Monday, June 27, 2005

Mr. Sin conquers all

SliceNY, the pizza blog of record, just announced the winners of their pizza haiku contest. Who took first prize? Who do you think?

(This is it, isn't it? I just peaked.)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fried Foods at The Chip Shop

In America, we tend to look at fried food as the territory of Southerners ... they fry pickles, okra, corn, pork chops, turkeys and, of course, chicken. But, as I recently learned during a trip to the Chip Shop (129 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn), the British can stand tow to toe with Enis and the gang when it comes to dropping all sorts of food it batter and oil. And the world is a better place for it.

The Atlantic Avenue Chip Shop (the original is in Park Slope) serves fried things of every taste and description, but their main focus is on fish and chips (natch). So Miss E and I each got the cod and chips. It seemed as if they took a whole cod and split it down the middle for us, so huge and huling were the portions of fish. Well prepared, too, flaky fish and cruncy crust seperating under the fork. The chips were good, although the English fevor for these quasi-fries as opposed to an American home-made potato chip seems misguided.

Because it sounded too sinful to pass up, I ordered a side of "fried mac." Yes, that's fried mac & cheese, although all of the cheese seemed to be in the tasty crust, leaving the noodles to fend for themselves inside. It was pretty tasty stuff, if you got a bite of said crust in each bite, but mac & cheese might be the first food I've ever had that didn't improve with frying. Perhaps M&C is unviolable.

The British rep is for bland food, and I must say that once you got into the fish & chips, you did wish that the Brits would throw some seasoning into the batter. A spicy, southern-fried chicken type batter would have elevated the meal to a whole new level. As it were, shaking some vinegar onto the food added some much needed flavor.

Because of my gluttony with the fried mac, I didn't have room for one of the pub's fried candy bars, which means another trip a little later is in order. A fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ... well, that is right down Mr. Sin's alley. Or throat, in due time.

(note: not to harp on about it, but now that I've relocated to New York, I'm searching for sinful and unique dishes to write up. Please send suggestions to mrsin @ jordanharper.com)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A modest proposal

Over the weekend, I will be moving to New York City. Once there, one of my plans is to develop this blog into what I originally envisioned for it: write-ups of the most sinful foods I can find.

Here's how you can help. Send me suggestions for places for me to check out in the city. Here is what I'm looking for:

1). Single menu items. Instead of doing traditional restaurant reviews, I want to focus on one dish or dessert for each place I visit.

2). For the time being, I'd like these places to be cheap. Hopefully, that will change.

3). While I am looking for really good fried chicken or an excellent hamburger, novelty is a good thing.

Please leave your suggestions in comments below or email them to mrsin @ jordanharper.com. Forgive me for taking some time to get settled. Expect an essay on the best beef jerky in America after my roadtrip this weekend.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Why your chili sucks ...

Pappa Happa was kind enough to send a couple of Sherpas up to the Lou with a couple of quarts of Casper's chili. I learned a few things:

You cannot eat a quart of chili in one sitting, even if it is your birthday.

Casper's chili travels remarkably well; even with a freezing thrown it, it was still pretty good.

The secret of good chili is simplicity itself. People ruin chili without even trying. For one thing, they put tomatoes in it. This is a huge mistake. The acid is unneeded and the mushy vegtable texture is jut plain gross. Chili is meat (and i think the secret to Springfield's best chili is the cheap, cheap hamburger they use. When the fat melts away into the gestalt, the remaining meat fiber is toothsome) and beans and spices. That's pretty much it. Keep your green peppers and chunks of onion out. There's no need for anything fancy: a cubed-steak and black bean chili with roasted vegtables will never, ever be as good as a decent roadhouse bowl with some saltines or, even better, a grilled cheese for dipping.

I guess I'm sad

That I'm going to miss the New York Barbecue Festival going down this week. But I figure I'll catch up quickly.

A sad fact: even though one of the most famous cuts of ribs are known as "St. Louis Style," there is a lack of quality BBQ in this town. I'd easily guess that New York is better, our rep be damned.

I cannot read about barbecue without getting hungry. I might have to make a stop at Mama's Coal Pot for lunch.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Explain bleu cheese to me ...

I'm a cheese-lover, which doesn't really mean a lot today. Who doesn't love cheese except those poor, sad vegans?

I'm a good writer, too, if I do say so myself. So, why is it that even though I've been eating a lot of bleu cheese recently, I can't describe it to you? That is, I can't describe it to you in a way that transmits how delicious I think it is (in my opinion it is the only cheese to eat on its own). But the words ... salty, yes, and piquant, whatever that really means, and mold (yuck) is its base, and the intensity of the flavor is part of it. But I feel defeated by bleu cheese. Any help?

Breaking the fast

Sorry to my two or three regular readers for the hiatus ... don't worry, I haven't stopped eating. In fact, I recently returned from yet another wedding with amazing food. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Stange, I had a weekend where I consumed all of the following ...

Fried turkey, smoked pork shoulder, venison sausage (or was it elk?), deep fried tortillas, smoked spicy chicken wings, bacon dip, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, cucmber vodka with tonic, custard-style french toast with a homemade brat, creamed eggs and ham with asparagus, pulled pork, some more sausage and one hungover trip to McDonalds. Yeah, it was a long weekend, but still, thanks to everyone who made that much eating possible.

My man Joe's new in-laws host a famous pig roast each year, and it breaks my heart that I'll be in a moving truck eating beef jerky when they kill the pork this year. Thankfully for me, they hosted the rehesal dinner (where much of the above food was consumed), so I got my yearly taste of the best farm-hosted food I've ever had. I wouldn't trade my annual meal at the Leuker (Lueker? Leeueeker?) for a thousand stacked and plated avant meals.