Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Allergic to ... France

We are nothing if not scientific, and that is really the only logical conclusion to be drawn from two indisputable facts:

A) French wines give Foodgoat a splitting headache, previously attributed to sulfites and compounded by Francophile snobbery, and ...

B) French beer (namely, the Kronenbourg 1664) gives Foodgoat a throbbing headache.

I expected French beer to be dark and earthy, but the Kronenbourg was light, very light - like an American beer. It tasted fine, but not long after finishing off a bottle, the French allergy symptoms would start to manifest themselves. Headache and a general nauseous feeling that would last til morning.

Clearly, Foodgoat is allergic to France.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have always found artichokes a suspicious sort of vegetable. I didn't eat it growing up at home, it doesn't look like any other vegetable, and the eating method is weirdd. All in all, artichokes just seems somewhat foreign. Even though it tastes good.

But Foodgoat likes them, so when I saw the purple artichokes at the market, I thought I'd give them a whirl. I trimmed both ends (no easy feat, they're kind of tough) and steamed them for a full 40 minutes. We pretended they were French baguettes and dipped each leaf in olive oil and balsamic vinegar before sucking off the edible parts.

Apparently purple artichokes don't taste any different from the greener kinds, but they went well with crabcakes and root beer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Limeade & Tequila, Together At Last

One of our regular stops at the West Side Market is the Juice Garden, where we pick up a quart of of vanilla lemonade for me and a quart of pome-grapefruit for Foodgoat. Besides the oh-so-refreshing juice, we like to stop by because we get to chat with the Juice Garden vendors, a young couple who wear beanies and vacation in Mexico and nod knowingly when we say something disparaging about Halliburton. We actually don't know their names, but if I had to name them I'd call him Joe and I'd call her Eden.

Anyway, Joe once mentioned that the Limeade tasted especially good with a particular booze. We had the Limeade, but couldn't remember what booze it was, so we resolved to be scientific about it and try all the booze types, one after the other.

We would start with tequila ...

And we would end with tequila.

Because a bit of tequila with fresh limeade is TOTALLY AWESOME. It's like a delicious, yet much easier, margarita. So smooth! Not overwhelmingly sweet! Such a happy taste! And in these anxious times, we need more happy tastes!

Of course it helps that we used Don Julio Tequila, which is ten times better than any of the Cuervo crap. Much smoother, and so worth the extra money.

Alas, we were dangerously low on Don Julio, since over the holidays one of Foodgoat's brothers came back one night from a party already intoxicated and proceeded to do shots with Foodgoat's Don Julio, his very best liquor. Fortunately he used a shot glass from my shot glass tic tac toe board, which are just half the size of regulation shot glasses. From this, one might surmise that one should put out the cheap liquor for drunk guests. Would this make one a bad host?

Monday, March 19, 2007

TV Food

Thanks to the new channel Chiller (24 hours of horror programming!), I have finally started watching one of Foodgoat's favorite series, that early 90's package, Twin Peaks. Okay, so I've only seen two episodes, but I'm quoting it already. Not because of Lara Flynn Boyle (who is forever burned into my memory for the season she showed up on The Practice with monster collagen lips), or the young, yet oddly similar, Dr. Macy, but because of Agent Cooper (Kyle McLachlan)

Specifically, because of the enthusiasm with which the character regularly celebrates donuts, pie, and coffee (taken "black as midnight on a moonless night" and preferably not with "a fish in the percolator").

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More root beer

Continuing our recent exploration in the world of root beer, here is Boylan Bottleworks Root Beer, which aspires to provide a more traditional tasting root beer rather than the contemporary super-creamy, vanilla flavored style. Alas, I actually prefer New Root Beer, not Classic Root Beer. Boylan was a shade too sweet and that traditional taste was a bit unexpected, and not in a good way. I suspect it was the yucca extract.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Only Kind of Beer that Goes Well With Chainsaws

Last weekend, after many a manly hour with a chainsaw and a pile of tree pieces, Foodgoat found himself yearning for a beer. But there was no beer to be had. In the entire house, not a single beer.

And there the story might have ended - a horror. No -- a tragedy. But then he decided to sample one of my latest acquisitions in fine gourmet beers. It was a cool, creamy brew from Goose Island Brewery in Chicago and turned out to be so refreshing, so flavorful, touched with just the right notes of vanilla and just the right amount of sweetness, that the six-pack was finished off in no time.

Sure, it was root beer. But in my book, a really fine root beer is every bit as satisfying as a really fine beer.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Foodgoat sphere of influence expands

... see my post on the Feast Magazine website? Feast Magazine is Cleveland Magazine recently hatched food & fine living in Northeast Ohio spinoff. I'll be posting there every other Friday about local Cleveland foodstuffs - this first post is about Cleveland-based P.J. Snackenwaffles, which gives me a tooth cavity just saying it

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Meet a Blue Cheese I Didn't Like

But I have. And it's name is Stella.

It's possible that we have been spoiled by wallowing in the hedonistic creamy indulgence that is the Point Reyes Blue. It's possible that we got a bad batch of cheese, as might have happened with our Morbier experience. But it's also possible that the Stella Blue cheese just has a weird, bitter taste that ruins ham sandwiches.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Whip It Not So Good

I really thought the whipped cream cheese would turn out well. What could be bad about easy to spread? Well, there is such a thing as too easy to spread, and that's when you get Paris Hilton on the one hand and whipped cream cheese on the other.

When I asked whether he liked having whipped cream cheese, Foodgoat looked at me accusingly and said, "It melted and oozed all out."

I suppose that might be a risk of having Paris Hilton too.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

World Blanc

Bursting with aromas of gooseberry and passion fruit, this lively Sauvignon Blanc matches aromatic intensity with freshness and balance. Lime and nettle characters predominate on the palate which cleverly matches fruit sweetness with natural acidity.When a friend recently declared that the only good wine came from France, Foodgoat took offense. Don't go talkin' no smack 'bout New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or 'bout .... uh ....

Realizing he really only knew the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Foodgoat decided to broaden his horizons, expand his comfort zones, venture into new territories.

He would try ... the South Africa Backberg Sauvignon Blanc.

Billed as ...
"Bursting with aromas of gooseberry and passion fruit, this lively Sauvignon Blanc matches aromatic intensity with freshness and balance. Lime and nettle characters predominate on the palate which cleverly matches fruit sweetness with natural acidity"
... we found it fresh and clean and spicy and delicious. It made me want Indian food.