It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
While Middle Eastern restaurants abound, Zaki Kabob House in Albany is one of the few that serve specialties of Palestinian cuisine, like spheeha, maklouba and mensaf. Family-owned and run by Fayza and Kameem Ayyad and their children, Zaki offers tastes of another world, plus warm hospitality.
Eating with the hands is more than just a way to maneuver food to the mouth. It embodies cultural values including, a sensuous connection to the food, the feeling of sharing and community, practicality avoiding waste, even prolonging a delicious meal by enjoying the lingering aroma of it on the fingers. Many cultures, such as Indian, Arab and African have dined this way for thousands of years. In a video-clip, the writer receives a hands-on lesson in eating with the hands — Moroccan style.
Healdsburg’s newest wine bar, Bergamot Alley, focuses on hard-to-find Mediterranean wines and local, handmade snacks to accompany them.
When my friend Roy alerted me to this new piece of technology, my first reaction as both a career server at a fine dining establishment and someone resistant to new technology was to view the E La Carte tablet as vilely impersonal and a threat to my profession. Over the last 24 hours, however, I have calmed myself as I weigh what I imagine the cons– and the pros– are of this particular piece of equipment.
At the Hospitalitarianism panel, the tablehopper’s Marcia Gagliardi chatted with Umberto Gibin (Perbacco, barbacco), Annie Stoll (Delfina), Giancarlo Paterlini (Acquerello), Nick Peyton (Cyrus) and Tim Stannard (Pizzeria Antica, Spruce, Cafe Des Amis). Stannard fielded one of the toughest questions, when Gagliardi asked him how he knows who will make it, who won’t, and how do you let people know.
What the hell does it take to get a great waiter in this town? I have had so few. The only answer I could come up with is this:
Luck. Pure, unholy luck.
It doesn’t seem to matter much what type of venue you are patronizing. High end restaurants are no guarantee of great service, though one’s expectations are higher when there.
I’m a sucker for a great Caesar salad. Call me old school, but there are few things that can beat it in my book. Garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and anchovy-y, if there is such a word. If there isn’t, there should be.
Sadly, a great restaurant Caesar salad has eluded me in this city of ours.
I don’t care what you say, this is not hummus. It is called favosalata. If you insist on calling it hummus, I will persist in telling you that you are wrong, however politely.
Where I work, we are very good at pretending the customer is always right, even when he isn’t. I hear our guests make ordering blunders on a nightly basis, which isn’t surprising, considering the fact that our dinner menu is in Anglicized Greek. It’s downright confusing to the uninitiated. And, of course, un-Greek.