Sunday, August 29, 2010


This was a fun birthday. We rode bikes to Sylvester Manor Farm Stand and made a meal entirely out of things from there (except the shrimp, that was from Bob's Fish Market-he's a grouchy old guy that wears an anchor necklace). We had cucumbers and onions in rice vinegar with salt, sugar and mint (My dad used to make this, and the goal was to cut everything so thin, you could see through it)

Tomato and watermelon salad with ginger juice
Boiled shrimp (we also had cocktail sauce)

Potato salad with rosemary and thyme.

For lunch the next day, I fried the leftover shrimp in beer batter (half beer, half flour) and we made our version of shrimp po' boys.


It's my birthday, so Mindy made me one of my childhood favorites: Matzoh Brie. You soak matzoh in hot water (or milk) and then stir it up with eggs and cook it in a pan like french toast. We only had garlic and onion flavored matzoh so it's was different than I'm used to (plain) but it was still good.


I was working in Connecticut so Tim, Rick, Brian, Gordon and I took the opportunity to go through New Haven for famous Pepe's Pizza. Being in a hurry, we called ahead to avoid the line and ate on the hood of the car. We had pepperoni, plain and Pepe's specialty: Clam Pie. It's got fresh clams and tons of garlic. One time I was here with Mott and Dan. Dan cracked his tooth on a clam shell.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


America’s Test Kitchen is one of my favorite TV shows. Christopher Kimball, the host, is great. I’d like to be more like him. I love how New England-y he is. He’s got very good taste buds (as evidenced by his skills on The Tasting Lab) and excellent personal style. I bet he buys his clothes at a Men’s Shop in whatever small Vermont country town he lives in. He seems like a good father too, for example, one time he said he would only feed his kids real maple syrup.
I have pretty strong feelings about most of the people on the show:
Bridget Lancaster is snarky and makes a lot of sexual innuendos towards Chris and a lot of references to drinking beer.
I find Julia Collin Davison very attractive. She’s smart, a great cook and she seems game for a good time, not a major partier like Bridget, just a normal good time.
Becky Hays is newer. She’s very quiet and nervous seeming. She’s respectful towards Christopher which I appreciate. She’s also tall and pretty.
Yvonne Ruperti is very new. I’m in love with her. She’s a total babe, she has pretty hair and nice hands. They should put her on more often. Her bio makes me think she’s not married.
Jack Bishop and Adam Reid are similar in a lot of ways. They seem a little too New Yorky (Jewish) to be working up in Vermont in America’s Test Kitchen, but they somehow fit in, even if they are both a bit uptight. Jack can be very playful in the way that he runs the Tasting Lab, he teases Chris a lot, but he knows he’s a great taster. Chris always picks the most authentic and/or expensive of the choices. Adam runs the Equipment Corner. I trust him. They seem to actually put a lot of hard work into the testing. He seems like a fun guy and a hard worker. They both seem gay but I don’t think they are.
Lisa McManus is pretty new too, I feel like she’s horning in on Adam’s territory in the Equipment Corner.
Guy Crosby is the Science Guy, I always fast-forward past him because it’s so boring.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Some Friends took me out for an early birthday dinner at Ma Peche. This place is fantastic, it's exactly what I want in a restaurant. We showed up at 5, right when they opened so it was totally empty and the music was right up my alley, everything from Merge and Matador. We started with the Plat du Mer (three kinds of oysters, squid salad, crab, shrimp and fluke)
Pork Summer Rolls
Tomato and Watermelon rind salad with something crunchy and delicious on top, I forgot to ask what it was, if anyone knows, please tell me.
Beef Tartare
Summer Bean Salad (Phil loved these)
One thing that added some excitement to the evening was that the Minimalist was sitting right near us. We sent he and his dining companion a glass of champagne in hopes of some interaction but it didn't work out, it was still fun imaging how he might react though.

Pork Ribs
A Special tonight was wild striped bass collar
Pork chop with shishito peppers, potatoes and corn
They have cheese for dessert but we were too stuffed so went went upstairs and had crack pie and grasshopper pie from the Milk Bar.We talked about loneliness, and it was nice to be among close friends.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


There is something about Locanda Verde that makes me angry. It's not that it's loud or crowded, which it is. I end up going here, and I like the food, but I feel like a sucker. There are just lots of good Italian places out there that I enjoy more. Rick and I went last night, we started with steak tartar.
crispy artichokes with yogurt sauce.
Chicken for Two
Fagiolini (Phil would have loved this)
Chocolate Torte
Peach and raspberry crostada

Monday, August 23, 2010


Someone asked me the other day what my ideal hamburger place would be like, my answer was Char-Grill in Raleigh, NC.
You fill out this form and then slip it through a slot to a guy in a white paper hat by the grill.
It really does taste char-grilled.


I've spent a lot of time by myself lately and am starting to get used to being alone, I'm even starting to like it. After having not spoken to anyone for a few days (cell phone had no coverage on Ocracoke Island) it was especially nice to see Kim, Rob, Maple and George. We made linguini and local NC clams to celebrate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


There was still a bunch of mackerel left so I made fish tacos. I grilled this guy with salt, lime and cilantro. Before I left Chapel Hill, Andrea gave me tons of tomatoes, so I made some salsa to go with it.

Friday, August 20, 2010


There are lots of mackerel to be caught in the ocean around Ocracoke on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
I smoked it the same way we did at Mac and Andrea's the other night.
Grilled potatoes and scallions
I ate it all with horseradish and Duke's mayonnaise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro is a great place to stop if you're driving towards the beach from the Triangle. A sandwich and a sweet tea is my favorite.


If you're looking for another excellent restaurant in Chapel Hill, try Bonne Soirée. It's hidden in the corner of a plaza behind a bunch of businesses, you'd never suspect to find a fancy French restaurant back here. Mac, Andrea and I had a terrific dinner. They'll pair wines for you with each dish. We started with a crab Napoleon.

Crab cake
Pork terrine with a whole egg in the center.
Tagliolini with tomato sauce
Caesar salad
Pickled shrimp
Carrot soup
Chicken with homemade sausage

And three great desserts