1. Appetizing miscellanea

Some categories are hard to define, especially when several food groups are represented. I basically include the food that comes to the table early here. Sometimes, however, it is advisable and very pleasurable to compose the entire meal just of these tasty small bites.

2. Bread

Sounds simple. Is not. And oils, butter, dips, spreads.

4. Sandwiches

Yes, we still haven't encountered proper meals. Bread with stuff on it. Some would protest and say sandwich IS a proper meal, and as you can see, they would be right quite often.

5. Soups

The older I get, the more I like 'em. And my food group preferences start to show here - mostly, if not entirely, vegetables and seafood.

6. Salads

Many different things are called salads. I had a good rule to determine whether the meal is a salad or something else.If they called it salad on the menu, it made its way here.

7. Vegetables

These are vegetables that are not salads. As I slowly turned into a person not eating too much meat (as you can see from the amount of meaty pictures) this is an adventure of exploration of amazing things that cooks/chefs are able to create from simple things that vegetables are.

9. Rice and Risotto

Maybe I should eat more rice, but somehow… However, these were all good, just very filling. Even at Sushi places I prefer sashimi, except when I don't ;-)

10. Pasta, doughs and noodles

Sometimes it is hard to decide how to file a meal. Some pastas are more a seafood meal the pastas and some deserve an entirely special category, as you'll see further in. What I'm trying to say is that you'll find more pastas in other departments, too.

11. Pizza

I encountered many more pies than those pictured here, but picked only the exceptional ones. I can guarantee the quality of the pies/establishments below.

12. Ramen

I know, I could've filed it under noodles, but it's so distinctive. And it is one of my favorite food groups. It's a definite soul food for long winter nights and it's cold summer version is so refreshing in the summer. And it has noodles. Ahhhh. Also, according to those people who really know these things, in my previous life I was a bad fat Japanese Yakuza boss. Honto de su.

13. Seafood

I love seafood. 'Nuff said. This is going to be long and I apologize for contributing significantly to the depletion of the ocean fauna. And there are three more very similar categories.

14. Mussels & Oysters

One of the rare examples of the food that is delicious yet low in calories, so one does not have to take an extra soccer game the next day.

15. Sushi

Everything in here (mostly sashimi, not sushi, btw) is from one place - The Sushi Bar in Toronto, Canada  (寿司バー)(Formerly Dr. Sushi). The reason is that I just can't find a sushi place that would compare to this one. (I tried many). I followed the chef, Jimi Morry, through his last 4 locations around Toronto - which has been over 20 years by now. This relation lasts longer than most of marriages (including mine).

16. Fishies in pieces

As you might suspect, I really like fish. Considering the place I am from, that is as far from any sea or ocean as it gets and the fact that for about the first 30 years of my life I did not know any other fish than carp made as gefillte fish and mayonnaise salad with cod, it is quite surprising. Or maybe that's exactly why.

18. Poultry

Poultry. Meat for vegetarians.Despite the fact that I do not eat much meat, sometimes it is very difficult to resist. You'll see why.

19. Meats

Here comes the heavy duty stuff. Most of the time not really heavy though. Does not include my mother's idea of vegetarian food, although it would belong in this category. And that IS heavy duty. Look for it under home cooking. Yes, vegetarianism in Eastern Europe is still a bit less popular than buddhism.

20. Intestines and other body parts

Not too many entries in this category, for obvious reasons. Yes, eating more often at my mom's and in Eastern Europe in general would vastly improve this segment. And my body fat volume.

21. Home cooking (several homes)

This section is severely skewed by my personal preferences. For example: my mom's fašírky (meatballs) are definitely one of my favorite foods, but only in the configuration below. Also, some things are going to be repeated obsessively, just because I think they should. They are sooooo gooooood.

22. Extraordinary experiences and tastings

Just a few restaurants here. It is not really affordable to dine there, but when one has good friends and supporters, it happens. Michelin starred and all that.

23. Unusual menus

24. Desserts

This is a huge section, because - I do like sweets. That's why I have to play soccer 4 times a week. With these desserts and without the soccer I would be 300 pounds.

25. Cheese

I eat a lot of cheese, but not in restaurants. Usually prefer desserts instead. I promise to take pictures of some memorable cheeses at home. There are times when there is nothing else in my fridge but cheese and wine. One can survive on that for a while.

26. Coffee

I was a late bloomer for coffee, even later than for alcohol. Actually, I started really drinking coffee after I arrived to New York. Probably for the same reason I started late with wine - did not have many chances to experience really high quality earlier. However, I became quite hooked. I am being quite particular about my coffee now, so you won't find any pictures from St******s.

27. Drinks

Wine. I was 37 when I started drinking wine (and alcohol in general as well). Main reason was that I thought I did not like wine. In fact, I did not like BAD wine and could not understand, why would anyone drink that. I just did not have access to any good wine while living in communist Czechoslovakia. Everything changed once I tasted my first good wine. I still remember it, it was Australian Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon. These days I really appreciate, like and drink wine. It's good. Basically, drinking in general is not too bad.
["...Mě to nechutná, já su jenom hrozně rád vožralej…" František Navrátil, Gustav Brom Big Band's alto sax player]

28. Bad and Bizarre

As I developed some good instincts, it does not happen too often that I would visit a bad place. There are even countries I still do not dare eat in restaurants. (Make a guess.). However, it happens and sometimes I take pictures, if it's really bizarre. These were.

I have to start with the closest one. I almost live here. Piccolo Cafe, 3rd Ave and 15th St, New York

Italians. They know about food. They know about coffee. It's close. It's convenient. It's really good. And Alberto is a friend by now. There is another post on my other blog - pictures of all the Slovaks that ever visited this place. Quite a few. All happy. Including me. Home away from home.