Posts Tagged ‘food’

Everyone loves lists and I’m no exception. (Check out Green Olive’s 15 best meals of the year here.) Here you have my favorite photos of the year. These represent some random combination of how much I like the photo and how much I liked the meal. Presented in chronological order.

1.  Skate bun at Momofuku Noodle Bar.

2. Stevie at the downtown Austin farmer’s market.

3. Charcuterie plate, featuring Dai Due and Kocurek.

4. Chicken taco from Takorea. As you can see, this was my white period.

5. Sign at Father’s Office.

6. Place setting at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon.

7. Brisket closeup at Franklin Barbecue. Special thanks to those guys for linking to our post from their web site.

8. Brisket from Texas Rib Kings. As you can further see, this was my brisket period.

9. Eliza loving life at Russ & Daughters.

10. This one’s obviously more about the food than the photo: pimento cheese with sausage from Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, served to us up at the Big Apple BBQ courtesy of Jeff and Elizabeth.

11. Top Notch sign.

12. Eliza nibbling the goods at Luling City Market.

13. Fried Alligator at Cochon.

14. Eliza’s mom, serenaded in New Orleans.

15. Eliza braving post-blizzard NYC.


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I’ve lived in Texas for about four years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two things Texans love more than anything else: naming stuff after Texas, and wordplay. So we have Texpresso for coffee, Texadelphia for cheese steaks, and burgers from Burger Tex. Every time I drive by one of these places, I hear Jon Stewart’s George W Bush impression in my head, “See, it’s like regular burgers, but we’re in TEXAS! He-heh.”

Eliza and I have been debating Austin burgers for a while, with neither of us landing on a single favorite. I’ve heard more than one friend call Burger Tex their favorite, so we figured it was high time to check ’em out. A quest for the best makes a great excuse to eat burgers, after all, so consider this the beginning of a long journey. We’re in search of the truth.

Burger Tex’s claim to fame is their fresh buns, which they bake on site every day. Hence, “the freshest hamburgers in town.”

They also have a self-serve fixins bar, where I naturally overdosed on mayo. Sweet, delicious mayo.

It’s just a bad idea to put me within arm’s reach of this much mayonaise. I’m sure to overdo it. And I did. It all just reaffirms my conviction that when eating out, I’m not a fan of DIY. That’s why I can’t stand Mongolian BBQ. Cooking (or in this case, condiment squirting) is best left to the pros.

The onion rings were excellent.

Eliza had hers with fried okra.

It’s a fine burger, without a doubt. But if you go, take it easy on the mayo. And Texas: take it easy on the puns.

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Russ & Daughters, New York NY

We had just eaten lunch at The Meatball Shop and were heading out in search of a coffee shop when we stumbled upon one of my old favorites. When I lived in New York,  Russ & Daughters was my destination for red licorice to take into the nearby movie theater. I also had a big thing for their caviar cream cheese. It’s the kind of cream cheese you dream about.

I hesitated for a moment. I had just eaten a plate of meatball sandwiches! But I was too afraid that I might regret passing on that second lunch and too tempted by the tantalizing display of cream cheeses to say no.  I surrendered to the call of the everything bagel slathered with that delicious caviar cream cheese.

It was everything I had been dreaming of.

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There’s nothing worse than audience Q&A at public events. The worst strain of Q&A, though, is Q&A with celebrities. I learned this tonight at the Paramount Theater, where the profane, skinny-legged, and utterly likable Anthony Bourdain appeared. I usually make a quick exit whenever an audience Q&A begins, but unfortunately this event was almost nothing but Q&A. After reading a choice anti-vegetarian screed from his new book, Bourdain opened up the floor to the sad and desperate.

As far as I can tell there are three questioner archetypes:

1) The “Please Love Me, I Love You” type: These people are looking for the celebrity to validate some aspect of their lives (e.g., “I’m from New Jersey. What’s your favorite restaurant there?”)

2) The “I Will Prove to You How Much I Love You” type: These people start their awful questions off by quoting to the celebrity something they once said (e.g., “The last time you were in Austin, you said this one thing that I just loved“).

3) The “I’m Not So Different Than You” type: These people make a pathetic attempt to show that they, like the celebrity, have a certain quality. In Bourdain’s case, this involves something outrageous. (e.g., “I know you really like to smoke pot, so I was wondering if you could comment on how awesome that makes a person.”)

It is a testament to Bourdain’s charisma that he was able to be quite entertaining despite the Q&A format. Here are a few of his choice quotes:

When asked about the best meal to cook to get someone into bed: “I say, stick with the classics… Alcohol.”

On people who describe chocolate as “orgasmic”: “I’d really question the quality of the sex you’re having.”

On Cincinnati: “God did not intend for chili to be eaten on top of spaghetti.”

On choosing to leave the Food Network rather than change his show: “One of the first things any television executive learns is that there is no limit to what people will do in order to stay on television. Just look at the Jersey Shore or The Real Housewives.”

On whether smoking affected his pallatte: “That’s why God created salt.”

On food today: “There’s never been a better time to cook in America. There’s never been a better time to eat in America.”

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