Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pick One: Are You Pho Real?; Pho-nally; or, It's About Pho-ckin' Time

In the fall of 2009, I predicted pho would be the next big thing in comfort food.  At that point, I had yet to try it, but its cult following by eaters coast-to-coast indicated that it was at a tipping point.  Even with ramen hot on its heels, I'm confident that pho will enjoy its time in the spotlight in 2010, and I'm happy to say that before this happens and I switch my beverage du jour from pho broth to hater-ade on principle--thereby cutting off my nose to spite my face--I was able to slurp back an Atlantis of noodles resting at the bottom of an oversized bowl of meaty, gingery broth.  I imagine that most of you reading this (if anyone is actually reading this) have enjoyed the experience, but for those who haven't, I recommend the following: order the special, don't question the meat involved, give it a healthy squeeze of sriracha and lime, and see how long you can make your good manners last before ultimately burying your face in the bowl and ruining your freshly laundered J.Crew button-down.  Buen provecho.

I lost my pho-ginity at Pho Cali, which is located on 10th and Arch in Philadelphia's Chinatown.  In addition to a host of mix-and-match pho offerings, they also slang banh mi sandwiches and other Vietnamese fare (stuff I've never had, but would love to try).  I got a so-so summer roll and the bowl of bliss pictured above for $10 including tip.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stuck Between Maroc and a Hard Place

When you're young and stupid, business travel sounds like a great idea.  Air travel, free food, maybe a neat name tag if you're at a team building or sales convention.  The reality of business travel is that since you're wherever you are to work, all the touristy stuff you had planned to do takes a seat right next to you in the back of the van that's carting you around.  It's still pretty cool that you're considered worth the airfare, lodging, and the name tag, however, and if you can manage some downtime, you may wind up eating something that will never show up on the menu at Applebee's (although I just got an email from Uno Pizza about a Moroccan soup).  You might also get kidnapped.  This past week's sojourn to Morocco was a blitzkreig of interviews, harrowing cab rides, and language barriers.  When we finally hit the pause button to eat, we found a wealth of porkless options that showcased the amalgamation of French and Middle Eastern cuisine typical to the region, a place where a lemon sauce is so sour as to be bitter, veal is actually short ribs, and every meal comes with French fries (a good thing).  More pictures after the jump.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Did I Eat This?

This is the carcass of a muffin that cost me $2.43.  I can get a bacon, egg, and cheese from the toothless guy outside for less money.  The worst part?  It tasted like Arm & Hammer and smelled like the cheap lotion they sell in the shrinkwrapped wicker gift baskets at the dollar store that the fat ass dude from Teen Mom would probably buy for his whale of a girlfriend to say sorry for being such a lame and sweaty excuse for a human being.  I suppose that at the end of the day, it could always be worse.  I could be that dude.  Buen provecho.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Am Your Drunk Uncle: Egg Nog

(Apologies for the lack of timeliness on this one)

"Hey, it's the guy that makes the egg nog!"

If this is what you aspire to, continue reading.  If it's not, enjoy your much less flavorful and definitely less rock 'n' roll carton of the storebought stuff.  For the adventurous and attention-starved, you would be surprised how simple it is to prepare egg nog from a dozen eggs, some heavy cream, milk, sugar, and nutmeg, resulting in applause from all who imbibe.  If you can execute, it's a foolproof way to flex some culinary muscle.  I've been making Cyril Collins' recipe for a couple years now, and according to my monther-in-law, it's the best she's ever had:

Start by separating the eggs.  Whisk the yolks with sugar, beat the whites until stiff (and get your minds out of the gutter), combine with the milk, heavy cream, and the booze of your choosing (I opted for a cup each of Sailor Jerry and Jim Beam), dust with nutmeg, and do your best not to puke all over your gay apparel (man, this would have been so much funnier around Christmastime).  Then forget to write about it until after the New Year.  Then forget that you already (sort of) wrote about it a year ago.  Then wish your reader(s) a merry belated Christmas.  Buen provecho.