Give shoppers a choice between a regular bottle of shampoo and a more expensive pink bottle that supports curing breast cancer, and they'll tend to buy the pink bottle. But the product association--and marketing language--at Safeway right now is a little, um, disconcerting.
First, sorry for posting beef pics, vegetarians. Second, I have real doubts about the curative properties of mass-produced beef, as I'm sure the vegetarians agree. And third, what an unfortunate use of the word “tender.” But I did my part--I made chili for the cure.
Instant ramen was invented for economic depressions—during the food shortages after WWII, Nissin founder Momofuku Ando saw people lining up to buy bowls of soup from black-market street stalls. And voilà. He became a millionaire and dead last year of a heart attack at the age of 96. When I lived in Japan, my neighbors told me not to eat instant ramen because the flavor packet was poison that would kill all my sperm. It's population control, they said, to get rid of the poor people.
Ramen became popular in the west during England's economic depression in the 1970s. (In Mexico, they combine the poverty food from both hemispheres by cooking instant-ramen noodles in the orange glop you get in instant mac 'n' cheese.)
The first time I ever saw ramen was at my elementary school in a New Orleans. Justin Rambo—a tough-ass Cajun kid whose dad once came to class to give him a whupping after the teacher called to say he'd been acting up—would step on the plastic package to break up the noodles, then open it and pour in the flavor pack, then eat the little chunks. Soon, all the kids were eating ramen during recess.
Brasa's Tamara Murphy Revamping the Cafe at Elliot Bay Book Co.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 24 at 12:27 PM
The cafe is temporarily closed, to reopen with Murphy—she of raising pigs to kill and eat them (and blog about it), and the mastermind of not only Brasa but Burning Beast—managing. The food at the cafe has been pretty atrocious for a long time, so this is brilliant.
From Burning Beast: Matt Dillon (of Sitka and Spruce/The Corson Building) sewed two small goats into conjoined twins and stuffed the cavity with more meat.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 23 at 5:13 PM
Canlis got a new chef—Jason Franey, the executive sous chef from Eleven Madison Park in New York (Frank Bruni loves on that place here)—and held a press conference, with a live webcast, about it this morning. (Slog commenters were underwhelmed.)
The Virginia Inn got a new chef—Josh Green, the executive chef from Ponti—and merely emailed about it. The last time I ate at Ponti, it was not very good; however, Ponti's lounge menu, which is more like what the V.I. serves, has always been fine. And the last time I ate at the V.I., it was pretty terrible.
WTF, Kit-Kat!? You are a chocolate candy bar. Chocolate is not orange. Let me repeat: CHOCOLATE IS NOT ORANGE. I don't expect my mass-produced supermarket candy bars to be crafted by monks from the finest quality organic ingredients (if you're going to make a 5-cent peanut butter cup, you're going to have some wax shavings and asbestos in there), but come on. At least pretend like you are made of food.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 23 at 10:59 AM
In one minute, at 11 a.m. P.S.T., Canlis is holding what their P.R. firm is billing as a momentous press conference. Take it away, press release:
CANLIS RESTAURANT TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE
SEATTLE – Oct. 22, 2008 – In its 58-year Seattle history, Canlis Restaurant has been no stranger to being credited with “firsts”: team-style service, designing an open kitchen, pioneering what has become Northwest cuisine. Now, in a bold statement about how much the restaurant has evolved and its envisioned future, the Canlis family is holding its first-ever press conference to share momentous news.
You are cordially invited to join brothers Mark and Brian Canlis for this event....
They offered to fetch me by car service (thanks, guys!), but I can't make it. But will there be a live webcast? Yes, indeed! Take it away, live webcast:
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 17 at 5:13 PM
Vegetarians, consider us aware of you. (Mr. Schmader, our resident vegetarian, has been seen joining the celebration; he even took a celebratory tour of the Field Roast killing floor.) Have you been to Sutra? It's supposed to be good if somewhat expensive; if you like gongs, apparently they sound one to commence dinner. It is not yet in The Stranger's restaurant guide; we apologize for this, and someone will be beaten severely. Here are some other vegetarian restaurants (including the Australian Meat Pie Company, listed as both "out of town" and in Seattle, with "Meat" right in the name: more severe beatings).
Diane Fedele, president of the group [Chaffey Community Republican Women], said she had no racist intent.
"I never connected," she told the newspaper. "It was just food to me."
Stay classy, San Bernardino County Republicans!
UPDATE: But wait, there's more.
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."
A note to those in the area from the Chaffey Community RWF: "Our meetings are held the 4th Wednesday evening of each month at the Magic Lamp Inn, 8189 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga. Guests are always welcome."
Participating in the James Beard Foundation Awards process has never been easier. Tell us your name, e-mail address, and state of residence, then submit your suggestions for nominees in up to 19 categories, ranging from Best New Restaurant to Rising Star Chef of the Year....
It's a little unclear what the Foundation will actually do with your nominations, but for those who love to submit.... Last year's winner for Best Chef: Northwest was Cafe Juanita's Holly Smith. And everybody's favorite Japanese restaurant Maneki won an America’s Classics Awards. (Maneki was also just honored in the pages of Gourmet as one of 20 "legendary restaurants"—unfortunately it's not online.)
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 14 at 3:01 PM
Starting right now (and going until 6 p.m.), the somewhat terribly named ’zaw artisan bake to eat pizza invites you to sample its wares (promised to "satisfy even the most sophisticated of palettes") at its brand-new flagship store at 1424 E. Pine (near the Elyisan). Also, unspecified door prizes! ’zaw is take-and-bake or available for delivery "via customized carbon-free bikes and trailers."
Been waiting to try the pizza from Zaw ever since they opened and finally ordered last night for our debate party. We orded an appeti'zaw (a smaller appetizer-like pizza), two of their regular zaw pizzas, and a salad. I was a bit hesitant that pizza I cooked myself would turn out very well but the crust turned out nice and crisp, so I was pleased. The Blue Cheese & Pear appeti'zaw was decadent, we also ordered the Arugula Patch and My Big Fat Greek Pizza. The gourment toppings and interesting ingredient combinations really set this place apart from your traditional pizza joints in my opinion. Oh yeah, and did I mention you can buy a bottle of wine and they will deliver it with your food??? This place is now a fixture in my take-out menu drawer.
Posted by mjgirl on October 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM
’zaw, however you want to spell "palate" and capitalize/punctuate yourself, for delivering wine, I salute the hell out of you.
posted by Dominic Holden on October 13 at 10:51 AM
Remember that hamburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches for a bun? It wasn't enough for the demanding masses here at Slog. We debated the merits of adding bacon, blue cheese, and grilled onions. Adam Kuban over at A Hamburger Today writes, "So many of you asked for bacon on this thing that we just had to oblige."
Thank you, Adam. We are swelling with gratitude. We are also proud to be part of the swine-chanting masses, but we're feeling a tad guilty for the risks of your experimental pursuits. Please accept this reciprocal gift:
posted by David Schmader on October 10 at 12:42 PM
A couple weeks ago, I took a tour of the factory that produces the vegan foodstuff Field Roast. This week, I write about it in the Chow section.
Two things that didn't make it into the piece:
1. The concept of imitation meat—veggie "mock chicken" and the various other products designed especially to replicate the taste and texture of animal flesh—as the culinary equivalent of fake kiddie porn. If the original thing (meat, kiddie porn) is gross, why would you want to impersonate it, via "mock chicken" or Max Hardcore's placing of legal-age vixens in kiddie-porn settings? The moral: A close approximation of grossness is gross, too. (I cut this because it's kinda confused and maybe bullshit and I strive to keep kiddie-porn comparisons out of food reviews.)
2. Acknowledgement of the strange orange oil-juice that's a component of a number of Field Roast products—in my case, the Mexican-y Field Roast sausage and Italian-y Field Roast deli slices. This orange oil-juice is the most tenacious food substance I've ever encountered—a single drop can somehow transmit oiliness to every surface in your kitchen, and slicing the stuff on a wooden cutting board will leave a permanent orange stain. Unfortunately, the products featuring the orange oil-juice are the most delicious Field Roast products of all, so handle with nuclear-waste-level care and you'll be fine.
I went to a Thai restaurant after last night’s debate, and the first thing I noticed on the menu was this:
Disclaimer: Prices and ingredients subject to change without notice.
That's pretty broad. I ordered a chicken Pad Thai, four stars, with a side of peanut sauce. It was listed at $8.95. As it happened, our server brought me a chicken Pad Thai, four stars, with a side of peanut sauce. And he charged me $8.95. But what if he had delivered, say, a hamburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches for a bun, and charged me $80.00?
A Japanese restaurant has changed the face of customer service by employing two monkeys to help with the table service. The Kayabukiya tavern, a traditional 'sake house' north of Tokyo has employed a pair of uniformed Japanese macaque called Yat-chan and Fuku-chan to serve patrons.
It’s a beautiful day. And you know what would make it better? One of these delicious burgers.
Your eyes fail you not. This is a fat, juicy hamburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches for a bun. I’d kill a cardiologist with my bare hands to get one. But it would be even de-lisher with a few slices of thick-cut bacon and some blue cheese dressing.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 3 at 3:27 PM
The $26 burger is no more at the Triangle Lounge, and its creator, Tom Hurley, is no longer involved with the Fremont bar and restaurant. Hurley first gained fame for his namesake French restaurant in Portland, which he closed at the beginning of this year; in an interview with The Oregonian, he blamed the closure on lingering effects of a 2004 protest against foie gras staged at Hurley’s. Hurley opened Coupage in Madrona in the fall of 2006; the signature menu item there was a pricey foie gras burger that met with praise instead of protests. After a number of staff changes (including the departure of the acclaimed opening chefs, who went on to open Wallingford’s Joule), Coupage shut down in August. It was reported that Hurley had purchased the Triangle a year ago, but it seems that the relationship was not so clear-cut, and it is now over.
At the Triangle recently, a server showed little remorse about the tandem departure of Hurley and the burger. Some choice words were deployed about the former, who was apparently not a big hit with the staff; as for the latter, the relief at no longer having to hear “a TWENTY-SIX DOLLAR burger!?” was evident. In the burger’s defense, it was meant for two and came with two beers (and did not involve foie). Mr. Hurley has not returned a call for comment.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 29 at 9:22 AM
From the BBC: "Preliminary tests have found the chemical melamine in Cadbury's Chinese-made chocolates, the company says."
From Wikipedia: "Melamine is combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durable thermosetting plastic, and melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product. The end products include countertops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, housewares and flame retardants. Melamine is one of the major components in Pigment Yellow 150, a colorant in inks and plastics."
posted by Dominic Holden on September 25 at 10:53 AM
A pony-size pig who held an Australian woman hostage for 10 days inside her home will be removed on Wednesday to a piggery, where his bacon will be saved by a stint on stud duties, rangers said.
The 176 pound pig, nicknamed Bruce, kept self-confessed animal lover Caroline Hayes, 63, in her farmhouse near Uki, in northern New South Wales State, with aggressive demands to be fed, even headbutting her bedroom door at night.
"I picked up a broom and poked him out with it and he snapped it in half with his mouth," Hayes told Australian media.
In related Facebook news, I just became the 32,729th fan of bacon.
Okay, Now the Economic Crisis Has Really Hit Home
posted by Megan Seling on September 23 at 3:03 PM
I don't own a car or a house, or have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, so I've felt fairly removed from the tanking economy/collapsing bank talk. Until now. Now, the fucked up economy has taken our chocolate.
On Friday, TODAY consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman reported that Hershey’s has switched to less expensive ingredients in several of its products. In particular, cocoa butter — the ingredient famous for giving chocolate its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture — has been replaced with vegetable oil.
The removal of cocoa butter violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of milk chocolate, so subtle changes have appeared on the labels of the Hershey’s products with altered recipes. Products once labeled “milk chocolate” now say “chocolate candy,” “made with chocolate” or “chocolatey.”
The other day, as I wandered through the QFC on 15th Ave E, I spied a curious situation: Some fickle shopper, apparently, had picked up two to three jugs of laundry detergent, then lost interest in freshly laundered clothes somewhere around the produce section, and abandoned their detergent in a neatly formed row in between the spinach and the tomatoes. "That's weird," I thought. Then I looked closer:
Oh, silly me. It's not laundry detergent. This jug contains "Fi-i-it Fruit & Vegetable Wash." It's "100% Natural!" How nice! The placement of "Fi-i-it" between said tomatoes and spinach (two vegetables contaminated by SCANDAL in the past year) is clearly no coincidence. Because vegetables are dangerous, people! Be grateful that "Fi-i-it" is looking out for you! What's the difference between a fruit & vegetable enthusiast and a bloated, rotting, poison-soaked fruit & vegetable enthusiast? A $5 jug of "Fi-i-it." Buy it. Buy it. Be afraid. Buy it.
You know, I've been a fan of fruit & vegetable wash for a long time. I have! But to be honest, I much preferred fruit & vegetable wash's earlier work, when it was called MOTHERFUCKING WATER. Or, if you want to get all fancy, motherfucking water with a very, very small amount of dish soap in it.
To shamelessly paraphrase this joke by local comic Kevin Richards: THANKS, BUT I’M GOING TO STICK WITH THE BUILT-IN FRUIT & VEGETABLE WASH CANNON THAT CAME WITH THE APARTMENT.
Also available from the folks who brought you "Fi-i-it," new "Wallet & Money Clip & Bank Account Wash!" Flush out those dollars, people. OR DIE.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 19 at 4:58 PM
Today Paul Constant is wearing a T-shirt that reads "WHERES THE CHILIDOGS"—just like that, with no punctuation. He claims ignorance as to the origin of his shirt. Shirt, I say to you: IN SEATTLE HERES THE CHILIDOGS.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 19 at 8:56 AM
The much-loved restaurant known as Crave has been unceremoniously kicked out of (the revolving door that is) the building formerly known as the Capitol Hill Arts Center. Owner Robin Leventhal says Crave has to be out by Halloween:
Finding a new location and moving in one month will be impossible. Crave might be taking an enforced break....
There are hundreds of places listed, with thousands of reviews to read (and hardly any of 'em mention Palin or WaMu or pitbulls). You can search by neighborhood or cuisine, and you can search for places that are vegetarian, dog-friendly, romantic, or good for groups. And, of course, you can also leave some reviews of your own.
And if we don't have a place you're looking for, you can also add a listing!
The Internets are a Precious, Natural, Non-Renewable Resource...
posted by Dan Savage on September 17 at 12:03 PM
...and I know that if I fill up the Internets with bullshit then there won't be any room online for important news items, Slog posts, pornography, and pictures of lolcats, and that we have to be mindful of preserving the Internets for future generations. But I gotta say that the gumbo here at the 74th Street Ale House is awesome.
I apologize if this Slog post knocked your favorite website off the Internets.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 15 at 3:18 PM
Poppy, the much-anticipated new restaurant from former Herbfarm maestro Jerry Traunfeld, opens tomorrow. It is not, as errantly reported here, in the former Jade Pagoda space—it's a few doors north where the old Elite (and a Vietnamese restaurant) used to be. It's spacious and looks pretty. Here's a representative menu of the thali that'll be on offer. EXCITEMENT.
posted by Paul Constant on September 12 at 12:10 PM
(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)
Who's your date today?Salvation Boulevard, by Larry Beinhart.
Where'd you go? Mirch Masala. I was inspired by Dave's review this week.
What'd you eat? I had the lunch buffet ($7.95.)
How was the food? Delicious! The butter chicken and the paneer curry were my favorites, but the piping-hot naan delivered to the table was great, too. This is by far the best Indian lunch buffet I've had in Seattle. But the other options are so depressing I stopped going to Indian lunch buffets quite some time ago.
What does your date say about itself? It's a thriller by the man who wrote the novel American Hero, which was the basis for Wag the Dog. American Hero was kind of crazy—the author wrote himself into the book, and it was very different from Mamet's script for Dog, basically claiming that the first Gulf War was a plot to get the first Bush re-elected. If your tolerance for conspiracy theorists is all right, I recommend Hero. This new one is about religion and politics, and it's more of a legal thriller.
Is there a representative quote? "Manny slammed his fist down on the desk. He was wearing a shirt that cost $300, $350. A $150 tie, wide and straight, pimp my neck. The jacket of his $2,400 suit hung over the back of his chair. The view out his window made it the priciest real estate in the city. Manny loved money, and Manny made money. But here he was, slamming his fist down on the desk so hard his coffee mug took a little hop and clack. "Not if I can fuckin' help it.""
Will you two end up in bed together? Yes, but I'm losing patience. I got 39 pages into it and I'm on Chapter 9, and the characters aren't really characters yet. As with the above quote, they have one attribute (in Manny's case, love of expensive things.) If I don't see a little more depth soon, I might abandon ship.
posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 11 at 4:18 PM
...or Press Release of the Day:
For Immediate Release
Pork Belly Politics
Do you support the “Mental Recession” Meal Deal or the “Diversity Celebration” Combo?
September 11, 2008—(Seattle) With the upcoming election on everyone's mind, Atlas Foods is giving you the opportunity to vote with your stomach—and get a squealing deal (hold the lip stick). Our slow-smoked, pulled pork sandwich served with fries and a beer for just $7.75 is your ticket to show your colors. Cast your vote during dinner only at Atlas Foods by ordering either the "Mental Recession" Meal Deal or the “Diversity Celebration” Combo any day between now and election night. We'll be keeping track of which 'wich is winning on the big board in the restaurant and on the Atlas Website. Be sure to join us at the restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, when we'll all be gathered around the big board to find out who has won this pork poll.
The "Mental Recession" Meal Deal: An American classic, down home pulled pork on a hoagie bun, just like what W. would want. Each plate comes piled with an Alaska-sized portion of Freedom Fries. You know the recession is in your head when you see that this deal comes with a frosty beer of your choice--but we have to apologize, we don’t carry Bud. $7.75
The “Diversity Celebration” Combo: Beer, Fries and Pork Unite: Born of small-town values, this humble pulled pork sandwich pairs with fries and beer for a meal even those not helped by Bush tax cuts can afford. Fries are piled high, and in keeping with the message of change, are trans-fat free. Inspiring hope to all, the microbrew could sell for more, but turns down greater profit for the good of the entire meal. $7.75
The Quickest Way to Get Me to Return Your Call
posted by Dan Savage on September 10 at 3:31 PM
Right now I have 48 messages in my voicemail. It'll take, oh, at least an hour to listen to 'em. So I probably won't. Ever. So how do you get me on the phone?
Cheap cake. Babeland sent it, with "Please Dan..." written in/on the frosting. I called 'em back 10 minutes later. I'm not proud of the fact that I can take literally forever to return a phone call and that, absent some sugar-bomb bribe, you may never hear back from me. But there it is. And as a direct result of this cake's appearance in my office, I will be hosting a chat with Babeland co-founder Rachel Venning at Babeland's 15th Anniversary Party on Thursday, September 18. Info here.