20100322

Public Service Announcement

I'm taking a break from projectile vomiting after eating some one-day-too-old asparagus I found in the fridge to offer up the following Public Service Announcement:
There is a rumor going around that comments on my blog don't work.  I'd like to take this opportunity to assure you that they in fact do, and that you should feel free to give it a try.  If you don't have a Blogger account, you can also use OpenID for a LiveJournal or other login, or just leave your comments anonymously.
Okay, back to it.

20100321

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club

I'm pre-dating these a bit to reflect actual dates, but I decided to start including some adventures I've been having with my neighbor Karen who lives "over the way."

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club really started a couple of years ago when we snuck off to visit the Longfellow Grill after dropping off Peat & Rocky at some function or other.  Recently, we've been going out to one place or another about once a week.

So be sure to check back through the blogs this month and see where we've gone, and there will surely be some more tasty adventures to come!

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club: Izzy's

This wasn't really supper, but Karen called me up this afternoon and asked if i wanted to go out for ice cream at Izzy's.  I'd never been there, but it's supposed to be quite a landmark just over the river from the Longfellow Grill into St. Paul.  They beat out Bobby Flay in a blind taste test when he came to challenge them to an ice-cream-off a couple of years ago.  (Not that that's so impressive to me, anyway, because i think he's kind of a tool. I mean, who wants BBQ-sauce-flavored ice cream?)

Anyway, i ended up grabbing an ice cream sandwich out of the freezer case.  ("How much could it be?") And i just about choked when she said it would be $5.  It was good and all, but come on, it's a freakin' ice cream sandwich.

I was also dismayed to see, on my way out the door, that they had blueberry cheesecake ice cream.  I was so sad when Ben & Jerry stopped making that 15 years or so ago.  But we were illegally parked, so I hurried out and made a mental note to get that next time around.

And if it's good blueberry cheesecake ice cream, they could charge me $20 a pint and i wouldn't balk.  (But i'm hoping for something more like $5.)

20100319

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club: The Longfellow Grill

So we decided to give the Longfellow Grill another try this week, and this time the wait was only 15 minutes.  Well, really it was more like 25 when all was said and done, but we waited around for it, and i think it's fair to say that it was worth it.

Karen got the Walleye Benedict, which is what i got the last time we were here years ago.  I got the Stuffed Chicken, which is an understated name for something that falls squarely into the category of "fabulous!" with a lilt.  A breaded chicken cutlet rolled up around roasted red peppers and some sort of boursin creamy sherry cheesy lovely paste that goes straight into your arteries from your mouth.

My drink, on the other hand, the Blackberry Margarita, kinda sucked.  I mean, it didn't suck badly enough that i didn't drink it, but it was sour, bitter, and had little-to-nothing to do with blackberries other than it was slightly purple and it had one floating in it.  It was mostly lime juice from sub-par limes and some sort of low-shelf tequila.  The glass was also rimmed with salt, which seemed odd to me for a fruit margarita, and just added to the bitterness.  Anyway, I can't complain too much, because we arrived just short of the end of happy hour, so it was $3 off.

But that chicken.  Damn.  Yum.

20100314

Gothic for Goths: Lesson 6, coming soon!

A new Gothic for Goths lesson is percolating. It's a few weeks from completion, but at least it's moved into the conceptual phase. The next lesson will be "Matjan miþ þaim Gutam: Cooking with the Goths" and will include an instructional video on making the perfect yoghurt.

I've been having a great deal of fun all day coming up with gothic words for things like twisƕair (double-boiler), jōgaúrtareis (yogo-therm), and faítlaúss þaúrsus milukastubjus (non-fat dried milk powder), though that last one is a little bit of a stretch. Not to mention matlapin (tablespoon), drigklapin (teaspoon), and gamitastikls (measuring cup).

I have a floating holiday coming up, so i might have time next weekend to get it done; i hope my subscribers will forgive that the video portion will be taken courtesy of my phone and/or laptop.  I might have to invite some neighbors along to help with the preparations.

Gawizneigai sijum!

20100312

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club: The Monte Carlo

So Karen and i had plans tonight to go back to the Longfellow Grill where it all started, but upon arriving there we were told that there was a 45 - 60 minute wait, so we decided to try our luck elsewhere.

"Have you ever been to the Monte Carlo?" Karen asked me, "They have the best burgers!"  So we called them en route and made a reservation.

The burgers were indeed good; i got the Plaza Burger, which is one of my favorite kinds of burgers, and which i miss a lot since they stopped serving them at Sargent Preston's near my work.  Medium-rare, of course.  It wasn't the greatest plaza burger i've ever had, but it was pretty darn good, and the fries were just awesome.  I couldn't decide what i wanted to drink, so i ended up just having water.

I had never been to the Monte Carlo, just a few blocks away from home, and it's definitely an interesting atmosphere: very 20's-style, old flocked wallpaper (in a tasteful way), tin ceilings, lots of woodwork, and that sort of thing.  Very loud, though, and it just got busier the longer we were there.  Valet parking is a definite perk.  And the meal itself was surprisingly inexpensive for what it was.  Including tip and valet we walked out of there for under $30.

20100306

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club: Wasabi

Karen and i visited Wasabi in Downtown Minneapolis on a Saturday night.

You know, say what you will about Wasabi; a lot of people i talk to don't seem to like it much.  I love it, though, with the exception of nearly impossible and/or extremely expensive parking.

Whenever i'm there with three or more people, i always recommend the Treasure Boat, although the last time i was there it left a little to be desired.  I wish i could say why specifically - it just wasn't as fabulous as it usually was for some intangible reason.  I guess that's why i'm not a food critic.  Yet.

(By the way, i'm inserting here this picture of the Treasure Boat, which i took in July 2010 at another trip to Wasabi with Eric and Linc, and for the record it was stellar again as usual.)
Treasure Boat

Anyway, Karen and i got a small selection of sushi, thinking we would order more in a bit: the Rainbow Roll and the Volcano Roll, as well as some drinks.  I got my Wasabi standard: the Drunken Samurai, which is a dazzling green blend of rum, coconut, cream, Midori, and ...and other stuff.  Good stuff.

The Rainbow Roll was okay, nothing to write home -- or blog -- about.  Pretty, plain, bland.  The Volcano, however, was just awesome, and try as we might, we didn't have room for anything more once we had finished it.  Hopefully next time I can get a good picture of it, because it's really quite impressive, complete with actual fire.