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Saltshaker Blog
Casting a little flavor (and a few aspersions) on the world of food, drink, and life
2023-11-15 15:25
May as well stick with five spots in a post for the moment, and pivot from Peru to Italy. Because who doesn’t love Italian food? If you don’t, go read someone else’s blog… Read More
2023-11-07 14:41
Another Peruvian restaurant round-up. This is one of those never-ending projects. I’m not sure that even if I concentrated solely on Peruvian restaurants I could ever get to all of the… Read More
2023-10-31 13:55
This time around, we’re in Tuscany, for a classic boscaiola sauce. Italian lumberjacks like bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes, with a touch of cream on their pasta. Let the Canadian lumbe… Read More
2023-10-24 14:28
“The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the Ho… Read More
2023-10-19 14:53
I’ve gotten way behind on reviews, so over the next days, I’m going to play a little catch-up. Starting off the deluge (okay, it won’t be that bad) with a trio of French sp… Read More
2023-10-16 13:47
Once again, a look back at some favorite dishes from our Casa SaltShaker meals over the couple of months. A combination of my personal favorites and those that guests have commented on as th… Read More
2023-10-09 14:16
All food, all the time, no? I really didn’t do much else on my return to Lima for three days – a single visit to the city’s art museum for an exhibit on Incan culture. I li… Read More
2023-10-02 19:44
Okay, so I’m behind, because I just decided not to spend time while on vacation posting on the blog. For those who follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a good portion of… Read More
2023-09-19 12:12
Welcome back to Lima! I haven’t been here since mid-2019, pre-pandemic. This is a somewhat spur-of-the-moment visit (I knew I’d come some time between now and early November, as… Read More
2023-09-18 14:34
I don’t remember who it was among my circle who asked about a recipe for Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese, but as the last gasps of winter die out in Buenos Aires, it seemed time to… Read More
2023-09-11 15:19
This post has come together over a couple of months. I had just decided to do an Italian focused theme, and it took that long to end up with three that I wanted to showcase. Some of it was s… Read More
2023-08-28 17:31
The city and area around Rome is known for three types of pizzas that differ from what I think most of us think of as Italian style pizza, pizza napolitana. The first is the pizza… Read More
2023-08-23 14:59
Our usual grab bag of various and sundry. We have sushi, wine bars, a special pizza, and some creative modern Latin American street food. What more do you want out of life? Kanji, Scalabri… Read More
2023-08-15 21:31
Time for some meat! A trio of steakhouses that have been on my list for eons. Literal eons. Since the creation of the cow. Or, like, somewhere around a decade. Don’t ask why I haven&rs&hell…Read More
2023-08-03 23:21
We’re back with Stan! Yes, it’s been awhile. The dish I’m about to demonstrate uses lamb stock and I kept putting off making some sort of lamb dish in order to have lamb bo… Read More
2023-08-02 15:52
I’ve not remotely exhausted the list of contenders for filling out the currently short-filled top five burgers in the city list. But, I have filled in that blank spot, and I’d st… Read More
2023-07-29 14:49
Time for a look back at some of our (and our customers’) favorite dishes of the last few meals at Casa SaltShaker. These include a couple of further iterations on dishes that I’v… Read More
2023-07-18 18:08
Over time, I’ve built up quite the list of burgers. My map has, well, a lot of places, many recommended, many not. And it doesn’t include those places that I’ve reviewed in… Read More
2023-07-08 15:43
For most of my life I’ve thought about something that has a corkscrew shape as a “spiral”. But it turns out that’s wrong – something maybe that was buried in th… Read More
2023-07-03 14:56
It’s been since mid-pandemic that I haven’t written a Where to Eat recommendation piece. There have been too many mediocre or bad spots recently, and writing about them was… Read More
2023-06-26 13:49
We’ve talked about this before. There’s classic, homestyle kind of Peruvian cooking, and there’s the newer, Japanese fusion style Nikkei cooking. And there are places that… Read More
2023-06-10 13:46
Sushi, Tempura, Dumplings. These are a few of my favorite things. Okay, there’s only one tempura item in this Bite Marks-ish, or Chop Suey-ish roundup, but it works for the title, so I… Read More
2023-06-09 14:52
I’m just going to throw out a (not so) wild guess that 99.9% of you have never encountered Pasta alla zozzona before. We’re still hanging out in Rome – I mentioned mon… Read More
2023-06-06 13:42
I have been a bit less active with planning Roving Ravenous Horde activities. Personal/family stuff that just left me a bit lacking in enthusiasm for social stuff, though I’m… Read More
2023-06-01 13:37
It’s that time again, a new month, and a look back at the last month, Mais… err… May. Once again, a select dish from each of our Casa SaltShaker dinners. This time, only… Read More
2023-05-30 13:17
We’re back in Lazio, in Rome, with another pasta. It came up as I was watching a video from someone purporting to know all about Italian pastas, as he asserted that the only pastas wor… Read More
2023-05-28 18:06
It’s pizza. Is there such thing as bad pizza? Yes. But mostly, no. Because, pizza. We start off at Brucia, Ramón Freire 1302 in Colegiales, a fairly new opening, where, I… Read More
2023-05-19 14:19
Originally, I was going to make this an all suburban Peruvian post, and set out to visit a few restaurants in the afueras of the city. And, I made it to two, one solo, one with my most… Read More
2023-05-16 14:37
We were off! It’s been a bit since we got away for a few days to just relax together. It was also a bit of a mistake, in that I had a senior moment, having booked a private party for t… Read More
2023-05-08 13:51
“Venice is a cheek-by-jowl, back-of-the-hand, under-the-counter, higgledy-piggledy, anecdotal city, and she is rich in piquant wrinkled things, like an assortment of bric-a-brac in the… Read More
2023-05-04 12:57
This sounds like the title of a novel that might have been written by one or another fantasy writer in the realms of dragons, elves, monsters, and heroes. But, it is a reference to a very ob… Read More
2023-05-01 14:45
It’s that time again, a new month has dawned and we have a little round-up of the last one. I’m finding that a lot of my focus in creating dishes for Casa SaltShaker seem to end… Read More
2023-04-25 13:51
With the closing of Mykonos in Las Cañitas during the pandemic, we lost our only Greek restaurant in town. Some mediocre Greek food started coming out of the small stand, Souvlak… Read More
2023-04-20 14:43
El cheto o la cheta puede ser una persona que vive en una zona acomodada, que suele interesarse solamente por las cosas de marca, que frecuenta lugares “top”, etcéter… Read More
2023-04-13 19:17
You know the drill by now. This time around we head out for Lebanese shawarma, Peruvian and Sichuan chicken, and a little pastry. We have highs and lows and in-betweens, all wrapped up in a… Read More
2023-04-06 12:51
On to the roundup of last month’s Casa SaltShaker meals. Despite taking some time off, we still managed three public and one private dinners over the course of the month. A combination… Read More
2023-04-04 12:18
As always, The Roving Ravenous Horde continues. We had a bit of a hiatus, culpa mia, when I took most of March off for some… me time… my father passed away at the beg… Read More
2023-03-30 14:06
How and when did Neapolitan cuisine, probably most epitomized by pasta and tomato sauce, become the symbol of Italian cooking? It certainly wasn’t early on, as tomatoes didn’t be… Read More
2023-03-28 14:02
I got on the wrong train. That’s how this one started. I was headed to someone where I wanted to try for another “project” but accidentally got on the wrong train and found… Read More
2023-03-20 12:48
There once was a poet in Italy named Filippo Tomasso Marinetti. In the leading gastronomy magazine, La Cucina Italiana, in the early 1930s, he wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, a… Read More
2023-03-13 14:55
In which we bounce all over the map, gastronomy-wise. This time, serving up six spots – we have two Peruvian, one seafood, one Jewish deli, one vegetarian, and one classic Argentine&nb&hell…Read More
2023-03-10 14:51
Many moons ago on a visit to Boston, I went with my friend I was visiting to Neptune Oyster Bar where I indulged in his recommended vitello tonnato sandwich. It was as glorious as… Read More
2023-02-28 13:16
Here we are, the end of another month. I, of course, will be taking February 29-31 as days to do things like not drink wine, go on a diet, and exercise regularly. Because I’m just that… Read More
2023-02-20 20:17
I was once, many years ago, accused on social media of “only reviewing restaurants in Recoleta and Palermo”. It was laughable at the time, as anyone who’s spent any time re… Read More
2023-02-14 13:14
The second half, and second dish, of the Calabria episode of Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy. In the previous post, I covered the sweet red onion spaghetti he waxed poetic abo… Read More
2023-02-11 21:10
I haven’t forgotten my Tucci series. Nor any of the series – like The Bread & Soup Project, or the L-Word Project, or getting to every Peruvian restaurant in the city, or, al… Read More
2023-02-09 13:41
The lunch group I put together, The Roving Ravenous Horde, a few years back still exists (the starting point was here). It’s morphed a bit. About six months back the core group of… Read More
2023-02-06 13:48
Let’s start with the admission of guilt. This traditional pasta dish from the province of Matera (and surrounds) in Basilicata, southern Italy, is “supposed” to be made wit… Read More
2023-02-01 12:43
It was a quiet January, Casa SaltShaker-wise. As previously mentioned, Henry’s away in Peru for his annual family visit, plus I spent a week in São Paulo, so we only offered up… Read More
2023-01-29 16:04
Blecs After that, it seems like there’s no more to say. It just, at least in English, has a sort of finality to it. But, it’s the Slovenian name for a pasta from the Istrian penn… Read More
2023-01-25 13:17
Just back from six days in São Paulo. Initially planned as a solo getaway with the intent to get to a bunch of the “50 Best”, “Michelin Star”, or simply highly… Read More
2023-01-20 17:38
There, that title should attract some new folk to my site…. It’s time, yes, for this week’s pasta! I told you I had one in reserve, since I’m now looking out over th… Read More
2023-01-17 11:59
Flotsam, jetsam, lagan, and derelict… the opening salvo of 2023’s Bite Marks, a bit of this, a bit of that, some of it washed up, some of it not. One man’s cast-offs are a… Read More
2023-01-15 13:57
It’s been a couple of weeks since I delved into a new pasta step-by-step for you. The holidays were busy for us at the restaurant and personally, so not a lot of time for playing aroun… Read More
2023-01-12 13:06
The barrio of Caballito, in the middle of the city of Buenos Aires was created around a small pulpería, or, general store. The store was opened in 1821 by Don Nicolás Vila… Read More
2023-01-11 14:26
Small plate, creative food, is still a thing here. Is it still a thing wherever you are? Three relatively new spots recently checked out. Social Paraiso Bistro, Riobamba 1220, Recoleta… Read More
2023-01-02 13:34
Continuing with my new dish of the meal approach to the Casa SaltShaker dinners and lunches. We had a few extra in December, with some private parties, as well as we added in Saturday nights… Read More
2022-12-26 14:58
A recova is a market where live poultry is sold. There was a building constructed in 1803 near to the Plaza de Mayo that was called La Recova for the former poultry market located… Read More
2022-12-25 15:27
I promised you variations on penne all’arrabiata, and I’m here to fulfill on at least one of those. Easily the most well-known of them is penne alla vodka. Now, this is… Read More
2022-12-20 14:46
I’m sure that at some point in its history… …this street was much more attractive. It’s not exactly the sort of block I’d head to looking for excellent dinin… Read More
2022-12-16 13:55
I’ve been mulling this over for about a week now, trying to decide how to approach it. The situation, recently, we had a guest who attended. Though not definitively ill, she was sweati… Read More
2022-12-08 13:46
I was talking to a friend about this series of pasta posts, and he noted that I’ve mostly focused on the area around Rome and Naples, wondering just how many pastas there are from thos… Read More
2022-12-05 14:38
Posting each meal’s menu and a description began to seem a bit boring, especially as we often repeat dishes. Besides, I post each meal with photos and menu on my Instagram account, so… Read More
2022-11-30 13:57
Getting back to watching more of Stanley Tucci’s adventures around Italy. I note, here in the second season, with the episodes I’ve watched so far, that he’s putting less f… Read More
2022-11-29 14:44
The last Bite Marks before we do something, I don’t know, special for the 100th one. That will take some thought! Cafe Mishiguene, Cabello 3181, Palermo – The casual off-shoot o… Read More
2022-11-22 10:45
I was 22 the first time I encountered a “sausage and peppers”, the street food sandwich ubiquitous in Italian celebrations in and around New York. I’d just moved there… Read More
2022-11-19 21:01
Amazonica Bar, Vicente López 2180, Recoleta – New spot, recently opened. Taking up the slack on the strip, I suppose, for the short-lived and not good Heisenburger Recoleta. Th… Read More
2022-11-09 14:54
In Apulia, or Puglia, as well as Lucano in neighboring Basilicata, it is not unusual to encounter classic strascinati, or “dragged” pasta. And, I could have started the… Read More
2022-11-02 14:07
A quintet of disappointing pizza experiences. Sometimes here, I just want to give up on finding good pizza. Or just keep going back to the places I already know make good pizza. None of thes… Read More
2022-10-31 13:51
As with so many of these origin stories, we have some facts and we have some speculation. Let’s contrast… the recipe came to fame at one of two restaurants in the town of Bari… Read More
2022-10-29 14:09
No, I’m not going to overdo this and subject you to fifteen dishes in one post. I was just falling behind, wanted to catch up, and didn’t feel like I needed to detail very dish… Read More
2022-10-24 12:58
A mix of new and old, visits to spots that have opened only recently, and some visits to others that I haven’t been to in awhile. Just reminding us all that they’re still here, a… Read More
2022-10-22 14:07
The lunches are slowly beginning to catch on. Not unexpected that it would take a little time for word to percolate around. For this lunch we only had two folk come, but it was fun, and gave… Read More
2022-10-21 13:15
It’s been a bit since I dedicated a post to new Peruvian spots we’ve checked out, so let’s go for it! Pica Rico, Av. Corrientes 2955, Once – The name suggests tha… Read More
2022-10-20 13:05
I’m not avoiding restaurant reviews, I’m just organizing them a bit rather than just throwing them all into one big Bite Marks. This last weekend’s menu now, with folk from… Read More
2022-10-13 14:22
Two dinners this last weekend – our usual Friday night communal table affair, and a private dinner for a group of mortgage brokers from Puerto Rico. Fun times had by all! Tiradito de… Read More
2022-10-11 13:50
We’ve talked about bodegones before – the Argentine spots that serve up classic fare, and often as traditional to their regional origins as they can be. Almost always very c… Read More
2022-10-09 15:00
I’ve been informed by my other half that I need to go back to my various wandering day trips and stop spending so much time at home. A vestige of the last two pandemic years. And, I ha… Read More
2022-10-03 15:09
It’s been awhile since I played around with a fairly unknown pasta. Now, pasta mista, or mixed pasta, isn’t really all that unusual. Plenty of times when you have just… Read More
2022-09-30 14:32
Most of us are probably familiar with southeast Asian fish sauce(s) of one sort or another. You might have a bottle of it in your pantry or refrigerator. You might even use it occasionally… Read More
2022-09-29 15:10
Yes, truel, or triel, is a word, and the equivalent of a duel, but between three parties. And new words for me, I guess in the back of my mind I assumed that there might be words f… Read More
2022-09-27 11:59
Let’s jump right into this one – I think this was one of my favorite dinners we’ve done so far this year. And a great group of guests (as always)! Berenjena Asada –… Read More
2022-09-26 13:33
Every time I approach a recipe that involves innards, I can’t help but hear “parts is parts” pipe up somewhere deep in my subconscious. I grew up eating a fair number of pa… Read More
2022-09-22 13:53
A quartet of spots, with pizza, Korean food, Italian food, and Peruvian-Nikkei food. On a random roll of the dice, I had headed out to barrio Coghlan to check out one of those “neigh… Read More
2022-09-20 13:14
And, another successful lunch! This time we leaned in a bit on the Peruvian side of things. Solterito con Langostinos – a solterito is a traditional fresh salad sort of appetizer… Read More
2022-09-19 14:40
There was no liver, no Chianti, and no psychopaths. It was just the pasta from the last two Casa SaltShaker meals, and a couple of requests for more details on it. Now, my version of this di… Read More
2022-09-16 13:24
Brazil and Sweden, represent! Buenos Aires is full of Brazilian visitors right now. The exchange rate is right, there are special flight offers, so it was no surprise that we ended up with t… Read More
2022-09-13 13:20
So many little lunches out and I haven’t been writing them up. I’ll cover a few of them today and save the rest for another post. This sort of hole-in-the-wall spot that I stu… Read More
2022-09-08 10:26
Almost a month ago I first solicited thoughts from regular customers and followers, and then announced that we’d be offering a trial run at once a week lunches, on Mondays. A three-cou… Read More
2022-09-04 14:44
With my recent delving into omakase bars, I haven’t really talked about the concept. First off, while the four experiences I wrote up recently were a specific type of curated, pie… Read More
2022-09-01 12:05
There’s this “rule” out there that I’m sure you’ve heard. No cheese with fish, or no cheese with seafood. Somehow, it’s out in the ether that it’s n… Read More
2022-08-31 12:32
If you’ve had puttanesca sauce, you’ve heard the commonly thrown around interpretation that it’s a sauce “in the style of a prostitute”. No one ever explai… Read More
2022-08-30 13:18
It’s been a bit over a month since our last Casa SaltShaker dinner. Henry’s away in Peru (coming back this week), so I just sort of suspended them. But, we had a couple of reques… Read More
2022-08-29 13:39
Continuing on my weekly outings to check out the new omakase spots in the city. There are only a few more, though I probably won’t get to one a week over the upcoming weeks. We sh… Read More
2022-08-25 14:35
It’s time for the last of our famed four Roman pastas. This time around, it’s all’amatriciana, i.e., in the style the Amatricians. Amatrice, where this pasta supposedly ori… Read More
2022-08-23 18:17
What’s up for this round of the infamous Bite Marks? Another stab at Detroit style pizza? A burger? Shawarma? Spanish tapas? Italian food? Why yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! A local fr… Read More
2022-08-22 18:08
If you’ve been following along with this simple pasta series, you knew that this one was coming. In fact, given the response to these posts, I’d say this is the most anticipated… Read More
2022-08-19 13:38
I keep thinking that maybe this approach to pastas staying at a very simple level is going to get boring for readers. And, I’m sure that it is for some. But based on messages and email… Read More

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