I just tried Vintage Frozen Custard's new permanent location on Howell Mill, an outgrowth of their truck. I got a chance to chat with the owner/chef Malik, who clearly puts a great deal of effort into and takes pride in his ice cream. (As a historical note, frozen custard is just what it sounds like, an egg/cream custard that has been frozen. Purists reserve the term ice cream for a product made only with cream, no eggs. But most of what is called ice cream is, in fact, frozen custard.)
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
When I arrived, the hostess was nowhere to be found. The waitress told me to sit anywhere, then disappeared without even giving me a menu. After a few minutes, I went to the entry for a menu. The hostess had appeared and I asked her if I could order. She didn't. After another few minutes, I asked her again to order and she told me that the waitress was the only person authorized to take orders and she was busy in another part of the restaurant. After several more minutes, she finally appeared and took my order.
The food was workmanlike but I was surprised that my buttermilk pancakes came naked. Most California restaurants would try to celebrate the state's wonderful array of fruits, but not this restaurant. I was disappointed that a luxury hotel restaurant would not put a little more effort into their food.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I just enjoyed a wonderful plate of BBQ at Spiced Right. It's a little further up Lawrenceville Highway than I normally travel. It certainly has its creature comforts---plenty of TV screens playing both sports and Food Network---but this is a down-home, unpretentious BBQ establishment. Their collection of sides shows more variety than many BBQ places, including fried okra and corn pudding.
This is my rib plate. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender. Little pockets of fat were left in the crevices of the bones, making gooey, succulent treats as I worked my way through. The beans were pretty sweet with brown sugar but also savory and tasty. The corn pudding was excellent: sweet, milky, and with a nice dose of cinnamon.
Tuesday was food truck day at Georgia Tech. It's a great idea and one that I hope the adminstration keeps up. As you can see, the event hosted a lot of food trucks and attracted a lot of students.
I ordered my lunch from Yumii. I was hungry but I toughed it out in the long line. Their food is Asian/Mexican/Southern fusion. That means burritos with Asian hot sauce and pork (although I ordered the tofu version). Quite tasty…
Thursday, February 20, 2014
We started off with a fennel soup, which was outstanding. The fennel flavor came through very nicely and was complemented by the cream.
Our scallops were extremely tender and very flavorful.
We also tried an egg cream as another appetizer. We scrambled the egg into the cream ourselves, then spread the mixture over bread. Eby and agreed that it was interesting but not compelling. The egg/cream mixture was very rich. The bread helped to balance the dish but the result was a little bready---it was hard to get much egg on a slice of bread that was pocked with airholes.
We both had duck and brussel sprouts for our main course. I ordered my duck medium rare. The duck breast was rich and succulent. The other parts of the duck went into the little sausages, which were very tasty and quite different from a pork sausage. The spaetzle was made with rye flour, an interesting twist. But the cabbage was the surprise stand-out of this plate---it was prepared with several different ingredients to give it an amazing flavor. The brussel sprouts were also outstanding. They had been roasted just a little for texture, color, and carmelization. I must say that brussel sprouts are popping up on menus all over town---I nominate them for Vegetable of the Year.
We each had a tart for dessert: chocolate for Eby, lemon curd for me. The lemon curd was a wonderful balance of tart and sweet. A meringue on top balanced out the strong tastes of the curd. The tart's crust and the ice cream were both outstanding.
Friday, February 14, 2014
And here are the finished mints.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
My cooking slowed down yesterday, the second day of the storm; I spent some time enjoying some of the things I made the day before. This is a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread I made to enjoy with yesterday's chicken soup. I have come to love the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Cookbook.
I made another pizza using some of that batch of pizza dough. My shaping technique still needs work. I'm beginning to think that a key to success, is starting with a perfectly uniformly shaped, symmetric dough. The pizza needs to be of uniform thickness but I keep getting blobs around the edge and thin spots in the middle. I think those blobs are the inevitable outcome of the misshapenness of the dough with which I start. Perhaps those beautiful domes waiting on the racks in New Jersey pizza parlors have a practical as well as aesthetic purpose.
And I finished off the evening with a little popcorn.