Location: SW 2nd Avenue & Stark Facebook: Mama Chow’s Kitchen Twitter: @MamaCsKitchen If there’s one dish in the universe that I never tire of, it’s Wonton Soup. But not just any run-of-the-mill Wonton Soup with week-old broth and three or four mushy wontons. There’s way too much of that sorry slop around. No way. I […]
Have you ever set out to eat your way across a city, focusing on a single seasonal dish?
Well, I didn’t intend to go on a winter squash soup kick while in Boston in October, but one thing led to another, as the saying goes, and there I was at Sorellina on our last night in Boston eating my 5th winter squash soup.
And here’s the thing. I could have continued this lovely madness for another week at least. It is highly instructive to see how top notch culinary artists across a major culinary mecca treat the same basic core ingredients and menu item, in this case, winter squash and a handful of flavor complements crafted into a smooth and silky soup.
When we are in Portland, Oregon and heading out on foot to dinner in town, Wildwood in the Northwest district is always at the top of our list of fave destinations. It’s a lovely mile walk, or if we are feeling exceptionally lazy, we can hop the streetcar almost to the front door. (You might have seen my earlier article on Wildwood titled, Sweet Briar Farms Pork Chop with Bodacious Corn Hush Puppies. Just looking at the photo of that amazing dish makes me go weak at the knees.)
You are looking at perhaps the most delectable pork belly in the world. No, the universe. According to one of the amiable chefs behind the kitchen bar from which MauiJim and I were watching the action, it was cooked sous-vide at 145 degrees–for TWO DAYS.
You won’t, however, find this mentioned on the menu. I only suspected it after the fatty portion of the pork belly melted on my palate like warm butter. Then I asked. If I had been paying better attention, the plastic pouch from which the chef removed the portion of pork belly would have been an immediate give-away.
When I posted our first Quintessential Mac & Cheese Roundup in 2008, I was certain we would soon run out of restaurants that served Mac & Cheese, and then the idea of a yearly roundup would be a thing of the past. Well, either I was way wrong about the number of restaurants that serve Mac & Cheese or an increasing number of restaurants have recently added the divine macaroni to their menus. Either way, there now seems to be no danger of running out of stellar renditions of this most delicious dish. My ooey-gooey-cheesy cup runneth over!
Gastro pubs are all the rage in Seattle these days. I’m somewhat guarded in my enthusiasm. I love the casual atmosphere, as I am often dressed in running shoes, leggings, and one of my vast collection of wacky Hawaiian shirts. Not restaurant worthy, in other words. But hungry nonetheless.
I’m guarded, because although I love the general vibe of these latter day taverns with their rustic slap dash look, open beam ceilings, picnic tables, and second-hand lighting, the food can be ill conceived or even an afterthought. Good idea. Poor execution.
However, I assure you that this is not the case with Smith on Capitol Hill in Seattle. As I walked by a street-side diner at the restaurant this evening, I did a double take on a plate of something rich, brown, gooey and highly aromatic. It turned out to be Poutine Fries with Cheese Curds and Gravy. I must have been drooling, because the lovely woman eating the dish actually offered me a bite. You have to LOVE Seattle, folks!
I have a lot of cookbooks: hundreds, many hundreds, many many hundreds, who knows how many hundreds? I read them–voraciously and compulsively–like mystery novels, looking for clues. Clues to the artistic intention, vision, and personality behind the recipes and the rhetoric. A Voice with something unique to say–or if not unique, then honest, sincere, compelling, […]