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Mister Softee Ice Cream

Mister Softee Ice Cream

by Jeff Hoyt


While some kids marked the start of summer by the last day of school, my friends and I knew the season was here when we heard the familiar jingle-jangle of the ice cream truck as it started winding its way through our neighborhood. In suburban New York, we actually enjoyed two trucks: the Good Humor man made his rounds during the day, while my favorite, Mister Softee, showed up at dusk to provide a sweet end to our dinnertime. I’ll never forget when my older brother got his own ice cream truck route as a summer job, and I was the envy of the neighborhood as I rode shotgun.


Today, dessert food trucks offer a lot more varied fare, but Mister Softee still peddles his soft serve sweets. Good Humor sold off their truck fleet in 1976, but the 90-year-old company continues to sell their Chocolate Éclair Crunch and Toasted Almond bars at grocery stores and snack shacks. Continue reading “Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away” »



04

Aug

Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon

Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon

 by Jeff Hoyt 


A chocolate shake makes a wonderful complement to a fast-food burger, but I’m really enjoying this Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon with my In-N-Out burger. “Wine doesn’t need to be reserved for fine dining,” says Turning Leaf winemaker Nicole Hitchcock, who also suggests pairing the Cab with pizza and a meatball hero. She hopes that more people will pair her very inexpensive line of wines with takeout food, and has even conducted a survey of America’s takeout habits, with some surprising results.
 


Have you ever pretended that takeout food was something you actually made? 34%, more than 1 in 3, pled guilty. I’ve never done that, but I do admit sneaking a bite of food before bringing it home, along with 61% of the respondents. Continue reading “In-N-Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?” »



Ladies Who Lunch

on August 02nd, 2010
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02

Aug

Author Mireille Guiliano with Sophie Gayot

Author Mireille Guiliano with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

 
What happens when ladies go to lunch together, especially if some of them are French? Chances are they will be talking about food, and how to stay thin.

 

This is what happened to me when Mireille Guiliano, the author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” was in Los Angeles to present her new book, “The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.” The book is, of course, a logical sequel to the first one. Guiliano tested all the recipes: 150 new ones and eight classics from the first book.
 

Continue reading “Ladies Who Lunch” »



19

Jul

 

by Sophie Gayot


I first met husband and wife chefs Charlie and Kathleen Schaffer when they catered a movie premiere I attended. Not only was I impressed with their falafel, but I learned their cooking had also pleased many celebs both in Hollywood (Barbra Streisand, Eddie Murphy, Martin Scorsese, Kate Beckinsale, Julie Andrews) and elsewhere (Martha Stewart, Heidi Klum, Tom Brokaw). They even cooked for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who probably didn’t know the two former busboys first met while working at the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Continue reading “Cooking with the Schaffers” »



My First Rub

on July 12th, 2010
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12

Jul

Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Steak Rub

Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Steak Rub

by Jeff Hoyt


I eat a lot of beef. From ground chuck to filet mignon, I enjoy it probably more than I should. Since my wife doesn’t eat red meat, I don’t get to go out to steakhouses very often. Frequently the steaks I enjoy are ones I grilled myself, next to a piece of fish for the Mrs.
 
 
 
Since I find the meat so appealing, I rarely cover its flavor with marinades or spices, and cook it as little as possible. I enjoy the texture, and the gnawing of the bloody, rare meat probably triggers some pleasure center handed down by my ancestors who hunted to survive and cooked their fresh kill over an open fire.

 



Food on the Move

on July 02nd, 2010
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02

Jul

The popular Kogi food truck in the LA-area serves up a fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisine

The popular Kogi food truck in the LA-area serves up a fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisine

by Martha Burr


Food trucks, especially of the gourmet variety, have become a recent fixture on the gastronomic landscape of LA. While neophyte hipsters may think that Kogi invented the taco truck, we can really trace it back to both Mexico and the Western “chuck wagons” that stretched from Texas to California in the 1860s.


Cultural historian Cyrus Farivar notes, “Given their origins in Mexico, a dash of Americanizations and a kitchen on wheels, taco trucks are the perfect trans-cultural metaphor for California. While taco trucks exist in other parts of the country, their presence originated (here). Raul Martinez is believed to have opened the first taco truck—converting an ice cream truck—outside of an East Los Angeles bar in 1974. He went from $70 in sales that first night to controlling a small empire of 10 King Taco restaurants and trucks around Southern California.”

Continue reading “Food on the Move” »



10

May

The end of McDonald's Happy Meals may be closer than you think

McDonald's Happy Meals may undergo a drastic change

By Jeff Hoyt

 

I admit to bribing my two-year-old daughter with television to get her to eat her dinner. Is it worse to use toys to get her to eat? Some legislators think so, when the meal in question is as bad for her as Sniper is to Dora.

 

 

County officials in Silicon Valley, California, have banned the inclusion of toys in any restaurant meal that has more than 485 calories, more than 600 mg of salt, or high amounts of sugar or fat. This seems to put the ubiquitous McDonald’s Happy Meal squarely in their sights. But my precious Jemma can’t ride her Elmo tricycle by herself through the Golden Arches drive-through. Is this the government getting too involved in parental decisions, or an effective method to combat childhood obesity in kid-friendly restaurants? We want to hear from you. Weigh in on our community forum on this and other hot topics.

 

Continue reading “Sad Ending for Happy Meals?” »



05

May

Restaurant impresario Pat Kuleto arrives on the red carpet

Restaurant impresario Pat Kuleto arrives on the red carpet

Monday night’s James Beard Foundation Awards at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center brought a lot of glory to a lot of very deserving chefs, restaurateurs and restaurants. 

 


Our newest favorite restaurant in Manhattan (overseen by one of our favorite chefs), Marea, took home the glory as Best New Restaurant. Congratulations, Michael White, you and your team definitely deserve kudos for opening a high-end seafood emporium during a recession and maintaining the highest level of service and cuisine in a consistently welcoming environment. We also love Marea’s sommelier Sophie Leibowitz, who introduced us to a fabulous wine, the 2005 Argiolas
Korem from Sardegna.

 

  Continue reading “The 2010 James Beard Awards” »



27

Apr

Samples of local cuisine

Samples of local cuisine

By André Gayot

As the world gets global and progressively engulfs its denizens into a single one-fits-all mold, it’s an encouraging sign that here and there some rebels are proclaiming a personality of their own. Interestingly enough, the affirmation of such an individualism stems from the food, not as a raw material, but from the understanding we have of it and the procedures we invent to process it.

I had the privilege to observe such a comforting manifestation where last week in Puerto Rico when I attended the third annual “Saborea” (Spanish for “Savor” or “taste) event. It takes place along a sandy beach fringed with coconut trees on this American-style Caribbean island. The tropical setting is enough to tell what is reasonable to expect under these latitudes. Indeed, location, tradition, and production determine ipso facto the limits of the gastronomy. But imagination, this essential human addition, can transcend—or not—the regional capacities.

Continue reading “The Global Show of Savor” »



29

Mar

 

Eve is among the Chicago dining destinations challenging convention this Easter. Photo courtesy of stevenjohnsonphotography.com.

Eve is among the Chicago dining destinations challenging convention this Easter. Photo courtesy of stevenjohnsonphotography.com.

by Jennifer Olvera
Easter is right around the corner, and we’re mighty excited about the ridiculously tasty-sounding—not to mention, atypical—options out there. Since we like a bit of savory with our sweet, we’ve set eyes on the three-course spread at one sixtyblue. You can choose between items like grilled shrimp with curried cucumber-yogurt sauce and fried chickpeas and slow-cooked pork belly with buttermilk biscuits and spicy sausage gravy. From there, opt for a flat iron steak with braised spring radishes, fiddlehead ferns and spring onion gratin or, perhaps, ricotta-English pea ravioli with Parmesan gratin, followed by sorbet with rosemary shortbread. The cost is $39 per person, and a waffle bar ($12) is available for kids under 12. On the other hand, Eve’s $32, three-course brunch features the likes of Toulouse sausage with caramelized onions and sauerkraut; slow-cooked Swan Creek Farm ham with fennel-poached eggs and caramelized fennel; and eggs Sardou with soft-shell crab, creamed spinach, poached eggs, crispy artichokes and béarnaise. Are you thinking Greek? Then head to Taxim, where the $55, five-course lineup includes items like kokoretsi, charcoal-grilled caul-stuffed offal; magiritsa, hearty lamb offal soup; tsouknidopita, nettle pie with house-made phyllo, sheep’s milk butter and feta; and tsoureki, braided sweet bread baked with a red-dyed egg. For the main course, it’s on to whole charcoal-roasted, milk-fed spring lamb. Seatings are at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Want some more ideas on where to eat? Check out our comprehensive list of the best Easter Brunch restaurants in Chicago
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