Following up on their promise to be "the entire world's favorite travel book", the Michelin Guide announced Friday morning that six restaurants located in various shithole countries have been awarded at least one of their fabled stars.
"We at Michelin hope our newest guide book will encourage travel to shithole countries," said Pierre Romaine, director of the Michelin Guide for Shithole Countries. "If you go to a normal country, with actual working toilets, you will, hopefully, have a nice trip. But, if you go to a shithole country, the chances of coming back with a colorful story are greatly increased. Our new guidebook will help you eat well while experiencing some of the best shithole countries in the world."
Topping the list, the only restaurant in a shithole country to be award two Michelin stars was The Hippo Laundry in Bangui, capital city of the Central African Republic. The guide said this about THL; "Even if The Hippo Laundry was not located in a shithole country, we would praise it or its extremely slowly cooked large-format meats. Although named after the Hippopotamus, the restaurant's signature dish is 61-day braised cape buffalo shoulder with Yukon Gold potatoes."
The following restaurants in shithole countries were awarded one Michelin star.
"Re Re Re Re Refriend Bean Palace", San Pedro Sula, Honduras. "Said to be the only restaurant in any shithole country in the western hemisphere that fries their beans five times, "Re Cinco" , as it is known locally, offers an almost porous bean that has played a significant role in uncleanliness of this exciting and rapidly declining central American country."
"Kushner's Kafe at the Martha's Heights Winery", Katzrin, Golan Heights, Isryia. "Although the winery has produced several bottles of white and red wines that have been awarded over 70 points by Robert Parker (Their '61 Cabernet Blanc scored an impressive 74), the Kafe is widely praised for its creative use of extinct vegetables. It's souffle of sorghumbaga, a favorite of stegosaurus, is a paragon of historical flavors.".
"Used Fish Grill", Tirana, Albania - "While fresh fish has its charms the less popular used fish have a more pronounced, denser flavor. No restaurant in any country in Europe - not working toilet or shithole - has pounced on this controversial fad as thoughtfully asUsed Fish in the Albania capital Tirana, a city known primarily for its drabness. The 13-day-old Adriactic wilted seabass is a highlight."
"Colonel Myanmar's Fried Bruised Chicken", Maungdaw city, Rakhine state, Myanmar.. "While tenderizing meats has been a technique practiced for thousands of years, the practice of punching a live animal then trying to make up for it by frying in lukewarm oil is gaining popularity in Southeast Asia. The Colonel is the best of this lot."
"Paul Bocuse, Port Au Prince", Port au Prince Haiti. "Though the master Bocuse rarely shows up here, his namesake restaurant in Haiti offers many of the classic dishes he made famous, including a modified version of la soupe aux truffes he created for a Feb. 25, 1975 dinner for French president Valéry Giscard D’Estaing. The version at Bocuse's Haiti outpost substitutes truffles with beef jerky."
Yes, one can vacation in New York City and stroll Fifth Avenue or go to Paris and walk down the Champs-Elysees. You can go snorkeling in Cayman Islands or ski down the Swiss Alps. Have a nice trip.
You might, however, come back a little envious, even jealous. But, if you go to one of the great shithole countries, I'm betting you'll have a far more interesting time. Way more stories And when you come back, you'll come back grateful and you might even feel better about your own life.
My own ancestors came from Armenia, a land that, during World War I, was one of the great shithole countries of modern times. I'm proud of that. And Haiti and all the other shithole countries should be proud, too.