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panda

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that being said, I still very much enjoy shaved chopped ribeye with Cooper white American cheese folded in with extra onions washed down with some root beer. mmm now I'm hungry
 
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Luftmensch

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Btw, does proper have the same connotation in British or Aussie english? #offtopic
🤔

Context is everything. I'd say it is a neutral word? That said, the existence of the word implies the existence of the 'improper'. As a result you can imbue the word 'improper' with negative connotations depending on how you choose the supporting words around it?

The main uses are:
  • Referencing some correct, authentic or genuine standard (e.g. the proper way to make a Caesar salad)
  • Regarding polite and respectable manners (e.g. the chef who taught me this Caesar salad recipe was a proper man)
  • More colloquially, used for emphasis (e.g. this Caesar salad is properly f*cked!)

So yeah... it can definitely have stank. I'd say when the discussion is about objective things, proper is neutral. There is a proper colour for a uniform (the right colour is true by designation). But there is no 'proper' colour for a casual t-shirt - that is subjective. To use the word proper in that context is opinionated. People who do that are not proper.
 

Luftmensch

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And as far as you eating better French meals in NYC and London, well, that's coming down to restaurant choice and perhaps your own preferences. You have to compare equal-level places.
NYC disappointed me. London met my expectations (not high).

I have zero doubts that NYC and London have a greater number of super-fancy-awesome restaurants than Australia. The thing is, like you say, I am not really a foodie. I cant compare the best of the best. I dont go to those places at home... and I dont go to those places overseas. I thought food at the 'ground-level' in NYC and London was on average... average... maybe even mediocre.

It probably isnt where you are... so much as what they make. The chowders and bisques in New England, USA were great. The mexican and tex-mex on the USA west coast is pretty great. At the right pubs in London (not massive chains), the lunches are hearty and good value - awesome beer selections!
 
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Keith Sinclair

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I've worked with French, German, & Swiss chefs. They were good learned from all of them.
Locals have gone on to become chefs & own their own places because of EU chefs that came here & married local girls.
 

cotedupy

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NYC disappointed me. London met my expectations (not high).

I have zero doubts that NYC and London have a greater number of super-fancy-awesome restaurants than Australia. The thing is, like you say, I am not really a foodie. I cant compare the best of the best. I dont go to those places at home... and I dont go to those places overseas. I thought food at the 'ground-level' in NYC and London was on average... average... maybe even mediocre.

It probably isnt where you are... so much as what they make. The chowders and bisques in New England, USA were great. The mexican and tex-mex on the USA west coast is pretty great. At the right pubs in London (not massive chains), the lunches are hearty and good value - awesome beer selections!
I think is probably a fair assessment/generalization of the London restaurant scene. Especially if your visit was more than about 10 years ago. It has changed quite a lot in the last 5 or 10 years, but you'd still want to have some local knowledge; your chances of wandering into somewhere excellent by chance are probably still lower than here.

I worked in the wine and restaurant industry in London for the last decade, so it wasn't much of an issue for me - a significant part of my job was knowing about, and going to, good/new/cool restaurants. But there's an awful lot of pretty average places in between the brilliant ones.

The reasons for this are obviously complex, and there are an awful lot more chains in the UK than Aus, but there are a few other surprising things that play into it, particularly with regard to London. There are a significant number of places that operate for either money laundering, or have investment for tax reasons. And really having any customers at all is something of an inconvenience in those situations.

See also - the sheer number of Bureau de Change there are in London, which are effectively just nice easy ways to clean money. Ditto betting shops. There are a lot of betting shops in the UK, and they make the majority of their money from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, or 'pokies'. Even though barely anybody uses them - we don't have the pokies culture in the UK that there is here.

In the UK you can 'gamble' a huge amount of money in almost no time on a FOBT. You can also be arrested by the police if they search you and you have more than a certain amount of cash on your person without a valid, legal reason for having it. But if you are, for instance, a drug dealer - you can walk into any high street betting shop with £5,000, and walk out 5 minutes later with £4,800 and a receipt saying you won it on a fixed odds betting terminal.

Or at least you could. I've just read that, after years of campaigning, the maximum stake on FOBTs was reduced last year from £100 to £2.

[End of my slight diversion about how to launder money in the UK!]
 

Luftmensch

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There are a significant number of places that operate for either money laundering, or have investment for tax reasons. And really having any customers at all is something of an inconvenience in those situations.

See also - the sheer number of Bureau de Change there are in London, which are effectively just nice easy ways to clean money. Ditto betting shops. There are a lot of betting shops in the UK, and they make the majority of their money from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, or 'pokies'. Even though barely anybody uses them - we don't have the pokies culture in the UK that there is here.
Holly crap! How well represented is this? That is insane... I would have thought: fast food; produce standards; acceptance of pre-processed foods. Money laundering wouldnt have remotely entered my mind!

Dont get me wrong... I dont mean to paint Australia as some sort of food mecca. Of course I am biased and am likely to have a palate and sensibility adjusted to where I live. I have been to London and New York several times now. They are both amazing cities and really fun to visit. Like you say... pick a regular restaurant at random and I suspect *I* would enjoy the food more at the one in Sydney/Melbourne. One thing is for sure, Australia is pretty expensive.

A big difference is Asian food. Australia is just so effortlessly and unpretentiously good at 'Asian' food. I say 'Asian' because it isnt... you go to a Malaysian restaurant if you want Malaysian, you go to a Vietnamese restaurant if you want Vietnameses... and so on. Pan-Asian restaurants havent been popular in Sydney and Melbourne since what? The 80's/90's?? I think this advantage is dissolving... major cities everywhere have advanced a lot in the past 30 years.

Indian... I reckon London probably has better ubiquitous indian than Sydney/Melbourne???

Especially if your visit was more than about 10 years ago.
🤔 I think a wee bit less... but around that yeah!




Spain though... F'me... I had a blast eating my way through there... They had a really relaxed culture. Now that I think about it... I really like places with zero pomp... just decent food at decent prices. People having a good time. But who doesnt!? One thing about Spain... they have a different service culture (no judgement). It seemed a bit more perfunctory. The norm seemed like one harried waiter managing 30(?) people instead of a more 'anglo' one waiter per 10. I felt customers were expected to assert their own needs rather than having staff fawn over their experience.
 

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Loves bakery here went under during pandemic their bread was bad typical white soft sliced loafs. They quality was even getting worse toward the end uneven slices on hamburger buns.
To me the best bread in Hawaii is from the
Bali bakery
I miss King's Bakery. Their sweet bread better when baked in the islands, their coffee shops a dependable hangout. I've accepted noshing on sourdough rounds from Safeway to tide me over until I return to NYC for better bread.
 

Keith Sinclair

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Wow your going back. Used to eat breakfast there the guy cooking it on the grill right in front of you. Macadamia cream pies.
 

MarcelNL

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Where are you shopping? We tend to go to Broodt (Eindhoven) and Bij Robert (Oisterwijk).
Robert in Oisterwijck and Pig and Rye in Tilburg it is for me!
 

Keith Sinclair

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Think Honolulu because of ethnic diversity has some pretty good eating places. Even hole in the wall with good ethnic food.
 

MarcelNL

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Tnx. Pig and Rye goes on the list for when I'm in the neighborhood :)
He started a few years ago as 'Sourdough'and then made very dense sourdough, nowadays his bread can compete with the Robert loaf, and I personally favor it! No additives other than water four and salt and sourdough mother.
FWIW he won best sourdough in 2018, somewhere (think almost every baker has such a prize, there must be millions of contests)
 

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Umm... it's quite widespread probably. The southern Italian Ndrangheta mafia is now easily the largest of Italy's three mafias, and I think the largest criminal organisation in the world, despite being still relatively unknown. It basically has no ground presence in the UK whatsoever (though strong ties to the Albanian gangs who control much of the UK and Europe's drug supply). But has been using the UK for some time to clean quite extraordinary amounts of money through seemingly innocuous businesses:



---

Asian, particularly most SE Asain, and Cantonese are very good here. The 'average' level is notably higher than the UK. Exceptions are; Thai, which I despair of here. And obviously Indian and Pakistani.

I spent quite a while after I moved quizzing any Indian person I met about places to go, as I felt sure there must be a few 'insider secret' type places doing it well. But was met time and again a crestfallen shake of the head, and recommendations that began along the lines of: 'Well this is where I go, but it isn't very good...'
 
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ian

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🤔

Context is everything. I'd say it is a neutral word? That said, the existence of the word implies the existence of the 'improper'. As a result you can imbue the word 'improper' with negative connotations depending on how you choose the supporting words around it?

The main uses are:
  • Referencing some correct, authentic or genuine standard (e.g. the proper way to make a Caesar salad)
  • Regarding polite and respectable manners (e.g. the chef who taught me this Caesar salad recipe was a proper man)
  • More colloquially, used for emphasis (e.g. this Caesar salad is properly f*cked!)

So yeah... it can definitely have stank. I'd say when the discussion is about objective things, proper is neutral. There is a proper colour for a uniform (the right colour is true by designation). But there is no 'proper' colour for a casual t-shirt - that is subjective. To use the word proper in that context is opinionated. People who do that are not proper.
Sounds all the same as here, although I was under the impression that maybe it’s used in the 2nd and 3rd contexts slightly more over there than over here. Right proper response, that.
 

Ochazuke

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I'd like to call Boston an overrated food city, but I don't think anybody thinks of it as a food city. @ian & @Bensbites & @Runner_up - I moved here in February of 2020 and then COVID happened shortly after. I'm thinking I have a fairly skewed perception of the city. What's your take on Boston food and is there anywhere in particular I should check out?
 

Bensbites

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I'd like to call Boston an overrated food city, but I don't think anybody thinks of it as a food city. @ian & @Bensbites & @Runner_up - I moved here in February of 2020 and then COVID happened shortly after. I'm thinking I have a fairly skewed perception of the city. What's your take on Boston food and is there anywhere in particular I should check out?
I think there are things that are top notch if they fit your style. I am the first person to admit I have the tastebuds of a 12 yr old. I am very happy with a good burger or pizza.

I am told I am a pretty good home cook and therefor when we eat out, it’s more about more than just the food.

try Jinny’s or max and Leo’s for pizza. I am a fan of buttonwood as well.

my wife likes sushico in Newton centre. Between young kids and Covid we haven’t gotten out the same way we did 10 yrs ago.

if you ever want to chat food or knives over coffee let me know.
b.
 

ian

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I'd like to call Boston an overrated food city, but I don't think anybody thinks of it as a food city. @ian & @Bensbites & @Runner_up - I moved here in February of 2020 and then COVID happened shortly after. I'm thinking I have a fairly skewed perception of the city. What's your take on Boston food and is there anywhere in particular I should check out?
Like Ben, I haven't really been out much since my kid came along years ago. My general take is that it's nowhere near as nice a food scene as something like Chicago, but I've had some pretty good meals here and there. I've hardly ever been to the fancy places downtown (although I do remember a great meal at Neptune Oyster when I first got to Boston) since my life is mostly spent in Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Brookline and Newton. Probably Brassica in Jamaica Plain is the restaurant that I go to most frequently that I like the best. (Someone needs to tell them to have more light options, though, as their menu usually has like 15 heavy dishes and then maybe one other thing.) I'm also fond of some tapas places like Tres Gatos in JP and Barcelona in Brookline, I've had some good dishes here and there in Chinatown, and I eat too many burritos from Chilacates and El Pelon. But sadly, I'm not the person to ask about the "food scene" anymore.
 

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I keep fixating on an image of roger verges in his garden with a wheelbarrow full of freshly picked produce he’s bringing to his kitchen to cook and serve for the evening meal. The reality is that as ambitious as chefs around here are, other than maybe a scant two months out of the year our raw materials are not first class and it’s tough to exceed that with which you start.

I know, sometimes I go to the farmers market and I get great produce picked the day before and rushed by speeding truck to my door, but it’s still not as good as what i can get at my cousins house in the hamptons in September when they’re picking it that day and we’re eating it that night.

I doubt there could be a restaurant in NYC as good as Chez panisse was back in its heyday; we just ain’t got the right stuff to start with.
 

rickbern

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I keep fixating on an image of roger verges in his garden with a wheelbarrow full of freshly picked produce he’s bringing to his kitchen to cook and serve for the evening meal. The reality is that as ambitious as chefs around here are, other than maybe a scant two months out of the year our raw materials are not first class and it’s tough to exceed that with which you start.

I know, sometimes I go to the farmers market and I get great produce picked the day before and rushed by speeding truck to my door, but it’s still not as good as what i can get at my cousins house in the hamptons in September when they’re picking it that day and we’re eating it that night.

I doubt there could be a restaurant in NYC as good as Chez panisse was back in its heyday; we just ain’t got the right stuff to start with.
Can’t find the photo but there’s a couple of recipes here. I’ll never see either a cherry tomato or a fava bean as good as he used on a daily basis

 

tcmx3

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I'd like to call Boston an overrated food city, but I don't think anybody thinks of it as a food city. @ian & @Bensbites & @Runner_up - I moved here in February of 2020 and then COVID happened shortly after. I'm thinking I have a fairly skewed perception of the city. What's your take on Boston food and is there anywhere in particular I should check out?
Boston food is good, not spectacular IMO.

My favorite place closed, but there's still some good places: Petit Robert Bistro, Cafe Sauvage, Juliet, Atlantic Fish, Bostonia Public House. Sorry been a while since I lived there so I have only had a chance to stop in a few places in the past couple of years.
 

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Paris is an overrated food city.

Don’t get me wrong—I love Paris, have eaten some of the best meals in my life there; adore the Parisian food culture; French gastronomy important in shaping my cooking; spent much time there eating across the city; have been a kitchen Francophile for three decades—but TBH there’re many other cities that excite me more. Other cities around the world have caught up to Paris regarding food, reputation, etc. Akin to how there’s parity with wine, French wine no longer untouchable. When thinking of which French cities top my hit list for ‘must-eat French food cities,’ Paris would probably rank maybe 5th. Yeah, Paris is a wonderful, awesome food city—but like many other food capitals there’re great, mediocre and bad restaurants—food culture, restaurants, ambitious chefs in other cities capture my imagination, inspire, more.
 
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Keith Sinclair

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Not all , but much our fruits & vegetables come from our garden & the farmers market. So much of produce in supermarket is bred for looks & shelf life. Taste suffers.

Found Verge's vegetable book French style used on thrift books shipped for 5.85 we eat a lot of fresh vegetables these days.
 

parbaked

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Finding good bread in San Francisco means crossing half the city to that one place that might have a decent baguette. And at best, it's mid-tier for Paris.
SF bread scene has developed a lot since you left, but it is not baguette focused.
Instead of mimicking French bakeries as they used to, the better bakers focus on long fermented sourdough varieties. I wouldn’t judge a bread culture on just baguettes.
This is a partial view of my neighborhood bakery, which does also make good baguettes…
B88FB8F7-5F58-43F6-A1D5-3D3712098F28.jpeg
 
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DitmasPork

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SF bread scene has developed a lot since you left, but it is not baguette focused.
Instead of mimicking French bakeries,the better bakers focus on long fermented sourdough varieties. I wouldn’t judge a bread culture on just baguettes.
I never had a problem finding good bread when I lived in the Bay Area.
 

Luftmensch

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When thinking of which French cities top my hit list for ‘must-eat French food cities,’ Paris would probably rank maybe 5th.
Oh go on then. You just made a rod for your own back 😁 Now youre going to have to list your top four ;)
 

MarcelNL

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I'm pretty sure that most larger cities the majority of countries have nice places to eat, it is just a matter of finding them. For that I usually ask around, go find someone from the secret brotherhood of foodies in the local office and ask them to point me at a few places where they think the best local food is served.

Having travelled extensively for work in the past 20 years or so I've been over- and underwhelmed in almost any city but mostly enjoyed the food.....Scallops in a little place in the harbor of Boston, Dumplings in the center of Boston, Fresh fish (rigor mortis just set in) in Porto, traditional food in Lisbon's old Jewish Quarter, Great 'fusion' food in Madrid, best Polpa ever in Santander, super Indian food in Paris (go figure), Risotto Milanese in ...Milan, Bagna Cauda in Rome, traditional Chinese in Shanghai, sortof DIY group Okonomiyaki on a teppanyaki plate in Tokyo(my recollection MAY be impaired due to some sake and beer), Sushi in Osaka after a private tour of the impressive aquarium, the chicken sashimi during the H1N5 flu in Osaka on another trip, Avant Garde food in Stockholm, Seafood at the airport of Copenhagen, dinner in a hotel restaurant in Copenhagen that blew me away so much I had dinner there on 4 consecutive evenings.
The list is long and I forgot plenty of it due to the sheer number of occasions...the good invariably involved inside knowledge of the locals and mostly prices were quite reasonable, the bad were poorly informed choices following things like tripadvisor (guess my taste is not main stream enough), the ugly usually followed uninformed spur of the moment choices,...
 
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