Monday, August 27, 2007


When I used to work on York & Gittings (and no, not in the slummy grocery store that used to be there!), we used to walk over to Fortunato's in the shopping center. I am not sure what the center's called, but it's right on the city line on York, just north of Wells Liquors.
Anyway...they have the most incredible tomato bread. It's pretty simple - just chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and a little olive oil. They serve it on a small split roll and heat it. It's just brilliant. Apparently Rogers Forge native and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps used to swear by these! It's the perfect thing for lunch on a late summer's day.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Food Books from the Book Thing

I stopped by the Book Thing today on the way to visit with my mother and someone who must be a real foodie had just dropped off some great books. They all look very interesting.

So, maybe if I read about food instead of eating it, I will lose some weight. Think so?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

My friend, Bill Cole, who's running for the City Council in our district, came by this evening for a "stoop" meet and greet with some of my neighbours... and a film crew. Sue Chen out of San Francisco, is doing a documentary on people younger than 35 running for political office.

As they were filming, an A-rabber trotted by and the looks on Sue and her cameraman's faces were priceless. He didn't get a shot, but a little while later I heard them coming back, so he got the shot. I do my best to buy from these guys and so wandered over to get some corn. Four ears for $1.00. He tossed in an extra ear, so I gave him an extra dollar for the pony.
I thought that I could probably oven roast it, so googled recipes, which turned out to be easy-peasy. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Shuck the ears, but leave the husks attached. Remove the silk, cover the ears with butter and salt and pull up the husks! I tied a bit of extra husk around the ear to keep it wrapped up. Some recipes say to just roast without even removing the silk, but I would hate to pick it off strand by strand when it was hot. Roast either directly on the rack or on a pan for 20-30 minutes.
The verdict? Excellent, simple and delicious! With the time it takes to boil water and then cook the corn, you can roast it in the oven. You could add anything you wanted to this to tailor it to your own taste, but to me, plain and simple's the winner!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Mac & Cheese & Chocolate

Over the past couple of days, in numerous conversations about Restaurant Week, I have been hearing about the dish "macaroni and cheese... and chocolate" that is served at Jack's Bistro in Canton. The description of the dish is "Shell pasta with a blend of five cheeses and shaved Belgian milk chocolate". They also serve a cheeseburger soup, which doesn't appeal to me at all!

The website notes that Jack is the most wildly imaginative chef in Baltimore. My feeling is that while throwing chocolate on top of mac & cheese requires more imagination than I will ever have, putting ingredients together just for the sake of attracting attention isn't what it's about. Tell me what you think of mac & cheese and chocolate.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Restaurant Week - No. 2

Last night, the Blonde, the Brunette and the Redhead visited Brasserie Tatin for Restaurant Week. I had been there before during the winter RW and had an excellent meal. However, I talked to a chef friend about going there and found out that Brasserie Tatin is having some problems, notably with their kitchen staff. However, there was no evidence of anything amiss last night.
The logical thing to do, since there were three of us and three selections on the RW menu was to try one of each, but we're just not that way. Starting for the Blonde and the Redhead was the Brie salad with a walnut encrusted Brie over butter lettuce. The Brunette had the house pate de campagne. Entrees were two orders of the scallops St. Jacque with a "forbidden" rice, which was a deep purple, and and order of the steak frites, with house-made mayonnaise. Desserts were an order of the four sorbets and the marjolaine, which is all sorts of mousse and chocolate.

One of the best parts of the BT RW dinner was the pairing of wines for each dish. Three wines for $15. They had taken some time in making the appropriate selections and they all worked well.

BT was crowded, but not jammed. The service was very good and our waiter was attentive and fun.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Restaurant Week - Restaurant No. 1

My office went to McCormick & Schmick for our summer outing, which happened to coincide with Restaurant Week in Baltimore. We had a reservation for ten, at 12:45, and were seated at a round table overlooking the water.

When I got there, the first thing that struck me was the smell. From the parking lots to the east, you have to walk by the garbage bins, which on a hot summer day, was pretty rank. Once we got inside, everything had a scent of mucky dishwater, standing water and cleaner. Things looked dirty and sticky. The place is huge and it wasn't very full.

Here's the lunch menu:

Lunch Appetizer
Maryland Crab Soup
McCormick's House Salad
Spinach Salad
Lunch Entrée
Grilled Tuna Brochette
Cedar Roasted Atlantic Salmon
Seafood Stir Fry
Lunch Dessert
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Walnut Crusted Upside Down Apple Pie

We got tuna brochette, which was way overdone, salmon and steak salads which weren't on the RW menu. I had a spinach salad which had lovely baby spinach leaves with a sesame/ginger dressing and pecans. Others got the house salad. Funnily enough, out of ten people, no one ordered the crab soup. The desserts were huge and the pie also had cinnamon ice cream on the side. Again, as we left, we had to go by the garbage, and it wasn't any better than before lunch.