Archive for the 'Eats' Category


Is Vegemite dynomite?

Traveling to Australia is something that’s long been on my bucket list.  When that day finally comes, I’ll be sure to give Vegemite a try.  On toast, of course.  If it wasn’t for ESPN, I’d still be oblivious to what is apparently an Australian icon.

After seeing and reading about Americans’ repulsed reactions to this crazy concoction around the Internet, I’m curious to see for myself if this brown/black yeast extract spread has any flavor to it or if it really tastes like “a mixture of salt and battery acid.”


Let’s eat at the Lobster Garden

Hybrid fast food joints are pretty commonplace, but hybrid sit-down restaurants seems pretty crazy.  With the economy as it is, this idea seems to be worth a shot for parent company Darden Restaurants, who is opening a combination Red Lobster Olive Garden restaurant in Florida.  I don’t know how you can make Red Lobster or Olive Garden seem any cheaper, but putting them in the same building is a good start.  Not even Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits could save them from this madness!


Ignorance is bliss

Taco Bell’s relentless promotion of its Touchdown Five Buck Box can be considered a success, as I developed a major craving for a Beefy Crunch Burrito and Crunchwrap Supreme with each subsequent viewing.  Too bad for Taco Bell I succumbed to my habit of checking the nutritional information before making a run for the border.  I really, really wish I didn’t do that.  The Beefy Crunch Burrito and Crunchwrap Supreme are a combined 1,050 calories.  The whole box comes out to about 1,500 calories if you get a non-diet drink.  Considering we only need to eat 2,000-2,500 calories a day, this box will fast track anyone to fat city.  With this info firmly stuck in the back of my mind, I’m going to have to be really “hungry” (translation: drunk) or have the metabolism of Michael Phelps to voluntarily eat this.


Eat Tweet is not so neat

An overriding theme found in cookbooks has been making recipes simple and easy enough so anyone can make it.  While I have no problem with that, Eat Tweet takes that notion into the realm of the ridiculous.  Just as I figured out what Twitter’s value was in my life, I spotted this book over the weekend.  It’s a collection of recipes that were condensed step-by-step into Twitter’s maximum of 140 characters.  Here are some examples cut-and-pasted from the book’s Twitter feed:

  • Whisky Apples: Boil2c h2o&sug; +4c slicdapple/cinnstick. Simmr4m; rmv apple to 4 8oz jars. Boil syrup 5m; +½c whisky. Fill jars; boil5m.
  • Mussel & Apple Stew: boil 2c apple&juice&leek/T buttr/whlclove/pep; +2lb cleanedmussel. Cvr5m@med-high. Srv open(discard shut) w dill&bread

As a social networking platform, I think it’s a great idea.  Sharing your recipes with others is part of what enjoying food is all about, and using abbreviations for Twitter or text messages is entirely appropriate.  However, there’s no need to ration characters when you’re publishing a book.  I’m all for concise directions, but isn’t that a pre-requisite for any cookbook anyway?  It’s a recipe, not prose.  With Eat Tweet, now I have to decode recipes and cross-reference a glossary before I can actually make something.  That doesn’t sound simple and easy to me.


Salami in my back

I love food and I love music.  Wouldn’t they be great if they went together?  One Canadian entrepeneur did just that when combined his love for sandwiches and Wilco.  The end result is Sky Blue Sky Sandwich Company, located in Toronto’s Koreatown.  Its menu features sandwiches named after Wilco songs and the restaurant is decked with Wilco paraphernalia.  Basically it’s Wilco: The Sandwich.

blogTO has the scoop and you can peruse the menu here.

I think it’s time for a roadtrip to Toronto.


God bless encased meats

The Chicago-style hot dog never clicked with me.  I think the relish, tomato and pickle on top of the usual toppings make eating it a messy affair, not to mention add nothing to the taste of the hot dog.  However, there is one Chicago hot dog establishment I would make a point of eating at if given the chance.  I had the opportunity to eat at the venerable Hot Doug’s the other week and I do believe encased meats is the greatest combination of words in the English language, as the staff shirt pictured above says.  Described to me as the creation of a chef who burned out and just wanted to make hot dogs, Hot Doug’s does not disappoint.

The menu is divided into two parts.  One half is made up of hot dogs named after celebrities.  These are the standard encased meats like hot dogs, bratwurst, polish sausage, etc.  The other part of the menu is comprised of special encased meats made in-house.  I got to try the Teuben (a reuben in hot dog form), the calabrese pork sausage with calabrese pepper dijonnaise and cascina pecorino cheese (good and spicy though I’d take more cheese and less dijonnaise) and the foie gras and sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse and sel gris (most unlikely place to taste foie gras for the first time – salty!) to go with fries and a Coke.  I also had a standard Chicago-style hot dog for good measure, but it just reaffirmed how I felt about it.

If you plan on eating at Hot Doug’s, be prepared to wait in line and bring lots of money.  The special dogs start at $7.50 but they are definitely worth it.



Pizza. Sushi. Burgers. Sandwiches. Mexican. Thai. Tapas. Indian. Falafel. Korean. Cuban. I think it goes without saying that there’s food of all sorts readily available in New York City. Sometimes you just need a break from all that and eat something simple.

Enter Macbar, a little establishment whose menu is comprised almost entirely of macaroni and cheese. It has various types to choose from, ranging from cheeseburger, four cheese, beef stroganoff and margherita to more unusual things like lobster and duck. Orders come in three sizes, ranging from 6-12 dollars, and even come in yellow plastic macaroni-shaped containers. Mac n’ cheese is readily available at many sit-down establishments, but the fact that Macbar is primarily a take-out place (though it does have a bench to sit at) really makes it easy to to get my cheesy fix.

I do realize that I’m paying a lot for some glorified hamburger helper, but that takes a lot of time to make. Time I’m sure many people just don’t have anymore. I can’t deny that it’s nice to sit down to some piping hot golden-crusted mac n’ cheese every once in a while, without the work involved.

June 2018
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