You never really know how much you need a holiday until you have one and realize you don’t have to wash, or clean and you can eat out all the time!
And eat out I did. I stumbled across an outpost of Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack (which is really just a glorified McDonald’s) but I love the atmosphere, the vibrating remote control that tells you your food is ready, the cheese fries and the peanut butter and chocolate custard ice cream called Shark Attack.
We had to try Joe’s Stone Crab and I am so pleased we did. For $33, I got to sample their famous coleslaw (too sweet), their hash brown (too oily and thick), their creamed spinach and around 6 pre-cracked crab claws that with a choice of thousand island dressing or melted butter to dip into (doesn’t get better than this). And I got to wear that paper bib I have always seen in movies. I was most surprised by the key lime pie, it was delicious! I have a sneaking suspicion that condensed cream had a part to play in that.
Michy’s was another great find! Thanks to websites Opentable (that go as far as having a “suitable for foodies” rating) and UrbanSpoon, that do all your culinary sleuthing for you. Plats de resistance that night; the white polenta with truffled poached egg and bacon bits (sublime) and the Steak Frites, which was hands down the best steak frites I have ever tasted, I will never be able to eat it anywhere else! It wasn’t all swoon-worthy. The ceviche left me cold and the desserts were too sweet for me.
And of course we had to go to Soho House, if only to justify my husband’s insistence that he be a “world Soho House member”. I loved Cecconi’s interior design. If I was very rich and I had a glass house, I would fill it with sliver leaved olive trees and festoon their trunks with white lights just as they have. Soho House didn’t try to compete with extraordinary and huge pool landscaping design of the Ritz Carlton or the Delano instead they use design and lush landscaping to charm you.
- Eating Local: A Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers (as a weekday vegetarian, the pictures and recipes within were just too much for me to resist)
- Culinaria Germany – it was $9.99! And is full of interesting tidbits such as an illustrated list of German apples- Auralia, Baumanns Rennette, Erwin Baur, Freiherr von Berlspsch, Boskoop and Juno, to name a few.
- The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion. With endorsements on the back cover by Thomas Keller, Dan Barber and Alice Waters.
As if that wasn’t over doing it – I went mad at Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table; offset spatulas – 2, candy thermometer, tart tin (yes, another one), a rectangular tin for millionaire bars, piping bags, tablespoon scoop for cookie baking, brownie tin, Sharpie permanent pen (so useful in a kitchen and so hard to find in Europe), another microplane zester, cookie cutters, cookie tray, bench scraper, lemon saver (always have at least 5 mouldy lemon halves in the fridge!), leaf pie cutters (had to buy them, reduced to $2.50 from $18!) and a few other bits an pieces. You know who is even more of a kitchen geek than me? You, if you read through that list! : )
It might sound from all my gushing over Miami and my stern commentary on Berlin; that I am a bit of Berlin basher. But it’s because I think Berlin has so much potential that I give it such a hard time! Same way I believe that pessimists are the ultimate optimists because they believe things can get better, whereas optimists think: “this is as good as it gets”. I think Berlin is bound to get a lot better! It’s great to be here and watch it all unfold (very slowly).
Ok, now I have gotten the whole Miami thing out of my system and I will return to reporting about Berlin. Looking forward to it actually – I missed this quirky city!