Thursday, January 29, 2009

Homer Simpson's Wet Dream

Combing through the thousands of food related stories today, I stumbled upon this NY Times story about jelly doughnut pudding. Totally grossed out and intrigued I went to the story and after reading it realized that it really had little to do with jelly doughnut pudding and more to do with reusing leftovers. After my initial "I just wasted 5 fucking minutes of my life" tirade, I got to thinking about frugality in this economic climate and realized two things: one is that Eli Zabar is a prick genius for charging people insane amounts of money for leftovers and two is that people should recycle their leftovers more at home. I try to do it as much as possible because most of the time it takes me some descent time and money to make a meal and other times I just don't feel like screwing around in the kitchen (I'm not a machine people). Last night for instance I made a few quick french bread pizzas by reusing some leftovers from previous dinners this week. Starting with a three day old baguette, I looked for my options and went to town. One had a tomato sauce base, the other had a pesto base. I also used different toppings to try and maximize the stuff I was emptying out of my fridge. Salamis, cheese, herbs, salad garnishes, nothing was safe. It was an easy and simple way to make dinner that tasted great. So how do you like to recycle your leftovers? Let me know.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ben's Chili Bowl

So on Saturday my friends and I hit up Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington D.C. An institution in the D. C. area, Ben's has been serving up chili, chili dogs, and burgers with fries (with chili of course) and shakes (sans chili) to people of all creeds, colors, religions, and Bill Cosby for 50 years. It was no wonder that when we got to the place there was a line out of the restaurant and around the corner into their back alley. Although the line was long, it did not take long to be welcomed into the raucous cacophony that was at times part side show and part celebration of good greasy-ass food. Upon getting into Ben's dining room you are forcefully but politely shown the end of the line, where once settled in the stimuli hit you like Go-Go music in the middle of a hurricane. People are shouting, singing, chewing, laughing, giving orders, dancing and eating all at once. We were lucky enough to score a table thus foregoing the need to stand in line to order our dogs. The service at this joint should be a shining example to all restaurants in the country. Within five minutes of sitting down, we were asked by six servers if we were being helped, which we already were of course. And these servers don't play around Jack; they want your drink orders when you sit down and your food order by the time they bring your drinks. They have to be ruthlessly efficient to be able to turn the tables over to sit the people that are literally around the corner waiting for their chance to sample that famous chili. We ordered the half smokes (the Cos's favorite) which are a spicy mixture of beef and pork topped with mustard , onions, and chili (the holy trinity of encased meat emulsions). Also ordered were the chili fries, regular chili dogs and chili burgers. Oddly enough, no one in our party actually ordered the chili by itself, so I guess I'll have to wait till next time. Overall, there is a really good time to be had at Ben's Chili Bowl, its not the best chili hot dog I've ever had (I'm a dirty water dog girl myself), but it is a unique experience. Being surrounded by photos of the years gone by, tourists from all over the world, and the servers running around like mad while Chuck Brown, The Junkyard Band, or James Brown kick out the jams there is a feeling of family. Its sort of like going to your friends house where you don't know his mother, but she treats you like one of her own children... no special treatment (if Dr. Cornell West doesn't get it neither do you). Basically, I can't wait to go back before hitting up the galleries and dropping by the White house to hang out with Barry.


All Photos ©2009 John Houser III

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shit Show Pics Part Duex!

So here are the rest of the pic (that I feel like posting) for the Shit Show at Jacks Bistro. I hope you have dug the photos. If anything it should give you impetuous to get your asses down to Jacks and have a great meal at a fantastically original and support you local restaurants. Thanks to Ted, Christy, and the peeps at Jacks for making my stupid ass feel like part of the Fam for one night!

If you have any questions or want any of these pics forwarded to you, just ask.

All Photos ©John Houser III 2008

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shit Show Pics! Part 1

So here are some of my favorite "Shit Show" photos that weren't published in the Metromix article (there just wasn't enough room). It'll give you a behind the scenes look at what went into the madness out in the front of the house. Remember, click on the pics to get a better view. I'll post the rest tomorrow. Enjoy!

All Photos ©John Houser III 2008