Monday, September 29, 2008

Root Down: Sprizzouts in da Hizzouse

"I am Fennel."

Two weeks after planting a plethora of seeds in the newly revitalized raised beds of old, my little homies are coming up strong.

Looking North towards Hancock Golf Course

Phase Two of this Fall's garden is in full swing. Thinning. It's one of the saddest times in an early garden's life. I think I must have had like 100% sprouting success. You sow a few seeds in each hole, and rarely do they all come up, but this year it seems like that was the case. Now I have to thin out, transplant or discard my newly sprouted damies.

Lacinato kale and turnips were the first and hardest hit. I transplanted a few of the kale sprouts to less populated areas of the garden, as well as my hearty looking radishes.

Dirty little Radishes.

Phase Three is imminent -- starting lettuce indoors. Half of the Southern plot is fallow and waiting for some tenants. Thankfully, I have six varieties of lettuce to relocate there.

Helping to remember the fallen.

These Purple Ivy plants were transplanted here about four years ago. They are right under the faucet next to my garden. I have a plan to propagate their existence around the house, yard, and garden. My Mother took these from my G-ma's house in Houston in the Eighties, and transplanted them at our house at the Lake. On a trip out there many years back, I uprooted several of them, and brought them back into town. These represent a tangible connection to my fleeting past; something that both reminds me of my Mother, and my recently sold homestead.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life During Wartime: David Byrne at the Paramount

Thursday night I had the pleasure of seeing David Byrne for the second time in about five years. To me, he is one of the most influential and creative musicians of the past thirty years. I found about this show, pretty much by accident, and got tickets as soon as I could.

I had intended to take a lady friend, but that didn't happen, so I took my buddy $hane, beer buyer, and front man for PONG. He had never seen the Talking Heads or David Byrne, and is heavily influenced by Byrne (and Eno), so I knew he'd enjoy it more than most. 

This was the first time I 'd been to the Paramount since I saw the Nutcracker there in Elementary School in the Eighties. It still looked beautiful, and we had good seats, eight rows back. What ever the odds are, another co-worker, Tyler, had the seat next to us, which was bizarre and awesome.

The show featured several songs from his newest album, Everything That Happens will Happen Today, a collaboration with Brian Eno, and a good mix of Heads songs and older solo Byrne work. All in all the show was great. Very choreographed and artsy, which is what I expect from this guy. 

I took some videos with my camera. The sound is good, but the actual video is like a roller coaster of lights and ceiling. This is because I had to be discrete with the camera, and it was mainly hidden by my beard, no lie. I am currently trying to find a way to make the size of these videos smaller, and will post them when that happens.





Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some Food I Ate

Food. We all have to eat it, some of us love it. These photos make me think I need new plates. More plates just means more dishes to wash. Damn. 

Why is everything so far away?

Here we have Butterfish that was cooked in a parchment pouch, with a lemon buerre blanc, bacony crimini mushrooms, with wilted spinach, and sweet potato puree. 

It's a shame you can't really see how yellow that buerre blanc was.

These photos made me angry. I don't like the lighting in my kitchen. From now on, I've decided only to take pictures of food at the dinner table where the lighting is better. Boo white on white kitchen color schemes! Boo. Of course, poor lighting doesn't affect the taste of food.  

Heart bad, fat good.

I should be arrested for these grits. I love grits, but this was just perverse. This was southern food night for me. I took a beautiful, local, Richardson's bone in pork chop, brined it with a bunch of thyme, and pan cooked it in clarified butter (ghee). The grits were cooked using three parts chicken stock, and one part, ahem, heavy cream. I sauteed some jalapeƱos, shallots and onions, combined them with grits, butter, and a huge piece of Cypress Grove Humbodlt Fog chevre wrapped in goat brie. And, of course, you need healthy greens cooked in rendered bacon fat and lemon juice. I won't forget to mention the tempura battered fried local organic okra. Yum.

Dark T-shirt to the rescue.

I glisten on the inside.

These came out much better at the dinner table. I think my Doctor would slap me if he saw that last one. Sorry Al! Heart attacks keep you employed.

I learned this color scheme in art class in elementary school. Purple, orange and green. Yes.

The Butcher got some prime sirloin in. It looked great, and so did my produce that day. Especially the organic corn, and the local organic green beans. I had some sun gold and black cherry toms in the fridge, and those damn grits were still lurking about. 

Dark shirts are a hot commodity in the food porn biz.

I decided I'd use up this giant heirloom tomato that was hanging around, and some spinach by making a nice layered baked polenta with the blasphemous grits. I layered everything into a little casserole dish, added some heavy cream for good measure, and baked it until it was crusty and brown. The corn got some heavy cream action too. The green beans were blanched and cooked in the clarified butter that the steak was cooked in while it was resting. I was drinking some some Becker Vineyards Cab so a Cab Reduction seemed appropriate. 

This is the true nature of the Force.

This was my favorite set of pics. The colors in this meal really made it beautiful. Not to mention that piece of prime sirloin. Not usually my favorite cut -- ribeye is king -- but the marbling was great, and the taste was amazing. 

Pictures of this last meal prompted a discussion between the Butcher and I. All these big hunks of meat. Why was I not cutting it up, fanning it, etc. I would for guests. I mean, I'd share a steak that size if I was hosting guests, especially ladies. I don't know many women that want to be served a huge steak. In the case of these meals, I was eating them, alone, and like to cut up my steak myself. 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Showing Appreciation with Food

I'm required to have departmental meetings quarterly, and it can be difficult to schedule them without interfering in someone's life. So, I decided that I would cook my staff lunch as a nod of appreciation for their efforts and sacrifices.

I wanted to do some easy Indian recipes, mainly because they scale up so nicely, and taste great. My original plan was to do Chana Masaladar (actually Punjabi, not Indian), which is similar to Chole, potato curry, and Kharee Masoor Ke Dal -- lentils flavored with curry leaves.

Due to a scheduling mishap yesterday, I was unable to go to Swad and buy the curry leaves. I tried Fiesta to see if they had them, but no dice. So, no dal. Oh well.

I got up early and made these two dishes, and some basmati rice.

Potato Curry with Yogurt Gravy
Ingredients:
2 large potatoes (can also use paneer)
2 Tbs oil or ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbs coriander powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tsp gram flour, or all purpose
1 bay leaf
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp finely chopped green chile (serranos are great)
4 Tbs yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 cup H2O

Method:
Peel and cut potatoes into your desired size. Boil potatoes until a fork goes through them easily, drain and set aside. In a bowl, mix yogurt with tumeric, paprika, coriander, ginger, and chiles. 

Counterclockwise: Tumeric, coriander, ginger, paprika, serrano.

Over medium heat, heat ghee/oil. Add asafoetida*, cumin seeds, flour, bay leaf, and roast until the flour browns lightly (3o seconds - 1 minute). Add yogurt paste. Stirring constantly, stir fry until ghee/oil and paste separate, about 1-2 minutes. Add water incrementally, stirring constantly. Cook about 2 minutes.

Add potatoes and mix well, but very gently so you don't break the potatoes. Add cilantro. Remove bay leaf. Cook for 2-3 minutes. You can add more water if the gravy is too thick, but may not be necessary.

Cover and cook for up to four minutes. Add salt to taste, serve hot.

I heart pools of ghee. My doctor does not.

Chana Masaledar
Ingredients:
4 Tbs Ghee or oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
a piece of fresh ginger, about 1/2 inch square, minced
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 can or 3/4 lb garbanzo beans
2 Tbs lemon juice
salt to taste

Method:
In a large skillet, heat ghee/oil. When hot, put in cumin seeds. As soon as they begin to darken (very quickly!) add the chopped onion. Stir and fry for 7 minutes. 

Slow and low, that is the tempo...

Turn heat to low and add coriander, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well, and add the garlic and ginger, stirring for three minutes. Add tomato paste, stir until evenly incorporated. 

Open and drain chick peas, reserving about 2 Tbs of the liquid (or if using dry garbs, soak overnight, cook for at least two hours or until tender, and use 2 Tbs of the cooking liquid). Pour this and the chick peas into the skillet. Add salt, cayenne, and lemon juice. Mix well, and cover, letting the flavors combine for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding a few Tbs of water if too thick (not always necessary). Be careful not to break the chick peas. Serve hot, with basmati rice.

This recipe came from the back of  a Rumi poetry book. It is one of my all-time favorites.

Okay. Here's a tip on basmati rice. You know how when you go out for Indian food, and the rice is perfect -- each grain is separate, and laying on each other like some hot, white, starchy orgy. Well, there is a reason for that. Soaking. After you measure out the basmati, soak it in water for up to an hour. This will both make the cooking time less, and separate the grains. The ratios vary as well. For one cup of rice, use two cups of water (like normal), but for 2 cups of rice, you need 3 1/2 cups of water. It's weird, but it works out. 

These recipes are easy to do. Most Indian food recipes seem daunting because of the laundry list of spices that are used. It's okay, drink some wine; relax. Wheatsville carries most of theses spices in bulk, minus the asafoetida, and once you have them, measuring them out ahead of time really makes these recipes easier to follow. 

The staging of the spices also assists with the depth and levels of the flavor profiles of each dish. DO NOT ADD ALL THE SPICES AT ONCE!!! You will end up with a confusing tastsing, and possibly bitter meal -- I've done this with the Chana and it sucked. 

*Asafoetida - You need this. There is no substitute for this spice. You can get it at Fiesta, Whole Foods, Central Market, any Asian grocery. It is stanky, and almost unpleasant until cooked. Some say it smells like cat urine, I agree. It doesn't taste like it smells once it combines with hot ghee/oil. Do not be afraid, it is your friend. Oh, and a little goes a long way, so that bottle you buy will be around for a while. 

I like to serve most Indian dishes with condiments such as: yogurt (or riata), chopped onions, chopped cilantro, chopped serranos, and chopped tomatoes. Flat breads such as naan or roti are good as well.

Have fun. Happy eating.

"You think I'm torturing you. I'm giving you flavor, so you can mix with rice and spices and be the lovely vitality of a human being." -- Rumi

Friday, September 19, 2008

Revitalizing Old Raised Beds

Back in '05, I spent a good amount of time preparing two really nice raised beds on the side of the Liberty St. house. I had a yard and a half of dirt delivered from Geo Growers, and had moderate success that first season growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

The garden circa April 2005.

I moved out of that house in April of '06, leaving my garden behind. After some apartment living, I'm back on Liberty St. I live in a garage apartment directly behind the house I lived in for five years. Four college girls are currently residing there.

Anyway. I made a deal with the girls to get the garden going again, I mean, it is on the side of their house now, right outside someone's bedroom window, which could be kinda creepy... 

A few months ago, Theron, Miranda (photo-documentation...), and I set out to start the revitalization process by sheet mulching the two fallow beds. 

We grabbed some cardboard from work, and a bunch of greens from the free-box in order to do the sheet mulching. To do this, you lay cardboard down over whatever is growing in the beds, and then layer leaf mulch (brown), and the greens (green) over the cardboard. You need to wet the beds frequently in order to promote the decomposition of the green and brown, and the cardboard. 

The next step was to go and get some new dirt to apply to the top. The Butcher and I went down to the Natural Gardener, and bagged up a half yard of dirt (ten bags). This is a great option for good soil, it was only $28.75 for a half yard of dirt. Deal. 

I decided to not apply the soil, or plant last friday due to the impending heavy rains and winds that were going to be coming our way courtesy of good ol' Ike. Yeah, well, that never happened, as we all know, so the following monday was the next best chance to get some seeds in the ground. 

Cappy and the beds.

Cappy came by and helped me with the schleping of the soil, as well as the planting. I got several things planted, but have held off on the lettuce, which I will start inside next week.

Notice how the fertility goddess is still there. 

Here is a list of what's in the ground: cilantro, parsley (curly and flat), sage, thyme, leeks, three types of beets (burpee's golden, chiogga, detriot reds), chard, kale (lacinato and blue dwarf), cabbage, carrots (red dragon, chantenay), turnips, spinach, arugula, radishes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and sweet basil.

I cooked some Indian food as trade for his labor. Barter system rules! It was not so pretty, but I was hungry and didn't care about putting dot's on a plate. 

Potato Curry, Basmati Rice, and Keema Hariyali (lamb with a spinach, mint, cilantro paste, cooked in yogurt -- unreal.)

These dishes are some of my new favorites, especially the the potato curry (recipe coming soon). Nom, nom, nom...

More gardening excitement soon, as well.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taco Time: Torchy's

A little under a year ago, Shaddley, in his infinite wisdom, took me to Torchy's. My experience was interesting. The little trailer was cool, the tacos were unreal, and the port-a-potty was bumpin'. If the always appetizing stench of shit was wasn't permeating the cool evening air, it would have been top notch. 

Well, flash forward to Sunday. For my lunch break at work, I coerced a buddy to go down to the Torchy's on the Drag with me. 


This Torchy's does not smell like a construction site, however, it is directly across the street from a Taco Bell. Which is hilarious. 

The marquee said, "Why pay more 79¢ 89¢ 99¢," which was easy to answer...

I haven't eaten at a Taco Bell since 1998. Don't think I'm missing much, except the joy of knowing that the beans go from a powder to a paste in a little gun. That's hip.

"Can you give me a Dirty Sanchez?"

Torchy's Damn Good Taco's are a bit pricey, but they taste fresh, and have great flavor combinations. The names are great as well. 


I went for the Green Chile Pork, and the Taco of the Month - Mr. Pink. The green chile taste was prominent in the GCP, and the pork was tender, pulled goodness. The queso fresco and cilantro was just like a pretty bow on a box of diamond earrings, perfect without it, but even better with it.


Mr. Pink. Oh, Mr. Pink. This taco was possibly the best fish taco I've ever eaten. Perfectly seasoned and seared tuna - nice and rare - complimented by some carrots, green bell, crispy cabbage, and some kind of mayonnaisey sauce. Mr. Pink. Mnnn. He does not tip, by the way.

Little pools of fat are a simple pleasure.

If you are looking for some nice, fresh tacos, Torchy's slams. The Trailer Park is great, get it trashy, with out the lettuce and tomato, just for shits and giggles. And don't forget about the Fried Avocado Taco, it is as good as it sounds.

So. Why pay more? Because the tacos kick ass. Eat some.




Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fast Breaking, and Demolition

Well. The fast is over. It's only a matter of time before food re-enters the equation. This morning I broke my fast with a glass of fress pressed orange juice. It was delicious. When all you've tasted for ten days is a spicy, mapley, lemonade, any change is welcome.

So lonely.

I can't wait to have a cup of coffee. Probably on Saturday. Tonight, miso soup, rice, and kale. Food.

Yesterday, we tore down the building formerly known as the 'shed' at work. This building used to house the majority of the grocery backstock, as well as house the deli walk-in cooler, the freezer (which was used by the refrigerated department, meat, and the deli), and all of the deli's paper goods backstock. 

Farmer's removing the freezer's cooler panels.

Several staffers gathered to watch as the machine ate the shed.

Only to be disappointed -- the machine needed fuel, and there was a refrigeration line that was still hooked up to something.



Tear the roof off the sucka, tear the roof off the sucka.

After a brief delay, it was on again.





Oh no! Someone left the desk in the shed. Ha.

Rubble. 

All and all it was a very cathartic experience. Now on to the next phase of the remodel -- the new addition. Very exciting, indeed. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fasting: Day Eight

Nearing the end of this most productive fast. I have been doing much thinking. Thinking about food -- eating, cooking, and writing about it -- thinking about my life, what I'm not doing well, what I am doing well, what I want out of it, what it will take to be even more genuinely happy and satisfied with being, etc. 

Domestication of the Flapjacks. This has long been a theme in my writing. If I had a nickel for every post about dishes or laundry, well, let's just say I'd be dictating this post... My kitchen was thoroughly cleaned, organized and sorted. I mean, come on, I'm not using the damn thing, so there is no excuse for it to be messy. My living room is livable again. Laundry... we'll not talk about that. 

As stated, there are only two more days of this fast remaining. It's not just like I can jump back in to steak, potatoes, and rich sauces -- no, no. I'll be drinking orange juice on Thursday, which is exciting after only consuming the same thing for 168 hours. Later in that evening I'll have some miso soup. Friday, I'll start with orange juice, and maybe some yogurt and nuts -- cashew sound good. Then I'll progress on to some veggies and grains, before eating real food that evening. I don't really want to do the four day ween on that is suggested. I know my body, and its limits. Just eat smaller portions than usually, and everything will be okay.

It's official. I'm going to London to see Leonard Cohen. Wow. I'll be there from the 8th to the 16th of November. If you know something fun to do, let me know. I'm really excited to go. I'm also going to book reservations to go to St. John, Fergus Henderson's restaurant, whilst there. Man. Stoked. 
Niki is cracking up!

We have moved into our new offices at work. This is also very exciting. 

Heather enjoying the new break area.

As part of our new digs, we even have a break room! We've never really had a designated space that was for breaking. We've had two 'break tables' since I started, one was in the backstore, amid the hustle (sort of) and bustle, and the second was in the long since demolished Red Door.
Our staff deserve this. Sweet.

Ahh. Well. I'm kinda blissed out. Listening to the Beatles, sippin on some syzurp (maple, grade B) and thankful. Can't ask for much else.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yes! We Have No Bananas, We Have No Bananas Today: Our Impending Reality?

In my role as Produce Manager, I've felt inspired to do some reading on my products -- fruits and vegetables, that is.  Back in June, I read a great op-ed in the New York Times about the potential loss of the worlds primary commercial banana variety: the Cavendish


This article was enough to pique my interest, so I bought the book written by the author -- Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World. Dan Koeppel had me in his clutches, and I felt that this was relevant to my current profession.

 What would it be like to have bananas as a seasonal fruit, I thought? What would it be like to not have bananas, period?

The answer to the first question is easy enough: normal. The fact that we have bananas year round everywhere in the States -- from California to Maine -- for a low, low price doesn't seem right to me. With all this emerging local food consciousness, how come I haven't heard any one mention our phallic, yellow friend? Bananas are the single highest selling item at Wheatsville -- both organic and conventional -- year-round. One in every kids lunchbox, right?

Over the past century there have been serious ramifications to the commodification of bananas. You've heard of a banana republic, right? It's not just a bougy GAP, it's a country where banana magnates control government, exploit both land and worker, and do pretty much as they please. Our ability to buy that banana for 69¢ a pound, 365 days a year, results in some serious trickle down to the impoverished nations where they are produced (Fair Trade bananas are helping, and organic naners help the workers health by not having to deal with all the crazy chemicals they spray on the conventional ones). 

If the locals start to get uppity, Big Banana will just roll on to the next country, stage a coup (or something), and get their cheap labor on. United Fruits (now Chiquita) has been a major player on the banana scene since Jump Street, and has committed some serious atrocities. Anyway, more on that later, what would the return to seasonal availability do for this fruit, and its shameful industry? I don't know, but it couldn't be worse than the maximum year round output philosophy that currently exists. 

The second question, is a bit more difficult to grapple with. What if there were no bananas? There are two things that I've considered in thinking about this, a) bananas are almost a luxury for us -- year-round availability, consistent flavor and texture, low price, good sliced on cereal, b) for millions of people in other, less affluent, countries bananas are the staple, even more so than rice! 

We've already lost one banana, the Gros Michel. There's a good chance your grandparents got hooked on these, or maybe your rents -- there's an even better chance you've never tasted one, espiecially if your under fifty. They were bigger, and better tasting, ripened evenly, and withstood transport, much like our Cavendish. They were, however, susceptible to Panama Disease -- a blight that devastates banana plantations worldwide. Companies saw that there was no hope for the Gros Michel, and started searching for a worthy replacement that was blight resistant. Enter our Cavendish.

Vendors selling Gros Michel in America back in the day.

Cavendish is smaller, and less tasty than its predecessor, but it was blight resistant. The key word there is was. Infections of Panama Disease have been reeking havoc in Asia for the past few decades, and it's only a matter of time until this new strain makes its way back to our hemisphere. Panama Disease is a ruthless killer. It is transmitted via water, soil, and even air. Someone visiting an infected plantation could easily infect an untainted one merely by havingsome contaminated dirt on their boot. Once it starts to kill, it doesn't stop, and there is no known way to combat it. 

Only recently did Chiquita even acknowledge its existence, despite having spent millions to evade the beast since the Michel days. Attempts to breed new bananas are nearly impossible. Bananas are sterile, have no seeds, and require human intervention to propagate. The worst thing is that every Cavendish is a genetic duplicate of every other one. So, what happens somewhere in the world, will happen anywhere, and everywhere.

Scientist and geneticists have been working on creating a blight resistant variety that would meet all the aspects acceptable for a commercial banana (color, even ripening, skin thickness, taste, texture, etc.), with little luck. The only hope on the horizon for the naner is genetic manipulation.

This concerns some banana companies, and scientists mainly due to the unfavorable stigma that Genetically Manipulated (Modified) foods (GMO's) carry in the public's eyes. Shit. Some EU nations ban them, and they all eat the shit out bananas. So, this creates an interesting and very modern conundrum: we have a possible answer, but due to the ill light cast on GMO foods, they might be able to sell, which in turn means that funding the research for FRANKENANER may become a problem. 

Once again, there are two things to consider -- gee, it would suck if I couldn't slice one in my hemp granola in the morning, and golly, wouldn't it really blow if hundreds of millions of people starved over fucking bananas? Personally the latter carries much more weight. Our commodity is their staple. Many Africans, all over the continent, rely on them. Most of their bananas aren't Cavendish, but they are all susceptible to the same maladies. 

A future without bananas? It may be very real. No one can predict the reemergence of Panama Disease in our hemisphere, but it will happen, and when it does, it's only a matter of time before it does its terrible damage. I don't want to be all gloom and doom, or dissuade you from buying bananas, so eat them, eat them and cherish them, because someday in the near-distant future, they may be gone.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Some Food I Ate


Pan Seared Salmon with Sicilian Orange Gastrique, Homefried New Potatoes, Sauteed Okra with Purple Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes.


Last Saturday, I ate some salmon. It was good. This was the last meal I cooked before fasting. Mmnn. Salmon.

Saba Blue Water Cafe

It was the balmy night of August 22nd. Cory, Sian and I were going to go see Bun B at the Parish, but the show didn't start for a few hours. Being that it was a first come style event, we wanted to be in the Sixth Street area. A few other peeps met up with us, and we began deliberations on were to eat down there. 

My stomach kinda hurt. I was a little more quiet than usual. We discussed the immediate options around us. The Parish is upstairs from Roux, but our friend Erica manages that jernt and wasn't backing the food, so it was out. parkside was right across the street. I've wanting to go to parkside since, like, May. We went and checked out the menu. Having been studying their menu for months, this was my choice. It got the nay-no from Nicole, mainly for being too expensive. 

So. We went back across the street to look at the Iron Cactus menu. Uh uh. I wasn't having it. Lame Tex-Mex on Sixth. Chipotle everything -- fuck that. Things started getting more and more difficult. We moved away from Sixth and headed over to Fourth. There were choices aplenty, and I was done voicing my oft too forward opinion, and said I'd eat "whatever". 

Saba it was. I wanted to like Saba, I really did. Too bad, too bad. 

When we got inside, it was dark, not dim, dark. To add to the, um, ambiance, they were blaring, yes, blaring techno. I even like some techno, but not when I'm eating. Our waitress didn't make our experience much better, and as the night progressed, she proved to be incompetent. 

We were a party of six, and were hungry. I ordered shrimp, mahi, and scallop ceviche to start, and having made a great ceviche earlier in the week was looking forward to somewhat of an encore. Wrong. What I got was a goopy mess. The ceviche definitely wasn't very fresh, and the choice of 'tropical fruit' wasn't going to be able to stand up to the acid for that long (mango and papaya). It was like shrimp with preserves. Bleh. I ate it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't care much for it. 

Cory and Sian ordered like four things to share, and only two showed up. The rest of us were served our dinners, and they were just sitting there. The waitress came back by, and they told her about the mix up, and she said she'd take care of it. Time passed. She had not taken care of it. Some dude in a button up and tie came by to ask if everything was alright, they told him what was up, and he scurried off to remedy the situation. Apparently he was the owner, he was also busing tables -- on  a Friday night?! 

I ordered the Saba Paella. It was not paella. Sure, it had assorted shellfish and seafood in it, and tasted like saffron, but it was not a paella. There was no crusty action, and there was good amount of soupy rice mixture on the bottom. Soupy paella? For $17, I expect paella -- had they not called it that, it would have been okay, but really, I'm not going to pour you a Pabst and tell you it's a Old Rasputin Stout. Serve what you say you're serving! 

The owner came back with Cory and Sian's remaining food, and apologized. The waitress came by again, and asked if everything was going okay. Cory told her that the guy in the tie had brought out their food that she had failed twice to bring. She actually got peeved because that guy was the owner. Good. You fucked up. Deal with it. 

I'm not one to be hard on waiters. I was a server for years, but good servers admit when they fuck up, and usually comp something. Not for us though. Shame on you Saba, shame! Anyway. The entirety of the experience was lame, and I will not be going back. Maybe they were having an off night, maybe the waitress was just an asshat, but that's no excuse for the poor food. Sadly, the best thing served to us was shrimp enchiladas. Really? NO ONE CAN FUCK UP ENCHILADAS! 

Sorry for yelling, but if your going for some type of Pacific - Caribbean - Latin Coastal fare, maybe, you should just stick to one of those regions, and do it well. Cut the pretentiousness and just serve good food. 

Saba. We're in a fight. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fasting: Day Four

So. Here I am, on my break, at my beloved grocery store. Since I'm not having to spend the gratuitous time it takes to decide what to eat, purchase, and feast, I find myself with about forty minutes of free time. Today, I've decided to write a quick little blog, and continue reading Michael Pollan's newest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

This time around, fasting that is, I'm doing the master cleanse, which I've never done before. Usually when I fast I do a juice fast for about three days, and, in my opinion, the result were positive. This fast consists of drinking a lemonade made from lemons, maple syrup (grade 'b'), and cayenne. It is actually quite tasty. You're supposed to drink from six to twelve eight ounce servings of this maple drank every day.

Day four is going well. I haven't been hungry since I started, and my energy levels are about the same --  if not higher -- than usual. I have been watching food shows, reading about food just like normal, and none of that hot food porn has piqued my appetite. My mind is focused, and I feel good. There are still six more days on this fast, and then it's go time. I'm really dieing to try the lamb sweetbreads at parkside, and dammit, nothing's gonna stop me now.

For shits and giggles, I'll be posting a few blogs that are in queue: a review of Saba Blue Water Cafe, Some Food I Ate (title borrowed from the Vegan Treehouse), and some odds and ends, as well as more updates on fasting.

Life is beautiful, and so are you.

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