Happy Travel Tuesday! This week is a themed post, with the theme being “movies and travel”. This can be a movie that has inspired you to travel, movie destinations you’ve visited, or even favorite travel movies.
I must admit that while I enjoy movies as much as the next person, I’m not so crazy about any that I have felt the strong desire to hop on the plane and jet off to the destinations featured. There is however, one TV personality that has greatly influenced our travels. At least, in the food department. And that’s right, I’m talking about Anthony Bourdain.
Since I’m having trouble fulfilling the “movies and travel” theme, I thought it would be fun instead to talk about the places we have eaten at all in the name of following Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps. (And you guys also know food is my favorite topic anyway!)
Fuente Alemana (Santiago, Chile)
The lomito sandwich is like the staple food of Santiago. You can literally find it around every corner. It’s basically a sandwich with some kind of meat, tomato, avocado, and a generous spread of mayo. And no, it’s not better than it sounds. Unless you’re eating a monster lomito at Fuente Alemana!
This diner is a landmark in the city, famous for their truly spectacular lomito creations. The sandwiches are made right in front of you with superior quality ingredients and are practically as tall as they are wide. The standard traditional one is made of thinly sliced pork, sauerkraut, tomato sauce, and mayo. It is absolutely delicious.
Sibaritico (Viña del Mar, Chile)
Besides the lomito sandwich, the hot dog completo is another distinctively Chilean creation that can be found literally everywhere. And being Anthony Bourdain, he’s not going to eat just any random one. Of course it has to be the most badass one, and so this took us to the tiny hole-in-the-wall Sibaritico in Viña del Mar, on the coast of Chile.
This hot dog is every bit as epic (and gross) as the picture looks. Stuffed into a humongous bun is a hotdog, sauerkraut, tomato pickle, mashed avocado, and the topper: an inch thick of house-made mayo. You decide if it looks appetizing to you. :P
Puerto del Mercado (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Oh my gosh, come here to experience the ultimate meatopia! Just imagine an entire marketplace filled with stall after stall of the most massive grills you have ever seen, with literally every kind of meat imaginable sizzling on top, “all hissing and spitting and the smell wafting over everything: the glorious, joyous miasma of meatness.”
Estancia del Puerto was the parrilla that Bourdain picked, so of course that was the one we went to too. Eating here is not the cheapest and I feel like the marketplace is a bit touristy nowadays, but there is still no better place in Montevideo to get your meatfest on.
Le Jeu de Quilles (Paris)
D first tried this small bistro on a previous trip to Paris with his brother after seeing it on the show. When he got back and showed me the pictures, I drooled over the decadent perfectly pink pate served on top of crunchy baguette. So when I finally made it to Paris with him a couple of years later, this was the only “fancier” restaurant on our list.
Unfortunately, that pate bowl was no longer offered as its highly seasonal (tiny) menu changes often in accordance with what’s fresh. We did however, still have a delightful meal (tuna steak over fregula pesto pasta for me!). It was a nice change from the baguette sandwiches and nutella crepes that had been the bulk of our Parisian foodie adventures.
Xoi Yen (Hanoi, Vietnam)
This is my favorite Bourdain place ever and the one I frequented the most! Xoi Yen is an extremely locally popular breakfast spot (or any time of the day actually) famous for their sticky rice and pate (don’t scrunch up your nose – this is perfectly acceptable and delicious to eat first thing in the morning!). This become our go-to breakfast place the two weeks we were in Hanoi. My favorite combination was sticky rice with pate and boiled chicken. No joke, but Xoi Yen and bun cha are the two main reasons why I MUST go back to Hanoi someday!
James Kitchen (Taipei, Taiwan)
James Kitchen is a tiny little restaurant serving authentic homestyle Taiwanese dishes. The founder’s concept is to cook the dishes he remembers his mother making as a child. This kind of traditional fare is matched with a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere. I tried a few of the classic dishes, including their famous pork + crab meatball soup and salted pork slices. The food is good, no question, but I have to admit that it didn’t wow me. I felt more satisfied eating at the little roadside eateries at a fraction of the price.
Tai Lei Loi Kei (Macau)
As soon as I saw Bourdain gobbling up this pork chop sandwich, I knew I had to try it as well! It’s so ridiculously simple: a juicy fried pork chop (yep, with the bone and all!) sandwiched in between a soft toasted bun. This is a Macanese invention and many think of Tai Lei Loi Kei, established in 1968, as the original creators.
I admit that we didn’t go to the original location in town, but rather the branch in the Venetian casino… because ummm… that was where we spent literally all day. But it was still deliciously greasy just the way I expected it to be. And I was also thrilled to find a branch in Kuala Lumpur and have had it a few times already!
The entire city of Lyon, France
Lyon has the distinct privilege of being the only place we’ve ever visited strictly because of the Bourdain episode. As soon as watched it, we knew we wanted to visit and experience its rich culinary history. And so we traveled to Lyon to taste its cheeses and charcuterie and bouchon fare.
Strangely, once we got to Lyon, we didn’t end up eating at any of the places Bourdain ate at (probably because most of them were expensive). But it didn’t really matter. All the food in Lyon is seriously amazing. This city, known as France’s gastronomical capital, has churned out some of the most famous chefs in history, and the art of making delicious food still trickles down today into every corner. We had the most delectable month. Gimme some of that baguette and charcuterie right now!
Have you sought out any Bourdain places on your travels? Are you a fan of his shows?
And P.S. I’m on A Compass Rose this week talking about my top 10 favorite destinations in two years of travel!
Happy Travel Tuesday! This week’s theme is “movies and travel” so free feel to link up any posts relating to the theme! But if you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can still totally join the party. :)
In other news, this will be my last week of being a Travel Tuesday co-host. It has been really fun and I’ve loved getting to know you guys more and discovering new blogs! I hope we can keep the friendship going even after I’m no longer co-host! xx
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