So much to announce, and I just haven’t had the will to do it. Started this post three times today. Bad news, since it’s still freezing cold and wet and I have fullblown spring fever. So I’ll keep it short. Consider it the World Literature Survey of dining niblets from your favorite home town.
– Japanese. Go to Kamitori on 11th and Willamette. It’s worth every (inexpensive) penny. Go especially if you’re into real Japanese food, not just chicken teriyaki, even if they do have that, too. And tell the chef how much you appreciate the authenticity (but it’s ok if you recommend axing the krab salad in the kaisen (left). I’m actually ready to come to blows if someone ruins this place.
– Lebanese. Go to the new Middle Eastern Deli at Plaza Latina on 7th a few blocks east of Chambers. She’s still working out the kinks and setting the menu and prices, so go and defend your favorites. I found the tabouli (top photo, with various pies, hummus and tahini) particularly good — the parsley is not smushed to soggy bits with a heavy knife and loaded down with bulgar wheat. Just as it should be.
– Jewish. Tomorrow night starts Passover. Got my brisket in gear and am cooking it as we speak, a Joan Nathan recipe. I hope this is a good compromise between my two recipes, one called “Traditional (If Dull) Passover Brisket,” and the other one, “Cranberry Brisket,” which I love but has been vetoed by the no-fruit-with-meat half of my relationship. This half also absconded with one of the apples for the haroset, so I made apple-pear-haroset. Yeah, I know. But it’s supposed to be like mortar in texture and color, right? Right. I’m glad to hear that Humble Beagle will be serving matzoh ball soup all week, since it’s the one thing we’re not making due to the hilariously quirky mismatched dietary profiles of my guests.
– Thai. I perused the menu and spoke to someone who had the authority of an owner at Sabai, a new “Pacific Rim” or “Thai Fusion” restaurant in Oakway. I’ll be nice and just say these two terms make me shudder unlike any other. The good news is (at least for fans of the popular American-style Thai Ta Ra Rin restaurant), is that the menu is very similar to Ta Ra Rin. The authority figure told me that they were planning to introduce Indonesian dishes, which would indeed be a nice addition to our local ethnic cuisine. I’d just really like to see 1) serious attention to reducing the sweetness of all of the dishes if the menu is indeed based on Ta Ra Rin’s; and (2) offering non-sweet dishes with a vinegar or even just dry-fried, salt-and-pepper profile. All Americans don’t like Thai food that’s achingly sweet. Indonesian food can be way too sweet too, so it’s going to be a rough ride.
– White. White flour, that is. Excellent article about Tom Hunton (right, at the Saturday farmers market) and Camas Country Mill in the Register-Guard today. It discusses the mill engineering and Tom’s decision to diversify from grass crops to wheat and other grains, including teff. The article acknowledges the liberal-conservative partnerships that can (and need to) happen with food system changes, and shows how Tom’s making it work with his partners. Way to go, Diane Dietz! That was the best food reporting I’ve seen in the R-G in a while. So why was it in the Business section?
– Mexican. Still loving taco night on Sundays and Mondays at Belly, and hope the owners have a good time scouting out new menu items on their vacation down south. The restaurant will be open only for taco nights this week. But a small grump: I am sad the tortillas are now being served cold instead of nicely griddled. Can we change that? I fully realize that after a couple of margaritas I don’t notice anymore but still. Shh. And kudos to Belly for being mentioned in visiting LA food critic Jonathan Gold’s twitter — he was in town for a UO School of Journalism award and said the tripe and trotters on toast gave him “a lot of happiness for $8.” I like a man who gets his cheap thrills in organ meats.
– Polish. And speaking of organs, I bought my Easter kielbasa a couple of weeks ago at Benedetti’s Meat Market. Fresh kielbasa is always hard to find in Eugene, so go check ’em out. You can bet your dupa I’ll be making my Easter soup this year. Our cup overfloweth with fresh eggs, since the farm chickens have decided the weather be damned; it is spring!
– Italian. But if you’re not in the mood for Polish Easter soup, check out Sfizio for their Umbrian regional dinner on Easter Sunday. I haven’t seen the menu, surely by some fault of my own, since they usually send ’em by now. But it’s a good option to staying home and eating too many Cadbury eggs and jelly beans.
– Fermentation Nation. Thanks to everyone for coming out to the Master Food Preserver class on fermented foods. We had about three dozen attendees for the demo, and everyone was so enthusiastic and full of questions it really energized all of the teachers. We really had a great time discussing kefir, yogurt, kim chi, sauerkraut, cider vinegar, chocolate, and sourdough bread. The next class is on emergency planning and we’re offering a canning basics series this summer after the produce starts to come in to the market. We’ll be teaching pickling, jamming, water bath canning (with tomatoes), and pressure canning in four classes for $40 (see a full schedule of courses here). Yes, that’s $40 for four classes TOTAL, not each. We’re also starting to connect with other MFP programs nationwide on our Facebook page. Follow us and let us know what you’re interested in canning and cooking this summer!
So how’s that for short? Don’t forget, I am a professor. We don’t do short.