Cucumber Mint Cooler

I was astonished when I was eating a sandwich at Mokoloco, which I can pretty confidently say makes the best sandwiches in the world. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of hyperbole, but every sandwich I’ve had there has been spectacular. From the Cuban sandwich made with pulled pork, ham, pickled vegetables, spicy mustard, and griddled on house-made bread, to a Katsu Meatball “burger” served with…

I was astonished when I was eating a sandwich at Mokoloco, which I can pretty confidently say makes the best sandwiches in the world. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of hyperbole, but every sandwich I’ve had there has been spectacular. From the Cuban sandwich made with pulled pork, ham, pickled vegetables, spicy mustard, and griddled on house-made bread, to a Katsu Meatball “burger” served with anchovy mayonnaise on a toasted brioche bun, it’s always a tough decision to decide which to have. The menu changes daily so you never really know what’s going to be on offer, but lately they’ve been doing an excellent Fattoush salad, the best I’ve ever had, which I guess I should be glad is a seasonal thing because I’d be in there every day they’re open, all year round.

The restaurant is owned by Moko Hirayama and Omar Koreitem, although calling Mokoloco a restaurant is a bit of a misnomer. (The couple owns the nearby Mokonuts, which became so popular that they created Mokloco sandwich bar to offer more casual fare.) It’s a sandwich bar in the best sense of the word, with the friendly staff making sandwiches and salads to order, handing them off to customers who either get them to go, or to enjoy perched on a stool in the sparse, modern space.

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Thin, Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently put my foot in my mouth, again. Speaking at a writer’s conference and rambling on at the podium, as usual, I offered up that I don’t think that cooking or baking as love. It’s cooking and baking. Maybe because I was a restaurant cook for so long and spent decades pumping out food (which would have been a lot of love-making), I think…

I recently put my foot in my mouth, again. Speaking at a writer’s conference and rambling on at the podium, as usual, I offered up that I don’t think that cooking or baking as love. It’s cooking and baking. Maybe because I was a restaurant cook for so long and spent decades pumping out food (which would have been a lot of love-making), I think of food as, well…food.

Of course, right after my talk and I left the podium, the screen behind me flashed in large letters: “Food As Love,” announcing the next topic, followed by a group of food writers coming onto the same stage to talk about how food was love.

Oops.

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Sain Boulangerie

I was expecting something a little different when I took a stroll over the Sain boulangerie, a bakery I’d heard about, which was on my list of bakeries in Paris to visit. My friend Romina of Les Madeleines bakery was is in town, and she’s always up to visit new places, or places new to us, so I arranged to meet her there. I figured…

I was expecting something a little different when I took a stroll over the Sain boulangerie, a bakery I’d heard about, which was on my list of bakeries in Paris to visit. My friend Romina of Les Madeleines bakery was is in town, and she’s always up to visit new places, or places new to us, so I arranged to meet her there. I figured we’d walk into a place with polished glass showcases, brass-tipped racks of breads, and a line-up of attractive pastries. Instead, we found an unassuming neighborhood spot, not a shop where the pastries were displayed like jewels, whose pastry counter was right on the sidewalk.

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The French Bastards

When the bakery sign went up, I thought, “Well, that’s rather audacious. I wonder what it’s going to be?” A bakery had been in that space, which had once been a pretty good, but had slid in quality, until one day, the doors closed for good. It’s a bummer to see a place decline but exciting when something better opens in its place, which happened….

When the bakery sign went up, I thought, “Well, that’s rather audacious. I wonder what it’s going to be?” A bakery had been in that space, which had once been a pretty good, but had slid in quality, until one day, the doors closed for good. It’s a bummer to see a place decline but exciting when something better opens in its place, which happened.

There’s been a renaissance in Paris over the last few years of young bakers, who understand techniques and traditions, but use them as springboards to go beyond them. And three of them have set up shop, calling themselves The French Bastards.

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