Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jiggling Eggs - We Are Begging You Please!

Let us tell you all a story. About eggs. And how much it PAINS us to send them back to the kitchen. Almost EVERY TIME we go to brunch.

As you will see as you read this post, the geek can cook eggs. Perfectly. And the Misadventures don't want to eat imperfectly prepared eggs.

We would like to take this Sunday morning time to remind restaurants in the Greater Universe Metro-Plex that if you are going to put eggs on your menu, and if you're open for brunch it's likely, please make sure your staff knows how to cook them. This is especially true of Eggs Benedict, Sardou, Chesapeake/Maryland, and the kitchengeek's personal favorite Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs.

If those suckers aren't jiggling, you overcooked them. And we don't want them.

Your hollandaise could cure disease and your hash could inspire an end to the conflict in Burma/Myanmar and we'd still send the eggs back if they don't have yolk that flows like the cheap lite beer at a suburban Applebee's on a Friday night at happy hour. We're not interested in hard-boiled eggs unless you have the best Chef's Salad in the history of mankind. And we're only interested then if we've also ordered said salad.

And evidenced by this gorgeous little shot here at the end, there are times when it comes out perfectly the first time. It is the nirvana of brunch to have hot coffee throughout a meal and to break the yolk of a poached or sunnyside up egg ever so slightly with one tine of your fork and watch the molten orange create the perfect sauce for your meal.

In our recent attempts to brunch and brunch well we have hit a few roadblocks in the egg department. We would like to profusely thank our servers for each of those meals. They understood immediately, quickly whisked away the plates, ensured coffee was full and hot for the extra wait, and also clearly made sure the eggs were taken from pan to table in the shortest possible time on the re-fire. Both were grace under pressure, at the height of the brunch rush.

So please managers, chefs, cooks, and staff of the world; please take care with your eggs. We know that servers have multiple tables and kitchens have multiple orders flying in at the same time. So if you see a jiggling poached eggs set under a heat lamp, pick it up and lovingly deposit it in front of the diner to whom it belongs. They will likely thank you. And you will have earned much food karma.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

From the Inbox: January 24-30

In addition to the cooking and eating that goes on, there are the endless conversations about food. How else do you think we come up with the mythical lists, roadtrips, and crazy ideas for dinner parties?

You're lucky we like to share (unless you're trying to get the last piece of speck or duck prosciutto off a plate...we'll cut ya' sucker!).

From Pocahantski this week we have two pieces of joy.

  • Go to the Boston Globe to learn about Feed Me Bubbe, the 83-year-old grandmother who has her own online kosher cooking show. Get that lady on America's Test Kitchen!

  • There's also the International Food & Wine Festival in Washington, DC. Lower ticket prices in effect until February 6. Wanna meet there?
The Quiet One and I are fresh off a successful trip to the 32nd Street Market this morning that included Curry Shack pockets, vegan brownies, a massive turkey breast, and a cup of butter pecan ice cream for her. I worked ground lamb for kefta; beef short ribs, onions, carrots, cremini and shitake mushrooms, and garlic for just damn tastiness; and a ham steak as big as my face that will be slathered in red-eye gravy sometime this winter. My Curry Shack haul is almost gone. It included Turkish Beef pies, Lamb & Potato pockets, and SpicyTurkey pies. In addition to actually shopping for food this week, The Quiet One sends us word of these two tidbits:
Ms. not. She is horizontal. On a beach. In Puerto Rico. We are not amused. And we (that is Pocahantski and the Kitchengeek) will be less amused when The Quiet One gets on her flight to Rome this week.

Reservation for Four...Table for Six

The Mis-Adventures +1 (that's the folks at this here blog) have come to a conclusion based on two dinners in Easton, one brunch in Chestertown, and a dinner in Mt. Vernon. We will now share with you our conclusion. It is about us...

97-mph Member - "We'd like a reservation for four for Friday night."
Restaurant - "Execellent. What time will you be joining us."
97-mph Member - "8pm. And we'll need a six-top."

This is what happens when four people believe in 1) food; 2) wine; and 3) "and" being better than "or" as a life choice.

We frequently have candles and sugar caddies on the booth next to us or behind the table somewhere to make room for charcuterie, and apps, and salads, maybe a soup or two, and sharing plates (you call them bread plates).

This principle will be born out in posts coming on Feast @ Four East in Baltimore and a two-weekend Shore-stravaganza including two meals at Scossa in Easton, a lunch at Latitude 38 in Oxford, Ice Cream and Lamb Chops at the General Store in Oxford, Butt Rub in St. Michael's, and brunches at the Imperial Hotel in Chestertown and the Tidewater Inn in Easton.

Yeah...we get around (food)...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Setting the Stage

What we have here is an effort to communicate. With you. About food. Good food that requires silver and crystal; good food that requires pits and spits; and good food that requires cocktails and wine. If it’s a trend, we’ll try it. If it’s a trend that sucks, we’ll mock it.

We are in fact food snobs; we know that you better let the Som know your date doesn’t like oaked-Chardonnay, not just that she doesn't like Chardonnay. Because, sir, that IS an important distinction.

We also have obsessions about Eastern European meat products (and charcuterie in general because it’s a fun word and hams, salamis, pates, and rilletes are just damn tasty). Hell one of us even has a degree in Eastern European history, and a serious taco fetish to boot!

There are lots of blogs about food. We know that. You know it. But we’re funny, just ask us. And given the amount of time and energy we spend not just on eating out, but on THINKING about eating out, and cooking ourselves, and tasting, and learning about food…we’re pretty sure we can talk with a fair bit of substance with opinions based on something other than having read three reviews of Chick-fil-As in the greater Bal’mer area and choosing our favorite.

And it is about Bal’mer, ‘Hon. And ‘Naptown (which sadly doesn’t have much of a food 'scene' on its own). And DC (which also means we are not scared to cross the Potomac for NoVA spots). And the places in between and nearby. And we get to define nearby (because Philly seems really close some days and the Bolt Bus can have us swimming in Dim Sum in New York's Chinatown or Little India in Jersey really quickly).

Just the other night, in fact, we talked about trying to find really good Indian food closer to Baltimore than to DC and ‘this guy’ blurted out ‘I bet there’s really good Indian in Columbia’ without really knowing why. The Quiet One immediately shouted (heh, we’re ironical already) that there was! So you see…we’ll trek off I-97 a bit. We have to; Baltimore requires some combination of I-695, MD 295, MD 2, I-95, or U.S. 1 to actually get from I-97 to the city. And stopping at the southern end of 97 leaves me about 5 miles east and a bit south. And I want to play!

Tonight that will include a ‘road trip’ to the Shore. It was going to be Frederick. No, not for THAT PLACE. Silly…we already did that. Ms. Vertical must be on the shore for the puppies, so we will eat on the shore. My parameters were “Two meals today, much driving, one meal tomorrow.” There was no dissent. The ladies discussed oysters. I am down with that. Seafood on the shore. This is how we roll.

Since this is my stream-of-consciousness first post; I will tell you here that the posts about restaurants are not intended to be classic restaurant reviews. They are meant to be stories about the experiences the four of us (together or individually) have had. While we don’t like to admit it often, we know we’re not the be-all-end-all. We also recognize that if we don’t like something, we’ll tell the proprietor too.

We’ve had a number of conversations and moments in our lives that got us here that started this adventure. I already write about food. The Quiet One and I have talked about restaurants for almost a decade now and keep adding new places to a mythical ‘list’ that we must complete. The Quiet One, Pocahantski, and Ms. Vertical have Food-ed themselves in the Bal’mer scene for years. Pocahantski and I have actually cooked together…sort of. There will likely be a CSA sharing this summer and The Quiet One and Ms. Vertical will support us, by eating what we cook. We read lists like Dining @ Large’s and contemplate completion. We also let each other know where we’re traveling for business, in case one or more of the rest of us want to tag along for the food. Pocahantski has a trip to Berkley coming up, and I might just be in New Orleans at the end of February.

I don’t know that we have a set format in mind for ‘reviews,’ stories, posts, and thoughts about food; so that will evolve over time. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to have photos. Sometimes we’ll just use our words (And sometimes that’s hard to do given the fact that we all believe in wine, bourbon, grapa, and blue-cheese stuffed olives too).

So off we go. I’m finishing my espresso and making sure my overnight bag is packed…