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September 24, 2018

Zen and the Art of Georgian Toasting

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Tbilisi -- “The moment we were born, the moment we entered the world, so many people were happy. Our mothers, fathers, relatives; the doctor who delivered us, the nurses that helped; maybe some guys hanging out with our fathers said ‘Cheers!’ or ‘Congratulations!’ and patted our dads on the back. So many people and we don’t even know their names, who they were. Let’s drink to all those people who were happy that we were born – that with this toast we can say ‘thank you’ to them.”Read more
Tbilisi -- “The moment we were born, the moment we entered the world, so many people were happy. Our mothers, fathers, relatives; the doctor who delivered us, the nurses that helped; maybe some guys hanging out with our fathers said ‘Cheers!’ or ‘Congratulations!’ and patted our dads on the back. So many people and we don’t even know their names, who they were. Let’s drink to all those people who were happy that we were born – that with this toast we can say ‘thank you’ to them.”

The year was 2001, and I had just crossed the border from Turkey into Georgia with my partner, Justyna. The Batumi train to Tbilisi had been roasting under the blistering June sun all day. Boarding with heavy backpacks, we were instantly pummeled with the grim reality that the windows of these Soviet-born wagons were all sealed shut; save for one in the middle, just big enough for three heads to poke out, panting for air. Read more
September 21, 2018

La Perla BCN: Back to the Future

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Barcelona -- “The future is the past,” says Salva Serra, quoting winemaker Pepe Raventós, the latest in a long line of winemakers to run the famed Raventós i Blanc. While his lineage might not be quite as storied, Salva knows a thing or two about preserving the past – the Serra family has owned La Perla BCN, a restaurant located in the upper Poble Sec neighborhood, very close to Montjuïc Park, since 1965. Read more
September 20, 2018

Taquería Los Parados: No Seats Required

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Mexico City -- Our trip to Taquería Los Parados in Roma Sur last month began like any other: we gathered up four friends and began the trek to this beloved taco spot. But the dark, moody sky threatened rain, and in anticipation of a gushing downpour, we piled into a cab minutes before the first giant, icy cold rain drops began to pelt down. Read more