Let your taste buds lead you!

The Saint Lucian food

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I have traveled countless islands and I partake in a tasting of different foods from each place I visit. I must say that the food in Saint Lucia is some of best tasting food of all the islands that I have visited.


Italian Dishes you must try

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When you visit a new country or returning to your favorite destination you no doubt want to try some new foods. For me, I seek out the local cuisine of the land. Traveling to Italy is a great place for an adventurous food connoisseur like myself.

Thailand Street Food

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 We all like street food, we don't want to admit it but we crave the stuff. I am one for trying all types of street food from hot dogs on the corners of New York City to the parking lot barbecues in Atlanta, Georgia

Yummy!

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Belgien Waffles, look what they do to them!

Barcelona Tapas

Dive In!

It is the best!

Belize Cusine

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Sometime simple is enough!

St Lucia Friday Night Fish Fry

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I did a little research before traveling to the island of Saint Lucia. I came across a local event called the Friday Night Fish Fry but now they have changed the name and now call it the Friday Night Street Party. 

Breakfast in the Twin Cities

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It is early morning and I am hungry and craving some good breakfast. So we hit the streets in search of some food.

Saint Lucian Food

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The Saint Lucian Food

From roadside to sit down restaurants, there was not anything that I did not like. Before going I learned that one of my ex-shipmates was from Saint Lucia. I questioned him about finding some great food. He was really vague in his direction. He said "everything" was good. I was disappointed, I expected him to name places and even some directions. But I soon forgot about it, and praised him instead because everything WAS good. 


The first evening on our way from the airport I stopped at a food truck/trailer park. I ordered some  Jerk chicken and it was delicious. This was just the beginning to several great samplings.

Fried King Fish at the Friday night street party along with the "hot off the grill" pork chops were a hit. But there was so many things to taste and I tried to taste them all.


After coming from the volcano right outside of Soufriere we had Salt Fish and Bake this is a quick bite that most locals grab on the go. It has become my favorite as well. I craved that sandwich the entire time I was on the island of Saint Lucia.


Most of the food I consumed were at street markets and small local restaurants because I like to eat what the native people eat. But I always go out for a sit down dinner at a nice restaurant at least one time during my travels. I chose an open air spot  in Rodney Bay. The ambiance was perfect, right on the water with a gentleman playing a steel drum and singing. For dinner we had Coconut curry shrimp with vegetable rice that was great. The shrimp, were huge with a little kick from the local curry seasoning. Also on the menu was Grilled Mahi Mahi with rice and peas and it was equally delicious. The fish was seared which kept the inside flaky and juicy. 


With all of the good foods I encountered, I needed something to wash it down and a cold Piton did the trick. Piton is the local beer, it is clean and crisp and oh so refreshing.


When I return to Saint Lucia I with no doubt indulge in another eating frenzy. The foods in Saint Lucia is top notch and will make you put your diet on hold.


Norman L Payne/Up up up and Away!/February 15, 2016

Italian Dishes

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Italian Dishes You Should Eat

I will try just about anything…as long as it has been cooked! I’m not really into uncooked or raw food but if you cook it, I’ll eat it. 


I have created a list of eight foods I must try when visiting Italy. I love pizza and spaghetti but those personal favorites will only be consumed on a last choice bases.


Here are my eight selections…

  • Bigoli

It looks a little spaghetti but I have heard that it is even better! Bigoli noodles are thick, coarse and tubular and have a hole in the middle. These Italy noodles are traditionally handmade from buckwheat flour and duck eggs. The noodles are mixed with a simple sauce of dry red wine, vegetables, and roasted wild duck and a sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese.


  • Risi e bisi

Risi e bisi is “rice and peas,” in Italian. All over the Caribbean you can find Rice and Peas or Rice and Beans created a little different but all Rice and Peas. I know this does not sound, “Italian” but I need to try this favorite of mine, just with an Italian twist.


  • Tortellini en Brodo

This tortellini filled with veal and Parmigianino Reggiano cheese just sounds delicious. It’s topped with a light sprinkling of grated Parmesan—and that’s it. They say you will never want to eat tortellini any other way.


  • Canederli

This golf ball-sized dumpling made from leftover bread mixed with eggs and milk, smoked ham, cheese, and spices and then boiled in beef broth. You can have them served “dry” or with melted butter. Of course I want mine with be with that melted butter!


  • Osso buco alla Milanese

I was told if there is one meat dish that you must try in Italy, let it be osso bucco! It is veal shanks braised slowly in white wine and vegetables, served with a tangy, garlicky gremolata. I’m told not forget to scoop out the rich, buttery marrow from inside the veal bones—it’s the best part of the dish.


  • Cacciucco

I love seafood and Cacciucco has been created just for me. This spicy, zesty seafood stew created by fishermen using seafood unsold from their daily catch, which could include shellfish, monkfish, squid, or octopus. I love them all! The fish is cooked in a rich tomato and chile-based broth flavored with sage and garlic, and served with crusty bread. I am on the hunt!


  • Focaccia di recco

While on the go, Italians grab this quick food because it is easy to handle and taste great. It is a tasty yet very simple quick snack. It is just a thin sheet of baked focaccia with a creamy layer of crescenza cheese in the middle. It’s like grilled cheese, but better. Got to have it!


  • Saltimbocca

I like veal and this Italian dish contains thin slices of veal, topped with salty prosciutto and herb leaves. I am all in already! A well-made serving of saltimbocca promises to melt in your mouth. Well this too will be a dish I will scan every menu in Italy to try!


Norman L Payne/Up up up and Away!/July 1, 2016

Saint Lucia Friday Night Fish Fry

Saint Lucia, Friday Night Fish Fry, Saint Lucia Street Party, Caribbean, Foodie

A street party in Saint Lucia

I did a little research before traveling to the island of Saint Lucia. I came across a local event called the Friday Night Fish Fry but now they have changed the name and now call it is the Friday Night Street Party. Whatever name you call it, I suggest you attend. 

When I arrived at 7 PM most cooks were just setting up and starting to prepare their menus. If you wait until 8 PM, the food could be slightly cold. But have no fear, the people of Saint Lucia are very friendly and don’t mind if you ask to have your food laid on the grill to warm it up a bit.

In Gros Islet on the northwest corner of the island on every Friday night several food vendors set up make shift kitchens to grill chicken and pork chops and of course fry fish. There was so much too choose from, it was difficult to find the one plate of food to satisfy. Instead I chose to nibble on a little here and a little there. This allowed me to taste a variety of things from many different food stalls. I quickly developed a few favorites, the King Fish, Macaroni Pie and the delicious bread Saint Lucians call Bake. These foods were requested everyday by me once I tried them.

Homemade bars were everywhere you looked. The spirits selection is similar to what you might expect from any island bar…lots of rums and cold beer. There is no island that I have visited that does not have a version of Rum Punch and Saint Lucia has one all of its own. So don’t pass on it, thinking that all Rum Punch is the same because it is not. A Saint Lucian Rum Punch is mixed with a few spices from the island, giving it a very unique flavor.

On several corners there were banks of speakers blurring out tunes in a kind of party mix, drawing the rum punch filled visitors to dance in the streets. The entire atmosphere had an old school block party feel but with a Caribbean twist. As the night grew older, more and more people filled the street. By the time I left the narrow streets were so crowded that it was difficult to walk back to my car. This party goes late into the night and every Friday on the calendar.

When you visit Saint Lucia plan to visit Gros Islet for the Friday Night Street Party, you will not be disappointed.

Norman L Payne/February 15, 2016/Up up up and Away

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Thailand Street Food

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This is great eats

  

We all like street food, we don't want to admit it but we crave the stuff. I am one for trying all types of street food from hot dogs on the corners of New York City to the parking lot barbecues in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Bangkok has so many street food stalls that you can't ignore their presences. Walking down any street or alleyway you will encounter food stalls. You could enjoy fresh cut fruit or a whole grilled fish along with many traditional Thai dishes like Boat Noodles and Chicken or Pork Satay. But it doesn't end there, fried crab and baby octopus can be found on some streets.

The foods they cook on the streets with mobile stove tops looks as if it came right from a restaurants kitchen. The presentation is also important to the Thai street chef. The foods are laid out in an inviting display. I was amazed at the artistry of these cooks. 

Outside of some of the biggest shopping malls are pop-up food courts complete with a variety of foods and community seating in the center of the food vendors tents. 

Once night has fell on the city, stretches of streets turn into make shift restaurants. Tables and chairs line the sidewalk with condiments and even table coverings. It was interesting to see what was once a lonely corner turn into a street restaurant with customers sitting enjoying full meals with main course, steamed rice, salad and sides of hot tea. 

Everyone can not eat Thai food let alone "Thai Street Food". So watch what you eat but I guarantee you will not be able to avoid these delicious foods that are cooked right on the streets in Bangkok. 

Chan Hew (I am hungry)

Norman L Payne/December 5, 2016/Up up up and Away!

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Breakfast in the Twin Cities

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Tony's Diner is the place for Breakfast

  

It is early morning and I am hungry and craving some good breakfast. So we hit the streets in search of some food.

I came across a little diner blocks away from the University of Minnesota in nearby Dinky Town. The place is called Tony's Diner. It is a small place that takes your orders when you arrive, there are no menus at the table. After you make your selection from a large board on the wall, you pay and find a seat wherever you like.

My wife and I had the Chicken Fajita Omelette with a side of Blueberry pancakes. The omelette was fluffy and full of chicken it laid beside a pile of hash browns and two pieces of toast. The pancakes were hot off the griddle and packed with blueberries. They too were fluffy and delicious.

The service was fast and the staff were nice and very attentive. For a small diner, they operated like a major chain when it came to customer service. This will become my "go to" breakfast spot while visiting the Twin Cities.


Norman L Payne/March 30, 2017/Up up up and Away!

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