Eater’s Dilemma: Am I a Jerk? I am a Jerk!

travelI recently joined an old friend for a birthday celebration at one of New York’s most exciting Filipino restaurants. My friend is from Manila and, together with the other Filipinos in our group, provided a guided tour of the greatest culinary hits of their Southeast Asian nation. We basically ordered everything on the menu and a few things that weren’t.

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Down and Out by the Arau River

banana sellerOn the bridge to the north of an old Padang hotel, a group of vendors sell early evening snacks of sweet corn and roast banana. The corn is grilled over charcoal until the tops of the kernels turn dusty black. Then the vendor hands the ear to her assistant (sous chef?) and she drenches it fast in a drying salt water and a whisk or two more of butter. The results are glorious and crunchy.

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