Friday, December 18, 2009

Baking up the night - cookie gift boxes for the office

Earlier this week, I completed my annual baking-night where I embarked to bake up some fresh treats to present to my employees and other key folks at the office in lieu of holiday cards or other trinkets. Last year, I took on a rather complicated set of recipes that kept me in the kitchen well past 1am 2 nights in a row in order to crank out those goodies. While I see the sacrifice as part of the sweat equity that puts more meaning into the gifts, I only have so much energy and can't do late night activities that require dexterity and concentration as well as I used to think I could (I'm sure I can just more clearly see what an idiot I am at 1am).

This year, I only had one night to get it all done, so I dispensed with anything that needed overnight chilling or would require fillings and multiple components. This meant skipping the awesome cookie recipes from my quasi mother-in-law (like date-nut pinwheels) due to their labor intensity and my tendency to screw the recipes up along the way.

I prepared last weekend by doing most of my grocery shopping, ensuring I had enough flour (I only use Gold Medal Unbleached all-purpose, since their profits pay my mortgage) and sugar on hand and getting my gift box materials together. I skipped the overpriced stuff at Container Store, and found perfectly good stuff at Litin Paper in North Minneapolis for cheap (gift boxes, bows, labels, etc). J found me some cello bags at Target and that was just what I needed to save me from a frustrating night of wrapping things in Saran Wrap. Completion time this year from turning on the oven to packing the last box - 6 hours (8pm - 2am). At least it was all done in one night. This year's box had 4 items - links to the recipes follow:

Spiced Ginger Cookies

Chocolate-Hazelnut Gooey Butter Cakes

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (J the BF ate 6 of these in the first hour they came out of the oven)

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

All boxes were well received by the lucky 12 who got one this year. I hope the 12th person sees hers. She may have left for the holidays by the time I put it on her desk. Otherwise, she will have a nasty surprise awaiting her in January.

Happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yes, your meat can be too thick - Butterflied Pork Chops with Fig-Pinot Noir Glaze

When you are faced with the stress of getting dinner on the table in a hurry after a late night at work, you tend to run into little challenges. I recently stumbled home around 8pm after a full day determined to pound out a quick simple meal based on whatever happened to be in the fridge. My only meat option on hand - double thick boneless pork chops - would ordinarily take about 30 minutes to cook due to their size. I wanted to cut the time in half, so I tried my hand at butterflying.

Its a simple idea, but one that I don't do often due to my lack of confidence with my own knife skills. Take a thick piece of meat, cut through it at it's hemisphere (parallel to the board) to within 1/2 an inch of the opposite edge and open it up. Suddenly, you have something thinner and faster cooking. After successfully opening up my chops, I needed to figure out how to put some flavor in the boring other white meat. J the BF suggested smothering them in onions and serving them with apple sauce - a classic presentation, but this was my one moment to be creative for the day, so I decided to take a little more risk. I found a cheap bottle of Pinot Noir in the wine rack and a jar of fig preserves in the fridge. I even had a few shallots on hand. Combined with simple spinach salad, I had an easy, but elegant meal, on the table relatively quickly. Here is the recipe as I recall it, but you may need to play with the amounts to get the flavor balanced to your taste.

Butterflied Pork Chops with Fig & Pinot Noir Glaze


2 1.5 - 2 inch thick Boneless Pork Chops - Butterflied
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Kosher Salt and Coarse Ground Pepper (to taste)
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Shallot - finely diced
1/2 cup Pinot Noir wine
2-3 TBLS Fig Preserves
1 tsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard


1) Season Pork Chops with cayenne, salt and pepper

2) Heat Olive Oil in medium saute pan on medium-high heat

3) Pan cook Pork Chops until both sides are well browned and meat is done (aim 145 for medium - 160 for well done is preferred from a safety angle) - about 7 minutes/side. Place cooked chops on a platter and tent with foil

4) Stir the shallots in the hot pan for about 1 minute until softened and slightly browned. Pour in the wine and scrape pan to de-glaze and remove browned bits from pan.

5) Stir in the fig preserves, brown sugar and the mustard until melted and dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce liquid by half until slightly thick glaze forms. Reduce heat; Season sauce with salt and pepper.

6) Place chops and any reserved juices from the platter into the pan with the glaze. Turn the chops a few times to coat and heat for about 2 minutes.

Serve with sauce spooned over the meat and enjoy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So that's what became of Jitters - Honey, a new bar in Nordeast

While I'm contemplating cutting back on things like cocktails and bar food for a while, I have to take note of new places to visit nonetheless. Reading my "Strib", I noticed this review for Honey, a recently-opened basement club that has taken the place of Jitters underneath Chiang Mai Thai's new Asian outpost Ginger Hop. While I never went to Jitters often, I liked it's dark exposed walls and the feeling of drinking in some underground club.

According the Tom Horgen (the reviewer) this may mark a continued resurgence of a somewhat classier bar/restaurant row for Nordeast Minneapolis in contrast to the area's many dive bars. I am already a fan of the incumbent establishments like Keegan's, Butcher Block, Punch, Nye's, and Whitey's so this will give even more reason's to trip across the river to nosh and sip. Since they have "chocolate flights" on the menu, J the BF would be more than happy to stay out a little later for cocktails.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

After work Tequila at Barrio

It doesn't take much to get me to say yes to Barrio - my favorite tequila bar in town so here I am with co-workers for an impromptu cocktail. As we speak I am enjoying a great reposado Cazadores with the worst Sangrita I have ever tasted. It's a weeknight so 1 and done.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hail to the Ham Shop! C.G. Ham's

When J the BF finds something that he really likes to eat, he gets obsessive about it. For years, he harassed me about his favorite spot for lunch - a deli in a strip mall out in Minnetonka that he kept referring to as "The Ham Shop." I was skeptical - in places like Spain, they have crazy joints like El Museo del Jamon which are massive emporiums to ham and other porky curiosities and you can get some decent bocadillos there, but we don't live in Madrid. On the other side are typical American places like Honey Baked Ham where people go for feast meats pre-cooked, sliced, spiced and ready to stuff down the gullets of your family. Nevertheless, not a place I would go for a good sandwich.

Turns out, what he called "The Ham Shop" is actually C.G. Ham's - a local specialty meat place that happens to also churn out some hella-good sandwiches. Once I was finally convinced to try it, I started singing praises to "The Ham Shop." While there are tons of perfectly good places for lunch in my neighborhood, it doesn't take much arm twisting to get me to drive the 10 miles out to the 'burbs on a Saturday afternoon for one of their unbelievable deli creations.

J, true to his obsessive nature, is addicted to "The Unforgettable" and never veers from ordering it - fresh multigrain bread stuffed with roast turkey, bacon and avocado enriched with sunflower cream cheese spread, tomato and spinach. I have been sampling from their hot and grilled sandwich array - a couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the beauty pictured here called "Fire in the Belly" - hot corned beef and pastrami with melted pepper jack cheese and spicy mustard on a freshly baked hoagie roll that melts in your mouth. They have a good selection of deli salads and fresh baked desserts as well, but I'm usually happy with the little peppermint patty candies that come with the sandwiches.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brit style in an Irish Pub - Keegan's

We did our annual holiday tradition of attending a screening of the winners of the British Ad Awards at the Walker tonight followed by a pub dinner. We normally go to Brit's for fish and chips, but with the crowds of Holidazzle (Minneapolis's odd idea of doing a Christmas parade 4 nights a week for the entire season), downtown MPLS is a zoo on the weekends.

We veered to our preferred pub, Keegan's in Nordeast Mpls, for Newcastle and beer battered fun. I know, its an Irish bar so it doesn't match the British theme, but it tastes just as good.

They have renovated the menu, and added some new sandwiches and entrees (often accompanied by champ - Ireland's version of mashed potatoes). I stuck with my standard 2 piece fish and chips. We even got treated to some live Irish music. Sounds like a good way to spend Sunday evening . . . and there wasn't a Christmas parade in sight.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weeknight Ribeye fix for 2 - Steak with Parmesan Butter, Balsamic Glaze and Arugula

I'm laid up this week recovering from knee surgery, so I asked J the BF to attempt to make our favorite weeknight steak meal. A nifty arrangement (courtesy of of sliced pan seared rib-eye over arugula and parmesan shavings topped with a simple reduction of shallots, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. It never fails to satisfy and it is among the few recipes we have built for two.

We failed to get it on the table this time though due to yet another rancid steak from Trader Joe's. One day I'll learn my lesson - don't buy anything from the fresh meat case from TJ - stick to the freezers and the shelf stable stuff. Even our favorite places aren't perfect. I guess my local butcher will be getting more business from us from now on.

I still wish I had that dish though, so I'm posting an earlier photo I took to remind me of the dinner that should have been.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Helping my buddy Joel - Places to Eat/Drink in Atlanta

My friend Joel (on the left in the photo) is thankfully leaving the ranks of the unemployed to take a job in Hotlanta Georgia. I'm a little jealous of him as Atlanta is a great food city. I would probably be big as a house if I still lived there due to all the great options for great (and often cheap) food. He'll be packing up the truck and leaving DC soon, so I wanted to give him a jump on where to go and what to do. I created a punch list to encourage him to get out and taste the city, but my knowledge of the ATL is over seven years old at this point (I moved to the Twin Cities in 2002). Below is a sample of the suggestions I sent him for my picks of places to nosh and sip. Help us out with other suggestions, and I'll pass them on. Moving to a new city is hard enough. Finding places to eat shouldn't be.

Places to eat

La Fonda Latina (Good cheap Latin food - I love the Quesadillas with corn and jalapenos as well as their queso dip)

Daddy D’z (our favorite BBQ in ATL – near Turner Field and ‘da Hood – looks scarier than it is – GO! The ribs are not to be missed)

Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack (a more approachable, but very good BBQ place north of Ansley Mall – counter service)

RuSan’s (The McDonalds of sushi in Atlanta – very cheap and pretty good)

Flying Biscuit (original location in Candler Park, but Midtown location more convenient – great breakfast, but crowded and a scene)

Thumb’s Up Dinner (Do Breakfast at the Edgewood Ave location – great biscuits and breakfast skillets)

Agave (awesome upscale fusion southwestern cuisine near our old hood in Cabbbagetown)

Zocolo (had some good Mexican food when we lived there – do the heaven and hell shrimp quesadillas if they are still on the menu. Mixed reputation according to more recent reviews. If nothing else, try their knock-your-balls-off margaritas

One Midtown Kitchen (a newer place with an open kitchen, beautiful people and awesome food)

Taqueria Del Sol (Another place with great cheap food – the line is always long but it moves fast)

The Vortex (The best burgers in Atlanta and a great menu of local beers)

Watershed (nationally rated upscale Southern Cuisine purveyor owned by one of the Indigo girls in Decatur)

Two Urban Licks (a downtown spot owned by the One Midtown Kitchen people – haven’t been there, but J, the BF highly recommends it)

The Colonnade (an Atlanta institution where the blue hairs, the gays and everyone in between gathers for old-school southern cooking)

Mary Mac’s Tearoom (similar idea to The Colonnade – old school Southern cooking and an Atlanta instititution)

Eat’s (Our favorite place to eat out while we were students at Emory – very good cheap food – try the jerk chicken and the Jamaican Ginger Beer)

Partying with the Boys:

Blake’s On the Park (The standard and a classic gay bar behind Outwrite - the gay coffee shop/bookstore. Looks like a double wide with a crowd to match) -

The Heretic (We used to call it the “hairy dick” – make sure it is not a dress code night as the crowd can veer toward the leather/levi’s set) -

Mary’s (Very fun and laid back hole-in-the-wall gay bar in East Atlanta) -

Swinging Richards (where the boys are paid to get nekked) -

Woof’s (Atlanta’s main gay sports bar)

Jungle (Atlanta’s big-ass warehouse dance club – go when you are looking to flash your pecs and score with the circuit boy crowd)

Burkhart’s (When I was in school, this joint was popular with the “chicken” – not sure the scene now, but they had pool tables!)

Other Bars / Lounges to chill, nosh and/or slum:

Halo (will look familiar to you if you live in DC, except for the fact that it’s not really a gay place, but still attracts some dudes due to the Midtown location - very mod luxe feel) -

The Flatiron (Bar/grill in East Atlanta – J the BF and I loved to go there for late night beer and burgers when I was in grad school – awesome jukebox and very good bar food)

Manuel’s Tavern (Casual tavern where the political movers and shakers in Atlanta can be seen having a pint next to the blue-collar set - in the shadow of the Carter Presidential center) -

Apres Diem (almost-too-cool-café to be in a strip mall – great cocktails, wine, desserts and some decent dinner items. Good for hanging out with friends when you want to talk and look erudite) -

Joe’s On Juniper (You know the drill - casual laid back place popular with the gay boys for beer, burgers and nachos in Midtown) -

The Clermont Lounge (Something in Atlanta you have to do once, but never again. One of my b-school classmates described it as a strip bar for homeless people. I’d also add the hipsters who love them. If she is still there, look for Blondie – the now elderly trans-esque stripper that can crush beer cans with her breasts) -

Additions, comments, or suggestions? Leave 'em below. Joel will thank you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh yeah - where was I?

Just because I stopped blogging does not mean I stopped eating. Quite the contrary in fact (unfortunately). 2009 has been a full year of too many cities and too many meals to count, so I focused on eating rather than writing. Maybe a little more of the later would slow me down from the former.

I am finally getting to looking at the bizarre photos of food that I've been amassing this year from all over. Last check had me at 90,000 Delta flight miles this year covering cities like Washington D.C., Atlanta, Tortola, L.A., Denver, St. John, Sacramento, Chicago, Bentonville, New York, Cannes, Paris, Cancun, Roussillon, Montreal, St. Louis, San Francisco, and other places I'd rather soon forget. Each city was a chance to taste something new - and I got to squeeze in a little exploring here at home in the Twin Cities.

While I try to remember what exactly it was I was eating, here's a visual sample:

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uptown Happy Hour Tour - yes there was a stop 3 - Bar Abilene

. . . but we missed happy hour. It was a long night (and subsequent weekend), so it's taken a while to get back to finish the series.

Let's just say we were seriously enjoying the beer and cheap snacks at stop #2, so we lingered. They had Gose, which is a brew the Herkimer rarely releases so I had to get my fill. We were joined by another bud, who proceeded to enjoy more beer and then we met up with his fiancee, Dr. Sam, at Bar Abilene. Abilene, to celebrate it's 11th Anniversary, had just abandoned their "Crazy Happy Hour" deal where everything on the menu was 50% off from 4pm - 7pm everyday. Great way to celebrate - kill the deal that everyone was talking about! They replaced it with a much less compelling offer that left us wondering "are they going to be okay." They are doing extended happy hours this week with $1 taps - if you are so inclined.

Didn't matter - we arrived too late for those specials so we settled for a couple of rounds of margaritas and dinner (but no guacamole, which is really the only reason to go to Abilene). I had their southwestern sliders which were edible, but not something I would have ingested had I not been touring happy hour spots all afternoon.

Happy hour tours are fun, but they defeat the purpose of happy hour in the first place - friends lingering over drinks, bitching about work until the specials expire and you get too "happy" to do anything but stay for dinner and continue to bitch about work until you are too blitzed to care. Then the fun begins.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stop 2 on the happy hour tour - Herkimer

Okay, so Moto I and Herkimer are owned by the same folks, but low hangin fruit.

I am having a Gose which is a limited release and among my favorite brews. Other beers are 2 for 1 and there are $4 apps. We are rocking mini corn dogs and tater tots. Bring on the grease!

-- Post From My iPhone

Happy Hour Tour - Moto I

Trying to sample some of the happy hour opportunities near my home. Friday funday, right? Started at Moto I, a sake brew pub on Lyndale.

Right now they have Summit Scandia for $1, $5 sake and $3 other beers. Noshing on salmon Rangoon, taro shoestrings, and lime fried peanuts.

All tasty and less salty than the other fare.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tickled Pinkberry

Years ago I kept hearing all this hype about Pinkberry - a frozen yogurt shop whose product inspired something akin to a cult following on the west coast. It has since expanded into a chain making its way all the way over into Asia. While I have visited their web site, got their freaky song stuck in my head, and mapped out locations to visit from LA to NYC (in case I ever had time), I had not yet had the pleasure of tasting the stuff. That changed today.

My assistant manager and I had spent the morning visiting grocery stores in Marina del Rey, CA taking note of prices and product assortments (only on the west coast could you seriously sell pancake mix for $10), and we needed a break. Luckily, there was a little Pinkberry shop nearby.

Calling the place a shop is generous - it was more like an a broom closet where an anime bomb went off with crazy colors and bright happy patterns assailing you from the narrow walls. After tasting a sample, we both settled on the original Pinkberry flavor (which is neither pink nor does it taste much like berries). The also had pomegranate and green tea flavors, but we'll save those for another time.

I had mine topped with white chocolate shavings and Cap'n Crunch cereal. The taste was more tangy and yogurty than standard frozen yogurt. It was incredibly thick, just rich enough to be satifying without making you feel like a fat horse after eating a cup of it. It also melted very little in the 10 minutes between when we picked them up, transported them to our noon meeting and started devouring them, which concerns me just a bit - but it is supposedly all natural . . . .

I can't say it changed my life or turned me into a zealot, but if all frozen yogurt tasted this good, I would certainly eat it more often.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Memphis Gravy Biscuit Overkill

A note to the food operaters at the Memphis Airport: except for a few
pockets of France and rural Quebec, putting sausage gravy over a
biscuit already stuffed with sausage is generally considered to be

Friday, May 1, 2009

Giving out the Brownies before they expire - Palmer House Brownies

In Bon Apetit, I found this recipe for brownies based on the one used at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago:

I made them on Sunday and J the BF and I have been nibbling on them all week. After doing some research, I found that brownies last about 5 days if you keep them in the fridge. With the 5 days up and my needing to make room for my neighbor to use my fridge for overflow in anticipation of her Kentucky Derby Party, I decided to bring them in to work. I doubt my co-workers mind eating last weekend's brownies.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why should writing about food be harder than eating it (plus a bonus of oven roasted broccoli)

I am expecting myself to change that, at least for my own sake, in short order. Meanwhile, try this treatment for Broccoli which is so much better than steaming that crap - if you eat as much broccoli as I do, you'll love this:

1) Take 2 broccoli crowns - cut them into even mini-spears with florets
2) Preheat an oven to 400 Degrees F
3) Place broccoli in 9X11 baking pan - drizzle with extra-vigin olive oil
4) Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt, a dash of crushed red pepper and 2 crushed cloves of garlic - toss with a set of tongs to coat
5) Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until slightly tender, tossing occasionally

Voila! Never eat mushy boring broccoli again!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tasting some low-country in the northland - BBQ Shrimp and Grits

I don't know if I had ever actually eaten BBQ shrimp and grits, but the idea always sounded great. I've spent tons of time in the low-country of South Carolina and coastal Georgia, but if I ever got my hands on some fresh shrimp, they were usually steamed and served from a steel pail with some lemon, cocktail sauce and not a thing more.

I searched high and low for some decent old-fashion grits (good luck finding those in Minneapolis) and finally found something that could work hiding out in the baking section of the local store. I also made the BBQ sauce from scratch - trust me, do this the day before unless you have some extra time on your hands.

As for the result - hoo-weee! This will be making a return appearance on my table. Who knew F&W could do 'down-home'?

Both courtesy of Food and Wine.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Grand Gift from the Gods - Smoked Pork Chop and Creamed Collards at Grand Cafe

Both J the BF and I had spent the better part the prior week traveling on business, so getting the strength to go out for decent Friday night date-night meal was tough. Nevertheless, I had reservations at Grand Cafe, and I was set on using them - so glad we did. It was providence for we experienced the most incredible smoked pork chop (tender, meaty, flavorful) served atop creamed collard greens and a potato pavé studded with onion and bacon . I don't know who got the idea of creaming collards, but God bless you! The photo can't do it justice.

On top of this marvel was this delicious prune conserve, which may sound very functional, if not appetizing, but it was a perfect sweet accent to the smokey pork and the creamy bitter greens.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In search of good Mexican - Life after Morelos Mexican Grill

Several weeks ago, J the BF and I were horrified to discover that our favorite Mexican place, Morelos Mexican Grill had closed. We shouldn't have been surprised. As they changed ownership and somewhere along the way lost their liquor license and started cheapening the dishes, we noticed that the dining room was increasingly empty over the last few months. It's a shame - their Tres Amigos Enchiladas (an enchi-trifecta of ranchera, green chile, and mole-covered heaven) was one of my favorite dishes in the Twin Cities.

Now we are Mexican cuisine refugees. Our over-priced haute-Mexican option, El Indio has apparently been evicted from their space (the place is fully furnished, but the windows are covered in no-trespassing signs). Little Tijuana, a block away from Morelos, is a total barf-fest. I find Pepitos over-rated. I even checked out El Paraiso on my own to see if it was an option as it had good ratings. There was so much cheese in my enchilada, I couldn't taste anything else and became instantly worried about my heart health.

I think I'll agree with the Citypages blog that our best option is Salsa a la Salsa now. We enjoyed their outpost in the Midtown Global Market, so we'll be giving their Eat Street location a visit as it's closer to our neighborhood. When we have an enchilada fix, it needs to be serviced stat! Send us some suggestions for other options if you got 'em - we are desparate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brasa – A taste of Atlanta in the Twin Cities

On one of my December stay-cation days, I met up with J the BF for lunch at Brasa, Restaurant Alma’s more casual outpost in “Nordeast” Minneapolis. Immediately upon stepping through the door, I felt transported back 7 years to my time in Atlanta where places like this could be found all over town.

Brasa calls itself a premium rotisserie. Casual, set in a thoughtfully renovated space (it looked like an old gas station or tire shop), the menu focuses on a simple collection of slow braised and rotisserie cooked pork, beef and chicken served as plates or sandwiches accompanied by irresistible sides like collards, fried plantains, and cheese grits. It’s almost a re-imagined concept of the classic “meat & 3” spots I came to know growing up down south, but they claim their inspiration for the menu as being South American and Caribbean. Most of the food comes from local sources and their site lists their suppliers as "friends". To have friends like these indeed . . .

I enjoyed a spicy slow braised beef plate with the afore-mentioned collards, grits plus a bonus of their crazy-good corn bread with honey butter. It was heaven. Since it was a stay-cation day, I enjoyed a nice cold Rush River "Unforgiven" Ale with my lunch which made the whole meal feel that much more luxurious. The prices are very reasonable and they have an incredible list of desserts which will bring me back up to that part of town soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seafood Sin – Cracked Lobster at Nippers

Continuing my chronicles of eating across The Abacos, I have to share one of my culinary transgressions. Our boat made a required overnight anchorage at Great Guana Cay the home of an illicit watering pit called Nippers. Nippers has been referred to as a place where otherwise mature people re-live their spring break memories (or create new ones). Judging by the number of drunk 60+ year-old people dancing red-faced in any clear and open space, I could see where they get the reputation.

I’ve heard stories of wilder times during concerts by Caribbean megastar, Barefoot Man. His music plus the diesel powered cocktails drove people who were likely someone’s mom or grandma to strip down to nothing and create havoc in the bar-side pool. I was with J the BF’s family, so there was sure to be no nudity on our part (though I've heard rumors that a member of our party relieved himself in a not-to-friendly place later that night), but we were enjoying liberal quantities of the signature cocktail, the Nipper along with the breathtaking view of the Atlantic breaking on the rocky beach below. My only sin was of a gastronomic nature – fried lobster.

My Southern roots compel me to enjoy most every seafood battered and fried. With my expanding waist, I’ve learned to appreciate a simple and well-grilled fresh fish fillet, but my heart desires the standard bar treats of the Islands – fried fish fingers, conch fritters and anything else that can be served crispy and breaded. In the Bahamas, “cracked” generally means shelled, coarsely chopped, battered and fried. In seeing they had “cracked lobster”, I just had to know. Could two forms of decadence be successfully combined?

My cracked lobster came with a mayo based sauce and a fruit chutney-like dipper as well as cole slaw and fries. To my disappointment, the cracked lobster, while good, was terribly less enjoyable than simply well-cooked lobster with a little butter (which we did for dinner the following evening). It was pretty similar in flavor to cracked conch or anything else battered and fried. Lesson learned - if you love your lobster, down deep fry it - it's not worth it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Looking for the Lucy that is Juicy?

Gotta love the narrow-targeted ad prowess of Facebook. I was served an ad for a site focused on where you can find a good Jucy Lucy (a cheese-stuffed burger particularly loved up here in it's birthplace of Minneapolis). Do you think Facebook knows I'm a food-obsessed Minnesotan? includes a blog, a map and a Wiki where you can post new locations to find Lucy and all her juiciness. I personally get all my Juicy Lucys from Matt's Bar (topped with fried onions, and served with a glass of beer and a basket of fries - always), but clearly I need to expand my horizons.