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Recs Sought for Thailand: Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Thanks for pointing me to Robyn's blog. I think I'd stumbled across it at some point, but neglected to bookmark. And I've scheduled a cooking class for Sunday - good to know I'm not missing out by skipping the market!

Recs Sought for Thailand: Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Somtam Nua it is then! :-)

Recs Sought for Thailand: Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Thanks, el jefe! I'm not bringing my bike, but there are a couple of bike tours that look like fun - both in CM and BKK. Bicycle is my primary means of transportation here in SF, so I always like to bike when I travel.

Narrowing down SF resto picks

Uhh, I think you might've overlooked "not" in that sentence. ;-) But I appreciate learning it's open for lunch - I guess I tend not to notice it during the day since there's usually a bit of a wait for dinner. This is going to make my next office outing a much easier choice!

Narrowing down SF resto picks

Strongly agree on ditching RN74. I've always found the food to be underwhelming and the service to be simultaneously awkward and fussy.

As for Swan, there's a part of me that is AOK with out-of-towners lining up there everyday while some of us locals go to Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro. It's not an identical experience - but much less of a crazy scene, and with fantastic local shellfish, delicious oysters and a really tasty off-menu cioppino. But srsly, don't tell anyone... Oh, and it's dinner only.

Recs Sought for Thailand: Chiang Mai and Bangkok

I’m an SF’an heading to Thailand for my first visit in October. I’ll be spending my first weekend in Bangkok, then a week in Chiang Mai, then back to Bangkok for another week. I’m traveling on my own, though a flight attendant friend has a layover in BKK for a couple days while I’m there. I’m semi-adventurous when it comes to eating, though I’m not much for entrails and offal. I could use some help in a few areas:

1. Where to eat in Bankgok? Yes, I know that’s overly-broad. I feel like I have a good start – a few places on my list are Namh, Krua Apsorn, Soi Polo and Nuttaporn. And I know there’ll be plenty of street food and food courts to visit. Plus the recent thread on this board with recs from klyeoh was super-helpful – though perhaps a bit overwhelming! So, if anyone cares to call out one or two places in particular that they especially love, I’d be grateful.

2. Where to eat in Chiang Mai? I’ve had a harder time doing research. There seems to be less info available in general – indiefoodie’s post has lots of good recs, though that thread will be a year old by the time I arrive. Maybe el jefe has some new recs..? I’m sure I’ll do OK with the info available, but it’s always nice to hear the most recent news.

3. There seems to be a bit of disdain for food tours in the forums – but frankly, as a solo traveler, I like the idea of getting a feel for a place with a local guide, especially given the prices are reasonable. I’ve found a couple that look fun and are well-reviewed: Bangkok Food Tours and Chiang Mai Street Food Tours. Anybody have other recs or strong opinions on the matter?

4. Finally, since I’ll be on my own, I’d be interested in meeting up with any locals or other travelers who might like to share a meal. My schedule is Oct 10-12 BKK; Oct 12-19, CNX; Oct 19-25, BKK. Check out my blog here: https://completeoutrageredux.wordpres.... I don’t keep it up much except for when I travel, but it should give you some idea of what I like to do when I’m away from home. Feel free to message me here or via my blog.

I know I’ll be eating well in Thailand regardless of what more I find out here – but Chowhound’s members have steered me to great places in my other travels, so I really look forward to hearing from one and all. Thanks!

SF Trip 2015

I'm not going to say skip The Progress. But my experience there was rather disappointing - some of the food was very good (Treasure Chest was my favorite), but none of it was spectacular. The price-to-value ratio was way off. When I went to State Bird with the same group of friends, we spent less, had more variety and left full. Several of the six family-style shares at The Progress had a just a couple of bites per person. And the drinks? Cocktails were really tasty, but not cheap. And no bottles of wine less than $50. It adds up quickly and the final bill ran $160 per person (OK, we do like to drink, but still). Had it been closer to $100-120, I'd've been much more inclined to recommend.

With that being said, the service was very good and I think they did a fantastic job with room - it's great looking and does not look like every other place in town.

I went with the same group of friends to Foreign Cinema in December. We all thought that meal was excellent and had a great time - though the service from the hosts during our arrival and seating was a little sloppy. And they still serve the most reliably excellent brunch on weekends if you can get a reservation.

L'Ardoise may be my favorite "regular" restaurant in the city - though I'm a die-hard Francophile, so I may not be particularly objective. The place has a charming neighborhood feel, though you could easily imagine yourself in a neighborhood in Paris. IMO, their filet mignon is the best steak in the city - always perfectly cooked to order and seasoned properly. It comes with fancy potatoes, but I always just get it with frites. Every time I visit l'Ardoise, I say I'm going to try something else (it all looks and smells delicious on other diners' tables) but I always get the steak.

Something not on your list: Hooker's Sweet Treats. Tiny coffee shop in the Tenderloin making amazing salt caramels.

Trip Report: Tel Aviv

Thanks for the tip re. Miznon - I've updated my post!

Trip Report: Tel Aviv

My pleasure! I've gotten a lot of great advice from the boards, so I try to pay it forward.

Cafe 48 seems to do an especially good job with their Asian-inspired starters - that was my experience certainly. It is one of those places I had a hard time deciding what to order, since so much of what's on the menu sounds good. And the list of specials was quite large.

As for Gedera 26, really great food. I thought the service was a little iffy (though the chef very, very friendly and personable) - but I hesitate to make too much of my impression of the service, since it could just as easily be a product of the language barrier - I don't speak any Hebrew.

Trip Report: Tel Aviv

I spent nine days in Tel Aviv in mid-October. I've written on my blog in a bit more detail about where and what I ate (including photos - some are better than others!)

http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

With that being said, I can say that Tel Aviv is one of the best eating cities I've been to - fresh and local ingredients, really innovative preparations that reference both local cuisine and others from around the world.

I think my favorite meal was Gedera 26 - amazing house-made bratwurst. Plus a cilantro pesto served before the meal was phenomenal.

And Cafe 48 had really great food, along with the friendliest service I encountered. It was the one place I visited twice!

Solo Dining in Istanbul

I'm a 40-something gay dude making my first trip to Istanbul in early October. While I'm perfectly happy to eat at a table by myself, I'm especially interested in places that have a bar or counter - tends to be a lot more fun for the single diner. Here are a few of the places that have made it to my list so far:

ViraVira
Antiochia
Mikla
Furreyya
Ciya
Asmalı Cavit
Meze by Lemontree
Maya

Any feedback on solo dining at any of these places or recommendations of others would be much appreciated.

Also, I'm staying near Galata Tower - is it worth a trip to Kadikoy for lahmacun? According to Istanbul Eats, Borsam Taşfırın Lahmacun is the best. Or can I get something nearly as good closer to home base in Beyoglu? Thanks!

Sep 22, 2013
ejcsanfran in Europe

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

Hi everyone - A hearty thanks to all for your suggestions. Looks like I'll have plenty of good options for my visit!

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

Thanks for the info! I look forward to hearing more from you. :-)

To be clear, I'm not worried about the appropriateness of dining alone (I don't mind eating anywhere on my own!) - just that there are some places that are probably more fun for a solo diner than others. And I'd appreciate your suggestions.

Princess cake

Keep in mind that Miette uses white chocolate fondant for the exterior. This is neither good nor bad (and I love Miette!), but I prefer the traditional marzipan.

Believe it or not, for my sister's birthday a few years ago, we had a "Princess Cake-Off" with versions from Schubert's, Fillmore Bakeshop and Victoria Pastry in North Beach. There was no clear winner in the voting, though my particular favorite was the Schubert's version.

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

Good to know, bcc. It's funny - the more I look into H Samuel, the more mixed the reviews. I suspect it'll wind up on the "maybe" list. But I had not heard of Habasta - it looks great and just my kind of place. Thanks!

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

Thanks, cresyd, this is super-helpful. This isn't the first time I've heard Nanushka recommended, so that'll definitely get added to the list. And Hamitbochon looks great.

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

There's a post here on Chowhound re. Tel Aviv with many, many replies - it's very helpful, but a lot to wade through. Trip Advisor is useful, to a degree - but you have to take it with a grain of salt. A couple of places were mentioned to me by friends who've visited. And the rest were just the result of various Google searches online.

The one place that seems to get consistently favorable reviews is Herbert Samuel, so you might want to add that to your itinerary first.

Solo Dining in Tel Aviv

I'm a 40-something gay dude planning my first trip to Israel. I'll be spending most of my nine days in Tel Aviv and I'll be on my own. While I'm perfectly happy to eat at a table by myself, I'm especially interested in places that have a bar or counter - tends to be a lot more fun for the single diner. From the research I've done so far, these are some of the restaurants that have made it onto my list for "good food and/or fun atmosphere":

Barbunya
Orna & Ella
Herbert Samuel
Oasis
Raphael
Mizlala
Suzanna
Gedera 26
Bertie
Cordelia/Noa Bistro
Kimel

I suspect some may be better for solo dining and I'd appreciate any feedback pro or con for any of these places - as well as any suggestions for other restaurants. I should also add that I cannot speak or read Hebrew (I know! I'm terrible) so places without an English menu could be problematic...

A few places that I've ruled out are Catit and Mul-yam (probably a little hoity-toity for solo dinner) and Manta Ray (the reviews seems really mixed).

Any and all assistance is welcome and appreciated!

Dining for One in Paris

Also check out Paris By Mouth. http://parisbymouth.com/

I found it to be a very helpful supplement to Chowhound, since the posts typically include address, map, phone number and other useful info - along with links to other online reviews. It's search features are pretty robust, too. Was often able to help me when I had a "tie-breaker" between two places...

And FWIW, my recent post "Nine Days in Paris" on here was all based on solo dining.

Oct 20, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Nine Days in Paris

Well, I hope I'm not committing a huge faux-pas here on Chowhound - my trip report is mainly going to consist of links to own my personal blog. But here's the short version...

Chez Jenny - Hearty and tasty choucroute a mere stone's throw from my apartment. Easy and satisfying after 18 hours of travel...

Le Galopin - Extraordinary food by any measure... Creative, delicious, complex, beautiful. All the more so with a breathtakingly reasonable price.

Terroir Parisien - Quality ingredients, simple preparation, open on Sunday. Dessert was a miss...

Le Severo - Excellent steak, disappointing frites

La Bourse ou La Vie - Steak was good enough, frites better than last night. The convivial owner makes this plate a treat. But no need to cross town for it.

Bistrot Victoires (lunch) - Several slices of bread topped with potato, lardons and cheese then put under the fire. Superb on a blustery day and not too far from Louvre.

Chez Dumonet Josephine - Worth every penny for amazing boeuf bourguignon in a postcard French setting (save for all the Americans...)

Restaurant Pierre-Sang - Sensational food at a tiny and rather boisterous place. Fun, delicious, great wine pairings and another shockingly low price for a 6-course menu.

L'Office - My favorite steak of my visit. Casual but with lovely and modern dishes.

Café des Musées - Old fashioned place in the Marais serving tasty and traditional dishes. Pork was great.

If you're inclined to read more, here are links to my more detailed reviews, along with photos.

Le Galopin
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Chez Dumonet Josephine
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Restaurant Pierre-Sang
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

L'Office
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

And some less detailed posts (though still with some photos) that also include lots of blather about all of my tourist activities - you've been warned...

Chez Jenny
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Terroir Parisien, Le Severo
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

La Vie ou La Bourse, Bistrot Victoires
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Café des Musées
http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Oct 16, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Aidez-moi! Need Suggestions for Dinner Tomorrow (Saturday) in Paris

I was seated right next to the door and found it rather hilarious that people kept showing up requesting a table and being advised they could have one, but ONLY if they were gone in one hour to accommodate those with later reservations. The maitre d' wasn't yelling - though I'd hardly describe his demeanor as "jolly"... I think most folks realized that at 8PM on a Saturday, they'd better take what they could get.

Oct 15, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Aidez-moi! Need Suggestions for Dinner Tomorrow (Saturday) in Paris

Short answer: great smoked salmon, followed by a tasty echine de porc - an enjoyable last evening. I'm still catching up on my notes. I'll be sure to include more details on this when I provide an update on my week in Paris soon...

Oct 15, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Aidez-moi! Need Suggestions for Dinner Tomorrow (Saturday) in Paris

Thanks for the suggestions. I called several places with no luck, then gave Café des Musées a jingle - I was sure they'd be booked, since they seem to be both well-reputed and well-known by locals and tourists alike. Happily, I got a reservation for an early dinner with no problem. Phew!

Oct 13, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Aidez-moi! Need Suggestions for Dinner Tomorrow (Saturday) in Paris

BarAPain at 134 Rue de Turenne - close by my place and very good!

http://www.barapain.com/boulangerie.htm

Oct 13, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Aidez-moi! Need Suggestions for Dinner Tomorrow (Saturday) in Paris

In a shocking display of unpreparedness, I neglected to reserve for dinner tomorrow evening - my last night in Paris after a week. So far I've called Paul Bert, Le Chemise and Pirouette - they're all booked.

I'm here on my own, so a seat at a counter is fine by me and I"m staying in the 3me - don't mind traveling a bit but prefer to stay on the Right Bank. So far this week, I have eaten at Chez Jenny, Le Galopin, Terroir Parisien, La Bourse ou La Vie, Le Severo, Josephine Chez Dumonet, Pierre Sang Boyer and l'Office.

And if it's any incentive to help me out, I plan to share my impressions of all my meals while on the train to Amsterdam on Sunday. Here's what I thought of Le Galopin (short answer: superb).

http://completeoutrageredux.wordpress...

Oct 12, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Chocolatier in Paris with house-made "Nutella"?

Ah! Found it! Jean-Charles Rochoux. Here's the original article I read:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/06/...

And I was obviously completely wrong on the location...

Sep 05, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Chocolatier in Paris with house-made "Nutella"?

A few months ago, I read about a chocolatier in Paris, one of whose specialties was chocolate spreads - one similar to Nutella, another made with dark chocolate and raspberry. And now, with my trip imminent, I can't remember the name of the place!

For some reason, I think it may have been on Ile St Louis or Ile de la Cite - but my online searches in those neighborhoods haven't helped. And I may be completely wrong in my recollection of location.

Anybody know what shop this might be? Thanks!

Sep 05, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Solo Dining in Paris?

That's it? Well, I suppose it's better than nothing...

I kid, of course. I really appreciate your detailed response and taking into account my specific question. The apartment I'm letting is on Rue de Corderie, so I'm not quite in the thick of all the madness of the Marais - a good thing, I think. And I've just discovered I'm a short walk from Jacques Genin...

Now I only need to figure out how to eat at 30+ restos in 9 days. Eh, a good problem to have. Cheers!

Jul 23, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Solo Dining in Paris?

I'll be spending a bit over a week in Paris in October. I'm a gay dude, traveling on my own and staying just north of Marais. Since I've visited Paris before, I'm hoping to explore a few parts of the city that are bit off the well-beaten tourist path - in other words, I'm happy to seek out restos outside my neighborhood.

I don't have any qualms about solo dining. That being said, given a choice, I prefer places where I can eat at a counter or bar (is this even something typical in Paris?). It tends to be a more convivial setting for the single diner. But it's only a preference - I'm happy to sit at a two-top.

Would be nice to keep meals somewhere in the €50-60 (including wine) range, but I certainly plan to splurge at least a few of times. And I'll be seeking out great French food, of course, but I'm looking forward to trying local takes on ethnic cuisine as well.

I hope this isn't too vague a request. I'm already making a list, thanks to the boards, but I'm particularly interested in any feedback on places that offer great food along with a welcoming atmosphere for a single guy.

Jul 19, 2012
ejcsanfran in France

Palm Springs Restaurants?

Spent Christmas in Palm Springs and had a fabulous time - in fact, we're going back in May. That being said, I don't know that there are any "can't be missed" restaurants - I didn't get the impression that it's a much of a foodie destination...

Places we enjoyed: Zin American Bistro; El Mirasol; Sherman's (for lunch); Norma's at the Parker (for brunch).

We also went out for a "fancy" dinner at Johannes and found it to be pricey and underwhelming.

More details on my blog: http://completeoutrage.wordpress.com/...

Apr 03, 2009
ejcsanfran in California