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Entries in Cravings (3)

Saturday
Mar242012

Guilty Pleasure, Chili Dogs

Not just any chili dog, but a Der Wienerschnitzel chili dog has been a long-time guilty pleasure of mine. This chili dog was devoured in my car after I cleared the drive-up window. I skipped dinner because I was speaking at a wine event that night, then went for beers after the event and was f'ing hungry.

I recall eating four chili dogs and two bags of fries once a week back in high school. I used to cut out coupons for the two chili dogs and a bag of fries deal for $1.99. There's something about a creamy, fatty chili that I like; similar to my strange desire for Dennison's Chili.

After slamming this dog down my pie hole and having it absorbed as pure fat into my system, I raced home and fell asleep. The next morning as I was cleaning my car, I could still smell the evidence of my late night feeding and luckily, I didn't drip any of the chili on my seats.

 

Wednesday
Apr202011

Salumi, Seattle

 

First of all, I hate waiting in lines. Usually the amount of hype and anticipation of  “the hottest restaurant” doesn’t live up to the end product. “Just another Italian sandwich” was my thought process as I approached the 20 person deep line outside of Salumi in Seattle. I’m glad it wasn’t raining.

After about 20 minutes, I was able to squeeze my body inside the actual deli. As you approach the main counter, the list of salumi on the wall informs you that many of the cured meats are sold out already. Culatello, a favorite of mine since visiting Parma and Modena, Italy was already gone. But I wasn’t wedded to this prime cut. I do have a love affair with finocchiona and porchetta, both of which were available.

The porchetta comes with cooked green peppers and onions, which are fine accompaniments. The finocchiona also is garnished with cooked mild red peppers and onions, but also a loose garlicky pesto oil. I’m a purest when it comes to my salumi. After all the work that is put into fine salumi, it needs no adornment, no spread, nothing to conflict or upset the balance already achieved. A perfectly fresh roll, cheese, finocchiona and a dash of fresh olive oil would have been perfect. I don’t mean to bash the long line of devoted followers and reputation, but it seems a little “American” to slather a garlic pesto on perfect bread and salumi. Next time I’ll order my sandwich without any spreads. Enough of my dogmatic views on salumi purism.

"The porchetta was lovely. Rich, filling, flavorful and moist. A beautiful sandwich. I would take porchetta over some form of roast beef, bbq beef, or tri-tip sandwich any day. The pork takes on a depth of flavor and has a more naturally creamy fat that rounds out the mouth feel with each bite. Since I was just at The People’s Pig in Portland for 2 days of Cliff’s porchetta, it’s fair to ask which one was better.  But this isn’t a matter of better or worse, it comes down to completely different styles of sandwich and therefore not perfectly compariable."

Considering my rant on the garlic pesto sauce, I opened up the finocchiona sandwich to pick out several slices of the salumi itself, untouched by foreign substances. It truly is well crafted salumi. A balance of meat and fat, the spices are subtle hintings of pepper and pronounced fennel. I still believe in allowing this wonderfully made salumi should stand on its own. I did finish my finocchiona sandwich as Salumi prepared it and I can appreciate the flavors and the pop of the pesto, but it’s certainly not my preference.

I’m pleased to have waited in line and tried two different sandwiches at Salumi. I’m afraid that if I lived in Seattle, I would quickly gain 10 pounds from eating far too much of this wonderfully crafted product. Next time, I’ll call ahead so I can score some culatello and ungarnished finocchiona.

Salumi on Urbanspoon

Monday
Oct112010

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland

"The Magic is in the Hole"

A catchy slogan for a doughnut company, but is the hole where the magic resides? Wrap your philisophical heads around that one!

So I ordered three doughnuts, a classic glazed, toasted coconut cake, and an Old Dirty Bastard. I think when evaluating a doughnut shop, it should be mandatory to order a glazed doughnut. It's the benchmark or baseline for every doughnut shop everywhere. One can always count on a doughnut shop to have a glazed doughnut. The toasted coconut cake doughnut was picked because I wanted coconut. The third doughnut, an Old Dirty Bastard, I picked on name alone. An ODB, come one, you gotta try that doughnut.

The classic glazed was 'cakier' than most. Most glazed doughnuts are airy and anything but dense. This glazed had some texture and chew. My toasted coconut was more typical; with a soft, spongy mouthfeel.

The ODB was something special. A normal glazed style doughnut with chocolate glaze, crushed Oreo cookies, and peanut butter the combination made for a substantial breakfast treat when combined with my Stumptown coffee. While the name alone compelled me to buy it, the combination would make me a repeat customer.

Voodoo Doughnut on Urbanspoon

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