Fettuccine alla Aqaba

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Aqaba, Jordan. This is the first drink before the first meal I had after walking across the border from Israel. I booked a free night at a hilariously opulent and newly opened American hotel because I had a pile of leftover points about to expire. The type of hotel that the Mediterranean Sea Bass and Bufala Mozzarella are flown in same day. The type of hotel confused enough to serve Southern Italian Fare in heat north of 110 degrees in the Middle East. Dinner tasted, well, out of place. Not the cook’s fault, he was asked to make fresh pasta which was probably about as foreign to him as asking a line cook at a Denver diner to serve Sichuan Mapo Doufu . The next night, we left the resort, walked 15 minutes into town and had a $3 strictly Jordanian dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt that was a highlight of the trip. It’s incredible the lengths fancy resorts will go to serve exotic and utterly mediocre food when they could just hire the stall owner slanging the sublime local stuff down the street or just ask their own dishwasher to sub out the fettuccine for Mom’s roast lamb. They nailed it with the local booze though.

Reggie Milligan, Co-Founder of Mantry

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