Taco Haus – Mexican in Frankfurt

2013-07-21 20.23.10A few weeks ago I saw the lovely people at the Drinkstag group were checking out a new Mexican place called Taco Haus and I knew I had to get in on the action. The boyfriend and I were in the area and so decided to take a look.

We checked out the menus online beforehand and there were about 4 or 5 vegetarian options, and we both set out hearts on what we’d like to eat.

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However, the menu was much much smaller in real life. There were only two vegetarian options and when the one I wanted wasn’t available. As I chose the same as Boyfriend’s, the waitress asked me why but didn’t offer an alternative when I replied that I chose the same because there was nothing else for me to eat. I’d expect a good restaurant to make something else if the vegetarian option I wanted wasn’t available.

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Fun fact: I love nachos. All the nachos. The dips were simply delicious as well. Om NOM NOM.

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The main course was, however, disappointing. Our veggie option was basically baked beans and tinned corn in a very cheap and basic tomato sauce, covered in cheese. Fair enough, you say. But for 11 euros I do expect something a little more than that.

The tortillas were hand made which was nice, and they give you 5 corn and 5 wheat ones. When we asked for only corn ones to cut down on my wheat, the waitress was very confused. I just ended up giving them to Boyfriend.

Overall, we weren’t impressed. Perhaps if you are a meat-eater you’ll get a better deal here. But the filling was bland and the service was ok. It’s not in the centre of town either so you’d have to go pretty much specifically for that.

You can find Taco Haus at Hamburger Allee 59, 60486

Notes on Standup Comedy

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A week or so ago I went up on stage to do standup for the 4th time. 15 minutes before I went up on stage I looked at my hand as it shook while holding my notes. I’m still very nervous about this whole comedy thing.

It was a little different this time. While before I focused mainly on making people laugh, this time I wanted to raise awareness in people about various things. Mainly, everyday sexism things that I encounter. The reason why I was doing this was because a lot of the time I am very offended by other acts that are in the open mic standup that I take part in, as well as making people understand a little what it’s like being a woman in Frankfurt and having guys stare at my breasts or body as I go past.

As expected, there was a sexist act before me. It was a newcomer, who had been doing standup for a little while on the American bases, a young guy. He got up on stage and plagiarised a Dave Chapelle routine about how girls who dress like “bitches” should get treated like “bitches” (the guy’s set was much more focussed on this point than Mr Chapelle’s), then went on to talk about how he was surprised that a prostitute was a high flying student (a whore with a brain?! who’d have thought!)

By the time I went on stage I was fired up and ready to let all this anger out. Unfortunately, it was a very small crowd of just 30 people, most of whom were my friends and colleagues, and they were all very quiet. I started off with an off topic small story about how I can’t eat olives and so therefore am not an adult, then went into the feminism stuff. The audience were very quiet, and I didn’t get the whoops and cheers I’d hoped I would, but afterwards I did get a lot of compliments, so it must have been well received.

Perhaps a larger audience would have made more noise. Perhaps I am judging the level of noise too much and should focus on those people who said they really enjoyed my set and agreed with everything I said.

It seems that the standup comedy world is a very manly world, though. Every time I go to Youtube to look up comedians to inspire me, videos of female comedians are full of sexist and disgusting comments. Shows like Mock the Week rarely have women, and when they do, they aren’t given as much screentime as their male counterparts.

I want to continue doing standup here in Frankfurt since I really want to show people that you can be funny without insulting anyone. I want for there to be a large variety in what people can see on our stage. And I’d love for women to see little old me go on stage and have a go and want to try it themselves. That would be awesome.

Personally, though, I’d like to maybe try my hand at a few other stages as well. Perhaps take a trip to London or New York and see if the audiences there also like my routines. It’d be interesting to compare how a New York audience would be compared to a half German half expat audience that I have here in Frankfurt.

By the way, if you are in Frankfurt and would like to see myself and the others perform, have a look at the Circus website –  the bar where we perform. I don’t do “The Best of Us” shows yet as I don’t have enough routines to be able to repeat yet (I don’t want people to groan when they’ve heard my routine before). Feel free to contact me if you would like to know exactly which events I will be performing at.

 

Amazing Things to do in Japan – Asakusa Shrine, Tokyo

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An old photo

After I wrote about how I get annoyed by people focussing on how crazy or sexual Japan is, I’ve been thinking I really ought to help change this by writing some posts on great things to do in Japan. Before I came to Germany I had a little Japanese to-do list, which I managed to complete, though I would still like to see the aquarium in Okinawa.

You have probably seen the big red lantern and gate before – it’s one of the standard images for Japan. This marks the entrance to the shrine area, and leads the way to rows of shops usually bursting with people.

One of the gates leading to the shrine has a massive shoe on it. The Japanese sign next to it says that it was made just in case a demon comes along, so that they could see the massive shoe and think that the guardian of the shrine is much bigger and so leave them alone. I always like that story.

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An even OLDER photo!

There are loads of websites around there telling you about the shrine, so I don’t need to tell you that. But I stayed in a hotel in the area for a few nights when I was studying in Japan and so have very fond memories of the area. Near the river there was a very cheap sushi restaurant that we ate fried chicken sushi at. And opposite there down a rabbit hole towards the shrine there’s a soba (buckwheat noodle) place that opened at 7am so we could have amazing cheap breakfasts there. The shop’s owner is obsessed with Japanese enka crooners and the place is full of posters and merchandise from their favourite singers.

Inside the indoor shopping arcade there are so many little shops – selling everything from the manekineko cats with the bobbing paws, to solar powered rabbit clocks and even some puffer fish if you feel like eating with death!

The best thing to do in Asakusa, however, is to hire a bike from somewhere and ride around. In the evening ride along the river, and in the morning zip through the shrine itself. Ahhh it was so much fun. You’ll be able to see the golden poo as well.

If you go to Asakusa then please stay a while and enjoy the area around the temple as there is so much to do round there! If you have been to Asakusa before let me know if you liked it there!

Mc Donald’s in Common?

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While watching some British show the other week, I came across the UK’s new (?) Mc Donald’s advert. The concept is that no matter who you are, we all have Mc Donald’s.

It’s interesting because Mc Donald’s is considered a comfort when abroad – whether you are in Beijing or Rome, you can find something that will taste and look familiar. And yet, Mc Donald’s culture is so different in different countries.

In the UK I’d say that Mc Donald’s is considered very much inferior to Burger King. In fact, I think that I’ve not eaten a British Mc Donald’s since I was in my early teens. But Burger King’s chips and burgers are pretty awesome. They don’t have Burger Kings in Japan (well, they didn’t when I lived there) and I remember being in Singapore airport once and turning the corner to find one. I think my excitement at having found a Burger King after such a long time shocked the people around me…

The Mc Donald’s in Japan actually was pretty yummy. I’d eat their shaka shaka chicken from time to time as a snack. And when they did their American range of burgers, I was first in line (like with the Miami burger above).

The thing with Mc Donald’s in Japan is that it’s a place to be. It’s a place to kill time, buy a coffee and just hang out. Especially in the cities, you’ll find rows of Japanese teenagers chilling there, doing their makeup, studying and just using it as an extension of their bedroom. They also have lots of solo seats so you don’t have to feel pressured to be sociable there – just be as if you are on your own in your room. When I was a student in Japan I used the local Denny’s as a place to study simply because I work better when I’m not in my room and I could soak up their free heating/air con at no more than the price of an all you can drink drinks bar offer.

When I was in Paris at Christmas I was very excited to try their Mc Donald’s as well. I’d mentioned to some French friends that Burger King is better than Mc Donald’s and they all pulled faces at me and said that Ronald is king in France. There weren’t as many Maccy D’s in Paris as in, say, London, so I did go out of my way a little to find one. And boy, was I glad I did. That burger was one of the best I’ve tasted. It was frickin’ awesome.

Then cut to Germany. When I got here, I’d not eaten at a Mc Donald’s in a while, but late one night on the way home from some 90’s party, I was hungry and the only place open was the Mc Donald’s on Hauptwache. I ordered what looked like a nice burger but it was covered in nasty tasting pink sauce. As I took my second bite, a mouse ran over my foot. That burger headed straight for the bin and I have never been there since.

That same “restaurant” has many more undesirable customers than the Mc Donald’s in Japan. If I walk by the front of that place, there are always small groups of young men who quite often feel the need to comment on my looks (or apparent lack thereof) and when you go inside it’s little different. It may be just that one restaurant and not a thing with the whole of Germany but I get the feeling it’s not a place you want to be seen in around here. Certainly not the place to be chilling out at for hours on end.

How are Mc Donald’s where you live/are from? What kind of people go there, and what kind of culture does it have? I’m interested to share stories!

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