My favorite photo of this day trip. This made the painful day worth it.

Tanger Food Market, Morocco

We were spending a week in Spain and decided to break it up by doing a day trip to Morocco. Now we all know that visiting a country for a day and on a tour is already ambitious. But our expectations weren’t high and we were looking for an adventure.

An adventure we did get. Our guides rushed us through a food market where I was able to get some interesting shots, but the rest of the day was spent mostly on tourist traps (several online reviews warned of this) where you are locked in a room and sold things very aggressively. We were swarmed by vendors at every spot, and the Tanger residents weren’t exactly happy about the tourist population aiming cameras at their faces. Either way, I was happy to get some great photos of the day and to have made the most of that adventure. Continue reading

Kung Pao Chicken Wings - peanuts, house-made buttermilk ranch

Talde – Park Slope, Brooklyn

If you know me at all then you’d know that while I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, I am wired enough to recall the names of random shows and celebrities. So I can tell you that the chef at Talde was in Top Chef, though I can’t tell you what Top Chef is exactly, other than it’s a popular contest show about cooking. Plus Dale Talde is Filipino, so that immediately put Talde on the map for me as a restaurant I needed to try. The Filipino presence in Brooklyn is extremely lacking, so any attempt is worth my attention. Talde called itself an Asian-American Restaurant & Bar, and I hoped it wouldn’t be fusion-y. I hate that! :)

Fortunately the chef (recently named by Food & Wine as New York’s Best New Chef) did his homework enough to maintain an authentic Asian feel to his dishes without transforming it into the fusion-like mess that I hate, when a dish that is commonly served family style in large undecorated quantities suddenly becomes miniscule, pretty, but lost. I like my Asian food Asian, not French. Continue reading

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Seared Catfish Over Spaghetti

I love pasta with the simple flavors of olive oil and garlic, which was exactly what I did for this dish. I had been craving a light seafood pasta for a while and we had an extra fillet of catfish I intended to include in one evening’s paella, but it turned out to have too many toppings already. So I set it aside for another day. I wanted to make a quick dish with the catfish and decided on laying it over a bed of pasta.

I sauteed some garlic and added Salsa Amaya (you can replace this with bits of dried fish, sardines or anchovies in oil) and tossed it with the pasta and some chopped fresh parsley. The parsley adds a zest and great color to the pasta. I set the seared catfish (salted and cooked in oil and high heat for three minutes on each side) on top of the pasta. I served it with a slice of lemon for good measure. The wife loved the creation! Being able to make these dishes at home makes it incredibly hard to commit to going out for dinner. Continue reading

Paella at Playa Faro.

El Playa Faro Restaurant, Mijas Costas, Spain

We were going to ignore this restaurant by the highway during a trip to Andalucia last November. It was off-season, and if this place was popular in the summer it definitely did not look appealing in the dark, deserted on a highway roundabout. But I heard a lady take the time to thank our resort’s front desk for the suggestion one evening, so I kept it in mind. One night after driving back from Seville, we decided to give it ago and we were so pleased that we even went back a second time.

El Playa Faro is a quiet restaurant that is not flashy or touristy, but with offerings that were at par (if not better) than a lot of more popular places in Malaga area. Continue reading

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Faros, Park Slope, Brooklyn

Only by serendipity did we arrive at Faro, a Greek restaurant in our hood whose facade does not do its interior and food offerings any justice. We ignored it for this reason for many years, nudging each other when we passed by and saying that we ought to try it soon.

It was Christmas Eve and we wanted to be spontaneous (why is that so impossible in New York?), so we thought we’d walk into a Park Slope restaurant and even set our sights on one that recently opened and was impossible to get into. It was closed, of course, and after being rejected at the average but overly snooty Convivium once more, it started to rain. We were in front of Faros so in we went, where they accommodated us and sat us in the best seats right beside the fireplace. It was a perfect evening.

Grilled snapper

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