Category Archives: Travel

[Mumbai meri jaan]: Bombay my love!

All I was thinking about during my looooooong flight to Mumbai, “The deliciousness I’m going to eat”. As expected our short trip was filled with yummy food, love, laughter and much needed family-time.

Disclaimer: This post does not capture all the deliciousness we ate!

My five favorite meals during my recent trip to Mumbai:

  1. Neer Dosa and Sambhar at my in-laws’.

Simple savory rice crepes (neer dosa) are my mom in-law’s specialty. The cherry on the top was learning how to make sambhar (spicy tangy daal with veggies) from my father in-law!

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2. Traditional Malvani-style crab curry at Mom’s.

No words.

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3. Shrimp fritters, sheekh kebabs and dhanshak at ‘Sodabottleopenerwala’ Restaurant.

A newly opened restaurant that mainly serves Parsi food with great decor and ambience. Menu was innovative, tasty and interesting! Kolmi Fry – onion fritters stuffed with spicy marinated shrimp; the minced lamb kebabs were succulent and finally the Parsi special Dhansak was served in a stackable tiffin lunch box set with caramelized rice and salad!

4. Cheese Pav Bhaji at a local restaurant (the staff was busy watching cricket on tv).

My guilty pleasure. Lots of grated Amul cheese.

Fresh crusty buttery bread (pav). Spicy vegetable curry (bhaji).

Nostalgia. Took me back to my college days.

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5. Bangda Bhattu (Indian mackerel fish masala) at Panna Mami’s.

Freshest fish.

Freshly ground byadgi mirchi*

Marry and become Bangda Bhattu. 

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*spicy dried red chillies

[Bye bye 2015]: myFavorite 12

  • January – Massachusetts dream
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So far I have lived in 3 countries, 5 states and 8 cities
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Red Rock Canyon – Pink Jeep Tours, Nevada
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Two trips to SLC in 2015 – highlights as always meeting old friends and visiting my favorite restaurants!
  • April – Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers (&spring)!
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Love watching live games – the energy is fabulous (and LeBron James)
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Such a beautiful city – cable car ride, view, seafood and more
  • June – San Juan, Puerto Rico
Our “real” vacation in 2015. Mango, plantains, fresh coconut water, tamarind, waves, forts…..felt so close to home even though we do not share the same language! Hope to be back soon PR.
  • July – Red Sox game at Fenway;  NYC and Phoenix, AZ
  • August – Newport, RI and Cape Cod, MA
  • September – Broadway show and Labor weekend in Western Massachusetts with family

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  • November – Took baking to the next level!
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White wine cake and blueberry white chocolate pie
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myFavorite Fish Pollichathu at Kokum, NYC

Looking forward to (even) more travel foodie explorations in 2016!

Happy Near Year everyone — from myfoodsquare.

V for Vermont

 

These are a few of my favorite things

Baking croissants, Yoga, sing-along, charades

Pictionary, Sound of Music

Austrian food, Vermont

von Trapp lodge, mountains, with my wonderful team

My most memorable travel work week so far!

The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT is owned and run by the family whose story inspired the famous Hollywood classic, Sound of Music.

It was truly an Austrian getaway – the lodge is nestled in the mountains and still managed by the Trapp Family.

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Trapp Family Lodge
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The hills are alive with the sound of music….

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My first snow of 2015.

The drive up there was gloomy, rainy and a little scary (driving in heavy rains with trucks and mountainous roads can be intimidating to say the least) — but I made it just in time for our team baking class!  Croissants baking to be specific. We learnt it takes 3-days to make buttery, flaky, heavenly croissants . Our instructor had graciously prepped the dough so we were able to “fast-forward” certain steps.

They baked it for us and we were able to enjoy them for breakfast the next day — after our relaxing team Yoga class (overlooking the mountains)! I have heard, read benefits of doing Yoga in a group — but I experienced it as well.

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Croissants baking class – whole wheat maple (mine remind me of crabs?!)
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View from the Yoga class.
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Majestic Scotch Highland Cattle – beware!

We enjoyed most meals onsite except one night we tried a local wood-fire grill place called The Bench in Stowe. The menu at the lodge has Austrian/European influence including homemade sausages, speciality cheeses and finally, desserts – apfelstrudel and black forest cake (from the bakery where we learnt to make croissants).

There was live piano music, Sound of Music sing-along, my first snow for this season, holidays in the air and we watched the Sound of Music movie one night! It was magical.

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Apfelstrudel & Black Forest Cake

On my way back home I made two quick stops –  Ben & Jerry’s factory tour and Lake Champlain chocolates — both are proud to be from Vermont and location-wise they are  just few miles from the lodge – down the mountain, before getting on the freeway so literally on the way. I enjoyed free sample of the sweet cream & cookies ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s) and picked up spicy hot chocolate  (Lake Champlain) for my ride home.

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Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory tour

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Until next time — Trapp Family lodge and Vermont in general — I was intrigued, mesmerized and nostalgic — such fond memories. Will be back soon!

[The Steel City]: Pittsburgh, PA

I visited Pittsburgh (my first time) recently for a conference — turned out to be nice place! I thought it would be different (not exactly sure what I was expecting) – when you travel quite a bit for work it is hard to know what to expect sometimes.

It is not like Philly.

It has many bridges.

It is apparently safer to walk as compared to taking a cab (per a local restaurant owner).

Unexpectedly good food scene.

Decent Fall colors.

And yes, I did set foot in the Heinz Stadium — hello from my Boston fan!

My travel foodie experience was great — for the first night I tried an Argentinian place in the Strip District (Gaucho Parrilla). Crazy huge blackboard menu. You order first and then the server brings the food to the table. Seafood and potatoes side are worth trying. The highlight was definitely the campfire sweet potatoes side dish (with toasted marshmallow and all)! The food was freshly-made and flavorful — not spicy hot but had a nice blend of spices.

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myFact: A cab driver informed me that Pittsburgh has >100 bridges!
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Gaucho Parrilla – Argentinian food in Pittsburgh!
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Pittsburgh Downtown!

Conferences are great for networking and socializing. I get to meet some of my old (and new) friends. I explored Pittsburgh restaurants with my partner in crime, P — we tried Argentinian, Mediterranean and finally, a gourmet meatball place – Mercato right near the convention center — nice variety of options for all tastes (including vegetarian meatballs), huge portions and a nice vibe. You can get your choice of meatballs — as a slider (I went for it), or over pasta etc. with variety of sauces/sides. For dessert we enjoyed their freshly made ricotta doughnuts with powdered sugar (similar to beignets) with chocolate sauce! We were in heaven.

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Found a neat gourmet meatball (Mercato) place near the convention center! Veggie ball slider with parmesan and pesto sauces.
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Tater-tots poutine at Mercato! It was delish!

Wrapped up my trip with a local-dish “pierogies” — European/American version of dumplings with a cheese-potato filling cooked in butter and fried onions. Yum!

Until next time Pittsburgh. Go Pats!

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Pierogies.

New Haven: Jhinga Manchurian

During my several recent trips to New Haven, Connecticut I realized it is definitely an ethnic foodie haven. From Ethiopian to Mexican to Mediterranean to Spanish (tapas) and of course Indian. I enjoy walking around Yale University campus and exploring new restaurants along with a dear friend/New Haven local. We invariably indulge in dessert before dinner – Bubbies mochi ice cream!

Jhinga manchurian is an Indo-Chinese concoction with deep fried shrimp typically in a corn flour batter and a spicy-vinegary sauce. It is a perfect appetizer to share with a friend!

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Jhinga Manchurian – Thali, New Haven, CT
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Square donut: Orangeside donuts, New Haven.

New Orleans: Culinary Experience!

What can I say – NOLA is a foodie’s paradise. I have visited New Orleans three times so far and every time I’m blown away. Love the seafood. Love the bread pudding. Love the beignets. Love. Love. Love.

During one of my trips last year my parents were able to visit NOLA with me. I was busy with work but they explored New Orleans and thoroughly enjoyed their trip! My dad writes to my sister S after the trip that really sums up what New Orleans is all about –

“NOLA visit was great. We stayed at the historic Hotel Monteleone which is in the heart of downtown just a few blocks away from the Mississippi river walk. It is an old French area known as French Quarter. Our hotel was more than hundred years old.
We enjoyed the local Cajun cuisine, the freshly made pralines and the seafood was good. The variety in the food and the serving is amazing. Since this area was also under Spanish control the food variety multiplies.
NOLA downtown is a very lively place with musicians on the streets, Jazz originated here they say, street art and art galleries in old settings, every other shop is a specialty restaurant some even hundred years old. Tourists are on their feet walking around and enjoying. Two days we walked a lot along with them until we were just tired. The street cars are also a century old and well-maintained. We enjoyed the ride.”
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Shrimp in BBQ sauce.
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Blackened Catfish!

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