International Pizza + 1st and 2nd Tuesday Taste Travel

Check out this really cool idea that I first read about on Craftzine.com! Jen, the writer of the food blog Tiny Urban Kitchen, was inspired by her travels to make little International Pizzas in the shape of different flags. HOW COOL IS THAT!? I wish I had thought of the idea...but then again, how frequently am I cooking something? Take a look at all her genius renditions of the world flags, which are not only inspired by the actual flags, but iconic dishes from the country.

I really do love them all but I must say that my absolute favorite is the Canadian flag. The maple leaf made from Pepperoni (and maple syrup) is so creative (even though I don't eat real pepperoni these days.)


The international pizza and perhaps just the idea of food in general have inspired me to share my recent international food experiences. My cousin, who lives in the middle of Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan (aka Restaurant Row) and I have vowed to eat different type of ethnic cuisine every Tuesday for as long as our palates and budgets will allow.

Last Tuesday, I was walking across 43rd St. after work and saw a sign: "Taco Tuesday! Happy Hour!" Nostalgic for the days of summer and Taco Tuesdays at the Tiki Bar (which has since closed down, hopefully not for health code violations; it was definitely a place you'd expect to be serving $1 tacos) in Long Beach, I played with the idea in my head as I walked to the apartment. As soon as my cousin met me downstairs, the first words out of her mouth were, "Wanna get tacos?" and I literally squealed with joy.

Thus began our first foray into all the food that NYC has to offer--well, not our first foray; we've eaten crepes from the French creperie and curry from a Thai place, but this was our first official Tuesday Taste Travel.

Our Taco Tuesday was held at RĂ©union, a surf-shack-themed place on 43rd street between 8th and 9th. It is certainly a place to have happy hour with half priced frozen Tequila Sunrise and Mojitos as well as amazing $3 tacos! I ate 3 fish tacos with my Mojito; my cousin, 3 pork tacos with her Sunrise. We split the Coconut Mofos, little square shaped churro type bites with vanilla and chocolate sauce, which weren't part of the specials, but decently priced nonetheless, for dessert. We spent a bit hanging out in the beachy atmosphere--the walls are bright colors, music from the Beach Boys blares, and old surfing clips play on the televisions. With very full tummies and feeling good about the taste (and value!), we would say that our first Tuesday Taste Travel was an absolute success. Now on to this week!

Our second TTT took place at a Restaurant simply called Turkish Cuisine, on 9th off of 45th. When my cousin called and asked what I thought about Turkish, I said, "Oh, the cool looking place?" knowing exactly which one she had in mind. Kind of pricey, not gonna lie, but very worth it, especially after last week's budget adventure. We started out with a delicious appetizer of pita bread with hummus, babaganoush, eggplant, and a few other Middle Eastern dips. (But then again, you could sit me down with a spoon and a tub of plain hummus and I'd think it was great.) I branched out and ordered a Turkish beer, even though I normally don't drink it, and was happy I did. Tasty, not too heavy, and it complemented the spices in the food.

For dinner, Jenna ordered the Chicken and Spinach Special and I, the Chicken Beyti Kabob--an amazing Chicken Sausage wrapped in Philo dough. (Maybe in addition to the budget restraint, we should put a weight restraint too??) For dessert, my cousin had mint tea and Turkish rice pudding as I scarfed down apricots filled with walnuts and a rich Turkish coffee. No matter what time of day/night or where I am, if a place serves Turkish coffee, I am hands-down-100% always ordering it even if I'm battling insomnia and have a standardized test in three hours. That's how much I love it.

The food from our Turkish Tuesday was thick, warm, and really filling--perfect for if you're having a rough day or if it's really cold out--yesterday was neither of these conditions, but awesome nonetheless. Like I said, the prices, ka-ching! but next time we'll just be mindful of what/where we're eating for our wallets' and waistlines' sake.

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