One of the first things I noticed in the part of London where I frequent, is the ubiquity of the doner kebab shop. Not sure what that is? Well, I wasn’t either until I saw the servers cutting the meat from the vertical spit. It’s basically any seasoned meat that’s shaped into an upside down cone and slowly spins while cooking on a vertical spit. Pieces of the meat is then carved off in thin slices and served in various dishes. This beef or lamb dish finds its origins in Turkish gastronomy. You may hear similar words for the type of meat, such as doner, gyros, shawarma which all relate to the rotation or “turning” of the meat in Turkish, Greek, and Arabic respectively. Slight differences include the seasonings used such as Tzatziki sauce in gyros or the type of bread or accompanying sides (e.g. pita, flat-bread, tomatoes, onions).
Above the delicious taste, there’s the added benefit of reasonably low prices!
Picture this. I’m in Amsterdam and really hungry. I don’t know where I want to eat, but I decide that it must be a nice-looking restaurant. So I found Mario’s. It’s a nice little place with a great view of Centraal Station. I sat down, enjoyed the wonderful scenery, and waited to be served. When the nice waitress came to me I learnt that “closed” in Dutch is “eindigen” and that “open” is, well “open”! When I asked her what was the most Dutch thing I could have, I also learnt that the restaurant I was so comfortably sitting in was in fact Italian, and only served Italian food. I was stuck with a pizza. Well, stuck is a bit insulting, seeing as it was absolutely delicious! I hardly drink alcohol, but decided that in the name of cultural exploration, I would have a sample of Heineken. If my solid food was going to be Italian, I could at least sample the most Dutch of beers while I was Holland!
Cheers to Amsterdam!
- Amsterdam (studyabroad.joshuascriven.com)
The first commandment of travel clearly states that “thou shall not eat from large American fast-food chains when traveling abroad.” – Exploration Abroad
Being next to a train station has its perks. I was able to walk into an onsite Burger King and order breakfast. This German version of one of my favorite menus was quite interesting (inclusive of prices, which weren’t anywhere newer low). First thing I noticed was that there wasn’t an option to get hash browns and the “meal” consisted of what I’ve always defined as a bastardization of that title: one sandwich + one drink. What is a meal without a side? Well, I guess I could have paid for the hash browns separately, but that didn’t make much economic sense at all!
In order to justify my crime against discovery, I had to purchase a non-regular menu option. I ended up getting a breakfast burger made with eggs, tomatoes, cheese, a beef patty, and light mayo (I ordered it light) on a sesame seed bun. I would never have thought to put those things together, but knew that it would be wonderful. And it oh, it was!
The savory goodness of the beef mixed so nicely with the juicy tomatoes. No breakfast is complete without eggs, and they added the nice protein kick I craved. The nicely toasted bun was kept nice and soft with just the right amount of mayonnaise. I was feeling a bit on the sick side, seeing as I hadn’t slept enough (8 hours) in a few days. What I’ve discovered is drinking lots of orange juice keeps my immune system boosted and really staves off colds and coughs early. The natural sweetness is also unmistakable better than all the processed sugars in sodas and other popular drinks. But of course, this is a fast food joint and wasn’t included in the meal (meal is coffee, no choice). So I paid an arm and half of leg for one of those small kiddie juice boxes. But it was so good, and so necessary. So, all was well with the world 🙂
In ending this post, just so that we’re clear: I know this sandwich sounded so good, and you may be tempted to go to Germany (or where ever else they sell it) and buy one, but once again, I’d like to point out that I do not endorse companies or their products on my website.