Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Spanish Picture Of A Truth

I know you're probably going to laugh at my stupidity, ignorance, or more accurately my naivety. Once again enjoying an evening of tapas in Madrid we stopped into a trendy outdoor place with misters cooling the hot dry air. The menu was colorful with many bright photos of food. I enjoy the picture menus in foreign countries because often you have no idea what an item is, and a picture can speak a thousand words or even more when your language skills are lacking.

OK, so we see some fresh guacamole and chips, everyone around us are speaking Spanish (in Texas 80% or more Spanish speakers are of Mexican descent) so it is only natural to not question the picture or the product.

But...but...almost butt...

You've got to be kidding!!!

Really??? The picture???? Where was that??? Kind of like when people look at my 16 year old picture of when I was hired at Delta that appears on  my ID. Then they start giggling before erupting in belly laughs. OK so some things have changed in 16 years. Back then I had a state of the art pager. A mobile phone was nearly the size of a shoe box. Computers, well computers were as big and slow as dinosaurs. Big slow ones...

Back to the the thought of that icky stuff which comes in cans and jars not resembling anything on the label comes to mind....the chips were good.

Yes, I should have known better being a seasoned road foodie, but it wasn't just me we were all fooled by the allure of the pretty little picture! It just wasn't right.

So next up was an order of the grilled veggies. Cute little shish-kabobs all lined up on a plate.....again this looked great in it's picture.  Well the picture was made somewhere in fantasy land. (kind of like a model or movie star, more paint than perfection. Hello Hollywood!!!

(Read in a sultry Catherine Hepborn voice please...) "Hummm, lovely. I'll take a dozen darling...Thank you..."

But the picture again was a bit deceptive....

OK, I'll give them the point that there was a semblance of a row. Not quite as neat but kind of lined up. Not marine precision. More like kindergarten water fountain lines, fluid in motion trying not to get out of synch but not really knowing how to synch.

Bottom line they tasted great! Marinated in some sort of teriyaki kind of Asian fusion Spanish Mexican.... No, they were yummy.

The final tasting was a shrimp dish. It was a little fishy but my cat Lizzy would have loved them. I ate them with mucho gusto. Meow!!!!

One more picture to add to this saga...this one was taken in a grocery store in Stkholm.

If you ask the store clerk where to find The liquid green slimy stuff resembling guacamole, and the yellow chemicals bearing the name of Cheese stuff he'll probably send you to the "Taco" isle.....Now I'm sure I would know better than to buy "taco" food in Sweden. Duh, the vikings got around but never to Texas,....I dont think. (reference the rune stones in Oklahoma) Stick to prickled/semi-rotten fish!!! They know how to do that!!!!

Bottom line a picture can often lie!!! Be smart!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Psaros's, at the base of the Acropolis

Athens, cradle of democracy and hence protest. Their voices are heard and sometimes felt. Probably nothing new about it at all. Let's just hope that peace and stability will rise to the top.
Truly amazing stuff. How the could build such things?

For the Delta crews in Athens, Psaro's Taverena is the favorite dinner spot. We say we are with Delta and they treat us like kings.  It really is a wonderful restaurant sitting on a steep incline right at the base of the Acropolis.  In the summer you can dine outside and look up at the lit up Parthenon and it simply takes your breath away.
Perhaps equally amazing is the Greek food served here. A fresh healthy salad. So typically Greek. No lettuce! That must be an addition we in America and Europe add to make it go farther.

Moussaka, a very traditional casserole much like lasagna but with eggplant. Even if you don't like eggplant you will like this one. I keep intending to make some at home.

A baked smoked cheese which is just so unbelievably good. "crack cheese".
(some of you will get it) "Once you taste it your addicted and can't stop."

Fried calamari, so light and tasty. Athens is on the sea so the sea food is always fresh and cooked to perfection. If you over cook it, like most sea food, it gets rubbery.  If you have tried calamari and don't like it more than likely it was over cooked.

Samples of other's dinners. There is a stuffed squid, shrimp, and???? The huge portions they serve makes sampling your friend's choices so easy.

Leg of lamb.

A pasta casserole. 

OK yes, after that we all needed to take a run in the original Olympic stadium. Too cool. 

Beautiful historic city, a great restaurant, nice people, good prices, and great food.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Keflavik Iceland and The Lobster House

My visit to Iceland was quick and certainly deserves another visit. It is definitely an interesting place.

A coastal country ripe with great fish. Dinner was The Lobster House sea food fantasy. But first about the flight, it was never really dark near the peak of summer this far north (I did this trip about a week after the summer solstice.) The arrival showed a very volcanic island with steaming vents and pools here and there.

It reminded me of New Mexico except north. One of my colleagues referenced it to lunar. Very different landscape.

There are lots of organized tours you can take but after being up all night I wasn't in the mood. So after a 3 or 4 hour nap I was forcing myself to awaken and see this place.

There were plenty of people enjoying the short sunny summer. I thought it was a bit too warm in the sun but it really wasn't so much the temperature it was just the intense sun that far north.

They have a lovely modern church fitting of this cute little town. I had to keep moving in order to meet up with the captain and a flight attendant or two. We had picked a lobby time for dinner and my walk was needing to be cut short.

The front desk recommended The Lobster House so off we went. It was a beautifully decorated colonial style home/building.

The food was fitting of the ambiance.

They gave us a free little raw bar sampler. It was excellent, just so fresh. I chose the sea food fantasy which was so good.

A wonderful looking salmon

Ok not huge portions but enough.
It was an interesting visit and a nice dinner!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cinque Terre

Five lovely villages connected by footpaths along the cliffs of the Mediterranean are a mecca for the photographers, hikers, foodies, sun bathers, and romantics. This is a popular tourist resort area located along Italy's north western coast.

Each little town has its own personality. Each one deserving of a visit. We chose to make the visits via a ferry boat. After an hour or so on the train we made our way to the ferry and purchased an all day ticket. I wish I had taken pictures of the loading and unloading process. Picture a 12 foot long gang plank with hand rails rising and falling a foot at a time. Meanwhile it is continually moving in and out as the waves toss the boat.

Lunch was more than wonderful. I had seafood pasta.

I didn't eat the more expensive lobster. Feast.

We headed up to the next city for beach time.

This is me centering myself with the cosmic universe. Well a flight attendant placed the rocks on me while I dozed.

Pretty stressful!!!! NOT.
The day was ending and time to eat again...

That was the best melon and  Prosciutto ham. Yummy!!!