BoingBoing points us to "a petition at fooddemocracynow.org that asks Obama's transition team to consider six candidates - all experienced, viable names of people who are ready and willing to serve - for Secretary of Agriculture who could potentially mend our broken food system. Already, after only six days, 36,000 people have signed the petition, including Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Bill Niman, and the Obama transition team appears to be paying attention."
If you've ever looked at the ingredients on a loaf of bread, the portion sizes at a restaurant, or any number of other things, it becomes pretty obvious that the way we eat and the way we produce food is horribly broken. I am honestly scared of the things that my daughter will be expected to consume when she goes off to school, and she has the advantage of coming from a home where both parents eat well, lots of vegetables, not so much processed stuff, organic when available, etc. What about the millions who don't know how or can't afford to eat well?
If the Obama transition team really is listening, this is a petition worth signing. I encourage you to sign it. I just did.
Birthing class got out early tonight, and we don't have any food in the house. It's a combination of my bum foot and the wife's almost-full-term baby that leads to us not going to the grocery store.
So we went to The Heights for dinner around 8pm. Thursday night is generally a nice night out, and tonight is some of the nicest weather we've had in a while.
The Heights was full but not overcrowded. Most of the seats were taken, indoors and out. It was a diverse crowd - a pregnant couple with a friend on one side of us, a gay couple on the other. A woman and two young boys were being seated as we left. A couple walked in just in front of us, apparently having walked from somewhere nearby (I choose to believe that they walked from home rather than parking in the neighborhood).
The food and the service were good. The wife says she's not sure that we've ever had a bad server there, and I certainly can't think of anything to contradict her.
And I was impressed by their mixed greens salad that comes with all the entrees. It was plain lettuce, but it had cherry tomatoes, jicama, and beets, which is pretty exotic and healthful for your average restaurant. The buffalo shrimp appetizer was delicious, although a little light on shrimp. I recommend saving some bread to mop up the extra sauce rather than eating it with a fork, as someone at my table for two did this evening.
Their rotating beer taps were not entirely exciting this time - Brooklyn Lager and a Sam Adams seasonal - but the idea of rotating taps is cool. The table next to us was raving about the bread pudding sundae, which we didn't order because we were both full.
And we found that Merkado, a restaurant in Logan Circle owned by the same people, is closing at the end of August. In its place will be "a neighborhood place" called Commissary, hoping to emulate Busboys and Poets and Tryst. They hope to grab all the trendy kids who will move into the new building across from Whole Foods and take all their money.
I'm a little sad that Merkado is closing - the wife and I had a lovely dinner there for my 29th birthday - but this sounds like an interesting replacement, although calling it "Commissary" is a little too hipster for my tastes.
I'm working from home today, which gave me a chance to check out our new Five Guys for lunch. It was busy, but I got through the line quickly. And then I waited.
They seemed to be getting orders out pretty fast, but I was number 88, and they served 79 right as I paid. So I waited.
When I finally got my lunch, I checked the bag to find two burgers instead of one. Since no one else would eat a second burger (I'm home alone, the wife wouldn't eat the meat anyway, and the cat probably wouldn't care), I took the bag back to the counter. As they were trying to figure out what happened, a woman missing a burger from her bag came up beside me.
It wasn't difficult to figure out what happened, and they quickly fixed it. So I came home and ate my delicious pile of fried calories. And now I have to get back to work.
We waited too long to try out the "new" Rita's Water Ice in Columbia Heights. Their frozen custard is awesome. It's like ice cream, but creamier. If that doesn't sound awesome to you, you must be either crazy or lactose-intolerant. Or vegan. But probably crazy.
As we were walking, the wife and were talking about how nice it is to see so many people out and about. The intersection of 14th and Irving is full of people, all the time. Even a year and a half ago when we moved here there weren't half as many people around. Of course, that was before Target and everything opened. And it doesn't hurt that this is the nicest evening we've had in a while - it's cool and breezy and we've already opened the window in the bedroom in anticipation of sleeping without the air conditioning.
One of the nice things about having a pregnant wife is that, when a recipe calls for white wine, she can't help you finish the bottle.
- Alcohol Review gives it 3.25 stars. We'll convert that to a 100 point scale, multiplying by 20 to get 65. They say it costs $7, and it was on sale at Whole Foods, so we'll give it a PPD of 9.29. That's a pretty decent score.
- It's Italian, so no California Penalty.
- Again, no Australia or New Zealand Bonus.
- It's got a pretty solid label. It's a cheap wine, so I don't expect much, and the label is different, but it's not doofy. Plus 10.
- Multiply by Planck's Constant.
- Planck's Constant is really small. No one wants a wine score in scientific notation. So let's open up Open Office Spreadsheet and do some formula magic. First, let's take the arc cotangent, which gives us 1.57. You can quibble about significant digits in the comments.
- That's still not a good number. So we divide one by the natural log of that, which gives us 2.21.
- I'm not a huge fan of white wine, so let's multiply by 50 and subtract a 25 point White Wine Penalty.
Then we round down, because the digits after the decimal were never really significant anyway. And we're left with 63.
So you see, this is clearly a good wine rating system, since it's right in line with the score from another website!
The wine tastes fine. Not too sweet, not too dry. It pairs well with a seitan picatta from Veggie Times. It probably has some flavor notes of something. Maybe fruit? White's usually have fruit notes, right?
In conclusion, it's a nice value at $7.
The wife and I had dinner at Rumba Cafe in Adams Morgan last night. It was a 1000 point reservation at Open Table, which puts us almost to a $50 gift certificate to any restaurant that deals with Open Table, which is awesome.
The Rumba Cafe website seems to be under maintenance this morning (I think it should be euthanized, personally (And did you know that "euthanized" isn't in the default Firefox dictionary? Weird)), but no matter.
We sat outside, since it was so nice last night. The service was very good, the beer mediocre, and the food was excellent. I had the steak with a fried egg on top, served with rice and black beans and a fried plantain. Reminded me of Costa Rican "casados", which I love. The wife had some kind of fish, I forget what, but it was good, too.
I highly recommend Adams Morgan when it's not overrun with kids (By kids I mean 23-year-olds). 8PM on a Tuesday it's alive with people (Plenty of kickballers and others just out for dinner or a drink) but doesn't have that "everyone around you is wasted" vibe that it gets on the weekend. It was just a nice spring evening.
Here's how it came together: a quick survey of my kitchen revealed tofu and a cluster of brussels sprouts. There was also a vibrant bouquet of cilantro tucked into the refrigerator door begging to be used. I scanned the cupboards and pulled down a small bag of (already toasted!) pecans and the remnants of a once full bag of my favorite sugar. Garlic? Check.
I know that a lot of people have a very strong reaction to brussels sprouts and tofu. Kind of like my reaction to Hillary Clinton. But the wife LOVES brussels sprouts, and so when I saw this recipe, I tried it out.
It's really excellent. If you don't enjoy caramelized tofu with pecans, you're crazy. Or allergic. And not only is it delicious, but it's also made in only one pan (Two if you cook rice with it, which I recommend) so it's pretty easy to clean up.
Anyway, you should try it. I didn't bother toasting the pecans this time (I did the first time I made it), and I didn't notice a difference.
Eat Well DC Restaurant Group has hired a new chef to oversee the company's four D.C. restaurants.
Branden Levine, who was formerly chef and owner of The Tavern Restaurant in Heathsville, Va., replaces Sal Del Rosario, who was with the company for 18 months.
This is interesting news. I've been to Merkado once, and to The Heights numerous times (How smug are we about being there opening night?).
I have no idea what's going to change with a new chef. The food there is good, although I liked what I had at Merkado better than most of what I've had at The Heights. There's something about the food at The Heights that knocks it down a notch. It's not that the food is bad, because it isn't. It just feels like they could tweak some recipes just a little bit and be much better.
So, we'll see what happens.