"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I scream, etc.

I have just returned from a business trip/junket to San Francisco, where I learned about marketing law regulatory issues, saw lots of friends, enjoyed amazing hospitality, and ate the best ice cream I'll probably ever have. Bi-Rite Creamery. Go there. The nice people will let you taste whatever you want, and feel free to do that, but once you've tasted the gorgeous Strawberry Balsamic and the Brown Butter Pecan, and maybe shared a crisp chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich filled with Mint (and I don't even like mint ice cream), just do yourself a favor and pick up a pint each of Honey Lavender and Salted Caramel and hide yourself away in a closet where nobody can find you (so you don't have to share) with a spoon. Nirvana.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Snack Report Update

I have a deep need to report on two excellent developments in the snack area.

First, the fine makers of Pirate Booty (a staple if you're a yuppie parent of small children, like myself) have come out with Cocoa Booty, which tastes like Cocoa Puffs, only you can eat it by the bagful and pretend it's good for you.

But second, and even better, Snyder's pretzels have come out with Buffalo Wing flavored pretzel pieces, and this is simply the best snack food ever developed, or at least since Wasabi Peas. Broken pieces of sourdough pretzels (obviously repurposing factory waste, but who cares! it's recycling!) coated with spicy, vinegary Buffalo Wing flavored stuff. Seriously, they are the best thing ever.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grande Fatbomb Italiana

Last night we headed down to the beach in our town for our annual pilgrimage to that celebration of fat and sugar, the local Grande Festa Italiana. They've got all the seedy carnival rides that make you wonder about inspection certificates and general liability policies, even as it's kind of thrilling to ride up on the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, you know, that sort of thing.

But the real purpose of going to the carnival is to eat all the horrible stuff that you aren't supposed to enjoy eating any more, but will never disappear because it's effing awesome. I speak, of course, of the corn dogs, the steak and mozzarella sandwiches on garlic bread, the candy apples, the blooming onions, the giant platters of red-sauced Italian dishes at the Sons of Italy tent, and of course, the greatest pleasure of all, fried dough, here in the form of the zeppole.

We limited ourselves to one bag for three of us, but it was hard, I tell you. If I'd gotten near the cappuccino/espresso tent, I am certain I would have been forced to get another bag. Not to mention the funnel cakes. And the "fried oreo zeppole," god help me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Kind of Restaurant

The two young Gateaux and I spent the long weekend with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their kids in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, where my parents have a house. It's a decent size group, even with Mr. Gateau stuck at the office all weekend, and now includes four people under the age of six. Fortunately, my parents recently happened upon Jack's restaurant, in the tiny old mill town of Housatonic, Mass., which has in the last number of years developed a small but sort of hip gallery and loft scene in the old factory buildings. Jack's is the kind of place that has old Life magazines in the waiting area and shelves crammed with old toys, lunch boxes, figurines, and so on, though neatly displayed and not dusty, as these things so often are. Very family friendly, with big tables and ample space. Young Master Gateau was quite taken with the electric railroad suspended from the ceiling, and was thrilled when we were being seated to go behind the bar and operate the train whistle.

I was more taken with the fact that the menu includes comfort food standards made with good local ingredients, like pot roast with garlic mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and the ultimate appetizer: pigs in blankets with two kinds of mustard. They offer several of these dishes served family style, and the dessert menu (if you have any room left at all) includes chocolate pudding and other homestyle treats. There is a whole list of $13 wines, and they make two kinds of sangria by the glass or carafe. I had the sparkling white wine version, and it was delicious and not too sweet.

I will note that the women's bathroom was decorated with old photos of babies and children, while the men got to have vintage pinups and movie stills of Elizabeth Taylor in a slip. Not fair.