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December 21, 2010

Top 10 Tuesdays: 10 un-posted posts of 2010

voltPacing is an acquired skill in blogging. Under-post, and folks stop checking in; over-post, and everything starts to look the same.

For one reason or another, I chose not to post about the following items. In some cases, I wanted to do more follow up; in others, the timing was off. A few of them I thought were lame. But I've hung to them all and share them with you now.

1) Hard work improves the taste of food -- Back in early November, a Sun colleague emailed me about Hopkins-based study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B titled "Greater effort boosts the affective taste properties of food."

About their findings, one of the lead scientists, Alexander Johnson, said, “Basically, what we have shown is that if you have to expend more effort to get a certain food, not only will you value that food more, but it might even taste better to you.” There are interesting implications for these findings in battling obesity, but I wanted to discuss how a restaurant might manipulate diners with something like a strict reservation policy. I've been meaning to give one of the scientists a call. I still want to. Remind me.

2) More men manning the family meal making? -- An editor emailed me a link to this September 30 CNN trend story about how men cook, too!!  The article attempted a neologism,  "gastrosexual."

"This is the stupidest thing  I have ever heard. Or at least in a long time," the editor added. I agreed, and didn't post it. But it might have been made for some commenting fun. 

3 ) Burger prize -- Back on October 1, I learned that Abbey Burger Bistro showed up on this USA Today Travel feature on "51 great burger joints across the USA." At the time, Abbey struck me as a decent but snooze-y choice. But belated congratulations to the folks at Abbey, who have made a good showing in that alley restaurant space by the Cross Street Market.  

4 ) Eating Will Shortz -- I keep thinking it would be fun to eat, or at least track down, every food item and beverage that's been included as a fill in the New York Times crossword puzzle. 

SPOILERS from the Monday, December 20 puzzle below

For instance, the Monday, December 20 puzzle included ELEPHANTSEAR (clued as "Taro") and PEARS (clued as "Bosc and Bartlett")

Taro is on the menu at Thai Landing in a "Tofu Combination" dish -- "deep fried tofu, taro and bean roll. served with peanut, sweet and sour sauce"

Pear is all over the place, I guess, on dessert menus, and I and you could have come up with a bunch of examples.

I still want to do this. Even though it's very silly.

5) Honest Tea commitment -- On October 21, I learned that the Bethesda-based Honest Tea had committed to "fair trade certified tea for all (of its) bottled teas." Commendable, I thought, and nodded off.

6) Boston Market upgrade -- I turned down an invitation in October to learn about the 25th anniversary upgrades at Boston Market, including a dozen or so new menu options. Here's the press release if you want to read it; many of the innovations should be rolling out right about now. I don't live near a Boston Market, but I like them. Of course I like to keep the focus local, but I'm not a snob about chains, and I think this is good forum for separating them into wheat and chaff.

7) Attman's, cover deli -- I've missed a few invitations to attend a book signing for Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row by local author James W. Battee. On the book's cover is a photograph of Attman's delicatessen. This was worth a quick post.

8)  20th Annual Chocolate Affair -- The annual event to benefit Health Care for the Homeless is scheduled for February 3, 2011. The save-the-date came to me on October 21st, which I thought was way too early. But now it's only six weeks away. So take a look I never mind doing a quick post about small and big benefits here. I figure readers can skip over them if they're not interested.

9 )A crabcake eating tour -- I wanted to post about this Chesapeake crabcake eating tour I found on the Roadfood website, but because I could never get a definitive answer about how long this tour has been on the site, I skipped it. I like to keep it as current as possible on Dining@Large. Worth a look, though.

10) The Volt benefit dinner menu--Just two days after inheriting this blog from Laura Vozzella, I received a copy of the eight-course menu from the September 28th Tasteful Pursuit dinner at Volt, a fundraiser for Share Our Strength. The Brothers Voltaggio teamed up for this $1,000-a-head menu. Laura Vozzella reported on this event in advance here and here. Here it is now for you to gaze upon. I was too new to know then that there's no such thing as one Voltaggio post too many.


pannier, blanc de noirs, champagne, france, 1999


maine lobster
vanilla, saffron, california estate osetra caviar
merlin cherrier, sancerre, le chene marchand, sancerre, france, 2007


surf & turf 
octopus, chicken, flavors of galicia
karl erbes, urziger wurzagarten, spatlese, mosel, germany, 2008



leffe, blonde, belgian abby ale, brussels, belgium, nv


“miso ramen”
cuttlefish, halibut cheeks, flowering herbs
 domaine bachelet-monnot, bourgogne, france, 2008


bacon, eggs, and grits
flavors of béarnaise, anson mills yellow corn, whitmore farm hen egg, bev’s red wattle pork
marchesi, barolo, piedmonte, italy, 2005


wagyu beef short rib
nasturtium, aromas of hay & earth
chateau musar, bekaa valley, lebanon, 2001


apple pie
goats milk cheese, saffron
kanu, chenin blanc, late harvest, stellenbosch, south africa, 2005


chocolate covered banana
roasted virginia peanuts, concord grapes
broadbent, madeira, rainwater, island of madeira, portugal, nv


chocolates, candies, and cookies

                 menu brought to you by:                    beverage pairings selected by:
                 the voltaggio brothers                        neil dun

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 10:24 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


It was a meal so good, even the menu went back for seconds!
:) I fixed it though

"Gastrosexual" sounds like someone who enjoys rimming too much. Seriously, an awful, awful word.

Ha, Lissa.
Or someone with an obsessive love of cooking related to "feederism" -a distinct psychosexual fetish that the faint of heart would probably be advised to avoid googling. Or if you need a touch of help with the new year's diet vow, go ahead and google it!

Since you brought up Abbey Burger Bistro, I gotta say that I was pretty underwhelmed when they first opened, but my last two visits have been really good. I had an elk burger there that was delicious.

RE: Number 2: My beloved spouse (The Other Canon) and I forged a deal nearly three decades ago about household chores. I took charge of the kitchen = I shopped, I cooked, I cleaned. She took charge of laundry and arranging for childcare. This continues to be the superstructure of a really happy marriage. I don't know what secrets she has kept from me, but a "secret" I don't talk about is the addition, about once a month, of a new cookbook in the house. Ssshhhh!

Canon, that doesn't exactly sound like a deep dark secret to me! But is your wife still dealing with childcare three decades later? Maybe it's time to reexamine this arrangement.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner 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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