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Chin Chin

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is the food capitol of Australia. Melbourne is a food capitol of the world. And Chin Chin is one of the best damn examples Melbourne can prove of these points. 

Years back, on a different tour of Australia, Paolo and I tried getting in to Chin Chin; our efforts were fruitless. This last trip on Sound Wave 2014, we had 3 days off in Melbourne, we attempted once again to get in on the first day off only to find the restaurants exactly as we left it: bursting with people. We asked one of the servers “If you don’t do reservations, how and when can we ever get in?” They gave us two options of times that would work (I’m not listing those times to keep those around for me when I get back); we tried the earlier option the following day and magically had a table.  Continue reading

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The Return Of Kiichi-kun III

In our epic conclusion to the trio that is “The Return Of Kiichi-kun III,” Ashely and I were finally able to venture into Tokyo and begin our exploration of all things Japan.

The first expedition found us wandering the back streets of Shibuya to head towards Harajuku. At first, we felt as if we were completely lost, attempting to utilize my phone maps (which for a USA phone in Japan, it doesn’t quite work right). Eventually we found the shops getting cooler, the food stalls becoming far more interesting looking. We popped in and out of punk-clothing shops, a baby clothes store that featured graffiti-style printed clothes for toddlers, some thrift shops, then gradually made our way towards Kiddy Land; the king of all toy stores. I’ve hit Kiddy Land each time in Japan, collecting my Final Fantasy toys, but this time they had none! We stocked up on omiyage for our friends and family, then went for food. Continue reading

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I Love New York City. Oh Yeah. New York City II. II.

NYC, NY

I like The Breslin. A lot. The Breslin embodies and defines what I typically am on the hunt for in the US of A as far as gastro-adventures. My apologies if my terminology is a few years behind, but in my mind, The Breslin is New American. New American with a strong nod to the Gastro Pubs of England. New American to me will have the general familiarity of a dish one would recognize (pulling influence from some of the European greats of gastronomy), only with a twist. Typically, one can expect a feature and an emphasis on local ingredients, animals that were treated well and fed well. New American food ought to have that close attention to detail that you notice in your food and drinks. The vibe should be unpretentious, it should have fantastic eats that people can afford and don’t have to get over-dressed for. 

At The Breslin, they have a ridiculously great whole Pig Foot dish (it rules) and do whole beast roasts (you should probably have a couple friends willing to partake before ordering these tables of chow). Since we were just a duo tonight, we decided to go with something sensible.  

My wife is not only a great cook, but a really talented cocktail-maker, she learns new ideas and inspirations from trying cocktails from the spots that do it right. The Breslin is certainly one of those places. Ashley went for the Beggar’s Banquet: bourbon whiskey with maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, aromatic bitters, topped with ale. The Breslin makes a mean cocktail; whether you’re talking pre and post prohibition-era styles, or their own interpretations (like cocktails involving some beer). I go for a tasty Spotted Pig bitter cask ale (I have yet to be to The Spotted Pig, but it is a culinary-goal of mine to dine there soon). 

We start with Salt and Pepper Crisps (for the Americans who haven’t been to the U.K.: crisps are chips, chips are fries), I go for the Chargrilled Lamb Burger with Feta, Cumin Mayo and Thrice-cooked Chips. Ashley goes for a Vinegar-ed Poussin with Grilled Onions and Romesco. The ground lamb, with onion and feta, and that cumin mayo brings Greece to mind, the simple preparation and outstanding ingredients allow taste to be at the forefront of the meal; the fries? Fantastic. The poussin is a game bird, somewhat like a chicken; it was outstandingly prepared. 

Desert was the Dark Chocolate Tarte: toasted marshmallow ice cream, white chocolate ganache, biscuit. Dense dark cacao flavors in the tarte; flowing, soft marshmallow-y goodness in the ice cream; the ganache and light almost-salty flavored bits of biscuit brought it all together. Great presentation as well. 

The following morning, we hit Stump Town Roasters for a great cup of coffee, and No. 7 Sub Shop for a breakfast sub. I went for the Kielbasa sub with scrambled eggs, sweet soy and pickled jalapenos. Eastern European-style sausage, an Asian flare with soy, and Latin/Mexican with the jalapenos… in a sub… with scrambled eggs Yeah – that thing was really freakin’ good. 

If you want to stay in a cool hotel, with clothing stores, bars, breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and cocktails – that are all actually really all good, you should stay at the Ace.

Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Curitiba

Upon our return to the hotel, some of us walked to a mall that is parallel to our hotel for some waters and to check out a Brazilian mall. It reminded me of a cross between mall, flea market, and outdoor South American market. Tons of people walking about with the happy chatter of the Portuguese-language all about us; loud electronic stores and car salesman of some sort trying to sell us an odd-looking VW by the food-court. Oddly, people keep speaking Portuguese to Ashley. I think everyone thinks she’s Brazilian. I know it seems crazy – but I think she does look a little like the blonde-haired, fashionable glasses-wearing Brazilians that maybe one doesn’t see as much in comparison to who they’d typically imagine seeing when thinking of a Brazilian. Anywho – we hit a store called “Americanas” which is basically a small store modeled after a Wal-mart of sorts. It’s set up like a Wal-mart, only completely condensed into a store the size of a small apartment. Nonsensical flying helicopter kits are setup across from chocolate bars, next to the underwear for boys and potato chips. We grab our waters and head out.  Continue reading

Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Curitiba

Having never set foot in South America previously, obviously I was eagerly anticipating things of the culinary-realm. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you learn more from a country from their food than from anything else they can offer. An added bonus of the trip to South America was that for some reason, Trivium had grown a massive following whilst never actually playing a single show in the territory. From all our band friends like David Draiman to John Petrucci, Lamb Of God to In Flames – they all pretty much said the same thing – “you are going to have the best time out there; with some of the most insane fans you’ve ever seen.” Continue reading

Oberhausen, Germany

Robert, Trivium’s pal from Warsaw had flown in to visit us all in Oberhausen, and he found just the kind of dinner spot we needed. Gdanska is a very traditional Polish place in Oberhausen; having just returned from Poland right before being in Oberhausen, I felt as if I were warped directly back to Warsaw. The same newspaper-menu, flyers advertising Polish concerts and artists adorned the walls. The place felt as if Grandma’s long-tabled dining area was somewhat punk-rock-ized. It felt traditional and semi-modern-underground-kid Polish – a good vibe.  Continue reading

Revolver Golden Gods Weekend (part I)

Los Angeles

(w/ Robb Flynn, Corey Taylor, Trivium, Slipknot, Machine Head, Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandira), John Moyer (Adrenaline Mob/ Disturbed), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lizzie Hale (Halestorm), and everyone from the Metal and Rock universe)

2012 very well may be the final year for all us mere-mortals, and if Trivium’s schedule is any indication – I may welcome the relaxation post apocalypse. After slugging away tour into consecutive-tour, we were supposed to have around 10 days off at home – however in usual Trivium fashion, there was a catch.

L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel, Koko, Juste Nouilles

Montreal

For some reason, as a person and as a band – I/we used to hold a massive misconception of Canada. We used to get bummed when we’d have to do the trek over the border into our Northern neighbor. It may have been due to the fact that first several shows we played in all provinces of Canada – the shows were always lined with disaster.

I recall on the Dillinger Escape Plan tour (Trivium was first of 4, Read Yellow second, The End direct support, DEP headlining) that the crowd hated us. I think one night they sat on the floor during our set (that may have been Montreal), in Toronto on that tour, the local sound guy started literally throwing our drum kit pieces around after our set… I exchanged some words with a woman there who was the promoter rep (I wish I remembered her name – I’d happily write it down with her cell phone number if I had it all) – I said “We have never been treated this badly – I will be having a word with our booking agent.” Her response was something along the lines of “**** you kids – get the **** out of my club – I am going to end your career in Canada. No one will ever book you again!” The security guards swarmed around as all 4 of us Triviums got in a screaming match with the venue – then were basically thrown out.  Continue reading

San Francisco

The tour with Dream Theater was very much so something we in Trivium had been looking forward to for years – we’re very happy to know we’re the sort of band who can tour with bands like Dream Theater at one end, Asking Alexandria at the other… then even bands like In Flames and Five Finger Death Punch. If you ask me – that says versatility, baby.

The Warfield is a cool venue for concert-goers (as all the “legendary” venues are), but as all “legendary” venues are for the bands – they’re usually a large dump (if you will). The area ain’t the safest of locations either.  Continue reading

San Francisco

Today was my tattoo day. Tomorrow was Ashley’s turn. Our two dear friends from Seattle, Megan and Evan were in town on their cross-country honeymoon, and met us up for hanging and eating. 

We decided to take them to Nopalito (the local, organic, amazing Mexican place that Ashley and I flipped over last time or so that we were in SF) for dinner. Nopalito is always nice and busy – people chowing down on smaller/medium-sharing-sized plates of Mexican specialties. 

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