Saratoga Springs, NY

There are a few sweets in this world that we will go out of our way for. One of those is the apple tart at Mrs. London's in Saratoga Springs. We make it a point to stop there whenever we are anywhere in the area or passing through, even going as far as phoning ahead to make sure they reserve them for us and don't run out! The apple tart is several large chunks of apple in a little bit of custard wrapped in a puff pastry shell that is slightly caramelized on the bottom. It looks a little large at first, but once you start eating it, you really won't have any left over to share. The puff pastry here in general is as good as anywhere we've tried.

Brunswick, ME

One of the treasures of Brunswick, ME, is the birthplace of Gelato Fiasco. Whenever we are there for any business related to the Bowdoin International Music Festival, or during the six week summer festival season, you can find us there sometimes twice a day! And we're not alone. When the festival is in session, you can find any number of festival faculty or students at GF at practically all hours of the day. Flavors are delicious, they rotate frequently, there's a wide selection of sorbets and non-dairy options, and the staff will happily let you sample any (and as many as you want) flavor before you order. They also have a points club known as the "Red Spoon Society" where Dave and Phil are locked in a hotly-contested race to earn their first free Gelato Fiasco, a ridiculously over-the-top sundae consisting of some 20 scoops of gelato with all kinds of toppings.

Baton Rouge, LA


7951 One Calais Ave.



We spent several days in Baton Rouge earlier this spring as a guest of LSU and were pleased to find a very good Szechuan menu hidden beneath the disguise of a Japanese sushi restaurant. The illusion lasts from the parking lot into the restaurant, but when you see the Szechuan menu and order the food, you'll understand! Though we were busy working with our wonderful string colleagues at the Music Department at LSU, we managed several meals here we liked it so much!

Chicago, IL

Lao Sze Chuan

2172 S Archer Ave, 312-326-5040

Two locations for this restaurant, and we’ve seemed to find ourselves always in the Chinatown location. Of the many “Lao” restaurants in this mini-empire, this one is our favorite for very spicy, very tasty Szechuan cooking.

The Doughnut Vault

401 N Franklin St.

Just a single small door.

Just a single small door.

Besides our constant quest for delicious Asian food, we (or more specifically a couple of us, unnamed) are also on the lookout for the best doughnuts in the land. A recent trip took us to Chicago and a visit to the Doughnut Vault, a much hyped place and the kind that opens to a long line every morning and closes as soon as all the doughnuts are sold out, typically before noon! The verdict: pretty good, though not our very favorite ever!

The goods!

The goods!