After a short hiatus (Kate went to Paris) we have the PIG (Passionate International Gastronomers) Project back up and plowing through the B’s. Friday night we went to the Balkan Grill in Arlington, VA for a delicious Bosnian feast. The restaurant calls itself “Take Out” due to the absence of tables and chairs (there is a bar table that sits 4). We ordered food to go and eat at Jill’s house just a few minutes away.
Posts tagged: PIG project
Snaking our way though the B’s on Friday we ended up at Bruges Waffle and Frites in SLC for Belgium. The menu is simple, 2 types of sandwiches, french fries, and waffles. You would think with only a few options many would be left unsatisfied, yet everyone who attended seemed satiated.
Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama…
Ooo I wanna take you down to the Kelly’s.
For a PIG Project potluck feast featuring food from Bermuda, Bahamas, and Barbados. And as it turns out, the feast was a hit and the food was great. We ate (in order of pictures below) Bahamian Macaroni & Cheese, Barbadian Jerk Fake-Chicken and Potato Roties, Bermudian Potato and Pea-pod Salad with Mint, Bermudian Curried Carrot Soup with Coconut, Fried Avocado with Shrimp Salad, Hyper Sweet –Bahamanian Sweet Potato Casserole, Hack Job Barbadian Pineapple Pie, 6X Crazy Chocolate Cake, Island Carrot Cake, and homemade flags to garnish our Banana Orange Daiquiris.
In fine fashion we celebrated the end of the spring semester and Kate’s graduation from law school with a PIG Project feast at Deshi Spice, a Bangladeshi restaurant in Arlington, VA. Much to our delight we have a large showing with friends from law school, church, and undergrad. The added benefit was I (Neil) had been to Bangladesh before and so was able to answer every possible question about Bangladesh that the group could come up with throughout the dinner. As far as the dinner was concerned much of the food was similar to Indian, as could be expected, but seemed to have its own Bangladeshi flair. The waiter was insistent we order the fish but was also sure to warn us that there were lots and lots and lots and lots of bones in the fish. I think two people ordered fish but also made sure it was the boneless option.
The dinner was lovely with everyone enjoying an assortment of dishes starting with vegetarian samosas, egg bhorthas – kind of like a naan with egg inside and mango lassies. Main courses included lamb curry (see photo), chana massala (see photo), korma, boneless fish dopiaza, a tandoori sampler, tasty rice (see photo) and lots of fun. Besides breaking bread with friends the best part of the evening was our cute waitor who went out of the way cater to use, explain the dishes and answer all of Kate’s attempts to get him to talk about home. Deshi Spice was a cute little restaurant with a lot of taste and we can’t wait to go back.
Another successful PIG project meal, this time Algerian and at Thelma’s house in DC. Unfortunately, the only Algerian restaurant in DC, Couscous Cafe, closed its doors a few years ago. Luckily they still cater. Not willing to give up on a crazy idea Kate and I had Couscous Catering make us one amazing feast. It included a most scrumptious dish called Chicken Basteela Pie that was a pastry stuffed with curried chicken that smelled (and tasted) so good Kate was tempted to give up vegetarianism for the weekend (BTW I am no longer calling myself vegetarian). There was also couscous of course – it had a mild flavor and vegetables and was the only think that June, our niece who we were babysitting that evening, would eat (she called it rice).
We experienced the most amazing, scrumptious, detailed meal of all time tonight… all Albanian (and vegetarian interpretations of Albanian food).
When we started the PIG Project I started looking for restaurants in the area. I Googled “Albanian restaurant DC” and a pizza restaurant came up under the search. Not surprising considering where Albania is located on the map… right across from Italy.
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes, or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. -Anthony Bourdain
On Valentines Day Neil and I were eating at a mediocre restaurant and it struck me that we needed to expand our food repertoire to include foods we’ve never tried before. This idea was also partially inspired by the random Sri Lankan restaurant we tried over Christmas break where we tasted the most delicious food we’ve ever had. SO scrumptious! I believe I called it a “Superb, amazing, taste bonanza!” in the online review. Our adventurousness in cuisine was well rewarded.
Therefore, we launched the PIG Project: Proud International Gastronomers! Gastronomy can be defined as the study of food and culture, and we want to learn more about world politics, geography, culture, dress, dance, language, art, music and people through this project. Fine food is the principle study of gastronomy, and how can you know which food is the finest if you haven’t search the globe??
We will track these adventures in food and culture as noble PIGs on our blog.
Every week we will try to eat an authentic dish from a different country. We will attempt in this general order to acquire authenticity:
- Find a restaurant (within a reasonable proximity) that serves the country’s food
- Find someone from the country & convince them to cook for us
- Find an event at the local association or the Embassy that we can attend
- Make a dish from that country
We’ll strive for the closest thing to authentic dishes we can achieve whenever our pocketbooks will allow! We’ll be following a loose alphabetic order, but never skipping ahead to the easy ones (yes, we have looked at the list below & realize this is a long-term project). If nothing else, this will be a great opportunity to explore, meet new friends and get together with old ones. If you are in the DC area and want to come along, shoot us an email and we’ll keep you posted on where, in the world, we are!