Counter Intelligence

Five on Food: Articles from the Wednesday Dining Pages

Posted in Blogroll by melissamccart on September 26, 2007

tea.jpg1) Washington Post does its own bovinity with Bliss on a Bun, for fancy burgers only.  Central and Palena win out at number one and two based on this criteria.

Which one should you have? To find out, we ordered burgers from 13 upscale Washington area restaurants, testing for juiciness, beefy flavor, char and the all-important bun-to-burger ratio. Even with prices reaching as high as $18, not all made the grade. We gave extra points for thoughtful toppings such as house-made ketchup and pickles and ripe tomatoes. (An unripe tomato has no place in a good restaurant, even atop a hamburger.) And we subtracted points when the kitchen failed to cook the burger to our desired medium-rare; only half passed that basic test.

There’s also a piece on Gillian Clark’s Out of the Frying Pan that was mentioned here this summer.

2) The New York Times food section focuses on the front of the house, in Out in Front but Often Overlooked.  There’s also this Fabio Tribocchi article: A Chef to Watch Finds a New York Niche.

3) Speaking of testosterone, the Boston Globe does its own version of adventure eating in A Day of Eating Dangerously.

4) An ode to harissa in the Los Angeles Times:

It’s replaced my ketchup, my salsa picante, even (gasp) my Louisiana hot sauce. I put it on everything. Well, not exactly everything, but the potent North African chile sauce goes into my bean soups and sandwiches, it spikes my aioli and tops my pizzas. I even take it on road trips, as a kind of food insurance, where it’s done wonders for roadside hamburgers and omelets, even stadium Dodger dogs.

5) It’s a few days late, but here’s a terrifc John T. piece on Sweet Tea: A Southern Icon in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, with recipes and sidebars.

It’s still the gather-around-the-table drink for Sunday afternoon re-enactments of farmhand feasts past. But sweet tea drinkers are no longer a regional sect. If they ever were. The rest of the nation is catching up.

The difference nowadays is the method of delivering tea to thirsty drinkers. In the South, beehived waitresses, double-fisting pitchers of sweet tea, still bob and weave through lunchtime throngs, pouring endless refills as they go. And half-gallon containers of home-brewed tea are, no matter the season, still front-and-center in well-stocked Southern refrigerators.

But just as wallop-and-bake refrigerator case biscuits are omnipresent and boxes of colonel-cooked fried chicken are no longer the source of family reunion scandal, bottles and cans of iced and sweetened tea are gaining in popularity. Gallon jugs, too.