French Diner – Le Physalis Restaurant http://lephysalisrestaurant.com/ Tue, 26 Oct 2021 19:37:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2-140x136.png French Diner – Le Physalis Restaurant http://lephysalisrestaurant.com/ 32 32 American restaurants to check out if you want a taste of horror https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/american-restaurants-to-check-out-if-you-want-a-taste-of-horror/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/american-restaurants-to-check-out-if-you-want-a-taste-of-horror/#respond Tue, 26 Oct 2021 16:03:11 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/american-restaurants-to-check-out-if-you-want-a-taste-of-horror/ There are many ways restaurant decor can say welcome: fresh flowers, linen tablecloths, dim lighting. At Terror Tacos in St. Louis, the welcome runs in the blood – in fact, sordid red paint that covers a wall in long drops, like the macabre drapery that Satan’s gnarled hand could pull to bring in the damned. […]]]>

There are many ways restaurant decor can say welcome: fresh flowers, linen tablecloths, dim lighting.

At Terror Tacos in St. Louis, the welcome runs in the blood – in fact, sordid red paint that covers a wall in long drops, like the macabre drapery that Satan’s gnarled hand could pull to bring in the damned. in hell.

Self-proclaimed horror movie brothers and geeks Bradley Roach and Brian Roash opened Terror Tacos in March. (They spell their last names differently.) As a chef, Roach put together an all-vegan menu of tacos and burritos with his homemade seitan “carnage asada”. Roash, an artist who deals with the restaurant’s marketing, painted the artwork, including the face of a screaming woman that resembles that of Shelley Duvall in “The Shining.” The Cradle of Filth group often growls into the speakers.

The restaurant’s mix of horror, extreme metal and veganism is what draws loyal customers, Roach said, including hardened carnivores. “They don’t necessarily come back because the food is plant-based,” he said. “They are just excited to eat in a weird place.”

Terror Tacos is one of many gore-obsessed restaurants that have opened across the country since last Halloween, despite the pandemic and its dining restrictions. It is difficult to say why. Maybe horror fans are living their dreams now or never. Maybe restaurants are an antidote to the cheerfulness of corporate chains.

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What does horror taste like? ‘Carnage asada’ and bloody cocktails

Or maybe they are a positive response to a world that feels broken. When reality doesn’t seem to get much darker than it is, Roash said, a visit to a restaurant like Terror Tacos isn’t as daunting as it might have been earlier. “You would never want to equate terror with your brand because people might think our tacos are terrible,” he said. “But we’ve been terrified for two years, and people can relate to a screaming face.”

These new places come as horror movies and TV shows have become extremely popular and profitable during the pandemic and have even helped some people cope better with their anxieties, according to a study published last year in the journal. Personality and Individual Differences.

Coltan Scrivner, one of the study’s authors, said horror restaurants can be a sure-fire way to have fun with scary things in painful times.

“In a horror restaurant, no one is afraid,” said Scrivner, a behavior specialist at the University of Chicago who studies morbid curiosity, or why terrifying experiences attract people. “It sends a signal that while something looks scary, it might not be that bad.”

Unlike haunted houses, horror-themed restaurants aren’t there to scare anyone; they’re scarier “Frankenweenie” than scary “Cannibal Holocaust”. The look is heavy on movie posters and the playful design.

Word games are also a big part of the experience. The Witching Hour, a food trailer that opened in July in Bentonville, Arkansas, features Jason S’morehees inspired by “Friday the 13th,” a s’mores pie “served as cold as Jason in the back of the house. Lake”. The Brewed, a Chicago café opening in January, nods to David Cronenberg’s horror film “The Brood”.

At the Haunted House Restaurant in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the vibe screams Saturday morning, not midnight grindhouse. The reception area is designed like a movie theater with a colorful mural depicting creatures like Frankenstein’s monster and Pennywise the clown. As the seafood pizza walks over to a table, the ominous musical chorus of “Jaws” plays over a loudspeaker.

Andre Scott, one of the four partners who opened the restaurant in July, doesn’t consider himself a horror fan. “I would watch a documentary before I watch a horror movie,” he said. But when choosing a theme, the vote of the partners was unanimous.

“Horror movies bring everyone together,” Scott said. “It doesn’t matter what race you are or whatever. I love it more than anything, especially with all the hatred in the world, seeing people enjoy the concept.”

The appearance of an old horror author’s grim study inspired the design of Cloak & Dagger, a lounge bar that opened a year ago just outside of downtown Cleveland . The walls are painted black and, like at Terror Tacos, the menu is vegan.

“There’s this feeling that horror fans lack empathy, because how else could they enjoy horror?” Scrivner said. “But a lot of horror fans are so empathetic that they don’t want to eat animals.”

Horror-themed meals have a history as long as that of a mummy. Costumed figures at the Jekyll & Hyde Club in Manhattan’s West Village have scared people for 30 years. Blairstown Diner in northwest New Jersey became a hot spot after being featured in the original “Friday the 13th” in 1980. And Muriel’s Jackson Square, a 20-year-old restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans , has its own ghost: legend has it that the spirit of the building’s former owner, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, lives in the Séance lounge on the second floor.

The living dead ruled Zombie Burger, with two locations in the Des Moines, Iowa, area for 10 years. George Formaro, the chef and co-owner, said the zombie theme worked – though it was more susceptible to old-school monsters like Dracula and the Mummy – because “horror movies were a big deal in my childhood”.

“I think the burger and the horror movie are nostalgic for people,” said Formaro, who has a tattoo of Freddy Krueger’s glove and other horror villain accessories tattooed on his forearm. “Nostalgia is my most favorite ingredient to work with these days. “

In May, Jared Bradley and Rebecca Vega opened Raven’s Manor, a haunted mansion-style lounge bar in Portland, Oregon. The menu includes a Black Bread Grilled Cheese of Darkness and a vegan brain-shaped meatloaf called Cerebral Matter.

A trail of blood leads to an underground lab where customers wear lab coats and create cocktails during an “elixir experience”. The session is led by characters including Dr Creeps, assistant to Dr Raven, a fictional bar doctor, who kidnapped and experimented with his guests in a quest for immortality.

Mad scientists, a possessed mansion, ghostly visions: If this feels like a night with cartoon sleuths and their Great Dane, Vega doesn’t disagree. “I grew up with ‘Scooby-Doo’,” she said. “It was my gateway to horror.”


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Sarah Todd reveals her favorite Indian comfort food, must-have ingredient and more https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/sarah-todd-reveals-her-favorite-indian-comfort-food-must-have-ingredient-and-more/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/sarah-todd-reveals-her-favorite-indian-comfort-food-must-have-ingredient-and-more/#respond Sun, 24 Oct 2021 04:30:01 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/sarah-todd-reveals-her-favorite-indian-comfort-food-must-have-ingredient-and-more/ Australian chef Sarah Todd has an undeniable connection to India. Remember when she whipped up the humble Indian Aloo Gobhi in MasterChef 2014? The Indian restaurateur and second cookbook author has extensive culinary experience and we could all take lessons from her – for our dishes and even life in general. NDTV Food had a […]]]>

Australian chef Sarah Todd has an undeniable connection to India. Remember when she whipped up the humble Indian Aloo Gobhi in MasterChef 2014? The Indian restaurateur and second cookbook author has extensive culinary experience and we could all take lessons from her – for our dishes and even life in general. NDTV Food had a chat with the celebrity chef and she talked at length about her date with Indian cuisine, her favorite ingredient, a viral recipe she tried and her favorite comfort food of all. time; food that would resonate with many North Indians. Read on!

1. When did you first try Indian cuisine?

I first tried cooking Indian food after my son was born. He is half Punjabi, so it is only natural that I present him the food of his heritage. I am trained in French cooking techniques and found the difference between cooking styles a little intimidating. However, I fell in love with spices and the magic they bring to a dish. I now find cooking Indian food fun and exciting, and it’s my favorite style of cooking, with my Australian touch of course!

(Also Read: Chef Sarah Todd Shares Unique Recipe For Bhel Puri, Have You Ever Tried It?)

2. Have you ever had your food returned to a restaurant?

Of course, I appreciate the comments. It’s our job to give the dining experience the best overall experience. We want our guests to leave happy and hopefully come back. There are so many things that influence the dining experience, and sometimes it has nothing to do with your restaurant. They might just be having a bad day, or the dish may not suit their palate. With the pressure of a busy kitchen and preparing meals on time, accidents happen. I would prefer a guest politely explain the problem with a meal so that we can rectify it. It is much better than not speaking up and writing a negative review without any opportunity for the boss to respond to the complaint.

3. Has confinement changed your personal cooking style and general idea of ​​cooking and eating?

Every experience in life influences my cooking style as I learn and develop new skills. I have tried a lot more recipes now that I have the time and I love the trajectory my cooking style is heading towards.

4. What kept you going during the confinement period?

The work never stops and I love it. I have been working on new products that I had in mind for a very long time. The confinement allowed me to focus on this dream project. I loved cooking at home with my son and spending quality time together.

(Also Read: Celebrity Chef Sarah Todd Bakes Armaan Jain’s Wedding Cake)

5. A dish that you had a hard time creating.

In 2019, I prepared a 5-course tasting menu for the first all-female Australian Open Chefs Series, one of Australia’s most prestigious culinary events. Australians have known me since my visit to MasterChef and the documentaries My Restaurant in India. However, my cooking style has changed drastically since MasterChef. Due to my time in India, I have developed a unique Indo-Australian style of cooking. It would be the first time Australians have had the opportunity to try it. My menu took guests on a journey of flavors from all over India while incorporating native Australian ingredients.

I wanted the final dish to be a show. The dessert, called “Broken Rose”, was inspired by the refreshing and delicious falooda. With 13 different items, each item needs to be prepared and put on before starting the next one. A fresh organic red rose that has been submerged in liquid nitrogen is then smashed onto the dish.It’s an enthralling dessert.

6. Any ingredient you love to add to anything possible.

I love the versatility of the spices. Sweet, tangy, tangy, sour, spicy, aromatic, tangy, sweet, fragrant or tangy, there’s a spice to spice up any dish, from a pinch of earthy cumin on carrots before roasting in robust Laal Maas with an explosion of chili peppers.

7. A viral recipe that you couldn’t resist trying?

Eggs in pesto, with my twist, of course. It’s live on my Instagram.

8. If you hadn’t been a chef, what would you have been?

I have always dreamed of being a racing driver. I like to drive on an open road through the countryside. I find it very relaxing and it makes me forget everything.

9. What do you like most about Indian cuisine?

  • Full of flavor
  • Adding spices and herbs to humble ingredients turns the dish into something beautiful
  • Variety – the dishes are so varied from village to village, city to city and state to state
  • The power of traditional Indian cuisine to promote good health and support immunity
  • The abundance of vegetarian and vegan options

10. What was your inspiration behind your second cookbook – My Indian Kitchen?

As I traveled through India, I marveled at the diversity of cuisines in each state. I was welcomed into the home of a Mising family in Assam and stayed with a tribe in Nagaland. I attended a cultural festival in Kashmir and cooked freshly caught xacuti crab with a family on the banks of the river in Goa. These trips and experiences have influenced the way I cook.

My book represents these experiences and highlights the India that I know and love. In a way, it’s my way of thanking you for sharing their culture and their stories with me. In ‘Everyday India’ you will find just that, recipes inspired by ordinary people. I was inspired by street vendors and families who shared their meals and homes with me. I used tips I gleaned from family restaurant chefs and ingredients I discovered in the most unexpected places.

The opportunities presented to me by India have helped me to step out of my comfort zone and this chapter of my life has inherently shaped my book.

11. What is your favorite comfort food?

My idea of ​​comfort food is something delicious that causes nostalgia. The other day I was cooking Paratha with my son and he said to me, “Remember when Bibi (grandma) cooked this for me all the time. This is what I prefer to eat. Paratha has become a comfort food for us in our home and one that is linked to fond memories for myself and for my son.



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Bites & Sips: New North Market Vendors, Dirty Frank’s Westside Comeback, Chapman’s in the NYT and more https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/bites-sips-new-north-market-vendors-dirty-franks-westside-comeback-chapmans-in-the-nyt-and-more/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/bites-sips-new-north-market-vendors-dirty-franks-westside-comeback-chapmans-in-the-nyt-and-more/#respond Fri, 22 Oct 2021 14:59:16 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/bites-sips-new-north-market-vendors-dirty-franks-westside-comeback-chapmans-in-the-nyt-and-more/ There is a lot to catch up on in the beverage and dining world in Central Ohio! From accolades to new concerts, openings, new menus, festive treats and more, discover the latest culinary news in Bites & Sips. Cheers! G. Michael conductor finds a new gig Since the beloved German village restaurant G. Michael’s closed […]]]>

There is a lot to catch up on in the beverage and dining world in Central Ohio! From accolades to new concerts, openings, new menus, festive treats and more, discover the latest culinary news in Bites & Sips. Cheers!

G. Michael conductor finds a new gig

Since the beloved German village restaurant G. Michael’s closed for good last month, chef David Tetzloff has found his next business.

Tetzloff will join Elevate Restaurants, which includes Barrel & Boar BBQ Gastropubs, Barrel & Boar BBQ Factory and Barrel & Boar North Market, as Market Chef.

“I am delighted to see how Chef Tetzloff can provide new training and advice to our chefs. This is what the brand needs to continue to evolve and grow, ”said Stan Riley, Managing Partner. “I think it’s a big step to see him take control of the menu. I’m so excited to see what he can bring to the brand with the freedom to educate, coach and guide our team.

G. Michael’s ended its 23 years of operation after the restaurant was unable to enter into a new lease agreement with the owners of the building. Now Tetzloff can’t wait to build on what the restaurant group has already created.

“I’m excited to take the root and base of the barbecue and expand it to a wider and different range that not only focuses on the smoked meats Barrel & Boar is known for, but also seeing what we can. do something else with the overall concept of inputs, ”says Tetzloff.

For more information visit baril.com.

Chapman’s makes NYT America’s Favorite Restaurants list

German village newcomer Chapman’s Eat Market is making big waves in the industry. The restaurant was named one of the 50 best restaurants of 2021 according to the New York Times.

The list honors the “50 Most Lively and Delicious Restaurants in 2021” and spans restaurants from coast to coast. The only Ohio restaurant to make the list, Chapman’s opened in August 2020 amid the pandemic, going through various formats before switching to more traditional service in May 2021. The NYT article describes the food from Chapman’s and chef BJ Lieberman as “skillful, world-inspired comfort food. (And don’t forget the homemade ice cream.)

For more information visit mangerchapmans.com and see the full list of restaurants on The New York Times.

Red Rabbit Ramen taking over the hatching space of Budd Dairy

Budd Dairy’s new Hatch partner will debut next week. Red Rabbit Ramen takes over the rotating kitchen space.

The ramen joint first made its Columbus debut as a ghost kitchen, offering pickup and delivery only from the Columbus Food Hall on Essex Avenue.

The menu takes inspiration from ramen regions around the world and bases each bowl on noodles made from scratch. In addition to ramen made from meat and vegetables, Red Rabbit’s menu includes rice dishes as well as small plates like gyoza and edamame.

Red Rabbit will occupy the space at Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill, which opened on September 21. Zaytoon’s last day at Budd Dairy is October 24, with Red Rabbit debuting October 26 and serving until November 21.

For more information visit redrabbitramen.com and budddairyfoodhall.com.

New dishes in Piada

Piada has a few new additions to its menu in time for fall. Comfort Food Classic Mac and Cheese debuts, customizable with over 30 additions and toppings (and available in a number of sizes). The recommended pairing: fried chicken, cut and mixed with chili oil for a Hot Chicken Mac.

In the confectionery department, Cannoli Chips are back! The sweet treat features crispy cannoli chips mixed with powdered sugar and served with chocolate chip cannoli cream.

Find your solution at one of nine Piada locations in central Ohio.

For more information visit mypiada.com.

Buddha Bowl extends the hours

Buddha Bowl, a quick and casual Thai-inspired restaurant, debuted last month at 2973 N. High St. in Clintonville. Initially launched with reserved lunch hours, the restaurant has added dinner service to its lineup.

Diners can DIY their own Buddha Bowl from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Online ordering is also available, as is delivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash.

For more information visit bouddhabowl.com.

The northern market (s) welcome new sellers

Three new vendors debuted at the North Market – two in Dublin and one in the city center.

Serving as a triple threat to the butcher, grocer and restaurant, Saddleberk opened in North Market Bridge Park in late September. Market-goers can find Saddleberk’s own Berkshire pork and other high-quality cuts of meat, as well as fresh produce, pantry items from local vendors, and fresh-cut flowers.

Hoyo’s Sambusas & Juices is also joining the Bridge Park range. Originally announced in October 2020, Hoyo’s expands from North Market Downtown (and its restaurant in Columbus Square) with a streamlined menu of Somali dishes, featuring its namesake items in half a dozen and different flavors.

Rounding out the new additions, downtown vendor, Tajine House. A quick service restaurant from new Park Street poultry owners Alex Daray, Lotfi Khomsi and Mourad Bassou, the Moroccan-inspired menu includes fish, veal, chicken, paella, meatballs and more, accompanied by a variety of traditional Moroccan dishes such as couscous and various vegetables.

“For the three of us, we are very happy to introduce Moroccan cuisine to Columbus,” said Bassou. “It’s a mix of popular Mediterranean and Franco-European cuisine that we are proud to share.

For more information visit marchénord.org.

Fall Treats at Jeni’s

Some good news in this spooky season: Jeni’s Cone Coins are back. Forgo the king-size candy bar in favor of the token redeemable for a kid’s cone at Jeni’s scoop shops. Sold in sets of 20 for $ 35, the coins can be purchased until October 31 and are redeemable until the end of 2024 (not that everyone can wait that long)! Cone Coins are available at any of Jeni’s six local stores or by local delivery online.

To celebrate the season, the glacier has also released its range of fall flavors. There’s the Festive Pumpkin Cake Roll and New Dairy-Free Banana Cream Pudding, along with Cream Puff, Cream Cookies, Spearmint Chips, and Boston Cream Pie. .

For more information visit jenis.com.

Howl at the Moon sets official opening date

The Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar has set a date for its return to Columbu. The doors officially open on Friday, November 5 at 504 N. Park St., the former residence of Bar Louie.

The hours are to be determined, but the big party begins on 5 at 6 p.m.

For more information visit howlatthemoon.com/columbus.

Dirty Frank’s partners with Hollywood Casino

Dirty Frank’s returns to the Westside, this time inside the Hollywood Casino. The restaurant will bring its unique hot dog creations and sausage-loving humor to the space once occupied by Zen Noodle Bar.

Dirty Frank’s menu features a dog for each guest with beef, veggie, and vegan options, plus sides like onion rings, fries, tots and more.

Construction is underway with an opening scheduled for November 2021.

It is the second local name to recently land a partnership with the casino. Mikey’s Late Night Slice opened within the casino walls earlier this year.

“We are very proud to serve, engage and give back to our great city. The expansion to Hollywood Casino is the perfect opportunity to bring Dirty Frank’s back to the “Westside, Bestside” which already holds a very special place in our hearts, ”said Miriam Ailabouni, co-owner of Dirty Frank’s. “And having our friends at the Late Night Slice on the same floor comes full circle because we’ve been downtown neighbors for years.” We can’t wait to start throwing smoked sausages at Hollywood Casino! “

Dirty Frank’s has been stalking downtown dogs since 2009 at 248 S. Fourth St.

For more information visit salesfranks.com.


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Is Hooters just too risky for the Hudson Valley? https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/is-hooters-just-too-risky-for-the-hudson-valley/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/is-hooters-just-too-risky-for-the-hudson-valley/#respond Thu, 21 Oct 2021 18:18:30 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/is-hooters-just-too-risky-for-the-hudson-valley/ We still wonder why a Hooters didn’t make its way to the Hudson Valley. Hooters restaurants made headlines this week with the restaurant chain instituting a policy on skimpy new stockings to replace already short waitresses. According to New York Post, some Hooters girls were upset with the new uniform tenure, causing the company to […]]]>

We still wonder why a Hooters didn’t make its way to the Hudson Valley.

Hooters restaurants made headlines this week with the restaurant chain instituting a policy on skimpy new stockings to replace already short waitresses. According to New York Post, some Hooters girls were upset with the new uniform tenure, causing the company to reverse their decision. Now, Hooters says servers may have the option of wearing the traditional uniforms or the new ones.

With all the Hooters talk, it got me thinking once again, “Why don’t we have any Hooters to this day in the Hudson Valley yet?” It has been rumored for years that we were going to have one, but why hasn’t it materialized yet?

If you want to enjoy the views of Hooters and those big wings, you have a bit of a road ahead of you. The nearest locations are in the Albany area (Colony, NY), about an hour and a half drive from Poughkeepsie, and a few locations within 2 hours in New Jersey (Brunswick and Somerset).

Now the Hudson Valley has got a Hooters-like restaurant chain called Tilted Kilt. Tilted Kilt was a Celtic-themed sports bar with scantily clad female waiters. When Tilted Kilt opened in the old Bugaboo Creek location on the rt. 9 at Poughkeepsie in 2017, there was some buzz, but that buzz quickly faded as the restaurant lasted just over a year before closing for good.

So I still wonder? Why still no Hooters in the Hudson Valley? Are the outfits too risky for this area and no one is willing to take a chance? Your guess is as good as mine, but for now it looks like the day we see a Hooters in the Hudson Valley is the day we finally have a White Castle …

Sirens not your thing? Instead, check out these 25 Hudson Valley restaurants

We’ve compiled a list of 25 great food experiences you should try in the Hudson Valley!

A-to-z restaurants in the Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley covers all types of cuisine and letter when it comes to restaurants.


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“Let’s go out and have a good time” https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/lets-go-out-and-have-a-good-time/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/lets-go-out-and-have-a-good-time/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 11:16:18 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/lets-go-out-and-have-a-good-time/ By Pem McNerney / Zip06.com • 10/20/2021 07:00 EST Connecticut is blessed with a plethora of unique eateries and eateries from its Massachusetts border in the north to the shores of Long Island Sound. The list of options seems endless. Hot buttered lobster rolls, steamed cheeseburgers, New Haven pizza. Lots of Italian places of course, […]]]>

By Pem McNerney / Zip06.com • 10/20/2021 07:00 EST

Connecticut is blessed with a plethora of unique eateries and eateries from its Massachusetts border in the north to the shores of Long Island Sound.

The list of options seems endless.

Hot buttered lobster rolls, steamed cheeseburgers, New Haven pizza.

Lots of Italian places of course, but also Turkish restaurants, Polish diners and a Vietnamese restaurant which proudly displays a mural highlighting the owners’ journey to their new home in America.

A caravan of food trucks parked along a quay, nicknamed “Food Truck Paradise”, offers a dazzling array of Latin American dishes.

An authentic log home that offers family style dining and a world class French brasserie that never fails to please with its impeccable service.

An inn in a Connecticut River town with roots dating back to 1776, and an upstart a few towns away that opened in 2017 and two years later, was named the state’s best restaurant by the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

Mike Urban’s new book, Unique Connecticut Dining and Dining, which will be featured in several upcoming talks on Thursdays, including one at Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook on October 28, one at Essex Public Library on November 4, and one at Guilford Public Library on November 16 . those and more. But it’s not just about the food and buildings that house businesses, more than just a list of places and menus. At its heart, the book pays homage to the innovative, hardworking and generous souls who have made their lives the job of serving and nurturing the public with the food they love.

“These are stories about the people behind the food,” says Urban. “Like I say in the introduction, most of these places in the book are mom-and-pop businesses. They’re organically unique. Maybe it’s a person, couple, or family, and they decide. to open a restaurant They develop their own style, they are at the service of their own community It is the essence and the heart of good regional American cuisine.

They survived

Urban says that the fact that they are family-owned restaurants could explain why, despite the fact that this project was planned beforehand, most of these places survived the pandemic almost intact.

“I originally had a list of 100 and narrowed it down to 85,” he says. “Of those, only one closed, one in Norwich, which was a shame. Everyone else, surprisingly, remained open. I was happy about it because we’ve all heard the horror stories.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association reported that in the first eight months of the pandemic alone, more than 600 restaurants have closed their doors permanently. Many more have hibernated this winter, putting thousands of people out of work.

Worse yet, frontline workers, including waiters and line cooks, were among those most at risk of being affected by COVID-19. Some got sick. Some are dead. Some have seen colleagues fall ill or die while dealing with belligerent clients who were reluctant to adhere to public health mandates. Many of these frontline workers have found work in other industries. Many restaurants are still struggling with a shortage of people willing to return to the front line at a restaurant.

“But a lot of moms and dads survived,” Urban said. “I don’t know exactly why. Less overhead? Maybe they could somehow afford the closure better than the big multi-chain restaurants? “

Whatever the reason, Urban seems relieved about it, as the book itself was as much a labor of love as it was a business venture for him. He has achieved great success and fame as a writer, publisher and book packager. He has written four other books and contributes regularly to Yankee magazine. And he’s outspoken about his gratitude to his wife, Ellen, who is the family’s regular paycheck and his “all-time favorite meal company.” This book is dedicated to him.

His gratitude extends to his other frequent meal mates, many of whom insist on picking up the check.

“This is Sylvia, my sister-in-law; she went to many meals that my wife and I attended, ”he says. “And she helped pay a lot! She is retired from the financial world in Chicago and a fun person to hang out with.

He is also grateful for the enthusiasm and support he received from Nancy Creel of Guilford and her husband Alan Gross.

Urban often ate with his friend Alan, who lives with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

“He became a good friend and we often went out to eat,” says Urban. “He’s in bad shape now. But we had a lot of fun for four or five years. He was a great guy to hang out with and have dinner with. We laughed, ate, hiked and biked.

While it can be difficult to make a full-time living as a food writer, Urban says it’s all about research.

” That’s what it’s about. Even if they decided not to publish the book, mission accomplished, ”he says of all his culinary adventures and of his good times with his friends and family as they were welcomed by the various establishments mum- et-pop, and got to know the owners. “I do it as a labor of love. I like to travel. I like taking pictures. I like to meet people. And, even if you might not believe it, I love to eat.

Believe it.

His favorites?

There are many settlements along the Connecticut coast and in the Connecticut River Valley, including 22 in New Haven County, which Urban calls “Yale Country,” and 15 in Middlesex County / Valley. the Connecticut River.

But, for those of us who live in these restaurant-rich regions, this book is also a call to adventure, to explore beyond the safe territory of the same beloved places we rely on.

With that in mind, I asked Urban to tell me his favorites statewide.

He objected in the same way a parent might if you asked him about his favorite children.

“Yeah,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to name any. “

Instead, in the interest of highlighting the variety of the book, it features a few restaurants on the back of the book.

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, 117 Pearl Street, Noank is world famous. A researcher, Jerry Mears, and his wife used to eat there in the 70s and 80s and they loved the place. One day they saw that it was for sale.

“They took a wild hit,” says Urban. “They said, ‘Let’s do it.’ He left the world of scientific research to get into the restaurant business.

Then his daughter took over. And then his daughter took over.

“Father, daughter, daughter,” says Urban.

Agree to disagree …

Then he and I find that we have to agree to disagree on something.

Growing up in the Midwest with cold lobster rolls, and not many of those, I fell head over heels in love with hot lobster rolls many years ago, when I ate my first bite of a roll. Abbott’s hot lobster, sitting on the rocky shores of the Long Island Strait. Since then, I have been loyal to hot lobster rolls.

Urban prefers cold lobster rolls with mayonnaise, especially the ones he’s tasted in Maine with freshly caught lobster.

“I’m in a lot of trouble here in Connecticut,” he admits.

Which is as it should be.

Still, he loves Abbott’s.

“It’s one of my favorite places,” he says. “They have an excellent lobster …”

He also mentions the famous O’Rourke’s Diner, 728 Main Street, Middletown, which is literally a Phoenix born from the ashes of a devastating fire in 2006.

“The place burned to the ground. It should have been game, set, game, over, ”said Urban. “They didn’t have enough confidence. But the community loved it so much, all the people of Wesleyan and the community of Middletown came together. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and they were able to build on the same footprint. It’s a truly heartwarming story and a cherished place. A classic place for mom and pop.

And then there’s Union League Café, 1032 Chapel Street, New Haven. We both totally agree on this one. Although expensive enough to save for special occasions, it is worth every penny. Never, ever a bad meal. Always excellent service. Always a great experience.

A romantic date!

If food is love, which it is, then it’s also true that dining out is an important part of any romantic night out, whether it’s with family and friends, a loved one, or maybe even just treat yourself to a special night out.

With that in mind, I asked Urban to recommend places that had entertainment venues or other attractions nearby. Sometimes it’s more fun to make it a full day or evening, and knowing a fun restaurant nearby is part of that equation.

• Should you go to the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury? “Waterbury has a lot of great Italians,” says Urban. “But a different and unique place is Sultan’s Turkish Restaurant”, 586 Plank Road, Waterbury. “It’s right off I-84 and across from the mosque. The food is quite good and there is belly dancing on Saturday night. There is a beautiful dining room with a large Bosphorus fresco.

• How about the Stamford Center for the Arts, 61 Atlantic Avenue, Stamford? Urban says to consider trying the Barcelona Wine Bar, 222 Summer Street, which, although not listed in his book, is just around the corner. “It’s kind of a chain, but it’s still very good for quality casual dining,” he says.

• What if I wanted to go to the Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, Hartford or the Bushnell Performing Arts Center, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford? Urban says he could go to Black-Eyed Sally’s, 350 Asylum Street, for southern barbecue and live blues. On Sundays, the southern brunch is sometimes enhanced with a gospel performance. Urban also recommends the Bricco Restaurant, 78 Lasalle Street, in West Hartford. Although a city isn’t listed in his book, he says it’s a great place for a lunchtime meal.

• He has another recommendation for Hartford, The Parkville Market, 1400 Park Street, Hartford, “a restaurant bazaar in an old factory building”, as he describes in his book, with over 20 food stalls with cuisines that include Jamaican, tweaked Italian, Brazilian, Indian with a bit of Cantonese, Puerto Rican, crab shack, and poke bowls.

• The White Memorial Wildlife Conservation Center, 80 Whitehall Road, Litchfield? Arethusa al tavolo, 828 Bantam Road, Bantam. “You’ll need reservations,” he says. “But this is a very good upscale restaurant.”

• The New Britain Museum of Art, 56 Lexington Avenue, New Britain? “It’s easy,” he said. “Staropolska”, 252 Broad Street, New Britain. “It’s a Polish restaurant that reflects the character of the city. “

And what other advice does he have, after writing this guide to culinary adventures in Connecticut?

“Pick one. And go out and eat there. Go out and support your local restaurants, especially places for moms and dads. Yes, things slowed down and yes we were afraid of the pandemic. But eating out is one of life’s great experiences. Go with your partner. Your partner. With family. With friends. Even by yourself. But let’s continue to support these places. Let’s keep going out and having a good time.


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The 10 Best Asian Restaurants in Ocean County, NJ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/the-10-best-asian-restaurants-in-ocean-county-nj/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/the-10-best-asian-restaurants-in-ocean-county-nj/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 07:00:04 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/the-10-best-asian-restaurants-in-ocean-county-nj/ I think everyone can agree that Asian cuisine is one of the most popular foods in America and of course we have fantastic “Asian” cuisine here in Ocean County. We’ve compiled the 10 “best” Asian food restaurants here in Ocean County based on their ranking with JAPPER. Based on reviews, ratings, etc. Listen to Shawn […]]]>

I think everyone can agree that Asian cuisine is one of the most popular foods in America and of course we have fantastic “Asian” cuisine here in Ocean County.

We’ve compiled the 10 “best” Asian food restaurants here in Ocean County based on their ranking with JAPPER. Based on reviews, ratings, etc.

Listen to Shawn Michaels’ Mornings on 92.7 WOBM and download our free 92.7 WOBM app

Below is a list of the top 10 and each one looks fantastic, with a variety of different types of Asian food. From Long Beach Island to Brick Township … some of the great tastes of Ocean County.

How many of these restaurants have you tried at home? is your favorite on this list? which of these restaurants do you want to discover? Let us know what you think and which Asian food restaurants are YOUR favorites here in Ocean County?

TOP 10 COUNTIES IN THE OCEAN

Number 10 – Chang Thai Kitchen: 1174 Fischer Blvd Unit # 3, Toms River, NJ 08753

Number 9 – Harvest Buffet & Grill: 501 US 9, Waretown, NJ 08758

Number 8 – Manahawkin Fuji72 Hibachi & Sushi: 626 NJ-72, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

Number 7 – Vietnamese Restaurant Pho Tastic: 905 NJ-70 E, Brick Township, NJ 08724

Number 6 – Koi Hibachi and Kitchen: 1256 Indian Head Rd, Toms River, NJ 08755

Number 5 – Pho Viet Express: 1222 NJ-166, Toms River, NJ 08753

Number 4 – Restaurant Xina: 3430 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753

Number 3 – Kumo Asian Fusion: 62 Brick Blvd, Brick Township, NJ 08723

Number 2 – Zen Sushi Asian Cusine: 1220 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008

Number 1 – Little Kusina: 1594 US 9, Toms River, NJ 08755

America’s 50 Most Popular Chain Restaurants

YouGov surveyed the country’s most popular restaurant brands and Stacker compiled the list to give readers context on the results. Read on to browse the vast and diverse variety of American restaurants. Maybe you’ll even find a favorite or two.


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McDonald’s customer attacked staff with metal fry scoop because her food was taking too long https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/mcdonalds-customer-attacked-staff-with-metal-fry-scoop-because-her-food-was-taking-too-long/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/mcdonalds-customer-attacked-staff-with-metal-fry-scoop-because-her-food-was-taking-too-long/#respond Sun, 17 Oct 2021 21:29:22 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/mcdonalds-customer-attacked-staff-with-metal-fry-scoop-because-her-food-was-taking-too-long/ An angry McDonald’s restaurant hit an employee with a metal frying spoon because his fries were taking too long. Cops at the Nashville Tennessee Police Department say the impatient lady then left the restaurant and left with a pal and kids in a silver Chevy Impala, reports the Charlotte Observer. They said in a statement: […]]]>

An angry McDonald’s restaurant hit an employee with a metal frying spoon because his fries were taking too long.

Cops at the Nashville Tennessee Police Department say the impatient lady then left the restaurant and left with a pal and kids in a silver Chevy Impala, reports the Charlotte Observer.

They said in a statement: “When the food took longer than expected, it went behind the counter and hit an employee with the metal fry scoop.

“The assault left a gash on the victim’s forehead.

Although officials have not confirmed the identity and current status of the employee who was slapped, they have released a photo of the suspect.



The woman left the McDonald’s store after the fight

He shows her wearing a mask lowered to her chin during the confrontation.

The stormy moment came earlier this month at McDonald’s in Brick Church Pike, just off Interstate 65 in north Nashville, according to reports.

Unfortunately for the worker who was attacked, stainless steel fry scoops have several sharp angles.

They are used by most fast food outlets to get the fries out as quickly as possible.



McDonald's shovel
The French fries shovel left a “gash” in the worker’s head

The confrontation with the fry isn’t the only time a McDonald’s customer has overreacted.

This year, a man allegedly threatened to blow up a McDonald’s because he didn’t have the sauce he wanted.

Robert Goldwitzer, 42, was arrested after he allegedly had the wrong dip for his Chicken McNuggets.

He allegedly called his local McDonald’s in Ankeny and threatened to blow up the restaurant and hit an employee for the offense.

And just a few months ago, a thug at a McDonald’s managed to ignore that his testicle was squeezed firmly to bite his victim’s face.

The mad drunkard bit the cheek of another client whose nose he broke in the “sustained and ferocious act of violence”.

Stay up to date with all the craziest news from The Daily Star by singing one of our free newsletters here for free.


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Jane Jane brings joy back to bustling 14th Street https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/jane-jane-brings-joy-back-to-bustling-14th-street/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/jane-jane-brings-joy-back-to-bustling-14th-street/#respond Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:30:00 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/jane-jane-brings-joy-back-to-bustling-14th-street/ From pandemic sleep to summer awakening: DC’s food scene is wasting no time reopening after restrictions were lifted in June. Enjoy eating and drinking indoors or out with a full plate of what to expect in the summer of 2021. Check out all the openings and events in this list: To discover the entire culinary […]]]>

From pandemic sleep to summer awakening: DC’s food scene is wasting no time reopening after restrictions were lifted in June. Enjoy eating and drinking indoors or out with a full plate of what to expect in the summer of 2021. Check out all the openings and events in this list:

To discover the entire culinary scene, attend the Metropolitan Washington Summer Restaurant Week, August 9-15. Unlike the previous catering week, this will revert to the emphasis on on-site dining, but will keep family dinners and cocktails for those who still want the experience to take away or take home.

In the row of barracks, Mad Aunt Helen is a new spot from a DC food industry veteran. The casual, casual all-day restaurant is run by first-time owner and former marketing manager Shayne Mason of lesbian-owned Hank’s Oyster Bar. Images of icons like Jackie Kennedy line the wall, with dishes like fried chicken, homemade Reubens pastrami, and mushroom “crab” cakes.

The Line Hotel has closed two of its restaurants during the pandemic, but is now expected to open No goodbye. It will serve Chesapeake-based dishes, with crab cakes featured. Fried chicken and catfish will also be on the menu.

Replacement of the B Too spot in the heart of 14e The street will be Maiz 64, an upscale Mexican place to showcase mezcal in small batches. It’s a “modern homage to authentic Mexican cuisine,” which uses local ingredients. Check out the raw ceviche bar, as well as the creative taco bar with creative options like charred broccoli mole and suckling pig with pork rinds and avocado.

On the quay, the enormous Ilili brings elegant Mediterranean-Levantine cuisine to DC “with a New York attitude” as it is the second place outside of its prime Manhattan location. The chef garnishes the labneh yogurt with Petrossian eggs and stuffs the kibbeh with steak tartare.

Just north of U Street, taking over the former vacant Quarter & Glory space, will be St James. The owner and chef is Peter Prime, who currently runs Cane on H Street, NE (Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant). He now oversees this brother project with a much larger footprint. Named after a town in its home country, Trinidad, the restaurant offers flavors of the Caribbean through the modern lens of Prime.

At Adams Morgan, a pop-up offers Bolivian cocktails and street food courtesy of Carla Sanchez and her brother. Called Casa Kantuta, the pop-up runs until August 8 on the ground floor of the Spacycloud boutique restaurant. Bartender Luis Aliaga makes drinks made with Andean ingredients and inspiration with fun names like Angry Llama.

Just north to Adams Morgan is Shabu More. In the same building as Death Punch Bar and Shibuya, the same owners (Chef Darren Norris and his wife Candice) offer a Japanese hot pot experience. Diners start with a choice of one of three broths, plus vegetables, and ordering meats like wagyu and lobster tail by the ounce.

In Shaw, the former Bistro Bohem space should be refreshed as Quattro Osteria. The owners, originally from Naples, bring an Italian touch, with well-known and modern dishes and drinks.

At Foggy Bottom, a huge new market called Western market will open later in the fall. The 12,300 square foot space will transform a historic marketplace, originally built in 1802, into a hall with more than a dozen food and drink vendors. Taste everything from lobster rolls and sushi to arepas, and even the sub sandwiches at Shaw’s Capo Deli.

Chef Alfredo Solis already owns three Mexican restaurants (Anafre, El Sol, Mezcalero). His next venture is traveling further in the form of Mariscos 1133 the 11the Street. Mariscos 1133 celebrates coastal cuisine from across mainland communities, with inspiration from California, Pero, Mexico and beyond. Diners can expect dishes like Brazilian moqueca (fish stew), ceviche, and, with a nod to the local, a spin on crab cakes.

The latest opening of KNEAD Hospitality + Design, owned by gays, is Mi Casa at the Cercle Dupont. Inspired by Chef Roberto Santibañez’s years of life in Texas and his Mexican heritage, Mi Casa’s concept of “border cuisine” aims to blend Mexican, Tex-Mex and the American Southwest.

Hungry now? Discover the restaurants open in spring:

Las Gemelas Cocina. This dual concept restaurant in La Cosecha offers a relaxed taco bar as well as an upscale Mexican menu. It comes from the operators of Epita in Shaw.

Point. This massive seafood restaurant anchors a new development at Buzzard Point, near Audi Field. Crab cakes are the star, along with many fish and lobster rolls. It is managed by the owners of Ivy City Smokehouse and Tony & Joe’s.

Runner-up. This elegant homage to New Orleans cuisine brings not only a raw bar (for seafood) but a butcher’s shop, a whole pork butcher’s service style popular in Cajun cuisine. Casual dishes like po’boys are offered alongside head cheese and caviar.

La Famosa. This Navy Yard spot channels Puerto Rico through a relaxed waterside vibe and lots of fried plantains and rum.

Makan. This Malaysian restaurant in Columbia Heights is refining Southeast Asian dishes to focus on that particular country. Taste the unripe mango salad, as well as the pandan leaf that appears in drinks and dishes.

Caruso’s grocery store. This warm Italian spot by Matt Adler (from Osteria Morini) is located near the Potomac Avenue subway. An extensive wine list accompanies dishes like burrata, prawn scampi and Chicken Parm.

Chicatana. This Mexican restaurant lands in an area of ​​14e Street of Columbia Heights with several other Mexican restaurants nearby – but has a twist. It gets its name from a type of ant used in traditional Oaxacan cuisine, throwing a few crunchy tiny ants (similar to chapulines or grasshoppers) on everything from ceviche to cocktails. The menu, instead of focusing on tacos, offers a broad and modern take on Mexican cuisine.

Lupo Pizzeria. This 14e The street location comes from the same group as Lupo Verde. Lupo Pizzeria offers a menu of high Italian street food, Italian cocktails and plenty of bubbles. The chef’s signature is the hand-made pizza with black squid ink dough.


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Miscellaneous: Opening of the Crum-Brew-Le Cafe in Alta: comfort food meets railway heritage (10/15/21) https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/miscellaneous-opening-of-the-crum-brew-le-cafe-in-alta-comfort-food-meets-railway-heritage-10-15-21/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/miscellaneous-opening-of-the-crum-brew-le-cafe-in-alta-comfort-food-meets-railway-heritage-10-15-21/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:46:19 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/miscellaneous-opening-of-the-crum-brew-le-cafe-in-alta-comfort-food-meets-railway-heritage-10-15-21/ Not everyone has their own train. Or at least, a vintage caboose attached to their digs. Tiffany Crum, the new owner of Alta’s iconic railroad restaurant, has made her own mark on the company. The old Depot opened last week as Crum-Brew-Le Cafe, an eye-catching take on the French Crème brûlée recipe, created by Tiffany’s […]]]>

Not everyone has their own train. Or at least, a vintage caboose attached to their digs.

Tiffany Crum, the new owner of Alta’s iconic railroad restaurant, has made her own mark on the company. The old Depot opened last week as Crum-Brew-Le Cafe, an eye-catching take on the French Crème brûlée recipe, created by Tiffany’s niece.

The drink ??? in the name is a nod to the many forms of specialty coffee Tiffany has to offer, which she brings to her new business from the cafe she runs in nearby Aurelia, an espresso machine and all.

The sign features a distinctive goat character, the creatures you will find running around the Crums ?? place of reception.

When Alta’s restaurant closed, Tiffany and her family quickly took action.

?? I think a place like this is very important for a community. My husband and I always come here for our special occasions. When I heard he was closing, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity. In all, it was about three months in the works, ?? she said.

?? The community has been very supportive, which I really appreciate, ?? she said. ?? They love the food and were so happy that the place stays open. ??

Alta is a familiar stomping ground, as her children grew up there in schools. ?? We are here to stay, we love the community, ?? she says.

It didn’t take long for the cafe to be up and running, let alone for a hungry local population to spread the word.

A fresh, brighter coat of paint, and the doors have been opened. There is still some decoration to do. I live on the farm and love the rural scenery and taking photos so you can see a lot of it here. ??

Due to popular demand, Tiffany is keeping all of the favorite items from the previous menu, including the Chicken Fried Steak which appears to be an Alta favorite.

Breakfast is served throughout the day, with themed dishes like Caboose and the Coal Miner’s Daughter. There are plenty of burgers, sandwiches, salads, The Windmill (grilled chicken breast with cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce) and intriguing sides like pickle fries, sweet potato fries, and hash browns. There are pastries, cookies and muffins, fruit smoothies, Chai tea, Italian sodas. Several different children ?? meals are offered including the classic PB&J. The weekly specials focus on comfort foods – liver and onions, lasagna, ?? the ultimate melting pancake ?? and more. ?? People love food, ?? Tiffany said.

You can even buy a jar of locally sourced raw honey on the way out.

While the front lobby of the building is a family table-style dining room, the rear is a rare experience – the train van decorated with 1800s antiques and photos is lined with comfortable cabins. It’s so unique. I like everything historical, so I am at home, ??? Tiffany said. A nook is laid out in a bright cafe style for enjoying a morning cup of coffee or a small gathering.

Ultimately, says Tiffany, she would love to have drive-thru, especially for coffee and pastry lovers.

While Crum-Brew-Le Cafe is Tiffany’s baby, the whole family is involved – her husband Shannon and children Tyler, Emma and Schuyler. ?? The family helps out on the weekends, and one or two of the kids will probably be there at those times, and my daughter will be running the store in Aurelia. ??


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Timbuktu in Mali fears jihadists as France cuts troops https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/timbuktu-in-mali-fears-jihadists-as-france-cuts-troops/ https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/timbuktu-in-mali-fears-jihadists-as-france-cuts-troops/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 09:12:16 +0000 https://lephysalisrestaurant.com/timbuktu-in-mali-fears-jihadists-as-france-cuts-troops/ TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) – It has been nine years since Islamist extremists in northern Mali arrested Zahra Abdou for showing off his hair and wearing an outfit they felt was too tight. Al-Qaeda-linked activists who took control of this legendary desert center in 2012 whipped Abdou in front of a crowd of people in his […]]]>

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) – It has been nine years since Islamist extremists in northern Mali arrested Zahra Abdou for showing off his hair and wearing an outfit they felt was too tight.

Al-Qaeda-linked activists who took control of this legendary desert center in 2012 whipped Abdou in front of a crowd of people in his neighborhood. Older women tried to stop the flogging but were stopped by extremists.

“I received dozens of lashes in front of a large crowd and because of the pain I passed out,” she recalls. “It was a total humiliation for me. For a long time, I was ashamed in front of the people in my neighborhood.”


The trauma still torments her, she says. His anxiety has grown since France announced in July that it would halve its 5,000 troops in Mali by 2022. After years of leading the fight against jihadists in northern Mali, the military France will close its bases in Timbuktu and other centers in the north.

Just as the Taliban have returned to power in Afghanistan, Abdou says she fears it will be only a matter of time before the extremists who punished her once again rule Timbuktu and other cities in northern Mali. .

“I’m afraid the same will happen as in 2012,” she says, now 30 and still struggling with insomnia. “Because of that, I didn’t get my baccalaureate, I was too traumatized. I wanted to study commerce, do business.

“Even now my foot hurts. I think a piece of glass from that day is still housed there, ”she said.

For centuries, Timbuktu has been a center for Islamic scholars who generally practiced a moderate form of Islam. In 2012, a new band of extremists, many of them Algerians, was formed, taking advantage of the Malian government’s lack of presence in the north.

Soon the extremists began to enforce their strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, flogging women like Abdou and amputating the hands of accused thieves. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, Malian militants, known as Ansar Dine, targeted historic cultural sites they called idolaters, destroying precious ancient mausoleums that were World Heritage sites of the UNESCO. They also banned music.

Women had to wear a headscarf and girls were no longer taught in the same class as boys.

Unlike Afghanistan, the rule of extremists in northern Mali was brief – France led a military intervention just a year later that forced Ansar Dine out of Timbuktu and other northern cities in early 2013. That same year, a woman was elected deputy to represent Timbuktu in the National Assembly of Mali.

But the Islamic extremists were never completely defeated, dispersing into the desert from where they launch dozens of attacks against the Malian army and UN peacekeepers.

Residents of Timbuktu say the activists are not far from the outskirts of the city – they have spotted the men with long beards inside their Toyota Hilux trucks nearby. Some of the extremists come to town to shop at the market, they say, but no one dares to report them for fear of reprisals.

When France withdraws its troops from Timbuktu, the city will still be protected by Malian forces and some 800 UN peacekeepers, mostly from Burkina Faso. The French bases in Tessalit and Kidal will also be closed, the French army said.

The mayor of Timbuktu, Aboubacrine Cissé, does not hide his discomfort at the decision of France to end its Barkhane operation.

“Our defense and security forces are overwhelmed by the security situation in Timbuktu and the withdrawal of allied forces such as Barkhane will leave a vacuum that can be filled by any armed group,” Cisse said.

In the eight years since the extremists fled into the desert, life has returned to Timbuktu almost as before. The destroyed mausoleums have been rebuilt, music has resumed and cultural events are again organized every weekend.

The imminent departure of French troops is creating fear among those in Timbuktu who yearn for the city to regain its status as a popular international tourist destination.

For years, the city and its surroundings have hosted a popular music festival every January that attracted musicians from all over the world. And before extremists began kidnapping foreigners for ransom, hundreds of backpackers flocked here, posing for photos in front of the city sign, as Timbuktu is synonymous with one of the ends of the earth.

Salaha Maiga, a young promoter of a local music festival who had encouraged reconciliation through cultural performances, fears that the French departure “will spoil everything that has been rebuilt since 2012”.

“Even today, the military does not control more than 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) outside the city of Timbuktu, and 80% of the territory surrounding Timbuktu is controlled by jihadist groups,” he said.

This is an opinion shared by Abdou, the young woman who was publicly whipped in 2012. Now married, she says she dreams of having children but is worried about the kind of life they would have if the extremists regained control of Timbuktu.

“The jihadists are already here in Timbuktu, but they don’t have the strength to rule the city,” she said. “If there are not enough military forces in Timbuktu, the extremists will certainly come back. “

___

Associated Press writer Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal contributed.


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