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After twenty years in Publishing, I have finally decided to take a career break and am going to be spending at least a year from June 07 travelling around the world, going everywhere and eating everything

I will be taking up offers from wherevever they come to sample the best the planet has to offer and so far have some amazing invitations from Elk Hunting in Finland to picking grapes in The Barossa valley

I would love to hear any other thoughts,suggestions or ideas of what is out there that I must not miss

If you want to read along as I progress, you can check out www.eatmyglobe.com

I appreciate all the help in advance



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  1. Simon, Simon, Simon... too easy my friend. But if you come to Chicago we can hook you up to: true deep dish pizza; italian beef; amazing thai food; two, count 'em two china towns, with a little viet thrown in for good measure and a futon right here if you don't mind a snoggle w/ a sweet little boy cat named Webster.

    1. Thanks, Bryan

      Chicago is definitely high up on my list. One of my favourite places in the USA is there ( or was last time I visited ) on East Roscoe (?) a place called El Tinajon. But, I am definitely up for a few days trying all there is.

      Can I mail you? Or, you can contact me via the site



      1 Reply
      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        I sent you my e-mail via your site. Good luck. This looks very exciting.

      2. I've lived and worked in Asia, South Amrica, and Africa since 1974. I've only visited the US since then, and always plan my road food adventures there.

        If you've lived all this time in the US, my recommendation would have to get out for your year. Then a first priority would be to include street and market foods in Asia. I would definitely include Pakistan, India, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia.

        I see that you're already developing plans for Europe.

        Mexico is probably the only "must" in the Americas. I say this even though I've lived in Colombia for the past 13 years. I still travel too much, with food being one of the biggest compensations. Still, if the rest of the world is open to you, I would place most of the Americas except Mexico on the back burner (same with sub-Saharan Africa if you only have a year).

        While in Italy, cross the Mediterranean just for the night food market in Fez, a World Heritage site.

        My remaining unmet food goal is the Middle East. Perhaps you'll have some advice concerning the region as your adventure develops.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Within Sam's recs for Mexico I would definitely recommend a focus on Mexico City with maybe some day trips. Honestly you have a very ambicious plan for just one year, you could take an entire year just to eat your way through this city (15,000 eateries in the tourist & business districts alone... not including any street food or any of the interesting specialties around the fringes of the sprawl). Excluding all types of foreign & fusion food... there are probably a couple hundred different "genres" of Mexican food to explore.

          If you go there I will definitely point you in the right direction.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            If you're making a trip to Mexico, don't to forget to eat at the beachside stands in San Felipe, birthplace of the fish taco.

            1. re: Bostonbob3

              Sorry, I wasn't impressed by fish tacos in San Felipe. We just randomly walked into the restaurant row places along the ocean front and didn't find one single good version. I think Ensenada's are much, much, much better.

              The best meals I had in San Felipe were steaks oddly enough. Filet in Gorgonzola suace at Red Lobster the Italian restaurant in a colonial building. And a bacon wrapped filet served with Guacamole at an old school Mexican place a few blocks off the main drag.

              As far as San Felipe being the birthplace of the fish taco... hardly. Fish tacos have been eaten for eons... at the very least we know Moctezuma had fish tacos among the 300 or so dishes that were regularly prepared for him. Among the tourist beach towns... fish tacos were commonly found in Acapulco before anyone had even heard of San Felipe.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                First of all, if you're eating San Felipe fish tacos in a restaurant, that's mistake number 1. The best, freshest, most authetic are sold out of little stands near the beach. As for your contention that SF isn't the birthplace of fish tacos, well, that has been under dispute by every burg down the Peninsula. Butr leave it to publicity-craving Acapulco to take credit for it.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  Actually I have never even heard of anyone in Acapulco taking credit for fish tacos. Fish tacos are just such a part of family & casual eating over the ages that no one thinks of them as some novel creation that needs to be claimed.

                  Granted I am not saying that the fish tacos are the same. For example in Acapulco... the fish is usually poached in a cooked salsa, shredded put into a folded corn tortilla & deep fried.

                  If you go to Nayarit... it is fish that has been smoked over a grill for a couple of hours, then chopped up & served on a tortilla with a squeeze of lime and very spicy salsa (Chile Piquin or Chiltepin).

                  Etc., etc.,... the Baja style fish tacos (beer battered, shredded cabbage, cream sauce etc.,) are certainly a regional variation that developed in Baja exclusively.

                  But to say that San Felipe invented fish tacos (whose fish tacos almost certainly date to the last 100 years) is to ignore Mexico's variety of fish tacos & the country's long culinary history.

                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                  Also San Felipe is a relatively recent town. Not much history there. Never had a fish taco there that came close to the best I've had in Ensenada.

                  Best steaks (and quail) that I have had in San Felipe were at El Nido, a steak house down at the southern end of the main drag, not far from the Cortez Hotel. Of course, it has been 3 years or so since I was last there, but I have eaten there a half dozen times over the years and usually had a good time and eaten good, if not great, food.


            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Sam, just curious why you feel that the Americas should be left on the back burner?

              1. re: bolivianita

                Well, I hesitated in saying so, but did include sub-Saharan Africa as well for the back burner. The reason is that Simon only has a year. I've lived and worked all over, and think that the Asian countries mentioned plus selected European countries, plus parts of the US and Mexico, and maybe the Middle East (the area I don't know) will be more than enough.

                In the Americas, I've lots of relatives in Peru and Brazil, have worked all over, and have lived long periods in Bolivia and Colombia--and simply would place the other areas as a higher priority for now. Obviously, nothing to do with any prejudice against the Americas. I think trying to go everywhere while really enjoying and learning about different foods would be self defeating.

                I would probably plan something like the folowing: a) two months US and Mexico (Simon has already given himself at least two months in the US), b) three months Europe, c) one month Middle East and north Africa, d) 1.5 months south Asia, e) two months SE Asia, f) 1.5 months China, and g) one month Japan and Korea. Europe is "heavy" given already developing plans.

            3. Simon, do you need a servant?

              1. If you are in the US and in the Philadelphia area, feel free to contact me for tips on good cheesesteaks, Amish food, taylor pork roll, soft pretzels & scrapple. If you would like a place to stay or dining companions, my husband and I would be honored!

                1. I will be spending at least two months tootling around the US on this trip and it would be obscene not to have at least one Philly Cheesesteak. So I would be equally honoured

                  Other plans in the US include trips to lockhart TX, Louisville, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor and many others

                  I knew that Chowhound would be the place

                  There is a " GET IN TOUCH" bit on the site where you can contact me

                  Thanks again


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Simon Majumdar

                    Okay, so it's cheesy, but you really should go to the Big Texan Steak House in Amarillo, TX. At least look at the giant steak.

                    Then eat a reasonable size steak and some fried rattlesnake and wash it down with a quart of Lone Star.

                    1. re: Simon Majumdar

                      Simon.. let me know when you'll be in Louisville, I know some great places to eat.. breakfast lunch and dinner unique to Louisville..


                    2. I'm an avid reader of Dos Hermanos and look forward to your upcoming adventure.

                      Get thee back to Northern California!

                      Wine making? Rock cod fishing? Cheese tasting at The Cheeseboard? an afternoon making marmalade with an artisnal jam maker?? This is my 2p worth and I'm sure my colleagues on the San Francisco board will jump in with additional suggestions.

                      1. I went to your site, read your story and even posted a response. I wrote there, good luck and bon appetit. I should have added, bon voyage.

                        1. Read A Cooks Tour by Tony Bourdain if you haven't already. Great to gather ideas, but I figure you may have already....

                          On the Westcoast of the US, I'd go to the Pacific Northwest for a while...try the local foods in Vancouver, Canada, Seattle and Portland...lots of Salmon and great local produce and ingredients...really fresh and unique types of food...lots of "hippie-ish" types of people that have clean, healthy food and interesting techniques...the seafood is great up here.

                          California? Perhaps the French Laundry? I haven't eaten there but saw a show on it (BOURDAIN) and it looked incredible. San Francisco also has a lot of great seafood and other interesting places, but I'd mainly try the seafood. Southern California....hmmm....I live here, but not sure if any place is really worth going as a destination as a whole of your world tour....nothing really "worldly", but a number of "good" restaurants....its more a melting pot of a lot of cultures...but you can find better versions in the originating countries

                          Then maybe spend 2 days in LAS VEGAS trying a variety of output from famous chefs who have opened up shop...Joel Robuchon, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Savoy, etc etc etc.

                          Hit up Houston, TEXAS for BIG MEAT, BBQ, RIBS, ETC

                          New Orleans, Louisiana is an awesome food city with some unique history. Cajun & Creole Food, oysters, crayfish, beignets, po' boys, etc.....probably my favorite "AMERICAN" food....if I had to go to one city in the USA to try some unique food, it would be New Orleans....fried gator!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Xericx

                            This week's Bordain food odyssey was to Ghana. It looked fascinating and exotic -- and he enthused over everything he ate (on camera, anyway). Next week's show is on the Pacific Northwest.

                            1. re: Xericx

                              Thanks for Mentioning Vancouver (BC). If you make it up here Simon let me know! I'll have you try BC Wines and some amazing seafood :)

                            2. Thanks All

                              I know I am trying to cram in a lot, but I will have to rationalise it as the offers come along

                              So far, some fun stuff though.

                              Now all I have to do is organise it:-)

                              Keep the ideas coming though


                              1. I have always wanted to to go Vietnam - mainly for the food...

                                1. Internationally, I've been to England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, China, and Argentina.

                                  First, go to Italy. Visit the southern regions and familiarize yourself with their pasta, seafood, legumes, fruit, and wine. I don't think there is anywhere better to eat in the entire world.

                                  I also recommend going to Hong Kong. I think it's one of the culinary capitals of the world. They have anything and everything you can imagine. Same with New York. Those are inventive places where you can maximize your gastronomical experiences.

                                  Lastly, have a meal at El Bulli in Spain (Catalonia). It's one of the best restaurants in the world, if not *the* best.

                                  Those are just my thoughts and opinions. Good luck!

                                  1. Simon, Here's a delightful way to compare food and cultures:
                                    1. Corky's BBQ in Memphis. Order the dry ribs. I have traveled the entire South from the Carolinas through Texas and no BBQ compares. (Although there are many excellent places, Corky's stands out.)
                                    2. Then go to Bucca De San Antonio in Lucca, Italy. Order the roast goat. (A house specialty for 500 years.)
                                    After dining at both Corky's and Bucca De San Antonio, ask yourself just one question: "Does it get any better than this?"

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Leper

                                      I like Interstate BBQ in Memphis way better than Corky's. But Corky's ain't bad, that's for sure. Rendezvous gets a lot of positive comments, but their ribs aren't even smoked, just grilled.

                                    2. BBQ is VERY high up on my US list

                                      I have already been invited onto a team at the American Royal BBQ in KCM and plan to eat at every pit in Lockhart TX.

                                      I want to sample all the different styles, beef, pork, lamb and the varying sauces

                                      So, is North Carolina best of vinegar sauce?


                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                        That would be eastern NC sauce and the vinegar sauces are very good. Western NC sauce is different and has tomato and sugar in it. If you want lamb/mutton BBQ you will need to be west of Louisville in the Owensboro area. But in Louisville Lynns Paradise Cafe on Barrett for breakfast is great. Lily's on Bardstown RD. is very fine for dinner. For some really good southern cooking about 25 miles out of Louisville, in Shelbyville is an old girls school that has been converted to The Science Hill Inn. Do lunch there and don't pass on the bread pudding with bourbon sauce. If you wander into Indiana be looking for a tenderloin sandwich

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          YES! Tenderloin sandwiches! I live in California now and that's one of the things I CRAVE! They were always trying to outdo one another in the size department--ending up with comically small buns under a gigantic wave of fried pork...


                                          Then try a brain sandwich in Evansville, IN.

                                          If I were in that area I'd hit up the buffet at Moonlite barbeque in Owensboro, Kentucky.

                                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                                            Tenderloins are pretty easy to make yourself. Most places use a loin cut but I actually use the pork tenderloin instead. All it takes is cutting the sections and pounding them out dipping in flour, egg wash, and breading and frying. It is pretty simple.

                                            1. re: Candy

                                              Yeah, I know they're easy...used to make 'em in a restaurant where I worked, but it just isn't the same. I miss tenderloin sandwiches--I'm sad.

                                              You know what I also miss? Sausage gravy and biscuits. Yeah, I can make that at home, but there's something about eating it in a greasy spoon that makes it more special.

                                              1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                Now that I really prefer to make at home. I'm picky about my biscuits

                                                1. re: Candy

                                                  I understand, good biscuits rule. There used to be a small restaurant that I'd go to in Indiana that was good for both things, but it closed.

                                                  Everyone is using that Sysco crap these days...it's sad.

                                        2. re: Simon Majumdar

                                          Eastern South Carolina also has vinegar-based BBQ, a tradition it shares in common with my native North Carolina. In fact, SC boasts (at least) four styles of BBQ sauce: vinegar pepper, mustard, thin tomato, and thick tomato. You can find examples of all four in and around Charleston, along with many unique dishes that originated in the Low Country or SC in general, like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, red rice, Frogmore stew, benne seed wafers, chicken bog, and BBQ hash. All that and Charleston is one of the best restaurant towns in the U.S., maybe even THE best on a per capita basis, though the point could be argued. I will send you an e-mail through your site so you can get in touch if you make it to my neck of the woods. My wife and I would be glad to act as tour guides.

                                          1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                            Oooooooh, try Dozier's in Fulshear, Texas. Outside of Houston. They have the most amazing homemade sausages in a variety of flavors. I dream of them

                                          2. I have a good friend in Evansville and he has obviously been holding out on me.

                                            Brain sarnie. Sounds fantastic


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                              I think I'd rather have a bowl or Burgoo

                                            2. Seems like a pretty comprehensive list. I recommend adding Croatia and Spain.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: notmartha

                                                I had not considered Croatia, but Spain is a bit of an obsession and I am there regularly. Mind you, there is always an excuse for another visit.


                                                1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                  I was wondering why you left out the obvious like Spain and Italy. But I am guessing that you are based in UK and those countries are probably very well traveled by now.

                                                  1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                    oooooo, i LOVED the food in croatia! my in laws in Italy go often to Croatia to go hunting, and usually eat in Istria (the region near the Italian border), where they have unbelievable homemade pasta with fresh white truffle in cream sauce. Or the chevapcheech (spelling is probably completely wrong but i spelled it phonetically). They are finger like forms of ground beef with lots of garlic and spices, served with a sweet red pepper sauce. But my 2 personal favourites are the pig on a spit that you find all over croatia by the sides of the roads, or the scampi alla buzzera, which are great scampi in a wonderful tomato sauce. im not sure if it is worth it but if you are in the area, you would have a great meal. Other than that, if i had the opportunity i would go to Tuscany and have AUTHENTIC fiorentina steak from the chianina cow! Have fun!

                                                    1. re: icey

                                                      I've only had the opportunity to go to Dubrovnik for one day, and the one meal I had there (and subsequent reading about the cuisine in the country) makes me want to go back for more...

                                                2. I bet you haven't been here yet. It must be on the way to somewhere:

                                                  Just outside Santo Domingo (DR), we turned off the Santiago road. We pulled up outside a big concrete shack called El Boricua for a late breakfast. Inside, I was immediately delighted: it looked like the most basic of barbecue joints - communal tables, and a cow-pen controlling the line to the counter, just like Arthur Bryant's. Pork was clearly on the menu, but of course they weren't smoking it here but cooking it very slow on a spit over hot coals.

                                                  Getting to the front of the line, I was helping myself to chunks of roast pork, when a newly cooked suckling pig was brought in and hacked up. Some of that too, then. Also some stewed pork, fork tender, and some very dark longaniza - almost a cross between that rough garlicky sausage and a blood pudding. A bit of yucca, some lime wedges, and your food is weighed and charged by the pound. You can imagine how cheap.

                                                  Following the meal, we traced the life-cycle of the pigs in reverse (not for the squeamish). A small gratuity allowed us to be conducted out the back of the shack to where recently slaughtered hogs were being taken apart in a covered, open area. Beyond that, we saw the cooking pits dug into the ground - no open flame, but intensely hot coals and the pigs being slowly turned on spits.

                                                  Behind that, and rather richly smelling of piggy poo, many pens containing what seemed to me a bewildering variety of breeds. All kinds of sizes and colorings. And finally, a sort of lying-in area for pregnant and suckling sows. A tinge of sympathy, of course, for the little piglets - but you certainly get to see just what you're eating.

                                                  A rough-edged but very large operation; and very well-known I'm told. Pork from El Boricua is often ordered for parties in the city, and it's a long-established favorite.

                                                  1. Turkey.

                                                    I miss the fish sandwich on the Galata bridge. The cheapest, the tastiest fish sandwich I had ever had.

                                                    Imam bayildi ("imam fainted"), an eggplant dish so good I almost fainted.

                                                    Their breakfast! Individual components are almost ordinary (eggs, yogurt, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers...etc.) but you'll love it. Something in their milk, I think.

                                                    Lots and lots more. Would love to hear your report.

                                                    omg - I just looked at your blog - Malaysia! Our family used to vacation there all the time! Please do not go to the usual places (well, you have to include a few really amazing places) and let me have some vicarious adventure as well as reminiscence.

                                                    Looked at the whole journey plan. You need to be a little more specific, don't you think? Good luck.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: grocerytrekker

                                                      I lived in Turkey for a couple of years when I was a kid. My biggest regret is not having been a more adventurous eater. While I was more adventurous than your average kid, there was still more to taste.

                                                      I miss it.

                                                    2. Simon, finally read your where and what. Some thoughts:

                                                      Pakistan rather than or in addition to Sri Lanka! Definitely Laos and Indonesia and NOT the Philippines. Peru and Bolivia rather than Argentina (unless you really want good meat and more really good Italian), elsewhere in the Caribbean unless you just really want to visit Cuba, Capetown rather than southern Africa.

                                                      1. Turkey and Oaxaca are musts. Also you can't miss the Djemaa al Fna market in Marrakech.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Maya

                                                          And also, I forgot to say the Istrian Peninsula.

                                                        2. Since there is already one recommendation for Amarillo, I will add Doug's BBQ on the corner of 34th and Washington Street. Look for the red hole in the wall.

                                                          Best series of meals I ever had were made by cooks in Indian family homes, mainly in Bombay. If you go, do everything you can to get invited to dinner. They never disappoint!

                                                          Best chicken ever came out of a bucket on the road leaving Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico. Slapped on a grill and wonderful!

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: aebp25

                                                            Just in case anyone wonders how I am getting on, I am on the first foreign leg of the trip down under in Australia


                                                            I am here for a while then off to Japan, China, Mongolia, Russia and Scandanavia before hitting the US in October and South America in November

                                                            Any more suggestions very welcome


                                                            1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                              You can't be in Oz and not then include Vietnam, Laos, and India! China, yes--but Mongolia and Russia? Italy, Spain, and France over Scandinavia. But these are just personal food opinions. Have fun!! Keep us all posted. If you do get to South America, I'll take you out here in Cali, Colombia.

                                                                1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                                  If you'll be in Copenhagen...the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen is called De Lille Apotek. While I don't eat they serve (fish of all sorts), it is a good representation of traditional Danish food.

                                                                  hit one of the food halls in either Illum or Magasin. Much fun. Enjoy a Tuborg along Nyhavn.

                                                                  In Stockholm, I managed to find what is supposedly the oldest bakery in the city (in gammle stan) and it was very tasty - sit outside for your "fika" (afternoon snack).

                                                                  1. re: Jeserf

                                                                    I will definitely be going to Vietnam etc before I go to India in the New year

                                                                    Canada also on the North America part of my trip in Oct/Nov


                                                                    1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                                      Let me know if you swing by Ottawa. While I'm sure you can find tons of stuff in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, there's always less info about Ottawa on the boards and in the mags.

                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                        Just an update and a huge THANK YOU to those who have been contact with ideas and invitations.

                                                                        I am off soon to Japan, Hong Kong, China, Mongolia, Russia and Scandanavia.

                                                                        After that, almost immediately off to the US where I will be in

                                                                        KCM - for The American Royal
                                                                        Ann Arbor
                                                                        Lockhart TX

                                                                        Then to Mexico, Argentina and Salvadore, Brazil before heading back to LA and SF

                                                                        I will be working on a distillery on Islay for a week, then off to Cuba for Christmas and a break before beginning again in the new year with India, South East Asia and Africa.

                                                                        The trip will finish in the country of my greatest obsession, Spain

                                                                        I am delighted to say I have agreed a deal for the EAT MY GLOBE book which will be published in May 2009

                                                                        If anyone would like to read along or see what I have already been up too, you can check out


                                                                        Thanks again, all.


                                                                        1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                                          What are the dates you're going to be in Mongolia and Russia? What parts are you visiting? i can throw in some ideas on what not to miss.

                                                                          1. re: welle

                                                                            I will be in Mongolia and Russia from the 2nd Sept - 22nd Sept primarily along the route of the Trans Mongolian railway. Any ideas gratefully recieved

                                                                            I am also pleased to say that there is now going to be an EAT MY GLOBE book to be published in 2009


                                                                            Thank you all for the incredible generosity in suggestions and the mails I have recieved with invitations


                                                                            1. re: Simon Majumdar

                                                                              I'm not sure how adventurous eater you are and if you will be getting off the train for a day or two, or are strictly staying on the train.
                                                                              In any case, your stay is probably not going to be long enough to befriend locals and get some real good food. Commercial stuff could be hit or miss. If you're adventurous enough, September is a season for airag or kumiss, local drink made of fermented mare's milk. But again, I would not recommend trying it without an advice from a local expert (it's like wine good ones are really good and bad ones are gross, so unless you try the best you can't form an objective opinion).

                                                              1. If you're going to be in Phila, you may as well take the 90 minute (by car) journey to Baltimore and indulge in Maryland steamed crabs. It would be a shame to be so close and end up missing that experience. I'd also recommend grazing at the food stalls at Lexington Market, and checking out the crab cakes at Faidley's there.

                                                                Also, and this may not fit into your itinerary, I think some of the very best food I've ever eaten in my travels was in Trinidad. (Although not Tobago.) Stick to doubles and rotis, and eat at street stalls. (They are perfectly fine, and no need to check which one has boiling water, or peeled veggies, as you have to do in some places.) Amazing and overlooked cuisine.

                                                                I travel in SE Asia often, and the recs on Vietnam and Laos are good...although in VN, I've always had my best meals on the street (literally). I would definitely skip the food in Cambodia. I also don't think you should miss eating in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia.

                                                                I have to say that when I was in Croatia about four years ago, I was hugely disappointed in the food.

                                                                Also, maybe a stop in Bulgaria. During the fall, the very tomatoes on the planet, and fantastic salads and great Bulgarian 'feta.' While you're in that part of the world, the food in Georgia is fresh, innovate, and fantastic!

                                                                Edited to say: oopps, didn't read your post close enough. Well, T&T, Bulgaria, and Georgia can be for your next trip!

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: baltoellen

                                                                  If you really wanted blue crabs it would be cool if you could make the Annapolis MD crabfest, all you can eat blue crabs, crab soup competition normally in August. But you gotta get some MD blue crabs there or in Baltimore.

                                                                  Also if you are in Barcelona don't miss Commerc 24 (that's the address as well how handy!) and eat anything cuttlefish they have it is so good, one of the best meals I have ever had! And Bar Pinotxo at the Mercat Boqueria there, especially their traditional monkfish stew, and everything else it is all soo good. And make your reservations now for El Bulli. Oh Spain mmmmmm.

                                                                  While in NOLA you must get beignets at Cafe Du Monde and a mufaletta at the central grocery I know it's already on your list.

                                                                  1. re: ktmoomau

                                                                    Certainly not breaking new ground here, but I found food in Umbria and Campania especially good. Certainly less celebrated (and thus more subject to rustic discoveries) than Tuscany, Bologna, Milan, etc.

                                                                    There was an interesting point above re: omitting S. American cuisine. I have two somewhat incompatible thoughts on the issue.

                                                                    First, it seems reasonable to skip over areas with cuisine that both (a) exists principally for simple sustenance as opposed to delight/gustatory pleasure/recreation/crticism, etc.; and (b) lacks flavor of relative complexity or intrigue. As others note, you can't hit 'em all. Having travelled somewhat widely in South America, I can say there are large swaths of interior Ecuador and Peru where virtually all available food is, for lack of a better, politically benign term, peasant food. I am sure that some places make great renditions of it, but boiled potatoes/tubers/starches, simple beans and basic meats on repeat are just not that interesting. (Having said that, the coasts and major cities of both nations have great things (e.g. ceviche and llapingachos) and the mountain regions have their moments-this is a general notion and exceptions abound).

                                                                    Second, please consider Brasil, a greatly underappreciated food nation. This is the largest nation in S. America, with ethnic and racial diversity that rivals the U.S., a centuries old mix of several indigenous populations, portuguese, africans, and several other european nations. Given this, and geography suitable to massively varied agriculture, the stage is set for deeply interesting food. In the U.S. churrascaria (grilled meats) items and fejioda (black bean stew) are the most familiar, and while there is tremendous churrasco in Brasil, that is just scratching the surface.

                                                                    In the North the Amazon basin has the greatest biodiversity on earth, and there are fruits, fish and other edibles that simply cannot be found elsewhere. I've eaten things there that are difficult to describe; I once had a shimmering, mysterious soup, whole eggs from unknown fowl aflot, with ribs of a 10 foot long 400 lb. river fish, pirarucu, the size of beef ribs; breakfasts of fresh fruits that continue to blow my mind; a roasted cayman salad.

                                                                    In Bahia and Northeast, there is a distinctive w. african influenced cuisine that is phenomenal, and is increasingly appreciated in the U.S. as in dishes like moqueca, bobo etc. The food is often based on seafood, rich with peanuts and dende (palm oil), and jolted by the heat of the malagueta pepper. You can get fantastic things from vendors while just sitting on one of the thousands of Atlantic beaches like fresh crab, bolinhos de bacalau, grilled firm cheese, along with the national soda guarana or oversized ice cold beers in cooler sleeves.

                                                                    In the huge cities of the south, there is an increased continental/Euro/cosmopolitan influence. There are restaurants there that specialize in european cuisines, as well as regional cuisines from around the country. Sao Paolo has a japanese community, and believe it or not I had decent sushi there. Rio has these wonderful suco bars that serve tens or hundreds of fresh squeezed juices from the rain forest fruits mentioned above. You can also find places that make caipirinha style cachaca-based cocktails from these; my favorite is maracuja (local passion fruit).

                                                                    1. re: equinoise

                                                                      Yes, I would go to places lke Belen at the mouth of the Amazon before coming here to Colombia or to neighboring Ecuador or Peru.

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                        I have family in Belem, actually, they run a fishing business there. I have had many fantastic meals there. The most exotic food I've had was in Manaus or at the Ariau Towers lodge further into the forest.

                                                                        1. re: equinoise

                                                                          I love it when the fish come in and the nearby Belen fish market; followed by fish stew and manicoba in the adjacent food stalls.

                                                                          I worked farther into the forest--Acre and Rondonia. Horrible food for the most part.

                                                                2. I'd include France and Italy among my musts. Have had some terrific mid-range to cheap eats (which is about all my pocketbook can usually handle when I travel) at spots in Paris and Florence, though those spots may not be around anymore.

                                                                  You might consider poking around a few travel guides for some ideas. And everything I've read about Columbia suggests exercising great caution if you're traveling there.

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                                                                  1. re: bachslunch

                                                                    Travel here in Colombia is not so dangerous in the last few years. The food hasn't improved in like manner, however.

                                                                    Oh, above I meant go to Brasil. Don't come to Colombia or Ecuador for the food. My previous advice was to visit Mexico only in the New World--and then to add some SE Asian countries.

                                                                  2. For the joy, the people, and the significance of the cultural crossroads, as well as the food, I humbly suggest the street food in the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an China, the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.

                                                                    1. This is exciting! I will be going on a trip around the world in May '09, and will be looking for places to eat, so I'll check back here!