Sunday, November 30, 2008

Malt or Milkshake?

I order a kid's sized chocolate malt at Steak and Shake, my guiltiest guilty pleasure. Nine out of ten times, my fellow diners go, "Malt? What the heck is a malt?"

A malt, I explain, is a milkshake, only better. It's what a milkshake aspires to be, the way certain grapes are destined to become wine. Making a milkshake without adding malted milk powder is like making a cake and saying, "You know, I think I'll leave the frosting off this one."

Ordering a milkshake instead of a malt was strictly forbidden in my family. I thought other kids lived by the same rule, but moving out of the upper Midwest, I've discoverd that this isn't true. I'm trying to understand why this is so. Is it a geographical thing? And what goes on in New England? They have an entirely different vocabulary for milkshakes up there.

So here's what I want to know-- do you prefer malts or milkshakes? And does it have anything to do with where you grew up?

The truth is out there, I'm sure of it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

You're never too old for a hand turkey.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


You know it's going to be a good day when you find this box in the break room...

...and a season of overindulgence begins. Have you had your Schnecken today?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kroger Fresh Fare

It's here. Is it worth a trip to Kenwood just to marvel at the new Kroger? Depends on what you want. I was definitely impressed by Murray's Cheese Shop. Lots of unique stuff and helpful staff. I got some Wisconsin Cheddar with blueberries-- where else can you find that? (Okay, maybe Jungle Jims, but that's an entirely different weight class.) Cheese aside, I wanted to know what would make this Kroger any more special and big-boxier than the Kroger in Anderson. There were plenty of similarities-- the tortilleria, the fresh donuts, the dine-in sushi bar. The fresh fare just seemed a little more polished and more food-oriented. I like that. I don't need my grocery store to sell diamond necklaces. Just good food.
Overall, I'd say it's an upscale Kroger with a few more tricks up its sleeve, but nothing to make a special trip across town for. Except maybe the cheese.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Virtual Freestore Foodbank

The Cincinnati Blog has challenged all local bloggers to offer a link to the Freestore Foodbank's virtual donation program. Yes to change, yes to Cincinnati, and yes to looking out for eachother.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Compliments to the Chef

So you’re at Twist on a Saturday night. You order a vanilla cocktail, and it arrives with a rim of cinnamon and actual vanilla bean pieces floating on top. You take a sip and think “Wow, that’s strong!” It’s delicious too, and as you sit enjoying your drink you glance over to the bar and see Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel himself chatting with a member of the wait staff. Do you:

Mind your own business and finish your extraordinarily potent cocktail


Set down your drink, march across the room, intrude on his conversation and introduce yourself?

Choose wisely, friends.

You shake his hand, say a few words about how much you enjoy his restaurants, and find yourself thinking, “What the hell am I doing?” And then, and this part is key, your mind grapples for some relevant question to ask and you hear yourself asking him if his restaurant group is splitting up.

“Oh, you know, I can’t really talk about that.” He politely sidesteps the question in his thick accent.

Now you are sure that you’ve run out of things to say. You babble something again about how wonderful his food is and scurry back to the comfort of your overstuffed chair and a really, really good drink.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cheap Gift Certificates - Good Deal?
has gift certificates to restaurants like Seny, Allure, Beluga and Tinks for way cheap- $10 for a $25 certificate. Most have limitations and minimum food purchases, but it sounds pretty sweet to me anyway. Has anyone ever used this website before? I have no experience with, but this sounds awfully tempting.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Buffalo Wings, Rings, and Food Poisoning

When you eat at a restaurant with with a roll of paper towels at every table, you leave some of your standards at the door. I didn't expect to walk away feeling refreshed, energized, and inspired by the rare culinary experience at Buffalo Wings and Rings in Springdale. I wanted fried food, slathered in buttery sauce, and I wanted to eat until I ran out of room, like a hotdog eating champion. And I did. Later, I found out that I was one order of chicken wings away from a night in urgent care.

I won't name my dining cohort, since I'm not sure she wants the details of her gastronomical troubles released to the public. We like wings, and we like eating them in gross excess on occasion. It's the American way. We'd both eaten at Wings and Rings before without especially bad consequences. It seemed like a natural choice after an hour of intense shopping at Tri-County Mall.

It was something in her batch of fried wings, or it was the 25 cent gumball on her way out of the restaurant, but it was something vicious and it took her down hard.

We should have seen it coming. The fly on my unfinished salad was funny at the time, hysterical even, watching its little nozzle mouth sucking on an unwanted onion. What difference could a fly make? I was done with my food. I'll be done with my Buffalo Wings and Rings food for a long time now, come to think of it.

We laughed in the parking lot about our purchases from the quarter vending machines, oblivious to her impending illness. For my quarter, I got a little treasure from a machine advertising "Cuffs and Stuff," which means you have a chance of getting a tiny pair of handcuffs or... stuff. Stuff, as it turned out, was a plastic sea horse charm on a piece of black string.

I'm wearing my sea horse around my wrist as a show of solidarity with those who fall victim to food poising. While my friend spent the rest of her night in misery, I drank rum and cokes with my mom and fell asleep watching Die Hard. It's unfair. I can only recognize her suffering and remember that, but for the grace of my waiter, there am I. That and never ever eat at that Buffalo Wings and Rings again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eat Your Veggies

My fall standby sidedish, roasted root veggies. No frills. Just goodness.

Saturday, November 1, 2008