Sourcing spring chickens for every yard

Victory garden propaganda during WWII urged citizens, namely women and children, to grow vegetables and raise chickens for eggs. At the time, self-sufficiency was considered a patriotic duty. Families stretched dollars and ration coupons by growing their own food. Today, consumers stretch household budgets with manufacturer’s coupons for processed food products; convenience is marketed over … Continued

It’s No Day for a Snow Day

It’s irresistible, isn’t it? The thought of an officially sanctioned day of playing hooky, all safe and warm with your kids and your dogs, snuggled up at home with a full pantry, three hundred cable channels and a bottle of wine for later. The oven’s cranking a pot roast and dough’s rising underneath a gingham … Continued

The pizza caper goes down at Cafe Lou Lou

Who’d like to get in on a caper? I’m not talking about a hilariously wacky criminal plot. Even if it were victimless and presumably foolproof, I’m naturally nervous about activities that could land me behind bars. Nor an ancient Celtic jumping and bounding dance, either. I’ll take my exercise in milder doses, thanks! No, I’m … Continued

Yummy Pollo is what it says it is

Remember Pollo Loco? I remember when it arrived in my hometown of Clarksville, Ind., back in the early to mid-1990s and no one seemed to know how to pronounce it correctly. Nor did they seem to fully understand that “pollo” was Spanish for chicken. So, it was “polo loco” to many, which I guess roughly … Continued

We eat 2,000 grains of rice at charming Bentuhua Teahouse

“I like rice,” the late, wacky stand-up comic Mitch Hedberg famously said. “Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.” This is funny because it’s a presumably true statement about a reality that we’ve probably never considered before, and yanks a laugh out of our bellies before we suddenly come up short … Continued

8Up is stunning, but how about the food?

Even after many years of wisecracking about food, I have to doff my toque to Calvin Trillin, whose culinary scribblings in The New Yorker and elsewhere surely qualify him as the funniest food writer ever. So, upon my recent visit to 8UP, the self-described “Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen” atop the new downtown Hilton Garden Inn, … Continued

Hall’s Cafeteria is throwback goodness

I’ve lived in Clifton for about eight years now, which means I’ve driven by Hall’s Cafeteria & Catering in Butchertown roughly 1.8 million times. Of course, I always wondered what it was like inside, and of course, I never stopped. And then a few weeks ago my Dad, out of the blue, said, “We should … Continued

Okay or Not?

Savvy restaurant patrons have heard of the practice of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant and paying a “corkage” fee to have it poured and served for you and your guests. But some folks take things a hair too far in this area. Let’s play a game about dining out. A game … Continued

Is there such thing as Mexican deer?

Well, deer season is now over, and plenty of hunters spent the last few months stocking their freezers with fresh game. Luckily, my buddy Chuck is one such outdoorsman, and he’s not stingy with his meat. He came upon some frozen venison from last season and, not wanting to discard it or crowd his freezer … Continued

Mapping the Mediterranean at the Grape Leaf

Quick! Can you find the Mediterranean Sea on a map? This should be easy. It’s that long body of water that stretches from the Straits of Gibraltar at the far end of Spain, all the way over past Italy and Greece, the long belly of Turkey, around the corner past Syria, Lebanon and Israel to … Continued