I tried a still-in-development Margarita Custard at Bel Ami last night. Is it possible, hombres? A margarita served slightly warm and custardy? Ah si, whipped up with some molecular magic that shall not be revealed here. I should note that if you are not privy to such knowledge of excellent bartending in our burg, Bel Ami is also known as chez Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Eugene’s Best Bartender 2008.
Speaking of which, today is Repeal Day, a holiday Jeff invented and one now (literally, NOW at quittin’ time!) being celebrated around the country. Go have a pre-Prohibition cocktail, or at least a beer, at a bar in your own town to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the day we got rid of that nasty-ass 18th Amendment. Jeff is in Washington D.C. mixing it up with folks there, after being mentioned in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal this week. Not bad for a home town boy, eh?
Had a decent bottle of wine, a salted caramel with fat, grey, lovely sea salt perched on top, and a Sachertorte at Kekau’s new retail location, Nib Dessert and Wine Bar. (No, I wasn’t alone. Jerk.) Kekau makes artisan chocolates, and they’ve set up a retail and bar space next to Sweet Life on Monroe. Sweets honestly are not my thing, as you know from my constant complaining about everything in the world being sweet. But if you’re into thick, dark, single-origin chocolates, or chocolate with subtle complementary shades of habañero or lavender, check ’em out. They also serve demitasse cups of a really fine drinking chocolate. I’m not so sure about the full plates of concept desserts, though. We couldn’t even follow the waitress’ list with all the various ingredients and preparations involved on each plate, and we ain’t shabby when it comes to understanding food. It would be nice to see more of a mix: some high concept, some simple & classic.
The picture, by the way, is my attempt to turn sugar bitter, with the addition of Angostura bitters, cinnamon, and Korean salted hot pepper flakes. Toldya I didn’t like sweets.
I bet you can guess what will be in my donation bag for tomorrow’s U. S. Postal Service Letter Carriers Food Drive. Eugene was the driving force behind the yearly postal food collection, which happens annually in May, and we like the concept so much Lane County holds another Letter Carriers Food Drive in December (two Saturdays: this year the 6th and the 13th). All food donations in Lane County go through our fabulous Food For Lane County warehouse, which distributes it to food pantries throughout the county. Please be mindful of some of the foods most needed for hungry folks: I was joking about giving them all my sweets. Protein-rich and filling ready-to-eat canned foods are always welcome, especially tunafish and beef stew. There are many diabetics and other people with sweet- and salt-restricted diets who rely on the food pantries, so if you have low-salt and low-sugar canned or boxed goods, please consider donating them. I’ve talked with patrons who are vegetarians, too; don’t forget we’re in Eugene! Also see my earlier post about other food donation ideas for Lane County food drives.