Anyone want to, um, spill the bacon here?
Enquiring Joes want to know. :-D
It's refreshing to see more charcuterie going on in the area, and see the quality and breadth of the products available improve.
I've almost always known of someone in the area making sausage: I can remember when Mark Ivey and others were making housemade sausages at the departed Fowler's. But there's definitely a renaissance now. I started seeing housemade sausages in local restaurants. At the beginning, a few of them were a bit dry and needed some work. Julia told me [well, I read it in one of her books ;) ] that when due to some "misplaced scruple" she put too little fat in her sausage mix, she always wound up with a poor sausage. The sausages around Durham are getting better: I had a really good pair of frankfurters for lunch several days ago at Guglhupf, and really like the house-made hot dog at BCBB.
In terms of breadth, BCBB also makes their own bacon, and makes lardo as an occasional add-on. Phoebe Lawless at Scratch puts her lardo on pizzas and other products occasionally. And of course we have Farmhand Foods with their sausages of local provenance, dispensing them through other retail outlets and through their own food truck, or perhaps I should say food trailer. :)
I'm sure I'm missing other folks and meats here, but make no mistake, I want to eat them all. :) And the market hasn't seemed to saturate yet, so I'm happy to see another business trying to get off the ground. So if anyone else knows anything about these folks, do pass it on.
Matthew Kelly, chef/owner at Vin Rouge, is going to be joining the large number of Durham restaurateurs who've opened places downtown. His Spanish restaurant, Mateo, will be going in the building formerly occupied by the Book Exchange [sniffle]. I was sad to see the Book Ex close, but I'm glad to see the building come to good use.
Matt had been relatively quiet about the planned restaurant, so I'd kept my mouth shut. But I might as well say something, as there's an article in the N&O:
While I personally feel fast food chains can all go choke on their "HCrappy Meal" toys, generally I think if someone wants to give something away for free, or charge for it, fine. Hell, let every kid get a free spent depleted uranium penetrator, as far as I care. They're only "mildly radioactive." The real question here is "Why would someone buy their kid one of these meals in the first place?"
I was raised by parents who tried to introduce me to a variety of foods. In that spirit, they might have fed me a Happy Meal on occasion — I don't ever remember getting one, though — but what I was generally expected to eat was what they were eating. At home, that meant what they were cooking (but I was sometimes allowed to skip a particular item: e.g., if they were making fried fish, slaw, cornbread, and potatoes, I'd be allowed to eat my fill of the cornbread, slaw, and potatoes, and skip the fish). If we went out, which wasn't a lot, I (after a certain age) ordered off the menu; I never remember seeing any sort of child's menu. If I committed some horrid sin, like ordering a tuna fish sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate for my birthday at a nice seafood restaurant (yes, this really happened), they might check, but I was allowed to hang myself under those circumstances.
So, why buy your kid this stuff? To distract them with the toy? Perhaps one could bring a toy or a book. Perhaps they're hoping not to be bothered by their kid while they're killing their Big Mac. I guess we'll see whether parents value being able to ignore their kid at a dime per kid or not. Personally, I imagine it'll fly: I can see mothers all over the Bay Area giving their kids dimes to put in some Ronald McDonald House "donation" box, the same way my mom used to give me dimes to stick in those March of Dimes collection boxes.
For my beloved City of San Francisco: Since you've already dived further into the regulatory waters of dictating meal content (as has the State of California with another ill-considered foie gras ban), why not regulate menus? Forbid the presentation of children's menus altogether. Or tax the presentation of a "child's menu," or that child meal itself. Remember, it's for the children. That phrase will get about anything passed.
When none of that works, chuck the whole mess into the water off Alcatraz. I hear about anything will drown off there.
Edit: "Wild Bears Shit in Woods," or it might as well say that. Who did The Atlantic et. al. think was paying for those burgers and buying those Happy Meals? And yes, most fast food places have a "dollar menu," but the same places are constantly testing the waters of newer, more upscale products they can still throw through a drive-through window quickly.
When did the Randy's Pizza at Northgate close? Wrong, bad, mistake, they're open and fine, thankfully. And thanks for the help, folks.
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I had two Thanksgivings, which was awesome. Not sure if I have twice as much to be thankful for or what, but it certainly left me with no time to blog about either.
If any of the rest of you need food ideas for Second Thanksgiving, Xmas, Festivus, or what have you, perhaps you should try the newest edition of the Ron Paul Family Cookbook:
On the one tentacle, there's still time to get your Deep Fried on at the N.C. State Fair. I suggest finding some deep fried Oreos; if you want something more like real food, I suggest an ear of corn, as they're delicious.
On the other tentacle, Sean Wilson of Fullsteam points out that while the North Carolina State Fair awards three hundred forty-three — 343 — medals to North Carolina wines, there are none — 0 — for North Carolina beers. That's right: One of the most active food and drink scenes in the state and its newly active — dare I say fermenting? — and growing industry gets absolutely no recognition. Zero. Zilch. Nada. To wit:
Think about it.
And enjoy your autumn, however you choose to do so — it's kinda nice out there. :)
Gary Kueber at Endangered Durham is going to be doing a sort of treasure hunt of historic restaurants. He'll be posting clues on his Facebook and Twitter sites, as well as on the ED post above. I won't be able to attend the dénouement/tour due to prior ditch digging commitments, but I think I'd really enjoy it. Gary is also giving away small prizes as part of the treasure hunt.
By the way, this activity is in part to publicize Open Durham, Gary's new project to re-work ED while adding a bunch of neat stuff.
Looks cool. Y'all have fun.
Joe E. says check it out.
Was that a review? Wow. :)
So we're happy to learn they've started a series of free Tuesday tastings. They start at 5 pm until they close at 6:30. The wines so far have been different from the wines on the Saturday tastings, so you can double-dip if you like and, um, not be harmed. :) I certainly wasn't harmed when I stopped in one night after some, um, canal work, and actually managed to buy something delicious. So enjoy that.
Happy China Sushi and Bar, formerly known as "Red Zen," formerly known as "Kimono," formerly known as "Pao Lim," is open. I've read that the owners after this last transition are different, but I don't really know. Nor have I tried it. I imagine they'll have a hard row to hoe going against Thai Cafe in University Green (which I think is OK, not great, but most of my friends love [but this isn't the Chinese restaturant post ;-} ] ).
An article on beers folks in the US supposedly no longer drink:
What the article doesn't state is whether any of those big beer companies are actually suffering from declining sales or profits. Many of them have merged or bought other companies to the point that they're hardly recognizable. They're also, arguably, no longer American companies, although I imagine their brews are still made in the United States. I also imagine it's not cheap to ship fluids stably and in drink-sized containers. :)
Right, Raleigh -- you don't want to be "like Durham," which is why you're changing your laws to be more like Durham's:
“I don’t think the city of Raleigh is going to fall apart if we don’t have food trucks,” Odom sniffed. “I’m not looking forward to being like Durham.”
I love the way people treat us as a city, don't you? I also love that the Durham Herald-Sun is covering this. Thank you. :)
The Reliable Cheese Company has a sign up on the door of their new digs at 405 East Chapel Hill Street, saying they'll be open for business tomorrow, 16 June 2011. Their space is just down from Rue Cler. I guess that means you can soon pick up a loaf at Rue Cler, get cheese just down the street, and scarf them together. :)
I actually dislike the term fine dining, but for lack of a better term.... Or to expand it a bit, who's open where I'd like to eat? ;) More reasonably, I guess not everyone is out grilling burgers with family. That includes me: I'm digging ditches today. But where might I eat tonight? Enquiring Joes want to know. ;)
For those of you in the service or with family members who've served (and perhaps died), thank you for your service and your support of your serving family members. For those of you with your meals and freedom already secured for this holiday, Happy Memorial Day, and enjoy your time off.
I assume the next step will be to abolish Saturday morning cartoons and replace them with "reality TV."
From the N&O:
Also, some background at Celiac.com.
After decisions by various local planning organs, Mr. Joseph Scarfo of Joey D's NY Dogs may be moving to another town:
That'd be unfortunate, especially after leasing the space. I'm wondering what the hell "lease" even means when you can't put a hot dog cart on the leased spot. I'm also wondering if it's typical for ordinary citizens to be asked to pay for the cost of changing a local ordinance.
Edit: The "supply customers with bathroom" thing is particularly ridiculous: my understanding is that a brick & mortar food business only has to supply bathrooms if they have seating. That's why all the places like Wimpy's had to get rid of their picnic tables outside. Why would a mobile cart be forced to have a bathroom when a building doesn't?
There's no report of illness from this California company's ground beef recall, but some of the product was apparently shipped to North Carolina, so I'm posting it as of possible local interest. The USDA doesn't have a list of retail outlets yet.
To be honest, I'm mostly posting this because I'm trying to reconcile in my head how the statements "The problem was discovered through company microbiological sampling which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7" and (PDF alert) "None of the recalled product tested positive for E.coli 0157:H7 on those days" can both be true and result in this recall. Maybe they caught some other meat before it left the plant or something.
The first link above -- the USDA one -- should eventually yield a list of retail outlets. The second link contains images of package labels and date stamps that should let you tell immediately whether you have suspect food.
Edit: a current retailer list is out. Harris Teeter looks like the only local casualty; Costco is affected, but not stores in North Carolina. You're still advices to use the labels show in the second link above, as the list may have errors of both omission and commission.
Raleigh and LA aren't the only places having problems working food trucks into the life of their cities. The Windy City also seems to be having a problem:
You'd think Chicago, as one of the best food cities in the US, wouldn't have problems, but you'd be wrong.
For quite some time, I've used Halloween as an excuse to sit on my front porch or moral equivalent, make hot cocoa, provide spiking for it if desired, invite friends — especially friends with kids — and quietly celebrate Halloween. I'm not into scaring folks, getting drunk and partying, or generating pre-Election-Day propaganda. But I tried to have fun. I might get a small buzz on, but not so much that anyone would be scared to bring their kids to my house or the like. Halloween to me is about letting kids go to strange houses and get candy for free for no reason. It rocks. Halloween Haters be Damned. :) I've missed a couple Halloweens because of brain injuries, penury, or the like. But I usually try, and I usually shovel the candy out: maybe 15 or 20 bags or more. And I don't buy crap: I buy stuff I like or that seems Halloween-ish.
Didn't do it this year. Not much traffic at the new house anyway. And apparently there are a few Halloween Haters in the new 'Hood. Didn't even make any cocoa. :( And have you priced a box of Droste cocoa lately? (You might want Google Translate for that last link.) Between the US$ going in the toilet, food price increases, the price of oil, and — well, $deity knows why, but it was on sale for $13, IIRC. Oh, and the penury.
But snow. Started where I was between 1:30 and 2 this afternoon. What an excellent reason. Winter in general is a good reason, so why not snow? It's not winter, unless you practice that the cross-quarter days are the beginnings of the seasons instead of their midpoints. (Ever wondered why A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place on May Day? There's your answer.) So some people would say it's winter now. And it's snowing. And it's awfully close to the date of latest sunrise, which can seem pretty wintry.
So — hot chocolate. Go. Use whatever you have. Throw in some marshmallows if you like. Spike it. (I used hazelnut liqueur this time, which was unexpectedly delicious. I usually use Vandermint, which is not easily obtainable at the NCABC stores.) Drink it. Fall asleep looking at the snow. The Xmas rush isn't full bore yet. You deserve it. :)
I used to homebrew, and have considered getting back into it. But I gave away all my home brewing equipment, and as we know have a couple breweries within spitting distance, with more to come.... OTOH, can you ever really have too much beer? ;)