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Easy Tiger. You Can Get Mexican in Paris.

El Nopal Tacos & Burrones, Paris 10. As excited as I was about moving to Paris; I started to get some food anxiety. I was leaving behind my beautiful kitchen, and even more worrying was that I was leaving behind Mexican food. Or so I thought. Life without a burrito is a sad, bleak existence….

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Cocktail Happy Hour & Another Great Falafel

Le Yono Cocktail Bar & King Falafel, Paris 4. The craft cocktail is a beautiful thing. Even more beautiful is the craft cocktail at happy hour... for 5€. Le Yono is a cocktail bar by happy hour, and turns into a venue for DJs and live ...

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Can You Get a Good Burger in Paris?

Le Burger Fermier, du Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris 3. The short answer is yes, definitely. If there's one thing I've learned while being in Paris, it's that Parisians love cheeseburgers. I see more people order a burger here than I do in New ...

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So, just what is it that so entices us about good food, good drinks, and good times with good friends? I suppose it’s a culmination of things; some more sentimental, like memories of family dinners or the certain way your great-grandma prepared her meatballs. Perhaps others more self-indulgent, like a good stiff drink to ease the chaos of every day life or to avoid delving into deeper matters of the heart. Or--maybe--it's just present-day comfort, a big bowl of mac and cheese to process the busy weeks ahead, the 9 to 5's, the pleasure of fleeting weekends. Beyond our primal instinct to put food in our stomachs; food is a beautiful thing.

All I know is that food--a good meal--is our home away from home. From the times of New Amsterdam and Old Gotham to current day N-Y-C, one thing has remained consistent. Here in New York City, many of us are far, far away from where we began our journey; some from Jakarta, Guangzhou or Ercolano, Stockholm or Conakry. Others, like myself, from just a quick train-ride’s away. Remarkably, we all bring the recipes and meals and flavors of our homes, our families, our cultures and traditions right here to this very place. We live in a major gathering point, a cultural hub. Queens is the most diverse place on the planet; every country is represented here in New York. At a time where differences are so prevalent--no matter where we are, no matter who we are or what we believe--at the end of the day, we all end up in the same place…at our table. We all end up sitting around a meal or whatever we can manage with our family, our friends, our roommates or loved ones.

So I suppose it’s food and cooking that can remind us of the common ground we can all stand on, of what's ultimately most important to each and every one of us. It's not just about the food, but it's what the food stands for; it's what happens while we cook or eat. It's when we talk about our day, it’s when we catch up with those we have not seen in a while, its how we celebrate any number of milestones or just the start of one more weekend. That… and it tastes so damn good.