Image source IFC
Marlo made a great point in our weekly staff meeting recently – people love reading about veganism, even if they have no intention of adopting the diet. That attraction now extends to watching the vegan lifestyle at play, exemplified by the latest webisode of Kumail Tours Portland. From IFC, the folks who brought us cult-favorite Portlandia, the show follows comedian Kumail Nanjiani to Casa Diablo, ostensibly the world’s first and only vegan strip club (so I guess it’s fine to stare at flesh, just as long as you don’t eat it).
In a revealing interview with club owner Johnny Diablo (who looks better suited to a Hell’s Angels bar in Tennessee than a vegan establishment of any kind), Kumail learns that Portland is the vegan hub of the US (likely true), as well as the country’s strip club capital. That obvious lie aside, Johnny divulges that he doesn’t require his gals to be vegan, but does cop to preaching a meat-free way of life to both employees and patrons.
Taking a look at the back of the house, Kumail gets a peek at what exactly vegan strip club fare looks like (hint: pretty much the same as you’d expect from any normal bump-and-grind joint, but with way more hummus and textured vegetable proteins). Stripper Moxie even provides a firsthand lesson on how to eat vegan nachos while looking sexy (though girlfriend looks like she should lay off the dairy-free cheese, if you ask me).
Moral of the story, I’m not sure how many dudes out there are seeking a lap dance with a side of soy protein buffalo wings, but at least it makes great entertainment for us carnivores!
Posted by Abby
I was never a Barbie girl growing up. I think I owned maybe one that was given to me as a gift. I saw no point in playing with a miniature plastic person and pretending she was doing normal human things, such as driving her car, moving around her house and sitting in a chair by her pool. LAME.
My Little Pony was far more my style – colorful little animals with pretty hair and blinking eyes, some of whom had wings because of their magic powers, who still had fun places to visit like ice cream shops and ballet studios. AWESOME.
Image source ElectricRaspberry.tumblr.com
Maybe it’s because I never embraced Barbie as a child that I’m even more creeped out by the weird things that have been produced in the name of the disproportionate blonde icon. The latest? The Barbie Café that just opened in none other than…Taiwan (shocker).
Image source Barbie Cafe’s Facebook
Image source Eater
I have to admit, given the popularity of American Girl cafes I’m surprised it’s taken this long to produce an official Barbie restaurant. But deep down, I think we all knew somewhere in our heart the money-making opportunity would never be overlooked.
Count me out, though – my ponies and I have ballet practice.
Posted by Emily
Image source Scalini’s
According to a restaurant in Georgia, they serve a dish that – they claim – induces labor. Although I’m not a self-proclaimed foodie, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a baby-inducing meal with some serious evidence! This local legend is now known as “The Eggplant Baby Method.”
But let’s discuss this magical dish. Breaded eggplant smothered in cheese and thick marinara sauce. Doesn’t sound like anything extra-special right? Just heart-stoppingly good. According to the website, the legend began around 25 years ago when people casually started mentioning in passing to the owner that they had delivered a baby after eating the dish. To date, there have been over 300 recorded pregnant female customers who have ordered the eggplant and given birth within 48 hours. And get this – if you don’t give birth within two days, (you must be at full-term) the restaurant gives the mom-to-be a gift certificate for another meal. The restaurant’s website even has a separate page completely devoted to the “eggplant babies”!
If you can’t catch a flight to Georgia to indulge in this dish, check out Scalini’s Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe. Although I’m not 100% convinced, who knows – maybe it really is a labor inducing mechanism! So if your preggers and not ready to give birth, by all means, avoid the eggplant!
Posted by Carolyn
Image source The Gazette
I’ve got mad respect for pastry chefs. They work in cold rooms, often alone or with just a few comrades (perhaps by choice?), and they have to make all those damn quenelles. There are ingredients to be weighed, chocolate to be tempered and temperatures to be held. It’s an artful science.
But to all you pastry chefs, I humbly beg: Please, for the love of god, don’t mess with my dessert! I don’t want whimsy without substance. I want to finish my meal with gusto and indulgence, not a third rate science experiment. I love food that takes cooking to the limits, but just don’t take it over the edge.
A recent post here about Cheetos-flavored macarons compels me to identify a few of the worst offenders:
The Cheeseburger Ice Cream Sundae with Crazy Toppings
A little bit weird? You’re “a little bit apprehensive,” Chef Adrian Bustamante? Cheddar and caramelized onion ice cream! Candied beef sprinkles! FYI, if you hate your family, this is really easy to make with the kids at home.
Bacon & Eggs Macarons
A childhood incident involving shredded, dyed coconut has left me incredibly wary of foods that provoke cognitive dissonance. These cookies don’t taste like bacon and eggs, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a total waste of time.
Heston Blumenthal’s Victorian Absinthe Jelly
Heston Blumenthal, brilliantly imaginative British Chef and master of my worst nightmares, served this vibrator-powered pièce de résistance at a Victorian Feast. But if that’s not overtly sexual enough for you, perhaps you’ll enjoy the Ejaculating Cake served at Heston’s Roman Feast. It’s just what it sounds like, or something.
Posted by Susannah
On January 1, you can always count on a few things: a killer hangover, good-natured but impossible declarations of healthy living, and a slew of food and cocktail trend predictions for the upcoming year.
Some of the 2013 predictions I’ve read recently have my full support – “salumi 2.0” and “artisanal soft-serve” as pegged by Julia Moskin, for example. Being a hopeless baked-goods addict, I’m also a huge fan of Bon Appetit’s prediction that the next hottest course will be bread-focused.
However, there are a few additional things I’d like to see happen in the food scene this year as well:
The end of gluttonous portions. I don’t care if you haven’t eaten in a week – no one needs an entrée presented on a serving platter. The last time I was forced to eat at one of the greatest offenders of this tragic trend, The Cheesecake Factory, a little part of my soul died when I realized that salad dressing was served individually in full-sized gravy boats.
Image source RayaPickett.com (comment added by editor)
Along the same lines, I’d love the “food combinations guaranteed to give you a heart attack” trend to end as well. I’m not saying we all need to eat raw vegetables all the time – I’m a big fan of eating bone marrow smeared on crostinis and don’t have a problem enjoying something made with full-fat butter or heavy cream – just do it thoughtfully and in small quantities. Two fried pieces of chicken encasing bacon, cheese and mayonnaise, or burgers dipped in batter and deep fried and then topped with a stack of onion rings are just horrifying and unnecessary.
Image source Choosy-Beggars.com
Food is a necessity that not all people in the world receive on a regular basis, let alone have the opportunity to enjoy in an inventive or celebratory way. So in 2013, whatever you eat, let’s resolve to enjoy our food thoughtfully – celebrating time-honored recipes, the craft and dedication taken to create the ingredients, inventive new flavors, and the group of people that gather as you eat it.
Posted by Emily