I’ve been here now well over two months, and while I’m still not working and I still haven’t seen any of this great country beyond my Sydney bubble, I am gaining ground in one very important area: the War on Food. While Aussieland does have some very good cuisine from different regions of the world, there are some major holes – many of which I’ve already blogged about (because apparently I’m obsessed with food). But, I’ve won a few battles lately, and those holes are getting smaller… unlike my stomach. Here is the most recent report from the Sydney culinary world:
The most important update of them all. Since my letter to Chipotle (which they were awesome enough to respond to), I’ve tried two more burritos in Sydney – bringing my total to seven. One was complete rubbish, but the other was a place called Baja Cantina. It was recommended to me by a Rice alum that I met up with a few weeks ago. He originally hails from New Braunfels, Texas, so I trusted his judgment. And you know what? His judgment was spot on and my friend Kathryn agreed (she’s like my burrito Vanna White except that I won’t yell at her like Pat Sajak would). Baja Cantina now takes the gold position on the (Australian) Olympic podium of burritos, though it probably won't even make it to bronze at the World Championships. It’s not nearly as convenient as silver medal winning Mad Mex, but it’ll be worth the jaunt every now and again.
But here is something completely shameful: both Baja Cantina and Mad Mex serve Pepsi. Not Coca-Cola. They serve Pepsi. Foul language coming in three, two, one… Fucking rude! And disgusting! Pepsi. Pish.
I’ve been avoiding falafel like the plague or children. After the first two nightmarish falafel pitas, I was deeply afraid of having to give up falafel due to the “three strikes you’re out” rule. But yesterday I was brave. Very brave. My buddy Roy mentioned a place called Sabbaba over in Bondi Junction weeks and weeks ago. Yesterday, my housemate Oscar and I finally gave it a go. I ordered a falafel pita called the “Tel-Aviv”. I was skeptical at first – how the hell is this going to live up to the falafel in Tel-Aviv? Well, I took a bite… and…
Success! It was almost like sex in falafel form! It was seriously pretty authentic – pita with falafel and hummus and tahihi and lettuce and tomato and pickles and cabbage I think - and the best part: FRIES! Well, actually, they call them “chips” here but I still call them fries because America may do a ton of shit wrong but fries are one thing we do right. Damn right. Israelis put French fries in their falafel pitas – and this place did too. ORGASM!
After a few miscounts and a massive failure on the part of Google Maps, I have officially determined that I’ve been to every single Starbucks in Sydney. There are only six of them, though Google Maps shows more – there used to be tons more, but they closed most of them down because Aussies don’t appreciate good coffee from a good company. Whatev. Monday – which was a national holiday here for Easter – marked the completion of the sixth location. My American buddy Todd accompanied me and we enjoyed some nice Caramel Macchiatos on Darling Harbour. There is one more Starbucks WAY out in East Jesus, but it would take me forever to get out there on the train. Besides, that suburban location is in a children’s hospital. I hate hospitals.
And I hate children.
Nectar of the Gods update:
Ok, not technically an update since I haven’t blogged about it before, but noteworthy nonetheless. Thai Iced Tea is super delicious and every Thai restaurant that I’ve been to in the States serves it. But not here. It’s probably an American creation, but it’s yummy so I don’t care. I’ve been to several Thai restaurants here – at least five or six – and none of them had it. In fact, they seemed not to know what I was even talking about. Stressful! Maybe the Thai people there were really Vietnamese or Cambodian or something. Tricky Cambodians. Today, at a random food court in the CBD, I opted to get Thai food. Not only did the Thai food taste like Americanized Thai food (yay for the familiar!), but they also had Thai Iced Tea! YES! YES! YES!
Ok, I didn’t scream out “Yes! Yes! Yes!” in the food court, but I sort of wanted to. I was a bit giddy and it took all of my strength and will power not to suck that shit down in one quick gulp. My Spanish housemate tasted it and he thought it was gross, but what does he really know about good food and drink anyway? He comes from a country where the idea of a great specialty food shop is “El Museo de Jamon” – or in English – “The Museum of Ham”. A whole store devoted to ham. The defense rests.