Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The "I" Sisters.....

coming to life again

For the second time this decade a named “storm” starting with “I” has visited us. It’s hard to remain objective, and of course it’s all a scientific matter of winds, fronts, water temperatures and other natural forces, but damn it, here it is.

In a way, there’s a lot to say, and in a way, there’s not much to say. But, as alert readers will remember I usually take the former option, and so with electricity returned to the digs, internet connection secured, I can give some accounting our experiences. Quick read is that aside from no electricity, we fared pretty well. A neighbor “lent” us a tree but not of considerable size, and it has been taken care of. Our waterfront was pretty much unscathed, and due to previous storms of one sort or another, we have just a few trees remaining on the property. Funny, while Isabel was mainly a water event, Irene brought winds. Sailor friends tell me that whether the “eye” passes east or west would be the difference.

So, all last week as she inched across the Atlantic, I checked the forecast track of Irene (I hate using that word!) every time it was updated. By Thursday it seemed to settle back out into the Atlantic somewhat east of Ocean City, and Washington was pretty much out of the cone. It was predicted to be a hundred miles or so east of us sometime Sunday afternoon, so I was feeling pretty cavalier at that point. Some annoyance, but certainly not head for the hills. I did take the precaution of covering the gray lagoon to prevent it filling with leaves, and generally we went to “Storm Condition One” the one with least effort. Patio stuff to the side, but things like the grills remained near the screened in porch, some lumber still stored near the woodpile, and so forth. Friday, as a precaution, I thought maybe I would stop by Lowe’s and pick up a couple of flashlights, and some more “D” cell batteries. They weren’t crowded but when I asked, they just laughed. Gone for days.

So, despite the dire warnings of “chicken little” Weather Channel, we went to bed Friday night expecting to do yard work in the morning, and then maybe hunker in the afternoon and watch the storm pass by.

The first indication that something was amiss was when we woke up fairly early Saturday morning to the sound of rain on the windows. Hey, what’s this? And then I went out in the back yard, and there were those dull gray clouds, steady winds with light rain that flashed memories of “I” storm number one in 2003. Sooo, just to err on the side of extra caution we elevated our condition to “Three”, just to be safe. Anything that could potentially blow was moved to the side yard, the gas grill laid down on its side, all lumber removed, the cover on the woodpile taken off, props put on the fence gate, okay, pretty secure.

Feeling pretty confident, I went out to get coffee, and was humorously surprised at measures taken by a few of the store owners..silly people..

By the time I got back, the wind had picked up a bit, and my anxiety began to rise (aided by the caffeine no doubt), and is my practice when faced with adversity, I just wanted it to go away. My “Coping strategy” is to just lie on the couch in an extended fetal position and mutter “please be over”. MFO, on the other hand busied herself with cooking food for a dinner party that evening. By mid afternoon, it was obvious that things were deteriorating rapidly, with the storm still in the Carolinas. Rain pounding on the windows, substantial gusts, and those tell tale little bits of leaves began to stick to the glass. The only variation was increasing intensity of everything. Steady.

I won’t go through the rest of the night, but it was one I don’t want to re-live. Ever. Power quit about eight o’clock. A retrospective check with the NOAA’s Solomons weather site (the little white house across from us), showed steady winds of about 40 knots, and continuous gusts in the fifties with one peak around 60 (just about midnite). No thank you

Sunday morning, things seemed to be calming a bit, so we went out to survey any damage. Only physical damage (mental was irreparable) was one of our neighbor’s tree flattening a panel of our new fence, and the kayaks re-arranged.

We then held our breath and peeked over the hill and mercifully no damage to the waterfront. I think the fact that (passing to the east) there was always a northerly component to the wind, kind of “blew out” the bay.

Well, that wasn’t so bad we thought, and then went to the street side of the house. A short trip up the road revealed an appalling amount of damage. Neighbor's driveways unpassable, houses up the street with colossal trees down, some on houses, trees across roads, we could hardly believe our eyes..(and this is just a sampling)

And it became evident why there was no power at the digs.

This was the low point, and tomorrow....

To be continued!!

we'll suspend DFD for a day or so..

MFO and I are going out tonight for the first "real food" dinner in days in honor of our anniversary....

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Nasty Week...

It’s been a bad week in Lake Wobegon, I’m glad to see it over.

The week contained a startling earthquake, a pretty spectacular thunderstorm with a reported tornado on the base, and now the chance of whatever Irene brings. I am nervous about a plague of locusts. And, the little things that happened didn’t help. I inadvertently did a “reply all” to an email that should have been “reply” which brought to mind that commercial where the office mate says “you replied to all! You replied to all!. A joke in that case not me. Felt exactly like that guy. Fortunately it was only a sort of a snappy reply rather than anything egregious, but you still feel like the Southwest airlines “wanna get away?” And then just now at the supermarket, where more water was flowing out the door than over Niagara Falls, another of my hot buttons got pushed. Everybody was scouring the milk, toilet paper, the water and bread (one lady remarked “it must be a snowstorm!”) from the shelves, so lines at the checkout were long. Most people share my aversion to the “automatic” lanes, which never work and still prefer a human. As did I, so I got in a line with about four loaded carts ahead of me. The only other human line was in about the same condition. After about five minutes, the PA system announced “Greg and Bob, we need you at the front of the store”. Sure enough, pretty soon they appeared and started fiddling with the cash registers. Eventually the little light went on, and an announcement confirmed “lanes 10 and 11 are now open!”. The gold rush had nothing on what ensued next. People two carts behind me RAN to the vacant lanes with no thought of the people who had been standing in line a long time before the rushers arrived. In fact, if the little lady ahead of me tried she surely would have gone under the wheels. Cannot people be civil? I always ask and get proven wrong. My statement of “excuse me, this lady was before you” got an icy stare. I remember in St. Louis at Schnuck’s if this situation occurred, the checker would walk into the line, grab the cart of the next in line and take it himself to the line.

But these things were mere aggravations in light of a couple of other things this week. It marked the year’s anniversary of the passing of Bob Dieckelman, our long time GVT friend and unfailing Notre Dame fan. On top of that, another tragic occurrance this week, when I learned of another untimely death, my friend Kirk MacKinnon. I had grown close to Kirk over the past couple of years sharing judging duties at food events, and through our mutual activities at our Rotary club. It’s just such an empty feeling when you get that call out of the blue. What a feeling of helplessness. No rational explanation as to why somebody who was here yesterday is not anymore. More of a reason to enjoy your friends each day, and maybe let that person who is ahead of you in line, go first. Huge holes in your heart..

And tomorrow, Irene will bring what she will, so who knows when the next Feeder will remind you to


and be safe..

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The New Charlie's Deli

Is the old Charlie’s Deli! I ignored the “120 day” rule of thumb and joined a friend for lunch the other day.

I don’t believe in time travel or universe warping, but if you didn’t know it has been shuttered for two or so years, you might not notice any difference. Well, that’s mostly food centric, there have been a few changes which some might consider significant. The “Bar” has been replaced by an ice cream bar, which, as far as I know, does not serve alcohol. I did not ask whether or not a license was in the offing. I would suspect not…

Besides the substitution of the Cookies N’Cream for the Bud Light, the little place south of Gate Three is still called Charlie’s Deli. It has the same layout, and the décor in the main dining space has those same black rugs on the wall with lots of little bric a brac displayed, the “station” still in the same place, servers dressed in black, and I believe the same glass covered red tablecloths on the tables with paper napkins rolled around the flatware. Perhaps in honor of a new waitstaff, under the glass were rather large pieces of paper with the table number written on it. Cute. Since my friend arrived before me (thanks to a down ATM at the credit union), he was seated at guess what? Table 13. Upon sitting I immediately knew why it was number 13. It was so unstable that it needed a heavy foot to keep it from rocking violently, plus the tables along the wall are so closely spaced you get bumped all the time.

Of course we’re inside their 120 day grace period, but the menu is the same two sided single page from before. There is still a number for every choice (and it’s not even Chinese!), so Number 17 gets you that Reuben, #4 a Grayson’s Delicacy, a “40” calls up (under cold plates by the way) a “grilled chicken salad”, and so forth all the way up to number 52 (a side order of onion rings). I noticed that #19 was a “Yee-Ro” forcing you to read the description to determine it is a Gyro, albeit no mention of Tsatziki sauce (but you do get lettuce tomato and onion, kind of a bizarre combination). All of the sandwiches and burgers still require that you pick your bread, cheese, and condiments, plus a choice of 7 sides of the usual suspects. Our order consisted of numbers 48, 17, and 23. Which translated into food means a cup of chili, a Reuben and an Uncle Dewey (which is basically a Reuben without the kraut). Our sides were potato salad, and fries. Again, I would say if you ate at Charlie’s two years ago, you ate last week. No surprises, not bad food, ample proportions and at least the fries were “sysco”. The potato salad was reported as average. The Reuben contained the correct ingredients (they offer both corned beef and pastrami, and gimme a break, turkey!) grilled rye, sauerkraut, but oddly enough the (in this case) thousand island dressing was in a little plastic cup on the side. Traditionalists might point out that Russian dressing is a must, but generally they hit the mark (aside from the on the side dressing). If you wanted the dressing actually on the sandwich, you had to peel it open at which point most everything falls out.

Which finally brings me to the service. And of course this may not be fair yet, but while all the servers were enthusiastic, ours pushed most of my hot buttons. Since I was late I don’t know if she was going to take care of us, but during the course of our meal, we were referred to as no less than: “Hon, Sweetie, Dear (or maybe Dearie), and surprisingly enough Gentlemen”. I am not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised that there was a “you guys” in there someplace. I was unable to order a Reuben, it had to be (leaning over my shoulder to check) a Number Seventeen. Water glasses went kind of dry a couple of times, but in general the service was appropriate for the place. Hopefully the terms of endearment will settle out, and they can eventually not have to order strictly by number.

So the food is about as it was, and what was expected, sort of deli like with many choices probably as good as any other option for this kind of stuff around here. I certainly would return before chaining it.. 120 days.

figure out your own

DFD here..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sorry, Charlie...

Charlie and his Deli will have to wait another day…like tomorrow while we deal with more pressing matters.

As I was sitting here yesterday afternoon putting my thoughts together on said Charlie’s Deli, enjoying my standard bologna sandwich (Boar’s Head All Beef – very good) and chips, I felt a little something, and heard a little squeak from someplace (not uncommon so far, being on the helo route to the test ranges for the base), but then, whoa, this isn’t a chopper. Shaking continued and even increased a little – then my lightning quick mind, honed from living in California, said “It’s an Earthquake!” So I sort of wobbled to the door and went outside, and there was the gray lagoon with waves in it!! Not normal wind induced little things, but as if somebody was shaking the whole pool. And, in fact they were. They didn’t slosh over the edge or anything, but was nothing like I had seen before. Then the shaking stopped, then it started again, then finally subsided. Wowee. And it’s funny. I can be on a boat in heavyish seas and (unless I go below) I am never seasick. I guess if I can see the reason (and a horizon) i don’t get queasy. Well, no horizon nor obvious cause here, and I really did get a little unsteady on my feet. Took a few minutes to get the gyros re-caged. Then the text messages and emails started, saying it was a 5.9 (later reduced by a tenth) centered in Mineral, Virginia.

Immediately the “media” stormed onto the air, with preliminary reports of no damage, no injuries. These claims were sort of false as later there were pictures of a parked car covered in chunks of concrete, and various pictures of food on floor in convenience stores, busted bottles of wine (a real tragedy) and reports of various ceiling accoutrements falling to the floor. Today the DC schools remain closed, and several federal buildings are closed for inspections.

Of course all the folks on the other coast who experience several of these a year, began to scoff at the crying of wolf, and various chicken little comments, including signs like the following:

Which are kind of cute, but given above maybe not too appropriate.

Good Night, Irene, Good Night

Well, I hope Leadbelly has some influence up there in heaven, and convinces Irene that a voyage out into the Atlantic is much more pleasant than stopping in at places like the Chesapeake Bay or Ocean City. Having had a poor experience when Isabel visited in 2003. Storms that begin with “I” are not fond with us. Fortunately every update seems to indicate the track is in fact moving to the “right” away from us. I think I have passed this on before, there is a nice site called “Stormpulse” that I follow.

And of course the folk at the Weather Channel after three years of hurricane drought, have dusted of their “Hurricane Authority” signs (from their stock of “winter storm authority”; “tornado authority”; “severe weather authority” and whatever “authority” they can self proclaim) and are spending full time covering the storm. Foaming at the mouth, seemingly rooting for it to come ashore – the same network that features idiots in cars chasing tornados and cheering when one happens, never mind life and property. I sometimes wonder whether they think their purpose is to show as many people in distress as they can, or to just report the damn weather.. Anyway, we’ll hope that Irene does go for that ocean voyage. Oh, the local weather lady on channel four came up with one yesterday.. she was talking about the track of the storm and how it might threaten New York City, and earnestly added “a lot of people live up there.” Gosh, ya think!

Atta Boy, Chef!

And lastly, just to put in a food note, have you noticed that Anthony Bourdain got himself in the spotlight for castigating Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri, and Sandra Lee.

Paula Deen: “She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she's proud of the fact that her food is f’ing bad for you," (readers will know you can’t see a Smithfield Product without her glassy stare)

Rachel Ray: “Does she even cook anymore? I don't know why she bothers”

And equally negative comments about the game show host er, I mean cook Guy, and dear Sandra Lee, the fashionista of the “almost homemade” school of “cooking”.

While some don’t care for Anthony and think he’s just a pain in the butt, I kind of like and agree with him. What’s happened to cooking? Show biz. But we’ve covered that ground before.

I would hope Anthony would remind you to

DFD, ....but I think maybe not.

Happy Birthday (yesterday) FOJTY! Last time you can be a thirty something!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Amazing Milestone

Blogger’s little counter thingie (complicated technical term associated with blogging) informs me that this post will be the 500th one!!

Just imagine. Day after day of passing along reviews, tips, rants, travel notes, and just interesting things and pretty soon you have 500 of them! And that doesn’t include the many years the bottom feeder was truly at the bottom of the daily aircraft status report. That would add in hundreds more. So,I thought maybe in lieu of more of the usual stuff today I might look back and do a little something different (and now for something completely different!). Lately a few folks have asked about the various acronyms that find their way into the feeder, so here’s a little glossary and background for future reference:

Bottom Feeder: I came out here to Lexington Park in the late nineties to help with the F/A – 18 E/F Super Hornet flight flutter test program. As a little sidebar, I cam here kicking and screaming after serious arm twisting and career threatening remarks and finally agreed to relocate for a three year stay. After all that pressure, and wifely input of "Oh, for heaven’s sake just GO", I said I would go for the EMD program, but after three years and one day I would be headed back to St. Louis. So far, 15 years later, I’m still waiting for that day. Anyway, I started putting out a daily status of what the airplanes did yesterday and what we were going to do today kind of thing. That got kind of dry, so I started putting asterisks below the report and began passing along little bits of trivia on the local culture, food and restaurant stuff, and things that pissed me off. As the years passed and I became more and more interested in food and restaurants, I somehow got to calling it the Bottom Feeder. By the time I retired in 2009 after hundreds and hundreds of those I had somewhere over 500 subscribers. That was the genesis of the Bottom Feeder which then moved to the cyber world. And here we are.

MFO: probably the first acronym that arose in the feeder. When we were conducting the actual flight flutter test flights, because of the hazardous nature of flutter, we had to establish direct communication from the flutter engineers to the pilot (normally all comm with flight crew goes through the flight test conductor). So when the aircraft had taken off and was heading out to the test range, each flutter engineer would do his “push to talk” and we would count off directly to the pilot. Since I was the lead flutter guy (and also oldest member of the team) I was accorded the honor of being “Flutter One”, so I would start: “Flutter One”; then “Flutter Two” and on down the line. Of course in the world of military aviation everybody has to have a “call sign” and mine got to be “Flutter One”. I had a secondary sign of “Eeyore”, but that’s another story. So, during the course of putting out the daily status/feeder, when I found it necessary to talk about my wife, instead of using her real name, I used Mrs. Flutter One, or MFO which sticks to this day.

FOJTE and FOJTY: same sort of deal as above, used to refer to my two sons, Flutter One Junior The Elder (high school math teacher in Clayton, MO), and Flutter One Junior The Younger (police officer and now student at SEMO college in Cape Girardeau, MO). Wonderful sons, with wonderful families.

DFD: I think kind of widely known, but Dress For Dinner arose from the time we had our anniversary dinner at Café Des Artistes in Leonardtown. We of course were pretty well dolled up for the occasion (we always try to honor the food with appropriate dress) and were enjoying ourselves when a table came in near us that was composed of tank tops, logo T-Shirts, and jeans such as you would wear changing the oil in your car. Ball caps remained affixed (turned “backwards” of course) throughout the meal. Hence the campaign to “Dress For Dinner”. And, I think I have always pointed out that DFD means dress appropriately for the establishment you are dining/eating in. Above attire would be acceptable for picking crabs, but not fine dining.

So, I think that’s about it although I am thinking of launching another campaign out of recent experiences in restaurants around here. And that is the overuse of the term “You Guys” seemingly so popular with servers these days. Are "You Guys": ready to order? need another drink? still workin’ on that? ready for your check?. The same information can be passed by just eliminating the word “Guys”, and it's easier! Are you?........ Perfectly acceptable. I know MFO (see above) does not like to be included in “guys” and I suspect she is not alone. Maybe : EYG (Eliminate You Guys) although that sounds a bit hostile…

Anyway as we pass into the next 500 postings, thank you all for continuing to read them, commenting occasionally, relating culinary experiences, passing on photos of food, and providing local knowledge. I always appreciate your feedback and knowledge that I am not just howling in the wilderness. I greatly enjoy creating the Bottom Feeder, I have met some great people and it has provided me with some great experiences in the world of food. I hope that it provides a chuckle, or maybe some insight into dining or cooking, and just plain civility toward each other.

And okay, just for consistency, that reminder to


Edition 501 will recount a lunch at Charlie’s…

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Duty and ...... a Rant.

Well, here it is Friday again. Before getting down to content, I sort of observed today is August 19th, and the sun is now setting before eight o’clock. After suffering day to day and just trying to get through the heat to evening, you turn around and labor day is not that far off… Bring it on!

Duty First:

To Do: not a whole lot. A couple of plays are around for inside entertainment.

While I was railing about duck yesterday (which still astounds me), I forgot to mention that there was a Brain Ganz/Beverly Babcock concert last night at the college. After a little confusion on my part as to starting time, I got there and as always enjoyed it. The highlight for me was a Franz Liszt piece called “Consolation No. 3 in D Flat”. A gorgeous lilting piece played excellently under the hands of Brian. The final piece was a Beethoven Concerto (No.1 in C, Op. 15), a real tour de force for both Beverly and Brian. It lasted a full 40 minutes, and I learned after the concert that Beethoven sort of pioneered “long” pieces. He succeeded here.

Okay…rant time:

In reality almost any commercial on TV can drive you nuts. Take for instance the Traveler’s insurance company one about the little dog worrying about his/her bone. Clever videography, pleasant music, kind of a catchy little plot…..for the first three or four times. At the seventh or eighth time you’re reaching for the mute button.

But the one that has driven me to the edge lately seems to appear (over and over) during the coverage of the golf tournaments (I watch a lot, play little). So Jim Nance says: “We’ll be back in a moment”…. Cut to a well dressed middle aged lady with kind of a self satisfied smirk on her face. She stares at the camera and then says: (to get the effect, purse your lips, squinch your nose, try to speak as much as possible from the very tip of your tongue, and as rapidly as you can put the words together, say)

“IwasdrivinginNorthernCalforniawithmysonandIactuallystartedfallingasleepanddriftedintotheotherlane. Ihadnoideabutmycardid”;

then cut to another guy who enthusiastically and proudly says with a little smile: “I had no idea the traffic had stopped in front of me, but my car did!” So they go on to extol the sensors and software in the Mercedes that tweaks you and stops the car for you. It’s a good concept, but why do they push it with these idiot people that seem so damn proud that they fell asleep or had no idea about the traffic in front of them? Somehow it just plain irks me. What’s up with that? Somewhere at the bottom of the screen is a fleeting little light white message in that you can barely see that says something about this feature is not meant to be a substitute for safe driving.. Yeah, right. Okay folks, go buy the $80K Mercedes, take a nap, do your text messages, and trust technology.. Back to golf….for at least 15 minutes, then there she is again! Gimme another beer.

And while I’m at it, speaking of commercials during golf on TV, more than not, the PGA presenting sponsor is Cialis. Most readers will know (you can’t avoid it these days) what this product is for. I guess I’m too old for an open society, but I get embarrassed every time they trot out those tubs and talk about how a little touch can turn romantic and so forth. Then at the end they have the awful speech about asking your doctor and seeking immediate medical attention for that four hour mark. Using those words in your living room when I was growing up would not happen. I can see it now: 6 year old girl watching Phil Mickelson vainly trying to win, views commercial, turns and says: “Daddy, what’s an…..?”. Is it just me? And now Viagra has taken the tack that manly men who use their horses to pull the beater pickup truck out of the mud use the product. What’s wrong here?

Okay, off the horse, but I’m still floored.


The unnamed Steakhouse on it's way is called Texas Longhorn. Gotta have those names for a steak place by God...

And I was reminded that there is also a Buffalo Wild Wings in the offing.. maybe sort of replace the Defuncnt Damon's..not in the same location..

Chain, Chain, go away!!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catching Up....

With the lever in “drive” again, the RPMs are slowly rising and we can get back to…

Food Related Stuff

As mentioned in previous posts, FOJTY is a devotee of barbeque, but as things evolved we only had a chance to have one meal of it. And that was a carry out from the Grill Sergeant over on the Solomons. It was recommended by a friend as a local favorite of his. So on the trip back from DC they stopped and picked up an order. It consisted of a full rack of ribs, two “sliced” pork sandwiches, and fries. Now, as readers hopefully will remember, I place BBQ in the same category as crab cakes, chili, and pizza. There is no such thing as “best” because personal taste is the only guide, so all I can report is what I liked or not. The ribs were “dry” with sauce on the side. I think they were rubbed, but it wasn’t terribly spicy I suppose to let the meat/smoke flavor come through. The little cups of sauce did have some heat. They were (to me) enjoyable, but not memorable. I guess upon reflection (I don’t eat a lot of barbeque) I prefer ribs to be sauced. Since none of us had been there before, our coordinated order was for the ribs, but also pulled pork. Apparently pulled pork wasn’t on the menu hence the sliced. Basically sliced (a la deli counter) white pork on a bun, also without sauce. I think the comments from the ladies were it was “okay”. The fries, were, well, fries. I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t go back (is that a double negative?) but there are other places to try. Think I would seek stuff with sauce, but that’s just me. Up to you to decide what you like.

As mentioned somewhere in the archives of this blog, I noted that there was activity recently seen at the old “Charlie’s Deli” location south of the base. It had been dark for over a year (two? Time flies). Well, Charlie’s Deli has been re-opened, under the name of …..(wait for it)…Charlie’s Deli! The feeder may sneak in a visit soon, and maybe learn what’s the deal.. Stay tuned.

And, as alluded to yesterday there was a note in the paper that a new steak house may be foisted on us, joining the unholy trinity near First Colony, among which is already a steak house with already jammed parking lot. If today wasn’t “recycle Thursday” and MFO so efficient, I could tell you the name of it but the paper is happily on its way to recycle heaven. I suppose after it opens, there will be another packed parking lot. More chains..a seemingly bottomless market around here. Sigh.

While at Sbucks this morning, I picked up the County Times, our free local weekly newspaper. I just whizzed through it to see if maybe they followed the fresh steak house, but they didn’t. What did catch my eye was a story about the newly re-opened (there’s a lot of that going around) Willows. There’s the usual stock photo of the owners, along with the usual stock quotes about “fulfilling a dream” (remember the fastest way to go broke quote?) yadda yadda. The menu is characterized as “American food, seafood, and home made salsas (??) and burgers”. Okay, fine. But then,this…they are quoted as saying: “the most unique thing on the menu will be duck”. Doesn’t say much for the menu, but then they follow with and I directly quote: “That’s one thing you can’t really get around here”. Excuse me lady, all you need to do is go a mile up the hill to The Front Porch, and you will see not one but two duck choices on the menu, and further down the street at Café Des Artistes duck is a regular feature, Blue Wind Gourmet features duck sandwiches on a regular basis. Go across the bridge to Ruddy Duck and (duhh) duck appears as an appetizer and sometimes special. That depth of knowledge of food and restaurants doesn’t hold much promise for me..

And lastly (finally, you say) within the last week or so banners have appeared in front of some of the local purveyors of adult beverages announcing that Fat Tire Beer will soon be available. One place is having a special tasting. And there are half and full page ads in the local papers blaring the same advertisements. Most of them are sponsored by the local distributor who will be carrying it (along with other offerings from the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO). Now, although through my volunteer work with the first annual Historic St. Mary’s City Beer Fest (next one 20 May 2012 bigger and better than ever), I have come to appreciate beer much more, especially the so called “craft” and “micro brews” that are filling the shelves of the liquor stores. There is a depth of flavors and “weights” that at least equal if not surpass wines. They are fun to try. At any rate, I have not been assaulting the proprietors of said stores with “when the hell are you going to get Fat Tire!”. I believe I have had it (in St. Louis as I recall), but I don’t remember yelling this is the best damn beer I’ve ever had! It’s probably good, but so are some of the other beers, like Maryland’s Clipper City beers, and Flying Dog. Oh local.

And I was going to go into a little rant about a TV commercial that’s driving me nuts lately, but I’ve taken enough of your time so I’ll save that for another day.

oh yeah,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shifting Gears...

Once you shift into neutral, it’s sometimes difficult to put it back in drive. Such was the case of the Bottom Feeder and the visit of the FOJTY’s. We had such a great time during their visit of over a week, somehow put the blog in neutral, but life marches on and so this morning they loaded the Toyota

and put it in drive and pointed it in the direction of Missouri

They made the most of their time here in Maryland with a visit to the eastern shore, complete with visiting the ponies on Assateague island, doing the Boardwalk things in OCMD and dining at Liquid Assets. They also “did” DC, seeing various monuments, along with the St. Mary’s City centric exhibit “Written in Bone”, and happily they navigated Metro Parking lots, and the Metro itself without getting lost. They also spent a day in Annapolis, did the tour of the Academy, and had lunch at the Ramshead. As reported, locally we saw Historic St. Mary’s City, they did some kayaking in the river, and enjoyed the gray lagoon, now quite attractive without that evil pump works in the middle of everything.

Last Saturday we also treated them to the smoke from the Great Dismal Swamp fire

Yesterday we went to the “soft” opening of our new farmer’s market just south of the base

Inside there were a few farmer’s displaying their products, which always provide great photo ops.

Local dining occasions included a brunch at the Dry Dock (the “you guys” experience), an al fresco lunch at the Front Porch, breakfast at Linda’s, carryout BBQ from the Grill Sergeant (report to come), more carryout Mexican from Monterey, and last night a “final” dinner at the Dry Dock. FOJTY also did some good work on the grill for us.

So, now our shift lever will get put back into drive, but the road will be much smoother after spending time with part of our family. We know we choose to live here, away from the FOJTE’s and the FOJTY’s but it’s such a joy to be around them when we can. They all are great to be with. Wish we could do it more. And, of course there is always the old saying “Live long enough to be a problem to your children”. So, beware you all.

And when it mattered we were


After the glow fades a bit we’ll get back to the business of foodie things, such as the prospects of yet another steak house growing here.. and it isn’t Morton’s…

Friday, August 12, 2011

The trip goes on...

just a quick (kind of uninspired) friday note

Well, armed with laminated Streetwise maps of the Mall, GPS phones, directions from MS Streets and Trips (with more maps), Smartcards, Metro Diagrams, and probably too much advice from the parents (stand to the right on the escalator), the FOJTY’s headed off for DC this morning. They will try to see some of the usual stuff, maybe including the Written in Bone exhibit at the Natural History Museum. And, being a police officer, he always tries to return to the Police Memorial and see the name of his former partner on the memorial wall.

So we hope they can navigate all the hazards of our Nation’s Capitol. How can it be so hard to get around in? Every time we go up there we expect to “get lost” and have resigned ourselves that it is part of the experience. And we “live” here.

A bit of "to do":

Locally, there are a few events worth thinking about, probably most notably the annual “L’il Margarets Bluegrass Festival” held on the Goddard Farm near Leonardtown continues today and concludes tomorrow. I have never attended it, somewhat because usually it’s 100 degrees outside, and the other is that a full day or weekend of bluegrass is a bit more than I would like. I do like bluegrass, but in moderation. And, I suppose my tastes would run more toward the “classical” form like Flatt and Scruggs although I’m not sure where the music form is currently.

I also note that the budding Leonardtown Art Center is having something called “Second Sunday” with a little reception and exhibit of some of the local artists. I am not a fan of naming every day of the week for these things. First Friday has a ring, but will we be faced now with not only Second Sunday but maybe Third Thursday, or Twiced Tuesday? Let it go folks..

did everybody get their first dose of NFL yesterday?

Other than that, I don’t think there is much to say besides


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lite Wednesday...

Quick update for Wednesday.

One of the things I have fallen into since retirement (going on two years and still learning) is to go to Starbuck’s most every day. I have finally come to realize that it really isn’t for the coffee (half-caff, grandé, whole milk latte) so much as it is for the routine. It forces me out of bed, and gets me out of the house and generally clears the cobwebs and starts the day. Plus, due to my regular visits most of the staff there “knows” me, and they generally give me a cheery hello. There is another gentleman who is there almost every time I am, and he usually sits in either front corner and is either reading the paper or working with his laptop. I have met him casually a couple of times at a local wine store, and so sometimes we wave or say Hi when I walk into the coffee shop. I don’t know much about him, have forgotten his name, but he seems so placid and at ease, just enjoying the morning. Part of the journey…

On another subject and plateau, since I often criticize our local paper the Enterprise (aka fish wrapper, Emptyprise), I must also give credit when due. In today’s edition in the “outdoors” column in Section B, there is a very informative article about crabs. Usually the piece is about fishing or hunting, but I found it a good read today. Talks about sizing (number ones, twos, etc., and why), weight, prices and so forth. A good reference to keep. And, in the same edition there is a great article about the rebuilding of the Witchott’s currently underway at Historic St. Mary’s City. They are reconstructions of the “longhouses” that the Native Americans lived in when the first colonists arrived here in Maryland. I believe there are volunteer opportunities if you are so inclined.

I’ve had a couple of field reports from readers on vacation about their food adventures, a good subject for a future post…(and keep ‘em comin’ folks!)

And they were (mostly)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Wrapup...

We are enjoying a visit from the FOJTY’s so blogging has taken a backseat to family. They arrived Saturday, but are on a little day trip today so will try to kind of get us caught up to date. Briefly…

Foodie Interest

Had a report from some friends who went to the recently opened Texas Road House. Not surprisingly, it included the phrase “we won’t be going back” and they will return to their normal haunt of the Outback for that kind of meal. Sometime we can have a discussion as to why the trinity of Red Robin, Olive Garden, and now TRH always has jammed parking lots. In the case of the TRH it’s probably because they are new, but no matter the others continue to pack ‘em in.. and gosh, just wait - we’re on tap for a Buffalo Wings and Beer…

Haven’t had a chance to (properly) pen this review, but recently I joined a couple of former colleagues for kind of a “catch up” lunch we do from time to time. Normally we go to St. James Pub, but on a whim we met this time at Tearrific Café in San Souci. I had not been there (kind of by choice), so this was a good excuse to try it. Brevity will prevent my normal penetrating, detailed, and knowledgeable critique, so I’ll be short(er). On the window was a notice that a sofa bed was for sale, inquire within. Hmmm… also a sign advertising they have Bubble Tea. Once inside there is nothing impressive, just a kind of warehouse like high ceilinged room with several tables, and a desk to your left. It’s one of those places that you look at the plastic encased menu, order what you will, and go sit down and wait for it. And since they feature Asian cuisine there is the usual bewildering amount of choices. So there you are, first time customer with hungry people behind you and you’re trying to figure out which of the 75 items you think you want. There is an “Asian” side with the usuals of General Tso Chicken, Hot and Spicy everything (beef, chicken, shrimp), or everything with broccoli, mushrooms, or mixed vegetables. The other side of the menu is for “noodles” wherein you choose your noodle and then what type of everything you want with it. Readers will be proud of me that I didn’t bail out with chicken (in all senses of the word) fried rice. Threw caution to the winds, ordered Udon Noodles (which I remembered from some review) and Teriyaki Chicken soup. Friends ordered beef and broccoli, and H&S Shrimp. Whew! Order placed and nice lady pointed out the water cooler (or you can have soda from a case) and the utensils (metal, thank God). Went and sat down. Cutting to the chase, the main dishes arrive on real china, but the soup sides come in Styrofoam cups. Soup in Styrofoam just doesn’t do it for me. And, not unexpectedly the people who bring the food have no idea who oredered what. Friends dishes were piles of stuff with a generous scoop of white rice. Mine arrived in a big bowl, with a brown broth hiding generous chicken slices (of boneless breast), the noodles, and something that looked like it grows in your yard. Kind of stalky with green leaves at the end. The slices of chicken were too large for one bite. Have you ever tried to cut chicken in a rounded bowl with nothing to resist the knife? Kind of awkward eating. The Noodles were fairly thick and round, maybe soda straw like in diameter. I really couldn’t discern much taste. Anyway, I had a good time hearing about what’s going on “at work”. Being retired sort of isolates you.

Oh, I don’t know what to think about Tearrific, by the high noon time all the tables were filled, so they do have their fans. I suppose it’s no better nor worse than the several other options around here for this cuisine. What I had that day didn’t generate a desire for another round. I can always chicken out and go for the fried rice.

After attending to Royal Matters (see below) we took the FOJTY’s over to The Ruddy Duck for a quick dinner. Happy to report it was good, and we were seated way in the back so the live music was not intrusive. And they were featuring jazz, so that helped. I had a very good dish of pork short ribs in a nice tangy mustard sauce. MFO had some tasty vodka sauced pasta and there were two Pizzas. Plus a couple of beers.

Foodie Finally, we took the “kids” out for Brunch yesterday at the Dry Dock, and met some other friends. Brunch at the Dry Dock has always been enjoyable in the past and this was the first time we’ve been back in years. The “Blue Loon” which I always liked was gone from the menu, but most of the old standbys are still there. Also there is the complimentary Mimosa or Champagne, and the usual view which is bright and fresh in the morning. The food was good as expected, but I have to comment on the service. Our particular server used the words “you guys” (three ladies, and three gentlemen at the table) about, oh, maybe one hundred times. And, after the initial complimentary drinks were consumed, there was a constant barrage of “You Guys doin’ okay for drinks?”. And toward the end after we decided we’d do a “table” slice of Key Lime pie (which was very good by the way), we got the feeling that we were being hustled to leave (and yes, I know it’s a business and they need to turn tables). Anything else for you guys? Okay, I’ll get you guys your check. Plop! I will report that your loyal food blogger keeps his eagle eye out, and this behavior was not evident from any of the other servers at other tables who were courteous and tended to business.

Event Interest

Saturday night, your loyal food blogger donned the regalia (didn’t use Clark Kent’s phone booth) and did his first public appearance of King Oyster at the Leonardtown Beach Party, which included the “Running of the Balls” fund raiser for our local Rotary Clubs. It’s kind of interesting to be in costume (goofy crown, funny staff, oyster knife around neck) and see how people react. Kids go wide eyed, others smile, others give you that “are you crazy?” look, and some cross to the other side of the street. But by and large people are interested and want to know about the Oyster Festival. Some even asked to get their picture taken with the King. Buoyed by (perceived) public acceptance I even stuck my royal nose in Quality Street, Fenwick used books, and even Café Des Artistes. Paybacks for Mountain Tendergroins are hell, Loic. Oh, and I did get captured on film next to the announcer for the Running, our Superintendant of Schools. Modesty (and embarrassment) forbid me to include it..

General Interest (from Sotterley Plantation)

and I won't even remind you to


Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Most Convenient Evening....

With the impending visit today of the FOJTY’s, yesterday (Friday) was spent doing this and than in preparation for their visit. So, you were left on your own to devise your strategy for dealing with “to do”. MFO was doing a field trip “down in the 7th”, to investigate some historical stuff, but we joined up in time to venture over to Leonardtown for First Friday. What ensued was a most pleasant evening down here with nothing to do.

We began with a quick look see at the first day open of The Willows. They had opened at 5 (according to the Bud Light sign) and we arrived shortly after 6 with another assurance that they were open. Gotta love Southern Maryland.

MFO stayed in the MOMSTER and I poked my head inside. Readers should remember I have not been in the establishment for a number of years, so was working on rusty memories. There was still the “ante room” into which you entered and then passed into the interior. There was a whiteboard just inside the door with food listed, but I didn’t pause to absorb it. In the main space, two things immediately struck me: 1) there were no discernable (rusty memory) structural changes, apparent; and 2) it was very much lighter than rusty memories of dark paneling. The bar seemed less prominent than I remembered (probably erroneously) and the walls were transformed from dark paneling by a coat of almost white paint. The only other change that registered was the lack of cigarette smoke.

Upon sticking my head inside the door I was immediately noticed and accosted by an eager young lady asking if I wanted to sit. Well, no, I was looking for a friend that I might meet (a well meaning fabrication) and said I’d be back in a bit. A cheery “Okay, we’ll be here”. So no pre-judgments, but also no major changes. I did get one little report – read on. So we’ll see how things go. Will let them get a bit over their infancy before the Feeder returns.

After that, we found a docking space for the MOMSTER in one of the upper lots in Leonardtown, and then proceeded with the normal First Friday ritual. Upon opening the car doors we were greeted with sounds of jazz coming from the square. They were provided by the Yeh Jazz Trio. Very astute or musically alert readers will recall I have previously reported on Jonah Yeh, a (excuse the use of the term) child prodigy on the piano who is being mentored by Brian Ganz on the classical side of things. I believe the Jazz trio is composed of a (ha ha) band of brothers. They sounded quite accomplished, but we didn’t tarry to listen although you could hear them from almost anywhere. They were very tight. Worth a visit sometime.

Step one.

We began by going to the North End Gallery to see the current exhibit of “Dog Days”. Being sort of pooch friendly we expected a display of canine art. And, in fact there were a couple of pieces of the little creatures but mostly not. After more conversation and a glass of wine (or so) we decided that “Dog Days” referred more to the season than any animals. We also ran into a loyal reader who had in fact been in the Willows when I darted in and out who said they had some wings which were not spicy enough for them, but not overly sweet. They added the restaurant did have (expected) opening troubles (glassware, etc.), but no judgments after an hour of openness. Anyway, you see all the usual friends at the gallery, sip the wine, munch some goodies, wander around and look at the art and generally have a good time.

Steps two and three.

From there, we crossed the street and went into Quality Street where they were doing their usual wine tasting, always another popular activity. In their publicity they said they were doing wines for summer (Dog Days) that went with lime. Hmmm…. We didn’t taste. I did admire a All-Clad roasting pan which could have been mine for one half of a large. Then up the street to Joe’s Fenwick Used Books, poked our head in and said Hi to the friendly proprietor.

Final Steps.

We then went up to the bustling corner of the hub of the city, Café Des Artistes, which had a brisk outdoor dining crowd listening to the music. Of course you have to stop and chat with friends, meet new ones, a real café scene. But we were meeting friends for dinner inside and disappeared through the front doors. They had reserved a table by the (shaded) windows so we could observe the goings on outside from the air conditioned inside.

There was live keyboard music but our location was buffered enough to make it pleasant. Despite the busy restaurant we were served pretty quickly (maybe it helps to be known) and soon settled in with a welcome glass of wine. The (specials on the) menu of the evening reflected the “Dog Days” theme as it contained bbq ribs, an orange roughy for a lighter selection, and then the ever creative Chef Loic, I suppose in honor of today’s “Running of the Balls” had added “Mountain Tendergroins” with a parenthetical “AKA rocky mountain oysters”. I think most people who have followed me in print through the food world should know what those are. And, loyal readers I should confess I have never had that dish. But, eventually that was to change! MFO decided to just have a dinner salad composed of Avocado and crab, our friends ordered the Orange Roughy, the Ribs, and the house salad and onion soup. I went for the Caesar Salad and my special “School of Anchovies” and the Orange Roughy. So we sat and watched the outdoor scene, the people inside had good conversations until the first courses arrived which were all fine, as were the entrée’s. The Orange Roughy had a nice panko breading so was crispy and protected the fish inside which was moist and tasty. The always popular mashed potatoes which are executed wonderfully here regardless of season were on the side. A nice little buerre blanc provided a cushion for the fish.

But, the best was yet to come. While we were ordering dessert the lovely hostess and wife of Loic stopped by the table, asked about our dinner and chided me for avoiding the “tendergroins”. Yes, I said, I just have not ever brought myself to try them, although I do like sweetbreads. A bit more kidding of the bottom feeder, and off she went. As we were waiting for our desserts, a server appeared unexpectedly at the table with a small dish of what first appeared to be another Orange Roughy, a small encrusted piece of somthing. She said the kitchen had sent this out, with compliments of the Chef. And then it dawned on me. OMG it’s “those”! Well, what’s a foodie to do when challenged in public but man it out and we cut it into fours, offered it to the table and it was returned to the feeder still cut in fours. I am happy to report that I can now say I’ve had “rocky mountain oysters”. And speaking of oysters, I applied kind of the same technique as those confronted with their first one. Don’t think, just eat. Surprisingly, the taste was buttery (don’t start thinking here) and remindful of sweetbreads and admittedly the crust helped. I am not sure I would order them again (real soon), but it was a good experience. And lots of fun.

Chef stopped by the table to ensure I had consumed them and walked away satisfied with that little grin. Meanwhile, the son of Jeffrey Silberschlag (along with impeccably dressed Dad) appeared and Zach with trumpet joined the keyboard person and played some very nice music reminiscent of Miles Davis. Then eventually one of the Pax Rats (the local middle aged band) came in and did some vocals. Great stuff.

By the way, desserts were great. Limoncello, ice cream and chocolate sauce, and a little key lime tart.

So off we went after an evening of restaurant preview, friends, art, music, wine, good food (along with an unexpected experience) all in our little town of Leonardtown, a “most convenient place”. As the weather cools, First Fridays becomes even more attractive.

And, for the most part people were generally


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Goings and Comings...

Somebody once said, if you want to go bankrupt fast, open a restaurant. Maybe it was me. A couple of places (for whatever reason) have shuttered lately.

Number One

The Willows (at the junction of Routes 4 and 235) has been dark for well over a year (?). My last memory of it was that it had been little more than a biker bar (including smoke) that also served food. A while ago there was some buzz about “returning it to its original glory” what and whenever that may have been. That never seemed to materialize, and a few months ago signs sprouted in the parking lot claiming that it was “under new management” and would be “opening soon”. On the occasional times I went past within the last couple of months there had indeed been cars and contractor trucks in the parking lot. Nothing that I could discern had changed outside at least. Inquiries to my network revealed nothing of its intent. So earlier this week I was notified of a new sign so I checked it out.

So tomorrow (or today depending on when you see this) it will apparently be open. The fact that the sign is on a “Bud Light” banner (no doubt supplied by a distributor) does not lead me to believe that it will be anything more than what it was. But, I am jumping to conclusions and will wait to see the reality. Depending on my First Friday plans, I may stick my head in for a peek.

Number two....

Readers may remember that the “Tea Room” at our Antiques Center (in Leonardtown) has undergone a couple of changes, the last being Cahil’s Café, a scant few months ago with the usual hype about “turning things around”, excited about “new opportunities” etc. Well, guess what. All of a sudden (yes, on Facebook) I saw a notice about Lynn’s Café opening in Leonardtown; an extension of Lynn’s Catering in Mechanicsville. This was surprising to me since Cahil’s had only had a cup of tea (pun intended). So, I made a research trip over there, and sure enough, place looked vacant, with no signage indications of occupancy by Lynn’s.

But, sleuth that I am, I snuck around back and sure enough there was a catering truck.

And, a day later or so I saw a posting on Facebook that somebody had eaten there, so apparently despite nothing on the outside, something was going on in the inside. So today I was going to meet somebody for a meeting at eleven, so we decided to check it out after that. As I have told you all many times, visiting/reviewing a new restaurant within 120 days of opening (a kind of rule of thumb) is unfair as “kinks” need to be worked out and rough edges smoothed, kitchens tuned, servers getting used to stuff and so on.

So this was no more than an interesting chance to see if anything appeared different or some indications of future performance. Upon entering you wouldn’t know you weren’t in any of the versions of “the Tea Room”, (apparently) same linens, the rack of tea pots may have been moved but still visible, the cute little bar (which I have never enjoyed) and the front and back rooms. We chose to sit in the “back room” seeking a little less public and visible table. So we were seated in the back corner. A server who announced only her name (thank goodness) gave us the menus and asked if we would like anything to drink. Knowing they had a liquor license we asked about what wines were available. Not sure. Well, if you have chardonnay that would be nice. Off to check, and upon returning said they’d only had said license a few days, and only had a Savignon something, both red and white. Sauvignon Blanc? Yes! That’s it.

While she was getting that we looked at the menu and decided it was very close to Cahil’s, pretty much same selections of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrées, and so forth. Some of the wording I believe was exact. Well, okay, being open a few days, you might expect that. A few words had been changed, such as now “Lynn’s famous crab dip” and stuff like that. The glasses of wine arrived along with an explanation that her age prevented her from pouring so it took a bit longer.

As usual, we weren’t ready to order so she left and we talked about important things and events for a bit before choosing. Upon presenting the menus, when asked if there were specials, she replied no, but everything was really good, and she was as "picky an eater you will ever meet". Really.. Finally we decided on a lighter lunch so ordered an order of Spanakopita, the cheeseburger sliders (4), and I got my second favorite salad the iceberg wedge, with the usual description of crumbled blue cheese, bacon and tomato bits and blue cheese dressing.

Conversation sort of blurred how long it took to get served, but it wasn’t to the point of craning your neck toward the kitchen kind of thing. All dishes were served at once which was fine for us. The sliders had good taste, but weren’t warm enough to melt the cheese. The spanakopita was fairly tasty and filled with spinach and feta cheese in a light phyllo dough with grated cheese on top. Then, there was the wedge. A wedge it was, maybe a third of the head, pretty large. The crumbles of cheese on it were white, and the “side” cups of dressing had that tell tale specks of green in it. A quick taste confirmed it was Ranch (one of my LEAST favorite) dressings, and the cheese was Feta. Tomatoes were slices of roma tomatoes. But, what the heck, we started eating and enjoyed the burgers and the spanakopita. About that time she stopped by with the “is everything okay?”. Well, no. ranch dressing and feta. She apologized and took the dish back to the kitchen. Same dish came back with blue cheese dressing in the little cups, but still feta. Oh well.

Other dishes we saw looked okay. I don’t remember Cahil’s menu exactly but these people seem enamored of sweet potato fries, they appear quite often, and indeed are a part of a dish called “a trio of fries” which we saw delivered as a pile of “regular” fries, those orangey Sweet Potato version, and the waffle fries. Sandwiches are offered on either Kaiser or hoagie rolls. What’s wrong with bread?

Anyway, this first visit was probably too early, and results were about what might be expected. I wish them well, go take a look, tell them where improvements might be made, they really need and want to know.

So two places fulfilled the first tenant of going bankrupt (I really don’t know why they originally closed), but it’s interesting that two fledgling restaurateurs don’t believe it. Good on them..


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Turning the Page....

(Ignoring the weather for once...)

Alert readers will remember that I have always had a penchant for calendars. Lots of them, the more the better. The reason being that over the years, I have used them to “decorate” the institutional offices I have inhabited in various capacities. It provides me with a chance to refresh the look of the otherwise drab walls of my usual den which never seemed to have windows. No corner offices for flutter freaks! Anyway, the first of the month is always fun because I get to flip the page and see what the art is for the new month. Alert readers will also remember (or should learn) that “looking ahead” in calendars can cause nothing but misfortune and bad luck. Don't do it. So the first of the month is always celebrated for the unveiling. I should mention that with my impeccable (for the most part) taste, the calendars I have tend to run classical art (such as French impressionists), beautiful places (Ireland), Golf Courses (USGA), or pleasant structures (Architectural Digest), or when I can find them, food and wine. So there is a ritual of “turning the page” twelve times a year.

Since today was my first day “back in the office” of my local job here, I was able to enjoy the turning of several calendars for August.

A favorite there is one that was brought back from Italy especially for me by a friend who visited there last year. He was in Tuscany and brought a lovely calendar featuring food of the region from a Tuscan Kitchen. Gorgeous.

Each month contains a picture of a “local” or traditional dish, along with the recipe for same. And of course being continental in its appeal, the recipe is translated into four languages beside the (presumably authentic) Italian. These are French, Spanish, German, and British. There is a little flag of the country next to each recipe, and the “English” one is a British flag. Not American, British.

This month’s feature is a Roasted Sirloin, a luscious looking piece of meat.

So I thought, well, let’s see how they interpret the roast and I read the recipe. What a riot! I suppose that spell checkers were not employed, and in fact it reads as if that famous “translated by a machine” technique was employed.

I include it below for your enjoyment. Spelling, words, and punctuation are an exact copy straight from the calendar for the Roast Sirloin. I am not making this up (I couldn’t!).


Salt and Pepper
1 glass of red wine
800 gr. Beef
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sirloin Roast

Ate meat (steak or piece of beef) to keep in shape during cooking and place between the meat and rosemary springs chain, and if you will, a couple of cloves of garlic. Place in a pan (suitable for the oven) on fire with abundant oil when dóndesello in full (the 4 sides). When you turn on filetehacerlo with two tablespoons of, preferably of wood, and avoid drilling carne. Verter of wine in the skillet and place in the oven, preheated temperature of 250° C for 15 minutes then adjust the salt and pimientahumedecer the surface with the sauce and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Serve cold with meat sauce.

Ready to cook? Let’s get going! Where’s that glass of red wine?

One sort of wonders how the other translations is so fun..and on top of that you get to


Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Can’t trust that day..

But, here it is. Following a weekend that began with Friday’s oven like conditions as sensed by the flutter mobile's onboard instrumentation suite:

As expected we didn’t go to the last River Concert of the year, probably our first miss in quite a few. The rest of the weekend with the exception of a lovely dinner at some friend’s house passed sort of uneventfully. Stay inside, be cool. We did, however taker our first dip in the vision improved gray lagoon, and even though it was bath water temperature it was a bit refreshing.

Funny about this heat (July was the hottest July EVER). You are well aware I have whined about brain lethargy and inactivity a lot, but the more I talk to people I find I am not alone. Many people I idly talk with share the same phenomenon.

Other coping techniques besides just avoiding outside activity have included staying hydrated. You know those big cups of “Slurpee” you can get at 7/11? Well, Taco Bell has gone one more. You can now get a drink so big you need a handle to carry it. Bucket o’ tea.

Just a couple of other notes…

Garden & Gun, one of my most appreciated magazines has won an award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. They were selected as the winner of the Overall Excellence award for Food, Travel, and Design magazines. Others in the category were Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and House Beautiful. See, your feeder isn’t so stupid. Although, I was surprised to see National Geographic named Magazine of the Year. Does anybody really read that anymore?

By the way, the current issue of G&G (August/September) has one of those featured chef pieces (Spike Gjerde of Woodbury Kitchen in Baltimore) called “Must-Have Crab”. The teaser on the front cover is “Perfect Maryland Crab Cakes”. Two things: one, the use of the word “perfect”, and two, what is it that everybody talks about Maryland Crab Cakes or Maryland Style Crab Cakes? Is it because they use blue crab from the Bay which Maryland sort of embraces? Pretty much every recipe for the little cakes is similar, crab, some kind of binder, mayo, egg sometimes, and some spices that vary. That’s it. What’s “Maryland” about that? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen “Florida Style Crab Cakes”, or “Iowa Style Crab Cakes”. One of those imponderables I guess…

And lastly I’ve seen a couple of pieces on TV and in print about the growing amount of “Kid Unfriendly” places. Apparently there are many restaurants (my arena) that are “banning” kids. I don’t think I argue with that, for sure at higher end places. Although I do have some friends who come to mind whose children are as well behaved as their parents. But how many times have you wanted to have a nice quiet meal only to have the little one at the next table melt down and act like an exorcism is taking place. The restaurateurs say that with the expanding number of DINKS around, they make up whatever they may lose from family dining because the kidless folks will linger longer, buy that extra bottle of wine, or maybe a dessert they wouldn’t normally. Open for debate (just like the Maryland Crab Cakes!). Oh, some airlines are apparently thinking along the same lines. For an extra fee of course.

Something to think about while you are