Eating

Chiang Mai Dining

Chiang Mai Dining

There are tons of places we want to show love to in Chiang Mai. These spots made us feel at home in a foreign land and helped us experience the complex flavors of Northern Thailand. They might not be the absolute best restaurants in all of Thailand, but they are really great, and they mean something to us. Whether it was a spicy, bowl of soup or a friendly smile, these are the restaurants and the dishes we kept returning to:

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A Surprise Introduction to a New Love

A Surprise Introduction to a New Love

One of the first friends we made in Chiang Mai is a kid named Gangi.  He's 19 years old, built like a professional football player and an avid biker, with a recently opened bicycle repair shop.  Ganji is the son of a Burmese father and an English mother but has called Chiang Mai home his entire life.  Of course the first thing we asked him was where we should eat.  He did us one better and took us out to dinner.  We were expecting Thai food.  Instead he brought us to Burmese Restaurant and Library.  Paige and I sat down while the young man shuffled about looking in pots, pointing at things and chatting with the cooks.  Soon he sat down and in minutes an unprecedented feast arrived at our table.  So started our love affair with Burmese food.

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Farmer's Markets, Chiang Mai

Farmer's Markets, Chiang Mai

With the abundant street markets downtown and farms lining the hills, we naively assumed that the meat and produce in Chiang Mai came from independent farmers. But, large agribusinesses, such as CP, maintain monopolies on agricultural production; much like Monsanto. This type of farming requires large amounts of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. The produce itself is then brought to market by middle men, who purchase from farms and transport it to villages and cities for sale. Farmers are left with no say on how their crops are distributed or how much they should be sold for. It’s harder than we thought to find organic produce and food that comes directly from the source.  The bustling markets of Chiang Mai lost some of their magic when we realized that we had been misinformed. But, the best tasting food is found at the street markets and in grungy kitchens. So, how can we eat traditional Thai food while considering sustainability?

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Eating on the Streets of Saigon

Eating on the Streets of Saigon

It was a relief seeing a Roman alphabet upon arrival in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City, but all of the locals still refer to it as Saigon). In terms of eating, Roman alphabets come in very handy; if you know a few Vietnamese dishes you want to try, it’s much easier to spot who serves what. Vendors make it very apparent as to what dishes they serve.

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Peace NY: Franny's

Peace NY: Franny's

If you have been following the “Peace NY” series you may have been wondering: isn’t Shade Market about healthy, sustainable food? Why are they posting all these greasy spoons and pizza joints? Well, those places are, for better or worse, a part of NY food culture.  We seek to understand and present to you all aspects of food culture wherever we are.  Today, we showcase a restaurant that is part of NYC’s new food culture.

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Peace NY: Corner Bistro

There are very few places left in NYC that recall pre-gentrified NY. The days when pornography was being sold freely on the streets, a coffee was 25 cents, and most of Brooklyn wasn't really safe for out-of-towners are all but gone.  Corner Bistro is one of those places, and it’s thriving at it’s original location in the west village. This old-school, dark wood, no-frills bar is packed everyday with people looking for a cheap drink and a great burger.

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Peace New York: Pino's La Forchetta

Peace New York: Pino's La Forchetta

Pino's La Forchetta Pizza opened in 1962 in Park Slope, Brooklyn on 7th Ave. It is located across the street from P.S. 321, the iconic elementary school in Park Slope. When my mother attended 321 in the sixties, third graders were allowed  to go across the street once a week and have a slice for lunch. When I attended in the nineties, the rule was still the same. The first time walking into Pino's as an eight year old, on your own, with slice money in hand, is a memory thousands of Brooklyn natives will never forget. 

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