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Gourmania

 

Women Report on 150 Great Eats Worldwide

 



  ALASKA

Kathleen from Anchorage, Alaska...
Cafe Amsterdam serves the best Reuben sandwich in these parts! Their other food is very good and reasonably priced as well. As a local I can tell you that it's a place where all the other ‘locals’ eat. Address: 530 E Benson Blvd Ste 3, tel: 907.274.0074

 

Julie from Homer, Alaska, USA...
250 miles south of Anchorage, lies the small town of Homer Alaska. A fishing and arts village, Homer is on Beautiful Kachemack Bay, as far south as the state highway goes. Listed in John Villani's book 'The 100 Best Small ART TOWNS in America” Homer is known as Alaska’s Art Capital. Galleries abound here, as do restaurants, many of them very good. My favorite is the Cosmic Kitchen. Small and unpretentious, the Cosmic Kitchen serves mostly Mexican food. But it is healthy and tasty and often has some of our local seafood in it. Also on the menu are specialty sandwiches, my favorite which is Tikka Leah – spicy chicken with vegetables and yogurt sauce in a flatbread, topped with a dab of chutney. An amazing blend of flavors in every bite! So if you are traveling the Kenai Peninsula, continue to the end of the road and see Homer. And the Cosmic Kitchen. Tel: (907) 235-6355 Address: 510 E Pioneer Ave.

 

Lois from Ketchican, Alaska...
I live and work as a tour guide in Ketchican. Here's my favorite lunch spot, a very small, informal place owned and run by a woman. From downtown Ketchican, walk through the tunnel and you'll see the Burger Queen at 518 Water Street. In addition to Ketchikan's best burgers, you can get fish and chips or a halibut sandwich made with fresh, not frozen, halibut. Sit on the deck at the Arctic Bar (also owned by a woman) across the street and sip a libation and wait for your food to be delivered there. Or, take it yourself to the charming waterfront park close to the Arctic and watch the local boat traffic, or just simply enjoy it at the Burger Queen. Tel: 907.225.6060

 

  ARIZONA

Rachael from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA...
If you can't make it all the way to Mexico, then stop by Mezcal in North Scottsdale. The Oaxacan-style food is as authentic as it gets using fresh ingredients, rich flavors and enough spice to keep you on your toes. They have several specialty dishes with mole (a sweet, but spicy sauce). And for desert, you've got to try the Banana-Pepitas, which comes with a toasted coconut sauce. Travelling with a partner? After dinner, be sure to take a trip upstairs to the Cobalt Bar for a sultry evening of live music and margaritas.

 

  CALIFORNIA

Claudia from Los Angeles, California, USA...
For Journeywomen traveling West to Los Angeles let it be known there is a great neighborhood restaurant in Hollywood where travelers will find moderately priced food, a friendly bar, and even an occasional star sighting. Located at 5925 Franklin Ave. (between Tamarind & Bronson), Birds is nestled in the Hollywood Hills on a block filled with fun shops and other interesting restaurants. I go there often to meet friends and to enjoy a laid back atmosphere where a pint of Guinness and chicken strips with artichoke garlic dip makes me smile. The main fare is chicken (the chicken dishes are the most inexpensive items) but you can also find N.Y steak, ribs, veggie burgers and roast turkey sandwiches on the menu. The side dishes are wonderful and include garlic mashed potatos, rainbow rice, and homemade colesaw. A favorite of many are the roll up sandwhiches (made in Mediterranean Lavash bread and served with one side dish) that are creative and tasty. The Mexican Shrimp Roll Up has chicken, oretega chilies, jalapeno jack cheese, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, smoked jalapeno sauce AND Cajun shrimp. The kitchen opens for lunch at 11:45am daily and stays open to 11pm. The bar remains open until 2am. There are street side tables (remember there is NO Smoking in restuarants or bars in California) and tables and booths inside. You may also eat at the bar. After 8pm reservations might be needed because the place really starts to hop with young industry folks and if you look closely under the All American baseball cap you might see a face you recognize from television or the big screen. Parking is lacking so if you drive either spend the money and use the valet or park over by the Mayfair market and walk. 323-465-0175 One last note: two blocks away is a safe, clean and inexpensive Best Western that I have all my friends stay at when in town. Best Western Hollywood Hills, 6141 Franklin Ave. 323-464-5181. Hooray for Hollywood!

 

Maureen from Monterey, California, USA...
For great seafood in a charming small town visit Passionfish in Pacific Grove (right next to Monterey), just blocks to the beach. I believe it may just be open for dinner. Address: 701 Lighthouse Avenue. Phone: 831-655-3311

Enjoy good coffee in a renovated home -- you can also sit outside on the wooden bench at an interesting spot in Pacific Grove called Wildberries.

Try Taste for wonderful red oak leaf salad with glazed walnuts and goat cheese -- perfect food for lunch or dinner. Located on Forest Avenue in Monterey.

For breakfast (large portions) I suggest the Old Monterey Cafe located at 489 Alvarado Street.

 

Helen from Pasadena, California...
Pie 'n Burger is a fixture in my hometown, Pasadena, California. It's on California Street just one door east of Lake Avenue. This burger cannot be beaten anywhere! After one of these treats it's hard to have room for the pie but even if you just have room for one bite you must try the strawberry pie. According to their website: 'Michael Osborn is the current owner of Pie 'n Burger. He began eating there as a 9-year-old kid soon after it opened in 1963. His family lived in Arizona, but his grandmother, whom he visited each summer, lived in Arcadia and worked at the old Bullocks Pasadena around the corner from the diner. He loved the burgers. He loved the strawberry pie. As a USC student, he started working at Pie 'N Burger in 1972 and has been there ever since'. Address: 913 E California Blvd, tel: 626.795.1123. Website: www.pienburger.com

 

Linda for San Diego, California, USA...
One of our favourite places to eat was the Beach City Market on the ground level of Horton Plaza (around the corner from Norstroms). It is open early in the morning and makes breakfast and other great meals from scratch. Very affordable.

In the Hillcrest District make sure you don't miss Bread & Cie (350 University Avenue) This is a bakery/cafe that is absolutely wonderful. A big favourite with the locals.

La Jolla - we took the bus to La Jolla Shores for the day and were very lucky to buy burgers at Jeff's Burgers (on the main street heading down to the water). His veggie burger is fabulous. Extremely popular take-out.

 

Susan from San Francisco, USA writes...
My favorite sushi place in San Francisco is Kabuto, a little neighborhood place mostly staffed by family. The sushi chef here is classically trained in Tokyo and yet still very creative. A snippet from a local SF Chronicle review says, "Kojima makes ceviche sushi, in which he spoons a dollop of raw marinated halibut in a deep-fried seaweed "taco" and seasons the mixture with lime and sea salt to create a cacophony of flavors and textures in one bite." Address: 5121 Geary Blvd. (near 16th Avenue), tel: (415) 752-5652. Reservations necessary. Other good and popular sushi spots are Ebisu (1283 Ninth Ave. between Lincoln and Irving) and also, Blowfish, a college vibe "party" place (2170 Bryant St). During crab season (the famous West Coast Dungeness - November to May) Vietnamese baked garlic crab, eaten with garlic noodles is a real highlight. Its so good, I practically swoon. The original "source" of this dish was the An family's Crustacean restaurant (1475 Polk St. at California), but many say that PDQ Crab House (2332 Clement St. (at 25th Avenue) is just as good for much less money (although not as fancy as Crustacean, which is upscale and has a no jeans and tennis shoe policy). Make a reservation at both these places or you'll have a very long wait. Bon Appetit!

 

Jackie from San Francisco, California, USA...
My hometown is San Francisco which has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurants. Check out one block on Steiner Street in the Marina District, between Lombard and Chestnut. In this one block are restaurants for every taste and budget, all of them good: Tichada (Thai), Three Seasons (Vietnamese), Parma (Italian), Bistro Aix (French bistro), Marinette (French cafe), Barney's (gourmet hamburgers), plus a sushi place and a steak house. Chestnut Street also has lots of coffee houses, and restaurants, including Andale (Mexican), and Meze (Greek). You are only a stroll away from the Palace of Fine Arts, the Marina Green, and the gateway to the Presidio, one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world. Just remember that San Francisco's best weather is in spring and fall. Summers can be cold and foggy. Bon appetit!

 

Diane from San Francisco, California, USA...
Visitors to San Francisco for business or pleasure will enjoy the Cha Am Thai Restaurant, located at 701 Folsom Street, at Third Street. Cha Am has a wonderful location: just behind the Moscone Convention Center for those attending a convention, and a block from the Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for those exploring the SOMA neighborhood. Three blocks south of Market Street.

Cha Am is a friendly place with great Thai food where women travelers either solo or in a group will feel welcome. I live in the building above the restaurant and have been eating there for six years. My recommendations include satays and golden triangles (vegetables in puff pastry) as appetizers and Pad Thai, curries, or Thai-style barbecue ribs or chicken as entrees. Get a Thai ice tea (with evaporated milk) or a Thai beer to accompany your choice. Reasonably priced. Phone: 415-546-9711.

 

Leonore from San Francisco, USA...
Yank Sing for years has served the finest dim sum! Two generations of Chinese American women has formed this restaurant's menu, with steamed dumplings at their finest. Steamed snow pea sprout dumplings have tender and lightly seasoned, and still bright green filling. Lobster dumplings are generously stuffed. Other favorites are shrimp dumplings and spinach dumplings. Yank Sing is famous for its soup dumplings, in which the filling actually contains soup as well as meat. Peking duck is terrific, as is chicken lettuce leaf. Service is friendly and extremely efficient. Top the dim sum lunch off with home made sweet tofu. Yank Sing is a must stop for San Francisco!

 

Margaret from San Francisco writes...
There are so many wonderful places to eat in San Francisco. I think one could eat out every meal every day and not manage to get to all of the good places. That said, I love to go to Ton Kiang on Geary between 22nd and 23rd Avenues for dim sum. Tartine, on Guerrero at 18th Street, is an extremely popular place for breakfast and light lunches. They serve a delicious Croque Monsieur and the pastries are fabulous. Lines go out the door and finding a place to sit down and eat can be a challenge, but worth it. I haven't tried the Slanted Door for Vietnamese cuisine; I understand it's quite expensive, but it has great buzz. I like a little Vietnamese restaurant called La Vie, also on Geary between 22nd and 23rd. It's different from the usual Vietnamese noodle joint, with candles, white tablecloths and very efficient waiters, good food and very reasonably priced. Now I'm making myself hungry!

 

Carole From San Francisco, California, USA writes...
I think one of the hottest neighborhoods in San Francisco is the Mission District. Take the BART train and get off at the 24Th Street stop. You'll find the best Mexican and Central American food and bakeries (try La Victoria, 2937 24th Street for their wonderful pastry selection), artisan coffee shops, Dynamo Donuts (2760 24th Street) and the incredible Humphrey Slocombe ice cream parlour (2790 Harrison St) known for its wild flavors like 'Secret Breakfast' (bourbon and corn flakes flavour). You can also walk over to Mission Street where you'll see many more excellent and reasonable restaurants and cafes. At 2990 Mission Street there is a wonderful store called, Samiramis Imports. They carry a huge selection of Middle Eastern products, bulk middle Eastern spices, several kinds of Halvah, and fresh Pita bread. Have fun, everybody!

 

  FLORIDA

Carolyn from Miami, USA...
The Big Cheese, a hangout near the University of Miami is a favorite of students and local families, who appreciate the casual atmosphere and Italian-American cuisine. Decor is casual with lots of sports memorabilia. The menu features a wide array of pizza, pastas, subs, salads, fried calamari and buffalo wings. Portions here are made to feed at least two, so if you're vying for dinner and dessert, order one entree to share or expect to take some to go. 8080 SW 67th Ave, Phone: (305) 662-6855. Website: http://www.bigcheesemiami.com

 

Ellen in Winter Park, Florida
I'd like to suggest The Briar Patch, a favorite locals' lunch spot across from The Morse Museum. Try their pear and gorgonzola omelet. It's a place my friends and I enjoy. Other Winter Park area restaurants of note include: Park Plaza Gardens at 319 S. Park Avenue (for a more substantial lunch on the garden patio in old restored hotel), French fare at Chez Vincent (533 W. New England Avenue as well as Italian goodies at Lemoncello (702 Orange Avenue). P.S. Need to work off calories after your lunch? Ask the locals to direct you to the best shopping in town.

 

  GEORGIA

Rosemary from Fayetteville, Georgia, USA ...
I highly recommend the moderately-priced Village Cafe. The chef is from France and he and his wife both run the restaurant. Our favorite entrees are prime rib ($13.95) and braised lamb shanks ($16.95). They serve many pasta dishes (excellent Fettuccine Carbonara) and fresh fish and seafood (chargrilled salmon) is one of my favorite dishes. Desserts range from Bread Pudding of the Day to Mocha Almond Ice Cream Pie. Dress is casual to moderately dressy in the evening and most suitable for a solo traveller. Address: N. Glynn Street. Tel: 770-460-9449.

 

  ILLINOIS

Liz from Chicago, Illinois, USA...
Like lots of veggies? Try the salad bar with-a-difference located in the English Pub in Marshall Fields department store. This low key eatery attracts budget conscious Chicagoans in the downtown core. Simply join the cue and pick up a salad selection sheet and a pencil. From mashed tuna to shredded carrots to baby spinach leaves, tick off as many choices as you like. Step up to the window and hand the salad chef your list. Voila -- a nutritious veggie platter made to order. Cost? Under $8.00 bread or rolls included (corner of State and Washington) Tel: 312 781.3733

 

Alexandra from Chicago, Illinois...
I live in Chicago and my recommendation for where the locals dine is the Casbah Cafe on Broadway. I've dined here several times and it is one of my favorite places. It's a small storefront, but the food and service and atmosphere is first class. I've never had a bad meal there nor a bad experience. The cuisine is from everywhere on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Expect alafel, kibbeh, kebabs, hummus, couscous, curries, dolmeh and, in a nod to Chicago's Northern Shore, pasta. Address: 3151 N. Broadway Tel: 773-935-3339.

 

Kirsten from Chicago...
Here's a restaurant to add to your collection -- Zephyr Ice Cream. It's definitely women-friendly because they have an ENTIRE menu devoted to just ice cream. I'm not talking your usual five or six item dessert menu... think four or five PAGES long!! My favorite is Frankenstein's Monster (amazing banana split), but if you're with a group, why not try the War of the Worlds, a 10-scoop sundae, your choice of 5 ice cream flavors and whatever toppings you want. Oh... and they also have regular food, too. Address: 1777 W Wilson Ave

 

  INDIANA

Barb from Bloomington, Indiana, USA...
In Bloomington, Indiana, I suggest anything on 4th Street (great food in quaint old houses, mostly ethnic eateries, most with outdoor seating on a shady-tree street), but you MUST try the Katenya appetizers at The Red Sea on 4th street, an Eritrean restaurant. Also, The Bakehouse on the square... fantastic deli sandwiches and soups in a light, sunny atmosphere, with great tabouli and wonderful marinated fresh mozzarella sandwiches on home baked foccacia bread. For funky, go to Laughing Planet between Kirkwood and 4th street. Great vegan burritos in a colorful and funky atmosphere -- get the green salsa, it's one-of-a-kind! And... try to get to Bloomington in the Fall during the Lotus World Music Festival. This is a weekend filled with dozens of live music concerts from bands brought in from literally around the world.

 

Debra from Indianapolis, Indiana...
We love ethnic restaurants. Here are some of our favorites. At El Morocco (1260 W. 86th St.) you will dine seated on pillows. Chef El Bekhty serves up delicious cuisine. Try Machu Picchu for authentic Peruvian food, the owner is from Lima and he tries hard to please (5356 W. 38th St.). One of my favorite restaurants is The Bosphorus for inexpensive Turkish food ( 935 S. East St.). Owner Tayfun Isik, also, has lots of Turkish reading materials for you to enjoy while you wait for your dinner. My husband and I like the Russia House for Valentine's Day because of all of the red decor, the Russians owners hid this restaurant behind a corner at 1475 W. 86th St. For expensive, delicious French cuisine try Chanteclair. Cafe Europe (4709 N. Shadeland Ave.), a tiny cafe whose chef Unita Kehrer cooks German style has good beers. Tosa Euro Cafe at 6524 Cornell St. serves very health-conscious food. Finally, because I like rose water recipes, one of my absolute favorites is Kabul (8553 Ditch Rd.) for Afghan food. Try their combination plates with Afghan tea & warm nan, Yummy!

 

  KENTUCKY

Barb from Louisville, Kentucky, USA...
In Louisville, Kentucky, I suggest The City Cafe on Baxter Avenue, right next door to the Baxter Avenue theaters, which plays foreign films and artistic flicks. It's a great place to catch a bite before a film (my favorite is the portabello mushroom sandwich or one of the very economical and always yummy daily special soups, pasta salads, or entree). Or... catch a film first and then stop at the City Cafe for a dessert and a glass of wine. Great trendy food at low prices.

 

  MASSACHUSETTS

Anna from St. Augustine, USA...
My dear sushi place in Boston (Back Bay area) is known as both Snappy Sushi and Shino Express. For some reason my boyfriend and I would end up there on rainy days at around 4 or 5 o'clock looking for a light snack and end up staying at least three hours, taking a leisurely "nosh" style dinner (this is actually the perfect way to do it since you miss the 6:00 hurryhurryhurry dinner crowd crunch). Their green tea is authentic, warm, free and invigorating. It's the perfect place for inexpensive, simple, healthy (all the rice they use is brown) and tasty meals. Appetizers range from smoked squid salad to miso soup to edamame. Simple rolls are about $2.95-$3.95, and cover all the traditional basics. The atmosphere is laid back, not showy. It's a small, cozy little place with enough bar space for about 12 and a table for two. Cute as a button and a friendly staff to match. Address: 144 Newbury St. Closest subway stops are Copley (Green) and Back Bay (Orange).

 

Veronica from Boston, Mass, USA...
I believe that the ultimate pizza is found at Pizzeria Regina on Thatcher Street in the North End of Boston. You can sit at the bar, eat, drink, and watch the action. Their wooden booths will take you right back to the 40's and 50's.

Jackie from Boston, Massachusetts...
My favorite restaurant in Boston, MA, is the Border Cafe. It is a small chain of Mexican restaurants, my favorite location being Cambridge, MA. The chips are baked right there on the premises and are always warm and delicious. The salsa is fantastic! The best appetizer is the cajun shrimp - spicy popcorn shrimp that are so addictive. And the fajitas can't be beat. They also make a mean margarita! The atmosphere is casual and fun. They never disappoint. The fact that they are always busy can attest to that. Check their website for location details. http://www.bordercafe.com

Sandy from Boston, Mass, USA...
If you are heading to Boston for a few days don't miss the Italian North End. As soon as you round the corner entering this neighborhood, the fine aromas of Italian cooking will get your appetite in gear. If you have a sweet tooth, Mike's Pastry is the place for your Italian cookies, pastries and calzones that are all out of this world. It's busy, busy, busy here any time of the night or day. They're located at 300 Hannover Street (Tel: 617-742-3050).

  MINNESOTA
Janine from St. Paul Minnesota, USA writes..
Have I got a bistro for you. Muffuletta is Located on Como Avenue in St. Paul, MN. We've been avid customers for years and have never walked away dissatisfied. Quaint antique shops surround this lovely home style neighborhood bistro. Known for their terrifically prepared wood mesquite grilled items and lovely prepared fish, you can (weather permitting) enjoy the daily specials on their beautiful deck. Treat yourself to flavorful soups and pastas with the freshest seasonal ingredients. The chef really knows what he's doing with food combinations, herbs and tasty sauces. Enjoy a wide selection of reasonably priced and fine wines. Oh, I haven't even gotten to the fanciful desserts. Heaven help us! Plain yummy!

More great eats in the USA...

 

 

 

 

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