Eat local: Indian Dinner for Friends, mid-Atlantic Ocean (crossing from Brazil to Africa)

Elephants were the highlight of the décor in our apartment on the ship for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

Elephants were the highlight of the décor in our apartment on the ship for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

Good friends (four couples) on our ship decided to have a special dinner in an apartment (we used ours, as we have a table that seats eight comfortably) while we were at sea for fours days, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Brazil to the Cape Verde Islands, just off Senegal Africa.  After some discussions with the ship’s food and beverage team, we chose to do an Indian dinner, as we have three Indian chefs on board from different cities in India.  (It was also fitting in that our last two ports in Brazil – Fernando de Noronha and Natal – were used by Portuguese ships hundreds of years ago for refitting on their way to and from Goa, India.)  In order to utilize the skills of the chefs from the different regions, we worked out a menu with the executive chef that enabled each chef to feature his home cuisine in an appetizer and a main course, with a number of canapés, side dishes and breads added.  The pastry chef also worked with the team to create two Indian desserts.  What was especially fun was that none of the dishes have been featured in our Asian restaurant on board.  Thus, the chefs got to prepare some dishes from their home cuisines and we were given a culinary tour of Chennai, Goa and Kerala.  We had beers and white and red wines to match the food, chosen by our well-versed beverage manager.  Our waiter was from India and wore an Indian outfit, including Indian shoes.  The decorations in the living room (canapés) and dining room were elephant-themed and colorful, and we were able to stream Jagit Singh music over the Internet to round out the ambiance.  All-in-all, it was a wonderful “feast” – it almost seemed that each chef was in competition to outdo his peers and create the best dish(es) of the evening.  We all felt like we had jumped on a magic carpet and left the ship for a festive evening in a private home in India.  Our thanks to the whole team involved in creating this wonderful evening!

 

The table setting for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

The table setting for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A place setting with elephant-design menu, Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

A place setting with elephant-design menu, Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

The menu for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

The menu for an Indian dinner for friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

The first of two canapés served with cocktails (wine and beer) were several bowls of Roasted Chickpeas (garbanzo beans in America), Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atl

The first of two canapés served with cocktails (wine and beer) were several bowls of Roasted Chickpeas (garbanzo beans in America), Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

The second of two canapés served with cocktails (wine and beer) were Prawn and Vegetable-filled Samosas with a mint sauce, Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Oce

The second of two canapés served with cocktails (wine and beer) were Prawn and Vegetable-filled Samosas with a mint sauce, Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

An appetizer of Goan Rissóis de Camarão (from Goa, India), prawn, cheese, onion, spice and garlic; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic

An appetizer of Goan Rissóis de Camarão (from Goa, India), prawn, cheese, onion, spice and garlic; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

An appetizer of Thattukada Fried Chicken (from Kerala, India), chicken, coconut, tomato, curry leaf, and spices; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

An appetizer of Thattukada Fried Chicken (from Kerala, India), chicken, coconut, tomato, curry leaf, and spices; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

An appetizer of Masala Vada (from Chennai, India), savory fragrant split pea fritter; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

An appetizer of Masala Vada (from Chennai, India), savory fragrant split pea fritter; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

Freshly made Indian Poppadum with (not pictured) mango chutney, tamarind chutney and raita (cucumber and vegetable yogurt), Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocea

Freshly made Indian Poppadum with (not pictured) mango chutney, tamarind chutney and raita (cucumber and vegetable yogurt), Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A main course of Lamb Varattiyathu (from Kerala, India), lamb knuckle, coconut, ginger, garlic, and spice – one of the most flavorful dishes of the evening! -- Indian Dinner for Friend

A main course of Lamb Varattiyathu (from Kerala, India), lamb knuckle, coconut, ginger, garlic, and spice – one of the most flavorful dishes of the evening! — Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A side dish of Palak Dal, lentils, spinach, turmeric, garlic and chili; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

A side dish of Palak Dal, lentils, spinach, turmeric, garlic and chili; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A main course of Combi Xacuti (from Goa, India), chicken, curry spice, poppy seed, chili, and grated coconut; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

A main course of Combi Xacuti (from Goa, India), chicken, curry spice, poppy seed, chili, and grated coconut; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A side dish of Vegetable Dum Biryani, spice, vegetables, saffron and basmati rice (with raita); Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

A main course of Combi Xacuti (from Goa, India), chicken, curry spice, poppy seed, chili, and grated coconut; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

A main course of Chettinad Prawn Massala (from Chennai, India), prawn, spice, curry leaf, and coconut; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

A main course of Chettinad Prawn Massala (from Chennai, India), prawn, spice, curry leaf, and coconut; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

Our first dessert was South Indian Style Pineapple Kesari, semolina, saffron, cardamom and pineapple chunks; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

Our first dessert was South Indian Style Pineapple Kesari, semolina, saffron, cardamom and pineapple chunks; Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

Our second dessert was Indian-style Ice Cream, rose, cardamom, and pistachio (blended together with cream); Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

Our second dessert was Indian-style Ice Cream, rose, cardamom, and pistachio (blended together with cream); Indian Dinner for Friends, on board our ship mid-Atlantic Ocean

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant, Búzios, Brazil

Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant, Búzios, Brazil, is located up on a hill in the central district of the town, providing an excellent view of Búzios Bay

Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant, Búzios, Brazil, is located up on a hill in the central district of the town, providing an excellent view of Búzios Bay

 

Up on a hill overlooking Búzios Bay, Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant serves creative, fresh, local seafood in a dining room and on their verandah.  We enjoyed an excellent luncheon after wandering from the pier to central Búzios and exploring the boutiques and cafes [see our previous post, “Búzios, Brazil”.]  Unlike many of the dining establishments along the waterfront and in the central district – by nature of its location up a hill – Mistico was not crowded for lunch, even with a very large cruise ship in port with us.  Our service was quite good with a friendly waiter who spoke excellent English.  As shown in the photographs, their cuisine is very creative and all dishes were well prepared and quite tasty.  Very highly recommended!

 

The restaurant_s verandah features a “bird of paradise” overlooking Búzios Bay, Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant, Búzios, Brazil

The restaurant’s verandah features a “bird of paradise” overlooking Búzios Bay, Mistico Sunset Lounge & Restaurant, Búzios, Brazil

 

Our amuse bouche was cheese with mango puree and roasted almonds, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

Our amuse bouche was cheese with mango puree and roasted almonds, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

 

A mixed seafood appetizer

A mixed seafood appetizer with octopus, a lobster mini-taco, salmon, a bacalau fritter (a local Brazilian specialty, bolinho de bacalhau), seared tuna, and a cucumber salad; Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

 

Lobster mini-tacos, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

Lobster mini-tacos, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

 

An entrée (shared) of squid-ink gnocci with fried local calamari and vegetables in a delicious seafood sauce, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

An entrée (shared) of squid-ink gnocci with fried local calamari and vegetables in a delicious seafood sauce, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

 

One of the hotel_s rooms on the hill, adjacent to the hotel_s restaurant, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

One of the hotel’s rooms on the hill, adjacent to the hotel’s restaurant, Mistico, Búzios, Brazil

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Oasis (Churrascaria), São Conrado, Brazil

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas filled with cheese

 

On our afternoon visit to the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of São Conrado, we had a late lunch at a Brazilian-style Churrascaria restaurant, Oasis, where meat is cooked over coals on skewers which are brought by waiters to each table and carved to order for each person.  While many Rio Churrascaria restaurants have moved away from charcoal burning ovens, Oasis has maintained the same cooking style (see end photographs) for 40 years.  The variety of meats (and salads at the salad bar) was nearly overwhelming, and everything was delicious.  Our favorite was the local picanha (beef top sirloin).  Needless to say, we left very late in the afternoon completely stuffed (and we skipped supper that night).

 

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starcht tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starchy tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

“A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portugurese word for ‘barbeque’…  In modern restaurants rodízio service is typically offered.  Passadores (meat waiters) come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, be it beef, pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, duck, ham (with pineapple), sausage, fish, or any other sort of local cut of meat.  A common cut of beef top sirloin cap is known as picanha…  In most parts of Brazil, the churrasco is roasted with charcoal.  In the south of Brazil, however, mostly close to the borders of Argentina and Uruguay, embers of wood are also used.” — Wikipedia

 

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil_s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whol

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil’s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whole array of fruits, from strawberry to kiwi; Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis res

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice the meat), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Charcoal grilled leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Charcoal grilleded leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Cheese covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Cheese-covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazi

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

After a morning walk of more than 10,000 steps in the French Quarter (see our previous blog post “New Orleans, Louisiana, USA”), we then headed off to eat brunch at Luke (restaurant), just west of the Quarter. We were very glad we had made a reservation, as the restaurant is very popular with the locals and many were enjoying brunch before they headed to the New Orleans Saints NFL playoffs football game later that afternoon.

 

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana--

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

“Luke is a Creole-inspired Brasserie located in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District on world-famous St. Charles Avenue, steps from the French Quarter neighborhood.  A lively atmosphere surrounds the raw bar offering the freshest seafood and oysters procured daily from the Gulf of Mexico.  Chef Erick Loos is at the helm of the kitchen featuring dishes that highlight local purveyors and farmers’ market ingredients. Behind the bar, a selection of bartender-created specialty cocktails are offered among a carefully-curated list of wines from throughout the world and locally crafted brews… Erik Loos IV is currently the Executive Chef of Luke Restaurant showing homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans.  Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and The Times Picayune, which applauded Luke for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.” – www.lukeneworleans.com

 

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp "En Cocotte", roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp “En Cocotte”, roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

The Split Dock of Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, with the mountains of Unalaska Island in the background, across Iliuliuk Bay

The Split Dock of Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, with the mountains of Unalaska Island in the background, across Iliuliuk Bay

 

The port of Dutch Harbor, on Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Chain – connected by a bridge to the much larger Unalaska Island — consistently ranks as the busiest fishing port in the United States of America.  For the last 30 years, Unalaska’s economy has been based primarily on commercial fishing, seafood processing, fleet services and marine transportation.  Annually, more than 1.7 billion pounds of frozen halibut, salmon and king crab is shipped to domestic and export markets in North America, Europe and Asia, making the Port of Dutch Harbor first in the nation in quantity of catch landed and first or second in the nation in the value of the catch for more than 20 years.  Fans of the Discovery Channel may be familiar with the area, highlighted on the popular series “Deadliest Catch.”  Naturally, sport fishing opportunities are plentiful.  Dutch Harbor is also known for being the only place on American soil other than Pearl Harbor to be bombed by the Japanese.  In June of 1942, two days of air attacks killed 43 American servicemen, but did very little long-term damage to the base.  We had the opportunity to visit the informative Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center, adjacent to the small airport on the island — for more details of the story see below.

 

From our mooring at the Kloosterboer Dock, this view looks northeast to the North Pacific Fuel Dock and the Trident Dock; the Ulatka Head Road zigs-zags up the hill around Mr. Ballyhoo

From our mooring at the Kloosterboer Dock, this view looks northeast to the North Pacific Fuel Dock and the Trident Dock; the Ulatka Head Road zigs-zags up the hill around Mr. Ballyhoo (named by Dashiell Hammett — of “The Maltese Falcon” fame — when he was stationed in Dutch Harbor during WW II) to the ruins of Fort Schwatka, the defensive WW II fort that guarded Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

 

A fisherman making repairs to the chains (hundreds of yards-meters long) used on his Pollock fishing boat to hold the large fish net; Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

A fisherman making repairs to the chains (hundreds of yards/meters long) used on his Pollock fishing boat to hold the large fish net; Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

 

Where small towns in New England have “general stores” of a modest size, the Alaska Ship Supply store is a giant combination hardware store and grocery in Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Islan

Where small towns in New England have “general stores” of a modest size, the Alaska Ship Supply store is a giant combination hardware store and grocery in Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA; we bought completely waterproof pants (used by local fishermen) and some kayaking waterproof gloves to add to our foul weather gear on the ship for our expedition travel

 

The Alyeska Seafoods processing facility on Unalaska Island, across the bay from Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

The Alyeska Seafoods processing facility on Unalaska Island, across the bay from Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

 

Homes on Haystack Hill in Unalaska, Unalaska Island, across the bay from Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

Homes on Haystack Hill in Unalaska, Unalaska Island, across the bay from Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

 

The Grand Aleutian Hotel in Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, where we had had piles of delicious king crab legs as part of a large Sunday buffet lunch at their Chart Room Resta

The Grand Aleutian Hotel in Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, where we had had piles of delicious king crab legs as part of a large Sunday buffet lunch at their Chart Room Restaurant

 

King crab legs on the Grand Aleutian Hotel_s Chart Room Restaurant_s Sunday buffet, Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

King crab legs on the Grand Aleutian Hotel’s Chart Room Restaurant’s Sunday buffet, Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA

 

At the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitors Center we learned more about the so-called “Aleutian Campaign” of World War II (from 1942 to 1945). “The Aleutian Islands are the setting for a little known story of how America was forced into war to reclaim her own soil during World War II. As Japan expanded her empire across Asia and the Pacific in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the United States hastened to fortify the westernmost defenses of her territory, establishing naval bases and air stations in the Aleutian Islands [part of the Alaska Territory, bought from Russia on 30 March1867 in the so-called “Seward’s Folly” purchase]. Civilian and military crews poured in by the thousands to ready the nation for a war in the North Pacific.

“It came all too soon. In June of 1942, just six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bombed Unalaska, and seized the islands of Attu and Kista [the westernmost of the Aleutian Islands]. The Japanese troops numbered less than 10,000 men. Within little over a year the United States and her Canadian allies matched that number more than tenfold and defeated the Japanese.

“There were heavy losses on both sides. In the end, however, the weather emerged as the deadliest enemy. For the Alaska Natives in the Aleutians, the war changed their lives forever. Most of the Unangan (Aleut) were exiled thousands of miles from home in filthy disease-ridden camps; the Attuans were captured and transported to Japan. [The U.S. treatment of the Aleutians was similar to the internment of the Japanese during World War II – shameful acts that did not reflect the founding principles of America.] At the end of the war many Unangan found their homes and churches pillaged, their archaeological sites looted, their waters and lands contaminated, and whole islands appropriated as military reserves.

“Thus, [this] is a story of both noble and ignoble events; it is a tale of Americans at war thousands of miles from home and Americans in exile thousands of miles from home. This is the story of the ‘Aleutian Campaign.’” – exhibit signage at the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center

 

The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor_s Center (and museum), Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, is adjacent to the Dutch Harbor airport

The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center (and museum), Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA, is adjacent to the Dutch Harbor airport

 

“At Dutch Harbor, the captured [Japanese] Zero [fighter airplane] – see photograph, below — was turned upright by crane, then crated for shipment south. She arrived at North Island, Naval Air Station San Diego on 12 August 1942. The fighter was placed in a balloon hangar, secreted behind a 12-foot high stockade and guarded day and night. Crews worked 24 hours a day, repairing the vertical stabilizer, rudder, wing tips, flaps and canopy. [On] 25 September [1942], the Akutan Zero, the U.S. star now on her wings and fuselage, flied mock combat against the best aircraft in America. These tests affirmed that even the most advanced U.S. plane can not defeat the Zero in its own arena – the low-altitude, slow-speed, twisting dogfight. To survive such an attack, U.S. pilots must first flee – dive away in a near vertical descent, then roll hard right before the Zero can bring its cannon and machine guns to bear. Once disengaged, the battle must be pressed on at high speed — – in swooping attacks from high altitude. Only then can the Zero’s design faults, its inherent fragility, be exploited.’” – exhibit signage at the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center

 

“The Prize of the Aleutians” was found in Dutch Harbor -- a captured, downed Japanese Zero airplane that had been declared by the U.S. War Department (in the late 1930s) to be “…

“The Prize of the Aleutians” was found in Dutch Harbor — a captured, downed Japanese Zero airplane that had been declared by the U.S. War Department (in the late 1930s) to be “…an aerodynamic impossibility” but went on to fly circles around U.S. and allied aircraft in the early 1940s; Dutch Harbor, Amaknak Island, Alaska, USA – photo courtesy Anchorage Museum of History and Art and the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center

 

Legal Notices: All photographs (except “The Prize of the Aleutians”) copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

 

Eat local: Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Exterior of the Marx Brothers Café -- the home on Third Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, dates to 1916 and was one of three identical houses built for the local management of the

Exterior of the Marx Brothers Café — the home on Third Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, dates to 1916 and was one of three identical houses built for the local management of the Alaska Railroad Company during the railroad’s construction

 

We had our best dinner in Alaska — during the course of three weeks sailing up the Inside Passage and then arriving in Anchorage – at the Marx Brothers Café.  The café’s website notes: “The Marx Bros. Café specializes in innovative contemporary cuisine featuring fresh Alaskan seafood and only the finest quality meats.  Our chef revises the menu each night to reflect unique ingredients and imaginative preparations.  Our cuisine is expertly paired with an extensive selection of wines housed in one of Alaska’s largest cellars.”

 

Photograph of Groucho and Harpo Marx (the Marx brothers) in the front hall of the eponymous restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Photograph of Groucho and Harpo Marx (the Marx brothers) in the front hall of the eponymous restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

After ordering we asked the maitre’d about the restaurant’s name.  He confirmed that the first night the restaurant opened quite a few years ago was quite chaotic.  The founding partners reflected afterwards that the evening was like being in a Marx brothers’ movie, so they named the restaurant in their honor.

The “official story”: “By 1979, Jack Amon, Van Hale, Ken Brown and Bob Schmidt had made quite a name for themselves in Anchorage’s culinary scene – even if that name was a mouthful!  Together, they had created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday — a weekly event of food and wine at the Jade Room.  Off nights, they catered festivals and events under the name of The Spaceway Sausage Company.  In the hours after their final dinner on April 1, 1979, they moved their operation and all its accoutrements to a little house on Third Avenue.  The night of the move was spiced with the intrigue and chaos of sleep deprivation and disputed ownership, and anyone walking in on the scene would have thought they were on the set of the old Marx Brother’s movie, ‘A Night at the Opera.’  Nevertheless, they survived the night and named their restaurant the Marx Brother’s Café — officially opening the doors on October 18, 1979.  Over the past 30 years the Marx Bros. Café has grown into an elegant establishment acclaimed by tourists and critics and coveted by locals.”

 

Neapolitan Seafood Mousse- Layers of Maine lobster, smoked salmon and smoked halibut served with toast points, red onion gremolata and American caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, A

Neapolitan Seafood Mousse: Layers of Maine lobster, smoked salmon and smoked halibut served with toast points, red onion gremolata and American caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Copper River Sockeye Gravlax- House made dill cured sockeye salmon with buckwheat blini, honey mustard, dill sour cream and salmon caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Copper River Sockeye Gravlax: House made dill cured sockeye salmon with buckwheat blini, honey mustard, dill sour cream and salmon caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Halibut Macadamia- Halibut baked in macadamia nuts with coconut curry and mango chutney, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Halibut Macadamia: Halibut baked in macadamia nuts with coconut curry and mango chutney, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Kodiak Scallops- With house-made fettuccine, artichoke pesto, summer tomato sauce and grilled artichoke, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Kodiak Scallops: With house-made fettuccine, artichoke pesto, summer tomato sauce and grilled artichoke, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Marx Bro's Cheesecake- Our own special recipe, rich and creamy, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Marx Bro’s Cheesecake: Our own special recipe, rich and creamy, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbor, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Nanaimo, just across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, is British Columbia’s third-oldest settlement.  While the larger city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island may be more familiar, Nanaimo has a charm all its own.  Strolling along the waterfront, visitors find small shops and floating restaurants that have taken the place of rundown piers.  Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street are lined with old storefronts and bars — if not for the occasional car, walkers might believe they have stepped back in time to the early 1900s.  Nanaimo boasts a vibrant art and music scene and, like all of British Columbia, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation.

 

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A typical street with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

A typical street lined with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (lik

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (like a prescription) from a doctor

 

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect6 Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; the tall bell tower and steep roof make the church a prominent landmark on Nanaimo’s skyline

 

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city_s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city’s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

“The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin.  It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.  It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares.  Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate.” — Wikipedia

 

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin -- a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin — a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

The story behind Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation:  “Long ago there were no divisions between humans, animals and spirits.  All things of the earth, sky and water were connected and all beings could pass freely between them.  The salmon people, the kindest of them all, would pass through our village each season and leave their bodies behind to feed the humans, birds and animal people.  They then would return to the oceans without their bodies and when they reached their homes their forms would look just like human beings, and their homes would look like the villages of our people.  We change forms to help one another.  To honour and respect this cycle we always return the bones and body parts back to the sea, to respect these salmon people.  We respect these swimming people because of their kindness, determination and courage.  They also bring the healing powers to the villages.  Eagles are a source of spiritual power and wisdom that bring help, peace of mind and heart to communities.  Long ago, elders sighted eagles soaring over the harbor and Jack’s Point.  This was a sign, telling the people of the village that salmon were coming to feed the people.  In our times of need, eagles would come forward to tell us to prepare for the coming of the salmon people.  It is extraordinary that these same eagles flew over and looked onto the ground-breaking of the cruise ship terminal, during the blessing by former Chief Viola Wyse in October 2008.  Together, eagles and salmon symbolize that we all are connected and dependent on one another.  If we come together, like the eagle and salmon, we too will have a deeper understanding that will help us build strong, healthy and prosperous futures.”

 

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

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