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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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F&W Photo Tour

Memphis: Big Hats, Bar-B-Que and Beautiful Album Covers

A Memphis resident.

For an insiders’ view of the world’s most beautiful and exciting travel destinations, F&W asked some of our favorite photographers to show us their cities.

After a decade of traveling, photographer Andres Gonzalez turned his passage through countries as varied as Norway and Tajikistan into a photo book called some (w) here—published with help from more than $20,000 in Kickstarter funds. Gonzalez’s career started in Namibia at an “Outward Bound-style school,” where he taught after leaving behind plans to become a fiction writer. “My father gave me a Minolta X-700 and a handful of black-and-white film before I left the States. Over those two years I realized that photography drove me toward a more honest and poetic way of telling stories.” Gonzalez is currently stationed down South, with a new gig as an adjunct professor of photography at the University of Mississippi. He traveled to Memphis to give F&W a tour of the soulful food-and-Elvis-loving city. Browse the photo set and check out his top picks for barbecue and record shopping, below.

Best Memphis restaurant. Tops Bar-B-Q. I love their BBQ sandwich. It’s basic and sloppy, but so good I want to lick my plate clean afterward.

Favorite Memphis coffee shop. Otherlands Coffee Bar. It’s a bit trendy, but there are so many little nooks, and lots of plants and desks and great ambient light. If I lived in Memphis full time, it would be my day office. I usually order a medium Red Eye.

Go-to Memphis bar. A friend turned me onto the Lamplighter Lounge. It has a great jukebox, and walking in feels like Christmas, with sparkly lights everywhere, and purples and pinks and warm tones all mixed together. Each table has a funky ashtray, there are cheap ornaments hanging from the walls, and life-size cutouts of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. It’s a wonderful balance of Southern kitsch and dive.

Classic Memphis shop. Shangri-La Records. I don’t collect records, but I enjoy going in just to browse through all the gorgeous album covers.

Best place to stay in Memphis. Man, I’d say Airbnb. I haven’t hit up a hotel in so long, and there are so many great Airbnbs in Memphis.

Ultimate Memphis souvenir. Go to Sun Records and first do the tour. It’s unforgettable. Then on the way out get yourself a milk shake and buy a double CD mix of all the Sun Records artists. It’s incredible how many talented musicians came out of there.

Related: Insider Guide to Artsy Berlin
Indonesia's Beautiful Food City

Chef Dream Trips

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s Toro Recon Mission

Mushrooms at Toro New York

Before opening the New York offshoot of their hit Boston tapas joint, Toro, co-chefs and empire builders Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette embarked on a food-and-drink-filled research trip through Barcelona and San Sebastián. Their Spanish exploits influenced dishes now being served at the cavernous new Chelsea location, like setas (left): luscious plancha-cooked mushrooms with a farm egg yolk, olive oil and parsley. The prepartion is inspired by a simple plate of cèpes (porcini) at one of Oringer's favorite restaurants in San Sebastián. Here, the chefs reveal more exclusive highlights from their itinerary in Chef Dream Trips: Spain.

Toro, 15th St. at Eleventh Ave., 212-691-2360; toro-nyc.com and @toronyc on Twitter.

Related: Barcelona Travel Guide
Chef Dream Trips: Vietnam
Best Spanish Recipes

F&W Photo Tour

Indonesia's Beautiful Food City

Bandung, Indonesia

Indonesia-based Instagram star Putri Anindya captivates more than 200,000 followers with dreamy, near-spiritual landscapes shot with an SLR camera or iPhone (she loves the VSCO app for filters and editing). Anindya took F&W on a photo tour of Bandung, the breathtaking West Java capital and a destination for food-obsessed tourists from Jakarta and around the world. Here, the local shares where to eat in Bandung right now and tips for aspiring photographers. Read more >

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Trendspotting

Napa Valley After Dark

Napa After Dark: Rooftop bar at The Thomas

Winemaker and restaurateur Joel Gott on Napa's new late-night scene.

"Just a few years ago, the only options after 10 p.m. in Napa Valley were cigarettes and beer at the local dives: Pancha's in Yountville, Ana's Cantina in St. Helena or Henry's in downtown Napa. And there's nothing wrong with those spots. But now there's a real late-night scene here, with craft cocktails and great wine. It's particularly true in downtown Napa. The place that really started it all is Morimoto [open until 1 a.m.], which has the biggest late-night scene: It feels more like Los Angeles than Napa. Down the block is The Thomas [open until 1 a.m.], which gets a lot of locals, sort of a wine-dork group. And it has a rooftop that's like a big party. Empire [open until 2 a.m.] launched a few months ago, and it has a serious cocktail program. It gets a good tourist crowd, since it's right next to the new Andaz hotel, which also has a lively bar scene until 1 a.m. Napa's not just about daytime tastings at wineries. We're the adult Disneyland, so we need to cater to everyone."

Related: Napa Travel
Napa's Most Beautiful Wine Tasting Rooms
Napa Restaurants

Trendspotting

Hungry for the Arts in Boston

Revere Hotel in Boston.

Boston chefs are partnering with the city's cultural institutions. Here's where.

Movies: The Reel Chefs series at Theatre 1 in the Revere Hotel, just outside of Back Bay, invites local chefs to create a prix fixe menu to serve during one of their favorite movies. Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa chose 1980s cult classic The Goonies and made Truffle Shuffle (celeriac-truffle soup) and Chester Copperpot Pie (pheasant, mushroom and gnocchi). theatre1boston.com

Galleries: A hub of the wool trade in the early 1900s, Fort Point is now a hub for the city's art scene. At the center is the FPAC Gallery (fortpointarts.org), a mixed-media space that's home to rotating shows. More recently, chefs have moved into the area. Brothers Louis and Michael DiBiccari opened Tavern Road (tavernroad.com), above, a casual New England–inspired spot, around the corner from FPAC earlier this year. To help decorate the restaurant, the DiBiccaris commissioned artists to reinterpret works of their uncle Adio, a sculptor. Louis also founded the Create competition (create-boston.com), in which six chefs make dishes based on the work of local visual artists.

Museum: Near the Institute of Contemporary Art (open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays), chef Jody Adams's Trade features Mediterranean-style flatbreads and small plates until midnight. trade-boston.com

Related: Boston Travel Guide
Recipes from Boston Chefs
Art-Inspired Desserts

Expert Travel Guide

Portland's Best Places to Drink Wine

Chef Vitaly Paley

F&W's October issue is dedicated to wine. Here, fantastic spots to drink it in Portland, Oregon.

The Bent Brick
A gastropub by F&W Best New Chef 2004 Scott Dolich, offering more than a dozen Pacific Northwest wines on tap. thebentbrick.com

Higgins
The best place in town to try reserve vintages from producers like Eyrie. higginsportland.com

Imperial
Chef Vitaly Paley's new modern Pacific Northwest restaurant. Kimberly Paley's wine list is an A–Z guide to the top Willamette Valley producers. imperialpdx.com

Raven & Rose
A historic carriage house from the 1880s, beautifully renovated, with wood-oven, farmhouse cooking. The wine list includes Abacela and other producers from southern Oregon, an up-and-coming part of the state. ravenandrosepdx.com

Sauvage
An offshoot of the adjacent Fausse Piste urban winery, this tiny oeno-pub serves local game and seafood alongside its small-production, naturally fermented wines. sauvagepdx.com

Related: Fantastic Portland Restaurants
Portland Travel Tips
Chef Jenn Louis's Insider Portland Guide

Rant for Your Life

Why Most Restaurants Fail the Toast Test

Toast fail.

I woke up on a recent morning, like every morning, thinking about toast. I knew that if I kept thinking about toast—not French toast, or toast points, but traditional white toast like you eat at breakfast—I would work myself up into a towering wrath. And there was nothing to be wrathful about! I had fallen asleep at the St. Cecilia hotel in Austin listening to Neil Young records, and woke up knowing that I was about to have breakfast outdoors with a grackle, one the city’s ubiquitous, crow-like carrion birds, at Jo's up the street. (I was in Texas to do the press conference for Meatopia Texas in San Antonio, and also to eat at Qui, which, by the way, is AWESOME.) Once at Jo's, I ended up with a world-class breakfast taco, which I shared with the friendly corvid. In Texas, excellent tortillas seem to take the place of toast much of the time, but I had wanted toast. And I couldn't get it. Because, in Austin as in so many great American cities, our restaurants all fail the Toast Test.

MORE>>

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Travel Tips

Reader's Picks: Top 5 Burger Chains

Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of Umami Burger

F&W polled readers across this burger-loving nation to find the restaurants with the most passionate devotees. Here, the top-ranking chains.

Five Guys Started in Virginia (President Obama is a fan), its griddle burgers and hand-cut fries are now available in 47 states and Canada. fiveguys.com.

Shake Shack Launched by hospitality genius Danny Meyer, Shake Shack has grown from a hot dog cart in NYC’s Madison Square Park into a global chain with locations in London, Istanbul, Dubai and beyond. The 100 percent Angus beef patties come with special ShackSauce on a supersoft bun. shakeshack.com.

In-n-Out This California cult-status chain has been serving all-natural beef on toasted buns since 1948. Insiders order burgers Animal Style, cooked with mustard and served with pickles, “extra spread” (house sauce) and grilled onions. in-n-out.com.

Umami Burger This West Coast chain is expanding east (Miami Beach and New York City) with its house-ground patties infused with Umami Master Sauce and lots of topping options. umami.com.

Bobby’s Burger Palace Star chef and grill master Bobby Flay shares his famous burgers, like the Bobby Blue with blue cheese and bacon, at locations in eight states and DC. bobbysburgerpalace.com.

Related: Readers' Picks: Best Burgers
Incredible Burger Recipes
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Bacon Burgers in the U.S.
Best Sliders in the U.S.

F&W Postcard

A Chef's Postcard from Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Photo © Rob Whitworth - Getty Images

Star chef David Myers experiences incredible traffic and beef-blood soup with raw egg yolk on a trip to Ho Chi Minh City.

At home in L.A., I operate at Mach 6 speed, but in Ho Chi Minh City, I learned how to slow down. Imagine millions of motorbikes and no rules. The only way to cross the street on foot is one inch at a time. It’s counterintuitive: You might think you’d have to be aggressive to navigate that chaos, but going slowly is the only way.

Of course, I had to keep up once 
I joined the throng on wheels. My former sous-chef Shawn Pham (currently living in Ho Chi Minh City) loaned me a bike, and together we whizzed around, hitting 12 places a day—six at lunch and six at dinner, not to mention pho for breakfast. I particularly loved Pho Dau (288 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Q3), which serves the noodle soup Northern-style. Most Vietnamese restaurants in the US garnish the soup with bean sprouts, basil, lime and chile, Southern-style. Northern-style pho has fewer garnishes, the idea being that the rich beef broth is perfect as is. You can also order a raw egg yolk, which you drop into a small side of beef-blood soup. It’s a hell of a way to start the day.

One of my favorite places to end the night was the speakeasy-style Bar’s Bar (barsbar-saigon.com). Japanese bartenders pour perfect cocktails and rare whiskies; we drank 12-year single-malt Yamazaki. More often, we spent the evening at a quan nhau, or a pub, playing drinking games that involved dice or rock-paper-scissors. You don’t want to get into a drinking game with the Vietnamese. They will drink until they drop, then a good friend will pull his friend off the ground and order him another.

The pace of my trip was frenetic—all that eating, boozing and biking around the city—but we were never in a rush. Ho Chi Minh City was a lesson in patience. Patience and pho.

Chef David Myers’s newest restaurant is Hinoki & the Bird in Los Angeles.

Related: 9 Must-Try Dishes in Vietnam
Amazing Vietnamese Recipes
100 Best Recipes Ever: Southeast Asian Dishes

Ray Isle's Tasting Room

Wineries Not to Miss: Piedmont Picks

Wineries Not to Miss: Piedmont Picks

Photo © Martin Morrell

Piedmont, in northern Italy, is known for two things: wine and truffles. Traditionally, when people make pilgrimages to Piedmont, that’s why they come. They visit the vineyards and the wineries, they drink Barolo and Barbaresco, they eat pasta buried under snowdrifts of white truffle shavings and they laugh as they listen to that eerie whistling sound a bank account makes as it deflates, which is what happens when they pay for all those truffles. Here, wineries not to miss.

Giacomo Borgogno e Figli
At Borgogno, one of Piedmont’s oldest wineries (founded in 1761), a shop sells current bottles of its elegant Barolos, plus vintages going back to the 1960s. Cellar tours are just five euros. Via Gioberti 1, Barolo; borgogno.com.

Boroli
After tasting Boroli’s impressive Barolos and Barberas (make sure to try the single-vineyard Fagiani Barbera), travelers can eat at owner Achille Boroli’s nearby Michelin-starred restaurant, Locanda del Pilone. Fraz. Madonna di Como 34, Alba; boroli.it.

Michele Chiarlo
In 2011, this top producer opened the gorgeous Palas Cerequio resort adjacent to the renowned Cerequio vineyard. Guests can try excellent wines from the region, as well as Chiarlo’s own bottlings, in the on-site tasting room. Palas Cerequio, Borgata Cerequio, La Morra; palascerequio.com.

Elvio Cogno
Stop by this hilltop winery (tastings by appointment) for superb single-cru Barolos and a remarkable Barbera made from vines planted in the 1800s. Località Ravera 2, Novello; elviocogno.com.

Ceretto
Every wine made by this producer outside the town of Alba is impressive. So is the estate itself, which has a translucent, hemispherical tasting room that extends out over the vines, and a colorful chapel designed by artists Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett. Località San Cassiano 34, Alba; ceretto.com.

Fontanafredda
Unusual for top European wineries, the tasting room and shop here are open daily with no appointment necessary. Visitors can also take nature walks on the estate, originally a hunting retreat for King Vittoro Emanuele II. Via Alba 15, Serralunga d’Alba; fontanafredda.it.

Related: Bold Beers in the Land of Barolo

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