Category Archives: Eating

How not to close a restaurant

The middle eastern place closed down in my town. I figured this out by showing up two nights in a row at prime dinner hour and finding the door locked, the room dark, with no sign of activity. I called … Continue reading

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Who wants some serviceberry pie?

Local blogger and grain aficionado Amy Halloran was kind enough to share the semi-secret location of her favorite serviceberry bush. My son Gratis and I picked a quart in about 20 minutes and my wife Carol baked them into a … Continue reading

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My forgotten oyster tasting

There is a story about Robert Benchley, or maybe it was James Thurber, in which he was awakened in the middle of the night by a brilliant story idea, scribbled furiously on the note pad at his bedside, then fell … Continue reading

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Looney for uni (sea urchin gonads)

The email from Catalina Offshore Products brought some exciting news: premium uni, normally $18.99 for a 120 g tray, was on sale for $13.99 for one day only. There was a minimum purchase of $50, meaning I had to commit … Continue reading

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15 Church shows how to make a good restaurant great

Had Mother’s Day dinner at 15 Church in Saratoga Springs, NY, a place that’s been open just about a year and has recalibrated our definition of fine dining in this amiable but touristic destination. The pre-opening expectations were high: a … Continue reading

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How to steam bread in a home oven

Every home baker tries to get more steam into his/her home oven, and most always we fall short. I’ve tried spraying water on the oven walls, pouring water into a cookie sheet in the bottom of the oven, dousing the … Continue reading

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Why nitrites are so bad for you. (Or ARE they?)

A while back we examined “uncured” meat products and how they actually are cured, just with different methods than the traditional curing salts. We also talked about how those products can contain just as many nitrites as a package of … Continue reading

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How to rate suburban sushi

I live in a town of 30,000 that has five restaurants specializing in sushi. Can a community our size really support that many establishments providing a top quality dining experience? My suburban sushi tour aims to find out. I go … Continue reading

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Jake’s Famous Barbecue Sauce… good enough to pour on my meat!

Of the hundreds of products I tasted at last month’s Winter Fancy Food Show, Jake’s Famous barbecue sauces really stood out. His Asian-inspired Blue Oak reminded me of the complex espresso sauce provided at the legendary Franklin’s in Austin. It … Continue reading

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The burger rant (it’s all about the bun)

Behold the perfect burger*, from Jack’s Burger House on Hillcrest in Dallas, TX. Notice how the meat is a thin yet cohesive layer that curves around a much thicker strata of condiments (sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, coarsely chopped onion and … Continue reading

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