Do you queue for food?

Holidaying in San Francisco recently, it struck me how often the discourse about obtaining or finding good food is about how long you might have to wait to be served (or seated). We watched people queue for ages for ice cream, bread, tacos, fried rice and more. For me, it was the opposite of what enjoying food should be about.

Sydney's macarons, Adriano Zumbo, and a few other eating observations

There's a pâtissier in Sydney who has been attracting some attention for his Pierre-Hermé-esque creations. There's a chocolate-brand concept store which (I believe) introduced Sydney to macarons. There are serious pretzels to be had in a chain bakery. And there's delicious Thai food. I bring you new tales of (failed) macarons and cakes from the Emerald City, plus other tidbits.

Are restaurateurs bad at maths?

Last week saw the announcement of a significant increase in the minimum wage in Australia. Bang! Restaurateurs have been complaining about how this sort of increase would hit really hard and the flow-on would be large increases in costs to diners. But just how good is their maths?

Travel 2008 – returning to Portugal, Elvas


"In Portugal, every website is broken," says the concierge as we try for the third time, in vain, to book a bus ticket online. I suggest that he is exaggerating slightly. Three or four years ago I might have agreed, but nowadays the situation is much, much better. I'm on my way to Portugal. First stop Elvas, a small fortified town near the Spanish border. Getting there is part of the fun.

Travel 2008 — Sevilla (Spain)


A real city at last. Seville throbs with life. As the days have passed, I've felt the city-dweller in me yearning for a little more buzz than even Granada had managed to provide. The city is lush with enormous, blooming jacarandas. Beautiful violet blossom seems to light up the streetscape. And awaiting me are fantastic sights and plates and plates of delicious tapas.

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