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es888

Any good food in Berlin/Prague?

I've had some pretty good meals in Prague, but heavy - beer gardens, etc. I am quite fond, however, of an Icelandic seafood restaurant there called Reykjavik, Karlova 20, Prague, Praha 1. It is excellent and a welcome change from all the sausages, duck legs, etc.

In Berlin I've had good luck with Turkish restaurants, though I can't think of any in particular to recommend.

Los Angeles: Help Needed in Planning my Eating

Cinco Puntos has superb carnitas. If you want carne asada, chicken or chorizo in a particularly Mexicali style and truly superb: Mexicali Taco & Co., 702 North Figueroa St. - just slightly north of Sunset Blvd. near Dodger Stadium. I'm especially fond of the cachetadas and the vampiros - Mexicali styles of taco.

Not far from there, La Caridad, a hole in the wall Cuban place, has great Cuban sandwiches and Media Noches.

You could do a whole lot worse than Baco Mercat on Main near 4th in downtown: http://bacomercat.com/ - fantastic variety of unusual lunch stuff - check out the menu online.

If you want Thai - Jitlada is one of the two or three best Thai restaurants in the country. Order from its menu of Southern Thai specialties, 5233 Sunset Boulevard - a bit east of Western in Hollywood.

Those are some quick thoughts off the top of my head. Have fun. Eat well.

Fairbanks & North Part 2

The soak at Chena was great. A little cold - 0 degrees F - getting from the locker room into the hotspring, but once you were there it was fantastic and getting back out wasn't so bad since you'd heated up. A swim up bar would have made the whole thing perfect. Though, after a while, the smell of sulphur did get to be a bit much - and while everywhere else in Alaska we had delicious tap water, at Chena it was slightly sulphurous.

Where to eat/what to do in Portland and Seattle

Matt's in the Market in Seattle http://www.mattsinthemarket.com/ is in the Pike Place Market - which is a great place to go by itself - and is a truly fantastic restaurant for dinner.

In Portland, it's very old school and there are probably better places for seafood, but for atmosphere and really good seafood and some Portland tradition, Jake's Famous Crawfish is great.

The Portland Art Museum is excellent, and there are quite a few good, quirky galleries around town as well.

In downtown LA for 2 nights!

If you have a car, skip Chinatown and go to the San Gabriel Valley - east of downtown along interstate 10: Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte and points east. L.A. is now the home of the world's largest Chinese community outside of a native Chinese country and most of the Chinese population is in the San Gabriel Valley. There is a bewildering variety of restaurants from all different provinces and regions of China. Anything in particular you have in mind?

I hate to send someone to a different food website, but if you go to the Los Angeles Board on Chowhound dot com, and search for San Gabriel Valley, you will find a wealth of up to date information. I'm not familiar with R&G Lounge in SF, so I don't know where to steer you that my satisfy those particular hunger pangs.

Happy eating.

Restaurants in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February

Thanks for posting on my behalf Vicky and thanks everyone so far for your responses. I don't think we're going to starve. I am very curious as to what the vegetables are going to be like at Chena Hot Springs, where apparently they have a large, year-round geothermal heated greenhouse. Should be interesting. The only other time I was in Alaska was in September at the height of salmon and halibut season, but I imagine any of the great seafood I had last time will have to be thawed out this time. I shall report back upon our return.

Fairbanks & North Part 2

Back to Fairbanks late and the only thing open that wasn't a chain - major criteria for me - was the Family Restaurant on Airport Way. Good fried chicken. Inedible meatloaf, very overcooked porkchops. My sister's grilled cheese was a regular old white bread American slices grilled cheese.
Then it was up to Chena Hot Springs resort. The restaurant there is good, not great. Standouts were the tomato basil soup - made from tomatoes and basil grown in their own greenhouse, which is an interesting thing to visit on the "Geothermal tour." The halibut for dinner was excellent, very nicely cooked and served with good fresh vegetables from their greenhouse, and the clam chowder was excellent, though a bit saltier and creamier than I tend to like it, lots of clams. The "famous" blueberry pancakes were ok but I can't imagine why they'd be famous.
Back to Fairbanks and we wereexhausted. We thought about going to Lemongrass Thai - even though it seems odd to be coming from Los Angeles (home of the world's largest Thai community outside of Thailand) and going to a Thai restaurant. But we were too tired so we trudged back across the parking lot to Pike's Landing again. The King Crab legs were good. The Killer Shrimp were good, garlickly, a bit spicy, buttery but what is it with all that salt? Do people in Alaska have a low blood pressure problem or something? Again, excellent draft beers.
My flight left too early for any more meals but my sister, who lives in Chicago, did go to Lemongrass Thai that evening before her flight and liked it a lot. She had a halibut dish that she said was excellent. I asked her how they managed to get any fresh Thai ingredients in Fairbanks in February and she concluded, from looking around, that they must stick to dishes that they can cook with what they can get seasonally - as her halibut didn't seem to have any fresh Thai ingredients that might have been a problem. But she is very familiar with Thai food and said it was excellent.

Return From Fairbanks & Points North

Dinner the first night was a lazy stroll from our hotel to Pike's Landing. (We were tired.) It was what you'd expect in the way of bar food. The steamed clams were good - garlicky broth, though about 1/4 of them hadn't opened. The halibut burger was okay but seemed like a waste of a nice piece of halibut. The halibut fish and chips were also merely okay - they could have been crisper. The french fries were good. The draft beers were excellent.
Alaska Coffee Roasters was great. World class espresso and latte, great baked goods. I wish there was somewhere just like it near my house in Los Angeles.
Lunchat the Chowder House was local and amusing if not a whole lot more. The smoked salmon chowder was good, the clam chowder merely okay, the fresh baked bread was sort of a fresh baked small loaf of Wonder Bread but what the heck. The place did have a nice atmosphere and if I lived in Fairbanks I'd probably go there from time to time.
Dinner the second night was at Gambardella's. Sure is a big place. It's pretty much standard issue red sauce Italian and was fine. The eggplant parmigiana was the stand out of all of our dishes - surprisingly light and fresh tasting. The salads were good, though near drowning in dressing.
We then went up to Coldfoot at the base of the Brooks Range for several days of aurora viewing and general exploration. The food at the truckstop at Coldfoot Camp was surprisingly better than it had to be - considering it's the only dining option for perhaps 125 miles or so in any direction. Great onion rings, excellent breakfasts (especially pancakes and reindeer sausage,) huge tasty sandwiches - especially the BLT. Very good soups. (Though the chili was too bland.) Excellent pies. Nothing more in the way of variety than you'd expect from a truck stop, but good. - Continued in part 2.

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