June 21, 2012
the white city. lillet rosé. deaths door white whiskey. simple. rhubarb bitters. perfect for summer.

the white city. lillet rosé. deaths door white whiskey. simple. rhubarb bitters. perfect for summer.

June 18, 2012
Victoria basted, spicy Italian sausage. fried garlic. cherry tomato.

Victoria basted, spicy Italian sausage. fried garlic. cherry tomato.

June 8, 2012
golden cap saison & butter poached shrimp on toast.

golden cap saison & butter poached shrimp on toast.

February 15, 2012
peppers from our yard in Manuel Antonio park, Costa Rica.

peppers from our yard in Manuel Antonio park, Costa Rica.

August 15, 2011
my friends make awesome observations. not hating, just saying.

my friends make awesome observations. not hating, just saying.

August 13, 2011

Goddess & the Gross.

I’m not going to post a photo for this little rant because I’m so tempted to use Microsoft Paint to draw a wiener blowing a load all over the front door of this place and there is a good chance I’ll end up swallowing some form of sustenance from The Goddess & Grocer in Bucktown in the future.

I may seem kind of particular about what I put in my mouth(we know that’s a joke), but for the most part I’ll try anything once. Fuck, I’ll probably try it twice. I just have to ask, how many times do I have to tell the fucking people at Goddess & the Grocer to leave the cucumbers off of my bagel sandwich? There’s really 2 things that make me gag when I put them in my mouth(insert…hahaha you get it), CUCUMBERS & BELL PEPPERS. On top of the fucking cucumbers, if you burn a bagel to the point that it is a fine shade of chestnut, you probably shouldn’t serve it to your customers. 

Ok I have to stop. There are far too many open ended cock references in this post.

June 29, 2011
That shit there, on the far right. That shit really pissed me off the other day. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to make something called bacon mignonette? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy bacon in some questionable forms. Bacon cupcakes, candied bacon, bacon wrapped around pretty much anything, bacon salt. Call it pancetta, call it pork belly, sear it, fry it, bake it, broil it, I dont give a fuck, I’d probably eat it close to raw. However, who the fuck are you to chop it up with some oil (FAT) and it’s own FAT, toss in some spices and call it MIGNONETTE. Let alone serve it with my Blue Point Oysters (ok, I know, Blue Points are like factory farmed oysters but I was landlocked in Michigan so gimme a break). That is disgusting and offensive on so many levels. Rather than trying to be innovative, why didn’t you simply throw some cheese, breadcrumbs and bacon on them and bake them for a few minutes, at least that would be a nice variation of oysters rockefeller. Whoever gave you a culinary degree should probably die of a cholesterol induced heart attack. 

That shit there, on the far right. That shit really pissed me off the other day. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to make something called bacon mignonette? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy bacon in some questionable forms. Bacon cupcakes, candied bacon, bacon wrapped around pretty much anything, bacon salt. Call it pancetta, call it pork belly, sear it, fry it, bake it, broil it, I dont give a fuck, I’d probably eat it close to raw. However, who the fuck are you to chop it up with some oil (FAT) and it’s own FAT, toss in some spices and call it MIGNONETTE. Let alone serve it with my Blue Point Oysters (ok, I know, Blue Points are like factory farmed oysters but I was landlocked in Michigan so gimme a break). That is disgusting and offensive on so many levels. Rather than trying to be innovative, why didn’t you simply throw some cheese, breadcrumbs and bacon on them and bake them for a few minutes, at least that would be a nice variation of oysters rockefeller. Whoever gave you a culinary degree should probably die of a cholesterol induced heart attack. 

May 26, 2011
I’m not sure where to begin with this.
We are in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Sitting on the beach at the only bia toui we’ve found in the entire country. It’s called Louisianne. If you’re like me you’re thinking “gross, couldn’t get a bit more creative with the name?” right? They have pizza, spaghetti, nachos, Caesar salad, sushi!?…it’s more or less the Cheesecake Factory of Nha Trang.
Either way, they have beach chairs and a pool and Vietnamese “craft beer”. Hat trick!
As we sat and basked ourselves in the Eastern sun, we watched 3 ladies walk up to the edge of the resort property line. Pots, pans, grill tops and coals over shoulder. Perplexed, we sit with the other Westerners bronzing their bellies and swigging brews and stare for about 20 minutes. Finally 2 girls approach one of the ladies. They discuss something and have a seat on a tarp in the sand. Ok, I get it. So it’s beach food, like street food in Hanoi, or HCMC but on a beach…no tiny tables, no condiment caddies, no noodle soup spoons or chopsticks. Interesting. After watching them pull lobsters and crabs straight from the South China Sea out of their pots and locals swarm to one lady specifically, we were intrigued. Louisianne lagars downed. Time for beach food.
This is one thing I like about Vietnam. When we try to speak Vietnamese, a tonal language, and our tones are off, we just confuse the locals even more. We’ve learned that it’s best just to point at what you want. No offense is taken. Its like being a toddler all over again. Finger point, I want, I get. Why cant every exchange work this way. This is my finger in your face, I want you, here is some money, you’re mine now. Cảm ơn (Thank you). 
We planned on a street food meal later so we ordered small. 1 crab. 1 lobster. We were brought to a tarp on the sand by a young boy. He sat us down and told us to wait. He brought us scissors, plates and a bowl of white sauce. No butter, no fancy exo skeletal crushing device, no bibs, no napkins. We got a few Tiger bia’s and watched the tide roll in as the sun went down and patiently awaited the food we ordered. 
Course 1. Cua, the crab. I honestly don’t remember devouring this little guy. We spent the course of inhaling his innards discussing what we thought this little bowl of white sauce was. 
Course 2. Tôm, the lobster. You may think it looks like a deep fried rodent, but that thing on the left cut in half is in fact an large langoustine. Char-grilled over a makeshift grill on the beach of Nha Trang. Caught in the water we were sitting in front of. Sweet lobster meat, dipped in this bowl of white sauce.
This sauce. I’m still salivating at the thought of this sauce. I dont think I will ever be able to dip another sweet piece of crustacean meat into a disgusting ramekin of melted butter ever again. I’m pretty sure it was a mixture of coconut milk, pepper, cane sugar and citrus. Simple. Delightful. The perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy.  
We were both so happy with our food we decided to order 4 more lobster tails, 2 bias and watch the sunset.
I’m not sure how to end this. Back at the beginning and the end, confused yet full and happy. I really dont have anything clever, witty or filthy to say about this. It was just perfect. I want to remember it that way.

I’m not sure where to begin with this.

We are in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Sitting on the beach at the only bia toui we’ve found in the entire country. It’s called Louisianne. If you’re like me you’re thinking “gross, couldn’t get a bit more creative with the name?” right? They have pizza, spaghetti, nachos, Caesar salad, sushi!?…it’s more or less the Cheesecake Factory of Nha Trang.

Either way, they have beach chairs and a pool and Vietnamese “craft beer”. Hat trick!

As we sat and basked ourselves in the Eastern sun, we watched 3 ladies walk up to the edge of the resort property line. Pots, pans, grill tops and coals over shoulder. Perplexed, we sit with the other Westerners bronzing their bellies and swigging brews and stare for about 20 minutes. Finally 2 girls approach one of the ladies. They discuss something and have a seat on a tarp in the sand. Ok, I get it. So it’s beach food, like street food in Hanoi, or HCMC but on a beach…no tiny tables, no condiment caddies, no noodle soup spoons or chopsticks. Interesting. After watching them pull lobsters and crabs straight from the South China Sea out of their pots and locals swarm to one lady specifically, we were intrigued. Louisianne lagars downed. Time for beach food.

This is one thing I like about Vietnam. When we try to speak Vietnamese, a tonal language, and our tones are off, we just confuse the locals even more. We’ve learned that it’s best just to point at what you want. No offense is taken. Its like being a toddler all over again. Finger point, I want, I get. Why cant every exchange work this way. This is my finger in your face, I want you, here is some money, you’re mine now. Cảm ơn (Thank you).

We planned on a street food meal later so we ordered small. 1 crab. 1 lobster. We were brought to a tarp on the sand by a young boy. He sat us down and told us to wait. He brought us scissors, plates and a bowl of white sauce. No butter, no fancy exo skeletal crushing device, no bibs, no napkins. We got a few Tiger bia’s and watched the tide roll in as the sun went down and patiently awaited the food we ordered.

Course 1. Cua, the crab. I honestly don’t remember devouring this little guy. We spent the course of inhaling his innards discussing what we thought this little bowl of white sauce was.

Course 2. Tôm, the lobster. You may think it looks like a deep fried rodent, but that thing on the left cut in half is in fact an large langoustine. Char-grilled over a makeshift grill on the beach of Nha Trang. Caught in the water we were sitting in front of. Sweet lobster meat, dipped in this bowl of white sauce.

This sauce. I’m still salivating at the thought of this sauce. I dont think I will ever be able to dip another sweet piece of crustacean meat into a disgusting ramekin of melted butter ever again. I’m pretty sure it was a mixture of coconut milk, pepper, cane sugar and citrus. Simple. Delightful. The perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy.

We were both so happy with our food we decided to order 4 more lobster tails, 2 bias and watch the sunset.

I’m not sure how to end this. Back at the beginning and the end, confused yet full and happy. I really dont have anything clever, witty or filthy to say about this. It was just perfect. I want to remember it that way.

April 23, 2011
bahn xeo at cho da lat. atleast it was 20 minutes before this photo.

bahn xeo at cho da lat. atleast it was 20 minutes before this photo.

March 16, 2011
Does size really matter?
Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve always said “It’s not the size, it’s how you use it.” Too much of anything in my mind is a BAD thing. Ok, I have some exceptions like txakoli(or any sparkling wine for that matter), raw fish and traveling. However, I hate large portion sizes, I hate Thanksgiving and most of all, I hate being FULL.
So, I’m in Hollywood. I just saw one of my favorite bands from when I was 16 blow thru a reunion show. We were accosted by a crazy chick we knew from back in Detroit. Beers were $10 bucks. The sound sucked. The show was sold out. I can’t see shit. They aren’t playing anything off their first album. I’m getting fucking cranky. Thank god I had some of the best company in the US with me. You know you’re winning when you have a group of people from Portland, Phoenix, Detroit and Chicago who have known each other for over 10 years hanging out. This also ensures that we have been drinking since 3pm(at Canters, the Jewish deli in Hollywood). And by drinking I mean shooting whiskey, tequila and drinking beer. Show ends, 6 indecisive, drunk people, whats next?
Enter, BIG WANGS. Now on the other hand, I love a good play on words and I am a pervert, so the name of this sports bar in Hollywood has me wondering what it’s all about. I’m imagining this is going to be like Lions and Tigers and Beers in down river Detroit. As we pull up to an illuminated sign with a cock flexing his tatted wing, I’m thinking to myself, “am I drunk enough to do this right now?”
My old roommate Andy and I head in. His knucklehead roommates from LA are already there. I am immediately overwhelmed with the aroma of wing sauce. Buffalo, BBQ, honey mustard and grease. Is this a good thing? Does this smell good? I’m torn. Sometimes wings seem like a good idea. Ok, thats a lie. They always sound like a good idea but sometimes they just are NOT GOOD. All of our party arrives. I have a beer bigger than my head in my hands, good people surrounding me. I’m happy, the Clippers are on the TV, I’m drunk. I want wings.
Mind you we are a mix of vegetarians, pescetarians and carnivores. I can go anyway. I dont mind eating vegetarian. I love meat, but I try to keep a balanced diet. So when I realize the only people who want to eat are vegetarians, I’m torn. Until Andy says “ask our slut of a waitress for veggie wangs.”  Oh no. The thoughts of morning star chick patties and tofu battered mush and wheat gluten are violently parading thru my head. My stomach stops grumbling. I’m thinking of seitan expanding inside of my already full of booze tummy. I’m not hungry? I’m no longer hungry? I’m confused? FUCK IT. I’m on vacation.
I ask our “slut of a waitress” if they have “veggie wangs” tonight. Which she safely assures us that they do. We order 6 buffalo and 6 BBQ. Time goes by, I forget we ordered them. 25 minutes later 2 baskets land on our table. They dont look like fried bricks of tofu, or Boca brand chik’n nuggets dumped in hot sauce. They actually look like meat. Well, except for the fact that they’re adhering to a wooden stick. I grab for a buffalo wang. Skip the dipping, and bite into it. I’m not gonna lie, I may be drunk, but I am having a real hard time believing this shit is fake.
It looks a lot like meat. The consistency is similar to real meat. It holds strong to the wooden “bone”. What is this shit? It doesnt seem to be soy, it’s not seitan and it’s not chicken. I’m so confused. Fuck it. I guess being confused is better than being pissed off, hungry, lonely or upset.
I’d like to pretend that this was the end of my time spent at Big Wangs. However, after wandering around the Hollywood farmers market I found myself bellied back up to the bar, drinking a bloody mary, watching the NBA. No food this time but if this place was in my neighborhood, I have a feeling I’d be there on a regular basis. No shame. What’s in a name? Truth? Yes, Big Wangs has big fake chicken wangs and they are good.  Size? Nope, size still doesn’t matter.

Does size really matter?

Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve always said “It’s not the size, it’s how you use it.” Too much of anything in my mind is a BAD thing. Ok, I have some exceptions like txakoli(or any sparkling wine for that matter), raw fish and traveling. However, I hate large portion sizes, I hate Thanksgiving and most of all, I hate being FULL.

So, I’m in Hollywood. I just saw one of my favorite bands from when I was 16 blow thru a reunion show. We were accosted by a crazy chick we knew from back in Detroit. Beers were $10 bucks. The sound sucked. The show was sold out. I can’t see shit. They aren’t playing anything off their first album. I’m getting fucking cranky. Thank god I had some of the best company in the US with me. You know you’re winning when you have a group of people from Portland, Phoenix, Detroit and Chicago who have known each other for over 10 years hanging out. This also ensures that we have been drinking since 3pm(at Canters, the Jewish deli in Hollywood). And by drinking I mean shooting whiskey, tequila and drinking beer. Show ends, 6 indecisive, drunk people, whats next?

Enter, BIG WANGS. Now on the other hand, I love a good play on words and I am a pervert, so the name of this sports bar in Hollywood has me wondering what it’s all about. I’m imagining this is going to be like Lions and Tigers and Beers in down river Detroit. As we pull up to an illuminated sign with a cock flexing his tatted wing, I’m thinking to myself, “am I drunk enough to do this right now?”

My old roommate Andy and I head in. His knucklehead roommates from LA are already there. I am immediately overwhelmed with the aroma of wing sauce. Buffalo, BBQ, honey mustard and grease. Is this a good thing? Does this smell good? I’m torn. Sometimes wings seem like a good idea. Ok, thats a lie. They always sound like a good idea but sometimes they just are NOT GOOD. All of our party arrives. I have a beer bigger than my head in my hands, good people surrounding me. I’m happy, the Clippers are on the TV, I’m drunk. I want wings.

Mind you we are a mix of vegetarians, pescetarians and carnivores. I can go anyway. I dont mind eating vegetarian. I love meat, but I try to keep a balanced diet. So when I realize the only people who want to eat are vegetarians, I’m torn. Until Andy says “ask our slut of a waitress for veggie wangs.” Oh no. The thoughts of morning star chick patties and tofu battered mush and wheat gluten are violently parading thru my head. My stomach stops grumbling. I’m thinking of seitan expanding inside of my already full of booze tummy. I’m not hungry? I’m no longer hungry? I’m confused? FUCK IT. I’m on vacation.

I ask our “slut of a waitress” if they have “veggie wangs” tonight. Which she safely assures us that they do. We order 6 buffalo and 6 BBQ. Time goes by, I forget we ordered them. 25 minutes later 2 baskets land on our table. They dont look like fried bricks of tofu, or Boca brand chik’n nuggets dumped in hot sauce. They actually look like meat. Well, except for the fact that they’re adhering to a wooden stick. I grab for a buffalo wang. Skip the dipping, and bite into it. I’m not gonna lie, I may be drunk, but I am having a real hard time believing this shit is fake.

It looks a lot like meat. The consistency is similar to real meat. It holds strong to the wooden “bone”. What is this shit? It doesnt seem to be soy, it’s not seitan and it’s not chicken. I’m so confused. Fuck it. I guess being confused is better than being pissed off, hungry, lonely or upset.

I’d like to pretend that this was the end of my time spent at Big Wangs. However, after wandering around the Hollywood farmers market I found myself bellied back up to the bar, drinking a bloody mary, watching the NBA. No food this time but if this place was in my neighborhood, I have a feeling I’d be there on a regular basis. No shame. What’s in a name? Truth? Yes, Big Wangs has big fake chicken wangs and they are good. Size? Nope, size still doesn’t matter.