Category Archives: Work Lunches


So…after arriving mid-day in Cologne yesterday, my new PM plunked down a huge bag of cherries in front of me and said “My mom’s tree – dig in.” I grabbed a handful, thanked her, munching away…and then remembered I’d seen (and saved) a super-simple recipe for chocolate covered cherries – suggested that she try it out with her huge harvest.  It was mostly a practical guide to how to make the cherries without the chocolate getting funky or turning grey.
We all just got back from lunch a few minutes ago and lo-and-behold….do I not have the most awesome, talented, beautiful, smart, friendly….(ok, will stop now) PM? There was a small bucket of these to have for dessert…

Chocolate covered cherries

Chocolate covered cherries

I’m a little worried now about how many hours she is thinking I will work extra for them….;-)

PM Power

PM Power

Check out that devilish grin….



The London Food Truck Scene?

Umbrellas for rainy London

Umbrellas for rainy London

Let’s be clear, it is not New York. I have yet to see San Francisco’s food truck scene, and I hear that it is truly something to see, but London cannot compare with the creativity I saw in New York earlier this year. I flew in to London yesterday for a bunch of meetings today and my colleague took me over to the little street where a gaggle of trucks and street-food set-ups are gathered. The place was swarming with London businessmen and the like, waiting patiently in line for their wrap or their dumplings or their curry. It all looked and smelled quite good and I was rather hard-pressed to decide what to eat. In the end, we decided to share, so I got to try two things, but it was difficult to walk away with just one lunch. 😉

It’s not New York because the trucks are ordinary, not the brightly painted humorous ones you see cruising around there. And the food, while it all looked and smelled great, still lacked a bit of the creativity you see in New York – the crazy combinations and unexpected dishes to try.

Nevertheless, I was more than happy to cozy up to the Morrocan wrap place and breathe in the scent of their tagines before choosing one for my wrap.

Moroccan wrap fillings

Moroccan wrap fillings

It’s a pity this is such a lightning fast trip. We were busy working until late last night and we’ll head to the client in less than an hour for the day and then will be back home before I can blink an eye.

But I enjoyed lunch yesterday.


Lunch - Moroccan kofta wrap

Lunch – Moroccan kofta wrap

Didn’t come close to finishing it though. 😛

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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in New Food Concepts, Work Lunches



Pick a card, peferably “Julie Approved”

This made me laugh today.

"Pick a card" lunch options

“Pick a card” lunch options

Here’s the back story:

My colleagues and I often go to lunch together. And finding good food around our still relatively new office is sometimes challenging, to say the least. We often just end up on the other side of the street at the “ZOB” (bus station mall) eating on one of the standard 4 restaurants there which all leave something to be desired. I tend to COMPLAIN about the food around this office (at least compared to our old offices in Haidhausen) – not wanting to bother with sandwiches that are terrible or badly made indian food and such. So anytime I actually like a restaurant, the colleagues are pleased because they don’t have to listen to me moan and groan about it.

Which brings us to the photo above.

My colleague Sabine had a birthday some time back and two other colleagues prepared a stack of cards for her. Each one has a different suggestion for lunch – so that she also can avoid eating at the hideous “ZOB.” There are a few different elements to help her choose: weather, time needed, price point and such. And here’s the part that made me laugh: if the restaurant is one where we have eaten and I have *liked* the food, they have stamped it with “Julie approved.”

Sabine was showing off the cards again today because I was asking around where we should go…and I only today saw the “Julie approved” stamp. hehe. As you can see above, “Salt” (highly recommended! I just ate there last Friday) is “Julie approved,” and “Bratar” (crappy burger place that refuses to make a fresh burger for me at the grill point I prefer)  is not.

Ok, yes, I can be picky.


The end of the month in the big apple

Pussywillows blooming everywhere along the High Line

Pussy willows blooming everywhere along the High Line

Woo hoo! I’m home. I think I must have woken up 20 times last night in a fuzzy half-conscious state wondering where I was. The way you map your dark bedroom in your head – there’s the light, there’s the window, here is the edge of the bed, bathroom in that direction – it was completely skewed after a month of sleeping somewhere else. But still, when the fuzz cleared for a half a second, there was the satisfactory feeling of “oh, I am in my own bed and it is so comfortable!”

Yesterday, after landing in the morning and heading home, throwing in a load of laundry, taking a shower, eating some toast and an egg, I jumped on the bike and peddled into work to get my month of expense reports done (you know what it costs to live in a hotel in new york for a month? you better up your credit card limit…omg), taking the scenic route along the river. Beautiful weather, and there were sunbathers all along the banks of the Isar enjoying it. There was a moment, as I crossed a bridge to head into the inner city that I almost stopped and got off my bike to take a photo of the green blue river, the sunlight, the bathers, the bridge. But then thought…why not just enjoy it…and so I did. No photo for you, sorry.

As I was riding, I really considered the month in New York and the varied conversations with friends, family, and client about whether I could move to New York, and the feeling at least at that moment was that there would be no way I could trade the serenity of Munich for the hussle and crazy creativity of New York. I am definitely a “great to visit, but can’t live here” kind of New York person. But I have also learned: never say never.

Cherry blossoms?

Cherry blossoms?

And I have to admit, the last few days in New York were also splendid. Blossoms opening everywhere, and inside the buildings and museums, the city was celebrating the explosions of color too – my mother probably took 20 photos of the forsythias in the lobby of the Met when we were there.

Forsythia in the lobby of the Met

Forsythia in the lobby of the Met

Weather a perfect cool 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Taco trucks everywhere. 😉 Sarah, the information architect I brought in from Germany to help me for two weeks, had arrived a couple days back and for my last day I dragged her over to get lunch with me at the third taco truck I think I’ve tried. Perhaps the best yet!

Taco truck lunch

Taco truck lunch

These were from a lunch a few days before the kimchi taco lunch, but look more or less the same:

Korean tacos for lunch

Korean tacos for lunch

I know I should rave more about the great restaurants I got to visit while I was there:

Milos – the best greek seafood I’ve ever had. Fresh, almost no sauces – very pure flavors.

Esca – again seafood, this time Italian, I ordered some sea urchin pasta! Lovely.

And then there was the untried but highly desired place I missed out on because there was no chance in hell I was going to wait 2+ hours to get in: Redfarm. Believe me, I walked by a couple times to ask if they had room for one. The owner and host looked at me and said “We don’t discriminate against single diners, we just don’t have room for you for at least 2 hours.” My colleague, Alex, had the same experience when he tried to get in a few days earlier alone.

The biggest “foodie” experience, though, was probably still the trucks. It wasn’t the best food (Esca was!), but it was great fun to look at Edible City every day and find out who/what was cruising around the office.

I can’t say I am looking forward to the long flight back to New York in a week, but there are always great things there to enjoy.

West Village flowers

West Village flowers




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Happy Donuts*

"Hanfkrapfen" (Hemp donut)

"Hanfkrapfen" (Hemp donut)

It’s that time of year again: carnival is just around the corner. And to celebrate, Germany’s bakeries unpacks their best and most varied line of “Krapfen” – jelly donuts in American English. Of course, just like bagels in the US, the jelly donut theme has been expanded to include everything you can imagine, custards, jams, mousses, glazes, fruits, nuts, candy, marzipan…everything is used to fill and coat the variety that is offered over here.

According to this source, as early as the middle ages, these sweet, fat-laden treats were eaten by the faithful in order to bulk up before 40 days of fasting during Lent. As Krapfen are made with butter and eggs and are between 200 and 300 calories each, they would have been a more nutritious alternative to the simple bread typically eaten by the poor.

So, at 200-300 calories each, I’ve been studiously avoiding the little calorie bombs (which is hard when my office mates bring them back from lunch most days!), but this one caught my eye as I headed back to the office after lunch today. I had to laugh and bought one immediately to bring back to my colleagues.

Now I’m watching Thomas and Manja (and I admit it, I took a bite as well) take a bite of this one and wonder what our afternoon will be like. 🙂

The best krapfen I’ve ever eaten? No. But worth a smile.

*no, there is no THC in this donut, just some chopped up benign hemp nuts on top….

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in New Food Concepts, Work Lunches


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Bear Imbibing Beer

On the way to lunch we passed this bear.
I think the cameraman was filming because it is not often that one walks down the street and sees a bear casually drinking a beer. But who knows.

Bear on a park bench casually drinking beer mid-day

At least….it was a friendly bear.


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