August 21, 2006

Can you ever eat too much Asian food?

Like the jet-setter I am, I've been wandering the north for the last two weekends in Boston and Toronto (my first Canadian expedition!),interviewing for jobs in Japan. Yes, Japan. I can still blog there, what?

Travel, of course, means eating in the world of Anharchy, because who the hell can possibly miss out on the opportunity to try new foooooooods?? While most of my experiences in consumption weren't terribly impressive (alas, disappointment!), there were a few stand-out things:

In Boston:

Given my love for all things fresh-market, imagine my joy at discovering the Copley Square Market right outside my interview stop! Aaron and I didn't really get a chance to fully explore it, but it looked terrrrribly promising. And there was a kiosk with fresh pastries. I looooooooove pastries.

Also, I don't think I've seen many markets that beat the Haymarket for cheap and fresh, greens-wise. I was seriously badgered by a tiny Italian man into buying a POUND of jalapenos. Granted, that pound only cost me a dollar, but still! A full pound! I wasn't even in Boston for four days...what the hell does one do with a pound of jalapenos? Very noisy and great deals on produce. Eight ears of sweet corn for a dollar? I'm so there.

The Copley Square Market can be accessed from the Copley Square T Stop. Likewise, you can find Haymarket at the eponymous T stop there as well.

And, in the vein of "I loooooooooooooooooove pastry," Aaron and I took a long walk up Beacon Street to Finale, where I promptly spent thirty dollars on cake. Purchased: one 8-inch Mocha Espresso Cake (which Aaron consumed half of in about ten minutes), and individually-sized tiramisu, Whoopie Pie, raspberry chocolate tart, and uh, something else. I can say that I firmly approve of a restaurant centered around dessert.

Other than that, Aaron and I dined at a rather middling Korean/Japanese restaurant for lunch, a very good Thai hole-in-the-wall on Boston U's campus (right by BU Central Streetcar Stop), and cooked dinner as a thank-you to our hostess.

The other thing I discovered is that in NO CITY is Pizzeria Uno "good eats." Not at all. Just don't do it. I only tried under duress, as in flight was on the day of the terror plot round-up, didn't get in 'til late, and I was BEYOND STARVING. It boggles me that any large city (especially in University areas!!!!!) would not have more restaurants open at 11...

In Toronto:

Side-note: Our interviewer looked like a slimmer, tan-er, glasses-less Alton Brown. It was very distracting.

Instead of staying with a friend in Toronto (we have none...), Aaron and I booked a private room at The Planet Traveler's Hostel, which ran us about $60 CAD per night. If you enjoy hosteling, I'd definitely recommend it. It's super-close to the middle of Kensington Market (what, more markets???), right off Spadina Avenue, so very convenient. And (major bonus), it's SMACK DAB in the middle of Toronto's Chinatown, which is one of the very biggest Chinatowns in North America. Dumplings and duck, I'm so there!

Suffice it to say, Aaron and I ate at a few hole-in-the-wall Chinese joints whose names we couldn't understand, got excellent Vietnamese sandwiches at the Dundas Street West location of Banh Mi Ba Le, tasty Pho on Spadina, and enjoyed ourselves a great deal. Unfortunately, over the course of both the Boston and Toronto trips, we overdosed on bubble tea. It's too easy. But to make up for that, joy of joys, on the layover on our way back to Dulles the Cincinnati airport Auntie Anne's Pretzels was handing out Cinnamon Sugar pretzels for free. So, I consider that a suitable ending to the travels (as the Cincinnati Airport Qdoba was not. Not that all Qdobas are bad - most of them are quite good. But that one was not tasty, albeit full of character.)

That's about it. I'll be back with more tales of foodery soon!

Special thanks to Automania over at Flickr for the fortune cookie.

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