By and large, I’m not a fan of chain restaurants. I just can’t get onboard with corporate-formulated burgers and pasteurized food “experiences.” But there are exceptions. Sometimes a chain comes along that serves genuinely good eats you can’t find in every other joint on the block. Chipotle, for example, has long been my go-to burrito place when I’m craving something other than a pulverized pinto mash-up. More than once I’ve thought it’s too bad Albuquerque doesn’t have one.
The wines of Bordeaux are touted around the world as brilliantly complex, stunningly powerful and, of course, staggeringly expensive. They are the pride of France and the lust of Franco- and oeno-philes everywhere. But just how French are France’s biggest and brightest?
Quick preface: We bow low before the soup kitchen altar of our friend Astara, soup wizardess and ancient soul, who throws together far superior carrot creations than we with the mere flick of her pinky finger—her curry carrot soup and her herbed carrot purée are both criminally delicious. If we could join a white-robed, Nike-wearing cult to follow her soup into future worlds, we would. Instead, we attempted merging those two soups for a rosemary roasted carrot curry soup. It was great, an absolute success; but somehow we doubt it’ll gain us any suicidal hippie followers anytime soon.