Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tony Bourdain at Book People, Austin

Chef/writer/TV bon vivant Tony Bourdain was in town to sign copies of his new book, "Medium Raw" at Book People which is right 'round the corner from Whole Foods flagship store.

Salmon-Flavored Vodka

The best part of the story: it took 48 tries to get the formula right. Here's the quote from the company founders- "Definitely the first few times we had our heave bucket close by."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cake Balls, Anyone?

We were first introduced to cake balls at this food cart on S. 1st in Austin called Holy Cacao. They are small bites of heaven that won't wreck your diet (too much). I know a number of cake ball-eries have spread through Austin, but I didn't know it was a trend making its way across Texas.

Twitter & Food Truck/Food Carts

I won't go into this topic in great detail here as it will be a feature in the first issue of American Foodways magazine, but one of the keys to the growing popularity of food carts is the ability to use social media tools such as Twitter to tell legions of hungry fans where the cart will be parked that day. In some cities, such as Austin and Portland, there are designated spots for food carts so Twitter is used to send out specials and reminders. Again, we will cover this topic in more depth.

In the meantime, here is an NPR story about how one food truck in L.A. uses Twitter to keep its fans informed. 

The Intersection of Rap & Food

Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. visits Pure Food and Wine and starts to make music with cups, silverware and whatever else in his line of sight. The show is called "Infatuation TV."

Infatuation TV: P.O.S Performs "Optimist" @ Pure Food & Wine from Immaculate Infatuation on Vimeo.

Jamie Oliver & Sarah Silverman as Lunch Crusaders

Proving she's not just a funny face, comedian Sarah Silverman is trying to do for U.S. kids what Oliver did for UK kids which is to force a policy change related to providing health school lunches.

Nachos for the Rest of Us

Like many Americans, I suffer from food allergies. One is corn, so that means every time I have nachos or chips & salsa, I pay the price. I cam across a new corn-free chip, made with beans, called Beanitos that I will give a try when I am in Austin. (Looks like Central Market and HEB carry them).


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hmm... Burnt Sienna

Crayons as food. Draw your own conclusions.

Top 10 Restaurant Design Trends for 2010

Retro food carts is #5? Seriously?

Grilling on the Balcony

I saw this amazing "container grill" that hooks on to the railing of your balcony which seems ideal if you want to want to BBQ from your small patio on the 75th floor while gazing at the great view on the horizon. Or, for that matter, if would work no matter where you had something to hold this bad boy.

It appears to be German in origin and is called the BBQ Bruce (didn't know Bruce was a German name). Price tag is $61 but shipping costs may be rather high.

Food Trucks in South Florida

The Miami Herald reports that food carts are sweeping South Florida. Warm weather, a rich street food history and a number of creative chefs looking to get started with less overhead all contribute to the trend in Florida.

Food Carts in L.A. and The World Cup

According to this article in the San Fernando Valley Sun, the fine folks at ESPN have two food trucks (although a fellow Texan warned me they are carts, not trucks) one in L.A. and one in New York, which patrol the streets selling a difference world cuisine every day based on the competing teams in the World Cup. These "trucks" are fitted with TV screens and portable satellite dishes so they can show the matches while they sell their wares to hungry passers by.

Snow Cone Cockatils

Given it's >100 degrees where I live and will be until Fall takes over, the idea of a jazzed-up snow cone is rather appealing. We have been making our own Popsicles for many years, but this trend goes far beyond anything we have tried.

Salon Article: Hipsters on Food Stamps

Seems like Generation Y (or is it Z) is using food stamps to stay afloat and are using government subsidies to buy heirloom tomatoes rather than ramen.

As the Salon piece says: Think of it as the effect of a grinding recession crossed with the epicurean tastes of young people as obsessed with food as previous generations were with music and sex

Watermelon and Fish Pickles

So we did our first post-pickling class pickling project using snap peas. I will check back in about 10 days to see how they go. In the meantime, here's a Philadelphia chef whose new join will feature Kool-Aid pickled watermelon and fish pickles.

Back When Mom Wore An Apron

The blog post has sparked the notion that there may actually be food trends that were born in the '60s that still survive today. I will begin my hunt for the book mentioned here called "What Cooks in Suburbia."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Best Hots Dogs in the U.S.

Somewhat difficult to believe that Travel & Leisure magazine would be the sort of publication to list the best hot dogs in the U.S., but here's the list.

Of this bunch, I have only been to Pink's in L.A. which is OK but better known as a place you might run into Vince and The Boys from Entourage or some other celeb. I do like the hot dog with pastrami there, but like so many other places of its ilk, do I want to wait in line for an hour to get it?

Shopping Cart Farms

Here's a news clip from an L.A. TV station that profiles a group of artists who are creating farms in abandoned shopping carts. This is the sort of trend that inspired me to start this project.


Farmers Markets

I love Farmers Markets. It is my goal to visit every "significant" market around the world and to chronicle their wares. In part, that is why I began this project. As a tease, here's one of my favorite ones (because I love berries) in Helsinki, Finland.

Pass The Lipitor

I seem to recall some food show featuring a showdown between two burger joins who feature a hamburger stuffed with cheese called a "Juicy Lucy." Here's a scary food trend that goes far beyond a simple burger stuffed with cheese: the burger meets grilled cheese sandwich. I have seen a number of joints feature this 101 carb gut buster, with Friendly's among the better-known chains to put it on the menu.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Pickle Fest

Just came across a link for the 13th annual picklefest in Rosedale, NY (see map below). It's in mid-November and am marking it in dark pencil on my food calendar.

View Larger Map

Yes, Soup For You!

Seinfeld devotees are familiar with "The Soup Nazi," but Al Yeganeh is the real life proprietor of an amazing soup store in Manhattan. I know, I have been there and the soup really is amazing. Fame led Yeganeh to begin branching out into franchising and other marketing schemes, but it appears he's returning to his roots and re-opening his soup place, Soup Kitchen International at 259A West 55th Street. Don't forget to mind your manners in line and order properly.

Speaking of Pickles

My wife and I took a two-hour class in Phoenix last night on the fine art of pickling, something we've been messing with for a number of years but have failed to do correctly. In two hours, I quickly saw all the mistakes we had been making. Speaking of pickles, here's a niece piece from the New York Observer on a pickle startup in Brooklyn called Fresh Brine.

Fried Pickles

Since becoming an official/unofficial Texan two years ago, my wife and I have cultivated a love for fried pickles. Every time we go to one of the Alamo movie theaters, it's the first thing we order. I found a nice blog post about fried pickles. Enjoy.

Men Like Food

From Esquire, a great food blog which, in true Esquire tradition, takes a sardonic look at foodways (new and old).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heresy from a Chicago Food Writer

Here's one Chicago food writer whose top pizzas are not deep dish.


Food Wins Out Over Strippers

Eating the cake rather than have someone pop out of it.


Pass Go, Collect Some Grits from Paula

It's way too much fun to poke fun at the Food Network.


CNN Launches Food Blog

If Larry King interviews Woldgang Puck, we will need closed caaptioning.


Barbeque=Texas=Austin=Franklin BBQ

Easily one of the best newcomers in town. Here is the "Tipsy Texan," a sandwich that combines sausage, brisket and secret slaw.

Here's a Twist: Man Eats Lion

Natural response: outrage mixed with long lines of hungry patrons


Hot Links: June 23

A pickle juice chaser? You have to be really thirsty or really bombed.

Trend: Food vendors show their wares at music festival to create buzz

Trend: New drinking game Bros Icing Bros. iPad app sure to follow

Being a "supertaster" cold kill ya

Portland Food Cart: Great food, lousy name