Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumnal Delights and Otherwise

Dear Friends,

Autumn is upon us here in the Midwest, the most beautiful time of the year.  I thought I'd do something different instead of ranting about food and booze and give nature a chance to show her stuff.  Here she is in all of her glorious colors.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Linguine and Clam Sauce, The Grit, The Clams and The Goodness

Dear Friends,

Summers over, the canning is finished and no more gulping fruity cocktails on the deck all night until even the mosquitoes are sick of biting into my alcohol soaked flesh (that remark is for all of you intolerant teetotalers out there).  It's time to bring the merriment inside and start cooking for cold weather once again for our never-ending nine months of winter hell here in the north land.

I thought I'd ease myself into cooking for that jerk, Jack Frost and whip up some linguine and clam sauce with the last of the fresh parsley in my garden.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Curse of the Pharaohs

Miniature Entrails Coffin

Dear Friends,

I attended the King Tut exhibit last weekend at the Science Museum in St. Paul Minnesota.   It did not disappoint.  Those Pharaohs sure did lived large in ancient times just like our celebrities do today except, of course, for the incest and murder.  They adorned their bodies in gold and heavy eye make-up just like Kim Kardashshian, and took a multitude of pictures of themselves in the form of carved stone busts.

The crowds were light and the day was bright and the show was beautiful and well thought out. Afterwards we went to the Happy Gnome for dinner but the curse of the Pharaohs was upon us by then. Pay-back I think for leering at the ancient belongings of people long gone from this earth.  They cursed us with a nightmare of horrible food that was so bad it would've passed as the mummified entrails of the Pharaohs.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sushi, Jazz and Ice Cream Balls

Patio at Shanghai Bistro

Dear Friends,

The HEAT has finally tapered off this week or, at the very least the jungle heat, that thick, unbelievable inferno that envelopes your body and soul and sucks all the life out of you.   I jumped at a chance to escape the constant humming of the air conditioner in my home.  It makes me feel like I'm careening endlessly through outer space on the spaceship Enterprise without that hot Captain Kirk and his kinky-looking sidekick, Doctor Spock.  I ventured untethered from the mother ship and went out and ate sushi at Shanghai Bistro in beautiful downtown Stillwater, Minnesota under the stars and listened to jazz and ended the meal with mango ice cream balls wrapped in rice paper.

 I started with a frosty Japanese beer of course.

Japanese Sapporo beer, dry and delicious

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When Two Worlds Collide, New Jersey Meets Wisconsin

Dear Friends,

As you can see in the picture above, when a restaurant name has this many vowels it could only mean one thing, ITALIAN FOOD!  Yeah, I know I go against the rules of common-sense writing and use too many exclamation marks sometimes.  Too bad!  In the lame words of Britteny Spears, "Whoops, I did it again."

Now enough pontificating and back to the business of food.  The last thing you'd expect to find in verdant Coon Valley, Wisconsin amongst the cows and cheese and beer is DiSciascio's, an Italian restaurant that can hold its own with the best of them on the eastern seaboard.  Lou, a New Jersey native and his wife, Martha, a mid-westerner opened DiSciascio's in 1987 and have been going strong ever since.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Wisconsin Road Trip, Bountiful Feasts and Beautiful Scenery

Jen's vintage Alpine Cafe, Baraboo, Wisconsin
Hello Friends,

I'm Back!  Why have I been away so long, you ask?  I just didn't feel like sharing my food addicted life for a while.  But, after a three day jaunt to Wisconsin dairy country and beyond, I'm rejuvenated and want back in the sand box and play nice, nice once again.  I'm still a little blog rusty and only took pictures of the interior of this way-cool cafe.  I can assure you the food was cafe-worthy, hot meat loaf sandwich draped with gravy over thick mashed potatoes and a tender and tasty house-made corn beef hash brisket with buttery golden diced potatoes.  It definitely filled up the old feedbag and kept us going for a few hours until dinner time.  After all,  I'm on this road trip for one reason only, WISCONSIN SUPPER CLUBS!  

When is the last you saw a sign like this?

Time to go for now.  I'll be back later and fill you in on some of the best Italian food this side of New Jersey.

Keep on eating,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Fare, Kiss Those Pasta Salads Goodbye

Store bought meatballs ready to be encased in a fresh hoagie bun

Summer has finally arrived here in the north land.  It's time to frolic outdoors half-naked, unencumbered without layers of nasty winter clothes,and dine alfresco under the stars with mosquitoes snacking for free on our warm blood or under the blazing sun until your skins starts to blister and peel, your choice.  It's barbecue season and time to put away the brandy and break out the gin and tonics.  We gather like hordes of black locust in back yards and wolf down over-cooked hamburgers and burnt wieners.  You can always count on someone to proudly bring their horrendous pasta salad made with stupid looking corkscrew pasta.  Why it exploded onto the food scene twenty years or so ago and unceremoniously kicked our mother's tuna salad (and I thought that was bad) to the curb, I'll never understand.  It's always drenched in disgusting store-bought, lip-puckering oil and vinegar dressing that's laced with sick looking herbs that looks like my long forgotten ditch weed stash.