Archive for February, 2007

Garage Sales

It’s funny that no one here does garage sales, so popular in the States. Where do poor people buy stuff for their homes?–c’mon, IKEA isn’t that cheap. My wife is doing an apartment sale over the next couple of days (Wienbergersiedlung) and so many people have stopped by to ask what she’s doing. It is a strange concept to our neighbors: putting stuff that you don’t want outside your house and having people come by and give you money to take it away. But it works; we made 67 Euros today.

Where do people go for used bikes, lawn mowers, tools, clothes, furniture in Graz?

Yokko for dinner

A Chinese-Cambodian-French friend of mine invited her German class and me for a Chinese dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year. 25 – 30 people. I’ve been living her a year and haven’t found a single good restaurant to meet my needs. (Expectations have since been brought down.) In fact, after one very disappointing experience last spring, I vowed never to try it again. Coincidentally, she had booked a reservation at this very place.

Should we cancel?
No, I said. We’ll try per-ordering some real Chinese food. They’re Chinese, I thought, they MUST know how to cook decent food.

Ordering an appetizer, entrée and a dessert individually is a typical Western way to have dinner. For Chinese banquets and even family dinners, the meal is traditionally made up of several dishes to be shared by everyone, a bowl of rice on the side.

I called them and asked in my broken Mandarin if we could do so. Of course, they said. And they invited me to come over to pick out the menu. We sat together over a pot of jasmine tea, and put together an 8 course meal, plus extra dessert and appetizers, for under €10 a head.

A vegetable soup
Pork & vegetable dumplings
Veggie spring rolls
Chicken with mu-er mushrooms
Chinese sweet & sour spare ribs
Ma-por Tofu
Ginger-garlic Chinese cabbage
A prepared whole fish
Fried and white rice
Fried banana & chestnut “tasche” for dessert

Chinese dinner in Graz

The owners are from Zhejiang, China – as most Chinese in Austria are from. Their cook: Chinese Malaysian. I definitely recommend booking group dinners there.

Yokko
“Singaporean & Japanese Restaurant”
11:30 – 15:00 & 17:30 – 23:30 Kein Ruhetag
Steinbergstrasse 14 (take the #7 tram to Wetzeldorf)
Telephone: 0316/58 53 28

Grazer Quiz: The Wall

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What is it, and where is it?

Click “continue” for the answer…
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Carnivale #1

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What a five-year-old sees at the Carnivale parade. [Herrenmgasse]

Carnivale #2

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What a very tall adult sees at the Carnivale parade. [Hauptplatz]

Carnivale #3

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What a very tall adult sees at the Carnivale parade after 6 Puntigamers. [Hauptplatz]

Mediterranae

We don’t go out often but we did visit a really nice Italian restaurant on Valentines Tag: Mediterranae, on a little side street behind St. Leonhardt cemetery. Nice really fresh fish, truffle pasta, grilled vegies, arrugula salad. Buckets of olive oil on everything. Cute waiter in a white t-shirt, relaxed, laid back atmosphere and decent prices.

Orange Chicken

I’m not a really big fan of Chinese food –I don’t go out looking for Chinese restauurants. But I’m not alone — I have friends and family who like the stuff–so I will go out and grab some Mu shu Pork (or Mu Schu in German LOL) or Bok Choy in black bean sauce when invited. I still haven’t been to a Chinese place here–wondering if anyone has any reccomendations.

My Austrian stepson fell in love with the Orange Chicken at Panda Express in the U.S. So yesterday we made a batch from a copycat recipe I found on the Net. He liked it.

Click below for the recipe.
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No Butts About It

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In front of the WaltENDorf school on — where else? — Schulegasse.

Hiking

Late last Fall, I went hiking on Schoeckel, a little northeast of Graz. Also called, Hausberg, or House Mountain. We started at Schuekelbartl. Many nice trails that led up to the top, about a 400 meter climb from there. At the top was — what else?–a restaurant serving imbiss and beer. That is the great thing about hiking in Austria: it seems that no matter where you end up, after hiking along mountain trails, through woods, along ancient paths, you will find a restaurant.

Also, most Austrians tell me I misuse the word “hike.” For them, hiking is an all-day event. You pack a lunch, stuff your rucksack and take off…for hours. It has to be a minimum 6 hours or it is not a hike; it is spazierengehen.

Well, where I am from, if you hump it up trails for a couple of hours or more, it is a hike.

Anyway, the Springlike weather recently has made me start salivating for hiking season. I would love to know what are people’s favorite hikes around Graz and why. And how to get there. Cheers.

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