Thursday, February 24, 2005

Well now, this knife holder is just a little too disturbing, even for a A & E junkie like me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


The Oscar-nominated Sideways is really a highbrow version Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Which is not a bad thing. Two friends on a quest for fun and fine wine in Santa Barbara county stumble instead through a series of misadventures. I found it particularly amusing that much of the film takes place in kitsch-by-the-sea Solvang, which I've stopped in many a time on the drive down to L.A.

Inspired by the film, I promptly went home and tried a new bottle of wine. No Pinot in the house, but I did have a Frambrosia Oregon Raspberry Wine
Lot 99
. We're still enamoured of sweet wines, you know. And this was sweet. Not quite as good as the other Framboise we had, but still quite nice. I imagine it would be lovely with a bit of cheesecake.

And speaking of wine, now on the list of must-haves: Hercule Poirot Wine Bottle Candleholders, which turn wine bottles into candleabras. And what a name!(from Apartment Therapy)

Pita Chips

It's always a risky move to buy things from Costco that you haven't tried yet. You could end up with 63 frozen microwavable White Castle burgers you don't want to eat.

Fortunately, my impulsive buy of a huge bag of Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips turned out well. They are unflavored baked pita chips meant for dips, but we swept through the bag without ever cracking open the jar of salsa. The chips are plain, but addicting. And they taste just as good with a little bit of the jalapeno jelly that I was introduced to last week. Pita chip, meet jalapeno jelly. Jalapeno jelly, meet pita chip. I'll let you two get acquainted.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tryout Tuesday: Town Fryer

After several days of having soup for dinner, the goats were yappin' for something, well, unhealthy. So where else was there to go but to the Town Fryer, a new restaurant of Southern food known mostly for frying just about everything.

The place is small and cozy, the owner has a real Souther draaawl, and there's an Elvis lamp. We felt right at home at once. We began with tall glasses of tart lemonade and a basket of onion rings. Onion rings that were just too, too greasy, sadly enough. Which is not to say that I didn't like them, because I like all onion rings. Foodgoat, however, was nauseated by the sight of me scraping off the crunchy bits on the bottom of the basket.

Then came my fried chicken, which was delish: tender, skinless, boneless white meat nuggets surrounded by much crunchiness, not too greasy at all, and went well with my sweet potato fries. Foodgoat went for a fried chicken po' boy, along with maple bacon mashed potatoes on the side. He didn't go with the deep-fried mac & cheese but I suppose we must save some menu items for next time.

We never get dessert but how could I turn down deep-fried Oreos? (The deep-fried Twinkies, too, will have to wait.) The Oreos, sprinkled with powdered sugar and fresh from a vat of boiling oil, were suprisingly tasty: the chocolate cookie had turned into a soft cake-like texture, the creamy filling had dissipated, and the sweetness went well with the fried crust.

So it was all pretty good, but Foodgoat was left hurting. Perhaps an all-fried meal is not something one should spring on one's stomach without warning.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The French know what they're doing

After a summer in Paris, my sister reported that in Parisian coffeeshops, they give you a bit of chocolate to go with your cup of coffee (although some just give the chocolate to their dogs). So last week, Foodgoat took a little piece of bittersweet Scharffen-Berger to work with him for his morning coffee. He called me later and said, "The French know what they're doing." It's a wonderful combination: the hot coffee helps melt and open up the chocolate, the chocolate sweetens the bitterness of the coffee. It also makes you feel splendidly decadent.

And then there's that new book about how French Women Don't Get Fat. So sensible: everything in moderation, lots of walking, and, most radical of all, thorough enjoyment of one's meals. Novel concepts! Not only has the computer been hijacked by a pink-haired ponytailed gnome, but I've been on a health kick that has kind of sucked the foodblogging spirit right out of me. What's more depressing than suspecting you're allergic to chocolate ... or cheese ... or both? The horror, the horror!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Quick! Get a post in before Foodgoat gets back and takes over the machine to play World of Warcraft again!

Our one concession to Valentine's Day? A heart-shaped pizza.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Souper Market

I'm been in a mood. A dull, blog-less, bleah mood.

First the stomach flu killed my appetite. Then the weather gets so ... February-ish. Then there was the onslaught of articles on Ayn Rand, whom I hate, yet cannot resist reading about. I can't even resist posting her cookbook marginalia. Then Alan Dersowitz joked to Catherine McKinnon, "Michigan thinks that everything Harvard can do, it can do meta". Terrible. No wonder I'm depressed.

The one bright, shiny spot in all this is the Souper Market. If Foodgoat & I were to open up our own little eatery, it might look just like this tiny, yet flavor-packed, soup stand just across the street from the West Side Market. It's Cleveland's own Soup Nazi, seemingly staffed with would-be rock stars between gigs. A picture posted there features vegetables artfully arranged into the form of an alluring woman.

And the soups are just splendid. Served with a chunk of sourdough, they are freshly made (from market stuffs)and incredibly flavorful. The jambalaya was big and spicy; the roasted butternut squash warm and sweet. Even the clam chowder, which I usually eschew, was delicious, and the lobster bisque is a particular favorite of Foodgoat's. What a bisque is I don't know, but we like it. Apparently there are people out there who don't like soup. I've never understood that, but presumably, they've never had soups like these. These soups are good.

We've gone again and again, making the Souper Market a regular stop on our Saturday market runs, and have yet to be disappointed in anything.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Tomorrow, Thursday @ 1 pm on TLC, look for a Foodgoat sighting on A Perfect Proposal!

Hold on there, don't get any crazy ideas. It's his Firmary bandmate, Dougless, who's plighting troth on national TV. The clever setup has his punk going head to head to her polka. Foodgoat wears suspenders and a feathered cap while a polka drum player wore Foodgoat's skirt, Michelle's reaction was priceless, and by the end there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Supersize Me

Well, we finally saw Supersize Me: A Film of Epic Portions.

Let's just say I am reconsidering my "it's okay once every two weeks" rule.

Aside from provoking sympathy nausea, the documentary also provoked considerable debate about the recently resurrected lawsuit against McDonald's. Isn't it obvious that fast food is bad for your health (though it takes the movie to see just how bad)? Isn't health and weight an issue of personal responsiblity? Is it so wrong for McDonald's to make a buck or two (or $5 billion) by providing something that people want (even if they shouldn't want it)?

Then again, many of the same arguments were used to criticize the lawsuits against tobacco companies for promoting smoking.

There's a little public health advocate in me, based on the population-wide obesity epidemic, that has me reserving some judgment on the lawsuit.

But, in terms of tastiness, the judgment of McDonald's is clear: not good food. Except maybe for the fries. Once every two months, tops.