Archive for the 'food' Category

The Times on Brooklyn Food, Frank Bruni on Buttermilk Channel

Today’s Times Dining section has some great coverage of Brooklyn food. First, there is a great article on food producers throughout the borough:

These Brooklynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artists’ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.

Make sure to check out the interactive map, too.

Also, Frank Bruni reviews one of my favorite new restaurants near our home in Brooklyn, Buttermilk Channel, along with an audio slideshow:

Buttermilk Channel [is] a restaurant of real standards, noteworthy ambition and uncommon slavishness to trends. It’s laudable and predictable in equal measures. And it was packed every time I went…

The look of the restaurant, whose corner location affords it pretty windows on two sides, is on the polished side of homey. There’s nicely buffed wood, a spidery brass lighting fixture and a honeyed glow from it and handsome sconces along the walls.

There’s also ample space between tables: the owner, Doug Crowell, isn’t trying just to jam in as many people as possible. But he does ask you to trade some comfort and convenience for the refreshingly low prices.

These few blocks on Court Street are starting to fill with interesting and tasty culinary operations: Buttermilk Channel, Frankie’s Spuntino, and the newly opened and not-yet-visited soon to open Prime Meats.

UPDATE: The Times posted a Q & A between readers and subjects of the Brooklynite food producers piece.

Jennarator on Hershey’s Switch to Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Jenna on Hershey’s decision to replace cocoa butter with partially hydrogenated veggie oil in their chocolate candies:

Everyone feels tricked and betrayed by their beloved Hershey. And to that I say, it’s f*cking hershey, get over it. It’s not a high quality product to begin with (still love it, though).

I just think this is a dumb thing to get worked up about, especially when so much food right now is making people sick. Can we focus on making and growing food that won’t give us E. Coli and forgive a little vegetable oil?

My answer is no, but I think that foods of all kinds contain too much processed sugars and fats.

Waitin’ Tables

Can’t help but pass along this Remainder from Jason Kottke – NY Times food critic Frank Bruni spends a week “undercover” as a waiter at a [Cambridge] restaurant. In the end, he realizes the hell that is being a waiter:

trying to be fluent in the menu and the food, calm in the face of chaos, patient in the presence of rudeness, available when diners want that, invisible when they don’t. It’s a lot, and I should remember that.

Does this realization dampen his dining expectations? Nope:

I’d still like frequent water refills. And a martini from hell. Straight up.

It reminds me of the polite little arguments Presley & I have on whether or not to leave 20%, even when receiving shitty service. Though I never advocate leaving less than 15%, I also think that the bonus tip should be reserved for competent, polite servers. What’s wrong with that?

9 years

cardThe years are just flying by, I can’t believe it… on monday, the girl and I celebrated 9 years together, in the best way we know how: sharing a tasty meal.

And what better place to have a nice dinner, than a 4-star restaurant in a converted Burger King? Seriously.

Rendezvous just opened up in Central Square, in the old Burger King, and it is really really good. The Phoenix loves it. So does the Globe. And we do, too.

Eat and Destroy

Kung FungPay attention, you Boston-area foodies! Todd is starting up Eat and Destroy, a Boston area food/restaurant blog.

I can’t wait to try a Mongolian Fire Pot.


Pressed Sandwiches

pressedPressed, Central Square
736 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139 [map]

Rarely am I motivated enough to post about food… after all, it’s something I do every day (that is, eat). But, there is a newish eatery in Central Square called Pressed, which I’ve lunched at a couple of times now, and I felt compelled to offer some observations.

Pressed is the kind of sandwich shop that puts all the emphasis on detail… the interior is decorated very modern, with an earthy green glow, black chalkboards with the offerings, and nice light treatments. One odd thing that I noticed is that everything is branded with their leafy logo – from little bags of candy, to bottled water. Think high-end McDonald’s, without the playground.

Setting aside the ambiance, (which I will return to later), how is the food? Quite good, it turns out. I’m a fan of panini-style sandwiches, and toasted bread in general, but often times when you order a panini at other places, you get regular old sub-shop ingredients pressed between way too much bread. Pressed hits the mark both in the quality of ingredients, and bread. Their breakfast sandwiches are especially delicious, made with real eggs and cheeses. They serve coffee with the haughty brand name of Terrior, and it’s pretty tasty in hot and cold form.

So, for Pressed to spend all this energy getting all these details correct, it’s a shame they don’t put the same effort into service. I stood ungreeted for about 5 minutes today, ready to order, while two employees were mumbling about the cash register. Then, after ordering, and holding out my $20-bill, the young man (who looked like an art-school post-grad), started shuffling menus and looking up prices in silence… after what seemed like all morning, he announced that my $3.75 breakfast sandwich and large iced coffee would cost – $5, even. After a second of processing, I figured out that the register was broken. Not a big deal, it would make sense to communicate this to the customer.

So, I saddled up at a table to flip through last week’s Weekly Dig, and waited for my breakfast. After 10 minutes or so, I finally stood up, and the other employee, (who looked and sounded like he’d be more at home in a family diner, behind the grille), turned and grabbed a bag from the counter, and handed it to me. How long had it been sitting there? If I had sat there another 10 minutes, would he have called me then?

Service is a big deal to me – even in a fast-food sandwich shop. My previous two visits might have gone smoother, however it’s a shame that this one has cemented my impression.

Fat-kins Diet

I’ve been on a high-protein diet for about 6 months, and I’ve dropped about 22 pounds since, and I feel much healthier, etc.

Still, this Neurotically Yours flash animation makes me laugh: Fat-kins Diet

Steak Salad

steak saladI watched a bit of FoodTV on Sunday, and suffered through Rachael Ray and her awful accent and mannerisms… I’ve never once wanted to eat anything she cooks, because she annoys me so much.

But after Rachael, a delightful woman came on, who I’ve never seen before: Giada De Laurentiis, and she apparently cooks Italian. Sure, she’s hot, but the production values on this show are a little more modern, (think Nigella), with nice lighting and editing.

The show was so pleasant to watch, I ended up cooking her Steak Salad for Presley and I last night. I went a little overboard on the Gorgonzola, but I really love the creamy taste. And, you can never have too much cheese, right?


A Club Sandwich without bacon, is not a Club Sandwich.

Fast Food Nation

Is it wrong to look at mothers in the mall food court, and wonder why they let their kids eat McDonald’s and Pizza?

(There are limited culinary options near my workplace)


Provocative title, especially for this weblog… but, it doesn’t have anything remotely to do with what you may be imagining.

With Presley busy studying for her final exams, I’m on my own for dinner. What to do? Grab the Powerbook, and head for the Miracle, of course. Free wi-fi. Nice waitress. Beer. This is all the Modern Urban Male needs.

Why the silly entry title, then, you ask? Well, I’m getting to that.

I sit down, turn on my Powerbook, and order my Grilled Chicken Salad (with the most delicious lime-cilantro dressing), a pint of Bass. When the waitress leaves, i look down, and my computer is asking me if I want to join the Wireless network “MiracleSex”.

Needless to say, if I had been taking a pull on my Bass, I would have spit it out onto the tabletop.

Then I realized, I was sitting in the Miracle of Science, and was two doors down from Middlesex, a new lounge opened up by the same owners. They share the same wi-fi connection, so why not call it “MiracleSex”?


Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m sitting in Cambridge, the largest city in Middlesex county.

Say ‘no’ to MAX cat

max cat makes you vomitFYI: Our cat Katya started barfing after we switched canned cat food to MAX Cat Lite Chicken & Lamb, and now both cats won’t touch the stuff.

They weren’t raised dumb, you know…

Breakfast for Dinner

Everyone is abuzz about Saturday’s Breakfast for Dinner, hosted by Jason and Kim. I’m going to be totally fat after this… look at the menu.

And if that isn’t enough, the drink menu will have me falling down drunk pretty quick.

Great idea, “Breakfast for Dinner”…

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Pancakes with Tomato Sauce

Earlier this week, I mentioned to my friend Keiko that I wanted to make Zucchini bread, a summer tradition in my family. I suspect the tradition arose from the fact that the only thing that grew well in my father’s garden were Zucchinis… everything else usually failed, or was eaten by the neighborhood fauna.

The next day, she brought in from her garden a couple of the largest Zucchinis I’ve ever seen… so large that I started having visions of eating Zucchini bread for the remainder of the summer.

Anyway, a day or two passed, (work has been all-consuming), and I hadn’t begun my project. Then, yesterday, I came home at a decent hour to find Presley in the kitchen, grating Zucchini, and preparing not only bread, but also a recipe for dinner — Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Pancakes with Tomato Sauce.

I got to tell you, those little Zucchini pancakes were the most delicious things I’ve had in months. I enjoyed them so much, I didn’t leave any room for the Zucchini bread…

I’m a lucky guy sometimes.


I don’t know what possessed me to try the new McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich, but I wish I hadn’t. I had no idea that the “griddle” part is basically pancakes with artificial maple syrup, built in.

So, a sausage, egg & cheese McGriddle really is like eating a brick of crap- and it sits in your stomach for hours. Here is the break down:

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles™:
7.0 oz (199 g),550 calories (300 from fat), & 33 grams of fat

Holy Jesus!

The Big Dig

Presley, Tbone, Megger, Chris and I just got back from the Midwest Grill in Inman Square, where we celebrated Presley’s 23rd birthday. She really is getting quite old.

But, on the way home, we convinced Chris to drive down to South Boston, so we could come up the new I-93 N tunnel— that’s right, the Big Dig is open. Well, partially open. The tunnel is wide and bright, with actual signage that gives you some actual notice about your exit before you drive by it.

But the real treat was emerging from the tunnel, and driving onto the Zakim Bridge. It’s really beautiful. I stuck my head out the window in the rain, and just gawked up at the towers. Even with the neon purple lights, it is really something to appreciate– especially at night. Nothing about it says “Boston”, except for its name…. but, you really should take your own trip. Everybody is doing it.

Damn the Flavia Machine

I’m absolutely addicted to the Flavia machine here. $0.50 a cup, but a cup is like 6 oz. It’s Yum.

UPDATE: Note to self: Cafeteria closes at 1:30. You will not eat a late lunch, unless Dorito’s and Ramen out of a machine count.

caw caw caaaahhw. chau chow

caw caw caaaahhw. chau chow city.