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September 2, 2009

I feel your food

foiegrasonthehoof.jpgGreatest. Shallow Thought Wednesday. Ever. Here's guest poster John Lindner. EL

Nothing inspires shallow thinking quite like the good old New York Times, and this bit on sentiment analysis by Alex Wright is nothing shy of epiphanic.

In celebration of this wonderful new science, I exercise not only shallow thought, but superficial feelings to boot. I herein list foods along with the sentiments I associate with them, inviting, of course, your additions and improvements. ...

Bacon – safety. Bacon makes me feel like, even if things go wrong, I’ll be OK.
Garlic mashed potatoes
– unconditional love. They are soft, fluffy, garlicky. Even if I lose all my teeth, my relationship with GMP will remain unchanged.
– patriotic. I just feel better about living in a country that, so far, still allows me to eat these things.
Angel hair pasta – rich. With a good wine and cream sauce and maybe bits of artichoke heart, I am a Roosevelt, a Soros, a Kennedy!
Stuffed nasturtiums – exotic. Is that a feeling? It is when you’re downing a stuffed nasturtium and listening attentively as the house sommelier whispers sweet Sauternes in your ear.
– powerful. I detest testosteronic hot pepper one-upsmanship. You want third degree tongue burns, you go Habanero Boy. But a curry made by a chef who understands the meaty subtlety of pepper can be my secretary of state any day. A good curry makes me feel like I’m strong enough to eat from the devil’s lunchbox.
Foie gras – rebellious. Pious animalists have made eating liver paste fun again. I feel so naughty. Thank you, pious animalists!
Vanilla bean ice cream
– reserved sophistication. Anyone who thinks vanilla ice cream is a priori boring is a priori boring. Vanilla is chocolate in disguise. I challenge all comers to gainsay this one-word argument for vanilla greatness: custard.
Sourdough bread – wild. Tear at this stuff and gobble it. O ravenous yeast!
Beouf bourguignon – accomplished. I’m sure it would make me feel this way if ever I got it right. The first Big Special Meal I made for my wife was beouf bourguignon. I ruined not only it, but the casserole I made it in (no kidding, cracked it). Turned me off of cooking for years. I still haven’t mustered the courage to try it again.
(Photo by Martin Boulanger/courtesy stock.xchng)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:59 AM | | Comments (43)


Bravo, John. Spectacular.

Dark chocolate fondue -- sexy and playful. Rich, warm, soft, bittersweet, spiked with liquor or not, it's dessert and entertainment all in one. Not only can you dunk fruit and feel virtuous and licentious (bananas, anyone?) at the same time, you can dip chunks of cake, cookies, pretzels, chips, bacon, fingers -- you are limited only by your imagination, your appetite...and your desire.

I wanted french fries for lunch. Now I want bacon and garlic mashed potatoes.

YumPo, sugar burns!

Oh jl, you are speaking my language. And I am sooo with you on the vanilla ice cream thing. Finally, someone who comprehends the nuance in the obvious.

Yet another demonstration of why you are my hero, jl.

(Although, the sentiment I associate with the cheeseburger is purpose. I know that I will never own the world’s best automobile, or vacation in the world’s most exotic locale. I accept that I will never write literature’s best sentence, nor will I ever catch the biggest trout. Shoot the perfect round of golf? Impossible, with my skill or skill that I am physically capable of developing at my age.

But each and every day I awake thinking that this might be the day when my quest for the cheeseburger grail is fulfilled.)

P.S. Hi to all!

Great post jl!

YumPo has some good ideas there.

Hi Bucky!

Spinach dip in a bread bowl: ennui. Actually, anything served in a bread bowl makes me lose all interest in life.

Silverjack, you came back.

Gnotki- nostalgic. It is a Polish or Eastern European "dish" that my grandmother, whose parents were from the Olde Country, made when she would visit when my siblings and I were children. We called them Nunkies and my cousins called them Munkies. I think gnotki translates into "kneading the dough" since there is a lot of kneading necessary,but, I don't recall exactly. It is basically a fried dough, but, not like what you would get at the fair. It is kind of like an unleven dough fried in bacon grease. I make them now for my siblings as a treat around the holidays.

Sorry for the double posting, explorer gave me an error message and I thought it hadn't posted.

Good point, Bucky. I suddenly need a cheeseburger grail in my life.

And, I had one for lunch. It would have been better rare.

Great post...
Christmas cookies - sentimental. The smell of the cookies baking, the taste of the warm deliciousness, the cozy feeling, and being able to share with loved ones .


Sorry, sean. Kept getting failure messages with an offer to reload. Obviously, my trigger control was off.

I've been complaining to TPTB for the past hour. It's bad on my end, too. When the regulars start to multiple post, I know something is wrong with the blogware. EL

Heh, looks like it happened to a few different posts/posters.

Laura Lee - you scare me sometimes.

If you stick around, I promise never to scare you again.

Did you get all your sunflowers in?

great topic! And I am so glad to find other lovers of vanilla bean ice cream.

steamed crabs - nostalgic. none now are nearly as good as those I ate at a child at family picnics.

steak/beef carpaccio - daring. For someone who orders even the best steak meadium (and burgers very well done), beef carpaccio always seems so risky. yet, on those few ocassions, worth it.

Hey, jl! Sentiments, perhaps, based on location and/or memories? Herewith mine: Almost anything from George Webb's, especially breakfast. Raw beef and onions - yep, they still consume that here in MKE! Friday Fish Fries, whether cod or haddock, breaded or beer-battered, accompanied by buttered rye bread, cole slaw (shredded, thank you) and fries. Hot ham and rolls on Sundays AMs with accompanying punchkas.

aww man, raw beef and onions, haven't had that in ages!

I agree with Bucky and Lissa, I am too on the cheeseburger holy grail trail. My current favorite is just a simple ground sirloin burger cooked on a charcoal grill. The condiments I pick for it vary, as to what I'm in the mood for at the time.

agree with sherrylynn - steamed crabs. aaah. like dreams of summers past!

It is interesting that you can still buy Beef Tartare or Carpaccio, but the days of buying a raw beef and onion sandwich are over.

When I was a kid my Dad and uncles would get these sandwiches at Lexington Market around Christmas time. They can't do that anymore, but I try and keep the tradition alive by making them at the house around the holidays.

Ok, how does one make a raw beef with onion sandwich? I love raw meat. Raw kibbe, sashimi, carpaccio...these are my go to foods when I'm stressed.

A raw beef sandwich with onion (another favourite thing) just sounds like happiness on rye.

You make it just like it sounds.

Raw ground beef, diced onions, salt and pepper on pumpernickle.

It is best on those little cocktail pumpernickel bread rounds. Also, the beef should be at least ground sirloin or leaner. The raw beef is usually ground and the less fat the better. And less likely to make you sick.

With Bucky, Lissa, and PCB Rob (hi!), I too have been on the cheeseburger holy grail trail, but more specifically, the bacon cheeseburger holy grail trail. And it is locally focused. I have been all over town like nobody's business since I moved here looking for it.

Abbey Burger Bistro is most recently at the top, though I did not appreciate the less than cold tap Pale Ale I got (I know other people do, but it was really hot outside and I wanted a very cold beer - had I been warned, I would have gotten a cold bottle of something else). Their homemade potato chips are beyond fantastic, though.

Duda's was the king before that.

Sounds good, RoCK and PCB Rob. Thanks. The next time I have meat grinding equipment around, I'll have to make one.

WOW, JL, a masterpiece!! Here are two of my most favorite foods:

Liverwurst - mellow. After a sandwich with slivered Vidalia onion and dead-ripe tomato on rye, I'm SOooooo content with life.

Summer tomato on white bread - joyful. How can you not be happy eating something that simple, with juice running off your chin and down your forearms to your elbows? Sigh.

Lissa, I recommend either buying ground sirloin at a Kosher butcher (no worry about cross-contamination with pork or other meats) or buying a sirloin steak and grinding it yourself. I mix in salt, pepper and minced Vidalia onion, and have it on good rye bread, with a dill pickle and a cold beer. Yummm....

Dottie: "Liverwurst - mellow. After a sandwich with slivered Vidalia onion and dead-ripe tomato on rye, I'm SOooooo content with life."

Now yer talkin!! Liverwurst or braunschweiger make for great sandwiches! I have to hear it from the wife when I bring it home but Hey!, Her loss! And I do the food shopping so Tough!

George Webbs, et al. They evoke -- there's only one word for it -- gemutlichkeit.
I haven't had a cannibal sandwich since I left MKE. No wonder I'm so wan and listless.

Liverwurst with onion, oh yeah. Good stuff.

Dottie, I'd grind myself. Ground sirloin at a kosher butcher could have been setting there for days, and there are more kinds of contamination than from other meats.

Clearly, you people did not see Rosemary's Baby on a huge screen at an impressionable age! Just the thought of eating raw meat scares me.

Excellent post, jl!

Lissa, Bud J and Dottie - Liverwurst on rye with onion, swiss cheese, mayo and lots of horseradish. My go to sandwich

"...I grind myself."

Doesn't that hurt?

Trixie, how's your boss?

Not if you do it right, Trixie. Need lessons?

Umm, I don't own a...meat grinder.

I'll give my boss your regards!

Interesting that we have never had a Burger Girl or a Liverwurst Girl.

Friday Fish Fries, whether cod or haddock, breaded or beer-battered, accompanied by buttered rye bread, cole slaw (shredded, thank you) and fries. Hot ham and rolls on Sundays AMs with accompanying punchkas.

ummmmmm oh brought back some wonderful memories, thank you. Oh if we only had a polish bakery here! I could really go for a cheese punchka with my coffee!

The vanilla beans ice cream just brings back good childhood memories, a classic dessert full of flavor.

Waaaa I'm sorry please delete multiple post, my connection was lagging and I thought it didn't went through. I'm sorry again.

Hmmm ... are the posts from "harcoutbreton" just shills for a vanilla business? Mind you, I have nothing against vanilla bean vendors, but when the vendor in question is based in Madagascar and insists on shipping only from Europe, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I'm sort of a Uganda Gold bourbon vanilla bean guy. But I'm not shilling (though I'm open to it if the price is right).
Anybody who is not making a living off the stuff know if there's signficant difference between the two beans?

Yes, just a shill, but a particularly stupid one.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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