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Archive for the ‘city livin’’ Category

It is possible that this summer, I am leaving Boston. As of right now, I have no idea. Even if I stay, I will likely not live in the same apartment, same neighborhood, the same job…

this has two food-related implications.

A) I have started a mental Eat This Before You Leave List. All the places in Boston I’ve been meaning to try out…

and

B) I am already getting nostalgic for my favorites and wanting to eat them all the time, knowing that my time might be running short.

Add those two together, and it is clear that I will be leaving Boston quite plump and quite broke.

Today, an ode to the Clover Foodtruck that parks outside of my school.

Chickpea fritter sandwich, I love you.

Hummus, warm falafel, carrots, cabbage, pickle, tahini sauce, whatever else is in there…

you’re the best.

I will miss you.

 

 

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When I was in Cleveland Park this weekend, seeing The Hunger Games (I could wax poetic about it FOREVER but I’ll let Jessica do that; it’s more in her wheelhouse), my moviegoing buddies brought me to a shop I’ve never been to before. Vace is an Italian deli, meaning: Homemade pasta, pizzas and meats.

Photo from DCist. Thanks guys!

I don’t have to tell you about how tasty homemade pasta is (the nice folks at Urban Spoon can do that for me), but I did pick up some pistachios and a bake-at-home spinach lasagna. Hoooo-leeeey poop. This lasagna has lasted for days, and the noodles were so fresh, even though the thing was near-frozen. They didn’t go overboard on the ricotta or sauce, and everything stays together and doesn’t slop around when you cut it. It has been delish. Three pounds anything is probably too much for a lone wolf like myself, but it has been more than worth the money. Will definitely be stopping by to try the pizzas, bags of noodles and homemade pesto in the future.

Any neighborhood joints calling your name?

-Lindsey

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When last we checked in, dear food blog, it was the beginning of Lent and I was all aglow in paczki memories. I must admit to you, however, that last Friday, I knowing committed the Catholic faux pas of eating meat. (NOTE: Mom thinks this is a bullshit rule, and so do I. Mama Woho’s take: “God doesn’t judge us for eating meat.  That is a man-made rule….it is not a commandment or beatitude….and come to think of it, they may be man-made too.” She is so wise!)

I figured God wouldn’t mind, regardless, because I was going to be having real Texas barbecue.

A few months ago, my dear friend Alesa and I were talking about places we had never been. We both mentioned Austin, and she said, “But what if we just went? NO SERIOUSLY. What if we went?” And that’s how our trip to SXSW happened. Couple this with an interview I did with a really cool guy named Boyd Bush, who mentioned at the end of our conversation, “If you’re ever near Austin, my family and I will take you for a great barbecue.” Do not idly offer me food, sources! I will take you up on it, every time!

So on Thursday, Alesa and I scooted on down to San Antonio, stopping at the Alamo and Riverwalk for the afternoon. Then we drove on up to Austin, where her friend graciously put us up. We went downtown for all the hot sxsw action. I was food-truck focused: I wanted to find the truck Paul from Top Chef owns. Alas, it was not meant to be, but I did enjoy fried chicken, wrapped in a waffle, taco-style, from a Lucky J’s trailer. The chicken had a kick and the waffle was just the right amount of malty. Plus, the girl working the window had an amazing skull-and-crossbones tattoo on her leg. The crossbones were bacon. Bless.

Friday morning, I met with Boyd and his family at the Salt Lick in Round Rock. If you didn’t watch this season of Top Chef, a) I don’t know what’s wrong with you, and b) you missed out on the Salt Lick episode, where the contestants cooked on the restaurant’s all-night outdoor barbecue pit. I was super-stoked for the MEATS, of course, but the real reason for the trip out to Round Rock was to give Boyd his copy of the magazine: He’s on the cover in April! And he’s my first cover story! (I’ll link to the story when it’s published online in a few weeks.) I don’t post too much about my work, but this was an exceptional occasion, and Boyd and his family were just so warm and genuine. He seemed pretty tickled with the story and photos, too.

Boyd and me, with our cover story. His lovely wife took this photo! Please excuse my rumpled appearance; I was about to rock out later that day.

The Bush family advised me on ordering, and let me tell you, they did not lead me astray. I had brisket so tender you could weep, pulled pork that could never be created in a crock pot, and a rib that made me want to gnaw on the bone for days. DAYS, I tell you! Plus, the sides were pretty good, too (coleslaw had no mayo; potato salad was almost cold mashed potatoes). But nothing beats eating food outside in great company, so that may have clouded my judgement somewhat. Bush family, thank you for taking the time to introduce me to Texas BBQ!

Other big food hits for the weekend:

  • The pad thai taco from The Peached Tortilla. Delightful!
  • Butter pecan pancakes from The Old Pecan Street Cafe. The maple syrup was so real it hurt Log Cabin’s feelings.
  • Homemade warm chocolate-cinnamon-ginger cookies with ice cream at The Snack Bar, which is just too cute. South Austin, I could move to you.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures of, you know, FOOD. But I was really in Austin to meet good people, and rock the hell out. And to that, I’d say: Mission accomplished.

Bonus Ben Kweller picture. He is wasted and ready.

-Lindsey

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Hello! Did we all make it through last week’s super heavy but therapeutic (at least for me!) post? Good. Thanks for sticking around. I’m going to talk about my fridge.

It looks like this on the inside:

 

Not too shabby, right? Probably too much food for a single lady who lives alone, but whatever, it’s my money/house/body, I do/eat what I want! (That includes keeping tomatoes in the fridge, I know it’s a sin, sorry I’m not sorry.)

You’ve probably noticed a plethora of soup in there. I frickin’ love soup so much it hurts. My mom makes the best chicken noodle in the world, and as much as I whined about weeks’ worth of soup dinners as a kid, there is something comforting and easy about a soup lunch or dinner. I’ve been making the magic soup we made in December about once every seven to ten days or so, and then bringing it to work most days. I’m not even bored with it yet! I think there are two reasons for that:

  1. It reminds me of the Polish kitchens of my youth. Aww!
  2. I change it up every day.

Since the base of the soup is super simple (you’ll recall: garlic and onions, any green/crunchy veggies you’ve got around the house, whole cabbage, diced tomatoes) you can play around with it. I’ve been doing half of a spicy chicken andouille sausage some days. Rice every once in a while. I threw an avocado in there a couple of times and it was like tortilla soup without the tortillas! That was pretty great. In the leftovers bowl on the middle shelf there, I’ve got some ground beef (leftover from tonight’s attempt at homemade bibimbap; it was… not the most successful). With a little rice, it’s going to be my lazy woman’s version of golabki (pronounce this go-WUMP-kee), or stuffed cabbage.

You’ll also see a lot of juice in the fridge, left over from my weekend of perpetual sniffles and Patty and Selma voice. Part of my “clean livin'” attempts include healthy breakfasts, so I’ve been doing a smoothie on the way to work, then a small bowl of oatmeal or a Luna Bar once I get there. Don’t worry, I still go to town on Bagel Day at the office. My daily smoothie recipe: plop of yogurt (about half of a little cup or a big ol’ scoop of Greek yogurt, whatever), a handful of strawberries, one small banana, maybe some sorbet (I really like coconut because obviously that’s the least healthy option), and OJ. Blend with immersion blender. 

Also seen but unlabeled: Plum sauce that has been in the fridge since the week I moved into my apartment, sour cream that I only used for mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving and prune juice that I haven’t been brave enough to open yet.

Not pictured: my fruit basket (holds mostly citrus and garlic), cabinet full of baking supplies and the multiple stashes of Gummy Tummies tucked around my kitchen and living room. I promise, real recipes will return at some point. I turn 27 this week so expect some sort of “almost 30!” crisis coming down the pike! I predict: more whoopie pies.

-Lindsey

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Hello. I promised you a Thanksgiving post. This is the one, you guys.

It started, as it always does, with an invite to The Vegans’ (trademark pending, I’m sure) annual Vegan Orphan Thanksgiving. God bless these small, thin people and their yearly no-meat gathering on Thanksgiving day. I attended last year for dessert (you may, perhaps, recall that I made a vegan bourbon pecan pie), but if we’re being “really real,” as the kids say, I gotta have turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition. So I invited folks over for the first-ever Woho Meaty Thanksgiving for Orphans.

Only one person could come.

That, I suppose,  is to be expected. Why would the vegans travel home specifically for a family meal they can’t eat? Why would any omnivore stay in town when their Granny is cooking the most amazing meal of the year?

I wasn’t deterred, though, and good pal CJ even bequeathed me a turkey that he got from his work. A 13-pound frozen beast. For two people.

That’s my head, for scale.

So, being the recipient of the most generous holiday gift to date, I knew I needed to make this bird sing. First thing: I knew it wouldn’t fit in my apartment-sized oven. BUT! I’ve broken down a whole chicken a few times (did I ever tell you guys about the knife skills class I took this summer?), so I figured a turkey would be the same thing, but bigger. Rachael Ray has pretty good suggestions on her website, too. I got myself a new 8-inch Henckel knife and got ready to get down.

Problems I encountered en route to bird eating:

– The center of the bird remained frozen, despite putting it from freezer to fridge on Monday and from fridge to enormous cooler with a single ice pack on Wednesday.

– A 13-pound turkey is a lot stronger than a three-pound chicken.

– My knife skills need more sharpening, har-har-har.

But! When it was all said and done, I had two legs, two wings, most of two breasts, and plenty of back and neck meat. I treated the breasts and a leg as you would your regular turkey, EXCEPT I also fried up some bacon, chopped it up pretty fine, and massaged that under the skin with the butter and herbs. GENIUS.

The pieces I prepared went into the oven and in two hours were a delicious golden-brown. The bacon flavor really added a smokiness, as well as much-needed fat to the white meat.

Here’s the rest of our two-woman spread:

Remotes in there for realism.

– Twice-baked mashed potatoes (mash ’em the night before with sour cream instead of milk, scoop into baking dish, heat before dinner)

– Sauteed green beans with slivered almonds and garlic

– Grandma H’s cranberry salad

– Candied carrots

– Southern sausage stuffing

– Sweet potato coins

And of course, we still joined the vegans for dessert, with this bourbon pecan pie recipe that I veganized (it’s Paula Deen. Also, please make your own crust. It isn’t hard, I swear).

The leftover turkey and green beans went into a soup later that weekend, and I’ve been enjoying it with rice all week. Your move, Christmas.

-Lindsey

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Last month, Mama Woho came to town:

That’s her, eating a sandwich. Isn’t she the cutest?

Mom is my favorite food guest, because my sister eats vegan exclusively, and my dad has trouble with spicy, but also tries to eat healthy because he trains for century rides on his bike. Mom and I have what I like to call “the most normal” eating habits, so when she visits alone, I miss the other two, but we have a lot of food freedom. Here’s what we ate when she was here:

Friday: Tacos at Taqueria Distrito Federal

Mom had one each of chicken, pork and steak. I had two lengua (tongue) and one al pastor and got mad at myself for not getting two lengua. It’s the best! But I couldn’t convince Mom to have a bite.

Saturday: Sandwich and sides at the Smithsonian Museum of American History

This was surprisingly good. We split a roast turkey sandwich on cranberry-pecan bread, then got a side of mac and cheese and steamed veggies. The mac was really good, with the baked stuff on top, you know what I mean? The veggies were still crisp and flavorful. The sandwich was totally filling and delish. The Museum of the American Indian has a really good food court too, but this one was surprising in the best ways.

Also Saturday: Hotdogs and beer at the Washington Capitals-Detroit Red Wings game

If you don’t like hotdogs at sporting events, you can just FADE. Also, if you don’t like hockey, we probably can’t vibe. Here’s a sampling of the pregame skate (mom’s favorite part. Mine too).

Jimmy Howard, I like you.

 Sunday: Sandwich and fancy chips at Dean and Deluca

Where I come from, we don’t have D&D. When my old friend moved out to “the city” and I was still living Up North, she sent me a gift package from Dean and Deluca and I imagined the fanciest food store ever. And as far as grocery stores go, D&D is pretty fancy. I like to call it “rich people groceries,” and don’t usually visit much since there’s a Trader Joe’s a few blocks away. However, when it’s time for lunch in Georgetown, D&D’s sandwiches are all I want to eat. Mom and I split the turkey sandwich with basil mayo and avocado, and each got our own bag of Route 11 chips, which are a local delicacy that I would dare say are better than Better Made, but just barely.

Also Sunday: Delivery from Thaitanic

When the whole family is in DC, the one restaurant we can agree on is Thaitanic, the Thai place up the street from my house. Vegan stuff for my sister, seafood for Dad, all kinds of stuff for me and Mom. By the end of our whirlwind weekend, Mom and I just wanted to loaf and watch Food Network in our sweatpants. So we did, with the cashew chicken and veggies and spring rolls (top five favorite foods!) from Thaitanic.

Now it’s a countdown to Christmas. Until then, I’ll be dreaming sweet tasty dreams of family dinners.

-Lindsey

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About a year before my boyfriend and I moved to Boston, we got hit by a bug called ican’teatenoughindianfooditis.

You see, there’s this little place in Flint called Grill of India. It’s a bit of a hole-in-the-wall hole-in-a-strip-mall on Linden Road, but a weekly favorite of the Vegan Musicians who were my boyfriend’s classmates at U of M Flint. Neither of us had tried Indian before, but we spent many weekends during 2009 doing our part to keep this little treasure in business.

That is a classy way of saying “gorging ourselves on the weekend lunch buffet.”

But then we moved. Sad story. But there’s a twist! Our new ‘hood came equipped with not one, but TWO rival Indian restaurants with buffets! That are, inexplicably, two storefronts away from one another.

When we arrived, we favored Ghazal for its lower buffet prices and roomier digs.

However, Bukhara has been making a play for our affections lately….

Ghazal

Pros:

As I mentioned, Ghazal’s buffet price is a WHOLE DOLLAR cheaper than its rivals. Ooooooooh….

– Slightly superior naan.

– A bigger variety of both vegetarian and meat entrees.

– Less crowded.

– Tastier gulab jamun & kheer (aka DESSERTS)

– You can snag coupons on Restaurants.com

Cons:

Naan is not included in the price of your meal. Sad face.

– No samosas during the week.

– Obvious usage of those bags of frozen mixed veggies.

A typical plate. Looks like Channa Masala, Vegetable Pakora, Saag Paneer, and something with chicken.

Bukhara

Pros:

– They have a email list that occasionally inundates me with coupons.

– GIANT pieces of FRESH veggies in the vegetable korma. Mmmm….

– You can get this riDICulous amount of dinner delivered for 20 bucks. Two “mini” entrees, rice, naan, soup, a cup of coffee (?), a samosa, a salad, and a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream. Mmmmm….

Cons:

They are part of a little Indian-dining Conglomerate in the Boston area that has been reported for refusing to pay its workers or something. Fishy.

– Creamy dishes are MUCH too rich for more than a few bites.

– Weekend buffet can get a little crazy-packed.

This wasn’t the buffet, but we had to use up those coupons! I had vegetable korma and Lance had something green, I can’t remember what.

So, Who has the best Indian food in JP?

I don’t know. Everyone I talk to has a very legit reason for preferring their preference, or some just only bother to go to one because it’s so good you don’t bother shopping around.

I suspect we will flip our alliance back and forth until we move away.

Maybe we’ll move somewhere with THREE Indian joints!!

Wouldn’t that be something!

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