Byzantines and Bronzini in the UES

What better way to follow up the Met’s Byzantine and Islamic art exhibit than to partake in some delicious Turkish eats! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the latest exhibit at the Met, it tracks Byzantine influence in the eastern Mediterranean and the cultural impact it had on Islamic art. The exhibit traces cultural inheritances from calligraphy to iconoclasm.

The Byzantines are no more, but their close cultural heirs the Turks are still around, and Turkish cuisine is still worthy of a sultan. So it worked out perfectly that Beyoglu, a reasonable local Turkish restaurant was located mere blocks away in the Upper East Side of Manhattan 1431 3rd Ave(between 81st St & 80th St)

The atmosphere on the UES is always a little stuffier than the Village and Brooklyn cantinas I normally frequent, but despite this there was a very comfortable conviviality in this neighborhood haunt.

Pictured above, Octopus and below Greek salad.

The meze starter was full of fantastic spreads like eggplant, hummus, and yogurt. The octopus salad appetizer was delicious, but I wish this app was a little heavier on the cephalopod and less heavy on the salad.

Bronzini is just the Italian term for Mediterranean sea bass. I had the full intent of ordering skewered lamb, but when our cheerful waitress imparted to us that bronzini was on special, we had to switch our order. Perfectly cooked, and expertly de-boned table side, this was definitely the highlight of the evening. Just drizzle some lemon and you can party like its 1499.

Fresh Brewed Mongoose Feces

Enjoy your morning coffee with international traveler Mark Stratil in Bali, Indonesia. He posted an informational video about coffee beans that are ingested and fermented by native Mongoose (or Mongeese?) before being excreted and brewed by the locals. Eat your heart out Chock Full O’ Nuts! Check it out!

Mark and his wife Molly are touring the planet this year, they began in South America and are now in Asia. Follow them on Mark and Molly’s travel blog here!

Pickled Kielbasa and Bloomin Onions!

So bad for you, it’s got to taste good. An onion dunked in batter, deep-fried and served with a side of horseradish dressing! From Zern’s a farmers market in south-eastern Pennsylvania.

Another delicacy was the pickled kielbasa, which was smoky sausage soaked in a spicy vinegar brine. Salty and super sour. Weird, but delicious.

These treats were picked up at unique and eclectic Pennsylvania road-side farmer’s market named Zerns 1100 East Philadelphia Avenue, Gilbertsville, PA 19525