the road | the food | a new direction

Month: January 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Hitting the Cajun Boudin Trail

Pork, rice, spice, and liver – those ingredients, in widely varying ratios, are stuffed into hog casings by Cajun butchers to create their famed boudin. Boudin touring is one of the most enjoyable experiences in Cajun country, west of New Orleans, as far as we’re concerned, in part because the vast majority of the good stuff comes from the most humble and unassuming sources (you won’t find the Louisiana landscape littered with identical McBoudreaux and Boudin King eateries). Continue reading

More Than Coney Island Weiners at Nick’s of Fall River MA

Stop in at Nick’s Original Coney Island Weiners of Fall River, MA and the first thing you’ll be asked is whether you’d like fries with your order. That’s because your fries are cut and fried to order, in a fryer reserved solely for spuds, from potatoes grown on a farm six miles away in Westport. Old-timers dress their potatoes with salt and malt vinegar, while the kids go for cheese and ketchup. However you garnish your fries, they’re the perfect accompaniment to those weiners topped with sauce made from a recipe that founder Nicholas Pappas brought with him in 1920 from Philadelphia. Read more about Nick’s hand-cut fries in this Wicked Local story.

New Apple Honey Pie at Grand Traverse Pie Company

Yesterday was National Pie Day, and one of the ways the Grand Traverse Pie Company of Michigan celebrated the event was to introduce a new pie flavor, Apple Honey. The sugar in GTPC’s popular apple pie, made with Northern Spy apples, is replaced by floral-scented star thistle honey from Northern Michigan honey producer Sleeping Bear Farms. The lattice top receives an additional drizzle of honey. Sounds wonderful! You can buy the new pie at any of Grand Traverse Pie Company’s 15 retail locations, or by mail.

Croissant, Scraps, and Beignants (!) in Lafayette LA

The Times of Acadiana showcases three Lafayette, LA spots that do amazing things with croissant dough, and we don’t know where to begin! How about beignants, the awkwardly named Acadian variation of the Cronut, where large pinches of croissant dough are deep-fried like beignets, then dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon and drizzled with honey. They are available Saturday mornings from Rêve Coffee Roasters. Continue reading

Milwaukee’s Delicious Dozen

The Chicago Tribune has presented a list of 12 particularly memorable things to eat in Milwaukee, their neighbor about an hour-and-a-half to the north. You’ll find a mix of new discoveries and old classics, like the butterburgers at Solly’s Grille, which the Tribune calls silky (?) and butter-soaked (for sure). These burgers are near the top of our Milwaukee list as well. They also fell in love with Parmesan tomato soup with cheddar grilled cheese on sourdough at Benji’s Deli, which we know as our source for hoppel-poppel. We’ve tackled the famous Mader pork shank and agree: don’t miss it! Dessert? Leon’s tin roof sundae. Continue reading

Evans Brothers Coffee Wins 2016 Good Food Award

The Good Food Awards are handed out annually to the country’s top craft food producers. Not only are the producers required to excel in a blind tasting competition, but they must also demonstrate they are “respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.” This year, Evans Brothers, artisanal coffee roasters in Sandpoint, Idaho, were honored for their Kenya Gatundu Karinga AB coffee. Randy Evans describes its flavor profile this way: “super juicy, floral, citrus and chocolate.” You can see the complete list of 2016 Good Food Awards winners here. Evans Brothers ships their beans – shop here.

Is Nashville Hot Chicken Going Viral?

Super-hot-spiced fried chicken has been percolating along quietly in Nashville, TN for, oh, about 80 years. Through the decades the fiery bird received little national attention nor, for that matter, all that much local attention. Suddenly, within the last two or three years, the yardbird has flown the coop and is nesting in spots like New York City, Lexington, KY, and Birmingham, AL. Why now? Or, more to the point, what took so long? All it takes is a taste for a lifelong love affair. We know; we’re addicts as well. Continue reading

Villanovan Names Dalessandro’s Top Cheesesteak

A story in the student-run Villanova paper performed a taste test of Philly cheesesteaks. Dalessandro’s was chosen as the best of the four they sampled, which also included Pat’s, Geno’s, and Jim’s (we like all four of these spots but there is stronger competition around the city, guys). They like how Dal’s finely dices the meat, leaves the onions in large pieces, adds a generous smear of Cheez Whiz, and lays it all on the largest roll of the four. (Hopefully, by the time writers Molly and Austin graduate Villanova they’ll have learned the difference between compliment and complement.)

Challah and Matzoh Ball Soup

You probably don’t expect to find superlative challah and matzoh ball soup at a Connecticut diner, but here it is at the Blue Colony in Newtown. The Fairfield Daily Voice is running daily profiles all this week of the five diners that are finalists in their reader poll to determine Fairfield County’s best diner. Today’s look at the Blue Colony also praises the Reuben, giant cookies, and Belgian waffles, as well as the attentive, longtime waitstaff. Voting will run through the 25th.

“Pizza, A Love Story” – Movie About New Haven Pizza Due Out in 2016

Last year we had Deli Man, a movie about Jewish delis, and Famous Nathan, a film about the founding of Nathan’s in Coney Island, NY. In production for release this year is Pizza, A Love Story, which will tell the story of pizza in New Haven, CT, focusing on the big three: Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern. We’re excited! Have a look at the first trailer (is that actual footage of Frank Pepe kneading the dough??? Sure looks like him!): Continue reading

More on the Potential Sale of Sally’s Apizza in New Haven CT

Sally’s Apizza of New Haven is for sale, sort of. We wrote a bit about the subject last month because New Haven pizza fascinates us and, although we’ve never dined at Sally’s (we’re Pepe’s white clam fanatics), we recognize that it holds a significance in the story of American pizza almost equal to that of Pepe’s. Well, the Sally’s drama has made it to the pages of The New York Times and, while there’s very little substantive information in the story that we did not already know (save for the fact that a judge has freed Sally’s owners to find a new buyer if they choose), Sally’s current state of affairs is summed up nicely. Continue reading

Vote for Fairfield County CT’s Best Diner

Do you love the 24-hour 2007 diner Elmer’s in Danbury? Or are you a regular at Westport’s Sherwood Diner? Maybe your diner is the 1921 Orem’s of Wilton (one of our favorites)? Or is it the 1973 Blue Colony in Newtown (another favorite of ours)? If you are like 39% of the Fairfield Daily Voice’s poll respondents, your favorite Fairfield diner is the Monroe Diner of Monroe, currently the poll leader. Those five diners are the finalists. If you have an opinion on the subject, head over to the poll website and register your preference. One vote per day is permitted. The Daily Voice will be running profiles of all five diners next week.

One Night Only Shake Shack Pop-Up in LA

Shake Shack announced last year that they would be entering the Los Angeles market sometime in 2016. That first area Shack should be open in West Hollywood by late spring. But there’s no need to wait! On Monday, January 25th, from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., the restaurant Son of a Gun, at 8370 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, will host a Shake Shack pop-up. ShackBurgers, crinkle-cut fries, and a whoopie pie dessert will be on the menu that evening. Mark your calendars if you want to see what all the fuss is about.

When You Think of Montreal Cuisine You Think of Jewish Food. Why?

Quick, what foods do you identify with Montreal? You probably named poutine, that French fry, cheese curds, and gravy amalgam but, unless you have an intimate knowledge of the city, everything else you thought of is probably Jewish food, like bagels and smoked meat. Why is that? Given that only two percent of Montreal is Jewish, how did so much of Montreal’s culinary identity come to mean the city’s Jewish culinary identity? Continue reading

Northern Waters Smokehaus Spinning Off Restaurant in Duluth

Perhaps you’ve been fortunate enough to sample Eric Goerdt’s house-smoked salmon or whitefish, or some of his smoked ham and bison pastrami. Even if you’ve never been to Duluth, Minnesota, Northern Waters Smokehaus‘ reputation may have spurred you to place an order by mail. Or maybe you’ve paid a visit to his place in the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace and enjoyed a Banh Faux Mi (smoked Berkshire ham, country pâté, quick pickles, Smokehaus kimchi, cilantro, hoisin, chili sauce, and butter on a hero roll) or The Big Dipper (smoke-roasted MN Berkshire porketta, provolone, peperoncini, green olives, and butter on stirato) – all meats made in house. You may have wondered, could it possibly get any better than this? Well, we’re all about to find out! Continue reading

’60s Cuisine Coming to Ponce City Market in ATL

Ponce City Market is rapidly evolving into one of Atlanta’s major culinary destinations. Opening tomorrow: The Mercury, “inspired by the culture of the 1960s.” Chef Mike Blydenstein will be offering “perfectly executed classic American entrees.” (Lobster fritters with cheddar cheese and tarragon mayo? Grilled asparagus béarnaise? He’s got our attention!) Atlanta’s Bartender of the Year for 2015 (says Eater), Julian Goglia, is heading up a bar program “inspired by the relaxed glamour of mid-century cocktail culture featuring house made ingredients.” Dinner only this first week; lunch will be added next week.

Duff’s or Anchor?

The show aired for one season, 22 episodes in 2010. The Travel Channel’s Food Wars would pit a city’s two big players in a local signature food item against each other, and, amazingly enough, name a winner. Perhaps that’s why the show lasted only one season: it’s hard to see how any iconic restaurant would allow itself to be named a loser on national TV. The inaugural episode took place in Buffalo, NY, where Anchor Bar faced Duff’s in a Buffalo wing competition. Anchor is generally thought to have invented the hot wing, while Duff’s is Anchor’s most famous competition in the region. Continue reading

Top Burger in Every State

Hubcap burgers at Cotham’s in Arkansas… the original burger on toast at Louis’ Lunch in Connecticut… thin, crisp-edged burgers at The Workingman’s Friend in Indiana…green chile cheeseburgers at the Buckhorn Tavern in New Mexico… these are four of the 51 burgers selected as the best in each state by Business Insider. The selections are apparently a research and compilation job, in which most of the burgers were named in a previous local media poll or competition. Nonetheless, it’s a mouthwatering project to peruse for American burger lovers.

It’s Graeter’s vs. Primanti on Saturday

Our fascination with mayors’ wagers over sporting events continues: the Cincinnati Bengals play the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL playoff game Saturday, and the mayors of both cities have put up their towns’ signature foods in support of the home teams. Cincinnati’s buffet is headlined by Graeter’s ice cream, which will be accompanied by chili and coneys from Gold Star and unspecified food from the Montgomery Inn (known for their ribs). The Pittsburgh cache features Primanti’s sandwiches and other items from Heinz, Dream Cream ice cream, and Smiley Cookies. We’re giving the edge to Cincinnati, food-wise.

The Cornish Miner’s Friend

Cornwall, England had been known for their tin and copper mines for centuries. When the Cornish mining industry eventually declined starting in the mid-19th century, Cornish miners, known as Cousin Jacks, went overseas looking for work in mines all over the globe. And where they went, their famous Cornish pasties followed. The pasties were made by miners’ wives, known as Cousin Jennies. These pasties, a hefty dough-wrapped pocket of meat and potatoes, served as a convenient and calorific meal down in the mines. The pasties are also delicious, which you can find out for yourself if you visit a part of the U.S. that is, or once was, known for mining. Continue reading

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