Tag Archives: restaurant

Friday Fourplay: Japan’s Sparkling Sake, Tap a Beer and Unlock Free Online Movies, Edible Chocolate “Legos,” and New York’s Doctor Who Restaurant

Flavorful World’s Friday Fourplay offers up a bite-sized tidbit of info on each of the four food- and drink-related things we found most interesting each week.

Image credit: Takarashuzo Press Release

Image credit: Takarashuzo Press Release

Bubbly Sake

In a bid to make Japanese alcoholic beverage sake more accessible, a “sparkling” style of the classic brew was developed some time ago, and seems to finally be catching fire. Born in 2011, carbonated sake first came to market via Takarashuzo Brewery’s “Mio” label in an effort to breathe some life into flagging sake sales. It’s said to share similarities with champagne due to its brewing method (which also heightens its sweetness), and has officially earned this drinker’s enthusiastic interest. If I manage to get my hands on a bottle, I’ll share my impressions. In the meantime, if you’ve already had the opportunity to taste it, feel free to share yours.

Via RocketNews24

Image credit: Design Taxi

Image credit: Design Taxi

Tap Some Cinema

There’s now a Bluetooth tech-powered app available that lets you tap a beer bottle against your computer (or other electronic device) to access free online movies. Born of collaboration between beer manufacturer Grolsch and Russian app developer Aleksander Semenov, it works via signal beacon placed under the bottle cap, allowing one to activate and view whatever movie is coded into it simply by lightly tapping the bottle against (or swiping it past) an electronic device on which one wants to watch said film. Because who has time for manual mouse clicks and button pushes when there’s beer to be drunk and movies to be watched? There are only so many hours in a day, people!

Via Foodbeast

Image credit: Akihiro Mizuuchi

Image credit: Akihiro Mizuuchi

Chocolate Legos

Yes, they’re edible, and made in different flavors and colors. No, they are not, as of this writing, for sale, so you can’t buy any. Yes, they can be used to actually build things. No, I can’t think of the last time I encountered anything that flew so proudly in the face of the old adage, “Don’t play with your food.”

Via Buzzfeed Food

Image credit: Imgur

Image credit: Imgur

Doctor Who’s Pandorica

On learning of this establishment’s existence, my initial thought was that not placing the restaurant on First Avenue was a missed opportunity (readers old enough to be fans of Abbott and Costello and unabashedly dated pop culture references will get that one.) Still, Whovians will delight in the décor and menu items available (“fish fingers” and custard among them) at Pandorica in Beacon, NY

Via That’s Nerdalicious!

*Mention of a product, good, or service in a Friday Fourplay posting should not be interpreted as an endorsement either from Anthony Beal or Flavorful World food and drink blog. Vendors are not notified ahead of time that their products/services will be featured, thus Flavorful World will at the time of posting have had no related interactions with said vendors or any sample of their products/services by which to judge them. As such, we have no idea what these vendors are like to work with, or about the quality of their merchandise and are unqualified to vouch for them as reputable. Our Friday Fourplay lists are posted in the simple spirit of our having come across something that looks and sounds engaging, and thinking that perhaps our readers will think so too; no more, no less. With that in mind, patronize these establishments and vendors at your own risk.
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5 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier When Dining Out

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons: Project Manhattan

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons: Project Manhattan

So last night, I had the pleasure of participating in one of the weekly #FoodieChats created by @SteveGoGreen that goes down Monday evenings on Twitter (a thing that every food blogger, cook, chef, or brand ambassador must do at least once.) Last night’s chat was a condensed version of the usual format: it lasted for one hour and consisted of only six questions, as opposed to its usual 90-minute, ten-question setup.

Of the six questions asked, one on the subject of dining out inspired me to examine my habits in that area, and so seemed like a good topic for sharing here. The question was “When dining out what are your tips to eating healthier?” and in the course of responding to it, I realized I’d been doing several health-conscious things without realizing it or having made the determination to do so. I’ve collected those things here.

The following list, an expanded version of my Twitter response, is by no means exhaustive. These are far from being the only ways to eat healthier at restaurants. They’re just a few steps I’ve unwittingly started taking in the right direction without knowing that I had until called to reflect on the matter.

1. Skip bread course: Yes, I realize bread is not evil. I’ve generally found it to be delicious, or at least passable at most restaurants that choose offer it as a meal opener. And yes, depending largely on the type of bread one chooses, it can fit well into a healthy diet. But speaking in the most general of terms, the high carbs and relatively low nutrient levels(I’m looking at you, white bread) make this a course one looking for a healthier dining out experience can safely skip.

2. Skip appetizers: This one depending on the kind of restaurant you’re visiting. If the apps menu is rife with fried, cheese-filled, creamy sauce-drenched things, then, deliciousness notwithstanding, leave them be.

3. Select a veggie-heavy entrée if possible, or veggie sides: Figure I don’t need to explain this one. Vegetables are good for you and a great source of vitamins and minerals.

4. Choose water over soft drinks/cocktails: Overindulgence in sugar-laden sodas or mixed drinks full of alcohol and sugar will never be a way forward in terms of beneficial eating habits.

5. Skip or share dessert: Either skip dessert altogether, or share one if you’re dining with someone unlikely to mind doing so. The high levels of fat and sugar that make things taste great also pack on the pounds, so tread carefully.

You’ll never hear that I believe these should all be followed all of the time, without fail. It’s okay to be selective with which options you choose to adopt. Part of enjoying food and dining out is being able to cut loose once in a while and have something one wouldn’t ordinarily have. Moderation is key. But trying even two of the above the next time you go out for a meal will pay big dividends with regard to improving your health and lifestyle.

Friday Fourplay: Food + Comics = Love, Sushi for Giants, Food MRIs, and Deliberately Scary Eats

Flavorful World’s Friday Fourplay offers up a bite-sized tidbit of info on each of the four food- and drink-related things we found most interesting each week.

Photo credit: Robot 6

Food And Comics

So, in addition to being a food lover, I’m also a comic book geek. I know more about the personal, out-of-costume daily habits of the members of the Justice League than a man my age ought to, and I apologize for absolutely nothing about that. So imagine my delight in discovering Food And Comics, on Robot 6 at the Comic Book Resources website. Updated each Tuesday, here’s where bookish bon vivants will find the latest news on tomes filled with dynamic, beautifully-drawn artwork featuring food as a vital element of their stories. Food and cooking in comics may not be news, but it’s nice to watch tastes evolve as general appreciation for all the ways cooking and eating can fit into our lives unfurls through an ever-expanding number of mediums. The good people at Robot 6 obviously think so too.

Via Robot 6 @ ComicBookResources.com

Photo credit: Tabelog

Sushi for Giants

Umewaka Japanese Restaurant in Aichi, Japan’s Anjo prefecture is serving up monster-size sushi that outdoes even the generous “Nagoya-sized” portions typical of area Japanese eateries. One example is its “Huge sushi roll,” wherein twenty types of raw seafood get rolled into a two-meter-long expanse of rice and nori. Weighing nearly six kilograms, this order requires two-day advance reservation and lightens the wallet by about $190 USD. The jumbo-sized “Astonishing anago” is another example, costing about $33 USD and utilizes entire anago (conger eel) fillets rather than the slices typical of the dish. I’ll forgo the easy joke about fish tales here, but wow. Just…wow.

Via Kotaku

Photo credit: Inside Insides

Food MRIs

Andy Ellison is an MRI Technologist who takes magnetic resonance images of food and posts them to his blog, Inside Insides. Equally eye-pleasing as still pictures or as quietly compelling animated gifs (of which there are several) his subjects have included the cucumber, the tomato, the pomegranate, and even an ear of corn captured from multiple viewpoints. Elegant in black-and-white, they put food’s power to affect and captivate more than our palates on full display in a manner worthy of our appreciation. So please: go and appreciate them. Often.

Via Devour

Photo credit: Food Republic

Terrifying Eats

With this being the last Friday Fourplay between us and Halloween, it seems fitting to end with a thought toward fear inducement, so here’s hoping this list of the world’s six scariest restaurants that Food Republic published earlier this week fills the bill. With options like Dinner In the Sky (affording adventuresome eaters willing to sign a $10 million dollar insurance waiver the privilege of dining at a banquet table suspended 160 feet in the air by crane) and Spain’s Disaster Café (to which diners are encouraged to wear easily washable clothing to guard their couture against being ruined by food and drinks toppled in the wake of the establishment’s nightly 7.8 earthquake simulations) ours seems an exciting age in which to live as both a foodie and a thrill-seeker.

Via Food Republic

*Mention of a product, good, or service in a Friday Fourplay posting should not be interpreted as an endorsement either from Anthony Beal or Flavorful World food and drink blog. Vendors are not notified ahead of time that their products/services will be featured, thus Flavorful World will at the time of posting have had no related interactions with said vendors or any sample of their products/services by which to judge them. As such, we have no idea what these vendors are like to work with, or about the quality of their merchandise and are unqualified to vouch for them as reputable. Our Friday Fourplay lists are posted in the simple spirit of our having come across something that looks and sounds engaging, and thinking that perhaps our readers will think so too; no more, no less. With that in mind, patronize these establishments and vendors at your own risk.

In Brooklyn: Eatery + Alter-Ego = Alter-Eatery-go?

Photo credit: TheWindsorTerraceBlog.com

Brooklyn, New York is a borough with no few claims to fame (enough that to place the word “Brooklyn” before words/phrases like Museum, Botanic Gardens, Brewery, and Navy Yard, is in each case to name an instantly recognizable and much-beloved institution originating in history far too expansive to receive due exploration in a single blog posting such as this.)  Now this most populous of NYC’s boroughs can boast an additional laurel: In Brooklyn as you sit reading this, there’s a cozy little café with a secret identity.

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It’s a Flavorful World: Taste It

I recently found myself challenged to define myself as a food writer/blogger. Because it comes so naturally to me, I’d never before reflected upon exactly what drives me to write on this subject that seems to have chosen me equally as much as I chose it. Despite my having assembled a very small group of food-loving fans, it occurs to me that I’ve never properly introduced myself to my readers, or talked about the relationship I hold with cooking and eating that compels me to share as I do. Here, now, I correct that unintended omission.

I am a writer who eats. I am an eater who writes. I am the father of Flavorful World food and drink blog, a man in whom culinary experimentation was encouraged at a young age. My happiest childhood memories are of being a toddler with kind parents, both of whom didn’t just cook, but could throw down in the kitchen and were always willing to let me help their efforts by mixing ingredients, adding spices, and tasting each creation’s progress as we worked. The scope of my kitchen duties grew as I did. Soon I was chopping and seasoning unsupervised, using the stove, and creating simple recipes. As a young man growing up in New York City, that early food interest soon drove me beyond my own gastronomic backyard in search of cuisines exciting for being unfamiliar to me. The first time I tasted Thai food, Indian food, perfectly-grilled duck…these are experiences that shaped the person I’ve become. Without them, there would be no Flavorful World. This food blog exists to benevolently fly in the face of every person who, likely considering themselves a fearsome wit, has ever blustered, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

To this sentiment I respectfully respond: “Nonsense.”

The implied criminality in “living to eat” (that is, in displaying what some would consider an elevated appreciation for edibles) remains beyond my understanding. People caution against it as if therein lies some character deficiency to which persons of quality should not sink, as if perceived excesses in enjoyment of one’s eating experiences denote misguided priorities. But I believe that only persons of quality truly understand the simple joy of biting into summer’s first ripened peach. Only those whose priorities are straight can know the real value of the moment you realize, upon sampling and loving a new dish, that you’ve just gained a source of gustatory bliss to revisit for the rest of your life.

Sharing this broader perspective through writing, photography, original recipes, and more is what Flavorful World is about; because food is capable of feeding far more than a rumbling stomach. Food is life; our well-being demands it. Food is art and magic; it evokes emotion and colors memory, and in skilled hands, meals become greater than the sum of their ingredients. Food is self-evident; plucked right from the ground or vine or sea, its power to delight is immediate. Food is discovery; finding an untried spice or cuisine is for me like uncovering a new element. Food is evolution; how we interpret it remains ever fluid. Food is humanitarian: sharing it bridges cultures, making friends of strangers pleasantly surprised to learn how much common ground they ultimately share.

A final example of what justifies my food writing and blogging: When I was in the first grade, my teacher once presented my class with a confidence-building exercise. She called on us individually, challenging each child to complete the sentence, “I know I’m alive because I can…”

When my answer was given, my classmates all laughed at what I said.

My honest response? “I know I’m alive because I can cook.”

I was six years old.

That is who I am.

My name is Anthony Beal. My world is flavorful.

I live to eat.