My Place — Bangalore, India

DSC07609

I don’t usually write about a buffet at a hotel, but I wanted to make an exception for My Place, the casual restaurant at the Movenpick Hotel in Bangalore, India.  If you’ve been following this blog on twitter (and if you haven’t been, do it now!), you know that my Air France flight was canceled due to mechanical problems in the middle of the night leaving Bangalore when I was last in India.  Air France was kind enough to put my wife, daughter, and me up at the Movenpick Hotel while they sorted our our flight situation (okay, they were required to by law, maybe).  Our meals were also included, all at My Place, and they were quite good. Continue reading

Frugal Friday — Manhattan Chili Company (Grand Central)

Vegetarian options to the right.

Vegetarian options to the right.

If you’re looking for vegetarian food at Grand Central Terminal’s food court, The Manhattan Chili Company’s outpost is a great choice.  I know what you’re thinking — how could something so typically meat-heavy be vegetarian friendly?  But in fact, it is.  There are several vegetarian options available every day, so you know there will be something to choose from, and that is reasonably healthy. Continue reading

State Bird Provisions — San Francisco, CA

"Dim Sum" Cart

“Dim Sum” Cart

Have you ever found yourself onstage in the middle of a Beyonce concert, panicking as everyone around you moves in perfect synchronization but you have no idea what’s going on?  Me neither, but I imagine that if I did, the experience would be quite similar to eating at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.  They call themselves a “restaurant without any programmed elements”, but “organized chaos” would be a better description.  Oh, and the food is absolutely fantastic.  If you are looking for the best vegetarian food in San Francisco, come here. Continue reading

L’Arpege — Paris, France — Five Stars

Arpege -- keepsake knifeL’Arpege, in Paris, is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world — and probably the best if you’re a vegetarian.  The reviews of the place are uniformly glowing.  The place can be pricey but is well worth it, at least as a “try it once” experience.  Alain Passard has revolutionized haute cuisine for vegetarians, and I hope his philosophy — that gourmet food and vegetarian food don’t have to be at odds — continues to catch on. Continue reading

Coming to you live from 35,000 feet…

…but from the back of the airplane.

Flight Map
Just yesterday, I posted about my upcoming trip on American Airlines in business class.  And I recently wrote about United’s BusinessFirst to Hawaii.  Today, unfortunately, I’m in coach!  I’m flying Delta to Salt Lake City (and then on to Arizona) but my upgrade didn’t clear, so here I am.  On the plus side, I’m in Economy Comfort (extra legroom), though the downside is that I can see BusinessElite just a few feet away.  #firstworldproblems.  Anyway, on to the food: Continue reading

American Airlines Business Class

Select Meal
So, this isn’t a food review (that’s coming) — but more of a point of information.  Some of you may know (I didn’t) that if you fly First Class or Business Class on American Airlines, you can pre-select your meal up to 30 days before you fly.  Not just the type of meal (e.g., “vegetarian”), but the actual entree that you’ll be served.  This service was launched in 2012 and American aims to roll this out to all flights by some time this year.

OutboundI’m flying from JFK to SFO soon, so I had the chance to pick my meal.  My outbound selections are above — basically, just a cheese ravioli.  Of course, I could have still just selected “vegetarian meal”.  And that’s what I did; I’ve had cheese ravioli on an airplane not too long ago, and I am ready to try something else.

Special OptionsSo on the way out, I just chose “vegetarian meal”.  It will be interesting to see what I get.

ReturnI’m coming back on the redeye, SFO-JFK, which I think explains the lighter options.  I chose the mushroom soup, though I’m worried about exactly how “creamy” it will be.  (I worry that it will be way too creamy and unappetizing.)  I am considering the fruit and cheese plate, though I feel like I should choose something at least a little more interesting when I have the option.

Luckily, if I do change my mind, I can change my selection, up until 24 hours before the flight.

Stay tuned; I’ll report back on the actual food shortly!

 

Jamavar — Bangalore, India

Dinner at Jamavar

If you’re looking for the best restaurant in Bangalore, India, then Jamavar, a restaurant at the Leela Palace hotel in Bangalore, is probably on your radar.  Jamavar is located in one of the city’s nicest hotels, and in terms of quality, the restaurant could hold its own against the other top Indian restaurants I’ve been to.  But as good as the food was, it was hard to get past the expensive prices.  All in all, Jamavar was very nice, but not so nice that I want to go back. Continue reading

United Airlines — BusinessFirst, Newark to Honolulu

Ravioli on United AirlinesIf there’s something I love as much as good food, it’s travel.  As frequent readers know, I was recently in Hawaii, visiting some friends.  I got there by flying on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Honolulu, in “United First”.  Overall, the food was pretty good, though getting a vegetarian option was quite the challenge… Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013!  Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve — I’d been working nonstop, but got a major project finished the evening of the 31st, and was able to relax with friends for a few hours.  2012 was the blog’s first full year, and it was a great one, featuring one of the earliest reviews of a new restaurant, and a trip to a unique “restaurant within a restaurant“.  I went back to one of my favorite spots, which disappointed slightly, and I went to a place that fell short in the past, but struck a perfect chord this time around.  I went to a one-Michelin-star restaurant that I think is grossly underrated.  And of course, there were a range of other places, from vegetarian fast food in Williamsburg to haute cuisine in Hawaii to Taco Bell.  I finally launched “Frugal Fridays“, with a nice little lineup of less-expensive spots.

One of the great things about blogging is being able to share my thoughts on some fantastic restaurants and great food.  One of the challenges is that, once you write something, it’s out there.  With a view to keeping myself honest, here’s a look back at what I promised for 2012:

–Guest reviews from other cities (if you’re interested, drop a line to withoutbacon@gmail.com)  [VERDICT: FAIL.  No guest posts in 2012, though I have to say this was primarily because people who said they’d send in guest posts never did.  The offer is still open for anyone who’s interested, though!]

–”Frugal Fridays”:  occasional reviews of less-pricey restaurants.  (Going to Eleven Madison Park every day would be fun, but also bankrupting!) [VERDICT: SUCCESS!  Frugal Fridays has launched successfully.]

–”Steakhouse Roundup”:  what can you get when your carnivorous friends make you go to a steakhouse?  Look here to find out. [VERDICT: EPIC FAIL.  Nothing even close to this in 2012.  I wrote this because I had been to a steakhouse in late 2011, and I thought I could review the famous Hillstone veggie burger.  But I still haven’t been to Hillstone, and the post about the Union Trust steakhouse in Philly never came…] 

–”Home cooking”:  Some interesting vegetarian recipes that you can try out at home.  [VERDICT: EPIC FAIL.  I haven’t managed to post a single recipe!  Maybe in 2013…]

I don’t want to find myself writing “EPIC FAIL” at this point in 2014, so I won’t make specific promises about content this year.  But I will say that I was inspired by a friend’s New Year’s Resolution of posting on his blog at least once per week.  I’ve always aimed for a post a week, but I’m usually a bit off from that mark.  So for 2013, I’ll aim for 52 new reviews… (I can’t promise they’ll come exactly one per week, but an average of one per week seems pretty reasonable.)

And as always, stay connected to Without Bacon — sign up for new posts (on the right side), follow me on twitter, or drop a line to withoutbacon@gmail.com.  I’m always happy to hear your comments/criticism/ideas/random thoughts.  Happy new year!

 

Alan Wong’s — Honolulu, Hawaii

Menu and wine list on an iPad!

The best restaurant in Honolulu, by most accounts, is Alan Wong’s.  And Alan Wong’s is also a great choice if you’re looking for the fantastic vegetarian food in Honolulu:  another website wrote that Alan Wong’s has the best vegetarian menu selection in Honolulu, and I’m inclined to agree.  Alan Wong’s gets great points for taste, style, and presentation. Continue reading