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Old 04-21-2014, 09:07 PM
JL JL started this thread
 
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Check out this guy...the way he eats makes me salivate....very convincing for sure...in Tokyo...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwY4fWJMSLc
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I agree in theory. It's adventurous, it smells good, do what the locals do... But keep in mind readers - health and cleanliness standards are not in place in some developing countries. You don't know that meat has been out in the hot sun for two days, or the vegetables have been rinsed in the local sewer water, or that the chicken is not really chicken but someones former pet.
Next thing you know, the rest of your vacation is spent on your knees in front of the porcelean God.
But if you're visiting a third world country in the first place, you're not going to find any conditions that are any better than that, even in the best of restaurants. Unless, of course, you lock yourself into that 5-star resort and eat their overpriced tourist cuisine, and even then, you have no guarantees.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The central open-air market in any third world country.

Yes. I try to go early in the morning to minimize the risk of food poisoning due to microbial growth/excreted toxins from food exposed for long periods of time to the elements and heat. But sometimes the offerings are so darn tempting and the food is so tasty that, against my better judgement I indulge only to spend the next few hours/days prostrate in front of the porcelain god. Just make sure you pack all the necessary medicines and get all the requisite shots needed to alleviate the sufferings from the possible consequences.

LOl, as my husband said "It was worth it though."
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JL View Post
I didn't see a thread on this, but maybe we can start one here. I will start off with Barcelona. I thought La Rita was reasonably priced and great food. What are some restaurants that you recommend while traveling overseas? City and restaurant name:
This is tricky because the quality of restaurants can change quickly, and what was once great can quickly turn mediocre within a short time period, thus yelp and such are your best bet unless the rec. is very recent.

That said, I really enjoyed the xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung when living in Shanghai, even though it is Taiwanese chain. Thin, chewy wrappers encasing succulent, rich pork/crab filling, nicely offset by the sharp vinegar/ginger dipping sauce.

But generally I try to target eateries crowded with large crowds of locals, away from the tourist spots. Following this, I had an amazing seafood paella in Barcelona in a nondescript local neighborhood near the beach - was far better than the highly touted one I had in Valencia. Don't remember the name though...
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
If the USA is representative of "first world", such a thing is virtually non-existent. In America, it would be nearly impossible for a stranger to locate a "market" that is open every day where full meals would be served, prepared on the spot, by an non-franchised operator. In America, the concept would basically consist of a food court in a mall, unless you were lucky enough to find the wholesale food market in a large city. And even then, state food inspectors would make nearly impossible to operate in such an environment, creating hurdles that only a large chain could afford to jump. Fairly large cities in Europe might have such a market-place, but in the third world, such a market is where everybody buys all their groceries, and would exist in just about any little town, with plenty of sit-down stalls where a family cooks home-style food for the general public.

In the third world, they are ubiquitous and conspicuous, and I wouldn't even think of eating in a proper restaurant instead. But in the first world, it would probably not be worth the effort to search for one.

What you say may be largely true, but I had my reasons for limiting the suggestion to the third world

Is America the only country considered to be First World?
I ate well in open markets all over West and Central Europe.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:38 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Originally Posted by mingna View Post
Yes. I try to go early in the morning to minimize the risk of food poisoning due to microbial growth/excreted toxins from food exposed for long periods of time to the elements and heat. But sometimes the offerings are so darn tempting and the food is so tasty that, against my better judgement I indulge only to spend the next few hours/days prostrate in front of the porcelain god. Just make sure you pack all the necessary medicines and get all the requisite shots needed to alleviate the sufferings from the possible consequences.

LOl, as my husband said "It was worth it though."
Depends what direction you go. Overseas to Europe? You don't need to be worried about "food poisoning due to microbial growth/excreted toxins from food exposed for long periods of time to the elements and heat." They have very high food standards, and stick to them.
However if you go the opposite direction, yes you might experience some discomfort, but mainly because you might be not accustomed to the food they serve. (ingredients, spices, preparation or such)

People used to tell me: never ever eat any kind of street food, try any Aguas Frescas, and drink only bottled water when in Mexico!
I am thankful that I never listened to them, otherwise I would be deprived of the unique and delicious food they prepare, and sell on the streets.
I think we Americans are way too obsessed about germs and sterile manners when preparing food - disposable gloves, bleaching and disinfecting everything around us. Our immune system got so weak, that a single bacteria might send us to a hospital...
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:28 AM
 
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That was in reference to jtur88's recommendation of third world open air markets; I'm sure the risks are lower in first and second world markets such as those found in Europe.

I absolutely partake in foods at open air markets in third world countries (usually some of the tastiest found locally), but I also exercise caution about what to eat based on the content (soups, raw veg.), and as mentioned, the duration of exposure in hot climates. Bacteria responsible for many food borne illnesses grow exponentially in the right conditions, and one of them is under warmer temps. In tropical countries (and summers in non-tropical countries) eating earlier in the day, when temps are generally cooler and the number of bacteria are lower, will decrease your chances of food poisoning while allowing you to still enjoy the local offerings (lessons I learned the hard way). Especially with exotoxins, where the severity of illness increases with the bacterial load: lower numbers of bacteria = lower concentrations of exotoxin = decreased severity of illness.

No need for paranoia about "sterility", just exercising common sense. If I'm eating a soup with raw veges, I make sure the soup is boiling hot and the veges are added immediately to it. And most spices (such as found in pho and Bun Bo Hue) will also limit bacterial growth.

If I'm going to be paranoid, I'd be more worried about any heavy metals and other toxic chemicals in my soup than any microbes.

Last edited by mingna; 04-23-2014 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elnina View Post

People used to tell me: never ever eat any kind of street food, try any Aguas Frescas, and drink only bottled water when in Mexico!
I am thankful that I never listened to them, otherwise I would be deprived of the unique and delicious food they prepare, and sell on the streets.
I think we Americans are way too obsessed about germs and sterile manners when preparing food - disposable gloves, bleaching and disinfecting everything around us. Our immune system got so weak, that a single bacteria might send us to a hospital...

Fully agree. Ate street food in Peru, Cambodia, etc and wouldn't have had it any other way.

I do stick to the bottled water though.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:35 PM
JL JL started this thread
 
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not restaurant, but some street food...mixed meat, shrimp with dried onions ..wrapped with rice paper over heat... in Ho Chi Minh City..


STREET FOOD in Saigon at night: Banh trang nuong. - YouTube
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The "marfket stalls" I was thinking of are not like the street vendor in Saigon, above, but like this scene in Thailand, where there are dozens of food vendors preparing plates to eat at little tables within the marketplace, which are offered at mealtimes during the day, even breakfast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubt39hfR4M

There are very few travel days on which I don't eat at least one meal at a place like this.
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