Got back from New Orleans a few weeks ago. Ate lots of delicious food at Jazz Fest– the highlight was the sweet potato turnover as always. I went to my old ‘hood, Magazine Street, and was Chef John Besh at La Divina Gelateria. Then I ate some hand made chocolates from their rival, Sucre. Also popped into a banh mi shop in New Orleans East. I’ll be back in less than a month to get married!… Read the rest
I haven’t had a moment to “catch my breath” in the words of Kelly Clarkson. Lately life has been a whirlwind of good things (“no complaining!” I tell myself) but also tough on my awkward sensibilities. I need lots of alone recovery time to feel normal. Plus I recently lost my glasses, so I feel totally exposed to the world.
See above for the telltale signs that mulberries are in the vicinity. Once or twice a year I bike around the ‘hood to pick from my secret stash of trees. Picking fruit is fun, but it comes all at once, and then you need to do stuff to/with it.
The problem with mulberries? They’re just sweet and flavorless (once, some “farmer” passed off mulberries for blackberries at the market in Baton Rouge, and I was PISSED). With the help of lots of lemon juice, they still make great jam and desserts. Also, their little stems are always attached. Maybe you could carefully pick them off, but that just seems psychotic. I deal with the stems by making more of a jelly than a jam– squeezing the juice out of the fruit, and then maybe adding back some of the pulp for texture. … Read the rest
This post is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2013 City Guide.
“I’m English. I have habits. I drink tea…” explains Michael Caine’s character while sitting outside the Continental in 1950′s Saigon. It’s the opening scene of The Quiet American, the mediocre movie version of the awesome Graham Greene novel. Like the main character, I also have habits. I go to the same Vietnamese restaurants over and over again even though Austin has a surprisingly decent selection of Vietnamese spots. Although most of them offer all the classic dishes, it seems like each one has its specialty. Here are a few of my favorites for now!
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Tam Deli is my go-to spot for a casual dinner of bánh mì, the classic sandwich of cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, and meat stuffed into a tender baguette. Although not especially traditional, the chargrilled pork and lemongrass beef are popular fillings. Their crispy yam and shrimp fritters are another unique dish, and their cream puffs have an enthusiastic following. Lulu B’s trailer and Lily’s Sandwich are also good bánh mì spots– I love my friend Maggie’s post about a visit to Lily’s!… Read the rest
Magazine Street really exploded into THE STRIP after the flood. Blocks and blocks of busy shops and restaurants appeared, while just five minutes away, the formerly bustling South Claiborne Avenue looked like a ghost town. Yes, the strip had its share of blinking traffic lights. The crazy drivers of New Orleans impressively learned to treat each intersection like a four-way stop sign. But besides damaged roofs, most of the buildings in the Strip bubble were unscathed.
We strolled the Strip “30 minutes each day, no excuses!” we shouted. Not to get all Confederacy of Dunces, but the daily sightings of neighborhood characters (henceforth referred to as “stripsters”) was comforting. There was an older man with a gray beard and long dreads who dutifully hobbled the Strip with his walking stick, greeting us cheerfully “Hey ladies, how y’all doing? God bless y’all!” There was the pixieish blond girl, always clothed in a vintage sheath dress. She disdainfully sighed at the clothes I dared to sell at her second hand clothing store. And there was also a small child of about ten years old, shilling miniature pies outside the neighborhood A&P. His life’s story was mapped out in my mind, that his mother had no choice but to bake delightful miniature pies to make ends meet.… Read the rest
UPDATE! Evin of Food Good, Laundry Bad is the winner! YAY! I hope you love your box of meat!
That’s me– looking super cool in my cheesemongering get-up. I learned so much about charcuterie while working at Murray’s Cheese, and even more about cheese of course. During the holiday chaos, I madly ran to the walk-in and fetched Columbus finocchionas and soppresattas and hoisted them onto the meat slicer. My arm would get sore from ballin’ New Yorkers demanding two pounds of thinly sliced Genoa salami. There were fun times behind the cheese counter (like waiting on celebrities and selecting cheeses for Martha Stewart), but I’m thankful to be the customer now. I often find myself buying Columbus products because they’re good value and taste great.
I was thrilled when Columbus offered to send me a sampler and sponsor a giveaway. They recently launched a new line of minimally processed, pre-sliced meats called Farm to Fork Naturals made from hogs and turkeys that have been raised with no antibiotics and 100% vegetarian feeds. The Farm to Fork Naturals line kicks off with three deli meat and four salame varieties. I’m usually suspicious of pre-sliced salami, but this product tastes just as good as meat straight from the deli (believe me, I snacked on tons of freshly cut salami behind that counter).… Read the rest