Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unusual Restaurants Around the World—A Retrospective

By Supriya Savkoor


I love this topic, even if I don’t quite know which restaurant to write about in detail. My first thought goes to…

… the fabulous gay bar in New York City where I spent my birthday, thanks to our de facto blogmate Lina Zeldovich and her big-hearted other half. It was 4 a.m. on my birthday, when they had the waiters belt out Happy Birthday to me, in between fabulous renditions of Broadway showtunes. What could beat that?

Oh…

There was the bottle of champagne we shared just before that at the revolving restaurant in Times Square, way up in the glittery sky, separated only by a piece of glass from the rest of Manhattan, where even the scaffolding looked glamorous. In front of us, the city; behind us, a fountain of chocolate, and in front of me, two absolutely fascinating people. (Did we really discuss both Thomas Pynchon and the Sierra Club that night??)

But then….

I remembered other offbeat places…

…another New York bar, this one called Hogs and Heifers, a country western bar in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, where patrons danced on the bar and sang Dixie to Dwight Yokum’s soulful crooning…

…a plain little joint in a Houston strip mall that served mighty tasty gator nuggets (as in deep-fried alligator meat)…

…a fast-food joint in Pune, India, called Burger King (no relation to  the famous franchise) that served perhaps my most bizarre meal, a subway sandwich with an extra long piece of tongue—cow’s tongue—stuffed between a standard subway bun, slathered with mayo...

…a tavern in the historic catacombs of Vienna, Austria, where the waiter brought out, hands down, the best bread I’ve ever tasted. He must have noticed we’d filled up on as much bread as we could eat, so he quickly whisked off our basket leftovers to the next table over. And we thought the skulls and broken kneecaps would make us lose our appetite.

…Zola’s bar for a nightcap after an evening of intrigue above the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

…the first class car of an Italian train, where hubby and I enjoyed a bottle or so of cheap but delicious wine just for the luxury of sitting in first class…

…an island restaurant in the Aegean Sea, where I ordered “grilled prawn,” only to receive the largest *deep-fried* shrimp I’ve ever seen—legs, head, tail, and all.

…Augustinerbrau, the monastery-tavern in Salzburg, Austria, where monks served us the local brew at a lovely outdoor picnic that was vaguely reminiscent of a July 4th picnic in the States...

…the fancy restaurant in Genoa, Italy, with authentic pesto and a hole in the ground for a toilet…

And our favorite…

…Café du Nord, a hotel restaurant in Interlaaken, Switzerland. Exceptional in every way, from the fresh air and sounds of tinkling cowbells outside our window (hold the steak), to the fried raclette and complementary welcome drinks, rimmed with sugar, a great start to the most delicious meal I’ve ever had. I hardly remember what I ordered the two times I visited, though I still consider this my all-time favorite restaurant of them all.

1 comment:

  1. You've had some wonderful dining experiences, Supriya!

    ReplyDelete