Thursday, September 20, 2012


eataly, eataly, eataly! 

when living in a place where certain foods are not allowed, one can't help but to crave those things more. especially when you come from a history of having had enjoyed such ... (now) delicacies. let's face it, there's very little like delicious cured meats, especially to accompany some fancy cheeses. what do i think of? eataly.

friends had been surprised that i'd never been (i surprised myself, even). so when C, K, and i decided to do a weekend in nyc, eataly was one of the first places we visited.

right as we walked in, we all grabbed a glass of wine and started walking around (the rose was delicious, of course). we looked at the variety that eataly had to offer, as it is a cross between a department store of italian delicious-ness and a food court, all in a way fancy and yet comfortable way. when we couldn't stand all of our salivating and drooling any longer, and as we tried to figure out how the place "worked," we finally found poached a table and made ourselves comfortable. we ordered food, we ordered wine, we talked a lot, we laughed a lot, we did a lot of people watching. best. night. ever.

we started with a combination of cured meats and cheese and finished with breaded/sauteed shad roe - thinking about it (and reviewing the night via photos) is making my mouth water. the smokiness/saltiness of the cured meats, the creamy cheese, the dense and yet light shad roe (i hadn't had it prepared this way!), all very delicious. as we anticipated a long night of eating ahead, we didn't fill up completely at eataly, though we could have stayed for many more hours. a part of me, i'll admit, wanted to stay. that part super duper looks forward to the next trip to eataly. sigh.

i don't know why i thought it was so funny to eat with a napkin around my neck, but there i am. and there ya go. considering how clumsy i am, it makes a lot of sense that i do it and should, in fact, do it more often ...

eataly, i can't wait to visit again ... !!! among other things, it'll mean that i'm with great friends in a great city enjoying great food!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

mcdonald's Q8

say what you will about mcdonald's, but i make it a point to go to mcdonald's at least once when i travel (even when i was in hawaii! pineapples are a part of their value meals and you can get noodles! love it), much like how i drink coca cola at least once (or a thousand times) when overseas. i had yet to visit mcdonald's here in Q8 despite being quite a few months into my stay here. and then i saw a blogger write about their camembert cheese bites; i went that afternoon.

there's a mcdonald's right by work. i was concerned there would be a line in their drive-through, but seeing as i had a little bit of time before an evening appointment, i drove up fully ready to wait in line. to my surprise, and chagrin, there was no line (many a time have i driven by this particular mcdonald's, albeit late at night, to see a line of no less than 20 cars in line at the drive-through. sort of explains the physical situation here that keeps appearing in medical journals. but i digress. per usual). i drove right up to the guy taking orders, our conversation sounded something like this:
me: umm, do you have your fried cheese things?
guy: do you mean our camembert cheese bites?
me: (sheepishly) yeah. i'll take one of those. and 25-thousand other things (including chicken wings and a big-n-tasty meal, no sauce)
guy: are you kuwaiti?
me: what?
guy: chinese?
me: do i pay you?
hmmm ... interesting question. and yes, everyone asks me about my ethnic background (though this is the first time i was asked if i was kuwaiti. i'm obviously not) and i've grown accustomed to people staring in disbelief when i say i'm american. maybe i should say it in arabic "ahnnah amerikeeya." yes?

anyway, the burger was pretty close to those i've had in the states, though i felt like it tasted better (perhaps by virtue of it having been consumed not in the u.s. ... ?) and the fries, per usual, were delicious (and salty. just like i like them). and did you know mcdonald's has friend chicken wings? batter covered chicken wings that are fried quite nicely with a bit of spice, and not covered in sticky sweet sauce. but the camembert cheese bites were definitely the highlight. basically, they're golf ball-sized (though flattened) discs of breaded camembert cheese that has been fried. and at 500 fils (about $1.80), i will definitely be back for more. yay fried foods!


Friday, September 14, 2012

slider station

slider station
arabian gulf street, opposite seef palace, kuwait
tel: 965-2246 5047

kuwaitis love hamburgers (have i mentioned that before? i feel like i've said it before, and i say it a lot). luckily for me, so do i. i love them so much, and there are so many hamburger options, that some friends and i have decided to follow in the footsteps of others and engage in our own Q8 burger "challenge," reflecting on our burger eating experiences (let me know if you want in! i will send you the spreadsheet. yes, i have a spreadsheet. are you surprised?). friend of a friend was in town and i was volun-told to entertain (haha - just kidding. it was my pleasure!). i picked A up, gave him 3 options (korean, thai, or burgers) and burgers won. off to slider station we went!

we'd decided on a very reasonable 7:30-ish dinner time, but were a little concerned when we walked into an empty restaurant. we proceeded to sit at my usual/preferred seat at "the bar," looked through their extensive menu, ordered food, enjoyed food, ordered more food, enjoyed food, and had a pretty darn good time. only then did we notice that the restaurant had filled up, so much so that all of the outside seats were now also occupied (it's gotten cooler, though the heat at night never really seemed to bother people as much as me) and there was a line to get in. in addition to the very long line for the restroom that i wanted to avoid, we ended our visit to slider station.

so, about the bar. of course, not an american-style bar in options, just in looks. what's more, there was a conveyor belt that wound around the bar. turns out, when sitting at the bar, your order is delivered via the conveyor belt a la "sushi boat." love it. i recommend sitting at the bar. yes, the novelty (for me) is still pretty awesome.

about the menu. they have their standard menu (specializing in sliders. and there are pages and pages and pages of options), but they also have a special menu. when they brought us an ipad with photos of their specials, we were sold (be sure to get the bacon (or as T says, "facon") wrapped mushrooms. delicious.) A and i each chose 3 items and decided to split them (we ended up with fries, the mushrooms, and 4 different sliders). after that first round, we went back and ordered a few more sliders. all different. including "the obama." we had to (right?). the sliders are all pretty standard slider sized with lots of different flavor options. i particularly enjoyed the sliders with a fusion flair (like the thai inspired slider). i felt like slider station did those well as well as the more traditional sliders.

overall, i'd recommend slider station. they have a nice ambiance and there's something about supporting young and local entrepreneurs (though, turns out, this eatery is a part of a larger group, though still locally owned i think, of restaurants). M has been to the branch/franchise in oman and said it was delicious. i would expect no less. awesome!

p.s. despite some of the events reflecting the current situation here, there were lots of people who tweeted that they were at slider station last night. i thought that was really funny.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

country style donuts

country style donuts
4300 williamsburg road, richmond, va 23231
tel: 804) 222-2466

in the world of krispy kreme and dunkin' donuts, i can't help but to crave some old school donuts (when was the last time you had one of those?), despite my usually absent sweet tooth. i find it interesting, though, that when i'm overseas, i find myself consuming massive amounts of sweets - chocolate bars, ice cream (baskin robbins pralines and cream, please), donuts, brownies, etc. i know, uncharacteristic and weird.

anyway, before heading overseas, and now already months and months ago, friends and i made a richmond road trip. we told people that it was to attend the french film festival in richmond (which was true), but who am i kidding - country style donuts was a "must visit." 

country style donuts is one of those places where they prepare a predetermined amount of donuts for the day's sale and when they're gone, they're gone (they're also not open on mondays, note to self). we made sure to head out of wdc early enough to catch the last batch of warm donuts, and i'm glad we did! sweet, but not too sweet. soft, but not mushy. fried, but not oily. some of the best classic donuts. ever.

when are they going to franchise into Q8?! one can hope ...

a few weeks ago, in ksa, i had some country style-esque donutes. they were pretty good, but they weren't the same. when in wdc on home leave (or for whatever takes me back to that side of the states), you can be sure i'm going to put country style on my list of places to go!