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Feasting in Iraqi Kurdistan

Being invited into someone’s home when you’re on the road is always the most memorable meal of the trip. In Iraqi Kurdistan, on the road from Erbil to Kirkuk, a local leader had us over for lunch – a multi-course feast prepared by his wife and daughters, and laid out on the floormat by his […]

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Exploring the Souk in Old Doha

The modern skyline of Doha, Qatar, is an otherworldly assortment of glass, steel and light; as flashy as Vegas and as incongruous in this swath of dessert as Tataouine. But just 10 minutes away are the low buildings, crowded streets, and windy roads of old Doha, including a charming souk, full of locals, tourists, and […]

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Not a War Zone: A New Take on Tradition in Nice

  In Vieux Nice, there are dozens of places to order the classic menu: an appetizer, main, and dessert for a set price. There are also dozens of casual spots to dig into the Niçoise specialties: stuffed vegetables known as farcis, anchovy/onion pizza called pissaladiere; and socca, a chickpea flour pancake served simply, dusted only […]

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Loft Cafe: Modern Dining in Old Donetsk

Tucked inside a nondescript glass office building, which is itself tucked between the Donbass Palace and Tequila Sushi Boom Boom – i.e. not terribly easy to find – Loft Cafe is perhaps the only restaurant in Donetsk that feels like a proper modern, hip eating establishment.  No weird Soviet kitsch, no ham sushi. The restaurant […]

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Tequila Sushi Boom Boom. BOOM!

I couldn’t possibly come up with anything more interesting as a title than the actual name of this restaurant, located in central Donetsk.  There is tequila. There is sushi.  There may or may not be boom boom.  It is a mystery. When I asked the only other customer in the restaurant, he didn’t have much […]

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Blini and Pickles and Pork, Oh My!

In downtown Donetsk, there are many restaurants that attempt to be all things to all people. Like Tequila Sushi Boom Boom (a Mexican-Sushi fusion joint), Mafia! (a hybrid pizza, sushi, and French restaurant that gives you a free shot of limoncello to start your meal), and Taba$co Country Cooking (actually, I have no idea what this is). […]

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Quick Snack: Ukrainian Steeped Tea

Ukrainians have embraced coffeeshop culture: it’s a place for a warm cup, a pastry, and most importantly – wifi. (This has to be one of the most wifi-accessible countries I’ve ever been to).  But if you’ll skip past the section of syruped lattes, you’ll usually find a strange and colorful tea selection. Here they steep their […]

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Dining in Donetsk: Borjomi

I wasn’t really familiar with Georgian cuisine – or so I thought. But after we ordered the bulk of the menu at Borjomi, a Georgian restaurant in downtown Donetsk, I realized I’d seen all these things before, in various incarnations in other countries.  While everything was new – and in Russian – it was all, somehow, […]

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Dining Behind Walls in Kabul, Afghanistan

The heart-breaking truth about the security situation in Afghanistan is that it’s become nearly too dangerous to go out to eat. Which is bad enough, as a person visiting or living in Kabul — but it means that many restaurants are simply closing, going under.  Dozens have been making their living here in a vibrant […]

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