Sunday, November 16, 2008

Memories of Palma

Pastel of Salmon dish at La Bodeguilla

It was drizzling when we arrived in Palma de Mallorca and the temperature was way lower than in Seville where we had spent the last several days roasting under Andalucian skies. And it rained for most of the time we were in Palma. That sort of dampened our visit but we discovered several places of refuge to while the time away.

Off the main shopping street we found two restaurants, both under the same management. El Burladero is a casual taberna on Calle Concepcion where we kept dry and ate a late, late lunch after a long day of sightseeing. As it was late afternoon and some of the staff were on lunch break themselves, we had the opportunity to get acquainted with them and find out about island life. The following day we had an early dinner at La Bodeguilla, an upscale restaurant with several dining rooms. We tucked ourselves in a niche with a big glass window overlooking Calle San Jaime. It was a pleasure to linger over dinner and drinks. I had the pastel of salmon which was every bit as tender, moist and as appetizing as the image above suggests. In both places we had the best and most attentive service in all of Spain.

After dinner we walked to the area near the Lonja (old Bourse, now being renovated) to the Jazz Voyeur Club where we sat in a small, intimate room to listen to some great music. It was a Saturday night and the club was standing room only. For such a terrific concert, we each paid the price of a drink or 4 euros for a glass of wine. What a bargain! This same club has hosted the likes of Diana Krall. Check out www.jazzvoyeur.com.

For more on Palma de Mallorca, check my video below.


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Photo by Rosario Charie Albar

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Halloween Treat

Halloween is always a treat for little kids who are lucky to fill their bags with sweets from neighbors and friends.

We adults love to be treated too. Which is exactly what we got: a sumptious three course lunch at Mistral in Redwood Shores. For the main entrée the selections were: Thai Style Beef Salad, Oak Fire Baked Paella (see photo) and Meyer Lemon Chicken "Saltimboca". I can tell you that the paella was very good. It had gulf shrimps, mussels, chicken, Andouille sausage, peas, tomatoes, sweet peppers, saffron rice, all simmered in shellfish broth. I cleaned my plate.


For dessert we had a choice between Chocolate Chambord Ganache and Creme Brulée. The Ganache had a chocolate crumb crust, whipped cream to top it off and strawberry coulis, the perfect antidote to chocolate. It was a beautiful dessert to behold and the perfect way to end a memorable lunch.


The creme brulée looked good too. Now I'm haunted by what I may have missed.

Mistral Restaurant overlooks a lagoon and it's pleasant to dine alfresco even when it's cold out. They have gas heaters so you can comfortably sit outdoors even on chilly nights. Mistral is at 370 Bridge Parkway, Redwood Shores, California.

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Photos by John Zheng

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Travel Linguist

It's always good to know a few words in the language of the country you are visiting. The locals appreciate and warm up to any attempt by a visitor to speak in their native tongue. The Travel Linguist on YouTube has short videos for learning 10 "survival" words and phrases in 15 languages including Japanese, French, Indonesian, German or Thai, to name a few. These 10 essential words and phrases are possibly enough to win friends and make your trip doubly interesting and exciting. At the very least, you'll learn how to ask, "Where's the bathroom?" And you know that's an important question after having had too much red wine in Burgundy or chai in Thailand.
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/travellinguist.