Here’s what you need to know when eating out in Paris

Dining in France is not just a food experience, but entertainment as well. Take your time, look around, chat with your neighbors, and sip your wine…

Why Evolution Is True

Yes, it’s a clickbaity HuffPost style title, but what the hell: it’s 6 a.m. and I have an hour until breakfast. So, if you’re coming to Paris and are a novice at dining out in France, I proffer some tips that my dining pal and I put together as a guide. This is not a matter of right or wrong (well, it is for specifying the degree of doneness of meat!), but of getting along and having a good restaurant experience. These tips apply not just to Paris, but widely throughout France.

There are exceptions to all of these “rules”, but in general it’s best to obey them. Note that I usually have my big meal at lunch, and the rules are even more applicable at dinner (for instance, you’d normally always have wine at dinner as well as the full sequence of appetizer, main course, and dessert). At lunch…

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Menus: Husk Charleston


An ever-changing menu of locally sourced Southern dishes served in a restored Victorian-era home:

“Centrally located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk transforms the essence of Southern food.  Executive Chef and Lowcountry native, Travis Grimes, reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in the South.

Starting with a larder of ingredients indigenous to the region, Grimes responsibly crafts menus, playing to what local purveyors have seasonally available at any given moment. The entrance beckons with a rustic wall of firewood to fuel the wood-fired oven in the open kitchen, and a large chalkboard listing artisanal products currently provisioning the kitchen.  Much like the décor that inhabits this historic, late 19th century home, the food is modern in style and interpretation.”

~ Husk website

sample of its ever evolving menu (August 5th, 2019) depending upon what is fresh:


76 Queen St.

Charleston, SC 29401




Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole


3–4 pounds sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons bourbon
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (Optional, but please use)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Scrub the sweet potatoes well. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until very soft when you press the skins. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Slice in half and scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl, discarding the skins.

Beat the sweet potatoes with a wooden spoon to mash them well. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, the cream, the bourbon, and ¼ cup brown sugar. Beat in the cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Spread in a 1½-quart baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, using a fork to blend well. Stir in the chopped pecans, if using and you should. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the topping is light brown and a little crisp and the casserole is bubbly.



Pecan Crusted Grouper


No matter how you pronounce this delectable nut this recipe is a home run!

¼ cup pecan meal or finely ground pecans
¼ cup panko crumbs
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound of skin-on grouper fillets, cut into 4-ounce servings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3tablespoons minced shallot
¼ cup white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the pecan meal, panko crumbs, Old Bay, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

Pat the fish fillets dry, then brush the flesh side with about 1 tablespoon oil. Place each fillet flesh-down in the pecan/crumb mixture and press lightly to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and foaming. Place the fish in the skillet with the pecan coating down. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

Using a fish spatula or whatever you have, turn the fish skin-down, careful not to dislodge the pecan coating. Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the fish is white and cooked through.

While the fish is baking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan and add the shallots. Cook for a few minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the mustard, then add the chopped pecans and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cook, stirring, until the butter is melted.

Place each fillet on a dinner plate and divide the sauce over the fillets

* White fleshed Grouper is perfect for this preparation, but you could always substitute a different white fish such as Tilapia, but I really wish you wouldn’t. *



Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure


Today at Universal Studios Florida —> Ten hours. That’s the reported wait time for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal’s Islands of Adventure newest attraction. The ride, which officially opened to the public today, combines innovative technology and storytelling, with guests hopping on magical, flying “motorbikes” as they’re taken up, down, forwards and backwards, reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour. Who would wait for 10 hours to catch a glimpse of Fluffy the three headed dog?

Savannah’s Forsyth Park Fountain


Savannah’s Forsyth Park was designed after the French ideal of having a central public garden, and the fountain is said to be the garden’s centerpiece (although it isn’t at the center of the park).

However beautiful, the fountain is not unique. It was ordered from a catalogue.

Other cities fancied the catalogue spread, too. Similar fountains exist in New York, Peru and France.


Chadō (茶道): The Way Of Tea


The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea.

In Japanese, it is called chanoyu (茶の湯) or sadō, chadō (茶道), while the manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called (o)temae ([お]手前; [お]点前).  Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Much less commonly, Japanese tea practice uses leaf tea, primarily sencha, in which case it is known in Japanese as senchadō (煎茶道, the way of sencha) as opposed to chanoyu or chadō.

Measurements and Currency Of Ancient Greece


Measurements and Currency Of Ancient Greece:

Length and Distance:
finger: c. 1.9 cm (a finger’s breadth, not the length of a finger)
palm: 4 fingers, c. 7.6 cm
hand: 5 fingers, c. 9.5 cm
foot: 16 fingers, c. 32 cm (this is the Olympic foot, supposedly based on the length of Heracles’ foot; the Attic foot was c. 30 cm)
pygon: 20 fingers, c. 38 cm
cubit: 24 fingers, c. 46 cm
royal cubit: 27 fingers, c. 52 cm
fathom: 6 feet, c. 1.9 m
plethron: 100 feet, c. 30 m
stade: 600 feet, c. 192 m
parasang: (Persian) equivalent to 30 stades, c. 5.5 km
schoenus: (Egyptian) variously equivalent to 30, 60 or 120 stades in Egypt; outside Egypt it was most commonly equivalent to 30 stades

cotyle: varies between 210 and 330 ml
choenix: 4 cotylae; in Athens, it measured a single man’s daily ration of grain
medimnus: 48 choenixes
amphora: (of liquid) equivalent to 144 cotylae
Laconian quart: (of liquid) estimated at anything between 9 and 25 litres

drachma: a silver coin roughly equivalent to the daily wage for a skilled worker
stater: a silver coin worth variously 2 or 4 drachmas”
Daric stater: a Persian gold coin, worth roughly ten times its silver equivalent
mina: (originally a Near Eastern unit of weight) equivalent in Greece to 100 drachmas
talent: a bar of silver, the value of which depended on the locality issuing it; it also served as a measurement of mass
The Euboïc talent was worth 6,000 drachmas and weighed 26 kg; its Babylonian equivalent weighed in at 30 kg. Herodotus himself (3.89) gives an exchange rate for the Euboic and Babylonian talents of 60:70.

Marcus Tullius Cicero


Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language”. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as evidentia, humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia)distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement.