A Sarcastic Appetite


A Sarcastic Appetite Travels: Greece
July 20, 2014, 8:47 pm
Filed under: A Sarcastic Appetite Travels, Gluttonous Weekends

        Koufonisia

I went to Greece for a week with 14 friends – some of whom I knew and some of whom I first met only on the trip. (It’s a long story how this trip came to be, but suffice it to say I now have 14 new best friends, because that’s how I operate.) Before I left, I was directed by a few Sarcastic Appetite fans to write a travel post. “Write about the restaurants!” they said. “Take pictures of all the food!”

And, well….I can’t. Because I was too busy eating and drinking to take pictures of what I was eating and drinking, and I took absolutely zero notes about where and what we ate. But here’s the thing I learned after spending a week in the Cyclades: it doesn’t matter. Walk into any restaurant outside of the immediate port area (too touristy), and you will be treated to a pretty fantastic meal for €15-20 a head (including everything you want to drink). Everything is fresh and local – they’ll tell you the vegetables are “organic,” but it’s not so much a conscious effort as just the way it’s always been done. Some of these islands are practically barren; water is the most precious resource, and yet it had been awhile since I had eaten so vibrantly.

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A Weekend in Nashville
April 17, 2013, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Gluttonous Weekends | Tags: ,

Last weekend a friend and I made a quick decision to head to Nashville for not quite 48 hours….purely based on visions of beer, bourbon, and barbecue. I got a lot of flack from friends and loved ones – “you’re going WHERE?” “WHY are you in Nashville for the weekend?” “WTF?” – but it was all worth it. So here’s a quick recap of everything we ate. (Warning: it was excessive.)

We started off Friday night with drinks at Edley’s, where the smell of barbecue was so intoxicating I briefly considered ditching our reservation at City House. I’m glad we didn’t….but I’m sad I never made it back to try said barbecue. Instead, we enjoyed some pretty delicious local beers.

After a round, we headed to City House. The appetizers were phenomenal – some kind of broccoli salad; kale & fregola; and octopus with a chickpea puree that was out of this world. We split two pizzas, one lamb belly with the requisite egg, and a tomato-anchovy one that cut through the fat. Nice balance. Drinks were also delicious – I stuck to gin-based ones while my friend ran down the list of whiskey-based ones and our host[ess] was nice enough to squire us around. Win-win.

Saturday opened with coffee at a local place, followed by hot fried chicken at Hattie B’s – worth the airfare alone, in my humble opinion. $13 gets you some dark meat (or white, if you’re a wimp), 2 sides, and a beer. The heat level goes all the way from mild to ‘shut the cluck up’ – I settled on hot and was pleased but not overwhelmed by the slow burn. Nice little spot.

After meandering through Vandy’s campus and checking out the Frist, we decided we were parched and in need of some respite. This we found at Robert’s Western World, downtown, which offered cheap beer and live music. Yes, this is Nashville, and yes, they have this in spades. It was awesome. (Also awesome is Fireball. You can thank me later.)

Dinner that night was at Holland House in East Nashville, a spiffy little spot next to the well-regarded Pharmacy, which apparently has fab burgers but was too crowded for us to try.

After we got over Holland House’s ridiculous rules (you must be seated in order to drink, and no, that sofa by the front door doesn’t count; oh and also those bar stools have a wait list), we loved it. If you swan in and overhear a bartender with a British accent, introduce yourself and tell him a couple girls from New York sent you. We, ah, made an impression. He’ll take care of you.

We feasted here, and the food was awesome – a solid charcuterie plate with some out-of-this-world foie gras mousse, and some delicious fried yellow tomatoes and a chevre tart. We split a steak (rare) and perused their drinks menu of interesting riffs on old classics. I liked the Warsaw Mule, a take on the Moscow Mule, though looking back I couldn’t tell you what the difference was – only that it was delicious.

By Sunday we were running low on steam – and stomach space – yet still made room for multiple! donuts at the Donut Den and brunch at the Southern, including my first time with chargrilled BBQ oysters. It sounds like an abomination; it’s actually delicious.

And of course by the time we left we had only grazed the surface of where to eat and drink in Nashville – Patterson House, Catbird Seat, and Lockeland Table didn’t make it to the list. And our bourbon consumption was suspiciously low. A reason to head back, if you ask me. Which leads me to my New…Summer’s…..Resolution of 2013: more weekend foodie trips. Are you in?



The E. 7th Street Crawl
September 27, 2011, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Gluttonous Weekends

I’ll be honest here, and I know it will come as no surprise to you: there’s not a lot of cooking going on these days in the Sarcastic Appetite’s kitchen. There is, however, still plenty of eating and drinking going on. To wit:

A few weeks ago I hatched a plan. An entirely mad-cap plan to eat and drink my way across a few (choice) blocks of E. 7th St. Luckily, my proposed itinerary was met with oohs and ahs and not “oh dear gods,” so off I went one rainy Saturday with a crew of willing friends.

I sort of….forgot to take pictures the whole way through, so you’ll have to bear with my rundown below. We didn’t go nearly far east enough, in my humble opinion – which means there’s got to be a Round 2. Are you interested?

We began at noon at Luke’s Lobster, where I inhaled a Schooner Combo….and half a shrimp roll for good measure. As always, the combo of a warm, buttered roll and cold, seasoned lobster (or shrimp) is perfection. Add some salt & vinegar chips and a ginger beer, and I’m a happy camper. There was no line when I strolled in, but it was jammed by the time we left. We were off to an excellent start.

Next we walked west, to Jimmy’s No. 43. I love this place, probably because I have only ever been in the early afternoon when it is absolutely empty. We set up shop at a table by the window and proceeded to while away the afternoon, playing cards and trying their excellent beer menu on for size. (See top photo.)

Feeling like we needed a little pick-me-up, we headed back east to Abraço for some espresso, drinking it awkwardly in their front window. Seriously, that place is tiny. But the espresso was fantastic, and I have heard wondrous things about their chocolate olive oil cake. Methinks that needs to be filed away for Round 2?

Post-caffeine fix, we were hungry again – or should I say, one of us I had been harping on about arepas and could we possibly swing by Caracas to get some? We did, sauntering in to sit at their teeny bar and wolf down arepas la paisa – the original cheese version. They weren’t as mind-blowingly delicious as I was hoping for, but then again, I couldn’t be bothered to wait for the cheese to melt to get the full effect. So it’s probably my own fault.

Oh, did you think we were finished here? Dearie me, no, we’re only getting warmed up. You forgot it’s my Summer of Champagne and Oysters, so we stopped into Desnuda for a few of both. Clean, briny, and wonderful – though somehow better when you only have to pay $1 a pop for them after 2pm on a Sunday. I suggest you make the trip.

Now that it was approaching dinner time, some in the group were rumbling for some “real” food. It is at this point that I regret to inform you we went spectacularly – but so deliciously – off course. It was a simple question: where to take 5 or 6 friends for an early, hearty dinner on a Saturday night? Momofuku Noodle Bar. Pork buns. Ramen. Done. It was everything we hoped for, and more.

Lastly (I can’t believe we lasted this long either), we needed dessert. Let me be honest: the real reason I hatched this plan to come down to 7th Street was to get to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. I am rarely in the vicinity of the truck (and lately, neither is Doug, since he’s focusing on the shop), so this was my big chance. Friends, it was fantastic. I only wish I had, um, left a little room in the old tummy to give my Monday Sundae its full due. Not to worry – I’ll be back for the Salty Pimp faster than you can say “Bea Arthur!”

Thus concludes our epic tour of East 7th Street. Do you feel full as full from reading this as I do from writing it?

Are there stops we missed? Drop me a line and tell me what to hit up next time…unless you are my doctor, in which case – my cholesterol levels are totally fine!



A Sarcastic Appetite Hits the Road: Philadelphia
August 16, 2011, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Gluttonous Weekends

I hate to admit it, but this blog really exists because of the Ninja. Or, rather, because of his prodding me to cook real dinners, on a consistent basis. So when he leaves town for almost a month (!), reasonably healthy dinners are instantly booted out the window in favor of things like ice cream. And wine. Sometimes, together. (Just kidding.)

So these last few weeks, I’ve spent my time eating and drinking my way across the city. Some people have the impression that I am some kind of foodie. Make no mistake: I am just a glutton. But this glutton has been having a grand old time of late.

Last weekend I went to Philadelphia for a very short day trip, to visit some great friends who value eating and drinking as much as I do. This is the rundown of our afternoon. To the others who live there whom I didn’t get to see, I simply say: I’ll be back.

We started at Silk City Diner, where I was too busy inhaling a Bloody Mary and some seriously delicious Eggs Benedict to take any photographs. (See above, re: glutton.) If you go, sit outside for the full effect.

Then we drove to Fishtown to check out Kraftwork, a great bar with an incredible beer list.

 

My favorite part? You can design your own flight of four. I can’t remember everything that I tried but it definitely included Arcadia, Lindemans, Boon, Troegs, Schneider, and Southampton.

After a flight, or possibly two, it was onto Village Whiskey, home of delicious cocktails, oysters, and deviled eggs. Oh, and duck fat french fries. Oh, and a S’Mores milkshake with a shot of – what else – whiskey. Below is the Ginger Rogers, in all her glory. She was just as delightful as she appears.

The deviled eggs, which were delicious but not so well received in the old tummy:

This is getting embarrassing, because I’m not done yet. Don’t judge. After leaving Village Whiskey, we walked a few blocks down and around the corner to The Dandelion, one of Stephen Starr’s restaurants. (Those of you in NYC might recognize one of his many restaurants: a little place called Buddakan.)

Anyway – onward. My poor strategery had led me astray, and I was now feeling the ill effects of eating oysters, whiskey, and deviled eggs in one sitting. Did this stop me from ordering one (1) Moscow Mule and one (1) roast beef sandwich on ciabatta? No, it most definitely did not. (See above, re: glutton.)

Ok, ok, we’re almost done here. My last stop of the evening was a bar also by Stephen Starr called the Ranstead Room, which fashions itself a “speakeasy” but nicely puts its initials on its outer door so you know where to find it. It’s the usual suspect: dark room, leather booths, and bartenders full of suspenders and mustaches who will make you cocktails you didn’t even know you wanted. Their version of a gin fizz – the Palma Fizz – featured mint and a spritz of rosewater. It was delicious.

I’ll be back, Philly. But next time, I’m bringing Tums.



The Hester Street Fair
July 16, 2011, 10:59 am
Filed under: Gluttonous Weekends

I love the Hester Street Fair. Or really any kind of place or occasion that involves walking around and eating food. (See: Smorgasburg, The TastingTable Lobster Roll Rumble; Eataly; etc., etc.) If Hester Street could get a liquor license, so I could cool off with a mojito, or maybe a Pimm’s Cup, or perhaps a Bloody Mary? well, I just don’t know that I would ever leave. Even when they shut down for the evening, since they’re only open on Saturdays this year (keep that in mind).

The list of vendors changes somewhat from week to week, but there will always be some good standbys so you’re guaranteed a delicious meal. And some delightful trinkets, if that’s what you’re in the market for. Maybe a pair of shoes? Or a Scared Panda t-shirt? Or maybe some baubles? Or postcards? Great, just bring lots of cash. The fair is like a really great tapas restaurant – as in, Emily Keeps Eating Lots of Little Things and Ends Up Spending a Bunch of Money. Not that it’s a bad thing, of course…I’m just forewarning you.

Anyway, on to the food: Chicago-style dog at Snap. Delicious.

Half a Shrimp Roll at Luke’s Lobster, with their signature spices and that toasted, buttered hot dog bun: perfection.

These were washed down with a Ginger Arnold Palmer from the guys slinging pulled pork sandwiches at Daisy Duke’s BBQ; the drink was so yummy I drank it before I thought to take a picture. I couldn’t very well leave without dessert, but was feeling a bit, um, bloated, so I opted for Dank Cakeballs. Seemed reasonable:

Boozy little numbers that were heftier than they appeared – peanut butter banana pretzel, chocolate bourbon toffee, and masa très leches. Delicious!

Lastly, (solely for digestive purposes of course) I swanned out with a cucumber lime popsicle from La Newyorkina. So refreshing! I think I need to start making them myself…maybe with gin?

These guys will all be there today. Need I say more? I think you need to check it out.