Duck Breast And Meatballs, Potato Croquettes, Caramelized Onions. and Red Cabbage Purée

Central European Wild Duck, with its Potatoes and Red Cabbage

There are few places where duck is as ubiquitous a culinary staple as in Central Europe, in particular Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia (the other places would be France, China, and Southeast Asia). Roast duck, served with potatoes and red cabbage, seems to be on the menu of every other restaurant, prepared this or […]

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Road to Dushanbe - Khushekat

Tajik Adventures, Part 4: The Painful Road to Dushanbe

At the close of my survival guide for Tajikistan, I promised you the world’s worst hotel. A place that puts to shame all of the first-world problems you might have encountered in the West, such as inadequate climate control, capricious hot water in the bathroom, or unresponsive TV — it offers none of those three luxuries. This place has […]

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Latvian Cuisine - Pirags

Piragi, Latvia’s National Dish

The last entry in my series of national dishes was Kazakhstan’s beshbarmak. This time, we’re hopping to the Baltic to try Latvian piragi. Naming a single national dish for a whole country is a very artificial exercise. For Latvia, Wikipedia suggests latke, and sure, Latvians eat potato pancakes, probably tons of them, but… so does the rest […]

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Back From Central Europe

Back from Central Europe

The past 10 days saw me traveling in Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Soon, you too will learn everything there is to know about absinthe in Moravia. Discover the little stinky cheese of Olomouc. Read the highlights of a tasting of 100 wines. Understand what real Slovak Bryndzové Halušky taste like. Find out why a church in […]

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Czech Cuisine - Doma Na Rohu

Restaurant Review: Doma Na Rohu

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! Save for a handful of Austrian and German joints, Central European cuisine has become pretty scarce […]

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Baklava

Signature Dish: Food Perestroika’s Baklava

I love baklava. The thin, nutty layers saturated with fragrant syrup take me back to a warm night in a caravanserai in Baku’s Old City, drinking herbal tea and dark Azerbaijani cognac. Or to the mountains of northern Azerbaijan, where locals make their unique Quban baklava, paper-thin latticed layers finished with in bright red. Or to […]

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Green Market - HAlmaty Green Market - Horse Meatorse Meat

Kazakh Adventures, Part 2: Impressions from Almaty

Just as I did for beshbarmak, I’d like to interrupt my Tajik Adventures series to give a little bit of background about my recent horse steak post. So let’s head to Almaty, the former capital of the former Kazakhstan Social Socialist Republic. And let’s start with a former Soviet landmark, Café Ldinka. I say former, because it burned […]

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Croatian Cuisine - Brodet

Brodet, Croatian Fish Stew

In most people’s consciousness, Eastern Europe does not evoke delicious seafood dishes. Apart from caviar or smoked fish (which most people actually eat rarely), the images that come to mind tend to be of thick brown meat stews and starchy dishes, or perhaps of various grilled meats and greasy sausages, washed down with a profusion of beer and other alcoholic beverages. And yet, […]

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East Village - Kafana

Restaurant Review: Kafana

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! It’s hard to believe that Kafana has been serving Serbian food in the East Village for […]

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Kazakh Cuisine - Almaty-Style Horse Steak, with Markovka and Khychin

Almaty-Style Horse Steak, with Khychin and Morkovka

While there are many countries where horse meat is available and consumed occasionally (sometimes unbeknownst to the consumers), Kazakhstan is one of the few places where it’s one of the major meats in the butcher’s display. Its use goes beyond the traditional kazy and beshbarmak, and at some restaurants in the larger cities, you can enjoy a […]

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