In October, although there were not many texts on the Chakula Web, this does not mean that this month was not extremely busy. Namely, Chakula is among 70 startups from 42 countries, which are part of the YTILI program.
More about the program and the American experience will certainly be in the following articles.
In the meantime, my friend Nihad has prepared for Chakula his gastro experience from a recent trip to the United States.
Nihad is the author of the text. Photos are from his private album and from the Five Leaves NY website.
Traveling through the United States of America (USA) you can try probably the best, and the worst dishes in your life. The idea of the US cuisine inevitably leads us to burger and French fries, and indeed the burger is the cornerstone of American cuisine that has already grown out of its modest fast-food beginnings. However, as a gastronomy nomad from Bosnia and Herzegovina, traveling within the US for several weeks, I tried so many meals that it is almost impossible to transfer all these experiences through a short post on Chakula. That’s why I decided to recommend you two places on two completely different sides of America. Two places that you will not find easily by surfing on the Internet when planning your trip to America. And two places that perfectly depict the gastronomic, but also cultural, diversity of the United States.
America is truly an intersection of cultures and traditions, or as the Americans say – a melting pot. This is noticed in every respect when traveling in the United States, and especially in major cities like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. I do not think there is no world cuisine you can not find in New York – either in a cheaper street-food variant or a haute-couture restaurant for which you have to make a reservation a few months in advance.
An authentic American breakfast in New York, with a decent dose of fancy hipster, you can eat at Five Leaves in Brooklyn (18 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222). I think that this Brooklyn atmosphere is the most delicious ingredient of all the meals in Five Leaves. Although relaxed and affordable, the Five Leaves is very popular, so you can wait up to an hour on the table. To keep the image of a local restaurant from the neighborhood, Five Leaves does not receive reservations by phone, but works on the principle “first come – first served”
Five Leaves offers a variety of lunch or dinner dishes, but the absolute most popular is their breakfast menu, or late breakfast at the weekend – brunch. The brunch menu contains everything you can eat for breakfast, whether you are coming back from a crazy night out or going to a peaceful family breakfast. From creative fruit salad, quiche, sandwich to burger. But, of course, the biggest creative potential for breakfast is given to omelets and scrambled eggs, so I decided in Five Leaves to try the Moroccan Scramble (op. Moroccan scrambled eggs). And indeed, when you think that you have tried all the possible combinations and recipes for delicious and creative omelets and scrambled eggs, you are surprised by the chef of a small restaurant in the green and vibrant part of Brooklyn. It’s hard to decide exactly which ingredient gives the exotic freshness so simple a meal like an egg. Whether they are pieces of Merguez sausage, which, despite the francophone name, is a popular sausage made of uncooked beef from the Maghreb, very spicy, chili or harissa (Maghreb rice with hot peppers). Or, is this spice chickpeas scattered over a plate that compliments the sausage. But there are pieces of avocados, fresh parsley, peppers that break down the intense taste and smells of North African spices to help your palate relax. All this is skillfully attached to the toasted bread from the sour dough, so top-notch tastes are accompanied by an excellent visual presentation. Intuition tells us that with this breakfast we order strong black tea or spicy Moroccan chai, but I opposed intuition and ordered a tea made from lemon grass that cooled the taste blossom in my mouth. Five Leaves definitely brought the art of breakfast to perfection, all at an affordable price for New York, a wiggle of some $ 13 and a tea of $ 3.
After about 2,000 miles and 6 hours of flight, you arrive at the city-icon of the West Coast of the United States, San Francisco. And at the perfect time for dinner.
It’s really impossible to briefly describe the culinary diversity offered by San Francisco, but the difference with New York is obvious. San Francisco is dominated by sea and Asian cuisine. So I decided to introduce you to an authentic restaurant that best reflects the ambiance of San Francisco.
Every visit to San Francisco will inevitably include a walk through the vibrant Fisherman’s Wharf (Fisherman’s Harbor). The San Francisco Bay, one of the largest in the world, has been a rich fishing area throughout history, so there are dozens of restaurants in the old fishing harbor that offer you a variety of fish specialties. It’s hard for tourists to first find themselves in Fisherman’s Wharf to decide which restaurant to eat, so I simply entered the restaurant where it was the biggest crowd. Nick’s Lighthouse (# 5 Fisherman’s Wharf, 2815 Taylor Street, San Francisco, California) appears to be a scene of a low-budget film from the sixties. The combination of American diner (buffet) decorated with innumerable maritime and fishery exhibits gives it a very chaotic atmosphere, on the edge of plagiarism, especially since the restaurant is in an old, curved, wooden building typical of Fisherman’s Wharf. The menu offer is reduced to seafood, a mixture of fish, shellfish and seafood dishes. The inevitable appetizer is Crab Chowder, a thick soup made from crustaceans, corn flour, milk, potatoes, very typical of San Francisco. Keep in mind that the Crab Chowder, which is used most often in a solid corn cake, is very saturated, so one serving is enough as an appetizer for two people. I ordered the main course by following the recommendation of a communicative waitress. Plate with crab legs, shrimp, caps, squid and fish fillet, with rice and cooked broccoli at the same time seems complicated and simple. The standard thought that the preparation of seafood is always more demanding than the preparation of “continental dishes” is not applicable to this meal. All the ingredients of the plate were first boiled in water, white wine and salt, after which they were merged into one large pan and sprinkled in a relatively large amount of butter with mild spices, served with broccoli and rice. It is in this simplicity that the key to the excellent taste of the San Francisco fish cuisine lies. Seafood retains its authentic tastes, with a nice scent that gives it wine and mild spices and butter.
Of course, the excellent Californian white wine complements the culinary experience of a good fish dinner. The offer of the dessert is modest, and again on the recommendation of the waitress, I ordered a tiramisu, which you can definitely skip. However, the price of fish costing $ 33 outweighs its real culinary value, which led me to conclude that I nevertheless paid the fact that I had dinner in the very popular tourist Fisherman’s Wharf. With some extra $ 8 for fish soup and $ 5 for tiramisu, and wine, the authentic fish dinner costs more than $ 50 per person in already very expensive San Francisco.
In the end, Five Leaves deserves five gold spoons. Tasty dishes that complement the relaxed Brooklyn atmosphere are the perfect combination for your breakfast in New York, and at the same time you will have some money to try and the legendary hot dog on the corners of Central Park or the Met’s stairs.
Nick’s Lighthouse may have been too a tourist option, although it offers a good insight into the delicious seafood of San Francisco. However, if you have more time to visit San Francisco, I advise you to choose a less popular place for a fish dinner, which you must surely afford. So Nick gets three golden spoons.