Donut Delights

Road trips are not all about fried shellfish, no they are not.  You need to balance that out with a healthy dose of fried DOUGH.  I really didn’t have any ideas on how to fulfill this part of the trip, so my sister took a stab in the dark and picked out this little shop:
This is what Fritos and Foie Gras faces look like when approaching dessert:

When we walked in, the comforting and alluring scents of sugar, maple, and butter enveloped us and acted as instant anti-depressants.  If they bottled the scent of donut shops, I SWEAR I would wear it as perfume!
  We  were greeted with rack upon rack of freshly fried donuts-do you see those little icicles dripping off the racks.  Um, they are ICING-CLES.  They are literally DRAPING their donuts in frosting here…how many ways can I say “yes, please?”.
Yeast donuts, cake donuts, old fashioned, fritters, cakes, and pastries of all sort lay warm from the oven just begging to be eaten.  Well, who were we to deny such sweet little desserts?  If they were to be eaten, it was we who would do the eating!  I’m selfless, I know.

As my sister put it “If it’s been around this long, it probably doesn’t suck”.  We are a rather eloquent family like that.

The apple fritter, freshly filled with apple filling.  It had the girth of a hubcap and the taste…

of NIRVANA! Tender, freshly fried dough filled with cinnamon and sugar coated apples and a sticky sweet glaze that was freshly applied.  The apple filling was tender and had that perfect sweet spicy ratio that apple pie filling has.  This was not like other apple fritters-it was different and it was superior.

We also tried an old fashioned.  Whereas the apple fritter was a light yeast donut, this was a cake donut-denser, heavier, richer.

and awesome.  It was more buttery than anything else, with just enough sweetness to remind you that this was a dessert and should NOT be consumed for breakfast every day (though every now and then, it makes a dandy way to start the day).  The inside was dense and thickly crumbed, and moist, while the outside was fried to a crusty golden brown simply drenched in sugary white icing that clung to the lips.  This was a donut to remember.

And my sister and dad tried the coffee cake.

From the look of joy on my dad’s face…the coffee cake was also a success.
What a hidden gem!  Not on any foodie website that I frequent, Beach Donuts is a delicious and special shop near Westport, Ct.  It is well priced, delicious, and a total gem.  And if you go…bring me back an apple fritter, would ya?

A Tale of the Trip…

Thanksgiving is over…our roast pork and kimchi is all eaten and packed away in the fridge (oh yeah you are getting a heck of a Momofuku cookbook post about Thanksgiving…we are rebels like that)…and people who are unafraid of getting trampled to death are waiting in line at 2 am to get deals on electronics and cologne.  Sounds like a perfect time for another Fritos and Foie Gras roadtrip!  On my family’s way up to Boston to see cousins, I laid down the groundwork for lunch:
1)Must not be a chain (although 3 locations were allowed-mini chains can be regional)
2)MUST have whole bellied fried clams
3) Must bring up memories of summers on the cape, riding on my father’s sloop wearing Ralph Lauren sweaters, and clambakes with Mimsy and Bill Jr. at the country club…okay, those aren’t really MY memories, but the restaurant should make me feel like I grew up in New England ok?!  Yeah I want the food to give me false memories…I am slightly demanding.
The place that seemed to fit the criteria was Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale, in Westport, CT.
When we got there at 11:30, there were already a few tables filled, and by the time we left an hour later the place was PACKED!  Best to get here on the early side!

The place was a large, super casual affair, with paper placemats, ketchup readily available, and pictures of Bill  Clinton and other heads of state chowing down on their seafood.  Well if it’s good enough for Bill…

We started with the clam chowder.  Now, this was not New England clam chowder-there was no cream, no bacon, no thick, rich feel.  It was more akin to Rhode Island clam chowder.  A cloudy, semi transparent broth redolent of salt and sea with no other flavors to mar it. Huge pieces of sweet and briny clams.  Tender chunks of Idaho potatoes added heft and just a bit of heartiness to the otherwise light and seafood focused dish.  This was clam soup for the soul.  I could eat about 7 bowls of this and not feel weighed down or tired of it.  It was just so totally…of the sea.  My sister was not a fan, but I am telling you…if you like clams, this soup is for you.

My mom and I ordered the scrod.  No, scrod is not the name for dried bird poop on your car, though that is what it sounds like.  It is actually baby cod!  Now, I know that people don’t like the idea of eating animals.  But I like veal, I love suckling pig, and hey…did you ever eat an egg?  Ok, I’m getting down off my soapbox and re-focusing on the scrod.  It was thin, flaky, and tasted SO mild and sweet!  It was much more like sole than regular cod, and was perfection with just a squeeze of lemon.  I didn’t even use any of the (truly excellent) tartar sauce.  I saved that for…

THE WHOLE BELLY FRIED CLAMS!!!!  Have you ever had fried clams?  Well, whole bellied fried clams are to regular fried clams as Disney World is to your childhood backyard-that is, bigger, sweeter, and BETTER. Anyone squeamish about trying seafood should start out with whole bellied fried clams.  When prepared well, they are not at all fishy, tough, or intimidating.  And these were among the best I have ever eaten.  You just dip them in the accompanying creamy, relish flecked tartar sauce and pop them in your mouth!  Crispy, greaseless batter crunches beneath your teeth and gives way to a soft pillow of sweet and salty brine.  And that is it.  It is the pure essence of clams with nothing else.  I can NOT recommend these bites of heaven enough.  Get these…or I will shun you. 

We also got cherry neck clams on the half shell.  Unfortunately, these were the one item I did not like.  Though I look forward to the cold and savory rush that raw shellfish delivers, these tasted bitter, over mineral-y, and just generally…off.  Though the cocktail sauce was full of horseradish and delicious, I just was not into these.

My father, the human garbage disposal, had no such issues.
Raw clams aside, Lenny and Joes was a fantastic lunch spot.  It was casual, extremely well priced, and had the most delicious fried clams I have had in quite awhile.  There was something for everyone, and it is one of only two locations-BOTH in CT.  I am a clam lover, and now, I am a Lenny and Joe’s lover!  
Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale on Urbanspoon

You Know You Want This

It’s almost Thanksgiving.  I’m tapped out.  You know what happens when you are tapped out?  You get cake fails.
A cake should look like this.

we did this.

and this.

we even did this, just like Ina says to.

Added this stuff.

And put in food coloring, to make it look like…

this.  Pretty, right?

We followed instructions to make delicious this.

but no matter how hard we did this…

and this…

the cake insisted on coming out like this.  I didn’t grease it enough.  Yep, we can all point at me and laugh.  I deserve it.  BUT…

we still did this.

And this.

And no matter how we had to eat it…

when the company is THIS good, the cake is going to taste great!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ALL!

Crazy Good Kale

Thanksgiving is coming up.  As if you didn’t know, right?  Thus, you are probably looking for easy, quick recipes that are delicious and-for the love of all that is holy-vegetarian. Because I don’t know about you, but I will be carnivoring OUT  during Thanksgiving!
So watch how easy and delish this is:
Take a big bunch of kale.  If you think it’s too much, it isn’t.  It shrinks faster than an Olsen twin before prom.  It is kind of like a spinach/chard combo with a toothsome bite and a slightly mineral-y flavor. It’s fab. 

You are going to cut this unwieldy bunch in strips right down the leaves, just to thte ribs.  You don’t want all those ribs.

That stuff.  Just throw that bunch away.  Then throw the sliced leaves in a bowl of cold water, and run your fingers through the kale to let the dirt sink to the bottom.  This is one dirty veggie…that’s what she said.

Now sautee up a diced onion and a couple of garlic cloves.

And when they are translucent and lightly golden, toss in the kale.  Let it cook for about 12 minutes, or until it is wilted and tender but still with some bite.

Now you are going to toss in a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of cannellini beans.  Make sure the tomatoes have some basil in the can, or add some fresh yourself.

Now throw that in, season with salt, pepper, and a good glug of red wine, and in 20 minutes…

You have the MOST delicious side dish!  Though I served it here with a salad, chicken, and bread, it is hearty enough on its own to be a vegetarian delight.  Creamy beans, sweet onions, acidic tomatoes, and that hearty, rich kale stewed into tender submission.  Throw some Romano cheese on top for good measure.  Add some stock and make it a soup or some pancetta and make it AWESOME.  Or just eat it this way…quick and easy…like I like my ladies :)

Let Them Eat Truffles

The time has come to don elbow gloves and ascots, to turn the music to Bach and Mozart, and to leave all things bourgeois behind.  Today, we dine like the other half dines.
We get the finest aged prosciutto, the crunchiest baguette, the finest, most delicate butter, and eggs that a queen hen has just laid particularly for our enjoyment.  All of this to pay tribute to…
The white piemontese truffle.  Forget for a moment that you can only afford this by cancelling DVR for a month and because Eataly offered a one day only truffle sale.  Instead, just…
inhale.  The deep, woodsy, heady scent of truffles is strong and meaty enough to make you swoon and perfume your hands for the rest of the day.  You realize that you can’t stop sniffing your hands.  Rich people wouldn’t do this.  FOCUS!

Of course, you should shave this using a truffle shaver.  But, if you spent your last red cent on the truffle itself, you need to use a VERY sharp knife to make slices as thin as the late Brooke Astor’s hair.

Chestnut colored slices with pearly swirls..beautiful and intimidating all at once.  Don’t mess up the truffle!

Now take the most lovely lettuce you can find, preferably grown in a field pollinated by pixies, and wash AND dry it.  Yes, you must dry it this time.

Now gently place it-no throwing this meal!-in a bowl with scarlet half spheres of the sweetest tomatoes you can find.

Make a dressing with Sherry vinegar, Extra virgin olive oil, a healthy dose of imported Dijon mustard, a diced shallot, pepper, and a nutty, sharp, hard sheep’s milk cheese.  Taste it. If you don’t make a puddle on the floor, throw some more shredded cheese in. that should do the trick. Now dress the salad.

Take your other cheese and dice it into small pieces.  Try to steal only about 17 bites.  Make it a soft, triple creme cheese that costs as much as drinks for two at the Plaza Hotel.  If possible, it should have small slivers of black truffle in it.  If not possible, just make sure that the taste is so exquisite that the cheese becomes your Deity for the day.  And-for heaven’s sake-STOP SNIFFING YOUR HANDS!

Now take those fresh, cage free eggs-the yolks should be as close to fluorescent orange as physically possible-and crack them into a bowl.  Add large grained sea salt,FRESHLY cracked pepper (that is how we in the upper echelon do it), and the dices of that soft, truffle flecked cheese.  Also stream in a bit of crystal clear, filtered mineral water (i.e. tap water).  This makes the eggs extremely fluffy, since the water evaporates when the eggs cook, leaving air in the eggs.
Now get the MOST divine pan you own.  This Mauviel M cook frypan was sent to me by Emile Henry and can be seen in use here.  It has the MOST exceptional heat distribution, nothing sticks to it, and what should be brown browns, and what should remain pale stays the most ivory color.  Really a wonderful investment.
Now set the pan on top of a pot of boiling water over a medium low flame.  Make sure the pan does not actually touch the boiling water.  You now have a double boiler.  Booyah. (Do rich people say that?)
Melt a pat of at least 85% butter in there.  I prefer Irish.  You may use French.  Or Vermont.  Just make sure that it is some seriously creamy and unsalted stuff.

Now slide the egg mixture into the pan, and gently move a spatula around the pan in slow, wide figure eights.  Do not move the spatula in spastic circles or harried movements, or the curds will be small and grainy.  You want large, soft, creamy curds…

Like this.  When the eggs look about 90% cooked, turn off the heat.
Now-do you remember that truffle?
Add half the slices of truffle to the double broiler full of eggs, and gently fold them into the eggs.  For the first time since you held the truffle, something should smell better than your hands…

Shower the eggs with chives and the rest of the truffle shavings, and serve with prosciutto, salad, and a baguette.

When you can no longer stand the anticipation…take a mouthful.  The flavor starts in your nose and work its way down the back of your throat, through the sides of your tongue, to the very front of your mouth.  Your whole being feels warm, sated, simultaneously deeply grounded and dizzyingly euphoric.  The light bite of the chives with the sweet butter and rich cheese creamy eggs.  The satin-y sheen of prosciutto. The crunch of the baguette yielding to soft interiors.  The rainbow bright salad with the coquettishly sharp dressing.  And those umami laden truffles. The drape everything in their scent, their texture, their taste.  And you feel, if for just as long as you dine, that you live as the other half lives.
Eataly on Urbanspoon
Dean & Deluca Cafe on Urbanspoon

It’s Complicated

I love complex flavors.  That’s why I am so drawn to southeast Asian foods-the sour salads of Thailand, the fragrant curries of India, the spicy soups of Vietnam…these are the layered, multi faceted flavors that I crave.  When other little kids were asking for meatloaf for their birthdays, I wanted Kimchi Jigae.  Go figure!  But…every now and then…I crave clean, uncomplicated food.  Just for a change in pace…or, more often, a little rest for my spice laden taste buds.  That’s when I whip up some Celeri Remoulade.
Celeri Remoulade (Yeah, I said it the French way…I’m sophista-ma-cated) is celery root in a tangy, mayonnaise based sauce.  Celery root is easily found in gourmet grocery stores, and often in regular grocery stores this time of year.  It is literally the root of the celery stalk, and has a sweet/savory flavor with celery and apple notes.  The texture is like a radish-crunchy but yielding, and porous enough that it absorbs the dressing quickly.

Cut your celery root in half, then cut away the peel with a sharp knife.  Then you cut the cleaned root into thin discs…

Pile the discs on top of on another and cut the discs into matchsticks.  You can also do this by cutting the cleaned celery root into small pieces and tossing it in the food processor.  I actually prefer it that way, because I like the tiny, even shreds of veggie, but what can I say…I was too lazy to lug out my machine.

Time for the dressing! You want equal parts mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, and some acid.  Of course, it MUST be full fat mayo…that should go without saying on this blog ;)  I use dijon because it has enough kick and tartness but does not overwhelm the flavor of the veggie. You can use lemon or vinegar.  If you go with vinegar, use a light and acidic one, like white wine or sherry vinegar.  Also throw in a hearty dose of salt, black pepper, and maybe some diced scallions or shallots if you like strong flavors (as I do).

Now whisk all that up and taste it.  Is it too tart?  Add some more mayo.  Too bland?  Some more pepper or mustard…you get the point.  Then toss it on your diced veggies!

you want to mix it up and refrigerate it for at least one hour or-even better-up to 6.  I don’t even like to eat it too soon after I make it, because the celery root just can’t absorb the flavors that fast.  It absolutely NEEDS to rest.  Trust me on this.

But after it rests…man oh MAN is this amazing!  It is like cole slaw’s richer, more filling cousin.  Creamy, tangy, tart, spicy from the pepper, with the toothsome bite of the celery root.  The clean celery flavor juxtaposes that rich, fatty mayonnaise so perfectly.  The mustard cuts right through the heaviness and the salt and pepper only accent the celery root’s natural taste.  Perfect alongside a burger, a turkey sandwich, or even just a piece of bread and a hunk of cheese, this is my favorite simply flavored dish on the planet.  Although…looking back on how I have described the flavors of this awesome French side dish…I guess it’s not so simple after all.  Yeah, I take back what I said earlier.  I just like complex flavors.  What can ya do?

Newman’s for Me and You-mans!

What’s better than an insanely hot movie star who donates money to charity and runs an outstandingly delicious food company?  Oh yeah, an insanely hote movie star who donates money to charity and runs an outstandingly delicious ORGANIC food company!  Enter Newman’s Own Organics.  Started by the talented, kind, and, yes, insanely handsome late actor Paul Newman, and his daughter Nell, Newman’s Own Organics is now its’ own seperate company that is still commited to using organic, natural, and whole ingredients to make all sorts of delicious snacks!  They sent me an AWESOME array of goodies, and I thought that I would showcase a few of my faves.
Gee, do ya think I like tangerine licorice?
Sweet, soft, not too waxy, with a clean, fresh burst of tangerine towards the end.  Not as amazing as my favorite licorice, Darrel Lea, but still pretty awesome.  And it probably won’t kill me as fast either.
I ate half a pack in one night. Then hid the rest behind the dictionary in my bookcase.  True story.
Ginger Hermits! these are soft gingerbread cookies, as spicy as they are sweet, with huge plump raisins and a complex taste.  Like homemade gingerbread, this is a grown up version of a plain molassas cookie.These would be a wonderful compliment to a glass of mulled wine or ice cold milk.
Or your roomate’s mouth.  Whatevs.
Here’s the stuff!  A pretty blatant take off of another famous “o” cookies (imagine me smilling like a wiley gangster here), we got these in mint, original, and peanut butter.  While the filling is not quite as rich or creamy, the cookie itself is SO far superior to its’ predecessor.  More like hydrox cookies that oreos, these cookies are deeply, darkly, but not bitterly, chocolate.  These are a sweet, decadent, filling cookie.  The filling, while lacking in its’ slightly thin and diminished tezture and mouthfeel, did not lack in taste.  It was sweet  with a hit of mint that worked perfectly with the chocolate cookie.  These were perfect.
Yeah they were.
And the peanut butter version…
Same as above.  But instead of mint, there was a lightly peanut butter flavored interior. Nutty, slightly savory, totally delicious.  Only improved upon by dipping directly into creamy peanut butter.
Travis clearly found religion when he tried these cookies.
And to round it off we have the Champion Chip Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These were totally wonderful!  Dairy free and yet SO decadently delicious!  Perfect in texture-crunchy but not crumbly-with an intense chocolate taste and smooth, sweet chips interspersed.  This was a perfect chocolate fix and their tiny size means you can eat 8 in a sitting.  I do.  Sometimes 12.
Newmans’ Own Organics make very delicious treats.  They are just versions of all the stuff I love made with stuff that won’t turn my skin radioactive in years to come. So check out Newman’s Own Organic, and check out A New Kind of Love…both fantastic tributes to the Paul Newman and his legacy!
(as is my musical tribute-to the tune of “Bigger Isn’t Better” from “Barnum”)

Pacific Delight Salsa

Here’s a quickie…that’s what she said.
This is just a super easy salsa that uses some of my favorite tropical flavors at a time when these fruits and veggies are not QUITE at their most ripe.  It is really easy and totally takes a boring piece of grilled chicken to the next level (Bacon and cheese does that too…but, really, who needs a recipe for that?).
You will need
1 ripe pineapple(smell it at the base-it shoudl smell sweet and intensely pineapple-y.  That means it’s good to go!)
1 ripe papaya(get a fruit heavy for its’ size that is yielding but not soft to the touch)
1 each red, yellow, orange bell pepper
1 shallot or 1/2 onion
1 tbsp minced or grated ginger
1 serrano pepper
1 handful cilantro leaves
salt, to taste
1 avocado/cucumber(both optional)
First, you are going to split the pineapple legnthwise.  Have the cashier at the store cut off the top for you.  It’s pretty but useless…like so many people we all know.

You will see a slightly paler, more opaque core running through the pineapple.  Cut the halves each in half, then cut out the core.

Then you are going to slice out the tender, eye-less part of the pineapple to use-leave this nasty ole rind behind.  

Now you are going to take the quarters of the pineapple and cut them into small pieces.  The smaller the better-I get SO LAZY at this, but it really tastes better if all the pieces are tiny and mingle with the other fruits.

These are some of my better efforts.

Now onto that papaya!  Slice that sucka in half legnthwise.

Scoop out all the seeds with a spoon, then do the same thing you did for the pineapple-cut each half in half(no need to core here), then remove the fruit from the skin and dice into little pieces.

And throw both fruits in the bowl.

Now dice up your serrano. Keep the seeds in unless you like a mild salsa-in which case, look in the mirror, slap yourself, and realize how much joy spice brings to your life.  Then, man up and put the seeds in.

Here are your peppers, onion, and ginger…all diced small…all ready to go in the big bowl.

When they all go in, squeeze in some lime juice. Or lemon. But really…if you are going to get the papaya…just get the lime.  It has this gentle acidity that works so well with the sweet fruits.

Now wash that cilantro and roughly tear it into the bowl. You really can’t overdo it….cilantro is king!

Here is the optional part. Feel free to leave out the avocado or cuke, but the avocado is especially luxurious here.
Throw in the salt, toss it around, and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.  This is just awesome.  It kicks up any protein, and is equally delicious with tortilla chips.  I often toss in rice vinegar the next day and make it an Pacific Rim gazpacho.  The sweet and fragrant fruits blend perfectly with the biting onion, spicy pepper, and heady cilantro.  Light and refreshing, this is delish with pork-but then, what isn’t.  So make this and enjoy your momentary trip to the islands :)

The Delicious Life

The last few weeks have had some delicious and random eats, so I thought today could be a quick recap of all the deliciousness:
random Japanese wafer cookie that tasted kinda like those cookies you used to get at Hebrew School break…not that great but impossible to eat less than 17.
My sister made a Trader Joe’s boxed gingerbread cake.  I suggested she add cranberries and cream cheese frosting.  I am a genius.  HIGHLY recommend this mix.

Delicious wings at the bar of Film Center Cafe.  Spicy but not searing, saucy, with strong blue cheese dressing and crisp veggies.  

Peanut Butter cookie from Once Upon a Tart.  Excellent.  Crisp, nutty, not too sweet, and plenty rich.  Would have been great with nutella spread on top!

Salsa tasting at Cafe Frida. Outstandingly delicious salsas, ranging from bright to smoky, from mild to HOTT!, and from tart to almost sweet and spicy.  Really a great selection, but too small a portion from the price.

Passionfruit martini from Kittichai.  Lovely surroundings, friendly bartender, fair prices.  And the drink?  Well, one more of them and I would have probably ended up with a tattoo saying “pad see eu” on my arm.  That strong. That good.
Pumpkin cake with cranberries and cream cheese frosting from Magnolia Bakery.  This was FAB!  Intensely pumpkin-y with cinnamon undertones, tender cranberries, and that sweet, rich frosting.  Really so outstanding.  I could not have improved upon it.  Moist, tender crumb.  Enough frosting.  GREAT combo of flavors! Ummm…did I say I came up with the idea for cranberry and cream cheese for my sister’s cake?  i meant Magnolia Bakery did.  :D

Malaysian food from Betel at the Malaysian Food Fest at Grand Central Terminal.  This fair was really fun!  Lots of little Malaysian bites for low prices, and shockingly not too crowded.  The wagyu braised beef was a huge hit with our crowd.  Star Anise, coriander, and other spices were stewed with this top grade beef until the protein melted on my tongue and warmed my belly.  I have never had Malaysian food before, but I will be going to Betel to try out a whole dinner there! 
Sasha clearly liked the beef.  But then, what red blooded American girl doesn’t like a good mouthful of beef?  You know what’s coming next: That’s what she said.
Betel on Urbanspoon
Magnolia Bakery on Urbanspoon

The Breslin Brunch Brigade

I’m way too type A to do stuff like this.  I like plans.  Not knowing what or when is happening stresses me out.  I get invisible hives.  Okay maybe I don’t get invisible hives, but I DO get super cranky and irritable…same thing, really…
So to go to the “no brunch reservations” Breslin this weekend was waaayyyy out of my comfort zone.  The Breslin is a gastropub run by April Bloomfield that is supposed to have delicious food and a trendy, chic, modern English Gentleman’s club feel.  And no brunch reservations.  But I did really want to try the food, and the hostess was very sweet to our large group. So…okay.  I was game.  We put our name in at 11:30 and was told that there would be a 20 minute wait.  20 minutes-no prob!  we don’t even need a drink at the bar in that case!  At 30 minutes, I fought my way through the packed dining room to ask about our table.  Oh she was wrong…the table we needed just got their food…another 30 minutes…at about 35 minutes, she came and got us.  YAYYY-really, not too bad a wait after all…

but then she told us “false alarm”-she meant to call another group.  At this point, though she was sweet, I really thought it was not handled well.  She full on brought us up, to the table, and then said-whoops.  We could have at least been offered some orange juice or something-I’m not some freeloader, I just think that when this many mistakes are made, something should be done.  The people using the table we needed had already paid, and she wouldn’t even go up and ask them to vacate the table.  Long story short…we sat down at 1:07.  Not ridiculous if we had been quoted an hour and a half, but considering the circus we had to go through to get there…it was totally ridiculous.  So far…not too happy. Although, to be fair, the hostess was extremely apologetic and kind.  Just not too effective.

We were THRILLED to sit down, and knew exactly what we wanted to order since we had AMPLE time to peruse the menu. The decor, incidentally, is totally fun and perfect for a date or a casual lunch with a friend.  

We started with the fried peanut and banana sandwich with bourbon and vanilla.  Okay, I’ll admit it…my mood started to lift.  Peanut butter and “fried” tend to act as antidepressants.  Imagine the light, pull apart texture of a yeast donut, but not sweet.  Just the bready dough.  Then fill that with creamy, sweet peanut butter and rich slices of just ripe bananas. Then fry that.  And douse it in powdered sugar.  Yeah, it was that good.

Though I couldn’t detect the Bourbon, I swear I was drunk after one bite of this.  Rich, nutty, smooth, creamy, and piping hot-this was really outstanding.  It’s hot temperature made the peanut and banana mixture meltingly creamy instead of overwhelmingly heavy.  The unsweetened bread made for a perfect contrast to the rich interior and sweet, sugary topping.  Though this would be a total gut bomb were I to eat a whole one, splitting this amongst a couple friends was an amuse bouche from my wildest dreams!

For my entree, I got the herbed Caesar salad with anchovy croutons.  This was an absolutely sensational salad!  A parsley heavy dressing was pungent, garlicky, creamy, but not heavy or cloying.  The fried parsley on top added a crispy, salty herbaceous note…really wonderful! The romaine was crisp and stood  up well to the properly administered (HATE too little dressing on my salad)dressing.  The slivers of anchovies on top were fork tender, salty umami bombs that paired perfectly with the nutty showers of Parmesan cheese. The croutons were thick, crunchy, and obviously homemade.  This was an exemplary salad that asked only for…
…a side of fries.  You didn’t think I was JUST getting a salad, did you?  Silly fools.  I got their thrice cooked chips with cumin mayo and house made pickles.  These fires were also perfection!  Somewhere in between shoestring and steak fries, these were thick enough to be hearty but thin enough to be crunchy.  Barely salted, so that the true potato flavor shone through, these fries were wonderful.  With the zippy, spicy cumin accented mayo, it was a frite lover’s fantasy.  My only wish is that there were MORE…but, then, that really isn’t a complaint, is it? :)

And those pickles.  DUDE!!! Those pickles were seriously magic in my MOUTH.  Garlic, pepper, and onions all invaded my tongue with the sharp, vinegary bite of the pickles.  Really…these were the best pickles I have had in a VERY long time.   I wanted more pickles, and that really IS a complaint ;)
The meal was delicious, the prices reasonable, and the atmosphere fun and trendy.  Unfortunately, the hostess’ continued snafus really colored my enjoyment of the entire meal.  It could be that I am just not used to waiting for a meal, but I really think that she could have handled the situation a little better.  In conclusion, I would definitely come back for lunch or dinner service, but doubt I will try brunch again.  Even the pull of the fried sandwich just can’t pull me there.
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