Friday, December 17, 2010

Travel stories on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010


To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the travel stories on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2010 on this page. Enjoy!

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  • Enjoy Food & Travel - Fall 2010 (August 26th 2010)
    This will be a busy fall for Enjoy Food & Travel. I have sold my flat and will move in the end of September.

  • Enjoy Food & Travel spring break 2010 (May 11th 2010)
    The Enjoy Food & Travel staff is trying to publish one new story every day. May 10th to May 17th we will take a well deserved break.
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  • Giant on Scandinavian grand tour today (September 15th 2010)
    Lufthansa is proudly showing off its Airbus A380 today, September 15th, during a visit to all airports of the Scandinavian capitals.

  • Greetings from South Korea (November 24th 2010)
    A few of my best friends are currently visiting South Korea. A few days ago, I received this picture taken in front of an old temple.

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  • High rollers on Danish waters (March 4th 2010)
    Liberalization of Danish regulations opens up for gambling on ferries going to Danish ports. DFDS, the company running ferries between Oslo and Copenhagen is ready to open up casinos on the open sea.

  • Higher fees for Norwegian Air Shuttle travelers (June 8th 2010)
    (Aftenposten, June 2nd 2010). Norwegian Air Shuttle will raise seat and luggage fees with NOK 10 in 2010. At the same time they claim that their air fare are getting increasingly cheaper.

  • How to avoid Traveler's diarrhea (January 24th 2010)
    Getting travellers diahrrea or even worse, a serious food born disease, may ruin that dream holiday. This may be avoided easily by some prophylactic measures before you leave, and avoiding some easily contaminated foods when on travel.
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  • Luggage storage in downtown Boston (April 6th 2010)
    The day I left Boston, my cousins were to attend a patriots game, leaving me to fend for myself the last hours before my flight. I needed a place to store my trunk the hours before going to the airport.
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  • Enjoy Food & Travel - Fall 2010 (August 26th 2010)This will be a busy fall for Enjoy Food & Travel. I have sold my flat and will move in the end of September. My traveling season will start when I have concluded this process. I have, however, still ideas of what travel projects that may came this fall and winter.
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Find other stories on Enjoy Food & Travel see our new page:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rating Al Fassia Restaurant, Marrakech


Al Fassia is a classic Moroccan restaurant run by a women's collective located in Marrakech's Gueliz district. It was recommended by our travel guide as a great place to dine. It is definitely a place to try if you want a traditional meal in pleasant interior.

Rating Al Fassia Restaurant: BBBB (4,38 point)
  • Location: BBB+
  • Interior & atmosphere: BBBBB
  • Service: BBBBB-
  • Food: BBBBB-
A short walk away from Djemaa el Fna

Al Fassia is located in a city street in Gueliz. We decided to walk, and it took us 20-25 minute to get there from Djemaa el Fna, the city's main square.

Gueliz is the new part of Marrakech. It looks like most Mediterranean cities and it bears a clear mark of being a part of French cultural sphere.

Behind a massive metal door, you find All Fassia restaurant. Al Fassia Gueliz is rated as number 7 of 227 restaurants found in the city at tripadvisor.

Contemporary traditional interior and excellent service

Al Fassia has several dining areas, and we were seated in a beige and coffee-coloured room with a glass wall facing a small courtyard filled with tropical plants.

We were comfortably seated by an elegantly dressed table where knives and forks, plates and glasses and napkins were elegantly placed on a white table cloth.

Al Fassia is owned by women and you are served exclusively by women. You feel exceptionally welcome, and the service is elegant, efficient and low key. It is a place to relax and enjoy your meal.

And the service was swift as well as discreet. We did not have to wait long to get our food, and efficiency did not affect the quality of the food.

A great Mediterranean meal

The first food to be served proved that we were in the Mediterranean region, as 12 small dishes with different small, meze style dishes as appetizers before our meal.

We were surprised by the range of balancing flavours and textures. Salt, sweet, hot, and even floral aromas were blended in the primarily vegetarian berries, roots, either whole, sliced or mashed.

The floral experience materialized itself in a dish made from carrots and rose water that provided an exceptional

The appetizeres were followed by a bowl of the classic harira soup made with the ras el hanout - a blend of spices and served as customary with dates.

The Harira soup was one out of three that I was served during my time in Marrakech, and definitely the best. Thick, and the subtle sweetness of the dates matched the exotic heat in the soup perfectly.

The third dish was a small serving of two lamb skewer of lamb on rice. The succulent tender pieces of meat was gently seasoned with local spices and served on brightly yellow coloured rice. Toasted slices of almonds were served on side for a little extra crunch. The size of the portion was well adjusted to the rest of the meal.

We chose half bottle of local wine to the main dish. It was partly based on syrah grapes, and the rich full bodied wine matched the food well.

Summary

Al Fassia served one of the best meals of our trip to Marrakech. Expensive compared to many other restaurants in the city, it was well worth the investment. It offered low key and excellent service in a contemporary still traditional interior. Enjoy Food & Travel recommends a meal at Al Fassia Restaurant, if you happen to visit the city.

Address:
Al Fassia Restaurant
55 Boulevard Zerktouni
, Guéliz, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
00212 24 43 40 60

See official website here


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

US Airways stops non-stop flights Oslo Philadelphia in 2011



Seasonal flights from Oslo International Airport to Philadelphia was launched in May 2008 and has been running until October 2010. As competition on direct transatlantic flights gets tougher, US Airways has decided to stop direct flights. This move contradicts earlier statements from the company that it would prolong its flight program from Norway through the 2011 season.

US Airways has also decided to stop direct flights from Stockholm from next season.

See all current and planned direct flights from Oslo Airport on this map


View NEW: All non-stop flights from Oslo Airport - December 2010 in a larger map

Rating Brussels Airlines flights Oslo-Brussel-Oslo, December 2010


Brussels Airlines is the successor of SABENA, the Belgian Airline that went bankrupt in 2001. I have used both the predecessor and the successor for many years and have experienced a steady decline in travel value. This years experience was no exception. The lack of comfort and little service will make me consider booking Scandinavian Airlines for the next years trip to Belgium.

Itinerary
  • SN 2284 Departure: December 3rd 2010, 4:55 PM from Oslo Airport - Gardermoen. Arrival : Brussels International Airport 7:10 PM

  • SN 2287 Departure: December 5th 2010, 8:15 PM from Brussels International Airport. Arrival : Oslo Airport - Gardermoen, 10:20 PM
Check-in: BBB+

Only hand luggage on the way down to Brussels. Electronic self service easy. Then directly to gate. Decided to check in small suitcase on the way back. Took long time either choosing electronic self service + baggage drop, or choosing ordinary check-in at counter at Brussels Airport. My advice - be early at Brussels Airlines as check-in procedures are badly organized.

Departure: BBBB

Departure delayed 15-20 minutes on way down due to late arriving plane. On time on return trip.

Hospitality: BBBB

Nice efficient staff, managing the vessel with efficiency, but with very little attention to passengers on economy class.

Service: BB+

Only two in cabin, concentrating their attention on passengers on business or economy flex. Service started more than 30 minutes after the fasten seat belt sign had been switched off on way down. No service on way to Oslo, I had to call to buy a bottle of wine.

Complementary: N/A

Nor food nor drinks included in the price. Reasonably priced food and beverage available for sale, if the cabin crew cared to attend to our needs. Do call for service, as they may not come to assist you!

Comfort: BB+

Small seats with little leg room provided little comfort during our flight. Very small seat belts and little leg room.

Flying time: BBBB

Flying time within cockpit's estimate both ways.

Arrival: BBBB

Arrival 10-15 minutes after schedule on way down, on schedule on return trip.

Duty free goods: N/A

Limited selection of duty free goods on board. To call to purchase, or else flight attendants may not come to assist you.

Price: BBBB

Price: 1660 NOK (€ 210,59 / $ 280,05). This price is high compared to experienced travel value.

Rating the Brussels Airlines experience: BBBB (3,30 points)

Travel value worse than earlier on Brussels Airlines. Delayed departure, little attention by staff on economy class guests. Low comfort - narrow seat and little leg room.

Latest stories on Brussels Airlines on Enjoy Food & Travel
(Photo: Arpingstone)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bucciarelli's - and extraordinary Italian Deli


If you are driving between Newburyport and Salisbury MA and decide to buy some dinner, I know where I would have gone. I would have loved to have Bucciarelli's butcher's shop and deli in my neighbourhood.

This is Pete, my cousin Anne's husbands favourite place to buy meats. He loves this place so much that he asked me to visit it and see what it has to offer.

The deli and butcher shop is run by Joe Bucciarelli, a second generation Italian-American with even some Irish ancestry.

We met him behind the counter and he was proud to show us hand-cut steaks, marinated tips, roasts, all natural chicken, veal, sausage, lamb as well as artisan breads and a wide range of other delicatessen he could offer.

As most deli's you will have pay a great deal more for dinner than if you buy meats in your local supermarket, but people like Joe Bucciarelli offers real quality for that extra money.

Here are a few snapshots from Bucciarelli's deli & butcher shop.

Chicken cutlets

Look at these chicken cutlets, seasoned and breaded just waiting to hit the pan.

I love chicken, and this is certainly a great way to prepare them. Cutlet is technically a slice of meat either from the rib or leg area. I have no clue as to whether this is meat from chicken breast or thigh

The good thing is that there is no work involved, except frying them in a pan until crispy and golden. Yum!!

Cilantro & lime chicken

Chicken is a very neutral meat, and the best way of adding taste is to marinate it in oil, vinegar and different seasoning.

Citrus flavours are often used to season poultry. Oranges are used for duck in a classical recipe. Joe Bucciarelli use a marinade made with lime juice and cilantro or coriander, two very interesting and distinct flavours.

When I visited my cousin Anne, we bought two of these chicken breasts to prepare at home. She added additional flavour to the dish by using peach juice for her sauce, a very original idea. I will return to this meal in a later story here on Enjoy Food & Travel.

Chicken Coriander Soup & Crispy Crunchy topping - see story on Enjoy Food & Travel


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is another classic recipe. Inspired by a classic recipe made with veal, it is replaced by a thick chicken breast filled with mustard, ham and Swiss cheese, dipped in eggs and rolled in bread crumbs.

Another delicious recipe, that I have made several times. When I visited my cousin Carol in Greenville N.Y. in October it was the main course during her festive dinner. More on that later.

At Bucciarelli, Joe and his staff will have prepared all for you. All you have to do is to fry it in a pan and serve it with your favourite veggie's.

Chicken breast Cordon Bleu - see recipe here

Mac'n Cheese

For $5,99 per pound you can even bring an American classic home with you.

Macaroni and cheese is relatively easy and cheap to make, either from scratch or from a packet. The first alternative is the best, as you may use higher quality ingredients and season it to your taste.

The other alternative may be convenient, but you do not know what ingredients that are used in the ready made base as artificial food additives or trans fats.

If you are lazy and what a home made style Mac'n Cheese you can visit Bucciarelli's and buy it ready made, just turn on the microwave and presto - you have dinner in a minute or two.

Mac'n cheese - three variations of an American specialty - read story here

Ricotta stuffed meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of my favourites, and if they have this variety the next time I visit the US, I will try to convince my cousin to by some.

I make my meatloaf with a mozzarella and sun dried tomato filling, and it is delicious. This meatloaf has ricotta, an Italian sheep milk or cream-cheese cow milk whey cheese as a main ingredient.

I would love to get the recipe from Joe Bucciarelli as here there are much more than just meat and cheese.

Meatloaf Italian style - see recipe here

See location of Bucciarellis Butcher Shop & Deli on this map


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