French Meatloaf

I have always liked Pâté. As a Jewish boy in Pittsburgh I discovered chopped liver which is really nothing more than liver Pâté but made with rendered chicken fat or schmaltz. In Europe I discovered terrine. People said it’s just another word for Pâté but no its not. Both are served cold or at room temperature but they are different.

Pâté is spreadable and usually spread on bread or crackers. Terrine is like cold meatloaf and can be eaten with a knife and fork. Both are usually served as appetizers but also found for lunch and as part of a dinner. It can be made from really anything and you can find vegetable terrines as well as meat varieties. One of my favorites.

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Terrine

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My Stupid Soup Rule

So for a long time I have held the position that soups and stews were only for the cold weather moments. I never had soup in the summer. The last time we were in Paris was the summer of 2009 and of course my wife, being smarter than me ordered the onion soup. All onion soup in France is French Onion Soup. I had a lovely shrimp and avocado dish but when I saw her Onion Soup I knew I had made a mistake.

Next time in France I will order the Onion Soup even if I am wearing shorts!

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Real Onion Soup

Pork Enchilada in Mole Sauce

There are many great restaurants in Cancún Mexico. However one stands out in my memory from my last visit and I can’t wait to return. Julia Mia not only has incredible food and service but they will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the restaurant in the heart of Cancún and return you safe and sound at the end of your feast.

This was a dish from one of The Prix Fixe menus. A fried pork enchilada in Mole sauce.

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Enchilada Mole at Julia Mia

Dessert at Julia Mia

Earlier this year I wrote about having dinner at Julia Mia Cancún which is an upscale authentic restaurant loved by locals. In the article I mentioned dessert but recently found this image of the table-side preparation. Can’t wait to revisit this place when we travel to Mexico next year.

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Dessert at Julia Mia

Julia Mia Cancún

Some friends of mine are visiting Cancún and I was excited to recommend a restaurant to them. I then realized that I have never written about this experience and it is truly one of the best places I have ever dined. Cancún has many great restaurants. Restaurante La Habichuela has wonderful and authentic Mexican cuisine. Trattoria Limoncello is a wonderful Italian restaurant overlooking the bay with great sunset views.

I asked our hotel concierge where to get the best authentic regional cuisine and he said you have to go downtown where the locals dine. He arranged for a free ride to and from the restaurant which is great because it is easy to get lost in downtown Cancún and hard to find parking. I believe we were the only Americans in the place but it didn’t matter. Everyone spoke flawless English. The facility was beautiful and elegant. Our waiter suggested we try either the meat or seafood sampling menu which featured seven signature dishes from the restaurant. This was the way to go because the menu was large and each dish sounded better than the next.

From the special cocktail made from mescal and papaya. Next they presented an edible version of the menu and then one amazing dish after another. The service was friendly and evenly paced from the first dish to the table side cherries jubilee at the end. The total cost was about $65 per person plus tip and after two hours of dining we were happy and enjoyed our chauffeured ride back to our beach hotel.

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Honey Can You Pick Up Some Cana?

I love going shopping in supermarkets in Mexico. It’s so similar and yet so different. You see different cuts of meat and different types of produce. Even the groceries are different and I have never seen so many different types of yogurt. I have never seen sugar cane available in a US Market, even in Florida. Maybe I just wasn’t looking.

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Cana

Cana

Yes Chicago Does Have a Chinatown!

We were in Berwyn Illinois this weekend to visit my daughter over Father’s Day weekend. They all decided to take me out for Father’s Day Dim Sum at a place called MingHin Cusine. I have enjoyed Dim Sum in many places including New York’s ChinaTown, Los Angeles,San Francisco but this place WAS the best.

The reason was they didn’t have the silly carts where the food is sometimes not real fresh. You order from a menu and they bring out each dish as it is done. Our local Pittsburgh restaurant, Sun Penang also does this but MingHin has a much bigger selection.. If you go, make a reservation like my brilliant daughter did,the wait was at least one hour.

I was also quite surprised at the size of the Chicago Chinatown which is easily as big as New York’s but not as grand as San Francisco. Here are some snaps from the area, I was too hungry to take food photos.

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Chicago's Chinatown

Chicago’s Chinatown