It’s irresistible, isn’t it? The thought of an officially sanctioned day of playing hooky, all safe and warm with your kids and your dogs, snuggled up at home with a full pantry, three hundred cable channels and a bottle of wine for later. The oven’s cranking a pot roast and dough’s rising underneath a gingham tea towel in a ceramic bowl on the counter. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting up in here!
Who’d like to get in on a caper? I’m not talking about a hilariously wacky criminal plot. Even if it were victimless and presumably foolproof, I’m naturally nervous about activities that could land me behind bars. Nor an ancient Celtic jumping and bounding dance, either. I’ll take my exercise in milder doses, thanks!
No, I’m mentally munching into an edible caper, those little green BB-shaped things made from the pickled bud of a Mediterranean lily-like flower, an item that most of us buy in little briny jars from Lotsa Pasta and stash on a refrigerator shelf, never to be seen again.
“I like rice,” the late, wacky stand-up comic Mitch Hedberg famously said. “Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.”
This is funny because it’s a presumably true statement about a reality that we’ve probably never considered before, and yanks a laugh out of our bellies before we suddenly come up short with the obvious follow-up: “So what?”
Even after many years of wisecracking about food, I have to doff my toque to Calvin Trillin, whose culinary scribblings in The New Yorker and elsewhere surely qualify him as the funniest food writer ever.
So, upon my recent visit to 8UP, the self-described “Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen” atop the new downtown Hilton Garden Inn, it was with great glee that I went a’Googling in search of my favorite Trillin quote about rooftop eateries.
Savvy restaurant patrons have heard of the practice of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant and paying a “corkage” fee to have it poured and served for you and your guests. But some folks take things a hair too far in this area. Let’s play a game about dining out. A game I like to call “Okay or Not?”
Quick! Can you find the Mediterranean Sea on a map?
This should be easy. It’s that long body of water that stretches from the Straits of Gibraltar at the far end of Spain, all the way over past Italy and Greece Continue reading
Remember the old joke about a hunter’s repeated efforts to bag a giant grizzly bear? It’s a little too long and risque to quote here in full, but it ends with the bear lovingly whispering, “You’re not really here for the hunting, are you, Bob?”
Craft House in Crescent Hill is kind of like that too. Continue reading
I can’t resist mentioning this briefly, since my mini-report on the HotBytes forum and Facebook on New Year’s Day blew up with “Likes” and comments, hinting that there’s public interest in this bizarre development: White Castle, at least for a while, now offers a veggie burger, of all things. They’re only 99 cents each, cheap, but like their meatful siblings, it takes a few to satisfy an appetite.
Here’s one reason why I don’t often review corporate chain eateries: They’re generally predictable. Even the good ones don’t change much, unless the stockholders scream for change, and nothing good generally comes of that.
Take Mitchell’s Fish Market: I last reviewed it in November 2001, when it and its then-corporate partner Martini Italian Bistro had just arrived as anchor restaurants the new Summit shopping center. Continue reading
That scene in “Jaws.” You know the one – Quint and Hooper are comparing scars attained from shark-hunting: “You wanna drink?” “I’ll drink to your leg.” “OK, so we drink to our legs!”
Comparing cooking scars is typical after-hours cook talk. Continue reading
Let’s head over to New Albany and get some bed and break … um … bed and break … DAMMIT! I mean BED AND BREAKFAST! No, BREAD! AND BEKKFAST! DAMMIT AGAIN!
Let’s face it. If I was mean enough to mark a place down because its name is hard to say, then this charming little bakery and b-r-e-a-k-f-a-s-t and lunch eatery at the corner of New Albany’s Main and Bank streets would be in a heap of trouble.
Hey! Vietnamese Kitchen’s got duck! Succulent, delicious duck, fatty and rich! And they’ve got “mock duck,” too: an alternative invented by vegetarian Buddhist monks! Either way, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be … well, you know.
Naturally my mind spun a Pythonesque duck-taunting fight.