Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Fried Herring Found! (Not exactly available...)

I'm still working on my manifesto, you know local and sustainable, hunting's OK if you eat what you catch, the sage advice from Evil Ronnie, "think yiddish, dress british." One plank will surely be about the value of river and lake fish. Creatures we seldom truly appreciate as we rush off for the next Pantagonian tooth-fish and extra fatty o-toro.

Luckily, in Eastern North Carolina, someone else still cares about real fish (and real pie). Gosh, I wish this place was closer. Check out the nice plate of fried herring.

Cyprus Grill
1244 Brown Rd.
Jamesville, NC
Open only during the herring season!
Round Mound O' Executive Salad - Club Lago

Did the cookie exchange yesterday with AF O'Neil at one of our favorite places, Club Lago. We both thought we'd have a date with our pal Guido, but when we saw a couple of salads being served at a neighboring table, we revised our orders. I am forever indebeted to John M and Jeff B who introduced the world to the saline treasure that is the Club Lago Executive Salad (or more accurately put, introduced ME to the Club Lago Executive Salad). Still, while I love the salad, I usually find it too small for a lunch (and not worth its $).

Yesterday, when I saw the bigger salads at the other table, I asked our waitress, are all salads that big. She pointed to the section on the menu with the luncheon salads, the grilled calamari, the tuna, etc., and said they were all that big. I said yes, but what about the Executive. She did hem a bit, saying that it had to do with the pile-worthyness of the ingredients, essentially that the chopped onions or what not took up more room on the salads I was seeing. Undaunted, I said I wanted the Executve and make sure it was as big. It was. The family and I have been watching SuperSize Me the last few days. This was super-sized, and surely enough calories to send Morgan Spurlock into cardiac arrest. But as they say, moderation. Do not eat an Executive Salad daily, but when you do...You eat. You eat blue cheese and bacon and anchovies and olives and dressing until the sodium chloride produces a near-giddy toxicity in your body. Plus, it is crunchy and squishy and soft and crisp too. 1000 layers of salt.

I cannot say for sure if the Club Lago has extended the size of their Executive Salad because they have heard the cry of chowhounds, or yesterday was a lucky abberation. I hope someone else can do some research as I think I need to let the bloating go down before my next order.

Club Lago
331 W. Superior St
Chicago, IL
(312) 951-2849

Monday, February 28, 2005

Return to the Scene of the Krime
Kewpies and a Kringle

Surely, a place called Kewpie's possesses a child like quality. That is a reminding of child like quality. Kewpie's gleaming tile floor remind me intensely of school cafeterias, and the stainless steel trimmed formica tables existed in everyone's kitchen once upon a time. The effect was so profound that my Dad exclaimed how much the burgers reminded him of when he was a kid before taking one single bite. Mom at least waiting to sample her Kewpie burger, said it reminded her of McDonalds when it first got started.

The Kewpie burger gets started as one big kewpie loaf of meat. One grill man begins the kooking process by hacking off chunks of meat, then whacking, turning it into a patty. He retains responsibility for the burger for a few more columns, flipping and a-pounding. A second grill man takes over for the last two columns. By keeping a couple of kids busy, the burger is well cooked but NOT over cooked by the time it ends up in your bun. It gets a strong dose of catsup, and here is a case where the maligned condiment acts more as a sauce. The pickles were inside the bun but my heart went flippity-flop nonetheless. Fries are crinkle cut but nothing special, but the homemade rootbeer is nicely dry the way I like it (although not nearly as complex or medical as modern yuppie root beers). With a kringle, it makes a fine lunch.

But where to kringle. It was a decision vexing me all day. I so had loved Bendsten's. Yet, I was a connoisseur. Should not I take in another kringle to compare. Surefire pleasure or chow-science. I went back and fourth. Finally, I decided I had to try Larsen's kringle just to see. And it is a story with a happy ending. Larson's had a strawberry kringle out to sample. And it aint Bendsten's. Too much shortening coffeecake and not enough sucrose injected crust. I got a few donuts so as not to hurt their feelings and headed back to Bendsten's. Of course, now I had to ruminate a long time over which variety. Pecan it was.