilliance.
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Filed under: Japan • Restaurant News • Restaurants • Solo dining • Theme • Travel • Weird News


May 12th, 2014
04:00 PM ET
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The last operating commuter trains in America allowing alcohol, known as 'bar cars,' are finally taken out of service.

Via WCBS
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Filed under: Bars • Sip • Train • Travel


May 1st, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Mexico City, Mexico, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, May 4, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Anthony Bourdain pays a neighborly visit to the United States' "brother from another mother," the politically complex nation of Mexico, and finds an equally complex type of food.

"I think most American’s view of Mexican food is like beans, fried tortilla, melted cheese and some chicken," Bourdain says.

In Oaxaca, Bourdain's palate is taken back to pre-Hispanic times, with labor-intensive moles and homemade masa. In Mexico City, he finds a new generation of chefs mixing those ancient Aztec traditions with the avant-garde. And in both places, there is many a shot of mezcal, Mexico's smoky, brash spirit of the agave plant.

Wash down the grit of the episode with an ice-cold michelada – a Mexican beer cocktail - from Mexico City-born chef Pati Jinich.
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International airport food gets an upgrade
April 27th, 2014
10:45 PM ET
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From boxed sandwiches and salads in plastic tubs to fine dining the world's gastronomic masters are now using airports for their new restaurant openings.

Heston Blumenthal is the latest big name chef to open an air hub establishment. The Perfectionist's Café will open at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 on June 4. While Blumenthal is best known for molecular gastronomy, his new diner with a wood-fired oven makes it the first British airport kitchen with an open flame.
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Filed under: Airports • Travel


April 26th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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If the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival had a Mayor, Vance Vaucresson could be a serious contender.

Even when he's behind his family's sausage po-boy tent, tucked under a New Orleans Saints ball cap and wearing sunglasses, five minutes don't go by without someone stopping by to say hello to him.

"It's like a reunion around here," Vaucresson said between visits. "We're a family, all the vendors."

He shakes a lot of hands, and says a lot of hellos.

"He's just a super friendly, personable guy," festival food director Michelle Nugent said.

Besides Vaucresson's friendly disposition and sparkling blue eyes that make him political gold, he also has history on his side. His family has been a staple at the festival for 45 years.
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Filed under: Events • Jazz Fest • New Orleans • New Orleans • Regional Sandwiches • Sandwiches


April 23rd, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Lyon, France, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 27, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to get a bird's-eye view of the importance of the gastronomic traditions of Lyon, France, look no further than the primary school lunchroom in the suburb of Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu.

Sloppy Joes? Pas ici. Think pumpkin soup, chicken blanquette and fromage blanc, all crafted by head chef Marie, who personally comes to the table to serve each of the more than 300 children.

Chef Daniel Boulud grew up on a farm here, attended school here, started washing dishes here - his love of food began here. Now, he's a culinary luminary in his own right, with an eponymous Michelin three-star restaurant, Daniel, in New York City and a growing family of award-winning restaurants around the world.

In the April 27 episode of "Parts Unknown," Anthony Bourdain travels to the gastronomic capital with Boulud to dig up the roots of the region's longstanding tradition of world-renowned chefs.

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Obama arrives in Tokyo, gets down to fishy business
April 23rd, 2014
11:00 AM ET
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President Obama's first mission upon touching down in Tokyo: a fish expedition. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe joined Obama at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the three Michelin-starred restaurant made (even more) legendary by the 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."

Jiro Ono, the 86-year-old chef/owner, still presides over every bite of the set menu. Obama seemingly approved, telling the pool of reporters assembled outside: "That's some good sushi right there."

Japan's first state visit by an American president in decades comes as the United States works to reassure Abe and other Asian leaders that the U.S. remains committed to turning foreign policy focus on them. The weeklong tour will also take Obama to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

CNN's Dan Shapiro dined at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in 2012 and shared a dish-by-dish account of his extraordinary 39-minute, $375 dinner of a lifetime:
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Filed under: Asian • Cuisines • Japan • Japanese • President Obama • Sushi


April 16th, 2014
04:45 PM ET
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(Travel + Leisure) Dim sum calls for dumplings, and about 55,000 are sold annually at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. But not classics like shrimp-filled har gow. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski prefer their dumplings with guinea hen. “Dim sum service offers a slew of freedoms with our cooking,” explains Brioza, whose menu includes steak tartare in lettuce cups.

The pleasure of a dim sum meal also comes from the showmanship and ordering experience. At Seattle’s New Hong Kong, for example, carts glide past diners and attendants raise the lids off steamer baskets, bellowing out what’s inside, whether sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves or garlicky spareribs. It’s all washed down with generous cups of fragrant tea.

Read on for more of America’s best dim sum destinations, and share your favorites in the comments below.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Asian • Chinese • Restaurants • Travel


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