Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feelings can't be wrong

I faced a feeling on Friday. A strong feeling. A gut feeling: I can’t eat anymore pizza. I can’t eat another cookie. I. Need. Vegetables.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around here. It’s partly that we’ve been enjoying the jingle bells out of this December, and partly that we’re on season four of Burn Notice, having only started the pilot over Thanksgiving. What I mean to say is: There’s been a lot of eating out… and ordering in.
We’ve hit a couple of new spots this week, and a few old favorites. The old favorites held up, but I’m sorry to say the new places failed to excite. Top on the disappoint list is Butcher and the Burger. Although rave reviews from all around led us to this trendy little joint, the food didn’t stand up to the hype. And it’s pretty impressive that we found the service faulty when we only had contact with one guy who took our order. Apparently he found the pick-your-own-topping feature as tiresome as we found it gimmicky without payoff.
Though served on a delightfully toasted and buttery split top egg bun, the meat was dry, the cheddar was mild, and the overall impression of this burger was forgettable. If my cheeseburger had been half as satisfying as the cashier’s eye-roll at our new-customer enthusiasm, I might think about heading back. Truth is: I don’t want another burger from there. I want another burger from Owen & Engine, which is, in a word, juicy. Even if the cheddar and rasher toppings turn this lunch-friendly item into a $19 entrée, it is savory, meaty, tender, flavorful, and worth it.
…But I’ve been eating salad. My favorite being the Brussels sprouts salad from Hub 51 topped with almond, dates, and manchego. That’s a fine way to get a vegetable into your system.
Dinner tonight found us back to our regularly scheduled programming: a meat and pastry fest at Pleasant House. We’ve almost got a bingo on the bakery’s specials—we’ve tried Tuesday night burgers, Wednesday’s bangers, Fry-day’s fish, and Sunday afternoon tea (is there a higher calling for bananas than banoffee pie?)—and now we’ve hit the Sunday evening carvery. Tonight’s menu: Prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. Absolute perfection.
Let’s talk about dessert. Cakes, cookies, chocolates hold no draw for me. I’ve been over-served—so early in the season its embarrassing, I know. I did manage to choke down a beer float this evening. Chocolate ice cream doused in Bell’s double cream stout. Nothing tastes as much like the holidays as boozy treats. Who wants to go wassailing?


  1. No cookies at Christmastime? How sad.

    Also? I love Burn Notice.

  2. I hit the sweet tooth limit today: shortbread, malted chocolate balls, homemade ginger cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies from one fancy place, the final slice of fruitcake that a vegan coworker can't eat--and I didn't even try any of the pecan and sugar treats from another fancy place, courtesy of a different vendor. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe I've peaked too soon.

  3. I've been meaning to churn some Double Cream Stout ice cream, and that photo gives me a reason.