Category Food

I Found the Soul of Switzerland in a McDonald’s McGruyère

Because sometimes a sandwich isn’t just a sandwich. The trip from Zurich to Zermatt lasts three hours by train and climbs four thousand feet. It takes you from within twenty miles of the German border to within five miles of the Italian, though you wouldn’t know it by the rösti – a dish so ubiquitous […]

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American Pompeii: After the Food Court Closes

Photos: Stillness and silence at the abandoned White Flint food court. When it first opened in 1977, White Flint Mall was pure glamor. Donna Karan attended one of two celebratory black-tie events. Elizabeth Taylor – Cleopatra herself, then on her sixth or seventh husband, Senator John Warner of Virginia – attended the other. Through the expansive glass […]

Takeout Astrology: The Zodiac Placemat

All those chopsticks and duck sauce packets you’ve been hoarding for years? They’re all from one mysterious company in White Plains, New York. Growing up, every restaurant had its paper placemat. Sergio’s and Gino’s had a map of Italy with illustrations of the Tower of Pisa, a Venetian gondola, and the Colosseum. Generically Richmond restaurants […]

The Meaning of Fruits, or Tomatoes for Dessert

In the late nineteenth century, the Supreme Court decided the tomato was a vegetable, not a fruit, because it’s served with dinner not dessert. But why can’t we have our tomato cake and eat it too? The first tomato grew in South America. It was cultivated and taken to Central America where conquistadors took it […]

Eating San Francisco

There’s something about San Francisco. You sense it as soon as you get off the plane. Maybe it’s the weather – whatever that happens to be. Maybe it’s the constant horizon of old Victorians tumbling over hills like the backs of stegosauruses. Maybe it’s the yelps of sea lions, or, for a born-and-bred Easterner, the […]

Eating Miami

Miami during Art Basel is pure Fellini. Picture vacant models and their significantly shorter patrons parading around old factories in edgy parts of town. Picture the slow, interminable parade of rented Bentleys and Rolls Royces crawling across the causeways from Wynwood to the Beach. Picture reality stars knocking back glass after glass after glass of […]