DON – Achrafieh

I will get straight to the point…I loved DON! The whole concept and execution is coherent and well thought of, respectively. An eatery, newly opened within a cluster of restaurants called Restos St. Nicolas, DON is fresh and inviting. It all starts with a colorful toy. You pick up your drink from an array of displayed bottles; I love that there are imported Japanese drinks too. We chose a Japanese strawberry-flavored soft drink and sake, and headed to the cashier. We ordered the Chicken Bao, the Chashu Shoyu Ramen, the Salmon Teriyaki Donburi with fried rice, and the Pad Thai noodles. After we paid, we got the bright pink Dragon Fruit as a form of marker to enable us to receive our platters correctly. While we have a seat, the open kitchen is bustling with movement and the sounds of sizzling ingredients. Indeed all our dishes arrived properly. The chicken bao were delicious; the steamed bun was as soft as could be and the flavors were great. As for the bowls, their constituents were hearty and soothing. My favorite was the salmon teriyaki. The sauce was really good, and the salmon was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. For dessert, we had one of each of the available mochi flavors; I liked the one with caramel the most. In general, I enjoyed the experience from beginning to end, the food in the middle, and the way I felt as I was leaving. To sum it up, DON is the definition of comfort food. I couldn’t help but grab a couple of bags of strawberry-flavored Pocky on my way out. I have tasted them before and loved that I had found them in the basket of Japanese goodies they had—this for me was a detail that was like the icing on the cake.

Bits and Pieces – Austria

Before I begin writing about more current food-tasting experiences, I have decided to create a special edition of several “Bits and Pieces” blog posts pertaining to different countries. These will contain scattered photos I have gathered; too little to be placed on their own but not unworthy of being mentioned. Here is the first one of these curations – let us proceed with Austria.

 

Heindl’s Palatschinkenpfandl – Vienna: If you are looking for a really wide range of pancake fillings and sides (and want to practice your spelling), this is your go-to restaurant. Although a bit on the heavy side, the pancakes are tasty. I enjoyed sitting on the terrace.

 

Augustiner Brau – Salzburg: Sitting under the shade of the trees in this beer garden is one of the most relaxing things to do in Salzburg. It was nice to see silver-haired people meeting here to enjoy a beer like how they seemed to have been doing for years. The brewery has existed since 1621 which is mind-boggling. The food is less impressive than its history, but appropriate for a casual setting. I would also recommend trying the Almdudler drink which is a fizzy Austrian invention.

 

Triangel – Salzburg: If I ever visit Salzburg again, I would definitely try this restaurant another time. The wooden tables, arches, and decoration give this eatery an appealing warm interior. I remember the food was great, especially the platter showcased above.

 

Cafe-Konditorei Braun – Mondsee: This cafe, in the quaint town of Mondsee, is known for its apple strudel; a traditional Austrian pastry. Another thing this town is popular for is its basilica, for it was there that Maria wed Georg von Trapp in the Sound of Music (yes, I do love the von Trapp family singers).

 

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Lemonchilli Cantina & Bar Mexicano – Salzburg: I had to post this because I really enjoyed my dinner at Lemonchilli. A place to go to if you want a fun night out with a flavorful fajita and an accompanying drink.

Aprons and Hammers – Dubai

We weren’t armed with our aprons and hammers on this boat docked at sea. Aprons and Hammers has a regular restaurant location, but we opted to try the one on the boat to make the experience more authentic. Well, I am glad we did because the breeze coming from the sea with the serene view made it so relaxing. The service was mediocre; they never provided us with aprons and hammers, although the utensils provided later to break the crab legs with was sufficient. I just thought even if the aprons and hammers were useless, they should still be offered to all its customers (a nearby table had them), since that was what the restaurant was named. Anyway, enough with the cutlery, let’s talk about the food. We started by ordering icy strawberry drinks that were very refreshing. I also found the breaded shrimps delicious. When it came to the mains, well, the crab was better than the lobster. I felt that the lobster was way overcooked that it had become very dry ruining the taste. The crabs were good, although I believe that they could be even better. However, the setting does compensate for what is lacking in the food. All in all, it was a lunch that left me feeling calm and happy.