crack kills

yup, that pretty much sums it up

I asked my friend Amy if she had a great/horrible/funny/traumatizing food experience she would like to share.  This is her response…

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A great food experience!?  What ISN’T a great food experience??… gosh you should have seen me circling the rice pudding the other day… I just can NOT stop eating that heavenly substance.  If I hadn’t made it myself from scratch I would’ve sworn there was crack in it.

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Oh! and then there’s the terrible/wonderful world of cruise buffet food, where my sister, Jess, and I brought in the New Year…. oh god…but please don’t make me publicly admit how much I love that.  So embarrassing.

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what a future glutton looks like

The First Person Arts Burger Tour this fall was pretty awesome – ever heard of a beet on a burger?  Apparently they do it all the time in Australia – and also at this little place on Sansom Street that has the most amazing bar counter (made of some kind of gnarly African wood – with the bark still on) I have EVER seen.  I wanted to strip down naked and plaster myself all over it.  But that’s not about food….

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Living in the Italian Market is about 50 great food experiences rolled into one.  75 mangoes for a dollar you say? Sold!  And did you know that there is a butcher – just a block from my house – that sells bison, python, emu, alligator, kangaroo and more??  You should go ask that guy about his greatest food experience.  But he might not speak English.  That’s how it is in Little Italy (most of them don’t speak Italian either.)

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family - check

Then again there’s boring old Whole Foods, just a couple blocks in the other direction… I’d be lying if I told you that “What’s New Wednesday” (free samples from 5-6pm) isn’t programmed into my phone so that I don’t forget to partake of that gourmet, ever-new and ever-exciting weekly dining extravaganza.

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Or I could change the background music to organ hymns, and write about the neighborhood’s most holy places – the coffee shops, which I call “church” (complete with blood and body of christ – coffee and a scone).  I pray in those sanctuaries every Sunday – and more often if I’ve had a really big stretch of sinning – which as you can imagine sort of happens a lot.   In fact I feel like I’m sinning almost whenever I’m eating…. you know I wonder – should I really be groaning like this if I’m not even married?

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So um… sorry Darla, no…I really can’t write about a great food experience.  I don’t even know what one of those would be.

DeAnna’s

Apologies to all.  It’s been entirely too long since I last posted.  Apparently I wanted to revel in all that is Sammy, Darla, and Julia a little bit longer.  I’m done now and ready to move on.

Tonight I went to meet some friends at a suburban restaurant worth mentioning.  In fact, this place is so worth mentioning that it gets its own post.  Let’s preface this little restaurant review by saying that I had an amazing day.  Even in the realm of Darla days, this one ranked pretty high up there.

Fast forward through the whole amazing day though and transport me to the bar at DeAnna’s.  It’s a tiny restaurant in the heart of Lambertville with a bar that made me want to linger (and I’m a tough sell when it comes to suburban spots).  Even though the bartender was completely overwhelmed and not able to take my order until an hour (an hour!) after I arrived, I was still content.  The ambiance was stellar, the food making its way to other tables smelled delicious and the strangers at the bar were friendlier than the average New Jersian.  Let’s leave out the fact that the Kettle One martinis were super dirty, well-shaken (what does that even mean?) and absolutely perfect.

A microgreens salad with warm goat cheese and roasted beets was finger-licking good, however, as someone that sees cheese as a “easy out” I think the salad could have done better without the dairy.  The whole wheat baggette was worth cheating for (remember the Zeus diet) which is more than I can say for the fairly dry house cheesecake.

If the kitchen was faster (I had people to socialize with and parties to attend) I would have ordered one of the homemade pasta dishes undoubtedly with some seafood.  And when I saw the pillow-size oysters on half-shell walk by at one point I nearly fell off my barstool.  I’ll be back for those babies.

If you love her, buy her Spoon Food

Sande Friedman is (one) a kick-ass chick and (two) a hell of a budding music and fashion journalist.  Here she shares with us her first food memory.  And for the love of god, would someone please buy this girl some Spoon Food.

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Some kids remember the horrors of being forced to finish dinner plate after dinner plate full of vegetables. Others remember yakking from too much Halloween candy or birthday cake – those special occasions when sugar over-consumption was not only tolerated, but encouraged. The first food memory for many of us is usually one of vegetable disgust or sickeningly sweet gorging. Mine revolves around jelly.

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Vacations are just as epic as holidays to me, and as a child we had very rich and fancy relatives with an equally rich and fancy summer home right on Lake Michigan. Jet skis, boats, and trips to Macanau Island to buy fudge and sticky sweet fruit preserves from the American Spoon Food company.

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All praise the American Spoon – thankfully still in existence. After my first pieces of toast smothered in preserves at what must have been the ripe age of 7, I dreamed more vividly about vacation breakfasts than I did about the actual vacations. Widely available in North Michigan, the natural and special Spoon Foods were N/A in my native New Jersey. Nowhere to be found were the little tiny chain shops with a jelly bar in the center of the store: an island with sample crackers and mini-spoons to slather on the flavors of the week (I was never good at limiting myself to one sample either, still a problem to this day).

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The jars that made it back to the house were the real kickers. Never will I forget how much everyone made fun of me for trying to pile a whole jar of blackberry jam onto one piece of bread. It was like a race to the bottom of the jar anytime I got my hands on one.

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The way I look forward to clothing catalogs and new magazines now were the way I lurked the mail for Spoon Food catalogs then. Finding out there was some new boysenberry or cherry-blackberry jam was all the excitement my developing brain could handle. My mother would have jars of jelly and crackers shipped to our house to appease me rather than just do the normal thing and buy an alternative at the grocery store. Every time I get mad at her now, someone should probably remind me of that.

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We stopped vacationing pretty much altogether by the time I was in high school, and I couldn’t pinpoint the last time one of those jelly boxes came to the doorstep. My last taste of the stuff is a long gone memory, replaced by smashing blackberries onto my toast or just buying whatever I find on sale that looks even remotely interesting.

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